Saturday, March 31, 2007

Apple TV?

Mike Torres just loves Apple TV.

From his blog:

The interface looks like a weak version of Media Center and the video quality was so poor I couldn't even make out Capt. Jack Sparrow's grin in Pirates from less than a few feet away from the TV.

[...]

If you want to know what the picture quality is like, do a couple Tequila shots, spin around a few times, bang your head against the floor, and then watch broadcast TV on an old 19" JVC.  Don't skip a step.

More here.

Makes you wonder what Mossberg and the other media ho's were thinking about when they wrote their puff pieces.

Actually I know what they need done: emergency recto-cranial de-insertion surgery in order to facilitate blood flow to their addled brains!

Original link from Ed Bott's Windows Expertise.

1,000,000 Virtual PC 2007 Downloads!

Just 38 days after the release of Virtual PC 2007, there have been 1 million downloads already.

Then you recall articles by Myopians where in mentioning virtualization software leaders, they refer to VMWare (correctly) and Xen (incorrectly), another instance of their anointing their current open source favorite ahead of the choice of the people.

Congratulatons to the VPC2007 team.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Off point: CSI

I watched CSI: Miami the other day for the 1st time, and what I saw prompted me to watch CSI and CSI: New York to verify that I wasn't dreaming!

Forensic technicians packin' heat?

Are you freakin' kiddin' me?

Just like they are sworn officers of the law?

One name came to mind immediately.

Dennis Fung

Yes, Dennis Fung!

He of the OJ Simpson murder trial.

The guy who botched the forensic evidence. Reportedly.

Can you imagine Dennis Fung, or even the coroner of Los Angeles County talking to former LAPD detective Mark Fuhrman in the same way the CSI droids talk to actual police officers?

Fuhrman, or any sworn police officer, would not, and should not hesitate to shoot those punks immediately!

Couldn't f-ing believe what I was watching!

Mac sales to dip?

If this article, and wall street projections pan out, where is the iPod halo again?

Apple patches 45 vulns, 7th patchfest in 3 months

And Stevie has the unmitigated gall to attempt to dump on Windows for security problems?

Magnify his niche OS with the insignificant market share, and you have 45 vulns in the 7th patchfest in just 3 months?

Can you imagine if MacOS had a 7.8% market share? Or even 10%, with attacks actually directed at it?

Come on, Stevorino!

From March 14, 2007

InfoWorld print edition, R.I.P.

It is always a shame when a formerly relevant glossy goes tits-up.

It is especially galling when you helplessly watched the decline of the same without your words of warning being heeded.

InfoWorld is one such magazine.

For the nearly two decades since I started reading it, InfoWorld was, with the old PC Week, one of those technology weeklies I couldn't wait to get a read of.

However, in the last few years, it, including most of the, ahem, mainstream, IT press seem to have lost their way.

They abandoned reality by:

  1. Pandering to the Linux noisemakers by writing articles totally disproportional to the market share of Linux.
  2. Declared open source the panacea for software, as if that crew, and open source alone, was responsible for all innovation.
  3. Deserted their reader base of Windows users by coming up with nonsensical alternatives to Windows.

For goodness sakes, their former CTO openly advocated the use of a Macbook and xServe as enterprise products.

Users fled, and advertisers stayed away, each constituency voting with the tools available to them.

Unfortunate, but, there you go.

I can only hope that the remaking mainstream IT glossies learn from InfoWorld's demise and not fall prey to the Siren Song that is Linux/open source to their own detriment.

No cellphones on airplanes

Thank you, FCC.

For once, the FCC gets something.

(They were, actually they still are on their way to becoming as well regarded as that former unlamented FEMA director!)

Letting cellphones on aircraft would definitely, IMO, increase air rage incidents.

The absolute last thing I want to hear while trying to nap on a plane is one half of a loser's conversation.

© 2007, John Obeto II for SmallBizVista.com®

Technology of the 1980s: Solid Gold?

NetworkWorld has a poll on some of the state-of-the-art technologies back when Solid Gold ruled the TV-waves.

Interesting. I had forgotten most of those devices.

© 2007, John Obeto II for SmallBizVista.com®

Canon RAW codec for Vista v1.0

Canon's RAW codec for Windows Vista was released today.

