Apple

WINDOWS 7 FOR STUDENTS

windows7logo Microsoft has had aggressive prices for college students for years. Today it announced that college students can buy Windows 7 Home Premium for $29.99.

It’s all part of the marketing that is ramping up for the Windows 7 launch on October 22. It’s probably not a coincidence that the deal for students was announced shortly after Apple picked the same price, $29, for the “Snow Leopard” service pack that was released with great fanfare three weeks ago. […] continued

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LICENSE TIP FOR WINDOWS UPGRADES

When I upgraded my office computer to Windows 7, I installed a new hard drive and left the original hard drive in the case as a second drive. That’s the easiest way to make sure that no files are left behind during the upgrade, since they can be copied into place from the old drive. […] continued

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RESPONSIBILITY FOR OUR COMPUTERS

I wish we could count on the software and hardware vendors to play fair and treat us well, but it’s not happening. We have to take responsibility for our computers.

When Windows XP/Vista/7 is installed on a freshly formatted hard drive, it is secure, rock-solid, and fast. The operating systems are loaded with features. […] continued

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BAN THE CHECK

I started to install an update to Java tonight. (Java is up to version 6, update 15. Sometimes it feels like Java updates are issued two or three times a day. It’s okay to install Java updates when you’re prompted by the icon in the lower right corner. It’s boring and irritating, yes, but it helps keep you safe online.)

As usual, some completely unrelated bit of software from a completely different manufacturer was offered during the installation, with the “Yes!” box checked by default. […] continued

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iPHONES AND CARRIERS

iphone_att I ran across an interesting article about the effect Apple is having on the wireless business. The conventional wisdom has been that AT&T and Verizon are abusing their market power when they enter into exclusive arrangements with handset manufacturers. A letter from four senators got the FCC looking into the exclusive handset deals, and the Department of Justice has started an “initial review” that potentially could lead to antitrust action.  Realistically, it’s only AT&T’s exclusive right to sell the iPhone that causes concern, although there are similarly restrictive deals for the Palm Pre (Sprint) and devices built on Google Android (currently T-Mobile). […] continued

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HOW DO WE SURVIVE?

I wonder sometimes if the relentless onslaughts by the bad guys will ever be beaten back so we can use our tools in peace. This group of news items caught my eye today in an email newsletter – yeah, it was a busy day, but this is the interesting updates for just one day. […] continued

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SAFE COMPUTING 2009

Here’s an updated list of ways to be safe and secure with your computer.

Vista update icon Install updates from Microsoft promptly. Look in the lower right corner for the gold shield (WinXP) or update icon (Vista).

Install updates to Acrobat, Flash, Java, and Quicktime promptly. Each will alert you from the lower right corner.

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QUICKTIME & QT LITE

I don’t use iTunes and I don’t want Apple’s version of Quicktime on my computer. I have a pretty low opinion of Apple’s skills at writing software for PCs.

If you have iTunes, you also have Quicktime. Or perhaps you’ve installed it separately. This isn’t for you. In fact, this isn’t for any of you unless you specifically need it and you know with confidence that you don’t already have Quicktime installed. […] continued

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THE FAILURE OF THE OPEN FIELD

Microsoft has a reputation as a monopolist but built its dominance by opening the Windows world to partners – thousands and thousands of partners. Microsoft controlled the underlying environment and reserved some highly profitable parts for itself, but the world is a PC world because you can buy computers and printers and software from untold numbers of independent companies, big and small. […] continued

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WINDOWS 7 TASKBAR vs. OS X DOCK

win7_simple_01

The Windows 7 taskbar has been reworked, perhaps not for the better. It will display icons for frequently used programs, with no particular attention paid to whether those programs are running or not. You’ll see hype about the convenience of the “jump list” that can be accessed for each icon – a menu for access to frequently used functions and information about any open windows for that program. […] continued

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WINDOWS MOBILE PHONES

Windows Mobile phones are seldom considered by people shopping for cell phones. All the attention goes to Blackberrys and iPhones and the latest sexy proprietary devices with flashy screens for the kids. According to one research firm, in the third quarter Apple shipped more iPhones than all 56 device makers that make Windows Mobile phones combined. […] continued

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ANOTHER IE PATCH

This morning Microsoft released a patch for Internet Explorer to prevent an exploit that became publicly known in the last couple of days. The fear is that the bad guys will quickly come up with ways to demagnetize your credit cards and kill your pets if you don’t install the patch. […] continued

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LIVE MESH UPDATE

Windows Live Mesh has just been updated, as of about noon on Thursday 10/30. If you are using it already, you will be notified to install the update; it will stop working until the update is installed on each computer running it. If you are not using it yet, it has been fully opened up to everyone – read about it, make sure you have your Windows Live ID set up, and you are free to sign up. […] continued

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SLIMMING DOWN ITUNES

Apple’s software for Windows has been causing problems on more and more of my clients’ computers. I’ve been wrestling with bluescreens caused by iTunes, file extensions hijacked by Quicktime, and now I’m suspicious that an uninvited service has been causing problems in Outlook.

An iTunes installation includes far more than a music library that syncs to your iPod. […] continued

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TECH TIPS FOR THE BASIC COMPUTER USER

You might find something you can use in this collection of tips from David Pogue. Take a look! These are just examples from a much longer list:

  • You can enlarge the text on any Web page. In Windows, press Ctrl and the plus or minus keys (for bigger or smaller fonts); on the Mac, it’s the Command key and plus or minus.
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