From Space Control Systems, Inc.
Newsletter for Summer 2009
(Summer 2009)
August 2009 - Issue 9
In This Issue
Quick Links

Vicki and Matt, from our Space Control Support Department staff, have discovered some great utilities for cleaning up your computer. They're free, they're fast, and they work. Or, if your computer is getting old, maybe it would be better to get a new one. See the second article about that.

We're also passing along some information about gate maintenance. Another one of those things that needs to be done on a regular basis.

In general, downloading stuff from the internet is pretty scary and we don't recommend it unless you are sure you can trust the site from which you're downloading. But, even if you never download by choice, cookies and temporary files will be downloaded onto your computer without your knowledge. Some of our Space Control technicians have discovered a couple of free computer utilities that work so well I thought we would pass that information along to you.

Disk Cleanup. If you use the internet at all, there are probably a lot of files building up on your computer that are labeled temporary but turn out to be not so temporary. When you're on the internet, the web pages you visit store programs and files on your computer. They may be used while you're on that web page but aren't needed after you exit it. Your web browser also stores the addresses of every web page you visit. (Think about that!) The Operating System adds some temporary files and logs. The Recycle bin doesn't automatically get emptied. It starts to add up.

There's a free program called CCleaner that can clean up all that extraneous stuff. It was PC Pro's Software of the Year, CNET made it their Editor's Choice, and many users give it rave reviews. That's because: it works, it's free, and it's soooo fast. Windows has a Disk Cleanup utility but it takes awhile. CCleaner took 50 seconds to cleanup all the crap on my computer. (I'm told that's what the C stands for: CrapCleaner, but that's not official.)

Anti-virus. The other free program we're using at Space Control is AVG anti-virus software. AVG has several versions for sale but they also offer a free version---it's hard to find on their web page but I've listed the direct link below. This one offers the same benefits as CCleaner: it works, it's free, and it is very fast. I used to have a well-known anti-virus program on my computer (Brand X). It also worked. The cost wasn't bad. But the biggest problem was that it literally took over my computer daily (and sometimes more than once) to download, install, run, scan. It's very frustrating to try to use your computer only to find that Brand X is using up 100% of your CPU, and then it seems to just go on, and on.

As with all anti-virus software, AVG must be updated regularly to stay ahead of the viruses trying to get into our computers. AVG will update automatically when you start up your computer but it is so fast you barely notice it.

CCleaner can be downloaded from The free AVG product is at
If your computer is five or more years old, now's the time to move up to a new model. You can get a much faster system with more memory and storage capacity, at a very reasonable price. Five years ago we bought a new computer for one of our support technicians. It came with 512 megabytes of memory, the hard drive could store 75 gigabytes, and it cost $830. That was just the processor, no monitor, no mouse or keyboard. Now you can get 2 GIGAbytes of memory (4 times as much) and a 250 GB hard drive for less than $500. That's three to four times as much hardware for less money. Not many things that we purchase get cheaper year after year.

In his new book, Free, Chris Anderson says that the price of speed and memory are cut in half every two years. And every nine months the speed at which data can be transferred over fiber-optic cables doubles. That, and the vast internet audience, allows companies like AVG and CCleaner (in the above article) to give away their basic software to most people and sell their premium product to the few willing to pay for it.

Because software companies build for newer computers, everything you install on your computer is using more memory than it used to. Operating systems get bigger and bigger so it's usually not a good idea to put a new operating system on an old computer. It won't have enough memory to run it properly. Your word processor uses more memory than older versions. And so do email and internet programs.

Memory is also cheaper now. If your computer is less than five years old, consider adding memory to it. You can put up to three GB on these machines and get a lot of benefit from it.

Check the Dell or HP sites online and see what kind of deals they're offering. Their specials change from day to day, but there's always some deal happening. Be sure to look for XP-Pro or Vista Business 32 Edition (not 64 bit).
security gate
Since most of our users have access systems, we thought some maintenance tips might prove useful. Of course any mechanical system requires upkeep. Luckily, gate systems are relatively simple. You should always follow the manufacturer's instructions, but here are some general tips. Think of this as easy, low cost insurance.

  1. Wheel Lubrication - If you have a sliding gate and the wheels have Zerk (grease) fittings, take advantage of them. Use a grease gun filled with synthetic grease such as Mobil 1. Synthetics last longer and lubricate better. Pump the gun until the old grease is out, if possible. It's important to clean off the fitting, though, so it doesn't attract dirt. Remember: If you can't easily move a slide gate (with chain detached) in either direction, the operator (motor) won't do it for very long either.
  2. Alignment: If the slide gate is bent and/or its wheels are not true, extra force is required to move the gate and that can shorten the operator's life.
  3. Snow Removal: A swing gate that has snow in its path or a slide gate pushing itself through the snow will quickly burn out. Hint: Light, fluffy snow is best removed with a leaf blower.
  4. General Lubrication: Any moving part or joint requires lubrication. We use only synthetic oil and never WD40, which is not a real lubricant and is more of a desiccant. So, if you have a Lift and Fold Gate, any metal-to-metal contact point should get serviced. Check your manual or call the manufacturer.
  5. Slide Gate Rails: Do not use any lubricant on these; there is supposed to be friction between the rail and the rollers. Simply clean the rails.
  6. Stuck Bolt or Nut? Don't force it. First, use a "rust busting" chemical, such as Kroil by Zano, or Liquid Wrench. And don't use WD40 for this either.
  7. Chains: Assuming the manufacturer says to, lubricate these with chain lube, from motorcycle supply stores. This stuff sticks on through all kinds of abuse and weather.

If you have any questions about gate maintenance or installation or, if you don't have a gate system and would like some help in choosing one, give Gilbert Bohen a call at 800-663-8688.
That we have a new version of NX.gen that emails reports in PDF format? This means that you don't need Word on the computer that receives and displays the report. This version also does not print letters or invoices if they are emailed. The more email addresses you get, the more money you save on postage.

PDF is a more generic format that can be displayed on many different kinds of hardware---even your iPhone. When you get this new version, be sure to update your Adobe Reader software. You'll need the most recent Adobe update to get a good copy.

Contact our Support Department to find out about the new version of NX.gen. Or for help in updating Adobe Reader. Call 877-591-0455 or email

We've decided not to go to the fall trade shows this year. We're busy building a new Space Control system that will be web-based. More about that in the future.

Ramona Taylor
Space Control Systems, Inc.

phone: 1-800-455-9055

Space Control Systems, Inc. | 206 Providence Mine Rd. | Suite 118 | Nevada City | CA | 95959/font>