Friday, May 06, 2005

Microsoft to sound early alert for flaws | Tech News on ZDNet

Microsoft to sound early alert for flaws | Tech News on ZDNet: "Microsoft will introduce a security advisory service on Tuesday that will confirm reports of flaws and provide a workaround until a patch is released. "

Spyware firms targeting children - Consumer Security -

What a surprise. I guess the moral of the story is don't let your kids use a computer unattended. Always know what they are doing.

Aaron / News / Nation / Washington / Court blocks TV anti-piracy tech rules

Score one for the little people.


PalmOne hard-drive-based handheld on horizon is reporting Palm One is planning on debuting a handheld image viewer/music player ala iPod soon. Running the Palm OS, this is a market leap for Palm, at the least. I want one.


Desktop Virtualization: End of the Traditional Operating System?

This is a fine one page story about desktop virtualization using Xen, an open source project started by Intel and now the purvue of a startup company. It's the first such story I've seen that will let those not privvy to the mysteries of virtual operating systems get it without study.


Thursday, May 05, 2005

Intel's Mid-Quarter Outlook: Notes and Analysis

My notes of interesting things Intel said at it's mid-quarter financial analyst meeting on May 5, 2005. My comments in [red brackets].

  • Last on-stage for Craig Barrett, a gentleman and technology leader, in my humble opinion.
  • The U.S. was passed by four other countries in digital buildout last year.
  • Paul Ottellini: Intel is driven by long-term investments in capacity to meet WW 207 MM PC market (up 36% in only 3 years or sum 55M units), mobility (% of processors above 30% now for the first time and growing quickly and over 50% in revenue dollars-- a fundamental shift), and emerging markets (20 years in China, channel has grown from 6K to 160K members WW in last 10 years, emerging markets represent 38% of WW demand -- up from 23% 10 years ago).
  • New metric is $/unit of performance or capability/watt consumed. Was performance.
  • Platform inner ring is on dual- and multi-core, 64 bits, power management, "T"'s: virtualization, security, active management; chipsets business is growing, particularly in mobile; communications ring; outer ring is software: compilers, reference drivers, silicon (1M lines of code in Centrino), ISV support (i.e., multi-threading)
  • Multi-core: Pentium EE will be followed by Pentium D this month. Mobile "Yonah" ships this year. 15 other multi-core projects are active. There are 3 new multi-core projects since IDF in March. 70% dual core shipments exiting 2006.
  • Success in platform initiatives is measured by market growth, segment share, average selling price growth and share of wallet growth. Example is mobile: 6% market share gains, growing ASP, wallet up 5% (worth $5B in chipsets, processors, and WiFi)
  • Continued double-digit growth rate this year and next.
  • Sean Maloney: mobile CPU sales have doubled in last 2 years: secular change in US, Japan, and Europe to more notebooks mirrors rapid WiFi deployments.
  • Expects > 30M unit run rate in smart phone silicon by year end 2005
  • Intel is winning back market share from AMD in NOR memory market with better technology (90 nm this year, 65 nm next year improves performance considerably). NOR remains the cell phone memory of choice.
  • Common manufacturing convergence will happen in 65 nm timeframe, beginning next year. This will lower costs.
  • Centrino has matured with Sonoma platform to more than 150 design wins. Even Intel WiFi chips is getting 80% acceptance
  • Next generation mobile will have better battery life and be thinner and lighter due to better heat dissipation.
  • Intel is driving industry and component manufacturers towards (much) better interchangeability of components such as hard drives, opticals, and LCD panels. This will lower everybody's costs [while making innovation by an OEM harder].
  • 2006 cell phone/PDA convergence is really happening. Much more memory per phone. Intel is going after all elements of this device.
  • Why WiMax? Notebooks demanding bandwidth in "always on" lifestyle. GPRS is too small a pipe and WiFi coverage is too limited/cell footprints are too small. There are plenty of comms engineers rolling off 3G projects onto WiMax. But a 3-5 year timeframe to buildout and mass market.
  • Abhi Talwalkar Digital Enterprise Group GM: client, server and storage, network, comms infrastructure. Drivers are workforce productivity, grow business, and IT efficiency,
  • Seamless Collaboration requires unified comms,voice + video + data conferencing, across locations and companies (and partners)
  • Information Processing & Delivery: get the right data at the right time to decision makers. Knowledge Workers will need dual processors for work load and multitasking
