MadMod Computing The MadMod Computing Newsletter

Vol. 2003a

Welcome to this edition of The MadMod Computing Newsletter.   We hope that you enjoy the features of each issue and learn some computing skills along the way.

First, a reminder to make backups of your important files, and to use Scandisk and Disk Defragmenter -- at least monthly.

Featured in This Issue
1.     "Burning” CD-R’s for Backups
2.     Emerging vs Receding Computer Technologies
3.     AvantGo (website)

1.    "Burning” CD-R’s for Backups
CD-R's come in two sizes: regular (650 MB storage) and Pocket: (210 MB).  My preference is the Pocket CD-R because most of what I want to save (my business) is less than 100 MB and the CD-R fits in my narrow safe deposit box.  

If your computer comes with a CD-RW unit, software for using it also came with the device.  Step 1:  Put the blank CD-R in the drive tray and close the tray.  The burning software should start.  Step 2:  (the most complicated) Find the files on your computer that you want to put on the CD-R and transfer them to the workspace directory of the CD-R.  A typical example is to copy C:\My Documents using the CTRL + C keyboard command, locate drive D: (or which letter applies), click open the drive and use the CTRL + V keyboard command to copy the folder.  (Note: the files aren't on the CD-R yet!)  Step 3.  Locate under the File menu (or somewhere else in the software) a command such as "Write to the CD..."  When done the software will announce its completion of the task which takes a few minutes.  Step 4.  Use Windows Explorer to verify that the CD-R contains what you expected.

2.    Emerging vs Receding Computer Technologies
A look at the table below shows the trends.  As I see it, people and businesses want computer technologies that feature speed, compactness, mobility and fewer wires.  The newer technologies permit the user to make better use of time, space and the enjoyment of quality audio and video.  They are also working harder to keep costs as low as possible.

Technologies Emerging
Hardware Software
Broadband: DSL & Cable Modems
DVD (Audio & Video)
PC Tablets
Home Networking
LCD Video Displays
USB 2.0 & Firewire
Smart Media & Compact Flash Memory
Wi-Fi (in & out of the home)
Notebook Computers
Spam Controls
Network Security
StarOffice 6.0
Courses via the Web
Smart Appliance Controls
Banking & Investing On-Line
PDF Applications
Leased Software
Linux Operating Environment
Technologies Receding
Hardware Software
Floppy Drives
CRT Video
Hard Drives smaller than 30GB
Wired Mice & Keyboards
CD-R (Music & Video)
Dial-up Modems
Desktop Computers
DOS-based Programs
High-cost Office Applications
Software on Floppy Disks
Windows 95, 98, ME (replaced by XP)

3.    AvantGo (website)
AvantGo is a special service for people who want to move information from the Internet (webpages) to their Personal Digital Assistant (PDA).  The service is free for individuals.  First create an account for yourself and move the software into your PDA so you can synchronize your PDA with their servers.  Next select the websites that you wish to have downloaded to your PDA.  Last, put your PDA into its synch cradle, connect to the Internet and synch the PDA.

Depending upon the capabilities of your PDA, you may receive graphics with color or just simple text.  AvantGo figures out the formats that your PDA can have.  This truly amazing service can keep you up-to-date with news, weather and even maps/directions from

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E-mail to the editor: David Mawdsley

Copyright © 2003, The MadMod Computing Newsletter