Archive for the ‘windows’ Category

Don’t believe the ‘Experts’

December 31, 2008 2 comments

I’ve enjoyed some of the in depth guides on recently, so it was a surprise to read a couple of articles there today that are, while clearly opinions, rather short sighted. The first, Why Mac clones defeat the whole point of a Mac, misses the whole point of building a hackintosh. Here’s the section that gets it all wrong:

There are three major desktop operating systems available at the moment:

  • Linux – an open OS running on open hardware
  • Windows – a closed OS running on open hardware
  • OS X – a closed OS running on closed hardware

Minor feature quibbles aside, all three operating systems do much the same thing. The decision of which one to run is an idealogical one that balances your love of freedom against your love of stability.

I could almost believe this is designed to start a flame war and boost site hits. Since Linux offers the most freedom it’s the least stable? And OS X is the most stable because it offers the least freedom? Idealogical decisions play very little part in the choosing of an operating system. A lot of people use Windows because they don’t know there’s an alternative, or they are happy with it. Many of us use Mac’s because we prefer the way Mac OS works, not because of some idealogical statement. Read more…

Windows 7 Build 6956

December 13, 2008 Leave a comment

This week I had a chance to play with the latest (available) Windows 7 build, 6956. The new style taskbar that was a hack in the previous 6801 version is now standard, and surprisingly includes the Windows explorer by default. There are some tweaks and graphical changes to the installation and startup screens but nothing massively different to the previous build. Techradar have a nice guide to what to expect from Windows 7 so I won’t repeat it all here. Read on for a screenshot gallery, and remember that these were taken running in VMware so there’s no Aero effects. Read more…

Categories: microsoft, windows Tags: , , ,

Mac VM’s – November 2008 Part 1

November 18, 2008 Leave a comment

It’s been a while since I took a look at three Virtual Machine packages for the Macintosh, and all three have moved on from the previous versions. Parallels has recently seen a step to version 4, VMware Fusion is now on version 2 and so is Virtualbox. With the release of Parallels came claims of big speed improvements so it’s time to try all three again and see if one has edged ahead of the pack.

To start I decided to try a simple task. Most users  will likely be installing Windows (Vista was used here) in their VM, so the first tests are how long does it take, how many steps are involved and how good are the default options chosen for you. Read more…

Windows 7 Aero and Taskbar

November 4, 2008 Leave a comment

I had the chance today to do a native install of Windows 7 to enable the Aero interface. Below are some screenshots of the new taskbar in its full Aero glory, and switched to some of the few themes available. My favourite has to be the Windows 95 style, nothing like a new taskbar with 13 year old colours. No doubt the new taskbar will be changed and refined before Windows 7 launches, but isn’t it starting to look a bit like the Mac OS dock?

New Windows 7 Taskbar unlocked

November 3, 2008 Leave a comment

An article on has revealed today that the new Windows 7 taskbar is included in the PDC build. The steps involved (and a small program to run) are listed on the site, and I had a try this afternoon and can confirm that it works. It appears the new taskbar is not quite as advanced as the one shown, but it works. The first instruction didn’t work for me so I had to take ownership of explorer.exe through the GUI, but apart from that everything went as described. The gallery below shows the new taskbar in action (running in VMware fusion) so I will do a native install when I get time and take some more screenshots to see what the Aero interface does to improve appearances. Read more…

Windows 7 screenshots

November 2, 2008 Leave a comment

I had a chance this week to play with the latest available build of Windows 7. It doesn’t include the new taskbar which is a shame, as it’s icon only design looks to be borrowing a lot from Mac OS leopard’s. As a Mac user I haven’t spent much time with Windows Vista so I can’t really say much about the changes so far, but from what I can see a lot of the differences appear to be under the hood. I installed build 6801 in VMware fusion to get an idea of where the develpment was going, so here are some screenshots of the install and control panel. VMware still doesn’t enable acceleration of the interface so there’s no Aero bling at the moment, but when I get hold of a build with the new taskbar I will do a native install. Read more…

Windows 7? Aren’t they missing a few?

October 14, 2008 2 comments

Microsoft has now announced the final name for the next version of Windows, and it’s a return to the numbers last seen in the early 90’s. The one thing I can’t figure out is where the number seven comes from. Working backwards, Vista is 6, XP is 5, so what was Windows 4? Windows 3 was the last numbered version (including 3.1 and 3.11) before Windows 95, so are 95, 98, 98SE and Me all lumped into the Windows 4 group?

I can understand leaving Windows 2000 out of the consumer products since it didn’t quite deliver the one windows for all role that XP eventually served, but I think Microsoft is missing a trick here. Counting all the versions of Windows as separate would mean Windows 7 would actually be Windows 11 (1, 2, 3, 95, 98, 98se, Me, 2000, Xp, Vista being 1 to 10). That’s one higher that the current version of Mac OS. I know it’s now 10.5 on the Mac, but it’s still 10. And 11 must be better, so this could be the basis of the new marketing push since Mac OS X is favourably compared to Vista so often. And given Microsoft’s success with it’s marketing strategies lately I don’t see how this one could do any worse.

Windows 11. One higher that the competition so it must be better.

UPDATE Looks like I was partly right on this one. There’s now a post at that says Windows 95 to ME were all versions of windows 4 and NT was 3.1. Windows 2000 was 5 and XP was 5.1. release 3 available now

October 11, 2008 Leave a comment

The big push doesn’t start until Monday, but the third release of the office suite is now available from mirror servers. I grabbed the Mac version (with native Aqua interface) from the UK mirror server a short time ago but there is a long list of worldwide mirror servers at the site.

I had a quick play with the suite this morning and so far I’m impressed. The Writer component managed to import my CV (resume) with no problems. It’s a Word document with lots of fancy tables so the software coped well to keep all the elements where they should be. The interface looks a little dated with white toolbars, but for a free office suite the Mac version of OOo 3.0 looks like a highly usable bargain. Also available for Linux, Solaris and Windows, read on for a screenshot gallery. Read more…

Asus Eee PC S101 reviewed

October 8, 2008 Leave a comment

Looking like the gorgeous offspring of an Apple and Sony Tryst, the latest in Asus’ Eee PC range is the S101. Aimed at the top end of the growing netbook market this should be considered a netbook for those who find the current mini-laptop offerings a bit on the cheap looking side.

Hardware wise there isn’t anything unusual inside. A 1024×600 resolution 10.2 inch screen sits atop a 1.6Ghz Intel atom with 1Gb of Ram and a 16 or 32Gb SSD. As has become the norm, Linux or Windows XP are the choice of OS. Tempted? Have a read of the review at Mobilecomputermag before parting with your estimated £450.

New game download services

September 26, 2008 Leave a comment

There’s always been a lot of nostalgia for older games. Maybe it’s the cost of keeping up with the latest title’s hardware requirements, or just that a good game is always a good game irrespective of age. I’ve been playing some older titles myself recently, and having just completed Tron 2.0, Far Cry and even Unreal again I understand the appeal.

There’s a new site for buying these older games at, short for Good Old Games. There are two very good reasons to use the service, the games are cheap at either $5.99 or $9.99 and are downloaded fully patched to the latest version and compatible with Windows XP and Vista. I signed up for the public beta a couple of weeks ago and now have an entry pass before the service goes live. There’s over 30 games currently available with more being added soon. Here’s some of the titles offered from the front page.

Read more…