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Tuesday, May 04, 2004
10:19 PM 5/4/2004

New users SIG For May 06, 2004 at 7:00 P.M.

1. We welcome all new users, and discuss our wins and losses for the month, mostly wins,I hope. Then, we'll get to the good stuff, time permitting of course. Just kidding, take all the time you want.

2. Organize with virtual desktop manager, get simultaneous multiple views of your desktop, four fabulous views.

3. How to add a print directory feature for folders in Windows XP, a step-by-step summary of code to write for folder directory. This one is a little complicated so it would be a good group project for the night. We'll try it out on the Computer Built by Frank.

4. Remove hidden Windows programs, Sarah Lane from tech TV has a neat routine for finding and eliminating hidden programs.

A little homework, how many programs are running on your PC right now? bring your total with you to the meeting, Eh? I have 22, and I only knowingly called one of them.

5. A contributor to the LangaList has a routine for avoiding the pesky reactivation issues with Microsoft. It's pretty easy to do so, we'll go through it tonight.

6. I have a directory for all of the DOS commands and an explanation of what they do and what they are for, so be sure to get that tonight.

7. If time permits, I want to go over some backup options, so that your backups are painless and worthwhile. I know a lot of people believe that the Microsoft Way is the only way. And I believe it's a good way. But for most of us this is too complex, and therefore we don't use it. So I'm trying to find some cheap/free method/programs of getting good backups so that we can see immediately if they are usable or not. So if we have a hard drive failure it will not be a big deal to get our data all back. Larry Piper mentioned that one can find all of our work that we've done during the day by using the search command, We'll test that Thursday night.

If you have a hard drive in your PC, a hard drive failure is in your future.

Hope to see you all, Frank

What's better than the smell of hot fresh electronics in the morning? I don't know, nothing smells better than hot fresh electronics in the morning.
This space is reserved for the April 2004 summary for the New Users SIG.




stay tuned Frank
Monday, March 15, 2004
Summary of the March New Users SIG meeting 2004, there were nine present plus the moderator ,Frank

Frank started the meeting by telling how one of his external hard drives had corrupted data after an all night I/O problem, i.e. writing out to a file.
Several others suggested putting the hard drive into the PC as a slave and he was able to recover most of the data on the hard drive. The drive that got the corrupted data files and sectors in it was healed, Windows XP was able to resolve and restore data and sectors, but not all, as Win XP does not tolerate lost data.
Ed asked about the email to him that bounced, several responded that their e-mail had bounced back to them because of centurytel.
Larry tested his wireless Internet card in his laptop successfully; he was able to go on the internet on Frank’s wireless LAN.
Frank and Larry tried the network but it became apparent that due to having two and different user group names they were unable to communicate with each other
Ed told how he was able to recover data from a partially unreadable CD using cloneCD and then burned onto a CD and it was all readable, so cloneCD was able to recover all the data, it’s a great program.
Bob said how you got two virus hits that morning, but he was able to isolate them and put them on a floppy.
Frank was able to go to Microsoft and have them check his PC for doom viruses. No viruses were found.
Robert asked if he could install USB 2.0 and still use his USB 1.1 on his PC. He can do it.
Frank told how he got denied the DSL connection the same day he got the equipment for the DSL connection from SBC.
Disk defrags came up again, the usual pros and cons.
We discussed several items on the agenda, rename files in batch, disk cleanup, and a program called showantell which is a fee based site.
Most of the programs mentioned on the agenda came from PC World Magazine.
Ed told how he had experience with read only files and they could be not be over written.
Frank said he had plans to use his slow PC with Linux, to act as a server for a hard drive array to use as backup for his daily data from two PC’s. Ken discussed Lindows, he likes it very much and it is user friendly.
Frank brought up office 2003 and his use of the speech to text recognition software that is part of it.
Shirley gave a talk about Microsoft OneNote for fifteen to twenty minutes, she likes the program.
Larry talked about Microsoft bringing out a 64 bit operating system. He asked how he could not find a program in add remove programs to uninstall it. Several pointed out that it had its own remove program.
Programs for muilty-play, it turns out that you can’t use just one program to play all your muilty-media files.
Several people talked about the first word editor that they ever used, which was back in the seventies and eighties.
The audio of this meeting is available on the SVCA web site at;

