Welcome to the 395th 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!
I couldn't think of anything to include this week. I asked my wife what I
should write, and she said, "I have nothing." Hopefully she was referring
to the Opening Thoughts, and not to anything else :-)
Microsoft Corp. Chairman Bill Gates said Wednesday he wished he were not
the world's richest man.
" I wish I wasn't. There is nothing good that comes out of that," said
Gates, whose personal fortune sank by billions since last week when the software
giant disappointed investors by saying new investments would crimp earnings.
The corporate leader who made Microsoft into the world's largest software
maker - and who is also one of the biggest philanthropists - is seen as a
man who does not like publicity. He explained that he did not like the attention
of being the world's richest person.
When technology serves its owners, it is liberating. When it is designed
to serve others, over the owner's objection, it is oppressive. There's a
battle raging on your computer right now -- one that pits you against worms
and viruses, Trojans, spyware, automatic update features and digital rights
management technologies. It's the battle to determine who owns your computer.
You own your computer, of course. You bought it. You paid for it. But how
much control do you really have over what happens on your machine? Technically
you might have bought the hardware and software, but you have less control
over what it's doing behind the scenes.
Using the hacker sense of the term, your computer is "owned" by
A 20-year-old who prosecutors say highjacked computers to damage computer
networks and send waves of spam across the Internet was sentenced on Monday
to nearly five years in prison.
Jeanson James Ancheta, a well-known member of the "Botmaster Underground" who
pleaded guilty in January to federal charges of conspiracy, fraud and damaging
U.S. government computers, was given the longest sentence for spreading computer
viruses, federal prosecutors said.
He was sentenced to 57 months in prison and three years of supervised release
by U.S. District Judge Gary Klausner, who also ordered him to pay $15,000
in restitution to the U.S. Naval Air Warfare Center in China Lake, Calif.,
and forfeit to the government some $60,000 in illicit gains.
Rather than reach for the television remote control when she wants to be
entertained, Karalyn Valente goes online to play "EverQuest," "Ultima
Online" and other video games -- a gaming habit shared by millions in
the United States.
Valente, a 29-year-old graphic artist from York, Pennsylvania, said she devotes
about 30 hours a week in vast online worlds and spent more than $1,500 on
games last year.
I watch less and less TV. I turn it on and the shows are just idiotic," Valente
said. "When I play the games, I actually look through the character's
eyes. I actually become the character."
According to a new AP-AOL Games poll, 40 percent of American adults play
games on a computer or a console. Men, younger adults and minorities were
most likely to play those games.
week I talked about how to shoot a sunrise or sunset. This week, I will
get into something a little more technical, a brief discussion about digital
image sensor size.
Many people coming from a film background with an SLR are already familiar
with the issue of sensor size. Most digital SLR's have a sensor that is smaller
than that of a standard piece of film and the results of that have both advantages
and disadvantages for the photographer.
If we look at any given 35 mm lens, we can see that it produces
an image circle large enough to fully cover a 35 mm image. This image circle
also covers film sizes smaller than 35 mm, though that is where the confusion
The image below is a representation of the differences between
the image circle for a lens on a 35mm camera or a full frame (24mm x 26mm)
digital camera, and APS-C sized digital image sensor and for comparison, a
1/1.8 sized digital image sensor. The lens is made to cover the entire image
area of the full frame image, and the resulting image is shown outlined red.
If we were to use the same lens (and therefore the same image circle) on a
camera with and APS-C sized sensor (22.7 mm x 15.1 mm), shot from the same
location, we would see the image that is outlined in blue. The image outlined
in green is what we would see if we used the same lens on a camera with a 1/1.8
(7.2 mm x 5.3 mm) sized sensor, commonly used in digital point and shoot cameras.
As you can see, the image is the same size in each instance,
what changes is the amount of the sensor the image occupies in relation to
the 35mm, full frame size, or our benchmark. This is referred to as the crop
factor, and commonly mistakenly referred to as the focal
length multiplier. Because the image takes up proportionately more of the
film size, the image appears to have been magnified. For the APS-C sized image,
the crop factor is between 1.5 or 1.6.
This illusion of magnification works great for photographers
using telephoto lenses. They are now able to bring their subjects in closer
without having to purchase new, heavier, more expensive lenses. For instance,
a Canon 200mm f2.8 L series lens retails for $899.95 CDN. With a 1.5 crop,
it provides the same field of view as a 300mm (Canon 300 f2.8 IS USM L) which
retails for $5199 CDN.
What is great for photographers using long, telephoto lenses
is a thorn for photographers who like wide angle lenses. With a full frame
sensor, 28 mm was a wide angle lens, and 20mm was considered ultra-wide. With
an APS-C sized sensor, 31mm is considered normal. 18mm is equivalent to a 28
mm full frame view and it is becoming more common to find lenses in the 10
mm and 12 mm range for ultra-wide angle images.
There is a perceived change in depth of field due to crop factor
as well. Depth of field changes as the distance between the subject and camera
change. For the image above, depth of field would stay essentially the same
for each image because distance between the subject and the image is not changing.
However, in order to get the entire butterfly in the image, the photographer
would need to back away from the subject. In doing so, the subject to camera
distance would grow, as would the depth of field. There is a lot of science
involved in depth of field that I will not get into here, but if you are interested,
you can search Google.
Next week I will continue my discussion about sensor size and
it's impact on image quality in both digital SLR's
and digital point and shoot cameras.
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.
I virtually never use my Yahoo! account for anything. However, yesterday
I logged in for the first time in months and was prompted to try the new
Yahoo! Mail Beta. Wow! It's very impressive. It's much better looking then
Live Mail Beta, and seems to have more features.
If you have a Yahoo! Mail account, then you've probably already
been asked to try the new version. I'm not aware of any "invitations" available.
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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