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eNewsletter: November 2013

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President’s Message: Traverse PC Adds Windows Code Signing  –  Mark’s Tech Corner: Online Protection  –  Eric Tanikawa: BBQ that Bird!  –

John Balcom, MSE, PLS - PresidentPresident’s Message:

Traverse PC Adds Windows Code Signing

TPC Desktop 2013 Release 1 (released 10/13) includes lots of new features, like adding curved text to hand drafted arcs and expanding spirals in legal descriptions, but here’s one you might not have expected – we added Windows Code Signing.

Now when you install TPC Desktop, Windows Code Signing is the little box that pops up and says, “Do you want to install this software from a trusted source: Traverse PC?”

We added Windows Code Signing for one reason – to make your interaction with Traverse PC more secure on the web and to do it proactively.

Even though we ship a program CD with each new copy of TPC Desktop and each TPC Connection renewal, most of you eventually download a newer version of it from the web. Windows Code Signing uses some very clever technology to ensure that the program you download has not been tampered with somehow or someway out there on the web. To date, we have not had any issue related to this kind of tampering and we want to keep it that way.

So what does this have to do with importing data, COGO computations or finishing a drawing? Nothing. Instead, it has everything to do with making sure we continue to deliver you the very best software experience with can – with the software you expect and without the surprises you don’t.

John Balcom, MS, LS

 

Mark Lull - Technical SupportMark’s Tech Corner:

Online Protection

As computer users, we are all aware of the potential hazards awaiting us whenever we check our email or go out on the internet. Some computer users are so leery of these hazards that they never connect their computer to email or the internet! That seems like overkill to me. It’s like being so worried about your children being kidnapped that you lock them in the basement until they reach eighteen. It doesn’t do you or the children any good and actually causes harm. In my opinion, not taking your computer online does you no good and it does you harm because it cuts you off from program updates for your installed software as well as the security and other important updates from Microsoft.

So what should we do instead? There are three very important things that every computer user should do to protect their hardware and data investments.

First, make sure that you have a good, up-to-date antivirus program installed. It should actively scan all of your emails and downloads as well as watch over your shoulder for hazards as you visit websites. It should be updated automatically by the antivirus company to keep it current with new hazards as well as use heuristic technology to look for previously unidentified hazards.

There are many great antivirus programs out there and a lot of them are free! These companies rely on you using their free antivirus and then getting you to upgrade your protection with other features they charge for. In my experience, most of these added features are redundant to the protections that Microsoft builds into the operating system and browser.

So which antivirus program should you use? The choice is up to you but I can provide some information on two of the available free programs.

At Traverse PC, we have been using the free version of AVG for several years on our office computers as well as our home computers. It has done a great job for us and we have never had an infection get by it. It has never caused any problems for us. We rely on AVG to keep our computers and data safe.

I have some friends who have avast! antivirus installed and I have never liked it when I have worked on their computer. It has some very annoying features built into it and it has always rubbed me the wrong way. But lately, avast! has really gone beyond the pale. Several TPC users have reported that their avast! program has told them that Traverse PC isn’t safe and has blocked them from using TPC. When we contacted avast! about the issue, they basically told us to have our users set avast! to ignore the Traverse PC folders rather than taking ownership of the issue and resolving it. Because of the lack of a satisfactory response from the folks at avast!, I strongly urge all TPC users to avoid it. There are plenty of other great programs out there.

Second, whenever you download a free program from the internet, make sure it doesn’t bring along any additional “features” that you really don’t want. Many “free” applications get paid by other companies to install their software along with the program you really wanted. So be careful of the so-called “free” software out there. You may get more than you wanted or asked for.

Third, back-up your data! You never know when disaster may strike and you need to be ready. You can refer to my article in our March, 2012 eNewsletter for more information.

Be safe out there and have a great Thanksgiving!

 

Eric Tanikawa - Business ManagerEric Tanikawa:

BBQ that Bird!

Want to impress your guests, fellow surveyors, family and even in-laws? For this year’s Thanksgiving or Christmas, “BBQ that Bird!” and free-up that oven for sweet potatoes, and homemade pie!

First Step: Brine the turkey! Why you might ask? Brining makes it moist. The salt causes the meat tissues to absorb water and flavorings. It also breaks down the proteins, resulting in a tender-juicy turkey. The basic ratio for turkey brine is two cups of kosher salt to two gallons of water. Some recipes include sweeteners or acidic ingredients to balance the saltiness (i.e. bourbon whiskey, cranberry juice). Remove the giblets & neck, and place the bird in a container (or large pot) for 8-24 hours in the refrigerator (I know, it’s hard to make room in the refer).

Second Step: Dry the bird from the brine, and then brush melted butter or olive oil on the turkey & sprinkle with Jonny’s Season Salt. Stuff the cavity of the bird with quarter cut lemons & onions. Also, under the skin on the breast, apply butter & sage mixture.

Third Step: On a Weber, with indirect cooking (coals outside of the bird) and both vents open. Have a pan in the middle between the coals. Put the turkey on the rack, breast side down. If you have wood chips like hickory, cherry or apple, and already soaked them for an hour, add them to the coals. The bird cooks at an estimate ratio of 1lb for every 11 mins. It takes about 2.5 to 3.5 hours depending on the size of the bird. The meat thermometer should read 175 degrees on the thickest part of the thigh.

Let it rest for 10 minutes, and then devour! You can be hoity-toity and slice the breast to see the juice come right out! You will be a “Superhero” for the day!