September

WINDOWS XP & BEETHOVEN

Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony can cause the installation of Windows XP Service Pack 3 to fail.

Ah, the good old days! I used to be able to solve so many problems because I would run into them more than once! These days nothing happens the same way twice.

It’s true about Beethoven. […] continued

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GOOGLE ANDROID

T-Mobile introduced the first cell phone based on Google’s Android operating system to much fanfare a few days ago. Although Android has some interesting features and much promise, I don’t expect to see anyone holding the T-Mobile G1 in Sonoma County for a while, since T-Mobile is a fringe player with limited coverage up here (and certainly no connection anywhere nearby to its high speed 3G data network). […] continued

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WON’T GET FOOLED AGAIN

Make a firm commitment not to be fooled into installing malware on your computer!

In this study, researchers created fake popup windows that should have been alarming, and put them in front of people at unexpected times. Most of the people clicked the OK button so quickly it was clear they didn’t give it a moment’s thought – they just wanted the dialog box to get out of the way as quickly as possible, with no thought to the consequences. […] continued

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RESIZING OUTLOOK PHOTO ATTACHMENTS

Here’s a tip about Microsoft Outlook that I discovered by accident.

A common problem – you’d like to send an email to a friend with a number of photos attached. If you send the photos straight from the camera, the files are too large. Typical photos from a digital camera are 1.5-2.5Mb each, too big for an email attachment. […] continued

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AUDIO & VIDEO MYSTERIES

A few final thoughts about file formats for audio and video and how that affects a Vista Media Center Extender. This is the place where strong people are humbled and the whole project can be brought down with screams of frustration. I can only touch on a few of the myriad details. […] continued

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THE MEDIA CENTER COMPUTER

Running a Vista Media Center Extender in the living room requires a computer in the house running Vista Home Premium or Vista Ultimate. Your home computer can send your photos and music to the living room without working very hard, so it’s quite possible to use the same computer that you’re using at your desk. […] continued

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HP MEDIASMART CONNECT

HP MediaSmart Connect HP has been creating devices for years to bring Windows Media Center to the living room. There are two new Vista Media Center Extenders being marketed under the “MediaSmart” name that have some very interesting features. The HP MediaSmart Connect is sitting in my living room doing exactly what I was hoping. […] continued

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MEDIA CENTER EXTENDERS

Since the market for living room computers never developed, Microsoft decided to focus on “extenders,” a different way to deliver media to your television.

Huge numbers of people already have a computer in the house running Windows Vista Home Premium, holding photos and music. An “extender” is a small box for the living room that connects to the computer over a wireless or wired connection to display the photos on the television and play music on the living room speakers. […] continued

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MEDIA IN THE LIVING ROOM

Your photos are on your computer.

Your music is on your computer.

It makes sense that computers should be able to record TV shows – it’s kind of a computery thing to do, right?

It’s probably occurred to you that it makes sense to store movies on a computer instead of buying them or getting them from Netflix. […] continued

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THE BIG MONEY, SOUNDUNWOUND

Two new sites have been added to the bruceb favorites page.

  • The Big Money is a business web site created by the editors of Slate, intended to be an authoritative source of business news combined with interesting business blogs. It will be trying to stand out from the other big business sites – Forbes, CNN Money, and the rest.
[…] continued Read more

COMCAST POWERBOOST & SPEED TESTS

I was testing Speed.io, a new site for measuring the speed of an Internet connection and displaying it in a lovely way. (I’ve put in on the bruceb favorites page under Internet / Online Tools, joining an old favorite, Bandwidth Speed Test.)

The test results reminded me that Comcast’s PowerBoost technology really does improve the online experience. […] continued

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Outlook Shortcuts

Here’s a tip for getting around in Outlook: it’s possible to switch between mail, contacts, and calendar using hotkeys on the keyboard instead of reaching for the mouse to click the navigation pane. Who knew?

outlookshortcut3

Don’t overlook an even better Outlook tip from a few months ago – opening multiple Outlook windows simultaneously. […] continued

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APPLE BLUESCREEN FOLLOWUP

Apple reacted quickly to the reports that the latest iTunes update has caused some Windows systems to crash badly. Last night Apple posted another version of iTunes that rolls back the offending hardware driver to an older version. If your system is blue screening, all you have to do is uninstall iTunes, uninstall Apple Mobile Device Support, and then reinstall iTunes from last night’s release. […] continued

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iTUNES 8 UPGRADE CAUSING CRASHES

New slogan for Apple: iTunes ain’t done till Windows won’t run!

After its iPod conference this week – more of a non-event than usual for Apple – a new version of iTunes started to roll out to Windows users. For some people, it’s causing crashes and even causing blue screens after it installs broken drivers without any disclosure or warning. […] continued

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ADOBE PHOTOSHOP ELEMENTS 7

Adobe is taking orders for its annual upgrade to Photoshop Elements and Premiere Elements, the photo and video programs for consumers. Over the years I’ve found it hard to know what to suggest to people for working with photos. Photoshop Elements 7 might be a perfect fit for you but don’t take it casually – if you’re not prepared to enter into a significant long-term relationship, then it will go unused. […] continued

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