We fell in love with HP's MediaSmart Server this past fall. You can imagine then, that we're glad to learn about HP adding even more features to its poster child for Microsoft's Windows Home Server, the software at the heart of HP's MediaSmart Server hardware. The three updates will bring server-side McAfee antivirus protection, Windows Vista 64-bit support, and improved data handling for things like quicker photo thumbnails and the ability to stream video. Even better, these updates are all free and will come to current MediaSmart Server owners this February via download.
Running Linux from a CD in Windows doesn't get you much closer to computing in a Windows-less world. To make Windows and Linux and either-or proposition, you have to set your PC to dual-boot. With Canonical Ltd.'s Ubuntu 7.10, a.k.a. Gutsy Gibbon, the repartitioning is done for you during installation.
Before you install Ubuntu, create a full system backup. Creating a system restore point may not be sufficient, because a misstep during installation could render Windows unbootable. Make sure that you've got your restore CD/DVD handy, and that your system is set to … Read more
Who would have thought? Dell is actually making quality computers these days, and not simply the cheapest boxes it can ship. Or so says Walt Mossberg in a recent review of Dell's XPS One desktop. Mossberg even goes so far as to suggest (gasp!) that Dell's all-in-one desktop actually gives Apple's iMac a run for its money.
Of course, as noted below, the one thing that Dell can't match is, in fact, the iMac experience. Dell may be making better hardware, but it's still stymied by its dependence on Microsoft software. This may well make the XPS a losing proposition.
Something interesting is going on at Dell. The Texas personal-computer behemoth, long associated with boxy, boring machines, has started emphasizing industrial design. And the company, which in recent years seemed to care only about corporate customers, techies and hard-core gamers, appears once again interested in average, mainstream consumers who value simplicity.… Read more
This is the year I kiss Windows good-bye. Well, maybe not entirely, but the writing is on the wall for Microsoft's flagship operating system, and all other desktop bloatware: The future of PC software is open source. (I'll add that the future of PC applications is on the Web, which I'll cover once we've got Ubuntu in place.)
Being the belts-and-suspenders type, I'll make the conversion from proprietary to open in baby steps, the first of which is to get a copy of Ubuntu 7.1 (a.k.a. Gutsy Gibbon), the version of Linux … Read more
My 3-year-old Hewlett-Packard PC stopped playing optical discs a couple of months ago. Not only were the built-in DVD and CD-ROM drives out of commission, I couldn't even get a brand-new external DVD drive to work. I searched and searched for driver updates, but came up empty. It wasn't until I happened upon a Registry patch on Chris Pirillo's great Lockergnome site that I got the machine to recognize the optical drives.
The patch was provided by a volunteer who had no affiliation with HP, Microsoft, or the drive vendors. It's not uncommon for PC experts … Read more
What would we think of Windows if our only experience was with Linux? That's the question that EasyGeek seeks to answer...and to interesting effect.
EasyGeek assumes a market in which Linux is dominant and then reviews the Windows upstart desktop. This is a fair way of going about reviewing Windows, given that, as the writer suggests, the market's predisposition for Windows has very little to do with technical superiority, and instead is simply a function of Windows being around for a long time.
Here's a sample:Due to the size of the install DVD, I was expecting a full-featured OS complete with good burning software, an office suite, etc. What I got was entirely sub-par. No decent cd-burning software was provided, and I found that to get one, (Nero) I would have to pay extra. Wow. With Ubuntu, I could get K3b for free, with the benefit of it being open-source too.… Read more
Once upon a time I sat down to write a blog posting. While waiting for Windows XP to boot up, the System Restore icon on the desktop caught my eye.
I suggested making a desktop icon for System Restore back in July when I offered Four tips to using System Restore on Windows XP. In this case, the icon served as a visual reminder that I hadn't checked up on System Restore in a while.
System Restore is a feature of Windows XP* that periodically backs up the registry and other system files that Microsoft considers critical. Each backup … Read more
Given that the point of Windows Home Server is to allow you to store your media files, a bug in the storage process that could result in corrupted files is bound to get attention.
Microsoft has issued a support document for the 13 or so (just kidding) people using Windows Home Server, the company's latest product for those attempting to build the digital home of the future. Apparently there's a flaw in the way Windows Home Server works with certain Microsoft applications, such as Windows Vista Photo Gallery, that could result in corrupted files if you use those … Read more
The Economist makes three technology predictions for 2008, two of which concern web surfing and the third of which concerns everyone, whether they surf the web or not. The Economist's third prediction is that the technology world will open up:
The embrace of "openness" by firms that have grown fat on closed, proprietary technology is something we'll see more of in 2008....
Pundits agree: neither Microsoft nor Apple can compete at the new price points being plumbed by companies looking to cut costs. With open-source software maturing fast, Linux, OpenOffice, Firefox, MySQL, Evolution, Pidgin and some 23,000 other Linux applications available for free seem more than ready to fill that gap. By some reckonings, Linux fans will soon outnumber Macintosh addicts. Linus Torvalds should be rightly proud.
What's most interesting about its analysis, however, is where it sees the biggest impact for open source (Linux) and why (Ubuntu):… Read more
The MacBook has been Amazon's bestselling computer this Xmas and is locked in a battle with some HP Pavilions offered at whopping discounts.
The ultra-hip Linux-based Asus EEE I wrote about earlier this month holds a number of spots in the top 25 list. It's nice to see that consumers have wizened to the fact that Macs are better computers than anything running Windows.