HAL-PC Monthly eBulletin - August 2007

Welcome to the August 2007 edition of the HAL-PC monthly member eBulletin. If you wish to stop receiving these bulletins, send an email to e-bulletin-off@hal-pc.org. This month: Protect Your PC, HAL-PC Memberships, Events, Clear Lake, SIG News, Class Listing, Volunteer of the Month, Magazine.


According to Postini, 83% of all email traffic is unwanted spam. That's 10 of every 12 emails sent! Additionally, 1 of every 7 emails is infected with a virus. The graphs reproduced below show the recent explosion in spam and virus-laden emails.

Spam Email Traffic
Spam Graph
Viral Email Traffic
Virus graph

You can do your part to fight the scourge with a few simple steps:
  1. Run up-to-date virus protection software on your computer. There are a number of good products available, both free and commercial. Do your homework and make sure you keep your software updated
  2. Have spam filtering in place. HALNet offers the Postini spam and virus filtering service that stops spam and viruses before they reach the HALNet mail server. HALNet subscribers can get a 30-day free trial of the Postini mail filtering progam by contacting the office at 713-993-3300.
  3. Add Postini to all your auxilliary HALNet email addresses Log into your Postini filter management page at http://www.hal-pc.org/postini.html. Click on the 'Account Settings' link in the upper right corner. Then click on the link for 'Add an Alternate Address'. You can add all your HALNet email addresses! Note: The same settings apply to all addresses, and all mail is quarantined in the same box.
  4. Report spam that gets through the filters. Even the best filtering system occasionally misses unwanted messages. If you have the Postini filtering service enabled and receive a piece of spam, forward it, intact and without comment, to spam@postini.com.


The HAL-PC office sends notices to members reminding them to renew their memberships. Your continued support at only $35.00 per year enables us to provide first class headquarters, classroom, lab and meeting space, SIGs, programs and special events, our award-winning quarterly magazine, technical support, troubleshooting workshops and more! So please respond to your membership renewal notice! You can also put your membership on auto-renew by calling the member services desk at the office at (713) 341-8102. If you are already on auto-renew, make SURE the credit card on file with the office has a CURRENT EXPIRATION DATE! In doubt about your membership status? Check online or contact the office!


Saturday, September 22 -- 10:00 am: HAL-PC General Meeting featuring Dwight Silverman, technology editor for the Houston Chronicle and author of the Peachpit Press Learning Series "Microsoft Windows Vista"


Saturday, August 18 -- 9:30 am: Digital Photography SIG - 'What is Digital Camera RAW Format?'

Saturday, August 18 -- 1:30 pm: Master Genealogist SIG

Saturday, August 25 -- 9:30 am General Meeting - 'Making Movies with Adobe Premier Elements'

Saturday, September 1 -- 9:30 pm: Camcorder & Video SIG - 'Making Videos for Upload to Google Video'

Friday, September 7 -- 1:00 pm: Computer Investing SIG - 'Introduction to Derivatives'


HAL-PC is pleased to welcome the Houston Application Systems Group to the SIG family. HASG provides AS/400 educational information and related presentations on the second Thursday of the month except December. Some are technical, some are management related. Recent meetings have centered around Java, Internet, and WebSphere. IBM presents new product information as soon as it is available. Presenters may be from IBM, other vendors, or members of the group.

The following Special Interest Groups have specific programs posted for their upcoming meetings. Please refer to the SIG Calendar for a complete listing of HAL-PC SIG meeting dates and times. If you are interested in starting a Special Interest Group that is not currently on our calendar, contact the Vice President for SIGS

BUILD OR BUY A COMPUTER SIG: Wednesdays -- 1:00 pm: We Build, We Fix, We Learn. Come join us while we learn the technology together! Do you have a special situation requiring further attention? Scheduled special sessions or prior appointments handled on first come, first served basis, free for members only. Want to build a PC or decide whether to update what you own? Check our current and past build specs by SIG members Joe Whinery & George Walker at BuildorBuy.org or BuildorBuy.net

HOUSTON APPLICATION SYSTEMS GROUP SIG: Thursday, August 9 -- 6:30 pm: "HMC or Hardware Management Console" If you are going to a new machine or already have come find out about the Hardware Management Console and the dos and don'ts. See www.hasg.org for details about meeting/meal reservations.

