Spam, Easy Share Camera, IBM First PC

In this week's Cybershake we explore how to stem the flow of junk e-mail, a new simple digital camera from Kodak, and the introduction of IBM's first PC.

Tips on Fighting Unwanted Junk E-mail

Up to your eyebrows in junk e-mail? Nathaniel Wice, an editor with ON magazine, has a few suggestions.

First, Wice suggests if you subscribe to commercial e-mail, “Do it with a separate e-mail account you can get free through Yahoo or Hotmail.” These e-mail services features filters to help determine which of e-mails are from friends and which are from electronic solicitors.

If you use Microsoft Outlook, “There’s a great little feature in there that you can set it to take all suspicious mail—mail that’s not directly addressed to you —- and put it in a separate folder that you can go through at your convenience,” says Wice.

Wice also doesn’t recommend responding to junk e-mailers. Instead, you may be able to take action through local state laws. Wice notes that there are several Web sites, such as suespammers.org, where consumers can find out other junk e-mail killing tips and facts.

One final thing: “The people who actually make Spam — Hormel — prefer people to use the term ‘bulk mail,’” says Wice.

— Clarissa Douglas, ABCNEWS

An Easy to Use Digital Camera

Eastman Kodak, a company long known for film-based cameras, my have created a digital camera for those who want it simple.

Called the Easy Share digital camera, “It is a one-button system for taking digital pictures and uploading them so that your can easily print or e-mail them and share them with your friends and family,” says Nancy Carr of Eastman Kodak.

Carr says only 5 percent of the nation uses digital cameras.”What the easy share system digital camera and dock is trying to do is to talk to those other 95 percent that have heard about digital cameras but just don’t want to get complicated.” In other words, a user-friendly digital camera.

“When you finish taking your pictures at the end of the day, you take the camera home,” says Carr. “You put it in the dock, you push one button and all of the pictures are automatically transferred to your computer into a simple software interface that you can work from right there on your computer.”

The Easy Share camera costs around $300 at most computer stores and online retailers.

— Michael Barr, ABCNEWS

Happy 20th Birthday to the Original IBM PC

It was Aug. 12, 1981, when IBM introduced a boxy desktop machine called the 5150 personal computer. Dr. David Bradley was one of the 12 engineers who worked on it and reflects on the machine’s creation.

“We had to use very large, clunky equipment in order to build that first PC,” says Bradley.

The first customers were primarily businesses. But Bradley notes that Big Blue didn’t forget the potential of the machine for the home consumer.

“No one was much more prescient than saying ‘balance your checkbook,’ ‘keep your recipes on line,’ ‘use it to write letters,’” he says.

“We did include features in the original machine to make it good for the home,” says the engineer from IBM. “You could use it on your TV set at home; and it had, for that time, a fairly sophisticated sound system.”

But what’s in store for the next 20 years? “What we’re going to do is [create] a virtual ‘control-alt-delete’ [that] resets the machine before it crashes,” he says.

— Clarissa Douglas, ABCNEWS

Cybershake is produced for ABCNEWS Radio by Andrea J. Smith.

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