General discussion

  • Creator
    Topic
  • #2188416

    Inside TechRepublic Press

    Locked

    by Erik Eckel ·

    blog root

All Comments

  • Author
    Replies
    • #3242743

      First TechProGuild Podcast

      by Erik Eckel ·

      In reply to Inside TechRepublic Press

      The very first TechProGuild Podcast has just published! Recorded by Michael Jackman, the podcast reviews late-breaking tech news. Quick hitting segments in this installment target battling the Sober virus and troublesome spyware.

      Subscribe to the XML feed:

      Subscribe to the XML feed.

      Use this link to download the MP3 file directly.

      I’d enjoy hearing your thoughts on the actual podcast or podcasting in general. Post a comment or send me an e-mail.

    • #3260355

      New Screen by Screen Galleries

      by Erik Eckel ·

      In reply to Inside TechRepublic Press

      TechProGuild’s introduced a new feature: Screen by Screen photo galleries capturing all the steps required to perform specific tasks. The first two installments target adding a user in Active Directory and eliminating spyware with Spybot 1.3. Check them out and let me know what you think.

    • #3181053

      Second TechProGuild Podcast Now Online

      by Erik Eckel ·

      In reply to Inside TechRepublic Press

      We’ve just published the second TechProGuild podcast. In the latest installment, TechProGuild commentator (and co-founder) Mike Jackman explores Microsoft’s Identity Metasystem proposal, a new Google feature and more, while also introducing you to a new article format being tested on TechProGuild and other timely, time-saving resources. You can download the MP3 file. Don’t forget to subscribe to the XML feed.

    • #3179718

      OK, I Admit It

      by Erik Eckel ·

      In reply to Inside TechRepublic Press

      It took me awhile to jump on the blog bandwagon. But I’m a believer now. Originally I doubted anyone would care what I, or any other Joe, thinks about this or that issue. Online diairies, I thought. That’s cool, if you enjoy floating all your dirty laundry for the world to see. But now it’s clear blogs are reshaping how information is exchanged.

      So, I decided it was time to catch up on what I’d missed. I sat down with O’Reilly & Associate’s Essential Blogging. The book’s a little dated – it was released in August 2002 – but it still provides a great introduction to the nature of Web logging, how it began and many different tools you can use to be up and running with your own blog in minutes. Notable contributors include Cory Doctorow, who challenged traditional publishing models when he released a free eBook version of his Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom simultaneously with the paper-based version.

      Dig into the book, and you’ll find new updates exist for all the tools explored – Blogger, Radio UserLand, Movable Type and Blosxom. And there’s no mention of Google buying Blogger, among other later-breaking items. But you will find O’Reilly’s unwavering commitment to covering technology with the flair, interest and expertise that have become hallmarks of its respected texts.

      Though it’s a few years old now, Essential Blogging may well prove to be a collectible manual – kind of a version 1.0 – that ends up trading on eBay for well over its original purchase price a few years from now. By then everyone and their mothers have blogs, so you may wish to get a copy now.

      • #3182438

        OK, I Admit It

        by rafael.rodriguez7192 ·

        In reply to OK, I Admit It

        When Blogging started I thought it was going to be a fad, too.  But I’ve found that some blog writers are changing the rules for self-learning.  A good example, Freakonmics from the New York Times Website.  As an former academician, today’s student’s do not have any excuses in going after regular and supplemental work in delving into new concepts and paradigms.  Doing a great job in blogging.

        Regards,

        Rafael Rodriguez

        San Juan, PR

         

    • #3175861

      New on TechProGuild

      by Erik Eckel ·

      In reply to Inside TechRepublic Press

      TechProGuild’s launched a few new items of particular interest.

      First, we’re experimenting with Lunch and Learn presentations. The idea is these prepackaged presentations save you significant time by eliminating the need for you to conduct your own research and format your own presentation to give end users. For example, TechProGuild members can download the Internet and E-mail Usage Lunch and Learn presentation, whih comes complete not only with the presentation and speaker’s notes but also a leave-behind document that can double as your organization’s Internet and e-mail usage policy. All you need to do is send attendees an invite (which we’ve drafted for you, as well), read the speaker’s notes and present the document. Try it out and drop me a note with your thoughts.

      And just last week we published the third TechProGuild podcast. You can subscribe to the XML feed. Or, you can download the podcast directly. TechProGuild podcasts are available to everyone, incidently. You need not be a TechRepublic or TechProGuild member to listen to them (although you likely will need to be a TechRepublic or TechProGuild member to access several of the resources you may find mentioned).

      Publishing these podcasts has forced me to upgrade my RSS knowledge quickly. I tapped O’Reilly’s Developing Feeds with RSS and Atom in the process. I’ll post a quick review here in the TechRepublic Blogs section soon.

    • #3047661

      Is it getting hot?

      by Erik Eckel ·

      In reply to Inside TechRepublic Press

      A staunch Windows advocate, I find myself contemplating the unthinkable: switching. Well, not switching, really, as you’d be hard pressed getting me to part with my Windows Media Center Edition 2005 system (as well as a workhorse Win2K unit that doubles as a storage server).

      But I find myself slowing to read Apple Tiger news. When I see Mac ads, I actually stop and read them. When I was in Chicago last month, I visited Apple’s store on Michigan Avenue. It was there that the festering bug finally caught a serious hold (maybe it was something in the air – does Apple doctor the environs the way casinos have been rumored to?).

      Either way, the entry-level iBook’s looking attractive. Integrated wireless, full iLife suite, nice form factor, etc. It’ll have enough horsepower for the tasks I need from a portable (e-mail, Internet access, digital photo viewing and tweaking and word processing). Editing video or creating slide shows would probably choke it to a crawl, but that’s what my almost 4Ghz Media Center Edition system is for, right?

      What’s going on here? Have I spent too much time in the blazing summer heat, or am I falling victim to the Mac fashion that’s so ruthlessly promoted in movies and on TV. Or could it be an iBook is the answer to my need for a smaller but dependable mobile companion?

      E-mail me your thoughts. I’ll keep you posted as to what happens.

      EE

       

    • #3050163

      Trackside Technology – IT Makes IndyCars Go

      by Erik Eckel ·

      In reply to Inside TechRepublic Press

      IndyCars go fast. And its computer professionals that make it possible.

      TechProGuild editor John Sheesley and I traveled to Kentucky Speedway for the Indy Racing League’s Amber Alert 300. We interviewed several race teams, including Rahal Letterman Racing, whose Danica Patrick won the pole position. Look for a few articles soon on what we discovered and how you might benefit by adopting some of the same contingency plans used by IndyCar team engineers, where a lot is literally riding on the technician’s ability to keep Windows systems up and running in grueling environments.

      Meanwhile, you can browse photographs I’ve posted to Webshots and Flickr. Soon John and I will publish an entire set as a TechProGuild Photo Gallery.

    • #3067113

      Developing Feeds With RSS and Atom

      by Erik Eckel ·

      In reply to Inside TechRepublic Press

      Awhile back, John (TechProGuild senior editor) and I set to publishing the first TechProGuild podcasts. We recognized the need to include the TechProGuild podcasts we were creating (with the assistance of former TechProGuild alumnus Mike Jackman) in RSS feeds to ensure robust distribution.

      TechRepublic’s downloads already benefit from their own RSS feed, so we only needed to publish the podcast within the TechRepublic downloads center to officially make it a podcast. But we chose, too, to build a separate RSS feed that could operate independently of TechRepublic’s existing XML syndication stream. I’d written XML records before, including for electronic books we’d published on Amazon, but I felt a little out of the loop when it came to RSS.

      I turned to O’Reilly’s Developing Feeds With RSS And Atom. Ben Hammersley authored the title, which serves as an excellent primer for understanding RSS history, getting up to speed authoring RSS 2.0 feeds (with additional information on RSS 1.0) and understanding and employing the developing Atom standard. Even if most of your skill comes from the administrative side of the IT house, as does mine, you needn’t worry. One doesn’t have to be a developer to understand and build RSS feeds using Hammersley’s book.

      If you’re supporting corporate blogs, interested in learning more about RSS or need to improve your syndication skills, check out this O’Reilly title. It’s as good a place to begin as any.

      While knowing (or understanding) some HTML is recommended, numerous code examples are provided (usually in Perl). In just a short time you’ll find yourself being able to draft code that allows you to create and publish a feed, tabulate hits, register with all-important aggregators and more.

    • #3066823

      Trackside Technology Photo Gallery

      by Erik Eckel ·

      In reply to Inside TechRepublic Press

      TechProGuild editor John Sheesley helped me load the Trackside Technology photo gallery. Check it out to see how Danica Patrick, Dan Wheldon and other top IndyCar drivers and teams are leveraging the same technologies you do to win races on the demanding open wheel racing circuit. Note the elaborate pit-side setups, and enjoy some vivid images from the AMBER Alert Portal Indy 300, where Danica Patrick won the pole.

      Upon winning the race, Scott Sharp credited his technical team with a big assist. Visit the photo gallery for more details.

    • #3047001

      How I Spent My Weekend

      by Erik Eckel ·

      In reply to Inside TechRepublic Press

      My Windows Media Center PC, which is less than a year old, went casters-up this weekend. Worse, it did so for no apparent reason. No failed hard drive, no spyware or virus infestation, no incompatible software install. The culprit? A corrupted registry. I tried everything to recover, including loading the last known good configuration, recovering from the Setup CD and even logging in to the command line to replace the failed files with .bak versions. Nothing worked. I had to run with a fresh install, which required re-installing all the software and applications that didn’t come with the system, which is no short task.

      Fortunately, I didn’t lose any data (I back up regularly to a second hard drive and even back that up monthly to DVD). But I did lose time, and that’s just as precious. Makes me glad I bought a Mac. I don’t anticipate having to reinstall everything just because, well, the OS is confused irreparably. To everyone who recommended the Apple, many thanks. I especially need to thank Jack Wallen and Eric Brinley, two of the loudest, proudest Mac users I know. They certainly helped steer me in the proper direction.

      • #3046924

        How I Spent My Weekend

        by tshinder ·

        In reply to How I Spent My Weekend

        I’ve had similar problems with Macs. They get corrupted like any other computer. One thing I learned about them from painful expereince, they ain’t no panacea and troubleshooting them is usually an exercise in futility.

      • #3046831

        How I Spent My Weekend

        by rickdesigndad ·

        In reply to How I Spent My Weekend

        I would have to disagree with tshinder’s comment.? After having used Macs for over two decades as well as Windows boxes for about 15 years, I’ve found the stability factor between the two to be quite different.? Of course a Macintosh is still a computer and can have an occasional problem, but the problems tend be *MUCH* less destructive and do not occur nearly as often.? As an owner of a small business with 8 Windows machines (I have used different flavors – 2000, ME, XP Pro) I have found the troubleshooting and upkeep to be extremely high.? The upkeep of my Mac side of the business ( 3 Macs) is vertually zero – they just keep purring along with no assistance.? My only gripe is that I wish the Macs would run my Intel software – and my hope is that maybe in the near future with Apple switching to Intel chips – that just might happen!

      • #3046798

        How I Spent My Weekend

        by tank-at-large ·

        In reply to How I Spent My Weekend

        Let me suggest something cheaper than a new computer: Symantec Ghost.  If you are backing up to DVD any way, make an image that you can reinstall from DVD.  Less time involved and cheaper all the way around.

      • #3064587

        How I Spent My Weekend

        by Erik Eckel ·

        In reply to How I Spent My Weekend

        I’ve worked with Windows since 93 (DOS since the mid 80s). My experience with Apple systems dates to the mid 80s. I also used Macs exclusively in 96 and 97, and now I find myself again using a Mac alongside Windows systems. Whether I’m trying to get a Bluetooth-enabled phone to mate with my desktop or simply draft a document and e-mail it, I’ve always found Macs more intuitive and stable. Certainly, comparing my experiences with both platforms inevitably leads to recollections of hours spent troubleshooting memory issues (I remember complex “print to file” issues with 9x) with printers, registry corruption and blue screen errors on Windows systems, whereas the biggest trouble I’ve had with Macs is finding a power outlet in which to plug a PowerBook for a recharge.

    • #3064810

      Mac OS X Support Essentials

      by Erik Eckel ·

      In reply to Inside TechRepublic Press

      Historically, we have not covered Mac OS topics on TechRepublic or TechProGuild. Apple’s market share was so minor, and the demand for Windows content so great, that the decision to focus investing limited editorial resources on Windows material was, really, a no brainer.

      Since I purchased a PowerBook a month ago, though, I’ve found myself devouring Mac OS X information, from blogs to books. I just recently learned about Peachpit Press’ series of Apple Certified training texts. I received a review copy of Owen Linzmayer’s Apple Training Series title Mac OS X Support Essentials: A Guide to Supporting and Troubleshooting Mac OS X 10.4. I recommend it for anyone responsible for supporting Macs, Even if you’re not preparing for Apple’s Mac OS X Help Desk Specialist certification, for which the book is designed, the book is chock full of troubleshooting information. Everything from installation and user accounts to configuring firewalls and peripherals (including Bluetooth devices) is covered. You’ll also find three information-packed appendices, one of which presents Apple’s General Troubleshooting Flowchart (the other two cover working with networking technologies and the classic Apple environment).

      I don’t know if it’s the difference between working with Apple’s technologies versus Microsoft’s, but the Peachpit title is written with a conversational tone I don’t usually associate with certification texts. For example, one passage reads “In Mac OS X, every user account is a member of at least one group, and every file and folder has group permissions assigned.” Based on my past experience with numerous Windows-certification training materials, I’d expect the Windows-certification version of that sentence to read “Whenever the Windows-powered operating system is installed on a single desktop or enterprise-class system, each user account assigned to authorized agents must be exclusive to a minimum of a single User Group but can be also assigned to other User Groups or Local Groups if so-desired by a user possessing Administrator privileges, and every file and folder created on a FAT, FAT32 or NTFS disk on the Windows system (either by an authorized user or Administrator) must be associated with at least one User Group or Local Group as configured on the local system or in Active Directory on the Windows-powered server by a user possessing Administrator privileges.” You get the idea.

      I should note diagrams are plentiful, as are step-by-step procedures describing critical procedures, such as network troubleshooting, adding printers and testing file and print permissions. Lesson reviews also appear at the end of each chapter. You won’t need them if you’re only using the book as a reference resource, but if you’re indeed preparing for the certification test, they’ll come in handy.

      • #3058503

        Mac OS X Support Essentials

        by dc guy ·

        In reply to Mac OS X Support Essentials

        Glad to see that someone there appreciates Macs. It’s a different world, and it has far more in common with the real world than the technocentric PC/Windows community does. There is a huge segment of the Mac user community that expects their computer to be nothing more than a moderately complex but ultimately reliable and intuitive appliance like their car. They don’t have the slightest interest in what’s going on behind the screen and they don’t expect anything to go wrong more than a couple of times a year.

      • #3056729

        Mac OS X Support Essentials

        by mllwyd ·

        In reply to Mac OS X Support Essentials

        I agree with DC Guy. I’ve used Macs since 1989 and they are reliable, stable, and fun to use. OS X is much more complicated than 9.x and lower and while you have tons more control than in the older OSs, finding out how to access that control (if you want to) isn’t always easy. I’m glad to have this resource recommendation.

    • #3064584

      IndyCar IT Articles

      by Erik Eckel ·

      In reply to Inside TechRepublic Press

      John and I have published the IndyCar IT content. You can view the Photo Gallery or read the two articles:

      Note, the articles require TechProGuild membership, for which a free trial subscription is available.

      Let me know what you think of articles that explore the technologies used by race teams or NFL teams or other prominent organizations or people. What other technologies would you enjoy reading about? Drop me a line and let me know.

    • #3063898

      Can Your Home Office Run With The Big Dogs?

      by Erik Eckel ·

      In reply to Inside TechRepublic Press

      Think you have a cool home office setup, or do you still live with your mother?

      Did you hide all your cables? Do three flat panels adorn your desktop? Send me your photos. I’m going to post the pictures I receive in a TechProGuild photo gallery. Whoever has the coolest home office setup will receive their choice of one free TechRepublic Press ($89 or less) title. But send your pictures soon, the contest closes in two weeks.

      Send your pictures!

    • #3063605

      Home Office Photo Contest

      by Erik Eckel ·

      In reply to Inside TechRepublic Press

      I’ve posted a few sample home office photos to get the TechProGuild photo gallery effort started. Check out the home office sample photographs.

      Think you have a cool home office? Send me proof. Whoever submits the best home office photo will win their choice of a TechRepublic Press book (any title $89 or less) or a one-year subscription to TechProGuild. But send your photos soon, the contest closes in two weeks.

    • #3058335

      Send Your SOHO/Server Room Pictures

      by Erik Eckel ·

      In reply to Inside TechRepublic Press

      Think you have the coolest home office? What about the messiest server room?

      Send me your pictures for posting to TechRepublic’s coolest SOHO/messiest server room contests. You could win a free TechRepublic Press title (priced $89 or less).

      Check out the home office photos.

      Check out the messiest TechRepublic member server rooms.

    • #3056574

      Apple Pack Rats

      by Erik Eckel ·

      In reply to Inside TechRepublic Press

      WiredNews (spawned by Wired Magazine, which was co-founded by fellow Louisvillian Jane Metcalfe, incidentally) has an interesting story on Apple customers being pack rats.

      I have to admit, having purchased my first PowerBook several weeks ago, that the packaging was unlike anything else I’d ever purchased. An attractive and stylish box, with a built-in handle, was only the start. Inside the box the computer and its peripherals (power cord, manual, etc.) were creatively packed, with a space for everything and seemingly the items you need first packed in that order. Apple even took care to insert a small protective sheet between the keyboard and screen, which is not a step I expect every laptop manufacturer takes.

      Of course, not every manufacturer’s product designs are so stylish. When unloading a new PowerBook or iPod, it only makes sense that such care is taken to protect the contents.

      I suspect Apple’s invested serious funds in researching its package designs. Does it make a difference? You tell me. I’m beginning to believe I’m the last person on the planet without an iPod. But that’ll change soon. And when it does, you can bet I’ll keep my Nano’s original packaging.

      • #3056560

        Apple Pack Rats

        by hutchtech ·

        In reply to Apple Pack Rats

        I’m a recently converted Mac-addict (I’m about 80/20 between my iBook
        my PC), but I refuse to join the cult.  However, I noticed that
        the old Apple Macintosh II that I inherited from my Mother-in-law came
        to me in all it’s original packaging (with documentation included).

        I’ve only kept the software boxes for OS X Tiger and .mac–oops, I just
        realized I’m lying: my iBook box is hidden in my trunk.  Perhaps
        I’m more addicted than I want to admit.

        – Hutch

    • #3059085

      SmugMug Adds Mapping Feature

      by Erik Eckel ·

      In reply to Inside TechRepublic Press

      Chances are you’re familiar with many of the leading digital photography sites. DotPhoto, Flickr, SnapFishWebshots (a CNET Networks property, as is TechRepublic) and Yahoo are among the sites that have developed strong photo galleries. But I believe SmugMug is among the first photo gallery sites to map Google’s satellite imagery to photo locations.

      While there are still a few bugs, (I encountered difficulty getting the Address search locator, or lookup, to return any results outside Sunnyvale, California), you can manually specify a photograph’s location. Once you’ve edited the photo’s geographic settings by locating and specifying the photo’s original location, you can mark it with a virtual pin. Check out my Moab Mountain Biking Gallery for an example (click the Map This button to view the satellite image of this photo’s origin).

      Too, the Google engine inside SmugMug’s interface seems to respond slowly and without the detail the Google Earth application provides. For example, after a good five or six minutes of trying with the SmugMug locator to zero-in on the Slickrock Moutain Bike trailhead outside Moab, I gave up and settled simply for the city. Using the Google Earth app, though, I’m able to locate the trailhead parking lot inside of a few seconds.

      Regardless, it’s a cool feature to add to a photo gallery. In addition to mapping your photo locations, it makes it easy to bookmark satellite images of the original location, making it even easier to give friends and others bird’s eye views of the places you’ve been.

       

       

      • #3058999

        SmugMug Adds Mapping Feature

        by pauldonley ·

        In reply to SmugMug Adds Mapping Feature

        OK . I have a question for anyone: Why is it my blog won’t accept my posts?

        It rated ‘Beta’, just like yours, Erik. I’ve tried a few times to get
        something onto it, but it just keeps showing I haven’t posted anything.
        I even tried linking to my other blogs, and … nothing!

        This comment will show my contact details. Can someone either fix the problem or get back to me with an answer?

        Paul
        http://techrepublic.com.com/5247-6257-0.html?tag=header

      • #3054318

        SmugMug Adds Mapping Feature

        by Erik Eckel ·

        In reply to SmugMug Adds Mapping Feature

        Paul,

        I’ve passed your comments on to our community team. Look for someone to follow up on the issue you’re experiencing.

        EE

    • #3054292

      CDs With Books

      by Erik Eckel ·

      In reply to Inside TechRepublic Press

      I’ve just spent some time with two Missing Manual guides (iLife ’05: The Missing Manualand Mac OS X: The Missing Manual, Tiger Edition). David Pogue does an outstanding job with both books. And before you think I’m on O’Reilly’s payroll (I recognize that I tout the benefits of many O’Reilly-affiliated books in this space), know that I purchased the Mac OS X title, full freight, at a Barnes and Noble with my own cash. Sure, I could have gone through traditional media request channels, but the text is so thorough, so clear and so well researched I had to have it. Having recently added a Mac to my home network, I found Pogue’s experiences and knowledge just the ticket for getting myself up to speed quickly on not only Tiger’s native applets and settings, but the applications I actually bought the Mac for (iPhoto, iDVD and iMovie).

      I appreciate the personality that’s injected in the Missing Manual series. The author speaks as if he’s sitting across the table from you at a Starbucks. The text is very conversational. You feel the author’s been there, been doing it for years, actually, and knows just what you’re experiencing. Then he tells you what he does to perform the action you’re looking to complete. Can’t beat that.

      Another characteristic of the Missing Manuals is the missing CD. Remember when almost every computer book had a CD pasted inside? Lately, they’ve been falling by the wayside. Many technology books just skip them altogether, now.

      At TechRepublic Press, we make the CD decision based on the title. We ask ourselves if the topic warrants including interactive tools. If the answer is yes, we create a CD. If the answer’s no, then we skip it, choosing instead to focus energy and resources on providing the best content for the book we can.

      The Missing Manual series foregoes the CD, too. Instead, readers are directed to a Website where specific tools or downloads mentioned in the book are made available.

      What’s your preference? Do you even still use the CDs packaged with books? Is it easier to just visit a corresponding Web site for specific files (as I did when tracking down the TinkerTool preference settings application described in the Mac OS X title)?

    • #3062544

      A Das Keyboard Just Arrived

      by Erik Eckel ·

      In reply to Inside TechRepublic Press

      Ever hear of the Das Keyboard? It’s the jet-black, stealth keyboard favored by elite geeks. And when I say stealth, I mean stealth. There’re no labels on this puppy. None. Check it out (photo courtesy DasKeyboard.com):

      Das keyboard

      Other than the name, Das Keyboard, and the letters designating the LEDs for Num Lock, Caps Lock and Scroll Lock, there’s not a single character, letter or symbol to be found. In other words, there are no letters on this beast.

      Why not?

      Supposedly it makes you a better typist. You can’t cheat by peaking at key labels. And with different sets of keys weighted differently, your brain automatically begins to discover the correct locations of the keys you need.

      I’ve just pressed it into service today. But as you can see, no typos so far. I’ll keep you posted on how it goes.

      • #3062469

        A Das Keyboard Just Arrived

        by hutchtech ·

        In reply to A Das Keyboard Just Arrived

        I’d heard about this several months ago, but didn’t have the guts to
        try it out.  Keep us up-to-date on your progress–maybe someday
        I’ll join the kewl kids klub too!  I’d be very interested to find
        out if you truly feel your typing skills improve.  My concern
        would not be using it for regular text typing, but rather using the
        special keys that I don’t often access–I imagine you’ll be counting on
        your fingers to find the F9 key.

        – Hutch

    • #3061420

      Remembering Bob

      by Erik Eckel ·

      In reply to Inside TechRepublic Press

      By now most readers are aware we lost Bob Artner this week. His guidance and vision helped shape TechRepublic and fuel its growth from a small beta site to a destination boasting more than four million registered members. His dedication and commitment to building a compelling site for IT pros was unsurpassed, and he deserves much of the credit for the success.

      I still remember interviewing with him at a nearby restaurant, one that would prove to be a popular hangout for us over the years. In that first meeting he explained the company had enough money for six months. After that, who knows? Either we’d be a part of something great or we’d end up on the street, albeit with some intriguing new experiences on our resumes. I was at a pivotal point in my life. Married, with my first child on the way, I wanted my wife to quit her job and stay home. I chose to join TechRepublic, despite circumstances almost any career or financial planner would have told me to avoid. I’ve never regretted it even during the gut-wrenching years we encountered, like all technology organizations, a few years ago. Everyone should be so fortunate as to have had the opportunity I did to work with such an outstanding, creative, no-limits crew and culture as I did then. Bob was a big part of that.

      Having worked with him closely for more than six years, I got to know him well. He could go deeper than Randy Moss on more topics than Terry Gross. That’s no exaggeration. From chess to IT to football to theology, he knew his material.

      He’ll be missed.

    • #3063305

      Mac OS X Tiger Pocket Guide

      by Erik Eckel ·

      In reply to Inside TechRepublic Press

      I’m not a big fan of pocket guides. I prefer investing in more comprehensive titles. If a text is going to take up space, it might as well serve as a handy resource.

      That said, I’ve been exchanging e-mails with a friend (a former Microsoft employee, incidentally) who I believe I’ve successfully talked into replacing a Windows machine with a Mac. He’s married, with a kiddo now, and he explained he doesn’t have a ton of time to invest in getting up to speed on the differences between Windows and Mac OS X. While there are differences, they’re minor. Nonetheless, if you haven’t worked with the Mac interface, you need to learn a few ins and outs (such as Finder is Mac’s answer to Windows Explorer, Spotlight is Mac’s answer to a desktop search program, etc.).

      My recommendation? I suggested he purchase O’Reilly’s Mac OS X Tiger Pocket Guide. The pocket guide, which is actually pretty thick, covers well all of Mac OS X’s basics. From explaining Apple’s Menu Bar and Dock to configuring and customizing the new Dashboard, the book provides a great launching pad for anyone switching to a Mac from Windows. There are even sections on working with the Terminal and passages describing the use of simple UNIX commands. The book isn’t as thorough as Mac OS X: The Missing Manual, Tiger Edition or Mac OS X Tiger Unleashed, but then again, it’s not supposed to be. It’s a quick hit guide designed to simply cover the basics quickly.

    • #3061702

      Bengals-Texans

      by Erik Eckel ·

      In reply to Inside TechRepublic Press

      You can’t be all work and no play, right?

      Thanks to the Internet, I’m headed to my second Bengals home game this year. All the home games are sold out, but Internet ticket sites make it all possible.

      A long-time unrepentant Bengals fan, I’ve suffered through the NFL’s longest losing streak. Now that the Bengals are showing life with Carson Palmer, Chad Johnson and a strong defense, there’s an incredible energy running through Paul Brown Stadium. You could feel it in the whipping the Bengals put on the Vikings. I’m hoping that trend continues this weekend when the Bengals host the Texans. If it goes well, the Bengals will have started the season 4-0, the best opening record for the franchise in maybe 20 years.

      How bad has the Bengals losing streak been? Well, consider this. The last time they had a good year with a playoff appearance (1990), the Soviet Union watched on TV, there were no Internet Web browsers and the 5 1/4 floppy was all the rage (Windows 3.0 still hadn’t been released).

      I’m toying with the idea of digging into the IT works within the Bengals organization, too. I may try taking an inside look at the different technologies NFL teams utilize in the course of any given week during the season. I’ll keep you posted.

      Who-dey?!

    • #3071239

      How Long Will Microsoft Prove Relevant?

      by Erik Eckel ·

      In reply to Inside TechRepublic Press

      How long will Microsoft stay relevant? Obviously, most every Fortune 500 company and countless small and medium businesses are dependent upon Microsoft technologies (Windows operating systems, Office applications, Exchange servers, etc.) to transact business. But as business processes and critical applications increasingly move to the Web, even Microsoft itself apparently has struggled with a strategy for remaining relevant.

      Personally, I always maintained Microsoft’s technologies were critical to an organization’s everyday operations. Whether you worked in a nonprofit organization distributing news releases as Word documents, processed sales using commerce systems powered by Windows servers or collected state motor vehicle records in a SQL database, the Microsoft dependency was clear.

      Sure, I tried Linux. I always encountered driver issues or configuration errors that required more time to fix than I was willing to invest. But Linux distributions have become much more proficient. BusinessWeek took note earlier this year, devoting significant space to “The Linux Uprising” in a single issue.

