Welcome to the 466th 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!
Lisa is now into her last official week of pregnancy. Her due date is Tuesday
(a week from yesterday). She's been feeling pretty awful lately, and just found
out today that the pain in her hands and wrists is pregnancy-related
carpal tunnel syndrome.She never got this with either of the boys. Overall
she's feeling quite crummy. Hopefully the baby comes soon!
After my sister left for Calgary, I got her computer, one of my sisters got
my computer, and my grandmother got that sister's computer. Now I have an old
Dell OptiPlex G1 that I'm cleaning up to give away. I'm sitting here listening
to the Holly
Cole Trio while
I switch between getting the newsletter done and working on the other computer.
It seems like every time I get my desk cleared off, another computer comes
my way to clean up.
The Great Firewall of China is no firewall after all.
The People's Republic of China has no firewall perched on its routers to
enable censors to block Internet sites.
Rather, the authoritarian regime relies on a far more sophisticated censorship
system that uses a keyword blacklist and routers that reach deep into Internet
traffic to find forbidden words or phrases.
Social network Facebook will soon make the listings - the name and photo
- of its 40 million active members available to anyone who searches the Internet
on Google, Yahoo and Microsoft. But in its pursuit of building a bigger audience,
Facebook has set off privacy alarms among customers who don't necessarily
want their listings to be an open book.
Some Facebook users say they are perturbed because they joined the service
so they could choose whom they communicate with - and not be exposed to the
Internet at large.
Man in China dies after three-day Internet session
A Chinese man dropped dead after playing Internet games for three consecutive
days, state media said on Monday as China seeks to wean Internet addicts
The man from the southern boomtown of Guangzhou, aged about 30, died on Saturday
after being rushed to the hospital from the Internet cafe, local authorities
were quoted by the Beijing News as saying.
It was a serious contribution to the electronic lexicon.
Twenty-five years ago, Carnegie Mellon University professor Scott E. Fahlman
says, he was the first to use three keystrokes -- a colon followed by a hyphen
and a parenthesis -- as a horizontal "smiley face" in a computer
Overriding your White Balance to Achieve a Desired Tone - Digital
Photography Tip of the Week
I previously wrote about
white balance and how setting your camera white balance control to the proper
setting for the scenario you are shooting will give you more accurate colours.
But what if that is not what you want?
Overriding your white balance let's you control how your camera records your
images. To maintain the warm glow of a rising or setting sun, change your white
balance from Auto White Balance (AWB) to daylight. To mimic the same warm glow
in daylight, set your white balance control to shade.
Morning and late evening light are both warm coloured light. As the day progresses
the light takes on a cooler, more blue, tone. Using AWB in the morning light
will cancel the warmth and the nice light that you receive shooting in these
conditions. Setting the white balance to daylight (a cooler white balance setting)
will enable your camera to record the warm tones in your image without trying
to compensate for the natural warmth of the light. Conversely, if you wish
to record an image as being colder in tone (more blue) use a warmer white balance
setting such as tungsten or incandescent light when shooting in sunlight.
If your camera has selectable white balance setting in degrees Kelvin, you
will have even finer control by using this. A few colour temperature ranges
to start with:
Morning Light 2000 - 3000 degrees Kelvin
Shade 7000 -8000
The colour tone of your image has a great effect on how the image is perceived
by your viewer. Shooting at a cooler colour temperature than actual conditions
will have the effect of warming your image while the reverse, shooting a warmer
colour temperature than actual conditions will cool your image. Controlling
your white balance to achieve the look you want is a simple but effective method
in enhancing your photography.
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.
While compact discs (CDs) are remarkably durable, it's nearly impossible
to prevent scratches and scuffs from occurring from time to time. The resulting
damage can be either a skip in your favorite Bob Marley track or, in the
case of data CDs, the loss of that spreadsheet you worked on for two weeks.
Don't despair-repair! While commercial CD repair kits and CD refinishing
machines are available, you may be able to repair the damage on your own
with products you already have.
I think I've mentioned before that I am a big fan of "portable" programs.
By this, I mean programs that you do not need to install. You can just run
the executable from anywhere (including a USB drive), and it will run. I
came across a defrag utility recently that doesn't need to be installed.
It is called JkDefrag:
JkDefrag is based on the standard defragmentation API by Microsoft,
a system library that is included in Windows 2000, 2003, XP, and Vista. Most
defragmenters are based on this API, including commercial defragmenters.
JkDefrag is therefore very solid and there is no risk of losing data. You
can stop the program at any time, it will finish the current file in the
I've tried it out. It isn't very attractive looking, and there are no options
within the program itself, but it does what it is supposed to do. You just
run the program and it automatically defrags all of your hard disks. This
would be perfect for a scheduled task. There are options that can be chosen
from the command-line (or in a shortcut).
There are lots of Internet speed tests around, but a good one I came across
the other day is the MySpeed Broadband
VoIP and Speed Test. As the title indicates, it tells you how a VoIP
connection would be. But it also provides you with overall upload and download
speed tests, and shows the results in a few formats.
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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