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The Right Digital Camera

You need to look for certain essential features when shopping for a new digital camerawhether you’re retiring your old film camera or upgrading your outdated 2-megapixel shooter. Here are the vital specs you need to know, plus a few great models to consider.
digital_camera

RESOLUTION
Measured in megapixels, resolution refers to the number of pixels of image information provided by a digital camera’s image sensor. Among low-end consumer cameras, 5 or 6 megapixels is now standard, with many 8-and even 10-megapixel models also available.
Note that it’s often difficult for the untrained eye to differentiate between snapshots taken at these high resolutions.

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HDTV comparation

After reading the ConsumerReport March issue, i know some difference between the following HDTV.
LCD FLAT-PANEL HDTV
If you want a thin, light set with a small or midsized screen.
Common screen size: 23 to 45 inches.
Typical prices: $1,000 to $1,500 for a 26-inch widescreen HD-ready set; $1,200 to $2,000 for a similar 32-inch model; $2,000 to $2,500 for a 37-inch model.
LCD flat panels are the thinnest, lightest TVs available. Even the biggest weigh less than 50 pounds, half as much as a plasma TV, so they’re good for wall-mounting.
PLASMA HDTV
If you want a big, thin set.
Common screen sizes: 42 to 60 inches.
Typical prices: $2,500 to $3,000 for a 42-inch integrated HDTV, $3,500 to $4,500 for a 50-inch model.
These flat panels are thin and can be wall-mounted, but they’re not light-4-inchers weigh 100 pounds.
REAR-PROJECTION HDTV
If you want a big-screen TV that costs less than a plasma set.
Common screen sizes: 50 to 65 inches.
Typical prices: About $1,000 for a 51-inch CRT-based HD-ready set; $2,200 to $3,000 for a 50-inch LCD- or DLP-based HDTV; $5,000 to $6,000 for a 65-inch DLP-based HDTV.
Microdisplay projection sets using LCD, DLP, or LCoS technologh have stolen the spotlight from the older, CRT-based sets. Typically about 15 to 19 inches deep, microdisplays are slimmer than CRT-based models but much bulkier than plasma TVs.

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Inaccessible_boot_device error

Yesterday, I restart my computer. The closing tasks always ask me to force close the programs. I did not want to wait any more and decided to use the power button. The result is the following blue screen when I start it again.
bluescreen

Today, I have to fix it first to post this entry.
First of all, I try the Last Known Good Configuration by starting. It also gave me the blue face.
Ok, I have the Windows 2000 CD-ROM.
I used the Windows Recovery Console to fix it and it works.
Let me show you the details about it.

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Sipura SPA 2002

Let me introduce this VOIP adapter, which cost me CND88.75 including TAX.
I bought it from Voxilla. Its store is located in downtown Vancouver. I pick up it there.
spa2002

It is so compact. When I first look at it, I think it may be cost me too much.
After using to make some phone call to USA and China, I feel it worth.
Features:
This unit features 2 phone ports for connecting standard telephones. This unit is superior to the Cisco ATA 186 in that the two ports are independently programmable for different SIP Proxies. A user may have one service on line 1 and another service on line 2.

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Acer 1716B

I bought a LCD monitor, Acer 1716B, last week.
The following is its specifications:
Display Panel: 17″ color active matrix LCD (TFT)
Resolution: 1280 x 1024 Native
Contrast Ratio: 700:1
Brightness (Typical): 300 cd/m2
Viewing Angle (H/V): 150/135
Cabinet Color: Black
Video Inputs: Analog RGB, DVI-D
Environments: PC compatible
Warranty: Three Year Covering Parts and Labor
A1716b-ca
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SATA Harddisk

I just bought a Maxtor SATA hard drive from Staples. It is $80. including tax. This is 100GB Diamondmax 10 hard disk.
The only thing I don’t like is it is only 1 year warranty. Open the box, there are a SATA interface cable, 4 mounting screws, a MaxBlast CD, a Menu and the hard disk.
I install it on my K8V-X motherboard whose chipset is VIA K8T800 and VIA VT8237. VT8237 supports SATA upto 150MB/second data transfer rate.
It is a brand new install with Win XP.
First of all, enable the SATA support in the BIOS setting.
Advanced >> Onboard Devices Configuration >> OnChip SATA Boot ROM [Enabled].
Secondly, boot from the MaxBlast CD. I chose “New Windows 2000 or XP System”, then made a partition about 25GB with NTFS format.
Thirdly, download the VIA driver for SATA. Download file. Unzip it and copy them into a floppy disk.
Now boot the system from my Windows XP installation CD. When prompted to install a third-party SCSI or RAID driver. press the F^ key then S when prompted, to specify additional devicces.

