The WHO Radio Wise Guys airs on WHO Radio in Des Moines, Iowa on 1040 AM or streaming online at WHORadio.com. The show airs from 1 to 2 pm Central Time on Saturday afternoons. A podcast of show highlights is also available. Leave comments and questions on the Wise Guys Facebook page or e-mail them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The iPhone turns one year old right about now. It took a little longer than Brian expected for the clones to appear...they're really only gaining ground now, about 12 months after the release, rather than the six months Brian had predicted.
Bill Gates has signed off as a full-time employee at Microsoft. He started the company in 1975, and now he's going to spend his time giving away his money.
Macs have a reputation for being pretty secure, but they're not impervious to attack. A new Trojan horse virus is attacking Apple computers.
30 years after the birth of the first test-tube baby, a full 1% of all US births are test-tube babies -- that is, they're in-vitro vertilized.
A caller asked about upgrading from a Sony Clie to a new smartphone. The Clie runs the Palm OS, so the easiest upgrade would involve moving to one of the current generation of Palm smartphones. (Smartphones, by the way, are phones that double as PDAs and Internet browsers). Incidentally, there are lots of sites on the Internet (like PDAPhoneHome.com) where you can go to get ideas and advice from fellow users.
Listener e-mail of the week:
I enjoy your show very much and wish you guys had a different time slot as I don't get a chance to listen every Saturday.Good news for Brenda (and you, too): You don't need to buy Excel to open an Excel spreadsheet. First off, Google Documents opens many Excel spreadsheets reasonably well, and the service is free. Or you can go to Brian's list of great free programs and download OpenOffice, a free office suite, which includes a spreadsheet program, a word processing program, and a presentation program, among others. Or, of course, you could always call up the person who sent you the file in the first place and ask them to convert it before sending it to you.
I have Microsoft Works Suite 2006. I am very happy with it and it has worked well for my needs. However, I have an e-mail that was sent to me with an attachment. This attachment is a very large list that was made on a Microsoft Excel program and I can not open the e-mail to view and edit the list.
I have done a search for Microsoft Excel but I am not sure what product to buy. Is there much of a difference between Excel Home Edition and an Excel Office Edition. This attachment that I can not open may have been made on an Office Edition. My computer has a spreadsheet program so I really do not need Excel except for opening this e-mail and any future e-mails.
Other people talk about all the bad things happening in the world, but we like to focus on the positive -- like the new UV-blocking sunglasses Brian picked up in a drugstore the other day. The improvements in things like UV-reducing lenses, laser eye surgery, and even genetic research on blindness are all making life better for all of us.
A caller asked about using modems and blacklists to screen out telemarketing calls for his small business. While there are services and programs that can help with the avalanche of calls small businesses get, Brian's advice (as a small businessperson) is just to use a standard caller ID service as an early-warning system for fake or blocked numbers (like 000-000-0000) which tell you that a call is likely to be a waste of your time, and then to give the annoying calls 10 seconds to state their case before you simply hang up. The amount of time you'd waste in programming numbers into a blacklist or trying to set up a modem to filter your calls probably wouldn't be worth it unless you're getting scores of time-wasting calls a day. Or, if you're really pressed for time, if you see "Number Blocked" or one of those nonsense numbers on the caller ID, you can always let the call roll over to voice mail. Junk callers almost never leave messages, but legitimate customers and clients will.
If you're a novice looking to convert old home movies to DVD, here are a couple of recommendations:
- Get a DVD recorder with a VHS slot built-in. This will make your work easy and save you the trouble of figuring out lots of new cords and programs. Don't bother trying to put your movies through a computer before burning them to DVD. Direct conversion is lots easier.
- Don't go cheap on the DVD recorder -- good-quality converters are available in the $200 to $350 range, and if you try to cut corners by getting the cheapest thing you see, you risk regretting it later. Most stores have staff who can direct you to a reasonably good recorder in that $200 to $350 price range.
- Record to the 2-hour speed on your DVD. Most DVD recorders will give you a range of speeds to record at; the smaller the time they can record, the higher the quality. Most old home movies are no better than about the 4-hour quality on DVD, so if you record to 2-hour quailty, you won't find yourself regretting later that you didn't save every bit of quality that you could.
- Buy brand-name, archival-quality recordable DVDs. You can get them for less than $0.50 each, and you'll appreciate the quality in the future.
- Don't bother setting a bunch of chapters on your DVDs unless you only have a couple of movies to record. If you have more than about 5 tapes to record, you'll get burned out setting all of those chapters, and then you'll quit recording those DVDs before you've saved your entire library. Much better to have a complete library of home movies on DVD without chapter settings than an incomplete library on DVD with a bunch of VHS tapes crumbling to dust in boxes somewhere.
- Store those DVDs in a cool, dry place away from sunlight.
Online extra: GPS jamming isn't a new rock phenomenon -- it's a sign that Communists can't stand the idea of people finding their way on their own. Oh, and that they know how useful GPS navigation is to our national security.