A.F.5 Rename your files v1.1
Rename massive batches of files with little fuss.,collid,1294,00.asp for above.
You can't get a virus just by reading your email
A virus cannot attack without your help
Never open an attachment unless you know about it. It might have a virus.
Monday, March 01, 2004
This is the agenda for the March meeting of the New Users SIG. March 04,2004.

Ultimate Boot CD v2.1
Run diagnostics from a CD, not from your ailing hard drive.

VirtualLab Data Recovery Software v3.3.5
Recover data lost from almost anything short of a sledgehammer accident.
CloneCD v4.0.1.10 $32.00 This is one strong and powerful little CD copy program, it will not stop until the job is done.

File Splitter
Use this freeware to copy and move large files onto floppy disks.

Lighten your hard drive's load by deleting obsolete files.

Distribute large files by e-mail or floppy disk by breaking the file into smaller pieces.

Restoration v2.514
Recover deleted files--or delete them for good--with this small program.

Disk Space Recovery Wizard
Free up space on your hard drive with this file management utility.

Rjh Extensions v1.3
Extend right-click functionality in Windows so that you can shred, duplicate, and encrypt files.

PrintFolders v1.4
Print out your folders and save lists of files in plain text.

CleanIt v2.0
Keep your Temp folder clean by automating that deletion of its files.

Touch for Windows
Make it easy to change the dates and times recorded on your files.

Find duplicate files by comparing their attributes, and then delete them.

Batchrun v4.1
An easy way to do batch jobs using a graphical interface.

Quickly rename multiple files in a single swoop.

Extension Manager
Uncover hidden file extensions that may be harboring viruses.

Deleted File Analysis Utility
Scan your hard drive to list deleted files that may still be recoverable.

Fast Directory Finder v1.1.0b
Index folders on your hard drive, and avoid long searches.

Synchronize It!
Make sure you have the most recent version of your document.

CROA v1.4
Rename groups of read-only files in one fell swoop so you can work on them.

Enhance Windows Explorer with this free utility.

Koolguy's ListMaker
Generate lists of files on all floppy and hard disks, as well as CD-ROMs.

Hidden File Detector v1.9
Detect memory-hogging files and fields lurking in your Word docs.

Post-it Software Notes Lite
Is your monitor covered with little sticky notes? Use virtual Post-its instead.

Shortcuts Map v2.2
Abandon the mouse: Create and change hotkeys with this simple-to-use program.

A.F.5 Rename your files v1.1
Rename massive batches of files with little fuss.,collid,1294,00.asp for above.

Convert BMP to JPG images

You can't get a virus just by reading your email
A virus cannot attack without your help
Never open an attachment unless you know about it. It might have a virus.
Monday, February 16, 2004
Feb. 05,2004 New Users SIG

Attendees; Ed, Larry, Jim, John, Bob, Shirley, and Frank.

Larry has had trouble with his email, he has had some bounce back that he didn't send. Ed explained that the virus does not have to be on your computer, but that your email address is being used to send emails and when they go to an undeliverable addresses, they bounce back to you. Your email address has been stolen. Frank mentioned the three rules to not get viruses.
+ You can't get a virus just by reading your email.
+ A virus cannot attack without your help.
+ Never open an attachment unless you know the sender really sent it.
As per Leo and Pat of Tech TV

Larry has successfully hidden his email address on his web site by making it a graphic file. Ed monitors his web activity and shuts it down when not in use, as do Frank and Shirley.

Frank was able to use his Ad-aware and Spy-Bot spy and destroy programs with good success.

Ed talked about OCR, text to speech and speech to text after Frank said he was getting the Dragon speech to text program.

