PC Club of Costa Rica

Tico Byte

September, 2006


The September meeting of the PC Club of Costa Rica will be next Saturday, Sept. 16th, at 8:30 AM at the Pan American School in Belen. This month's meeting will include general discussion on computer developments, discussion about social meetings next year, nomination of positions on the board of directors, including a new position of education coordinator. We will have the usual hardware and software clinics for anyone wishing to bring their computer to resolve whatever problems they might have. Additionally we will shift into an Ubuntu install for Roy Lent for the last hour for those wishing to participate in this new operating system. We will have our regular social time with coffee and donuts and have the introduction of new members. So come, bring a friend and share in the learning and knowledge about computing.


Now, ... on with the Byte.


Item 1. What is red eye in a photo anyway?

This article helps us understand it so that we might take better photos and not have to use our photo enhancement programs to correct it each time we take a photo of our loved ones.




Item 2. Investigations at HP

The scandal over the snooping of confidential phone records at Hewlett-Packard Co. widened Monday as Congress and the FBI launched investigations and the company's board debated the fate of Chairwoman Patricia Dunn.




Item 3. Those flammin' printers       

Japan's Canon said on Tuesday it would recall more than 140,000 personal copiers because they could produce smoke or catch fire. The recall is expected to cost the office equipment maker about 200 million yen ($1.7 million).




Item 4. Do you have your Skype phone yet?

This is a nearly perfect device for those who don't care for wearing a headset when talking on Skype. It's free from the encumbrance of wires (except when charging of course), is small enough to drop into a pocket in my gear bag, has excellent range, and impressive battery life. The sound quality is very good on both ends of the call with a near total absence of the duplex echo I've encountered on other devices.




Item 5. The coming RIA wars

The goal? To help us more easily develop the next generation of Web applications that are every bit as good as or better than desktop PC applications.




Item 6. Blazing USB thumb drives

Yesterday Samsung announced a working prototype of what it calls Phase-change Random Access Memory (PRAM) flash memory, nicknamed "Perfect RAM", amid claims that they expect PRAM to replace high-density NOR flash memory within a decade.


The prototype has a capacity of 512 Mbit (64MB) so it doesn't represent any kind of hike in storage just yet (although greater capacities are bound to follow down the line) but what's exciting about PRAM is that it's 30-times faster than existing flash memory technology.




Item 7. On the Apple side ...

One side effect of announcing the new Core 2 Duo iMacs and faster Mac minis last week is that it effectively removes them from contention for debut at Apple's media event tomorrow.


This combined with the company's less-than-subtle "It's Showtime" theme make predictions a little easier than usual, although there are some wild cards at the end. Without further ado, here's what I think that Apple will announce tomorrow:




Item 8. Google historical news search

I can't say enough about the good intentions of Google News Archive Search, which offers access to hundreds of years of news articles. This is a fantastic resource and it's high time someone did it. The project will provide the impetus to many organizations to open up their archives, because they become valuable when you have the context of history.



Item 9. Eweek survey: Ubuntu wins the desktop

A recent survey of nearly 15,000 Linux users by DesktopLinux.com revealed Ubuntu Desktop Linux to be the most popular - by a drastic margin.


      The most popular desktop of Linux today is... well, most of you can already guess without seeing the scores: Ubuntu.


      Ubuntu, with 29.2 percent of the vote, has been the hottest community Linux since early 2005.





Item 10. Your news and connection to all that is computing in Costa Rica is available to you as a member of the PC Club. Come to the meeting on Saturday and participate. It's a lot of fun.