Welcome to the 472nd 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!
Can't get to Milan to see Leonardo Da Vinci's masterpiece "The Last
As of Saturday, all you need is an Internet connection. Officials put online
an image of the "Last Supper" at 16 billion pixels - 1,600 times
stronger than the images taken with the typical 10 million pixel digital
The high resolution will allow experts to examine details of the 15th century
wall painting that they otherwise could not - including traces of drawings
Leonardo put down before painting.
Microsoft has won a high-profile technology industry battle with Google
and Yahoo to invest in the social networking upstart Facebook.
The two companies said on Wednesday that Microsoft would pay $240 million
for a 1.6 percent stake in Facebook. The investment values Facebook, which
is three and a half years old and will bring in about $150 million in revenue
this year, at $15 billion.
The United States is starting to look like a slowpoke on the Internet. Examples
abound of countries that have faster and cheaper broadband connections, and
more of their population connected to them.
What's less clear is how badly the country that gave birth to the Internet
is doing, and whether the government needs to step in and do something about
it. The Bush administration has tried to foster broadband adoption with a
hands-off approach. If that's seen as a failure by the next administration,
the policy may change.
If you wear glasses, you may find that using the viewfinder on you digital
camera is difficult. They lenses in the view finder are made to focus at a
certain point, and often glasses may interfere with this.
One thing you can try is to adjust the diopter on the eyepiece to match the
prescription for your eyewear. Adjusting the diopter will adjust the focus
of the view finder so that when you look through the view finder, the image
is in focus without the aid of your eyeglasses. If the diopter adjustment is
not enough, some camera manufacturers also sell an diopter accessory for further
If you do not use glasses but find that the focus is off on your camera when
using the autofocus mode, but the images are in focus when you review them
later, or when using manual focus the image in your viewfinder is in focus,
but out of focus when you review them later, check your diopter to be sure
that it has not been modified. To do this, I press my focus spot selector to
light up the focus indicators in the view finder, then adjust the diopter until
they are sharp.
Maintaining all facets of your equipment will help ensure your images are
everything you want them to be.
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.
PCIN.net Site Update
Check out these new or updated pages on the PCIN.net site:
Never again will mankind have to look for RSS info in more than one place...
ok, we're kidding, but we've aimed to create a near comprehensive list
of all the RSS readers, tools, browser plugins, tips, hacks and directories
available on the web. We hope you find it useful (we built it because we
needed it), and feel free to add your own suggestions in the comments.
It is quite a complete list. If you are interested in any area of RSS (creating,
reading, organizing, etc), then you should definitely check this out.
One of the big things in the IT industry these days is virtualization. In
general terms, this is using an existing computer to run multiple operating
systems at the same time. On my computer I can install special software,
and then run Windows, Linux, and sometimes even MacOS in a "window".
This "window" let's you see the boot screen, the loading process,
and then when the operating system has started, you use it as if it were
on your main computer. This is a great way to test new operating systems,
run applications that you use rarely but require a different operating system,
or just to play around.
VMware and Microsoft both have virtualization products. I've tried them
both, and they both have their strengths and weaknesses. They used to cost
money, but now both of them offer free server products, and Microsoft has
a free personal product. If you wanted to try an alternative, then you could
try VirtualBox from
innotek VirtualBox is a general-purpose full virtualizer for x86 hardware.
Targeted at server, desktop and embedded use, it is now the only professional-quality
virtualization solution that is also Open Source Software.
I've installed this on my home computer, and it runs great. So far I have
setup a Windows 2000 virtual machine and it runs great. The Windows 98 machine
is a little sluggish, but that is probably because Windows 98 didn't run
very well. The software seems to have all of the features of the bigger commercial
products. You can modify which drives you use, how you want the networking
setup, and more.
This isn't a great screenshot (I had to keep it small in order to have it
fit in the blog and in the newsletter), but the top left corner shows the
main Virtual Box windows. The black "DOS" screen, is a virtual
machine booting from my Windows 98 setup CD. The window on the right that
is showing the WindowsUpdate screen is a Windows 2000 virtual machine.
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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