NWA-PCUG Newsletter Article, June 2005
The Deals Column
by Bob (the Cheapskate)Click, The Dealsguy
Greater Orlando Computer Users Group
(click to email author)

My wife and I attended the FACUG spring conference and it was again a total success. There were 173 attendees from 41 user groups. They have done a great job of keeping vendor support and someone really excelled at obtaining door prizes. Our raffle tickets were not drawn until almost the end of the first round (doorprize drawing); typical for me, but we still drew pretty good prizes. We had to go to work that day and I was ready to leave, but my wife reminded me that Dave Whittle would be doing the raffle for an Intel motherboard and P4 chip so I decided to stay for that. Good thing because the first paper Dave pulled had my name on it. I was astounded and excitedly stepped up to receive my great prize. What really surprised me were all the congratulations from people that I know would have loved winning it. Now all I have to do is get the new machine built.

Some of the roundtables were very popular tech session. It gave attendees a chance to see some other products in action. It was a great conference and I congratulate all the planners for a job well done. APCUG was well represented by some of its' officers who mingled with the attendees, and Peggy Ireland chaired a round table on the benefits of APCUG. A few derogatory remarks by attendees during the vendor panel bothered me. You will find my article in APCUG reports, and Dave Whittle also wrote one. One person said the vendor support was poor and "unacceptable". Another complained about their bad experience with a "free" service offered by a vendor who does it just to be helpful, and those were only two of the complaints. I feel the vendor support we still have is very good and we are lucky to have it. However, I still do not agree with asking vendors to provide meals for the event. Officers of both APCUG and FACUG always tell me that people won't attend if they have to buy their own meals. Are we that greedy and cheap? I hope not because the camaraderie and learning experience at these events is always great.

Surprise Fella, You're Out Of Luck!
I read an article by Lynn Kauer, editor of the Blue Chip News, newsletter of the Saginaw Valley Computer Association, that might interest you about hard drive warranties. When purchasing an Iomega drive he was urged by the clerk to purchase a store warranty because hard drive warranties begin on the day of manufacture. At home, he checked the Iomega Web site, entered the serial number of his unit just purchased, and found that the warranty had indeed already expired. He still had 14 days from his date of purchase to buy a store warranty.

When attending the Comp USA show, I talked to the guys from Western Digital about that and they confirmed it was standard policy. They said the problem is how long a drive sits on shelves at distributors and stores, and that almost nobody keeps their purchase receipt. But if a purchaser still has their store receipt should the drive fail within the stated warranty, they will honor the warranty from the date of your receipt. I can't speak for all vendors, but keep your store receipts just in case that is their policy also.

I Did Something About The Weather
I'm still bragging about my new weather station. Both my wife and I really enjoy ours, especially the Big Weather Picture accessory that lets you easily see all of the day's stats at a glance. I've seen other brands at shows, but none I've seen had anything like the Big Weather Picture. Peet Bros. displayed at the Home & Garden Show recently and said they'd still honor my deal of including an inside temperature sensor and a serial cable at no extra charge. [http://www.peetbros.com] Even our visitors are always fascinated and ask about ours. To get the special, send your order to [peetbros@peetbros.com]. We especially watch the peak wind speed information and the rain gauge. We sometimes wonder when we are at work if it rained at home, but a glance at the Big Weather Picture will tell us all that when we get home, and how much.

A Deal Renewed
Right at my deadline, I had to withdraw a deal that they said was not ready yet from Zio Corporation for a small and convenient product that handles all of the memory cards for digital cameras and cell phones, and also serves as a USB hub. Hopefully, it should be ready for the DealsGuy column next month. In place of it I am reminding you about "CameraMate VideoSafe" and "CameraMate Real Time Video" by Zio Corp from last month's column that had rebates expiring May 31, 2005. I am happy to say they have extended those rebates. I will include text from a message they sent me:

"Purchase select Zio Corp. products from any retailer from Feb. 05, 2005 through Sept. 30, 2005. Submit a completed rebate offer form; the original UPC code from select Zio products packaging; a copy of the dated 'Any Retailer' receipt for the select Zio products purchase with the retail price circled. Consumer also needs to include the rebate sticker (outside the box) along with the UPC code." For information on those products see [http://www.easiestvideoever.com]. My friend is having a great time playing with those Zio products that I asked him to test out for me last month.

Announcement For ActiveStartup Deluxe - Below is an edited announcement:
"I'm pleased to inform you that HexileSoft releases ActiveStartup Deluxe! We offer a 30% discount on ActiveStartup Deluxe to user group members.

"Smart StartUp Manager For NT-based Windows OS With Anti-Malware Options. Startup manager is a popular software category with dozens of different titles. ActiveStartup Deluxe has been specifically designed for network-based Windows versions, like Windows NT, 2000 and XP. The program gives its users a brain-dead simple way to backup and restore startup settings, add/delete/disable programs on the startup list, and control services.

"Unfortunately, the Internet is packed with malicious software like an overstuffed sandwich. Viruses, worms, trojans, spyware and other malware can easily sneak into PCs and wreak havoc. Oftentimes, the only way to catch the intruders is at the startup point. This is why ActiveStartup Deluxe offers users to perform virus check at startup and makes it possible to run, stop, enable or disable any service that may be used by malicious software. ActiveStartup Deluxe is capable of opening system utilities like RegEdit or SysEdit, checking for "dead" files on the startup list or launching any application. The program does not require any in-depth computer knowledge - ActiveStartup comes with a simple clean interface, support for clipboard and dragging & dropping, hotkey activation and other beginner-friendly options.

"ActiveStartup Deluxe is very easy to operate. This tiny application (only 691 KiloBytes) has been awarded over a dozen prestigious awards including a four-cow rating from TuCows. There is also another version of the program with fewer features called ActiveStartup. The differences between these two versions are available at [http://www.hexilesoft.com/windows%20startup%20managers.html]. A 30-day trial version is available at http://www.hexilesoft.com for evaluation purposes. ActiveStartup Deluxe 1.07 is priced at $29.95 US Dollars per copy."

Any inquiry, please contact Oleksandr Svider at info@hexilesoft.com

Company website

Product page


Buy link

Last Minute Problem
Just before time to send out the DealsGuy column to the editors, I could not send messages, but could receive them. Earthlink tech support says my Eudora Email software cannot be configured to work with their new servers. I may have to find another ISP so be aware that my email address may change.

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 or freebies I have found or arranged, and my comments should not be interpreted to encourage, or discourage, the purchase of any products, no matter how enthused I might sound. Bob (The Cheapskate) Click [bobclick@mindspring.com]. Visit my Web site at [http://www.dealsguy.com].

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