NWA-PCUG Newsletter Article
The Deals Column
by Bob Click, The Deal Making Man
Greater Orlando Computer Users Group, July 2001
(click to email author)

E-mail Address Change
I'm changing my email address from [dealsguy@mindspring.com] to [dealsguy@dealsguy.com]. The old address will work for a while, but with spam increasing each day, and now some of it porn, I want to change it. I'll shut down the old address when the traffic slows to just spam. Also, if I want to change to another ISP, it's much easier. Thanks for your help.

What Kind-A-Deal Is This?
I assume most of you are aware that when you purchase software, you don't own it, but instead you own a perpetual license to use it. Years from now, if you're still using it, its OK. Well, things are a-changin'.

Probably because of sagging sales, Microsoft will try to discourage the sale of perpetual licensing to customers with 250 PCs beginning October 1, 2001. Instead, businesses may purchase a subscription license for three years, and are "encouraged" to do it before. A MS rep I talked to thought it would only be on business versions and would not trickle down to personal copies for some time, but you should start asking when you purchase software after Oct. 1, 2001 anyway. If I already had a subscription license, I'd no longer be able to write this column in my present software unless I upgraded because I still use MS Office 97 and it would have shut down.

Another possible scenario: What if it was the third year for a business using subscription software during an economic downturn. A business might be hard pressed financially to upgrade their license. Nevertheless, either upgrade or their software shuts down, and they agreed to it when they read the EULA during installation (you do read the EULA when you install, don't you - do pigs fly?) Talk about being between a rock and a hard place -- that could be the straw that broke that camel's back. According to one article, some managers say subscriptions are OK, but more don't want it. I personally want no part of that plan if it comes to personal packages, even though software is somewhat outdated in three years. There are some columns on ZD net about all this.

There is also a movement to have users lease their software by the hour, using it via software provided by an Application Service Provider (it's not even on your machine). That is "supposed" to prevent software pirating and provide cheaper applications. Not my bag either. However, with consumer cooperation these new plans will become prevalent. Without consumer cooperation, they will not fly - right?

On the other hand, I hear a copy of the new MS Office XP can be installed on your desktop and one portable. I doubt that screwing a handle on top of another desktop will qualify it as portable. They better not be networked either.

Distribution Update
My thanks to Mike Alcom, editor for Connecticut Personal Computer Users Group, and Michael Hayes, editor for Columbus Baltimore User Group, who said they sometimes use my column and asked to be listed on my distribution page. Also to Bonnie Rorabough, editor for NOVACOM User Group in Fairfax, Va., and Steve Bass, editor for Pasadena IBM Users Group, who asked to start getting the column. Most editors are familiar with Steve Bass since he works with the APCUG Editorial Committee and writes many good articles. Welcome to all the new readers.

It's been a rough month for the DealsGuy. Several vendors (leads from Comdex) did not return either my e-mail or phone calls, and two are in financial trouble.

Still Good
The Mouse Bungee deal is still good this month (I love mine), order at [http://www.mousebungee.com]. Also the Quick Drive by H45 Technologies. Call 1-800-373-8181. Now, let's see what we have:

Magazine Update From Herb Goodman
Herb notified editors who regularly print his discount magazine subscription service that Windows Magazine, Windows Sources and Home Office Computing have all ceased publication. However, the rest of his magazine discount subscription list still has the same prices:

Computer Gaming World - $14.95
Computer Shopper - $17.97
Dr. Dobbs Journal - $15.95
Family PC - $8.95
Mac Home Journal - $15.97
Mac World - $12.95
Maximum PC - $8.97
Microsoft System Journal - $21.95
Mobile Computing - $9.95
PC Magazine - $25.97
PC World - $14.95
Publish - $17.95
Smart Business (PC Computing) - $11.50
Wired - $13.97
Yahoo! Internet Life - $13.95.

Prices are for new one-year subscriptions and renewals. (E-mail him for longer-term prices.) Check, cash or Money Order must accompany all orders. Make payable to Herb Goodman, and mail to:

Please allow 10 to 12 weeks for your magazines to start. For renewals you must supply an address label from your present subscription to insure the correct start of your renewal. As an extra service, Herb will mail a renewal notice about four months prior to their expiration date.

Expensive Software That's "Almost" Free
Clark Bird of Alamo PC Organization alerted me to a special for their group that led to this deal. If you check [http://www.G7PS.com] and go to the upper left, then click on "View Cart," you will be guided to an array of software packages just for the cost of S&H. Is that a deal, or is that a deal? Some of these packages sold for well over a hundred bucks. You will see nothing in your cart, but you should scroll to the bottom for specials. Read the instructions, and be sure to click where it says, "Click Here." The free ones that I saw are: Express Forms 2000, Fortune Relationship Manager, DataScan Business Card Scanning Software, VersaClips and TransForm Suite Personal. I didn't see the descriptions so I'll leave that up to you.

This company also offers products for printing your own checks, even if you have a laser printer, but that's not part of this deal. Perhaps in the future. However, if you need something like that now, check further with them. The above closeouts are in limited supply so act fast.

This Just In
I believe Bill Lindsay, Southeastern Regional Sales Manager, Wacom Technology sent this to all user groups, but I will repeat the message for my readers. It follows:

"In an effort to recognize select user groups and professional associations, Wacom would like to extend some special pricing considerations to your organization. For a very limited time, you can obtain one of the following graphic tablets for as much as 50% off the suggested retail price! The Intelligent Graphics Tablet System:

"Intuos 6x8 (USB) Special Price: $199.67 (SRP - $383.99) Intuos 9x12 (USB or Serial) Special Price: $299.62 (SRP - $509.99) Intuos 12x12(USB or Serial) Special Price: $299.62 (SRP - $509.99) Intuos 12x18(USB or Serial) Special Price: $399.37 (SRP - $819.99)

For product information, check out [http://www.wacom.com/productinfo/intuos.cfm].

"This is an exclusive offer that Wacom is making to select associations, organizations and user groups. To maintain this exclusivity, if your association would like Wacom to maintain a list of your members, we will reference it when someone calls in to make a purchase. If not, we will simply request that the caller give us their name, organization and Source Code (JUNEMEMBER1) to ensure that the offer has in fact been extended to your group. Call 1-800-922-6613 to order."

(Note) Briefly, I think this is a pressure sensitive tablet for graphic artists or Web graphic developers. It can have multiple pens and offers 2450 dpi. Can also be used for 3D graphics. This offer expires June 30, 2001, but try anyway if it's within a few days.

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 [dealsguy@dealsguy.com]. Visit my Web site at [http://www.dealsguy.com] for past columns. Also, I keep adding interesting articles (taken from user group newsletters) to my "Articles of Interest" page for viewing or downloading.

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