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					                                                                      Arizona Society for
                                                                   Computer Information, inc.

VOLUME 13 - ISSUE 9                                                SEPTEMBER 2006

Westside Meeting                                       President's Message
 Meeting Canceled Due to           The year is just flying by. Our group has been very
  Scheduling Conflicts             successful this year as we have grown our membership, added a

                                                                                                                           Continued on page 19
                                   Westside Meeting, reorganized our meeting structure, and
                                   continue to have excellent presentations from both outside
                                   sources and from within. The current and continued success of
 Central Meeting                   our group is not reliant on any one person. It takes teamwork
        Saturday                   mixed with enthusiasm. I would like to thank everyone who has
                                   been part of our success!
      September 9th
        12:30 PM                        Read the rest of this important message on page 19!

• Microsoft Money
  by Kevin Svec                    Article:                                                                    Page:
• Forums and Mailing Lists         This Month’s Meetings............................................................. 1
  by Ric Fischer or                About the ASCIi User Group .................................................... 2
  Kevin Svec                       ASCIi Meeting Schedule .......................................................... 3
• Labels and Envelopes             About ASCIi Meetings.............................................................. 3
  by Tom Held                      Would You Like a Lens with That?
                                   Buying a Camera, Part 2 (Bill Funk, ASCIi) ................................ 4
Steering Committee                 Google Pedometer (Hank Pearson, ASCIi ................................... 7
         11:30 AM
                                   Microsoft Money 2006 Premium (Kevin Svec, ASCIi) ................. 8
                                   AOL Announcement - FAQ ....................................................... 9
                                   File Handling ( ................................................... 10
 Eastside Meeting                  Tip-Bits - Tips & News (Joe Zagar, ASCIi)................................ 11
        Saturday                   APCUG Annual Conference .................................................... 12
     September 23 rd               APCUG Digital Photo Contest................................................. 13
       12:30 PM                    Tech Corner (Chuck Thomas, BGAMUG) .................................... 14
                                   XP or Vista? (Elaine Drain, SSCC) ............................................ 15
• Scanning Slides, Part 2 -
                                   Windows XP and Speech Recognition
  How to Work with Your
  Photo Files                      (Vinny La Bash, SPCUG) ........................................................... 16
  by Box Nixon                     Ask Mr. Modem & Mr Modem’s DME Sites of the Month ......... 18
                                   Linux Corner - DansGuardian, Part 2 (Kevin Svec).................. 19
For more meeting information see   Maps to ASCIi Meeting Locations .......................................... 20
     page 3 and page 20.           ASCIi Membership Application .............................................. 21
                                 About the ASCIi User Group
The Arizona Society for Computer Information, inc. (ASCIi) is a non-profit computer user group
formed over 20 years ago. Its diverse membership ranges from beginners to enthusiasts and experts, all
eager to share experiences, and to learn from, and help, each other - to not only cope with, but to enjoy
using, our modern technology.
President .................................. Kevin Svec ........... (602) 680-2870...............
Vice-President ........................... Tom Held ............. (480) 797-2099........
Secretary ................................. Vacant .....................................................
Treasurer ................................. Bob Nixon ............ (602) 284-0547...............
Newsletter Editor ....................... Tom Held
Webmaster ............................... Ric Fischer
Presentations Coordinator ........... Hank Pearson .......................................
Membership Coordinator ............. Phyllis
Site Seekers Coordinator ............ Phyllis Baughman.....................................
Product Review Coordinators ....... Joe Zagar, Hank Pearson................................
Vendor Coordinators .................. Joe Zagar, Hank Pearson.................................
Affiliate Coordinator ................... Ric Fischer
Prize Coordinator ....................... Tom Held
Property Coordinator .................. Tom Held ....................................................
“Doc Elwell” Phone Tree.............. Carl Cole.................................................
Bylaws Committee ..................... Ric Fischer (Chair), Bill Funk, Bob Nixon, Hank Pearson, Joel Schwartz
Contributing Editors ................... Bill Funk, Hank Pearson, Kevin Svec, Joe Zagar
Steering Committee ................... See explanation, below.
Association of PC User Groups (APCUG)
Arizona Alliance of Computer Clubs (AZacc).................................................................
Microsoft Mindshare ............................................................................
                                                        The ASCIi Clipboard newsletter is published monthly by the
Any member who attends the Steering                     Arizona Society for Computer Information, inc. (ASCIi).
Committee meeting is on the committee.
All members are encouraged to attend and                A subscription is included in the group’s yearly membership dues.
                                                        Each member receives a printed copy in the mail. A PDF version is
contribute their ideas, and vote on issues
                                                        also available on line.
that effect the future of the user group.
                                                        The information in this newsletter was obtained from sources
The committee meets 1 hour before, and at               considered to be reliable. Accuracy and completeness are not
the same location as the Central Meeting.               guaranteed. Opinions expressed in this newsletter are not
WEBSITE                                                 necessarily those of the ASCIi officers and staff.                                        Permission to reprint ASCIi members’ articles is granted if all
The ASCIi website provides information                    of these conditions are met:
about the group, an up-to-date meeting                      a) the author and ASCIi are credited,
schedule, newsletters, and meeting notes.
                                                            b) a link to the ASCIi website is included,
MEMBERSHIP                                                  c) the article is published in full, without unauthorized editing
Dues are $30 per year, prorated to the end                     of content,
of the calendar year ($2.50 per month). A                   d) a printed copy or PDF of the article is sent to The ASCIi
printable membership application is                            Clipboard Editor (see the mailing address on the left,
included at the end of this newsletter. You                    and the e-mail address, below).
can mail it, or join at any meeting.
MAILING ADDRESS                                                    The deadline for article submission is
                                                                      the last Saturday of the month.
                                                              Please send questions, comments and articles to:
    1934 E Laguna Dr
    Tempe AZ 85282-5913
2                                                  The ASCIi Clipboard                                       September 2006
                                         ASCIi Meeting Schedule
                Westside Meeting                      Central Meeting                     Eastside Meeting
            2                                    9   • Microsoft Money                 23 • Scanning Slides,

                                                       by Kevin Svec                          Part 2 - How to Work
                   Meeting Canceled                  • Forums and Mailing Lists               with Your Photo
                        Due to                         by Ric Fischer or Kevin Svec           Files
                                                     • Labels and Envelopes                   by Box Nixon
                  Scheduling Conflicts
                                                       by Tom Held

                                                       Site Seekers by Ric Fischer
            7 • Forums and Mailing Lists         14 • Instant Messaging                28 • Registry Tuning

                  by Ric Fischer or Kevin Svec         by Ric Fischer                         by Kevin Svec
                • Klassic Specialties                • Pinnacle Studio
                  by Don Baker                         by Kevin Svec

                                   Site Seekers by Bill Funk
            4 • Genealogy                        11 • VideoCraft Workshop              25 • Close-up Digital

                 by Bob Nixon                          by Guest                               Photography and
                                                                                              Viewing the Subject
                                                                                              on Your PC Display
                                                                                              by Tom Held

                           Site Seekers by (TBA) Please volunteer!

                                           About ASCIi Meetings
                Westside Meeting                      Central Meeting                    Eastside Meeting
            1st Saturday of the month            2nd Saturday of the month             4th Saturday of the month

            Word of Life Lutheran Church         Abacus Tower, Suite 1300              Pyle Adult Rec Center
            17525 West Bell Road                 3030 North 3 Street                   655 East Southern Avenue

            Surprise, AZ 85374-3058              Phoenix, AZ 85012-3099                Tempe, AZ 85282-5204
            Southwest corner of                  Southwest corner of                   West of Rural Road
            175th Avenue and Bell Road           Earll Drive and 3rd Street            Next to the Tempe Library
                          There are maps to the meeting locations on the last page of this newsletter.
            • Announcements                      • Questions & Answers                 • Buy, Sell & Trade

            • Business                           • Presentations                       • Free Prize Drawings
            • Beginners Session                  • Site Seekers                        • Fix Computer Problems

                                   Site Seekers                                                  Thanks!
            The Site Seekers program is presented by our own volunteer                       Many thanks to
            members. Each month a member picks five or six favorite                       Sanders & Parks, PC
            websites to present at the Cen t ra l and Westsi d e M eeting s.                         and
            During the presentation the sites are projected on a large screen.             Word of Life Church
                                                                                      for allowing us the use of their
            The Site Seeker demonstrates each site, and tells what they                facilities to hold our Cen t ra l
            enjoy about it. Many new avenues of exploration have been                    and Westsi d e M eeting s.
            opened by members sharing their Favorites.

