SHCC WYSIWYG Article from April 2008

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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 April 2008 WYSIWYG newsletter.

Magazines as PDFs and Smart Computing

by Don VanSyckel

What to write about? I don't have a large budget which translates to I don't have a bunch of new stuff all the time. I've covered many computer topics in the past and sometimes you just can't think of topics; you just go blank! Then I had an idea, I recently renewed my subscription to "Smart Computing" magazine; I'd scan these for topics. I have more 'old' paper magazines than I should but I justify it because "you never know when you might need something in one of those old issues". So when Smart Computing offered an electronic subscription, I took that. I've had other electronic subscriptions where you were emailed the info, like we do with our newsletter, which is fine if the attachment is below the size threshold to allow this. The Smart Computing Magazine PDFs are too large for email.

The downside of a magazine subscription delivered as a PDF is you need to read it on your PC and you can't use a high lighter on the pages. Of course, if you want a print of a particular article you can print it, but I wouldn't print the whole magazine all the time. The upside of PDF delivery is 1) you can make a back up copy 2) if you take your laptop with you including the PDF on the hard drive adds no weight or space (physical volume), 3) the PDFs are easier to search than paper and 4) you can always find the magazines.

So back to an idea to write about, I starting looking through recent issues of Smart Computing. In just scanning the main article teaser headline on the front covers I decided Smart Computing really does have a nice variety of subjects they cover that are pertinent to the home PC user. Subjects included home network, fixing PCs, DVD's and HD-DVDs, PC tune up (run faster), laptops, critical PC settings and how to adjust and save them, build it yourself PCs, PC errors and how to proceed, make PC startup and shutdown faster, and disk clean it out and speed it up. Some of these topics I've already written about and others I haven't.

Then I got the idea that your reading, write about the the wealth of information you can get from Smart Computing Magazine. Also Smart Computing Magazine helps to support local computer clubs. Our club gets subscription for Smart Computing from the magazine. We choose to give these away as door prizes at the meetings. To give the club credit you must do it at the time you're subscribing or renewing. The process is a bit tricky, possibly intensionally, to have the club get credit. The normal thing people would do if they want to subscribe is to hit the web site and then click on subscribe. "Subscribe & Shop" is one of three main topics at the top of the Smart Computing home page. This won't allow you to give the club credit. On the home page you need to go to the left and possibly scroll down to the 'fine print' and click "User Groups". Once on the "User Group" page you choose a button the left, "Subscribe or Renew Today!" While filling out your information there is a pull down to choose our club. The club only gets credit via this process. Remember, if you use the 'normal' subscription and renewal processes Smart Computing magazine won't switch it, so pay attention. One member has reported issues with the renewal process, if you do, hang in there and let me know.

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