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 05
May 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






Recycling PC Components and Paraphernalia: Part 1
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:  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  For about a year I’ve been accumulating CDs old CDs, outdated CDs, coasters, broken CDs, you name it in a plastic box under my desk.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:  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 Have articles like this sent to your inbox every other week by subscribing to “The Naked PC newsletter.  Go to the http://www.the




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.

* * * * * * * *




by Frank Chao



This is the 45th article in the “Internet Talk” series and the second newsletter that is being edited by Kay Burton, our capable new editor. Kay’s e-mail address is Please feel free to send her any questions or comments about this newsletter or about our great club in general.

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 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  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 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.

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.

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  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:   For information on Net Nanny, see  or  or   For information on Surf Control software, see  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.


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 golf instead !!

* * * * * * * *




Dr. John Hanson
    How large can e-mails be?  A little over 5 mb is the limit for  Los  Angeles Free Net.  I didn’t know that so recently  tried  to send  32 mb of family pictures to my cousin.  Instead of the ISP notifying me of the limit it accepted the transfer which took all day via my dial up modem.  I felt it was choking  my  modem  so erased it and broke each message into 6 files each which was  way over the 5 mb limit.  But the system accepted it only to send  me a  rejection  notice the next day telling me of the  limit.   The system was still trying to send the remaining messages when I got a  call  at  midnight from my cousin saying I was tying up his computer with such big files.
   Now  I realize what is happening when spam companies send me such huge files and tie up my computer.  Does anyone know how  to cancel such downloads or even to know of the size?  Herman Krouse says that XP has a way to cancel such files.
   Should  you  upgrade to XP?  My advice is to stay with  98  as Millenium turned out to be a flop.  Many  companies,  especially software companies, purposely avoid making their products perfect so that each time there will be a need for an update because of an error or by design.  Wait awhile to give XP some  time  to stabilize, if it does.  Avoid headaches and stay with what works.  Don’t believe that new versions are more crashproof as experience has shown otherwise.  Of course, you should always be wary of any advice  so do what you want.  You could play safely  like  Herman Krouse does and use System Commander to have a dual boot  system with both 98 and XP.  I would even put XP on a separate  physical drive.  Harold Cacamise, who started the very popular DIG SIG, is an  expert with System Commander along with Rich Bulow.   If  you have a spare computer you could put XP on that but since XP is so hardware intensive that would have to be your most modern computer  and  who wants to commit their best computer to  an  unproven operating  system.   My philosophy is to stick with  what  works.
Almost  every day most of my writing is in WordStar and even my spreadsheets are in DOS except when I need something even more fancy.  DOS programs are very fast with the new computers and do an excellent job for most things.  On the other hand when things need  to be moved around more precisely than DOS  does,  then  I switch to Windows programs.  By the way if anyone has the manual for Quattro Pro 5 for DOS I would like to buy it as I  left  my copy at my office in Europe.
   Where  is  best buy for a computer?  The three places  I  mentioned in the November newsletter are still good and now there is a  possible 4th one that needs to be proven.  Bill Juneau  helped me  find this one and it has almost the same name as the  one  on Western Ave., Advanced Computer but the people are very different as these new ones have long beards and wear dresses.  Nevertheless they are very nice and seem quite proficient in computers.   If you ask for the Hanson  special you will get essentially the same as the place on Western and at a similar price.  With any vendor I suggest spending an extra $10 and get a 40 gb hard drive instead of a 20 gb.  I don’t have theaddress of the  place on Crenshaw but it is just south of Del Amo Blvd in a business  park.   Look  for their ad in  a  magazine  similar  to MicroTimes.   If  you do get one from the Crenshaw  place  please test it out right away and let me know if you got a good value.
