Welcome to the 406th 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!
Tomorrow is Andrew's 4th birthday. This is the first event/holiday that he
is actually excited about. He realizes what it is and he is giggly whenever
we talk about it. We have a couple of things planned for him tomorrow, and
then we're doing an extended family thing on Friday. Then on Saturday we're
going to our church summer picnic, so he's going to have 3 days in a row of
fun. Lucky kid! :-)
I was never particularly big on anniversaries. But in a couple of weeks,
the computer industry will mark a milestone that deserves a moment of quiet
celebration. On Aug. 12, 1981, the IBM Corporation debuted the PC.
It's hardly hyperbole to suggest that this single announcement did more to
change the world of technology than anything ever since - including the invention
of the World Wide Web.
'E-mail has become the new snail mail' as younger set goes with
E-mail is so last millennium. Young people see it as a good way to reach
an elder - a parent, teacher or a boss - or to receive an attached file.
But increasingly, the former darling of high-tech communication is losing
favor to instant and text messaging, and to the chatter generated on blogs
and social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace.
The shift is starting to creep into workplace communication, too.
"In this world of instant gratification, e-mail has become the new snail
mail," says 25-year-old Rachel Quizon from Norwalk, Calif. She became addicted
to instant messaging in college, where many students are logged on 24/7.
Dennis Hwang may be the most famous unknown artist in the world - his work
doesn't hang in galleries or museums, but it's been viewed hundreds of millions
The 28-year-old webmaster designs the whimsical logos that decorate Google.com's
otherwise Spartan Web site on special occasions.
"It's always a fun kind of challenge to incorporate the logo into the design.
Over the years, just because I kind of push myself to use different types of
design if I can," Hwang said.
He has been manipulating the six letters in the Google name into shamrocks,
fireworks, hearts and goblins since shortly after he got an internship there
Spice up your Travel Photos - Digital Photography Tip of the Week
Last week I discussed practicing
using a single focal length to get a better understanding of how a given focal
length can affect you photographs. This week, I discuss a few tips for improving
your travel photography.
If you have ever had to sit through a slide show of someone's travel photographs,
you are well aware of how uninspiring they can be. How can you avoid the same
feelings from others about your travel photos? Spice them up.
When you are vacation, there are a lot more photos than simply the ones of
you and your family in front of a landmark. Create your travelogue as a journal
of your trip. Include items such as photos of maps of the area, or maybe a
brochure. Remember to capture the details of your trip, and the details of
where you were. Include architectural elements of your destination, wide angle
views of the cityscape, zoom in on elements such as detailed stone work on
an old building. Photograph the people. Markets are great places to get photographs
of locals. Remember that it is polite to ask permission before taking someone's
photograph, and in many locations where the economy is suffering, a small token
of gratitude will go a long way.
Of course you want to capture the landmarks, but also get the photographs
you don't normally see. Try changing angle, get down low, or shoot it with
a wide angle lens to help exaggerate the landmark's scale.
As always, remember the important aspects of photography, lighting, exposure,
composition. Poor quality photographs will quickly lose the interest of your
viewers. And finally, shoot your travels home. Your vacation hasn't ended as
you leave your destination, there are often many more photographic opportunities
on the trip home.
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 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 remember hearing about this when it first came out, but I never tried
it until yesterday. Google has a neat service called Google
Notebook. They describe it this way:
Google Notebook makes web research of all kinds - from planning a vacation
to researching a school paper to buying a car - easier and more efficient
by enabling you to clip and gather information even while you're browsing
And since Google Notebook lives in your browser, you won't be left with
a scattered collection of notes, Word docs, and browser bookmarks to sort
through; all your web findings will be gathering into one organized, easy
accessible location that you can access from any computer.
I use Firefox as my browser, so I installed the extension (it also works
with Internet Explorer). It shows up in the status bar at the bottom like
When I right-click on some text, I have an option to "Note this (Google
Notebook)". When I choose that the notebook opens up and adds the text
snippet. You can also just add your own notes there as well. The small notebook
pop-up looks like this:
You can view and edit your notes on a web page, and choose to share your
notes as well. Pretty neat!
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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