      Then I bought a Macintosh, and while I don’t believe Apple will be the company to win significant business from Microsoft, my experience with Mac OS X has taught me that most of the tasks I now perform, personally and professionally, are no longer Microsoft dependent.

      For example, I was preparing to purchase Microsoft Office for Macintosh when a colleague told me to first try NeoOffice, the OpenOffice port for the Macintosh platform. It works so well that I’m sticking with NeoOffice and eliminating the Office purchase. I don’t need it. NeoOffice works well with the Office file formats so many other organizations still use, and I’m yet to encounter a compatibility issue. I’ve had similar experiences with the Thunderbird e-mail client and news reader (also free) and the Firefox browser (again, also free). Mac OS X also boasts new time-saving Widgets, add-on apps developed by programmers within the technology community; the Widgets, too, are free. For me, the time is clear for reexamining the benefits of open source technologies.

      Apparently I’m not the only one. At least one state government is beginning to require OpenDocument compatibility in the software its agencies use. This is likely one of the reasons Microsoft is adding PDF support to the next version of Office. But should state and federal governments even be investing tax dollars in proprietary, closed technology systems when so many other options appear to offer equivalent functionality for less? I don’t know. There are many other issues that need examining, and likely not everyone’s needs can be met with open source technologies.

      But other trouble may be on the horizon for Microsoft, which played such a significant role in placing PCs on all of our desks and powerful software on all our servers. Now Google and Sun announce they are combining efforts to promote adoption of Java and OpenOffice technologies. None of that can be good news for Microsoft, which is apparently scrambling to restructure in an attempt to better compete against such threats.

      Share your thoughts. Will Google prove key in decreasing dependence on Microsoft technologies, or will Microsoft respond with devastating efficiency as it has so many times in the past?

      • #3069283

        How Long Will Microsoft Prove Relevant?

        by webbr1 ·

        In reply to How Long Will Microsoft Prove Relevant?

        Like you, I really like open source software, but I enjoy the fact that it at least runs on Windows.  I like having an operating system that doesn’t have a sometimes bewildering and complicated foundation like Linux or UNIX, although I am proficient on both at a basic level.  I also like having an operating system that has rock solid technical support behind it when needed, which free products typically don’t have (without paying extra for it!) – hence their pricing of “free”.  Also, I work in network security for a State agency and can tell you that even though I am a personal advocate of the stuff at my work I would be deathly afraid of open source for security reasons.  There’s a good reason why Microsoft doesn’t release the billions of lines of code in their OS, one is security (and the biggest reason is revenue – understandably).  Yes Windows like any other OS has security issues, and especially Windows because it is in front of so many high profile targets and so prevalent worldwide that it has become a primary hacker target.  But when you open up the source code and then run it on an operating system that has very few constraints as to what a user can do with it you have a security problem waiting to happen (like default installs of most UNIX, Linux, and even the latest Mac OSX with Linux shell).  I worry that the next security epidemic could stem from the fact that vulnerabilities are easier to find and exploit when the source code of an OS or application is open to the hacker community for easy, not to mention “collaborative” analysis.

      • #3069250

        How Long Will Microsoft Prove Relevant?

        by jjerison ·

        In reply to How Long Will Microsoft Prove Relevant?

        “NeoOffice works well with the Office file formats so many other organizations still use, and I’m yet to encounter a compatibility issue.”

        I tried OpenOffice when I was deciding whether I needed PowerPoint for a new home PC, and on my first try, it failed to import and then export a PowerPoint document correctly!  I had a similar experience with Firefox, in which the later releases don’t work correctly with Acrobat 6.0, which is what we still have in the office.  Open source is better than nothing if you’re on a tight budget but isn’t worth the trouble otherwise.

      • #3071111

        How Long Will Microsoft Prove Relevant?

        by gnunzo ·

        In reply to How Long Will Microsoft Prove Relevant?

        The fact that vulnerabilities are easier to locate in *nix does not, in
        itself, make it less secure.  If you work in security, this should
        be obvious to you.  Windows security is faith.  *nix security
        sounds like it is faith to you, but not to everyone.  I think the
        part that gets most people is they feel that Microsoft stands behind
        the security of their products.  This is false. 
        RTFEula.  You are on your own.

        Here’s the true test.  What systems do banks use?  If I found
        out my bank ran a Windows-only shop, I would be swapping banks
        instantly.

        Oh yeah, I’m wondering can you can get an NSA version of Windows? 
        No?  So who in the wild uses Windows-only shops to secure any
        large amount of funds?  Cause if you know, there are a lot of
        hungry programmers that would love nothing more than to seperate those
        fools from those funds.

      • #3071027

        How Long Will Microsoft Prove Relevant?

        by the-shelter ·

        In reply to How Long Will Microsoft Prove Relevant?

        Being into security for several large companies myself I cannot share
        the fear of open- source in security appliances- In fact most security
        appliances are based on open- source technology. Most Firewall Systems
        use iptables or iptables- based derivations for example …
        From a user perspective: In deed Windows feels comfortable to use on
        1st sight. But in today’s wired and wireless world security will become
        the most important issue. The combination of security and comfort would
        be a blast- a blast you can assemble yourself with open source OSes
        already. You do not depend on some Microsoft to finally release a
        update patch for WPA encryption, crashes are easier to track down
        (since there are readable log files), and most importantly: You become
        aware of the things going on in a computer. I think computer- awareness
        is the point broadly neglected 2day. It is too easy to hook up to the
        internet with your 250 $ bargain pc that comes without firewall and
        without anti-virus …
        Almost all Linux ditributions, in contrast, come w/ preconfigured and
        active firewall that works- have you ever done a portscan on a winbox
        w/ MS’ firewall active 🙂 ?
        My summary is: I don’t hate MS- in fact it is responsible for spreading
        computers so rapidly- the truth is though, there are alternatives now,
        and they are constantly growing better and more comfortable while still
        leaving the user a choice. On a professional scale I think MS will
        continue loosing customers. I have companies w/ arond 100 PCs(MS and
        Linux) and 50-80 Macs (OS9 and X). They are all served by Samba and
        Netatalk, email w/ Postfix enhanced by spam assasin, secured by a linux
        firewall, surf over Squid, open-LDAPed over a Postgres database…
        Do your maths and add up this functionality in $ on a commercial system…

    • #3057726

      No MS Office For Linux

      by Erik Eckel ·

      In reply to Inside TechRepublic Press

      At least not yet. It’s an interesting story, especially considering the issues noted in my earlier post today.

      I’m not surprised Microsoft is refusing to port its Office suite to Linux. Were Redmond to do so, it would just make it that much easier for organizations to migrate to Linux-based desktops.

      In the end, it may not matter. If organizations determine they’re going to migrate to open source technologies, no one should expect Microsoft to assist in the effort, and it doesn’t make sense, at this juncture, for Microsoft to make it any easier for them.

      • #3068927

        No MS Office For Linux

        by schuylkill ·

        In reply to No MS Office For Linux

        The only way I could see Microsoft porting any of its apps to Linux is if Windows crashes and burns.  MS has so much time and money invested in Vista, if it is not a huge success, Microsoft may have to downsize.  In this scenario, they could evolve into a very powerful applications company.  They would, of course, lose their big advantage in owning both the platform and the applications that millions of people use, but Microsoft does have great innovations and a polished appearance to many of their applications.  I realize that this is a far-fetched proposition; Microsoft will do just about anyhing to keep Windows going.  But given the high stakes for Microsoft in Vista’s success, it is a remote possibility that if Vista does not sell as many units as Microsoft needs to recoup its investment costs, Microsoft may have to fundamentally reconstruct itself.

    • #3069333

      CyberLink’s DVD Solution 4

      by Erik Eckel ·

      In reply to Inside TechRepublic Press

      I’ve worked with a variety of audio and video production tools, and I’m always on the lookout for new utilities to mix audio, edit video and burn DVD menus. In the past I’ve used PhotoShop Elements 3 to edit photos, Adobe Premiere Elements and Windows Movie Maker to capture and edit video, GoldWave to edit audio, Nero to design DVD menus and burn DVDs, and Stomp RecordNow to burn CDs. I’ve also used ULead’s DVD PictureShow to create slideshows. That’s a lot of applications for simply burning slide shows with an accompanying music track. Ultimately, the complexity led me to rethink my whole strategy and purchase a PowerBook with iLife 05 preinstalled.

      When CyberLink contacted me, and offered to send me a media evaluation copy of DVD Solution 4, I requested the company forward a copy of the software. I knew CyberLink’s PowerDVD 6.0 high-definition audio and video to be highly ranked by CNET’s Download.com users, so I was anxious to give it a try.

      DVD Solution 4 is marketed as being “The ultimate DVD burning and creativity suite,” and while Adobe, Apple, Ulead and Microsoft offer tools offering greater complexity, functionality and features, Cyberlink’s collected a wide range of programs in a single suite that may well eliminate your need for other audio/video applications, depending upon your specific requirements.

      DVD Solution 4 includes applications for performing all of the following:

      • Authoring DVDs, including designing menus and burning the DVD.
      • Backing up data, either through scheduled backups or drag-and-burn.
      • Copying DVDs, including the ability to customize the copies you create.
      • Retouch photos. You can rotate, crop, resize, apply effects and remove red eye with simple actions.
      • Create MP3s from CDs.
      • Make slideshows (with different transitions) and burn them to CDs and DVDs.
      • Build your own screensavers.
      • Produce streaming video for the Web.
      • Perform basic video editing functions.
      • Watch DVD movies using a player powered by PowerDVD.

      Another feature I thought was interesting is the suite’s ability to create Etch Labels. The suite supports using LightScribe technology to etch image designs and text (a special LightScribe burning drive and disc are required) directly on to a disc. You can also use the software to create labels, covers and jewel-case inserts.

      Sure, you’ll find more photo editing power in PhotoShop and more video editing features in Premiere, but if you’re looking for a single suite that will cover the basics, and also provide the ability to burn DVDs, produce labels and backup data quickly, you can try DVD Solution 4 for free. The full functioning version won’t bankrupt your budget, either, at $79 and change.

    • #3069248

      What’s Apple Announcing Oct. 12th?

      by Erik Eckel ·

      In reply to Inside TechRepublic Press

      Rumors surrounding Apple’s announcement next Wednesday are making the story a most-trafficked piece on CNET News. Apple’s designs lead the industry, so it’s no surprise everyone’s chomping at the bit to learn what the next announcement entails.

      Most of the speculation targets a new iPod that plays videos. That’s the next logical progression for the iPod line, which has expanded into different sizes, colors, styles and now even cell phones. I was contemplating purchasing a Nano, but I’ll wait to see what Apple has in store for us all next week first.

      • #3069236

        What’s Apple Announcing Oct. 12th?

        by hutchtech ·

        In reply to What’s Apple Announcing Oct. 12th?

        Everyone seems to be leaning toward the vidPod idea, but I’m going to
        go out on a limb and say that the first generation Intel-based Macs are
        going to be introduced.  I know Steve said they’d be out by June
        2006, but they could use a boost right now and even a simple
        Intel-based iMac would lift their bottom line.

        My second guess is another iTunes Phone, maybe one produced by Apple and Sony–that would be a shocker.

        – Hutch

      • #3069976

        What’s Apple Announcing Oct. 12th?

        by Erik Eckel ·

        In reply to What’s Apple Announcing Oct. 12th?

        Jobs announcing Intel-based Macs next week? Wow, that would be something. It could happen, you never know.

    • #3069979

      Apple’s Impending Announcement

      by Erik Eckel ·

      In reply to Inside TechRepublic Press

      Apple Insider is reporting
      analysts anticipate Apple will introduce new hard drive-based iPods and
      new Macs next week, which is quite likely accurate. I wish Apple would
      introduce a subscription-based component to iTunes, instead, but that’s
      just me. Were Apple to do so, then I’d be able to use my music
      subscription service on any and all of my PCs. Currently I’m shackled
      to Windows, as Rhapsody doesn’t support the Macintosh platform (one of
      the last remaining obstacles my Mac conversion faces). But, I’d jump to
      a subscription-based iTunes service in a heart beat. I use Rhapsody to
      discover and sample artists new to me (such as Jennifer Knapp, O.A.R.,
      Augustana and others I would likely never have heard of), but the
      30-second snippets on iTunes aren’t sufficient for trying out new
      music, in my experience.

    • #3069154

      OASIS Submits OpenDocument Standard To ISO

      by Erik Eckel ·

      In reply to Inside TechRepublic Press

      CNET News is reporting that the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS) has submitted the OpenDocument specification to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). The goal is to obtain ISO endorsement for the specification and effectively standardize formats for storing desktop files, such as those used by word processing, spreadsheet and presentation programs.

      Why’s that important? Because government agencies, in particular, would find it easier to adopt open document specifications with a standard in place. And ISO bears significant weight, having served as the sanctioning body for wired Ethernet networks and the 802.11 protocol, among other technologies.

      It’s early in the process, but a safe bet that, if the standard passes, Microsoft would have to update its Office suite to prove OpenDocument compliant. Applications that currently support OpenDocument include OpenOffice, Sun’s StarOffice and AbiWord.

    • #3068940

      “Very Innovative” iPods Imminent

      by Erik Eckel ·

      In reply to Inside TechRepublic Press

      Apple’s due to make a highly anticipated announcement later this afternoon. Most speculation calls for the Macintosh manufacturer to introduce new video iPods and possibly a new music videos feature to iTunes.

      Executive Vice President Tim Cook said he thinks Apple “did rather well with the prior lineup and believes that [Apple] will do even better with the new lineup that [it has] for the holiday season, including the new iPod Nano and some very innovative new products that [Apple has] yet to introduce.”

      Thus, it appears Apple’s going to announce an iPod with not just new features, but innovative features. That would seem to discount a video iPod, wouldn’t it? Sony’s PlayStation Portable already plays videos. Then again, if Apple introduces music videos as an iTunes component, that would qualify as innovative.

      I guess we’ll all know in a few hours. Stay tuned.

    • #3060168

      Apple Debuts Video iPod, New iMac, iTunes 6

      by Erik Eckel ·

      In reply to Inside TechRepublic Press

      Just weeks after rolling out iTunes 5, Apple is introducing iTunes 6, a video iPod and a new, slimmer iMac with an integrated iSight camera. Check back for more details soon.

    • #3070851

      Turn To Final Draft For Script Production/Editing

      by Erik Eckel ·

      In reply to Inside TechRepublic Press

      We tested a quick TechProGuild video tutorial last summer. Mostly we just wanted to see if we could produce a video tutorial in-house, how difficult it might be, and how it might look. I learned two things.

      One, lighting is critical. In the next two tutorials (how to track and restore Windows XP registry changes using RegSpy and how to accelerate network browse performance for XP users), I’ll be sure to have more lighting.

      Second, I learned you need a script. You need to know what you’re going to say, what you’re going to show and where screenshots will appear.

      Drafting scripts in Word or another word processing program is insane. If you provide technical services for a media company, an advertising agency, a public relations firm or another organization that produces original video programming, you likely already know that.

      For the next videos TechProGuild will produce, I turned to Final Draft, a leading script-writing program used by everyone from scriptwriting wannabes to major motion picture houses. The software installs easily, works equally well in Macintosh and Windows environments, and simplifies script development. The program makes it easier to format script styles, whether a section serves as dialog, action, a setting description, transitions, etc. Final Draft also includes features making it easy to track revisions, compare script versions, number scenes, schedule production and export finished works as PDF files.

      If at any point you’re asked to purchase, support or otherwise enable video production, I highly recommend you check out Final Draft. While you can attempt to create a custom template in Word or another word processing program, Final Draft boasts so many ready-to-use templates and so much support for other industry standards, including script registry and formatting assistants, that it just doesn’t make sense to continue trying to force another business application to fulfill those responsibilities.

    • #3060830

      Apple Announces New Macs, Photography Software

      by Erik Eckel ·

      In reply to Inside TechRepublic Press

      Without the dust even having settled from the new video iPod and iTunes 6 announcements last week, Apple’s on the move again.

      In addition to new dual-processor (2.5GHz) dual-core G5 processor-powered PowerMacs, Apple introduced upgrades to its PowerBook line. The PowerBook line benefits from higher-resolution displays and improved battery life.

      On the software side, Apple announced Aperture, a potent professional photography application. While Apple is positioning Aperture as a complement to PhotoShop, at $499 and with integrated support for the most popular professional cameras, the RAW-workflow focused program may well serve as a standalong post-production tool for many photographers.

    • #3044663

      Dvorak

      by Erik Eckel ·

      In reply to Inside TechRepublic Press

      John Dvorak, the longtime Windows writer, apparently feels Apple earns too much news coverage because a vast majority of journalists use Macs. He claims “90 percent of the mainstream writers” are Mac users, and he attributes this influential majority as skewing publicity toward Apple (from Microsoft).

      I’d like to see a copy of his statistical sampling, as the newsrooms I’ve been in (newspaper, Internet and on-site media center locations) are overwhelmingly Windows-based. In August when I traveled to an IndyCar race – which was very well attended by the world’s largest media agencies, including the AP, broadcast television, cable television networks, and hoards of print reporters – I saw one or two Apples in the entire bunch. Windows systems easily outnumbered Macs 20 to 1. More close to home, at TechRepublic and its parent CNET (one of the world’s most trafficked Web sites according to independent surveys), Macs are easily outnumbered 10 or 15 to 1 by Windows systems.

      Could it be sour apples?

      Dvorak adds that he often “confronts these guys with” his assertion that there’s a connection between their Mac use and their skewed Apple reporting. “All say that they use a Mac ‘because it is better.'” Dvorak writes. But then, in his own piece, he goes on to predict “Microsoft should make some headway with this biased crowd once the fanciful Xbox 360 arrives.”

      Why? Because, Dvorak writes, “it’s got a creative GUI, is easy to use and navigate, and kind of has a Mac look to it.”

      To me it sounds like Microsoft is adopting many of the very features that make Macs popular. The journalists Dvorak encounters appear to already understand how much easier such features make their lives. Too bad Dvorak appears too consumed with his own biases to recognize that fact.

      • #3046465

        Dvorak’s Apple Rant

        by shorne ·

        In reply to Dvorak

        I had similar thoughts after reading his latest Apple rant. The other thought I had is that if what he was saying was true shouldn’t Apple have a far larger share of the desktop market? As for the iPod buzz, I think most marketers will tell you that a marketing campaign and an appreciative press can ignite things for a product, but it will fizzle pretty quickly unless the product creates the excitement among consumers. I don’t own an iPod but it seems to me that people are buying it because they love it, not because they read an article by someone else who loves it.

        Dvorak used to be a respected guy in the industry but over the past several years he seems to be tossing out a lot of illconcieved rants about whatever made him grumpy that morning. Reading many of his recent articles has left me scratching my head and wondering what the heck he’s talking about.

         

      • #3046443

        Dvorak’s Apple Rant

        by shorne ·

        In reply to Dvorak

        I had similar thoughts after reading his latest Apple rant. The other thought I had is that if what he was saying was true shouldn’t Apple have a far larger share of the desktop market? As for the iPod buzz, I think most marketers will tell you that a marketing campaign and an appreciative press can ignite things for a product, but it will fizzle pretty quickly unless the product creates the excitement among consumers. I don’t own an iPod but it seems to me that people are buying it because they love it, not because they read an article by someone else who loves it.

        Dvorak used to be a respected guy in the industry but over the past several years he seems to be tossing out a lot of illconcieved rants about whatever made him grumpy that morning. Reading many of his recent articles has left me scratching my head and wondering what the heck he’s talking about.

         

    • #3045384

      OpenOffice 2.0 Released

      by Erik Eckel ·

      In reply to Inside TechRepublic Press

      Programmers yesterday released OpenOffice 2.0. OpenOffice includes a word processor, spreadsheet, presentation and now database applications. In addition, the software is OpenDocument Format compliant.

      New features introduced in version 2.0 include:

      • An improved user interface.
      • Password-protected Microsoft Office files can be opened (assuming the user possesses the correct password).
      • A mail merge wizard.
      • Enhanced export capabilities.
      • Expanded support for the number of rows (65,536) to equal that used by Microsoft Excel.
      • Support for digital signatures within documents.

      The software can be downloaded for use on Windows, Linux, FreeBSD and Sun’s Solaris platforms. Programmers are also at work preparing a Mac OS X version.

      I’ve long enjoyed OpenOffice’s ability to create PDFs from standard word processing documents and spreadsheet files. I’ve been using the 2.0 beta since the summer on my Windows systems, and I’ll be sure to load up the new Mac OS X version once it’s released for testing.

      • #3045374

        OpenOffice 2.0 Released

        by stress junkie ·

        In reply to OpenOffice 2.0 Released

        I’ve been looking forward to this release as well. Let’s see if it can cope with Excel files that I receive all the time.

    • #3043689

      AP Examines Microsoft

      by Erik Eckel ·

      In reply to Inside TechRepublic Press

      On October 5th, I posted a blog item exploring Microsoft’s challenge to remain relevant in a world that’s increasingly dependent upon Web-based applications. My post examined how I’d purchased an Apple Mac, the use of which helped me understand I no longer required Windows software to perform day-to-day PC tasks. I’ve since loaded Fedora Core 4 on another system, which further confirmed those thoughts.

      Today the AP released a story that further explores that argument. While written for a general audience, the piece reviews many of the issues Microsoft faces. It’s worth checking out if you have a moment.

    • #3044128

      Switching To A Mac: Easier Than Ever

      by Erik Eckel ·

      In reply to Inside TechRepublic Press

      If you’re looking to switch to a Macintosh, there are several new books out to help simplify the task. I just reviewed PeachPit Press’ Cool Mac Apps. Authored by veteran Macintosh writer Robin Williams, the title provides excellent descriptions of, and recommendations for working with, all the popular pre-installed Mac applications, including the iLife 05 suite (which includes iPhoto, iTunes and GarageBand, among others), .MAC accounts, Apple’s calendar program and more. It’s a great title for anyone new to the Mac.

      There’s also the new Switching to the Mac Missing Manual. Another in a long line of helpful titles from New York Times technology columnist David Pogue, the text is designed to help steer Windows users making the transition to OS X. The book covers everything from new Mac features to configuring printers and transferring e-mail and other files from your old PC. Also notable is Pogue’s co-author in the effort, Adam Goldstein. Apparently Adam’s quite a technology whiz who is yet to graduate from high school.

      A potentially controversial title (at least in name), new from O’Reilly, is Just Say No To Microsoft. I haven’t had a chance to read it, yet, but I have a copy coming. Stay tuned for more on that.

      Also, this week, I discovered a few interesting Kevin Tolly articles on NetworkWorld. Apparently he had a similar experience as me, in which his Sony Vaio (running XP) also died inexplicably. And, he’s shared some of the same sentiments I have. Worth reading, if you have time.

      • #3115465

        Switching To A Mac: Easier Than Ever

        by i-solve ·

        In reply to Switching To A Mac: Easier Than Ever

        Thanks for the brief overview of the books. I just got a new position at a school system that uses Macintosh. I have never used one before so I need to make a quick transistion. I understand that OS X is easy to grasp. I’m looking forward to reviewing Cool Mac Apps and Switching to the Mac.

    • #3044754

      Life With The Das Keyboard

      by Erik Eckel ·

      In reply to Inside TechRepublic Press

      Back on September 21st, I noted that I’d just received a Das Keyboard. This is the all-black keyboard you may have seen on ThinkGeek. None of the keys are labeled. I promised to follow up and share my experiences. Here they are.

      Did the Das Keyboard make me a better typist? Did I type up to 100% faster in a few weeks, as the product’s literature suggests? In a word, no. I was already a pretty fast typist, so I’m not sure it was realistic to expect I could increase my speed substantially.

      Did the specially weighted keys help me become a more accurate typist? Hard to tell. But one thing’s sure, if I didn’t get my index fingers centered on the F and J keys, respectively (with their slightly raised bar, as on most all keyboards), I was in a world of hurt. But I found that, when I did take a moment to ensure my fingers were properly positioned, I could rattle off words quickly and without error – and seemingly more accurately than when using a keyboard with labeled letters. I suspect there’s a laziness factor that arises when you can just peak at the keyboard to confirm you’re on the right letter. With the unlettered keys, I felt as if I were typing more by instinct (as cheating, by glancing at the keyboard, no longer provided any help).

      Did I have the coolest keyboard in the building. Yes.

      Would I recommend it? You bet. The Das Keyboard’s Geek factor’s off the chart.

      My only recommendations are:

      1. Be sure you center your fingers on the proper keys before typing.
      2. Favor the number pad when entering digits (such as when mixing numerals with letters to form stronger passwords).

      Special characters, for me, proved a challenge, though. I found myself a few times manually counting keys from the left edge in order to successfully combine digits with the shift key to generate special characters.

      All in all, though, the keyboard proved fun, productive and comfortable. The keys are responsive and their different weights did appear to help make typing more intuitive. I’m sorry I had to send mine back.

      • #3117075

        Life With The Das Keyboard

        by apotheon ·

        In reply to Life With The Das Keyboard

        Maybe I missed something. Why did you have to send it back?

      • #3116824

        Life With The Das Keyboard

        by Erik Eckel ·

        In reply to Life With The Das Keyboard

        TechRepublic, like most media outlets, maintains a policy of returning to vendors equipment received for testing and review. In other words, when reviewing hardware, TechRepublic editors return the merchandise to the manufacturer once the article or review is published.

    • #3114252

      Why I Won’t Work For American Express

      by Erik Eckel ·

      In reply to Inside TechRepublic Press

      American Express, like many other companies, outsources its career application process to BrassRing. According to a new CNET News article, BrassRing’s software doesn’t support Mac browsers.

      That’s too bad, especially as I just learned that there’s some scientific evidence my Apple PC makes me more productive and efficient than does a Windows system.

      You see, I just read in Peter Morville’s new book, Ambient Findability, that Don Norman’s Emotional Design “presents scientific evidence that attractive things work better.”

      How’s that?

      Quoting Morville, “Since being happy broadens our thought processes and facilitates creative thinking, attractive products that make us happy can improve our ability to use them.”

      There’s no doubt innovative Mac systems are more attractive than boring beige Windows boxes frequently requiring antivirus and antispyware updates and scans, and rebooting, that Macs don’t. I love the Mac, with its crisp, efficient operating system, time-saving Dashboard, approachable productivity tools and reputation for robust, trouble-free computing. The design’s even better. I love the Mac’s clean lines, inviting display and fresh, responsive keyboard. Why is every laptop I see in a Best Buy, CompUSA, Circuit City and Office Max Sunday circular silver now? Apple deserves credit for getting there first; everyone else is just copycatting its successful PowerBook models.

      But apparently, using my Mac, I can’t apply for a job at American Express. That’s unfortunate. I like to think most companies seek bright, motivated and happy candidates looking to tackle challenges by applying their myriad talents in new, creative and productive ways. Instead, it appears American Express, and others, are limiting their application process unnecessarily.

      • #3114811

        Why I Won’t Work For American Express

        by smorty71 ·

        In reply to Why I Won’t Work For American Express

        I love how Apple users can feel so superior on one hand and feel so
        abused and neglected on the other. You chose the Apple platform. You
        knew it has about 3-4% market share. Why do you expect every site or
        service to support 3-4% of the market? 

      • #3114808

        Why I Won’t Work For American Express

        by debuggist ·

        In reply to Why I Won’t Work For American Express

        “However, we are seeing a gradual increase in demand,” said BrassRing
        spokesman Doug Jensen. “Therefore, BrassRing Enterprise 8, which is
        coming out in December, will be Firefox-compatible to support Mac
        users.”

        IE and Safari worked for some but not others.

        It looks like the problem is with BrassRing.

      • #3116741

        Why I Won

        by Erik Eckel ·

        In reply to Why I Won’t Work For American Express

        Smorty71, your point appears to be that, since Apple owners compose a small percentage of computer users (compared to Windows operators), American Express need not concern itself with ensuring those users can easily apply for positions at its company. I hope AmEx (and other organizations) don’t take that same view when approaching other candidates. After all, the number of graduates from prestigious management schools and revered universities also constitutes a very small percentage of the candidate pool each year. Yet, firms traditionally make those candidates among the most heavily recruited individuals of any group. The logic – of tying importance to percentages of representation – doesn’t seem very prudent.

      • #3116382

        Why I Won’t Work For American Express

        by smorty71 ·

        In reply to Why I Won’t Work For American Express

        My only point is this: Don’t use a technology that very few people (in
        terms of the total computer-using population) actually use and then
        complain when you don’t get universal support for that technology. You
        chose to be a contrarian, so you should learn to live with your choice.

      • #3116333

        Why I Won’t Work For American Express

        by Erik Eckel ·

        In reply to Why I Won’t Work For American Express

        How am I contrarian? Every day I operate Windows (XP at work, XP Media Center and Win2K at home), Fedora Core 4 Linux (work and home) and Macintosh OS X operating systems. I prefer to think of myself as possessing a diverse skillset and practical, real-world knowledge.

        I could use my Windows systems to apply to AmEx, if I were so interested. But I can’t get very excited about working for an organization that artifically limits the candidate pool from which it recruits fresh talent.

