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Saturday, September 26, 2009

PC Versus Mac Wars

It's hard to pick a start to this war. Apple was first in providing a personal computer between the two. But the IBM was really the first model designed for business. The hardware was really not the driving force between either version of personal computer, it was software. First with the operating system, then with the application software. I know that PC stands for personal computer but we're going to refer to the IBM/MS DOS/Windows personal computer as the PC for this article.

The IBM guys really didn't care about the home user, where as Apple was dedicated to that market. Software developers often worked both sides of the street and the war was on officially. Some programmers developed applications for both sides, some stuck to their chosen favorite. But the battle was back and forth depending on the newest software and features. Then IBM made a decision to adopt a new operating system for the IBM PCs rather than write their own. Enter Mr. Gates and Microsoft.

Apple made some inroads into the business world, the now famous MAC 1984 commercial for the first Macintosh PC that showed a heroine wearing red shorts and an Apple t-shirt running through an Orwellian world to throw a sledgehammer at an image of Big Brother, an implied representation of IBM and PCs. It was quickly picked up as the winner of commercials that year for the super bowl.

And it started to define the two separate markets and demographics. The cool side went for the Apple PCs, the business suit guys went for the IBM PCs. Lotus 123, the first major spreadsheet software to be embraced by the business community exploded the world of PCs.

Apple quickly lost ground since the business world bought computers by the 100s rather than one at a time like consumers. Plus IBM had a huge advantage of millions of terminals that could be replaced by the PC. And the PC now had access to mainframes applications and data by local PC applications. But Apple went after the specialty areas like video and music and quickly became the computer of choice for the entertainment and arts industries.

And then Windows 95 came out (there were earlier versions but they were a joke). It closely mimicked many of the Apple OS features with mice and windows for each application. Apple went nuts and filed lawsuits against Microsoft. But, one small detail was brought out that actually the whole graphical interface with a mouse was invented by Douglas Engelbart of the Augmentation Research Center, Stanford Research Institute and was patented back in 1964.

Anyway, the war continues today with different but similar looking graphical operating systems and mindsets. Apple and Microsoft still go after each other with vengeance and many followers of both sides are dedicated to say the least. So lets try an unbiased look at both the PC and the MAC personal computers.

These are not personal opinions, I like both and think that each has their weak and strong points. No hate mail from either sides please. Opposing view points welcome but keep the emotional tirades to a minimum. I do computer repair for a living and work on both. I do a lot more PC repair I'll admit but some of that is due to the sheer numbers of units out there.

Apple / Mac Pros: Very few security issues, viruses, malware, etc. Operating system is easier to learn for novices (that's not me that's research by independent labs). You don't have to reboot a MAC, and there are few, if any boot problems when you do. You can now run Windows on a MAC as well as on any PC. Multitouch technology (the ability to stretch, pinch, rotate, etc). Long active life, many last for well past 5 years.

Apple/ Mac Cons: Pricey, most apple products get a premium price. Not easily upgradeable, nor many options. IMac series is screen/computer combo unit so if it breaks, you need to replace both. Not as much software, many software prices are higher.

Windows PC Pros: Low priced, many options. Huge selection of software, lots of specialty verticle applications. Media, especially Tivo like services are much easier and available. Not proprietary in a way that keeps out competition. Universal use. Games run better and more are available.

Windows PC Cons: Primary target for viruses and malware, lots of security issues. Learning curve on operating system and software. Windows can often kill itself due both backwards compatible issues and open architecture. Lots of boot problems. Low prices drive up quality control issues and high failure rates of components.

Two recent developments that have changed the scenery somewhat is that Apple brought out the Mac Mini that sells for under $1000 (well under depending on configuration) and now also runs Windows (as fast as many PC machines). Both those factors bode well for the future of Apple.

And Microsoft is bringing out the long awaited Windows 7, which is the release that Vista was supposed to be back two years ago. I've played with Windows 7 and the good news is I don't see any of the compatibility issues of new Windows OS releases of the past.

In case you didn't notice, the strong points of one side are the weak points of the other and vice versa. A closed proprietary system eliminates many possible problems but limits competition. An open architecture spurs competition but can create many problems. From the support side, closed is a good thing, open is the Wild West since any software problem can break the rules and the operating software.

User interfaces are a very personal and subjective area. Those who like the Mac interface love the Mac interface. And Windows has its huge fan base too. I think it boils down to what each user is comfortable with and if the software is available to accomplish their given tasks.

Any new user or even experienced users in the market for a new computer should try out both a Mac and PC. Make a decision based on hands on experience and available software features to satisfy their daily needs. There's really no right or wrong decision, just one you need to make based on what works for you.

Learn how to find a great cheap desktop PC here: Cheap Desktop PCs. Need to get a desktop computer package deal? Learn how to get the best deal here: Desktop Computer Packages.

