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Volume 33, Number 04
Special 2008 TCF Edition
Amateur Computer
Group of New Jersey
NEWS
In This Issue
Buildingthe Future, RobertHawes. . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
DealsGuy, BobClick. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
RecordongAudio,BartKoslow . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
AllComputers Wait at theSameSpeed, Vinny LaBash. . 7
Benefits of UsingaComputerSandbox, GeneBarlow . . 8
Shortcuts, MikeMoore. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
HowtoForwardEmail,VinnyLaBash . . . . . . . . . . 10
ConvertingCDMusictoMP3,(Mike Moore) . . . . . . 11
SIG News, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
It’s Not Just Entertainment AnyMore, GeneKomaromi 13
Guru Corner . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
EmailResponsibilities,BobSchwartz . . . . . . . . . . . 16
http://www.acgnj.org
Founded 1975
33rd Annual Trenton Computer Festival
April 25. 26 and 27
Keynote Speaker David Perry, talking on “Identity
Theft”,oneofthe fastest-risingcrimesinAmericaaccord-
ing tothe FBIand CIA.He speakon Saturday from2:35to
3:30
P.M.
.and later at the TCF Banquet, which begins at
6:00
P.M
at the TCNJBrower Student Center.
GetyourAmateur RadioLicense.Membersofthe Dela-
ware Valley Radio Association will provide basic
information on Amateur (Ham) Radio and license testing
on Saturday between 11:20
A.M.
and 12:40
P.M.
in room
SSB 105 of the Social Science Building. License testing
will take place at 1
P.M.
.sharp.
ACGNJ President Michael Redlich’s Hands-On Java
Workshop.Bring yourlaptop.Youwillreceive a CDthat
containseverythingyouneedtobuildyourfirstJavaappli-
cationandcontinue toimproveonitasyoulearnadditional
features of the language. Social Science Building Room
102,11:40 to 1:50
P.M.
(photo at left)
RoboticsContest- Sunday,Rec Center
9:00
A.M.
to 2:30
P.M.
DesignAThon Check In
12 noon to 1:00
P.M.
Robotics Contest
12 noon to 1:00
P.M.
Precipice Avoidence
3:00
P.M.
to 4:00
P.M.
DesignAThon Judging
KipRosser’sThereminConcert-SSBAtrium11:40
A.M.
TO12:40P.M.
and hisTheremin Demo in the Rec Center 2
P.M.
to 3
P.M.
Don’t Miss These
David Perry
Mike Redlich
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Page 2
ACGNJNews
April2008
Officers, Directors and Leaders
Officers
Board of Directors
President
MikeRedlich
(908) 246-0410
Director Emeritus
SolLibes
(609) 520-9024
VicePresident
MarkDouches
(908) 889-2366
Through2008
BillFarrell
(732) 572-3481
Treasurer
MalthiMasurekar
(732) 560-1534
DavidMcRichie
Secretary
PaulSyers
(732) 388-1345
LennyThomas
PastPresident
FrankWarren
(908) 756-7898
DonMcBride
(732) 560-0369
SpecialInterest Groups
Through2009
GreggMcCarthy
.Net
ManuelJ. Goyenechea
ArnoldMilstein
(908) 753-8036
CLanguages
BruceArnold
(908) 735-7898
JohnRaff
(973) 992-9002
FirefoxActivity
DavidMcRitchie
BobHawes
Genealogy
FrankWarren
(908) 756-1681
StandingCommittees
Investing
JimCooper
APCUGRep.
FrankWarren
(908) 756-1681
Java
MichaelRedlich
(908) 537-4915
Facilities
JohnRaff
(973) 992-9002
Layman’s Forum
MatthewSkoda
(908) 359-8842
Financial
MarkDouches
(908) 889-2366
LUNICS
Andreas Meyer
Historian
LennyThomas
NJ Gamers
GreggMcCarthy
Membership
MarkDouches
(908) 889-2366
Mobile Devices
DavidEisen
Newsletter
—open—
VBA& Excel
James Ditaranto
(201) 986-1104
TrentonComputerFest MikeRedlich
(908) 246-0410
WebDev
EvanWilliams
(908) 359-8070
Vendor Liaison
ArnoldMilstein
(908) 753-8036
WindowPains
JohnRaff
(973) 992-9002
Webmaster
JohnRaff
(973) 992-9002
ACGNJ News is published by the Ama-
teur Computer Group of New Jersey, In-
corporated(ACGNJ),POBox135,Scotch
PlainsNJ07076.ACGNJ,anon-profited-
ucational corporation, is an independent
computer user group. Opinions expressed
hereinaresolelythoseoftheindividualau-
thor or editor. This publication is Copy-
right©2008bytheAmateurComputer
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Address Changes should be directed to
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and/or to his attention at ACGNJ at the ad-
dress below.
Membership,includingsubscription:1year
$25,2years$40,3years$55.Studentor Se-
nior Citizen (over 65): 1 year $20, 3 years
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tion, $10 per year. Send name, address and
payment to ACGNJ, PO Box 135, Scotch
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lies used are Times New Roman (TT) for
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Editor
BarbaraDeGroot
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Tel:(570) 606-3596
bdegroot@ptd.net
Publisher
AssociateEditor
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wfarr18124@aol.com
ACGNJ News
E-Mail Addresses
Here are the e-mail addresses of ACGNJ
Officers, Directors andSIG Leaders (and
the Newsletter Editor). This list is also at
(
http://www.acgnj.org/officers.html
).
