If you’re running Windows XP and you want to kill a little time, drop by www.microsoft.com/holiday for some Christmas-themed computer toys – screensavers, skins for Media Player, digital photo greeting card templates, and the like. (Be warned – the screensavers are extraordinarily dull. Don’t bother.)[…] continued Read more
Every so often I feel compelled to respond to the incessant coverage of the security flaws in Microsoft products. It’s easy to get the impression that Microsoft products are inherently insecure and that alternative systems are better.Read more
Kazaa introduced a new version of its file sharing software today. It should be available at download.com. I don’t have any information yet about any spyware included in this version – Kazaa was packing spy programs in pretty seriously for a while.
There are some new ways for the Kazaa software to display paid advertising when you search, but the new version also has some nice enhancements that are going to enrage the recording industry. […] continuedRead more
For consumers, the world of graphics software breaks down roughly into two categories:
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Photo editing programs – for working with images from your scanner or digital camera. Examples: Adobe Photoshop Elements, Paint Shop Pro.
Home publishing programs – for creating projects like greeting cards, signs, labels, etc., with clip art and photos.
Costco has been carrying Sylvania conventional and flat screen monitors for a while now – and they’re perfectly good, in my experience. Today, though, the 17” monitors in stock were manufactured by Princeton Graphics – with fabulous specs, and on sale dirt-cheap at $129.99. And they’re black, so they color-coordinate with your new Dell or Gateway. […] continuedRead more
At one time it appeared that instant messaging would be standardized and as a result would become a mainstream tool, widely adopted by businesses and as common as e-mail. Then it stagnated – the programs have not significantly changed or improved in the last couple of years, and there’s no progress towards making the various services interact. […] continuedRead more
Corel has announced a couple of bundling deals for slimmed down versions of the WordPerfect suite. Hewlett Packard is installing WordPerfect on all of its Pavilion computers, and Dell is including WordPerfect on its budget Dimension model. In each case, WordPerfect is replacing the Microsoft Works suite. Here’s an article about the bundling deals. […] continuedRead more
Here’s an extensive discussion of the “Palladium” software that Microsoft is developing for future versions of Windows, to work with hardware designed by the “Trusted Computing Platform Alliance” led by Intel. It is promoted for its “security,” but that has deep meanings you don’t suspect. And its digital rights management features will complete the transfer of control from consumers to copyright owners in ways that will leave us pining for the good old days. […] continuedRead more
As a condition of approving the AOL Time Warner merger, the Federal Trade Commission required AOL to open up its AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) network to MSN Messenger, Yahoo Messenger, and other competitors, allowing users of the other networks to exchange text messages, files, and other data with AIM users.Read more
Media Jukebox is the most heavily used program on my computer. If you’ve got more than a handful of mp3 files, it does a better job than any other program of organizing and playing them. And the more time you spend with it, the more you’ll discover – “it can organize songs and video clips; create smart playlists; play streaming media, including RealMedia, Windows Media, and QuickTime. […] continuedRead more
During the last year, not much has changed about the software designed to play .mp3 files. The market leader is MusicMatch Jukebox, which has such a quirky interface that I find it unusable. RealJukebox was weak, and now it’s been replaced by RealOne, which is horrible beyond belief. Windows Media Player looks pretty, but it’s missing many features and provides no ability to manage a large number of .mp3 […] continuedRead more
Kazaa is one of the popular file sharing programs that took over after Napster was gunned down. It had always had a reputation for installing “spyware” – nasty little programs that monitored your web surfing and downloads and reported back to somewhere without your permission. But recently folks learned about a bigger invasion of your privacy. […] continuedRead more
Here’s an article about photo editing software that makes good suggestions. The best choice for many non-professionals is Adobe Photoshop Elements, a very powerful program without the steep price or hideous complexity of the full Adobe Photoshop program. On the other hand, Microsoft Picture It Platinum Edition is loaded with features and is incredibly easy to use. […] continuedRead more
By default, Norton Antivirus 2002 scans outgoing e-mail for viruses. I’ve become unhappy with the way it handles that outgoing mail scan. It typically takes 10-30 seconds before anything happens to a message in the outbox, and then a big window appears in the middle of the screen while NAV scans – a window that sits on top of everything else onscreen and can take 5-15 seconds to go away. […] continuedRead more
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“AOL released version 7 on Oct. 16, nine days before Microsoft shipped Windows XP. For the first time in five years, AOL’s client software was not bundled with Microsoft’s latest operating system.