Under The Wire

Under The Wire

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Is the MacBook Air killing CDs?

Well, I must admit it: I hate CDs and I hate DVDs; I have always hated them because they're so big (12-cm diameter!) and so easily damageable. In a word made of iPod nanos they just look old and oversized.But... can one live without CDs and DVDs? I guess this is what Steve Jobs must have asked himself when the MacBook Air project started.
Why do computers have an optical drive?
1.  The first reason is to play and rip music CDs: but we have been having the cheap and cool iTunes Store for quite a long time now and well... it is a great alternative (even if I'd prefer lossless songs); moreover, thanks to the iPod (and MP3 players in general), we won't miss the bulky CD players.
2. Then we play DVDs: will we really do that anymore with Digital Copy and the iTunes Rental service?
3. We also use CDs and DVDs to backup our documents: but simply this is so unnatural! Taking a CD/DVD, initializing it (if it's "RW") and burning it is just a tedious operation: my last "optical" backup is now three years old. Luckly we have Time Machine (and Time Capsule): everything is much easier (and sometimes even fun!).
4.  Last but not least: we use our optical drive to install software; whether it is called Leopard or Microsoft Office we use a CD/DVD to install it. I think this is the only point where CDs and DVDs win: inserting a disc and double-clicking the installer is idiot-proof, everything feels natural; on the other side Remote Disc requires so much setup, certainly too much for a novice (think about your mum!).

So... is Remote Disc the solution to software installation?
I guess not; but I strongly believe that Apple is conscious of this fact and won't leave things as they are.
I think that the next step will be the disappearance of software sold on CD/DVD: Apple already has the technology to deliver stuff via the Internet and I don't think it will miss the chance to innovate once again.

When that happens, CD will be definitely killed. 


Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Get a BSOD with three keystrokes and became a youtube-star

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If you're using Windows Vista or XP SP2 regardless of hardware problems you maybe never saw a Blue Screen of Death.

If you want to see what a BSoD looks like, or show the world how easily Windows crashes there is a simple trick to generate a memory dump with your keyboard.

To activate the superpower just follow this simple steps:

  • Run regedit
  • go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\kbdhid\Parameters if you have an USB keyboard or to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\i8042prt\Parameters if you have a ps/2 keyboard
  • Add a new DWORD CrashOnCtrlScroll with 1 as value
  • Reboot to apply changes
  • Hold down right Ctrl and hit Scroll Lock twice

Now that your keyboard has this superpower why don't use it to became a youtube-star?

  • Run notepad, flip3d, minesweeper or another Windows built-in program
  • Do something
  • Use the superpower of your keyboard
  • Say WOW
  • Make a link to www.apple.com/getamac

Congratulations, you are a youtube-star!


How To Geek

MSDN - support page


Safari is a virus, Google says

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The next person who says that viruses for OSX don't exist I'll tell him that Google (not the evil empire) thinks he has one installed on his mac.

Enjoy this screenshot!



Sunday, January 27, 2008

Mac OS X is coming on every PC?!

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What do you think if I say "Apple would decide to release Mac OS X not only for its Mac but available on every PC"? You sure think I'm crazy. If you think so or that I'm just joking I'll show you that I have some evidence. Follow me.

Mac Intel

What a better excuse to develop a version of Mac OS X for Intel's processors than use Intel's x86 and x86-64 architectures on Macs? Note that Apple is developing Mac OS X for x86 architecture for long time (Steve Jobs said that in the first keynote in which he spoke about Mac Intel) before releasing it with its Intel-based Mac. Moreover, as "hackintosh" proofs the only things that constrains Mac OS X to run only on Macs is its EULA.

Some weeks ago Apple announce Mac OS X Server virtualization support that means Mac OS X can run on virtualized hardware (Parallels is now working on a server version of its hypervisor virtualization solution). Unfortunately virtualization is allowed only on Macs and the only limit is the EULA again (a German hacker claim the possibility to run an unmodified Mac OS X with Qemu on its GNU/Linux-box).

Closing the OS using software lock is not a valid idea (iPhone is a good sample), if Apple wants, it can even earn something releasing Mac OS X for every PC.


This is another proof. Why Apple should use a WGA-like tool to check its products?

If they would go on selling hardware and software there is no need for that. Anti-piracy tool comes in hand only if you sell hardware and software separately.

Apple survival

Is someone wondering about Apple survival?! I think it's not a problem at all.

I'm an Apple user and I bought a Mac more than 1 year ago. I bought a Mac not for Mac OS X, I bought it because it's a wonderful piece of hardware. In addition Apple is well known for the iPod (wonderful product that allow Apple to earn lots of money) and soon iPhone will become an important product too (with the release of the SDK iPhone will definitely become competitive).