Download here.

Thanks to the Microsoft Photography Blog for the info.

Adobe CS3

What a ripoff!

When Adobe came out with that amazingly stupid statement about not patching currently shipping software for Vista, tell me, who didn't see this ripoff coming?

Who?

Now that the other shoe has hit the jaw, I hope the herd decides very carefully where to invest their coins of the realm next time.

A$$wipes!

Motion LE1700 is 1st Aero tablet?

According to this headline on Digital Trends it is.

How so not true!

It is disconcerting when PR copy is substituted for editorial content, as must have happened here.

I sincerely hope it is not a new trend, pun intended, at Digital Trends.

© 2007, John Obeto II for SmallBizVista.com®

How to dump Microsoft Office?

In a bonehead article here, an idiot at Network Computing Magazine tells of how to dump Microsoft Office.

Such articles are why children shouldn't run with scissors!

AMD Shrinks XENOS

Announced at the recently-concluded GDC, I almost missed this nugget.

AMD has succeeded in shrinking the XENOS GPU to allow for installations in mobile devices, aka cellphones.

Are you freakin' kiddin'?

The XENOS is the DirectX-10, unified memory graphics processor powering the Xbox 360. Yes, that XENOS processor.

Maybe, just maybe, TV, video, and gaming on mobiles might have a future!

© 2007, John Obeto II for SmallBizVista.com®

The Next Intel CPUs are the old AMD CPUs!

Intel introduces its next-generation of processors…

And it is….

OPTERON!

Congratulations, Intel.

It is nice to see Intel finally, finally, see the light and commence the development of AMD chips.

The announced chips will be extremely innovative, using technology delivered by AMD back in 2003.

In fact, it is extremely disturbing to see that it by the release of Nehalem in 2008, it would have taken Intel only five years to replicate the efforts of AMD in the server/desktop GPU spaces. Disturbing to holders of INTC, not I.

In a release a couple of days ago, Intel introduced their roadmap for the next two generations of processors, codenamed Penryn and Nehalem, respectively.

Unlike the mainstream media harlots outlets ho's, I came away from the entire announcement totally underwhelmed by the ‘advances’ promised by these two processors.

Why?

I had the feeling of déjà vu, you know, like I had heard or seen it all before.

Guess what?

I have heard, and seen it all before! In fact, I already have it! And will have it soon, in Q3 2007.

It is called Opteron, and Athlon, and Torrenza, and Barcelona, and AMD Fusion!

Penryn
What is Penryn?

Penryn is essentially a die shrink of Core 2 Duo, period.

SSE4? Deep Sleep? Bigger cache? Better virtualization?

All those fancy words do nothing. See, ‘Double-Secret Sleep’ or whatever the low-power state is called is nothing new.

All you have to realize is that it is a die-shrink.

Nehalem
Nehalem, is the next rev of the Core 2 Duo architecture.

It is viewed within Intel “as the first true dynamically scalable microarchitecture”. From Intel, that is. Totally discounting AMD Fusion.

It will also have an integrated memory controller, a la Opteron. Among other things.

No one was able to get Gelsinger to admit to the integration of a GPU with the CPU.

Also mentioned was the fact that there would be versions of Nehalem designed expressly for mobile devices.

How incredibly not new!

All of the ‘innovations’ to be delivered by Penryn and Nehalem are already here.

Furthermore, all the talk about performance gains due to process improvements are a chimera. Looking back at Intel CPU evolution through several process shrinks, most recently the 130nm-90nm-65nm-45nm processes, where have the performance gains come from? Not the process shrinks. It has come from larger caches, higher frequencies, and in the case of Core 2 Duo, a new microarchitecture. The only nugget in the announcement, IMO, about driving the power of the CPU/GPU down to mobile devices, is also made somewhat irrelevant by AMD.

Look no further than the announcement by AMD at the last GDC that they have succeeded in driving the XENOS GPU in the Xbox 360 down to mobile devices. Now, that is an announcement, and a revolutionary one at that. I had expected the technology behind the XENOS to be driven down to the desktop, but the AMD wonks pushed it down waaay further. This should bring gaming-class 3D graphics to mobile devices: another way to annoy your fellow passengers on flights.

