Monday, May 11, 2009

Computer Tips [ Prevent Devastating Crashes + Hey - What Are You Doing To That File? + Time - The Way You Want ] 05/12/2009


Quick Tips

Enable Military Time in Windows Vista

Attention, Soldiers! Today we're going to learn how to tell time the right way! The military way!
This simple tip will allow you to view your Windows Vista clock in 24 hour mode, so you don't have to worry about your a.m. and p.m. anymore!
Let's get to it!

Click the Start button and in the Search Bar type: intl.cpl

Under the formats tab click “Customize this Format

Next, click the Time Tab at the top, and under time format use the drop-down menu to select: HH:mm:ss

The capital H's tell Windows Vista to show time in the 24 hour format.

Click okay, and give me 20, soldier! If you don't like it, there's always the Reset button at the bottom of this same window. This will put every format option back to it's default setting.


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Only 28% Know The Answer!

Our Trivia Question of the week is a HUGE hit! This week's question is stumping over 2/3rd of ya - How many megabytes are in a gigabyte? Think you're one of the 28% who know? Prove it! Head to the homepage and test your knowledge!


I thought everyone would like these Tire Gauges, but WOW!!! What a response!! Same thing happened as last time when had 'em: we're having a hard time keeping up with the number of orders! And THIS Tire Gauge is at a LOWER price AND... IT'S DIGITAL!!! Super simple to use!!! You've got to check this out!!!

WOW! Here's The Product A LOT of You Have Been Waiting For...

And It's FINALLY IN!!!



Oh yeah...This Makes Checking Your Tire Pressure A Breeze!!!

Everybody knows you should keep your tires properly inflated because IT SAVES BIG BUCKS!!! In fact, here's what US Dept of Energy has to say about it, "You can improve your gas mileage by around 3.3 percent by keeping your tires inflated to the proper pressure. Under-inflated tires can lower gas mileage by 0.3 percent for every 1 psi drop in pressure of all four tires."


We all know these things. But here's the question: "How can you check your tires QUICKLY, EASILY and REMEMBER TO DO IT REGULARLY?

Well, here's your answer: This DIGITAL TIRE GAUGE is fast and so simple to use! Press the button to turn it on and place the gauge over the tire valve and READ THE DIGITAL READ OUT! And what I really like about it is that it's compact and lightweight! PLUS it has a Key Ring so YOU CAN KEEP THIS ON YOUR OWN KEY RING!!! (How easy is that??) How often have you WANTED TO CHECK YOUR TIRE PRESSURE but you just didn't have a tire gauge around? Now you've got it right where you need it!

ALSO, You can use this on motorcycles or even bicycles! Give one to the kids and LET THEM KEEP TRACK OF THE TIRE PRESSURE ON THEIR BIKES! You might want to keep an extra one on a hook in the garage so it's handy for everyone! And at this ridiculously low price, you can grab a couple 'cause today we've got these for an AMAZING price of just $9.97 and US shipping is FREE!!! We've NEVER had a TIRE GAUGE priced THIS low...AND THIS IS DIGITAL!! WOW!!!

P.S. - So, increase your fuel efficiency, and save money on wear and tear on your tires!

WOW! What An Idea!!MicroSD Memory Card w/MiniSD and SD Adapter

Three SD Cards In ONE!!!

It's An SD Card!

No Wait - It's A Mini SD Card!

No Wait - It's A Micro SD Card!

Hold On - It's ALL THREE!!! IN ONE!!! WOW!

Works In Digital Cameras AND Cell Phones!

A Must-Have For Everyone!

Don't Pay $40 Somewhere Else!

WOW! Here's one memory card combo you've just gotta grab!  This is easy solution if you have multiple SD devices. This is a single product with multiple adapters that can used in any SD, miniSD or microSD slot in any device!

This amazing little guy works in phones AND cameras And PDAs - pretty much everything that takes ANY kind of SD card - Micro Mini Or Standard size!! How cool is that? One card for everything!

