Published Thursday, November 11 2010 – (1) Comments

Next year, your new desktop PC may be a large, thin display with keyboard and mouse – that’s it. there will be no big, square box connected to it and – gasp – no hard drive. But without a hard drive, how will we save information such as photos or videos? we won’t, at least not locally. all of your data will be on servers a long way from your desktop and your home, accessible at any time and from any platform: your desktop computer, your laptop/tablet computer, even your cell phone. there will be no need to back up data because you won’t have a hard drive to fail. to that end, Google is developing the Chrome Operating System (COS) which will come pre-installed on certain new systems. It boots immediately because it doesn’t need to load a host of drivers and a multitude of programs and other operating system overhead. You’re all but instantly connected to your data, wherever it is, whenever it is. COS is based on the Linux operating system in that unlike Windows, it only consumes such system resources as are currently requested by the user. Google says that for the most part, we use one basic program: our browser. so, COS is modeled that way – the browser (Google Chrome) is the primary program since it connects the user via the Internet to servers which host all user data – all of your programs. there are no more program crashes, no more worries about data corruption, no more losing data, no viruses, trojans or malware. and what a relief that will be. you won’t be able to purchase or download COS. It will come installed on certain computers that have yet to be announced. nor will it have the horsepower of Windows but in many respects, we don’t use or need all of the overhead that Windows brings to the PC. COS will be fast because it will be light in size and structure – a minimalist approach to an operating system. Yet, it will have all of the basic programs and tools you need, including e-mail, printing, sound and video, etc. for instance, a program called Google Cloud Print will allow any application on any device to print on any printer – you access a document on your cell phone and print it on your home printe r. What we don’t know is how one loads programs to a distant hard drive – doing so over the Internet, depending on your connection, could be problematic. But you’ll be hearing more about COS soon since the first netbooks running it are scheduled to hit the market next month. Kingsport Reports: Kingsport area residents may not know that they can access all manner of reports, statistics and demographics on a Web site maintained by the city at development  ports+Statistics+Demograph  ics  . for instance, the site lists new businesses, economic indicators and building permits for the previous 12 months, relocation data for the month, occupational wages information, house appreciation data, Kingsport economic indicators, retail sales tax collections, racial demographics of the region, cost of living comparisons , and such as the urban growth boundary, miles of city streets, state real estate assessments, commuter patterns, and much more. CCleaner: the most popular, free program to clean up your computer remains CCleaner, which you may download from filehip   – click on Download Latest Version at top right. CCleaner is a system optimization, privacy and cleaning tool. It removes unused files from your system, frees up hard drive space, and contains a registry cleaner. the program removes temporary files and cookies from your browser, and unused and old entries, file extensions, ActiveX controls, invalid shortcuts and icons and unnecessary help files, as well as temporary files. when you launch the program it offers to analyze the operating system, registry and applications. I ran it on an older XP system and it found hundreds of items which it recommended for cleaning. It empties the recycle bin, removes memory dumps and windows log files, and may even be used to remove programs from your system, or the startup menu. Free Speech: There’s some irony in the State of California and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger – who played the Terminator in sever
al extremely violent movies – defending before the U.S. Supreme Court a state ban on the sale and rental of violent computer and video games. Arguments were heard by the court last week. the 2005 California law has been ruled unconstitutional by lower courts in that it violates the First Amendment by censoring free speech. as Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg asked, “What about films? What about comic books? Grimm’s fairy tales? why are video games special?” Indeed, Bugs Bunny was often violent. should we ban those cartoons? a pox on government trying to protect us – especially in California which also boasts laws banning happy meals, pets, sodas, plastic bags, guns and even bottled water.

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