The Bug Report
THE BUG REPORT
A monthly publication of
GS-BUG Inc. (c) copyright 1996.
Reproduction of any material herein by any means is expressly prohibited unless written permission is granted. Exception: Articles may be reprinted by other users groups in unaltered form if credit is given to the author and the original publication.
Editor - Kay Burton
SOFTWARE LIBRARY NEWS
By Dr. John Hanson
Topics for July
1. Going Wireless
2. Used Notebook Source
3. Large Monitors for Cheap
4. Multimedia Group
5. Photoshop helps poor focus
6. Ink Jet T-shirt Transfers
7. Digital Images in Power Point
8. Keychain Memory Prices Down
9. Lithium Ion Batteries
10. Free Money at Frys
11. WalMart’s $300 Computer
12. Video Professor TV Ads
13. Overclocking your Computer
14. Printing Problems
1. Going Wireless: I don’t know
how reliable it is so far but I tend to be skeptical of new technologies
that are not standardized but Carl Warner is getting amazing results.
The wired version of a network is so easy and so reliable why go wireless.
One disadvantage of going wireless is that it is very easy for anyone to
steal your identity with a few hundred dollars of equipment. All
they need to do is drive down your street until their computer beeps indicating
they have locked on to a wireless network. Then they can observe
and record everything you do on your computer such as name, address, phone,
date of birth, credit card numbers, bank account and possibly even your
social security number. Imagine what might happen with the theft
of your identity. You probably know that when someone steals your
identity you are powerless. Even if you track down who they are and
where they live and tell the police they still won’t do anything.
It was the same when I had drug dealers as tenants. The cops not
only didn’t help but then threatened to arrest me if I didn’t evict them.
Imagine trying to evict gun toting drug dealers. Government seems
to have no control over gangs. No wonder there are so many home invasions.
2. Used Notebook Source: I discovered a new vendor I hadn’t seen before and would you believe they are right in Torrance so you can try out any of their notebooks in comfort. I was impressed with what they had to offer. Imagine an IBM P200 with a CDrom drive and a floppy for only $250 even if the screen is only 12 inches. Whenever possible, avoid Gateway, HP, and Compaq notebooks. Be sure to test it thoroly when you get home with Burn In or a similar program in System Suite. The warranty is only 30 days but the costs are so low the risk is worthwhile if you are knowledgeable. As I have mentioned before the weak spot in notebooks is the battery so test it before you leave the store as it is sold As Is. In addition, they have a repair facility if your notebook develops a problem later. The name of the company is Simora Trading and their phone is 310-328-1999. Their address is 2808 Oregon Ct. Suite L10 in Torrance but call first to make an appointment as it’s a warehouse. Ask for Juan Fernandez or Mark and mention you heard about them in the GSBug Newsletter. When possible get a Lithium Ion battery as these are the best. Check out their web site at SimoraTrading.com. You may remember another good place is Connect Comp in Anaheim. Ask for Jose or Ray at 714-632-5585 and mention my name. I bought two identical Dell Latitudes there about two years ago and they still work fine. When possible be sure to get a TFT screen of at least 14 inches. See ConnectComp.com
3. Large Monitors for Cheap: In the May issue I suggested that Jen Len Monitors in Santa Fe Springs was a good place to get a large monitor for almost nothing. Not only is it guaranteed for a long time (3 months) the lady owner, Jen, is a very nice person to deal with. Somehow I goofed on the area code but if you tried you probably figured out that 561 was really 562 for that area. The correct number is 562-483-1194. Tell her you saw her number in GSBug Newsletter. If you are heavy into Photoshop you get the best colors with a CRT monitor like the ones she has. These were very expensive when made so it is unlikely any corners were cut.
4. Multimedia Group: At a computer show I met a fascinating, lovely teacher representing the Orange County Multimedia Group. It might be worthwhile for you at least once if you are into multimedia and want to make a CD or DVD with music and video, etc. Call Renee Levine at 949-654-1996 and ask for a free guest pass. They meet every 3rd Tuesday of the month starting at 6:00 with refreshments. The meeting is near the civic center in Anaheim. Check out her web site at OCMMA.org
5. Photoshop Helps Poor Focus: In the June 2003 issue of Exploring Digital Photography on page 5 is an informative article on how to salvage blurry images with advanced sharpening techniques. All the members of the Photoshop SIG probably already know this but for the others here in a nutshell is the gist of the article. You first remove the color information with Lab Color which is in Image, Mode, Lab Color and open the Channels in Window, Show Channels. Click on the Lightness channel and then apply Unsharp Mask. Use the preview window to see how it looks. Later you put the color back in. Even for simple sharpening tasks Lab Color is the way to go. Ask any of our many Photoshop experts for details. Check out the magazine’s web site at ElementKjournals.com
6. Ink Jet T-shirt Transfers: On page 11 of the same issue is an excellent article on how to get good results with ink jet transfers. I bought some ink jet transfer paper once but never got around to using it. I didn’t realize there are two types of such paper, one for dark shirts and one for light shirts. Another important consideration is to use the right amount of ink and it’s very important not to use your ironing board as it is too soft. Use a hard, smooth surface when ironing on the transfer.
7. Digital Images in Power Point: The magazine points out that it is essential to resize your images first to the exact size desired. To be able to resize and use the desired 72 dpi be sure to turn on resample image and select bicubic. Naturally you will want to constrain the proportions also.
8. Key chain Memory Prices Down: At a recent computer show the price has come down to only 25 cents per megabyte for a 256 mb USB device. But unless you need that tiny portability I think the Compact Flash or Smart Media is best with a shirt pocket card reader. But Carl Warner likes the small ones and he is very knowledgeable.
9. Lithium Ion Batteries: If you are the curious type and know how to be careful, open up a Lithium Ion battery case and you will be amazed at the complex circuits inside. Don’t take an ordinary 3 volt lithium battery apart but only the rechargeable type, which is usually 3.6 volts. A short could cause an explosion so wear safety glasses and be extra careful. Because of that most vendors won’t sell lithium ion batteries, except to OEM companies but you can buy them at a swap meet. I bought some for a Nokia phone but not for my phone as I plan to use them for other things. On mine there was a tiny IC chip with 8 leads and a whole bunch of other tiny surface mount parts. Way too complex to try to analyze. But once open it is easier to test it’s various safety features and how much current it will put out. If you bypass the safety features it will put out much more current for short periods but don’t let it overheat. I met a vendor at the swap meet who obviously knew much more about lithium ion batteries than I as he uses them in his work. So now I need to reconsider some of my beliefs and do more research. Remember to never go above 4.200 volts per cell when charging and limit the charge current, depending on the size of the battery. Texas Instruments and several others now have ICs designed to charge one and two cell batteries and the cost is under two or three dollars at Digi-Key. It’s hard to find in their catalog so use their web site and look for battery management ICs.
10. Free Money at Frys: Did you know that Frys can change their prices two times a day? My son lives fairly close so it’s easy to visit there often. He saves his receipts carefully and when he sees a price go down he asks for a refund. He has recently collected about $300 by being a careful shopper and being aware how Frys adjusts its prices. In a recent issue I mentioned a good buy for a UPS of 585 watts for only $30. Every time I have been at Frys since then I have noticed very different prices. In my case the price was $10 or $20 higher so if you bought one at higher price and then observed a lower price go ask for a refund of the difference.
You are probably aware that many stores change prices frequently, especially supermarkets. I always carry a permanent marker to write the price in an inconspicuous place on the can or package and complain to the manager when it is much higher and then he gives it to me free. They don’t want other customers to find out about this trick. Even Costco uses some of these tricks so be careful, especially with rebates. Computers are wonderful devices to take advantage of the unwary public. Remember the old days when many stores were honest. The Enron mentality starts with our universities and seems to pervade everything. Everyone can be crooked, even judges and congressmen. I hope you attended last month’s meeting where our talented president, Doc Sexton, pointed out with great humor how you have to be careful in believing medical studies and has made up a list of the most useful web sites for medical information.
11. WalMart’s $300 Computer: You are still much better off at Advanced Computer for the same money. On page 7 of the July Consumer Reports doesn’t think WalMart’s is worthwhile. Consumer Reports is excellent in medical things and statistics but their engineers have always been lacking so be very careful of positive reviews but in this case of a negative review you can believe them.
12. Video Professor TV Ads: Have any members tried this so called free training CD? Even tho John Sher seems like a nice old man I am a little suspicious. Please let me know if you have tried and let me know if you think the disks are worthwhile.
13. Overclocking your Computer: It is potentially dangerous to speed up your computer by pushing the processor and the mobo.
