What Operating System Should I Get?

The three main choices are Microsoft Windows, Apple Mac and Linux. In this article I briefly summarize the advantages and disadvantages of each. We begin with MS Windows.

Microsoft Windows Advantages

A comprehensive range of software is available for Windows machines, including, of course MS Office. Modern high performance games work well on MS Windows. This is somewhat ironic given Microsoft’s image of a stuffy business oriented software house. Microsoft Windows is used on lots of systems so there is no trouble getting advice and support and also peripherals (printers mice etc) to work with it. It’s likely that you will have already used or will be expected to use a MS Windows machine in your work, since they’re pervasive in the business sector. So, being familiar with Windows might be useful in terms of your career.

Microsoft Windows Disadvantages

Windows can be expensive, particularly for the Professional and Ultimate editions. Windows has a poor (but steadily improving) security reputation. A comprehensive virus checker and internet security program is therefore an absolute must for all Windows boxes.

Apple Mac OS X Advantages

The chief advantage of Apple Mac OS X is its lovely, easy to use user interface. Apple has a well deserved reputation for making well designed products and this is reflected in OS X. Apple’s standout application area is computer graphics and multimedia application (video editing etc). While Macs have a good reputation for security, it’s still recommended that you use some kind of virus checker and internet security program. The reason for this is twofold, firstly it’s only a matter of time before a really nasty Mac or UNIX virus appears and with no good anti-virus infrastructure in place the Mac community will be very vulnerable. Secondly, even if your Mac itself isn’t adversely affected by an infected email it would be embarrassing to pass the problem on to your Windows reliant associates. There’s a more limited range of peripherals available for the Mac than MS Windows machines, but still a wide enough choice for most users. In terms of applications, a reasonable amount of software is available including MS Office for Mac.

Apple Mac OS XDisadvantage

For practical purposes Max OS X only works with Apple hardware (I’m not talking about peripherals here just the core system). Anyway, this limitation isn’t such a bad thing since Mac hardware is rather nice and it probably contributes to the reliability of Apples offerings. Cost, for a given machine performance Apples are cost competitive with brand name Windows machines, however Apple don’t produce a netbook level machine which tend to be cheap.

Linux Advantages

The first advantage is its cost, it’s free for many distributions, although business uses typically get support packages which of course need to be paid for. Secondly, Linux is considered to be very reliable, it’s open source so lots of people get to test and review its source code. Thirdly, performance, Linux performs strongly over practically all benchmarks. Lastly, security, Linux has a good reputation for security, but, as with the Mac, most users are still advised to invest in a virus checker.

There is a wide range of free high quality open source software available for Linux. There’s also a reasonable range of proprietary software available, with an emphasis on engineering and scientific packages. In addition with the aid of the wine package it’s possible to get many MS Windows application to work on certain Linux machines (ones capable of running Windows).

Linux Disadvantages

The two most common Linux graphical user interfaces, Gnome and KDE are still not as polished as either Windows 7 or Apple’s latest offerings. Users are typically either businesses or IT, engineering or scientific professionals and students.

Summary

If you’re a game playing business person buy Windows. If you’re an artist buy a Mac and if you’re an engineer download Linux.

Peter Smaith has over 20 years experience in the computer industry, having worked as software engineer, manager and consultant. Peter is an occasional reviewer at http://www.review-pc.com.

5 Reasons to Buy a Mac Over a PC

While both categories of computer systems are rated to be equally useful and advanced by most users, in this article we shall discuss some of the advantages that are unique to using MAC in the form of 5 reasons to buy a MAC over a PC.

Most viruses are for Windows, not Mac!

The first advantage that a MAC system has is that it is stronger when it comes to preventing virus entries into the computer system. Unlike what many users believe, MAC systems are not completely immune to virus attacks, but are, to a certain extent, more protected than the ordinary Windows PCs are. The principle behind the supposed immunity of a MAC system to most common viruses lies in the fact that most common viruses are developed using systems that run on one variety of the Windows Operating System or the other. Because the basic programming of the viruses is done on systems using the Windows software, the structure of the viruses is not, for the lack of a better word, compatible with the structure of MAC systems. Since Windows based viruses cannot subsist in a MAC computer system, the infiltration rates in MAC systems is drastically lower than it is in Windows computers. The viruses are so designed that they target only other Windows computers. The structure of the Windows software was designed with a number of weaknesses and flaws that often allowed for the un-containable spread of malware and by the time the user became aware of the threat, the damage to the system was already great.

