I set up a new Dell Inspiron 518 desktop computer today – a nice home computer, a lovely case bristling with USB ports and shiny black plastic that will attract dust like nobody’s business, fast and well-equipped, shipped with the correct configuration and working out of the box, as usual with Dell. […] continued

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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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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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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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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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iPHONE 2.0

The new iPhone will be available next week, including support for Microsoft Exchange and Windows Mobile/ActiveSync. That means businesspeople in companies run by Small Business Server 2003 should be able to connect to their Outlook email, calendar and contacts over the air, continuously updating both directions. Well, we’ll see – time will tell whether there are glitches or unexpected shortcomings. […] continued

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[Originally posted October 30, 2007]

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 and Vista are installed on freshly formatted hard drives, they are secure, rock-solid, and fast. […] continued

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Quicktime has been an annoying bit of software for ten years now. My experience tonight was the final straw. I’ve spent the better part of an hour cleaning it off my system and I don’t intend to let it back. What is it with Apple? Every time I feel like giving Apple the benefit of the doubt, swayed by all the hype, I have an experience where I’m reminded that Apple writes crappy, invasive software. […] continued

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The market for notebook computers is growing fast. Notebooks already outsell desktop computers in the US and will outsell desktops globally by next year, according to the New York Times. Here’s a report released yesterday comparing global notebook shipments in the first quarters of 2007 and 2008, showing HP and Dell with hugely increased sales and more than a third of the market between them. […] continued

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The upgraded iPhone has a tremendous list of features! I’m looking forward to the integration with Exchange Server, which ought to let my clients with Small Business Server have a live, over-the-air connection to their contacts, calendar, and inbox. I’ll write more about the new iPhone after I have some experience with it. […] continued

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Within a month or two we’ll have a second-generation iPhone, with higher data speeds through AT&T’s 3G network and built-in support for connections to Microsoft Exchange Server. As always, Apple is being reticent with the details and the launch date but it’s likely to be soon.

Paul Thurrott today spoke an important truth that must not be overlooked. […] continued

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I had a feeling of deja vu when I was talking to a friend about a new computer last week.

093002gatewayboxes3 In the late 1980s and early 90s, I set up dozens of Gateway computers. They were comparatively inexpensive, they were pioneers in the business of custom configurations for mail-order computers, and they shipped everything in way cool cow-spotted boxes. […] continued

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Many of you practice safe computing – you install security updates from Microsoft and other vendors, you run antivirus and adware/spyware programs and keep them current, your email program has a spam filter and blocks .EXE and other potentially dangerous attachments, and you don’t click on strange links in email messages or on web sites. […] continued

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Microsoft has updated its Remote Desktop software for Macs, allowing them to connect to a computer running Windows XP Professional or Vista Business and control the Windows computer just as if sitting in front of it.


Remote Desktop has been so thoroughly optimized on Windows computers that menus pop up and down, windows appear and disappear at virtually full speed, sounds are played, until it’s easy to forget that the computer under control is in a different office (or across the world). […] continued

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A client asked me about an update window that had popped up so I sat down in front of “Apple Updates” and stared at the three programs listed – “updates” to iTunes, QuickTime, and Safari. I’m as burned out as anybody on the unending stream of updates but okay, iTunes and QuickTime might plausibly have updated versions available. […] continued

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