     September 2006                                  The ASCIi Clipboard                                                   3
                                               Would You Like A Lens With That?
                                                                         Buying a Camera, Part 2
                                                                                           by Bill Funk, ASCIi

The Lens                                                  But the lenses on most digital cameras aren't just
                                                          one focal length; they are a range of focal lengths,
Let's take a look at the lens. If you have a camera       as, for example, 18mm to 55mm. These are zoom
other than a pinhole camera, you've got a lens.           lenses; they have the ability to use any focal
The lens is used to focus the light that enters the       length between those limits of 18mm and 55mm.
camera onto the sensor/film (from here on I'll drop       Of course, this takes more parts and engineering
the film reference, unless it's appropriate). A lens      than single-focal-length lenses (or prime lenses),
can be as simple as a single piece of clear plastic       so they are generally more expensive, but are
that's shaped to do the job.                              much more flexible, giving the user the ability to
                                                          make it look like he's moved forward or backward,
A typical lens can contain many pieces of glass and       without actually moving. (Since I'm incredibly
a resin that closely approximates plastic. The lens       lazy, I love zoom lenses!)
can have one focal length (say, 50mm) or have a
range of focal lengths (a zoom lens, which would          “But wait”, you say. (I can hear you!) “What are
be able to have, as an example, any focal length          those numbers, like 3x? I see those all the time
from 50mm to 200mm). Lenses can have many                 when I read about lenses.” Ah, yes, the 'zoom
labels on them, such as f/stop, focal length,             factor'. Well, in general, higher is better here; 5x
“apochromatic”, EF, Di, and many, many more. I'll         is better than 3x, and 12x is better still. Maybe.
try here to let you know what these mean.                 The 'zoom factor' is telling you the ratio of the
                                                          longest focal length to the shortest. For example,
Focal Length                                              let's take a 50-150mm zoom lens. Since 150 is
                                                          three times 50, this is a 3x zoom. See? Easy. A
Let's start with what is probably the most
                                                          30-90mm is also a 3x lens (3 times 3 is 90); so is
important: focal length. The easy definition is the
                                                          a 100-300mm lens. It's an easy way to tell you
strength of the lens in its ability to focus or diverge
                                                          what the relative range of focal lengths is for a
light. The stronger the lens is at focusing light, the
                                                          given lens. A 5x lens is a lens with long focal
closer things look on a camera. (We'll stick to
                                                          length that is five times the shortest focal length.
cameras.) This strength is expressed in
                                                          A 100-500mm lens is a 5x lens, as is a 30-150mm
millimeters (don't ask why; it has to do with the
way the lens elements bend the light). The larger
this number, the better it is at making things look       But you want to be careful; too much of a zoom
closer.                                                   factor can mean compromises are made. A zoom
                                                          lens with a huge zoom range (say, more than 10x
So, a 100mm lens will make something look larger          or 12x) has to be designed very carefully; this
than a 50mm lens, all other things being equal            costs more, so 12x is usually the largest you see.
(especially the distance to the subject). In fact,        And even here, the magnification that long focal
the 100mm lens will make the subject look like it is      length gives means that any movement of the
half the distance away than the 50mm lens does.           camera will result in a lot of movement of the
Obviously, then, if you want to take bird photos, a       subject image. (If you have binoculars, you know
lens with a longer focal length will let you take         what I mean; the slightest shake on your part
those photos without the need to get so close to          means a lot of shake in the subject.) This is where
the bird.                                                 image stabilization comes in; I'll get to that later.
If you want to take a landscape photo, getting as
much into the photo as you can, then you want a
                                                          Aperture and F/Stop
lens with a shorter focal length, as this makes           Now, let's go on to the aperture and f/stop. The
things look farther away, as if you'd backed up.          aperture is the hole through which light enters.
So, you'd want a lens with a shorter focal length         For lenses it's the size of the hole the light passes
than our 50mm example; let's say you'd want               through as it goes through the lens. If you look at
something like a 25mm lens, which would make              your eye in a mirror, you'll see the iris, which
the image look like you backed away to a distance         opens up and closes down to regulate how much

twice as far from the subject. This should give you       light gets in your eye. The camera lens has the
a general idea of how the focal lengths work in           same thing, and how much it is open is called the
practice.                                                 aperture.
4                                            The ASCIi Clipboard                              September 2006
Continued from previous page

                               The f/stop is a term that describes how big the           but it can help a lot if the camera moves during an
                               aperture is. The f/number is a ratio of the focal         exposure. As I said earlier, a lens with a long focal
                               length and the diameter of the aperture in                length will exaggerate any camera motion. There
                               millimeters. So, if the aperture of a 50mm lens is        are two ways to get rid of this blur: IS or a
                               50mm, the ratio is 1:1, and the f/number is f/1. If       quicker shutter speed.
                               the aperture of this lens is 25mm, the ratio is 1:2,
                                                                                         Often, the option of a quicker shutter speed isn't
                               and the f/number is f/2. Simple really; since this
                                                                                         available; as the light goes down, the shutter
                               is all based on a ratio, the smaller the aperture
                                                                                         speed often must get longer to make up for the
                               gets, the larger the f/number gets.
                                                                                         loss of light. In this case, IS is very handy.
                               The f/numbers are usually expressed in powers of          Usually, IS will allow two stops lower shutter
                               2 (don't ask why; it has to do with the area of           speed, and some systems are good enough to
                               circles, involves math, and thus hurts my head).          allow three stops. IS is available in many cameras
                               So, f/numbers run in a sequence of: f/1, f/1.4,           these days, and not just on the more expensive
                               2/2, f/2.8, f/4, f/5.6, f/8, f/11, f/16 , and so forth.   DSLRs (Digital Single Lens Reflex cameras). Many
                               A stop is just a handy position on the lens, to give      Point & Shoot (P&S) cameras have it now.
                               a reference point; the aperture can usually be
                                                                                         There are two ways to implement IS: the lens
                               adjusted to anywhere in its range. So an f/number
                                                                                         elements can be moved, or the sensor can be
                               for a photo can be f/2.3, but the lens won't list that
                                                                                         moved. Each system is used in different cameras.
                               as a stop. (Very much like you can drive at
                                                                                         For P&S cameras, it doesn't really matter, but for
                               23mph, but your speedometer doesn't use that
                               number (unless it's digital...).                          DSLRs, putting the IS in the lens is more expensive
                                                                                         (you buy an IS system for each lens, if you want
                               You can usually find the f/number for your lens           the IS), or the sensor-moving IS can be put in the
                               printed right on it. Look into the lens from the          camera body. The in-lens IS is usually considered
                               front of the camera, and it's usually (but not            the better of the two, but not by much; it's really
                               always) printed around the edge. It's often shown         the buyer's choice.
                               as a range, such as f/2-f/4, or possibly as 1:2-1:4.
                               This is the maximum aperture, and if it's a range,        Lens Coatings
                               it means that as you zoom the lens out (go to a           Lens coatings are important. These are chemical
                               longer focal length), the f/number gets smaller,          layers deposited on the surfaces of the lens
                               even if the aperture in millimeters remains the           elements where they meet the air, and are used to
                               same. Why? Because the f/number is a ratio, and           reduce reflections from the glass. This means you
                               as the focal length goes higher and the aperture          won't get as much glare from the sun or internal
                               size stays the same, the ratio changes. So, let's         reflections within the lens. This is a good thing.
                               say you have a 50-100mm zoom lens, and the                Let me repeat that: lens coatings are a good
                               f/number at 5mm focal length is 25mm, the
                                                                                         thing. Enough said here.
                               f/number is f/2. But as the focal length doubles
                               the f/number halves, to f/2.8 (powers of 2,               Mounting Systems
                               remember? And it still hurts).
                                                                                         For DSLRs, there are different mounting systems.
                               This is a good place to mention that for each stop        Each major camera maker has their own lens
                               you go up, the amount of light entering the lens          mount. Canon has the EF and EF-S mounts. Since
                               drops by half. This means, as in our example              Canon changed their mount system when they made
                               above, f/2.8 lets in half as much light as f/2. While     the change to electronic lens control, they use the EF
                               the numbers on your lens will probably differ from        mount, with the EF-S being a minor change to
                               the example I'm giving, the principle is the same.        match certain lenses to their lower range of DSLRs
                               As the zoom lens changes its focal length, the            (currently, the Digital Rebel (or 300D, discontinued),
                               maximum f/number goes down, in most cases.                the Rebel XT(350D), the 20D, and the 30D. The
                               There are zoom lenses with a constant maximum             EF-S lenses will only fit these cameras.
                               aperture, but they are usually pretty pricey.
                                                                                         Nikon has one mount (the Nikon lens mount),
                               These are the most important parts of what you            which they have used for a long time, but as the
                               need to know, but there are a lot of other terms          capabilities of the cameras and lenses changed,
                               used to describe lenses. I'll try to explain some of      Nikon has made their lens nomenclature a little
                               them.                                                     complicated. If you want to use a Nikon DSLR,
                                                                                         you'll need to make yourself familiar with these
                               Image Stabilization
                                                                                         different letter codes to know which lenses will do

