Welcome to the 421st 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!
Lisa had her craft
sale on Saturday and it went well. She makes beautiful things, and the
people who come love what they buy. Andrew even had a little table setup
where he was selling candy and caramel apples. He used his money to buy a Robots toy.
It's been an interesting year in technology. Nintendo invented a video game
you control with a magic wand. A new kind of car traveled 3,145 miles on
a single gallon of gas. A robot learned to ride a bike. Somebody came up
with a nanofabric umbrella that doesn't stay wet. But only YouTube created
a new way for millions of people to entertain, educate, shock, rock and grok
one another on a scale we've never seen before. That's why it's Time's Invention
of the Year for 2006.
Reversing a licensing change announced two weeks ago, Microsoft said on
Thursday that it will not limit the number of times that retail customers
can transfer their Windows Vista license to a different computer.
On Oct. 16, Microsoft issued the new user license for Vista, including terms
that would have limited the ability of those who buy a boxed copy of the
operating system to transfer that license. Under the proposed terms, users
could have made such a switch only one time.
However, the new restriction prompted an outcry among hardware enthusiasts
and others. Microsoft is returning the licensing terms to basically what
they were in Windows XP--users can transfer their license to a new PC an
unlimited number of times, provided they uninstall and stop using it on the
The software maker said it paid attention to the response both directly to
the company and on blogs and decided to reverse course.
The last stop for Vista is a windowless conference room in Building 26,
on Microsoft's sprawling campus in the Seattle suburbs.
Each day, members of the Windows team gather inside this "shiproom" to
go over the bugs that remain, and to debate which of these can still be fixed
in the days left until the product is declared finished, a milestone that
is expected any time now.
The intense "end game," as these final weeks are known, is a well-worn
tradition inside the shiproom, which is on the third floor of the Windows
development building. The small room, with its dated, dark wood conference
table has been the war room for every Windows release since Windows 2000.
Google CEO Eric Schmidt denied a widely circulated rumor that his company
had set aside $500 million to settle copyright claims by media companies
as part of its deal to acquire video-sharing site YouTube.
Speaking to more than 500 Internet industry insiders at the Web 2.0 Summit,
Schmidt said Tuesday that an anonymous blog post asserting that YouTube has
reserved $500 million for legal claims, out of the $1.65 billion takeover
price, was "not true."
How To Resize A Photo - Part 1 - Digital Photography Tip of the
Along with my position as President of the Niagara
Falls Camera Club, I am also maintain the club website. Recently, I asked
our members to send me some images to add to the website, after all, we are
a photography club. I was surprised when I was asked by a few different members
how to size the images as I had requested images no larger than 1000 pixels
on the longest side, which leads me to today's tip, how to resize a photo.
Once again, I will be using the new Adobe Photoshop Elements 5, though the
procedure is the same in previous Photoshop versions, and in most other image
Resizing your photo should be the last step you take in your image processing
workflow. I recommend saving your image in its full size, then after resizing
your image, saving as a new file name. This preserves your original data just
in case you decide later on that you want a larger size image.
To access the Image Size dialog box, Click on the Image menu item, then Resize
and finally Image Size. The dialog box has two sections and a few options.
The first section deals with image size for display (Pixel Dimensions) and
the second image size for printing (Document Size). We will stick with just
the display options today. The width and height will be populated already with
your current image size in one of several measurement units. Also notice that
there is an icon to the right of the measurement units linking the sizes together.
This is turned on or off using the Constrain Proportions check box below. When
turned on, your aspect ratio will remain the same as you change your image
size, and also, as you change one number, the second will change proportionately.
In this example, my original image is 1200 px by 1161 px. To resize the image,
simply enter a new value for width or height and the other will change appropriately.
Click OK, save your image and you are done.
Next week, I will discuss the options in the bottom of the dialog box as well
as the Document Size options.
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 email@example.com.
Computer users consistently use very simplistic logic when creating passwords.
For example, many of us choose meaningful words, personal dates, or a word
commonly found in the dictionary because it makes the password easy to remember.
These common practices cause us to sacrifice the security that passwords
are intended to provide.
If you're really at a loss when it comes to thinking of a strong password,
you can let Windows XP create and assign a random password to your account.
To let Windows XP generate your password, follow these steps.
Awhile back I linked to Media-Convert,
a web service that will convert files while you wait. I was duly impressed
by Media-Convert, and I'm even more impressed by Zamzar,
a very similar free service with a Web 2.0 touch. It can convert between
five image formats, 14 document formats, 11 audio formats, and nine video
formats, and unlike Media-Convert you can convert many files at once, up
to 100MB (though you can only do one kind of conversion at once).
Chris does a great job with the Digital Photography Tip of the Week, but
there's always room for more tips. The 2
Minute Photoshop Tricks site has around 40 different tips (some of
them even with video) that explain how to accomplish certain effects in
Photoshop. The web site has a brief outline of the "trick", and
then you download an MP3 of the tip or watch a video (for those tips that
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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