DATALINE Published by Santa Clarita Valley Computer Club ... We’re User Friendly Volume XXII, Issue 4 Serving the Santa Clarita Valley, CA since 1988 Editor: Judy Taylour Wednesday, April 14, 2010 Meetings 6:00 pm – Getting Organized in the SCV Senior Center Google Era - Judy Taylour. The 22900 Market Street presentation is based on the book of the Newhall CA 91321 same name written by the former CIO of Google, Douglas C. Merrill www.scvpcg.org 7:00 pm – Jim Van Winkle, a member of the Santa Clarita Valley Astronomy Club, will present Computer Applications for In This Issue Amateur Astronomy. The following topics 2 W indows 7 Hidden will be covered: Mapping the night sky, tracking satellites, Treasures comets and asteroids, controlling telescopes, 3 MP3 Tag - A Useful Utility astrophotography, image processing, space exploration simulations, applications for hand-held devices and Internet 5 W hen is a dSLR Not a resources. dSLR? Van Winkle is an amateur astronomer and his interests 10 iPad Shoppers Beware! include observing deep space objects, astrophotography 11 W ord of the Month and participating in telescope view programs at local Smart Computing Tips & schools. He worked for 33 years in municipal governments Fun Facts as City Engineer and Public Works Director for the cities of 12 The Lighter Side Inglewood, Santa Clarita and South Pasadena. Since his retirement in 2003, he has conducted after-school 13 March Meeting Recap enrichment classes in astronomy, geology, art and stamp collecting at the Santa Clarita Elementary School. 14 2009/2010 Officers Application Member Benefits Around Town Windows 7 Hidden Treasures Written by Sandy Berger, CompuKISS http://www.compukiss.com / sandy(at)compukiss.com If you recently purchased a new computer with Windows 7, you may not notice too many improvements or new features. The fact of the matter is that Windows 7 is filled with great new stuff. It's just that there is no manual to point out the new features. So you have to search through and find them yourself. To give you a leg up -- here are some of the hidden treasures that can be found in Windows 7. Aero Snap The Aero Snap feature is my favorite new Windows 7 features. In previous versions of Windows, if you wanted to have two windows on the screen next to each other, you had to manually resize the windows with your mouse. With Aero Snap, you simply grab the Title Bar of the window with your mouse and flick the window to either side of the screen. It fills exactly one-half of the screen. Flick another window to the other side of the screen and both windows are visible and perfectly sized. This feature also allows you to click your mouse on the Title Bar of any window and drag it to the top of the screen. This will maximize the window making it fill the screen. Drag the maximized window down from the top of the screen and it will become smaller again. Snip It There are times when you might like to take a picture of what is on your computer screen to save or to send to someone. In Windows XP you have to use the Print Screen key to capture the image. Then you have to paste it into another program to save or send it. Windows 7 makes it much easier with a screen capture feature called the Snipping Tool. Click Start then type in snipping and press enter or choose the Snipping Tool from the top of the list. A white overlay will appear on your screen and a small Snipping Tool window will appear instructing you to Drag the cursor around the area you want to capture. You can create snips with a rectangular mouse drag or a free form pen. You can also snip the active window or the entire screen. Once you snag the snip you can save it or send it to a friend right from that window. You can also add pen and highlight markups. The Snipping tool is not completely new. It debuted in Windows Vista. Sticky Notes Sticky Notes have always been available as an additional program, but now the Sticky Notes program is a part of Windows. Click on Start, type in sticky and press enter or choose Sticky Notes from the top of the list. A new note will appear on your screen. Type in your note, and then go back to what you were doing. The note will remain on your computer desktop until you delete it. You can change note color, format a note's text, and resize and flip through notes as you please. DATALINE 2 APRIL 2010 Calculator There has almost always been a calculator in Windows, but the new Windows 7 calculator has been completely revamped. There are now four modes: Standard, Scientific, Programmer and Statistics. It is more useful than you might think. It can calculate the difference between two dates, convert ounces to