Webcams and Vista...

So in Windows XP, you plug in your webcam and under "My Computer" you get the webcam icon and can take pictures. Simple, easy, and free. Surely this basic functionality would make it into Vista? No. There is no way to take a quick picture with your webcam unless you "install the manufacturer's software". This is rediculous.

Luckily, there are some free software apps that will fix you right up. One I used today is called AvaCam (link). I was able to take a quick photo, and the software shows options to record video as well. The only downside is it saves the photos inside of its install directory. This, I believe, is a small annoyance for a capability much needed in all operating systems.

Does anyone running Windows 7 RC know if it has the functionality?

Fixing a jumpy cusor/pointer on your optical/laser mouse

Minutes ago, I started to use my Microsoft Wireless Laser Mouse 6000 (v2.0)...and the pointer was jumpy...kinda jittery...whenever I moved it left to right. Up and down was fine though. I resynced the mouse, replace the batteries, and even restarted...still it was jumpy. I've long since lost the receipt to this mouse (which I really like...would hate to replace it) - so did some searching for others who may have had this issue. Found this great post: http://www.pluralsight.com/community/blogs/keith/archive/2008/03/05/50374.aspx . Basically - the little diode under the mouse can get dust or hair on it and cause this problem. Don't throw away your mouse, just blow some air on the diode! Fixed mine right up...

And here I was dreading going to Best Buy...