Bellaggio Computer and Technical Club Newsletter by decree


                                                            Computer and
                                                            Technical Club

 a proud member of FACUG and APCUG                                  DECEMBER 2009
       The BCTC Board                                        Pressure! Being that I’ll be away for a bit and
Jeff Robins, President
                                                             then returning for some surgery, beckons that I
Judy Constable, Vice-President
Morty Gellen, Treasurer                                      do the December newsletter a bit earlier than I
Irwin Fishman, Secretary                                     would like. As of this writing the agenda for the
Paul Hirsch, Guru                                            December 21 meeting has yet to be determined.
Carol Levine, Webmaster                                      Irwin Fishman has volunteered to run the month
Edgar Gintz, Publicity                                       of December. Thanks Irwin!
Herm Natanblut, Membership
Harold Heydt, Programming                                    My thanks to Harold Heydt (Photoshop) and Judy
Jeff Kolodney, Programming                                   Constable (Genealogy) for their presentations on
Karl Wittman, Education                                      November 16. Harold explained some of the finer
Steve Chall, Librarian, Advisor   points of ‘fixing’ digital pictures and indicated that he would be happy to
Michael Budd, Advisor
Steve Caplan, Advisor             lead future SIGs on the subject. Judy showed us how, through various
Marvin Wapnitsky, Advisor         programs and websites, we can trace our family histories back in time.
                                  We even saw her father “talk” to us. A listing of her favorite websites can
                                  be found elsewhere in this newsletter. I am awaiting Joan Wolfe, the win-
Next General Meeting              ner of the digital frame, to come and claim her prize.
   Open to all residents          On November 19, twenty BCTC members took a ‘roadtrip’ to the Apple
      December 21                 Store in the Mall at Wellington Green. Jay Jenkins, Business Partner of
        7:00PM                    the facility was most gracious as he gave us a tour of Apple products,
                                  from computers, to iPods, to iPhones, to …. Jay’s sales pitch must have
      Media Room                  been effective, as we now have some Apple converts. Perhaps Apple own-
        guest speaker:            ers should form a SIG of their own to discuss Apples. Interested in lead-
   to be determined               ing such a SIG? Let me know, we’ll help start it.
            topic:                There are still some cabins available for the FACUG Technology Confer-
    to be determined              ence at Sea on February 26 – March 1, 2010. Speak to me or go to
                         for more information.
 A yet to be determined           BCTC members get discounts at the Best Buy store on 441 in Royal Palm
 SIG will take place at           Beach and Batteries Plus at 6250 Lantana Rd (just east of Jog Road, be-
                                  hind the Outback restaurant). Membership cards are required to get your
        Refreshments              discount.
                                  The Executive Board of the Bellaggio Computer and Technical Club wish-
                                  es you A HAPPY AND HEALTHY (PROPEROUS WOULDN’T HURT EITHER)
read your emails, or check the
 clubhouse bulletin board for     NEW YEAR.
      more information.
Emergency Contact Information
This service will allow you to provide emergency contact information to law enforcement in the event
of an emergency. This information may save crucial time if ever it becomes necessary to contact family
members, or other loved ones. This service is only available to individuals holding a current Florida
Driver License or Florida Identification Card.
You can now go online and enter two (2) emergency contacts on your Florida Drivers License
(electronically) which can only be retrieved by a police officer.
This came about as a result of one woman's teenage daughter being in a car accident and taking over 5
hours to locate the mother to inform her. This way, the police can run the drivers license and have the
emergency info ASAP!

Email Etiquette
There isn't much privacy online. Be selective about what you put in an email. Be aware that your work
emails and web access is often monitored and have been used as the basis to terminate employees at
some companies. Many administrators avoid putting certain matters in print and teachers might be well
advised to do the same.
Beyond matters of basic courtesy and privacy, email syntax allows for different types of recipients. The
primary recipient, defined by the To: line, can reasonably be expected to respond, but recipients of car-
bon copies cannot be, although they still might.
Be careful with the CC/BCC functions to large groups. Distribution lists are more prudent for larger
numbers. In late 2007, employees of the United States Department of Homeland Security used large
CC lists in place of a mailing list to broadcast messages to several hundred users. Misuse of the "reply
to all" caused the number of responses to that message to quickly expand to some 2 million messag-
es, bringing down their mail server. Don't bring down the technology!
These guidelines hopefully will help you:
Use the subject line and make sure the subject line reflects your content
Don't hit send if you are emotional. Save it and review it after you've calmed down.
Remember: no one can guess your mood, see your facial expressions, etc.. All they have are your
words, and your words can express the opposite of what you feel.
Like most electronic communications, ALL CAPITAL LETTERS is equal to shouting or screaming
Be brief. If your message is short, people will be more likely to read it.
Make a good impression. Your words and content represent you; use spellcheck and review/edit your
words and images before sending.
Forward e-mail messages you receive only with permission of the sender
Remember you are not anonymous. What you write in an e-mail and web site can be traced back to
ALWAYS obey copyright laws and don't use others' images, content, etc. without permission. Cite oth-
ers' work you use.
Use distribution lists appropriately and with permission
Do not send SPAM. SPAM is posting or e-mailing unsolicited e-mail, often advertising messages, to a
wide audience. like junk mail online.
Don't forward chain letters