The Intel announcement, while informative about their technology roadmap, was an exercise in intellectual masturbation; a lot of effort being spent on meaningless but exciting words, and an empty feeling later, after the euphoria evaporated, of having accomplished nothing significant.

© 2007, John Obeto II for SmallBizVista.com®

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Deepfish

What is it?

Deepfish is a browsing enhancement utility, currently in beta, for Windows Mobile devices. According to Microsoft Live Labs,

Deepfish is a lightweight client application that leverages a powerful server side technology for delivery of content such as web pages to a Windows Mobile device. Content is displayed in a familiar desktop format that requires no additional work by the content or site author.

Just how impressive is that?

It creates dynamic snapshots of regular web pages which it then zooms into on demand from the Windows Mobile user.

Yes, regular webpages, not designed for mobile devices pages.

Folks, Deepfish has to be seen in action to appreciate it.

Another product from the Microsoft Live Labs, and Microsoft Live crew of which you all know I'm enamored of.

© 2007, John Obeto II for SmallBizVista.com®

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Xbox 360 Elite!

Microsoft has released the Xbox 360 I had been waiting for, but didn't know it: the Xbox 360 Elite.

In Black, thank you!

Brandon LeBlanc, the Sidebar Geek, has ongoing coverage, from several sources on this event, from a video at the Channel 10 website, On 10, to pictures from Major Nelson, to the official Microsoft press release.

Suffice it to say that I am looking askance at my current Xbox 360, and trying to see which of my juvenile relatives deserves it.

Also being contemplated is how I would have to bamboozle persuade Wifey of my need for this Xbox 360 Elite without have to resort to the subterfuge of purchasing it and sending it to myself as a 'gift' from a satisfied client.

My only concern is that there was no word of the HD DVD player option in the new color as well.

© 2007, John Obeto II for SmallBizVista.com®

I'm baaack!

I've been traveling the past ten days, and got back to a cold (as usual - from my kids), so there hasn't been any blogging.

However, I have been reading the news, so expect a flood of belated posts shortly.

EDITED: Wifey says I got the flu from them, not a cold. Same difference, I felt as bad!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

NYTimes Reader for $165 per annum

I don't think so!

I canceled my home delivery subscription with them after daffy pogue continued to slam Microsoft products without the newspaper stating anywhere that he was once an editor of a mac magazine, and had written books on apple's PMC.

After his Zune rant, I had had enough!

I voted with my wallet, but added their headlines to my feedlist.

For free.

Note: Names and products purposely lowercased.

How much was that pizza?

Michael Reyes, of The Hardware Geeks, sent me this link about a new pizza eatery where we should lunch the next time I'm in New York.

The headliner on the menu?

A pizza for $1,000.00 USD!

$1000 US

Are you N-U-T-S, nuts?

The featured ingredients include Russian Beluga, Black Beluga, Royal Sevruga, Osetra, Golden Salmon Row, Crème Freiche and Lobster, decorated with 14 karat gold leaf dust.

No diamonds?

Please!

Homie, unless it is served by a 23-year old Tuesday Weld, a 22-year old Jayne Kennedy, and Beyonce, in pale pink boudoir apparel only, fuggedhet-about-hit!

Windows Live on Lenovo systems

They have seen the Light Live!

Lenovo, the #3 PC manufacturer, has inked a deal with Microsoft to ship its systems with the Windows Live Toolbar, and Live.com as the start page of all systems.

The move for Lenovo to Live.com from the former sparse page will allow for greater customization of the start page by Lenovo, and their customers.

Live.com, for the 3 people on Terra who do not know, allows an infinite number of customization options including gadgets, RSS feeds, and mail.

I also see deals of this sort help the fortunes of other Live properties, which is 'A Good Thing', since I consume virtually all of the Windows Live products on a daily basis, including but not limited to Windows Live Messenger, Windows Live Mail Desktop, Windows Live writer, Windows Live QnA, Windows Live Expo, etc.

This is a big blow to those those search philistines who owned the space with this vendor before.

Congratulations to the Bruce Kasrel and the Windows Live team for this very auspicious start to the hopeful flood of similar deals.

