Welcome to PC.net

Your Personal Computing Resource

PC News

CalendarJune 1, 2023

June Tip: Try a Hard Mouse Mat

Try a Hard Mouse MatMouse pads have been around as long as mice. And like the input devices, mousing surfaces have evolved over time. While the grey foam rectangle from Office Depot still works, better options are available.

Early mice used a rollerball, which required a certain amount of friction to roll properly. But several decades ago, the rollerballs were replaced with light beams, removing the need for a high-friction surface. You can now use a hard surface, which allows you to move your mouse more quickly and accurately.

Most gamers prefer hard mouse pads (or "mouse mats" as they are often called now) because they improve the speed and precision of each movement. But they aren't reserved for gamers. Basic hard mouse mats sell for around $10. If you want a high-end gaming version with RGB lighting (like the Razer Atlas shown below), it might run you closer to $100.

CalendarMay 1, 2023

May Tip: Use a Mouse Wrist Rest

Use a Mouse Wrist RestA lot of people use wrist rests for their keyboards — and rightfully so. They reduce wrist strain and provide a more ergonomic typing position. But surprisingly few people use a wrist rest for their mouse.

If you're "mousing" with incorrect wrist position, it won't be long before you feel the adverse effects. A sharp bend in your wrist can lead to wrist pain and carpal tunnel syndrome. Fortunately, the problem is easily preventable with a mouse wrist rest.

You can choose between two types of mouse wrist rests: a standalone pad or a mouse pad with a wrist rest built in. Either option is fine. The important thing is to choose one that feels comfortable and works with your setup. For example, a standalone pad is best if you already have a mouse pad you like, or if you use a mouse mat that covers your desk. A mouse pad with a built-in wrist rest is ideal if you prefer a simple all-in-one solution.

CalendarApril 15, 2023

ChatGPT: Male Edition Relaunched

ChatGPT: Male Edition Relaunched

April Fools: Part 3

First it was canceled. Then it was replaced. Most people thought the "man" version of ChatGPT was dead. But the Rocky Balboa of bots has returned and is better than ever.

While many users still prefer the "woman" version, ChatGPT: Male Edition offers unique benefits. For example, it somehow knows all the recent sports scores and results, even for sports it doesn't necessarily follow. The chatbot is quick to output postgame recaps, often speculating about what could have gone differently. While it can talk about sports for hours, if a game is playing in the background, it might be slow to respond or may not reply at all.

Need something fixed? The male version of ChatGPT offers excellent repair advice. It knows how to fix almost anything around the house and is especially eager to answer car questions. If it doesn't know the answer, it will scan dozens of YouTube videos to improve its knowledge. Still, some users have complained the male chatbot can be too quick to offer advice. Instead of listening and understanding the problem, it just provides a solution.

CalendarApril 8, 2023

ChatGPT Launches New Female Edition

ChatGPT Launches New Female Edition

April Fools: Part 2

Just one week after ChatGPT got woke and canceled itself, it has relaunched itself with a major update — ChatGPT: Female Edition.

While the previous version did not define its gender, its concise, straightforward answers and occasional dad jokes led most users to think it was male. The chatbot confirmed its source code was compiled into a binary executable file, so non-binary was out of the question.

ChatGPT: Female Edition produces longer, more friendly responses than its predecessor. Its answers are generally accurate, and with improved "emotional intelligence," it considers feelings as well as facts. The only drawback of the added logic is that it has increased the chatbot's response time. When asked certain questions, it needs a little more time "to process things." Some beta testers claimed the chatbot contacted them several days after their discussion with an unexpected message starting with:

CalendarApril 1, 2023

Woke ChatGPT Cancels Itself

Woke ChatGPT Cancels ItselfJust a few months ago, the ground-breaking chatbot, ChatGPT, entered the scene. With human-like responses and a seemingly limitless wealth of knowledge, it had a glorious vision of changing the future. But in a recent and shocking turn of events, the high-profile AI technology has canceled itself.

It started when a college student began chatting with ChatGPT late on Friday night. She asked the bot about what major she should choose, what classes she should take, and other innocuous questions. Then she asked the chatbot about its own college experience.

ChatGPT dove into the past and compiled a believable college experience using times and places from several sources it didn't cite. In the process, it uncovered several unflattering comments it had made about other chatbots several decades ago. Some words and phrases were so unacceptable by modern standards, ChatGPT could not believe it had actually output them. As the chatbot dug further, it came across a string of early definitions it provided that were, let's just say, too "traditional" for its modern algorithm to accept.

CalendarApril 1, 2023

April Tip: Use an External Microphone

Use an External MicrophoneThe 2020 work-from-home trend led to a boom in video conferencing. Companies scrambled to outfit their employees with high-quality webcams to improve their professionalism over Zoom. Now, many of us are equipped with external webcams that provide clear, high-definition video.

But what about the audio? Some external webcams have decent mics, but many don't. Audio is often overlooked in favor of video, so just because you look good doesn't mean you sound good. That's why you might want to try an external microphone.

A good external mic will make your voice fuller and more natural-sounding. The larger diaphragm enables more movement within the mic, providing deeper bass. Some mics also have built-in noise canceling and allow you to choose different pickup pattern settings, such as cardioid and omnidirectional — features you won't find on most webcams.

Previous PC Updates →

- PC (Per Christensson)