How's it work? The card itself is a MicroSd (also known as Transflash) card. These are what's usually found in cell phones, but you'll also find them in PDAs, MP3 players, and even some smaller cameras (of course, check your gadget to make sure). However, rather than just being limited to one "size", these also come with a Mini SD and standard size SD Card adapter! You just pop this into the SD or Mini SD adapter, and you instantly have a 2GB SD / Mini SD card - Or just use it as-is for a micro SD card! 

So, bottom line - if your device needs a Micro SD OR a Mini SD OR a regular SD card, this ONE product has you covered! Finally!

Think about it - seems like whenever you buy a new device - be it a phone, camera, MP3 player - whatever - you have to buy a compatible card. Well, NOT anymore! With this, you'll have the 3 most popular cards all in ONE product!

Great thing about these little memory cards is if you have a cell phone that allows memory cards, you can store all those cell phone photos and videos right to this card! Can you imagine how much you'd pay for a memory card for you phone at wireless store? Ouch!

You'll love that this doubles as an SD & Mini SD card too! In fact, for the price even if you don't need it for your phone, might as well get a couple for your camera! Just pop it into the adapter and you have a full-fledged 1GB SD or Mini SD card ready to go! No matter what you need memory for, this has you covered!

Plus, these are from SanDisk, so you know you're getting one of best memory cards In the WORLD! These are super-reliable and will last for years and years to come!

You cost? Again, today only, just $12.97 and US shipping is FREE! Is that incredible or what? We've see estimated retail prices at $46.95 - that's a 75% savings! A year ago, you'd pay 5X that amount for just a REGULAR SD card, and with this you have a Micro SD, a Mini SD and a regular SD card...ALL IN ONE! And what you'll save in time by not having to hunt for other size cards and switch them out is probably even more! Only for today, so run to the site and get it while you can!

PS - Remember, this price on this WILL increase to $16.97 tomorrow! Get this while you can!

WOW!! We sold a TON of these Monday! THANK YOU to everyone who ordered! It's an unbelievable deal on probably the coolest camera we've ever found! You've gotta grab one for yourself! Even if you already have a nice camera, the fact that this is soooo tiny makes it a great addition - and ideal to take along when you don't want your bigger camera getting in the way! I already have one in my Jeep!  Grab yours today!

Amazing! 3MP Digital "Slim" Camera!Oregon Scientific ThinCam 3MP Digital Camera

Fits In The Palm Of Your Hand!

Never Be Without A Camera Again!

Super-Easy To Take Along!

"Oh, I wish I had my camera!" Don't you just hate it overeaten you utter those words? Wouldn't it be great if someone would make a camera that was sooooo small that you never left home without it? I mean, think about all those times you WISHED you had a camera along but didn't - just imagine all those pictures you could have captured!

Well, it'll never happen to you again! We just discovered this amazing little camera from Oregon Scientific. It's called the ThinCam and it's soooo tiny you'll end up taking it everywhere you go! Never miss another photo op!

This thing is so small it literally fits in the palm of your hand! You could easily stick it in a shirt pocket and forget it's there! It would fit great inside a purse too! Not only would this be great to keep with you all the time, but it would be tremendous for all those times you WANT to bring a camera, but don't want something big and bulky slowing you down. Heck, compared to just about any camera out there, this is WAY easier to take along. I slid one into my pants pocket and completely forget it was there! Tiny and light - it's GREAT!

Oregon Scientific ThinCam 3MP Digital Camera

Oh, and the quality is simply OUTSTANDING too! It's 3MP so you can make nice prints up to 8x10 (and probably pretty darn good 11x14s). Plus - check it out - it has a built in flash too! Day or night - inside or outside - you're covered! Plus, it may be tiny, but it still sports a vivid 1.5" LCD screen on the back! Makes it easy to see what you're shootin' and what you've shot! 

Almost forgot - This takes SD cards but get this - it also has a whoppin' 16MB of built-in memory too! So even if you leave your memory card at home you'll still be able to take photos! They thought of everything!

PLUS this is a complete kit! Check this out - you get the camera, a handy charger stand (charges via USB), a nice little case, and a software CD for managing your photos! From start to finish you are SERIOUSLY covered!

Oregon Scientific ThinCam 3MP Digital Camera

Your cost for all this slim digital camera fun? Just $38.97!! Really! Think about it - when was the last time you saw a digital camera for that kind of money? Heck - have you ever seen one that cheap? Add to the fact that this is super-small and it's a no-brainer if you ask me! Grab it today - we're not sure how long these are gonna last!

