Tag Archives: Kvetching

FeedDemon 2.8 RC1 is out, Snagit 9.1 is in and more

Well, well, Whaddaya know! FeedDemon 2.8 Release Candidate 1 is out and it now contains ads. Wow. I feel like I’ve dodged a bullet with switching to RSS Bandit. Seriously, none of the applications on my laptop contains ads simply because: (a) they’re free or (b) I paid for them. FeedDemon used to be shareware i.e. free for 30 days and about $30 to register. I paid for FeedDemon back then and was ecstatic when they made it a free program because it freed me from having to pay for upgrades. Now, the author of FeedDemon, Nick Bradbury, feels the need to insert ads into this product because they need a source of revenue. That’s his prerogative. I’ll install FeedDemon on my Windows XP Pro SP3 virtual machine and see what the hubbub is about. In any case, I don’t think I’m going back to FeedDemon till I read about serious rss-bandit-quibbleimprovements in the stability & handling all sorts of feeds. So far, beyond some minor User Interface gripes, I’m liking my switch to RSS Bandit. Whenever I click “mark all feeds read”, it happens without locking up and forcing me to use Windows Task Manager to kill the process unlike *cough* FeedDemon *cough* 😀 On a serious note, it’s not all roses with RSS Bandit though. Here’s one of  my pet peeves in the picture on the right. Continue reading FeedDemon 2.8 RC1 is out, Snagit 9.1 is in and more

My current computer backup situations

Ever since I purchased an HP dv9700t CTO notebook PC, I’ve had to reformat this computer over 3 times now. The reason is simple: I like to try out new things on the computer and that more often than not, include alpha, beta and even gamma software. I’d like to say that I’ve learned and reformatting my PC (as a last solution) is a thing of the past. Alas! I cannot guarantee that. So, here’s what I’ve learned from owning a computer that I deliberately introduce chaos into:

  1. If you don’t know what a virtual machine or virtualization means, learn it NOW. Invest an operating system (Linux or Microsoft) and learn how to run that operating system inside a virtual environment. This article is going to be short so go ahead and read my article about my experience with two virtual machines (Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 and VirtualBox) Both are free virtual machine managers and are widely recommended for regular users.
  2. Windows Complete Image backup is NOT the same as merely backing up your files. In fact, based on my experience with Windows Complete Image backup and Windows File Backup available to Vista Ultimate users, I will say this: it would really really be smart to have a full featured backup solution in addition to Windows built-in backup feature. I would recommend Acronis True Image 2009 which is not bad at the price tag of $49.99. I’ve used Acronis on my computer since they had Acronis True Image 10 and since I discovered that you can’t retrieve individual files/folders from a Windows Complete Image backup, I’ve returned to using Acronis True Image. The reason: each time I perform a complete PC backup using Windows Backup and Restore center, it’s over 70gbs in size. Guess how much it costs (in terms of space consumed on the hard disk) to create a file backup using Windows Backup and Restore Center? Roughly ~65gbs (leaving all the default settings checked because Windows doesn’t even give you the chance to pick & choose what files you want to backup)!!! So, like I always say, economics (of space) is the reason I’m switching back to Acronis True Image 2009. That way, I’ll have just one ~ 70GB backup file on my external hard drive AND be able to extract my individual files from it!
  3. Good old fashioned DVD-R or CD-R backups:- After my last disaster scenario (i.e. I lost close to 3 weeks worth of work), I have seen the light in having copies of precious files on disks. I was actually able to pare my loss down to 2 weeks because I had copied the “My Documents” folder on my laptop to a regular DVD (~ 4.3 GBs of data).

So there you have it! Good luck and stay tuned for more on my blog and at my Blip.tv Channel (Jane Talks Tech!)

much ado about nothing

I scour Techmeme several times daily and titles like this “30 Seconds to boot up? That’s 29 too many” make me scratch my head. I love innovation just as much as the next person, but can we be realistic about things sometimes? I’m not on the cutting edge mostly because it’s expensive to be “cutting edge.” If you are like me, you will put up with 2 – 5 minute boot up times because you have no choice really (except spend more money on a faster system which you don’t particularly care to because you’re semi-broke). So, I guess my rant isn’t so much about this need for speed among tech writers as it is with the obvious trade-offs that come with the latest & greatest technology. People can’t afford this shit. Seriously. In my weird way, I’ll relate this to the age-old debate: PC vs. Mac. I shop at Wal-Mart, Target, Best Buy etc and they know their market. I fall within the 20 – 30 demographic and I’m a fairly normal adult. So, I can safely say that if I’m even slightly representative of this demographic, then I rest my case in saying that  unlike breathless enthusiasts, people don’t like expensive. Unless their employer is paying for it. 🙂