[abcomputers] ABC ~ All 'Bout Computers, Vol. 21: Ad-aware, Valentine Graphics,and Lotsa Good Stuff!

  • From: "Linda F. Johnson" <linda@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: ABCfreelists <abcomputers@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 09 Feb 2003 01:22:26 -0500

ABC ~ All 'Bout Computers.  The ezine YOU subscribed to.  If you want to change 
your subscription options or unsubscribe, see the bottom of this email for full 
instructions.  Thank you.

ABC ~ All 'Bout Computers
Volume 21; February, 2003 - mailed to 3657 subscribers

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(items with *** behind them include pictures and/or are 
better if viewed online)

1.  Important How-To Message for Reading This Ezine 

2.  Linda's Thought of the Month
(and animated GIFs) *** 

3.  Linda's Soapbox ~  Hitbox Is History....for me, anyway

4.  What's New at Linda's Computer Stop ~ Lotsa Stuff Happening! 
(and Vic's added some downloads to supplement his great article 
on locating a lost Windows Install Key  ... don't miss 'em!)

5.  Subscribers' Exclusive TipS ~ Two for the Price of One
~ #1 The Right Click Way To Speed Up Downloads, by Tom Glander
~ #2 Deleting Temp Files...revisited, by Linda

6.  GeekSpeak Translation from the Cap'n 


~~ NEW Ad-aware 6 Steps Up The Battle ***


<3 ~~~ <3 ~~~ <3 ~~~ <3 ~~~ <3 ~~~ <3 ~~~ <3 ~~~ <3
~ from Charlene Russ 

~ Creating a Heart Shape in 3D Studio Max ***

<3 ~~~ <3 ~~~ <3 ~~~ <3 ~~~ <3 ~~~ <3 ~~~ <3 ~~~ <3

9.  Vic's Multimedia Madness
~ Converting Your VHS Tapes To DVDs or CDs

10. Kathy's Practical PowerPoint Tips 
~ Creating a Complete PowerPoint Template, 
Part I: Creating Slide Masters

11. James's Database 
~ Emailing Reports From Access, via Outlook/Outlook Express

12. Tina's FrontPage News 
~ FrontPage 2002 Photo Gallery ***

13. Mike's Safety Belt 
~  Another Celebrity Virus ~ Lirva

14. Charlene's Drawing Board 
~ Using Modifiers in 3D Studio Max ***

15. Steve's Ravin' Reviews ***
 <>JPEG Resizer - 5 geezers 
 <>Copernic Agent Basic - 4½ geezers 
 <>cam2pc - 6 geezers 
 <>AI RoboForm - 5½ geezers 
 <>Startup Control Panel - 6 geezers 

16. Protecting Your Data, and Data Security 
~ by guest author, John Galvin

17. How To Avoid Getting Ripped Off On-line 
~ by guest author, Willie Crawford

18. A Computer the Way YOU Want It
~ by guest author, Bob Osgoodby

19.  Subscription Management
20. Contact Information

*** means the article includes pictures in the online version 
or is better viewed online 
**************STATION BREAK*****************

ECLECTIC ACADEMY ~ A Better Choice in Distance Learning

It's the latest rage and it's called Distance Learning. 
Most colleges now offer Distance Learning classes 
because they know some people work hard and just 
can't fit a classroom into their busy lives. But, 
sometimes you don't want to enroll in a full program; 
you just want to take one class.
Eclectic Academy offers a large range of classes to suit
many needs. Go there now and check out their 
curriculum and roster. Classes are only $20 for 6 weeks. 

Here's a sampling of what they offer:
*Art Courses, both digital and traditional
*Business Courses, including all of the MS Office 
Programs (many taught by none other than Linda 
Johnson herself) 
*Graphics Courses - Flash, PhotoShop, Paint Shop Pro 
& more 
*Website Development Courses - FrontPage, 
Dreamweaver, ASP, DHTML, Website Promotion, and 
on and on and on 
*Eclectic Classes - Computer Maintenance, Writing 
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Go to Eclectic Academy now and sign up to be notified 
when classes are added or ENROLL NOW in the class of 
your choice. Go there now to enroll in the next set of 
FLASH!!  Next classes begin March 2, 2003


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Computer Help Central Presents...

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My thought this month is simple:  
Look before you ask 

What's it mean?  It means before you ask a question or 
make a statement or take an action...check out the Internet 
and see if the answer is there, or there's something there 
that would change your mind. 

So...before you write to some support group and say 
"I have a dumb question", go to a search engine and TYPE 
your "dumb" question in the search box. 

Before you tell someone they are wrong, go to a search 
engine and make that statement there, in the search box, 
and see what comes up. 

And, PLEASE, before you forward some email to everyone in 
your address book, telling them that some knowledgeable 
friend of yours forwarded this virus warning to you and you 
want them all to search their hard drives for this dangerous 
file and delete it immediately, cuz you sure just did....go to a 
search engine and type the name of that file in the search box.  
MOST of these warnings are hoaxes and you will sure feel bad 
if it's becuz of you that many people deleted a file in their 
computer that was supposed to stay there. 

Don't know what a search engine is?  Go to www.google.com 
and find out.  You'll be glad you did...and so will your friends.

(just rightclick on the gif and choose "Save Picture As...")

~~Linda F. Johnson, Editor/Publisher

          HITBOX IS HISTORY...for me, anyway

Boy oh boy.  It seems more and more the hot topics in all the 
newsletters are about the spies on the Internet.  Just look at 
the table of contents for THIS issue....Steve, John....and now 
me.  And this one has hit me PERSONALLY. grrrrr

Any of you who are in the tech support groups I'm in have 
heard me whine many times about the web-de"bug"gers 
zapping my pages and firewalls preventing people from 
getting to my pages.  Why was this happening to me?  Well, 
because I was using a service called Hitbox which allowed me 
to count the number of visits each page at my site got each 
day.  It was really helpful to me... it allowed me to see which 
articles in ABC were read the most and which of my online 
free tutorials were being used the most.  Not only did it tell 
me what my visitors were looking for, but it also told me 
which of my pages might be buried so deeply that my visitors 
couldn't find them, so I was able to reorganize my site so 
these pages were easier for people to find.  So, when people 
would tell me that Hitbox was spyware, I would go read 
Hitbox's privacy policy YET again and try to convince them 
they were wrong.  As far as I could see, Hitbox had every 
right to advertise on my site since they were providing me 
with this valuable service for free and I had every right to let 
them place a "necessary" cookie on my visitors' computers 
since I was doing this for my visitors' benefit. I did include a 
link at the bottom of every one of my pages, to Hitbox's 
privacy policy and a statement that I was using Hitbox on 
my site. (because I didn't want to do anything behind my 
visitor's backs.)  Sounds logical, eh?  Who knows.  Maybe I 
just didn't want to face the ugly truth that I was allowing 
Hitbox to spy on my visitors, becuz I was just too blinded by 
it's ease of use.  But, every time I read Hitbox's privacy policy, 
I really was convinced that everything they did, they did ONLY 
so the stats they provided me with were accurate.  (Mind you 
... Hitbox NEVER provided me with any personal information 
about my visitors.  The only thing they gave me was counts...
numbers only.  However, I now believe that they were gaining 
a lot more info about my visitors than they were telling me.)

I was forced to face this cold hard fact this week when I got 
my new version of Ad-aware (a program I have great respect 
for...see Steve's review this month).  I ran Ad-aware for the 
first time in a couple months and was horrified to find that I 
had 44 spyware cookies on my machine...and 43 of them 
were from Hitbox!  And I trust Ad-aware, since I know it is one 
of the few spy detecting programs that uses good sense in it's 
choices.  I know many other programs that make these 
decisions based on stupid criteria, like the size of a graphic, 
or necessary session cookies which are placed on some sites 
which use shopping carts from third party sites, like PayPal 
(session cookies are placed on your computer while you are 
at a site and removed when you leave).  Ad-aware is one of 
the few spy detecting programs that does it's homework...
so when Ad-aware tells me this is a spy, I believe them. 

So...I decided that Hitbox indeed had to go.  And what a job 
THAT was since I had Hitbox code on 954 pages in my site.  
Yes, thank goodness, FrontPage has a good find/replace 
utility that allowed me to find parts of the code and "Replace 
All" in a few steps.  Unfortunately, what I couldn't replace in 
one swoop was the individual tag on each page that let me 
identify that particular page when I viewed my stats at Hitbox. 
So, I had to endure the long boring task of going into every 
one of these 954 pages and manually removing it's unique 
tag.  (See what I do for you guys?)

The only reason I was using Hitbox was that Hostway, my 
web host, provided me with stats that weren't as easy to 
attain and weren't updated as often.  But, somebody was 
watching over me, becuz the day I decided to get rid of 
Hitbox, Hostway notified me that they had added an 
Advanced Tracking System called Urchin and I could use that.  
And, this one doesn't place any cookies anywhere and it also 
doesn't require that I add code to all of my pages.  I just 
signed up for it, and it was automatic. (Though not free...
see what ELSE I did for you guys?  LOL)

So...you may all rest assured now that you can cruise around 
ABC and my website without fear of any bugs or spies 
watching you (or biting you).  On the pages where I have 
PayPal buttons, there is a session cookie placed on your 
computer, but I assure you it is removed as soon as you leave 
that page.  If you don't believe me, try running Ad-aware 
after you visit my site and you will see that I am CLEAN.  Also, 
I've added links to PayPal's privacy policy on various places 
on my site and you can see a link at the bottom of every page 
on my site that takes you here 
so you can always see my own personal, up-to-date privacy 
policy, as well as that of any sites like PayPal that require a 
session cookie in order to serve you.

Thanks again to everyone who visits my site.  I promise you 
that it's ALWAYS my intention to serve you the best way I 
know how. But, sometimes I just mess up. (and I guess I 
can sometimes be a *tad* stubborn and lazy)

Happy Computing!
Linda Johnson is a college instructor of all of the 
Microsoft Office Programs, as well as Adobe PhotoShop 
and Windows. She also teaches online distance learning 
classes in Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, Publisher, and 
Word at Eclectic Academy. 
She has worked helpdesk and teaches and lectures at 
Many local businesses and tech schools in her area. 
Support this newsletter by checking out Linda's website 
and her ebook series, MS Word MAGIC!
Part I: Fonts, Fun & Formats 
Part II: Table Wizardry 
AND, How To Get Started As a Software Trainer:
If you have been interested in taking any of Linda's 
Online Classes but don't want to wait six weeks to 
complete all the lessons or don't have the desire to be 
part of an online classroom, why not 
Check out the eBook .exe versions of all of Linda's 
classes here:

Only $15 each!!  Where else can you master a software 
Program for that price?  

Separate eBook tutorials on Access, Excel, Outlook, 
PowerPoint, Publisher, and Word.  Terrific value!!

OR BUY THEM ALL ON ONE CD  Only $45.00!!
Order online or by regular mail
Details here:

Download the free Sample Version at CNET:
And PLEASE rate it there for me?  Thanks!!

**************STATION BREAK*****************

Freelists to offer MailandFiles.com
Our amazing list host, FreeLists, has started a new email 
and file storage service called MailandFiles.com: "For 5 
bucks a month, you get access to 50MB of email and file 
storage, a you@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx email address, access 
to that email through web mail, POP3, and IMAP, plus 
access to your files both through the web mail client and 
FTP.  (Software like WebDrive(tm) and Windows 2000+'s 
"map a network drive" makes it easier on Windows users.)" 
If their incredible service at FreeLists is any indication, 
this is sure to be the best service of its kind on the Internet.

<snipped from MikesWhatsNews>>
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with the word 'subscribe' in the subject line


(4.) WHAT'S NEW at Linda's Computer Stop 


Happy Valentine's Day to everyone!  Don't miss the fun 
Valentine animated gifs I have in this issue.

