Newsletter Comments from SCScompA

Newsletter Date: June 18, 2002

Welcome to my monthly newsletters.

Summer is "in action" in the Raleigh, NC, USA area and so far -- other than we don't have enough rain -- the weather has been fine. I hope your summer (or fall season, if that is what is happening now in your part of the world) is starting out well.

A few reminders, if you soon will be taking vacation/travel trips:

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.

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

Practice, Practice, Practice

Even if our friends/family give us some hints that we are not making progress: Continue practicing and perhaps someday we will be better!

Sometimes a Gift Comes Along with Restrictions

Beware of gifts that may seem out of reason!


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:


Discussion Regarding Home Networking Using Telephone Wiring

I had occasion this past month to test using my home's telephone wiring as a media for communicating between my laptop and my main PC. I have been meaning to test this for awhile and this month's test was on a start on this topic.

The purpose of the following is to share my initial experiences with you while seeing if you are involved/interested in this topic. I would appreciate your feedback on your involvement/interest when you get a chance.

For those of you who are experienced:

  • Yes, I know about wireless. No -- at this time -- I have not tried wireless and I do not see that as an option for me for a couple of years.

  • I do not have a way -- at this time -- to test Internet access across the home network. The testing I have used my home's telephone wiring in conjunction with my Ethernet hub (connected to my home's main PC) has been limited to sharing data (folders/etc.) and printer.

For those of you who have interest in this topic, browse along the remainder of this newsletter's item -- and let me know if you have any comments/similar experiences you are willing to share.

Note: I will not, in the following, discuss in any detail the software/connectivity matters used with my Windows 2000 Professional operating systems' setup. If you have need of such help, ask someone who normally assists you with your home computer situation. I can, however, recommend (if you are a Windows' user) the Windows' Help panels as a guide and that you have all your PCs/laptops in your home initialized with user IDs and user passwords. If you are going to use Home Networking for multiple PCs/laptops -- always use a "User" and associated passwords when bringing up your system(s).

An Overview of The Environment

What We Want to Do

The above message says that a particular "network path" could not be found. The "network path" is, in this case, a Windows directory on my primary PC and I am trying to access it from my laptop.

Since there are two separate PCs involved and the information I want is not on the Laptop (PC) I am currently working on, one approach that I can use to "see"/use the information is to have a network path (and the software security/definitions to use that network path) between the two PCs.

The network path will allow me to meet my objective.

Let's take a look at the network path. I normally use a "normal" Ethernet connection/wiring for the network path between my PC and laptop.

Each computer has an Ethernet card that is connected by an Ethernet cable and, in turn, into an Ethernet hub. This is as normal/plain a connection as can be. Note: Well, it would be possible to not use the Ethernet hub. I could connect, directly, the two PCs without the hub - with a "wire-to-wire" connection. In such a case the wire is called a "cross-over" wire -- a different wire than when using the hub. The hub does this "cross-over" function for me -- and with the hub I am not limited to only two PCs as with a cross-over cable.

The hub, in addition to "taking care" of the cross-over function, allows me to route multiple Ethernet connections. However, in this example - there are only two: My PC and my laptop.

OK. I have been using the above technique for years.

However, there is one primary limitation with the above:

  • The wiring. Although the laptop is portable -- the Ethernet cable I use is not "wired" through all rooms in my house and, in turn, back to my Ethernet hub.

    If I had a new house.... Or unlimited resources/time/facilities to re-wire my house with Ethernet wiring!... I would have connections (wall-type, probably) in all rooms of my house. You see wall connections -- and many of you use such wall connections -- for Ethernet network connections in your office/place of business, and in some "newer" homes.

    Note: OK.... I could go the wireless route as a network connection -- but for now: I use wires!

    In any case, I decided to try using "other wires" that are in most rooms of my house.

    Telephone wiring.

