Welcome to the 389th 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!
My sister just got a great deal on a Dell Dimension 3100... but it arrived
with a dead monitor. She had a replacement within a couple of days, but it
certainly wasn't a good way to start a relationship with a customer. She's
quite excited about the new computer though as it is very "pretty".
I read an article the other day that claimed that about 80% of the podcasts
that are downloaded never make it to a portable music player. Sounds about
right to me. I think podcasts are more buzzword than reality. The only show
I download is the Wait,
Wait... Don't Tell Me show on NPR.
Apparently I'm one of the few people who actually listen to what they download.
Lisa, Andrew, and Matthew have all been sick over the last week or two. They
are a cute, pathetic looking bunch, with red noses and lots of coughing. I've
managed to avoid most of it. My parents have been a big help in looking after
the kids when Lisa has been sick and I've been at work. It's great having family
Survey offers a 'sneak peek' into Net surfers' brains
Seeing is believing when it comes to understanding how consumers surf the
And they see very little online - including pricey banner ads screaming for
attention. That's one of the findings of a study out today by Nielsen Norman
Group, an authority on making websites and products easy to use.
Using sophisticated eye-tracking equipment, the Fremont, Calif., firm was
able to track what consumers really look at on the Web vs. what they say
they look at.
"This is a sneak peek into people's brains," says Kara Pernice Coyne,
the firm's research director.
One of the great things about Steve Jobs is what comes out of his mouth.
The CEO of Apple Computer is a master of hype, hyperbole and the catchy phrase.
Even when he's trying to talk normally, brilliant verbiage comes tumbling
Here's a selection of some of the most insanely great things the man has
said, organized by topic: innovation and design, fixing Apple, his greatest
sales pitches, life's lessons, taking the fight to the enemy and Pixar.
As the world's internet traffic grows relentlessly, faster data transmission
will logically become crucial. To enable telecommunications networks to cope
with the phenomenal surge in data traffic as the internet population moves
past a billion users, researchers are focusing on new systems to increase
data transmission rates and it's not surprising that the world data transmission
record is continually under threat. Unlike records where human physical capabilities
limit new records to incremental growth, when human ingenuity is the deciding
factor, extraordinary gains are possible. German and Japanese scientists
recently collaborated to achieve just such a quantum leap in obliterating
the world record for data transmission. By transmitting a data signal at
2.56 terabits per second over a 160-kilometer link (equivalent to 2,560,000,000,000
bits per second or the contents of 60 DVDs) the researchers bettered the
old record of 1.28 terabits per second held by a Japanese group. By comparison,
the fastest high-speed links currently carry data at a maximum 40 Gbit/s,
or around 50 times slower.
Officials at every level treat disaster planning as a long-term problem
that can be left for another day. But in New Orleans, that day came - on
Aug. 29, 2005 - as Hurricane Katrina washed away the city.
But over the last six months, New Orleans information technology chief Greg
Meffert has been improvising a plan to not only put the Crescent City's technology
infrastructure back together, but to make it better than it was before.
Meffert's story holds valuable lessons for any chief information officer
struggling with disaster planning and recovery.
Last week I discussed the merits of photo critiques. I hope that you have
looked at a few of those sites, or others you may find on the Internet and
submitted some of your shots for critique. At the same time, there is a lot
you will learn by critiquing others as well.
For the past couple of weeks, I have mentioned the Niagara Frontier Regional
Camera Club annual convention that was taking place last weekend. Today I will
give you a summary of the event.
About 200 people attended over the weekend and we had some excellent presenters.
Friday night was a competition of 200 slides followed by a presentation by Joe
Lefevre displaying many of his composite panorama photographs. Joe creates
his panoramas from several photographs to maintain the quality in his work,
rather than create them from a single negative using a wide angle lens. Joe
also presented a seminar on Saturday explaining his techniques in shooting
for a panorama, as well as creating them in Photoshop.
Saturday was split into two tracks. The first track featured an all day session
with retired professional photographer Monte
Zucker. Monte has received many photographic awards including the United
Nations Portrait Photographer of the Year award, 2002. Monte's presentation
focused on lighting and posing techniques for portraits. He explained things
and a very easy to understand manner and demonstrated with members of the audience.
His informative session was well worth the price of the weekend ticket.
Also on Saturday, Ethan Meleg gave
his presentation Life on the Edge: Ontario's Bruce Peninsula which included
a large array of photos of the Bruce Peninsula. Bogden Fundalinski presented
a Photoshop tutorial on Creating Science Fantasy in your photos. A second Photoshop
tutorial was presented by Randy Zack. Bob
Harris, listed by the Photographic Society of America (PSA) as the world's
top color slide competitor, gave his presentation "Searching The World
For Compelling Images". The evening was capped off by a one hour multimedia
presentation by Gil Lopez Espina.
The event closed with Bob Harvey presenting
a two part slideshow, Capturing Drama in your photography and the second revolved
around communicating with your images.
Along with the presentations there was both a Slide Salon and a Print Salon.
Both events gave the attendees an opportunity to have their work scored against
other delegates from the convention.
There is a lot of information at the websites for some of these presenters,
from forums where you can discuss photography and have your own photos critiques,
to tips and techniques to improving your work.
An event like this offers a lot of opportunities to learn, not only from the
presenters, but from all of the other photographers in attendance. They present
you with a chance to interact with skilled photographers eager to share their
knowledge and in turn, better your own photography. Photographic
clubs often have similar events to this. Check to see if there are any
in your area. If you have any questions about camera or photographic clubs,
contact a local club. many offer free guest admission to their meetings, or
send me an email and I can try to answer any questions you may through my experience
in my club.
Next week I will discuss saturation in your digital images, what it is and
how you can leverage it for better 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.
The latest issue of Michael Robertson's Michael's
Minute announces the release of a new web-based word processor called ajaxWrite:
ajaxWrite is a powerful word processor that can read and write Microsoft
Word formatted documents. Anytime you need a word processor, need to open
a .doc file or edit a .doc file, simply point your Firefox browser at ajaxWrite.com
and in seconds a full-featured program will be loaded. For 90 percent of
the people in the world, the need to buy Microsoft Word just vanished.
This won't make Microsoft happy, but software users should be very excited
that software just got cheaper, immediate and modern.
Unfortunately, when I tried to access the program/web site, it wouldn't
load. It was trying, but nothing happened. My guess is the servers are overloaded.
I'll keep trying and let you know what I think.
Webby provides a powerful desktop-style browsing experience on
the Pocket Pc platform. Besides tabbed browsing Webby automatically provides
the ability to scale web pages using the two top microbrowsers, Skweezer.net
and Google Mobile.
Internet Explorer came with my Dell Axim, and it works, but isn't great. I've
tried Minimo, the Mozilla-based browser, but it is terrible on my Axim. I haven't
tried Webby yet, but I plan to.
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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