The Bug Report

The only Bug that's good for your computer!
A Publication of the Greater South Bay PC Users Group
Volume 21 Number 09
September 2003

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.

STAFF
Editor - Kay Burton
 
 

FEATURE ARTICLES:-


INTERNET TALK

PERSPECTIVES

SOFTWARE LIBRARY NEWS

ALOHA  CARL WARNER
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
PERSPECTIVES
By Dr. John Hanson

Topics for September
1.  M Ram to the Rescue
2.  Oleds to replace LCDs
3.  Bloomba Sounds Better than IE 6
4.  256 mb SD Flash Memory at 25 cents/mb
5.  RFID Tags on Everything
6.  Sandex Report
7.  Benefits of a Digital Camera
8.  64 bit Chips Coming
9.  Ink Jet Printer Inks
10. LA Free Net is still a good ISP
11. Broadband Internet
12. Integrated Graphics Card
13. Notebook Computers
14. Batteries at 99 Cents Store
 

1.  M Ram to the Rescue:  One reason I don't use Windows very much is that it takes too long to boot whereas DOS is very fast o you can boot up, do your work and turn it off.  On the horizon s a new magnetic Ram called M Ram which like flash memory does not lose everything when you turn off the power.  With this M Ram you won't have to boot up any more as everything is saved.  Of  course, if you have a crash you will want to erase the Ram and start over so booting will still be useful.

2.  OLed to Replace LCDs:  Kodak's Easy Share LS633 digital camera has this lovely view panel.  It can be seen from almost ny angle and doesn't hog batteries like LCDs.  Imagine what it would be like with OLeds on a monitor.  OLed stands for Organic light Emitting Diode.  Unfortunately, this camera is not sold in he US yet.

3.  Bloomba Sounds Better than IE 6:  Page 18 of July PC World has all the details.  With Bloomba you can sort thru your e-mail nd find what you want more quickly.  It's from Stata Labs and a ree beta version is available with a 10 mb download.  Go to ind.PCWorld.com/35591

4.  256 mb SD Flash Memory at 25 cents/mb:  When on sale you can et a 128 mb SD card for 31 cents/mb at Frys and often you have to wait for a rebate and it's not even a name brand.  Costco is not always the cheapest but on July 27 I bought two 256 mb San Disk cards for about $65 a piece and I don't even have a digital camera that uses that format but Emmett Ingram does so he got one and I kept the other.  It is great to keep in your card reader or transferring large files quickly.  Costco also has Compact flash but I didn't check the price as I have a lot of those already.

5.  RFID Tags on Everything;  RFID stands for Radio Frequency Identification.  It is about the size of a grain of salt and can be implanted in the clothes and other things you buy.  Thus when you walk into a store wearing anything with one of these tags, your name can appear on the store's computer with various information you may not want known.  Read the details on page 40 of PC World.  Since the cost may be only 5 cents each I may want to include them in all my Tootie products.

