Newsletter Comments from SCScompA

Newsletter Date: January 31, 2003

Welcome to my monthly newsletters.

I date this month's entry "January" -- but it is February as I write this. Yes, the newsletter is late. Seven weeks late.

In any case --

Many of you may have just started down the path of home computing, and if you are in that set of people: I encourage you to browse earlier SCScompA newsletters if you have not already done so.

All of you: Don't hesitate to send me any comments/questions/concerns that you may have regarding material presented in these newsletters.

Let's begin, as usual, the newsletter with a couple of scanned (I use a Microtek ScanMaker V6upl) comics.

"Who" Is Really King?

I enjoy chess.... and sometimes I feel just as Dennis does.

Some People Just Don't Get It

Sometimes we should just be quiet.... I have been told that a few times.


I wish you success with your use of home computing systems.

Contact me regarding any matter in this newsletter that causes you concern or you want to otherwise discuss.

Dave Shogren
eMail to:


Hot Keys / Shortcuts, Re-Visited

We have talked in previous newsletters about "Hot Keys" / "Shortcuts" when using Microsoft Windows. However, as a reminder, I include a few comments on this topic, below.

What are "Hot Keys" ("Shortcuts")? They are keyboard keys that, when pressed, tell the computer application that is current "reading" the keys to do something. Often, instead of hot keys, we simply use the computer mouse and something on the computer display (a button, an image, or a word or set of words) that an application has presented you with to do a particular function. For example, your Web browser's Back button may look like:

Your Web browser's Back button function could be substituted with the keyboard entry of:

  • Alt plus Backward (Left-facing) arrow

Our keyboard may look similar to the following:

The areas of the keyboard I use a lot for shortcuts are shown below:

OK - We can use shortcut/hot-keys. How can we find out a particular application's shortcut keys?

  • From many Windows' applications, you may can click on Help and once there search for keyword: Shortcut and be pointed in the correct direction.

The following two displays are for the Netscape Help. First, we see the result of searching in Help for the word "Shortcut".

Since Netscape has such extensive "shortcut" support, we choose that part of Netscape we are concerned with. In this example, we want the "Navigator" support (that is our Browser application). There, we see the shortcuts we are able to use.

Netscape also supports other-than a Windows' environment. In this example, we want Windows: So, we find the appropriate entry. In this example we want the shortcut for the "Back" button of the Netscape Web browser -- and that is shown to be the previously-discussed Alt plus Left Arrow. In fact, instead of the two keys, you may use the single key: Backspace

Just to see if you understand the example, a question: "Is there a single key option for the "Forward" function?

If you answered "No, it does not seem to offer an alternative for Forward" - Good!

If you are using Netscape as you read this, see if you can repeat the above actions and find the "shortcut" key for moving around the Web page, such as "Going up" a full screen/page or "Going Down" a full page/screen.

Yes, the answer is Page Up or Page Down. Give these keys a try with your Web browser as you browse a Web page.

The following display is for the Internet Explorer Help. Happily, shortcut keys are similar as we saw with Netscape.

Note that the Internet Explorer uses slightly different terminology such as "Next page" rather than "Forward". No problem -- we are more concerned with investigating the shortcut keys than we are the terminology!

Some common-to-many-application's shortcut/hot-keys are listed in the Microsoft Word Help file shown below:

Another application I use a lot and its shortcut keys is JASC's PaintShop Pro. Following is part of its Help describing (only some!) of its shortcut keys:

I hope the above discussion, if you are not currently using shortcut/hot-keys as you use your home computing system, encourages you to investigate "shortcut" keys and see if they can save you some time/effort.

The shortcut keys I find that I use the most include:

  • When in a Web browser panel:

    • Alt+Back Arrow - To go Back one panel.
    • Downward Arrow - To move the panel down one line at a time ("Scrolling")
    • Upward Arrow - To move the panel up one line at a time ("Scrolling")
    • Page Up - To scroll up faster than with the arrows (more of the panel per scroll)
    • Page Down - To scroll down faster than with the arrows (more of the panel per scroll)

    Try the above on the Web page you are viewing now -- or, later!

  • When using Microsoft Word (or some other "data entry" application such as WordPad that supports the following "standard" keyboard shortcuts/hot-keys:

    • Assuming you have selected ("highlited or darkened") some text or image: Ctrl + C - Copy the selected text or image to the "Clipboard".
    • Assuming you have copied something to the "Clipboard": Ctrl + V - Paste the contents of the "Clipboard" to the current-place in the current application (such as another Word document, an eMail, or another place in the currently-worked-on panel/file).
    • Ctrl + A - Select All of the file you are working on. Handy when you want to copy all the information from your current file to another (For example, copy all the information from an eMail message and then paste all the information into a Word or WordPad document for printing/saving) or if you want to "clear out" (cut/delete) everything in a file.

