Tag Archive for updates

Great Advice for New Computer Owners

Rob Pegoraro of The Washington Post has an excellent article, “Pre-Flight Instructions For Your New Computer”, for new computer owners. Whether you have a new PC or a new Mac he offers excellent advice for getting started with your new computer.  Here are a few of the recommendations he’s made for users of Windows Vista and Mac OS X Leopard:

  • Activate the pre-installed antivirus on a PC. (Skylarking note: Or download Avast at www.avast.com, and download the Home edition. It’s free if you only have it iusntalled on one PC in your household. Mac users can consider getting an antivirus program at the Apple Store online to spare your PC using friends from viruses you might accidentally pass on.)
  • Turn on the firewall on your Mac: Click System Preferences >> Security>> Firewall >> “Set access for specific services and applications”. (Note: The firewall on Windows Vista PC is active out of the box.)
  • Download system updates. Vista: Start >> Control Panel >> Check for updates. Mac: Apple-icon >> Software Update.
  • Remove “trialware” and buy the $150 Home and Student Edition of Microsoft Office 2007, or download the free OpenOffice 3 at http://openoffice.org or use the free Google Docs Web-based software at http://docs.google.com. Uninstall software via Start >> Control Panel >> Uninstall a program.
  • Declutter the desktop: Drag and drop unwanted icons into the Recycle Bin, or use right-click and delete on the icons.
  • Declutter the Mac’s Dock: Drag unwanted icons off the Dock, and they’ll vanish.
  • Backup: Use Windows Vista’s Backup and Restore Center with an external drive, or, if you have a broadband connection, use a free online backup via Mozy at http://mozy.com.
  • Backup on a Mac: Get an external hard driveand use Apple’s Time Machine software.
  • Surfing the Web? Get Mozilla Firefox, http://mozilla.com, for free. Many people prefer it over the Microsoft’s Internet Explorer and Mac’s Safari.
  • Rest: Don’t rush to install your old programs, and “don’t go crazy trying out new ones.”
  • For an old printer or scanner: Go to the manufacturer’s web site and download the updated drivers instad of using the ones on the original CDs. (Skylarking note: You might also find that the Windows drivers are sufficient for operationg these items.)

He makes additional suggestions regarding email applications (Thunderbird, Windows Mail, Windows Live Mail), music and video playing software (iTunes), and photo editing tools such as Picasa.

Check out Rob Pegoraro’s article in full and enjoy your new computer. Happy holidays!




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Another iPhone Upgrade. Privacy at Risk

Courtesy of Apple

Courtesy of Apple

Gizmodo released a video today illustrating a security flaw in the iPhone 2.0.2 upgrade which was released on August 15. The video demonstrates how to bypass the passcode needed to unlock a locked iPhone.

To bypass the code anyone can move the locking slider, and when asked for the passcode they need only tap the “Emergency Call” button once, and then double tap “Home”. The video below demonstrates the technique.

Once unlocked they have full access to the phone and can make calls, send and read emails, make online purchases and more.

Apple had addressed the issue in an email released today, but no date for a patch to this security risk has been mentioned. Instead Apple suggests users modify their settings so that the Home button goes to their music collection instead of their Favorites.

Back on August 5, I reported on Apple’s release of a firmware upgrade (v2.0.1) which was designed to remedy widespread problems experienced by iPhone users who upgraded to the iPhone 2.0 operating system after July 11. Problems addressed were instability issues, application crashes, responsiveness, and speed.

13 days later, August 15, v2.0.2 was released to address connectivity issues with the faster 3G wireless networks and a few other minor problems with the App Store and the Safari Internet browser.

It’s been yet another 13 days and now Apple has yet another hole to fill in their popular devices operating system. A date for release is pending.

Apple projects sales of the iPhone are to reach 10 million by year’s end.

Update Aug. 29: Still no exact date for the update, but word from Apple has it that it will be some time in September.  My guess is they’re all off for Labor Day weekend, so they’ll tackle late next week.

Post Comments or Questions with the link below. Keep up-to-date with Skylarking: By Email or RSS Newsfeed or on Twitter. You can also send questions with my email form. I’m looking forward to hearing from you.



Apple Releases iPhone Updates

Courtesy of Apple

Courtesy of Apple

Due to widespread instability issues with the 3 week old iPhone 2.0 operating system, Apple has released an updated version of the famed phone’s firmware.  The updated operating system is for use on the iPhone, the new iPhone 3G, and the iPod Touch (an iPhone without the phone feature).


Apple Online Store

The 250 MB update, v2.0.1, “increases backup times, improves keyboard responsiveness, and reduces lag in some applications” (InformationWeek). There were also problems reported with applications for the iPhone freezing and necessitating a reboot of the phone. MacWorld has posted an article for dealing with problematic apps for the iPhone.

How To Get The Update

The easiest way to get the update is to connect your iPhone to a computer and start iTunes.  Once started you can easily click your iPhone entry in the sidebar, and then click the “Update” button that appears.