This has been a very busy month for me.  I've been doing a 
lot of site cleaning and reorganizing again.  I was getting 
emails from people telling me they couldn't find some pages 
since my total reorganization two month's ago, so I have 
once again changed my homepage so there are links from 
there to most everything, and I hope you can find your way 
around better.  See my homepage's new look here:

also...if you want to see how my site has changed over the 
years, you can always visit this page that shows 
the evolution of Linda's Computer Stop.

I've also changed the whole way I track my webstats now, 
and if you want to read the whys and hows of  that, it's 
covered in this month's Soapbox article, which you can 
read here:

Also, I've added PayPal donation buttons to each page of 
ABC. Now, I don't want anyone to think that ABC isn't free 
anymore, becuz it is and always will be.  But, sometimes I 
just feel so guilty that the Fleet works so hard to produce 
these wonderful articles and I want to give them something.  
So, just know that if you ever feel inclined to thank the Fleet 
for what they do, clicking on the PayPal buttons will generate 
some money that I can then distribute among them.  Boy, 
would that make ME feel good!  For those afraid to use their 
credit card online, I can assure you that PayPal is very secure 
(all of their pages begin with https://, instead of http://, 
which is how you can tell you are on a secure site) and their 
privacy statement is quite clear.  You can see that here:

But, rest assured that if you don't donate money to ABC, I 
will still love you.  For all I know, you are even more broke 
than I am LOL

Another new goodie:  Tom Glander (maybe some of you 
remember him from his days at The Newbie Club) has 
produced a great new video tutorial called Show Me 
Windows, which is super, and since I'm such a fan of Tom's, 
I told him I would promote it at my site.  Remember that I 
do not promote ANYTHING at my site that I don't fully 
believe is worth the money, so you can believe me when I 
tell you this one is great!  You can check it out here:

I guess you've seen, in ABC, that I've finally twisted Vic 
Ferri's arm and convinced him to share some of his 
multimedia knowledge with us.  See?  He's not just a whiz 
at Registry hacking, but he's also a genius when it comes to 
this audio/video stuff.  And his articles are just a tip of the 
iceberg.  If you want to REALLY know about multimedia, 
you HAVE to check out his Expert Guides page.  There is SO 
much there that you can learn if audio/video is something 
that interests you.  And he even has stuff on Sony PlayStation!  
Check it out here:

And speaking of Vic Ferri.  Remember that great article he 
wrote to help you locate your lost Windows Install Key?  
Well, he's made a page of downloadables that will find the 
Install key on your computer no matter which version of 
Windows you are using.  Go back and re-read his article...
the links are all there now:

Lately, since I've been teaching a PhotoShop class at the 
college, and becuz I've been playing around with colors 
more on my website, I've been finding a need for color 
codes when I want to duplicate an exact color. So, I usually 
hop onto the web and look for some article somewhere that 
gives the codes.  So, I thought to myself. "Self...why don't 
you just make a chart of all these colors so you will have them 
all available to you when you need them?"  So, I spent hours 
slaving over my graphics textbooks copying these colors into 
an easy-to-use chart and figured, now that it's done, I might 
as well share it with you all.  So, it's on my website now...feel 
free to print a copy for yourself or just bookmark the page so 
you can access it when you need it.  It's here:

I wrote a pretty good tutorial for TechTrax this month, 
called What Is That Thingie Called, Anyway?, that describes 
all the stuff you see on your screen.  I recommend it for 
newbies and techies alike.  Newbies can use it to identify the 
part of their screen where a problem may lie and techies can 
send newbies there to do this also.  No more will the techies 
have to endure questions from the newbies like "What 
happened to my doohickey on the whatsis on the bottom of 
my screen?"  This one's a good one to bookmark:

TechTrax version:

Copy on my website:

Of course, I've also added some new links to my favorite 
links page, so go there and check out the revolving Ns:

Well...that's about it for this month.  Please come back 
to my site often to see what else I've added and drop 
me a line if you have any suggestions.


**************STATION BREAK*****************


Imagine having a trusted friend sit down with you, guide 
your hand, telling you where to click and showing you each 
step to get the results you want.

There's No Easier Way To Gain Control Over Your PC 
And Master Every Aspect Of Its Operation. Guaranteed! 

Want proof that what I'm saying is true and totally honest? 
Of course you do. 
The best way is to Download my FREE sample video and 
See for yourself.

Tom Glander
Show Me Windows


Two Tips for the Price of One This Month

Tip #1 from Tom Glander:

Is there a best way to download from an Internet web 
page? Do you end up watching the hourglass, never to see 
the Save As window appear that lets you get the download 
started? It's happened to me. And here's what to do to 
ensure safe and sane downloads ALL the time.

1. You can click the download link with your left mouse 
button. If the download "hangs" (you get to watch the 
hourglass), then try the next thing.

2. The next thing is to click the download link with your 
RIGHT mouse button. When you do, you should see the 
context menu appear. On that menu you'll see "Save As..." 
or "Save Target As..." and when you do, left click that line 
item. The Save As window should appear, giving you the 
contents of your hard drive and allowing you to select the 
location for the download.

Okay, already know about this right clicking method? Great! 
But if you don't, you learned something new. 

Oh, one more thing. If you right click and use the "Save As..." 
method, and you still get hung up, you may need to see a 
specialist. Or reboot (restart) your computer and try again.

If you want to see over 100 tips, tricks, methods, shortcuts 
and more work right on your computer, check out the Video 
Tutorials at http://showmewindows.com/indexlj.htm

Get your free sample video while you're there, and see if 
this method of discovery doesn't rock your computing world. 

Tom Glander is the creator of Show Me Windows for Windows 
98 computers. He specializes in making information easy to 
understand, writing and speaking primarily to those with little 
computing experience.

Tip #2 from Linda:

Reader Frank G. recently sent me this note:

Dear Linda, 
I have one you can help me with. I lost the link for my 
**Chk** files and cannot delete them. Would you be kind 
enough to send it again. Might be a good idea to add it to 
one of your future newsletters. I am sure there are others 
who would appreciate it.   
Love, Frank 

Sure thing, Frank!

One of the most popular pages on my website is my Deleting 
Temp Files 101 tutorial.  Some people write to me in a panic 
and tell me that they regularly empty the contents of their 
Windows/Temp directory, but when they tried my method, 
they found THOUSANDS more temp files and they were 
scared to get rid of them.  I usually reply and tell them the 
story of the time when I visited a senior center to teach an 
email class to some elderly people who wanted to get into 
the email thing with their grandkids.  One of the women there 
was having some really screwy problems with her computer 
(missing fonts, toolbars all messed up, constant errors and 
BSODs, etc.), so I told her this is often caused by some temp 
files that are hanging around and wreaking havoc (they 
TRULY are little gremlins in your computer and need to be 
exorcised regularly).  So, I used my method of searching for 
temp files (which doesn't just search your Temp directory, 
but searches your whole computer ..... and it doesn't just 
search for *.tmp files, but also searches for files beginning 
with a tilde [~] left behind by all of the Office programs and 
*.chk files left behind when you run scandisk).  Anyway, I 
did my search and found over 4200 temp files!  Well, I have 
to tell you that this poor ol' gal LITERALLY dropped her teeth 
when she saw me hit the delete key on her keyboard.  LOL  
I thought we might have to call the paramedics.  But, after I 
deleted them and rebooted her computer, all of her nagging 
problems had vanished.  And this is NOT unusual.  

It's not JUST a good idea to delete temp files regularly....
it's a necessity!  

And my method is easy and even teaches you how to make 
a shortcut on your desktop so you can do it anytime you 
want, with a simple click of a button.

So...make sure you have LOTS of Fixadent holding your 
dentures in and go to the link below and give it a try.  I only 
wish I could be there with you when your eyes pop out in 
amazement at the number of temp files you didn't know 
you had.

Have fun!

Deleting Temps 101

**************STATION BREAK*****************
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So...what have you got to lose? Check out this series:
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(6.)  Cap'n Patt's
Visit the Cap'n's Official GeekSpeak Database at 
If the word you need defined is not there, or the 
definition is not clear, too geeky, or just plain confusing 
to you, email the Cap'n.  He would love to hear from 
you at CapnPatt@xxxxxxx

**************STATION BREAK*****************

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             *****THIS MONTH'S FEATURE*****

~~ Steve Mills


I hate what they are doing to my Internet!! 

<> Viruses 
<> Trojans 
<>  Pop-Ups 
<>  Pop-Unders 
<>  Unwanted Pornographic Ads 
<>  Browser Hijacking 
<>  Ads on my Desktop  
<>  Upgrades that disable old and paid for versions 
<>  Commercial programs like Quicken that leave crap all over 
the place and try to sell me something at every turn 

Shall I go on? I guess I'm getting old and grumpy - well, I 
know I'm getting old - the grumpy part you can decide. I 
want to go to Comiskey Park, I don't want to go to U.S. 
Cellular Field! Of all the things that irritate me when I sit 
down to my computer, it's the constant marketing that 
bothers me the most. SPAM can be dealt with by judicious 
use of filters and a good anti-spam program. Norton does a 
great job with viruses and Trojans, as long as you stay up to 
date. I can delete the garbage that programs like Quicken 
leave and reduce the problem. They'll still periodically find 
ways to sneak in a sales pitch for some product or service, 
but I can even live with that.

But, to me, the most heinous of crimes are committed by 
the purveyors of spyware. What is spyware? I find this 
definition adequate and to the point:

Software installed on a computer without the user's 
knowledge or consent which watches the habits of the user, 
gathering information for retrieval by or transmission to the 
owner of the spyware. 

Shall we call it market research? Some commentators further 
divide it into advertising and surveillance categories. However 
you define it, spyware is junk on your computer, using your 
resources and bandwidth for the sole benefit of some 
marketing company. At its worst, it causes crashes, 
dramatically slows down your computer, steals passwords 
and hijacks your browser and replaces the home page. I 
could go on and, for those that have an interest, a quick 
trip to www.google.com will give you plenty to read.

You need to get this garbage off of your computer - now!

I've read that this stuff mostly comes from file sharing 
programs and chat rooms. I do neither and find that seldom 
a week goes by without something finding its way onto my 
computer. I test a lot of software and some of it leaves 
these little droppings behind. This is probably as good a time 
as any to let everyone know that some of this stuff doesn't 
go easily - like a tick with its head buried. Disabling the 
spyware can affect the operation of the program that 
brought it and I've even heard of browsers being disabled 
after removal. Take every precaution possible. Set a restore 
point if you're running XP and take advantage of all roll back 
provisions of the program. Most of the time, there will be no 
problem, but you've been warned.

For a long time, Ad-aware from Lavasoft
has been the most popular and, arguably the best, spyware 
removal tool. For some reason, unknown to me the regular 
updates stopped on June 20, 2002.

(see Mike Bayne's article last month for the full story
http://personal-computer-tutor.com/abc3/v20/mike20.htm ), 

They received a lot of bad press and disappointed users. 
Some suggested that the definitions were so out of date 
that it could actually harm the computer. I doubt this, but I 
do know that the other program I use after Ad-aware began 
finding more and more of this junk. This week, they released 
version 6.0 and I'm impressed. This review is being written 
earlier in the life cycle than I would prefer, but we wanted 
the readers of ABC to get early information and I do know 
Lavasoft has already updated the program to cure an early, 
nonfatal, bug. I'm sure readers don't need to be reminded, 
but I'm doing so anyway, that new software should be 
treated like a new car. Don't drive it too fast before you 
know if the wheels are going to fall off.

The first thing users of prior versions will notice is the 
dramatically improved interface:

Ad-aware 6 is available in 3 versions. Prior releases had a 
freeware version and a commercial version only. The 
freeware version is called the Standard Edition. 

Important new features are: 
<> Complete control over what is scanned on their computer; 
from a total system scan down to a single folder.  
<> Improved safety, including automatic quarantine and 
recycle bin storage of removed components, allows for simple 
restoration procedures.  
<> An all new backup archive viewer that allows the user to 
quickly and easily review components that have been 
removed and stored for future restoration.  
<> All new and integrated reference file updating capability 
that will include the ability to search for new reference files 
automatically when Ad-aware is started. 

