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|Vol. 16 No. 4||Supporting PC Platforms||Newsletter:..Jul - Aug. 2000|
Independence Day means . . .
Not so fast! Before you figure that the July monthly meeting is this Thursday, take a look at the calendar. This is July, which means your editor is heading off for the site of this year's American Institute of Floral Designers (AIFD) Symposium, this year in Orlando, Florida. In order to accommodate that trip and this month's bi-monthly news-letter, this issue is coming out a full week early, depending on how quickly the fingers can rattle the keyboard, and how quickly the snail mail delivery system can make appointed rounds on either side of the Independence Day holiday. With what may well amount to a five-day "holiday" for some, a quick reminder that this month's meeting is July 13 at 7:30 p.m., the usual room.
For the past handful of years, this summer period meant looking forward
to one trip or another. Prior to the Major Shrink of GT Power's bulletin
Since attending the Toronto, Canada, Get Together over another July
In addition to the GT Network Get Togethers, my wife's AIFD Sympo-sium
typically is scheduled around the July 4 holiday, in large part due to
This is the one time each year when floral designers from all across
Previous cities hosting this annual event have ranged from Atlanta in
This year's AIFD Symposium brings with it far more activity here than
The book and stage presentation have been underwritten by a floral design
One of the added advantages to this annual event is our filling out the week with at least a few days of vacation. Included within those few days is a visit to at least one or more museums in the host city. I'm not sure how many museums might be located in Orlando at this moment, but other sites have provided their share of art treasures to visit. Needless to say, this was yet another benefit of visiting Boston two years ago. Not to mention the city tour in a museum piece, one of the World War II-era "Ducks," those motorized vehicles capable of running on city streets and traveling on the water, too.
Hints ... on Windows
By Ernest Hintz
This is a new column designed to assist SFPCC computer club members.
Making Space by deleting leftovers (WIN9x)
1. With Windows Explorer, open the TEMP folder (C:\Windows\Temp) and look to see if there are a lot of files and folders in this directory. Should you find any, you can safely delete them and you may find you have recovered some space.
NOTE: If you have just completed the installation of a program, make
sure to restart your computer before you do the above. However, if you
suspect one of these files contains critical data, open it in a text
editor. If you see anything that looks important, copy and paste into
a new document for safekeeping.
Making More Space by deleting leftovers (WIN9x)
2. If your PC doesn't shut down properly, Windows will run ScanDisk
the next time you boot. If it finds lost fragments, it will delete them
for you. Before doing that, however, it asks if you want to save them
as files. Unfor-tunately, it doesn't say where it puts them or what the
new files are called. Here's how to find them. Open Tools/Find/Files
or Folders and search the root directory for file*.CHK. Typically, the
files are named FILE0000.CHK, FILE0001.CHK, FILE0002.CHK, and so on.
Speeding up your computer's file system (Win9x)
3. Changing your computer's File System typical role from "Desktop
Cleaning your computer's registry (Win9x & NT)
4. If you find your computer tends to run slower and slower, maybe Windows
9x registry needs to be cleaned. Download from Microsoft "REGCLEAN." As
of this writing, the latest version is 4.1a, build 7364.1. Put this into
a folder and locate it with Windows Explorer and click on it to run it.
In some cases you may have to run it again after you restart Windows.
Rebuilding your icons, etc. (Win9x & NT)
5. Find your icons are not showing correctly? Install Powertoy (written
Faster Windows Restart (Win9x)
6. Sometimes you need to restart Windows to make a settings change take effect. But there's a faster way. Select Shut Down from the Start menu,
then press and hold the Shift key when you click on Restart the Computer,
then (still holding down the Shift key) click OK. When the screen prompt
reads "Windows is now restarting," you can let go of the Shift
key. Performing this action bypasses the boot sequence.
Print System Summary (Win9x)
7. Right-click on the My Computer icon and select Properties from the
New Windows 9x Password (Win9x)
8. If you forget your Win95 password, just press Escape at the password
box, bring up the MS-DOS Prompt and enter dir *.PWL at the WINDOWS folder
to find your .PWL files. Delete the one with your name in front of it.
F4 Function Key in Internet and Windows Explorer (Win9x, NT, Win2k)
9. The F4 function key opens the Address drop-down menu and high-lights
it so you can quickly use your arrow keys to navigate local or network
Windows Internet Explorer & Dial-Up Connection (Win9x, NT, Win2k)
10. Save time with your Dial-Up Connection. If you're at a Web Page
which has numerous selections, instead of left clicking your way on to
Close Multiple Folders (Win9x, NT, Win2k)
11. If you have windows open simultaneously, assuming you've set up
Folder Options, available under the View menu, to display each folder
in its own window. Closing all these open folders down one by one can
take numerous clicks. Shortcut is to close all the open folders at once
by holding down the Shift key and click the Close button on the last
window you opened.
End task to recover from lock-up (Win9x)
12. NT and Windows 2000 users have taskmanager that allows the user
NOTE: By reviewing the list of programs on the list and you see one
that should not be running, it is possible that your computer is running
a Trojan. You can verify this by running your virus scanner.
Accessing Desktop (Win9x, NT, Win2k)
13. How often have you had your screen covered with open folders and
14. When you hit Ctrl+Alt+Delete, you'll see a list of what's running
Cable Modem or DSL Users or long hour dial-up connection (INTERNET)
15. It is very important for those of you that either have a constant
cable modem or DSL connection to the Internet to protect your computer
In brief: The most obvious is, if your computer is network sharing a
Is protecting your data from viruses & trojans worth $20?
16. For years, good common sense tended to be reasonably good protection
from viruses and trojans. However, the computer community "energetic
crafty wizards" have figured out how to attach these destructive
items even to images. Moreover, obtaining a text file from your best
friend is no longer a sure thing that some virus or trojan has not crept
into your friend's computer. So if you conclude that your time and data
is at least worth $20, get a virus scanner.
