The High-Tech Texan Blog

Monday, June 30, 2008

XP is 1 Year Old (In Dog Years)

Seven years is a mighty long for an operating system to hang around. But PC users still clamour for Windows XP even a year after the upgraded - and initially buggy - Vista OS was released. But Microsoft says enough is enough...kind of.

Today is the last day that Windows XP will be available for widespread sale. Retailers will have only until their current supply is exhausted to sell boxed copies of the operating system.

Although XP will disappear as an option for most computer buyers, the operating system will live on in several key ways:

• XP will be available on PCs from smaller computer makers known as "system builders" until January 31, 2009.

• XP will be available for so-called ultra-low-cost-PCs until June 30, 2010.

• The low-end Windows XP Starter Edition will continue to be available in emerging markets until June 30, 2010.

• Windows Vista Ultimate and Windows Vista Business come with downgrade rights. Some computer makers are using this option to offer machines that appear as Windows XP products but are "factory downgraded" to XP. The downside is that only pricier versions of Vista qualify, but the benefit is that the machines come with the option to eventually move to Vista for no added fee. Microsoft says it will continue to make XP discs available to computer makers to enable downgrade rights through at least January 31, 2009.

• Microsoft is not ending support for Windows XP. Mainstream support continues until 2009, while extended support is not due to end until April 2014.

Meanwhile, Apple has released Mac OS X 10.5.4, the fourth update to Leopard since it was released last October.

The new version contains the usual mix of bug fixes and security updates, with iCal getting the most attention. iCal won't delete events without telling you as a result of the latest update, for example, and Apple said the update "improves overall iCal reliability." Airport and Spaces & Expose also received some updates.

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Friday, June 27, 2008

AT&T Calling Dallas New Home

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times." So wrote Charles Dickens but AT&T honcho Randall Stephenson has authored the updated version of "A Tale of Two Cities."

The San Antonio-based telecom giant will no longer carry that city's name on press release datelines nor house its top executives. Its corporate headquarters are moving north on I-35 to Dallas in a transition that will begin in a few weeks and be complete by year's end.

It's interesting to read and watch the news coming out of each city regarding this big change. As imagined, San Antonio seems to have been knocked a huge punch to the gut both economically and in esteem. It's nice to have worldwide corporations based in your town. AT&T has been a generous community partner since Southwestern Bell moved there in 1992. The Spurs play in AT&T Center.

That leaves San Antonio with only a few major company headquarters...USAA, H-E-B and Valero, to name the only ones I can quickly think of.

The last thing Dallas needs is another massive company to call the city its home. But downtown Big D is booming with tenants and AT&T will be added to the list.

According to the AT&T press release (still dated from San Antonio) one of the main reasons the company is relocating to Dallas is:

With customers and operations in all 50 U.S. states and 160 countries, air travel to and from Dallas will be more convenient, time efficient and cost effective. The DFW airport is the 3 rd largest in the U.S. and one of the top 6 in the world, offering daily nonstop service to 35 international and 133 U.S. destinations. Additionally, Dallas enjoys a second major airport; Love Field – the 50 th largest U.S. airport offers more than 160 nonstop flights daily.

Being headquartered near leading air transportation facilities is critical to global companies like AT&T as the airline industry continues to consolidate and reduce hubs and flights amid higher fuel prices and industry economic pressures.

Hmmm...IAH, Hobby. Where the hell was Houston during this relo visit? Did we not offer enough tax incentives for AT&T to scoot a bit east down I-10? Bellaire houses a giant AT&T facility on the West Loop South and many more offices around town. Office space is cheap here also plus this is where the Pappas restaurants are headquartered. That's not enough?

Mark my words as you'll read it here first...AT&T will grab (and pay for) the naming rights to the new Dallas Cowboys stadium.

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Thursday, June 26, 2008

High-TEXT Texan

Who's got fast fingers? Get up to the new AT&T Experience Store near The Woodlands on Friday and we'll see who can out-text whom.

I'll be at the store (303 Sawdust Rd, just west of I-45N) from 12p-2p hosting a texting contest and playing with some of the new gadgets (in preparation for the July 11 iPhone v2 launch). Lots of prizes including AT&T Wireless Rollover minutes for the winner.

Back in the studio LIVE this Saturday. We've got an interview with the CEO of Carbonite to learn more about this new onlnie backup service. Plus lots of other things to catch each other up on.

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Saturday, June 07, 2008

Light & Slight Blogging

Strong show on Saturday; thanks to everyone who called in. Guests included Dan Bryant of Yes, he really did average that much from a gallon of gas and he averages about 80mpg. Check out some hypermiling tips on his website. is the online backup service I mentioned. Put in the offer code RADIO to get two free weeks and two free months after you sign up. I just initiated the service a few days ago and already feel a sense of relief.

A caller had an issue with defragging his computer. The Windows defrag still left about 11GB worth of data scattered on his drive and he couldn't get it any lower. A suggestion from another caller led us to discover JK Defrag, a free solution. I just received an email from the initial caller with the problem and it worked brilliantly.

Blogging here will be light over the next few weeks. I'll be in-and-out of town with projects and trips so stay coooool.

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Thursday, June 05, 2008

Summer is here

I don't care what the calendar says. June 20 is weeks away but it is hot. Africa hot.

Summer means graduation (congrats to all my high school and college followers who are done) and Father's Day (June 15, if you are counting down, Dads). These two occasions are big gift giving events so let's plan to talk about ideas and suggestions this weekend.

I did just receive a press release from a website called Excitations that offers a "wide variety of experiences starting at $50 and up." Check these out:
  • Indoor Rock Climbing – from $50
  • Ultimate Stock Car Ride-Along – from $95
  • Hot Lather Shave – from $70
  • Indoor Skydiving – from $95

If my kids are reading this I would like to suggest a private trapeze party " from $310.

We have a nice slew of guests on Saturday's show. Dan Bryant is a guru when it comes to getting the most mileage from a tank of gas. He currently averages near 100mpg in his Prius using some interesting tips and tricks.

Carbonite is an online backup service to protect your important data, photo and video files. CEO David Friend will chat with me in the 1pm hour along with giving away free trial subscriptions. Hint: use the code word "RADIO".

And congrats to our title sponsor, Aramco Services Company, on the 75th anniversary of its parent company, Saudi Aramco. They had a big bash earlier this week and despite my lack of receiving an invitation I'm sure a good time was had by all.