        I guess that’s my ultimate point: While I possess the capacity to apply to AmEx using BrassRing’s service, I prefer not to be part of an organization that outsources such a critical component (the application process) to a third party provider in a manner that unneccesarily restricts the organization’s ability to target a well-schooled, knowledgeable, creative and productive candidate group, no matter if that candidate group constitutes a minority class.

      • #3114490

        Why I Won’t Work For American Express

        by icubub ·

        In reply to Why I Won’t Work For American Express

        And the really important question about this is… “Who really cares?”

        Were you really looking to apply for a job for American Express, or are
        you just looking for something to whine about? American Express is not
        the only website that does not play well with other browsers other than
        IE. Why don’t you start a “companies whose websites I can’t bring up on
        my Mac” list going as well?

        Some companies have limited money and resources and have to cater to
        the masses. Hence, most will work with mainly IE and that’s it. Bigger
        companies like AE should probably test on other platforms/browsers, but
        that’s a business decision for them to make.

        Sorry to go off, but people these days are just looking for something
        to complain about. With all the issues going on today, this just seems
        trivial.

      • #3116845

        Why I Won’t Work For American Express

        by Erik Eckel ·

        In reply to Why I Won’t Work For American Express

        I don’t believe it’s a trivial matter, as 50 million Mac users (source: Wikipedia) can’t access the important job application platform American Express, Target and Sears, among others, utilize. As a shareholder in many of those companies – via 401ks and mutual fund investments – it’s important to me that these organizations retain the capacity to recruit the most talented employees they can, not just those using Windows.

        Make fun of the percentage of Mac users versus Windows operators all you want, but that doesn’t change the fact that Apple sold 1.23 million Macs last quarter (a 48 percent increase over the same quarter prior year) alone.

      • #3137862

        Why I Won’t Work For American Express

        by icubub ·

        In reply to Why I Won’t Work For American Express

        Aren’t we being a tad bit sensitive here? I was not making fun of the
        Mac users (bought my first Mac back in 1984; what were you doing in ’84
        bub?). But companies look at the type of browsers hitting their sites,
        then code for the mass dominant. IE is still the most prevalent browser
        out there, and you have to accept this. You could also download and use
        IE on your Mac (I know, I have both Netscape and IE running on a OS 9.1
        system at home I use to test things with) to hit those sites that don’t
        work with your other browser. On my Windows XP systems, I have both
        FireFox and IE loaded, because some sites don’t work right under
        FireFox (a fact of life, get over it)!

        If you are a stockholder and don’t like it, voice your opinion! But
        don’t whine about it. Just look for another technical solution and move
        on with your life!

      • #3137614

        Why I Won’t Work For American Express

        by Erik Eckel ·

        In reply to Why I Won’t Work For American Express

        Icubub, yes, I’m being a little sensitive. Smorty71, though, has been the member linking percentage of representation to relevance, so I was trying to head off any additional comments on that front. That comment was directed not to you but him. Sorry if you thought I tossed that at you.

        I do use Internet Explorer 5 on my Mac, and it performs very poorly. I will not complain about that, though, as I don’t feel Microsoft has any responsibility to build or maintain a browser for Mac users.

        My intention, truly, isn’t to whine, but to draw attention to the fact that 50 million (again, that’s Wikipedia’s estimate, as I haven’t had time to track down a better documented figure) Mac users are shut out from easily applying to many of North America’s most prominent employers. Ultimately, it’s not a problem for me, as I daily use four or five different machines sporting four different OSes. But I worry about students (particularly college students who are known to constitute a significant class of Mac users) who might purchase Macs and then become frustrated finding their browsers are incompatible with the job application tools several major employers utilize.

        It’s all moot, ultimately, as BrassRing has revealed they’ve received so many requests to support Macintosh users that it will introduce Mac compatibility later in the quarter. That, alone, should testify to the importance of supporting the Mac user base.

        As for my first Mac use? You’ve got me there. I didn’t use my first Mac until 1987, I think. However, I used an Apple II in 1983. I don’t know if that gets me any street cred, but it’s worth a shot.

      • #3137277

        Why I Won’t Work For American Express

        by lord deonast ·

        In reply to Why I Won’t Work For American Express

        It doesn’t matter about the percentages.  Big or small, it comes down to standards.  If your browser complies with the HTML standards then any site should work with no issues.  It is the responsibity for a website provider / developer to ensure they adhere to the standards and then percentages just don’t matter, you’re site will work for all.

        Failure to do so is not only an insult and deterrent to your potential customers  / site viewers but also rather worrying in general.  IT is built on standards, that helps systems talk to each other, people communicate etc, we can’t just start ignoring these or imagine where we would all end up.  Sorry for the rant but standards keep the world more even, otherwise we’d all be forced to use the technologies by the company with the greatest market share (or advertising reach), and that may not be our best interests in the long run.

      • #3137102

        Why I Won

        by 1toxicavenger ·

        In reply to Why I Won’t Work For American Express

        Eric,

        You will surely be missed. Just yesterday we were lamenting the fact that we had run out of applicants.

        Mark H. Williamson

        Asst. VP, Human Resources and Compliance

        AMEXCo

      • #3137035

        Why I Won’t Work For American Express

        by Anonymous ·

        In reply to Why I Won’t Work For American Express

        I was just reading this blog and have to comment on it.  If you wanted a job so bad you should be flexible and work with what you got.  I know how things can get difficult and confusing.  My issue with work is relocating.  I live in a small reservation town about 11 miles away from a larger city.  There has been a good job come up and it pays pretty good to.  The thing I was worried about was going out of my comfort level and working in a whole different environment.  This seems to be what you are doing.  You do not want to leave your comfort zone, which is with a MAC.  I work with Macs too, and I love the smooth lines and attractive interface.  At work I do e-mailing and internet surfing on the PC, and Adobe software on the Mac.  If I were richer I would by a brand new Powerbook and a Dell XPS laptop to work on.  Man would that be something.  But I just have to work with what I got.

      • #3136976

        Why I Won’t Work For American Express

        by wearsmanyhats ·

        In reply to Why I Won’t Work For American Express

        This isn’t a question of whining, or being contrarian, or feeling
        superior. Mac users have had that thrown at us for years and it is just
        the rhetoric of a majority of users of the MS Windows OS trying to
        maintain the status quo. The status quo, how the majority of people are
        doing things without any thought for the outlying/unsolved problems (do
        it our way and not vice versa), is how
        some IT shops work. The IT shops that are better, in my view, are those
        that function on IT
        standards that allow as many participants as possible and also allow
        adaptability to the needs of others. So what if I use
        an Apple Macintosh? Big deal! What if I’m a handicapped user that has
        an Apple for a special keyboard or screen magnification or audio needs?
        It shouldn’t matter to a well run IT
        operation. Companies who refuse to acknowlege this are not as
        interesting to me as an IT worker, a customer, or an investor.

        The original post was phrased in terms of lack of Apple support but it
        points to a much larger issue in the current IT industry. Microsoft
        didn’t invent html or the web browser, much as they might want to
        convince people of that. Requiring anyone to use only functionality
        that Microsoft created is simply turning over the industry to one
        company. It’s as simple as that. A lot of people don’t see a problem
        with that. The status quo is maintained. Unlike some people I choose
        the best tool for the
        job and, gee, I’ve bought a few Apple computers using that rule of
        thumb. Imagine that. I’ve also bought Dells, Suns, HPs, and Gateways.

        Sorry for whining, being contrarian, and feeling superior. (that’s
        sarcasm by the way. You can add that to the list if you want.)

    • #3116410

      Required Reading: Windows Vista

      by Erik Eckel ·

      In reply to Inside TechRepublic Press

      You remember required reading, right? My teachers and professors often assigned specific books, articles and journals that had to be read. Fail to read just one, and that was sure to be the item covered in a pop quiz.

      There are no pop quizzes at TechProGuild. Instead, our mission is to provide you with the best resources we can to overcome the information technology challenges you battle every day.

      To that end, we?ve created a Required Reading: Windows Vista site just for TechProGuild members. This is no static collection of outdated bookmarks. Instead, the Required Reading: Windows Vista site consists of a vibrant set of resources, grouped by category, that?s constantly tweaked, updated and reviewed to ensure you have all the best Vista information at your fingertips when you need it.

      Best of all, the site won?t be just a collection of links an editor?s assembled; your feedback and recommendations will shape the site. Send me your recommendations. I?ll maintain the page to ensure you can find the Vista information you need, whether you?re seeking blog comments, news items, product updates, security guidance or how-to information.

      Check out the Required Reading: Windows Vista site, and be sure to forward the Windows Vista resources you find valuable.

    • #3116320

      How NOT To Copy Protect CDs

      by Erik Eckel ·

      In reply to Inside TechRepublic Press

      Sony has a problem. A new copy-protection technology introduced on some new Sony CDs is causing trouble for the company.

      A blogger – and not just any blogger but Sysinternals’ Mark Russinovich – encountered a rootkit upon installing the Sony BMG title Get Right With The Man. Rootkits, of course, are very serious business, as they are designed to operate beneath the operating system’s radar.

      And people wonder why I quit buying CDs in favor of music purchased electronically (both from iTunes and Rhapsody)…

      Which reminds me: I’ve purchased tunes from Sony’s Connect store, too. I guess I need to check my Windows Media Center system for any rootkits that could be compromised by an ill-meaning hacker. Time for me, too, to test Rootkit Revealer.

      At least I know my Mac’s safe as I’ve only used iTunes on it.

      • #3116202

        How NOT To Copy Protect CDs

        by smorty71 ·

        In reply to How NOT To Copy Protect CDs

        I figured Apple would be iMmune from a virus because of their
        “superior” platform… or is it just their 3-4% market share that
        protects them?

      • #3117079

        How NOT To Copy Protect CDs

        by apotheon ·

        In reply to How NOT To Copy Protect CDs

        I’ve been following this with some interest since I found out about it yesterday. It’s mostly academic interest to me, since I started boycotting RIAA labels a couple years or so ago, but it’s still interesting.

        re: what protects the Mac . . .

        Macs have a better, more secure kernel and user tool foundation than Windows, which makes the Mac less susceptible to this sort of thing. The layered-on Apple-proprietary interface and application framework goes a long way toward defusing the relatively secure basis of MacOS X, however. Things like binary autoexecution are added to the system in a manner that is, frankly, disturbing in its similarity to the sort of OS design philosophy that got Windows into so much trouble in the first place.

        It still requires more effort to write effective malware for the Mac than for Windows systems, which tends to ensure that as long as Windows is around it’ll be the lightning rod, but it’s not so difficult that Mac wouldn’t pick up the slack the moment Windows vanished (if it were, miraculously, to do so). That’s the sort of thing that happens when you start blurring the line between user-level and root-level (or admin-level, if you prefer) privileges.

    • #3137618

      Sony Discovery Reinforces Need For Better Windows Security

      by Erik Eckel ·

      In reply to Inside TechRepublic Press

      After noting Winternals’ Mark Russinovich found that a Sony music CD apparently installed a rootkit on his Windows system, I received a Winternals Software news release announcing the fact. The release describes how Russinovich found the rootkit and the trouble he encountered trying to remove it. The release also states the discovery reinforces the need for software solutions to protect Windows systems from unauthorized applications.

      Windows systems certainly have their vulnerabilities. Windows security issues are very well documented, and the list of holes and weaknesses grows every day. That’s why the world doesn’t need other companies adding to the complexity of the problem by purposefully installing rootkits, especially as rootkits could be compromised by other parties.

      Don’t get me wrong. Sony has a right (and legal and fiscal responsibilities to its shareholders) to protect its copyrights. But whichever Sony executives signed off on approving the installation of rootkits as part of its DRM controls must not have understood the ramifications. That, or someone received bad advice.

      My unsolicited advice? Skip the hard copies. Download your music from Sony’s Connect store, Apple’s iTunes, Real Networks’ Rhapsody or the like. If you must purchase a CD – such as for playing in your car – don’t play it on your PC. I’ve found that, since subscribing to a streaming online music service, I don’t really need CDs anymore. When I do find an album I simply must have, I buy the CD for the car, but I continue to leverage the online music subscription for listening to the same music indoors.

    • #3136034

      Two New HD Photo Galleries

      by Erik Eckel ·

      In reply to Inside TechRepublic Press

      A few weeks ago I was in the middle of installing Fedora Core 4 when the PC’s BIOS, during a reboot, announced the hard disk was going bad. The drive, a test disk for years, led a tortured life. From running Windows 2000 to Red Hat Linux, it powered test servers and desktops. Now, it was dying. I told the BIOS to ignore it, but after dual-booting in to Win2K to run chkdsk I was greeted with the tell-tale clicking revealing this disk’s day was done. So what’d I do? I took it apart. TechProGuild members can review the dissection in the new Anatomy Of A Failed Hard Drive photo gallery.

      Speaking of hard disks, I’ve received three new Western Digital external hard drives to test. All make adding tons of gigs easy. One even glows in the dark! TechProGuild members can check them all out in their own photo gallery.

    • #3137206

      Mossberg: Mac Is Best Computer

      by Erik Eckel ·

      In reply to Inside TechRepublic Press

      Walter S. Mossberg, the respected technology writer, proclaims Apple PCs not just superior, but far better, than Windows systems in the December 2005 issue of SmartMoney magazine. In Tempted By The Apple?, Mossberg drops these juicy soundbytes:

      • “I believe, at the moment, Apple makes the best computers, and the best operating system, for mainstream consumers doing typical tasks–e-mail, Web surfing, office-productivity functions such as word processing and presentations, photo organizing and editing, playing and collecting music, and editing home video.”
      • “Of all the major computer makers, Apple is the most focused on consumers and small businesses.” (emphasis mine).
      • “Apple’s iMac G5 consumer desktop is, in my opinion, the single best home computer on the market. It’s PowerBook laptops are among the top portables.” (emphasis mine).
      • “The Mac OS X operating system … is far better than Microsoft’s aging Windows XP and already boasts many of the key features Microsoft plans to include [in Vista].” (emphasis mine).
      • “Out of the box, the Mac has better photo, music, video and DVD-creation software than any Windows computer I’ve seen.”
      • “Since the OS X operating system came out in 2001, there has never been a report of a successful virus for it.”

      There’s more, much more, but you get the point.

      It’s your money. Spend it smart.

      • #3137136

        Mossberg: Mac Is Best Computer

        by rzimmerman ·

        In reply to Mossberg: Mac Is Best Computer

        I use Windows XP at work and Apple IMAC at home, and I couldn’t agree more with your assessment. It’s unbelievable that consumers who have a choice in their personal lives buy windows based PC’s. At work we don’t have a choice, so we are stuck with the windows platform. I think the problem is that many people still think MACS cost more and/or are for a more “elite” group, so they won’t even look at one. The IPOD is starting to change that thinking which is great for everyone since it broadens the MAC base and forces corporate America to start taking Apple more seriously. The Macintosh is the equivalent of being able to buy a BMW for the price of a Chevrolet. And the icing on the cake is that Apple products look so great in your home.

      • #3137087

        Mossberg: Mac Is Best Computer

        by steven warren ·

        In reply to Mossberg: Mac Is Best Computer

        Check out my blog on running MAC OS X on a windows pc. It is pretty cool.

        Steven S. Warren

      • #3135714

        Mossberg: Mac Is Best Computer

        by smorty71 ·

        In reply to Mossberg: Mac Is Best Computer

        Was your “Spend it smart” closing line a grammatical error? Or just an homage to Apple’s grammar (“Think different”).

      • #3119068

        Mossberg: Mac Is Best Computer

        by apotheon ·

        In reply to Mossberg: Mac Is Best Computer

        MacOS X is proof that it’s easier to make unix pretty than it is to make Windows secure.

        If free unices (think Linux and *BSD) were not available, I’d probably be using a Mac at home, now that MacOS X is available.

      • #3119460

        Mossberg: Mac Is Best Computer

        by rickhal ·

        In reply to Mossberg: Mac Is Best Computer

        Really? Why then is MAC going to X86 architecture? Why does Steve Jobs have a verison of OS/X that will run on a PC? Why has Apple chosen Intel to manufacture it’s processors?? I get so tired of hearing from snobbiish MAC users as to why MACs are so much better than a pc. They are more expensive than a PC. Anyone who disputes that is just in denial. I have been building my own pcs for over 15 years. I build systems that are for gaming. And I also have held LAN partys for up to 200f people at a time. Never once have I seen a MAc at one of these events. Not once. I have nothing against MACs (with the exception of the price). I think they are good for certain computing needs. But, the PC has caught up in terms of being able to do the types of desktop publishing and graphics jobs that the MAC has been known for in the past. Also, I have been running Windows for a long time now. Is it perfect? Absolutely not. Do I have great affection for Microsoft? No. I know they have been lax on security in the past. However, I have found that XP Pro is as stable a platfrom as any. If you keep up with virus protection, and updates. I would agree that there are too many security updates from MS. But, I believe they are trying hard to work that issue out. And Vista (bad name) will be an even better product than XP was. Give us a break with the tired “MAC is better than PC” bleating please.

      • #3119452

        Mossberg: Mac Is Best Computer

        by rickhal ·

        In reply to Mossberg: Mac Is Best Computer

        Really? Why then is MAC going to X86 architecture? Why does Steve Jobs have a verison of OS/X that will run on a PC? Why has Apple chosen Intel to manufacture it’s processors?? I get so tired of hearing from snobbiish MAC users as to why MACs are so much better than a pc. They are more expensive than a PC. Anyone who disputes that is just in denial. I have been building my own pcs for over 15 years. I build systems that are for gaming. And I also have held LAN partys for up to 200f people at a time. Never once have I seen a MAc at one of these events. Not once. I have nothing against MACs (with the exception of the price). I think they are good for certain computing needs. But, the PC has caught up in terms of being able to do the types of desktop publishing and graphics jobs that the MAC has been known for in the past. Also, I have been running Windows for a long time now. Is it perfect? Absolutely not. Do I have great affection for Microsoft? No. I know they have been lax on security in the past. However, I have found that XP Pro is as stable a platfrom as any. If you keep up with virus protection, and updates. I would agree that there are too many security updates from MS. But, I believe they are trying hard to work that issue out. And Vista (bad name) will be an even better product than XP was. Give us a break with the tired “MAC is better than PC” bleating please.

      • #3119324

        Mossberg: Mac Is Best Computer

        by briblank ·

        In reply to Mossberg: Mac Is Best Computer

        I have been in the computing realm since the first PC’s and Lisa’s (yes, CPM, 8080’s, commodore, etc)  There is no question in my mind that Apple produces a marvelous product.  (In the past pricey, but today very affordable.)  Time has marched on, today’s hurdle for Apple is not the price, value, competitiveness, ROI etc, its all about the software.

        Apple has great software.  Apple’s newest stuff runs alot of the freeware (LINUX/ open-source) stuff supported by open platform software companies, (insightful moves by Apple.) 

        Then what software?  Games/Media. The 3 L’s in real estate, the three G’s/M’s in Microsoft dominance.  Today’s hardware and software is a V8 in a volkswagon compared to business uses.  The reason for all the hardware and complex software is for the videos and games.  Apple does software very well for multimedia and Itunes is great for Apples continued success.  Apple is stylish too, we don’t overlook that the cool looking computers have inspired a break from the norm in the Intel PC world.  The games and aggregate value of entertainment is not there, which becomes a cart before the horse question.  I can peruse an aisle in the store with thousand upon thousands of choices, this is not so on the MAC.  With a little more time and patience maybe it will be and then I will be an advocate for Apple and getting off the mess created by Microsoft.( That’s really unfair, it is truly the open nature of the wintel PC’s that created a lot of the headaches, …their greatest strength is their achilles heel…)

        Sidebar:  I have always said Microsoft is not a technology company, it is the best marketing machine I have ever seen though.  Microsoft’s marketing is the timing, hype, competition-stifling, spin-controlling, technology purchasing company I have ever seen.  As much as I hate them for it, I admire them for it.  It’s like magic, smoke and mirrors.

      • #3120195

        Mossberg: Mac Is Best Computer

        by Erik Eckel ·

        In reply to Mossberg: Mac Is Best Computer

        Just because Apple’s moving to Intel chips doesn’t make Windows better. Apple’s tapped out the PowerPC platform’s performance capacities. Moving to Intel will just make the more-efficient Apple systems that much better performers. Apple systems make better use of available disk space, memory, processor threads, etc. By having access to faster Intel hardware, Apple system performance will improve that much more.

        Considering my Apple 1.5GHz PowerPC is about equivalent to my Sony 3GHz box running Windows (when it comes to video editing and digital photography work), running Intel-based hardware will make Apple performance that much more impressive.

      • #3120019

        Mossberg: Mac Is Best Computer

        by jj8392 ·

        In reply to Mossberg: Mac Is Best Computer

        “Out of the box, the MAC has better photo, music, video and dvd-creation software……” –  Well, it better – as it’s nearly impossible to buy any software for it.  I can run to Best Buy and choose from hundreds/thousands of software for the PC – there is nada for the MAC.

        It’s all about software – a computer w/out software is a boat anchor.  Anyone can talk all day about which os is better or which hardware is better – but the bottom line is software.  In that category – Microsoft wins hands down.

      • #3119985

        Mossberg: Mac Is Best Computer

        by Erik Eckel ·

        In reply to Mossberg: Mac Is Best Computer

        I’m happy to report I haven’t had to purchase any additional software for my Macintosh, so capable is the bundled iLife suite. In addition, OpenOffice and NeoOffice J are free downloads, as is Mozilla. And, as for the many widgets I’ve come to use daily, those are provided free by the open source community.

        Were the need to arise, Macintosh software is readily available. CompUSA carries a large inventory. Most of my shopping is transacted online anymore, though, where Amazon and others carry full lines of Macintosh software for everything from personal finance programs to games and entertainment.

      • #3119984

        Mossberg: Mac Is Best Computer

        by Erik Eckel ·

        In reply to Mossberg: Mac Is Best Computer

        Oh, I left out Thunderbird (e-mail) and Cyberduck (an FTP application). I did find myself adding those programs after I purchased my Macintosh.

        Fortunately, as with the other programs I’ve found so efficient and capable, those too are free downloads.

      • #3131406

        Mossberg: Mac Is Best Computer

        by dc guy ·

        In reply to Mossberg: Mac Is Best Computer

        The average person does not know what most of that bewildering array of software even does. The average person wants the internet, e-mail, word processing, spreadsheets, music, photos, and games. The average person wants a computer that can be treated like an appliance: turn it on, use it, turn it off, forget it, maybe call a professional mechanic once or twice a year as with any complicated appliance like an automobile. The average person thinks about cost first but after being burned a few times they begin to understand the concepts of quality and return on investment.

        As more and more average people get into the PC market, rather than the American geek-wannabes and shade-tree mechanics that still dominate it, they will be drawn to Macs.

        I’m hardly an average person, I’ve been an IT professional for almost forty years. But I have a Macintosh which has the internet, e-mail, word processing, spreadsheets, music, photos, and games. Nothing more. That’s all I need.

        I agree that as Macs become more widespread there will be more interest in developing viruses for them. But that will always be more difficult as long as Apple continues to write each OS from scratch, using contemporary software project management principles. As long as Windows continues to be an OS that was developed eight years ago and merely patched and jury-rigged since then, it will continue to be more of a security risk as well as more defect-ridden

    • #3120344

      Memo To First 4 Internet: “Stay Down”

      by Erik Eckel ·

      In reply to Inside TechRepublic Press

      Apparently First 4 Internet, the company that implements DRM controls for Sony, wants to argue with Sysinternals’ Mark Russinovich, the accomplished computer engineer who’s earned a doctorate from Carnegie Mellon and who’s spent time at IBM’s Thomas J. Watson Research Center. Russinovich, of course, is also the gentleman who broke the story on Sony’s installing rootkits as part of its DRM effort.

      My (unsolicited) advice to First 4 Internet? Stay down. Don’t answer the bell for the next round.

    • #3117778

      OpenDocument Format Gains Momentum

      by Erik Eckel ·

      In reply to Inside TechRepublic Press

      The OpenDocument Format appears to be picking up steam. While it’s become fashionable among many technology writers to say one’s fed up reading about ODF or tired of all the OpenDocument fanfare, apparently several other states are interested in following Massachusett’s lead.

      With Oracle, Google and Novell joining the party, and more states seeking to adopt Open Document standards, it’s going to be hard for the naysayers to continue downplaying ODF.

    • #3120179

      iPod Leads Its First Million Switchers To Macs

      by Erik Eckel ·

      In reply to Inside TechRepublic Press

      So happy are iPod purchasers, apparently, that 1,000,000 have switched from Windows to Apple Macintosh systems, so pleased have they been with Apple’s design, interface and ease-of-use. I can’t say I’m surprised. Expect the number to continue growing.

      • #3119970

        iPod Leads Its First Million Switchers To Macs

        by smorty71 ·

        In reply to iPod Leads Its First Million Switchers To Macs

        5% market share almost seems inevitable. Good for you!

      • #3119934

        iPod Leads Its First Million Switchers To Macs

        by Erik Eckel ·

        In reply to iPod Leads Its First Million Switchers To Macs

        With an installed base of 50 million Mac users, I’m not sure focusing on percentages of representation makes much sense. After all, you could apply the same logic to ERP or CRM systems and claim only a minority of organizations run such enterprise-scale applications, but that doesn’t change the fact that those platforms constitute a massive industry segment.

    • #3120146

      Microsoft Patch To Address Sony DRM Issue

      by Erik Eckel ·

      In reply to Inside TechRepublic Press

      Why First 4 Internet argued with claims the DRM software it built for Sony was problematic, I’ll never know. But the whole issue is moot now. Microsoft will issue a patch through its Windows AntiSpyware and Malicious Software Removal Tool applications, as well as through the Windows Live Safety Center. The path will detect and remove the Sony BMG code, which has already been the target of at least one virus.

      • #3132351

        Microsoft Patch To Address Sony DRM Issue

        by kingzedd ·

        In reply to Microsoft Patch To Address Sony DRM Issue

        Sony has a tendency to dive in and out of new products, ideas, and support. For the first time ever I applaud their speedy withdrawal 😉

      • #3122247

        Microsoft Patch To Address Sony DRM Issue

        by 4 me & mine ·

        In reply to Microsoft Patch To Address Sony DRM Issue

        SONY MUSIC DOES A BAD THING

        A few weeks ago, it was discovered that some CDs made by Sony BMG Music Entertainment (Sony BMG), installed a rootkit to the computer playing the CD. The purpose of the rootkit is to enforce copyright protection. After receiving strong negative public comments concerning the rootkit, Sony BMG released a software patch to make the Extended Copy Protection (XCP) software visible to system tools and antivirus products. However, this patch may cause some computers to crash. There is concern that hackers may take advantage of this hidden rootkit to further their goals. Judiciary personnel should be aware that by just playing some CDs manufactured by Sony BMG on their computers, may result in software being secretly installed on their home or office computer(s).

        [Is there any update on this?]

      • #3123738

        Microsoft Patch To Address Sony DRM Issue

        by Erik Eckel ·

        In reply to Microsoft Patch To Address Sony DRM Issue

        Paty_Zamora,

        Yes, Sony recalled several million of the infected discs. You can read a list of the 52 infected titles on Sony’s site. Microsoft has announced it will update Windows security tools to eliminate the rootkit. More information on the security vulnerabilities Sony’s DRM protections introduced (on potentially millions of computers in homes, businesses and organizations) can be found on CNET.

    • #3117863

      Windows Vista Beta 2 Delayed

      by Erik Eckel ·

      In reply to Inside TechRepublic Press

      Paul Thurrott is reporting the release of Windows Vista Beta 2 will be delayed. The Beta 2 delivery could be stalled by as much as two months. Earlier plans called for distributing the updated version December 7th. Now the company appears to be looking at a January or February release date. However, Microsoft doesn’t anticipate that the delays will postpone Vista’s official launch date in the last half of 2006.

      • #3130600

        Windows Vista Beta 2 Delayed

        by master3bs ·

        In reply to Windows Vista Beta 2 Delayed

        Figures

      • #3132200

        Windows Vista Beta 2 Delayed

        by arthurp ·

        In reply to Windows Vista Beta 2 Delayed

        No New News here then ….

        The late-November, early-December release date for Beta2 was always a possible target, but January/February was the realistic target. Maybe it was just the hype from the media that made the testing community ready for an early release.

        Personally I don’t mind waiting, if it’s for the better …

        Out of interest, has anyone installed Vista upon a clean build machine ?

        Yes it can be done, try it and notice that functionality which missing …..

        Arthur

    • #3131261

      TechProGuild’s Ultimate Bookmarks Project

      by Erik Eckel ·

      In reply to Inside TechRepublic Press

      TechRepublic’s bookmark collections have long proved popular. A few weeks ago, during a lunch meeting, some team members commented on how helpful it might be if those older sets of bookmarks were updated.

