WFAA’s COMPUTER CORNER Blog

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I was going to build a new computer, but…

3:24 PM Wed, Oct 21, 2009 |
Posted by: Walt Zwirko

A couple of weeks ago, I told you how I was planning to build a new computer to replace the one I had been using with my TV set.

I provided a list of the specifications I was seeking, including a fast processor and lots of memory. My budget was between $300 and $400.



Update: Better news for Sidekick users

3:11 PM Wed, Oct 21, 2009 |
Posted by: Walt Zwirko

Since my last post on this topic, T-Mobile has released some hopeful information for users of the carrier’s popular Sidekick mobile phone.

The original issue was that >> Continue reading: Update: Better news for Sidekick users



Phone users find data is here today, gone tomorrow

10:21 AM Mon, Oct 12, 2009 |
Posted by: Walt Zwirko

The Internet has a “cloud.” That’s the word tech types use to describe the place where millions of us now store our e-mail, our photos, and other important personal information.

Like a real cloud, the Internet “cloud” is (at least to us) rather ill-defined and ever-changing.

When you use Gmail or Hotmail or Phone users find data is here today, gone tomorrow



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…



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…



Happy 40th anniversary, Internet

12:40 AM Thu, Sep 03, 2009 |
Posted by: Walt Zwirko

Richard Nixon was sworn in as president of the United States.

A wooden bridge in Chappaquiddick, Mass. was the scene of a fatal accident involving Sen. Edward Kennedy.

And man took his first steps on the surface of the moon.

But something else happened in the year 1969 that would change just about everything in the years to follow.

>> Continue reading: Happy 40th anniversary, Internet



Windows Mobile set for refresh next month

2:09 PM Tue, Sep 01, 2009 |
Posted by: Walt Zwirko

 While iPhone and BlackBerry models tend to ge…



‘Crowdsourcing’ could give you a traffic advantage

8:54 AM Wed, Aug 26, 2009 |
Posted by: Walt Zwirko

This may be the first time you’ve heard the term “crowdsourcing,” but it won’t likely be the last.

There are various technical definitions, but essentially, crowdsourcing means getting reliable information from a “crowd.”

Let’s think about how that might work. Perhaps you magically have access to all the text messages that are being sent out from the new Cowboys Stadium during a game. Without being there — and without wat…



Nokia to offer featherweight netbook PC

8:25 AM Mon, Aug 24, 2009 |
Posted by: Walt Zwirko

 A big name in mobile phones is getting ready to marry 3G technology with a netbook-size computer.

Nokia said today its new >> Continue reading: Nokia to offer featherweight netbook PC



Update: My disabled computer

3:12 PM Tue, Aug 11, 2009 |
Posted by: Walt Zwirko

Back again with an update on efforts to resurrect my ailing Acer Aspire L100 home computer.

I’ve been overwhelmed with helpful suggestions from Computer Corner Blog and Newsletter readers; if I haven’t yet replied personally to your submission, I apologize. I do read all my e-mail!

Briefly, the L100, running Windows Vista…



Home computer acting strangely; what next?

12:27 PM Wed, Aug 05, 2009 |
Posted by: Walt Zwirko

When you work with computers for a living, it’s — well, it’s embarrassing when something goes wrong that you just can’t seem to right.

Here’s my story.

0805_acerl100250x188.jpg >> Continue reading: Home computer acting strangely; what next?



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…



Answering viewer questions about digital TV reception

11:02 AM Wed, Jun 17, 2009 |
Posted by: Walt Zwirko

Thanks for all your comments about digital TV reception problems.

We can’t recommend specific antennas other than to say you need a model designed to receive both VHF and UHF channels in the area where you live. A good resource for that is AntennaWeb, which generates a fairly conservative list of what TV stations you should be able to receive at your address with the right ant…



‘Double-rescanning’ may help digital TV reception

11:57 AM Tue, Jun 16, 2009 |
Posted by: Walt Zwirko

It’s now been four days since WFAA switched off its analog signal foreve…



An ode to analog TV

8:31 AM Thu, Jun 11, 2009 |
Posted by: Walt Zwirko

Let’s say you were rummaging through an attic and stumbled across …



Bing bids for your search requests

9:49 AM Mon, Jun 01, 2009 |
Posted by: Walt Zwirko

For People of a Certain Age, the name “Bing” conjures up the image of a crooner who presided over a golf tournament.

For others, the word is the second half of a catchphrase (“bada bing!”) made popular by “The Sopranos.”

>> Continue reading: Bing bids for your search requests



Days are dwindling until digital TV switch

2:50 PM Wed, May 13, 2009 |
Posted by: Walt Zwirko

We’re now down to fewer than 30 days until TV stations around the nation pull the plug on analog transmissions.

I’m sure that you’re as weary as we television people are to see the incessant reminders about the digital switch. If you’re reading this on a computer, chances are you are technically savvy enough to be already squared away with either a digital-capable TV set, a satellite or cable connection or a digital converter box (or s…



Save stamps with electronic banking

10:59 AM Mon, May 11, 2009 |
Posted by: Walt Zwirko

Amazon’s Kindle DX: A revolution for readers?

10:03 AM Wed, May 06, 2009 |
Posted by: Walt Zwirko

 Could this be the savior of newspapers and magazines?

Amazon today unveiled a new model of its popular Kindle electronic reading device with a screen that’…



Windows 7 unleashed by Microsoft

4:43 PM Tue, May 05, 2009 |
Posted by: Walt Zwirko

 You can download a lot of free things from all the nooks and crannies of the World Wide Web — some legal, some not so much.

But here’s a free downloa…



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…