Welcome to the 330th 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!
"Video gaming reached official academic status Tuesday when Electronic
Arts endowed a chair at the University of Southern California for the study
of interactive entertainment.
Bing Gordon, Chief Creative Officer and co-founder of Electronic Arts, was
named the first holder of the Electronic Arts endowed faculty chair at the
USC School of Cinema-Television, according to a statement from the company,
the biggest video game publisher."
"The federal judge overseeing the landmark Microsoft Corp. antitrust
settlement said on Wednesday there was no guarantee the pact will put a dent
in the company's Windows computer operating system monopoly.
U.S. District Court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly said during a court hearing
that it was not her job to ensure the settlement gives rise to new competition,
only to make sure Microsoft sticks to the agreement it made with the government."
"She did everything right. Her 14-year-old daughter's computer was
in the living room. She even peeked over her shoulder once in a while during
the girl's avid instant message chats to make sure nothing unusual was going
But the girl fell into a steamy Internet love affair with a 35-year-old man
anyway. The mother was horrified and confused: How could this happen?
The family computer contained little evidence of the affair -- until the
mother brought it to a police officer who spoke the right language. Instant
message shorthand was to blame, he told her. Her daughter and the 35-year-old
were so proficient at that cryptic language often spoken by cell phone text
message users (r u there?) that they were having the affair right under the
"On a hot summer trip to Cape Cod, the Mills family minivan did a peculiar
thing. After an hour on the road, it began to bake the children. Mom and
Dad were cool and comfortable up front, but heat was blasting into the rear
of the van and it could not be turned off.
The minivan's problem was unusual only in the specific form it took. Owners
across the country and around the globe have posted anguished cries to Internet
forums about electronic gremlins that stop windows from rolling all the way
up, that unexpectedly dim the interior lights, that drain batteries or that
make engines sputter. While most automakers have had problems, quality rankings
for some - particularly technology-intensive German luxury brands renowned
for engineering - have plunged."
All of the tips this week were sent in by a subscriber, John. Thank you so
much John! It's great when subscribers help us send out the newsletter.
Take Quick Look at the Desktop
Ever wanted to do a quick file manager style look at the desktop but got
frustrated at how long it takes to navigate there? Go to the START menu,
click run and type "DESKTOP" (without the quotes) hit enter, and
bam you're there. Handy for sorting by type (without having to sort the desktop
icons) and cleaning downloads off the desktop. Same thing works for My Documents,
My Music, and other system folders. Works on WinXP (Home and Pro), may work
on 2000, not on 9X (some versions/revisions might though).
Free Alarm Clock
Also, a neat alarm clock (freebie!) I found in Australia called Kirby Alarm.
Go to http://www.kirbyfooty.com/
for a neat alarm clock. Comes with Big Ben chime, and several others, all
way nicer to wake up to than the standard nasty rasping sounding alarm clocks.
It's freeware, and the author appreciates donations, but they are not required.
Completely Free Software
As well, another Australian site, http://www.completelyfreesoftware.com/ ,
it's a membership site, but only costs a little for a lifetime membership.
I go there first to find almost anything I need, and most of the time come
away with something as good as or better than available commercial software.
The site owner has run and tested all the software indexed on his site, including
my freeware, CHIPSpeaking software for the vocally impaired available at http://www.chipspeaking.com/
And the last but not least, http://www.cleverkeys.com/ for
a free online (waits for a CTRL-KEY combination) software that can go to
DICTIONARY.COM THESAURUS.COM and GOOGLE.COM while writing to get definitions,
synonyms, and raw data from GOOGLE.COM It works fantastic, and it too is
free. Hit the keystroke (configurable) of your choice and get a pop-up to
go to the reference of your choice.
Thanks again for your newsletter, it has been a tremendous help!
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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