Williamsport Area Computer Club

Newsletter & Meeting Minutes

October 2000

Our next meeting will be held on Tuesday, November 14, at 7 PM, in the Winters Room of the James V. Brown Library, 19 East Fourth Street, Williamsport.

Rob Colley from Hoyers Photo will give us a demonstration of digital video cameras. This is an exciting new field, with the FireWire high-speed interface and fast CPUs such as those used in Apple's iMac systems enabling easy video editing on personal computers.

Members please note that election of officers for 2001 will take place at this meeting. The incumbent candidates are unopposed.

President Geoffrey Knauth
Vice-President Kathy Kolb
Treasurer John Yarosz
Secretary James Shaffer, Jr.

Our last meeting was called to order by Vice-President Kathy Kolb on October 10, 2000. The minutes of September's meeting were approved. Treasurer John Yarosz reported that the Club's account held $616.21.

Committee Actions:

Advertising / Awareness / Public Relations / Home Page:

Computer Recycling (finding charitable uses for old computers):

No items this month.

Computer / Internet News:

Open Discussion:


Clyde Phillips, a technician for Compu-Gen, spoke about his experience with Windows ME. The upgrade package is priced at $49.99. As a test, he upgraded a Windows 98 system with a Celeron 300, 196 meg of RAM, a USB microscope camera, a SCSI scanner, and 6 GB of installed software. The upgrade recognized all his plug-and-play devices, notifies if newer drivers are available, and did not require un-installing any old software. He hasn't tried installing the OEM version of ME yet.

The upgrade requires about 100 megabytes of extra disk space for an average installation, and an accelerated graphics card is strongly recommended. Since the upgrade process will reboot the system at least twice, the user should be certain to run MSCONFIG and disable all background programs that he has installed so that there are no conflicts as new libraries are installed.

The system boots 30 to 50 percent faster than Windows 98, and has displayed no shutdown glitches so far. Contrary to some rumors, DOS is still present.

New features include a much-upgraded Media Player that has better web integration and smoother video. Clyde hasn't experienced any system crashes yet while receiving streaming media, even if Internet Explorer has stalled. Internet Explorer has been upgraded to version 5.5. There is also a Movie Maker program for video editing.

Windows ME introduces several long-needed improvements to its system management utilities. It will automatically track DLLs as they are installed and will replace required versions if they are overwritten by third-party programs. Also included is the System Restore utility, which will make a backup copy of the Registry on demand, including automatically-timed, and allow the user to restore to any saved point at any time.

Clyde also prepared for us several pages of useful shortcuts and configuration tips, many of which also apply to earlier 32-bit versions of Windows. All in all, it was a most useful presentation.

Contact Information
Home Page http://www.lycoming.org/wacc
Secretary Jim Shaffer, Jr., jshaffer@uplink.net
Mailing List Send a message to wacc-chat-request@sunlink.net with the word subscribe in the subject. (Note: this is an open list for free-ranging local and computer-related discussions. Anyone wishing to subscribe to the newsletter should email Jim or use the comments form on our home page.)