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Newsletter No. 1
October, 2004


Welcome to the first issue of Costin Computing Services Newsletter. It announces our Website which you can find at

It is being sent to many people who are or have been clients of our services, or with whom we
have made some other contact. If you do not
wish to receive future issues, go to the
Unsubscribe information at the end of this newsletter.

Future issues will appear about every second month if enough items of interest arise. We hope you find the items in this issue interesting.

Graeme Costin, Editor

What We Do:

What We Don't Do:

  • Computer hardware repairs (but we can recommend some reliable repairers if you need their services).

35,000 New Customers per Day
with Zero Advertising!

That is the growth being achieved by Skype, the new provider of voice communication via the Internet. Making telephone calls by means of VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) has not been completely satisfactory, but it appears that Skype has rectified this.

Skype provides free programs for Windows, Pocket-PC PDAs, Macintosh and Linux. With these programs Skype users can talk to each other for free over their Internet connection. By prepaying through SkypeOut, Skype users can also talk with people who are not Skype users.

To read about the details see:

The next issue of CCS Newsletter may have some comments about how well Skype lives up to its promises.

Lexmark Recalls 39,000 Printers

Lexmark has ordered the recall of more than 39,000 Dell, IBM and Lexmark branded laser printers due to a possible short-circuiting problems that could lead to electrical shocks.

Most of the affected printers were sold in the USA and very, very few are in Australia. But if you have a Lexmark model E230, E232, E232t, E330, E332, E332n, or E332tn you might like to check the URL:

The G5 iMac is Here

With a design reminiscent of an oversize iPod, the new iMac places a very powerful computer in the back of its LCD screen (17inch or 20inch) so that the whole computer resides in a box under 2 inches thick! If you choose Bluetooth keyboard and mouse, the only cables to clutter your desk are a power lead and network and/or phone line.

Just A$2,200 gets you a very powerful computer with the iLife bundle of video and audio software, Web browser and email program, and AppleWorks wordprocessing, spreadsheets, drawing, painting, and presentation software. Many users would not need anything extra!

When Apple engineers solve the problem of cooling the G5 CPU when the box is laid flat, there should be a G5 laptop!

More info at the URL:

Epson 1160 A3 Printer Jamming

After 4 years of reliable service, our Epson Sylus Color 1160 A3 inkjet printer started jamming its printer carriage at random distances down the page. The only way to resume work was to turn the printer off and then restart the whole job. Our invoices for a couple of weeks were laserprinted in black and white!

But then we discovered that there was a repairer of Epson printers nearby. They replaced some parts and returned the printer to us in good working order, and for only $125.

Incidentally, the Epson 1160 is still available new (about $600) and is still an excellent printer if you need A3 colour printing.

Just Printers, 319-B Penshurst Street, Willoughby, NSW 2068
phone (02) 9417 8844

The G3 That Rebooted, again and again and ... !

One evening I heard the chiming sound of my G3 Macintosh rebooting - but noone was touching it or even near it! After a few days it was even rebooting before the previous reboot process had been completed!

I found that Microseconds Pty Ltd in the Sydney suburb of Ultimo was able to repair the motherboard and so our trusted G3 (which runs MacOS 9 and drives our scanner) is now back in service again, even though it is 5 years old and has been depreciated off our books. The $200 repair fee was much less than buying a new computer or scanner.

If you have a Mac that needs repair, or if you wish to buy a second hand Mac, try Microseconds. Their URL is:

The Future is Coming

Within 5 years ...

Purdue University and Olympus are developing a system of sensors incorporating digital cameras that communicate by a wireless network in order to enhance security and help elderly and impaired people.

Within 10 years ...

MRAM - Magnetic Random Access memory - is being developed by IBM and others. It is expected to store 400 times as much data in the same volume as today's smallest and densest hard drives with far less power consumption.

MRAM could be the enabling technology for PLRs - Personal Life Recorders - which would record by microphone and camera everything that a person sees and hears. If it doesn't have an OFF button, I won't buy one!

A more practical benefit would be replacing hard disks so that boot up time for computers almost disappears.

Thought for Today

If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange these apples,
then you and I will still each have one apple.
But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange these ideas,
then each of us will have two ideas.

George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)

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