Monday, March 2, 2009

Computer Tips [ More Memory Made Easy + 6 Tips For Better Battery Life + Don't Lose Your Files To Bad Encryption ] 03/03/09

Computer No, this isn't Steve. You can tell because Steve never wears a suit :-)

Quick Tips

Go Classic in Vista

Have you recently started using Windows Vista? If so, are you having a little trouble navigating your way through the new setup of the operating system? At first, it can be quite confusing. Everything you were familiar with in Windows XP has been changed or moved to another location and that makes it really hard to get your work done, doesn't it? Well, lucky for all of us, there are a few things you can do to change everything back to the way it used to be. Read on for all the details!

As I'm sure you already know, along with Vista came a whole new Start menu. And I'm guessing some of you don't care too much for it. If that's the case, you can switch it back to the way it looked in XP. To do so, just right click on the Start button and choose Properties. Make sure you're under the Start Menu tab and check the option for Classic Start menu. Click OK and then check out your new Start menu. Now, doesn't that feel better?!

Once you switch back to the old Start menu, you can also customize it. Hit the Customize button and you'll see all the choices you have. You can add or remove items from your Start menu list, you can sort your items and so on and so forth. There's even a checklist of different options you can choose from. For example, you can choose to display your favorites, display the Run command, expand the Control Panel, use the personalized menus, etc. There are so many choices. When you're done, click OK twice and you'll be all set!

~ Erin

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Make sure you keep reading to learn how you can start the process of adding more RAM memory to your computer, find out how you can shape up your WordArt in various MS Office programs and learn how you can go about protecting your file encryption key in Windows Vista. Also, find out how you can make your camera's batteries last longer with today's digital photography tip and as always, don't miss out on Amanda's Cool Site of the Day. Enjoy!


OK! One More Day!!!

Save 10% Off EVERYTHING In Our Online Store!

And Everything In This Newsletter!!

Grab The Deals While You Can!!

Newsletter Subscribers Only!

Today ONLY!!! (03-03-2009) - Last Day!

RUN To The Site Now! 10% OFF Is Almost Over!

WOW!!! The response to this was amazing yesterday! So, we're going to extend our 10% Off Sale for one more day (today)! You know we already have some just KILLER deals - well, now's your chance to make 'em even better! We have around 1500 items in our store right now! You just KNOW there's something there you gotta have! Well, with this offer, there's never been a better time! Use the coupon code shown below and you'll be able to get a whopping 10% off of EVERY item in our online store - software OR hardware!

This discount is ONLY good today (03-03-2009) ~ so get to the site right away (sorry, no exceptions)!
Here's the coupon code you'll need to type in the "coupon" box when you add the first item to your cart or at checkout:


Add an item to your cart and scroll down - you'll see where to enter this code. YOU MUST enter the code above to get your discount!!

No minimum order and everything has a 60 day satisfaction guarantee, toll free help, and regular US shipping is FREE!! You can't beat that! - Head to the store right now!!

Here's the main store page:

WorldStart Software Store - Check It Out!

Here are some of the "hot spots" on the site - check 'em out!

Cool Gadgets - My personal favorite! Lots of great stuff for your computer and MORE!

Utilities - Make your computer run faster and do more - the easy way!

Photo & Video - Edit photos, make incredible projects, create video masterpieces!

Graphics and Print - Make projects, scrapbooks, grab clipart -it's all here!

Home & Garden Software - Cookbooks, Redecorating, landscaping - Check it out!

Kids Software - Got kids? Keep 'em busy and make 'em smarter with these software titles!

$4.97 Titles - Two pages of GREAT software - just $4.97 each!!

Vista Software - Looking for Vista software? Try these 5 pages! WOW!

Reference - Bibles, cookbooks, medical sets, maps, dictionaries, encyclopedias - WOW!

New Titles - See what's hot now - the latest and greatest!

Remember, this is just for today, so make sure you run to the site and get yourself some deals! 1500 items - you know you'll find some incredible stuff!

Looking For Some Great Deals?

Wanna Save Some Serious Money?

Check Out These 10 Blowouts!

We left the pricing in our special Monday edition of Software Deals alone - so not only can you save 10% off, you can also grab some amazing deals from the newsletter below! As of this writing, there are still 10 different items available, but at the rate things are going, that's not gonna last! Head to the link below - trust me, it's worth a look!

