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What Features Are Most Important in a Digital Camera?

Assuming that you aren't a professional photographer, consider these essentials:

Resolution: More is better, but don't get hung up on it. A 4-megapixel picture makes great prints, though it doesn't leave much flexibility for producing outstanding prints after cropping.

Optical zoom: Digital zoom is essentially a fancy term for "no zoom."

Short lag time: You see the perfect shot and press the button; 2 seconds later, your subject has left the frame and your camera clicks. The shorter the lag time, the less often this will happen.

SD Card slot: Since they're the industry standard, SD Cards are inexpensive and widely available, and you won't have trouble finding readers for them.

Right size: Does it fit comfortably in your hand and in your pocket? Are the dials large enough that you can set them easily? Is the LCD large enough?

Why Is My E-Mail Landing in Friends' Spam Boxes?

Maybe because you misspelled Viagra.

Seriously, some spelling checkers get suspicious when they see "cute" spellings or unusual characters inserted into words, so it's best to avoid these.

When possible, use your domain's outgoing mail server. An outgoing server whose name doesn't match your domain name raises a red flag, unless it's a well-known one, like Gmail or Yahoo.

Also, avoid links to graphics on the Web. And visit Robtex to see if your IP address or host name is blacklisted. It happens, even to the innocent.

Is It Safe to Overclock My CPU?

clock image
Illustration: Barry Blitt
Unless you know what you're doing, no. A CPU is rated at a certain speed for a reason. The excess heat generated by an overclocked CPU can reduce your PC's stability, shorten the CPU's lifespan, damage other components, and introduce data errors. You can counter heat problems with more and better fans and larger heat sinks--but again, you need to know what you're doing.

If you want to take the risk anyway, first read Kirk Steers's article, "The Cheapskate's Guide to Supercharging Your PC."

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