Article, September 2007
The Deals Column
by Bob (the Cheapskate)Click, The Dealsguy
Greater Orlando Computer Users Group
firstname.lastname@example.org (click to email author)
Help For Road Warriors
I read this interesting article about using a USB flash drive on the road instead of lugging your laptop along (plug the USB flash drive into someone elseís computer) http://www.informationweek.com/hardware/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=199906066. A few of the applications available are mentioned, and even the possibility of using an operating system on the flash drive, but a USB flash drive wonít boot on just any computer. Some user groups have already had demonstrations on this unique technique. Best of all, after you use your special USB flash drive on another computer and remove it, it leaves no tracks because all of the applications you use are on your flash drive as well as your data.
Whatís Going On?
When my monitorís on/off switch started acting up, I decided to leave my computer on full time, although I could have used a plug strip to control it. I have friends who leave their computers on 24/7 and say they prefer that method because most failures happen when you boot up. Lately, I started having a problem with the screensaver not working and my monitor seemed to be active all the time. However, I noticed that Zone Alarm was occasionally telling me about blocking an unknown action, so I began to wonder if something was working from time to time internally, therefore not letting the screensaver work. I decided to run Spybot to see how much stuff it would find, and was surprised to see it find 117 items to remove. I had run it not long ago and it found 5 items, normal in the past. Then I noticed that I had never installed AdAware so I downloaded and installed it and let it scan the same HD. What a surprised when AdAware found 158 more items after Spybot had already scanned the drive and removed 117 items. I spend very little time on the Internet so I still wonder why so much crap is on my HD lately. I was even more surprised when the screensaver started working normally after cleaning all that junk off, but that tells me that even though I have a firewall, and a router, which also has a firewall, somehow the malware has found my HD anyway. Also to my surprise, my browser history was now gone. I try to be careful about Web sites and checking my e-mail. I guess there was more than I realized running in the background. Maybe I should unplug the Internet connection when Iím not on it. By the way, my computer runs better now, although something warned me a new program was trying to install in my startup group, which I declined.
Was I On TV? Maybe!
We had an interesting experience when my wife and I were called to go over to Daytona Beach and work crowd control at the Speed Channel booth http://www.speedtv.com for two days during the week of the NASCAR Pepsi 400 race. It was fun and if you were watching their two-hour program called Race Day, you might have seen us (wearing security uniforms) without knowing who we were. We were behind the fence (with Home Depot advertising slipcovers on it) for the crowd control during the telecast and we noticed the boom camera looking our way at times. A person holding up an undesirable sign was sometimes a problem. Home Depot was the sponsor and had their own distinctive stage that the audience could surround. Kenny Wallace was the surprise guest that day. By the way, Coca Cola just signed a new contract with NASCAR for that race so itís safe to assume it will no longer be the Pepsi 400.
Consumers Get Financial Help In 2009
I read an article in Twice Magazine (picked it up at the wireless show) about the government program that will help people purchase a new converter for their old TV if they canít afford a new digital TV by February 17 of 2009. I found it interesting and informative. http://www.twice.com/article/CA6428026.html?q=Digital+Foci.
Help From My Readers
Last month I ran a product for creating a PDF file, but the free version used a sponsor page. I received a message from Ira Wilsker (APCUG board member) telling me about this one; ďLook at CutePDF Writer which is FREE http://www.cutepdf.com/.Ē They do offer the Pro version for $49.95. I met Ira at an APCUG event when I first started writing this column, and he gave me some good tips.
Scrub That Registry Well!
Wise Cleaner has released Wise Registry Cleaner 2.8, a freeware tool that enables you to clean the Windows Registry safely and quickly. Each time you install an application it writes a few entries in Windows Registry, but when the software is uninstalled, the entries often remain in the registry. Over the years, your registry accumulates entries from the software you no longer use. To achieve top performance again, simply clean your registry. Wise Registry Cleaner will scan your registry for incorrect and obsolete entries and let you fix any found issues to make your computer run at the peak speed it's capable of. The scan is quick thanks to the enhanced scan engine, and after a short time, you can see a list of issues that need to be repaired. You can view each issue individually and bring up its detailed description to help figure out how to deal with it best, then repair it or leave it unchanged. The program will automatically back up all changes done to the registry so that if there is anything wrong, you can undo it easily with a click. If you are a non-techie user and know little about the Windows Registry, you can rely on the program's Artificial Intelligence and let it repair issues automatically. New to version 2.8 is enhanced security, improved multi-language support, an ability to report when some entries cannot be removed and some other features. Wise Registry Cleaner 2.8 runs on Microsoft Windows 9X, NT, 2000, XP, 2003, and Vista including X64 version. Additional information on the product, its manual, as well as the freeware downloadable version is available from http://www.wisecleaner.com.
Direct download link: http://www.wisecleaner.com/soft/WRCSetup.exe
Organize All Of Your Feeds
ExtraLabs Software unveils Feed Editor 4.5, a fully-fledged RSS editor that offers you an easy way to create and maintain RSS feeds and podcasts. ExtraLabs Software has announced the release of Feed Editor 4.5. Designed for the Windows OS, it enables you to create, edit and publish RSS feeds and podcasts surprisingly quickly and easily. It includes support for various RSS formats, podcasting support, a WYSIWYG HTML editor, an XML editor, an RSS Feed preview, an FTP upload and publishing capability, automatic date management and the ability to convert CSV or HTML to RSS. To create a new RSS feed, you can use a New Feed Creation wizard to guide you through the RSS setup process in a step-by-step fashion. Included is a built-in WYSIWIG HTML editor that allows you to edit a feed. You can format the text, apply styling and insert images and hyperlinks. "Feed Editor" can generate a feed from a CSV and HTML file. Once a feed is ready, you can preview it and publish online using an FTP upload facility. Read more about Feed Editor at: http://www.extralabs.net/FeedEditorSetup.exe (2.1 Mb) Feed Editor 4.5 runs under Windows 95/98/Me/2000/NT/XP/2003 and costs $39.95 (USD). User Group members get a 30% discount. Follow this link for registration: http://www.regnow.com/softsell/nph-softsell.cgi?item=13371-1&ss_coupon=EXTR-3G8L or use this coupon: EXTR-3G8L. Registered customers are entitled to free lifetime updates and premium technical support. Discounts for volume buyers are available. Additional information on Feed Editor 4.5, as well as its 30-day evaluation version is available from http://www.extralabs.net.
That's it for this month. Iíll have more new product announcements on my Web site (most not offering a discount). 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 at bellsouth dot net >. Visit my Web site at http://www.dealsguy.com.Click here to return to top