The Web Bug Report
THE WEB BUG REPORT
A monthly publication of the Web
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 - Sharon Grant
FEATURE ARTICLES:-BUYING FROM EBAY
CYBER SUFER ALERT!
HOT LINKS - EDITORS CHOICE
MINUTES OF JUNE 2004 GENERAL MEETING
SOFTWARE LIBRARY AND
System Diagnostics, Repair & Upgrades
e-mail: Rich firstname.lastname@example.org
By Dr. John Hanson
Topics for July
1. What's a Blog?
2. Casio Digital Camera
3. Shutter Times at Last
4. Lousy Epson Photo Scanner
5. Revolting Battery Development
6. Use Bootlog.txt for Win 98
7. XP has some Good Features
8. DVD Storage into Stratosphere
9. John Sullivan is a Tiger
10. Sharon Grant doing a Great Job
11. Power Line Broadband
12. Bob Hudak's Spyware Programs
1. What's a Blog? It stands for Web Log. People who want to voice their opinion about anything can set up a web site. Many such blogs have become very popular and useful. A web site called Kinja.com tracks about 50,000 blogs into about 12 categories. Page 70 of Time for Jun 21 has some ideas on how to find your kind of blog. As usual with many magazines Time has some pretty stupid people on the their staff so read with caution. Their graphics director is the dumbest by allowing black printing on dark green so it is quite difficult to read. Maybe I should start a blog for parents so they can avoid all the dumb mistakes they make with children. Even the smartest children could be improved if you can get them away from the parents for a few days. Maybe there is already a blog on that as most parents are completely unaware of the mistakes they make.
2. Casio Digital Camera: I don't need another digital camera as it's difficult enough to go from one to the other on the four that I have. If you don't have a digital take a look at the Casio Exilim Pro EX-P600. Casio is great on calculators but new in cameras so do your homework. The specs look good with a large two inch LCD screen, 6 mp, 4x optical zoom, 2 second start up and most unusual a very fast shutter response of 0.01 seconds. It is only $550 list and most cameras costing a lot more have slow shutter responses of 0.74 seconds which requires lots of practice to get good action shots. Kyocera recently came out with a new technology for fast shutter response and maybe Casio bought it from them or they make the camera for Casio. So far no other manufacturer seems to have bought the Kyocera technology that has been out for at least 8 months.
3. Shutter Times at Last: Shutter times
are typically so slow you have to really anticipate a sports action in
order to capture it. I have learned to be pretty good with my expensive
Kodak 4800 like two other club members have. And I can get similar
good results with my Olympus 2100 that has image stabilization. Since
the shutter times are so slow, reviewers and manufacturers have avoided
giving out the shutter times.
Finally in Photography for July on page 78 there is a listing of the shutter times. Most are 0.74 seconds with one being 0.54 seconds. All five of these new cameras are in the $1,000 price range so the Casio mentioned above is a bargain if the picture quality is good. Always check if the menus are easy to use as even the $1,000 cameras have things that are not so good. By reading the not so hot things you can have a good idea as to what to look for in any digital camera you are selecting. The Photography article is quite well done so is worth reading in detail even if none of those cameras interest you. Some cameras such as the Olympus C-8080 take a long time to auto focus that could drive you crazy so be sure to check this out also on any camera you are considering. Be cautious of any recommendations that you read in Consumer Reports as their technicians are poor.
4. Lousy Epson Photo Scanner: I bought an Epson Perfection Photo 1660 scanner which was fairly expensive so I thot it might be good. Boy, was I wrong. Imagine, no written instructions in a booklet or on the CD so you have to learn by trial and error. What miserable software. When you call Epson for help they tell you that the software is not their problem so call the software vendor, who is also useless. Search Google or Vivisimo for Epson 1660 Reviews and you can read what others say about this lousy scanner and software.
If you are considering any scanner or you buy one on the spot because of a sale price then immediately go on the Internet and see if there are instructions. If not, return it while you can. If there are instructions read them to see that they are understandable and explain how to use the various features claimed. And of course check to read any reviews but be cautious as some of reviews may be plants from the manufacturer.
