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Will you ride the Google wave or stick with the technology of the past?

Posted by Robert Hall on 07/24/2009 11:55 AM
Will you ride the Google wave or stick with the technology of the past?If your not aware Google is working on YET another beta product called "Wave", and this time it's targeted at improving how email works. At least that is what I am getting from the 1:20:12 long presentation. I don't know how much time they were supposed to have at that demo but an hour and a half is an odd time to be given. As usual with Google beta products it is by invitation only to participate or get your hands on it until they allow the chosen ones to hand out more invitations, and finally open it to the public fully. Wave is described as a "collaboration tool", meaning it's alot like Microsoft Outlook in that you schedule appointments, handle email, contacts, and in this case documents and "any othe...

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Stop being cheap and give me my restore CD

Posted by Robert Hall on 07/20/2009 04:35 AM
If you have'nt purchased a new computer in the last 5 years then you might not be aware of a nasty trend that is starting up again with system builders such as HP/Compaq. Many system builders are shipping and selling you computers with no restore disks, only a built in restore image on your hard drive. While many of you are probably going to say "Well they are trying to save money...", I want to remind you that this has been catching on for the last 5 years it seems. This was also tried in the mid 90's for a very short time before Microsoft got on the PC builders and said "You need to provide media with these systems!". If anything now these companies are wasting money, and ruining their customer service reput...

Apple is becoming more like old school Microsoft every day.

Posted by Robert Hall on 07/20/2009 01:15 AM
Microsoft might be learning the good things from Apple, but Apple seems to be only learning only the bad things from Microsoft. Think about it, Microsoft might not admit it but they did take some ideas from Apple in the design of Windows Vista and Windows 7. However has Apple taken anything from Microsoft in their new products and software? Well yeah. they did, and unfortunately it is from the Microsoft of the early 90's. Lets take a look at their #1 most well known piece of software, iTunes. You may not know it but Apple often issues updates to iTunes to prevent third parties they don't like integrating with it or working around their copy protection systems. This is the old school thinking that limited Microsoft back in...

Obvious fake anti virus is obvious!

Posted by Robert Hall on 07/15/2009 07:39 PM
If you suddenly got a message on your screen saying that your computer was infected, would  you know if it was a fake or the real deal? Don't feel bad if you said no_ alot of people have trouble with this and it's one of the major causes of systems getting infected. So here is a couple of tips to help you tell fake from real. Fake alerts will often say "Windows has found...". Beware of vague names like "Antivirus 2009", "system defender", and "protector" Be weary when something pops up and says it has found hundreds of viruses. Be weary of anything saying you can fix it for only X amount of money.

Does running at a higher resolution make your computer faster?

Posted by Robert Hall on 07/15/2009 03:45 PM
It is a good question, can your screen resolution impact the performance of your computer? Does running a higher resolution make the system slower or faster? Well lets first start with the operating system here, and focus on windows. Keep in mind while I am talking about windows this should in general apply to all other operating systems. We will also be focusing on modern computers and not mid 90's here as well. For those of you who don't know the screen resolution is what sets how much area your screen has. This is dependent on your monitor and graphics card on what it can be. Too weak of a monitor and you can't use the full power of your graphics card. Too weak of a motherboard and you can't make the best of your graph...

Does your system have a virus, or something else?

Posted by Robert Hall on 07/14/2009 12:56 PM
It's not too uncommon that someone brings me a computer and they say "I think I have a virus! It was running fine yesterday, but it is so slow now." It is a good possibility that they might have a virus, however it could be a much worse problem. You might have a failing hard drive. If your a bit lucky it could be that you just don't have enough ram. In most cases a hard drive fails slowly over time, and you generally don't notice until you get an error message or your system stops booting. So how can you tell if your performance problem is a virus or hardware issue? Lets start with the obvious things: Does your system make a grinding noise?

