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Crapware and Windows September 8, 2007

Posted by sk in Microsoft, windows.

If crapware is ruining your Windows Vista experience, is Microsoft to blame? Well, I guess, sort of. After all, the operating system is the most noticeable part of your computing experience. Cheap parts, bad drivers, PCs loaded with crapware – nothing matters. If there’s a problem, it must be with Vista. I was reading a post where the writer talked about Microsoft advertising free games on the computer. The only problem — it’s not Microsoft that’s doing it but the PC manufacturer. Of course, you or I would know that but there are some ignorant people out there who don’t realize or understand it (such as the writer of that blog post). And again, I really don’t blame them. Is there no way to change things? Well, fortunately or unfortunately, Microsoft can no longer pressurize OEMs ever since the monopoly ruling. PC manufacturers, therefore, in an effort to save costs, fill up their computers with free trial versions of software.

One way out is to use a tool called PC decrapifier, which removes some of this crapware, but not all of it. Some OEMs are beginning to work on this and Dell recently introduced a line of crapware free computers (Vostro). My friend also got his XPS laptop without any of this crapware and he’s very happy with Vista Business. Most others haven’t caught up yet. Hopefully, as Apple’s marketshare continues to rise, more and more PC manufacturers will fall in line.

The other option is of course, is to switch – either to a Mac or to Linux.  Ubuntu Linux is a pretty good distro and offers some of the cool 3d animations and effects found in Vista and OS X. Moreover, it’s free and ad-free. With Macs, since Apple controls the hardware too, they load only trial versions of their own software. However, if you want a computer at bargain basement prices, like the blog author did, you have to live with crapware.

I’m not saying Vista is perfect. Like any new software, it has its share of problems. It’s still slower than XP (in my opinion) on equivalent hardware. Moreover, the wireless networking problems haven’t been fixed yet.  However, six months after I switched, I haven’t seen any reason to go back to XP. My experience with Vista has been pretty good so far. Hopefully SP1, which is due out in early 2008 will fix some of the problems.

OK. End of rant.

Microsoft is dying? – deleted April 9, 2007

Posted by sk in Apple, Google, Microsoft, Technology and Software, windows.

The intent of this post was to start a thoughtful discussion on the topic. Instead, it quickly degenerated into a name-calling session, which is why I have decided to delete it. I have provided a link for those of you who are interested in the topic.

<This is a pretty good read for those of you who are interested in the topic.>

Macs have no viruses November 23, 2006

Posted by sk in Apple, Humor, Microsoft, windows, Zune.


Flamebait? No?

In other tech news, Sidebar Geek, Brandon LeBlanc has a nice video of the Zune. By the way, our team is divided over the Zune, in case you haven’t already noticed it. planetsk didn’t like it. I did. ramare is too busy wondering why the product wasn’t marketed well to care about it. parmanu is not interested in it simply because he won’t be able to install LaTex on it.

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Windows Vista: Road to Gold November 5, 2006

Posted by sk in Microsoft, windows.

Microsoft’s oft-delayed OS finally goes into RTM sometime this week. In response, Paul Thurrott has written a series of articles that track Vista’s development during the last five years. I’m providing the links to them for those of you who are interested:

Wow! Five years is a long, long time for an Operating System to be in development, right? If you’re only interested in the present and future of Vista, read only Part 7.


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Late to the party November 2, 2006

Posted by sk in Blogroll, Linux, Linux(ubuntu), Microsoft, windows.

I know I’m late to the party – we reached this “milestone” a few days ago. We finally got our 10,000th hit. While other blogs have raced past us during the last few days, thanks to Riya Sen, we finally got to the 10,000 hit milestone it a couple of days back. So, after 50+ posts and 10,000+ hits, do we finally have a consensus on what we want to blog about? No. We’ve all decided instead to blog about our individual interests. Most of parmanu’s (formerly tismar khan) posts have been about India or space, with one interesting post about a superhero known as… parmanu. I blog mainly about Microsoft (and other companies’) technologies, with a few random posts that have no reason to be on this site. Planetsk has been the most random blogger on this site with four posts on four different topics. Dilletante had a single post about the Vande Mataram controversy.

Menu d'accueil de l'installation


I would also like to take this opportunity to mention that I will no longer be blogging about Microsoft or its products. Windows has been crashing on my laptop more often than not, so, with the help of my office mate who is a huge Linux fan, I installed Ubuntu Linux successfully on it and will be using it henceforth as my primary Operating System. So, i can finally say, “Goodbye spyware. Goodbye malware. Goodbye viruses!!!!” For the rest of you, have fun with your anti-virus and anti-spyware subscriptions, registry cleaners, and your $299 OS. Ubuntu is FREE!


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IE7 and FF2 comparison October 22, 2006

Posted by sk in Microsoft, Microsoft Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, windows.

I love Firefox 2.0, but this is just insane. I have 2 tabs (the same sites) open in both. WTF????? (I’ve opened the same pdf document in both IE and FF in one of the tabs and the sparks blog page in the second.

Scoble has a different experience. I don’t know what is wrong. I opened 12 tabs on each and closed 10 of them. I still feel Firefox is a better browser, by the way. It’s definitely faster.

By the way, I should point out that I’m not using a single Firefox extension or plugin. Also, for those who’re still using IE6, please do visit this page and download IE7 ASAP. It’s highly recommended. :-). In fact, I’ve found the final version of IE7 to be far superior in performance to RC1. They seemed to have fixed many of the annoying bugs. While there are a lot of people who have had issues with it, so far, I’ve found it to be a great browser.

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Firefox 2.0 is blazing fast October 17, 2006

Posted by sk in Microsoft Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Technology and Software, windows.

I switched from Firefox 1.5 to IE7 a few months ago because I loved some of the new features in IE7, especially how the tab feature was implemented. I also found IE7 to perform better. Yesterday, I decided to finally try Firefox 2.0 and I’m amazed at how fast it is. It’s amazingly fast and I haven’t run into any issues so far. It doesn’t feel like a pre-release software. Of course, I’ve been using it only for a day now and my opinion may change in future. But as of now, FF 2.0 is a clear winner in my book. Here’s a list of features that I like in IE and FF. IE7:

  1. It works without needing any plugins
  2. The UI is very cool and thoughtful
  3. The Quick tabs feature is awesome, especially if you have multiple tabs open
  4. A link to open a new tab is provided right next to the last opened tab.

Firefox 2.0:

  1. It’s fast – blazing fast
  2. It has a spell-checker (though I don’t see any need for it)*
  3. It’s highly customizable
  4. Performance is better than IE7’s

So, if you haven’t downloaded FF 2.0 yet, RC3 is available here. *UPDATE: The spell-checker is useful while commenting or posting directly to a blog from WP’s web interface. It does get annoying in the sense that it doesn’t recognize internet slangs.


Launchy for Windows September 28, 2006

Posted by sk in Computers & Internet, Microsoft, Technology and Software, windows.

 From Launchy.net

Launchy is a free windows utility designed to help you forget about your start menu, the icons on your desktop, and even your file manager.

Launchy indexes the programs in your start menu and can launch your documents, project files, folders, and bookmarks with just a few keystrokes!

More screenshots are available here. It’s a very useful tool. Simply press the key combination: Alt + Space to bring up the launcher and in a few keystrokes, you can run your favorite program. Furthermore, you can also index your documents, music, etc. The best part about the software is that it’s not made by Microsoft!! Of course, if you [still] think this software is worthless or you’ve found a better alternative, please feel free to leave comments.