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Okay calm down, we are collecting as many helpful newsletters from experienced guru authors to help you. Of course I actually may write a few myself.
I have been working at computers since the 70's and had my own business for about 17 years. Cpedley.com will give you some good tips about computers and some FREE software! See notice at bottom.
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Traveling the World without Leaving Home: Mobile World Congress in Barcelona
Traveling the World without Leaving Home: Mobile World Congress in Barcelona
There's a lot going on in the tech world this week and there's no way to be at all of the great conferences that are taking place simultaneously. As I write this, the MVP Summit starts today in Bellevue/Redmond and this will be the first one I've missed since becoming an MVP six years ago. I had every intention of going this year, too, but life and work converged to intervene and, non-refundable airline tickets or not, I had to change those plans.
But I'm not the only one who's not there this time - Steve Ballmer, who usually gives the keynote speech at the Summit, is missing in action, too. That's because he's at the other place I wish I could be: the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. That's where the operating system formerly known as Windows Mobile 7 (now renamed "Windows Phone") is finally being unveiled. http://www.win7news.net/O52HI2/100218-Live-Analysis
The great thing about the Internet is that, even though I can't be at either of these events, I can still join in and know what's going on - and get my work done at the same time. And in some ways, it's better than being at either because I can "attend" both simultaneously, remotely - with minute-by-minute reports from the MWC 2010 on my left monitor and MVP blogs on my right monitor (I'm writing this on the monitor in the middle).
Those of us who refused to go over to the dark side (iPhone) and resisted the lure of the Droid have been eagerly awaiting the new and reportedly much improved version of the Windows OS for our phones. And it looks as though there are some very exciting new products being shown off there, both with and without Windows.
Of course, much of the information that we get each year at the MVP Summit comes under a non-disclosure agreement (NDA), but there are no such restrictions on what goes on at the MWC. And it's great to see members of the tech press calling Windows Phone 7 a "complete game changer." As has been long rumored, the interface does away with the old "tiny version of Windows" look and takes on a more Zune-like appearance. A common complaint about WinMo phones has been the need for a stylus; now you don't have to depend on a hardware vendor's overlay (such as Samsung's TouchWiz or HTC's Sense UI) to make your phone finger-friendly.
Start menu? Forget about it. With Windows Phone 7, you navigate using something called Live Tiles. These are not just shortcut icons; rather, the tiles update their content automatically. In its simplest form, this is something you've already seen: for instance, there are tiles for email, phone and text that show you how many unread messages, missed calls or texts you have. But it goes further than that. You can create tiles for your favorite friends, and that person's latest social networking posts and pictures will be displayed there and update automatically. Very cool.
If you're one of those folks who likes to use your phone to entertain you while you're waiting in line at the grocery store or sitting at the airport, you might appreciate the new Xbox games integration. You're able to play Xbox Live games on the phone.
Microsoft execs must be celebrating today. In stark contrast to the luke-warm reception given Apple's iPad by the tech press a few weeks ago, the new Windows Phone is getting mostly positive reviews from the bloggers who have seen it. Maybe 7 really is a lucky number for the company; the praise I'm reading for the new phone OS, after all the grief Microsoft got for Windows Mobile 6.5, reminds me of the love affair so many tech pundits had with Windows 7 after excoriating Vista for so long. http://www.win7news.net/O52HI2/100218-WindowsPhone7
Of course, you can't please everybody, and some folks are already complaining that the new interface turns the Windows device into just another dumb "smart phone" when what they want is a small handheld computer - exactly what previous versions of Windows Mobile gave them: http://www.win7news.net/O52HI2/100218-Microsoft-Phone
Because I focus on writing about Windows products, I naturally paid more attention to the new OS and Windows-based phones, but Microsoft isn't the only company that's showing off some interesting phones. In fact, the biggest problem for those who want to get a new phone in 2010 may be having to pick just one. Sony always excels at the "cool factor," and just as the VAIO X takes coolness to new heights in the notebook/netbook space, the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 Mini (which also comes in a "pro" version with a physical keyboard) is a compact version of the awesome Xperia X10 for those who like to keep their devices tiny. http://www.win7news.net/O52HI2/100218-Xperia
