The Bug Report

The only Bug that's good for your computer!
A Publication of the Greater South Bay PC Users Group
Volume 17 Number 6
August 1999
Internet Talk

AMD

Imation SuperDisk

Adding A Second Parallel Port

GoBack

Yeah Write

More About Street And Mapping Programs

BeOS R4.5...Another WOW !

Software Library News

Bits & Bytes of Information

Internet Talk

By Frank Chao, GSBUG

 

 

Hello again. In this 13th iteration of the "Internet Talk" series of articles, I have both bad news and good news for you. Let's start with the bad news:

Web Dev. SIG Cancelled

Starting with this month (August), the Web Development SIG is cancelled. Due to time constraints, I cannot host this SIG for the foreseeable future. If anyone wants take over the hosting of this SIG, please contact me or any of the members of your Board of Directors. I will miss these monthly meetings.

I wish to thank John Sullivan for the massive amounts of time that he has spent on behalf of this former SIG. He has developed some amazing Web pages to demonstrate various cutting-edge techniques over the past few months.

Please donít let the demise of this SIG become your excuse for not developing your own personal Web site. If you do not already have a Web page somewhere, go to one of the great sites that are mentioned on my personal home page and get creative! It is lots of fun and it will help keep your brain cells active. My personal home page is located at

http://members.tripod.com/fchao

As promised, the good news follows:

FreeI.net: a Free Internet Service

Another totally free Internet service is now available in the South Bay area where most GSBUG members live. "FreeI.net" (pronounced "Free Eye Dot Net") has V.90 56Kbps dial-up phone numbers, including an Inglewood number that should be a local phone call for almost all of you.

Their Inglewood dial up number is 310-491-9413. To determine if this number is local to your home phone, either look at the area maps at the front of your white pages phone book or call the

customer service phone number of your phone company. To get an Internet access account with FreeI.net, go to www.freei.net

At this website, you can either download their software into your computer or order their totally free setup CD-ROM. You can also obtain their software from Bob Hudak, our club librarian.

Like NetZero, FreeI.net also puts an advertising bar on your monitor. Unlike NetZeroís advertising bar however, FreeI.netís advertising bar is not movable: it firmly affixes itself at the top of your monitor screen. You may or may not like this. It installs itself all the way across your monitor but you can click on the left pointing arrow to make it a about an inch and a half narrower than the full width of your monitor. Try it and tell me what you think of it. The price is right!!

FreeI.net and NetZero Compatible

You can load both NetZero and FreeI.Net into the same computer. I have had the software for both providers on my Pentium computer for about a month now and neither has done anything to the other. Both of these providers work with Windows 95 or Windows 98. NetZeroís software also runs on Windows NT Workstation version 4 while FreeI.net does not mention support for NT on their web site.

If you have accounts at both of these free Internet Service Providers (ISPs), then, when one has a busy signal or some other problem, you can use the other, and vice versa. In other words, each would act as a redundant alternative for the other.

FreeI.Net versus NetZero E-mail

When you sign up, both ISPs provide you with a free e-mail account. However, NetZeroís e-mail system is based on "Post Office Protocol 3" ("POP3"), while FreeI.Netís e-mail is based in their Web server. FreeI.netís e-mail system cannot accept file attachments while NetZeroís e-mail system allows up to three file attachments per message. FreeI.Net has promised to resolve this deficiency soon. If you have accounts with both ISPs, you are certainly welcome to use both of their associated e-mail systems. For example, you could use one e-mail address for serious business activities and the other for communicating with your friends.

Improvements to GSBUG Website

Rich Bulow, our talented webmaster, has been applying his programming magic to the clubís Web site. He has changed the two graphics at the top of the main page to active GIF files: The computer graphic now has words flowing across itís screen and the former picture of a floppy diskette has been replaced with an active cartoon of a guy pounding on a computer. Take a look at it at www.lafn.org/community/gsbug

Rich says that there is a strong probability that he will move this site to another host Web server in the near future. I will keep you posted.

Changes to the Clubís Web Pages

I will continue updating the three Web pages that the former Web Development SIG has created:

"Membersí Web Pages" will continue to be located at http://members.tripod.com/fchao/members_web_ pages.htm

"Favorite Web Sites" will continue itís existence at http://members.tripod.com/fchao/favorite_sites.htm and a list of links to all of these "Internet Talk" articles will still be located at http://members.tripod.com/fchao/inettalk.htm

Recently, at the request of Rich Bulow, I added hyperlinks for three great Web sites to our "Favorite Web Sites" page:

www.bigstep.com is a free e-commerce site.

www.pcguide.com
is a guide for using computers and for solving computer problems.

www.getnetwise.com
provides information on protecting kids from dangers on the Internet.