    BCTC cannot be responsible for problems that may arise as
    a result of utilizing suggestions from our newsletter. (While
    we don’t expect problems, “one never knows”.)
Are NETBOOKS the rage, or are they merely a fad? Either way here is Kim Komando’s take on

For many, netbooks provide all the computing power they need. They’re ideal for surfing the Web
and sending e-mail. You can also use them for viewing photos and videos or creating documents.
They’re great for frequent travelers or just general computing.
Netbooks start around $280, if you’re a good shopper, even less. So, it is easy to understand why
they’re attractive to many buyers.
You won’t have as many options as with laptops. But you shouldn’t have any trouble finding a net-
book that suits your needs.
Fortunately, the times are changing. These days, most netbooks feature Windows. XP is common,
and is a solid choice. But it is nearing the end of its life. Opt for Windows 7 instead. It is available
on a wide variety of netbooks. Incidentally, few netbooks run Vista. It isn’t a good choice for net-
You may see netbooks running Google’s Android. This operating system was developed for tele-
phones. It works best with touch screen gadgets. I would stick with Windows.
You won’t have many choices when it comes to processors. Most netbooks will use Intel’s low-
powered Atom chip. In fact, it has come to define netbooks.
However, some netbooks run Intel’s Celeron processor. A few use AMD’s Neo chip. You may also
see ARM or VIA processors.
Don’t worry much about the processor. They'll all run relatively fast on a netbook. If you need more
power, opt for a full-fledged laptop.
Virtually all of the netbooks you see will feature 1GB of RAM. Older models may have less; skip
them. You will see some with 2GB of RAM. If it fits your budget, go for it.
With any computer, you want plenty of storage. Fortunately, most netbooks feature 160GB of stor-
age or more. This should be enough for most people. Don’t accept less. Of course, you can opt for
a larger hard drive if you need it.
A few netbooks use solid-state drives. SSDs are flash memory, much like the memory card you
use in your camera. These drives offer fast and efficient storage. They’re more durable than hard
drives. They’re also lighter and more power-efficient.
But SSDs are very expensive. You’ll see netbooks with 16GB or 32GB SSDs. That’s not enough
storage. Netbooks using 128GB SSDs can be pricey. You’re better off putting the extra money to-
ward a better machine.
If you go with an SSD, you can supplement the storage. Add a memory card or use a thumb drive.
But that’s just one more thing to remember. You’ll probably want to stick with a hard drive.
Netbooks usually weigh only a couple of pounds. That means the screens are smaller than tradi-
tional laptops. Some only have seven- or eight-inch screens.
But the majority of netbooks have 10-inch screens. Some even go up to 12 inches. Get the largest
screen that fits your budget. Just make sure it won’t strain your eyes.
Netbooks generally have small keyboards, too. They’ll be about 90 percent of full size. You’ll want
to test the keyboard before buying. That’s especially true if you have big hands.
Because of their low power, netbooks make efficient use of the battery. Most will run three hours
per charge. Opt for a six-cell battery if possible. These should run six to eight hours. But the larger
battery can make the netbook bulkier and heavier.
Netbooks often have nice built-in extras. Wi-Fi is standard. Many feature Webcams and Bluetooth.
You’ll also see cellular broadband options. Look for a netbook with a memory card slot and an Ex-
pressCard slot.
One thing you won’t find in a netbook is a built-in optical drive. So, you won’t be able to watch
DVDs or listen to CDs. If you need to use optical discs, you can buy an external drive. You can pick
up an external DVD burner for about $50. Some retailers are bundling external drives with net-
You should see netbooks at your local electronics store. You’ll also want to check online stores.
Cellular providers are also offering subsidized netbooks. You’ll have to sign a two-year contract.
But you’ll get a netbook for about $100 or $150. This is an attractive deal if you need mobile Inter-
net access. But if you’re not OK with the monthly plan, skip subsidized netbooks.
If size matters, then a netbook is for you. If not, spend a few dollars more and get a better
equipped, more powerful, Windows 7 laptop. There are some great deals out there.
1 in 3 Laptops Fail in First Three Years
For those of you who just bought a laptop on Black Friday (I did), keep your fingers
crossed that it doesn't turn into a lemon. A new research report says that one in three
laptops will have a hardware failure in the first three years of ownership. Topping the
list of the most repair-prone notebooks is Hewlett-Packard, with one of four projected
to fail. For more on the subject go to