grams, Celsius to Fahrenheit, and joules to BTUs. It even has templates for calculating things like mileage and mortgage payments. I write reviews for a Portuguese website, so I often use it to convert product measurements and weights into metrics. All-in-all, it's a very useful tool. Device Stage Device Stage is a visual interface that makes it much easier to interface with various computer-connected devices. In previous versions of Windows when you attached a printer, camera, or cell phone to your computer, it appeared as a generic device icon in My Computer or the system tray. In Windows 7 these devices appear as an icon that actually looks like the device. You can also get information about the device, services that are linked to the device, and links to informational Web pages and user manuals. The amount of information that you get depends on how much the manufacturer of the device has added, but many manufacturers are doing an excellent job with this Device Stage area. When my Nikon camera is attached I can click right from the device icon on the screen to transfer my pictures, read product manuals, and shop for accessories. It will even show me the amount of battery power left in the camera. When a new device is plugged in to your computer, it can usually be seen on the Windows Taskbar on the bottom of the screen. Other devices can be seen by clicking Start, then Control Panel, and choosing either the icon for Devices and Printers or Devices and Printers from the Hardware and Sound area. As you can tell, Windows 7 is filled with great features. If you already have a computer with Windows 7, you may be propelled to start using some of these features. Or you may even decide to buy a new computer just to get Windows 7. Now that's pretty exciting! MP3 Tag - A Useful Utility By Phil Sorrentino, President, Parasota PCUG, Florida www.spcug.org / president (at) spcug.org As I have said in the past, "Utilities are usually small programs that are intended to do a specific task or a small range of tasks." And I have also directed you to the SPCUG Monitor Computer Buffet, where you can learn about various free utilities (and even find a website from where you can download the utility). However, keep in mind that when you download something from the internet, you could get something you were not expecting; so be very careful. With that said, I'd like to discuss a free utility that allows you to modify the MP3 Tag information that is used by MP3 players like Windows Media Player or iTunes. The reason you might want to use an MP3 Tag utility is because these types of media players depend on the Tag information to organize the tunes they find in your music folders. If the Tag information is not what you expect, the tune will be put in a location that might make it difficult for you to find. It doesn't matter what the file name is, the tune will be put in a sequence depending DATALINE 3 APRIL 2010 on the Tag information, only. Is it "The Beatles", or "Beatles", "The Kingston Trio", or "Kingston Trio"? When I put all my tunes together, I found both versions of artist names. Also, sometimes the tune comes from a compilation of artists. In this case it probably goes into the "Various Artists" category, instead of the "artist's name" category. MP3Tag is a free metadata editor that supports the MP3 audio format as well as many other formats such as AAC, FLAC, MPC, OGG, MP4, WMA, and others. It runs under Microsoft Windows XP and Vista (and probably Windows 7). MP3Tag allows the user to modify the ID3 tag data that is created along with the MP3 file when a tune is initially created, or ripped from a CD. It allows information such as the title, artist, album, track number, or other information about the audio portion of the file to be stored in the file itself. By the way, there are many MP3 Tagging utilities available, just Google MP3 Tag and you'll see all the possibilities. This may be too much detail, but there are two unrelated versions of ID3: ID3v1 and ID3v2. (If this is too much detail, skip this paragraph entirely.) ID3v1 was the original attempt at capturing data about the tune. ID3v2 followed shortly after and is very different from the v1 version. ID3v2 is fairly complex, but suffice it to say that it includes all of the pertinent information, and then some, relating to the specific tune. ID3v2 has been modified and improved over the past few years and is currently at ID3v2.4. For those of you who asked "What the heck is metadata?, here is a brief discussion that comes from Wikipedia. Metadata (or sometimes metainformation) is "data about other data", of any sort in any media. An item of metadata