Friday, December 31, 2010

December 31, 2010

WE would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year. Let's 2011 is a wonderful, peaceful year for everyone on Earth.

Today is more than just the end of a year, it's the end of and era. Kodak Kodachrome slide film will no longer be processed after today. I always loved the beautiful colors that Kodachrome had, they were natural and a joy to look at. The transition to digital imaging has made Kodachrome a dinosaur but I will miss it.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

We would like to wish a Merry Christmas to all of of our faithful followers.

Thursday, December 23, 2010


Well, it looks like the FUD Masters are about to strike again. MSFT has always been the true master of Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt. They've used the tactic time after time to defeat other companies. They were able to kill OS2, Lotus 1-2-3, WordPerfect and many, many other worthwhile products by promising that MSFTs new product will be so spectacular that you'll forever rue the day you bought something else.

Everyone is expecting MSFT to announce that they will be producing a version of Windows for ARM tablets "next" year and boy will it be GREAT. All you have to do is NOT buy someone else's lousy product this year.

Yeah, right. I'm sorry folks but I love my Android powered products and I know that MSFT versions will be slower, buggier and crash more ofter. That's their history and I know they'll continue down the same path.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

CES 2011

This is a tough time of year. Everyone is on a super-tight schedule with hard deadlines, both for business and in their personal lives.

I'm being deluged by CES appointment requests at the same time I'm trying to get my normal work done (while being short staffed) as well as get ready for Christmas. It's one of those times of the year that I'd like to pick up one of those great 26 hour a day clocks!

This CES looks like it may be a return to the glory years, lots of vendors and lots of new products to report on. I'll make sure I report on everything as soon as I can!

Sunday, December 19, 2010


I have become a big fan of standards lately. Over the years we have reviewed dozens of cell phones and always hated the fact that every maker seemed to have a different charger. Our testing lab is littered with strange chargers that no one seems to be able to match up with a device.

In the past month or so we've received 5 new communications devices, you certainly can't call them phones any more, and they all take exactly the same power connectors. There is a miniUSB connector on the device and one end of the connecting cable. The other end of the cable is a standard USB connector. The wall plug is just a 110v to USB power connector. We can use any device with any cable and either the wall plug or a laptop USB port!! Hallelujah!!

We cannot praise ALL of the device makers who've sent us phones lately, Sanyo, HTC and Samsung, for going with a standard.

Now if we can only get camera makers to do the same thing!!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Free cell phones!

I received this press release today:

U.S. Cellular, which was recently recognized in a survey by Consumer Reports as the best wireless carrier in the country, is helping holiday shoppers with last-minute gifts by offering every phone for free, including the latest Android-powered smartphones. U.S. Cellular is spreading the joy even further by offering a $100 credit to new customers purchasing a smartphone or existing customers adding a new smartphone line. Customers can stop by any U.S. Cellular store for more details and pick out their free phones while supplies last.
 Shoppers can make this holiday season memorable by giving Android-powered phones like the HTC Desire, LG Optimus U or Samsung Mesmerize (a Galaxy S device), which is the highest-rated smartphone by Consumer Reports. All of U.S. Cellular’s phones, including advanced smartphones like the BlackBerry Bold and Curve, are free after mail-in rebates. All devices are backed by U.S. Cellular’s high-speed nationwide network and the valuable benefits of The Belief Project, which include faster phone upgrades, overage cap, discounts for autopay and paperless billing, and “no contract after the first.”

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Lithium batteries

We just received this information:

Air travelers should expect strict enforcement of regulations on flying with lithium batteries this holiday season, according to the International Imaging Industry Association (I3A;, the leading global association for the imaging industry.  

Loose lithium batteries – primary lithium digital camera batteries, lithium-ion types that power laptop computers, and some AA batteries -- have been prohibited in U.S. checked baggage since January 1, 2008 due to their extreme flammability.  Elsewhere in the world, regulations may be even more stringent.  I3A recommends transporting any spare lithium batteries in carry-on baggage only, for safety's sake and to avoid possible confiscation of items from checked baggage and accompanying delays.  Additional pointers and information can be found on the U.S. Transportation Security Administration's (TSA) Web site,

"Lithium batteries are highly flammable when they are outside the devices they power," said I3A President Lisa Walker.  "Cameras and other personal electronics are best kept with you when traveling, for the safety of the equipment and fellow passengers.  If you’re traveling with a film or single-use camera, be sure you know the regulations and the recommendations for preventing film damage before you make your way through airport security."

Keeping Holiday Memories Safe in Transit
I3A also offers travelers advice on making sure that the precious holiday memories they capture on film, including single-use film cameras, or digital media arrive at home safely after passing through security scanners.  In general, digital media need no special handling, while film should be treated carefully.

These recommendations are the result of joint research I3A's Integrity in Transportation of Imaging Products (ITIP) Committee conducted with the TSA on the X-ray machines and scanners used to inspect checked baggage and carry-on items.  Test specifications and details of the results are available at  

Summary of I3A's Advice:
  • Lithium batteries – safe inside their devices in carry-on bags; spare batteries also safe in carry-ons if activation prevented; NOT allowed in checked baggage
  • Digital cameras/media/camera phones – safe in carry-on or checked baggage
  • DVDs and DVD players – safe in carry-on or checked baggage (but save your work in progress first)
  • Low-speed color film, exposed or unexposed – NOT safe in CHECKED baggage; ask for hand inspection if the film has had five previous trips through scanners, otherwise safe in carry-ons
  • High-speed (greater than ISO 800) color film – NOT safe in EITHER checked or carry-on baggage; ALWAYS ask for hand inspection
  • Black-and-white film, any speed, exposed or unexposed – NOT safe in EITHER checked or carry-on baggage; ALWAYS ask for hand inspection
  • Motion picture film, exposed or unexposed -- NOT safe in EITHER checked or carry-on baggage; ALWAYS ask for hand inspection
  • After holiday trips, preserve digital images for long-term enjoyment of precious memories by following the steps at I3A's educational Web site,

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Mirror, Mirror

I just received an interesting product to review. It's called the Mirror, Mirror and it's made by the Samigon Division of Argraph.

If you're one of the thousands of people who take their own picture with a digital camera or cell phone then you've taken lots of pictures with the top of your head chopped off. Just look at anyone's Facebook pictures section and you'll see lots of people with their heads cut off.

The Mirror, Mirror is designed to eliminate that problem. It's a small, metal mirror that attaches to your camera or phone and allows you to see what the camera sees. And when I say small, I mean small! It will be pretty much unnoticed on the front of your camera and not too much of a distraction when not in use.

