CAREERS

Finding first job

Recent college graduates entering the job market can face a variety of challenges, especially in a soft economy.

Graduates can use any edge they can get when tackling today’s job market. And the World Wide Web might be a good place to pick up a few tips.

A number of sites feature advice to assist graduates with an array of job-hunting topics. Here is a sampling:

• Campus Explorer: Breaks down the grad job search into a planning timeline. Site: www.campusexplorer.com/college-advice-tips/2D86AD0F/Job-Search-Tips-and-Job-Timeline-for-New-Grads/

• Fastweb: Provides articles on a variety of new grad job search subjects. Site: www.fastweb.com/career-planning/articles/list

• JobDiagnosis.com: Spotlights job search strategies before graduation. Site: www.jobdiagnosis.com/myblog/job-search-tips-for-college-students.htm

• Job-Hunt.org: Spotlights how to develop a first job-hunt strategy. Site: www.job-hunt.org/onlinejobsearchguide/article_first_job_after_college.shtml

• Quintessential Careers: Offers job search advice for recent graduates. www.quintcareers.com/job-search_advice.html

— Chuck Myers

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

AUTOMOTIVE

Vibration in steering

Q: My 2005 4WD Chevy 1500 with 113,000 miles has a steering wheel vibration from 35 mph to 70 mph. My tires have about 37,000 miles. I have had the tires rebalanced with no change. A mechanic pointed out that the torsion bar has different adjustments, the shocks are a little weak, and the tires have a little cupping and weather checking.

A: Have the wheels/tires rotated to see if this affects the vibration. If it does, check the tires/wheels that were originally on the front for run-out and out-of-round; neither would necessarily show up during a simple rebalance. If the tires are seriously cupped, weather-checked or worn, new tires are in order.

If the tire rotation doesn’t help, look for worn ball joints and steering tie-rod ends or bent drag link and steering gear. Don’t overlook the possibility of a front brake rotor that is warped or has too much run-out.

— Paul Brand

Minneapolis Star Tribune

COMPUTERS

Problem with pixels

Q: I have two desktop Macs, one purchased in 2003 and the other in 2006. That latter one has developed bad pixels. When it first started, I went to the Apple store and was told there wasn’t anything I could do for the computer because it was too old and it would cost too much to repair. I asked why this would happen on the newer one when the older one had no such problem. They told me the screen was probably manufactured by a different supplier. Even though the lines are on the desktop, I can still read my sites and emails. What can I expect if this continues?

A: Dead pixels on LCD screens are a frustrating problem that can range from a minor annoyance to a major impediment. That problem is amplified if your display is built into the CPU, as is the case with Apple’s iMac line.

Although it’s not a terribly common occurrence, pixel death is essentially a random electrical problem, and as the Apple technician seemed to indicate, it’s often attributed to a manufacturing issue. There are also a number of solutions online for fixing stuck pixels, which display only red, green or blue. I can’t speak to their efficacy though.

What you can expect in the future is difficult to predict, says Jason Childers, lead technician at the North Carolina computer repair shop Raleigh Geeks.

“You honestly never know,” Childers said. “It could stay the way it is or it could get worse.”

If things get really bad, it’s possible to replace the LCD. But this can get expensive, and Childers said the price is hard to estimate unless he knows the specific part number.

Still, it may end up being cheaper than a brand new desktop.

— Tyler Dukes

Raleigh News & Observer