SHCC WYSIWYG Article from November 2013

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This article was written by Don VanSyckel, the club president, as a part of "The President's Pen".  This article appeared in the November 2013 WYSIWYG newsletter.

Win 8, Encryption, and USB

by Don VanSyckel

Last month I mentioned I had my Christmas real early and that I had purchased a desktop with Win 8.0 on it. I'm waiting to put the 8.1 update on it before making any decisions about keeping Win 8.1 or going back to Win XP. I do too much with the PC to be slowed down by an inhospitable operating system. Unfortunately I've been too busy with other stuff to spend any time with the new PC. Hopefully in a week or so I'll have the Win 8.1 upgrade loaded and I'll be able to comment on it in the future.

Has anyone done anything with data encryption? I continue to use the True Crypt software and I'm very pleased with it. I recommend it for any data on your travel laptop or on your desktop at home. It can be used a whole disk or part of a disk. Read more about it or down load it at http://www.truecrypt.org

A couple of comments about USB external disk drives. Well actually any external disk drives but currently I only know of the USB type. Heat is a killer. When you shop for an external drive it's not a bargain to buy the lowest price. Look for one that has at least one fan and adequate vents, holes, to allow good air flow. Good air flow will prevent the disk drive from overheating. The less the temperature of the disk drive rises, the better. Since most people buy products by price instead of features, good external disk drive enclosures are actually not all that common. I have a couple external enclosures from ThermalTake that I really like. They have external power supplies, nice activity indicators, two fans, and do a good job of powering down the drive when inactive. All drives generate the most heat when it is being heavily used but allowing it to go to sleep during inactivity saves a lot of revolutions of the disk extending its useful life. Don't be afraid of purchasing an enclosure and adding your own disk drive. This can actually be a better choice because the sold alone enclosures are designed to accommodate various disk drives and the enclosure that comes as part of a complete set is likely set up for specific disk drive models.

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