5. Revolting Battery Development: Some time
ago I told you about the wonderful little chargers that charge 4 AA or
AAA NiMH or NiCad cells. They only cost about $10 each and have a
built in switching power supply so they work internationally and even in
your car. The revolting development is that you need to take the
batteries out after charging as they appear to discharge more rapidly if
left in the unplugged charger. I have opened up two different types
to add wires so that I can analyze them. Now I have them running
on a very sensitive data logging voltmeter to see the voltage discharge
characteristics which I will compare with cells that are not left in the
Since the voltage discharge is not a good indicator of the battery's capacity I will then run a load discharge test after the battery is idle for two weeks after charging. That should give me a better idea of the capacity. Published reports say that NiMH batteries lose about 25% of their capacity after ten days because of self discharge. If linear, that would be 75% in a month compared to NiCads which lose 30% per month. That is why I like Lithium Ion so much as the self discharge is very low but
they require a very sophisticated charger and are not available to the public except at a swap meet because they can explode.
6. Use Bootlog.txt for Win 98: Page 28 of Smart Computing for June has a good article for the millions of people still using Win 98. It logs the boot sequence so you can see where your troubles might be.
7. XP has some good features: The ideal would be to keep Win 98 and just add a few of the XP features you like. Page 28 of Smart Computing for July has a good article on how to do this. In spite of XP's few good features my recommendations to my clients is to stick to Win 98. Remember when I advised readers not to switch to Millennium that turned out to be good advice. It is nice to be on the cutting edge but you need to do it wisely and not jump into every innovation. Consider the next windows coded Longhorn. Just as many of your old programs and devices won't work in XP it is even worse for Longhorn. Read the comments on page 32 of PC World for July. Who needs extra problems for this new trend of having to upgrade everything when a new OS comes out?
8. DVD Storage into Stratosphere: Current DVDs can record about 4.7 gb but the new ones coming out that use blue lasers will be able to store 27 gb but be cautious as competing technologies may not be compatible. Read more on page 7 of Smart Computing for July. There is an even better article on page 28 of PC World for July.
9. John Sullivan is a Tiger: When you attend his popular Windows SIG you can clearly see that he can solve almost any problem and has written down his solutions over time so you can look them up in his database. Last month he wrote a terrific article on how he solved a very difficult problem. He pointed out that the error messages that Microsoft gives out are almost useless. Why are brilliant software programmers so stupid when it comes to writing useful error messages. In the old days when storage space was so tight they used numbers for error messages and then you could go to a book to look it up and even then they were not very useful. I often get a divide overflow message and have to reboot. Does anyone know how to avoid that or even what a divide overflow is? Another error I get from time to time is "Unable to find xxx file" and I check and the file is really there. So I make a copy of the file from another computer that is working and transfer it in case the file it can't find was corrupted. It still can find it. Any ideas? Please call me.
10. Sharon Grant doing a Great Job: Our newsletter editor makes her masterpiece even better each time. Surely we will win an award at the Sandex conference coming up in August in San Diego. It is interesting how she has solved the problem of articles continued on another page. She avoids page numbers. How simple a solution? At first that would seem like finding the continuation more difficult but she has labeled her pages with section numbers and now it's fairly easy to find the continuation. What a novel idea! I like the way she adds pictures and drawings, etc. as well as shadings. It makes the newsletter much more inviting to read. Most of the time she justifies the right hand margin of the articles that makes them look better and much easier to read. Many avant garde editors are switching to ragged right margins which is the pits so I stop subscribing to their magazine when they do that. One can easily see that Sharon has a lovely artistic flair.
11. Power Line Broadband: Time Warner is
advertising their cable broadband quite heavily as does SBC Pac Bell but
neither is very trustworthy so be cautious. We all know how bad cable
service is so why would their broadband be very good. My TV programs
are always having glitches so imagine what that would do to your broadband
connection. Pac Bell used to be a very good, reliable company but
now that SBC bought it the quality has really dropped off. Besides
they do some sneaky things like saying their DSL is only $30 per month
for first three months but who knows what it will be later. They
even claim to give you a free modem and later you get a bill. They
may be just as crooked as Enron or the big accounting firms. Before
getting either one read about their service by visiting a blog mentioned
above in #1.
An alternative service may soon be available where you get your broad band from the power lines. I can't remember where I read it since I read so many magazines but it's recent in June or July. Perhaps a search in Google would be useful.
