The Bug Report

The only Bug that's good for your computer!
A Publication of the Greater South Bay PC Users Group
Volume 20 Number 04
April 2002
A monthly publication of
GS-BUG Inc. (c) copyright 1996.
Reproduction of any material herein by any means is expressly prohibited unless written permission is granted. Exception: Articles may be reprinted by other users groups in unaltered form if credit is given to the author and the original publication.

Editor - Kay Burton






Shareware disks are available at the General Meeting for $3.00 per floppy disk and $5.00 per CD. Charges are to recover duplication and distribution costs
Windows XP Raffle Drawing
At our general meeting on Feb 4th I sold the last few tickets for our raffle drawing of Windows XP Pro. There were 50 chances total sold. Virginia Pfiffner was asked to pull the winning ticket out of the box. Virginia did not have a chance in this drawing because she already had the program and was using it. She said she likes it very much. OK, drum roll, the winner was Hal Black! Hal purchased four chances. So what were his odds of winning?   I would say, pretty good. Thanks to all that took a chance. Proceeds will be used for the good of the club.
Bob Hudak
Web page:
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by Frank Chao


Welcome to the 44th article in the Internet Talk series. Liz and I wish to express our heartfelt thanks to Vernon Lym for being our editor for the past 23 months. The job of newsletter editor is the hardest and most time-consuming volunteer job that our club has. We are looking forward to working with our new newsletter editor, Kay Burton, in future months. Neptune Networks has placed Internet access terminals at various locations throughout Los Angeles International Airport.  These terminals provide a speedy connection for Internet Explorer.  The fee for using these terminals is 25 cents a minute with a $3 minimum. You can pay by means of cash or credit card.
Neptune Networks has also placed their Internet terminals at some of the jury rooms at courthouses throughout Los Angeles county.
To learn more about Neptune Networks, go to
Liz and I went to the Computer Marketplace swap meet at the Santa Monica Civic Center on Saturday March 9th: This new location takes the place of the Buena Park location which is no longer being used.   For information about this recurring computer event, see  See you there !
DSL and cable modem connections are known as “broadband” connections.  According to Joe DeRouen, in the March issue of Computer User magazine,
if you have a broadband Internet connection, you can go to  http://www.  which provides links to many Websites that test the upload and/or download speed of your connection.  Try it and let me know what you find out.
Based on my latest trips to Fry’s in Man-hattan Beach and CompUSA in Redondo Beach, local area networks are more pop-ular than ever. They provide an fast, inex-pensive way for computers to communicate with both nearby computers and with servers that are out on the Internet. Here are the basic steps that you need to take in order to convert the computers in your home into a local area network:
Step 1:  Install a 10Base-T Ethernet network adapter card or a 10/100Base-T Ethernet network adapter card into each computer that you wish to network to-gether.  Follow the manufacturer’s in-structions.
Step 2: If you have only two computers on your network and you do not need to con-nect them to a broadband (DSL or cable modem) Internet connection, you can install a crossover Category 5 (or higher) cable between the two network adapter cards, in order to connect the two computers togehter.
In all other instances, you need to install a regular Category 5 (or higher) cable from each network adapter to a single one of the following:
-a 10Base-T or 10/100Base-T Ethernet concentrator (also known as a “hub”),
-a 10Base-T
-a 10/100Base-T Ethernet switch,
-or the local area network side of a router/gateway device.  The network adapter card of each computer will then be connected to a 10Base-T device or a 10/100Base-T device.  If this device is to connect to a broadband Internet connection, then the wide area network side of the device will connect by means of a Category 5 (or higher) cable to a DSL modem or a cable modem.
Liz and I get many questions from club members about file sharing in the various versions of the Windows operating system. We have discovered that the help documentation for all of the various versions of Windows do a poor job of describing the procedure for sharing files. What they all fail to tell you is that peer-to-peer file sharing is a three step process, from the standpoint of the Windows operating system:
For each computer in your local area network:
Step 1:  Install “Fire and Printer Sharing” using the Windows installation CD-ROM, if it is not already installed.
Reboot the computer if it asks you to.
Step 2:  Install “Fire and Printer Sharing” as a service from the “Network” or “Network Connections” icon / window, if “File and Printer Sharing” does not appear in the “Network” or “Network Connections” window.
Reboot the computer if it asks you to.
Step 3:  Activate “Sharing” for each drive that you wish to share with other computers on your local network.
