Technologizer: Dell’s Streak–Is It a Huge Smartphone or a Tiny Computer?

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By Harry McCracken

The time I’ve spent with Verizon Wireless’s Droid X has made one thing clear to me: I like great big smartphone screens. As impressively elegant as the iPhone 4′s 3.5″ retina display is, the X’s 4.3″ superscreen makes for larger type and easier tapping. It’s like the difference between a highly refined sportscar and a roomy SUV. I hope phones in both sizes flourish.

And then there’s Dell’s Streak…which makes the Droid X look like a pipsqueak. At five inches, its screen is so expansive that it’s not clear upon first glance whether this device is a phone. It is. Or at least it can be one: The Dell executive I spoke with at a demo yesterday described the Streak as being “capable of making phone calls.” In other words, Dell sees it as a data device that does voice rather than a phone that does data.

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PC Pitstop Newsletter – December 2009

    All New pcpitstop.com
    Black Screen of Death
    The Dodge Retort: PC/TV Habits
    Chris Pirillo: Skype Phone
    Bits from Bill: Facebook Apps Stealing Info
    Ask Leo: Help, Stolen Email Identity
    Technologizer: Windows 7 Survey Results
    TechBite: 5 Net Tricks to Save You Money
    Tekzilla Tip: Rein In Your System Tray
    Tip #1: Security Tab in XP
    Tip #2: Synch People & Contacts
    Tip #3: Google Power to MSFT Office
    PC Pitstop Driver Library

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Technologizer: The State of Windows 7 Satisfaction

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By Harry McCracken

Windows 7 is scarcely more than a month old. Most of the people who will eventually use it haven’t gotten around to trying it yet; those that have are still settling in. And the Win 7 experience will change rapidly as remaining bugs are squashed, missing drivers arrive, and compatibility glitches are ironed out. Even so, it’s not too early to start gauging what real people think of Windows Vista’s replacement.

So to riff on Ronald Reagan’s famous question from his 1980 debate with Jimmy Carter, Are Windows users better off today than they were a few weeks ago, back in the Vista era? We decided to ask the Technologizer community, a group of tech enthusiasts with a high propensity to acquire new operating systems quickly and push them to their limits. Starting on November 16th, we surveyed our readers (and Twitter followers) about their experiences with Windows 7. Our goal: to do a reality check on the mostly favorable initial reviews of the new OS (as well as our own survey of largely enthusiastic Windows 7 beta testers back in March).

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PC Pitstop Newsletter – November 2009 #2

    The Dodge Retort: Twitter, Facebook fertile phishing grounds
    Ask Leo: Secure Delete – What is it and do I need it?
    Chris Pirillo: How to Convert Cassettes to MP3
    Bits from Bill: Verizon Droid Day One
    Technologizer: 25 Most Notable Quotes in Tech History
    Use Your Droid as a Modem…Tethering
    TechBite: Fixes for 3 PC Annoyances
    Tip #1: Create Windows 7 Themes
    Tip #2: Float your Hard Drive LED
    Tip #3: Information about your Hardware
    PC Pitstop Driver Library

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PC Pitstop Newsletter – November 2009

    95 Freeware Titles Loved Worldwide
    Chris Pirillo: Software Install Made Easy
    Bits from Bill: How Apple Failed MAC
    Ask Leo: Keep Your Shared Info Private
    Technologizer: Classic PCs vs New PCs
    The Droid Experience
    TechBite: Use the Web to Find Anyone
    The Dodge Retort: First Impressions of Droid
    Windows 7 Migration Surge
    Tip #1: Must Have Word Tip from MVP
    Tip #2: Ensure Facebook Privacy
    Tip #3: Turn Pictures into Posters
    PC Pitstop Driver Library

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Technologizer: Classic PCs vs. New PCs: Their True Cost

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By Harry McCracken

You’re familiar with Moore’s law. You know all about the accelerating pace of information technology. Regardless, you’re still amazed at how many gigabytes you can fit in your pocket these days. Remember how your first computer’s entire hard disk only held 20 megabytes? You could accidentally swallow a thousand times as much data now if you weren’t careful.

