Trails End Computer Club

Bulletin for the week of JANUARY 31, 2016

EACH Wednesday 

Program or Lesson 9:00 - 10:00 AM
One on One Help 10:00-?
In the Library


If you would like to meet in a small group to discuss special computer related subjects or form a Special Interest Group lets discuss it.

Our bulletin is also available on line by visiting and clicking on bulletin.

Our weekly program or lesson is intended
to be of interest to all computer users.
Following the program an allotment of time will
be available for one on one help to those
who want a better understanding of something done
 during the presentation.

Upcoming Events

Wednesday FEBRUARY 3, 2016 Meeting in the Library
 8:45 AM Set up your computer
 9:00 AM Lesson
10:00 AM One on One help

Saturday February 20, 2016. On Line Lessons by APCUG

APCUG’s FREE 2016 Winter Virtual Technology Conference (VTC) will be held on Saturday, February 20, from 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm Eastern Time (Noon – 4pm Central time). The sessions are 50 minutes in length and offer attendees the opportunity to ask questions via Q&A; the questions are answered by the presenter at the end of the presentation or via e-mail if there isn’t enough time after the presentation.

Videos from earlier conferences can be found on APCUG’s YouTube channel

 To register for this VTC, please click on the below link:


Below are the sessions that are currently scheduled.

 Laptops, Greg Skalka, President, Under the Computer Hood User Group. Do you have a middle-aged laptop? Greg has given a series of presentations for his group on how to upgrade a laptop. This is the first one: How to upgrade the RAM.

 Utilizing iCloud on the iPad, Sheila Bigel, Member, Central Florida Computer Society. The iPad uses iCloud to share data between devices, both iOS and non-iOS. This data includes photos, email, contacts, calendars, app settings, and more. This is a discussion of the many options for sharing data including Family sharing, Photostream, iCloud Photo Library, iCloud Photo Sharing, iCloud Drive, etc. We will specify options that use iCloud Storage and the current cost of purchasing additional storage.

 The Gramps Project, Orv Beach, SoCal Linux Expo. Research, organize and share your family tree with Gramps, a free software project and community.

 Customizing Windows 10, Hewie Poplock, APCUG Representative, Central Florida Computer Society. Learn how to customize Windows 10 so it works for you: the Desktop, Start Menu, Task bar, security / privacy options, and more.

 If you would like further information, please send an email to

 Judy Taylour, Chair

Acronis True Image Cloud a major advance

Review by Bart Koslow, Review Chair, Channel Islands PCUG, CA        December 2015 issue, The Outer Edge          review (at)

Acronis True Image Cloud (ATIC) is the latest update of the Acronis Back Up and Recovery program. I have used it for many years and in the past have found it to be the best program of its type available. This update is a major advance in its change from a desktop backup program to an Internet of things and multiple devices backup program. It provides unlimited cloud backup for one year in addition to the usual computer backups. The program interface has been completely revised to accommodate numerous additional functions that have been added. There is a new menu on the left side with seven categories, including Backup, Archive, Dashboard, Sync, Tools, Account and Help. Clicking on each category brings up a sub-menu.

I selected Backup. The submenu and screen contain all the selections for image backup and restore choices for your computer that previously existed, with various choices like non-stop backup, full, incremental, etc., as well as a simple selection to recover images or individual folders and files. You now have a large selection of where to back up. Choices are hard drive (internal or external), solid state drive, USB flash drive, file server, NAS or NDAS, network share, FTP server, DVD or Blu-Ray and memory card. You may use password protection with 256-bit AES encryption for your backups to prevent prying eyes from viewing your confidential data.

The next category, Archive, searches selected folders and files on your computer and lists them by size. It will then archive in the cloud the folders and files that you check. I selected a few files I do not use and 39 GB was transferred to Acronis cloud storage. After archiving, the archived files are deleted from your computer. When I went to Acronis Cloud to view and restore the files I received a message that Acronis Cloud is not currently available. This condition persisted, so I contacted Acronis Support. This is the reply I received:

What you see in Web browser as ‘MYCOMPUTER-BART’ is a link to empty container. 39.68 MB of data do not exist on Acronis Cloud. Developers are aware of the issue that a misleading error message is displayed: ‘server is not available’ instead of showing empty archive with 0 bytes of used space. We are investigating when and why data was deleted from Acronis Cloud. As of now it is unclear what happened …”

In other words, my Archived 39.68 MB was erased, and I have lost that data. I will report back at a later date on the final result.

