Tech briefs

Published June 12, 2007 12:00 am
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2007, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

By year's end, half of teens will have cells

Growth in the number of tween and teen cell-phone subscribers will outpace that of the overall U.S. population, according to JupiterResearch.

Nearly half of children ages 12 or 13 will have cell phones by the end of 2007, while one-third of children ages 10 or 11 will have the devices, according to a new report by the Internet research firm.

Parents cite safety as the primary reason for providing their children with phones. According to the study, parents who have become accustomed to the convenience and utility of cell phones are purchasing them for their children in large part because they want their children to be able to reach them easily.

Tips to maximize your computer space

How many programs and plug-ins are cluttering up your computer? Many useful tasks can be carried out with Web-based applications that require no downloads or installations and cost nothing to use. Here are some examples gleaned from the indispensable ResourceShelf (http://www.resourceshelf.com) and other resources:

* Convert a document into a PDF: With the new service Koolwire (http://www.koolwire.com), you can convert Word documents, Excel spreadsheets and Powerpoint presentations into the PDF format, which is easier to read and send. Just send an e-mail to pdfkoolwire.com with the original files attached, and you1ll receive the converted PDF documents by reply in a few minutes.

* Find other online converters: There are many more online converters that handle all kinds of document formats, as well as convert HTML, Javascript, images, RSS feeds and other features. Smashing magazine (http://www.smashingmagazine.com) lists many of them in a handy guide.

* Share a virtual hard drive: eSnips (http://www.esnips.com), essentially allows you to maintain a virtual hard drive with music, images, video and other files you want to share with your family, friends or even strangers. You upload the material to folders that you create and then decide to whom you want to grant access. You get 5 gigabytes of storage space with free registration.

with key stock art

Keep the identification code number for your car's electronic ignition key on a piece of paper in your wallet so that it will be easier for a locksmith to make a copy.

This is especially important because the proper vehicle codes for ignition keys are often kept only by the manufacturers, according to AAA. This means it can take days and be expensive to have a dealer order copies from the car makers, leaving you stuck without a vehicle or perhaps forced to rent a car. And even when AAA responds, and is able to get you into your car, the locksmith might not be able to copy the ignition key.

You can bypass the time-consuming stage of calling a locksmith or for roadside assistance by entering the car with a credit-card type key made of plastic and cut to match the original key that you can keep in your wallet just in case you lock yourself out. Some AAA clubs provide credit-card keys as a courtesy to members. Call your local club to find out.

-- Tribune staff and wire services

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