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Computer Log #11 for January 14, 2010

   Today I want to again talk about Internet security especially the

use of Internet Explorer in any flavor, and the word is DON’T USE IT. One country, Germany banned IE in all government computers according to online sources. Use Firefox or Opera and be careful on e-mails and what you respond to. See Computer Log 1 at

   With the tragedy in Haiti because of the earth-quake, I expect a

big upturn in spam wanting money for Haiti. Please use either the site or the site and follow the links to pledge money to Haiti. You can also use your cell phone by texting “Haiti” 90999 for the Red Cross Haiti Relief or Text “Quake” 20222 for the Clinton-Bush Haiti Relief Fund. Either text message will donate $10 to the relief fund effort and will be added to your cell phone bill.

Now talking about cell phones and what plan is better for you and the ad wars on TV, and BOY are they heating up between AT&T and Verizon. I want to tell you about the differences between the two major cell companies as far as what to expect. Now with AT&T turning on 3g in Chautauqua County last week, I was going to really harp on AT&T as far as speed in the County and who has 3g coverage. But that will not really happen. BUT what AT&T will not tell you is their map of coverage is deceptive as far as 3g goes. They show you a coverage map but it is for the Voice coverage and data coverage not 3g coverage. The Verizon Map for AT&T 3g coverage is very close to being right. Most of the AT&T coverage is for the older “Edge Data Network”. It is true that Verizon’s Network will not support data and a phone call at the same time. Verizon uses the CMDA technology that will not support data and voice at the same time, but I cannot browse and talk on the same Smart Phone device at the same time, it gets to confusing to do both. In Chautauqua County with the hills and Verizon using 800-900MHz bands, AT&T uses the 1800MHz bands and the higher the frequency the more towers you need. AT&T’s coverage and penetration is a bit lack luster to say the least in the areas that count for me.

   In cellular service there are two main competing network

technologies: Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) for AT&T and Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) for Verizon. Understanding the difference between GSM and CDMA will allow you to choose a carrier that uses the preferable network technology for your needs. will get into the technology of the systems.

I have tested both systems, and with the 3g turned on for AT&T you may get 1200k down and 256k up in Sherman on a friend’s iPhone, and Verizon will get 512k both down and up. I tested Verizon in Erie, Jamestown, Buffalo and my home. I will have a how-to on tethering a Verizon cell phone to your laptop or your favorite PDA. In my case, my iPod Touch and iPhone in the next Computer Log, so get your propeller hats on.

Franklin S Werren is a computer technician and runs Chautauqua Lake Hosting and Franks Radio in Sherman NY. And can be found on the web at and via e-mail at or and yes I do play the Bagpipes.

Disclaimer: “Franklin S Werren” or the “Chautauqua Star” have not received any money or promotional items in anything talked about in this column.

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Page last modified on February 06, 2010, at 05:00 PM EST