We're not playing games anymore…

Faith Rocks You Gently

by Pete on November 15, 2015, no comments

frygThe first time I saw Faith Hill perform, I was more wowed by her clothes than her music. As she strutted across the stage belting out her early country hits (“Take Me As I Am,” “Wild One”) she debunked every cliche about bad Nashville fashion. There were no sequins, no fringe, no ruffles. Instead, this lanky blonde from Star, MS, came on like a betwanged Vogue model-singing for an arena of cry-in-your-beer country fans while wearing gowns and pantsuits designed by Richard Tyler (high-fashion tailor to the likes of Julia Roberts and Ashley Judd).

Three years later I meet Hill again–for an interview in the lobby of her New York City hotel. Now, at 31, she’s a bona fide country-music diva–with one triple-platinum album, two double-platinum albums, seven No. 1 singles, and a string of major awards to her credit. What’s more, since that concert in 1996, Hill’s personal life has taken off like a live-action fairy tale. She fell …

Abduction Is Something That Can Never Be Understood

by Pete on November 3, 2015, no comments

Two years ago, they were found, all grown up–and refusing any contact with their mother. Still, she hopes …

aisShe’s a scientist, a researcher accustomed to studying life through the lens of a microscope. There the world is contained; given enough patience and skill, order can be imposed on chaos, and sense can be made of the unpredictable. Sitting in the living room of her Virginia home, her pale-aquamarine eyes intent, Barbara Kurth forces herself to examine a newspaper photograph with the same detached curiosity. Two young women gaze back at her, elegant in their evening gowns, smiles lighting their faces as Daddy escorts them to a charity ball. What are their favorite colors, Barbara longs to know. What foods do they like? What books have they read? Who are they?

She knew them once, these beautiful strangers. They were her daughters.

On an October afternoon in 1979, Barbara kissed her little girls good-bye and sent them off for a …

Teenage Kindness Is Out There!

by Pete on October 29, 2015, no comments

tkiotTabitha Joy Kulish and her pals have learned that the road to making a difference can be bumpy at times. “We were really excited to be doing the October Diabetes Walk, and everybody was skipping and singing,” the 15-year-old ninth grader recalls. “But then my best friend, Lori Frey, twisted her ankle. We didn’t want to walk without her, so we put her in a wheelchair we borrowed from the ambulance crew and took turns pushing her.” The group not only made it through the eight-mile course, but they also raised $1,000 for the cause.

It was all in a day’s volunteer work for the 20 teenage members of Operation Cheer-Up Kids, the Lancaster, PA, group Kulish founded in 199.5. Since then, they’ve raised more than $16,000 for such nonprofit organizations as the American Diabetes Association and the March of Dimes, and logged 7,000 hours of community service.

The whole thing began in 1991, when Kulish was in second

Video Editing Workstations Improving

by Pete on October 24, 2015, no comments

Then in the mid-1980s the offline editing process was made mote efficient by using compressed digital video from the hard disks of workstations. Now computer graphics specialists such as Doug Walters, head creative director of Super Real Graphics, had a choice: They could squeeze their fries into low-resolution versions that were almost unrecognizable in order to fit them onto hard drives for offline editing, or they could wait for the online session in order to make their images and effects available. Under this scenario, the original file formats would be inserted into the final recorded master tape, at which point their creators would have no choice over where the effects went or how they were integrated with the other shots. Still cut out of the creative part of the editing loop, the artists had to rely on the talents of others to bring their computer-generated contributions to the screen. Creative decisions were often made by editors and producers who may

Keeping Your Body’s Rhythms In Check Is Key

by Pete on October 22, 2015, no comments

kybrickDid you know that having a mammogram at the right time in your menstrual cycle can improve its accuracy? That changing the hour at which you take asthma or blood-pressure medication may help you feel better? That you will get more from your workouts by hitting the gym at one hour instead of another?

Most of our bodily functions–digestion, respiration, hormone production–fluctuate over the course of a day, month, and even year, because of the ways we respond to light, darkness, temperature, activity, and sleep. In an exploding field called chronobiology, researchers are learning how to treat disease with these biological rhythms in mind. Following our body clocks, they’re finding, is an important part of keeping ourselves well. Here’s how:

Schedule your mammogram within two weeks after the start of your period. That’s when you have the best chance of getting the most accurate reading, according to a number of studies, including a recent One of some 2,500 women …

LAN Backup Helps Prevent Catastrophes Daily

by Pete on October 14, 2015, no comments

Buyers of LAN backup software are increasingly getting packages with data-management functions reminiscent of mainframe applications.

