Stop the presses!

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I’m admitting that I may have been wrong. Yup. That’s right. I MAY have been wrong…

Last summer I battled with 64-bit Vista and lost. I wrote about the experience here and here and here. One of my readers — a young computer genius named Paul from St. Norbert took issue with me in the comments saying…

Used x64 Vista for a full year… contrary to what they told me, all of my 32-bit drivers worked just like they were supposed to. The speed increase over XP was enormous.

Upgraded to win7x64 the day it came out, even better…

Granted most of my software is still 32-bit, but a 64-bit processor will run in 32-bit mode anyway – it just uses half of the register length. I don’t see why using x64 should slow anything down…

Well, contrary to what my wife and children say I’m not close-minded. At least not on technology issues. Or something like that. Let’s not go there…

Anyway, I had a chance to use Windows 7 64-bit on a project for a week. My assessment? It doesn’t suck. Far from it. I hesitate to say it, but it may even rock! Read more of this post

The search is finally over!


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I write frequently about my disdain [hatred is too strong a word] for Microsoft and their evil licensing practices and my newfound love for Ubuntu. Over the weekend, the two final barriers to moving ‘full time’ to Ubuntu were removed. I wrote about one last night — VirtualBox allows you to run Windows seamlessly inside Ubuntu for the application or two you just can’t do without. The last remaining app I needed was a text expander like Texter for Windows or Text Expander for Mac that takes blocks of text and reduces them to keystroke combos. Lifehacker puts it this way…

“You write some blocks of text over and over. “My address is …” for example, or addresses you enter frequently into mapping web sites, or a list of email addresses. Text expansion tools instantly write those blocks for you when you write a trigger word, and are smart enough to auto-insert dates, text you’ve just copied, and then move the cursor to where you’ll be. On Windows computers, your Lifehacker editors use Texter, while the Mac writers run TextExpander (your sole Linux stalwart is tinkering with AutoKey at the moment). Save yourself a few words at a time, and soon you’ll have freed yourself from hours of mechanical typing.” Source: Top 10 Productivity Basics Explained – Productivity – Lifehacker

So today I found Autokey and while it’s a different paradigm than As-U-Type which has been my Windows favorite for many years, it shows great promise. Henceforth, I’ll be working on an experiment on my home computer to NEVER boot into my Windows partition. The transition is now as complete as it’s going to get for awhile. So long Windows — hello, Ubuntu!

btw, go to the source on the blockquoted article; the top 10 productivity basics post is priceless!

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Top 20 Free Applications to Increase Your Productivity

“The Internet is loaded with free software, making it hard to know which one’s you really need. This article will act as your guide to the top 20 free applications (Web and Windows) for increased productivity.” Click here to read more…

Don’t forget to check Google Pack and Ninite to grab some of this software!

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Call me a wimp…

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…but I hate Vista 64bit even more than I hate ‘regular’ 32bit Vista and I hate it so much that I’m getting ready to ‘downgrade’…

“Vista x64 is the turning point for operating systems as they transition to 64-bit. Currently, however, the majority of users will be very disappointed by installing Vista x64. The lack of 64-bit drivers for most current hardware will be very disappointing and frustrating to most users. Why push for 64-bit now anyway? The performance gains promised by 64-bit will not be seen for years until 64-bit compiled versions of software is the norm.” Vista: Should I Install 64-bit or 32-bit Version? (x64 vs x86) | Microsoft Vista | Tech-Recipes

I have a newish 64bit computer with like 7GB of RAM, etc. Should be a real screamer, but thanks to the driver problems, etc. with 64bit Vista, it sucks eggs. My buddy Andy from Google knows that I’ve been doing battle with Google App Sync for Outlook all summer long. I discovered today that 64bit Vista was to blame. Stuff installs, but doesn’t work, etc. Just not worth it in the long run! Life is too short for most end users to deal with this stuff…

Final word? Stick with 32bit when you get that back to school or ‘finally going to treat myself’ computer. Caveat emptor! That means ‘let the buyer beware’ for all you folks from Kewaunee… 😉

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Good-Bye XP. Hello Windows 7? Not so fast…

How long will it be before the average computer user rebels against these ‘shotgun upgrades’ from Microsoft?

“Microsoft has wanted to kill Windows XP for years. There was only one problem. The users refused to let it die. Now, that Windows 7 is almost ready to go, Microsoft is, once more, trying to ax XP.

Microsoft did this to themselves. Vista was a flop. Even now, according to Net Applications’ Market Share, Vista has only a lousy 23% of the desktop market. For a while, Microsoft ignored the fact that even their own executives were horrified by just how bad Vista was. But, then the Linux-powered netbook came along, and Microsoft was frightened enough by its early successes that it un-retired Windows XP Home.

