Thursday, November 18, 2010

November Computer Journal

I’ve been working with practitioners and their computers for most of my time the last month. I’m glad I stood up for practitioners and made it known that I want to be of service to people who have put their computers into the closet or under the bed or wherever they’ve gone since they have stopped practicing with the biofeedback device.
I’ve seen many different permutations of kinds of computers, ages of computers, versions of the CLASP32 working or broken. It has truly been an eye-opener. I want to let you know that I’m still available to help you get your computers running or help you decide what kind of newer computer you might want to get to replace the ones from 2002 or even older.
If your computers run slow or won’t run at all. If you encounter blue screens then black screens then failures to display the desktop (main screen). You might need to look at how much “memory” (RAM) you have and also how much room is left on your hard drive. Many of the older computers had 30 gigabyte hard drives and it takes 15 gigabytes just to extract the 50 megabyte CLASP32 files.
So if you computers are older, you might want to look at replacing them with something sturdy and newer. The new computers come loaded with Windows 7 which is going to be a bit of a culture shock if you’ve been running XP, but it seems like a pretty nice operating system. There are always issues with new software the first year or so that it’s out and Microsoft if good about fixing issues as they come up.
You’ll want to have 500 gigabyte and you could get by with around 320 or so if you need to. You’ll also need 3-6 or more gigabytes of RAM. I’ve been telling folks to buy as much hard drive and memory as they can afford in whatever kind of computer they choose.
If you buy from Quantum Computers you will have the added benefit of having the latest version of the CLASP32 loaded for you and everything will be delivered to your door. Be sure to buy a very good anti-virus software even if you don’t think you are going to ever be on the internet I’ll lay you odds that you will need and may come to want to be on the internet and it is more difficult to protect you and get you on the internet than it is to just have a good piece of anti-virus software.
Quantum Computers will tell you what they recommend and what Budapest recommends as well. They’ll give you the prices and install what you choose on the machine they create for you.
If you buy a computer from a known manufacturer I recommend buying from the actual manufacturer so you will be certain to get a physical copy of your operating system software as well as having them install it for you before shipping it to you. If you purchase from a chain store which sells many different brands you will be buying what is in the “box” so to speak and what you may find when you get home is that your software is loaded on the computer but there are not disks and you don’t have a built in call-in-support for a couple of years like you probably will have if you buy direct from the company who makes the computers.
It is essential I believe to make certain you have a maintenance contract from the manufacturer of your computer so you can call them anytime day or night with any questions you may have about your new computer and its idiosyncrasies.
People who like the Mac might want to look at the MacBook Pro. I can’t believe this “DOS’er” is saying this, but, the hard drive in the MacBook can be partitioned to hold the Clasp32 on the Win7 side and Mac’s 0S10 operating system on the other side of the partition. I’ve heard of people who have had these computers since 2006 without event.
I like one operating system on one machine at a time and so I’m a bit of a purist and since the CLASP32 is made to run on “DOS” machines, you are looking at operating systems like XP Version.... , and Windows 7. Some of you may still have Vista. And, that’s all I’m going to say about that.
I encourage you to find the disks and manuals, all the paperwork and purchase slips that came with your original computers and the CLASP32 software and any other software you have on your computer, put it all in a gallon zip-lock back or two and put it in your file system next to your insurance and wills.
It is very difficult to help you if we can’t find the original disks that came with your computers.  You have spent a great deal of money on these systems, please gather the papers and disks just as you would for a new car and put them safely away where you can find them again.
It slows down the process if we have to contact the computer manufacturer and ask them to mail you new disks because you don’t know where yours are. It also costs more money that way.
So, we’ve talked a little bit here about getting your computers in shape. I’ve assisted people in getting the most current version of the CLASP32 software onto their computers. If you want to keep your existing software, please call me at 360-880-1750 and I’ll be happy to discuss it with you in more detail.
The downloads from Budapest take 5-7 hours with high speed cable if you have a version earlier than 2010. Any version after that takes a couple of hours tops and you are all upgraded, paid for and back in doing sessions.
The URL for Budapest Home Office, BHO is:
You will want to create an account there if you haven’t already done so, this is very simple and then you can watch several videos which are quite good at showing how to do the things you need to do to create the account, do the download, activate the software and even set up a new port if you are downloading to a new computer where you haven’t had the SCIO/EPFX/QXCI installed before.
Again, ask people who do this kind of thing for a living or have done it to help you be secure with your computer and experience a stress-free download of the CLASP32.
I wish you the best of everything and I especially look forward to emails and calls telling me that you have a new ownership of your biofeedback systems. Finally, what I need to say is that in my travels to practitioners so far, the reality is that the computer and software situations are just the vehicle for meeting you in person and getting to know the wonderful shining lights you all are.
Peace and Happy Thanksgiving,

Friday, October 15, 2010

And Then Comes October…..

