Tag Archives: operating-system

Google CR-48 Mini Review

Add to iTunes | Add to YouTube | Add to Google | RSS Feed

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?

Add to iTunes | Add to YouTube | Add to Google | RSS Feed

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?

Add to iTunes | Add to YouTube | Add to Google | RSS Feed

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?

Want to embed this video on your own site, blog, or forum? Use this code or download the video:

How Many Types of Linux Do We Need?

Add to iTunes | Add to YouTube | Add to Google | RSS Feed

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?

Want to embed this video on your own site, blog, or forum? Use this code or download the video:


Why the iPhone Keeps Getting Better

Add to iTunes | Add to YouTube | Add to Google | RSS Feed

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?

Want to embed this video on your own site, blog, or forum? Use this code or download the video:

iPhone OS 4.0 Thoughts

Add to iTunes | Add to YouTube | Add to Google | RSS Feed

This video was recorded the night before Apple’s big iPhone OS 4.0 announcement. The community speculated as to what could be coming with the next iteration of the OS. With the announcement live now, I want to focus on talking about what is happening, instead of what might happen as we did in this recording. iPhone 4.0 OS will have more than 100 new features. Apple has seven major “tentpole” features that they feel are particularly important.

Multitasking – During the live event, Steve Jobs actually admitted that “we weren’t first to the party, but we’re gonna be the best.” He claims that multitasking is coming to the iPhone in a way that won’t kill your battery or your device performance. Many smart phones are sorely lacking in this area. They don’t handle background processes well. Therefore, users find themselves spending more time fixing things than they do actually getting things done. iPhone OS 4.0 lets you switch tasks by double-clicking your home button. A bar that looks like the dock will show up at the bottom of the screen, showing you a list of running applications.

Folders – I don’t know about you, but I get tired of trying to manage 2349320 screens full of apps. I need folders! It’s impossible to organize everything on my iPhone at this point. I’m seriously happy to see we are going to have this capability in the new version of the OS. The folders look very similar to Stacks from Mac OS X 10.6. You can drag and drop your apps on top of each other to create application folders. This takes the total number of apps that you can see on your phone from 180 up to 2160!

Mail – Mail has gotten a complete overhaul! The first big feature is the unified inbox. You’ll be able to read all of your unread messages in one pane. No more having to navigate around between accounts. If you check more than one email account on your iPhone or iPod Touch, this will be a huge timesaver for you! We also get to enjoy threaded messaging at long last. If you’ve ever used Gmail, you’re aware of how this works. All emails that pertain to each other will display together in a nice, threaded format. This makes it easier for you to refer back to earlier parts of a conversation, and saves you time in the long run.

iBooks – We had our first taste of iBooks on the iPad last weekend. The already-popular feature will now be available on the iPhone and iPod Touch as well. Apple is definitely here to stay in the eBook world.

Enterprise – Enterprise has always had to make their way to Apple. The company never really went after the Enterprise market. That is changing with OS 4.0, though. Look for better email encryption and APIs being made available to developers so that data can be encrypted inside their applications as well.

Game Center – No matter what Nintendo wants to believe, the iPhone OS is becoming a force to be reckoned with in the mobile gaming industry. Apple is planning to add social gaming to the repertoire… much like you’d find on Xbox Live.

iAds – iAd is designed to allow developers to make money while keeping their apps free to download. Interactive video content can be included in an ad without ever taking the user out of the application. This means you can return to your app any time you choose, and you don’t have to actually leave it to begin with. People will be much more likely to actually click on an ad if they know they aren’t going to have to back out of what they were doing in the first place. Apple plans a 60/40 split with developers – with devs pocketing the 60% mark of any ad earnings.

The sad news of the day is that multitasking will not be coming to older models. You have to have an iPhone 3GS (or a 3rd gen iPod Touch) in order to take advantage of this awesome feature. I know that many people in our community still use older models. Word is that these older models simply don’t have the right hardware to handle the additional resources needed.

The update will be available this summer for iPhones and iPod Touch devices. However, it won’t show up for the iPad until sometime this fall. If you’re a developer, though, it is available now!

What are your thoughts on the new operating system? Are you happy with all of the changes, or did you expect something more?

Want to embed this video on your own site, blog, or forum? Use this code or download the video:

Android OS on an Archos Tablet

Add to iTunes | Add to YouTube | Add to Google | RSS Feed

You don’t necessarily have to lock yourself into a two-year contract to make use of the Android operating system. Thanks to the Archos 5 Internet Tablet, you can have video playback and web browsing – and use Android, as well. I ran into Charbax during the LeWeb conference in Paris last week. He asked me if I’d like to check one of these out, so that I can finally use Android (and an Archos!) myself. I’m more than grateful to them for providing this unit to me for review purposes.

I don’t have access to the App Store through the Archos as you might if you were using Android on an iPod. The firmware hasn’t been updated to that point yet. However, Charbax (who is an Archos enthusiast) assured me that one will be coming within the next couple of months.

Some things to note is that you’re able to play YouTube HD videos directly to an HD TV. The Archos is the world’s first pocketable product that can do this! The Archos weighs only about a half of a pound, so it’s lightweight and portable as heck.

