See the world and other fun stuff, a reminders, plus a freebees!
We hope you had a great summer. I'm sure that most of you have used online mapping software. Yahoo! maps, etc. can give directions, etc. to help us find our destinations. When you don't have an Internet connection, Microsoft's Streets and Trips will let you use your notebook PC and will even link to a GPS for a real-time location. After the hurricanes along the Gulf Coast (did you make your donation yet?) we have all seen the "from space" images. Similar things that show the entire world are available online. Check out http://maps.google.com/ . NASA also has a great program... it does need a download to work. Check it out here: http://worldwind.arc.nasa.gov/index.html . A couple of other interesting, although not map related sites are at http://www.arctic.noaa.gov/index.shtml (arctic information) and http://www.noaa.gov/wx.html (weather). Enjoy!
Now onto "real" computer topics...
Reminder- Have you tested your UPS (battery backup)? Just unplug it from the AC wall receptacle and see if it works. Make sure you are not using any programs on your computer! A properly sized UPS will keep your computer running several minutes. A common mistake is connecting the computer to the "surge only" outlets on APC units. Be sure to connect the computer to battery backed ones. Use the surge only for laser printers and other high-power items and nonessential things such as speakers.
Something to seriously consider... Open Office
Do you have the need for Microsoft Office, but not the budget? Consider Open Office. It is a free download at http://www.openoffice.org/ . It includes compatible word processors, spreadsheets, and a presentation product. It can even create PDF files. This is not a small time project. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is in the process of adopting it as their standard. http://news.zdnet.com/2100-3513_22-5845451.html?tag=nl.e589
The open source community has produced such products as Linux... and has wide consequences. http://redmondmag.com/features/article.asp?editorialsid=485 gives you an idea of what Microsoft IT folks think. How do you make a $100 notebook PC for schools? Ask MIT... http://blogs.zdnet.com/BTL/?p=1935&tag=nl.e540 .
Most three year and one year computer warranties are gone. When shopping READ the warranty... most are 90 days now. It is possible that early Christmas shopping could hurt if the PC has a defect.
More continuing reminders...
1) Back up your data!
2) If your hard drive is 3 years or older, think about replacing it. New ones are pretty inexpensive and include "cloning" software. Most hard drives fail within the 3-5 year window.
3) Clean and dust. Carefully vacuum the vents and drives, even if you don't feel comfortable opening the case.
4) Use antistatic spray or a mixture of fabric softener and water in a spray bottle. Dry air with static electricity can break keyboards and occasionally more expensive items.
That's it for this newsletter...
Until next time... Happy Computing !
To get more information or to FAX us: call 1-315-583-5513 or send e-mail to
us at firstname.lastname@example.org.