Advanced software system

The software system that comes with MAC is far more advanced in comparison to the software used in the Windows computers. Windows personal computers use the Vista software while the MAC computers use OS X or Operating System X.

Smooth compatibility

Another reason why one should opt for a MAC system over a Windows system can be seen in the smooth compatibility between both the hardware and the software devices in the MAC systems as compared to the Windows systems where the two sets of components of a computer system- that is the hardware and the software- are not very compatible with one another, causing work to slow down. The reason as to why the software and hardware in the MAC systems work so smoothly lies in the fact that the Apple Company manufactures both on their own and hence the relationship between the two is more controlled and even and there are fewer kinks. Hence, the computer system requires lesser maintenance in the long run and is much easier to use.

High stability, High performance

Owing to all the aforementioned reasons, the MAC system is invariably more stable than the Windows system. Hence, the chances of your PC crashing, the disk drivers spoiling and your losing vital information are immediately reduced. The system is on the whole more stable and less prone to problems of unsteadiness, security threats and system failures.

Versatile functionality

The MAC PCs allow for a greater variety of functions and thus can be used by professionals from all walks of life. One can use the system for all kinds of purposes such as editing movie clips, sound files, photographs, business-related work etc.

For more Macintosh tools, resources, articles and freebies visit: Macintosh Tools

Computer Networking For Your Business

Network your computers! Transform your business with computer networking.

So what is a computer network? What does it do for your business?

You may already understand the significance of this, but for all of you that want to know that have computers at home and/or at the office, a computer network is an interconnected group of computers. Networking computers basically maximises the usage of your hardware resources.

For example a printer can be shared amongst users thus avoiding the purchase of another printer.

The other main advantage is the sharing of documents, calendars, meetings, internet access and the ability to send and receive email. But best of all you increase your business productivity!

If you are a small business the minimum requirement is two computers. You only need to network two computers. This is a really basic setup and does not offer any security to protect your files.

The best way to go about it, is to get yourself a small business file server. One of the most popular server operating systems is Microsoft Windows 2003 Small Business Server which is a file, print, email server in its basic form. There is also an enhanced version that provide proxy and firewall features.

There are many hardware platforms to choose from, but through experience I found that IBM, HP and Dell provide that most stable and supported platforms. Servers nowadays are not expensive and can be acquired for under $2k for a basic setup.

Then you will need to add an UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) to protect your server from power fluctuations and black outs, a tape backup unit and software to save your precious data, extra memory to improve performance, extra hard disk drives for fault tolerance and protect your system from storage device failures.

Since everyone is on the internet today, you will be obtaining a broadband service in the form of cable or dsl type connection, add a router, add a modem and you are nearly there.

You will need to acquire an internet domain by registering it with any of the domain registrars available, a web hosting service for your website.

The internet domain is very important because it defines your internet identity. Your email addresses will be setup according to your domain name.

This projects a professional image in comparison to a hotmail, gmail, yahoo or isp account. The email service can be an in-house type which is the best option or hosted at your ISP.

You will require applications loaded on your server and desktops, configure network security, user profiles, logon scripts etc.

As you can understand, even though it may seem a straight forward procedure, there are complexities in installing, setting up, maintaining a computer network. and would be best to employ the services of an IT specialist.

Ipnotech has been providing professional information technology solutions and services for the last 15 years.

Alfred Buatti is the owner of Ipnotech. Alfred has been a Novell Certified Engineer back in the early 90s and has progressively embraced the latest Microsoft business solutions such as Windows 2003 and Exchange 2003 server to meet current business’ requirements.

He is a Microsoft Certified Professional and has worked for clients such as ANZ Bank, Alitalia Airlines, Commonwealth Funds Management, Bankers Trust Australia and was instrumental in the design, implementation and maintenance of the IT infrastructures of Saeco Australia, CMS Coffee Machine Services, Lonsdale Accounting, Regent Finance and Mortice and Tenon.

Whether you need desktop installations or server deployments, you can rest assured that you are getting an enterprise quality solution and service at the right investment level for your business.

We operate in Melbourne and suburbs.

