Click link to read review.
Corel® WordPerfect® Office X3 Standard Edition
CoPilot Live Pocket PC 6
QuicKeys Version 3.0 Windows
MasterCook� Deluxe Version 9
Street Atlas USA7 2006 Plus
Windows XP Professional with SP2
Delorme Earthmate® GPS LT-20 Street Atlas USA®
Acronis True Image Version 8
MacDrive Version 6
PaperPort 10 Professional
OmniPage Pro 14 Office
SureThing CD Deluxe Version 4.0
CoPilot Live Laptop 7
Adobe Acrobat 6 Standard/Professional
Valusoft MasterCook 7 Deluxe
PaperPort Pro 9 Office
Roxio Easy CD & DVD CREATOR 6
Exec-Amort� Loan Amortizer Plus�

BackUp MyPC 4.85 From Stomp, Inc.

Hoodman Corporation

20445 Gramercy Place, Suite #201

Torrance, CA 90501

Phone: (800) 818-3946

Website: http://www.HoodmanUSA.com


Hoodman CompactFlashâ UDMA (Ultra Direct Memory Access) Professional 300X 45MB/Sec


Shoot RAW on RAWÔ! UDMA is a protocol developed by Quantum Corporation in conjunction with Intel that supports burst mode data transfer rates. You might be wondering what is a protocol? A protocol is an agreed-upon format for transmitting data between two devices. There are a variety of standard protocols from which programmers can choose. Each protocol has advantages and disadvantages; for example, some are more simple than others, some are more reliable, and some are faster. From a user’s point of view, the only interesting aspect about protocols is that your computer or device must support the right ones if you want to communicate with other computers. The protocol can be implemented either in hardware or in software.


Hoodman CompactFlashâ uses the latest UDMA protocol for optimum new camera performance. RAWÔ cards deliver speeds of 300X (45 MB/second). They are built right here in the good old USA which is somewhat of a novelty these days for optimum reliability and performance. Hoodman customer service is manned from 8 am to 5 pm PST Monday through Friday with live, helpful people. Oh yes! did I mention they speak English too.


Both Sandisk and Lexar memory cards are built in AISA in huge quantities to support the mass merchant market... Huge production will give you economies of scale which will allow lower pricing but there is a significant draw back to huge production runs ...FAILURE RATES... which are tracking between 3 to 5% for mass merchant card makers. I can attest to 3 card failures over the past 5 years of which 2 were from Sandisk and 1 from Transcend both companies replaced the cards after returning them. I was only able to salvage the data from the Transcend card by taping the card together with scotch tape and saved the data to my hard drive.

The Sandisk cards well that’s another story important data was lost. I have never been a great fan of the Sandisk cards however, they are readily available from Best Buy and Circuit City locally and are constantly being discounted on a weekly basis. I have had the opportunity to shoot some action shots such as divers from 80 foot diving boards, ski jumping from the 120 meter jump at Lake Placid Ski Jumping Complex and have been able to take full advantage of the 8 FPS to catch some great mid air action photos. I was recently at the Herkimer County Fair and a father was trying to take a picture of his son that was riding the Orbiter unable to get the picture. I set my Nikon D300 to continuos mode and shot 10 pictures and had the shot he was looking for by holding the camera in a single position. Try shooting the finale of a fireworks display sometime and try to stop the center from being over exposed. I have only tried it one time with this card and managed to get some great multiple shells but the finale was still over exposed the only difference was I had a lot more of them. This has nothing to do with the card but more to do with operator failure on to some different settings next week.


Single level cell flash memory is built into each RAWÔ card. Using superior flash memory enables RAWÔ cards to live 10 times longer than the cheaper cards. You receive a Lifetime Warranty with every RAWÔ card. The cards cost more but if you are like me your photos or data are worth the extra cost with the less chance of card failure.


Recently I purchased a Nikon D300 and this camera is capable of producing 8 pictures per second. As many of you know I like to shoot fireworks and the card I presently have been using which is 150X card and is not capable of shooting the complete grand finale as I always shoot images in both Nikon NEF and JPG pictures at the same time which gives me both worlds. Many of you will consider this over kill but when you have that great shot it save the converting from NEF format to JPG and the files you do not want are easily deleted in the computer and many times it is impossible to go back and retake a picture. I am planning a trip to New Mexico in October to the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta and only plan on going one time.



The following is a Q&A information sheet from Hoodman Corporation:

What does a UDMA CompactFlash card do for you? A UDMA memory card dramatically increases card-to-computer transfer rates when paired with a UDMA-enabled reader… (Hoodman’s RAW) UDMA memory cards will download 2GB of data to your computer in just 60 seconds via a RAW FireWire UDMA enabled reader from Hoodman. If you are a USB 2.0 person, the same 2GB of UDMA data will download to your computer in 2 minutes via a RAW UDMA USB 2.0 reader. Hoodman’s RAW UDMA readers are backwards compatible with non-UDMA CompactFlash cards.

How do UDMA cards work in non-UDMA cameras? UDMA CompactFlash cards are backwards compatible with all Digital SLR cameras designed for CompactFlash cards. The UDMA cards will max out the performance of your non-UDMA camera and give you the dramatic increase in card-to-computer transfer rates described above… a huge time saver.

How do UDMA cards work in UDMA cameras? To date: the Nikon D3, Nikon D300, the Canon 1DS Mark III and the Olympus E3 are the new cameras which utilize the new UDMA protocol. UDMA cards are designed to maximize the performance of these new cameras.

Can I use my old CF cards (non-UDMA) in a UDMA camera? Yes, you can use your non-UDMA cards in the new UDMA cameras. You will not maximize the performance of your new camera by using a non-UDMA card and you will have to spend a lot of time waiting for your slow cards to transfer data to your computer

Are UDMA cards more reliable?

Hoodman RAW UDMA cards have had ZERO in field failures since their launch in January 2007. Hoodman RAW is the only CompactFlash card built in the USA. Hoodman RAW is the only CompactFlash card sold exclusively through Professional Photo Dealers or directly from their website http://www.hoodmanUSA.com along with many other products for your camera needs. Yes, RAW costs a bit more, Hoodman is betting your photography is worth it.


Energizer has a bunny that keeps on running and Hoodman has to be a Cheetah this is one great card and makes my Nikon D300 a speed demon. I can highly recommend the use of this CompactFlash card with all your digital equipment. It is fully backward compatible.


I have been using a Hoodman SD card in my Nikon D80 for about 1 ½ years and over that time it card has been hammered and extremely reliable. If you cannot find their products locally, try their online store.


Review presented by :

E. Lawrence Budro, Program Chairman

Tri-County Personal Computer User Group

Marcy, NY






Corel® WordPerfect® Office X3 Standard Edition
Corel Corporation
http://www.corel.com
Reviewed by E. Lawrence Budro, Program Chairman
Tri-County Personal Computer User Group, Inc.
April 2006

We all started out using a word processor with many of us starting with WordPerfect®. Personally, I started using the program with version 5 DOS when the product was owned by the WordPerfect Corporation in Orem, UT. The support was a 800 toll free support telephone call away and a couple of hours less in time because of time zone changes making it easy to call after working all day to get support on a project. I have uses every release of the product since and have not been disappointed with any release of the product. Fortunately, most if not all of the short cuts learned in the beginning are still available today. One feature I use a lot is the ALT F3 command to show the reveal codes which saves a lot of time figuring out why some things just don't line up. This feature is still an exclusive to WordPerfect® users. In fact many of the original short cuts in the product have been incorporated as a standard in other products. YES, Warren I know Microsoft® Word is still a wanna be word processor.

Corel® WordPerfect® Office X3 - Standard Edition comes with 3 disks. Disc 1 includes: WordPerfect® X3, Quattro Pro® X3, Presentations� X3, WordPerfect® Mail and WordPerfect OfficeReady Browser. Disc 2 includes: Clipart, Fonts, Photos, Adobe Reader 7 and Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 and Disc 3 has the training Videos "Getting Started with WordPerfect® Office X3 by David Rivers from http://www.lynda.com.

Minimum System Requirements:
Windows® XP, Windows® 2000 (with SP4) Windows® 98 SE or Windows® Server 2003
128 MB RAM (256 MB recommended)
466 MHz (Pentium III or equivalent processor recommended)
450 MB hard disk space for minimum installation
Super VGA monitor, 16 bit color, 800 x 600 resolutions
CD-ROM Drive
Mouse or Tablet

NOTE: These are absolute minimum requirements and I promise a SLOW experience with them. Plan on more RAM as well as a faster processor.

You don't have to worry about not having the right software to open files anymore. With Corel® WordPerfect® Office X3 - Standard Edition you can open over 150 different file formats! This includes Microsoft® file formats as well as many others, including PDF.

There are more than 165 import/export filters supported within Corel® WordPerfect® Office X3. These include Microsoft® Word, Excel®, PowerPoint®, PDF, HTML, XML, SGML, and many more. Simply use File Open or File / Save As to access all the supported file formats.

Create & Edit PDF's without any additional software
Use the built-in PDF capabilities of WordPerfect Office X3 - Standard Edition to share your work easily - with everyone. Adobe® Acrobat® is not required to create these handy files. Now, it's easy to turn your WordPerfect®, Quattro Pro® and Presentations� files into PDF's Plus, you can open PDF files with WordPerfect to edit and reuse the content!

Work in a familiar, comfortable environment by customizing WordPerfect® Office to resemble the software you're used to - even Microsoft® Office - in just a few easy clicks!

Work with Microsoft® Office Users

With Corel® WordPerfect® Office X3 you can open, edit and create Microsoft® Word, Excel® and PowerPoint® documents. With this product, you have the best of all worlds at realistic prices.

The file formats for WordPerfect®, Quattro Pro®, Presentations� and Paradox® have remained unchanged. In fact, the WordPerfect file format has stayed the same since version 6.1, so you can open legacy files quickly and easily. This release includes the Oxford University Press Pocket Dictionary and Spell check within the program at no additional charge. You can purchase an unlock key for the Oxford Concise Dictionary containing 34,000 more words than the Pocket Oxford, Thousands of scientific and technical words as well as Specialist words from present and past and across the English-speaking world and Thousands of extra meanings - not just for words, but phrases too for an additional $19.99.

Corel® WordPerfect® Office X3 Pro Full $399.99
Corel® WordPerfect® Office X3 Pro Upgrade $259.99

Corel® WordPerfect® Office X3 Standard Full $299.99
Corel® WordPerfect® Office X3 Standard Upgrade $159.99

In order to purchase the Corel® WordPerfect® Office X3 Professional Edition upgrade you must be a licensed owner of one of the following products:

WordPerfect® Office 8 or higher
Microsoft® Office 97 or higher
Microsoft® Works Suite 2000 or higher
CorelDRAW® Graphics Suite X3 or higher
Corel® Paint Shop Pro® X or higher
Corel® Painter IX or higher
Corel® DESIGNER� 12 or higher

You can save $10 and shipping when downloading the Standard or Upgrade 198MB file. If you have a high speed connection and a CD burner this is the way to go and will allow immediate use of the product without having to wait for your friendly UPS delivery service.

A Corel® WordPerfect® Office X3 - Home Edition $99.99 only $79.99 after $20 USD mail in rebate is available.

This is by far the BEST commercial word processor available today at a price everyone can afford. It is truly a one stop office suite.




CoPilot Live Pocket PC 6
ALK
1000 Herrontown Road
Princeton, NJ 08540
Phone: 888 872 8768
Website:
http://www.alk.com
Reviewed by E. Lawrence Budro, Program Chairman
Tri-County Personal Computer User Group, Inc.
Website: http://www.tcpcug.com
December 2005

As many of you know, I have been using various GPS activated mapping products since the mid nineties with some that I liked and some just didn't cut it. Sometime in 1998, I believe it was the last bus trip we did to PC Expo in New York City that I had the opportunity to discuss GPS mapping products and was told about the TravRoute CoPilot product. The product was a little pricey at the time but after receiving the product it was well worth the price. It was a top rated product then and remains at the top of the list now. For years, I used the GPS activated laptop version of the product and still use it for planning trips today and on long trips for backup in the event something happens to the Pocket PC.

