Monthly Archives: September 2010

Windows LIVE Essentials 2011 – Out of BETA – RELEASED

I have mentioned on several occasional that this package from Microsoft is a very clean and well put together piece of software (Multiple software titles).  This may not be for the true Techie, but for the common PC user this package is a fantastic add-on to Windows Vista and Windows 7.  I know what I will be doing tonight to my two systems at home!

Do more with Windows on your PC with free programs from Microsoft for photos, movies, instant messaging, email, social networking, and more. Get it all in one simple download.

Messenger – Stay in touch with the people you care about most from your PC, phone, or the web. Share photos and videos as you chat, and see the latest updates from your friends.

Photo Gallery – Get great tools for organizing, touching up, and sharing your photos and videos. Create stunning panoramas, movies, and slide shows, and publish them online.

Movie Maker – Turn your photos and videos into polished movies that are easy to share. Add special effects, transitions, sound, and captions to help tell your story in style.

Mail – Efficiently manage multiple email accounts, calendars, and your contacts—even when you’re offline. Plus, use a great tool for sharing lots of photos in email without filling up anyone’s inbox.

Also included in Windows Live Essentials – Writer, Family Safety, Windows Live Mesh, Messenger Companion, Bing Bar Outlook Connector Pack, Microsoft Silverlight.

Details list from Supersite Blog

From the Microsoft Blog – Inside Windows Live – Hit the link to learn all about this great package!

We are pleased to announce that Windows Live Essentials 2011 for Windows 7 and Windows Vista is now available for download! (Releasing in 48 languages over the next few hours, so if your language is not yet available, it will be very soon.) Windows Live Essentials 2011 was designed and built to connect your PC to the services you use every day. We’re also announcing today that Dell will be the first global PC manufacturer to ship PCs with Windows Live Essentials 2011 and Windows 7 pre-installed, just in time for your holiday purchases. Many other PC manufacturers are also planning to make Windows Live Essentials 2011 available and we’ll continue to keep you updated as they start releasing.

Download it today!

Get started and download Windows Live Essentials 2011 today. It is being released in 48 languages over the next few hours, so if you don’t see it in your language yet, you should see it very soon. If you’re running Windows Vista or Windows 7 on your PC, make sure you have the latest Windows updates installed before you install Windows Live Essentials (see the system requirements here). If your computer is still running Windows XP, you can, of course, continue to use the current Windows Live Essentials software, and then switch to Windows Live Essentials 2011 when you buy a new PC or upgrade to Windows 7.

Together with Windows 7 and the new Internet Explorer 9 beta, Windows Live Essentials completes your Windows experience and connects your PC to the services you use every day. Try it out and let us know what you think!

Some other news

Dell to Offer Windows Live Essentials 2011 on New Systems Later This Year

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Filed under Entertainment, Internet, Microsoft, NEW Product, Software, Technology, Update, WEB

Grant Roll Out Tips (via Georgia Library Media Association)

The specifics of this post might not apply to your State, but the idea of sharing responsiblity of grants with all share holders including at time students does hold true for all States. Grants are so important today for each and every district, so you need to shine and standout from everyone else. I thought there was good information?

Given the recent ARRA grants that have been awarded to Georgia schools, the ETCs are busier than ever helping to bring about “digital conversions” in these schools. This means delivering professional development and support not only on how to use technology purchased with the grant but also how to implement it effectively to affect real change in student academic achievement. Several tips have emerged as helpful in bringing about these digital co … Read More

via Georgia Library Media Association

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e-Waste – did you know how bad it is?

Most of us don’t think of what happens to our OLD electronics, but doing some research and reading the details of a 60 Minute piece that ran, I was horrified of the ramifications of what is happening.

I was glad to see the US Government is trying to do something about it but obviously more needs to be done.

This week in Washington, D.C., U.S. Representatives Gene Green and Mike Thompson introduced legislation to stop U.S. “recyclers” from dumping electronic waste on developing countries. It’s a serious problem that was notably documented by 60 Minutes back in 2008.  You have to read the article!

Just reading the outline of the 60 minute piece made me angry.  Not sure if you have dropped off electronics at a recycling event – thinking that the product would be recycled and re-used where possible – not shipped oversea’s.  It sounds like this is a huge illegal money-making business that is hurting communities in other countries with less safety controls and laws.

