Main Line Commodore User Group


July 2011 Issue 350


MEETING STARTS - 09:30 -- JULY 9th


(Windows File Sharing / Common Internet File System / Server Message Block)

This month we thought we would spend some time covering the basic & not so basic processes of setting up network file sharing on Vista & Windows 7. We'll be calling the subject of this talk Windows File Sharing (WFS) which also goes by other names as indicated in the meeting topic. NOTE: We do not intend to discuss Windows 7 HomeGroup. Instead we will focus on the more generic WFS which is compatible with a variety of OS's.

We'll start with "out-of-the-box" basic setup and note some of the changes since Windows XP, changes that Microsoft made to provide more granular security and ease of changing settings to differentiate between public and private networks.

Next we'll take a high level overview of how WFS functions and spend some time learning terms like Master Browser, NetBios, LMHosts, Workgroup, and Domain.

Lastly, we'll talk about some of the typical problems one may encounter, and some simple diagnostic tools & techniques & a potential work-around for a static LAN.


1) Club membership entitles you to receive a hard 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.

2) A few of the regular attendees usually partake of lunch at the Campus Corner Restaurant near the intersection of Routes 30 and 320 just off the Villanova University campus. So, after the meeting, why not join us? It's an opportunity to get more help and to discuss our common interests.

3) Help MLCUG go ``Green''. We issue this newsletter by both electronic means through our email list server and in hardcopy format. If you find yourself not reading the hardcopy, PLEASE inform John D, the editor, so that you will only receive the electronic version.


Attendance: 13 people in all attended the meeting on Saturday, June 11th.

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

Peter W -
* Prior to the formal roundtable Peter noted that he was not receiving the PDF version of the club's newsletter. It was discovered after the meeting that his email address was no longer in the Bee Net server group list. The problem has been resolved.

Al G -
* Prior to the formal roundtable discussion Al mentioned Snagit, a highly capable commercial screen capture utility for Windows. Snagit is capable of capturing both streaming screen video and still snapshots of the screen or objects on the screen.

Rich T -
* Has not been able to resolve his Windows 7 SP1 installation problem since last month's meeting. One thing to note about Rich's situation is that Windows 7 was installed as an upgrade to his laptop's original Vista installation.
* Noted that he has not been able to establish a communication link between his new APC UPS and PC, even after getting a replacement UPS from APC.

Layton F -
* Had problems establishing Windows File Sharing (WFS) between some of the computers on his LAN. As a work-around, Layton resorted to "sneaker net". It was pointed out that you can use the Run option in the Windows Start list to force a connection if you know either the WFS name of the remote computer or its IP address and Belarc is a tool that will provide both. For example, if I go to Start | Run on my Windows computer & type, "\\macmini" OR "\\" and hit Enter, then an Explorer window will open with a prompt for my user name and password on my Mac Mini. Once I enter the appropriate credentials, all the shares on my Mac Mini become visible. It was also mentioned that WFS is prone to Master Browser problems that cause remote sharing computers to not be visible in the Network GUI. Again, Belarc can be some help in identifying some of these problems.

Wendy E -
* Spoke about how slow her Windows computer seems to have gotten. She received many suggestions of things to check & one suggestion to do a clean re-install. Suggestions included disk error checking, disk defragging, disk free space check, running System File Checker (SFC) for missing or corrupted system files, scanning for malware, not running more than one main anti-malware program at a time, and minimizing the number of running background processes.

Don W -
* Asked a loaded question, "why some members need more than one computer at home?". The ensuing discussion revealed many reasons. The question struck me as being similar to asking why a household had more than one automobile or TV. As one would expect, the reasons vary widely from household to household.
* Had a question about RAM usage indication. * Mentioned that he had updated his Android OS.
* Noted he was in the market for an UPS and seeking recommendations.

Ralph H -
* Noted he was still having problems getting one of his three Windows 7 computers to join his Windows 7 Home Group. Of note, all 3 of his computers had been upgrades to Windows 7 from Vista.

Bill D -
* Sought help setting up a group list on his Verizon-Yahoo! email account.

Main Meeting Program:
Layton F led the main presentation this month. The presentation focused on layers as used in graphics oriented applications - what they are, what is their benefit, and how in very general terms to use them.