Since I haven't had a chance to review the commercial 
versions, we'll rely on their explanation. 

Ad-aware Plus ($26.95) offers the following: 
<> Ad-aware Plus Edition is designed to provide continuous 
protection from known Datamining, aggressive advertising, 
Parasites, Scumware, Keyloggers, selected traditional 
Trojans, Dialers, Malware, Browser hijackers, and tracking 
<> Redundant archival backup capability 
<> Real-time alerts 
<> Customizable file size limits 
<> Non-executable file exclusion 
<> Kill popups 
<> Block ActiveX and web installations 

Ad-aware Professional ($39.95) appears to be designed 
primarily for IT departments and adds the following features: 
<> Scan mapped drives from one central location.  
<> Customize your preference and configuration files for 
remote AND local scanning  
<> Have complete flexibility in where you save your log files, 
including the ability to store them in remote locations.  
<> Store and read reference files from any location in your 
network. You can also use MULTIPLE reference files for 
customizable scanning and troubleshooting.  
<> Use specially created plug-ins designed to extend the 
functionality of the Professional edition for the average to 
the most advanced user. Visit our Plug-ins page to obtain 
more information about available components. 

There are other differences, but this should give you a feel 
for the 3 versions. From my initial perspective, the freeware 
version seems perfectly adequate for manual operation and 
the Plus version would be nice for ongoing, real-time 
protection. Obviously the latter is an additional drain on 
computer resources and this must be balanced with the 
desired level of protection. My conservative nature tells me 
to wait on the Plus version until most latent incompatibilities 
are ironed out. In any case, go to the download page at 
Lavasoft and grab the Standard version (sometimes called 
Personal) and give it a try. You can always upgrade to the 
next level.

If you've got a fairly large hard drive, this is a program you 
start and then go do something else. I have about 30 
gigabytes of stuff on my hard drive and a massive registry. 
Scanning takes about 30 minutes, depending on the settings. 
Really not bad and it seems much faster than prior versions. 
Personally, I run a spyware program (actually 2) once a 
month or so, unless I'm having strange and sporadic 
problems. It's surprising how often a purging of spyware 
modules can cure unexplained problems.

The other spyware eradicator I run, as neither one catches 
everything, is:

Spybot - Search & Destroy
Version: 1.1 release 4
Date: December 28, 2002
Author: PepiMK
Web Site: http://spybot.eon.net.au

I've covered this in earlier columns, so won't go into detail 
here. Search & Destroy has developed a reputation as a 
geek's program while Ad-aware is more "consumer". I'm 
not sure where this came from. This has been a stable, 
frequently updated program with a very usable interface. 
I developed a deep appreciation during the Lavasoft hiatus. 
Both should be on your hard drive.

We'll keep testing Ad-aware this month and try to examine 
the Plus version and report back with additional findings. I'm 
certainly interested in comments and experiences with this 
important, new program. Write me: steve@xxxxxxxxxxxxx

AFTERTHOUGHTS: As regular readers know, I have a long 
standing prejudice against junior versions of software. Of 
all the software I currently use on a regular basis, only 
Adobe Photoshop Essentials leaves me satisfied and not 
wishing I owned the big brother. I get doubly frustrated 
when I click on a cool option in a program and something 
pops up and says - Neat huh? Please send money to get it. 
Grrrrrr!!! I absolutely don't begrudge authors an opportunity 
to make money off their hard work, but I do resent demos 
posing as freeware. I worry as popular freeware programs 
gradually morph into commercial products and the program 
you've come to rely on is orphaned into obscurity. I think 
Lavasoft has done a commendable job in describing what you 
get at each level, but I feel there's more of a difference here 
between the free and paid version than there was in version 
5 and if it progresses as so many have, you will be forced to 
buy the commercial version at some point. If that happens 
it's not all bad, just another consideration if you plan to rely 
on Ad-aware for spyware removal. I could be dead wrong 
(wouldn't be the first time), but it's just one of the things I 
think about when I put freeware in my working arsenal.
Steve Mills has been reviewing software in different capacities 
for many years.  He has recently left his job with a search 
engine consulting firm and is looking for a new adventure.

**************STATION BREAK*****************


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~~Charlene Russ, Corndancer Design Graphics


EDITOR'S NOTE: This article includes pictures and is 
clearer if read online.  You can see the online version here:

You can draw any linear spline and extrude it into a 3D shape 
from tools available on the modeling tab. You simply select 
the line segment tool and draw your shape, such as a heart. 
You click and drag with your mouse; stop and click as you are 
drawing and another point is created, drag your mouse 
down from this point. You must draw the shape as a single 
piece or line for the extrude or bevel modifiers to work. 

You right click on the last point where you want the line to 
close, a prompt will appear that asks 'Close Spline?' If you 
are satisfied with the line shape, click ok. 

Next, click the extrude tool from the modeling tab, this 
should be a sort of star shape icon with an arrow pointing 
upward. A rollout menu will be displayed on the right side of 
your screen; you can adjust parameters for the amount of 
the extrusion there.

Modeling Tab: Drawing a Shape In 3D Studio Max

First, select the line segment tool, then select the appropriate 
radio buttons under creation method. Additional line width 
properties can be adjusted by using the parameters under 
the rendering rollout.

I do not recommend using the Bezier drag type unless you 
are very familiar with drawing Bezier curves, as they can be 
a bit cumbersome for even the advanced user.

After closing the spline you have just created using the line 
segment tool, you may now extrude the shape by clicking 
the 'Extrude Modifier'. (See my other article on using 
modifiers in this issue, for more details on modifiers and how 
they work.)

NOTE: The second icon to the right of the extrude modifier 
is the bevel modifier which allows you to apply beveled 
outlines to your newly created shape. There are three 
separate bevel outlines. Height and outline parameters are 
adjustable for all of these. 

The hand-drawn, extruded and beveled hearts are displayed 
in the online version of this article.  Each heart has been 
rotated slightly for effect. Lights have also been added to 
the scene. 
Charlene Russ is an instructor with Eclectic Academy, and 
is currently teaching Introduction to 3D Studio Max.  She 
teaches novice students the basics of 3D design and 
modeling techniques.  She is also an adjunct instructor 
with a Florida community college in the Digital Arts dept.  
To enroll in one of her on-line courses you need to access 
the Eclectic Academy website at 
http://www.eclecticacademy.com and click 'enter'.  

Charlene's personal site is Corndancer Design Graphics, 
which features a wide gamut of useful design related 
**************STATION BREAK*****************
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Keep your personal and most valuable files locked 
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Lock&Hide is an  extremely easy to use  program that 
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More Info here:

Screenshots and instructions here:

Or download the free demo here
(the demo does not include the "Restore All" feature
or the password protection utility.)

~~ Vic Ferri, WinTips&Tricks 


Last month, we talked about creating video CDs from video 
files on your computer
and mentioned that you can also convert video from outside 
your computer to video CDs or DVD as well. In this article, I 
will show you the basics of transferring your old VHS video 
tapes to CDs or DVDs. Of course, if you prefer, you can store 
the converted video on your hard drive, providing you have 
space to spare and just want to watch them on your PC monitor.

Why Convert?

A main reason to convert your VHS tapes to CD or DVD is to 
put a halt to the degradation of your tapes. Tape is a magnetic 
medium that erodes with time and every time it plays. The 
result is the gradual loss of the original video quality. By 
burning your tapes to CDs or DVDs, you stop this erosion 
process. No matter how many times you play a CD/DVD, the 
quality will remain the same as when you first made and 
played it. Another reason to convert is convenience. 
CDs/DVDs are compact and easier to mail to family and 
friends than bulky VHS tapes are.

How to Convert

The actual conversion is usually a three step process - first 
you have to capture the video to your hard drive, then you 
edit it as needed or preferred,  and finally, you burn it to a 
VCD or DVD in the proper format needed.

Before even considering this process, it's important to know 
that video files require an enormous amount of disk space, 
so make sure you have about 5 gigs of free space to work 
with. This space is needed only temporarily - the files can be 
deleted once done. You should also have a fairly fast computer 
and hard drive but I can tell you that even with my old 
Pentium 425 and 256 mbs of RAM, it is possible to work with 
video like this, just not as fast, of course. Defragging your 
hard drive before beginning can help improve performance. 
If possible, I would recommend setting aside an entire hard 
drive partition of 20 gigs or more just for video work. 

To get your video to your hard drive, your computer must 
have an analog video capture device or video card that 
includes a video input that captures analog signals (which is 
the norm if your video card has a video input).  If you don't 
have a video capture device, then you will have to invest in 
one - the price can range from about 50 dollars to well over 
1000 dollars, depending on the type of device, its qualities, 
and features. We can break down the types of video capture 
devices into three categories, Video Capture Cards, USB 
devices and IE-1394 (Firewire) devices.

Video Capture Cards

This is still  the most common method of capturing video by 
most professionals and video hobbyists, though Firewire 
devices are being used more too and are an excellent choice 
for fast, accurate digital video transfer.  A card, however,  
gives you more features and is more like a complete video 
station in your computer. Most also include television tuners 
- this means you can plug your TV cable or antenna-based 
TV signal into the card and watch and record television on 
your desktop. The better ones also include dual monitor 
support (even triple) and more connectivity possibilities than 
the other capture devices do. The downside of cards is that 
they need to be installed in your computer and can cause 
conflicts and problems which can be a real headache if you 
are a newbie (this is especially true of high-end complex cards) 
You need to know what you are doing and read the manuals 
carefully when installing. The most popular cards are the 
ATI-ALL-IN-WONDER cards like the RADEON 8500DV
and the 9700 PRO
which are both commonly included in many of today's 
top-of-the-line home computer systems. The 9700 PRO is the 
latest version but, disappointingly, it lacks a firewire port and 
dual monitor support - both of which were included in the 
older 8500DV. The digital TV tuner was also dropped in the 
new card. The nice thing about these ATI cards (besides 
being Canadian ~LOL) is that they are all-in-one cards -- 
video cards with video capture capabilities. You do not need 
a separate video card and video capture card.

If you are not heavy into games, have a top of the line 
computer,  and cost isn't an issue,  even better than these 
ATI cards for video capture, are some of the MATROX cards
like the professional MATROX RT.X100
but this is a very expensive card requiring a powerful 
computer and used more in business, studios and educational 
facilities where 3D gaming features aren't needed. You should 
be aware that when you read reviews on video cards, they 
are primarily based on the gaming features of the card, not 
the video transfer quality needed by professional video and 
graphic artists. 

All these top cards do best with a fast computer. A Pentium 
4 at 2.2 GHZ or AMD Athlon XP 2000+ with 512 mbs of ram 
would be great.  Most also require that you have the latest 
version of DirectX installed. 

For a less expensive, less complicated video capture card 
with lesser system requirements that would be good for basic 
video capture, you can get an entry level card like the ATI TV 
Wonder card which has a built-in television tuner and can 
capture video at MPEG-2, for about 50 dollars.  See my 
Experts Guides Page for more information.
The same card comes in a USB version but costs more and 
doesn't encode at MPEG-2

USB Devices

The easiest, most uncomplicated way to capture your video 
is by bypassing a video capture card altogether and using a 
USB analog video capture device.  Typically, you  simply plug 
your VCR into the USB capture device using the standard 
composite RCA-type plugs and plug the capture device 
cable into a USB port on your computer.  No need to open 
up your computer. The device captures your video, digitizes 
it, and transfers it to your hard drive as a video file.  
However, many of these USB devices cost more than a 
capture card like the ATI TV Wonder and capture video only 
at the lowest quality. I would advise to stay away from the 
ones that can only convert video to MPEG-1 resolution. Look 
for one that can encode at MPEG-2 resolution.  Most of these 
devices are USB 1.1 but there are  a few USB 2 ones out that 
I would recommend. Theoretically, USB 2  is  40X faster but 
in actual use, it rarely achieves that speed.  However, even 
just 2X faster  is significant -  double the speed - so definitely 
worth looking into.   And don't worry if your computer only 
has the older USB.1.1 as USB 2 is backward compatible and 
you can buy an add-on PCI card that will add several USB 2 
ports to your computer, if you prefer.  A popular one that 
can capture at the higher MPEG-2 quality and also uses 
USB 2. is VideoOh!DVD by Adaptec.  
It's very easy to use and comes bundled with the equally 
easy-to-use Sonic's MyDVD, 
which is the only currently-available video editing software 
that  transfers video to burner in one step (i.e.:  you start 
the capture and can walk away).  Another good one for 
basic video capture is the ADS USB Instant DVD
which can capture at MPEG 2 at a full-screen resolution of 
704 X 480. Also check out  Dazzle, 
who make both low-end and high-end video capture devices, 
and Hauppage, 
who make the popular WinTV-USB video capture devices 
which include TV tuners.  The WinTV-PVR-350 supports data 
rates up to 12Mbits/sec. A typical one hour TV show will take 
2 gigabytes of hard disk space.  Of all the mentioned USB 
products here, my personal preference  would be the Adaptec 
VideoOh!DVD, if it is compatible with your computer.