BruceArnold
barnold@ieee.org
JimCooper
jim@thecoopers.org
BarbaraDeGroot
bdegroot@ptd.net
MarkDouches
pcproblems@pobox.com
DavidEisen
ultradave@gmail.com
BillFarrell
wfarr18124@aol.com
ManuelGoyenechea
Goya@acgnjdotnetsig.org
RobertHawes
r.d.hawes@hotmail.com
SolLibes
sol@libes.com
MalthiMasurekar
masureka@umdnj.edu
DonMcBride
don@mcbride.name
GreggMcCarthy
greggmc@optonline.net
DavidMcRichie
dmcritchie@hotmail.com
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lunics@acgnj.org
ArnoldMilstein
mrflark@yahoo.com
JohnRaff
john@jraff.com
MikeRedlich
mike@redlich.net
MattSkoda
som359@aol.com
KeithSproul
ksproul@noc.rutgers.edu
PaulSyers
rtpss47067@yahoo.com
paul.2000-paul@yahoo.com
LennyThomas
lennythomas@technologist.com
ScottVincent
scottvin@optonline.net
FrankWarren
kb4cyc@webwarren.com
EvanWilliams tech@evanwilliamsconsulting.com
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April2008
ACGNJNews
Page3
Continued
Building the Future
Robert Hawes (r.d.hawes@hotmail.com), ACGNJ
Iliketobuildstuff.Myfirstcomputerwasthe onlyone Iever
actuallyboughtfromaretailer.AsI’vementionedinprevious
articles,thefirsttimeIcrackedopenitscase andfiddled with
itsgutswasatrulytraumaticexperience.(Afterall,ithadcost
memorethanmyfirstthreecarscombined!)However,I’ma
take-it-apart-and-put-it-back-togetherkindofguyatheart,so
Igot over that feeling pretty fast; and Iquickly grewto love
tinkering with computers.Ibuilt all my subsequent PCsmy-
self.(Atfirst,Isaved significantmoney bydoing so.Notany
more).AsI’vealsosaidbefore,I’veevengonesofarastocut
andbendmyownsheetmetalparts;andI’vedrilledandother-
wise modified older cases to hold newer drives,
motherboards,andevenpowersupplies.Why?BecauseIlike
to. You either understand the joy of constructing your own
machinery, or you don’t.
Personally,IintendtocontinuedoingthisforaslongasIcan;
but the handwriting is clearly on the wall. The future just
doesn’tinclude do-it-yourselfcomputerconstruction.Inthis
article,I’m going totake a quick lookatsome newproducts,
then see what I can do to simulate their operation using the
equipment I’ve already got on hand. (That’s because we’re
notfamousenoughtobesentfreegoodiesforreview,andour
budget doesn’t allowfor any such purchaseson ourown).
First ofall,nocontemporary article speculating aboutthe fu-
tureofcomputingcouldbeconsidered completeifitdidn’tat
least mentionthe OLPC(One Laptop PerChild)“XO”com-
puter. However, OLPC is not actually a computer
manufacturer.It’sa charitable foundation;different motives,
differentobjectives.However,there isacommercialproduct
that’s been getting a lot ofadvertisementlately,which could
be looked at as a high-end version of the XO: the MacBook
Air.(They’vegotsimilarfeaturesets:extensivebuilt-inwire-
less networking and no built-in CD/DVD drives). Maybe
you’ve seen the MacBook commercial:It opensshowing an
all-white, flat area (a table or the top of an office desk, per-
haps),ontowhicha disembodied handplacesa standardnine
inch by twelve inch interdepartmental document routing en-
velope.The handthen unfastensthe endflap,reachesin,and
pulls out a supposedly complete notebook computer. That
took up about ten seconds of commercial screen time; and it
was,indeedacompellinggraphic.Butisthatultrathin-nessa
realistic design goal? Are workersreallygoingto be sending
computersto each otherbyinter-office delivery?Orarethey
instead destined to frequently bemoan that lack of a built-in
CD/DVDdrive?
Now,the OLPCXOisaLinuxmachine.Eliminatingremov-
able storage and concentrating on “bulletproof” networking
made sense there, because most Linux programs are down-
loaded from the Internet,notinstalledfrom CDs. In the Mac
world (like inthe PCworld),it’sjustthe opposite.Why pro-
mote a “cool” design that isn’tthe most usefulforthe actual
user? There are some furtherdeliberate design “flaws” that I
couldalsomention;butspaceisatapremiumthismonth,and
I’ve made my point already. The MacBook Air gets a big
thumbs-down. So: on to the next design.
LinutopisaFrenchcompanyofferingwhattheydescribe asa
“Low Maintenance Small Computer”. It’s 5.9 inches long,
3.66 incheswide,and 1.06 incheshigh;and ithasnomoving
parts(not even a fan). The case front contains fourUSB 2.0
ports,a microphone jack,anda headphone/speakerjack.The
case back contains a RJ-45 Ethernet network jack, a
SUB-D15 VGA video output jack, and a DC power input
jack.Havingnointernalharddrive,itbootsfromanexternal1
GBUSBkey.Asaconcept,Ireallylikethisdesign.However,
since it would require a USB keyboard and a USB mouse to
operate,it’sobviouslyseverely under-specifiedasfarastotal
USB ports go.(I’d want at least eight, four on the front and
fourmore ontheback).SinceI’m allfordiversity,throwin a
FireWireportandaneSATAjack;andI’dsaywe’dbegoodto
go.
So, given our limited to non-existent resources, what about
this could we test? The only thing I could come up with was
USB external drive storage times. So, first I needed to take
some baseline measurements. My primary master hard disk
for this particular subject computer was a Maxtor 160 GB
EIDEdrive.Iaddeda WesternDigital80GBEIDEhard disk
as the secondary master, then rebooted into XP and timed
somefileoperations.Iused2GBGhostimagesformysubject
files.Sincethat’sthepointatwhichGhoststartsspanningim-
agesoverinto multiple file sets,I’ve gota whole lotofthose
filestochoose from,alloftheexactsame size.Iwon’tbother
listing theirnames,butIuseda different source file each and
every time.
First,from an XP CommandPrompt,Itried XCOPY.Ittook
sixminutesandtwentysecondstocopyone2GBfilefromthe
160GBhard disk to the 80 GBhard disk; butonly five min-
utesandfifteensecondstocopyanother2GBfilefromthe80
GB disk to the 160 GB disk. An unexpected asymmetry!
Switching to WindowsExplorer,I dragged-and-dropped six
different files, three each way. Those tests averaged out to
6:21and 5:17,respectively; giving me a consistentinconsis-
tency,atleast.Lookingforapossible cause,Icheckedoutthe
harddiskdatesofmanufacture.The80GBdiskwasmadeon
February28,2004;andthe160GBdiskwasmadeonOctober
28,2004.Idecidedthatitwaspossible thatthe160GBdrive,
being eight months newer,might be able to write input data
just a little bit faster than the 80 GB drive. Itook that asmy
working theory,anyway.
Now, to simulate a Linutop: Ideally,Iwould have wanted to
disconnect all the internal drives in my computer and boot
from an external USBdrive as well. Unfortunately,my sub-
ject computer couldn’t do that, so I had to settle for booting
from an internal CD. Idisconnected my primary master and
slave drives,and my secondary master; leaving just my sec-
ondary slave (a 52X CD reader) connected. For my first
externalUSB2.0drive,Iinstalledthe80GBWesternDigital
harddisk in my externalUSBcase.(Itwasdesigned toadapt
internal IDE CD/DVD drives for external use; but as I’ve
demonstratedin previousarticles,itworksjust finewith IDE
hard disks, too). My second external USB 2.0 drive was a
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Page 4
ACGNJNews
April2008
WesternDigitalstand-alone250GBsealedunitthatI’ve had
for wellovera yearnow,butwhichI’ve neverusedin a club
project before.
