Volume 4, Edition #1
1. Welcome & What's been happening
- Past Software Winners
- A new Editor... for the newsletter
- A Personal Quiz
- Mug shots ;-)
2. Special Deals & Software News
- Free Software
- New Releases
- Bargain deal
3. Ask the Doc...
- "How do I _____"
4. Software Review
5. Websites of Interest
- Build you own web site, Easy!
- Bang, Bang...
- Look after yourself!
- Virus Myths & Hoaxes
- Old Fashioned games
6. Book Review of the Month
- The man who listens to horses
1. WELCOME & WHAT'S BEEN HAPPENING
We're back... after a long absence, a broken hand, some unexpected time in hospital, a long overdue holiday at the beach, and the usual run of near disasters that make up my life, we're back. Oh, and thank you to several readers who have contacted me recently to ask what has happened to the newsletters!
Despite much to'ing and fro'ing about making the commitment needed to put this newsletter together an offer from a friend has got the show back on the road. That friend, Frank Schuffelen, has offered to be the Editor for Aquarian News - boy I hope he knows what he's let himself in for :-)
Frank has written for us before, his article on file splitters being one of the most searched out reports in our newsletter archive. As well as being a long time download junkie, he also happens to be involved in the computer industry on a professional level in his day job. He's also very handy with the English language, so any typo's in future I'll let him accept credit for ;-) In short, he knows his stuff!
Seriously though folks, without Frank's kind offer this newsletter may not still be happening. So say hello to him sometime at: "frank" at our website address.
Our relocation to new premises, out in the middle of nowhere in the Australian Bush, means we have new contact numbers (yes at last!) If you'd like to see them, or us, check out this link
Now, on with the fun stuff...
Results of the last free software draw:
Search & Replace http://www.searchandreplace.com
- Tony Kyle
- Rowan Hughes
Congratulations to both of you! Both of you will have well and truly received your packages by now.
As always, if you have any questions, comments or suggestions please feel free to drop us a line.
Lastly, something to think about, courtesy of the Monday Memo newsletter.
Take this quiz:
* Name the three wealthiest people in the world.
* Name the last ten Masters golf tournament winners.
* Name the last five winners of the Miss World contest.
* Name five people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer prize.
* Name the last five Academy Award winners for Best Picture.
How did you do?
The point is, none of us remember the headliners of yesterday. These are no second-rate achievers. They are the best in their fields. But the applause dies, awards tarnish, achievements are forgotten, accolades and certificates are buried with their owners.
Here's another quiz. See how you do on this one:
* Think of three people you enjoy spending time with.
* Name ten people who have taught you something worthwhile.
* Name five friends who have helped you in a difficult time.
* List five teachers who aided your journey through school.
* Name five people whose stories have inspired you.
Easier? The lesson?
The people who make a difference in your life are not the ones with the credentials, but the ones who care.
Publisher, Aquarian News
2. SPECIAL DEALS & SOFTWARE NEWS
New product releases:
Repligator is the award winning easy way for non-experts (and professional alike) to transform images with colourful and unique effects. Use your new digital photographs (you did get a digital camera for Christmas, didn't you?), or scan your old photos as a starting point and let Repligator liven them up!
11 New effects, Rectangular mixing and more mixing control and Image preview in file open dialog are some of the additions to this latest release of this VERY unique graphics tool. Details here
"The Smart Way To Track Your Passwords" - Password Agent stores and manages all your passwords in a single, easy to navigate, and secure database. Too many passwords to remember, pieces of paper you use to write down your important information getting lost? Password Agent keeps track all of your different passwords - no problems, no worries. And, it keeps strangers away from accessing your private information. Best of all, though, is that if you only need to keep 25 or fewer passwords at one time, it is totally FREE!
TypingMaster have released their updated typing-tutor software. It now features touch-typing lessons for the numeric keypad (on the right hand side of most keyboards). Timed tests and the ability to easily incorporate your own practice texts give it more flexibility in meeting your requirements. Integrated ProTrainer support is also available as an option. The network administration and reporting features, for schools and businesses are part of what makes this product a world-leader in teaching the ten-finger touch-typing technique. Grab afree trial copy here today
If you were a subscriber when this edition came out you would have found out how to secure yourself a free copy of Repligator! It pays to subscribe!
Each Edition we select one of the requests to research and report back to everyone what we recommend. So save yourself some legwork (fingerwork?) and solve some computing ills at the same time - Ask the Doc soon.
3. ASK THE DOC...
"How do I _______ ?"
A lot of our new subscribers are often new to computers or being on-line (or at least know someone who is). With that in mind we've teamed up the folks over at the "Newbie Club" to add even more benefits to your newsletter subscription!
The Newbie Club offers easy to follow information on how to make your PC do exactly what you want it to do and how to stop it acting like it has a mind of its own. Letting you enjoy yourself for a change!