What An Amazingly Great Idea!!

A Pen / Pencil Holder AND A Digital Photo Frame!

Hold A Whoppin' 70 Photos!1.5

You've Gotta See This One!

WOW! Check out what we just uncovered! It's pen / pencil holder with a fantastic little digital photo frame on the front! What a cool idea!

You know how it is - you have a bunch of photo frames on your desk and not only do they take up too much space, but they get knocked down all the time! Plus, you gotta tear them apart to update them and that's always an amazing hassle. Wouldn't it be great if you could just do it all digitally? With this you can!

You see, not only does this little gadget do a top-notch job of keeping your writing utensils in line, but it can hold a whoppin' 70 photos! WOW! I have mine set in front of me and it's cycling through photos even as I type this! The 1.5" screen is vibrant and crystal clear too! Plus, I know where all my pens are!

How's it work? You simply install the software and download your photos to it right from you PC! Couldn't be easier! In a matter of minutes, friends, family, and vacation photos are rotating on the screen! PLUS it has a built-in rechargeable battery (and that charges via a USB connection)! Awesome!

Your cost? Just $24.97 and US Shipping is FREE! Order today, and you can use the coupon code above to get another 10% off your order! Check it out:

PS - This is a VERY limited quantity deal! So, order today, grab 10% off, and don't miss out! One of the coolest little gadgets that's ever graced a desk!

Headset with Boom Microphone!

Forget Long Distance Calls & Save Big $$!

On Sale TODAY - 03-03-2008!

Talk To Friends & Family With THIS!!

These headset mics are really great!!! Let's face it - at one time or another, you're gonna need a headset with a microphone. It could be to:

  • Record a message to send to a friend via e-mail
  • Have a voice conversation over an instant messenger (my fav use)
  • To use with voice recognition software
  • To record a message to web site visitors
  • For use with online gaming
  • Or a dozen other uses

Trouble is, about the time you need a microphone, you just don't have one. Well, that's where this deal comes in!

We have this awesome Headset with a Boom Microphone for you today. They sound fantastic and the mics work great! Setup is simply a matter of plugging them into the back of your computer! Nothing to it!

Oh, check this out:

My wife and I are using a set with Yahoo Instant Messenger (free). Instead of calling back and forth on the phone, we just pop on the headset and call via the instant messenger! The sound quality is as good as what you get on the phone (and better than most cell phone conversations I've had)! If you make a lot of long distance calls, you could use this trick to save hundreds of dollars a year in long distance! And that's only one use for these headsets! 

The good news is that these are on sale today for just $9.97 each and US shipping is FREE! PLUS - You can take an extra 10% off by using the coupon code above! WOW! We're talking a $30 headset mic here! Grab yours before they sell out!

This price will increase to $15.97 on Wednesday!

Walk To Your Own Beat!

Amazingly Clear Portable AM/FM Radio

Perfect For Your Morning Walk!!

Fantastic Price!!

This AM/ FM radio blew me away, and know you will just love it as well. In fact, normally, I have my iPod plugged into my ears at work, but this week, I actually have preferred listening to this awesome AM/FM radio.

This radio features a small, light, compact design that comes equipped with its own velcro armband. All you have to do is attach the armband around your arm, tune into your favorite radio station and go. Because the armband holds the radio in place, both of your hands are free. Now that is just really cool.

Going for a walk or jog? This radio would be perfect. The tuner picks up amazing radio frequency, so no matter how far you walk, your radio program will be broadcasted loud and clear. At this very moment, I am in my office that is in a steel building and lacks windows, and guess what? Every since radio station that I have programmed into my car radio system comes in amazingly clear. I was so shocked. I was even picking up a radio station in Detroit, which is about 50 miles away! Unbelievable!!!!

Plus, this radio comes with its own headphones, which are amazingly comfortable. Better yet, with the strap that goes behind your head, these earphones will always stay in place. You will never have to deal with the iPod earbud falling out of your ear mid jog again- and I really love that!

But the price is really cool too. For just $12.97 and US Shipping is Free, you will enjoy this phenomenal AM/FM radio! PLUS - Get an extra 10% off today if you use the coupon at the beginning on this newsletter! With this radio, you will never miss your favorite radio program again!You just gotta check this one out!

PS: This price WILL increase to $14.97 tomorrow!

Amazing Bag Keeps Documents Safe From Fire!

