Sneak Peek: Linspire Announces a Mini!

Linspire is my favorite Linux-that-works-like-Windows. I use CentOS on my servers, and Debian Sarge on my home file server, but I use Linspire as my desktop of choice. In fact, this weekend, I am setting up my son, Ben’s, laptop with Linspire! Now, Linspire has announced a “Mac-Mini”-like PC!

Sneak Peak at Linspire Mini

“Chalk one up for the Linux guys. Linspire, the creators of the Debian/GNU Linux based Linspire OS, showcased a self-branded mini PC at CES 2006 that somehow slipped under the radar. According to TUX Magazine, the sweet little $399 (approx.) PC takes its looks from Apple’s Mac mini but the similarities end there. The 2.8 pound PC features a front panel backlit power button, a slot loading combo DVD drive, two rear USB ports, one Firewire connector, S-Video/DVI video outputs, 10/100 Ethernet port, speaker/mic jacks, Pentium M 740 processor (or Celeron M), a single slot for DDR2 memory, and a choice of a 40 or 80GB hard drive.”

Another Reason to Dump IE!

The Doctor has warned you that Internet Explorer should not be trusted and is unsafe to use as your browser. Now, there has been yet another serious exploit released for a gaping security hole in IE.

Gaping Security Hole in IE Exploited

“The advisory confirms the existence of a code execution hole that was discovered and publicly reported by Secunia Research of Copenhagen, Denmark. ‘When Internet Explorer displays a Web page that contains certain unexpected method calls to HTML objects, system memory may be corrupted in such a way that an attacker could execute arbitrary code,’ the software maker said. Separately, the SANS ISC (Internet Storm Center) warned that a proof-of-concept code has already been unleashed that could be easily modified into a dangerous exploit. The ISC’s threat meter has been raised to ‘yellow’ to sound alarm bells for what is deemed a ‘significant’ new threat.”

Again, use Firefox. It is safe, and it rocks!

Firefox FREE Web Browser

What is the Fastest Windows XP Laptop?

The fastest laptop tested running Windows XP is… an Apple? What?!!? Yep. Check it out!

Gearlog Tests the MacBook Pro

“The two Mac desktops outran even blazing-fast single core systems, which typically do the Windows Media Encoder test in 10-13 minutes. We haven’t tested any other Intel Core Duo desktops, but the iMac competes well against a Polywell machine with a dual-core Athlon 64 X2 3800+, while the Mini and MacBook Pro are held back a little by their slower laptop hard drives. Predictably, all the Macs blow away the Shuttle XPC M1000, which has the previous generation single-core Pentium M processor. That system scored 16 minutes on Windows Media Encoder, and took 2:52 to complete the Photoshop script.”

So, again I ask, folks: “Should I buy a MacBook Pro?” What to do?

Dell Acquires Alienware!

Looks like all those cute, colorful aliens (PCs) will be coming from Austin, TX soon!

Dell Acquires Alienware

“Dell confirmed on Wednesday what had been rumored on blogs for nearly a week: its purchase of trendy gaming PC manufacturer Alienware. The company said the buy was aimed at strengthening its position among computer enthusiasts. Alienware fans should not fear that their favorite PCs will soon bear the Dell logo — the company would be a wholly-owned subsidiary of Dell, yet operate separately. The move is merely mainly aimed at bettering the company’s supply chain, says Dell and Alienware.”

M$ Delays Vista Again!

Microsoft delayed Microsoft Vista until at least January 2007. This means that Dell, HP and other computer vendors won’t have Vista to install on PCs in time for the big “Christmas Sales” push. Most PC purchasers may wait until Vista is available since a large chunk of the price of a PC is the “Microsoft Tax” of the cost of the Operating System (unlike Linux, which is free!)

What’s Really Behind the Windows Vista Delay?

“While Microsoft emphasized during a Tuesday conference call with press and analysts that it was still going to make Vista code available to some customers in 2006, as the company has been promising for nearly two years, not everyone bought that argument. ‘Today’s announcement essentially means Windows Vista is delayed until 2007,’ said Joe Wilcox, an analyst with Jupiter Research. ‘While Microsoft says software will be available to businesses through volume licensing, the company’s own financials show that a small percentage of customers purchase that way. Most businesses buy Windows on new PCs, and these won’t be coming until 2007.'”

xp-AntiSpy: Geek Software of the Week!

Windows XP does many strange and mysterious things by default. It reports a great deal of info back to it’s Evil Microsoft Masters in Redmond. So, enter xp-AntiSpy!

xp-AntiSpy

“The xp-AntiSpy is a little utility that lets you disable some built-in update and authentication ‘features’ in Windows XP. For example, there’s a service running in the background which is called ‘Automatic Updates’. I don’t know what this service transfers from my machine to other machines on the internet, especially the MS ones. So I play it safe and disable such functions. If you like, you can even disable these functions manually, by going through the System and checking or unchecking some checkboxes. This will take you approximately half an hour. But why waste time when a little neat utility can do the same in 1 minute? This utility was successfully tested by lots of users, and was found to disable all the known ‘Suspicious’ Functions in Windows XP.”

As Promised… a NEW Dr. Bill Podcast! #28

Dr. Bill Podcast – 28 – (03/20/06)
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Podcast – better late than never (again!), Monday night podcasting… weird!, Microsoft Delays XP for Legacy PCs, Happy “Pi” Day!, the ULTIMATE “Pi” day, far in the past!, Two hackers in California won the “Intel Mac running Windows XP” contest this week, a note on the Monday podcast, Linux v2.6.16 has been released according to the man himself… Linus Torvalds!

A New Linux Kernel has been Released!

Linux v2.6.16 has been released according to the man himself… Linus Torvalds.

New Linux Kernel Released

Linus says:

“Ok, it’s being mirrored out right now, the git tree should already be all there, the tar-file and patches are still uploading.

Not a lot of changes since -rc6, but there’s various random one-liners here and there (a number of Coverity bugs found, for example), and there are small MIPS and PowerPC updates.

Appended is the shortlog from 2.6.16-rc6, the full log (from 2.6.15) is on the web/ftp-sites.

It looks like both Fedora and SuSE end up using a kernel that is pretty close to this 2.6.16 release, so let’s all hope it’s good. Give it a good testing, please, Linus”

An Intel Mac Runs Windows XP!

Two hackers in California won the “Intel Mac running Windows XP” contest this week.

Intel Mac Runs Windows XP

“The hackers who won the contest are keen to keep their anonymity and are known only by the handles ‘narf’ and ‘blanka.’ According to reports, their feat has been independently confirmed and XP has been made to run on an iMac, Mac Mini and MacBook Pro. Technical sites such as Ars Technica have provided walkthroughs for people keen to try it for themselves, though they stress that it is likely to defeat those who are technically unskilled. It is possible that easier ways to get a Mac booting both operating systems will appear as other hackers follow up the success.”

They won $13,854 which was contributed by surfers that hit the contest web site.

On another note, should I buy a MacBook Pro? Should the Doctor take the plunge? Everything I have read so far seems to indicate it is a great machine. Hummmmmm… opinions?

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