Archive for May, 2007

What kind of PC can you get for $7,000?

Thursday, May 31st, 2007

What kind of PC can you get for nearly $7,000?  Can you in fact spend just a shade over $7,000 on a PC?  The answers to these questions are "one heck of a PC" and "yes, and you could spend a lot more!"

Over on ZDNet I've posted the spec of the PC. It's a monster, with a quad-core CPU, 8GB or RAM, over 1.5TB of storage and twin GeForce 8800Ultra 768MB graphics cards.

I'm pretty sure that Vista would fly on this rig! 

Apple is watching you!

Thursday, May 31st, 2007

Don't think that Apple's new DRM-free iTunes Plus is an opportunity to file share with your friends - Apple is watching!

With great power comes great responsibility, and apparently with DRM-free music comes files embedded with identifying information. Such is the situation with Apple's new DRM-free music: songs sold without DRM still have a user's full name and account e-mail embedded in them, which means that dropping that new DRM-free song on your favorite P2P network could come back to bite you.

What worries me about this is not that people who file share could have some explaining to do (if you share copyrighted content and get caught, you deserve what's coming) but it's that this info could be changed or spoofed and innocent people put in the frame.

Mozilla squashes 6 Firefox bugs

Thursday, May 31st, 2007

Mozilla have patched six vulnerabilities in the Mozilla browser.  One of these vulnerabilities was rated as critical.

The updates bring the current browser to Version 2.0.0.4, and 1.5.0.12.

Here's the scoop:

 The most serious of the six is MFSA 2007-12, which were memory corruption bugs.

As part of the Firefox 2.0.0.4 and 1.5.0.12 update releases Mozilla developers fixed many bugs to improve the stability of the product. Some of these crashes that showed evidence of memory corruption under certain circumstances and we presume that with enough effort at least some of these could be exploited to run arbitrary code.

Run Firefox update or download the latest version.

The hardware casualties of upgrading to Vista

Wednesday, May 30th, 2007

Kathie's also posted about the hardware casualties of the upgrade up to Vista.  It's a very honest post that covers the kind of headaches that people encounter when upgrading:

Hardware is a big issue for me.  I like my hardware to last and I don’t like to let it go when I’m used to it, so throwing out good kit just because I’ve moved to Vista really goes against the grain! It’s environmentally unfriendly and expensive.  Of course the manufacturers love nothing better than a new OS for just this reason. They want everyone to go out and get all new kit, so they’re not too keen to produce drivers for hardware over a certain age and let’s face it they have the advantage.  They know you’ll probably get a new PC in the next couple of years and it will most likely have Vista on it.

Here are some of the casualties:

  • Hauppauge Win TV Go
  • Microsoft Strategic Commander
  • Canoscan 650U scanner
  • Logitech Quick Cam

Most if not all of this gear will move to other systems so it's not wasted, but it does mean shelling out for new gear to replace something that worked just fine.

Upgrading to Vista – The software casualties

Wednesday, May 30th, 2007

Kathie takes a look at the software casualties of upgrading to Windows Vista:

Just like hardware manufacturers, software houses love a new OS because it’s a good opportunity to introduce a whole new version of their software.  And unlike more minor upgrades it’s also a good excuse to take a fresh look at their products.  This often means that functions will be altered or moved around and some features may even be removed completely (an increasingly familiar trend).  This isn’t always a good thing, because it puts the existing user’s nose out of joint especially if it’s software that you use regularly and are familiar with.  Never is this felt so deeply as when you’re upgrading because of a new OS.  Ordinarily, if you don’t like a new version of a program  you just don’t bother and stick with the old one, but a new OS means you’re forced to accept change and let’s face it, that can be hard to do.

The problem with upgrading an operating system is that you're likely to have to put your hand in your pocket and spend money on updated software.  And these costs can mount up.

Also, remember that you will incur these cost if you are changing PCs too.