Newsletter Comments from SCScompA

Newsletter Date: May 31, 2003

Welcome to my monthly newsletters.

Well... Nearly-monthly. I miss a month once in awhile. More often, recently, than not! Someday I catch up.

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. (I show these as a sample of scanning material and using the results of the scanning process. The scanned image has been adjusted with PaintShop Pro. For example, the scanned material ends up in the computer with a "grayness" the color of the newspaper and PaintShop Pro is used to "swap" that color with "white". Also, writing on a scanned image is shown. Your home computer system's image-processing application may be used to do similar functions).

How True This Is!

Depending Upon Where You Are In the World

Dagwood moved his clocks, last Fall, incorrectly.... I hope he moved them correctly this Spring!


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:


Example of Using a Screen Capture Application

Why do I want to capture information that is displayed on my PC display? For a number of reasons! For example:

  • I am visiting a Web page and there is something displayed from the Web page that I want to save or print. Yes, I could just save or print the Web page. However, in some cases I want only the shown-just-now portion of the Web page and I don't need/want all of the Web page saved/printed.

    So: I sometimes use a screen capture approach to save what is shown on the panel.

    Yes, I could something similar using "normal" Web browser support(through Edit in the browser control bar or by using a combination of hot keys or mouse clicking to select the information followed by "copy"). However, sometimes it is just easier for me to capture, using a screen capture approach, what is currently displayed on the PC display.

  • I want to show the on-display information to someone, for example someone I am working with regarding PC matters. Teaching/helping "PC students". Certainly, in this case, a screen capture approach is often necessary/used to assist in discussions.

  • Something is shown on the computer's display that I want to move into another application. For example, into Microsoft's Word or PowerPoint. If the information is shown on the display and I want to use it with another application, then a screen capture application/approach can assist that being an easy matter.

I use two screen-capture approaches.

  • PaintShop Pro

    I use this the most. The screen capture support is easy to use and does what I want.

  • Windows "Hot Key" support for capturing the current display (Desktop). I especially use this when I want to save a PaintShop Pro panel! That way, I am saving the information "outside" of PaintShop Pro.

I use PaintShop Pro's support the most.

Example of PaintShop Pro's Screen Capture Support

  • We get to the PaintShop Pro screen capture support through File->Import->Screen Capture

    From there you may select Setup or Start.

  • Clicking on Setup brings you to the setup panel where you may choose different options for your screen capture parameters.

    I use the following settings the most -- but, all settings have their purpose. For example, instead of Full screen you might choose only "Window". In that case, you would screen capture only the active window that is shown on the display. That would make the saved image smaller in size than if you save the entire full screen.

    I normally use the Hot key approach for screen capture. Pressing the indicated key initiates the screen capture.

  • Clicking on OK saves your options and the options are in place throughout your PaintShop Pro sessions unless you modify them.

  • Clicking on File->Import->Start initiates the PaintShop Pro Screen Capture session. If you have setup your session with a hot key (as shown previously in this newsletter item), then PaintShop Pro will "minimize" itself from the Windows' desktop and the current display can be "screen captured".

  • PaintShop Pro will be shown on the Windows' bar as shown below.

    In this example we are using the hot key approach -- and the hot key we selected for screen capture was F11. Each time we click F11 we may notice the Windows' display "blink" slightly as the screen capture takes place.

  • Another way to initiate the screen capture session is to click on the "briefcase" symbol on the PaintShop Pro bar.

  • Once you have captured your "Screen Captures", if you have been using the hot key support, simply restore the minimized PaintShop Pro application.

  • Your captured screens will be available to all the services of PaintShop Pro.

    In the following example, I used the PaintShop Pro screen capture support to capture two panels from the Web showing Raleigh weather.

    I could, now, manipulate/save/print/etc. all the captured information or use the information in other applications such as Word or PowerPoint.

Using Windows' Screen Capture Support

Support for screen capture on my Windows 2000 system is very simple. I have not taken the time to check if the support is the same on each Windows' system. I recommend, if you have need of such support, that you go to your Windows' Help panel and search for "Screen Capture". You should get to Help from the Start button: (In Windows 2000 Help, the keyword: screenshots brings forward the help I was looking for).

  • As shown by the Help, all you have to do is press the correct keys and the screen is captured. It is captured in the Windows' clipboard.

    Once captured, you simply move the captured information to your desired application (such as Word, PowerPoint, or even PaintShop Pro) for processing there.

    The information saved in the clipboard (by your pressing the correct keys) is a "one at a time" shot -- so you need to Edit->Paste as you go along with your screen captures. That is the main reason that I use an application such as PaintShop Pro's screen capture support (where I can capture multiple panels without Edit->Paste each on an individual basis.

Give screen capture a try if you are not already doing so.

Let me know what your screen capture needs and uses are. I am curious if a home computer user makes use of such an application -- or are my home computing needs so different that I need/use the approach(es) while most home computer uses do not? Probably....

However, keep in mind that there is a way to capture the shown-screen and try one of the approaches when you get a chance.

Windows' Folder and "Long" File Names

If your Windows' folders, when displayed, show file names such as in the following, it is sometimes useful to see the entire file name and not the ... at the end of the name.

What you may want to do is position the mouse at the vertical bar in the Windows'-shown panel and, then, holding down the left mouse button pull the bar to the right as desired. You could, naturally, as the indicator implies (when you have the mouse positioned at the vertical bar) pull the bar to the left -- but, we want the Name field to be larger -- so, we move to the right!

