Mac versus PC Explained

The Consumer Electronics Show is on in Las Vegas this week. This is an event that I’ve alway wanted to attend just to see all of the innovation in the technology field. I’m sure that a lot of technology dies on the floor but it’s the show that’s the thing. Plus, we get a glimpse of where technology is headed. It might not be available for purchase right now but some incarnation of it just might be there in the future.

Gismodo features an interview with Bill Gates where he tries to explain the difference between Apple and Microsoft in their approaches to marketing.

It’s a very good interview to hear his perspective about what Microsoft brings to the market and what he perceives the Apple brings to the market. It’s his opinion and so you need to watch and listen from that perspective.

What’s even more interesting is reading the responses from the internet visitors. Mac lovers; Windows lovers; you’ve got to love them all and their devotion to their part of the computer world!


January 2008 Newsletter

Happy New Year!

The January 2008 edition of my newsletter, GEC Computers in the Classroom is now online.

I had a lot of input from some Teacher-Librarian CIESCs and we now have a web resource devoted to the Blue Spruce Forest of Reading. Check it out under “What’s New?”

If the Queen can do it

Interesting observations from a student in the UK.

He asks a good question. If the British Monarchy is on top of things like having the Queen’s Christmas message delivered via the latest in technology, why aren’t schools up to the task? It may be an over simplification, but it does ask a good question. Somehow, I doubt that the Prince taped it on a cell phone and later uploaded it to YouTube. But that’s not the point. The point is that the whole organization recognized the power of using social media to reach the masses. To have the message on demand time shifts message. Instead of a once in a year event, it can now be played and revisited as often as you want. Through the magic of editing, the 1957 message is a perfect lead-in to this year’s message. Both are firsts; in 1957 it was the first televised broadcase and fifty years later, we have the first sanctioned Internet broadcast.

Similarly, the Ontario Ministry of Education recognizes the importance and power of new technologies. They are also cognisant of the current issues and bullying online is the focus of a recent review and report. The report is much more than an update on online bullying. It reveals the level of sophisticated use of technologies that students possess. One of the callouts says it all “… the Internet cannot be turned off – it’s global and it’s evolving.”

In the classroom, this could be a powerful tool. But, while it’s not turned off completely, it can be crippled. In typical slow to react fashion, the Queen’s message won’t be available as it gets trapped behind content filters. Capture it at home and bring it into class and play it? Don’t think so – check out the terms of use for the content. This potentially valuable resource will be unusable in many educational settings. But that’s OK. Even if it could be potentially played, there are often other hurdles that couldn’t be cleared. Wrong player, no bandwidth, abuse by others, …

But that’s OK. They won’t be able to see it in China either.

The result is that students may get the opportunity to view it at home or at a friend’s house. What they won’t get is the ability to see it incorporated into a lesson by a professional that can help them see the importance of ever changing media.

End of an Era

I suppose that it was bound to happen. This week, Netscape announces the end of support for the Netscape product in February, 2008.

This is a really sad announcement. With the popularity of the web in the 1990s, Netscape was the real alternative to the Internet Explorer browser. People tried both and Netscape proved to be a really functional alternative. Over the time of its development, Netscape tried to become your choice in an all-in-one internet suite. Not only could you browse, but you could do email, design webpages, read newsgroups, …

It was a powerful alternative that I chose to use with one of my first ISPs. The problem with an all-in-one solution is that it gets big in a hurry. Longer download times, and more things that needed patching turned me to using Firefox when all that I wanted to do was quickly get started and browse the web.

If the all-in-one suite appeals to you, continue to use Netscape. It’s as good as it ever was. Or, there are related products like Mozilla or Sea Monkey that you may find appealing as development for these product should continue.

It’s sad to see Netscape end up like this. My thanks to the developers who helped forge the web and desktop connectivity to what it is today.

Posted on January 4…eWeek has a tribute outlining all of Netscape’s contributions.,1205,l=&s=25942&a=222626&po=1,00.asp?p=y