2010 has been interesting so far and when the numbers of the year are added together they equal 3. This “3” year is numerologically a year of being mindful of deceitful words and actions.  That is so as well of the date 10-10-10 which we have been hearing so much about. What has happened in my world so far this month?  It’s the 14th and I’m late updating the website.  I’ve had phone calls all weekend and all week up to today from people who are telling me about implosions in their worlds. Things they thought were going along well suddenly have stalled or ceased to be viable. Emotions have been high. Melt-downs have occurred. The date 10, 10, 2010 which adds to a 5 in numerology is the number of “chance”.  It is thought by some to be most favorable and by others to be discouraging and hazardous. It is the midpoint between the 1 and 9 cycle and so this pivotal number is the place from which past and future are both visible at the same time.

I’ll say a little here about recent events in the world of a software package which affects many people who read this website. A newsletter was sent to all owners of the software in question. The only people to get the newsletter are those who are users of the internet. The wording used by this company was scary to those who aren’t computer literate. It used words like “Software Update Required” and “It Is Compulsory That Users Update Their Software To The Current Version”.

People, if you have this software please understand that you do not have to move to the version the company is trying so hard to scare you into going to as long as what you have works and you like it.!

Many people who know nothing of applying an update to their software or downloading software from the internet felt they were compelled to do just that. The fallout of this fear-driven mass race to get the version the company wants them to have by 10-10-10 or else . . . has caused many problems for owners of this software. I am hearing from people already – from those who did try to beat the date and upgrade and now have encountered problems and from those who didn’t do it and have encountered punitive shutdowns of their current software. This is most distressing for people who have experienced these things and it shouldn’t take much thought to realize any harm done to an owner of this software package so harmed, has recourse.
I walk around shaking my head in disbelief that a company would actually do something like this to clients who have paid many thousands of dollars for their products trusting that they would be treated well according to the contracts that were signed at purchase.

I’ve written in the Computer Journal blog on this same site in an earlier month about software companies with ethics create their products. After much preparation and even more testing a product is deemed ready to sell.  Then it is released with all pomp and marketed vigorously to invite would-be purchasers to buy the “new” version. This is quite correct and it is how the system generally works today.

The only real “hammer” any software company can use to try to move people upward into the newest version of their software is to stop supporting older versions. Now this won’t matter to anyone who has no personal, compelling need to upgrade their software to a newer version. If they like the one they have and it works well for them, then they have no reason to buy or upgrade for free their current software. This is also how consumers respond to a new software release if they don’t want it.

The other way I’ve seen software houses try to force their customers to go to a different version of software is to create a real or imagined change in hardware and then create “new” software” to run on it. Then they can market the new hardware changes as the most wonderful, newest, most Wizzardly and “techy” thing since the abacus. This action “forces” people to upgrade to a “different” version of the same software which is now meant to run only on a particular kind of computer (hardware).

This is the simplistic scenario. The actual “rest” of the story is much more complicated. For our analysis of the previous company’s behavior this story is given as an example of how other software house have tried to force their customer groups to spend more money and when they failed, they went back to what the consumer wanted in the first place.

In this month of 3’s and 5’s we are seeing where a company is taking a chance (5) and speaking deviously (3).  This example reminds us to remain mindful and continue to have hope.  Everything will be worked out -  by the company, by lawyers or the company will go out of business or, or, or. I believe everything happens for a reason.

Look here again next month for another entry in the Journal or call me with any questions you have. 
© 2010

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

No Really - This Is About Folders & Files

Next I want to discuss organizing the information you will gather and want to keep in your My Documents file folder.

You will use the same process that you would use to set up a filing system in your office. If you don’t have a filing system and don’t set one up on your computer then every file you create or save will show up in one huge group when you open you’re my documents file.

If you have varied interests and do research or write about things or take pictures and want them on the computer you will need to think about making folders with unique names and possibly even folders within folders.