My first experience with the product, our Board of Directors went with me to New York City to the Intergalactic Computer User Group meeting and I missed a turn due to construction. The GPS automatically rerouted the trip to get us to the meeting. If you have ever been to New York City and had a problem finding directions most of the gas stations are not too sure where they are much less any place else. On the way back a problem developed with the serial GPS receiver and sent the receiver back to the company. It apparently was an intermittent problem as they could not find anything wrong with the unit. It happened again 4 or 5 days after the unit was returned and I called the company and they sent a new unit to me over night and I never had another problem. One of our Board Members was really impressed with the software and came back and ordered the product from the company.

In August 2004, I called Sohni Haque, Technical Support Representative CoPilot Division a young lady that I had talked with on several technical questions in the past and asked her what Pocket PC gave them the least problems that used Pocket PC 5 and she gave me a list of 4 or 5 models that would not give me any problems using the product. She highly recommended getting the Blue Tooth GPS receiver.

With this information in hand, off to E-Bay to see what was available and started bidding on an HP-2215 the unit was 3 months old with a 1GB Compact Flash Card which was big enough to hold all the data for the United States. Inasmuch as the unit didn't come with a storage card and an extra battery I got a real deal at the time.


Shortly after receiving the unit, I ordered the Pocket PC 5 with the Blue Tooth GPS receiver and what a difference not having to carry my laptop with me on long trips which I had been doing for about 3 years picking up vehicles for a local car dealer. The company now provides a complete system for $499.00 which includes a Pocket PC with a GPS receiver built in, 1GB Secured Digital Card with the United States full street level maps making it real easy to use right out of the box. North America, South America, Europe and Africa data is also available for people planning a trip out of the country for an additional fee that can be purchased on a SD card or on a disc. With a CoPilot system you can rent a car and drive to anywhere you want to go on a vacation or business trip as if you were driving at home. CoPilot Live Pocket PC 6 Software Only Advanced GPS navigation software for enthusiasts who already have a GPS receiver is available for $199.00.

ALK's North American Database Includes:

Over 7 million miles of North American roadway, including over 6 million street level miles and over 756,000 highway miles, with over 350,000 miles of commercial truck and RV restrictions.

Find more than 140 million U.S. and 10 million Canadian street addresses.

Over 3 million Points of Interest including restaurants, hotels, service stations, golf courses, banks, and sports arenas.

It has over 27,000 highway exit numbers.

Every five digit U.S. ZIP code (over 41,000 for 2005).

A County name designation for every location in the U.S.

Most recent North American road openings, name changes and construction updates.

A phone or PDA equipped with CoPilot7 Live 6 provides drivers with powerful yet portable satellite navigation, complete with turn by turn voice guidance, comprehensive address entry choice and detailed street maps. Lightning fast route calculation works out even complex trips in seconds.

Why buy a dedicated Sat Nav system when you can have your own personal CoPilot on your SMARTPHONE or PDA!

CoPilot Live turns your Windows Mobile Pocket PC or Pocket PC Phone into a complete GPS navigation system and still use your Desktop or Laptop to plan your trip and print your directions before leaving on your trip.

FEATURES POCKET PC6 INCLUDE:

NEW! Enhanced 3D map display with Mileage Markers, Moving Maps, and turn arrows that highlight the way ahead. This feature is extremely accurate to a point that you can almost drive a vehicle in the dark. The moving Mileage Markers keep the driver well informed at a glance at how far to the next turn.

NEW! Finger touch menus and options screens mean you never have to use your stylus

NEW! Supports Portrait, Landscape, Square and VGA displays

NEW! Customizable Routing Profiles give you complete control over what kind of roads
CoPilot prefers (highways, local roads, etc.)

NEW! Ability to create and share your own voice or download new voice sets as they become available

NEW! Change Voices on the fly between the included male and female or select from any additional voice sets you have created/downloaded

NEW! Easier Points of Interest Importing and support for widely available 3rd party OV2 formats

NEW! Fully compatible with the Windows Mobile 5 operating system

NEW! Step by step Tutorial walks you through GPS receiver setup, entering a destination and popular features

IMPROVED! RV Routing uses 12'6" height restrictions on highways and overall routing has been refined based on user feedback.

IMPROVED! Automatic Bluetooth GPS set up avoids the need for complex configuration.

What's included in a package including a CoPilot Bluetooth GPS receiver:

The full CoPilot Live software CD set is included so that you can load our Desktop Trip Planner to your personal computer
CoPilot Bluetooth GPS receiver with the SiRFstarIII chipset
In vehicle mounting hardware
12 volt in vehicle power adapter
Printed Quick Start Guide
1 Install Disc
1 Data Disc with street level detail for the U.S. and Canada and Mexico
User's Guide available as a PDF in desktop software

Note: Please review the system requirements as additional hardware is sometimes necessary to use CoPilot Live.

System Requirements:

General Pocket PC Requirements
This describes the basic specifications a Pocket PC needs to meet to run CoPilot software.

Windows MobileJ 5 or Windows MobileJ 2003 (first or second edition)
13 15 MB Storage RAM
6 15 MB Program RAM
SD memory card slot
Bluetooth connectivity

Desktop/Laptop Requirements
The desktop/laptop requirements below are ONLY necessary if you intend to install our

Desktop Trip Planner (optional).

Windows 2000, ME, XP
400 MHz processor or better
128 MB RAM
16X CD ROM
225 MB available hard disc space

Here is everyone's opportunity to get the best of the best.

Switch to CoPilot
Have you purchased a portable GPS system and been disappointed? Are you looking for a premium GPS system for your laptop or Pocket PC?

For a limited time only, ALK is offering you a chance to purchase our CoPilot Live systems for a greatly reduced price when you send us your current competitive product.

Please view exchangeable products listed below as we are unable to honor special requests.

NOTE: Don't forget that you must send in competitive to be eligible for this special promotion. The software that you are exchanging MUST be copyright dated 2003 or newer.

Laptop Versions:
DeLorme StreetAtlas
Pharos Pocket GPS Navigator Kits for Notebook and Tablet PC
Navman GPS E series for laptops
Destinator North American Personal Navigation System for MS Windows
Please be advised that CoPilot Live software may not recognize GPS receivers older than 2003. (i.e. Earthmate 2002 would not be compatible)

Pocket PC Versions:
TomTom Navigator (BT GPS, Software Only)
Destinator Navigation software

Navman SmartST for Pocket PC
Pharos Ostia Software
TeleType World Navigator
Deluo Routis Software
Space Machine PocketMap Navigator

Smartphone Versions:
TomTom Navigator (BT GPS, Software Only)
Destinator Navigation software

Interested download the exchange form http://www.alk.com/switch/default.asp

Support is available Monday B Friday, 9 a.m. B 5 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, excluding holidays. Your questions are normally answered within one business day. The best technical support in the industry with a toll free number and if all Technical Support Representatives are busy, you can leave your name, phone number and product you are using and they will call you back.

I had a car trip to Randolph, NJ on Veterans Day which is about 37 miles from Princeton, NJ where ALK is located. I called Sohni Haque, Technical Support Representative the night before to see if she was working and arrange a lunch and meet the voice on the other end of phone.

During my visit I had the opportunity to use the Pocket PC 6 product on a Pocket PC and meet her boss Michael Goodman, Production Manager for the CoPilot products. Mike asked me what I thought of the new version and my first question to him. Why was the shift key on the keyboard missing? He told me others had lodged a similar complaint. Frankly, after using the product for awhile the use of the capital letters look pretty but one could quite easily live without. The only other item of minor annoyance is the Quit CoPilot option. If you press the Quit Button you have another redundant Yes or No button to push before actually quitting the program. When I quit a program, I really want it to quit. An option to shut this part of the menu off would be nice included in a future patch if one is necessary. So much to like and so little to dislike makes this one of the best software bargains of the day. The complete system is a real buy at today's prices.

CoPilot Laptop 9 should be available by the time you see this review and both products are available for Christmas. Having used this software since 1998 I can highly recommend this software.




QuicKeys Version 3.0 Windows
Startly Technologies d.b.a. CE Software
PO Box 65580
West Des Moines, IA 50265
Phone: 515 221 1801
Website:
http://www.cesoft.com/
Reviewed by E. Lawrence Budro, Program Chairman
Tri-County Personal Computer User Group, Inc.
December 2005

What is QuicKeys?
QuicKeys offers flexible, yet powerful tools that redefine the way you use your PC. It takes the daily tasks that would normally require you five...six...twenty or more steps and turns them into simple one step shortcuts. Automate anything from launching programs to selecting menus to typing text to controlling windows. Whatever you do, however many steps, QuicKeys saves you time and increases your productivity.

QuicKeys performs shortcuts that automate the computer tasks you do each day. Shortcuts can be created manually, using the QuicKeys Editor or automatically using the recording feature. You can scope your shortcut to play within a specific application or all applications. Trigger your shortcuts with a simple hot key, toolbar button, custom menu selection or timer and you=ll be working smarter, faster, better.

Many of you have asked about the tool bar at the top of the screen on my laptop during presentations at our meetings. The program takes the pain out of repetitive tasks on a daily basis. I use the program to backup files that I change a lot such as my Quicken files, MasterCook, E-mail address book, change from lower, upper case and title case, reformat text, strip html codes from copied text and plain text. Shortcuts are a click away to get to common folders that are used frequently like My Documents, My Computer, Windows Desktop, Favorites folder, Control Panel and Printers. Rarely does a day go by that I don=t come up with a new use for the program.

I found out about the program by pure accident from Sue Nail who was representing CE Soft and Media Four. Mac Drive 5 for Windows had just been released and was the program I was interested in working with at the time. She told me about QuicKeys that the company had just released for Windows and she was sure that it would become a program that would be used on a regular basis and she couldn=t have been more right.

What's New in Version 3.0 (for Windows XP)

A New, More Intuitive, User Interface
QuicKeys for Windows features a newly redesigned interface mimicking the familiar three pane interface that Windows users have come to know thus making QuicKeys easier than ever to use.

Web Browser Actions (Internet Explorer)

Click buttons or links, choose from pop up lists, and enter data into text fields within Internet Explorer web pages. With Web Browser Actions you can create sequences that can easily log you into web sites, fill out forms or navigate links fast and accurately.

Wait Condition Sequence Step
The new Wait Condition Sequence Tools give users more control over their sequences based on the status of a specified file, folder, window, menu or program. The Wait Condition can also be set up to control the sequenced based on a set date and time.

Variables
Use variables and simple equations in QuicKeys sequences. Write and use functions to give more power and control to QuicKeys sequences. Use logic and variables together with the newly added Wait for actions and you'll have control of your PC like never before.

Editor Locking
The System Administrator can password the QuicKeys Editor to prevent unauthorized editing of actions from non administrative accounts.

Action Folders (Action and Sequence sharing)
With previous versions of QuicKeys users had the ability to export and import shortcuts to share their shortcuts with other users. By sharing and connecting to Action Folders, QuicKeys users can easily benefit from actions and sequences created by others giving a whole office the ability to be efficient together. Plus, any changes made to these Action Folders will be updated for each QuicKeys user automatically whenever QuicKeys is launched or refreshed.

Improved Clipbooks Editing and Grouping
Clips can now be edited directly from within the QuicKeys Editor saving you time in having to copy and paste the clip into a word processor to make changes. Keep your clips organized and sorted by creating Clip Groups. These Clip Groups can also be triggered for faster retrieval and insertion of a clip.

Hot Key Chaining
With Hot Key Chaining option, you can string a series of hot keys together for even more flexibility. For example use F1 >I >E to launch Internet Explorer and F1 >E >M to launch your e mail application. Hot Key Chaining virtually allows for unlimited number of hot key triggering key combinations.

Debug Mode
It has never been easier to fine tune your sequences. When debugging is enabled, QuicKeys guides you through each step of your multi step sequence to help you verify that each Action will perform properly.

Event Triggers
Launch your actions and sequences when programs start, shutdown, gain focus or lose focus.

Plus numerous other new features and improvements

General
Automated Tasks
Multi step shortcut Tools

General
Triggers: hot keys, toolbars, timers & QuicKeys menu
$ Use hot keys, which can be virtually any key combination, to trigger your QuicKeys shortcuts.
$ Hot Key Chaining lets users string a series of hot keys together allowing for virtually an unlimited number of hot key triggering key combinations. For example use F1 >I >E to launch Internet Explorer and F1 >E >M to launch your e mail application.
$ Create toolbars that contain buttons for any or all of your shortcuts. Like other triggers, toolbars can be for all applications or application specific (the toolbar will only appear when the specified application is open). To save valuable screen space Pop Out Toolbars have been added. Residing primarily off screen, these toolbars pop out when the mouse moves near it and return to hiding when the mouse moves away.
$ Set timers to activate shortcuts at a specified time on any day of the week. Timed triggers can repeat at an interval which you define.
$ Launch shortcuts, view your Quick Reference Card (a listing of all of your shortcuts) and open the QuicKeys Editor from the QuicKeys menu.
$ Use Event Triggers to launch actions and sequences when programs start, shutdown, gain focus or lose focus.

