Main Line Computer Users Group


Dec 2002 Issue 247

VILLANOVA UNIVERSITY, ST. AUGUSTINE CENTER, ROOM 110

MEETING STARTS - 09:30 - DEC 14 th


THIS MONTH'S CONTENTS
MAIN LINE COMPUTER USERS As noted elsewhere in this issue, we had a bang-up demo on networking last month; and we'll continue that tack this month. BUT, the end of 2002 has rolled around and it's time for a little celebration (to kick off another year of fun and knowledge).

For the program, John Murphy will build on the two- and multi-computer networking and file sharing. Now, he'll cover the other piece of network sharing - PRINTER sharing. He'll set up the simple network between his laptop and the club PC - with a printer installed and connected to the laptop. Then, he'll show how to get the club PC to recognize and print across the network to that laptop-attached printer.

We expect to have more than enough time to enjoy a passel of treats AND a well-endowed RAFFLE! We have a slew of items (some real goodies) to raffle off. Treasurer Stew Stewart will be selling raffle tickets for $1 (or 6 for $5). Since we have so many prizes, you may want to buy a bunch as there will be multiple chances to win something!!!

While this fun part is going on, we'll be showing a tutorial videotape. Emil has got a hold of a group of VHS tapes and a pack of CDs that cover all kinds of topics. This time, the show will be on "CD Writing" - which we hope you'll enjoy and learn from. Come for some fun...!!


Last Month - Networking

Great show! For our November meeting, we had an above-average 20 attendees. And, I'm sure they all felt it was a worthwhile session.

Special thanks go out to John Murphy for the triple demo of "home" networking at today's meeting. All three WORKED! See the summary later.

Also, thanks to Marty Caulfield for his usual perseverance in setting up the hardware, and taking it down. The job gets bigger as we make the club setup more complicated. We owe these members some real thanks! [cont'd]

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ANNOUNCEMENTS & COMMENTS
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RENEWAL TIME HAS RUN OUT! - yes, the year has ended and, if you have not got your $15 dues for 2003 in by year-end, this will be your last issue of the MLCUG newsletter! We sincerely hope that that will not be the case for any of our current, loyal members. In 2003, we plan to continue to provide help with those "everyday" (unfortunately) problems, as well as improve your knowledge and understanding of the beasts! So, please show your support with a check sent to our treasurer, Stew. Remember that MLCUG has been here for more than 20 years for fun and aid, hang in there for more! The critical info is on p.7.

SPEAKING OF 20 YEARS - for some months now, member John Murphy has been working on the big job of scanning into .pdf files EVERY issue of the newsletter that has been published since issue number 0, in April of 1982. Some time around the end of 1Q03, we plan to offer to all our members a CD that will contain the first 20 years of issues (all 241 of them)!! The CDs will cost $10 per copy and folks can buy more than one, if they choose. This is a preliminary notice as the scanning is almost completed now. Setting up the CD format and beginning the duplication process will take a bit longer. So, send in those dues and be prepared for a real memento!!

THE EMAILING LIST - for those members who have provided an email address, we have subscribed them to the MLCUG listserver (operated most graciously by Pete Whinnery and the UPenn system). This is a way to catch early announcements, hear about problems (and solutions?) between the meetings. You can get (and give) help. A useful tool we feel; so when renewing, consider including your email address in that spot on the form.

BUILD-A-PC! - at the October steering meeting, a possible in-meeting, hands-on club project surfaced. That was the potential for a "build-it-yourself" new club computer that would be planned and implemented at our regular monthly meetings. This would serve a couple of purposes: 1) update the club PC, which is now almost six years old (and unlikely to be upgradeable to Windows XP which we may want to do in the not-too-distant future), 2) give members insight into the process and allow them to decide if they'd like to tackle such an endeavour for themselves and 3) help folks decide what they might want in a new computer.

We asked for input from the members last time. Have not had much; so before dumping the idea, we'd like to get a better sense that folks are interested. Plan to give us your 'yea' or 'nay' vote at the December meeting. If you can't attend, post on the email list or feedback to a committee member.