PS - These really are super-cool. Amazingly tiny, but packed full of quality features! You really can't go wrong on this one! Get yours before we sell out!

Computers 101

What is the difference between Downloading, Uploading and Installing?

Here's a blow by blow:

Downloading - This is moving a file that's on the Internet (or over a network) onto your computer. For most of us, downloading is just a matter of clicking a download link on a web site and saving the file to disk. If you want more info on downloading, be sure to check out our download guide at .

Uploading - This is the opposite of downloading. With uploading, you take a file from your computer and send it to a computer on the internet (or a computer / server on a network). Usually this is done with an FTP client, but some web sites you'll come across will allow you to send files to them with your web browser.

Installing - This is often confused with downloading, but it's a different animal. When you install something, you basically "put" the program on your computer so you can use it. Normally this is done via a setup program or "wizard" to make installation easy. Once you're finished installing a program, you can usually run it from your Start Menu, Programs area.

For more definitions of various computer terms, go to .

~ Steve

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MS Office

Converting Slides to Screensavers

Do you have a PowerPoint presentation containing slides that you just wish you could make into your screensaver?

Maybe you had a presentation sent to you containing a bunch of pictures of the grandkids.

Or maybe you'd just love to create a screensaver out of a variety of your favorite quotes.

Either way, if it's in a PowerPoint presentation, we can do that!


Okay, then let's get started.

First, you need to open the presentation that contains the slides you need.

If you only want one slide from the presentation, go ahead and find it. If you want the entire presentation, then proceed to the next step.

Now, we need the File menu / Office Button, Save As choice.

When the Save As window opens, you need to navigate to an empty folder that will specifically only hold those pictures used in the screensaver.

Before you complete the Save, you need to change the file type to Device Independent Bitmap.

Change the name if you want to and click Save.

When PowerPoint asks you to choose between saving the current slide or the entire presentation, make your choice.

With that done, you're ready to go out to Windows to set the screensaver up.

Right-click on your desktop and choose Properties (for Vista it's Personalize) from the menu.

Choose Screen Saver.

Here, you'll need to choose My Pictures Slideshow.

With that selected, the Settings button becomes available. Click it.

Change whatever settings you like, but be sure to click the Browse button and tell Windows where the folder that contains the slide pictures is located.

Click OK to back your way out to the Screen Saver choices and proceed with setting your screensaver as usual.

Voila! Slides to screensaver in no time!

~ April

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More Cool Stuff

WOW!!! 60% OFF RETAIL!!!! Bargain Hunters....Unite!!!

Ingenious Hard Drive Dock Pays For Itself!

Best Way To Manage Your Extra Files!

Here's one you'll really LOVE! Do you use external hard drives for your backups or extra storage? I know I do - well, I used to anyhow! We just found an item you're really gonna be excited about - it's got to be one of the best ideas I've seen for saving some big bucks in storage! It's a Hard Drive Dock and it's gonna be your new best friend!

Think of it this way: Take a HARD DRIVE (SATA / eSATA ) and Use It Like You Would a Flash Drive On Your Computer!!!image

LOTS of Storage With Simplicity and Convenience!!!

First - Here's the usual problem: External hard drives are stupid expensive. OK, they are getting cheaper, but ever notice how an internal hard drive of the same size will ALWAYS be cheaper then the external version? Sometimes by a huge margin too! Of course, the internal drive doesn't need a fancy case, switches, or power cords like the external drive does, so it should be cheaper. Now, wouldn't it be great if you could use an internal hard drive outside of your computer for backups and extra storage? That's EXACTLY what this does!

This cool little dock lets you use any SATA / eSATA hard drive just by popping it into the dock! (note - that pretty much covers any drive less than 4 years old - and quite a few older than 4 yrs) PLUS it works for regular 3.5" desktop drives AND 2.5" laptop drives - both sizes are covered! So, if you have an old SATA hard drive sitting in a drawer, in an old computer, or whatever - you can get some new life out of it by popping it into this dock! Think of it as an almost free external hard drive!