                               Image stabilization (or IS) is a system that              what with your camera. (These include AI, AI-S,
                               reduces the shake and vibration that makes photos         AF-AIS, VR, and more. This isn't a hardship for
                               look blurry. This doesn't help if the subject moves,      Nikon owners.)
                               September 2006                               The ASCIi Clipboard                                                5
Continued from previous page

                               Other makers have their own mounts. There are            Anyway, the FOV changes not only with the focal
                               also lens manufacturers (Sigma, Tokina, and              length, but also with the size of the sensor. In
                               others) who make lenses in different mounts. It          order to make this all understandable, the makers
                               can get confusing, and warrants some study before        give us the information we need to make
                               you buy a DSLR. When you buy a DSLR,                     reasonable comparisons of the focal lengths their
                               remember that you are buying into a system, not          lenses have. Let me give an example...
                               just a camera. To pick on Nikon, Nikon has a large
                               system of camera bodies, lenses, flash units,            Arguably, the one size of film that most people are
                               adapters, cables, and much more. So does Canon,          familiar with, or at least have an idea about, is
                               and all the other DSLR makers (but Canon and             35mm. So, lens focal lengths are conveniently
                               Nikon by far have the largest systems). So               converted to 35mm equivalents for us by the
                               purchasing a DSLR requires much more research            camera makers. For example, we have a Canon
                               that buying a $200 P&S camera.                           S2 IS camera. The camera has a zoom lens of
                                                                                        6-72mm. But, because the sensor is smaller than
                               Other Terms                                              a 35mm film size, the 35mm equivalent zoom
                                                                                        range is 36-422mm, and this information is right
                               Then, there are other letters or names that mean         on Canon's website. So, I know about the FOV we
                               things. Different makers have different names for        get with this lens (and that's a zoom lens that will
                               their lens coatings, capabilities, or characteristics.   reach right out there!). 36mm is a little wide
                               Canon, for example, calls their image stabilization      (anything less than about 50mm is considered
                               IS (conveniently), while Nikon uses VR (for              wide angle), and 422mm is pretty long (anything
                               Vibration Reduction). And lenses can look like           over about 50mm is considered long).
                               someone spilled their alphabet soup. Sigma, for
                               example, has lenses with names like, APO 70-             Because of the long focal length this lens will zoom
                               200mm F2.8 EX DG MACRO HSM, or 30mm F1.4                 to, the camera has IS (the “IS” part of S2 IS). For
                               EX DC HSM. Nikon has a Fisheye 10.5mm f/2.8G             almost all cameras, you'll find the 35mm
                               ED AF DX lens. To find out what all of these letters     equivalent somewhere n the maker's website, or in
                               mean, a visit to the makers' websites will have the      an ad for the camera.
                               explanations.                                            Lenses for DSLRs are marked as though they are
                                                                                        going to be used on a 35mm SLR. Conversion is
                               35mm Equivalents                                         fairly easy for different sensor sizes here, because
                               Now that you know what the lenses actually are,          a DSLR user will (should!) know the conversion
                               which should you get? For a P&S camera, the lens         factor. As examples, this factor is 1.6 for my
                               is fixed, so the choice will depend on which camera      Canon 30D, and for a Nikon D70s, it's 1.5. So, if I
                               you want. Many makers have several cameras               had a 50mm lens for my 30D, I would multiply
                               within a family, with different capabilities and         50mm by 1.6 (the conversion factor for the 30D),
                               lenses, and, of course, cost. The longer zoom            and know that the lens acts like an 80mm lens on
                               factor lenses cost more, as do other capabilities of     my camera.
                               the cameras themselves, so the better lenses             It's not as hard as it sounds. Really. Here's a site
                               usually go with higher costs. Within this, there are     that gives examples of the different ways that
                               different cameras with lenses that will start out        different focal lengths see a subject:
                               with a shorter focal length for those who want to That
                               do landscapes, or longer focal lengths for those         page also has very good explanations of FOV (on
                               who want to really reach out.                            that page, it's called Angle of View; same thing for
                                                                                        our purposes).
                               But it's important to understand that the focal
                               length on the lens may not be what you think it is.
                                                                                        Everything About Lenses
                               On most P&S cameras, the actual focal length of
                               the lens is much shorter than you're used to from        So, that should get you started on your way to
                               using 35mm film. It all has to do with field of          knowing everything about lenses. Obviously, this
                               view. For example, let's say a 50mm lens on a            already long article can't cover everything in detail,
                               35mm film camera has a field of view (FOV) that          but I hope it helps you understand the basics.
                               equates to about 47°. I could tell you how many
                               feet across that is at, say, 1000' distance, but that    Bill Funk ( is a long time member of the
                                                                                        Arizona Society for Computer Information, inc. (ASCIi)
                               would hurt my head. Honestly. It involves things
                                                                                        ( He is one of the group’s “go-to” people
                               like tangents, and I got rid of my slide rule years      for digital photography, has written many articles for the ASCIi
                               ago. (What good is something that will calculate         newsletter, and has served in many capacities, including
                               the volume of an irregular solid, but won't add?         President and Newsletter Editor.
                               And you have to guess where the decimal goes?)                                          c
                               6                                           The ASCIi Clipboard                                      September 2006
                                                                             Google Pedometer
                                                                                        by Hank Pearson, ASCIi

Every evening I take a walk. And sometimes in            It is so tempting to say there are always activities
the morning as well. My goal is time - not               more important than walking. If you are in a
distance. I walk more than an hour a day. It isn't       vigorous exercise program, that might be true.
much, but better than nothing, I tell myself. It is      Otherwise, the hour or so you spend walking is
important to me to say I walk for over an hour           time well spent. And when you get back, you have
because if I tried for an hour, I would sometimes        an excuse to sit down at the computer: to
settle for approximately an hour. I suspect the          measure your route.
approximation could vary more as time
goes by. Can you relate to that?

There are always reasons not to walk. It
takes so long. I'm in the middle of
something. I'm tired. It is hot outside.
I have to remind myself I am walking for
health. I realize normal walking does
not get the heart beating fast enough to
do much good, but it is a start. If a
game like time instead of distance helps
in motivation, it is worth it.

The time goal lets me vary the route. It
helps me walk farther and faster when I
feel like it. Still, I am curious how far I
actually walk. I could wear a pedometer
like a couple of my cousins do. They
walk at least 10,000 steps a day to get
health insurance discounts. Personally, I
like to check out my routes on the
                                                         When you finish, there are links to Save Route,
There are websites that measure distances from
                                                         Clear points and start over, and Print Map.
point to point. For instance, Gmaps Pedometer
( uses the great                  The pedometer site is also useful for car travel. I
Google mapping engine.                                   have a lot of relatives who live out in the country.
                                                         There isn't any street address to enter in
Zoom with the plus or minus buttons (on the              conventional map sites (like
screen) or keys (on the keyboard). (Hint: if you         Gmaps Pedometer makes it simple to write rural
like the keyboard, first click the map to gain           directions. It is also handy for estimating the
focus.) Drag the map to position it, or use the          mileage of long circular trips.
arrow buttons or keys. Click the Start Recording
button to begin measuring distance. Double-click         If you are easily amused, enter the weight of your
points along your route. If the trail is curved,         vehicle. You will see that it can burn millions of
double-click a few points along the curve. You'll        calories in a single vacation. That's all you need to
see your mileage accumulating in the Total               think of high gas prices. See - walking isn't so bad
Distance box, and the last leg of your trip in the       after all. It's free.
Last Leg box.                                            Hank Pearson ( is the
                                                         Presentations Coordinator and a Review Coordinator for the
If you dare, click Turn on calorie counter. Enter
                                                         Arizona Society for Computer Information, inc. (ASCIi)
your weight, and note how many calories you burn.        ( He is a long-time member who frequently
You might not like this feature because you will see     writes articles for the group’s newsletter, and has served as
that it takes over an hour to use the calories you       President, Secretary and Newsletter Editor.
can easily eat in a few minutes.                                                      c
September 2006                                The ASCIi Clipboard                                                   7
                                                  Microsoft Money 2006 Premium
                                                                                          by Kevin Svec, ASCIi

