WINDOWS DESKTOP SEARCH – VERSION CONFUSION

Windows Desktop Search is the invaluable technology from Microsoft that indexes Outlook folders and documents for lightning-fast searches – the same technology that underlies many features of Windows Vista.

Here’s a bit of confusion that fortunately doesn’t make a difference for most of you.

A month ago Microsoft released WDS version 3.0 […] continued

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BABY BOOMER HEAVEN

The world is awash with music, but the latest offering is a slice of heaven for anyone growing up in the 60s and 70s. Wolfgangs Vault is run by Bill Sagan, an entrepreneur who purchased the archives of legendary promoter Bill Graham and discovered thousands of hours of concert recordings by the performers that defined the era. […] continued

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WIDESCREEN MONITORS

Televisions are switching to widescreen displays, 16:9 aspect ratios like a movie screen instead of the more square 4:3 aspect ratio. Computer monitors are following the same path; I’m now recommending 20″ widescreen monitors for anyone buying a new computer. (You may not be able to run the widescreen display correctly on your current computer – the video card has to support a widescreen ratio, typically 1680×1050, or things will be stretched incorrectly.) […] continued

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VISTA RELEASE, PART 1

It was widely reported that Windows Vista was officially released today as the successor to Windows XP. Here’s the New York Times story about the release, and here’s some coverage from CNet.

Most of you won’t see Vista until it begins shipping with new computers on January 30. The versions available today are only for business customers with Microsoft volume licenses. […] continued

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IPOD SKINS

There are several thousand accessories for iPod owners – here’s one that would make a great stocking stuffer. Gelaskins makes particularly gorgeous skins, thin vinyl printed with cool designs that sticks to the front and back and peels off without leaving any residue. The Hunter Thompson/Ralph Steadman designs are little bits of gonzo heaven. […] continued

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FLIMSY TECHNOLOGY

I frequently rant about the declining quality of hardware and software. Here’s an article blaming manufacturers:

“Now computers are fast enough, mobile phones are small enough and digital music players have enough memory. Manufacturers now have a problem. How will they sell new products to consumers who are perfectly satisfied with their current electronics?

[…] continued Read more

DISPOSABLE E-MAIL ADDRESSES

Some web sites require an e-mail address and send a confirming e-mail message to activate an account. The “confirmation” might be an excuse to get an e-mail address that can become a spam target.

Ten Minute Mail sets up a temporary e-mail address that expires after ten minutes – just long enough to get the validation message. […] continued

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IE7 & QUICKBOOKS

Some versions of Quickbooks are incompatible with Internet Explorer 7. It’s hard to say why IE7 came as a surprise to Intuit, but only now are patches appearing to make recent versions of Quickbooks work correctly after IE7 is installed.

Here’s the Quickbooks support page with details.

  • Quickbooks 2007 works correctly.
[…] continued Read more

IE7 & THE LANGUAGE BAR

The Windows XP language bar reappears in the lower right-hand corner after installing Internet Explorer 7. It makes it easy to change the default language used by Windows XP, or to work with speech recognition and text-to-speech features.

I’m sure people use the language bar; I just happen not to have met any of them during the last seven years. […] continued

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MEMORY – THE MAGIC NUMBER CREEPS UPWARD

A few years ago, we routinely got 256Mb of RAM for our new Windows XP computers. Memory was expensive and 256Mb was sufficient to run Windows XP, an antivirus program, an e-mail program, and another application at a decent speed with a minimum of hard drive activity.

The most frequent complaint I hear now is about computers that have slowed down to a crawl. […] continued

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GADGET SLOWDOWN

It briefly looked as if we would be awash in a sea of new gadgets for the holidays, but the flood turned into a trickle – and a pretty disappointing trickle, too. Two missteps stand out.

Microsoft released its handheld audio player, the Zune, to reviews that were anemic at best and scathing at worst. […] continued

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WINDOWS VISTA RTM

Microsoft completed its work on Windows Vista and released it to manufacturing, beginning a ten-week process of pressing DVDs, putting them into odd looking plastic cases, and delivering them to the retail channels.

Paul Thurrott’s web site has the best collection of information about Vista – screenshots, an extensive review in progress, and more coverage to come. […] continued

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USE MP3 FORMAT FOR MUSIC FILES!

When you rip CDs to convert them to music files on your computer, a setting in your music software determines the format used for those files, and the bit rate at which the music will be encoded – roughly, how much the music will be compressed and how the sound quality will be affected by the compression. […] continued

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INTERNET EXPLORER 7 – TABBED PAGES, ZOOM

It took me a long time to get used to the tabbed pages in Internet Explorer 7, but I’m starting to learn some of the shortcuts that bring them to life. Try some of these tips!

  • Right-click on links and click on Open In New Tab, OR hold the Ctrl key while you click, to open a page on a new tab in the same Internet Explorer window.
[…] continued Read more

MICROSOFT SYNCTOY

Microsoft has released version 1.4 of its wildly useful utility SyncToy, a free program for copying, moving, renaming and deleting files between folders and computers. Here’s the page for downloading the new version. If you’ve already been using SyncToy, uninstall the previous version before installing this update.

SyncToy automates a variety of tasks involving synchronization of folders in two different places. […] continued

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