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Road of TV standard

The road of TV shown as follow:
1) Regular TV / Analog TV
2) SDTV
3) EDTV
4) HDTV
SDTV (480i)
SDTV shows the digital signal in 480i, which means 480 lines of the video are drawn on the screen using the interlaced method. Interlaced refers to the way the signal is sent and how the TV displays it. The advantage to SDTV over your regular, analog TV (which is also 480i) is twofold:
SDTV is digital (clearer, crisper picture)
SDTV accepts digital programming (i.e., the FCC has mandated that eventually all broadcasts will be sent in one of the digital formats created by the ATSC, American Television Systems Committee).
EDTV (480p)
EDTV is defined as 480p, which stands for the 480 lines of the screen are used to draw the picture using the progressive scanning method. You may have heard of progressive in reference to DVD players – progressive scan DVD players have become standard.
Progressive scanning means that all of the lines in the frame of the video are painted onto the screen in sequential order (1, 2, 3, 4, … up to 480) at one time. Compared to the numbers connected with HDTV (1080i or 720p), 480p might not sound all that great, but progressive scanning creates a cleaner, crisper picture because it’s displayed at one time. Therefore, even though the number is the same as SDTV (480), the method used to put it on your TV screen uses the more advanced technique (progressive scanning).
HDTV Technology is complex with numerous benefits to broadcasters and program providers, but the value to the viewer can be reduced to three things:
Resolution
The crisp, life-like detail you see with HDTV is due to the resolution this technology provides. It’s like the difference between the old dot matrix printers and the laser printers we use now.
The picture you see on your TV screen is actually thousands of small dots, called pixels (which stands for picture elements). Your regular, analog TV displays about 200,000 pixels. HDTV displays 1 million to 2 million pixels (up to 10 times the resolution of the picture on a regular TV).
Currently, digital TV broadcasters have been using two different formats for sending HDTV – 1080i (interlaced) and 720p (progressive). It doesn’t really matter which format the broadcaster uses (1080i or 720p), because most people can’t even tell the difference when they’re watching HDTV.
Aspect Ratio
Aspect ratio is simply the proportion of the width of the TV screen to the height of the TV screen. Regular TVs use a 4×3 aspect ratio, which means the picture is a little wider than it is tall (a screen that is 20 inches wide is about 15 inches tall).
HDTV uses the widescreen (16×9) aspect ratio used in the film industry. Therefore, the TV that is 15 inches tall would be 27 inches wide.
The widescreen format provides a more compelling viewing experience because it mimics our peripheral vision – our field of vision is much wider than it is tall. Additionally, you get to see more of the action.
Digital Signal and Sound
Digital signals can be compressed, enabling a much more robust signal with no variation in quality. Digital signals, in contrast to analog signals that are used with regular TVs, can be reproduced precisely because they use the sames 1s and 0s that are used with computers. Therefore, you won’t see ghosting, snow or fuzziness with a digital signal.

Upgrade my wife’s computer

During past month, my wife always use my workstation to play the game, “tetris”, in the ourgames.com. This is a huge online game community. You can choose a person from over 500+ in one game any time.
Now it is 10:30am Pacific time, there are over 150,000 gamers online.
This site is based on China, but the players are from the world.
Ok, back to upgrade PC. To release my computer, I have to upgrade my wife’s old pc. She can not use the old one to play online game, it is too slow. Always lose out.
The job of her computer is to check emails, internet phone, online games, and some office documentation.
My budget is about $300. After studying the pc market and comparing the different platforms. I choose the following products to upgrade it.

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160GB Hard Driver

Today, I bought a new hard driver, WD1600JB-00GVA0, made by Western Digital. Price is good, almost same as 120GB Seagate Hard Driver. I paid $120.00, tax included.
WD1600JB

This is Western Digital High-Performance level EIDE product.
It’s benefits:
Fast — WD, the first to introduce an 8 MB buffer, has advanced the caching algorithms of this new and improved Caviar family of hard drives, resulting in next-generation high performance – performance that matches the speed of most 16 MB cache drives.
Cool-running – Heat is a major contributor to hard drive wear, and cool drive operating temperatures help increase long-term drive reliability. WD achieves the lowest operating temperature of any hard drive in it’s class, including slower drives spinning at 5,400 RPM, by lowering the drives’ power consumption through advanced design of electronics and firmware.
Quiet – Today’s PCs, digital video recorders and gaming machines are increasingly operated in environments where noise is less tolerated. WD minimizes WD Caviar noise to levels virtually below the threshold of human hearing with its WhisperDrive™ technology, which features a highly efficient power driver design. And to cut seek noise, Soft Seek™ technology streamlines read/write seeking algorithms, resulting in the drive operating more efficiently when accessing and writing data.
Data Protection Enhancements
Data Lifeguard™ is an expanded set of data protection features that include shock protection, an environmental protection system, and embedded error detection and repair features that automatically find, isolate, and repair problem areas that may develop over the extended use of the hard drive. With these enhanced data reliability features, the drive can perform more accurate monitoring and error repair and deliver exceptional data security.
Data Lifeguard Tools™ is a set of software utilities that work in conjunction with the embedded Data Lifeguard features to make hard drive installation, drive management diagnostics, and repair simple and worry-free.
Shock Guard™ provides outstanding improvements in shock and vibration protection for WD Caviar SE drives. Shock Guard allows instantaneous data protection at high shock values to achieve leading shock specifications.
Let’s see the performance as below:

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