We Tested It And It Won't Burn!

Stay Protected - Store Your Important Documents In This!

It's Crazy To Take A Chance!

This Document Bag is simply AMAZING - And truly is fire resistant!

We all know that a fire can break out at any time. What would happen to all your valuable documents if a fire broke out right now? Would you lose critical birth certificates? Insurance documents? Automobile titles? Passports? Social Security cards? Property Deeds? Can you imagine trying to replace all of that? Could you? What a nightmare!

Well, that's what we were thinking when we discovered these amazing Fire-Resistant Document Bags!

Of course, we just HAD to test these when they came in, so no sooner did they hit the door then one was opened up and a lighter was out! Well, try as we might, we just couldn't get these bags to burn! We held a lighter to one until the lighter got too hot to handle! No damage to the bag - AT ALL! It's fantastic!

I suppose it's because the Document Bag is constructed of a material that is designed to withstand temperatures of up to 1000° F!

The bags themselves are approximately 9" x 14.5" and can easily hold up to legal-size documents (deeds, passports, birth certificates, cash and more).

The truth is, no one can predict when or if a fire is going to break out, and it's crazy not to protect your legal documents! These fire-resistant bags are just the ticket! Easy to use, lightweight, and WAY cheaper than some kind of fireproof safe! Don't take a chance - grab some today!

Fire Resistant Document Bag (1 Bag) - $14.97 and FREE shipping in the US is included!

Fire Resistant Document Bag (Set of 2 Bags) - $20.97 and FREE shipping in the US is included! ***Best Deal***

PS - As usual, quantities are limited so please don't wait to order!


Computers 101

I think I need to add some memory to my computer, but I have no idea where to start. Can you give me some basic information on where to get it and how to install it? It would be greatly appreciated!

Well, I sure can! That's no problem at all. We've all run into this predicament before and believe me, if you haven't yet, you will someday. Here's the scenario: your computer seems to be working just fine, but as each day passes, it starts to run a little bit slower, it freezes up more often, it hesitates whenever you try to do something, etc. If you're experiencing anything like that, it may be time to add some more memory to your computer.

Now, I realize the thought of that may panic you, but don't let it! Adding memory to your computer really isn't as hard as it sounds. With a little help, you can be a memory adding pro in no time at all! You just have to take it in steps. First, you need to make sure you really do need more memory (because if that's not going to help your computer, there's no need in wasting your time); second, you just need to find out where you can get more memory and third, you need to learn how to install it. Lucky for you, I'm going to go over all of that with you in the next couple of days. I will go over parts one and two with you today and then finish up with part three tomorrow. Okay, let's get started!

Part 1

The type of memory you're referring to is called RAM (Random Access Memory). RAM is the temporary working memory that your operating system, programs and documents use to keep your computer running. Over the years, the amounts of RAM that most computers have has grown considerably. It used to be that 32 or 64 MB was plenty, but these days, if you don't have at least 512 MB, you're going to get lost in the dark.

When you're using different applications on your computer all at the same time (for example, you're checking your e-mail, you're listening to some music, you're loading a game, etc.), they're all fighting for enough RAM to be able to run for you. As you can see, if you don't have enough RAM to accommodate all your programs, you're going to run into some problems. Your computer sometimes grabs some of your virtual memory to keep things going, but that's much less efficient than actually having the right amount of RAM on your computer. So, if your computer has been acting funny lately, adding some more RAM should put it back in top performance.

Part 2

Once you've made the decision to purchase more memory, you first need to figure out how much more you're going to need. To do that, you need to find out how much your computer has right now. In Windows, you can check that by going to Start, Control Panel, System. Browsing through that area will also tell you what kind of RAM is recommended for your PC. If you already have a pretty good amount of memory (say, 512 MB), you may only need to add another 256 MB. You don't want to add too much, because your processor may not be able to handle it all. Plus, that would just be a waste of money.

You can buy RAM at most regular computer stores (Radio Shack, etc.), but you can also purchase it online. If you do a search for the type of RAM you need with your favorite search engine, you should be able to find several places you can buy it from. Just make sure the site is secure before you place your order and everything should be fine. Again, every computer is different, so just make sure you're getting the right kind for your PC. Most places will have a phone number you can call to verify that everything is correct for your computer type.

