Welcome to the 475th 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!
I am not much of a video game player. The last game system that I owned was
an original Nintendo. I've never played on any model of PlayStation or XBox,
and until Sunday had never played a Nintendo
I've read about it and it sounded neat, but it was even cooler than I expected.
I didn't have a lot of time, but I bowled a quick game against my sister (it's
her Nintendo Wii)
and beat her. Then I took a few swings playing baseball. Before leaving, she
showed me some of the wireless Internet features such as browsing the news
and checking the weather. Very nice!
Christmas has arrived at the Wing house. We had asked Andrew at the beginning
of November when he wanted to put up the Christmas decorations, and he said, "Umm....
November 15th." That seemed a little early to us, but when we asked if
he was sure he said the same date, so we figured why not. We have our big tree
up in the living room and smaller decorations around the room. The boys also
have their own small tree which they tell everyone about when they come over.
By the time many of you read this, it will be Thanksgiving
Day in the United States. Happy Thanksgiving! And if you get any awesome
deals on Black Friday,
be sure to send along a note. If you are interested, I have added a "widget" to
the sidebar on the PCIN.net Update blog that will show all of the hourly
The compound - part boot camp, part rehab center - resembles programs around
the world for troubled youths. Drill instructors drive young men through
military-style obstacle courses, counselors lead group sessions, and there
are even therapeutic workshops on pottery and drumming.
But these young people are not battling alcohol or drugs. Rather, they have
severe cases of what many in this country believe is a new and potentially
deadly addiction: cyberspace.
Destination of 'recycled' electronics may surprise you
Most Americans think they're helping the earth when they recycle their old
computers, televisions and cell phones. But chances are they're contributing
to a global trade in electronic trash that endangers workers and pollutes
the environment overseas.
While there are no precise figures, activists estimate that 50 to 80 percent
of the 300,000 to 400,000 tons of electronics collected for recycling in
the U.S. each year ends up overseas. Workers in countries such as China,
India and Nigeria then use hammers, gas burners and their bare hands to extract
metals, glass and other recyclables, exposing themselves and the environment
to a cocktail of toxic chemicals.
First, cell phones made the streetcorner pay phone obsolete. Now they're
doing away with the need to ask for directions. A surge in phones with built-in
satellite navigation capability has sparked a wave of creative mapping and
locating services. And it has set off a multibillion-dollar scramble by companies
to buy up digital navigation technologies.
The application of light in photography can make or break a photo. One of
the things photographers do to make an outstanding photo is manipulate light
to create depth, dimension and effect in their photos. They use multiple lights
and light modifiers to do that.
In this photo, I have used two camera flashes, but any light source would
have worked. I used one light to illuminate the rose, and the other to create
the pattern on the background. Using a piece of greenery between the flash
and the background created the patterns on the wall. This flash was aimed through
the greenery, acting as a gobo, toward the wall. The pattern is the shadow
this created. The second light was shot across the flower to illuminate it.
Neither flash cast light upon the other surface. Had I been using a different
type of light, one that spread out more such as a desk lamp, I would have needed
to flag, or block, the light to prevent light spill.
You can see the setup I used in the following diagram:
I could have added a little more dimension to the rose by placing a white
card to the left of it to reflect some of the light back into the rose on the
other side. The full size image may be viewed on my Picture
of the Day site.
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:
This is a neat little tool I found recently that allows you to capture a
screenshot (of a region, the desktop, or a window) and then use OCR (optical
character recognition) to "extract" the text.
JOCR enables you to capture the image
on the screen and convert the captured image to text. It is useful to revive
the protected files whose text can not be copied. JOCR enables you to copy
text from any files and images on the screen such as protected Web pages,
PDF files, error messages. The program offers several capture modes.
JOCR requires Microsoft Office 2003 or higher version.
I have Microsoft Office 2003, and the program seemed to work fine. Depending
on what image I was using, the recognition was better. As I said, it's a
neat utility, and is portable (there is nothing to install, you just run
the executable). If you don't like it, you can just delete it.
Sort Your Photos in Chronological Order Automatically
I got a press release the other day about Automatic Photo Sorter 1.0, software
from Styopkin Software that scans for
photos and uses the EXIF information
to store the pictures in directories based on the date they were taken.
Automatic Photo Sorter 1.0 will benefit most any digital photo enthusiast,
who takes lots of photos and saves them to the hard disk drive. Over the
years, the computer accumulates hundreds of photos, and it's only natural
that the user wants to arrange them. Until now there has been no way to
sort photos into folders automatically. Doing it manually will take much
time and too many efforts. Fortunately, Styopkin Software has come up with
Automatic Photo Sorter that will help you cope with the "too-many-unsorted-photos" problem.
I haven't tried the software, but thought I would pass the information along. Styopkin
Software also has several other utilities on their site that you may
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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