Kostek Haussman of the GSBUG reports that his Netzero Platinum account Internet continues to work just fine. Netzero Platinum is the unlimited version of dial-up Internet access that is offered by United Online. It costs approximately $10 per month.
Windows XP has a “System Restore” feature which is located in System Tools, which is located in “Accessories”.  Whenever you are installing a new program into a Windows XP computer and the new software messes up your computer, you can take your computer back to a prior working configuration by using “System Restore”.  “System Restore” does not alter any of your data files. Instead, it brings your Windows operating system files back to how they were at an earlier date and/or time. I used it twice in the past 4 weeks and, in both instances, it saved me from having to reload Windows XP in it’s entirety.
The KFWB Web site at  has undergone a radical redesign. The news items on this site are now much easier to read, since they are now displayed in much wider column than in the past. I like what I see. Let me know what you think.
Other great news sites are:  Los Angeles Times  The Daily Breeze   Reuters   Cable News Network   The Wall Strret Journal http://online. wsj. com/public/us   The New York Times
If you have any questions or problems, I can be contacted by the following methods:
1. Leave a voice message for me at 310-768-3896.
2. Send me e-mail at:
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 bowling



Digital Camera Review-
Kodak DC-4800
by Dr. John Hanson
Wow!  What a marvelous digital camera.  It is 3.1 mega-pixels so it gives great 8 x 10 prints.  In general, you should not  buy a  camera  of less than 3 megapixels when you can  get  this  for under $600 or much less if you are willing to buy reconditioned.  Don’t  waste  your money on getting 4 or  5  megapixels.   3 megapixels is the sweet spot.  Essential for any digital camera is to have an LCD viewer on the  back so you can review what you just shot right away and  to review  other pictures so that you can discard what  didn’t  turn out  what you wanted.  Also very important is to get  an  optical viewfinder and not an electronic one.  Most of the time you will be  using the optical viewfinder.  This camera will magnify  what you  just shot four times so you can see if you got  the  details you  wanted.  You can then move around in the picture to  examine  anything  of  interest.   It  also has a 2X  magnification  when re-viewing  your  pictures.  It also gives you all  the  technical details about each picture such as speed and  aperture setting. The numbering system is excellent.  Every picture is sequentially numbered  and does not start over when you insert a new Compact Flash card.  Later you can rename them if desired but I rename a copy  when  I put them on the hard disk so it is easier to find what I wanted and the original is not changed. You can put  them in  folders by date, event or any other category.  In my  case  I usually  have  folders by country where I have students  such as Austria, Brazil or some other place.  All start with pix and then the location or event.
     I have had this Kodak for about a year and have shot perhaps a thousand pictures,  mostly of  moving  children  and older students, for my teaching work.  With a little practice you can learn to press the button just at the right time to capture fast movements.   You press the shutter button half way down to lock the focus and exposure and then the rest of the way down at  the precise moment.   Digital cameras are different from normal cameras in regard to using the shutter button but it’s  easy to learn.  That is why you press the button half way down at first. After you have shot the picture you need to have a camera that processes the image fast and stores it so you are not delayed in taking the next picture.  Good cameras like this have a built in cache memory which can hold several pictures depending on the resolution you select.
     I  prefer  to use the highest  resolution  with  the  least compression even tho you get fewer pictures.  This Kodak even has an  uncompressed  mode if you need it.  But with 128 mb  Compact Flash cards at only $45 you can still take lots of pictures.  The camera  comes with only a 16 mb flash card.  The sweet  point of Compact Flash cards is 64 mb so you can take lots of pictures and it  doesn’t cost too much.  Check Costco and Fry’s.  Be  sure  to get a Compact Flash reader so you don’t have to use your  camera to download to the USB port on your com-puter.  Ask me which  ones are  good.   My  latest is the PQI which has 16  mb  of  internal memory and at $50 fits in my shirt pocket.   Desktop  ones  run about $25.
     When the camera came out a year ago it was at the top of the list  in  picture quality and I have been very  pleased  with my results.   It probably has a very good glass optical system.   It also  has a 3X optical zoom which is ideal.  There is also a 2X digital  feature but I don’t recommend using it.  For me I  need fast speed to stop movement so I use 1/1000 when useful but there are many other settings and they are easy to select.  It  doesn’t have manual  focus which I would have liked but it does have several auto focus modes.  It has a menu system with all kinds of choices as well as macro mode and an infinity mode.
