Thursday, June 25, 2009

Microsoft Unveils Windows 7 Pricing-But be cautious of the Upgrade Option

Technically speaking, be cautious whenever you purchase an 'upgrade' version since this requires an operating system already running on the computer, such as windows XP or Vista.  If your hard drive goes haywire or you simply want to start over with a clean formatted drive, think again. Since you own an upgrade, you will first be installing the old operating system and that could be a problem if your computer didn't come with an operating cd as is the case with most computers these days. This is because they install the system setup files to a hidden partition on the hard drive. You might have some 'system recovery' cds which are actually used in conjunction with the hidden partition in the recovery of the system from the factory.. but this would be all gone if your hard drive crashed.  For this one reason alone, you might want to make sure you are getting the full program and not the upgrade version, when it goes on sale this October.

PCMag.Com reports on all the options you are going to have when it is released for sale.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Thursday, June 18, 2009

You pay more for faster speeds but then they want to cut you off?

I should have expected a letter like this as I have opted for what Shaw calls their top speed 'nitro' deal which was to offer me a 50% savings for the first 3 months, then it would go up to an additional $10/month.. I believe I am now in to the second month but have been away for 10 days of it yet I am getting the following from them:

Dear Shaw Internet Customer

In order to provide all Shaw Internet customers with an optimal Internet experience we proactively assess our network. Through our analysis we have noticed that the level of activity on your Internet account has achieved more then the stated limits within our Acceptable Use Policy.  To review our policy please go to:

 http://www.shaw.ca/en-ca/AboutShaw/TermsofUse/AcceptableUsePolicyInternet.htm#

We would like to help identify the cause(s) of the heavy traffic that may be affecting your computer's performance and most importantly your Internet experience. Often a file-sharing program can be the cause of high amounts of traffic. Not only will this affect the flow of traffic on the Internet it also puts a major strain on your computer's resources.

For more information about how large quantities of Internet traffic can adversely affect your online experience please click here: 

http://www.shaw.ca/en-ca/CustomerCare/InternetSupport/Residential/Sharing/

As an added service to our customers we have recently included a web link on our Online Customer Care site that allows Shaw Internet users to view their bandwidth usage in the form of monthly and daily summaries.

 

You must first register on the Online Customer Care site before you will be able to view your bandwidth usage. If you have not previously registered you may do so at:

 

https://secure.shaw.ca

 

During the registration process you will be asked to enter your Shaw account number and postal code as well as some additional information that is displayed on your bill. You will then be asked for a username and a password which will be used each time you sign in.

 

Once logged into Online Customer Care you can view your bandwidth usage statistics by clicking on the "Your Modem Usage" link under the "My Shaw Internet Services" heading.  If you need assistance please click here to find your local Shaw telephone number: 

http://www.shaw.ca/en-ca/CustomerCare/ContactUs

 

 

PLEASE NOTE:

 

We ask that the account holder reply indicating they have read this e-mail and inform us that they will address this issue.



Now considering a person's computer could be infected heavily with spyware/malware issues, there is a good chance, as they mentioned, that an IRC and/or other type of 'always on' connection could be in use.  In my case, when I came home from being away 10 days, in which time I took a lot of pictures.. to the tune of about 3 gb which doesn't say much for a 7.1 megapixel camera at the highest resolution.. so I was uploading them to my Flickr account as I do have a pro account there is essentially no limit however I did get a notice of a 2gb (per day) limit which crapped out about half way through my upload using the Flickr uploader, but I digress..  this posting was all about the internet provider offering me faster speeds yet at what cost?  Knowing I am going to get a letter stating I am using too much?  What about the 10 days I was not using it at all?  So I go to log in and check my modem useage which promptly kicks me back to the account page.. on three different browsers and different computer so I'm not sure what's with that.. all I know is my bill is paid in full and I will not change my 'internet habbits' because the internet provider doesn't like the way I use it. This is the sort of thing that gets prompt letters to the CRTC and your MLA.

I know it doesn't say directly that they would cut you off, but by sending you links to their legal pages pretty much spells it out for you, yet fair-use is what exactly?  The fact that I download a lot of podcasts, watch youtube clips and upload to my various websites including my Flickr account, what is one supposed to do?  I think until they get their own support system working correctly where I have no troubles in monitoring my own internet useage should that be necessary....

Friday, June 12, 2009

Enjoying more and faster broadband.

Thanks to the pipes opening up a little more and our ISP's offering faster speeds and more bandwidth, I am pleased with my latest speeds, all be it is 4 am as I test this. I have definitely noticed an over all improvement in my office efficiency with less wait time!

Update: as of 10am using speed.io I got this. And on Speedtest.net I got this.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Duplicate Photo Finder for Flickr

There are many photo storage services on the internet now. I personally have used Webshots Pro but moved to Flickr (pro) a few years ago when webshots rates went up but the service stayed the same, not to mention Flickr had what I thought was an easier interface. Regardless of which service you find to be the best, there will always be something missing and it appears Flickr is a little slow with what I would think would be a very important service and that is to find and remove duplicate photos.

Fortunately the world is full of great minds and software designers, alas FlickrDeDupr is created .  You can view/visit Hastarin's own Flickr page here.

Kudos to Hastarin. Flickr should seriously sign this guy up!

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Vista SP2 Released

If you are using Windows Vista then you should know it is time to update to the latest Service Pack 2 which is now available from this link.

If you were an eager beaver and have already installed a Vista SP2 Beta release you will have to first uninstall it, restart your computer and then go install the final release.

Also you should make sure you have all updates and security patches using such programs like the Belarc Advisor, available here.