For the boot disk, I chose my sentimental favorite: the
SimplyMEPIS 3.3 live CD. It’s three yearsold now. That’s
well overthe hill fora Linux distribution; butasI’ve saidbe-
fore,I’llneverforgetwhatIexperiencedthe firsttimeIranit:
Afeelingofeuphoriacameoverme,andIthought;“Thisisit!
We can do it! We can send Microsoft to the Scrap Heap of
History!” Icertainly neededthat wonderful memory now, to
offset the feeling of total confusion I got after I performed
fourdrag-and-droptests(two eachway).Igottimes of2:37,
2:35,2:31and2:27.That’smorethantwiceasfastasmysup-
posed baseline measurements,andalmostthree timesasfast
asthe 80 GB hard disk’spreviously measured performance.
Atfirst,Isuspectedsomehiddenformofwrite caching;butI
waseventually able to eliminate thatpossibility.Both drives
were really writing that fast. USB 2.0 certainly works a lot
betterthan I thought! It getsa big thumbs-up!
I’llmissmyhomemade computers;butthe Linutop designis
certainly something Icould getused to.
Appendix I: Even More Copyright Paranoia
IaddedanAppendixtotheendofmyarticleforourFebruary,
2006 issue,in which Igroveledabjectly;begging Garry Tru-
deau not to sue me for paraphrasing a punch line that I
rememberedreadinginoneofhiscomicstripsduringthesev-
enties. I’ve got more of the same this month. In the first
paragraph of this article,I wrote; “Why? Because I like to”.
AsItypedthat,a certainsongwasrunningthroughmymind.
It probably also flashed through your memory as you read
thosewords.They wererecitedattheendofeveryepisode of
aTVshowthatIwatchedalmosteveryweekdaywhenitorig-
inally ran (and occasionally in reruns for years thereafter).
I’mnotgoingtoname thesong(ortheshow),butImusthave
heard itatleasta thousand timesasIgrewup.Three ofthose
wordsare exactlythe same,andone oftheothertworhymes
with the originalversion.Therefore:60% ofthat saying was
copyrighted sometime inthemidfiftiesby WaltDisneyPro-
ductions.(Allrightsreserved).There,Isaidit.Please,please,
please,please, please don’tsue us.
So, why am I concerned about only three words? Because I
know from personal experience that they made quite a big
fussover two.In 1959,Disney releasedthe animated feature
film Sleeping Beauty. This classic fairy tale was first pub-
lished in abook underthatname in 1697,and the story itself
can be traced back to atleast 1634. It had been set to music,
andperformedin Parisasan operain1825;and Tchaikovsky
composed itasa ballet in 1890.Sometime around 1960, my
grammar school class was scheduled to sing the title song
(most likely from the Tchaikovsky version) at some kind of
eventinthe schoolauditorium.(Itmightevenhave beenfora
graduationceremony).Oneday duringrehearsal,the teacher
suddenly told us that Disney wouldn’t let us say “Sleeping
Beauty”. They didn’t object to the music, just the words.
Thoughclearly printed on oursheet music,we wouldnotbe
permitted to speak them aloud in public. We had to sing
“Pretty Princess” instead.
Now,forsomenodoubtdeeplyFreudianreason,Iremember
thatlastminute word change;although I’veforgottena lotof
the details about the performance itself (including exactly
whenitwas).Plus,beingonlya student,Iwasneveractually
told anything at all about the background details. For in-
stance,justhowdidDisneyfindoutaboutourplans?Didthey
have“moles” insmallschoolsalloverNewJersey(ormaybe
the whole country)? By then,those wordshad been sung for
overacentury,andhadbeenreadinprintforabouttwocentu-
ries longer. Yet Disney was somehow able to claim them
exclusively, and to successfully forbid us from using them.
To what lengths might they be prepared to go for three
words?Hopefully,they’venowbeenappeased,andwewon’t
find out.
Building the Future,
continued
From The DealsGuy For April 2008
Bob (The Cheapskate) Click (bobclick@mindspring.com), Greater Orlando Computer Users Group.
*Great Shows!
TheInternationalBuildersShowcametotownagainthisyear
and I worked in it several days. It’s the largest show in the
amount of freight(thirteen millionpounds)of any showthat
hasbeen held here,and close tothe largestin area.Thedock
basin waspiledhigh with cratesofallkinds.Therewere five
beautiful modularhomes set up on blocks in the parking lot
for people to tour. The modules arrived a week before the
showopened,but allthehomeswereassembled with the fin-
ishing touches in time for show days.One wasa three-story
2700 square foot model worth over a million dollars, which
wasactually sold during the show.One home featured tech-
nology of the future such as calling you or sending you an
e-mailatwork ifsomething goeswrong.I’ll write a separate
article about that which will be available on my Web site
soon. Kohler had their million-dollar computer controlled
waterfall again this year, and it was fascinating to watch it
makingletters,words,adphrasesandotherdecorative things
tofall,allcompletelyoutofwater.Mr.Kohlerhimselfflewin
to look over the display.
Another show
we worked was the Orgill Show
http://www.orgill.com
.Thatislikeagianthardwarestore,butisa
trade show (about 500,000 square feet of display area) with
exhibitors showing their latest wares. Orgill isa large inde-
pendent hardware distributor.Many exhibitorsprefer not to
take their booth’s displayed products back home so some
dealers come with large trailersand purchase as many prod-
ucts from vendor booths as they can carry, after the show
closes.Someboothsjustleave theirproducts,and volunteers
fromHabitatforHumanitycollectasmuchastheycanforthat
organization’s projects. “Pallet pricing” and “coupon
Continued
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April2008
ACGNJNews
Page5
Continued
specials”arefeaturedfordealersattendingandtheOrgillreps
weardifferentcolored blazerssignifying their salesvolume.
Acoworker said an attendee was looking for me, saying he
readsmy column allthetime,butmy coworkerunknowingly
gave him incorrect location information and he never found
me. I was very disappointed. It’s not the first time someone
haslookedformeata show,buttheyare oftenlargeareasand
unlessyou know who to ask, getting together is difficult be-
cause most of us don’t know much about where others were
assigned to work, and my wife and I don’t work all of the
showshere.
March
will bring
the Electronic
House Expo
http://www.ehxweb.com
,one ofmyfavorites.Iwon’tbeworking
it,buthopetolookaround.CentralFloridaComputerSociety
http://www.cfcs.org
has already made arrangements for their
membership toattend atnocost.Irecommendthatoneifyou
are in the area.
