How We Made Cindy Smile
Periodically the people at OReilly provide User Groups with complementary books. At the Coastal Mac User Group we use them for door prizes, reviews and at the November brown bag grab bag. We are very fortunate that they are so generous.
Such an opportunity recently occurred. OReilly offered CMUG a book of our choice, free. The Apple Ambassador, Vendor Relations Committee and CMUGs President (Pat and Rick) knew exactly what to do. The Chapin Memorial Library provides our monthly meeting space at no cost. In the past we have taken on special projects to show our appreciation. Here was another opportunity to send along a personal thank you.
Cindy is the librarys IT department. She set up and maintains the computer network for the library. The network connects 30 or more computers within the library. She had spend many hours in the attic of the library pulling wires from the server to the networked computers in the librarys reference area. Now that new hardware is available, she has set up a wireless network. A library patron can now bring in a lap top computer and set it up to use the high speed network any where in the building or use the librarys computers. There were a number of times Cindy was able to help set hardware up for CMUG. When CMUGs Genealogy SIG turned into the Grand Strand Gene Club, which invited both computer and noncomputer users, Cindy helped provide assistance to those folks as well.
Rick asked Cindy if there was a book that she would like to have from OReilly. Apparently that wasnt a difficult question. She said she was interested in learning PHP and could use Mysql to put databases on the librarys website. Well, I didnt know what to make of all of this alphabet soup, but passed her request on to Marsee at OReilly. I indicated to her what we were doing and why Cindy wanted this particular book. Marsee understood what Cindy had in mind and sent back a message saying that she though we were doing something very nice and that Cindy should have two additional books to help her out.
Yesterday I got Marsees package. It contained three books worth over $80. This afternoon I went to see Cindy and bring her the books. Cindy was like an eight year old on her birthday as she opened the package. Her eyes sparkled in amazement and her smile went from ear to ear. Such a happy dance she was doing. To say that she was excited would have been an understatement. I told her that the books were hers as a thank you for all that she had done. You mean they are mine, I can mark them up and write notes in them, she asked?
This is How We Made Cindy Smile.
CMUG thanks OReilly for helping us thank Cindy.
Speed Download 4
The Ultimate Mac OS X Download Manager
For Tiger and later
It is a universal binary product so it can also be used on any Mac.
It is a database that manages your downloads, uploads and file transfers.
It is a file sharing utility with encryption features.
It can download web pages for off line viewing.
It can auto-resume a file transfer.
It uses smart folder technology.
It integrates with your .Mac account.
It does most everything with only one mouse click.
That said, what really is Speed Download 4? Speed Download is a tool bag full of utilities to help you move files. It works with any file type or size, even files over 4 GB. That is Gigabits not Megabits. Speed Download 4 determines what kind of server your file is coming from and sets up the most efficient way to download the file without server or connection problems. On older servers, Speed Download will set up a connection which downloads one item at a time if it feels there would be a problem with multiple connection downloads. I set up a 17 item download to see how it work. It downloaded 4 or 5 items at a time.
For those sites that require passwords and user names, Speed Download 4 will remember your log-in information. It can even encrypt that information if you need it to.
Speed Download has a very large OOPS! button. If you make a mistake, there are unlimited numbers of undos.
Speed Download has a tool bar search feature to help you find items on other servers. With a mouse click, Speed Download can take you to the place the downloaded is on your hard drive.
Lets say you know that a file will be available to download while you are asleep or during a less busy time of day. You can have Speed Download schedule your download for later and then tell it to open the file, log out of your computer and close it down. For those people who upload files to their website at the same time each week, a podcast for example, Speed Download can schedule your upload for you.
If you are planing to a massive surfing and downloading of files, Speed Download can help you manage your Internet connection while downloading in the back ground. If you need to know how many downloads you have left to do, Speed Download can tell you. If you are into downloading, articles, fonts, clip art, music or what ever, Speed Download will download files as you are surfing. Then use Smart Folders to sort your new downloads for finding later or to save all of the art work you have downloaded into a separate folder. If you have been surfing and come across a great several page tutorial, use Speed Download to save the web content to your hard drive so you can check it out later, off line.
For those who work with ftp servers, Speed Download can connect to, and upload/download files. This is very important to people who blog or create web pages as well as to those who may need to download/upload files to a company server or iDisk. If you need to share encrypted files in another country or in another room? You can do that easily with other Speed Download users.
If your ISP connection isnt so reliable and it stopped a download in the middle of a transmittion, you can use the auto-resume feature to pick it back up where it stopped, rather than going back to the beginning.