Recording & Playback:
$ With the recording feature, QuicKeys will watch and record your actions so you can play them back at any time. This feature is great for quickly automating longer, multi step tasks.
Scope: universal & application specific shortcuts
$ Designate shortcuts to work only in certain applications or in all applications.

Shortcut Sharing:
$ Transfer your shortcuts to another computer or user. The program is great for utilizing the same shortcuts on multiple computers or for sharing your favorite shortcuts with friends or co workers.
$ By sharing and connecting to Action Folders, QuicKeys users can easily benefit from actions and sequences created by others giving a whole office the ability to be efficient together. Plus, any changes made to these Action Folders will be updated for each QuicKeys user automatically whenever QuicKeys is launched or refreshed.

Setup Wizards:
$ The QuicKeys Setup Wizards guide you every step of the way as you create actions and sequences.

Save up to 20% on new purchases of QuicKeys!
Single User $79.95
Migration from Macintosh version for $59.95
Still using Windows 98? Buy QuicKeys 2.5!

This program makes a great Christmas for the computer users in the family. They found a Mac program that we all could use. The program has endless possibilities. You just have to use this program to love it.





MasterCook� Deluxe Version 9
ValuSoft
http://www.valusoft.com
Reviewed By E. Lawrence Budro, Program Chairman
Tri-County Personal Computer User Group, Inc.
October 2005

I have used MasterCook� since Arion Software released the first release of the software in the mid nineties. The software was sold to Sierra Software and then sold to ValuSoft after version 6 was released. Each company has added substantial improvements to the software with version 7 adding support for both the Palm and Windows Pocket PC's. The ability to only have 100 recipes with the current storage cards available today does not make a lot of sense. My mom wrote two family cookbooks in 1986 and 1987 with 100 recipes in each book. We were concerned that many of favored family recipes would be lost without an organized way of preserving them. Presently on my Pocket PC I have 277 recipes using PDA Cookbook (available for PC, Palm, Pocket PC and MAC) http://www.wakefieldsoft.com/pdacookbook/.

MasterCook� version 8 added the web import tool bar ( and Internet Explorer Only Plug-In) making recipes easy to import from the many websites listing recipes making it easy for everyone to put recipes and pictures in cookbooks without having to type them. The Import Assistant in the program made it possible to do this with many more steps and makes it possible to import recipes with a scanner and an OCR program.

Many of us were looking for the addition of many suggestions contributed by 100's of users of the program. The company chooses to fix a few bugs that were found in version 8 and add approximately 1,000 recipes from various sites on the web. We can pick and choose our own recipes from the web to our own tastes and would be better served if an arrangement to put the Better Holmes and Garden New Cookbook in the MasterCook� format. Sierra released a Betty Crocker Suite of cookbooks and added real value to the program. The Suite added more to the cost of the program however, that could be over come by allowing the cookbooks to be purchased from the company website in MasterCook� format.

Time would have been better spent building an upgrade that would download the USDA nutrition database. The information can be updated one ingredient at a time if one wishes to spend the time.

The USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 18 is downloadable FREE from their website at http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp/. The program is available for a PC and for a Palm handheld computer both are stand alone programs that can be viewed without needing to be on the internet after the initial install. Unfortunately, a version is unavailable for a Windows Pocket PC hopefully this will be available sometime in the future. The nutrition database included in MasterCook� has been the same for several years and for the most part is fairly accurate and is handy for many watching weights and for medical reasons.
Here is a list of bug fixes in version 9.

FATAL CRASH: Involving Recipe Editor with decimal fractions. In MasterCook� 8 open the Preferences. In the General tab Display Amounts as Decimal Places (2). Create a new recipe with an ingredient using a decimal unit of measure, i.e. 0.5 teaspoons fennel seed. Select Change Recipe Units from the Ingredient menu. Select the fennel seed ingredient. The program crashes to the Windows desktop.

WEB BAR: Does not import time in hh:mm format correctly, i.e. 1:30 (1 hr 30 min)

WEB BAR: Ingredients not clearing when importing a recipe without an ingredient list after importing a recipe that does have an ingredient list

BACKUP & MERGE: Problems merging My Cookbook. Currently, MC will not overwrite a newer file (just installed with MC 8) with an older one (from an installed older version). But users expect that when they use Merge, their own My Cookbook from the older version will be merged - or their personalized version of a different MC cookbook. There should be a dialog box during Merge that asks if they want to use the older version of the file or the one just installed with MC 8. Furthermore, merge will not merge ANY cookbook from MC 7 if it has the same name as a cookbook installed with MC 8, even though the date stamp of the MC 7
file is newer (tested with MC 7.0 Deluxe). Added a "file overwrite" dialog to MasterCook� 9.0 that fixes this problem

SPELL CHECK DEFAULT SETTINGS: When MC ships, ALL fields should be check marked to Spell Check (people keep missing the Options button and think MC is deficient because it doesn't check Ingredients field).

BACKUP & MERGE: Merging ingredients. Selecting "No to All" causes problems.

INSTALLATION: Registry keys and start menu entries are sometimes left behind when uninstalling.

RECIPE BROWSER: Filter recipes shows all recipes when it should show none. When we are viewing an opened cookbook and FILTER RECIPES BY something and it finds nothing, instead of it displaying no recipes, it displays them all. If it doesn't find any recipes by that criterion, then it should show no recipes at all.

The following are some of the great features of MasterCook�

Critical Cooking Fundamentals
Learn essential cooking techniques, ingredient preparation and much more from On Cooking, the textbook of cooking students everywhere. Food for Fifty is an invaluable resource for every party planner with special tips for planning and serving to large groups. On Baking features 400 savory baking recipes with step-by-step instructions that take the mystery out of perfect flaked crusts, delightfully sweet concoctions and more!

Manage Your Recipes, Manage Your Health
Compile all of your favorite recipes.
Gather recipes from friends, magazines and other cookbooks in one convenient central place with the ability to add notes and photos or even send via email.

Pull recipes from the web.
Use our Internet Import Tool to add to your collection of mouth-watering MasterCook recipes.

Your Personal Nutritionist
Healthy eating has never been easier!
o Keep track of fat, carbs, calories, cholesterol and more with expert nutritional analysis.
o Learn about healthy alternatives, even watch nutritional values change with each substitution.

Filter recipes based on your own personal needs:
o Low Carb o Low Sodium
o Low Fat o Gluten Free
o Kosher o Lactose free
o Custom

MasterCook Discussion Group Support:
Visit this message board to discuss MasterCook and get answers to your MasterCook questions directly from other experienced users. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/MastercookDiscussion/

Minimum System Requirements:
o Windows® 98/ME/XP CD
o Pentium® 200
o 32 MB RAM
o 4X CD-ROM Drive
o 75 MB free hard drive space
o SVGA 800x600 @ 256 Colors
o Sound Card for video tips
o Internet Explorer 5.0 or greater for integrated web functionality

Personally I feel the changes are worth the purchase price of $20.00 but if you are not an extensive user of this program and have version 8 it may not be worth the upgrade. If you do not have the best cookbook program or are using a version less than version 8 this is a must have purchase and is an exceptional software value. It is by far one of the best user to user supported programs available today.




Street Atlas USA7 2006 Plus
Earthmate GPS Blue Logger
DeLorme Mapping
Website: http://www.delorme.com
Phone: 800-561-5105
Two DeLorme Drive
Yarmouth, ME 04096


Reviewed by E. Lawrence Budro, Program Chairman
Tri-County Personal Computer User Group, Inc.
September 2005

Delorme has done it again making GPS receivers and software available to the masses at realistic prices. Street Atlas USA7 2006 Plus (DVD Only $99.95) or Street Atlas USA7 2006 with the Earthmate GPS Blue Logger ($149.95 with software) make a perfect mapping solution for Business and recreation. I personally prefer the Blue Logger receiver because it works with laptops and Pocket PC, Smart Phones and Palm systems equipped with Bluetooth capability. Laptop uses that do not have Bluetooth capability can purchase a wireless USB adapter for under $50. Considering the high costs of other stand alone GPS systems ranging from $600-1,100 this is a real bargain. The Earthmate USB GPS LT 20 is available with software for $99.95.

See your position in real time on a laptop PC, Pocket PC, or Palm OS PDA. Or simply play back your trip when you get home using a laptop or desktop, showing your precise locations on Topo USA 5.0 topographic maps in 2 D and 3 D! You can even play back your log files on the Free Aerial Imagery included with Topo USA 5.0 B it=s amazing! Place the GPS on your backpack or anywhere else where you can get a good line of sight to the free GPS satellite system, and then play back and save your GPS accurate maps for future usage. You=ll know exactly where you=ve been and be able to show others.

The major differences between the regular version of Street Atlas USA7 and the Plus version is

147 million FREE searchable phone listings linked to the maps on one convenient DVD ROM
NEW 116 million residential listings and 31 million business listings
View your own databases on the maps using the XData import
Work with multiple Draw and Route files on the same map
Add and edit XData entries after bulk import
Link photos, documents, and URLs to the maps

Anyone on the road will find the phone listing invaluable and the nice part you can store everything on your laptop hard drive without having to carry the DVD with you when traveling. Think about having the National Phone Directory with you at all times. If you call information for phone numbers very often the cost savings can pay for the software alone.

RVers, truckers, and frequent travelers B bring the searchable U.S. business phone listings with you when you=re on the road and you=ll have the most complete selection of places of interest available. Find automotive repair services, UPS stores, laundry services, veterinarians B absolutely everything you could need while traveling, all with locations shown on the detailed maps.
Street Atlas USA7 2006 Handheld ($39.95)
Take detailed maps anywhere you go on Pocket PCs, Palm OS devices, and now Windows Mobile PDAs and phones. Get pre cut maps for cities and towns nationwide. Create address to address routes right on your handheld, with the fast new routing engine. Includes the same street and places of interest data updates as the regular version.

Blue Logger GPS Hardware System Specifications:
NMEA 2.0 compliant 12 channel receiver
WAAS enabled
SiRF starIIe/LP low power GPS chip set
Cold Start: < 45 seconds; warm start: < 38 seconds
Hot Start: < 8 seconds
Power, Logging GPS only: ~90mA at 3.7V
Power, Logging GPS with a Bluetooth connection: ~118mA at 3.7V
Maximum Velocity: 1000 knots
Maximum Altitude: 60,000 feet
Battery Life: 8 hours (charge up to 500 times)
Operating Temperature Range: B20 Celsius to + 60 Celsius
Supports: SBAS (WAAS / EGNOS / MTSAT.)
Blue Logger weight (without battery): 1.7 ounces (47 grams)
Battery weight: 1 ounce (28 grams)

Software Specifications:
Street Atlas USA® 2006 Plus on DVD
Microsoft® Windows® 2000: 64 MB RAM (256 MB recommended)
Microsoft Windows XP: 128 MB RAM (256 MB recommended)
Intel® Pentium 300 MHz or higher processor (600 MHZ recommended)
700 MB of available hard-disk space
Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.01 or later
32x DVD Drive (Only required on Plus Version of Street Atlas 2006)

NOTE: Microsoft Windows 98/ME is not supported with this release.


I have used DeLorme mapping products since 1994 and can attest to the high quality of their products and consider the software one of the best values available today.





Windows XP Professional with SP2 Review
Reviewed by Fran Combar, Vice President
Tri-County Personal Computer User Group, Inc.
June 2005


I recently installed XP Pro, SP2 on a new drive. All my hardware was recognized and configured correctly. The monitor was set to 800x600 automatically including my LAN and internet settings. The drivers for my HP LaserJet L5 printer auto installed once it was turned on. The documentation for my Epson Perfection 4870 scanner required that the drivers that came with the scanner be installed before it was connected to the system thus I didn't try to auto install the scanner. I did have to install the drivers that came with my motherboard and video card. The entire operation took less than an hour and was painless up to and including the product activation. My cable connection was configured without a hitch and I did the activation on the internet. There is also an option to activate by telephone.

