Why Windows 8 and beyond is a bigger shift than consumers may realize

When Windows 8.1 came out users starting asking if this means that Microsoft is backing away from some of the changes they made in Windows 8.  Most tech journalists seemed to answer that they weren't sure.  Well I'm sure, the answer is no and here's why and what's going to happen over the next 5-10 years.

The Quest for the Ultimate Email Server

It's been over a year now that I've been working on my personal email server from hell project. Let's pretend you're a fairly large company, you've got some reasonable sounding requirements for email: you want every employee to be able to check and send email from their work and home computers and their phones and tablets and in a pinch a web interface.

We need a Wifi bandwidth/data caps whitelist for automatic updates

There are two trends these days which are heading for a collision: automatic updates and multiple Internet connections with different bandwidth restrictions.  It is common for mobile apps to have settings to enable/disable high bandwidth operations depending on whether you've got a cellular or wifi connection, but this isn't enough when that wifi connection might be a home high handwidth/low cost connection or a tether connection which is much slower and has a monthly cap.  Do you really want your tethered laptop downloading Windows/Firefox/Chrome/Adobe updates, or should

Netflix burns the bridges

Netflix has made a bold move, but I believe it did so too early.  Netflix has always known that a pure streaming model was its ultimate goal, physical DVDs were just a temporary measure until everyone had enough bandwidth to make streaming work - the name Netflix doesn't even really make much sense for shipping physical media.  With this timing however Netflix jumped the gun and here's why.

pfSense, my next router/firewall

For about 10 years now my home Internet router/firewall was a Zeos Pentium 166 box running Linux I built entirely from source code.  Sooner or later that machine was going to die and I wanted some extra features like traffic shaping and more friendly administration.  I was considering custom firmware for some of the consumer routers as well as firewall distributions on x86 hardware, but was having a hard time satisfying my requirements:

Windows Home Server Review

How a Windows Home Server solution stacks up

When I was recently asked for a recommendation of a home network storage solution it gave me an excuse to research something that had been on my todo list for a long time.  Being a Linux guy I always assumed I'd go with a Linux based NAS (Network Attached Storage device), but my results surprised me.

Overscan is still an issue when using a home theater PC with a HDTV (or a game console)

Last Summer I was experimenting with using a Windows 7 machine as a home theater PC and ran into an issue I thought was obsolete - overscan.

What is overscan?

Overscan goes back to the days of CRT TVs where the edges of the image are cropped off by the bezel of the TV so the picture completely fills the part of the picture tube that you see.  I thought that it was an obsolete concept with the advent of HDTVs.  So imagine my surprise when I hooked up the computer to my Samsung 46" LCD HDTV and found the icons on the left edge of the screen were clipped off as well as the task bar.  It turns out that even though the physical resolution of the LCD panel is 1280x1080 the TV was stretching the pixels to clip off some to accomplish the overscan.

Great Danbury area contractors, professionals, and local businesses

When we bought our current house we dealt with a number of new contractors and home professionals and really got lucky with the people we had picked.  If you need work done in Danbury, CT or surrounding areas these are the people you want to deal with.

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