   With  any advice there is a caveat.  My advice may not be  the best  for you so do your own research but at least you have  some places to start.  A good price for an ultra modern computer  with an  AMD Athlon at 900 mc or higher is only about $300.  At  least about 30 have been bought from the place on Western and those who have  let me know have been quite pleased.  If you  discover  any similar good deals let me know so we can share with our members.  If  you are heavy into graphics or games and want to  spend  lots more you still should buy a clone for the best value.  In  general,  don’t buy any of the name brands of computers such as  Gate-way, HP, Compaq or Dell as you pay more than you need to and each tend  to customize their machine so it is unique which  means  it may  be hard to get replacement parts without paying a premium.  Their warranties are really not that beneficial.  Notebooks are another story and there, name brands are vital.  My first  note-book  was a Toshiba and it traveled all over Europe with  me and still works well, even tho it only works with DOS which was modified  by  Toshiba.  I now have a modern color Dell  which  is essential to show color pictures to my clients but it still boots up in DOS until I need Win 98 for Photoshop.
   Speaking  of pictures there are several good programs better than Photoshop for showing your pictures.  They were demonstrated at the regional computer conference in San Diego last summer.   I still  can’t tell whether ACDSee is better than Compupic as both are wonderful and reasonably easy to use even when you don’t use them every day.  Some excellent programs like Auto Cad, Photoshop and Excel, etc. require fairly frequent use or they can drive you crazy when you want to get something done quickly.  Even WordStar and Word Perfect have similar limitations.  I get around that problem by writing my own little manuals which are essentially  8 1/2  x 11 inch standard paper folded in half and stapled in the center with a stiffer cover.
   For  example in Photoshop when I need a quick print of a  particular size I turn to that page in my manual and all the steps are right there.  Even in WordStar, which I use every day,  there are things I don’t do very often like having multiple columns so again I turn to the right page and it’s easy. For some applications  WordStar does a better job making labels than my Windows label program and again there is a page for  that.   To make it even easier I call up a similar address of 3 or 4  lines, make a copy and then use search and replace to changed the words. It’s very fast and making a new label does not  become a big project.   I print most of my many labels on gummed  stock  (lick and stick type) because they last forever whereas if you use  the self-adhesive  paper it ages and then doesn’t stick well.   Self-adhesive is quite a bit more expensive and it’s hard to peel off the backing paper.  In addition, the self-adhesive may get  stuck in your printer and really mess things up in the rollers.  Unfortunately,  you can’t use gummed stock in ink jet printers so the way  to get around that is to print a master first and  then  run copies off on a normal laser copier.  You can get a ream of gummed stock at Kelly Paper near Norman-die and Artesia and if you don’t need a whole ream I will buy part of it.
   Does  anyone  have an Epson 880 printer they  are  willing  to sell.   I have one but always like to have a spare for something that  works so well.  It is also convenient when I need  to  have several computers all printing at once.  I recently  bought  an Epson C-80 on sale at Comp USA for $100.  It does a nice job  but still the 880 is my favorite in ink jets.  If you do lots of printing like I do, you should have a laser which has many  benefits.   It’s faster and the copies are much cheaper.   Even  more important  is that you can leave it for months and when you  need it, it is ready to perform flawlessly.  Ink jets need to be  used fairly often or they clog up.  For me I have found the HP-4  Plus Laser  printer to be very reliable so have four of them  plus  my original HP-4.  Virginia Pfiffner and Emmett Ingram also have HP-4’s which we bought at the same time many years ago.  One problem has developed with time is that the rollers that pull the paper over the top tend to age and with the bottom rollers pushing  you get  an accordion fold and a paper jam.  Taking it all  apart  to clean  the  rollers or replace them is quite a chore  so  I  have discovered that all you need to do is open the back and clean the exposed rollers at the top using some alcohol and paint  thinner.
If you have access to some rubber rejuvenator used by commercial printers it might work even better.  You can get HP-4 Pluses  for about $200 at the Ham Swap meet.  Just check that the page count is not too high.  Avoid the HP-4 without the Plus.  If you want a new  laser  take a look at the Brother and let me know  what  you think.  I think you can get a good one for about $300.
   Card  Readers   Compact  Flash is a good way to  go  in  flash memory.   I got my first compact flash about a year ago  with  my Kodak DC-4800 digital camera and since then have bought 64 mb and 128  mb cards.  It turns out they are marvelous for  transferring programs  and data from computer to computer at my various  locations.   Herman Krouse showed me his card reader and I  was  very impressed.   They are only about $24 and are so  convenient  with USB.   At  Comdex I bought a new one called Flash which  fits  in your  shirt  pocket along with tiny CD rom software.   Mine  will also  read smart media but I think Compact Flash is the one  that will prevail.  In addition, mine has 16 mb of internal memory  so for  small transfers I don’t even need a card.  When you plug  it into  the USB it shows up as three removable drives so you  could even transfer data from the Compact Flash card to its own  internal  memory or vice versa.  The 16 mb version costs $49.   Coming soon is a floppy drive with built in slots for reading two  types of cards, perhaps even the new SD card.

    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 for more information.


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 photos.
    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.