Welcome to the 369th 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!
It hardly ranks in the annals of "gotcha!" but right-wing blogs
were buzzing for at least a few days last week when an unsigned Microsoft
Word document was circulated by the Democratic National Committee. The memo
referred to the "anti-civil rights and anti-immigrant rulings" of
Samuel A. Alito Jr., a federal appeals court judge who has been nominated
to the Supreme Court by President Bush.
The stern criticisms of Judge Alito rubbed some commentators the wrong way
(Chris Matthews of MSNBC called it "disgusting" last Monday). But
whatever the memo's rhetorical pitch, right-leaning bloggers revealed that
it contained a much more universal, if unintended, message: It pays to mind
A New Jersey school district will pay $117,500 to a student who was punished
for creating a website that included critical statements about his middle
The settlement of the lawsuit brought nearly two years ago follows a decision
by a federal judge ruling that Oceanport school administrators violated Ryan
Dwyer's free speech rights.
The settlement was announced Sunday by the American Civil Liberties Union
of New Jersey.
While my parents and I are happy the case is resolved, most importantly,
I'm hopeful this will help ensure that free speech rights of students
aren't trampled on again in the future," said Dwyer, who is now
in 11th grade.
Wal-Mart, the nation's largest retailer, often intimidates its competitors
and suppliers. Makers of goods from diapers to DVD's must cater to its whims.
But there is one company that even Wal-Mart eyes warily these days: Google,
a seven-year-old business in a seemingly distant industry.
We watch Google very closely at Wal-Mart," said Jim Breyer, a member
of Wal-Mart's board.
In Google, Wal-Mart sees both a technology pioneer and the seed of a threat,
said Mr. Breyer, who is also a partner in a venture capital firm. The worry
is that by making information available everywhere, Google might soon be
able to tell Wal-Mart shoppers if better bargains are available nearby.
Following a warning from Microsoft that it may stop selling Windows in
South Korea, Linspire President and Chief Executive Officer Kevin Carmony
has offered to license his company's distribution of Linux and basic office
productivity software for use on every computer in the country for $5 million.
Carmony said he wrote to South Korea's President Roh Moo-hyun offering to
demonstrate the software to the president or his representatives. He told
of the offer in a letter entitled "How Korea Can Protect National Security
and Save $200+ Million," posted on Linspire's Web site on Thursday.
Last week I talked about the relationship between aperture, shutter speed
and film speed and
in previous weeks, some of the reasons why you would want to adjust any of
those settings. This week I will build on that by telling you how you can optimize
your shooting by using some of your camera's features.
Digital SLRs and Prosumer cameras have the ability to use a couple of semi-automatic
modes that allow you to make an adjustment to aperture (or
shutter speed) and will automatically pick the correct value for the shutter
speed (or aperture) as do some consumer digital cameras. It may be through
a dial on the camera or a menu item in the camera setup. Many cameras have
it marked as A or AV for aperture
priority or T or TV for shutter
speed priority. Your manual can tell you if your camera supports either
of these modes and how to access them. These are considered semi-automatic
because when you use one of the priority modes, you pick adjust one setting
and the camera makes the necessary adjustments to the other. When you set the
aperture in aperture priority mode, the camera automatically selects the correct
shutter speed. When you select the shutter speed in shutter priority mode,
the camera automatically selects the correct aperture.
Using the information I have given you in the past few weeks, you should now
be able to make some good decisions about how to set your camera to record
what you envision your photo to be without too much though over technical details.
Remember, setting your camera to use a small
aperture (large number on your f-stop scale) will increase depth of field,
and a large
aperture (small number) will give you shallow depth of field which is useful
for isolating your subject. A short
shutter speed will stop motion, while a long
shutter speed will show motion in your photograph.
Next week I briefly discuss the how flash placement affects your photos.
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.
How to use the Application Recovery tool in Office 2002 and in
Microsoft Knowledgebase article
294933 explains how to use the Microsoft Office Application Recovery.
This tool provides you with a way to potentially recover data from an
Office program that stops responding (hangs). If an Office program stops
responding during your work session, you are no longer forced to terminate
the program in Windows Task Manager and therefore lose any unsaved data.
When you start the program, it shows you a list of Office applications that
are running. You can then choose to "recover" the application.
I had never heard of this until today, and haven't tried it, but it sound
Today there is a search engine that focuses on Microsoft technology! We
cover Microsoft Server applications, .NET and programming, Operating Systems,
Microsoft desktop and Office applications, and gaming. Now you have an
easy to navigate site designed for the senior Microsoft administrators,
developers, decision makers and end-users.
The Sharpie company has a site now
where you can play an Arkanoid-type
game called Bust Out. If you complete the 4th level, you get a free Sharpie
Mini. Since I'm in Canada, I'm not eligible for the free Sharpie Mini, but
the game is still fun.
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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