e’ve provided a free download of our complete A-Z set of simple upper-case “drop caps” with drop shadow, suitable for use in most content creation apps. For those of you who just want the Caps, the download is Summitlake’s own .zip file from this website, and is safe if downloaded from this site. The download link is in the full post. For those of you interested in learning more, or creating your own Drop Caps, our longer article with ample illustration is also in Computers
562 total views, no views today
We’ve all read today that retired four-star General Eric Shinseki just resigned as head of the Veterans Administration. We all now know that the VA health care system is a dysfunctional shambles. My own personal VA story is trivial by comparison, but I see it as a tiny snapshot of a small part of the much bigger picture. I’m a Vietnam veteran. Read my still-unresolved 5-year battle to get the VA to recognize my Vietnam Vet status, posted in
487 total views, no views today
I have a really bad typing habit. It seemed I’ve always had it, but that’s not really true. It finally dawned on me: my fingers must be remembering something. But, what? It turns out our lack of a uniform keyboard character standard dates back to the 1920’s, if not earlier. Read our illustrated riff on keyboard layouts throughout the decades, in Computers.
658 total views, no views today
“Many applications, from medical imaging and radio astronomy to navigation and wireless communication, depend on the faithful transmission and detection of weak radio-frequency microwaves … signals can be transferred directly into standard optical fibres rather than copper wires …” From the Nature journal. In Computers & Technology.
630 total views, no views today
Have you ever yelled at a computer game, “who shuffled this?” There’s a dirty little secret in programming: generating truly random numbers is tough. If you don’t play computer games, you still probably realize security passwords are also just random numbers and letters. There’s a more serious side to this discussion. Random numbers are essential to secure password generation, encryption, and even national security. Read this post in Computers & Technology.
1,743 total views, no views today
I read a proposal today that essentially suggests taking expensive patent trials (a la Apple-Samsung) out of the jury system, putting these disputes into the loving hands of an “expert tribunal” instead. Read my reply in Computers.
540 total views, no views today
Summitlake.com takes a new look at an age-old issue. Can we patent drawer pulls on kitchen cabinets? What about childproof safety latches, or automobile radiator grill patterns? How far should litigation be allowed to go? Read about the Apple slide-to-unlock patent wars, in Computers & Technology.
590 total views, no views today
We don’t get a lot of Comments on Summitlake.com posts, but we DO get a lot you never see. If you ever wondered why we use those annoying CAPTCHA screening devices (“type the letters you see in the box”), read our post in Computers!
532 total views, 1 views today
This is for Mac people who want to play those .wmv files we receive … I’m mostly on a Mac platform now, so I didn’t have a way to view Microsoft .wmv movie files on my Mac. Apple uses QuickTime. I had to port the movie over to my PC. I found the solution at Microsoft. See article and link to Microsoft in Computers.
632 total views, no views today
The SOPA bill would allow copyright holders or the U.S. Justice Department to seek a court order which goes against internet providers (instead of just against individual offenders) when websites are accused of enabling copyright violations or counterfeited goods. SOPA would place intolerable enforcement and adjudication burdens on websites and internet providers. SOPA would block U.S. consumers from blacklisted websites, either software or pharmaceutical. By all accounts SOPA is badly written, overly-broad, and vaguely worded. SOPA wouldn’t even accomplish its stated purpose. What it would accomplish instead is justifiably frightening. SOPA isn’t just bad law. It’s a stealth attack on freedom – a very dangerous thing for the country and informed citizens of any political persuasion. Read this article in Computers.
507 total views, 1 views today
I am a great note–taker: to-do notes, checklists, reminders, dashed-out thoughts and drafts for that Great American Novel. As I use different machines for different locations and tasks, finding where I put that note is not always that easy. I’m so enamored of finding Evernote I’m already awarding it Summitlake’s Five Stars. Read this article in Computers.
478 total views, no views today
I ordered my own iPad2 on Wednesday October 5. I only found out later in the day that Steve Jobs had just died. I ordered the basic 16GB Wi-Fi model iPad. I’ve already started downloading my The New Yorker subscription to iPad, downloaded my Amazon Kindle ebook purchases using the Kindle app, sent an e-mail, copied over my digital images, and more. There’s no learning curve – you just start using it. I have a feeling I’m going to love my iPad2 all the more as I use it. I discuss what I’ve done so far, including embracing a reliable 11n form of Wi-Fi home networking. Read the full article in Computers.
497 total views, 1 views today
Some of us are too young to remember those early Mac days. Many of us, including oldsters like me, can feel free to simply take for granted the incredible palette of instinctive tools we use in interacting with our Macs, PC’s, iPhones, iPads and iPods and all such similar devices. That’s as it should be. Read the full article in Computers.
537 total views, no views today
“This is just a note of thanks for a great product. I used Graphic Converter from about 1995 to 1997 and it was the best Mac app I ever used… I didn’t have to use a manual or Help file to do it. Graphic Converter is as logically designed as ever! It is also the only product other than Photoshop I have ever trusted to edit my photo images, and your product performs a lot of functions Adobe doesn’t.”
Read the full review in Computers.
468 total views, no views today
Random header images have returned to our Summitlake.com Home Page. You’ll see a new image with each visit, selected at random from a collection of about 40 custom images. Visitors to other departments continue to get a static image (it never changes) which helps visually to determine what department we’re currently viewing. The rest of this article contains an image displaying what those iconic department images look like, and technical details mostly of interest to WordPress geeks. Read this post in Computers.
681 total views, no views today
I recently received an email from a friend: Good morning Al: How important would it be for me to download this? Do I really need it? The short answer: don’t ever click links in this common kind of email spam! Read this post in Computers.
650 total views, no views today
||This concludes the saga of “BIOS Won’t Boot”, a most unfortunate sequence of events occurring on April 1 (yes). The story was posted here April 8. Resolution required identifying and fixing two completely unrelated problems. Read the article in Computers & Technology.
807 total views, no views today
I just lugged this PC down here to Phoenix last month. Since I’m moving here soon anyway, lugging the PC back north with me just seems counter-intuitive. Read this article in Computers & Technology.
693 total views, no views today
||Mostly, I think the answer is software … In truth, a coding project like a modern Mac-OS-X or Windows 7 may rival the Manhattan Project in resources and organizational complexity. When things go south, where did we go wrong?” Read the article in Computers & Technology.
689 total views, no views today
Writing my own code to handle “smiley” icons in text messages was tougher than I thought :-). At least I learned something. Like a manager once said, “simplicity comes at the end, not the beginning.” Read about Smiley Madness, with an example of test output, in Computers.
698 total views, no views today
||I continue to enjoy my Mac Pro (under Snow Leopard) and my PC (with newly installed Windows 7-64). Following are some collected notes & observations. Read the full post Mac & Windows Notes in Computers.
649 total views, no views today
Here I review the Windows 7 OS. It has become a real pleasure to use. The 64-bit install was the fastest, cleanest and simplest Windows OS install I’ve done since my first PC in 1997. I like it, and recommend it to Windows users. In Computers.
602 total views, 1 views today
648 total views, no views today
More notes on new Mac: After a week and a day with my new Mac Pro, I’m more delighted than ever. Highlights in article. No wonder my Mac friends would never consider running on other platforms! In Computers.
658 total views, no views today
How to import the universal vCard format into Mac Address Book. In Computers.
617 total views, 1 views today