6.  Sandex Report:  The Southwest User Group association met over the weekend of 8 Aug in San Diego and it was very well done as usual with over 200 attendees from all over California and Arizona.  Representing our club was president Doc. Sexton, Doc.Virginia Pfiffner, Bill Champlin, Jack and Kay Burton and Doc. Hanson.  Judy Taylour and Pat Hill did an outstanding job in putting the whole Sandex convention together.  There were many sponsors but their meals were not up to the standards of the past except for MIcrosoft, which was terrific but then Microsoft had a boring young lady talk on and on.  You would think that on
something so special they would bring in one of their good speakers.  When the Microsoft leader, Allan, realized he was saddled with this girl he should have done the program himself as he is an interesting, enthusiastic speaker.  He could have used the girl in some minor parts so that she wouldn't feel left out.  The subject was Office 2003 which in itself was not very appealing to the group.  I could have looked around to see how many were asleep but I was asleep myself as the girl droned on and on.  Microsoft made the same mistake at Comdex in Las Vegas with a terrific dinner followed by a dull speaker but other dinner speakers from Microsoft have been excellent such as when Bill Gates spoke to our group in person and at another dinner one of his right hand men.   In contrast, the girls from Smart Computing and Paint Shop Pro did an outstanding job talking about their products.  It is a shame that Bonnie was not there as her company, Cassady & Green,
which has been an ardent supporter for years, had to close its doors.  Doc Sexton was one of the presenters and gave the same wonderful medical report he gave our club.  He also provided all the technical audio visual support for the various presenters.  One of the best programs was the one given on Digital Cameras by an old time photographer which gave the other expert photographer, George Margolin, time to take lots of pictures of the convention.  At the vendor fair Epson showed off the 925 Photo printer and other printers which produce fantastic results.  Imagine a photo of about 18 x 24 from only a 2 megapixel camera, which George uses.  I have an identical Olympus C-2100 but so far can not get the great results that George gets but I am still trying.  It was pointed out that a good lens is more important than the megapixels so be careful when buying a digital camera.  Be especially cautious in following any of the recommendations of Consumers Reports and magazines like PC Photo and prolific photography writers like Arthur Bleich.  Consumer Reports seems to have trouble finding talented technical people and the other magazines have to be careful not to say anything that might displease their advertisers.  Another of the highlights of the Sandex convention was Intel's support of wireless for laptops.  I didn't have time to check it out but Bill Champlin and others were delighted.  Intel set up a wireless station in a van outside the hotel so anyone with a wireless laptop could connect to the Internet.  Via Technologies has come out with their own chip and motherboard in an ATX format and it's only about eight inches square.  One of the vendors had it at Sandex and I was impressed at how much it offered for such a low cost.  Check out Via's web site for details.  Frys sells a similar small one but so far the price is quite high.

7.  Benefits of a Digital Camera:  We all know that it's great to be able to see your pictures right away and also that you can shoot hundreds of pictures at no cost and easily delete any that are not useful.  All professional photographers have always taken hundreds of pictures in order to get a few good ones.  With our computers we always get all kinds of error and warning messages.  When they bug you too much have your digital camera handy and take a picture of the screen using the macro mode.  If you have a print screen program you can often print the message but when that doesn't work the digital camera will save you.  If you like to work with tools and fix things like many of our engineers do, it is great to be able to take close up pictures of things before you take them apart.  For electronic
items you can take pictures of the inside so you don't have to take off the cover to check on things the pictures might provide.  Fred Vogel and I like to use ACDSee to manage our pictures and even print out quick pictures or contact sheets.  Sometimes I resize the picture in Photoshop, Elements, or Paint Shop Pro so I can paste a copy of the circuits on the bottom of the electronics unit.  You could even take a picture of the inside of your computer focusing on the memory bank so you can remember how many free slots you have.  The marvelous BelArc program will tell you what amount of memory you have and in how many slots but I have found a number of errors so you need to verify.

8.  64 bit Chips Coming:  The 32 bit processors currently in use can address up to 4 gb of memory which is way more than most of us need.  Even on the Dr. Hanson Special computer I recommend only 256 mb and in one slot so you can double it later if you wish.  Photoshop likes a much memory as it can get so those users could get 512 mb or even 1 gb in their current machines.  In theory 64 bit chips can address 16 billion gigabytes but the new AMD chip will probably only address 8 gb or twice what is available now.  Don't hold your breath to buy one as you will need a new operating system.  For details check out page 32 of PC
World for September.

9.  Ink Jet Printer Inks:  So far most of our members have been satisfied with the very inexpensive inks supplied by CSI on 190th Street just east of Western.  I found them about two years ago and have found that the owner, Charlie, is very reputable and does a good job insuring that the inks he buys are good.  In fact, his ink cartridges are so cheap it doesn't pay to refill your old cartridges except maybe in the case of HP printers.  Page 22 of September PC World has a long article on inks but save yourself the trouble as I don't have much confidence in this author and just buy Charlie's inks or those of Don Baker, both of  whom sell at the TRW swap meet.  PC World does point out that some inks are really bad or the cartridges don't fit so be cautious of other vendors.  I would be suspicious of any mail
order inks.

