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

Purchase Dates For Hard Drives
I quickly heard from readers expressing their displeasure about the HD warranties I wrote about last month. I didn't like the fact that a HD warranty starts on the build date either and I don't know where the purchase receipt is for a new drive I bought (shame on me). I may be able to find it, but this HD has been lying around here for a while. Your purchase receipt for a Western Digital drive means you're covered, but I don't know other manufacturer's policies. When I opened the box for a new Western Digital 80 gig HD the other day, the warranty wording for it was inside its box, under the drive, printed on the bottom layer of the box. The warranty is "for one year from the date on my original purchase receipt." That works, but also included was a card to purchase a three-year extended warranty for $14.95. Stores don't let you open the box to read the warranty but they might show you a copy or refer you to a URL.

Email Problem Fixed
I got the run-a-round from Earthlink tech support trying to get my old Eudora e-mail program back in operation when it stopped working. They said port options could not be changed for their new servers (true). I downloaded Eudora's version (free) e-mail program to try. Eudora has a link to Earthlink's own Web site for a tutorial to set up the Eudora product, but it still didn't work right. I later bought the paid version and Eudora's tech support walked me through steps to make the change that Earthlink's tech support said couldn't be done in ver. 6.2 either. It involved copying and pasting a file to get the option. That can also be done on the sponsored version. That info is on their Web site. In all, Earthlink's tech support was no help and hard to understand, although apologetic; and they were wrong. Its working, but I still have a minor problem I hope to iron out.

Remember "CameraMate VideoSafe" and "CameraMate Real Time Video" by Zio Corp. from last month's column with rebates (sticker on the product's box bought from the retailer) extended through Sept. 30, 2005.

Popular Deal Revived
Twice in the past few years I have featured a discount on products purchased from InkSell.com, and both times I featured it, the deal was quite popular. I am not familiar with prices on inkjet products so you should do your own research. Bryan Hawkins, marketing manager, has offered to repeat this deal for us and it is as follows: "We are going to do a promo code for your readers. The code is for 15% off all compatible "inkjet" products. OEM cartridges are excluded. The promotion starts today (5/16/05) and runs till a year from now. The code is "pcdeals2005".

Their Web site is [http://www.inksell.com] for product information. To order, go to checkout and put in the shipping information then click on the "continue" button. After putting in the billing info, there is a place to enter in the your e-mail address for e-mail confirmation. Below that is the coupon promotional code field for entering the code "pcdeals2005", then click "apply." Or; Mon- Fri. 9am - 6pm CST order by phone at 1-800-255-0483.

Why Not The Latest Locking System For You
I thought the battery-operated lockset that opens with a keypad was great technology for the door to my house, but I like this product better. How about just laying your finger on a pad and having the lock automatically open. You can also set it up so a different finger performs another action, such as opening your garage door. eKeyUSA Systems offers biometric fingerprint technology for everything from home to business, and its possible to even track who enters, and the times. I was impressed with this product when I saw it.

Get more information at [http://www.ekeyusa.com]. You don't need a computer for the lock to operate, but eKey can be used with a computer to keep a log of the users. The weatherproof reader can be used either inside or outside to trigger a device such as a door striker plate or garage door opener. Keep in mind that eKey only provides the biometric fingerprint products to operate electronically controlled locks, but they do not sell locks. However, you might find locks to work with this product at [http://www.smarthome.com].

Home models offered include: 1. Ekey TOCAhome with 1 output for a door/gate (1 relay) - MSRP - $699
2. Ekey TOCAhome 3 with 3 outputs for doors/gates (3 relays) - MSRP - $899
3. Ekey TOCAhome pc with 3 outputs for doors/gates (3 relays), incl. RS232 interface, cable and PC-Software - MSRP - $1149

Each model can be trained for up to 99 fingerprints (in case you have relatives staying with you). DealsGuy readers are offered a 30% discount from those prices. Contact them at Hassan.Hares@ekeyUSA.com or (941) 782-1227. To get this discount, use the password "dealsguy05."

An Announcement I Received (Edited)
Company: WisePixel Multimedia
E-mail: [press@wisepixel.com]
HandySnap1.0: High-impact screenshots without complexity

"WisePixel Multimedia announces HandySnap 1.0, a screen capture utility for Windows platforms. With HandySnap, you can illustrate your multimedia presentation, manual, or marketing copy with screenshots that will make it not only aesthetically pleasing and professional - you create an easy to understand presentation that will convey complex information in a manner anyone can grasp within seconds.

"HandySnap features a concise, Photoshop-style toolbox interface, familiar to millions of Photoshop users, which floats on top of other applications and takes minimum space on the desktop. The interface consists of three main areas with a set of icons - capture tools area, built-in editor, and screenshot operations area. Any screenshot action can be performed in one click on an icon without walking though complex drop-down menus.

"Capture any portion of the screen by using a resizable trimming frame, take a snapshot of an active window or the whole desktop. After a screenshot is taken, the image displays in a separate window where it can be further edited. The user can add a multitude of markers, including textual comments, pixel art symbols, arrows, free-hand lines, rectangular frames, and ellipses. You can experiment with a semi-transparency effect and modify color and line size. All objects can be easily moved over the screenshot.

"Easily configure hotkeys to trigger capture actions. With the hotkey support, you can take snapshots of drop-down menus, splash-screens and other events, which, as a rule, can not be captured. You can get HandySnap to automatically generate file names for screenshots based on the specified pattern, send screenshots to the clipboard, or save them to files.

"HandySnap 1.0 runs under Windows 95/98/Me/2000/XP and costs $29.00 (USD) for a single-user license. User group members get 20% off the regular price using coupon code GRP01 through August. A 30-day fully functional evaluation version can be downloaded free at [http://www.wisepixel.com/downloads/hsnap_setup.exe].

For more information, please visit [http://www.wisepixel.com]. E-mail: [press@wisepixel.com]"

Another Announcement, (Edited)
"April 12, 2005: Neowise Software today announced the release of RoboTask 2.2, the latest version of a high performance automation tool for the Windows platforms. The application features a unique set of over a hundred automation options that will give users with almost any level of computer competence - from home users to experienced programmers - the ability to automate their routine computing tasks and eliminate many time consuming manual operations.

"It will help you automate backup processes, folder synchronization, cleanup of temporary folders, e-mail retrieval and processing, just a few options out of one hundred available. Get more focus on work with no need to write complicated automation scripts.

"RoboTask works transparently throughout the OS and consumes minimum resources. By default it launches at Windows startup and sits in the system tray. It features a clear, self-explanatory GUI interface that displays a list of tasks, their current status, provides a quick access to the task-related operations and program settings. By clicking on the 'Create New Task' icon, you open the wizard-style dialog that will assist you in selecting an action, configuring its behavior settings, and setting up an action trigger.

"With sixteen event triggers in hand, you have full control in defining when and how to launch automations. You can get them executed at any specified run time or after a certain time interval. Power users can go beyond these scheduling basics.

"RoboTask 2.2 is designed for Windows 98/Me/2000/XP/2003 and costs $99.95 (USD) for a single user license. We offer users group members a 25% discount on RoboTask until Aug. 31, 2005. The coupon code is 'RT-discount-25'. Registered customers are entitled to free upgrades to any minor version. A 60-day fully functional evaluation version of the program is available for free at (direct download link) [http://www.robotask.com/downloads/RobotaskSetup.exe]. (2.7 MB)

"Product page link: [http://www.robotask.com] E-mail: [oleg@neowise.com]"

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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