Companies Should Stop Paying Microsoft

Here’s a list of companies that pay Microsoft for selling Android. As crazy as that may sound, these companies are willfully emptying their wallets as if Microsoft is holding a gun to their head. Velocity Micro, General Dynamics Itronix, Onkyo Corporation, Wistron Corporation and HTC head the list of companies that are paying Microsoft for their Android products. In addition, Barnes & Noble, and Samsung are being sued by Microsoft on the same grounds that the Android OS infringes on Microsoft patents and companies who use the platform needs to pay up. Companies should really stop paying the Microsoft “tax” until the patent infringements can be proven in court. I don’t know exactly what these companies are thinking by letting Microsoft bully them into making deals. Let Microsoft sue Google, and let the courts decide the outcome. There’s no sense of paying Microsoft now for something that may not even materialize in the future. Crazy.

3 Terabyte Drives and Microsoft Windows

3TB (Terabyte) drives are popping up everywhere. You’ll find them in stores as well as online. If you’re thinking about getting a 3TB hard drive, they may not work completely the way you imagined it. There are some older PCs and not-so-old operating systems (Windows 7) that do not support 3TB drives. Don’t worry, you will still get 3 TB capacity you paid for, but not in one volume. You will most likely get a 2.2 TB volume and a 800MB volume.

You will have this problem if you have an older BIOS and are running any of the following operating systems: Windows XP, 32-bit Windows Vista and 32-bit Windows 7. The OS that supports 3TB drives are the 64-bit Windows Vista and 64-bit Windows 7, MacOS and Linux.

Legacy Addressing Problem

The problem stems from the legacy addressing problem detailed by PCWorld:

The problem with deploying 3TB drives relates to older PCs (those more than a few months old, in most cases), and stems from the formula 2^32*512=2,199,023,255,552, or 2.2TB–a hard-drive addressing scheme found in legacy BIOSs and operating systems. In that formula, 2 indicates binary, 32 is the number of bits allowed in a legacy disk address, and 512 is the number of bytes in a legacy hard-drive data block. If the BIOS, drivers, I/O card, or operating system in your PC still plays by rules that involve this formula, you’ll have issues installing and using a 3TB drive.

This situation could have been avoided if the entire computer industry had future-proofed after enduring the 137GB (28-bit) limit problems that cropped up around the turn of the millennium. In truth, most vendors did–with the notable exception of Microsoft. The company chose not to implement support for anything larger than 2.2TB drives in any of its 32-bit consumer operating systems–including Windows 7. Microsoft even omitted support from 64-bit XP. If you were looking for a reason to move to 64-bit Windows 7, here it is–courtesy of a not so subtle (or particularly gracious) invitation from the industry giant.

Microsoft Dropped the Ball

This is just another example of Microsoft dropping the ball. It also gives the perception that Microsoft is trying to squeeze more from people by recommending to upgrade to their latest and greatest OS. By the way, MacOS and Linux doesn’t have this legacy addressing issue since they have addressed them many years ago. So, if you’re in the market for a 3TB drive, better check what OS you are running, because you might end up with two annoying volumes instead of one. Here’s a list of supported and unsupported OS with 3TB drives.

3TB Supported

64-bit Windows Vista, 64-bit Windows 7, MacOS, Linux

3TB Unsupported

Windows XP, 32-bit Windows Vista, 32-bit Windows 7

Change Gnome Keyring Password

If you are like me, you probably just changed your Ubuntu password. Everything worked fine, but the problem is, every once in a while  you’ll  get an annoying message to enter your Gnome keyring password, which is still set to your old password. To fix this issue, you will need to delete the default keyring. You can do so using the following command from the Ubuntu Terminal.

rm ~/.gnome2/keyrings/default.keyring

The command above will delete your keyring password. You will be asked to set a new gnome keyring password the next time you visit a site or need to authorize something. You can then set your new keyring password to match your current Linux password.

If you want to disable the keyring password altogether, you can do so by reading this article by noob2geek.

Google to Rename Picasa and Blogger

Google plans to rename Picasa and Blogger. Picasa will become Google Photos. Blogger will become Google Blogs. This is all part of an effort to rebrand some of the older Google products with a Google name on them. Picasa was acquired by Google in 2004, while Blogger was acquired back in 2003. I still think Google made a mistake by buying Blogger, albeit WordPress was first released on May 27, 2003. Clearly, WordPress is the better blog platform now. Read more about the rebranding of Picasa and Blogger from Mashable.

LibreOffice 3.3.3

If you’re looking for an alternative to Microsoft Office, check out LibreOffice 3.3.3. It’s the latest release by the Open Document Foundation. LibreOffice is open-source. It’s free. It has no license cost or annual fee. All you have to do is download, install and start using it.

LibreOffice has a word processor called Writer, a spreadsheet called Calc. Impress is the presentation software. Draw makes diagrams and sketches. Base is the database front-end. Math is a small math editor. LibreOffice is mostly compatible with Microsoft Office.  You can open, edit and save your Word, Excel, and Powerpoint documents with LibreOffice.

Give it a try. You’ve got nothing to lose. Download now!

Ubuntu 11.10 Release Schedule

Ubuntu 11.10 (Oneiric Ocelot) is scheduled for release Oct 13, 2011. It will mark the 15th release of Ubuntu. It has come a long way since the early days.

Here’s the rest of the Ubuntu 11.10 release schedule.

  • June 2nd, 2011 – Alpha 1 release
  • July 7th, 2011 – Alpha 2 release
  • August 4th, 2011 – Alpha 3 release
  • September 1st, 2011 – Beta 1 release
  • September 22nd, 2011 – Beta 2 release
  • October 13th, 2011 – Final release of Ubuntu 11.10

Upgraded to WordPress 3.2

I just upgraded to WordPress 3.2. It looks mighty spiffy. The Admin pages have been redesigned with several new Admin features added. There’s a new default theme called “Twenty Eleven,” which I have yet to use. Perhaps, later. The coolest new feature is the new full screen editor. Adding or editing a post doesn’t seem like you’re working within WordPress at all. I love it. If you like to know more about WordPress 3.2, read the release notes.

WordPress 3.2 rocks! Update now.