Newsletter Comments from SCScompA

Newsletter Date: October 31, 2003

Welcome to my newsletters.

I try to get a newsletter out monthly -- but lately time has not allowed for that.

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).

In Trouble?

Why not give things a chance! Who knows... The chance may end up being a winning move!!!

Sometimes Giving a Direct Answer is not Appreciated

I guess we all have had a time we answered before we thought about the answer!


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:


Clickable Images Shown From HTM Tags

Although we have talked a couple of times in earlier newsletter items about this matter, I wanted to refresh the topic this month.

Sometimes you have a situation where you would like to share some ideas/images with friends/family using HTM tags. HTM tags/information are passed onto a Web browser (for example: Internet Explorer or Netscape). The Web browser may be run locally on the PC/system; the Web browser need not be connected to the Internet to function on your PC/system. We may use the Web browser, simply, as a way to view information.

All we need to do is to define the information for the Web browser (in this example "HTM tags") plus, probably, some images. We typically place the HTM tags and the images in the same PC/system folder or directory. When we point the Web browser to the HTM tags, it interprets the HTM tags and, in turn, easily finds the images we refer to in the HTM tags.

How do we make a "file" that contains the HTM tags? Different ways. For example, we can purchase an application to assist us - such as, even, Microsoft Word. Many applications have support for building information ("HTM tags") that web browsers want.

I just use a text editor, such as WordPad or Notepad.

The file we build starts with < html > and ends with < /html > as indicated, below:

    < html >
    (other HTM tags go here)
    < /html >

The following image could be shown by the parameters:

    < p align=center >
    < IMG SRC="./HTMClickExample1.jpg">

All we would do is replace the above-shown "(other HTM tags go here)" with the immediately-above HTM tags and point the Web browser to the "txt" file that we save using WordPad or Notepad -- giving the saved-file a name such as "htmexample1.htm". When we point the Web browser to htmexample.htm and, in the same folder/directory have the HTMClickExample1.jpg located there: The Web browser shows the image!

It may sound/seem complicated.... but it is not! It is very straightforward. All that you need to do is "get over" any negative feelings you have about writing something using HTM tags!

The < and the > enclose information to the application showing the information (your Web browser!). The p align=center simply tells the Web browser to display a blank line and what comes next should be displayed in the center of the Web browser's panel.

The IMG SRC="./HTMClickExample1.jpg" tells the Web browser where to find the information to be shown. In this case (the ./) says in the same folder as the HTM tags are located.

In any case, it is not the purpose of this newsletter to teach you HTM. The purpose is, just, to encourage you to investigate HTM if you have not already done so -- and to give you some ideas/reason to do so if it is necessary to influence your encouragement!

One way we sometimes use a computer-displayed image using HTM (and, thusly your Web browser) to show an image is to:

  1. Show the image
  2. Allow the image (or, in this example: Parts of the image) to be "clickable" and, when clicked, execute some HTM code that can, for instance, show the part of the image that has been clicked - by a larger image.

    Let's take a look at how that might be done.

First, we need to decide what parts of the image to make clickable. In the above case, we can (obviously!) choose to use the four parts of the shown-image.

Since we are going to make a part clickable -- we need to know the "address" of the clickable part. By address, I mean something that we can describe to HTM and, through that - to the computer's mouse and to your Web browser.

One way could do this is to use PaintShop Pro or some similar image processing application. I use PaintShop Pro; if you do not, your image processing application may have similar support.

I bring the image to be evaluated into PaintShop Pro. Once there, I pay attention the information shown in the lower-right part of the PaintShop Pro, the "(x:369 y:166) -- Image 381 x 351 x 16 million" part of the panel.

Once I have the image into PaintShop Pro, I can place the mouse cursor at the "boundary" of a part of the image I want to be clickable.

Then, paying attention to the previously-discussed lower-right portion of the PaintShop Pro panel, I see that the cursor is located at x:24 y:13.

I make note of these values as "24,13"! I will use these soon in an HTM tag as one description of the clickable area.

I next do the same for an opposite boundary of the to-be-clickable part of the image.

Again, I make note of these values, "174,175", and I will use these as the other description of the clickable area.

The clickable area will be described in HTM as "24,23,174,175". We will use this information in an HTM tag.

We repeat the cursor-placing and noting-information from PaintShop Pro for another part of the clickable image area. The upper-left portion of the area is "195,14".

The lower-right portion of the area is "345,158".

This second area will be described using HTM as "195,14,345,158".

The two areas are: "24,23,174,175" and "195,14,345,158".

The next part of the clickable image area's upper-left portion of the area is "24,218".

The lower-right portion of the third area is "177,296".

This third area will be described using HTM as "24,218,177,296".

The three areas are: "24,23,174,175", "195,14,345,158", and "24,218,177,296".

The last part of the clickable image area's upper-left portion of the area is "198,197".

The lower-right portion of this last area is "345,323".

