Monthly Archives: August 2008

XP Users Beware of IE v8 Beta 2

Internet Explorer 8 Beta 2 and A Warning To XP Users

Users anxious to upgrade their Web browser to Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 8 Beta 2 may encounter a snag if they’ve downloaded Windows XP Service Pack 3. After announcing IE8 Beta 2, the Microsoft team quickly wrote a blog post warning users that IE 8 Beta 2 combined with Windows XP SP3 will not be able to uninstall IE8 Beta 1 or SP3.

Here’s how it breaks down. Microsoft released IE8 Beta 1 before XP Service Pack 3 became available. Users who downloaded and installed SP3 after IE8 Beta 1 are urged by Microsoft to manually uninstall Beta 1 before upgrading to Beta 2; otherwise, neither SP3 or Beta 1 will be able to be uninstalled from your machine.

According to the Internet Explorer Blog, users who have Automatic Updates turned on will be prompted by the operating system to upgrade to Beta 2, but the update message won’t explain the ramifications of putting IE8 Beta 2 on top of Beta 1 and SP3.

Personally, I think it might be a scheme orchestrated by Microsoft to retroactively add another feature to IE8. Is it too outlandish to consider that Microsoft is hedging its bets on IE8 Beta 2 by making sure Beta 1 will always be tied to a machine? And isn’t it just a tad suspicious that the flaw only affects Windows XP — the very operating system that many users refuse to migrate away from in favor of Vista?

Anyway, we (the users) should be the final decision makers when it comes to the software we allow to run on our systems. If you’re considering IE 8 Beta 2 I urge you to read the blog post BEFORE attempting to download and install this updated version.

Explorer8 Features

8 Add-ons

Explorer 8 Beta 2 what’s next in the browser wars.

I’m sure you’ve all heard about Google and their newly released “Chrome” browser. Here’s a link to their 38 page comic book introducing Chrome – way too much information in my opinion but:,M1

I’ll report back on how Chrome works when I’ve had an opportunity to fully test it – stand by…..

In the meantime, if you’re the adventureous type, here’s the download link for Chrome BETA:

More Junk found on the Internet

I really don’t know why I’m posting this but here you go:

The Top 10 reasons you don’t want GM to engineer cars like Microsoft engineers their Windows Operating Systems.

Below is the content of an email I received last week. The original author of the content is not known and the quotes have not been verified. Even so, it provides food for thought and could be the beginnings of some interesting water cooler discussions.

For all of us who feel only the deepest love and affection for the way computers have enhanced our lives, please read on.

At a recent computer expo (COMDEX), Bill Gates reportedly compared the computer industry with the auto industry and stated, ”If GM had kept up with technology like the computer industry has, we would all be driving $25.00 cars that got 1,000 miles to the gallon.”

In response to Bill’s comments, General Motors issued a press release stating: If GM had developed technology like Microsoft, we would all be driving cars with the following characteristics:

Microsoft vs General Motors

1. For no reason whatsoever, your car would crash……..Twice a day.

2. Every time they repainted the lines in the road, you would have to buy a new car.

3. Occasionally your car would die on the freeway for no reason. You would have to pull to the side of the road, close all of the windows, shut off the car, restart it, and reopen the windows before you could continue. For some reason you would simply accept this.

4. Occasionally, executing a maneuver such as a left turn would cause your car to shut down and refuse to restart, in which case you would have to reinstall the engine.

5. Macintosh would make a car that was powered by the sun, was reliable, five times as fast and twice as easy to drive – but would run on only five percent of the roads.

6. The oil, water temperature, and alternator warning lights would all be replaced by a single ”This Car Has Performed An Illegal Operation” warning light.

7. The airbag system would ask ”Are you sure?” before deploying.

8. Occasionally, for no reason whatsoever, your car would lock you out and refuse to let you in until you simultaneously lifted the door handle, turned the key and grabbed hold of the radio antenna.

9. Every time a new car was introduced, car buyers would have to learn how to drive all over again because none of the controls would operate in the same manner as the old car.