© 2007, John Obeto II for SmallBizVista.com®

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

USB flash drives as modern-day dongles

John C. Dvorak has a knack for being infuriating, especially to those who frequent his blogs.

However, I still keep his PC Magazine feeds.

This article is one of the reasons why.

In it, he implores all of us to be vigilant against a possible bonehead evolutionary branch of the humble USB flash drive into a dongle.

He is right.

Before the innocuous-sounding moniker DRM, we all knew and hated copy protection software and devices.

We really need to band together to make sure the days of the dongle are not, and never revisited!

© 2007, John Obeto II for SmallBizVista.com®

Monday, March 12, 2007

Knuckle-duster Stunner

Once in a while comes a device that makes you wonder, "Why didn't I think of that?"

This is one such device, the bastard child of a stun gun and a knuckleduster.

Not only can you break a rival's an assailant's jaw, but you can zap him/her with just a few hundred-thousand - 950,000 to be exact - volts of electricity into the bargain, the 21st-century version of pouring sand into their mouths.

For only $69.99

via übergizmo.com

Macbook immolates itself down under


Great design, eh?

Come to find out that despite the recalls of several models, Macbooks still have the potential for self-ignition.

The Computer for the Rest of Us?

Open XML is on ISO fast track.

It must not have been a good weekend in Armonk.

Despite all their specious arguments, the ISO, speaking through Lisa Rajchel, informs us that, after consulting with staff at the International Technology Task Force - a grandiose name indeed - she decided to move the application to a fast track status.

Can I get a 'YAY' from the audience?

Isn't Ms. Rajchel several megaparsecs removed in functional processing power than that harridan, Kroes?

I wonder if the headbanging at IBM over this new development has stopped?

© 2007, John Obeto II for SmallBizVista.com®

Redeem your Vista Express upgrades soon!

Thanks to a post by Ed Bott, I just remembered that I had a Vista Express Upgrade due me from Toshiba for the Tecra *M7.

That offer is due to expire at the end of this month.

I immediately sent out emails to clients I know purchased personal systems during the period of time in the offer was in place, and will be sending out spam an email blast to all contacts later today to remind them of the impending expiration date.

BTW, I also redeemed my Vista Express upgrade, to Vista Business Edition from XP Tablet PC Edition, and I am awaiting the media, which costs $10+coins delivered.

Thanks Ed.

*I ordered the dual-core Tablet PC on December 19, 2006 and it didn't get delivered until January 8, 2007. Yeah, shame on them.

© 2007, John Obeto II for SmallBizVista.com®

Lost emails at the CEO-level

How will 2007 shape up for Intel?

While developing his thesis on Vista migration, Intel's CEO apparently forgot to save emails as required for the current lawyerfest called AMD vs Intel.

Hopefully, this will not snowball.

Then again, why not?

For someone like me who thought his dissertation was at best imbecilic, it was 他人の不幸は蜜の味

Translation: tanin no fukou wa mitsu no aji

© 2007, John Obeto II for SmallBizVista.com®

Saturday, March 10, 2007

China to develop wide-body jet

Easiest way to lose oodles of moola.

Homies, learn to eat without drooling before trying to solve transcendental math!

Ask Airbus Industrie.

UPS cancels Airbus A380 Freighter order

Who didn't see this coming?

And what a shame!

If reports coming out of Toulouse are to be believed, the errors stemmed from erroneous data, created as engineers working on different parts of the project used different versions of the same CAD/CAM/CAE and PLM program, Dassault Systemes CATIA.

To which I ask: are you freakin' kiddin' me?

A loss of nearly $20 billion USD because of different versions of the same program creating errors in data passed back and forth?

All I want to know right now is who gets flogged?

I guess building a jumbo jet isn't a cakewalk.

Intel CEO: We'll wait for Vista SP1

That has got to be the most stupid statement coming from the piehole of a Fortune 500 CEO for a long while!

Also, from Intel?

For a company which is supposed to be this great company, now you know why they stumbled that greatly and for so long, Dell notwithstanding.

Wait for Vista SP1?

Still a lot of media ho's carried the news, treating is a some sort of validation of their position.

I'm afraid not only is the point missed, but the stupidity of Otellini's statement is missed as well.