Spreading Mac OS X will only increase Apple software sales due to their qualities (ok, ok... not all Apple software, I'm talking about Apple professional software). Final Cut Studio, Logic Studio, Aperture etc... are wonderful products and they are already well known!

Then... I think tons of people would try Mac OS X (especially software developers for its cross-platform softwares) and as a consequence they will probably buy a Mac!


Friday, January 25, 2008

Windows 7, what we know so far (no fakes)

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In the last days many bloggers claimed to have tried Windows 7 M1 (Milestone 1), just to publish fake pictures and have some visits on their site.

Here the facts (more or less official)


Seven will have MinWin like kernel, a little micro-kernel quite different from the "hybrid-kernel" of Vista. Microsoft is going on reducing NT kernel size in order to get a more flexible and modular system.

User Interface

Microsoft has reported that Seven M1 has a Vista like UI, on the other hand the work on the UI isn't started yet. Probably we will see a Ribbon-like UI considering that the new project leader is the old Office division leader.

For sure one of the keyword will be multi-touch UI.

"I will say that if you are impressed by the "touch features" in the iPhone, you'll be blown away by what's coming in Windows 7. Now if only we could convince more OEMs that Windows Touch Technology is going to drive their sales."

Hilton Lock on his MSDN blog pages

Surface should be a good sample and a good starting point. This new kind of input method will definitely change the way we use our PCs!

Windows Live integration

Well integrated software and wonderful web services. In a always-on world why don't take advantage of the Web? Operating system and bundled software should use Live platform to make the user able to communicate, share data, save settings in an easier way.


Say goodbye to compatibility issue, your old programs will run in a virtual machine (quite sure). Probably the standard API will be the .NET framework and Win32 API will only be available through virtualization.

Moreover it is possibile that processes will be more isolated than they are in Vista (like Singularity does).


64-bit processors will be the only choice in 2010 so Seven would be the first Microsoft desktop operating system release optimized for this processors and not for 32-bit processors (like XP and probably Vista). We should talk about Windows 7 and Windows 7 x32 (yes, a 32-bit release is scheduled) while we now talk about Windows Vista and Windows Vista x64.

3-years operating system

Starting with Vista, Microsoft has decided that a new versione of its operating systems will be released every 3 years... so forget XP and its extra-ordinary long life!

In the end... please stop linking fake image and video!


Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Apple announces best quarter in history

Apple is doing better and better every month! The last quarter was Apple's best ever. 2,319,000 Macs (44 percent unit growth) 22,121,000 iPods (five percent unit growth) 2,315,000 iPhone Strangely enough, Apple's quotes are not doing any good... :-|


Tuesday, January 15, 2008

EXCLUSIVE: Apple introduces revolutionary new laptop

Apple did it again! It started the new year with an amazing new product: the MacBook Air! Below you can see the first pictures of it! It is a normal MacBook but it is extremely thin (0.16'' min to 0.76'' max)! It only weights 3 lb, pretty amazing isn't it? How will competitors answer? Specifications: 13,3 LED display (1280x800) Intel Core 2 Duo 1.6 or 1.8 Ghz No CD/DVD drive (external Superdrive option available) 5 hours battery life 80 GB (or 64 GB on flash memory) hard drive Intel GMA X3100 graphics processor with 144MB of DDR2 SDRAM 2GB of 667MHz DDR2 SDRAM onboard Height: 0.16-0.76 inch (0.4-1.94 cm) Width: 12.8 inches (32.5 cm) Depth: 8.94 inches (22.7 cm) Weight: 3.0 pounds (1.36 kg) Mac OS X Leopard and iLife 08 bundled Wireless (802.11n) and bluetooth 1 USB port 1 audio out port 1 micro-DVI port


Saturday, January 12, 2008

iPod expose your PC to security risks

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It is quite easy. When you buy an iPod you accept to use iTunes to load your multimedia files on it.

But what happens when your device compels you to install iTunes and the required (and deadly bugged) QuickTime?

You can find here some consequences (For space issue I'm reporting only 2008 problems):

I hope you made your friends say WOW with your iPod Touch bought for Christmas. This was the reason you choose it, isn't it?!

sirus toughts: yes, QuickTime it's an extremely bugged software (note that I'm an Apple user) and these aren't the first zero-day we can see. The simplest solution is to uninstall QT after iTunes installation and replacing it with QuickTime Alternative a very good freeware solution.


Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Goodbye Bill!

Tcidanniw's point:

Thank you for Microsoft BOB!

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