The Personal Computer Radio Show  WBAI-FM 99.5
New York City



December 2007 Show Summaries
December 26, 2007  December 19, 2007  December 12, 2007  December 5, 2007 
December 26, 2007 Show

The Adobe Flash player is a very popular web browser plug-in. It might be the most widely distributed software on the planet, since it is needed by any computer used to view web pages, regardless of the Operating System. That is, it is used on Windows, Macs and Linux machines. A new version (9.0.115) was recently released by Adobe that fixes nine bugs, some of them rated critical. What you need to know to upgrade:

QuickTime has also had recent severe security bugs. Michael and Danny disagreed about the severity.

We all liked the free, portable program HDTune which is available from hdtune.com.

Hank liked the free HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool which is available from files.extremeoverclocking.com/file.php?f=197 and from PC World.

Hank also liked the Flash Memory Toolkit available at flashmemorytoolkit.com. There is a free version and a paid version.

On the show were Joe, Hank Kee, Michael Horowitz and Danny Burstein. In two weeks our guest will be David Perry and the topic will be fighting viruses and other assorted malicious software (malware). Next week our guest will be Robin Raskin.

 

December 19, 2007 Show

A recent Microsoft patch broke IE6 and IE7 for some users. Michael blogged about this at CNET IE6 crashes in Windows XP: fixing the fix. A serious bug in Quickbooks. Apple releases a large amount of patches.

Our guest was Bill Machrone and mostly we discussed computer processors (cores). Differences between single core and dual core. Are they significant? Bill ran some tests on two identical computers, identical in every way except that one has only a single processor/core, the other had two. With video editing, the dual core machine was about one third faster. But when running a concurrent virus scan with the video editing, the dual core machine really showed what it could do.

Bill also has an article in the current issue of PC magazine about how he modified a guitar to add a USB port. You can read more about it at machrone.net/usbguitar.

On the show were Hank Kee, Alfred Poor and Michael Horowitz.

 

December 12, 2007 Show

The transistor just had a big anniversary. You can get a free copy of Vista from Microsoft if you are willing to let them watch your every move for three months. See Microsoft tries giving Vista away from Good Morning Silicon Valley. Cyberlink is having a free software giveaway.

Say goodbye to CompuUSA. Alfred said they couldn't compete in consumer electronics, especially High Definition televisions. Alfred discussed rear projection TVs, a technology he thinks has a lot going for it, even though it is not nearly as popular as LCD or plasma.

Saving electricity by turning off electronics. The website mentioned on the show was the Standby Power Home Page available at standby.lbl.gov.

On the show were Joe King, Hank Kee, Alfred Poor, Michael Horowitz and Olivia Whiteman.

 

December 5, 2007 Show

Our guest was Richard Stallman, the main author of the GNU General Public License, the most widely used free software license. He explained how "Linux" is a misnomer, the only part of a Linux computer that technically is Linux is the kernel. A more correct term is GNU/Linux since most of the software is GNU. Stallman uses the term "free software" to mean free speech rather than free beer. That is, free software, to him, means the user is free to do anything with the software, including copying it, modifying and even selling it.

Richard Stallman pioneered the concept of copyleft and is the main author of several copyleft licenses including the GNU General Public License, the most widely used free software license. Since the mid-1990s, Stallman has spent most of his time advocating for free software, as well as campaigning against both software patents and what he sees as excessive extension of copyright laws. Stallman has also developed a number of widely used applications, including the original Emacs, the GNU Compiler Collection, and the GNU Debugger. He co-founded the League for Programming Freedom in 1989.

The Free Software Foundation (FSF), established in 1985, is dedicated to promoting computer users' rights to use, study, copy, modify, and redistribute modified computer programs. The FSF promotes the development and use of free software, particularly the GNU operating system, used widely in its GNU/Linux variant.

Stallman argues that software users should have the freedom to "share with their neighbor" and to be able to study and make changes to the software that they use. He has repeatedly said that attempts by proprietary software vendors to prohibit these acts are "antisocial" and "unethical". Most of the listener questions were about GNU/Linux.

Websites mentioned on the show:

On the show were Hank Kee, Alfred Poor and Michael Horowitz.

 

 
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