Tico Byte

August 2009

Hello PC Clubbers,

The next meeting of the PC Club of Costa Rica is this Saturday, August 15th, at 9am, at the Pan American School in Belen. ( I knew you knew that.)  So mark that in your mental calendar and put it on the fridge.  And come with an open mind, a happy heart and an appetite for donuts.  It ought to be a good one; lots to cover.

The first item on the Tico Byte menu is:

Item 1: From our inimitable Dick Sandlin

Windows 7, An update.  Last month I reported that my installation of Windows 7 Release Candidate (W7RC) was mostly successful on an older laptop.  I picked that machine because I knew that it was the lower end of the target population.  All went well except that I couldn’t find a driver for the display adapter, so the more ziffy-wow graphics didn’t work or were really slow.


This month, I was able to download the release version and, to my surprise, there were no surprises.  It works just like the RC and I still haven’t found a driver for the laptop’s display adapter.  The release does not upgrade from the RC, but it does from Vista or XP.  I also installed it on my office computer, which is a mini-tower that has plenty of horsepower.  That installation hit a glitch and I got a message that the Vista installation it was upgrading was on an “unsupported version of NTFS”, so I had to reformat the partition to go forward.  Everything went well after that, except that it was necessary to reinstall my applications and redo my bookmarks.  Fortunately, I keep all of my data on a separate hard drive.


Windows 7 looks very much like Vista.  Some of the administrative stuff has changed a little, but the display is just as pretty as Vista and it has all the gadgets.   The Microsoft blogs admit that the name was chosen in response to a backlash against Vista and the wish to get away from dates (like Windows 98 and 2000) that become obsolete too quickly.   One significant snag is that the free antivirus programs do not seem to work with W7, yet.   I bought a year’s protection from AVG for about $35.



Item 2: It behooves us to keep abreast of computer technologies.  Wanna know why?  Look:


After relying on a pacemaker for 20 years, Carol Kasyjanski has become the first American recipient of a wireless pacemaker that allows her doctor to monitor her health from afar -- over the Internet. When Kasyjanski heads to St. Francis Hospital in Roslyn, New York, for a routine check-up, about 90 percent of the work has already been done because her doctor logged into his computer and learned most of what he needed to know about his patient.


Rest of the story: http://tech.yahoo.com/news/nm/20090811/tc_nm/us_pacemaker



Item 3: Keep your mind open and active; you'll live longer.  Huh, what?


Farm Town”, Do you like online games?  This one is free and you play it through Facebook.   I have really gotten hooked on this game.  You start with an empty square lot and a small supply of coins.  You can spend coins to plow small squares and plant seeds.  After a while, your seeds grow and mature into crops, which you harvest and sell for more coins.  Repeat for the next crop, but along the way you can buy fences, tools, and other things that are useful on your farm.   Eventually, you advance to the next level and then you can buy even more useful things.  It’s great fun and soon you start to invite your friends to come and be your neighbors….  (Be sure to invite me, too.)



Item 4: And you thought Microsoft knew how to stay safe.


According to a recently released report by KnujOn and LegitScript, 90% of the Bing sponsored pharmacy ads were rogue ones, shipping counterfeit prescription drugs, with the bogus companies participating part of larger affiliate networks like this one analyzed last year.


The report also details a brand-jacking scheme allowing bogus advertisers the option to choose their own “Display URL” and a separate “Destination URL” for displaying their ads.


Full story: http://blogs.zdnet.com/security/?p=3993



Item 5: Blogging?  What's that?  Oh yeah, the thing young people do who have too much to say.  Or not . . .


Blogs for all.  Did you ever want to have your own blog?  It is easy to do and it can be free, if you work it right.  There are several good tools available to help you.  You can publish “posts” on any topic that you like and wait for your readers to comment on them.  Check out my website at http://www.sandlindata.com for more details on how to do it.  You can see my blog at http://ricardosandlin.wordpress.com.  It's called "Half Full or Half Empty?"


Ask Dick Sandlin about this, if you want more information, at the next meeting.



Item 6: Cell phones and life


At the next meeting we are going to talk about the cell phone technology and how it may interact with your life.  Don't think so?  Think again.  Anyone with cell phone experience and knowledge,  bring them both and share.  You will all be surprised what's out there and how it works.  Come and figure it out (before your grandkids do).


I hope to see you at on Saturday.  If not . . . you will miss a good time.



Chuck, Ken and Dick