If you’ve been holding out, then your next PC should be a Christmas present to yourself. When Microsoft rolls out Windows XP at the end of October, you’ll see a tremendous amount of hype – and for a change, it looks like the hype will be justified. It is a remarkable operating system, combining tremendous stability with some very appealing new features. […] continuedRead more
In the last chapter, our hero had sent a purchase order to Pegasus Communications for Express Plus two-way satellite service – business class, reasonably priced.
This week, Pegasus abruptly fired all of its Commercial Sales Managers for broadband. A nice e-mail from the departing salesperson says that as far as he knows, Pegasus still plans to provide service to me. […] continuedRead more
I’m convinced that home networking is going to be huge. The various wireless and phone line options to connect home computers and share an Internet connection are exciting. They will open up possibilities you haven’t even dreamed of yet. You’re going to want this in your house. Trust me.
But not yet. […] continuedRead more
I spent ten minutes today looking at Microsoft Office XP for the first time. Two things jumped out as features that might be worth the price of admission, if they work. I’ll be watching the reviews.
— Voice recognition is built into the Office applications. Microsoft has been pouring money into voice recognition technology for years now, but this is the first time anything has come out of the labs (with trivial exceptions). […] continuedRead more
There’s another virus travelling around quickly this morning. It’s similar to the Anna Kournikova “Love Bug” virus – annoying but it doesn’t damage your computer. The “Homepage” virus will arrive in a message from someone you know, with the subject line “Homepage.” The attachment is a .vbs visual basic script that opens a porno web site on your computer and sends the message on to everyone in your Outlook address book. […] continuedRead more
As other computer manufacturers fall by the wayside, Dell continues to stand out. They ship promptly, they don’t make very many mistakes, and their customer support is as good as it gets. That is to say, not everyone has a happy experience, but the odds are better with Dell than with any other manufacturer. […] continuedRead more
Five major airlines are working to bring Orbitz.com online next month as a one-stop source for airline reservations. Every other human being connected with the travel industry is screaming bloody murder. The airlines have already squeezed commissions to travel agents and Orbitz looks like an effort to short-circuit the remaining agencies and the online travel services. […] continuedRead more
Easy CD Creator is the software I use for burning CDs. It’s got a reasonably simple interface and it does almost everything most people want to do with their burners. (Out at the fringe, with other software, it’s possible to overburn CDs, copy discs that are copy-protected, and have more fine-grained control over the process, but most people never get to that point.)
As I understood it, Microsoft licensed some of the underlying technology from Adaptec and included it in Windows 2000. […] continuedRead more
Tech types are all atwitter over the “Product Activation” requirement that will be introduced with Windows XP. After you install a retail copy of Windows XP, you won’t have unfettered use of it until you “activate” it online or with a phone call to Microsoft. There’s lots of details, but the idea is to keep you from installing one copy on multiple computers. […] continuedRead more
My purchase order is in for Pegasus Express Plus service. The price has dropped a bit in the last two weeks. Startup costs are about $600 for hardware (including installation) and software. Service for 2-4 computers is $99/month, plus $15/month for a static IP address. No delays yet in the service rollout, so June is still the target. […] continuedRead more
AT&T now owns most of the cable system in Sonoma County. They’ve amusingly named the cable division “AT&T Broadband,” and cable Internet service has been rolled out to limited parts of Windsor and Healdsburg. Just for fun, I spoke again to the AT&T @Home division that handles Internet access. As of today, AT&T @Home has no record of the existence of a city named “Sebastopol,” much less a date to roll out service – and they’re looking at a schedule filling up the next year. […] continuedRead more
Microsoft has revamped its bCentral web site, a collection of services and resources for small businesses. One interesting example is the offer to design and host a web site from scratch for $399. That’s the price for a custom design with a generic but relatively professional look, and five pages of content. […] continuedRead more