IEEE 1394 (Firewire)

Firewire is the real choice for speedy high-quality digital 
video (DV) transfers, and it should be no wonder, considering 
it's an Apple invention.  It has  transfer rates of up to 400 Mbs 
(mega bits per second) which, though rated slower than 
USB2, has proved itself as faster and more reliable in actual 
use.  It is the  standard used for high quality digital transfer 
and, besides, there are no USB2 camcorders currently 
(January, 2003) available. USB2 for video is still emerging 
and being tested, and it will probably be a few years before 
we can really know whether it will replace or be able to 
outperform Firewire. 

Firewire has a fixed digital video compression rate of 3.6 
megs per second which works out to 13 gigs per hour, with 
the transferred quality identical to the original. And you don't 
need as fast a computer as you would with a high-end video 
capture card to use a firewire capture device. However, you 
need to have Windows 98se or up to support Firewire.  
Firewire is based on what's known as the 1394 standard 
and is an Apple trademark and standard feature on every G4 
and iMac.  On non-Apple computers, the proper name is just 
IEEE 1394 but Firewire is the name that has caught on most.  
On Sony computers, the name is  iLink.  Most new computers 
contain at least one Firewire port but, just like USB, if you 
don't have one, you can  add a Firewire port to your computer 
with an add-on PCI card that can give you several Firewire 
ports. You can also get combo cards that will give you both 
USB and Firewire ports.   As for video capture Firewire 
devices, for what we are talking about here, they are way 
more than what you need but a good choice if you plan to 
expand your video interest and get into digital later.  For 
VHS transfer, you would need one that can also capture 
analog signals, as opposed to digital only.  One of the better 
ones is the Hollywood DV-Bridge, 
which captures both digital and analog signals. The digital 
is transferred directly to the hard drive, no conversion, and 
thus the quality is just like the original.  Another excellent 
video capture device that uses Firewire is the Canopus 
which can capture both analog and digital video, as well. A 
good, easy-to-use, more affordable Firewire digital and 
analog capturing device is Studio Version 7 or 8 by Pinnacle.

Capture Formats

The format your video is converted to depends on the codecs 
that your capture device comes with.  The codec is the largest 
determining factor affecting the quality of your saved video 
file.  Because analog signals must be converted or rendered 
to digital, there is always some loss of quality in any 
conversion.  The cheaper devices typically only allow you to 
convert to MPEG-1 which is the lowest quality format or AVI 
which is uncompressed and huge in size, and which you  must 
then convert from your hard drive using an encoder to the 
desired format for burning.  If a cheap device is all you can 
afford and the choice is between AVI and MPEG-1 only, then 
I would go for AVI, providing you have sufficient disk space 
to work with.  At least with AVI, you have the choice to 
convert the AVI to various formats using encoders of your 
choice and you'd end up with better video quality than you 
would normally get from the hardware MPEG-1 encoder in 
your capture device. The disadvantage of AVI is mainly a 
convenience one. - You need to convert the AVI video 
yourself before burning. whereas most video capture devices 
encode the video for you to the proper format for burning on 
CD or DVD:  MPEG 2 for SVCD-DVD and MPEG 1 for VCD.

Many of the popular video capture devices include a variety 
of encoders allowing you to save your video files in not only 
MPEG-1 and MPEG 2 formats, but also in formats like Real 
Audio, QuickTime, Windows Media, etc. There is a big 
difference in disk space used based on the compression, 
resolution and format used.  For example, an hour of video 
encoded using MPEG-2 with a 740x480 resolution and 16 bit 
stereo sound can require over 2 GIGS of disk space.  The 
same one hour encoded in a format like Windows Media with 
a  resolution of 320x200 would probably use up less than 
150 Mbs of disk space. That's an extreme difference not 
only in compression but video quality too.  The MPEG-2 
conversion results in DVD-like quality at full screen, whereas 
the Windows Media conversion is jerky and fuzzy at full 
screen, only viewable in a tiny window.  However, the lower 
quality can be suitable for sharing with family and friends 
over the internet or by email or messaging services.  The 
best quality with the most compression is MPEG-4 format  
using a DivX codec, where you can fit a feature-length 
movie with near DVD quality on a regular CD.  
But that's another story!
The Connection

Almost all video capture cards have composite video inputs 
to allow you to connect your VCR or camcorder. Composite 
cables are the typical RCA-type cables you use to connect 
your VCR to your stereo. There are three colored inputs - 
the yellow is for the video signal, the red is usually for the 
right audio signal, and the white is usually for the left audio 
signal.  If your capture or video card has only a single video 
input and no audio inputs, connect the yellow to the video 
input and use an adaptor cable to connect the two audio 
plugs to your sound card's Line-In.  The adaptor cable 
needed is the same as was discussed in January's article 
for connecting stereo to computer
-  a 3.5mm (1/8") plug 
on one end and two standard RCA connectors at the other 
end.  USB and Firewire connections are a snap to set up - 
just plug one end to your USB or Firewire port, and your 
VCR cables to the device.  When you buy your device, install 
instructions will be included and you will see how easy it is.

The Actual Capture 

Once all your connections are made, you will need to install 
- if not already installed - video  software that can recognize 
and record the video and audio entering your computer from 
the video and audio inputs.  Almost all video capture devices 
come bundled with video editing software that can both 
record your video and edit it after it is recorded.  For 
transferring VHS to your burner, the one I would 
recommend based on ease of use is MyDVD, which comes 
bundled with Adaptec's VideoOh!DVD or you can buy it 
separately.  When you first open your video editing program, 
make sure your capture device and sound card are 
recognized and spend some time getting to know your 
program and setting your preferences. Also, do a sound 
check and make sure the volume is not muted for your sound 
card.  You will have to choose the output format of the video 
you capture.  With MyDVD the format used is MPEG-2 and 
you're offered three compression settings of Good, Better, 
and Best.  This makes it easy for beginners to choose, but 
for VHS tape don't choose Good if you have this program. 
The video quality is poor at this high compression. Choose 
Better. Best is overkill for VHS tape quality.  With the Better 
setting, you can fit about two hours of video on a DVD  disk 
or maybe up to 45 minutes on a regular 700 mb CD..  Once 
you've made your settings, you're ready to start recording. 
With MyDVD,  you simply turn on your VCR with your tape in 
it and hit  the "Start Recording" button.  You will see your 
video as it records in a preview window and hear the sound 
through your speakers.  Your video will now begin its transfer 
to your hard drive.  This is the longest part of the process.  
Depending on the speed of your computer, it can take hours.

Video Editing

Once done, you may want to try to improve and, perhaps 
trim, the finished movie file by removing blank or boring 
frames, adding a title screen with your own image, placing 
fades between scenes, adding various effects, creating 
menus for each scene, etc.  Most of the video editor programs 
that ship with the capture cards allow you to do basic editing 
like this and make it easy for beginners, but for more 
advanced editing possibilities, video editors like Adobe 
Premiere,  Ulead Media Studio Pro, Pinnacle Studio and 
DVDit! are on top.  You can also use free utilities like Tmpgen 
- which was mentioned in last month's article - to help 
improve your video and sound. VirtualDub is another popular 
free one.  The video editing part is the most challenging  and 
where you can show your creativity and skill, and shine as a 
video editor.  In Hollywood movies, it's the video editor who is 
largely responsible for the way the movie looks.

Burning Your Video

This is the easiest part.  Your video editing software usually 
takes care of this for you too. In other words, you do not 
need to use a separate burning program.  With MyDvd you 
simply click the Burn button when you're ready.  Depending 
on the options in your package, you may be able to burn a 
regular CD to VCD (for MPEG-1) and/or SVCD (for MPEG-2).  
The resulting disc should be playable in any PC with a CD or 
DVD ROM drive and in most home DVD players.  You may also 
have the option to burn a disc playable on your PC only.  If 
that's all you require, this is a great option as it gives you 
much higher quality since no conversion to VCD or SVCD 
format is needed.  

This was just a basic introduction to the world of video 
capturing.  If you would like to learn more, you may want 
to check out  my  Experts Guide, "Converting Video Tape 
to Digital Video," on my main page.  You will also find the 
TV Wonder Card on the same page.
Vic Ferri owns the very popular WinTips and Tricks 
email group 
He is also in charge of the Printing Tips page at
Linda's Computer Stop.
and also the Registry Tips page. 

Vic has also created a program which allows you to 
Lock & Hide desktop folders in Windows 9X/ME.  
Read more and get the free demo here.

And, he now offers a service to convert PowerPoint 
presentations to .exe files which can be viewed on 
computers which do not have PowerPoint installed.

Also, check out his  Expert-Guides on Video topics:

~~Kathryn Jacobs, PowerPointAnswers

Ready to create your own templates? This tutorial will walk 
you through the steps to create a fully enabled template 
from a blank presentation. 

What do I need for a fully enabled template?

Templates in PowerPoint are made up of a number of elements: 

<> Master slides 
There are a maximum of two master slides: the Slide Master 
and the Title Master. These slides contain the common 
elements and formatting for the slides in your presentation. 
All of the slides in your presentation are based on one of 
these two masters. The Slide Master is inserted automatically. 
The Title Master must be inserted manually.

<> Master for notes page 
There is one master for the notes page. This page generally 
contains a small picture of the slide at the top, with a space 
for speaker's notes on the bottom. It also can contain 
headers and footers at the designer's choice. Changeable 
items on this master include the size of the slide and the 
format and placement of the text items.

<> Master for handouts 
There are six masters for the handouts page, one for each 
printable handout style: All you are able to change on these 
masters is the content and style of the headers and footers. 
Furthermore, all though there are six handout masters, 
changes made on any given handout master are reflected 
on each of the other handout masters.

To ensure that your template is fully enabled, you need to 
format each of these masters in turn. This article will lead 
you through the steps to do this. To start, open a new 
presentation. You can base this presentation on an existing 
template, or you can base it on the "Blank" template. For 
the purposes of this tutorial, use the blank template. Do not 
add any slides to the presentation. 

To start work on your template, you must view the existing 
slide master. You get here by selecting the "Master" option 
on the "View" menu. Slide left from the word Master and 
select "Slide Master". The slide master should appear, with 
black text in Times Roman on a white background. 

Create a background for your slides

The first thing to do is to decide what you want on your 
background. You have several choices, all of which can be 
found by right clicking on the master slide and selection 
"Background". This will bring up an option window. On the 
bottom of this window, is a white filled box with a dropdown 
arrow to its left. Clicking the arrow reveals the options that 
allow you to.... 

<> Create a plain color background - 
To select this option, select the color you desire. You will see 
a default set of eight colors to choose from, as well as other 
options. If you do not like any of the default colors, select 
"More Colors" and pick the color you desire from these 
expanded options. 

