The Real Deal 210: Tom's favorite questions

On Tom's last Real Deal podcast, he gives us his favorite tips (including best keyboard shortcut ever), we answer listener calls, and we announce the show's new co-host.

A moment of silence, if you please, to honor Tom Merritt, the guy who launched this podcast four years ago, hosted it solo by himself for two, and who is leaving CNET to go work at some other content company, Twit something-or-other. We'll miss you, Tom. Thanks for a great show.

For Mr. Merritt's last show, we have some of his favorite tips and tricks and questions, plus a few of mine, and more call-ins than we've ever had.

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EPISODE 210: Tom's favorite questions

QUESTIONS

What's the best keyboard shortcut ever?

Windows-D

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How do I switch user accounts on the iPhone 3GS so I post video to the right account?

Go to the YouTube app and click more then sign out.

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How can I put "X" on a thumb drive?

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What's the best free software?

OpenOffice

SeaMonkey

Paint.NET

Handbrake

VLC Media Player

Rafe: Google Docs; Process Explorer; MS Security Essentials; Evernote (duh)

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How can I charge the MiFi on my laptop and still share the connection?

Go here

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Phone question: Multiboot. Try Wikipedia or Gag

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First off- I wrote in to you about problems with my XP laptop before I had to use it to take the Bar Exam last summer. You guys saved me much stress. So, thanks.

Now, I happily have a baby on the way and my wife and I are getting our ducks in a row for the pending arrival. Unfortunately, our only camera (a Canon A-series point-and-shoot) is getting fussy and probably on its last legs. Obviously, I am going to need a new, reliable camera for when the kid arrives. I'm having trouble deciding what route to take for the new camera. I don't know if I should get a small point-and-shoot, a beginner DSLR, or something in between. I know photography basics and like to play with manual settings to achieve interesting photos. However, my wife will be using this camera a lot and she has no interest in manual features or adjustments. So, probably half of the time, the camera is going to be in auto or scene mode (maybe more if I am too sleep deprived to think about settings). While all of that would tend to point to point-and-shoot, I do need good low light performance from the camera (flashes are bad for a baby's eyes). Also, my father in law has been shooting with Pentax SLRs for decades, so I could borrow some older lenses.

I am considering the Canon S90, Canon G11, and Pentax K-x, in case you have any thoughts on those particular models.

Thank you, Jerry

PS - Tom, best of luck on your future endeavors.

Rafe: Of those, the Canon S90 and G11 are similar under the skin. I have the S90 and love it for a lot of reasons but do NOT recommend it as a baby camera. Despite its great low-light lens, it's too fussy and the shutter lag is horrendous. SLRs are faster to use and with a good lens you can just forget about flash. All now have auto modes, so you can screw around with settings when you want and just put it on A when you hand it to someone else. Pre-digital lenses from one system may not incorporate all the features in modern lenses, like autofocus or even correct metering, but if you're a pentax family, go for the KX. Personally I'm a Nikon man, and got a D50 when my son was born nearly 4 years ago. And although the lenses from my college camera fit and work, they don't autofocus and some don't meter correctly, so I had to get new lenses. Could just as well have started over. Today I'd recommend a D40 as a good entry-level camera, and a 35mm f1.8 lens for great no-flash indoor photos.

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COMMENT
I too am a HUGE fan of Evernote and use it on all my PCs, my phone and on a U3 drive at work where they won't let me install software on the hard drive. So when I heard Phil Libin say they actually prefer people to use the "free" service, I thought well who is he to tell me I can't pay for it. After the show I immediately logged on and pre-paid for a year of premium service. TAKE THAT Evernote!

Mike

p.s. Sorry to hear of Tom leaving the show, but I'll be sticking with you as you as you become CNET to the Rescue.

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WRAP-UP
Next time: Lots of changes, and one constant. Real Deal becomes the CNET to the Rescue podcast. It moves from its current timeslot, 1 p.m. Pacific on Thursday, to noon Pacific on Wednesday (this will only matter to live listeners and call-ins). And we have a new co-host, Josh Lowensohn.

Topic next week: More of your questions. And road tests from the new co-host.

Questions to rescue@cnet.com.

 

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