We discussed hard drive (HD) partitions and how it boils down to our personal preferencees and how we intend to use them on the HD. Bob has concerns with the NTFS of Win XP,because DOS cannot be used to boot up from a system failure. He made a seven CD-R disc back-up of his system, but he has not tested it yet. Ed does not use the "Restore" function of his Win ME system. This is different then the restore we get when we use the restore from a back-up function. MS uses the same word to mean different things to us, and it can be confusing at times. Bob mentioned the several files that are used by the ME and XP Restore function.

Ed has found software from Western Digital he uses to copy the content of his master HD to another HD when he
migrated his OS to a larger HD. Ed says the Western Digital site is worth it just for the HD jumper settings info one can get at from the web site. He also used the software to resize paritions. Ed had good success formatting and tranferring his files to his new HD, but not while it was an external HD. This program was also discussed at Larry's Internet SIG.Moving all the content of a hard drive to another hard drive on a new computer or just from one hard drive to another hard drive URL's.,4149,17361,00.asp -- alohabob
We have DOS and it works
xcopy c:\*.* d:\.... Larry knows the rest of the command line.
Most HD installs ask if you want to copy the content of the old HD over to the new drive.

We also discussed several other programs and functions;
We can recover deleted and lost files if we work at it
We can buy low cost computers if we shop the web and some local stores, cheap doesn't always mean low quality.
How to buy a good and cheap computer.
Cnet Shopper
Each site works in a similar way,24330,3410067,00.html
If you don't need to buy new, check eBay to find prices on used products and browse trader forums at sites such as and AnandTech. If you do want to buy an item from an individual in a forum, see if they're rated at Check coupon sites such as and for coupon codes and rebates. Also check deals forums such as AnandTech's hot deals and ResellerRatings' deals forum. Don't always assume that a "deal" at one of those sites is the best price.
cheap laptops,24330,3456558,00.html

The Hello program can be used to share high quality digital pictures with anyone we chose.
A digital picture tip for free. It'll be worth the price of admission.
That’s it! After installing Hello, you can log in with your new account and click “Invite” to get started sharing pictures.

To listen to the meeting part click here.
Part two click here.

Tuesday, February 03, 2004
The agenda for the Feb. 6, 2004 New Users SIG. 7:00P.M.

Meet and greet everyone.

Answers and questions... and any good sucessess we had in the last month.

Tips on using the control and the function keys

How to buy a good and cheap computer.

Can you believe the prices on hard drives and how do you pick one?

Can you believe the prices on DVD burners and how do you pick one?

Moving all the content of a hard drive to another hard drive on a new computer or just from one hard drive to another hard drive.

Shouldn't we have all hard drives as externals, except the master?

Partition, oh partition, how do we pick the size of our partitions? The cost of a GB at $0.50 or less, we have more options for partition sizes.

Back up the DVD's you don't want to lose, simply and at no cost other then the cost of a blank DVD plus or dash.

A digital picture tip for free. It'll be worth the price of admission.
Tuesday, January 27, 2004
January 8, 2004 Meeting
Attendees: Ed, Larry & Judy, George, Shirley & Frank

Frank discussed how to hook up two hard drives to the external boxes that we purchased from NewEgg. Frank was not successful using the Memory Analyzer that Larry discussed at his last Internet SIG. Ed has an HP printer that shows up on his computer as a hard drive. Ed & George both said they use Encarta to map out trips. George also uses his GPS system. George also discussed the Cadillac concept car he drove equipt with futuristic bells and whistles. It has a GPS that will take him anywhere.

Judy needed to know where to find her temporary internet files on MS Windows XP. Ed showed us how to get the full file path to show up when we do a search in XP. Discussion followed about HDTV and how sophisticated television sets have become.... ie. George has to program his wide-screen HDTV using software to operate it.

Larry commented on how a year ago he was removing a virus from Mary's PC. Frank discussed batteries... the care and maintenance to ensure a long battery life. For instance we should not allow lithium ion batteries to trickle charge. They may blow up. Judy discussed her grandchildren's ocular implants and the battery type used.