There is so much wonderful information on the Internet !! You are really missing out if you do not have Internet access, especially when you now have two ways to get connected for free: NetZero and FreeI.Net.

Soon to be Available: Tritium

Tritium Network
is yet another free Internet service that will soon become available. You can learn about it at www.tritium.net They do not have any active dial-up phone numbers available yet. It says on their Web site that their service will be become available in the next few weeks. Hopefully, this third free ISP will become available soon. I will report about their progress in future months.

Reminder About Multiple ISPs

Please remember that, if you have more than one ISP, you have to set up your computer for a "multiple ISP"configuration. For lots of technical information about this, see www.lafn.org/webconnect/multiple.txt The most complicated situation is to have accounts with both the Los Angeles Free-Net (LAFN) and one of the above-mentioned free ISPs. This is because LAFN uses a proxy server for your Web browser software but the two above-mentioned free ISPs do not use a proxy server. Netscapeís Navigator 4 and Microsoftís Internet Explorer 5 both handle this complexity with ease, but earlier versions of these browsers are more difficult to configure (for having both a LAFN account and a free ISP account on the same computer). If you want details and advice about your specific setup and desired configuration, contact me or Herman Krouse, our hard-working Internet SIG leader.

DSL from Pac Bell and GTE

As each month passes, more and more homes in the South Bay area (of southern California) can get DSL fast Internet service. This service provides Web page downloads that are at least 10 times faster than a V.90 56Kbps modem. The price for DSL equipment is much lower here in California than in other parts of the country, so you owe it to yourself to look into it by calling either your local phone company or one of the ISPs that can also provide it for you. If you are interested and need to be pointed in the right direction, contact me.

No Free Internet for Linux Yet

After reading about Linux in various articles written in this newsletter by member Bill Paradee, I finally decided to try Linux. I have been experimenting with Red Hat Linux 6.0 instead of sleeping at night and I have learned a lot. I have been able to get it working with a PPP modem connection to commerical ISPís like LAFN and Earthlink. However, at present, it is not possible to make a dial-up Internet connection with Linux to either of the two freebie ISPs. Neither NetZero or FreeI.net support Linux. I am sure that this problem will be resolved in the future, but donít hold your breath.

Ways to contact me

If you have any questions or problems, I can be contacted by one of the following methods:

1 Leave a voice message for me at 310-768-8951.

2 Send me e-mail at

fchao2@yahoo.com

3 Send me "snail" US Postal Service mail at

Frank Chao, PO Box 6930, Torrance, CA 90504-6930.

Or sell your computer and take up bowling instead !

 

AMD

Presenting at our General Meeting on Sept 22

For our September meeting we are fortunate to have Mr. Lee Little of Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) who will tell us about the AMD K6-2 and K6-3 family of processors as well as what we can expect from the new Athlon (formerly the K-7) microprocessor.

Lee, who has been in the personal computer industry for 18 years, began his career as one of the first people at Epson, where he helped launch their first dot matrix printer. After a stint at Dell, Lee went to work for Nexgen Micro Systems. Nexgen, subsequently acquired by AMD, was the designer of the K6 series of microprocessors. Lee now directs AMD's West Coast Microprocessor sales team.

The introduction of the AMD K-6 2 with 3DNow! technology was a watershed event. This processor, fully compatible with the Microsoft Windows computing standard, offers compelling advantages for consumers. Nine out of ten of the world's top PC manufacturers offer systems powered by the K-6 family of processors and unit shipments of these processors has more than tripled in the past year.

The AMD K6-3 processor with 3DNow! Incorporates AMD's TriLevel Cache which is designed to enable leading-edge performance for today's consumer PC enthusiasts and business users. The innovative TriLevel Cache design maximizes the overall system performance by delivering one of the industry's largest maximum combined system caches, which results in higher system performance. It includes a full-speed backside 256KB Level 2(L2) cache and a 100-MHz frontside bus to an optimal external Level 3 (L3) cache. With a total of 320KB of combined L1 and L2 cache, the AMD-K6-3 processor has more internal cache memory than any other x86 CPU available today.

3DNow! Technology uses SIMD (Single Instruction Multiple Data) and other performance enhancements to enable a superior visual computing experience. This technology now has a ten-month time-to-market head start over competing CPU-based enhancement technologies. AMD processors with 3DNow! Span the complete range from desktop and mobile computing.

The all-new Athlon design features a number of compelling technological breakthroughs, including the industry's first mainstream 200 MHz system bus and the most architecturally advanced floating point capability ever delivered in a x86 microprocessor. With 3DNow! The Athlon offers seventh-generation design features that distinguish it from all previous generations of PC processors. PC World has reported that it will "outrun the Pentium".

