Technology Column

These are the Technology Columns written by Tom Anthony for PortFolio Magazine

  • Published Works,  Technology Column

    Tech 39

    Tech 9807February 16, 1998 Last week, this column addressed the notion that the sheer size of today’s Internet browsers seems to be getting out of hand. Microsoft’s new Internet Explorer 4.01 I pointed out,  is a fat pig at a hard drive suffocating 25 MB! But aside from Netscape with  version  4.04 weighing in at a whopping 9.2 MB, what can we do? Plenty! They’re out there! Programs other than the big two and services that let you have the net “your way”. My friend Bill just got WebTv. There’s a lot this service will not do, but if you don’t have a home computer it might be worth looking…

  • Published Works,  Technology Column

    Tech 38

    Tech 9806February 9, 1998 The battle of the Internet software giants continues, but not in the way I would have predicted.  Zip on over to Netscape’s home page (http://home.netscape.com/) and you’ll find a corporate posture ready to whup-up on big daddy Microsoft. “Welcome to the Netscape Software Download and Customer Choice page, where you can download the latest version of Netscape Communicator, learn how to uninstall Internet Explorer, and select Communicator as your default Internet browser.” Other than your personal preferences there is a problem with this software confrontation. The sheer size of today’s browsers seems to be getting out of hand. The newest version of Netscape Communicator is called…

  • Published Works,  Technology Column

    Tech 37

    Tech 9805 My five-year-old says she has two brains. A girl brain named Sarah on the right side and Michael, a boy brain on the left. With no comment on which is the creative one, I put Sarah and Michael to task reviewing youth oriented web sites. Granted, at five, my daughter is still too young to find these sites with no help – but Amy is my little expert on content.   The web contains literally thousands of sites written by folks who would love your kids to visit them. The motive is money. The kid market is huge and the web is a favorite medium for kids from families…

  • Published Works,  Technology Column

    Tech 36

    Tech 9804 Call me a dreamer, but I believe that the World Wide Web has the potential to change the way we watch TV. Not just that inevitable merging of broadcast and Internet delivered programming, but the WAY we watch. For starters let’s look at ClickTV, available at the Virginian Pilot website (http://www.pilotonline.com). The Pilot has a well designed TV viewing guide called the Greensheet which comes with the Saturday edition of the paper. Like the TV listings in the daily paper the Greensheet presents the television schedule in a grid format. The Greensheet takes you a bit further however,  with an unbroken 24 hour-a-day layout. There is also a…

  • Published Works,  Technology Column

    Tech 35

    Tech #9803 What’s in a name? It’s partly how you say it! This is especially true for cute, functional and easy to remember electronic addresses like w dot portfolioweekly dot com, or w dot O-D-U dot e-d-u. Did he say easy to remember? O.K., if you are not frequently on-line you may not understand gibberish like “w dot” or “dot-e-d-u”. It’s a verbal shorthand for what can be complicated Internet addresses. These addresses, or “paths” lead your computer to other computers around the globe. The first part of a world wide web address always starts with “http://” Next in most cases comes “www.”, as in “http://www.portfolioweekly.com” Since most addresses start…

  • Published Works,  Technology Column

    Tech 34

    Tech #9802 The hard drive that came with your PC finally died. Now what are you going to do? Plug in a new one! It’s not that simple. If your computer was manufactured before mid-1994 and you buy any of the big hard drives out now, you could have a problem with your BIOS. I know – what the heck is BIOS? BIOS is a program permanently burned into a chip on your mother board. It stands for Basic Input Output System, and tells the computer what to do with itself when you first power up. Part of what the BIOS does is let your operating system(i.e. Windows 95, DOS,…

  • Published Works,  Technology Column

    Tech 33

    Tech #9801December 31, 1997 Note: for some unknown reason I decided to change the heading from “Tech 31, Tech 32, etc. to Tech 9801, Tech 9802, and so on. I am keeping the old heading style for the remainder of these 1998 posts.  Here we are in a brand new year! What will the future hold? Total computer melt down. (I don’t think so.) There really has been a lot of hype in other media about the problem with how your computer figures out what day it is. With just over 700 days until the dreaded January 1, 2000, technology writers are throwing lots of doom-and-gloom predictions in the air.…

  • Published Works,  Technology Column

    Tech 32

    Tech #32December 12, 1997 After 27 months of construction and a $1.5 billion dollar price tag the FLAG undersea fiber optic cable which links Europe, the Middle East, Asia and the Far East has entered into service. A main share holder in the property is our local phone company, Bell Atlantic. It’s remarkable when you consider that FLAG is the longest man-made structure ever, at just over 28,000kms. The cable can accommodate a maximum of ten gigabytes per second, roughly equivalent to 600,000 simultaneous telephone conversations. Beside being a source of revenue to Bell Atlantic share holders, what does FLAG do for you and me? “The recent economic impact study…

  • Published Works,  Technology Column

    Tech 31

    TECH #3112/5/97 This week it’s time for a “what’s new and exciting” type column. There is plenty! The coolest by far is a new text to speech technology called LiquidMail, Version 2.0. This combination of software and a special plug in computer module will let you use a normal touch tone telephone to access your e mail from anywhere in the world. LiquidMail allows you to hear your E mail message via computerized voice and will even fax your E mail anywhere, automatically or on demand. Because of price, today this stuff is designed for corporate use. At $ 1,799.00, you’ll still need a revved up computer with a Pentium…

  • Published Works,  Technology Column

    Tech 30

    Tech #30December 1, 1997 You know that sound Homer Simpson makes when he’s messed something up? Hand goes to mouth and a noise that sounds like “dough!” comes forth. After telling you about Newsgroups in last weeks column, I forgot to warn you about SPAM! Not the canned lunch meat from Hormel, in this context SPAM refers to unsolicited junk E-mail. There are programs designed to scan the millions of public e-mail postings to the tens of thousands of Newsgroups on the Internet. By the hour, all bona fide return addresses gleaned from these postings are added to someone’s junk mail list. Most junk e-mail only points you to a…