Microsoft isn't the only phone software maker with a whole new operating system, either. Nokia has its new Maemo OS that's based on Linux and has a pretty cool design, with personalized desktops, multitasking, geotagging and a Mozilla-based web browser that supports Flash and full web standards: http://www.win7news.net/O52HI2/100218-Maemo
Perhaps one of the most desirable-looking of the non-Windows phones being displayed is the appropriately named HTC Desire. It's an Android 2.1 phone with HTC's Sense UI overlay and has the same beautiful 3.7 AMOLED screen that I have on my Samsung Omnia II, along with a faster processor (Snapdragon 1 GHz vs. the Omnia II's 800 MHz). Best of all, it's apparently going to work on Verizon's network - which is interesting, considering that it will be competing there with the Droid. http://www.win7news.net/O52HI2/100218-HTC-Desire
As for innovation, we hear there was even a phone on display, the Puma, that has a solar panel, so no more worries if you forgot your charger or you're out in the middle of a field somewhere with no source of electricity. Let's just hope it's a sunny day. http://www.win7news.net/O52HI2/100218-Puma-Phone
I wish I could be there to see all this goodness first-hand, but being able to find out about the new devices almost in real-time is the next best thing. How do you feel about attending conferences and events "virtually" instead of in person? Do you like not having to pay for travel, hassle with airlines and hotels, and leave the comforts of home? Or is it just not the same if you can't be there to hear the speeches and see the products in person? Would you pay (a reduced entry fee, we hope) to attend a big conference "live" over the Internet, if you could see everything as it's happening? If you had to choose, would you go to Redmond to visit the Microsoft campus or to Barcelona to see the new phones? What do you think about Windows Phone 7, at first glance? Would you buy one? Which specific phones (Windows or otherwise) caught your eye? Or do you care about smart phones at all? Is a solar-powered phone a great idea or just a gimmick? What's on your phone "wish list" that none of the vendors has implemented yet? We invite you to discuss all these topics on our forum at http://www.win7news.net/O52HI2/100218-Forum-Discussion
Follow-up: iPad alternatives
In last week's editorial, we talked about the unveiling of the iPad, Apple's recent foray into the slate/tablet market. Some of our readers were more impressed with it than I. One noted that I "must not have an iPhone." No, I don't. I've tried it, though, and although there were some things that I liked about it, there were just too many things that I didn't. Said reader summed Apple's products up as having "made computing as easy as using the telephone ... Plus, it's pretty and fun."
See, that's where we differ. Pretty, fun and easy are all nice - but what I want is to be able to get work done efficiently and reliably, have more control over my device and experience, and I even expect excellent voice quality from a phone. Those are things the iPhone hasn't yet been able to offer.
Others agreed with me that the iPad isn't quite so revolutionary as its fans believe, and many of you had your own "deal breakers" - such as the lack of Java and Flash. Tops2 noted that a big omission is the lack of ability to write notes with a stylus, which is something that most of us who are in the market for a tablet want to be able to do.
And some of you just aren't interested in the tablet form factor at all. Kenneth F. sort of summed up the impression that many of my friends had about the iPad: it's just an expensive color-capable ebook reader. Then Will asked how I can comment on a product that isn't on sale yet. Umm ... the same way I can comment on a political candidate who hasn't been elected yet - except that the product is unlikely to end up doing a complete turnaround and being something totally different from what it was advertised to be after it does hit the market. :) Once a product has been unveiled and demonstrated to the public and its specifications published, yes, we can make some pretty valid assumptions about it.
All in all, it seems those who are looking forward to the iPad are folks who love their iPods and are okay with the fact that this is basically just a bigger one. And that's fine. It's all about what you want to do with it, and the iPad will undoubtedly find a market. There are just some of us who seriously doubt it's going to be the big hit that the iPhone was/is.
Thanks, as always, to all of you who participated in this topic.
"A computer once beat me at chess, but it was no match for me at kick boxing." - Emo Philips
"I am not the only person who uses his computer mainly for the purpose of diddling with his computer." - Dave Barry
Kiss Your Antivirus Bloatware Goodbye
We asked users of antivirus products what they didn't like about their AV software. They told us they are resource hogs and slowed their computer down. They told us that scan times took way too long, and that the AV software nagged them. In short, old-style AV software takes too much Memory and CPU. Time to switch to VIPRE! It gives you malware protection that combines antivirus, antispyware, anti-rootkit and other technologies into a seamless, tightly-integrated product.
