Saturday, November 17, 2012

Desktop computers

Intel, best known for manufacturing CPU's for Windows computers, are now starting to produce complete desktop computers. These will be sold without RAM, Hard drive or Operating system, but come with USB and HDMI ports. Just add the Ram and Disk drive you want. Install XP or a Linux distribution of choice. Next install the latest Firefox / Chrome browser, Libreoffice and VLC for media playing, all of which will continue to support XP.
Tablets are making Laptops redundant but these are no substitute for Desktop computers. It is estimated that over 80% of large businesses use XP. Even though these computers are designed for commercial use there is certainly no reason not to use them in the home. All you need is an old XP disk and certification number. There are a number of manufacturers also putting something similar on the market next month. Unfortunately these computers will only be sold from Online Stores. XP disks are still readily available for sale, new and used, but not by Microsoft.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


Asus has just started selling its latest 12 inch Laptop for just US $199. This is not a Windows machine but is based on the "Second generation" ChromeOS. This is a reliable system with basically just a web browser and file manager, kept up to date by Google, and used mostly Online. The first generation of ChromeOS didn't do well due to lack of Offline applications, but this has largely been fixed with the addition of Offline document editing, picture viewing, music and movie players. Ports for USB, SD cards, HDMI output are built in. A 320Gb Hard drive is used for local storage. If you use a computer mostly for surfing the Internet, E-mail, writing documents and media playing without needing a Virus checker this could be a good cheap choice.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

A Linux Distro from New Zealand

The Desktop may look bland but this is on purpose. The Menu, which is on the bottom left is equally simple. The idea is that the user controls the items in the Menu and Desktop that are shown. The operating system underneath is based on "Ubuntu Long Term Support". Installation is automatically setup for NZ with the latest Firefox Browser, Thunderbird e-mailer, VLC media player, Eye of Gnome picture viewer and Libre office 3.6. There is a quick setup for "Wine" which allows a great many Windows programs to run. Ubuntu repository gives access to thousands more programs, mostly free. This is a first release of this operating system (1.0.0), hoping to take advantage of the confusion that is going to be left behind in Windows 8.(Widows 8, Windows 8 RT, Windows Surface, With or without Touch Screen).

Windows 8 Laptops

Windows 8 Laptops are now the main computers sold through the retail outlets. However, unless over $1200 is paid for one they do not have a "Touch Screen". Basically you have a "Touch Screen" interface without an actual "Touch Screen", making them difficult to use. There is a "Tile" that allows an old type Desktop to be used, but many parts taken for granted have been omitted with this version. The more expensive "Touch screen" types are awkward to use in a laptop but should be easier to use on a "Tablet" which is what this interface was designed for. Microsoft have put aside a billion dollars for advertising these to let you know how easy they are to use. These laptops should not be confused with the new "Windows 8 RT" types which look the same outwardly but are totally different inside and  do not run any Windows 7 / XP programs. The alternative Desktop can only be accessed from the Tiles, and the machine can only be shutdown from the Tiles. No doubt some hacker will soon find a way to get around this. Boot up time has been halved as it only recalls an image of the last session on startup. Program speed is approximately the same as for Windows 7 on a similar machine.