The Trial Version                                      The Other Features
Our user group has the opportunity to give away a      The many other features I have used would take
copy of the 2006 version. Since I did not want to      quite a bit of time to explain. Here are just a few:
install and use the license key for our give-away
copy, I downloaded the trial version offered by         • Bill Reminders. All payments are monitored.
Microsoft. The trial version has most of the              Should Money see a pattern, like payments to
capabilities of the retail version. The basic             the same payee on a regular basis, it will
operation is the same.                                    automatically request confirmation of a common
                                                          monthly bill. At this point you can setup default
The Installation                                          due dates, and a reminder schedule for
Installing the software was straight forward, and
                                                        • Spending Reports. This is a very convenient
there were not many options during the installation
                                                          way to get a snapshot of where all your money
phase. I accepted all the defaults and watched it
                                                          is going. We use this feature along with the
install on a 1.7GHz system in less than two
                                                          budgeting feature to keep our household in
minutes. Immediately following installation, I was
prompted to setup my bank account. You go
through these simple steps, selecting your bank         • Budgeting. A simple household budget can
from a drop-down list, and if you have Internet           usually make the bravest of men cry in sure
connectivity, you can download all the information        horror. Well don't worry, follow the step-by-
directly from your bank. Your account history and         step wizard in Money, and watch how quickly
balance will be entered directly into Money.              you will have completed your household budget.
                                                          Be in control of your finances with just a few
The Interface                                             clicks and careful planning.
                                                        • Payee and Categorization. A little time up
The interface is slightly different than what I have
                                                          front will greatly improve the way you track
become accustomed to from MS Money. I should
                                                          your cash flow. Money assists you by
stop here to note that I have been using MS Money
                                                          remembering all the different payees, and will
since 2003, and have really enjoyed its interface
                                                          simplify the way you enter information into your
and feature set. Electronic personal banking has
                                                          bank register. The categories will allow you
been part of my life since the early 90's when
                                                          track your spending and income much more
Quicken was king. In late 2002 I had some
                                                          closely, and it will also help with your taxes at
problems with Quicken in regards to calculations
                                                          the end of the year.
on my register, so I decided to transfer my
interests into MS Money. The new interface flows        • Reconciling (Balancing Your Checkbook).
quite smoothly with horizontally placed menu bars         If you are new to an electronic checkbook, you
at the top with dynamic sub menus. There is also          will find this feature to be the most important,
a task pane to the left that helps with specific          and easiest to use. No more hunting down
section you are currently working in.                     rogue digits in your paper-based check register.
                                                          Money guides you through the now simple
The Bank                                                  reconciliation process. The wizard will ask the
                                                          questions, and you will provide the answers.
There is one nice feature that I have come to             Before you know it, your checkbook has been
appreciate more, and that is the auto-downloading         balanced to the penny!
of my bank activity. My wife and I do not use a
checkbook register in our checkbooks. We do            The version of Money that I have been using for
however, have duplicate checks. This allows us to      the past three years is Money 2003 Deluxe. It
cross-check the downloaded information with what       seems as though it is time for me to upgrade.
was written. Also, with the way everyone shops
today, using debit cards, this feature is most         Happy Computing!
handy. This feature only works if you have an          Kevin Svec ( is President of the
Internet connection and if your bank offers the        Arizona Society for Computer Information, inc. (ASCIi)
connectivity. If your bank also offers                 ( He has been working with computers for
categorization of activity, that same categorization   over 25 years and is currently an IT Director for a law firm.
will integrate with Money.                                                          c
8                                          The ASCIi Clipboard                                  September 2006
                                                                      AOL Announcement
                                                               Answers About the New AOL
                                                                 info brought to you by Joe Zagar, ASCIi

         Frequently Asked Questions                    I'm Thinking About Switching to
             About the New AOL                         Broadband: What Should I Do?
                                                       AOL offers several reliable and affordable options
 •   Why Is AOL Doing This?
                                                       for switching to a high-speed (cable or DSL)
 •   What Is Included for Free?
                                                       Internet connection. Call us at 800-984-7134 to
 •   What Don't I Get for Free?                        find out if the service is available at your home
 •   I'm Thinking About Switching to Broadband,        address. If you purchase your high-speed Internet
     What Should I Do?                                 connection separately, you can still use AOL's free
 •   Does AOL Work With Any Broadband or Dial-Up       services - including e-mail, video, radio, online
     Provider?                                         security and more.
 •   Where's the Catch?
 •   When Can I Get AOL for Free?                      Does AOL Work With Any Broadband or
 •   Does This Mean I Can Stop Paying for AOL?         Dial-Up Provider?
 •   Will There Be a Service Disruption if I Choose    Yes, AOL works with any dial-up or broadband
     the Free AOL Option?                              provider. You do not need to change your e-mail
 •   Will I Be Bombarded With Advertising if I         address or do anything differently. Once you
     Choose the Free AOL Option?                       connect to the Internet with your dial-up, cable,
 •   What if I Still Need Internet Access?             DSL, satellite or wi-fi provider, you simply go to
 •   Can I Keep Using AOL in Spanish or English? or start your existing AOL software.
                                                       For information on how to set up your AOL
                     Answers                           software to work with another provider, please go
                                                       to and search for "Connection"
Why Is AOL Doing This?                                 or click here.
To give members more choice and flexibility so         AOL will continue to provide several reliable and
they can get the online experience that's right for    affordable options for connecting to the Internet,
them. As AOL changes, other sources of revenue         on both dial-up and high-speed (cable or DSL)
(such as advertising) will allow us to offer many of   plans. Please call 866-280-0618 to find out more
our services free of charge.                           about the connectivity plans AOL provides.
What Is Included for Free?                             Where's the Catch?
Regardless of how you choose to get online, here's
                                                       There is no catch. Choose to connect to the
what you'll get for free from AOL: An e-mail
                                                       Internet however you want, and enjoy the benefits
account with up to seven screen names, the Buddy
                                                       of AOL's software, e-mail, and features at no extra
List® feature, Address Book, AOL software,
                                                       cost. We'll still have pay plans for people who
comprehensive safety and security protection,
                                                       need an Internet connection and full customer
Parental Controls, access to millions of online
videos, AOL® Radio with XM and more.                   support, as well as certain a la carte services, but
                                                       anyone can use AOL's free features regardless of
What Don't I Get for Free?                             how they get online.

There will still be a monthly charge to use AOL to     When Can I Get AOL for Free?
connect to the Internet, and we will offer several
                                                                                                                Continued on page 11

reliable and affordable options, on both dial-up and   If you already have an alternative way to
broadband. These options will include access to        connect to the Internet, either by dial-up or
our 24/7 Live (telephone) Customer Support,            broadband, you can move to the free AOL plan
which is not available with our free services.         and continue to access your AOL e-mail,
Additionally, we will offer various a la carte         software, and security features. To change your
products and services, many of which we will           current AOL plan, simply call Member Services at
announce this fall.                                    800-984-6207.
September 2006                             The ASCIi Clipboard                                              9
                                                                                          File Handling
                                                                   Reprinted from
                                                                      info brought to you by Joe Zagar, ASCIi

I have a friend who has a collection of over 1,000        Deleting Files
eBooks. He keeps them in a folder called eBooks.
While we were chatting he explained to me that he         Having made your selection, right click on any one
was creating sub-folders so that he could store           and select Delete. They will all vanish.
them by type (fiction, history, cookery etc.). At the     Alternatively, drag them, using the mouse, to the
rate he was working the job would have taken him          recycle bin.
hours, he was moving the files one at a time.
After I showed him how to operate on multiple files
he had the whole job done in less than 2 minutes.          • You can rename whole groups of files: and the
Being able to move, copy, delete, e-mail or rename           example below shows one instance where this
any number of files in a folder, or any number of            can be useful. You may find other uses.
folders, can save lots of time.
                                                           • Make your selection, right click on one of the
                                                             selected files and choose the rename option.
A. Selecting the Files You
   Want to Work On                                         • Type in the new name and press enter.