Frank showed his youngest grandson's streaming video on the web... one that he filmed and produced himself with a children's program using Leggo's. Larry brought up a new website he found... My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys - a slideshow with music. Shirley says it has since been disabled by the webhost, Comcast, probably due to excessive bandwidth activity.

Larry again went through the process of finding the temporary internet files. The path is: C:\Documents and Settings\Default User\Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files. Good luck. See you at the next meeting. Hear the details on our streaming audio.
OK,here is part two.
Monday, December 08, 2003
New User SIG - December 6, 2003
In attendance: Judy Piper, Shirley Salas, Larry Piper, Jim Hernden, Ed Stroiwas, John Dashner, George Barrera, Robert Hughes, Bob Montgomery, Frank Salas

Discussion was opened to member problems, discoveries and successful fixes. Ed started by talking about the USB2 PCI card he installed. He also said, 'Thank God for my backup I had on my external drive...' because these cards would just lock up his system and made it inoperable. They were incompatible with his motherboard. He's satisfied using his existing USB1.1 for his external devices. Larry asked George about his experience scanning with PaperPort, OmniPage Pro or other OCR software. He pointed out there are good articles on the SVCA website about it.

Additional topics discussed:

The details can be gleaned by listening to the streaming audio.
Okay, now you can take a break... come back and listen to Part 2.

We were able to create the streaming audio and get it to the internet using Larry's instructions, found at his Internet SIG website.

Thursday, November 20, 2003
Meeting Summary of November 6 New User's SIG

Meeting started at 7:00 p.m. Attended by Ed Stroiwas, Larry Piper, Judy Piper, John Dashner, Shirley Salas, George Barerra, Gerald Frede, John Dickinson, Carolyn Laurenz and Frank Salas, moderator.

Frank cautioned everyone that the meeting was to be tape recorded. His hope was to have streaming audio on this blog. Any one could then listen to the meeting as it happened, and we that were there could revisit any nuggets of info as req'd. It turns out that the great experiment didn't work because of the microphone resulting in poor audio. Too much distance to the voice and mike. Will try again.

Frank introduced featured speaker, Ed Stroiwas, whose subject was Microsoft Backups. Ed passed out 14 pages of screen shots, detailing his backup routine. The standard Microsoft Backup procedures are detailed in the following URL's: Keep in mind that some articles are all incompassing and may discuss more than one subject. The first URL is such a one, but it is a wealth of MS Win xx information.

Ed also had a screen shot of the result of a power failure during the backup procedure. The results were very bad, all data were lost. Ed had a good back up copy to recover his data, of course. Frank is willing to scan and post Ed's screen shots if anyone wishes to see them. Thanks Ed for a great presentation!

Frank also talked about XP Home backup and limitations. The limitations are greater than first thought because you cannot restore your system in event of a disaster without first loading the Win XP OS from the CD and SP1. The following URL's explain the details. --backup--- 320820&product=winxp ---backup --restore---;[ln];winxpfaq&product=winxp -- a wealth of info.

Since the meeting Frank has found a utility to back up just your email and address book, as follows;

Frank talked about Silent Bob, a soundcard recording software to wave files and that turns about to be a limitation on it's useability. It does a fine job of recording internet radio, voice microphone output and anything that goes through the soundcard. This is the software used for tonight's meeting and it could have been a great thing.

Larry Piper suggested using Total Recorder. It has the same features and limitations as Silent Bob. More work to follow along this path. --- totalrecorder
Valuable info about joint stereo in Lame:

Meeting closed at 9:00 p.m.
Sunday, November 09, 2003
Installing Microsoft BackUp Utility For Windows XP Home
At the last New User SIG meeting I promised Fred that I would send him some detail on how to install his MS backup utility. Here it is.

