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Scott R. Garrigus' NewTechReview(TM) - Comp-media=NewTechReview
Issue 1
News, reviews, tips and techniques for new technology users.

"Just wanted to say thanks for the very informative newsletter. I usually learn something every issue. Thanks and keep up the good work." - Bill Lutonsky

Don't you want to be a NewTechie? To get your own free subscription of NewTechReview delivered to your inbox each month, surf to:
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* If you're already a subscriber and want to change or remove your subscription (or access back issues), please see the instructions at the end of this issue.

RECOMMEND TO A FRIEND!
Please take a moment to help out and spread the word about NewTechReview by recommending it to a friend. Just go to:
http://www.newtechreview.com/newtechreview/recommend.asp

In this issue:
1. Scott's Bits - Comp-media=NewTechReview
2. NTechCONTEST - WWF Slam Cam
3. NTechNEWS - Toolbook, HomeSite, WebEditor, Moon Tycoon, and more
4. NTechFEATURE - Clean Up Your Windows
5. NTechSHAREWARE - WindowBlinds and SolSuite 2001
6. NTechFREEWARE - Download Accelerator Plus and Ad-aware
7. NTechBUYWARE - LEGO Creator: Harry Potter
8. NTechREVIEWS - Dreamweaver, QuicKeys, and more
9. NTechTIP - Adjust your CPU Priority
10. NTechFUN - How Stuff Works
11. NTechTOPIC - Windows XP Resources
12. NTechNEXT - Keeping It Private!

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1. Scott's Bits - Comp-media=NewTechReview

It's here! What am I talking about? The moment Comp-media readers have been waiting for... Comp-media has been revamped into a new publication called NewTechReview. In addition to the new name, we
have an entirely new web site, URL, and newsletter format. In conjunction with this newsletter, the new site will provide you with all kinds of useful information. Let me give you the grand tour...

Home Page - http://www.newtechreview.com/newtechreview/
The home page is the first section you should visit, and on a daily basis too. Why? Well, not only will you find out about what's been recently added to the site (such as news and reviews), you can also
read my Bits, which provide daily tidbits of information relating to new technology. And if I have any late-breaking additions or corrections for the newsletter that need your immediate attention,
you'll find them in my Bits. I'll also be adding a Daily Tip to the home page in the near future.

News - http://www.newtechreview.com/newtechreview/news.asp
The News section is the second place to visit on a daily basis. This section will help you keep up to date on all the cool new technology products that are hitting the market. You'll also read about updates
to existing products, as well as related new technology news.

Reviews - http://www.newtechreview.com/newtechreview/reviews.asp
The Reviews section won't be updated daily, but definitely on a regular basis. Here you'll find reviews of all kinds of new technology products. I'll provide in-depth information about each product - what it is, what it does, and how well it performs. In the coming months, this section will gradually fill up and then I'll be adding a new search function so that you can find products for your specific needs quickly and easily.

Issues - http://www.newtechreview.com/newtechreview/issues.asp
This is where you can download free copies of all the NewTechReview newsletter back issues. Now you don't have to miss out on all those great tips and techniques that have come and gone. Just go to this
section and grab whatever issues you've missed. Of course, since this is the first issue, you won't find much here yet. :-)

Miscellaneous - Subscription Change or Removal
This is actually of more benefit to myself, but now you can automatically change or remove your NewTechReview subscription. Now that the newsletter mailing list is being handled directly from the NewTechReview web site, I no longer have to process subscriptions by hand. Yeah, it was a lot of work, but now the web site does it all automatically. :-) Every issue of the newsletter will include information on how to change or remove your subscription. Just look at the very end of the issue.

Recommend - http://www.newtechreview.com/newtechreview/recommend.asp
The Recommend section is especially important to all of us. Here is where you can quickly and easily recommend NewTechReview to all your friends. Just fill in the very short form and click Recommend! Nothing could be easier. Now instead of forwarding newsletter issues, please use the Recommend form. The more NewTechies there are, the better. :-) I really appreciate all your help and support!

Chat and Discussion
I'm still working on the new Chat and Discussion areas. These areas are the most difficult, but I'll have them done soon. I constructed the NewTechReview web site using Active Server Pages and database-
driven technology. This not only includes web page design but a lot of computer programming as well. Since I'm learning about ASP as I go along, the project is taking a little longer than usual, but
everything is coming along nicely, and I hope to add a new feature to the site each month. I'll keep you posted. :-)

Thanks for listening and being a part of the NewTechReview family!
Enjoy the rest of the issue...

-- Scott
http://www.newtechreview.com/newtechreview/

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2. NTechCONTEST - WWF Slam Cam

This issue I'm giving away some cool hardware/software from Toymax. Five lucky winners will walk away with a free WWF Slam Cam Digital Camera!

Remember, you have to be a subscriber to be eligible, and as long as you remain a subscriber, you are automatically entered into each contest. I'll be announcing the winners in the next issue. For more information go to:
http://www.newtechreview.com/newtechreview/contest.asp

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3. NTechNEWS - Toolbook, HomeSite, WebEditor, Moon Tycoon, and more

The News section of the NewTechReview web site contains daily new technology news from all over the world. Here are the latest news items that have been added...

* ToolBook Authoring Software Wins Top Awards from Brandon Hall, HR Executive Magazine
* AIST To Unveil MoviePack 4.0 at DV Expo
* Jasc Software Announces Namo WebEditor 5.0 Availability; The Maker of Jasc Paint Shop Pro Now Offers Popular Web Site Creation and Management Software
* Activision's Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 for PS2 and PSX Ships
* HP Unveils Color Printing and Imaging Solutions for Small- and Medium-sized Businesses
* USB Instant DVD Simplifies DVD Video Creation and Authoring; ADS Technologies Ships Device That Captures and Encodes MPEG2 in Real Time
* The Easy Way to Learn About the Ins and Outs of a Computer - How Computers Work, 6th Edition
* Legacy Interactive Announces the Release of Moon Tycoon, the first 3D simulation game on the Moon
* Supercar Street Challenge for the PC Enters the Fastlane to Retail Shelves
* Deneba Ships New Digital Photo Sharing Software - DenebaShare unleashes new way to share digital photos
* procreate KPT effects Now Available
* Microsoft Announces Immediate Availability of Microsoft Plus! For Windows XP
* Macromedia HomeSite 5 Delivers Powerful Solution for Hand-Coding Web Pages

To read the news, go to:
http://www.newtechreview.com/newtechreview/news.asp

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Are you composing music with sample loops using Sonic Foundry's ACID, Cakewalk's SONAR or Home Studio? If so, you should check out the ACID-compatible and Groove Clip compatible loops from Smart
Loops. For more information, go to:
http://www.digifreq.com/digifreq/deals.asp

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4. NTechFEATURE - Clean Up Your Windows

While Spring is not just around the corner, you can still spend time clearing out the cobwebs from the year before. But while you're performing your house cleaning, be sure not to neglect your computer. I'm sure you've built up a lot of clutter on your hard drive over the past year. I know I did. Not only does removing unneeded items from your system make it more organized, it makes it run better and faster too. Mac users have it pretty easy. Basically just drag whatever you don't need (old files or programs) to the trash. Cleaning out a Windows system is a little trickier.

The first thing you should always do before deleting anything is make a complete back up of your hard drive. If you happen to delete something important by accident, you know you'll be safe because you've got it on disk. There are plenty of good back up programs available for the PC. Look here for some shareware:
http://www.zdnet.com/anchordesk/story/story_2641.html

You can also just use the one that comes with Windows. Select Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Backup to launch the program. You'll see a list of all the disk drives connected to your system. Just put a check mark next to the hard drive (C: in most cases), then click on the Next Step button. Now select the device you want to save the backup to (like a CD-R drive, Zip drive, or floppy). Be aware that backing up an entire hard drive takes a lot of space. If you use floppy disks (not recommended), you'll need a lot of them, and the process could take quite a while. Now just click the Start Backup button and the program will walk you through the rest of the process.

After you've got everything backed up, you can get down and dirty and start clearing out files that you no longer need. You can do this by simply opening Windows Explorer (Programs > Windows Explorer) and going through any of the folders where you keep your own data. Delete any old data files. These can include image files, text files, etc. If you find something that you think you might want to refer back to in the future, archive it to disk. Some good commercial archiving utilities include Zip Magic (www.zipmagic.com) and WinZip (www.winzip.com). You can also find some free ones at:
http://www.download.com/pc/list/0,339,0-d-78-104-d1,00.html?st.dl.cat78.subs.sub104

You'll also want to remove any old programs that you hardly use. That includes all that shareware and freeware that you may have downloaded, tried out once or twice, and then forgot about. Before you remove anything, you may want to check that you have the original program disks, in case you want to reinstall again later. Most of the software can be removed using the Windows uninstall feature. Open the Control Panel (Settings > Control Panel) and select Add/Remove Programs. Then just select what you want to get
rid of and click the Add/Remove button. Some of the more stubborn software won't be listed, so you may want to check out some of the uninstall utilities that are out there:
http://www.download.com/pc/list/0,339,0-d-78-98-d,00.html?st.dl.sub78.subs.sub98

Next, you'll want to search your system for any backup or temporary files that Windows creates during its daily routines. Select Find > Files or Folders to open the Windows File Finder utility. Type in "*.bak" (without the quotes), make sure drive C: (or your hard drive letter) is selected, the Include Subfolders option is activated, and click the Find Now button. Windows will search your entire hard drive for files ending in .bak (short for backup). After it's done there will be a list displayed. Simply select all the files, and delete them. Now do the same thing for temporary files by typing in "*.tmp" (without the quotes). If you want, you can use this same technique to look for other types of files (like .WAV, .BMP, etc.) to free up even more space. Just be sure you don't delete something that you actually want to keep.

Finally, you'll want to take a look at your font list. Fonts are notorious for taking up a lot of hard drive space, and many people like playing with fonts so much, they think nothing of adding them to their system whenever a cool one is found. To see how many fonts you've got on your system, open the Control Panel (Settings > Control Panel) and select Fonts. The Font applet will open displaying all the fonts on your system. Select the View > Details menu so that you see a list of fonts rather than file icons. Now you
can see the Fontname, Filename, and the size of each font. If you want to see what a particular font looks like, just double-click it to open the Font Viewer. Go through each font to determine whether you really need it or not. Be careful though because Windows as well as some programs need certain fonts to run. In particular leave any Arial, Courier, Impact, MS Outlook, MS Reference, MS Sans, MS Serif, Small Fonts, Symbol, Tahoma, Times New Roman, and Wingdings fonts alone. There may be others but these are the main ones that I know about. For the fonts that you don't need, you can either delete them or put them on disk. If you delete them, you won't be able to use them at all. If you put them on disk, you can use them on a temporary basis. For instance, if you save some fonts to a floppy disk and delete them from your hard drive, you can later load that floppy disk, and double-click on a font to open the Font Viewer. As long as that font remains open, you can use it in your programs such as Microsoft Word, etc. When you're done, you close the font, and remove the floppy. This way you still have quick access to the font but it's not taking up any space on your hard drive.

When you're finished cleaning your system, you can do a little performance diagnosis with some free benchmarking software:
http://download.cnet.com/downloads/1,10150,0-10001-103-0-1-7,00.html?tag=srch&qt=benchmark&cn=&ca=10001

You can use the software to measure the performance of just about every part of your computer system. The software will show you all kinds of inside information and even give you tips on how you can
improve your system's performance.