  1. If you want to select a single file you simply        • All the files will now have the same name, but
     point the mouse at it, or single click.                 each will have a unique suffix, which is a
                                                             sequential number in brackets.
  2. If you want to select all the files in the folder
     you can either open the Edit tab and click on        Other Uses
     Select all, or you can highlight the first file in
     the folder, hold down the shift key and              The above technique can also be used with the
     highlight the last file.                             send to option in the right click menu. This enables
                                                          you to send a group of files by e-mail without the
  3. If you want to highlight more than one, but
                                                          need to attach them individually.
     not all, you hold down the Ctrl key and
     highlight the ones you want.
                                                          A Practical Example
B. Moving the Files                                         1. As well as re-organizing libraries, the above
                                                               can be useful for music or picture collections.
  1. Click on any of the files you have highlighted            I use it to keep my family photographs in
     and hold down the click. Now drag the mouse               some semblance of order.
     pointer to the folder you want them stored in.
     The folder doesn’t have to be open, it simply          2. I hate the software that came with my digital
     has be visible, either in an explorer window              camera, it is slow and clunky, so I don’t use
     or on your desktop.                                       it. I simply attach the camera to the PC and
                                                               open an explorer window to view the files.
  2. Release the mouse and your files will be
     moved.                                                 3. I set the view tab to thumbnails so I can see
                                                               each picture and select those I want to keep.
Copying Files                                                  Then I drag them into my photo folder.
                                                            4. Have you noticed they always have really
 • Having highlighted the files you want to copy
                                                               interesting names like dcp19786543fgh33? I
   using one of the methods above, right click on
                                                               highlight all the photos I have taken and
   any one of them and select Copy.
                                                               rename them with the place and date, e.g.
 • Navigate to wherever you want to copy them to               ParisAug2006. Using thumbnail view I can
   and right click again.                                      easily find those I want to open.
 • Select Paste. Windows will copy all the selected       Reprinted from 8/6/2006.
   files to the new folder.                                                           c
10                                            The ASCIi Clipboard                                 September 2006
                                                                                                                       Tips & News
                                                                                                                    by Joe Zagar, ASCIi

                        Tips                                                   Sites to Visit
                        Desktop Toolbar                                        About Computers
                        Is your desktop littered with shortcuts? You could     There are many good sites for those interested in
                        put all these shortcuts in a neat toolbar at the top   computers, and this one is well worth a look.
                        of the screen. Right-click on the desktop and
                        create a new folder. Call it shortcuts, or anything
                        you like. Drag all the desktop shortcuts into it.      Fish Recipes
                        Now drag the folder to the very top of the screen,
                        (or to one side if you prefer) and your new toolbar    For those with a culinary bent here is a brilliant site
                        will appear with all your shortcuts neatly arranged.   for fish recipes. It has a distinctly British flavour
                                                                               and includes such recipes as Scottish Tweed Kettle,
                        Your IP Address                                        jellied eels, and Limpet pie. Delicious!
                        If you need to know your own IP address, go to
                        Start > Run, and type in cmd and press Enter.
                        In the command prompt window that opens, type
                                                                               Learn to Type Right
                        ipconfig /all, and press Enter.                        If you are fed up with bashing the keyboard with
                                                                               two fingers and would like to emulate the
                        On Screen Keyboard                                     secretarial types who produce dozens of words
                        If your keyboard isn’t working you can get one on      without even looking at the keys, this free online
                        your screen, operated by mouse, by going to Start      typing course is brilliant.
                        > Run, then type osk, and press Enter. If your
                        keyboard stops working you can use your mouse to
                        navigate to C:\Windows\System32 and                    Joe Zagar ( is a licensed Arizona
                        double-click the osk.exe file.                         fishing guide (, a Review
                                                                               Coordinator for the Arizona Society for Computer Information,
                                                                               inc. (ASCIi) (, and the Vice-President and
                        Quick Calendar
                                                                               Webmaster of the Sunland Village East Computer Club
                        If you need a calendar, double click the time in the   (
                        system tray and one will appear as if by magic.                                      c
Continued from page 9

                        AOL Announcement (continued)                           Will I Be Bombarded With Advertising if I
                                                                               Choose the Free AOL Option?
                        Does This Mean I Can Stop Paying for AOL?
                                                                               We do not anticipate significant changes to the
                        That depends. You can choose the free AOL option       advertising and pop-up policies in place on the
                        and stop paying for Internet access and customer website and throughout the AOL
                        support from AOL if you have another way to get
                        online. Once you're online, you can continue to
                        use AOL's software, e-mail and security features at
                        no charge. We will, however, continue to offer         What if I Still Need Internet Access?
                        dial-up and high-speed (cable or DSL) plans for
                        those who need a connection to the Internet and        AOL will continue to offer several reliable and
                        customer support.                                      affordable options for connecting to the Internet,
                                                                               on both dial-up and high-speed (cable or DSL)
                        Will There Be a Service Disruption if I                plans.
                        Choose the Free AOL Option?
                        No - you should be able to continue accessing the      Can I Keep Using AOL in Spanish or
                        AOL software, your e-mail account and additional       English?
                        AOL features, as long as you have a connection to
                        the Internet. Make sure you first start up your        Yes, you can continue to use AOL in the language
                        Internet connection before you open your AOL           that you prefer - Spanish or English.
                        software.                                                                       c
                        September 2006                             The ASCIi Clipboard                                                     11
                                                          APCUG Annual Conference
                                                                       January 2007, Las Vegas

           2007 Annual Conference
               Thursday, January 4
                Sunday, January 7

        Your User Group’s Future is You!

New Location:                                           must be received by October 25. If you register
                                                        between October 16 and November 30, your check
     The Riviera Hotel & Casino                         must be received by December 7. The higher fee
     2901 Las Vegas Blvd S                              will apply if payment is not received according to
     Las Vegas, NV 89109-1933                           these schedules.
 •   Digital Photo Contest (more info on page 13)       Included in the registration fee is a complimentary
 •   Educational Workshops                              APCUG shirt. Our deadline to order shirts is
 •   Peer-to-Peer Interaction                           October 25. We usually order a very limited
                                                        number of shirts in size XL for late registrants.
 •   Open to All User Group Members
                                                        Attendees who register before our cut-off date will
APCUG is coordinating a variety of activities in Las    be able to get the shirt size they ordered. If you
Vegas for user group officers, directors and            do not get a shirt in your registration kit, it is due
members. A warm welcome to first time attendees         to your late registration.
kicks off these four days of peer-to-peer interactive
                                                        The user group activities at our conference are
workshops and informative/educational
                                                        aimed at user group officers, Special Interest
presentation sessions.
                                                        Group (SIG) leaders, appointed officers and
They have an easy to find Hospitality Room staying      directors and potential officers. Keep in mind that
open from early morning to late night for catching      all user group members are potential officers or
up with old friends. Also planned are events            future leaders of your group.
hosted by sponsoring vendors and a special “by
invitation only” Friends of APCUG reception in a        2. Housing Rates
room with a breath-taking view.                         Please support APCUG by staying at the Riviera
           The Registration Process
                                                        This contact information is to be used when making
1. APCUG Registration                                   room reservations at The Riviera. Make your
                                                        reservations online using the link from the APCUG
By October 15 (Early Bird Special)             $75      registration page. You may also call the hotel
October 16 thru November 30                   $100      directly at 800-634-6753 in the U.S. or direct
After November 30                             $150      702-794-9412 and identify yourself with Group
                                                        Code APCUG and present a credit card number.
Registration is online on the APCUG website:            The credit card will be charged for a minimum of Credit cards         one night’s room and tax at the time the
will be accepted. If you wish to pay by check, print    reservation is made. Non-smoking rooms are
and mail one copy of your registration confirmation     limited, so reserve early.

with your check, in US funds, to APCUG, 3155 E
Patrick Ln, Ste 1, Las Vegas, NV 89120-3481.            APCUG’s special negotiated room rate ends on
If you register on or before October 15, your check     December 14. Please reserve early.
12                                         The ASCIi Clipboard                               September 2006
Continued from previous page

                               Room rates (single or double occupancy - all rates     traffic). Airport Service Vans are available for
                               are plus applicable taxes):                            around $4 per person.

