Saturday, April 26, 2008

Review: LINKSKEY LKW-G553 IEEE 802.11b/g 32bit PCI Wireless Card

I purchased two wireless adapters recently to get two PC's I had lying around online. I finally got around to installing them and had mixed results. I got them from NewEgg at a decent price. No complaint so far. One of the reasons I bought was that it advertised as compatible with both Windows 2000 and ME which was what I needed it for.

Windows 2000 Professional: My first installation was pretty much simple as installations go. First you install software and drivers. Shut the machine down. Install wireless card. Reboot PC. Once machine is booted up configure your wireless connection. I was online in about fifteen minutes. I was a happy camper.

Windows ME: This one didn't go as well. Well when I went to install software it said it couldn't find the software drivers for my OS. On top of that the error message had obvious misspellings which I thought was odd and sloppy proofreading on the vendors part. I even tried downloading software from the LinksKey website when I reinstalled it did install a driver but it failed to work properly. When checking the properties I got a pretty much a useless code 10 error which didn't go into much detail. I'd click on the configuration software and the tabs needed to connect to my router were not working. After a short while I just took out the machine. I may or may not try at a later date. I just may put it in a different machine altogether.

Comments: Though I was happy it worked in one machine I wasn't happy with the other. Although with some searching and configuring I may be able to get this to work with my Windows ME machine. I don't think it should be this hard to install when it was advertised to work in this OS(Windows ME). I don't think the average consumer has time to fool with tech support for something that was advertised to work out of the box. Also the misspelled words on the error message I thought was a bit amateurish. To be honest I'll be avoiding this one in the future even if I have to spend a little more. Sometimes you just get what you pay for. Just my two cents.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Dude! I got wood!

Sorry I couldn't resist the title. Dell is actually going to be selling a PC made of bamboo wood and other recycled materials on the inside. Now I'm all for being "green" or other Al Gore type catch words. To tell you the truth I'm a little tired of all the advertising and marketing gimmicks from companies telling us how green or environmentally conscious they are. Though it's an interesting concept building a PC of wood(been done before by modders). It just strikes me as a marketing gimmick by Dell.

Source: Earth2tech

Get Back is a new social networking sight geared for those over 35. I saw this news item and it sounded interesting since I fit into the demographic(I guess I'm an old fart). Since technically the site just started today they've got a deluge of traffic because the site loaded as if I was on a dial-up modem. In other words slow and cumbersome. So be prepared to wait for pages to load. Maybe they figure us older folk have more patience. It seems interesting enough to get back (pun intended) to. It has the popular "beta" sticker so maybe they'll work on speeding up the site.

I did sign up for it which like I said took awhile to load pages. The design is friendly and has retro feel to them. I did find some interesting movie clips and music clips. It has a lot of "then and now" stuff and trivia items from pop culture from late 60's to the 80's. If your tired of Myspace, Facebook or just want try some thing different give it a try.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

We have no internet!

I'm not one to usually watch South Park but this was pretty funny. I know I'm pretty addicted to the internet. I know times when mine has been down for a short while I get a little anxious.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Best free software

PC Magazine put together a list of what they feel are the best of the free software. Aka freeware can save you a lot of money which is important these days. Many on the list I already use or have at least tried out like Firefox(browser), Avast!(antivirus), Open Office (office programs),Blogger(like this blog), Picasa (photo organizing) and others. For the full article click here.

Source: Windows Tip of the Day

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Save Windows XP

Though I don't imagine online petitions hold a lot of weight but they at least let you express yourself. A petition has been started at Infoworld that has over 100,000 signatures already.If you don't know Microsoft is ending sales of XP on June 30 this year. Reaction to Vista has been mixed at best with it's quirkiness and cumbersome system requirements. I did sign it for what it's worth.