Use Dell 1100 Toner Refill Kit to Lower Printing Costs

Ever tried refilling a toner cartridge with fresh toner powder? If you answered a yes to that query then surely, you are privy to the benefits of toner refill kits. On the other hand if it's a no, then sad to say you missed out on the opportunity to a financial bonanza, which could be substantial when measured in terms of annual office or household expenditures.

How? Let's assume that the laser printer being used is a Dell 1100. The printer unit loads with its primary consumable, the OEM cartridge that is rated 3000 pages at 5% coverage. To replace the OEM cartridge you will need to spend at least $90 while a compatible toner refill kit is available for only $15. So setting aside performance where both can deliver the same print quality and yield, then the Dell 1100 toner refill kit is a runaway choice.

Why is the Toner Refill Kit low-priced?
Take note that the toner refill kit was intended to replenish the toner supply of an OEM cartridge, in a do-it-yourself manner. Thus, instead of getting the entire cartridge unit - which can be real hefty due to its expensive housing and moving parts, the kit only comes supplied with a bottle of fresh toner powder - along with some devices necessary in the conduct of the refill such as a a funnel cap, toner wipes, a pair of latex gloves and an instructional material. Some cartridges do not come with a fill hole so that the user will have to bore a hole into the cartridge to access the toner hopper with the use of a refill tool.

No wonder toner refill kits are sold at drop down prices by around 50% the tag price of a retail cartridge on the average.

Can we refill the OEM cartridge forever?
Well, there is always a limit to everything. In the case of OEM toner cartridges, what is recommended is a maximum of 3 refills to thus extend the cartridge's life to 3 cycles of printing. Users can conduct further refills but print quality and yield quantity cannot be guaranteed to match OEM standards at that point. The problem lies heavily on the manufacture and design of toner cartridges. Cartridges are manufactured with several moving parts inside the cavities. And since light materials are used, then what can be expected in the everyday use of the laser printer is the gradual wear and tear of pertinent cartridge parts. On the average, print quality begins to deteriorate following the third refill though some cartridge brands can survive 5 to 6 refills.

Do manufacturers and resellers provide after-sales services? Legitimate manufacturers and resellers operate dependable after-sales services. Users can either contact them over the phone toll free or via email and be rest assured that a customer service assistant is available to accommodate after sales inquiries and troubleshooting concerns.

The next time your Dell laser printer runs out of toner, refill the cartridge with a Dell toner refill kit.

An online entrepreneur of more than 10 years, Steve Maul recommends Laser Tek Services, Inc's superior line of toner refill kits. Get guaranteed savings of as much as 90% off your printer supplies budget from the high quality toner refill kits of

Top Netbooks Revealed!

Are you confused about the new generation of laptops? In three easy steps, you`ll be a novice no more! Netbooks are defined as the lighter, more compact, yet surprisingly powerful younger sibling to the laptop. Entrepreneurs on the go, students and anyone who has a need for mobile computing, owes it to themselves to investigate all that is new and shiny on the netbook scene!

Treat the prospective purchase of a netbook as you would any other purchase. You and your netbook will spend much time together - take one out for a spin and kick the tires before you make your decision! Knowing what your needs are, how much you are willing to spend and what the performance ratings are on the models you are attracted to will make the purchase must less painful!

Complete these three steps to reveal your perfect match:

1. Sit down and think about your needs. Knowing the answers to these questions will help to focus your search and discussions with any sales associates! Will you be using your netbook for business, pleasure, or strictly gaming? This will give you some idea of whether you need a large amount of memory and what type of software might optimize your computer experience. Know what you will be doing the most ... Excel spreadsheets, genealogy charts, putting together a recipe book for the church? There are software programs which will make your life easier - and some of them may come included at no charge with your netbook!

2. Compare Value! Visit the individual websites of the models which interest you. It is suggested making a sheet with several columns on to keep track of the information gathered. How much memory does the computer have? - Which software is included? - What are the associated costs of the upgrades you might wish?

3. Read consumer reports! Before making any type of purchase, I recommend reading consumer reports. Consumer Reports tests consumable goods and reports back on the good, bad and the ugly in each category. Look and see how your perfect match compares to the other top models tested and how the model you were thinking about purchasing matches your needs.

4. Find a bargain! Log onto online stores to see if the model you have selected is on sale online or in an area store. Most of the top netbooks range in price from US $299 - $399.

There are many sites which compare netbooks and other consumable goods. According to the web site Laptopmatrix, the top netbooks were listed as: Samsung; Acer Aspire One; Asees Eee PC901; Lenovo Idea S10; MSI Wind u100; Dell Inspiron Mini; Asees Eee PC 1005HA.

Most of the entries on Laptopmatrix website were comparable in memory, etc. with the exception to the Lenovo model which had considerably less memory.