may describe an individual datum, or content item, or a collection of data including multiple content items and hierarchical levels. In data processing, metadata provides information about, or documentation of, other data managed within an application or environment. This commonly defines the structure or schema of the primary data. For example, metadata would document data about data elements or attributes, (name, size, data type, etc.) and data about records or data structures (length, fields, columns, etc.) and data about data (where it is located, how it is associated, ownership, etc.). Metadata may include descriptive information about the context, quality and condition, or characteristics of the data. And there you have a description of metadata. MP3Tag is very easy to use. First, I have created a folder called "FixThese" in my "MP3Music" folder, where I put any tunes that I think need to have their ID3 tags modified. Then I setup MP3Tag to use this folder. This way, I do my work in a specific folder so I don't upset anything in the folders that contain all my music. Also, it is easier to work with a folder that has a handful of files rather than thousands of tune files. (The folder to be used is setup by clicking "File" and then selecting "Change Directory", then navigating to the directory of your choice, "D:\MP3Music\FixThese" in this case.) The MP3Tag window has two panes. The right-hand pane shows the files in the designated folder. The left-hand pane shows each of the specific ID3 data items that can be modified. (By DATALINE 4 APRIL 2010 the way, default values can be setup for each of these items, but I have left the default to "keep", so that I preserve the values when a tune is selected. These default values can be setup in the Tools-Options-Tag Panel window.) When you select a tune in the right-hand pane, the appropriate values show up in the ID3 tag items on the left. Once the tune selection is made, the values on the left can be changed to your desired values. In the example shown above, the tune "Ventures - Hawaii Five-O.mp3" has been selected. The Title is "Hawaii Five-O - The Ventures" which is the file name. The title of the tune should be only "Hawaii Five-O", so I would change the title to be such. The Artist: name is "Various - Adult" which I would want to change to "Ventures", or possibly "The Ventures" if that is how you are referring to this artist. Other information such as Album, Year, and Track may be correct as indicated and will probably be left alone. Genre is an item that is not as well defined as the other tags and therefore I have found it to be less useful. Genre has some general meaning but the meanings may vary a lot from person to person. There are some fairly specific meanings for genre such as "Rock & Roll", "Country", "Classical", but many other meanings are in the grey areas such as "Popular" and "Easy Listening". If you want to employ this tag to any degree of usefulness, you'll have to make your own definitions and then categorize all your tunes according to these definitions. Otherwise, you'll get whatever the recording studio used for their definitions of genres. After you are satisfied with the changes you have made, click "File" and then select "Save tag" or just click on the icon that looks like a floppy disk, to save the tag information with the tune. MP3Tag is a useful utility if you are accumulating a large music collection and you have some specific ideas about how you would like the tunes to be organized. MP3Tag has a lot of additional features. I have described the ones that, I feel, are basic to organizing a music collection. Music collections have a way of growing in all directions and using an MP3 Tag utility is a way of controlling that growth. The Best Free Software According to Gizmo By Ira Wilsker, Member, Golden Triangle PC Club, TX; Columnist, The Examiner, Beaumont, TX; Radio Show Host, Mondays, 6-7pm CT, KLVI.com In these tough economic times, many of us are finding it difficult to afford new software for our computers. Locally and on line we can shop and sometimes find some deals on software, but if money is especially tight, some of us would choose to do without. Alternatively, there has always been a huge assortment of free software or "freeware" available that can adequately accomplish almost all computing tasks. While there are some mega-sites such as download.com and tucows.com that each carry thousands of software titles, many of which are freeware, there are also some lesser known websites that provide comprehensive information and reviews about freeware. One recent find that has now become one of my favorites is