December 2008 Show Summaries
December 31, 2008  December 24, 2008  December 17, 2008  December 10, 2008  December 3, 2008 
December 31, 2008 Show

A re-broadcast of three interviews. The first is with the author of a Lego robotics book, the second is with the CEO of Craigs list and the third is with M. David Stone on printers. No listener phone calls. Next week a normal show.


December 24, 2008 Show

A re-broadcast of two interviews. The first is with Richard Stallman the man behind GNU the structure built around the Linux kernel. The second is with Robin Raskin on how kids use the Internet. No listener phone calls. Next week too, on New Years Eve, the show will be a re-broadcast.


December 17, 2008 Show

Microsoft today released a fix for a critical bug in Internet Explorer. It applies to all versions of IE and all versions of Windows. See Firefox also just had fixes released as did Mac OS X. An Apple patch is causing more problems than it fixes. A Microsoft patch to Internet Explorer also caused grief for people.

Best Buy profits are down by 77% and they are laying off thousands of workers. Hank suggested the k-lite codec pack v4.3.4 which is free and has lots of codecs for Windows Media Player. You can get it at Better yet, use the free and portable VLC player.

Hank discussed the market share for Netbook vendors. Acer and Asus are, by far, the leaders of the pack. Tomorrow is free shipping day. See Fund raising.


December 10, 2008 Show

Thursday December 18 is the first annual Free Shipping Day. See Downgrading a new Dell computer from Vista to XP used to cost $35 to $50. Now, it costs $150. Dell blames Microsoft, which now wants customers to pay for a license to run XP. A survey reported that 35% of Vista buyers downgrade to Windows XP.

Joe finally got a computer running Vista and he can't find anything because the user interface is very different. Joe said Vista is fine and if its your first computer, you'll deal with it. However, for people already familiar with XP he said the transition to Vista is a big pain. Lenovo teamed up with Phoenix to offer a new feature on some laptops - the ability to remotely disable a machine after it has been stolen.

This was a fund raising show and we have a new premium - a password reset CD. See the premiums page on this site for more.


December 3, 2008 Show

Apple encourages the widespread use of multiple antivirus utilities so that virus programmers have more than one application to circumvent, thus making the whole virus writing process more difficult. Here are some available antivirus utilities: Intego VirusBarrier X5, available from the Apple Online Store License: commercial, Symantec Norton Anti-Virus 11 for Macintosh, available from the Apple Online Store License: commercial, McAfee VirusScan for Mac License: commercial.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer ordered by a federal judge Marsha Pechman to testify in a class action lawsuit over 'Vista Capable'. He originally said he did not have the time and that he had no direct involvement in Microsoft marketing campaign. However E-mail between Microsoft and Intel indicated Intel requested Microsoft to change program so that Intel current integrated parts qualify for 'Vista Capable' branding.

Guests were Peter Mahoney VP and Gen Manager of Nuance Communications Desktop Dictation unit and Ross Greenberg (one of the original members of the Personal Computer Show in 1984)... Ross, who came down with MS and can no longer use a mouse and keyboard, said Dragon NaturallySpeaking from Nuance enables him to use his computer by talking to it. He is even able to control remote computers with programs like LogMeIn so he can provide tech support to others. Mahoney pointed out that there were many specialized versions of Dragon aimed at Doctors, Lawyers, and others.

Joe commented that one version of Dragon comes with the Plantronics Calisto Wireless headset and a bluetooth adapter which enables you to move around while dictating and which seems to minimize the effects of ambient sounds. While Dragon is only for Windows (and the more powerful the cpu and the more RAM the better) the technology has been licensed to other companies for use with the Macintosh.