<>Create a gradient background - 
To select this option, select "Fill Effects" from the dropdown 
list. The first tab on the resulting window lets you either 
pick a pre-created gradient or create your own. Play 
around with the options and see which one you like. 

<> Use an existing texture square for your background - 
To select this option, select "Fill Effects" from the dropdown 
list. The second tab will show you a list of the available 
textures to use. Since textures are graphics, the picture 
you see will be tiled on your slide to create a full background. 
If you have a graphic you wish used as a tile, click Other 
Texture" and select your graphic. 

<> Create a patterned background - To select this option, 
select "Fill Effects" from the drop down list. The third tab will 
show you a set of 46 patterns. In addition, the two boxes at 
the bottom of the tab allow you to choose the background 
and foreground colors to be used for the pattern. 

<> Use an existing graphic for your background - 
To select this option, select "Fill Effects" from the dropdown 
list. The fourth tab will allow you to navigate to and select 
your graphic. It will preview your graphic once you have 
selected it. Where texture makes your graphic into a tile for 
the background, picture stretches it to cover the entire slide. 

If you use an animated gif or a transparent gif for your 
background, it will neither show as transparent nor animate. 
It will be merely inserted as graphic. 

Once you have selected your background, you will return to 
the "Background" window. Here you can either preview your 
background or apply it. Further, you have the option to apply 
it to just the current slide or all slides. In this case, your slide 
master is the only slide, so after you preview it, click ?Apply?. 

Determine which elements will show on each slide

The next step is to decide what additional graphical elements 
you want on each slide. Examples are company logos, 
signature shapes and graphics, and design related items. In 
addition, you may a picture or a graphic on each slide. This 
is the step to add those items as well. Be careful with what 
you add. The items you add here will show up on each slide. 
You need to be sure that you are not adding so many items 
that you leave no room for the elements of your individual 

If you decide to add elements purely for design purposes, 
such as shapes and swooshes, keep them clean and in 
keeping with the colors you used in your background. 

Next, you need to determine what will show in your header 
and footer of each slide. Do you want the page number on 
each slide? Do you want the date on each slide? Each of these 
elements is controlled by the "Header and Footer" window, 
found on the "View" menu. Be sure to notice the bottom 
check box on this window. It allows you to turn on footer 
elements on your content slides, but leave them off of your 
title slides. 

In general, the busier your slide background, the less you 
want to add to the slide master. A simple background 
supports more elements than a complicated one, but even 
there simple and sparse is better than complicated and 

Format the text on your slides

Now that you have the graphical background of your slides 
done, it is time to be creative with the text. You format the 
text on your master slides just as you would on a regular 
slide. You can change the font, the color, the size, etc. Make 
sure that your font color is a complementary one to your 
background, but will still show from the necessary distance. 

You have two options to change here that you do not have 
on the content slides: Changing the indent on the sub-bullets 
and changing the look of the bullets. Changing the indentation 
is done with the ruler at the top of the slide. Changing the 
bullet look is done via the "Bullets and Numbering" item on the 
"Format" menu. If you really want to get fancy, you can even 
select a picture for your bullet. 

One more hint:  Say you have a busy background, but you 
want the text to show on a contrasting color. Right click and 
select "Format Placeholder". This will bring up a window 
much like the AutoShape format box and allow you to change 
the look of your text placeholder. If you do change the color 
of your placeholder's background, I recommend turning on 
the "Resize AutoShape to fit text" option. This step will allow 
the colored area to grow and shrink with the text on your slide. 

Define the animations for your slides

The next item to define for your template is how you want 
elements to become visible when the presentation is running. 
Do you want all of the master elements to appear at once, 
as soon as the slide appears? That is the easiest to set up - 
you don't have to do anything. When the slide show is run, 
the elements will appear immediately without any effects. 
However, this is not likely to be the case on all of your 

The most likely change you will want to make is to define on 
the master how the text on content slides will appear. This 
gives you a head start for your main slides, and keeps your 
presentation consistent and professional looking. The next 
most likely change you will want to make is to animate your 
logo in some manner so that it stands out. 

You set animation effects by using "Custom Animation" on 
the "Slide Show" menu. You will want to define both the 
order items appear and the effect used to cause the item 
to appear. 

Remember: If you wish to adjust the animation for items in 
the header or footer of your slides or for master element 
graphics, you need to do it here on the master. There is no 
other place to do it, as these elements are not able to be 
selected individually on the content slides. 

While I do recommend setting up the base animations for 
your slides, I do not recommend that you set a standard 
sound to be played with each slide change. If you feel that 
sounds on each slide transition are necessary put yourself in 
the audience's shoes before you do so. If you are creating a 
show that will have more than 20 or so slides, will that sound 
be as affective after it has been heard 20 times as you want 
it to be? Chances are, not really. 

Watch for the next issue, Creating a Complete PowerPoint 
Template, Part II, where I will discuss Title Masters, 
Handout Masters, Notes Masters, Color Schemes, and 
Saving Templates.
Kathryn Jacobs, BrainBench MVP, MS PowerPoint
Get PowerPoint answers at 
Cook anything outdoors with 
Hardware, software, and history: 
Kathy is a trainer, writer, Girl Scout, parent, and whatever 
else there is time for.

I believe life is meant to be lived. But, if we live without 
making a difference, it makes no difference that we lived.

~~James La Borde


EDITOR'S NOTE: The code in this article may have line 
breaks caused by email formatting and is clearer if read 
online.  You can see the online version here:

As promised last month, I am going to show you the code to 
email reports from Access through Outlook or Outlook Express.  
I will not take credit for the code as being original as it is 
cobbled together from a number of sources.  The primary 
source for much of the code is Grace Grady from one of the 
Access lists I am on.   

I use this code as a call from my code that was published last 
In that code, I choose to send a link to a report on the network, 
however, the file can be sent as an attachment as well. 

Whether or not you are interested in this topic, I would like 
to hear from you on what you would like to see in this space.  
Is there something troubling you?  Some point about Access 
you just aren?t getting?  Please email ABC at 
and let me know.

Here is the code (I have tried to comment it in Green so 
that you can follow along...to see my green comments, go 
to the online version of this article...in this text version, 
the comments have been removed from the code):

Option Compare Database
Option Explicit 

Dim mOutlookApp As Outlook.Application
Dim mNameSpace As Outlook.NameSpace
Dim mFolder As MAPIFolder
Dim mItem As MailItem
Dim fSuccess As Boolean
Private Function GetOutlook() As Boolean

On Error Resume Next

fSuccess = True

Set mOutlookApp = GetObject("", "Outlook.application")
If Err.Number > 0 Then


    Set mOutlookApp = CreateObject("Outlook.application")

    If Err.Number > 0 Then
        MsgBox "Could not create Outlook object", vbCritical
        fSuccess = False
        Exit Function
    End If
End If

Set mNameSpace = mOutlookApp.GetNamespace("MAPI")

If Err.Number > 0 Then
    MsgBox "Could not create NameSpace object", vbCritical
    fSuccess = False
    Exit Function
End If

GetOutlook = fSuccess    

End Function 

Public Function SendMessage(strRecip As String, strSubject As String, strmsg
As String, strAttachment As String)

On Error Resume Next

If Len(strRecip) = 0 Then
    strmsg = "You must designate a recipient."
    MsgBox strmsg, vbExclamation, "Error"
    Exit Function
End If 

fSuccess = True 

If GetOutlook = True Then
    Set mItem = mOutlookApp.CreateItem(olMailItem)
    mItem.To = strRecip
    mItem.Subject = strSubject
    mItem.HTMLBody = strmsg

    If Len(strAttachment) > 0 Then
        mItem.Attachments.Add strAttachment
    End If    

End If

Set mOutlookApp = Nothing
Set mNameSpace = Nothing 

If Err.Number > 0 Then fSuccess = False
SendMessage = fSuccess 

End Function
James La Borde works in the computer department at a 
Credit Union, where he uses Access, SQL Server, VBA, 
and ODBC daily.  He also teaches online Access classes 
at Eclectic Academy.
NOTE FROM LINDA:  Those of you who are new to Access 
or VBA coding, might want to join my Microsoft Office email 
group where James and many other members are happy 
to help newbies learn this stuff.  To join this group, just go 
here and enter your email address and hit the Subscribe 

**************STATION BREAK*****************

Do you want to know the latest on FrontPage? Do you 
want Tips, news, articles, links and ebooks on 
FrontPage? Well the AnyFrontPage Bytes Ezine is the 
best place for your FrontPage and web crafting needs, 
join up at: 
Are you looking for resources for FrontPage? Want to 
know where all the best FP links are? The hosts, the lists, 
the forums? 
Use AccessFP - FrontPage Resources Centre as the 
start site for your FrontPage Information facts. 

~~Tina Clarke, AccessFP - FrontPage Resource Centre


EDITOR'S NOTE: This article includes pictures and is 
clearer if read online.  You can see the online version here:

With Microsoft FrontPage® 2002 you can add a collection of 
photos or other images to your Web site in the form of a 
visual catalogue. A photo gallery is very useful for visitors 
to your site because it gives them a quick way to scan a 
collection of images by reviewing a collection of smaller 
(thumbnail) images. When visitors view your photo gallery 
in a browser window, they can choose which images they 
want to see and click each thumbnail to display the full-size 
image the thumbnail represents. 

How to create a Photo Gallery

<> Create a blank page. 
<> On the menu bar click Insert | Web Component 
<> Click Photo Gallery in the left pane. 
<> Select one of the four types of layouts that you want to 
use in the right pane. 
<> Click finish. 
<> The Photo Gallery Properties Dialog box will pop up. 
<> Click ADD to insert a graphic 

NOTE:   You can add as many graphics at a time as you want.

>From the drop down menu you can either locate pictures 
from files (either files on your computer, the world wide 
web or Microsoft Clip Organizer) and Open. Or, bring them 
in from a scanner or camera, (This can be either a web cam 
or digital camera).

The ?Insert Picture from scanner or camera? dialog box will 
pop up.  From the drop down list under ?Device? your devices 
will be listed, choose one. 
<>  If you choose a scanner you can select a custom insert 
and choose the scanner settings you want. 
<>  Just follow the directions you normally would for your device. 
Now you can tweak the settings on the ?Photo Gallery Properties? box 

<> Move the pictures up or down according to the order you 
want your graphics. 
<> Edit - Select the graphic you want to edit by clicking it. A 
preview of the photo is displayed next to its name 

Size:   You can change the width or height of the graphic. 
You can also choose to maintain the aspect ratio, or not, 
depending upon how you want to change the graphic. 

Orientation:   You can flip or rotate the graphic:  Under 
Rotate Picture, do one or more of the following: 

<> Click Rotate Left to rotate the graphic 90 degrees 
counter clockwise.  
<> Click Rotate Right to rotate the graphic 90 degrees 
<> Click Flip Vertical to turn the graphic upside down.  
<> Click Flip Horizontal to create a mirror image. 

Crop:   You can crop the graphic. For example, if you want 
only part of a graphic visible, crop out the rest.

<> Under Crop Picture, click Crop. 
<> A cropping box appears on the graphic. 
<> By clicking and dragging the handles on the box, resize 
the box to include the part of the graphic that you want to 
<> To draw the cropping box yourself, click outside the 
cropping box but inside the graphic, and then draw the box. 
<> Click Crop again to remove the area outside of the 
cropping box.   

Reset:    If you have made changes to the graphic, you can 
click the Reset button to return the graphic to its original 

TIP: Click Previous or Next to edit the graphic before or 
after the one you just edited.

<> Specify the width and height of the thumbnail under 
?Thumbnail size?. By default, the thumbnails are 100 pixels 
by 100 pixels in size (a little more than 1 inch by 1 inch square). 

NOTE:  Thumbnails are automatically created. 

<> Add a caption or description below the graphic 

NOTE:  If you choose ?Montage Layout?, the text boxes for 
?Caption? and ?Description? will be greyed out.