     Most  of  my readers know that I am somewhat  of  a  battery expert  so I can tell you that Lithium Ion is the way to  go.  I have never run out of battery power and the camera has a built in charger  so you just plug in the adapter.  You can buy  a second battery  which costs only $22 if you  look  a-round  real  hard.  Lithium Ion has a very low self-discharge rate so you don’t  have to worry about it losing charge when you are not using it.   Thus the  cost of battery power is extremely low.  It seems that  most of the new digitals are avoiding Lithium Ion as it is costly  and requires a very complex charging circuit for safety.   Thus it will be quite expensive replacing primary batteries all the time so be aware of that.  There is one disadvantage of  Lithium  Ion and that is that the chemical life of the battery is about  three years after manufacture whether you use it or not so avoid buying a spare until you need it and if possible one of recent manufacture.
     While I have a powerful SLR conventional camera  which  has taken  many thousands of pictures I hardly ever use it any more because of the most important feature of the digital.   That  is the ability to see right away if you got exactly what you  wanted rather than waiting a few days for prints to come back.   It  is impossible to duplicate the instances of working with my students so in the past I had to take many pictures in the hopes that one would be what I wanted.  With the digital you can take more right away while the child is still there or whatever the occasion.  In addition, it can print the time and date so I can tell  when  my student has dramatically improved and what caused the change.  It also indicates the f stop and speed for each picture.  I used to have to write this down for each picture when I was learning how to use a Leica at age 14.  My father had a complete darkroom setup and was an expert at getting the best pictures.   This expertise helped me get selected at chief photographer for high school and college year books.  So when I use the digital I expect to get similar good results and this Kodak 4800 is  almost as good as the Leica was.
     Digital cameras are so complex and have so many features it is hard to remember unless you use it every day.  I may go a week or more before a school conference so I have taken  instructions from the excellent manual and in my own words condensed them in small type using Word Star and then pasting them on various parts of the camera.  Now, when I need a feature I don’t use often I have the information right in front of me.
     Normally I would never recommend or own a Kodak camera since I was weaned on a Leica at about age 14 but  this camera was loaned to me for a week when I went to Comdex last year so I could  try  it for a week.  Other important people like Herman Krouse got one but he turned his back in as his Fuji is  perhaps the  equal of this Kodak.  I took lots of pictures and took it back home with me so I could print the results and see how good they were.  I was so impressed I decided to keep the camera and I am glad that I did.  Unfortunately, even tho this camera was the best at the time, Kodak didn’t promote it very well so it was discontinued,  maybe because there was too much value in it for the price the market would bear.  It is still available in the backs of magazines but be careful to check out several places to get the best value.  Now Kodak has come out with the DC-3900 and the lower quality 3700 but I haven’t checked either out as  the 4800 is so good.  Photo expert, George Austin has one also and he gets equally good results.  Alan Haskell, who is quite an  expert in  many  things including Photoshop, has had good  results with Olympus so you might look at them also.  It was he who convinced me I should go digital.  You may not need all the features that I need.
     Does  the camera have any weaknesses?  Of course,  with  the most serious being the automatic program mode.  First of all  the detents on the selector are quite weak and could change rubbing against your body.   Therefore you should always look before shooting.   The  automatic mode is designed so that you almost always get a good exposure but in order to do that it drops the speed way down and opens the lens and there is no way to set it so it won’t go below 1/25th of a second in automatic.  Since you have  plenty of battery power with the Lithium Ion battery you should use flash whenever there is marginal light.   There are many  manual settings to overcome this problem but be aware of this with any digital that you consider.  Another minor  nuisance is the lens cap.   It would have been  nice  if it had been automated as in many other cameras.  There is no provision to add an external flash so I am considering getting a slave as recommended by Emmett Ingram.  It’s a nuisance to use a tripod most of the time so you don’t get camera shake so be sure to use flash or Program Mode is likely to set the speed at  much  less than 1/25 of a second which is the lower limit for holding a camera if you are care-ful.  Be sure you check that out with  any other  camera  you  are considering.  This Kodak shows a quick review of the picture with the settings used and at the press of a button you can amplify it four times to see if  you got  the  details you wanted, in focus, proper exposure and without camera shake.   If not you can delete the picture and shoot more right away.  A good digital camera like this is a real pleasure to use.
     It would be wise to do some of your own research in  various magazines but be aware of what I teach my speed reading students. Be very cautious of what you read or hear as the authors probably have some biases.  Consumer Reports is marvelous in some things like statistics and some paper things like  insurance but in technical matters they have serious weaknesses and in 40 years have never seemed to improve much so be cautious.  Arthur  Bleich in  “Digital  Camera”  is  very knowledgeable but he has to be careful not to offend any advertisers.  In fact, you should be cautious about what I write also.  Use my advice only as a starting point to do your own research.
