The next meeting of the PC Club of Costa Rica will be this next Saturday, July 15th at 8:30am, at the Panamerican School in Belen. At this meeting we will have presentations by members describing music file handling and downloading, an introduction to the Abiword word processor, instructions on how to add a picture signature to your email, software and hardware clinics as well as a demonstration of a new and exciting operating system that may well figure in your future called Ubuntu.
The club would like to offer a solution to members having computer problems. It you have something not working on your machine or are having trouble making programs work correctly, please contact me prior to the meeting. Then, if you will bring your computer box to the meeting (we will provide the monitor, keyboard and mouse) we can help you on your own machine to straighten out your specific problem so you can be on your way to happy computing again. Just call me at 266-0123, or write me at firstname.lastname@example.org one week before the meeting and we will have people available to help you at the next meeting.
Come and bring a friend. It will be fun.
And now on with the Byte:
Item 1: There are 18,000 free books at Project Gutenberg
Here's a resource that we sometimes forget about:
Item 2: The laptop wars
Tiny laptop computers - and huge, heavy ones - are hitting store shelves as PC makers struggle to grow in a mature market.
Sony Friday launched a laptop that's just 6 inches across and weighs just over a pound. Called the Vaio UX Micro PC, it's designed for business travelers and others on the go.
Dell introduced the other extreme in May, a hulking, 18.3-pound laptop with a leather handle called the XPS M2010, built with video gamers in mind. In June, Acer introduced a 17-pound laptop also designed for gamers. Samsung in May came out with an "ultra mobile" PC that weighs less than 2 pounds.
Item 3: No more old CRTs for Mac
Following an industry trend toward smaller, more efficient PCs, Apple phased the bulky CRT (cathode ray tube) monitor out of its product line on Wednesday, moving entirely to LCDs (liquid crystal displays).
LCDs have long been sleeker, lighter-weight and more efficient than CRTs, but their greater price has always held them back in the retail market. Whether buying a television or a computer monitor, shoppers have been able to buy a larger screen for their money with CRTs.
Item 4: Security company recommends Macs
"There are far, far fewer threats on Apple Macs than there are on PCs," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos. "So home users who simply want a computer to do some Web surfing, exchange e-mails, take photographs, buy music, or make movies may find it's a much simpler life from the malware point of view if they used a Mac instead of a PC."
Item 5: A browser flaw per day for a month
A well-known hacker has vowed to disclose the details of at least one browser flaw every day in July as part of a project, called the Month of Bugs, that is designed to draw attention to unpatched security vulnerabilities.
Item 6: Bugs in Window's Vista
Although 1 in 5 bugs logged to Microsoft's semi-public of problems haven't yet been fixed, a Windows developer and consultant who analyzed the listing said Friday that his research showed the company was quickly addressing bugs as they were submitted. Robert McLaws, who hosts the Longhorn Blogs site, fed the nearly 28,000 reports from the Connect site's database -- open only to Microsoft-chosen beta testers -- into Excel. Of the 27,479 bugs (as of July 3), 5,743 remained classified as "open." The remainder had either been tagged as "closed" or "resolved”.
Item 6: 5 things to know before installing Office 2007 beta
Microsoft's decision to push back the delivery date for Office 2007 may have a silver lining for some: it gives them all that much more time to try out the for-free preview, dubbed "Beta 2," before shelling out for the real deal. And with Office 2007 Beta 2 still available -- Vista's test isn't -- there's still a chance to join in the fun. If fun is the word.
Item 7: How to access long URLs that break into two lines
When you receive a click-able URL that breaks into two or more lines (like above) and doesn't allow you to click on it to take you to the web page it refers to, then highlight it by holding down your left mouse button and dragging across the entire URL. Then right click (or hit Ctl+C) and choose 'copy'. Then open a new browser window or a new tab and paste the URL into the address box by right clicking in the box and choosing paste (or hit Ctl+V). Then hit 'enter'.
Item 8: The WGA fiasco
Maybe I've been covering Internet security topics for so long that I have become too cynical. But the recent song-and-dance routine that Microsoft officials offered to explain away the Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) controversy sounded very much out of step to me. From my perspective, Microsoft got caught with its hands in my computers when I wasn't supposed to be looking. Story:
Item 9: One of the neatest things I've seen in computing in years
This is really a neat thing for many people who use a computer. Come to the next meeting, Saturday, and I will talk about it in depth.