Welcome to InterconnectNow - Interconnected Technologies' blog about technology and other items of interest to small businesses and individuals.

The topics here will usually deal with productivity-enhancing technologies of interest to small businesses and individuals, but are often of broader interest.  Productivity is the goal of all of this technology that we use. Enabling productivity through refining or adding technology-based capabilities is what we're obsessed with at Interconnected Technologies, and so this blog is dedicated to discussions of all things related to that.


Entries in Digital Lifestyle (30)


Android on top!

An interesting little chart.  I guess I'm not the only one switching to Android.



Sprint HTC EVO 4G - Android, the Journey Begins

In a forthcoming article, Craig Froehle and I "penned" a 16,000 word article comparing the Palm Pre and the HTC EVO 4G, in which one can find a lot of information about the EVO.

It's here:  http://www.androidcentral.com/comparing-palm-pre-htc-evo-4g-sprint

Since then, I've discovered a few things, and will set them down here.

  1. It's not documented anywhere I've found, but it turns out that putting sounds in the <SD Card>\media\audio\alarms, or the <SD Card>\media\audio\notifications folders will cause them to show up in the calendar/alarm and notifications areas. 
  2. There are three ways to save "favorites" with the EVO as it comes: 1) Put Direct Dial shortcuts on a page in the launcher, 2) Create a folder on a page in the launcher and put Direct Dial shortcuts in it, and 3) Create a People widget on a page and put shortcuts in it.  The jury is still out as to which one is the most productive and/or which one(s) I'll use.
  3. Unlike previous Android devices (from what I've read) one doesn't have to do anything dramatic to have contact photos show up at good resolution.  A picture that comes down from Exchange is still just a little blurry (something like 96x96 pixels), but once you replace it with a picture on the EVO, it sticks at high resolution!

Firefox vs. IE

Firefox is all the rage lately, and that's good for everyone. It's good because competition keeps us all on our toes.   Firefox keeps Microsoft on its toes.  Not because Firefox is better than Internet Explorer.  It's not.  It's different, and offers some features that IE does not.  But it's not better.  People are adding FF to their computers for no better reason than "because someone told me it's better than Internet Explorer."

I like to take a more practical approach:  what does FF offer that IE does not.  For my own, very broad, business and personal use, the answer is: nothing.  Others may find something that FF does that IE does not, and that they need, and that's a good enough reason to install and use it.  Not because "someone said it's better than IE," but because of something it can do for them that they need to do!

As with politics, FF proponents will tout what FF can do, but will conveniently leave out the fact that IE can do it too, or sometimes better.  A recent example:  spell check.

Some web sites are featuring how great it is that FF can spell check web forms (such as order forms, online forums, web-based email).  What they don't tell you is that this has been available for IE for a very long time:


So, treat recommendations for software the way you treat recommendations for a politician:  cautiously.  Examine the source validity of the recommendation; make sure the software does what you want/need better than what you have before you head in that direction.  Like politicians, computer programs come with baggage, no matter how good they are.  Every politician has a past with unsavory elements to it.  Every piece of software has stability and security issues to some extent. You have to make sure it's a good, necessary fit - make sure the benefit is sufficient to bring along the baggage.  

Make sure you're talking apples and apples, too.  Comparing the latest Firefox to Internet Explorer 6 makes about as much sense as comparing Windows XP to Snow Leopard, or a 1966 Volkswagen bug to a new Porsche.  The difference, of course, is that the latest and greatest Firefox and Internet Explorer are free, whereas Porsches and Snow Leopards are decidedly not!

Don't just do it because someone tells you to; think for yourself, be rational and practical, and then, if you just gotta have it, go for it!




Browser Wars - a security perspective

OK, here I go again, promoting Microsoft.  Gosh, I just be in their back pocket, or stupid, or something, eh?  Everyone knows that Firefox is better than IE, and Safari is the best browser around, and Chrome is going to kick Microsoft's butt, and Opera, well, it's just the best.