    As discussed earlier in this newsletter item, there are many more of these keyboard-type (data entry) shortcuts. If you are not yet using shortcuts, try using the above when you are in Word or WordPad.

  • When I am using PaintShop Pro I use the following keyboard shortcuts the most:

    • Whatever is selected (par of an image or the entire image): Ctrl + C - Copy the selected text or image to the "Clipboard".
    • Assuming you have copied something to the "Clipboard": Ctrl + V - Paste the contents of the "Clipboard" as a new image.
    • Assuming you have copied something to the "Clipboard": Ctrl + E - Paste the contents of the "Clipboard" into the current (active) image. The newly-added "part" of an image is a new layer to an "old" image!
    • Rotate the image (or selected part of an image): Ctrl + R
    • Undo the last action: Ctrl + Z
    • Un-Select the current selection (Select "none"): Ctrl + D
    • Save the current image: Ctrl + S

It may seem as overkill to have discussed earlier in this newsletter item all of the shortcuts -- when I actually "only" frequently use the above; however, I use the shortcuts on a regular basis (rather than mouse clicks) and the processes save me time.

Good luck with your use of shortcuts/hot-keys.

If you have any comments on this topic, don't hesitate to contact me using

Comments Regarding Finding an Application-Need Solution

I recently went through finding and getting started with an application for my home computing system. This newsletter item is aimed at discussing the process that you/I go through when we have a specific application need. The following image tries to summarize the process:

  • First we have to have an application need! In this case, I needed a duplicate bridge scoring application. If you do not know what this is -- OK! It is, simply, an application I needed.

    I decided to have the application solution installed on my home PC. In fact, I wanted it on two PC systems (my primary home PC and my laptop).

  • Then, we see if we can find an appropriate application solution. We might check with our local computer store or try the Internet, using a Web search engine to find Web pages that mention the application we are looking for.

  • If possible, we try to get more than one solution application. Comparative shopping! Getting "trial" applications is more likely via the Internet than from your local PC store.

  • We then bring the solution application to our PC (from the Internet, probably download the application).

    Use/test the application during the trial period (60-days or so for many Internet-downloadable applications).

  • Make a final decision on the application solution - and download the "production" version if necessary to do so -- and you are on your way to a happy final solution!

In this newsletter item's example, I could only find a solution via the Internet. This is not unusual, in today's world. Often the Web is an application-solution resource we use rather than purchasing something from a local computer store. Not always -- but, often.

If your local computer store has a solution for you: Terrific! Use that -- you might get support from the store that you may not have after you purchase something from the Internet.

Since my application need did not have a "store" solution, I went to the Internet (using Google as my search engine of choice) and entered the search keywords: Duplicate Bridge Scoring Software

After reviewing the provided links, I contacted the authors of two programs: ScoreBridge and Bridscor

I downloaded both their sample applications and both were available for me use over a 60-day test period.

I had a few user-problems with both the applications but was able to sort them out through eMail interaction with the program's authors and/or their provided Help and Web page.

I ended up selecting Bridscor as the final application solution for my duplicate bridge scoring needs. I arranged payment amount and payment approach, again using eMail as the medium for doing this practical matter.

The scenario (above) is not atypical for a home user environment and, in summary, I mention a few obvious-but-"remindable" items:

  • If you are looking for a home computing application-solution, don't hesitate to use a Web search engine and keywords regarding the application you are looking for.

  • Your local computer store may not have your solution. The Web may have a solution.

  • Beware of using the Web for a solution! Do as much research as possible and always (for Web provided application solutions) use a trial version first.

  • Try to get a "second opinion" from someone you trust.

  • Always arrange a payment approach that is satisfactory to you. Try to never use a credit card to pay for a Web-purchased application solution. This is difficult to do in today's world -- and, there are some good Internet/Web credit card security/guarantee/protection situations that exist. However, always be cautious on the safe side and check with your credit card company what your obligations are when you have given your credit card number to someone on the Web.

  • Check your credit card statements carefully!

For those of you who are duplicate bridge players and looking for a duplicate bridge scoring program -- if you are interested in my comments and/or experience with the application I chose: Bridscor -- let me know. The application suits my needs and after two month's use I am quite satisfied.