      Those discussions led to my creating the Ultimate Tech Bookmarks download. Collecting over 200 bookmarks at a glance (shown below), the quick-hitting HTML file can save you loads of time.

      TechProGuild's ultimate tech bookmarks

      Best of all, the bookmarks file includes a link you can click on to submit sites you feel should be added to list. I’ll monitor all the recommendations and regularly update the collection to ensure it meets your needs as best possible.

    • #3130620

      MS Word Outperforms NeoOffice/J

      by Erik Eckel ·

      In reply to Inside TechRepublic Press

      I’ve taken a lot of heat for preferring my Apple Mac PowerBook over my Windows systems. Many readers and colleagues just assumed that means I hate Microsoft or have an ax to bear. Not true. I use both technologies daily, and while I believe OpenOffice.org offers an excellent opportunity for government agencies, nonprofits and small businesses to trim their technology costs, I don’t believe the open source office technologies are necessarily superior (they’re definitely less expensive to implement, though).

      In fact, Microsoft Office runs better on my Mac than NeoOffice/J does. I know, I ran an informal test.

      An editor, I spend most of my time in Microsoft Word or NeoOffice/J’s Writer. So I timed how long each application takes to load. NeoOffice/J loads in 30.5 seconds. Microsoft Word? Eight-and-a-half seconds. The Microsoft Office application loads almost four times faster than the OpenOffice.org port.

      As for CPU usage, Microsoft Word wins there, too. When running, Word operates two threads to the CPU and consumes six to eight percent of the CPU’s capacity when text is being entered into a document. NeoOffice/J ties 17 threads to the processor and consumes 14 to 17 percent of the CPU’s capacity.

      NeoOffice/J’s word processor also is less efficient when it comes to system memory. Word grabs 36.16MB of RAM (314.66MB of virtual memory) when running, whereas NeoOffice/J requires 60.21MB of RAM and 961.42MB of virtual memory.

      Microsoft Word just runs more smoothly, as a result. Is the performance difference worth $499 per user (for the Microsoft Office 2004 For Mac Professional Edition)? It depends upon your organization, I suspect. Were I consulting with a small business, though, I’d be hard pressed to justify the additional costs of Microsoft Office licenses just because the free alternative requires a few extra seconds and consumes some additional memory.

      What’s really important is compatibility, and NeoOffice/J has made great strides there. In the new issue of Windows IT Pro magazine (October 2005, Office Suites Faceoff), one of the few criticisms Adam Carheden finds to level against OpenOffice.org is its inability to display the correct text slant for some WordArt copy. I don’t know many businesses that would find that problematic. Carheden even goes on to say “OpenOffice.org has a short way to go to start taking market share from Microsoft and is an excellent solution for individuals.”

      I believe he’s right. OpenOffice.org (and NeoOffice/J) are great alternatives right now. Imagine how good they’ll be, and how much more efficient, given another year or so to polish the code.

      • #3131807

        MS Word Outperforms NeoOffice/J

        by navtec ·

        In reply to MS Word Outperforms NeoOffice/J

        What a shame that the industry should waste such effort in evaluating a piece of garbage excuse for a wordprocessor such as “Uncle Bill’s” MS Word which after 20 years still does not know how to provide a “Reveal Codes” function as with WordPerfect.  Please see “How to Dump Microsoft”.  T. W. / Illinois

      • #3278407

        MS Word Outperforms NeoOffice/J

        by bob g beechey ·

        In reply to MS Word Outperforms NeoOffice/J

        Really, “navtec”, the reveal codes feature was a nice part of WordPerfect’s DOS days. When we changed to MS Word, we really missed that feature for at least two weeks. However, using styles in a WYSYWIG environment, we no longer miss it. If the reveal codes feature is very important to you, stick to Wordperfect (as many legal firms still do). If the extra slickness and VBA is important and the extra cost is not an issue, stick to MS Word. Otherwise, Open Office is probably fine. “Horses for courses”. As for “How to dump Microsoft” – give us a break. That is easy and obvious if it is a real issue for anyone. Personally I use MS Word daily, am impressed with Word 2007, but have Open Office on hand if I need to recover a damaged MS file.

      • #3280841

        MS Word Outperforms NeoOffice/J

        by jonbean ·

        In reply to MS Word Outperforms NeoOffice/J

        Hello?! WordPerfect has had WSYWIG for seven years AND reveal codes. I'm compiling a huge book project that must be done on Word and it is SO much easier on WordPerfect. 

         Oh, yeah, Word just added "Live Preview" in 2007 Word — great idea six years ago when Corel added it to WordPerfect! 🙂 

    • #3131787

      Protect Your Organization With TechProGuild’s CD And DVD Policy

      by Erik Eckel ·

      In reply to Inside TechRepublic Press

      Have users installed countless rootkits on Windows systems you’re responsible for administering and supporting? It’s possible. If any employees used your organization’s systems to listen to new CDs from Celine Dion, Neil Diamond, Our Lady Peace, Switchfoot and some other best-selling Sony artists, you’re infected.

      Now hackers are targeting the rootkit. The problem’s spiraled so quickly Microsoft is preparing a patch.

      Prevent such issues from even becoming a problem in your organization with TechProGuild’s CD And DVD Policy. By distributing the policy within your organization, you can effectively eliminate such security threats before they happen.

    • #3132088

      Who Should Govern The Internet?

      by Erik Eckel ·

      In reply to Inside TechRepublic Press

      If you’ve been watching the headlines, you know the rest of the world’s been trying to encroach on the United States’ management of the Internet. Apparently technology companies agree. What are your thoughts?

    • #3122313

      RIAA: Sony Behaving Responsibly

      by Erik Eckel ·

      In reply to Inside TechRepublic Press

      What did the Recording Industry Association of America’s Cary Sherman say when asked whether the RIAA condones the use of rootkit installation as a DRM copyright protection? “There is nothing unusual about technology being used to protect intellectual property…The problem with the SonyBMG situation is that the technology they used contained a security vulnerability of which they were unaware.”

      The state of Texas, apparently, disagrees.

    • #3121823

      What’s Your Mailbox Size Limit?

      by Erik Eckel ·

      In reply to Inside TechRepublic Press

      I attended a Microsoft Connections event a few weeks ago. During the presentation, which waxed eloquent on the ability to leverage Outlook features integrated with Small Business Server, an attendee raised her hand to add a comment. When called upon, she suggested everyone be made aware that – as she experienced first hand – Outlook tends to stop working smoothly when the mailbox exceeds two gigabytes in size. Two gigabytes. The presenter, of course, asked if she was familiar with the Mailbox Cleanup or archive features.

      Most administrators tap Active Directory to configure user storage limits. What limit have you set in your organization, and how did you arrive at (or otherwise calculate) that size restriction?

      • #3114073

        What

        by charliespencer ·

        In reply to What’s Your Mailbox Size Limit?

        50 megabytes. We instituted this limit when we first set up
        Exchange six or seven years ago. We’re rolling out Exchange 2003
        in the next few weeks and will be upping the limit to 100mb per user.

        I hadn’t heard of the 2 gig limit in connection with a mailbox, but we
        don’t allow them that large. We regularly run into the 2 gig
        limit on archive, personal, or other form of non-mailbox message
        storage.

        You italicized “Two gigabytes”, indicating you think this amount is
        significant. Do you feel this is too small for a mailbox or too large?

      • #3114024

        What’s Your Mailbox Size Limit?

        by Erik Eckel ·

        In reply to What’s Your Mailbox Size Limit?

        Palmetto,

        I’m amazed Outlook worked at all while trying to make sense of a two gigabyte mail box. CNET sets my limit at 140MB. Most companies set them in the 50MB to 100MB neighborhood, I believe. But I thought it best to solicit a sampling.

      • #3113972

        What’s Your Mailbox Size Limit?

        by hector_mis ·

        In reply to What’s Your Mailbox Size Limit?

        I’ll guess that she was refering to the .pst 2GB limit.

        We have a 500MB > 1000MB limit. Lower limit is for “common” users, and it increases with our organization chart. =)

      • #3122614

        What’s Your Mailbox Size Limit?

        by anthony waters ·

        In reply to What’s Your Mailbox Size Limit?

        We have our mailbox limits set at 125MB for all users and without limit on C level employess (and IT staff).   The 2GB issue is specific to PST files and from what I understand does not apply to Outlook 2003 format PST files.   We let the users know that it is best to keep there PSTs at about 650 – 700 MB (yes, the same amount a CD can hold).  We are running Exchange 2003.   As a side note, when we were running Exchange 5.5, we had one user that had over 15GB in his Exchange folder.  That is right 15 gigabyte.  

      • #3122599

        What

        by wdmilner ·

        In reply to What’s Your Mailbox Size Limit?

        My ISP mail box is 10MB which is usually mroe than sufficient for my personal mail. The mail server in-boxes at work are set to 50MB for everyone but Administrators and above who have no set space quota. Any limitations with Outlook and Exchange have been pretty much bypassed as our shop doesn’t use Microsoft products.

      • #3122597

        What’s Your Mailbox Size Limit?

        by wdmilner ·

        In reply to What’s Your Mailbox Size Limit?

        My ISP mail box is 10MB which is usually mroe than sufficient for my personal mail. The mail server in-boxes at work are set to 50MB for everyone but Administrators and above who have no set space quota. Any limitations with Outlook and Exchange have been pretty much bypassed as our shop doesn’t use Microsoft products.

      • #3122595

        What’s Your Mailbox Size Limit?

        by wdmilner ·

        In reply to What’s Your Mailbox Size Limit?

        My ISP mail box is 10MB which is usually more than sufficient for my personal mail. The mail server in-boxes at work are set to 50MB for everyone but IT Administrators and above who have no set space quota. Any limitations with Outlook and Exchange have been pretty much bypassed as our shop doesn’t use Microsoft products.

      • #3044029

        What’s Your Mailbox Size Limit?

        by tshinder ·

        In reply to What’s Your Mailbox Size Limit?

        My mailbox size is 4GB and seems to be working quite well.

        I don’t recommend it to everyone, though 🙂

        Tom

      • #3122034

        What’s Your Mailbox Size Limit?

        by cyberjunkie21 ·

        In reply to What’s Your Mailbox Size Limit?

        Ahh, the postmaster knows no limits himself. And unfortunately right now not for the users either. I inherited a system with not limits and the CTO wants to wait till summer to impose some. So in the meantime the partitions are filling fast…

    • #3121543

      XBox 360: Yeah, We Got One

      by Erik Eckel ·

      In reply to Inside TechRepublic Press

      Editor Bill Detwiler’s name was drawn by a local Meijer. On launch day, he found himself holding a coveted XBox 360 premium system in his hands. Did he sell it for a quick $1,000 profit? No. Did he sell it to me for the $800 cash I offered him (as I was going to flip it on eBay)? No.

      He took it apart, all in the name of science.

    • #3123068

      Revolution In The Valley

      by Erik Eckel ·

      In reply to Inside TechRepublic Press

      How’d you spend the holiday?

      Here in Louisville the weather turned cold. I ate too much food, watched some football and fretted that the University of Louisville’s star quarterback may have sustained a serious knee injury. At least the Bengals managed to hold on against the Ravens and keep the team’s playoff hopes alive. Mostly, though, I sat fireside and read.

      If you’re an information technology staffer, the way you work today was impacted by a small team of individuals from Cupertino way back in the early 1980s. An arguably dysfunctional group managed to somehow overcome numerous challenges to introduce the first popular personal computer boasting the now-standard GUI. Revolution In The Valley: The Insanely Great Story Of How The Mac Was Made tells the story using numerous vignettes. Andy Hertzfeld, who’s credited with helping program many of the Macintosh computer’s revolutionary features, collected his thoughts, notes and stories into a collection of essays providing a rich look inside the hallways and corridors of Apple’s early history.

      While you can read the book from front-to-back, there’s no need. If you do, you’ll find several references to key events repeated (with cross references noted), making it easy to pick this coffee table-quality book up and thumb to any page and begin enjoying an insider’s view of some of the most critical moments in computing history. There are many photographs, not only of the people that helped shape the future of personal computing, but also of the first Macs themselves, as well as the original GUI.

      Hertzfeld helps set many legends straight, too. From the phrase Steve Jobs used to recruit Pepsi’s John Sculley to the strategy Bill Gates employed when bargaining with Hertzfeld for a “switcher” application to the actual story behind the most famous Super Bowl advertisement ever, it’s all here.

      Whether you use, support and administer Windows or Macs, if you work in IT, you should be familiar with the tales collected in O’Reilly’s Revolution In The Valley. I recommend it, without reservation, for any techie. And, it’s a whole lot cheaper than an Xbox 360 if you’re seeking geek gift ideas this holiday season.

      • #3122132

        Revolution In The Valley

        by Erik Eckel ·

        In reply to Revolution In The Valley

        I just discovered CNET News interviewed Hertzfeld (Mac co-creator and author of Revolution In The Valley) earlier this year. Those interested can check out the interview here.

    • #3121890

      What’s On Your Performance Review?

      by Erik Eckel ·

      In reply to Inside TechRepublic Press

      Technology editors make assumptions every day. At TechProGuild – the subscription site dedicated to providing IT pros with proven, in-depth time-saving solutions, access to a searchable online library of several hundred technology books, and 20 percent savings off all TechRepublic Press purchases, among other benefits – decisions have to be made about the books, solutions and pre-formatted policies IT professionals need.

      Some decisions are easier than others. Almost everyone needs tips on maintaining Active Directory, troubleshooting XP and implementing Internet usage policies. Those topics are easy.

      But what’s really on your performance review? Are you being graded on your ability to maintain 99.999% server uptime, or are you really graded on the results of satisfaction surveys distributed to technically challenged end users? Are you rewarded for earning whatever Windows certification is in fashion this year, or are you required to complete a new systems migration on time and on budget (or both)?

      Share your actual performance review goals and objectives. John (TechProGuild’s Senior Editor) and I will use the feedback you provide to ensure we’re focused on helping meet the challenges most important to you. Join the discussion I’ve created in TechRepublic’s Discussion Center.

    • #3123396

      Did Sony Ignore Warnings Its Root Kit Was Dangerous?

      by Erik Eckel ·

      In reply to Inside TechRepublic Press

      Business Week reports F-Secure notified Sony of the dangers almost a full month before Russinovich announced the issue existed in his public blog. That’s inexcusable in my book.

      Fortunately, Apple Macintosh systems are immune to this root kit menace.

      • #3123264

        Did Sony Ignore Warnings Its Root Kit Was Dangerous?

        by j sheesley ·

        In reply to Did Sony Ignore Warnings Its Root Kit Was Dangerous?

        So are OS/2 systems for all that’s worth…

        It wouldn’t be the first time a company has reacted to a security
        threat or warning by burying it’s head in the sand. Microsoft does it.
        Cisco does it. Just about any company that sells software does it. Does
        it make it right? Heck no. Sadly it’s par for the course though.

    • #3129097

      Just Say No To Microsoft – Or Why I Was Attacked For Recommending Apple

      by Erik Eckel ·

      In reply to Inside TechRepublic Press

      Whenever you publish a book with a title like Just Say No To Microsoft, one needs to be prepared for controversy. Likening the separation of one’s interdependence from Microsoft products with the famous anti-drug campaign of the Reagan administration understandably opens the author to criticism.

      A Slashdot review, published earlier this week, criticizes author Tony Bove of spending “far too much time slurring Microsoft and Bill Gates.” Make no mistake, Bove places Microsoft and founder Bill Gates squarely in the cross hairs. But, that should come as no surprise (given the book’s title) and the warning Bove provides in the introduction noting the “book contains many cheap shots, innuendos, and wisecracks about” Microsoft. Many of those would appear fair game, as even the Slashdot reviewer notes “Bove is correct that Microsoft’s practices over the years have discouraged innovation and stunted competition.”

      Ultimately, Bove’s seeking to accomplish three goals. First he wants readers to understand Microsoft has inhibited innovation. He provides numerous sourced examples toward that end. Second, he demonstrates that most every computer user can function perfectly without Microsoft products. He examines the Macintosh, Linux and OpenOffice as just some of the alternatives available to disgruntled computer users. Third, he seeks to help Windows and Office users avoid many of the common issues that plague those Microsoft platforms by providing instructions and recommendations for eliminating problems and improving security.

      But make no mistake. Bove’s isn’t a technical book. Don’t take my word for it. Here’s what Bove shared in an e-mail conversation with me yesterday.

      “The book is in fact more political than technical,” he said. “I believe that people need a wider perspective of how businesses work (and, of course, how governments work) in order to make more informed choices, and I believe that the only way for consumers to influence an industry that serves them is to vote with their dollars. Many people simply don’t like Microsoft’s business practices, or don’t like its arrogance toward partners and customers, or don’t like its support, or don’t like its software — for whatever reasons. Others want to know why people don’t like Microsoft. This book provides the history and the context for disliking Microsoft, and it points the way to alternatives.”

      Bove’s goal, in other words, wasn’t just to criticize Microsoft.

      “It’s not just about bashing Microsoft,” Bove said, ” except that since Microsoft has more than 95% of the market in desktop computing systems, the company deserves at least 95% of all bashing. (Sometimes it seems that Linux and the Mac get far more bashing in the press than they deserve.)”

      Just this week I was attacked on the TechRepublic Web site when I suggested coworker Beth Blakely consider purchasing a Macintosh, as opposed to the Dell or Alienware systems she was considering. Yet, when TechRepublic user Jared Rosen suggested Beth consider a Sager, instead, no one came out of the woodwork to remind him that Beth was considering ONLY a Dell or Alienware PC. I believe that demonstrates there’s a very real anti-alternative animosity (among some) in the industry. In other words, it’s OK to suggest another Windows system, but it’s NOT OK to recommend an open source or UNIX-based alternative. Why is that?

      In concluding his e-mail message to me, Bove may have answered that question when he wrote, “It amazes me that people still think that they ‘have to use’ Windows or Microsoft Office. Although many of them just buy a computer without thinking Windows vs. whatever, all it would take is a strong advertising campaign and a cheaper computer than a Mac (whether it run Linux or Mac OS X or anything else) to hit the market. The market takes a while to educate, but people will eventually understand … the vulnerabilities incurred by sticking with one system and one set of office applications. We need diversity at the system and application levels of the computing experience.”

      Want to see who’s next On the Soapbox? Find out in the Blog Roundup newsletter. Use this link to automatically subscribe and have it delivered directly to your Inbox every Wednesday.

      • #3129079

        Just Say No To Microsoft – Or Why I Was Attacked For Recommending Apple

        by smorty71 ·

        In reply to Just Say No To Microsoft – Or Why I Was Attacked For Recommending Apple

        I think Bove’s logic is clouded by his zealotry. He says:

        “It’s not just about bashing Microsoft,” Bove said,
        ” except that since Microsoft has more than 95% of the market in
        desktop computing systems, the company deserves at least 95% of all
        bashing. (Sometimes it seems that Linux and the Mac get far more
        bashing in the press than they deserve.)”

        Why would he expect MSFT to get most of the bashing? That assertion assumes that most MSFT users are unhappy, right?

        And let’s get over this delusion that people just don’t know about
        Apple. Apple is a luxury brand. That is why most people don’t consider
        them.

      • #3129061

        Just Say No To Microsoft – Or Why I Was Attacked For Recommending Apple

        by Erik Eckel ·

        In reply to Just Say No To Microsoft – Or Why I Was Attacked For Recommending Apple

        Smorty,

        Thanks for confirming my suspicions were right!

        EE

      • #3129053

        Just Say No To Microsoft – Or Why I Was Attacked For Recommending Apple

        by tonyaaa4 ·

        In reply to Just Say No To Microsoft – Or Why I Was Attacked For Recommending Apple

        function (match)
        {
        return match.toLowerCase();
        }>Some folks just don’t get that joke — 95% of the market, therefore 95% of the bashing. I wonder if 95% of the unhappiness in the computer industry (if we could measure it) could be traced to Microsoft’s business practices.function (match)
        {
        return match.toLowerCase();
        }>function (match)
        {
        return match.toLowerCase();
        }>function (match)
        {
        return match.toLowerCase();
        } class=”khtml-block-placeholder”>function (match)
        {
        return match.toLowerCase();
        }>function (match)
        {
        return match.toLowerCase();
        }>Anyway, let’s dispense with the idea that the Mac is a “luxury brand”, as if we were talking about the difference between a Volkswagen and a Mercedes-Benz. To a person who can afford a powerful laptop, the price difference between a Mac and a Windows laptop — comparably equipped with wireless, lots of disk space, Bluetooth, etc. — is about one night in a fancy New York City hotel. In short, a minor business expense for a very powerful tool in your business.function (match)
        {
        return match.toLowerCase();
        }>function (match)
        {
        return match.toLowerCase();
        }>function (match)
        {
        return match.toLowerCase();
        } class=”khtml-block-placeholder”>function (match)
        {
        return match.toLowerCase();
        }>function (match)
        {
        return match.toLowerCase();
        }>As for zealotry, the book Just Say No to Microsoft (No Starch Press) could be considered anti-Microsoft zealotry by some, but not pro-Mac zealotry: I devote only one chapter to the Mac as an alternative.function (match)
        {
        return match.toLowerCase();
        }>function (match)
        {
        return match.toLowerCase();
        }>function (match)
        {
        return match.toLowerCase();
        } class=”khtml-block-placeholder”>function (match)
        {
        return match.toLowerCase();
        }>function (match)
        {
        return match.toLowerCase();
        }>Also, let me take this opportunity to fix a typo. The 2nd to the last sentence should read:function (match)
        {
        return match.toLowerCase();
        }>function (match)
        {
        return match.toLowerCase();
        }>function (match)
        {
        return match.toLowerCase();
        } class=”khtml-block-placeholder”>function (match)
        {
        return match.toLowerCase();
        }>function (match)
        {
        return match.toLowerCase();
        }>The market takes a while to educate, but people will eventually understand the vulnerabilities incurred by sticking with one system and one set of office applications.function (match)
        {
        return match.toLowerCase();
        }>

      • #3129049

        Just Say No To Microsoft – Or Why I Was Attacked For Recommending Apple

        by tonyaaa4 ·

        In reply to Just Say No To Microsoft – Or Why I Was Attacked For Recommending Apple

        Some folks just don’t get that joke — 95% of the market, therefore 95%
        of the bashing. I wonder if 95% of the unhappiness in the computer
        industry (if we could measure it) could be traced to Microsoft’s
        business practices.

        Anyway, let’s dispense with the idea that the Mac is a “luxury brand”,
        as if we were talking about the difference between a Volkswagen and a
        Mercedes-Benz. To a person who can afford a powerful laptop, the price
        difference between a Mac and a Windows laptop — comparably equipped
        with wireless, lots of disk space, Bluetooth, etc. — is about one
        night in a fancy New York City hotel. In short, a minor business
        expense for a very powerful tool in your business function.

        As for zealotry, the book Just Say No to Microsoft (No Starch
        Press) could be considered anti-Microsoft zealotry by some, but not
        pro-Mac zealotry: I devote only one chapter to the Mac as an
        alternative.

        Also, let me take this opportunity to fix a typo. The 2nd to the last sentence should read:

        The market takes a while to educate, but people will eventually
        understand the vulnerabilities incurred by sticking with one system and
        one set of office applications.

      • #3129020

        Just Say No To Microsoft – Or Why I Was Attacked For Recommending Apple

        by smorty71 ·

        In reply to Just Say No To Microsoft – Or Why I Was Attacked For Recommending Apple

        I’m not talking about the price of Apple products (in terms of “luxury
        brand”). I am talking about how they position themselves. I know that
        flies in the face of your poor little Apple versus big, bad MSFT
        position; however, Apple is not going after the same crowd as
        MSFT.  They are absolutely trying to position themselves as a
        Mercedes-Benz and MSFT as a Ford Taurus — too many Apple users drive
        VWs for your example to work 🙂

      • #3128976

        Just Say No To Microsoft – Or Why I Was Attacked For Recommending Apple

        by jamesrl ·

        In reply to Just Say No To Microsoft – Or Why I Was Attacked For Recommending Apple

        Oh please kids…..

        I know all about the niche players. I was a Wang sys admin (those of you who don’t know about the mysteries of Wang computers, insert silly jokes here). I was also a fire breathing Mac proponent at a Fortune 100 company where Macs used to outnumber PCs 2:1, and where during my tenure, they were completly eliminated.  Dilbert’s series of “computer Holy wars” cartoon’s happened when Scot Adams was working for one of our customers and had regular communications from our staff. So a former “Dr. Mac” has seen this kind of thing before.

        But Eric, get a grip. You weren’t attacked. You proposed option C, when A & B were up for consideration. There were too many variables to even go down the road of whether C was appropriate to Beth’s situation.

        I am no Microsoft fan. And everyone I know with an Apple laptop loves it. But that doesn’t mean it will always be a 100% acceptable alternative. I’d like to see Apple to well, but you attempted to take a simple discussion of what Santa should do and explode it into another holy war session.

        And for the record, Rosen’s suggestion wasn’t another C, it was more like A with a twist.

         

        James

      • #3128959

        Just Say No To Microsoft – Or Why I Was Attacked For Recommending Apple

        by charliespencer ·

        In reply to Just Say No To Microsoft – Or Why I Was Attacked For Recommending Apple

        Double-E, I did wonder why you were dope-smacked for suggesting an
        Apple.  Yes, it was slightly off-topic, but almost every
        discussion at TR includes posts far more out of bounds than
        yours.  I wish Beth had responded to it with reasons why she
        considered a Mac as unacceptable.

      • #3128931

        Just Say No To Microsoft – Or Why I Was Attacked For Recommending Apple

        by smorty71 ·

        In reply to Just Say No To Microsoft – Or Why I Was Attacked For Recommending Apple

        Palmetto:
        I was the one who said it was out of bounds. I just like to give EE a
        hard time for going from a MSFT fanboy to an Apple fanboy virtually
        overnight. So any time he brings up Apple, I have to give him grief
        over it.

      • #3128888

        Just Say No To Microsoft – Or Why I Was Attacked For Recommending Apple

        by Erik Eckel ·

        In reply to Just Say No To Microsoft – Or Why I Was Attacked For Recommending Apple

        FYI, I edited the post to fix the typo Tony mentioned.

        Also, I didn’t begin preferring Macs overnight, despite what Smorty71 may have you believe. I first worked with Macintosh computers in 1985, and then again in 1996 through 1997, when the Mac was my only system. I earned an MCSE in 1999, granted, but my history with the Macintosh certainly predates my use of Windows (as it does for millions of computer users).

      • #3128848

        Just Say No To Microsoft – Or Why I Was Attacked For Recommending Apple

        by j sheesley ·

        In reply to Just Say No To Microsoft – Or Why I Was Attacked For Recommending Apple

        It seems to me that most people tend to fall into to completely
        different camps – those that root for the winners and those that root
        for the underdogs.  Look at the people who cheered for the
        Redskins, the Cowboys and the Steelers when they were winners. It
        didn’t and in some respects still doesn’t matter who the team is, but
        “America’s Team” always winds up being the one that keeps winning the
        Super Bowl. To switch sports metaphors, at the other end of the
        spectrum, you’ve got people who are die-hard Chicago Cubs fans who
        would never think of backing any other team even though the Cubs
        couldn’t buy a World Series pennant.

        It’s exactly the same way with computers it seems. The Microsoft shills
        go on and on about how great Microsoft is, and most of the time the
        argument revolves around the 9x% market share that Microsoft has and if
        it wasn’t so good all those people wouldn’t buy it – and anyone who
        buys anything else is an idiot. The Linux/Mac (insert favorite OS here)
        Zealots go on and on (usually quite rightly) about the superior
        techonology of their platform and how anyone who buys anything else is
        a mind-numbed lemming.

        A pox on both your houses. 

        Now I’m going back to my OS/2 workstation and my NetWare server…

      • #3128816

        Just Say No To Microsoft – Or Why I Was Attacked For Recommending Apple

        by j sheesley ·

        In reply to Just Say No To Microsoft – Or Why I Was Attacked For Recommending Apple

        It seems to me that most people tend to fall into to completely
        different camps – those that root for the winners and those that root
        for the underdogs.  Look at the people who cheered for the
        Redskins, the Cowboys and the Steelers when they were winners. It
        didn’t and in some respects still doesn’t matter who the team is, but
        “America’s Team” always winds up being the one that keeps winning the
        Super Bowl. To switch sports metaphors, at the other end of the
        spectrum, you’ve got people who are die-hard Chicago Cubs fans who
        would never think of backing any other team even though the Cubs
        couldn’t buy a World Series pennant.

        It’s exactly the same way with computers it seems. The Microsoft shills
        go on and on about how great Microsoft is, and most of the time the
        argument revolves around the 9x% market share that Microsoft has and if
        it wasn’t so good all those people wouldn’t buy it – and anyone who
        buys anything else is an idiot. The Linux/Mac (insert favorite OS here)
        Zealots go on and on (usually quite rightly) about the superior
        techonology of their platform and how anyone who buys anything else is
        a mind-numbed lemming.

        A pox on both your houses. 

