Thursday, April 28, 2011

Ubuntu 11.04

The latest version of Ubuntu Linux is now available for download. The 11.04 version know as Natty Narwhal can be downloaded at There is also a Long Term Service (LTS) version available now. There should be Netbook and other versions available for download soon. Naturally, the Ubuntu children, Kunbuntu, Edubuntu, etc. are also available.

We've downloaded Ubuntu 11.04 and will start checking it out soon.

Novell acquired by Attachmate

The Attachmate acquisition of Novell is now complete and I guess we should all be thankful that they are still in business, even as a division of Attachmate.

I remember the glory days of Novell: their networking products ruled the roost, the were big enough to acquire WordPerfect and Borland office products and they were challenging MSFT for the top spot in the office suite market. Oh, how times have changed.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Lexmark solutions

Lexmark made several significant announcements today that every business needs to learn about. The are introducing new hardware and software products that truly sound impressive. For more information we recommend you go to for the software news and for the new X548 Smart MFP go to

Friday, April 22, 2011

Fruit power

There are times that I am in awe of the power of The Big Fruit Company. There is some strange mystic that they are able to create about their products that convince people they MUST buy the latest piece of iFruit. Is the iFruit better than any of the competitors? Sometimes yes, sometimes no.

The Fruit Company is seldom the first maker of a product but they have a way of making consumers feel there is something magical about their products. There were MP3 players before the iPod and there are many competitors today that are as good or better than the Fruit versions. BUT everyone wants an iPod. There are many cell phones that are better than the iPhone (just about any Android) but people clamor for iPhones. Are Fruit laptops better than other Netbooks/Notebooks? Nope but people just gush over the latest Fruit computer.

I personally think it's a "status" thing for most of them. The same people who buy their clothes based on brand, their cars based on popularity and eat at the trendiest restaurants are all Fruit buyers. Me? I buy most of my clothes online or at WalMart, I drive a 2002 hand-me-down Hyundai and prefer my own cooking to a restaurant. I also use an Android phone and tablet (the Samsung Galaxy Tab) and love Gateway and Lenovo Netbooks and notebooks. If I want to listen to music my ancient Palm Tungsten T2 is still perfect.

I'm a meat eater, not a fruit gatherer.

Free software

I found this offer today. But hurry!! It expires April 26th.

Already a well-known multimedia software developer for its No.1 fast DVD ripping software, Digiarty today introduced an all-new DVD clone solution - WinX DVD Copy Pro. This application is specially designed to meet users' up-to-date DVD backup demands - clone DVD to DVD discs for safe storage; copy DVD to ISO image; copy DVD to MPEG2 files with intact content for further usage in a media center, DVD library establishment and DVD playback in PS3, HTPC. Along with the release, the good news is the software is scheduled to be given away from April 23 to April 25.

For more software info and the 72-hour giveaway, please visit

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

May newsletter

The May issue of our newsletter goes out first thing in the morning and it's a doozy. We have some of the best articles and in-depth reviews we've ever done. If you need a copy just let us know!!

Samsung firmware upgrade

This announcement came in our email this week:

Samsung Electronics announced firmware upgrades for two products within Samsung’s NX compact system camera range – the NX100 and NX10. The upgrade will give a unified user experience for the full NX range and provide enhanced features for existing customers.

Following the availability of the innovative i-Function lens feature on both models, the latest upgrades are set to make the cameras even more convenient for the photographer to use, bringing added value to Samsung’s NX range customers and putting the perfect picture at their fingertips.

Users of the NX100 and NX10 cameras can now benefit from the availability of the Panorama Shot in Scene Mode, using the camera’s wide angle lens to capture even more within their landscape images.

In addition, when using the 50-200mm II lens with the cameras, they will now be able to benefit from Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) which can be easily selected by using the menu system on the camera’s screen – resulting in hassle-free, crisp and clear images.

The firmware upgrade also includes an improved Movie Auto-Focus, using the very latest algorithms from camcorder technology for improving the steadiness of video recording when moving from subject to subject.

It also incorporates an enhanced Contrast Auto-Focus, to deliver clearer low contrast shots, even in low light conditions. The firmware upgrade also makes these functions faster and quieter than ever, giving photographers the ability to take noise-free, professional-looking still images and movies with ease.

In addition, through the upgraded firmware, the NX100 and NX10 now provide the i-Function setting help guide via the camera’s display, as available on the recent NX11 model. The feature helps users take impressive shots more easily by guiding users with explanations on different functions of the i-Function lens.

The upgrades will be available from April 18, 2011 for all NX100 and NX10 customers to download at

And then there were two...