"The Official eBay" Guide to Buying Selling, and Collecting Just About Anything," by Laura Fisher Kaiser & Michael Kaiser
By Marsha Brandsdorfer
My good friend Ellen in Arizona is a dedicated Pez dispenser collector. These "dispensers" hold "Pez" candies and usually have different character features on them to attract children. However, many adults like to collect these toy candy holders and Ellen is a huge collector. However, to add to her collection dispensers that she cannot find in stores in her area, Ellen likes to buy through the Internet web site, eBay. eBay, after all, is the largest "auction" site in the world.
Coincidently, eBay was founded by Pierre Omidyar, because his wife Pam
(who was then his fiancée) was a huge collector of Pez dispensers
and told Pierre that she wished she could find other Pez collectors to
sell and buy dispensers in order to enhance her collection. It
occurred to Pierre that the Internet might be a good medium to accomplish
this, since the Internet was growing at an astounding rate. With
so many millions of people getting involved with the Internet, and the
Internet’s capability for providing interaction between people (i.e.,
e-mail and chat rooms), Pierre thought Pam could easily touch base with
other collectors. Pierre came up with the idea for eBay, an auction
site where people could buy and sell collectibles, and he figured it
would help Pam and others get in touch with other collectors, of Pez,
and other items.
"The Official eBay™ Guide" states that when eBay started that the only two categories available were "Collectibles and Computers." According to this guide, there are now more than 1,600 listings of categories and subcategories. The back of the book lists many of these categories, which include: (a) Automobile: collector vehicles, general vehicles, accessories, cars, trucks, RVS; (b) Books: general, audio, children, big little books, classics, reference, computers, fiction, adventure, mystery, romance, pulps, paperbacks, rare, first editions; © Music: general, blues, rock, jazz, rap, instrumental; (d) Animation Art: general, hand-painted, etc., etc. Well, you get the idea.
I have a friend Elaine who works for eBay in San Jose, and she says that most of the people who work for eBay are educated from some of the top colleges in the country. They are always trying to better the site, make it easier to use, give instructions on-line in a clear, concise way, but she says it is a stressful place to work. I imagine that since it is a growing company, there is always much to do. I asked Elaine if they advertise, and she said that eBay does not advertise; that they obtain their new customers through word of mouth recommendations from their present customers. I had an e-mail pal named Beth who was looking for some special Star Trek trading cards. After looking in some local stores and having no success, my friend Ellen suggested that I recommend to Beth to use eBay. Sure enough, Beth found the trading cards at this auction site, bid on them, won the bid, and is now a proud owner of the trading cards she wanted for her Star Trek collection.
To use eBay, it seems to be quite simple. I have not, to date, personally used the site to buy or sell anything. However, the book says that the first thing a patron must do is register and it guides the reader with step-by-step instructions on how to do this on pages 20 through 23. By registering you are providing basic information to eBay regarding your e-mail address, regular name, address and phone number, etc. Throughout the book, readers are assured that eBay values your privacy and that their web site is safe, etc. They also tell you what to do if you do have a problem with an item you bought or sold, etc. I haven’t heard any personal "horror" stories, so I assume that eBay is worthy of its reputation.
The book explains what eBay charges the seller for listing items on the auction site, how the bidding works, etc. There are very specific details, so all this information is excellent for reference. Throughout "The Official eBay™ Guide," the writers also have inserted stories conveyed by present customers of eBay and their experiences. Some of these are interesting. Of course, since this book is authorized by the company, they do not print any "bad experiences" anyone has had. Since I personally have not heard of any, I cannot rely them here. I assume, however, since the site has been around almost five years now, it is commendable.
I do recommend this book for those individuals who would like to use www.eBay.com and would like to have a handy reference guide, or for those who would like to read about eBay and the experiences of others. I’ve seen this book in numerous book stores, including Keplers in Menlo Park. Happy bidding!
By Bob Wallace
Just another quiet Saturday at home, aside from its being a holiday weekend that typically finds most people far out of town, if they choose to put up with all the extra traffic a "typical" summer holiday is likely to generate, despite gasoline prices going steadily up. It’s difficult to recall that it was only in February 1999 that oil companies were paying (I trust you’re sitting down) $10.00 per barrel for crude.
Within the past couple of weeks, lots of stories about gas prices, bare-bones reserves of electrical power due to too much heat causing Americans to crank up their air conditioners to help keep them cool, both at work and at home. Gas prices in the Midwest have jumped by about 50 cents per gallon, in part due to the transportation problem tied to a ruptured pipeline between St. Louis and Chicago/Milwaukee, and the mandated use of "re-formulated gas" (RFG) in Chicago and Milwaukee that, according to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) pronouncements, help clean up the air.
One has to wonder about all the claims being made by government agencies, each of which is charged with doing "A" and/or "B" to garner this or that result, followed by another round of screwing down the regulations that they, too, are responsible for, and in most instances, highly unaccountable to anyone for. First, we’re charged, as an agency of the government, with making the "standards" that we’ll live by, then enforcing those standards by whatever it takes to do it. Second, we’ll ratchet up the regulations to make it even more palatable for us to live, and then insist upon those higher standards being put in place and enforced. Anyone else see an insidious pattern going on here?
One of the apparent casualties of the telephone service interruption in San Bruno the last week of June may be Judy Oliphant’s telephone, which also means her Internet e-mail capabilities have been impacted. What follows as the Calendar is from memory of a discussion some time ago as to which topics might be in which month. This may or may not be accurate, aside from the Potluck dinner in August.
August 10: Potluck dinner
September 14: Jerry Havnar on a subject Win. 98 Control and Help files
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