Drives fail. And no matter how many backups you have, losing a drive when you're in the middle of working on something important -- my namesake's law -- can be a real pain in the arse. Thankfully, replacing your old-and-busted drive with a brand-new drive is one of the easiest upgrades you can make.
Tagged With upgrade
The last time we checked in for our staff's Weekly Upgrades, our editors were embracing the joys of the radio, investing in gear for outdoor adventures, experimenting with lunch subscriptions, and slathering garlic honey on various foodstuffs.
A tech site noted for getting its Microsoft leaks right has posted details of a Windows 7 upgrade program, which would give buyers of the higher-end Vista versions a free copy of the new OS. According to Tech ARP's details, pulled from a document sent to computer manufacturers in early December, a consumer who buys a copy of Windows Vista Ultimate, Business, or Home Premium on or after July 1, 2009, through Jan. 31, 2010, could obtain a free upgrade to Windows 7. Those dates can be shortened or modified by the manufacturers themselves, but Microsoft, in its Technical Guarantee Program, seems fairly set upon July 1 as a start date. And if the documents are right, Vista upgraders will get the equivalent copy of Windows 7 for free—Windows Vista Home Premium goes to Windows 7 Home Premium, Ultimate to Ultimate, and so on It's not an entirely new program for Microsoft to offer free upgrades within a certain calendar radius of a new release, but it seems like a valuable bit of information for anyone reluctant to buy a new system because of Vista concerns—mid-year, in other words, might be a safer jump-in point. But check the fine print with any system maker before going ahead, of course. The Microsoft Windows 7 Upgrade Program
The many versions of Windows Vista was the brunt of much criticism from confused users, but Microsoft has simplified things in Windows 7. ZDNet's Ed Bott reports that Windows 7 has trimmed down to only 3 different versions for everyone in developed countries: Windows 7 Home Premium, Windows 7 Professional, and Windows 7 Ultimate/Enterprise. Windows 7 Home Basic and Starter editions are actually available in emerging markets, but they "will not legally be available for sale in the U.S., Western Europe, Japan, and other developed countries." More good news: Upgrading from one version to another is a "takes 5-10 minutes" and doesn't require a reinstall like Vista did. Check out the ZDNet post for details on each version.
The Mysticgeek blog at the How-To Geek's site has a clever series of posts up that use free software tools to give Windows Vista Home Premium—the version that most often ships with standard laptops—the same kind of super-user powers you get with a copy of Ultimate. Mysticgeek uses FileHamster to replicate Ultimate's "Shadow Copy" function, installing a DreamScene power toy to get moving backgrounds, and DriveIMage XML to create sturdy backups (as Gina once detailed). Hit the link below for the FileHamster tutelage; and check out part 1 and part 2 for the other tweaks. What other tweaks do you use to add Ultimate-like features to your copy of Vista? Share them in the comments. Turn Vista Home Premium into Ultimate - (Part 3) Shadow-Copy
With the version count sitting at 3.8
for Windows, Internet telephony giant Skype isn't shy about rolling
out the updates. That's great when they work, but my recent
experiences trying to upgrade to 3.8 have been painful: no sound at
all for a week, then -- just as technical support were starting to
take me seriously -- basic sound returned, but with 10 seconds
silence every minute or so. Not good enough.
The best solution in this case would
seem to be rolling back to an earlier working package, but Skype
doesn't make that easy: its installation routine comprehensively
ditches the previous version, and only the latest release is ever
available at its site. Thank goodness for Filehippo, which maintains
a comprehensive archive of Skype releases. I wouldn't want to
guarantee they'll all work with the current infrastructure, but if an
upgrade starts playing nasty and stuff was working fine before, this
is the first place to check in (after taking a deep breath, of
If you're using a consumer grade point-and-shoot Canon digital camera, you've got hardware in hand that can support advanced features way beyond what shipped in the box. With the help of a free, open source project called CHDK, you can get features like RAW shooting mode, live RGB histograms, motion-detection, time-lapse, and even games on your existing camera. Let's transform your point-and-shoot into a super camera just by adding a little special sauce to its firmware.