Tag Archives: operating-system

What Technology of Today Will be Obsolete Tomorrow?

Earlier on Geeks, I read a thread someone had started asking what basic technology that we use today will not even be around in the future. The author lists such things as the keyboard and mouse, a land-line telephone, public Wi-Fi, and even operating systems! Wait, what? You don’t think operating systems will be around in the future? Well, you could be right, actually. With more and more computing being done in the Cloud, that’s something we may yet see in our lifetimes.

What pieces of everyday tech do you feel will become obsolete in the near future – or at least during your lifetime? It’ll be interesting to see everyone’s lists and reasoning, and to compare our thoughts. You can leave a follow-up comment here, or reply directing in the thread on Geeks.

Even on Halloween, we have some excellent deals (and freebies!) on various types of software and applications. You’ll find thing for your phone, even, so be sure to check them out.

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Happy Halloween!

I love Halloween. It’s so much fun to see all the kids in their little costumes. Heck, it’s sometimes even fun to see the grownups in their costumes, as well! But most of all, I love to see Wicket and Pixie all dressed up for the day. I’ve even been known to dress up in recent years, myself.

What sort of traditions do you have for Halloween? What are you dressing up as this year – and are you actually going trick-or-treating? Let’s hear about your celebration, and be sure to link pictures for us!

Do you ever even stop to think about the history of Halloween? I knew that it was based in old Celtic traditions, and that October 31st is a very sacred holiday for many in the Pagan world – Samhain. There is much interesting lore to be read if you want to stretch your mind a little.

You can also learn new things every day by keeping an eye on our community! People post about anything and everything – even sometimes, the kitchen sink!

In this tough economy, you have to try and cut corners wherever you can. This is where our downloads center comes in handy. Every day, we feature excellent software and applications at excellent prices – some are even free!

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Windows 7 – How Soon Should You Upgrade?

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I opened the phone lines a few nights ago, asking the community to call in to talk about Windows 7. We had some excellent discussions. This particular call was from Ray, asking me about whether he should upgrade his Windows 7 RC 1 to the full/final release now… or wait a bit. We also talked about differences in the different versions available of Windows 7, and what may work best for his needs.

As I mentioned, Ray is using RC 1 still on his computer. He says he isn’t having any issues or problems with it. He was wondering if he “should” go ahead and buy the full version now, or if it was ok to wait until the RC ran out. I told him that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Seriously, if his version isn’t causing any problems, wait to buy the full version until there’s a coupon or sale going on. Save yourself some money!

We also talked a bit about the various versions. He had heard from someone that with Windows 7, the Home Professional version is actually better to use than the Ultimate version. I do know that the big difference between Professional and Ultimate is additional language packs, and BitLocker. Kat and I discussed BitLocker a bit in a previous video. If those are things you need, then it would be worth it to get Ultimate.

Personally, I don’t think those things are value adds. I think they should just be part of the operating system, no matter which version you buy. But who am I to make the rules?

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Best Buy and Windows 7

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With the advent of Windows 7 going public, I opened the phone lines up. People called in to talk about anything and everything related to Windows 7. Danny Minick is a long-time member of our community, and now apparently has a new job working at his local Best Buy. During this particular call, I asked him what the buzz is around the store.

Danny says that at work the other night, several people were bashing Linux openly. There was a link given to Microsoft, some employee learning site. Apparently, there were slides and everything on there, openly dissing Linux and slagging it. I wondered why no one spoke up, with Microsoft’s claim that IE won’t run on Linux. It’s not true… and I hope all of you know that.

Danny uses OS X primarily, so I wasn’t sure if he used Windows 7. He says that he is, indeed, running Windows 7 under VMWare Fusion on his Macbook.

I reminded Danny that he can pick up my Windows 7 eBook, and any of the others that I’ve done, as well. I also reminded him (and all of you!) to keep an eye on my Coupons page for discounts on the new version of VMWare Fusion when it hits the stores.

More Best Buy Coupons:


Find Coupons for over 1100 Stores

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Windows 7 Thoughts

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I took several live calls the other night, talking to people about Windows 7. Mitchell was one of the callers. He absolutely loves Windows 7. He’s been a Windows user for many years, and never did like Vista. He started using Windows 7 with the very first build, and is now using the RTM via his TechNet subscription.