<> Click the graphic that has the caption you want to edit.  
<> A preview of the graphic is displayed next to its name.  
<> In the ?Caption? box, type the caption you want to appear 
Under the graphic.  
<> In the ?Description? box, type the description you want to 
appear in the space below the graphic and its caption.  
<> Change the layout of the photo gallery. 
<> Click the ?Layout? tab.  
<> Choose a layout from the list.  
<> View a preview of the layout under ?Preview?.  
<> Select a number from ?Number of pictures per row? 
<> Click OK. 
NOTE:   If you choose Slide Show or Montage Layout, this 
option will be greyed out.

There are four different types of photo gallery layouts 
available in FrontPage 2002: Horizontal, Vertical, Montage, 
and Slide Show.

<> Use a Horizontal layout when you want your photos to 
appear in a simple album-style layout. 
<> Vertical layout also presents your photos in a simple 
album-style layout, with users viewing images from top to 
<> Display your images as a collage with the Montage layout. 
<> Create a scrolling catalogue of your images with the Slide 
Show layout. When a thumbnail is selected, the full-size 
image appears below the row. 

You can also apply a theme to a photo gallery just as you 
would with any other web page.

When you create and add a photo gallery to a site that 
already has a theme applied, by default the photo gallery 
will take the same properties. For example: background, 
formatting, and bullet style are the same as the rest of the 
pages within the site. However, for captions and photo 
descriptions, you can choose whether or not you want to use 
the font formatting from the page's theme or override the 
theme's formatting and select your own custom font. This 
feature can be used to make your captions and descriptions 
stand out from other text on the page 

NOTE: If you don't select the text in the Caption and 
Description boxes before changing the font, the settings 
you specify will not be applied. 

This feature also applies to Web pages that are associated 
with a cascading style sheet (CSS).


My thumbnails are looking tired.

To refresh and update your thumbnails back to their 
previous sparkling look resizing them will restore them to 
their former glory: 
<> Right click on the photo gallery in Normal View and 
choose 'Photo Gallery Properties' from the pop up menu or 
double click the photo gallery. 
<> Select the graphic you want to work with 
<> Check that the 'Maintain Aspect Ratio' box is checked 
<> Change the size in the width box under 'Thumbnail Size' 
- the default is 100 pixels so select something slightly larger. 

Do this for all the thumbnails you want refreshed.

NOTE: If you do this again reset the thumbnails to the 
default first.

I can't crop part of a photo gallery graphic.

FrontPage can only crop photo gallery images down to 
a certain size. If you find that your graphic is too large, you 
can insert it onto a blank page, crop it like you would any 
other graphic, and then resave it and insert it again into 
your photo gallery. 

Slide Show Photo Gallery Finish button is greyed out.

When you try to insert a Photo Gallery in Slide Show 
layout you can?t because the Finish button is greyed out.  
This is because the Slide Show layout only works on browsers 
that have Java-Script capability. If your compatibility 
preferences tell FrontPage to suppress features that require 
JavaScript, FrontPage will suppress the Slide Show Photo Gallery. 

To fix this, just turn on JavaScript: 
<> In FrontPage on the Tools menu, click Page Options. 
<> When the Page Options dialog box appears, click the 
Compatibility tab.  
<> In the Available Technologies area, select the JavaScript 
check box.  
<> Click OK to close the Page Options dialog box.  

Now the Slide Show Finish button will be come available. 

When I double-click a graphic to edit it in another editor, 
"No picture editor is configured" appears.

You must first choose the picture editor you want to use 
to edit your graphics, and you must choose one for each type 
of graphic (JPEG, GIF, BMP, and so on):  
<> On the Tools menu, click Options.  
<> Click the Configure Editors tab.  
<> Click Add.  
<> In the File type box, type the extension of the type of file 
you want to add.  For example, gif or jpg.   
<> In the Editor name box, type the name of the graphics 
editor you want to use.  
<> In the Command box, type the path to the executable 
file (.exe) for the editor, or click Browse to locate the file.  
Repeat the steps for each type of file to which you want to 
assign an editor.  

My graphic is broken on my web site.

This can be caused by one of the following:  
<> You acquired this graphic from another web site When 
you add a graphic to a web site and then save the page that 
it's on, you are prompted to save that graphic to the same 
web site where your page is saved. If you acquired this 
graphic from a shared location or another web site, and you 
didn't save it to a folder in your web site, the path to it will 
be broken if that graphic is removed from the shared location 
or web site, and it will not display on your web page.  
<> You need to publish the image or the folder where it lives 
to your Web server If you have a graphic that you are using 
for a web page located in a local folder, when you publish 
that web page, you also need to publish the folder where 
all the graphics are or all your graphics will appear to be broken.  

When I click a hot spot, it returns a 404-error message.

This can be caused by one of the following: 
<> The destination may have moved or may no longer exist   
Verify that the file exists by viewing the destination file with 
your Internet browser if the file is on the Internet, or with 
Microsoft Windows Explorer if the file is on your hard drive 
or a network.  
<> You may not have access to the destination. If the 
destination file is on the Internet, make sure you have a 
connection to the Internet.  
<> You may be trying to link to a page or directory that 
does not have anonymous browsing permissions.   If the 
destination is on a network, contact your network 
administrator to ensure that you have access to the 
destination file.  
<> There may be a technical problem.   If you believe that 
the file you are linking to exists and that you have permission 
to link to it, try deleting your temporary Internet files.  
**Open Microsoft Internet Explorer.  
**On the Tools menu, click Internet Options.  
**Under Temporary Internet Files, click Delete Files.

When I am resizing a graphic in percentages, the 'Keep 
aspect ratio' check box appears greyed out. 

This behaviour occurs because Microsoft FrontPage bases 
the percentage width or height of a graphic on a portion of 
the browser window (or table cell). The aspect ratio is not 
preserved. If you want to preserve the aspect ratio, you must 
resize your graphic by entering the width and height size in pixels. 

Clicking a thumbnail opens the full-scale picture in the 
same window.

When you make a FrontPage Photo gallery, a folder is made 
automatically called photo gallery, and another folder within 
that named something like photo111816. (The folder is 
always called photonnn ? nnn is always a random number) 
In here you will find the thumbnails, .JS file and three .htm 
files. If you open the real.htm file you can edit the photo 
gallery graphics and do anything you would on a normal 
page, such as setting the hyperlink target on the thumbnail 
to open up in a new window, adding alt tags etc. Making the 
thumbnail hyperlink to a new window, you can make a new 
page for the larger graphic and then configure the page for 
background, and add your own text. This looks much smarter. 
<> Open real.htm 
<> Select the first graphic 
<> Right click and select ?Hyperlink? on the pop up menu. 
<> Click ?Target Frame? 
<> Select ?New window? and ?Default?. 
<> Save the page.  

WARNING:  You can do all manner of tweaks this way BUT 
if you opened the .htm page that the photo gallery has been 
inserted to and resaved it, all your tweaks will be lost so 
make sure you don?t need to edit that page again unless 
you want to redo all your tweaks.

NOTE: Do not edit either the real_p.htm or the real_x.htm 
files in the photonnn folder. Both of these files are used 
exclusively by FrontPage and should not be altered.

So you can see the FrontPage Gallery working, I?ve made 
an example Photo Gallery at:

If you want to see more of my artwork, I will be launching a 
new site soon. Please watch this space or check 
http://accessfp.net site for a notice.  In the meantime if you 
wish to commission me, contact me via TinaClarke@xxxxxxxxxxxx
Tina Clarke is the Webmaster of AccessFP - FrontPage 
Resource Centre at http://accessfp.net and an editor of 
"AnyFrontPage Bytes Ezine". Subscribe to the FrontPage 
ezine and get FREE FrontPage E-Books upon joining. 

~~ Mike Baynes, MikesWhatsNews


The latest virus to take advantage of famous names is the 
Lirva, W32/Avril-A [Sophos], W32/Lirva.b@MM [McAfee], 
WORM_LIRVA.A [Trend], Win32.Lirva.A [CA] and its 
varieties, Lirva.B, Lirva.C, named after the Canadian skater, 
Avril (Lirva backwards) Lavigne.

The Virus was created within 2 days of her nomination at 
the Grammy awards, which points out just how fast they 
can be created.

It is not the first time that virus writers/creators have used 
the popularity of celebrities to spread their infectious creations.

 Anna Kournikova ~  
was a serious threat only 2 years ago, using a known hole 
in Microsoft's IE to execute VBScript.

Some of the other celebrities who have received this 
dubious status are Jenna Jameson, Jennifer Lopez, Alyssa 
Milano , and Britney Spears.  

The Lirva virus once again takes advantage of the known 
vulnerability in MS Outlook Express 4.0 and 5.0 and allows 
the script to run while previewing the message. Updated 
OE 6 should not be affected.

Microsoft has a patch here.

The virus also follows past virus action by disabling access 
to certain AV program sites.

Lirva may also spoof a Microsoft Security Bulletin.  Remember 
MS will NEVER send you an executable file.

It is spread through email, via open Windows shares, IRC, 
ICQ, and KaZaA peer-to-peer networks.

Lirva sends a copy of itself to everyone listed in a user's 
address book by using its own built-in SMTP server, which 
helps the worm's activity go undetected. Lirva also collects 
address information from various other files on the user's 
system, such as .htm, .wab, and .dbx files.

Computer Associates has a good page on it here;

Due to the increasing threat posed by Lirva, Panda Software 
has made the PQREMOVE utility available to all users. This 
application is designed to repair the possible damage that 
the virus could inflict on computers and can be downloaded 

Remember the best antivirus defense is your own good sense!

<> Keep your AV program updated 
<> Use an email program which can strip out attachments 
<> Disable scripting 
<> Don't open any attachments you have not been expecting 
and have the sender give you the name of the file and its size 
before sending. 

I have put together a Lirva page with common program links here:
Mike Baynes is the editor of MikesWhatsNews.  
To subscribe, send a blank email to 
See Mike's Anti-Virus pages ~ http://virusinfo.hackfix.org
To subscribe, send a blank email to:

~~Charlene Russ, Corndancer Design Graphics


EDITOR'S NOTE: This article includes pictures and is 
clearer if read online.  You can see the online version here:

(Also, see Charlene's special Valentine article in this issue, 
on using the Extrude Modifier)

Modifiers are a kind of modeling shortcut or effect that can 
be applied to an object.  

<> FIRST the object that you wish to 
apply a given modifier effect to must be selected in your 
viewport .  
<> Click the Modifiers tab and then click the desired modifier 
from the icon strip that appears. The modifier will be applied 
and a parameters window will appear on the right side of 
your screen. The strength of the effect may be increased 
or decreased by using these toggles. 

The Ripple Modifier

This modifier is useful when creating hilly terrain, cloth, or 
movement in a body of water. These modifiers can be 
animated through the use of key frames for interesting 
video imagery and motion effects.

Decreasing the wavelength of the effect will heighten the 
frequency or increase the number of smaller ripples in the 

The Wave Modifier

How do I change the spacing of the ripples? The 
amplitudes seem to only make the waves higher. 
Wavelength makes them move along the surface. Phase 
seems to do the same thing. Decay makes them die out. 

You're right. Increasing the amplitude will heighten the 
pitch of the wave, making it taller. You can shorten or 
lengthen the wavelength, creating frequent ripples or 
gradual, grandiose waves. Decay is a term used with regard 
to sine waves; it refers to the valleys, not the apexes of the 
wave. In a sound wave, for instance, the apex or peak is the 
loudest pitch, as the wave 'decays', the pitch of the sound 
decreases and tapers off. The Phase toggle deals with the 
initial position of the ripples along a given area. The Wave 
Modifier is based upon the idea of the sine wave, which is a 
2D concept. A sine wave occurs somewhere between two 
points along a segmented line. By decreasing the wavelength 
you are, in effect, increasing the frequency of the waves and 
decreasing the size of the individual waves. The visual results 
are smaller ripples along a plane.

General FAQ

Why do the modifiers start out with values in them - they 
seem to have the last value you use, even when there is zero 
effect showing on the object?  Shouldn't they start at zero? 