  • Cross-platform Comms for staying connected anytime, anywhere, across platforms (phone, notebook, desktop, home)
  • Lower TCO, provide agility and security to end users
  • Embedded management engine will fit in LAN and clients chipsets: OS independent. Increase efficiency in diagnosis and resolution; manage client regardless of state [out of band]
  • I/O Acceleration Over IP requires CPU, NIC, storage, and LAN ecosystem changes. Goal is improved response times over the network, increased CPU efficiency [through offload to smarter comms engines] and lowered data transfers.
  • Virtualization hardware enables software (e.g., VMware) to operate much more efficiently. Expect IT-managed user images running next to management and diagnosis partitions on desktops. Server consolidation will accelerate with more efficient virtualization. Ditto storage consolidation through virtualization.
  • 3,000 of 10,000 Intel software engineers are used to pollinate the Independent Software Vendor ecosystem [a huge market advantage]. New services to large customers (i.e., Wall Street) by these engineers.
  • Server and chipset growth is robust [vs RISC]. Overall server $ revenue crossed above RISC in 2003, so IA gets the bulk of revenues now.
  • Xeon 64-bit Nocona/Lindenhurst have fastest ramp-up ever. Very competitive versus AMD Opteron since launch in August 2004. MP Truland platform launched this March is also grabbing market share in the 4-way space with over 100 design wins.
  • Over 80% of Xeons are shipping with 64 bits today. Remaining 20% by year-end.
  • Dual-core DP Bensley chipset supports 8 threads in hardware on two, dual-core chips. [This is a price/perofrmance winner]. Thousands of trial units will ship in 2H-2005. The Paxville MP platform supports 16 hardware threads on a 4-way MP. Samples to OEMs soon. Demoed on stage.
  • Expect more products aimed at ultra-dense, dense [i.e., blade], and performance optimized environments with better performance per watt.
  • Itanium had best quarter ever in Q1-05. A $2.5B CPU opportunity. Large scale, mission-critical. 40% of F100 deployed Itaniums. 83% of wins are versus RISC [remainder is 32-bit IA and mainframes]. IBM Itanium business represents about 30% of IBMs Power RISC business -- a material business.
  • Desktop demand driver with more decision support and analysis in Longhorn timeframe (2007) Office. New form-factors will emerge for home.
  • Comms growth in $4.7B ATCA market in 2008
  • Anand Chandrasekar - measured on design wins in all platforms, Intel has compelling platforms and can expect strong demand
  • Emerging markets will soon represent 50% of Intel's WW business. Continuing investments in China, India, Russia, Latin
    America, Middle East, etc. Developing channel in 112 countires. Result: 100M unit growth in last 4 years.
  • Digital Government: 70% of growth is in new PCs (i.e., new users, not replacements)
  • Bob Baker, Technology & Manufacturing - 32nm pathfinding, 45nm development, 65nm ramp-up, 90nm maturity
  • 65nm manufacturing defect ramp is well on the way to Intel's goals, and has encountered no bumps along the way. 2nd generation strained silicon with 35nm gate lengths. Transition crossover in units with 90nm will occur in about a year (but wafer conversion occurs in Q4-05)
  • Andy Bryant, CFO -- 65nm dual-core will not cost more than today's 90nm single core microprocessors
  • Replacing process technology every 2 years adds $16B revenue potential to Intel over a decade or so versus holding pat and decreasing costs. The 65nm transition actually saves $2B over its life. But there is a risk in Intel's philosophy in that production factories must be started before the process is proved out.
  • $5B investment required to build a 300mm fab and get to production ($3B fab; $1-2B pilot line)
  • Wafer capacity is tight -- implying demand is high and not much excess capacity at the moment
  • 300mm depreciation costs are declining -- the kit is paid for and useful life is reaching maturity
  • Microprocessors still 77% of revenue, with chipsets another 7-8%
  • $13B free cash flow
  • Stock repurchase in 2004 was 3x stock options issued
  • Key measure is Return on Invested Capital. At ~19% last two years, Intel is in top 20% of S&P 500.
  • Questions and Answers
  • Expect a major new branding campaign later this year. [You can assume it is about dual core].
  • Intel does not expect a slowdown in buying even though the new technology roadmap is clear. "People expect improved technology. They buy what is available now."
  • Why is Intel revenue growth now diverging from U.S. GDP growth? A: Intel is now much more global economy GDP-growth driven than mere U.S. economy.
  • The semiconductor ecosystem is unable to accelerate Intel's desire to move from an 8 quarter to a 6 quarter technology refresh cycle time.

