NWA-PCUG Newsletter Article
The Deals Column
by Bob Click, The DealsGuy, May 2002
Greater Orlando Computer Users Group

(click to email author)

So far, nobody has answered my call to take over the Deals Column. I don't blame them because it's a demanding task. I can't say that it's a thankless job though because I receive many thanks everywhere I go. This may sound egotistical, but I would surely miss that. Some editors didn't print that part of my April column so perhaps that's part of the reason for no response. I'll keep it going for a short time, but I'm not sure how long. Maybe I'll have more time after all my company has gone next month. Actually, I've received several messages asking me NOT to stop because they just enjoy reading it. It's very gratifying to have people enjoying my work.

There are some discouraging things such as a couple of editors who were content to just print the name of the product, the price and where to buy it, until I asked them "please do not do it that way." They were compressing my two-page column to one paragraph. I think those editors are misinterpreting what makes the Deals Column work. Many readers tell me that they rarely buy anything, but they just enjoy reading it. Maybe that's because I keep the readers broke. Anyway, we'll see how my time and the vendor responses go.

Great Conference
My wife and I had a GREAT time at the FACUG (Florida Association of Computer User Groups) Conference. Attendance was up considerably this year. There were 197 attendees from 24 user groups. Vendor participation was down this year with only thirteen, but that didn't hurt it a bit. The camaraderie was great. Door prizes were also less abundant this year, but I doubt anybody was surprised at that with the economy the way it is and vendors cutting back. If you missed the conference, you were the loser.

There was an impressive presentation for the new iMac by the Apple folks, and they even gave one away. They have become great supporters of FACUG. During the roundtables one RT during each session was by a vendor. I liked that. As usual, it was a tough decision choosing which RT to attend for each session. There were also many attending the conference for the first time and they were thrilled with it all. FACUG is alive and VERY well thanks to the hard work of its officers.

I think one of the things that makes it work well is that the meals can be catered in at cheaper prices, and the facility is more intimate for attendees. Hotels in the area are reasonably priced. Since it is not held at a convention type hotel, attendees don't have to stay in an expensive hotel room. FACUG is one of my favorite events during the year. As usual, there are still some changes I would like to see.

Still Good
The items through Gene & Linda Barlow are always good. To order, go to [http://www.ugr.com/order/]. Use the code UGDEALS02.

The Alpha 5 software deal is still good. 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.

When I commented on how I used to like the Prodigy message boards, Richard Rabin (CEO of Alpha Software) told me that they now have a message board on the Web site that is very active, and where their customers are incredibly helpful to each other. In fact, he said there are about 50,000 posts on the board, which has a super fast search built-in.

Richard asked if I would like an updated version and I jumped at the chance since I still have the DOS version and can't get it to run on my latest computer. I installed my new Alpha 5 and it easily opened my old DOS .dbf files so I could work with them. Then when I closed the files, they were converted to the new format. I don't know why they didn't keep the .dbf format.

Gobe Is Back
I received a message from Dave Johnson of gobeProductive the other day letting me know of another offer for this very interesting product. gobeProductive is currently at version 3.03, but they have some 3.0 CDs left over. He said this seems like a good time to make a special offer to sell these 3.0 versions to my readers, exclusively, for $49.95 plus S&H. (Retail is $124.95, but they're still offering a $74.95 introductory price for the 3.03.) They will again use a special Web page for this DealsGuy offer and they will come in a CD mailer packaging instead of a full box. Users can still upgrade the 3.0 version for free to version 3.03 by downloading the upgrade installer. What a deal!

To purchase the gobeProductive 3.0 DealsGuy special, go to [http://www.gobe.com/dealsguy.html] and place your order.

A Quick Message From Herb Goodman
Herb offers magazine discounts to user group people only. He wants to make sure that even the small user groups know about the changes in the magazine line-up and the new prices. Editors can contact Herb at [HGOODMAN@prodigy.net] for the latest list to publish in their newsletter.

Get Your Files The Easy Way
Bonnie Mitchell from Casady & Greene was kind enough to send me this one just before I closed the column. The following is their description of InstaFiles!:

"View and Organize Documents, Applications, and Projects with One Click! InstaFiles! is the first visual Document and Project browser for your computer. Everyone who runs more than one program at a time on their PC will find that InstaFiles! will make their life easier. With InstaFiles! you will never lose track of an open window again.

Browse for documents and projects
InstaFiles! is a graphical browser for all currently open documents, applications and Web pages. InstaFiles! allows you to easily navigate between documents, etc.

Simplify Windows using patent-pending technology
Patent-pending technology lets you see every open window as real-time oversized thumbnails, which allows for instant access to many different open documents, projects, applications or files-with one click!

Improve your productivity and performance
Save time by grouping related documents, files, and applications, to launch together later just by opening an InstaFiles! saved project!

Instantly find your active files
Never again wonder "where did that file go?" InstaFiles! lays out all open windows, side-by-side, using graphical thumbnails."

Check this URL to order InstaFiles! or any of the Casady & Greene user group specials. [http://ug.casadyg.com/?page=shop/win]. The user group price for InstaFiles! is $19.95, regular price, $39.95. C & G offers both Mac and PC products.

Keep Track Of Your Hard Drive's Health
Bob Esche of the Dayton Microcomputer Association forwarded this DiskAlert offer by Executive Software to me. He liked their Diskeeper(r) defragger product and feels this is a good company. Their DiskAlert(tm) software gives you an inexpensive, automated early warning system, monitoring for imminent hard drive failures and dangerously low free space on all your servers, with or without RAID. And, DiskAlert protects stand-alone desktops and laptops running Windows NT(r)/2K/XP. There's more so check their Web site at [http://www.diskalert.com/purchase/online- store_da.asp?ad=dae1]. For a limited time, you can download a DiskAlert 1- disk license for just $29.95, regular $49.95, or a DiskAlert 2-disk license for $49.95 instead of $99.95. One license is only good for a single hard drive. For more questions, call 1-800-829-6468, extension 6012. I'm not sure I understand it all that good so do your homework on this one and check out their Web site information, but it sounds good to me.

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, or disgruntled, I might sound. Bob (The Cheapskate) Click [Bobclick@dealsguy.com]. Visit my Web site at [http://www.dealsguy.com] for past columns. There are also interesting articles from user group newsletters on my "Articles of Interest" page for viewing or downloading.

Click here to return to top