        Now I’m going back to my OS/2 workstation and my NetWare server…

      • #3126915

        Just Say No To Microsoft – Or Why I Was Attacked For Recommending Apple

        by jmgarvin ·

        In reply to Just Say No To Microsoft – Or Why I Was Attacked For Recommending Apple

        I think the problem was that you added option C to the mix, where it was clear Beth only wanted A or B.  The insertion of other brands (IMHO) is like customizing the laptop….where as you were providing a totally different option that Beth may or may not want (some people….gasp….HATE Macs) 

        As for Apple being the Luxury Brand(tm), it’s true.  Look at their ads (Think Different), their market positioning (more expensive hardware and software with individual nuggets of software that you can install), and their total outlook (Buy us, we aren’t MS, have a pretty UI and we are easy to use).  They tend to market towards the coffee sipping yuppy crowd (yes, I’m part of the coffee sipping yuppy crowd, but I’m still too poor to afford a Lexus). 

        Oh and I refuse to buy an iPod every 6 months just because they come out with one with a nominal feature set increase.  (I also refuse to buy an iPod…but that is another story)

      • #3127878

        Just Say No To Microsoft – Or Why I Was Attacked For Recommending Apple

        by brichpmr9 ·

        In reply to Just Say No To Microsoft – Or Why I Was Attacked For Recommending Apple

        If you look at the specific tasks that Beth Blakely indicated she would utilize on that new laptop, then it would be totally logical to suggest a Mac as an alternative to consider. Anyone who actually uses Macs and PCs on a daily basis would know this to be an easy truth. Reading some of the threads on TechRepublic forums reveals that way too many of the posters have minimal current hands-on with Mac OSX, except to express strong opinions which lack credibility as a result.

        The ongoing challenges of spyware, worms and rootkits will tend to lead a percentage of current XP users to take another look at the Mac option, especially since most users are not blessed with IT support in their own home set-ups. Informed preference is a desirable factor in making a wise decision…

      • #3128336

        Just Say No To Microsoft – Or Why I Was Attacked For Recommending Apple

        by Erik Eckel ·

        In reply to Just Say No To Microsoft – Or Why I Was Attacked For Recommending Apple

        Jmgarvin,

        I disagree that the problem was due to my introducing a third option. Other readers suggest third options, including Sager and HP products, and those individuals weren’t criticized or attacked in any capacity.

        The issue is I suggested an Apple.

        I’m happy using the Macintosh, which is a better technology (more efficient, more secure, more user friendly, etc.) for me. I’m learning some Windows users, likely beholden to the operating system due to sunken costs (time spent learning the platform, funds invested for proprietary software, etc.) and a possible fear of change, turn reproachful when a potent alternative is suggested.

      • #3128220

        Just Say No To Microsoft – Or Why I Was Attacked For Recommending Apple

        by charliespencer ·

        In reply to Just Say No To Microsoft – Or Why I Was Attacked For Recommending Apple

        jmgarvin, I can’t count the number of times I’ve read a discussion
        asking for Windows help and some smart-donkey sticks in a crack about
        switching to Linux. Now that’s WAY off topic, but they are rarely
        slammed for it as strongly as Eric was.

        Now some unsuspecting soul named William.Finlan has suggested another
        vendor.  I’m not sure if I want everyone to leave him alone
        (indicating they might have gained some open-mindedness) or if I want
        to see him slammed (indicating everybody gets treated equally (like
        $h!t)).

      • #3126473

        Just Say No To Microsoft – Or Why I Was Attacked For Recommending Apple

        by cooney0000 ·

        In reply to Just Say No To Microsoft – Or Why I Was Attacked For Recommending Apple

        Being an owner of one of the first Mac 128’s on my block back in 1984
        (after starting with a Vic 20…  then Apple ][… then Apple ///
        … while Osborne (CP/M)…  etc…)    I feel I’ve seen
        the green grass on both sides of the fence.

        Mac is a Jaquar compared to the rest.  But when you can’t afford
        to ‘live’ in your car (own a Mac) anymore, you get a Vic 20, Sinclair
        or PC.  I outgrew the Vic 20 and couldn’t keep up with all the Mac
        upgrades financially even though I worked for an Apple dealer at the
        time.

        After a hiatus from computers (pre WWW)  I was given a PC running
        win 95.  All I can say is God bless win 98se.  Viva la
        XP…  which I (luv/hate)

        Then came linux (Fedora Core to be exact).

         I’m living a dream.  Kind of like my first Vic20.

        ….

        Now I live happily ever after…

        bobby g

        Thee  End…

        P. S. mac is now unix based.   who would’ve guessed?

      • #3126471

        Just Say No To Microsoft – Or Why I Was Attacked For Recommending Apple

        by apotheon ·

        In reply to Just Say No To Microsoft – Or Why I Was Attacked For Recommending Apple

        All this crap about how a Mac laptop is an unacceptable alternative, but a different brand than Dell or Alienware is perfectly acceptable, based on the text of the initial post by Beth, is just that: crap. If you really think that argument stands up, go back and reread her post, thinking about whether there is anything in what she said that references an operating system restriction.

        The closest it comes to a restriction on OS is the reference to wanting to play the Sims, which was listed as only a possibility, and not a definite requirement for the system. I think the Sims can be played using WINE on Linux, anyway, so there’s still no Windows restriction even including that, as far as I’m aware.

        That being the case, it’s entirely possible (though, I admit, unlikely) that she would be perfectly happy to entertain suggestions of Dells or Alienwares running Linux, or perhaps even OpenSolaris or a BSD variant.

        That being the case, there’s no reason not to recommend MacOS X, according to her initial post, other than the reference to Dell and Alienware and the fact that MacOS X doesn’t run on Intel hardware (yet). Thus, the major technical complaint would be that Apple hardware isn’t a Dell or Alienware system. Thus, the same complaint should apply to HP and Sager.

        Thus, any people claiming their complaints about a Mac are based solely on the constraints Beth explicitly indicated, but not complaining about HP and Sager recommendations, are full of it, hypocritical, and/or a mind-numbed lemming (to borrow a phrase).

        If you’re going to give someone crap for recommending a Mac based on the “Alienware vs. Dell” title of Beth’s post, you’d better damned well do the same for someone recommending an HP or Sager laptop (or a Thinkpad, which I mentioned in the same discussion), unless you just want to be viewed as a brainwashed Microsoftie.

        It’s really that simple.

      • #3126469

        Just Say No To Microsoft – Or Why I Was Attacked For Recommending Apple

        by cooney0000 ·

        In reply to Just Say No To Microsoft – Or Why I Was Attacked For Recommending Apple

        apotheon or anybody
        else.  I hope your comment(s) wasn’t (weren’t)  based on what
        I said alone.  The spirit of my post was to inspire one to do what
        feels best to them.  I’ve played (and worked) with them all. 
        You have to ‘Love the One Your With’.  There really isn’t a good
        or bad OS (desktop,(virus checker,(etc…))) per say.  You just
        have to choose and work with the one that feels most ‘at home’ with you.

        As Vanilla Fudge once sang.   “Some Velvet Morning”

      • #3126468

        Just Say No To Microsoft – Or Why I Was Attacked For Recommending Apple

        by cooney0000 ·

        In reply to Just Say No To Microsoft – Or Why I Was Attacked For Recommending Apple

        Oh..   I forgot that I owned and did some serious work with a
        Mac Portable (Lugable) for 3 years before Gore ‘invented’ the WWW and
        Apple released their ‘Blackbirds’.

        🙂 🙂 🙂

      • #3126464

        Just Say No To Microsoft – Or Why I Was Attacked For Recommending Apple

        by cooney0000 ·

        In reply to Just Say No To Microsoft – Or Why I Was Attacked For Recommending Apple

        one final thought before i disappear,

        “”Bove is correct that Microsoft’s practices over the years”…..
              blah blah
        GM…          blah blah
        Ford… etc…”

        will encourage someone like Toyota or KIA to come up with a killer computer to blow them all away.

        just like apple did in the 70’s

        late…

      • #3126439

        Just Say No To Microsoft – Or Why I Was Attacked For Recommending Apple

        by mill3502 ·

        In reply to Just Say No To Microsoft – Or Why I Was Attacked For Recommending Apple

        I just love this industry.  If it wasn’t for Mac, Linux, Microsoft, Sun, all saying their product is the best we wouldn’t have opinions like we have here we would just have IBM and all just like it because we were told to like it.

        I for one look at things straight forward, you buy the best product for your needs.  You don’t buy a gas gazzling SUV when you have a fifty mile drive to work.  My son works in the graphics field should I recommend a Sun or Linux box, no I’m going to recommend the best for the work he is doing and that is MAC. 

        Laptops are very different and I will agree Apple does not have the cheapest laptop in the world but neither does Dell or HP.  So what are you using the machine for, what is my budget, and what is the best for what I need to do for the money I have to spend.

        Lets face it folks they are all good and they all have their faults, but none of them are perfect and that is what you all are looking for the perfect operating system and the perfect computer all for 99 dollars.

      • #3126233

        Just Say No To Microsoft – Or Why I Was Attacked For Recommending Apple

        by cooney0000 ·

        In reply to Just Say No To Microsoft – Or Why I Was Attacked For Recommending Apple

        You said it right mill3502
        .   If we were still stuck with IBM we all would be shelling
        out 10’s of thousands of dollars to own one or be waiting in line for
        our turn at the mainframe at our local Kinkos.

        ‘nuf said

      • #3130135

        Just Say No To Microsoft – Or Why I Was Attacked For Recommending Apple

        by apotheon ·

        In reply to Just Say No To Microsoft – Or Why I Was Attacked For Recommending Apple

        to: cooney0000

        Actually, what I had to say wasn’t much (if at all) inspired by anything you said. Worry not about that. As far as I could tell, you didn’t have anything to say to which my own post responded.

      • #3124771

        Just Say No To Microsoft – Or Why I Was Attacked For Recommending Apple

        by bluemoonsailor ·

        In reply to Just Say No To Microsoft – Or Why I Was Attacked For Recommending Apple

        … If we were still stuck with IBM we all would be shelling
        out 10’s of thousands of dollars to own one or be waiting in line for
        our turn at the mainframe at our local Kinkos…

        This is really funny – everyone forgets that the PC was ‘garage band’ hardware until IBM introduced the PC and legitimized the market in the minds of public and business alike. And, they didn’t even include mainframe pricing… 😉

      • #3124624

        Just Say No To Microsoft – Or Why I Was Attacked For Recommending Apple

        by bschmidt ·

        In reply to Just Say No To Microsoft – Or Why I Was Attacked For Recommending Apple

        What’s wrong with IBM?  IBM is our friend.  IBM is our father.  All…hail…Big…Blue…….

        *mindless drone — typed on IBM PC w/ TN3270 connection to IBM 390 mainframe*

        Seriously though, the thing that gets me about Mac users are the ones that will go out of their way to tell me “you’re supporting the man, I’ll make you switch to Mac or die trying” (which we have some of in the place I work).  These Mac users almost treat it like a religion — much like what those same Mac users accuse PC users of doing.

        Personally, I don’t like Macs.  They’re good for graphics, which is all I would use them for.  Otherwise give me a PC any day — but I say that for one reason and one reason only, personal preference.  I know PC systems.  I know PC hardware.  I know PC OS and apps.  I’ve been doing it for years and I’m comfortable with it.  I don’t know a thing about Macs other than how to patch PC software into them…and I don’t care to because everything I do I can do on a PC.  It’s what I know, it’s what I’m comfortable with.  I’d never trade it in on a Mac and have to relearn everything I know about a PC, it’s not practical for me.  Parts are cheaper, software is cheaper (as I can tell), and the machine itself is cheaper with PC.  But again, personal preference.  People like Macs, and if that’s what they like, use it.  No matter what it is, it will get on the internet, send email, print documents…the role of the computer doesn’t change, just the manufacturer.  I’d never criticize someone for using a Mac just as I’d never want someone to criticize me for using a PC.

        The problem with Mac v. PC users is that Mac has the numbers against them.  Microsoft dominates the market, so statistically every Mac user will have 100 PC users to “contend with”, if you will.  Chances are, a couple will make some unwanted remark.  And why is the market like that?  Microsoft muscled their way in and took it over.  They sold their product to more people, so more people use it and more people are familiar with it.  But someone shouldn’t have to learn Linux or OS X just because Bill Gates owns the world, just as Linux and OS X users shouldn’t have to learn MS because they’re not compatible.  Just deal with it — people will use what they want until they have to move to something else.  Just don’t be offended by it when someone criticizes you for what you use.  How many Yankees fans hate Red Sox fans, and moreover, how many Red Sox fans care?

        BTW, IBM is one of the biggest Linux supporters these days.  Big Blue….Big Blue… 🙂

      • #3197276

        Just Say No To Microsoft – Or Why I Was Attacked For Recommending Apple

        by stevemedley ·

        In reply to Just Say No To Microsoft – Or Why I Was Attacked For Recommending Apple

        Tony Bove would have been in 7th heaven in Berkeley, 1970. He would have been to a house on Parker St. where an underground press printed anything you wrote if anarchy was the intent and the front of the house had a flashing-lighted sign “Smash the State”.

        An astounding number of computer owners/users outside of these forums look at me like a geek for just asking what operating system they have. Since fire did the job without a patent, tools that sufficed with generic names and what type of sex one has works for what you do it for the vast majority is blissfully ignorant of these debates.

      • #3125962

        Just Say No To Microsoft – Or Why I Was Attacked For Recommending Apple

        by dc guy ·

        In reply to Just Say No To Microsoft – Or Why I Was Attacked For Recommending Apple

        B Schmidt: I’m happy for you that you’ve come to “know” PC architecture. I was a PC user for about fifteen years, first in the office by fiat and then at home because I didn’t know any better. And I’m an IT professional, I wrote a mainframe operating system back in the dark ages. It’s not like I’m computer-illiterate.

        Yeat after all that experience, I still do not “know” how to use a PC properly. Hardly a day goes by at the office that something weird doesn’t happen, requiring one of the “experts” to bail me out. The “experts” took away my leased box, replaced it with a new one, and while they were at it “upgraded” it to XP. I’m still discovering missing files, and my old box was wiped months ago. Just a couple of days ago I couldn’t get into the system and it took one of the “experts” almost an hour to get me back in. He couldn’t explain what went wrong, he just gave up and “forced” my password (whatevery incredibly scary thing that might mean).

        The fact remains that I am a computer guy yet I still have not mastered Windows. It was written by computer nerds for computer nerds (who else would think to hit a button labeled “start” to turn an appliance off and then let it become the industry insider joke) and apparently after almost 40 years in this business I’m no longer enough of a nerd to get it.

        How the heck is the average consumer supposed to make peace with this drenn? This software is a delicate laboratory prototype that requires constant fiddling by the scientists who put it together with the virtual equivalent of breadboards and alligator clips. As prices come down while populations in other countries become more prosperous, are they really going to spend several months’ wages on something this infuriating? Or are they going to wait another year or two until they can get a Macintosh–a true consumer appliance–for the same percentage of their annual income?

        There are six billion people on this planet who will never have the patience, training, aptitude, and geeky friends to be able to successfully use these nightmare PCs with this user-hostile, patches-upon-patches-upon-patches Windows OS. As soon as they can AFFORD computers, the market will change drastically.

        It’s that simple.

      • #3125894

        Just Say No To Microsoft – Or Why I Was Attacked For Recommending Apple

        by mechanicalmen ·

        In reply to Just Say No To Microsoft – Or Why I Was Attacked For Recommending Apple

        Ok Eric lets get some things straight. You proposed an alternative, that wasn’t asked for, BEFORE anyone else did. That’s why you got the grief. Not your paranoid fantasy of persecution. Secondly, the Mac IS a conundrum. Championed by anti capitalist curmudgeons, and yet the (arguably) most expensive type of computer to own. It is a cash cow. It is also nearly exclusively used by the liberal arts majors of the world. These people complain if they have to count change. The only thing most Mac users really care about is that they can show their friends that THEY TOO own a Mac. (and aren’t I so trendy)  While they sit and eat their Ben and Jerry’s, and drink their Starbucks coffee, while wearing their all black clothes and berets, while smoking their clove cigarettes. Welcome to the world of macs. No wonder you are so paranoid.

      • #3125409

        Just Say No To Microsoft – Or Why I Was Attacked For Recommending Apple

        by Erik Eckel ·

        In reply to Just Say No To Microsoft – Or Why I Was Attacked For Recommending Apple

        OK, so now I’m being criticized for having been an English major… I’ll have to mull that over while I enjoy my Starbuck’s this morning (decaf Christmas Blend)…

      • #3120712

        Just Say No To Microsoft – Or Why I Was Attacked For Recommending Apple

        by toydog ·

        In reply to Just Say No To Microsoft – Or Why I Was Attacked For Recommending Apple

        Man, I just love how incredibly sensitive, emotional and personal life gets as soon as anyone dares to mention Macs & Windows in the same article.

        Why do people get so heated and passionate about this hoary old perenial?  So Macs & Windows are different and some folks like one and other folks like the other.  Same applies to people’s automobile preferences.  Same thing happens between GM & Ford lovers – as soon as the name calling starts all hope of a rational conversation ceases.

        Different strokes for different folks.

        My preference is for the one that does what I bought it to do, straight out of the box, without me having to tinker with it too often or having to know a whole heap about how to make it work rather than knowing about what I wanted to do in the first place.  Now you go guess which one I mean.

        And try to play nice in the sandpit, children.

        Happy Christmas

      • #3123963

        Just Say No To Microsoft – Or Why I Was Attacked For Recommending Apple

        by davemori ·

        In reply to Just Say No To Microsoft – Or Why I Was Attacked For Recommending Apple

        I think that Bove?s argument and your observations are both correct.

        1. Understanding Microsoft?s relationship to the rest of the industry is important.

        2. There is an anti-alternative bias amongst information technology professionals.

        Understanding Microsoft:

        Although understanding how Microsoft relates to the industry is important, understanding the Business Sales Model of a vendor allows you to better predict and manage the vendor?s behavior and predict when a vendor will try to leverage your company.

        The traditional BSM of Microsoft is to regularly force a significant number of customers in the installed base to upgrade to the latest versions of its software. Upgrade is also acquired over time through hardware addition and attrition ? as new PCs, servers, etc. are purchased for new employees. When old PCs and servers are replaced with new servers ? a door is opened for upgrade the installed base.

        As important to watch with product announcements are Microsoft END OF LIFE (EOL) and END OF SUPPORT (EOS) announcements which go hand in hand with product announcements.

        Their approach to EOL and EOS are living examples of how the product lifecycles of a high tech company like Microsoft are used to leverage sales by forcing moves to the newest products, regardless of the disruption or cost of licensing & upgrades this imposes on the customer.

        Support is a key way which all high tech companies do this.

        The concept of “FUD” ? Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt is heavily leveraged.

        “We will not support this anymore”.

        IT people and customers don?t like to hear this, yet it is being increasingly seen with, not just Microsoft, but with others in the industry. Example: HP and its printer drivers (tends to drop driver support for AIO OfficeJet printers (like the G85) often leaving the owner up the creek because their printer is no longer supported after Microsoft issues a security patch or major update to Windows XP.

        This is not always malicious on the part of the vendor.  Vendors, too, have a need to minimize costs by reducing the numbers of older products that they have to support.   The point here is that a vendor will always default to a model that fits into its BSM and minimizes both its own costs and what it has to do.  These won’t always coincide with what is best for the customer.

        Another key to understanding Microsoft is to understand its PRODUCT STRATEGY.

        Microsoft products typically emphasize integration with other Microsoft products, APIs and technologies.

        They scale to the enterprise, but primarily do so because the hardware platforms that they work on are becoming more and more powerful and the distinction in blurring between PC workstations and servers and bigger iron UNIX servers and workstations. The answer is that they tend to scale in a different way as solutions. If the end objective is to have superb integration with Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office, you will often see that Microsoft solutions are very strong. If the goal is cross-platform and cross-OS integration, Microsoft solutions and technologies do much more poorly.

        Ex: Microsoft Foundation Classes are lame when compared to CodeWarrior, XCode, etc.

        They don?t want to build solutions for UNIX. Microsoft doesn?t want to build lots of extensive crossplatform solutions. They want to build products and solutions for Windows and Office that enhance sales of Microsoft products.

        Some “checklist” features for integration may be there based upon creating additional marketability, but they are not the primary driver for Microsoft to have the feature in its solutions and products.

        The bottom line is that you can count upon all vendors to always default to what is best for their own interests, not what is best for a customer ? and just because you seem to presently have a good relationship with a vendor, it does not always follow that you will always have a good relationship with that vendor.

        Where a major problem occurs, is when a technology professional?s own preferences as to what they think is best technology, directly impacts the standards lists of the corporate IT department.

        IT departments tend to like to standardize upon market leading products and vendors a little too much, in an attempt to make what appears to be a “safe choice” on technologies.

        The problem in the long run is that the high tech market is a very dynamic and capricious one, when it comes to market share. What were safe choices once, are often very stupid ones now. I can think of few companies that still use VisiCalc, Lotus 1-2-3, Novell, Banyan, Wellfleet/Bay, Gupta, Hercules, COBOL, RPG II, Wordstar, MVS, VMS, etc. But at one time or another, these technologies and products were market leaders.

        It is how much progress the products are making at expanding what they offer to users, as much as how much market share they have or how big the installed base is. The point is to always make sure that your own company?s best interests and needs are seriously looked at when corporate IT standards are created. Having alternatives for those standards are also important.

        The Anti-Alternative Bias:

        Standards are created in a corporate IT environment for control. Both the political control ? a right of approval ? that the IT leadership wants to exercise over the company, as well as control over growth and direction.

        One huge problem with the creation of standards is that they are often based upon the personal biases of IT leadership, and justified primarily upon which vendors are perceived as having the lion?s share of the market.

        “Boy I did that great!  I could not do it that well without (insert name of vendor and product)..”

        That is the start of product identity projection.

        Sadly enough, it is the nature of too many information technology professionals to love the products made by the companies that they are most familiar with, or they are based upon the vendors that they perceive as having the best relationship with.  Professionals tend to have a lot of pride and, unfortunately, personal pride is often projected and extended into the products and tools that they have to use and support. Many professionals take this to such an extreme that they take it as a personal insult if anyone criticizes the product made by the vendor that they love.

        We can all probably point to countless examples of professionals with this type of problem.  I know of one director I worked with years back who loved SAP so much that he positively could not get along with users and managers who happened to like PeopleSoft, Siebel, or anything else that he might have to be forced to integrate with his beloved SAP system.  His “identity crisis” made him dysfunctional with other departments, and he got into countless heated arguments with them – hurting feelings and creating damage to his own career over what?  Over SAP???

        Many professionals go to an even greater extreme.  They become high tech Luddites who only want to go “so far” with technology and do not want to look at or accept anything from any vendor that exists outside of their own world.

        I remember a word processing support manager I worked with in 1990 who was absolutely in love with old Wang hardware. She only liked the old Wang VS and IIS systems from the mid 1980s.  The hardware was 5 years old at the time and very difficult to maintain. Instead of attempting to learn anything new, she simply went into technical denial mode and refused to believe that anything could exist that was better. She used to bake a cake and bring it into work on Dr. An Wang?s birthday. Very strange.

        We work in an industry where change is inevitable and often very quick.  Some people prefer not to embrace change because it takes them out of their comfort zone of what is most familiar to them, and it begins to make them feel inadequate, underskilled and job-threatened.

        Microsoft Windows bigots of today are nothing new to the industry. We had Novell bigots, PowerBuilder bigots, Lotus bigots, IBM Mainframe bigots, IBM product bigots, DEC VAX/VMS bigots, IMS bigots, COBOL bigots, DOS bigots, in the past. Should Microsoft be eclipsed in the industry, a new bigot will appear to replace it, and take the ranks with the SAP bigots, Oracle bigots, SQL Server bigots, and other bigots that are out there as well.

        As for me, in the nearly 30 years that I have been working in the IT, research and high tech industries, I have never had the luxury of being able to refuse to support a technology. I have always had to be multiplatform, and that skill has kept me gainfully employed during times when many others were unemployed.

        The ease of support argument spoke in conjunction with the need for a single platform standard, is in my opinion, completely bogus, especially in a web-integration oriented enterprise world of 2005. Systems do integrate, and if you know what you are doing, it is not that hard to support anything.

        Personally speaking, the departments I have led had a better relationship with users because we are careful to work with users and we have been flexible on standards and good at delivering to requirements and promises.

        By Apple Computer?s own figures from the late 1990s, most Mac users are multiplatform users. I believe that the 1998 (?) figures from Apple showed that 75% to 90% of their user base are in fact multiplatform professionals who have or use both Windows and Mac systems. A huge percentage also use different flavors of UNIX and other operating systems on desktop and server platforms in their companies.

        This is one of the things that Microsoft?s own marketing department really does not understand. They often talk about crushing the Mac OS and getting to 100% market share. Not likely they will ever see that happen. Mac users are largely a subset of Microsoft’s own customer base.  The customers that they want to have, are, in fact, multiplatform customers like me that Microsoft already has. I use a Mac for the same reason I use SuSe and Red Hat LinUX, AIX, Windows, Solaris, etc. It gives me something that I perceive as valuable.

        I don?t completely agree with other postings that claim that there is no difference between Windows and a Mac.  Although today?s world is very much an internet world which has become a great equalizer, the converse holds true that there is no reason NOT to have Macs and LinUX in your environment when the client to your business systems is a browser.  

        I still find the MacOS to have significant advantages in Plug and Play, particularly when you plug in USB devices into different ports.  I find the MacOS to be far easier to support and far less support intensive than Windows with some impressive practical numbers that quantify out that I spend less supporting Mac users.  Safari is an excellent browser, and there are several other apps that I find compelling:

        OmniGraffle and ConceptDraw (two Visio like apps that cost a lot less than Visio).  OmniOutliner (terrific for taking notes during meetings and briefings).  FastTrack Schedule and LeadingProject (excellent project management software).  Final Cut Pro is an outstanding package for Video and Audio editing.

        Networking, Windows and Active Directory support and integration with MS Office is basically seamless. 

        As a manager, I try to encourage each professional who works for me to embrace every technology that they can find. Technology market share is very capricious, and if you only stick with the technologies you like and are most comfortable with, you bring mediocrity to your career and to your environment. There is a place for every technology out there, and it is foolish and self-aggrandizing to use something that is barely “good enough” when something much better is readily available at a comparable cost.

        It does not surprise me, Erik, that you were attacked for recommending Apple. I have seen other articles on this site that display a similar stench. There are a lot of single platform bigots out there who are too lazy to give any other technology a serious examination.

        Some vendors have done an excellent job of playing on fear, personal relationships, and more to advance their cause. Microsoft when it spoke of a “single platform standard” in the early 1990s. IBM with FUD on integration during the 1980s. SAP even likes to emphasize against going “best of breed or best of class”, and defaulting to using SAP solutions instead of deploying a time management, CRM or other solution that you have to integrate with SAP. What I have always found amazing is the number or IT professionals foolish enough to swallow that marketing. From the vendor’s side, they are basically saying “buy my company’s products, ignore its deficiencies, ignore your business requirements, and don’t buy anyone else’s products.”

        A lot of IT shops presently find themselves in very adversarial relationships with their users. In this scenario, a dictatorial hard line stance on platform standards when coupled with a poor performance to promise on delivering systems, and excuses about support — no matter how poorly founded or well founded they are — are increasing turning into a yellow brick road to IT outsourcing.

        A technology bigot only makes the situation worse.

        If you’re going to standardize and hold the hard line, you need to support it well and deliver everything to promise. Quality of delivery and acceptability is judged by the customer, not the developer or the IT department.

        Increasingly, corporate customers are looking at what they perceive as lousy performance by the IT department and questioning why they should settle for only solutions that are sanctioned by the IT department.

        Some of the same vendor’s own professional services arms are whispering in the ears of CEOs, COOs and CFOs and saying: “see? even your own people admit that they are having a hard time supporting even their own standard environment.”

        The journey down the yellow brick road to outsourcing starts here.  The simpler your environment is, the easier it is to outsource.  The more problem prone and support intensive your environment is, the more ammunition there is for outsourcing.  The more adversarial your user relationships are, the more likely you will be outsourced.

        It is very hard to argue against the economics of outsourcing, when someone in India or another country can do the same job, “good enough” or better at 10% of the cost. Many users feel that if they are going to have a lousy relationship with IT, they may as well have a lousy relationship with an outsourced IT department that at least is cheaper than their existing in-house relationship.

        The bigots in for the worst surprises are those who are already in “technology denial” over the security and OS patch requirements of Windows and some of the other products.

        The only rule in high tech is that all technology gods and idols eventually fall.

        When their gods and idols fall, they will have to scramble around and find another one. For those of us who are multiplatform, it will not be traumatic.