If you'd like to use the Internet without fear of getting lost and confused, confidently send email in a flash, and even build your own Family or Business Webpages?
Because you can, you know - you really can. Further details on this and much more information can be found here: http://www.newbieclub.com/wfncopy/?explore
I personally highly recommend this wonderful resource to anyone who'd like to feel a little more comfortable in their computing experiences!
Check out all their FREE information as well as their other pay for information and excellent eBooks here: http://www.newbieclub.com?explore
If you have a question about what software product might be best for your situation, ask the Doc. If he doesn't know, he'll try to find out for you email him.
4. SOFTWARE REVIEW
We have 2 copies of Kleptomania to give away this month, only for subscribers to our newsletter though!
The first thing I thought of when I saw this product was - what an interesting name :-)
You see, I had a problem. With the introduction of the GST system in Australia last year we had to change our accounting system, and the old system we'd been using for years and years did not have an export function for our customer data. I was looking at having to re-key information for a couple of thousand customers, ouch!
Surely there was a way to get the information from the old system to the new one without all that hassle...
I'd long been aware of "screen-scrapers". They take the information on screen and using Windows API calls (usually) copy-and-paste the data from one place to another, automatically. The only problem here was that the display screen in the customer maintenance area didn't appear to be using standard windows controls, at least I couldn't manually select the text and copy-and-paste it. What to do?
I started searching for more intelligent screen-scrapers. Couldn't find what I needed anywhere. Then I recalled seeing a press release for a product that claimed to blend Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology, like that used for scanners to convert a printed page into a document, with the ability to do screen/text capture. This sounded almost too good to be true...
I found the link to the product Kleptomania, and downloaded it ASAP from http://www.structurise.com/kleptomania
Within in minutes, I discovered this was no ordinary program. After installing, it built up its own database of all my installed fonts. It uses this information to determine what font has been used to draw the text on the screen. I setup a hot-key to activate the "capture" mechanism and tried it out on a few unsuspecting windows. Click, Select area of the screen/window, click, up pops a small window asking what you'd like to do. You can choose from Plain Text, RTF (as in WordPad documents, maintains your bolded fonts etc), or Graphics. It is even smart enough to allow you to append to your last capture - no need to continually swap back and forth between your source screen and where you are saving the information.
I chose Plain Text, and was surprised to see that the text I'd selected in a picture on one of my web pages - remember, normally you can't select text from a picture at all - was reproduced *exactly* in my text editor. Amazing, I thought!
Next I tried it on the problem customer screen, and it worked beautifully there too. I quickly wrote down the steps needed on a piece of paper to do this repeatedly, and created a Macro Scheduler script to play it over and over. I tried it with 10, then 50 customers. It took about 5 seconds per customer to select, convert and filter the data. So I set it up to run overnight, and the next morning I had a text file with all my customer data in it, ready for importing straight into the new system. I estimate time taken to setup and write the script was under 1 hour in total. Time saved was probably 2+ weeks!
With this sort of power, and at a price of $US29.95 Kleptomania is a steal (pun intended :-)
It did have trouble with one piece of text, confusing the second "l", in double "ll" situations of a small font. However, these were easily spotted as the second "l" was always replaced with the number 1 (try viewing a small "l" and a number 1 in Courier New, 10pt and you'll see how alike they are!) This was easily fixed though, in my text editor, before doing the import. All in all, I was extremely impressed at how painless it made the whole process.
But wait, there's more. After having completed the task I initially required, I looked more closely at the additional benefits Kleptomania offers.
Being able to browse to a site you have selected - I couldn't count the number of times I've seen web site addresses in places where I couldn't copy-and-paste and had to swap back-and-forth 27 times to make sure I had the address right. Not any more, click, select, click, "browse to...", I'm there! Same process for Email addresses too. Too easy ;-)
Perhaps you have a column of numbers you'd like to add up. No problem, click, select, click... there's your answer. Simple, one-click copy-and-paste to the clipboard for your use as well. It can even do the same for words. It'll count the number of lines, words and characters you've selected. You can even jump to selected search engines with the selected phrase, ready to roll. There are probably many different ways you could use this tool, beyond the stealth-requirements I originally had, I'd love to hear what you come with to try it out on. Download your trial copy from here: http://www.structurise.com/kleptomania
And... don't forget! 2 lucky readers will win themselves a free full copy of this *unique* (I don't believe there is any other tool available anywhere that does this!) capture program.
I give it a 9!
5. WEB SITES OF INTEREST
New to computers or the Net?
This is a VERY easy to follow course for anyone wanting to build their first website. Written by someone who has trod the path themselves, and in language you can REALLY understand! This exceptional four book course shows you step-by-step how an absolute Newbie built a great web site in just a couple of days and without spending ANY money! http://www.newbieclub.com?explore
An economy drive requiring trainee Royal Navy gunners to shout "bang" instead of firing live shells has been condemned.