12. Bob Hudak's Spyware Programs: More people
should take advantage of the wonderful programs he puts together on disk
and CD each month. For only $3 or $5 you can have the best even if
you don't have time to use it at the moment. Make a copy of his article
that explains how to use it and file that with the disk so when you have
time it will be easy to use. Try to buy something every month from
Bob. That way the club makes money, it keeps Bob searching for useful
software and hardware and you get the benefit. We are lucky to have
such a good librarian and now he's head of the hardware SIG repairing people's
computers and doing a great job. For serious problems and fast service
call Rich Bulow at 374-8633. See his ad in the newsletter.
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; http://www.tooties.com
By Frank Chao
This is the 71st "Internet Talk" article for "The Bug Bulletin", a publication of the Greater South Bay PC Users Group (GSBUG). Liz and I hope that you had a wonderful Fourth of July holiday.
MEMBERSHIP REPORT FOR GSBUG
Joyce Oliver reports
that as of the end of May, our membership count is 155, up one from last
month. Liz and I greatly appreciate the fine job that she is doing
as the membership director of GSBUG.
RECYCLING OLD COMPUTERS AND CELL PHONES
Information on recycling old computers and cell phones can be found at
that is a Website
that is sponsored by EIA, the Electronic Industries Alliance.
SMART VOTER WEBSITE
The non-partisan League of Women Voters provides information to assist you with making ballot choices at
If you have any Web
sites that you wish to recommend, please contact me by one of the ways
listed at the end of this article.
OLD VERSIONS OF ANTI-VIRUS SOFTWARE
During the month of June, three computer owners told me that each contracted virus infections in their home computers. One had Norton Antivirus 2002 in his computer, the second had Norton Antivirus 2000, and the third was running McAfee Viruscan 2002. All three computer owners were regularly obtaining online updates for their copies of old anti-virus software. Apparently these two- to four-year old versions of anti-virus software utilities are not adequate to protect computers from the current crop of software viruses. If you do not want to pay for a current version of anti-virus software, you are better off with the latest edition of one of the free anti-virus utilities, compared to running a 2 or more year-old version of McAfee or Norton Antivirus. Don't procrastinate. New viruses and other bad stuff are released into the "wild" every day.
You can download "AVG Free Edition" from
or download "Avast! 4 Home", from
BATCH FILES RE-VISITED
Batch files work just
fine in all versions of Windows.
They are a great way for you to do repetitive tasks with your computer.
If you do not open
any applications (such as Wordperfect or Microsoft Word) with a batch
file, then the same batch file that worked in Windows 3.1 will also work
in every other version of Windows, including the two versions of Windows
For example, here is a batch file that would copy various important data files to a Zip disk that has the drive designation of E:
rem NAME OF FILE IS backup_key_data1.bat
COPY C:\TAX99\*.TAX E:\TAX\
COPY C:\TAX00\*.TAX E:\TAX\
COPY C:\TAX01\*.TAX E:\TAX\
COPY C:\"PROGRAM FILES"\TURBOTAX\*.TAX E:\TAX\
COPY C:\"PROGRAM FILES"\QUICKENW\*.Q* E:\QUICKEN\
The above sample batch
file does the following:
Copy all Turbotax data files for 1999 through 2002 to the "TAX" folder of the E: drive.
Copy all Quicken database files to the "QUICKEN" folder of the E: drive.
The above sample batch file will work in Windows 3.1, ME, 2000, NT, and XP.
However if you use a batch file to open a software application (such as Wordperfect or Microsoft Word), you will have to modify it when you upgrade to Windows XP.
The following file called
works fine in Windows
3.1, ME, NT, and 2000:
copy f:\diary\johns_diary.doc j:\diary\johns_diary.doc
copy f:\diary\johns_diary.doc y:\diary\johns_diary.doc
The first line of the batch file uses Microsoft Word 2000 to open up a file called johns_diary.doc so that you can edit this file.
When you are done with your typing your entries into this file, you are expected to close the Microsoft Word 2000 window. Be sure to click on "Yes", when Microsoft Word asks you
"Do you want to save the changes that your made to..?"