Once you've received your RAM, you're ready to install it. As I said before, I will go over that with you tomorrow. (I love keeping you in suspense!) So, be sure to tune in tomorrow for all the information you'll need to know to add that memory to your computer. You'll be up and running in no time. See you soon!

~ Erin

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MS Office

Shape Up Your WordArt

Do you often find you want WordArt in your document, but you actually only want it to appear to be inside a shape?

What did you do?

You could create the shape and the WordArt separately and then group them together. With older versions of the MS Office Suite, that's pretty much what you're going to have to do.

But if you have one of the newer versions of Office, you could actually put the WordArt inside the shape pretty much the same way you'd enter regular text into a shape. (Just a side note: I couldn't get my Office XP to do this trick, so it will have to be newer than that).

Now, I'm sure someone out there is wondering why you'd want to do this at all.

That's a good question and I think I have a pretty good reason as to why it's a good plan!

It's a purely practical reason if there ever was one. If the WordArt is actually inside the shape as its text, when you resize or move your shape, it also affects the WordArt. One stop formatting works for me, how about you?!

Assuming this sounds like a good plan to you, here's what you need to know to make this tip work for you.

  • First, insert the shape.

  • The second step is to right click on the shape and choose Add Text from the menu that pops up.

  • You'll now find your cursor inside the shape. While it's still in there, you need to start and create the needed WordArt.

That's it! Once the WordArt is created, it's in the shape and it will change as necessary to match any changes made to the shape.

I found that if I changed the size of the WordArt, the shape would adjust in size too.

On the other hand, if you change the size of the shape, the WordArt stays the same size and adjusts its position within the shape, just as regular text would do.

However, when relocating the shape, the WordArt always goes with it.

I should add that there were very few times I tried this one and wasn't happy with the outcome. So, it's not perfect, but overall, I love it and it's definitely worth the time to learn how to do it!

~ April

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More Cool Stuff

Forget MS Office!

You've Gotta Try THIS Instead! 

And It's Only A Fraction Of The Cost!

It's More Than An Alternative To MS Office - It's BETTER!!

Full Featured - Everything You'd Ever Want And Then Some!

Discover What All The Excitement Is About!!

We're still reeling over this one! Thank YOU to the hundreds and hundreds who ordered yesterday! It's a fantastic program and one we KNOW you're gonna love! We think it's crazy to spend $400-$800 on MS Office when this is actually a BETTER product!

You know, we've offered some pretty amazing software in the past, but just wait till you see what we have for you today!! When it comes to bang-for-the-buck, our newest title, Office Suite 2008 just blows everything else away! I can't tell ya how absolutely impressed I am with this amazing software! It's a phenomenal MS Office alternative that has EVERY feature you'd ever want or need in an office suite at a price that's almost a give-away!!! PLUS - this is 100% MS Office compatible!

First off, I can tell you that MS Office no longer has a place on my computer - or any new computers that we get for the office! Office Suite 2008 is not just an alternative to MS Office - in my opinion, it's actually a WAAAAYY BETTER alternative! It's easier to use, faster, and just way more user-friendly! Seriously - just wait till you spend your first hour or so with it - you'll wonder why you haven't been using it all along! You won't believe how impressive this software is!

OfficeSuite 2008

In fact, most of the articles you see here in the newsletter were written either with one version or another of this software! Why shell out up to $800 for MS Office when these does everything it does - and then some - for a FRACTION of the price? Heck, I just installed this on my new laptop for an upcoming trip! I can tell you this - once you give this a try, you won't be back to MS Office and their insane prices - EVER!

What do you get? Well, EVERYTHING! This includes an absolutely fantastic word processor, a spreadsheet program on steroids (it just stomps Excel), presentation software that makes PowerPoint all but obsolete, an incredible drawing program (think easy to use TurboCad), an advanced calculating program, and even a souped-up, high-end database! PLUS it can even create PDFs with the push of a button from most applications! WOW! To get even close to that with MS office you'd be looking at a small fortune!

OK, So how close is this to MS Office, really? 

