Main Line Commodore User Group

Newsletter


January 2013 Issue 368

VILLANOVA UNIVERSITY, ST. AUGUSTINE, ROOM 110

MEETING STARTS - 09:30 – JANUARY 12th

UPCOMING MEETING

GET TO KNOW YOU

LAST REMINDER: RENEW YOUR MEMBERSHIP NOW!

I hope all of you had a great and safe holiday. And I hope your health prospers thru the new year.

If you received any new technology or computer related “toys” during the Christmas season, I’m sure all of us would like to know a little something about what you got. So be prepared to talk a little bit about your new smart phone, tablet, HDTV, computer, or other tech gizmos. Tell us about both the good and the bad.

As always we’ll have our usual roundtable discussion of questions, issues, and announcements.

For January, we have decided to follow the format of last January's meeting and take a bit of respite from our normal presentation and run an extended roundtable instead. The goal of the extended roundtable will be for the steering committee members to get a better insight into the computer technology leanings and related aspirations of the club’s members as trends and interests change year to year. Are you the type that just wants reliable, inexpensive access to your email and browsing? Are you afraid to make online purchases or manage other online financial transactions? Or do you do more? Do you watch videos online and need a high speed connection to download large files? Do you manage large files, keep picture or movie albums, remotely access your home computer? Are you looking for other ways to use your computer such as Internet TV? Are you tending to use many more portable digital devices?

Besides the good things you do with your computer, what things about computer usage irk you? Is your computer slow to do certain things? Are you prone to get malware? Does it lose network connectivity too often?

Hopefully, this discussion will help the steering committee with ideas for future meetings.

--------------------------------------------------------
ANNOUNCEMENTS & REMINDERS

1) It’s that time of year again – CLUB MEMBERSHIP RENEWAL time. Please give your dues to our treasurer, John D, at the meeting or mail checks to his address as indicated on the back cover. Checks should be made payable to: MLCUG.

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 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.

--------------------------------------------------------
LAST MONTH’S MEETING

Attendance: 11 people in all attended the meeting on Saturday, December 8th.

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: As this was our Christmas party meeting, there was no big main meeting presentation. As in years past, we had raffle prizes and provided lunch.

Raffle Winners

  • 50/50 raffle - Peter W
  • 1st raffle present (Logitech K400 keyboard with integrated touchpad) - Joan S http://www.logitech.com/en-us/product/wireless-touch-keyboard-k400
  • 2nd raffle present (16GB Supersonic Xpress USB 3.0 Flash Drive (PSF16GXPUSB)) - Peter W http://www.patriotmemory.com/product/detail.jsp?prodline=7&catid=92&prodgroupid=214&id=1088&type=23

    Guest of Honor Like last year, we were scheduled to have a "Guest of Honor" at our December meeting via video chat. That being John M who was traveling on business in Europe.

    This year we encountered some issues while trying to setup the video chat prior to the meeting as John M was trying to use different hardware & software, an iPod Touch with Facetime. We eventually went back to a proven standard, MacBooks with iChat setup to use Google Chat. The problems we encountered and the effort to resolve them delayed the start of the entire meeting at least a half hour.

    --------------------------------------------------------
    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.

    HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN SECURITY TOOLKIT (FREE, Windows) http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2411023,00.asp

    If you're the designated tech expert in your family or circle of friends, anybody who suffers a virus attack will come to you for help. Helping needn't be a chore, as long as you put the right collection of tools on a USB drive and keep it on your keychain.

    Malware Cleanup Tools When you can't install the full power of an antivirus solution, you may be able to wipe the system clean with a free cleanup-only tool. Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware Free may be the best known tool in this category. Tech support agents in some security companies routinely use it to help users who run into trouble at installation. A few years ago I even encountered a Symantec tech support agent using it (strictly against Symantec policy).

    Symantec tech support agents no longer need Malwarebytes, because they can unleash Norton Power Eraser on resistant malware infestations. It, too, is a free download. It lagged behind MalwareBytes in my hands-on testing overall, but it was significantly more effective against rootkits (malicious programs that hook deep into Windows to hide their actions).

    Comodo Cleaning Essentials also did well against rootkits, and its overall score for malware cleanup is better than many commercial products. Comodo is PCMag's Editors' Choice for free cleanup-only antivirus.

    So which one should you keep on your handy-dandy toolkit USB drive? That's easy—all of them! If one doesn't do the job, turn to the next.

    Bootable Rescue USB "I don't know what happened," your sibling moans. "I was just checking my Facebook status, and my computer crashed, and now it won't even start." That scenario could have many causes, but if a Trojan or other malicious program caused it you may still be able to save the day.

    Just about every antivirus vendor offers a free bootable "Rescue CD" for just this kind of problem. The CD boots into an alternate operating system, usually a version of Linux. There's no possibility that Windows-based malware could interfere with this scan, since Windows isn't even running.

    On the other hand, carrying a CD in your pocket just isn't practical. Fortunately, some vendors will optionally let you create a free bootable "Rescue USB," among them Kaspersky, AVG, and Norton. Do note that the Norton Bootable Recovery Tool is only free for Norton customers. You need to enter your product key on each use, and you can't use it commercially.

    If your favorite security vendor only offers a bootable CD, not USB, there's still hope, as long as you're willing to do a little tinkering. You need to download the ISO image that represents the bootable CD and use an Open Source tool called UNetbootin to make a USB drive that boots into the CD image. I haven't done this myself, but the Internet is full of explanatory pages and videos.

    After creating your bootable rescue USB, test it a few times. Boot from it, make sure that it works, and verify that you understand how to use it. You do want to look like the expert you are, after all.

    --------------------------------------------------------
    SOFTWARE WORTH A LOOK

    AVG WINDOWS RESCUE CD (FREE) http://www.avg.com/us-en/avg-rescue-cd

  • Removes infections, repairs files and recovers systems
  • Download free of charge as a CD or USB drive

    AVG Rescue CD is a comprehensive toolkit that will repair system crashes and return systems to a state where they can operate at full capacity, thanks to deep-rooted infections having been removed and file systems repaired.

    KASPERSKY RESCUE DISK 10 (FREE, Windows) http://rescuedisk.kaspersky-labs.com/rescuedisk/updatable/kav_rescue_10.iso

    Kaspersky Rescue Disk 10 is designed to scan and disinfect x86 and x64-compatible computers that have been infected. The application should be used when the infection is so severe that it is impossible to disinfect the computer using anti-virus applications or malware removal utilities (such as Kaspersky Virus Removal Tool) running under the operating system.

    In this case, disinfection is more efficient because malware programs do not gain control when the operating system is being loaded. In the emergency repair mode, you can only start objects scan tasks, update databases roll back updates and view statistics.

    --------------------------------------------------------
    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://mlcug.org/

    MLCUG Meetings Schedule        Steering Committee Meetings
    	January 12			January 16
    	February 9			February 13
    	March 9				March 13
    
    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, Windows 7 Professional 64-bit OS, MS Office XP, Zimbra Desktop 7
           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