Sunday, March 4, 2007

Zune: Windows ME or Xbox?

Many Zune owners, who are dissapointed with the current Zune, would still rather keep it, hoping for an update to fix some problems. These problems include skipping, a slow GUI, lack of WiFi functionality, and even parts of the casing that becoming loose. Those users who still plan to keep thier Zune, however, are still pleased with the good things about the Zune. Qualities such as a large, crisp screen, easy to use GUI, scratch-resistant case, and the fact that its not an iPod are good enough reason for many Zuners too keep thier Zune.

These people are the type that buy the lastest and greatest, even if it is expected to have problems. Often times, the first version or model of a product has problems. For example, the first Hondas were horrible cars. They were very unreliable, and fell apart. Nowadays, Honda is well known for reliablity and quality. Microsoft, on the other hand, has had a few products with problems as well. Windows ME for instance, is considered Microsoft's worst ever operating system. Meanwhile, Microsoft's own Xbox has had very few problems and is now considered, by many people, to be the superior game console.

Getting back to the Zune, Microsoft is developing an entire line of entertainment pruducts under the Zune brand. The portable media player (PMP) is not the only Zune device on the drawing boards. Our only hope is that Microsoft a) fixes the issues with Zune, and b) makes more superior products. Microsoft won't let the Zune PMP die if thier intent is to make a Zune brand. The only question left to ask is will Zune be the next Windows ME, or will it become the Next Xbox?

Windows Vista IE7 Flash Fix?

Anyone with the retail version of Windows Vista IE7 who tries to view flash videos knows one thing for sure: it's impossible. For some odd reason, Flash 9 is not compatible with Vista IE7. It is, however, possible to view flash videos and pages with Mozilla Firefox 2.x. The reason for this is beyond anyone. You can do anything you want to try and fix Flash, but it won't work. Even reinstalling IE7 won't fix the problem. It's a perplexing problem even Microsoft Support can't help fix.

Shortly after I posted my "Welcome to In Tech We Trust" post, I found the only site (it's also only viewable with Google's cache) that pointed to a file already installed with Vista that supposedly fixes the Flash problem. So I pointed Windows Explorer to
C:\windows\system32\Macromed\Flash\Flashutil9b.exe . This runs a Flash update utility that then, in theory, magically fixes the Flash issue. In reality, all it really does is download a certain version of Flash thats compatible with Vista (but for some reason really hard to find) and installs it.

So, I ran this utility and, amazingly, it fixed the Flash problem. I didn't have to reinstall IE or anything. The webpage that gave me the filename has no explanation as to why this works and why Microsoft has done nothing about it. But for the YouTube addicts out there who are running Vista, this is an excellent way to get your video fix with IE7. Just make sure you restart IE after you install it.


Welcome to In Tech We Trust!

Thank you for choosing to read In Tech We Trust. My name is Matt, and I am pleased to present a blog about technology in general that will cover anything from computers, to iPod's, to auto-tech, to anything tech. I will update at least weekly, and probably every couple days.

Now that my intro is out of the way, I would like to discuss some of my tech-peeves. First and foremost, I hate how dial-up companies try to promote their product as fast. It's not, and never will be. Broadband is taking over.

Second, I hate how digital cable companies promote their product as superior. It's not. Fiber (if available) is at least 3 times faster at 15 mbps. FiOS even has a 30 mbps package! And cable thinks it's 1.5-3 mbps is fast???

Third, what is it with cell phone companies charging by the minute? Metro PCS is starting a new wave by having an all-you-can-eat plan for just $40 a month. Thats unlimited everything. The only catch: you pay full price for the phone, and It's only available in metropolitan areas...for now.

Fourthly, why does Flash not work in Windows Vista IE7? I, and many others have tried installing it multiple times. We've tried everything we can to fix it. Even Microsoft (M$) support can't find a fix. The only thing that works so far is Flash in Firefox. Looks like M$ shot themselves in the foot on this one...

Numero Cinco. Why is it that cellphones don't have a standard layout. For example, every Verizon (VZ) Motorola has a different layout than the VZ LG's. Why is it that carriers can't carry over their own GUI across different phones? Or why can't cellphone manufacturers allow for this? That and better GUI's across all carriers and manufacturers is much needed.

That's it for my tech-peeves, feel free to leave your own in the comments. Hope you enjoyed my first blog, and I look forward to you reading my blog again.