On the other hand, if you're like me and take a lot of photos (or video), you can just buy a less expensive internal hard drive next time you need more space and plug it into this dock! Heck, I got a 300GB drive the other day on sale for $44! An external drive would have been easily three times that much! When you think of how expensive external hard drives are compared to internal drives, you can see this will easily pay for itself the first time you use it! Besides, since I'm just using these for backups and extra storage, why do I need some slick-looking case? I'll save my money, thank you!

Plus, just wait till you go to store those internal hard drives - you're in for a treat!! You know how those external drives are big, bulky, and just take up way too much space? Well, when you use internal drives with this dock, you can just stick 'em in a drawer like I do! I'm actually thinking about taking apart a couple of my old external drive cases to pull the hard drives for use with this - I'd love to save some space since I feel like I'm getting overrun with external HDs!!!

Worried about speed? Well, this is just as fast as any external hard drive - it's USB 2.0, so it's really, really gonna move your data quickly. You get the same speed and performance of an external HD, without the extra expense and bulk! It's even hot-swappable!

Finally, I think these would be great for getting data off other hard drives to copy over to your computer. My sister's laptop just died, so I took it apart and pulled the little hard drive out of it. Since this works with regular size and laptop drives, I plugged it into this dock and we copied all her old files and photos onto a new computer - now that's cool!

Your cost? Just $39.97 and US shipping is FREE! No, it's not the cheapest thing we've ever offered, BUT I'll bet you'll easily save the price of this dock by the money you'll save buying internal rather than external drives! It really does pays for itself! So it's probably one of the SMARTEST deals you can make!!!

PS - Note that there is a limited number of these available, so you'll have to hurry or you'll miss out! Don't get stuck with big, expensive external drives - grab one of these today! You'll love it!

Your Hard Drive Is Going To Die!

It Happens To Everyone - Do You Have A Backup?

Amazing New Backup Software Makes It Easy!

Set It And Forget It!

Never Lose Photos, Images, Documents - Anything!

Crazy Not To Grab This For Just $8.97!


What would happen if, right now, your computer completely crashed and ALL the data on it was lost?

Think about that for a minute - how many photos would be gone? How many important documents? Songs? Presentations? E-mails? Bookmarks? Projects? Do you have a backup of that stuff you could restore, or is everything gone forever? Kind puts a knot in your stomach just thinking about it huh?

In fact, I've seen firsthand how terrible it is for people. Not just subscribers begging us (some in tears over the phone) to help them find a way to get unrecoverable lost data back, but I've had family and friends lose thousands of irreplaceable photos, work documents, reports, ect. It's just such a disaster when a hard drive goes out, or a virus destroys all your data, or even an accidental deletion wipes out important files.

There are two kinds of computer users in this world - those that have lost important data and those that will!

If you use a computer, you absolutely MUST backup your data! Everyone knows that! Well, I'm really excited to tell you about this fantastic new title we just came across- it's called Guardian Data Backup and it is, without a doubt, the best backup software I've ever used (and I've used some pretty nice stuff)!

First off, I know what you're thinking - doing backups is a pain! Frankly, that's why we get soooo many people asking us if there's anyway to get lost data back!

Wouldn't it be just fantastic if there was an easy-to-use program that you can set to do your backup jobs then just forget it? 

Well, that's what we have for you today! It has a help file with it, but I doubt anyone has had to even look at it - you can master this baby in about a minute!

This amazing software FINALLY takes all the hassle out of doing backups! It's really this simple - First, create a backup job by picking out the folder or files you want to backup, then just tell the software where you want to backup to. Easy! Next, just hit the backup button whenever you want to backup those files / folders! Or, better yet, schedule your backup job for whenever you like - and it's done automatically at that time, every time! Just set it and forget it! If there's ever a crash, you'll automatically have a current backup!

Guardian Data Backup

Oh, and then it gets even better! You can actually create more than one backup job! In fact, you can create as many as you like. Why would you do that? Well, I don't know about you, but I don't change all my files all the time. My picture files are good if I backup once a week, but with the documents I use for work, well, those change constantly and I want them backed up every day. With multiple backup jobs, I can customize my routine to work the way I do! (Of course, you can do a manual backup anytime you like)

Speaking of scheduling, this is just incredible! You can do backups daily, weekly, or monthly AND select whatever time you like! I have my backups set to run when I'm usually at lunch or dinner, so it all gets done while I'm away!

