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Desktop Search Vendors Bid for the Enterprise May 31, 2005

Posted by rjdohnert in Software reviews.
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eWeak has an article on Enterprise desktop search. While i share some of the concerns about customer privacy regarding google and Ask jeeves, Microsoft has done a great job with its Desktop Search tool, Windows Desktop Search . It truly is best of breed and is the only one in my opinion that can even compare to Spotlight from Apple. Its the only one as well that can index network drives. I dont bother looking for documents anymore or try to guess where I put them, I just fire up the search tool.

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Microsoft nose-to-nose with Unix server rivals May 31, 2005

Posted by rjdohnert in Software reviews.
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Server revenue grew with Windows Server 2003 putting it equal with UNIX. Good stuff, Linux coming up fast though.

Windows used for film rendering? May 31, 2005

Posted by rjdohnert in Software reviews.
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Well. its official. Someone has used Windows XP for film workstations and Windows Server 2003 for rendering. the movie was the new Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. Good movie by the way but this just shows the extreme power of Windows x64, my favorite quote is this: ” AMD technology makes doing this stuff on Windows a possibility. A few years ago, we would have been flogged for even suggesting Windows workstations to these guys. Now, they’re the fastest systems out there.”

Sun Micro revamps brand, stresses shared services May 31, 2005

Posted by rjdohnert in Software reviews.
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Apparantly Sun Micro is is trying to revamp its poor image by concentrating on their existing partnerships. BOOORING

Is Windows Ready for the desktop? May 28, 2005

Posted by rjdohnert in Software reviews.
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Very Humorus article by Robin Roblimo on Newsforge. He was very funny.

” My primary desktop monitor is a 15″ LiquidVideo LCD monitor purchased from mainstream electronics retailer Circuit City. It has always had the slightly annoying habit of going through a short “AutoAdjust” routine on every startup, but it happily accepted the generic framebuffer video input used by most versions of GNU/Linux during their bootup and installation processes. During my attempts at Windows XP installation, the combination of the LiquidVideo monitor and the HP Compaq d220 microtower’s onboard video produced constant, totally annoying screen blinking that made it almost impossible to do things like type in the long, so-precious “Product Key.” Note that this “Key” is not a simple, English-language password, but a 20-character string of apparently random letters and numbers. It took me several tries to type the “Product Key” correctly without being able to see it on screen because of the constant blinking. I doubt that most users would put up with this problem. I suspect that most would simply return their copy of Windows XP to the store where they bought it and go back to familiar, user-friendly Linux”

This is a problem probably better associated with the Onboard video card or maybe it was Windows XP Home, I use Windows XP Pro but I do have an iLo LCD monitor, which is a very no-name Wal-Mart LCD and I had no problems installing either Windows XP, Sun java Desktop or Solaris with the monitor, UnixWare doesnt work with it but most other OS’s I use I have had no problems. The 20 string product key is actually 25 {cheapshot} the guy obviously cant count, so I can see where he would have difficulties only using 20 characters in a 25 character product key {/cheapshot}

” I could not get Windows XP to detect the HP Compaq d220 microtower’s onboard Broadcom NIC. I used another computer to download XP drivers from HP’s site, and burned them to CD for installation on the d220, but still no luck. This same NIC was detected and automatically set up by MEPIS, Knoppix, and Mandriva Linux during their installations. I was surprised that Windows XP was not able to do the same. In the end, I bought a $15 “generic” PCI NIC from a local retailer and installed it. This solved the Windows XP network interface problem. But I doubt that most home or small business users would want to add hardware to a working computer just to convert from Linux to Windows, especially after paying $199 for their new operating system. ”

Once you get it working, you should have no problems. but expecting a 5 year old OS to have the same driver support as a present day Linux distribution in my opinion is pretty unreasonable. Also i would hate to see a non-techie try to configure networking on any computer, you may wind up with something you cnt fix.

