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Friday, April 28, 2006

Add-ons for Internet Explorer

Microsoft-owned web site IEAddons has a collection of add-ons for Internet Explorer organized by categorty.

For all of you Internet Explorer die-hards out there wishing to add cool functionality to their browser like the rest of us in the Firefox camp, this one's for you. The add-ons are well organized, but heads up - they're not all free.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Apple Offers Free Computer Recycling Program

Apple extended its recycling program on Friday offering consumers a way to dispose of their old systems for free. Beginning in June, Apple will offer all US customers who buy a computer through the online Apple Store or an Apple retail location free shipping and environmentally friendly disposal of their old computer.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Store Web Content Offline with Webaroo

For those of us who are still offline sometimes and want access to at least some web content and running a Windows machine, Santa Clara based Webaroo will be a useful service. It launched today.

Webaroo indexes the “highest quality” websites for content and creates topic based web packs for download. The content in those webpacks is stored offline on your computer and updated periodically. To test it, I fired up my old PC, installed the 5 MB application, and downloaded the World News and San Francisco web packs. You can also ask Webaroo to index specific websites for offline viewing. I added TechCrunch.

Then I unplugged from the net and tried it out. The webpacks were great, allowing me to search or browse content. I would love this on a plane. The specific website index didn’t work out so well - all formatting and CSS was stripped from the page and the site looked horrible. Still, the content was there.

Webaroo also allowed me to choose to index the content linked to from the site, so links from TechCrunch were also viewable. Great feature.

Webaroo is also available for mobile devices running the Windows Pocket PC operating system. And they announced their first deal with a PC manufacturer, Acer, to pre install Webaroo on new Acer laptops.

Yahoo May Offer Wi-Fi Access to IM Users

Yahoo is considering giving users of Yahoo Messenger free access to tens of thousands of Wi-Fi hot spots worldwide so they can engage in instant messaging, including voice communications, while unplugged from their regular home or office Internet connection.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

First Look: PC World Installs Windows XP on a 20-Inch iMac With Boot Camp

It works. Impressively well. With games, even. That's our first impression of
Windows XP running under Apple's Boot Camp on our 20-inch iMac. And that's more than you could say a couple of days ago about the promising-but-hacked-together WinXPonMac effort. (You can download Boot Camp here.)

XP on a Mac is refreshing, but Microsoft's idea of an "exciting new look" feels a little last century.Eager to get our hands on a real, dual-booting Apple/Windows hybrid, we ran the Boot Camp installer on a 20-inch iMac and found the process amazingly smooth. It took about an hour. Graphics drivers--the major remaining performance hurdle under WinXPonMac--were solid and responsive under limited testing on our iMac.

Booting With Boot Camp

Boot Camp Assistant helps you resize partitions to make room for Windows.Boot Camp requires the latest version of Mac
OS X (version 10.4.6) and a firmware update (a very loud, un-Mac-like system beep is normal at the start of this process). Once you've properly updated your system, you can download, install, and run Boot Camp Assistant, which burns a CD of Windows drivers for you and walks you through the process of repartitioning your Mac and installing Windows XP.

"This ugly, blue installation routine feels oddly familiar..."I chose to give XP a 100GB partition and inserted my XP Service Pack 2 CD to begin the installation process. XP's familiar, pixelated installation process went normally, and the Boot Camp manual provided intelligent directions about how to tell XP which partition to use and how to format that partition. (If you choose FAT instead of NTFS, you'll be able to write files to the XP volume while you're running Mac OS.)

The Windows XP install process proceeds as expected.On our iMac test machine, Boot Camp was endearingly smart about automating the series of required reboots to get you set up in XP. Once XP was set up to my satisfaction, I held down the Option key while rebooting and used the bootloader to hop back into OS X.

The Startup Disk preferences page lets you choose which OS to start by default.Once there, I used the Startup Disk preferences page that Boot Camp installs to ensure that XP was set as the default OS. Boot Camp installs a corresponding Control Panel app in Windows so you can change this setting in either OS.
Performance?

Back in Windows, I got right down to business and installed a few games to put the graphics and sound support to the test. The quick and dirty verdict on performance? Most impressive. Doom 3 and Far Cry both ran smoothly with high-end graphics options turned on.

In both cases, I had to tweak visual settings manually, since the games automatically set themselves to very low settings. Far Cry, for example, autodetected very low settings, but it ran without a hitch when I bumped the resolution up to 1280 by 720, with all visual quality options set to "High."

Our 20-inch iMac came with a 2.0-GHz Core Duo processor, 1GB of RAM, and an ATI Radeon X1600 graphics card with 128MB of GDDR3 memory. That's roughly equivalent to a high-end laptop machine, and anecdotally the performance I obtained was about what I'd have expected from that type of PC.
No Hitches So Far

So far, working in Windows on the Intel-based iMac has come off without a hitch: If not for the slicker-looking hardware, I'd think I was working on a standard Windows PC with a wide-screen monitor. And that's exactly what you'd want from a usable dual-boot system.

Firefox downloaded and installed flawlessly, and iTunes streamed songs easily from other PCs on the network. Both wired and wireless networking seemed fine. Little things, like the eject key on the Mac's keyboard worked without a hiccup. Even automatic driver updates downloaded and installed easily.

All in all, Boot Camp looks like an impressive effort from Apple. Over the next few days, we'll continue to put our 20-inch iMac/Windows box through its paces and analyze how this new dual-boot option could affect the PC world.

On tap for tomorrow: real numbers in some gaming benchmarks and the first tests of Intel-based Macs using our own PC WorldBench 5 benchmark. Stay tuned.

Go here to read Computerworld's story: "Q&A: What You Should Know About Macs Running Windows."

Apple Unveils Software to Run Windows XP

To broaden its appeal in a Windows-dominated world, Apple Computer Inc. unveiled software Wednesday to help owners of its new Intel-based Macs run not only its own operating system but also Microsoft Corp.'s rival software. Sweeeet!

Apple's new "Boot Camp" software, a "beta" test version available as a free download, lets computer users with a Windows XP installation disk load it on the Mac. Users could then switch between the two operating systems — using only one at a time — by rebooting, a process that could take a few minutes.

Users would have to get their own copy of Windows XP — the home edition retails for $199.

Questionville

Get your questions answered at Questionville! Website Questionville is a free question and answer website based on a popularity system similar to Digg. Members of QuestionVille can submit questions. When a question is submitted other members can then submit answers to that question. As new answers are submitted members can pick the best ones. As each answer gains more picks it gets moved to the top of the list, and the #1 Answer naturally bubbles to the top.

The Mondrian Generator

Check out the Mondrian Generator. The Mondrian Generator asks for various bits of information about you and generates a lovely image based on numeric values derived from that info. Strange but interesting. Send us your image and we'll post it up!