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Show Their Wares

by Marlène Gaberel


IMAGE: DACS President Jim Scheff Opens The Meeting.With its many different speakers limited to a 10 minute period, the June 11th general meeting was not the chaos that Prez Jim Scheef has anticipated. Actually, the presentation went rather smoothly, with Officer Jeff Setaro, time clock in hand, keeping every speaker within their allotted minutes. All the products mentioned at the meeting are either freeware or shareware or free web pages. These utilities make the speaker's life easier and by sharing with members, we can take advantage of them too.

The first speaker was ex-Prez Allan Ostergren with Snag-It, a capture utility that he uses to create the DACS newsletter. One feature that I find very useful that Allan demonstrated is the capture of the files in the Windows Explorer that can be highlighted and printed. One can see the files from Explorer, but cannot print that information. Snag-it can also save the Explorer files list into an ASCII document. Snag-it is a product of Techsmith.

Allan was followed on the stage by Bruce Preston, who demonstrated three different utilities: Start/Stop, an application that starts at boot time and lets users "tweak" their starting programs. Bruce asked: "Ever wonder why your computer might be slow? All those neat little icons at the bottom of your screen may be slowing you down." With Start/Stop there is no need to go into the Settings of your start-up, and no need to go into the Registry; the utility will let users know what is there at start-up. Start/Stop, a freeware, is found at http://www.tfi-technology.com/startstop.htm.

The second utility presented by Bruce was Mailwasher, that keeps spam out and mails back to sender that there is no recipient at the address. Mailwasher bounces back to the sender. The messages checked with the utility never show to the senders that the e-mail has been received. The messages are shown as undeliverable. A right click will allow the user of mailwasher to see what mail is received in the mailbox without actually acknowledging receipt. Mailwasher is a utility that originates from New Zealand, the programmer asks users to pay whatever one can contribute, between $3.00 and $20.00. www.mailwasher.net/. This seems like a nice program to have in the days and age of growing spam.

IMAGE: Bruce Preston Answers Questions.Bruce closed his presentation, with a few seconds left, by showing X-Setup, a program that helps tweak Windows.

Don Neary demonstrated to the audience how to find out information about the economy, finance, mutual funds, and bonds before talking to your broker. The web site, cbs.marketwatch, at http://cbs.marketwatch.com/ that Don demonstrated has free membership. From the web you can track your portfolio, check out the latest news on the economy and how it affects publicly-traded companies. It offers recommendation, ratings and a load of useful information.

Matthew Greger, an Apple specialist, showed the audience the different possibility of organizing, creating catalogues, creating albums, slide shows and categorizing pictures with iPhoto, a built-in feature of OSX. It certainly compares favorably and even seems to exceed the features of Microsoft [Windows] XP. Matthew dazed us with beautiful pictures of kids that he accompanied with music.

Don Pearson and Bill Keane demonstrated a Linux utility, Wine (I find it funny that the web page www.winehq.com has a glass of the real thing) that is used to run Windows applications into Linux. One application, a Windows CD ran ok; the other run almost ok.

A non working Internet connection forced Prez Jim Scheef to tapdance away from his WinStock demo to ZDNet's Password Pro 32, a handy freeware utility that helps you track your various passwords. Use the program to store a list of usernames, passwords, and system information, and to set expiration warnings.

Ten minutes is just enough for members of the audience to get an idea of the product presented. All the programs mentioned and briefly described by the speakers have links from the DACS web page, a convenient feature for those of us that do not want to write all the wwws. All presenters did a great job, and demonstrated their particular products/web pages. It makes members want to learn more and check out the products.

Marlène Gaberel is a DACS board member and VP for Public Relations. You can e-mail her at: marlene_gaberel@yahoo .com.