Saturday, May 31, 2008

sending (error) information to Microsoft

We've had some discussion about the Microsoft Online Crash Analysis (MOCA): feeling uncomfortable about submitting information, some do not want to send the report. I ask all to reconsider, and DO send it...

"Microsoft actively analyzes all error reports and prioritizes them based on the number of customers affected by the Stop error covered in the error report. We will try to determine the cause of the Stop error you submit, categorize it according to the type of issue encountered, and send you relevant information when such information is identified...we might need to collect a number of similar error reports from other customers before a pattern is discovered...

"...No personal information is written to your hard drive or shared outside of our service."

Some of the information I have seen informed me: what was causing a conflict or problem, who the manufacturer is, which device is involved, etcetera.

Labels: ,

Shadow Copy

Andy interviewed Darren Hook, Global Escalation Manager for Microsoft, and Darren mentioned...

"Shadow Copy helps you recover a file if you accidentally delete it.

"...Available in the Ultimate, Business, and Enterprise editions of Windows Vista, this feature automatically creates point-in-time copies of files as you work, so you can quickly and easily retrieve versions of a document you may have accidentally deleted. Shadow copy is automatically turned on in Windows Vista and creates copies on a scheduled basis of files that have changed...

"It works on single files as well as whole folders...

Labels: ,

Thursday, May 29, 2008

US drops in worldwide broadband subscriptions rankings

According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development website, broadband statistics highlights for June 2007:

* Denmark, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Korea, Norway and Iceland lead the OECD in broadband penetration, each with over 29 subscribers per 100 inhabitants.

* The strongest per-capita subscriber growth over the year was in Ireland, Germany, Sweden, Australia, Norway, Denmark and Luxembourg. Each country added more than 5 subscribers per 100 inhabitants during the past year.

* Operators in several countries continue upgrading subscriber lines to fibre. Fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) and Fibre-to-the-building (FTTB) subscriptions/connections account for 36% of all broadband subscriptions in Japan, and 31% in Korea.

* The United States is the largest broadband market in the OECD with 66.2 million subscribers. US broadband subscribers now represent 30% of all broadband connections in the OECD.

In the past seven years, the U.S. has dropped from fourth to 15th among 30 developed nations in the percentage of households that subscribe to broadband Internet...

(Maybe it shouldn't, but dropping to 15th bothers me. It seems to me that those with some insight have been stating that we are about to be, and/or have been, passed by other countries in regards to science/math/innovation/etcetera.)

(After posting the above, I read...)

China has caught up with the U.S. with both countries counting 221 million Internet users...the US market penetration has leveled off...the online population in China will dwarf that in the US by three- or four-fold. India should eventually leaprog China to become the biggest online market on the planet...India has 18 all-news channels of its own, and boasts of the biggest English-language newspaper in the literacy increases in India, newspaper circulation is growing at double-digit rates...

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Reliability Monitor (in Vista)

When you're having problems with a computer, or would like to investigate performance issues, consider using the Windows Vista Reliability Monitor...

From the Run line, execute "perfmon.msc". Under Monitoring Tools, click "Reliability Monitor".

Note: it collects 24 hours of data before it calculates the System Stability Index, or generates the System Stability Report.


Windows Vista Performance and Reliability Monitoring Step-by-Step Guide

(To summarize...)

The Reliability and Performance Monitor is a Microsoft Management Console (MMC) snap-in that combines: Performance Logs and Alerts, Server Performance Advisor, and a System Monitor.

It measures how quickly a computer completes application and system tasks. Overall system performance might be limited by the access speed of the physical hard disks, the amount of memory available to all running processes, the top speed of the processor, or the maximum throughput of the network interfaces.

records failures (including memory, hard disk, application, and operating system failures)...
key events (including the installation of new applications and operating system updates)...
displays a timeline of changes in both the system and reliability...
and can identify how to get the system back to optimal reliability when it does not behave as expected.

The Resource View screen provides a real-time graphical overview of CPU, disk, network, and memory usage. You can identify which processes are using which resources...

To start Windows Reliability and Performance Monitor
1. Click Start, right-click Computer, and click Manage.
2. In the Microsoft Management Console navigation tree, click Reliability and Performance.

Labels: , , , ,

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

CDs that don't play

A CD was created with a blank CD-R disc I had provided, and did not function in a player.

