Ira Wilsker's archive

About two years ago, I upgraded my traditional cell phone to a (then) state-of-the-art Nokia smartphone running the latest version of the Symbian operating system. With that smartphone I had 3G Internet speeds, could read my e-mail, watch YouTube videos, browse Web sites and download any of the hundreds of Symbian apps then available.

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In recent days, I attended another college graduation, completing my 35th year as a college faculty member. For many, an appropriate college education is a key to personal success, while many others may benefit from other forms of education.

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I have long been a proponent of free software. Much of the free software available is often as good, if not superior to, its commercial competitors. Many of the free software products are written by altruistic individuals in order to solve a particular problem or to fill a specific niche, while many others are free versions of commercial software where the publisher hopes that the users will be so satisfied with the free version that they willfully upgrade to the paid version, which often offers additional features.

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There are many excellent and free image editors available that are fully capable of performing most simple image editing tasks. My personal favorite simple image editor is the free IrfanView (irfanview.com) capable of the common imaging editing tasks such as cropping, removing red-eye, and performing color corrections and related enhancements. But you need to do much more than simple photo editing, such as producing creative enhancements and other artistic effects.

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As a user of alternative telephone services for several years, I have been very satisfied with their performance. All of them use some variety of VoIP, or Voice over Internet Protocol, to send voice-grade telephone conversations over the Internet, terminating at the recipient’s local phone service (landline or cellular), which ultimately connects the call to his or her local phone. Over the years I have used the voice features of Yahoo!

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