*Are You Ready To Tax Your Brain?
AlbyMedia has released version 1.1 of PIQE: Chain ofPuz-
zles. It contains different types of challenging puzzles, has
threedifficultylevelsandallowscomparingyourresultswith
other players.It’sa setofengaging puzzlesgiving you areal
challenge.The game hasprogress checkand resultcompari-
sonfeaturesto provideyouwithdetailedinformationonyour
development.The game hasthree difficulties,offering more
sophisticated puzzles after you beat the easier ones. Please
visit
http://piqe.albymedia.com
fora free trialofthe product.
PIQE: Chain ofPuzzlesrunsunderMicrosoft Windowsand
costs$14.95 (USD)fora single-userlicense.AlbyMedia of-
fersusergroupmembers15%discountonthePIQE:Chainof
Puzzles. Use the coupon code ALBY-JMGJ at
https://www.regnow.com/softsell/nph-softsell.cgi?item=15534-3
. Li-
censed customers get free technical support and free
upgrades.
Download :
www.albymedia.com/downloads/piqe.setup.exe
Company web-site:
http://www.albymedia.com
*Here’s Another Freebie!
DVDVideoSoft, an Internet resource dedicated to free soft-
ware, multimedia software guides and tutorials has just
updatedFreeVideotoFlashConverter.Thenewversion fea-
tures30+ player skins and neweasy-to-use web integration,
justcopyandpastehtmlcodetothesiteorblog.Convertvideo
filestoflash(SWFandFLV).Convertthewholemovieorjust
a portion. Free Video to Flash Converter is available at
dvdvideosoft.com/products/dvd/Free-Video-to-Flash-Converter.htm
for
free download.The program containsno spyware oradware.
No activation or registration is required. Just download and
use it.
VideotoFlashConverterisalreadythe15thfreeprogram de-
veloped by DVDVideoSoft and has developed a line of free
tools:FreeVideoDun,FreeYouTubetoiPodConverter,Free
YouTube to MP3 Converter, Free YouTube to iPhone Con-
verter, Free Video to iPod Converter,Free Video to iPhone
Converter, Free Video to MP3 Converter, Free YouTube
Uploader,FreeAudioDub,FreeYouTubetoMP3Converter,
Free 3GPVideoConverter,Free Video Flip and Rotate,Free
VideotoJPGConverterandfinallyFreeYouTubeDownload
www.dvdvideosoft.com/products/dvd/Free-YouTube-Download.htm
.
Alltitlesareavailableat
http://www.dvdvideosoft.com
forimmedi-
atedownload.Alsoherearelotsofguidesandtutorialsrelated
todifferentvideotaskslike burningandripping DVDs,mak-
ing DVD copies, converting between all video formats and
more.All our programsrun underWindowsVista/XP/2000.
We respect our users’ privacy and there’s no spyware or
adware.
*Comfort Should Be The Golden Rule!
ComfortSoftwareGroupannouncesComfortKeys3.0,asuc-
cessor to the popular hotkey management tool. The new
version supports non-standard keyboard types (Ergonomic
andDellInspiron6000);speakstwonewlanguages(Hungar-
ianandsimplifiedChinese);hasadjustablesensitivityforfast
inputofcapitalletters,spacesandothercharacters;hastheop-
tion of hiding in the system tray and features an enhanced
hotkey management window with a full list of hotkeys and
newgroups.
Comfort Keys isa multifunctionalhotkey managerfor Win-
dowsVista,XPand 2000.The integrated clipboard manager
extends the capabilities of the standard Windows clipboard
allowing you to save an unlimited numberof copied objects
and reuse them as much as you want; and makes sure your
clipboarddata issaved incaseofapowerfailureorhardware
crash.Italso features an advanced task switcher,sound con-
troltoolsandavirtualkeyboardthatfacilitatesthechoiceand
configuration of yourhotkey combinations.Youcan quickly
switch languages, convert the selected fragment of text into
another language (or case), run keystroke macros, easily
manage a window and even restart the computer using the
keyboard.
Comfort Keys supports Windows Vista/2000/XP operating
systems. Apersonal license costs only $29.95.A multi-user
license ranges from $21.95 to $6.95. The company offers a
30-day money back guarantee on all orders. More informa-
tion on Comfort Keys, as well as its free trial version, is
available at
http://www.comfort-software.com/hotkey-manager.html
ProductscanbepurchasedfromPlimus,theofficialresellerof
ComfortSoftwareGroupproducts.Majorcreditcards(VISA,
MasterCard, Amex and Discover) are accepted. User Group
membersget 30% discount at:
https://secure.plimus.com
.
*Wow! Whata Clock!
ALSEDIGroupannouncesversion2.6ofPerfectClock.Itde-
livers any number of realistic clocks onto the desktop or
replaces your wallpaper with clock wallpaper.PerfectClock
letsyouknowthetimeinthemostconvenientwaybylooking
at stylish analog or digital clocks. Enjoy having as many
clocks on the desktop as you need, each displaying the time
forthe definedtimezone.Youcanuse thewallpaperclockas
ascreensaver. PerfectClock supports scaling. You can set a
labeltoa clock and customizefonts,color,positionandother
parameters. The Reminder feature is also customizable. On
the official website are dozens of clock and wallpaperclock
DealsGuy,
continued
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Page 6
ACGNJNews
April2008
DealsGuy,
continued
skins. It allowsyou to adjust hue,saturation, brightness and
contrastto reach optimalappearance of the clock.
You can manually create a unique skin without being a pro-
grammer. NewcustomerspurchasingPerfectClockcanorder
aPersonal Family Photo Clock Skin at no cost. It only re-
quires selecting a frame pattern,sending a photo or two,and
theskinwillbedeliveredtoyouinthreedays.Thisskinmakes
a
great
present
for
family
events.
Visit
http://www.perfect-clock.com
to getthe trial version.
PerfectClockrunsunderWindowsVista/XP/2000.TheStan-
dardEditioncosts$16.95(USD)forasingle-userlicenseand
theProfessionalEdition,supportingtheWallpaperClockfea-
ture,costs$23.95 (USD).Licensed customersare entitled to
thefullyfunctionalversionoftheproduct,freetechnicalsup-
portand freeupgrades.Furtherinformation on PerfectClock,
as well as a free trial copy is available from
http://www.perfect-clock.com
.Get a 20% discount on
Professional
version
or 20% discount on the
Standard Edition
.