Gizmo's Freeware Reviews, at techsupportalert.com. DATALINE 5 APRIL 2010 Upon accessing the Gizmo website, the user is greeted with a graphical menu containing 20 categories of software, including cleanup, educational, games, Linux, security, programming, security, system tools, and a dozen others. In addition to free software, Gizmo offers additional categories of information in its navigation window on the left side of the main page. These additional categories include the Best Tech Websites, How-to Guides and Tutorials, Freeware Updates, Security Advice Wizard, and Video Tutorials, as well as some housekeeping functions. Since I am very concerned about cyber security, I chose to open the Security link from the front page graphical menu, one of the 20 possible selections. I was greeted with a listing of about two dozen Gizmo articles on security software and related topics. Ranked in order of number of hits, and indication of the popularity of each topic, the first security article is "Best Free Antivirus Software", which has had nearly 1.4 million hits. Opening the antivirus article, the user is greeted with a non-technical explanation of antivirus software, followed by a discussion of what Gizmo has determined as the best of the many free antivirus utilities. Gizmo awarded Avira AntiVir Personal Edition its top pick, narrowly beating out Microsoft Security Essentials, which is actually Gizmo's personal choice. Each review is hyperlinked to a section farther down on the webpage, called the "Quick Selection Guide" which summarizes the pros and cons of each recommended product, download links, file size, latest version, 32 and 64 bit compatibility, installation tips, a discussion forum, and online help. The other recommended antivirus products are Avast!, and a-squared Free. For those who might need help in deciding which security products would be most appropriate for their personal circumstances, Gizmo offers a "Security Advice Wizard" at techsupportalert.com/se cwiz where the user selects his operating system, and answers some simple questions about internet habits and personal computer skills. Upon completing the wizard, Gizmo makes a recommendation of an antivirus product and a firewall. I tried the wizard using a variety DATALINE 6 APRIL 2010 of operating systems and levels of experience, and the wizard arrived at reasonable recommendations for each. The user who follows the wizard's recommendations will likely be well served by its picks. In addition to having information and reviews on software products, Gizmo also offers a wide selection of other helpful services and information. One that I found exceptionally useful and interesting was a listing of PowerPoint slides and presentations, under the heading "Easily Find PowerPoint Slides and Presentations Using This Site" at techsupportalert.com/content/easily-find-powerpoint-slides-and-presentations-using-site.htm. I do a lot of PowerPoint presentations in a variety of settings and to different audiences, and often have some difficulties coming up with material. Gizmo may be of great help locating material, and one such resource linked on Gizmo is Slidefinder, at www.slidefinder.net. Available in 23 languages, Slidefinder has proven to be an outstanding resource, capable of locating individual slides and complete presentations on thousands of topics. One of the most frequent PowerPoint presentations that I do is on identity theft; entering the term "identity theft" in the search box displayed Slidefinder's limit of 1000 items. Scrolling over the displayed slides (20 per page), opens a larger image of the selected slide and also displays any notes integrated with the slide. A link to the full PowerPoint file is also displayed, and a simple right-click on the file name and selecting "Save Link As" will download the complete file. The primary source of the PowerPoint slides and files are hundreds of universities from all over the globe, as well as government agencies, organizations, trade associations, and other sources. Another very beneficial section of the Gizmo website is the "Hot Finds" at techsupportalert.com/view/hot. This selection displays software deals, mostly free, offered by the commercial software publishers for a limited time. As I type this, some of the commercial software being offered for free includes PC performance enhancing utilities, anti-malware utilities, backup utilities, graphics editors, and many others. Frequently checking this list may provide the user with an occasional gem of commercial software either for free, or at a ridiculous low price, such as a recent offer (now expired) for a top rated $30 anti-malware