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July 2013 Issue 374

MEETING STARTS - 09:30 - JULY 13th
VILLANOVA UNIVERSITY, ST. AUGUSTINE, ROOM 110
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UPCOMING MEETING

BEHIND THE SCENES

"Behind the Scenes" is a look at the work flow, resources, and individuals who give life to your club's newsletter, website, and audio files. We'll take a look at the work flow process and software used by the club's worker bees to prepare the newsletter, update the website, and make the audio files available between meetings.

Hopefully, you will come to appreciate the effort of a few that act in your behalf. You may even learn something new.

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ANNOUNCEMENTS & REMINDERS

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LAST MONTH'S MEETING

Attendance:
10 people in all attended the meeting on Saturday, June 8th. One of the 10 attendees was a virtual attendee via Google+ Hangout video chat.

Main Meeting Q&A:
We began last month's meeting with our normal round of questions and announcements. Among the questions and announcements:

Bill B -

Tom J -

Peter W -

Don W -

Joan S -

Layton F -

John M -

Rich T -

Ted K -

Main Meeting Program:
The main meeting presentation topic was "SSD Guide" and was presented by John M.

John started the presentation with a demonstration of the boot speed of his Windows 7 dual drive 17" Acer laptop. He then got into the differences between SSD, SSHD, and HDD drives. The advantages and disadvantages of each was noted.

The bulk of his presentation was from this web link: http://www.speedguide.net/articles/ssd-speed-tweaks-3319 where we learned about differences in SLC, MLC, and TLC SSD technology. The rest of the presentation focused on do's and dont's for maximizing speed and longevity of an SSD. Specific attention was paid to partition alignment, TRIM support, and a number of things to consider to mitigate the number of writes to an SSD to maintain its longevity.

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MEETING RELATED SIDEBAR

This section contains web links & other info related to the club or some of the subjects we discussed during our round table discussions and main presentation.

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GOOGLE SEARCH GUIDE
http://www.googleguide.com/

Google Guide is an online interactive tutorial and reference for experienced users, novices, and anyone in between. It will help you become a more sophisticated Google search user.

What Google Guide Explains
In this tutorial, you can learn

and, of course, there’s much more.

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WI-FI CHANNEL INTERFERANCE
http://compnetworking.about.com/od/wifihomenetworking/qt/wifichannel.htm

Wi-Fi Analyzer

Most Wi-Fi wireless home networks transmit their signals in a narrow radio frequency range around 2.4 GHz. Various other electronic devices in a home, such as cordless phones, garage door openers, baby monitors, and microwave ovens, may also use this same frequency range. Any such device can interfere with a wireless home network, slowing down its performance and potentially breaking network connections.

Likewise, the wireless networks of neighbors generally all use the same form of radio signaling. Especially in residences that share walls with each other, interference between different home networks is not uncommon.

The 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi signal range is divided into a number of smaller bands or channels, similar to television channels. In most countries, Wi-Fi equipment provides a set of available channels to choose from. In the United States, for example, any of the Wi-Fi channels 1 through 11 can be chosen when setting up a wireless LAN (WLAN). Setting this Wi-Fi channel number appropriately provides one way to avoid sources of wireless interference.

Many wireless products in the U.S. ship with a default Wi-Fi channel of 6. If encountering interference from other devices within the home, consider changing the channel up or down to avoid it. Note that all Wi-Fi devices on the network must use the same channel.

Unlike television channels, some Wi-Fi channel numbers overlap with each other. Channel 1 uses the lowest frequency band and each subsequent channel increases the frequency slightly. Therefore, the further apart two channel numbers are, the less the degree of overlap and likelihood of interference. If encountering interference with a neighbor's WLAN, change to a distant channel. Both channels 1 and 11 do not overlap with the default channel 6; use one of these three channels for best results.

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FIREFOX POP-UP BLOCKER SETTING

The Firefox pop-up blocker setting can be found in the Firefox Options Settings Content Tab as shown.

