Tico Byte

Feb. 2006-02-14


Hello dear members,


Let’s not forget the PC Club meeting this Saturday, the 18th, at Pan-American School, in Belen at 8:30. Bring a friend. We will have a full agenda this month, including more on security for your computer, backing up your computer, the fax machine inside your computer, image manipulation programs and the upcoming TLC changes we will be seeing this year. See you there.


Now the Tico Byte:


Item 1: Have you ever heard of “Ajax desktops”


Microsoft is pushing something called “Live.com”. Others, such as “Pageflakes.com” and “Netvibs.com” do the same. What is it? It’s a desktop for anyone who wants to coordinate all their computer work “out there” on the Internet instead of relying on multiple fallible machines at home or work. Is it something for you? Maybe. If you use the Internet a lot and use your computer to coordinate your work or your life, this might be just the ticket. Check it out


Item 2: Have you heard about charging for email?


Here is what some are saying about it:


Remember the famous email rumor that made the rounds in the 1990s: "Congress is trying to tax your Internet connection, write in now!"


Well what wasn't true in the 1990s is apparently coming true in 2006, only the beneficiaries won't be Uncle Sam -- it will be Yahoo, AOL, and a company ironically called Goodmail. Yahoo and AOL have announced that they will guarantee access to your email inbox for email senders who pay $.0025 per message. They will override their own spam filters and web bug-strippers, and deliver the mail directly with a "certified" notice. In the process, they will treat more of your email as spam, and email you're expecting won't be delivered.


The justification is that if people have to pay to send email, they won't send junk email. Apparently AOL and Yahoo believe that if we "tax" speech then only desirable speech happens. We all know how well that works for postal mail -- that's why no one gets any "free" AOL starter disks, right?


Full story: http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/archives/004398.php



Or as Fred Langa says:


Except for a few teensy little details: First, and most obviously, there's the highly questionable idea that, if you can pay a penny per email, you're legit. It's like buying an indulgence from the church in the middle ages: All it takes is some disposable income, and you can buy your way out of being labeled a sinner, er, I mean spammer What a marvelously cynical way of doing business: If you can pay, you must be a good guy! (Yes, there's more than that to sender verification, but it remains in essence a simple means test.)


Full story: http://langa.com/newsletters/2006/2006-02-13.htm



Item 3: Have you ever tried to cancel a print job and can’t?


You’re not the only one. We all have. In the old days, a stop command to the printer did just that. Today it may not be so. As Fred Langa says this month in his newsletter:

Today, printers are cheap (again, relatively speaking) and almost disposable, mostly because they've become "dumb" devices: For the most part, all the smarts, cpu power, memory, and fonts are supplied by the PC, with the printer simply carrying out commands provided by the printer software and drivers, running on the PC.

But problems can arise when a hardware maker tries to do software; sometimes, the printer software is very clumsy, quirky and, ahem, unpolished.

OK, enough background. In theory, you're supposed to be able to cancel a Windows print job (and clear the spooler) via Start/Printers and Faxes. Next, left double-click on the printer in question, and a window should open with a list of all the pending print jobs. (Or, if the little printer icon is visible down by the clock, you can click on that to open the same print queue window.)

You then can right click on the job(s) in question, or use the "Documents" menu, to pause, resume or cancel any job(s). Or, use the Printer menu item to pause or cancel all the pending jobs at once.

That's the theory, but it doesn't always work, usually because of a problem with the software. If that's what you've been doing, and it's not working, then you might want to uninstall the printer software, and reinstall a full, fresh copy of the software obtained from the printer vendor's site. This will also help insure that you have the latest drivers for the printer.

And if *that* doesn't work, you may be able to find more information here:


Item 4: For all you needing medicine


Try this: http://www.panexa.com/


Let us all know at the next meeting how it turned out.


Item 5: Wimax; what is it?

What if there was a new technology that would provide:

  • The high speed of broadband service
  • Wireless rather than wired access, so it would be a lot less expensive than cable or DSL and much easier to extend to suburban and rural areas
  • Broad coverage like the cell phone network instead of small WiFi hotspots

This system is actually coming into being right now, and it is called WiMAX. WiMAX is short for Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access, and it also goes by the IEEE name 802.16.


Read the whole story here:  http://computer.howstuffworks.com/wimax.htm/printable


And then come to the next meeting of the PC Club and hear about the possibility of Wimax in Santa Ana.


See you Saturday.