Although he never upgrade his own machines to Vista, he did use it on other computers. He hated it from the get-go, and refused to upgrade until something better was released. That something is obviously Windows 7 as far as he’s concerned.

In Mitchell’s mind – and my own – upgrading from XP to Windows 7 is an excellent idea. Mitchell feels that the upgrade is best because of the Windows Explorer. He’s very happy with that. He felt it was too confusing in Vista. With Windows 7, it’s easier to navigate and find what you’re looking for.

If you haven’t upgraded to Windows 7 yet, what are you waiting for? Remember, if you’re needing some tips and help, you can check out my Windows 7 eBook, available for only $7.00!

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Apple’s Mac OS X Snow Leopard Review

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I’m sure you’re still laughing at my impression of a Snow Leopard, in honor of the newest release of Mac OS X. The upgrade is only $30.00, which is an excellent price. You should go out and get it right away, but I’m not sure if you’re ready to install it just yet.

The upgrade was painless. The trick to it is to take the disc out of the sleeve, put it in the drive, and click the Install button… and you’re done. From that point forward, it will show you if your applications are compatible or not.

Some people are saying that Snow Leopard is an awesome upgrade, and others don’t think so as much. I’d say right now, I’m seeing it split pretty evenly. I am enjoying some of the new features, such as Exchange integration on the desktop – it works flawlessly. I haven’t seen much of a speed increase, though. There are some nips and tucks around the operating system. The Finder has been completely re-written, which is awesome.

There are subtle changes, as well. I’m a little leary about putting it on all of my machines. Yes, it’s a great upgrade. The changes are incremental, but I’m not sure if all of my applications are going to be compatible, especially ones that I really need and use. So, I’m going to wait about a month of so to make sure all of my software is updated before I jump in.

What do you think of Snow Leopard? If you’ve installed it already, let me know your thoughts so far. If you have it but haven’t installed it yet – why are you waiting? I’m interested to hear about that, as well.

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Save $100 on Windows 7 Professional Upgrade

The Windows 7 Professional Upgrade will not be available until October 22, 2009. However, if you want to pre-order now, Amazon has a great deal, which saves you a hundred dollars.

Amazon even gives a price guarantee:

if the Amazon price decreases between your order time and the end of the day of the release date, you’ll receive the lowest price.

There is a limit of three (3) per customer, and is an excellent deal. At least, it provides some top-end insurance. The price may be lower, but it can’t go any higher than this if you order now.

There is a Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor to see if your system can handle Windows 7. A small download is required in order to make use of this resource.

And finally, there is this stated caution on the Amazon page:

“We recommend that you experience Windows 7 on a new PC. While we don’t recommend it, you can opt to upgrade your current PC from Windows XP or another operating system to Windows 7…”

In this economy, there may not be the extra funds to go out and buy a “new PC,” as suggested. The upgrade may be the viable economic route to go – but do your homework. It seems that a hundred dollars (less a penny and with free shipping) is an economical way to have access to this new operating system.

Will Linux Always be Stuck in the Minority?

Recently, Steve Ballmer explained why Linux is going to stay in the minority for users. Some people feel that the main reason for this is that Developers aren’t really producing anything for Linux, as compared to OS X and Windows. Still others feel this is preposterous, and that Linux will soon become mainstream. I asked everyone over at FriendFeed what they think. Some of the answers are surprising.

sigh….10 year old thinking – hate to break it to you but it isn’t the OS anymore – Kevin Cearns

stuck in the minority? what world are you living in? linux adoption is growing at a phenomenal rate. – Donald Turnbull

IMO Chris is pretty correct, ‘coz he intended (afais) "Desktop" Linux. If 6 editions of Windows Vista are 5 too much… – Yuvi

Color me stupid – it wasn’t Chris. But, I agree with what the blogger concerned said. – Yuvi

