24 September 2008

Help for Vista

When I purchased my Dell M1330 last year it came loaded with the Windows Vista OS. Yeah, I was one of the lucky ones who got to run the first version of Vista. It was quite an adventure. Imagine buying a new car that looks really cool but as you are driving down the road you can't help but notice the odd part falling off. "Oops! There goes the rear view mirror. I don't really need that. Oops! There goes the trunk lid. That's just for looks. Oops!... ". You get the idea.

Well, I am pleased to report that I have found a way to run Windows Vista very reliably AND improve it's performance. My solution is to add a bit of open source software! I switched my M1330 to Linux about 9 months ago and have been gradually weaning myself off of all of my Windows software. Once in a while though, I need to be able to run something under Windows (less and less often as it turns out). So, for those occasions I have created a virtual machine with Sun's VirtualBox software and installed the latest version of Vista. The result is nothing short of amazing. I find that Vista runs seamlessly inside Linux so much so that it seems even faster than when it is running natively. Not only that but I can run all of my other old operating systems as well ( even at the same time if I want to! ).

Microsoft is alpha testing their new Windows 7 OS now. I don't know if it's going to be any better than Vista but I am sure it will look great and like a boy scout helping someone cross the road, I bet open source will be there to help.

10 September 2008

Google Chrome Report

It's awesome. I do miss my plug-ins but as far as a high performance browser experience goes, it rocks.

* lighting fast
* very easy on resources (way less than FireFox)
* it's laid out very nicely maximizing the browsing space
* transparent - it works just like you would expect, sites look correct, etc.
*detachable tabs ( awesome! )
* multi-processed so it never locks up, even when loading proprietary Adobe plug-in content.
* Free as in free beer
* Free as in freedom

Give it a try.

03 September 2008

Google Chrome

Google's new Google Chrome browser was released in beta form this week. It will have to be seen as a pretty valuable addition for people to switch but if is even remotely as good as Google Earth or Picasa, it's going to be huge. I will report back when I have tried it.