Welcome to the 483rd 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 can't remember if I mentioned it or not, but I got a digital picture from
my sister for Christmas. We finally got around to selecting some pictures and
setting up the frame tonight. There are all sorts of options of how to play
the slideshow and what transitions to use. It plays pictures and movies, and
accepts a variety of memory formats. It looks good.
I had a strange experience the other day while I was out for a walk at lunch.
I had my headphones on and was walking along listening to the podcast of 60
Minutes when a police officer waved their arms at me to stop. She came up to
me and asked for my name and birth date. I told her and then asked why, and
she said because I matched the description of someone they were looking for.
I thought, "Yikes!" but she let me go. As I left, she said, "You're
not going to kill yourself, are you?" I laughed and said, "No" and
she let me go. Weird!
Windows Vista, Office 2007 Expelled From British Schools
The agency that governs educational technology in the United Kingdom has
advised schools in the country to keep Microsoft's Windows Vista operating
system and its Office 2007 software out of the classroom and administrative
"Upgrading existing ICT systems to Microsoft Vista or Office 2007 is not
recommended," said the British Educational Communications and Technology
Agency, also known as Becta, in a report issued this week.
Becta officials said a study the group commissioned found that upgrading
school systems from Windows XP to Vista and Office 2007 would increase costs
and create software compatibility problems while providing little benefit.
A weak dollar may not be all bad news for the tech sector.
The value of the U.S. dollar has been sliding for more than 36 months, monitored
dolefully by observers who recall the years when the dollar was the rock-solid
underpinning of the global economy and are not used to the U.S currency's
Yet not all view the effects of the falling dollar as negative, especially
within the tech sector.
"A weak dollar can be good-technology is a big exporter, so this makes their
products fare well in international markets," Carl Steidtmann, chief economist
with Deloitte Research, told eWEEK.
Some argue that any impact that the greenback's value has on the tech economy
is a long way off, noting its diminishing role in international markets.
Jobs wows the faithful; Wall Street is underwhelmed
Steve Jobs gave it his best, delivering a new must-have gadget called the
MacBook Air, deals with a full house of compliant Hollywood studios, and
more bells and whistles on his existing products and services in a 90-minute
speech than most technology companies do in a year.
But Wall Street was not impressed; shares of Apple got hammered, falling
more than 10 points during the course of the keynote despite the impressive
sales figures Jobs rattled off: 4 million iPhones, 5 million copies of the
Leopard operating system, 4 billion songs, 125 million TV shows, 7 million
At last year's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, most of the 140,000
attendees were buzzing about the future of the cell phone-and how Apple Inc.
(AAPL) had stolen the spotlight by announcing the iPhone at its own Macworld
conference. But this year, the hot topic at CES is the future of video entertainment,
and there's a lot less fear in the air about what Steve Jobs may have planned. "I
have great admiration for Steve," says Comcast (CMCSA) CEO Brian Roberts. "But
I also like cable's position as the video leader. We offer more movies, TV
shows, and video content than anyone else-and we intend to expand our position."
It's a sign of the challenges ahead for Jobs & Co.
Shell Tools is a collection of free Windows shell extensions and utilities.
This package contains updated versions of our old shell extensions FontLoader,
FileNote, RegisterEx, CopyURL and new ones, including nice control panel
that allows you to control all the extensions in one place.
I've installed the tools and depending on the folder you are in, it gives
you right-click (context) options to:
A couple of years ago the only option for creating or modifying PDFs was
to purchase Adobe Acrobat. These days there are lots of free utilities that
let you create your own PDFs and manipulate them. I've previously covered PDFCreator, CutePDF,
The Reader to Reader section of the December 2007 issue of Windows IT Pro
magazine mentioned PDFTools 1.3. I
haven't tried it, but the site explains it this way:
PDFTools is a PDF management application. It can encrypt, decrypt, join,
split, stamp, create and rearrange a PDF file.
Version 1.1+ includes a very powerful and simple to use XML to PDF converter.
How often have you started arguing with a friend over the correct pronunciation
of a word? You know, the kind of word that you read all the time, but suddenly
realize you've never heard spoken out loud. Well, before you beat your
friend to a bloody pulp, you might want to check out howjsay, an online
Howjsay is simple, yet effective.
You type in a word and if it has the word, it will highlight it in pink on
a new screen and you'll hear how to say it. If they don't have the word,
it will bring up words that are close to the spelling.
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.
If any of the links are too long to fit on one line, you may have to cut
To subscribe another address or unsubscribe, please visit http://PCIN.net/ and
follow the appropriate links.
The only way to become a subscriber is by asking. You have either filled
out the subscription form or asked me directly.
If you have a web site or run your own newsletter, please email me at email@example.com and
I will add it to the subscriber web pages that I have on my site.