Monday, December 28, 2009

Fun and interactive way to digitize old VHS tapes.

If you have a stash of old VHS tapes containing long forgotten back yard fun or high school memories, you may be able to steal the show this holidays season by bringing them back to life in a modern way that will get people talking.
A new company called Pixorial,, offers a simple and interactive way to transform piles of VHS tapes into an exciting and lively viewing experience. For $15 a piece, Pixorial will digitize VHS tapes or other analog video media and put the content on a password protected part of its own Website according to the New York Times.
Once there, users will have access to Pixorial editing tools which will allow them to cut and slice through the footages as a film director would. That is just the beginning, as the user can invite friends and family to not only watch the videos, but add their own comments in full resolution on any given scene in real time.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Free solutions for digitally recording TV programs.

Citing the Wall Street Journal in a response to a reader's question, in today's digital world, people have more options when it comes to recording free TV programs without the hassle of using a VCR and keeping VHS tapes.
The first option that comes to mind is a TiVo digital recorder box, a very popular device that when connected to the TV's antenna, will allow you to watch free over the air programs.
Another option that may surprise a lot of people, resides in your Windows based computer if it came equipped with the right tools. The tools in question here are a built-in TV tuner found in most middle to high end Windows based computers and the accompanying software available in PCs running Vista Home Premium or Vista Ultimate or the newer Windows 7. With that combination, users should be able to watch TV shows on their computers and record them on their hard drive for later viewing.
And if your PC did not come with the built-in turner, all hope are not lost as you can buy an add-on TV turner provided the fact that most Windows versions come with the software needed to watch TV on your computer.
As you may have noticed, we have been only talking about Windows based computers as Macs based ones, do not come equipped with that option. But the good news is that there are some hardware and software add-on in the market for Mac users.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The need to know in retailers' return policies.

With the busy shopping season upon us, stores' returns policies may be the last thing in shoppers' minds. To the opposite, it seems that everyone is preoccupied to get the best deals possible on that much coveted item either for oneself or a loved one. But equally important is the need to know about the retailer's return policy. This is where things get very interesting as different retailers have different policies and various rules are applied by retailers to various categories of items with those same rules changing from time to time with some exceptions made during the holidays.
Complicating matters, is the surge of Online commerce which brings a new set of confusion over what items bought Online can be returned to a physical store and under what circumstances.
Whether Online or in store, the general rule of thumb is to do your homework and check the store return policy.
A recent trend among retailers is to allow purchases made during November or December to be returned through January. But in general, as they become more popular, electronic items like computers and digital cameras, are subject to more restrictions with a two weeks return window and a restocking fees for opened items.
And this time of year being the season of giving, gift recipients may be faced with additional challenges when it comes to returning gift items. When it comes to policies regarding the return of gifts, "many retailers will provide refunds only to the person who originally made the purchase, while the gift recipient even with a gift receipt, can only make exchanges for merchandise, or receive a store credit or gift card" according to the NYTimes.
For more sampling for stores return policies, see the article in

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Boxee software to be made available in a set-top box.

For many tech savvy who want to watch the limitless Internet videos on their PCs in a visually friendly format resembling a TV directory, Boxee software has been one of the most popular choices. The only downsize has been that users has to install the software on their PC or Mac and settle with the smaller screen of their computers. Or maybe if they were savvy enough, they may have been among the few that were able to install the software on Apple TV, Apple's set-top box.
But now the company behind the software want to change all that by making the experience more mainstream in a collaboration with a D-Link, a Taiwanese manufacturer of networking equipment.
The collaboration announced earlier this month, will result in the manufacture of Boxee own Television set-top device that will allow people to browse and directly watch Internet videos on their TV sets with no need to download or use their computers.
The new device is set to go on sale next year with both companies hoping to keep the price affordable at under $200.

For more, see

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

How to save the content of a Windows alert box.

When facing a Windows alert box in the middle of a computer session, the natural reaction may be to try to write down the content of the message for when talking to a technical support person later on. But such messages are often written in not too friendly technical language and they can be too long to jolt down when most likely you are going into panic mode.
Fortunately, there is a handy tip to help solve the problem the next time it occurs.
According to the New York Times, all you have to do is click on the alert box to select it and press Control-C to copy the content and the next step is to open a working word-processing program or e-mail message and press Control-V to past and save the content.

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