The SP2 release includes a Security Center that monitors and alerts when the system determines that the Windows Firewall, virus protection or automatic updates are not turned on. The alert feature can be disabled if you wish, but it should be left on. The firewall is included in SP2 but you have to use a third party virus protection. The automatic updates option has been an option in previous Windows versions but it has been improved in this release. You get an Automatic Updates notice the first time you boot Windows XP SP2. I recommend that you do not turn it off and do automatic updates and installs for critical ones. This may be a problem for "dial uppers" but leave your machine running overnight and let Automatic Update do its job, you'll be happier in the long run!

Firewall monitoring only works with the Windows Firewall. If you don't opt to use the Windows Firewall you will have to monitor the firewall that you do use. I have been using the Tiny Personal Firewall Pro and AVG Pro for virus protection, but I'm evaluating the Windows Firewall on this installation since it seems much easier to use than TPF. For third party firewall users you will have to turn off the Windows Firewall in the Security Center. I'm sure that Windows Firewall will be a valuable tool for the vast majority of users since most do not use a firewall and the Windows Firewall is on by default. Running without a firewall is like playing "Russian Roulette."

The Security Centers allows you to monitor your system security. It can be run from the Control Panel or the System Tools folder under Accessories. You should run a good spyware program since none is included in this release.

Internet Explorer has been improved with the addition of a default pop up ad blocker and now prevents drive-by downloads.

The ad blocking feature is quite well done. When you go to a site that attempts to open a pop-up window, an Information Bar opens at the browser top display area. If you want to open the window, just click in the Information Bar and a small menu offers you that ability. You can also configure sites to open pop-ups if you wish. When pop-ups are blocked you can opt to have a sound alert, but that can drive you buggy!

The other improvement in IE is the prevention of drive-by downloads which can surreptitiously install viruses, worms, or other malware on your machine. The automatic loading of such code is turned off by default. When an attempt is made to load any code a dialog is presented giving you the option to load it or not.

One of my favorite features of Windows XP is System Restore. All of us have installed a program that caused problems with the system and you wish you hadn't done so, but you can't remove it. System Restore will generally solve the problem. System Restore is similar to the "Last Known Good Configuration" in Windows NT and Windows 2000. You can use System Restore to restore the computer to a previous state, using the backups that it makes periodically of selected system and program files. Unlike the "Last Known Good Configuration" feature, System Restore maintains multiple restore points. This gives you the choice of restoring your computer to any number of previously saved states.

Before I install any program I create a Restore Point. If the program gives me a problem I can generally restore the system to the previous state where it was working properly. Using this procedure has saved me many times. I recently was updating a well known virus program on my laptop that I was going to use for a PowerPoint slide show. The update caused the system to be unstable, but I was finally able to use System Restore to get it working correctly. Saved again, thanks System Restore!

There are occasions when you may want to turn it off temporarily, say if you had the misfortune to be infected with a virus. With the System Restore running there is the possibility that the virus would be backed up. If you restore the system you also restore the virus or infected file. Use the following procedure to remove a virus:

1. You must be logged in as an Administrator to do this. If you are not logged in as an Administrator, the System Restore tab will not be displayed.
2. Turning off System Restore will clear out all previous restore points but does not delete or remove any of your personal data.

To turn off Windows XP System Restore:

NOTE: These instructions assume that you are using the default Windows XP Start Menu and have not changed to the Classic Start menu. To re-enable the default menu, right-click Start, click Properties, click Start menu (not Classic) and then click OK.
1. Click Start.
2. Right-click the My Computer icon, and then click Properties.
3. Click the System Restore tab.
4. Check "Turn off System Restore" or "Turn off System Restore on all drives" as shown in this illustration:
5. Click Apply.
6. When turning off System Restore, the existing restore points will be deleted. Click Yes to do this.
7. Click OK.
8. Proceed with what you need to do; for example, virus removal. When you have finished, restart the computer and follow the instructions in the next section to turn on System Restore.
To turn on Windows XP System Restore:
1. Click Start.
2. Right-click My Computer, and then click Properties.
3. Click the System Restore tab.
4. Uncheck "Turn off System Restore" or "Turn off System Restore on all drives."
5. Click Apply, and then click OK.
That's it, saved again!
All things considered I would say that the operating system is rock solid and has many features to commend it. I have never had the dreaded "BOSD" (blue screen of death) and if you're not using Windows XP Professional SP2, you are doing yourself a disservice.





Delorme Earthmate® GPS LT-20 Street Atlas USA®
Reviewed by E. Lawrence Budro, Program Chairman
Tri-County Personal Computer User Group, Inc.
May 2005

Delorme has revolutionized the GPS world with their new just released Earthmate® GPS LT for $99.95 with Street Atlas USA®. This product will turn your laptop into the equivalent stand alone car GPS system costing close to $800.

The software speaks to you, you speak to it, miss your turn, it automatically reroutes you to your location. As many of you know maps have been my passion with computers for many years. As 911 addresses get into the mapping systems the software continues to get more and more accurate.

One of the problems is when speaking to the computer in an auto is background noise and the software understanding what you say. A clip on microphone plugged into your computer helps eliminate this situation somewhat. What can I say; some vehicles are noisier than others. Many of the newer laptops have better built in microphones and may not require the use of an external unit.

If you have a problem with hearing the voice turn directions from your computer speakers with the noise from the vehicle, a RF (Radio Frequency) Modulator is available at an electronics stores like Radio Shack, Best Buy or Circuit City. The units broadcast the directions to an FM station on your car radio. They are available as battery operated or battery and a plug in to the car cigarette lighter. I would recommend the latter with rechargeable batteries as regular ones can get expensive over a period of time and on long trips.

Features:

Provides both Written and spoken turn-by-turn route direction updates relating to your precise GPS position,

Offers voice command option for you to ask the laptop PC questions and to hear responses (e.g. "How far to my next turn?").

Includes automatic back-on-track routing offering new directions to get you back on your pre-planned route.

Provides high-contrast color settings to improve in-vehicle visibility.

Includes large fonts for easier typing when conducting searches on laptops-ideal for high-resolution laptop screens.

Offers next-turn and turn-after-that large directional arrows and large-font text directions for ideal navigation mode.

Includes Center-on-GPS setting allowing you to scout ahead on the map without always snapping back to your GPS position. This on drove me nuts as it was turned on with the GPS connected in my living room window and it would not allow me to move around the planned map until dummy me figured out just what was going on. As I was not moving it kept bringing me back to the same position. By the way the ability to turn it of is in BIG letters. With the feature turned on, you always know exactly where you are in conjunction with your planned trip.

Includes ability to play back your routes showing where you have been.

Provides GPS Radar searches with voice prompts that look for services near your current GPS location, displaying information about each with directions to get there.

Offers ability to control many GPS settings such as length of the breadcrumb trail, voice setting, and distance off-track before automatic re-routing kicks in.

Earthmate GPS LT-20 Specifications:

NMEA-compliant 12-channel receiver
WAAS-enabled
Low-power baseband and RF chip set(RF chip based on the ultra-low-power silicon-germanium BiCMOS process)
Warm start: < 38 seconds
Hot start: < 3 seconds
Full power:165mW;
Sleep mode: < 55mW
Maximum Velocity: 1000 knots
Advanced high-sensitivity algorithms for superior tracking in urban environments
Weak signal tracking: < 145dBm
Proprietary Kalman filter for enhanced position accuracy
Superior noise rejection for high
EMI environments
Environmental Characteristics:
Operating temperature range -40 ºC to +85 ºC
Storage temperature range -55 ºC to +100 ºC
Notes about the Chipset
The chipsets used in this model are the ST Micro Vespucci STA2051 and the SiGe RF chip SE4100L.

NOTE: If you are a registered user and already own Street Atlas USA 2005 software and want to use it with the new LT-20 GPS, you can purchase the device by itself, calling 800-561-5105, and then download the new Service Pack 1 from the support site.

If you want to use Topo USA 5.0, Street Atlas USA 2005 Plus DVD, or XMap software with the LT-20 GPS, you will need an update currently being finalized in testing by DeLorme. They anticipate this update will be ready in early May.

The only place I have ever been lost with a GPS was in the Lincoln tunnel in NYC. However, I did not get lost as the unit relocated my position after my exit from the tunnel.

If you own a laptop computer the purchase of this GPS and software will let you put it to a practical use. This has to be one of the best buys for 2005. For more information on Delorme Mapping products you can visit the company's website at http://www.delorme.com




 

Acronis True Image Version 8
Website: http://www.acronis.com
Reviewed by E. Lawrence Budro, Program Chairman
Tri-County Personal Computer User Group, Inc.
April 2005


I have searched for many years for the ultimate backup system for my computer. Over the years, I have owned 3 Colorado tape backup systems with everything working fine until the backup required a second or third tape and for some reason the restore became unreliable and extremely slow. A single file could be restored but the tapes had to be put in one at a time and looking at each and every file until the file was found.

While looking for information on another piece of software from another company, they contacted a friend Gene Barlow, User Group Relations who was representing their company to User Groups. Gene contacted me and during our visit he told me that he was now representing Acronis and they had the best backup software he had ever used. He convinced me to give it a try. I purchased an external Western Digital USB-2, 7,200 RPM, 80 Gigabyte hard drive for the purpose of backing up my hard drives used with my laptops. The drive was formatted as a FAT32 in order to be to connect the drive to any machine with a USB port.

My first experience was to backup my new Sager NP-3790 laptop with a 60 Gigabyte running at 7,200 RPM with a little less than 30 Gigabytes of data and files on the drive. It took exactly 18 minutes to backup everything on the drive. The drive was verified as completely restorable in less than a couple of minutes. The backup can be mounted which gives the backup a drive letter as if it was an additional hard drive which allowed me to restore a couple of files that I had deleted using windows explorer. The files in the FAT32 are limited to 4 Gigabyte pieces as that is the maximum file size in this format.

The second hard drive was considerably slower to backup. (Note! This is the result of a hardware connections and nothing to do with the software. It also should be noted that the USB 1.1 port or cable is 13 times slower than USB 2) The drive was a 30 Gigabyte, 4,200 RPM with about 26 Gigabytes of data on the drive connected to my laptop with a PCMCIA card. It made a perfect backup of the drive in approximately 4 hours which is a small price to pay to have the data ready to put on a bigger drive or to restore the drive in the event of a crash. Over the years three drives have failed working fine at home only to not work upon getting into the office. This is not a fun experience under any circumstances. This software takes the pain out of backup and restoring files. Incremental backups can be used which adds the changes to the end of the backup. The restore function will restore all data including the Incremental backups completely restoring the drive in the matter of minutes or hours depending on the speed of the drives. I have even backup my compact flash and secure digital cards that I use with my IPAQ.

Disk Cloning

Acronis True Image 8.0 Corporate Workstation now includes the disk cloning and disk deployment capabilities. If your hard drive is full, Acronis True Image Corporate Workstation will help you to quickly and easily deploy a new hard disk on your PC - migrating all data, operating systems, programs, software patches and updates, configuration files, preferences, e-mail and everything else automatically!
Clone an old hard disk drive to a new one.
Automatic and manual hard disk upgrade modes.
Install new hard disk drive as a boot disk or as an additional storage device.
Re-deploy old hard disk.
Resize transferred partitions to match new hard disk size (supported partitions only).
Create, copy, move, and delete partitions.
Securely clean and wipe old hard disk.

Features:
Create the online disk backup image.
Acronis Management Console for remote operations.
Restore the entire system and/or individual files and folders.
Create and restore online disk backup images in Windows without reboot.
Schedule automated backups.
Create incremental disk backup images.
Built-in disk image verification tool.
Clone and upgrade disk drives.
View backup logs.
Automated, wizard-driven operations.

Simplicity at its finest:
Acronis True Image 8.0 Corporate Workstation is the easiest and the most convenient and intuitive disk imaging, backup and system restore software you've ever seen. Its automated, wizard-driven operations make the backup and restore a no-brainier.

Incremental backups:
Acronis' unique incremental disk backup capability allows the user to add the latest changes on the disk to the original disk image. This ensures that you always have all the latest data in your disk backup files.
Scheduled backups:
With the Acronis Scheduler, you can set the software to create unattended, full or incremental backups at any time for complete data protection.

Acronis Secure Zone:
Don't have a dedicated disk backup storage? With the Acronis Secure Zone, your data is stored in a hidden and safe location on your hard disk.

