Most of the time our Macs run smoothly due to the well-designed Mac OS X (choose your big cat) operating system. But over time, as you download more applications, visit more Web sites, and begin to use up space on your hard drive, your Mac won't run as quickly and smoothly as it did out of the box. Some users reason that it must be a RAM or hard-drive issue, but more often than not it's a question of maintenance rather than inadequate hardware.
Mac OS X looks great and runs smoothly right out of the box. But if you wanted to make minor tweaks to the interface or automate specific maintenance tasks, in the past you had to know how to use the command line. Fortunately, some savvy developers have made it possible to perform once-difficult tasks through the use of an easy-to-understand interface. We have a couple of freshly-reviewed programs this week that make tweaks and useful maintenance tasks in Mac OS X much easier for the regular user.
Oracle upped the ante in its lawsuit against rival SAP on Monday, claiming in an amended complaint that SAP's CEO and other top executives were aware of alleged illegal downloading of proprietary software and documents before, during, and after its acquisition of third-party support and maintenance company TomorrowNow.
The amended complaint broadens the allegations raised by Oracle in its initial lawsuit in March 2007. In that initial lawsuit, Oracle alleged that its enterprise software applications rival acquired TomorrowNow (TN) to not only woo away its PeopleSoft customers who needed maintenance and support, but to also use those customers' contracts … Read more
On Monday, I described Vaita's free Outlook Duplicate Items Remover, an add-on that finds duplicate copies of Outlook messages, contacts, calendar entries, and tasks. Now, I'll continue to trim my bloated Outlook in-box by using another freebie: the Kopf Outlook Attachment Remover created by Bruno Marotta.
After you download the program and restart Outlook, you see a floating Attachment Remover toolbar that you can drag and dock at the top of the screen along with all the other toolbars to keep it from blocking your view. Click the toolbar's one-and-only button to open the program's one-and-only … Read more
A friend sent me his thoughts on virtualization and its effects on the software industry. As he sees it, virtualization may well play a role far beyond the operating system vendors, a group I had focused a post on. It could have a deleterious effect on a wide range of business models.
Why do enterprises buy into virtualization? Primarily to make more efficient use of their existing servers. Most proprietary vendors license their products on a per-CPU basis, and have increasingly shifted to maintenance contracts as a way to boost revenue as upfront licensing costs dwindle in a market that favors spreading out payments via SaaS and open source.
My friend's insight?Long-term revenue is a function of the number of CPUs running their products at their customers' IT shops.
So, as more and more enterprises embrace virtualization to increase the efficiency of the servers they've already licensed, maintenance revenue may well plunge with new license revenue.… Read more
The new year is fast approaching. What better time to give your system a good scrubbing? The best tool I've found for taking out the digital garbage is Piriform's CCleaner. (Quick tip: Click the "Alternative Download" link, not the FileHippo.com link above it. For some reason, the FileHippo page links to a download for a program I never heard of.)
Read this before you install CCleaner! By default, the program wants to add the Yahoo Toolbar to your browser. This lets you run CCleaner from the browser, but I suggest you uncheck that option in … Read more
Gartner has gone on the warpath, smacking down proprietary vendors' practice of discounting upfront license fees in order to lock customers into lucrative, ongoing maintenance contracts. The ironic thing is that it sounds somewhat similar to how commercial open-source companies price their software, except that there is no upfront license fees.
The difference is that open-source vendors aren't using inflated license fees to set the maintenance price (typically around 22%, on average) and don't force customers to pay extra for the right to updates. Customers subscribe to the open-source vendor's services, which include maintenance, support, and updates/upgrades: Not so in the proprietary world:
[Gartner] said upgrade cycles can push contract costs up by as much as 50%, with an average rise of 35% for SOA deals....
Maintenance and support costs are the surreptitious money spinners of software contracts, according to Disbrow. She said vendors will drop software costs by more than 20% or bundle 'free' software to lock customers into mandatory support maintenance and upgrade cycles....… Read more
As SAP tries to untwine its third-party support and maintenance company, TomorrowNow, from its legal entanglements with archrival Oracle, a sale, or effort to wind down the company, may be its preferred path.
SAP, which earlier this week announced TomorrowNow's chief executive and several managers had resigned, is now apparently operating without its senior vice president of sales, Bob Geib, and vice president of international sales, Nigel Pullan. Both executives are no longer on the company's management roster, and Pullan's office phone is no longer active. Geib, when contacted by his mobile phone, referred all calls to … Read more
A recent AAA survey names some of the most common -- and potentially dangerous -- auto ailments. Fortunately, all of these maladies can be prevented with a little care and attention. Here are the top culprits:
5. Worn-out windshield wiper blades. Old, torn, or cracked wiper blades can greatly reduce visibility when driving in bad weather. Experts recommend changing blades at least once a year, or when streaking begins.
4. Low or dirty oil. Low oil levels can cause overheating and severe engine damage, since there is not enough fluid to lubricate all of the engine's moving parts. Dirty … Read more
"Open the donut box and pass me a glazed, Hal."
"I'm afraid I can't do that, Dave."
Keeping your diet in check and working out is a great way to lose weight, but robotic assistants are always a huge help.
The weight maintenance sociable robot project at the always fascinating MIT Media Lab has one goal: to help you shed pounds. The talking, face-tracking, eye-contact-making weight-loss coach is designed for in-home use.
The MIT Media Lab site has a video of the robot in action.
Daily and long-term exercise patterns and eating habits are … Read more