It has a 4.8″ screen, with medium-density resolution. The screen has a very sharp display, though. You also have more screen real-estate than you do with most other devices which would run the Android operating system, and certainly more than what my iPhone has.

It comes loaded with a few default applications. It’s a media-managing device, absolutely. It has audio and video playback capabilities, which we already discussed a little bit. It’s a picture and PDF viewer. You can use it to record audio and video. You can use the Archos to check your email, since it is compatible with any email accounts which support POP3 and IMAP services. And, of course, you can use it to browse the Web.

The Droid runs a 600 MHz processor. The Archos, though, runs an 800 MHz processor. You can attach any number of standard computer USB accessories, such as a keyboard, mouse, memory card or camera.

The one I have is the 160 GB version. There are lesser capacities available, should you find yourself not needing as much storage space. However, I’ll need this much later on. Once the firmware update is available, I’ll be busy buying up tons of Apps to fill this sucker up. I have nearly 500 on my poor iPhone. I wonder how many thousands of Apps I’ll be able to get on here?!

Thanks again to my friend Charbax for hooking me up with my first-ever Archos device to review… and my first use of Android. I really am enjoying it, and haven’t found much that’s negative at all.

Want to embed this video on your own site, blog, or forum? Use this code or download the video:

Do You Share Too Much Online?

With the events this week on Twitter surrounding the unfortunate death of a Florida toddler, one cannot help but wonder how much social media is too much. This story has garnered national attention, due to the thousands of tweets flying back and forth between two separate “camps”. One camp – those who are friends of the woman whose son drowned – are rabid in their defense of her. Those on the other side of the issue – who feel that her social activities contributed to her possibly not watching her child – are just as rabid in their opposition. It’s enough to make your head spin, attempting to keep up with everything going on.

I am not going to take any “sides” in this issue, as I feel that’s an absurd thing to do. I don’t know the woman in question, and my heart breaks for her for the loss of her son. However, I can’t help but speak out about the social media aspect. There are times when people turn to it a little TOO much, as well as times when it is used in a completely counter-productive way. As I said in a video earlier… if you have nothing nice to say, keep your mouth shut! Yes, it’s okay for you to question something, or to speak your mind. But do so in a productive and nice way. You don’t have to turn nasty or threatening to get your point across.

In my mind, too much social media comes in to play when it dominates your life, and when you rely on it instead of your own family or friends. Yes, online friends are very real, and sometimes even “closer” than your “real-life” ones. However, using social media as your entire outlet and life is not a healthy thing. Make sure that you have activities and hobbies away from your computer. Take the time to reconnect with family or neighbors whom you have lost touch with. Don’t rely solely on the Internet to get comfort and support. That’s my take on it, anyway. What do you think?

This isn’t the only story being talked – or written – about online today, you know. Our community has been busy talking about everything from hardware to Twitter to BumpTop! I hope you’ve taken the time to read some of it today!

The blog posts aren’t the only happening thing going on! We have several new – and updated! – pieces of software in our downloads center, just waiting for you to check them out!

CNN Blogger Bunch: Windows 7 and Hulu Subscriptions

I was recently featured on CNN live website, along with my buddies Pete Cashmore (from Mashable) and Brian Chen (from Wired). We had a great time discussing things like Windows 7 and the announcement of Hulu subscriptions. It’s an interesting roundtable from the three of us self-avowed “Mac” guys, who all have extensive Windows experience.

As I stated during the discussion, I believe the operating system is becoming irrelevant in the days where everyone logs in to their computer, and immediately opens a web browser.

What are your thoughts on this? Do you feel as we tune more and more into the Web that things such as actual operating systems will become more irrelevant?

Who Loves Windows Vista?

Add to iTunes | Add to YouTube | Add to Google | RSS Feed

During a recent live call, Charles nearly knocked me out of my chair when he proclaimed that he LOVES Windows Vista. I was honestly shocked, especially since the calls were supposed to be about Windows 7. Charles stated emphatically that he never had issues with Vista, and that it actually just worked for him. He fully admits that he may be the only person in his entire town – or state! – who feels this way. We did, of course, end up discussing his views on Windows 7, and about Microsoft in general.

I feel that Windows Vista was, of course, one of the worst things to happen to Microsoft. Also, of course, the iPhone was bad for Microsoft, as well. The iPhone has been probably the most sought-after gadget in recent years, which only enhances Microsoft’s lackluster products. Even people at Microsoft have admitted that Vista wasnt’ fully baked, so how was the public supposed to like it?

Charles actually liked the fact that there were five different versions of Vista. He didn’t want to pay for features he wasn’t interested in. However, I don’t feel that languages should have been part of any type of upgrade, such as in the Ultimate edition. It should be built right in to the operating system as a core component!! Having so many different versions of one operating system creates confusion amongst the public, at least in my opinion. People who don’t know better automatically assume that they need the best they can afford, whether they truly need those additional features or not. That’s just not always the case. Often, they end up having paid for things that they never end up using.

What are your thoughts? Do you feel Microsoft is consumer-friendly, and that there should be many different versions of each Windows release? Or are you thinking what I’m thinking…

[awsbullet:windows 7 upgrade]

Want to embed this video on your own site, blog, or forum? Use this code or download the video: