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Episode Ten: Technical Viagra
by Marc S.A. Glasgow, aka The CyberPoet®
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Is that a Gun in Your Pocket, or are You Just Happy to See Me?
"You can get much farther with a kind word and a gun than you can with a kind word alone."
-- Al Capone
Smells Like Dog Sweat
Dogs don't have sweat glands, except in the paws of their feet. Their bodies are also designed to be much more conservative of water. Unfortunately, when Fido overheats, his only general method of cooling off is making air rush across his tongue (evaporative cooling), so when dogs drink they prefer cold liquids... and usually the water in the toilet is colder than the water in his bowl. So, to help prevent infections from bacteria (and possibly poisoning from TidyBowl), always close the lid if you have a housepet. 
Gotta Make It Bigger
When you are trying to print signs for a garage sale or similar, don't be limited by your printer. Print the signs on regular 8 1/2 by 11" paper, then go over to Kinko's and have them photocopy it with an enlargement option onto bigger (and stiffer) stock. 
Gotta Make It Longer, Too
If you have a portable radio with a telescoping antenna that gets poor radio reception of the station that you prefer (or want to get more stations), take it down to Radio Shack and get a replacement telescoping antenna for it that is longer (they come in varying lengths up to absurdly long). You need to take the radio with you to insure that you are getting the same antenna mounting type... To get an even better signal, get a spool of insulated wire (18 gauge works fine), strip the insulation at one end and wrap the bare wire around the end of the antenna. 
On Being Receptive and Well Hung
If you are having problems getting good FM reception of any particular station on your home stereo, or FM reception in general, here's how to build the ultimate antenna for under $15.- (works better than almost any antenna you can buy for any amount). Infinite Wizdom Special - How to build an FM Antenna
How Bright Are You?
There are 2 basic types of lights: incandescent, fluorescent. 
Traditional incandescent lights work by exciting a filament in a vacuum. They put out the least light for their power consumption, and are actually being phased out of use in parts of Europe because of their lack of energy conservation. 
fluorescent lights work work by ionizing a gas into flashing, and are particularly power efficient, but don't produce a wide-spectrum of light and can be especially hard on the eyes when used around monitors, TV's and other light-emitting products. 
A third type of lighting is suppressed lighting, which is a variant on the incandescent version, where rather than having the filament burn in a vacuum, it burns in a gas that is designed to help prevent it from flaming (thus allowing it to burn hotter and brighter). Included in this group is halogen lighting, which provides the best generalized lighting -- a wide spectrum light at a fairly energy efficient level. Halogens are more energy efficient than traditional incandescents and less energy efficient than fluorescent bulbs, but put off more useful (visible) light than either. 
DATs All Folks
For clients with daily back-up needs, nothing beats the use of DAT tapes for automated back-ups -- the client doesn't even have to interact with the unit! For larger systems (those with active storage exceeding 25 Gigabytes), use a DLT system instead. 
Allergic to Pussy?
It is not uncommon for people to build up an allergy to their cat over time; this allergy may takes years or even decades to form, but once present, may remain for life. Furthermore, cat allergies may require hospitalization and specialized treatment to prevent aphixiation once an attack is triggered. 
If you own a cat, either wash it or have it washed every other week (and conditioned using a premium conditioner -- I like vidal sassoon), brush it every other day, have it's hair trimmed twice a year at minimum (more often for long haired breeds) and vacuum every day or two. This will help prevent the alergens from building up to intolerable levels. 

Tune in next time for more Infinite WizDom from The CyberPoet®.
Copyrighted Material.
© 2000,  Marc S.A. Glasgow, aka The CyberPoet®
All rights reserved under U.S. and international law.

Marc Glasgow is a Macintosh Consultant serving the Tampa Bay area since 1990.
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