 

 

Imation SuperDisk

Super Blooper

By Alex Ortolano,
 
E-Mail: ajotwo@aol.com

Just when I start to think that I am getting "Computer Smart", I do something that brings me back to reality. This is what happened with my Imation SuperDisk Drive a few days ago. The SuperDisk is great. It is fast and it holds more than a 100MB Zip Disk. The gap between a Super and a Zip is larger than you might think. The Super is advertised as 120MB and the Zip is advertised as 100MB. That is an easily calculated 20MB difference. Right? Wrong! The Zip, after formatting, is 95MB. The Super is formatted at the full 120MB.

Here is the reason for this warning to you, my fellow GSBUGGERS. Do not think that because the SuperDisk Drive also handles floppy 1.44MB disks that a Cleaning Disk for a 1.44MB floppy will work in a SuperDisk. Now that I have told you the bottom line, you are probably thinking to yourself that I really do not know a lot about computers. You may be right but it seemed like a good idea at the time.

Anyway, I put the 1.44 Cleaning Disk in and heard this awful noise for about five seconds. The result is that now, when I try to use a 1.44 floppy, it makes noise like it is about to function but that noise never stops until I eject the little bugger (and, heaven forbid, I have to eject with the drive light on).

That's the bad news. The good news is that the 120MB SuperDisks still work fine. The technical representatives at Imation are surprised the SuperDisks still work. They say, "You should have

ruined both and, by the way, your warranty does not cover this problem".

Now I have told you how dumb I am. If you decide to try and see if a 1.44 floppy Cleaning Disk will work on your Imation SuperDisk, I will be able to return the "compliment".

 

Adding A Second Parallel Port

By John Sullivan,

GSBUG

The Hardware SIG was held Thursday, July 15th, and boy was I ever glad! My neighbor had obtained a free video camera when she signed up with Earthlink, and she asked me to install it in her Pentium 90. It's one of those little ones that sits on top of your monitor so you can send pictures of yourself to friends over the Internet. The camera plugs into the computer's parallel port, which is the same place that the printer plugs in, but she didn't want to have to unplug one to plug in the other.

At first we talked about buying a switch box, so that she could switch between whichever device she wanted to use. But she has an inkjet printer, and I've always read that you should not use a "mechanical" type switchbox with these, but rather an "electronic" type. The mechanical types are just a regular switch mounted in a box, with a knob on the front for selecting which device you want to use. Electronic switches, however, are controlled through software (you open a program on your computer and use your mouse to select which device you want to use). Supposedly the mechanical ones might send an electrical "spike" to the printer when you make the switch, and damage it.

Also, she was thinking about buying a parallel port type scanner, which means she would need to switch between three devices! Well, mechanical and electronic switchboxes come in the common configurations of two-port or four-port so, in order to switch between three devices, she needed to buy a four-port switchbox. You can buy a cheap mechanical four-port switchbox for under $10 at the swap meet, but a good quality one will cost you about $30. I went price shopping for an electronic one at a place Rich Bulow suggested (a store called "US PC" on Inglewood), but they only had the two-port electronic kind. However, the guy was very helpful, and suggested I go to Fry's, so I did. Fry's has both two-port and four-port electronic switches (and also the mechanical ones), but the electronic four-port was $99!

We decided that was too much money, so I suggested adding a second parallel port to her computer. She stopped off at Best Buy and picked one up for about $30. The second parallel port is just another card that you can plug into your computer (on the inside) and you'll have another parallel port sticking out the back (just like the printer port that's already there). It's supposedly an easy setup, and in the end, I suppose it was, but I spent two days over the weekend, plus a couple of nights, and finally gave up on it! The computer simply would not recognize it. Like I said, I was really glad the Hardware SIG was being held that week!

Usually I go to the Hardware SIG just to watch Carl and the others work. I like to look at the different problems people bring in to see if I could've solved them if they had happened to me, and maybe learn a few things. This time I was bringing in a problem that I couldn't solve. But, like I said, it's supposedly an easy setup procedure, so I assumed that I would have been able to figure it out, given enough time. As there are usually people there with big problems who have no idea how to fix them, I was prepared just to sit on the sidelines, and maybe ask about my problem if the opportunity came up.

I tried to get there early, just in case there was time at the beginning of the meeting to squeeze in a question, but even though I got there at 7:20, Carl and the others were already there and setting up! Well, to make a long story a little shorter, it turned out that I was the only one who brought in a computer to be fixed, so it had the complete, dedicated attention of Carl Warner, Rich Bulow, Bob Hudak, Sheldon Chelsy and a few others for the whole 2 1/2 hours!

They tried everything!, but unfortunately we were not able to make the card work. Most of what they tried, I had already tried in the days before, but they did one thing that hadn't occurred to me: Carl installed the board in the computer he brought, and the darn thing worked the first time! So, after a bit more trying and discussing, we decided that the problem must be the motherboard in her computer, specifically an old BIOS chip that just didn't support a second parallel port.

