The October 22nd Win 7 launch also was a first for the Lenovo ThinkVantage Toolbox, a new unified support and messaging application that ships on Think-branded systems. We've been the provider of diagnostics and other system health tools for Think systems since 1997.
Here's a little flash video that summarizes its capabilities.
PCWorld - Got a four-year-old Mac? Forget the newest version of OS X; Apple’s Snow Leopard will only be supported on Intel CPUs. Got a PC from 2001? Windows 7 just might run on it. I tested a below-spec PC with the latest version of Windows and saw surprising results.
If you have a PC and you want the upcoming Microsoft OS, but don’t want to buy a new computer, Microsoft has your back. The minimum specifications listed on the Windows 7 RC download page are a 1 GHz Processor, 1 GB RAM, and 16GB of free hard disk space. This means if you have a computer that is more than a few years old, you can still get some functionality from the latest OS rolling out of Redmond. Intel hit the 1 GHz processor mark on March 8 2000, which means theoretically Windows 7 could run on computers over 9 years old! Since Microsoft is known for understating their hardware requirements, I grabbed an old PC out of retirement and put it to test.
The PC I chose had an Intel P3 933 MHz processor, 768 MB of RAM, and an 80GB hard disk. My test subject was manufactured in 2001.
PCWorld - Paid content is the best hope of saving "the media" as we know it. The problem is killing all the free content first, or alternatively, breeding a new generation that understands content is often worth precisely what it costs you.
Some will read this as an "old media" guy waxing for the good ol' days of newspapers with 30-percent margins. Or think I am channeling Barry Diller or Rupert Murdoch; a couple of other old media guys who believe paid content is their future.
But Barry, Rupert, and I know two things that media consumers may not realize:
1. The model of advertising supporting free or low-cost content is absolutely broken.
2. Quality content costs money and, in general, isn't created by part-timers or hobbyists.
Somebody has to pay for content, and it will be the consumers. It always has been, but the ability to hide the cost of information and entertainment in the selling price of essentially all other goods and services has suddenly disappeared.
PCWorld - Macs are often criticized for the high price of their hardware. This so-called Apple tax is the premium that Apple computers usually cost over comparably equipped PCs. But since the company dropped prices on its laptop line yesterday, that difference is now smaller than ever.
Of course, Mac enthusiasts might even say the Apple tax never existed, since no MacBook Pro competitor has the aluminum unibody construction or multi-touch track pad that the MacBook Pro does.
In any case, I've been playing with the numbers, and I've noticed something interesting: When the newest 13-inch MacBook Pro is configured with similar features and put head to head with a Dell XPS 1330 (arguably Dell’s most similar computer), the two come within spitting distance in price.
The base price for the 13-inch MacBook Pro is $1199 while the Dell XPS M1330 starts at $749. Using each company’s online configuration tool, I created systems with the following attributes: 13.3-inch LED backlit screen, 4GB RAM, 320GB Hard disk, Nvidia GE Force 9400M Graphics Card, 802.11n networking, integrated webcam, backlit keyboard and Bluetooth. The MacBook comes with a 2.26 GHz Intel processor with a 1066 MHz frontside bus, versus 2.4 GHz and 800 MHz, respectively, for the Dell.
PCWorld - Who should know more about PC threats than the company whose software makes most of them possible? Is Microsoft's upcoming, free anti-malware app the company's way of apologizing to customers?
Not hardly. The free service, codenamed "Morro" and due in beta "soon," appears only after years of Microsoft trying and failing to sell a protection product called "OneCare," which routinely landed low in the protection ratings.
As I said, you'd think Microsoft would know more about solving its own security problems than anyone, but if that were really true, we'd face fewer problems in the first place, right?
Microsoft also badly needs to do something to add zing to the Windows 7 release. That's zing, not Bing, which will, presumably, already be in Windows 7. Maybe Morro is supposed to be the feature people will upgrade to get.
There are times when even "free" isn't worth the price, and Morro may be one of them. Granted, it's not even in beta yet, but Morro will have to do much better than Microsoft's previous efforts to be worth anyone's time.
Morro's real-time anti-malware service, which will route all the URLs you want to visit by Microsoft first for a check against known malware sites, ought to be a winner. As quickly as Microsoft finds out about a malware location, it would immediately protect Morro users from it.
