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
It's very easy to take a look at Apple's stellar fourth quarter and conclude that the long-awaited iPod "halo effect" is in full swing and move onto something more pressing, like handicapping the World Series.
For years as the iPod took over the digital music player market, we all wondered whether it was a one-hit wonder, whether Apple could translate that success into increased Mac market share. Millions of people who might not have used an Apple product since they spent the third grade playing Oregon Trail on an Apple II were re-introduced to Apple through … Read more
Sometimes we wish computers were more like cars. Drive one around for a while, and then when it starts to show its age, trade it in for a newer model. Unfortunately, computers age worse than pretty much any other consumer product, losing value from the very second they roll off the assembly line.
That's why Alienware's AlienExchange Trade-in Program caught our eye. In fact, the company will do more than simply give you a few bucks for an old PC. Like a bizarre online pawn shop, they'll take old gaming consoles, MP3 players, and mobile phones, and … Read more
Note: This blog was updated at 10:30 a.m.
Dell is broadening its retail presence, and on Monday announced a distribution agreement with Staples.
Desktops, notebooks, printers, ink and toner from Dell will be sold in 1,400 Staples stores and on the Staples Web site beginning November 11. Dell Inspiron 1721 and 1521 notebooks, Inspiron 530 desktops, Dell 948 and 926, 1320c laser printers, and two flat-panel LCD monitors will be the first products to hit shelves.
Dell decided to go with Staples because of its wide reach, and because of its commitment to customer support, according to … Read more
With all of this week's hype surrounding Mac OS X Leopard, some can't wait for the upgrade. In fact, some people are claiming that the follow-up to Tiger will become the most popular and user-friendly operating system ever created. And while I have a hard time accepting that notion before the operating system is even released, I believe Leopard will change the operating system landscape for quite some time. Unfortunately, it won't change things in the way I had hoped.
In a New York Times article over the weekend, CEO Steve Jobs was quoted as saying that he was excited for the release of Leopard and is quite happy with the current timeline Apple operating systems are on. Most notably, Jobs mentioned that he likes releasing new operating systems "every 12 to 18 months" so Apple can "polish and polish and improve and improve."
But it is here that I must disagree with Jobs. Why do we need a new operating system ever year or so? If my current operating system works quite well, do I really need another new operating system just to add some new features or capabilities? I certainly don't think so.
Through the cover of improvements, Jobs is pointing out one important fact about operating system updates--it's all about the money. Apple is a public company that relies on maximizing shareholder value. Can it do that if it leaves Tiger in place and upgrades it every so often to make it even better? Not a chance. Operating system upgrades have nothing to do with improvements and everything to do with revenue.
Regardless, Leopard is on its way and unfortunately, it will be replaced by Apple just when we get comfortable using it. Operating system upgrades are usually quite problematic for most people. More often than not, some of your favorite programs won't work and peripherals will be relegated to the junk bin until a new update is released to work with the new operating system. Of course, Apple claims the transition will be relatively painless, but can we be so sure? If you ask me, you may want to update any and all products now and make sure you have a backup in place--you never know what might happen.
But alas, we are here to discuss whether a Leopard upgrade is worth it. Of course, the mileage on my opinion may vary and some may definitely find use in some of the new features, while others will scoff and hold on to Tiger. Besides that, I obviously can't discuss the 300 new features in Leopard, but wanted to share some of my thoughts on the most important new upgrades. And in the end, offer my thoughts on whether you should upgrade. As for me? I've already ordered Leopard and will install it on just one of my Macs. The others will run Tiger until they die.… Read more
AMD sent us a prototype of a DTX system a few weeks ago. DTX, if you'll recall, is the new small (SFF) PC standard AMD announced at this year's CES. True, there are indeed a few other existing SFF standards (micro-ATX, mini-ITX, etc.), but the idea of DTX is to create a spec for small, power-efficient PCs that's easy for parts manufacturers to build around. The goal is to allow the motherboard, chassis, power supply, and other vendors to retain many of their layouts for current ATX parts, thereby reducing manufacturing cost and making SFF PCs cheaper … Read more
I've been to a lot of computer conferences over the last 30 years-- my first was the mainframe-oriented National Computer Conference in 1979, and I've probably been to 250 more since then-- but one of my favorites is also the smallest: the Vintage Computer Festival, hosted by Sellam Ismail.
Over the years at these conferences (a collection of my badges as of 1998 or so is shown here), and in my own life, I've seen and used an awful lot of computer hardware.
I'm surprised that some kinds of systems that were very popular in the … Read more
The Marble of Doom is a cute site created by some folks who clearly have a good sense of humor about waiting for their computer to finish processing. It's Mac-centric, and aimed to track all the time you've lost due to the Mac's version of the hourglass, also known as the "marble of doom" and "spinning beach ball of death." Whenever this happens, you just have to sit there and wait it out, leading to a somewhat inevitable destruction of any productivity.
Before you plunk down for an external drive, check out the clever yet poorly named SATA HDD Stage Rack. It's like an iPod dock, but for spare SATA hard drives you may have lying around. GeekSTuff4U.com is selling the SATA HDD Stage Rack for the odd but reasonable price of $46.79. The dock accepts 3.5-inch desktop drives and--with an insert--2.5-inch laptop drives, and it works with both PCs and Macs. It's unclear if the dock can be powered solely by USB, or whether it's necessary to make use of the dock's DC-in … Read more
One of our chief complaints about the new iMac and Mac Mini from this summer was that Apple gave no details on the upgrade path to Apple's Leopard OS X update that everyone knew was coming later this year. Now that we have a concrete ship date for the full version of Leopard, Apple has also spilled on what this update means for you new Mac owners.
From Engadget: "Users who bought Apple machines from October 1 on can participate in Apple's Up-To-Date Program, which provides free Leopard upgrades (for $10 shipping)."
You'll find more … Read more