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Computer Users’ Group

April 16, 2008

World Clock

There is a World Clock that keeps track of the world’s population. The US Census bureau provides the US and world population here . A man named Shane has taken that a step further and considered counting other events as well. You may be surprised at how many hectares of forest are disappearing, how many new cases of several diseases occur, or how many divorces and marriage etc. Shane has many other things on his site as well and he claims it to be free of malware. His site is called poodwaddle and you can get the clock here .

System Restore

If you’re reluctant to try new things on your computer because you might cause a problem, consider using System Restore to create a Restore Point to which you can return if you do any damage. It’s also useful recovering from a bad download or any thing that causes your computer not to work properly.

Before you try something new or try to edit the registry, create a RESTORE POINT. Go to START, HELP AND SUPPORT and click on UNDO CHANGES....WITH SYSTEM RESTORE. Then click on CREATE A RESTORE POINT and then click on NEXT. Enter a word to describe why you created the restore point such as TEST or ADDED NEW SOFTWARE. When that is done, feel try to try whatever you want because you can undo whatever doesn’t work.

If something happens to make your computer unstable, repeat the above process only this time Click on RESTORE MY COMPUTER TO AN EARLIER TIME if it is not already selected. Then click NEXT and choose a highlighted date that occurs before your problem showed up. Then click NEXT and in a few minutes you’ll have gone back in time to when your computer worked properly. If you get the message that Windows Cannot Restore...., it may be because of Norton Security. Right click on the icon for Norton, select OPEN NORTON SECURITY CENTER, Click on the right hand tab, click on SETTINGS and then click on AUTO PROTECT and select TURN OFF. Remember to turn it back on when you’re done. Go through the above Restore procedure and it should work. Different Norton programs may be slightly different but the goal is to turn off AUTO PROTECT. You might want to make sure you’re not on the Internet when you do that since your virus protection will be off but only for a short while. Versions of Norton with the latest updates do not seem to show this problem.

Anti-virus Programs

Anti-virus programs usually come with a subscription that allows you to download new updates for a year. Unless you keep up to date, your protection is very limited. We’ll look at one protection suite called Norton Internet Security. Others may operate in similar fashon.

Note that the Norton Icon in the System Tray has a Check Mark. That means that it is up-tp-date. An X means that you have to correct something. Click on the icon and the Norton Protection Center opens. Anything without a check mark needs fixing. Norton offers a FIX link that will correct the problem. One of the things that must be conducted periodically is a FULL SYSTEM SCAN. That can take a few hours. If it’s on your laptop, plug it in, start the scan and find something else to do for a while. Another periodic item is what Norton calls LIVE UPDATE. You must be connected to the Internet and Norton finds any available updates, downloads and installs them.

Just installing a security suite and not properly maintaining it does not offer the protection you require. Read the manual and check the help file for the proper procedures for your particular program. For those with more than one computer there are suites that install on up to three computers which is cheaper than having to buy a separate one for each.

Free Programs

Recover Deleted Files. When you delete a file from your computer, you don’t actually remove it from your hard drive. First, unless you hold the SHIFT key down when you delete it, the file is moved to the re-cycle bin. If you empty the re-cycle bin the file is still not removed but a pointer to it’s location on your hard drive is removed so that the space allocated for that file is made available for a new file to over-write it. Recovery programs exist that can find these deleted files and possibly recover them. Files that have been over-written are not recoverable. So stop whatever you are doing when you find that you need to recover a file and run the program Restoration. Get it at It is a compressed file and clicking on it will create new files in a folder caled RESTORATION. The original file can be deleted after you extract the program. Click on the one called RESTORATION.EXE to run the program . Enter part of the file name that you are trying to recover or just click on SEARCH DELETED FILES to have it check for all deleted files. By clicking on each column heading you can sort alphabetically, by location or by date modified.

Universal Viewer. When you can’t tell by the filename what file you are looking for, you can click on the filename and open the file in the program that created it but that means opening several different programs for files of different types. There is a viewer that opens and views almost any type of file. When you have it installed, you can right click on a file name and in the drop-down menu that appears, you can select UNIVERSAL VIEWER to quickly see what’s in the file. You can download it from here: Double Click on the file to start the installation procedure. It will install it in your PROGRAM FILES folder.

Wikipedia. This is the free encyclopedia prepared by people who volunteer information and others who correct errors and add new material. If you enter a word into Google, you often get a reference to information from Wikipedia. This will take you to the main page where you can read more about it, look at an index of material or search for a result. There’s also information about many other projects sponsored by the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation.

Lake County Cemeteries: Jim Woodruff has compiled a listing of tombstones from many of Lake County’s cemeteries. It’s part of the U.S. Cemetery Project and can be found at this location: . He has a link to the Pastfinders’ listing of deaths in Clermont. The main page listing all states is here so you can find cemetery listings for other states as well as other counties in Florida. Note that nearly every page is in search for volunteers to help photograph and list gravestones.