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

More On HD Warranties
In response to my comments about misleading HD warranties, Ira Wilsker, APCUG board member, sent me the following: "The federal Magnunson-Moss Warranty Improvement Act, effective July 1, 1976, REQUIRES any seller of an item that has a retail selling price of $15 or more AND has a warranty, to make a copy of that warranty available on request PRIOR to purchase! In the future, wherever you buy items covered, ASK for the warranty BEFORE you buy it. Under the law the seller MUST let you see a copy prior to any purchase. Look at the FTC web site: [http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/pubs/buspubs/warranty.htm]" Thanks Ira. I don't know if my readers in Canada have any protection like that for consumers?

Interesting Show
My wife and I worked the Microsoft Tech Ed show and each attendee received a nice carrying bag, but 1000 of them got a nice box of goodies that included a compact USB four-port hub, perhaps those who achieved a certification, I never found out for sure. There were 18,000 attendees and the exhibit floor had over 300 booths, although most booths were not elaborate. Food was in abundance throughout the entire show for attendees. I was told that each attendee (or their employer) paid at least $1,700 to attend. There were many sessions using many different speakers, and covering a diverse variety of topics during its six days. Steve Ballmer gave the keynote speech. It was fun to work this show.

I stopped at the booth for the new MS spyware program that is downloadable as a beta. I mentioned that I was told it would stop working in July and had not heard what would happen then. The lady said it would continue to be free for home users. I hope she knew what she was talking about.

New Computer Project
I finally finished assembling the parts to go with the Intel motherboard I won at the FACUG event and got it up and running. A real surprise for me was when I accessed the Intel Web site for information and found that motherboard was already no longer supported. However, there was a PDF containing a manual for that motherboard and it had the answers I needed. A friend was a lot of help over e-mail since that was the first time I had built one completely from parts. There was a bit of frustration when I tried to install the OS, but with my friend's suggestions, I eventually found the problem and it is now in service and working well, so far. Due to the price of the RDRAM that boards takes, I only used two memory slots, and I'm glad my friend told me about choosing the right RDRAM. I was unaware there was more than one type of RDRAM for that MB.

Last Chance For The Biometric Unlocking Device Deal
This deal was only supposed to be for two months, but Hassan will probably still give you the discount on the fingerprint unlocking system for your locks, if you ask. Unlocking your doors doesn't get much better. E-mail him and ask for more information so he knows you read about it. To order, e-mail him at [res@ekeyUSA.comd check for product description at [http://www.ekeyusa.com]. 30% off is a great discount on the product.

Special Rebates For Zio Corp. Products
Chris Allen, Channel Sales Manager, has set up rebates on several Zio Corporation products. This is a special situation and you can download a PDF containing all the rebate forms from my Web site's Announcement page. This rebate is specifically for the DealsGuy column, although a rebate form is also on their own Web site right now. Use the rebate code "DealsGuy" on the form. This way you can shop wherever you like getting your best price when purchasing the products, then send for your rebate listed below.

    CameraMate VideoSafe CM-53000: $10 MIR
    CameraMate Real Time Video CM-50000: $20 MIR
    Dazzle Universal Media Reader/Writer DM-24001: $20 MIR
    Dazzle 990 (Digital Camera/Camera Phone Manager): $20 MIR
    Dazzle 8 in 1 DM-22000: $15 MIR

MIRs not valid with any other promotion, and one rebate per household. My Dazzle 990 mini-review is below and the two CameraMate products were written up in the May issue of the DealsGuy column. I have not tried the other products.

I received the Digital 990 (Digital Camera/Camera Phone manager to try out. It is 4" long by 2 1/2" wide by 1/2" thick and does some neat things. You connect it to your computer's USB port and it goes to work. There are five slots to accommodate popular media cards for a digital camera or phone. It also has two USB slots that act as a hub. They say the Dazzle 990 Hi-Speed Reader/Writer allows you to manage your digital stuff; you can transfer photos, contact lists, ring tones, MP3s, etc. between your mobile phone, digital camera, MP3 player, flash drive, and even any USB flash memory device and your PC. The package lists 17 different types of supported media for your camera phone or digital camera.

Packaged with it are two CDs containing ProPix Sound that enables you to add music or sound to your photos, ProPix on TV that allows creating a slideshow for your TV, and automatic backup on a CD. That CD includes ProPix Address Manager that works with SIM based mobile phones and updates your contact list from your PC. Also included is ProPix Share to share photos with friends easier and faster than using e-mail by using peer-to-peer technology. The other CD contains Paint Shop Photo Album (standard edition). There is more and you can check their Web site at [http://www.ziocorp.com], although their Web site needs work since I didn't find as much information as on the package.

I enjoyed adding commentary to the photos taken on our Panama Canal cruise and setting up a slide show. Since I don't have a picture phone, I couldn't try those functions. I did move around some of the image files from the media cards to my USB external HD, USB thumb drive, PC, etc. and it worked well. It handles both USB speeds. You need Windows 2000 or XP for this product. An available free download on their Web site is Orb Networks that allows accessing the photos, video and music on your home PC (broadband connected) from your Internet enabled mobile device. As for using it as a USB hub, it normally handles low powered USB devices, but an optional accessory power supply is available.

    MSRP for the Dazzle 990 is $49.95.
    Dazzle Universal Media Reader/Writer DM-24001: MSRP $39.99
    Dazzle 8 in 1 DM 22000: A high-speed reader for eight different card media: MSRP $29.95

CameraMate VideoSafe CM-53000 allows you to capture analog video/audio from any VCR or camcorder and burn it to a CD or DVD and includes some hardware: MSRP $49.99.

CameraMate Real Time Video CD-50000 is an adapter and software for capturing the video/audio from any VCR or camcorder for the purpose of burning to a CD or DVD. However, Real Time Video software also offers Autoedit Wizard, Autoedit Storyboard Wizard, Randomize Wizard and a DVD Burn Wizard. Software and drivers are included on a CD. Adapter cables for RCA audio/video/SVHS plugs are not included, but are easy to obtain and many folks have them lying around: MSRP $69.99.

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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