May 9th, 2009 Meeting
Gabe Goldberg: A Little PC Cleaning Pays Off
Gabe's article on this topic: PC Cleanup Pays Off
Related article - Gabe says "Follow the warnings!" A Clean PC 7.46 MB file
Gabe mentioned this repair shop: Keystone Computers
March 21st, 2009 Meeting
Photoshop Elements 7, LightRoom2, High Dynamic Range Photography
Presentation by Chuck Roberts PDF File
February 21st, 2009 Meeting
Radio Shack Indoor Antenna
RCA ANT1500 Flat Multi-Directional Indoor HDTV Antenna (ANT1500)
Zenith DTT901 DTV Converter Box
Zinwell 970A DTV Converter Box
Solid Signal's Converter Box Page
Digital TV Conversion information resources - see July 19th, 2008 meeting info, below.
Help from Q & A Session:
Q: My computer's slowing down - what should I do?
A: Make sure all your security software is up-to-date, both with program updates and anti-virus and malware definition files, and you're regularly running scans of all your files - i. e. full scans, not just "quick" scans. You should have a software firewall (other than the one that comes with Windows - you can only run one firewall, and one AV program at a time), anti-virus, and anti-malware protection. You can use a security suite, which combines these functions into a package, or individual products.
which shows ratings of security products from various magazines.
Perhaps you've got too many programs running at the same time, chewing up memory, and causing your computer to constantly swap programs to and from your hard drive to free up memory. (Increasing memory is generally one of the easiest and cheapest ways to speed up your computer.) Get a copy of Mike Linn's Startup Control Panel, which, when installed, becomes an Icon in your Control Panel. This program allows you to selectively turn off items that run when your computer starts up. Many of them can be safely disabled.
You can use the libraries of processes from Uniblue Software to determine what programs you might wish to keep from running at system startup, and which may be associated with malware. http://www.liutilities.com/products/wintaskspro/processlibrary/
Uniblue offers products to scan your computer and make suggestions to speed it up. They offer an on-line speedup scan, and Registry Booster, a product to clean your Windows Registry. Similar products are available within Symantec's Norton Utilities and System Works packages, and from PC PitStop's Optimize. Be careful to use products in this arena from reputable sources - check with magazine web site reviews for appropriate candidates.
January 17, 2009th Meeting
Lorrin Garson’s Presentation on the Amazon Kindle electronic book reader. PDF File (17.6 MB)
Smart Computing Magazine’s User Group Program
Our group is now ready to start earning free subscriptions! The unique code
numbers for our user group are as follows, for the noted publications:
Smart Computing: 12642
PC Today: 564
Directions from Smart Computing:
As part of our User Group Program, we will track any subscriptions that are
submitted using these code numbers and for every five paid subscriptions we
receive from your group, we will give WACUG a free subscription. Please note
that our totals are calculated quarterly. Your group can use this free
subscription as a door prize, raffle prize, gift, etc. Members, friends and
family of your group can order subscriptions in one of two ways:
1) Visit https://www.smartcomputing.com/secure/membership.asp
complete the online order form and choose your group out of the drop down
2) Call (800) 733-3809 and order from one of our friendly customer service
representatives. Be sure to mention your group's code numbers to ensure
your group will receive credit for the order.
Help from the Q&A session & End of Meeting cards:
Q: How do I manage all my passwords?
A: Try Roboform, an inexpensive program that solves password issues. Free trial is available (only holds ten passwords)
Follow this link for a special WACUG / OLLI discount:
Q: What's a "Home Page"?
A: The initial page of a web site. Think of an organization chart. The home page is the equivalent of the "top dog" on the org chart. Everything flows down from that, via links.
Q: What laptop should I buy?
A: How much money you got? But seriously - this is the topic for about 30 minutes of a meeting. Here's the basics: As the weight of the laptop decreases, the price increases. As weight decreases, the computing power and functionality may decrease. Is this computer a desktop replacement? Remember, that to save battery power, most laptops have slower hard drives than many of us are used to in desktop machines. That can be highly frustrating for some users.
If you're a photographer, and want to seriously manipulate your images with Photoshop, a suitable laptop will probably be heavy, and expensive. If you're a videographer, or a hard-core gamer - "Dude - yer gonna pay nasally for this laptop!" And, you're gonna be buff from carrying that sucker!
That said - because of Moore's Law, and the ever-increasing power of computers, and corresponding reduction of prices, you can get a powerful laptop for a reasonable price. For example, thanks to careful shopping by John West, OLLI acquired an excellent laptop for their Reston classroom this fall for $500, getting a sale price reduction of $180.
And we've put the cart before the horse, because the basic question about any computer purchases hasn't been asked and answered - "What are you going to use it for?" If the answer is to just get your email when on vacation, a so-called "net book" may be perfect, but not the answer if you wanted to burn the vacation photos to CD or DVD, because to keep the weight and size of this mini-laptop down to around two pounds, and the size of a thin book, there's no optical drive. Everything's a tradeoff, in the world of laptops.
So, what to do? Here's a web site that may give you some ideas: http://www.pcworld.com/products/computers/laptops.html