The Bug Report
Editor - Kay Burton
Recycling PC Components and Paraphernalia: Part
by Lee Hudspeth
I am a recycling zealot. In this article, and others to follow, I hope to show you some good reasons for paying close attention to what you can recycle, and how easy and fun it can be to do something that’s beneficial to this wonderful yet delicate planet’s ecosystem. I’m convinced that this behavior really scales up. For example, if just one more person shifts from tossing all their used floppies or CDs in the trashcan to keeping them in a box under the desk and recycling them properly, well then, that’s real and measurable progress. I wasn’t always so zealous about recycling. Sure, I would dutifully put material into our local disposal service’s recycling bin, standard stuff like glass, plastic, and paper. Then one day I was driving around downtown Hermosa Beach and spied a large banner posted up above the street. The banner promoted an upcoming Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) drop-off event in my neighborhood, so I called the listed phone number and quickly learned how many other types of items I could be recycling: expired or unused medicines, batteries, household cleaners, art supplies, electronics, and many others. It was a revelation to me how pervasive HHW is, and how easy it is to properly dispose of it. For a list of the types of materials considered to be household hazardous waste, along with detailed FAQs on each type of material, see the following page provided by the Morris County (New Jersey) Municipal Utilities Authority: http://mcmua.com/HazardousWaste/FAQ.htm But I’m getting ahead of myself, since this article’s focus is on recyclable PC-related media: CDs, floppy diskettes, and other magnetic media. (I’ll cover other PC-related recyclable items in subsequent issues.) For about a year I’ve been accumulating CDs old CDs, outdated CDs, coasters, broken CDs, you name it in a plastic box under my desk. I wanted to properly recycle these along with some old floppy diskettes and magnetic tapes that have been sitting in the attic for a few years. Here’s where I turned: GreenDisk, the makers of high quality recycled diskettes and CD-R disks. Not only does the firm manufacture recycled media products, it offers a recycling program for these media. Courtesy of GreenDisk’s Web site, here are some interesting facts—some are SHOCKING about what happens to failed and surplus diskettes. We throw away 3-4 million diskettes daily, which equates to 1 BILLION per year. Ouch. When sitting in a landfill, a diskette takes about 450 years to decompose, and while doing so threatens to leach oxides into the local water table. (I calculate 450 years at between six and seven generations. What a heartbreaking gift we bequeath to our children, grandchildren, and so on if we don’t arrest this squandering of resources.) Here’s how GreenDisk’s recycling program works for end users and small companies. (Large corporations also trust their tons of expired and/or obsolete software to GreenDisk for recycling, including Microsoft, Boeing, the U.S. State Department, and the FAA.) You simply ship 3.5" diskettes (they don’t handle 5.25" diskettes), magnetic tapes, CDs, and videotapes to their recycling facility in Columbia, Missouri, paying a minimum $5.00 fee for up to 50 pounds and $0.10/pound over 50 pounds. That’s an extremely reasonable fee for the value of this service to our economy and ecology.
I personally just sent them a six pound shipment. I encourage you to
consider doing the same with your used media. Thank you.
According to GreenDisk’s Web site, “The media is magnetically erased, fully inspected and evaluated. The disks and CDs are then disassembled and the plastic and metal components are recycled to make new disks and other items. The tapes are de-labeled, cleaned, packaged and resold.” As of GreenDisk’s second anniversary, it reports it has recycled nearly 20 million pounds of software materials and over 20 million diskettes. Furthermore, GreenDisk says it recycles or reuses over 99.5% of the materials it receives for recycling. According to David Beschen, President, “We degauss magnetic media at a level that’s four times stronger than the Department of Defense requirement. Our primary concern is protection of corporate and individual intellectual property.” Upon receipt of your shipment, an authorized GreenDisk staff member signs a Certificate of Destruction that states, “This certifies that all materials received by GreenDisk Services on [date] have been recycled in an environmentally sound and secure manner and the intellectual property contained on the disks, CDs or tapes has been destroyed.”
Beschen says, “We in the U.S. have been conscientious about how we recycle paper and similar products. At GreenDisk we think it’s important to make it ‘free and easy’ for folks to recycle computer media too. It’s also important to have recyclers deliver something back, as we do with our existing recycled diskette and CD-R disk products.” To find out where you can buy GreenDisk’s recycled CD-R disks and floppy diskettes: http://www.greendisk.com If you have suggestions, anecdotes, or comments about the proper recycling of PC paraparaphernalia, I’d like to hear from you. You can reach me at: mailto: leehudspeth@TheNaked PC.com. Have articles like this sent to your inbox every other week by subscribing to “The Naked PC newsletter. Go to the http://www.the nakedpc.com.