The second line copies the file called "johns_diary.doc" from the hard drive named F: to a folder called "diary" on a hard drive named J:
The third line copies the file called "johns_diary.doc" from the hard drive named F: to a folder called "diary" on a hard drive called Y:
However, if you are
running one of the two versions of Windows XP, you will have to add three
additional lines to "johns_daily_diary.bat" as follows:
rem The following three lines are needed for Windows XP
PAUSE "PRESS ANY KEY"
rem The previous three lines are needed for Windows XP
copy f:\diary\johns_diary.doc j:\diary\johns_diary.doc
copy f:\diary\johns_diary.doc y:\diary\johns_diary.doc
This is because Windows
XP tends to fail to stop the execution of the batch file after opening
up johns_diary.doc in a Microsoft Word window. Instead, it opens
and then closes a Microsoft Word window and then it barges on ahead to
complete the entire batch file. The two lines with "Echo" in them
are to insure that the Pause line displays in the Command prompt window.
The line with the Pause tells Windows XP to stop execution so that you
can edit your diary file in the Microsoft Windows window. After you
close the Microsoft Word window, you will be see "Press any key to continue.."
in the Command Prompt window. At this point, it is best to press the space
bar of your keyboard since it requires less effort than any other key.
Then, the batch file will copy johns_diary.doc from your F: drive to your
J: and Y: drives.
BEFORE DOING SOFTWARE-BASED MAINTENANCE
Kostek Haussman and
other GSBUG members have indicated to me that when running "Error checking",
"Disk Defragmenter", or "Disk Cleanup", their computers often hang up and
these Windows utilities often fail to complete their tasks.
Prior to performing any "soft" maintenance procedures on a Windows computer, you should perform the following "Shut Down Processes" procedure. The effects of this procedure are temporary and no permanent changes to your computer occur, so whatever you turn off with this procedure is started again by your Windows operating system after the next re-boot.
"SHUT DOWN PROCESSES" PROCEDURE
STEP 0) Close all windows that are open or minimized. When you are finished with this, you should have no "Task buttons" between the "Start" button and the "System Tray" of the gray Windows "Taskbar".
STEP 1) Press one of the "Control" keys on your keyboard and leave it pressed down.
STEP 2) Press one of the "Alt" keys on your keyboard and leave it pressed down. (Unless you have three hands like the Hindu god, it is best to press on the right-most "Alt" key.)
STEP 3) Then press on the "Delete" key on the keyboard and leave it down.
STEP 4) Leave all
three of the above-mentioned keys pressed down
for one second. Then release all three keys at the same time.
STEP 5) A "Task List" or "Windows Task Manager" dialog box will pop up.
STEP 6) Now, click on the "Applications" tab of this dialog box, if there is more than one tab. Ignore this step if there are no tabs displayed.
STEP 7) Click on any "task" other than "Explorer".
STEP 8) Click on the "End Task" button.
STEP 9) Repeat STEP 1 through STEP 8 until everything but "Explorer" and your anti-virus background scanner software is gone from the "Task list". (Many versions of Windows do not show "Explorer" in the "Task list". In versions of Windows that show it, "Explorer" represents the Windows operating system and performing an "End task" on it will shut down your computer.)
or, instead of Steps 1 through 9, you can run "EndItAll" or "EndItAll 2" to shut down as many "processes" as possible. It is a lot faster than going through the above Steps 1 through 9 repeatedly. See
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: email@example.com
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 lawn bowling instead !!
|SOFTWARE LIBRARY AND
By BOB HUDAK
Here we are in the second half of the year already. I only added one new program to the Library this month. It is a little program that you can put on a CD to make it auto run. If you are putting together a CD of pictures to send to family or friends, it might be nice to set it up so it would startup automatically when put into a CD ROM drive. The program allows you to enter the name of the program you want to startup. If the program is not on the root you will need to enter the path also. If this sounds interesting, pick up a copy at the Library table. Talking about putting CD's together to back things up like your digital pictures or what ever. Do yourself a favor and rename the pictures in a way that will give you some clue as to what they are before you burn them to a CD. At least put them in different folders that will group different events together. Will make it SOOO much easier to find picture next year.
Next you need a easy way to print a directory of what is on that CD. I have a program in the Library that does just that. Prints out names and details on a CD cover that fits in the front of the jewel case. Can also print on a 8 1/2" x 11" sheet if you really have a lot of items on the CD. Think how handy this would be. Pick up a copy or order one if you do not make the general meetings.
We do a lot of different things at the Tue Hardware Sig beside working on computers. Someone always seems to bring in something of interest. Emmett Ingram is the master of popcorn. Harry Goldstein has been sharing his knowledge on copying VCR tapes and burning them to DVD. George Rodriguez is now up to speed and might be ready to help the next member with DVD burning questions. The big clock at the Scout Center has not worked for months. Thanks to our expert clock repair man, Jack Burton, it looks and runs better then new. Stop in and share your interest.
Buying From Ebay
By Don Singleton
Tulsa Computer Society
From the June 2004 issue of the I/O Port Newsletter
In our HelpingTulsa Computer Refurbishing project we received a number of computers from businesses that did not include power cords and mice, and we were faced with telling the schools, churches, and non-profit organizations that we provided the machines to that they would have to go out to a local computer store to pick up the missing items. This was particularly a problem when it came to serial mice, which a number of the computers required, since many computer stores have stopped carrying serial mice, since almost all computers sold today use PS/2 mice. And even PS/2 mice and power cords could be very expensive. A quick check on the net shows Office Depot charges over $9 for a power cable, and Walmart charges almost $14 for a Microsoft Wheel Mouse.
And even if they bought on the Internet they could pay $3.50 plus shipping for a power cable, and about $3 plus shipping for a generic mouse.
Although we normally try to run HelpingTulsa without either making any money (we don't sell machines donated to us) or spending any money (we don't ship computers, and we try to repair them using parts salvaged from computers that we could not get to work, and therefore had to strip for their parts), I decided to check into eBay to see if I could find some serial mice and power cords.
I found one lot of 25 Computer Power Cords that had an logo which let me buy them immediately (not wait for the auction to end) for $6.99 (plus shipping). Shipping on the 25 cords was going to be $27.32, for a total cost of $34.31 (a little more than $1 each) but since the vendor was willing to sell 25 on a PayItNow basis for $6.99, I sent the seller an email and asked if he had more at that price, and if so what would my cost be (including shipping) for 100 cords. The vendor told me he would provide 100 cords, including shipping, for $55.00. That lowered the cost per cord to just a little over 50 cents. I had him ship me the full 100.
That would have been enough, at least for a long while, but I had entered bids for other lots of power cords before I found that one, and when those auctions all completed, I ended up with 154 power cords at a cost of $120.56. Obviously I would have been better off by just buying more from the first dealer, but I did not know it at the time, and I still ended up with plenty of power cords, and paid less than $1 each.
I also ended up with 57 Serial Mice (for $60.59 including shipping) and 134 PS/2 Mice (for $219.62 including shipping). I actually paid less for serial mice than PS/2 mice (because I bought them in larger lots, and hence had less shipping cost), but both were much less than people would have to pay in local stores.
I also bought a nice George Forman Grill for myself for $26.50 (including
By Sherry Zorzi, Secretary, Cajun Clickers Computer Club, Baton Rogue, Louisiana, and Advisor for Region 8.
The Internet is full of creepy-crawly beasties. Spam, popups, hoaxes,
cookies, spyware -- what are these critters and how do I tame them???
Spam – unsolicited, usually commercial email, also known as UCE. You can’t stop it; the best you can do is try to limit it.
· Don’t post your address on publicly-accessible websites (newsgroups, chat rooms, directories). Web “crawlers” harvest these addresses for spammers’ mailing lists. You can obtain free, “throwaway” email addresses at sites like Yahoo www.yahoo.com or Hotmail www.hotmail.com to use in these situations.
· When you register for a legitimate website (Microsoft, Amazon, Delta Airlines, etc.), opt-out of any newsletters or mailings they offer to send you. If opting out is not offered, don’t register for the site unless you want advertising email!
· Use “filters” in your email program to automatically route suspected spam to a special folder, which you can check periodically and delete. Or use special (free!) software, like MailWasher www.mailwasher.net or K9 Spam Killer www.keir.net/k9.html to automatically check incoming mail and handle suspected spam for you.
