Friday, November 30, 2007

Google Vs Yahoo! Search Engines

As the name Google becomes more and more prevalent when it comes to searching on the net, Yahoo! should not be forgotten as there are many things this search engine does that Google simply doesn't do, or at least not yet!  This site gives a good example of the differences.

What's wrong with this picture?

What's wrong with this picture?
Originally uploaded by mdacre

What's wrong with this picture?

What's wrong with this picture?
Originally uploaded by mdacre
It seems to be a strange name for a store that isn't actually going to be open 24-7?

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Macbook Report after one week of use-with Vista installed

As I play with my new macbook more and more, now going on one full
week, I am learning that there are many similarities with the hang ups
and freezing that windows computers have. That is, when you are using
other software that may not be initially planned to be used for a
mac. Although Parallels is built specifically to run a different
operating system on a Mac, it causes the mac to perform strange by
hanging when there is a problem. And, to get out of this problem,
there is no other choice but to turn off the computer and turn it back
on again, allowing it to fix itself. I am sure if I were to just use
mac software and not experiment with multiple operating systems all
would be wonderful, but the fact is, I'm not and the simple fact is I
will always be pushing the limits on this thing. After all, that is
why I bought it.

The parallels program appears to be functioning better now, and I am
not sure if that is because I have installed Vista's SP1 Beta. As I
haven't had it freeze up and not start once since this time, I did
have troubles booting in to windows initially after performing the
upgrade.. to the point that I thought I should try the 'time machine'
which I did initially try, but realized it was going to restore the
entire computer to a folder that I had chosen as the restore
location.. not quite sure but it appears that this time machine will
not take your entire system back to that time, but the files will most
certainly be restored, therefore I am not quite sure how much use this
will actually be when carbonite finally works with a mac. I go in to
the properties of Vista and it is not showing the SP1 service pack
therefore I am not quite sure if it was successful or not, so I might
attempt this one more time.

My overall experience so far with the macbook however, is quite
favorable, that is, so long as the parallels software is functioning
and the use of the SPACES program, I can quite easily switch back and
forth from Vista to Mac, exactly how I had hoped I would be able to.
One thing I am having a hard time getting used to however, is the fact
that I don't need to import all my program software that I would
normally use on a windows machine because I am trying to stay in the
mac realm as much as possible.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Macbook and Parallels

I am the (proud) new owner of a Macbook! Yes, I can now say I own a
mac after so many years. So with that being said I can now report on
my OOBE (out of box experience). I can first state what every Mac
owner has said all along, that it just works... well so far I can say
without too many problems. Turning it on and answering the basic 'who
are you' questions, and sitting in a parking lot where it immediately
found a hotspot that I pointed to and connected, within about 10 I was
not only up and running but surfing the web. At that point the mac
found there were updates available and about 100mb of updates and
another 10 minutes I was completely up to date. This was pretty
amazing but that was before installing the parallels software which
would allow me to then install Vista, which I did. Of course an OEM
version of Vista home premium took about 2 hours to complete after all
the updates but yes, it is also true what some have reported, that
vista actually runs faster through a mac then on any other device I
have run it on. This is probably due to the fact that through
parallels it is running as a shell. I initially had the macbook
running on the built in 1gb of memory but have since upgraded it to
4gb thanks to the recent Black Friday in the USA and Fry's sale on the
2gb sticks at less then $40 each!

So would I recommend a Mac? The fact that you can install software
such as parallels to keep you in the windows world, I guess sure, it
would be something new for you to play around with. But to make the
complete switch over to mac would probably not be recommended at this
point in time as you would find you are completely starting from
scratch with regards to all of your software needs and the integration/
syncronizing to any windows product is going to be a lot more
challenging. For me however, it is just another way that I can keep
on top of the ever changing technology. Next step for me is to build
from old parts, a Linux system!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

RANT-Windows Vista vs Windows XP, Security and Education

I am reading a recent post from ZDNet where a Microsoft Exec was mentioning how unsafe the security was on a windows xp machine with SP1 installed.  First of all it is XP and that operating system is over 5 years old now and SP2 has been out for at least 3 years. The fact is, now that Windows Vista is here, why are there even stories about Windows XP and its security flaws when it is obvious these are being addressed by the fact that there is a new operating system.
And why is it that those people that "hate Vista" seem to be complaining about things within their operating system which really don't have anything to do with the problems they are faced with. Yes, Vista requires a lot more memory to run, but memory is cheap and your motherboard and all newer hardware have the capabilities of even more upgrades with regards to  more memory and hard drive space. So it seems when I am told home much someone hates Vista and when I ask them why, the answers are typically related to security measures and the (lack of) routine maintenance such as antivirus scans and spyware/malware scans. Yes, most people that are asking me these questions have software that I have always recommended installed, but rarely are they up to date. When a new version of the software program comes out, it is not always that you will get a notice of the new release. Quite often you will get this message once, when you first run the program after an update has been released, but if you choose not to perform this update, quite often you will not be told about this ever again. So it is no wonder then, when I do connect to so many peoples computers to check on things, do I find the basic scanning instruments are way behind?
It is all about education.  The more computers I work on and the more I relate with those using Windows XP and Vista, the complaining is pretty much the same whenever there is a new operating system release and how some will love it and others hate it. There is no in-between here, and in most cases, people will always reflect back on what they 'used to do' when there are new shortcuts made with most new products, you can typically change things back to the way it used to be, but before you do, shouldn't you seriously give the new way a try?  Yes, I understand you don't always have time to learn something new and want to just carry on with the way things used to be, but in most cases, when you do take that extra few minutes to learn the new way, you will find some neat shortcut that you were not aware of which just may actually save you some time in the end.
So why are these tech writers even mentioning some security problems with such an old operating system in the first place and why, at some tech conference are they showing what is quite obvious.. a computer when no antivirus, no firewall protection,  running an old operating system.
The way I see Vista is you shouldn't be upgrading it to your existing system unless you are prepared to add a lot more memory and depending on your processor speed (anything under 1Ghz forget it!) Fact is having Vista on a machine with 2GB of memory (minimum) will run quite nicely. That is, once you have managed to optimize the system. That is why I have the TIPS and the SOFTWARE/SUPPORT pages, so that the same tools that I use to fix a very sick computer on my bench, can be used by you to prevent it from getting to my bench in the first place!  Now with remote capabilities, if you aren't sure of what to do, contact me and get me to connect to your computer and see what the problem is! It is just like making a house call but without your computer needing to be unplugged and brought to the bench where only the sick computers that can't get connected to the internet or are simply operating far too slowly while on the internet should end up on my bench. It is all about preventative maintenance and a little education will go a long way!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Why Not?

I came across a pretty interesting website through a recent search. I think this one could have a lot of potential to go places... a plug in to Facebook--why not?

Attitude is everything!

"A positive attitude may not solve all your problems,
but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort".

Herm Albright

Thanks Herm, it is words like this that sometimes make my day all that much brighter!