August 2008 Show Summaries
August 27, 2008  August 20, 2008  August 13, 2008  August 6, 2008 
August 27, 2008 Show

The show was pre-empted on the air for coverage of the Democratic National Convention. We did not do a podcast.


August 20, 2008 Show

Hank reported a serious problem with first generation Apple iPod Nanos, three of them have overheated enough to catch fire. If you have a first generation Nano, go to the Apple site to see if you are eligible for a free fix. Devil Mountain Software, using data voluntarily submitted by 3,000 users, has projected that over one third of purchasers who had bought computers with Vista Business or Vista Ultimate have now downgraded to Windows XP.

Alfred reported that the DigitalLife Expo usually held in September at Javitts Center has been cancelled, it may be reactivated in 2009 but that is not definite. Hank did a review of Iolo's System Mechanic 8. While he liked the program, he was disappointed that the UnDelete feature present in earlier releases was removed from System Mechanic 8 and is now sold as a separate program. Alfred gave a very favorable review to Slide:ology by Nancy Duarte, published by O'Reilly. This book on how-to do effectve PowerPoint presentations has given Alfred, an experienced presenter, some very good new ideas.


August 13, 2008 Show

An update on color laser printers from last weeks show: Is it still the case that the quality of dedicated copier and scanner are better than an AIO? No. Regarding color AIOs, M. David Stone said: "...color laser AIOs are starting to show up at prices as low as $400 - $500 as a starting point, with street prices dropping as the models get older. As for quality: price has very little relationship to quality. It's more often related to speed. There is variation among lasers, but some of the cheapest lasers have top quality -- and some of the most expensive are a bit below par, because they push the speed." See PC Magazine reviews of All-in-Ones.

Yesterday was patch Tuesday with many fixes to critical bugs in Windows, Office and other Microsoft software. Windows Media Player 11 is buggy and was not fixed. The new Latitude E6400 laptop can run for 10 hours on a single battery charge and you can an external battery that clips onto the bottom and powers the machine for another 9 hours. There were a number of recent cloud computing failures such as the closing of The LinkUp and a Gmail outage. Is it legal to report on security problems with the fare cards for the Boston subway system? No Bossie awards coverage. Listener phone calls.


August 6, 2008 Show

Thee new Samsung Spinpoint M6 hard disk holds 500 gigabytes in a standard laptop-sized 2.5 inch form factor. It has 3 platters of 167GB each. Is this too much? The US government will seize laptops at the border. The obvious response is to carry your data files on a USB flash drive.

Lenovo announces first Netbook from CNET. Joe and Alfred were both impressed with this new IdeaPad S10 laptop, due to be released in October. Its small and cheap and runs Windows XP. It has a 10 inch screen, weighs just over 2 pounds, has an express card slot (this is a big deal), a real hard disk, no optical drive, uses the Atom cpu and offers two battery sizes. The $400 model will have 512MB of ram and an 80GB hard drive.

Apple has a patch for their patch for the DNS flaw. They were very late in even issuing the first buggy patch. Free software to manage power consumption on your computer is available from and Delta will soon offer WiFi on their planes using a ground to air system. JetBlue will be using a satellite based system.

Our topic was printers and our guest was M. David Stone - an award-winning freelance writer and computer industry consultant with a recognized expertise in several areas, including printers. Much of David's current writing is for PC Magazine, where he has been a frequent contributor since 1983, a contributing editor since 1987, and Lead Analyst for printers since 2004. He is also an analyst for Bertl, a printer and scanner industry analysis firm, and writes a column on printers and scanners for iTchat, Bertl's online magazine.

The real cost of a printer is the original cost plus the cost of monochrome pages printed plus the cost of color pages printed. David suggested paying more for a Kodak printer up front because you pay less for the ink on an ongoing basis. Epson has a new printer with very low per page costs: one cent for a monochrome page and 3 cents for color. Cost per page for inkjets is very different than for lasers - historically there was no standard for measuring it. Now there is a standard but it does not include photos.

One reason inkjets cost more per page that when it is turned on it cleans out the nozzles and that wastes ink. Lasers don't have nozzles. David suggested not getting an inkjet printer except for printing photos, which is the one thing they do well. Lasers are better at printing text. Colored text is better on a laser printer than on an inkjet. He also suggested getting a good dedicated small photo printer such as the Epson Picturemate and combine this with a cheap monochrome laser printer.

David explained about solid ink printers from Xerox. One up side is that the colors dont sink into paper. One downside is that pictures can be damaged by sliding them into a frame.

As for refilling ink, David does not suggest refilling an existing cartridge. If you want to save money, he suggests the Office Depot or Staples house brand which is called "not terrible". They work, and not much more. Top of the line are ink systems that sit outside the printer and are used by professional photographers. These are as good or better than original vendor. Pantone makes this. You buy ink in bulk and if you print enough, in long run it can be cheaper. Paper makes less of a difference with laser printers than it does with inkjets.