This Month's Example of Scanned Material and/or Digital Photographs

In most of my newsletters, I show a few examples of using an HTM-type approach at sharing photographs or other material including scanned images with family/friends.

This month I discuss/show examples of:

  • Additional Scanned-to-Image Examples

  • This month's Great Golf Hole.

To see this month's example click anywhere on the following image, or, on the link below the image.

Link to This Month's Photograph Examples from SCScompA (if you did not click on the above image).


Don't hesitate to contact with any comments regarding the above or for any related discussion.

Miscellaneous Comments Regarding Home Computer Use Matters that Came Up in January 2003

  • Miscellaneous Matters.

    Sound From Web Pages

    • I was asked this week about why a user does not hear "sound" when the Web page he/she is accessing is known to provide sound. Well -- the answer is normally that the Web browser that the user is using at the time of accessing the Web page does not have a "plug-in" application that services the sound.

      I use "Real One" from RealNetworks. I use their free version of Real One, downloadable from their Web page:

      If you are accessing Web pages and not getting sound -- and you want to try Real One's free version, just go to and download their free version. Just be certain to choose the basic/free version to get started with.

      Note: Of course.... your home PC system needs to have sound hardware support installed and you need speakers (turned on!) and/or headphones....

    Junk Mail

    • I know we have talked about this in a number of newsletters. However, a few reminders:

      • Do not read a "FWD" message. Even from a friend.
      • Do not "FWD" messages. Even to a friend. Take the time to write your own note.
      • Do not read any eMail that:

        Is (or rather.... APPEARS TO BE....) from some eMail sender you do not know.

        Has a Subject that you are not comfortable with or do not understand.

      • If you DO read a message and you do not want further messages from that sender, you may use (for example) America Online's "Mail Controls" to block future eMails from particular senders. However, you need to know where the sender is from! To do this, take a look at the end of the message you have read, the part of the message following:

        ----------------------- Headers --------------------------------

        And in there, try to determine who the sending ID is. Put that into your eMail "blocking" support (such as America Online's Mail Controls).

      • NEVER respond to an eMail you did not request. Just ignore it and toss it away -- or, better yet: Delete it before reading!

    Some Web pages used this past month:

    The following is a repeat from previous months. I don't have anything particular to add at this time.

    As a reminder, to those of you who are new to my newsletters, I use the following regularly (I am intentionally not making the following information clickable. Just enter the addresses into your Web browser's "go to" field if you wish to go there now. Perhaps use copy/paste from this Web page's following information). In any case, for information, my most-used Web pages this month include:

    • for USA's top Pro American-football game listening. I listen to the Minnesota Vikings each time they play and I am on the Web. The Web radio support for the games (no fees are charged in 2002) has been reliable and much enjoyed. If your Internet connection costs are not time-related, give Web radio a try for your sport of choice.

    • If you are a golfer: In the November/December 2002 USGA's bi-monthly publication "Golf Journal" is a pointer to: and the newly-redesigned Web page related to USGA's handicapping. If you are interested in golf course ratings, golf handicapping, and related information give the page a look. I have only briefly checked it out so far, but it appears to be a lot of information readily available for golf-handicap-information needs.

    • for Web radio baseball! The next season is coming soon. Last year's listening was excellent -- and well worth (to me) the $15.00 USA for the entire year. Assuming the cost does not increase too much in 2003, I already look forward to the 2003 season's baseball-listening on the Web.

    • Search engine of my choice: Primarily, Google:
    • USA Newspaper (Minneapolis Star Tribune):
    • Europe Newspaper in English (Edinburgh Scotland, Scotsman):
    • Europe Newspaper in German (Zurich Switzerland):
    • America Online's support for: "Business News", My Portfolios", "Movies" (Reviews), "Top News".
    • Weather:

    There are, naturally, other Web pages I used as the month went by -- but, the above I use on a daily basis.

    Let me know what Web pages you use on a daily basis.

    Maintenance Matters.

    This area is a repeat from previous newsletters -- but it is worth continuing to include in current newsletters as well. I apologize for the repetition, but the topic is important.

    • As mentioned earlier in many of my newsletters: I recommend you have the latest vender-recommended software (operating system and primary applications) maintenance and security support. If you need assistance in this topic, don't hesitate to ask someone you trust.

    • Once again, nothing "dramatic" came up this month maintenance-wise on my systems. As a reminder, however:

      Backup any of your user files / folders that contain information that you do not want to recreate. Remember: Your PC and/or its hard disk will break... You will have to, eventually, (probably at the worst possible moment!) recreate your user-data from your backup media.