Of course, the first big question is: how does it work? I attached the "mirror" to the front of a compact, point-and-shoot camera much like the ones owners of this product will have. It attached easily and I tried to use it. I could see an image in the mirror but I had a lot of trouble seeing it clearly. I guess my "olde" eyes aren't the ones this mirror is designed to reflect.

The Mirror, Mirror is only $5.99 and may be exactly what a young pair of eyes need to help them take their own picture.

You can buy them at

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Samsung Galaxy Tab

I guess I'm not the only person who loves the Samsung Galaxy Tab (the review will be in our next newsletter issue). I just read that Samsung has already sold 600,000 0f them already!!

If you havn't used one yet, you're missing out on something great!

Thursday, December 2, 2010


I've been testing the Samsung Galaxy Tab for the past week or so and it's unbelievable. Tonight I tried it as an eReader and I now have a new favorite reader. It handles PDF files beautifully and makes it a joy to read books, newsletters and anything else.

I love the Galaxy Tab!!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Lunch @ Piero's

I received this today and recommend "liking" them today!!
Win a WikiReader handheld electronic touchscreen encyclopedia holding the more than 3 million Wikipedia articles. Just in time for holiday gifts, travel, entertainment and pulling up quick answers anytime anywhere, all without needing an Internet connection. Just "like" us here first and then visit our blog to tell us in 25 words or less what you would look up on the WikiReader:

O'Reilly deal

We received this announcement today:
In celebration of Cyber Monday, we've extended our Deal of the Day to our entire catalog of ebooks and videos. 

Lifetime access. Free updates. Download in multiple DRM-free formats: PDF, .epub, Kindle-compatible .mobi, and Android .apk. Learn more.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Apps Vortex

Help me!! I'm being sucked into the Apps Vortex! For the past few days I've been testing the AT&T Samsung Galaxy Tab and I can't stop downloading apps! The Galaxy Tab has a beautiful 7" color screen and it makes every app look wonderful.  I've used a lot of Android phones and never got sucked into the app market because of the small screens. The Galaxy Tab is a whole new ball game.

Look out iPad, you've met your match!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Novell acquired by Attachmate

I received this in my email today:

Dear Valued Novell Customer,

I am writing to let you know that today we announced that Novell has entered into a definitive merger agreement under which Attachmate Corporation would acquire Novell for $6.10 per share in cash in a transaction valued at approximately $2.2 billion.

We believe this transaction is great news for our customers. Novell has a long history of innovation and market leadership, and this tradition will be preserved and built upon through this transaction. We place tremendous value on the relationships we’ve cultivated with our customers and I can assure you that providing you with the innovative products, solutions and support you’ve come to rely on remains a top priority. 

We can also assure you that the planned transaction with Attachmate Corporation does not alter our obligations to honor all contractual commitments. This includes maintenance and technical support for our products. We continue to execute aggressively on our product development efforts and are committed to providing exceptional service and being easy to do business with. 

Novell also announced the sale of certain intellectual property assets to CPTN Holdings LLC. The sale of certain intellectual property assets will not impact customers. Customers will continue to be authorized to use Novell products under this intellectual property. 

Attachmate Corporation plans to retain both the Novell and SUSE brands and operate them as two separate business units, along with its other holdings, Attachmate and NetIQ. The transaction with Attachmate Corporation and the sale of certain intellectual property assets to CPTN Holdings LLC are currently expected to close in the first quarter of 2011.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Ubuntu 10.10 review

Here's a review from our December issue:

The latest version of Ubuntu has been released by Canonical. It is called their Perfect 10 version and is the latest version of one of the most successful flavors of Linux. This article is focused on the Netbook Edition, our personal Netbook choice.

The 10.10 version is one of the periodic upgrades and not a long-term support version. Version 10.04 is a long-term version.

The biggest change is the Unity interface. The new interface is designed specifically for the smaller screen and for mobile use. We found Unity to be the most intuitive and powerful desktop we’ve ever used on a Netbook. It absolutely rocks!

As usual we used the Universal USB Installer to create USB flash drives with persistence for our tests. When you download the Netbook version you’ll find all of the links and instructions you’ll need to be able to create a flash drive.

We tested the system with five different Netbooks and had mixed results. Our ASUS Eee PC 900 would never recognize the flash drive at all. Other Netbooks booted from the same drive and the ASUS booted with other versions of the Netbook software. Neither of our Lenovo Netbooks, an S10-3 and an S12, would fully boot. Both hung up and never completed a boot-up.

Our Gateway LT2030u and Samsung N220 both booted perfectly and were a joy to use with the new desktop.

We contacted Ubuntu support and traded several emails trying to figure out what’s wrong. As of the time I’m writing this they still haven’t found a solution to the problems.

Recommendation: If, and it’s a big IF, your Netbook runs with 10.10 then download it and upgrade to the new version. However, if your Netbook isn’t compatible, then stick with version 10.04.

MSRP is, as always, $0. That is… free

Friday, November 19, 2010

December newsletter

Tomorrow morning we'll be sending out the December issue of our newsletter to all of our subscribers. Here are the contents of the issue:

News and Views - Chuck Hajdu's editorial

Technology Spotlight -  Toasted Leg Syndrome
Reviews of the Targus HD3 Chill Mat and ThermaPAK HeatShift sleeves

Sights and Sounds of MultiMedia -
Reviews of the Plustek OpticFilm 7400 and Que books on MSFT Excel

Ubuntu 10.10 Netbook Edition

Holiday Gift Ideas for Road Warriors
Reviews of Verbatim Wireless Nano Mouse, Logitech M570 Trackball, Logitech Lapdesk N550 and Franklin Roadie AMP'D Speaker