Source: Geeks Are Sexy blog originally posted this but was removed as it was found to be already posted.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Safari feedback

I thank you all who have commented on my Safari review. Given some of the content of the feedback that may be surprising. What has surprised me is to the tone of some of the comments. Everyone has opinions and I don't have a problem with that. You would think that it was the developers of the browser making comments. I don't think Apple will go out of business because of what I said. A few points I'd like to make out:

  • It was the first time trying it out. Think of it as taking a car out for a two minute test drive. I doubt you figure out every feature or function of the vehicle in that short of a period. It was just an initial impression of it. Like I said in the last post I found the "Tab" function and works just fine. I didn't see it the first time around. You could think of it this way. Say you own and drive a car for several years. You get to know where every feature, function, knob, lever, pedal etc. by heart. You can find the stuff in the dark if you had to. Then what if you had to you use someone else's car. It would take awhile to get used to where everything is. Safari was no different. Many of you have apparently used it before so you know where all the features are.
  • I grant you that the review was sparse for info and depth. If you expecting something more I apologize and will take note of it in the future.
  • Safari as a browser is quite alright to use and I meant nothing derogatory towards it. I'll even up on my scale of 10 to a 7. I have used it a bit more and have found it to be quick and responsive.
In conclusion like I said it was only meant as more of a first impression comment than a full fledged review. I will strive to be a bit more thorough in further comments or reviews in the future. Just one other quick comment is that I hope this attitude isn't indicative of Apple users. Granted I'm a "PC" guy but I try and keep an open mind about things. I think Safari's a good browser and I also love iTunes so I'm not against Apple in any way. Thanks for coming by and like I said I do appreciate your comments.

Re: Safari

  Thanks for all those that have responded with comments. Yes I found the tab feature and I stand corrected. Please keep in mind this was the first time using it and it was just my first impression. There usually is a learning curve before someone's up to speed on a new program. Forgive me I hadn't fooled around with it a whole lot. I just needed to adjust myself going from Firefox to IE too so I expect Safari to be no different. I certainly didn't expect such a wide response. Thanks again for the input.

Safari - Quick review

Just for the heck of it I downloaded and installed Safari web browser from Apple. I pretty much use Mozilla's Firefox for 99% of my web surfing and if you twist my arm real hard I might even use Internet Explorer once in awhile.

The interface is fairly straight forward and simple to figure out. I notice the Apple grey color similar to my iTunes interface so at least they are consistent. Web surfing is comparable(as far as speed) to Firefox or IE. One thing that was obviously missing was tabbed browsing which both IE and Firefox both have. I've gotten so used to it that I didn't realize I had about five windows open before I noticed. I don't see any options for it either. Kind of surprising given that this was the latest release.

All in all it seems like a competent browser but kind of seems spartan. I would expect something more from Apple. Perhaps I had to high expectations. I may try this out once in awhile to see how different pages look or have trouble opening or viewing stuff in other browsers. I'll be sticking with Firefox for now. On a scale of 1 to 10 I give it about a 5.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Media Monkey - First impression

The one thing I've been fooling with is my music collection. I initially used Windows Media Player by default but then have been using iTunes almost exclusively. It's easy to use and fairly intuitive to use. Meaning you can use it more quickly without fiddling with it. I basically use it to rip CD's and listen to music with. I'm not an audiophile nut so fancy settings aren't necessary.
For those that need a little more Media Monkey may be the answer for you. I downloaded it and tried it out for a bit. It's has fairly simple interface, very much a classic windows look though I believe they have different skins. The one thing that's nice is that it categorizes each song in more detail. At least that's my initial impression. It takes a little getting used to after using iTunes for so long. Give it a try if your looking for something a little more in depth or just want to try something different.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Computer collection

Eco-Depot (part of Rhode Island Resource Recovery) in Johnston ,RI is holding another computer (e-waste) collection on Saturday April 12, 2008. I've still got a couple of monitors I'm going to bring(along with old motor oil)to the collection. To see full schedule click here. It's a good time to do the spring cleaning.