10.  LA Free Net is still a good ISP:  For about 5 dollars a month the service is excellent and well run.  For the best advice read Frank Chau's articles as he is the club's best expert on the Internet.  My wife has Earthlink but it's more expensive and really not any better.  Frank thinks Net Zero is very good but I haven't tried it yet as I am very satisfied with Lafn.  If you haven't done so yet you need to be aware there are two places in Windows you need to check to find out about your
Internet connection.  One is under My Computer, then click on Internet networks, and then right click on Lafn and then on Properties to find where the telephone number is that your computer dials.  The other place is in Control Panel.  Click on Internet and on the many tabs to see what it says.  Be cautious about changing
anything if your Internet is working fine.  There is one tab which results in about 30 features you can turn on or off by putting a check mark in the box.  One of those tabs also has choices for setting your Cookie risk level.  On the Internet go to www.Lafn.org and see what it has to offer.  You can even register there.

11.  Broadband Internet:  Yes, it's much faster but it costs more than Dial Up like Lafn above.  Herman Krause had bit the bug and installed Road Runner and he is very pleased so far.  When he was helping me with one of my computers with Dial Up he was reminded how slow it was compared to his.  For me I think Lafn is best but our computer repair expert, Rich Bulow, would like it better if one could have two hours on without redialing so he can download bigger files.  At the moment Lafn restricts members to only one hour during peak hours so I download large files late at night.  If you are considering Broadband read the article starting on page 127 of September PC World.  The author is quite good.

12.  Integrated Graphics Card:  When the integrated graphics became good enough I recommended it for the Dr. Hanson Special Computer for most of our members.  If you have grandchildren who are heavy into the latest games you may want to spend a little more and get a fancy graphics card.  For details check out page 34 of September PC World but in general I would never buy anything made by Gateway.

13.  Notebook Computers:  Page 140 of PC World lists various notebooks they have selected but have not included the Fujitsu I recommended last month for only $1300 at Frys.  Not only does it have a built in floppy drive but also a slot to read an SD flash memory card plus all the standard goodies.  On TV Dell is advertising one for $700 but I don't know what you get.  My older Dell Latitude is still working very well.  When you see lists like this one in PC World or PC Mag take them with a grain of salt and do your own checking.  Still they are a good place to start.

14.  Batteries at 99 Cents Store:  Normally batteries are not a good buy at this interesting store but among the many poor quality items are some good buys if you go frequently and look for bargains.  Their marketing strategy is a well known one where you only have a limited supply displayed even tho they have thousands more.  Since you won't find any tomorrow you buy more today.  It also depends on which store so these good batteries were at the store on 190th St. near Anza.  Sometimes when one store is out you can find the same items at another store.  It was hard to believe they had name brand nine volt alkaline batteries for only 99 cents each.  I bought ten and measured the voltage on each and all were good.  I also bought 12 of the alkaline C cells but two were zero volts so be sure to
measure them, save your receipt and take them back.

Editorís 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
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
INTERNET TALK
By Frank Chao

 
 
 
 

This is the 61st "Internet Talk" article and the seventeenth newsletter that has been compiled by editor Kay Burton.

Based on the e-mail messages and phone calls that I have been receiving from various GSBUG members, I hope you are aware of the fact that computers break as often as used cars.

You nice folks continue to tell me sad tales of woe about broken printers, monitors, keyboards, hard drives, mice, modems, etc.
Every piece of your computer system will eventually fail, so when any part of your computer fails, repair or replace it and keep on computing.

You can get knowledgeable about repairing computers at the various excellent hardware SIGs.  At these events you can developing a basic working knowledge and watch other club members struggling with all sorts of computer failures.

If you need some expert help, you can also hire Rich Bulow to help you with computer problems of any type. His ad appears in this newsletter. Liz and I recommend him highly.

Also, you can get in-store and on-site technical assistance. See    http://www.compusa.com/tech_services/default.asp  for details.

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: fchao@pacbell.net
2.  Leave me a voice message at      (310)768-3896.
3.  Send "snail" U.S. Postal Service mail to

 Frank Chao
 PO Box 6930
 Torrance, CA 90504-0030.