Un-Mouse Reviews, Part 2 - Adesso Browser Cat II

Technology Today

Maintaining Important Data in Your Backups

The Deals Guy

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

TaxAct information

We received this from TaxAct today and thought our readers would like to know about it:
From scholarships and student loan interest, to qualified tuition program expenses, figuring out whether you can claim deductions or credits for college and educational costs can be difficult. TaxACT has released a free, easy-to-use, interactive tool that gives taxpayers straightforward information about college tax breaks.
TaxACT's College Tax Whiz breaks down 10 tax benefits for current and future college students, families and even graduates. Information includes amounts, acceptable expenses, types of education and other key qualifiers for 2010 returns in a question and answer format.
Additional tools for the American Opportunity and Lifetime Learning Credits, worth up to $2,500 and $2,000 per student, are included in College Tax Whiz. The tools guide users through the detailed criteria to help them determine whether or not they qualify for these valuable credits.
College Tax Whiz accounts for two major educational tax breaks that expired for 2010. While the $1,800 Hope Credit is not included in the pending tax extenders bill, the above-the-line deduction for qualified tuition and related expenses, worth up to $4,000 in previous years, could be renewed for 2010 returns. If this deduction or any other major education tax breaks are added for 2010 returns, TaxACT will add the information to College Tax Whiz.
Available now, TaxACT 2010 Free Federal Edition guides you through all education credits and deductions. As you answer simple questions, TaxACT completes the forms and does the math. Results are backed by accuracy and maximum refund guarantees, and unlimited tax help via e-mail is free. Best of all, TaxACT Free Federal Edition allows everyone to prepare, print and e-file a simple or complex federal return free. Learn more about Free Federal Edition in our Preview press release.

The worst idea.... EVER

I just saw an ad on TV for a new AT&T phone with Dolby surround sound speakers! Give me a freakin' break!! It's bad enough that I have to listen to people talking on their cell phones when they're out in public, but now I'll have to endure them listening to their "tunes".

Most of what passes for music today is little more than rhythmic grunting and I abhor it. Please do me a favor people, if you must listen to music then use earphones!!

Monday, November 15, 2010


COMDEXvirtual hits a browser near you on Tuesday, November 16 and Wednesday, November 17. Register now if you haven’t already to hear keynotes from industry heavyweights such as Symantec's Enrique Salem, high-tech entrepreneur (and Dallas Mavericks owner) Mark Cuban and IT pundit Nicholas Carr, plus a slew of sessions on hot technology and business issues. Here’s a preview of some of the topics that will be discussed, fresh from the COMDEXvirtual blog.

Facebook "email"?

Zuck made an interesting announcement at a press conference today. He announced a new service on Facebook that will allow greater commiunication for Facebook members. Here's how Harry McCracken of  Techlan saw it:

For months, there have been rumors that Facebook was working on turning the inboxes of its 500 million-plus users into a full-blown e-mail service. Today, Facebook founder/CEO Mark Zuckerberg formally unveiled the subject of the rumors--code-named "Titan" and officially named simply "Facebook Messages"--at an event in San Francisco. And he spent much of his time stressing that whatever this new thing is, it's not e-mail. (More on Why Facebook Deals is Bad News for Foursquare)

Instead, it's a massive update to Facebook's current messaging system, chat feature, text-messaging integration, and smartphone applications that mashes up all sorts of communications (including e-mail) into one unified stream. Zuckerberg and Facebook engineering honcho Andrew Bosworth mostly talked about the service rather than demoing it, but they said that it'll include features such as these:
  • Every Facebook user will get an e-mail address: If your Facebook profile is located at, your e-mail address will be
  • If you're logged into Facebook, incoming e-mail will show up in the service's chat service; reply to a message, and it'll be sent as an e-mail.
  • Similarly, the Facebook iPhone app will notify you of e-mail and let you receive and send messages. (An Android version will come along later.)
  • In a feature that sounds a little like Google's Priority Inbox, you can organize the people you receive messages from into important folks (friends and family), others who aren't so vital (your credit card company, say), and Junk. The goal is let you see stuff you really want to see immediately, allow you to check in on less urgent messages once a day, and ignore spam.
  • You can also choose to have messages from people not on your Facebook friends list bounced, period.
  • Like e-mail, Facebook messages will be able to include file attachments; a deal with Microsoft will let you edit documents using the Office Web Apps online suite.
  • The service will go beyond threaded-message interfaces such as Gmail's Conversations by letting you scroll back through all the communications you've had with a particular person via Facebook, all in one place. (You'll be able to opt out of this--or skip all the new features, period--but that presumably won't be enough to satisfy every privacy watchdog out there. In fact, I can hear them growling from here.)

Saturday, November 13, 2010

More thoughts on eBooks

I've been reading two eBooks recently and have come to a couple of conclusions. First is the obvious, ePub files are much smaller than PDF files. Second, I really prefer PDFs. Why, you ask? Simple, they look far more like print books than ePub files do.

I'm reading Myths of Innovation from O'Reilly press and I've found the PDF version to much more enjoyable to my eyes. Maybe my opinion will change after I've used them more but right now I'm a PDF guy.

Friday, November 12, 2010


I've been a slow convert to eBooks. I have many books on my shelves that are a gazillion years old and every one of them is still easily readable. Will any of today's eBooks be readable in 19 years? I kind of doubt it.

However, I received an email today that shifts my persprctive, not change it mind you, but shifts it slightly. I reviewed a book from O'Reilly a couple of months ago, the superb Cooking for Geeks, and really enjoyed it.

Today I received a link to their eBook site allowing me to update to the revised version at no cost. This is the one spot where eBooks rule, they can be updated MUCH easier than print books can.

For certain types of books eBooks make a lot of sense. But I still feel that any book that you really value and want to retain for generations then you must stick with print.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

RockMelt browser

We've discoverd a new browser from RockMelt. I haven't tried it yet but plan to download it today. Here's how they describe the product:

RockMelt does more than just navigate Web pages. It makes it easy for you to do the things you do every single day on the Web: share and keep up with your friends, stay up-to-date on news and information, and search. And of course, RockMelt is fast, secure, and stable because it’s built on Chromium, the open source project behind Google’s Chrome browser. It’s your browser – re-imagined and built for how you use the Web.  

If you can stand a few kinks and bugs, sign up for early access, and we’ll get you an invitation as soon as we can. We’d love to know what you think.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


I received a reminder today from Virtual Comdex and that brought back a wave of memories. Comdex was THE computer show in the '90s and it introduced me to the joys of trade shows. I met many of my past and current columnists thanks to Comdex. I made friendships that have outlasted Comdex itself.

I'll be "attending" the virtual version of Fall Comdex but it won't be the same. My friends won't be at all of the press events we attended together, I'll just be sitting in my office.

Maybe virtual trade shows are the wave of the future but I still like face-to-face meetings!

