Welcome to the 344th 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!
I've been sick for 3 weeks now with a nagging cold that just won't go away.
I went to a clinic yesterday on the way home from work. I was in and out in
about 10 minutes and have an antibiotic to help clear things up. Hopefully
I'll be able to enjoy this beautiful weather we've been having.
Lisa's parents bought Andrew and Matthew a playset for the backyard (swing,
playhouse, etc) and my sister Andrea and
my Dad will be over
on Friday putting it together while I'm at work. I hope they don't mess it
US researchers have claimed a breakthrough that promises nuclear battery
technology with a lifespan measured in decades.
The project, which is in development at the US University of Rochester, has
demonstrated an enhanced fabrication method that "in its roughest form" is
already 10 times more efficient than current nuclear batteries.
The academics claim that once refined the technology has the potential to
be nearly 200 times more efficient.
"Our society is placing ever-higher demands for power from all kinds of
devices," said Philippe Fauchet, professor of electrical and computer engineering
at the University of Rochester, and co-author of the research.
The '60s represent many things to many people, but did that same era of
sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll also inspire the revolution in personal computing?
That remains an unconventional reading of contemporary history. You could
just as easily argue that heavy investment in military research was the moving
force. Same goes for pro-market tax policies. But a generation of pot smokers
and draft dodgers?
Needless to say, it has the makings of a feisty barroom debate. Still, don't
dismiss the argument out of hand. In fact, Whole Earth Catalog founder Stewart
Brand made a convincing try a decade ago.
Big Blue is encouraging its 330,000 employees to use Firefox as an alternative
to IE, providing support and internal downloads.
IBM is encouraging its employees to use Firefox, aiding the open-source Web
browser's quest to chip away at Microsoft's Internet Explorer.
Firefox is already used by about 10 percent of IBM's staff, or about 30,000
people. Starting Friday, IBM workers can download the browser from internal
servers and get support from the company's help desk staff.
IBM's commitment to Firefox is among its most prominent votes of confidence
from a large corporation. Based on development work by the nonprofit Mozilla
Foundation, Firefox has been downloaded by more than 50 million people since
it debuted in November. Internet Explorer still dominates the overall market
by far, though, with Firefox's share in the single digits.
Today, almost everybody in the developed world interacts with personal computers
in some form or another. We use them at home and at work, for entertainment,
information, and as tools to leverage our knowledge and intelligence. It
is pretty much assumed whenever anyone sits down to use a personal computer
that it will operate with a graphical user interface. We expect to interact
with it primarily using a mouse, launch programs by clicking on icons, and
manipulate various windows on the screen using graphical controls. But this
was not always the case. Why did computers come to adopt the GUI as their
primary mode of interaction, and how did the GUI evolve to be the way it
"Wikipedia is a free-contentencyclopedia,
written collaboratively by
people from around the world. The site is a wiki,
which means that anyone can edit articles, simply by clicking on the edit
this page link. It runs on MediaWiki software."
This was mentioned in passing, but it occurred to me that I haven't mentioned
it separately yet. It really is quite amazing. There is information on any
day of the year, any year, and almost any topic you can think of. And if
it isn't there, you can suggest a new one. Check it out at http://www.wikipedia.org/ and
choose your preferred language. English has over 400,000 articles. There
are dozens of other languages, with different quantities of articles translated.
Scanning Basics 101
"The purpose is to offer some scanning tips and to explain the basics
for photos and documents. It is about the fundamentals of digital images,
about the basics to help you get the most from your scanner. How it works,
for those that want to know."
The person who runs this site has a book he's selling, as well as links to
purchase software that he will make commission on. But there are still a
lot of basic scanning tips. It is probably worthwhile for you to check it
out at http://www.scantips.com/
Windows XP Tips
"Welcome to the longest running, advertising free, Windows site on
the Internet. You will find no banner ads, other logos, or pop-up windows
while you explore this site."
Bob Cerelli has all sorts of good tips on his site. He has an extensive list
of Windows XP tips at http://www.onecomputerguy.com/windowsxp_tips.htm
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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