Sometimes, it pays to go with your first instinct.
For the last couple of weeks, every time I opened the Firefox browser on my PC, the program attempted to update but failed. I didn't sweat the error message at first, thinking that it was likely a widespread problem that the good folks at Mozilla would address soon enough. And besides, version 3.0.4 opened right after I closed the error message, and everything appeared to be working normally.
I kept, however, getting that same error message every time Firefox loaded. It struck me that one of the things … Read more
Sure, you're all jazzed about Barack Obama and looking forward to a brighter 2009, but what about the catastrophes of 2008? I'm not talking about the financial meltdown, Sarah Palin, or The Love Guru, I'm talking about the worst downloads of the year.
Every three months, Tom Merritt (of CNET TV renown) and I collaborate on a lighthearted tribute to the software failures that stick out among the many excellent programs on Download.com worse than John McCain supporters at the Inauguration Day gala.
To qualify, these downloads have to meet the minimum requirements specified by Download.… Read more
I hate wasting food. Therefore, I shop for groceries with the week ahead in mind. I plan recipes in my head as I stroll through the stands of the farmers market. Some items can wait until the next trip, while some I know will be eaten right away. Unfortunately, this means my shopping is not a precise science. While it is rare for me to let food go bad, sometimes it does happen.
The Automatic Vacuum Sealing Food Preserver from Hammacher Schlemmer can help keep fruits and vegetables fresh a longer time. Measuring 10 inches tall by 19 inches wide … Read more
Three years ago, I attempted to condense PC security into 10 steps you could finish in about an hour. After a recent false-positive on a virus scan, I returned to that advice and realized that those tips are sorely out of date.
I'll re-examine the first three tips here and will cover the rest in posts later this week.
Step one: Set Windows to download and install updates automatically.
I don't do that anymore. Windows updates often cause problems, so I set Windows to download but not install updates. Then I wait a couple of days before actually … Read more
For all the wonderful things that OS X does, flipping through folders while opening and saving documents remains a hassle. This award-winning app attaches a toolbar to the side of all your Open and Save dialogs, providing quick access to multiple folders and commands. You can jump to favorite and recently used folders, or even manage files and folders right from the dialog (so you don't need to go to the Finder for simple tasks such as renaming and deleting). Default Folder also lets you assign hot keys and work with recent items right from the Dock. We're … Read more
It's deceptively simple, but this application quickly and cleanly closes all programs, and just as easily restores them. SmartClose's five-icon interface smartly uses tooltips to quickly and adequately explain program operation. Intermediate to advanced users should be able to install and use the program with no further instruction.
SmartClose's primary function leads the user through a wizard to close all programs except for critical Windows functions. Listed options are well-explained as the program advances. Before closing anything, the application takes a quick system snapshot; storing it to reset your computer to that same state at a later … Read more
It's deceptively simple, but this application quickly and cleanly closes all programs, and just as easily restores them. SmartClose's five-icon interface smartly uses tooltips to quickly and adequately explain program operation. Intermediate to advanced users will install and operate the program with no further instruction.
SmartClose's primary function leads the user through a wizard to close all programs except for critical Windows functions. Listed options are well explained as the program advances. Before closing anything, the application takes a quick system snapshot; storing it to reset your computer to that same state at a later date. During … Read more
It seems like every automaker with a claim to high performance and high technology has an automated-manual transmission today. Ferrari was the first, with the CambioCorsa, followed by BMW's SMG, and then Volkswagen Group's DSG. Mitsubishi has its TC-SST. What took Porsche so long to develop the PDK?
The real question is "what took everybody else so long?" The Porsche-Doppelkupplungsgetriebe name dates from 1983, when the first experimental version was developed and used in a 956 Series-produced endurance race car. A 956 with the experimental gearbox won a German national championship race, and a couple of … Read more
One year after the first release of the first Drobo that won our Editors' Choice award, and a few days after the release of the beta SDK, Drobo Robotics today announced its second revision of the product.
For those of you who don't know, Drobo is the world's first, and for now still the only, solution for external storage that automatically and intelligently takes care of your data with minimal input from you. All you have to do is install the hard drives, which is as easy as inserting a CD into the CD-ROM drive. The Drobo protects … Read more