TicoByte for October, 2011

Members of the PC Club of Costa Rica,

October the 15th is the date for this month’s meeting, at the Pan American School in Belen at 9am, as usual.  We’ll have coffee and snacks available from 8:30 AM for those who want to come early and chat.  We’ll also have a table for computer-related items that you would like to sell or give away.

Here are some items in the tech world that I hope will interest you:

Item 1. What’s the craziest high-tech truck you’ve ever heard of?

I nominate the Tornado Interceptor Vehicle 2, built by filmmaker Sean Casey. Designed to withstand winds of over 200 MPH, the truck is a mount for an IMAX camera used to capture tornadoes on film.  It was used to make the movie Tornado Alley, which opened in California in August.

Item 2.  Would you like a free 2GB folder in the cloud for your files?

Check out DropBox, a free utility to store files securely on the web. You can maintain your privacy, select certain files to be shared with your friends, or even get a URL to point to selected files. The basic 2GB package is free, but you can get up to 150GB with the paid versions. It shares files between Windows, Macs, Unix, tablets, & even mobile phones.

Item 3.  Did you fall for that one about registry cleaning works miracles?

There are a lot of performance myths running around out there that are simply out of date. Justin James has some suggestions that might surprise you.  Justin also offers 10 suggestions for how to really speed up your PC.

Item 4. Windows 7 has a way to restore lost or damaged files.

This article by Greg Shultz describes how you can use the Previous Versions options built into Windows 7 to recover files from a Restore Point.  It also tells us a little bit about how Restore Points are created.

Item 5.  Microsoft has released it’s new Touch Mouse for Windows 7.

Replacing last year’s Arc Touch Mouse, Microsoft has joined eclipse and Apple’s Magic Mouse in the reinvention of the mouse; doing away with buttons, balls, and wheels and adding finger strokes on the top surface.  TechRepublic has posted a review and a 26-photo box-opener-report.

Item 6.  Firefox 6 is out. And here are five Firefox secrets for you.

Here’s a review of Firefox 6, but Firefox 7 is scheduled to be released on 9/27. Check out the Firefox Tips page to see some new tricks also.

Item 7. Netflix comes to Costa Rica!

The Tico Times reports that Netflix is now available to viewers in Costa Rica. The disk-mailing part of Netflix is not part of the package, but you can stream TV shows and movies to your computer or game console for $7.99/month. Netflix is also offering a free one-month trial membership. The catch is that you can’t get the full catalog of new US movies because of concerns about intellectual piracy in Costa Rica.

Item 8. Gadget lovers, you’ve got to see this.

The makers of the Swiss Army Knife have announced a new version that contains an extra blade that is a USB plug.  The handle of the knife is a thumb drive that contains up to 128GB of storage. The company also announced two other models, including a thumb drive without blades that holds 256GB and has a tiny video screen on the side.

Item 9. We have a new website architecture.

Check out the club website.  It looks a lot the same, but if you look closely you’ll see that it has drop-down menus and a few new pages in the Refs & Tutorials section.  The plan was to change the backstage organization first and then work on the overall appearance. If you have a site that you really like the way it’s laid out or formatted, send me  the URL so that I can consider adapting ideas from it.  Or if you have suggestions for a better layout, I’d like to see those.  And if you have your own website that you would like people to know about, send me it’s URL and perhaps we can put a link on the club website.

I’m looking forward to seeing you at the meeting,

Dick Sandlin

Gadget humor:

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