All this and we havent come to the bottom of the bag yet. There are lots more features.
How does it work? There is a tool bar across the top, a side panel along the left side and a list of files in the middle. The file list or queue, lists name, status (finished or not) speed that it was downloaded, size of the file and what date it was started. The queue is the heart of the program. If you wanted to send a file to any iDisk, ftp server or any other Speed Download user, you would control click on the queue and click on the send to option. Command click on the Queue and you can open your file in the application you want or a number of other options. It is the Queue where you can schedule downloads or uploads.
Just drag and drop your file into the Queue, indicate its distination and off it goes. The received files button shows you all of the files your Mac has received from other Speed Download users.
Not sure if you did download something, click on the history button and it lists all of your downloads.
You can set up your iDisk and/or FTP server to open in Speed Download and drag items into and out of the server. It is quick and easy. This is great for those people who do websites.
Overall, Speed Download is an easy program to use for the simple downloader and the network tech. It works with your browser to download multiple files. You can stop a download and days/weeks/months later you can resume the download. This is important if you have a finicky internet connection. You can move files through your companies server, your iDisk, to someone else server or send it to others who have Speed Download. You can send/receive the largest files. You can even schedule the downloading of files when your system is less active or while you are asleep.
There is a manual available online to cover the many features. It steps you through preferences and procedures.
System Requirements: OS X 10.4.6 or later
PPC and Intel Macs
Most all popular OS X browser
Any Internet Connection
Shareware Fee: $25 for 1 user license
$40 for 2 user license
TIPS FOR AVOIDING SPAM
Create several e-mail addresses for yourself (One for newsletters,
One for special topics, one for friends and family)
Disguise e-mail addresses posted in a public electronic place
write out Susan@aol.com as (Susan at aol dot com)
Read carefully when filling out online forms requesting your e-mail
address, and exercise your choice.
When you order something online or join a service, opt out of any lines
that say send info on ___ . The default box may have you checked
for things you do not want.
Generally, dont respond to junk mail or spam (ie. don't click on remove me
from your list)
Use a filter (most programs have some sort of filter listed under junk mail,
spam or blocking mail in help index)
Create a longer e-mail address with a combination of letters and
numbers (Short e-mail addresses are easy to guess, and may receive
Avoid FORWARDING e-mails to others (Copy and paste in a new e-
Use the Blind Copy option when sending e-mail to a number of people
We all like e-mail... but there are some things about e-mail that we all also hate!
**What is spam, who makes it, why do they think I want their special loan, body part enlarger, web cam photos, viagra or vitamin supplement?
**Not only is it unwanted, it can be illegal in 32 states.
**It is often sent from an untraceable source, The subject line has no relationship with the body, It offers some illegal substance, It indicates it's product will do something that it clearly can't, It provides pirated software and an opportunity to spread it's worm to your system...
**When given a chance to be removed from the spammer's list, the e-mail or web site url is often bogus.
**They get your name using various inappropriate software or other or e-mail harvesting techniques.
**If you open or respond to spam, it tells the spammer that your e-mail address is active and often how long it took you to open the e-mail.
**Forward this letter to ten of your friends or some bad fortune will befall you. Some of the most sensitive, tear jerking stories go out through a chain letter.
**Chain letters do two things, they fill the e-mail systems with unwanted/unneeded e-mail. Secondly they are a great way to harvest current e-mail addresses. You forward the chain letter with all of the e-mail addresses that were on it. Then you add your 10 or so and when it gets back to the originator it ends up with thousand of names. Most all of the addresses are current. Many services object to chain mail and say so in their Terms of Service agreements.
**Know who you are sending your e-mail to: Lets say you are sending something to a person on a different computer platform. E-mail is basically the same in each platform except for attachments. You have photos of the kids and want to send to Uncle Fred who is a Mac person and Aunt Flora who uses Windows 32. What program do you compress your photos with to reduce the size of the documents for best sending to Aunt Flora's 56k modem? If you send the photos right out of the camera, they may be 11 inches by 17 inches or larger. If you crop them before sending them, the 5 inch by 7 inch photo will be less megabytes and less time to download. The reduced sized photo is much easier to view than one that is 9 times the size of your screen.
Basically photos are best converted to jpg format. Most all computers have graphic programs that can read that format.
