Wednesday, 19 September 2007

USB 3.0 - coming soon to a computer near you.

Chiming in at nearly 5.0Gbps, the next flavor of USB (3.0) looks like it could be here in the first half of 2008. Apparently there is talk of using optical technologies but it will be backwards compatible.

A full review over at The Inquirer by Charlie Demerjian
as well as Slashdot.

Tuesday, 18 September 2007

IBM Lotus Symphony Launches

IBM has launched an open source (free) based office suite, Symphony. The download is running now so I don't have any real feedback about it yet but at a high level it gives everyone (Win, Lin) three tools to go that are (as far as I've read) can compete with Microsoft Excel, Word and PowerPoint.

I will complete the install and push some screen shots up later on with some notes about the install, products, etc.

The install went flawlessly, and was pretty quick. The first thing that jumped out was the single interface for managing data. There is a solo UI with tabs to indicate the type of document you are working on. You also have the ability (ala Firefox) to drag the tabs around to keep everything in order.

Unfortunately, Symphony does not seem to want to open the latest Microsoft Office (2007) file format. No problem at all with 2003 or XP.

Sunday, 16 September 2007

Windows Live SkyDrive Beta

Aside from the most generous naming convention there is not a whole lot new about Microsoft's entrance into the online storage market(?) with Windows Live SkyDrive Beta.

There is a very snappy little upload tool that will let you pump your SkyDrive with data. Unfortunately, it is Internet Explorer friendly only - maybe once it's public there will be a Firefox version? Unlikely.

The UI is very clean and plain which is a welcome change. It flies along nicely in IE7 - again - haven't tried Firefox yet - not sure if it's worth it?

One thing that appears to be missing too is the ability to have a small app/service running in the background to backup your data. Mind you, with 500 MB that is a little tight. Most of the providers listed below off much more. Many of them offer free services too.

Also, for anyone not in the US and wants to use the Beta, you can log into your Passport/MSN/Hotmail profile and change your default location to the United States. That did the trick from me.

To name a few, here is a short list of online storage providers:
XDrive -
MediaMax -
IBackup - -
Amazon S3 -