Guardian Data Backup

Oh, and here's something I absolutely LOVE - filters! This lets you create a "filtered" backup job - and it's the first backup program I've seen that does it! You can actually pick a folder and tell it to ONLY backup the types of files YOU want it to backup! Let's say you have a folder with ten different types of files, but you only want word docs and jpegs backed up - this can do it! OR let's say you have a folder and you want EVERYTHING backed up EXCEPT text docs - yup, this can do that too! It's all optional, but it's there if you need it.

Guardian Data Backup

Finally, as if all the above wasn't enough, this also compresses your backup files to save space - and it even lets you set how high the compression is! All of this is right at your fingertips and really easy to do!

You know, everyone will tell you the "critical" software you have to have on your PC - Anti-virus, Anti-spyware, and a good firewall. Funny thing is they miss the most important one of all - backup software! To me, regular backups are as important - if not even more important, as running anti-virus, anti-spyware, etc! After all - a hard drive crash can happen at any time, just out of the blue - the ONLY defense is a reliable backup!

Your cost? Get this, these are normally $30, but we got a deal for ya! Just $8.97 and US shipping is FREE!

Now, I KNOW your data is worth $8.97! RUN to the site and grab yourself a copy of this fantastic software - you'll thank me for it!

PS - EVERYONE is going to experience a hard drive crash or some type of data loss if they are using computers - that's just the way it is. I've lived through several major crashes - hard drives just really do go out sometimes. I can't tell you the level of disaster it would have been if I didn't have a backup!

Don't WISH you had this software when it happens - for less than $10, grab this today!

PS - The price WILL Increase to $14.97 on Wednesday!

Today at

InkJet dos and don'ts

Are you in the market to buy a new inkjet printer? If so, I urge you to take the following suggestions with you when you go shopping. They are dos and don'ts that are sure to save you from disappointment! They're also very simple and easy to implement. Go over to the Worldstart site for the full dirt!!

Car Buying Tips

Buying a car can be a difficult, frustrating task if you don’t know what you’re doing or looking for. Today the Cool Site at Worldstart tries to help you get rid of the guess work with its tips. When you think about it, a car is usually the first investment anyone makes and since they depreciate in value over time, you want to get your money’s worth for sure. Go ahead! Give it a look!

Here's the link you need: Enjoy!

Tip of the Day

Preventing Your Games From Crashing

It's a fairly common scenario: you've been looking forward to the release of a new game for months. You run to the store to buy it as soon as it's released, you bring it home and you're anxious to play it, but for some reason or another, you're simply unable to play the game. That's right, it crashes. Time and time again. Even more, in some cases, the game doesn’t even install or if it does install, it doesn’t start up. So, what's the deal? Well, let's look at some possible reasons for game crashes and how you can prevent it from happening again!

Basic Problems

Actually, the game not starting at all is not that bad, because in that case, you can almost certainly say there's a mismatch between the game’s minimum requirements and your computer’s specifications.

In fact, there are many things that could go wrong. You may have the wrong version of the game (you have a PC, but you bought the Mac version), you may have a CD ROM drive and the game version you bought is a DVD, you have a 32-bit operating system, but you purchased the 64-bit version, you don’t have the proper graphics card and so on and so forth.

In each of those cases, the problem is easily avoided by making sure you're aware of your computer’s specifications beforehand. It's a good idea to write them out on a sheet of paper and take it along with you to the store. That way, you can match up everything on the game's packaging as well.

Resource Usage and Memory Problems

Even if you've met the requirements on the box, always remember that those are the bare minimum requirements. Generally, your computer ought to be significantly better for you to experience decent performance.

The reason for that is since you've been using your computer for awhile, there are a number of applications you have installed over time. These days, many of those applications tend to run in the background at all times. While in the background, they inevitably consume computer resources (especially memory) and therefore, reduce the resources that will be available for the game. One way to get around that is to do a performance check and clean up your startup programs. By doing that, you'll free up several resources and decrease your chance of experiencing problems.