Let's Talk

The One That Got Away It has happened at more than one so, so none of you vendors out there need to wonder, “Is >my< slip showing?” I’m at a trade show. There are so many companies and goodies that I can barely list them in the time available. But I’m doing my level best to get a balanced picture and an information package from each and every vendor. Things are going fine with my time budget of 3.2679 minutes per company when I come upon someone engaged in earnest conversation with another attendee, or at least Someone Else. OK, that’s fair. Many vendors have learned how to include more than one listener in their spiel and to accommodate late comers to the conversation and then incorporate individual questions. But these two are engaged (married?) in deep and exclusive dialog. I cannot get a word in to just ask for a card or press kit, neither visible at the booth. I go on to the next vendor, then return. Conversation unchanged. After two or three iterations, my path takes me onward. I’m still wondering: were they discussing last night’s game or was the vendor chatting up an angel who will take the company to the next level? There’s another story I didn’t get. Hope it wasn’t yours.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Outlook Foundation

This sounds like a worth while effort to us. Please check it out and do what you can to help.

Computer Outlook Talk Show  announced today the launch of the Outlook Foundation, a non-profit organization created to refurbish and repurpose computers; providing them to children whose economic background prevents them from having equal educational opportunities, as well as to deployed US service personnel and their stateside families in an effort to help maintain communication with loved ones. Beyond helping children and our service families, Outlook Foundation will also use its resources to reduce the amount of hazardous technology waste in landfills by recycling remaining technology through certified organizations. 

As many as 9.7 million children in the United States do not have access to a computer, leaving them unable to compete academically with their peers who have ready access to the vast information and resources available on the internet.  This ultimately contributes to the ever-growing gap between economically stable families and those families who are considered working poor.  Among the population of deployed service personnel and their stateside families, communication is a priceless commodity.  However, with the high cost of International phone service, many military families cannot communicate with loved ones deployed overseas unless they have access to a computer.

“Every year corporations update and upgrade their computers,” explained John Iasiuolo, Host of Computer Outlook Talk Show and co-founder of Outlook Foundation. “When a computer is replaced, the perfectly good computer is generally thrown away or recycled.  The Outlook Foundation will repurpose these computers to ensure a cast away resource gets into the hands of those who need them most.  This is our active and passionate pursuit, and we already have a corporate commitment for 4,000 laptop computers and 7,200 desktop computers.”

Outdated computers pose a hazardous threat to the environment:  monitors contain lead, central processing units contain mercury and chromium, and the systems themselves contain arsenic and halogenated organic substances.  By collecting obsolete computers, refurbishing and repurposing them to needy children and deployed service personnel and their stateside families Outlook Foundation will reduce technology’s negative impact on the environment.  In the event a computer cannot be refurbished, the foundation is prepared to recycle the technology through certified organizations so they will be kept out of landfills.

Outlook Foundation aspires to further assist these families by providing education vouchers which will allow computer recipients to pursue technology education at no cost to the family.  By walking that extra mile alongside adopted families, the foundation and its partners are providing the chance for better, more financially secure futures.

“Whether a child in an economically struggling family trying to compete academically, or a service family divided by contents trying desperately to stay connected, motivated and encouraged, the Outlook Foundation wants to be a part of the catalyst for change so that both groups recognize their potential and their value,” said Iasiuolo speaking of his dream.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Wirefly free backup service

We recived this information this morning and thought our readers would like to know about the offer:

Wirefly (, the Internet’s leading authorized retailer of cell phones and plans, announced today the debut of Wirefly Mobile Backup, a revolutionary mobile service that lets consumers backup and transfer their contacts and more –-regardless of carrier, manufacturer or operating system -- for FREE.
Developed with software designer Spare Backup (OTC: SPBU) and available online at, this innovative backup service eliminates the need to manually transfer contacts, appointments, or other content when changing carriers or switching phones and protects people who suffer from phone loss, damage or theft.
Protect Your Phone’s Data
Smartphones continue to deliver more and more functionality and are increasingly replacing laptops as the preferred mobile utility and protecting that data is more important than ever.  Wirefly Mobile Backup wirelessly backs up a cell phone’s contacts, pictures, calendar entries, and music remotely using the phone’s mobile data connection or a local Wi-Fi network. All of the data is safely encrypted and can easily be accessed from a web-enabled cell phone or computer, allowing users to quickly restore and transfer everything from contacts to ringtones-without having to manually re-enter the information.  
“Everyone has experienced the pain and frustration of losing their phone -- more importantly, losing the data stored on the phone.” said Andy Zeinfeld, CEO of Simplexity, parent company of Wirefly. “Wirefly Mobile Backup protects and preserves content that in the past would have lived and died on the lost phone. With this service, the content is safely stored securely in a virtual ‘cloud’ so customers can quickly restore their information onto their replacement phone. What’s more, when you pair Wirefly Mobile Backup with our Device Protection service, losing a device is far less painful. Not only can you get a replacement device, but you can restore your data once your new device is activated.”
Works Across Carriers, Manufacturers, and Operating Systems
Wirefly Mobile Backup supports all of the most popular smartphones in the United States, including Android, iPhone, BlackBerry and Windows Mobile, and works across all major U.S. carriers, making it incredibly easy to transfer data to a new device when switching wireless providers. In addition, the Palm, Java, Windows Phone 7 and Symbian operating systems will be supported by the end of the quarter. 
Wirefly Mobile Backup can also be used to protect the data from personal computers (PC).   Up to five devices including one PC can be backed up on a single free account making it easy to protect, move and share photos, music and other important information between devices. 
Backup Your Phone’s Data for FREE
Wirefly Mobile Backup is available as a free download from, and from the Android Market and iTunes App store. The service is free, and includes up to 2GB data storage –enough space to back up the contacts and calendars for multiple devices. For those looking to back up an entire PC or large quantities of music, photos, and movies, unlimited storage is available, starting as low as $5.99/month. 
Wirefly Mobile Backup has no bandwidth or data transfer restrictions, and users may choose to schedule Wirefly Mobile Backup to automatically search for and backup new data found – at no additional cost.
“Wirefly Mobile Backup is the most comprehensive wireless backup and transfer service available in the U.S. today,” said Zeinfeld.   “It allows users to automatically synchronize, transfer and share cell phone data, even when switching carriers, operating systems, or devices.”    
“People come to when they are thinking about changing phones or changing carriers,” said Scott Ableman, Chief Marketing Officer for Wirefly.  “By offering this great service for free, Wirefly has eliminated one of the major concerns people face when making this decision.”
Wirefly Mobile Backup Key Features
·        Backup contacts, calendar items, music, photos, and videos automatically
·        Access stored information from any registered device at anytime from anywhere in the world
·        Transfer data between phones regardless of phone manufacturer, operating system, or carrier
·        Backup and share between PC and phone in one application
·        Free – up to 2GB of storage
Cell phone users can sign up for their free Wirefly Mobile Backup account at or via the Android Market and iTunes App Store.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Changes in Ubuntu

Mark Shuttleworth of Canonical recently announced major changes in the next version of Ubuntu software, version 11.04 the Maverick Meerkat. The most obvious change will be a switch from the Gnome desktop to Unity.

