Welcome to the 343rd 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!
The web host change happened and then switched back. I had switched a couple
of domains earlier, and everything seemed fine, but when I switched PCIN.net,
I ran into some problems, so I decided to say with my existing host.
I think the results to the last couple of polls has been interesting. Two
weeks ago I asked if you cared if the polls continued. 100 people replied,
and 85 said they wanted the polls to continue. So wouldn't you think that means
at least 85 people like to participate in the weekly polls? Well, this past
week only 72 people participated. I don't get it.
Andrew is sleeping in his "new big bed" tonight. My parents bought
him a Captain's Bed from Value
Village and Lisa's parents got him a mattress from Sleep
Factory and he was very excited tonight.
Internet Phones Arrive at Home (and Some Need No Computer)
A few years ago, a buzz began spreading about Internet telephony, a technology
allowing telephone conversations to be made across the Internet rather than
exclusively over regular phone lines.
Such calls, made at little or no expense to the caller, were portrayed as
a threat to the established phone companies. But the vision exceeded the
actual experience, which early users likened to listening through mud.
Now, thanks to providers like Vonage and others, it has found its way into
the home. The service is sometimes choppy, but costs are low and quality
is satisfactory for routine calls. Moreover, Internet protocol lends itself
to inexpensive videoconferencing as well, useful for informal video chats
between friends or business associates.
Earlier this year, researchers at Symantec Corp. wanted to see just how
bad the spyware epidemic had become. So they took a brand new PC out of the
box, connected it to the Internet without any standard protection software
and browsed. An hour later, they dissected the machine.
The autopsy results weren't pretty. The unscientific experiment suggested
something parents have known for a while now - spyware makers are aggressively
Despite reports in a Japanese newspaper stating that Toshiba and Sony may
be close to deal that would standardize on Blu-ray for next-generation DVDs,
Toshiba has announced the development of a higher capacity disc in its competing
format, HD-DVD. The 45GB capacity would eliminate Blu-ray's size advantage.
Blu-ray offers a 50-gigabyte disc capacity and proponents boast that it is
intended primarily for video purposes. Original HD-DVD discs had two layers
of data: one in the old DVD format and a second that holds 15 gigabytes.
imaging seems to be a very popular thing
these days. I haven't spent a lot of time viewing images, but when I do,
I am always amazed that a camera so far away can take such amazing pictures.
Well, Bill Friedrich has developed software that uses the images that Microsoft has
and puts it in client software on your PC.
TerraClient allows viewing and printing of ground level satellite photographs
of the United States. Featured is a unique map overlay option that automatically
superimposes a "paper" roadmap over the satellite photos. This
map overlay option has been designed to help users identify indistinct
land features in the satellite photos. All map and photographic data is
downloaded in real time from Microsoft's free TerraServer web service.
This program is freeware.
If you've spent even a little time in the tech support biz, you're bound
to have a list of special aggravations that drive you crazy on a semi-regular
basis. Like users who deny all responsibility for the 'mysterious' appearance
of unsupported software on their machines. Or the executive who insists
on telling you what's causing a connectivity problem and demands you implement
a fix immediately--even though the actual culprit is something else altogether.
From the site:
" Ever wondered which program has a particular file or directory open? Now
you can find out. Process Explorer shows you information about which handles
and DLLs processes have opened or loaded."
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.