Best Buy – Comparison Shopping

Now that Best Buy is carrying Dell computer systems, I decided to take a look and see if this would make comparison shopping between brands easier. I went to the Best Buy site and looked at laptop computer systems that were under $700 in price. I was surprised how many brands were available [32 brands on 01-02-08], and how easy it was to compare the different features each brand offered.

Brands of laptop systems being offered under $700 included HP, Compaq, Gateway, Dell, Toshiba, Sony, Acer & Asus. What I found interesting was that in the $599 range there were a variety of brands that offered features such as 15.4″ screens, 1G of RAM, DVD/CD burners and more. Also included was the Asus Eee listed at $399. Some of the $499 or less sale items were already sold out.

Before I continue let me state that I am not recommending Best Buy as the retailer to choose for your next computer purchase. What I am saying is that you can now use Best Buy as a good place to compare all brands for features and pricing.  It does appear that with the addition of Dell the Best Buy site may just make your shopping experience somewhat easier by seeing what is being offered.

It may also provide more competition and possibly lower prices for the consumer.

But I have a question? Is there any other useful sites that you would recommend that we also shop at? If so, let us know.

Comments welcome.

Best Buy site here.

[tags]best buy, comparison, dell, gateway, toshiba, acer, hp, compaq, asus, sony, shop,  [/tags]

PC vs Mac – Which Is Better?

I received a comment from one of readers concerning both Dell and Gateway introducing what can best be described as Mac look-a-likes which stated:

Is this an answer to the rise in iMac popularity? Do you think the price point is going to come out similar for most people choosing between a “One” model like you mentioned and an iMac? I know this ignores the whole mac v. pc argument, but for a typical consumer, it seems the all-in-one concept makes it possible to get a mac “machine” with a pc-interface.

-MamaToo

First of all, thanks for ignoring the PC vs Mac argument, which I  believe comes down to personal preference that is best left to each user. I am personally happy to see that Mac sales are on the rise, since competition in the marketplace is always welcome.

 

The comment from MamaToo gave me some food for thought. Are Dell and Gateways new ONE models in response to the Mac’s popularity or just a design change to get away from the typical PC box? As most of you already know I have previously written about the lack of design for the typical PC. The tower box and it’s lack of style is getting extremely boring, at least in my opinion. Some have disagreed saying they could care less what a PC looks like, and were more concerned about functionality than style. But why can’t we have both?

 

Also I completely forgot about the HP Touch Smart models that also has the ‘ONE’ appearance. So one could conclude that either Dell and Gateway models are in response to HP, or that all three PC makers are responding to the popularity of the Mac. Another thought is that it could be both. A change in design styling to attract a high end buyer or also in repsonse to the pleasing design of Mac computers.

 

Whatever the reasoning, I welcome the new designs.

 

What do you think?

 

Comments welcome.

[tags]hp, dell, gateway, ONE, Mac, comparison, better, [/tags]

Microsoft Windows Proven To Be More Secure Than Other Operating System

Wondering through the web I came upon a blog by a Jeff Jones who has completed a very detailed study in which he compares DoR [Days of Risk] for various operating systems. After compiling his data for the DoR report, which includes all types of graphs and charts, and incorporating some other gee whiz factors, he has concluded that Windows has a lower DoR than other operating systems like Apple Or Linux. Really. I kid you not.

Jeff also mentions the following as to where he obtained his data:

For severity information, I used the US Department of Homeland Security sponsored National Vulnerability Database (NVD, http://nvd.nist.gov) as a source for independent severity ratings that were defined across all of the products.

For the dates of public disclosure, I used my own disclosure database which I have compiled over the past several years. In general, the process is as follows for each vulnerability:

It was interesting to read what Jeff had to say and read about his collusions. It was also interesting to see who Jeff Jones is:

Jeff Jones is a Security Strategy Director in Microsoft’s Trustworthy Computing group. In this role, Jeff draws upon his security experience to work with enterprise CSOs and Microsoft’s internal security teams to drive practical and measurable security improvements into Microsoft process and products.

He also has written a article about how much more Vista is compared to other operating systems as well. Again he backs up his conclusions with data. Lots of data. He states:

The results of the analysis show that Windows Vista continues to show a trend of fewer total and fewer High severity vulnerabilities at the 6 month mark compared to its predecessor product Windows XP (which did not benefit from the SDL) and compared to other modern competitive workstation OSes (which also did not benefit from an SDL-like process).

If you share the opinion that Windows and applications ported to Windows get a higher level of researcher scrutiny than other OSes, then the 6-month results are even more positive. If you don’t share that opinion, then they still stand on their own …

Let’s face it. For some who read Jeff’s conclusions they will scream that he is a paid shill for Microsoft. He had to conclude that Windows is more secure because that is his job.

Or, we could look at this with a open mind. For years all we have read is about the vulnerabilities of Windows or other Microsoft products. It was unusual for us to hear about patches or fixes for other products. Just just a short time ago Apple put out what I believe were 26 fixes. Does that make Apple less secure than Windows? I think not.

If one were to write an article about how insecure Apple, or Linux or any other operating was, I would guarantee you that there would be a uproar and a lot of finger pointing at Windows indicating how bad Windows is. It is no fun picking on Apple or Linux since for the most part they are fairly well liked. But Microsoft is far game since they are the evil empire and known as the ‘thugs from Redmond.” Their questionable business practices speak volumes.

But the topic is whether Windows is more secure than other operating systems, or have we been brain washed into thinking that this is not the case? Or is what Jeff is saying just more FUD?

What do you think?

Please. No Apple, Linux is better than Windows comments. :-) TIA
Articles on Jeff’s blog are located here.

[tags]windows, linux, apple, security, comparison, [/tags]

Windows, Apple, and Linux – Is It Fair To Compare Them?

