Get a Mac

March 24, 2008

The latest “Get a Mac” ad from Apple, looks like PC this time doesn’t like the overhead banner ads that feature quotes pertaining to Vista’s total suckage from the likes of CNET and PC Magazine.

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Consumers will be able to purchase the first major update to Microsoft Windows Vista OS starting on Wednesday, March 19th if Internet retailer Amazon.com is to be believed. Amazon’s Web site shows that both the full and upgrade versions of Vista SP1 are currently available for pre-order and will ship on March 19th.
Microsoft recently made Vista SP1 available to some developers and commercial users as a download from its business Web site, but the software has not been widely available to date.

It’s expected that a number of retailers in addition to Amazon will start offering Vista SP1 this week. Microsoft will also likely make it available as a public download in the coming days. The download version is free to users already running a licensed copy of Vista.

Vista SP1 contains a number of features designed to enhance the OS speed, performance, and stability. Among other things, it offers a patch that will allow users to run the BitLocker encryption tool on multiple hard drives. It also improves the speed at which the OS wakes up from “hibernate” mode.

SP1 will also remove from Vista the “Kill Switch” — a feature that deactivated key components of the OS if Microsoft detected users were not running a properly licensed copy of Vista. The feature was plagued by false alarms that flagged thousands of legitimate Vista users as software pirates.

Vista SP1 itself isn’t without problems, however. Microsoft has yet to finish ensuring that the service pack will work properly with the thousands of models of keyboards, printers, mice, and other peripheral devices commonly attached to personal computers.

The problem is that Vista SP1 won’t install some device drivers correctly. Microsoft says the issue is confined to “a small number” of drivers and that it’s working on the problem.

Microsoft is hoping that Windows Vista SP1 will quell some of the disappointment that greeted the operating system’s initial rollout early last year. Many corporate and home users complained about its resource requirements and lack of compatibility with existing applications.

Windows Vista Ultimate with SP1
Price: $299.99

I was just reading Mano-a-mano with Steve Ballmer by Guy Kawasaki that had a video from the MIX08 conference held in Las Vegas from March 5th -7th. It is a conference for developers, designers and business professionals, or so the website says. The video was of the Keynote speaking with Guy Kawasaki as host, interviewing Steve Ballmer. Incredible. It was over an hour long, and I watched all of it. I think anyone who has the slightest interest in Microsoft vs. the world, then you should watch this.

One of the things that made this keynote so good, and why I watched most of it, is because of the bantering going back and forth from Kawasaki and Ballmer. Steve Ballmer is now the CEO of Microsoft and was one of the original Microsoft guys (starting in 1980), whereas Guy Kawasaki was one of the original Apple guys which leads to much playful banter. In some cases, it is absolutely hilarious, one of which Ballmer threw Kawasaki`s Mac AIR on the ground (timing in video is given later). I laughed nearly the whole time.

Here are some of the topics (and the times they played) that was discussed:

Yahoo potential merger @ 2:30

Google competitor @ 4:30

Microsoft is an underdog @ 7:18

Anti-trust @ 7:35

Apple (Ballmer gives Cudos) @ 7:48

Facebook @ 9:28

Microsofts millions @ 10:40

Receiving mass email (or not) @ about 15:00

Bill Gates leaving microsoft @ 16:45

Hiring at microsoft @ 18:40

Silverlight @ 24:35

Vista (dodges topic by throwing Kawasaki`s Mac AIR on the ground) @ 26:45

Microsoft losing focus @ 28.30

Firefox vs IE @ 32:40

I think anyone who is interested even slightly in Microsoft, or even if you hate Microsoft and want to see their views on Google and Apple, you should watch this video. It is long, but well worth it.

After watching over an hour worth of video, I could write for forever on this topic, but I guess I can only put so much. Maybe I`ll make another 10 posts all dealing with this video. Thats all for now.

Cheers,

David McKenna

Mac supports Hacks?

February 9, 2008

 

 

 

Chapter 5 in Wikinomics covered a number of inter-related topics, which included a company’s control over its products and the customer hacking of their products. Some companies, such as Sony, chose to stop customer hacks on its PSP product using lock-up technology embedded in its upgrade firmware. Well, the title of this post may be deceiving, because Apple doesn’t out rightly support customers hacking their products (ie Podzilla). However, the company doesn’t completely disapprove hacking because Apple has yet to take action to stop the progress of CanSecWest’s hacking contest to be held at their security research conference in March. And why would they? The contestants find the faults in their computer systems!

 

Last year, CanSecWest held a Macintosh computer hacking contest, in which the first contestant to hack the computer won the computer and $10,000. The cash prize was given in exchange for details regarding the computer’s bug which enabled the hacker to gain access and thus give the company a chance to fix it.

Gartner disapprove of the method used for finding security bugs in computer systems, saying it reveals computer system’s private information. However, the benefits of having a contest to find the bugs and then enable Mac to correct them, is more valuable to the security companies.

This year, CanSecWest and TippingPoint hopes to have computers running Linux, Vista, and OS X to see which one is the most secure during the contest. Or which one is the most vulnerable.

The contest is definitely an innovative idea for software companies. It’s actually a method of embracing consumer power, by letting consumers discover the bugs and allow the company to reap the benefits of co-innovation. Don’t get me wrong, there is something in it for consumers too! Not only does the contest winner get $10,000 cash and a computer, but other consumers and users of the computers get to benefit from a further secured product.

Tasia