         

      • #3123932

        Just Say No To Microsoft – Or Why I Was Attacked For Recommending Apple

        by jerome.koch ·

        In reply to Just Say No To Microsoft – Or Why I Was Attacked For Recommending Apple

        I began my career with Macs back in the late 90s. Myself and 3 other techs supported over 2000 of them along with 30 some Mac servers. We ran Appletalk Novell and TCP/IP on our school network. We also supported some 40 Novell Servers and 3000 PCs running Windows 95/98.

        Through OS 8.6 i preferred Mac. I loved the hardware architecture (simple and elegant), as well as the simple diagnostic and repairs. Many moons ago, if your Mac didn’t boot (sad Mac face), you just booted from external scsi drive, replaced they system file, unplugged scsi drive and you were done. No registry to worry about, no ini files etc…

        Things changed with OS9 and the iMac.

        Now, I see no big benefit of the Macs over the PC other than preference.

      • #3082465

        Just Say No To Microsoft – Or Why I Was Attacked For Recommending Apple

        by prisms_inverted ·

        In reply to Just Say No To Microsoft – Or Why I Was Attacked For Recommending Apple

        it is a known fact that if the intentions of a person are to actually attack others then the outcome is a true and solid disgrace around the planet, lest to say about what that person’s sole may suffer at the end. microsoft, since the day i started to use its products are good but the intense revenge act that it takes from, either the unknown ones or perhaps the known ones have made me come to the conclusion that people with the bill gates mentality may not be able to over come the bad omen bestowed on them by not only the dead ones, the sick ones, but also the ones who still are living but living as if they’d be living in hell.

        couple of instances, first one comes from hotmail/msn link, a heavy pour down of worm generating cookies, that attack a human from within, like attacking a person sitting infront of the machine through the ionized/magnetized atmosphere surrounding both the computer and the monitor area.

        one might say, we can purchase a LCD monitor its not only expensive but also almost use-less when seen as wanting to display graphics and high speed/ high definition video quality objects.

        so, the cookies in the form of worms or whatever i can say for sure not only have made many sick and ugly but also many might have died due to unexplained illnesses.

        this attack by the (so called other end of the internet connection usually microsoft’s hotmail and msn link) has also destroyed lord knows how many computers and cpu’s, not to speak of those that have been ruined as they might still be working but not the way brand new product is supposed to work.

        about a year ago when i first logged on to the microsoft’s free e-mail accounts the machine was seriously attacked by the msn server through the common telephone dial up link 56k and below.

        two times, the machine had a heavy jolt like attack, during this time a thought perhaps there was some electrical problem, but it happened because of few strings of data that was sent from bill gates server. this when seen from technical perspective is absolutely possible as it is a know issue, when programmers know at which particular address what data bytes should be sent that may attack the internal circuitry of the machine, then it becomes essential that if a person wants to keep a brand new computer system healthy then it must not be connected with internet, and the machine that is supposed to go with the web should be a seperate machine have the ability to say i got ruined by msn and its allies.

        attached you may find a small picture of the inside view of the chip that was attacked by the msn. this shot was taken by the machines static charge node (an explanation in simple terms) without removing the chip and without stopping the computer. you may open the file with windows fax and picture viewer and get a closer look at it by clicking on the + symbol.  inside chip view burned by msn attack

      • #3082464

        Just Say No To Microsoft – Or Why I Was Attacked For Recommending Apple

        by prisms_inverted ·

        In reply to Just Say No To Microsoft – Or Why I Was Attacked For Recommending Apple

        it is a known fact that if the intentions of a person are to actually attack others then the outcome is a true and solid disgrace around the planet, lest to say about what that person’s sole may suffer at the end. microsoft, since the day i started to use its products are good but the intense revenge act that it takes from, either the unknown ones or perhaps the known ones have made me come to the conclusion that people with the bill gates mentality may not be able to over come the bad omen bestowed on them by not only the dead ones, the sick ones, but also the ones who still are living but living as if they’d be living in hell.

        couple of instances, first one comes from hotmail/msn link, a heavy pour down of worm generating cookies, that attack a human from within, like attacking a person sitting infront of the machine through the ionized/magnetized atmosphere surrounding both the computer and the monitor area.

        one might say, we can purchase a LCD monitor its not only expensive but also almost use-less when seen as wanting to display graphics and high speed/ high definition video quality objects.

        so, the cookies in the form of worms or whatever i can say for sure not only have made many sick and ugly but also many might have died due to unexplained illnesses.

        this attack by the (so called other end of the internet connection usually microsoft’s hotmail and msn link) has also destroyed lord knows how many computers and cpu’s, not to speak of those that have been ruined as they might still be working but not the way brand new product is supposed to work.

        about a year ago when i first logged on to the microsoft’s free e-mail accounts the machine was seriously attacked by the msn server through the common telephone dial up link 56k and below.

        two times, the machine had a heavy jolt like attack, during this time a thought perhaps there was some electrical problem, but it happened because of few strings of data that was sent from bill gates server. this when seen from technical perspective is absolutely possible as it is a know issue, when programmers know at which particular address what data bytes should be sent that may attack the internal circuitry of the machine, then it becomes essential that if a person wants to keep a brand new computer system healthy then it must not be connected with internet, and the machine that is supposed to go with the web should be a seperate machine have the ability to say i got ruined by msn and its allies.

        attached you may find a small picture of the inside view of the chip that was attacked by the msn. this shot was taken by the machines static charge node (an explanation in simple terms) without removing the chip and without stopping the computer. you may open the file with windows fax and picture viewer and get a closer look at it by clicking on the + symbol.  inside chip view burned by msn attack

      • #3082463

        Just Say No To Microsoft – Or Why I Was Attacked For Recommending Apple

        by prisms_inverted ·

        In reply to Just Say No To Microsoft – Or Why I Was Attacked For Recommending Apple

        i tried to upload the picture see if it works or not

      • #3083715

        Just Say No To Microsoft – Or Why I Was Attacked For Recommending Apple

        by lando56 ·

        In reply to Just Say No To Microsoft – Or Why I Was Attacked For Recommending Apple

        I could only read about half the ‘discusion’… it ‘sounds’ like 90% you have the authority to tell your company what they are going to use…OR… you are gonna use whatever system you want…company be damned.

        Then there are the other 10% of us… lost souls who are not as high up in the corp. ladder to think about changing the system ’cause ‘we experts’ say so.

        You can rave about alternative OS all you want.  If a company hires me to work on MS systems… that’s what I’m gonna work on!  Maybe someone brought this up on a later post, but frankly… I got bored reading all the ranting and whatever and maybe missed it!

        Lando

      • #3082562

        Just Say No To Microsoft – Or Why I Was Attacked For Recommending Apple

        by eric …kla/kl/cpgw+b/ss/cd from canada ·

        In reply to Just Say No To Microsoft – Or Why I Was Attacked For Recommending Apple

        You are Obviously a long time LOOSER and should Not feel sorry about how the greatest majority of folks find your long iterations about your poor-self after painting yourself in a corner because you represent everything most people dislike or find useless and valuable time wasting . 

        Eric Michel Daoust , CD

        EMD Pages ,  Chicoutimi ,  Canada

         

    • #3127033

      What Five Policies Does Every Organization Need?

      by Erik Eckel ·

      In reply to Inside TechRepublic Press

      I’ve posted a thread in the TechRepublic Discussion Thread that seeks your thoughts on the top five information technology policies every organization needs. I welcome your participation. View the thread, and post your thoughts.

    • #3127031

      CNET Names Macintosh Ultimate Laptop

      by Erik Eckel ·

      In reply to Inside TechRepublic Press

      Accolades for Apple’s Macintosh portables continue rolling in. Today I saw TechRepublic sister site CNET named the Apple PowerBook G4 part of its Ultimate Setup.

    • #3128208

      Rhapsody Support Grows To Include Mac, Linux

      by Erik Eckel ·

      In reply to Inside TechRepublic Press

      What do you know? Real Networks has moved its Rhapsody subscription streaming media service to the Web, thereby enabling support for Macintosh and Linux users. While Rhapsody had worked very well on my Windows systems (I’d been a subscriber for quite some time), I actually cancelled the service last month because it did not work with my Macintosh system. Now, it appears, I need to revisit that decision.

      Further, this is but one more example of a computer’s operating system no longer being relevant. As in so many cases now (Flickr, e-mail, shopping, banking, etc.), the OS one uses is immaterial. What matters is the browser.

      • #3124835

        Rhapsody Support Grows To Include Mac, Linux

        by smorty71 ·

        In reply to Rhapsody Support Grows To Include Mac, Linux

        After 3 years, I finally decided to cancel my Rhapsody subscription. I am making the switch to Sirius satellite radio.

    • #3129542

      Clark Griswold Would Be Proud

      by Erik Eckel ·

      In reply to Inside TechRepublic Press

      It may not be 25,000 imported Italian twinkle lights, but it’s impressive nonetheless. Check out this Christmas light show synchronized to music. Thanks to Sunbelt Software’s WXPnews newsletter for the link.

    • #3126267

      New Sony DRM Risks Revealed

      by Erik Eckel ·

      In reply to Inside TechRepublic Press

      New security vulnerabilities tied to Sony music CDs have emerged. These risks, again introduced by Sony DRM protections, are unrelated to an earlier, widely publicized story.

      If any users on your network have listened to specific titles from Britney Spears, My Morning Jacket, Maroon 5, Santana or a collection of other recordings using SunComm copy protection technology, you may need to deploy a patch on impacted systems.

    • #3130329

      Gartner: IT Specialist Demand To Decrease 40%

      by Erik Eckel ·

      In reply to Inside TechRepublic Press

      In late November, Gartner analysts predicted demand for IT “specialists” could shrink by 40 percent over the next five years. The analyst group suggests considerably less demand will exist for information technology professionals who concentrate solely on technology in favor of “IT versatilists,” or employees who not only specialize in IT, but who also bring business acumen to the table and who can manage multiple assignments across multiple disciplines.

      How much more are you going to get paid, I’d like to know? Trying to administer existing systems, cover the latest security threats and maintain pace with constantly changing technologies seems like a full-time job to me. I could be wrong but then again this is the same firm that, a few years ago, reportedly predicted “60 percent of enterprises [were to] deploy thin clients in selected environments” by the end of this year, and I don’t think that exactly proved accurate.

      What are your thoughts? Are you working to develop additional financial analysis, actuarial, marketing, loss control, sales or other skills on top of your technical expertise? Or, are you concentrating on improving those skills that brought you to the IT dance?

      • #3124426

        Gartner: IT Specialist Demand To Decrease 40%

        by jmgarvin ·

        In reply to Gartner: IT Specialist Demand To Decrease 40%

        Gartner Analysis = Pull it out of my butt

        They have NO idea about the IT field and seem to just publish to publish.  They don’t understand what it takes, nor how to implement it, without the doom and gloom and the “death of IT.”

        Gartner is no longer respected by many of my peers and managers, so I’d imagine it is that way in many places.

      • #3124245

        Gartner: IT Specialist Demand To Decrease 40%

        by lfhowell1 ·

        In reply to Gartner: IT Specialist Demand To Decrease 40%

        To offer an additional perspective on the previous comment, if we look at
        history we can begin to see how technology, and for that matter how business
        evolves.  The key point is the notion of being a “versatilist”.
         To illustrate, when you look the whole concept behind service-oriented
        architecture (SOA), it is supposed to be driven by end users who are experts in
        the business. While the standards and data formats continue to be under debate,
        the point is to create new capabilities in faster, more effective ways?by business
        minds with empowering capabilities of technology professionals.  Also, if
        you look at the latest needs in business, there is a need for more
        “business intelligence” not reporting. Also, there is a full-court
        press under way to improve business processes albeit in more “bite-sized’
        chunks–unlike the days of BIG-BANG reengineering projects.  This is the value proposition of a technical
        expert becoming reasonable versed in these disciplines?what a powerhouse combo!

        This (versatilist) is an important trend and the technologists with whom I work
        on client engagements would benefit greatly from expanding their expertise.
         As many of us are aware the policy at Google requires technology
        development professionals to work on “outside” pursuits beyond their
        day-to-day technical jobs.  This is what is meant by versatilist and being
        versatile in general.  In 1999, COBOL programmers were commanding from
        $125 to $300 prior to Y2K.  The going rate for this skill is dramatically
        less today?in the $15-$45 dollar range and perhaps even less if outsourced to
        China.  

        Technology and business are fusing together like healing
        bones, and in 10 years, the distinction will be difficult to make as both will
        operate as a single organism to propel the business.  Gartner is not
        perfect, but if you see the larger aspects of what business leaders are asking
        for and their continued disappointments with technology, becoming a versatilist
        will virtually guarantee a job and a career that cannot be outsourced to any
        foreign land, no matter how lost the perceived cost might be.

      • #3125689

        Gartner: IT Specialist Demand To Decrease 40%

        by pwoods ·

        In reply to Gartner: IT Specialist Demand To Decrease 40%

        I come at this problem from the opposite perspective….I am an accountant and insurance expert who has become IT savvy. I am working on projects that get new technology into the hands of the users in less than 3 months because we are not wasting time trying to track down business to make decisions when they don’t even understand the questions. I am in demand and very well paid. My job is interesting and no two projects are ever the same. I have profited from becomming versitile and would assume that any IT professional who would choose to learn the business would have enjoy simiar benefits. The good news is that the business stuff is much easier to learn than the IT stuff….less jargon.

      • #3126166

        Gartner: IT Specialist Demand To Decrease 40%

        by applsecuritygeek ·

        In reply to Gartner: IT Specialist Demand To Decrease 40%

        I guess I am one of the “versatilists”, although IMHO it is a rather inelegant neologism. I came to IT with financial skills due to my years in banking, general ledger accounting, and financial statement analysis. With 8 years in IT now I have always found business skills to be an asset, and it amuses me greatly to be ahead of the curve on this new trend, if it really is one. Back in the 70s when I was at university, my firmly held belief in the value of a liberal arts education was considered woefully behind the times. My sister earned an MMR in the business school while I earned an MA at the same university’s College of Liberal Arts. Now we are both doing well in IT, but with my wider background I am confident in my ability to go wherever the cycles of the business world and turns of my career path lead me. It is very satisfying for a Phi Beta Kappa Liberal Arts grad to get the last laugh.

    • #3124489

      Anatomy Of A Failed CD-ROM Drive

      by Erik Eckel ·

      In reply to Inside TechRepublic Press

      Senior editor John Sheesley’s CD-ROM drive failed. So what’d we do?

      Just as with my crashed hard drive (Anatomy Of A Failed Hard Drive), we took the CD-ROM apart. Check out the new Anatomy Of A Failed CD-ROM Drive.

      Is there something else you’d like to see us destroy and document online? Send me your suggestions! After all, TechRepublic editors are crazy enough to dismember an XBox 360; there’s no telling what we won’t do!

      • #3124425

        Anatomy Of A Failed CD-ROM Drive

        by jmgarvin ·

        In reply to Anatomy Of A Failed CD-ROM Drive

        Yank apart one of those god forsaken “singing” christmas angels…then burn it.

    • #3197855

      2005: The Technologies That Impacted Me Most

      by Erik Eckel ·

      In reply to Inside TechRepublic Press

      Several technologies had a significant impact on my life in 2005. The top three are:

      1. Apple’s OS X Tiger. I purchased a laptop seeking to simplify my digital photography hobby and I discovered how freeing UNIX can be. From Open Office 2.0 to widgets to the simplicity, robustness and trouble-free operation of the refined Mac OS, Apple and the open source community are changing the way I work and play.

      2. Flickr. Of course, it wasn’t new this year, but this year marked my embracing the photo sharing site. Flickr’s social networking capacities are impressive, and the site convinced me social networking and tags are waves of the future.

      3. Apple’s iPod. After discovering US Spec’s modular adapter enabling an iPod to work with my factory car stereo’s CD changer controls, the way I purchase and consume music has changed. Matiing the iPod with the Mac gives me the best of both world’s, especially considering my Windows Media Center PC tanked more than once this year when trying to perform the simplest tasks. The CD is dead. At least, in my house.

    • #3197854

      My 2006 Nonpredictions

      by Erik Eckel ·

      In reply to Inside TechRepublic Press

      Predictions are tricky business. While I’m more than willing to take risks where warranted, I’m not going to try forecasting Google’s next business endeavor, picking the Bengals to win the Super Bowl or claiming 2006 is the year Microsoft releases a new desktop operating system on time. I’m not crazy.

      But here are three technology headlines you will NOT see in 2006:

      1. Apple’s New Intel-Powered PCs Fail To Ignite Sales.

      2. Windows XP Marks 60 Days With No Security Patches.

      3. Macintosh Systems Plagued By Spyware.

    • #3197697

      Top 10 Systems Administrator Truths

      by Erik Eckel ·

      In reply to Inside TechRepublic Press

      Slashdot did us all a favor today when it pointed to Evan Erwin’s blog. The subject of his latest post, yes, System Administrator Truths. Who can’t identify with these?

    • #3121360

      Microsoft Tests First Exchange 12 Release

      by Erik Eckel ·

      In reply to Inside TechRepublic Press

      Some 1,400 corporate customers, computer manufacturers and other testers have received the first Exchange 12 release. Microsoft’s next e-mail server platform will boast improved management features, a better Web-based mail client and expanded messaging capabilities, according to the news story.

      From an end user perspective, it’s hard to imagine OWA improving. Already I can remotely access my mail, personal e-mail folders and sent mail, as well as my calendar, task list and more using either a Windows OS or a Mac. Exchange experienced some growing pains over the years, but it’s proven highly stable in my experience.

      While some will be well served by a new feature enabling a user to use a telephone to call for their e-mail, I don’t see any pressing features that would immediately boost adoption in many small and medium-sized businesses. Further, the new e-mail platform will require new servers for many offices, as it will only operate with 64-bit processors.

      Over time most organizations are going to migrate servers to 64-bit processors, anyway, so that shouldn’t prove to be a major hangup, but I have to wonder if it could slow initial migration. I suspect Microsoft’s shooting for an early 2007 release date, but not everyone will have migrated to 64-bit chip servers yet.

      Will you? What are your plans for Exchange 12. I’d enjoy hearing how many TechRepublic and TechProGuild readers are planning to install Exchange 12, when they’re tentatively scheduling the migration and which features are most prompting the move.

    • #3094548

      Queen Honors Apple Designer

      by Erik Eckel ·

      In reply to Inside TechRepublic Press

      I don’t know if anyone saw this, but I found it interesting, especially as I posted a note last year commenting on the quality of Apple’s industrial designs. The Queen of England has honored Jonathan Ive, Apple’s senior vice president of design, with the title of Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. The award was recognition of Ive’s contributions to the designs of the iPod, the iMac, the iBook and Apple’s popular PowerBooks.

    • #3094508

      Massive Windows Virus Threat: Images Targeted

      by Erik Eckel ·

      In reply to Inside TechRepublic Press

      CNN’s picked up the story (“Virus Threat Rocks Microsoft”) on the latest virus. This one apparently impacts every Windows operating system version out there. TechRepublic’s Bill Detwiler has more on the vulnerability. ZDNet has some sample infestation images, too. While damage is currently limited, industry observers appear particularly concerned with the potential this vulnerability possesses.

      Mac (and Linux) users, incidentally, are immune. And, I don’t mean that in a hurray for Apple or open source way, just as a quick confirmation that the WMF Trojan targets only the manner in which Windows processes graphics.

    • #3096262

      Wait Until Tuesday; No Windows WMF Fix Today

      by Erik Eckel ·

      In reply to Inside TechRepublic Press

      It’s shades of J. Wellington Wimpy’s “I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today.” But this is no Popeye episode.

      Calls for an immediate fix for the dangerous WMF Trojan, which exploits the way Windows renders images, appear to be without effect. Despite industry observers’ concerns for the number of Windows systems effected, the nature of the WMF Trojan’s vulnerability and more than a million compromised systems already — and calls for Microsoft to break from its normal monthly issuance of patches and fixes — Redmond’s sticking to its routine: Windows users must wait until next Tuesday to receive a patch that will fix one of the greatest security vulnerabilities in the operating system’s history.

      Meanwhile, the debate rages on as to how businesses and organizations should attempt to protect themselves in the interim.

    • #3096261

      You’ll Have To Wait Until Tuesday, No Windows WMF Fix Today

      by Erik Eckel ·

      In reply to Inside TechRepublic Press

      It’s shades of J. Wellington Wimpy’s “I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today.” But this is no Popeye episode.

      Calls for an immediate fix for the dangerous WMF Trojan, which exploits the way Windows renders images, appear to be without effect. Despite industry observers’ concerns for the number of Windows systems infected, the nature of the WMF Trojan’s vulnerability and more than a million compromised systems already — and calls for Microsoft to break from its normal monthly issuance of patches and fixes — Redmond’s sticking to its routine: Windows users must wait until next Tuesday to receive a patch that will fix one of the greatest security vulnerabilities in Windows’ storied history.

      Meanwhile, the debate rages on how businesses and organizations should attempt to protect themselves in the interim.

    • #3096008

      I Can’t Believe No One Dug This Up

      by Erik Eckel ·

      In reply to Inside TechRepublic Press

      So here’s my preemptive strike. Yes, I wrote this. It was four years ago. I’m older, and wiser, now. Plus, my review predated Apple’s OS X Tiger release, which I mark as a key moment in my personal computing history.

      That said, I’ve found that Microsoft’s Virtual PC for Mac makes it easy to run virtually any PC software, and access virtually any PC network shares and devices, using my Mac. Skeptical? Check out this photo gallery, in which I provide screenshots of common Windows-specific tasks that can be performed using Mac OS X.

      • #3096002

        I Can’t Believe No One Dug This Up

        by zill ·

        In reply to I Can’t Believe No One Dug This Up

        Umm….Virtual PC has been around for a long while…

        I remember using it WELL before OS X…not sure why this is news to anyone.

      • #3095967

        I Can’t Believe No One Dug This Up

        by davemori ·

        In reply to I Can’t Believe No One Dug This Up

        Microsoft bought Connectix and their Virtual PC and Virtual Server product lines a few years back.

        Prior to Connectix’s product, there were similar products out there for Windows compatibility, both hardware and software solutions, which were very well integrated with the Mac OS, and nearly all solutions enabled cut and paste as well as other integration with apps running under the Mac OS.

        Insignia Solutions (which was bought by FWB) had a product called SoftWindows.  Again, virtually identical to Virtual PC, even down to the structure of the container files which were literally only a few bytes different.

        When MS took over Virutal PC they were, in my opinion,  very heavy handed and issued a cease and desist order on FWB for the sale and further development of SoftWindows, which had been on the market since the 1980s.  Ultimately, MS won because FWB could not afford an extensive lawsuit and MS controlled whether or not they load and sell the MS Windows OS with SoftWindows – effectively killing it.

        What Microsoft did  that was good was to revamp the code base of Virtual PC so it emulated more modern PC hardware, and got around the PowerPC instruction set limitations that Connectix had architected into their video emulation model.  The G5 did not support an instruction that Connectix used, and Connectix did not want to rewrite their video emulation – hence Connectix had a product that did not run on the G5.

        In order to get sparkling performance out of an emulated (virtual) solution, you have to throw a lot of processor horsepower into the Mac.   This is because the layering is conceptually like this:

        Layer 5  Windows Apps

        Layer 4  Windows

        Layer 3  Intel hardware emulated w/networking

        Layer 2  Virtual PC/SoftWindows running as an app

        Layer 1 Mac OS

        Layer 0  Mac Hardware

         

        WIndows effectively runs in emulation in its own world as an app on the Mac.  To quote an old Mac Evangelist I know, this isn’t “spaghetti coding”, it is LASAGNA coding.  Lots of layers between your app and the real hardware.

        VMWare is not that much different conceptually.  It simply replaces Layers 1 and 2 with VMWare’s own “OS”, and the hardware is presently Intel and AMD server hardware.

        With multiprocessors and fast G5s, the performance is far more acceptable in emulation these days, but you haved to remember that emulation is a moving target.  If the user is expecting the same performance in emulation as they would get natively out of the latest Intel or AMD based Winodows PC, they are not going to get it — but you can get good enough performance in emulation  these days so the performance difference of Office apps, etc is not that much worse in emulation than a regular PC.

        The performance solutions were based upon adding in hardware boards with Intel processors.  Some were created by Apple.  Some were from companies like Orange Micro, etc.   These did have very comparable performance, but they were expensive, as you have to buy an Intel processor.

        There were and still are a large number of compatibility solutions out there that allow Macs to work more in line with what traditional Windows IT folks want to see on an enterprise network, and also allow more seamless file translation between the few PC-specific and Mac-specific legacy file formats that may still exist (nearly all of these issues are gone when MacOS X arrived).   Thursby Software DAVE and ADmit1, Computer Associates/Miramar Systems PC/MacLAN Connect, and more.

        With MacOS X there is little or no reason or logic from the standpoint of compatibility for Macs to be excluded from a Windows network.  They have been able to peacefully coexist for a long, long, long number of years.  AppleTalk has basically been gone since the late 1990s.  Everything from a networking standpoint on the MacOS is done via TCP/IP.  Office on the Mac reads and writes files in the same format as Office for Windows.  WIindows centric folks often conveniently forget that the Mac OS is Open Source UNIX/LinUX.

        The advent of XML has also been a huge enabler of application-to-application integration across platforms and OS, which has further enabled moving of info and data between Mac OS and Windows apps, and the coming of the internet and browser clients to the enterprise has made multiplatform support easier and seamless.   When your browser is the client into all your enterprise systems, and when all the server apps and off the shelf apps are XML and web enabled, it really doesn’t matter what OS you are using anymore.  It is easy to give each customer what they prefer.   That’s the way it really should be.

        Compatibility solutions, security solutions, applications and utilities in the LinUX world find themselves very rapidly transported and incorporated to the Mac OS, now.

        Some Windows-centric IT folks will quote long obsolete articles from Datamation and look for obscure reasons to exclude Macs, but there are generally well proven solutions out there for even obscure and unusual envirionments, and the solutions have been out there in many cases for over a decade.

        If you deal regularly with Windows on a Mac, the places to examine are the following web sites:

         

        1. Macwindows.com

        2. Emulation.net

         

        Although there are Mac aficionados who hate the concept of running Windows on their Mac, I have found that solutions like Virtual PC create added value to owning a Mac – both in my own personal sense, and for my users  I can literally carry around a light iBook or PowerBook, and run just about anything I darn well want to on it, regardless of the OS, and the apps, and have it all just work.

        One of my most picky users carries around his PowerBook and proclaims that his Mac “runs more different types of software than any PCin the company”.   To a good extent, he is right.  There are still some really good Mac applications out there that are not on Windows, and with this level of integration, they never really have to be ported to Windows.  XML and web services mean that the data moves where you want it to move, the file formats are read and information is shared between systems and apps.

        It will be interesting to see what Apple does from an integration standpoint, once it is on Intel processors. 

         

         

         

         

         

         

      • #3095547

        I Can’t Believe No One Dug This Up

        by j sheesley ·

        In reply to I Can’t Believe No One Dug This Up

        “Macintosh users are cult-like”???   Clearly, someone’s been enjoying the Kool-Aid lately. 🙂

      • #3095453

        I Can’t Believe No One Dug This Up

        by boitsfort ·

        In reply to I Can’t Believe No One Dug This Up

        What is really the point?

        In short, you chose an OS (a platform) and emulate another one on top of it. Why not chose the latter OS in the first place?

        The never ending fight between Mac and Windows is not about what you can or cannot do, but how you do it. I don’t know anything that cannot be done on a PC running Windows (and probably same on Mac OS). If you chose Mac, you chose safety, easyness and quality. If you chose Windows, you chose universality.

        I have been a Windows user and fan for years and recently switched to Mac at home (keeping Windows at work) and by no means I would want to run Windows on my Mac. This is to me a nonsens. Running Windows on a Mac is opening it to Viruses, spyware and other security wholes for what benefit? You can alsways find an application on Mac that will fit your needs, as long as your needs are functional and not technical. Example: if you need to do video editing you can do it on the Mac. But if you need to run Adobe Premi?re (for integration reasons or sharing with Windows users) you can only do it on a PC. So the function “video editing” exists on the Mac, but not the Technique “Adobe Premi?re”.
        I guess my example is not the best because it is in the art and media sector, where Apple is bleeding edge. Other examples should exist in the business apps.

        In short: Virutal Windows PC on a Mac: no thanks!

      • #3094770

        I Can’t Believe No One Dug This Up

        by jamesrl ·

        In reply to I Can’t Believe No One Dug This Up

        Once upon a time I worked for a company that had the world’s largest Mac network – Nortel. Prior to that I had been a consultant and worked with both Mac and PC clients, but rarely clients who needed both. At Nortel at one point we practically had 50% PCs and 50% Macs, and lots of need for file sharing, document transfers and specialized applications.

        At Nortel I tried every Mac PC solution, including Virtual PC and SoftWindows. I still have a Mac at home with a 486 card in it as well. I had SoftWindows Win95 version before it was commerically available.

        There is no free ride.