Firefox Pop-up Blocker Setting

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WINDOWS 8.1 (WINDOWS "BLUE") EXPECTED FEATURES
http://www.itpro.co.uk/desktop-software/19622/windows-81-release-date-price-and-features

Microsoft's Windows 8.1 will debut at the Build 2013 conference on June 26.

What is Windows 8.1?
Windows Blue as it has been codenamed is Microsoft’s first major upgrade to the Windows 8 desktop operating system.

The launch of 8.1 will mark a change in strategy for Microsoft. Instead of releasing new editions of Windows after lengthy development cycles, going forward Redmond is expected to refresh its OS on a yearly basis. Windows 8.1 will offer much more than a traditional "Service Pack", making it comparable to Apple's annual OS X updates.

Lockscreen
Microsoft already allows users to set a picture password. With Windows 8.1, this feature will be expanded so the lockscreen can be turned into a picture frame by pulling images from local storage or SkyDrive galleries. It will also be possible to take pictures with the camera without having to log into the device.

Start button
As has been widely reported, the Start button will return. However, Microsoft has been ambiguous about the functionality it will offer.

Redmond claims the Start button will always be visible on the desktop and when in the Live Tile interface it will appear when mouse is moved to the bottom left-hand corner. It is highly unlikely the Start Button will have the same functionality as Windows 7.

Booting to alternate screens
Another feature which has been craved is the ability to boot straight to the desktop. Although Microsoft has stopped short of confirming this, it has said there will be options to boot to alternate screens.

“For example, if you prefer to see the Apps view versus all the tiles, you can choose to have the Start screen go directly to Apps view," said Antoine Leblond,corporate VP of the Windows program management said.

Internet Explorer 11
Microsoft has noted that IE 11, debut with Windows 8.1. Improvements touted include better touch performance and faster page loading times. Users will also be able to choose whether they always want the address bar to show and have an unlimited number of tabs open at the same time. Tabs can also be synced across Windows 8.1 devices.

Tiles
Microsoft has introduced different sizes including the large and small tile. It is also possible to select multiple apps at the same time and resize, uninstall or rearrange them.

You can view all apps just by swiping from the bottom to view all apps, and we’ve added the ability to filter your apps by name, date installed, most used, or by category.

SkyDrive
Files will automatically be saved to SkyDrive and Microsoft also stated that the refreshed app will grant offline access to documents.

Apps
It will be easier to use multiple apps in Windows 8.1. Microsoft claims users will be able to resize apps to any size, share the screen between two apps, or have up to three apps on each screen if you have a multiple displays connected.

Users will multiple displays will also be able to run different Windows Store apps on screens as well as the Start Screen. Windows 8.1 also allows you can have multiple windows of the same app snapped together – such as two Internet Explorer windows.

PC Settings
The Settings features has been beefed up, meaning you will not have to go into your Control Panel. It will be possible to change your display resolution, set power options, see the make and model of the device, change product key, update Windows Update, and join domains.

Users will also be able to manage SkyDrive accounts from this menu.

Pricing
TBC. There are no details on pricing, but Windows Blue is expected to be low-cost much like Apple’s yearly Mac OS X upgrades, which retail at $30 per licence.

NOTE: Windows 8.1 will be a FREE update for current Windows 8 users.

Release date
A public preview is going to be made available to users on the 26th June to coincide with Microsoft's Build event. The RTM is expected to follow in Autumn.

Speaking at the Wired Business Conference on May 7, Julie Larson-Green corporate vice-president for Windows, revealed that a public preview of Windows Blue will be made available on 24 June.

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BEAGLEBONE BLACK COMPUTER BOARD
http://beagleboard.org/Products/BeagleBone+Black

BeagleBone Black Computer Board

What is BeagleBone Black?
BeagleBone Black is a $45 MSRP community-supported development platform for developers and hobbyists. Boot Linux in under 10 seconds and get started on development in less than 5 minutes with just a single USB cable.