ATIC has added Mobile Device Data Backup for Android and Apple devices. I downloaded and installed the Acronis Backup app on my Android phone, Android tablet and iPad, and backed up data from each device to Acronis Cloud. Using the Dashboard category on my PC takes me to Acronis Cloud. The first menu item, Devices, showed the four devices on which I have installed Acronis: my phone, my PC and my two tablets. Using the Dashboard, you may access and manage (delete, restore, back up, etc.), Archives, Syncs, and Backups from any of your devices, back up data from any device that is on, and synchronize backed up data between devices.

The third category on the main menu is Sync. When you choose Sync, you are asked to pick the default data file to sync across all devices, and you are taken to the Windows File Manager to choose the data to sync. Once you make your choice, you are taken to Sync on Acronis Cloud to send the data to the cloud.

Tools, the fourth menu item, contains utilities that allow you to clone your disk image to a new disk, create rescue media on a CD or flash drive to use if your computer is not bootable, create universal restore media to restore an image to dissimilar hardware, which includes migrating your system from a hard disk drive to a solid state drive.

Other tools:

Try and Decide: When you turn Try and Decide on, your computer is in the Try mode. After that, you can perform any potentially dangerous operations without worrying that you might damage your operating system, programs or data. When you turn Try and Decide off, you decide if you want to apply the changes to your computer or discard them.

Startup Recovery Manager: The Acronis Startup Recovery Manager lets you start Acronis True Image 2016 without loading the operating system. With this feature, you can use Acronis True Image 2016 by itself to recover damaged partitions, even if the operating system won’t boot. Unlike booting from Acronis removable media, you will not need a separate media or network connection to start Acronis True Image 2016, and Acronis Secure Zone.

Acronis Secure Zone is a special secure partition that you can create on your computer for storing backups. Acronis Secure Zone uses a FAT32 file system.

The Account category shows details of your Acronis account, including how much space you are using in the cloud. Last is Help.

Acronis claims it is up to 50 percent faster than the competition. I can vouch for this as I have compared its backup speed with many of the competitors. This is one of the many reasons I have used Acronis. While cloud backup is the most secure backup, I found that it is considerably slower than backing up to a local hard disk.

ATIC comes with a free copy of Parallels Access. This is a program that allows you to remotely access and control your computer from a tablet or cell phone. There are apps for Android, IOS and Amazon. It sells on the Internet for $40.

The new Acronis True Image Cloud (2016) is a large, versatile program. With all its expanded capabilities it continues to lead the field. It is relatively easy to use with its new menu system. There is a manual you may download as well as a comprehensive Help file. I recommend the Acronis local backup program (see box above) for everyone from novices to experts. It is still the best you can find. However, Acronis has some problems with its cloud services. Once this is cleared up, I will be able to recommend Acronis Cloud as well. I will report on this in the future in an addendum to this review

Prices and requirements


From Judy: Check out User Group Relations at – they now offer Acronis True Image Cloud in addition to True Image and Disk Director—all at off list price.

System requirements

Windows XP SP3, windows 7 SP 1 (all editions), Windows 8 (all editions), Windows 8.1 (all editions), Windows, Home Server 2011, Windows 10

Apple OS X Mavericks 10.9.5+, OX X Yosemite 10.10.2+, OS X El Capitan 10.11, IOS: 8.x and later

Android: 4.4x and later

Insert and Sign…no need to Swipe – EMV Credit Cards

By Phil Sorrentino, Contributing Writer, The Computer Club, Florida,        philsorr (at)

By now, we all have heard of credit cards with chips. In fact, you may even be carrying one in your wallet or purse. The nationwide shift to these new credit cards is well underway. In the wake of numerous large-scale data breaches and increasing rates of counterfeit card fraud, U.S. Payment systems are migrating to this new technology to protect consumers and reduce the cost of fraud. Many of our credit cards have already been upgraded to the new “chip” type. These new credit cards have a chip embedded in the card. You can see an indication of the chip on the top surface of the card close to the shorter edge. Most cards still include the magnetic swipe information, for backward compatibility, so they can be used in either the older swipe terminals or the newer chip terminals. If you have a choice as to which method to use to complete your purchase, choose the chip type; it is much more secure (details to follow… if you must, jump down to the last paragraph). The cutover date for retailers was October 1, 2015. Many large retailers such as Walmart, Target, and Costco, have already made the switch. Unfortunately, scammers have launched phishing schemes, to try to take advantage of this transition. They are sending emails to card holders, asking them to update their credit information. Do Not respond to any of these emails.

