This is my fist lens on Squidoo.  Let me know what you think.


I mostly grew up with computers.  I used to call bulletin board systems before the World Wide Web was created.  Long distance charges were always a problem in those times.  My reach was limited to local calling only to my area code so one day I started my own BBS running Illusion.  People started to find my computer instead, until the hard drive crashed.  Anyway I was feeling nostalgic and decided to list some of the programs that I have the fondest memories of.  Anyone think of others that I missed?

Telix is one the best programs to use for dial-up BBS access. It’s closest competition was Procomm Plus which Symantec owns now for some odd reason and it appears to be discontinued.  I can personally vouch for the fact that Procomm Plus is still in use today with at least some financial transaction type communications.

ZMODEM was the preferred protocol for downloading files from other computers with my 2400-baud modem. ZMODEM was always the fastest and most reliable but YMODEM was probably it’s closest competitor, not everyone used what was  best in those times.

ARJ archives provided better file compression then ZIP files do. ARJ even made downloading (dreadfully slow d/ling) faster but for some reason ZIP is still the thing we use today. It’s actually time to update to 7-Zip people. Come on get with it.

McAfee used to be the best virus protection to have. Now they suck. Be warned if you think that is the best you can do for free.  Even AVG is better virus protection.  McAfee also sponsored a contest every year to reward the person who submitted the most innovative virus.  The prize was $10,000.

TASM – for some odd reason I wanted to learn assembly language.  I was far better at Turbo Pascal.

SoftICE was something I never quite got the hang of.  It was used for kernel mode debugging Windows applications.

CopyIIPC allowed me to create “backups” of my games.  My precious games.

DR-DOS just made DOS so much better.  It didn’t last long though.

4DOS is what should have been written into DOS in the first place. It replaced and added all sorts of cool command line features.

WordPerfect 5.1 for DOS is possibly the greatest word processor DOS has ever known.  It even came with a cool keyboard decoration to help remember the keystrokes for each command.  I typed so many reports for school with this program.

TheDraw – An ANSI Art (pre-Internet dial-up graphics if you prefer) editor.  TheDraw can also be used to create ASCII Art. People still use ASCII Art today when sending Instant Messages.

Send an ACSII rose for Valentine's (Not my work, I am not an artist.)

        ,':;: ""'.
       ,M;. ;MM;;M:
      ':: 'MMMMMMM:
        '; :MMMMM"
.           M           .
'M..        M        ,;M'
 'MM;.      M       ;MM:
  :MMM.     M      ;MM:
  'MMM;     M     :MMM:
   MMMM.    M     MMMM:
  :MMMM:    M     MMMM:
  :MMMM:    M    :MMMM:
  :MMMMM    M    ;MMMM:
  'MMMMM;   M   ,MMMMM:
   :MMMMM.  M   ;MMMMM'
    :MMMM;  M  :MMMMM"
     'MMMM  M  ;MMMM"
      ':MM  M ,MMM:'
        "": M :""'

Who should read this: Readers should have at least one image file that ends in .ISO.  You probably want to see inside or somehow use that file or maybe access it from another computer.  This is how to use a few great free tools to make that happen.

This article tells how to install the Apache HTTP Server on Microsoft Windows XP to mount and then share an ISO image file as a URL, first using Daemon Tools Lite to mount the ISO image file.

Simply put: Load and share an ISO image file as a drive letter assignment and a URL, like

Download Daemon Tools Lite here:

Download: DAEMON Tools Lite


  • Single left-click on CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD IF ABOVE LINK DOES NOT WORK to download Daemon Tools Lite from a more reliable mirror site.

  • Single left-click Run to start installing daemon4301-lite.exe.

  • Single left-click OK to install the English language.

  • Single left-click Next to begin setup wizard.

  • Single left-click I Agree to accept the End User License Agreement.

  • Single left-click OK to reboot Windows to continue installation.

  • Single left-click Run after the system reboots.

  • Single left-click Next to begin setup wizard again.

  • Single left-click I Agree to accept the End User License Agreement.

  • Deselect DAEMON Tools default Search Provider.
  • Deselect DAEMON Tools Toolbar.
  • Single left-click Next from the Choose Components window.

  • Deselect Browser’s Start Page.
  • Single left-click Next to continue.

  • Single left-click Install to continue.

  • Single left-click Finish to complete setup and automatically Run DAEMON Tools Lite.

  • Single right-click on the DAEMON Tools Lite system tray icon down in the Start bar near the clock.

  • Hover the mouse over Virtual CD/DVD-ROM from the pop-up menu shown to bring up another menu I can’t seem to show you.
  • Hold the mouse over Device 0: [E:] Empty for another pop-up menu to appear.
  • Single left-click on Set device parameters.

