Tag Archives: Software

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 Would You Do With TechNet?

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Someone recently asked if it was worth spending money on a TechNet subscription from Microsoft. If you’re a developer, the answer is a definite yes. If you’re a student – you can get a pretty hefty discount. In any case, if you’re anyone who uses a lot of Microsoft software, then it’s definitely something you should look into.

Yes, it’s going to cost you money. But do you want to know as much as you can about their software, tools and development? If so, then yes, you totally want a subscription. It’s absolutely worth it. You have to ask yourself how important the knowledge you can gain is to you. How much is it worth to you?

Look at it this way. When you go to a job interview, you’re going to have to discuss what you know and how you know it. Being able to point to having an extreme amount of education when it comes to all of the various Microsoft platforms.

If you’re out of a job, you will definitely hesitate at spending the money for the subscription. But having that knowledge of Azure or .NET could put you head and shoulders above the competition. Even if you’re an Apple fan… you likely will need to use Microsoft software at some point in your life or career.

Weigh your options. How much is a foot in the door worth to you?

Deploy – A New Seattle Conference for Developers

I’m launching a new conference with the folks over at Seattle 2.0 called Deploy – Today’s Technology for Tomorrow’s Apps. It will be held Monday, November 8th from 9AM – 5PM at the Bell Harbor Conference Center. Deploy is a conference for technology builders and geeks. New languages, frameworks, storage systems, methodologies and devices are creating entirely new opportunities. Deploy 2010 is a “Show and Tell” conference where speakers will discuss hot new topics and show what can be done – and how. Topics will include NoSQL, Mobile and Tablet, Game Mechanics, Open Source, Location and more.

We have a great lineup of speakers including:

  • Doug Cutting, creator of Hadoop, Lucene and Nutch
  • Andre Charland, creator of PhoneGap – the open source cross-platform mobile technology
  • Brian Fling, founder of Pinch/Zoom and creator of the NY Times iPad app
  • Poornima Vijayashanker, first engineering lead at Mint and bizeebee creator
  • Bob Walsh, author of “MicroISV: From Vision to Reality and the Web Startup Success Guide

Deploy 2010 will be a technology conference focused on software development. It’s perfect for developers of all backgrounds, whether you are still in college or are an industry veteran . It’s also valuable to managers and executives who have technologists in their organizations.

As an added bonus, we are reserving eight spots for show and tell. For three minutes, up to 8 lucky winners, will be able to get up on stage and either speak about or demonstrate their technology. During the morning session, we’ll collect entries from attendees who want to present their technology during the Tech Demo segment. At 1:30 PM, after the lunch break, we’ll draw the entries from a hat. The lucky winner has three minutes to get up on stage and present his or her technology.

If you are a developer or hard-core tech enthusiast, I hope you will join us for join us for Deploy.

If Your Life Had a Theme Song, What Would it Be?

This fun little question showed up on Lockergnome earlier today. I admit, it has me stumped. I’m not sure that I could come up with just one song to be my official theme song. There are so many good ones out there which fit me… especially stuff that Weird Al Yankovic writes. Many of you will likely choose an emotional or inspirational song – something that has meaning to you. However, I’m willing to be I’m not the only goofball out there.

So let’s have it: what song fits you the best? Which track is going to be your theme song? Additionally, what piece of music do you feel should tell MY life story?

There are no theme songs or title tracks to wade through when you visit our software center. All you’ll find is the latest – and best – software and apps for all of your devices and machines.

How Do You Define Bloatware?

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A caller the other night asked simply: “What is Bloatware?” That’s actually an easy one to answer! Bloatware is when you have a piece of software that should be a certain size. However, due to several unnecessary things being added in, the size of the software increases dramatically. Heck, sometimes companies add so much crap in that the original software ends up being buggy and laggy making it not work properly.

