Windows 8.1 blotware

I’m not surprised by the amount of bloatware Microsoft is including in its “free” Windows 8.1 update.

I’m sad, but not surprised.

Building a Hackintosh Mini

Building my Windows Tower last year was fun, so I have been looking for another project.  Then I found this page at Tony Mac’s on building a Hackintosh Mini.

What I’m looking for is a small system to hook up to the TV in the Den.  The motherboard in the parts list has a HDMI port, and I already have a remote keyboard/trackball to use.  There is an Ethernet switch where I want to put it so, no need for a WiFi card either.  I figure I can build it for around $470.  That includes $20 for a copy of Mountain Lion MacOS.  Not bad considering low end Mac Minis start at $600, and that is with a 500 Gig HD and 4 Gig of RAM.  I’m planning on a 2 TB HD and 8 Gig of Ram.  The foot print is a little bigger than a Mac Mini, but I’m replacing a mini-tower, so the space isn’t a problem.

Here is the parts list I’m looking at:

Google enters the 7″ tablet market

Bladerunner may have given us the Nexus 6, but Google is delivering on the Nexus 7.

Before you get your hopes up, the Nexus 7 is a 7″ android based tablet.  Supposed to be available in July 2012.

There is a comparison chart over at gdgt that compares it to the other two important players in the 7″ tablet market, the Amazon Kindle Fire and the Barnes & Noble Color Nook.  There are some gaps in the data on that chart, most of which can be filled with a quick search.

For a more detailed peek under the hood of the Nexus 7, try the PCMag review.  Here are some key features. It will be running Android 4.1, not a feature reduced in house version of Android like the Fire or Nook.  It has a Quad core CPU with a 12 core GPU.  That is a lot more horse power than you get with the Kindle Fire.  The Nexus 7 screen resolution is a bit better, 1280 x 800 opposed to the Fire’s 1024 x 600 and it has double the RAM as well.  The Nexus 7 also has a built in camera in addition to Bluetooth, both features lacking in the Fire & Nook.  What the Nexus 7 doesn’t have is  speakers or a microphone.  It does have a 3.5mm audio jack, which is the only port besides the MicroUSB port.  That’s right, no SD slot.  The Nexus does come in two flavors, one with 8 Gig of storage for $199 and a 16 Gig version for $249.   For comparison, the Kindle Fire also has 8 Gig, and no SD slot.  The Color Nook is the only one that has a SD slot for additional storage.  Given that both Amazon & Google have extensive Cloud storage solutions, I’m not surprised by the lack of the SD slot.

I’ve used the Kindle Fire before, and I liked it.  However, if I had to put down $199 (plus tax) of my money for a 7″ tablet, I would go with the Google Nexus 7.

Update: The MIT Tech Review has their review of the Nexus 7 up.  According to them it does have a speaker.

How to enable the start menu in Windows 8

As a follow up to my earlier post on Windows 8.

This requires the use of regedit. Pretty straightforward though.

Why Windows 8 will fail

Oh, and fail it will. Big time.  The single driving issue behind its approaching and certain failure is the Metro Desktop.

Metro clearly defined as a touch screen interface and it is just bloody awful to use with a mouse and keyboard.  Really, it’s truly horrible.

To make it worse, you can’t launch your apps from the desktop, unless you pin them to the taskbar or use a third party app launcher.

Yes, that’s right.  You will have to use a third party app launcher because the idiots at Microsoft have been drinking their own marketing Kool-Aid ™ and have removed the start menu from the desktop.

Now if you are one of those people who think Facebook (where you are the product) is the entirety of the Internet, then you will probably be cool with Metro.

Here is a video that makes it pretty clear that Microsoft expects Windows 8 users to buy new hardware.  Expensive hardware with hardware graphics accelerators and touch screen monitors.

Didn’t these clowns learn anything from Vista?

If the new OS requires expensive new hardware, corporate customers are not going to want to adopt.  Why should they? Windows 7 (or XP for those who are still using it) runs their applications, the employees know how to use it, and they don’t have to spend money on new hardware.

In case the Microsoft execs haven’t noticed, the economy is still bad, and companies are looking for ways to cut costs.  IT is not going to sign off on new hardware just so the rank & file employees can directly access Twitter and Angry Birds from the Metro Desktop.

Windows 7 was a nice apology for Vista, but it looks like Windows 8 will be the reincarnation of Vista.

Good luck with that.

Lowest cost Android tablet on the market

Currently I would have to say that title belongs to the Nook.  Ya, ya…Barnes & Noble tells you it that it just an ebook reader, but it’s running a crippled version of Android that you can root pretty easily.

It’s pretty straightforward, and you can find just about everything you need at nookDevs. Once you are done, you can load multiple ebook readers, including B&N’s android app!

Downside, no camera and no Bluetooth.

Upside, no monthly service fees!

Disclaimer: In case this wasn’t obviously clear, rooting your Nook is not warranty friendly.

Mucking with Android

I’ve started to muck with Android. Details to follow.