NWA-PCUG Newsletter Article
The Deals Column
by Bob Click, The Dealsguy, December 2001
Greater Orlando Computer Users Group
(click to email author)

My Thoughts
Some asked if I would have anything to say about the Sept. 11 tragedy. Just about everything has already been said, but here are some disturbing observations.

At least three local people were arrested at various times and thrown in jail with intense questioning, then transported to Washington, DC for further questioning by the FBI. After three weeks of humiliating jail and questioning, all three were released because they had done nothing wrong. One was a doctor whose computers were also seized and his office shut down, putting his staff out of work. The FBI's questions for these men were justifiable, but the answers were simple enough that I thought it could have been handled differently. All said they understood and were not resentful. What else can profiled people say?

A local storeowner with a thriving business was interviewed saying people won't buy from him any more. He may have to close. He's really an American citizen just trying to live the American dreams.

Worse yet, on the news recently, a man was driving down the highway when all of a sudden a bullet shattered the rear window of his car, narrowly missing his small child strapped into the infant seat. His "look" apparently profiled him for somebody. He is also just an American citizen living and working in Orlando.

Nationally, since the tragedy, over 550 people have been arrested (or detained), hate mail has increased dramatically, even to profiled people actually born in USA. I read that at least 500 incidents have been reported against profiled people. Three were shot dead while others were stabbed, beaten and assaulted. Certain schools, mosques and businesses have been attacked, or received bomb threats.

I know some walk among us that hate Americans, but shouldn't we give a profiled person the benefit of the doubt first. Keep a sharp eye peeled for sure, but be careful how you judge people. Hate shouldn't corrupt "us" as it has our enemies. During World War II, my family was of German heritage, but fortunately, we were never threatened, and the neighbors all remained good friends.

In Keeping With The Rise In Patriotism
I included this item because it promotes buy-American. Their Web site is also pro-union, so if you dislike trade unions, please keep an open mind or skip it. In some states, the terms American- and Union- "made" are somewhat taken for granted. In other states, such as Florida, many flaunt that term. I, for one, am all for making "American" jobs, especially "union" jobs. To assist in finding American-made products, a new Web site is up and running. Check out [http://www.buyunionnow.com] for a guide on some products. Since it is new, there are only 500 items in 23 product categories. They can use help for finding more American-made products to feature. Some large products may be a problem with shipping directly to the consumer, but they are working on all that. I assume, at this point, that price is not the factor, just American-made, but I hope to see this Web site grow. Its getting harder and harder to buy "American" with so many companies deserting the USA looking for very cheap labor.

Icon See It Now
Aha-Soft's "ArtIcons Pro 3.0" is called "graphics editing" software. Here is their description: "Use this powerful utility to find and extract, edit, import and export icons and manage icon libraries. ArtIcons contains a variety of paint tools to let you create and edit icons with image formats in either standard or custom sizes, in color depths up to 32-bit True Color. You can import icons from image, cursor and library files, and even from executables. ArtIcons allows you to arrange icons into libraries. It is the first such software to support Windows XP icon format." [http://www.aha-soft.com].

PC User Group members can register ArtIcons Pro for $19.95 instead of $29.95 and save $10 ($14.95 extra for a CD). Here is a link to register: [http://www.regsoft.net/purchase.php3?productid=41421&pc=6U47X].
Password is "PCGROUP."

Ashampoo Isn't What You Think It is
Actually, Ashampoo sells a variety of products listed here (nothing to do with your hair), but please visit [http://www.ashampoo.com/products] for all the info since this month's column is lengthy. Here's the lineup:

    Ashampoo MP3 Studio Deluxe - $29.95
    Ashampoo CD Recording Studio 2.0 - $19.95
    Audio CD MP3 Studio 2000 - $19.95
    Ashampoo MP3 Check & Convert - $9.95
    Ashampoo WinOptimizer 2000 - $19.95
    Ashampoo Powerup Deluxe 2000 - $19.95
    Ashampoo Uninstaller 2000 - $19.95
    Ashampoo Power Encrypt Deluxe - $19.95

A DealsGuy discount runs from now until December 31, 2001 and all user group members entering the voucher code "gcc156786" (typed in the "coupon" field) will receive 15% discount on all Ashampoo products in their new Element 5 shop! Go to [http://www.ashampoo.com/products] to buy Ashampoo products. Thanks to Bill Wilkinson of Keowee Computer Club for sending this one, originally an offer for their group.