Is this the way you treat your best software partner? Does this yum-yum think that the 4% Linux, and 3% OS X market share can take him there? Forgot, AMD had the greater Linix market share as well.

Robert McLaws, of Windows-Now.com, skillfully dissects the Intel position in a rejoinder to Otellini's moronic statement, and provides the text of a memo from AMD Executive VP Henri Richard exhorting his troops to move to Vista post haste.

For goodness sakes, if Robert, myself, and several thousand other people could have had over 2 years to test Vista, where were the yobs at Intel whose CPUs were targeted by Vista as well?

Intel is waiting for Vista SP1?

I hate to tell Paulie this, but by that time, AMD would have released Barcelona. And if estimates are to be believed, and I don't see why not, what platform do you think would be hot during the Christmas/end-of-year buying season?

In the same vein, what company's products do you think I would be recommending to clients, family, and friends?

Certainly not the company whose boss does not have enough confidence it his own IT department's ability to support Vista today.

Can you say, AMD?

Here's looking at my next desktop, with a 2-socket Barcelona solution for a total of 8 cores come Q3 of 2K7!

© 2007, John Obeto II for SmallBizVista.com®

PointCast, RSS feeds, and history

In a conversation with a luminary in Microsoft technologies today, we briefly touched on RSS.

Which led me to think of PointCast and their technology back in the day for delivering news to the desktop.

What seemed to new and esoteric then is now not only commonplace, but in on the verge of having extensions developed for it, by Microsoft no less, that would allow for the same sort of rich content PointCast promised. This time without the fat client and bandwidth hog that PointCast was.

Wow, it has been ten years since the board of PointCast, with the hubris of overawed business neophytes, declined the $450 million USD offer from News Corp for their company, which eventually got sold to an Idealab subsidiary two years later for $7 million USD.

Someone forgot to tell them to take the money and run!

© 2007, John Obeto II for SmallBizVista.com®

Mobile PC World

Terri Stratton, Editor-in-Chief of The Tablet PC, had just unveiled hew newest site, Mobile PC World.

Mobile PC World will encompass all aspects of mobile devices: Tablet PCs, UMPCs, Laptops, and other connected devices.

Ms. Stratton is a Microsoft MVP for Tablet PCs, and a Microsoft Featured Community, and will bring her (very) extensive knowledge of mobility devices to this new site.

Logikworx is pleased that she has done so, for we tap her expertise in laptops and Tablet PCs as the primary source for our recommendations on those devices.

Mobile PC World can be found at http://forums.mobilepcworld.net

Congratulations Terri, and MobilePCWorld.net.

© 2007, John Obeto II for SmallBizVista.com®

Friday, March 09, 2007

Live Search Gadgets

Nick White has disclosed the public unveiling of the Live Search Traffic Gadget and the Live Search Gadget

Folks, this are invaluable items.

I use the Live Search Traffic gadget whenever I'm in LA for traffic info as you know how free the freeways in Los Angeles are.

Download here and here.

Open Source ID: Please let us copy you.

Just like open source, isn't it?

Pushers of the Higgins open source ID project, IBM and Novell, are aiming to replicate the work done by Microsoft in so that a "user should be able to sit down in front of the open-source implementation and feel comfortable and understand how things work, like Firefox versus Internet Explorer" according to a 'distinguished' engineer at Novell.

I guess the word distinguished no longer has meritorious value.

When was the last time an average user sat down to look at the source code in a browser? Any browser. Totally bolsters my declaration that source code evaluation is a figment of the collective reality distortion fields of open source proponents.

IBM's chief security architect - deliberately non-capitalized, talking out of his a$$ as functionaries at that once-storied firm are wont to, indicated that Microsoft's abandoning of rights related to patents is what is holding this 'great' project back.

If that is so, why don't you dweebs actually, ahem, create something?

After all, Microsoft never innovates, right?

© 2007, John Obeto II for SmallBizVista.com®

LOTR director to develop Xbox 360 games

Peter Jackson is slated to develop two serialized game series for the Xbox 360.

This is niiiice, and I, for one, will be looking forward to them.

HD Photo - Long time coming!

With the public announcement of HD Photo, the immediate availability of plugins for PhotoShop CS (2 & 3), and native functionality built into Vista, Microsoft is again innovating.