Microsoft Simplifies the versions of Windows available

Posted by Robert Hall on 07/13/2009 10:49 AM
Unless you sell the Windows operating system, or know the market and products well you probably have no idea that there are 6 different editions of Windows Vista. Compared to the originally two editions of XP, that some how expanded to 4 near the end of it's shelf life. In the past Microsoft sold 2 editions of it's desktop software. One intended for home use, and one intended for business use. This is fine and I can understand the marketing, and financial benefits to it. Businesses need more features such as joining domains, database technologies, etc. than a home user will. So Microsoft should be able to charge a little bit more for a business or "Professional" edition. Adobe has done this for years with Adobe Acrobat,...

Keep your software up to date

Posted by Robert Hall on 07/13/2009 01:20 AM
I fix alot of systems these days that have issues due mainly to one thing... Out of date software! So many issues can be caused by it, compatibility issues, slow response times, errors, glitches, but most common is viruses and spyware! Running an out of date copy of Adobe reader now, can result in your system being infected by a virus or piece of spyware without you ever installing anything. The evil software will force its way into your computer through security vulnerabilities, and before you know it you will be getting pop up ads, random music and sounds on your computer. Unfortunately there is no easy way to update all of your software with one touch. I can only hope that Microsoft and Apple start ...

Palm Pre Video Reviews

Posted by Robert Hall on 07/11/2009 06:34 AM
If you have'nt seen my written review of the Palm Pre, go check it out and then see the videos below. Some of the things I talk about in the text you can see in the video here a bit better. Also there are a few things in the video I forgot to mention in the text. So you have to look at both to get the full picture. Again keep in mind several things are huge improvements for me as I have gone from a older Palm Treo 650 to an obviously much newer Palm Pre. However I think I have done a pretty decent job of keeping the review balanced and useful to everyone. Unfortunately it does focus more on my opions of the device rather than showing off the device, this is something I will fix in future r...

Throughly not impressed with Facebook

Posted by Robert Hall on 07/11/2009 02:57 AM
Soooo.... Someone asked me some questions about facebook, in particular integration with another website. Thus despite my dislike of the service I decided to create a profile on the site and try to see what the hype is all about. To summarize what I feel about it, have you seen the rant Christian Bale had with his lighting manager? No? Well check it out, be warned there is much profanity to be had: Have you seen it? Well that's pretty much how my reaction is to facebook. Seriously? What were they thinking. Yes I understand that the focus of the site is to get connected with your friends, but the whole naviga...

Palm Pre Review

Posted by Robert Hall on 06/24/2009 01:50 AM
I got my Palm Pre about two weeks ago now, and unlike other reviewers I've actually spent some time with the device and used it in real world scenarios, and not just ooh and ahh'd at the latest techno gadget. For me a product has to work, and be efficient. Sure it can have some nice bells and whistles but if they slow me down, or do nothing to improve how I work; then they are useless to me. You can expect a video review to come shortly, but for now here is my standard text write up! - Update the Video is up . So for you to understand where I am coming from on this, my last phone was a Treo 650 runni...

New Compaq POST screen

Posted by Robert Hall on 06/21/2009 01:30 PM
So I was out the other day setting up a Compaq computer for a customer they just purchased. I hooked it up, and turned it on and was greeted with a POST screen that had this on it: Forgive the poor quality as it was taken with a cell phone... However this screen instantly brought back some memories of something I did a couple years ago on another site... That's right, I had made some images years ago on "lawn mower safety" after ...

GPS Systems are on the fritz

Posted by Robert Hall on 06/12/2009 10:37 AM
I've recently found out some news that is a bit unsettling about our world wide GPS system. For those of you who don't know GPS is the Global Positioning System, consisting of several satelites that orbit the earth. These satelites beam down information on where they are located, and with a signal from at least four of these you have a solid position of where you are on the earth. Well I've started to notice that my GPS is making me jump around, it's shown me in the middle of the Atlantic ocean a couple of times, and a few miles off of where I actually am, and sometimes a few hundred feet off. So I hooked up my older GPS that has worked fine in the past, and it was doing the same thing. So I've done some research, and ask...

