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CalendarMay 14, 2015

Happy 16th Birthday PC.net

Happy 16th Birthday PC.netIf PC.net was a self-driving car, it could drive itself today.

I launched this website on May 14, 1999 and it has been going strong ever since. Sure, it's gone through some changes, including a name change (from Sharpened.net) and many redesigns, but the mission has always remained the same — to sharpen your knowledge of the computers and the Internet.

For the past eight years or so, I've been running a business and working on several other projects, so I haven't invested as much time into PC.net as I would like. However, I have continued to make regular updates and I've been adding new content pretty consistently. I have a few other website projects planned for this summer and fall, but after that I plan to make PC.net a top priority.

Thanks to everyone who remembered PC.net's birthday this year. This website would have no purpose without visitors like you! I'm glad you can celebrate PC.net's 16th (or 24) birthday with me. I look forward to celebrating PC.net's 25 birthday with you 16 years from now!

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CalendarMay 5, 2015

Why I Don't Want a Smartwatch

Why I Don't Want a SmartwatchIt's been a few weeks since Apple released the much anticipated Apple Watch. I still don't have one. I own at least a dozen Apple products and I bought the original iPhone the day it was released back in 2007. But I just can't find a reason to buy the Apple Watch — or any smartwatch for that matter.

Regular visitors know that I never really wanted an Apple Watch. However, I kept an open mind leading up to the release date and even went into my local Apple Store to try out the Watch the first day it made a public appearance on April 10. But I wasn't impressed.

My reason for not wanting an Apple Watch is not because I don't usually wear a watch or because the interface is too small. It's not because it only works with Apple devices or because it has a short battery life. The main reason for my aversion towards the Apple Watch is simple — I don't want another device.

I spend most of my day working in front of a desktop computer. When I travel, I work from my laptop. Occasionally, I'll watch a video on my iPad. I have my smartphone on me at all times and check it way too frequently. The last thing I need is another digital device to distract me from the world around me.

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CalendarApril 1, 2015

Apple iChip Rumors Surface

Apple iChip Rumors SurfaceJust weeks before the global launch of the Apple Watch, rumors have surfaced of the next Apple device — the iChip.

Only a few details have leaked so far, and the device is said to be the first of its kind in the new "embedded" market. While wearables, such as wristbands and watches, are expected to remain popular for several years, Apple is betting that embedded devices will eventually become the preferred option.

No verified photos of the iChip have surfaced yet, but according to reputable sources, it is a thin integrated circuit designed to be placed underneath a person's skin. The designated placement of the chip in the human body is yet to be determined, though most analysts believe it will be placed in a person's wrist or top of the hand.

The iChip includes a built-in screen that can display similar data as the Apple Watch, including the time, calendar, text messages, heart rate, and activity level. It uses a display technology called HIOLED (High Intensity Organic Light Emitting Diode) that provides additional luminosity to make it visible through a person's skin. TTCS (Transitive Touch Capacitor Surface) technology allows users to control the device like a traditional touchscreen without actually touching the screen itself.

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CalendarMarch 24, 2015

Review: NeatReceipts Portable Scanner and Software

Review: NeatReceipts Portable Scanner and SoftwareI love all things paperless. A few years ago, I made a decision to make my business nearly 100% paperless, which meant eliminating paper in every possible area. For example, my employees now use iPads for meetings, which means no more paper handouts. I have my accountant provide all documents electronically, which means no more paper tax forms. Whenever possible, I sign contracts electronically using EchoSign or another method. PDFs have almost completely replaced hard copies in my business and I love it.

But there are two areas that have been lagging behind in my journey to a digital utopia — receipts and business cards. The main reason I have been keeping paper versions of these items is because I couldn't find a good solution that organized them well. I tried Chase's "Jot" app to track my business purchases for a year, but it's interface and performance was underwhelming. I tried scanning business cards using my primary scanner, but it was too much of a hassle to make the effort worthwhile.

I looked for another solution and found NeatReceipts.

NeatReceipts is the entry-level version of Neat's "Smart Organization System." It is a small portable scanner that fits neatly on my desk and scans receipts and business cards directly into the bundled Neat software. Since the hardware and software are two separate but equally important elements of the Neat scanning system, I will cover them individually.

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CalendarMarch 11, 2015

The Most Epic Pi Day in 100 Years

International Pi Day - 3/14/15 Every year, nerds and non-nerds alike celebrate International Pi Day on March 14. Why? Because 3/14 represents the first three digits of Pi (3.14).

This year is even more spectacular, as 3/14/15 represents the first five digits of pi (3.1415). :-o It is a monumental event that only happens once every hundred years. What does this mean? Well, nothing except for the fact that it is awesome.

Some longtime visitors might remember I made a big deal when it was 11/11/11. I even took a screenshot of my system clock at 11:11 on 11/11/11 because, well, I had to. Again, there wasn't much reason for celebrating that day except for the fact it was awesome.

For those unfamiliar with pi, it is the number of times you multiply the diameter of a circle in order to calculate the circumference. Likewise, if you were to take a tape measure and wrap it around a perfectly cylindrical object, you could divide the length of the circle by pi and get the diameter of the object.

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