[Computers in Plain English, Inc.]

[About the Company]
Our services, clients and contact information

[Of Related Interest]
Our partners in work, and other organizations we support

[Of Unrelated Interest]
Meanwhile, back in the real world...


Computers are with us, whether we like them, love them, or hate them. Our approach at Computers In Plain English, Inc. is that, regardless of our emotions, the first fact does not change. We feel it's better to save our emotions for humans and others, and take a curious, problem solving attitude towards the depredations of our electronic tools.

This site is a place where we share with you our experiences, our best guesses about problems and future developments, amused perceptions of computers (and the world), and directions to other places where you might get help.

Tech Reviews

AverKey iMicro
The iMicro is one of several “scan converters.” These hardware items allow you to put your computer screen display on the TV.  Why would you want to do that?  You could have you laptop connected to the TV and to the Internet, and show your browsing to a bigger audience.  You might have downloaded a movie, or other video clip to the computer and want to show it on the TV.  [This is the opposite of something else you might want to do: show the TV on the computer screen.  Another hardware set, and programs.]


The cost of this is about $99.  The hardware is a small, paper-back book sized, box.  From it wires run to a) power; b) the TV – either a single S-Video wire, or three RCA (left/right/video) wires; c) the computer – single 15 pin video cable.  So there is a mess of wire and the wire is typically short.  This means you can’t sit across the room with your laptop and get this to work.


Browsing the internet and watching on TV had a lot of vertical jitter on the horizontal lines.  Text was all right, but with the lines bouncing up and down it was hard to read.


A video clip captured in Windows Media player are all right, as well.  However, the clip plays inside all the Media Player frames, which show up on the TV.  We ran the Media Player at full screen on the computer and while that was tolerable the inherent fuzziness of such a screening translated to the TV.  Watching from 6 feet away the image on the TV was good enough for short shows – not a whole movie.


There are other scan converters available, and AverKey has more expensive ones.  Don’t know that any of them would improve things.

W Kirkland 10/10/03

Buyers Guide

Color Printers
General: Look for USB connections, even if you don't have one on your current computer --you will on the next. Before you put your money down look at reviews (not just prices)in magazines or on-line. (e.g. www.cnet.com; www.compare.com.)

Think about your actual output. If you print text in batches of 2 and 3, no more than 10 pages at a time, an ink-jet will be alright. If you do longer batches you will want a laser printer.

Recommended for color: HP DeskJet 882c at about $300. Good speed for text. Pretty decent speed for graphics. Epson 740 about $250. Lexmark is also getting very favorable reviews