IT and Internet briefs
May 26, 2004
Optical vs digital zoom
WASHINGTON — Digital cameras often tout their "digital zoom" capability. When purchasing a digital camera, ignore this feature. Optical zoom capability is to be preferred over digital zoom, since digital zoom uses technology to enlarge artificially the image that you see through the viewfinder or on your camera's LCD screen. Optical zooms don't rely on digital gimmickry.
Notebook speed queen
Notebook computer makers offer drives in three speeds these days: 4200, 5400, and 7200 revolutions per minute (rpm). The faster drives will make a noticeable impact on your system's performance. The latest 7200 rpm drives, from Hitachi/IBM, while more costly, may be the better value in the long
run. They'll make everything from the operating system to program files load more quickly. The 7200 rpm notebook drives also do not generate more noise or heat than their predecessors.
Appreciate your input
Want to ensure that your PC is available when
need it? Keep a spare of essential input items, such as the
keyboard or the mouse. These items are typically those that
malfunction the most - and the ones that users think the least
about. If you spill coffee or water on your keyboard, it will
typically die instantly. Your mouse, too, is anything but
indestructible. These components are relatively inexpensive, so
it's a good idea to have backups nearby.
Notebooks: the touching is key
When purchasing notebook computers, many people spend lots of time reading about the speed of the processor, how much memory is installed, and how big the screen is. But what's
often most important on a notebook is the part you touch: the keyboard and the input device. Don't buy a notebook without touching it. Or if you do, ensure that the vendor you purchase from
will accept returns. Large mail-order vendors such as Dell allow
The Web is awash with news. But where can you go to get the latest news from multiple sources? Newshub (www.newshub.com) provides headlines and news stories from around the world, updated every 15 minutes. News is categorized under popular headings, such as World, Technology and Sport. You
can tailor Newshub to suit your preferences, so that when you arrive at the site, the news that you like to read is highlighted.
Longer zoom ranges means poor optical quality
The quality of a digital camera's lens as a
direct correlation with the quality of the pictures the camera will
take. Don't be impressed by large zoom factors in lenses. Although
it's optically possible to make lenses with a "5x" or "10x" zoom
range, lenses with longer zoom ranges almost always sacrifice
optical quality. Shorter zoom range lenses will be preferable if
image quality is your ultimate goal.
Google rankings scorned [30/03/2004]