NWA-PCUG Newsletter Article, November 2006
The Deals Column
by Bob (the Cheapskate)Click, The Dealsguy
Greater Orlando Computer Users Group
(click to email author)

I read about a Florida company (CellAntenna) that makes some interesting products. One of them is called the CJAM 100 Portable Personal Cellular Jammer that is capable of blocking cellular communications in a relatively small area. I understand it’s against the law to jam cellular signals, but this product is only sold to government agencies. Wouldn’t it be nice to have such a device activated when you are sitting in a restaurant with people around you talking on their cell phones as though the other party can’t hear well? You’ve probably been there, but maybe I am more unlucky than most in that regard. I can think of a few other situations where that product might be handy. Embedded in the highways might be nice so drivers could concentrate more on their driving than talking with their friends. On the other hand, it wouldn’t keep drivers from all the other bad habits we’ve all seen such as eating, drinking, applying makeup, reading (I’ve seen that) and many other things while driving down the road. Check the article in Information Week magazine.

Something else I read about is “LifeShirt” which was created by VivoMetrics a few years ago and has been tested and researched by various companies for different purposes. It is capable of measuring some 30 biometric readings for people who might be severely ill. It keeps the data on a flash card for whatever use is needed so that vital data for a patient can be tracked. However, I didn’t see anything about measuring hormones, but I guess if you were critically ill, that might not register. I think my wife should get me one for our anniversary so she will know my moods. However, at this point in my life, it is doubtful much of anything will affect my heart rate unless the doctor says I will probably stick around for another three months. (until my next appointment) http://www.vivometrics.com/

Out With The Old, In With The New (And Better)
You all know Dave Whittle. He has presented products at your meetings and entertained you in the process. He has a new and different deal for us and is offering me the first opportunity to spread the word about the special offer on new laptops. I have noticed a trend for some people to even use them for their desktop so perhaps that way you only have to invest in one computer, but a versatile one. Since you all know him, I asked him to tell it in his own words below:

“Good news for those of you in the market for laptops. I've arranged for DealsGuy readers and user group members everywhere to get a 6% discount on genuine Thinkpads! Most of us remember them as IBM Thinkpads but IBM sold that division to Lenova so now they're called Lenovo Thinkpads, but the engineering, quality and service are still the same. People prefer Thinkpads because they have great human factors (such as elegant design, lightweight, battery life, and durability) and offer such nice features as spill-resistant keyboards, a built-in keyboard light, choice of a Trackpoint or Touchpad for controlling a mouse, the Active Protection System (which prevents hard disk damage from shock or dropping), dual antenna for better wireless reception, and a variety of great system software to make life easier, which IBM calls ‘ThinkVantage Technologies.’

“Also, be sure to get the integrated fingerprint reader as well if you care about keeping your laptop data secure. Thinkpads are more reasonable than you might think for the quality you get (prices start at under $680), especially considering you can get 6% off the web site prices (see below). What's more, the Gartner Group estimates that Thinkpads save you 20% to 30% compared to other brands on the total cost of ownership over the life of the laptop, due to factors such as better testing and easier maintenance, durability, and usability. Here's how to get this special 6% discount on the Thinkpad configuration of your choice. Simply call Lenovo's user group inside sales rep, Isaac Williams, directly for help in configuring your system, or to get answers to your questions. Call 1-877-338-4465, Option 1, Extension 6322. Just tell him the name of your user group and give him the discount code for user groups, which is 42390. Alternatively, for fastest response, you can just go to http://www.lenovo.com/products/us/en and click on ‘Thinkpad notebooks’, and then on the Series you'd like to configure. After you choose all of the options you want, click Add to Cart, and then click on E-mail this Page. E-mail it to dave.whittle@usa.net and he will quickly forward it on to Isaac, who will contact you to confirm the order, answer questions, and get your payment information. That's all you need to do to save between $40 and $210 on your new laptop while ensuring that you get the very best laptop available, customized just for you, and as quickly as possible.”

I asked Dave about them being Vista compatible and they are except for perhaps the low priced ones. If you might upgrade to the Vista operating system in the future, ask when ordering. He gave no deadline for the deal, but I wouldn’t wait too long for this great saving.

Are You Into Mapping?
ArmCode has released Arm Map Explorer, which recreates all the functionalities of Google Maps while adding new ones like viewing a map with a coordinate grid on it, getting precise coordinates of any location on a map, moving to a needed location based on specified coordinates, and more. This software brings Google Maps to your desktop and lets you find any location on the planet like cities, borders, roads and other cartographic objects and view them as dynamic interactive maps. You can drag such maps so you won't have to click and wait for graphics to reload each time you want to view adjacent parts of a map. Basically, Arm Map Explorer 1.0 allows you to work with interactive maps in much the same way as you would with a regular street map.

However, Arm Map Explorer 1.0 goes beyond the feature set offered by Google Maps. You can move to a needed location on a map based on the coordinates you specify. Using the object tree, you can easily locate and view capitals of states, large cities, world's landmarks, monuments, international airports and other interesting buildings and locations. You can also save a map as a file or print a map to take it with you on a trip, and use it as a regular paper map. It can, for example, help you study geography, both physical and economic. The program will display a satellite view for any locations such as hydroelectric stations, cities and other large objects. You can zoom the view in and out and pan in any direction.

Arm Map Explorer 1.0 runs under Windows 98/NT/XP/2000/2003 and you can get it without any payment or registration. Additional information on Map Explorer, as well as its installation distributive is available from http://www.armcode.com. ArmCode is a software developer that specializes in cartographic software. Along with XMAP, the company is the author of Alien IP and ZIP Pointer. Alien IP locates a computer on a map based on a specified IP address. ZIP Pointer locates a city in North America on a map based on a specified ZIP or postal code. For more information, visit the ArmCode Web site.

Product page: http://www.armcode.com/map-explorer/index.htm
Direct download link: http://www.armcode.com/downloads/map-explorer.exe
Postal address: Pacific Business Centre, Att: ArmCode, #101 - 1001 W. Broadway, Suite 381, Vancouver, BC V6H 4E4,
Canada Tel: +1 (206) 338-6423

That's it for this month. Be aware that I have recently posted some new announcements, recently received, on the New Product Announcements Page on my Web site. 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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