Tico Byte - October, 2009


Hello Club members,


This coming Saturday, Oct. 17th, 2009 is your next monthly meeting of the PC Club of Costa Rica.  You'll find us at the usual place, the Pan American School in Belen, near the Panasonic.  Come anytime after 8:30 for free coffee and donuts and good cheer.  The meeting is scheduled to end at 11am.  This month we will be having  some fun with the new operating system, Windows 7 as well as answering all your questions and sharing what members know amongst ourselves.  We will have election of the three positions for your board of officers, President, Treasurer and Ombudsman.  I hope to see you there.


Now on with the Byte:


Item 1. Windows, users, guns and stupidity


Opinion: Our earlier story on how fast or slow Windows 7 boots and shuts down has attracted some critical acclaim and some critical unacclaim from people who obviously didnít bother to read the story before posting a comment on it.


It occurred to us that we hadnít told the full story and had omitted to include what happened on a Mitac 1.66GHz Core 2 Duo laptop with 4 GB of RAM running 64 bit Win7 build 7600. What we do on this one is get it to hibernate when we shut the lid. Although itís clearly not a high-end machine, it somehow manages to save an image of its 4GB of RAM to disk in 20 seconds. Waking it up takes 22. We repeat our earlier point. If 20 seconds puts too big a dent in your crowded schedule, thereís probably no help for you. If you genuinely lose sleep at night because one OS loads ten seconds faster than another, ask your mom for a pacifier.


Story at: http://www.tgdaily.com/content/view/44261/140/


Item 2: Windows 7 won't be successful until 2011


Microsoft's future begins next week. That's when the company ships Windows 7, its latest operating system. If Microsoft stumbles with Windows 7 as it did with Vista, people will start asking whether Microsoft has much of a future at all.

While many of us will see lots of advertising in the mass media and on the Internet, the real selling of the product will be behind the scenes to Big Business. Corporate buyers all but ignored Vista. ISVs were lukewarm to it. And Microsoft was embarrassed when its hardware partners offered their business customers downgrades to Windows XP, which most companies thought of as a superior operating system. If Windows 7 does not catch on with Big Business, some believe Microsoft will be toast.

There's some evidence to suggest that might be the case. Historically, analyst firms like Gartner caution their clients to wait until Microsoft has released at least one service pack before making the upgrade leap. And in April Dimensional Research published a study of 1,142 IT professionals about their planned adoption of Windows 7. A mere 16% said they were planning to upgrade in the first year of its release. And if Microsoft can't convince corporate IT pros to upgrade, it will fail again.


Story here: http://www.tgdaily.com/content/view/44280/140/


Item 3: SanDisk ships 64 gig flash memory


SanDisk has begun shipping 64 Gigabit X4 Flash memory cards. The new cards, which are based on 43-nanometer (nm) process technology, store four bits of data in a single memory cell. 

According to SanDisk, X4 technology represents an "important milestone" for the flash storage industry, as conventional multi-level cell (MLC) NAND chips are capable of storing only two bits per cell. 
"Our challenge with X4 technology was to not only deliver the lower costs inherent to 4-bits-per-cell, but to do so while meeting the reliability and performance requirements of industry standard cards that employ MLC NAND," explained SanDisk president Sanjay Mehrotra.


Story here: http://www.tgdaily.com/content/view/44278/135/


Item 4: Barnes and Noble - Oct 20th - Event


Barnes & Noble has sent out invitations to a New York event next week, where many expect the company will launch its own electronic-book model.


"Barnes & Noble cordially invites you to a major event in the company's history," Barnes & Noble said in an invitation received by CNET News. The launch comes conveniently (especially for this San Francisco-based reporter) two days before Microsoft uses New York as the launch pad for Windows 7.


The Wall Street Journal reported last week that Barnes & Noble is working on its own e-reader to rival products from Amazon and Sony. Barnes & Noble has already struck deals to serve as the bookstore for e-readers made by others, including Plastic Logic.


Story here: http://news.cnet.com/8301-13860_3-10374136-56.html


Item 5: Patch Tuesday nightmare?  


Computerworld - Corporate security and network administrators face a "nightmare" task just trying to figure out what to patch and what to let slide after Microsoft issued its biggest-ever batch of updates today, researchers argued.

"This is the biggest number of bulletins," said Jason Miller, the security and data team manager for patch management vendor Shavlik Technologies. "It's also the biggest number of individual patches." The bottom line, said Miller: "This is an administrative nightmare, just trying to get a good grasp of what's out there." Wolfgang Kandek, the chief technology officer at Qualys, agreed. "This is a huge release," said Kandek. "No one will be untouched."


Story here: 



Item 6: Karmic Koala - The best Ubuntu ever


I've looked at hundreds of Linux distributions over the years. Some of them have been awful. Many have been OK. Few have been great. Based on my early look at Karmic Koala, Ubuntu 9.10, I think we've got a very strong Linux desktop distribution coming down the way. Before jumping into my early review, let me say that while I like Ubuntu, I'm not an Ubuntu fanboy. I also like FedoraopenSUSEMint, and MEPIS to name a few Linux distributions that I use on a regular basis.


Story here: 



Gmail's labs section is full of tools that help advanced users fine-tune the interface of the free Web mail service. What may be more impressive, though, are its tweaks for the not-so-advanced users, the kind who need a little hand-holding to keep them from firing off e-mails while intoxicated, or missives that they didn't mean to send in the first place.


To add to these two features, Google on Tuesday introduced "got the wrong Bob?", a very simple tweak that, based on first names, will give you a subtle nudge if it thinks you're sending an e-mail to someone outside of the group you usually correspond with. The alert shows up just above the subject line and asks "Did you mean: ____ instead of ____?" Clicking that link replaces the wrong e-mail address immediately.


Story here: http://news.cnet.com/8301-27076_3-10374052-248.html


Item 7: The best is yet to come. The meeting, of course.  See you Saturday.