· Don’t ever follow directions to “unsubscribe” or stop receiving mail, unless you know you are dealing with a reputable source. Replying to the message or clicking a link to supposedly unsubscribe is often just a ruse by the spammer to verify that your email address is valid and that you are naïve enough to open spam. You will get more, not less, spam!
· Use SpamCop www.spamcop.net to report spam. The service is free. They will automatically report, in your name, the true source of the spam to the appropriate ISPs.
· Send a copy of the spam, with full headers, to the Federal Trade Commission at firstname.lastname@example.org. They keep a database of fraudulent spammers. Support strong legislation at the state and federal level to stop the scourge of spam!!! Write, call or email your Senators and Representatives and urge them to support strong legislation.
Popup – advertising that “pops up” in a small window of its own. Some websites pop up an unsolicited ad in a window on top of the page you are trying to view. Others hide the popups beneath the site you’re visiting, so that you see it when you finally close your main window. Some sites pop up several, or even dozens of popup ads – sometimes “freezing” the computer. The new popup scourge is controlled by one or more programs hiding on your computer, causing popups even when you are not online! They are all bad, bad, bad! The best way to squash popups is with free software like Popup Stopper www.panicware.com. Works perfectly and the price can’t be beat!
Hoax – fictitious email forwarded around the Internet by your well-meaning friends. Flesh-eating bananas, large corporations controlled by Satanists, viruses that cause your computer to catch fire – all are fabricated hoaxes. Most of us have at one time been taken in by one of these, forwarding it to everyone in our address book only to be embarrassed to find out it’s a fake. Any email, even if it’s from your mother, that says “Please forward this to everyone in your address book” is a hoax. Any email that promises you will get something for nothing is a fake.
· Never, ever forward anything to everyone in your address book, no matter how “true” it sounds. Even if it is supposedly from IBM, Microsoft, or the government.
· Type a few keywords from the email into a search engine like Google www.google.com and follow several of the links that come up. You should quickly discover that the mail is a hoax.
· Before you hit “forward”, check out the “story” on one of the websites that specialize in debunking urban legends and hoaxes:
o Snopes www.snopes.com
o Urban Legends www.urbanlegends.com
Spyware – technology that aids in gathering information about a person or organization without their knowledge. Spyware usually comes “hidden” within software you voluntarily install. Along with what you wanted, you also get a small piece of software than installs itself behind the scene and sends back information on your surfing habits to an advertiser or marketing company. You can control spyware with some free tools available on the web. The tools will either prevent spyware from getting on your machine, or remove it once it is there. Ad-aware www.lavasoftusa.com and SpyBot Search and Destroy http://beam.to/spybotsd
Cookie – a small text file placed on your computer by a website you visit. Cookies can be innocent, but some operate as spyware. Spyware-controlling software like Ad-aware will control spyware cookies, too. You can also exercise some control over cookies in Internet Explorer by clicking Tools, then Internet Options. Click the “Privacy” tab to allow or disallow various kinds of cookies on your system. Be aware that some features of some sites won’t work properly unless you allow cookies.
Virus, worm - a piece of programming code that causes some unexpected and usually undesirable event, such as spreading itself (in your name!) to everyone in your address book, locking up your computer, or deleting important files. They can be transmitted as attachments to an e-mail, as downloads, or be present on a diskette or CD.
· Install antivirus software and keep it up-to-date. Popular brands include McAfee Virus Scan, Norton Antivirus, and TrendMicro PC-cillin. Free antivirus software, which works well, is available at www.grisoft.com. HouseCall, a free online virus scanner, is available from TrendMicro at http://housecall.antivirus.com/housecall/start_corp.asp.
· Don’t allow “autopreview” features on your email programs. When an email message is previewed, it is really “opened,” which can trigger a virus. Don’t open emails or attachments from unknown sources. Even when mail is from a trusted source (such as your mother), don’t open any attachments unless you are expecting them without checking with the source first to be sure they intended to send the attachment and are sure it’s virus-free.
Trojan horse – similar to viruses and worms, Trojan horses are particularly nasty as they can open up ports on your computer, making it possible for an intruder to control your computer remotely. Anti-virus software is not great at catching Trojan horses. You should install and periodically run a Trojan scanner, such as the free SwatItwww.swatit.org
If you use the available tools, your Internet experience will be more pleasant for you, your computer, and for all your email correspondents. Don’t forget the most important tool of all – YOUR BRAIN! Use it.