” The SimplyMEPIS version of GNU/Linux I run on my “workhorse” laptop computer includes a full-featured office suite, ftp, chat, and graphics software, and dozens of other useful programs on its installation CD. Windows XP included none of these, and most of the equivalent packages available for Windows are costly. Some, like Microsoft’s Office software (which is similar to OpenOffice.org but doesn’t read as many file formats and won’t directly save your work as PDFs), cost more than the operating system itself. ”

If you need Office to print PDF’ files PDF Creator on Sourceforge is free, and doesnt cost as much as the OS itself.

” I found that the tools needed to give the Microsoft Explorer Web browser included with Windows XP some of the same modern features that are standard in the Firefox Web browser that comes with SimplyMEPIS are pay-for add-ons, which seemed somewhat silly. Even the “better” version — Outlook — of Microsoft’s email software costs extra, as do most of the ftp clients available for Windows XP. ”

Granted IE sucks, so why use it. Download Firefox and use it. If you need IE, use the AOL Explorer or Netscape. Both of which work fairly well. Also Filezilla, is a Free FTP client for Windows and is better than most of the commercial software out there. you also have Putty and SCP available for Windows if you are more familiar with those interfaces. If you are truly a geek, Microsoft does include a free command line FTP client.

” Yes, Firefox, the Thunderbird email suite, GAIM, GIMP, and many other well-regarded open source programs are now available for Windows XP, but each must be downloaded and installed individually. They are not included in the base Windows XP install. This makes no sense. If you pay more for Windows XP than for a typical Linux distribution, shouldn’t it come with the same — or better — software on its installation CD? ”

Not unless, Microsoft makes it. Not even Mac OS X, Netware or even Solaris contain alot of 3rd party software. Simply put they dont want to support it. It also helps with competition, Other vendors can make these add-on and extra software and make money, improving the economy and allowing others to participate. Therefore its benefical that Microsoft Apple and Sun dont make all these extra packages. Common Linux distributions include the software but you also get no support, unless you trust a mailing list or newsgroup.

The last part of the article just gets silly so Im not going to comment on it. But for everyone, check out your OS choices and make the best choice for yourself. Dont let yourself get talked into a switch without checking it out thouroughly and dont ever let anyone tell you any OS is more beneficial. they all have their flaws and annoyances. So while Windows XP has some, Linux, mac and others have their own little quirks that you will find annoy you.

AOL Explorer May 27, 2005

Posted by rjdohnert in Software reviews.
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AOL Has just released a beta version of their browser based on IE. From what little i have played with it today it seems very cool. I will report more as features come out. You can download the new browser here

Mad as hell, switching to Mac May 26, 2005

Posted by rjdohnert in Software reviews.
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Interesting article, in some ways I lose what the author is tring to say but what the hell, Im going to respond to parts of this article.

” Even though I’m a security guy going on 22 years now, my day-to-day work is pretty much like everyone else’s. I live on laptops and use my desktops at home and the office for geeking and experimenting. My two day-to-day laptops (two, for 24/7 backup) are my business machines. I don’t need them to do a whole lot – except work reliably, which is why I am fed up with WinTel. ”

Sounds like he has pretty good qualifications for a security guy, I can honestly say I dont get where the two laptops come into play, I run 4 backup machines at home running 2 Windows 2000 machines, Windows XP, and Longhorn and I dont have reliability issues at all. Maybe Im just lucky.

” I want my computer to function every time I turn it on. I want my computer to not corrupt data when it does crash. I use a handful of applications: Microsoft Office, e-mail, browser, FTP client and some multimedia toys. Regardless of format, they should work without crashing. ”

The few system crashes I have had, I havent had corrupted data. Office 2003 lets me recover files i was working on in the event of a crash. Application crashing happens because of poor developer practices. Not necessarily Windows. I have had app crashes in Windows but not anything that brings down my system.

