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Jim Fisher

Latest Articles

3 years ago

3 years ago

That old computer is getting longer in the tooth. Sure, when you got it, Windows Me was the latest and greatest, and it had a whopping 40GB hard drive… maybe even 256MB of RAM. Imagine that. Nowadays, that computer seems like it belongs in Barney Rubble's den, not your home office. If you're faced with the oft-daunting task of choosing a new computer, read on for a few suggestions.

3 years ago

Add-on and converter lenses are camera accessories that often get lost in the shuffle. It’s easy to identify the need for an extra memory card, a camera case, an extra battery, a dedicated flash or in the case of an SLR, an additional lens or three as add-on options for your camera.

3 years ago

A new class of portable computers, dubbed 'netbooks,' burst onto the scene in late 2007. Taiwanese manufacturer ASUS spearheaded the netbook revolution with their playfully named, and ostensibly tiny, Eee PC.

When compared to a full fledged notebook, these computers,weighing between two and three pounds, have limited functionality. You can type up a memo, surf the web, or watch a movie – albeit on a small screen – with ease, but you wouldn't want to edit a home movie, track your finances, or rely on a netbook for any mission-critical application.

A Netbook for Me?

Early models of the Eee PC had limited storage space, underpowered processors by VIA, and were preloaded with Linux rather than Windows. These computers made up for a lack of performance and maturity with a low price-point; you can get an early model Eee PC for as little as $299.

Newer models feature higher storage capacities, more memory, faster Atom CPUs by Intel, larger screens, and the option of running Windows. They are a bit more costly, with top-end models setting you back $499, but this extra cost gets you a more robust computer. It's still not a machine you would want to use as your primary computer, but it's a nice option for commuters and travelers.

3 years ago

Even though the iPad has been on the market for less than a year, there are plenty of options for protective cases. If you got an iPad during the holidays this year and are in the market for a case, consider one of these protective sleeves, compact cases or messenger bags that were designed to be used with the iPad.


3 years ago

Ever wish you could get a little more functionality out of your iPod? Worried about protecting it from scratches? There are hundreds of accessories available for iPod music players. If you acquired an iPod this year, or if you’re simply looking to enhance your tried-and-true MP3 player, consider one of the following.
 

3 years ago

After a months-long public beta, which featured two releases, Adobe has released the final version of their Lightroom 3 software application. Thanks to the long beta, developers were able to make refinements to the application based on user feedback, resulting in an extremely functional, polished, and stable software application. Lightroom 3 boasts numerous compelling reasons for users to upgrade; here are three.

4 years ago

“Can I take pictures without the flash?”

That’s a question that a camera salesperson hears quite a bit. While virtually all compacts have built-in flashes, when used in automatic mode they can often produce images that appear to be washed out and lack any sort of ambience. Getting a good image with flash often requires the use of diffusers, wireless gadgets and techniques that are more than a little too intense for the average non-professional.

4 years ago

We live in a world where we rely more and more on digital media. We share photos with friends and family through websites like Flickr and Facebook. We discover new music via digital download. We rent movies over the Internet.

At the same time, accessing all of this digital media can be a virtual juggling act. You may forget to sync your iPod and be without new music and podcasts. E-mailing photos can be a hassle and a half -- especially if you're trying to send the latest digital captures of little Quentin to his elderly Uncle Conrad & Aunt Ginny.

4 years ago

When I was picking up my demo unit of the Sony VAIO EB series notebook for this review, I had a very important choice to make. "Which color do you want?" I took one look at the two computers in front of me -- one blue, one black -- and without hesitation said "I'll take the blue one." Thankfully, I didn't have to make a choice from the entire array of colors that the VAIO E is offered in -- six in total. If you're keeping score at home, they are Iridescent Blue, Hibiscus Pink, Caribbean Green, Lava Black, Gunmetal Black, and Coconut White.

4 years ago

Unless you are on the bleeding edge of technology, chances are you haven’t used a USB 3.0 device yet. And unless you’re constantly reading up on the latest and greatest technology, you might not even know what USB 3.0 is all about.As the name implies, USB 3.0 is the successor to the ubiquitous UBS 2.0 interface. It provides faster transfer rates -- up to 5.0Gbps using a technology dubbed SuperSpeed. This is more than ten times the speed of USB 2.0 and, while you won’t get speeds like that in real-life use, you will see significant improvements over USB 2.0. It is also significantly faster than eSATA, FireWire-800, and FireWire-400.

4 years ago

Did you get an iPad for the holidays this year? This is being put to paper in advance of the actual festivities, so I’m hoping for one too, although there’s always the chance that I’ll only walk away with a few lumps of Pennsylvania anthracite. Here are a few products that will help you to get more out of your iPad.

4 years ago

For many first-time DSLR buyers, a tripod can be an afterthought of an accessory. I’ve seen many friends spend close to a thousand dollars on the latest DSLR with all of the bells and whistles—HD video recording, an image stabilized lens, multiple focusing points and what have you—only to mate it with the shoddiest tripod you can imagine. 

4 years ago

Lensbaby makes a number of different lenses for digital SLR cameras, most of them built around the concept of creative use of tilt-shift photography. While traditional tilt-shift lenses are designed for precise control and perspective correction for architectural photography, Lensbaby takes the exact opposite approach for their lenses.

4 years ago

I have a confession to make. The wiring in my home theater is convoluted enough to make Rube Goldberg scratch his head in confusion. I don’t want to go into the details, but let’s just say there’s an older HDTV with only a single HDMI port, two switchboxes, a receiver with no HDMI support, a Blu-ray player, a DVR, an Apple TV, two game consoles, a region-free DVD player, and— lease don’t laugh—an HD DVD player.

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