This is a follow-up from my previous post a few days ago.

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Filed under Information, Technology, World Issues

Windows LIVE SPACES – Going away!

Being that the K12 market is heavily Windows-based and always looking for ways to stretch dollars, I am sure many districts are or have used the BLOG forum from Microsoft – Windows LIVE SPACES.  This service will be going away over the next 6 months, but Microsoft will be taking care of you as they have signed an agreement to work with WordPress (This blog’s host). 

WordPress and Microsoft have automated the move and it’s really simple about 7 simple steps and your done.  I believe you should take this a great news…  Might have a bit of a learning curve, but since WordPress main business is the WEB and blogging you will see constant updates and additions that you wouldn’t have from Microsoft as this is not their main business.

Microsoft Announcement

WordPress Announcement

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Filed under Information, Internet, Microsoft, Software, WEB

Windows Upgrade – Moving from XP to WIN7 – Steady State

Do you use Steady State tool kit?

You always have to wonder when companies have a great product or service – they do an upgrade and that service goes away.  Well Microsoft is certainly one of those companies many times over.

I see some changes happening at Microsoft, they are starting to do many things differently – one of them is listening to the users and doing something about it or trying!

If you manage system then most likely you have used Windows Steady State tool kit, well they have never created a Windows 7 version of this great tool.  When I say Microsoft listens and take actions, well I don’t think you will see Steady State for WIN7…..

A Windows 7 version of Steady State was not created and we’ve heard loud and clear from IT Pros that this is something they wanted and needed.  After we evaluated the types of functionality Steady State provides, we found that using new Windows capabilities that are built into Windows 7, Group Policies and free tools from Microsoft, the majority of Steady State functionality could actually be replicated by IT admins.

The good news is that they have addressed this concern and have put together a few papers explaining how to do almost the same thing as Steady State for XP and Vista within WIN7 – So Microsoft says…

Going back to the Windows article, the comments don’t paint a very good picture… read for yourself!

If your thinking of moving to WIN7 or already have and was wondering where STEADY STATE was, well you have your answer and some reading to do.

Steady State for Windows 7

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Filed under Management, Microsoft, Networking

OFFICE in the cloud – Microsoft Office WEB APPS

What a great tool to have available, if you have not looked at Windows OFFICE WEB APPS – your missing out on a great product.  Want to open an excel sheet or Word doc, but the computer your on doesn’t have office – no prob – use Office WEB APPS.

This is great tool for kids that don’t have office at home – they are working on School computers with OFFICE, they can then save their work on SkyDrive and at home they can open the document in the cloud using OFFICE WEB APPS.  No USB keys (security risks for the school and student)  Can’t say they misplaced the USB key etc.  You need to work from home but you don’t have Office – work in the cloud and have 25G of space to save your documents for FREE.  These APPS are very good and Microsoft looks like they want to be in the game.  The product has been available for 100 days – 20 million people later and two updates already in less than 4 months – This is not the OLD Microsoft that normally takes a year or more to do an update.

Office serves over 20 million people on the web

Products you should be looking at from Microsoft today….  Just because…..

Security EssentialsAntiVirus

Windows Live Essentials

SKYDRIVE – 25G of cloud Storage FREE

 Windows Live Mesh – Sync files and folders between multiple computers and/or 5G of cloud storage

Explorer 9 BETA – talk about fast……  Who needs Chrome or Firefox

These products offer so much value and they are good – so many uses to make your computing experience so much easier.

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Filed under BETA, IE - Internet Explorer, Microsoft, Software, Technology

eBook Reader – KINDLE for PC – Read 1st Chapter on your PC

I have no idea why this wouldn’t have been done a long time ago.  This is a great advantage and one that both eBook users and non-eBook readers can use.  I know I have ordered many books on-line and you can’t flip through read a little like you could in the store.

This is not the same experience as holding the book in a book store, but it’s getting there…..  I will have to load up the application tonight and try it out.  I have been reading (listening) to audio books for sometime and the service I use is Audible – which for most books allows you to listen to a sample of the book.  This lets you to hear a bit of the book and something that is key for audio books is you get to test drive the reader of the book – that person can make or break even a good book.  Audio is a different experience, but I have come to love it as much as sitting and reading a book.