        Yes the PC programs work, but its at the cost of performance. I had top of the line Macs to work with and PC apps would run, but slowly. It does have a place, for running apps that you need on an occasional basis. But if it is something that you need to run all day, better to look for an alternative.

         

        James

      • #3094622

        I Can’t Believe No One Dug This Up

        by davemori ·

        In reply to I Can’t Believe No One Dug This Up

        Agree with a lot of the comments to a large extent.

        Within our enterprise environment, we are basically 100% web based clients, XML, and proper open standards for web development tools, etc.  One of the big reasons why we can have a multiplatform environment so easily.  The OS does not matter. We build to the popular browsers, not just IE. We really don’t have anything you can’t get into with a Mac, Windows or a LinUX based PC.

        When we run Virtual PC, it is generally for one rep, account exec or manager dealing with some customer who has created some classic ODBC client-server app in an old version of PowerBuilder, etc. that their own IT department has no idea of how to port to .NET or a web based system — or no inclination to do so.  The pain in transitioning & porting some of the old classic client-server stuff is the rule based logic that makes the classic client-server app “user friendly”.  Web based systems are better light and that means in the long run, the classic client-server developer has to rearchitect for middleware to do any extensive rule based logic.

        As for Windows representing “universality”, that is not completely true.  There are apps like Final Cut Pro that are not likely to show up on Windows anytime soon, and some apps that basically work better on a Mac or on LinUX or another flavor of UNIX than they do on Windows.

        WebSphere ICS is a rgood example of something that tends to scale better and works better on UNIX than Windows.  The Windows product is good and definitely has a few plusses with respect to certain areas, but the UNIX versions tend to scale better and handle heavier loads better than the same version under Windows.

         

    • #3095316

      Lunch And Learn

      by Erik Eckel ·

      In reply to Inside TechRepublic Press

      The Lunch and Learn trend is hot. Organizations everywhere — from hospitals and nonprofits to global multinationals — are finding informal Lunch and Learn sessions present outstanding opportunities to bring employees up to speed on the basics of almost any subject.

      TechRepublic Press published its first Lunch and Learn collection — TechRepublic’s Lunch & Learn Series 2006 — last year. The title became an immediate best-seller and continues selling strong. I think I know why; the project was one of the most difficult initiatives I’ve worked on in my almost seven years with the company. Preparing a ready-made slideshow, complete with speaker’s notes, preformatted e-mail invitations and ready-to-distribute handouts for attendees, was a chore. By virtue of already having that work completed for them, I suspect IT professionals are finding the CD-ROM’s 15 prepackaged presentations save them a ton of time and help address issues of critical importance within their organization.

      Does your organization conduct Lunch and Learn sessions? If so, how are staff encouraged to attend? Do managers encourage attendance or is the lure of free food sufficient to fill seats?

      • #3080388

        Lunch And Learn

        by charliespencer ·

        In reply to Lunch And Learn

        I hope someone posts a constructive reply. The few attempts I’ve made resulted in disappointing attendance. Of course, that could be because of the speaker…

        Maybe if this was posted as a discussion instead of a blog entry?

      • #3080359

        Lunch And Learn

        by Erik Eckel ·

        In reply to Lunch And Learn

        Palmetto, I may well go ahead and publish this item as a discussion thread, too. If I do, I’ll be sure to post a link here.

        Thanks for the suggestion!

    • #3080546

      What Will Apple Announce At Macworld?

      by Erik Eckel ·

      In reply to Inside TechRepublic Press

      What will Apple announce at this year’s Macworld Conference and Expo?

      Predictions are fun. They can make you look brilliant or imbecilic. I’m in the mood to have some fun, so what the heck, I’ll take a crack at some baseless prognostication:

      • It’s too early to introduce Intel-based PCs running Apple’s OS, but Apple will introduce a few models nonetheless (even if they’re just prototypes that you have to wait six months to actually purchase–just as with Microsoft’s Xbox 360).
      • The world will receive notice of new video iPod licensing deals. I could really go out on a limb and say a major motion picture house will make movies available via iTunes, but that would be a stretch; I’ll save that for next year’s show.
      • Apple will debute iLife 06 featuring updated iPhoto and iMovie software.
      • We’ll hear all about growth in Mac sales, iPod sales and momentum for the Made for iPod program.
      • Jobs will reveal a new Apple trade-in program in which units returned for credit toward a new purchase will be used to promote an officially sanctioned line of Shawn Morton iWipes.
    • #3078900

      Macworld: Three-And-A-Half Out Of Four Ain’t Bad

      by Erik Eckel ·

      In reply to Inside TechRepublic Press

      No massive surprises out of Macworld (check out the CNET News Macworld photo gallery). My (safe) predictions proved accurate, hitting three-and-a-half out of four.

      I wasn’t in attendance, but what I’m hearing is iPod sales are through the roof. Some 14 million units sold during the holiday season alone. 14 million. That puts the total iPod count somewhere around 42 million, now. Not too shabby. Plus, new iTunes video programming was announced this week (classic Saturday Night Live segments) and there’s a new accessory for the iPod, a $49 remote-control add-on FM tuner called the iPod Radio Remote. (Since I haven’t heard anything was said about growth for the Made for iPod program or Mac growth, although both certainly grew, I only give myself half-a-credit here on my earlier prediction).

      New Intel-powered iMacs are out today. 17- and 20-inch models, same price as before, but they’ll be running loads faster. Love the tagline: What’s an Intel chip doing in a Mac? A whole lot more than it’s ever done in a PC.

      There’s also a new Intel-powered laptop on the way. The MacBook Pro, likely the fastest notebook PC ever, is lightweight, blazingly fast and features a cinematic display, among other features.

      New versions of iLife 06 and iWork 06 are now out, too. iLife picks up enhancements virtually across the board (with no price change), as well as the addition of a Web page building tool (iWeb).

      I’ll buy a copy of iLife 06 today. I’ll wait at least another year or so before checking out the MacBook Pro; my PowerBook G4 still runs circles around my Sony XP system that boasts twice the RAM and processor cycles. As for the iPod Radio Remote, I’ll probably pass, as the last remaining FM programming worth listening to ended when fellow St. Xavier alumnus Bob Edwards was disrespectfully (my opinion) shown the door at NPR.

      Also, Microsoft noted it will continue creating Microsoft Office for the Mac, and create a version for the Intel-powered Macs, for at least five years. That’s nice to hear, as I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how smoothly MS Office runs on the Mac.

    • #3079338

      New TCP/IP Troubleshooting Checklist

      by Erik Eckel ·

      In reply to Inside TechRepublic Press

      TCP/IP troubleshooting has always proven a popular topic. On recommendation from a colleague, I tracked down an older TCP/IP troubleshooting checklist, gave it a quick update and added hyperlinks to additional resources for each step of the troubleshooting process.

      TechProGuild members can download the TechProGuild Power Checklist: Troubleshooting TCP/IP beginning today.

    • #3080088

      Apple QuickTime Pro Worth A Look

      by Erik Eckel ·

      In reply to Inside TechRepublic Press

      When I began experimenting with my new video iPod, one of the first things I wanted to try was ripping some DVD slideshows I’d created of family vacations to the portable player (so as to be able to show them to family and friends over the holidays). I quickly discovered the recommended method required purchasing QuickTime Pro, a $29.99 upgrade.

      At first I hesitated. Thirty bucks isn’t insignificant. I read a Macworld article describing a free program, iSquint, that supposedly could manage the job for free. I gave it a try, and it worked pretty well with a single presentation. It’s great to see others making such utilities available to ease the process. But when tried multiple shows at once, the resulting iPod videos failed to retain the audio track.

      Seeking a sleeker solution, I gave QuickTime Pro a try. It’s a simple transaction (essentially what you’re buying is the license keycode) and one that doesn’t even require leaving your easy chair to complete. QuickTime Pro makes quick work of conversion and export, and being a native Apple app, plugs in seamlessly with the other Apple video programs I use almost every day.

      What I wasn’t prepared for was QuickTime Pro’s ability to save QuickTime clips to my hard drive with a pair of clicks. Initially I didn’t think that’d be a big deal, but then I discovered some of the many clips available online (see a sample here) that make my PowerBook (or Media Center Edition PC, for that matter) a multimedia showcase. Downloading the HD version of the new Cars teaser impressed more than just my kids. I’m hooked. I’m downloading clips for presentations, clips for work and clips for play. The quality, particularly using the H.264 codec, is astounding.

      I haven’t even scratched the surface, yet, of all QuickTime Pro offers. Other features include the ability to capture audio in 5.1 surround, create AAC audio files, automate repetitive tasks, create 3G files and edit video. As I spend more time with QuickTime Pro, I’ll be sure to report back on the experience.

       

      • #3079929

        Apple QuickTime Pro Worth A Look

        by boitsfort ·

        In reply to Apple QuickTime Pro Worth A Look

        yes, QT Pro is great. It can also capture from a camcorder (Firewired) and convert on the fly to different formats ranging from native DV to H264 and many more.
        What I found strange though is that when capturing in so called native mode from the camcorder (Canon DV), I get DV format, but the image size shows 384×288 instead of 720×576, so QT Pro is somehow tricked to not overlap iMovie. I think that’s a pitty.

    • #3258061

      Three New Systems To Grace TechRepublic Labs

      by Erik Eckel ·

      In reply to Inside TechRepublic Press

      It was time. TechRepublic hadn’t significantly upgraded its testing lab since, well, Microsoft introduced Windows 2000.

      Granted, we stocked up at the time. Approximately ten systems, almost all of them dual-booting multiple operating systems, and a host of KVMs. Combined with a handful of routers and switches, we had the beginnings of a decent test lab.

      Welcome to Test Lab 2.0; we just placed orders for three new systems.

      Poking beneath the first unit’s hood reveals TechRepublic is serious about testing the latest capacities Windows Vista will offer. A new test desktop boasts a 3.0 GHz Intel Pentium, 2 GB of RAM, a 256 MB nVidia video card and a 7200 RPM SATA hard drive with an 8 MB cache. Compared to the tired 1.0 GHz Athlons we have been running, the new systems are sure to help enhance our coverage of Windows desktop challenges.

      The server side’s even more intriguing. No more running server OSes on a standard PC chassis. Two new 1U servers will see to that. The first boasts dual 2.8 GHz Intel Xeon processors, 2 GB of RAM and dual onboard NICs, while a dual-core 2.8 GHz Xeon powers the second 1U system (both feature SCSI hard disks).

      Why’s that important? As new desktop, dual-core and multiple processor applications continue growing in importance we’ll ensure our coverage marches right along. Whether you’re migrating to SQL Server 2005 or Windows Vista or need practical dual-core guidance or recommendations for administering multi-processor servers, we’ll be ready. And, if you’re seeking proven solutions for working with other operating systems, including Mac OS X and Linux, rest assured; you’d be hard pressed to find another collection of technologists running a wider variety of operating systems and applications than we do here at TechRepublic.

      Feel free to share your thoughts. If there’s sufficient interest we can even create a new photo gallery dedicated to helping you (virtually) explore TechRepublic’s Test Lab.

    • #3108709

      What Blackberry Worries? Life With My Windows Smartphone

      by Erik Eckel ·

      In reply to Inside TechRepublic Press

      I broke down and traded my Compaq iPaq in for a Windows Smartphone back in August. The new Audiovox SMT 5600 features all kinds of bells and whistles, from built-in Bluetooth to its 2.2-inch LCD screen, speakerphone and Windows Media Player 10. But that’s not why I purchased the tri-band GSM telephone. I bought it for its pre-installed Outlook features (and to no longer have to carry two different devices around when I could combine both into a single unit).

      Yes, this certified Windows professional who enjoys using Macs lives and dies by Outlook. I enjoy synching the phone with my (Windows) desktops at home and work; this way my Tasks, Contacts and Calendar are always at my fingertips. Whether I’m at home or work or out and about all that critical information travels with me in a small phone the size of Captain Kirk’s hand phaser (or Phaser Type-1, as opposed to his pistol phaser, or Phaser Type-2).

      Should I run into a friend or colleague at a restaurant or sporting event, it’s really easy to ensure I don’t have a conflict when we talk about meeting next Thursday for lunch. Alternatively, if I cross paths with someone with whom I’ve fallen out of touch, it’s incredibly simple to add their contact information to the phone right there. Then, the next time I synch the Smartphone with my desktop, all that individual’s contact information propogates automatically in Outlook. It’s beautiful.

      Add in the ability to send and receive e-mail and surf the Internet, and I was at a loss to justify why I’d need or want a Blackberry (and this was before the Blackberry service faced possible termination). Incidentally, many view Internet access on a phone as frivolous, but it’s a feature that proved quite compelling when returning to Louisville from Bengals games in Cincinnati on infamously lonely stretches of Interstate 71. And no, I wasn’t driving but riding shotgun while studiously tracking the performance of other AFC North teams — and, oh, the Steelers will win this Sunday, speaking of the AFC North.

      Have you combined handheld PC features with your cell phone? If so, are you using the Windows Smartphone platform, a Blackberry or something else? And, if you’re using a Blackberry, what might your contingency plans be?

      • #3108702

        What Blackberry Worries? Life With My Windows Smartphone

        by j sheesley ·

        In reply to What Blackberry Worries? Life With My Windows Smartphone

        Speaking of Captain Kirk and cell phones, Boston Legal – one of THE greatest shows on TV – recently had one of the lead characters receive a cell phone call. It was Denny Crane played by  William Shatner.  How did the phone ring?  With the little beedebeep of the old Star Trek Communicators. Which Denny promptly flipped open and answered.  Classic.

      • #3134791

        What Blackberry Worries? Life With My Windows Smartphone

        by sevo74 ·

        In reply to What Blackberry Worries? Life With My Windows Smartphone

        What program do you use to sync your Audiovox SMT 5600 to your Mac??

      • #3134697

        What Blackberry Worries? Life With My Windows Smartphone

        by Erik Eckel ·

        In reply to What Blackberry Worries? Life With My Windows Smartphone

        I hope I didn’t mislead you. When I sync my Smartphone with my desktop computer I’m syncing it with my Windows Media Center PC, not my Mac. I’ll go back and note that in the blog post (done).

        I believe a few utilities exist to help Macs sync with Smartphones (here’s info on one), but I haven’t tried any. If you find one that works, I’d appreciate your letting me know.

      • #3107856

        What Blackberry Worries? Life With My Windows Smartphone

        by cttechguy72 ·

        In reply to What Blackberry Worries? Life With My Windows Smartphone

        I currently have a Nextel i730 which I purchased only because of the walkie talkie feature. Most of my friends, family and co-workers have nextels . My ipaq goes whereever  I go and its been a pain carrying both devices. I have been debating about purchasing a smart phone for about a month now. I was thinking about the Palm Treo 700w or the Samsung i730 smartphone. Has anyone used either of these new devices? Any information would really help me make a decision.

        Thanks
        Sal

      • #3134512

        What Blackberry Worries? Life With My Windows Smartphone

        by chris.greenwood ·

        In reply to What Blackberry Worries? Life With My Windows Smartphone

        I use a Nokia 9300 running OpenHand mobile software. Unlike BlackBerry
        and the other applications out there that use push technology, OpenHand
        uses pull with notification which means I have much more control over
        my mail and I’m told when mail arrives in my inbox, this way I use a
        lot less data! I also get contacts, calendar, tasks and I have full
        access to files on our server. I can also download and edit
        attachments! Security is excellent with the added bonus that nothing is
        stored on my 9300 so if I lose it I just have to replace the phone.
        FYI OpenHand currently sits on over 200 smartphones and PDAs, I also
        have it on my IPAQ and my laptop which I don’t pay any extra for.

      • #3134427

        What Blackberry Worries? Life With My Windows Smartphone

        by ldownward ·

        In reply to What Blackberry Worries? Life With My Windows Smartphone

        To be honest the Crackberry is not what i wanted…..I wanted something that would allow me the freedom of using the technologies that come with Exchange 2003, so the company i am with  decided to go with the Treo 700w (MS Windows Mobile 5.0) from Verizon Wireless and to utilize the Exchange Active Sync. Which is like the Crackberry service of wireless sync of email, calander, contacts as new items arrive or 5/10/15/etc minute intervals. This can be done with out the need for device to sync directly with your workstation.

        The Treo 700w is a very nice well engineered device and it is going to be hit with people that loved the Treo 600/650. Plus it is still hard to beleive that Palm turned to the Darkside (Microsoft).

      • #3134372

        What Blackberry Worries? Life With My Windows Smartphone

        by delosky ·

        In reply to What Blackberry Worries? Life With My Windows Smartphone

        I’m actually pretty happy about my Windows Mobile 2003 phone (Audiovox XV6600 from Verizon.  We use Checkpoint for our firewall and the only mobile client they support is a Windows Mobile one.  This allows me to VPN into my network, pull up Terminal Services, and manage any server in my network.  Now granted trying to manage ARCserve on a 3″ screen is a hassle, but so is bringing my laptop with me on a weekend trip to the mountains.

      • #3134360

        What Blackberry Worries? Life With My Windows Smartphone

        by delosky ·

        In reply to What Blackberry Worries? Life With My Windows Smartphone

        I’m actually pretty happy about my Windows Mobile 2003 phone (Audiovox XV6600 from Verizon.  We use Checkpoint for our firewall and the only mobile client they support is a Windows Mobile one.  This allows me to VPN into my network, pull up Terminal Services, and manage any server in my network.  Now granted trying to manage ARCserve on a 3″ screen is a hassle, but so is bringing my laptop with me on a weekend trip to the mountains.

      • #3108260

        What Blackberry Worries? Life With My Windows Smartphone

        by pmollica ·

        In reply to What Blackberry Worries? Life With My Windows Smartphone

        I just got a Treo 700 through Verizon, and I love it! Plus the Terminal Services Client will prove extremely useful when traveling as I need to support about 12 servers! The Exchange Activesync with Exchange 2003 is very nice.

      • #3108145

        What Blackberry Worries? Life With My Windows Smartphone

        by heidi.tacbian ·

        In reply to What Blackberry Worries? Life With My Windows Smartphone

        Please tell me I can get this phone or similar in New Zealand??

      • #3108031

        What Blackberry Worries? Life With My Windows Smartphone

        by rowdydave ·

        In reply to What Blackberry Worries? Life With My Windows Smartphone

        I use and support the Treo 650, using the Intellisync Mobile enterprise client with great success and simplicity. Manual synchronization is necessary, but I believe that keeps data usage under control for my customers who have 5 or 10 mb plans. We don’t yet support the Treo 700w, but I am looking forward to testing it, hopefully with the Exchange ActiveSync client, because we don’t have consistent success with Intellisync Mobile and the MS OS.

        But, the winner will be the Seahawks, not by much, but nonetheless the winner. Sorry to tell you this way, but you started it…

      • #3107967

        What Blackberry Worries? Life With My Windows Smartphone

        by dcgovier ·

        In reply to What Blackberry Worries? Life With My Windows Smartphone

        I use the Samsung SCH-i730 Windows Mobile phone.  It’s one serious little mobile computer, and I rarely carry a laptop anymore.  I previously used a Motorola MPx200, an earlier version of Windows Smartphone.  Before that I used a Palm OS based PDA, and had various Palm versions for about 8 years, back to the very beginning when it was still a US Robotics device, and caried various mobile phones.

        The funniest part of the story is that I used to give another techie friend a hard time about his love of “convergence” devices. I am now a staunch convert to his idea, and have even leapfrogged him in the computing power I carry on my belt in this one device.

        I wasn’t so sure about Windows Mobile back in the early CE days, but MS has managed to come a long way, even if it sometimes seems like it’s kicking and screaming from being dragged by competitors.

        Now if I can just convince my company to park an Exchange gateway on our Lotus Notes farm.

      • #3091412

        What Blackberry Worries? Life With My Windows Smartphone

        by scotts ·

        In reply to What Blackberry Worries? Life With My Windows Smartphone

        I have the Nextel i930 which I find amazing powerful. It has two beautiful color screens, a camera capable of a respectable 640×480 picture and video, Microsoft Windows Mobile 5 (so all of the new Office mobile), syncs wirelessly to pull down email, calendar, contacts, and tasks all without an expensive enterprise server. It has built in support for Java and Shockwave in Internet Explorer so web pages look very close to how they would look on a desktop minus the smaller screen. My favorite feature is the SD Card slot. Combining a 1GB Sandisk Ultra II SD Card with “The Core Pocket Media Player” you can turn this phone into an mp3, wav, divx, mpg player… That’s just scratching the surface once you get into the number of homescreens and mods you can do it the phone is very customizable.

      • #3279400

        What Blackberry Worries? Life With My Windows Smartphone

        by leafgreen ·

        In reply to What Blackberry Worries? Life With My Windows Smartphone

        My smartphone is an Orange SPV C550, which I use with T-Mo in the US. I
        use Microsoft Activesync to sync all my contacts with Outlook, and it
        works very well. Having a smarphone opens up the opportunity for using
        your choice of hundreds of different apps in many areas of computing.

        –Leafgreen

        HomeGear.com for the best and the latest gear

        ChampHealth.com
        to protect your health with knowledge

        LendersRated.com/creditcards.htm
        Is your rebate card best for your budget?

        eDatingRatings.com

    • #3093213

      DSL v. Cable Modems: Static Versus DDNS?

      by Erik Eckel ·

      In reply to Inside TechRepublic Press

      I remember it well. The year was 1998 (not all that long ago). My job, as high-speed data product manager, was to identify a partner whose DSL service could be introduced and resold by the interexchange carrier for which I worked. I sat next to the dial-up product manager, incidentally, who always worked frantically trying to maintain pace with the seemingly overwhelming flow of new subscription orders arriving daily. Dial-up was all the rage, then ($24.95 a month, I believe, bought unlimited access to the fast 56Kbps service). To her credit, my coworker recognized broadband was the future, but she wasn’t above having some fun at my expense when she saw me struggling with forecasts aimed at calculating just exactly how many subscribers would switch to the faster DSL service once it was introduced.

      Now we have our answer. Carriers face such significant demand that some (such as Verizon) are oversubscribed. Believe it or not (having worked for an IXC I know), telecommunications carriers don’t seek oversubscription (at least the one I worked for). Oversubscription overwhelms network infrastructure, it consumes DSLAMs, it results in overworked customer service and technical call centers and it’s just bad for business.

      But the popularity of DSL is so great, especially following aggressive price reductions by carriers, that Verizon alone now services some 5.1 million DSL customers. That’s a lot of high-speed connections to support.

      Meanwhile, cable Internet service, long seen as a faster connection more tailored to residential service, has made great inroads. But the IT professionals I know all seem to have migrated to DSL, as many cable companies don’t support static IP addresses (required for hosting Web or e-mail servers). Sure, you can play the dynamic DNS game, but most IT pros I know don’t bother.

      Which do you use? And, why did you make the decision you did?

      • #3093149

        DSL v. Cable Modems: Static Versus DDNS?

        by Erik Eckel ·

        In reply to DSL v. Cable Modems: Static Versus DDNS?

        I received an e-mail message from Information Gatekeepers Inc. shortly after posting the above message. According to IGI’s data, DSL lines are set to almost match cable modem installations. If you’re interested, check out IGI’s report for more on the growth DSL is enjoying; the DSL numbers are skyrocketing.

      • #3092275

        DSL v. Cable Modems: Static Versus DDNS?

        by stan22 ·

        In reply to DSL v. Cable Modems: Static Versus DDNS?

        I use cable because it works. When I used British Telecomm broadband they Upgraded the line which because of the distance involved to my location in fact Downgraded my access from 512 to Zero. If it worked why break it is my motto. Stan the Man

      • #3093926

        DSL v. Cable Modems: Static Versus DDNS?

        by dicklaw ·

        In reply to DSL v. Cable Modems: Static Versus DDNS?

        Insert comment text here

      • #3093916

        DSL v. Cable Modems: Static Versus DDNS?

        by frank_s ·

        In reply to DSL v. Cable Modems: Static Versus DDNS?

        When I originally got broadband 6 years ago I would have preferred DSL. However DSL wasn’t (and still isn’t) available where I live. Now I’m glad that I’ve got cable. I did a self install–no waiting for somebody from the phone company–with no problems. My cable company has improved service to where it’s very reliable. They recently upgraded their system and now speeds of up to 15 Mbs down and 2 Mbs up are available for $50 USD a month. For another $15 you can get up to 30 Mbs down and 2 Mbs up with a fixed IP. Of course in practice actual speeds are somewhat slower than that but still considerably faster than DSL.

      • #3093841

        DSL v. Cable Modems: Static Versus DDNS?

        by doug m. ·

        In reply to DSL v. Cable Modems: Static Versus DDNS?

        I chose DSL from SBC, originally for $29.95/month. After a couple of years with it, they had a special offer for new customers for $14.95, so I called and asked if I, a loyal customer could get the same rate, the said yes. So I have great DSL service from them for a good rate. I initially chose DSL based on the fact that my telephone service has never gone down, unlike my cable TV, which went down every time a storm blew through town. So, while I may have sacrificed a little speed, I have better reliability. I’ve had DSL now for 3 years, and it has gone down briefly 3 times that I know of, and it was always restored quickly. For what I use the Internet for, I don’t need 7-8 MB/s speed, 1.5 MB works fine. 

      • #3093779

        DSL v. Cable Modems: Static Versus DDNS?

        by systemsgod ·

        In reply to DSL v. Cable Modems: Static Versus DDNS?

        I initially started with cable, and was I ever sorry.
        The speed never lived up to the company’s (Cox) claims and service went out at
        least bi-monthly. Getting a service tech out took days, and, they kept raising
        my rates without adding services. They told me that if I bought their modem
        ($80.00) that they would knock $10.00 off my monthly bill. Six months later
        they bumped the price up $5.00 and six months after that they raised rates
        another $7.50, and without adding speed or services.
         
        The best decision I ever made was to tell cable to take a hike and get DSL (it was finally available in my area!). I
        have had (Verizon) DSL for over a year now and I haven?t gone down a single
        time. They gave me a free wireless router/ switch/ modem and installation was simple and painless.
        My rates haven?t gone up, but, they recently doubled my bandwidth anyway. All this
        for $20.00 a month less than I was paying for cable. Now, that’s what I call service. Viva DSL!

      • #3093764

        DSL v. Cable Modems: Static Versus DDNS?

        by cpht316 ·

        In reply to DSL v. Cable Modems: Static Versus DDNS?

        I have had DSL service for 3 years now, and am completely satisfied. The Direct Subscriber Link is wonderful because I do not have to share the download and upload speeds with anyone else in my neighborhood, I am connected directly to the server of my ISP. Currently I am using 3Mbps and will be switching to 6Mbps soon, one can never have too much speed in online gaming!!

      • #3093727

        DSL v. Cable Modems: Static Versus DDNS?

        by i.t. garage ·

        In reply to DSL v. Cable Modems: Static Versus DDNS?

        In my area (Oregon, USA) DSL keeps kicking up speeds to match cable. I recently took advantage of a Verison FIOS (Fiber) offer and now for $39.95/mo I have 6Mbit download / 2Mbit upload speed with my DSL. I’ve had DSL for about four years now and love it. Remember when we all thought T1 to the house would be fast?

      • #3093682

        DSL v. Cable Modems: Static Versus DDNS?

        by davidg8 ·

        In reply to DSL v. Cable Modems: Static Versus DDNS?

        I am an IS Manager.  Having previously been in telephony, I am currently a cable modem user.  Cable has consistently been a better product in all my dealings. I have several users that that have access from their homes to our office VPN. I rarely have calls from the cable modem users, but constantly have calls from the DSL users. In my opinion cable, by far is the better technology. It could change, FiOS or the other technologies are becoming a threat, but time will tell. DSL users have always bought into the “shared” vs. “not shared” propoganda started by the DSL providers. The Internet “is” a shared technology. At some point everyone share it! At the ISP, you share it with all the users. If the ISP has too many users, you will suffer. The same goes for cable at the neighborhood level. DSL at the ISP level and cable at the neighborhood level, both done correctly, do not have a “shared” issue. Cable has always been out in front and I believe they will stay there. Outages? All depends on the company and how they take care of their equipment. I have seen “bad service” in both technologies. I believe cable wins out in my experience. Finally, the phone companies are seriously trying to compete. I do not trust the phone companies, once they get a monopoly; they tend to treat customers differently. Have we all forgotten that? I will continue to watch both technologies, but for right now, cable is my favorite!

      • #3092122

        DSL v. Cable Modems: Static Versus DDNS?

        by bschmidt ·

        In reply to DSL v. Cable Modems: Static Versus DDNS?

        For work we use DSL simply for the static addresses.  We never have any problems with it, except for the occasional time when a sales rep tells us we’re out of range and can’t add a new line.  We currently have 2 lines, and we’re out of range?  Having done outsourced support work before, and having dealt with them on a too regular basis, I can tell you that SBC support blows.

        For home I use cable.  I use it simply because I don’t have a land line at home, I solely use cell.  I’ve never had a problem with that either, other than the occasional construction worker deciding it’d be cool to get out the ol Ditch Witch and shred everything in his path.  Even then outage is only like 20 minutes.