Or sell your computer and take up golf instead !!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
SOFTWARE LIBRARY NEWS
By BOB HUDAK

I want to start off by congratulating Jack Burton on being appointed to Director At Large position by President Gary Sexton. Jack agreed to take the position left vacant when Carl Warner moved to Hawaii. I'm sure Jack's picture and full story is on the front page. Elections are next month and I hope all candidates running for the Board Of Directors positions are listed in our newsletter. If you would like to be a nominee for any of the positions, call George Austin at 375-7213, and he will see that you are on the ballot.

Last month at the general meeting I talked about a program to recover deleted files. Sometime you click on the file and delete it. Depending on how you have your computer set up it might go to the Recycle Bin or to bit heaven. If it is in the Recycle Bin it is easy to get back. If not, you have a problem. The thing to remember is not to start writing to your hard drive till you recover the lost file. I have this recovery program on a CD in the Library that will recover the lost file. It does a better job on files that you deleted by holding down the shift key while deleting then the ones that were deleted from the Recycle Bin. Recovering files from Recycle Bin dumps are renamed in sequence so only the extension might give you a clue as to what file you are looking for. Maybe the date would help. The deleted files that are not sent to the Recycle come up with the full file name. You can run this program from the CD or install it on a partition that you will not need to recover files from. You cannot recover files from the drive the program is running on. Best to use it right from the CD on any of your drives. I  hope you do not have a need for this utility but when you do it would be nice to have it on hand. One of our members lost a number of pictures from a digital camera memory card a while back. Pictures that could not be taken again. This program could have recovered them.(He did it again! This time he used the program and recovered all the pictures) Call and order a copy.  You should practice this operation before you need it for real. I can bring the CD to the Hardware Sig on Tuesdays for pickup. The next program I brought to the meeting was a program on a 3 1/2" floppy that lets you bootup your NT-based system if you forgot the password. This will work on a Windows 2000 or Windows XP system. If you tried several times to logon several times and failed, you will be locked out. This program will unlock the machine and allow you to enter a new password. This is not a high need program but there may come a time when you wish you had it. It is in the Library.

I am leading the Tue. Hardware Sig. Every Tue. at the Torrance Scout Center from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM. If you are bring a computer in for repair, call me first and let me know what the problem you are having is so I can prepare for it.  The SIG is a big RAM session beside just fixing computer problems. So come down and visit. Greg Neumann has been helping out with software programs that he is knowledgeable in. Harry Goldstein helps with hardware and software problems. Harry likes to be on the cutting edge of new technology so he is a great resource. You can't help but learn something every week. Harold Coccamise showed us were we can get AAAA batteries really cheap last week. Like 6 for
a dollar. Yes, 4 A's.  That is not a misprint. Jack Noble helps out with PhotoShop questions. Dr. Hanson helps all from Dos to flash lights. So come on down and learn or help someone with your expertise.

With all the news about viruses and worms getting into everyone's computer lately, I have a fix for you. Use a second computer for Internet work only. After down loading a file and checking it out you can move it to your main working machine. If you do get a virus, FDISK the drive, format and reload your operating system and ISP software. You are ready to go. Reloading can be done from a CD that has a image of your hard drive on it. I am not going into the details at this time. I have a few computers that will more then fill the bill to do this and they are $100.00 and less. Clean and ready to do the job.  E-mail me for more information at     rsh532@aol.com
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Aloha Carl Warner 
Photo by Pamela Harrision

Carl Warner, a long time GS-BUG member, a Director on the GS-BUG BOD and Hardware Sig leader for many years will probably be in his new home on the big island of Hawaii. The GSBug Board voted to give him a lifetime membership in the club. He was presented with this by our president, Gary Sexton, at the July general meeting. As far as I know, he is only the second member to receive this lifetime membership award. Michael Immel, the club's first president, was the first member to receive the award. On July 1st we had a brown bag luncheon with Carl under the great shade trees at the Scout Center during our regular Hardware Sig meeting. Many members of the Dig Sig came down especially to tell Carl "Aloha". The Dig  Sig is not meeting in July but will be back in August. Carl was presented a "Certificate of Appreciation" by Pamela Harrison who was standing in for Gary Sexton. Carl was almost at a loss for words. He did have a big smile on his face though. Everyone gave him their best wishes for a smooth move and wanted to know when the welcome mat would be out.   Carl will be greatly missed.