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Keeping You Connected

September 2006  

AS Consulting's Monthly Newsletter


Must have downloads:
Refer to my downloads page to get these critical applications!


In this issue:

AOL is now FREE!

Microsoft's support for Win98 and WinME has    ended

What is an RSS Feed?

A sign of the times

Bring out your inner artist!

  When was the last time you had your computer cleaned?

Call for an appointment!
(805) 968-6366

Ad-Aware Personal SE (version 1.06)


Windows Defender  Beta 2

    AOL is now FREE!

As of August 2, 2006, AOL has dropped their fee's! It sounds almost too good to be true, but this is not a joke. AOL apparently decided that it was losing too many people to broadband and my guess is that they will have more (should I say "even more") advertising in their software. But that doesn't change the fact that if you have broadband (Cable, DSL, Satellite) and you are currently paying for AOL, you can still keep your AOL email address and stop paying.

First, realize that if you have broadband and switch to the free account, you lose any live customer support from AOL (really, did you ever get any?). Second, your current plan probably gives you about 10 hours of dial-up time (for when you are traveling), you would lose this as well. If you never use this feature- you're all set! Here is what you do: log on to AOL and use keyword "Change Plan". Choose the free option and you're set!

  Is your computer getting slower?
Pop-Ups driving you crazy?
 Is it just acting weird?
You may be infected with spyware. Try one of the programs to the left, and if that does not work...

Please call me!

McAfee's Stinger, downloadable virus removable tool

    Microsoft's support for Win98 and WinME has ended

This is not exactly brand new information, but some clients are still unaware of this fact. When you call them, they don't want to talk with you. When you try to get new updates, there are none to be had.

It is perhaps a good time to upgrade to a WinXP computer. I say a "WinXP computer" because the computer you are running 98 or ME on almost certainly will not run Windows XP.

Additionally, many programs no longer support these operating systems. So, if it is time to upgrade your anti-virus, anti-spyware, firewall, word processor or image editor.- you may find you old faithful OS is not supported when you install that new upgrade!

Feel free to give me a call and I'll be happy to quote you a new system, or help you price out a DELL (my preferred system to recommend- if you are not buying from me!)

What is an RSS Feed?

Q: Can you tell me any advantages of an RSS feed over what I already get in my e-mail? I'm not convinced they're the "next best" thing.

A: I surely can. RSS feeds have swept across the computer scene and many people have gotten hooked, while others are still leery about giving them a try. We have done several other tips on RSS feeds before, but just in case you're still not sure what they are, read here before you go on with this article. It will give you some background information you'll need to know.

Some people think that RSS feeds are going to eventually overtake e-mail. While I don't think it will go that far (some people just can't live without their e-mail!), they are very popular and they will probably gain even more recognition in the future. So, what is so great about RSS feeds? How are they better than what you already get in your e-mail each and every day? Well, keep reading for some new points of view on this subject.

1.) RSS feeds are more timely. If you are subscribed to a certain feed, you can get updates on it immediately. You can hear all of the breaking news as soon as it happens and you can even connect in to other sources of information, such as independent reporters, researchers, analysts, etc. With RSS feeds, you are almost always the first to get the recent news and information.

2.) RSS feeds are inexpensive. You usually don't have to pay for the information to come to your computer. There's no more paying for delivery, distribution or for any mailing lists. Certain feeds may require a fee, but most of them are free of charge.

3.) RSS feeds come in any style. They are compatible with text, HTML, AOL or even MIME. They will always arrive in a form that your computer is compatible with, so you don't have to worry about not being able to read the information.

4.) You don't have to have an e-mail program to get an RSS feed. They all can be read online easily and quickly. You no longer have to worry about opening your e-mail and searching for the new messages. Just log on to the Web site where your feed comes from and you're all set. You can still get the feeds delivered to your e-mail if you want, but it's not necessary.

5.) You, as the subscriber, are in full control of your RSS feeds. If you ever want to remove yourself from a list, you can do so easily. You don't have to worry about not being taken off a mailing list. You can do it yourself and you will know for sure that you were removed.

6.) RSS feeds stay private. If you choose not to, you don't have to give out any personal information when you sign up for a feed. You don't have to give your name or even your e-mail address. This ensures that your information will not be sold to any other companies. RSS feeds are very secure in this matter.

7.) RSS feeds can not be blocked by spam or e-mail filters. Sometimes you sign up for newsletters that won't come through to your e-mail no matter what you do. There's nothing more frustrating than that. Well, that won't happen with RSS feeds. It's impossible!

Now, I could go on with some more features, but I think you get the idea. RSS feeds do have a lot of advantages over what a regular e-mail program can do for you. While the RSS phenomenon won't completely take over e-mail, it is a good source of information and it can be accessed with just a couple clicks of your mouse. Give it a try, you never know what you might be missing in the computer world today!

This item reprinted with permission from Computer Tips & Techniques, Weekly Edition (a free email newsletter available at www.worldstart.com), Copyright 2006 WorldStart, Inc.

  Is your existing system showing its age?
Don't forget, I build my own systems with the highest quality parts available.

If something does go wrong, you won't be speaking to someone in a foreign country, you'll be speaking directly to me!

Other Important Downloads:

Adobe Acrobat Reader 7.0


A sign of the times

Boy when I saw this one, it really hit home! Most of my clients will remember that they had a set of Encyclopedia Britannica's at home. I did. I was too young to know what my parents paid for them, but I have to imagine it was (in today's dollars) hundreds of dollars. Even more of us will remember the commercials with that teenage boy hawking the Encyclopedia Britannica on CD-ROM. Those commercials weren't too long ago. The set of CD's also was in the several hundred dollar range. Well, Worldstart (see link above) is offering an Encyclopedia Britannica suite for $19.95! This is the 2006 version. I guess with the easy access we have to the Internet, our need for these great sets has diminished.


If you have a wireless router, remember to enable security!
WEP is good, but WPA is way better.
Feel free to call for assistance.


If your web pages are not loading properly, you may need this download


Bring out your inner artist!

It's time to see if you have the artistic chops or not. When you click on this link, you get a blank page. As soon as you start to move your mouse, you're painting. Every click of the mouse selects a different color. It actually is very fun so give the link below a click and try it.




Are you backing up?
These days, a good backup is a must!


AS Consulting is now offering email and website hosting. It is rather affordable and (best of all), I personally handle all of the problems associated with your site (i.e., email addresses, domain issues, etc.) click here for all the info: AS Consulting provided Webhosting




If you would rather not be on my newsletter list- no problem! Send me a quick email and I'll forever take you off.
If you know someone who would like to be placed on my mailing list, have them drop me a line as well.

The AS Consulting newsletter is brought to you by:
Andy Shapiro, Owner
AS Consulting
You can reach me at: P.O. Box 1728, Goleta, CA. 93116-1728, Voice: (805) 968-6366,
email: asc2@asconsulting.com, Web: www.asconsulting.com


See you next month!


 2006 AS Consulting