        Prices for both are exactly the same, speed is exactly the same.  (Here, at least.)  The only things that put cable above DSL for me is that I don’t have to have a land line and I don’t have a contract.  Other than that, they’re both the same.

      • #3092114

        DSL v. Cable Modems: Static Versus DDNS?

        by deejay54 ·

        In reply to DSL v. Cable Modems: Static Versus DDNS?

        When I went looking for hi-speed, DSL wasn’t offered where I’m at. Just to far away at that point. The only choice I had was cable. About a year later Verizon upgraded their lines and started to bug me that they now offered DSL. I have decided eventhough it costs a lot more to remain with Cable. I live an a fairly well populated area, so DSL speed varies a lot depending on the load. I have also had to diagnose and correct a whole lot more problems with DSL users than cable. Cable seems to be quite stable in my area. Since I occasionally take on side work from home cleaning up systems, I need all the speed I can get for downloading updates.

      • #3091914

        DSL v. Cable Modems: Static Versus DDNS?

        by kdomingue ·

        In reply to DSL v. Cable Modems: Static Versus DDNS?

        I agree with most; it real depends on the area and the provider. My cable provider was not good, I was going to get cable at first but they didn’t want to fish any walls and wanted dedicated line for data. I told them no problem, I ran a dedicated line to the location I wanted to place the modem and even ran the drop outside in their protector. Two weeks later they returned (of course while I was at work) and I gave my tech savy wife instructions that all they had to do was connect the drop and install the modem. They didn’t want the customer to install the modem, they had to. She said the tech spent over an hour in the attic(which he didn’t even need to be in) and said he’d return next week. Well when I got home I called them right up and told them forget it, I’m going to DSL. I called Bellsouth and they told me that the fastest they offered in my location was 256k down, but had plans in a few months to upgrade to 1.5mbps so I said fine, sign me up. 3 days later I received my modem and I installed it and presto, I was getting 1.4mbps down. I did support for a local ISP for over a year and we had very few calls related to connectivity that was our fault. Most was user error or something of that nature, DSL is very reliable. We blocked no ports unlike some cable companies, and currently no ports blocked with BS.

        But a down side, you pay for internet access and to have that access you need a phone line. So if you want VoIP you are still paying for an access line(phone line) to get your DSL. That’s one advantage cable has over DSL. But whatever works best for you!!
        kdomingue

      • #3253848

        DSL v. Cable Modems: Static Versus DDNS?

        by localdis003 ·

        In reply to DSL v. Cable Modems: Static Versus DDNS?

        At my job we decided to use the comcast workplace inhanced, at the time I made the order they did not offer any static and I had to play the DDNS game for a whle but a month or so later the started offering static for an additional 30 or 60 for a block, so its getting there

      • #3253736

        DSL v. Cable Modems: Static Versus DDNS?

        by murraytw ·

        In reply to DSL v. Cable Modems: Static Versus DDNS?

        I use DSL because it was the first to my door, but learning more about cable modem usage restrictions, I am glad that I went with them.  There have certainly been rough times.  I have Verizon (they were BellAtlantic when I started), and initially they had some serious problems, but the service has been very stable for the last few years.  My local cable provider (choice of one, of course) provides a service that at least on paper is faster, but they specify a prohibition against “excessive bandwidth use”, which of course is never defined.  I used to get complaints all the time from Earthlink dialup that I was using too much bandwidth, and I would predict that I would get the same from the cable company.  In all the years I have had the DSL, I have at times use significant bandwidth for days at a time, and have never, ever gotten a nasty email that I was using too much bandwidth.  I intend to stick with DSL, until a faster, similarly unfettered service is available.

      • #3090943

        DSL v. Cable Modems: Static Versus DDNS?

        by it cowgirl ·

        In reply to DSL v. Cable Modems: Static Versus DDNS?

        Cable!! I started with DSL and it was great! Dialup to DSL was great. But soon, it was not so fast. When it rained the DSL was slower than dialup or not accessible. Updates timed out. Costs kept rising with no services.

        Cable + VOIP + Internet + less than $100 a month and ATT/SBC/Sprint was charging me $100 a month for phone and internet. Plus it is FAST!!!!!!!  My wireless B is faster than DSL wired. I have never lost cable, even with all the power outages we have here. (UPS rocks!)

        Now studying for the CCNA I can see HUGE pipe and DSL has a toothpick for a pipe. And yes both are affected by the traffic either on the line or the internet. But cable can turn up the bandwidth when more traffic is in an area. DSL has no options.

      • #3077651

        DSL v. Cable Modems: Static Versus DDNS?

        by another canadian ·

        In reply to DSL v. Cable Modems: Static Versus DDNS?

        Insert comment text here http://www.dslreports.com/archive/videotron.ca?1=1&p=3

        My actual speed is right now at: 8248 kbs download and 631 uploads this in Canada doing the test with broadband reports.com so there are not at 10 Mbbs in my location yet but when they offer VOIP in my town they will be at that speed and faster, next they are very reliable and phone line compagny could not offer me their DSL anyway as I am too far but for the cable that wasn’t a problem so it wasn’t a brainer.

         

        If I was in the Ontario side of the border I would be with Rogers and have their total package, meaning cable tv, cable internet and cellular and voip instead of the land phone line and would save a bundle if I compare to now. Here a copy paste of what they claim are coming in my area and now offer at that speed in some area.

        A Vid?otron Extreme* High-Speed Internet connection also means:

        • A 10 Mbps download rate
        • A 900 Kbps upload rate, 16 times faster than 56 Kbps modem telephone access
        • Unlimited time on-line
        • A permanent connection
        • Leaves your phone free
        • Technical support available 24/7
        • 5 MB reserved to host your own personal Web site
        • And for when you’re on the road, 10 hours of telephone access per month**
        • Easy installation: get a free installation kit and connect it yourself!
        • 6 e-mail boxes
        1. For me if the calbe wasn’t there I would pay more for less so it is a real plus and I am not very kind toward the phone company because they are only reacting here in Canada and not innovating and they are still very expensive when it come to phone in general including the DSL.
        2. I think I could even have better if I go commercial but that for another subject.

         

      • #3133525

        DSL v. Cable Modems: Static Versus DDNS?

        by rkuhn040172 ·

        In reply to DSL v. Cable Modems: Static Versus DDNS?

        DSL for me please.

        I base my decision purely on price.  For $19.99 per month I get 1.5mps down and 384 up.  That’s enough for most home users.

        Comparable cable here, in Indianapolis, is about $40 per month or double DSL.  Yes, it’s faster, but I don’t need the extra speed.

        DSL has been reliable, the support does suck but I’m IT (I don’t need or use their support services), the equipment was free and easy to setup, and I have the option of getting a static IP if I so choose.

        I signed up back in the days before they gave you all the goodies ie router, switch, modem.  All I got was the modem but I prefer to buy my own router anyways.  100% D-Link across the board.

      • #3080704

        DSL v. Cable Modems: Static Versus DDNS?

        by mrtgrady ·

        In reply to DSL v. Cable Modems: Static Versus DDNS?

        I’ve not let the static vs. dynamic IP address issue bother me – I use No-IP’s (http://www.no-ip.info) dynamic DNS client to keep my servers online and findable when they’re up and they even offer full domain hosting services to give the ability to appear like you’ve got a static IP.

        Basically you download their client software which pings their central DNS system from wherever you’ve connected the machine from – analogue or digital, dial-up or always on. It’s a similar principal to how IMs and VoIP systems like Skype allow you to be found. It’s allowed me to have a development server be Internet facing (after setting up my firewall too) so my clients can review work and go through UAT before it hit’s a productin server.

        I’ve been using them for a few years now and they’ve never let me down.

      • #3080642

        DSL v. Cable Modems: Static Versus DDNS?

        by richca ·

        In reply to DSL v. Cable Modems: Static Versus DDNS?

        Yes, I got DSL from SpeakEasy a few years ago because of their ability
        to support 2 static ip’s. Wanted the capability of running a web server
        and a mail server out of my house. I was supporting a similar mail
        server at work at the time and I wanted to learn more about working
        with websites. I’ve been very pleased with the service. But a few weeks
        ago on a visit to in-laws in Baltimore, I found their cable service
        downloads so fast that I have started to doubt my choice.

        Since my company reimburses me for part of the DSL line because I also
        use it as a VPN connection, the cost is not a big deal. But the speed
        difference is enormous.

        I’ll be interested to hear of pros and cons in this thread.

      • #3080612

        DSL v. Cable Modems: Static Versus DDNS?

        by jackson of tn ·

        In reply to DSL v. Cable Modems: Static Versus DDNS?

        I selected the highest speed DSL service in my area from Bellsouth. The primary reason was it was self installed and the bandwidth of my direct service would be consistant. With Cable internet service, the bandwidthe of the line would be shared with a number of users in my immediate area.

      • #3080611

        DSL v. Cable Modems: Static Versus DDNS?

        by plumley9 ·

        In reply to DSL v. Cable Modems: Static Versus DDNS?

        I am in Gainesville, FL. I use DSL from BellSouth because it is dependable and unlike Cox Cable service not troubled by incompentent service techs. A friend had ‘cable’ service and it was so poorly managed that when we explained that the ‘file sharing’ uploaders were bringing down the transfer rates, they wanted charge us with hacking the system for knowing that. [If you exceed the upload (384k at the time) rate the download rate falls precipitously to the same value, i.e. his 1.5MB service was barely 300k most nights].

      • #3080578

        DSL v. Cable Modems: Static Versus DDNS?

        by robmcalister ·

        In reply to DSL v. Cable Modems: Static Versus DDNS?

        I use a cable connection and yes, I play the DDNS game, but my IP changes so infrequently that I’ve had only 3 addresses in 3 years.

        Using services from dyndns.org makes the changes a non-issue except for shell access to some systems that require a static IP address. In those cases, I’ve managed to find workarounds.

        The cable connection is about 5 or 6 times faster than the available DSL connection. My DSL was quick (~1.5 Mbps) before we moved. Afterwards, it was noticeably slower since we were 1500ft farther away from the CO. When we tried a VOIP service (Vonage), the upload speeds were too slow to keep up leaving us with poor phone quality. Wo we switched to cable broadband and haven’t been happier. Plenty of bandwidth, all the time and no landline phone bill.

      • #3252684

        DSL v. Cable Modems: Static Versus DDNS?

        by ewillemstein ·

        In reply to DSL v. Cable Modems: Static Versus DDNS?

        “as many cable companies don’t support static IP addresses” I am not
        sure what cable companies you are talking about, but the ones I know
        offer business services that include static IP addresses. I use cable
        by the way, simple speed and much higher reliability. I tested DSL and
        Cable and found in our area (Cincinnati) cable to be the better choice
        for not only speed, but also consistant service level.

        Eric

      • #3252669

        DSL v. Cable Modems: Static Versus DDNS?

        by usbport1 ·

        In reply to DSL v. Cable Modems: Static Versus DDNS?

        I went with Verizon’s DSL over COX Communication’s cable. The price difference was unbelievable – COX at $49.95 a month verses Verizon at $14.95 a month. Granted the speed difference between the two is huge, but for what my family and I use it for it more than meets our Internet needs. We’re very pleased with the service as well as with their customer service. I’ve recommended Verizon to several people where I work and they have also went with it. Maybe oneday cable will come down in price to compete with DSL but I highly doubt it.

      • #3252626

        DSL v. Cable Modems: Static Versus DDNS?

        by luker ·

        In reply to DSL v. Cable Modems: Static Versus DDNS?

        DSL all the way.  I did have a cable hi-speed (so called) connection for a year or two, however no static IPs were allowed and connections speeds routinely dropped very low on the shared segment I was on.  The straw that broke the camel’s back was for a period of 8 weeks my connection was down for 2-3 hours every Sunday night.

        I’ve since been with a smaller ISP that provides me with all the bandwidth I need and guaranteed static IP.  Their customer service is stellar and they support people who choose not to run a Windows operating to connect to the internet, unlike the two major providers in my area.

      • #3252619

        DSL v. Cable Modems: Static Versus DDNS?

        by psomerset9 ·

        In reply to DSL v. Cable Modems: Static Versus DDNS?

        For more than a year, I would go to Bell Atlantic’s (now Verizon’s)
        website, enter my telephone number and sigh as it told me that they
        don’t provide DSL for my phone. So I went to Comcast. Now I get
        downloads at over 4 Mbps with low latencies, better performance that I
        could have expected with Verizon DSL. So far, I don’t regret it. And
        BTW, Verizon still doesn’t offer DSL for my telephone number.

      • #3252561

        DSL v. Cable Modems: Static Versus DDNS?

        by massiej ·

        In reply to DSL v. Cable Modems: Static Versus DDNS?

        I switched to cable service about 6 months ago because our DSL (Verizon) service was flaky — lots of dropouts and spontaneous disconnects.

        Although the cable service (Adelphia) initially tried to set us up with DDNS it would not maintain connectivity because of our relatively rural location, so I finally talked them into a static IP address.

        Result: much better bandwidth, 99+% uptime, happier customers.

      • #3252552

        DSL v. Cable Modems: Static Versus DDNS?

        by jtrxrogers ·

        In reply to DSL v. Cable Modems: Static Versus DDNS?

        At the time (approx 5 years ago) I made the choice between Cable/DSL (partly for home/partly for work support) the cost was comparable, and we had more setup issues with DSL than cable.  That has changed now, but since work pays for the bulk of my cable connection I will be keeping it.  No hosting, and support has been good in our area.
         
        Thanks, Jim R.
      • #3252545

        DSL v. Cable Modems: Static Versus DDNS?

        by jmay ·

        In reply to DSL v. Cable Modems: Static Versus DDNS?

         I use SBC Yahoo ADSL with a dynamic address main because of price and they don’t mess arounf with blocking incoming port connections like smtp 25 or port 80. Paying 29.95 for the past 2 years plus for the service 3.0 download and up to 384kbps upload speeds. I also pay about another 80.00 a year for dynamic dns and mail relaying services for 2 domains. You can get a simliar package with a static ip but the price starts at 70.00 amonth and up and for slower speeds. The only problem is once in awhile the connection drops out and dyasite does not seem to connect on the redial attemps so you have reconnect manually.

      • #3252537

        DSL v. Cable Modems: Static Versus DDNS?

        by jadium ·

        In reply to DSL v. Cable Modems: Static Versus DDNS?

        Currently my company uses a mix of Cable Modems and DSL to meet our internet needs.  Primarily the selection is based on fastest speeds for the best price.  Our main office is a 5MB/1.5MB cable modem that supplies 30 users.  We got a great price on it, and the service has absolutely wonderful.  

      • #3252457

        DSL v. Cable Modems: Static Versus DDNS?

        by lny98 ·

        In reply to DSL v. Cable Modems: Static Versus DDNS?

        When I’ve had to consult on picking an ISP, I’ve always tended to lean towards cable modem access.  I work in New York City and here is what I found:

        * on a bit-per-second basis, cable is generally less expensive than DSL
        * cable is generally more reliable.  DSL is based on local phone pairs (via POTS lines), which can have many splices and connections before reaching the central office, running via conduits that can be 50-100 years old under the street.  The cable infrastructure is much less complex, and generally newer, especially in older buildings
        * regardless of committed rates, I have found that cable ISPs will allow bursting, sometimes to full 6-8 Mbps.  Sweet. This is especially nice for nightly remote backups and file transfers
        * dynamic dns does work. Also note that if one can put all there non-server-from-the-outside stuff through non-static ISP lines.  This includes things like all web surfing, file downloads, internet multimedia, etc that start from the inside.
        * from what I’ve seen, the cable companies I’ve dealt with all have services with static IP addresses (RCN, Time-Warner and Cablevision).  

        As to home users, I always recommend cable, unless you are very price sensitive. Basically, it comes down to speed.  Cable always seems to win there.  At home I have a cable modem, and when I get to work, using the corporate T1’s feel like going back to dialup.

        Lou Solomon
        CADD Management

      • #3252444

        DSL v. Cable Modems: Static Versus DDNS?

        by jmay ·

        In reply to DSL v. Cable Modems: Static Versus DDNS?

        I use SBC 3.0 384 kbps with a dynamic ip along with dynamic dns services price is the deciding factor. I have had this service for about 3 years and for the past 2 years the price has been below 30.00 a month plus around 80.00 a year for dymamic dns and smtp relaying services with backup mx records for two domains. A simliar connection with static ip would cost around 80 – 90.00 a month. The only problem is that you have to reconnect at time because of a dropped connection.

      • #3254621

        DSL v. Cable Modems: Static Versus DDNS?

        by tplundgren ·

        In reply to DSL v. Cable Modems: Static Versus DDNS?

        I use DSL because cable was not available.  I replaced ISDN as soon as DSL was available.

      • #3254683

        DSL v. Cable Modems: Static Versus DDNS?

        by beingme ·

        In reply to DSL v. Cable Modems: Static Versus DDNS?

        Cable, I am willing to put up with the DDNS game for the higher
        transfer rates, and also at the time I subscribed, it really was the
        only game in town.  Dial up or cable were my choices.  Even
        still DSL is not real big in this area, too rural.

      • #3253594

        DSL v. Cable Modems: Static Versus DDNS?

        by rradzville ·

        In reply to DSL v. Cable Modems: Static Versus DDNS?

        I went with cable, since I don’t need a static IP to surf the web. I think your headline is a little confused. It should say “DSL v. Cable Modems: Static Versus DHCP?” DDNS refers to Dynamic DNS implemented by MS in Windows 2000-and-later AD domains that enable DHCP servers and/or DHCP client to update the A & PTR records in DNS.

      • #3253523

        DSL v. Cable Modems: Static Versus DDNS?

        by mac934 ·

        In reply to DSL v. Cable Modems: Static Versus DDNS?

        I chose the cable modem because Bell Canada didn’t bother with DSL service in my area. They kept claiming that it wasn’t very profitable. Cogeco had cable TV service and brought in cable internet. The speeds were awesome and made the old dial up suck wind!  
        Bell keeps calling and telling us that they have serviced our area with DSL but in a side by side trial, (My next door neighbor is using DSL) there is not a hope of the DSL ever matching the speed of the cable.
        I don’t do anything that requires a fixed IP so that’s not an issue and it is fast enough that I have no problems posting to our sites or downloading what ever I need in reasonable time.
        Before anyone starts picking this apart, they have to realize that the infrastructure is the biggest drawback as it isn’t up to standards and probably never will be, due to the fact that it’s a residential area.

      • #3091528

        DSL v. Cable Modems: Static Versus DDNS?

        by algerdes ·

        In reply to DSL v. Cable Modems: Static Versus DDNS?

        We use DSL, and strictly for the cost factor.  To have a static IP with our cable provider was 3 times greater than our current DSL.  For the most part speed is comparable.  There is always the “shared” vs “dedicated” question between DSL and Cable, but it was not a factor in our decision to move.

      • #3091511

        DSL v. Cable Modems: Static Versus DDNS?

        by rprosser ·

        In reply to DSL v. Cable Modems: Static Versus DDNS?

        I am lucky enough to have and use Cable. The main reason is
        DSL wasn’t available in my area at the time but my ISP blows DSL away with 10
        down and 2.5 up I find it hard to change even though it is available now. Also
        my ISP offers Static IP’s well 99% Static as since I ordered it over 2 years ago
        it has changed 3 times due to their server resets.

         I did do some research into DSL a few months ago for a
        cost comparison and found that running my 2 Cable Modems cost less than DSL
        with 1 Modem. So with that I think I am going to stick with what I have. As the
        old saying goes, ?Don?t fix it if it isn?t broken?!!!

      • #3091372

        DSL v. Cable Modems: Static Versus DDNS?

        by magpiper ·

        In reply to DSL v. Cable Modems: Static Versus DDNS?

        My main reason for choosing DSL over Cable is security. As far as I know anyone on a cable modem can capture or SNIFF packets on their same network segment. I do not recommend this to business as it creates a serious security concern.

        With DSL using PPPOE this is not an issue, hence the work Point-to-Point.

         

      • #3091349

        DSL v. Cable Modems: Static Versus DDNS?

        by denniswalters ·

        In reply to DSL v. Cable Modems: Static Versus DDNS?

        We use Cable because DSL is not available in our area

      • #3091325

        DSL v. Cable Modems: Static Versus DDNS?

        by dgelect ·

        In reply to DSL v. Cable Modems: Static Versus DDNS?

        We use cable, because we could get a static IP much easier than with
        verizon dsl.  Our local cable company was more than happy to give
        us a static ip address.

      • #3132662

        DSL v. Cable Modems: Static Versus DDNS?

        by rboswell ·

        In reply to DSL v. Cable Modems: Static Versus DDNS?

        I got DSL (from Verizon) the instant it was available.  DSL may be
        a little slower than cable but is far more reliable.  I provide
        network support services to a lot of small business networks and I have
        far more trouble with the cable (COX) service.  It’s up and down
        like a yo-yo.  They also have a bad habit of changing IP addresses
        (the static ones we pay for) often and sometimes without notice. 
        They’ve also changed the DNS IP addresses before without telling
        anyone.  I suppose they assume everyone is using a single home
        computer connected directly to their cable modem using DHCP so they
        would never notice the change.  They fail to understand that those
        static IP addresses are esential to a business and can’t just be
        changed on a whim.  If you have a network like I do that has
        multiple proxy, mail and web servers changing the IP addresses is a
        real pain.  We were out of business for two days recently because
        COX tried a “node move” that failed and we all lost our static IP
        addresses.  I could talk about this one for a long time – but I
        won’t.  On the plus side I do make a lot of money off these cable
        connections, checking routers and firewalls and reconfiguring them
        whenever the addresses change.  If you need broadband for your
        business (and who doesn’t) leave the cable at home attached to your TV
        where it belongs and get your data service from a company whos primary
        business is communications not entertainment.

      • #3100611

        DSL v. Cable Modems: Static Versus DDNS?

        by at computers ·

        In reply to DSL v. Cable Modems: Static Versus DDNS?

        CABLE – DSL TESTS COMPLETE!

         

        I First Started With Dial-up 56k, Thought It Was Great After Rewiring My Home With Heavy Duty Wire To Speed My 56k Dialup From The Pole To The House. I Used Dialup For Several Years. When SBC DSL Came Available In My Area, I Switched To The SBC DSL High Speed Connection And It Was A Great Upgrade And Fast At 768kb Compared To The Dialup Connection. I Run DSL For 3 Years And Loved It, But Comcast Cable High Speed Internet Became Available In My Area. At The Time I Was Using DSL, I Had Two Computers Routed Through A Gateway To The PPOE DSL Connection Modem. I Decided To Do A Test And Seperate The Computers From The Gateway Router. Both My Computers Are Identicle Machines, Inside and Out. I Ordered Comcast High Speed Internet To Be Installed On One Of My Machines. So, I’m Running Both High Speed Internet Connections. SBC DSL and Comcast Highspeed, I Ran Both Services For A Month And Did Several Tests To See Which Service Was Faster And More Reliable. I’m Currently Running Comcast Cable High Speed, I Found That Cable Internet Was Faster And More Reliable Than SBC DSL. In My Area, DSL Speeds Are 768 kbps. Downloads and 128 kbps Uploads And Cable Speeds Are 8,000 kbps. Downloads and 256 kbps Uploads. So Thats My Story, Comcast Cable Highspeed Internet Out Ways and Out Runs SBC DSL Internet Connections In My Area. (Mooresville, IN.) So, For My Area, I Vote For Comcast Cable High Speed Internet Over SBC DSL Anyday. Pricing For Highspeed Internet Is No Option To Me, I Pay $42.95 / Month For My Great Internet Service Provider. I Know SBC DSL Is Cheaper At $26.95/mo. DSL Might Be Cheaper Per Month But It Is Also Slower And Not Reliable.

    • #3253260

      Microsoft Office Live Beta Due; Beginning Of The End For Shrinkwrapped Software?

      by Erik Eckel ·

      In reply to Inside TechRepublic Press

      CNET News reports Microsoft will introduce its Office Live beta tomorrow. In addition to office programs, it appears the new service will provide small businesses with their own domains, Web sites and e-mail accounts. Best of all, it’s all free (at least during the beta).

      As Google experiments with potentially its own open source operating system (typically available free by download), and other innovators such as 37 signals offer compelling hosted apps (many of them free), I have to believe this is the future of computing. Will we even be purchasing shrink-wrapped software three years from now?

      I bought a boxed copy of Microsoft Office about a year ago. I walked right into a CompUSA just like tons of other customers and made my purchase. But, that required a trip through congested rush hour traffic. Had I the opportunity to download the software from Microsoft, and save maybe $25 or so, I would have given it serious thought.

      Broadband availability’s astounding. Pervasive and cheap DSL and cable modem services make downloading large programs a snap. How will you obtain office software in the future? Do you already download apps (OpenOffice, for example) free? Or, do you buy your office suite as part of a site license? Will you even explore the new Microsoft Office Live offering when it’s released tomorrow?

      • #3253078

        Microsoft Office Live Beta Due; Beginning Of The End For Shrinkwrapped Software?

        by jordandw ·

        In reply to Microsoft Office Live Beta Due; Beginning Of The End For Shrinkwrapped Software?

        As long as Microsoft continues to charge exorbitant prices for its software, abetted by its near monopolistic ownership of several office tools and OS categories, I will ALWAYS be looking for lower cost alternatives.  That is why I continue to use Office 97 Pro and Windows 2000, because I’m very familiar with them, they work, and they afford me the functionality and productivity I need without having to continually fill Microsoft’s bloated and greedy coffers.  If Microsoft believes that its new “Webware” will become a user favorite by still charging the same ridiculously high entry fees then it will fail.

        [Has anyone noticed that the MS OS, not to mention Office, is now a greater percentage of a PCs cost than ever before?  Hell, in my case, that software would cost what I spend to build more than one entire completely outfitted PC.]

        Office Live is stillborn as far as I am concerned.  Vista will be invisible to me.  Hail Google for providing an alternative –don’t know what its fee structure will be, but I’m certain it will undercut MS by a significant amount.  And, I am equally sure, other competitors will offer other alternatives built around the open source office document standards.  Then we can hopefully return to a more cost competitive and user driven environment.  Also, what a burden will be lifted when the onus of outfitting for OS and application and browser protection shifts from the end user of varying PC awareness to the shoulders of the experts who can tweak to their heart’s content while I , the end user, just reap those rewards of competition.  I’m certain, also, that I am not alone in this opinion.  MS, are you listening?  I bought DOS 3.12 and MSWord in 1984 and have used Windows and Office ever since.  No more.  Not until you return to delivering real value for my way stretched dollars.

      • #3254608

        Microsoft Office Live Beta Due; Beginning Of The End For Shrinkwrapped Software?

        by glennaaa1 ·

        In reply to Microsoft Office Live Beta Due; Beginning Of The End For Shrinkwrapped Software?

        I don’t think the idea really has much merit. The solution only works if you have a connection to the internet. If your business relies on that software and your connection is lost for any reason then you are well and truly scuppered. Software that is installed is at least available to use even if the connection is lost for whatever reason.

        We are also moving even further towards a scenario where you own nothing, despite all the money you are shelling out on an ongoing basis. I for one will not be embracing this particular offering from the bloated one. 

      • #3253982

        Microsoft Office Live Beta Due; Beginning Of The End For Shrinkwrapped Software?

        by da philster ·

        In reply to Microsoft Office Live Beta Due; Beginning Of The End For Shrinkwrapped Software?

        With a CD or DVD of a software, a re-install is simple when rebuilding a munged box.

        I can just imagine the “hoop jumping” involved when trying to do a web re-install for the program.

        Change a motherboard and try to get WinXP “authorized” and you’ll see where I’m going with this.

        Otherwise, an interesting idea.

      • #3086191

        Microsoft Office Live Beta Due; Beginning Of The End For Shrinkwrapped Software?

        by rdubrey ·

        In reply to Microsoft Office Live Beta Due; Beginning Of The End For Shrinkwrapped Software?

        I think as long as you can burn the programs to a CD for yourself and/or be able to work off line with it that would be great.  I am afraid it that it will morph someday into a scenario where you have to be online to do anything.  I hate pirates myself and if it helps people pony up the money to use the technology and stop expecting everything for free than I am all for it.   People want innovation but they don’t want to pay for it.

         

         

      • #3086178

        Microsoft Office Live Beta Due; Beginning Of The End For Shrinkwrapped Software?

        by loadmaster ·

        In reply to Microsoft Office Live Beta Due; Beginning Of The End For Shrinkwrapped Software?

        As I thought…yes I do think this is the wave of the future. But I also think that…just like the PC, shrink wrapped software will always be around in one form or another.

        Remember…just a few years ago, the demise of the PC as we know it was the thing. Thin Clients were the coming rage. Our Company bought into this but has since scaled way back on purchasing any new thin clients. The benefits of mass storage just can’t be ignored.

        So, bottom line is that I believe this is simply an -expansion- of options for Americana as a whole…not a whole-hearted replacement.

      • #3084411