Company web-site:
http://www.alsedi.com
That’sitforthismonth.I’llhavemorenewproductannounce-
mentsonmyWebsite(mostnotofferingadiscount).Meetme
here again next month ifyour editorpermits. Thiscolumn is
written to make user group membersaware of special offers
or freebies I have found or arranged, and my comments
shouldnotbeinterpretedtoencourage,ordiscourage,thepur-
chaseofanyproducts,nomatterhowenthusedImightsound.
Bob (The Cheapskate) Click. Visit my Web site at
http://www.dealsguy.com
.
Recording Audio
Bart Koslow (review(at)topcc.org), Thousand Oaks Personal Computer Club (
http://topcc.org/
)
Nowadaysitisno problem torecord video froma TVbroad-
cast, VCR or other source using a Digital Video Recorder.
WhenIbeganto lookintorecordingmusicbroadcastsoffthe
air,Ifoundthattherewere externalAudiorecorders,butthey
were expensive, beginning in the $250 range and up. Thisis
twiceasmuchasasimilarVideoRecorder.Since Iwanted to
create CDs from the broadcast music and I had DVD/CD
burners on my computer I decided that using my computer
wasa betterand cheaperalternative.
One possibility was a TV/FM card for my computer which
may be purchased for$30to $40and up.However,Ifounda
cheaper method.My stereo system wasonlya fewfeetfrom
my computer,soI connectedan audio outputfrommyaudio
receivertotheline inonmycomputersoundcard.Ihappened
tohaveacablewithtwoRCAconnectorsonone endgoingto
asinglestereoconnectorontheotherend.JustwhatIneeded,
Iconnected the RCAconnectorsto audio out on my receiver
andthestereoconnectortothelineinonmysoundcardonthe
computer.Nowall Ineeded wasaprogramthat could access
the sound card and record the input.
Ihit the jackpot. Roxio Easy Media Creatorhasjustthe pro-
gram.Not only that,but,once you complete yourrecording,
Roxio hasa basicsoundeditorthatenablesediting the sound
files, and programs to burn the files to a CD or DVD. The
Roxioprogramwillaccessanumberofinputsbesidestheline
in.You mayaccessyourphoneline, CDplayer,microphone
input, and other inputs including Internet Radio broadcasts
receivedonyourcomputer.You mayalsodecide which type
offile format torecord,WAV,MP3,orWMA,what fidelity
to record, and where to save the recorded file. In addition,
there isa recording level meterand control.
Once I turned on my stereo receiver and accessed the Roxio
recording program, everything went well.I recorded a long
broadcastforafewhoursandthenmycomputertoldmeIhad
aproblem and had to close the Roxio program. I lost my
whole recording,but now Iknew it worked and tried again.
ThistimeIclosed alltheprogramsIdidnotneedand discon-
nected from the Internet to get less interference when I
recorded.Aftereditingthe recordedaudiofile,Isuccessfully
burned it to two CDs.
If you have music cassettes or even VCRs with music, you
may use this technique to transfermusictoCDs.If you have
cable or satellite TV service with accompanying radio, you
may usethe above procedure torecord fromyoursettop box
to yourcomputer.Ihavesatellite service withSIRIUSradio,
and am now recording live and historical music broadcasts
that interest me.
Inextdiscovered thatin many casesIcouldbypassan exter-
nal stereo receiver, settop box,orrecorder by using Internet
Radio which may be played using Windows Media Player,
iTunes Player, Real Player or other free media players. All
youhavetodoisfindtheradiostationthatisbroadcastingthe
music you wish and thenenterthe URLfor itsstreaming au-
dio broadcasts in the Player software. I did a search using
Google and found there are numerous Internet radio station
locators, found the station I wanted and entered the URL.
NowIhadthemusic coming indirectlyto mycomputerfrom
the Internetwith no intermediary device.In orderto save the
musicIagainresortedtoRoxio’s“CaptureAudiofromSound
Card”program andchangedthe inputfrom“LineIn”to“Ste-
reoMix,” and recordedthe broadcastto a file.Editthe audio
file andburnitto aCDandIwasfinished.Itallworkedlikea
charm. Now, I do not need a Stereo Receiver, external re-
corder or even have to add a TV/ FM card to my computer.
The simple solutionsare alwaysthe best ones.
ThisarticlehasbeenprovidedtoAPCUGbytheauthorsolely
for publication by APCUG member groups. All other uses
require the permission of the author (see e-mail address
above).
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April2008
ACGNJNews
Page7
All Computers Wait at the Same Speed
Vinny La Bash (vlabash(at)comcast.net), Sarasota Personal Computer Users Group (www.spcug.org)
Ifirstheard that phrase aboutten yearsago at a geek confer-
ence inSeattle.Adecade agoisearlierthan the StoneAge in
computeryears.Itwasprobablymeanttomakefunofthepro-
pellerheadsthatcouldn’tlivewithoutthefastestCPUontheir
motherboard. The geeks’ concern with processing speed
seemed ridiculous to those who understood that computers
spend very little of their time processing information. They
spend it waiting for us to tell them to do something. You
wouldcertainly findyourlife very boringifyou hadtospend
99% ofyour time waiting for other people to act before you
could do anything.
Whatarewetalkingabout?We’retalkingaboutkeepingyour
systemproperlytuned soyoudon’thave towaitwhileittries
to do its job. It’s no secret that Vista has had performance
problems. Microsoft has promised that their upcoming ser-
vice pack should resolve most ifnot all performance issues.
We’veheardsimilarpromisesfromRedmondbefore,butthis
timetheysaytheyreallymeanit.Infairness,noteveryperfor-
mance issue can be laid at Microsoft’s doorstep, but it’s
alwaysfun to blame them —they’re such an easy target.
Vista putsgreatdemandsonyourCPUdue toAeroandother
assorted graphicalgizmosbuiltintotheproduct.Theyshould
have named it the Eye Candy OS. Responding to the user
community,Microsoftalso addedsecurity featuresandaddi-
tional functions that were not present in XP. When you ask
your CPU to do more, you’re adding overhead. This means
you need more CPUpoweroryoulive with a slowersystem.
IfVistaperformancehasbeenlessthanstellar,thegoodnews
isthatyoucandosomethingaboutitotherthanbuying anew
computer. Here are some of the things you can do to make
Vista more appealing from a performance standpoint.
You’reprobablytiredofhearingthisone.It’slikemothertell-
ingyoutoeatyourvegetables.Youknowshe’sright,butyou
don’t want to hearit.Add more memory.Vista is hungrier
for RAM than any of its predecessors, and with memory as
cheapasitis,it doesn’tmake sensetokeepit on a starvation
diet. XP runs great on one gigabyte of RAM. Vista should
have two gigabytes as a minimum, and you won’t go wrong
by installing even four gigabytes.