We've had bit of experience with Unity, it's the desktop used in the Kubuntu 10.10 Netbook Remix. It's a totally different look and I'm still not sure whether I like it or not. I guess I'll get used to it in time.

The second change will be dropping as the office software suite and using Libre Office instead. This one baffles me. I've used versions of OpenOffice for many years and I feel it's a viable alternative to MSFT Office. If you haven't used, or even heard of Libre Office, you're not alone. I checked it out and it's still in beta! I guess I'll have to do a separate download of in order to get the suite.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Free software from Olympus

We were sent this announcement today and thought our readers should know about it:


Free Software Reduces Clicks by up to 96 Percent to Manage, Share, Backup Photos and Create Photobooks

CENTER VALLEY, Pa., November 1, 2010 – Olympus Memory Works America Inc. is proud to announce [ib suite], a new end-to-end photo and video solution that dramatically reduces barriers to enjoying digital photography. Consisting of and [ib] PC software, [ib suite] creates a seamless experience, moving photos and videos from the camera to the PC, then storing, organizing, editing, printing and sharing them online. The newest version of [ib] software is available for free download at

“In just a few clicks, users can download and organize their Thanksgiving, wedding or vacation photos and share them with the entire family,” said Michael Timar, Director of Business Development for Olympus Memory Works America Inc. “The invited members of your secured personal Share Space can easily add their own photos, download the full resolution photos with one click, and use all the images to create a photo book that makes a great gift or keepsake.”

Users are given free online Share Space, and they can purchase additional space for sharing and backup. Additional features of the solution include:

The software automatically downloads photos and video, and walks the user through tagging their photos by person (identified by face recognition technology), place, event, date and more in just a few clicks. The user can make collections which automatically update to include images as they are transferred to the computer.

Set up an online Share Space where members you invite can view and even add photos. Now, with one click they also can download the full resolution images. New events and collections can easily be added to the Share Space to be enjoyed by your friends and family.

[ib suite] allows users to easily use photo collections to design custom photo books and order prints, and create multimedia video slideshows (with their own music).

One click “Instant-Fix” improves photos. Other editing features like Red-Eye and Crop help to achieve just the right look. When used with Olympus cameras, users can enjoy additional features like RAW file development and export, as well as special effects like Beautifier, Sepia, Pop-Art and Panorama. The software also features straightforward video editing with simple upload to YouTube®.

Backing Up
People want an effective and easy way to protect their photos from common losses like viruses, theft, hard drive failure, and natural disaster. [ib suite] can automatically back up events, collections and other photo and video content including RAW files to the secure online Photo Bank.

Start using [ib suite] today. Visit:, create a new account, and download the [ib] software.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Olympus PEN E-PL1

We're not the only people who are very impressed with the Olympus E-PL1. Check out this video from the cinematographer of the new Disney movie Secretariat!

Also, Olympus is launching a contest for one lucky winner to receive a PEN E-PL1 of their own via Twitter.  Learn more by visiting

Monday, October 25, 2010

Internet access

I had an interesting conversation with my fiend Jeremy recently. It turns out that his family doesn't have a computer interent service at home. Nope, no DSL, no cable or dish network at all. Does that mean they aren't online? Au contrair!! His whole family is online almost constantly. They are examples of how the internet continues to eveolve. They are online using their mobile devices. They all have HTC or Palm smartphones and use them the way others use computers.

That led me to do some research and I was very surprised at the results. It turns out that the percentages of people accessing the internet using various computer operating systems is staying fairly constant. Mac has made a slight increase and Linus a slight decrease but nothing major for anyone.

The big change is the percentage of people accessing the internet using portable devices. It's grown from minuscule in 2007 to significant today. iStuff has the majority of the portable device market, about 42%, but I expect that to change in the next year as Android and Win7 Phone really start to take off.

We are in the middle of another major shift in how people live their lives and I find it very exciting. This is the stuff I talked about with Dr. Holgado 10 years ago. The wold is converging and will be held in the palm of your hand.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

November newsletter

The November issue of our newsletter was emailed out this morning. If you're not a subscriber just let us know and you'll be added to our distribution list. Here's the table of contents for the issue:

News and Views
  Chuck Hajdu's monthly comments

Tecnology Spotlight
  FailSafe Failure

Sights & Sounds of Multimedia
  Que Publishing Excel books & Beamz Player reviews

Un-Mouse Reviews, Part 1
  3M Ergonomic Optical Mouse

Samsung N220 Plus Netbook review

Genius eFace 2025 WebCam review

Pepcom MobileFocus in San Francisco

The Deals Guy

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Laplink giving away laptops

Laplink Software, Inc. today announced the start of a Laptop Giveaway featuring two free Lenovo® ThinkPad® Edge laptops. The contest will be centered around popular social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter as well as utilize blogs and forums. The contest will run from now to mid-November.
Those that want to win the free laptop must complete the following steps:
  1. Fill out the entry form:
  2. “Like” the Laplink Facebook fan page:
  3. “Follow” Laplink on Twitter:
Once the entry is complete, participants can get additional entries by talking about Laplink and its products using approved keywords and interacting with the Laplink team on Facebook and Twitter. 
Laplink will post content each day on their blog, Twitter and Facebook for contestants to share and start conversations between Laplink and all contestants.
At the conclusion of the contest, entries will be randomized and two winners will be drawn. All entrants have a chance to win, but the more entrants participate in the contest the better chance they have to win.
Laplink will be including some of their software utilities as part of the prize package. PCmover®, the #1 best selling migration solution, will also be sent with the new laptop to ensure a smooth migration from the winner’s old PC as it is the ONLY software that actually moves programs, files and settings from an old PC to a new one, eliminating the need to do the time consuming migration manually.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Pepcom: MobileFocus San Francisco

Fine wines flowed among—but not on—the wonderful gadgets and apps that enhance life in the mobile lane as Silicon Valley met Napa valley in San Francisco at Pepcom MobileFocus. Pepcom evidence is that mobile gadgets fall into a few categories: what could loosely be termed mobile phones, handheld devices that can be held in a single hand while texting, surfing the web, checking e-mail, shopping, watching a sit-com, and maybe even making a voice call; cameras (both in a phone and stand-alone), and the services that improve the texting, shopping, etc. experiences. Check the MCC journal for pictures and details about vendors and products.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Lexmark Genesis

Lexmark has just announced their latest inkjet All-In-One printer, the Genesis. We attended a webinar on the Genesis and it sounds like they picked the perfect name for it. The dictionary meaning of Genesis is: "The coming into being of something; the origin". The Genesis is the start of a new way to scan.

