Welcome to the 411th 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 birthday is coming up on Sunday, and it looks like I'm going to put the
money together that I get and buy an all-in-one printer/scanner/card reader.
I already have all 3, but the printer is dying and the card reader is USB 1.1.
The scanner is fine, but I'm looking forward to freeing up some space on my
desk. I guess I'll have to give my scanner to the "most worthy" family
Andrew is going to have his tonsils and adenoids removed next Friday. Lisa
was searching on the Internet for some information about it, and came across
a cool site that has a 6-minute movie showing the surgery. If you are easily
grossed-out by blood, then you probably don't want to see it, but if you don't
mind (the video isn't gruesome at all, but it is surgery after all), you can
visit the Dr. Kenneth
Kavanagh's web site.We think Andrew is having the surgery that is shown
in the second video (Tonsillectomy and Adenoidectomy).
The high-powered StopBadware.org coalition has slapped a "badware" label
on the free version of the AOL 9.0 software program.
The group, which is funded by Google, Lenovo Group and Sun Microsystems,
accused AOL of installing additional software without telling the user; adding
components to the browser and taskbar without disclosure; automatically updating
software without user consent; and making the AOL 9.0 software difficult
to fully uninstall.
Google wins eBay's non-U.S. ads and e-commerce tie
Google Inc will supply eBay Inc with Web search advertising outside the
United States, and the two will join forces on "click-to-call" ads
that link online shoppers to customer service operators, the companies said
EBay said that for international online text advertising it had agreed to
rely exclusively on Google instead of existing partner Yahoo Inc, which in
May struck a parallel deal to handle all of eBay's U.S. ads.
AOL has announced an agreement with a number of major film studios to offer
movie downloads through its AOL Video portal.
The partnership with 20th Century Fox, Sony Pictures, Universal Pictures
and Warner Bros will allow visitors to AOL Video to download full-length
movies from the site.
Popular films from recent DVD releases to a large selection of archive movies
will be available for download at prices ranging from $9.99 to $19.99 per
Once downloaded, movies can be viewed offline as well as on other PCs and
compatible portable devices.
Searching for free stuff on the Internet? Beware what you find.
That's the message form Web safety firm SiteAdvisor. Building on a Wall Street
Journal analysis of the 20 million search queries leaked by America Online
that found "free" to be the most popular search term, SiteAdvisor
warned that the results produced by such searches frequently lead to malicious
Black and White from Colour Images - Part 4 - Digital Photography
Tip of the Week
Over the past few weeks, I have discussed different methods to create black
and white photographs from your colour images. I covered the three main conversion
to grayscale, desaturate you image, and using the channel
mixer. Of course, there are still even more ways to convert you image to
a black and white photo.
Both methods outlined here today involves using features of Adobe Photoshop
that are not supported by Adobe Photoshop Elements 4.0.
One method that I use quite frequently involves converting your image to the LAB colour
Open the image for editing
Convert the image to LAB color space: Image => Mode => Lab Color
Select the Lightness channel in the Photoshop Channels Palette
Convert the image to grayscale using: Image => Mode => Grayscale
CTRL-Click (CMD-Click on Macs) on the Gray channel in the Channels Palette
Choose Select => Inverse from the menu
Convert to RGB using Image => Mode => RGB Color
Create a Solid Adjustment Layer: Layer => New Fill Layer => Solid
Pick a colour (darker, richer tends to work better)
Change the layer mode to overlay and adjust opacity as needed
This method, while seemingly more complicated, is a very quick process. The
addition of the colour layer provides a little bit of tinting to the photograph
as well. You can use blues to simulate a cold feeling in your image, or a yellow
or orange to warm the tones. Brown (again, orange) can be used to create a
sepia tone to your image.
Another method I use involves taking something from the print industry; duotones.
The first process (and the other processes I have gone through) apply toning
equally to the who image. Creating a duotone image is similar to the traditional
wet darkroom technique of split-toning. To create a duotone image:
First create your black and white image with whatever process you like
Convert to Grayscale: Image => Mode => Grayscale
Convert to Duotone: Image => Mode => Duotone
Select a color to tone the image with by clicking one of the colored boxed
that are part of the duotone window
Adjust the intensity of the duotone by adjusting the curve for the colour
you have choosing
When you are happy with the tone of the image, press ok.
Convert your image back to RGB for saving and printing.
Both methods outlined here today will help add depth to an image, and can
be used to help control the emotion of the image.
When printing black and white photographs, either at home or at a mini-lab,
know what color you image is supposed to be. If you have not applied any toning
to the image, the final print should be very neutral. Many lab printers have
trouble printing black and white images. I have had prints come back that are
noticeably green or even purple. If you are not happy with the images you get
back from your lab, have the lab reprint them for you, and be sure to explain
what you are unhappy with the photo.
I hope this ongoing series of black and white conversion techniques has been
helpful to you. Great black and white prints are not too difficult to achieve,
but they are worth the extra time you put into them.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Instantly recover your precious data with Search and Recover
I received this information from Iolo the other day regarding their Search
and Recover 4 software:
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allow you to recover information after the worst PC accidents and disasters
- even years after the data was lost.
I came across this link yesterday
pointing to a free, open source software utility used for recovering photos
from digital media. There is no install needed, just run the software from
a directory. It is a DOS based program but still seems very easy to use.
Photorec does not write anything to your digital media which will preserve
the integrity of your media in case you need to try additional recovery tools.
I have not tried it so I cannot say how well it works, but for the price,
it can't be that bad!
When I was growing up I was a huge fan of Tetris. In fact, everyone in my
family was. I had the original Nintendo, and we'd fight over who would get
to play it. My Mom would even get into it. There are lots of clones around
and web-based Flash versions. A very good one is N-Blox.
The same site also has several other classic arcade games such as Frogger,
Space Invaders, and Asteroids. Visit Neave
Games to see and play them all.
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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