Well, I was editing a document with a friend and for first half-hour he thought we were using MS Office. Finally he looked at it a little closer and said, "Hey - what program is this?" I told him about it - and how inexpensive it was - and he was blown away! He couldn't believe that you could get a program like this for less than $15!! In fact, at first he thought I was kidding around. Well, he's got a few on the way for himself now! Why shell out $400 - $800 for MS Office when you can get this for a small fraction of the cost? Check it out:

The 2 of the main components are a top notch Word Processor and a Spreadsheet Program. Both look a LOT like MS Word and MS Excel - in fact, if you just open it up and ignore the title bar, you'd swear that you were using an improved version of MS Office! It's THAT good. Oh, and like I said, this also comes with a phenomenal presentation program, drawing program, database and MORE! Let's look at the main two everyone use though - I just want to give you an idea why this program is sooo great!

The Word Processor is just fantastic! I mean, it really has everything - a spell checker, grammar checker, thesaurus, auto text, tables, password protection, mail merge, easy font selection, auto numbering, etc. Plus, everything is very intuitive - it just seems like things are where you expect them to be and work the way you'd expect them to work. It's like the person who wrote the software actually uses the software! Here's just a taste of what you can create with the word processor:

OfficeSuite 2008

Oh PLUS ~ You can turn your document into a PDF file with the click of one button ~ this is a terrific feature!!

Oh, and wait till you see the Spreadsheet Program! It looks and functions just like MS Excel! Even the menus are virtually identical - everything you're used to doing in Excel can be done just as quickly here. TONS of built-in formulas, formatting, and functions at your fingertips. Create charts in just a few mouse clicks, filter data easily, send spreadsheets via e-mail, you name it, this can do it! You'll never need Excel again (or wan to use it for that matter)!!

The really cool thing is that all of this is 100% MS Office Compatible. It not only opens MS Office files (.doc, .xls) but can also save in that format! That way, you don't need to have MS Office to create or save MS Office documents. Cool huh?

I tell ya what - I could go on and on about this one - it's really one of the most - if not the most - powerful office suites I've ever had the privilege of using! I'm really excited about having it on my computer and I can't recommend this highly enough! If you need office software, you just gotta give this a try!

Oh, your cost? Glad you asked! Just $12.97 and US shipping is FREE! PLUS - Grab an extra 10% off today with the coupon above! It's almost a give-away for that kind of money - especially when you think that MS Office is $400-$800!! Try it, you'll thank me later :-)

PS - These always FLY outta here, and this newest version is the best ever! Make sure you zip on over to the site and get yourself a copy before they sell out! It's really amazing that you can get software this powerful for just $12.97! Check it out!

WOW! Run Windows XP Like A Pro For $5.97!

You'll Be Amazed At What A Few Hours Training Can Do!

Wait Till You Try The Clever Interactive XP Simulator!

Engaging Audio And Video - It's Like Your Own Personal Tutor!

Learning XP Has Never Been So Much FUN - Or So EASY!!

Hey - Do you wish you were better at using Windows XP? Maybe you're sick and tired of trying to figure everything out, maybe you're frustrated when you just can't get Windows to do what you want. Hey, maybe you just want to actually ENJOY Windows XP instead of fighting with it all the time! Say goodbye to the headaches and save your aspirin for dealin' with the kids! We have Professor Teaches Windows XP and it's a real stunner!!

First off, this software features 75 topics for XP (Pro And Home), PLUS 59 excellent tricks and tips for internet explorer! That's over 125 absolutely fantastic multimedia presentations that show you how all the great XP features work - wait till you see what you've been missing! You'll really love how easy these terrific presentations are to follow and watch! What's exciting about this software is that you're not just reading a dull page of text; this uses engaging audio and video to explain exactly how you do something! PLUS just wait till you see how thoroughly they cover each topic - there's not a single mouse click left out of the presentation! This won't leave you guessing - it'll leave you knowing EXACTLY what to do! It's like having Bill Gates sitting next to you, going over XP step by step (only this is a little cheaper :-)!

The presentations are incredible, but ti doesn't stop there! Are you one of those people that learn better by "trying it out" on your own? Well, this has an amazing Windows XP Simulator built in! It works like this - you watch a lesson, then you can actually "try" it - just like you were using Windows, only you're not going to be able to mess anything up! How cool is that? If that's not the smartest way ever to teach Windows, I don't know what is! It's really like having a private computer tutor! Heck, you can even take a quiz at the end of the chapters to test your knowledge!

 Plus, you'll really love the way the presentations progress too- they won't leave you behind scratching your head! You'll start off with the basics, then move on to more advanced topics as you learn. Of course, you can always skip back and review, but let me tell ya, as good as this software is, you probably won't need to! Plus, if you need a quick fix to a problem, you can skip to any topic at any time!