Having recently upgraded my own computer, I had a leftover motherboard with a 200 MHz processor. The next day, I set it up with the second parallel port card, and it worked fine! The printer plugs into the regular printer port, and the camera plugs into the second port. Both can be operated separately, or at the same time, and you can capture a picture of yourself and send it right to the printer and print it out. So I installed the motherboard in my neighbor's computer, charged her a few bucks and now she's happy, and even offered to buy me dinner! When she gets her scanner, she can buy one with a parallel port connector, and it will have a "pass thru" port to plug the printer into, and all devices should still work together. However, the motherboard I sold her also has USB connections, so if she wants to spend the extra money, she can buy a USB scanner, which is faster, easy to setup (really), and may avoid any conflicts with sharing the port with the printer.

In the end, the second parallel port card was a cinch to install, and the instruction sheet included was very clearly written. It has the procedure for DOS/Windows 3, Windows 95 and 98, and even Windows NT! Just open the case, plug it in, start up the computer (this one was running Windows 98, which makes the whole process even easier), and when Windows wants the driver disk, put in the included floppy disk and go!

If you want to try installing one, first find out what type of card slots your computer has. These parallel port cards come in both ISA and PCI models, and all modern PC's should have both types of slots. The difference between the two is that you may have to move some jumpers on an ISA card to make it work with your computer. On the PCI type, the settings are done in software, mostly in "Device Manager". (To see it for yourself, click on the Start button, then Settings, Control Panel...double click the System icon, and then select the Device Manager tab...click on the name of the device in the list, and select Properties to change the settings.) Either way, you have to make sure that both your printer port and your new port work together, and that may entail "resolving some conflicts", as it's called. (After all, this ain't no Mac).

Adjusting the settings ("parameters") is pretty simple once you've done it a few dozen times, but the first time can be pretty confusing. You have three settings to resolve: the interrupt (called an IRQ), which basically "interrupts" the computer from what it's doing and makes it pay attention to the port, the memory address, and the DMA. You can leave the DMA until last, because it may adjust itself automatically based on the other settings; just keep it in mind. The IRQ (interrupt) is a different number for each device you have connected to your computer. For instance, the keyboard is probably IRQ 1, and can't be changed. Your modem is probably IRQ 3, and the mouse is probably IRQ 4. Your sound card may be 5, and your printer is usually on 7. You can view your current IRQ designations right now by going into Device Manager, and clicking once on the word "Computer" at the very top (unless it's already highlighted in blue), and then click once in the box labeled "Properties". A new window will open, which is probably already showing your devices listed by IRQ number. Just look it over and you'll see a few things that you recognize.

After you install your new second parallel port card, you may open Device Manager and find a yellow circle with a black exclamation point next to the name of the new device. This means that it's conflicting with something else, probably the printer, and you have to adjust it. You'll see a listing for "Ports (COM and LPT)", or something similar. Click once in the little box with the plus sign in it, and it will drop down. Click once on the listing for your printer, probably LPT1, and click on Properties. Another window will open up with three tabs near the top. Click on the one that says "Resources".

A window will open with a box that shows things like Interrupt Request, Input/Output Range, and Direct Memory Address. If these functions aren't available, go to the line that says "Use automatic settings" and click once in the box with the check mark in it, and the check mark should disappear. Now the line that says "Setting base on: " will become available, and you'll see a window with a scroll bar that says "Basic configuration 00" or something. Click on the down arrow, and a few basic configurations will appear. Select one and see if the IRQ, Input/Output, and DMA functions appear in the other window. Once you find a basic configuration that will let you adjust the IRQ, etc., you can click on each function and then select "Change Setting". This will bring up a window in which you can change each setting. Set your printer for IRQ 7, and Input/Output Range 378, or 0378, or 0378-037F, or whatever says "378". You can probably leave the DMA set at whatever appears, or you can set it to 03.

Now click on the "OK" box until you're back in Device Manager. Then select your second parallel port card, and do the same thing, but set the Input/Output Range to 0278-027F (or whatever says 278 in it), and set the IRQ to a number not already used (Remember when I told you to go into the list devices by IRQ and look around?...That will show you the IRQs already in use, and will give you an idea of which ones are available). Try:

LPT 1: IRQ 7

I/O 0378-037F

DMA 03

LPT 2: IRQ 9

I/O 0278-027F

DMA 01

Just fool around with it a bit until your settings for the first port (LPT1) are different from the settings for the second port (LPT2), and everything should work fine.

If not, bring it to the next Hardware SIG; those guys can fix anything! And remember, there's another Hardware SIG held on Tuesdays, after the DIG SIG, in the same place, so I'm sure you can make it to one of them!

