Dear members,

 

The February meeting of the PC Club is this Saturday, Feb. 19th, at the Panamerican School in Belen at 8:30AM, as usual. This month we will be having the regular clinics for hardware and software and presentations by Chris Avery on the use of Photoshop as well as a presentation by Mitch Frazier on the new content management system that we will be initiating on our website. Additionally there will be a follow up on the intricacies of email, part 2 by myself. We also will be discussing the action of moving the club from a formal Association to one of informal PC Club, which the board has been able to accomplish this last month. It ought to be fun and educational. See you there.

 

Also for your fun and education I send you the following items:

 

Item 1. Something new in Costa Rica: a wireless network in restaurants

 

While in Oporto, the nicest restaurant in Herdia the other day, I was presented with a brocure inviting me to participate in their wireless system. It was very interesting. It's called HotspotExpress. There are apparently 72 locations in Costa Rica signed up and outfitted with receivers and wireless routers that can give clients very fast Internet connectivity while enjoying eating at these locations. Pretty slick, I thought.

 

Now the “not-so-good-news”, it costs money. Go to their website (Error! Hyperlink reference not valid.) and you find that they charge a monthly or daily fee for the service. There is a slight contradiction between the rate in the brochure and the one announced on their site. You will either pay $24.95 or $19.95/mo. and the first month is either free ... or it isn't.

 

Either way, it is a new service that may have certain benefits for members or visitor of members, who know about it; if it works. That, I haven't tried yet. They say it is very fast connectivity. We will have to see.

 

Item 2. From Fred Langa, this piece on laptops and overheating:

 

When a laptop/notebook gets too hot, the cause almost always boils down

to one of three main causes: Dust and dirt blocking airflow inside the

unit; a dead or dying fan; or environmental causes.

 

Whatever the cause, the unit can't get rid of its heat, and temperatures

climb inside the case. If you're lucky, the laptop's heat-sensing

circuits will shut everything down when temperatures reach dangerous

levels; you may lose data, but your hardware will probably survive, at

least for a while.

 

If you're less lucky, you'll start getting data errors or lockups. Here,

too, you may lose data, but you may be able to save the hardware through

a prompt manual shutdown.

 

In a worst case, or after repeated lesser overheating episodes, your

laptop may simply end up cooked to death; either inoperative, or so

unreliable as to be worthless.

 

So, no matter what the cause, you definitely want to avoid overheating.

But how?

 

Of the three main reasons for overheating, the environmental issues are

the most obvious and easiest to avoid: Don't use your laptop in full"If you search for the keyword Spybot on Altavista or some

     other search engines, you'll got a bunch of sponsored results.

     One of them is Spyware Doctor, who seem to be aggressively

     using our name Spybot to advertise their software. We receive

     a bunch of emails every week from people complaining to us and

     asking for a refund. After some mails we usually find out that

     those people believed they had bought Spybot-S&D, but actually

     got Spyware Doctor... PC Tools' attorney Darren Sommers sees

     nothing bad in cheating people that way. We did contact

     Element 5, the company they use for their payments (and which

     btw is used by Lavasoft as well) for any help we could give to

     those people who were cheated and contacted by us. Ms. Schulte-

     Hoberg from Element 5 reacted by rejecting any help to people

     who where cheated by PC Tools. Element 5 did even block all

     our email addresses to avoid any more about this... As there

     is nothing we can do to help, and Element 5 rejects any

     cooperation in getting the cheated people refunds, we can only

     recommend to write letters of complaint to Element 5, and, if

     you were cheated yourself, contact us at legal@spybot.info so

     that we can confront them with a huge bunch of cases."

 

sunlight for extended periods; don't leave it in a closed car on a sunny

day; don't place it on or near extreme heat sources, such as radiators,

hot air vents, and so on. Common sense, really--- and the same advice

that's in almost every owner's manual for almost all portable electronic

devices. It's so obvious, in fact, we won't spend any more time on it.

 

You can look for, and quite possibly correct, the other two reasons for

overheating in ways that don't require that you open the laptop's case

(so there's no issue of voiding the warranty) and in ways that require

no exotic tools or training. In fact, it's so simple a procedure, I'm

amazed more people don't do it.

 

To show you just how simple and easy it is, I used my own laptop as a

test subject, and took pictures along the way as I performed a thorough

de-dusting to improve the unit's cooling. The whole illustrated step-by-

step is available (free!) at

http://www.informationweek.com/story/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=60300177 .

 

There, in addition to seeing the step-by-step cleaning how-to, you'll

also learn more about similarities and differences in laptops and

notebooks; and more--- including a free monitoring tool that you can

download and install on your laptop to help ensure its hardware is

working properly.

 

Check it out:

http://www.informationweek.com/story/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=60300177 .

Item 3: And this to watch out for on choosing spyware:

"If you search for the keyword Spybot on Altavista or some

     other search engines, you'll got a bunch of sponsored results.