Features such as tape rotation, data migration, new operating system support and HSM (hierarchical storage management) are being added to LAN backup packages as users continue to downsize applications and implement client/server applications.

Backup software like this can save your business.

Backup software like this can save your business.

“As operations move from centralized to decentralized applications, the importance of protecting data is critical,” said Edward Gaudet, director of marketing for Software Partners/32 Inc., a supplier of systems-management software for VAX and Unix environments in Topsfield, Mass.

For high-end storage management on LANs, many tape-backup software vendors are supporting the Data Migration and HCSS (High Capacity Storage System) functions in NetWare 4.0. This allows infrequently used files to be automatically transferred from hard disk to optical or tape drives. While the files are stored off-line, their names are maintained in the volume directory. When accessed, the migrated data is returned to the hard-disk drive.

“This is a major help for situations where there are network hard drive crashes, or just outright disk failures,” says Rick Marcus, a data recovery technician for Hard Disk Recovery Services, a recovery lab in Irvine, CA.

Automatic migration

The HCSS feature allows files to be migrated onto rewritable optical disks or jukeboxes. As the available hard-disk space reaches a user-defined level, files are migrated to the optical disk.

more →

The Mumble Jumble Of Life

by Pete on October 8, 2015, no comments

mjolI spend a lot of my time fantasizing about becoming an actress–starring in movies, going to premieres, actors. I know it’s silly, but my everyday life is so unglamorous. Should I make an effort to stop?

You’re far from alone. It might surprise you to Know that people typically spend at least 30 percent of their waking hours concocting fantasies large and small. And for most, daydreams are a healthy exercise. They can function as mini vacations, helping to break up the day as well as defuse anger and head off depression.

Fantasies can also reveal a lot about our true selves, our desires and needs. You sound bored and a little lonely. If you’re interested in acting, why not audition for a play? (There must be a community theater near your home.) Performing is a wonderful way to meet people and boost your self-confidence. If you aren’t cast in a production the first time, don’t be discouraged. It may

Features Of Online Helpdesk Software

by Pete on October 7, 2015, no comments

Online helpdesk software is used by IT departments to internally manage employee needs while externally managing client requests. Businesses use helpdesk in several ways. For one, they use helpdesk software in the cultivation of customer communities, user testing, feedback loops and business offerings for paid support. Online helpdesk software also brings unity in the customer chats, keeps them archived and are available in reading and responding to internet connected computer or Smartphones. The advantage of the software is its ability to be assessed from anywhere and on any available device. It also does not get affected when the business system or server has a failure.

fothdsWhen the online helpdesk software is active all the time, the customers can check on the status of requests to find out if they ought to provide more information. When fully customized, it allows businesses to apply the prevailing designs of brands while using their domains and email addresses. Features found in helpdesk software …

Getting A Handle On Your Debt

by Pete on October 3, 2015, no comments

gahoydWhen readers write, these are the main things on their minds. Below, typical questions and where to look for help.

I want to save for my retirement but have no idea how much I’m going to need. What would be a reasonable goal?

There’s a wonderful tool called Ballpark Estimate, developed by the American Savings Education Council (ASEC). It’s a simple worksheet that shows you roughly how much you should save to retire at your current standard of living.

The sheet has only 11 blanks to fill in, takes just a few minutes, and requires no math skills other than multiplication. I ran the Ballpark Estimate past two experienced financial planners, who tested it against their own retirement-planning software. They found that Ballpark figures usually came within 10 percent of their own recommendations. That’s good enough for me.

The planners did find a few things to quibble with. Ballpark assumes a life expectancy of 87 (maybe you’ll live longer). It’s …

The Harvest Always Comes…

by Pete on October 2, 2015, no comments

“Knowledge comes, but wisdom lingers,” said Tennyson. Especially wisdom gathered in the garden.

Ripe tomatoes are popping out like measles across the green face of our garden: Early Girl, Willamette, Oregon Spring, Little Boy, Fat Man, and Tomato Glut. I planted too many, partly because The seed catalogue seduced me, partly because there was clearly a simpler solution. Joy and I have already done this stoop labor for hours without making a dent and it’s going to be dark soon. I’m curious: “When are we going to stop doing tomatoes, honey?”

“If you remember,” my wife says, “someone said we couldn’t possibly have too many tomatoes. So that’s how many we planted.” What a fantastic memory she has. That’s what I said, verbatim. It seemed true then, but not now. With our kitchen buried in crimson and the pressure cooker oozing love-apple sauce around the clock, I finally understand the concept of infinity squared. If they want children to learn