Processor: AM335x 1GHz ARM® Cortex-A8

Connectivity

Software Compatibility

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SOFTWARE WORTH A LOOK

NOOK FOR ANDROID
(FREE, for Android by Barnes & Noble)
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=bn.ereader&feature=search_result#

Choose from NOOK books, magazines, newspapers, and comics on your Android smartphone or tablet*. Shop tons of titles including bestsellers, new releases and timeless classics. Sample any NOOK Book for FREE – or try any newspaper or magazine subscription FREE for 14 Days.

Plus, NOOK for Android now supports NOOK Comics with Zoom View**. Read your favorite comics, graphic novels, and manga on your Android tablet and smartphone.

NOOK for Android lets you choose from different font sizes, turn pages with the flick of a finger, and search for words in the downloadable in-app dictionary. You can also sideload ePub files, and easily lend books to friends with the LendMe™ feature. The app even comes loaded with free books.

And so you never lose your place, NOOK for Android syncs the last page you've read across your smartphone, tablet, or computer. No matter which device, always pick up right where you left off.

NOOK FOR ANDROID FEATURES:

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WIFI ANALYZER FOR ANDROID
(FREE, Android)
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.farproc.wifi.analyzer

Turns your android phone into a Wi-Fi analyzer!!
Shows the Wi-Fi channels around you. Helps you to find a less crowded channel for your wireless router.

wifi analyzerwifi analyzer2

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INSSIDER FOR HOME WIFI ANALYZER APPS
(FREE for Android & Windows; $5 for Mac)
http://www.metageek.net/products/inssider/

inSSIDer for Home gives you visibility into your Wi-Fi environment.

This Wi-Fi network discovery tool displays every wireless hotspot’s MAC address, encryption, signal strength and channel, and is the standard troubleshooting tool for millions of Wi-Fi users throughout the world.

Measure Wi-Fi Signal Strength
inSSIDer for Home helps you measure the signal strength and estimate the performance of your Wi-Fi in various locations. See how walls, stairways, and doors affect your wireless network coverage.

Pick a Better Channel for Your Wi-Fi
All Wi-Fi must share channels with other networks in the environment. Too many networks sharing or overlapping a channel can slow down the performance of all Wi-Fi networks on that channel. This Wi-Fi scanner helps you see the best channel for your Wi-Fi.

Make Sure Your Wi-Fi is Secure
inSSIDer will help you determine which security setting your Wi-Fi is using, reducing the risk of unauthorized access into your home network.

inSSIDer for Home Youtube video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y0SVoQqYcsw

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DIRECTIONS TO MEETING ROOM

Meetings are in the St. Augustine Center (SAC) at Villanova University. The regular monthly sessions meet in Room 110.

VU Map

Enter from the ITHAN AVENUE main gate, then proceed to the upper level of the 2-level parking building adjacent to the St. Augustine Center on the Ithan Avenue side of the building. (Click for link to Google Map)

NOTE: additional map & direction links on our website home page - http://mlcug.org/

MLCUG Meetings Schedule Steering Committee Meetings
July 13 July 17
August 10 August 14
September 14 September 18

CLUB STAFF

Editor: John W. Deker, Jr. 2210 Lantern Lane, Lafayette Hill, PA 19444-2211
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Club eMail Server for members only...
Web Page http://mlcug.org/
Publicity Position OPEN!
Villanova Sponsor Prof. Frank Maloney, Dept. of Astronomy


MLCUG STEERING COMMITTEE:

President John Deker 610-828-7897
V.President Al Gottlieb 215-793-9725
Treasurer / Sec John Deker 610-828-7897
Webmaster Peter_Whinnery 610-284-5234
At Large Layton Fireng 610-688-2080
At Large Tom Johnson 610-896-2434
At Large Wendy Emery 215-765-3328
At Large Nelson_Schrock 610-834-0117
Audio Scribe John Murphy 610-935-4398