Now, Microsoft wants to kill off XP again. Step one will be bringing free support for XP to a close on April 14th. Step two is letting anyone and their uncle get a free copy of the Windows 7 release candidate sometime in May. The timing is by design. ” Source: Good-Bye XP. Hello Windows 7 – Computerworld Blogs

For me, the end of the line was last year. I resolved never to pay another penny to Microsoft and so far, I’ve been successful. In addition, my two-year long relationship with Vista ended last week, but it had been on the rocks for a long time…

I was forced into using Vista two years ago on a day when I had to walk into Sam’s Club and buy the best computer I could get at that particular store [don’t ask — it’s a long story!]. Well, for the past couple of years I have been living the old proverb about ‘marry in haste, repent in leisure’. My experience with Vista was so bad, that I started to look into Ubuntu and I have never looked back. Don’t get me wrong — Ubuntu cannot totally replace Windows. Yet. However, in many ways, it’s a better operating system than XP. And it’s free which is why every school, church and small business should think about getting off the Microsoft upgrade cycle and start using at least a little Ubuntu in their organizations…

I said my relationship with Vista ended. I hated that Sam’s Club computer so much that I actually traded with my college student son for an older computer just so I could run an xp/Ubuntu dual boot machine [which is very easy to set up — easier than a Windows XP/Vista dual boot!]. Using his computer properly configured has been like falling in love all over again. I can’t think of a single Vista feature that I’ve missed — not even the 17″ monitor on the machine which made the computer just too darn big to lug around, but that’s not a Vista feature, either. By the way, the computer I’m now using is an HP DV6000 series which you could ‘buy now’ on eBay for as low as $349. Also, I got off the Microsoft Office upgrade cycle, too. I now use OpenOffice 3.01 which is ‘built in’ to the Ubuntu download and available as a free download for XP [or Vista].

Bottom line? Here’s the thing you need to think about. Microsoft’s need to generate OS and Application licensing revenue forces users into an expensive, Microsoft driven upgrade cycle that doesn’t serve most organizations well. Smart leaders need to think about ways to stop the insanity by purchasing used computers on eBay and using free or inexpensive open source tools like Ubuntu and OpenOffice in conjunction with cloud computing solutions like Google Apps.

By the way, if you’re stuck using Vista and aren’t brave enough to set up a dual boot arrangement with Ubuntu, at least use the Vista Services Optimizer to shut off all the dreck you don’t need, although I highly recommend trying the dual boot option for those times when all you need to do is check email and surf the web quickly. Call or write on the contact page if you want to talk more about these options…

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Firefox or Chrome; which one should I use?

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This question is NOT a slam dunk! Also, you may be surprised to know that the answer depends on what computer platform you use…

“Which Should I Use on Windows: Firefox or Chrome?

There’s no short answer to this question, really, since neither browser is clearly better, so instead of a straight out “Use X” recommendation, let’s consider the pros and cons of each.

First, in our regular web browser performance tests, Chrome has regularly beaten up the competition or come in a very close second in most categories, while Firefox rarely leads the way. That might seem like a pretty big deal, but most browsers actually perform really well these days, so the fact that Chrome beats Firefox in most of our performance tests doesn’t mean Firefox is extremely slow—it just means that compared to Chrome, it’s not the fastest.” Source: Which Browser Should I Use: Firefox or Chrome? – Web browsers – Lifehacker

“But that brings us to another important point: Bloat. Despite the fact that Firefox generally does pretty well on memory use tests (strangely enough, it regularly wins that test in our browser performance tests), a lot of Firefox users are increasingly frustrated with slow-downs caused by what they see as browser bloat. It’s not at all uncommon to see a Firefox installation eating up more than any running application on your system, and while the memory consumption itself isn’t that big of a deal (Chrome eats a lot of memory, too), the high memory usage is often accompanied by serious browser slowdowns, which is a very big problem, and one that, anecdotally, at least, we hear from tons of Firefox users and very few Chrome users. (Presently company included.)

So what keeps Firefox users coming back despite Chrome outperforming it on Windows by most accounts? One of the biggest issues is extensions. Firefox’s extension ecosystem has long been a selling point of the popular open-source browser, and if there’s anything you wish your browser did differently, chances are there’s a Firefox extension to address it.” Source: Which Browser Should I Use: Firefox or Chrome? – Web browsers – Lifehacker

“Unfortunately, in our experience, Chrome for OS X is still much too young for full-time adoption. Remember, Chrome for Mac launched quite awhile after the Windows version and has been around much less than a year overall. Like Chrome on Windows, it shows a whole lot of promise, but it’s also prone to the occasional non-responsiveness and other bugginess that we aren’t used to and probably shouldn’t be seeing from a prime-time browser.” Source: Which Browser Should I Use: Firefox or Chrome? – Web browsers – Lifehacker

Me? I’m using Chrome more and more every day as Chrome versions of my indispensable Firefox addons become available. What about you?

What's holding you back?

The beautiful view from my deck in rural northeast Wisconsin is a great reminder of the power I have to publish and promote; from anywhere to the ends of the internet!

I’ve worked hard to develop a simple blogging workflow that can empower even the most basic computer user. I don’t care if you’re Mac, Windows, Linux, or even Smartphone or iPad — my practical, tactical approach to social media can help  you publish and promote your passion whatever it might be. But “Wah!”, you might say, “I don’t want to learn anything new!” Can you send an email? Can you save a bookmark? Then I can teach you how you can leverage social media to help establish your thought leadership position…

We’re now in an unparalleled time in history where everyone has the power to publish — the question is, will you take advantage of it? I post here every day, day after day, the best of the insight God has given me into leveraging these new media tools. If it makes sense to you, use it, great! If not you know the drill — comment, call or contact me and I’ll be happy to net it out for you!