Welcome to the 286th 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!
Andrew has moved into his new room. Lisa did a great job painting and Andrew
seems to love the bright colours. We still have a couple of things to fix up,
but when it's done, I'll post some pictures.
I was never able to get iHateSpam to
work properly, so I installed it within a Windows 98 SE Virtual PC installation.
It is working fine. I'm still a bigger fan of Inboxer
by Audiotrieve but you can decide for yourself when the review of iHateSpam is
"When the 40,000 subscribers to Reason, the monthly libertarian magazine,
receive a copy of the June issue, they will see on the cover a satellite
photo of a neighborhood - their own neighborhood. And their house will be
On one level, the project, sort of the ultimate in customized publishing,
is unsurprising: of course a magazine knows where its subscribers live. But
it is still a remarkable demonstration of the growing number of ways databases
can be harnessed. Apart from the cover image, several advertisements are
customized to reflect the recipient's particulars."
"When Barbara Sloan needs directions to a friend's house, she doesn't
consult the Rand McNally map sitting in the car. She goes first to the Internet,
just as she does when she needs to pay bills, stay on top of diet news or
find patterns to knit mittens for her new grandson.
'I could go to the library but this is so much easier,' said Ms. Sloan, 56,
a retired addictions counselor in Wallingford, Conn. 'It's become much a
way of life for people my age.'
A recent survey from the Pew Internet and American Life Project finds that
baby boomers like Ms. Sloan have much more in common with young adults than
with seniors when it comes to Internet usage."
"An ambitious effort to build an instant supercomputer by faculty,
students and volunteers at the University of San Francisco fell short on
Saturday when a handful of balky PCs frustrated the team's effort to harness
700 computers in the college gymnasium.
The idea had been to build a 'flash mob supercomputer' powerful enough to
be ranked as one of the 500 fastest computers in the world. In February,
the university group put out a call for volunteers willing to contribute
laptop and desktop PCs to the daylong effort.
On Saturday, however, even with meticulous planning and two portable generators
capable of delivering 225 kilowatts of power, the organizers could do no
better than a partial result--180 billion mathematical operations a second--in
solving a complex set of algebraic equations."
For more info:
"One of our primary missions here at ThinkGeek is discovering ways
to live happy and productive lives while expending a minimum of energy. Who
wants to waste time and effort getting up to grab a snack from the fridge
or walking to the bathroom? Thankfully, there are already gadgets that take
care of those tedious chores for you.
Our newest contribution to the 'No effort, No problem' craze is also a throwback
to one of the toys we loved as kids. Who can forget the joy of mixing up
a tiny cake mix and cooking it with the warm glow of a light bulb? We didn't
seem to care that it was only about 3 bites worth - it was damn tasty, and
homemade with our own grubby little hands.
Now the computer savvy among us can relive the fun of having your very own
personal mini-oven with the PC Ez-Bake oven! It fits in a 5 1/4" drive
bay and plugs right into your power supply with the included Molex connector.
Also included is 'PC Ez-Cook', the open-source oven controller software with
hundreds of easy and creative recipes for your PC Ez-Bake oven, and even
a fuzzy-logic cooking control system to precisely measure the doneness of
your cake, cookie, or cheese souffle. The PC Ez-Bake oven can even be used
to cook your Pop Tarts, Bagel Bites, or any tiny or flat food. YUM!"
To check out a picture of it or to order it, visit http://www.thinkgeek.com/stuff/41/ezbake.shtml
I know that almost everyone is using Internet Explorer these days, but Mozilla
Firefox should be given a chance. I downloaded it the other day assuming
that it wouldn't be anything special, but I was wrong. It is a small download,
pages load quickly either in new windows or in tabbed windows, and there
are hundreds of plug-ins that enhance the browser.
One interesting feature that I discovered today is that you can track changes
to all bookmarked web sites. You specify an interval and how you want to
be notified (sound, pop-up, etc) and let it go. It worked perfectly for me.
It is also a fully skinned browser. You can download a new skin and easily
change the look of it.
Check it out at http://www.mozilla.org/products/firefox/
The Adventures of Seinfeld & Superman
I am definitely not a fan of Internet advertising, but American Express
has teamed up with Jerry Seinfeld and Superman for a very funny set. (Chris)
Check it out at http://www.jerry.digisle.tv/room.html
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.
If any of the links are too long to fit on one line, you may have to cut
To subscribe another address or unsubscribe, please visit http://PCIN.net/ and
follow the appropriate links.