From:         Bob Rankin 
Subject:      TOURBUS - 12 JAN 2006 - Home Networking / Best Video Games


The Internet Tourbus - U.S. Library of Congress ISSN #1094-2239
Copyright © Bob Rankin and Patrick Crispen - All rights reserved

So you just purchased a second computer and now you want to share the printer and Internet connection between them... today's TOURBUS will show you how to set up a simple home network. Also in this issue, converting your old VHS tapes to DVD, and a rundown of the Good, Bad and the Ugly in the world of video games. Read on!

Setting Up a Home Network

As society and technology change, it's becoming common for homes to have more than one computer. When an existing computer gets older, parents will often take advantage of today's lower prices, purchase a new computer, and pass the old one down to the kids.

Suddenly, there's a need for a home network, so all computers in the house can share an files, printers and an Internet connection. Fortunately, setting up a basic home network is not rocket science. Read my "Home Networking" article for step-by-step instructions on setting up a secure cabled or wireless home network.

Converting VHS Tapes to DVD

Let's face it... your old VHS tapes with treasured family memories won't last forever. Even if the VCR doesn't eventually jam and eat the tape, a VHS recording uses fragile magnetic tape that degrades over time -- whether you watch it or not. Don't count on those VCR tapes lasting longer than a few years, convert VHS tapes to DVD format today, and save those memories for posterity.

You have several options to convert VHS to DVD. This article looks at them one by one and will help you choose the one that's best for you, taking into accout your level of tech savvy.

Best and Worst Video Games

Like any good parent, you want your kids to have fun and learn to kill aliens. But you worry about all the violence and objectionable themes in today's video games. So I've got recommendations for some GOOD games, and a list of games you might want your kids to avoid.

MediaWise keeps tabs on the trends and conditions of video and technology aimed at young people. And they've recently published a 10-year assessment of the game industry. Progress not withstanding, the phrase "killer apps" (the most popular software in a given category) is still ironically apt.

In addition to their video game assessment, they also published their 2005 Video Game Report Card. In that, they identify the Good and the Bad of gaming options, using their standards about social and learning value. MediaWise recommends the following games for children and teens:

  • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (E 10+)
  • The Incredibles: Rise of the Underminer (E 10+)
  • Peter Jackson's King Kong (T)
  • Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap (E)
  • Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe (T)
  • Dance Dance Revolution ULTRAMIX3 (E 10+)
  • Backyard Baseball 2005 (E)
  • Continue reading "Best and Worst Video Games" to see the GameSpot 2005 top games list, and the Mediawise "Parent Alert" list of games
    to avoid. The overlap in these two lists is an eye opener!

    That's all for now, see you next time! -- Bob Rankin

    The Internet Tourbus - U.S. Library of Congress ISSN #1094-2239
    Copyright © Bob Rankin and Patrick Crispen - All rights reserved
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