Some good points but rather limited thinking. – Deepak

When it comes to shareware apps today, I wonder if the place to be is not with Windows as the author says, but rather with the iPhone or OS X. The Windows market is so vast it’s hard to get noticed, even with a great app. Now in terms of the OS, I think it still matters. However, I’d add that Linux developers need to make their case today why Linux on a _notebook_ is the thing to do. Easier to manage connectons? Transparent switches between WIFI and EVDO? Longer battery life? Easy ad hoc networks? More and more people have notebooks. That’s where the market is in hardware. Where’s Linux in this? One area where Linux permutations are sprouting up along these lines is with MIDs. Special tuned versions of Linux are being created to support these small devices. If they’re done well, this may be something to watch. – Loren Heiny

its Sad but unfortunately its true. untill we either find a way to make money on linux or Finally get others to leave the greed theres no way linux will come out the shadows off windows & OSX. although more development of WINE will help a LOT – Ro11z

I do believe there needs to be some change to adopt.. Normal users will never understand the "Free as in Speech, Free as in Beer" concept. We need to get rid of the terms open, closed, free, etc.. (whether you care about them or not) Also, not allowing closed source (i.e. Nvidia drivers, Flash, etc) items to be pre-installed is an obvious death wish. Wine should be installed, enabled, and ready to go by default. There are plenty of awesome apps on Linux. Just make them easier to find and install. – Tim Hoeck

Ya lost me when you posted Ballmer spelling out his "thoughts". Gates, okay, but Ballmer – please… That said, as a full time Linux user, you are right in a number of areas. What is wild is that most of them are not that difficult to fix, either. And your point about open or closed source – spot-on. OS for the job getting done, not its license. I could care less how Linux is licensed, as long as I can maintain certain freedoms with it. Good write up. 😉 – Matt Hartley

What do you think? Will Linux ever become as “mainstream” as what Windows is, and OS X is quickly becoming? Or is it going to remain something that hard-core Geeks use? Let’s hear your ideas and thoughts.

Will we be Saying Goodbye to Windows any Time Soon?

Many people feel that Windows is coming to an end, and that any new operating system from Microsoft will be radically different. Still others vehemently deny this, and claim that it’s a “bunch of hooey”. I threw this question out to people on FriendFeed to see what they have to say.

Sounds like MS is going for cloud computing. – Tim via twhirl

This is all bullshit. Anyone who knows Windows and Microsoft well is laughing their asses off at these kinds of headlines. Just isn’t going to happen. At least not anytime in forseable future. – Robert Scoble

i like this nonsense, it’s like thinking of bread without flour – marcantonio severgnini

+1 @Scoble – sebmos

Windows has been closely associated and branded as THE operating system for all needs by MS. It has also become the main cash cow and generator of its revenues during the entire period of its existence. I don’t see how can MS shed off the Windows skin all that easily or in such a short time, especially considering that Vista is just out and it has "Windows" in front of its name. – Hayk Hakobyan

Any future successor "non-Windows" operating system will still be branded as Windows. Precedent is Windows NT. The Windows brand is too important to sideline. – Ian Fogg

These same speculations have been going on for years. Just because Microsoft is branching into developing another breed of OS doesn’t mean they are going to abandon Windows. – Amit Morson

@Ian – More your area than mine, but Windows is many things including a brand, a product, a paradigm, an architecture and a platform. MS might keep any combo of those five things, but you’re right – the brand is the appealing part. – Rob Sterling

"The Cloud" is simply a word for remote services – not a magical mystery future. The reality is that the personal workstation will in some form always be with us. There will always be advantages to having a local (non bandwidth limited) source of computing cycles to enhance the manipulation or presentation of data in a lot of tasks. That workstation will ALWAYS need an OS of some form. – Soulhuntre

Microsoft is aggressively evolving Windows so that it will be capable of supplying that part of the computing chain. Research projects are playgrounds for that. Those folks who claim that the "operating system is dead" are simply not looking at what they are saying from a systems point of view. They are using the term "Operating System" and "PC" to refer to a type of workstation use case… not a technology. – Soulhuntre

Didn’t it already "die" and "everything move online"…like…6 or 7 times already? Each time, people realize that there are places where the internet isn’t accessible, isn’t fast (relative to the desktop), and isn’t private enough. Not to say there isn’t a place for web services (obviously — we’re on one), but this whole "The desktop is dead! Dumb terminals for everyone!" hype is just pendulum swing nonsense. – Robert Fischer