Even withenough physicalmemory,Vista can stillact like a
tiredolddog ifyouhavea lightweightvideocard.Gointothe
Performance Information and Toolsutility in ControlPanel,
and checkoutyourvideocard with WindowsExperienceIn-
dex.Youneedavideocardthat’scertifiedforVista Premium
andsupportsDirectX10.UsethemoneyyousaveonRAMto
buyagoodvideocard.Don’ttrytodothisoneonthecheap.
Arealhelp to good performance isbringing yourpowerset-
tingstotheHighPerformanceoption.DothisfromthePower
Options utility in Control Panel. The default setting is Bal-
anced which is OK for XP but not Vista. The High
Performance setting givesyou full accessto all the Powerin
the CPU.
Turn offthe sidebar.While thisfeatureisvisuallyappealing,
it has few socially redeeming traits.Turning off this feature
cansometimesresultinsignificantlyfasterstartupsandshut-
downs. Disable the sidebar by right-clicking it. Select
Properties, and remove the checkmark in the box that starts
the sidebarwhen Vista wakes up.
Fine tuneyourindexingoptions.Vistahasagreat searchfea-
ture, but it’s totally dependent on indexing the files and
programson yourharddrive.It’sa mixedblessing.Youhave
afantastic searchcapabilitywhenyouindexalllocations,but
you take a performance hit. By indexing fewer areas,
performancewillimprove,butyoursearchfeaturewillbeless
robust.Vista won’t let youturnoffindexing completely,but
youcandisableindexingforlocationsthatmaynotbeimpor-
tant to you. Do this from the Performance Information and
Toolsutility in Control Panel.
Here’sanother“eat yourveggies” type tip.Empty the Recy-
cleBinandadjustitsoitdoesn’ttakeupmorethan2%ofyour
harddrive. Right clickon the Recycle Bin,select Properties,
andmakethenecessary adjustmentsin the dialog box.Don’t
forget to defrag your disk once in a while, and empty the
Recycle Bin before you defrag,not after.
Open My Computerfrom the Desktop.Rightclick onthe C:
drive,select Propertiesandcheck howmuch space you have
left on your hard drive.If you’re approaching 90% or more,
youneedtotakenon-essentialfilesandmovethemtoanother
location.Vistaneedsfreediskspacetoperformcertainhouse-
keepingfunctions,andifithastohuntaroundforroomoruse
virtual memory,your performance hit could be enormous.
Keep yourdevicedriversup-to-date.Devicedriverswerede-
signedtoensurethatprogramsorhardwareperipheralscould
“talk” tothesystem without problemsanddo theirjobsprop-
erly. Newer drivers can improve 3D performance, fix bugs
and other graphical glitches in games and video programs.
Device driverscan avoid memory conflictsand preventpro-
gramsfromsquabbling overresources.Newerdevicedrivers
can support innovative features within applications, and
ensure compatibility among differentprograms.
TheseareonlysomeofthethingsyoucandotoimproveVista
performance. Removing unnecessary startup programs,pre-
venting spyware and virus infections, and updating old
software are additional steps you can take. If yoursystem is
frequentlyhanginguporcrashingafterdoingeverything you
candoto improve performance,then it’stime to considerre-
formatting your hard drive and reinstalling everything, but
that’sanother article.
ThisarticlehasbeenprovidedtoAPCUGbytheauthorsolely
for publication by APCUG member groups. All other uses
require the permission of the author (see e-mail address
above).
Page 8
ACGNJNews
April2008
Benefits of Using a Computer Sandbox
Gene Barlow, User Group Relations
AcomputerSandboxisnewertechnologythatisnotverywell
known,but,itcanbequiteusefulinmanysituations.Byusing
aSandboxutility,youcan placeyourcomputerinaprotected
statewhere youcantrysomeratherriskythingsonyourcom-
puterandnothaveyourcomputerdamagedinthetrials.Once
you place yourcomputerintoSandbox mode,you can safely
run anything on yourcomputer,knowing that all changesto
your hard drive will not be permanently made to your com-
puter.While in Sandbox mode, your computer runs as if all
changestothehard drive wereactually made toyoursystem.
But, at the end of using the Sandbox, you can throw away
these changes,puttingyourcomputerback exactlythe way it
was before entering the Sandbox. Let’s take a look at some
real lifesituationstobetterunderstandthebenefitsofusinga
Sandbox utility.
Installing New Software
Everyoneknowsthatwhenyouinstallanewsoftwareproduct
onyourcomputer,partsoftheproductareplacedalloveryour
computer’sharddrive.EntriesaremadetotheWindowsReg-
istry,specialsupportingfilesareplaceincertaindirectoriesof
the operating system,and othershortcut and setting files are
scatteredinvariousplacesonyourharddrive.Theseareinad-
dition to the main folder that isinstalled on your hard drive
withthesoftwareprograms.Mostsoftwarewilluninstalleas-
ily,butoftenpiecesoftheproductareleftbehindonyourhard
drive.Theseleftoverpiecesoforphanedsoftwarecanbuildup
and slow down your computer. Some software products in-
clude hidden viruses or other bad programs as you install
them. The end result is that installing newsoftware on your
computer can be a risky thing to do.
Using a Sandbox to install and test new software is a much
better approach. With a Sandbox, you put your computer in
Sandbox mode beforeyoudownloadedandinstalledthenew
software.Since the Sandbox lets you use the newly installed
software just as if it had been permanently installed on your
computer,youcanrunthenewsoftware totryitoutandsee if
youlikeit.Youcanalsorunvirusutilitiestoseeiftheinstalla-
tion gave you a virus you were not expecting. If you find
viruses on your computer or just decide you do not like the
newly installedsoftware,you canget outofthe Sandbox and
throwawayalltracesofthatsoftwareproductandanyhidden
virusthat came with it.
Letting Others Use Your Computer
AnotherreasontouseaSandboxistoletothersuseyourcom-
puter. Other users may change your computer to match the
waytheyliketousecomputers.Forexample,manyofushave
grandkidsthatcometovisitandwanttoplayonourcomputer.
They maydownloadgamestheylike,change yourwallpaper
anddefaultfontsizes.Theymaypickupvirusesintheprocess
ofgetting yourcomputer changed to their needs. When they
leave, your computer no longer is the same as it was before
they arrived.Itmaytakeyoudaystogetitworkingagain like
youwantitto.WithaSandbox,youcanplacethecomputerin
Sandbox mode before they arrive and then let them play on
your computer to their heartscontent. When they leave,you
simplyexittheSandboxandthrowawayallchangesthatthey
made to your computer. It is instantly back the way it was
before they started to use it.
