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TECHNOLOGY FEATURE

IT and Internet briefs


October 29, 2004

Epson 2100
Black-and-white digital photography

Washington — If you're a fan of digital photography and would like to print the occasional black-and-white photograph, pay attention to how well a printer handles black-and-white work before you make a printer purchase. Colour photo printers often have trouble printing black-and-white photographs, since their inks were not designed for the task. There are a few printers on the market, such as the Epson 2100, that come with special black inks designed specifically to be able to print black and white effectively.



Backup programs

Washington — Backing up data is a chore that many avoid. If you're one of the procrastinators, at least consider creating one special folder that contains all of your essential files. That way, you can concentrate on regularly backing up that one folder. Most backup programs, including the one delivered with Windows, will allow you to schedule backups so that they become automatic affairs. You can back up the single folder to removable media or to another hard drive.



Save command

Washington — What's the most important keyboard shortcut? The one you use to save your work. In Windows, hold down the Ctrl key and tap the letter S on your keyboard. In almost every Windows program, this is the shortcut for the Save command. Use it often, and you'll never have to be sorry that you forgot to save your work. On today's computers, saving work is often instantaneous. In days past, with slower computers, saving could sometimes take minutes, depending upon the size of a file. Today, there's no excuse not to save.



Microsoft's Service Pack 2

Washington — Microsoft's Service Pack 2 for Windows XP has been available for free to registered XP users for several weeks. The service pack has received generally good reviews, causing few headaches for upgraders. Among Service Pack 2's enhancements are beefed-up security, a pop-up blocker in the Internet Explorer Web browser, and hundreds of bug fixes and compatibility improvements. Download the service pack for free from Microsoft's Service Pack 2 Web site.



Digital camera storage devices

Washington — Digital camera storage devices have come down significantly in price just recently. Thanks to the introduction of high-capacity four-gigabyte flash memory cards, yesterday's highest-capacity cards, such as the one-gigabyte and 512-megabyte flash memory cards, have dropped by as much as 50 per cent in price. Few digital camera users today require four gigabytes of storage space in a flash memory card, so the lower price of the "smaller" translates into a great value.



Battery saving

Washington — You can conserve battery power on your notebook computer by using the "blank" screen saver. Most operating systems today allow you to choose the type of screen saver you wish to use. The standard "blank" screen is often not the default, but it is the one that draws the least amount of power. Fancy screen savers can require significant computing power, which means that your notebook is working even when you're not. That's a waste, especially when your notebook is running on batteries.

– Sapa-DPA


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