Main Line Commodore User Group

Newsletter


July 2008 Issue 314

VILLANOVA UNIVERSITY, ST. AUGUSTINE CENTER, ROOM 110

MEETING STARTS - 09:30 - JULY 12th


UPCOMING MEETING

MAIN MEETING TOPIC: EFFECTIVE SCANNING

ADVANCED SESSION TOPIC: MICROSOFT POWERSHELL (Expected to be deferred another month)

For our main presentation this month we plan to have Layton F present an overview on scanners and using them and their software for an effective post scan product. We'll talk about what makes an effective post scan product whether it be to create an emailed picture, a printed picture suitable for framing, a picture suitable for creating a poster, a PDF document, or an editable text document using OCR. Depending on the interest of the audience, this may be the first of a couple of scanner related talks this year. The focus of the presentation will be on flatbed scanners since they offer more versatility than multifunction all-in-one printer / fax / scanners.

We anticipate that we will not have time for the advanced session presentation this month as we expect the main meeting will run into overtime. However, if the main meeting does end by noon and there are a sufficient number of advanced session attendees, John M will be ready to assume center stage with a Powershell presentation.

Powershell is essentially for us CLI / Shell / scripting geeks who need a way to get the near impossible done and make the easily done even easier. At least that’s the way it seems to me in my own preliminary overview. Hopefully, John M can show us some practical examples of how we might put Powershell to use in our day-to-day computer operations. At the very least we will become aware of its capabilities and potential use.

For a peek at Powershell's features take a look at this link…

http://commandwindows.com/powershell.htm

So come out and join us for our July meeting. It’s a chance to learn how others are using and managing their computers and digital equipment.

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THIS ISSUE OF THE NEWSLETTER

This issue has been put together by the club treasurer, John D, who has become acting editor in Emil’s absence. Please excuse the changed appearance and content of this newsletter during this time.

Emil has been experiencing health problems which keep him from participating in the normal club activities. Please pray for his return to good health.

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ANNOUNCEMENTS & REMINDERS

1) If you are a member and did not attend the December meeting, then you likely missed out on getting the end of year club DVD. If so, and you would like a copy, contact John M to make arrangements to get the DVD. (See the LAST MONTH’S MEETING section of the January newsletter for more info about the DVD.)

2) Club membership entitles you to receive a copy of the newsletter and access to our email list server, which is run for the benefit of our members. Please do not hesitate to post club and computer related notices and problems to it. If we can’t solve your problem remotely, we can be alerted to it ahead of the monthly meeting where more hands-on may help resolve your problem.

3) A few of the regular attendees usually partake of lunch at the Country Squire Diner in Broomall near the intersection of Routes 3 and 320. So, after the meeting, why not join us? It’s an opportunity to get more help and to discuss our common interests.

LAST MONTH'S MEETING

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Attendance: 10 people in all attended the meeting on Saturday, June 14th. Those notably missing in action were Tom J, Al G, Rich T, Layton, and Joan.

Main Meeting Q&A: We began last month’s meeting with our normal round of questions and announcements. Among the questions and announcements, John D showed VMWare running WinXP on his MacBook, mentioned the pending release of FireFox 3 and crashes caused by WinXP SP3 on a rare Asian made router, and raised issue about some users having problems making True Image restorations; Marty had issues with AVG 8 and spoke about his iPod manual; Ralph spoke about ZoneAlarm, AVG 8 lockups, True Image issues, and his use of the ESET NOD32 AV; Don W wondered whether a free AV was good enough and spoke about connectivity and email concerns; Pat S showed his Wi-Fi range extender and spoke about rescue disk concerns; Ted K mentioned an email error issue; Peter W showed his iGo Bluetooth keyboard for his Nokia and his ASUS sub-laptop; Bill D brought attention to his bulk mail and spam issues; Ed C was seeking an old AC adapter; and John M mentioned a Vanity Fair article on Internet History and that Verizon was replacing early FIOS router power supplies because of premature failures.

Main Meeting Program: For the main meeting program John D did a quick presentation of 2 Google related subjects – Gspace and Google Notebook. A PDF of the presentation can be found here:

http://www.mlcug.org/Gspace_Google_Notebook.pdf

Gspace is a FireFox add-on for turning your Gmail account into an FTP like site for storing and retrieving files – kind of like an alternative to carrying a USB memory stick. For more information on the web check this URL:

http://www.getgspace.com/

Google Notebook is a potentially very useful web based application for anyone doing any kind of research on the web whether it be researching an item for personal use, such as researching an item to buy, or for school or work related research. The beauty of Google Notebook is that it offers an almost effortless way to capture raw web information related to a particular subject just by hi-lighting the selected information and right-clicking it to popup a menu and send it to your Google Notebook. Google Notebook will capture text, pictures, links, and the source URL. It will also capture hand typed notes. Once a notebook is complete, it can be exported with a couple of mouse clicks of the web based Notebook Tools menu to the word processor in Google Docs for editing and from there downloaded to your desktop and off-line word processor for final processing.

Currently, there are only Google Notebook add-ons for the FireFox and Internet Explorer browsers. Add-ons for other browsers are supposedly in the works. Without the add-ons, Google Notebook is not any more useful than copying and pasting to an off-line word processor.

For more information and an introduction to Google Notebook visit this website:

http://www.google.com/notebook

Advanced Meeting Program: Due to limited attendance, the June (originally April) MS Powershell presentation by John M was postponed until July or August when we will try again.