There is no restriction against any non-profit group using this article as long as it is kept in context with proper credit given the author. The Editorial Committee of the Association of Personal Computer User Groups (APCUG), an international organization of which this group is a member, brings this article to you.
MINUTES OF JUNE 2004 GENERAL MEETING
The president and secretary being present, a general meeting of the Greater South Bay PC Users Group (GS-BUG) was held on Monday, June 7, 2004 at the Salvation Army Facility, 4223 Emerald Street, Torrance, CA. In attendance were approximately 58 members and guests. President U. A. Garred (Garry) Sexton called the meeting to order at 7:35 p.m.
Dick Baznik a participant of the DIGITAL IMAGING SIG gave a very impressive descriptive picture preview showing how less than ideal photos can be enhanced through photo editing programs. Each before and after-improved photos he showed were done in Adobe Photoshop version 6. Fred Vogel then answered questions of how the group proceeds every Tuesday morning from 9:00 to Noon. The group will be starting a new book in a few weeks and encouraged members to drop in. Fred announced that the month of August will be dark.
Bob Hudak encouraged members to bring their hardware computer problems to the HARDWARE SIG which is held every Tuesday from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. It is best to call Bob and advise him what you are bringing to fix so that he is prepared. Bob also encouraged members to check out the library table at the back of the hall. The new six-programs on a CD for Spyware is available on a call-order basis.
Herman Krouse invited members to the Internet SIG held on the 4th Thursday of each month.
Garry Sexton announced that Virginia Pfiffner will be holding the Windows 95/98/ME SIG on the third Thursday of each month.
Emmett Ingram announced that for the July meeting Edison will conclude their presentation which began at the March 2004 meeting but had to be continued because of time constraints. Also, Emmett will be hosting a special day time trip of the Los Angeles Harbor on the July 15 starting at 10:30 a.m. Please contact him for further information.
(Secretaries Note: All SIG activities and telephone numbers are listed in The Bug Report)
Guest speaker Phil Schnyder, President of "askSam Systems" demonstrated the world’s most popular free-form database. This program is flexible enough to organize a decade of email, testimony from court cases, research notes, Internet downloads, magazine articles or simple names and addresses. "askSam" is used by researchers, students, investigators, and businesses around the world to organize and search all sorts of information. For more information contact either by mail P O Box 1428 Perry, FL 32348. Phone 800-800-1997. FAX 850-584-7481 email: email@example.com web http://www.askSam.com Or, phil@askSam.com.
Door prizes were won by Bob Hudak, Jack Burton, James McGee, Peter Chong, Lyle Scheck and John Haluska.
The meeting adjourned at 9:00 p.m.
Submitted by Pamela Harrison, Secretary
CYBER SUFER ALERT!
BEWARE! A notorias virus is lurking on the net and will be widespread
in a couple of weeks. The virus which is dubbed "js.scob.trojan" infects
websites and is programmed to connect people who use the Microsoft Internet
Explorer browser to a Web site that contains code allowing hackers to actually
record what you actually type, such as passwords, credit card numbers,
social security numbers and other personal stuff. The code then emails
your personal stuff to the anonymous attackers. Ouch! TIME
TO FIGHT BACK! If you surf the net and do not have virus protection
software installed make sure you do so. A good virus protection software
is McAafee. McAafee has a virus and firewall protection. You can also protect
your browser. That change, however, dulls your surfing experience because
to many Web sites. You may want to consider another alternative in
combating this evil virus by using other browsers that are not affected
by the attack, such as Mozilla, Mozilla Firefox, Netscape and Opera. Mac,
Linux and other nonwindows operating systems are immune from this attack.
HOT LINKS - EDITORS CHOICE
1. www.ageofreason.com —
Over 5,000 Links to sites of interest to the
over 50 age group.
2. www.elderhostel.com — World’s largest educational and travel
organization for older adults.
3. www.classmates.com — Spectacular resource for finding friends
and high school classmates.
4. www.earthcam.com — You can browse by category or by geographical
location for finding live video cameras on the internet.
5. www.cws.internet.com — Contains hundreds of software programs
that you can download. Quite a modem full.