Our in depth experience can help your business in the following IT areas:

Computer networks, IT infrastructure management, Windows 2000/2003 servers, Exchange 2000/2003 servers, Backup solutions, Terminal servers, Local Area Networks, Router configuration, Internet security Data recovery, Desktop management, Wired and Wireless networks, Wide Area Networks, Domain registration, Web hosting, Remote support, Virtual Private Networking.

You can find us at: http://www.ipnotech.com to get more information.

Laptop Locks and Security Tips

There are several things to keep in mind when deciding on a laptop lock. How often do you travel with your laptop?

If you take it with you everywhere, from home to school to work to the coffee shop then you need something light and portable. No one likes to carry more weight then they have to. So a big clunky lock will always get left behind and never used.

What kind of places do you take your laptop to? If you spend a lot of time in public place, like coffee shops and libraries, then a stronger laptop lock is for you. They are also heavier, but it may be worth while to carry the extra weight.

How important is your laptop to you?

Of course, this is an easy question… However consider this. If you back up your laptop daily and will not miss the information because you can restore it in a few minutes, and you have an older laptop you wouldn’t mind replacing… Then you may consider not even using a lock.

You may say: “I wish someone would steal my laptop, I could use a new one!”

I hear this often. It’s a bad idea.

What if your laptop grows legs and walks away in the middle of working on something important?

Is the value of your old laptop worth claiming on insurance? Your deductible may be too high. And it may cause your insurance rates to increase.

Also, do you want to be “Forced” into an upgrade when you are not ready? If you use Windows XP you be forced to buy something new that comes Windows Vista. Do you have the time to learn a new operating system?

Most important: How much is your information worth?

Do you have client’s personal information on your laptop? If your client’s information falls into the wrong hands the privacy laws hold YOU responsible because YOU did not secure your data on your laptop.

You may say: “My information if safe, I have a password on Windows!”

I’m sorry to break the bad news to you. The Windows password is a tamper proofing level of security at best. It can be bypassed with simple software that can be downloaded for free for anyone who has access to the Internet.
So why even use the windows password?

Like I said, it’s a good tamper proofing feature. The software that allows a thief or hacker to bypass the windows password does not reveal your password. It allows them to set a new password. In other words, you will know that someone has reset your password because your password will no longer work.

Make sure you lock you laptop to the desk with a laptop lock and log out of windows when you leave you laptop at your desk while you take a break. If you are heading out for a longer period of time, take it with you.

The bottom line is that it is your responsibility to protect it.

Ben Kayfetz has been providing laptop locks and other security solutions since 1991.

Run Windows-Only Applications on Your Mac

Access key Windows applications from the comfort of your Mac. Run your favorite software on your favorite hardware. Run selected 3D games and graphics applications. Explore a whole new world of Windows-only 3D games and graphics applications right on your Mac.

Use your favorite Windows-only devices. Use your favorite in-demand USB 2.0 devices, even if they’re Windows-only. Connect your phone, camera and MP3 player to your Mac!

Run OS X, Windows and Linux at the same time. Run your favorite applications at the same time, regardless of the OS! No more rebooting to switch between OS to use the applications you need.

Bring your PC with you! Move an entire physical or virtual Windows system to your new Mac in just a few simple steps. No losing data, reinstalling software or re-customizing your computer.
Go full Mac at full speed! It’s an intuitive, easy-to-use virtualization platform for switchers who need to run Windows applications alongside OS X. Made the move to Mac? No other solution makes it easier or faster to take your Windows system with you. Keep your must-have Windows programs, files and settings at your fingertips.

Parallels Desktop is currently the best solution for running Windows, Linux, or any of many other operating systems alongside OS X. With the inclusion of (still limited) 3-D graphics support, Snapshots and Undo Disks, virtual appliances, and many other features, it’s a compelling alternative to rebooting via Boot Camp.

Tech support has improved, although you will pay somewhat dearly if you need an answer via phone. Unless you need full 3-D graphics support, or support for some esoteric hardware, Parallels will probably get the job done for you.

Check it HERE
— Vlad Nik

How Safe Are Mac Users From Spyware?

Currently, it is true to say that any Spyware program targeted at Mac computers would spread at a rather slow speed for one simple reason. And that is the fact that only about 3 per cent of the computers linked to the World Wide Web today are macs using Mac OS or Mac operating system.

What this means is that every time the virus attempts to spread, it will find that 97 per cent of the time they will be facing a PC or non-mac computer.

