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



February 2009 Show Summaries
February 25, 2009  February 18, 2009  February 11, 2009  February 4, 2009
February 25, 2009 Show

All versions of the Adobe Reader are buggy and there will not be a fix from Adobe until March 11. Alfred suggested using Foxit reader instead to view PDFs. Infineon technology makes RAM and flash memory and filed for Chapter 11 bankrupcy. Hard disks are getting cheaper. A new generation of flash memory is on the horizon with increased speed and capacity. Gmail was off-line for a few hours. Cloud computing. Which companies sell the most TVs? Microsoft is working on a version of Windows 7 specifically targeted at netbooks. Next week Larry Magid will be on the show discussing how to be safe when surfing the Internet.

FUND RAISING: Gold card technical support for one year for $200. This also includes two bonuses - a password reset CD and a Hanks white paper on nettop computers. Nettop computers are relatively new, they are ultra small computers running the same Atom CPU found in most netbook laptop computers. For a pledge of $25 or more we will also include this same white paper. The password reset CD is available for a $55 donation (this too includes Hank's white paper). Finally, we have a DVD loaded with free and recommended software for $75.

 

February 18, 2009 Show

To call the FCC with questions about the conversion from analog to digital TV broadcasting, call 888-CALL-FCC. The FCC has some useful articles online with advice on setting up an antenna to get a digital signal and what type of antenna to get. The articles are:
Antennas and Digital Television FCC Consumer Facts
Troubleshooting Guide for Digital-to-Analog Converter Boxes and Digital Televisions FCC Consumer Facts

Facebook change the rules of the road for their website, got a lot of flack and then changed them back again. Lawsuits regarding Pirate Bay. Sirius XM satellite radio got a lifeline from Liberty Media. LG Electronics agreed to use Microsoft software in new cellphones. Microsoft put up a bounty to learn the identity of the Downadup worm (aka Conficker) author. IDC said 20% of all computers sold in the 4th quarter of 2008 were Netbooks. HP 2140 Netbook made a good first impression on Hank.

Fund Raising: Gold card technical support for one year for $200. This also includes two bonuses - a password reset CD and a Hanks white paper on nettop computers. Nettop computers are relatively new, they are ultra small computers running the same Atom CPU found in most netbook laptop computers. For a pledge of $25 or more we will also include this same white paper. The password reset CD is available for a $55 donation (this too includes Hank's white paper). Finally, we have a DVD loaded with free and recommended software for $75.

 

February 11, 2009 Show

Intel is investing in new plants in the U.S. The digital TV transition. The FCC has released the list of 190 stations that will have changed before February 17, and of the addition 491 stations that have opted to change on February 17 and not wait until June. Alfred blogged about this here: FCC Releases Early Transition List.

Troubleshooting the problems of a listener with her digital TV converter box. Dell's various recycling programs include an expanding program with Goodwill Industries. See Dell Announces Major Expansion of Free Computer Recycling Program. You can recycle any amount of Dell hardware for free at Staples 1,500 U.S. store locations, without having to make a purchase. SIRIUS XM, the satellite radio broadcaster, may go bankrupt.

You can now get the Atom CPU in small form factor desktop PCs. Hank discussed two such machines the MSI Wind and a Shuttle and said each was very well made. He also ran a whole host of operating systems on them without problem. A well speced out MSI Wind is about $220. We discussed hooking one up to a television. Hulu.com and the new Netflix streaming are the future for video over broadband and the Internet.

Certain HP LaserJet Printers, HP Color LaserJet Printers, and HP Digital Senders allow Remote Unauthorized Access to Files
http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport/TechSupport/Document.jsp?objectID=c01623905

Fund raising. We have a new premium, Hanks' research paper on small compact computers which is available to anyone who makes a pledge to the station. Please support WBAI.

 

February 4, 2009 Show

The House of Representatives voted to postone until June 12th the mandatory conversion of over the air signals from analog to digital. The bill was exactly the same as the Senate bill. Alfred felt that the delay was mistake because it is costing taxpayers and corporations money. Expired coupons for converter boxes have been un-expired. This does not effect people with cable TV service, it only affects people who get their television signal over the air. 6.5 million people are estimated to lose their TV service.

Microsoft expects to ship the final buggy version of Windows 7 (release candidate) at the end of 2009. There will be just as many versions of Windows 7 as there were of Vista, but one of the changes is that each higher level version will includes everything in the lower level versions. Everyone felt there were too many versions of both Vista and Windows 7. In contrast, Macs are selling great with a single version of OS X at any given time. The basic version of Vista only allows you to run three programs at the same time which everyone felt was terrible.

You can get infected from an infected USB flash drive. As such there is much information available about disabling Autorun and Autoplay. However, much of the available information is incomplete and there is a better solution than the one offered by Microsoft.Our webmaster, Michael Horowitz, blogged about The best way to disable Autorun for protection from infected USB flash drives.

MPC did service on gateway computers but they've gone out of business and left a mess for Gateway owners. Some people sent MPC their computers for repair and may never get them back. Joe felt that you should consider the way Gatway handled this before buying a computer from them. Also be wary of service contract from third parties. Hank wouldn't buy a gateway comptuer now.

IBM layed off 4,000 people recently and offered to move them to low-wage countries.

Fund raising. Please support WBAI.

 

 
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