                               January 2 thru 6 (Tue–Sat)     $74 per night           Parking at The Riviera during the conference
                               January 7 thru 10 (Sun–Wed) $125 per night             is complimentary.
                               Petite Suite                  $175 per night
                               Surcharge for triple occupancy $10 per night           5. CES Exhibits Registration
                                                                                      If you plan to attend the CES exhibits, you must
                               3. Special Needs
                                                                                      register directly with them. Registration is on the
                               If you have special needs (diet, hearing,              web at:
                               wheelchair or other), it is necessary that you
                               indicate your need when you register. The Riviera
                               catering will only offer cereal or fruit plate or a    Registration Entitles You To:
                               vegetable plate as alternatives to a regular diet.
                                                                                       •   APCUG Conference badge *
                               4. Transportation                                       •   Registration materials
                               The free CES shuttle stops right outside the            •   APCUG Conference shirt
                               conference center. The convention center is also        •   All Conference meals
                               within walking distance of The Riviera. Cab fare is
                                                                                       •   All Conference social events
                               approximately $4 each way, depending on traffic.
                                                                                       •   Round Table sessions
                               Those persons making other lodging arrangements         •   Vendor Faire
                               will be responsible for securing a means of
                               transportation to The Riviera in the morning and       * Your APCUG Conference badge admits you to all
                               back to their respective lodgings in the evening. If   Round Table sessions and Conference events. You
                               you are staying at The Riviera, bus/taxi               will not be admitted to any Conference event
                               transportation from the Las Vegas Airport to The       without the appropriate APCUG badge.
                               Riviera is approximately $12 (depending on                                      c

                                            Deadline is approaching!
                                    Get your entries in before September 30th
                                    A “digital first” for the Association of Personal Computer User Groups (APCUG) in 2007!
                               Our kick-off event for the Annual Conference (January 2007) will showcase the talents of our
                               member group photographers! Somewhere inside all of us is a creative genius just waiting for
                               the chance to grab the spotlight, and we want to give you that chance.
                               There will be multiple chances to win - including professional judging and our own “Photo Idol”
                               chosen from our Conference attendees! So, grab those cameras and start shooting!

                                                    See Contest Rules on the APCUG Website:
                               September 2006                             The ASCIi Clipboard                                            13
                                                                                             Tech Corner
                                                                       SP1 Abandoned in the Fall
                                                                                    by Chuck Thomas, BGAMUG

A popup message from Windows Update has been           Some of you may have heard that Microsoft
alerting me recently to the fact that Microsoft is     announced (on their website) that support for
ending its support for Windows XP Service Pack 1       Windows XP Home and Media Center Edition
(SP1) as of October 10, 2006. It offers a free         would be discontinued at the end of 2006 -
download of SP2, which will continue to be             regardless of which service pack is installed. But
supported once installed.                                         that was an error, according to
                                                                  Microsoft. Here is the full story on that
If, like me, you are still running SP1,                           Microsoft gaff from ZD Net News:
you might think that it is no big deal
since you never call or write Microsoft    SP1 to SP2             Until Tuesday night, a posting on
for support anyhow! But the one big                               Microsoft's Website stated that support
problem is that there will no longer be any            for Windows XP Home and Windows XP Media
security updates for the old version of XP. As you     Centre Edition would end on 31 December, 2006.
know, Microsoft is regularly learning of security      That would mean no more security fixes or any
holes in their OS and issuing updates (patches for     other support items, such as warranty claims, for
the holes) that you should be installing to keep       users of those operating system products.
your computer somewhat safe from hackers.
These security updates will continue to be           But the posting was incorrect, Ines Vargas, a
available to XP users with SP2 installed, but they   program manager at Microsoft, told ZDNet UK
will end in October for SP1.                                                   sister site CNET
                                                                               The software maker has now
If you don’t know whether or         no more security fixes or                 updated the online
not SP2 is installed, simply         any other support items,                  information to reflect that
click Start/My Computer (or                                                    the consumer Windows XP
the My Computer link on
                                     such as warranty claims,
                                                                               editions, along with XP
your desktop) and then on                 for users of those                   Professional, will be
the left side of the My             operating system products                  supported until two years
Computer window under                                                          after Vista ships, she said.
System Tasks, click View                                                       Vista, the long-delayed next
system in formation. The System Properties           update of Windows, is expected to arrive by the
window that pops up will show basic information      end of the year.
about your computer, including the installed
Service Pack for XP.                                 "This was brought to our attention late last week,
                                                     and since then, we have worked diligently to
If you need to upgrade to SP2, go to this            make the change on the site, which was effective
Microsoft web page:                                  Tuesday night," she said. "It was not a change in         support policy. It is reflective of the policy as we
                                                     understand it."
You’ll find a link in the Get Windows XP SP2 Now
box to receive the huge file on a CD by mail for     …so we can rest easy knowing we are safe in the
only the cost of mailing. This saves you the         hands of Microsoft!
trouble of a long download and provides a CD for
quick reinstall if it should be necessary. The page  Chuck Thomas,, is a member of the
also provides “quick tips for a successful upgrade”  Bowling Green Area Microcomputer User Group, KY
under the How link.                                  (
                                                       There is no restriction against any non-profit group using this
Similarly, support is finally ending on the same
                                                       article as long as it is kept in context with proper credit given the
date for Windows 98, ME, and NT. But I doubt           author. The Editorial Committee of the Association of Personal
that many of you are running these operating           Computer User Groups (APCUG), an international organization of
systems these days, and if you are you long ago        which this group is a member, brings this article to you.
ceased to worry about support from Microsoft!                                           c
14                                        The ASCIi Clipboard                                        September 2006
                                                                                     XP or Vista?
                                                          Upgrade to XP, or Wait for Vista?
                                                                                    by Elaine Drain, SSCC

From talking with our members, it seems that quite       • If you would like to upgrade to a new computer
a number of you with older computers running                with XP now and may wish to upgrade to Vista
Win98 or ME are in a quandary as to whether to go           later on and also have higher needs such as
ahead and buy a new computer now with XP or try             working with digital photos and editing
to hold out until Vista arrives on the scene. As Jim        programs, spreadsheets, databases, power
and I tell our members when                                                  shows, etc., you should
asking for buying advice, it’s a       PCs that meet the minimum             consider spending a little more
personal choice you have to                  supported system                to get a Pentium or Athlon
make depending on your needs                                                 processor. I would recommend
                                      requirements will be able to
and your budget. We can,                                                     a bare minimum of 512MB of
                                          run the core features of           memory (RAM) if you are
however, provide some general
information to help you choose,
                                          Windows Vista with the             working with multimedia
so read on.                                basic user experience.            (photos/music/movies/radio)
                                                                             for now but you should plan to
XP certainly is superior to Windows 98 or ME,               add another 512MB of memory when you
especially now that 98 and ME are no longer                 upgrade to Vista.
supported. Microsoft will probably continue to
support XP for 4 or 5 more years (but no one can        Windows Vista Minimum Supported
say for certain on that one). XP, even with its         System Requirements
vulnerabilities, is a very stable operating system.
                                                        If you are wondering about the minimum
Jim and I are both running XP Pro and have been
                                                        requirements for upgrading your current computer
satisfied with its performance overall. I have been
                                                        to Vista, the following information was taken from
doing a lot of reading on Vista and, from the
                                                        the Microsoft website:
information available, feel that it will be superior to
XP, but not everyone will require all of the features   PCs that meet the minimum supported system
that will be included in the full version of Vista.     requirements will be able to run the core features
                                                        of Windows Vista with the basic user experience.
So given that information,
here are some choices:                                    Processor              800 MHz 32-bit (x86)
                                                                             or 64-bit (x64) processor
 • Current Computer with 98 or ME: If you are
   currently running Windows 98 or ME and don’t
   want to spend a lot of money next year for a           System Memory                         512MB
   new computer with Vista, you may want to go
   ahead and buy a new computer with XP soon.             GPU                          SVGA (800x600)
   The Back-To-School prices for computers right                     (GPU means Graphics Processing
   now are very enticing. Certainly, the newer                        Unit, or in other words, Monitor)
   computers next year running Vista will cost
   substantially more because of the increased
                                                          Graphics Memory        (not stated, although
   hardware requirements.                                                               I have heard a
                                                                                  minimum of 128MB)
 • If you would like to upgrade to a new computer
   with XP now and have minimum needs only
                                                                                                               Continued on page 17

   using your computer for e-mail and surfing the         HDD                  20GB (Hard Disk Drive)
   Internet, and do not plan to upgrade to the
   Vista operating system down the road, a
                                                          HDD Free Space                         15GB
   budget-priced computer with a Celeron or
   Sempron processor may suit your needs, even
   though you would have fewer upgrade options            Optical Drive                 CD-ROM drive
   in the future.
September 2006                             The ASCIi Clipboard                                            15
                                       Windows XP and Speech Recognition
                                                                                by Vinny La Bash, SPCUG

