The Internet & New Media

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By Akosua Kathryn Albritton
Maintenance Tip #3
Backups are figuratively mirrors or snapshots of your hard drive at a moment in time.  Backing up your computer is useful in the event of a crash or when old, rarely used files need to be removed from the hard drive.  If you’ve downloaded such programs as Acrobat Reader, Macromedia Flash or Quicktime, but don’t have the compact discs, backups are important.  Actually, backing up copies of all the MP3s, games, digital photos, animation and other files that are not on removable storage devices is a smart move.  A PC owner or PC network administrator has the option of getting a tape drive or using software to do the job.  Affordable backup software makers include Symantec and SummitSoft.  The software includes easy-to-follow directions.  Keep extra blank rewritable compact discs.
Toys
Does Roy Orbison inspire computer technology to keep pushing to please with the lyrics, “Anything you want-you got it”?  The no-end-in-sight innovation to Personal Digital Assistants (you know PDAs) is a case in point.  They started out as organizers that were combination clocks, calculators, alarms, address books and schedulers.  The current offering includes Pocket PCs.  This amounts to an assemblage of a foldable keyboard, handheld processing unit and stand.  The Pocket PCs offers the option of using the handheld alone or docking it horizontally on the stand and connecting it to the small keyboard.  These units are packed with software applications-word processing, spreadsheet, database, e-book reader, etc.  Either the stylus, touching the screen or 5-way navigation buttons, does inputting directly to the handheld unit.  Hewlett-Packard’s iPaq Pocket PC is a line of ten models.  HP iPaq Pocket PC h6315 offers ultimate connectivity by packing in Bluetooth, IrDA and IEEE 802.11b technologies.  The price range for this product line is $140 to $800.  Please compare makers, product lines and prices by visiting your favorite computer/electronic Web site.
Alternative Review Web sites
This column frequently refers readers to CNET.com to shop and get reviews of software, hardware and electronics.  To assure readers that CNET is not this column’s sponsor, please take note of the following great Web sites: pcworld.com, hp.com, dell4me.com, eweek.com, wired.com, nextag.com, CDW.com, TechTV.com, Zdnet.com, amazon.com and MacWorld.com.  This is not the ultimate list but it does expand one’s options.
The Economics of e-government
The July 1, 2005 Wired For Success column highlighted the 2005 Intelligent Community Forum’s Annual Conference and Awards Ceremony.  The awards recognize communities successfully setting up comprehensive Internet and telecommunication infrastructure that results in e-government, e-learning, e-business and e-medical.  The premise being if the effort is recognized, such recognition will spur further effort in the same or different locale.  This technology buildup requires that city government purchase huge lots of hardware and software.  Take NYC Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC) as an example; HHC operates 11 acute-care hospitals, 4 long-term care facilities, 6 comprehensive diagnostic and treatment centers, 1 health agency and over 100 community-based and school-based health centers.  It takes a lot of cable, routers, gateways, cell phones, beepers, workstations and handheld devices to institute “e-government” for that city agency.  Technology firms see the gold in e-government and are courting the City of New York with well-polished sales presentations.
On July 27,  the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunication held a breakfast meeting at the New York Marriott Brooklyn.  The meeting’s theme was Keeping Pace with Social Change Through Mobile Technology: Providing Public Service Where the Public Is.  New York City employees were introduced to mobile technology to facilitate on the groundwork.  Dell demonstrated the PC Tablet.  It is a laptop with a monitor that swivels so that it can function as a high-powered laptop or as a writing tablet that recognizes handwriting.  The attendees that expressed an interest in learning more about the PC Tablet during online registration were surprised by receiving 30-day trial loans of PC Tablets.
Jennifer Yador, an Economic Development Corp. intern within the telecommunication infrastructure unit, gives the PC Tablet high ratings.  One week into the trial, Yador says she loves it.  The handwriting recognition platform understood her writing almost immediately.  The PC Tablet is a laptop and therefore, works best when a user is seated.  So, it works while interviewing clients or on transit performing field activity documenting.
Other technology firms present at the meeting included Intel and Gateway.  A panel discussion completed the morning.  It included Prem Barua, Intel Sales Development Manager, Government Technology Publisher Don Pearson, Kevin Shabow, Senior Director of Government Sales, Mitchell Ahlbaum and Fernando de Guia, both from the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunication.  This brief meeting was a sales pitch to the City’s point agency for technology.  E-government has arrived and they want to lasso the bucking bronco called the Big Apple.
Have a Web site that needs a review?  Are you an application developer?  Know of a virus?  Contact me at Akosua@plans4success.com.