Welcome to the 374th 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!
If the Walt Disney Company has its way, McDonald's Happy Meal toys could
be replaced with portable media players that hold Disney movies, music, games
or photos, according to a pending patent application. Users could add files
to the devices by earning points with food purchases.
A survey of home PC users found 81 percent lacked at least one of three
critical types of security, but the number of consumers using firewalls and
updated antivirus software is improving, according to a report released Wednesday.
The vast majority of consumers surveyed were found to lack at least one of
three types of critical security--a firewall, updated antivirus software
or anti-spyware protection, according to a report by America Online and the
National Cyber Security Alliance.
Potential computer users in the developing world will not want a basic
$100 hand-cranked laptop due to be rolled out to millions, according to Craig
Barrett, ECO of Intel.
Schoolchildren in Brazil, Thailand, Egypt and Nigeria will begin receiving
the first few million textbook style computers from the MIT Media Lab run
by Nicholas Negroponte from early 2006...
" It turns out what people are looking for is something is something that
has the full functionality of a PC," he said. "Reprogrammable to run
all the applications of a grown up PC ... not dependent on servers in the sky
to deliver content and capability to them, not dependent for hand cranks for
All of the noise and attention surrounding the release last month of Firefox
1.5 appears to have helped the alternative Web browser's market share, even
if those gains are still only in fractions of percentage points.
"November 2005 browser numbers indicate that Firefox continues to gain market
share, reaching 8.84 percent," says the latest monthly traffic report released
Wednesday by Web metrics tool vendor Net Applications. Numbers for Internet Explorer
slipped by nearly half a point during the month to 86.08 percent, the company
I talked about white
balance and how you can use it to achieve proper colours in your images,
as well as how you can take advantage of it to produce better photographs.
This week I will discuss changing the aspect ratio of your final image.
Aspect ratio refers to relationship between length of the two sides of a photo.
Typical consumer digital camera produce either a 4:3 ratio or a 3:2 ratio image
(which also produces a 4x6 print). I briefly mentioned this in a previous tip
when discussing framing
for printing. 4:3 aspect ratio is typically what a computer monitor or
a traditional television display while 3:2 is the typical ratio for an SLR
or 35 mm film camera. Other typical print ratios are 5:4 (8x10, 16x20 prints)
and 7:5 (5x7 and very close to 11x14). But those are not the only ways to print
If you use a wide format for your image you can help create an illusion of
length. In the following image of a caterpillar, the short, wide format helps
to lengthen the caterpillar while eliminating unnecessary pieces of the photo
above and below the caterpillar. It is a good choice for this image which contained
no further necessary elements in the image.
Similarly, a tall format will help create an illusion of height or provide
an exaggerated view of height as with this image of the Skylon Tower in Niagara
Another format you may want to experiment with is a square format. I have
used a square format with this image of a Skipperling, and often use it for
portraits. I think square is one of the most pleasing shapes for a portrait,
but like so many things in photography, it is purely subjective.
When using these odd formats, you will most likely have to have your print
made in a regular print size then trim to fit on your own, or ask your printer
to do so for you.
Next week I will summarize my review of Microsoft Digital Imaging Suite.
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.
In a comment to my Google
Logo Maker post, Dany links
to http://searchdon.com. It allows
you to make a logo based on a number of styles to create your own search page.
You can choose from Google, Yahoo, Sherk (their way of having a Shrek logo),
Star War, Harry Potter, etc.
Microsoft gets in
a lot of trouble because it bundles too much with Windows. Well, the opposite
is true when it comes to Windows
Mobile. There is very little extra included with the basic operating
system, and so a user must search for the best, most useful utilities. Omega
One Software has one of these truly useful utilities in Battery Pack
Pro. I used Battery Pack Pro v1.1.1 for several months, and recently had
a chance to review the most recent offering, Battery
Pack Pro v2.1... Battery Pack
Pro is great. I would highly recommend it to anyone. It fills
in the gaps where the built-in utilities don't go far enough. You
have a lot of flexibility in what you install, and when you actually
run what you installed. It is definitely worth trying!
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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