- Peter S. Kastner / Business / Technology / FCC boss proposes 911 for Internet phones-sources

Looks like the FCC is now getting involved in the fight for VOIP to have access to 911 systems. The question, is this a good thing?

Aaron - Pick Up Your Email - Pick Up Your Email: "Pick Up Your Email
From any computer, anywhere in the world. No need to register!"
This is a web site you can check your email from anywhere if your not at your own computer. I tested it with my email and it works for me. I'm not sure it will work with all ISP's. I guesss if your email has an alias it doesn't work.


Gore to receive Internet lifetime achievement award - Tech News & Reviews -

Did Al Gore invent the internet? Maybe he did, maybe he didn't, but he is being recognized for his contributions to the growth of the "information superhighway".

Dangers Lurk Along Windows' 64-Bit Upgrade Path

Dangers Lurk Along Windows' 64-Bit Upgrade Path: "Microsoft says PC customers could void their warranties by upgrading to its new 64-bit Windows XP Professional OS. "
Another feather of a 64-bit computer. Personally I would wait a year or two before I went 64-bit.


Microsoft plans to give some pirates a break | CNET

Microsoft plans to give some pirates a break | CNET "As part of its growing antipiracy campaign, Microsoft is testing a program that offers free licensed versions of Windows XP Professional to some customers whose copies are found to be bogus. "

Is you copy of XP Legal?

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Vonage .::. The BROADBAND Phone Company

First, the state of Connecticut sue Vonage over its 911 policy. Same day, it is announced that Vonage and Verizon have reached an agreement to allow E911 services at the ILEC level. What this means is that Vonage will route calls based upon where the physical phone is (or at least the address on record), not the phone number of the phone.

Kudos to Verizon and Vonage for coming up with a workable solution.

Aaron / Business / Technology / Connecticut sues Vonage over 911 policy

First Texas, now Connecticut. Is the point of this argument now whether or not Vonage discloses properly that dialing 911 on its system will NOT get you to the 911 center, or that VOIP providers are getting more popular and that there needs to be a way for VOIP providers to get tapped in to the 911 system.

(Might require login to read, please go to if you need it.)


Spyware scumbags make $2bn a year!

Okay. It's a little sensationalized. Maybe more than a little. The actual report is made by a company that deals with spyware professionally and the numbers seem a bit slanted in their favor. Still, it's interesting and there's no doubt spyware is a real problem.

Even major companies are using it. Ones you wouldn't think would stoop so low.


Spying on the spyware makers | Tech News on ZDNet

Spying on the spyware makers | Tech News on ZDNet: "Ben Edelman may be spyware's most dangerous enemy. "
How spyware free is your computer?


XP Clean Install

Here's a good Web site about clean installing Windows XP. Please give it a look. I'm in the middle of clean installing Windows XP. I don't even have office installed, yet. But the machine is very managable in this Spartan state.

I've been threatening this for 2 months, but 2 blue screens and general system instability yesterday pushed me to the brink.

I think that everyone has their own personal way of approaching it, but if you want to know how I do it here are the basics. First, I make sure I back up any personal data I want to use again. This includes backing up My Documents and any other folders with settings I may need. You can use the built in Files and Settings Transfer Wizard for this. The only reason I don't do this is that I want as clean an install as possible. If I haven't already done so, I make sure I have any login information needed to connect to the internet, and I gather CDs and files for the software I will want to install.

Second, I use the disk management tool to delete the partition where I'm going to install to unless this is already a system partition, in which case I'll have to wipe it out with the Windows installer. Doing this ahead of time is not necessary, but it makes it easy for me to find, especially if I already have data on other partitions. If you have a fresh disk drive, of course everything will be empty.

