PC Magazine posted its reader’s choice awards for home networking equipment Monday. PC Magazine‘s reader surveys aren’t gospel, but they’re valuable. They’re a cross-section of the opinions of people who care enough about technology to read the magazine, and as such, I give it more weight than what, say, Consumer Reports says. Read more
After last year’s flip-flopping on getting rid of its not-quite-as-profitable-as-they’d-like PC business, and the resulting self sabotage, HP needed a good idea to try to undo the damage.
Their idea is completely unoriginal, but it’s tried and true and more likely to work than anything else they could possibly do: Bundle their premium PCs with premium-level customer service and charge a little more.
PC Magazine has reprised its sub-$200 PC. I think it’s a good guide, and a savvy shopper can potentially do a little bit better with some care and some luck. At that price, it’s running Linux, but it also serves as a good guide for upgraders looking to upgrade an existing PC inexpensively. If you have a case and hard drive you can reuse, you can either buy better parts, or just pocket the savings.
Here’s my take on their selections.
The IBM PC 5150 turns 30 today.
IBM didn’t invent the personal computer, but if your computer has an Intel or AMD CPU in it, it’s the direct descendant of the beige box IBM unleashed on the world on August 12, 1981. Without a huge amount of effort, it’s even possible to run most of that old software on your shiny new PC. You probably wouldn’t want to, except out of curiosity, but you can do it.
I wasn’t one of the people who rushed out and got one. At the time, I was still watching Sesame Street and Mr. Rogers. I had my first experience with a computer–a Radio Shack TRS-80–in 1982, and the first computer my family bought was a Commodore 64 in 1984. Even in 1984, there were still plenty of people who questioned why anyone needed a computer in their home. My introduction to the IBM PC and PC-DOS didn’t happen until 1987.
I propose a new user interface for Calculator, because the one we’ve been using since 1990 is too confusing, and the one that came with Windows 7 didn’t help. It’s just different, not better.
The only thing that can save Calculator is the ribbon interface.