There is not a day that goes by when someone, somewhere is not pounding the keys on their computer and telling us why the operating system they are using is the best and why yours sucks. I have read more one-sided, jaded nonsense by so called experts over the years that I sometimes wonder what the writers’ real agenda is. It also makes one wonder how many poor souls read this dribble and take it as being 100% fact?

I must admit that my experience with Apple is somewhat limited. My first exposure to an Apple system was in the year 2000. At the time I owned a PC repair business and received a call from a woman who needed her computer set up. She informed me she had a printer, scanner, digital camera and a fax machine + the computer system itself. I than asked what brand of PC she owned and she said Apple. Oops! I didn’t do Apples. Long story short, she begged for my assistance since she couldn’t find anyone in the area that did Apples and she needed her system to telecommute. I think she mentioned something about a ‘ life or death situation’ as well. :-) I agreed and before going to her home, contacted a friend who owned an Apple system, and he walked me through the steps on how to proceed. I was amazed. This was a brand new Apple system still in its original cartons which she stated she had paid $4500 for. (The thought did pass my mind that I could have bought 3 PCs for that amount). It took me four hours to unpack, set up, and configure everything she needed. But what was really amazing is that the setup was flawless. It was truly plug-n-play.

I recall thinking to myself how lucky I was that most everyone used PCs, because if it was this easy to set systems up, I’d be out of business. One must remember that plug-n-play was basically a term used by Microsoft at the time, to try and convince the masses that it actually worked. About one-half of my service calls involved installing a printer or scanner which the client tried to do but failed at. Oh, can’t forget the modems also since most people were still on dialup. I was happy for the business since I had a daughter attending Santa Clara University and the tuition at the time was about the same as buying a small house in California.

So over the years I had a few other Apple experiences, which were also fairly easy to solve. I dabbled in the black art of Linux and continued using my Windows boxes with a variety of different versions, minus ME. I won’t say ME sucked, but it left much to be desired and it was challenging.

So what is the best operating system? Can one really compare which are best? IMO you can’t. They are all different, offer different pros and cons, and fill different needs for different people. I personally believe that the best operating system is the one that you like and use and that meets your needs. That is the bottom line.

Opinions from anyone about anything need to be viewed with an open mind. I once recalled reading a review about a specific automobile in which the reviewer indicated that the ride of the vehicle was ‘harsh.’ Upon reading the review further the car was tested on the Nimitz freeway near Oakland, which at the time had so many potholes that everyone was complaining. In fact one radio station in the Bay Area had a weekly drawing and was giving away a free set of shock absorbers to those who commuted on the Nimitz. Those not familiar with the condition of the freeway were not given the true facts and thus the review was flawed.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

[tags]apple, linux, windows, comparison, reviews, [/tags]

Linux – This Site Is Great – Why Linux Is Better

Yesterday I posted a request over at Scot’s Newsletter Forum, in the Linux section, asking for some opinions about how one would approach showing that Linux could rival Windows. And one of the posters who uses the moniker Urmas from Helsinki, FI, posted a link to a website which I found to be absolutely great.

The writer presents a rational and thoughtful comparison of Linux, but not as it compares to Windows, but uses the comparison to show what Windows lacks. And in doing so, he shows how Linux can stand on it’s own two feet. Yes, Penguins have feet. :-)

As I went through the website, it became very apparent that the site is well designed and also the writer has spent many hours in compiling the information presented. And without me trying to explain everything that the site contains, I highly recommend you take a look for yourself.

For those who may be considering switching from Windows to Linux, I think this site is a must read.

And some of my friends from Scot’s Newsletter Forum wanted me to make sure that I mentioned that new users should try a Live CD distribution first, so as not to lose their data, and to also confirm that their system hardware is fully supported.

Why Linux Is Better Website

[tags]linux, windows, better, comparison, [/tags]

I Got To Play With A Sony PS3 – Review

Last Saturday night we were invited to a neighborhood get together which both my wife and I were excited about, since we had recently moved into the neighborhood and were the new people on the block. This would be a good time to make new acquaintances and also to introduce ourselves and hopefully make new friends.

About a hour or so into the party, I mentioned that I did computer repairs to a neighbor I’ll call Fred. Fred said he had bought a Sony PS3 but that he was having trouble with it and if I would take a look at it for him. Sure I’d love to since this would be a great opportunity to try a new toy.

So after the festivities I went to Fred’s home only to find that not only did he have a PS3, but his kids also had an Xbox and a Wii. The PS3 was hooked up to an HDTV running at 1080p, which is the latest and greatest this week. We started to play Madden’s Football 2007 and I immediately noticed that the graphics were stunning. Even the word stunning doesn’t describe it – maybe superb would be a better choice. But after about 30 minutes of play, the game froze.

While playing the game, Fred mentioned that he had installed the latest updates for the system, but it kept freezing on him. So I thought that the problem could be a heat issue, since I remember reading that some owners of PS3s had reported some problems with the units getting toasty warm.

Sure enough, Fred had placed the unit inside of the closed portion of his entertainment center, with only a two inch hole at the rear of the cabinet to run cables. When I opened the door to the cabinet, I could feel a warm blast of air and the bottom of the shelf, where the unit sat, was very warm to the touch. After letting the unit cool for about 20 minutes, I pulled it outside of the cabinet and fired it back up. The system then ran normally for the next hour without a problem. Simple solution – give the unit more breathing room.

I made a deal with Fred to come back to try both the Xbox and Wii at a later time to do a comparison of all three gaming units and to do a review. He agreed. I must admit that the Xbox and Wii will have to be super great to beat the PS3, which I really enjoyed playing.

Oh, yeah. I beat Fred playing football 27-21! :-)

[tags]PS3, sony, review, comparison, Xbox, Wii [/tags]