As you can see in the picture above, the Genesis has a very different form factor. It's has a 40% smaller footprint and a look that doesn't detract from it's surroundings. The target market is high-end home users and small offices, like a doctor's office.

The new AIO uses a 10MP image sensor instead of the normal scan bar we're all used to. This means the whole scanning process is MUCH faster. You have an immediate preview of your document or pictures on the built in screen and the Flash Scan process works in under 3 seconds! The default scan resolution is about 300 dpi and that should satisfy almost all users.

It uses the same 100 and 100XL series ink cartridges as their current printers. Unfortunately, the Genesis can't use the 105XL black cartridges that we've come to love. The 105XL ink cartridge is aimed at a different market that has a greater need for high capacity B&W printing.

The Genesis should be available around the end of the year at a price of $399. Considering what it can do, it sounds like a bargain. It is both PC and Mac compatible, including the iPad.

We are really looking forward to doing a hands-on review of the Genesis, it just may be the start of something new.

For more information go to:

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Free software

I received this offer today and want to pass the information on.

Note: I have not tested this software so I can't give it a recommendation.

We are starting our Time-limited giveaway promotion for the shareware product - 
PDFTiger at, this giveaway promotion will be ended on 
Oct 21, 2010. During this time PDFTiger is for 
free for all users and visitors. Could you please tell your readers/visitors 
about this time-limited giveaway?

With PDFTiger, users will be able to convert a PDF document into Word with only 
3 mouse clicks. PDFTiger preserves the original 
quality of the PDF files and converts both text and images. Users can convert 
the entire PDF or selected pages only and event 
convert multiple files in the batch mode, which may come in very handy when 
working with large book or document archives. 

In addition to the Word format, PDFTiger can convert PDF files to DOC, RTF, TXT, 
BMP, JPG, GIF, TIF, HTML and SWF files. 
Finally, the program has a very simple and nice-looking interface that will take 
a moment or two to get used to.

PDFTiger is also a PDF creator that quickly and accurately creates PDF documents 
from Word, Excel, Powerpoint, text, Images and 
all printable files. 

PDFTiger is worth $39.95 USD, but this giveaway is 100% free and full 

Giveaway page:

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

October newsletter

I was recently asked why we don't put the table of contents for each of our issues on the blog so people will know what to look forward to, or to see what they're missing. Here's my answer!

Mothly Computer Chronicle
October issue

News and Views
  Chuck Hajdu's monthly comments

Tecnology Spotlight
  GoodSync for Mac

Sights & Sounds of Multimedia
  Access 2010 Quick Steps, Plustek SmartPhoto P60, Using Office Web Links

Upgrading Your Netbook Computer
  Double your RAM with Kingston and Crucial RAM

Netbook accessories
  Innergie mCube Pro, Duracell Universal 40 watt AC Adapter

Pentax OPTIO W90 digital camera review

Content Insider
  She's young, She's praticed, She's good and She's not alone

eBook Review
  Cooking for Geeks

The Deals Guy

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Netbook problems

I've been testing the Ubuntu 10.10 Netbook version on some netbook computers and have run into some problems.  I've created a bootable flash drive, just as I always do, with 2GB of persistence. That combination has always been a winner for me and I had high hopes for this version.

The first netbook I tried was my first netbook, an ASUS Eee PC 900. It's old and slow but wonderfully light and compact. I was very surprised when the ASUS skipped the flash drive on boot and loaded WinXp. The ASUS booted fine using a flash drive with 10.04 so I thought something was wrong with the flash drive. I created another bootable drive and had the same problems.

I then tried the two drives I'd created with a Gateway LT2030u and it worked perfectly! Curious.

I'll be writing this whole experience up for an upcoming newsletter article but here's the quick version of my experiences with flash drives using Ubuntu Netbook 10.01:

ASUS Eee PC 900: won't boot at all
Gateway LT2030U and Samsung N220: works perfectly
Lenovo S12 and S10-3: major boot problems and IF it loads there are many hardware problems

Universal USB Installer

If you're like me you love to try the latest versions of Linux and still keep your original OS on your Netbook. The software you'll need to make your bootable USB stick is the Universal USB Installer. The latest version, v., is now available for free download:

Monday, October 11, 2010

WinPhone 7

MSFT and their hardware "partners" just announced the new phones that they will be introducing for the holiday buying season. For the US market the new phones will come from HTC, Samsung, LG and Dell. The phones will be used on AT&T and T-Mobile's systems.

Hmmmm, that's only a few phone makers and only two systems. No Verizon Wireless and no Sprint, not to mention the other mobile networks. I've always had my reservations about WinPh7 and it looks to me like a whole lot of major companies have reservations too.

Let's see how this shakes out a year from now.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Ubuntu 10.10

Good news for all real geeks. The wait is finally over. It's 10.10.10 and the new Ubuntu release is out. Its name says everything you need to know, Ubuntu Perfect Ten is a must-have.

Upgrade or download at:
Click the big orange button to download the latest version of Ubuntu. You will need to create a CD or USB stick to install Ubuntu.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Thoughts on eBooks

I recently read an article that reported that there are now eBooks that are selling for higher prices than their print counterparts. It was an inevitable change and reflects the Law of Supply and Demand. If people are buying their books in eBook formats then it's where the money has to come from.

When I'm in the market for a book, or a video for that matter, I usually go to Very often I'll buy a used copy and save big bucks. The text is all there and I save a lot of money.

When will I be able to buy an eBook that way? Most people don't realize that there is a major difference between BUYING a print book and LICENSING an eBook. When you spend your money to read an eBook you don't own squat. You can't let your brother-in-law read it when your done. You're the only one with a license.

We need to move to a business model that protects the rights of copyright holders but still allows flexibility for buyers.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Trade shows

One of the interesting aspects of attending Trade Shows every year is the products we are shown. We are wined and dined by vendors at press conferences and private events to dazzle us with their latest HOT, HOT products and services. Many of them of them never see the market at all.

