view Sponsors
About site
bars, lines and fades
Portal access
ContactMonthly TidbitsFree Items
fade only home : monthly tidbits : 2005 archive

Monthly Tidbits

2005 Archive

This is the 2005 Tidbit Archive. Take note that archived tidbits are not updated or corrected, and the links are not maintained (they appear as they did when written, plus a little after-the-fact spelling fixes).

return to the current tidbits

View 2005 archived tidbits

space available
Rate My Professors

  December 2005
  looking for a digital camera: general tips

The camera is only as good as the lens. A thousand dollar camera will take a hundred dollar picture if it has a forty dollar lens (as comes in most kits). A five hundred dollar camera can take a two thousand dollar photo if equipped with a great lens (like the 50mm f1.4 I mentioned; special order). Two last pointers. Watch for 'interpolated.' Interpolated megapixels means the manufacturer has installed a computer program to approximate additional pixels that the camera didn't record. In essence it is padding the image with extra data to make it appear bigger (and the camera more expensive). Also, watch the memory card size. The more megapixels you take, the less space you will have on a given card.

  November 2005
  home networking revisited

Although I have not had a chance to create home network that works yet, I do have a piece of advice for those wishing to transfer data without buying CDs, diskettes, Zip disks, Jump drives, etc. If you have two computers with Windows XP, you can connect them network port to network port with a network cable and use the Network Wizard to finagle a connection. It will not be fast, but it is sometimes easier than carrying recording media from computer to computer.

  October 2005
  using the internet to its fullest

The internet is not just for fun and games. If you are serious about looking, you can find everything from stores to auctions to homes for sale on the internet. Many real estate agencies offer free access to your local MLS (multiple listing service, a sort of shared listing for all of the agencies), as well as some counties offering property data and tax bill information searchable by address, owner name, and Property I. D.

There are many other uses as well. Many persons like myself run free web sites containing information on a particular subject or subjects, such as ArtLex and Artchive, as well as general information sites such as, Wikipedia, and Even Spark Notes (study guides) are free on the internet. In some cases, the ads you view might be worth it for that piece of information you couldn't find.

Beware of using the internet as a sole source in papers, presentations, and anywhere the information needs to be absolutely correct, however. A good internet site will list reference material that was used to find the information, or at least an author's name. It would be wise to confirm the information before taking everything at face value.

  September 2005
  buying ink for printers

Not every store carries all of the major brands of ink (even the computer stores). Call or check online beforehand to find out if the brand you are looking for is carried. I recommend using only the ink made by the manufacturer. There is a reason why their ink costs more (if it does), most likely because it has some special feature, physical, chemical, or mechanical, that generic inks don't have. Plus, using generic ink can void the warranty. Avoid unnecessary problems. By the manufacturer ink, and call ahead if you intend buying in a store. An alternative is to buy online directly from the manufacturer, if it's available. Some manufacturers (like Epson) have a holographic seal printed on the box that says (in their case) genuine Epson. Check to make sure that the ink is actually made by the manufacturer and that it doesn't just look like it.

  August 2005
  surge protection and UPS units

If you have a computer, you should have it at least surge protected. It might be in your best interest to get an Uninterruptible Power Supply, which gives you a few minutes to save your data and/or shut down your computer if the power goes out. UPS units also (usually) contain a surge protector. It is best if you can get one to protect your phone, cable, and/or satellite lines, to further protect your equipment.

These handy devices might also be useful for other electronics, such as televisions, sound systems, home theater systems, or anything else that would be expensive to replace.

  July 2005
  College classes

Don't take 6 classes and try to keep a web site updated. This Spring was not fun.

I might suggest signing up for courses in different study fields. Courses that are too close in subject matter may cause problems when taking exams and completing homework (especially if you take homework to the wrong class).

  June 2005
  College classes

Don't take 6 classes and try to keep a web site updated. This Spring was not fun.

Be sure to check graduation requirements yourself for any degrees, certificates, or other programs you may be completing. You may find an added bonus for reviewing the graduation requirements. You may find a replacement class you like better, or an alternate class you already have.

  March 2005
  Hiatus declared

I am declaring a hiatus until further notice in order to complete the last semester of my degree.

  February 2005
  online purchasing - shipping

When purchasing online, check up about shipping.

Always check shipping costs and estimated time frames. Almost all online stores will have some way of determining or estimating shipping costs before you complete the purchase. I wouldn't recommend purchasing from an online store that has no way of even estimating shipping before you buy. Check the costs each time you order; shipping costs may vary from order to order, even if you purchase the same thing.

  online purchasing - taxes

If the company you are ordering from has a location in your state, expect to pay tax on your order. Be prepared to pay tax anyway; then it will be a nice surprise if you don't have to.

  January 2005
  Disk defragmentation

Windows computers can suffer a loss of performance when the hard drive is not defragmented. Non-Windows computers are not affected nearly as much by this. A fragmented disk has files that are split into pieces and located on different parts of the hard drive. Apple computer recommends that you do not defragment.

In Windows XP, there is a disk defragmenter in the System Tools. If you can't find it or need more information, search your computer's help for disk defragmentation. In any case, make sure to read the documentation and instructions before you perform this procedure.

maintained & operated by Jo Allen.
updated on 01/01/2008 10:38 CST
space available

space available