Main Line Commodore User Group


July 2009 Issue 326


MEETING STARTS - 09:30 -- JULY 11th



NOTE: Our July meeting will be in ROOM 310, NOT 110 where we normally meet!!

At our July meeting we'll begin to take a look at some of the tools and utilities that Microsoft makes for WinXP and Vista. Some of these utilities come with the OS, some you have to download from the Microsoft website. Many of you may already be familiar with some of these utilities, BUT I don't think very many of you will be familiar with all of them. However, all of you should know that these utilities exist and the basics of what they can do for you when your computer is behaving poorly.

The utilities I plan to present are in the following list:

I have used just about all the above utilities at least once during the past 12 months and with the exception of MGADiag and Windows Installer CleanUp Utility, I suspect I will use them again in the next 12 months. So, I suspect you may find some value in knowing about them.



1) If you are a member and did not attend the December 2008 meeting, then you likely missed out on getting one of the end of year club flash drives with embedded software as a Christmas gift. If so, and you would like one, contact John D to make arrangements to get yours. The flash drives will normally be available to members at our regular monthly meeting.

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.



Attendance: 10 people in all attended the meeting on Saturday, June 13th.

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 spoke about Threatfire AV program updates, the new Hulu Desktop media player, the Pandora One streaming music player, the club list server being offline, the 5 county haz waste and computer recycling website, and the longevity of lithium ``AA'' batteries in an Apple mouse; Don W sought info about HP's desktop battery recall and Verizon's user homepage; Marty spoke about Fred Langa's and Brian Livingston's donation based website and about Diana Volcheck's cleaning out of Emil's (deceased) computer stuff; Ted K sought info on battery recharging and a Sony Watchman TV; Joan spoke about her Canon camera; Layton told about emailing a friend a JPG picture and being blamed for sending malware and showed us a Panasonic camera with a Leica lens and discussed the best batteries to use with cameras; John M showed us a new Dell laptop that supports the use of 2 HD's, answered some of Layton's questions about the club audio processing equipment, and mentioned the Samsung Blu-Ray player bundles; Rich asked questions about Windows 7 and Mac sales, and noted issues related to the digital TV transition, and Ed noted his issues related to a computer showing a blue screen on shutdown and another computer freezing during startup where it was suggested he might have a hard drive problem..

Main Meeting Program:
This month's main meeting topic was the Canon Hack Development Kit (CHDK) for Canon cameras. The presentation was given by John M. John's presentation was somewhat truncated since our round-table discussion took longer that expected. However, John covered the main points very well in the 45 minutes that he was allotted.

John started his presentation by taking us to the

website mentioned immediately in the next section of this newsletter. This wiki describes in detail the capabilities and compatibility of the free Canon add-on software. In addition, the wiki site also provides links to additional software that may be of value for manipulating RAW image files made possible by the CHDK software. Some of this software is presented in the software section of this newsletter.



CHDK (info site) (download site)

CHDK is not just one thing! The term CHDK refers to free software -- currently available for many (but not all) Canon PowerShot compact digital cameras -- that you can load onto your camera's memory card to give your camera greatly enhanced capabilities.

CHDK is a firmware enhancement that operates on a number of Canon Cameras. CHDK gets loaded into your camera's memory upon bootup (either manually or automatically). It provides additional functionality beyond that currently provided by the native camera firmware. CHDK is not a permanent firmware upgrade: you decide how it is loaded (manually or automatically) and you can always easily remove it.

Quick facts:

DNG4PS-2 About DNG for PowerShot-2 (DNG4PS-2) is free software for conversion of Canon PowerShot cameras RAW files into Digital Negative (DNG) format.

Supported cameras: A610, A620, A630, A640, A710 IS, S2 IS, S3 IS, A700, G7, A560, A570 IS, IXUS 700, IXUS 70, IXUS 800, A720 IS, S5 IS, IXUS 950, A650 IS, A460, SD800 IS, A530, A540.


Known issues

Lightbox Image Editor

There are 2 versions available -- the FREE and the PLUS (~$20).

Windows only: LightBox is an extremely user friendly tool for editing photos when you need more than a simple crop and resize but less than a full out Photoshop massaging.

Both Lightbox Basic and Lightbox Plus share the same core features:

Threatfire -- Unique AV Software (FREE version available for Windows)

ThreatFire is dramatically different to traditional antivirus software. Normal antivirus products usually need to have first identified and seen a threat before they can provide adequate protection against it. The protection is then provided via a signature or fingerprint update, which must first be written by an antivirus researcher. This creates a large window of time where threats are undetected and can therefore infect your PC even when you have antivirus software installed. How can ThreatFire protect me when traditional antivirus can't? ThreatFire continually protects your PC against attacks by detecting malicious behavior, such as capturing your keystrokes or stealing your data, instead of only looking for known threats like normal antivirus software. By implementing sophisticated real-time behavioral analysis ThreatFire is able to stop never- before-seen "zero-day" threats solely by detecting their malicious activity.

Hulu Desktop

Overview Hulu Desktop is a lean-back viewing experience for your personal computer. It features a sleek new look that's optimized for use with standard Windows Media Center remote controls or Apple remote controls, allowing you to navigate Hulu's entire library with just six buttons. For users without remotes, the application is keyboard and mouse-enabled. Hulu Desktop is a downloadable application and will work on PCs and Macs. It will initially launch as a beta product during which we plan to gather and incorporate user feedback to improve the service.

Pandora One Desktop (Requires a registered paid account, $36/year)

With the Pandora Desktop Application, you can play your Pandora music stations right from your desktop -- without opening a new browser window. Plus, because the desktop app is only available as part of Pandora One, your music is completely free of all advertising.


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 -

MLCUG Meetings 2009      Steering Committee Meetings
    July 11			July 15
    August 8			August 12
    September 12		September 16

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...
VILLANOVA SPONSOR:	Prof. Frank Maloney, Dept. of Astronomy

PRESIDENT: John Deker 		610-828-7897	
TREASURER/SEC: John Deker 	610-828-7897	
WEBMASTER: Peter Whinnery 	610-284-5234	
AT LARGE:  Tom Johnson		610-896-2434	
AT LARGE:  Wendy Emery		215-765-3328
V.PRESIDENT: Al Gottlieb  	215-793-9725
DATABASE: Layton Fireng		610-688-2080
AT LARGE: Nelson Schrock	610-834-0117
AT LARGE: John Murphy		610-935-4398