” I live on the ‘Net. I do not want my browser to eat up all of my memory. In the WinTel world I need an assortment of third-party tools to try to keep my PC alive. That’s just crazy. ”

So do I, and i dont need an assortment of tools. I use standard web browser, which includes a pop-up blocker and anti-phishing technologies but to me that doesnt make up a wide assortment of tools. My browser doesnt eat up all my memory, so in general my question is, Huh?

These are his explanations of why WinTel is destined to fail:

“Windows is complex, trying to be everything to everyone. This complexity comes at a terrible price: downtime, help desks, upgrades, patches and the inevitable failures. ”

Every OS has a level of complexity and each OS has its flaws. Each OS has upgrades and patches. In Linux installing third party apps is a butch, in Mac OS X I cant tell you how many times I have had to delete an apps preferences to get it to run correctly again. In Linux I cant tell you how many kernels I have had torecompile to get it to run a certain device driver.

” WinTel machines use different versions of BIOS.”

That absolutely has nothing to do with anything software related.

” Some Windows software applications are well written; others take shortcuts. ”

Thats not a Windows specific problem, I have run into poorly written software on UNIX, Windows, Linux and Mac

” Here’s my answer to the WinTel problem: We need an open Simple Operating System (SOS) that meets the needs of the majority of people who buy PCs for everyday home and enterprise tasks. Get rid of the complexity and simplify the interface between SOS, BIOS and hardware. In other words, KISS. You know what it means. KISS SOS.

Because SOS doesn’t exist yet, my company has given up on WinTel. We have successfully moved to Mac in less than two days. Think about it: a security-friendly alternative that works and doesn’t require gobs of third-party utilities to safely perform the most mundane tasks. Please follow the details of our experiment at”

Maybe its the new “Mac” smell or maybe this guy is trying to compare Windows 98 with Tiger. But throughtout most of this article, Im like “huh?” Yes we need a new OS, one thats simpler and maybe Longhorn will be the savior, maybe not, but for right now on the intel platform Windows is the best one for right now. Either way, I hope this guy enjoys his new Mac and best of luck

Nokia: Linux kernel may use our patents May 26, 2005

Posted by rjdohnert in Software reviews.
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Nokia, is offering Linux engineers the right to use their patents in the Linux kernel. First, Nokia works on Cell phones. the only thing I could even see Nokia’s technologies being used is in embedded versions of Linux. At least Nokia is putting its policy on their home page, unlike Novell and IBM who have only made promises, nothing with real. Second, I very much dislike the clause they put in there:

” Nokia isn’t extending its legal protection to those who assert their own patent infringement claims against the Linux kernel. “Nokia also believes that a party should not enjoy use of Nokia’s patents and at the same time threaten the development of the Linux kernel by assertion of its own patents. Therefore, Nokia’s commitment shall not apply with regard to any party asserting its patents against any Linux kernel,” the company said in a statement.”

I dont like statements like that, because in my opinion that statement basically says to me ” Screw you, play by our rules or dont play at all. If your intellectual property winds up in Linux whether you want it too or not, thats just tough luck.” I would agree that if the person has a friviolous claim , ergo SCO, then thats fine. But what happens if someone has a legitimate claim? If I develop a patented technology and someone decides to violate my rights over said technology by knowingly and maliciously incorporating it into the Linux kernel does that mean Nokia is gonna sue me? Patents may be “evil” but they are a necessary evil. that show me Nokia doesnt care about Intellectual property.

Windows Patching: Cheaper than Open Source? May 23, 2005

Posted by rjdohnert in Software reviews.
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eWeaks Open Source “preacher” once again, runs his mouth without having any true facts. I have already responded to what he is talking about so Im not going to bother except to laugh, walk away amd give him the zealot of the year award, again.

Netscape patches 1-day-old browser May 20, 2005

Posted by rjdohnert in Software reviews.
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Netscape patches 1-day-old browser their explanation sounds reasonable to me, but for those of you that are running 8 go to Netscape.com and get the official release. As for the browser itself, I have been using it for 2 days and am just about ready to uninstal Firefox.