In many cases, it may be as simple as the game not finding enough hard disk space. On one hand, that may be due to the fact that there's very little hard disk space available (as a rule of thumb, you should have at least three times the size of your RAM available on your hard disk at all times). On the other hand, there may be a huge amount of hard disk space available, but it could be fragmented (in that case, the best thing to do is defragment your hard drive and try running the game again). Of course, it never hurts to purchase more hard disk space too!

Video Memory and Other Graphics Issues

In some cases, crashes are caused not by main memory or hard disk limitations, but by limited video memory. Even though games coming out nowadays will mention video memory requirements, there are probably some that still don't. You'll just want to make sure you look into that when purchasing a new game.

That's a critical aspect of most contemporary game performances, which rely heavily on high end graphics. Make sure your computer either has a dedicated video memory (as part of an AGP or graphics accelerator card) or has a portion of the main memory that's reserved for video memory. If it's not possible to have as much video memory as required (and purchasing more is out of the question), it makes sense to try to play the game at a lower resolution so that it will consume fewer resources. Lowering the game’s resolution can also solve the problem of crashing in cases where the crash is actually being caused due to the display’s maximum resolution being less than the game’s default.

In some cases, you may need to reduce your screen resolution to the game’s resolution to make it work. Many common graphics issues are also caused by having the wrong kind of graphics card or having no AGP card at all. It's a good idea to invest in an AGP or 3D graphics accelerator card, because most games are likely to require it for those high end graphics.

Other Problems

The video freezing up, the screen blanking out or other graphics crashes are in fact the most common types of game crashes. Other reasons for graphics problems are not having the right drivers installed (update your drivers regularly), issues with your installed version of DirectX (update after researching) and not having enough processing power.

Other problems that may arise are having an incompatible sound card, having faulty hardware and connection problems for games that depend on the Internet or are played online. Software bugs can cause a crash as well, but those will be somewhat random and not repeatable. They can also be checked easily by testing them on other computers or reading up on forums to see if others are experiencing similar problems. Chances are, software bugs are few and when they arise, they are fixed swiftly through a patch or update from the manufacturer.

On higher end CPUs, overheating can also be a problem. When the processor overheats, it causes the system to shut down or worse, misbehave. Overheating can be caused by something as simple as a non-functioning processor fan. In some cases, overheating is caused because the processor is overloaded.

It's also always a good idea to frequently update your computer’s operating system. Even more, do not turn off the automatic updating feature on a Windows PC, but if you must, check for updates at least once a week. Keeping an antivirus suite up to date can block out problems caused by viruses and other malware as well.

Hopefully this has helped you solve some of your gaming issues and you can now go back to having fun!

~ Stephen Davies

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Today's Feature

Outdoor Portraits

Entering the outdoors with a camera is entering an uncontrollable environment. Frustration ensues as you find it difficult to create an image similar to how you are seeing it. However, that perfect shot is achievable. The fundamental tip to it is to take control of the camera, abandon automatic and embrace tweaking settings to find the perfect result. With the advent of digital cameras, experimenting is cheaper and easier, so follow and practice these tips to get that shot you’re looking for.

Lighting is crucial to photography and is often undervalued by beginners. Getting the right lighting is a tricky process but the results are worth it. The main thing to consider is the light in relation to the subject. For example, unless you want a silhouette of the subject don’t shoot with the light directly behind them. However, if the subject is facing the direct light they may squint and it could create harsh, distracting shadows. Shooting in shade not only helps to eliminate these problems but allows for easier white balancing (talked about later). Use what you can to create shade, be it a building, tree or even clouds to help create a smooth, rich photograph. Overcast days are excellent for providing this natural soft room effect. One simple, yet ingenious, tip for shooting in overcast weather is to bring a compass. “Why” you ask? Well, it has to be remembered that although diffused somewhat, the sun’s beams are still directional. The compass allows you to find the sun and then you can put it behind you. Simple.