Cnet - Years ago I proclaimed open source would never be relevant in the application market. Now I work for an open-source applications company.
Lesson? It's generally not a good idea to underestimate open source's potency.
To wit, here are three "Who would have thought open source could do that?" announcements that recently hit my RSS reader:
NovusEdge is demoing open-source energy management for "massive commercial buildings." OpenRemote does open-source home automation, but this suggests the idea can take on a different scale.
Human resource professionals spend time and money tracking job applicants. Well, now they can save their money by using open-source applicant-tracking applications. People used to say open source could only commodify broad application markets. I don't think this qualifies...
Engadget - Know someone who talks with their hands so expressively that you have to step back or risk catching a wayward exclamation point in the face? The video after the break will make their day. Students at Duke University have come up with a way to use phone accelerometers to capture gestures with surprising precision, allowing them to pipe those motions through a character recognition algorithm and, hey presto, turn flapping hands into letters and numbers. The prototype app is called PhonePoint Pen, and while right now the process looks painfully slow, with large, precise motions required, with a few months or years of refinements you might just be able to jot down a quick text to a friend while running between terminals, all without putting down the double latte that just cost you $8 at the airport food court. The future, dear readers, it's closer than you think.
Lifehack - We’ve all experienced those days when we sat down at our desk with a long list of things to do, and yet somehow hours later we realize that we haven’t done much, aside from checking our emails 5 times, spending hours at Lifehack.org, and instant messaging everyone we know. For those days, when you can’t seem to beat the buzz, the greatest possible way you can ensure productivity is to disconnect from the electronics.
Now I’m not against the use of electronics to aid in productivity, far from. In fact, I probably couldn’t live without my Blackberry. But sometimes a disconnect from electronics all together will allow for a clearer mind, a mind which can become a productivity machine.
Remember paper and pens? Well they’re making a comeback. It turns out that when we disconnect we don’t have to fight our own minds trying to distract us. There is no email on your Moleskine, no instant messenger on your legal pad. No, here all we have is a blank paper waiting for you to create. And there is something liberating about filling a page in a notebook with your own work.
PCWorld - With the iPhone 3G S news now in the wild, the discussion digressed from the announcement of the 3G S itself to AT&T, the iPhone's exclusive carrier in the U.S. (at the moment). Without a doubt, this relationship is where Apple's weaknesses lie.
The S is (Supposed to Be) for Speed
Over the last couple of years, many iPhone customers have complained about AT&T's signal coverage quality across the country, including those in some densely populated areas. And while the carrier plans to improve its network over the coming years, by then, this would be the iPhone 3G S's (or any follow-up device's) soft point.
The iPhone 3G S can work on the much faster HSDPA network, with speeds up to 7.2 Mbps, but AT&T will start rolling this network technology only later this year and will complete the transition is 2011. This means that nationwide, two more iPhone generations will have to bear lower speeds on their devices.
MMS and Tethering on Standby
As my colleague Ginny Mies points out, MMS and tethering (iPhone as a modem) have been on the top of iPhone users' wish lists for quite a while now. And with the arrival of the 3.0 software update and the 3G S itself, these long-awaited features are finally there. Somehow there, that is.
PCWorld - We're in the midst of the busiest, most exciting time for smartphones right now--and there’s plenty more to come.
The Palm Pre and the Apple iPhone 3G S are the smartphone standouts of 2009, but they're not the only news. Operating systems are receiving updates, new devices are debuting, and app stores are growing by the day. Here's what to look for from the six big operating systems in smartphones today.
Apple iPhone OS 3.0 iPhone 3G S
iPhone 3G S
At this week's World Wide Developer Conference, Apple introduced the iPhone 3G S, its third-generation iPhone, and announced availability for iPhone OS 3.0. While the exterior of the new phone looks identical to that of the iPhone 3G, the real changes are inside. Apple says the "S" stands for speed: The company's benchmarks show that the iPhone 3G S launches messages twice as fast, loads games 2.4 times faster, and opens attachments 3.6 times faster.
Though Apple has indicated that it changed inside components, it hasn't directly confirmed exactly what is responsible for the speed boost. Judging by winks and nods from those in the know, however, we've come to assume that it has both a faster processor and additional memory as compared with the iPhone 3G.