Archive for November 2006

Emergence Of Web Operating Systems

November 29, 2006

It seems as the Internet grows and more people access the Internet using broadband access, along with a movement to access your files anywhere and everywhere, there is a new crop of programs being created called Web OSes.  What are these Web OSes?  They are basically a total desktop solution accessible via a web browser.  They have the look and feel as a complete computer system.  There are three examples, which I have been checking out recently.  You can sign up for all three for free and check them out.  The first is called EyeOS.  

eyeOS is an Open Source Web Desktop Environment. The basic System comes with some office and PIM applications, and the complete eyeOS software database can be found at eyeApps.org.

  The second one is called, ORCA desktop

ORCA is an online system designed to resemble any standard PC desktop while making it accessible from anywhere in the world. It is designed to reduce costs, improve productivity, and enable users to work mobility-centric.

The third Web OS, that I have been looking at is Goowy.  I reported on Goowy in an earlier posting of this blog. 

Goowy is a service that offers you simple, intuitive tools for communicating and sharing on the web.

There are more Web OSes out there, but I wanted to list three options to check out.  These may offer you a nice solution when you are traveling on the road or for use at home or at work.smile_regular

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Pinger Voicemail Service

November 27, 2006

I ran across this great new service for your cell phone call Pinger. Pinger allows you to send brief voice messages via your cell phone to friends email and more. The service is Free!smile_regular Here is what the web site for pinger has to say:

Pinger is instant voice messaging for your mobile phone. With Pinger you send voice messages directly to someone instantly—no ringing, no greetings, no lengthy prompts. Pinger is fast and efficient like email, but with your voice. It’s mobile like text messaging, but with more personality.

They have a great demo video on their web site that demonstrates the Pinger service. It syncs with your Outlook calendar and you can add your own accounts. I like it because you dial a number and then create a message and you just say the name of who you want to send it to. It will allow you to send the message to multiple people. You can even reply instantly to a message or foward it even.

Google Launches Web Book Reader

November 25, 2006

On Wednesday, Nov. 22nd, Google launched a web book reader which will allows viewers to read books digitized by their Book Search project.  This interactive tool works inside a web browser (ie. Internet Explorer, Firefox).  It allows you to zoom in on a page, view the reader in fullscreen mode, and the ability to view one page at a time or in a 2-page mode like a regular book.  You can still view the books in PDF but if you use their web book reader you can avoid the bulking Adobe Reader program.  Other features of the web book reader are search and table of contents. 

For now the number of books available is limited.  Google is in the process of digitizing a number of libraries such as the New York Public Library, Harvard, Oxford, Sanford Universities etc.  Click the link to see an example of the Web Reader.

Portable Apps

November 21, 2006

Have you ever needed to access the web or work on a document but have to borrow another computer or work on a project on multiple computers?  Now, you can do so with ease using Portable Apps.  You can download either individual programs or a program suite and load them onto a USB Flash drive, iPod, or portable hard drive and access these programs on any Windows computer.  You can even take all of your bookmarks and email settings with you all without leaving your personal data behind.  These applications are convenient, open, and free.  Portable Apps saved me with a project once.  I created a presentation in Photo Story 3 and needed to show it on another computer that had an outdated Windows Media Player, so I saved the file along with the Portable VLC Player and was able to show the presentation on this other machine.

There are two versions of the Portable Apps Suite available and you can add additional programs to these suites when necessary.  The suites come with a Portable Apps Menu to make it easy to access the programs.  Check out the Portable Apps web site for more details.

Rethinking AOL

November 20, 2006

  As an I.T. person, I have always discouraged the use of AOL as the software takes over the system and fouls things up.  Working with users in the workplace who have AOL on their computers has been problematic at times, however, with the new AOL Web 2.0, I’m beginning to rethink my position on AOL.  I still don’t recommend installing their software and using their ISP services, but I do recommend looking at the new Free services that AOL has to offer for those who already have access to the Internet.  Some of these features are as follows:  Free 2 gigabyte email address, 5 gigabytes of online storage via X-Drive, access to 20 XM-Radio stations, and their free anti-virus software and of course, there is the AOL Instant Messenger which recently added social networking features.

You can access the email via a web browser or use IMAP features in an email program such as Microsoft Outlook or Mozilla Thunderbird and so you don’t need to install their software to access the email.  I recommend the AOL anti-virus software called Active Virus Shield as it is based on the Kapersky Anti-virus software.  Check out AOL.com for more information.

Is Your Computer Vista Ready???

November 17, 2006

vista.pngJanuary 30, 2007 is the consumer launch date of Windows Vista. Is your computer Vista ready? To make sure that you get the most out of Windows Vista, you should make sure that your computer is Vista Premium Ready. If you plan on buying a computer for Vista either now or after the release make sure that the computer is Vista Premium Ready and not just Vista compatible. Qualifying for Vista Compatible is to run just Windows Vista Home Basic which doesn’t include the new Aero Glass features which is one of the key new technologies. See Microsoft’s Windows Vista Get Ready web site for more info.

A Windows Vista Premium Ready PC includes at least:

  1. 1 GHz 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor
  2. 1 GB of system memory.
  3. Support for DirectX 9 graphics with a WDDM driver, 128 MB of graphics memory (minimum)
  4. Pixel Shader 2.0 and 32 bits per pixel.
  5. 40 GB of hard drive capacity with 15 GB free space.
  6. DVD-ROM Drive
  7. Audio output capability.
  8. Internet access capability.

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Oops, Zune Isn’t Compatible With Windows Vista

November 17, 2006

In the rush to get Zune out the door for the holidays, Microsoft didn’t make sure that the Zune player was compatible with their upcoming OS, Windows Vista.  On the plus side, Vista isn’t available to the mass public until January 30th and so that gives Microsoft some time to make it compatible, but if you bought a Zune and are a beta tester for Vista, then you won’t be able to use Zune.  If I were Microsoft, I would have made sure that Zune worked with Vista as it is sort of a slap in the face from itself that they aren’t compatible.  I hope Microsoft will have an update for the Zune by January 30th.