Nevertheless there is a very interesting, long article on how to do it beginning on page 26 of the July Maximum PC. It is interesting how the manufacturers rate their processor chip speeds and how some vendors might erase the label and modify the label to indicate a higher speed so they can sell it for more. When buying a computer it might help to know which speeds to avoid for each manufacturer.
14. Printing Problems: Almost everyone has printing problems at times. My inkjet Epson 880 is quite reliable except when it likes to feed blank sheets. The HP4 and HP4+ are one of most reliable laser printers and can easily print a tenth of a million copies but with time the rubber on the top rollers harden and need to be cleaned which can be difficult for most people. Emmett Ingram, Virginia Pfiffner and I all bought HP-4’s many years ago and they still work. We paid about $1300 and today you can buy them for about $99 plus the toner for $26. Be sure to run a test sheet and get one with a low copy count such as under 80,000 copies. They are widely used everywhere because of their reliability. Then HP came out with another model to replace the HP4 and I saw about 50 being used at a big convention and it was a disaster. Most of them were having problems.
Do you know that in Dos you can print a file by typing “Type filename > prn? First do it without the prn and it comes out on the screen. Then add the prn to have it come out on the printer. Recently I was trying to print out a Readme file and it stopped after half way. I couldn’t understand why so I decided to try John Haluska’s marvelous TE program and it printed everything. He is one of our sharpest members and programmers. My favorites of his programs are this Tiny Editor and Directory Report, both available from Bob Hudak, the club librarian.
Editor’s Note: John Hanson is the inventor of Tooties, a superb self-teaching system used by millions in schools, homes, and by eye doctors around the world to improve vision. He also invented a new form of psychology called QET (Quick Effective Therapy) which transforms poor students into good students, almost overnight, usually in 5 to 15 days. He has also had outstanding success in helping brain damaged people, even years after their accident. Why go to therapy for years and spend lots of money when you can improve quite fast with QET? He uses computers to document his cases for his books so that others may benefit and improve their vision and other skills. Visit his web site at www.tooties.com for more information
By Frank Chao
This is the fifty ninth newsletter that has
been created by our editor Kay Burton and this is 59th “Internet Talk”
article that has been written by yours truly.
Kay usually compiles the newsletter on the first Saturday following the 20th of each month so let her know if you want to contribute an article or help in some other way. Her e-mail address is: firstname.lastname@example.org
Speaking of e-mail addresses, they are totally case-insensitive: If you send e-mail to: email@example.com or FCHAO@PACBELL.NET or fChAo@pACbELL.nEt your e-mail message will get to me, without any problems.
However, to keep your address box in your e-mail system simple, I recommend that you put in all e-mail addresses with lower case letters only, since capital letters require more human caloric energy to type. Also, when given a choice, chose the simplest, shortest-possible e-mail address. It is easier for people to remember. Also, when given a choice, chose the simplest, shortest-possible e-mail address. It is easier for people to remember
firstname.lastname@example.org than email@example.com. I made the latter address up but you get the point. Longer e-mail addresses are harder for people to remember and increase the chances that they will type them wrong.
“ACCESS-4-FREE” INTERNET SERVICE
“Access-4-Free” is a low-cost, dial-up Internet Service Provider. They have two phone numbers in El Segundo which should be local phone numbers for most GSBUG members. (As usual, you should check with the customer service folks at your local phone company to make sure that the number that your modem dials is a local call for your phone). Unlike the free versions of Netzero and Juno Web, dialup connections with Access-4-Free do not have an advertising bar. Unless you enjoy seeing ads, this is a good thing. “Access-4-Free” has two rate plans: “Access 4 Free” and “Access 4 Free Plus - Unlimited”. The “Access 4 Free” rate plan provides you with 10 free hours for each calendar month.
If you are on this rate plan and you use their service for less than 10 hours in a given calendar month, there will not be a charge to your credit card. If use their service for more than 10 hours in a calendar month, then they will charge you $10 for each hour in excess of 10. The maximum that they will charge you in a given calendar month is $10. In other words, when you start your 20th hour of dialup Internet access, you will have been charged $10 but no additional charges will occur. The “Access 4 Free Plus - Unlimited” rate plan charges you $9.95 per calendar month for unlimited dial-up Internet access. To learn more about either of their rate plans, go to: http://www.access-4-free.com This Internet Service Provider (ISP) might be just right for you, if you are currently using the free versions of Netzero or Juno but max out the 10 free hours that each of these services gives you, during each calendar month.