If you look back over our trade show reviews from the past 20 years you'll find many projects that never made the cut. The other side of the coin is good products that are introduced and take a long time to mature. We now getting review products 10 months after we first saw it at CES. Good products can't be rushed. Crap shows up quickly.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Toasted skin syndrome

It had to happen sometime. Medical science has once again noticed the obvious. People who disregard the safety warnings that come with every laptop may be endangering themselves. The heat on the bottom of a laptop computer can cause "toasted skin syndrome". Well, DUH!!

Come on people! Who in their right mind would allow a hot piece of electronics to burn their legs? Probably the same idiots who have accidents because they text while driving. There are far too many stupid people out there.

If you want to use a laptop computer on your lap then use a Targus Chill Mat or a ThermaPAK Heat Shift Pad. They're cheap and provide excellent heat dispersion.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Mobile phones

Next week MSFT is expected to announce the debut of Win7 Phone products. If they are to succeed it will be an incredible uphill battle. With Android having 34% of the smartphone market, RIM's BlackBerry having 32% and iPhones 21% there isn't much room left for MSFT.

My prediction is that MSFT will continue to "innovate" by suing everyone they can while continuing to make inferior hardware and software.

MSFT has always made the least intuitive phone software and I have faith there new products will be just as bad.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Good reviewers

As an editor I have a perpetual problem: finding good reviewers! I have been blessed over the years. Our newsletter has had a steady flow of good to excellent reviewers that have managed to maintain our reputation in the tech industry.

Naturally we've had some duds, everyone does, but we continue to search for good writers who can do meaningful reviews. We're always looking for new talent and welcome suggestions from our followers.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

MSFT Money alert

If you're a MSFT Money user tommorrow is a big day. Here's the information:

Online Banking Services Changing in October
Beginning October 1, 2010, Microsoft Money will disable online banking services for all accounts that use a third party provider. Microsoft Money will continue supporting services with direct connections to a financial institution until online services are discontinued on January 31, 2011. Please see the following KB article for more information on how to identify accounts that may be disabled and instructions on how to proceed:

Wired and wireless

Last night I was trying to fall asleep and was just tossing and turning. I had taken some non-drowsey allergy pills and I was wired. Normally I sleep soundly since I got my CPAP machine a few years ago. But not last night.

Lying in bed and thinking about being "wired" I started writing a review in my head for the "wireless" Logitech trackball I'm currently evaluating. If I only had a brainwave transcriber I'd have the whole review written by now!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

RIM tablet

This week Research In Motion showed their new tablet device that is scheduled for delivery in early 2011. The OS will be a new version of their Blackberry OS specifically designed for the tablet.

The device is small and light weight with a 7" LCD. Resolution is 1024x600 WSVGA and it has a 1GHz processor and 1GB of RAM. Hmmmmm, those specs sound familiar. I know, it's a Netbook with a touch screen instead of a keyboard!

RIM was very careful to avoid mentioning price or battery life. To me that means the current battery life sucks and they want to price it a high as the market will bear.

Will it be too little too late? We'll have to wait and see.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


I have always been an anti-texting person. I know it's the way young people communicate today but I'm stiil against it. Learn to look people in the eye and actually talk to them people!! It's called "talking" and it's far more powerful than typing cryptic notes.

A study just came out that shows anti-texting while driving laws are increasing accidents, Why you ask? Because idiots are texting with their phones held so low they can't be seen from outside! Of course they can't see out of the windshield of the car they're driving either but sending a stupid text is more important than watching the road!

Let's hope they all kill themselves (without endangering any innocent bystanders) and improve the gene pool in the country.

Friday, September 24, 2010


We received this information from IOLO Labs and thought it would be on interest to our readers:

iolo Labs Discovers Two New Root Causes of PC Slowdown
In addition to hardware limitations and malicious infections, iolo Labs identifies Nine Root Causes of PC Slowdown which lead to performance loss over time

LOS ANGELES, CA – September 24, 2010 – Following nearly a year of research, iolo Labs, iolo technologies’ independent research arm, has discovered two new key factors that result in the symptomatic loss of computer performance over time.

While it is commonly known that hardware limitations such as inadequate memory levels, low storage capacity, processor bottlenecks, or even malicious software infections can hinder computer speed, the universal – and more entropic – phenomenon of gradual and ongoing degradation of PC performance with continued use remains unexplained by these hardware-based factors and has confounded computer users for decades. Since 1998, iolo Labs has analyzed millions of PCs in an effort to quantify the seemingly inevitable performance entropy that occurs during everyday computing use, and to create software and tools that can effectively reverse and prevent it. With the addition of two newly identified factors - program misalignment caused by file system entropy, and resource deadlock caused by incremental software redundancy - iolo Labs now counts a total of nine root causes of PC slowdown.

Nine Root Causes of PC Slowdown
1. Program misalignment
Slow start-up, sluggish program behavior
2. Available RAM decline
Universal system slowdown
3. Windows start-up bottlenecks
Slow Windows start-up
4. Redundant programs
Lock-ups, general system slowdown
5. Mismatched internet settings
Lost connections, slow internet browsing
6. Registry errors
Unpredictable hesitations and freezes
7. Registry bloat
Universal system slowdown
8. Fragmented system files
Excessive hard drive churn, freezes
9. Accumulated clutter
Sluggish behavior, premature drive failure

Program Misalignment and Data Entropy
In the 1980s, when programs consisted of single large files, disk defragmenters were invented to ensure those files were stored contiguously on the hard drive, thus reducing drive head movement needed to read them. In today’s world, complex software programs consist of a small main program and potentially hundreds of dependent files. Yet disk defragmenters fail to understand and accommodate the critical interdependencies and relationships between each program and its supporting set of dependent files. While the vast arrays of files enabling programs to run may initially be perfectly aligned for maximum performance on a new PC’s hard drive, they tend to become misaligned and scattered across the hard drive as a result of Windows and program updates, and even the act of disk defragmentation itself. iolo Labs refers to the resulting phenomenon as File System Entropy. As the level of entropy increases, it causes severe amounts of unnecessary hard drive head movements and overall processing fatigue, which translates into programs that take increasingly longer to load and are progressively less responsive over time.

