Monthly Archives: November 2007

64 Bit Computing

intel-64-bit

There is a lot being said about Windows Vista at the moment along with the normal paranoia keeping users away that usually occurs when Microsoft release a new Operating System.I’m surprised by the number of people I know who have bought a new computer in the last couple of months and paid more to have Windows XP installed on it because of the horror stories they have heard, usually through a chain of half a dozen people.

If I can just clarify to my readership that Windows Vista is a good Operating System and in terms of bugs and security vulnerabilities it’s light years ahead of how Windows XP was this far into its distribution cycle.I’m not saying that you should rush out and buy it tomorrow if you’re happy with XP, but all I am saying is that if buying a new machine and you’re given the choice then Read the rest

Microsoft Natural Keyboard

microsoft-natural-ergonomic-keyboard-4000

Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) is one of those things that unless you have experienced for yourself is very easy to put down as being a pretty much fictitious condition; after all how much can you possibly strain yourself whilst being sat in front of a computer?Unfortunately I personally have suffered from this affliction a few times and I can confirm that it isn’t a nice experience; the burning sensation that was present in the entirety of both arms was very hard to ignore!

Fortunately RSI is something that is very easily avoidable if you take the right measures.In previous articles I’ve talked about the importance of posture and taking regular breaks but this week I’m going to talk about a design of keyboard that I’ve been using for years to minimise the likelihood of these conditions resurfacing.

The Microsoft Natural range of keyboards have been around since 1994 and are Read the rest

Mouse Gestures

magic-mouse-gestures

I’m all for anything that increases my efficiency when using a computer.When you spend eight hours a day using one, even the smallest time saving improvements made to a user interface can make a huge difference.A few months ago I talked about keyboard shortcuts which I have found useful for many years and this week I plan to introduce you to mouse gestures.

Popularized by the Opera browser, the mouse gesture is slowly but surely gaining support from both software developers and users.The idea is that rather than having to click on an icon or use a keyboard shortcut, the user instead holds down a mouse button (usually the right) then moves the mouse in a certain gesture (for example from right to left) and then released the button.This gesture is then converted in to relevant command, for example the commend ‘go back’ in a browser window.Whilst still not big Read the rest

Rotten Tomatoes

rotten_tomatoes

I find it difficult to accurately convey how much I dread that feeling of regret when, after having had high expectations for a movie, you put it in the player and it turns out to be truly awful.Those two hours of wasted life can never be reclaimed but fortunately for all of us I know of a website designed to prevent such incidents arising in the future.

I am aware that film critics have been around for as long as the movie industry itself, however the opinion of one person can very rarely be trusted.For this reason I’ve started relying on a website called Rotten Tomatoes to do a little bit of quick research before I decide to rent a film.

Rotten Tomatoes compiles the reviews of dozens of movie critics for any given film and works out an average rating after taking all these opinions in to consideration.Whilst it … Read the rest

Podcasting

Podcasting

Another common 21st century buzzword is ‘podcast’ which is a curious portmanteau of the words iPod and Broadcast; the iPod being, of course, a popular portable MP3 player developed by Apple.The term is used to describe a technology that allows a user to automatically download an audio file of some description for listening to later, and is no longer specifically related to the iPod as many software and hardware combinations can potentially be used.

The roots of podcasting most likely lie in the blogging world as it is the natural progression to broadcasting information via the written word.I’m sorry for chucking another buzzword in the form of ‘blogging’, but with technology suddenly becoming cool there are dozens of new ones making their way in to our vocabularies.A blog, for those of you that don’t know, is an online journal that is frequently updated and intended for the general public.I Read the rest

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