One of the most important things you can do to keep your Windows computer running smoothly is to be conservative about what gets installed on it. Do custom installs of all new software, look at all the choices, and turn down the ones that don’t fit your needs.
I ran across a good example of the kind of bloated software that slows down our computers and causes conflicts. […] continuedRead more
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. […] continuedRead more
Adobe released Flash Player 10, a new version of its ubiquitous software for displaying video clips and special effects in a web browser. You’re using Flash every time you watch a YouTube video. There’s a long list of new features on the Adobe web site, although really all that matters is whether it will stream higher-quality video without stuttering. […] continuedRead more
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I love Dell, I really do. I recently bought that Optiplex, which has been great. So when my dad called this morning and asked about buying a new PC, I told him I could probably get something at Dell for under $500. I headed over to Dell, went back and forth between the Inspiron and Studio desktops and then started configuring an Inspiron 518.
A few final thoughts about file formats for audio and video and how that affects a Vista Media Center Extender. This is the place where strong people are humbled and the whole project can be brought down with screams of frustration. I can only touch on a few of the myriad details. […] continuedRead more
Running a Vista Media Center Extender in the living room requires a computer in the house running Vista Home Premium or Vista Ultimate. Your home computer can send your photos and music to the living room without working very hard, so it’s quite possible to use the same computer that you’re using at your desk. […] continuedRead more
HP has been creating devices for years to bring Windows Media Center to the living room. There are two new Vista Media Center Extenders being marketed under the “MediaSmart” name that have some very interesting features. The HP MediaSmart Connect is sitting in my living room doing exactly what I was hoping. […] continuedRead more
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. […] continuedRead more
Your photos are on your computer.
Your music is on your computer.
It makes sense that computers should be able to record TV shows – it’s kind of a computery thing to do, right?
It’s probably occurred to you that it makes sense to store movies on a computer instead of buying them or getting them from Netflix. […] continuedRead more
By the close of the 2008 Olympic Games, NBC will have broadcast 2,900 hours of live coverage – more than the total number of US television hours for all previous summer Olympic Games combined.
In addition to the broadcasts on the primary NBC channel, video coverage will be virtually nonstop on NBC’s Spanish-language outlet, Telemundo, and on five of seven major NBC Universal-owned cable channels. […] continuedRead more
On the assumption that my choices are endlessly fascinating to an ever-growing number of people – really, really bored people – I’ve added a page with details about the hardware and software that I use here at the high-tech headquarters of bruceb consulting. I’ll try to keep it up to date. […] continuedRead more
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. […] continuedRead more
I’ve tried to figure out how video works on computers, really I have. Maybe you’ve tried Vista’s Windows Movie Maker, or burned a DVD with Windows Photo Gallery, or found a way to upload videos to YouTube. Congratulations! Treasure those moments! Because the instant you raise your expectations, you’ll find yourself trapped in a blur of acronyms and techno-whizz-bang stuff that will leave you lying weak and helpless. […] continuedRead more
Wrestling with a black screen drew my attention to the world of video cards and computer graphics.
Vista’s pretty visual effects – translucent borders, 3D flipping through windows, live thumbnail previews of windows from the taskbar and the like – come with a price. Something on the computer has to work hard to deliver all those visual effects to the screen. […] continuedRead more
Spent a few hours chasing down a problem with my office computer last night. It’s just remarkable how many ways our computers can go wrong, isn’t it? Honest, I would gladly give up much of my job security if it meant our technology would work more reliably.
The symptom: the computer starts up and presents a login screen; when the name and password is entered, the screen goes black and stays black, with nothing except a mouse cursor that moves around quite happily. […] continuedRead more