**BCC & CC: CC or Carbon Copy is a throwback from the typewriter days. It is there to show the receiver who else has gotten this mail. If you mention a second person in your e-mail, "contact my secretary when you get back from Texas." You may want to CC your secretary so she knows that she or he needs to be contacted when the person gets back from Texas. It is like a Head's Up. That was great in the days of carbon paper but now in the days of laser printers, carbon paper is no longer used in regular mail. So these are now commonly called courtesy copies.
BCC or Blind Carbon Copy lets the e-mail writer send copies of his e-mail without other recipients knowing who else got the e-mail. This is commonly used when you are sending your entire address book a funny. It also avoids sending everyone's address out into the great wild blue yonder of the internet with no regard to where it may end it. By sending it as a BCC to all, no one knows who else had received your e-mail. In business you could send e-mail to John Smith saying that he was fired. You then BCC personnel, security, payroll and John Smith's department head.
**Receiving HTML E-mail: If your e-mail browser doesn't read html e-mail, it is difficult to read between the HTML coding. HTML e-mail is commonly sent by SPAMMERS to show their product with lots of flash and graphics. Newsletters are also commonly created with HTML tags in them. Most, but not all, e-mail programs can read HTML. AOL5 for Mac and early AOL of Windows versions cannot read HTML. If the author would put a link to their web site where the entire message is available for non HTML e-mail programs, it would save us problems.
along the margins. Be a friend, strip out all the extraneous information and characters from it first.
**<< >> / : Do you get e-mail that you want to forward that has lots of strange symbols A lot of times you can use the find and replace feature of your e-mail program. Sometimes you just have to place your cursor to the right of the symbol and hit the delete button.
**Send only what you need to send: If you get something you want to send another, don't hit the forward button. Create a second e-mail form and cut and paste the information you want to send from the old e-mail form to the new e-mail form. Who really needs to get the old headers and the old to lines. And if it isn't worth your time to 'clean up' before sending perhaps you want to think whether it is worth the time of the intended recipient to open it.
**Always create a subject line in your e-mail: It helps the receiver to sort urgency of his or her e-mail. For those who get 50 to 100 e-mails a day, your e-mail may get missed if it has no subject. To many people, no subject means no need to open.
**Read over your e-mail before sending: Check for clarity, mistakes and spelling errors.
**Reply: If you get a reply that says "I agree, give him a call and set up a meeting with him." it is often difficult for the receiver to know what to do. Who are you supposed to call? When do you set up the meeting? I like to provide all or the important parts of the original message before I start my response. By putting the response above the original message, it makes it easier for the receiver. No need to scroll down half a page of old message to see the sender's response.
**Signature: A "Signature" is usually a small block of text appended to the end of your messages which usually contains your contact information. Many mail programs can add a signature to your messages automatically. Signatures may have animated gifs, graphics, quotes and multi-colored text. Remember the signature you send to your kids may not be appropriate for your minister or business partner.
**Emoticons: There are many abbreviations, letter graphics, and other ways for you or others to show emotions in and e-mail. ROTFL = rolling on the floor laughing or maybe just a smiley face (=; can give informal communications a bit of a zip, but make sure your recipient understands what you mean.
**The to line: Don't fill out the to line until you are finished with the body of the e-mail and don't click the send button until you have checked everything over. Remember, unless you are on AOL, you can't unsend!
**The look: Use standard type faces of at least 10 points in size. You shouldn't have to copy and paste the content of an e-mail into a word processor so you can then change the type color, background color, increase the size of the itty bitty type, in some script or unreadable typeface just to read the message. For those who think e-mail ALL IN CAPS IS CUTE, it isn't. E-mail in all upper case is very difficult to read.
**Virus: E-mail by itself cannot forward a virus from someone else's machine to yours if you have a Mac. If you download a file that is infected you might infect your own machine. If you are a PC user, you need to use a current virus detector program. Many computer viruses are hoaxes. It is not a hoax if it is in your machine. It is a project of enormous size. Scan your hard drive regularly and keep your detector program up to date.
**Check out the source: If you get an amazing offer that you want to send along to all of your friends, first check it out. Many major brands provide things for worthwhile charities. Before you tell everyone the Bugwizer is going to give the children's fund 50¢ for every Bugwizer bottle cap they turn in, check it out first. You may be red faced more times than not.
**Attachments: Sending and receiving attachments takes only a small amount of time and Internet energy. Sending megafiles to a friend not only takes up your time but their time as well. The likelihood a 7.2MB file will leave their computer and get into yours without any damage isn't worth the try unless you both have high speed access.
**Sending links: If you are sending a link to a friend, also send the URL. Not all links will open in all e-mail programs. If you include the url as well, your friend will always know where you want him to go.