  • Under Settings use the drop down menu after Drive letter: to set the drive letter to J:.
  • Single left-click OK to close the Set drive parameters – Device 0 window.

  • Hover the mouse over Virtual CD/DVD-ROM to bring up another menu.
  • Hold the mouse over Device 0: [E:] Empty for another pop-up menu to appear.
  • Single left-click on Mount image.
  • Browse to the location containing the file named Fedora-9-i386-DVD.iso.
  • Single left-click Fedora-9-i386-DVD.iso to Open and mount the file to the J:\ location.
  • The J:\ drive shows Fedora 9 i386 DV (J:) in the My Computer window on my Microsoft Windows XP computer.

Download Apache web server here:

  • Single left-click on Download under the section that says Apache 2.2.9 Released.
  • Scroll down to where you see Apache HTTP Server 2.2.9 is the best available version
  • Look for the download that starts with Win32 Binary without crypto (no mod_ssl) (MSI Installer):
  • Single left-click on apache_2.2.9-win32-x86-no_ssl-r2.msi to download it.
  • Run apache_2.2.9-win32-x86-no_ssl-r2.msi.

  • Single left-click on Run to continue.

  • Single left-click Next to continue installing Apache HTTP Server 2.2.9.

  • Single left-click the radio button in from of I accept the terms of the license agreement.

  • Single left-click Next to continue and accpet the license agreement.

  • Single left-click Next to continue past the Read First screen about running Apache on Windows.

  • Type in Server Information.
  • Single-click Next to continue using the default port. Port 80.

  • Click on Next to continue with a Typical install.

  • Click Next to select the default Destination Folder.

  • Single left-click Install to install Apache HTTP Server 2.2.9.
  • Some black command prompt screens will quickly pop-up and disappear, do not worry.

  • Single left-click on Finish to complete installation.

Now edit C:\Program Files\Apache Software Foundation\Apache2.2\conf\httpd.conf like below to reflect the drive letter of whatever drive you picked when you mounted the Fedora-9-i386-DVD.iso ISO image file with DAEMON Tools Lite.

# DocumentRoot: The directory out of which you will serve your
# documents. By default, all requests are taken from this directory, but
# symbolic links and aliases may be used to point to other locations.
DocumentRoot "J:/"

# This should be changed to whatever you set DocumentRoot to.
<Directory "J:/">
    # Possible values for the Options directive are "None", "All",
    # or any combination of:
    #   Indexes Includes FollowSymLinks SymLinksifOwnerMatch ExecCGI MultiViews
    # Note that "MultiViews" must be named *explicitly* --- "Options All"
    # doesn't give it to you.
    # The Options directive is both complicated and important.  Please see
    # for more information.
    Options Indexes FollowSymLinks

    # AllowOverride controls what directives may be placed in .htaccess files.
    # It can be "All", "None", or any combination of the keywords:
    #   Options FileInfo AuthConfig Limit
    AllowOverride None

    # Controls who can get stuff from this server.
    Order allow,deny
    Allow from all

  • Double left-click the Apache services the Apache Service Monitor icon in the system tray of the Start bar near the clock.

  • Single left-click Restart to restart Apache2.2 services and activate the new URL.
  • Single left-click OK to close the Apache Service Monitor window.

Access the URL of the mounted or in other words, inside the Fedora-9-i386-DVD.iso file, from a remote computer at

Access the mounted or, inside, of the Fedora-9-i386-DVD.iso from your Microsoft Windows XP computer at J:\ or and maybe even http://localhost.

A program like VLC media player will play a DVD ISO image file without mounting it first.

Who should read this: Reader would want to know more about and what it is for. There are also links to learn more. is a clone of Microsoft Office. cannot save or read the new Microsoft Office 2007 document formats, yet. It doesn’t even do everything Microsoft Office 2003 does but it does other things Microsoft Office doesn’t & some things it just does better. You can save & read many documents that were originally created in the Microsoft Office 2003 format. The conversion filters for Microsoft Office 2003 are not perfect. They are very good though. You can expect to partially reformat or even completely reformat some documents if the documents you are creating are very complex. Sharing documents between any Office-type suite can be a problem. (Opening a Corel WordPerfect document in Microsoft Word doesn’t work well either.) is written by Sun Microsystems so it should be around for a while. Sun Microsystems is a very well liked company. They came up with Java, not coffee but the multi-platform programming standard, so you can be fairly sure updates will continue into the distant future. Most Linux-based system include for at least partial Windows compatibility. It gives Linux users a way to work together with Windows users resulting in less headaches.

