Posted - October 25 2011 : 09:47:50
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Question: Jim asks, "Do you have a network card for Windows 98?"
Answer: Good question, Jim. Yes, I have one. There are some challenges, though. The primary challenge is in finding drivers for Windows 98. Look, if your computer works, and does what you want, keep it, and keep it running. I have a computer at home that started its life running Windows 98. The motherboard is so old it doesn't even have a built-in network adapter. We just retired a computer at our church that is still running Windows 98. It was retired because we got an opportunity to upgrade to one running Windows XP, not because there was anything wrong with it. But the big problem is finding drivers, because for instance, floppy drives have largely gone away and have been replaced with USB flash drives. Windows 98 drivers don't often exist for these devices, and Windows ME was the first version to support them natively. So, just be aware you're going to run into problems finding device drivers. If you do find them, make sure you save them on a CD somewhere so that if your hard drive dies, you'll have them. I recommend that procedure for everyone, even if you don't have an older system, because at some point, your computer will be old.
Listener Update: A listener called in and asked why we don’t mention Linux in connection with older systems. Good catch. Older hardware will generally run Linux very well since its hardware requirements are usually less than for Windows. It's also free (most distributions, anyway) and you can use OpenOffice.org or LibreOffice to get your business productivity applications for free as well.
Cool Site: BeAGuide.About.com: The past few weeks we've featured websites that help you make some extra money. This week we're continuing the theme with about.com. Who hasn't done a Google search and had one or more results come up from about.com? That only happens because people write for the site. If you're particularly knowledgeable about a topic, then go to beaguide.about.com and get set up as a guide. Then, you can begin to write articles and about.com will pay you for them. According to our source for this, makeuseof, you can make $500-$8500 per month based on your performance. Not only are they looking for writers, but they are looking for videographers as well. The process for becoming a writer for the site is an application process wherein you submit an online application to be a guide on a particular topic. They want people who are experts in the topics they need articles for. As a guide you work online and set your own flexible schedule. There's a two-part online orientation and evaluation program that potential guides go through. The site's staff is available to help you get story ideas, build an audience, and improve the reader's experience while reading your articles. You'll need 10-15 hours per week to devote to writing if you get selected.
Cool Gadget: ManyCam: This week's gadget is a software gadget – and it's free. ManyCam works with your webcam to let you do some really fun and interesting things. I'll have an example when I post the video for today's show. One of the things you can do with the program is to share your webcam with multiple applications simultaneously, which you normally can't do. You can add text to the video window, you can add animations to your window; and the greatest thing… You can add graphics to your image. You can do green-screen type effects (without a green-screen), you can don a pair of sunglasses, or googley eyes, or a hat, even a whole new 3D head on the image of your face in the camera. You can even make it look like it's snowing. I almost forgot, you can also draw on the video. New effects can be downloaded from their website or you can create your own. You can even broadcast videos, pictures, or a playlist instead of your webcam image.
Cool App: MrNumber: This week's app is for iPhone, Android, and Blackberry. It's similar to last week's app, in that you can make sure that callers are aware when it's OK to call you and when you're busy. But this goes further and lets you block unwanted calls from telemarketers, stalkers, anyone. You can blacklist numbers that you never want to get calls or texts from. A log tells what was blocked and why. There's a reverse phone number lookup feature that works differently on the different platforms. On Android and Blackberry, you can have that feature for free if you choose to share your contact list with Mr. Number. If not, it's $1.99/month. If you have an iPhone, you pay $0.99 for every 20 reverse lookups, but there's no sharing option.
It's All "Geek" To Me: Hexadecimal: Today's term is hexadecimal. This is a term you are definitely familiar with if you've ever done much programming, or web design, or anything like that. Hexadecimal is a numbering system like binary or decimal. Decimal is what we use all the time. In the decimal number 123, the 3 is the one's digit, the 2 is the ten's digit, and the 1 is the hundred's digit. Each of those digits is ten times larger than the one to its right. Binary and hexadecimal work the same way. With Binary, each digit is only two times the size of the one to its right, so you'll have a one's digit, a two's digit to its left, then a four's digit, etc. With Hexadecimal, each digit is 16 times as large as the one on its right. So you'll start with a one's digit, then a sixteen's digit, and so on. Now, with hexadecimal, we run out of number characters at 9, but still need 6 more single-digit characters, so they use the letters A-F to represent the numbers ten through fifteen in a single character.
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