Acronis Startup Recovery Manager:
Acronis' unique Startup Recovery Manager allows you to restore your system without creating a bootable rescue media. Just press the F11 button during the PC start up and you'll be able to restore your system in just minutes.

Image verification tool:
The disk image verification tool ensures that the disk backup you just made is error-free and can be restored without any problems.

Disk cloning and new disk deployment:
Acronis True Image 8.0 Corporate Workstation now includes the full capabilities of Acronis Migrate Easy, the disk cloning and disk deployment solution. If your hard drive is full, Acronis True Image will help you to quickly and easily deploy a new hard disk on your PC - migrating all data, operating systems, programs, software patches and updates, configuration files, preferences, e-mail and everything else automatically!

System requirements:
Supported storage
Hard disk drives
Networked storage devices
CD-R(W)
DVD-RW, DVD+R(W) requires that third-party DVD recording software be installed.
ZIP®, Jazz® and other removable media
P-ATA (IDE), S-ATA, SCSI, IEEE1394 (Firewire) and USB 1.0 / 2.0 drives, PC card storage device


Supported operating systems: Windows XP, Windows Me, Windows 2000 Professional, Windows NT 4.0 Workstation Service Pack 6, and Windows 98

Supported file systems:
FAT16/32, NTFS, Linux Ext2, Ext3, Reiser FS, and Linux SWAP. Special sector-by-sector support for other partitions and corrupted file systems.

System requirements:
CPU: Pentium 133 MHz or higher
RAM 64 Mb or more
Disk space: 20 Mb

This is a must have piece of software and real bargain at $63.00 but don't take my word for it go out to the companies website and download the 30 day trial version and give it a try. This can be one of your best software investments. Remember you will have a hard drive failure the big question is when.

TCPCUG members can purchase the end user product at a discount price of $34. In order to take advantage of this office go to http://www.usergroupstore.com/ and use the Special Price Code: UGEVAL05 in order to take advantage of the discount price.




MacDrive Version 6
http://www.mediafour.com/products/macdrive6/
Reviewed by E. Lawrence Budro, Program Chairman
Tri-County Personal Computer User Group, Inc.
December 2004
Mediafour Corporation
2800 University Ave, #101
West Des Moines IA 50266-1258

MacDrive 6 for Windows enables PC users to open, edit, and save files on Mac disks. You can even format Mac disks and burn Mac CDs and DVD's! The product works great with Microsoft Word, Excel, FrontPage, PowerPoint, Access, Works, Adobe Photoshop, Elements, Illustrator, InDesign, GoLive, Acrobat, PageMaker as well as many other cross platform products. Works great with graphic design, CAD/CAM, digital photography, audio, video, word processing, publishing, databases and much more.

I have used MacDrive for several years to provide data to a local printer that prints the Richfield Area Chamber of Commerce, Inc. Annual brochure. The company only uses a Mac in the printing process. Using MacDrive enabled me to format a disk and using Microsoft Windows Explorer to directly save the data to the disk that I formatted on my PC. The company therefore was able to read the data and graphics that was provided on the disk to product the brochure. The other choices would have been to provide them the data over the internet with a slow dial-up connection or provide them a printed copy which they would have to redo in order to use the information at an additional charge of course. Most printers and graphic designers use a Mac for graphics.

System Requirements
Microsoft® Windows XP, 2003 Server, 2000, Me, 98SE with Internet Explorer 6 (or newer)
MacDrive works with all FireWire (IEEE1394a/b), USB 1.1/2.0, SCSI, IDE, Fibre Channel, parallel-port and other disk devices supported by Windows.
Installation of MacDrive requires less than 10MB hard disk storage.
Low density (400KB and 800KB) Mac disks are not accessible, due to floppy drive limitations.
Burns recordable and rewritable Mac CDs and DVD's (XP/2003/2000)
Works on CD's, DVD's, hard drives, floppies, Zip, Jaz, ORB, SyQuest, and more.
Nothing to configure, nothing new to learn-it just works.

The product is available directly from Mediafour website in both package and download for the full version $49.95 and upgrade for previous users $19.95. If you have a CD burner and a high speed internet connection you can save time and shipping by downloading the product.

MacDrive is normally $49.95 but Mediafour is offering it for $35.95 to TCPCUG members. (for a download purchase only.) Offer good until February 1, 2005.

Club Members should go to http://shop.mediafour.com/productcart/pc/mainindex.asp . Follow the step for ordering MacDrive and when the screen comes up with the total. Enter the code (Discount or Gift Certificate Code.) 4PEACE.

This simple to use product is a must have for any business or person sharing data and pictures between friends and relatives. Quite frankly, this product should be bundled with every new PC sold.





PaperPort 10 Professional
ScanSoft, Inc.
http://www.scansoft.com
Reviewed by E. Lawrence Budro, Program Chairman
Tri-County Personal Computer User Group, Inc.
December 2004

I have been using the PaperPort software since the mid nineties which came bundled by Visioneer with scanners they produce. The software was originally owned by Visioneer and was sold to ScanSoft a number of years ago and they have greatly enhanced the product to what it is today. If I remember the first version that I used was 1.0 for windows and every release since.

It is a must have software for use with a scanner that is available today. Extremely easy to use and PaperPort Professional 10 is the most productive and cost effective way for to organize, find and share paper and PDF documents. PaperPort Professional combines the efficiency of document management, the convenience of network scanning and the power of PDF document creation and assembly.

As with any new software it is advisable to consult the company's website for hardware compatibility before purchasing. ScanSoft has a list of tested scanners on their website: http://support.scansoft.com/compatibility/. The software will work with many other scanners not listed on the site. The scanner a Visioneer Strobe Pro that I have used for 6 or 7 years would not work and a newer driver was not available. It was time to get a new mobile scanner and I purchased a Visioneer Strobe XP100 which is similar to my previous model. The unit is considerably smaller with no extra power supply to carry making it much more portable to travel with.

Some of my favorite features are:

Scan-to-PDF
Use any local or network scanner to turn paper documents directly into PDF files that can be easily organized and shared electronically. PaperPort's Desktop Delivery feature allows businesses to eliminate the costly process of making and delivering paper copies of documents. Desktop Delivery connects networked digital copiers to users' local desktops, making it easier than ever to turn paper into PDF files that can be shared online and on emailed more efficiently than paper.

Easily Create PDF Files from all your Applications
PaperPort Professional includes ScanSoft PDF Create! providing cost effective PDF creation right on the PaperPort Desktop. You can also create PDF files from your scanner or PC applications, including Microsoft® Office. PaperPort produces industry standard PDF files that are compatible with, but do not require, Adobe® Acrobat® and support PDF password protection for document security that many businesses require.

Cut & Paste Text - From Paper and PDF
Eliminate re-typing information by using the OCR in PaperPort to extract text from scanned images and PDF files. You can even copy a portion of a scanned document to the clipboard, and then paste the text directly into a word processor or an email message.

Find Everything - Documents, PDF Files, Photos and Paper Instantly
Use PaperPort's All-in-One search engine to quickly find all matching documents - from standard Microsoft Office and other digital document types, to scanned paper and business cards, as well as PDF files received on email or downloaded from the Web. Its full-page OCR capabilities automatically create searchable PDF files, while PaperPort's support for meta-data simplifies finding images and digital photographs. Best of all, PaperPort supports searching centralized document repositories anywhere on the network, and can connect to Web-based content management systems.

Fill Out Forms
Never fill out a form by hand again. PaperPort FormTyper� instantly converts a static form into a fillable electronic form and creates electronic form fields, letting you fill-in the form using the keyboard, then save, print or e-mail the completed form.

Save Web Pages as PDF Files
WebCapture and PDF Create! let you save Web pages as PDF documents - complete with text, graphics, color and link information. Ideal for saving electronic copies of Web research, hotel/rental car confirmations, airline boarding passes, purchase receipts and more.

Minimum System Requirements
A computer with an Intel® Pentium® or higher processor

Microsoft Widows® 98 (from second edition), Windows Me, Windows 2000 SP4 or above, Windows XP SP2 or above

128MB of memory (RAM) 256MB recommended

150MB of free hard disk space for application files plus 5MB working space during installation

5MB for Microsoft Installer (MSI) if not present. (This is present as part of the operating system in Windows Me, Windows 2000 and Windows XP)

SVGA monitor with 256 colors, but preferably 16 bit color (called High Color in Windows 2000 and Medium Color in XP) and 800 x 600 pixel resolution

A windows compatible pointing device, CD-ROM drive for installation and a web connection with IE (5.5 or above) for activation and web updates

PaperPort 10 Professional is available from ScanSoft for $199.99 for a new version and $149.99 for an upgrade from a previous version of the product.







OmniPage Pro 14 Office
Scansoft, Inc.

http://www.scansoft.com
Reviewed by E. Lawrence Budro, Program Chairman
Tri-County Personal Computer User Group, Inc.
January 2004

I have been a user of OCR (Optical Character Recognition) programs for many years now. Each version offers more bells and whistles than the previous releases. The PDF format is really beginning to take it just place in the software world and is fast becoming the universal file format for all platforms. OmniPage Pro 14 Office supports the creation of searchable PDF files from any paper or electronic document. OmniPage also allows users to turn PDF Files (even image-only files) directly into their favorite editable document format. These collective PDF capabilities enable editing, archiving and processes sharing to save valuable time and money.

PDF creation capability so you can turn Word documents Excel spreadsheets, or any other files, into PDF files you can share with anyone without having the full version of Adobe Acrobat.

Open a PDF file right from within Microsoft Word and the PDF automatically converts into a fully-formatted Word document that you can edit with ScanSoft's PDF Converter for Microsoft® Word.

Accuracy is increased approximately 35% with significant improvements for the processing of degraded images, improved recognition algorithms for despeckling and new language capabilities coupled with a new financial dictionary and expanded legal and medical dictionaries.

Accuracy is increased approximately 35% with significant improvements for the processing of degraded images, improved recognition algorithms for despeckling and new language capabilities coupled with a new financial dictionary and expanded legal and medical dictionaries.

OmniPage has always done an excellent job retaining the formatting of most documents. But do you ever have trouble with documents that contain images or graphics that aren't symmetrical? Now, with OmniPage Pro 14 Office, text flows freely around any object regardless of its shape.
And, you'll see a tremendous improvement in the way the product retains bullets and numbered lists. Again, you'll save hours of editing and re-formatting.

In addition to Legal and Medical dictionaries, OmniPage Pro 14 Office includes a Financial dictionary so financial terminology are now recognized ensuring fast and accurate recognition of important documents.

Turn Printed Text into Audio Files: How often do you come across an article or report that you wish you had the time to read? Well check this out. With this version of OmniPage you can scan in the article, convert it to an audio file, burn it to a CD, and listen to it in your car on the way to work.

System Requirements
Intel® Pentium® III or higher, or equivalent processor
Microsoft® Windows® 98 SE, 2000 with Service Pack 2 or higher, Me, XP, Windows NT® 4.0 with Service Pack 6 or above, or Windows Server 2003
Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.01 Service Pack 2 or later
128 MB of memory (RAM), 256 MB recommended
135 MB of free hard disk space for application files and sample images, plus 40-45 MB working space during installation. Additionally:
20-67 MB per RealSpeak� speech module (343 MB in total for nine languages)
2 MB per ASR speech recognition language (15 MB in total for seven languages)
18 MB for ScanSoft PDF Converter
3.4 MB for ScanSoft PDF Printer Driver
5 MB for Microsoft® Installer (MSI) if not present (This is present as part of the operating system in Windows® 2000, XP and Windows® Server 2003) An additional maximum of 5 MB may be required for various system updates
800 x 600 pixel color monitor with 16-bit color or greater video card
CD-ROM drive for installation
A compatible scanner with its own scanner driver software if you plan to scan documents. Please see the Hardware Compatibility List, for a list of supported scanners
Web access is needed for product registration, Scanner Wizard database updating and obtaining live updates for the program.

This is by far the best OCR program on the market today.





SureThing CD Deluxe Version 4.0
http://www.surething.com/
MicroVision Development, Inc.
5541 Fermi Court, Suite 120
Carlsbad, CA 92008
Reviewed by E. Lawrence Budro, Program Chairman
Tri-County Personal Computer User Group, Inc.
November 18, 2003


I know many of our members use this product and I have used it since version 2.0. A new purchase is available for $29.95 for $14.95 with both products available for download from the company website. The upgrade version has several flavors one of which is the ability to download the product immediately and receive the CD shipped for an additional $5.00.
Here are some of the features of this version:

Over 6,000 Background and Clip Art Images
Super packed with thousands of incredible new background images including creative textures, vibrant photographs and wild gradients.