product available for the paltry sum of 99 cents (I purchased 6 copies). Many users sometimes need some help with accomplishing some computer tasks, or may even find some tasks that may need to be performed that they may have been unaware of. Gizmo has a "How-to Guides and Tutorials" section at www.techsupportalert.com/tutorials, with over 50 topics listed. The most widely used tutorial "How to Make Vista Run Faster" has been viewed over 300 thousand times. Other tutorials cover different browsers, backing up critical files, improving performance, creating a bootable rescue CD, how to reduce spam, and many other helpful and useful subjects. The Gizmo tutorials are presented in a readable non-technical fashion that is easy to follow and implement, Gizmo has a wealth of information available, including free software that has been reviewed and evaluated, as well as tutorials and other valuable information. I subscribed to both the RSS feed and email alerts so I can always be promptly informed of any new articles and software added to Gizmo. Stop by www.techsupportalert.com and see what treasures that you might find WEBSITES: http://www.techsupportalert.com http://www.techsupportalert.com/secwiz http://www.techsupportalert.com/pc/security-tools.html DATALINE 7 APRIL 2010 http://www.techsupportalert.com/content/easily-find-powerpoint-slides-and-presentations-using-si te.htm http://www.slidefinder.net http://www.techsupportalert.com/view/hot http://www.techsupportalert.com/tutorials When is a dSLR Not a dSLR? By Jerry Schneir, Member of the Los Angeles Computer Society, CA www.lacspc.org / editor (at) lacspc.org Simple question but very indicative of what the future holds for some of us photo buffs. In simple terms, it is a camera that is devoid of a mirror box assembly. In other terms it is an interchangeable lens camera, but unlike a single lens reflex (SLR) it does NOT have a mirror to redirect the light from the lens to the optical viewfinder. All SLR cameras, digital and otherwise, use a mirror assembly to intercept the light that comes through the lens and redirects the incoming light to the viewfinder rather than to the film (or sensor) at the back of the camera. Generally the light will also pass through a prism or fixed mirrors at the top of the camera on its way to the viewfinder. It is this complex configuration that gives a SLR a distinctive look. It is also this configuration that gives a SLR a distinctive sound as the mirror swings out of the path of the incoming light and then returns to redirect the light back to the viewfinder. To answer the question we need to go back in time. The entire dSLR world started changing in September of 2004 with Olympus's introduction of their E300 dSLR. Here was a camera that didn't look quite like anything else, not SLR nor rangefinder. It sported a mirror that worked different, didn't have the traditional top bulge and was based upon the Four Thirds sensor design. In September of 2005 Olympus came out with their E500 a dSLR looking camera and then in January of 2006 they introduced the E330, another dSLR type, but a camera with "Live View", the ability to see the image on the LCD before the shot was taken. That feature caused an uproar among the traditional SLR manufacturers. In February 2006 Panasonic introduced their unique looking L1 which was also based upon the Four Thirds sensor.. While the L1 still incorporated a mirror it did not have the look of a SLR, but more closely the rangefinder cameras of the `1950-1960 period. That camera bombed primarily because of cost. In August of 2007 Panasonic introduced the L10 which now resembled the traditional look of the SLR and had Live View but again did not do as well as hoped for by Panasonic. In September of 2008 Panasonic brought forth the G1 a Micro Four Thirds camera that looked like a dSLR in that it had the characteristic bulge on the top of the camera, had interchangeable lenses, but it did NOT have a mirror box assembly. In the GI, light passed directly through the lens onto the imaging sensor. This was a much different camera. The camera was different for several other reasons. It was based upon the Four Thirds sensor size introduced several years earlier, but used Micro Four Thirds mount lenses, and used an electronic viewfinder (EVF) in place of the traditional optical viewfinder of the digital single lens reflexes (dSLR) cameras. Though it looked like the smaller dSLR cameras, Micro Four Thirds cameras are not dSLRs. They are also smaller because they don't house a dedicated autofocus image sensor. The DATALINE 8 APRIL 2010 autofocus on the G1 uses the Four Thirds image sensor. This