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Comment Forget Windows (Score 1) 823

I recently set up a computer for an aunt who'd never owned a computer. She'd used them at public kiosks and work, but that's it. Her primary use was just web browsing, email and occasional letter typing. I was originally going to put Windows on it, but then thought I'd try an experiment.

So instead I installed Ubuntu (Intrepid) on an old machine (Athlon XP 2500+, 1GB RAM), set up my admin account and her limited account, and set up SSH on it so I could remotely administer it if I needed to. Total installation, updates and configuration took maybe 2 hours

So far it's been a month and I've never even had to go help her with...well, anything! She's been using it daily, and I've not had to fix anything.

I saved time from having to install antivirus/spyware-scans, installing updates and service packs (I only have a slipstreamed copy of SP2, I haven't had a reason to bother slipstreaming SP3 yet), it's nice and snappy even with just 1GB RAM (certainly helps to not have to run an on-access virus scanner!) and it literally does everything she needs.

Forget Windows. Seriously, what's the point for someone who just wants to go online? Letting the "average user" go online with Windows is walking into a high-school with a kick-me sign on their back.
Power

Computers Causing 2nd Hump In Peak Power Demand 375

Hugh Pickens writes "Traditional peak power hours — the time during the day when power demand shoots up — run from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. when air conditioning begins to ramp up and people start heading for malls and home but utilities are now seeing another peak power problem evolve with a second surge that runs from about 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. when people head toward their big screen TVs and home computers. 'It is [not] so much a peak as it is a plateau,' says Andrew Tang, senior director of the smart energy web at Pacific Gas & Electric. '8 p.m. is kind of a recent phenomenon.' Providing power during the peak hours is already a costly proposition because approximately 10 percent of the existing generating capacity only gets used about 50 hours a year: Most of the time, that expensive capital equipment sits idle waiting for a crisis. Efforts to reduce demand are already underway with TV manufacturers working to reduce the power consumption in LCD and plasma while Intel and PC manufacturers are cranking down computer power consumption. 'Without a doubt, there's demand' for green PCs, says Rick Chernick, CEO of HP partner Connecting Point, adding that the need to be green is especially noticeable among medical industry enterprise customers."

Comment Rogers Cable (Score 3, Informative) 200

Rogers Cable high-speed internet has been doing that for the past couple months now too. URL typos get redirected to their own search.rogers.yahoo.com or something like that, disabling toolbar search functions in browsers.

The kicker is that I also think they're actively blocking access to other search engines periodically in order to increase usage of their own. www.Google.com will sometimes time-out while trying to load, but works fine when accessed through Dogpile meta-search.

Since I've moved off of Rogers already, I can't do more experiments to test, but if anyone else is on it, I suggest you keep an eye out.
Intel

Submission + - Intel's eight-core Skulltrail platform reviewed (techreport.com) 1

EconolineCrush writes: "With two CPU sockets primed for eight processor cores, dual front-side busses, and four graphics card slots that support CrossFire and SLI multi-GPU schemes, Intel's new Skulltrail platform is an absolute beast. Skulltrail is primed for enthusiasts, as well, with Intel equipping the platform's motherboard with tweaking options rarely found on dual-socket alternatives. All this sounds great, but as The Tech Report's in-depth review of the platform illustrates, only a precious few applications fully exploit Skulltrail's prodigious horsepower. It's no doubt an impressive platform, but perhaps one that's a little ahead of its time."

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