This fourth area will be described using HTM as "198,197,345,323".

The four areas are: "24,23,174,175", "195,14,345,158", "24,218,177,296", and "198,197,345,323".

OK! We have our four areas that will be clickable for this image.

Here is how we describe these using HTM. First, we tell the Web browser that we are going to "map" parts of the displayed image. We do this by adding a parameter to the previously-shown IMG statement. The IMG statement now is: ("thisexample" is just a name -- and a "map" parameter is always preceded by a "#". Why? Just do it... Don't ask why!)

The "thisexample" only needs to be a name found later in the HTM tags.

    < p align=center >
    < IMG SRC="./HTMClickExample1.jpg" usemap="#thisexample" >

We then define the "thisexample" map statements -- and tell the Web browser what to do when the clicking occurs. (We do not need the "#". Why not? We just, don't need it! HTM is sometimes confusing, I know -- but, anyway: We don't need/use the # on the map name.)

    < map name="thisexample" >
    < area shape=rect coords="24,23,174,175" href="./RoseOctober2003.jpg" >

The above shows the first-clickable area and the operation of the Web browser when that area is clicked is to show another JPG. This is a common thing to do -- click on one part of an image and, in turn, show another image (normally a larger/more-detailed format of the clickable part).

Next, we define the other three clickable parts.

    < area shape=rect coords="195,14,345,158" href="./BeeJuly2003.jpg" >

    < area shape=rect coords="24,218,177,296" href="./NineOrchidBlossoms2003" >

    < area shape=rect coords="198,197,345,323" href="./GeorgiaOkeeffeWildflower.jpg" >

and we close off the "map" with a:

    < /map >

The entire HTM is:

    < html >

    < p align=center >
    < IMG SRC="./HTMClickExample1.jpg" usemap="#thisexample" >
    < map name="thisexample" >
    < area shape=rect coords="24,23,174,175" href="./RoseOctober2003.jpg" >
    < area shape=rect coords="195,14,345,158" href="./BeeJuly2003.jpg" >
    < area shape=rect coords="24,218,177,296" href="./NineOrchidBlossoms2003.jpg" >
    < area shape=rect coords="198,197,345,323" href="./GeorgiaOkeeffeWildflower.jpg" >
    < /map >

    < /html >

Following, is what we end up with. Move your mouse around the image and give the "clickable parts" a try! (Use your Web browser's Back button to return to here).


  • Sometimes we want to show an image -- and make parts of the image clickable and, when clicked do some action; such as show another image.

  • To do this, we need to find the "addresses" of the clickable parts of the image.

    We may use PaintShop Pro or some other image processing application to assist us in finding those "addresses".

  • We can use the HTM "map" and its related tags for meeting our objective.

There are a number of ways to learn HTM. One way is to go to your local bookstore and check the bargain book section for HTM "learning" books. They are often available at reasonable cost.

Otherwise: Have someone you trust assist you! It could be fun.

PC Viewing Your Images as a Slideshow or "Photo Album"

Many (dare I say "most"?) of us, who have a home computer, spend time on the PC viewing / modifying-improving / viewing-again and, possibly-printing, photographs.

We see a scene or something we want photographed, we take the photograph and the photographs are in our camera!

Assuming we would like the photographs in our home computer, we move them there.

The purpose of this newsletter item is not to discuss this "moving the pics to the home PC" in any detail. There are many ways the happens, a few ways that include:

  • Attach a cable (probably USB) to the camera and to the PC -- and initiate some software that takes the photos off the camera and places the photos somewhere on your home PC.

    Or, some of us:

  • Remove the "chip" (that holds the pictures) from the camera, place the chip in a "floppy disk" holder and, in turn, copy the photos from the chip to somewhere on your home PC.

    Or, even:

  • Have the photos developed by a professional photographer and scan the paper-photograph into your home PC.

Somehow, the photos end up on your home computing system. Somewhere on the hard disk.

Once the photos are on our hard disk, we may modify them (using some application such as PaintShop Pro or Photo Shop). Often, if you have a new camera, such software is provided by the camera seller. In some cases, the provided software is a "small" version of the photo/image-processing application and we end up purchasing the full version of the product.

As I have said many times in our newsletters, I use PaintShop Pro. If meets my image processing purposes.

In summary, up to this point in this newsletter item, we have:

  1. Had a scene or something we want to photograph.

  2. We take the photograph(s)

  3. We "connect" the camera to the home PC (or "give" the camera's image-chip to the home computing system).

  4. We have an application read the camera / image-chip and move the photos to the hard disk. Placing the images into a folder (directory).

    We may, then, modify the images, merge multiple images into a single image, etc.

  5. Now, we show the images on the computer display!

    We may choose to print some of the images -- we will not discuss that, for now.

It is possible that, with the images on the hard disk and the images "inside" a folder, all we want to do is view the images one-after-each-other, in "slide show" fashion.

