Posted tagged ‘tech’

Tips for handling end-user blunders with finesse

April 28, 2008

Bill Detwiler published a great post on TechRepublic last week on this topic.  And since I’m exceptionally busy right now (I’m working full time, in school full time, writing an article on rural e-commerce, have a wife and a 7-month-old, and am trying to learn golf), these last few posts have been referrals to other blogs that catch my eye.  They can usually say it better than I can anyhow. =)

So here’s a link to the post, and a preview too: “If you spend any time in IT, odds are you’re going to run across a few shocking examples of computer mistreatment. End users, even well-intentioned ones, can do some pretty wacky things when trying to “fix” their computers. …”

“Successfully handling end-user bloopers requires technical know-how, finesse, and above all professionalism. It’s also a key quality for IT support leaders. … Regardless of the environment you’re operating in, the following 10 tips can help you turn your next customer mistake into a positive experience.”

It’s a great post for any IT pro – have a look.


More tips and tricks for Windows XP

February 4, 2008

Greg Shultz wrote this great article on some of the advanced things you can do with Windows XP.  Based on the coming end of retail sales for XP, if you’re stocking up on licenses, you might also have a look at this article – some great timesavers (or just fun stuff).

Bluetooth helps bilateral amputee to walk again

January 26, 2008

This is amazing.

VIA unveils the Isaiah architecture

January 25, 2008

MapVIA silicon wafer  

There’s a rule I learned in the performing arts, and it’s true in the PC world as well.  “You have to be first, best, or different.”  In the processor world, Intel and AMD are constantly fighting over ‘best.’  Intel was arguably the first on the affordable/reliable/marketable dual-core scene.  So VIA is only left with one choice – different.  And they are.

I don’t own a VIA processor.  But the thought that I might eventually has actually entered my brain.  Today, the Taiwan-based manufacturer released the first pictures of its new processor architecture, codenamed “Isaiah.”  Let’s skip the jokes about prophecies of Biblical proportions.  The fact is, VIA probably doesn’t have the option of making such an impact.  Not right now.  But, here’s what makes Isaiah special.  VIA’s website boasts:

The first processors implementing the VIA Isaiah Architecture will use proven 65 nanometer technology for greater power efficiency, which, combined with new enhanced power and thermal management capabilities, will ensure the best performance per watt on the market and help drive the rapidly emerging categories of green, silent and small form factor desktop PCs and home media centers, and ultra thin and light notebooks and mini-notes.

It’s an x86 dual-core processor at 2.0 GHz.  It uses less power than its big-name counterparts, uses a 65 nm process, and will support 64-bit programs.  It’s environmentally friendly, and it’s compatible with the VIA C7 socket, making for an easy upgrade.  The only problem – it’s VIA, not Intel.

Let me explain that (if you’re not familiar with the politics of processors).  VIA’s sales last year were about US 450 million.  According to the New Mexico Business Weekly, total chip sales last year were $270 billon.  That puts VIA with .17% (that’s one-sixth of one percent) of the market share (I believe that’s for all chips, not just for processors).  I’ve heard that Intel had about 12 percent of the market last year.

So, VIA isn’t exactly ruling the world.  But here’s what I like about them.  They aren’t quitting.  They are challenging ‘the man’ (or both of them, actually – Intel/AMD), and they are doing it with style.  They are the different.  The eco-friendly.  The chic (in a nerdy way).  I like that they want to make processors that, in a small way, help preserve the resources we have.  I’m not an environmentalist, but I believe strongly that we should wisely use our resources and not destroy and waste unnecessarily.  So I like VIA.  And one of these days, there’s a pretty good chance I will build with VIA.  In fact, there’s a great chance that I will (now that they are making 2.0 GHz duallies).

OK, so it’s not as fast as the Q6600 (G0) in my PC.  But I like VIA, and I’m excited to see what they are doing.  And since Isaiah hits the market around the middle of this year, I will probably build a VIA rig at some point.  You know, help the environment and the little guy at the same time.

Check them out.

Why another blog?

January 25, 2008

My idea behind having this blog is to chronicle my own adventures in technology – specifically, in IT.  My hope is that information and discussion on this blog will help you and me in the “stuff we need to get done.”  I hope that you will feel free to discuss and give input.  I intend to primarily cover the following topics:


          technology news

          cultural context of technology

          tips, tricks, and ideas

          solution of tech issues


Of course, if you have questions or want to see a topic covered, let me know.