Archive for June, 2006

Hm… why is a basic tech tips site posting something on social issues?   Well, because I feel like it, and because knowledge doesn’t have to be compartmentalized.

Anyways, just wondering how many of you out there are familiar with the term, “post-modernism”.

I think if you’re young, you may be aware of the idea, but not what it’s called.  Basically, post-modernistic thought is when you say all truth is relative, and that it’s how it’s interpreted that has real value.

If you want all the nitty-gritty details, read up on it on wikipedia. 

Anyways, are you a post-modernist in your worldview?  Why or why not?  And where did you pick up those thoughts?  Just curious.

I personally don’t believe in a post-modernist worldview b/c it’s self-refuting.  It’s trying to tell me some “truth” that there is no real absolute truth?  It’s shooting itself in the foot, isn’t it?


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It seems that the PDA trend is dying away. Yes, the Palm TX is somewhat still popular, and some people are still gobbling up the windows mobile PDAs, but it seems to be from what I can tell in the stores (Best Buy, CompUSA, etc), and from online ariticles is that the trend it that SmartPhones have taken over. Smartphones are PDA + Cell phone, which only seem to make sense.

The Treo seemed to have made that move quite popular, after making a quite viable and usable model in the Treo 650.

Now, they have come up w/ the Treo 700w (windows mobile version) as well as the 700p (palm OS version, but still on OS version 5 like your TX).

I would make the move to the Treo myself, but I just can’t stand the small screen (320 x 320) after having had a PDA with 480×320. I use it my TX for scheduling, for memos, handwritten notes, and note taking using Docs to Go. I also have a keyboard for it (the wireless infrared version) so it’s a very viable option for me to use instead of my laptop when it comes to note taking.

I just can’t get myself to type on that little thumboard on the Treo effectively. At most maybe 20 wpm? I think most people that use Treos and other Smartphones are mainly using it for scheduling plus phone use. Note taking (and some ebook reading) probably constitutes about 40% of my Palm TX use, so I’m sticking with the TX for now.

The word on the street is that Palm may go with Linux in the future (not sure how long down the line). But we’ll see where that goes. In the meantime, I don’t see much innovation coming after the TX… But Palm, I’m open and welcome to surprises.

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Think of it like a baseball card for your PC.  Belarc will do an audit of your PC (takes a minute or 2) and create a webpage locally for you to view on via your browser.  It’s free, nifty, and a good way to find out your hardware AND software info.  It can be a bit over geeky in that it will even tell you all the windows security updates you have installed.  But it’s over geeky in a good way.  🙂

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Check it out:

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Picasa by Google

If you're a newbie to the digital photography world, you may have gotten by so far by viewing your photos via windows explorer. Maybe you are using the basic photo program bundled in a CD w/ your camera. But the best FREE solution is to use the Picasa photo management software by Google! (ok, well, they didn't make it, they bought them out and improved them – a lot!)

Here are some things you can do:

  1. attach 'labels' to each photo, so that you can search on them later. Also, if you create a label, you get a label based album on your left side, much like a playlist in iTunes.
  2. View photos in different sized thumbnails.
  3. View photos based on date taken.
  4. Make minor edits – there's even a "I'm feeling lucky" button like in google, for one time fast fixing.
  5. Export directly to a photo printing site, like www.winkflash.com (you have multiple choices)
  6. Share photos easily via gmail integration.
  7. …and more!

Sorry, it's for windows only. in Mac, you already have iPhoto, which is plenty good enough. They are quite similar in some ways.

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Maybe you're trying to make a snazzy invitation or cover page for something.  You look at all the fonts you have in MS Word, and you're just not satisfied.  Nothing looks cool enough.  Well, all you have to do is download new fonts (most are available for free on the internet) and install them.  Sure, you say, that's easy if you're geeky.  No, it's easy even if you're not.  

Here's how:

1.  Go to a legitimate website, like http://www.1001freefonts.com.  (click on the different letter icons there to browse.  FYI, the PC Fonts, Mac Fonts links up top are just ads)

2.  Download the font you want to anywhere on your computer.  You might want to just create a folder first on your desktop (to keep it simple).  Right click on your windows desktop, click on New > Folder and name the folder "Downloaded Fonts".  Then download your fonts there.

3.  The fonts are usually in a zip file (meaning, it's been compressed to save size or to combine some files together).  Just right-click, and choose "Extract All Files" and keep clicking 'continue' until it's down extracting or 'unzipping'.  You should see the files.

4.  Right-click on the font file (probably ending in TTF or FON) and click copy.

5.  Open up your Windows Explorer, and navigate to the following:   C:\WINDOWS\Fonts   (you can even just copy and paste that in the address portion of your explorer window)

6.  Right click, and paste.  You're done!  When you open Word or Excel or any app using fonts, you should see the new font in the fonts list. 

Please note that if you are emailing your doc to anyone, your new doc won't show with the new font on their computer, unless the person you emailed it to has installed the same font.  But they can still read your doc of course, the font will be replaced with a generic font.

EXTRA TIP: If you are frequently experimenting with new fonts, you may want to just create a new shortcut on your windows desktop (right-click, New > Shortcut) and type in the C:\WINDOWS\Fonts  path.  That way, you have quick access to your fonts folder.

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Sure, you can search your gmail account by just entering a few keywords, but there is a faster, more effective way to find that one email you're looking for by using special operators in the search box.

Here they are, in the gmail help page.

The ones I use most are:

  • from – I use this to find email from that one person. Very useful in that I don't have to enter the full email address or the full name. I can just type "from:benjamin" for ex.
  • to – I use this to find that email to send to someone. used just like from.
  • has:attachment – This I use to find emails with attachments. Just type it in like you see it.

Please note that you can use them in combination, along with keywords, by separating them with a space. For ex. "from:joe has:attachment invitation" (without the double-quotes of course)

Let me know if this revolutionizes your gmail experience! 🙂

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