is exactly like autofocus on a compact camera. But here, autofocus is speedier because on the Micro Four Thirds cameras they use both a faster autofocus algorithm and a faster processor. This makes autofocus feels faster and more like a dSLR, at least on some cameras. Up to this time, two companies, Olympus and Panasonic had adopted the Kodak developed Four Thirds sensor design. The major advantage, and to some old diehards, the only advantage, was the reduction in both size and weight of the lenses and to a certain extent, the size and weight of the camera body as well. But these earlier cameras although smaller and lighter in weight, still could NOT do what every point and shoot camera could, show the image on the LCD or EVF before taking the picture and shoot movies. The GI still lacked the movie ability. The movie mode was just peeking its head up in regular dSLR at about that time with "Live View". Panasonic changed that with the arrival of the GH1 in March 2009, a new movie mode had been added. Up to this point in time, all these cameras still utilized the mirror box, nothing really had changed until the earth shattering (somewhat an exaggeration) introduction of the new mirrorless cameras in 2009, the Olympus E-P1. This was a rangefinder looking camera, albeit, without a rangefinder but having the rangefinder look. However, this breakthrough camera lacked two important built-in features, no flash and no viewfinder of any type. Olympus partially corrected this "whoops: with the introduction of the E-P2 in November 2009. This camera had a port for connecting a high resolution EVF. In February of this year, Olympus announced its newest edition to this family, the E-PL1. This camera had a built in flash and a port for connecting the EVF. Panasonic finally took the plunge into a rangefinder style camera with the introduction of the GF1 in September of 2009. The GF1 uses an optional EVF and has a built-in flash unit. In March of this year, Panasonic announced two new cameras, the G2 and the G10. These are almost identical cameras resembling SLR designs more than anything else. Interchangeable Micro Four Thirds lenses but no mirror boxes. But this question about dSLR cameras doesn't end here, other cameras with interchangeable lenses but lacking a mirror box have been introduced, have been announced, or are rumored to be in the works. I have deliberately skipped talking about Leica cameras since, IMHO they are just largely rebadged Panasonics. Sony showed their non-working prototype based upon a full APS-C sensor. Ricoh's GXR comes with interchangeable units containing a lens and a sensor in a rangefinder style camera. Can't say much about the sensor size since it is dependent upon the lens that is part of the system. I have strong reservations about this concept. The Samsung NX10 is a rangefinder style camera using a new lens format called NX. What is most interesting about this camera is that it uses a APS-C size sensor, that is about 1.5x that of the Four Thirds sensors. Of course, this means larger and heavier lenses than that of the Panasonic or Olympus cameras of similar designs. While Canon and Nikon have said nothing, rumors are rampant. I suspect that we will see new mirrorless digital cameras from these mammoths of the industry in the later part of this year. I suspect that the designs will be that of rangefinder styles reminiscent of earlier Nikon RF cameras of the 1940-1960 and the same with Canon except they may base it more on their popular G series of cameras such as their G11. So here we have it, a whole new class of cameras, you might say SLR cameras minus the R. I prefer to say RF style since in my mind they are truly reminiscent of cameras from the 1940-1960 time period. The advantage to this new group of cameras is smaller size and lighter weight while DATALINE 9 APRIL 2010 maintaining the excellent image quality associated with the dSLR cameras. Disadvantage, fewer lens choices and, for the time being, relatively more expensive. Some of these cameras tend to be slower focusing but that is changing in the newer models. iPad Shoppers Beware! By Gregory West, a member of Computer Operators of Marysville and Port Huron (C.O.M.P.), Michigan www.bwcomp.org / prospector16 (at) gmail.com If you are bent on getting an iPad don't read any further. However, if you are trying to decide between buying a laptop and an iPad this article is for you. I like my laptop because I can load any software, connect any device such as a digital camera, memory stick, and backup drives by USB connections. I like the idea of being able to load free software from any company or source and not be