Excellent observation.  I'm glad you brought this up. When 
you save a scene in 3DS Max, it saves all elements in your 
scene, including parameter values. You can reset your scene 
to the default using the Reset function from the file menu. 
Saving a scene freezes everything you have done up to that 
point, including objects, modifiers, lights, materials you've 
added, and effects. Though you may not have applied modifier 
values to a given object, the scene recalls the previous values 
you applied to your last object. 

Viewport Coordinates

What reference coordinate system should I use? What do 
the colored arrows in the corners of the window stand for? 
They don't seem to match the arrows inside the object. Are 
they in a particular coordinate system? 

The colored arrows in the viewport screen indicate the 
perspective at which the camera is viewing the object(s).  
<> The 'X' coordinate runs bilaterally east and west or left and 
right. The 'Y' coordinate runs north and south or up and 
down. The 'Z' diagonal coordinate runs toward you in the 
3D perspective viewport.  
<> When scaling or rotating an object, you may restrict the 
effect to a particular coordinate/s by clicking the 
'x,y,z,xy,yz, or zx' coordinate buttons.  

The Bend Modifier

To bend an object: 
<> Select an object and click Modifiers rollout > Bend.  
<> On the Parameters rollout, set the axis of the bend to 
X, Y, or Z. This is the axis of the Bend gizmo, not the axis of 
the selected object.  You can switch between axes at any 
time, but the modifier carries only one axis setting.   
<> Set the angle of the bend along the chosen axis.  The 
object bends to this angle beginning at the lower limit, which 
is by default the location of the modifier's center.   
<> Set the direction of the bend.  The object swivels around 
the axis.  

You can reverse angle and direction by changing a positive 
value to a negative value. 

To limit the bend: 
<> Turn on Limit Effect in the Limits group.  
<> Set values for the upper and lower limits. These are 
distances in current units above and below the modifier's 
center, which is at zero on the gizmo's Z axis by default. 
You can make the upper limit zero or positive, and the lower
 limit zero or negative. If the limits are equal, the result is the 
same as turning off Limit Effect.  
<> The bend is applied between these limits. The surrounding 
geometry, while unaffected by the bend itself, rotates to keep 
the object intact. This is analogous to bending a pipe, where 
the unbent sections rotate but remain straight.  
<> At the sub-object level, you can select and move the 
modifier's center.  
<> The Limit settings remain on either side of the center as 
you move it. This lets you relocate the bend area to another 
part of the object.  
Charlene Russ is an instructor with Eclectic Academy, and 
is currently teaching Introduction to 3D Studio Max.  She 
teaches novice students the basics of 3D design and 
modeling techniques.  She is also an adjunct instructor 
with a Florida community college in the Digital Arts dept.  
To enroll in one of her on-line courses you need to access 
the Eclectic Academy website at 
http://www.eclecticacademy.com and click 'enter'.  

Charlene's personal site is Corndancer Design Graphics, 
which features a wide gamut of useful design related 

~~ Steve Mills 

"Darn, that's nice!"

Over the recent holidays, we had a number of house 
guests, most of which used computers, but are not geeks 
(like me). A number of times they would use my computer 
and make comments about something I use - ask me where 
I got it - etc. I decided to review those programs which 
received the most favorable comment to start the year. 
I'm sure I'll cover things we have already seen, but these 
are the things I use every day and programs that regular 
users found very helpful. I hope you do too!



JPEG Resizer - 5 geezers 
Copernic Agent Basic - 4½ geezers 
cam2pc - 6 geezers 
AI RoboForm - 5½ geezers 
Startup Control Panel - 6 geezers 

 <screen captures of the software interfaces online>


JPEG Resizer
Version: 2.02
Date: January 8, 2003
Author: Virtualzone
Web Site: http://www.virtualzone.de
Rating: 5 Geezers

Does this look familiar? It should! I covered this in December 
and a new version was recently released. The new version 
comes with a complete new design, improved performance 
and various advanced features such as Anti-Aliasing, 
Colorization and selectable JPEG Compression factor. When 
we shot pictures at Christmas, this thing made it a snap to 
reduce the size to something manageable for email. The 
batch mode makes preparing a bunch of pictures a snap.

If you shot photos with a digital camera at a resolution that 
is too high for presenting your photos on the internet, you 
need to resize them. JPEG Resizer makes this job quite easy 
as you don't need to resize each single image for itself.

The new version has earned an additional Geezer?. Oh - it's 
true Freeware. There's no reason not to try this.

Copernic Agent Basic
Version: 6.01
Date: January 14, 2003
Author: Copernic
Web Site: http://www.copernic.com
Rating: 4½ Geezers

It seems Google has just about taken over the web, as far 
as search engines go. It's a victory they have rightfully earned. 
No doubt - they are the best at what they do! They get a lot 
of my search queries, but I still drift to a meta-search program 
with regularity. For a standalone program, Copernic is my 
choice. According to their web site they can interrogate over 
90 engines when you do a search. I like the way you can save 
and modify searches. This version is free and they offer more 
sophisticated versions which will search newsgroups and other 
types of databases. As a practical matter, Google Groups is 
the only news archive worth searching, so you might as well 
go direct, rather than pay. The interface is very friendly and 
I find even total novices become quickly comfortable. It's 
worth a download and test.

For those that prefer an online resource, Vivisimo is without 

Both of these programs have the smell of boom time 
projects that could quietly die at any time, as so many have. 
In the meantime, they are great resources. Maybe they'll 
make it - who knows!

Version: 3.01
Date: December 6, 2002
Author: Nabocorp
Web Site: http://www.nabocorp.com
Rating: 6 Geezers

Another recently reviewed program that has been tweaked 
recently. It also perfectly fits the theme this month. It was 
a simple matter to stick the memory card in the computer 
from the camera and cam2pc took over and gave us total 
control of the transfer.

This is one of my most used programs. I pull the memory 
card from my camera, put it in the reader and let cam2pc do 
its stuff. Cam2pc is a complete solution to ease your 
everyday work with your digital camera and your pictures. 
Its primary feature is to automate the transfer of pictures 
from the camera to the PC. By being able to automatically 
detect your camera, create the destination directory and 
transfer your images, the whole process is now done in a 
single click! For this particular feature, cam2pc is compatible 
with the following cameras: 
<> Digital cameras (and card readers) that appear as 
removable devices in Windows and are assigned a drive letter  
<> Digital cameras based on the Sierra Imaging chipset 
(that includes Nikon Coolpix and many more)  
<> Canon digital cameras 

Once your images are transferred, cam2pc includes a fully 
featured image browser and viewer. You can quickly review 
your images, losslessly rotate them, rename them, resize 
them and of course view them in full-screen. There are an 
incredible amount of options you can see on the web site. 
If you have a digital camera, you need this software.

AI RoboForm
Version: 5.07
Date: January 26, 2003
Author: Siber Systems
Web Site: http://www.roboform.com
Rating: 5½ Geezers

This would be one of the last programs I would erase if I ran 
out of space. AI RoboForm is a password manager and 
one-click web form filler with some serious Artificial 
Intelligence inside. 

What it can do: 
<> Save password info from login form.  
<> Auto fill password info to login form.  
<> Automatic login to password-protected site.  
<> Fill long registration forms from Identities.  
<> Save encrypted text snippets to Safenotes.  
<> Password Generator generates passwords.  
<> Bookmark Manager is included.  
<> Encrypt password and sensitive info using DES.  
<> Print your passwords on paper.  
<> Backup & restore passwords. 

And? a whole lot more. This is one well-conceived and 
executed program. The only reason I didn't award it 6 
Geezers is limits kick in after 30 days, which reduce the 
usefulness, but still adequate. The advanced version is 
30 bucks and well worth our consideration. 

Startup Control Panel
Version: 2.8
Date: January 3, 2003
Author: Mike Lin
Web Site: http://www.mlin.net
Rating: 6 Geezers

Don't even read this review - just download this program! I 
don't know about you, but I REALLY hate programs that load 
a bunch of unwanted crap in your startup process. This 
19-year-old genius has created the most elegant solution I've 
seen. It's an intuitive addition to your control panel and you 
can delete or disable this garbage any time. If you screw up, 
everything can be restored. Seldom a week goes by that I 
don't use it.

Final Thought:

"There are three reasons why lawyers are replacing rats as 
laboratory research animals. One is that they are plentiful, 
another is that lab assistants don't get so attached to them 
and the third is that they will do things that you just can't 
get rats to do." 
Steve Mills has been reviewing software in different capacities 
for many years.  He has recently left his job with a search 
engine consulting firm and is looking for a new adventure.

~ by John Galvin, John's Newsletter 

How would you feel about somebody stealing your 
computer, and reading all your personal files? Any credit 
card information on your computer?  Old love letters? 
Client information? It would not be nice to have any
of this information stolen.

Fortunately, it is easy enough to protect your data. PGP 
(Pretty Good Privacy) is a free program, which will allow 
you to encrypt your data, making it "almost" impossible for 
anyone to retrieve, except you. PGP is available at 

One problem with encryption, is that if someone is searching 
your hard drive, they can find your encrypted files, and can 
start guessing passwords. To be even safer, you could use 
steganography to hide the data in another file. So your 
favorite song, might contain you credit card information, or 
a list of your passwords, and the only person who will know, 
is you. Software which encrypts your data, and hides your 
data at the same time, can be found at 

The following site, gives a good explanation of how 
steganography works:

EDITOR'S NOTE:  For another alternative to hiding files in 
Windows 9X/ME without encryption, check out  Lock&Hide, 
created by our own Vic Ferri.

What if you want to delete data? Well simply deleting it from 
Windows, is not enough. The file will simply disappear into 
the Recycle Bin. Emptying the Recycle Bin will delete the file
...won't it? No it won't. It simply tells Windows to ignore 
the file. It is still on your hard-drive, and will remain there 
until you overwrite it with data. The file just doesn't show 
up in Windows. So, for all intents and purposes, the file is 
deleted, unless it is a sensitive file, and it really must 
be deleted in the true sense of the word. The following 
program allows you to recover deleted data:


It clearly doesn't take a professional to recover "deleted" 
data, so what can you do about it. Well fortunately, there 
are plenty of programs out there, that will properly delete
your files for you. Some of these are freeware, and one 
such program, is simply called Eraser, and is available f
rom www.tolvanen.com/eraser 

Eraser overwrites sensitive files up to 35 times, making the 
data unrecoverable to the average professional trying to 
retrieve the data.  It may still be possible to retrieve data, 
however only by people/companies with huge resources. 
It would basically involve bringing the hard drive into a clean 
room, and analyzing it under a microscope. Not an easy thing 
to do at all. You may wonder how on earth data can be 
recovered if it has been overwritten with more data.  Well 
take this analogy. You have a rubber stamp with the letter 
A on it, and you stamp it on a page. You then get a rubber 
stamp with the letter B on it, and stamp it over the A. Even 
though the letter is B, if you look closely enough, you can 
make out the letter A underneath it.

A list of other disk cleaners is available here:

The safest way to delete data, for the ultra paranoid, is to 
use different eraser tools on the disk, then take the disk out 
of the computer and cut it up using an angle grinder, and 
disposing it in the local garbage dump.

In my newsletter, I will go into much more detail about data 
security, while still presenting it in an easy-to-understand 
manner. I will show you how to write webpages, how to 
program using Perl/Javascript/C/Java, as well as showing 
you how to trace spammers, and lots more. 
John Galvin is the owner of John's Newsletter.  
To subscribe, send an email to 
johnsnewsletter@xxxxxxxxxxxxx with 'subscribe' in the subject line.

~ by Willie Crawford, Crawford Marketing Consultants

Millions of you dream of someday starting your own business 
and achieving financial success and independence--it's a 
universal dream. Many also discover the internet and are 
led to believe this is the perfect medium for making that 
dream a reality. Which is true, because you can accomplish 
things on the internet that you don't have the resources to 
accomplish off-line.

