Welcome to the 283rd issue of the PC Improvement News. PCIN consists mainly
of news and tips. There is something for everyone, and if this is your first
issue, I'm sure there will be something for you. If you give me two or three
issues, I know that you will come back for more!
Last week I reported that the weather has been improving and that each new
day brings a brighter feeling. Well, all the snow was gone, and last night
we got a foot of snow! Add to that the fact that I've been feeling sick for
the last few days, peaking today, that bright feeling sure is gone :-(
On Monday, Lisa, Andrew, Julia (my sister) and I went over to Lewiston, NY
and went to a Tops grocery store where I had my first experience with a self-serve
grocery checkout. The store had half a dozen regular aisles open, each with
a lineup. They also have 4 self-serve aisles, and there wasn't anyone using
them. All we had purchased was a dozen donuts, but it couldn't have been easier.
You've gotta love it when technology is actually helpful!
Lastly, I've taken my first step into digital printing online. Both Wal-Mart
Canada PhotoCentre and President's
Choice PhotoLab have online digital photo processing. You upload pictures,
and you can either have them shipped to you directly (for a fee) or have
them shipped to the closest store (for free) and pick them up there. Both
stores offer 4x6 printing for 25¢ with equally reasonable prices for
5x7 and 7x10 prints. It isn't a quick process (it will take a couple of weeks
to get the prints), but if they look nice, I'd rather do that then print
"Keyboards, computer mice and telephone dials are more infested with
microbes than toilet seats, according to a University of Arizona study.
The study recommends that office workstations be regularly disinfected since
they can on average contain 400 times as many germs as a toilet seat, said
Charles Gerba, a University of Arizona microbiologist.
According to the study, telephones harboured up to 25,127 germs per square
inch, keyboards 3295 and computer mice 1676. The average office contains
20,961 germs per square inch."
"Japan's Toshiba Corp said on Tuesday that Guinness World Records had
certified its stamp-sized hard disk drives (HDDs) as the smallest in the
The electronics conglomerate's 0.85-inch HDDs, unveiled in January, have
storage capacity of up to four gigabytes and will be used in products such
as cell phones and digital camcorders."
"Apple Computer said Monday that it has sold 50 million songs through
its iTunes Music Store, with about 2.5 million songs being downloaded each
Apple said the sales figure excludes the number of songs downloaded through
a promotion with Pepsi, in which 100 million songs are being given away.
"It's not often that a blue-chip CEO publicly lectures another CEO
from a brand-name company about how he should manage his organization. Then
again, it's not often that the practices of one company upset employees of
another one so strongly.
The incident occurred in 1999 when Amazon.com introduced purchase circles,
an online marketing tool that, supposedly for the customer's benefit, revealed
what books Amazon's customers from some well-known corporations were buying.
For example, customers from Microsoft, it appeared, liked to read 'The Microsoft
File: The Secret Case Against Bill Gates,' a book that was critical of top
management at the software giant. A book about operating system upstart Linux
was a hit at Intel."
Windows IT Library, affiliated with Windows & .NET Magazine, offers
some free ebooks for download. They release the books one chapter at a time,
but it is very easy to pick up an entire book over a short period. I was
able to acquire several good books last year, and am looking forward to continuing
this year. You can check it out at http://www.windowsitlibrary.com/
Get Command-line Help
From a DOS or Command-line window, type HELP and press Enter. You'll see
a list of different commands that can be used (85 in Windows 2003). If you
want more details of each of these, type HELP COMMAND_NAME. For instance,
if you would like to learn about the DIR command, then type HELP DIR.
Windows is meant to be a graphical operating system, but using batch or command
files to run quick scripts can be very handy. You can find links to DOS/Command-line
sites at http://PCIN.net/help/articles/doslinks.php
Tile Open Windows
If you want to tile windows across the screen, click on the taskbar icon
of one of the windows you want open, then press the CTRL key as you click
each of the other windows you want open. You can then right-click on any
of these taskbar icons and choose Cascade, Tile Horizontal, and Tile Vertical.
This can come in handy if you are copying something from one window to another.
Rather than minimizing windows or using ALT+TAB to switch between windows,
you can view them all at the same time.
PCIN is brought to you by Graham Wing. The opinions expressed are those of
the Editor, Graham Wing and the Assistant Editor, Chris Empey. Graham Wing
and Chris Empey accept no responsibility for the results obtained from trying
the tips in this newsletter.
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