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Archive for Hardware

Windows Phone 8—The Last Piece of the Puzzle?

Windows Phone 8

Yesterday Microsoft unveiled he Windows Phone 8 to developers. It looks a lot like Windows Phone 7, but looks can be deceiving. It’s much more than an incremental update. Pull back the new home page tiles, peek under the bigger, shaper screens, look past the new multi-core CPUs and you’ll find a new operating system kernel. Not just any kernel, the same kernel as Windows 8. Yes, the same kernel used by the soon to be released desktop operating system, and the recently announced Surface tablet.

If you think only a geek could love a kernel, you might be right, but it holds significant meaning to Windows Phone users and developers everywhere. Significant because the computer in your pocket, if it’s a Windows Phone 8, now has the same file system, graphic drivers, networking, security, browser, and multi-core support as your desktop computer. Most importantly, it runs native code.

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Microsoft’s Surface Tablet is a Game Changer

Yesterday Microsoft announced the Surface tablet. Is Microsoft really entering the computer hardware business? Yes. Success on the tablet is crucial to the success of Windows 8. Microsoft has to ensure a well executed, competitively priced platform, and isn’t going to trust OEMs to execute it alone. If you’ve yet to see the Surface, watch the introductory video below:

The original Google Nexus phone was born of a similar need. It was introduced to compete against the iPhone. Android was crucial to Google’s success in the mobile market. Unimpressed by what OEMs had done, Google introduced the Nexus as their flagship Android phone. In a very short time, other manufactures began introducing phones with similar, or better specs than the Nexus. While the Nexus was never a dominant player like the iPhone, it’s mission was successful. Resulting Android phones and their adoption rates were much improved. Google continues to release new phones, and while they aren’t typically best sellers, they continue to help shape the Android landscape.

Like the Nexus phone, the Microsoft Surface has some compelling features that leverage perceived weaknesses in the Apple product. A 16:9 HD screen ratio is more suited to watch HD video than the iPad’s 4:3 SD ratio. Surface’s addition of a full-size USB port is huge, allowing easy, cheap addition of memory, and peripheral connectivity (printers, cameras, etc). The keyboard built-in to the cover is pure genius, combined with a trackpad and stylus it indicates this is a device suitable for serious content creation, not just consumption.

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Move Windows to SSD with Paragon Migrate OS to SSD 2.0: Review

Do you have an SSD or Solid State Drive on your Christmas list? Maybe hoping Santa leaves an SSD in your stocking? SSDs are currently the number one way to increase the performance of your system. Instead of using a physical platter that must be read and written, using an arm much like an LP record album, SSDs are solid state. Only electrons move. Chances are I’m speaking to the choir. If you’re reading this article, you probably  know the benefits of SSD.

There are many guides to installing SSD drives, but most of them are outdated. If you’re using Windows 7, you don’t need to change a bunch of settings. Windows 7 will recognize the SSD, and change them for you. SSDs have about the same failure rate as traditional hard drives, and modern SSDs don’t require all kinds of exotic changes to your operating system to protect them. Chances are the only change you need to make is in your BIOS. Just make sure drive is set to use ACHI and not IDE.

Probably the most painful part of installing an SSD is performing a clean install of Windows. Now Paragon Migrate OS to SSD has a simple solution to that problem as well. As the name suggests, it will help you migrate your existing Windows installation to your new SSD. Retaining all your Windows settings, avoiding reinstall of your software.

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Lenovo M90z Review!

Multi-touch supportIt was just like out of an old country western movie. So there I am, sitting in the bar minding my own business when a guy walks up to me and says “You work in a school right? Wanna try out a new computer?” Well, not exactly like a country western movie, but close right? Now this conversation may sound really strange to someone looking in, but to understand the context you’ve gotta understand that this bar was in Seattle, Washington and I had spent the day at the Microsoft campus in Redmond for the annual Microsoft MVP Summit. Computer chatter over a beer was commonplace.

The guy I’m talking about works for a fantastic company who wants to give me a Lenovo M90z on a long-term loan to let me play with it and see what I can use it for.   The M90z is an All-In-One (AIO) multi-touch computer from Lenovo.  Everyone knows that touch computing is the way of the future. From smart phones, to tablets, to slate computers, everything is going touch. So why shouldn’t the desktop offer some form of touch component?

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Why would Intel buy McAfee?

intel-mcafeeToday Intel announced plans to buy McAfee for $7.7 billion dollars. Most people are asking, “Why?”. Why would a chip maker acquire a security company?

The answer may lie within Moore’s Law. Simply stated Moore’s Law states that the number of transistors on a chip will double every 2 years. Intel seems to have difficulty figuring out what to do with all those transistors. Most computer users don’t need a quad core CPU. Yet Intel continues to roll out more cores.

However, as anyone who has installed an antivirus program knows, it’s probably the single biggest resource hog on your system. Slowing everything from email and the Internet, to startup and shutdown. What if the major components of an antivirus program could be placed in a special section of the CPU, or even its own core? Whether you’re a gamer, enthusiast, or just an average user you’d enjoy the benefits of being able to run an AV without the associated system slowdown.

Have you ever removed an antivirus, or run a system without an antivirus because of performance issues? Need a free antivirus program, check out our recommendations.

Google Phone (nexus one) Disappoints

nexusGoogle. The brand built on free and open has released a phone that sells for $529 (without a contract), and is limited to “some” GSM networks. Oops! Sorry CDMA, and other GSM clients.

Where’s the disruption? Where’s the free ad-supported phone? Where’s the phone that will work on any network? Where are the aps?!

This is equivalent to Microsoft making a desktop computer. They know better, apparently Google does not. What were they thinking? It confuses customers, angers partners, and weakens the brand.

Google, I think you should have waited until next year to open this late Christmas present. Wait for truly free networks, wait until your mobile ads have proven they’re able to support a free device. Wait for something revolutionary. What do you think about the Google Phone?

Cherrypal Unveils $99 Laptop

africaI have a feeling that this new laptop is going to be under a lot of Christmas trees this year. Cherrypal has now introduced their no-frills notebook, at a cost of only $99.00! No, that isn’t a typo. The machine really does cost just under a hundred dollars!

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Do Desktop Touch Screens Work?

touchsmartI have had my HP TouchSmart for just about a year now. I’ll never forget the day it arrived at my house. You’ve never seen a more excited Geek! From the day I won it in a contest until the UPS driver showed up on my doorstep, I read everything I could find about how best to use my new machine. After I unboxed it and set it all up, I “trained” myself to properly use all of the various features, and even steeled myself to having to use Vista instead of XP.

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Seagate FreeAgent Backup Bundle Winner!

Wow! 571 entries seems to confirm these backup drives are in hot demand. Reading those comments, a lot of you really need to develop a backup plan. If not an external backup drive, check out other options in our Home Backup Series, or even a cheap Fireproof Backup Soultion. Don’t wait until it’s too late folks!

We have contacted the winner, and received a reply with permission to use their full name. Congratulations to Ramkumar Venkatachalam of India! His comment (number 378), was drawn at random:

good old dvd’s in a pouch thats my backup strategy

It sounds like he’ll be putting the backup drives to good use.

Didn’t win? Don’t sweat it. Enter for a chance to win over $6,000 of HP hardware here, and at 49 other sites!

$6000 HP Magic Giveaway Contest!


To the $6,000 Geeks to Go HP Magic Giveaway contest!


One winner will receive a prize package valued at over $6,000! Including all of the following:

Brought to you by HP, Microsoft, and

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