Thanks again to Carl and all the others who were there when I needed them.

 

GoBack

By Bob Hudak

E-Mail: rsh532@aol.com
Web: http://members.tripod.com/BobHudak



GoBack by Wildfile is an unbelievable program. It's main job is to watch what you are doing on your computer, and when you mess up (through your own fault or by installing a new program that causes unfixable problems), it saves the day by taking you back in time. GoBack is available at Best Buy, Office Max, CompUSA or Wild File Inc. (1-888-945-3345). Check out their web site at: www.goback.com It is about a $70 program retail.

I put GoBack on the club computer to see how it works. I only used it for a limited time so I do not claim to be an expert. So what good is it? It can help you recover from the little mistakes that you make every now and then. For example, if you "save" a file instead of "save as" and you really wanted to keep the original file. Or if you downloaded your e-mail and by mistake deleted a message after reading it. Or cleaned out your recycle bin and then found out you really needed one of the files. Or upgraded to IE 5.0 and then, for some reason, wanted 4.0 back but failed to keep the old version. In all these cases, you can use GoBack to set your computer back to the way it was. So it would be as if you had never done these things! You can delete important files in Win 95/98 so that the computer will not boot at all, and GoBack can take you back in time and everything will be as it was. Believe it or not; it works!

Like any new program, you need to read the documentation and learn the limits of the program. I first tried to delete some files and bring them back - no problem! Next I decided to load MS Office 2000, a BIG program. I got in trouble at this point because I did not keep the limitations of GoBack in mind. By default, when installing GoBack, it sets up 10 percent of your hard drive for use in keeping track of your activities. You can custom install and allocate as much space as you feel you will need. The amount of space is the key to how far back in time you can go. Also, the amount of changes you are making to your system is a factor.

The club computer has a 3GB hard disk so 10 percent is 300 MB. That seemed like a lot, but it wasnít enough for the Office 2000 install. I wanted to install it and then go back to the way it was before. The first thing that was installed was IE 5.0. This program acts like it is part of Windows 98 and it is hard to remove. As Word and Excel and the other parts of Office were installed, GoBack ran out of room to keep track of all the changes.

GoBack sets "safe points" that are places in time that you can go back to. If I had read more on how to use the program, I would have just loaded one or two pieces of the Office program and then used GoBack to turn the clock back. If I had only installed IE 5.0, which changes Windows 98 itself, this would have let me revert to the way it was for a really nice test. Sorry about that.

There were a couple of things I did not like about GoBack. One is that I could not find any way to adjust the amount of space the program used except by uninstalling and then using a custom install to reinstall. Also, there are cases that require you to disable GoBack, like when you want to work on your drive's partition tables using Partition Magic. I thought that when I elected to disable GoBack, it would be like not running some other program. For example, like disabling your virus program when doing an install. WRONG! When you disable GoBack, it takes a long time. Sorry, I did not clock it. We did this at the DIG SIG and it must have taken ten minutes. It was slow going, so we walked over to another group to see what they where doing. Beside taking a lot of time, it wipes out all of its records of changes you made. It probably is a toss up whether it is faster to uninstall or disable. This program works in the background, so the faster your computer is, the less noticeable it will be.

This "time travel software" is the start of a new group of utility programs. I was fascinated by it. I think it can bail out a lot of computer users from major problems with just a little planning. It can do things that Microsoftís Emergency Rescue Utility cannot. Check it out for yourself.

 

Yeah Write

By Charlie Frank,

GSBUG

This is the wrong approach, but my first impression when Yeah Write opened was not positive. The screen is done in weak crayons. The Tab (folder) Buttons at the top (twelve to start, you can add or delete) from bright red for "Address" to the yellowy green for "YW (Yeah Write) Info" are not bad, but that pastelly lilac for the screen set me back. A user might feel mis-dressed if his/her drawers aren't lacy. Click the "Color" radio button at the bottom and pick your delight. I chose white and grey with black type.

Yeah Write is really like an igloo. You crawl in, you do your word processing thing, and you don't come out until youíre through. If you want to work on text from some other file, you import it, still just do your thing, and save it within Yeah Write or export it. The import/export is a little awkward, but if you stay in the igloo everything is duck, er, walrus soup.

Write a letter, print it, setup the envelope main and return addresses, print it. I got the return address in the right place the first time, a rare triumph for me. You want to make an entry in your Diary (one of those buttons at the top), click the Diary button. E-Mail (send, can't get), General, Journal, Faxes, Letters, Memos, To Do, just click 'em and use 'em or change the name to your needs. I made a School tab and worked on updating and editing many remnants of my El Camino College days and nights. And they're all sitting there awaiting my return. The last button is "YW (Yeah Write) Info". Its content, as all the rest of the info, is done in my kind of plain English: to the point and understandable from the first crack.

