Welcome to the 365th 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, I've got a script working that will allow me to shorten URLs and track
how many times the links are clicked. I explain it all in a blog
posting. In the database table I created, I'm just collecting the date
and time a link was clicked, and what the referring page was. Pretty basic.
I don't plan on using it all the time as that would be too much work. I'll
only use it in certain areas. It will also help me determine what content is
on Sunday was excellent! We hosted the dinner at our place, but we each did
something. My parents did the turkey. Lisa and my sister Julia did a lot of
the vegetables, and my others sisters brought the drinks and pickle tray. I
After work tomorrow I'm on vacation. We're not going anywhere, so when I'm
not playing with Andrew and Matthew, I expect that I'll be able to get a couple
of reviews done for PCIN.
It could take 300 years to index all the world's information and make it
searchable, Google Chief Executive Eric Schmidt predicted on Saturday at
the Association of National Advertisers annual conference in Phoenix.
We did a math exercise and the answer was 300 years," Schmidt said
in response to an audience question asking for a projection of how long
the company's mission will take. "The answer is it's going to be a
very long time."
On Sunday, CompUSA offered a $99.99 PC from America Online, similar to
the $99 and free PC deals offered by Internet giants and start-ups back in
1999 and 2000 in an effort to woo customers. The PC, powered by an Intel
Celeron chip and teamed with a monitor and printer, typically would have
sold for $549.99, but came with $450 of instant rebates. Only five were allotted
to each store.
To get one, customers had to sign up for a year of AOL at $23.90 a month.
Although the offer expired after a day, it represented a low mark for PCs
in a year of substantial discounts. And if recent activity is any indication,
it or similar deals will be back.
To many, the name Kevin Mitnick is synonymous with hacking, the cinematic
sort where a snot-nosed kid thumbs his nose at authority. But, Mitnick says,
the characterization is a bit overdone and the legend untrue, if not libelous.
It is true, he says, that he broke into corporate computer systems and stole
source code to satisfy his curiosity, but he denies the stories that he hacked
into NORAD -- North American Aerospace Defense Command -- or that he wiretapped
Jerry Swerdlick runs a 15-employee company that resells computers and devices
that aid people with visual, hearing, learning and other physical disabilities.
Business is really booming these days, Swerdlick said, as more and more manufacturers
are building so-called assistive technology gadgets to address a wide range
of special needs groups.
And while he takes bigger and bigger orders from his clients, the mere fact
that he is able to spend many hours on the computer is a testament to how
far assistive technology designs have come in recent years.
That's because Swerdlick is legally blind.
Moving in on a subject is a quick and easy way to make a more dramatic photograph.
It isolates your subject eliminating a lot of unnecessary elements from your
image. Getting close to your subject can be done either by physically moving
closer to them with your camera or by zooming in. There are some reasons for
either scenario that get a little more complicated than I want to approach
with these tips so you should try both of them. After a while, you can get
a feel which works better in different situations. Remember not to get so close
that you no longer get your subject in clear focus. Also, if you are using
the zoom on your camera, avoid digital zoom as it will degrade your image quality
as I discussed in a previous
In the above example, on the left you can see children playing
in background, a tree limb which does not help the picture, and some sort of
inflatable structure. The picture on the right is the same picture, cropped
to show how it could have looked. All of the distracting elements from before
have been removed and the subject for this photo is now clear. As well as creating
a more dramatic image, getting closer to your subject will also help to eliminate
bright or dark spots in your photo that could cause your camera to expose the
shot wrong. In this case, becase the subjects were in the shadow of a tree
with a bright background, the camera made the subject too dark as it tried
to average the lighting in the scene. If I had zoomed in before taking this
shot, the sujbects would have filled the viewfinder and I would not have had
an exposure problem with this image.
Next week I talk about the opposite of this, backing away from
The digital photography tip of the week is written by the PCIN Assistant
Editor, Chris Empey. Chris is a long time photographer and is currently
the vice-president 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 Chris, or a question about digital photography
he can address in the newsletter, send it to email@example.com.
has released an update to MSConfig, also known as the System Configuration
Utility (one of the most useful utilities for Windows power users) that
adds a "Tools" tab to the program. This tab links to a lot
of the other useful utilities on the system, making it a one stop shop
for troubleshooting your system.
These are a few links I've had bookmarked that I thought I'd pass along:
http://www.techonthenet.com/ Tech on the Net is dedicated to providing helpful advice, how-to's, and
FAQs. We primarily focus on software such as: Microsoft Access, Novell, Microsoft
Excel, Groupwise, SQL, UNIX, Oracle/PLSQL, Linux The information presented
here is suitable for all programmers from beginner to expert. We hope you
find this information useful and return to our site, as we expand our information
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
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