NWA-PCUG Newsletter Article, July 2009
The Deals Column
Bob Click, The Dealsguy
bobclick@bellsouth.net (click to email author)

We worked Pittcon http://www.pittcon.org, the Annual Pittsburgh Conference on Analytical Chemistry and Applied Spectroscopy, which is mostly about laboratory products and services. Pittcon began as a small conference held annually in Pittsburgh, PA and was originally called The Pittsburgh Conference. Since itís a one-of-a-kind event, it gradually became larger than originally anticipated so it was necessary to move it to larger facilities and to hold it in other locations. The name was changed to Pittcon, but itís still referred to as The Pittsburgh Conference. Next year The Pittsburgh Conference will be held in Atlanta, GA.

This 61st annual conference offered almost 2000 booths, as well as many educational and informative breakout sessions during show days. I didnít learn the attendance, but attendees were numerous and the Expo had interesting booths. I often asked questions concerning what a booth was about and the booth people were great about filling me in. I found the products and services fascinating.

The NADA (National Automobile Dealers Association) show http://www.nada.org/TrainingEvents/Convention/ was also interesting (and large) and I met attendees from many other countries, which surprised me. I saw some great female sales people working the booths, but the female attendees tended to call them ďBimbos.Ē I donít know why because even though they were scantily clad they seemed to be friendly and knowledgeable when giving their presentation.

How My Reimage Repair Went
Using Reimage to bring my computer back to its original condition was an experience. The first time I started the repair, it got deep into downloading over 770 files and all of a sudden, my computer warned that the CPU was overheating. I didnít see any way to pause it, so I forced the computer to shut down. After a few days, I tried running Reimage again. It got almost all of the way though the downloading, but the session was interrupted for unknown reasons. When you start a Reimage Repair, it goes through examining your entire hard drive and operating system for viruses, malware, and all the bad stuff, as well as any corrupted files in your operating system, and replaces them with the correct ones.

A few days later, I gave it another try and it went through the many downloads, which took well over an hour, but one of the problems I wanted repaired was the proper shutdown of my computer, which hadnít been happening. I had to finish the shutdown myself, so it failed to reboot when the repair was completed, which was necessary to finish the session and I was left with a Reimage ďweíll soon be finishedĒ screen each time I started my computer.

I sent a message to Reimage tech support concerning the failed repair and they responded telling me to run it again in safe mode. When I tried it in safe mode, it couldnít access the Internet, so nothing could be done. Then they said it was necessary to schedule a remote session to attempt the repair from their end. A week later, I had scheduled a remote session and the tech sent me an e-mail prior to the scheduled time with a ďLogMeInĒ link to use for my session. Their tech worked over an hour and downloaded ďautorunsĒ (Sysinternals) from the Microsoft Web site and installed it. Eventually the machine started shutting down saying it would be downloading 60 updates, but when it finished doing that, it failed to shut off. I never found out why all the updates because I try to keep them up to date.

I received an e-mail saying the session had been interrupted and I needed to reschedule a new session. I finally scheduled a new session a week later and the tech worked almost two hours and finally told me he had decided that the failing shutdown was being caused by my firewall, Online Armor. When he disabled it, he could restart the computer successfully, but when it was activated, the restart failed because the computer failed to shut down. I was convinced and so far the shutdown is working and my firewall is disabled, so thatís where I stand now. He suggested that reinstalling it might help. Iím not sure if Iíll try that, but the peculiar part is that I have been using OnLine Armor successfully for over two years, but the problems started after I installed Internet Explorer 8 recently. What is the connection? Tonight, I noticed that I was unable to launch MS Access so Iím wondering whatís wrong with that now. It wants to install when I launch it.

Reimage is located in Israel and the tech used perfect English in his sessions, which consisted of us communicating via LogMeIn. There is no telephone support. He was patient with my typing and sometimes had questions that he wanted answered in my own words.

During the session, he found Glary Utilities on my machine. I thought I had installed a full version downloaded from Giveawayoftheday.com, but I aparently had actually installed a trial. He asked if I would like him to install it for me and I readily agreed. How helpful is that! While the time duration for the repair was lengthy, I was satisfied to an extent. Not all of my problems were fixed, but my lack of adequate memory could be part of the problem. When I first built the computer, it was enough memory, but because of all the updates and other installed items, memory may be part of the problem. However, it uses Rambus, which is very expensive.

How To Make Posters
I was visiting a friend the other day and he was enlarging some photos to be used as posters. I ask what he was using and itís a free program called Easy Poster Printer that he read about. Itís at http://www.gdsoftware.dk. He said it worked well for him. He made a beautiful poster while I watched. It was interesting how it divided the poster up into multiple pages so you could paste them together. That way you donít need to purchase one of those $20,000 wide-carriage printers to make a large poster. If the above URL doesnít work, try http://www.pcworld.com/downloads/file/fid,83419-order,4/description.html, which is the PCWorld site.

How Is Your Flash Drive Working?
Browsing the results of a search the other day I noticed H2testw http://wareseeker.com/free-h2testw-1.4/ and took a look. Itís a test you can run to tell you that a flash drive does, or doesnít, work like it should. There are many places to download this test and it seems to have other uses, but H2testw 1.4 will test your Flash drive and tell you if there are any errors, and wonít hurt your data.

Flash drives are a different type of storage that sometimes perplexes a user. There have been articles on how long they last, but since they are new technology, who really knows for sure. Iíve seen numbers stating their dependability, but do you count the times you use yours? It wouldnít hurt to check occasionally to see if a Flash drive is working as it should because anything can fail at any time; especially when a user carries it in their pocket or hanging on their neck After all, just reading the drive has little effect on it, but writing to it and bumping it against pocket items doesnít help. The product is free.

Help For Your Downloads
Downloading files can sometimes be a trying experience when things arenít going right, but here is a product that will help things along. FlashGet will help your download in many ways including the speed of the download. Iím told FlashGet is a popular download manager and it was suggested by a tech support person. It uses the MHT (Multi-server Hyper-threading Transportation) technique (OK, if they say so), supports various protocols, and has excellent document management features. FlashGet is freeware and said to be without any adware or spyware. Their Web site also says they accept donations. Check their information at http://www.flashget.com.

Coral Deals
From time to time, special offers are sent out by the Corel people and they usually expire before I could include them in my column. Perhaps you can get on their mailing list by calling their ordering number, 1-877-582-6735, to ask. (Mon- Fri, 9:00 am to 7:00 pm EST). Also, here is the URL http://www.corel.com for browsing.

That's it for this month. Iíll have some more new product announcements on my Web site that didnít offer discounts. 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 . Visit my Web site at http://www.dealsguy.com

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