AMAZON KINDLE for PC

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Life Cycle – What do you do with your OLD Equipment? Sell/Recycle/Pitch

What do you do with your OLD Computer equipment?   Do you sell it to local recycling companies for a few bucks a unit?

Have you ever wondered where this product might end up!  Until I read the following article I never realized just how bad it could be.

Did you know CDI offers RECYCLING and we will give you a CERTIFICATE of Destruction that proves (Legally) that your assets will not end up overseas and were recycled safety is in questions.

The Problem of Global Electronic Waste Dumping

Many electronics recyclers don’t actually recycle the electronics they collect. They can make more money by selling old electronic products to exporting waste traders than by processing it here in the US.  Traders send it to developing countries where workers earn extremely low wages (often a few dollars per day) and where health and safety and environmental laws, enforcement, infrastructure and citizens’ rights are very weak.

Simply stated, we are solving our e-waste problem by exporting it to poor countries around the globe. 

Primitive Processing Contaminates Workers, Residents

In these countries, the e-waste ends up in backyard recycling operations, often literally behind peoples’ homes. One example is Guiyu, China, an area where a lot of our e-waste goes. They use crude and unsafe methods of taking apart our old computers and TVs to get to and remove the metals, which they can sell, causing great harm in the process. These dangerous practices include:

  • Bashing open cathode ray tubes with hammers, exposing the toxic phosphor dust inside.
  • Cooking circuit boards in woks over open fires to melt the lead solder, breathing in toxic lead fumes.
  • Burning wires in open piles to melt away the plastics (to get at the copper inside).
  • Burning the plastic casings, creating dioxins and furans – some of the most poisonous fumes you can breathe.
  • Throwing the unwanted (but very hazardous) leaded glass into former irrigation ditches
  • Dumping pure acids and dissolved heavy metals directly into their rivers.

These horrific working conditions plus weak labor standards in China and many of the other developing countries where e-waste is sent, mean that women and children are often directly exposed to lead and other hazardous materials.

READ THE ENTIRE WRITE UP

Let CDI offer you a service where your sure your not hurting or taking advantage of others in other countries.  We can take care of your computer needs from the 1st day to the last day of its life cycle.

Posted another item after this one – e-Waste – did you know it was this bad!

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Filed under Education, Technology, World Issues

White Space Wi-Fi – What does it really mean!

 Being able to move from classroom to classroom with a connection is great, but how many wireless access points do you need to get good coverage throughout a building.   White Space Wi-Fi will allow you to have fewer devices as the single is stronger and will not weaken when going through walls.  The hard part at the school level is the need to invest in NEW hardware to take advantage of this new technology.  Something to think about down the road, we will have to see how it all works out over the next few months.

A good article to read up on the technology: 

What You Need to Know About White Space Wi-Fi

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Filed under Internet, Networking, Technology

Why aren’t you using – OPEN OFFICE / LibreOffice – FREE Open Source Product

In doing my research for my last post OpenOffice or LibreOffice – Free Office suite – Open Standards which discussed the future of OpenOffice under Oracle – I found some interesting information that you might be interested in.

In my discussions with business and Educators and why they don’t use this great FREE product, they indicate that support is an issue as well as documentation.  I understand these concerns as School District technology people are over worked and can’t afford anything that will increase the work load that is already off the rails.

You really have to look at this a little differently, if you’re using MS Office Suite (Great product) – how much are you paying for this product, how much will it cost you over the life cycle of the product to keep support and upgrades options open.  With all that money you spend, you most likely could hire an outside resource to support this part of your business for much less.

Debunking Myth #1: There Is No Documentation. In the case of OpenOffice, there is in fact substantial free documentation for the suite, and there are free tutorials. You can find documentation for specific versions here. You can also find many free OpenOffice books here. You can also find many useful Flash tutorials here.

Debunking Myth #2: There Is No Support. OpenOffice has a very large community of users, and the Community Support option can be sufficient for many users, but it’s not the only option. Inexpensive consultants offer support for OpenOffice, and there are inexpensive third-party solutions for paid support. OpenLogic is just one of the available providers.

READ FULL ARTICLE from OStatic

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Filed under Education, Open Source, Software