The person who was attempting to play the CD believes: "a 'CD-R' should always play in a 'CD-R' player". I was not successful in attempting to explain that, as in a lot of situations, items deemed to be of high-quality provide consistent results...

The disc I provided (for free) was the least expensive one available at the store when I purchased it. I purchased it based on cost, not quality.

The player is not, in my opinion, a high-quality's a "cheapie": Living Solutions (Atico International USA, Inc.) 60-Second CD Player with Radio (model #CD168).


Problems are...
"...more likely to occur with car CD players and portable CD players that have less robust error-correcting abilities, older CD players, and less expensive CD players of any age...Certain brands of CD-R may cause problems for a particular CD player because of differences in dye formulations among CD-R brands..."

Glass-mastered CDs appear to be the better quality types...
"...CD-Rs, regardless of the manufacturer or method of duplication, are more likely than their glass-mastered counterparts to have compatibility problems with certain CD players, resulting in skipping, clicks, pops, or complete stops..."

"Duplicator manufacturers typically test and recommend only certain brands of blank CD-Rs for use in their machines...


"The Red Book audio CD specification provides for audio discs that store up to 74 minutes of sound...The Yellow Book spec for CD-ROM provides for data CDs that hold about 650 megabytes of data.

" CD-Rs can be made to hold up to 80 minutes of music, and data CD-Rs up to 700 megabytes of data.

"...there's a serious problem with such CD-Rs: they violate the standards specification in such a way that such discs won't work on some players or drives...

"For maximum compatibility, you're better off sticking to 74 minute, 650 megabyte CD-R media...


Contemplating (Data) Mortality


"You get what you pay for..."

Labels: , , , ,

Saturday, May 17, 2008

software to raise funds

Tom called our radio show about software that might assist him in pitching ideas for internet venture capital...

I cannot recommend any, but I found Venture Capital Pitch Perfection and EZ Plan Pro.



(I'm not a "gamer", but events like this make me wish I were...I DO want to go...)

Registration has been open for this "gaming festival and party" that's to be held July 31 - August 3 in Dallas (at the Hilton Anatole Hotel).

There will be a BYOC (Bring-Your-Own-Computer) LAN party. When I last checked the website, three-thousand had registered. I wonder if there is a limit...

It's free, but READ THE FAQ.

Labels: , ,

Thursday, May 15, 2008

CBS is buying CNET !!

Read about it HERE

Friday, May 9, 2008

OnTrack Recovers Shuttle Data from Tragedy

Amazing story on MSNBC on the Recovery of Data from the Columbia Shuttle which disintegrated over the US in 2003.>1=43001

It's iWork you fools!

I just got a great email from a true Machead on our butchering of the powerful
program for the Mac platform, iWork 08. Leave it to us PC heads that we would add a plural to anything! It's not iWorks as we have been calling it, it is iWork - but for the program which can do much for word processing with Pages '08, presentations with Keynote '08 and spreadsheets with Numbers '08, it's understandable we would add the 'S' Now I am wondering if my old Apple IIE program was Appleworks or Applework?

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Outlook Express and Hotmail

Dave asked us about being able to continue to use Outlook Express with Hotmail.

Per a blog posting:

"As of June 30, will no longer be able to access your Hotmail Inbox via Outlook Express. As an alternative, we recommend that you download Windows Live Mail...

"We encourage you to download Windows Live Mail at We will continue to update this blog with information regarding this move."

For MSN compatibility information, you will need to contact your support division for your particular type of MSN service (dial-up, high-speed, etcetera).

Labels: , ,

online movie services

After one of our radio show, a question was posted in our Ustream chatroom: "...would you use for movies?..."

Quite some time ago, I compared services...first let me mention some competitors:


Amazon Unbox

"...You can even transfer your purchased Unbox videos to a compatible portable device, including the Creative Zen Vision M..."


Unbox customers can purchase television series episodes for $1.99 per episode, purchase most movies for between $7.99 and $14.99, or rent the latest movies for $3.99...


...partner with TiVo, letting TiVo subscribers with Series 2 or Series 3 boxes download video directly to their televisions...



Must use Internet Explorer?...



The latest provider I'm aware of...I've never used their movie service.



Need Internet Explorer, and Windows Media Player?...


BLOCKBUSTER Total Access™ Plan that includes Unlimited Online DVDs 3 at a time plus up to 5 free* in-store exchanges for $17.99/month...

Unlimited Online DVDs up to 3 at a time plus unlimited in-store exchanges each month for $24.99...



