Main Line Commodore User Group

Newsletter


May 2012 Issue 360

VILLANOVA UNIVERSITY, ST. AUGUSTINE, ROOM 110

MEETING STARTS - 09:30 – MAY 12th

UPCOMING MEETING

VOIP vs POTS vs MOBILE

Do you want to reduce the cost of your phone service? What features do you want with your phone service? Which providers have you considered? Or, are you contented with your triple-play package?

Hopefully we'll get a good discussion going on this topic and in the process get a good over view of VoIP - what it is, what's required to take advantage of it, what various VoIP services cost, who is a VoIP provider, and what are the advantages & disadvantages of VoIP compared to other alternatives. In the process, we'll likely discuss Verizon's POTS vs digital voice, and basic differences between the big 4 mobile service providers and some of the different plans they offer. We'll also likely talk about some of the up-start mobile providers like Ting and Republic Wireless and how they are geared up to provide low cost mobile service.

Hopefully this will be an opportunity for you to re-evaluate your phone service as well as share information, both good and bad, about the service you currently use.

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ANNOUNCEMENTS & REMINDERS

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.

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LAST MONTH'S MEETING

Attendance: 6 people in all attended the meeting on Saturday, April 14th.

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

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

John spoke briefly about the history of the network firewall and described its basic function as a filter.

John then took us on a "tour" of his home network using a combination of VPN and SSH to access his home network which includes various routers and servers. He offered a very brief overview description of the 2 protocols along the way and made reference to https://www.whatismyip.com/ to show that he was now being routed to the Internet through his home network rather than through Villanova's network. Being able to access his home network services, he was able to demonstrate the hits against his home firewall as outsiders tried to break into his network.

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MEETING RELATED SIDEBAR

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

CRUCIAL SYSTEM SCANNER TOOL - Find the right memory, the easy way... The Crucial System Scanner automatically analyzes your computer memory information and suggests an upgrade that's guaranteed compatible. http://www.crucial.com/systemscanner/

USING THE ZYXEL MWR102 FOR WIFI BROADBAND - The club has now had a second month to use the very portable and small ZyXel MWR102 router. One somewhat disappointing discovery is it's apparently under-powered processing power, especially for WiFi. This was discovered while streaming video content across the Internet using Plex. What worked fine while streaming video over FiOS to FiOS connections using Actiontec routers did not do well when streaming from the same FiOS source to Villanova using the MWR102. This was confirmed by a performance check with Speedtest.Net while using the MWR102 and an 802.11n connection to the router with a double bandwidth WiFi connection. The speed test indicated the connection to be choppy and relatively slow at best.

Bottom line for the MWR102 router - don't expect a robust WiFi connection. It is apparently built to be inexpensive and a low power drain on its USB power connection. http://us.zyxel.com/products/details.aspx?PC1indexflag=PDCA200920&CategoryGroupNo=PDCA201138 http://speedtest.net/

PLEX - Use the Plex Media Server to manage and stream your media to the Media Center client and mobile apps, both over your LAN and the Internet. Server software is available for versions of Linux, Mac, and Windows. The Plex Media Center client is available for versions of Mac and Windows. Client apps are available for various Android & iOS devices as well as embedded in some entertainment devices like TV's and set top boxes. http://www.plexapp.com/

WHAT'S MY IP ADDRESS? - Visitors to this web site need to know their Internet IP address for many reasons including gaming, tech support, remote desktop connection, proxy detection, anonymity, to see if their address has changed, or if they're running their own email server. This number is an exclusive number all information technology devices (printers, routers, modems, et al) use which identifies and allows them the ability to communicate with each other on a computer network. There is a standard of communication which is called an Internet Protocol standard. In laymans terms it is the same as your home address. https://www.whatismyip.com/

SPEEDFAN - (Windows only) SpeedFan is a program that monitors voltages, fan speeds and temperatures in computers with hardware monitor chips. SpeedFan can even access S.M.A.R.T. info and show hard disk temperatures. SpeedFan supports SCSI disks too. SpeedFan can even change the FSB on some hardware. SpeedFan can access digital temperature sensors and can change fan speeds accordingly, thus reducing noise. http://www.almico.com/speedfan.php

APPLE'S MAC TUTORIALS - Are you a new user of Mac computers? Then this website may be a good place to learn how to use them. There's a combination of video and text tutorials that teach the basic fundamentals of using a Mac computer. https://www.apple.com/findouthow/mac/

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MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS

LAPTOP BATTERY CARE - The modern laptop uses a Lithium based battery. Here's a website that cover the care and feeding aspects of this type of battery. http://batterycare.net/en/guide.html

Topics covered include:

INTERNET RADIO PLAYER / RECORDER SOFTWARE - (FREE, Windows only) RarmaRadio allows you to listen to and record radio stations from around the world. http://www.raimersoft.com/rarmaradio.aspx

Powered by a world class radio directory it has everything you need for a wonderful listening experience.

Recording is available in many formats - including mp3, wma and ogg.

Key Features

  • Listen to and record multiple stations simultaneously
  • Create a schedule for automatic recording
  • Shows cover art and lyrics for each song

    TRICKS WITH TEXT - REVERSED, UPSIDE DOWN TEXT = BETTER PASSWORD SECURITY? ¿ʎʇıɹnɔǝs pɹoʍssɐd ɹǝʇʇǝq

    I don't know that this offers better password security. I guess it depends on what tools a person hacking the password uses. It definitely might add to the amount of time to hack a password since it expands on the character set one might use to create a password. In that respect it adds to the security of your passwords.

    ˙spɹoʍssɐd ɹnoʎ ɟo ʎʇıɹnɔǝs ǝɥʇ oʇ sppɐ ʇı ʇɔǝdsǝɹ ʇɐɥʇ uı ˙pɹoʍssɐd ɐ ǝʇɐǝɹɔ oʇ ǝsn ʇɥƃıɯ ǝuo ʇǝs ɹǝʇɔɐɹɐɥɔ ǝɥʇ uo spuɐdxǝ ʇı ǝɔuıs pɹoʍssɐd ɐ ʞɔɐɥ oʇ ǝɯıʇ ɟo ʇunoɯɐ ǝɥʇ oʇ ppɐ ʇɥƃıɯ ʎןǝʇıuıɟǝp ʇı ˙sǝsn pɹoʍssɐd ǝɥʇ ƃuıʞɔɐɥ uosɹǝd ɐ sןooʇ ʇɐɥʍ uo spuǝdǝp ʇı ssǝnƃ ı ˙ʎʇıɹnɔǝs pɹoʍssɐd ɹǝʇʇǝq sɹǝɟɟo sıɥʇ ʇɐɥʇ ʍouʞ ʇ,uop ı

    https://www.techsupportalert.com/content/novel-easy-remember-technique-creating-strong-passwords.htm

    " Updated 26. March 2012 - 15:57 by v.laurie

    The ever-increasing power of computers keeps making passwords more vulnerable. Passwords that were once too strong to crack in a practical amount of time are now fair game. That makes longer and more complicated passwords with a variety of character types a necessity. It also means having a collection of passwords that most people can't remember..."

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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 Schedule        Steering Committee Meetings
      	May 12				May 16
    	June 9				June 13
    	July 14				July 18
    
    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
    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: 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	
    DATABASE: 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
    AT LARGE: John Murphy		610-935-4398