Welcome to the 499th 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!
Aren't April showers supposed to bring May flowers?! I think things are a
bit delayed. We've gotten an awful lot of rain so far this spring, and it looks
like it is going to keep coming for another week or so. I know it's great for
the grass and other plants, but it sure makes it hard for me to rototill my
I mentioned that I got a new laptop recently. It came with Vista Home Premium,
but I think I'm going to go back to XP. I'm not saying that Vista is terrible,
but I've used it for a month and I just prefer XP.
What do you call a surgeon who operates without scalpels, stitching tools
or a powerful headlamp to light the patient's insides? A better doctor, according
to a growing number of surgeons who prefer to hand over much of the blood-and-guts
portion of their work to medical robots controlled from computer consoles.
Many urologists performing prostate surgery view the precise, tremor-free
movements of a robot as the best way to spare nerves crucial to bladder control
and sexual potency. A robot's ability to deftly handle small tools may lead
to a less invasive procedure and faster recovery for a patient. Robots also
can protect surgeons from physical stress and exposure to X-rays that may
force them into premature retirement.
A generation ago, the debate in medicine was whether robotics would ever
play a role. Today, robots are a fast-growing, diversifying $1 billion segment
of the medical device industry. And Wall Street has just two questions for
the industry: How far is this going, and how fast?
Steven J. Sasson, an electrical engineer who invented the first digital
camera at Eastman Kodak in the 1970s, remembers well management's dismay
at his feat.
"My prototype was big as a toaster, but the technical people loved it," Mr.
Sasson said. "But it was filmless photography, so management's reaction
was, 'that's cute - but don't tell anyone about it.'"
Since then, of course, Kodak, which once considered itself the Bell Labs
of chemistry, has embraced the digital world and the researchers who understand
It's hard to think about a computer without an external mouse, even though
touchpads on laptops - like the one I'm using now - have made it not as essential
as it once was.
If you've been around PCs for more than a few years, you've probably gone
through your fair share of these peripherals. About 25 years ago, I started
with a PC that didn't even have a mouse.
...have you ever had a task in Photoshop where you apply the same steps
in the same order over and over? After many repetitions of these mindless
and time consuming tasks, they become boring and error prone because they
don't engage our imaginations nor require creativity. Practice doesn't
make perfect. It results in wasted time.
If this sounds familiar you have probably wondered, "Instead of having
to enter these steps manually each time, isn't there a way they could be
recorded and played back automatically with the touch of a button?"
The good news: "Yes, there is." All it takes is utilizing functionality
built into Photoshop called Actions...
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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