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IntelliMouse phones home

I’ve seen several comments from readers about versions of Microsoft’s
IntelliMouse software — its configuration utility for pointing devices
— trying to quietly establish an Internet connection. For example, Bill
Kennedy sent in the following description of his experiences:

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What’s really going on with Google

Google.com is a search engine, not a Windows program. But Google
is running on so many desktops — and so many computer
professionals use Google to look up technical-support information —
that it almost seems at times like a built-in Windows applet.

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Office XP Service Pack 3 problems bite users

Microsoft released its latest mass beta test on an unsuspecting populace
when it started downloading into end users’ computers on Mar. 9 its new
Service Pack 3 for Windows XP.

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XP Service Pack 1 clogs USB ports

Microsoft has acknowledged that installing Service Pack 1 on
Windows XP can make USB ports so slow that they almost seem to have frozen.
This occurs because the “lazy write” cache gets confused about what
information has been written to disk, with the result that the same
bits are sent many times over.

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Readers say Google is losing its relevance

I reported in eWeek on
Feb. 17
that my readers and I had found numerous specific examples of the Google.com
search engine failing to provide in its first 10 results good links for
fairly straight-forward technical searches. The apparent decline in relevance
is a very fitting subject for a follow-up story in today’s Brian’s Buzz, even
though Google of course isn’t a Windows program. Google is used so many
people in the information technology biz to research PC problems that the
search engine sometimes seems like an ever-present Windows utility.

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Readers send tips on SBS 2003

The last issue of Brian’s Buzz on Jan. 29 featured a review of Small Business
Server (SBS) 2003, Microsoft’s new bundle of Windows Server 2003, Exchange
Server 2003, Outlook 2003, and other products. The thrust of my article
was that the list price of SBS 2003 with 5 users ($599 in U.S. dollars)
was far below the list price of a similar configuration of Windows Server
2003 ($999) and Exchange Server 2003 ($1,034) alone, not to mention the
price of the other components that are included in the new
version of SBS. Microsoft, under competitive pressure in the small-server
space from Linux, is definitely making its bundled pricing very
attractive.

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Small Business Server 2003 cuts costs

Are you responsible for a company or a workgroup that has 5 to 75 users
connected to a server at any one time? Have you decided to upgrade your
network to Windows Server 2003 and Exchange Server 2003? If so, you can save
money purchasing the software in a bundle called
Small Business Server (SBS) 2003, says Harry Brelsford, the founder of
SMB Nation, a consulting site
that sponsors workshops and publishes books on SBS.

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New technology shines at CES

LAS VEGAS – The International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), which assembles
every January in this gambling and entertainment capital, has become one of the
world’s most important venues where new technology products are introduced.

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Avoid holiday media headaches

As the holiday season rises to a fever pitch, you may be thinking
about buying someone – or buying for yourself – some cool new digital media
geegaw. If so, you need to know about Bruce Kratofil’s BugBlog and its December
Entertainment Special.

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Live from Comdex: Windows winners

LAS VEGAS – PC Magazine announced here on Monday evening the latest
winners of its annual Technical Excellence Awards, as it has done
in a hotel auditorium at the Comdex computer show for many years. Comdex
this time around was almost the smallest show ever – with the
management actually charging $50 to $100 for some exhibit-only tickets,
the registered crowd amounted to only about 50,000. That’s down from more
than a quarter of a million before the dot-com bubble burst (although it
seemed to me back then that the entire population of California had
somehow been jammed into the exhibit halls and taxis).

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