Consumer Reports, however, list the top three netbooks as the Acer Aspire One models, in this particular order: Acer Aspire One A0751h 1259; Acer Aspire One AOA 150; Acer Aspire One AOD 156-1165.

To find information on these and any netbooks you may be interested in, please visit the manufacturer's website for more complete information - and live happily ever after with your perfect match!

Roberto Sedycias works as IT consultant for Polomercantil

How to Make Your Computer Run Faster in Just a Few Clicks

You're not the only one who wants to know how to make your computer run faster as it is one of the 2 biggest complaints about computers today. The other gripe is about performance and I'm going to show you how to sort out both issues, with ease.

Your computer is not slowing down due to old age, as manufacturers would love you to believe. The real reason for the big slowdown and sluggish behaviour has to do with the registry. In modern computing, the registry is truly overused and there is little you can do to change that. Every time you want to open a file or programme, the registry has to be accessed. More than that, the computer has to point to a certain place in the registry. Over time, the registry gets cluttered and bits and pieces of files and software are left behind when you delete them. This means that it takes much longer to point to the right place and sometimes it can't find it at all and that's when other errors start happening.

What you should do, is to perform a windows registry clean up every now and then. Considering that you've most likely never been in the registry as such, this can seem a daunting task. Please don't even try it on your own as there's superb software available to do all the hard work for you. It'll do a free registry scan for you and can repair all the errors in a click. Take a few minutes and download it right now.

Here is the #1 solution if you want to know how to make your computer run faster, guarantee your PC speed by clicking here.

Make Vista Faster - Do it Yourself

There are a lot of things that you can do to make Vista faster and the good news is that you needn't be a technical wizard to do it either. Just a few changes can make a big difference to make Vista faster. I'm going to share a little tweak that has a big impact.

Has it occurred to you that it takes longer to open a window in Vista than it ever did in XP? For some reason unknown to me, Microsoft have decided that they should delay the opening of a window and there is actually a setting for it in the registry. If you take note, you'll see there is a delay of up to a second or more when you open a window. Follow the steps below and that delay will be gone forever.

Here's what you do. Click on the start button and access the search box. Type in the word "Regedit" and then click OK. Now locate HKEY_CURRENT_USER on the left hand menu and find Control Panel. Click Control Panel and then Desktop. Now, look on the right hand side for MenuShowDelay and double click it. In the box that appears, change the number to 100. Click OK and close the window. Double click to open any window and see the difference it makes!

Of course, the best way to make Vista faster, and XP for that matter, is to use a registry cleaner. It really speeds up your computer and sorts out any errors on your computer in a jiffy.

If your computer is running slow or giving trouble, this is the #1 software to make Vista faster, just click here.

Freecom intros first USB 3.0 storage drive

Freecom has unveiled its external "Hard Drive XS 3.0," the first mainstream storage product to support SuperSpeed USB 3.0. Being equipped with the latest USB spec, Freecom's external drive doesn't disappoint, with approximate transfer rates of 130MB/s. "We now can transfer a 5GB movie in just 38 seconds -- it's unbelievably fast," said Axel Lucassen, managing director of the Dutch storage company.

Lucassen went on to boast that in addition to being fast, the Hard Drive XS 3.0 will be the "safest storage solution on the market," as it features high-speed AES 256-bit hardware encryption. The drive will be fairly priced too, with a 1TB model running about 99 GBP (or $160). Unfortunately, that does not include the company's USB 3.0 controller card, which costs an additional 23 GBP for desktop systems, and 26 GBP for notebook.

The company will provide drivers for Windows XP and Vista, and Windows 7 should supposedly have native driver support -- Mac users are out of luck, though. Freecom's Hard Drive XS 3.0 will be available in Europe from mid-November in 1TB, 1.5TB and 2TB flavors.

Windows 7 launch may not incite PC sales

Generally speaking, PC sales surge when Microsoft launches a new version of Windows. Steeper system requirements among other motives exist for people to purchase a new machine along with a fresh Windows build. Recognizing this, suppliers often beef up their stock shortly before launch dates. That was true for Windows Vista and Windows XP, but may not be so for Windows 7.

There are some concerns, sourced from notebook vendors according to Digitimes, that the launch of Windows 7 will have a minimal impact on PC sales this year. Rather, sales aren't expected to pick up until many months later, during the second half of 2010. At that point, they say, larger companies will start releasing money for upgrades, and the market will respond accordingly. In the meantime, it could mean that resellers who stock up too much in anticipation of a strong market this year may find themselves with a surplus of Windows 7 machines.

Overstocked inventory may hurt suppliers, but it will likely be beneficial to end users -- at first, anyway -- as companies offload goods that aren't moving. Windows 7 has had a fairly interesting marketing campaign this year, though it can't quite match the level of excitement Microsoft had behind Windows Vista. Is that playing a part in these rumors, or is it more of an artifact of a slumping PC market?