News & Commentary
Content tagged with PC & Servers posted in June 2006
Fight For Your Entertainment Rights
Commentary  |  6/30/2006  | 
If you own an iPod or MP3 player; yearn for a music-enabled phone; download, share, or mix songs and video; or even if you just want to listen to your music or watch your videos in relative peace, take heed. Pending legislation could make the simplest exercise in legal home media use more cumbersome than you could ever imagine.
(Almost) Everything You Want To Know About PC Power Supplies
Commentary  |  6/30/2006  | 
"Power Supplies 101: A Comprehensive Guide" is a great little primer for understanding the power supplies that are in all your systems. Want to know how wattage really applies to amps for PCs? Curious about the different kinds of loads and what "Active PFC" really means? All is revealed in this guide.
Keybored? Here's Two New Ways To Enter Data
Commentary  |  6/28/2006  | 
The most basic piece of PC technology has been around for more than a hundred years -- the keyboard. It came over from mechanical typewriters virtually intact. You'd think the "standard" 101-key keyboard would be the end of the discussion, but people just will not quit fiddling with it. And here are two more -- one that adds a key, and one that drops a whole bunch.
Go Ahead. Kill Your Scanner!
Commentary  |  6/28/2006  | 
Our recent review of the Casio EX-Z1000 revealed interesting new features: The camera has 37 presets, among them a preset for photographing business cards, and another for taking pictures of pictures. Old pictures, to be precise (the preset "Old Photo" brings faded colors back to life). That's when it hit me: Why not use MY digital camera as a scanner?
The Top Ten List Of Top Ten Lists
Commentary  |  6/26/2006  | 
Bloggers discovered quickly -- and lately have been abusing -- something we journalists have long known: Shoehorning your content into a list, and putting the number in the headline, is a cheap-and-easy way to generate more interest. And ten is the perfect number for items in your list. Even David Letterman knows that.
Tom Evslin: A Blogger Blooks
Commentary  |  6/26/2006  | 
Tom Evslin and I have crossed paths in just about every one of his careers, although we've never met in person. This morning's crossing was a press release from the PR person for his murder mystery, hackoff.com, which he published first as a "blook," a blogged book, in installments on the Web, and has now issued in hardback. I haven't read it, but if it's as well written as his blog, Fractals of Change, it must
Microsoft Is Thinking Way Inside The Box
Commentary  |  6/23/2006  | 
Bill Hilf can be forgiven for knowing exactly which side his paycheck is buttered on, but his self-satisfied quotes on why Linux will never oust Microsoft from the desktop are emblematic of the problems Microsoft has created for itself and for PC users. Hilf told CRN reporter Paula Rooney that Linux will never gain momentum on the desktop because of the complexity involved in delivering a tightly integrated an
To See Ourselves As Others See Us
Commentary  |  6/21/2006  | 
Holy cow! This is me she's talking about here:

A few weeks ago Jon and I gave an interview to an IT magazine for an article about accidental entrepreneurship. They wanted to know how this website now pays our mortgage...

Read on for more about what it's like to be interviewed by me for an article, and then visited by an InformationWeek photographer. Note that the blo
Is Central IT The Web 2.0 Villain?
Commentary  |  6/21/2006  | 
The Boing Boing blog offers tips to get around Web filters. It offers such advice in case you're subjected to a Web filter by "your employer or corrupt, undemocratic, dictator-based government." So that's what it's come to--central IT and Kim Jong Il are seen as tech compadres.
Can Gates Keep Departure On Schedule?
Commentary  |  6/21/2006  | 
Bill Gates has announced he's leaving his day-to-day involvement with Microsoft in 2008. Kezia Jauron sends me an e-mail wondering if this is a Vista-like timetable: "If Microsoft says this will happen in July 2008, can we expect to see it sometime in the spring of 2009?"
MOG's Music Blogging Service
Commentary  |  6/20/2006  | 
MOG, a new social networking site aimed at music fans, launched today. The question is: Does the world need another social networking service? President and CEO David Hyman, formerly the CEO of music data service Gracenote, says the site is for people who are passionate about music. "When you're 18 to 24 years old, people really find each other through music," he says.
