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Comment I used to butt dial 112 in Canada (Score 1) 354

A couple phones ago on a candy-bar format Nokia, more than once I butt dialed 911 by dialling 112. Even if I locked my phone, since it was an "emergency" call, it would make the call. After the second time, I swore I would stick to flip phones forever... that lasted until smart phones came around. I still haven't managed to butt dial on a locked iPhone, so I guess that's progress.

Comment Yes, Vista and Win7 will prompt for a password... (Score 1) 300

But, unfortunately, so will two dozen different updates. Adobe Reader, Windows Live Mail, Adobe Flash, up until recently (maybe even currently) Firefox, and dozens of other apps that "automatically" update all require admin privileges. Most users just start clicking yes or entering their password for every dialog that pops up.

I'm responsible for a fair number of PC's used by "regular" staff... they get to use Limited user accounts in XP (or Win7) and giving them an admin password is very much frowned upon. Sooner or later they'll write it on a post-it note by the screen. The number of update requests is frustrating, to put it mildly. Google Chrome is looking better all the time.

Comment Don't forget laptops! (Score 1) 565

I'm writing this on my 3 year old laptop w/15 inch 1440x900 screen. When I bought it, I believe the standard screen resolution was 1280x800. For the extra $100 or so, I've been very happy with the extra pixels. Unfortunately, this laptop is falling apart and I've been trying to figure out what to do screen wise on it's replacement.

Thanks to widescreen TV, almost all entry level laptops only come in 1366x768 screens, "HD". I've used other people's laptops, and I'm pretty sure I would miss the vertical pixels. (Why isn't more software optimized for widescreen use yet?)

Without going to a 17 inch laptop, it looks like I'm going to have to pay a huge premium (i.e. at least 50% more) to upgrade to a mid-range laptop from whatever entry level laptop is on sale at a bricks and mortar, or at Dell. Even then, there's not a lot of selection.

Comment Confusing to non-geeks? (Score 1) 704

Hah!

A few years ago, I hadn't dealt much w/DVI other than ordering a few matched PC+monitors for clients (matched, implying that I didn't really have to care about the various DVI versions). Then came the time I had to order a longer than normal DVI cable. I definitely did not look smart when I bought an incompatible cable. I can't recall the exact combination... I think the PC port had analog pins and the cable didn't, so they didn't fit together?

I'll be glad when DVI dies. I still recommend most VGA for most "regular" users. At least it's goof proof... and that's half the battle.

Comment Twist Ties... (Score 1) 374

I keep all twist ties from new equipment in a pile for re-use. I strongly prefer them over zip strips... you can undo them. And then re-use them. I can't count how many times I've needed to add "just one" new cable and didn't have a zip strip handy.

You can remove twist ties without tools. Further, half the time when I want to remove a zip strip I've only got a knife handy instead of diagonal cutters... that's just playing with fire...

The only downside that I can think of with twist ties is that they're metal. I suppose they could cause a short if they snapped and fell into the wrong place... however, considering how many staples and paper clips litter floor of the average office, I think the additional risk from my twist ties are minimal.

Comment Re:Yeah, but who's buying? (Score 1) 698

Just to be clear here, $60/mo sounds a lot like the MSP "Premium" we pay in BC. That's only a small fraction of the cost of health care in Canada. A large percentage of our income taxes go to pay for health care too. We're still way cheaper overall than the US, but we're not at a $60/mo level. Plus, when's the last time a major drug or medical technique was developed in Canada? We should thank the American's for footing the bill for the R&D that we all get to piggy-back off-of.

Comment 3rd Party tool... (Score 1) 567

Agreed. For years I was using copy and paste into a text editor to strip out formatting... a year or two ago I started using a utility called "PureText". Now using "Windows+V" will do what amounts to "paste without formatting" in any application.

Comment Palm 2.0 (Score 3, Insightful) 197

I've always thought of RIM as Palm Pilot, the next generation. The same people who bought the first PDA's from Palm were the first to use Black Berries. Carrying contacts and calendars around was, and is, a very good thing. But, when Black Berries did that, plus email, Palm's weren't competitive anymore. It took awhile, but Palm has all but disappeared (I know, Palm is now buried in HP somewhere.)

Well, email on a phone isn't a big selling feature anymore. It's all about the apps and web access. Email is just the bare minimum - a minimum that RIM couldn't even meet on their Playbook tablet launch (WTF!?)

So... as a Canadian, I'm sad to see RIM's decline. The game isn't over yet, there's still value in the Enterprise and Government sectors... for a while anyway. But, I think their days as a consumer brand are numbered. There really isn't room for 4 platforms in the mobile space... even 3 platforms is pushing it. iOS and Android are here for at least the medium term. Windows Phone and RIM have to fight it out for a distant #3.

If I had to bet, within 5 years, Microsoft will buy either all of RIM, or the pieces - both largely serve the corporate markets.

Comment Even Slashdot readers... (Score 2) 93

I've been using the mediocre Intel IGP's for years on the last couple laptops. The GPU on these new AMD chips wipe the floor with the 2 year old Intel IGP on the laptop that I'm typing this on. Even basic home video editing doesn't really use the GPU, those goofy home videos are all CPU work.

Having the fastest computer doesn't mean much for most people. It's the form factor and utility that counts. Heck, we're one hop-skip-and-a-jump away from perfectly adequate ARM based machines that people will use instead of Intel or AMD... oh, wait... that was the iPad and it came out last year.

LOL, and to think that we used to measure computer speed by how fast it could recalculate a "large" Excel spreadsheet.

Comment Look for SEO link buying from Fortune 500 firms (Score 1) 220

The other day I was approached by a marketing firm that wanted to buy a text link on the front page of my main website. That wasn't new, any webmaster of a half-busy site will get generic link buying requests frequently. This was different.

It was clearly a specifically written email to the webmaster, me. It wasn't the usual automated scatter-shot form letter email. I was curious, so I asked for a bit more information and it turned out to be a Fortune 500 firm that wanted to rank highly on printer supplies. No, not JC Penny, but it would be every bit as controversial. Anyway, it was tempting, but I didn't bite. Their desired link text didn't really make sense on the site, and just as importantly, I don't want to tempt the wrath of Google.

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