Photo Touch up & Effects
Enhance photos with built-in tools and effects. Crop or rotate an image for the perfect fit, reduce red eye, or even sharpen and lighten the photo. For a unique look, add a special effect filter to photos or backgrounds using Sepia, Colorize, Posterize or Solarize.

Make Photo Collage Covers
Version 4.0 sports a new Background Collage feature-a fun and easy-to-use tool that lets you quickly assemble any of your digital photos and images to create a custom collage you can use as a background for your label and jewel case designs.
New Circular, Spiral and "Spoke" Text Effects
We completely revamped the Circular Text tool in v4.0. You won't believe how easy it is to create, scale and rote text that follows the contour of CD edges (both inner and outer edges!). You can even create spiral and spoke text effects.
Never Type a Song Title Again
Automatically add the artist, track title, album title and playtimes to your CD labels or jewel case using one of the five available methods:
Auto-Grab Play list from CD-Text
Internet look-up
Import from your MP3 Files
Import MP3 playlists from third party software:
With version 4.0, you can import your MP3, or M3U playlists from MUSICMATCH or Windows Media Player as well as other music players*

New Alignment Tools
Easily center objects on your labels or align their edges. No more guess work, just a click of the button and it's done.

DVD Labels and Case Inserts
Version 4.0 has custom templates and backgrounds especially designed for DVDs and DVD case inserts

Transfer Your Designs to Other Labels
Once you've made that perfect CD label, you can now clone your design to make a matching jewel case cover, or apply the same design to anything other label using the new Transfer Design tool.

New Text Drop Shadows and Color Fills
Now you can add drop shadows to any text, anywhere! Makes text pop and easier to read on virtually any background.

FREE Subscription to our Online Design Gallery
Only SureThing version 4.0 grants you access to a dynamic online gallery of cool new backgrounds and label designs. The SureThing Design Gallery is constantly updated with professional and seasonal designs. Browse it for ideas, or download the designs and use them for yourself!

Updated and Enhanced User Interface
Features more easily accessible with new design panels for one-click access to frequently used commands. We've also updated the interface with a new "XP style" look.

System Requirements
Windows 98, ME, 2000 or XP
32MB RAM (64MB for Windows 2000/XP)
VGA or better monitor (800x600 resolution or greater recommended)
CD-ROM drive
64MB of available hard disk space
Windows compatible inkjet or laser printer
Internet Explorer 5.0 or later
Note! This version of the product will not work with Windows 95

Any brand of CD labels can be used with the SureThing CD Labeler Deluxe. Other labeling programs try to control the types of labels you can use. SureThing CD Labeler Deluxe Edition does the opposite by including templates for all major label brands right in the software. SureThing has templates for Avery®, Memorex®, CD Stomper®, NEATO®, StickIt® and many, many others. If by chance you find a label that SureThing doesn't have, creating a new template is easy with our Template Creation Wizard.

This software is not only affordable it is also the best labeling program on the market available today.







CoPilot Live Laptop 7
ALK Technologies, Inc.
http://www.alk.com
Reviewed by E. Lawrence Budro, Program Chairman
Tri-County Personal Computer User Group, Inc.
November 18, 2003


Many of you know I have personally used CoPilot since 1999 and as this is the 7th release of the product, I missed the 1998 version. A short time after receiving the GPS and the software, most of the clubs Board of Directors road with me to a NYC sponsored computer club meeting and as with any trip to NYC you just have to miss a turn for one reason or another. Well CoPilot just automatically rerouted us right back on course without any intervention on my part. Actually upon returning one of the Board members purchased the product and has been using it ever since.

The next trip to NYC brought us to destination without a hitch. However, on the return trip for some reason the GPS was not working properly and upon my return, I contacted the company and returned the GPS which as graciously replaced. A couple of weeks later, I received a telephone call from the Technical Support person that had replaced the GPS inquiring as to how the GPS was working. I kidded him a little and told him that it did not work very well in the Lincoln Tunnel. He immediately replied, "You did not get lost either!

The GPS has been used a lot since without any problems. A real fun place to drive around at night is Washington, DC with it's numerous traffic circles and seeing the turn just after you drove by where you wanted to be well CoPilot takes you away from these kind of problems. Construction problems can force you into an area that you may not want to be and not know how to get back where you want to be. You can feel comfortable using this software to get you where you are going. Each release of the software updates more and more of the 911 addressing just making it much more accurate the previous release. This release is by far no exception, the exit numbers have been updated and is printed with the driving directions. A feature that was previously available in the 2000 release but taken out of subsequent releases. The data was available in the software but had to be really worked at to get the information. It is always beneficial to know which exit you are looking for and if it is a right or left exit with plenty of time to be in the right lane. How many times have you had that happen to you? The software lets you know in plenty time that you are approaching your exit.

CoPilot Live | Laptop 7 is the seventh version of the amazing, award-winning in vehicle navigation system.

Here's how they have made it better to help improve your quality of life on the road.

NEW! Safe and Easy Interface

Optimized Menu Items for easy access

Customizable Display lets you choose among the following: Current Road, Crossroad, Time, Speed, Elevation,

Nearest Town, and Lat/Long Position

Zoom Modes let you quickly adjust the map to show you your Current Position, Next Turn or Complete Trip

New Color Scheme and Cleaner Map Displays for quick and easy reference.

NEW! LIVE Communications*

Text Messages sent from home or office to the vehicle include large, customizable, one-touch response buttons to ensure driver safety

Real-Time Tracking of your travels by friends, family and loved ones over a secure Internet connection

Itinerary Updates enable friends and coworkers to send new destinations directly to your navigation system

Text-to-Speech engine enhances safety - text message and itinerary updates are spoken out loud, keeping you focused on the road ahead.

NEW! US Map Database

Over 250,000 new and updated roads for a total of over 7 million miles of roads, 100 million addresses, and 3 million points of interest.

31,000 new and updated exit numbers throughout the US.

NEW! Street-Level Maps of Canada (optional)

Complete, coast-to-coast, street-level coverage of Canada, including rural regions (not just metro areas)
830,000 miles of roads, 10 million addresses, and over 5,000 Points-of-Interest
NEW! Text-to-Speech and Voice Recognition Engine uses the latest in voice technology to speak detailed turn instructions and respond to your voice commands.

NEW! Avoid/Favor Roads lets you customize CoPilot's routing to take you the way you want to go.

NEW! Approaching POI Notification can notify you as you approach Points-of-Interest along your route.

NEW! 3rd Party GPS Support lets you use CoPilot with any NMEA standard GPS receiver.

NEW! Draggable Maps let you move the map display by clicking and dragging your mouse.

NEW! Customizable POI Feature allows you to add POI's to existing POI categories or create new categories of your own.

Two-Way Voice Technology

Yes, CoPilot Live | Laptop 7 literally talks you through your trip! You can keep your hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road as CoPilot gives you easy-to-follow directions like "Just ahead, turn right on Nassau Street."

CoPilot responds to 15 questions and commands such as the examples below. Please click on any question below to hear the reply.

When prompted, you can either save the file to your hard drive or just choose "Open file from current location." Just make sure your speakers are turned on!

Where am I?: Gives you your current location
Next turn?: Tells you when and where to make your next turn
How far?: Gives you the distance to your next stop
CoPilot also responds to these verbal commands:
Wake up / Go to sleep: Causes CoPilot to enter "Sleep" mode or awaken from it
Zoom in / Zoom out: Each time spoken, the view of the map will change one level
More detail / Less detail: Each time spoken, the map will change one level
Speed: Provides the speed at which you are currently traveling
Heading: Informs you of the direction in which you are traveling
Pan left / right / up / down: Will move the view of the map in the direction you request
Clear track: Restarts your track on the screen with your current location
Resnap: Resets GPS to your actual location if it happens to be getting an inaccurate reading

Minimum System requirements:

USB GPS Version: Windows 98 (2nd Edition), 2000, ME, XP
Serial GPS Version: Windows 98 (2nd Edition), 2000, ME, XP, Windows NT 4.0 and higher
IBM compatible PC (laptop required for in-car navigation)
266 MHz Pentium II processor (or equivalent)
4x CD-ROM drive (12x CD-ROM drive recommended if using CD as data source)
32 MB RAM
130 MB of available hard disk space
Serial, USB, Compact Flash, or Bluetooth connection required (depending on your GPS receiver type)
Speakers and sound card required for voice technology
Microphone required for voice recognition
What's included:
Street-level maps for US, Canada, or Europe (depending on data purchased)
Highway level maps for Mexico
High-performance CoPilot GPS receiver
Quick Start Guide
There are no monthly fees or subscriptions required.

Automatic Activation:
You need to connect your PC to a valid internet connection, if you entered your Product Key Code when you installed to your PC, then the first screen will not appear, all you will be asked is your email address so it can be referred back to you and you can then gain technical support, and the rest is history. Activation will only take a few seconds.

Manual Activation
If you do have internet access you can activate manually. Select Activate Manually from within CoPilot Live, then tap next and follow the screens to the right (you will be asked to enter your activation code on the PC in Manual Activation mode. You will then have to connect to http://activate.alk.com and also enter your Product Key Code, license number and email address and an activation code will be emailed to you.

Activation works well through a firewall, Norton Internet Security, Zone Labs, Zone Alarm, and set it to allow CoPilot Live to talk through the firewall and it didn't complain when activating. The only difficulty you might experience with product activation is if you're using a proxy server, in which case you can manually activate by calling ALK.

My biggest fault with the new product is that it should come with an activation code or at least install giving some time to get the code if the internet is not available to activate. A problem that I ran into was a voice mail message telling me that the company was experiencing high call volume and to leave a message and that I would be contacted within 24 hours. Not a message you want to hear on a Friday with the company closed for the weekend. Note! The software can only be installed on one machine. It should include licensing for 2 machines such as a laptop and a desktop. Both the male and female voice modules need some work and I understand the company is working on an update to address this issue. I found the male voice the best choice for me to use.

This is by far the best mapping software available and I cannot recommend it high enough. You just have to use it one time to be hooked forever. I really am and it is on my annual must have list. The $99 upgrade cost each year is money well spent. The product comes with an install disk, North America-Canada and the European Union Disk. Each region can be purchased at anytime over the internet or by telephone without having to wait to receive the data.



Adobe Acrobat 6 Standard/Professional
Reviewed by E. Lawrence Budro, Program Chairman
Tri-County Personal Computer User Group, Inc.
October 6, 2003

Many of you know that I have been a strong supporter of the Adobe Acrobat program for many years. I have used the product since version 3.0 for windows. As with most software the product gets much easier to use with each release. I have been putting version 6.0 professional through its paces for the last 3 months and think it is just a joy to use.

Yesterday, the local newspaper published their annual cookbook on a page by page basis on the company website. I downloaded all the single pages and combined them in a single PDF file and sent it to my aunt in Peru, NY. Now that's not something that could not be done with previous versions of Acrobat but just was seemed so much easier to complete the task.

Experiments were done making various cookbooks in PDF format directly from my MasterCook 7 software including color pictures of the recipes. The software produced superior results. Recipes in PDF format can be highlighted and copied to the clipboard converting the document to text format which can be easily formatted to be imported into the cookbook using it's import assistant command. Two cookbooks that my mother had published were scanned and converted into PDF format and then converted into text by individual recipe and imported into the cookbook. Each book was given a category name of the cookbook that it was published in giving the ability to bring up the recipes for each book separately as well as by other recipe categories. The OCR capabilities are great with minimal corrections of in the spelling. The ingredients were listed in two columns and had to be brought together into a single column to be imported into the cookbook program.

I have started sending pictures to family and friends in PDF format, mainly because of the cross platform capabilities of the product. Most everyone today has the Adobe Acrobat Reader on their machine today. Acrobat Reader 6 cross platform document reader is available for FREE at http://www.adobe.com hard to beat at any price. The company has distributed over half a billion copies of the product since its 1993 introduction.

"Acrobat" is the name Adobe has given to its technology built around the PDF (Portable Document Format) file format. What makes PDF unique is that it can provide an exact electronic replica of any document from any application on all major platforms including all text, graphics and fonts. It's an amazingly flexible format with myriad uses ranging from electronic manuals and e books through secure document exchange and archiving to multimedia presentation and high end commercial print.