I have two applications that easily allow me to do this.

One application, Olympus Camedia, came ("free") with the Olympus digital camera I purchased over four years ago. I have used the application only as a "Screen Show" display methodology. I assume that Camedia has some other good/supported features, especially if you purchase a "non-free" version of the product.

The other application, JASC Photo Album, I purchased for $30 this summer from the PaintShop Pro developers. Again, I am using the product as primarily for screen show purposes. There are other reasons for using Photo Album than screen show as is indicated by the buttons on the following overview panel.

Perhaps in upcoming newsletters I will discuss some purposes of JASC Photo Album. For now, in this newsletter item, I only want to encourage you to investigate use of a "screen show" application for quick viewing and, possibly, for showing quickly a set of photos that are part of a folder/directory on your home computer system's hard disk.

The applications, from an initial-look, have a similar presentation approach. Which application fits your needs? You decide. For pure screen show purposes, either will do. As we examine more uses, I assume that JASC Photo Album is superior to the four-year-old Camedia application -- but, if I purchased a new camera and/or version of Camedia: I assume it has similar-to-the-JASC Photo Album features. Let me know what application you use. Perhaps (probably!) neither of these! There are a number of such applications available. I, just, use these two -- and have started to use exclusively JASC Photo Album. It fits my needs, up until now.

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:

  1. Continue with examples of images and modified (using PaintShop Pro) images.

    • Receiving an Image Through the Network (eMail) and Viewing that Image. This example involves a .mim sent from an Apple system to a Windows system.

    • Scanning and Using the Scanned Images From a Calendar

  2. Show 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 Fall 2003

  • Miscellaneous Matters.

    PaintShop Pro Version 8

    In the August SCScompA newsletter I mentioned that I had not moved to Version 8. I had tested it, and made the decision that for my use it was better to stay with PaintShop Pro V7.04.

    Since the time of writing that newsletter I have downloaded PaintShop Pro V8.10 and have moved to that version.

    The only matters that I have found in my limited use worth reporting as followup to the August note are:

    • I can recommend use of PaintShop Pro V8.10 for home computer use. In my use, however, I found a matter that I mention here, to close out the matter I brought up in August:

      • Startup time. V8.10 takes more time to initialize than I prefer. For example, on one of my systems (I have quite old systems), a 192 Mb 4-year-old P4 processor running Windows 2000 SP4 it takes 90 seconds to initialize V8.10 and 20 seconds to bring up V7.04. It takes longer on my 128 Mb system. I assume that newer/faster PCs with more memory do not have such a problem.

        I get over this problem by starting PaintShop Pro at system startup time and leaving it running (in a "minimized mode" when not in use) throughout the day.

        Why do I do this? I use PaintShop Pro on a regular basis (nearly each active work hour) and I choose to not wait for it to initialize when using V8.10.

      Again: I bring this topic up, here, only because I mentioned it in August.

      I am pleased, now, with PaintShop Pro V8.10 (other than startup time) and I look forward to further exploiting V8.10 features as I learn more about it.

      If you have need of an image processing application for around $100 -- I can highly recommend PaintShop Pro!

      Good luck, with your image processing challenges.

    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, was around $20 USA for the entire season (as compared with $13 a year ago). For me? It was 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 were charged in 2002) was reliable and much enjoyed. 2003's games will be charged $35 for the season. I will "pass" on that. If they had charged $15 I would have done it.

      I think the Web radio "broadcasters" have to be careful about the fees they charge. The financial direction they are taking (doubling the price, in many cases each year) does not make sense to me. They need to have customers -- and, it would be interesting to me to see if they are profitable with the approach they take.

      If your Internet connection costs are not time-related, give Web radio a try for your sport of choice -- if the price is within your budget.

    • 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 4.0.4304 dated 11/14/2003.

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

    • I use Microsoft's WindowsUpdate (see their Web page) on a regular basis and update my three home computer systems security-wise. I recommend you do this as well.

      It takes me about 2-hours per machine each time I do this (I am not on a high-speed Internet connection). I know this sounds like a lot of time (for a home user) -- but, if someone in your home is computer-oriented it is time worth investing.

      I do not update Window's service packs using WindowsUpdate. I will get the CD version someday for Windows 2000 SP4.

    • 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 Numbers: 2842, 2845, 2865, 2866, and 2888 had no restarts but were interesting.
  • Other deals we found interesting this month (number of times to restart is in parentheses):
    FreeCell Deal Numbers/Restarts that were fun!: 2850/1,2852/1,2875/1,2882/1, 2858/2,2828/2,2881/2, 2853/3. Give these a try and see if you can get them completed quicker.
  • A easy deal found this week was: 2854. Of course -- if we try it again and start a different way, it may end up being difficult.... The challenge of FreeCell: To find an easy starting approach!

  • Another different type of deal was:
    FreeCell Deal Number: 2860.
    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 1 deal! 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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