      Backup your key user-data on external media -- and, once in awhile store that external media "offsite" in case of a major disaster at your home. I realize this sounds extreme -- but, I recommend you take the time for offsite backup of your user data every six months or whenever you feel comfortable doing so. Where? Perhaps at a friend or relative's house that you trust will not be bothered by the material. I even know of some users who place the backup data once a year-or-so in a safe deposit box. Offsite backup is not a casual matter to either ignore nor "manage". However, I recommend you do it if your home computer system involves user data that you do not want to start from scratch recreating.

      • I use a ZIP disk as my backup media.
      • I backup daily any file I work on (such as a Word presentation) more than 1 hour.
      • I backup monthly all my user files/folders.
      • I backup monthly all other family member's user files/folders that are on my PC.

        I remind other family members who use our family PC that if they want more-than-one-month backups of something they are working on, they need to ask me to back up specific files/folders.

    • The latest McAfee XDAT (file for use by McAfee in identifying viruses) I have downloaded and installed use virus definitions 4.0.4247 dated 2/22/2003.

      I recommend that whatever virus protection service you use, you check at least once a month for virus updates.

    • For Microsoft Internet Explorer, I have installed Q328970 that was available in November.

    • For Windows 2000 I installed Q329414 that was also made available November 2002. Note that this recommended fix is for other operating systems than Windows 2000 -- so, please try to keep up with the security as recommended by Microsoft; go to their Web page and the Security section once in awhile. Have someone assist you if you are not interested in this topic but feel you should be more security conscious than you currently now are!

      I recommend if you are running Windows that you upgrade to Internet Explorer V6 if you have not already done so and, in addition, try to keep up with Microsoft's security updates for Internet Explorer V6 as well as for your operating system.

      I also installed the made-available end-August 2002 Microsoft Office application update.

      Have someone assist you if you are not certain how to obtain/install the latest updates, pointed to by the Microsoft home page.

    Have a good, maintenance-free time until we talk again.

Contact SCScompA if you have any comments or questions about the above.


FreeCell Game/Deal of the Month

We continue, in our household, doing FreeCell deals from 1-to-32000! We will NOT accomplish this task. We know that. However, as we go along in our for-fun-effort, yet frustration... I will mention once in awhile specific FreeCell deals we find challenging.

Note: If you are running your PC on Windows 98, it is possible you have to specifically install FreeCell. Just install Accessories/Games.

Let me know if these FreeCell games and the number of times we had to restart to solve the deal is about what you find. If you are going to attack deals 1-to-32000 and want to interact with us in that regard, let me know what thousand-or-so you are going to start with. We have completed deals through 2000. Now, we are attacking 2001-to-3000 and I would recommend you start with 3001! At the rate we are going (a little more than 100 deals a month) it will only take us 22 more years to complete the 32000 deals without your help. If you let us know what you have completed, it will take us less time!

I am adding to this column in the newsletter a few "special" games that we found during the month.

  • Deals we completed in one start and view as "easy"-but-still-fun games this month:
    FreeCell Deal Number: 2349 (Not easy - but fun! - in one deal), 2351 (Easy!), 2392, 2393 (Again: Not easy - but fun! - in one deal), (Each of these had no restarts)
  • Other deals we found interesting this month (number of times to restart is in parentheses):
    FreeCell Deal Number: 2356 (1), 2360(1), 2362 (1), 2397 (1 -- A very interesting start/deal), 2381 (2), 2389 (2), 2399 (4)
  • Another different type of deal was:
    FreeCell Deal Number: 2384.
    Number of times I had to re-start to complete in lost-count moves: 5

  • Deal 598 continues to be the most difficult one we found in deals 1-2000. I have met someone who completed this in 3 deals! Congratulations!!!! I have never completed it.

    Deal 1941 has become "famous" to me. If you have not tried it, give it a try and let me know how many tries it takes you to complete it.

  • Deal 1123 is the easiest deal, in our opinion, that we have found so far, with 2018 being second-easiest in our opinion.

Let me know how YOU do!

If you want to see our list of FreeCell Deals 1-thru-what we are working on now and our comments on how many times we had to restart the deal to find a solution, let me know -- or click on: SCScompA FreeCell Table of Completed Deals

To contact me about anything on this Web page, please: send mail to:

Or send snail-mail to:

P.O. Box 58223
Raleigh NC 27658


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