Eclipse of the Moon 11.8.2003

Wednesday, October 08, 2003
SVCA New User SIG - Summary of Thursday, October 2, 2003 Meeting
Attendees: John Dashner, Ed Stroiwas, Gerry Frebe, Robert Hughes, Shirley Salas, and moderator Frank Salas
A. New hardware/software problems from members
Question from Robert... wanted to know why drive A tells him his diskette is full with only 600 KB of data on it. Ed pointed out that drive A has a limit on number of files it can track. Robert then discussed digital pianos now have diskette drives but Ed said that new ones would have CD burners on them. Robert also asked about RAM drives, virtual memory and SWAP files. RAM drives have limitations in that the data they contain is erased when you power down your computer.
1 ram drive
3,24330,2375580,00.html -- should have lots of ram !
4 virtual-memory
8 -- swap files too
9 2gb is better
10 a lot of good tips

Robert asked about the difference between soft and hard shutdowns. We thought he meant a keyboard shutdown vs. normal start >shutdown. Frank pointed out that keyboard shutdowns differ from OS to OS. Hughes went on to tell us about his love affair with Amiga computers. Somebody said he could probably find one on eBay. Much off topic discussion followed. Ed presented Microsoft paper number 305595 - How to: Create a Boot Disk for an NTFS or FAT Partition in Windows XP.

B. We discussed the USB 2 external hard drive enclosure from
1 They cost $35 plus $5 shipping for each, no matter how many you get but Frank thinks it's a great buy. They can also be used for CD-R/RW and DVD Plus or Minus burners.

C. Also discussed briefly how to tweak your XP OS.
2 shareware

Meeting was pretty full without the full agenda presented. Remaining topics will be covered at the next meeting. Here is a list of the topics and URL's so you can check them out in advance to come prepared with your input.
D. Free MP3 CD maker

E. How to save real audio/video streams
4 best of the lot?

F. CD/DVD longevity

G. Plus R DVD media is better than minus DVD media
2 - how to find best media ?

H. Brief discussion of Freevo software - how to make your old computer into a TIVO. It's not easy but it could be cheap, ie. no monthly fees.

Tuesday, September 30, 2003
Agenda - New User's SIG - October 2, 2003

  1. New hardware/software problems from members

  2. Brief overview of USB 2 HDD external enclosure

  3. Free MP3 CD maker

  4. How to tweak your XP OS to make it faster

  5. How to save real audio/video streams

  6. CD/DVD longevity

  7. Plus R DVD is better than minus

  8. Time permitting... a brief discussion of Freevo software, how to make your old computer into a TIVO. It's not easy but it could be cheap, ie. no monthly fees.

Summary of September 4, 2003 New User's SIG meeting

Due to timing the moderator had only a minimal plan for the night. Thanks to John Dashner and Bob Montgomery it was a hard drive kind of night. Both were trying to modify their hard drives. John was trying to load Microsoft Windows ME onto a new 80 gig hard drive. During the night he tried several plans and none would load the OS. He was able to load the OS the next day after a sleepless night by omitting the master/slave relationship jumper on the new drive. He had to tell the system it was the only drive. See? We learn new methods every day.

Bob Montomery was attempting to partition his 80 gig hard drive that came with his new E-machine without any luck. He was using the Windows XP disc management utility. Rick and others pointed out that this utility cannot partition a drive after it has data on it. It doesn't know what to do with the data. Frank brought out a utility software for this purpose and Bob was able to partition his drive to his satisfaction.

We had a brief discussion about making a start-up diskette with Windows XP and determined it was without merit or usefulness. None required with XP?

Ed Stroiwas brought over three articles. We should have discussed these and we shall soon.

It was a fairly good night and we hope to get better with time.
Thursday, September 04, 2003
Our stated purpose is to help new PC users get familiar with their computers and become more productive while gaining enjoyment from the experience. We will do that. However, we will also range far and wide in the pursuit of more productive ways to use our PC's..... or not. The question arises... if you know your PC, how can you be more productive by coming here? Come and find out.

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