     One of them is Spyware Doctor, who seem to be aggressively

     using our name Spybot to advertise their software. We receive

     a bunch of emails every week from people complaining to us and

     asking for a refund. After some mails we usually find out that

     those people believed they had bought Spybot-S&D, but actually

     got Spyware Doctor... PC Tools' attorney Darren Sommers sees

     nothing bad in cheating people that way. We did contact

     Element 5, the company they use for their payments (and which

     btw is used by Lavasoft as well) for any help we could give to

     those people who were cheated and contacted by us. Ms. Schulte-

     Hoberg from Element 5 reacted by rejecting any help to people

     who where cheated by PC Tools. Element 5 did even block all

     our email addresses to avoid any more about this... As there

     is nothing we can do to help, and Element 5 rejects any

     cooperation in getting the cheated people refunds, we can only

     recommend to write letters of complaint to Element 5.”

 

Item 4. From Kim Komando, this about the development of Firefox, the browser:

YAHOO! DEVELOPS TOOLBAR FOR FIREFOX

Looks like Firefox has hit another milestone. Yahoo! released a beta

(test) version of a toolbar for the upstart browser this week. The

toolbar has some search features. It also allows you to check your

Yahoo! mail. And it lets you search within a Web site.

 

The toolbar wars started when Google provided pop-up blocking for

Internet Explorer, way back when. That was important at the time, but

Service Pack 2 included that feature. Firefox has it, too. So these

toolbars are much less useful today.

 

If you decide to try the Yahoo! toolbar, remember that it is a beta

version. It probably has some rough edges. You'll find it at:

    http://toolbar.yahoo.com/firefox

 

Item 5: Article in the La Nacion about crackdown on Internet phone.

I read an article in the La Nacion last week that talked about all the revenue that ICE is losing to Internet phone service. They estimate that about 75% of all international phone calls are now being made over the Internet. This is in violation of their monopoly control of all communications services in the country via RACSA. They say they are going to crack down on this.

OK. How are they going to do that? The truth is: they can't. They may stop a few people who sell these services to others; but they can't stop “computer to computer”, nor “computer to phone service” in the States (such as Vonage). All these calls use Internet services directly through the private Internet connection in someone's home. There is no way to monitor that; it's just digital signals sent over Internet.

But, I mention it so that you know that your monopoly is on the ball, trying to preserve a dying entity.

Item 6: From Chris Avery:

 *Subject:* Puns for intellectuals

Puns for Intellectuals....

1. Two vultures boarded a plane, each carrying two dead raccoons. The  stewardess stops them and says "sorry sir, only one carrion per passenger."

2. NASA recently sent a number of Holsteins into orbit for experimental purposes. They called it the herd shot round the world.

3. Two boll weevils grew up in South Carolina. One took off to Hollywood and became a rich star. The other stayed in South Carolina and never amounted to much--and naturally became known as the lesser of two weevils.

4. 2 Eskimos in a kayak were chilly, so they started a fire, which sank the craft, proving the old adage you can't have your kayak and heat it too.

5. A 3-legged dog walks into an old west saloon, slides up to the bar and  announces, "I'm looking for the man who shot my paw."

6. Did you hear about the Buddhist who went to the dentist, and refused  to take Novocain? He wanted to transcend dental medication.

7. A group of chess enthusiasts checked into a hotel, and met in the lobby where they were discussing their recent victories in chess tournaments.   The hotel manager came out of the office after an hour, and asked them to disperse. He couldn't stand chess nuts boasting in an open foyer.

8. A women has twins, gives them up for adoption. One goes to an Egyptian family and is named "Ahmal" The other is sent to a Spanish family and is named "Juan". Years later, Juan sends his birth mother a picture of himself. Upon receiving the picture, she tells her husband she wishes she also had a picture of Ahmal. He replies, "They're twins for Pete sake!!   If you've seen Juan, you've seen Ahmal!!"

9. A group o f friars opened a florist shop to help with their belfry payments. Everyone liked to buy flowers from the Men of God, so their business flourished. A rival florist became upset that his business was suffering because people felt compelled to buy from the Friars, so he asked the Friars to cut back hours or close down. The Friars refused. The florist went to them and begged that they shut down. Again they refused.   So the florist then hired Hugh McTaggert, the biggest meanest thug in town. He went to the Friars' shop, beat them up, destroyed their flowers, trashed their shop, and said that if they didn't close, he'd be back. Well, totally terrified, the Friars closed up shop and hid in their rooms. This proved that Hugh, and only Hugh, can prevent florist friars.

10. Mahatma Gandhi, as you know, walked barefoot his whole life, which created an impressive set of calluses on his feet. He also ate very little, which made him frail, and with his odd diet, he suffered from very bad breath. This made him.....what? (This is so bad it's good...)--a super callused fragile mystic hexed by halitosis.

11. And finally,...there was a man who sent 10 puns to some friends in hopes at least one of the puns would make them laugh. Unfortunately no pun in ten did!!!

Item 7: Come to the meeting and learn about what the club is doing to help you when you decide to switch to ADSL Internet service.

 

Chuck Jennings