NWA-PCUG Newsletter Article, December 2002
The Deals Column
by Bob Click, The Dealsguy
The Greater Orlando Computer Users Group

(click to email author)

Are You Also a Victim?
While my wife and I were in Michigan last July, we visited some friends, and during our conversation, my friend said his wife's computer often had a tendency to work sluggishly. I suggested that perhaps there were too many items in the startup folder and showed him how to run MSCONFIG to turn some of them off. After doing that, the resource meter still showed low resources, but better.

I also noticed that even though they have a dialup connection, she tends to leave the computer connected on-line most of the time and that's OK with their ISP. I discussed spyware with my friend and just for kicks we downloaded Ad-aware and installed it. When we ran Ad-aware, it found no less than 139 spies on her hard drive. We decided to have Ad-aware delete them all, and what a difference. The resource meter now showed a remarkable improvement in the available resources. All this in spite of the fact that she already has Norton's Firewall installed.

I'm no guru, it was just an experiment because I've read that spyware on your hard drive can slow down a machine's performance. In any case, getting rid of those spies seemed to help a bad situation. On my own machine though, I've noticed that I can have Ad-aware delete the three that it always finds and they are right back, even though I have not been on the web. But with DSL, I'm always connected. Two, called Doubleclick, are always in the cookie folder. Recently an Earthlink tech support guy told me to look in my startup folder and sure enough, there they were. How did that happen since I have not installed any new software after installing MS Office 97 and Eudora 4.0 after I reformatted my HD recently, and I never go for those free downloads like Real Player and other downloading items? Oh well!!

Still Good
Some people are using the wrong URL when trying to order the High Growth Stock special offer and missing the special offer details, which confuses them. Do NOT use the regular HGS URL, but DO use [http://www.highgrowthstock.com/Order/Trial.asp?from=Click] to order. By the e-mail I've received, my writeup was not clear enough. You get a 60-day FREE trial of the entire product complete with the daily data downloads. Also the weekly HGS newsletter written by Ian Woodward and Ron Brown, and the weekly market reports written by Ron Brown, available on the HGS Website using your HGS "password." After the 60-day FREE trial, the choice is yours. Either walk away with nothing ventured except your time to evaluate their service, or take advantage of the annual subscription special offer, which will include 14 months at the 12-month rate, making a total of 16 months for the 12 month price. Not bad.

I'm sorry it wasn't clear enough and hope I've got it right this time. If still confused, email me. If you still need a complete description, go to [http://www.dealsguy.com], Past Columns page and look at the October deals column. I'm now using a fictious portfolio to learn and it's working fairly well so far, but it's new to me so I still have a learning curve. So far, I am using Ron Brown's strategy that I saw in the tutorials to get ahead, although I had some favorites in mind. He "massages" the data to tell the real story! Do you think I'm cheating a bit? I'll do it my way when I get better at it. Offer is still good until Dec. 31, 2002.

Also, the Barbarosa GIF Animator deal is good until the end of 2002.

Make Your Own Movies
If you have a new DVD recorder, you might want new software for recording. Gear Software arranged a special discount for the Alamo PC Users Group so I asked Gear if they would do the same for my column. Here's the deal: they will offer a 20% discount on all their products to user group members if you go to the special ordering URL (link on their home page). A list of the products is as follows:

    Gear Pro Mastering Edition 6.02, list price, $749.00
    Gear Pro Mastering Edition 6.02 upgrade, list price, $299.00
    Gear Pro Professional Edition 6.02, list price, $149.99
    Gear Pro Professional Edition 6.02 upgrade, list price, $99.99
    Gear Pro Unix for DVD/CD-RW/tape, list price, $1499.00
    Gear Pro Unix upgrade, list price, $749.00
    Gear Pro Linux for DVD/CD-RW/tape, list price, $799.00
    Gear Pro Linux upgrade, list price, $399.00
    Gear CD/RW, list price, $39.99

To find this DealsGuy special, go to [http://www.gearsoftware.com] and look for the DealsGuy link on their Home Page. Clicking on that link takes you to the DealsGuy page to order Gear products at a 20% discount. If you see a coupon code box, use the code word "Click." This special offer is good for December 2002, and January 2003. Not enough room for descriptions of their fine software so check all that out on their Web site.

Is Your Computer Secure?
I'm no Web surfer, but when looking at a "Hewie's Favorites" newsletter recently (sign up at [http://www.hewie.net], one of his URLs caught my eye so I checked it out, and boy was I surprised. I use a Linksys Router, which also offers a firewall, and grc.com says it does a good job. I have not yet gotten around to installing a new software firewall since reformatting my hard drive, but wasn't worried about "incoming" invasion because of my router. What a shock when I visited this site for my free "Browser Check." There seemed to be practically no private areas in my PC, even on my hard drive.

If you're curious, go to [http://browsercheck.qualys.com/] and see if your computer secrets really are as private as you think. I can see that my computer needs work. It looks like hackers could drive a tank into it. I hope you have yours better prepared than I do mine. I've read how you can tighten up your browser, but didn't bother. I guess it's time I learned.

Hey, What's Goin On There, Huh!
According to Scot Finnie's newsletter, this product is a must to find out what takes place when you start your computer. It's called StartMan and will tell you all about what is happening during your computer startup. It shows what starts automatically each time. It's true, Windows already has a utility that shows this kind of thing, but not like StartMan does it, and not as complete according to Scot. Download it for FREE at [http://www.forrestandassociates.co.uk/pcforrest/]. Something nice is that by right-clicking the program name, you can be sent right to their Web site. There are other good products on that site that may interest you. It's nice to have people in our corner, isn't it!

Just Stick This Keyboard In Your Pocket. Ya Heard Right, But Maybe Not Your Shirt Pocket!
At Comdex, I saw a guy wearing a keyboard draped over his head and it sure got my attention. This keyboard seemed to be made out of foam, but it was a working keyboard. I played with it a bit (not the one on his head) and the only thing I noticed was that it needed a little heavier touch. You can simply roll it up and tuck it away. They offer them for PDA's, cell phones, and other handheld devices, namely, RIM/Blackberry, Compaq iPAQ, Palm, HP Journada, and Kyocera Smartphone. The PDA keyboard sells for $59.95. The Kyocera SmartPhone keyboard is $69.95 and the keyboard for use with the RIM/Blackberry devices is $99.95.

Some of their keyboards can be used in Industrial environments, medical computers, marine and boating applications, cybercafes, and any application that demands water or liquid resistant keyboards. I'm not sure about scuba diving though . Anyway, visit [http://www.man- machine.com] for a picture and more information. They do have products designed to withstand rugged conditions.

If you have a need for this unique product, visit their Web site to order. Until January 15th, 2003, you can get FREE shipping within the continental US (a $10 reduction for Canadian shipping) on the keyboards named above. You must use the word "Click" as the "coupon code" for free shipping on your order.

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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