Adobe has recognized that the use of Distiller and the whole idea of "printing" to PDF was little understood and off putting and so has done everything it can to push it into the background. The emphasis instead is on the one click automatic creation of PDFs from all the major Office applications. Macro based Convert to PDF icons are automatically added to Word, Excel, PowerPoint and now Outlook too. You can even right click on a supported file in Windows Explorer and convert from there. As previously mentioned products just get easier to use all the time.

Acrobat 6 allows you to combine files from multiple programs and combine them into one single PDF document. It has changed the way Links are created manually it has also introduced several ways to create links from selections made in the PDF. Acrobat can create a link from the ShortCut Menu (Right Click over the selected area).

Adobe® Acrobat® 6.0 Professional software enables business, creative, and engineering, graphic artist professionals who work with graphically complex documents to improve the reliability and efficiency of business critical document exchange.

Reliably exchange documents

Streamline critical document reviews

Protect intellectual property

Ensure high quality printed output

The Adobe Acrobat family allows businesses to simplify their document processes by enabling the reliable and efficient exchange of business critical documents using Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF).

The professional version is truly a great product to use and anyone upgrading the product should spend the difference to the Pro product. Most of the improvements in the Pro product are used mainly in the publishing of documents sent to printers to be produced. The standard version will handle most of your business needs.

System requirements: (for Standard/Professional versions) Pentium, 64/128MB of RAM, 245MB of hard disk space, Windows 98 SE (Standard only), NT (SP6), 2000 (SP2) or XP, CD ROM, 800x600 display (Professional 1024x768) NOTE! The pro version would not install on my portable with 80MB RAM and a 166MHz processor with windows 98. The machine is over 6 or 7 years. Read the box before you purchase any product.

You will not be disappointed with the purchase of this release and the improvements are well worth the investment.



Valusoft MasterCook 7 Deluxe
http://www.valusoft.com
Reviewed by E. Lawrence Budro, Program Chairman
Tri-County Personal Computer User Group, Inc.
September 2003


This is the second release by Valusoft of this product. I have used the product Axion released version 1.0 Windows the product was subsequently sold to Sierra and then to the present owner Valusoft, Inc. The product has evolved with the companies listening to it's users and improving it to the best cookbook software on the market today. If I remember right the first version cost me around $100. The present version is available on the company website for $19.95 plus shipping and handling.

This versions includes the ability to install on a Desktop, Laptop or a PDA with the Palm OS or Pocket PC. A big plus for this version is the ability to compress the picture file. My main cookbook picture file was 147,668 MB which compressed to 14,038 MB which is a little less than 10% of the original file. The program has 4 different compressions LED CMP, JPEG YUV 4:1:1 Color Space, JPEG YUV 4:2:2 Color Space and PNG. I used the LED CMP method to achieve the results mentioned above. I can now put all of my main cookbooks on a compact flash card. One of these days I will be in the market for a PDA unit. Those of you that have one this program provides not only for your recipes but shopping list that tell you the area of the store to find the ingredient. You can attach JPEG pictures of the finished product as well as pictures in the direction area showing the various steps to completion of the recipe. QuickTime .MOV files can also be attached to the cookbook Version 7 has many video tips on the CD however, you have to use the CD in the drive to view them. A browse feature would allow the ability to copy the video tips folder to the hard drive thus eliminate the need to carry the CD with you.

Predefined Searches allow a separate search of all the recipes in the cookbook with high fiber, low calorie, low fat, low sodium, low in carbs, no dairy products, no eggs, no fish or seafood, no meat, fish or seafood, no nuts and no red meat. This option is extremely helpful for people with special diets and provides only recipes that fall into the desired category.

This release has added the ability to use the page up and page down keys as well as using ctrl home and ctrl end to navigate to the top and bottom of the area you are working in. The install program will install the new program into a directory called Mastercook 7 therefore it is not necessary to uninstall your present version that is installed in a directory called Mastercook. I would recommend leaving both version on your system for a time until you have copied all your cookbooks to the new program and everything works fine

The program will provide the nutritional values of your recipes. When my daughter calls and wants a family recipe it is quite simple using the Export and Mail feature of the program and in a matter of minutes the recipe is received 400 miles from home.

Valusoft has managed to reduce the costs of production by integrating the manual into the help file within the program. No more bulky manual to lug around and the information is always at your finger tips. The use of compression, they have reduced the program from 2 CD's to 1 and have passed on the savings to the end user at a reasonable price.

I guess if asked what my favorite feature in the product it would have to be the import assistant which allows for easy importing internet recipes into the cookbook. Many full cookbooks are available on the internet that can be downloaded and imported into a present cookbook or imported into a new cookbook that you create.

My mom and I must be on the same wave link because she published two cookbooks with all of my family's favorite recipes. I typed most of the recipes and imported others with a scanner, an OCR program using the MasterCook import assistant. The biggest problem was getting the ingredients where they needed to be as they were originally published in a multi column format. After completed, the two cookbooks were imported into my main cookbook

This is one of the best values in computer software today and is a must have for every family. When was the last time you wanted a favorite recipe from a friend or relative and could not find it. My wife thought I was nuts when I started, but now she wants me to print a recipe out for her to use.



PaperPort Pro 9 Office
Reviewed by E. Lawrence Budro, Program Chairman
Tri-County Personal Computer User Group, Inc.
May, 2003

http://www.scansoft.com

This product is one of my favorite software programs that I have personally used since version 1.0. I had the opportunity to use the product at a demo at PC Expo in New York City several years ago when Visioneer owned the product. Upon my return from PC Expo the very next day I ordered a Visioneer portable scanner and ordered the Paperport Deluxe software to go with it. Visioneer subsequently sold the software to ScanSoft and continued to make reasonably priced scanners.

Many of you had the opportunity to see this product at the April meeting when Microsoft had to cancel the program because of a bad snow storm. Version 9 has come a long way, it seems that I make this statement with every release of the product. The most valued addition in this release is the change in the native file format from a propriety format of .MAX to .PDF. The software does not require the full version of Adobe Acrobat software to create the .PDF file format.

PaperPort Pro Office supports one-click creation of PDF files from Microsoft Office documents, and supports Print-to-PDF using other Microsoft Windows applications, including Corel® and Autodesk®. A wide range of image formats can also be converted into PDF - including TIFF, MAX, JPG, BMP and GIF.

Scan directly to PDF using any local or network scanner to turn paper documents into PDF files that can be easily organized and shared electronically. With the Desktop Delivery feature, businesses can eliminate the costly process of making and delivering paper copies of important documents. Desktop Delivery connects network digital copiers to users' local desktops, making it easier than ever to turn paper into PDF files that can be shared online and on email. Couple OmniPage Pro versions 11 or 12 and you can make completely searchable PDF files.

Assemble Custom PDF Documents with a single click of the mouse, users can quickly assemble custom PDF documents, combining scanned paper and pages from PC applications, including Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, into a single document. PDF documents can be reordered and merged right on the PaperPort Desktop using PaperPort's drag & drop stacking capability - just as you do with real paper.

Safely Annotate and Collaborate with email and is a convenient and fast way to review and approve documents within a workgroup, or with people outside your organization. PaperPort works with your current email system to enhance the digital review process, by converting Word and other editable documents into more secure PDF files - which can be read, but can't be edited. This is especially ideal for reviewing contracts and other important documents. For capturing review comments, PaperPort supports creating and viewing annotations within PDF files, including sticky notes, highlights and stamps.

Filling out forms has never been faster or easier thanks to the FormTyper� feature, which instantly converts static PDF forms into fill-able electronic forms. Form fields are automatically identified and created, allowing the user to fill, save and email the form online, or to print the form for submission.

Cut & Paste Text - From Paper and PDF and eliminate re-typing by using the OCR in PaperPort Pro Office to extract text from scanned images and PDF files. You can also copy a portion of a scanned document to the clipboard, then paste text into a word processor or an email message.

One of the biggest problems in business using computers today is viewing files made a number of years ago as the file formats are no longer viewable. Both government and business over the years have used programs that are no longer available and none of the current software products will allow viewing of the documents. A uniform file format standard is necessary that can be viewed from cross platforms. The Adobe PDF format can be read in the Windows, MAC and UNIX platforms. How many of you work in a branch office with local software purchases and the home office with different software. In the government arena think of the problems from Federal, States, Counties, Cities, Villages and Towns with software compatibility.

This is a must have software and is a giant step in filling a huge compatibility gap.

System Requirements:
Microsoft® Windows® 98 (SE), 2000, Me, XP Windows NT® 4.0.
Intel® Pentium® Processor or equivalent.
Minimum of 32 MB RAM for Windows 98 and Me; 64 MB or higher is recommended.
Minimum of 64 MB RAM for Windows NT 4.0, Windows 2000 and XP; 128 MB, or higher is recommended.
A hard disk with a minimum of 80 MB free space.
A CD-ROM drive for installation.
SVGA monitor with 256 colors or more, and 800x600 minimum pixel resolution.


The full versions of PaperPort Pro 9 Office and PaperPort Deluxe 9 is available on CD from the company on their website.




Easy CD & DVD Creator 6 Platinum Edition
Reviewed by E. Lawrence Budro, Program Chairman
Tri-County Personal Computer User Group, Inc.
April, 2003

If you have a CD or DVD burner, this is the product that you should have. It is by far the most comprehensive program available on the market today. I have used the product since version 4 and find that the product is greatly improved with each version. That said, anyone using version 5 and does not have a DVD burner I see no appreciative reason to upgrade to version 6. Anyone that is purchasing a new CD or DVD burner, this is a must have reasonably priced software package that is available in a boxed version for $99.95 with a $20.00 mail in rebate directly from Roxio at http://www.roxio.com as well as a download version is available for $89.95 with a $10.00 instant rebate making the product available for $79.95 from the company. The box version comes with an extensive user manual making it the better buy in the long run.

I have used the product to rip from some of my CD's purchased from Germany by Connie Francis to the MP3 format. When the 5 CD's were converted to MP3's, I used the tag editor to change the names that would be viewed on an MP3 player or on Roxio's CD player that comes with the package. One of the CD's had an introduction of her prior to her singing the song and the sound editor allowed me to easily remove from the sound track. The program will allow you to rip to 320 KBS which is top recording for MP3's.

This release has a Drag-to-Disc feature that can take files from anywhere, drop them on the icon on the desktop and will burn them to CD-R/DVD-R or write them to CD-RW/DVD-RW. The one limit: you can't automatically span files across multiple discs using Drag-to-Disc. For that, you must use the Creator Classic. It is great when you are backing up specific files that will fit on the media that you are using. I do not have a DVD writer at this time but with the continued reduced pricing of both the burners and the media it is only a matter of time. Many computer companies have announced that they will no longer provide floppy drives in future machines. This is with good reason as many files created today will no longer fit on this type of media and many of the machines being produced today have a DVD/CDR-RW drive included. A prime example the music files I worked on over the weekend not one would fit on a floppy. My digital camera would barely allow 1 file on a floppy at the high resolution.

The program is broken down into a menu that you one click to the five modules: Creator Classic, DVD Builder, Audio Central, Disc Copier and PhotoSuite.

Features

Roxio's Easy CD & DVD Creator� 6 lets you capture, organize, edit, burn and share music, data, photo and video on CD or DVD -- all in one integrated product!

An Awesome New Home!
Simple, intuitive User Interface lets you access your photo, video, data, and music components with the click of a button.

New! DVD Builder
Make DVD home movies or photo slide shows. Add voiceover, your favorite music, transitions, and animated DVD menus, and burn to DVD, VCD or SVCD to play on your home DVD player.

New! AudioCentral
Includes a player, media manager, ripper, tag and sound editor - integrated in a single application. Create greatest hits CDs, preserve your old LPs and cassettes in digital format, enhance your tracks with sound effects and more.

New PhotoSuite 5
Capture, edit, organize and share your digital photos. Fix your images with easy-to-use tools. Create electronic photo albums. Preserve your memories on CD. Share your slide shows or albums with family and friends.

Improved! Disc Copier
Make a back-up copy of your personal disc faster than ever. Now supports Raw Mode and multi-destination copy.

Improved! Creator Classic
Back up, share or archive your important files to CD or DVD, or large projects to multiple discs. Easily retrieve files or projects back to the original or new location on my Windows® PC with Roxio Retrieve.