restricted to one company such as Apple. "Your computer should be yours to control," said Peter Brown, the Free Software Foundation's executive director. "By imposing such restrictions on users, Steve Jobs (APPLE CEO) is building a legacy that endangers our freedom for his profits (The Microsoft Blog)." For me, choosing a laptop is simple: Macbook. I run Windows XP and Windows 7 on my Mac laptop without a glitch. Of course there are many other laptops, notebooks and net books that work great too and all of them avail you the opportunity to install third party applications, many at no cost. The iPad has landed in North America and is creating huge hype. Rightfully so! It is a wonderful device allowing for various functions. According to Wikipedia, the iPad "is part of a device category between a smartphone and a laptop computer." This may be true but it is not close to my Macbook laptop, not by a long shot. For starters the hard drive is only 16 to 64 gigabytes (GB) of flash memory (a technology that is primarily used in camera memory cards). My laptop is 250 GBs and with a terabyte hard drive connected by USB; I now have a grand total of 1274 GBs of hard drive space. Very different from 16 to 64 GBs of the iPad. The iPad's 9.7-inch (25 cm) screen has a low-end resolution of 1024 X 768. What this tech talk means is that the iPad will not support HDMI video which many have come to love. With high definition the rave...Why go back to a lesser screen resolution. This does not make sense. Other features lacking in the iPad are: no camera, no webcam, no multitasking, no drag and drop file management, no USB port, no SD slot, no Flash, no HDMI out, no 1080p playback, and DATALINE 10 APRIL 2010 no native widescreen. Are we going backwards here? In 2005 it was "the Year of High Definition Video," according to cnet.com. How come the iPad lacks these features? Many are saying the iPad has its neat functions and is esthetically appealing. Just make sure you are getting the exact features you require in any tech device. Do your homework on this one. Gregory West is a Mac Instructor for Lambton College in Ontario, Canada. He is also Webmaster at Central United Church, the home of the new COMMUNITY Computer Room at: http://central-united-church.org/news? Word of the Month Defragmenting your hard disk is a great way to boost the performance of your computer. Though the term "defragment" sounds a little abrasive, it is actually a simple and helpful process. After all, a defragmented hard disk is a happy hard disk. Adding and deleting files from your hard disk is a common task. Unfortunately, this process is not always done very efficiently. For example, when you delete a bunch of little files and add a new large file, the file may get broken up into mulitple sections on the hard disk. The computer will still read the newly added file as a single valid file, but the drive will have to scan multiple parts of the disk to read it. Because hard disk seek time is one of the most significant bottlenecks in a computer's performance, this can drag down your computer's speed quite a bit. If you have a ton of "fragmented" files on your hard disk, you might hear extra grinding, sputtering, and other weird noises coming from your computer. You computer does not like having fragmented files any more than you do. This is why defragmenting your hard disk is such a good idea. W hen you start to hear extra grinding sounds, or your computer doesn't open files as quickly as it did before, it's time to defragment. W ith W indows, you can use the pre-installed Intel defragment program to defragment your hard disk. You can also use a commercial software program like Norton Utilities to defragment your hard disk more efficiently and with more options. For Mac users, a disk utility such as DiskW arrior or Tech Tool Pro is the only way to do it. If you use your computer daily, defragmenting your hard drive once a month should keep the fragment-fiends away. Smart Computing Tips & Fun Facts www.smartcomputing.com Get Online While On The Go We know that a GPS (global positioning system) device is best used to help you get from point A to point B in a timely fashion. And now, some new GPS devices feature a built-in cellular modem for accessing Internet features, giving you real-time maps and up-to-the-moment traffic updates. Additionally, you're able to check local gas prices, which is a helpful feature whether you're searching for a gas station in an unfamiliar area or you want to find the best nearby price for gas. DATALINE 11 APRIL 2010 With a connected GPS device, you can also email maps and directions to your GPS via a home or office