Newsletter Comments from SCScompA

Newsletter Date: April 1, 2000

Each year, when I put into my newsletters a comment mentioning Dogwoods (as I mentioned in last month's newsletter) I hear from someone who asks: "What is a Dogwood?"

Well, to see, take a look at: Some views of Dogwoods.

Use your web browser's Back button or otherwise return to normal web page items such as prior-month's SCScompA newsletters.

I will be on the road for much of April but will have some access to eMail.

Below are some additional comments on this month's activities and matters that came up on our home computer systems.

Dave Shogren
eMail to:


My Laptop Installation of Windows 2000

All my Windows 2000 work up until March was done on one of my PCs. Since Windows 2000 was officially released and that official release installed fine on my PC, I decided to convert my laptop Windows NT side of things (I dual boot all of my systems with Windows 98 on "one side" in case I need that system and, also, for testing my lab exercises to make certain they run as described on Windows 98).

The installation on my PC required me to:

  • Reorganize my laptop disk space. I had been ignoring this for a year or so -- and, since Windows 2000 needed 600 meg workspace on the NT side of my laptop for the upgrade: I took this "need" as a reason to reorganize the disk space.
  • I ended up rebuilding the laptop disk areas. I now use: 1 gig for the Windows 98 side of the machine and 2 gigs for the side of the machine which hosts Windows 2000 Professional using NTFS disk format.

    As a reminder: Windows 98 does NOT "see" or access NTFS filesystems. Therefore, I am limiting my Windows 98 system to a one-gig view. Windows 2000 sees/accesses its "own" disk (NTFS) as well as the Windows 98-supported disk. So, when I run Windows 2000 I have access to the entire disk areas.

    Allowing 1 gig for Windows 98 and allowing Windows 2000 to see all 3 gigs of my laptop disk areas works fine for my setup.

The primary applications I run on my laptop Windows 2000 machine are shown on my laptop desktop as indicated in the following panel:

Shogren's Laptop Windows 2000 Desktop


Other applications worth mentioning that I checked out and run regularly on my laptop Windows 2000 system include:

  • Reflection FTP Client
  • Delorme Street Atlas
  • Links99 Golf
  • Digital Camera floppy disk support
  • CD music and earphone support
  • Shared printer support using the local Ethernet. The printer is on one of my PCs.
  • and, naturally (as indicated above) trying the SCScompA Freecell game of the month!

One comment: I decided to purchase the full version of Windows 2000 Professional which ended up costing me about $180 more than I would have spent if I purchased the upgrade version. In fact, I started out by purchasing and giving a shot at installing using the upgrade version. However, within an hour-or-two went back to the place I purchased the upgrade version and exchanged it for the full version. Over the life of my installing Windows 2000, the additional $180 will -- and, has already -- saved me some time.

Battery Backup UPS

This month we had a power failure in our house's neighborhood. Until last year I had not used a Battery Backup UPS system; I only had a surge protector. I was happy that the Battery Backup UPS system worked as well as advertised and I will make sure that I connect my home PCs to such units from here on.

The unit I have is: "Smart UPS 420" by APC. This particular unit has an option for a line-connection to the home PC (connected via a serial port). I currently do not use that feature since I do not have an open serial port on the PC. What happens, without this serial connection is: The home user is expected to properly shutdown/power off the PC within 15 minutes. That is what we do at our house.

If we use the serial port connection, the shutdown is done for us by the software which is distributed by the Smart UPS manufacturer upon its recognizing that the UPS unit sends across a "power loss" indication to the PC when that happens.

I recommend, if you are not using a battery UPS on your current PCs that you consider at least doing what we do at our house: Have sufficient battery power for your PC to allow you to shutdown/power off your PC when your house loses power.

Of course, such a system does NOT replace your normal daily/weekly/monthly or whatever you are comfortable with user data backup procedures! Make certain you are using WinZip, your Zip drive, and/or your Read/Write CD-rom for regular backups.

Comments Regarding America Online Use at my Home in March, 2000

As I have mentioned in earlier newsletters, using America Online while running Windows NT has been a frustration for me for a couple of years. However, with America Online's beta version of their latest version 5 which is intended to be supported in the future on Windows 2000 as well as Windows NT: I am happy to once again report that, for my use, America Online has been very good. Their Windows 2000 beta version installed as expected, has performed well, and other than one issue I have with their current version (no a show-stopper, in my case): I look forward to America Online's official release of their latest version 5.

Primary applications which we use America Online for include: (Note: I do not mention, below, configuration matters such as Mail and Marketing Preferences, which are a given for such products as America Online).

  • eMail. And support for its Address Book.
  • Personal Finance. And setting up My Portfolios for "watching" progress of selected stocks, etc.
  • Internet (web) access. And support for Favorite Places. Primarily, looking for specific matters that can be examined. For example: Another cities' daily newspaper (in my case, I visit the Minneapolis newspaper online each day), as well as looking at current and forecasted weather in areas which will be soon visited (in our case, UK and Scotland in April).
  • My FTP Place. America Online provides a nice amount of disk space on their servers for use by members. I use that space for not only my small business' web page (SCScompA) but for information I wish to pass onto family/friends such as a vacation trip reports and/or photos or other such information.
  • Entertainment. Primarily, movie reviews used as a guideline prior to attending. I, personally, tend to agree with the reviews by Entertainment Weekly. A general comment from me: "The movie industry has not put out many movies I have enjoyed in 1999 and so far in 2000! I have hopes.... well, at least hope.... for the future".
  • Sports. Primarily, in-progress sports results.
Let me know how the above list of primary Internet activities compares with your use.

Another Example of Using a Scanner

I went to a local greeting card store and purchased a get-well card.

I scanned two "pages" of the card and copied one of the resulting scanned-image JPGs, ending up with three JPGs. I

I used PaintShop Pro to add personal text to one of the JPGs. I, then, used the Animation support distributed with PaintShop Pro to build a "moving" image of the resultant three JPGs.

To see an example of this, click on: A brief example of using PaintShop Pro and its Animation support


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. Let me know if this Freecell game 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. For now, we are attacking 1-to-1000 and I would recommend you start with 1001! We are up to deals around 550. At the rate we are going (a little more than 100 deals a month) it will only take us 24 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!

  • Freecell Deal Number: 598.
    Number of times I had to re-start to complete in lost-count moves: So far, we are up to 10 and have not completed it. Another family member has told us over the internet that they completed it on try 21! This has, now replaced Deal 178 as the toughest deal.

    Deal 598 continues to be the most difficult one we found in deals 1-598. Deal 178 is in second place.

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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