Redundant Programs and Resource Deadlock
Regularly uninstalling computer programs that aren’t being used has long been a key act of digital housekeeping aimed at freeing up extra storage space and increasing speed by releasing the memory and CPU resources demanded by these programs. However, iolo Labs research has discovered that redundant software – programs that duplicate or overlap in their functions – represent a much greater threat to performance and stability. As multiple programs that attempt to provide the same functionality are run simultaneously, they often end up attempting to “lock” the same vital system resources for their exclusive use. The ensuing phenomenon of resource deadlock nearly always produces acute performance loss and unpredictable freezes, in some cases rendering a machine completely inoperable. iolo Labs research confirms that proactively identifying and removing unused redundant software can be a significant factor in restoring a PC’s speed and stability.

iolo Labs has been working directly with the iolo technologies engineering team to aid in the development of tools that effectively pinpoint and address these newly discovered root causes of PC slowdown.  These new tools are planned for general public availability later this month as part of the company’s anticipated System Mechanic 10 product release.

Free AntiVirus software

I recently was introduced to a free anti-virus software product. The maker of Comodo AntiVirus has challenged Symantec to a head-to-head competition to see who makes the better product and that intrigued me. I went to their web and downloaded the free version to give it a try.

I've been running it for a few days now and I have been very pleased with nthe results. I'll write a full review after I've had a chance to wring it out a bit more.

If you want to try it yourself go to

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Problem resolved

Yesterday's frustrating efforts to remove FailSafe from a Netbook computer I'm testing finally has reached a happy ending. After my first call to tech support I tried the online chat support and got nowhere fast. The tech I chatted with recommending calling again because that was the only way I could get the help I needed.

The second call went better, the person I talked to actually spoke English! After almost an hour of trying everything under the sun he left the case file open and promised he'd call me with a solution when he found one. At 8AM this morning I received a call from him and he had good news. He finally found someone at Phoenix who gave him a link to a removal app. I tried it and it worked!! Yeah!! No more FailSafe!!

 If you have a computer with FailSafe on it and you want to remove it go to and download the file. Run the app and you'll be as happy as I am.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A day of frustration

This has been a frustrating day. It started out with a wasted trip to the AT&T store to correct some cell phone problems. The local store ended up being useless and I had to use their phone support to clear up what should have been a simple fix.

Then came the ultra-frustrating phone call. I have been working on a Netbook review and have encountered an unsolvable problem. The Netbook came pre-loaded with Phoenix FailSafe software and it nags to be installed (and have a paid subscription started). It can't be uninstalled and all of my research indicates that the only solution is to register the software and then end the service. The FailSafe company will then email you an uninstaller.

All well and good except for one thing... the freakin company has gone out of business and the system doesn't work any more!

I finally called Samsung support and spoke to a man who spoke an interesting variation on English. After explaining the problem several times he finally said he knew a solution, do a complete system restore, wiping out everything on the computer. Since there was nothing of value on the Netbook I went ahead and did it.

As I'm sure you can guess all I accomplisehed was to reload all of the crapware that comes on the PC including FailSafe!!! Thanks for nothing Samsung!

Monday, September 20, 2010

October newsletter

The October issue of our newsletter was sent out this morning to all of our subscribers. It has some excellent reviews and how-to articles and should be a "must read" for everyone.

If you're not a subscriber just email me and I'll add you to the subscriber list.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

A long weekend

I had a long weekend of technological hardship trying to set up a system in a smallish church. They had limited resources and grandiose desires. By Sunday morning I had resolved all of the problems in my power and all went well at the first service in the church. Thank God.

Friday, September 17, 2010


We've all heard many of the terms that companies use for limited capability software like: time-bomb, crap-ware and nag-ware. MSFT has created a new class, Cripple-ware.  Win7 Starter was the first version we encountered, then we saw the last (probably) version of Works (RIP) and now we've run into the next version of Cripple-ware, Office Starter 2010.

MSFT has decided that rather than provide useful versions of their products for a reasonable price they will tease and tempt buyers into spending money for their far more expensive products. The MSFT Starter products are all garbage, and were designed that way. Reduced work area and forced MSFT ads are irritating beyond belief. The purpose of the starter version is to force the user to BUY a more expensive product.

This is yet another example of why we seldom recommend MSFT products,


I've been testing a Samsung N220 netbook for the past few days. It has far too much pre-installed crapware and time-bomb software for me and my full review in the newsletter will provide details.

The biggest pain in the "bleep" to me is the Phoenix Fail Safe app. An install dialog box keeps popping up and I have to tell it to not continue with the installation. The software isn't listed in the Programs and Features of Win7 so how do you uninstall it? I went to the company's web site and found out the software has been acquired and they are sending out refunds to subscribers.

Let's see.... the software can't be uninstalled and the company that created the nagware is gone. What a bunch of crap!!!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Good Synch review

This is the first part of a review that will be in our next issue. If you're not already a subscriber just email me and you'll be added to our subscriber lise! - Chuck

Siber Systems GoodSynchfor Mac v. 1.4.4

By Bayle Emlien

- a utility that enables users to backup/sync files between any two devices, locally or via web; new version makes file transfers between macs and PCs a breeze
- System requirements: OS 10.4 or better
- download GoodSync for Mac at
- Professional version with unlimited jobs and file synchronization; free Web and toll-free support available for $29.95

You remember Siber Systems, the folks that brought us Roboform password manager and introduced the idea that a jump drive could be more than dumb memory? They’re back with a Mac version of their backup and file synchronization application. The home version is the right price, free. I might want to look at the PC version next, and even the Enterprise version for work. $29 is hardly worth mentioning in comparison to the stress of recreating the contents of one of the office machines.

Why do I need a backup utility for a Mac? Macs never crash, do they? Well, how about making it easier to sync various devices. My iPod has been minimally cooperative about synching with the computer, so–just maybe–I do see that I have a use for GoodSync. And transferring files between the PCs and Macs without a convoluted work-around would be really useful.

Convinced, I spend 2 days getting the Internet to cooperate. Actually, my very tech-savvy friend does that. Sometimes the Internet is that way, especially when you have a project you want to get done now, or sooner.

I check out the short tutorial on the website under How It Works. Looks like all I need is are the half dozen screen shots that walk the user through setting up a job. My kind of housekeeping.

The download process was truly easy. Click on the Download Now button at just like it says. A quick download, maybe a minute. Barely enough time for a sip of coffee. Follow the instructions to drag GoodSync into the Applications folder. I don’t understand why I have to do this manually, but maybe there’s a chance that I’d want it somewhere else and they don’t want to confuse me? (I’m really working hard to not review Macs in general here.) Click on GoodSync in the Applications folder where I’ve been told to put it, figuring I’ll make a short-cut later, when I’ve got things going.

For the rest of the review catch our October issue!!