computer, which is convenient for adding mapped itineraries to your GPS. Additionally, some Internet-connected GPS devices are also equipped with a local search function, meaning you can search for hotels, ATMs, and free Wi-Fi hotspots in real time rather than accessing POI (point of interest) data. Tripods Standard tripods are best for taking long exposures or night shots when you need to keep the camera completely still while capturing a one-of-a-kind shot. A tripod would also pair well with a remote switch to eliminate camera shake and help you steady your camera on uneven surfaces, especially in outdoor shots when you need to position yourself on a precarious hiking trail halfway up a mountain. A tripod will give you the freedom to capture creative landscape images using slow shutter speeds or swappable lenses. Tripods are also compatible with camcorders, allowing you to film your family making memories without a jerky final product. The Lighter Side DATALINE 12 APRIL 2010 March Meeting Recap Thanks to Arnie Kazdoy for showing us some of the interesting things he found at CES as well as how to add a smile to a photo with Smile Maker -- an app for your iPod. This is Judy needing major dental work :-) Thanks to Rick Edwards for another great presentation on digital photography and for sharing his photo CD with us. He said to send him an e-mail if you have any digital photography questions. rick235 (at) charter.net And, the winners were: Rick Edwards' 4- poster pack (Bill Rose, Ed Blancher, Gigi Broom); Barbara Koehler, wine; Frank Marian, USB Hub DATALINE 13 APRIL 2010 2009/2010 SCV CC OFFICERS Membership Benefits President Judy Taylour Around Town scvcomputerclub Show your Santa Clarita Valley Computer Club (at)gmail.com Vice President Arnie Kazdoy Membership Card to receive the below discounts. yodzak(at)yahoo.com Secretary OPEN Computer Simplistics - 10% on Service Treasurer OPEN In-home Repairs ONLY Membership OPEN 296.4315 (ph) / www.lacbbs.com Member-at-Large Dave Melton Dave(at)melton.com Program Director OPEN Jay’s Computer Shop In-shop and on-site PC repair services Information Line 252.8852 Free phone support for all Snail Mail 18727 Nadal Street SCV Computer Club members Santa Clarita, CA 91351 $10hr off on all on-site service General Meeting 2 nd W ednesday / month (regularly $85hr) SCV Senior Center $5hr off on all shop service (regularly $50hr) 22900 Market Street Open Monday – Saturday Newhall CA 91321 818.362.8015 / Located in Sylmar firstname.lastname@example.org www.jayscomputershop.com Precision Computers - 20% on Service Membership Application 19188 Soledad Canyon Road (Please Print) Canyon Country 299.2228 (ph) _____________________________________ www.precisionpc.com Name Know a senior citizen who needs a computer? Refer _____________________________________ them to Noel & they will receive a free one-year Address membership in the computer club. _____________________________________ Rogers System Specialist City/State/Zip (Various Discounts) _____________________________________ 25030 Ave Tibbitts, Unit H, Valencia Home Phone 295-5577 Give Judy’s telephone number for the discount – _____________________________________ 252.8852 E-mail ATS LASER - 25% _____________________________________ Areas of Interest 296.5500 / email@example.com www.HpPrinterRepair.net ATS makes house calls. Printers - Copiers - Fax Level of computer skills (please circle) Repair + Toner Cartridges . ATS will beat any super store price. Novice Average Expert Mail to: SCV CC, 18727 Nadal Street Canyon Country, CA 91351 DATALINE 14 APRIL 2010 The information appearing in this newsletter is distributed solely for use by SCV Computer Club members. Permission is enthusiastically granted to reprint all or any part by similar non- commercial publications provided credit is given to the author of the article and the DATALINE. The publication of information in this newsletter constitutes no guarantee of accuracy and its use by readers is discretionary. All opinions expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the SCV Computer Club. The SCV Computer Club is dedicated to supporting the needs of its members and to the exchange of information about computers, peripherals, services, hardware and software through meetings, its web page, and the distribution of this newsletter. The SCV Computer Club is a proud member of SCRUGS Southern California Regional User Group Summit Annual Membership Dues $30.00 Annual Family $54.00 Senior $27.00 O’Reilly User Group Program 35% Discount for SCV Computer Club members - Print & ebooks Discount Code DSUG www.oreilly.com Free Shipping on orders of $29.95 and up!