Newsletter Comments from SCScompA

Newsletter Date: February 28, 2002

Welcome to my monthly newsletters.

I fully intended to complete the February 2002 newsletter with the items left over from the December 2001 and January 2002 newsletters. No luck.

However, I hope you enjoy this month's set of scanned and digital pictures. At least, I completed that part as far as I wanted to go!

One good thing that happened in February home-PC-wise was that I met someone who completed Freecell deal 598! I still have not completed it -- and the person I met completed it in 3 deals. Congratulations! Someday I will beat that deal.

I encourage you to browse earlier SCScompA newsletters if you have not already done so, and to send me any comments/questions/concerns that you may have regarding material presented in these newsletters.

I hope you all are having a good start to 2002.

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

One Hope for a Clean Room

Winter in this part of the world normally brings two snow dustings. So, even if it snowed inside it would be necessary to sometimes have a cleanup day.

However, we can dream, can't we?

Sometimes It is Better If We Don't Know Every Thought

Even good friends do not always need to know everything.... about the other friend.


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:


Selected Examples of Using Microsoft Word

Even though most of the home computer users I work with use Microsoft Word (yes, I know there are some/many other fine word processors, most of the users I work with use Microsoft Office products) I am still quite often asked for examples of using Word.

This newsletter item is aimed at showing a brief set of Word examples I use on a regular basis.

Before getting started showing a few examples of my regularly-used Microsoft Word, let's review some preliminaries:

Open Microsoft Word and see what are some defaults you use. To start Word, you may have an icon on your desktop or you can click on Start-->Programs and (probably!) find Microsoft Word. Hereafter in this newsletter item we will refer to Microsoft Word as (simply) Word. Also: Your version of Word and your defaults that you have set up for using Word may/probably-do differ from the following-shown panels. It is hoped that the similarities are sufficient to meet this Web page's objectives: Give you some further ideas for use with your PC's home computer system.

If you do not find Word and do not know how to start it -- then ignore this newsletter item and just move on past the following Word discussion!

Likewise, if you are an experienced Word user, you may want to also skip this newsletter item.

Initializing Word

In any case -- Let's assume you have a Word panel now on your desktop. Something similar to:

Let's check some of your setup by clicking on: Tools-->Options.

Review the above Options and considering modifying options such as shown in the right-side panel above. I especially modify the file location defaults for "Documents" and "Clipart pictures". I set these options for whatever project I am working on for a reasonable (days or weeks) amount of time.

You may also want to set up a default profile (in Word terms: Template) that has, for example, some pre-set information such as date and page number already set up. I do that and set the above-shown "User templates" to point to a Windows' folder that holds my templates.

When Word is initialized without opening an existing document it defaults to using the "Normal" template that has been distributed by Microsoft when you installed the Word product. I recommend never trying to modify that template. If you want to have a new template create it with Word and save it in a folder you can point to by the above defaults. Have someone (your PC assistance/help/support person) help you with this! Having a template for "my personal" use for different projects is of value to me and saves some time. If you are not comfortable with this type of discussion, OK -- just use the Normal template!

When I open a new Word document, Word goes to that folder first and in turn I am offered an option to select what template I want to use for the new document. The following is presented when clicking on File-->New.

If I select the "Normadav..." template shown in the above panel, then a template I have created for myself is selected as a result of my pointing the above-mentioned "User templates" to a folder that holds the "Normadav..." template.

In the above example, all I have done in the "Normadav..." template is ask that Word insert the current date and page numbers in each page of my new document and locate this information in the Word Header.

I, now, can write in the New document anything I have for this particular use of Word.

What do I do the majority of time, using Word?

  • Print notes that I have Copy/Paste from my eMail application (America Online, in my case).

    Why? I often want to print the eMail for sharing with another family member or for saving in my own folder/directory of information. I can move multiple eMails into a single Word document and I can edit (using Word) the saved-into-Word-format eMail information. I have sufficient reason to do this, that I use this approach nearly each day.

    Following, is an example of a set of recent messages I used this approach for. Once I have the messages "into" Word format I can use Word to (for example) spell check and otherwise format the eMail-originated information into a format I choose to use.

    Three panels are shown in the following example.

Again, as I mentioned previously: Moving the information into Word gives me a nice approach at reformatting, spell checking, saving, printing and otherwise taking advantage of my word processing application.

I will not bother you with additional panels for this month's examples of using Word. Let me know if the above panel-shown approach is of value to you.

Without showing panels, other uses I use nearly daily of Word include:

  • Notes! I write notes regularly. What kind of notes? Person-to-person notes that are not eMail.

  • Journals. Travel journals. I always keep a journal while traveling and I use Word for this.

  • Billing/reporting to customers what services have been charged. Word has templates that fit my needs and if you have a small/home business: Take advantage of using Word to assist you.

  • Printing labels (mailing or name labels) for meetings/parties or other events. Word can assist you in this regard.

  • Documenting pictures. It is easy to import (bring into) Word an image. Once into Word, it is very easy to document/write-about the image. Once into Word, you will find (if you have many images!) that the Word document is large and your PC will need reasonably-large resources to allow you to move-around and modify the document/text and add other images. However, many of you have very nice home PCs by now -- so: Use the PC! I now recommend a home PC is a reasonably-fast Pentium processor with a minimum of 128 Meg memory (256 Meg preferred). If you are in this area -- you can manage quite a large number of images and associated text with Word.