There are some types of software that you can turn off the unneeded services and installed applications. When installing a new piece of software, make sure you actually pay attention and read everything during installation. I recommend never just “clicking through” repeatedly. There are a lot of things that will get installed without your consent… all of which are enabled by default. For example, there are types of software that will automatically install various toolbars unless you tell it not to.

Some people claim that things such as Microsoft Office are bloatware due to the sheer number of features inside. You may want just a good text editor (Word), but instead you’re going to have to install a ton of other things just to get that.

My best advice is just to pay attention to what you’re installing. Make sure you are aware of what comes bundled with each piece of software when deciding what to buy, even. Choose something that works well for your needs and comes with the least amount of “extras.”

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Favorite Downloads

I initiated a TypeWith.me document the other day and seeded the link to those in my chat room. Within a few hours, the group of us had assembled our own list of “favorite” downloads for…


Mac OS X

Are Geeks Friendly?

I recently glanced through a forum post on Geeks, where the poster was a woman talking about how Geeks are usually mean to her. She admits that she isn’t a technology Geek. While she does enjoy things like her MP3 player and cell phone, she’s not very knowledgeable about the products, nor how they work. She has felt ostracized many times over the past months in different communities, after being called a n00b – or worse!

We aren’t mean, are we? Sure, we don’t have many social skills, but overall I like to think we’re nicer than most people. Sure, you’re going to get trolls, idiots and jerks. But that happens no matter where you go. I don’t think that Geeks have it in us to be flat-out mean to people!

Am I way off base here? Have you ever felt as though a Geek treated you badly in a social situation? Share your wisdom with the rest of us!

Don’t forget to stop by our software center to see what new deals we have for you today!

Download Center

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Every so often, you may need to download something to make your computer or mobile device run better. There are millions of pieces of software and applications available for every operating system you can think of. To help you find the best deals on software of every type, we’ve created our new Downloads center! Every day, we feature the very best software – including games! – that we can find, at excellent prices!

I’ve been downloading and gathering together software since 1996. I admit it… I’m addicted to software! I always have been. On the downloads center, we even have free software available. If you want to download your favorite software at no cost to you, just choose the program you want, complete a simple offer, and download the full version of your chosen application!

There are several people on our team who are all monitoring this software to the best of their ability. They don’t allow any questionable content to be added and they haven’t let anything with malware in it slip by, either. If you ever come across something on the site you don’t feel is quite “right” in some way, please send me an email. We will look into it faster than immediately.

We post an aggregate every day on Geeks in the blog section. In that post, you’ll find the very newest programs we’ve come across, as well as some really excellent deals. I’m also doing my best to keep Twitter and Facebook updated with the hottest deals.

If you’re not interested in this service, that’s fine. If you are – check it out! I’m all ears, and want to hear your feedback. We can’t make the site better without your help!

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Microsoft Security Updates

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Software is constantly evolving and changing. That’s a good thing, honestly. There are always new and better features being added, along with important security updates in some cases. David from PC PitStop asked about Microsoft Updates. He’s wondering if they’re really necessary, since it takes him so long to download them on his DSL.

At least they released them, right? Even Apple has to have updates. Software needs to be updated because there are exploits out there. Developers don’t see those things until they’re out in the field and have been taken advantage of. Microsoft has found that it’s usually better to release a full chunk up updates all at once, instead of in smaller batches. There are even some vendors who don’t release any updates at all, so you should be glad that Microsoft does!

You do have an option that might help though, David. You can always turn off automatic updates in Windows, and download them manually once per week – or per day! Choose which updates you need, and when to download them. You can easily manage this by opening up Internet Explorer, and going to Tools at the top, and selecting Windows Updates.

If you’re having problems with a particular update, you can always roll it back. However, nine times out of ten it’s better to keep your Windows install up-to-date. You’ll be far more secure and have less stability issues for the most part. If you do choose to roll back, be sure to keep an eye out for bug fixes and stable releases so you can jump on the update train once again.

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