Miss The Meeting? NOTE: Recordings of the meetings (made and edited for the web by John M) are online for you to download and listen to. Go to our web site:

http://mlcug.org/

and scroll a bit down the page to locate the Audio Archives. The audio is accessible from the web site as MP3 files. You can download and listen to them as you choose!

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VISTA'S ADMINISTRATOR ACCOUNT

Content taken from: http://www.computerperformance.co.uk/vista/vista_administrator_activate.htm How to Activate the Hidden Vista Administrator Account - /Active:Yes Not many people know that Vista has a hidden super-user account.  I will show you how to activate this Vista Administrator account via a 'Net User' command.  One benefit of logging on as this super account is that you will never be prompted for the nagging UAC dialog box. Activating the Hidden Vista Administrator Account Key decision - decide if you need a password for the administrator's account that you are going to activate.  My point is that the local policy may insist on a complex password, thus you will not be able to activate the administrator with a blank password.  This technique also works on Windows Server 2008, however on that operating system it is more likely you will set /active:no.

Overview

  1. Logon to Vista using your usual account.
  2. Launch the cmd prompt - Make sure you select, 'Run as administrator'
  3. Net user administrator p£ssw0rD
  4. Net user administrator /active:yes
  5. Switch User, or logoff
  6. Logon as Administrator - Password p£ssw0rD
    (Your password may be different!)
Detailed Instructions to activate the Administrator
  1. Logon to Vista using your normal username and password.
  2. Click on the Start button
  3. Click on Start Search. 
  4. Type, cmd. 
  5. Right-click cmd, select 'Run as administrator' from the shortcut menu.
  6. In the black 'DOS box', type the following at the command line: Net help user
  7. The idea of the last command is just to observe the options for Net User.  In particular, examine the syntax to set the password.
  8. The next instruction is the crucial command.  I have chosen password = p£ssworD, you may want to choose different characters!
  9. Net user administrator p£ssw0rd
  10. Net user administrator /active:yes
  11. Check the message : The command completed successfully
  12. Switch User, or logoff
  13. Logon as Administrator - Password p£ssw0rD  (Your password may be different!)
Trap1:  There should be no space between the word 'active' and the colon.
    /active  :yes   is wrong.   
    /active:yes     is correct.
Trap2:  You need a forward slash before /active
     Net user administrator active:yes    is wrong
     Net user administrator /active:yes    is correct
Benefits of Vista's Hidden Administrator Account The main benefit of activating this hidden Vista Administrator is so that you have access to an account, which does not suffer from the annoying UAC dialog box.  Although it is possible to suppress the UAC with a local policy, there is a lingering fear that security is being weakened.  Another worry is that rumors persist that some commands don't work properly if you turn off the UAC.  Linked to the benefit of suppressing the UAC dialog box is the fact that this Administrator account has elevated privileges.  What this means is that if your run CMD you don't have to 'Run as administrator' before you get unrestricted access to the command line. Another benefit of knowing this method is to keep the hidden Vista administrator account as a 'back door', for example, if you inadvertently lock out your main account.  Sitting there at your computer, you can never believe that you will be so foolish as to lock yourself out, yet logic dictates that somewhere in the world, someone has just done that: locked themselves out of Vista.  Would not they like to know how to activate the administrator account?

Naturally, it is a case of administrator by name and administrator by function, this super user is a member of the Local Administrator's group.  In many ways this super Administrator account reminds me of the Unix root account.  As I am not a 'professor' of Unix I do not know if you can hide root, but you can hide Vista's administrator account with this command: Net user administrator /active:no.

Summary of Vista Administrator - Super User (Hidden Account)

One reason to activate the hidden Vista Administrator account is so that you are no longer nagged by the UAC (User Account Control) prompt.  The procedure is straightforward, just head for the cmd prompt and type:

  Net user administrator /active:yes.  

The only trap is that many systems require a complex password so that you need to add a password to the command string thus…

 Net user administrator p£ssw0rd
Then…
 Net user administrator /active:yes

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DIRECTIONS FOR ST. AUGUSTINE CENTER MEETING ROOM Meetings are in the St. Augustine Center at Villanova University. The regular monthly sessions meet in Room 110. 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.

NOTE: maps on our web page - http://micug.org/

      MLCUG Meetings 2008      Steering Committee Meetings
          July 12			July 16
          August 9			August 13
          September 13			September 17

EDITOR: Emil J. Volcheck, Jr. 1046 General Allen Lane West Chester, PA 19382-8030 ACTING EDITOR: John W. Deker, Jr. 2210 Lantern Lane Lafayette Hill, PA 19444-2211

Produced with PowerSpec 8922a: 2.6GHz Pentium 4, 3GB RAM, 640GB HD cap, Brother HL-5250DN laser printer, CD-RW/DVD±R/RW drives, Windows XP Home OS, MS Office XP, Ghostscript 8.54 & Bullzip PDF Printer software

MLCUG LISTSERV: for members only... OUR WEB PAGE: http://mlcug.org/

PUBLICITY: Position OPEN! VILLANOVA SPONSOR: Prof. Frank Maloney, Dept. of Astronomy

MLCUG STEERING COMMITTEE;
PRESIDENT: Emil Volcheck 	610-793-5156	
TREASURER: John Deker 		610-828-7897	
DATABASE: Layton Fireng		610-688-2080
WEBMASTER: Peter Whinnery 	610-284-5234	
SECRETARY: Position open
AT LARGE:  Tom Johnson		610-896-2434	
AT LARGE: Al Gottlieb		215-793-9725
AT LARGE: John Murphy		610-935-4398