I used to watch Star Trek in envy as the ship’s       with the package for your money, but they’re not
computer “listened” to the crews’ instructions and    important to our discussion.
responded with perfect understanding. Speech
recognition is not there yet, but why let lack of     If you have Microsoft Word or Office installed, and
perfection stop us from trying?                       you don’t have the Speech Recognition tab in the
                                                      above mentioned dialog box, the program was not
Speech recognition has come a long way since it       installed by default. Fortunately, it’s easy to install
was first introduced to personal computers. On a      from Word. From the Tools menu open the Speech
basic level speech recognition is the process of      option. Choose Yes when you’re asked if you want
converting an acoustic signal, captured by a          to install the program. You will probably need the
microphone, and transforming it into words on a       installation disk.
document. The procedure is highly technical, but
you don’t have to understand its inner mysteries to
use it any more than you need to know how an
automobile is designed in order to drive it.

                                                      You didn’t think you were finished, did you? The
                                                      program needs to be trained like a puppy dog. It
                                                      won’t mess your carpet, and you don’t need to
                                                      take it for a walk, but you do have to show it how
Many of those who have Windows XP installed           to speak appropriately. The program will assist
believe that speech recognition is built into XP.     you with the proper position of your microphone,
That’s because many PC vendors install Microsoft’s    and it will help you create a profile.
speech recognition software along with XP as a        The profile stores your unique speech patterns and
convenience to customers. Click on the Start          any pronunciation quirks you may have. You can
button and go into Control Panel. Locate the          use one of three different voices as your default,
Speech icon and open it with your mouse. A dialog     Michelle, Michael, or Microsoft Sam. They could all
box will appear. If it has a Speech Recognition       stand some improvement, but I prefer Sam.
tab, the program is already installed.
                                                      All that’s left is for you to “train” the program to
If speech recognition is not installed you have       convert your speech into words on the document.

several options. You can buy Microsoft Plus! for      Start the training from the Speech option in the
Windows XP for about $30. This is the least           Tools menu. You will be offered a selection of
expensive option. You get some additional goodies     different texts to read, ranging from Bill Gates’
16                                        The ASCIi Clipboard                              September 2006
Continued from previous page

                               book “The Road Ahead” to Edgar Allen Poe’s “Fall        through the conventional keyboard and mouse
                               of the House of Usher”. The more text you read,         interface. Those who suffer from visual
                               the more accurately the program will convert your       impairments, repetitive strain injuries or other
                               speech to text. In time, you can experience an          physical limitations have found new opportunities
                               accuracy rate better than 98%.                          through speech recognition. You may be amazed
                                                                                       at what you can accomplish when you unleash the
                               Get a high quality microphone. A noise-canceling        power of your voice.
                               headset can be purchased for less than $50.
                               Speak naturally, the same way you would speak to        There is no reason why speech recognition has
                               another person in a normal conversation. Don’t try      to be confined to computers. This technology is
                               training the program as if it were a child or an        slowly finding its way into homes, automobiles,
                               obstinate pet. That produces very poor results and      factories, and wherever the marketplace
                               needless frustration.                                   dictates.

                               Even with all the progress in the last decade,          Speech recognition, like video editing, requires a
                               speech recognition is still far from perfect. So why    lot of computer power. Have at least one gigabyte
                               bother using it? It’s an excellent tool for creating    of memory and a 2.0 MHz processor as a bare
                               the first draft of a manuscript of any length.          minimum.
                               Dictation is a lot easier than using the keyboard
                               and mouse to make text entries. If you take the         Vinny La Bash ( is a member of the
                                                                                       Sarasota PCUG (, Florida.
                               time to learn how to correct errors through the
                               program’s editing utility, you will save time,          There is no restriction against any non-profit group using this
                               especially if you fall into the camp of lousy typists   article as long as it is kept in context with proper credit given the
                               as most of us do.                                       author. The Editorial Committee of the Association of Personal
                                                                                       Computer User Groups (APCUG), an international organization of
                               Speech control allows many people access to             which this group is a member, brings this article to you.
                               computers who could otherwise not use them                                               c
Continued from page 15

                                                                                       memory upgrade, not to mention the graphics
                               XP or Vista? (continued)                                card requirements, would add up to a tidy sum
                               Keep in mind that the above specs are for running       and in the end you would still have a very old
                               the BASIC version of Vista and not the fully            computer (that may or may not work well with
                               functional version which has a multitude of new         Vista).
                               features. Although Microsoft is currently stating
                                                                                       Current Computer Came With XP: If your current
                               that Vista will run with 512MB of RAM at a
                                                                                       computer came with XP already installed, you
                               minimum, I would make certain the computer
                                                                                       may want to hold out and wait to see what Vista
                               could be upgraded to 1GB of RAM.
                                                                                       offers and how it operates before you take the
                               Minimum requirements are just that - bare bones         plunge.
                               minimum - and I would recommend that your
                                                                                       Excellent Comparison – Vista vs XP: If you would
                               computer exceed these minimums. Vista is                like to take a peek and see how Vista compares
                               currently in the Beta2 stage and is nearing (so         with XP side by side, follow this link:
                               they say) finalization before debut, but that does
                               not mean that the system requirements stated
                               here won’t change by the time the system is ready       If you’re wondering how the Apple operating
                               to sell, so stay tuned on that.                         system, Tiger, compares with Vista, this article
                                                                                       may be of interest to you:
                               Personally, if your current computer came with,1895,1842175,00.asp
                               Windows 98 or ME, I would not recommend
                               attempting to upgrade your old computer to Vista        Elaine Drain is the President of the Senior Surfers Computer
                               unless you originally purchased a high end              Club, Delaware (
                               computer with a Pentium processor with the              There is no restriction against any non-profit group using this
                               capability of 1GB of RAM. Even then, it may not be      article as long as it is kept in context with proper credit given the
                               worth the time, effort and money to upgrade.            author. The Editorial Committee of the Association of Personal
                                                                                       Computer User Groups (APCUG), an international organization of
                               The cost to purchase the Vista operating system,        which this group is a member, brings this article to you.
                               plus any installation charges, plus the cost of the                                      c
                               September 2006                              The ASCIi Clipboard                                                          17
                                                       thousands of subscribers in 35 countries. During
                                                       the past few years I’ve witnessed a tremendous
                                                       migration away from AOL to other Internet Service
                                                       Providers (ISPs). Within the past four years, AOL
                                                       lost more than 9 million users, so if you do decide
                                                       to leave AOL, you’ll certainly be in good company.
Q. My daughter sent a photo as an
                                                       Without question, there are more cost-effective,
attachment that I want to open. The name of
                                                       less software-intrusive methods of accessing the
the photo is FishingTrip!.jpg, but when I try
to look at it, a message pops up that says,
“This file does not have a program associated          Every day I help people evaluating their ISP
with it for performing this action.” I have no         options, so if I can help you, please visit
idea what that means. What is it trying to tell, subscribe to my newsletter,
me, Mr. M.? I love your newsletter and                 and I’ll be happy to answer any questions you may
recommend it to all my friends.                        have. (Due to the volume of mail received each
                                                       day, and in order to continue to provide the fastest
A. A .jpg file is a very common format that you
                                                       assistance possible, personal responses are limited
shouldn't have any difficulty opening. The problem
                                                       to subscribers only.)
here is the filename. You might want to tell your
daughter that she should avoid using what are
called special characters when naming a file. The                Mr. Modem’s DME
use of an exclamation mark (!) in a filename is a
major no-no, as is the use of other special                       (Don’t Miss ‘Em)
characters such as @, #, $, %, etc. If she limits
herself to letters and numbers (known in high-
                                                                 Sites of the Month
falootin’ computin’ terms as an alphanumeric
naming convention) she’ll be fine and you’ll be able   History Detectives
to open any .jpg files sent to you.                    Currently in its fifth season on PBS, "History
                                                       Detectives" is as much a learning experience as it
If you rename her file and remove the exclamation
                                                       is a television show. The series pushes beyond the
mark, you should be able to open it without any
                                                       standard fare of our history books to find the truth
problem. To rename the file, select (highlight) it,
                                                       behind the biggest mysteries, most infamous
press F2, then type in the new name. I would
                                                       scandals, legendary objects, and other human
suggest retaining the same filename, but just
                                                       folklore of years past. The Web site contains past
deleting the exclamation mark, so it becomes
                                                       case files, insight into investigative techniques
                                                       such as DNA and handwriting analysis, forensic
                                                       technology and ballistics, as well as a do-it-yourself
Q. I’ve been a long-time AOL dial-up user,
                                                       section to teach you how to start solving your own
but their upcoming changes and offering
things for free confuses me. Is there
anything I need to do or should I just leave 
AOL completely?
                                                       Seinfeld’s Dictionary of Terms and Phrases
A. If you’re currently using AOL dial-up, you will
still be charged $25.90 each month for their           If you’re a fan of the Seinfeld sitcom, here you’ll
unlimited access plan. You’ll also receive 50GB        find definitions of terms and punch lines including
(gigabytes) of online storage, and extra security      classics such as “anti-dentite,” “caught-in-a-pick,”
features in addition to the basic software which       “re-gifting,” “close-talker” and "Yada, Yada, Yada."
AOL will be providing for free. You’ll also have a
choice of a $9.95 per month plan with unlimited
access, but no storage or increased security. You      For personal answers to your questions by e-mail,
can avoid paying AOL completely by obtaining dial-     plus easy-to-understand computer tips, subscribe
up or broadband (high-speed) access through            to Mr. Modem’s Weekly newsletter. Don’t miss Mr.
another provider, via DSL (digital subscriber line)    M.’s best-selling CD-ROM featuring more than
or cable access.                                       1400 of the best Web sites. For more information,
                                                       to view an excerpt from the CD, or to order, visit
As far as leaving AOL, as the publisher of a popular
weekly computer-help newsletter, I interact with                               c
18                                         The ASCIi Clipboard                             September 2006
                         This featured column appears monthly in our newsletter.
                         Please help by contributing to this section if you work with
                         any version of Linux and find some solutions that might be
                         helpful to others. Thanks, Kevin Svec.