The "connection" 1 (shown above and below) stays as-is and the "Networking Gateway" is connected to a wall phone line connection and to the Ethernet hub. The Ethernet hub is connected to the PC. Therefore, the PC, Ethernet hub, and Networking Gateway are located in one room of the house.

The other connections, using the Phone Line USB Network Connection can be from anywhere in the house that has a wall phone line connection.

Once the second PC is connected - I can meet my objective of accessing the previously-mentioned PC folder. The following part-of-a-panel was shown to me on the laptop. The folders and the contents of the folders are "online" and on the PC -- but available to me on the laptop.

The network path could be used for accessing a printer in addition to PC folder's data and applications.

I do not use the network path for accessing Internet (for example, from the laptop "through" the PC). It is possible.... but I do not currently have applications that support that. Perhaps, someday.

If you are interested in more information on this setup and a closer look at the equipment involved, click on: Additional Information Regarding Phone Line Use as part of a Network Path for Multiple PC/laptops.

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

Good luck as your Home Networking moves forward.

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:

  • Some quilt pictures and related information.

  • A photo update of a recent "seed" (from trees) harvest and nurturing.

  • 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 May

  • Miscellaneous Matters.

    • I had occasion to use the "Chat" technical support for two applications this past month: McAfee and America Online. Both of the experiences were satisfactory and if you have a situation where you would not mind spending some time with someone "at the other end" of a technical support "line": Give it a try if you have not already done so.

      There probably are some privacy concerns -- as usual with anyone you "anonymously" interact with. In my case, I would not use any chat (instant messaging) with an individual/machine at some company I have any suspicions about or am not familiar with.

      Just keep in mind that if you use the chat/instant messaging support from some company, they will as a result have access to your user ID. Similar to how, when you call someone by phone, they probably have access to your telephone number. If you are comfortable with the "other end" of the line and you do not mind that they know your eMail ID: Why not? It may save you some technical support frustration.

      Be prepared, technically (from an organization point of view) before you start the technical support chat. You will have some frustrating-type preliminary discussions with the technical support person at the other end of the chat. They will want to know, as exactly as possible, any error messages or other information related to the problem you are having. If you do not have such information, the odds of a successful chat/technical support solution are slim.

    • I also had a reason to use "bulk eMailing" with America Online this past month. I was contracted to send a note to 400+ eMail IDs. I assumed that America Online and its servers would not be pleased with my sending numerous eMails within a short time -- and my suspicions in that regard were confirmed after talking with America Online on this topic.

      What was necessary for me to do was to apply to America Online for approval to do a "bulk eMailing" from one of my seven America Online screen names. The approval took less than 24 hours and after that I was successful with my distribution.

      It was necessary (and, I fully support this) that I include in my eMail distribution an easy way for the eMail receiver to let me know if they wish to be removed from future similar eMailing.

      Naturally, all of the Internet eMail IDs used had asked the company that I did the bulk eMailing for to be on the distribution list. I very much disagree with any eMails being sent to anyone who did not ask a company to be on an eMail distribution list.

      Reminder: If you receive eMail from someone/an ID you are not familiar with, I recommend you do not reply to the sent-eMail, even to ask to be removed from their distribution list. If you do not know the sender -- just discard the message. I also recommend you do not even open the message; if the incoming message is someone you are not familiar with - just discard/delete the message without opening it.

    • 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 Web radio baseball!

      • 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 4.0.4205 dated 05/29/2002.

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

      • Microsoft, in their "Windows Platform News" newsletter sent out dated June 11, 2002 mentioned that there is a security update available for Internet Explorer. I used their link to get Q321232 for Internet Explorer V6. 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.

      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: 2101, 2118
  • Other deals we found interesting-and-not-too-hard this month (number of times to restart is in parentheses):
    FreeCell Deal Number: 2116(two restarts)
  • A different type of deal was:
    FreeCell Deal Number: 2112.
    Number of times I had to re-start to complete in lost-count moves: 4

  • 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. 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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