HAL-PC Monthly eBulletin - November 2006

Welcome to the November 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: Welcome New Users!, Referral Program, Protect Your PC: VPN Client, Blocking Installation of IE7, New Suite Access Policy, Events, Clear Lake, SIG News, New Class Offering, Class Listing, Volunteer of the Month, Magazine.


Last month, ev1.net announced that it was dropping all its dial-up and ISDN accounts and switching its users to PeoplePC. HALNet was delighted to give these users a choice! As a result of our outreach efforts, we are pleased to welcome many former ev1.net users to HALNet. HAL-PC's internet service pioneered low-cost internet access back in 1994. Our dial-up accounts have been $10.00 per month since the beginning - when the only other two ISPs in town were charging more than twice as much! While the big corporate providers are upping their prices or discontinuing dial-up and ISDN accounts altogether, HALNet is committed to supporting all options at our same low prices.

While the opt-out deadline was October 30, ev1.net users who were automatically switched to PeoplePC can STILL cancel the new account and come to HALNet. Look here for instructions!


You can get a free extension of time on your HALNet account for referring new users to our service! For every signup you refer, your account will be extended by $10.00 worth of time. Dial-up users will get an extra month, DSL accounts will get $10.00 worth of extra days. Here's how the program works:
  1. Go to the User Account Login Page and login with your HALNet user id and password
  2. In the upper left corner of the client administration page you will see a button labeled 'Referrals'. Click it
  3. The Referrals information page tells you how the program works. Look for the following words near the bottom of the page:

    When your friends and neighbors use the following url to sign up for HALNet Internet Service you'll get credit for the referral!



    This is a specially-generated link to the online signup page that is keyed to your HALNet account. Be sure to tell your friend to follow that link to sign up so you will get credit.



More and more of us are taking to the road for our holiday vactions with laptops. Most hotels now offer wireless high-speed internet access. But how secure is your data transmission???

HAL-PC members with HALNet accounts can take the worry out of their summer surfing by downloading our free secure VPN client. Connect to the hotel wireless access point, launch the VPN client and connect SECURELY to our HALNet server. Using this VPN "tunnel" the entire connection -- mail, account settings, and any transactions -- will be encrypted and you can surf safely!! See the VPN Information Page for details and a link to download the client.

Remember: Our secure VPN service is offered only to HALNet subscribers who are HAL-PC members. This is only one of the benefits of membership - JOIN HAL TODAY!


For those of you who prefer not to install Microsoft Internet Explorer 7, here is a link to a GUI, remote tool and registry key methods to block the delivery of IE7 on Windows XP.


HAL-PC has implemented a new Headquarters Suite access policy. HAL-PC members will be required to swipe their membership cards in the card reader located outside the suite doors to access the suite after 6:00 pm. If you have not received a permanent membership card, or if you have lost yours, contact Cynthia at 713-341-8104 for a replacement. If you are a visitor, please signal the attendant at the desk you need access, and please make sure to sign the guest register at his desk. Remember, guests are welcome to attend a SIG or event one time as a visitor!


Saturday, November 4 -- 1:00 pm: Digital Cameras for Everyone

Movie Night: There will be no HAL-PC movie night in November and December. Look for information about the December HAL-PC/HALNet open house! See you next year!


Friday, November 3 - 1:00 pm: Computer Investing SIG - Educational Aspects of NAIC

Saturday November 4 -- 9:30 pm: Camcorder & Video SIG - Making Your First Video

Saturday, November 18 -- 9:30 am: Digital Photography SIG - Houston Metro's first HAL-PC Clear Lake PhotoFest 2006

Saturday, November 18 -- 1:00 pm General Meeting - Houston Metro's first HAL-PC Clear Lake Slideshow, Animation, & VideoFest 2006


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

WINDOWS OS: Wednesday, November 1 -- 7:00 pm There will be an open discussion about the Windows OS with topics including Windows security, antivirus, networking, diagnostic tools, and various applications. We will be providing tips, tricks, and troubleshooting information.

MULTIMEDIA: Saturday, November 4 -- 10:00 am: We'll look at 'Jammer Live' from Soundtrek, which follows along in real time as you play, similar to the MIDI keyboards from Yamaha and others. Have a good backup band on your computer! We'll also check out a few other graphic goodies.