by BOB HUDAK
A new added value is coming to GSBUG members. A picture ID card that you will be able to use in local computer stores to obtain special deals and discounts. I, along with several other members, are helping our membership chairman, Keith Decker, make this a reality. The first thing we need is a picture of all our members. At today’s general meeting and also next month, we are set up to take your digital picture. So smile for the birdie. If possible wear a mono color shirt,sweater or blouse other then white. The reason for this is to help us remove any background color in the photograph. Greg Neumann, who has years of experience taking photos, will be our photographer. Now if you can’t make a general meeting, try to come Tuesday to our day time hardware sig at the Torrance Scout Center, and your picture can be taken. If you have a good head and shoulder picture of yourself you can send it to our PO box on a floppy disk if it is a digital picture. If it is a good print, send it and we will scan it. One of these options should work for you. If, for some reason you do not want your picture on the card, let us know and Keith will issue you a special ID card. So let’s get behind this so we can do it in a timely fashion.
New updated program this month is WinZip 8.1. Version 8.1 comes with
the following new features:
1. Enhanced Explorer integration adds more options to the Explorer context menu and allows you to unzip several archives at once.
2. The ability to compress into several small ZIP files for easy sending via an e-mail attachment or as an alternative to disk spanning.
3. A new Quick Pick taskbar icon that gives you instant access to WinZip and recently used ZIP files.
4. WinZip Wizard enhancements allow you to run installation files included in ZIP archives and extract files from split ZIP files and multiple disk (“spanned”) ZIP files.
5. Support for Windows XP allows WinZip to run as a native Windows XP program with no need to set the compatibility WinZip 8.1 is a nice upgrade no matter what operating system you are using. Pick up a copy at the Library table.
One more little program that might be helpful is a screen magnifying tool program. It magnifies what ever your mousepointer is on. Zooms in from 2X to 10X.Great for reading the fine print. Does not cause any registry changes or anything else. If you want to get rid of it, just delete it like a good old Dos program. Read the “Read Me” file and give it a try. Like having a 21" screen. I had several printers passed on to the club and found homes for a couple. I now have a Epson 640 ink jet color printer that is almost new. Just ran out of ink on first set of cartridges. This is the short story. Has some black but color is gone. Have CD with drivers and manual. $20.00 takes it home. Tip. Tonerland at 1601 W 190th St, Torrance, is the place to buy cartridges. For this printer, black is $1.85 and color is $3.99. Several of our members have made purchases and are very happy with the product. For what it is worth.
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Earthlink is a quality Internet Access Provider (ISP) and Liz and I were both avid users of their dial-up Internet service for many years. Many of our friends are still using their dial-up service and it is still one of the best, non-free dial-up ways of connecting one’s computer to the Internet. However, I have heard many horror stories from people who use Earthlink’s “Earthlink” software. Information about their software can be found at http://www.earthlink.net/home/software/index.html. This software used to be called “TotalAccess” software. However, only the software that is for the earlier Macintosh computers is still called “TotalAccess”.
“Earthlink” software gives you a lot of neat features that are described in http://www.earthlink.net/home/software/learn/ However, various GSBUG members have reported to me that “Earthlink” software is not compatible with Los Angeles Free-Net and Netzero. Therefore, if you use Earthlink dial-up AND either Los Angeles Free-Net and/or Netzero, it is best for you to NOT install “Earthlink” software into your computer. Earthlink dial-up customers do not have to use “Earthlink” software in order to make a Dial-up Networking connection (also known as a Point-to-Point Protocol connection) to the Internet. If you use Earthlink dial-up, you can configure your computer for Internet access by following the instructions at http://help.earthlink.net/techsupport/. None of these instructions tell you that you have to have “Earthlink” software installed on your computer, in order to use their dial-up Internet service. If you are one of the many Earthlink dial-up customers that belong to the GSBUG, please keep me informed about your trials and tribulations so that I can mention them in this series of articles.
“YAHOO MAIL” STARTS CHARGING FOR “POP” DOWNLOADS
Don’t panic! Yahoo Mail is totally free for customers who use their respective Websites to read and send e-mail. In the past, Yahoo mail users could join a free e-mail distribution list which would let them download their Yahoo mail messages by means of “Post Office Protocol” (“POP”), using e-mail software such as Microsoft Outlook Express, Microsoft Outlook, Eudora, or Pegasus. However, starting April 24, 2002, “Yahoo! Delivers” members will not longer get to down load their e-mail message via “POP” for free. Yahoo mail will now charge you about $30 per 12 months, if you want to download your e-mail using “POP”. To learn more about this new fee:
1) Go to
2) Log into your Yahoo mail account
3) Click on “Options”
4) Click on “POP Access & Forwarding”.
