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Friday, September 29, 2006

Tools for troubleshooting Internet Issues

So much of the time Internet problems result in vendors
pointing fingers at each other, while you try to figure out
what's really going on. is packed full of tools
that can help you decide where the blame should be
targeted.  It's not real intuitive, but with a little playing
around and researching your results on the web, you
can get a feel if your results indicate problems. I'm 
surprised how often I find bad DNS servers. It's one of
the major factors in Internet performance for the user.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Good free disk data destroyer

Any time you give a computer to charity or dispose of it in any way
for that matter, you need to wipe the hard disk(s). The best free software for this pupose that I have found is Killdisk.

I couldn't explain any better than they do at the website:

"This is security software for unrecoverable data elimination for any computer capable of booting in DOS mode from floppy drive. It uses access to the drive’s data on a physical level via BIOS bypassing logical drive structure organization, thus it does not matter what operating systems and file systems located on the machine.

It can work with DOS, Windows 95 / 98, Windows NT / 2000 / XP / XP Professional x64 / XP Home x64/ 2003 Server x64, Linux, Unix for PC."

Do I need to mention that you need to be very, VERY, VERY sure you have all the data you need off of the drive, first?


New Palm phone expected soon

There is a new Palm OS based Palm GSM phone in testing on the Cingular system as I write. Rumored to be in RC1 (release candiadate 1) stage, it is expected sometime in October. With a form factor similar to the Palm Treo 750v it is designed as a low end smart phone option.

The Palm Treo 680 AKA "Nitro"...

Runs Palm OS 5.49106 (Garnet)
GSM Compatible
SD Card, slot on the right of the device
No external antenna (like the 700w/wx)
Keyboard layout similar to the Treo 700p
1200 mAH battery (compared to Treo 650's 1800 mAH)
VGA (640 x 480 resolution) camera
No infrared
No high-speed (3G) connectivity

Could be a good alternative for those who don't do a lot of data transfer, and have no need for infrared transfer. The 64MB RAM is a plus.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

New Opera 9.02, best browser on the 'net

I've been a fan of Opera for some time now. It includes a very good email client
that doesn't get much press, a built in BitTorrent client, Widgets and
the now ubiquitous tabbed browsing. 

The best feature is it's speed.

I love it! You will too.

More than a viewer...

Irfanview is one of my favorite graphics management programs. Most know it's
a great viewer, but it's also a fantastic converter, batch processor of multiple files, image file optimizer and more.

It must be in your software toolbox if you ever do anything with images!

Get it here!

Monday, September 25, 2006

Apple's confiscation of language

Apple has sent several "cease and desist" letters to those who use the word "pod" in various product and service names.

Companies often have an aggressive stance against trademark and patent infingement to protect future defense. However I beleive this is an action that will backfire on Apple.

They did not trademark pod, they trademarked iPod. They will have a hard time proving consumer
confusion and weakening of thier brand when the products and services using pod in their name are totally different than Apples MP3 player. Pod has so many other meanings that can be the root of the selection of pod as a source for products and services. For example: a jet engine pod, a pea pod, a pod of whales, and ad pod on TV or radio.

It's awfully arrogant of Apple to believe that it is THE source of the word pod, and THE reason that companies select that word as part of a product or service name.

Who's next, the Washington Apple Growers Association?

Well, that's all for now in the DavePOD, live from the ComputerTalk with Dave Mason BroadPOD.

Laptop combustion spreading

Turns out Dell and Apple are not the only laptop companies victimized by Sony's lapse in quality control in manufacturing laptop batteries. In LAX a couple of weeks ago, a Lenovo laptop overheated and smoked.

Since LAX is a non-smoking area, the laptop was arrested and fined. It is due to appear in Los Angeles County Court to answer these charges later this month.

Many have thought that Dell and Apple's charging systems may have contributed to their problems, since no other laptop manufacturers seemed to experience the same problem. This new occurance with another brand may indicate that the problem is solely the Sony battery.

Lenovo and Sony are both cooperating in investigating the cause of the incident. Another recall may be coming...