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

Sorry 'bout That
Last month I asked (sort of tongue-in-cheek) if you read the EULA when installing software. I received a few e-mails asking what that means. Knowing most of you don't read them, I should have explained it. "End User Licensing Agreement" is that long scrolling text that tells what you are agreeing to when you click on "I agree." I strongly urge you to read the EULA, especially when installing shareware. Some of them contain spyware which is usually spelled out DEEP in the EULA. Even some name brand software has included spyware in the past.

I use a LinkSys router for my new DSL connection and network hub, which has advantages over just using the DSL modem. Their tech support took several days returning my first call. I've since called twice when my router wouldn't reconnect and waited it out again. Considering their tech support number is a FREE call, perhaps I shouldn't knock LinkSys too much. The last two calls were each returned the next day. I'm finally reconnected, but in a peculiar fashion. The guy eventually suggested I go start the other machine on my network, open the router's administrative page in that browser and click on "Connect." It eventually connected. Don't ask me why the first computer couldn't get it to reconnect, and LinkSys didn't know either. All I had to do then was reboot both machines for the new address to be effective. Life was so simple before computers, but I didn't think so then.

IBM's Research Is Ahead Of Its Time
When it comes to research, IBM is right on top of the most futuristic stuff. For example, one of their labs has experimented with technology for people to exchange information, such as business card data, during a handshake, using the body's faint electrical conductivity with the natural salinity of the hand. I hope they provide good control of that technology if they ever perfect it because I'd hate to shake hands with an attractive woman during a business conference and accidentally make my thoughts known. Although they would no doubt be complimentary, they might also divulge my 'business' strategy, right??

That and some other far out research has been temporarily shelved, but while Timex has introduced its "Internet Enabled" Wrist Watch, Xybernaut Corporation is rolling out its "wearable" computer, the Mobil Assistant V, actually produced by IBM. It weighs one pound and is worn on the belt. If offers a 500 MHz Celeron processor and 256 Mbytes of RAM. With a choice of internal hard drive configurations, it's capable of using Windows, Linux and other OSs. Uses a headpiece or a wrist-worn flat screen for viewing. All this for a mere $3995. Think they would give us a discount? Nahhhh!

Be Different When You Sign Off
I received e-mail from Walter Belt of Alamo PC Organization asking a question and was fascinated by his signature; an animated pen writing his name. I asked how he did it and he said he wasn't that good. However, he exposed me to a world I was completely unaware of -- all kinds of animated signatures. It's worth a peek, if for no other reason then your curiosity.

Some people won't be happy with an animated gif running on their machine that started without their permission, which is the case with these animated signatures. On the other hand, many may be unaware of it as I was, so I thought I would pass along just one of Walter's sources. I won't insert any into this column, just a URL to visit. Even though I'm fascinated with all this, I decided to remain a bystander.

You'll be fascinated when you visit the following URL: http://members.home.com/rblwood/signature.html Russ's Web site offers many free names, but others must be bought. I e-mailed Russ about a discount for the column and he said most of them are free, but would offer a 50% discount to a limited amount of people who needed signatures that aren't free by mentioning Bob Click.

Next month, I'll have more URLs to obtain free animated signatures, so if you have a source, send it to me. These might make a good topic for your graphics SIG.

How About Another Clipboard Enhancement
I received this announcement. It's not free like the last clipboard, but I'm passing it on because it sounds very good. Here's the memo:

"Dear Valued MemTurbo Customer: we're writing to let you know about a special offer we are extending to MemTurbo customers. We are currently offering our flagship product, ClipTrakker, at a 71% discount to people who have purchased MemTurbo from us. Normally retailing for $34.85, you can add ClipTrakker to your utility chest for only $9.95! To obtain the special $9.95 offer (a $24.90 savings), please visit this link: [My readers get this deal, even if you don't have MemTurbo]. http://store.yahoo.com/sharewareonline/clipforregme.html

"ClipTrakker is the must-have clipboard enhancement/replacement: It automatically tracks every piece of data that goes on the clipboard for later use. Generates graphical thumbnails for each clipboard snapshot. Supports complex OLE data types natively, not just text or pictures. Single-keystroke quickpaste into active application. Includes scrapbook- style-tabbed pages for organizing clipboard snapshots, in-place editing of clipboard, multi-format export capability. Very easy to use and extremely powerful!

"Remember that URL, password, picture or piece of text that you had yesterday or last week and wish you still had? You might not, but ClipTrakker will! Want to jot a note but don't want the hassle of running a program, saving to a file, etc? ClipTrakker has a complete editor built right in that you can use to compose new notes or to edit the contents of the clipboard. For more information about ClipTrakker, please visit this link: http://www.memturbo.com/entry/cliptrakker-for- memturbo.htm ClipTrakker is one of those applications that once you've used; you'll wonder how you ever lived without.

"ClipTrakker supports Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows Me, Windows NT 4.0, and Windows 2000. It requires at least a Pentium 90 or faster processor and 8M of RAM."

Get The Real Poop About Your Food Recipe
I received this from Ohio Distinctive Software (its for PC or Mac) and thought you should know about "Recipe Analyzer." Here's their description:

"Recipe Analyzer is your solution for determining the nutritional content of virtually any recipe. Simply enter the ingredients and Recipe Analyzer computes the number of calories and the amount of fat, protein, carbohydrates, cholesterol, sodium, fiber, calcium, iron, vitamin A and vitamin C. It even calculates the percentage of calories from fat versus protein versus carbohydrates. It converts kilojoules to calories, plus it contains useful tables of nutritional information.

"In addition, it saves your recipes to specific books for easy classification and retrieval, and even enables posting recipes to a Web page. Recipe Analyzer includes both a primary and secondary database for easy and expanded search capabilities for several thousand food ingredients, plus it allows you to add your own ingredients (if you can find any that we haven't included).

"This CD is just $5.00 + $2.50 S&H (only $2.50 S&H for two CDs to same address); limit two CDs per customer. Mail a request with your name, address, phone number and the number of CDs, plus a check for the correct amount to Ohio Distinctive Software, 6500 Fiesta Drive, P.O. Box 349900, Columbus, Ohio 43235. Phone 1-614-459-0453."

From Mac To PC, Yup, You Heard Correctly
Most user groups received this message from Sue Nail, but I think it can be repeated. Since I'm an incredibly lazy typist, I'll simply pass it on.

"MacDrive enables Windows users to read Mac disks from a PC -- once installed on your PC, you can open, edit and save Mac files on floppies, Zips, Jaz, CD-ROMs and hard drives. You can even format Mac disks from Windows! We'd like to make a special offer to all user groups. MacDrive normally sells for $49.95, but user group members can download it at http://www.digitalriver.com/Mediafour/Usergroups for only $29.95!

For more company information, go to http://www.mediafour.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 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 Bobclick@mindspring.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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