NWA-PCUG Newsletter Article, December 2010
The Deals Column
Bob Click, The Dealsguy
bobclick@bellsouth.net (click to email author)

Miscellaneous Comments
Iím catching up on reading the newsletters I receive. I print them out on my Ricoh color laser so itís easier for me to read, and I noticed that the colored pictures I printed before the cartridges ran out were fine, but when I replaced the printer cartridges, the new pictures I printed had the lines. Since then, it seems to have improved and some small pictures printed OK. Several readers advised me it was probably dirt on the drum after last monthís comment. Perhaps something ended up on the drum on the bottom of the cartridge when I changed it, and is working it way off, I really donít know. I havenít found anything in the manual about cleaning it.

I havenít heard how the FACUG cruise in January of 2011 is shaping up. Weíre still considering it, but it looks like we wonít make it. Last yearís FACUG cruise was a highlight for me. Some are leaving this cruise out because itís one day longer and costs more. Actually, I donít mind the extra day, in spite of the extra cost, because shopping at Cozumel is great and there will be no sessions that afternoon. The ship is better and Royal Caribbean is one of my favorite cruise lines. If youíre favorite SIG is the PIG SIG, Royal Caribbeanís food selection is exceptional.

One of the most interesting things about reading many user group newsletters is that some have regular articles, written by a member, that are always outstanding, but thatís the only place itís published, unless an editor has seen it and uses it in their own newsletter. I once told Judy Taylor that I would like to recommend a few outstanding authors that I see each month so the entire nation could read their material, but it never came to pass because she already had plenty of items for her PUSH collections. There is certainly a wealth of great articles available to editors now.

Loss Of Another User Group
I received a message from Lou Vitale, President of Macon Users Group in Macon, GA, telling the members that the BOD had decided it was no longer logical to keep the group alive. It must have taken him a while to put that final letter together, but I disagree that they no longer have anything to offer the members. As usual, only a few people were willing to do the work and they probably got tired of working while others simply enjoyed the benefits. Yes, they do have almost nothing new to present that they havenít already done, but nothing can replace a member coming in with his machine in hand that has a problem, or stating his problem during the Q & A, and after a short discussion, his problem is most likely diagnosed. The Internet might have the answers, but who is going to explain it to you, except, perhaps, your grand kids. In the meantime, some malware or keyloggers might stop by, and God help you if that happens. The Internet can only help if you understand what youíre reading and know what youíre doing, and thatís where a users group comes in. The members that werenít active in the groupís work will be the real losers.

Lou Vitale was one of my favorite authors and Iíll surely miss his writings. I have to think that if I looked at that message closely, I would see a few tearstains (confirmed by Lou). Lizzz Russell also wrote interesting articles, and I have sometimes quoted from both authors. If you would like to read Louís closing letter sent to the members, check my Web site where youíll find a link to read it http://www.dealsguy.com. Their Web site is already shut down.

As for their running out of presentations, I sometimes read about what was likely an interesting presentation from a source you might not consider. Most user group officers feel that everything should be computer related, but I donít necessarily agree with that. One group said they were having a local TV weather caster come in to demonstrate the use of computers in weather forecasting. Recently, another User Group had two guys come in from an HH Gregg store who did a presentation on 3D TVs. They answered many questions, and wowed the attendees with the live demonstration of 3D TV. They passed around the two pair of glasses they had so everyone got a chance to see this impressive demonstration with their own eyes. I know I was impressed. It was a job bringing the large screen TV and other equipment to do it. One slip and that large screen could have been shattered. Since I wear glasses, itís awkward for me to put the 3D glasses over my own pair.

The Post Office also has some unique operations that are, sort of, computer related. Other utilities might also have presentations. Iíd like to see a presentation by the city or county explaining the computer that controls the traffic lights around town. The one installed locally cost over a million for the installation and cables were strung all over the area. However, in my opinion, they still donít work right. Iíve stopped many times for no one and it makes no sense that the traffic light canít ďseeĒ in this age of technology.

Still Good
Donít forget that the special discount on the KeyStone Learning Systemsí learning courses is still good for December so itís not too late to order if you havenít gotten around to getting a learning course you need. Robert Hodges has set up a 20% discount for my readers, and thatís off ANY single user course until 12/31/10. When purchasing, use the coupon code "DealsGuy" when placing your order. You are also welcome to use your credit card.

Will The Real Security Stand Up?
Trying to secure our computers is an ongoing challenge, but I didnít realize how tough it is becoming for everyone until I read this article in Information Week. In some ways, this article leaves you wondering if itís even possible to properly protect your computers any more. This article is lengthy and written for professionals, but quite informative. http://www.informationweek.com/news/security/antivirus/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=227700363&queryText=Greg%20Shipley. Perhaps a secure machine is impossible, but it also boils down to an alert computer operator.

More On Safe Web Surfing
Finjan SecureBrowsing http://securebrowsing.finjan.com/ is a browser extension that checks links in search results and Web sites. Each link is marked as safe (green) or potentially dangerous (red). SecureBrowsing warns users about potential threats before they click on search results, or other links on web pages, allowing them to explore the Web safely. This service helps the user make intelligent choices when surfing the Web, with few security worries.

Finjan SecureBrowsing performs real-time code analysis of the current content on each of the rated Web pages, and potentially malicious and undesirable behavior is automatically detected, even if they have never been categorized.

According to their Web site, while browsing the Web, you come across numerous Web sites that use Active Content to enhance your Web experience and capabilities. Active Content supports capabilities such as changing images when the mouse moves over them, popping up windows, displaying advertisements, and supporting advance design elements. These capabilities are also used by hackers to change your system settings, or even install spyware applications. Finjan SecureBrowsing alerts you, before you visit these pages, to any potential malicious Active Content, allowing you to enjoy a wealth of Web capabilities without jeopardizing your PC and private information.

Finjan SecureBrowsing also identifies potentially malicious code such as spyware, hacking code, viruses, and code that tampers with your PC system settings. Such malicious code can even try to steal your private user name and passwords when you visit your online banking Web site. Finjan SecureBrowsing identifies all of these threats in real time by analyzing the behavior of certain active content that could be used maliciously (such as JavaScript, VB Script, ActiveX and Java applets). Download this browser add-on at http://securebrowsing.finjan.com/. I read about this in Charlotte Bytes, newsletter for Charlotte County Computer Group Corporation http://www.cccgc.net. Their newsletter always has great content and one of the members told the editor about this one.

That's it for this month. Iíll have some more new product announcements on my Web site soon that didnít offer discounts. 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 . Visit my Web site at http://www.dealsguy.com.

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