Plantronics just introduced a Bluetooth headset designed primarily for outdoor use. Built to withstand the elements, the Explorer 370 is military certified under MIL Spec 810 to be water, dust, and shock resistant, plus there's a filter to block wind noise. There are two versions of the Explorer 370: the Explorer 370 Rugged, and the Explorer 370 Sport. The Rugged has a beefier look, with extra padding on the sides, while the Sport looks a little smoother. Both will be available in March, and will cost $79.95 per unit.
This is a continuation of my previous posting (Using Process Explorer to tame svchost.exe - Advanced topics) which introduced the excellent Process Explorer program, a souped up version of Task Manager. According to the author, "Process Explorer works on Windows 9x/Me, Windows NT 4.0, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Server 2003, and 64-bit versions of Windows for x64 and IA64 processors, and Windows Vista." And, it's free.
When a computer is running slow, people sometimes guess at the underlying problem. An experienced Process Explorer user doesn't have to guess.
On February 5th, Peter Butler of CNET wrote a blog posting about using the free Process Explorer program to prevent an instance of the svchost.exe process from hogging the CPU on his CNET-provided* computer. This is a follow-up, a more advanced look at Process Explorer.
To people unfamiliar with Process Explorer, I usually call it Task Manager on steroids. But comparing Process Explorer to Task Manager is like comparing humans to amoebas. It's that far up the evolutionary scale.
When I'm doing file-management chores, I'm usually in too much of a hurry to navigate the various options on the File, Edit, and other standard toolbar menus. It's faster to simply right-click the file and choose an option from the context menu that pops up. Unfortunately, the option I need is usually not on the right-click menu. There's a great free utility that not only adds a bunch of useful file-management tasks to your context menus, but also makes it easy customize the menus by adding entries of your own devising, and removing the ones you … Read more
The situation is familiar to countless Windows users: They're in a groove at work, firing off e-mails, crafting documentation, and even blogging on their personal site during breaktime, when suddenly, something takes over 99 percent of the CPU, slowing it to a virtual standstill. A quick look at the invaluable Process Explorer (or the standard Windows Task Manager) indicates that a process called svchost.exe is using all that CPU. What's more, there's one main CPU offender. Multiple versions of svchost.exe are running in the background and hogging CPU cycles. What is it? Is it spyware? Hackers? Terrorists?
Although there are historical cases of malware using svchost.exe, because of its common presence, it's most likely just Windows being Windows. Svchost.exe is a generic process name for Windows services that run from Microsoft DLLs (dynamically linked libraries). Each of those instances of svchost.exe in the process lists actually represents a group of services that each process is managing. With Process Explorer, it's easy to see which services each process manages, and stop them one by one to see which is the CPU culprit.
In the spring of 2007, a major problem arose with a Windows update that caused svchost.exe to use 100 percent of CPU because of an issue with Automatic Updates. To correct that bug, be sure that Windows is fully patched with the most recent updates.
The first thing to do is to determine which of the active svchost.exe processes is causing the slowdown. Fire up Process Explorer, and click on the CPU column header to sort the list of processes by processor usage. A list of processes, sorted from most processor intensive to least intensive, is displayed. When the computer stalls, switch over to Process Explorer and see which running process is causing the crunch.… Read more
And the beat goes on. As XiTi Monitor's data shows, Firefox has been on a European tear, gaining ground at a 20 percent clip to take 28 percent market share in Europe. The loser in the battle? Internet Explorer.
The data also shows that Firefox users upgrade more often than Internet Explorer (with the majority of IE users sticking with pre-IE7 versions). There's a clear reason: People use Firefox by choice (they must download it, after all) and IE by Microsoft/PC manufacturer fiat. Most users take what is given to them and never think twice about it...… Read more
The tech community's love affair with the Mozilla Firefox browser shows no signs of waning, but the fact is, most people still use Internet Explorer. If it's such a terrible browser, why does it remain so popular? Part of the reason may be that it's so tightly integrated with Windows: It takes an effort to download Firefox or another alternative browser, while the little blue "e" icon is omnipresent on the desktop, start menu, quick launch toolbar, and elsewhere in Windows.
Never in a million years would I try to talk you out of using … Read more
With its February 12, 2008, Patch Tuesday release, Microsoft has decided, for security reasons, to push out Internet Explorer 7, even to businesses that have previously blocked the automatic upgrade.
According to this Microsoft knowledge base article the software giant will release the Windows Internet Explorer 7 Installation and Availability update to Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) marked as an Update Rollup package. Microsoft says for business customers who have "set WSUS to 'auto-approve' Update Rollup packages (this is not the default configuration), Windows Internet Explorer 7 will be automatically approved for installation." Microsoft introduced the delay feature … Read more
It's often said that open-source companies spend a lot less money on sales and marketing. Apparently this translates into not knowing how to spend it well when we do spend money, as Mozilla's recent bout with marketing demonstrates.
Mozilla's "Firefox Users against Boredom" campaign was meant to be funny. Kind of like Apple's Mac vs. PC ads. But it wasn't.
I, personally, wasn't offended by its tongue-in-cheek implications that Internet Explorer causes cancer and such. I just found them dumb and ineffective. It's also surprising to me that with so much … Read more