Subscribers who pay for just two DVDs a month, at a rate of $4.99, will have access to two hours of streaming video for free...

Subscribers can stream as many movies and television shows as they want, with no additional charge...the unlimited rental plans start at $8.99 a month.

Netflix's streaming service works only on PCs with Microsoft's Internet Explorer...internet connections with speeds of at least 3 megabits per second is recommended to get DVD-quality video...



"Vongo Membership provides unlimited downloads (on up to three registered devices) for just $9.99 per month..."


"...certain releases are available for pay-per-view; they incur a separate fee, ranging from 99 cents to $3.99, and are only viewable for 24 hours from the time you press Play. Users also have access to a streaming version of the Starz movie channel."

Series S and Series V Gigabeat devices from Toshiba Corporation had support for use with Vongo.


Again, keep in mind, this is information I gathered months ago when I had time to compare the services.

Would I use Vongo? Maybe. I prefer DVDs for reasons such as:
they contain "extras"...
I can use them on multiple devices...
and I don't need to be connected to the internet.


computers used by us

During one of our radio shows, from the Ustream chatroom...


pcnovice91 : what kind of laptop is everyone using slick ?

slick : for the moment, I'm using an Alienware Area 51 M9750
pcnovice91 : how is it slick ?

Large 17-inch screen...lots of room for me to rest my hands when I type (like a Macbook Pro)...large touchpad (like a Macbook Pro)...great for using as a desktop replacement.


wladj : I am using a HP Pavillion 9000

Labels: , , ,

Tech On: Give Away of the Day...bookmark it today!

Giveaway of the Day is an awesome website with everyday users in mind. (Here's there ABOUT page)

I've posted alerts to this site before but haven't seen much feedback from the readers...but today's freebie is a $99.95 program that helps you quickly and easily make a bootable recovery CD with all your programs automatically installing unattended!

Multiset 5.6 from award winning publisher, Almeza, promises quick and easy installation and offers a website full of tips, quick installation instructions and more!
Remember that this free offer must be downloaded and installed/registered TODAY.
Be sure to bookmark Giveaway of the Day in your favorites or add the gadget to your Google page/sidebar or just subsribe to the RSS feed to get daily updates of cool FREE stuff!

Labels: , , ,

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Windows XP Service Pack 3 -- Get it while you can!

I've dug through all the hullabalu just for YOU, our readers.
Download the stand alone service pack here.
Windows XP SP3

Tech On: If you're not using're missing out!

A fellow Twitterer posted a great blog about using Twitter, then 'tweet'ed her followers...If you've been thinking about using Twitter but haven't yet; check out Vicky Beeching's blog about it here.

You'll be glad you did!

Once you've signed up for a Twitter account, be sure to click the "add Twitter to your site" link in the right hand corner of your home page...Twitter can follow you wherever you are; even go mobile (cell phone) if you'd like.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Microsoft pulls offer; Yahoo stays independent...for now.

CNet News reported today that it's finally over...the Microsoft bid for Yahoo...for now anyway.

Micosoft reportedly offered $33 a share, but Yahoo stood firm at their $37 counter offer.

Guess we'll have to see what, if anything, pans out between Ballmer and ... well ... who knows?!?

But for now, no MicroHoo, YaSoft or whatever other combination your creative minds have produced, low these many moons!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

SkullCandy puts the Music in your Head

A couple of weeks back we received a question about headphones and some brands we would recommend. The Question came from a lover of music that was looking for good quality sound, sturdy headphones and offered a style. He had asked us about a company called SkullCandy and wanted to know what we thought of the line from the company that seems to target the younger ager set 16-24 and give them style and good sound from earbuds and traditional headphones.

Carol sent the company an email and we received a pair of "cans" to take a look and listen with. Impressive looking, even while still in the packaging, was our quick summation. Hard colorful plastic with Soft earphones and a cable set up that seems to deal with cords wrapping around you while DJ'ing, casual listening or listening to the closed ear style while still maintaining some activity. The comfort level seems high with these, The GI, that we looked at. Replacement Earpads and a cord that can be disconnected in two places, great for not having a long cord trailing you like a bad shoelace. A nice carrying bag also came with the SkullCandy headphones that Slick and Carol will look at on this weeks TechtalkRadio Broadcast Show.

I've put a couple of pictures here in the blog and we'll post an official review after we get a chance to play with these a bit.

Labels: , , , ,