Computer Users’ Group

November 19, 2003

Getting Multimedia into FamilyTreeMaker.

Multimedia in this sense means photographs, maps, drawings, handwriting, audio, and video. It can include photos of individuals, groups, houses, ceremonies or tombstones; copies of wills, land grants, maps, service records, marriage certificates or deeds; sketches, copies of paintings or watercolors; notes and letters; music or voice recordings; videos of people, estates, properties, or ceremonies including funerals and weddings, etc.

These items go into the scrapbook for the subject individual. Lets start with a simple photograph that’s stored on the computer. Open the individual page for the person you have multimedia for. Click on the SCRAPBOOK Icon to open the scrapbook for that person. Right Click on the first blank scrapbook item ( or click on PICTURES/OBJECTS) and then click on Insert Pictures from File. Navigate to the photo, select it (highlight it) and press on OPEN. When the photo shows up, click on OK. Now the photo is in the scrapbook. Want a caption? Click on the file drawer in the lower right of the picture frame. Add a caption, add data asked for in the other boxes, choose where you want it to show and click OK.

Before you do too many, print a Family Group sheet or take a look at a tree and see if the image (or images) are what you want. You can re-arrange the order, add or delete photos until you get the desired effect. Remember my cardinal rule! TRY IT before you commit to it.

For videos or other types, repeat the above but click on INSERT OBJECT instead and go through the mind boggling list of objects until you find the appropriate one. If you got the object into your computer, you must know what you used to do it. But if you’re not sure how you got a video file into your computer, try different types until you get one that works.

You can view the scrapbook and select and play each object separately or play them all as a slideshow.

Getting Multimedia into PAF.

Click on the Camera Icon to open the multimedia page, click on ADD and then select the ITEM TYPE in the dialog box at the top. Then browse until you find the item that you want to add. Add a caption and description and click on ADD to add more or select the photo to be the default photo and click on MAKE DEFAULT and then click OK and then SAVE.

When you go to FILE and then PRINT REPORTS, for each report type you get to select whether to have photos print with the report and whether in the Print Preview, a photo placeholder should be shown to indicate where the photo will print. The photo selected as the default will be the one that prints. You can also view and play the scrapbook.

FamilyTreeMaker Divorce.

You can split a couple so that each person has his or her own genealogy. If there are children they will remain with original genealogy. Select the person to be split off. Click on Ancestor Tree. Standard. Then click on FILE, COPY/EXPORT INDIVIDUALS IN ANCESTOR TREE. Type a name for the file when prompted. Click on SAVE. Next, go to PEOPLE and click on DELETE INDIVIDUALS IN ANCESTOR TREE.

You now have two files; one for the wife and one for the husband.

Spyware.

The last time I counted, there were 2757 spyware programs that track where you go on the Internet. You can search for them one at a time and remove them. Search for Gator or Doubleclick and see if you find them. A better way is to use a spyware destroyer and clean them all up at once. Try Spybot Search and Destroy available at http://www.safer-networking.org/. It’s a free download and you can stay updated with new spyware definitions for free as well. He would like a donation.(3/14/04 update) Now Spybot offers a way to immunize your system against most spyware by tricking spyware programs into thinking they are already on your system. Click on IMMUNIZE in the left pane of Spybot S&D.

You can also use Adaware which is also a free download. You can get it at http://www.lavasoftusa.com/support/download/ or you can go to PCWorld and get all of your downloads from one place. http://www.pcworld.com/downloads/file_description/0,fid,7423,00.asp

 You can also learn a lot by just going to Google and typing Spyware.

Firewall.

Just to see how vulnerable your system is, go to Steve Gibson’s Shields Up site and have it check you out. Go to http://grc.com , click on the Shields Up Logo and then page down and find Shields Up under “Hot Spots”. Click on each of the headings to run that test starting with “File Sharing”. If you flunk any part of the test, you need to get a firewall. Windows XP has one built-in but it doesn’t check outgoing messages. A better one is ZoneAlarm from either the PCWorld site site above or from www.zonelabs.com. Click on ZoneAlarm (free) in the right column. You can go for the Pro version if you want a somewhat better one but the free ones does all you need.

You might want to read the story of the Distributed Denial of Service attack that took place on Steve Gibson’s site where 474 Windows machines simultaneously bombarded his servers with messages that tied him up for 17 hours. Go here. http://grc.com/dos/grcdos.htm .The 13 year old attacker used a Zombie or Bot that infected 474 Windows machines, installed themselves with randomly chosen names, and “Called Home” when they were ready. “Home” was an Internet Relay Chat server that then passed a message to all of the Bots directing their attack. If any of those computers had a good firewall the attacks could not have taken place.

