Stop the presses!

Image representing Microsoft as depicted in Cr...
Image via CrunchBase

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

What’s This “Linux” Thing and Why Should I Try It?

Tux, the Linux penguin

Image via Wikipedia

Here’s as good an article as I’ve seen on this topic recently…

“Linux is an operating system, just like Windows and OSX are operating systems. It talks to the computer’s hardware, makes sure everything’s going OK, and then you run programs on top of it. Because it pretty much always comes with a standard set of tools (the GNU tools) which are very similar to the tools found on big UNIX systems, it is sometimes called GNU/Linux. If you’ve ever used a UNIX system, you’ll feel right at home.

When someone says they use Linux, what they mean is they use a distribution (aka distro) of Linux. Without the GNU tools or any applications, it can be a little useless. A distro is a software bundle. It includes the Linux kernel (the part that actually talks to the hardware), the GNU tools, and whatever applications the person or people who started that distro thought were useful, all configured in a way that they think works well.” Source: What’s This “Linux” Thing and Why Should I Try It?

I myself am slowly, steadily making the move to Ubuntu. Why? My experience with Vista was so disappointing I was open to other answers than the ones that Microsoft is forcing down our throats. In many ways the Windows 2000 was the best that Microsoft ever made, XP not far behind but Vista disappoints. So bloated, so slow, so expensive…

My work configuration has two computers; 1 HP desktop running XP [with updates shut off, no anti-malware turned on] and one of the new Everex gPC’s priced at $199 from WalMart running Ubuntu [sorry, the gOS was so bad, I just installed Ubuntu over it]. Both computers are attached by a KVM switch and share a single monitor, keyboard and mouse. I go back and forth with a couple of keystrokes. Every day, the amount of time I spend on the Ubuntu box increases…

Is there a learning curve? Of course. Is it worth it? Definitely! A free OS and good quality open source tools mean no more ransom to Microsoft for updates and features I don’t need. More later. Click the title to read more…

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…

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Stop the presses!

Image representing Microsoft as depicted in Cr...
Image via CrunchBase

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

Microsoft: All roads lead to Vista

“Windows Vista’s checkered history is now legend.

Instead of the evolutionary marvel that Microsoft long promised, Vista instead has become synonymous with development delays, shifting feature lists, and spotty driver support.

No wonder then, more than a year after Vista’s release, many consumers and business customers have steadfastly held onto Vista’s predecessor, the Windows XP operating system. Microsoft has followed with price cuts and promotions. This is not exactly the ‘wow’ moment the company had in mind. News.com’s Ina Fried has chronicled Vista’s first year in earlier posts.

Still, we know that all good Windows releases eventually come to an end: Windows XP is stable, widely supported, and ultimately doomed. New PCs with XP installed will begin to disappear this summer. Microsoft will stop selling XP completely next January (although the company will provide support for much longer).” Click here to read more…

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Windows 7 is finally here!

Image representing Windows as depicted in Crun...
Image via CrunchBase

My review? Meh! Yeah, just meh. I just got to the point where I can tolerate Vista and personally, I’m more excited about the release of Ubuntu 9.10 next week! Just to give the Devil his due however, Lifehacker, which is one of my all time favorite sites, has put together a compendium of all their articles past and present about Windows 7…

“Windows 7 officially launches today, but we’ve been testing, tweaking, customizing, fixing, and writing about this OS for a year now. We present here a guide to everything we’ve learned about the OS, from first install to final settings change.

Whether you’ve played around with Windows 7 during its beta or release candidate versions, launch day is finally here, and Windows 7 is finally ready for widespread, public consumption. This guide will take you straight through from system requirements and upgrading your PC to highlighting Windows 7’s best new features to helping you hit the ground running with all of the awesome tweaks Windows 7 has in store for you.” Source: Lifehacker’s Complete Guide to Windows 7 – Windows – Lifehacker

Definitely worth a click and a bookmark! Lifehacker, that is…

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

They Criticized Vista. And They Should Know.

Something to think about on ‘Windows 7 Eve’…

“ONE year after the birth of Windows Vista, why do so many Windows XP users still decline to “upgrade”?

Microsoft says high prices have been the deterrent. Last month, the company trimmed prices on retail packages of Vista, trying to entice consumers to overcome their reluctance. In the United States, an XP user can now buy Vista Home Premium for $129.95, instead of $159.95.

An alternative theory, however, is that Vista’s reputation precedes it. XP users have heard too many chilling stories from relatives and friends about Vista upgrades that have gone badly. The graphics chip that couldn’t handle Vista’s whizzy special effects. The long delays as it loaded. The applications that ran at slower speeds. The printers, scanners and other hardware peripherals, which work dandily with XP, that lacked the necessary software, the drivers, to work well with Vista.

Can someone tell me again, why is switching XP for Vista an “upgrade”?” Click here to read more…

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]