What's covered? HA - What isn't? This thoroughly covers everything you'll ever want to know about XP! Want a small taste of what you're gonna get on this jam-packed CD? We're talking: setting up internet and e-mail, adding an internet connection, basic networking and printer sharing, computer security, updates, customizing your desktop, troubleshooting problems, adding / removing programs, getting help, advanced PC health, troubleshooting, making CDs, using the sound recorder, tricks for printing web pages, fine-tuning your system, adding hardware, printing,, intros to everything (desktop, explorer, folders, ect), customizing your start menu, getting the best performance, working with files and folders, using the taskbar, a bunch of great desktop tricks, and more! You're REALLY gonna love it!

Here's the main categories:

Windows XP Basics
Customizing & Using The Desktop
Working With Files And Folders
Managing Your Computer
Printing and Networking
Exploring The Internet
E-mail And Instant Messaging
Mastering Media
Internet Explorer

Whew, it covers a TON and we've only touched the surface here! Seriously, if you're running Windows XP, this is an absolute MUST-HAVE! This makes using XP sooooo much easier, it's crazy to fight and struggle along! Give this a try, by the time you're done you'll not only love XP, you'll be using it like a pro!

Your price? You can get this today for just $5.97!!  That's FREE US Shipping of course, plus if you don't love it, just send it back within 60 days for a refund! Trust me, this is the best way to learn XP - I've never seen a faster - or easier - way to learn! You'll love it too! In stock, ready to ship, grab 'em while you can!

PS - This is a limited quantity deal and the price is only good for a limited time. If you're running XP, this is going to make that experience soooo much better! Crazy not to grab it - I know I'm impressed!

The price is going to $10.97 tomorrow! Get it while you can!

Find Stuff

When you're on a Web site (using Internet Explorer as your Web browser), are you usually only looking for certain words or phrases? You know, maybe you're looking for one specific thing on the site, but sifting through all of that information can be quite tiresome. So, is there anything else you can do? Of course there is! Internet Explorer actually comes with its own Find function and you can use that to find exactly what you're looking for much faster. And guess what! You can learn all about it by checking out the tip on our homepage today!

How Things Are Made

Have you ever wondered how things you use everyday are made? I mean, how is your favorite candy bar made? How about the car you drive? Or, the airplane you flew in on your last vacation. We take all kinds of things like that for granted everyday and if you stop and think about how they're actually made, it's pretty amazing. And with the cool site on our homepage today, you can learn all about it! That's right, the How Everyday Things Are Made Web site is filled with information about how things are created. It's so cool, so check it out ASAP!

Here's the link you need: Enjoy!

Tip of the Day

Protecting Your File Encryption Key

Did you know that Windows Vista includes a file encryption technology that's very similar to the one in Windows XP? Well, it does and Vista even makes it easier to make a backup of your file encryption key. In XP, your encrypted files would be lost if you changed your password, but in Vista, an encryption key is used to sign your encrypted files, which also means it can be backed up. It's critically important for you to create a backup of your encryption key if you decide to use the encryption features. Luckily, Vista reminds you of that immediately after the first time you encrypt a file. Let's check it out!

To use the wizard to back up your encryption key, just click on the pop up notification when it shows up in your taskbar.

Select Back Up Now from the wizard screen and then hit Next.

On the next screen, you'll need to enter in a password for your key. The password will be used if you try to restore the encryption key later on. Make sure you choose a secure password and make sure it's also something you'll remember easily.

On the next screen, you can enter in a file name or you can click on the Browse button to choose a folder location. (It was easier for me to click on Browse). Then type in the file name you want.

Hit Next and then Finish. You should now see that the export was successful!

Now, it's very important to back the file up and put it somewhere very safe. A spare USB drive wouldn't be a bad idea either. Stay safe, my friends!

~ Ramachandran Kumaraswami

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Today's Feature

Make Your Batteries Last Longer

Okay, if you've been shooting with your digital camera for more than a few hours, you've probably noticed your camera thinks of your battery inventory as an all-you-can-eat buffet. So, here's some advice that will hopefully save you some money and make your batteries last longer!

1.) Use rechargeable batteries. Check your owner's manual to see if you can use rechargeable batteries. If the answer is yes, go out and buy some!