  • Presentations. Yes, you may have other applications on your home PC for presentations (such as Microsoft PowerPoint or Lotus Freelance) -- however, in some cases Word is sufficient and some family member or teacher (if your presentation is going to be given to them) may well prefer something in "Word" format as opposed to its being in "presentation" format.

  • Moving information from Word into Web format. I, personally, use "native" HTM tags more than I use the Word-->Web support. However, I use it sufficiently enough and, certainly, recommend using, the Word-->Web support that I hope you take advantage of that support. Don't hesitate to have your support person assist you in this regard. As we have talked about in numerous newsletters: It is not necessary that you place the Web-presentable information on the Web! You can/should use the Web-presentable information on your and your friend's/families' home PC system without the information ever being on the Web. Why would you do this? Well, for example, you took the time to "import" images into Word from a recent trip and you documented the images using Word: Next, use Word to convert the information into Web-displayable format and put the Web-displayable information onto some external media (such as a RW/CD or a ZIP disk) and you can easily then share the information on another PC without ever using the Web. Again, ask for assistance in this regard if you are uncertain. Some family member or friend can help you get started!

The above are what I use Word for nearly each week (at least). I hope the discussion gave you some ideas.

Let me know what other applications you use Word (or another Word processor) for on a regular basis. I am sure, for example, that many of you use your word processor for school/homework assignments. I wish you well!

Good luck with your use of Microsoft Word or whatever word processing application you use.

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

This Month's Example of Viewing Scanned and/or Digital Camera Pictures using HTM (Web page) parameters.

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:

  • Examples of Scanned Items and Modifying Items Using PaintShop Pro.

  • Pictures Taken (Using a Digital Camera at 1.3 Megapixel Setting) Indoors of Orchids.

  • This month's Great Golf Hole.

To see this month's example click on: This Month's Photograph Examples from SCScompA.


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 November

  • Miscellaneous Matters.

    • As I regularly remind you, I run Windows 2000 Professional as a home computer user and I recommend that -- or, if you purchase a new PC I recommend you install Windows XP Professional. In any case -

      If you are running Windows 2000 Professional I recommend you ensure you are using recommended Microsoft maintenance. I have both my PC and laptop at Windows 2000 Professional SP2 (Service Pack 2) and recently installed Microsoft's security package. It installed without problems on top of SP2 on both of my primary systems (PC and laptop).

      Try to keep your systems up to date both service-wise and security-wise.

      Reminder: When printing, you can often use the "back" side of paper. Either for "duplexing" (front/back) a printout or for temporary information you want to print for review. What I do is, if I have read something I have printed and do not need the printout anymore -- and the backside of the paper is blank -- I use a pencil to "cross out" the printed side and load the piece of paper into my printer feeder in such a way that that I can print on the blank side. The "cross out" just lets me and others who read the page know that I/they should look on the other side of the paper for the current information!

    • Web Radio and USA Major League Baseball.

      I will be listening to many Minnesota Twins' games using Web radio. I do not know the price, yet, that will charge, but I have heard from Real networks that they will not have a "special" price as they did last year. Too bad. I will, then, use since it will be more cost effective.

      If you are a Real network's user and you feel I am making a mistake used, let me know your reasons for paying the additional cost of Real networks for baseball game listening.

    • Junk/"Spam" eMail.

      As I mentioned a few newsletters ago, I started receiving "junk" eMail in mid-2001. Up until that time I was "spam-free". I have, using America Online's mail support barred over 100 eMail sources from sending me junk.

      I still receive a few a day. I wonder why the "spam"/junk eMail senders think they can influence me... I, just, throw their messages away without reading them.

      If you receive a message from any eMail sender you do not know: I recommend you do not read the message. Just, using your eMail provider's eMail support: Erase/discard the message. There is no reason to ever read eMail on your home computer system from anyone you do not know.

    • Some Web pages used this past month:

      The Minneapolis Star Tribune Web page pointed me to a list of winners of "Pictures of the Year". The list is printed off of Give the list a look and, in turn, find the sources to see the pictures. I looked at the two that the Minneapolis Star Tribune mentioned and they were well worth the time to find.

      The PGA (golf) web page for scoring is terrific this year. If you are a golf fan I highly recommend you go to and follow the "scoring" path for the current week's PGA tournament. It is very well done.

      This 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:

      • 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.

      • As mentioned earlier in this newsletter: 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 4.0.4185 dated 02/06/2002.

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

      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 Numbers: 2049, 2051
  • Other deals we found interesting-and-not-too-hard this month (number of times to restart is in parentheses):
    FreeCell Deal Numbers: 2052 and 2053(1)
  • A different type of deal was:
    FreeCell Deal Number: 2054.
    Number of times I had to re-start to complete in lost-count moves: 3

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

  • Deal 1123 is the easiest deal, in our opinion, that we have found so far, with 2018 being second-easiest in our opinion. Another easy one is 2034.

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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