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Downgrade Available for Certain Vista Users

ScreamOne of the many interesting tech stories this year was Microsoft’s release of Windows …and the subsequent complaints, issues and horror stories that followed, as this writer can personally attest to. As a result, many users and businesses have it made quite clear they’d rather switch back to good ol’ Windows XP. Well, in a very surprising move, Microsoft is “quietly allowing PC makers to offer a downgrade option to buyers that get machines with the new operating system but want to switch to Windows XP.” The catch? The offer only applies to Vista Business and Ultimate editions, so you Home users are out of luck. Dell, Fujitsu, Lenovo and HP PCs are all capable of downgrading if customers wish to. That piercing, wailing sound you hear? It’s this writer screaming in despair because she can’t go back to the shiny, happy days of Windows XP.

Read More | Engadget

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Become the Next Bobby Fischer with USB Chess

Posted by Lolita Beckwith Categories: Toys, USB

USB ChessJudging from all the wacky gadgets we’ve featured from their website, we suspect the folks at Brando are a fun, if slightly nutty, bunch. But lo and behold they clearly have a cerebral side, too, as evidenced by their USB Chess Set, allowing you to play against your computer with real live chess pieces (you can also play against a friend). Ideal for both beginners and seasoned chess pros, as you can track (and record) your moves, obtain hints, and email results to your friends. Plus, the set is portable: just roll up the board and you’re good to go. The Brando website states the USB Chess Set is compatible with Windows XP, so we don’t know if Vista (and pre-XP) users can join in the fun. Available for $42 USD.

Read More | Brando

E3 2007: Microsoft’s Press Conference Recap And Impressions

E3 Microsoft Bringing It Home

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to attend E3 this year – instead, I’m on vacation in Cape Cod, using awful hotel Wi-Fi to watch streamed press conferences. Not the most glamorous way to take it all in, but exciting announcements, great games and new details are welcome no matter how you hear about them.

Here’s my personal transcription (in very brief form) of all the announcements and showings, along with some reflection on what Microsoft had to show.


Apple’s Safari Browser to be Released for Windows

Steve Jobs Keynote Speech

The fascinating relationship/rivalry between Microsoft and Apple was ratcheted up a notch this week. At Apple’s annual World Wide Developers Conference, CEO Steve Jobs announced their Apple-exclusive web browser, Safari, will be released for Windows XP and Vista—and will be up to twice as fast as Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, and 1.6 times faster than Firefox 2. The move is seen as part of Jobs’ business strategy to broaden Apple’s presence in the browser market, of which they only have 5 percent, compared to Microsoft’s whopping 80 percent. Curious? A test version of the browser is available at Apple’s web site. This writer will give Safari a test run with Windows Vista and report back soon…

Read More | New York Times

Bleeding Edge TV 173: We Interview Ben Rudolph About Parallels 3.0

We went out to headquarters right outside Seattle to talk to Ben Rudolph, and to get a first-hand look at Parallels 3.0. Ben walks us through all of the new features of the latest release of the vastly popular OS X virtualization software, including 3D GPU support, SmartSelect, and Snapshots. If you have been waiting for something truly excellent to enhance your computing experience, this may very well be it.


HP Ad Promotes Windows XP-Enabled Computer instead of Vista

HP Windows XP ad

Although Windows Vista has been out awhile now and is selling

surprisingly

well, its release has consistently made headlines for its lack of compatibility with iTunes, PC games and more. So it’s interesting that a Hewlett-Packard ad in this past Sunday’s “USA Today” promotes a Compaq desktop running Windows XP. In fairness, HP states the ad was created before Vista’s release, but is only now appearing in newspapers. However they will “...continue to offer XP Pro pre-configured systems alongside Vista systems.” Hmmmm.

Read More | Cnet

Belkin’s Easy Transfer Cable Sends Files from an XP Computer to a Vista Machine

Posted by Lolita Beckwith Categories: Misc. Tech, PC / Laptop, USB

Belkin Easy Transfer CableSo you enjoy life on the edge, which is why you’ve decided to buy a new computer loaded with Windows Vista. You might also want to purchase Belkin’s Easy Transfer cable, specifically made for moving your Windows XP-customized files from your old computer to your spanking new Vista machine. How does it work? First, load the accompanying software onto the XP machine (Vista already contains the necessary software required). Second, attach the cable to the USB ports of both machines, and Voila! The Easy Transfer Wizard will make your files and settings Vista-ready and transfer them to your new computer. The Easy Transfer Cable is available for 39.99 in stores and online.

Read More | Belkin

Will Daylight Savings Time Mean Computer Glitches?

Posted by Lolita Beckwith Categories: Microsoft, PC / Laptop, Software

Daylight Savings TimeRemember 1999? Remember how everyone was so panicked about Y2K and how their computers would think it was the year 1900 instead of 2000…and all hell would break loose?  Well, this coming March 11—Daylight Savings Time—brings “Baby Y2K”, which will likely cause problems in some Microsoft programs. This is due to a 2005 law that, starting this year, moves Daylight Savings Time up three weeks (and ends it one week later), in an attempt to improve energy savings. But this creates a problem in software programmed before 2005; for example, calendar appointments and transaction dates could now be thrown off. Fortunately, Microsoft has released a patch, available to Windows XP users via it’s “automatic update” feature, or it can be downloaded straight from Microsoft. If you’re running Windows 2000 or an older version of XP, manually go into the Control Panel and change the setting for Daylight Savings Time (Vista users are completely unaffected). By the way, pre-2005 devices such as digital watches and DVD players are vulnerable too, so be prepared!

Read More | Wired

Video: Windows XP Installed and Running On Intel iMac

So, narf2006 seems to have cracked the code, so to speak, on getting Windows XP to run on an Intel Mac. Using one of the new iMacs, narf recorded a video of the installation of Windows XP, followed by the rebooting of the platform, creating user accounts, logging in, and checking out the Device Manager. We must say, this one is very convincing. He goes out of his way to prove that this is authentic, and has sent his instructions to Colin Nederkorn (who has raised over $10,000 to award to the first person to get this figured out.) Once they are validated, and the check is cut, we can all hack up our iMacs to dual boot, despite all the roadblocks we have faced.

Back to reality for a moment. We don’t see what the practical, real-world benefit of this is. In our offices, we have Macs and PCs right next to each other. If we need to get to something in the other OS, there is no need to shut down, and reboot. What we need is a version of Virtual PC that is fast, and runs on the Intel Macs. Better yet, we need to be able to run Windows programs on the Mac. When that happens, give us a call. We will squeal like schoolgirls.


Read More | OnMac


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