From:         Bob Rankin 
Subject:      TOURBUS - 25 Apr 2007 - Switch to Linux / Carpal Tunnel / Video


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

In today's TOURBUS, you'll find some advice on switching from Windows to Linux, and learn my secret to beating Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Also, discover how to get started with online video conferencing, and some low-wallet-impact alternatives to Adobe Photoshop. Read on!

Switching To Linux

If you think computers only come in two flavors, think again. There are other operating systems besides Mac and Windows. In fact, most of the computers that power the Internet are running Linux. And just like DOS grew up and sprouted a fancy graphical interface, so Linux has evolved into a user-friendly point and click system that doesn't require a computer science degree to use.

So why switch? For starters, Linux is available for free and is a more secure and reliable system than Windows. Tired of rebooting a frozen Windows computer? Linux is less prone to crashing, is less vulnerable to security threats like spyware and viruses, and runs great even on older computers. You can even run Windows software right on your Linux desktop. Here are some tips on switching from Windows to Linux...

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is the result of a compressed nerve in the wrist. Symptoms may include pain, tingling, and numbness. Some people experience reduced grip strength, or a burning sensation in the the wrist and hand.

About ten years ago, when I worked as a programmer at IBM, my wrists began to get very sore and painful. Every night I had to come home and ice them down to ease the pain and swelling. The doctor said it was Carpal Tunnel, and I would need drugs, therapy and surgery to treat it. But I had another plan in mind. Read on to learn more about Carpal Tunnel, and what I did to get rid of the pain in just a few days...

Video Conferencing Comes of Age

Until recently, videoconferencing was mostly used as a substitute for traveling to face to face business meetings. However, it has become so accessible that it's now used in medicine, education, and even in judicial systems for simple court proceedings such as arraignments. One county jail uses web-based videoconferencing for visitation to prevent contraband being passed to inmates.

Videoconferencing is now a $10 billion a year business, but you don't need big bucks to get in the game. Got a webcam? Here's how you can start videoconferencing on the web...

PhotoShopping Around For Alternatives

A reader who's into digital photography asked me this: > "The photo editing software that came with my digital camera is
> pretty lame. I looked into Adobe Photoshop but WOW it's expensive!
> Are there some good photo editors that are more affordable?"

Yes, Adobe's Photoshop has established itself as the incontestable standard of image editing software. For professionals and consumers alike, its exceptional performance and the proliferation of effects plug-ins make for quite an irresistible package... that is, until you zoom in on the $650 price tag. Even Photoshop Elements, Adobe's stripped down version, costs US$99.99.

But there are other good image editing programs available that will crop, rotate, and resize images, as well as do color adjustment, and other photo manipulation tasks. Even better, they are low-cost or in some cases free of charge! Here's the scoop...

Webmail Versus Desktop Email

If you've been using Outlook Express, Thunderbird, Lotus Notes or some other desktop email software to manage your email, you might want to consider a web-based email (webmail) solution. As the name implies, webmail is a way to send, receive and manage your email via the Web. Instead of using traditional email software that resides on your computer, you handle all your email tasks via your web browser.

Webmail offers most features you'd expect in a desktop email client, such as an address book, customized folders, spell check and rules- based filtering. But there are some trade-offs between webmail and desktop-based mail. Let's look at the pro's and con's to help you decide which is best for you:

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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