If you rely solely on System Restore for your Windows backups, you're asking for trouble. Yes, the restore points created automatically by XP and Vista, and those I create myself, have saved my system from a failure on many occasions. But too often I've attempted to turn back the clock only to be informed that my computer could not be restored, or some similar error message.
A funny thing happened after I installed Windows Vista Service Pack 1 on my PC: Word 2007 started crashing whenever I closed it, and all but a handful of the application's settings became inaccessible.
I still haven't figured out how to keep Word from crashing on exit, but I regained access to the program's settings by disabling all add-ins. Unfortunately, it took me the better part of an afternoon to figure out this partial solution, and I'm no closer to finding the source of the crashes, though Vista SP1 is the prime suspect.
My first attempt … Read more
PALO ALTO, Calif.--I still don't know much about what Windows 7 will do or what it will look like, but I can tell you that you won't have to rely on a keyboard and mouse to use it.
After decades of investing in things like speech technology and handwriting recognition, Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates said that users appear ready for new ways of interacting with machines. And, he said, advances in those areas and in touch-based gestures will find their way into the next version of Windows, known as Windows 7.
"The version after Vista is … Read more
Surfing the Web on a cell phone screen can be the laggy, draggy pits, but companies like Zumobi want to make it a rush. The announcement of Zumobi's first full release (for Windows Mobile 5 and 6) brings the Microsoft-birthed, now Microsoft-partnered platform for delivering mobile content closer to the dream.
I've been following Zumobi's young career for some time and happily, its character is catching up to its glitz. Version 1.0 corrects many of the beta's more glaring errors, including major functionality potholes that are now mostly paved over.
For the uninitiated, Zumobi is a grid of 16 thumbnails that users access by zooming into a quadrant and then zooming in again to an often-customizable "tile," each of which is populated by the content partner and updated several times a day. For instance, Amazon's tile operates a portable-book store that also links to Amazon's mobile site. AP News, MTV, Epicurious, and Flickr are other well-known brands.… Read more
Who doesn't love to right-click, especially when browsing the Web? Whether saving images we like to our local drives, copying HTML links to send to friends, or scanning downloaded files for viruses, the right-click has become an essential part of most users' computing lives.
Yet how many times have you right-clicked on a file in Windows and then painfully scoured a long list to find the only option you need; sometimes it's the only one you ever use. Wouldn't life be much simpler to have only the items you want in your right-click menu? Well, for Windows … Read more
Microsoft said on Tuesday that it is making public its latest test version of Windows XP Service Pack 3.
The software maker said Release Candidate 2 of XP SP3 will be available after 5 p.m. PST via Microsoft's download center. "We're broadening the availability of the release candidate in order to receive further user feedback prior to the release of Windows XP SP3," it said in a statement.
Google is funding work to ensure the Windows version of Adobe Systems' Photoshop and other Creative Suite software can run on Linux computers.
For the project, Google is funding programmers at CodeWeavers, a company whose open-source Wine software lets Windows software run on Linux. Wine is a compatibility layer that intercepts a program's Windows commands and converts them to instructions for the Linux kernel and its graphics subsystem.
"We hired CodeWeavers to make Photoshop CS and CS2 work better under Wine," Dan Kegel, of Google's software engineering team and the Wine 1.0 release manager, said … Read more
Good news for Sprint business customers who want a world-roaming smartphone but don't want the RIM BlackBerry 8830 World Edition. Today, the carrier introduced the Samsung Ace, a Samsung BlackJack lookalike, that offers dual-mode CDMA/GSM functionality so you can use your smartphone internationally. This means that the Ace will use Sprint's CDMA network for all domestic calls, and then you can use the included SIM card to make calls on GSM networks abroad. In addition, the SIM is unlocked so you're not restricted to the one packaged with the smartphone. That means travelers can buy a … Read more
How long have we been reading these Zune Phone rumors? Microsoft still hasn't officially announced any plans to build an iPhone, but yesterday's corporate reorganization clearly points that way.
Microsoft has reason to be worried. After about five years of plugging away with Windows Mobile, Microsoft's managed to create a reasonable competitor to Research in Motion for e-mail-enabled phones. But that's about it. In contrast, Apple launched the iPhone in June 2007 in the U.S. and by Q4, it was already the number-two provider of smart phone (or "converged device") OSs in the … Read more
On Monday I described some simple ways to improve the performance of Windows XP and Vista. Since there's no such thing as a too-fast Windows PC, I'm returning to the subject with a handful of additional Windows speedup tips.
Disable remote services: If you never need to access the system over a network, nor have anyone else do so (for help troubleshooting a problem, for example), you can free up some Windows resources by turning these features off. In Windows XP Pro, click Start > Control Panel > System and Maintenance (in Category view) > System > Remote, … Read more