Dave's Download

April 2007

Macs for the Rest of Us

Word of Apple's record earnings got me thinking again about switching to a Macintosh. Like most employees, I live in a Windows-dominated world. Most of my employer's software runs on Windows, and even though I don't usually work at the office, it's easier to work alongside if I also run Windows.

But ...

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A Recorder With Everything–Except Ease

Digital voice recorders are remarkable tools–small enough to slip into a pocket because they record directly to memory chips–including an Olympus DS-30 ($150) that I've been playing with for a couple of months.


This little recorder packs startling ...

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Web Browsing With Keywords

For many Web surfers, the address bar in their browser–the box at the top where you would type a site's address like www.usnews.com–gets little use. It's just too frustrating to remember Web addresses and too easy to mangle them. So we rely on bookmarks and search engines to take us where we want ...

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Try E-Books for Kids' Screen Time

We try to limit the screen time for our young boys, whether television or computer, in favor of toys and books. So how to view having a computer read them a book?

That's one of the options we've tapped through our local library, which has an ever-growing selection of databases, online publications,

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Disks Will Catch Video Downloads

Amid the rush to enable the downloading of digital shows and movies, don't think for a moment that the disk is dead. It'll be a long time before downloading supplants the DVDs that we get at the local store or through the mail. Even then, our home networks will be too flaky to ship the shows to ...

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New BlackBerry Means Fun in the Office

Coming on the heels of their popular Pearl smartphone, the folks who make BlackBerry devices have another hit in their sleek, also black model 8800. The device packs the multimedia features and good looks of the Pearl, bringing them to a device aimed at BlackBerry's core office users.

Coming on ...

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Nibbling on Internet Video

My household is a nightmare for cable and satellite systems, as we pay a la carte for our premium video entertainment, something most cable systems have resisted as they profit from selling bundles of channels. My family has enjoyed feeding on commercial programs served across the Internet–part of ...

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Changing Your Cellphone Identity

Getting a second or third phone number is simple these days, with services like Jajah and Skype that tap the Internet phoning craze using a PC. A new service called TalkPlus does the same for your cellphone, adding phone numbers to divide your mobile work from your dating scene, or your good ...

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Chomping Down for Dental Care

It's been awhile since I needed to read a user manual for a toothbrush, but I did with the HydraBrush Express ($100)—an electric toothbrush with an approach that looks, and feels, different. The device sports not one but what looks like four pulsating brush heads that surround your top and bottom ...

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The iTunes Store Boosts Audio Quality

Apple made a breakthrough this week with word it would sell songs from one record company, EMI Group, without copy protection, freeing them from the confines–admittedly comfortable, but confines nonetheless–of the iPod. But also intriguing was that the iTunes store would sell the music at twice the ...

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Atomic Clocks Are Late in Leaping

Before Congress moved it up three weeks, daylight saving time was scheduled to kick in on April 1. I know because a pair of my clocks finally leapt forward an hour. They were my radio-controlled clocks, which promised to make the change on time, no matter when Congress decreed it would occur.


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Rescuing Old Hard Drives

It happens to almost everyone, even nongeeks who don't like to muck with the insides of a desktop computer: We end up with old hard drives sitting around. Maybe they're pulled from old computers, which is a good idea for protecting data when you send a PC off for recycling. Or maybe they're left ...

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