Next, I double check that I have any disk controller or RAID controller drivers that Windows will need. Windows will ask for these and if you need them and don't have them you will not be able to install because Windows won't see your hard drive. After that I install Windows XP (preferably a copy that is slipstreamed or came with the lastest SP). When that is done, I double check that the Windows firewall is configured and active. Then I install my motherboard drivers. After that, I install my video drivers and any other drivers for installed hardware that weren't installed with Windows. For hardware that is not yet installed, I leave the drivers for later. Next I install my antivirus. Only then do I configure whatever networking device I use to access the internet. After I connect to the internet, I Immediately update my antivirus, and complete any windows updates. Since IE is not my favorite browser, this is when I get Firefox up and running. After that I check to see that I don't need Windows updates for my Windows updates. (Don't laugh -- it happens). In fact, as I type, I'm downloading my second round of updates.

That gets me through the initial stuff. Next, I will be installing MS Office and configuring my e-mail. Because I still have a lot to do in order to get back to the point where I can just work, I probably won't be blogging much more today. Now you know why.


Ohhhh the irony Seti is currently down, and from the news:
""There's currently a UFO (Unlimited Fiber Optics) issue that is affecting multiple customers that we are working as quickly as possible to resolve. It is possible that this issue is causing this particular outage. There is currently no ETA on resolution for the current issue." Update 2 (23:30 UTC): Cogent has isolated the fault and has dispatched a person to fix it. We hope to see it fixed soon."

UFO on seti? I couldn't help myself!

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Phishing Attempts Decrease, Report Shows

Phishing Attempts Decrease, Report ShowsCould the phishing epidemic be subsiding? Apparently so, according to a recent study by a security industry group. And that's good news for everyone -- because those nasty phishing attacks can rob you of your identity, your PC and more in seconds flat. What's causing the decline?


� Is Bluetooth past its prime? | Between the Lines |

� Is Bluetooth past its prime? | Between the Lines | "For over five years, two of the supposedly killer wireless technologies � Bluetooth and Wi-Fi � have been marching to the beats of their own drummers. "

What drum do you march with?


Sober worm variant makes the rounds | Tech News on ZDNet

Sober worm variant makes the rounds | Tech News on ZDNet: "A new variant of the mass-mailing Sober worm has been discovered and is spreading among consumer PC users, security experts said Monday. "

Remember NOD32 is the Anti-Virus that Works!

Apple Refreshes eMac and iMac All-in-Ones

The eMac is an affordable all-in-one desktop for homes and schools with prices starting at just $799 -- and $999 for double-layer DVD burning.

The new eMacs are now available with:
• Faster Processors with speed increases to 1.42GHz
• Faster ATI Radeon 9600 Graphics Processor
• Double the amount of dedicated Graphics Memory to 128MB
• Hard Drive capacity increases to 80GB and 160GB
• Mac OS X Tiger, the world’s most advanced operating system
• $999 Configuration has 512MB memory and 8x SuperDrive with double-layer support.

The LCD flat-panel-based iMac G5 has a suggested retail price of $1,299 (US), and includes:
• 17-inch widescreen LCD with 1440-by-900 pixels;
• 1.8 GHz 64-bit PowerPC G5 processor;
• 512MB of 400 MHz DDR SDRAM;
• 24X Combo (DVD-ROM/CD-RW) optical drive;
• ATI Radeon 9600 graphics processor with 128MB video memory;
• Built-in AirPort Extreme wireless networking and Bluetooth 2.0 +EDR;
• 10/100/1000BASE-T Gigabit Ethernet networking, 56K V.92 Modem;
• 160GB Serial ATA hard drive running at 7200 rpm;
• Two FireWire 400, three USB 2.0, two USB 1.1 ports; and
• Built-in stereo speakers and microphone.

The eMac (CRT) and iMac G5 (LCD) are desktops above the Mac Mini and below the dual-processor Power Mac G5's in Apples desktop product line. This announcement means Apple has refreshed its entire desktop product line in the past 90 days, in time for the fall back-to-school season.

