When I got this MacBook Pro (MBP), with its 2.33GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, back in November, one of the reasons for upgrading was the availability of Parallels Desktop 2.5. The Parallels software runs Microsoft's Windows XP or Vista in a virtual-machine environment. You get the Windows desktop in a window on your Mac desktop, so both environments are available at the same time. The Windows hard disk can be created as a file in your Mac filesystem, so you don't waste much disk space.
HP is far from the only shovelware offender, but it's certainly among the worst. Buy a PC from any large manufacturer, and you'll likely find the desktop littered with icons for free software trials. Software companies pay hardware manufacturers to get their apps (or links to their apps) preloaded on systems so that their products sit in front of a captive audience as it powers up a new PC for the first time. This arrangement helps the software companies acquire more paying customers, and it helps the hardware manufacturers' bottom line, particularly with low-end systems where margins are … Read more
There are essentially two ways to look at Windows Desktop Search. On the optimistic side, it's Microsoft's attempt to port some of Vista's search functionality to older Windows XP and 2000 systems. If you're more of a glass-half-empty type, though, it's more like Microsoft's half-hearted attempt to compete with other indexing desktop-search programs.
Google has been pretty busy in the past few days. There have been changes or tweaks to three of Google's product offerings, as well as the unexpected resurgence of one product that many thought would never return. We've broken the news down for you below.
1. Google Answers is back--in Russia. I guess Google figures Russia to be an inquisitive bunch, since it's re-launched its defunct (read: dead) Answers service there. According to a post from Google Russia's blog, it's the first country to get the service, despite the fact that the previous version was … Read more
eMachines has become so regular with its quarterly refreshes, it might be more newsworthy if they didn't announce new systems every three months. But rest assured, if you head to your friendly-neighborhood desktop retailer next week (and possibly even today), you'll find three new eMachines budget PCs on the shelves: the $500 T5230, the $450 T5062, and the $400 T3616. All come with a $50 mail-in rebate as well.
We've been lukewarm on eMachines the past few releases, mostly due to questionable CPU selection. This time, though, we're particularly impressed with the T5230 and its Athlon … Read more
Just when you thought the thin client computing model was dead, you find out it was only sleeping. And, in the case of Staybridge Suites, you discover that when it wakes up in the morning it goes online with a Novell-powered Linux thin client in its room. (Note: Staybridge is the extended-stay brand of the InterContinental Hotels Group.)
This is one of the most interesting Linux customer wins I've seen in some time, both because of what it could portend for the hotel industry (a "PC" in every room so that you really can travel solely with your Treo/Blackberry/iPhone), and for what it means for Novell on the desktop: the company continues to treat it seriously and make solid wins.
The hotel and Mainline evaluated Microsoft Windows desktops, but found that SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop was a fraction of the cost, would provide a feature-rich desktop experience for guests, was a solid platform for supporting open-standards applications such as OpenOffice and Mozilla Firefox, and was an excellent fit for the hotel's thin client strategy.… Read more
You may be asking, "Whatever happened to that laptop that won CNET's Best of CES award in the Gaming category back in January?" Like you, we've been waiting for the Alienware Area 51 m9750 ever since. With high-end options including dual video cards, a Blu-ray drive, and even a TV tuner, this massive black box impressed with a starting price around $2,000 (minus all those cool extras, of course).
After bugging Alienware on a seemingly weekly basis for months, the Area 51 m9750 was finally released this week, and our favorite Dell subsidiary even managed … Read more
Nvidia apparently has an answer to AMD's Power Xpress hybrid graphics technology. AMD announced last December that its forthcoming Puma mobile platform (due in the first half of 2008) will introduce Power Xpress, which lets laptops switch between discreet graphics when plugged in and integrated graphics when running on battery power.
According to reports, Nvidia is working on a similar but slightly different dual-graphics solution it's calling Hybrid SLI. When running on battery power, Hybrid SLI, like AMD's Power Xpress, will run solely on integrated graphics. When connected to a wall socket, however, both the discreet graphics … Read more
Today Sony announced Backstage, an in-store support service for its VAIO PCs that includes product consultations, tutorials, and buying advice. Sounds like marketing-speak for "sales" to us, but apparently Backstage staffers can also help troubleshoot hardware and repair or replace components. Additional services, such as data migration, performance enhancements, and memory upgrades, are available for a fee.
The service has already rolled out in San Diego, Scottsdale, and Atlanta, and it will appear in four stores in New York and New Jersey this week. Sony expects to bring the Backstage service to 15 of its Sony Style retail … Read more
Last week, in an article about optimizing hard drives, I mentioned that I'm a digital pack rat. I'm continually bumping up against my disk size and burning files off to DVD.
While maintaining my hard drive is no big problem, finding the files I need among 120GB of images, songs, movies, Web pages, Word docs, and other personal data can be a challenge, especially when I need something ASAP.… Read more