In a recent poll conducted by Lifehacker that asked readers to name the best operating system for netbooks, Windows 7 came out the clear winner with 36 percent of the vote. Second place was taken by Ubuntu Linux with 27 percent. Interestingly, XP didn't even make the cut into the top 5. Does that mean Windows users really are finally moving on? Read more here: http://www.win7news.net/O52HI2/100218-Best-Netbook-OS
Using System Restore when you can't log on to Windows 7 or Vista
If you are unable to log onto your Win7 or Vista computer because you've changed the password and forgotten it, or a protected account has been deleted, you may be able to get back in by using a system restore point. This article gives you step by step instructions on how to do it. http://www.win7news.net/O52HI2/100218-System-Restore
Beware if you're using an illegal copy of Windows 7
There have been a number of activation hacks going around that people have used to activate illegal (pirated) copies of the OS with stolen product keys. Microsoft has announced that they are preparing to distribute an update (rated "important") that will upgrade the Window Genuine Advantage technology that detects illegal copies. However, before the outcry begins, note that this update is voluntary and you can choose not to install it. You can read more here: http://www.win7news.net/O52HI2/100218-Activation-Hackers
How to: Using the New Windows 7 Features
How to speed up Windows 7 menu display
Editing the registry for fun and performance Windows 7 generally runs fast and well as is, but if you don't mind venturing into the registry, you may be able to speed up performance even more by making a few tweaks. One thing you can do is make the menus display more quickly. Here's how:
Open your favorite registry editor.
Navigate to: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel|Desktop.
In the right pane, right click the item labeled MenuShowDelay.
In the dialog box, type in a lower value (for example, 100).
Note that this change will apply only to the currently logged on user.
Windows 7 includes a number of features designed to enhance the security of your computer, some targeted at home users, some at enterprise users and some at both. Especially if you're moving from Windows XP, you'll find that there are many changes on the security front. This article provides an overview of Windows 7's best security features, including BitLocker to Go, IE 8 browser security, AppLocker for enterprise networks, configurability for UAC and more. http://www.win7news.net/O52HI2/100218-Security-Features
Why do I get an error when I try to install Windows 7?
QUESTION: I'm trying to install Windows 7 on my Dell laptop. It had Vista and I formatted the hard drive and I know my copy of Windows 7 is a legal copy. It installed but when I try to activate it I get an error that says 0xC004F061. Can you tell me what that means? Thanks. - Roy L.
ANSWER: Error code 0xC004F061 usually indicates that you're trying to activate Windows using a product key that's for the upgrade version of the OS and you didn't have a previous version of Windows on your computer when you installed Windows 7. That happened because you formatted the hard drive, removing the Vista installation. While you might logically think it's necessary to do that if you want a clean installation and you're limited in disk space (as you are with some laptop computers), the recommended way to do it is: install the previous version of Windows, start the computer using the Windows 7 upgrade DVD and choose Custom (advanced) and then Drive Options (advanced) to format the hard drive. You can read about this on the Microsoft web site here: http://www.win7news.net/O52HI2/100218-Activation-Error
Windows 7 Configuration and Troubleshooting
How to uninstall Windows 7
So you installed Windows 7 and for some reason, you're not happy with it. Maybe you have a hardware peripheral for which there are no Windows 7 drivers, or maybe you just don't like the new interface and don't want to give it a chance to grow on you. Whatever the reason, you may be able to revert back to your previous operating system, depending on how you installed Win7. For an overview of your options, see KB article 971762 at http://www.win7news.net/O52HI2/100218-Uninstall-Windows-7
Backup and Restore issues with reparse points
If a reparse point folder or subfolder is added to a user library in Windows 7, you might experience some problems with backing up and restoring the files. This only happens when the reparse point is directly added to the library; it's not a problem if you add a reparse point to a folder that is already in the library. To find out how to troubleshoot these issues, see KB article 973455 at http://www.win7news.net/O52HI2/100218-Backup-and-Restore
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