TC USERS GROUP: Thursday, November 9 -- 7:00 pm There have been 15 more indicators announced for SnapSheets, with still more to come. Michael Thompson from Worden Brothers will be with us to show us the power of the new offerings.

INTERNET: Friday, November 10 -- 7:00 pm: We will be taking a look at the newly released 2.0 version of the Firefox browser. Also a review of the add-ons and extensions for Firefox.

FOXPRO: Tuesday, November 14 -- 7:00 pm: November HAL-PC FoxPro SIG will be an open forum about FoxPro. Bring any questions you have about FoxPro and why it is the best and most economical database system you can use on a Microsoft System Computer. We will also discuss in depth moving the SIG meeting from the 2nd Tuesday of each month to the 3rd Wednesday of each month at 6:30 PM, beginning in December.

C#: Tuesday, November 21 -- 7:00 pm (Beginners - 6:00 pm) This month's speaker is Jeffrey Firestone, a Houston-based independent consultant who specializes in SQL Server and .NET application development. His topic will be "Running C# Assemblies on SQL Server 2005." He will show how to write and configure C# assemblies to run in place of SQL Server 2005 T-SQL code. He will compare the relative advantages and disadvantages of using C# CLR code versus T-SQL code. He will also compare the performance and cost tradeoffs or running several different types of C# routines on SQL Server as opposed to the middle tier or client workstations.

WEB DESIGN: The Web Design SIG is on hiatus during the months of November and December. See you next year!

SAMBA STUDY The official Samba SIG meetings are now the first and third Saturdays of every month from 2:00 to 4:45 pm

MCSE: Every Friday -- 6:30 pm Our goal at HAL-PC is to provide an environment where people can utilize the training resources we have available such as: 1) Hands-on lab to practice software installations and configurations. 2) Computer Based Practice exams to help prepare you for the real thing. 3) Peer to Peer mentoring.


Starting in November, HAL-PC is offering a new class for the absolute beginner! First Step: Basic Computer Use is designed for the true computer novice. You will learn how to turn your computer on and off safely and how to use a mouse and keyboard. You'll also learn about the desktop, icons, programs and preferences. Join Ashley Revilla and take those 'First Steps' toward computer savvy!

It's really not too early to start looking toward those New Year's Resolutions! Let 2007 be the year you get your finances organized. Our HAL-PC staff accountant Marie Jones is teaching Quickbooks levels 1 and 2 during the month of November. Take these classes and be prepared to turn over a fiscal 'new leaf' in 2007!

Upcoming Classes - HAL-PC Headquarters

Map To Facility

Starting November 1
MS Word, Level 1

Instructor: Bear Jones

Starting November 7
First Step: Basic Computer Use

Instructor: Bear Jones

Quickbooks Level 1
Instructor: Marie Jones

Starting November 8
Basic Computer Use

Instructor: Rick Archibald

November 9
Getting More From MS Word: Business Writing

Instructor: Bear Jones

November 13
Web Surfing for Cowards

Instructor: Bear Jones

Starting November 14
Working with Windows

Instructor: Bear Jones

Excel, Level 1
Instructor: Bear Jones

Starting November 16
Getting More From Word - Creative Writing

Instructor: Bear Jones

Starting November 27
Web Surfing for Cowards

Instructor: Bear Jones

Starting November 28
Working with Windows

Instructor: Bear Jones

Quickbooks - Level 2
Instructor: Marie Jones

Starting November 30
Getting More From Word - Business Writing

Instructor: Bear Jones

Check the Class Calendar for the latest additions to the schedule. Some classes have minimum enrollments - Call 713-341-8102 for complete enrollment information.


HAL-PC Volunteer of the Month for November is Joe Collins. Joe has been a member of HAL-PC since 1997! He is the utility infielder of HAL volunteers - always ready to chip in and do whatever needs to be done. If you've ever gotten a reminder call that your HAL-PC membership or HALNet account is about to expire, that was Jim on the phone! He works the front desk and is always willing to drop everything and come in even when he's not scheduled to fill in for others. Congratulations, Joe!


Look for the HAL-PC Magazine online

Can't read this email? Read the eBulletin online at http://www.hal-pc.org/bulletin/november2006.html