Welcome to the 469th issue of the PC Improvement News. PCIN consists mainly
of news highlights 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!
Overwhelmed by e-mail? Some professionals are fighting back by declaring
e-mail-free Fridays - or by deleting their entire in-box.
Today about 150 engineers at chipmaker Intel (INTC) will kick off "Zero
E-mail Fridays." E-mail isn't forbidden, but everyone is encouraged
to phone or meet face-to-face. The goal is more direct, free-flowing communication
and better exchange of ideas, Intel principal engineer Nathan Zeldes says
in a company blog post.
A large number of companies and consumers upgrade to new computers every
three or four years and therefore generate an incredible stream of discarded
machines. In the U.S. alone, they ditched somewhere between 50 million and
75 million desktops, laptops, and monitors in 2005, according to the Environmental
Protection Agency. That amounts to as much as 1.15 million tons of hardware
- or more than 3,000 tons discarded every day. And with sales of new computers
growing each year, the waste stream only grows. Though many still work, the
majority of these machines end up in landfills.
Two European scientists won the 2007 Nobel Prize in physics Tuesday for
a discovery that lets computers, iPods and other digital devices store reams
of data on ever-shrinking hard drives.
France's Albert Fert and German Peter Gruenberg independently discovered
a physical effect in 1988 has led to sensitive tools for reading the information
stored on hard disks. That sensitivity lets the electronics industry use
smaller and smaller disks.
"The MP3 and iPod industry would not have existed without this discovery," Borje
Johansson, a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences told The Associated
Press. "You would not have an iPod without this effect."
As I was in the final throes of getting my most recent book into print,
an employee at the publishing company sent me an e-mail message that stopped
me in my tracks.
I had met her just once, at a meeting. We were having an e-mail exchange
about some crucial detail involving publishing rights, which I thought was
being worked out well. Then she wrote: "It's difficult to have this
conversation by e-mail. I sound strident and you sound exasperated."
I heard about this site from Chris. On the Couchville
site, you enter your zip/postal code, choose how you view TV (cable,
satellite, or over-the-air antenna), and then choose your provider (if
you have more than one option in your area). You then are presented with
an AJAX-based TV programming schedule. You can drag the grid around to
move up and down the channels or move forward or backward in time. It's
Despite its name, CDBurnerXP is
not just a CD burning application for Windows XP. It's actually one of
the most full featured free CD and DVD burning utilities you're likely
to find for Windows 2000/XP/Vista.
InfraRecorder is an open
source utility that doesn't skimp on features or accessibility. Once installed,
you'll notice you can either launch InfraRecorder or InfraExpress. The
latter version features a slimmed down interface with wizards for burning
data, audio, and video discs. It's sort of InfraRecorder for dummies. The
full feature gives you a ton of options that might confuse folks used to
using Nero Smart Start.
The Windows Vista Test Drive allows you to try (or "test drive")
this latest operating system from Microsoft without having to install it
on your PC. By simply logging onto our test drive environment using your
web browser, you will be able to experience Windows Vista first hand. You
can explore the product on your own, or follow along with guided exercises
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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