Also, please do not confuse POP downloads with the downloading of file attachments. If you have a Yahoo mail account, you can still download file attachments by clicking on “Download Attachments”. Also, even if a Yahoo mail message does not have any file attachments, you can still go “Download Attachments” and download a file called file.txt which is a text copy of the header and body of the e-mail message. In other words, you can still download a single e-mail message and/or it’s file attachments, without having to pay a fee. However, you will have to pay a fee to Yahoo if you want to have the convenience of using a “POP” e-mail client software package to download all of the e-mail in your Yahoo mail “Inbox” down to your hard drive.
“FORTRES 101” SOFTWARE
If you want total control over what someone else does to a computer, you use a security software utility called “Fortres 101”. To learn more about this software package, go to http://www.fortres.com This software package also can allow you to limit access to a specified list of Websites. However, many other software packages can do a better job of blocking access to undesirable Websites.
In order to keep your child, spouse, or grandparent from accessing offensive Website, various software applications are available:
For information on Cybersitter software, see: http://www.cybersitter.com/ http://www.pcmag.com/article/ For information on Net Nanny, see
http://www.netnanny.com/home/home.asp or http://www.pcmag.com/article/ or http://www.idg.net/ For information on Surf Control software, see
http://www.surfcontrol.com/home/products/ You can download a free trial version of this software from their Website.
A few computers belonging to a few friends of ours contracted the computer viruses during the past 4 weeks. One gentleman’s computer was infested with the Nimda virus and it was beyond any sort of repair short of an fdisk and a re-format. In order to minimize the odds of contracting viruses via e-mail downloads, you should 1) Install an antpivirus software program such as Norton Antivirus or McAfee VirusScanOnline AND 2) keep it updated, since new viruses are written and released every week. Every week, Liz and I still find computers that do not have anti-virus software installed in them.
WAYS TO CONTACT ME:
If you have any questions or problems, I can be contacted by the following
1. Leave a voice message for me at 310-768-3896.
2. Send me e-mail at: email@example.com
3. Send "snail" U.S. Postal Service mail to
PO Box 6930
Torrance, CA 90504-0030.
Or sell your computer and take up golf instead !!
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||HOW LARGE CAN YOUR E-MAIL BE
Dr. John Hanson
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.
HOW TO FILTER EXPLICIT SPAM OUT OF YOUR INBOX
By Pamela Harrision
It seems every week I get a handful of folks asking
me how to keep pornographic spam (bulk unsolicited commercial email) out
of their Inboxes. It can be embarrassing, especially in a work environment,
when your boss looks over your shoulder and sees subject lines in your
Inbox about adult Web sites. It can be devastating when your child
is using your computer and they get an HTML-enabled email with explicit
There’s no way to block spam entirely, but there are ways to reduce it dramatically from both the server standpoint (before your mail reaches you) and the client standpoint (management with your email program itself). The majority of porn spam is sent with HTML-enabled email, for two reasons: 1. It allows spammers to remotely serve explicit images to you in hopes that you will be enticed to visit their porn site. 2. Because those images are remotely served, it provides spammers with an “open rate”, which tells them of X thousand or million mailed to, how many actually opened the message and had the images load on their computer and how many clicked through to the porn site. This information is critical to them in deciding how responsive a list is, which will determine whether they mail to it multiple times or not. Because images are used in most porn spam (it’s really hard to show a naked body in ascii text...) one way of blocking porn spam is to use your email client to set a filter to check the BODY of incoming email messages for the following string of text: <img src
This is the first portion of HTML code used to serve an image on Web pages and in HTML-formatted email. If your email program finds this in a message, you may want to create a folder or mailbox called “Possible Spam” and have messages that meet this criteria filtered to that folder to keep them out of your Inbox. Do not filter email directly to the trashcan as no filters are 100% foolproof. Some real email always gets filtered, so you’ll want to just create a spam trap.
Now, this brings up an interesting question: What about corporate users that send email using rich text? What about HTML email newsletters that you receive and enjoy?
Well, business email or corporate email sent in HTML format or rich text format should have no problem getting through to you,
provided no images are included in it. 95% of business email that I receive is ascii text. The other 5% is HTML email, but I can’t ever remember a time when a legitimate business communication contained an image in the body of the message.
As far as HTML newsletters go, you can and process a filter list from top to bottom, so if you put your newsletter filters above your
spam trap filters, the newsletters should arrive in your Inbox just fine.
As with anything related to email and nology, YMMV (Your Mileage May Vary) and this will take some experimentation to find out what works best for you. This method won’t stop text-based porn spam - that can be blocked using common-word filtering - but it will keep explicit HTML email porn out of your Inbox quite effectively.