However, many of you looking to start a business on-line also 
have a big fear of being ripped off. And yes, there is very 
good reason to fear being ripped off! There is a good chance 
you will be ripped off by some half-witted money-making 
scheme. The fact is that there's even a chance you will be 
ripped off by someone who doesn't even know he's ripping 
you off!

"But how can you be ripped off by someone who doesn't 
even know he's ripping you off?" you ask. 

Many people with no real product create one by taking 
someone's advice -- often extremely bad advice -- and 
compiling it into an info product. By passing this along to you 
in an e-book or manual, and giving you a "clear road map" 
they not only waste your money...they make you worse off 
than you were before you started. This is true because you 
will waste time, money, and energy trying to make something 
work that has absolutely NO chance of working.

For example, the business of "making money, teaching 
others to make money, by teaching others to make money" 
is one of the easiest ways to make money. Agreed, there is 
a large market for this product. But, it's also a very dangerous 
place because common sense is often over-ridden by greed 
and very deep-seated dreams and ambitions.

So how do you avoid being ripped off? 

The BEST way IS using your common sense. Ask yourself if 
something makes sense. Also ask yourself, "If the person 
telling you how to do something has really discovered the 
secret, why isn't he using it to get rich!" There are very few 
"real secrets" -- information travels very fast on the internet. 
Yes, there are many proven methods and techniques that do 
work, but if you look hard enough you will see them in 
everyday application. Go to any famous "guru's" site and 
make sure you see that he is actually using what he teaches.

Avoiding getting ripped off involves, to an extent, learning 
who you can trust. A trusted friend who really cares about 
you simply won't give you bad advice. A trusted advisor won't 
recommend bad products or services to you.

Here is a very big challenge I am faced with weekly: I get 
lots of people sending me trial versions of their products or 
review copies of their books. They want my "thumbs up"...
my recommendation. I know that if I give this 
recommendation...this testimonial...and the product is not 
extremely good -- I will cause harm to a lot of people. I also 
know that I will destroy one of my most valuable assets...
my goodwill, AND the reputation I have spent six years 
building with my potential on-line customers. So, I'm 
COMMITTED to closely guarding that trust, and putting my 
clients' best interest FIRST. You need to make a similar 
commitment BEFORE you even open your business.

Until you develop a few trusted friends whom you can call 
or email for recommendations, learn to ask a lot of questions. 
If you are thinking of buying a product or getting involved in 
a certain business -- ask around Discussion boards are a 
good place to ask what people think about a given product 
or service.  Ask in a way that you won't be perceived as 
trying to promote the product yourself, because that type 
of post will simply be deleted. Also ask in a way that you 
aren't bashing a product or individual. Discussion board 
operators don't want the legal hassles from a post on their 
board unjustly harming someone's business.

Also, just spend a lot of time surfing relevant discussion 
boards. Read the hundreds, if not thousands of posts already 
there. There are boards set up just to warn you about rip-offs. 
My favorite is the Friends In Business board. This board was 
started by a lady who got ripped off, and years later it's the 
perfect place to go to find out about hundreds of scams. 
That's the sole purpose of the board. In fact, you should add 
this board to your bookmarks. 

Some of the best discussion boards are closed communities. 
These are member's-only sites; some with tens of thousand 
of members all banned together for a common purpose. Two 
of the member's-only sites I belong to are The Internet 
Marketing Warriors and The Affiliates Club. Both are "support 
groups" where you can brainstorm and bounce your ideas 
off people building on-line or home-based businesses. I am 
a moderator at one of these groups and have written many 
articles exclusively for the other (my articles are often 
published in The Affiliates Club before they appear anywhere 

For more information on the Warriors, visit:

For more info on The Affiliates Club visit:

When considering a business opportunity, one of the wisest 
things you can do is to ask for referrals. If they are as good 
as they say they are, they should be able to refer you to lots 
of satisfied customers. If you were considering getting 
involved in a franchise or business venture off-line this is how 
you would check it out. On-line should be no different. If it's 
a large investment you're thinking of making you'd be crazy 
not to. Email these references, or better yet, give them a call. 
There are things you can detect in a person's voice that you 
can't "hear" in email. Off-line, if at all possible, I would pay 
them a face-to-face visit.

Another common sense approach to avoid getting ripped off 
is to simply research the site or product that you are 
considering investing in. It's fairly easy to research an 
individual or company on the internet to see if their own 
businesses demonstrate that they really know what they are 
talking about.  For instance, is the person selling the "How 
To Explode Your Traffic" ebook getting any traffic to his own 

This can easily be researched by utilizing the Alexa Toolbar.  
The Alexa Toolbar shows how popular a given site is. It isn't 
foolproof but is a good indicator of how successful a site really 
is. It shows a sites "ranking." You can learn about and get the 
free Alexa Toolbar at 

Along the same lines, research the private site that's going 
to teach you "All the secrets of improving your SE ranking" 
by checking where they are listed in Google and AltaVista. 
If they are going to teach you this, they certainly should 
have already attained these results for their sites. Just this 
little bit of investigating, using the search engines, can save 
you from buying into some theory offered by someone who 
has NO CLUE what he is talking about.

We all know that there are no internet police. However, 
many parts of the community are self-policing. These are 
the parts of the internet community that agree to adhere to 
certain standards. Members who fail to live up to those 
standards are investigated, and if they are not adhering to 
community standards they are not allowed to retain membership. 
Two such communities that I belong to are The Better Business 
Bureau Online, and The International Council Of Online 
Professionals. You have to invest in an annual membership in 
both of these organizations once you qualify.

Both of the above organizations require applications, and 
you have to demonstrate that you are ethical and meet the 
organization's standards. They actually investigate your 
website and look at the products or services you offer. The 
Better Business Bureau actually sends someone to your place 
of business so that they can better understand your whole 
business operation. If you survive the application process, 
you are given an emblem to place on your website that is 
hyper-linked to their sites. A visitor can click on the emblem 
to continue investigating you before doing business with you. 
For more information on I-Cop membership visit:

Membership in BBB Online requires that you be a member 
of your local Better Business Bureau. That often requires 
that you have been in business for at least a year, and the 
application process can take several months. In the 
Northwest Florida Division, a committee reviews each 
membership application. If you're interested in BBB 
membership, look in your local phone book. Better Business 
Bureau membership is only available in the US and Canada.

Millions of you migrate to the internet looking for an 
opportunity to supplement your income. Far too many 
spend a lot of time and other resources trying to build a 
business -- only to be very disappointed. If you apply the 
common sense advice offered above, you GREATLY reduce 
your chances of becoming one of them.

Reread this article several times, then start applying what 
it teaches. Reading and knowing something without using it 
is actually worse than not knowing, since you have no excuse. 
Many of you already intuitively knew everything in this article. 
Yet by failing to apply that knowledge, you were still 
susceptible to being ripped off. Now, hopefully you're not :-)
Willie Crawford is an expert on internet marketing, joint 
ventures, buying and selling reprint rights, and building 
business through networking. His directory of seminars, 
workshops, conferences, and tele-events is 

~ by Bob Osgoodby, Advanced Marketing Consultants

Most of the computers sold in retail stores are a compromise, 
designed to appeal to the widest number of potential 
purchasers.  Depending on what you want to use it for, 
usually it is not what you need, as they are what are referred 
to as "middle of the road" systems.

There are several things that you should take into 
consideration. If your primary use will be basically email and 
word processing, if you buy one of these "middle of the road" 
systems, you will be paying for a lot of "bells and whistles" 
you don't really need and will never use. You really don't 
need the "blinding speed" of the upper end processors as 
you will never be able to use it in the applications you use.

While a CD and Floppy Disk Drive are required to use today's 
technology, if the only thing you will use them for is loading 
programs when you first get the system or acquire new 
software, the high-end devices are simply "overkill" and 
unnecessarily add to the cost of the system you buy.

If however, you use the computer for entertainment 
purposes, rather than getting a CD read only device, consider 
one that can read and write - in other words a CD Burner. 
That way, if you download something from the web, you can 
create your own CDs. You might also consider a second unit 
so that if you want to copy particular songs from several CDs 
you already have for your own use, you can. In this case I 
would recommend a DVD reader as the second unit as that 
can read both DVDs as well as CDs. You can also make 
copies of your software, and if you have downloaded 
programs from the web, you can archive them as well.

The motherboard you select is extremely important. Many 
of the newer ones have integrated sound cards, video cards, 
and networking cards. If they don't, be sure you get one 
with enough expansion slots to accommodate everything you 
may need down the line if your needs increase. Be cautious 
when it comes to built in video cards for your monitor. The 
low end cards may not handle the demands of some graphic 
intensive programs you might use.

The actual processor you select is the most expensive part 
of the computer you choose. If your processing needs are 
minimal, such as email and/or word processing, you should 
consider the lower end - about a gigahertz in speed. It makes 
no sense to pay for something you don't need. On the flip 
side however, if you intend to do high end graphics, you will 
be disappointed if you select a slower speed. If you are a 
game buff, definitely consider a 2+ gigahertz speed, as 
most games are graphic intensive.

Your hard drive is your next consideration. Be sure it is 
between 40 gigabytes and 60 gigabytes and runs at 7,200 
RPM. These should provide adequate storage for most people. 
This is a case where bigger is not better. Larger drives are 
available but run at a slower speed, which degrades your 
access time. If you are doing work that is critical in nature, 
and you would have a difficult time recovering from a disk 
crash, consider two hard drives.

That way you can easily back up your data files and programs 
to a second drive. Simply change the wire, reinstall Windows 
and you're back in business very quickly. This does require 
some discipline on your part however, as you must 
periodically back up to the second drive.

The case you buy for your computer is also important. Unless 
space is an important consideration, forget the really small 
ones as they have very few expansion slots for future growth. 
A mid-size tower is probably your best bet. Be sure the power 
supply is adequate to your needs. Most "middle of the road 
systems" offer 250 watt power supplies which may not be 
adequate - if you want expandability, consider 400 watts.

As far as which version of Windows to get, XP is fine for 
casual use. It is very friendly and suited to the novice user. 
If however, you have had Windows 95 or 98, you will most 
likely be disappointed with XP, and should consider Windows 
2000 Professional. Windows 2000 is an extremely stable 
operating system. Be aware however, that some of the 
hardware and software you had on Windows 95 or 98 may 
not work properly on 2000.

So what is the best way to get your new computer? If you 
can read and follow directions, consider buying the 
components and building your own. The newer cases 
available are a lot friendlier than they were in the past. If 
this is a task you don't want to tackle, try to find someone 
who can build it for you. Be sure they are knowledgeable in 
all phases of hardware and software, and will be available to 
answer questions you might have. While you will pay a little 
extra for this service, it could pay big dividends in the event 
of problems later on.

It is advisable however under any circumstances, to contact 
someone who has experience, as they could point you to 
cost saving equipment that you may not find yourself. They 
can also help you get a balanced system which better suits 
your needs and the applications you will be using.

Selecting the proper components is a delicate balance 
between cost and capabilities. If you consider your actual 
needs, you won't be paying for things you don't need, and 
you won't be disappointed with the performance you 
Did you know that subscribers to Bob Osgoodby's Free 
Ezine, the "Tip of the Day" get a Free Ad for their Business 
at his Web Site? 
For information about building your computer, or technical 
support questions, contact JP at answerguy@xxxxxxxxxxx 

Well, gang.....that's about it for this edition of 
ABC ~ All 'Bout Computers. I sure hope you enjoyed it! 
If any of it was over your head and you need some 
clarification from one of the Fleet, just send me an 
email to linda@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx and I will 
pass it on to them. Remember that they do this in their 
spare time on a voluntary basis, so you might have to 
wait for an answer.  To make all things work more 
quickly, include as many details as you can in your 
email and make your questions as specific as possible. 
Also, feel free to write to me and let us know what you 
want the Fleet to teach you. This is YOUR newsletter!
Happy computing, my friends!
Linda Johnson
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Linda F. Johnson, MA. 

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Linda Johnson


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