Microsoft has moved photography forward with HD Photo which promises the following:

  • Higher image quality
  • Greater preservation of data, and advanced features for today’s digital-imaging applications
  • HD Photo offers compression with up to twice the efficiency of JPEG, with fewer damaging artifacts, resulting in higher-quality images that are one-half the file size
  • Increased image fidelity, preserving the entire original image content and enabling higher-quality exposure and color adjustments in the image
  • The ability to decode only the information needed for any resolution or region, or the option to manipulate the image as compressed data.

Additionally, HD Photo offers both lossless and lossy image compression, and can retain the full dynamic range and color gamut data from a camera’s sensor.

Microsoft is also offering the HD Photo Device Porting Kit, which is available for download at the Microsoft Download Center, allowing manufacturers to add HD Photo support in devices and to other platforms.

As mentioned earlier, HD Photo is natively supported in Windows Vista by a Windows Imaging Component (WIC) codec, and can be similarly supported in Windows XP and Windows Server® 2003 through a free WIC download. HD Photo is also included in Microsoft .NET Framework 3.0.

Furthermore, "With support on popular platforms such as Windows XP, Windows Vista and Mac OS X, HD Photo will allow consumers to easily view, edit and share images without conversion or special applications. The format also allows for flexible metadata handling and supports industry-standard metadata formats. "

Sweet.

Brandon LeBlanc, The Sidebar Geek, has a blog post here, and there is a thread on it in The Hive as well.

Bill Crow is 'Da Man' as far as HD Photo is concerned, and Barb Bowman also has a post about it here.

Based on Brandon's suggestion, I downloaded the beta 1 version of Microsoft's forthcoming Expression Design and with it I shall keep you abreast of my (mis)adventures with HD Photo.

An indication of Microsoft's belief in HD Photo is its intention to submit the HD Photo specification to a standards body for certification.

© 2007, John Obeto II for SmallBizVista.com®

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Fear the penguin? NOT!

In today's issue of the Redmond Channel Partner newsletter, there were so many errors in the section mentioned below that I was forced to reply.

In your newsletter article, titled, READERS SAY, 'FEAR THE PENGUIN!, I am afraid the responders made so many glaring errors that I am forced to debunk here in order to stop the confusion.

I will be blogging my entire answer as well here.

Starting with “Mike” who writes

First off, his reasons for selling his company because of ‘disenchantment with Microsoft’s offerings’ were never enumerated.

Secondly, to say that Microsoft is lacking in its mission or zeal in courting developers is plain wrong. Microsoft engages customers from several angles and provides the resources, in several languages, to do so. There are so many programs directed at developers – MSDN, ISVs – Empower for ISVs, to beginners – the Express Editions, that I cannot help but wonder what he’s talking about.

However, Mike gets to it with the next sentence, namely, distributing fully-working virtual machines with a working copy of Windows on them.

Is he kidding? Why would you be allowed to distribute fully-working VMs of software licensed for one system only?

Then the marketing savvy of Ubuntu?

While I know that his experience, indeed, all our experiences with Vista™, are subjective, I cannot help but ask what functions in Vista are a step back.

As a user of Vista since it was the Windows codename Longhorn beta, I do not have the same experiences and would like to know what I missed in order to both help my clients and my firm, and also to escalate those issues to Microsoft for resolution.

One area in which I agree with Mike completely in is his assertion that the landscape would look different in three years. In three years, the landscape would look a little different, with Linux having lost just a little more ground as customers come to realize that the promises of Linux zealots about productivity gains over Windows were not only shallow, but also totally devoid of reality.

We get to “Bill”

In his post, Bill starts out by praising Windows Server SBS, and then brings out his flensing knife, stating that it requires a well-trained IT person to run it.

Very untrue. It does require a well-trained person to install and configure it. However, it does not require that that person be around to babysit it.

Bill states: "A SOHO will often have less than 10 computers in the entire office and about half of these should be servers for safety, according to Microsoft recommendations.”

That is about as untrue as it gets. 50% of the computers in a 10-system SOHO/branch office should be servers? Bill, stop! Really STOP!