Each of the Tab buttons (from Address to YW Info) can have subtabs (you can add or delete). Letters subs are Business, Business return address, Envelope, Envelope return address, Personal. There's a spellchecker with an U.S. English dictionary (it found "putative"). Other dictionaries, a medical and 12 other languages, can be downloaded. You can Bold, Underline, Italicize. There are also Special Characters and Sort, Screen Colors and Sizing.

Separate screen faces are called Drawers. There can be 36 drawers (26 letters and 10 numbers) and each can be password locked (good enough to keep out dummies and little kids). Each drawer can have its row of Tab buttons specialized to suit you.

A little "inside" info: I was told that Yeah Write was developed by the former owner and friends from WordPerfect. I can see their plot: when they were through practicing, they peddled WordPerfect and went to work on Yeah Write. That name: Yeah Write! and I never believed anyone from WordPerfect had a sense of humor. But they have done a "fun thing" with Yeah Write.

It is a small Windows program that takes less then 2MB of hard disk space. Cost about $20. Word Place Inc is the company and you can reach it at 801-221-7777 or www.wordplace.com By USPS mail: 11 East 200 North, Suite 201, Orem, Utah 84057

 

More About Street And Mapping Programs

By Dorothy O'Brien,

GSBUG

After reviewing Street Wizard version 6.0 (1998) and telling people about it, two friends gave me two other mapping programs, AAA's MapíNíGo, and Rand McNally's Street Finder Deluxe, both 1998 editions. I'm retiring from full-time teaching this summer, and people expect me to travel a LOT! So far, I've been reading travel articles, magazines, booklets, and checking street/mapping programs. I probably should tell about the two products in separate articles. But this is the traveling season, so here we go.

The most extensive program is Street Finder Deluxe as it has two CDs. It was the least expensive program to purchase, $1.99 at Microcenter in Orange County, near ACP. (where the swap meet is every other month), a clearance sale item which won't last long. The western part of the U.S. is on one CD, and the eastern part is on the other. It uses little "push-pins" to indicate an address you select and prints out the address on a line by the pin. The line may cover another part of the map you may want to see, so try various ways to view or print. I use a 24-pin Panasonic dot-matrix printer which works fine with this program. Street Finder Deluxe has the complete Mobil Travel Guide information inside it. You can create a personal address book of local contacts, and phone numbers. You can make itineraries with airline, hotel, and car rental reservations. A money minder provides tips and tools to save travel dollars. There are lots more ways to use this program, and a tutorial to help figure it all out. Street Wizard can link with your database or contact manager, but I didn't try that yet. (See my previous article for more information.)

MapíNíGo opens with a car dashboard welcome screen which gives you a demo of how to use it. It has the AAA travel research and ratings; you can't get better than that. It has kid's travel activities for the family. If you are into making a picture album, for print-out or e-mail, you can. I didn't. I tried printing some things; an itinerary printed out fine. Maps aren't so good on a dot-matrix; they need an ink-jet color printer to get the best quality. Although it has all these features, it does not have every street in the country; it has "one million miles of routable roadways". Finding my daughter's hide-a-way homes in the Colorado countryside was "iffy". Street Wizard has over "30 million streets" and Street Finder Deluxe has two CDs of unlimited streets. So you decide what features mean the most to you.

All these programs find airports. MapíNíGo and Street Finder Deluxe do better than just give latitude and longitude like Street Wizard. That's plenty for the average user, but if you have your own Global Positioning System, you can use it with these other two programs.

What did they add to the 1999 versions? For what price? I don't know what the retail price is for these programs at this time. I looked at the supply of similar street/map and related programs at CompUSA and was impressed with the quality and price range. You won't go broke even if buying a bunch.

Requirements for MapíNíGo are 486DX66, 8 MB RAM, 10 MB hard disk space, 256 color monitor, Super VGA graphics, CD drive, mouse, Windows 95 or NT 4.0. From DeLorme, 2 DeLorme Drive, P.O. Box 298, Yarmouth ME 04096, www.delorme.com., 207-846-7000. Additional related products are available.

Requirements for Street Finder Deluxe are: 256 color monitor, VGA card, double-speed CD drive, 486, 24 MB hard disk space, 8 MB RAM, and Windows 95 or NT 4.0. From Rand McNally New Media, 8255 N. Central Park Ave., Skokie IL 60076-2970. Additional related products are available.

 

BeOS R4.5...Another WOW !