Microsoft Word is replaced by Writer. Writer is very similar to Microsoft Word and for most features you can jump right in. Some things are moved around, some operate a bit different.  It’s nothing to complain about though.

Microsoft Excel is replaced by CalcCalc is so similar to Microsoft Excel that you can jump right in and get to work.

Microsoft Powerpoint is replaced by Impress. Impress might take a minute to adjust to but there are plenty of templates and wizards to get started. Also you can export your presentations to a .PDF file.  I  love that feature and makes e-mailing copies of the presentations a breeze.

In any case, you can even use to export files to a read-only .PDF format to preserve formatting in all the applications.  If a Microsoft user needs to edit your documents, they can run along side any Microsoft Office product. Best of all is FREE to download and use. includes Base instead of Microsoft Access.  I wouldn’t expect much compatibility here.  Base uses an HSQLDB database by default. Microsoft Access generally uses an Access/Jet or Microsoft SQL database.  They are not easily compatible but it is said that it can be done. does not come with an equivalent to Microsoft OutlookEvolution gives Linux users the look and feel of Microsoft Outlook for free.

Download Evolution for Microsoft Windows to begin using a powerful alternative to Microsoft Outlook Express. If you aren’t already using Microsoft Outlook then Evolution is worth a try. Evolution has an integrated contact manager, calendar, memos & task list just like Microsoft Outlook.


Who should read this: Readers should have the occasional need for graph paper or unperforated lined paper. is just that.  They have free printable paper.  There are many styles and variations available for download.

They offer: Graph Paper, Lined Paper, Logarithmic Graph Paper, Polar Graph Paper, Isometric Graph Paper, Hexagon Graph Paper, Octagon Graph Paper, Music Paper, Columnar Pad Paper, Dot Paper, Penmanship Paper, Note Paper, Printable Calendars, Score Sheets, Letter Paper, Legal Paper, Ledger Paper and A4 Paper.

Links: Website

Who should read this: Readers should have a computer loaded with Microsoft Windows Vista and need to capture part or all of their computer screen.  The Snipping Tool let’s you save that screen capture to a .JPG, .GIF or .PNG file.

To activate the Snipping Tool in Microsoft Windows Vista:

  • Single left-click on the Start button.
  • Single left-click on the Control Panel.

  • You must be in Control Panel Home mode.
  • Type “turn windows features” in the Search box in the top right corner of the Control Panel window.
  • Single left-click on Turn Windows features on or off under Programs and Features in the middle of the Control Panel window.
  • Single left-click Continue in the User Account Control dialog box.

  • Single left-click on Tablet PC Optional Components.
  • Single left-click on OK.

To find the Snipping Tool in Microsoft Windows Vista:

  • Single left-click on the Start button.
  • Single left-click on All Programs.
  • Single left-click on Accessories.
  • Single left-click on Snipping Tool.

Personally I use Gadwin PrintScreen to make my screen captures.  They offer a freeware version that works great.  It doesn’t do certain things the Snipping Tool does but it does many other things better. They also offer a professional version, that does more of the things the Snipping Tool does and then some.  I just don’t really need all that.

Who should read this: Readers should be people concerned with data theft or with computer theft.  This article will help you if you don’t know what happens to a file when you press delete.

Only the pointer is removed when you delete a file from your computer.  The actual data still remains on your hard disk drive until it is written over with new information. Heidi Eraser permanently deletes or “erases” the file pointer and “erases” the actual data contained on the disk driveHeidi Eraser accomplishes this by overwriting the area on the disk drive where the deleted files physically reside.  The files are overwritten multiple times with random unusable data patterns making recovery of the original data nearly impossible, the more overwrites the harder it gets to recover anything usable.  Overwriting sensitive data seven times is good enough for most people.

Heidi Eraser works with Microsoft Windows 95, 98, ME, NT, 2000, XP (32/64), Vista (32/64), Windows Server 2003 and DOS.  It works with any disk drive including IDE, SCSI and RAID, and CD-RW’s. This free program also supports FAT32 and NTFS Files Systems.

Heidi Eraser will “erase” the free space on your disk drives.  This includes areas with previously deleted data that are not being currently referenced by any pointers.  This utility can even properly “erase” the leftover data being held by the write cache feature in Microsoft Windows.

Heidi Eraser can also be used to securely delete your INDEX.DAT file.  INDEX.DAT is a file that tracks the websites you visit manually when you type the websites directly into the address bar.  INDEX.DAT is also used to keep track of what search terms are used with Google and who you e-mail through Yahoo. This file is not cleared or removed when you clear the History in Microsoft Internet Explorer. Furthermore it cannot be deleted while modern versions of Microsoft Windows are running. Heidi Eraser can securely clear this file for you during a system reboot.


