Google Reinvents the Inbox

Email has been around for a long time. It predates the Internet. Google is tweaking how email is displayed to users by adding features which makes it easier to get to the important data. Several months ago, Google added tabs to differentiate social updates and promotions from regular email. With Inbox, Google is adding Bundles, a feature that will group together similar messages, like bank statements and receipts for example. Another feature is called Highlights, which places important emails to the front and center. Inbox also has Reminders, Assists and Snooze. Reminders are pretty much self explanatory. Assists work with reminders to bring out relevant information. Snooze dismisses information in the background. Google Inbox is not available yet to all. You can ask for an invite by sending an email to inbox@gmail.com.

Goodbye to Lotus 1-2-3

I can’t believe Lotus 1-2-3 has been around for 30 years. Support has ended September 30. I learned how to use spreadsheets using Lotus 1-2-3. Using floppy drives, too. Good times. Think of all the formulas and macros you’ve created. Clearly, Lotus 1-2-3’s time has come and gone. It’s a remarkable success story. This has to be one of the most successful software ever written. In the first year, Lotus expected to sell about $1 million. It sold $54 million.

Windows 10

Microsoft is distancing itself from Windows 8 as much as possible, that they even skipped a version just to provide some cushion. Everyone was anticipating that the new version will be called Windows 9, but Microsoft just announced it will be releasing Windows 10 instead. Why no love for the number 9? Does this mean the Start menu is getting another makeover? By the way, it’s scheduled to release next spring.

Vending Machines with WiFi

BT Global Services and Coke are partnering to provide WiFi access on vending machines in rural parts of South Africa. Locals will be able to check their emails while being refreshed by Coke. Novel idea. Does it mean that “water cooler” talk will be replaced by “vending machine” talk? Probably not. I see a potential business here for others to provide an internet vending machine for tourists stuck in remote tourist spots.

32GB Flash Drive

I picked up one of these at Frys Electronics the other week. It’s USB 2.0 32GB Flash drive for just $25. What a bargain! It’s not quite as fast as USB 3.0 drive, but it’s fast enough for what I’ll be doing, just copying media files from one computer to another. It’s small and compact. I’ve attached mine to my key ring holder. I forget it’s even there sometimes.
hpv165whand

Frys link

Windows XP Is Orphaned

Today is the day Windows XP is going to be orphaned. It won’t get anymore security updates from Microsoft. Zilch. Nada. Of course, Windows XP users can still use their machines, with maybe some annoying popup message saying it’s no longer supported and please upgrade. I’m sure users will find ways to disable the popup reminder. Windows XP is probably the best operating system Microsoft has ever had followed by Windows 7. And there were many flops before and after. The famous one of all is, of course Vista. Windows 8 seems to be following in the footsteps of Vista. It’s getting lots of user resistance. Some users still look for the previous version of Windows 7. Windows XP is officially retired, except that it’s still runs for a little while longer.

Dual Boot Ubuntu and Windows 8.1

It has been close to a decade since my last Windows machine. We are talking about during the days when Windows XP ruled the world. I just finished installing Windows 8.1 on an older PC that was running Ubuntu Linux server. It’s still runs Ubuntu on its own hard drive. I found an old 60GB IDE hard drive that was collecting dust.

So, I decided to add it on my PC. So, now I have two hard drives. I ended up installing Windows 8.1 on it. I can still boot to either OS. I just have to enter the BIOS setup each time, when I want to switch OS, and select the appropriate drive as primary. The Windows 8.1 installation took a while. The setup also took some time to finish. The first order of business was install Google Chrome. The second was to install Avast Antivirus.

I don’t know what the fuss is all about with Windows 8. I took me a few seconds to get to the original desktop. I heard from a lot of people that Windows 7 was better. I don’t have much an opinion for or against Windows 8. So far, so good. The only gripe I have is, I wished that old 60GB drive was quieter, but that is not Windows fault. With much ado, here’s my first post from Windows 8.1.

Windows XP Is Still Sting Hanging On

Microsoft is trying hard to get people to move off from Windows XP. It just doesn’t seem to be working. It’s falling on deaf ears. Interestingly, there was a slight increase in Windows XP use. Microsoft plans to drop Windows XP support April 8, meaning there won’t be anymore bug fixes, security updates, etc. Microsoft plans to use pop-up reminders after April 8.

The lesson to learn from all of this is, it is difficult to kill off a very successful product that still makes up 30% of your OS business. It’s going to take some time. The reality is, they may not all come back. In some cases, Users have found better alternatives in the form of our devices such as tablets and smartphones.

I imagine small businesses still have some old systems are still hanging around. If they haven’t moved them, there’s probably a good enough reason why they still run on Windows XP. There are many legacy systems that still run on Windows XP. Upgrades means they will break. But, then again, I can’t imagine businesses ignoring all of these warnings all this time.

So, I won’t be surprised if only a small portion of the 30 percent upgrades to newer Windows OS.