ComputerLabs and Classrooms
User groups that have computer labs or classrooms have a
similar situation. The classroom computers are setup care-
fully by the instructors before the class begins. Once the
studentshaveusedthecomputerthroughouttheday,thecom-
putersare different and modified from what they were in the
beginning of the day. This may cause problems for the stu-
dentsthatfollowthem,sotheinstructorswilloftenrestorethe
computer’s hard drives to put them back to normal. With a
Sandbox,thislong restore processisnot needed.Instead,put
the computers in Sandbox mode at the beginning of the day
before the studentsarrive.Then at the end ofthe day,exitthe
Sandbox and throwaway all hard drive changesmade by the
students.The computersare quicklyreturnedtotheirnormal
state asyou exit the Sandbox.
Browsing the Internet
Much ofthe Spyware that you pick up on yourcomputerco-
mes from simply browsing the internet.Some web sites are
designedsothatsimplypassingyourcursoroverapartofthe
screen is enough to activate a download ofSpyware to your
computer.Notonly that,butyourprivacyisatriskwhenyou
browse the Internet.Windowsautomatically savesall of the
places you browse to and all of the screens you see on the
Internet.Browsing the Internetina Sandboxisa much better
approach.Place yourcomputerin Sandboxmode before you
start to browse the internet. Then browse all ofthe sites you
wantto.Whenyouaredonebrowsingthe internet,exitoutof
the Sandbox and throwaway all Spyware and tracesof web
sites you may have visited.
WeofferthreeexcellentSandboxproductsthatyoumaywant
touse onyourcomputer.Let’slookateachofthese briefly to
help you decide which one would best meet yourneeds.
StorageCraft ShadowSurfer
The smallest and least expensive Sandbox we offer is
ShadowSurferby StorageCraft Software.This product isthe
quickestproductto installandtheeasiestproducttouseofall
ofourSandbox products.With ShadowSurfer,allchangesto
your hard drive are always thrown away when you exit the
Sandbox,whichiswhatyouwantinmostcasesanyway.This
excellentproduct runson Win2000 andWinXP systemsand
isavailablefromusatthediscountpriceofjust$20.Thisisan
excellent beginning Sandbox productformosthome users.
Acronis True Image 11 Home Try&Decide
The next step up in ability and price isa feature that Acronis
has added to their newTrue Image 11 Home backup utility.
Thisfeature iscalledTry&Decide and itisa Sandboxfeature
builtintothisaward winningbackuputility.Try&Decide re-
quires that you create and use the Acronis SecureZone on
yourharddrivetocontainthetemporarychangestoyourhard
Continued
April2008
ACGNJNews
Page9
drive.When youexitthe Sandboxwith thisproduct,you can
choosetokeepallchangestoyourharddriveorthrowthemall
away.Thisexcellentproduct runsonWin2000,WinXP,and
WinVista operating systems and is available from us at the
discountpriceofjust$29foradownloador$33onaCD.This
isa verygood Sandbox feature that comeswith an outstand-
ing backup utility.
StorageCraft ShadowUserPro
The most advanced Sandbox utility we offer is ShadowUser
Pro by StorageCraft Software. This is a professional-level
Sandbox product that has many options and features to it.
With this product, you can password protect the controls of
the Sandbox, so that nobody can disable the Sandbox unless
they knowthe password.Perhapsthe biggestdifferencesbe-
tweenthisproductandtheothertwo Sandboxproductsisthat
you can pick and choose what filesto throw away and what
files to keep as you exit the Sandbox. This top of the line
SandboxproductrunsonWin2000andWinXPoperatingsys-
temsandisavailablefromusatthediscountpriceof$47.This
is the product you should use if you are running a public
computer workstation that needstight controls.
ASandbox offers you a new way to protect your computer
fromdamagefromthesoftwareyouinstalloraccessonthein-
ternet.Italsokeepsyourharddrive safefrom damagecaused
by others using your computer. The selection of Sandbox
productsweofferletsyoupickandchoose which one isright
for your needs. To order your Sandbox product, go to
www.ugr.com
and find the Sandbox product you are interested
in.Thenclickonthe BuyNowbuttononthatproductpage to
place yourorderusingoursecure web shopping cart.Asyou
completeyourorderindicatetheordercodeofUGNL0108to
qualify forthese excellentdiscountprices.If you have ques-
tions about this new technology or about any of these
productssendanemailtogene@ugr.comandIwilltrytohelp
you.
Gene Barlow, User Group Relations, PO Box 911600, St
George,UT84791-1600, (
www.ugr.com
)
ThisisoneofaseriesofmonthlytechnicalarticlesthatIdis-
tributetothosethathavesubscribedtothisnewsletter.Watch
for them and learn more about your computer and its hard
drive. You are receiving this newsletter because you sub-
scribedtoitorhavepurchaseproductsfromus. Tosubscribe
to this newsletter, send me an e-mail (geneAugr.com). User
group newsletter editors may print this article in their
monthly newsletter aslong as the article is printed in itsen-
tirety and not cut or edited. Please send me a copy of the
newslettercontainingthearticlesothatIcanseewhatgroups
arerunningthearticles.CopyrightedJanuary2008
Benefits of Using a Computer Sandbox,
continued
Shortcuts
Mike Moore (ml.moore@insightbb.com), Bowling Green Area Microcomputer User Group (www.bgamug.org)
Why dosomeiconsonyourdesktophavea littlewhite arrow
embedded in the picture?
These are shortcuts(sometimes called links).They are small
files that represent and “point to” the real thing. When you
double-left-clickona shortcuticon,Windowsreadstheloca-
tionofthefiletoopenfromwithintheshortcutfile,thenopens
the target file. Shortcuts are, in the lingo of computer pro-
grammers,symbolic links to actualfiles. Theydon’t contain
any of the file’s information—they just point to it. In real
terms:ifPeoria,Illinoiswasa file,then itsshortcutwouldbe
the map telling you how to get there.
Whydoweuseshortcuts?Whynotjustputthereal,actualfile
on your desktop? There are several reasons. First, since a
shortcut doesnotcontainany ofthetargetfile’sinformation,
itcanbedeletedwithoutdamagingthe fileitpointsto.There-
fore,placing shortcutson the desktop(orin any directory)is
safer. Accidental deletion of these linkswill not affect any-
thing other than you may lose track of where your file was!
