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



May 2008 Show Summaries
May 28, 2008  May 21, 2008  May 14, 2008  May 7, 2008 
May 28, 2008 Show

This was a fund raising show. To donate to WBAI go to wbai.org/donate. As usual, we offered a Gold Card for one year of tech support for $150. We also offered a DVD toolkit - with lots of our favorite software for $55.

Much of the show was discussing the software on the DVD. Also on the DVD is Hank's guide to troubleshooting computer problems. It's a decision table. No listener phone calls.

 

May 21, 2008 Show

This was a fund raising show. To donate to WBAI go to wbai.org/donate. As usual, we offered a Gold Card for one year of tech support for $150. We also offered a DVD toolkit - with lots of our favorite software for $55.

Much of the show was discussing the software on the DVD. Also on the DVD is Hank's guide to troubleshooting computer problems. It's a decision table. Joe installed Windows XP SP3 on a number of machines and had problems on one of them, so many problems that he suggested waiting before installing SP3. No listener phone calls.

 

May 14, 2008 Show

At laplink.com on May 15th they will be giving away free copies of PC Mover. Also, other commercial software will be drastically reduced, including Raxco PerfectDisk a defrag program. Beware of computer-to-computer WiFi networks as per Michael's blog A word of warning about 'free' public Wi-Fi. HP tech support was rated poor by Consumer Reports. Microsoft offers free tech support for problems with XP SP3. Call 800-MICROSOFT or 866-234-6020. There is a new battery technology on the horizon - silver zinc.

This was a fund raising show. To donate to WBAI go to wbai.org/donate. As usual, we offered a Gold Card for one year of tech support from all the guys on the show for $150. We also offered a DVD toolkit - with lots of our favorite software for $55. A list of the software is on the Membership Premiums page. Both premiums can be ordered at any time.

No listener phone calls.

 

May 7, 2008 Show

Our guest was Paul Eng, Senior Web Editor for Consumer Reports. The topic was their recent survey, in the just-released June issue of the magazine, on technical support and computer repairs. Consumer reports is just like WBAI, fully reader supported - they do no take advertising.

This was a fund raising show. To donate to WBAI go to wbai.org/donate. As usual, we offered a Gold Card for one year of tech support from all the guys on the show for $150. We also offered a DVD toolkit - with lots of our favorite software for $55. Hank just added Windows XP SP3 to the toolkit DVD. Windows XP SP3 is only for the 32 bit versions of Windows, by the way. Also there is Open Office and Hank's document on how to debug problems with your computer - basically, a decision table.

WBAI has been slow in sending out our DVD toolkit premium. Hank and Joe have thus taken it upon themselves to mail out the toolkit to anyone who has not received theirs through the normal channels.

Paul explained that ConsumerReports.org, which is not free, has much more information than can fit in the dead trees version of the magazine. And, of course, it's more up to date. As an example, he cited the current issue which reviewed computer monitors. The magazine reported on only 16 monitors, but they actually reviewed 31 models. The website has the reviews of all 31 monitors, including as Paul put it, "the duds". Paul noted that even the worst monitors deliver a reasonably good picture.

As before, the survey found that Apple is great on technical support, far better than any company offering Windows. Paul calle dtheir instore tech support "phenominal". They also found that there wasn't much difference in the repair rate of laptops from different companies.

Joe and Hank took issue with their reviews of laptop computers, citing specifically, the battery in the Macbook Air that is not user-replacable. They both felt this was a very big deal, yet the magazine failed to point it out. Michael blogged about this in January, see A defensive look at the MacBook Air battery. Paul noted that there is more about the Macbook Air on the website than could fit in the harcopy magazine.

Hank felt they should have reviewed his favorite little Asus EEE PC. Paul admitted this was an oversight and again said "website". Paul noted that reader feedback on the consumerreports.org is 4 to 1 against Vista and in favor of Windows XP.

Links at ConsumerReports.org (comments by Paul Eng)

  • Apple MacBook Air: First Look Note: "First Looks" are more detailed "reviews" of items of particular interest. This includes a video of our guest, Mr. Eng.
  • Asus Eee PC: First Look Also with video.
  • Lenovo X300 Thinkpad: First Look Posted last Friday. This is not in the current Ratings yet.
  • The Monitors report This portion is for "free" and if you compare it to the version in the June issue, you'll see there's much more information.
  • Monitor Ratings This portion requires an online subscription... But we list all 31 monitors we tested, NOT just the 16 mentioned in the magazine. What's more, even the CR Quick Recommendation models (subscription also required!) are different than the version we put in the magazine.
  • Also, checking back on our Electronics blog, I may have UNDERSTATED our readers' reaction/contempt for Microsoft's Vista. Just look at some of the comments whenever we posted an item about Vista and there seems to be much contempt for it. (By the way, our Electronics Blog is also FREE on the Web. And as per the blogosphere, ANYONE on the Web can post comments to it.) Still, you'll find one or two who just say, "Give Vista a chance."

No listener phone calls.

 

 
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