HAL-PC Monthly eBulletin - November 2007

Welcome to the December 2007 edition of the HAL-PC/HALNet monthly eBulletin. If you wish to stop receiving these bulletins, send an email to e-bulletin-off@hal-pc.org. This month: Annual Christmas Party, Protect Your PC, News for HALNet Users, Upcoming Events, Clear Lake, SIG News, Class Listing, Volunteer of the Month, Magazine.


HAL-PC will be closed Monday, December 24th and Tuesday, December 25th for the Christmas holiday and Monday, December 31st and Tuesday, January 1, 2008 in observance of New Year 2008.


Christmas Tree

Please join us on Friday, December 14, 3:00 - 7:00 pm for the HAL-PC Annual Christmas Party for volunteers, members and guests. A simple buffet will be provided, and as usual hot wassail, Robert's special punch and coffee will be available. Members are encouraged to bring their favorite treat to share. We will be having a white elephant gift exchage, so clean out your closet and bring something fun! Plan now to join us for fun, fellowship, games and door prizes.



Keep All Your Software Up To Date!
From the Sunbelt Software blog comes a scary report about malware distributors using web page keywords to lure people into their sites to infect them with trojans and other malware. The bad guys were carefully seeding their pages with innocuous search terms and using a network of bots whose sole purpose is to post spam links and relevant keywords into online forms to boost their pages to top level ranking in Google searches. The malicious looked for vulnerabilities in Microsoft's Internet Explorer and people with vulnerable systems were infected when they visited the sites. See the Sunbelt Software Blog and this BBC News report for more details. Google was informed and has stripped the offensive sites from their database, but this situation should serve as a warning -- keep your software patched and run a reputable anti-malware program and keep it up to date!! See the HALNet Protect Your PC page for recommendations.


People with yahoo.com email addresses continue to have problems receiving mail from hal-pc.org. We are also receiving reports from yahoo users of difficulties with other providers' mail getting through to them. Our administrators' efforts to deal with Yahoo.com's 'customer service' have been ignored or met with endless form responses requesting the same information over and over, but never addressing the issue. Some random messages are getting through, but they seem to be taking a very long time and are being dumped into the yahoo users' spam folders.

To complain to yahoo.com:
Phone: (408) 349-3300
Fax: (408) 349-3301
Address:701 First Avenue
Sunnyvale, California 94089
Customer Service: 1-800-318-0631
Tech support: 866-800-8092 or 1-408-349-1572
Fill out this form if your mail is blocked.
HALNet mail server is mail.hal-pc.org - ip address is
Please have your yahoo.com addressees complain to:
1-866-562-7219 or 1-866-562-7228
Suggest they change their email provider!!!!


CD/DVD Basics for Everyone
Saturday, December 2, 1:00 pm

What is the difference between a CD and DVD? How can I use a DVD / CD to backup my stuff? Join Robert DuVernay for an informative afternoon and come away confident and prepared! First come, first seated - no registration fee.

General Meeting
Saturday, January 26, 2008

Our Winter meeting will be held at Headquarters on Saturday, January 26, 2008 at 10:00 am. Suite doors will open at 9:00 am for coffee, pastries and fellowship. Lunch orders will be accepted from 9:00 - 10:00 am for delivery from Antone's at the lunch break.

The program:
Ron Gore: Preventing, Recognizing and Recovering From Identity Theft
Marie Jones: Tax Preparation Software
SimDesk (Presenter to be announced)
Lunch (ordered in from Antone's)
Rick Archibald: Linux for Cowards 2008
Tax Preparation Using Linux (Presenter to be announced)


There will be no SIG meetings in Clear Lake in December


NEW SIG! - Web Marketing (Search Engine Optimization)
The Web Marketing SIG helps people who want to promote business and other activities over the Internet. We focus on techniques and practices that allow prospects to find your web site. Presentations cover all aspects of Internet marketing from planning and building to optimizing and promoting your site for search engine discovery. Because this environment is dynamic, maintenance and enhancement of your site is required to maintain rankings. This SIG is the place to learn about and keep abreast of these important dynamics. To stay current with the latest information, join SIG leader Gerald Zimmerer every 1st and 3rd Wednesday starting in January from 7:00 - 9:00 pm, and check their web site for notes, history and current activities.

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

No meetings in December for the following SIGs:
C# & Beginning C#
Basic Internet and Internet
Sybase Technologies
Web Design

COMPUTER INVESTING SIG: Fridays -- 10:00 am (NOTE NEW TIME!!!): See the SIG web page for up-to-the-minute program notes.

MULTIMEDIA SIG: Saturday, December 1 -- 10:00 am: We will take a look at "SuperJam!", a freeware program that composes music in a variety of styles (classical, rock, country, etc.) with a little (or a lot) of user input. Years ago when Microsoft bought the publisher of Version 1, Blue Ribbon Soundworks, it looked like Superjam would disappear. But it survives as freeware, and in Version 2 no less. Download it from www.musicmachine.net. It runs very well on an old Win98SE laptop that I am converting to a music machine. In particular, MIDI (used by SuperJam and many other music programs) does not require much horsepower, and so is well suited to older machines. MIDI basics here.

SAMBA & OPEN NETWORKING STUDY GROUP: Saturday December 1 & 15 -- 2:00 pm In June we decided to expand the scope of the Samba Study Group SIG to include hybrid & open (source) networking. Currently we are working on VPN's using various gateways (aka "routers") & firewalls.

ACCESS - BEGINNERS: Monday, December 3 -- 6:00 pm
Introduction to data normalization, how to set up tables, queries, forms and reports using MS Access relational database. Please email the SIG leader if you plan to attend.

STOCK MARKET: Saturday, December 8 -- 1:00 pm
The Stock Market SIG is HAL's oldest, longest group devoted to personal financial planning and fundamental long-term stock market analysis.

LINUX WORKSHOP: Wednesdays -- 6:00 pm Installations & hands-on problem solving every Wednesday except when HAL is closed. This is an informal meeting where knowledgable HLUG members help each other & beginners one on one. Dinner after at Biba's West Grey 9:30pm.

Upcoming Classes - HAL-PC Headquarters

Map To Facility

Check the Class Calendar for the latest additions to the schedule


December's HAL-PC Volunteer of the Month is Charles Evans. With a member number of 32, you know Charles has been with HAL-PC since the beginning! Charles has done yeoman's labor as reviews editor for the HAL-PC magazine for years. He matches the product to the reviewer, and lends his own insightful commentary, to the benefit of all HAL members and magazine readers. Charles also organizes periodic special SIG events and seminars and his smiling face is always a joy to see at our meetings and functions. Thank you Charles! We owe ya!


Look for informative articles in the HAL-PC Magazine online
If you do not receive your December edition of the printed magazine, please phone the office! You may need to update your address information, or renew your HAL-PC membership!