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In the News
The latest computer virus is MyDoom. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, Hank suggested backing up your important files on a regular basis and installing an AntiVirus program and keeping up to date with its virus definitions. Joe also pointed out that the System Restore feature in Windows XP and Me might be able to help with a virus, but you have to insure it is taking checkpoints. Perhaps the most important defense is never to open a file attached to an email message unless you are 100% sure you know what it is. Be aware that the from address of an email message can be easily forged, so you can't be positive who sent any message. Joe said almost 95% of the problems are caused by people who do things by mistake. Michael, teaches a class on Protecting Your Computer.
We recently posted a document on our web site about Backing Up Your Computer. It's on the Links/Downloads page and is a co-operative effort of everyone on the Personal Computer show. It's a 12 page document in Adobe Acrobat (PDF) format.
All throughout the country, hundreds of students who had enrolled in computer schools were left with nothing when the schools abruptly shut down. These are not large universities but instead are smaller schools. It is estimated that 25% of computer schools have closed in the last few years.
The Dobbs Lists: Exporting America by Lou Dobbs of CNN. Hundreds of companies are selling out American workers by outsourcing American jobs to cheaper foreign labor. This is a list of U.S. companies that are exporting American jobs. The list is for your information purposes only.
Our guest was Bill Bodin the Chief Technology Officer of the Internet Home Alliance at IBM who discussed the "home of the future".
See the web site for Pervasive Computing from IBM. What Pervasive Computing? Getting data to the right people at the right time. His lab has an eFridge with a touch sensitive LCD display on the outside.
Bill provides technology counsel and works with
member companies to optimize collaborative technical efforts. He leads the
research and prototyping efforts for the Pervasive Computing Division at IBM in
Austin, Texas. He is currently involved in bringing key technologies to IBM's
Pervasive Development organizations. The Pervasive Computing Advanced Technology
Lab, which Bill directs, provides the conduit through which many of these
technologies flow. He is also one of the original OS/2 architects.
In the living room
In the kitchen
More than enabling mere gadgets, games, and ring-tones, wireless and pervasive technology works with service providers, enterprises and equipment makers to link devices from cell phones to handheld computers to cars with the vast amounts of information and transactional capabilities that already exist on servers and networks. It provides seamless and smooth access to portals, corporate information and databases using open standards, across any platform.
Bill mentioned that they developed an iron that when left on for a long time will start to send out a signal via its power line connection. This signal is picked up by an intercom in the home which then talks to you to warn about the iron.
IDF Report: Intel Imagines Digital Homes PC Magazine February 18, 2004
Patrick wondered if he signs up for broadband Internet access in Manhattan how does he get online when traveling with a laptop computer and a modem. EarthLink partners with Time Warner in Manhattan for cable access and they have a large dial-up network that you can use when traveling.
He also asked if there is a way to name a web site so it won't be spammed. There is not.
Maddy called and suggested we take a look into VeriChip which is miniaturized, implantable identification technology. Perhaps pervasive computing can go too far.
Bob can't install a hard disk into his computer. The drive is recognized but the computer won't process it. It's the only hard disk in the computer. The BIOS may protecting the master boot record from changes which would prevent formatting of the hard disk. This is done as protection from viruses. Even after disabling this feature however, the hard disk still was not usable. Fdisk and formatting both fail. One suggestion was to unhook the CD-ROM drive and try it again.
A caller complained that on his laptop computer everything
was too small to read. He used to run at a low screen resolution but after
installing some software this no longer fills the entire screen. Alfred
suggested running at the native resolution for his LCD screen (you have to check
the documentation to see what this is) and using a program called LiquidView
from Portrait Displays at www.portrait.com.
There is a 30 day free trial.
Microsoft just started making available a free Windows Security Update CD (not even shipping charges). The CD includes critical updates released through October 2003, information to help you protect your PC and free trial anti-virus and firewall software. For dial-up users, this is a great thing - it can bring your copy of Windows to a reasonably recent state from which you should be able to run Windows Update and download the latest patches. The CD is for Windows XP, Windows Me, Windows 2000, Windows 98, and Windows 98 Second Edition (SE) and they claim it takes 2-4 weeks for delivery. Order it here.
Update: The Windows Security Update CD is no longer available for ordering. Instead go to Microsoft's Protect Your PC page where you can order a free CD with Windows XP Service Pack 2. November 11, 2004.
Microsoft Sending Security Patches on a CD on internetnews.com February 18, 2004
Popular Science Magazine had an article on how to replace the
iPods battery: www.popsci.com/popsci/computers/article/0,12543,588084,00.html
Alfred reviewed the N-Charge VNC-130 from Valence
Technology. It is part of the N-Charge™ Power System, an external high capacity lithium-ion battery that works with many different laptop computers. There are two N-Charge models. One is $200, weighs less than 2 pounds and offers up to 5 hours of laptop run time. The other,
which Alfred reviewed, is $299, weighs about 3 pounds and offers up to 10 hours of power. It can also
be used to charge a Palm Pilot or a cell phone.
The N-Charge measures about 1/2 inch high, a foot wide and about 9 inches deep. The vendor can be reached on the phone at 888-VALENCE.
In Search Of A Better Battery
Forbes Magazine February 18, 2004
We interviewed Rebecca Mercuri about computerized voting and the problems associated with it.
To learn about the latest computer security bugs from the U.S. government, go to www.us-cert.gov (the US Computer Emergency Readiness Team).
For the technical specs of WiMax go to www.wimaxforum.org/tech
When looking to purchase RAM for a computer, Crucial has an extensive database of computers and models. Find your computer and they have all the information about its RAM requirements. If your machine was hand built and you don't have a manual, Crucial also provides the Belarc Advisor, a program you can download and run on your computer to report on the installed memory.
A searchable database that contains thousands of U.S. companies who hire H-1Bs is available from www.zazona.com
The show was pre-empted this week for fund raising. During the week, Joe
found this very interesting article: By email, a listener asked: How can I learn to use IRC channels?
The show was pre-empted this week for fund raising. During the week, Joe
found this very interesting article:
By email, a listener asked: How can I learn to use IRC channels?