Monday, August 30, 2010

Quicken Online is dead

In yet another example of the weaknesses of "cloud" computing Intuit has shut down the Quicken Online web site. If you are one of the thousands of online users you have two choices: switch to Mint, their successor to Online, or take your data (which you hopefully have saved on your computer) and use something else.

Using Cloud applications for critical computing has several huge potential problems. The biggest in my opinion is the fact that you are totally dependent on a vendor and the application staying in business!!! When a company can just turn a site off then my data is at their mercy.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Gmail Voice

Google has made Gmail Voice available for everyone at a great price....  free. I went through the downloads and setup today and was very pleased with the results. I now have a local number and have made numerous calls from my PC for free. I'm sure they'll switch to a pay-for-service model by next year but for now they have an effective free phone service available.

Cooking For Geeks

I just started reading the eBook version of Cooking For Geeks by Jeff Potter. It's an excellent read, full of information and humor, as well as some very good recipes. It's a great book and would be the ideal gift for just about anyone. You can buy the print or digital versions at

I'll have a full review in the newsletter next month.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Virus attack

I received an interesting email today that has all of the earmarks of a virus/trojan. It was sent to what is usually a business only account and doesn't;t get much spam. I was wary however and proceded with caution.

The email was sent from and the subject was a FedEx delivery with an erroneous address. We get FedEx deliveries virtually every day so it could have been a real message. However, the attached file was a .zip file and I was very cautious.

One of the laptops in our lab is heavily infested by malware so I used it to download the .zip file to see what was in it )if it got another bug it couldn't get any worse!!). Just as I suspected, it contained an .exe that would have probably wrecked havoc if I had run it.

Here's the lesson for everyone... never download and .exe and run it!!!

Friday, August 20, 2010

September newsletter

Our September newsletter issue was emailed out today. There are some great articles and any of our followers who aren't subscribers should let me know. I'll be glad to add you to our subscriber list.


We've heard a rumor that HP has confirmed they are planning on introducing a tablet using the PalmOS they bought earlier this year. I'm really looking forward to seeing this product come to fruition, it should be great!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Xandros Linux

In life there are things that are beyond human comprehension.
Catholics (like me) are taught that the concept of the Holy Trinity (three Gods in one) is beyond human comprehension. To me Xandros Linux is the same thing.

Why did they spend big bucks to acquire Corel Linux, Windows/Winspire/Linspire and CNR and then totally drop their development of them?

It looks like a fish, it smells like a fish so......... I thinks there's a dead fish out there.

COMDEX lives!! Sort of......

Today we saw this article online announcing: COMDEXvirtual Theme Revealed, 'New Business Solutions: Embracing Disruptive Technologies & Changing Delivery Models'

COMDEXvirtual Theme Revealed, 'New Business Solutions: Embracing Disruptive Technologies & Changing Delivery Models'

Personally it just won't be the same to me. But... it will be a lot cheaper!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Olympus PEN commercial

Have you seen the new Olmpus PEN camera commercial yet? I saw it for the first time last night and I'm confused.

In the commercial an attractive young girl is walking around a city holding the camera as if she were about to take a picture. As she's walking all kinds of news/photography worthy events are taking place all around her and she's oblivious to them  The final cut show's a crew using an Olympus PEN to actually shoot the commecial you just watched. I guess we're supposed to be impressed with the video quality of a compact camera.

What I got out of it was she missed all of the great photo-ops because the LCD is unusable in bright light! In the shot with the camera crew the photographer is being shaded so he can see what he's shooting!

Sorry Olympus, you missed the mark with this one.

One more thing, be sure to check out our review of the Olympus PEN E-PL1 in our next issue!!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Razor blades

Everyone who has studied business in the last 50 years or so has learned the story of Gillette giving away their razors. You see the profit wasn't in selling razors, it was in selling blades over-and-over-and-over again.

I'm guessing that before long eBook reader makers will get the same idea. The price of the Kindle, Nook, Libre, etc. have been dropping steadily and will soon be below $100. Since the real profit is in selling eBooks (virtually free to re-produce and sell at 90% plus profit) why not go all the way and give them away.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


Ever year since 1993 I have made an annual pilgrimage to Las Vegas for computer trade shows, first Fall COMDEX and CES. I've always felt that I was an example of the kind of person Vegas doesn't want to visit. I look for the best bargain I can get in a room, I try to get ALL of my meals for free from vendors and I never gamble. Actually I have gambled in the past. I used to  put 1 or 2 quarters a week in a slot machine but stopped doing that in the 90's.

I'm not alone in my treament of Vegas. I heard this line tonight from Mike Huckabee: "I went to Vegas with two things: the Ten Commandments and a $20 bill and I didn't break either one".


Monday, August 9, 2010


Being the HP CEO has to be the best ex-job ever. Carly Fiorina got a wonderful package when she was forced out (and in my opinion she deserved it) and now Mark Hurd is getting $11 million for resigning.

Does any know of any other job where you get paid millions to stop working? If so, I want it!!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

MSFT and WinXp

There was an interesting article in my inbox today. Yet another prognosticator has noticed the obvious: MSFT wants WinXp to die a rapid death! MSFT is totally focused on keeping their stock price healthy and that means they need to keep selling software, and lots of it!! In order to hurry the death of WinXp they are no longer offering security updates to SP2 and earlier.

WinXp is far from perfect but it has turned out to be one of the most reliable products MSFT has released. Many users are satisfied with the performance and stability of WinXp and never bought WinV (a very smart move, by the way) and haven't found a compelling reason to buy Win7.

I understand the position of no longer supporting an OLD version of one of your products, it's way to costly for a vendor. The problem with that philosophy from MSFT is the security holes they have in their products that they have to keep fixing. If MSFT would make a secure product in the first place there would be no need for them to keep puttting out security fixes 10 years after the software was released!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Kingston Technology Adds Water-Cooled Modules to HyperX Family

This announcement came across today on PRNewsWire and I though eevryone who likes to build uber-fast systems should see it!

Kingston Technology Adds Water-Cooled Modules to HyperX Family