Spotting a fake Nintendo DS cartridge

Posted by Robert Hall on 05/09/2009 04:55 AM
I unfortunately managed to get a fake Nintendo DS cartridge the other day. It looked legit until I put it in my DSi and got a message telling me to turn off the console and try again. So instead of writting about the exact same information that is in the video, watch and learn! I have found that the cart will not save my scores and tells me to reset the power and try again in some modes. Another thing to note is that this fake cartridge has the ID number "ADADN5J22" printed on the back of it. Searching for this on google you will find many games that have this ID number on them. I obviously contacted the seller of the cartridge and he gave me my money back when I sent it back to him. I then went through and purc...

Hard Drive Failures

Posted by Robert Hall on 05/02/2009 05:19 PM
This is something I've been meaning to post for quite awhile, and that is just how unreliable todays hard drives are. Not just one brand or another, but standard hard drives in general. A standard disk based hard drive stores information on one or more platters that have a magnetic field applied to very very small places on the drive. This is where the bits and bytes of your data live, and when you think about how a hard drive works, you should be a bit concerned. A hard drive works alot like an old school record player in that you have a drive head that goes across the surface and reads, and writes data. This drive head picks up the magnetic values written to the drive surface and sends them to the computer itself for pr...

EEE PC Performance Tuning

Posted by Robert Hall on 04/23/2009 01:26 PM
Last time I went over the specifications of the EEE PC 900, and this time I am going to go over how to improve the performance of the operating system itself. Instead of just listing things to turn on and off to make your system faster I decided it would be best to show you what to turn on and off so you can actually see where the settings are at, and how to get to them. In general alot of these performance tips can be applied to other Netbooks and Windows XP computers in general for improving performance. Such as keeping a clean desktop, removing extra startup entries, and tweaking the cache. Once again I suggest that if you are new to tweaking computers, or are unsure of an...

How I almost bricked my system

Posted by Robert Hall on 04/19/2009 03:38 PM
Just the other day I was going through and checking the specs on my system to see how I could go about doing a small upgrade to it to get a little extra performance. I remembered that I had a motherboard with an AM2+ socket, and that I only had an AMD X2 4000 in the socket. So like any tech person would do I checked what my board could support and found that with a bios update I could put in a Phenom X4 9650 (Avoid the 9600 as many still have the TLB issue). Now I always like to avoid a Bios update for the following reasons: Each time you perform an update you weaken the EPROM. They are not intended to be written to more than a couple of times, and after that they can start to act flakey. ...

Free PDF Printer Software

Posted by Robert Hall on 03/27/2009 01:55 AM
Eventually at some point you will need to provide a PDF (Portable Document Format) to someone. The great thing about PDF files are that almost everyone has a reader for them installed, usually Adobe Acrobat reader. Let's say you have a document, or special program that you need to give someone a report from. In most cases you simply send the person the file for them to use. However they might not have the program, or it'snt feasible to send the entire file. Using a PDF printer you can simply print the report or document to PDF, and they can read it. There are several PDF printers on the market, alot of them are a bit costly (a few hundred dollars). Microsoft Office 2007, and Apple computers now have a builtin PDF printer, however...

Project E - The Specs

Posted by Robert Hall on 03/15/2009 12:59 PM
Before we start doing any work on the EEE900, lets take a look at the system specifications and see how we can make them better for the tasks that we will be doing with it. Processor: Intel Celeron M 900mhz
RAM: 1GB 667mhz DDR2
Hard Drive: 16gb Solid state PCI-E
Cooling: Passive
Wireless: Builtin Atheros AR5007EG
OS: Windows XP Home (Asus Customized) I know that stats don't see all that impressive, and there are only a few things we can change. First thing the Customized Asus XP Home we want to keep. The reason for this is all of the extra power conservation features, in addition to the removal of extra nonse...

Project E - The awesome EEE PC 900

Posted by Robert Hall on 03/13/2009 01:35 PM
I've decided to start on a little side project, involving a Asus EEE 900 netbook. I've had this little 900 series for almost half a year now, and I've gotten use to it's little quirks and well I want to do something about them, and make it just generally awesome. I'll be posting updates to this project over the next couple weeks so stay tuned here for updates to it. First lets go over what I do with this little puppy. Check email Browse webpages Download drivers while at customers location Test wireless access at customers locations Present webpages/proposals to customers Make quick website changes onsite with customers ...

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