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Computer Software

Anybody Squidoo?

June 9, 2006

Anybody out there Squidoo? Now that is the question.

Squidoo is a new online platform and community that makes it easy for anyone to build a single page -- called a lens -- on a topic, idea, product or cause he or she is passionate about. These lenses in turn help finders get unique, human perspectives instead of computer-selected and often irrelevant search results.

Office 2007: Some Hands-On Comments

June 2, 2006

Happened to have the opportunity to get a firsthand preview of Microsoft Office 2007 -- and while I didn't get to see everything under the hood, there were a number of very useful redesigns, tweaks and improvements to Microsoft Word and Excel (didn't get to see much about Outlook and PowerPoint).

Much ado on the Microsoft site about the new Office user interface -- "The Ribbon" (below). 

And it does work better for me once you begin the get the hang of it.


Come and Get It! Windows Vista (& Other Betas) Available

May 25, 2006

There's sure been plenty of coverage of Microsoft's announcement earlier this week of beta 2 availability of three of the company's flagship products -- Windows Vista, 2007 Microsoft Office and Windows Server (code-named "Longhorn" or "long time").

Speaking at the Microsoft Windows Hardware Engineering Conference (WinHEC) 2006, Microsoft Corp. Chairman and Chief Software Architect (some title?!) Bill Gates said: “The release of these three betas is a significant milestone for Microsoft and a major step toward delivering the platforms that will drive the next decade of computing. The combination of these innovative platform technologies and the new hardware and software being developed by our partners will make PCs and other devices more powerful, more useful and more intelligent for businesses today and into the future.”

More To Like about Norton NIS

April 28, 2006

Having already stated my long affinity for Symantec's Norton Internet Security (NIS), I wanted to point out the excellent dashboard called Norton Protection Center that comes with NIS 2006.

You can't miss the yellow icon that sits in the System Tray.  If everything is working fine, you see a check mark in a green circle; if not, you get an indication that something needs to be fixed and NIS fixes it. 

Do You Know Where Your Browser Is?

April 14, 2006

Microsoft Vista; Horizon Now Stretches Further ...

March 22, 2006

Much hubbub late yesterday and today about Microsoft delaying its upcoming Vista OS, called "perhaps the biggest technology transition since the Windows operating system arrived more than 10 years ago" in today's Wall Street Journal.

Seems it won't be here until after the New Year (so far away ...), so PC makers are disappointed they won't be able to include it as part of their holiday hardware offerings -- lot easier to sell a new system if it's got a new OS that everyone's excited about!

This may mean some drastic pricing actions (meaning deals for consumers) at holiday time 2006 so that HP, Dell, etc., can clear out the old (OS) to make way for the new.

Wonder what Apple makes of all of this?

Norton NIS 2006: Internet Security for Us All

March 14, 2006

Isn't Internet security all about feeling secure? But it seems that just when you think you're secure, another virus, worm or other cyber-nasty announces itself either on the web or in an email from a friend.

I've always put great faith in Norton products to supply the utilities needed to make my computer run fast and smooth. Well, Norton Internet Security 2006 does just that. (I'm not alone in that faith -- Symantec -- Norton's "parent" -- protects more than 370 million computer or email accounts worldwide.)

Here's what the 2006 model has to offer:

Microsoft Beta of Office Live Released

February 15, 2006

Microsoft has released the beta of Office Live, which offers small-business owners (and others!) the opportunity to sample (for free) the company’s new Internet-based software services.  If you’re interested in participating in the beta program, register online at

The illustration below is the screen users would see when they sign up for Microsoft Office Live.

Microsoft IE 7 Beta for Those Who Dare

January 31, 2006

For those of you who fear no beta and love to be the first one to get your hands on anything new, Microsoft is making a beta preview of its upcoming web browser, IE 7, available to developers and enthusiasts at

(You may call this product by its full name, Internet Explorer 7, too.)

IE 7 offers dynamic security protection and makes everyday tasks easier with improved platform and manageability (at least according to Microsoft). I'm sure they have listened and learned from all of those error reports they receive daily.

Gates Does Windows Again and Again (New Vista Unveiled at CES)

January 5, 2006


There's plenty of action now that CES in Las Vegas has opened, but much of the big news and buzz today centers around Bill Gates' keynote speech and the formal introduction of the next generation of the Windows operating system -- Vista.

I'll leave it to others to go into all the nifty features of the Microsoft OS -- many of them directly influenced (or more) by Apple's Macintosh OS X -- but I'm sure I'm not alone in wishing for better, not newer. How about less flash in the features and more reliability under the hood? And wouldn't it be nice if Vista ran smoothly on all of our existing computers?

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