Weather it happens or not is irrelevant Robert. It’s a plan B and a pretty good one imo 🙂 – DC Crowley

You guys are missing the point here. It’s about virtualization. Right now with free OSes like Linux you can bascially run as many computers as your hardware has memory to support on a single physical machine. There are lots of benefits to this. One being you can literally take your desktop from one computer to another. Window’s licensing won’t allow that. They need to come up with this lightweight OS with flexible licensing to compete. – Lindsay Donaghe

Will it get rid of Windows for most consumers and as the host OS for your machine? Probably not. But it will enable you to use Windows anywhere you want to as long as there’s a virtualization product installed that can run your VM. Ultimately they might end up getting more exposure through that since people will stop caring which OS runs on the hardware… just which OS runs on their personal VMs. – Lindsay Donaghe

Whatever apps don’t end up in the cloud in a few years will end up on your personal VMs. And you’ll be able to take those with you wherever you go (we’ve already got USB drives that are cheap and hold upwards of 16GB). It’s the future. – Lindsay Donaghe

I talked to Microsoft PR yesterday about this. This is an incubation project and will NOT replace Windows. Anyone remember Netdocs? That was supposed to replace Office, too, remember? – Robert Scoble

Just another roll of the dice in Redmond’s labs. – Bill Sodeman

Ina got it right. http://tinyurl.com/6xgqjnjeff

I don’t think it’s dice. It’s generally a good practice to build something from the ground up to learn what’s possible and then take those possibilities into an existing project. If you tried it against an existing codebase you get more "can’t do that" then "How can we make this work." I do it all the time, probably more then I should. – shawn

When PC’s started to become available we [old geeks] flocked away from the dumb terminal en masse. I don’t envision us going back there anytime soon. – Jody Carbone

Over the top headlines definitely get attention. Take note: anyone looking for hits might want to post an article called "Apple sees end of OS X era." There are sure to be some patents or dubious screenshots that you could use. – Loren Heiny

What do you think? Will (or should) Microsoft get completely away from Windows as we know it? Or should they stay with what they have in place, and improve upon it? What does the future of any operating system have in store, and what should we look for?

Top Five Tips for Installing Windows XP

Even with the advent of Vista, many people are still installing (and even re-installing) Windows XP. Normally, it’s a relatively easy and painless process. But, as with anything, something could always go wrong. Brandon sent in this top five list for installing XP for anyone who may find themselves needing to do so.

  • Use a program called nLite to slipstream all of your drivers into your Windows XP installation. You can also add updates and service packs that can be downloaded from Microsoft. Doing this before installation prevents corruption that could occur from installing them after. If you accidentally get any viruses and don’t know about it, critical operating system files could be harmed from running the updates. Finally, nLite can remove all the programs and services that you don’t need to save disk and RAM space. Using nLite is helpful to make installation simpler, and saves time if you find yourself reinstalling Windows quite often. After you’re done processing your original Windows install CD, nLite will create an ISO file that can be burned to a blank disc. As long as you use your product key from your genuine COA, this is totally legal.
  • Make sure you have your Anti-Virus software on a CD before hand, and that it’s the first thing you install after installing Windows. This means that you will not have to connect to the Internet to download your AV software, and it will be less possible to obtain a virus before the AV software is actually installed.
  • Have all of your software discs in a pile ready to install, in the order you’re going to install them in. Personally, I always install Microsoft Office first, followed by all my other productivity software. I install games last. Try to find out what works best for you.
  • Take time to customize your desktop. I’m sure most people don’t find the Luna (a.k.a. Playskool) interface very attractive, so feel free to change it right away. I actually recommend downloading the Royale theme from Microsoft, which is the visual style included with the Media Center and Tablet editions of Windows XP. It’s basically the same colors as Luna, but with better shading, and it’s glossy like the Windows Vista interface. It can make your desktop so much more elegant looking, and is more exciting then Windows Classic.
  • Organize your Start menu. If you leave your Start menu the way that setup programs organize it, you’ll quickly have a cluttered mess on your hands that takes up your entire screen. Instead of having it organized by software vendor, organize it by categories such as “media”, “productivity”, and “games”. Not only does this leave you with a lot of screen space, but you’ll be able to find programs much faster.