SPAM.

The place to start to learn about spam and find ways to eliminate it is at the Spam Abuse site http://spam.abuse.net/ . There you’ll find ways to report spam, programs to help eliminate it and links to others who are trying to fight spam. You might want to go to the site for the Coalition Against Unwanted Commercial Email (CAUCE) http://www.cauce.org/ .

The first thing to know about spam is that you should NEVER, EVER respond to it. You can try to decipher where it came from and report it but most addresses are forged and it’s not easy to determine who sent it. You can use a service like www.spamabuse.org to report spam.

Dictionary Attack: When spammers need fresh victims, they turn to software that automatically generates likely e-mail addresses. The program combines letters and numbers in an attempt to find active e-mail addresses.

The solution is to be creative: When you pick an e-mail address, don't use a name that is easy to guess. Choose an unlikely combination of number and letters. Also, the longer your user name, the harder it is for software to guess.

Harvesting: Another way spammers gather e-mail addresses is by harvesting them--running a software program that trolls chat rooms, Internet postings, Usenet discussion groups, and other online sources for e-mail addresses.

To avoid being a victim of harvesters, use a disposable e-mail address for public consumption. When you post, don't use your primary e-mail address--use one you don't care about. Yahoo has launched a premium spam-fighting service, Yahoo Mail Plus, with a feature called AddressGuard that lets you create up to 500 separate e-mail accounts. If one address starts getting too much spam, just delete the account and move to another one.

You can also trick harvesters by embedding a message into your e-mail address. For example, if your e-mail address is johndoe99@isp.com, you might want to post your e-mail address as johndoe99(at)isp.com, or johndoe99@nospam.isp.com.


How do programs identify and block SPAM? They use one or more of the following techniques:

1.          Whitelist. Reject mail from anyone not in your address book.

2.          Blacklist Reject mail from known spammers.

3.          Is it HTML or other coding?

4.          Does it have large characters?

5.          Does it have a Click Here or similar statement?

6.          The return address is forged.


Report your SPAM. Let everyone know that we don’t want it. Select a free program and try it out. If it doesn’t do what you want, try another. Be careful to check your SPAM for legitimate email that also gets deleted. If you have one of the major suites, use it and keep it updated.

Spam Assassin was written for Unix servers and has been ported to Windows machines. The one that I use (SAproxy) does not appear to be free any more but you can try SAproxy Pro before you pay the $29.95 to buy it.


Protection for CDs and CD-Rs


Fred Langa (www.langalist.com) reports that pasted labels have ruined some of his disks but felt tip markings have not. Here’s more on the subject.

From the Optical Storage Technology Association.

What alternatives are available to label CD-R and CD-RW discs?
There are several different labeling methods available for CD-R and CD-RW discs ranging from hand writing, to adhesive labels, specialized devices that print directly onto the disc surface and ultimately the various commercial printing solutions. Each option is distinguished by cost, speed and convenience as well as by durability and the visual quality of the result. But keep in mind that applying any kind of label modifies the disc in a significant way. Thus, product warranties can be affected and unforeseen consequences may arise. It is, therefore, advisable to always follow manufacturer directions.

Hand Writing
By far the quickest and least expensive way to label a disc is to simply write on its top surface. Using a soft fiber or felt-tipped permanent marker is preferable but be aware that the solvents in some types of inks can migrate through the disc surface and potentially damage the reflective and dye layers beneath. The part of the disc least vulnerable to injury is the center clamping or hub area. Beware ballpoint pens or other sharp writing instruments as they may deform the disc substrate and delaminate the disc layers thereby causing information to become unreadable. Some discs are specially coated to accommodate handwritten labels and even some special markers are available and intended for such use.

Adhesive Labels
A more attractive way to label a disc is to apply an adhesive label. Several manufacturers offer inkjet and laser printer compatible products specifically designed for labeling discs as well as positioning devices to help with centering. Full surface or donut-style labels are preferable to partial stickers but be aware that any adhesive label can potentially upset the balance of a disc when playing back, especially at high speeds, causing excessive noise, vibration and data retrieval problems. Heat, humidity, handling and the passage of time can also compromise the stability of adhesive labels causing separation from the disc surface and even interfere with the drive. Sticky labels may not be the best choice when archiving important data as some types of label adhesives can react with and compromise the disc over time. Remember too that, once applied, labels should never be removed or repositioned. Even smoothing air bubbles can concentrate physical stresses in a small area and delaminate the disc.