     Another good starting point is page 143 of  PC World,  March 2002 but again be careful about believing what you read.  It  may be that what they don’t tell you is more important.   They list two cameras as best buys, ie., Casio QV-4000 and Canon Power Shot G2.   When reading the comments you can  probably  believe  any negative comments.  The best price I have found on the  Internet is $615 and $738 respectively at Price but  remember that these sites have hidden biases also.  Look up other web sites to read reviews and specs.  Let’s review the Casio first. In  PC it says there is both automatic and manual focusing which is good.  There is no shutter priority which could be useful for action shots.  It uses 4 AA batteries which can be quite expensive if you use LCD viewfinder much but it can also use 4 AA Nickel Metal Hydride rechargeable which is much better but Lithium Ion would be better.  I don’t know which battery type the 389 shots claimed represent.
     It has three image formats which are DPOF, JPEG & Tiff which is good.  The fastest shutter speed in 1/1000 second but I can’t find any info on time required before the next shot even without flash which takes longer.  It says the print format is panoramic but if no standard format is available that may not be good.   I haven’t handled the camera so don’t know how it feels or how easy it is to use but it doesn’t sound too bad.   It  stores  the pictures on a compact flash card which I think is better than the other memory cards.
     I  can’t say the same about the Canon which seems much  less desirable  even tho rated a best buy by PC World.  It does have shutter priority and manual exposure but no mention is made of focus so be very cautious if it’s fixed focus and the smallest  f-stop is only  f-8.  PC World says that it produces the best pictures of all the ten cameras reviewed.  The reports say it gets many pictures on a set of rechargeable batteries but it doesn’t say what kind but I would presume NiMH which is not  bad. Unfortunately it only has one image format, JPEG with four resolution modes.  The report says the maximum image capacity  is 3639.  I don’t know what that means.  Perhaps it only keeps track of that number and then starts over.  In my Kodak every  picture gets a unique number regardless of which compact flash card I use but I don’t know if it has a maximum number as it seems to have an excellent numbering system.   If you do get a digital camera be sure to attend the Tuesday Dig SIG classes started by Harold Cacamise and now being run by Fred Vogel.  It has become very popular so you need to come early for  a  good seat.  Fred is doing an excellent job as the new leader.  Mostly it focuses on Photoshop 6 but now that Photoshop Elements is only $99 and has almost all of the same features it makes it very easy to have great results with your pictures.  For reviewing your pictures on the computer I find that ACDSee is the best but Compupix is also quite good.  With ACDSee you can set the program to show the picture full screen to review your pictures and  jot down the number for the pictures you want to work on.  Kodak’s program is OK but try ACDSee if possible.  Alan Haskell likes Tom Thumb.
     Rich  Bulow, our hardware expert and programmer, did some research into how to get the best digital camera at a  very  low cost.  He found two and bought the $60 Kodak DC-3200 and skipped the $40 Polaroid 640 of which there are four models.   The Polaroid was only 640 x 480 which could be sufficient for some people.   Both had an LCD screen on the back which is very important and both eat AA batteries quickly so you should get rechargeable batteries.   The Polaroid has a USB cable but no provision for a Compact Flash memory.  It’s memory is completely built in which means you need to have a computer when you want to download the pictures when camera is full.  Not too convenient but the low cost is attractive.  There is one more serious caveat with the Polaroid and that is that it  is claimed to be refurbished by the factory.  Many factory refurbished items  are not repaired in factory that built them so be cautious.
     The Kodak 3200 is new, does have a Compact Flash memory slot and  comes with 2 mb of built in memory.  It has a serial cable which is slower than USB.  In addition to the LCD display it  has a viewfinder which I think every camera should have.   My  first digital, an Epson, did not have a viewfinder.  The Kodak has a higher resolution of about 1024 x 768 and three quality modes.  It is fixed focus and auto exposure but has a built in flash like the  Polaroid.  It is a point and shoot and you can  immediately see if the picture is what you want, if not, erase it.   So far Rich is quite pleased with the pictures and on the computer screen can’t tell any difference in the three qualities.
     The  Kodak  was on sale at Circuit City for $80 with a $20 rebate but if you get a rain check you may miss the deadline for the  rebate.  Try searching and some other  places to find the best value.  If you are new to digital cameras, this is a good camera to start with if very low cost is important.
 John   Hanson