This acquisition was announced today:

Seagate has acquired Samsung Electronics’ hard disk drive (HDD) operations for $1.37 billion in a move that boils the market down to two players. Seagate and Western Digital now control 90 percent of the HDD market with Toshiba a distant third.

Under the terms of the deal
, Samsung will lump its HDD unit into Seagate in exchange for a cash and stock deal worth $1.375 billion. Samsung will own nearly 10 percent of Seagate and the two companies will cross-license patents. Samsung will also provide NAND flash memory for Seagate’s solid-state drives. In addition, Seagate will supply drives for Samsung’s PCs.

Last year WD acquired Hitachi's hard drive products and it looks like we have only two major players left.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Buggy whips

I recently read an article discussing the products that smart phones, like the iPhone, have killed off.  The article mentions point-and-shoot cameras, MP3 players, handheld game systems, PDAs, auto GPS units and several other products. That's all true, it's also a symptom of how rapidly our lives are changing. It used to take years for a technology to alter people's lives but now it takes FAR less time. The life span of "game changing" technology can be so brief that it's frightening.

Just over a hundred years ago makers of buggy whips were prospering, Horseless carriages were just starting to threaten their lucrative business but I'm sure many of them thought it was just a passing fad. Blacksmiths and other trades that were in existence primarily because the horse had been the primary means of transportation for thousands of years were also about to face a profound change.

The last century has seen such enormous changes in the way we all live our lives that it boggles the mind. Transportation, communications, agriculture, everything has changed dramatically. In 1911 people in most of the world did not live much differently than their ancestors did. People in 2011 would be hard pressed to survive if they had to go back to 1911 technology again. We're on a wild ride and I can't imagine where it will take us in the next 100 years.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Public beta

Norton put out this press release today:

Today Norton by Symantec (Nasdaq: SYMC) released the 2012 beta versions of the award-winning Norton AntiVirus and Norton Internet Security, which are now available for free download from the Norton beta website. The Norton 2012 betas improve on performance and protection in what are already the industry's fastest and lightest security products(1). They include key security enhancements, including the ability to assess the safety and stability of an application before installation.

Beta Availability
The beta is available for free public download now at: or Norton beta testers are encouraged to share feedback and discuss their product experiences in our online Norton Public Beta Forum.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Paradigm shift

Something occurred today that is clear indication that we've had a paradigm shift. For the first time we found out about a new product via Facebook and we'll be getting a review unit to check out. Social networking is shifting from just a way to keep in touch with friends and is now a business tool. Welcome to the second decade of the 21st Century.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Another one bites the dust

I saw this one coming from the start: Cisco has announced they're shutting down the Flip video product line.

It seems like it's inevitable. Whenever a major company decides to expand it's product offerings by buying up a company that makes something that's far from their traditional products, it's only short time until they realize they were wrong. I'm sorry for users of the Flip video cameras. A lot of people really like them. A small, inexpensive video camera just wasn't a good fit with the Cisco corporate mentality.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Commodore 64

If you're a long time computer used then you know about the original Commodore 64 computers. For several years they were a major force in the industry and they were Apple's main competitor. In the years since then the Commodore name has drifted into obscurity. Well that time may be over!

The Commodore 64 has been rejuvenated by Commodore USA and they are introducing a new Commodore 64 that is a real live 21st Century model! The external look is the same as the original but they've put a min-ITX motherboard in it and all of the hardware neccessary for a modern computer.

We've requested an eval product to see just how well it works and we'll let you know how things turn out.


I'm sure regular followers of this blog have noticed fewer posts over the past week or so. What caused this you ask? Simple, I fell off a ladder and I've been recovering! It wasn't a serious fall but I re-injured my back and have been restricted in what I can do. I'm getting better every day however and should be back to full speed very soon.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Pentax events

Pentax is sponsoring a nationwide series of events. Here's more information:

Join Outdoor Pros Sheri and Randy Propster as they bring the pages of Backpacker Magazine to life! They will be touring the country with the new Optio WG-1, K-5 and Papilio binoculars.
Go to for the full tour stop calendar and additional details.

At each event you can:
* Check-out the latest in outdoor gear and apparel
* Learn essential skills from the experts at Backpacker
* Win great outdoor prizes
* Support PENTAX and convert your friends to PENTAXIANS!

Monday, April 4, 2011

The Deals Guy

Regular readers of our newsletter have enjoyed Bob Click's The Deals Guy column for many years. We stopped receiving columns from Bob in December of last year and finally found out why. Bob had a stroke on November 3rd and hasn't been able to continue his column. We've sent him our best and ask all of our followers to keep Bob in their prayers.