LOOK AFTER YOURSELF
Ever get a sore back after a long session in front of the computer? How are your eyes doing? Neck a little stiff?
There are real health risks involved in using a computer day after day, like most of us full-time netheads do. The risks are not to be taken lightly - I was profoundly affected the first time I met an RSI victim, and I've been conscious of my work setup ever since.
This web site will help you adjust your office environment:
It talks about setting up your chair, desk, monitor, keyboard, mouse, etc. You only get one body per lifetime, so look after it!
VIRUS MYTHS & HOAXES
Formerly the Computer Virus Myths home page, Learn about computer virus myths, hoaxes, urban legends, and the implications if you believe in them. You can also search a list of computer virus hoaxes from A to Z. http://www.vmyths.com/
OLD FASHIONED GAMES
If you love classic arcade games, head on over to Norbert's Emulator Software (N.E.S.), where you can play Java-based versions of the classics right on your Web browser. N.E.S. has a slew of fun games, including Ms. Pac-man, Scramble, Galaxian, and more, see here.
Shareware Discussion Newsgroups
Don't forget the new Newsgroups setup especially for YOU! These are moderated groups (moderated by a fellow Australian, Scott Kane) so are free from flames, spam and other forms of abuse. For on topic, helpful and prompt help and advice on any matters to do with shareware software you really should consider having a read of the new moderated newsgroups at:
6. BOOK REVIEW
The Man Who Listens To Horses
By Monty Roberts
Many people are fascinated by horses. Monty Roberts is no exception and when Monty begins his story of his deep love and understanding of horses, it is a touching and inspiring adventure that would appeal to anyone who cares about animals.
Monty experiences a tough and brutal upbringing at the hands of a father, who used the standard method way of breaking in horses - without compassion and understanding. His father believed in cruel measures such as 'sacking out' for the ultimate purpose of breaking a horse's willpower and thwarting its capacity for resistance. Ultimately, Monty believes there must be another way to reaching a horse. He embarks on a quest to the wild where he observes mustangs and their natural behaviours. Monty establishes a method of training that allows the horse to learn, not out of fear, but out of its own willingness. He creates a bond called 'join-up' that nurtures horse and rider to work as one for the duration of their time together.
Monty does not gain the approval, respect and acceptance he wants from his father and other trainers and vows to never mention his ideas to anyone again. Instead he works towards establishing his philosophy of horse training through his own means that eventually becomes increasingly successful to the bewilderment of the many people who believed that "if you don't hurt a horse first, it will hurt you." Monty continues to follow his dreams and his lifetime of work with horses earns him great respect and honour throughout the world.
Overall this book will charm and alarm you as you read an autobiography of an incredible man who believed in himself.
More details on the book:
We rate it an 8.5
When Bill Gates died, he went up to Heaven, where Saint Peter showed him to his house; a beautiful 20 room house, with grounds and a tennis court. Bill Gates was pleased, and spent many months enjoying the amenities of Heaven.
One day, he was enjoying one of Heaven's many fine parks, when he ran into a man dressed in a fine tailored suit.
"That is a nice suit, my friend," said Gates. "Where did you get it?"
"Actually," the man replied, "I was given a hundred of these when I got here. I've been treated really well. I got a mansion on a hill overlooking a beautiful hill, with a huge five-hundred acre estate, a golf course, and three Rolls Royces."
"Were you a Pope, or a doctor healing the sick?" asked Gates.
"No," said his new friend, "Actually, I was the captain of the Titanic."
Hearing this made Gates so angry that he immediately stalked off to find St. Peter.
Cornering Peter, he told him about the man he had just met, saying, "How could you give me a paltry new house, while you're showering new cars, a mansion, and fine suits on the Captain of the Titanic? I invented the Windows operating system! Why does he deserve better??!!!!"
"Yes, but we use Windows," replied Peter, "and the Titanic only crashed once."
Once upon a time a woman was walking in the forest when she found a frog in a snare. The frog promised her that it would give her 3 wishes if she released it, so she did. Once the frog was freed, it said: "There's just one catch... whatever you wish for, your husband will get ten times that."
So the woman said, "I wish I could be the most beautiful woman in the world."
The frog explained that this would mean her husband would be ten times as gorgeous as her - an Adonis to whom all women would flock."
"I don't care, I'll be so beautiful he'll only have eyes for
"And for your second wish?"
"I want to be the richest woman in the world."
"But your husband will be 10 times as rich!"
"No, what's his is mine."
The magic frog sighed. "And for your third wish?"
"Well," she said. "I'd like a mild heart attack."
... Ouch! ;-)