Peter S. Kastner

Extended Business Markup Language (XBRL) Improves Financial Reporting

XBRL is very interesting. Today, numerous financial reports are filed electronically with government agencies or business partners. But anyone who has searched Yahoo Finance or EDGAR filings at the Securities and Exchange Commission will agree that making sense of the text-based data is beyond the capabilities of most software -- and few humans besides Wall Street analysts have the time -- to correlate filings from different companies.

XBRL adds digital tags -- metadata -- that will allow different filing formats to be analyzed on a consistent basis. That is, "cost of goods sold", "excess executive compensation" and other characteristics can be extracted into analytical software, including spreadsheets. This will be a big step forward in turning the firehose of data that spews at us into something we can readily manipulate, assimilate, and act on.

- Peter S. Kastner

Lack of Cybersecurity Standards Tempts Congress

Business leaders, reeling from the vauge standards and high costs of Sarbanes-Oxley, have so far dodged efforts to define corporate standards for cybersecurity. This vacuum leaves a low pressure sure to be filled by hot air from Congress. Beware, business leaders.

Peter S. Kastner

Orion's 96 Processor Linux Cluster

Our colleague, JackDaWabbit, will be drooling to read about the 96 Transmeta processors in a Linux cluster that could vault Jack's SETI ratings to new heights while (over)heating his home.

So make Jack happy and send a check made out for $100,000 made out to Orion Multisystems to jack


Peter S. Kastner

HP Settles EMC Patent Suit, Becomes Reseller

The long drawn out cross suits between EMC and HP are settled. To "balance" the transaction, HP will buy $325 million in EMC products spread over the next five years.

While HP's storage group needs a whole lot of help, this is not the deal to do it with. Instead, expect HP to load up on VMware, the OS partitioning software that will become even more valuable later this year as Intel launches hardware-assisted virtual partitions in Xeon server microprocessors.

Peter S. Kastner

Microsoft Xbox2 to Challenge Sony PS3

Ten days until the announcement of the second generation Xbox during an MTV special. Leaks says it will be branded the Xbox360. And indications are that the graphics will support 720p HDTV (1280x720) using NEC embedded DRAM (eDRAM), which allows ant-aliasing with minimal frame rate loss in the ATI graphics processing unit.

Samsung's HDTVs will be preferred, partly due to the sets 12 millisecond pixel switching speed -- no more smearing during high-speed transitions. If nothing else, Samsung sells 25,000 HDTVs for use in consumer point-of-sale stations. (Expect a long line, gamers).

Other rumored specs include:
  • CPU will use three 3.0GHz PowerPC cores, each with 32KB L1 cache, 32KB instruction cache, and the three share 1MB of L2 cache. Later alpha decks only featured two cores.
  • The graphics will be handled by a “next-gen” 500MHz ATI post-X800 adapter
    There will be 256MB RAM—no word on what type; memory cards will range from 64MB to 1GB
  • There will be no “next-gen” (i.e. Blu-ray or HD-DVD) drive, but instead a dual-layer DVD
  • There will be an optional hard drive (as we heard before)—no word on final size
  • There will be a USB 2.0 camera for 1.2-megapixel shots and VGA-quality video
    5.1-channel audio is handled in software—X3DAudio to be exact (no word on in/outs)

Meanwhile, Sony is planning on shipping 2,000,000 Playstations a month this year, which is more game units per month than Aplle's hot iPods.

Should be a very interesting year as game stations morph into living room media consoles.

- Peter S. Kastner

IBM Closes PC Deal With Lenovo

The Chinese company takes over IBMs PC business, as the deal closes.

The web site in this blog is Lenovo's new US-English site, showing PCs available in the PRC. I recommend a name change from the current TianJiao A Series, but that's up to the new management to assess what U.S. and world markets need.

Peter S. Kastner

IRS Opens Door to Identity Theft

Well, 65% of U.S. taxpayers last month filed their tax returns online. Most opted to pay the IRS via credit card if they owed money, or to have a direct bank deposit for a refund.

The government's General Accounting Office reports that if you can hack into the IRS network, you can get into all that juicy taxpayer credit card and direct deposit information. Thus, looking at Hollywood star's tax returns will not be nearly as profitable as looking at their bank statements.

