TicoByte for April, 2011

Hello PC Clubbers,

The next meeting of the PC Club of Costa Rica will take place this coming Saturday, April 16th.  We will meet at the same place, the Pan American School in Belen at 9am.  Coffee and donuts will available from 8:30am for anyone who wants to come early and chat.  If anyone has anything they would like to sell, having to do with computers, feel free to bring it and we will have a separate table where we can display it. So feel free to bring anything you might want to give, sell or bargain off to someone else.  It ought to be fun.

Now, to the Byte:

Item 1. Can a robot fly like a bird?

The Festo Smartbird can.  Check it out. This is not a simulation, it is an actual flight by a German robot bird.  See this article for more information.

Item 2.  Would you like to read ebooks without spending any money?

You can read ebooks on your computer and manage your collection with this great free tool. Calibre is a free program that helps you find ebooks online (both free and ones you pay for), helps you organize your collection, and provides a reader that works on your computer.  You can watch a short movie on the site to find out how to use it.  It also downloads newspaper and magazine articles and can push out content to any of the well-known ebook devices (Kindle, Nook, etc.).  Whether you use it to read the material or simply to manage your elibrary, you will find it well documented and easy to use.

Item 3.  Tabs for Windows Explorer for those who like to switch folders

This app allows you to have multiple folders open in Windows Explorer at the same time with tabs at the top to switch between them. With the free version you can have up to 3 tabs. With the $19 version, you can have as many as you like.  It works with Windows7 and XP. The free version doesn’t have a time limit either. The tabs are not actually limited to Windows Explorer, they are available on all windows programs.  For example, Control Panel.  You could open more than one icon in the Control Panel and see them as tabs.

Item 4. The 32-bit version of Firefox 4.0 has just been released.

This link will take you to the download site for the latest version of Firefox.  The site supports multi-lingual versions of the popular web browser. This version also works on 64-bit systems. Click here to see what hardware is required to run the new version.

Item 5. Microsoft Internet Explorer 9 has also been released.

It’s been a busy time for web browsers this season.  The “enhanced” version of IE9 is available from this site. The definition of enhanced and the system requirements are both available on the same page as well.  If you’d rather have the plain vanilla version, you can click here.

Item 6.  Smart mortar rounds for Afghanistan.

GPS-guided mortar rounds are being introduced in Afghanistan to improve the accuracy of this highly portable infantry weapon. SmartPlanet has an article this week about this method of improving accuracy and reducing collateral damage.  So now all they have to do is figure out a way to get the coordinates of the bad guys.

Item 7. AT&T offers to buy T-Mobile from Deutsche-Telekom.

AT&T has promised to pay $39 billion for T-Mobile as part of its strategy to become the leader in the 4G market.  Morgan-Stanley is the lead advisor for Deutsche-Telekom and it is expected to benefit handsomely, if regulators approve the deal.  AT&T beat out other rivals for the deal by offering $3 billion (+ rights to some wireless spectrum) as a break-up fee, which would be paid if the deal fails to go through. This abnormally large fee was proposed by Morgan-Stanley due to the considerable regulatory obstacles that the deal faces.

Item 8.  This month's meeting ought to be fun.  You know we enjoy seeing all our "like-minded friends" and sharing anything we might know or like to know with you all.  You are always fun and, many times, an inspiration to us.

Dick Sandlin

Top of Page Back to 1st Page