Layton started his presentation with sheets of paper to demonstrate in simple terms what layers are. He then demonstrated LazaLabl's use of layers and made mention of a program called Publicity.

There were many questions and sidebar conversations related to Layton's presentation. So, there was no lack of interest. Some questions were targeted at the specific use of the software, but the point of the presentation was always what layers are and how you can use them to your advantage.

Lastly, Layton demonstrated the use of layers in Photoshop and made the point that layers is just one of many tools used in concert to enhance & edit digital photos.

Layers is a tool frequently incorporated in many advanced and specialized graphics software like CAD programs and Photoshop and Photoshop Elements. If you want to experiment with the use of layers, you may want to download and try the free GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) at This program is available for all major OS platforms - Linux, Mac, and Windows.


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

LazaLabl 2.7 - create simple or complex labels. This FREE Windows program allows you to create multi-layer compositions in which items of text in a number of different typefaces and sizes, and graphics are arranged exactly as you choose and superimposed to make complex labels or cards.

GIMP - is an acronym for GNU Image Manipulation Program. It is a FREELY distributed program for such tasks as photo retouching, image composition and image authoring. GIMP is available for Linux, Mac, & Windows.

It has many capabilities. It can be used as a simple paint program, an expert quality photo retouching program, an online batch processing system, a mass production image renderer, an image format converter, etc.

GIMP is expandable and extensible. It is designed to be augmented with plug-ins and extensions to do just about anything. The advanced scripting interface allows everything from the simplest task to the most complex image manipulation procedures to be easily scripted.

Belarc Advisor - this FREE Windows software builds a detailed profile of your installed software and hardware, network inventory, missing Microsoft hotfixes, anti-virus status, security benchmarks, and displays the results in your Web browser.

Snagit - is a commercial ($$$) screen / window / video capture utility with editor for Mac & Windows. Check link for full feature list.

HOWTO: Optimize Your Windows PC For Faster Performance - Revision 3, Hak5 HakTip, Episode 6 video of 6/10/2011. This episode presents 3 pieces of software for optimizing Windows performance. Two of these utilities are FREE and are listed below. CAUTION: These utilities are not without potential faults & should be used with care, including backing up your system before using them. Short of doing this, you should at least create a Restore Point before using them for the first time.

CCleaner - FREE optimization & cleaning software tool for cleaning your Windows PC. See CAUTION note above.

Glary Utilities - is a FREE, powerful and all-in-one utility for Windows. It offers numerous powerful and easy-to-use system tools and utilities to fix, speed up, maintain and protect your PC. See CAUTION note above.


YouTube Made for the TV Src:

YouTube XL is YouTube optimized for the TV. It's interface is made to be simple to use and interact with on a big screens. Interestingly enough, it looks and feels a lot like a DVD menu, which is an interface made specifically for the TV.

YouTube XL, because it's optimized for the big screen, strips out a lot of the extras of the main YouTube website, specifically comments and many of the community features. In fact, there is no scrolling on YouTube XL. It tends to stream at higher resolution so you need a capable broadband connection.

To access Youtube XL, direct your browser to:

Youtubes's Disco is an MTV Variant Src:

YouTube's got millions of songs on its servers, and YouTube has built an official media discovery front-end for all this music with a Pandora-like discovery tool. Disco's playlist creation functionality is a bit limited, and it's hard to tell what metrics are driving the music recommendation service which isn't nearly as astute as's or Pandora's.

To access Youtube's Disco frontend, direct your browser to: where you can create your music video playlist based on artist name or song title. You will need a Youtube account if you wish to save the playlist for future replay or sharing with others.

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 -

 MLCUG Meetings Schedule        Steering Committee Meetings
    July 9				July 13
    August 13				August 17
    September 10			September 14
EDITOR: John W. Deker, Jr. 2210 Lantern Lane, Lafayette Hill, PA 19444-2211 Produced with HP-P6267C: 2.5GHz 4-Core Q8300, 8GB RAM, 750GB HDD, Brother HL-5370DW laser printer, CD-RW/DVD±R/RW drive, Windows 7 Professional 64-bit OS, MS Office XP, Bullzip PDF Printer software
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VILLANOVA SPONSOR:	Prof. Frank Maloney, Dept. of Astronomy

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