Saturday, October 31, 2009

Dear Microsoft: What's the deal with Windows 7 upgrades?

"One group at Microsoft seems to be stuck in 1999. For some inexplicable reason, the technical team responsible for packaging and manufacturing and selling Windows 7 has decided to clam up about a product it is selling by the truckload."

If you bought Windows 7 Upgrade media (mine was in my mailbox today) you will want to read this article by Ed Bott. He and Paul Thurrott ( are by for the most vocal of the Windows experts about Windows 7 upgrade issues.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Google’s New Mobile App Cuts GPS Nav Companies At The Knees

It is not a standalone navigation app. Rather it taps into a lot of the resources Google makes available on the Web, including Google Maps, Streetview, voice recognition, and sophisticated search. Google says its navigation will come to iPhone, if Apple approves (
Droid arrives on Verizon Nov. 6 with Google Maps Navigation Here is a YouTube unboxing and demo video of the new DROID by Motorola-Google-Verizon that comes loaded with Google's new Navigation software using the Android OS,

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

How I'm installing Windows 7 - Geek News Central

This is the way I would do an Upgrade to Windows 7. They call it an upgrade but it really isn't. This way you can avoid any problems in going from Windows XP to Windows 7. I don't run dual boot systems, I have Ubuntu on another computer so when I want to play I just use a KVM switch to change OS.
I have heard and read that some folks have had problems upgrading from Vista to Windows 7. I don't believe in upgrading an OS, one reason is you bring any problems along with the upgrade. If your computer isn't running right, an upgrade might not fix it. Another reason I don't upgrade is if you want to go from a 32 bit OS to 64 bit (I have been running Vista and Windows 7 in 64 bit for a couple of years.) you could run into problems.
I think a clean install is the only way to go. Saving your old hard drive is not a bad idea, in case you want to go back. Once I went to Windows 7 RC1 I turned off my Vista computer and are saving it in case a customer needs help and I need Vista, Otherwise it stays off. I don't even have a Keyboard, monitor or mouse connected to it. I remote in when I need it. When I received my copy of Windows 7 RTM from Microsoft I again did a clean install. I have all of my data backed up on my server here at home. An off site back up is a very good idea, I don't do it because I'm lazy.

I think when you go to Windows 7 you will be very happy. I did notice Saturday 10/24/09 Microsoft's Update servers were busy, I would think that was because that was the first Saturday after the release of Windows 7 and a lot of new computers were sold and connected for the first time. I didn't have any problems connecting to Microsoft's update server on Monday.

Happy Computing and enjoy Windows 7.


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Fake Facebook e-mail contains Trojan

"A new variant of the Bredolab Trojan horse is attached to a fake 'Facebook Password Reset Confirmation' e-mail, security firm MX Labs is reporting.

Some users are receiving the e-mail from 'The Facebook Team,' according to the security firm. The sender's e-mail address displays '' In reality, the address and sender were spoofed."

Just FYI. I know none of our readers would fall for this one.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Hasta la Vista, baby: Ars reviews Windows 7

"With much fanfare and even a few parties, Windows 7 has arrived. In this extensive review, Peter Bright dives deep into Microsoft's new OS offering to see what's new, what's still the same, and whether it's worth upgrading."

Windows 7 upgrade paralyzes some PCs with endless reboots

"Some users trying to upgrade from Windows Vista to Windows 7 have seen their PCs crippled by an endless series of reboots, according to reports on Microsoft's support forum.

A Microsoft engineer writing on the same forum said the company was investigating users' problems, but he downplayed them as 'isolated issues.'

Users began posting messages about the endless reboots Friday, saying that the Windows 7 installation would hang two-thirds of the way through the upgrade. They reported a message on their machines that claimed the upgrade had been unsuccessful and that Vista would be restored. Instead, their PCs again booted to the Windows 7 setup process, failed, then restarted the cycle."

I have one thought about this. While Windows 7 was thoroughly beta tested and the RC had wide public usage, the upgrade version did not. Indeed, Microsoft has kept, up until release, the details of a clean install using upgrade media top secret. So too were secret the other details of the upgrade media. Are these just bad media burns from downloads as MS seems to be contending, or this there a distinctive flaw or incompatibility in the upgrade process? Only time and testing will tell. This is testing that I contend should have been done more widely pre-release.

As most of you know, I do not advocate upgrading even from 32 bit Vista to 32 bit Windows 7. Of course I have to clean install because all the computers I will be upgrading will be going from either XP to 64 or 32 bit Win 7 or Vista 32 bit to Win 7 64 bit. I'm not letting MS off the hook here if they are to blame, but users also have a responsibility to back up their data (or perhaps image their drive if they want to be able to start back at square one) before upgrading. I will be doing both before I do a clean install of course, but it should also be done before an upgrade.

No matter how well designed the Windows 7 upgrade engine is (and I have a question about it in my mind at this point in time) things can go wrong. After all, we are talking about upgrading an OS. It is great when it works, but it should not be all that surprising if it doesn't.

Microsoft blames Windows 7 upgrade mess on user confusion

"Microsoft yesterday blamed user confusion for the problems many have encountered trying to move from Vista to Windows 7 after buying a discounted upgrade offered to college students."

Pilots Say Laptops Contributed to Distraction -

"The pilots of Northwest Flight 188 have told federal investigators that a bathroom break, chatting with a flight attendant in the cockpit and then taking out their laptops to discuss work schedules created distractions that led to more than an hour of radio silence with air-traffic controllers, according to people familiar with the statements."

"How many cores you got?" 1, 2, 3, 4, 8, 12 ... 100?

Tilera has announced a 100 core processor, looking to the server market, where server software like Apache Web server and MySQL database could make good use of that many cores.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

No live show today!

Because I have been ill for the past two weeks today's show will be a rerun of 08/09/09 show. We will be back live next week on November 1st.

This is the On Computers Radio show podcast for 08-09-09. You can listen live every Sunday from 10AM to 1PM Pacific that's 1PM to 4PM Eastern. Join us for the live show and chat. If you prefer, you can download the same MP3 file here via ftp.

I'm sorry about that.