He then goes into his rationale for that wild and completely erroneous declaration. Microsoft established Windows Server SBS as a single-server system. Period. In fact, using multiple boxes ad described by Bill is totally unsupported. I challenge him to reveal any official information from Microsoft describing what he is saying.

In larger enterprises, what he describes is the recommended configuration. However, at that time, you would have moved out of the realm of Windows Server SBS and into BackOffice Server.

That said, all of his arguments regarding the hardware requirements for Windows Server SBS are invalid and hereby discarded.

Linux server has a place in computing, just not in SMB computing. It, and not Windows in any version, requires a body in place to support it.

It is amazing to note that IT pros, who think nothing of tinkering with source code and recompiling stuff, would foist that on small businesses with Linux, making the specious argument that it is better or easier than Linux.

Lance’s rants are, to put it kindly and politely, somewhat nonsensical. My replies to his points on Microsoft’s customer unfriendliness:

  1. 100% the discretion of system vendor
  2. To reduce piracy.
  3. See #2
  4. See #2
  5. ???
  6. To protect the creative properties of musicians
  7. There is NO DRM in Windows Vista.
  8. How so? Any different from the EULA restrictions in a DVD, OS2, Solaris, Oracle?
  9. HDCP – I give you that.
  10. So securing a system is now a Bad Thing?
  11. So not true. Robert McLaws, of Windows-Now.com, has a post here that details the true cost of Microsoft Windows from version 1.0. After reading it, I am sure Lance would want to take this one back as well.
  12. ???

What he does not realize it that Microsoft has a fiduciary duty to its owners, employees, and customers to protect its IP? That is being in the customer interest.

Furthermore, if Microsoft or Windows weren’t there, where would Linux zealots get their ideas?

He also states that Microsoft is neglecting legitimate customers in pursuit of a small number of pirates. I do not know about him, but if you are ever in Asia, and have a street hawker come up to you with a DVD full of Microsoft software for sale at the equivalent of $10, you would freak out if you were Bill G. In addition, it must have warmed the hearts of holders of MSFT to hear the president of Romania tell of how piracy delivered his country.

When tagged, customers are able to revalidate their systems online or offline. Not outrageous at all.

Contrary to what Lance would have us believe, consumers are not clamoring for alternatives to Windows. It is the IT cognoscente that wants change, partly for some misguided need to root for the underdog, and partly because it keeps them and their jobs relevant to the great unwashed who think that they are delivering some sort of valueadd when they spew forth all that jargon.

My replies to his suggestions for customer-friendliness are:

  1. Actually, it is not. Vista Ultimate, as its moniker suggests, it the ne plus ultra of Windows. As a premium product, it carries a premium price, just as a Maybach does. As for the price discrepancy in Europe, that is up to a) The current tax structure in Great Britain, b) the cost of doing business, there, for which you can thank Kroes and the absurd EU office of Competition, and c) the
  2. How then would you mitigate the piracy issue?
  3. Same as #2
  4. That statement makes absolutely no sense to me
  5. I have no problem with WGA. And lots of people I know, including lots of clients concur
  6. Why? How many people know how to install an OS? Just because you do, doesn’t make it the norm. Moreover, if they are comfortable with Windows, what is wrong with that?

Lance’s final wish, that there be competition for Microsoft was a head-scratcher! How does he want that accomplished? Like they want in Europe, by government fiat? Or like Penfield-Jackson wanted: by dividing Microsoft into three companies? How, buddy?

In closing, I have to wonder about the disproportional coverage Linux gets relative to its importance, both on desktops and as servers. In an ideal world, it should have coverage proportional to the 4% or so of the market it commands.

For years, it has been touted as the Second Coming, only to have that event pushed back.

Folks, this ain’t happening!

There you have it.

© 2007, John Obeto II for SmallBizVista.com®

What if Opteron never existed?

Earlier today, I was asked that question as well as the following:

  • Would processor prices be going up?
  • Would dual-core technology even exist?
  • Would we all be running Itaniums?
  • Would we need Itaniums to get 64-bit Vista?

My reply:

The first thing would be for me to blame AMD for the current throttling back of processor speeds.

(This is in addition to the loss of income I suffered nearly seventeen years ago from the AMD 80387 math-coprocessor battle, which decimated math-co prices across the board. On the other hand, should I thank AMD for opening up the market for the tons and tons of math-coprocessors I sold when prices were ‘normalized’ by the AMD math-co?)

