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TECHNOLOGY FEATURE

IT and Internet briefs


June 21, 2004

Battery charger
Rechargeable batteries

WASHINGTON — If your digital camera accepts standard AA batteries, don't use traditional Alkaline AA batteries. Use rechargables. The NiMH rechargeable batteries cost a bit more initially, but they hold a charge longer and can be recharged as many as 1,000 times. You'll save a significant amount of money by avoiding single-use AA batteries. Visit an online store such as Thomas Distributing (www.thomas-distributing.com) to see the range of rechargeables and rechargers available today.



Stop pop-ups

No pop-up stopper? Don't worry. There are quick ways to get rid of annoying pop-up ads when surfing the Internet. Press the Esc key when you see a pop-up appearing on your screen. Sometimes this stops the pesky thing right away. If the pop-up has already appeared and you're using Microsoft's Interent Explorer, press Ctrl-W to close it quickly. With Explorer and any other browser, Alt-F4 also works.



Check before purchasing

Before purchasing a digital audio player – a unit capable playing back MP3 and other sound files – find out how long it lasts on batteries. Not all units are as capable when it comes to preserving battery power. Look for digital audio players that last for at least four hours on a single charge. Anything less, and you'll be running for spare batteries or a charger too often.



Scanners

Today's scanners are high-quality compared to units just a few years ago. But to get the best scans possible – and to avoid time-consuming touch-up work later – use the best original possible. Whether you're scanning photographs or text documents, take a bit of time to clean your originals by blowing away dust and removing fingerprints, if possible. Any imperfections in the original will transfer to the digital copy.



Advanced search

Use advanced searching techniques when you try to locate hard-to-find information on the Internet. Google (www.google.com) and most other search engines online offer an "advanced" mode that gives you the option to be more precise when specifying the type of information you're looking for. These advanced modes can be particularly valuable if a search term is likely to turn up thousands upon thousands of results. Using the advanced mode will typically allow you to specify criteria such as date, language, order of words, and more.



Saving camera batteries

Want to extend the battery life of your digital camera? Keep the playback of images on the rear LCD screen to a minimum. That tiny LCD uses a lot of battery power relative to other components of your camera. If you're out on holiday and need to maximise battery life, use the controls of your camera to turn off the automatic review of images altogether. Get well enough acquainted with your digital camera that you don't need to rely on the review screen to determine whether the picture was taken properly, and you'll find your digital camera running for much longer per charge.

Sapa-DPA


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