INTERNET SIG: Friday, August 10 -- 7:00 pm: Need to send/receive that large movie of the grandkids? Got a large file to send a friend but no space on your ISP's webserver? Why not run a FTP server on your computer? We'll set one up and look at a client for it. All freeware.

DATABASE & GUI DESIGN SIG: Saturday, August 11 -- 9:00 am: We are developing a real application step by step with Visual Studio 2005, Codesmith, and NetTiers. This is a hands-on workshop. So, bring your laptop. Please have at least the demo version (21 days) of Codesmith loaded. The $99 version is fine for what we are going to be doing. NetTiers is a free Codesmith template. The links to it are on the Codesmith web site. You will also need to have SQL Express installed. This is the free version of SQL Server 2005. We recommend you download the advanced version so you have the administration tools also. We will finish up getting our first forms wired up in our Windows forms application and try to get to the ASP.net pages this month.

FOXPRO SIG: Tuesday, August 14 -- 7:00 pm: There will basically be 2 presentations. Rich Monroe, our advanced SIG leader, giving Tips & Tricks and Ed Hardin on writing a down and dirty email client in VFP. After meeting there will be dinner at Ninfa's dutch treat. It is a good time to take the opportunity to learn about Microsoft's hidden secret Visual FoxPro. It being the only cheaply invoked data client that Microsoft has.

SCANNING & DIGITAL IMAGING SIG: Saturday, August 18 -- 1:00 pm: This month we are doing the second half of our "Portraits with Your Camera" series. Bring your camera and a family member or friend with you that you have wanted to get good photos of. We will be working on posing and getting good portraits with your camera. I have a friend that is going to be there with her wedding dress to pose for us for about a half hour. She is a doll and will be a delight for you to work with. I will try and show you some techniques for getting good shots with her. If we are lucky, her husband will be coming also and we will be able to do some couple posing with a 10 pose system. I will also have a couple of special guests from Russia there. Inna, my fiance, wants to learn the computer side of photography. Our daughter, Anya, wants to be a photographer. Because of Inna and Anya coming, I will not be able to bring the portrait background with me. So, we will be using things that are available for backgrounds.

ALPHA FIVE SIG: Monday, August 20 -- 6:30 pmWe will be discussing how to design a basic web site application for an Alpha Five database.

C# SIG: Tuesday, August 21 -- 7:00 pm (Beginners - 6:00 pm) The Beginning C# SIG will discuss ASP.NET 2.0 Configuration and Deployment. This is a review of the materials presented in Fritz Onion's webcast earlier this year. We will discuss configuration files, controlling authentication and authorization, the new security controls that are based on membership and role providers, and development and deployment options.

WEB DESIGN SIG: Tuesday, August 28 -- 7:00 pm: The Web Design SIG will meet to discuss PHP, CCS and principles of beautiful web design.

MULTIMEDIA SIG: Saturday, September 1 -- 10:00 am: Taking a look at Canon's "Power Shot Pro S3 IS", a $300 digital camera with 6 megapixels, 12x zoom, 30 frame per second VGA video, and stereo sound recording. On the effects side, we'll look at combining Wondertouch's "Particle Illusion", a powerful 2D sprite-based particle effect system that works with any video, and Adobe's "After Effects", a motion graphics and visual effects application with almost unlimited features.

Upcoming Classes - HAL-PC Headquarters

Map To Facility

Check the Class Calendar for the latest additions to the schedule


HAL-PC Volunteer of the Month for September is Laura Epps. Laura is a volunteer at our Clear Lake satellite branch and is instrumental in keeping the HAL-PC website and eBulletin informed about the Clear Lake activities, events and SIG's. Thanks, Laura, for all you do for HAL-PC!


Look for the following informative articles in the HAL-PC Magazine online
Johnnie Rose, Jr. on How to Startup a Startup from Your Home
Charles Olsen on It's Time to Embrace Linux
Robert Spottsworth on Writing Good Bug Reports

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