Who should read this: Readers would be people who have a need to scan and edit the occasional document. SimpleOCR is a freeware optical character recognition program. It provides similar functionality to that of OmniPage.
OmniPage and OmniPage Professional provide expanded features and support.

I do not have a constant need to convert scanned documents into editable text. SimpleOCR lets me do that occasionally without spending a $150 to get started. SimpleOCR exhibits the typical troubles competing commercial optical character recognition (OCR) software has recognizing certain fonts. They make errors like reading an 1 as a l, etc. I don’t use OCR software often enough to care. SimpleOCR saves me a ton of time when I do need it.

From the SimpleOCR website:

“If you have a scanner and want to avoid retyping your documents, SimpleOCR is the fast, free way to do it. The SimpleOCR freeware is 100% free and not limited in any way. Anyone can use SimpleOCR for free–home users, educational institutions, even corporate users.”


Who should read this:
Readers should probably have read my first post “Export Microsoft Outlook Contacts for import into an Base database”. This takes that concept a step further and uses your contacts database to automatically print individually addressed envelopes based on your selections from the database tables.
  • Open Writer.
  • Left-click on Insert from the menu.
  • Left-click on Envelopes.
  • Left-click on the drop down menu just below Database and select the database that holds the table containing your contacts.
  • Next left-click the drop down menu just below where it says Table and select the table containing your contacts.
  • Now left-click the drop down menu just below where is says Database field and select the first field you want to use on your envelope.
  • Left-click the button with the arrow pointing to the left to insert the current selection from the Database field into the Addressee section.
  • Now left-click after the <contacts.business_contacts.0.Title> entry and insert a space with the keyboard.
  • Again left-click the drop down menu just below where is says Database field and select the next field you want to use on your envelope.
  • Left-click the button with the arrow point to the left to insert the Database field into the Addressee section.
  • Now left-click after the <contacts.business_contacts.0.First Name> entry and insert a space with the keyboard.
  • Rinse and repeat for each piece of information you want to appear on the envelope after printing.
    • How you set up each field inside the Addressee section of the Envelope window should look similar to this. 
    <contacts.business_contacts.0.Title> <contacts.business_contacts.0.First Name> <contacts.business_contacts.0.Last Name>
    <contacts.business_contacts.0.Company Name>
    <contacts.business_contacts.0.Address Line 1>
    <contacts.business_contacts.0.Address Line 2>
    <contacts.business_contacts.0.City>, <contacts.business_contacts.0.State> <contacts.business_contacts.0.ZIP>
    • You may want a variation and proper placement from what I show above but this should suffice for standard correspondence. You can copy this code line for line if you called your database contacts and called the table buisness_contacts.
      • The format is of each database call is <DatabaseName.TableName.0.FieldName>.
    • If the table is called contacts then remove the business_ so it looks like this below instead.
    <contacts.contacts.0.Title> <contacts.contacts.0.First Name> <contacts.contacts.0.Last Name>
    <contacts.contacts.0.Company Name>
    <contacts.contacts.0.Address Line 1>
    <contacts.contacts.0.Address Line 2>
    <contacts.contacts.0.City>, <contacts.contacts.0.State> <contacts.contacts.0.ZIP>
    • Next you should go to the Printer tab of the Envelope window you will see options for Envelope orientation so left-click to choose the position the envelope will be fed into the printer.
    • Also make sure the Current printer is correct choice on this screen.
  • Left-click on the Format tab.
  • The next part is actually the hard part. Getting everything lined up so it prints correctly on the envelope. Format tab from the Envelope window.

  • These are the settings I use for my envelopes. I use non-standard envelopes and I just had to play with the positions to get it right.
  • Left-click on New Document and try the default settings for your envelope size.
  • Change the sender/addressee fonts or lettering style now before printing, if you desire.
  • There are two pages to this document. You can type or edit a form letter on the second page or just delete the blank page if you only need to print just an envelope.
  • Save this document and next time when you need to print an envelope, you can select a different contact or group of contacts when you Print, using this document for a template.
  • Left-click File.
  • Left-click Print.
  • Left-click on Yes when if get a warning that says Your document contains address database fields. Do you want to print a form letter?.
  • Left-click in the empty box at the front of each row to select and print the information for each contact to print the envelope for.
  • For testing the alignment of the addresses select only one for now.
    • Hold the Ctrl key down to select multiple contacts for printing more than one addressed envelope at a time, only after you are sure the envelope template is correct.
    • Left-click Insert, left-click Envelope and adjust the Format positions and try again, if the addresses don’t show or are cut off, by pressing Modify.
    • Resave the envelope template when you get the positions lined up the right way so that both addresses are entirely showing.


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