New! Drag to Disc
Easily drag and drop files for burning to CD or DVD. Disc formatting and burning will happen automatically.

Improved! Roxio Label Creator
Make personalized CD labels, jewel case inserts and DVD case covers. Choose from dozens of professional designs for all occasions!

Easy CD & DVD Creator� 6 The Digital Media Suite� software package includes:
Disc Copier, AudioCentral , DVD Builder, PhotoSuite, Creator Classic, Drag-to-Disc, Label Creator, Digital Media Services, Tutorial, User Guide.

System Requirements:
Pentium 200MHz or faster processor for audio; Pentium III 500MHz or faster for video authoring, Pentium III 800MHz or faster for analog MPEG capture and 1.6GHz for real time capture from DV.
Windows 98SE, ME, 2000, XP
128 MB RAM
815 MB of available hard disk space for typical installation of all applications
Multi-media compliant CD/DVD recordable or CDR-RW drive
1024 x768 screen resolution recommended

I have used all of the features of the product with the exception of the DVD video and find the product greatly improved in some areas. It does have a tendency to have an over abundance of menus. I did call technical support when trying to make a bootable CD for Windows XP Pro and had a considerable wait on long distance phone call to start a 90 day support of the product that the problem was not resolved when using an external USB writer. I suspect that the problem has more to do with the security with NTFS file format with XP rather than the Roxio product.




Exec-Amort� Loan Amortizer Plus�
Windows� Loan Amortization Software for Professionals
Reviewed by E. Lawrence Budro, Program Chairman
Tri-County Personal Computer User Group, Inc.
February 2003

Electrosonics first developed loan amortization software as an investment tool for real estate investors as a UNIX based software product in 1982. This first rendition of the Electrosonics amortization software dealt with monthly payments and allowed changes of interest rates. These features alone were quite useful at the time for making investment decisions.

By 1985, when the personal computer became mainstream, David Barker, the creator of the UNIX based amortization re-wrote the program to run on MS-DOS based personal computers and the product was named Mortgage & Loan Planner - "MLP". The feature set included 11 scheduling methods, extra payments, balloon payments, and comparison tables. A successful marketing campaign was launched for MLP, by Philip Barker with such media as the Wall Street Journal, direct mail and press releases. A nationwide U.S. network of dealers was also established to re-sell the MLP software.

In 1987, Electrosonics experimented with a scaled down version of MLP called Instamort. The market appeal was minimal as most buyers preferred the full feature set of MLP. Instamort and MLP were soon to be replaced with a new release of amortization software by Electrosonics.

In 1989, after adding features such as Regulation-Z APR's, Solve for the Unknown, Yield, Present Values, Points & Fees, Private Mortgage Insurance, and file storage, the MLP product was re-named Exec-Amort� - Loan Amortizer Plus. The addition of these new features brought on new markets such as Financial Institutions, Real Estate Attorneys, CPA's and Government. International appeal for the Exec-Amort� software also started to surface. The Exec-Amort� product utilized the same network of established dealers.

Throughout the 1990's Exec-Amort� continued to be marketed through the existing channels. There were several updates that occurred in the 1990's to add such features as short and long first periods, multiple printer support, multiple user license support, and Y2K support. All during the 1990's Exec-Amort� remained a DOS based product.

Toward the end of the 1990's many customers inquired upon a Windows� release for Exec-Amort�. In 1998, David Barker started the conversion process of Exec-Amort� DOS version to the Windows� version. The software writing foundation platform was selected and we determined that absolutely none of the original source code from the DOS based Exec-Amort� product could be transferred to the Windows� based platform. This meant that all of the calculation algorithms of Exec-Amort� DOS had to be re-written, verified for accuracy and inter-program tested with other features of the Windows� based release. It soon became apparent that this re-write would take an enormous amount of time. In comparison, the DOS code took only 384kb of programming space, whereas the Exec-Amort� Windows� code consumes over 15 times the amount of code to perform the same functions as the Exec-Amort� DOS product.

The Exec-Amort� DOS product had a very long lifespan in the market as attested to by over 18 years of marketable use through such platforms as DOS, Windows� 3.11, 95, 98, 2000, Millennium, and XP.

The DOS version of this program is the only DOS program that I have on my machine and it does not support Windows� only printers nor does it support USB printers.

I have personally used this program since 1990 in my work as a Commercial Loan Officer with State Bank of Albany, Norstar Bank, Fleet Bank and with Wilber National Bank prior to my retirement from my banking career. I think I've been after the company for a Windows� version of the product almost as long. The program is used by banks, lending institutions, attorneys, CPA's, accountants and real estate professionals. It has been the standard that others have tried to compete with but never quite measured up. The program can provide amortization schedules for loans with principal amounts between $0.01 and ($100,000,000,000,000.00).

Features:
APR and Calculation Accuracy, First Payment and Short/Long Period, Financial Calculation Reporting, Flexible Extra Payments, Interest Calculations, Loan Amortization Features, Payment Calculation Methods, Payment Calculation Methods, Payment Scheduling, Reporting Options, Report Watermarks, Solve for an Unknown, User Configurable Defaults, User Friendly and LAN/WAN network aware with a built-in Multi-user License Manager supporting simultaneous usage.

Interest Computation Modes: Ordinary, Actual/365, Actual/360
NOTE: When mixing interest computation modes within a loan, mortgage or trust deed, the APR reporting function is disabled.

Payment Scheduling: Weekly (52 payments per year), Bi-Weekly (26 payments per year), Every 4 weeks (13 payments per year), Every 13 weeks (4 payments per year), Every 26 weeks (2 payments per year), Monthly (12 payments per year), Bimonthly (6 payments per year), Quarterly (4 payments per year), Tri-Annually (3 payments per year), Semi-Annually (2 payments per year) and Annually (1 payment per year)

Payment Calculation Modes: P+I = Principal plus Interest, FP+I = Fixed Principal plus Interest, IO = Interest Only, D = Deferred/Skipped Payments, P+I S = Principal plus Interest User Specified Payment, FP+I = Fixed Principal plus Interest, User Specified Payment

The program can handle points, fees, Private Mortgage Insurance, additional principal payments, regular or at odd times and produce APR reports as well as full loan amortization schedules in several different formats.

New features include: Configurable interest rounding and truncating techniques, The ability to solve an unknown interest rate for graduated payment loans, Configurable methods for interest on a short or long first period, How that first short or long period interest is paid and Changeable default settings that customize the program to the way you do business.

Exec-Amort� - A great loan amortization program!

Accurate to the penny! What you see is what you get. Many programs display one number but use another number internally - then they just don't add up right... You can trust Exec-Amort� to always add up correctly! Cheaper is not better if accuracy suffers!

Maximum number of cash flow streams:
Extra Payment entries, Interest Rate Changes = total maximum is 32,767per loan, (default is set at 400 up to 32,767 can be set by user, if more is needed, can be optionally custom programmed if needed - memory dependent). User specified reports, Print reports on paper, Send reports to disk, View reports on display, File Management-save and load loan data

System Requirements: IBM-PC Compatible computers with Microsoft Windows� 95, 98, NT, 2000 Professional,2000 Server, 2000SBS Terminal Server, and XP Home/Professional operating systems. 32MB System Memory (Minimum), 6MB Free Disk Space and any laser, ink jet, dot matrix or digital printer supported by Windows� whether the printer is directly attached to the PC or through a network.

The Windows� version is now in beta testing stages and should be available when you read this review. I have had the privilege of working with the beta since the Friday before Christmas. This is the product that all others will be measured by. It is truly first in its class. The company has done extensive testing prior to releasing beta and it is extremely stable and by far the best beta that I have ever worked with. A single download user license is $279.95 for the web downloadable version. Multiple user licenses are also available. The order forms with full or upgrade pricing including multiple licensing options are available in Adobe PDF format from the company's website. This program is a must have for financial professionals.

Electrosonics, Inc.
17150 15 Mile Road
Fraser, Michigan 48026-2442
Phone: 800-858-8448 or 586-415-5555
http://www.execamort.com/

 



BackUp MyPC 4.85 From Stomp, Inc.
(Formerly Backup Exec Desktop by VERITAS)
Reviewed by E. Lawrence Budro, Program Chairman
Tri-County Personal Computer User Group, Inc.
January 2003


I have used Colorado tape backup for years which was great if you could backup your machine on one tape. However, if more than one tape was used it became very unreliable and extremely slow process. The solution was to purchase a tape drive that was capable of writing larger tapes.

As many of you know that I have never owned a desktop machine and do not have any plans to purchase one anytime soon. This being said backup becomes even more critical because the machine is constantly being move around and the more likely chance of damage to the machine and important data. Hard drives are great and store extremely large amounts of data as well as programs and all are subject to failure, it's only a question of when. They always happen when you are on a critical deadline to do something.

I purchased my first portable with a three year warranty and during the warranty period the hard drive failed three times and was replaced by the company. Each time the computer was returned with a new hard drive installed the same as the day I purchased the machine with an note that they were unable to salvage the data on the old hard drive. I had backed up the critical data to a tape and fortunately all the important information was on tape 1 of the backup tapes. Data from the second tape was unable to be read. It is important to take the time to verify all backups which had been completed on the tapes, but for some reason did not work in the restore mode. It only took me a month to get the machine back in full working order. The machine worked just fine when packed up at home and upon arriving at work and turning the machine on it would not boot. I was kidded a lot about the number of times the computer traveled from the East coast to the West coast and it was suggested the maybe I should ask for frequent flyer miles for it. Maybe the machine done me a favor because the last time I had a problem I was up and running in less the 2 hours on a brand new machine. I had to install the software that I used a lot and brought the data over from a tape to get up to speed.

I have looked for and finally found a software package that backs up to everything that data can be put on. I am more concerned on backing up data than my total machine and data was chosen and backup to three compressed CD-R's and verified. You have to remember I do not trust hard drives and these files were backed up to a second hard drive uncompressed prior to backing up to a CD writer. I then moved a large database of over 100 meg of data to a separate directory and restored the original data from the 3rd CD-ROM. I really was not too worried about CD number 1 but restoring the data from disk 3 without a problem. The big plus would be if I got in a jam the software could be installed on another machine and data restored from the CD's and back in operation in less than an hour. I have developed macros on my machine that will back up critical files to a second external hard drive when I am home and the chance of both hard drives failing at the same time is slim. However, with my luck and electrical storm with a lightening strike close by would take everything out at the same time but I would have my backup CD's to restore from. The most information I would ever loose would be a month as I plan to backup monthly to CD-R's. They are cheap and reliable media if properly taken care of. The software will write to CD-RW and works just fine but remember every time you write to the disk you run the risk of corrupting previous data and not knowing that you have a problem.

The software is incredible and backs up to just about anything data can be stored on.
CD-R/RW, DVD/CD-RW, DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD+RW, DVD-RAM, Hard drives including USB and Firewire external drives, Zip, Jaz, MO and LS-120 SuperDisk , Tape drives: 8mm, ADR, AIT, DAT, LTO, QIC, Travan and Servers: When backing up a Windows NT or 2000 server

The features are many:
Incredible Ease of Use for novices and professionals
Full or Partial Backups
Differential Backups (only the files that have changed)
Disaster Recovery (recover without having to reinstall OS)
Peer-to-Peer Network Protection
One Button Restore
Dramatic Compression (fit up to 1.2GB of info on a standard CDR)
Unattended Backups (full, partial or differential. Any day/time) Note! You have to change CD's
System State (registry and system critical files)
Create backup jobs for easy retrieval
Exclude specific file types
Encrypt your backups with password protection
Create detailed or summary reports
Backup "busy" files
Compare backup to verify integrity

Hardware needed to run the software:
Pentium 166Mhz, equivalent processor or better
64MB RAM
40MB hard disk space
16 bit color, 800x600 or better
Mouse or other pointing device
Windows XP Home & Professional, Windows 2000 Professional (including SR1), Windows NT Workstation 4.0 (SR4 or later), Windows ME, Windows 98SE, Windows 95 (OSR2)

Download a 30 day, fully functional trial version is available and the full product may be purchased for $69.00 for the download version and $79.95 for the CD version from the company website:
http://www.stompinc.com or ordered toll free 866-713-7700. This is an order line or pre-sales questions only!

This is great software and is a must have piece of software for any windows based PC and well worth the purchase price. I would recommend the purchase of the CD version as the printed manual is well worth the difference in the price.

Stomp, Inc.
2302 Barranca Parkway
Irvine, CA 92606

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