Google CR-48 Mini Review


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Lamarr is a lucky dude. He got his hands on a Google CR-48 laptop. I’m pretty sure the one that was delivered to his house is the one that was meant for me. I can’t help but wonder how he managed to divert the shipment. He’s just sneaky that way, I suppose.

In any case, Lamarr is the proud owner (and tester!) of the hot new machine from Google, featuring the Chrome operating system. This video details his thoughts on the machine and the OS.

Lamarr is quick to point out that this is simply a plain laptop with a browser… and that’s all. Google’s Chrome OS resides completely within a browser, folks. This is likely going to take some getting used to for many of us, but I have no doubt we geeks will adapt pretty quickly.

The machine comes with built-in 3G from Verizon… 100MB per month free for two years. That’s a pretty sweet deal if you ask me. Of course, it can be used with a standard WiFi connection, so you shouldn’t hit that 100MB cap.

This operating system is not for everyone. All it does is – Internet. But if you’re like Lamarr (or me!), this will work really well for you. This machine is clearly not a desktop replacement. If you do a lot of work online, then this is going to be the machine for you.

Lamarr felt the machine is a bit sluggish. He cannot pinpoint WHERE the lag is coming from, though. Could it be the unnamed hardware in the test machine or the beta operating system itself? Only time will tell.

Have you gotten your hands on this sweet little device yet? What are your thoughts thus far?

Which Version of Windows is Right for You?


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Someone wondered recently why there are so many versions of Windows. I wanted to answer with “Because Microsoft hates you!” Have you ever walked into a store and been confronted with seventy different types of gum? You have no idea what you want. The same thing happens with Windows… there are so many flavors, you aren’t sure what it is you want and need.

Microsoft does this because they want to give you what you need. The problem arises when you don’t know what you need. I say they should make one version and let people choose which parts of that piece of software they want. That has caveats of its own, of course. It’s a never-ending cycle.

Theoretically, Microsoft is giving you a choice of features with a variety of pricing structures. I don’t agree with this. I just want gum. I’m also the kind of guy who walks into a store and buys plain vanilla ice cream. I just want ONE thing.

It would be easier to have one copy of Windows and allow you to buy (and use) the portions you want to use. This makes sense from a marketing and a consumer standpoint.

What are your thoughts? Do you feel there are too many flavors of Windows?

What Do You Think About Windows Phone 7?


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One of our sponsors during Gnomedex just happened to be the Windows Phone 7 team. Larry was on site manning the booth, showing off the device and letting people get their first hands-on look! It was announced today (finally!) that Windows Phone 7 will be released on October 11th.

Windows Phone 7 is the new mobile phone operating system from the folks at Microsoft. It has a completely different start screen, filled with what they call “Live Tiles.” These give you real-time important information, such as for weather and stock markets. You can customize your tiles to make them relevant to your life. For instance, Larry has a tile set up just for his wife. Anytime she updates one of her social networks, the tile will let him know right away. This appears to be a great way to keep track of the people you want to stay in touch with on a continual basis.

If you click on the People Hub, you will see all of the contacts in your social circle. You can click on them separately to find out what they’re up to, or choose to check out an overview from all of them.

Larry is a product manager for the Application Platform. They’re providing people the ability to create their own applications which leverage these same concepts. They’re giving devs a free copy of Visual Studio to build Windows Phone 7 apps. These apps will be the key to the succcess of the operating system.

The email and calendar service on Windows Phone 7 is being touted as the “best in class.” It’s tied in to Microsoft Exchange, which many of us (myself included!) use for business. Larry says that this phone represents a drastic change from the way Microsoft built phone systems in the past. Historically, they were focused on being a good partner and on delivering something that the OEM companies wanted to use. The problem with that is that while the people in Redmond love their various partners, it was taking too much away from the end user… from YOU.

There was zero control over what the end user was receiving. What Microsoft did was to take direct control over the user experience. The most important focus of the project was to deliver outstanding end user experience. Larry admits that Microsoft has had trouble in the past with focusing on something. Instead, they’ve been all over the map with various aspects of projects. Windows Phone 7 represents a very focused effort to bring you what it is you want in a phone.

The free developer tools are available on the Windows Phone site. If you already have Visual Studio, it will simply update your install to include the various elements you will need to develop apps for this phone. Apps are only available through the Windows Phone Marketplace, and revenue is earned in much the same way as with other phone platforms.

Have you taken a close look yet at what’s in store? What are your thoughts about Windows Phone 7 so far?

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How Many Types of Linux Do We Need?


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Luke asked over on Lockergnome why there are so many different Linux distros. Linux is awesome, there’s no doubt about it. The beauty of Linux is that it is open-source, and anyone can change it how they see fit. You can take Linux as an operating system, give it different themes and choices and generally mold it to your liking. Some people want certain choices and features, while others want something entirely different.

There are gazillions of people on this planet right now. Not all of them will ever care to build their own flavor of Linux. But Linux gives you the ability to choose how YOU want things, and then share it with the world. I’ve talked before about where you can go to build your own version of Linux. It’s not as difficult as you might think it is… so what are you waiting for?

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Why the iPhone Keeps Getting Better


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The day that the iPhone OS 4.0 was announced, it seemed as though everyone wanted to know my opinion. I’m impressed, but not thrilled. I love the multi-tasking feature, of course. What Geek wouldn’t appreciate that ability? I love that the iPhone will remember the state an app was in when I switched to something else.

I can’t say I’m as happy with the Mail app, though. I am happy to see that they added the threaded conversations, and the ability to check more than one email account. I think they could have gone a step further, though. I’m frustrated that clicking a link takes me out to the browser. Why can’t it just be embedded into the Mail app much like other apps have done?

The idea of folders on the home screen is pretty awesome. I’ll be MUCH more organized now… I hope. I can choose how I want to name my folders and which apps to put in there. I’ve heard that folders can only hold a small number of icons, which I feel is detrimental. What if I want ALL of my games in one folder? Do you even know how many games I have?

What are your thoughts so far on the newest iteration of the iPhone operating system?

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