If you believe that the opportunity for identity theft has reached crisis proportions, you might send the GAO's one-page report to your congressman with a few choice words.

Peter S. Kastner

Hackers aren't just picking on Microsoft: study

Equal opportunity destroyers.

Microsoft Creates Real-World Virus Testing Lab

Well, the headline is somewhat mis-leading, but the fact is none of the anti-virus software companies have a version that supports the Windows XP Professional x64 Edition which Microsoft released last week. Given the millions of AMD Athlon 64s that have been waiting patiently for a year for a 64-bit Windows, we have no doubts there is a demand -- and from the recent Intel 64-bit Pentium 4 owners as well.

Look, tempting as it might be to fire up Win 64, none of us at the On Computers radio show recommend connecting to the Internet for even a second without a firewall and an anti-virus. There really are bad guys out there, and they know your IP address!

Our partners at NOD say they will have a 64 bit version -- NOD64 ? -- in a few weeks. Wait. Please wait.

Peter S. Kastner

Monday, May 02, 2005

Cities brace for broadband war

As far as broadband goes, I live is an country called "Forgottenia". Read the article. Is municipal broadband a communist plot, or is it government helping provide a utility to its citizens that private enterprise has been unable or unwilling to provide? Living in Forgottenia, I don't really care who brings me affordable broadband. All I care is that it becomes available.

Data for 600,000 Time Warner employees MIA | Tech News on ZDNet

Data for 600,000 Time Warner employees MIA | Tech News on ZDNet: "Personal information for 600,000 current and former Time Warner employees has been lost, the company announced on Monday, potentially setting the stage for one of the largest cases yet of identity theft. "

Did or do you work for Time Warner?


Sirius Hops on Podcast Bandwagon

"Mr. Podcast" Adam Curry is going to host a show on Sirius satellite radio. Podcasting really is the natural follow on to blogging and the Web in general. It makes webcasting easy for both the content producer and for the content consumer. Besides, in these days of increasing pressure and restrictions on downloading commercialy produced content, this fills the void by providing legally downloadable content. It is interesting to see this synergy develop between old models and new models of broadcast radio, and podcasting. As they say, stay tuned.

CNN on the Spam Attack?

This is a question. No one seems to know for sure but there has been some suspicious comment "spamlike" activity going around regarding CNN. This is yet another reason that we don't have unlimited commenting here. However, the fact that we don't always makes me sad. I would much prefer letting as many people as possible participate.

First Mention of XP SP3 Surfaces

A weblog by an F-Secure employee has Steve Ballmer admitting XP SP3 may ship before Longhorn. (What, pray tell, won't?) Few details are available, but it looks like the service pack would consist of IE 7 and some security fixes.


Longhorn Details Emerge has a low-key review of the current pre-beta release of Microsoft's Longhorn OS. It's quite favorable and tries to dispell the rumors that there are not enough drivers available for it. has some details of Longhorn's search utility here. It sounds very interesting.


AOL Treats Fla. Emergency E-Mails As Spam - Yahoo! News

See, there are legitimate uses for bulk emailing. Thank you spammers for making it impossible for legitimate uses to use this medium due to your abuse.

Auto Clip Clear

I wouldn't want to say why I might have gone looking for a utility to easily clear my Windows clipboard today, but I did. I knew that someone, somewhere had a simple little program that would, with a click of the mouse, clean up the Windows clipboard. Auto Clip Clear does the job. It is not a full featured clipboard manager -- there are lots of those out there. It does one thing, and one thing only -- it clears the clipboard. Works in Windows XP, as well as the listed Windows 95 and 98. Freeware.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

OC Podcast

This is the On Computers podcast for 05-01-2005. If you prefer, you can download the same file here via ftp.

Recycle Your PC

PCs and monitors are serious hazardous waste. Massachusetts and California ban these e-waste products from landfills.

IBM, Dell, and HP all have programs where they will deliver boxes and pick up your PC, monitor, printer, server, and just about any other computer product. Surprise, surprise, these environmentally friendlier computer vendors will accept each others products -- HP will take a Dell PC. Costs roughly $20-$40 to dispose of your e-waste in a responsible manner.