In my home office file cabinet I have hanging folders with titles like Finances, Wills, Owner Manuals, Insurance, Medical, Writing, Publishing, etc.

Within Finances, I have twelve pendaflex folders named by month. I put my receipts and monthly finance information into these folders and at the end of the year I go through them for tax information. I have a thirteenth folder at the back of the Finances folder called Taxes which is where I keep my income tax information for a few years.

The same thing exists on my computer I am a published author. I’m currently writing two new books. I use a word processing program on my computer and I’ve set up a folder called Writing and Research. Within that file folder in My Documents I have several other files one each by book title, one for Research and so on. Like this:
  • Inside Writing and Research are the sub files:
  • And within each of these file folders are individual files, emails and some pictures and audio pieces to support the writing that I do.
I love Railroads, I worked for one for many years and one of my new books is set in a railroading community. So within My Documents is Writing and Research an within that is Railroads and inside that is the word processing file I created last month for the website.

This is just one way in which you can set up organizational file folders and files on your hard drive.

I have many interests and am active in many things. To keep my life somewhat orderly, I have a Calendar, File folders set up for various kinds of information like my writing.

I find if I am thoughtful when I create a file folder within My Documents and then even more thoughtful about the sub folders and their contents my information is compact and organized just like in a folder in my file cabinet. I can grab a folder by copying it onto a portable device such as a USB drive (finger drive) and take it with me to another computer for instance if I want to use the information somewhere else.

It just takes a bit of mindfulness to make your computing life as harmonious as the rest of your life.

Are You Ready For The Internet?

Last month we talked about the basic elements of your computers and how to do disk cleanup and defrag.

This month I want to talk about checking for internet readiness.

I know many biofeedback practitioners who have been told not to put anything onto their computer and never never to use the internet from their computer, except for the technical assistant who told one person that they could always go to this one place on the internet and that wasn’t using it at all.

Well, hmmmm. What you have that is the house for all the screens for the programs running with your device is a computer. Simple. All it is capable of is adding numbers very fast. That’s it. In these times, the computer and software for it has become more graphic and we demand to see pictures that are movie quality. We want games we want our financial software to show us pie charts in full color and on and on. We want to see what’s on the internet – we want information. Well sure we do and we can have it at our fingertips.

I’d say that most of the computers which have come loaded with the software for your devices are already set up to seek internet connections.

The computer I have was built for me by a company which specializes in creating computers for our special market. Just to the right of the on/off button is a silver button that has a slanted line through a ball on the icon. That button is what turns on and off the computer’s internet seeking capability. If you have a different computer, just go to an internet ready cafĂ© or the center of your town maybe and turn on your computer. It will probably find a connection that you can use.

Before you do that it’s a good thing to think about protecting your computer with a good anti-virus software package. There are several available and many are free. You will need to ask someone you trust to know about these things to find the one for you or do your own research from a library internet ready computer or someone else’s computer which is protected by an anti-virus program.

When you find what you want you can buy it in a box from a store or download it directly from the internet and it pretty much sets itself up for you. Mostly what you have to do is tell it when and how often you want it to scan your system and look for it’s own updates to keep it current of virus treat names.

Check your computer’s “Security Center” which is located from

             SECURITY CENTER

Click on the red, green, blue and yellow shield icon entitled “Security Center” and then you will see this screen.

You can manage security settings for: Internet Options, Windows Firewall, and Automatic Updates. They are displayed at the bottom of the screen.

Internet Properties allows you to set the security levels by moving a slide bar from one priority level to another. You will see a definition of the consequences of each level so you can choose which one you feel most comfortable with. Windows always gives you a hint as to which is the most common one to use.

The Connections tab shows you how you are connected to the internet. In this example there are two types of connection to the internet because I have one by cable in the house and I have a USB internet connection device commonly called an “Air Card”. If there is nothing here, then you need to choose an internet connection and set it up. If you have a telephone in your office you can use a DSL line, or you can call one of the cable companies in your area and set up a very inexpensive internet connection. If you don’t have these things available to you then you might want to investigate one of the cellular phone internet devices available, like the air card I mentioned above.

If you are looking at air cards, check do an analysis of all the phone companies in your area to see which one has the most cell sites and the best offerings and price for their air card. Some of them offer you the moon but have no coverage. Be cautious and really do the research to get the best price and package you can.