Some websites from Judy’s Genealogy talk of the November 16 meeting             UPCOMING CLASSES
Click on each link...
One-Step Webpages by Stephen P. Morse                                           Ray Berlin will be teaching
                                                                                two classes in the coming                                   months.
                                                                                January: open to all resi-
JewishGen Databases                                                             dents,
                                                                                BASIC COMPUTER AND
Found Money | Unclaimed Cash | Cash Locator                                     INTERNET
                                                                                February: members only - Family History and Genealogy Records
                                                                                MICROSOFT WORD
Italian Genealogical Group                           Watch your email, channel 63,
                                                                                and for
Want more? Use any search engine and discover your family tree.                 dates and times. PRE-
                                                                                REGISTRATION WILL BE RE-

Backing Up to a USB Drive
First, make sure you have a drive that is large enough to store all the         CUSTOMER SERVICE: In-
files that you want to back up. Insert the flash drive into a USB port on
                                                                                teresting conversations
your computer. If this is the first time you have put the drive in your com-
puter, it will take a moment or two for the computer to find it and get         between customers and
ready to use it. Once it is ready, a window should appear asking you            the helpdesk:
what you want to do with the drive. Click on Open Folder to View Files.         Customer: I have problems
A window will open for this drive. (On some computers, a window will            printing in red...
automatically open) Move the flash drive window over to the side of the         Helpdesk: Do you have a color
screen.                                                                         printer?
                                                                                Customer: Aaaah.......Thank
Open the folder that contains the files you want to backup. Move that
folder to the other side of the screen so that the two folders are next to
each other. The easiest way to do this is to right click on a blank spot on
                                                                                Helpdesk: What's on your moni-
the taskbar (the bar at the bottom of the screen) and from the menu that
                                                                                tor now ma'am?
you now see, click on Tile Windows Vertically or Show Windows Side by
                                                                                Customer: A teddy bear my
Side (depending on your version of Windows).
                                                                                boyfriend bought for me in the
Click on any file in the My Documents window. It will now be selected.          supermarket.
To select all the files, click Edit on the menu and then click Select All.      ***************
You will see that every file is now highlighted. Point to any file, press and   A customer couldn't get on the
hold down the left mouse button, and drag the file into the flash drive         Internet:
window. You will see that all the files come along. A window will appear        Helpdesk: Are you sure you
showing a progress bar. Once it completes, all the files will now be cop-       used the right password?
ied on your flash drive.                                                        Customer: Yes I'm sure. I saw
Flash drives must be stopped before they can be removed from the                my colleague do it.
computer. In the system tray (bottom right, by the clock), there will be a      Helpdesk: Can you tell me what
small green icon with a checkmark. Click on it and then follow the              the password was?
prompts to stop the drive. Windows will display a message when it is            Customer: Five stars.
safe to remove the drive.
Don't Pay Steep Fees for Credit Monitoring
Paul Stephens Privacy Rights Clearinghouse
The danger of credit fraud is not nearly as great as once thought, according to the latest statistics -- and you
can probably easily protect your credit information without paying credit-monitoring and other fees.
Reality: The out-of-pocket cost of identity theft is usually quite small -- only $50 on credit cards for unauthor-
ized charges, and that is often waived by the card company. A Federal Trade Commission (FTC) study found
that in 50% of cases, the victim of identity theft incurs no out-of-pocket costs.
A bigger burden is likely to be time spent correcting your record, which the same FTC study found averaged
four hours (with 10% of victims having to spend 55 hours or more).
Homeowner’s insurance sometimes protects against more costly identity theft -- check your policy and ask
your insurance agent about this.
You can monitor your credit reports yourself for free by obtaining copies of them through the AnnualCredit- Web site. You are entitled to one free report every 12 months from each of the three major credit
reporting agencies. So you can choose to receive one every four months if you wish.
For maximum safety, you can place a "freeze" on your own credit report (by notifying one of the credit report-
ing agencies) to prevent it from being issued to others. There’s no need to pay a company to do this for you.

How To Distinguish Spam From Truth
Those who know me know that I have no patience for “urban legend” emails and other “spam”.
Often times I check the validity of some of those emails and send a “you got to be kidding” email in
reply. A waste of my time and the others (who email addresses are usually quite visible) time too.
Learn how to check out emails that are obviously bogus before you forward them. Here are some
helpful websites...

Each site operates differently. Follow directions and

Want more? GOOGLE hoaxes...

 Continued from page 4...
 Helpdesk: What kind of computer do you have?
 Customer: A white one...
 Customer: Hi, this is Celine. I can't get my diskette out.
 Helpdesk: Have you tried pushing the button?
 Customer: Yes, sure, it's really stuck.
 Helpdesk: That doesn't sound good; I'll make a note ..."
 Customer: No ... wait a minute... I hadn't inserted it yet... it's still on my desk... Sorry....
 Helpdesk: Click on the 'my computer' icon on to the left of the screen.
 Customer: Your left or my left?
 Helpdesk: Good day. How may I help you?
 Male customer: Hello... I can't print.
 Helpdesk: Would you click on start for me and...
 Customer: Listen pal; don't start getting technical on me! I'm not Bill Gates, damn it!
 Customer: Hi, good afternoon, this is Martha, I can't print. Every time I try, it says 'Can't find printer'. I've
 even lifted the printer and placed it in front of the monitor, but the computer still says it can't find it...

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