Dell has come up with a novel way to allow customers to pre-order machines with Windows 7.
Under its Windows 7 Free and Easy program, launched on Monday, customers can order a Windows Vista machine now, but elect to have Dell upgrade the PC to Windows 7 before it ships the computer. As a result, customers can order now and get their machine right around the time Windows 7 ships.
It's kind of the reverse of programs that PC makers did after XP could no longer be sold on most new PCs. In that case, computer makers, including Dell, … Read more
Facebook 3.0 was heralded as a long-awaited, must-have upgrade on the iPhone, but the initial 3.0 release left many of our readers with a bad feeling. CNET users sent in numerous complaints about the app frequently crashing and wanted to know how to downgrade to the previous version.
Facebook quickly released updates and the app has since stabilized, but you should know that regardless of how big or popular an app is, you can usually roll it back following this tutorial.
Difficulty level: Medium
What you need: >Mac OS X 10.5 or later; Windows XP or … Read more
Whenever an operating system is upgraded, there are always some applications or system services that will behave oddly. In some instances, applications will not display properly, or the system will slow down, have unexpected behavior, or show interface oddities.… Read more
Since I got my iPhone 3GS a couple of months ago, I've been wondering when I would really benefit from its highly anticipated faster 3G capability. I finally got the answer, and as it turns out, the wait is far from over.
AT&T announced Wednesday details of its rollout plans for High Speed Packet Access (HSPA) 7.2 3G technology. This is the next generation of 3G, and it offers up to 7.2Mbps data connection speeds (as opposed to the 2Mbps and 3.6Mbps of the current 3G).
(This is, of course, just the theoretical number. Typical real-world downlink and uplink speeds will likely be less than that depending on location, device, and overall traffic on the local wireless network at a given time. Nonetheless, this promises a significant boost. HSPA 7.2 is part of the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) family of technologies, which include GSM, UMTS, and the Emerging LTE technology. HSPA 7.2 offers backward-compatibility, meaning it also works with existing 3G and 2G devices at the lower device-specific speed.)
According to the announcement, the new speed will be available by the end of the year. Unfortunately, it's available only in six cities in the U.S., including Charlotte, N.C.; Chicago; Dallas; Houston; Los Angeles; and Miami. This means the rest of the country, including the San Francisco Bay Area where I am, must continue to wait.
It's unclear how long the wait will be for the rest of the cities, but the company says it plans to deploy HSPA 7.2 in 25 of the nation's 30 largest markets by the end of 2010, and to reach about 90 percent of its existing 3G network footprint with HSPA 7.2 by the end of 2011.
While this is rather sad news for me, for most people it won't mean much, as chances are your phone is not compatible with the higher 3G speed. Currently, the iPhone 3GS is the only HSPA 7.2-ready smartphone I know that AT&T offers.
However, AT&T assures that it will offer more compatible devices with the rollout of HSPA 7.2. The company expects to have six HSPA 7.2-compatible smartphones in its device portfolio by the end of the year, as well as two new LaptopConnect cards.
The rollout of HSPA 7.2 is part of AT&T's plan to invest some $18 billion this year, of which more than two-thirds is going toward broadband and wireless. Key projects of this investment include, in AT&T's words:… Read more
We recently asked (and answered) the burning question: "Should I buy a new laptop now, or wait for Windows 7?" Much of our answer revolved around the fact that almost anyone buying a new laptop from June 26, 2009 through January 31, 2010 would qualify for a free upgrade to Windows 7. Those upgrades would be delivered via snail-mail sometime after Win 7's October release, and we provided handy brand-by-brand instructions and links for filling out all the required paperwork.
One important exception to the free upgrade fest deserves a closer look -- and that's anyone … Read more
After my rant last week on T-Mobile's upgrade fee, I check with the other major carriers to see if they subjected their long-time customers to the same thing. Though T-Mobile isn't alone in charging $18, other carriers may apply it under different circumstances.
Sprint: As some readers pointed out on my previous blog, Sprint also charges customers off contract to upgrade from … Read more
As we've just completed a massive 30-plus system roundup of retail back-to-school laptops and desktops, that's a key question being asked by students, parents, and anyone in the market for a new laptop. There are likely several considerations going through any potential new laptop owner's mind right now, such as:
If I buy a laptop now, can I get Windows 7 for free? Yes, with some important caveats. From June 26, 2009 through January 31, 2010, Microsoft and many major PC makers are offering free upgrades to Windows 7 for those who want to buy a Vista-powered … Read more
Despite what you might think, I don't believe all cell phone carriers are evil. Like any big faceless corporation, they're not always going to get it right, but I'm confident that carrier execs don't just plot to screw the customer.
Yet, every so often something happens to shake that confidence. On Sunday, I accompanied a friend to the main T-Mobile store in San Francisco. He's been waiting for weeks to finally ditch his clunker Nokia 6133 and upgrade to the MyTouch 3G. As a five-year T-Mobile customer who had been off contract for three years, … Read more