The General Tab lets you choose a home page or some other internet page to be displayed for you whenever you log on to the internet. You don’t have to have anything selected here. Some people like to have the home page of their internet provider page displayed if that is where they have their primary email account.

I have two emails set up to display and a search page. So I have three internet addresses or URL’s which I copied and pasted into the box from the address bar of the website I wanted displayed when I log on to the internet.

You might want to choose a news account like CNN or a local television station or NOAH. The choices are endless and you can customize your online experience by selecting something that you are interested in to display to you when you log on.

When you click on the Programs Tab you have the ability to select your primary email ISP, the programs you want to use for your primary calendar (if any) or contact lists. I have an office software package which I do use here for calendar, contacts list and to use to create files which I can copy to my website like this one.

You don’t have to set up anything here – when the computer was set up at the factory or by your system technician this screen would undoubtedly have be set up for your system. You have the ability to change and customize the programs you want to use for yourself on this page.

So far we’ve talked about preparing for using the internet, selecting an anti-virus package to protect your computer while you are on the internet or whenever you receive files or programs from another source and just a minimal amount of discussion on setting up your internet.

Tea Pot - Computer - Boat Anchor???

I’m a little tea pot
Short and stout
Here is my handle
Here is my spout

I told them I wanted movies and songs and
News at my fingertips all day long
I told them I serve a biofeedback user
I wanted graphics and internet – I’m a computer!

This may all sound very silly comparing teapots to computers. But! The only difference between one and the other is a software program that runs when the power is turned on to the computer. People used to use words like “boot” the computer. That came from an old saying of pulling one’s self up by their boot-straps. Basically that is what happens with a computer. It doesn’t know it is a computer until enough electricity is given it to activate a small program which tests its parts and pieces until it gets the word that this is indeed a computer and not a teapot. Until you see the Operating system icons come into view, i.e. XP or Vista or whatever you are using for an Operating System, effectively the thing is a tea pot. Or, as an old friend of mine used to say ….it’s not a computer it’s a boat anchor.

When your computer has shown the Operating System Screen it takes anywhere from a minute to all day depending on how old it is, how frequently or infrequently you use clean up and defragmentation programs which reside on your computer to “boot up” and become the computing tool which it was intended to be by the manufacturer.

Your computer is unlikely to burn up or blow up unless you get frustrated and do it to it. The only time in my years of computing that I ever smelled smoke was when I was manufacturing computers for desktop use and I bought five new cases from my parts supplier. Three of the power supplies were bad. When I turned the power on to those three units, there was smoke and noise and lights! I returned them as defective, changed parts suppliers and never had that problem again. And mind you, this happened before the parts could be called a computer at all.

I have been hearing recently that some technical help people are actually telling people they should never access the internet (except for one particular “safe” site) and that they need no Virus protection or a Firewall set up to protect their “not on the internet” computer. Hmm.

I’ve been a computer Manager and Consultant for a combined total of thirty-five years. I’ve been a biofeedback Specialist for four years. I can tell you with all authority that if your computer has the capacity to “go to” one place on the internet, you are connected to the internet completely and you do need virus protection software and someone to explain to you the difference between being “on” the internet and not being able to connect to the internet.

If your CLASP32 software (biofeedback) is loaded on a portable computer (laptop) and your laptop has the ability to detect a WiFi (wireless) network near it then it will seek that connection and attempt to use it. If the wireless connection is “open” like some coffee shops, the downtown portion of most cities and many hotel/motels, then when you turn on your internet ready (WiFi) computer you will see some indication that you have the ability to start your “browser” like IE (Microsoft’s Internet Explorer) or some other ISP (Internet Service Supplier) and go to your favorite webpage or pages, check your email or set up an email account and then check it, etc.

My intention in writing these few articles on my own website is to create a “safe place” for people to learn about their biofeedback computer, the device attached to it, the software which shows you the screens we call biofeedback and more.

You have paid a lot of money for these pieces of equipment and the software to run them. You have a right and I’d say an obligation to yourself to understand at least enough about your devices to get the most out of them you want to get.

I use the internet right along with the CLASP32. When I feel like checking a word or concept I go to my browser and search for the word or concept I want to know more about right there in the moment while I’m still working on a client. I have Microsoft Office with the Word program on my computer and I Open a Word File or “Pile” as a friend once termed it and many people now call their word processing documents a “Word Pile” and in my case I use my Word File to make notes or take information (copy) into the CLASP32 while I’m working on it. It saves time to have a file of information which you use routinely to copy and paste into the biofeedback programs instead of remembering them and typing them in every time you do a session.

