Tico Byte


May, 2008


Dear Members,

The next meeting of the PC Club of Costa Rica is this Saturday, May 17th at 9am.  We will meet at the regular place, the Pan American School in Belen. Come early (at 8:30am) and visit with friends prior to the start of the meeting.  Write down your questions and what you want to know and we will try to answer your concerns.  Also, bring any computer that you are having problems with and we will attempt to fix it.

Now on with the Byte:

Item 1: Mac Office sales soar

While Apple's market share gains are cause for consternation for many in Redmond, one unit is clearly benefiting.

Microsoft's Mac unit is set to disclose on Tuesday that copies of the new Office for Mac 2008 are flying off the shelves at three times the rate of its predecessor. The company wouldn't disclose sales numbers, but said the sales are the highest in the 19-year history of the unit. That continues a trend that has been going on for some time.

Story: http://www.news.com/8301-13860_3-9942251-56.html?part=rss&subj=news&tag=2547-1_3-0-5

Item 2: Powerset  launches 'understanding engine"

After nearly two years in the making -- and plenty of hype -- Powerset has finally rolled out a "natural language" search engine. It's not a Google killer. It's barely a business model right now. But at least it's something the world can finally play with, and under the hood, there's lots of potential.

By the time you read this, the Powerset site should have changed into a tool that allows you search against material within Wikipedia. Why bother using Powerset rather than using Wikipedia's own search tool or even Google set to look only within Wikipedia pages? The Powerset pitch is that you'll get better results because Powerset's technology has read and understood what every word within Wikipedia actually means.

Story: http://searchengineland.com/080512-000100.php

Item 3: Microsoft launches space tours

Microsoft is ready to boldly take Web surfers where no man has gone before.

The software giant on Monday launched its WorldWide Telescope, a free Web-based program that allows Web surfers to explore galaxies, star systems, and distant planets. The program, which was developed by Microsoft's research arm, marries together images from the Hubble Space Telescope, the Chandra X-Ray Observatory Center, the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, and others.

Story: http://www.news.com/8301-10784_3-9942586-7.html?tag=nefd.riv

Item 4: Saving the hard drive

In computer circles a well known statement when it comes to hard drives is that it’s not a matter of “if” a hard drive dies but “when”. Well, unfortunately for my brother-in-law that time came a couple of weeks ago for his external hard drive. He had stored all of his music and all of the photos that his family has taken of their two year old son on an external Maxtor. One day he turned it on, heard some musical tones and then a whirring sound, a clicking sound, and that was it. It wouldn’t show up on his computer and was presumed dead. Being the geek in the family, he asked if he could send it my way.


(Don't forget the 'put it in a plastic bag, in the freezer for an hour, and try again' trick.)

Item 5: AMD chips and Windows Service Pack 3

Owners of some AMD-based computers are finding that the move to Windows XP Service Pack 3 has sent their systems into an endless reboot cycle.

"While the root cause of this issue is complex, it results from OEMs improperly placing a Windows XP image created for an for Intel-based computer onto machines with non-Intel chipsets," Microsoft said in a statement. "Microsoft issued guidance to OEMs advising them to only load Windows XP images onto like hardware in 2004."


Item 6: Have you ever tried Zillow

Have you ever wondered what someone's property is listed  for in the States?  Go to zillow.com and take a look.  I found it very interesting.

Item 7: Nice site

In looking for more RAM memory for my laptop, I found the crucial.com site has a very nice scan program for reading your computer's memory while connected to their site. It gives you the information about what your machine's RAM memory is, in the event you want to add more. Very nice for laptops which may have very specific memory requirements.

Item 8: Doughnuts and friends

You get them both on Saturday at 9am at the Pan American School.