I’ve taken the Windows 7 plunge

I’ve got Windows 7 Professional 64 bit on my desktop and copy of Windows 7 Ultimate 32 bit on my laptop.  I’m pretty happy so far, the plug and play works quite well, with a couple of noticable exceptions.

First off is my Wireless Laser Desktop 3000 keyboard, which I’m not using to type this because the damn thing is missing keystrokes, which it never did when I was running XP.  Top that off with none of the fancy extra keys work running under Windows 7.  Yes, I did to Microsoft and downloaded the latest drivers, which are listed as Windows 7 compatible.  Annoyance factor is high here, even more so because it is bloody Microsoft hardware.

The second is my Microtek scanner.  It’s a few years old and is still in great shape.  Microtek support claims it will work if you jump though the right hoops in the right order during install.  I haven’ t tried their latest series of hoops yet.

Third is my Bose Companion 5 speakers.  I love these things.  Great sound, but every time Windows 7 finds something it doesn’t like and asks me if it’s OK to run, not only does the screen dim, but it kills the sound! I have to power cycle the Bose system to get my sound back. My work around has to been to hook my iPhone up to the speakers and play the music loaded on that.  A bit of bummer since it is a subset of the music loaded on my desktop.

I’ve got a few old games that won’t run under Window 7 (64 bit) either, but I don’t play them that often anyway.   I’ve got an old desktop that was running a RC version of Win7 that I should scrub and load XP on to deal with stray stuff like that.

Black is back!

When the US Army adopted the ACU (Army Combat Uniform) with a new digital camouflage pattern, the color black was not to be found in the pattern. The argument was the the color black is not found in nature. I’ve talked with members of the military who were on exercises with people wearing both the ACU and the older BDU uniforms (the BDUs had the woodland pattern) and was told that it was much easier to spot the people in the ACU at night.

It has been announced that the US Army is now producing a variant of the ACU with the MultiCam camouflage pattern. If you look closely at the MultiCam pattern, you will see that it includes the color black.

For now, the MultiCam pattern is only being issued in Afghanistan, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see the more effective pattern make its way through the Army supply chain.

There are other changes being made to the ACU, based on feedback from soldiers in the field. One that caught my attention was replacing the Velcro ™ seals on the sleeve cargo pockets with buttons. Makes sense. Buttons are quiet.

Yet another iPad post

Ya, ya…my last few posts have been about the iPad. It’s nifty and shiny, so of course it attracts my attention. I was discussing tech stuff with a buddy and made the following comment.

The Apple iPad really isn’t a new product trying to break into the market, it’s an expansion on an existing product line with a rabidly fanatical user base.

It’s not the magic device that many had hoped for, but it’s magic in a business sense that is pure Steve Jobs. It’s certainly good enough.

I used to carry a better phone than my iPhone, and a better PDA, and an MP3 player with more storage, and better camera. My iPhone does all those functions, not as well, but good enough, that I only carry one device all the time, instead of four.

Ya, the Kindle is probably a better e-text reader due it’s E-ink screen, but is it good enough to spend an additional $260 for when your $500 tablet, that does a bunch of other stuff as well, is a good enough e-text reader?

As for that “bunch of other stuff,” just look at the itunes store. Not just the apps, but the movies and TV shows. The iPad is handier than my notebook, has a better screen than my netbook, and with the rumored Hulu app, I’ll be able to stream Red Eye and watch TV shows as well as video bought or rented through iTunes. That isn’t even counting the apps being written now to take advantage of the new features of the bloody thing.

My prediction is that it’s going to sell and sell well. It’s popularity will drive sales for other tablet platforms, such as the Adam. The beauty of is that is a typical Apple product in that there is nothing really ground breaking about it. It’s a collection of well known and existing technology put together into a really well designed package.