By Rich Bulow, GSBUG

E-Mail: ax718@lafn.org

Web:http://members.tripod.com/bulowr
 

With so much success when installing BeOS 4.0 for the first time, I had no hesitation in upgrading to version 4.5 as soon as I received it. I took a quick glance at the installation guide and off I went. As promised, it took only a few clicks of the mouse to answer questions as to what partition I wanted to install the OS into and to agree to their license agreement. Sixteen minutes later I was done. Things went as planned, except that the instructions stated to keep an eye on the icons at the bottom of the screen, and I found them near the top of the screen. So, OK, one little flaw. I updated my existing version with the new version and all my settings were preserved. My modem was still there and working, my sound card can still do it's thing, and the browser, NetPositive, still has the proxy settings.

My only wish is for a little more detailed instructions on updating from a previous version: whether to initialize/not initialize the existing partition, and whether to install/bypass the installation of the Boot Manager. I bypassed the installation of the Boot Manager, since I already had it installed from the previous version, and I am not sure if the old version or the new version is running. Some changes have been made from the previous version but, whatever version is there, it is still working properly.

Some new applications are bundled with this new version. "Camera" lets you download and view digital pictures. CodyCam is a mini-webcam application that provides you with a real-time desktop viewing window. MediaPlayer is a new application that lets you play a variety of audio and video file formats including AIFF, Wav, Au, MPEG, AVI and QuickTime. Sound Recorder is a simple audio recorder application. 3D Mixer is a sound mixer that lets you edit and mix sounds in real time with two separate views: a time view and a space view.

A new icon also appeared on my desktop, labeled Third Party, which included eleven applications. So far, I have only taken a peek at two; Eddie is a programmer's editing tool, and NetPenguin is an FTP application.

I like the way that Be promotes developersí efforts. You may hesitate at purchasing this OS but applications are being made available every day. A program is probably already available for tasks that you do everyday. BeOS programs may not have all the functions of some of the Windows programs but the basics are there.

I have only found one other flaw so far. I now have two icons on my desktop for "Welcome To BeOS.html" that point to the same file. Two clicks of the mouse and one of them is now in the trash. My desktop is clean again.

A little word on WorkSpaces, which are similar to a desktop in Windows. It seems that, if you work on more that one project at the same time, you can have all of the applications associated with one project in one workspace and all of the applications for another project in another workspace. I have always had a problem with the Windows Taskbar because you may see two windows for an application and not know which one belongs to which project without moving the cursor over the entry to see what pops up.

Final remarks: if you are new to computers, this new OS is a good choice. I find it fairly easy to learn and, being limited to basic applications, you may find it easier to understand and use than most of the more advanced and complicated applications for Windows. If you are an experienced user, you will be impressed with the speed.

Contact: BeOS, 800 El Camino Real, Ste. 400, Menlo Park, CA. 94025

Phone: (650) 462-4100

www.be.com, Email: info@be.com

 

Software Library News

By Bob Hudak

E-Mail: rsh532@aol.com
Web: http://members.tripod.com/BobHudak



I do not know why but last month I did not tell you about the new CD that I put together to bring your computer and some of the software you might be using, into readines for Y2K. "CD-3" has upgrade patches to make WIN 95, WIN 98, MS OFFICE 95, MS OFFICE 97, and IE 4.0 Y2K compliant. If you are using any of these programs you need to patch them now. Also on the same CD are the patches that John Sullivan talked about last month that will give you privacy on your Office 97 documents. It will turn off the ID numbers that Microsoft Office puts into your documents. Also there is an erase program that will take the ID marks out of all your old documents. Of course there is also a copy of NetZero AND a copy of FreeI, the 2 totally free internet service that Frank Chao tells you about this month. This CD will make you Y2K compliant and set you up on two FREE internet services. If one has a problem, log on two the other. What a deal. Disk # 4 also from last month has a few new programs added. It started out with REGCLEAN. Then CLEAN SYS was added along with Ranish Partition Manger. This is a nice package of programs to clean up your system.

Over time the Windows system directory can become cluttered up with unused DLL's (program libraries) which waste disk space and slow the system down. The more files there are in your system directory, the longer the system takes to locate a file there. Clean Sys scans your system looking for all references to DLL files in your Windows system directory. Those DLL files in the system directory that have no programs calling on them can be moved out of the system directory, saving disk space and improving system performance.

Rich Bulow says "I found a free partitioning utility called Ranish is not as flexible as Partition Magic. Ranish includes a boot manager and a way to save and restore all the partition table for up to four hard drives. This is worth putting in the library if for nothing else then to save oneís Master Boot Record (MBR) in a safe place. If you are using it on a new system, you will need a bootable floppy before you enter itís install.bat command. If you are using it on an existing system, you will need to unzip this to a tempory folder and then copy the format.com program to this folder if it is not in your path statement as to where to find it. It is already unzipped on the floppy so you can look at the read.me file and run the install.bat program. This program saves and restores your MBR. It can create up to 31 bootable partitions on your hard drive.