Putting Tuition Money Where Your Mouth Is
Commentary  |  6/20/2006  | 
Teenagers never listen to their parents, right? But when it comes to not pursuing tech careers, kids seem to be tuning in. I've been hearing a lot lately from IT pros who say they're telling their own kids not to go into technology careers. That's the same advice many nontechie parents have been giving their kids since the dot-com bust. With so many companies purportedly offshoring, outsourcing, and hiring
The Exciting And Dangerous World Of USB Memory Drives
Commentary  |  6/19/2006  | 
In the world of gadgets and technology, you would think that the dullest possible category would be USB flash memory drives -- those ubiquitous pocketable diskette-replacements that generally do nothing but store data. But you'd be wrong.
Are You Seriously Considering Switching To A Mac?
Commentary  |  6/15/2006  | 
I've been using Windows since the Dark Ages, and never in a million years did I think I'd ever switch to a Mac. Oh sure, I admired the sleek lines and solid construction of Apple hardware, not to mention the cutting-edge look and features of OS X. But we live in a Windows world that depends on Windows apps, and for most of us it simply hasn't been practical to consider owning a Mac as our sole computer.
Brownie Troop Field Trip Into The Privacy Jungle
Commentary  |  6/14/2006  | 
My grade-school-age daughter came home with a permission slip needing a signature in advance of her Brownie troop's field trip to a local tutoring center. But I bristled when I saw the information required. The center, a commercial business, wanted to know her name, address, age, grade level, school, favorite subject, and academic proficiency in math, reading, and spelling.
Homeland Security Chief Devises His Own Spam Solution
Commentary  |  6/14/2006  | 
Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff no longer has a problem with spam. Not wanting to be deluged with lots of garbage, Chertoff no longer uses e-mail.
Blade Servers Are Hip, But Do They Meet Customer Needs
Commentary  |  6/14/2006  | 
For what is now in many ways a niche technology segment, blades servers are getting a lot attention, effort, and investment from the major server vendors. Hewlett-Packard on Wednesday announced a complete revamp of its blade server architecture, IBM recently revealed that a venture capital
Mr. Spreadsheet, Dan Bricklin, Teaches A Master Class
Commentary  |  6/14/2006  | 
Google got all the press last week with its Google Spreadsheets with Web-based collaborative features. But at the same time the man who invented the spreadsheet, Dan Bricklin, unveiled wikiCalc, his own version of a Web-based collaborative spreadsheet. Bricklin has historically been one of the most interesting minds at work in our business, and wikiCalc is a master class in the importance of getting the details right.
Is This The Future iPod Phone?
Commentary  |  6/14/2006  | 
A Mac enthusiast Web site has pointed out and detailed a recent patent that appears to be a "stealth" patent by Apple for an iPod video smartphone that does it all: cell phone calls, wireless videoconferencing, wireless P2P networking, video playing, picture taking and much more. It even sports the famous round Apple Click Wheel on the front.
Brightest Cell Phone Innovation Ever
Commentary  |  6/13/2006  | 
Cell phones are the "black hole" of gadgets. Other stand-alone gadgets get sucked into phones, their functionality duplicated in phones, and replaced -- PDAs, wristwatches, calculators and, in the future, MP3 players, TV remote control units and more. But the best feature you could possibly put into a cell phone -- or any other gadget for that matter -- is technology that would enable it to charge itself without being plugged in.
Forget Paper Trails: The Internet Has A Longer Memory
Commentary  |  6/12/2006  | 
Should employers be entitled to look up their prospective hires' profiles on MySpace.com and other social networking sites? Or has an important line been crossed--both ethically and legally? A career counselor at New York University, who routinely deals with recruiters from major corporations, said dozens of companies were checking out social networks and personal Web sites before deciding who to hire, according to a
MacBook Owners See Red After Laptops Turn Yellow
Commentary  |  6/12/2006  | 
I blogged May 17 that less than 24 hours after Apple unveiled its new MacBook laptop, some users started reporting that the black matte finish on the notebooks was peeling off. Now it turns out that users of the white version say the white finish is turning yellow on the top. One person
Teen-Only Ringtone -- Can You Hear Me Now?
