TicoByte for September, 2012

The club will next meet this coming Saturday, September 22nd, at the Pan American School in Belen.  Due to the Costa Rican Independence Day celebration and the attendant traffic problems, the PC Club moved its regularly scheduled September 15th meeting to September 22nd.  Coffee and snacks are available at 8:30 as usual and the meeting starts at 9 AM.  There is a special invitation this month to bring in computer-related items to give away, to sell, or to be auctioned off to benefit the club’s treasury.

Here are some items I thought you might enjoy:

Item 1.  Google is sprucing up it’s mapping presentation.

Google Maps has added three new features: offline maps, more street views, and 3D imaging.

Item 2.  Gamers, there’s something for you here.

Wally Bahny has a preview report on the new beta of World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria.

Item 3.  Would you like to use your android tablet as a second monitor for your PC or Mac?

Donovan Colbert’s review details his experience with two apps that make this possible. Screenslider works well for PCs and iDisplay is good for Macs and PCs.

Item 4.  Do you use Excel to make spreadsheets?

Susan Harkins has a cute trick to select a large range of cells at once.

Item 5.  Would you consider having technical devices implanted under your skin?

Peter Cochrane has some interesting thoughts to ponder about hardware implants.

Item 6.  Do you have (or want) an iPhone or iPad? How about a MacBook?

CNET has 10 pictures to show you the Slick New Features of iOS6. iOS6 is expected to come out this Fall. A related article explains why the optical drive and ethernet port are being dropped from the new MacBook Pro. Barry Saunders notes that the Retina displays are creating a bandwidth bottleneck. Here is a list of 10 Tips for 1st-time iPad Users. How about an article on Choosing between iMac and Mac-Pro? Here’s one on Choosing the Right Model.

Item 7.  Did you know you can use Conversation View in Outlook to group messages from the same conversation?

Susan Harkins shows us how to apply the settings that will make this work. This is stealing a little thunder from Gmail, I think.

Item 8.  Here is my latest compilation of photo galleries for you:

Best Games of E3, Brickworld, Independence Day, Memorial Day, National Parks, Deep Space, Elder Scrolls, Orion Capsule, Tatooine, Cockpit of the Future, Star Wars Legos, Drones, Dirty Computers, Game-of-Thrones, Best Costumes at Comic-Con, Unusual Costumes at Comic-Con, Curiosity Mars Shots

Item 9.  Looking for a good, free antivirus program for Windows?

Check out this tutorial on How to Install Microsoft Security Essentials.

Item 10.  Microsoft has entered the tablet-maker arena.

The new Surface breaks its tradition of making just software (not computers) and it has gotten great reviews so far. The cover that snaps into place doubles as a keyboard, which makes it possible to use as a desktop computer as well as a tablet. Business users are very interested, too. Here are some poll results. Look out, iPad, here come the big guy! Some models may be sold for $199. Of course, this is all hypothetical at this point.

Item 11.  Linux has grabbed its single biggest win.

Jack Wallen offers his take on the US Navy’s switch from Windows to Linux on its Fire Scout drone.

Item 12.  Apple rules the US Smartphone market.

1st quarter statistics show that the iPhone is the leader for the top three carriers in the USA. AT&T tipped the scale.

Item 13.  Indian outsourcing isn’t what it used to be.

Saritha Rai explains why skill shortages exist, despite the graduate glut.

Item 14.  Here are the latest teardowns:

Desktops: HP Z1

Laptops: Retina MacBook Pro, MacBook Air 13-inch, MacBook Air 11-inch

Tablets: Nexus 7

Smartphones: Samsung Galaxy S III

Item 15.  The X-37B is still flying.

As previously reported, the X-37B is an unmanned space vehicle with a payload bay like that of a pickup truck. A smaller cousin to the Space Shuttle, the latest flight has been in space for 465+ days.

Item 16.  Here’s a great new picture editor.

It’s taking me a while to learn this PhotoShop-like free editor, called Pixlr, that works with Google Drive. But Mark Kaelin has good directions on how to get started with it.

Item 17.  Would you like to improve your Wi-fi connection?

Brien Posey describes Five Free Wireless Network Tools. You can even have your own packet sniffer.

Item 18.  Pi in the Sky: Tiny computer maps disaster areas.

OpenRelief is planning to use the $40 Raspberry Pi computer to control drone aircraft to produce images of disaster areas. The autonomous drone will spot smoke, roads or people and sense weather and radiation conditions.


Item 19.  Google has released a new Android 4.1 OS, Jelly Bean, for smartphones.

Jason Hiner likes the notification feature. Here is a graph that shows that Android is closing the gap on Apple’s iOS.

Item 20.  Google’s Project Glass is getting mixed reviews.

Dick Sandlin

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