NWA-PCUG Newsletter Article
The Deals Column
by Bob Click, The DealsGuy, April 2002
Greater Orlando Computer Users Group
(click to email author)

Any Takers?
I have been writing this column for better than seven years and enjoyed it throughout. Because of declining health conditions, I would like to "pass the pen" to a new writer. It needs new blood anyway, with fresh ideas, not to mention more energy. If anybody is interested in buying the "Deals Column," please let me know. You would get the domain name as well, although the new person would probably want to develop his or her own Web site, but mine is available if you wish. After all my work building it to the widespread extent it has attained, I do not want to just give it away. I do hope there is somebody interested in keeping it alive and selling it should attract only a serious individual.

It is possible to make money with the column's Web site, but I have never tried that. So far, I have always borne the expense of writing it myself. I have no doubt spent several hundred dollars over the years, but I do not regret the investment considering all the friends I made along the way. If I have no takers, I will probably still do it for a short time, but I need to spend more quality time with my wife instead of sitting in my computer room. We purchased a beach condo in Daytona Beach (second home) and hope to occasionally try watching the surf roll in when we have the time. Maybe I can start a new user group there since many of the residents have computers. Want to attend a user group meeting "on the beach?" No sharks please!

Still Good
The 10% discount coupon for Inksell.com is good through April 30, 2002. Simply visit their site, [http://www.inksell.com], place your order and continue to check out where there will be a blank to enter the discount coupon code (D0302). The discount will be automatically calculated. Phone customer service at 1-800-255-0483, or send e-mail to [help@inksell.com] if necessary.

I have had little time to work on the column this month, so most of it will be things I have noticed in user group newsletters. I hope you find something useful. Living in Florida often brings lots of company and we have been no exception this winter.

Latest From Gene & Linda Barlow
Linda Barlow sent me this updated list of special prices on PowerQuest and AccessData products for user group people.

  • PartitionMagic V7 $35 (list $69.95)
  • Drive Image V5 $35 (list $69.95)
  • DriveCopy V4 $25 (list $49.95)
  • SecureClean $25 (list 49.95)
  • CleanDrive $20 (list $39.95)

Gene has developed an educational CD called "Discovering Your Hard Drive" which includes four hours of information (Gene's description) about how to organize, upgrade, migrate to XP, backup and secure your hard drive. There are even product demonstrations on the CD. Having seen Gene's hard drive presentation a couple of times, I have to think his "Discovering Your Hard Drive" CD would be very useful. The price is $20.00 (List $39.95).

Shipping and handling is only $5.00 on each order. To order, go to [http://www.ugr.com/order/]. Use the code UGDEALS02.

Just In, A Deal For A Great Database That's Been Around Awhile
I asked Richard Rabins of Alpha Software about a special and he responded with the following offer. Alpha Five (for Windows) is regularly $149.00, but for a limited time, he will offer it to user group members for just $129.00 + $8.00 shipping. Not only that but he will include this neat little Zip Code finder for no extra cost in that deal (normally $24.95). Just type in the zip code and it automatically fills in the city and state. To order, call 1-800-451-1018 and mention "code 77." Tell them you belong to a user group. Visit [http://www.alphasoftware.com] for a better description of the product.

I use Alpha Four occasionally, but have never upgraded. Alpha is a relational database that works well. I especially liked it when they had people on Prodigy that helped you with your problems. That ended long ago. I have not tried their tech support lately. In fact, I still have the DOS version. (I can hear everybody already on that one.) They still offer a DOS upgrade.

Keyboard for the Palm, Anyone? (From Sacramento PC Users Group Newsletter) Silkyboard is a portable keyboard that can be used on the Palm. It is said to be better than the Graffiti according to the review I read by Tom Anderson of the Sacramento PC Users Group. It passed his test and is available at [http://www.silkyboard.com]. It was $29.95, regular $39.95, but I'm not sure if that price is still good. I included it because it is an interesting item.

Finjan's SurfinGuard to guard your files. (Reviewed in SW Indiana PC UG Newsletter) Here is something that guards your files from being changed unless you agree to it. A virus will usually change something, and this software will see it and ask you if it's OK, or not. It guards other changes, such as to your network connection as well. It can be downloaded at [http://www.finjan.com] and is FREE for the home user. Unfortunately, it is not compatible with Windows XP and IE 6. Use this if you don't have virus protection, perhaps even if you do have it.

E-mail For a Mac, Anyone? (From Central Kentucky Computer Society newsletter, Computer File) If you are looking for new software for your e-mail needs, try looking at the following URL where you will find many. [http://www.emailman.com/mac/clients.html]. They are not all free. Since I have been neglecting Mac people lately, this is for them, but there may also be PC items there as well.

Watch That Spyware, (from Charlotte Bytes, newsletter of Charlotte County Personal Computer Users Group, Inc.) If you're thinking about using a program called Gator (a software that keeps track of user names and passwords for Web site logons and forms), be aware that it has a Trojan horse built in that will (behind your back) download spyware to report on your activities. A good firewall, though, will prevent it from dialing out to report. Surprisingly, Gator is a very popular utility. As has been said many times, read the EULA (End User Licensing Agreement) when installing. I just thought it would be good to warn you.

More on Antivirus, (From the Chautauqua Cyber Chat newsletter) They mentioned a favorite Antivirus of their members, AVG, which can be found at [http://www.grisoft.com]. It is free for home users. Take a look. The article included Trend Micro's free "House Call" at [http://www.housecall.antivirus.com]. Also referred to was Computer Associate's new suite of protection software at [http://my-etrust.com] (I just heard CA was ending this free program, so check for sure). While I'm at it, Panda provides a free virus check at their Web site with the latest signatures. [http://www.pandasoftware.com]. I might warn you that for an AV check of your system on line, you must disable your firewall if you have one.

That's it for this month. Meet me here again next month if your editor permits. This column is written to make user group members aware of special offers I have found or arranged, and my comments should not be interpreted to encourage, or discourage, the purchase of products, no matter how enthused I might sound. Bob (The Cheapskate) Click [Bobclick@dealsguy.com]. Visit my Web site at [http://www.dealsguy.com] for past columns. Also, there are interesting articles from user group newsletters on my "Articles of Interest" page for viewing or downloading, with the author's permission.

Click here to return to top