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Net 2000 Plus

Whats New... Nov 26, 2000

Biggest news is I sold one of my obsolete Win95 computers and bought myself a Polaroid Fun!Flash 640SE digital camera. It is a simple point-and-shoot device with a fixed-focus lens and a built-in flash. It has a simple optical viewfinder, and a LCD display to tell you how many pictures you took, your flash mode, and when your batteries are low. I think it is okay for a budget camera. K-mart sells them for $99.99 everyday. It can take pictures in normal room light without the flash, and the flash will burn-out close-up (3-4 ft.) pics. A layer of white paper towel in front of the flash seems to tame that problem. It works with Pentium or better computers running Win95 or Win98. Software on CD-ROM, instructions, serial/USB cable, and batteries are bundled with the camera. I put a new picture on the Compaq Portable III page with it. Check it out. I am still getting used to the camera, and trying out other software that I got with my scanner to manage the images from the camera.

Happy Holidays!, (just in case I don't update this page before New Years Day.)

What's New... Oct, 8, 2000

STILL behind on everything! Latest project completed: just installed a Segate Medalist 2.5GB hard drive in my Compaq Prolinea desktop computer. Now it has enough hard drive space to be useful. I have some space left on the hard drive, and also don't have to run DriveSpace 3 disk compression any more. The time consuming part was reinstalling the operating systems, (MS-DOS 6.0 and Win95), device drivers, and all the software from scratch.My kids had been using it mostly for games. I started using it again when my son bought a 400Mhz tower system. I had downloaded a Y2K bios fix from Compaq, earlier. The good news is that it runs pretty nicely for what it is. It even runs the software package for a Slam Clam toy digital camera which is supposed to require a much faster system. I will probably post a page of Slam Cam results later on. The best digital camera I ever bought new for 10 bucks. They originally were 70 dollars. And you're right; I can tell you already it won't put Nikon or Canon out of business with its great image quality.


What's New... Dec. 10, 1999

Are you prepared for the Year 2000? I guess I'm not, at least not yet.

The kid's Compaq Prolinea Pentium class machine is probably compliant right now, but I know there is a BIOS upgrade I can download and install on it from Compaqs' web site.

My Presario 850 486-DX2 machine isn't hardware compliant but I already installed a fix from Compaq. Earlier Compaq machines will accept dates after 2000 but won't roll into the year 2000 automatically, so you can download a small program which runs every time you restart your computer. It is a small download and not too hard to install. I have several other Compaqs to install this fix on.

I also have a Dell 386-SL notebook computer with the same type of Y2K problem as the old Compaqs. I have to install a fix for it.

If you have business or financial software that you depend on you should check with the software vendors and see what information they have regarding year 2000 problems, patches, fixes, and upgrades. You can have a compliant machine, and non-compliant software. It is a good idea to check how the dates you already have entered are stored on your machine. Do you have dates stored in a four digit year format, (04/04/1999, not 04/04/99)? You could have some problems over "minor" things like that.

I can't say too much about software issues, but I know many of my collectible computers are Y2K compliant simply because they don't have a real time clock in the first place. That applies to my "Home" computers and older "Personal" computers alike.

I guess the bigger issue for me, personally, is to generate some new goals for myself as I go into the next century. I have arrived, kicking and screaming, at the realization that I am middle aged and I probably could have done more with the first 48 years of life than I have. I would like to use the time I have left to get a little closer to the people in my life, maybe earn just bit more cash, and maybe make a shift towards some kind of self-employment in the not too distant future.

I hope that the real significance of the new millennium would be seeing it as a real opportunity to redefine our priorities, strengthen our relationships with our friends and families, and make choices about our careers and set ourselves toward achieving the things that are really going to matter.

What's New... July 10, 1999

Guess things are still moving forward, if ever so slowly. I have a new page on the Tandy/Radio Shack TRS-80 Color Computer 2 (CoCo 2 ). I hope to have some more new pages up soon. I have some pictures of one of my Zenith laptops. I still have to scan them, and find out a little bit more about the machine. Time has been a little scarce, but I will have them on the site as soon as I can.

I am beginning to get a better understanding of my scanner, and the software that came with it. The biggest thing I have learned is how the resolution you scan your image at relates to the size of the image displayed on your screen. It's actually pretty simple, though I had to figure it out the hard way. If you scan a 4 x 6 in. photograph at 100 d.p.i. (dots per inch), it will end up being 400 x 600 pixels on your monitor. So when you multiply the d.p.i. by the image are you are scanning, you will know how many pixels it will occupy on your screen. I originally scanned my CoCo 2 pictures at 200 d.p.i., and they were huge. One was 1220 pixels wide! That is almost twice standard VGA resolution. The pictures I actually used were scanned at 100 d.p.i. so they would fit on a VGA (640 x 480) screen when viewed at their actual size.

I have also played with some HTML editing software. The most promising text based editor so far has been Stone's Webwriter 2. I just put Microsoft Front Page Express on my old 486 and will see if it works for me. Most of the pages currently on this site were built with Netscape Composer version 4.04. Composer is part of the Netscape Communicator package.

What's New...  May 10,1999

Well, we may just be making a little more progress now!

We have several new pages. Check out the Free Internet Access page. I just started using this service, so I can't give you a final judgment on them, but so far it's not bad. I almost always run Netscape Communicator on my Win95 machines. This free service won't work on Windows 3.1.

Also, big news of the moment is that I have finally bought a scanner. Thank God for clearance sales! I should be able to put more content on the web site now. All the earlier photos were made with a Vivitar Vivicam 2000 digital camera which was loaned to me by my friend John H. If you get a chance, be sure to check out the new page on the Timex/Sinclair 1000 computer. The picture was taken with a Polaroid camera a long time ago, and I digitized it with my new scanner. For what it is worth, the scanner creates .bmp files. I use Netscape Composer to build pages, and it automatically converts them to .jpg files. I hope to add more and better pictures to the site as time goes on. I have heard it said that using a scanner is an art. I believe that just may be true. I hope to become good with the scanner as time goes on. I would still like to pick up a digital camera too.

I also picked up a decent little Kodak APS camera. Half price! (I admit it... I'm cheap). I like the idea of multiple picture formats, including panoramic pictures. I also was especially interested in the storage aspects of the APS film system. When developed, you film is returned in the original cassette. It is protected from dust and fingerprints there. You are supplied with an index print which shows all the photos you took on that cassette. This helps you pick out the frames you want reprinted or enlarged. You don't have to sift through all the negatives trying to find the ones you need. Each cassette is numbered too. I also picked up a free Kodak APS film storage box with the camera. It stores 12 film cassettes and index print sheets. I think I will have less trouble organizing and preserving my photos with this system.

If there were two of me, I might be able to catch up on everything I need and want to do! But please bear with me. I hope to add more computers and things to the site. I hope you enjoy your visit and feel free to bookmark the site and return as often as you would like.

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