• Published Works,  Technology Column

    Tech 42

    Tech 9810March 9, 1998 Bob Chauncey runs a small business across the street from the 700 club in Virginia Beach.  Maybe all that technology from across the street zapped him, but Chauncey told me an interesting story the other day about the internet. “It’s still with the web master, but within a few days I’m going to host a world wide network of support oriented Internet sites for Christian singles.” Chauncey told me. “My internet guy really opened my eyes to the possibilities of the world wide web as a fountain of resources to our customers. I’m part of a group of just over 30 franchise owners around the country.…

  • Published Works,  Technology Column

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    Tech 9809March 2, 1998 With a lot of fanfare and one gracefully aging old actor the Virginia Air and Space Center in Hampton is focusing on the nether regions with it’s newest exhibit, Destination Space.  The actor,  Jimmy Doohan,  played Scotty on the original Star Trek TV series, and was in the area a few weeks ago to promote the opening. In an interview last year I asked Doohan (media player below) how long he’ll be playing Scotty. “Just as long as they let me!” was the enthusiastic reply.  So what’s all the hoopla about? “It brings space down to earth.” is the explanation provided by Kim Henson, Director of…

  • Published Works,  Technology Column

    Tech 40

    Tech 9808February 23, 1998 In the first Tech column published last spring, I had just moved into the Phat Flat, my top floor apartment overlooking Ghent. The theme of that article was that how when we move,  the modem  is the copper and glass thread that keeps us rooted in a common frame of reference.  With another move, this time to a nice condo in suburbia, I’ve found a new spin on that theme. Just around the corner and up the Boulevard from the new condo is the Virginia Beach Central Library. Talk about being connected! First on the list is a terrific web site at (http://www.virginia‑beach.va.us/services/library/)[old link – no…

  • Published Works,  Technology Column

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    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…

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    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…

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    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

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    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…

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    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,…

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    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.…