Interested In New Web Development Software?
I asked about discount for my readers when this came in from Olson Software. Here's their description for HyperTest Studio: "WYSIWYG Web site authoring tool. The WYSIWYG and HTML Code editors work together to ease page creation. Frame, ImageMap, and Cascading Style Sheet editors help you create attractive, functional sites. Site and link management tools let you manage projects of any size effectively. Integrated site management and editor features make creating your content as simple as drag and drop. Use Topic Styles for consistency. Tutorials help you learn quickly."

Prices are as follows:

  • Standard Edition (MSRP - $99) - Includes everything you need to create stunning Web sites.
  • Professional Edition (MSRP - $199) - In addition to Standard Edition functionality, build HTML Help, WinHelp, and printed documentation.
  • Enterprise Edition (MSRP - $499) - In addition to Professional Edition functionality, lets multiple users work together on a single Web site or Help file.

DealsGuy readers get 10% discount. There are three ways to order requiring this code: "hts:bc159."

    1: Directly within the product. If you have downloaded the product, you can click the Purchase button on the startup dialog to be led through a wizard to securely purchase on-line. Entered the code in the comments and feedback field."

    2: Via their Web site, [http://www.olsonsoft.com/purchase.htm]. The code is added in the Comments to Vendor field.

    3: Via fax/mail - make sure the code is added to the order form at [http://www.olsonsoft.com/orderform.htm], and that it is faxed to 1-646- 359-3962. If you have a problem, call them at 1-646-359-1408.

Web site URL: [http://www.olsonsoft.com]
E-mail: support@olsonsoft.com
Download: [http://www.olsonsoft.com/downloads/htsstd40.exe]

Just In From APCUG, Act Fast!
RoadWired, a maker of computer cases and travel accessories for portable electronics, has become a sponsor for the APCUG fall Comdex event. An announcement was sent to all user groups, but I'm reminding my readers to check this deal. Visit [http://www.roadwired.com] for more information.

Some items on their Web site are already discounted 60%, but you get 20% discount on everything, including discounted items. Enter APCUG code number "1002128563" in the "coupons" box at checkout. This is only good on ONE order per member and this offer expires 11/31/01. By the time you read this, it will be too late for their other rewards.

Show Me The Way To Go Home
It's been a while since I've heard from Andy Sturdevant at DeLorme. I assume all users groups received this same announcement. I'll list the products below:

    AO-6010-101 - DeLorme Topo USA 3.0 (CD-ROM version) - special price - $69.95
    AO-6011-101 - DeLorme Topo USA 3.0 (DVD version) - special price - 69.95
    AO-6429-101 - Street Atlas USA Deluxe (CD-ROM) - special price - $39.95
    AO-5801-101 - Solus Pro 3.0 (CD-ROM) (mapping for the Palm)

    S&H is $5.00 and the priority code is "4041." If your group didn't get the order forms, your vendor coordinator should call Andy.

    Ordering may work on the Web site using the code. [http://www.delorme.com]

Firewall Just For The Taking
I read a very good review for Tiny Personal Firewall in Virtual RAM, newsletter for PC Rams Computer Club, and it looked pretty good according to their testing. They say it doesn't host any annoying ads. They used "Port Detective," which I'm not familiar with, to give it a good test and it passed with flying colors. The review author, Stephen Bigelow said this product has features he really likes. TPF is free for personal use and can be downloaded at [http://www.cnet.com]. Search for Tiny Personal Firewall.

FYI: I should soon have an announcement for the new USB 2.0 Pockey drives (20 gig shirt pocket size), which will be true plug-n-play. They also have a new cable, for those of us whose old Pockey drives would not work with a Toshiba or NEC laptop. The cable is available as a retrofit. [http://www.pockeydrives.com].

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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