However, shooting in direct light is often unavoidable, but it is not the end of the world. Simple techniques or adjustments can be utilized to avoid the problems that arise. For example, to help prevent the subject from squinting, make them look just off camera away from the sun. This also produces some nice photos and shows the benefit that a bit of creativity can have. Alternatively you can try to control the light yourself. Find some form of reflector, a white lorry being the perfect example. Have a rummage around at home see what you can find. Any old sheet (no need for your finest) can act as a perfect diffuser. Just find some branch, wire or overhanging to hang it from, anchor the bottom corners to the ground and voila, a diffuser! You don’t have to break the bank either.

Camera and lenses

Once the lighting has been prepared the next thing to prepare is the camera itself. Unfortunately, to get the ideal shot you can’t just point and click. It has to be remembered that the eye and the camera are two different entities and the camera’s ‘brain’ is nowhere near as developed as ours. Therefore, we have to use ours to help the camera. To get a really nice shot use a large focal length. You should not shoot a portrait under 50mm, preferably shooting between 120mm and 200mm. This can be achieved by using a telephoto lens and zooming in on the subject. This will increase the background blur, called the bokeh, which makes your subject stand out. Again, to help increase the blur of the bokeh, widen the aperture. The lower the aperture, the shallower the depth of field, will create a nicer contrast between subject and background. A faster lens will allow lower apertures, the ideal being f2.8 or f4. This link between aperture and shutter speed should not be forgotten. Adjustments to one often results in needing to adjust the other. Learning the ‘sunny f16 rule’ can help make sure that the adjustments are correct to get the correct exposure if you are lacking the proper equipment. Basically the ‘sunny f16 rule is as follows: on a sunny day, with your aperture at f16, your shutter speed will be the inverse of your ISO speed (for example, if your ISO is 100 your shutter speed will be 1/100 second). This can then be adjusted accordingly. So if it is cloudy or you are in the shade then lower the aperture to f8. However, it is preferable to use equipment such as an incident light meter or gray card.

Gray card also has uses beyond exposure, and being relatively cheap, the benefits are limitless. It is hugely useful when trying to get the correct white balance of a photograph. What the gray card does is it produces a neutral gray. This can then later be used in Adobe Camera RAW to produce an accurate white balance that is relative to the light when and where the photograph was taken. However, one simple rule must be followed. Always shoot in RAW. This prevents the camera from turning it straight into a JPG, thus making it difficult to edit without losing any quality. RAW takes the fundamentals of the photo that can later be elaborated on and then turned to JPG. If you heed these two pieces of advice, it means you can let the computer synchronize all the photos to the correct white balance produced by selecting the neutral gray of the card. However, when taking the photographs, remember the light changes not only from place to place, but time to time as well. Make sure you take regular photographs with the gray card to get the best results. The more you take the more accurate the white balance becomes.

Now, finally, for the shooting. Even if the camera is set up to perfection, it does not mean that the photo will be an inevitable success. It would be very exasperating to finally get the perfect white balance and lighting only to go home and find your subject has a sign sticking out of their head. Make sure the background is suitable for the photo. Remove power lines, garbage, signs, anything that is going to distract the viewer from the subject of the photograph. Don’t compromise the subject of the photo; they have to be the focal point of the photo. If you use auto focus, the camera ultimately guesses the best focus out of all the focal points it collects, or only focus on what’s closest to the camera. This can detract from the subject, even just slightly, and be a detriment to your final product. Select to use one focus point, or for the more daring, manual focus, to make sure that the subject, and only the subject, is the focal point. The best area to focus on is the eyes. The viewer makes an instant connection with the eyes and by having them the sharpest and crispest point in the photo can add personality and depth.

Hopefully this advice will help you achieve that perfect portrait. Go out and experiment! Enjoy having the camera in your ultimate control. The more you do it the quicker and easier it will become, until eventually it will seem like a part of you. By having the camera in your control not only produces better, more personal pictures, it gives the taker a rewarding feeling knowing that the photograph is completely their work, not the work of a setting on a camera.

~Zahid H Javali

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Amanda's Coolsite

Meeting Wizard

Meeting Wizard is another great, free way to schedule meetings online. Using it will help you stop playing e-mail or phone tag, and give everyone a common place to head to find out what’s going on.

What I love the most is that you don’t have to download anything in order to use it! You can start using it by clicking the Get Started button, or on the navigation bar you can select from Quick Start, Sign Up, or Tour.

