Welcome to the 356th 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!
This weekend we're taking our annual trip up to Buckhorn.
We used to live there years ago, but it was too far away from the city,
so we moved. My parents rent
a cottage every year for a week or two. I'm not able to take vacation in
the summer, so the best I can do is get a long weekend. We'll be going to the Wildlife
Art Festival while we are there.
It used to be that coming up with tips or good sites for the newsletter was
hard, but these days getting good news stories is hard. It seems like all the
stories are about someone getting sued, or one search company beating another
search company in some comparison. Maybe it's just me, but the industry seems
to be stale right now.
Sgt. William Hamrick II witnessed the birth of his daughter Monday. That
may seem unremarkable -- except that Hamrick was 6,000 miles away in Iraq.
When doctors induced labor Monday morning at Camden-Clark Memorial Hospital
in Parkersburg, Hamrick was virtually at his wife's side via live Internet
video and satellite audio link.
The 25-year-old soldier could see and hear everything as it happened in the
hospital room. The satellite audio link let him talk his wife through the
contractions. And at 4:04 p.m. in West Virginia, just after midnight in Baghdad,
he was able to watch as Elaina Jo Hamrick came into the world.
"I didn't think it could be done," says Tim Caro-Brice, a Stanford
University graduate student and pioneering member of Amazon.com's A9.com
project team. Barnaby Dorfman, A9.com's vice president, laughs and taps the
accelerator. A nondescript sport utility vehicle eases down a Palo Alto street,
and the rest may be search engine history.
Dorfman and Caro-Brice are part of the small team responsible for the block-view
technology A9.com launched this spring, which allows users to virtually stroll
city streets to get directions and identify local businesses. The vehicle
they drive is a prototype for the mini fleet currently crisscrossing the
United States in a photographing spree, racing to put a visual Yellow Pages
What does 13-year-old Taylor Hern love? Lots of things: the actor Ewan
McGregor, the color pink, the band My Chemical Romance, her boyfriend Alex.
You would know all that if you visited her Xanga, a blog--home-page hybrid
that is the modern teen's public and interactive equivalent of a diary. You
could even leave a comment on her Xanga or send her an "eProp" if,
say, you love Ewan McGregor too.
On April 18, Taylor, who is about to enter eighth grade at Lost Mountain
Middle School in Kennesaw, Ga., got an instant message (IM) from her friend
Sydney Meyer that said, "OMG [Oh, my God] OMG OMG go to your xanga." Someone
using the screen name lmmsgirlsgot2hell had left Taylor a comment that read, "Go
to my Xanga, b***h." Taylor did--and found a List of Hos. Her name was
on it. The list was hurtful, but Taylor says she wasn't as bothered as other
girls. "A bunch of the cheerleading chicks spazzed," she says. "Me
and all my friends thought it was stupid. Who would actually make time in
their schedule to do something like that?"
Turns out, many of her peers would. Technology has transformed the lives
of teens, including the ways they pick on one another.
Despite their best attempts, Linux software companies say they are still
having a hard time luring average consumers away from the Windows environment--but
that may not necessarily be a bad thing.
Windows still dominates the PC world. About 90 percent of all desktops, laptops
and even PDAs are powered by Microsoft, according to reports by Gartner and
IDC. Even with all the hoopla last year about Linux progress, the buzz over
breaking the Windows stronghold has died down considerably.
The recent Langalist from
Fred Langa mentioned a must have repair and recovery tool, BartPE.
BartPE is a tool that loads a live version of Windows XP or 2003 (an operating
system that can be started during the boot process from a bootable CD that
is run entirely from the CD). I tested the tool yesterday and it did work
very well. It allowed me to grab files off a failing hard drive that I was
having problems with before using the CD. There are many plugins available
for BartPE as well to add more functionality to your XP/2003 recovery. The
program was easy to use and created both the CD directory structure and an
ISO. I also had the option to burn the CD directly from the program, but
chose to do it on my own. Overall, I was very happy with this as a recovery
tool. Check it out at http://www.nu2.nu/pebuilder/
I don't subscribe to Reader's Digest. My grandmother does, and my chiropractor
does. But I visit my grandmother or have a chiropractor appointment, I always
pick them up and read the humour sections; Life's Like That, Humour in Uniform,
Campus Comedy, etc. You can also read these online. If you visit the Reader's
Digest Canada web site and then click on the Laugh
With Us link, you can search through all the funny stories.
I had posted
previously about a service that lets you upload a file to the web.
You can then send a link to someone where they can download that file.
Well, another similar services is from Putfile.com:
Putfile is a FREE dedicated digital media hosting service. Here you can
upload videos and images to the internet for free.
If you would like to quickly upload images or video files for use on forums,
blogs, or websites please use our quick upload feature above.
Are addicted to a certain web site or to certain software? Then maybe you
I’m in front of my computer constantly and a program I’ve
been wanting for a long time is one that would allow me to block certain
programs from myself for a set amount of time. A way for the smart part
of me to head off the dumb, impulsive lizard part, and a way for me to
get more stuff done at the computer...
So, have a major deadline looming or ripe opportunity closing and just
don’t have time to waste playing Half Life 2 or checking Bloglines
one last time? Well then, add Half Life 2 and Firefox to the list of programs
you want to block in Temptation Blocker, set the timer for how long you
want to block them and then hit the “Get Work Done!” button.
Now, everytime you try and access Half Life 2 or Firefox, you’ll
get a dialog box telling you how much time you have left before you can
access that program.
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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