|The Personal Computer Radio Show||
New York City
April 2006 Show Summaries
HP is recalling 15,700 laptop batteries because they may overheat - specifically, those with
a bar code label that starts with "L3". They were used with several HP and Compaq
models. If you bought an HP or Compaq laptop in 2005,
then your machine may be affected. HP set up a web site about this www.hp.com/support/BatteryReplacement
or call them at 888-202-4320. This is not an unusual occurrence. Last year, HP,
Dell, Apple and Fujitsu all recalled thousands of laptop batteries.
Epson settled a Class Action lawsuit that claimed their print cartridges were
reporting themselves as being empty when, in fact, they had lots of ink left.
Unlike the usual $1 or $2 settlement per customer this one was for $20 or $25 or
$45 per customer. However, to get this money, you have to buy another Epson
product. For more see www.epsonsettlement.com
which is NOT an Epson web site.
Philips' Stupid Move A new patent forces us to ask: What if we couldn't skip commercials? by Lance Ulanoff April 25, 2006 in PC Magazine. The idea is to prevent TV viewers from changing the channel when a commercial comes on else pay for the right to skip the commercials.
Software company Winternals sued Best Buy and their Geek Squad subsidiary for stealing their software.
Our guest was PC Magazine Contributing Editor and Lead Analyst for Printers M. David Stone and the topic was photo printers.
David said that the difference in print quality from the cheapest to most expensive printer from any particular printer manufacturer, is not that much at all. Expensive printers get you faster print speed and a higher duty cycle. That is, they are able to print more pages per month without experiencing problems.
What makes an inkjet printer a "photo printer"? David gave the example of the Canon Pixma line of printers which has thousands of nozzles in the print head, making them great for printing photos.
Fred from Forest Hills said that the Geek Squad ads are misleading. They give
the impression that they will come over to your house/office immediately to fix
a problem, but this has not been his experience. Fred said they can take up to
two weeks to make a house call.
In one of the many lawsuits against Microsoft, they won a victory in Federal court where a judge ruled consumers can not sue them directory for over-charging on Windows because we did not buy Windows directly from Microsoft. Gee.
On April 6, 2006 in the Wall Street Journal, their computer guy, Walter Mossberg, answered a question about the security of public WiFi wireless networks. He basically said there is no way to secure/encrypt your Internet connection at public wireless hotspots such as Starbucks, Barnes and Noble or an airport terminal. This is not true. Not even close, as Michael pointed out
Note that there was only time for the first two points on the show. In closing, Michael noted that you don't read PC magazine for Mutual Fund advice and you shouldn't take computer advice from the Wall Street Journal.
Olivia reviewed Makeup Pilot, photo editing software by Colorpilot. It sells for under $30 and is specifically designed to remove defects from pictures of your skin. She found it very easy to use and well worth the money.
More about Boot Camp. Since it is beta software, there is no technical support from Apple. It's an open question how much technical support Microsoft will provide for Windows running on an Intel based Mac. There have been reports of people who can't get back to OS X after installing Windows XP. See a very detailed review of Boot Camp by Scot Finnie.
But then Hank turned the tables - rather than focusing on running Windows on Mac hardware, he experimented with the reverse, running Apple's Mac OS X operating system on Windows hardware. You can buy OS X at a computer store for about $130. Hank found that it installed fine on a computer with all Intel hardware, but did not work on computers with other hardware.
Bugs bugs bugs. Yesterday was Patch Tuesday and Microsoft released a large number of bug fixes (a.k.a. patches), some of which are considered critical. There are a number of fixes for Internet Explorer (as usual) that affect Windows 2000, XP and Server 2003. Run Windows Update now. The bugs also affect older versions of Windows and there are patches for the older versions of Windows, but... you have to pay for them. Alfred felt this was reasonable.
Lenovo has decided to walk away from the IBM name, but they are keeping the ThinkPad brand. Alfred felt this was a good idea as IBM was always an also-ran brand in personal computers, with the exception of their ThinkPad laptops. Some Best Buy stores are going to start selling Lenovo computers. The cheapest desktop machine is under $350, the cheapest laptop is under $600. They are the third largest PC manufacturer in the world.
It's tax time. We discussed electronic tax filing.
The IRS got approval in a federal court to force PayPal to provide
information about overseas money transfer transactions. Banks already have to
provide this information as it can be used for money laundering.
Back live with everyone on the show: Joe, Hank, Alfred, Michael, Danny and Olivia.
Apple just released software called "Boot Camp" that lets you install Windows XP on an Intel based Macintosh. Thus, one computer can have two operating systems installed on it. When the computer starts up, you get to chose if you want to run the Mac OS X or Windows XP.
This is not to be confused with Virtual Machine software. Boot Camp lets you run one operating system at a time. When you want to switch you have to shut down the OS currently in use and then boot the new one. In contrast, Virtual Machine software lets you run two Operating Systems at the same time. With Boot Camp you can not copy/paste between Windows and the Mac OS.
Michael felt that very few people would care, but others felt this was a big deal. Boot Camp will re-partition the computer making free space on the hard disk where Windows can be installed. Boot camp only works with the latest version of the Mac OS; it will be part of the next OS X release.
The topic was advice on buying a new computer, followed by the usual half hour of listener phone calls.
|XML||Webmaster: Michael Horowitz Last Update: July 4, 2007 2 PM|