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TECHNOLOGY FEATURE

IT and Internet briefs


August 19, 2004

Digital cameras are worthless if they run out of battery power
Washington — If you're frequently on the road or plan to take your digital camera with you on vacations abroad, think carefully about batteries when you're purchasing a digital camera. Many cameras on the market today require proprietary batteries - ones that you can't find readily if you're in a foreign country. So either buy enough to last, take your charger and a proper adapter, or purchase a digital camera that uses standard AA batteries, which can be purchased almost anywhere.



E-mail messaging

Washington — Microsoft's Outlook and Outlook Express e-mail programs make it easy to distinguish which e-mail messages you've looked at from which you haven't. The subject lines of unread messages appear in bold type in your inbox. The subject lines of those that you've looked at for at least a few seconds are in regular type. In Outlook Express, the Hide Read Messages option in the View menu under Current View will allow you to display only those messages that haven't yet been read. In Outlook, the same thing can be done by using the Arrange By, Current View, Unread Messages option in the View menu.



Windows XP and passwords

Washington — Tired of typing your password every time Windows XP comes out of hibernation or sleep mode? You can get back to work faster by turning this password entry requirement off. Open the Windows Start menu, and click Control Panel. Within Control Panel, double-click Power Options. Within the Power Options Properties dialog box, click the Advanced tab. Uncheck the option labeled "Prompt for password when computer resumes from standby." Click OK, and you're done.



Adobe Acrobat update

Washington — The latest versions of Adobe's Acrobat Reader automatically check for updates every month and notify you that they wish to do so. The notification, however, can be annoying, especially if Acrobat is working fine and you live by the rule "if it's not broken, don't fix it." You can turn off automatic update checking by starting Acrobat, clicking the Edit menu, and selecting Preferences. From the Preferences dialog box, select Updates from the left pane. Open the "Check for Updates" drop-down dialog box, and change the option from "Every Month" to "Manually." Click OK to save your changes.



The PCMCIA card

Washington — Most notebook computers today do not come with built-in FireWire ports. These can be useful for attaching high-speed peripherals, including external hard drives and digital memory card readers. You can add FireWire support to your notebook computer by purchasing a PCMCIA card that adds one or more FireWire ports to your machine. These add-in cards are generally inexpensive and will add significantly to the expansion options that your notebook has. Search online for "FireWire" and "PCMCIA" to find good prices in your area.



PCMCIA-based digital memory reader

Washington — Do you take your digital camera on the road with your notebook a lot? Consider adding a PCMCIA-based digital memory reader. These slip into the PCMCIA slot of your portable and give you instant access to the pictures you store on your digital memory card. Just slip your card out of your camera, into the reader, and download the photos onto your notebook's hard drive. Best of all, these card readers are inexpensive, with models costing as little as 10 dollars at online stores such as Mydigitaldiscount (www.mydigitaldiscount.com).

– Sapa-DPA


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