NWA-PCUG Newsletter Article, November 2002
The Deals Column
by Bob Click, The Dealsguy
(click to email author)

Technology At Work
My wife and I worked as security for a trade show somewhat different than we have ever worked. The National Business Aviation and Aeronautics show. It was split between the Orange County Convention Center (trade show displays) and the Orlando Executive Airport, a smaller regional airport in Orlando, where about 150 business jets, some state of the art, some used, and other jets refurbished for business use, were on display. It's fun to see all the corporate type jets, but something that really caught my eye had nothing to do with the jets. It was a giant projection screen outside mounted up on 30-foot towers. It was 4 PM and I could see the movie on the screen as plain as day, even though the sun was shining on it.

I asked the technicians where the projection was coming from and it turns out it is an LED type screen made up of 10" x 10" modules and the entire screen was 10' x 16.' It's easily repaired if there is a problem just by replacing the faulty module. I was impressed by this technology made by Saco that could be plainly seen in spite of the sun shining on it. It is valued at a million bucks if you are interested, or you can rent it from Saco like these AV people did. Nice for the home movies, wouldn't you say!

SRUG Fun Weekend
My wife and I traveled to Atlanta for the Southeastern Regional Users Group (SRUG) conference and had a great time. The organizers, Michael Rogers, Steven Morgan and Rose Lynn put in a great deal of time, along with the many other volunteers, and it paid off with a successful event. Here are some interesting numbers. They had 68 attendees representing 24 user groups. Eleven user groups were Mac, thirteen were Win/DOS and one was Linux. 24 registrants were Macintosh people and 44 were Win/DOS. Two also represented the Linux group. Pictures at [http://www.gcmac.org/srugc].

Atlanta PC UG and Gold Coast Macintosh UG (from south FL) each had nine registrants. The camaraderie was great and even a short refreshment break was planned between the roundtables for a bit of chitchat. Lots of raffle prizes. It's already in the planning stages for next year and I recommend it. It was not part of the event, but the Interop/Comdex show ran during the preceding week and a few attended that show. All the meal events (starting Friday evening) had vendor sponsors, and even the refreshment breaks between the RTs had a sponsor. Michael said they were proud to note they came out in the black, and with some seed money for next year. Way to go Mike! The Sunday luncheon, vender fair and prize drawings were kind of rushed though, because many attendees were from Florida and wanted to start the long drive home.

Many people who made it a point to come over and talk to me, thanking me for all my work. Talk about getting the big head, I hope I stayed humble. It was sure encouragement to keep the column going.

Still Good
All investors should know that the High Growth Stock investing solutions deal is still good for this month. If you go for the FREE 60-day trial, it is fully functional software along with the data download and the market analysis newsletters, and it's good for a full 60 days from the time it is registered. This is only for the serious investor, but that doesn't mean a novice can't learn, so try it. If you are in the mood to check it out, go to [http://www.highgrowthstock.com/Order/Trial.asp?from=Click] to order your free 60-day trial. If you choose to continue the subscription after the free 60 days, your one-year subscription will be extended to 14 months for the one-year price. Wow, 16 months total service for the price of only 12, what a deal. I'm just getting started with mine, but I'm excited.

The Centuriansoft package (SoftClan e-cryptor & Steganos 3 Security Suite bundled together for just $39.96 including S&H) is still good and all the information is still posted on my Web site (http://www.dealsguy.com). I thought they would put together another package, but perhaps next month. [http://www.centuriansoft.com].

How About Some Animated Gifs, If You Do Them Yourself!
Do you find yourself wanting to create an animated gif for some purpose? Take a look at Barbarosa Gif Animator 3.2. Taken from their Web site: "Babarosa Gif Animator provides the fast and easy way to create compact gif animations for the web. Animations can be quickly assembled from imported images (13 formats). You can also design animation directly in the program using vector graphics, image, and text edit tools. Palette optimization, data compression and colors reduction give you a possibility to obtain small size GIFs."

There is more about it on their Web site as well as some ratings, and until the end of the year you can get it for just $29.95, regularly $39.95, at [http://www.liatro.com/download/download.php]. My thanks to Clarke Birde of Alamo PC Organization for bringing this one to my attention.

How About a Freebie From Executive Software!
I imagine all user groups received this announcement from Colleen Toumayan about the release of Diskeeper Lite, their manual defragmentation companion to its highly popular automatic defragmenter, Diskeeper 7.0. The following is part of their description:

The new version of Diskeeper Lite can be run on all Windows operating systems from Windows 98 on up. The new version of Diskeeper Lite was built with the same advanced defragmentation technology as Diskeeper 7.0. As a result, it's far faster than any manual 'built-in' defragmenter. However, it has no networking capabilities or scheduling features.

John Kimmich, Diskeeper Product Manager, said: 'while the old Diskeeper Lite educated people about fragmentation, the re- release educates people about the limitations of manual defragmenters. It's a good introduction to the power of full- version Diskeeper, because, truthfully, automatic defrag is the only way to go, especially for enterprise users.'

Diskeeper Lite freeware is available for immediate download at www.execsoft.com http://www.execsoft.com/.

Phone numbers are (800) 829-6468 and (818) 771-1600. A variety of system management tools, trialware and free utilities are available also.

A Free Office Suite For Cheapies
Look what you get for all your hard-earned money . It offers a word processor, a spreadsheet, a presentation tool, an HTML editor, a drawing tool and a mathematics equation editor. This one is called OpenOffice and they don't even care how many PCs you put it on. I doubt it's quite as full featured as the other popular office suites that you pay good money for, but at least using OpenOffice will not have anybody looking inside your PC to see if it shouldn't be running there.

You can download this freebie at [http://www.openoffice.org/dev_docs/source/download.html]. I have not looked at this suite, but what do you have to lose, and you won't have to ask for your money back! OpenOffice will run on Windows, Linux and Solaris, and I just noticed there is also a alpha/developer version for the Mac OS X. There is information there on the development of OpenOffice, which is an outgrowth of Star Office.

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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