These new cards are called EMV cards. EMV is a technical standard for smart payment cards, payment terminals, and automated teller machines which can accept the new chip credit cards. EMV cards are called smart cards, chip cards or IC cards. They store their data on an integrated circuit embedded in the card. With these new cards, the retail transaction can be completed in three different ways. First, if the card has the magnetic information, the card can be swiped as we have been doing for lo these many years. Second, the card may be a “contact” card type which has to be physically inserted (or “dipped”) into a reader. Most of the cards we have now are of this type. Or thirdly, the card may be a “contactless” card type which can be read over a short distance using RFI (radio-frequency identification) Technology. The EMV standard is intended to be used globally. EMV stands for Europay, Mastercard, and Visa, the three companies which originally created the standard. The standard is now managed by EMVCo, a consortium with control split equally among many payment companies; Visa, Mastercard, JCB (a Japaneese Payment Company), American Express, China UnionPay (a payment company in The Peoples Republic of China) and Discover.

Many of us who are familiar with the Client-Server technology concept will recognize that when we use a credit card for a transaction, the credit card (the client), is accessing a Payment System (the server) in the cloud to authorize the transaction. (Those not familiar with the Client-Server technology could remedy that by attending one of the many computer courses given at the Computer Club lab.) And with all Client-Server transactions, determining that the client is truly who it says it is, and that it has the rights and privileges to the data that it is attempting to use, must be accomplished by an authentication process.

Guaranteeing that the holder of a credit card is the owner of that credit card has always been a problem with credit cards. Similar to computer use, a Credit Card must be authenticated before a transaction can occur. With the computer; before the computer account can be used by a potential user, the potential user has to be authenticated. This is usually done with a User Name and a Password. So, “Is this user the owner of this account?” is the question that computer authentication answers. With a credit card, the authentication process tries to guarantee that the credit card holder is the owner. Credit card authentication tries to answer the question, “Is the holder of this card, the owner of the card?” Credit card authentication is typically done with either a Signature or a PIN (Personal Identification Number). With the new cards, these two methods of authentication are called “Chip-and-Signature” and “Chip-and-PIN”. Chip-and-PIN is the more effective, but unfortunately most of the transactions in the United States will use Chip-and-Signature authentication.

Until the introduction of the chip to the credit card, all face-to-face credit or debit card transactions used a magnetic stripe or mechanical imprint reader (remember them?) to read your account data, with a signature used for authentication. All of your account information was on the card, either in the magnetic stripe, or as the raised account numbers. You have probably done this many times: you hand the card to the clerk, who swipes the card through a magnetic reader, or if you remember long ago, the clerk makes an imprint from the raised text on the card. Either way, a printed slip is generated for you to sign. The signature authenticates the transaction. (The signature is not really intended for handwriting analysis by the clerk, although it is typically thought to be the reason for the signature. The signature on the printed slip is only an agreement to pay the charges as printed.) This system is very insecure since technology, which is easily available (on the black market), can be used to quickly read the magnetic stripe. Also available is technology for writing the magnetic stripes. This makes the cards easy to clone, and a cloned card works as good as the original. The real problem was when the transaction took place out of sight of the card owner, such as in a restaurant where the waiter had to take the card away from the customer and bring it to a card machine. It was easily possible for a dishonest employee, when out of sight, to swipe the card through one of these illegal magnetic card readers, which would record the information on the card, so a clone could be created.

Here is why you should opt for the chip reader to complete your transaction. The magnetic stripe is a problem because it contains fixed data, account number and such. If someone gains access to that data, they have all the information they need to make a purchase. Unlike magnetic stripe cards, which always use the same data (account number), every time an EMV card is used for a payment, the card chip creates a unique transaction code that cannot be used again. (That little chip is a tiny computer.) Because a new transaction code is created for each transaction, if a criminal steals that information from a specific transaction, it will not be useable for another transaction, and the fraudulent transaction will be denied. Unfortunately, while these new cards will help reduce crime at the point of sale, fraudulent transactions will probably shift to the more vulnerable telephone, internet, and mail order transactions, but at least our face-to-face transactions will be more secure.

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