FREE INTERNET ACCESS STRATEGY
You might also consider using Access-4-free for just the 10 free hours of Internet access each month. If you then get 10 free hours from Netzero’s free version and 10 free hours from Juno Web’s free version, you would end up with 30 free hours of Internet access each calendar month. Your Internet access strategy might be as follows: At the start of each calendar month, use Netzero’s free version to make dial-up connections to the Internet, because
1) Their Internet access is probably more reliable that Juno’s
2) When you use up all 10 hours, they will not start charging you.
In some months and if you are a very light user of the Internet, these first 10 hours might be all you need. However, if you still need more time to connect to the Internet, you start using the free version of Juno Web, since
1) When you use up all 10 hours, they will not start charging you
In some months, you might be able to get by with the 20 total free hours that Netzero’s free version and Juno’s free version, combined together, give you. However, if you still need more time on the Internet, you would then start using the “Access 4 Free” version of Access-4-Free. With them, you would get 10 free hours of dialup Internet connectivity. If you then go into the 11th free hour with them, they would start billing your credit card for 1 dollar for each hour. If you then used up 10 of these billable hours, they would then stop billing you for any additional hours.
The bottom line is that you were connected via dialup modem to the Internet for more than 30 hours, you would end up paying 10 dollars to Access-4-Free. But, using the above scheme, you would only do so during calendar months when you would connected via modem for more than 30 hours.
As usual, you might think that the above is too complicated and sign up for a cable modem or DSL connection for Internet access at 100+ times faster than a dialup connection.
Definitions and other information about “spyware” can be found at
Dozens of removal tools are now available for expunging spyware from your computer. Kostek Haussman recommends that you use one of the following detection and removal tools: Lavasoft’s “Ad-Aware” can be found at:-
A donation is requested but not required for download. I have personally used both of these software utilities and highly recommend both of them. Some specific instructions for removing various items of spyware can be found at: http://www.pchell.com/support/spyware.shtml
WAYS TO CONTACT ME:
If you have any questions or problems, I can be contacted by the following methods:
1 . Send me e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org
2. Leave me a voice message at
3. Send “snail” U.S. Postal Service mail to
PO Box 6930
Torrance, CA 90504-0030.
Or sell your computer and take up golf instead !!
By BOB HUDAK
I put a CD that has the latest copy of Adobe
Reader 6.0. A help file that is 113 pages in PDF format to answer
all the fine points about Adobe Reader 6.0. Also a copy of Internet
Here is the background info. The new Adobe Reader replaces Acrobat Reader. It has new features and a new look. It is a pretty big download that you need to think about before trying. Better to pick up one of the CDs from the GSBUG library. It works with the Windows 98se, ME, XP, 2000 Professional with service pack 2, NT 4.0 with service pack 6 . You also need Internet Explorer 5.01, 5.5, 6.0, or 6.1. I tried to install on system with IE5.0, but the program looks at what you have and tells you to come back when you upgrade to the necessary software. It installs without a problem. Before it installs it “Recourses” the program. Whatever that means. This takes longer than to instal but the whole process is only five minutes or less. I did not time it. It does a lot more then just to read PDF files. Be one of the first on the block to have it. It reads all the older formats, but the older Readers might not read a document put together with the new Adobe Acrobat 6.0 program. So be prepared.
If you are using the dhere program to check your machine for spear, you probably will find a cookie by Doubleclick on your machine each time. There is a way to opt out of that situation. Go to: www.doubleclick.com/us/corporate/privacy/ad-cookie/ One click at the bottom will do the trick. BUT pay attention when it tells you whick cookie NOT to delete. I am not sure if everyone gets the same cookie or not. Mine was:id=opt_out. Working so far.
Last month I asked you to call me or email me if you would like to help other members with programs you know how to setup and run to help them with problems they encounter. I am still waiting for the first call. I guess that was not an idea that is going to go over. What new SIGs would you like to have? How to use your CD-RW? How to fill printer cartridges workkshop? How to use a scanner workshop? How to use a digital camera, from shooting, downloading, to computer and tweaking before printing? “Who would like to be a SIG leader for any new SIG? If you know it all, you would be a perfect SIG leader. Talk to Gary Sexton on what day or night you would like to have a meeting place for your new SIG. I will sign off now till next issue of the Bug Report.