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

This was a frustrating month for me. I certainly get a lot of junk e-mail. I have used Eudora Pro version 4 as my e-mail software for some time because it was doing what I wanted and I feel I have fewer consequences if I trigger a virus. Most spam I delete by looking at the header, although with my version, I have not found a way to turn off the message preview.

One night I was deleting spam and all of a sudden the program froze when I hit delete. I had to use ctrl-alt-delete to close the program and even had to reboot. From then on, I had problems with Eudora (couldn't delete) and it finally would reboot my computer when I tried to start the program, causing an improper shutdown because it started scandisk on the startup. I removed Eudora and reinstalled it.

It ran pretty good for a couple of days, but finally the same thing happened again so I tried using Outlook with the same results, but worse. At the same time, I seemed to be having problems with other things on my machine. I suspected a virus, but my Panda AV found nothing when I scanned my drives and Panda updates each day. Things got so bad that I finally had a friend help me check things out, then Fdisk my hard disk and reinstall the OS in case there was a strange virus.

In the meantime, I used my laptop for a few days to download my e-mail and read it. All of a sudden the same thing happened. Eudora locked up when I tried to delete a spam message. In each case, there was no attachment. These spam messages were very colorful as though they reached out to the Web, as many of the other spam messages do. After that, I stopped using the laptop because I had no AV on it and wondered if perhaps whatever was affecting my desktop machine had spead to my laptop through the network.

At this point, I am reloading software on my desktop machine and trying to figure out what to do with my laptop. I am certainly going to install an AV on it, which I already have. It will be the Panda Titanium, which ran invisibly on my desktop machine. Panda gave me their Platnum to try so I'm putting it on the desktop. I certainly hope it is telling me the truth. I would think that after a month of updates, it would have caught any virus that was a month old. Another friend thinks my machine simply ran out of resources. I'm skeptical on that one because of the corruption.

I hope my machine is clean when I send this out. At any rate, I have very little this month because vendors are not responding, and two deals are still cooking, not to mention the lack of time. One item is from our good friend Dave Whittle for MGI software. Roxio recently acquired MGI and since Roxio hasn't communicated any plans for supporting users groups, Dave is proactively reducing his inventory of MGI-logo software.

Another item is something I saw demonstrated at a user group meeting I attended, and the members all liked it. Let's take a look at them.

Dave's Deals
I'm inserting Dave's words: "PhotoSuite is the all-time best-selling, easy-to-learn and easy-to-use digital photography favorite. It's an all- in-one package offering digital photo editing, stitching, touchup, organization, enhancement, ready-made templates, web site creation, e-mail sharing, and much more.

"VideoWave 5 is an all-time favorite digital video editing package offering easy-to-learn video editing, plenty of special effects, transitions, text effects, slow and fast motion, automatic scene detection, and now, DVD authoring and CD and DVD burning. Make up to a 20-minute DVD with just a CD-R and a CD burner!

"PhotoVista 2.0 is the best way to create an immersive 3D panorama that gives you the power to share that 'being there' feeling with family and friends.

"MGI Cinematic is video at its very easiest for home users and novices. You shoot the video; we'll make the movie! Offering much of the power of VideoWave, it has a wizard-driven interface and extra transitions and templates especially for home movies.

"PhotoSuite Mobile Edition is for Palm-OS handhelds, including any Palm, Handspring or Clie, including color or black and white units. It simplifies the storing and sharing of your digital pictures and video on your Palm-powered handheld device.

"MGI PhotoSuite 4 Platinum Edition -- (retail, $49.99). Special $18.00, saving $31.99.

MGI VideoWave 5 -- (retail $129.99). Special $50.00, saving $79.99. Bundle of PhotoSuite 4 + VideoWave 5 -- (retail $179.98). Special $65.00, saving $114.98.

MGI PhotoVista 2.0 -- (retail $49.99). Special $20.00, saving $29.99.
MGI Cinematic -- (retail $89.99). Special $35.00, saving $54.99.
MGI PhotoSuite Mobile Edition -- (retail $24.95). Special $10, saving $14.94.

Any 3 products -- (retail up to $269.97) -- only $80, saving $189.97.
Any 4 products - (retail up to $319.96) - only $90, saving $229.96.

"Add $7.95 for shipping. (Dave says he'll offer FREE S&H *IF* you write 'DealsGuy' on your order!)

"You may order by US mail if you pay by check or money order, or by e- mail, fax or phone if you pay with VISA or MasterCard. Please provide your name, complete mailing address, phone number and/or e-mail address along with the product(s) you'd like and the total price you expect to pay based on the above. Mail orders to: Webworking Services, 653 N 600 E, Springville, UT 84663. Phone orders to 1-801-489-0605. Fax orders to 1- 801-489-0609. E-mail orders to orders@webworkingservices.com.

"Don't miss out on the great prices for these highly popular, highly- touted products. Tens of thousands have been sold to user group members nationwide during the past three years. These are the easiest to learn and the easiest to use products you can find, yet they're powerful enough for almost everyone, including many professionals!"

I've watched Dave's presentation a number of times and have always been impressed with what he can do with all these products. I own one MGI product and it certainly did what I wanted easily.

What, Another Free Office Suite!
I was at a Space Coast PC Users Group meeting one evening and their very able Webmaster, Curt Potsic, did a great demo on this fine office suite that will do the job if you don't need the gargantuan work of MS Office or Corel Office Suite. He was even using voice recognition during his demo. I took the description below off the Web.

"EasyOffice 2001, a Powerful but easy-to-use office suite. EasyOffice includes Easy Word, Easy Spreadsheet, Easy Presentation, Easy Bar Coder, Easy Web Page Creator, Easy Contact Manager, Easy Bookkeeper and Easy Speaker. EasyOffice is self-explanatory -- No manuals to read. EasyOffice automatically gets you working with the Internet -- one click sends your document as e-mail. Save your files on the Internet. Create great looking Web pages. EasyOffice 2002 is compatible with Microsoft files."

It's hard to find the freeware version, but when I looked it was at [http://www.e- press.com/demo_downloads.html]. I'm told it's also on ZDNet and c/net. [http://www.download.com], doing a search for EasyOffice. Or try [http://www.winsite.com], [http://www.tucows.com] and [http://www.zdnet.com] doing a search for EasyOffice.

It is only free for personal use. However, I saw it on the Provantage.com site for $21.00 and it would be worth that to be able to avoid the nag screens and be able to download the upgrades to it when they come out, if I understood it right. Be sure and read all the latest improvements introduced this year, such as its EazyZip, EazyBackup, etc. What a deal this is.

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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