Category Archives: Computers

Boys (Executives) And Their Toys

I’ve noticed a trend recently since the iPad has been released… before it’s release executives, VP’s and managers were running around with net books since they are lighter and have a battery life of up to 8 hours or more. These actually are a great deal with a price around $299 for the person on the go and stuck in meetings a lot. These net books come with Windows 7 installed so all you need is Office and your up and going in no time including doing presentations.

What I don’t understand is why these same people who as recently as less than a year ago were snatching up these net books like crazy are now doing the same with the new iPad? First off, their net books are not even that old (some of us are dealing with five-year old computers). Second off they are pretty much useless in the Microsoft Windows and Office dominated business world! All they can do is surf the web and read email for the whopping cost of $499 to $820 (without accessories and service plans).

If you tell them their iPad is a toy or a waste of money they say that they can “remote desktop” into their office computer to do work. That’s right folks, they can dial into their $1,000+ office computer with their $500+ iPad to get work done! Am I the only one that finds this a total waste of money during a recession?

Keep in mind that they are spending this money on iPad’s when budgets are tight and while the people that really need new computers or updated computer hardware are not getting it.

Boys and their toys.

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Parallels Screws Up Version 4

Recently Parallels released version 4 of their virtual machine software which I have been using for many years now and have been recommending to everyone I can. I use the MAC version so I can run Vista (even tried Windows 7) and until this version it worked like a charm! But after upgrading to version 4, spending 12 days emailing tech support back and forth the performance is much worse than version 3! Here are just some of the issues I was having besides the terrible performance:

  1. Takes 4 minutes to boot the image.
  2. While running,
    programs run slow in the virtual image AND on my MacBook Pro! Clicking
    on programs etc. sometimes does nothing for up to 30 seconds.
  3. Network (internet) runs very slow in the virtual image AND on my MacBook Pro!
  4. Takes 4 minutes to shut down image.

Tech support was very helpful and tried every trick in the book to get my vm to run faster, which it did, but still was too slow. Why should it take 12 days of emails to get it to work better, shouldn’t it just work like that when I start it?

So my recommendation is do not use this version until these issues are worked out and I will not be recommending it anymore. Sorry Parallels.

Paint Shop Pro 1.1 – A Blast From The Past

Below is a review I did of my still favorite graphic manipulating program called Paint Shop Pro in a newsletter I use to write and publish called “The Shareware & Freeware Report” around 1994. PSP is the only program still around in this first issue that I published. Even thought the original designers sold it to Corel, it’s still a pretty decent program for the price.

Paint Shop Pro Review by David McCarter

Sudo Randomness with your iPod

Yesterday I wrote a note on Facebook on how frustrated I am that even thought I have a 20GB iPod, it keeps playing the same songs and groups over and over again. I know there are thousands of songs on it that I never hear. One of my friends came to the rescue with what he does. He creates a Smart Playlist in iTunes that includes songs that have not been played in x number of days. Below is the Smart Playlist that I created:

Smart Playlist

You would think the mighty iPod would be better at this. I guess we can only hope.

How Not To Setup Your Active Directory Topology

So, today (about a week after the company that purchased us moved our computers into their domain) I was looking through Active Directory for security groups. I went to many of the folders but could not find them. Sure, I could search for them and they came up, but could not find what folder they were in. To my surprise, my new company has put all users, security and distribution groups in ONE folder?!?!?! Can you believe that? There are so many (over 70,600), they won’t even load in the window to view them!

Hows that for organization and applying group policies!

5GB of FREE Online Storage

Check out Microsoft’s new site that will allow you to have 5GB of free public and/or private online storage.

http://skydrive.live.com

Dispose of your Electronic Waste

Sony and Waste Management have announced a one-day recycling event on Saturday, March 8, Qualcomm Stadium, from 8:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. Both residents and businesses are encouraged to drop off outdated electronic equipment to be properly recycled at no charge courtesy of sponsors. All brands of equipment will be accepted. Items accepted include TVs, computer monitors, computer systems, VCRs, DVDs, cameras, phones, stereo equipment, videogame consoles, keyboards, cables, scanners, printers, fax machines, ink jet and printer cartridges, phones (including cellular), computer mice and rechargeable batteries.

Items that cannot be accepted are: microwaves, humidifiers, thermometers, air conditioners, smoke/fire alarms, and large household appliances such as dishwashers, refrigerators and washer/dryers.

Sony and Waste Management and its Recycle America locations, hope these types of events will build awareness for the importance of proper e-waste recycling and come closer to a goal set by Sony to recycle one pound of old consumer electronics for every pound of new product sold.

Vista SP1, Windows Server 2008 finalized

Microsoft has wrapped up development of two major products, Windows Server 2008 and the Service Pack 1 update to Windows Vista, CEO Steve Ballmer told financial analysts Monday.

“Both products have released to manufacturing today, which is good news,” Ballmer said.

Ballmer highlighted a few big corporate deployments of Vista, including at Continental Airlines, which is in the process of upgrading 10,000 systems.

“We think we are turning the corner in terms of enterprise deployment, and Service Pack 1 will be a huge boon,” Ballmer said.

Microsoft will begin distributing Vista SP1 via Windows Update in mid-March, according to a Microsoft blog post on Monday.

Microsoft is due to formally launch Windows Server 2008 on February 27 at an event in Los Angeles.

Customer Service – Not What It Use To Be

In this day of age with the Internet, you would think customer service would be better? Well I’m amazed at how many large companies totally ignore you when you send them an email or submit a support request. Below are companies that I never hear from or they take a long time. I will also list the good ones (one day or less turn around).

Bad Customer Service

  • I sent Corel (the makers of Paint Shop Pro) a support request the week of 1/7/2008 because the dang program will not accept the serial number from the invoice when I purchased the program. I even followed their online instructions that that did not help. I never heard back from them.
  • I sent Epson a message about their free program that prints graphics on inkjet printable CD’s two weeks ago and have not heard back. This program does not appear on their web site anymore 😦
  • Sent a message to iLike.com because a feature is not working and I got this in reply: “Your message has been sent to our support team. Please allow up to 2 work weeks for a response.”! Dang, two weeks?!?!?!?!

Good Customer Service

  • On 1/22/2008 I sent an email to Symbol about .NET Framework install for Windows CE for one of their barcode scanner devices. I received an answer back in less than a day!

Inida Outsourcing its Outsourcing

You are not going to believe this one. Check it out:

http://www.iht.com/articles/2007/09/24/business/outsource.php

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