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Friday, February 16, 2007

Voice Recognition

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Remote Software

Microsoft's remote desktop software is as usual way over done and too cumbersome to use. I've come up with a couple of new ones I really like.

First if you are attempting to help someone out, try Crossloop. Very easy to use. Crosses most firewalls. Secure and encrypted. Works on an invitation only method. Works on Win 98 and up.

Now what if you want to control your home computer from work? Actually anywhere you can get on the web.
Start this on the computer you wish to control and then login at iremotepc from anywhere else and take control. Up to 2 computer are free. A more robust client is available for a fee.

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Friday, February 02, 2007

A Fair Comparison

Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols takes a pretty high-end PC and installs Vista and Ubuntu Linux in dual boot and does comparisons.


My test system's high-end audio outputs are S/PDIF (Sony/Philips Digital Interface Format) compliant. S/PDIF is probably the most common high-end audio port around for PCs today. It also has no built-in DRM (digital rights management) capability, and that turned out to be an important matter.

When I switched back to Vista, I tried to play Wilco's Yankee Hotel Foxtrot CD. Whoops! Not a single sound emerged from my speakers. After a little investigation, I found that Vista disables media outputs that don't incorporate DRM, when you try to play DRM protected media through them.
That was a kick in the head. I have a fully legal CD in my hand. Any other version of Windows will play it, Linux will play it, Mac OS will play it, and my CD player will play it, but if you're using S/PDIF for your computer-driven audio and Vista, you're out of luck. If you have a card with a Toslink optical digital audio port, you will be able to play it.

One of the ironies of the situation was that this very album had been first released on the Web without any DRM, in part as a protest against DRM. Ah well, that was yesterday.

There's a very detailed report on just how Vista goes wrong with DRM, which I recommend to you. I'll just content myself by saying an operating system -- any operating system -- is not the place for DRM.


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