That should just about cover it. I expect everyone's PC to be clean by the end of the month. :-)

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For information on how to use all the features in Cakewalk's music software, check out my Cakewalk Power and Sonar Power books:
http://www.garrigus.com/

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5. NTechSHAREWARE - WindowBlinds and SolSuite 2001

The Internet provides a lot of great resources. So in the next three sections, I will showcase new products each month that I think will be of interest to you. This in no way means that I endorse these products, and I cannot provide support for them either. Please try them at your own risk.

* WindowBlinds - "WindowBlinds is the first utility of its kind. It extends Windows XP, Windows 98, ME, NT, and 2000 to have a fully skinnable user interface. You can change the style of title bars, buttons, toolbars and much more. It gives you total control over your graphical user interface."
http://www.windowblinds.net/

* SolSuite 2001 - "SolSuite 2001 for Windows 95/98/Me/2000/NT/XP is a high-quality collection of 300 Solitaire Card Games with an excellent interface providing good graphics and animation. All your favorite solitaire games are implemented."
http://www.solsuite.com/

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6. NTechFREEWARE - Download Accelerator Plus and Ad-aware

* Download Accelerator Plus - "Download Accelerator Plus is download manager software that accelerates downloading files from the Internet. Key features of Download Accelerator Plus are its ability to accelerate downloading files in FTP and HTTP protocols up to 300%, pause and resume downloads, and recover from a dropped Internet connection."
http://www.speedbit.com/

* Ad-aware - "Ad-aware is a small and easy to use program that will scan your system for known advertising systems, and lets you remove them safely from your system. During the process Ad-aware scans your memory, registry and file system for known modules."
http://www.lavasoftusa.com/

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7. NTechBUYWARE - LEGO Creator: Harry Potter

"Combining one of childhood's most enduring toys with the current craze for Harry Potter, this game has a capacity for entertaining young players that is almost magical. LEGO Creator: Harry Potter lets you use standard LEGO blocks to construct a world for Harry, Ron, and Hermione. Then you get to turn them loose in it! Whether setting up a postal route for Harry's owl, practicing spells with the kids of Hogwarts or using the workshop to configure the LEGO buildings and structures, players will find this game thoroughly absorbing." For more info:
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00005LLTU/compmedia

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8. NTechREVIEWS - Dreamweaver, QuicKeys, and more

In the Reviews section of the NewTechReviews web site, you can find reviews of the latest new technology product releases. Here are the most recent reviews that have been added...

* Dreamweaver/Ultradev 4 - "Dreamweaver Ultradev 4 provides all the features of Dreamweaver while adding support web application development. It allows you to create full-fledged web applications using ASP, JSP, and CFML server technologies without the need for any hand-coding (although hand-coding is fully supported)."

* Bar Code Publisher 2.0 - "Bar Code Publisher provides exactly what its name implies. The program allows you to print your own bar codes. And not just one or two of the more popular codes, but over 16 types."

* QuicKeys 2.0 - "QuicKeys lets you automate almost any boring, redundant, or time-consuming computer task that you might perform during a session. This includes things like navigating menus, opening and closing programs, typing often used text such as your name and address, and much more."

* Silver Series 650VA UPS - "When you purchase a computer system, you should purchase a UPS along with it, and one of the best brand names to look for is Belkin. The Belkin Silver Series 650VA UPS is one of the choices from the company's product line-up. This UPS provides 650VA (390 Watts) of battery load capacity, which means it can provide back-up power for a system as large as a Pentium III with a 17-inch monitor."

To read the reviews, go to:
http://www.newtechreview.com/newtechreview/reviews.asp

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9. NTechTIP - Adjust your CPU Priority

I'm always looking for new ways to boost my PC's performance. I'm sure you are too, so I'd like to share a little tweak with you.

WARNING: This tweak involves changing the Windows Registry, and this can lead to problems if you don't follow the instructions exactly. So proceed at your own risk.

