Bob and Joy
     By Bob and Joy Schwabach

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January 2003, Week 1 -- And now, from Timbuktu to you





   "Laplink Everywhere" provides remote control of your PC from any location with access to the Internet. That would include satellite hookups, so that's really everywhere.

   The software and a year's service costs $89 and lets you access any of three remote systems. In other words, three computers in remote locations can be accessed from each other or any other computer that can connect to the Internet and the LapLink site. It makes no difference whether those computers are PCs or Macs, cell phones, PDAs like Palm Pilot, or a computer in a school or public library. Additional service packs allow more systems to be linked, three at a time.


   LapLink is best known for its file transfer programs and they've been doing those for 20 years -- the same time I've been doing this column. File transfer programs just transfer files, not application programs, like MS Word or Adobe Photoshop. (If you want to do those, you have to turn to something like the program described next: PC Relocator.) If you're willing to buy the $170 deluxe version of LapLink Everywhere, they throw in their file transfer program as well.


   LapLink encrypts all traffic and file transfers through their own servers. Subscribers log onto the site


Aloha, Aloha Bob

  PC Relocator


   The latest version of "Aloha Bob" downplays its Hawaiian origin to near invisibility on the box. The program was sold to Eisenworld in Florida and is called "PC Relocator." That's what it does and always did.

   While there are several ways to transfer files from one PC to another, moving programs is a different matter. The best solution to changing over to a new PC and keeping your own programs is to reinstall them to the new machine. In effect, you are starting over. Of course many people don't have the original disks around to reinstall, and the reason is not always because they're using an illegal copy. If you can't reinstall the original programs to the new machine you have to turn to what is called a migration program, such as PC Relocator.

   PC Relocator doesn't always work perfectly but it's the best we have. Some users have said that transferring Norton System Works to a new PC seems to be a problem, and I can believe it, since I've had problems with that program before and no longer use it. If we ignore moving Norton around, the movement of most programs from one machine to another works well.


   PC Relocator comes in three versions, from $30 to $250. The middle version, "PC Relocator, Ultra Control," is $70 and comes with a USB cable for connecting the two machines. It also allows you to select what to move, instead of moving everything over. If one machine doesn't have a USB port, you can link the computers with a parallel cable. One major difference is transfer speed. Using a parallel cable takes 2-5 hours transfer time per gigabyte; a USB cable cuts this to 1-2 hours; a network link cuts this further to 15-20 minutes per gigabyte. NOTE: You can only use the program to migrate from one PC to another. If you want to move your system and programs to more than one PC you have to buy another copy of PC Relocator.


   By the way ... "Aloha" is both hello and good-bye in Hawaiian. There's a Hawaiian dictionary put together by "The Coconut Boys" (no. we're not kidding) at You can also look over a list of Hawaiian baby names.






-- There are several quote sites on the web but this one is different. It has audio clips from speeches, TV commercials, movies and music lyrics. Text clips can be called up by subject or source and you can also enter partial quotes and the system will try to locate the source and full quote for you.

--  Lots of tools and advice for the handling of PDF files. If you can't figure out what you need or how to do it in PDF, check in here.

-- A tiny site of household and computer tips and tricks. It also selects "the blonde of the week," which was Bette Davis when we visited the site.




   Play a game, learn some history. Live the history. It's "Europa 1400," one of the most unusual role-playing games we've ever seen. It's $40 for Windows, from JoWood Productions

   The year 1400 begins a momentous change in Europe. It marks the close of the Middle Ages, the rise of Guilds, and the beginning of the Renaissance, the dawn of modern Europe. You start as a member of a family dynasty spanning 200 years and try to advance. Move through any of five fully-populated medieval cities, including London and Paris. Best of luck. Fascinating.





   "Naked In Cyberspace, 2nd edition," by Carole Lane; $30, CyberAge Books

   This is primarily a reference work. There are chapters of explanation on how to search for information, and other sections padded out by reprinting government documents but the real value is in the thousands of web sites, from U.S. and other governments right down to local genealogical societies.

NOTE: Readers can search nearly four years of columns at the "On Computers" web site: You can e-mail Bob Schwabach at or