The other reason is that you can have many shortcuts and
place them anywhere you might need quick access to your
file. For example, when we give away computers, we orga-
nize the software links in various folders on the desktop.
There’safolderforEducationalsoftwareandGame software
links,and forthe software that is both Educational and Fun,
we putlinksto thesame programinboththe Educationaland
Game folders. You can rename shortcuts to anything you
want,anditwon’taffecttherealnameofthefiletheypointto.
Shortcutsare also portable!IfIknowfor surethat a program
willbeinacertainplaceonnearlyeveryPC,Icane-mailalink
to someone and tell them to place it on their desktop. Dou-
ble-clicking on itshould open thatfile on myrecipient’sPC!
E-mailinga link ismuchmoreofasure betthane-mailingan
executable file — because most e-mail servers just won’t
allow executables (files ending in .EXE) to be sent!
Howdoesonecreatealink?Thebestwayistofindthefileyou
wantthelinktoreferto,thendo asingle right-clickonit.This
brings up a context menu where you can create the shortcut.
Once the shortcut iscreated you can move itto anydirectory
orto the desktop.
Forcreatingdesktoplinks,Windowsprovidesashortcutwiz-
ard that allows you to create a shortcut for any file type
includingawebpageoranotherfolder.Fromanywhereonthe
desktop, right click and select ‘New’ and then ‘Shortcut’ to
activate this wizard.
ThisarticlehasbeenprovidedtoAPCUGbytheauthorsolely
for publication by APCUG member groups. All other uses
require the permission of the author (see e-mail address
above).
Page 10
ACGNJNews
April2008
Let’sexaminea typical emailscenario.Afteropeningyour
email,you find a message thatyousimply must share with
all your friends. You press the “Forward” button and one
way or another get all their email addresses in the “To:”
box. Feeling quite satisfied after pressing the “Send” but-
ton, you sit back and take satisfaction in the joy you are
sending to others.
Youshouldbe ashamedofyourself.Youhavejustexposed
everyoneonyourmailinglistplusanypeoplewhoreceived
the email ahead of you to unending streams of spam,
spyware, viruses, and other assorted electronic junk and
mischief that hackers are prone to these days. What you
have done isprove conclusivelythat youdon’t have aclue
about the proper way to forward email. Your license to
compute should be revoked immediately.
Asmessagesgetforwardedinthiswaytheymovealongthe
internet, and the list of email addresses embedded in the
note gets longer and longer. All it takes is for just one of
thesefolkstogetavirusorsomeotherkindofmalware,and
everyone in thataddresslist can be infected.
Anyone can take those email addresses, sell them or send
outtheirownjunkmail.Assumingyouareamaturerespon-
sibleadult,youmostlikelywouldnotwanttoharmanyone,
eveninadvertently.Whatdoesa conscientiouspersondo to
stop orbetteryet,prevent damage?
When you click the “Forward” button you enter the edit
modeofyouremailclient. BeforeyoudoanythingelseDE-
LETE all the otheremailaddressesappearing at the top of
themessage. Letmerepeat.DELETEthembyhighlighting
them and THEN pressing the Delete button on your key-
board.It doesn’t take long. When you’ve finished, delete
any other junk that isn’tactuallypart of the message,such
as information about the original sender. Delete anything
that isnot part of what you want to send.
Ifyou’re sending the messagetomore thanone person,do
notusethe To:orCc:fieldsforaddingemailaddresses.Al-
ways, always use the BCC: (blind carbon copy) field for
listing the email addresses. The people receiving the
message will see only their own address.
Some emailclientsdon’tautomaticallyshowtheblindcar-
boncopyoption.Ifthat’sthecase,clickonwhereitsaysTo:
and your address list will appear. Highlight the email ad-
dressandchoose theBCC:option.It’snotmucheffort,and
iteliminatesthe possibilityofsomeone usingthe emailad-
dresses inappropriately. When you send using the blind
carbon copy, everyone receiving the message will see
“Undisclosed Recipients” in the heading information. If
youremailclientrequiresthatsomethingbeintheTo:field,
send the message to yourself and use the BCC: field for
everyone else.
RemoveanyFWinthe subjectline.Betteryet,cleanupthe
subjectlinecompletelybyfixinganyspellingorgrammati-
calmistakes.Whyletsomeone else’serrorsappearasyour
own?
ASIG-nificant Anniversary
On January 15,2008,the C/C++
UsersGroup(an ACGNJSpecial
Interest Group) celebrated its
18
th
Anniversary;eachandevery
oneofthose yearsunderthelead-
ership
of
Bruce
Arnold.
Congratulations, Bruce; and
Happy Anniversary!
Sometimes you will receive an email that is a petition. It
statesa positionand directsyou toadd yourname,address,
andsometimesotherinformation.Then you’re supposedto
send it to asmany people aspossible. Ifenough people do
this, an email can contain hundreds if not thousands of
namesand addresses.
The longer the list gets the more valuable it becomes to a
spammerorhackerbecause the namesand email addresses
are valid.If you really want to support the idea behind the
petition,a personal lettertothe eventual recipient carriesa
lot more weight than a piece of paper with a long list of
names.Whenyouthinkaboutit,listslikethesecan be gen-
erated from telephone books. Do you really think that a
memberofcongress isgoing topay attention to something
thatcould be so easily faked?
Sometimes these petitions come with statements or warn-
ingsthattheemailsarebeingtraced. Don’tbelieveit.While
technologyisconstantly improving,there isstillno wayto
trace emailsthrough the internet.
One kind ofreally annoying email isthe one that promises
that something wonderful is going to happen,but only if I
forward the message to at least ten people in the next ten
minutes. However,ifIfailtodo so,someunspeakable evil
willsurelybefallme.Ialwaysfailtodo so,andnothing bad
hashappened yet,butIwonderif thiscould be the reason I
haven’twon the lottery.
Before forwarding some version of an AmberAlert,take a
little time to check out the story behind the message. Most
ofthese messageshave beencirculating aroundtheinternet
foryears.Some ofthemhavebeenaround foradecade.Al-
most allofthem are much lessthan they seem. Some sites
thatwill help:
www.hoaxbusters.com
http://urbanlegends.about.com/od/internet/a/current_netlore.ht
m
http://ciac.llnl.gov/ciac/bulletins/h-05.shtml
http://www.snopes.com/snopes.asp
http://www.vmyths.com/
Youmaynotbe ableto stopthisstuffonyourown,butyou
can stop contributing to it.
How to Forward Email
Vinny La Bash (vlabash(at)comcast.net), Sarasota Personal Computer Users Group (
www.spcug.org
)
Documents you may be interested
Documents you may be interested