Welcome to the 360th 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!
Well, summer isn't officially over yet, but the Labour
Day weekend does seem to be the end of summer for most people here in
this part of the world. Kids go back to elementary school, two of my sisters
are off to university or college, and the evenings are getting cooler. One
of my sisters (the oldest younger one) former roommates left a computer behind
got married. I cleaned it all up and upgraded it as best I could, and
gave it to my sister (the youngest one) who is off to university. My other
younger sister (are you following this?) already has all the gadgets she
could want, plus she just got a part-time job at Best
Buy, so will now have many more gadgets.
This past Saturday was my birthday and my mother's birthday (I was born on
her birthday). We went to Queenston
Heights for a picnic and had a nice afternoon. I had a couple of readers
send me birthday wishes. Thank you!
A Tutor Half a World Away, but as Close as a Keyboard
A few minutes before 7 on a recent morning, Greeshma Salin swiveled her
chair to face the computer, slipped on her headset and said in faintly accented
English, "Hello, Daniela." Seconds later she heard the response, "Hello,
The two chatted excitedly before Ms. Salin said, "We'll work on pronouns
today." Then she typed in, "Daniela thinks that Daniela should
give Daniela's horse Scarlett to Daniela's sister."
" Is this an awkward sentence?" she asked. "How can you make it
Nothing unusual about this exchange except that Ms. Salin, 22, was in Cochin,
a city in coastal southern India, and her student, Daniela Marinaro, 13,
was at her home in Malibu, Calif.
Ten years ago, Jon von Tetzchner and Geir Ivarsoy were researchers at Norway's
largest telecom when management shut down their project.
But the two programmers successfully negotiated the rights to the browsing
software they had developed at the company and then struck out on their own.
And so it was that Opera Software got its start.
Opera never generated the buzz of one-time high-fliers like Netscape. But
unlike many belonging to the class of 1995, von Tetzchner and Ivarsoy are
still at the helm to celebrate their company's 10-year anniversary--and this
despite the challenges of surviving the Internet bust, a global IT recession
and, of course, Microsoft.
I was having commitment problems. Not with a relationship. This was more
serious - this was with my computer.
Annoying pop-up advertisements kept asking if I wanted to continue antivirus
or antispyware trial programs. I wavered. Should I buy? Would it help or
destroy my computer? Was it a scam?
Chickening out, I pressed the continue button. Then, like a boyfriend setting
an ultimatum, the program sternly told me that I had 10 more days to make
up my mind.
What to do?
What else - call in a therapist.
A young girl has become the first swimmer in the U.K. saved from drowning
by a computerized pool-monitoring system.
The accident happened on Aug. 24 when a 10-year-old girl in a swimming pool
in Bangor, North Wales, sank to the bottom of the deep end.
A Poseidon monitoring system installed in the pool registered that a swimmer
was in distress because she was at the bottom of the pool and not moving,
and within three seconds sounded the alarm to the lifeguard on duty who pulled
the girl out of the water.
For a long time, the hold up with digital photography was the quality of the
cameras; it just wasn't there. Now, you can buy a digital camera that will
give results as good as an equivalent 35mm camera. That is if you have the
proper equipment to print those photos? Or should you even worry about printing
them yourself? There are three options you have to get a hard copy of your
digital photos. Print them at home, send them to an online photo-finisher,
or use a local photo finisher.
Printing at home is by far the most convenient way to get your photos. But,
it is also very expensive (paper alone can run more than $0.75 per 4"x6" print).
A quick look at the photo paper isle at my local supply store showed photo
paper ranging from $0.25 per print on the low end to as high as $0.77 per print
on the high end. Depending on your printer, you may get varying quality in
your prints, from not at all acceptable to excellent. The best printers use pigment inks,
which produce brilliant prints with archival life,
but also cost substantially more to replace the inks when they are depleted.
If you are looking for large prints (larger than 11"x14") than investment
in a large format printer is necessary but they usually can handle today's
better (pigment) inks and will provide wonderful results.
photo finishers on the other hand produce excellent quality repeatedly
at very little cost (as low as $0.10 per 4"x6" print) but they
usually have a delivery fee added to the cost. Prints may be delivered next
day, or up to two weeks later. your are printing a large number of prints
and you are not in a hurry to get them back, there can be substantial savings
for you with this option.
Compare those to the cost of local printers who will print your digital images
to real photo paper (as do online photo finishers). Those prices range from
$0.20 at my local Wal-Mart to as high as $.50 at some photography stores. Many
big box stores offer services that let you send them your photos over the internet
for same day pickup. I can get one hour service on my digital photos at most
local stores and I am always happy with the results. Not quite as convenient
to printing at home, though significantly cheaper and in most circumstances
with better quality prints.
In summary, for most printing (typically 4"x6" prints) I recommend
your local photo finisher, whether they are a big box store, a drug store or
a dedicated photo store. If you are still looking for smaller prints, but don't
mind waiting for them, online is the way to go as it will save you a bundle
of money. If you need immediate results or want to print larger images, than
printing at home is the best option (though more and more local stores are
offering large size printing, so keep up with what your shop offers).
I have been asked what equipment I use and to discuss the various options
for digital camera's. We'll look at those next week.
The digital photography tip of the week is a new feature of PCIN news
and is written by our Assistant Editor, Chris Empey. Chris is a long time
photographer and member of the Niagara Falls Camera Club. You can see more
of his photography at his Photo
of the Day website.
If you have a tip to send us, or a question about digital photography we
can address in the newsletter, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
BirthdayAlarm was started in 2001 by Michael and Xochi Birch and Paul
Birch (see below) to provide a simple way for people to remember birthdays.
The original idea for the website was simple, remind people of birthdays.
We received such positive feedback that we began to add additional features
There are lots of sites out there that help you with remembering dates and
events. Your own email client may also have this functionality. BirthdayAlarm
also has eCards, games, and the ability to set other reminders.
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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