NWA-PCUG Newsletter Article
The Deals Column
by Bob Click, The DealMaking Man, November 2001
Greater Orlando Computer User Group

(click to email author)

Hats Off To The Editors
I get about 30 users group newsletters and I'm always impressed at work performed by editors. Some I receive as printed newsletters, others are sent as PDF. Two are ZIP files. A few are newsletters in PDF format that editors notify me as being ready to download by clicking on a URL. Electronic newsletters are rapidly becoming more popular as printing and mailing costs go up. Poor delivery by the Post Office is also a major factor and complaints to them about delayed delivery mostly fall on deaf ears. I take my hat off to those unsung heroes, the editors, and some do it year after year with rare thanks from the members they do it for.

For what its worth, an editor's life is usually one of continuous frustration because of deadlines, and articles that rarely arrive on time. Many user group writers are notorious for their procrastination, which helps burn out editors. Please remember to thank your editors for all their hard work. Many of these newsletters are real works of art, which takes time, research and considerable effort. Many are a variety of informational articles while others lean more toward news and information about the group, but a users group's newsletter is always a major part of the "glue" holding the organization together.

Fast Connections Can Bring Fast Problems Also
Willem ("Pim") Borman [swipcug@lycos.com], Web Site Editor for SW Indiana PC Users Group, Inc. made me aware of this very unusual experience, and I thought my readers should also be aware of it since many of you are cable- connected. Here is what he told me:

"I recently found SirCam on my computer - not sure where I got it, but consider the following: Norton Antivirus suddenly, one evening, alerted me, while I was NOT reading e-mail or such. I had it remove the worm. But it kept coming back every evening, sometimes twice. I was beginning to wonder if Norton was seeing ghosts. Instead of removing the worm again, I decided to shut down and restart the computer. That generated a warning that I was about to shut down "Terri" on my network. I don't know of anyone like that, but it gave me a clue.

"I have a cable connection and had "disabled file and print sharing" right after I got it. Somehow, I got reconnected to a network with at least a dozen other users of the local cable. I suspect that one of them has/had the virus and that it transmitted itself to others on the cable network (that were accessible) every time "Terri" turned on his computer! After I disconnected myself, again, from the cable network, I have not heard from SirCam again. I have never heard of this way of getting a virus, but it certainly is worth watching out for if you have cable access to the Internet! SirCam is known to propagate itself across networks."

New To The Column
JB Hillard, president of Chautauqua Cyber Club, Inc. asked about occasionally using the column. In an exchange of e-mail, he mentioned many projects that group is involved in, and I was amazed. This is one of the busiest groups I know of for its size. -- Charles Hajdu of Philadelphia Hub PC Users Group also e-mailed me about getting the column. This group is also interesting since they consist of Air Traffic Controllers of a hub area. Check their unique Web site on my distribution page. Welcome to the Deals column.

Still Good
Modem Booster [http://www.inklineglobal.com/register] (code "MB-DEALSGUY- 1001") and Redbook Organizer 4.1 [http://www.inklineglobal.com] (code RBODEALSGUY) are still good. Cresotech PocketSafe 1.16 for Windows CE (for Pocket PC) is also still good. Use [http://www.regsoft.net/purchase.php3?productid=36402&pc=M6M64] using the password "dealsguy." The Keystone Learning products have expired, but if you are still interested, who knows what they will say if you call (888- 299-3647, EXT. 7002)!

Unbelievably, I had two requests to feature products in my deals column, but after multiple requests for more information on the deals, they have not yet responded.

Forgot Your Password?
ElcomSoft Company is offering a product to help you with lost or forgotten passwords for ZIP/PKZip/WinZip, ARJ/WinArj, RAR/WinRAR and ACE/WinACE archives. It supports the customizable brute-force attack and is effectively optimized for speed (up to fifteen million passwords per second for ZIP). It has a very fast and effective known-plain-text attack (ZIP and ARJ only), and dictionary-based attack. Multilanguage interface is provided. Application Category: Utilities - Security & Encryption - Password Utilities - File Tools.

The normal price for Advanced Archive Password Recovery is $60.00, but my readers can buy it for $40.00 at the discount URL below.

Company Email: [dharchenko@elcomsoft.com]
Company URL: [http://www.elcomsoft.com]
Discount download: [http://www.elcomsoft.com/ARCHPR/archpr.zip]
Or [https://www.regnow.com/softsell/nph-softsell.cgi?item=1170-74] Not sure which.
Filesize: 735369 Bytes / 719 Kb / 0.7 Mb.

Check this product's capabilities at their site thoroughly before you decide.

Clean It Up Please
Here is multifaceted software that will do a lot to clean up your Windows and browser. Cleaning up the history of your activities can be a tedious chore of manually removing each history file or entry. If privacy and disk space are to be maintained, this process should be performed every time you use your computer.

Window Washer can automatically clean up your browser's cache, cookies, history, recent document list, and much more, and it can run in the background cleaning up your tracks when you are done surfing the Internet, or any other time you choose. Window Washer cleans the tracks left behind on your computer by today's latest browsers, including...

Cache, cookies, history, mail trash, drop down address bar, auto complete data forms, downloaded program files. Also cleans ... recycle bin, registry streams, Windows run history, Windows find history, CHK scan disk files, recently viewed pictures, recently opened documents, MS Office 97 and 2000 tracks, Windows temp files folder.

To purchase Window Washer or "Mac Washer," go to [http://www.webroot.com/ugrebate.htm] where you can get a $5.00 discount from the $29.95 regular price. Check [http://www.webroot.com] for much more information on Webroot products.

Time For a New Suite
This was an APCUG announcement and I am making sure everybody knows about it. Gobe Software's developer team is introducing "GobeProductive" which will be introduced at Fall Comdex. This is the same team that developed ClarisWorks. GobeProductive was first developed for the BeOS. Now it has been adapted to Windows or Linux and if you are ready for a new office suite try this one.

Here is an excerpt from their message: "What sets GobeProductive apart from other productivity suites is a single key insight. Why have an integrated office package that uses different document formats for word processing, spreadsheets, vector illustration, image editing, and presentations? In Productive, you just do what you need to do. If you're in the middle of writing a report and want to insert some spreadsheet data, you don't have to open a separate app. Just insert a spreadsheet 'part' and keep working. Flow your text around it, insert graphics, share data between parts, and keep it all together in one document."

To find out more, go to [http://www.gobe.com]. The normal price will be $124.95, but a pre-introduction order price of $39.95 is available at [http://www.gobe.com/preorder] until the product is officially shipped. They say introduction should be about November 15, 2001. If you miss that one, they will have another users group offer after that, but this is their best offer. They will be sponsors at the APCUG fall Comdex events.

Still Procrastinating on AV Because Of The Price?
A friend suggested that I include F-Prot, absolutely free antivirus software, in a column. Actually, only their DOS version is free to home users. This one will take some experience because you must download, and then unzip, to use it. The same for updating signatures. It can be run from a floppy, although I have not done that as yet. The DOS version is kind of clunky (can't use mouse), but it works. I wish they had updates more often though. They do have a Windows or Linux version, but they are not free.

Point your browser to [http://www.frisk.is/f-prot/download] to download F- Prot antivirus. Of course, you will also need WinZip or another decompression product to unpack the file. Just don't forget to keep updating signatures periodically at the same URL.

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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