And everyone knows that Internet Explorer is buggy, and full of security holes, and, well, just stupid, as is anyone who uses it, right?

Not so fast!  What about facts?  I like facts.  Facts are stubborn things, as someone once said, and that's true.  They are often inconvenient, too, when they fly in the face of what people feel, or want, or believe.  Feeling and wanting and believing are great things - most of the world runs on those and they are valuable and important.

However, when assessing technology, facts are just so good to have.

Here are some:


The net of this.  Internet Explorer isn't all that bad.  In fact, it's better than the others in two key areas that are central to security in today's world.  Read, if you like facts.  It's only one page!

If you want to see the full reports, they're here:



People ask me about Mac vs. Windows - here's what I say

OK, I don't have time to flesh this out right now, but I did pick up one example that supports one piece of this outline, and so I thought I'd start.  More as I have time. 

Please, dear Windows or Apple fanatics or opponents, before you say "well, that's not been MY experience!!", keep in mind that I'm talking TRENDS and AVERAGES and prevailing conditions here.  I deal with a base of thousands of computers in everyday use over more than 15 years.  One can always find a specific counterexample.  That does not disprove a trend or negate my view of the prevailing conditions.

And please, dear Apple fanatic, don't try to compare an ancient PC to a new Powerbook, nor Snow Leopard to Windows XP.  Unless, of course, you want me to compare Windows 7 to MacOS 8, or my ThinkPad x301 to an 8-year-old Mac.  

It's easy to get swept up in emotion here (especially since Apple has always sold, and Microsoft and the PC hardware providers are currently selling, emotion).  When you're dealing with your money and your life (which is where these very personal devices now intersect, even at the office), it's important to at least *start* with some level of objectivity.

AND, while there are those currently saying that none of this matters since everything will be in the cloud and everything will be appliances that interact with the cloud in real time and so who cares, I say:  yes, that's true.  But not right now,  And not next year, or the year after.  In 10 years, maybe.  Maybe 5.  But I'm addressing what people should think about right now, not in the year 2525.

And finally, to those who would say "well, you just don't like Apple," that's just simply not true. I've liked and admired Apple hardware and software (and style) since I encountered my first original Mac while recovering at Stanford University hospital after Knee Surgery Number One.  A dear friend brought me his (black and white, all-in-one) Mac to occupy my time while recovering from the barbaric type of surgery they did back then, and I've admired Apple ever since.      


  1. Apple hardware is purchased at roughly a 50% to 100% price premium over non-Apple hardware.  This immediately disqualifies them for most general business and general office purposes.  Yes, you can find Apple hardware on sale, and yes, there are Windows machines that cost more, and on and on and on.  I'm talking prevailing pricing, not special cases.
  2. While it is unquestionably among the best designed and most beautiful computer hardware out there, it is no more reliable than the typical retail HP or Toshiba laptops that one can buy.  Dell and Lenovo both make more reliable hardware than Apple, HP or Toshiba.  Lenovo makes more reliable hardware than any of them. There are few Apple owners whom I know who have *not* had to send their hardware in for service.  There are few Lenovo owners who have.
  3. With around 5% market share compared to 90+% for Microsoft, many applications are simply not available for MacOS.  Quickbooks used to be a prime example of this. Recently they put out a somewhat limited version for MacOS.
  4. With that small market share, users of MacOS, especially children that have used Macs through school and try to enter the working world, are at a skills disadvantage, facing a substantial learning curve that historical Windows users do not face.  And please, I can hear people out there saying "well, if everyone used MacOS everyone would be better off an nobody would have to face that" and "well, that's just because Windows is so much harder to use than MacOS."  I'm not arguing those points (although I disagree with both).  I'm just discussing the consequences of reality being what it is.  The overwhelming majority of schools and organizations use Windows. One argues with reality at one's own peril.
  5. With that small market share and user base, MacOS users face the challenge of maintaining compatibility with everyone else.

For the first items above, more will be forthcoming when I have time to pin it down and further support my assertions.