By adding a single value to the Registry, you can tell your PC to give priority to the program running in the foreground while reducing the processing power given to any programs running in the background. To apply the tweak, do the following:

1. In Windows, click the Start button and choose Run from the menu.
2. Type in REGEDIT and click OK.
3. In the left section of the Registry Editor, click the plus sign next to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE key.
4. Under that key, click the plus sign next to the System key.
5. Under the System key, click the plus sign next to the CurrentControlSet key.
6. Under the CurrentControlSet key, click the plus sign next to the Services key.
7. Now under the Services key, look for a key named BIOS. If there isn't one, then right-click the Service key and choose New>Key from the pop-up menus. Type BIOS for the name of the new key.
8. Right-click the BIOS key and choose New>DWORD Value from the pop up menus.
9. In the right section of the Registry Editor, type CPUPriority for the name of the new DWORD value.
10. Right-click the CPUPriority value and choose Modify from the pop-up menu.
11. Choose Decimal for the Base parameter.
12. Type in 1 for the Value Data parameter.
13. Click OK.

Now restart Windows to see if you get any kind of boost in performance. This tweak may or may not work. And if you experience problems, try using 2 in step 12. Windows uses 3 by default. Also, NEVER use a value of 0 because that will lock up your PC.

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For information on how to use all the features in Sonic Foundry's
Sound Forge, check out my Sound Forge Power books:
http://www.garrigus.com/

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10. NTechFUN - How Stuff Works

"HowStuffWorks.com is an amazing, award-winning online destination for anyone who wants to know how anything works! Originally started by author and entrepreneur Marshall Brain as an entertaining and fascinating place for people to learn about the world we live in, the site has grown to be one of the top 500 Web sites in the United States."
http://www.howstuffworks.com/

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11. NTechTOPIC - Windows XP Resources

Windows XP has arrived. I should be getting my hands on a copy in the near future. In the meantime, have you decided whether or not you'll be upgrading? Well, to help you make your decision, I've rounded up a number of resources that I think you'll find useful.

The first is a site called Cheaper Windows:
http://www.cheaperwindows.com/
This site is dedicated to searching the Net to find the cheapest Windows XP prices. Before you buy, you might want to check it out.

Next, you'll want to take at look at CNET's Windows XP Superguide:
http://www.cnet.com/software/0-6688749.html
for all kinds of information, including a review of WinXP, tips and tricks, and more. Microsoft has also put together an official Windows XP site:
http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/
although keep in mind that they probably won't be providing any unbiased opinions about their own product. :-)

Whenever I upgrade my PC OS, I like to tweak it so that I can customize it for my own needs and get the highest performance out of it as possible. I found a very cool and informative web site that provides all kinds of information about making changes to the new version of Windows. If you're planning on moving to Windows XP, you'll want to check out this site called TweakXP.com:
http://www.tweakxp.com/

I also found that there's a free Windows XP FAQ that you can download over at XPreme Magazine:
http://www.xpreme.com/index2.htm
In addition, Microsoft has put together a list of Web sites that are providing all kinds of information on the new version of Windows. You can find the list at:
http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/expertzone/relatedsites.asp

If you need more information about whether or not you should up grade, check out this CNET article called What's the Deal with Windows XP - 10 Things You Need to Know Before you Upgrade:
http://home.cnet.com/software/0-6688749-8-7004399-1.html
And here's another cool site that provides an online check for Windows XP. This free tool will test your system to see if it's ready to run the new OS. You can run the test at the PC Pitstop:
http://www.pcpitstop.com/xpready/

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12. NTechNEXT - Keeping It Private!

In the next issue of NewTechReview, I'll be talking about how to
keep some semblance of privacy online - how to remove your personal
information from directory sites, surf anonymously, and keep your
files from prying eyes. I'll also have some more product reviews for
you, and I also hope to have the new Discussion area ready and
waiting to be filled with all your new technology questions.

In the meantime, please keep spreading the word about NewTechReview!

Thanks!
Scott
http://www.newtechreview.com/newtechreview/

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DISCLAIMER

NewTechReview(TM) is provided for informational purposes only. Any damage resulting from the use of the information herein is the sole responsibility of the reader.

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Copyright 2007 by Scott R. Garrigus. All Rights Reserved.

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I really appreciate your help!

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