Welcome to the 366th 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!
Sorry about the problems sending out last week's newsletter. My hosting provider
changed a setting that caused some problems. Some people only got it once,
but some got it several times. Everything should be fine this week.
Now that I can track the popularity of articles, I figured I'd let you know
that last week's most popular link was for the CNN/AP article about Kevin Mitnick
( A convicted hacker debunks
some myths ).
I'm on vacation this week. We aren't doing anything spectacular, but then
again, I do get a whole week playing with Andrew and Matthew, and being with
Lisa. Ok... I guess it is spectacular!
Driving to work, you notice the traffic beginning to slow. And because
you have your cell phone on, the government senses the delay, too.
A congestion alert is issued, automatically updating electronic road signs
and Web sites and dispatching text messages to mobile phones and auto dashboards.
In what would be the largest project of its kind, the Missouri Department
of Transportation is finalizing a contract to monitor thousands of cell phones,
using their movements to map real-time traffic conditions statewide on all
5,500 miles of major roads.
What would Jesus blog?
That and other pressing questions drew dozens of Christians to a Southern
California university this weekend for what was billed as the first-ever
national conference for "God bloggers," a growing community of
online writers who exchange information and analyze current events from
a Christian perspective.
The three-day conference at Biola University marked an important organizational
benchmark for Christian bloggers, who have worked behind the scenes for several
years to spread the Gospel and infuse politics with religion. It was the
first time many of the 135 bloggers met face-to-face, and organizers took
the opportunity to address sometimes controversial questions surrounding
the future of the Christian blogosphere.
Intel is showing off a future technology called Robson that could cut that
annoying boot-up time.
With Robson, a PC pulls data and applications off an add-in flash memory
card and Intel software, rather than the PC's hard drive. Flash reacts more
quickly than hard drives, thus cutting down the time it takes to launch an
application. Potentially, notebook users could experience a longer battery
life because the hard drive, which is spun by a motor, wouldn't have to work
Amina Harun, a 45-year-old farmer, used to traipse around for hours looking
for a working pay phone on which to call the markets and find the best prices
for her fruit.
Then cell phones changed her life.
week I discussed getting close to your subject. Not to confuse you too
much, but this week I will discuss zooming out from your subject.
In my tip last week, I mentioned how a better photograph can be made by zooming
in and getting closer to your subject. There are times however when you will
want to back away as well. If we look at the same image from last week, we
can easily see we have a better shot of Leanne and I without the distracting
background, but that doesn't really help tell the story of where we were. The
original photograph helps convey that better because we can see the location
in the background. Unfortunately though, the image does work the way it is
composed. The subject is competing with the background, we don't know which
one should be the focus of attention, there are people in the background that
are distracting and the story is lost in all the confusion.
Next, let's look at another image of us from another trip. The
composition of this image allows both the subject and the background to work
together to tell the story of where we were. It is important to pay attention
to the elements in your photo when you do this though to make sure you are
not adding any unwanted extras, such as the people in the background of the
above photo. Moving in would have given a nice portrait of us, but would not
convey that this was overlooking a large canyon, nor would it really help us
to record that part of our trip.
If your digital camera has a zoom feature, using that to zoom
out will give a slightly different effect than physically moving away from
the subject. In some cases it will be noticeable, in others it may not be,
and other times you may not be able to move away from the subject and will
have to use the zoom. Unlike the negative effects of digital zoom, cameras
do have a digital wide angle so that is not a worry you have to be concerned
Next week I talk about film speed in your digital camera.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
I asked my sister tonight for some tip ideas. I asked what the most useful
thing was (shortcut, software, whatever) on her computer. She said she loved
the Show Desktop shortcut that is in the Quick
Launch toolbar and that she uses it all the time. I wrote
an article years ago about how to recreate the shortcut if it is deleted.
It has been one of the top pages on the site ever since. I also posted
about this. The Show Desktop shortcut is a Windows Explorer command file.
I've had others ask if there were other shortcuts/scripts that could be made
like this, but I haven't been able to find any.
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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