Global Positioning GPS
by Jim Russ
Rounding out his large collection of mapping software Jim this time not only showed us how to get where we want to go, but how to tell if we’re there. This software relies on 27 geosynchronous satellites which travel at the same speed as the sun so there is always one over- head. Contact is cut off by tall buildings and overhead highways or tunnels. It also relies on a notebook computer plugged into the cigarette lighter of your car. Jim mentioned units priced from $99. 00 to $500.00 from Tav-lSoft, DeLorme and others. Speech recogni- tion is built in so you can ask “Where am I?” as often as you like with no loss of face, at least if you are driving alone, and a voice will answer.
When you start a trip the program asks if you are the driver or passenger. If you are the driver you get a blank screen, but you can hear the directions. Passenger operators get maps on the screen. If you make a wrong turn the program imme- diately plots a new route to get you back on the original route. The satellites can calculate your actual speed. If you choose to travel off road, there are no maps ready, but the program can give you latitude and longitude and other handy hints.
Thanks to Jim for once more laying out the time and money to show us another program that many of us do not have occa- sion to use but like to know about. It is just as valuable to see a program which you are sure you don’t need or want, as it is to see one you know you have to have immediately In either case it’s interesting to see how a new program works.
The regular meeting of HCC was held on November 19, 1999 at HMC, Fleming- ton. President Lon Hosford called the meeting to order at 9:30 A.M. Guests wel- comed included Dr. Ted Weinstein who has finally succumbed to the lure of the computer after years of putting up with the obsessions of his wife, Judi, and son, Max. Judi started eons ago with a TRS
80 , 16K, and Ted resisted through all that time. Now he’s enjoying the financial information and management aspects of his new machine.
Louise Shoemaker was welcomed as a first time visitor who has heard about the club at Senior computer classes. Alice Mitchell was welcomed after long absence, and commented that the outstanding fea- ture in the atmosphere of the club is friendliness and kindness, particularly in answering questions.
Lon proceeded to demonstrate this when Ilene Shope asked how to tell if she has Java running when she connects with thr Net. Her browser is MEI v.4 She was given various ways to view the source code of a given piece of text, concluding with. the suggestion that she e-mail to Lon for more help. Robert Simmonds pointed out that Paste Special will produce unformatted text. Copy this “clean” text or a section into Wordpad and study it.
Baxter Rowe asked about the slow dis- play of graphics on web sites. Lon ex- plained that each graphic is another file, so for one web page a lot of files may be opening.
The monthly discussion on providers ensued. Judi Weinstein asked about Eclipse. Lon said Eclipse tech support treats him as if he were an idiot. Doris Moore said she had had courteous, friendly help from Eclipse. Paul Glattstien reminded us that all local providers are listed on a link from the club web site.
As usual, the conclusion was that any provider with local access is about as good as any other, and we have trouble getting connected and staying connected, no mat- ter what provider we have. Paul explained that you can keep your current provider while trying a different one in one of the frequent free trial periods.
In discussion of getting e-mail while traveling, Jim Russ likes Juno. Ken Jones logs onto the web then gets his mail. More and more hotels are providing e- mail facilities.
With reference to attachments, Lon said he saves them all, renames them, the launches (opens) them. (Ed: Remember not to open e-mail attachments unless you know the sender, to avoid accepting a vi- rus.)
Baxter Rowe cited trouble using a second address in Outlook Explorer,
Win98. Jim Russ says it is an OS problem, not software. Ken Jones suggested look- ing for help in Win98annoyances.com or Google.
Don Colombo asked for a 486 ma- chie with CD, for his middle school class- room. Robert Simmonds offered one
( and has since delivered it.) Don also asked if a Microsoft breakup is imminent and what it might mean to all of us. No one had brought a crystal ball so this question goes back in the hopper.
Lon reported that Rick Williams has requested use of meeting space at HMC for
20000 and is waiting for a reply. Discus- sion traced the history of trying to help HMC with computer training. Lon cur- rently does some work for them, part vol- unteer, part paid. Efforts we made to offer help at meetings failed because employees did not wish to spend Saturdays on unpaid training time. Like the Food Bank, HMC has moved on to newer machines and training is in-houise.
Raffles were won by Hank Gonzalez, Elsa Wolschina. Muareen Barron.and Ed Matko.
Treasurer Jac Carroll reported a bal- ance of $584.22
Secretary Stewart reported that a new supply of The Secret Guide to Computers, 26th edition will be on hand at the December meeting. (A BIG gift for $7.00)
Joe Burger, Vice President, had a lot to cover, from the judge’s ruling that Microsoft is a monopoly, to the Pokemon list with 1000 members. Possible outs for Microsoft are creation of 3 Baby Bills, or offering source code to other developers. Microsoft is also working on getting companies to pay a monthly fee and keep their software and data on Web sites, which is much like going back to Main Frames.
About Windows 2000, Joe said it is not stable, needs 4 floppies or 1 CD to load, takes 20 minutes to load and had better be left to professionals. He reaf- firmed that DOS is gone in Win2000.