There are only a few raffle tickets left for MS Office 2000. Only 50 tickets are being sold. Your odds of winning are pretty good. See me before it is too late.

Here is a follow up on Norton Utilities from one of our members, Alex Ortolano:

"Bob,I saw your article in the Newsletter about Norton. Here is what I think...I have mixed emotions about Norton System Works & Norton Utilities (I just upgraded to System Works a couple months ago). It gives me a good feeling to know that Big Brother is watching my computer. When I have System Doctor monitoring my system, it periodically will come on & say I am having a problem & asks if I want to fix it. I say Ok & it does "something" & tells me what it did & I feel better, I am afraid of a lot of it because I am afraid to whip out things to make space...Cleansweep, Wipe Info, etc. I fear I will wipe out something I need. Crash Guard is a "pain".

It keeps coming up & telling me I have a problem & sometimes I wonder about it. The biggest FIX that I experienced was my "phantom drive problem". I had this for months & months. I talked to everyone I could get to listen to me at GSBUG, my instructor & fellow students at El Camino College, Microsoft,

Norton/Symantec, AOL, Jeff, Levy, my smart son-in-law, etc. No one could help. The problem was that A: Floppy, Syquest Drive & SuperDisk Drive (after I replaced Syquest Drive with a SuperDisk) would not recognize that a different disk had been installed in the drive. It would continue to tell me the old disk was still in there. After I installed System Works, I ran a few of their Utilities & the problem has gone away and the problem has not returned in months. I do not know what Norton did but I give it the credit. I am sure it is slowing down my computer but I think it is worth it. Alex O."

 

Bits & Bytes of Information

By William A. Parradee,

GSBUG

 

Y2K Patch for Windows 95

Microsoft has a Y2k patch for Windows 95. No need to go to Windows 98. The patch will use abut 10Mb a space. It asks you to upgrade Internet Explorer to IE4.01 Service Pack 2. This will use up between 50Mb and 80Mb on your hard drive. For information about the Y2K patch for Windows 95, go to:

www.microsoft.com/windows/downloads/bin/w95/y2kw95.txt

Digital Village Discussions

Speakers on the Digital Village radio program stated that Microsoft is considering ideas for a yearly fee to renew the license to use their software. They could build in a yearly expiration so that renewal for a fee would be required before you could continue to use their software. For example, Windows 2000 may have a recycle built in to require yearly updates or renewals. A uniform state law is proposed that would outlaw reverse engineering and make it easier for software companies to change terms of their licenses without your permission. This is in contrast to Linux's expansion and to all the free to use software that is being generated. The Digital Village radio program is aired every Saturday morning for 10 to 11 on KPFK at 90.7 Mhz. The politics of software is often discussed. An author often talks about a recently published book too. In case you haven't read the fine print that comes with software, it usually says you are only granted a license to use it and that the license can be revoked. Now the talk is about renewable licenses.

Java for Windows

According to the August 13 issue of MicroTimes, Microsoft lost to Sun Microsystems in the courts for using its Java license to make a proprietary version of it. IBM's Woodward says, "Java was designed for the bottom to the top to be a cross-platform technology..."

If I understand it right, programs created in Java are expected to run on more than one operating system (OS) including Windows. Microsoft doesn't seem to like that concept.

Another approach to the problem is to make an OS that will run programs designed for many of the other OSs:

What is Freedows?

Freedows
is a free OS (operating system) being developed under the GNU Public License. It's based on a design that will allow it to run programs from multiple OSs simultaneously. It is expected to run programs created for Windows, Macintosh, Linux, and others. Programmers from around the world are donating their time. The The project lead is Reece K. Sellin. E-mail: freedows@mail.ocis.net. He is located in Kamloops, BC, Canada. For more information about Freedows, go to:

www.freedows.net/english/faq.html

Using Internet Services

If you have questions about FTP, e-mail, or other basic Internet services,

please go to

http://www.cs.indiana.edu/docproject/zen/zen-1.0_toc.html

for "Zen and the Art of the Internet". This document is the original beginners guide to Internet usage".

E-mail Etiquette

When responding to an e-mail message, most e-mail clients will include the original message with some sort of character prefixed on every line, usually a greater-than symbol, ">". Please delete as much unnecessary information from the original post as possible, while still maintaining continuity of the conversation. This includes extraneous headers and information from the previous post that is not relevant to the reply.

Google: A New Search Engine

Google is said to be one of the fastest and most comprehensive search engines on the Web. For a plain search without special features try:

http://www.google.com

Searching for Personal Names

If you search for James Doolittle you may get a huge number of entries for James and more for Doolittle. To narrow the search type "James Doolittle" or whatever name you want in quotation marks. Quotation marks cause most search engines to look for sites with both names in it. That decreases the number of hits and increases your chances of finding something useful.