                              DansGuardian, Part 2                             good one is located at:
                                  The Review                                   dansguardian.html.
                         by Kevin Svec
                                                                               Spencer Stirling, who wrote the article, really
                                                     Now that
                                                                               does a good job of outlining the complete
                                                                               installation and “tweaking” stages of the
                                                        (DG) has been
                                                         installed for a
                                                           couple of           My daughter's have learned to accept the
                                                            months, and        blocks, and have enjoyed surfing the web
                                                            my daughter's      without any other issues.
                                                            have been able
                                                           to give it a        If you have Linux, and you are in need of a
                                                         work-over, let's      really good, reasonably priced (FREE) and fairly
                                                       talk about how          simple to install web filter, then DansGuardian
                                                     well it has worked.       is the application for you. A quick Google
                                                                               search will turn up plenty of results for
                         There have only been a few issues where DG
                                                                               installing and “tweaking” DG.
                         blocked a site that they should have had access
                         to. This is due in part to some of the script and     Until next time… CTRL-Z-Penguin
                         source blocking that DG has set as defaults.
                         After a couple of tweaks in the configuration         Kevin Svec ( is President of the
                         files everything is fine.                             Arizona Society for Computer Information, inc. (ASCIi)
                                                                               ( He has been working with computers
                         There was a need to locate a few good                 for over 25 years and is currently an IT Director for a law firm.
                         resources for fully tweaking DG. One really                                          c
Continued from page 1

                         President’s Message (continued)                       If you have any questions about the duties or
                                                                               responsibilities, please do not hesitate to contact
                         Unfortunately, we now have an opening for an          Ric Fischer or me about it. Thank you for your
                         officer position. Ric Fischer had to resign from      consideration in this matter.
                         his post as Secretary due to some new
                                                                                               The Secretary position will be filled
                         obligations in his life. He also had to resign as
                                                                                                by appointment at the September
                         our Eastside Meeting Coordinator. Ric has been
                                                                                                 Steering Committee meeting
                         a part of our success for many years. While we
                                                                                                   (September 9, 2006, 11:30am,
                         are saddened to lose him from these posts, we
                                                                                                    Abacus Tower, 3030 N 3rd St,
                         know it is for good reason. We all appreciate
                         that Ric has decided to continue in the other
                         roles he fills in the group: Webmaster, Affiliate     The Eastside Meeting Coordinator is kind of a
                         Coordinator, and Bylaws Committee Chair.              "de facto" role. There is no official post, or set
                                                                               term for serving. Anyone is allowed to hold that
                         I am calling for volunteers for the Secretary
                                                                               position as long as they are willing to serve.
                         position. It is a vacancy term which will last
                         through the end of the year. At that time we          Bob Nixon has graciously accepted the position.
                         will vote for officers again for next year. All who   Thank you, Bob, for stepping up so quickly.
                         are interested in the Secretary position, please
                         send an e-mail to me, Kevin Svec,                     -Kevin Svec
                        September 2006                            The ASCIi Clipboard                                                          19
                     Maps to ASCIi Meetin g Locations
                                                             E Osborn Rd                      E Southern Ave

                                                                                                                      S Rural Rd
                        Happy Trails

                                         N Central Ave
                                                                                              Pyle Adult
                                                                                           Recreation Center
                                                                                          655 E Southern Ave
                                                             E Earll Dr
  W Bell Rd                                                                                     Tempe
                        N 175th Ave

                                                                          N 3rd St
                                                         Abacus Tower
    Word of Life                                         3030 N 3rd St
  Lutheran Church                                         Suite 1300
  17525 W Bell Rd                                          Phoenix
                                                            E Thomas Rd
                                                                                     Superstition Fwy - US 60

 Westside Meeting                        Central Meeting                             Eastside Meeting
 1st Saturday of the month, 12:30pm     2nd Saturday of the month, 12:30pm           4th Saturday of the month, 12:30pm
                                        Steering Committee, 11:30am

    For more meeting information see the pages 1 and 3. Be our guest - visitors are welcomed at all meetings.

TEMPE AZ 85282-5913


                 - CL
         FI R
                            Arizona Society for
                      Computer Information, Inc. (ASCIi)
                                1934 E Laguna Dr, Tempe, AZ 85282-5913

                                Membership Application
                                  New Members, Renewals, and Change of Information

 Your Name                                                                               Today’s Date

 Street/PO Box                                       City                State           ZIP Code

 E-Mail 1                                                       E-Mail 2 (For couples. Optional.)

 Phone Number                                        Is this a New Membership, Renewal, or Change of Info?

 Received By - Name of Officer or Member                                 Comments

How to Join. First, complete this application. Then either mail it with a check for your dues (you’ll
receive a receipt in the mail), or give the application and your dues to any officer or member of the group.
Dues. Dues are $30 per year, prorated to the end of the calendar year ($2.50/month). BONUS! If you
prepay your dues for next year you’ll get 5 extra free prize drawing tickets!

                            Arizona Society for                                                 Amount Received:
                      Computer Information, Inc. (ASCIi)                                        $
                                1934 E Laguna Dr, Tempe, AZ 85282-5913
                                                                                                    Check   Cash

 New/Renewing Member’s Name                                                              Today’s Date

 Name of Officer or Member Receiving Dues                                Officer/Member Signature

Personal Information. Your address, phone number and e-mail address(es) will only be distributed
to officers, and to staff who require them to perform their duties, i.e. Newsletter Editor, Webmaster, etc.
Membership Benefits:
Newsletter. You will receive our printed monthly newsletter, the ASCIi Clipboard, in the mail.
Website. You will have access to members-only areas of the ASCIi website,
E-Mail Mailing List. The Webmaster will add your e-mail address(es) to our ASCIi Mailing List, where
we share ideas and receive announcements of upcoming group events.
E-Mail Address. The Webmaster will create an e-mail address for you, so you can communicate with other
group members without revealing your private e-mail address. Format:
Free Prizes. There are prize drawings at ASCIi Meetings. Prizes are only for members.
Other Benefits. Check the newsletter and website for many more benefits of membership.

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