Get with the program!

Peter S. Kastner

Microsoft WinHEC Overview

Here's an overview of Microsoft's announcements at the annual hardware conference.

Note to Microsoft on Longhorn

Since Apple is being sued over the code name "Tiger" by Tiger Direct, we would be surprised if Microsoft keeps the Longhorn name on the retail box -- as Apple has kept the Tiger name on the OS X 10.4 boxes.

"The University of Texas at Austin™, The University of Texas®, University of Texas®, Texas®, Longhorns®, UT™, seal design, tower design, Hook em Horns®, Bevo,®, Lady Longhorns®, interlocking UT, block T, Longhorn Silhouette, running mascot caricature, longhorn caricature, Helmet logo, Texas w/ longhorn design, Hook em hand sign, Hook em™, Get Hook™, Horns™."

Peter S. Kastner

Apple Lowers Power Mac Prices -- a Lot

For the same three price points as before, Power Mac dual-processor buyers get 200Mz faster processors, doubled hard drive to 160 GB, memory upgrade to 512MB, and a better graphics card. Plus Mac OS X 10.4 "Tiger".

Sounds like a good deal to me. Becoming a better value will help dispell the long-held market feeling that Apple is "expensive".

Peter S. Kastner

How the FBI Blew a Half Billion on IT

Why is it that government agencies spend so much money on new IT systems and get so little in return? The technology exists. The project management skills are not up to the task. Unfortunately, this FBI debacle is one of a long list of projects where taxpayer money is basically put on a big fire and torched.

Peter S. Kastner

Samsung Introduces First SATA II Hard Drive

With I/O speeds of 300 MB/second, Samsung's SATA II disk drives have twice the transfer rate of older, PCI-based parallel ATA drives. And I/O transfer speeds are all about feeding the ever-faster CPUs.

Expect to see these drives in servers for midline storage and in high-end consumer desktops. Is the end of the SCSI disk drive ara in sight?

Peter S. Kastner

An Introduction to RAID6

IT professionals will want to read this article to understand the problem that RAID6 solves compared to RAID5.

By adding a second, redundant hash disk to a RAID5 array, the RAID6 array is able to sustain multiple failures. Since many RAID5 arrays involve more than a dozen disk drives, the releative cost of an added drive becomes acceptable.

Peter S. Kastner

Windows XP Professional XP64 Edition

The article is a review of the new software.

If you have Windows XP Professional, you can get the 64-bit edition here for free until July 31st. But only for Pro users, not Home users. Note this is a trade-in program.

Of course, you will have to have a 64-bit AMD or Intel microprocessor too.

Peter S. Kastner

Their reply: Best Buy and their NON Service! from April 12th 2005

April 25, 2005

Mr. Joe Polinsky
531 Mellow Place Anchorage, AK. 99508

Dear Mr. Polinsky:

Thank you for taking the time to contact the Best Buy corporate office. The infonnation concerning your Compaq notebook computer repair service from our Anchorage store (#539) was very helpful. I am disappointed we did not meet your expectations when your Compaq notebook computer repair took longer then anticipated.

Best Buy takes great pride in providing a fun and easy shopping experience for our customers. I apologize for any inconvenience this matter has caused you. Customer feedback is vitally important when evaluating the repair service offered under our Perfonnance Service Plan (PSP) and the ways that it influences our customers' shopping e,xperiences. I have shared your comments with the management teams from the appropriate departments who will review the situation for improvement opportunities. Please be certain Best Buy will continue to focus on satisfying our customers every chance we get.

As you are a valued Best Buy customer, I will be sending you a gift card for $50.00 under separate cover. You should receive this gift card approximately four to six weeks after the date of this letter.

Thank you again for making us aware of your concerns regarding your Compaq notebook computer repair service. Your feedback will help us build a better customer experience for all our customers. We appreciate your business and hope you will let us know of any future questions or concerns.

Steve Taylor
Best- Buy Customer Care

Best Buy Customer Care • P.O. Box 9312 • Minneapolis, MN 55440-9312 • (888) 237-8289 • NYSE symbol: BBY

Do they care about giving poor service? I don't think so.