When I was doing photography professionally, I used nothing but rechargeable batteries. I had several sets and each set was discharged and recharged at least once or twice a week. They lasted a couple years and they saved me a small fortune in alkaline batteries.

2.) Keep extra batteries with you at all times. Don't you hate it when you're about to snap a photo and the battery quits? Usually, they croak right when you're in the middle of shooting an exciting event. Always keep at least one spare set of batteries in your camera bag at all times.

If your camera uses its own proprietary battery, you may need to contact the manufacturer or go to their Web site to get extras. It's probably not a bad idea to get several extras, especially since cameras become obsolete faster than last year's pop music! You don't want your original battery to wear out, only to find no more are available for your camera due to its age.

Oh, and if you're using sets of rechargeable batteries, try to keep those sets together. That way, they all "age" at the same rate.

3.) Use less of the LCD monitor. LCD monitors are really great. They're one of the reasons digital photography is so fun. You just look at the LCD panel and snap when the image looks good. What could be easier? However, there's a downside.

That little LCD monitor on the back of your camera is like a battery vampire. The more you use it, the faster the life gets sucked out of your batteries. If you want to conserve battery power, keep your LCD monitor use to a minimum. The optical viewfinder on your camera will work just fine for most images and it can really stretch out your battery life.

4.) Avoid excessive playback. Yep, I'm going to be picking on the LCD monitor again here, since the playback feature can also eat a lot of battery juice.

If you're running low on power, use playback only when absolutely necessary. If you really need to examine a photo you snapped a moment ago, that's fine. Just keep in mind that if you're showing a friend the last 200 photos you've taken of your pet chihuahua, you may not have any power left the next time you need it.

5.) Keep your batteries warm. Cold weather is to batteries what Raid is to bugs. It kills them good!

If you're shooting in cold weather, keep your extra batteries in a warm pocket, wrapped in a Ziplock bag. (The Ziplock bag is to keep them from shorting out with other metal in your pockets. Things get a little hot when that happens. Trust me!)

You may be able to resuscitate cold batteries by removing them and warming them up in a pocket (again, I stress using a Ziplock bag). I usually end up switching back and forth between a couple sets when it's cold.

6.) Keep them fresh. It's been a long time since you've used your digital camera, but now you're going on vacation. As you pull it out and blow the dust off of it, you remember you charged all your batteries before you put the camera away. So, no need to worry, right?

Wrong! Rechargeable batteries can lose their charge over time just by sitting. I'm not sure where all that power leaks out to, but it's gone nonetheless. So, before any trip, be sure to stick the batteries on a charger. Happy shooting with long lasting batteries!

~ Steve

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Amanda's Coolsite

The Radio

The Radio is a great way to listen to music online! It's so easy to use too. After the short advertisement plays, you’ll be given a search prompt. Just type in the name of your favorite artist or genre and hit Enter. That will start the searching process for your artist or genre.

If there's more than one match for your entry, you’ll get a listing of channels to choose from. For example, I typed in Mozart and from my results, I had a lot of different channels to select from.

Once you’ve listened to a channel, you can click on the History tab to see the channels you’ve already listened to. That's really helpful if you’ve switched channels, but didn’t like what you heard and wanted to go back to what you were previously listening to.

The Channels tab lets you pick a channel to listen to from their default listing. That's a great way to listen to a specific genre.

If you want to stay on top of new developments and updates to The Radio, I suggest signing up for it. You can help them make a better service by giving them your feedback and you can stay up to date on what’s happening on the Web site. Just click on the Sign Up for Beta link at the top of the page and fill out the form. It’s that easy!

No matter how you look at it, you’re getting great music streaming right off your computer for free! You can change channels as your mood changes and you can even keep track of your favorites. Just check out the Favorites tab for more information on how to save your favorite channels and rate songs. Happy listening!

~ Amanda

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Monthly Wallpaper

March Wallpaper

Here's March's wallpaper. It's all free, so enjoy!

Yellowstone Rainbow

This was taken in my favorite park right as a storm blew past. I was driving along and couldn't believe the intensity of the light and this rainbow.

Yellow Flower

This was taken last spring in the Smoky Mountains. The light was soft and just right, so I spent an hour or so shooting flowers just like this one.

Antelope Canyon Light Beam

This is from the famous Antelope Slot Canyon in Arizona. In the summer, these fantastic light beams shine down from above and I loved the look of this one.

All can be found here:





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