You may do this to any of the Windows'-shown fields (in this example's case: Name, Size, Type, Modified).

The file names look fine, now.

Once you have the fields positioned as you prefer, you may then choose to set the shown-panel's organization for all-such panels.

Clicking on Tools->Folder Options gives us that chance.

The panel that is presented is quite straight forward -- and, if desired, you click on the Like Current Folder button and confirm that option. Then, later on, when you open a Windows' folder that has "long" filenames for data inside the folder you will see the names as long as you have moved the Name field-bar to the right sufficiently to see them!

The same approach may be used on many Windows'-shown panels. Move your mouse to a vertical bar within the panel and see if the shown-bar is adjustable if necessary.

Give it a try sometime.

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:

  • An Example of using PaintShop Pro's Animation.

  • Using Your Scanner to Build a Post Card.

  • 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 April/May 2003

  • Miscellaneous Matters.

    Web pop-ups.

    Well... how many times, recently, have you asked your Web browser to present you with a particular Web page -- and ended up with a not-asked-for panel in front of the information you were looking for? More times than you would like, I bet.

    In the following example (top shown panel) I wanted to go to the Star Tribune newspaper Web page and before I could view the information I wanted -- the "blocking" panel came up.

    Another version of the blocking panel (sometimes called a Popup) is shown in the bottom shown panel.

    In the first-shown example (above) the "about:blank" panel is the first indication that a popup is coming. The information the popup owner wants us to see is, just, not loaded into the Web browser -- yet. It will be: If we don't get rid of the panel beforehand.

    The same is true of the second-shown example shown above.

    How do you get rid of them? One way is to purchase a "popup" blocker application. I have never used one -- but I have read that some of them are better at blocking popups than are others. In any case, I don't use one. Why not? I have no problem canceling the popup "on the fly" (as they occur).

    I understand the reasons for the popups. I do not agree with the reasons (I am quite sure that few Web users pay attention to the information presented by a popup) -- but, as of today "popups" are going to come up once in awhile.

    Another way to eliminate popups is to the "popup blocker" provided by your Internet provider (AOL in my case). I don't use that support, either! Why not? Well, I have multiple systems: One is still AOL V6, another is AOL V7, and one is AOL V8. Since the popup support is in AOL V8 -- two of my systems would get popups, anyway. Plus, I assume that some popups get "past" the popup blocker application/approach (I am not certain of this -- I, only, suspect so. Let me know if you have good experience with a popup blocker).

    So, what I do is as soon as the popup starts to appear, click on one of the shown-top-sides of the popup window and "close"/cancel the popup window.

    Once the popup is out of the way, we can see the Web page we were looking for!

    Don't let the popups cause your Internet experience any pain: Just, get rid of them as quickly as possible -- and (I have not, so far) try the popup blocker support from your Internet provider.

    Good luck!

    Registration for viewing Web pages.

    In addition to the "popup" activity, many Web pages are starting to ask you to register to use the material/Web page.

    Personally, I agree with this approach -- as compared to the option of the Web page owner "going out of business" or leaving the Internet world. I have no objection to paying a fee and/or registering for obtaining access to a Web page that I enjoy -- or need.

    A few comments about this:

    • Realise, when you register for a Web page, no matter if the registration information implies/states that the registration information will not be "sold" or given to an outside agency -- it probably will be sold/given away!

      Do not trust Web page owners in the above regard.

    • However: If you need/enjoy the Web page and you are confident about the Web page owner -- register!

      When you register, you will (most of the time) be asked for a contact/Internet/eMail ID. For this reason, I normally provide an Internet ID that I know will receive information I may not want -- and will be given to outside-the-registration-process persons/companies. For this reason I have a "spare" eMail ID that I use for such contact IDs. Most of your Internet providers allow you to have multiple eMail IDs. I recommend you have one such ID that you use for registration and other potential "junk" eMail to be sent to.

      The same could be true for snail (postal) mail. If you are asked for a postal mail address during registration, be aware that the address will (probably) be receiving "junk" mail. I have a second snail-mailing address (post office box) that I am fortunate to be able to use for registration purposes. If the registration does not accept post office box addresses, I am very hesitant to register.

    • NEVER provide your credit card number as part of the registration process. Are there exceptions to this comment? Yes. Just, be careful.

    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 baseball listening. The audio, this year, is around $20 USA for the entire season (as compared with $13 a year ago). For me? It is a good investment! I enjoy listening to the Web radio broadcasts of baseball and if you are a baseball fan I can recommend it. I use my laptop in the evening and my primary PC for day games. I listen to about an hour a day of over 100 games a year (primarily the Minnesota Twins' games).

    • 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.

    • 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 second PC (an older system that I use primarily for saving data) for backing up daily information.
      • I use a ZIP disk as my backup media for external backup.
      • 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 4.0.4268 dated 06/01/2003.

      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 the latest security fixes from the Microsoft Web pages for IE6.

    • For Windows 2000 I installed SP3. Make certain you check with the Microsoft 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: 2509, 2597 (Both, we found, quite easy - but fun! - in one deal). Other deals that had no restarts but were interesting included: 2513, 2518, 2858, and 2564. Plus, the deals: 2540-48 were a set of deals-in-a-row that all had no restarts.
  • Other deals we found interesting this month (number of times to restart is in parentheses):
    FreeCell Deal Number: 2524(1), 2531 (1), 2570 (1), 22576, 2596 (l), 2563 (2), 2529 (3)
  • Another different type of deal was:
    FreeCell Deal Number: 2577.
    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 deal in our experience is: 2597

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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