Posts filed under ‘Windows’

Setup for the Modern Virtual Workspace

Breaking Barriers

Breaking Barriers

Do you tire of reformatting your computer so that it can be set up with the prescribed environment determined by your superior or client? How about the hassle of making sure that there is a backup copy of your past project? Is quality assurance testing a pain because you have to reset your environment over and over again?

Well I did tire of that hassle. And I also tired of having to run my computer on a specific OS, just because that was what the task prescribed. So I went out and used a few proven tools to remedy the situation, which will be what this guide will be all about.

Continue reading at the new Geedkmadness

August 14, 2008 at 8:30 pm 2 comments

Say Hello To Koji

Kohjinsha’s Size Compared to An SD CardI saw a Kohjinsha SH6KP10A for only Y40K in Nipponbashi! I have seen the Kohjinsha quite a few times before, but never really paid attention because it was a local brand and was as expensive as a more powerful, albeit larger laptop. So coming home, I decided to do a little forward research on the Kohjinsha, specifically on Linux support. It only had an Intel A100 600Mhz processor (for reasons unknown to me, it’s faster than my 2.4Ghz main laptop), although it did have an Intel 945 GPU, which was perfect for 3D in Linux. If this thing could run a Vista, it would be quite fast when running Ubuntu. I compared the price vs. feature set with other UMPCs. TheSamsung Q1 was another favorite of Ubuntu users, but as it did not have a real keyboard (I need to be able to work on it; the optional keyboard attachment made it not so ultra-mobile, yuck). Searching the Ubuntu Forums yielded few, but very promising and helpful results. Checking them out, I found a few owners of Kohjinshas getting Gutsy on their UMPCs.

It was only 40K yen if you were going to get a Yahoo!BB subscription with it. But at 60K, it was still a bargain, since it was only 6mos used and at half the price of a new one. And I got myself one last weekend.

Kohjinsha and My Old Asus L3Taking it home, what was my first impression? First of all, it was preloaded with Vista, and instead of a recovery disc it had a 4GB recovery partition. I had to test all the hardware first to see if everything was A-Ok. Touch screen worked, webcam worked, the controls beside the screen (a lot of ’em: D-pad, track pointer, launcher, shutter, rotation, enter, brightnes. scroll keys. left and right mouse buttons), webcam, TV tuner, bluetooth and WiFi, all working perfectly. And you had no less than 3 ways to control your pointer: via the touch pad, the thumb pointer, and touch screen. As for text input, well you had the physical keyboard when you really need the typing speed, or you can use the touch screen.

While it still had Vista, I decided to do a quick speed comparison test. Nothing fancy, just a quick test to see which OS would allow me to work more before I had to get off the train at the station. In short, boot times.

Here are the results:

Windows Vista Home Basic Startup time:
1:10.03 – Time to welcome screen
1:49.83 – Time to desktop display
4:06.85 – Time to finish loading everything

Ubuntu Gutsy LiveCD startup time:
0:22.21 – Time to LiveCD menu
3:02.19 – Time to opening tune
4:26.33 – Time to finish loading everything

Vista was able to boot in just a little over 4 minutes (about the time it takes for a train to get to the next station) and 20 seconds faster than Ubuntu. That’s swell, until you consider the fact that IT WAS A LIVECD! For those not in the know, a LiveCD basically allows you to run an OS without installing on your computer. That’s right, that 4 minute Vista on my fast hard drive barely beat Ubuntu running off a CD drive! Hey, I wanted a fair fight, so I had to handicap Ubuntu..<snicker>

Kohjinsha Showing Compiz’s Scale FeatureAlright, so what are the real comparison figures for Ubuntu and Vista when both are installed in the hard disk?
Ubuntu Gutsy LiveCD startup time:
1:01.44 – Time to Login Screen
1:10.41 – Time to opening tune
1:35.58 – Time to desktop display
1:39.49 – Time to finish loading everything

You could argue that the Vista desktop already appears at about 1:50, but you just can’t do anything with it yet for another 30 seconds, where you can *technically* do something e.g. click a button/menu, just don’t expect your computer to respond well.

Kohjinsha Reverse StyleSo Vista was out and Ubuntu was in, and without needing to install any drivers at all, the CF and SD card reader, controls beside the screen, the webcam, 3D card, sound, and most everything worked out-of-the-box and without my intervention. And from the info in the Ubuntu Forums thread I had found earlier, I was able to get Koji up to speed.

Kohjinsha Handwriting Recognition With CellwriterSo right now, I can type away on the train(where I wrote most of this post’s content yesterday on the train to Kyoto). Heck, I could do away with the typing altogether and just scribble away with Cellwriter.

I don’t really need to say this but I’m one very, very proud Ubuntu-powered Kohjinsha owner!

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March 10, 2008 at 12:33 am 5 comments

Vista, Mac, Linux — Whose Got the Sweetest Eye Candy?

To avoid being criticized for bashing M$ Windoze, I decided I’m just gonna let others do the talking for me this time around, and I didn’t have to go farther than YouTube for answers. (Search: Windows Vista)

Continue reading at the new Geekmadness


Firstoff, some of you may have heard that Aero stole it’s ideas from Mac OS X. Here’s showing that Microsoft didn’t:

Steve Jobs and Bertrand Serlet also talks about Aero’s features:

Of course, Vista does have it’s good points. Take for example its voice recognition system. See how it performs in action:

And of course, the new window switcher included in Aero:

Followed by a video highlighting the features of Aero. And afterwards, Beryl

Now, let’s hear what this Vista owner has to say after buying a brand new computer to run Vista:

Microsoft is proud to offer several innovations in Vista. Here is a timeline of competitor’s innovations. I think it’s self-explanatory.