But how much did that old hard drive cost? I mean really cost?

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PC Pitstop Newsletter – October 2009 #2

    Bits from Bill: Should You Upgrade to Windows 7 Now?
    Windows 7 – The Faster Version
    The Dodge Retort: Hopeful for Windows 7, But…
    Chris Pirillo: Windows 7 Security
    Ask Leo: My PC was Stolen, What Now?
    TechBite: 5 Tools to Tickle Your PCs Fancy
    Technologizer: Worst PC in America Slideshow
    Tip #1: Admin at Welcome screen
    Tip #2: Get Back the Classic Taskbar
    Tip #3: Install Windows Backup on XP
    PC Pitstop Driver Library

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Technologizer: Worst PC in America Slideshow

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By Harry McCracken

Some PCs are born crummy. Some achieve crumminess. And some have crumminess thrust upon them. Those are my conclusions after judging our Worst PC in America contest, in which we asked you to tell us about really rotten personal computers–with the lure of a snazzy HP Envy 13 laptop to be awarded to the most outstandingly awful entry. Herewith, some highlights lowlights, including both once-decent machines that have fallen upon hard times and some systems that were kind of terrible and/or just plain odd from the get go.

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Technologizer: Worst PC in America Contest

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By Harry McCracken

Attention, computer owners! Some of you own some really lousy PCs–either ones that were dogs in the first place, or which have gotten so roughed up over time that they’re just plain sad. Maybe most of these machines aren’t in active use–I sure hope not–but if they aren’t, they’re lurking in closets and attics across this great nation. I just know it.

And we want to hear about them, since the one type of computer more memorable than a great one is a bizarrely terrible one. Here’s your incentive to spill your guts: Courtesy of HP, we’ll pick a winner from among all people who tell us about their bad PCs–and that person will receive HP’s extremely slick, feature-laden Envy 13 notebook as a prize. (Thanks to HP for providing it.)

Entries must be submitted no later than 5pm PDT on Friday, October 16th. Use of photos (one of ‘em, at bare minimum) and videos is encouraged.

HOW TO ENTER THE CONTEST

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Technologizer: Microsoft Does Tablets. Yes, Again

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By Harry McCracken

Gizmodo is reporting on what it says is Microsoft’s prototype for a new sort of tablet computer – one with dual screens bound up like a book, and an interface that involves both multi-touch (like an iPhone) and a stylus (like a Tablet PC). It’s supposedly code-named Courier, and Gizmodo has a video walkthrough–which is done in animation, so this could be a concept rather than a product that’ll ever be available for sale.

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Technologizer: Windows 7 RC – FAQs

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By Harry McCracken

Sixteen questions (and answers!) on the new, almost-finished version of Microsoft’s next OS.

Windows 7 is here–sort of. Yes, Microsoft still isn’t talking about when it’ll ship the final version–all evidence suggests it’ll be sometime this Fall–but the company is unleashing the Windows 7 Release Candidate today. It’s a free, all-but-final version of the operating system, and it’ll work until March 1st, 2010 before Microsoft forces you to uninstall it or overwrite it with a paid-for copy of the final edition. In short, if you’re itching to give Windows 7 a try, you can.

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PC Pitstop Newsletter March 2009 #2

    Long Live the PC
    Windows 7 Tweaks
    Ask the Pros – Free Security
    Follow Us on Twitter
    Introducing Chris Pirillo
    Bits from Bill: Conflicker April Fool’s Doom
    TechBite: 6 Handy Web Tools
    Technologizer: IE8 Web Slices
    Chris Pirillo Video: How to Open Mysterious Files
    Life Online Survey
    March Madness Contest Standings
    Tip #1: Share Tabs
    Tip #2: Shortcuts to online services
    PC Pitstop Driver Library

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