Prior to the debut of the Opteron, we were on a direct collusion trajectory with Itanium, that all-new be-all of computing. It was going to be the Swiss-knife of computing, allowing us supercomputer power at each of our desktops, and utilizing that most current of computing architectures, the EPIC.

Before that though, we were going to go through several iterations of the Pentium architecture. Personally, I was looking forward to a 10 GHz Pentium 6 without active liquid cooling – no need to have a space heater in my office.

If the Opteron had never existed, it would still be a Pentium world, without a doubt. The mobile Pentium, based on the P-III, would have been slowly ramped up in speed and would have been hitting about 4 GHz right now. As I stated earlier, the desktop Pentium and the Xeon would have been continually cranked up relative to the gains in processing power of the Athlon.

All the while, we would have been inundated with flackware and ink about the coming goodie called Itanium.

Processor prices would have remained stable for mainstream CPUs, with newly introduced CPUs continuing to command ridiculous prices a la Extreme Edition.

It was a very slick way of raising prices or introducing ‘premium’ pricing into the market, disguising it as new product with attendant bells and whistles. In reality, it was just a cranked-up unit just like the mainstream CPUs.

Dual-core? Are you kidding?

Remember, it IS Intel we are talking about!

Remember the 80487?

What was the function of the Intel 80487 math coprocessor? It was to turn off the primary processor in an Intel 80486-80487 CPU-math-co combo.

What do I mean?

Let me jog your cobwebs.

At the intro of the 80486 (i486), the math-co world was still burgeoning, however, due to AMD’s entre into the math-co space with the 80387 for which it (AMD) was still in litigation with Intel, margins were very low. For the 80486, only high-end match-coprocessors were worth stocking for margins, and the Wietek math-co cost over $1,200.00 USD back then. Intel’s solution was a perfectly good integrated CPU/match-co chip sold as being without a math-co. When you purchased the 80487, all it did was to turn off the original 80486 chip and perform all processing itself.

Yes, the only difference was an additional pin on the external connector that shut off the original chip.

Now that we have divulged some of the ‘advances’ developed by Intel, and the tactics used to defraud educate the buying public, let me ask again:

Dual-core from Intel?

Without the Opteron, I don’t think so.

Itanium? Nevertheless, in the 2K7 timeframe, we definitely would not have been running the Itanic Itanium processor. For the following reasons:

  1. Processor yields have been deplorable,
  2. Thermal signature of the chip has remained pretty high,
  3. Performance has remained very, very ho-hum, never exceeding that of the Pentium 5, not to talk about the Opterons. Oops, forgot Intel canceled the P5!
  4. Development of software targeted at Itanic has remained pretty much in the mainframe/alternative OS realm, and
  5. The benefits of Itanic, aka The WIIFM Factor, have never been successfully enumerated to both the public and developers.

64-bit Vista?

It would have been pie-in-the-sky without the Opteron, IMO.

What is very ironic is that just prior to the intro of the Opteron, Intel had been sabre-rattling about the IP contained in its 64-bit platform, not knowing that AMD was going to extend the much-maligned current computing architecture, the x86, and create the AMD 64-bit platform.

It was a brilliant move, and superbly executed, and a fitting ‘Exit Stage Left’ moment for Jerry Sanders.

I can safely say that the Opteron ushered in the modern 64-bit desktop and server processor era.

It revolutionized servers, created the market for x86-based blade servers, and redefined data center architecture, especially in terms of thermal output and cooling requirements.

My 2¢

© 2007, John Obeto II for SmallBizVista.com®

Does Technorati tagging still matter?

Someone tell me before I stop tagging targeted at Technorati.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Vista no threat to OS X Leopard

Says Apple's CFO.

So?

Isn't it supposed to be the other way around? That the company whose product has 90% of the market shouldn't feel threatened by an upstart?

If, with 3% or so of the computing market, this idiot feels the need to reassure us about his forthcoming product's prospects, what does that say about the loops at 1 Infinite Loop?

Dude, this ain't the iPod market.

Holla' when your market share gets to 3%.

© 2007, John Obeto II for SmallBizVista.com®