  • January 2000 – Apple comes out with Aqua
  • April 2005 – Mac OS X Tiger is released, featuring Gadgets, Spotlight, Expose, and a host of other innovations.
  • Janury 2006 – Novell releases Compiz, featuring Annotate, Scale, Minimize/Maximize/Close animations, Desktop Cube, Zoom, and a host of other innovations.
  • October 2006 – Beryl forks from Compiz. Changable window decorators, and other innovations were added.
  • Windows Vista – End of January 2007. Features the Aero window decorator, theme, and icon set that looks like OS X, and provides other innovations such as live windows like in OS X and Compiz/Beryl, live icons like in Ubuntu, and transparent windows like on OS X and Compiz/Beryl.

Whoops.

Edit: Did you know Vista requires twice the computing power of Beryl-powered PCs? People are ditching their perfectly good computers to throw money at computer vendors for top-of-the-line models.

Ok, I’m being too kind. Actually, Vista needs up to four times more computing power:

  • 4X HDD (15GB vs. 4GB)
  • 4X memory (1GB vs. 256MB)
  • 4X 3D card (128MB vs. 32MB)

Take my advice, put the money you’ll use to buy a new computer into savings, and put the money you’re gonna pay for Vista to buy a camera or something. What’s that? You need to pirate Vista to get it free?

July 30, 2007 at 6:18 am 4 comments

The WGA Trap

This article is kinda late in writing, by over a week. It’s kind of funny when you look advertisements, sometimes because the hype is so obvious or when the advertising machinery has gone overboard. But sometimes, it’s much more interesting when you spot a trap disguised as an advantage.

In a recent newspaper ad, Microsoft offers the Pinoy Genuine Kit as a promotional chance to get genuine Microsoft software for only Php7,748 ( roughly $170). The ad states the following:

  1. VALIDATE. Log on to http://www.microsoft.com/philippines/genuine and validate your operating system. If your OS appears non-genuine, you automatically qualify for this special Pinoy Genuine Kit promo.
  2. BUY. For only Php7,748, you can now purchase your genuine Windows XP Professional license in two ways:
    • Option 1 – Buy from participating Elite, Advanced Volume License, MVPP Resellers and FG Distributors who will order it online for you.
    • Option 2 – Buy online using your credit card. Major credit cards like Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Diners are accepted.
  3. GET YOUR KIT–WE’LL SHIP IT FOR FREE. No need to worry about shipping, handling, duties, and taxes. Your genuine license is on its way to your doorstep!

So what’s wrong you ask? I’m not condoning piracy, but the first step is like a bear trap camouflaged with flowers. If you’re using a pirated copy of Windows, once you go to the validation, there’s no turning back; once the WGA (Windows Genuine Advantage) tool is installed, your computer is host to some limitations, including being able to download only critical updates, being nagged at login, etc. You can read more about the restrictions WGA tool places in this Wikipedia article on Windows Genuine Advantage.

The real problem is that the WGA tool is not really perfect; Windows Genuine Advantage Falsely Accuses Millions of legitimate Windows users–as many as 5 million people are being wrongly accused of software piracy! Critics have also slammed the WGA tool’s spyware-like behaviorThe WGA tool “phones home” with information about your computer to their servers. Microsoft admitted to this behavior, but denies that it’s spyware. Something bad is only bad unless it’s Microsoft doing it. That’s such a nice, friendly company you’d like to put your trust that you won’t get burned by them in the future.

They also offer free shipping, which is funny if you know what you’re actually buying. You’re not buying a boxed Windows XP Pro OS. You’re just buying the license, which is basically a paper leaflet with a cardboard backing, and that doesn’t really cost much shipping now, does it?

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June 4, 2007 at 4:38 pm Leave a comment

Vista In Trouble?

Dell has announce that they are again offering their consumers computers with XP, instead of Vista. Recent results of polls from their IdeaStorm project revealed that their consumers voted for XP to be bundled with Dell’s computers, although not as high as the votes gathered by Linux and OpenOffice to be added to their PCs.

Microsoft announced earlier that except for system builders (smaller computer sellers who will be able to sell XP for another year) , XP sales will be stopped. Which is just another way of saying, “buy our new, overpriced OS because that’s the only choice we’re giving you.” By mid-February, XP computers were all but gone from store shelves.

But Dell is clearly not a small computer seller, and you can be sure that other big computer sellers will be moving to appease their consumers as well.

“That there is remaining demand from some segment of (the) consumer market points to the inability of Vista to resonate with consumers,” IDC analyst Richard Shim said.

Current Analysis research director Samir Bhavnani blamed low Vista sales on lack of marketing, noting that he sees more Apple ads than Vista ads. I have two opinions on this matter. First, can you really blame lack of ads? The hype and anticipation for Vista has been around for a long time, causing me to believe that marketing reach of Vista is not as insignificant as Bhavnani states. Secondly, the lack of marketing on the part of Vista seems to be a sign of arrogance for me. Does Microsoft really think of themselves so high that they didn’t need to market their product?

On my side of the globe, Microsoft recently launched their $3 Windows-Office bundles in China. In a country where the average income is $100/month, nobody’s going to buy a $200 operating system, especially since at $200 Vista starter has just the very basic features to get you by. And they’re definitely not going to pay $250 or more just to get Aero. In first world countries, people are crying foul and are demanding that the $3 Windows-Office bundles also be offered to students. And some view this move as first-world countries subsidizing third-world users.

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Further reading: Microsoft Admits Vista Failure

April 23, 2007 at 3:50 pm Leave a comment


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