“The Doctor Really IS Out of Here Edition” of Dr. Bill Podcast #155

Dr. Bill Podcast – 155 – (09/27/08)
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Microsoft Virtualization, OpenOffice 3.0 Release Candidate 2 is out, Geek Software of the Week: HD Tune, Microsofts Ads made with Mac, LHC broke, Google can’t commit? VMware releases ESXi, Linux #1 in supercomputing, the HD Slingbox, GSotW Extra: The Glary Utilities, and the Doctor really IS out of here!

Geek Software of the Week – EXTRA: The Glary Utilities!

Glary UtilitiesSometimes there is a utility that forces you to have an extra GSotW! These utilities are THAT good! It covers SO many areas that will help speed up your PC… you NEED to download them and use them! Seriously! You will notice the difference! And, of course, they are free!

Glary Utilities – Glarysoft

“Glary Utilities is the #1 free, powerful and all-in-one utility in the world market! It offers numerous powerful and easy-to-use system tools and utilities to fix, speed up, maintain and protect your PC.

  • Optimize, clean and boost the speed of your Windows.
  • Protect your privacy and security.
  • Block spyware, trojans, adware, etc.
  • Fix certain application errors.
  • Simple, fast and User friendly interface
  • For only private use

Glary Utilities offers numerous powerful and easy-to-use system tools and utilities to fix, speed up, maintain and protect your PC. It allows you to clean common system junk files, as well as invalid registry entries and Internet traces. You can manage and delete browser add-ons, analyze disk space usage and find duplicate files. You can also view and manage installed shell extensions, encrypt your files from unauthorized access and use, split large files into smaller manageable files and then rejoin them. Furthermore, Glary Utilities includes the options to optimize memory, find, fix, or remove broken Windows shortcuts, manage the programs that start at Windows startup and uninstall software. Other features include secure file deletion, an Empty Folder finder and more. All Glary Utilities tools can be accessed through an eye-pleasing and totally simplistic interface.”

Slingbox HD is Finally Out!

I have a “regular” Slingbox, and it is pretty dog gone cool! It allows you to connect the slingbox to your TV and DVR, and then connect it to your Internet connection… and then watch your TV shows from anywhere on the Internet! So, from my Mom’s house at the lake, I can watch a recorded DVR show… cool! Now they have an HD version! Very cool!

High-def Slingbox enters the market

“News from Sling Media hasn’t been this big in quite a while. The Slingbox Pro-HD is now available — the company’s first device that enables streaming of high-definition content. Though the device is half a year late, the new Slingbox Pro-HD is fortunately over a hundred dollars cheaper than originally anticipated. Priced at $299.99, the Slingbox Pro-HD can be purchased directly from Sling, or at select stores throughout the country. Select stores? As it turns out, those stores’ locations are quite sparse. In Maryland, for example, there are no stores selling the device at all. Maryland residents would have to drive to either Virginia or Pennsylvania to buy a Slingbox Pro in person. Sling Media says that eventually Best Buy, Fry’s, J&R, Microcenter, and more will begin carrying the device in the coming weeks. For the Slingbox Pro-HD to work as intended, a home connection with a 1.5 Mbps or higher uplink speed is necessary. HD sources can be one of the following: over-the-air HD digital signals (ATSC), digital cable channels (Clear QAM), HDTV cable set-top boxes, HDTV satellite receivers, or HD DVRs.”

Linux is #1 in Supercomputing!

One place where Linux is definitely number one, and Microsoft is way down in the pack… is in the rarefied air of supercomputing! Our old buddy, Steven J. Vaughn-Nichols has a great article about this in Computerworld:

Where Windows is #2 to Linux

“Microsoft encourages us to think of Linux, when we think of it as all, as an also-ran operating systems for nerds. The last thing Microsoft wants us to think about is that there are some spaces where Microsoft is a distant number two and Linux is on top. Too bad Microsoft, there are several such places. One such is HPC (High Performance Computing). At HPC’s very highest end, supercomputers, Linux rules. The first computer to bust the petaflop, 1.0 quadrillion calculations per second, barrier? IBM’s Roadrunner supercomputer running Linux. Out of the Top 500 supercomputers in the world, over 80% of them are running Linux. Better still, Linux manages to pull this off by largely using off-the-shelf components unlike the supercomputers of years gone by. Instead of specialized hardware, the Roadrunner uses AMD Opteron and Sony, Toshiba and IBM’s Cell processors. Yes, that’s the same Cell CPU that’s inside your Sony PlayStation 3. Linux has been making the most from the least in supercomputing since 1994, when Thomas Sterling and Don Becker, at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center’s CESDIS (Center of Excellence in Space Data and Information Sciences) created the first Beowulf Linux-powered clustered supercomputer. That first system, which was made up of 16 486-DX4 processors connected by channel bonded Ethernet, proved you could deliver supercomputing performance with COTS (Commodity off the Shelf) based systems. I’ve always regretted that I had left Goddard several years earlier so I never had a chance to get my name into a footnote of supercomputing and Linux history. HPC’s real bread and butter isn’t supercomputers though. It’s managing, or trying to manage the madness that is the financial markets. Wall Street runs on Linux. Almost all the major financial markets rely, to one extent or another, on Linux.”

VMware Releases ESXi for FREE!

Wow! VMware has released a version of their bare-metal hypervisor for free! It is VMware ESXi, and it will install directly on your hardware, and can be managed with VMware VirtualCenter Server. It fact it can be managed together with an existing ESXserver cluster. This is cool stuff!

