MadMod Computing The MadMod Computing Newsletter

Vol. 2008a

Welcome to this edition of The MadMod Computing Newsletter.   We hope that you enjoy the features of each issue and learn some computing skills along the way.

First, a reminder to make backups of your important files, and to keep your anti-virus software up-to-date.   Second use a software firewall and/or a router if using broadband.   Last, obtain all the critical Windows updates.

Featured in This Issue
1.     My Windows Wish List
2.     My Linux Wish List
3.     The DailyPlate (website)

1.    My Windows Wish List
I currently use Microsoft Windows XP Home® and Windows ME® in my lab though I work with all versions of Windows, less Vista Home Premium® fixes with my customers. Windows is what I regularly use in my business environment and for most of my troubleshooting with customers.

My take on what Microsoft need to make better with Windows:
  • gradual price reductions for all its regular software,
  • cleaner better patching and upgrades that make Windows run more efficiently,
  • true performance improvements without requiring expensive hardware upgrades,
  • stronger compatibility between Windows versions and other computer systems, (Mac, Linux) and
  • repaired relationships with it's consumer and vendor base. (Keep selling Windows XP after 06/30/08.)
  • (Windows Home Server® needs immediate software fixing. It's broken when using 2 drives!)
My take on what Microsoft is doing better:
  • less rancorous communication, though tentative, with the open source communities,
  • more attention to business software needs for corporations,
  • improvements to the security of Windows XP along with its patching processes, and
  • more attention to the need to ready and ship Internet Explorer 8.

2.    My Linux Wish List
Linux is the operating kernel. Ubuntu 7.10 is the current distribution I'm using on two of my lab computers. (The free upgrade to version 8.04 comes out in April.) It is fun to use and to see the improvements that keep coming in on patches and upgrades. (I'm not having to spend $$ on Ubuntu or its software, and I'm always willing to talk about Ubuntu.)

My take on what Linux distributions need to make better:
  • business software, (Linux replacements for QuickBooks®, TurboTax®)
  • hardware support for newer hardware--particularly linux drivers on the vendor websites, (Cell Phones & PDA's)
  • documentation of existing software and hardware, and
  • better communication between distributions to share the best of what's being developed.
My take on what Linux distributions already are doing better:
  • a ton of free or inexpensive software for the general public's home computers,
  • amazingly better distributions that run faster and cleaner at less overall cost, and
  • easy to use installers and upgrades that are truly improvements to the existing programs.

3.    The DailyPlate (website) Most good cooks always seem to just know how to do things--gravies, turkeys, baked fish, hors d'oeuvres (they even can spell this without thinking) and various luxurious desserts. I'll admit I'm not in their league at all. (See MadMod Meatloaf as my example.)

However, what the good cooks and I have more in common is a weaker sense of what we should be eating. (I know...fruits, veggies, less red meat, etc.) More of us are calorie-conscious and would like to eat right, but sometimes other priorities crowd this out in the flash pan of quick-to-prepare-and-eat dinners.

The DailyPlate is a slick way to get to know better foods to eat, more inspired ways to cook them and some sensible preparation shortcuts without breaking the food budget. It also gives some good ways to burn up calories, discuss problems with others and find out lots of other good things relating to food. Give The DailyPlate a try. (link on Dave's Favorite Places)

Return to the MadMod Computing homepage.

QuickBooks and TurboTax are registered trademarks of Intuit Corp.
Windows XP Home, Windows ME, Windows Vista Home Premium and Windows Home Server are registered trademarks of Microsoft Corp.

E-mail to the editor at, David Mawdsley

Copyright © 2006-2008, The MadMod Computing Newsletter