WFAA’s COMPUTER CORNER Blog

December 2009
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An experiment in pocket-size photo viewing

6:45 PM Wed, Oct 07, 2009 |
Posted by: Walt Zwirko

The wallet has never been a good place to carry your favorite photos around. Sure, it’s a convenient spot; always handy, instantly available — but the content of most wallets is competing for an ever-decreasing space.

Cash comes and goes (mostly goes). There is always a driver’s license and insurance document; often a spare key or two; and always credit cards.

After a while, you find the keepsake photo of your fav…



The quest for a cooler lap

7:10 PM Wed, Sep 30, 2009 |
Posted by: Walt Zwirko

If you have occasion to use a modern full-size laptop computer — on your lap — you already know that extended use can make said lap feel a little toasty.

The processor chip that gives the computer its smarts is called on to do a lot of thinking in a very short time, and that generates an ample supply of heat.

Laptop Desk >> Continue reading: The quest for a cooler lap



Steve Jobs is back with new iPod products

1:19 PM Wed, Sep 09, 2009 |
Posted by: Walt Zwirko

 Steve Jobs is back after nearly a year out of the limelight.

Apple’s maestro received a standing ovation when he appeared before an invitation-only audience at the company’s…



Review: Scanner digitizes memories from slides, film

5:09 PM Wed, Aug 19, 2009 |
Posted by: Walt Zwirko

On a swing through …



Review: Grace Wireless Internet Radio

10:50 AM Tue, Aug 04, 2009 |
Posted by: Walt Zwirko

It was tucked away in a forgotten corner of a little-used guest room at my grandparents’ rural home — and I was drawn to it like a magnet.

The Zenith console radio and phonograph was once the centerpiece of a 1940s home entertainment system. Like today’s big-screen TV, the mahogany cabinet was designed to occupy a prominent place in the living room, delivering the sounds of Be…



Review: USB device lets you listen to worldwide radio

2:45 PM Wed, Jul 22, 2009 |
Posted by: Walt Zwirko

It’s all but impossible to get good radio reception in an office building. Steel, metal and concrete conspire to do everything they can to seal your receiver off from AM and FM radio waves.

So if you’re consigned to a cubicle for eight hours every day, it can be difficult to keep up with your favorite news, sports or music.

Hundreds of enlightened radio stations, understanding this listener dilemma, are sending out their audio …



An open letter to electronic gadget manufacturers

10:11 PM Wed, Apr 29, 2009 |
Posted by: Walt Zwirko

Dear Electronic Gadget Manufacturer:

I am a frustrated electronic gadget user. Don’t get me wrong: I salivate over cool new cell phones, MP3 players and digital cameras. But what’s up with the battery thing?

Let me explain.

Once upon a time, just about every battery-operated product that I purchased used one or more of these types of cells: AA, AAA, C or D. That was it. It was easy to set aside a drawer with a collectio…



Review: Kodak Zx1 pocket-size camcorder

8:28 PM Tue, Apr 21, 2009 |
Posted by: Walt Zwirko

Let’s give credit where it’s due: The pocket-size digital camcorder craze started a couple of years ago with The Flip, a video recorder about the size of an ice cream bar (minus the stick). It wasn’t made by a Sony or a Samsung; it was from a small Silicon Valley firm, Pure Digital Technologies, that stumbled upon just th…



Get money for used gear

8:20 AM Wed, Apr 15, 2009 |
Posted by: Walt Zwirko

We had an item on the Computer Corner Blog last week about recycling your old electronics gear. That’s a great environmental option, of course, but it doesn’t necessarily put any money back in your pocket.

You can always try to unload your old cell phone, laptop or MP3 player on eBay or …



Don’t need it? Get rid of it!

10:39 PM Tue, Apr 07, 2009 |
Posted by: Walt Zwirko

Let’s face it: We’ve all got at least one hunk of electronic junk collecting dust on a shelf, in a closet or piled up in the garage.

 It could be an obsolete co…



USB gizmo improves the sound of your PC

7:42 PM Sun, Apr 05, 2009 |
Posted by: Walt Zwirko

I’ve got a PC hooked up to the TV set in my living room. It’s handy for looking at Web sites on a big screen, adding to the Computer Blog (as I’m doing right now!) and especially for watching video clips on the Internet.

One problem, though: The audio output of my Asus Aspire L100 PC is a little low for the input of my TV set, and cranking up the TV audio introduces unwanted noise into the listening experience.

While that’s …