Tekzilla #16: Macworld 2008, Macbook Air, Office 2008 for the Mac, Mozy, more CES!

Posted in Companies, Operating Systems, Podcasts on November 30, 2008

Veronica Belmont co-hosts as we breakdown Macworld 2008. From the Macbook Air to Time Capsule to the Apple TV. Also, Displaylink's USB to DVI adapter, Mozy for backups, troubleshooting svhost.exe and more CES!

The fabulous Veronica Belmont of Mahalo Daily joins us to cohost this episode... our beloved Jessica Corbin was unable to join us.

Matter of fact, Jessica has a pretty big announcement for her Tekzilla fans. Three, in fact: first up is her new show The Digg Real. She'll give you the heads up on the other two in the show.

Oh boy... it's Macworld 2008! The MacBook Air, Apple's new ultralight notebook certainly got the most notice, tho Time Capsule (an 802.11n Airport Extreme hub with a 500GB or 1TB hard drive added) and the Apple TV updates (HD-ish movie rentals with Dolby 5.1 and a price drop to $229) certainly got Patrick's attention. (It probably got Vudu's attention, too... the slick standalone set top movie box we showed off in TZ 01.

BTW, Mahalo Daily's The Steve Jobs 90 Minute Keynote (in 60 Seconds) rocks... it's the best way to deal with a keynote, ever.

Chris has an svhost.exe problem... make sure it's not svchost, Chris! The former is a worm, the latter is Windows way of handling system processes exectuted from DLLs... a nasty might masquerade as an svchost process, but it's not guarranteed to be a virus/trojan/worm! Run some antivirus and antispyware tools!

Run a DVI monitor from a USB port? DisplayLink's USB TO VGA/DVI Monitor Adapter runs $129, sends video out to a DVI or VGA monitor via a USB port, and will be sold by licensees such as Kensington, Samsung, Toshiba, IOGear, I-O Data. It works pretty well, tho we had some problems watching Quicktime Video on the display fed by the USB bus, tho DVD movies and flash video worked fine. Beyond that, our only complaint was the mild compression artifacts we could see in full screen video... regular static windows looked perfect.

Ted says some Readyboost certifed flash drives (like the Sandisk Cruzer Titanium) are cheaper than the ones listed as non-Readyboost compatible... if he uses one of the chepaer Readyboost branded ones, will he be giving up any performance or storage space? Not as far as we know, Ted. Readyboost means the drive has hit a number of minimal specs, such as capacity (at least 250MB after formatting), access time (1ms or less), and read speeds. It should work just fine under any OS.

One big surprise for us at Macworld was the release of Microsoft Office for Mac 2008. It's the first update to Microsoft Office on the Mac in four years, and it bears a strong resemblance to Office 2007 for Windows, which was a darn nifty upgrade to the suite. Office for the Mac adds XML formats, nifty interface changes ala Office 2007 on Windows and performance boosts for Intel Mac owners. (Early testers say it runs faster than 2004 on Intel macs, but slower on G5 and earlier boxes.)

Of course, Apple and Microsoft weren't the only vendors at the the show...

The belt and suspenders crowd were all over Intego's booth eyeballing VirusBarrier X5 and NetBarrier X5 for OS X

Xeric Design, EarthDesk 4 is the prettiest live desktop map of the world we've seen yet, right down to the weather updates every three hour, costs a mere $19.95, and runs on Windows, too.

We've shown off USB drive adpaters before, but NewerTech's $29.95 USB 2.0 Universal Drive Adapter is the first we've seen that supports both SATA, IDE/ATA in 2.5, 3.5 (3.5???) and 5.25 inch sizes... the status connection LEDs are tres' useful, btw.

Our own Roger Chang is obsessed with the LapWorks Futura and Aluminum Desktop Stand.

The folks at BlueLounge have some stylish ideas for stashing those unsightly power cords... including CableBox, The Sanctuary and the Space Station.

Yes, Patrick did pay for the GelaSkins cover on my notebook! (It's Exploding Dog's "Red Robot Leaving The City" ... We had no idea ExplodingDog was a website! Patrick's hooked...

More online backup options! Back on Episode 13 we had Jared's review of Carbonite the online backup service. Jared's girlfriend was having no fun with Mozy, so asked for y'all, his fellow viewers, to give us your opinion on how well Mozy works ... we got quite the response, and most of you give it the big thumbs up, for a wide variety of reasons. (Plus you have fixes for the problem's Jared's SO was having!)

OK... we shot hours of footage for our CES episode and we couldn't fit it all in that show... so we've got a few more items from CES for you: Koss's KC25 headphones, along with Sennheiser's MX W1 wirleless earbuds (which use Kleer's wireless technology: hint, it's not Bluetooth.) Moxi has a new version of Moxi TV for the PC you can download a beta and test it yourself. Eton's FR1000 is a shiny hand cranked AM/FM/NOAA/GMRS radio... finally, Sony's BDU-X10S BD-ROM Drive, promises to be the first Blu-ray drive for you PC to hit the street for under $200. (And it's bundled with Cyberlink's Blu-ray playback software.)

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Tags: Apple, Technologies, OS, MacOS, Hardware, USB, Microsoft Office, Revision3, Patrick Norton, Tekzilla, Veronica Belmont, Tekzilla Weekly