NWA-PCUG Newsletter Article, August 2004
The Deals Column
by Bob Click, The Dealsguy
Greater Orlando Computer Users Group
bobclick@mindspring.com
(click to email author)


The American Water Works Assn. show we worked in June was interesting, [ http://www.awwa.org ], although most products were of an industrial/municipal nature. I spoke to an exhibitor about their automated meters that could be read while driving by. He said the meter was battery operated and it continuously emitted bursts every six seconds with all the latest data digitally contained. The meter's expected battery life is "ten years"! Another company with automated meters said theirs transmitted the data in short blasts similarly, but they are picked up by sophisticated antennas and receivers on high buildings, or towers in the area, saving a drive-by meter-reader. Looks like more people will be out of work and probably applying at Burger King since I see very few new jobs available. I'll tell you about the "Tapping Contest" event in this show next month since I already have a lengthy column for this month.

There is an announcement from Binary Research posted on my Web site that I will also publish in the column next month.

Quick Reply For Your E-mail

Since three editors forwarded this announcement to me, (thanks for bringing that to my attention), I decided there was sufficient interest for the DealsGuy column to include it. Unlike most announcements, this one also offers a discount for user group members. Here is the announcement, but edited: "Our company, ErstenWare, would like to announce the release of Quick Reply 2.07, a god-sent gift to any e-mail user for Windows 98/ME/NT/2000/XP. We'd like to offer your members a 15% discount off the regular price of $19.95. The discount coupon code is - "975409871341" and is redeemable at [ http://www.erstenware.com/quick_reply/discount.html ].

"With this application, any person can free him/herself from having to explain over and over again what the refund policy is, where to get certain information, how to pay for a product or service or who should be contacted in the event of emergency. Even regular 'non-commercial' users with heavy e-mail volume can save up to 50% of time previously spent answering e-mails by creating mini-templates a set of phrases regularly used. Quick Reply is very good at maintaining an orderly database of snippets, replies, sentences or text fragments that can be inserted into the body of an e-mail or even a regular letter within a second. Any typical reply can be customized and personalized on the fly and inserted via dragging and dropping. The program supports hotkeys and macro commands. The content may be reformatted and copied to clipboard as well."

Get Panda Free

Panda Software feels IT Professionals have a lot of influence in the industry. I imagine that's why they are offering IT professionals their AV software free. Panda Antivirus, an excellent AV product, is again offering its AV software FREE to IT professionals. Check the details at: [ http://www.pandasecurity.com/VIPIT ]. Thanks to Ira Wilsker, an APCUG director, for making us all aware of that one. I use Panda, although I can't seem to get my latest version to work right, so far. Their tech support has not been much help either. Last year's ran just great, but I wonder if there are bits and pieces left that interfere causing it to lock up, even though I removed the previous version per their instructions.

News From Aladdin

Aladdin has a new user group coordinator. If you didn't see this posted on my Web site, Ernest Breaux is the new kid on the Aladdin block and will take care of your UG requests. He announced new products and here are his descriptions:

"Four essential Computing solutions from Aladdin Systems; Internet Cleanup 4.0, StuffIt Deluxe 8.5, Spring Cleaning and SpamCatcher For windows are now available.

"Introducing New Internet Cleanup 4.0. This offers the most powerful protection yet for users who want to protect their privacy and guard against spyware. Spyware slows down your computer, invades your privacy and can reveal sensitive information. These new tools eradicate spyware and prevent sensitive information from leaving your computer. IC4 includes a Personal Information Blocker that safeguards names, phone numbers, addresses, credit card information and bank account numbers. IC4 prevents these and other specified pieces of information from being transmitted over the Internet without users' permission. In addition, IC4 includes file and folder locking as well as application locking features. Only IC4 provides the user all of the tools necessary to protect their privacy, security and PC, all in one complete and integrated package.

"Special offer! $19.99 for Internet Cleanup 4.0, regularly $29.99, offer valid through the end of Sept. [ http://www.aladdinsys.com/ug/cleanup ]

"ZIP, ACCESS, BACKUP, AND SEND! StuffIt Deluxe makes using the Internet fast, safe, and secure! Whether you store data securely in space-saving archives or safely send it to friends and co-workers, StuffIt makes it easier than ever to backup, upload files, and more, automatically! Reclaim wasted space on your hard disk! Store data in archives up to 98% smaller than their original size! Quickly and easily backup your data! Schedule backups to happen while you are away! StuffIt will take care of it all and send you a message when the backup is completed! Super search your data! Get instant access to any file whether it's on the network, in a local hard drive, or even burned onto a CD in the office next door, StuffIt will find it for you! Integrated with Windows and Microsoft Office! 100% integration with MS Word, Excel and Outlook eliminates 90% of your keystrokes. Compress, save, and send in a single click!

"Special offer! $29.99 for StuffIt Deluxe 8.5, regularly $39.99, offer valid through the end of Sept. [ http://www.aladdinsys.com/ug/stuffit ]

"One-click cleanup. Easy for you. Good for your PC. Programs and pictures, folders and files, it's amazing how quickly a hard disk fills up! When the time comes to clean up, let Spring Cleaning carry the load. From deleting duplicates to archiving programs, Spring Cleaning puts a suite of easy-to-use tools and one-click solutions at your fingertips. Fix Registry problems caused by old files nothing makes your computer more unstable than a Registry full of junk. Bad data builds up over time, causing error messages and a host of other problems. Spring Cleaning sweeps out the clutter to keep your system running smoothly.

"Special offer! $19.99 for Spring Cleaning, regularly $29.99, offer valid through the end of Sept. [ http://www.aladdinsys.com/ug/spring ]

"Special offer! $19.99 for SpamCatcher, regularly $29.99, offer valid through the end of Sept. [ http://www.aladdinsys.com/ug/spam ] I featured SpamCatcher three months ago so I know you are already familiar with it.

"This one is for Macs: "The Big Mix is a powerful compilation of music and audio tools that deliver everything you need to record, mix, and play music your way! The Big Mix is the perfect complement to GarageBand and your iPod. Software Includes: Audio Hijack, Disco, Doggiebox, GrooveMaker 2.5 LE, iPodRip, iTunes Publisher, Making More Music, MP3 Rage, and Spark LE. Capture webcasts and more with Audio Hijack. Mix in real-time with Disco. Create drumbeats with Doggiebox. Remix studio-quality loops with GrooveMaker's massive library. Import tracks from your iPod with iPodRip. Share with the world with iTunes Publisher. Learn tempo, scales, and more with Making More Music's multimedia tutorials. Fetch album cover art, clean up ID tags, and convert MP3s to play in CD players with MP3 Rage. Finally, use Spark LE to edit and blend your audio files into high-quality masters!"

Special offer! $49.99 for The Big Mix, regularly $59.99, offer is valid through the end of Sept, but try anyway if you miss that deadline. [ http://www.digitalriver.com/dr/v2/ec_MAIN.Entry17c?CID=152708&SID=1839&SP=10007&PN=5&PID=624494 ]

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 ] for interesting articles from user group newsletters. I also posted some interesting NEW Web site pages for your viewing. They contain new product announcements that I received over a period of time. More will be forthcoming when I get the ambition.

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