Commentary  |  6/9/2006  | 
This is a story about the use of technology used by both sides in the ancient and ongoing battle between teenagers and adults. It starts with a clever bit of entrepreneurship. A company called Compound Security Systems developed what amounts to a "teenager repellant" designed to drive kids away from malls, stores and other places where teens congregate and annoy paying customers. Called the Mosquito, the electronic box produces an ultra-sonic to
Wristwatch Is Peripheral Device For Your Phone
Commentary  |  6/8/2006  | 
Citizen announced a new wristwatch this week called the Citizen VIRT W700. The watch stays in contact with your cell phone via Bluetooth. If you get a call, the watch vibrates, flashes a light and displays Caller ID info. Best of all, if you leave your phone somewhere, the watch alerts you immediately.
Is That A Projectorphone In Your Pocket?
Commentary  |  6/8/2006  | 
There are two big problems with computing devices small enough to put into your pocket: input and output. Solutions to the input problem include things like Palm's Graffiti and the BlackBerry's thumb keypad. Solutions to the output problem include . . . uh, well, I guess there aren't really any solutions, just a lot of tiny, tiny screens. But a company called Microvision this week showed off something promising: a video projector small enough to be built into a cellphone.
Is Dell In Serious Trouble?
Commentary  |  6/8/2006  | 
Will this first week of June 2006 serve as a tipping point in the future history of Dell, one of the great American success stories that has found itself uncharacteristically battling uncertainty for the past several quarters as it has announced unspectacular earnings reports? Can Dell use the announcements of a new line of servers it made this week--and even more dramatic changes to its portfolio that are waiting in the wings--to reignite its engines? Or are the current difficulties simply the
PCs Are The New Lunchbox
Commentary  |  6/7/2006  | 
When I was a lad, most of the kids who brought lunch to school carried a pop-culture themed metal lunchbox -- usually comic or TV characters. Well, we all grew up, got jobs and now sit there with our PCs all day. Why not choose a PC that looks like an oversized lunchbox?
Apple And Blackberry -- Not What You Think
Commentary  |  6/6/2006  | 
Everybody's talking today about Canaccord Capital analyst Peter Misek's prediction that Apple and Research In Motion (RIM), maker of the popular BlackBerry handhelds, will join forces to develop what is already being called the AppleBerry. But this fruity partnership -- if it happens at all -- won't result in an iPod with PIM functionality.
Gift Ideas To Keep Dad Fit--Or At Least Pretend He Is
Commentary  |  6/6/2006  | 
Forget the same old gifts for Father's Day! How many ties, tools, and golf balls does he really need? Watch my Technocreep video blog for a few ideas that will help the Dad in your life get slim and buff--or at least pretend like he is. Check out the
About That Schwartz Blog, 'Nobody's Created More Jobs Than You'
Commentary  |  6/1/2006  | 
The message wasn't surprising, but the deliverer was. New Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz faced the music and announced that 4,000 to 5,000 employees will be dismissed at Sun over the next six months. What does this Schwartz have in common with the one who, upon being appointed a month ago, said he wasn't there "to take a whack to head count"?
The Toys Of Summer
Commentary  |  6/1/2006  | 
Summer doesn't really start until June 21, but most of us count Memorial Day as the unofficial start of the season. And you'll be dancing in the streets after you read "The Ultimate Summer Gadget Guide." We gave technology writer George Jones the enviable task of hunting down this summer's gotta-have-it gadgets. He found everything from a
AMD Keeps The Innovation Heat On Intel
Commentary  |  6/1/2006  | 
Three years ago Advanced Micro Devices was an afterthought to most within the technology field. The company was a persistent gnat that was always buzzing around microprocessor giant Intel, but provided minimal disruption. By the time AMD held its annual Technology Day conference on Thursday, it had transformed into a truly disruptive force in the industry, and it continues to put the technology innovation heat on its larger rival.
Microsoft Maintains Focus
Commentary  |  6/1/2006  | 
"Focus" is a word that gets used a lot in the business press. Companies that want to be successful should maintain focus, the gurus preach -- they should emphasize what they do well and build on their competitive advantages rather than chasing off after every market segment and product line out there. If you're looking for examples of companies that lack focus you couldn't do better than Microsoft. And it's at it again, with moves into the markets for handheld games and music players. But wait,


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