Life and work just gets easier the more you learn about your computer and the software installed on it for your use.

So, you have many components to what some people call their “biofeedback system.”

    a. You have a computer (usually a laptop)
    b. You have a Biofeedback device
    c. Possibly a USB backup “finger drive”
    d. Possibly an external USB mouse
    e. Possibly a printer or printer/fax/phone
    f. Possibly a headset and external speakers
    g. Possibly an external Backup device
    h. Possibly a digital camera
    i. Possibly a digital phone recorder which captures teleconferences for you to copy onto your computer.


a. You have one of the largest “medical” software packages on the market – the CLASP32 version???? (new versions seem to be released every two or three months and have been since I bought my system in 2006).

b. BODYVIEWER, is packaged along with the CLASP32 and as of the IRB studies of 2009, you must click that you accept the running of this piece of software during your biofeedback session.

c. IRIDOLOGY, is packaged along with the CLASP32 and as of the IRB studies of 2009, you must click that you accept the running of this piece of software during your biofeedback session.

d. DISEASE DICTIONARY, is packaged along with the CLASP32 and as of the IRB studies of 2009, you must click that you accept the running of this piece of software during your biofeedback session.

e. There are many other pieces of software “bundled” within your CLASP32 Biofeedback “system” which you don’t see in each session and don’t need to know much about.

There are many things you do need to know about your “set up” to keep it running smoothly and to use it to its’ fullest capacity.

How do you find out what software applications are loaded on your computer? Click the START button then click on ALL PROGRAMS and take a look at what you have available to use. Do you see an Office-like program; Word or Open Office for example? Do you see Games?

Click on the:


Look down the line of programs from SYSTEM TOOLS until you see DISK CLEANUP and DISK DEFRAGMENTER. These are cleanup and maintenance tools you need to use at least monthly if not more regularly.

When you click on DISK CLEANUP it begins to interrogate your hard drive and when it is finished it gives you a checkbox of items to remove from your drive. Most of the ones you do want to clean up are already checked so you really don’t have to do much except say OK. See the small box in the picture below. Do that often and your computer will run more efficiently.

When DISK CLEANUP is finished it goes away like magic.

Go again through the steps to SYSTEM TOOLS and click on DISK DEFRAGMETER. Sounds ominous, like an action figure. Well the truth is Windows/DOS-based machines like XP is rather like going into a library and checking out a book only whoever puts the book back has a strange way of thinking.

It’s like this:

You create a WORD file (.doc or .docx) to write a shopping list. After putting ten things on the list you need to leave and come back later. You Save and Close the document and go away. When you return to add to the list you Open the document and do more work, add more things. When you are finished for awhile you Save and Close again. You might do this over and over until you have the list you want.

What the computer does is this:

The first time you save the document it is stored somewhere on the hard drive by the program. When you “check it out” again, add to the file and then close it again it might not fit where it was originally because another file has been created by someone else and the space of the original file is too small for the new copy of the file. So, the computer creates a series of “links and chains” connecting the second and every other fragment of the file until you are ready to print it and go shopping.

This happens over time with every file that is added to by any piece of software on your computer. Over time your hard drive is full of bits and pieces of files connect by links and chains. If this goes on long enough without running the DEFRAGMENTER the Operating system can forget where it put all the pieces and that file may become corrupted and you will never get it to open again.

DEFRAGMENTATION takes all the parts and pieces of every fragmented file and copies them into enough space to hook them all together again or re-concatenate the file, making it whole and in one place on the drive. Wiktionary gives this definition of concatenation: A series of links united; a series or order of things depending on each other, as if linked together; a chain, a succession. So if things are connected by links or chains making an order or series of pieces of a file then re-concatenation is how the file pieces are put back together again into an integral whole. DEGRAGMENTER is the phrase folks came up with when they got tired of using re-concatenation. It means to take fragments and make them whole again.

Long story - simple concept; if the computer is allowed to become infected with too many fragments of files it will forget that it is a computer and become a teapot once again. Defragmentation or DEFRAG for short takes awhile to accomplish now that we have hard drives counting in the hundreds of gigabytes but it is vital to the continued functioning of your DOS-based Windows computer.