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Disinfect Your Keyboard

Keyboards, particularly those shared by multiple people, harbor huge quantities of bacteria. If you want to reduce the chances of picking up your co-worker's cold, you can disinfect your keyboard with disinfecting wipes. To avoid damage to the keyboard, be sure to:

  • Unplug the keyboard before disinfecting it.
  • Squeeze out any excess liquids from the cloth to avoid liquid dripping into the keyboard.
  • Don't let any liquid from the wipe sit for long periods of time on the keyboard.
  • Don't scrub the keyboard, just lightly wipe down. Rubbing too hard leaves behind more lint.
  • Avoid cleansing cloths that contain bleach.

Visit Das Keyboard

 
 

Windows 7 Adds Optional Virtualized XP

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Microsoft has revealed that Windows 7 will offer an optional, downloadable Windows XP virtual machine to provide full backwards compatibility. Veteran Windows watchers Rafael Rivera and Paul Thurrott of SuperSite for Windows were given the nod to release the secret. Microsoft's Windows Team blog later confirmed the feature.

The Windows XP Mode won't ship with Windows 7, but will be available as a free download for Professional, Enterprise, and Ultimate system owners. The XP mode will comprise a Virtual PC 7 virtual machine and a fully licensed copy of Windows XP Service Pack 3. While this might weigh in at a couple of gigabytes, that's no longer an onerous one-time download even for many home users. (I have to download nearly a gigabyte of Leopard updates if I install Mac OS X 10.5.0 on a new hard disk.)

Windows XP Mode will be a separate environment, but will allow running programs to appear alongside Windows 7 programs, rather than locking them inside a window - this sounds just like the Coherence mode that Parallels initially introduced for Windows applications running under Parallels Desktop in Mac OS X; VMware later matched Coherence with VMware Fusion's Unity mode (see "Parallels Desktop Ups the Ante," 2006-12-04, and "VMware Announces Fusion 1.0 Release," 2007-08-06).

The strategy is clear. Including XP in a virtual machine enables XP users to make an immediate leap to Windows 7, buying new hardware that will run XP far faster, while preserving a functionally identical operating environment (one that's likely to be more stable and portable, too). Microsoft can break all the compatibility it wants with Windows XP (and perhaps Vista, too) in Windows 7, jettisoning old code, obsolete programming hooks, and other detritus.

Last year, I wondered why Microsoft hadn't simply coupled its Virtual PC division with XP for the release of Vista in "Microsoft Needs to Empty Windows Trash, Reboot" (2008-06-29) when I recounted how many times Apple repackaged compatibility layers and virtual machines as it cast off successive older operating systems or architectures. Apparently, I wasn't alone in asking that question.

This is a brilliant move for Microsoft, and one that's somewhat out of keeping with a company that has made backwards compatibility one of the hallmarks of how it moves forward. The move may provide a compelling carrot to firms and individuals who are concerned about upgrading applications but might want to take advantage of some of the advances in Windows 7.

 

New for iOS 8: TextExpander 3 with custom keyboard.
Set up short abbreviations which expand to larger bits of text,
such as "Tx" for "TextExpander". With the new custom keyboard,
you can expand abbreviations in any app, including Safari and
Mail. <http://smle.us/tetouch3-tb>