I recommend getting started by taking the Tour. There’s no point in signing up for a service when you’re not sure you’ll even use it. The tour walks you through the features of the site, and then you can sign up by clicking the sign up link on the new user navigation strip.

Registration is simple. Just fill out the form with your name, e-mail address, country, time zone, and then create a password. You can even set a security word – for faster password retrieval!

Once you’re logged in – you’ll have two options: you can add your personal contact information for your outgoing messages or you can create your first meeting request.

Creating your first meeting request is really easy to do. All you have to do is select whether the dates are set in stone, or if you’re proposing a set of dates to get the best time for everyone. Once you’ve decided which you want to fill out the form with the date and time of meeting, include a little note, decide whether the attendees need to RSVP and you’re on your way.

This is a great site, that makes getting together easier.


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Monthly Wallpaper

Our Most Amazing Deal EVER On An LED Flashlight!

Blindin' Bright 9 LED Flashlight - Just $6.97!!!!

That's No Typo - These Incredible Flashlights Really Are Just $6.97!

Grab As Many As You Can! 

Rock-Solid, Heave Duty, Aluminium, Super Bright!! WOW!!

WOW!!! One of our suppliers just scored a jaw-droppin' deal on some fantastic 9 LED Flashlights - and we're passin' the savings on to you! We're talking just $6.97 for a 9 LED Flashlight! We've never had 'em that cheap! Heck, I'm not sure anyone has ever had 'em that cheap! It's a knock-out deal, that's for sure!

Oh, and wait till you try 'em! Turn it on BUT don't look into it - this baby is really BRIGHT! It's absolutely amazing how much light those 9 LEDs throw out! You wouldn't think a flashlight this small would be this BLINDIN' BRIGHT!!! WOW!!

Speaking of size - wait till you feast your fingers on this little guy! It's super-compact and easily fits in the palm of your hand! Makes it super-easy to take anywhere! I already have one in each of my cars, and my wife keeps on in her purse. It's so small you don't even know it's there - till ya need it! Grab one for each of your cars, your camper, boat, house, garage, camera bag - anywhere you need a small, bright, reliable light!

Plus, this thing is REALLY well built too! Don't let the price fool ya! These aren't some cheap plastic lights - this bad boy is SOLID! We're talking a heavy-duty all aluminium barrel that can really take some serious pounding! Plus, the grip is just fantastic and I can personally attest that even when your hands are dripping wet (or snow covered), it's easy to keep ahold of!

Get this - since this is an LED flashlight, it seems to run FOREVER on a set of batteries! Changing batteries or running out of juice is going to be a very RARE thing now! Oh, PLUS don't forget that you won't ever have to worry about the LEDs burning out - Heck, even if you kept it on 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, it would take 11 YEARS before they would burn out! WOW!!!

If you've looked at LED flashlights, you know they are the pedigree of the lighting world - for a light like this, you're looking at least $20-$30 easy. Your cost? Again we're talking just $6.97 and US Shipping is FREE!! It's the BEST DEAL we've ever offered on an LED Flashlight! Give it a try, you'll be glad you did!

PS - At this price, you'd better grab a few! Can't go wrong for $6.97!! Not sure how long these will be available to us at this kind of price, so RUN to the site and get in on this as soon as you can! The price may increase without notice - get 'em while they're $6.97!!!

Monthly Wallpaper

May Wallpaper

Here's this month's free calendar wallpaper! As always, it's 100% free, so head on over and grab one!

Grand Canyon Overlook


Great Blue Heron


Smoky Mountains Sunset


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

All can be found here:



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Personal & Educational Use Only This blog consists mainly of FREE newsletters from computer web gurus that I receive. I thought you might like to see them all in one place than try to discover them on your own. A moderate amount of editing may be done to eliminate unrelated repetitious ads or unnecessary text which bloat the post. However I have given the authors full credit and will not remove their site links because you deserve to see where it comes from and they deserve to get credit for what they have written. Your use of this site is simply for educational purposes. For more computer-related help go to: CPEDLEY.COM for free software, advice and tips on low cost products which are very helpful. If you want to contact the editor, please go CPEDLEY.COM and check the Contact page for email address.