Archive for the ‘Computing’ Category

The Dell XPS 18: A Legitimate Windows 8 Device

Wednesday, March 13th, 2013

dell-xps-18-the-verge-2

At home, we share a Macbook Pro 13 for all household computing needs: watching online TV, Facebook, programming, gaming, etc. This arrangement poses several problems, primarily that we can’t all use the device at the same time, unless we are watching TV.

I’ve hesitated getting another computer ever since the release of Windows 8. First, I would not purchase a Windows laptop. None could match my satisfaction of a Macbook Pro, with or without Windows. The Microsoft Surface is the best all around laptop in the lot but it still feels like a toy and I’m looking for a device that can be more than just a 10 inch display. Traditional desktops are also out of the question. We have neither desk nor space in the apartment. As for getting another Macbook, I am waiting for their next iteration in June to see what Apple has in store. They traditionally upgrade their lines with better hardware and drop the prices on existing models around that time.

It seemed the purchase of a second computer was postponed for another time until this recent announcement of the XPS 18 from Dell. Thought it is a desktop, it could be transported like a (big) tablet and set up in any room of the house. It will have a small profile and could be placed in a bookcase or hidden out of sight until its ready to be taken out. In addition, the screen is generous and would be great for light gaming or TV.

dell-xps-18-the-verge-2

I can’t say today that this device is a definite buy. However, I have not been this excited about a Windows 8 device since November and I can’t wait to get my hands on it in the coming months.

Original images from The Verge.

Who Will Buy Windows 8?

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

The latest version of the Windows operating system introduces a two-interface system that attempts to cater to the desktop and the tablet user at the same time. All new PCs will come with the new operating system and most will feature a touch-enabled screen. With so much riding on the Windows 8 style change, one has to wonder, who is Microsoft’s target demographic in this latest release?

Thursday, October 25th, Microsoft officially released Windows 8. The colourful new successor to Windows 7 includes two view modes, and the default mode is not what you would expect. Instead of the traditional desktop with start menu, Microsoft has opted for a default tile-based, touch-friendly interface, from which you can launch “light” applications or bring up the desktop. Gone too is the start menu. Instead replaced with “sensitive edges” and their corresponding menus. Already, some users are frustrated.

To Microsoft’s credit, their efforts in building Windows 8 are commendable. They reached out to many hardware partners who, on launch date, had already announced a line of touch-enabled, laptop-tablet hybrids and compatible peripherals. Some new devices run the full Windows 8 experience, while others run a tile-view version of the operating system called Windows RT. Microsoft even went so far as to build their own tablet hardware.

With this new operating system, Microsoft is also bundling Office “Lite” and free cloud storage. There will be a nice offering of other features out of the box and an app store to satisfy many customer’s needs. As adoption increases, and it will given Microsoft’s dominance in the computer market, the number of features and applications will grow. Though, for most of us PC users, this new operating system just doesn’t fit well.

To the traditional PC user, Mac OSX may look more like the Windows they are used to, more so than Windows 8. To those consumers interested in a tablet, Apple’s line of iPads, or the Android devices from Amazon and Google, may feel like the tried and tested choice. And let’s not forget the majority of the public and the corporate users who are happily entrenched with Windows 7 or XP.

The new Windows operating system is for that sliver segment of user who need something between a tablet and an ultrabook (a slender, lightweight laptop). A device that handles both the simplicity of a touch interface in a tablet package and the capabilities of a full laptop experience. Has Microsoft found a growing market segment? Our attention will be on them in the coming months.

Google+ releases pages

Monday, November 7th, 2011

Google+ may not be Facebook or Twitter but it still has steam. Today, the Plus team released Google+ Pages. Very much like Facebook Pages, Google+ Pages allow your business to broadcast itself and connect with followers via the Circles functionality.

For more on this new feature, check out Google’s own press release below.

http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2011/11/google-pages-connect-with-all-things.html

Pages are not open for everyone yet. Send your email to info@webit.ca and we’ll notify you when they are ready.

Update

Google+ Pages now online.

Find large files on Mac OSX

Thursday, October 13th, 2011

The following terminal command is great for finding those large, hidden files on your hard drive:

cd / && sudo find . -size +1024k -ls

Substitute 1024 with a size you consider big for a file (in kilobytes). In the example, the command sequence will find all files over a megabyte in size.

Plus’d

Friday, July 8th, 2011

Definition:
To be voted on in Google+
Past tense of the verb To Plus. eg. “I plus’d you on Google+”

Synonyms:
Plus One’d, One Plus’d

Firefox won’t load a webpage?

Wednesday, April 27th, 2011
Screenshot of Facebook not loading in Firefox

So your Firefox web browser refuses to load a page? Perhaps you’ve recently updated to the latest Firefox and now things don’t work as you expected. Bellow is a list of solutions that I use when Firefox won’t load a page.

1) Clear the cache and reload the page (Ctrl + Shift + R).

2) Disable all your Add-Ons. Check if the webpage loads. If it does, then one of the Add-Ons is at fault. Start re-enabling them one by one until you find the culprit. For more, see the Firefox Add-On troubleshooting page.

3) The problem is a browser misconfiguration or some problem with the installation, perhaps. Download another copy of Firefox, uninstall your current version (back up those bookmarks!) and install the downloaded version (Add-Ons will have to be re-installed afterward).

Hope these tips help you resolve your Firefox page loading issues.

Reclaim Some Privacy: 3rd-party Cookies

Wednesday, May 12th, 2010

Which sites are Facebook and Google tracking you on? It could be any.

Each time you visit a site that implements either Facebook’s or Google’s widgets (Like button, AdSense) or traffic monitoring (Analytics), you are exposing your browsing history. It’s like a credit card company knowing your shopping habits by tracking your purchases. Unlike with credit cards, you can do something about it.

One small step to reclaim your privacy is by disabling 3rd party cookies in your browser. Doing this prevents your browser from sending your information to a site other than the one you’re visiting. Here’s how you do it.

Google Chrome

  • Select Chrome > Preferences on the menu bar.
  • Click the Under the Hood tab.
  • Click Content settings in the “Privacy” section.
  • Check Block all third-party cookies without exception

Firefox

http://support.mozilla.com/en-US/kb/Disabling+third+party+cookies

Safari or Opera

You’re in luck, 3rd party cookies are disabled by default.

Internet Explorer

By disabling 3rd party cookies, you’re taking back some control over your privacy.