Unfortunately the result of this has been to give many Mac users a false sense of security that is laving an increasing number of them very vulnerable. The reality is that there are numerous Spyware and Adware malicious software in the market today that are capable of attacking and infecting Mac users.

There has even been talk for sometime now that it is only a matter of time before a hybrid software capable of infecting both Microsoft Windows and Mac OS hits the web. This kind of software ld spread very rapidly and wreck havoc amongst Mac users most of whom are vulnerable to such an attack due to the inadequate protection that most have.

Yet there is really no excuse and every Mac user should take the threat very seriously indeed and take a serious look at Adware and Spyware removal programs available for the Mac. The need for free mac spyware removal programs that are available online is rapidly growing and there is no reason why every Mac user should not take advantage of them and thus protect themselves from a real danger and threat that is capable of causing havoc and serious damage.

Read more on spyware dangers you must avoid for your Mac.

Ways To Run Windows On A Mac

I am going to be straight up with you. I work in IT and I come across many instructors, professors and staff. When I receive work orders from them I assume they know the O/S (operating system) already or at least I thought they knew. So I ask them a few questions on what their confused about and before you know it, they confess and tell me and tell me they miss windows but still want to learn the Mac O/S. You will be amazed on how many people I talk to and don’t know that you can run windows on the new Intel Macs. So they ask me how and I say, their are many ways to run windows on a Mac.

At home I have a Mac Pro and a Mac Book Pro. Both of these computers are configured to dual boot in between OS X and vista. I admit even though my first love is Mac, I still do things in vista. Well anyway, running windows on my macs at home is great because I was able to play UT3 (Unreal Tournament 3) with my buddies online. At first I was a little Leary about playing the game using boot camp, which comes free with apples new O/S. Once I installed the game and started playing, it was perfect. I didn’t experience any slow downs and I played all night. When Apple came out with Leopard 10.5, boot camp wasn’t beta anymore. Boot camp comes with the O/S so I upgraded all my macs to new OS X and haven’t had any problems and all the windows drivers are included on the OS X disc.

When I tell the instructors the way to run windows on a Mac using boot camp, they get excited and want there computer configured to dual boot. So I tell them what they need to do and we get started.

If you have an Intel Mac and want to learn how to install boot camp, here’s a free tutorial to get you started.

Article written by Steveo http://www.squidoo.com/ways-to-install-windows-on-a-mac

MAC vs. PC – The Eternal Debate

The debate Mac vs PC rages on since nearly the down of time. Many Mac users think as Apple a religion and would follow Steve Jobs to end of the world. Obviously this article is not written for these people but more for the PC user who is thinking of switching to a Mac.

First of all, I am self employed and I use an application that is owned by Apple for work. I can only run it on a Mac. So I just ordered my 3rd Mac laptop. Also, in the 80s, my fist computer was a Macintosh SE.

Also, like many others, I have been a PC user since Windows 95 and I used practically all the version of this operating system, including some server versions.

In short, my advice is Go for a Mac only if you have a program that only runs on it.

Doing Photoshop on Mac is throwing money out the window.

Don’t get me wrong Mac OS X is very nice system… based on Unix, which is very nice if you have to interact with Linux machines.

But a Mac will cost you 1.5 times the price of a pc with the same hardware. Furthermore, since Apple as a monopole on all the hardware that can run MacOS X, it’s harder to get a solution that fit exactly your needs.

Many will tell you that you can’t catch a virus on a Mac. While it is true that Macs are less prone to catch them, hackers are developing more and more viruses for Mac as there popularity is rising.

You will also ear that you can run Windows on a Mac. This is true. But you will have to pay between 150$ and 500$ for a Windows license to install it on your computer that already cost you 1.5 times more. And if you don’t really need a Mac and are used to Windows, you will find yourself using practically only Windows. This will have made spent all this extra money for absolutely nothing.

Finally, Apple will charge for a lot more things. For example, since they launch MacOs X in 2001, they release 5 updates. You had to pay at lease 150$ for each update. And in a lot of times, Apple made it so that the update would take a lot of “juice” of older machines to force to change them.

In contrast, Windows XP was also released in 2001. They offered similar updates, which, contrary to the ones of Apple, don’t overload your CPU. They called them service packs and they were free.

In summary, if money is no object, buying a Mac is not a bad idea. If not you should switch to a Mac only if you have a program that only runs on it.
Matthew Deforge
Technical Adviser, Bargain-Predator.com