Something Else Bad about Vista

February 20, 2008

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Vista has been plagued with problems since the start, and today I am reporting on another one.

February 20, 2008 (Computerworld) Responding to reports of endlessly rebooting PCs that flooded support newsgroups last week, on Tuesday Microsoft Corp. said it had pulled an update designed to prep Windows Vista for Service Pack 1.

Although the update — actually a pair of prerequisite files that modify Vista’s install components — has been temporarily pulled from Windows Update, Microsoft has not yet produced a fix for users whose machines either won’t boot or reboot constantly.

Shortly after the two prerequisites hit Windows Update last week, users began reporting problems on Microsoft’s support newsgroups. Most said that the update hung as the message “Configuring Updates Step 3 of 3 — 0% Complete” appeared on the screen. When users rebooted hoping to clear the error, their PCs went into an endless cycle of reboots. A smaller number of users said that their computers refused to boot normally.

Some users have been able to regain control by booting from a Vista install DVD and selecting the “Restore from a previous restore point” option.

But do you know who doesn’t have to worry about this problem?  (In addition to the Mac fans)   Me.  Thats right.  I upgraded to “a more familiar model”: XP.  I’m sorry Vista, I gave you 6 months.  No printer compatibility, slow processing, and limited USB function.  The deal breaker was every time a window’s update installed or I restarted my computer my mouse stopped working and I had to system restore.


Badass Computer or Overpriced Toy?

January 16, 2008

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Here’s some of what USA Today had to say about the sleek laptop:

… on first impressions, there’s no denying that Apple has designed another gorgeous machine. Apple has managed to cram in a full-size keyboard, 13.3-inch backlit widescreen display, iSight video camera, 2 gigabytes of RAM, state-of-the-art Wi-Fi and an 80-GB hard drive. The whole package weighs three pounds and ranges from 0.16 to 0.76 inches thick. You don’t realize just how thin that is until you see Jobs pull the machine out of one of those yellow interoffice envelopes.

Pint-size laptop computers always exact compromises. Perhaps the most glaring in Air’s case is the lack of a replaceable battery. Much as the iPod, the Air’s battery and other components are sealed inside and are not easily removed.

What’s more, Apple dispenses with a drive for loading CDs or DVDs. But the need for such a drive is somewhat diminished in the age of digital downloads, such as the iTunes movie rentals Jobs announced Tuesday.

I think the MacBook Air is a stunning testament to product development. They knew the public wanted a lighter, sleeker laptop and Mac did what it does, it delivered. It delivered an incredible, although minimalist, laptop at a reasonable price (~$1800) My problem is when reviewing the tech specs on the Apple website, the $1800 MacBook Air really is nothing more than a small laptop. To get the small laptop at the quality I expect (and deserve) hits closer to the $3000 range.

Want the 1.8 GHz Processor? Add $300.

Want the 64GB Solid State Hard Drive? Add $999

Want the ability to play and burn CDs and DVDs? Add $99

Want an Ethernet port and a modem port? Add $79

Want the Apple Remote? Add $19

Admittedly, I would still love a MacBook Air to appear in my living room. But in reality I think ‘ll wait for more reviews to come in and the price to go down. Still nice to see a company innovating when so other computer companies stagnate.

PS. Props to Apple for integrating the multi touch gestures from the iPod and iPhone, those are awesome.


Macs + Porn + Trojan = ??

November 3, 2007


You’re not very computer savy. You like porn. You dislike viruses. You must own a Mac. Not so much anymore.

Don’t get me wrong I like Apple, but every now and then everyone needs to be knocked off their high horse. If you thought “I’ll get a Mac and that will keep me safe from viruses/malware”, you have pretty much always been right. But now it’s being reported there is a new Trojan that effects Mac computers. I think this is only the beginning. Everyone likes challenges and that certainly includes hackers and virus writers.

SAN FRANCISCO — Hackers have launched a rare and troubling attack on Apple Inc.’s computers.

Apple on Thursday confirmed reports of pornography Web sites where hidden software, once downloaded, could take control of an Apple computer. Apple did not immediately respond to claims that it is the first instance of a Trojan horse attack on Apple’s Macintosh platform.

“We’ve been made aware that a small number of Web sites attempt to trick Mac OS X users to install malicious software on their Macs,” said Apple spokeswoman Lynn Fox. “Apple has a great track record for keeping Mac OS X users secure, and as always, we encourage people to install software only from trusted sources.”

The timing of the Trojan horse suggests there are more to come, say some computer and Internet security professionals. As Apple’s popularity rises, “the bad guys are taking Macs seriously now,” wrote Bojan Zdrnja, of the Internet Storm Center, which is led by the Escal Institute of Advanced Technologies.

After confirming the claims reported by computer-security firm Intego, Symantec engineer Joji Hamada wrote on Symantec’s Web site of suspicions that a wave of attacks and viruses are due. “If we see a rise in Mac malware, then we will have to assume that there are profits to be made in malware for Macs as well,” he wrote. “Stay tuned.”

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