VMware ESXi Information

They have also announced a new version of their VMware Server free product, which installs on top of an existing operating system. More info on that here:

VMware Server Information

“Run all your production applications at near-native performance on VMware’s next-generation OS-independent hypervisor, now available for free. VMware ESXi has the same functionality and performance as VMware ESX but with a 32 MB disk footprint. With the ability to seamlessly upgrade to VMware Infrastructure 3, customers can add the benefits of server consolidation, automatic load balancing and business continuity to VMware ESXi.”

Can’t Google Finish Anything?

45% of all Google applications are still in Beta… Gmail has been in beta since it was released, and we don’t even notice that it is a beta anymore!

Half baked: 45 percent of Google projects in beta

“Google has an infamous propensity to keep projects in beta for an unusually long time, and now somebody has gone to the trouble of quantifying just how widespread the testing tag is at the Internet giant. ‘Of the 49 Google products we could find, 22 are in beta. That’s 45 percent,’ not including Google Labs projects, according to a Wednesday blog post at Pingdom, a Web site performance monitoring company. ‘We’re so used to seeing the little ‘beta tag next to the various Google product logos that we almost don’t register it anymore. We even had to double-check that Gmail really still was in beta.’ Google told me a few months ago the beta tag would come off Gmail ‘soon,’ but clearly the company is leery of doing so. Royal Pingdom was mystified by Google’s criteria for beta labeling, and I have been, too. It’s true that it’s easier to treat Web-based apps as a work in progress: a company can upgrade the entire user base to a new version of Flickr, say, just by updating the software on the central servers rather than having to cajole millions of users to install a patch. But there comes a point where labeling something as beta gives the impression that the project’s backer is scared to make a commitment to prospective users or customers.”

Large Hadron Collider… Broke

Technical problems with the LHC have caused the need for a shutdown until next Spring (2009.) So you “end of the world” folks due to the LHC will be able to enjoy Christmas, anyway!

LHC shut down until early spring

“Professor Peter Higgs will have to wait at least a few additional seasons to find out whether his long-held theory on how matter has mass is right. That’s because officials announced Tuesday that the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), which could confirm the existence of a theoretical particle name after Higgs, will remain shut down until at least early spring. The LHC, the world’s largest particle collider, is located in a nearly 17-mile-long circular tunnel along the French-Swiss border about 330 feet underground. Built by the European Organization for Nuclear Research (or CERN), it promises to push forward theories of particle physics, such as the Higgs Boson, and the fundamental building blocks of all things. The collider was officially launched on September 10 when the first particle beam was successfully sent around the full circuit. However, it hit a major glitch last week when a mechanical failure triggered a helium leak and forced a shutdown for what was initially reported to be at least two months. Now it looks like the investigation and repairs won’t be finished in time to restart the LHC before CERN’s obligatory winter maintenance period, pushing the restart date back to early spring 2009, officials said.”

“I’m a PC” Microsoft Ads, Made by Mac!

This is good… the new “non-Seinfeld” Microsoft ads, that show a lot of different people, saying, “I’m a PC” were made on a Mac! Makes sense, most advertising, media, and graphics companies that work with imaging do use Macs at one time or another, but, given the commercial, this is just too cool!

Microsoft’s ‘I’m a PC’ ad images made on Macs

“Several digital images that Microsoft Corp. has posted on its Web site to trumpet its new ‘I’m a PC’ advertising campaign were actually created on Macs, according to the files’ originating-software stamp. Four of the images that Microsoft made available on its PressPass site today display the designation ‘Adobe Photoshop C3 Macintosh’ when their file properties are examined. The images appear to be frames from the television ads that Microsoft will launch later today. One of the images is of a real Microsoft engineer, identified only as ‘Sean,’ who resembles John Hodgman, the actor who plays the PC character in Apple Inc.’s iconic ads. Reportedly, Microsoft will play off Apple’s own campaign — during which Hodgman introduces himself with the line, ‘Hello, I’m a PC’ — with its engineer saying ‘Hello, I’m a PC, and I’ve been made into a stereotype.’ Other images posted by Microsoft today include shots of author Deepak Chopra; Canadian adventurer and educator Geoff Green, founder of Students on Ice Expeditions; and a shark-surrounded diver named ‘Meaghan.’ Not all of the images on the PressPass site were generated on Macs. The sample print ads, which highlight the campaign’s ‘Life Without Walls’ slogan, were produced using the Windows version of Adobe Photoshop, according to their files. The originating software and platform can be found in downloaded versions of the files using built-in tools on either a Mac running Mac OS X or on a PC running Windows.”

Geek Software of the Week: HD Tune!

HD TuneLooking for a great, free, hard disk utility? Well, look no further than HD Tune! Check out what it can do!

HD Tune Disk Utility

This is a great tool for benchmarking, testing, and just generally getting familiar with your hard drive. Can you trust your data to a hard drive that hasn’t been adequately put through it’s paces? Well, now you can! And, it is FREE… I love FREE! There is a “Pro” version, and if you need it’s advanced features, go for it!

“HD Tune is a Hard Disk utility which has the following functions:

* Benchmark: measures the performance
* Info: shows detailed information
* Health: checks the health status by using SMART
* Error Scan: scans the surface for errors
* Temperature display

HD Tune may also work with other storage devices such as memory cards, USB sticks, iPods, etc.”

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