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

I Do My Best, But Not The Very Best
Be aware that the deals I write about may not be the very best. I often get e-mail saying they found a better deal at a certain URL, and some Web surfers say they can beat all my deals, sort of like a challenge. A few chastise me for not using more Web URLs for the best prices. I always explain that I must write this column two months in advance (three months for some editor deadlines), I try to avoid using much on the Web since experience has shown that, two months later, either that deal no longer exists, or it has changed. Often the Web site changes too.

I never argue with the vendors, I mostly take what I can get, unless it is obviously not a deal at all. Also, some of the "deal" URLs I find in user group newsletters do not work when I try them. Some I can track down the correction, others I cannot. You would have to be on my end to see all the e-mails about problems with my column's published ordering URLs on the Web, and my proofreaders check them all before it is released.

A New Deals Author - Not Yet -
Among all the complimentary messages I received about giving up my column was a message from an interested party, a friend, with the possibility of a new author for the Deals column. I believe this person would be good for the job, but I think I scared him off during our conversation. I talked about the never-ending deadlines etc. along with the other work I have been doing on the Web site. I may have turned this job into a monster. That's been my only possibility, but who knows, eventually something may happen. My heartfelt thanks for all your kind comments concerning not quitting.

And Now For "The June Column"
There's nothing fantastic this month, but I'd hate to miss a month. Even though all my winter company has left by now, my time has been limited, not to mention the days I fell asleep in my favorite chair when I could have been making phone calls. Sorry about that, but I'll give you what I found in my backup items and announcements, and hope somebody finds it useful. A couple of vendors have deals pending. I've also been busy remodeling our newly acquired beach condo, at times. Relaxation will be nice whenever the work is finally finished. The problem is, I think we do more "veranda sitting" then we do "work." My wife also slipped and fell while cleaning the old vinyl glue off the kitchen floor in preparation for the new tile and is hoping to be healed by next week when we can return to work some more. "Recreation" sure has its price.

Still Good
Gene & Linda Barlow's specials are still good. To order, go to [http://www.ugr.com/order/]. Gene says they have announced a new version of Drive Image. Also, the Alpha 5 deal may still work. They are supporting user groups very well and doing a few presentations for groups near them. To order, call 1-800-451-1018 and mention "code 77." Tell them you belong to a user group.

I'd be surprised if there are any of the gobe 3.0 specials left, but you can try if you forgot to order before. To purchase the gobeProductive 3.0 DealsGuy special, go to [http://www.gobe.com/dealsguy.html] and place your order.

And don't forget about the Casady & Greene user group specials at [http://ug.casadyg.com/?page=shop/win]. InstaFile was the feature last month.

Hey Dude, Don't Forget To Backup (This Just In)
LaCie Launches the SilverKeeper Web Site with a FREE backup tool for All Mac users. A simple backup software for everyone. Easy-to-use, scheduling at specific days/times or at system shutdown, and protection for valuable documents, video, music, and graphics files. This is Mac OS 9.x and 10.x compatible.

LaCie announced a new web site where users of Apple(r) Macintosh(r) computers can download SilverKeeperTM backup software free of charge. Posted on [http://www.silverkeeper.com], LaCie SilverKeeper takes the complexity out of backing up documents, video, photos, music and graphics files. The software can be used with any storage device that will mount on a Macintosh desktop. Like LaCie's Silverlining drive management and formatting software, SilverKeeper will be included with all of LaCie's storage products.

An easy-to-use backup solution, SilverKeeper eliminates the time-consuming task of manual backups. SilverKeeper can also compare folders, or synchronize folders so they contain the same files. *Note: CD-R/RW and DVD-R/RW requires Apple Disc Burning compatible drives.

I thought my readers ought to know about this deal when I received their announcement. Especially since I don't often have Mac information.

Free Office Suite, Anyone?
You all know about Star Office, which is a free one, and with good reviews. I read that the new soon-to-be-released version of Star Office may not be free though. However, here is another office suite by a Czech software company. I found this in an article about office suites in Old Pueblo PC News, newsletter of the Tucson IBM PC Club. Software 602, Inc. offers it. Its called 602 Pro PC Suite, and at no cost. There is a plus pack module containing a couple of add-ons for $29.95. I have not tried 602Text PC Suite2001, but you can check it out at [http://www.software602.com/products/pcs/tour.html]

"Fast - Compatible - Free. These three words define today's user requirements for an office suite. 602Pro PC Suite 2001, the new version of the free alternative to Microsoft(r) Office, has much to offer and is composed of four full-featured applications: a word processor, spreadsheet, graphics editor and digital photo organizer."

Some of the above came from their Web site and there is a very active tour you can take. Plenty of information is available there and it is interesting that their word processor uses the .doc format. I wonder why, but it's a good idea.

The Newbie Club
If you're relatively new to computers, how would you like to have a helping hand at your fingertips. Well, this one is not in person, but available on the Web at [http://www.newbieclub.com] where you can find all kinds of help. I understand they may start charging a fee of about $19 a year, but so far I didn't see that on their Web site. There are tutorials, and if you post a question, it will be answered the next day. I'm one who really needs something like that, but I was afraid it wouldn't understand what I was asking since even I can't.

Now, Let's Get Rid Of The Spam
Spam Buster is popular software that will help keep you from pulling your hair out when you receive so much unwanted e-mail. You can set up filters for it to search your incoming e-mail and get rid of the junk. Don't be deluded though, you'll have to learn how to create these filters since using wording to find spam can be deceiving, and sometimes disastrous. However, if you'd like to give it a try, check [http://www.contactplus.com/products/spam/spam.htm]. Registration is only $19.95, but if it does what they say, it's worth its weight in gold. The free version has popup ads, so it's your choice. However, when it saw the amount of spam in MY email, I thought I heard cussing --- oh, that was 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.

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