It is for #5, above, that I have an example, which I will reproduce here.  This is an email I recently received through a Yahoo group of which I'm a member.  What you'll see below could be blamed on all sorts of non-Apple things (Yahoo, Outlook, the weather), but the fact is that these only come like this from MacOS systems; never from Windows or web-based email systems.  It doesn't matter whose *fault* it is.   It's results with which we concern ourselves at Interconnected Technologies, and here is one result that strongly counters the claims of compatibility maintained by MacOS proponents:

(By the way, you don't have to scroll through the whole thing - you'll get the point quickly)

(Second note:  I put xxxxxxxx where specific identifying or email content information appeared, but I left all the special characters, weird formatting, etc. intact)


X-YMail-OSG: q5CLX88VM1kPm7yopulQfPIJdCn0Lq0VgblOH0GnkwE29kolL8BvLj8ID20n4QvadES2gRRIVYOU




















X-YMail-OSG: X-Received: from [] by web110801.mail.gq1.yahoo.com via HTTP; Sat, 16 Jan 2010 15:45:17 PST

X-Mailer: YahooMailRC/272.7 YahooMailWebService/

References: <71c399fa1001151424r79af082i291dbed073641e97@mail.gmail.com> <004601ca9671$63efef20$2bcfcd60$@us>

To: xxxxxxx

In-Reply-To: <004601ca9671$63efef20$2bcfcd60$@us>

X-Originating-IP: xxxxxxxx

X-eGroups-Msg-Info: 2:4:8:0:0

From: xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

X-Yahoo-Profile: xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

X-eGroups-Approved-By: xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxx via email; 17 Jan 2010 17:46:33 -0000

Sender: xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

MIME-Version: 1.0

Mailing-List: list xxxxxxxxxxxx; contact xxxxxxxxxxx

Delivered-To: mailing list xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

List-Id: <xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx&gt;

Precedence: bulk

List-Unsubscribe: <mailto:xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx&gt;

Date: Sat, 16 Jan 2010 15:45:17 -0800 (PST)

Subject: Re: xxxxxxxxxxxx

Reply-To: xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

X-Yahoo-Newman-Property: groups-email-ff-m

Content-Type: multipart/alternative;


X-pstn-neptune: 0/0/0.00/0

X-pstn-levels:     (S:99.90000/99.90000 CV:99.9000 FC:95.5390 LC:95.5390 R:95.9108 P:95.9108 M:97.0282 C:98.6951 )

X-pstn-settings: 1 (0.1500:0.1500) cv gt3 gt2 gt1 r p m c

X-pstn-addresses: from xxxxxxxxxxxxxx&gt; [1146/45]

Return-Path: xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

X-OriginalArrivalTime: 17 Jan 2010 17:46:26.0935 (UTC) FILETIME=[FE397070:01CA979C]



Content-Type: text/plain; charset=utf-8

Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable





- xxxxxxxxxx






From: xxxxxxxxxxxx

To: xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Sent: Sat, January 16, 2010 3:01:46 PM

Subject: xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx




documentation from him.  It has the sparse, cursory feel of something produ= ced by someone with either very thin, or quite extensive experience in an area.= =20 Clearly with him it=E2=80=99s the latter!





you =E2=80=93 you guys are amazing!





From:xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:xxxxxxxxxxxx] On Beh= alf Of xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Sent: Friday, January 15, 2010 3:25 PM

To: xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Subject: xxxxxxxxxxxxx [1 Attachment] =20 =20=20

[Attachment(s) from xxxxxxxxxxxxx

included below]=20















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Content-Type: text/html; charset=UTF-8

Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable


And on and on and on for page after page.  I have other examples of incompatibility that I can share.  And yes, sometimes it's not Apple's "fault".  Sometimes it's someone else's "fault".  That is beside the point.  The point I'm making is that there is incompatibility, and with over 90% of the market using Windows and Windows-based products and Windows-focused services, it rests with MacOS users to be compatible with the rest, not the other way around.