10. You have to press the ”Start” button to turn the engine off.

Have a GREAT Day!

Microsoft Windows v7 First Glimpse

Windows 7 “Ultimate” video
First glimpse – let’s fire up the rumor mill!

Windows 7 “appears” to look a lot like Windows Vista, judging from a video purporting to show the “Ultimate” version of Microsoft’s next operating system. The video popped up on the Internet and has drawn more than one and a half million hits on YouTube.

The three minute and 48 second video claims to show Windows 7 Ultimate at “Milestone 1.” For the record, Windows 7 isn’t slated for release until January 2010 at the earliest.

Not much happens in the video’s first 30 seconds, then a screen appears showing the words “Windows 7 Ultimate”, version 6.1, along with Microsoft’s usual licensing disclaimers. The video then runs through an assortment of screens.

The most interesting, and credible, portion shows a scrollable menu that’s subdivided into areas such as TV and Movies, Pictures and Videos, Music, Tasks and Online Media. It doesn’t feature the sort of touch screen interface that Microsoft demonstrated for Windows 7 “Surface” technology earlier this year at the All Things Digital Conference. You can view a YouTube video of Surface technology in action here – it’s pretty darn cool:

But beyond a few new bells and whistles, what’s most noticeable about Windows 7, at least as it’s shown on this video, is how similar it looks to Windows Vista. That’s probably bad news for Microsoft, if it turns out to really be the case.

Early word from Microsoft indicates that Windows 7 will include many of Vista’s useless CPU and memory munching “features” and then some. In other words, it will be time to upgrade your hardware again when the OS arrives in the next year or so.

The fact is, most users don’t want all these extras, especially if they require hundreds of dollars worth of additional hardware. Computer users — in business and at home – simply want a machine that can handle word processing, e-mail and the Internet, and that’s about it.

To experience all of Vista ‘s bloated features, PC users need a computer with at least a 1-GHz processor, 1 GB of memory, and a 40-GB hard drive. By contrast, Windows XP Professional requires only a 300-MHz processor, 128 Mbytes of RAM, and a 1.5 GB hard drive.

Here’s a YouTube video showing some screen shots.

Microsoft has also launched a blog called Engineering Windows 7 to keep developers informed on progress on its forthcoming operating system. Take a look.

Windows 7 News

Protecting Your Computer From Mother Nature

August is bad weather month here on the South Shore and it’s not uncommon for a severe storm to hit without warning. That’s why protecting your computer and printer with a surge suppressor is more than a good idea—it’s an absolute must.

While a home circuit breaker can protect some of your appliances, they were not built to protect the sensitive electronic equipment in a computer. If a high electrical surge hits your computer, it could fry your motherboard and CPU in seconds causing you to lose data AND the use of your computer.

The biggest mistake most users make is thinking that their power strip will protect them, when in reality, it won’t. To adequately protect your sensitive electronic investments, you need a quality surge suppressor designed to handle the job.

There are main 2 things to look for in a surge suppressor:
First is response time. This is the amount of time it takes this device to react to a power surge. This should be 10 nanoseconds or less; any longer and you run the risk of damaging your PC.

The second thing to look for is the amount of energy it can absorb and dissipate before it blows, measured in joules. I recommend at least 800 joules or higher.

Another feature to look for is a failure indicator light. This light will come on when the suppressor is fried and no longer protecting your computer. Most surge suppressors will have this.

If you’re using a dial-up modem (hopefully only for your fax machine), be sure the suppressor blocks electricity that can come in from the phone lines. If you have a fax or cable line, make sure the suppressor you chose handles those too. You also want to make sure the suppressor you choose meets the UL 1449 specifications (this will be listed on the box).

There are three levels of protection: 330, 400 and 500. This number refers to the maximum voltage that the suppressor will allow to pass through the line. The lower the number, the better off you are.

Finally, unplug your computer and all computer equipment, telephone, and modem lines during a lightning storm. This is the ultimate protection against sudden and devastating power surges.

For more information, visit one of my favorite wewbsites – How Stuff Works

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