HP, Gateway, and Velocity Micro all introduced new mainstream desktops for the holiday season, and today it's Dell's turn. Those others might have more raw performance for the dollar than the new XPS 420, but none comes close to the wide array of new features Dell has on offer.Read more
Software can be made pretty reliable, lots of people and companies know how to do so. The auto-pilot on an airplane comes to mind, as do the computers that run financial markets. Then there's mainframe computers, perhaps the classic example of reliability (I spent many years working in a mainframe environment). But chances are that the computer you are reading this on is not as reliable as it could be.Impolite Waiter Let's start with an analogy. How would you feel if you were in a restaurant, in the middle of your meal, and the waiter takes your … Read more
On October 18th in The Wall Street Journal, Walter Mossberg wrote his annual PC Buyers Guide. Using his article as a springboard, I weigh in on some of the issues faced when buying a new computer.Vista security
The first choice anyone makes in purchasing a new computer is the operating system. In judging the relative merits of Vista over XP, Mossberg calls Vista "better than prior versions of Windows, because it has a stronger security system under the hood."
But, according to CNET's Security Watch columnist Robert Vamosi, "most of the security enhancements touted in … Read more
It's rare that anyone at Microsoft talks publicly about Windows 7, the next version of Windows. It's even rarer that anyone provides actual information about what might be inside the operating system, which is still in the planning stages.
However, Microsoft has posted a video of a recent university lecture given by Distinguished Engineer Eric Traut in which he talks about, among other things, a new, slimmed down kernel known as MinWin that was created as part of the Windows 7 development process.
The kernel, which lacks Vista's bells and whistles or even a graphics system at … Read more
Internet Explorer 7 was missing on a brand new Dell Latitude D630 running Windows XP SP2. I tried to find out why, which resulted in the saga below. Consider this a tip for anyone purchasing a new XP based computer and a heads up on how Microsoft and Dell treat their customers.
The machine arrived a few days ago, and one of the first things I dutifully did was run Windows Update from Internet Explorer (Tools -> Windows Update). I was surprised to find the machine came with Internet Explorer 6 considering that IE7 has been available for a … Read more
Blogs were buzzing this week with reports that Windows users who thought they had automatic updates set to either not install or get permission before installing nonetheless had their machines patched and rebooted.
Friday afternoon, the company posted a response to its Web site saying no changes were made to the automatic update mechanism nor did any recent updates change AU settings. The company is looking into whether customers might have actually had their settings changed by Microsoft Office or Windows OneCare, two programs that do have mechanisms that will change a computer's automatic update preference settings.
"We … Read more
One of the advantages of Apple Macintosh computers is that simply by not being Windows, they are immune to the plague of malware (malicious software) that constantly strikes at Windows based machines. Linux has this advantage too, plus it's cheaper. A computer running Linux can cost around a fifth as much as a Mac (more on this later).
The classic knock on Linux, when compared to Windows and Macs, has always been that it was harder to use, and indeed it was. But release after release it kept getting easier. How easy is it, now, for a Windows user … Read more
In the September 25th issue of the WXPnews newsletter, the editor, Deb Schinder wrote an article (Don't Find Vista Guilty Until Proven Innocent) in which she attacked the people attacking Windows Vista. "In way too many cases, people condemn operating systems or applications that they've never even used..." she says.
That's me. Here in this blog, I recently advised that anyone buying a new Windows based computer, should opt for XP as opposed to Vista.
Certainly, Deb's point sounds reasonable, but, if a tree falls in the woods, no one has to have been … Read more
Networking companies are beginning to deliver the new Vista-friendly Media Center Extenders that Microsoft outlined earlier this month. D-Link's entry in the race is the DSM-750. Like competing models, the DSM-750 attaches to a TV (standard or high-def) and streams live and recorded TV, video, music, and photos from networked Media Center PCs located elsewhere in the home. An update of the older DSM-520, the 2007 model adds dual-band 802.11n wireless (which has the speed and bandwidth for optimal streaming of HD video) as well as compatibility with the popular DivX and XviD video file formats. Unlike similarly … Read more
While Vista was originally touted by Microsoft as the operating system savior we've all been waiting for, it has turned out to be one of the biggest blunders in technology. With a host of issues that are inexcusable and features that are taken from the Mac OS X and Linux playbook, Microsoft has once again lost sight of what we really want.
As we're more than aware, Vista Ultimate comes at a premium. For an additional $160 over the Premium SKU price, Ultimate gives you a complete backup and restore option, BitLocker Drive encryption, the ever so popular Windows Fax & Scan, and the "Ultimate Extras." But what started with a promise of "Extras" by summer, quickly turned into an apology from Microsoft and the eventual release of DreamScene and Windows Hold 'Em (among others) today. And while each of the "Extras" runs just fine, Microsoft's "Extras" blunder is just another reason why the company must abandon Vista before it's too late.… Read more