REGULAR REMINDER - Attendees know that we have a very fast internet connection from the VU meeting room! So, if you have a very large download, you could bring along a zip disk (or a CD- R/RW) and get it done there, either before or after the main meeting.

LUNCH - a half dozen or so of the regular attendees, usually partake of lunch at the Villanova Diner after the meeting. Why not join us? It is a good time to get a little more help (or give it) and just to have fun talking about our common interests. The food is quite good, too!

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Windows XP "News"

If you did not see John Fried's recent column, he noted that Windows XP no longer supports the 720K, 3.5" floppy disk. So, anyone who's been in the PC arena for many years ought to check back on their archived disks.

If you have any 720K disks, better transfer the files to some other medium, at least to 1.44MB.

With stuff going away, I'm wondering about keeping a reasonably capable PC with 3.5 and 5.25" floppies and Windows 98 - just in case folks have "older" (and that does NOT mean real old) software or data that needs to be read or converted......

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Crazy Eddie's Tip of the Day:

If you've ever run MSCONFIG to disable annoying resource hogging startup applications, and were confronted with a bunch of weird names that are totally meaningless and confusing, this site is for you !!!

www.pacs-portal.co.uk/startupUpages /startupUfull.htm

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HARD DRIVE TIDBIT

Have you felt shortchanged? When your new, big, hard drive turns out to be not-so-big?

I recently got a new 40 GB hard drive - so, saw that in action:

The manufacturer reports it is a 40 GB capacity, which translated to:

40,015,953,920 bytes or 39,078,080 Kbytes or 38,162.19 Mbytes or 37.27 Gbytes

So, Windows tells me that I have 37.2 GB of space on the drive.

No, this is not intended to make you think you've been scammed. It is just a reminder, again, that manufacturers and programmers do not always talk on the same wavelength! Because real people use the decimal system (manufacturers?) and computer folk, for ease in computation, use the "binary"-modified decimal system (a kilo is 1,000 for people, but 1,024 for programmers).

So, your 100 MB zip disk is 96 MB, as your OS sees it, and so on.

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Anti-Virus Tip

Before you get ready to run a virus scan - with your newly downloaded virus definition update - a bit of cleaning may speed things up.

Specifically, deleting temp files, Temporary Internet files, the Netscape cache, THEN emptying the recycle bin will definitely help.

Another aid is to make sure your AV is watching your downloads, then doing those downloads to a removable storage device (for example: zip drive, CD-R or CD-RW). Since most downloads are compressed archives - which your AV software should be set to scan - they, too, can take up big hunks of time.

Any suggestions for other ways to speed up your AV scans WITHOUT lessening their effectiveness?

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LAST MONTH'S MEETING
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Now on to the meeting report: Simple Networking

The summary below is my transcription and editing of the procedure that John Murphy demonstrated at the November meeting for connecting two computers together using an ethernet link.

For those who attended, please look it over carefully for completeness and accuracy. Feedback any errors or enhancements; so I can have a proper document, as I plan to make it a tutorial document for posting in the MLCUG download area of our website.

In addition to this 2-computer setup, John also demoed the two steps up, namely; 1) multiple (two for now) computers connected via an ethernet switch, then 3) to a cable/DSL router.

Setup 2) required essentially no software changes, just the insertion of a multi-port ethernet hub or switch (John used a 5-port switch for the demo). When the crossover cable was removed and a separate piece of regular CAT5 cable was used to connect each computer to a separate port on the switch, the computers were immediately able to resume their conversation. The difference being that now, three (3) more computers could be added to the network. And, since switches come in port numbers up to 64 or more, and can be ganged, the number of devices you can connect is immense!

Then, setup 3) let the router assign IP (Internet Protocol) addresses, in place of the manual setting described below. This was done by the DHCP server built into the router. The computers were able to continue to nicely talk to each other, as in the setups 1) and 2); but now they could each - independently and simultaneously - connect to the internet via the Villanova main ethernet network.

As for the 'simple' demo, this one also worked very nicely. All the systems behaved! From this point, no further modification of the basic network is required to extend to a larger home network. Yours truly has had a total of fourteen (14) devices on his home network, with thirteen (13) of them accessing the internet, independently. This took place via a cable modem broadband setup that, so far, has handled many devices working the 'net as tho none others were also doing it!!

If there are questions about these ethernet-based network arrangements, bring them up at the next meeting. Or, conversely, post them on the email list server. We'll all try to get the answers. And, for those who did NOT make the meeting, this will give you a feel for what happened and (hopefully) provide some guidance if you'd like to experiment.

AND, provide some incentive to attend the next part where there'll be a partial re-run in order to complete this ethernet networking subject.

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SIMPLEST HOME NETWORK!

This article is based on a demonstration at the November 9, 2002 MLCUG meeting, where member John Murphy demonstrated the simplest possible network arrangement: 2 computers (each having an ethernet card installed) and one length of ethernet cable.

For the system to work, each computer must have an ethernet card installed (or have the capability built into the motherboard, as many newer computers do). The only other need is a length of CAT5 CROSSOVER cable.

With the cable connected to the 2 ethernet cards, the next step uses the Network Control Panel:

a. click Start, slide to Settings, click Control Panel b. double-click the Network icon to open her up c. make sure that the upper box lists these components:

Client for Microsoft Networks your ethernet adapter the TCP/IP protocol File and printer sharing

Note: click the "File and printer sharing" button and make sure there is a dot in the "I want to allow others to access my files".

d. double-click the TCP/IP line for your network adapter e. in the resulting box, click the line that says "specify an IP address" f. then fill in an IP address suitable for your local network, for example: 192.168.1.1 and 192.168.1.2 for the two computers g. type in the subnet mask - 255.255.255.0 h. click OK and return to the first box i. click the Identification tab and fill in a UNIQUE name for your computer (anything will do, except the two computers have to be DIFFERENT j. then fill in the workgroup name. Again most anything will do, except that BOTH computers must have the SAME workgroup name. k. the third box is optional, but is a convenient spot to tell other network users something useful, like; "Computer in Dad's study". l. OK your way out of the control panel and restart your computer (you'll get a notice saying that it's needed).

Both computers now know enough to start talking to each other. However, if you want to transfer files from one to the other, one more step is needed, namely; a shared resource.

m. create a new folder (preferably on your data drive) and name it something obvious, like; "Shared" n. right-click the new folder, click on Sharing and a box will open showing the folder properties. Click the "shared as' button and more boxes will open, the first with the default folder name. Then, since you are likely to want to share files both ways, you'll want to click on the "access type" full button.

You can then require a password or not, as you choose. The new folder will become immediately available on the network, without restarting.

Both computers should see themselves and the other computer in their "Network Neighborhood" or Windows Explorer, and the shared data folders can be opened and files transferred both ways.

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VIRI, WORMS, SPAM and SCAMS

by Tony diPiano, EPCC

Please be wary of any emails that have the subject:

you have an E-card from

Permanently delete this email and do NOT open it. It will attempt to have you follow a link to a website that will send the e-card automatically to all of your contacts.

Although this is not a virus that does damage to your pc, it does attempt to make you a partner in spamming everyone on your contact list with the E-card message.

If you have already opened it AND if you have clicked on the link to the web site AND if you have installed the program the web site asks you to install, then follow these removal instructions:

* Click Start/Settings/Control Panel * Click 'Add/Remove Programs' * Highlight the 'Friends Greeting' application and click remove. * Highlight the 'Win Srv Reg' application and click remove.

[ejv: coincidentally, within a day of seeing this warning, I got one of those e-card greeting messages, followed by another message from the proported senders saying they actually had not sent the message and it was malware!]

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NETWORKING TUTORIALS

TIP: the following is quite a compendium on networking security. It may answer questions you have, or provide some grist for further queries:

http://www.cert.org/techUtips /homeUnetworks.html

In addition, there are a bunch more tutorials on home networking out there.

Last month, we used homenethelp.com; but you can also check on:

homepcnetwork.com howstuffworks.com

Tell us if you find more.....

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KVM switch

To enhance our ability to troubleshoot member's hardware, in October, I brought in a 2-port KVM switch to become a part of the regular meeting hardware lineup. This switch allows us to hook up two computers, power both up and share the one each, (K)eyboard, (V)ideo, and (M)ouse.

At a button press, we can switch back and forth - keeping both systems thinking they each have their own K, V & M.

So, if someone needs to bring in a PC to test (or whatever), we can get it ready to look at without having to swap all the hardware. Hopefully, it will add to our troubleshooting capability. [EJV]

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How the Internet Began

From: Rkajaria@aol.com

In ancient Israel, it came to pass that a trader by the name of Abraham Com did take unto himself a young wife by the name of Dot. And Dot Com was a comely woman, broad of shoulder and long of leg. Indeed, she had been called Amazon Dot Com.

She said unto Abraham, her husband, "Why doth thou travel far from town to town with thy goods when thou can trade without ever leaving thy tent?"

And Abraham did look at her as though she were several saddle bags short of a camel load, but simply said, "How, Dear?"

And Dot replied, "I will place drums in all the towns and drums in between to send messages saying what you have for sale and they will reply telling you which hath the best price. And the sale can be made on the drums and delivery made by Uriah's Pony Stable (UPS)."

Abraham thought long and decided he would let Dot have her way with the drums. The drums rang out and were an immediate success. Abraham sold all the goods he had at the top price, without ever moving from his tent.

But this success did arouse envy. A man named Maccabia did secret himself inside Abraham's drum and was accused of insider trading. And the young men did take to Dot Com's trading as doth the greedy horsefly take to camel dung. They were called Nomadic Ecclesiastical Rich Dominican Siderites, or NERDS for short.

And lo, the land was so feverish with joy at the new riches and the deafening sound of drums that no one noticed that the real riches were going to the drum maker, one Brother William of Gates, who bought up every drum company in the land. And indeed did insist on making drums that would work only with Brother Gates' drumheads and drumsticks.

Dot did say, "Oh, Abraham, what we have started is being taken over by others."

And as Abraham looked out over the Bay of Ezekiel, or as it came to be known "eBay" he said, "We need a name that reflects what we are,"

and Dot replied, "Young Ambitious Hebrew Owner Operators."

"YAHOO", said Abraham.

And that is how it all began. It wasn't Al Gore after all.

DIRECTIONS FOR ST. AUGUSTINE CENTER MEETING ROOM

Meetings are in the St. Augustine Center at Villanova University. The regular monthly sessions will be meeting in Room 110.

[Map goes here]

Enter from the ITHAN AVENUE main gate, then proceed to the 2-level parking building adjacent to St. Augustine, on the Ithan Avenue side of the building.

NOTE: maps on our webpage - http://astro4.ast.vill.edu/mlcug/


PC/128/64 Meetings  2002-3  Steering Committee Meetings

                      December 14                       December 18
                      January 11                        January 15
                      February 8                        February 12 **
     * = first Saturday     ** = second THURSDAY at Tom Johnson's home
***************************************************************************************
EDITOR:  Emil J. Volcheck, Jr.   1046 General Allen Lane    West Chester, PA 19382-8030
(Produced with C-128D/SCPU 128, RAMlink, HD-40/85, 1571, FD-4000, THE WRITE STUFF 128, XETEC
Super Grafix, Canon BJ-200ex, Swiftlink and Motorola 288 modem)

           MLCUG BBS: 610-828-1359 ( 300 --> 33600 bps ), 24 hr/day
                 WWW: http://astro4.ast.vill.edu/mlcug/
           PUBLICITY: Robyn Josephs 610-565-4058
   VILLANOVA SPONSOR: Prof. Frank Maloney, Dept. of Astronomy

MLCUG STEERING COMMITTEE:
PRESIDENT: Emil Volcheck      610-388-1581   SECRETARY: Charles Curran    610-446-5239
TREAS/MEMBERS: Dewitt Stewart 610-623-5145   SYSOP/AMIGA SIG: John Deker  610-828-7897
INTERNET/Linux:Peter Whinnery 610-284-5234   DATABASE: Layton Fireng      610-688-2080
AT LARGE: Tom Johnson         610-525-3440   AT LARGE: John Murphy        610-935-4398