GeekSpeak for 2006-04-15

MC Squared Computers

When your computer is broken and your 9-year-old guru is gone at computer camp, what are you to do? Find a reputable repair shop and cross your fingers! This week on GeekSpeak, the geeks are joined by Timothy P. Marshall, president and [CEO|Chief Executive Officer] of [MC Squared Computers|http://www.mcsquared.org], an Apple and Windows authorized service center located in Soquel, CA., to discuss computer repair.


!Our Guest

Timothy P. Marshall, president and CEO of MC Squared Computers Inc., has been an independent Apple Computer Specialist for over 30 years, dating way back to the Apple II.

MC Squared has been operational as a brick-and-mortar storefront since 1994 and is currently located on Soquel Drive in Soquel. They are an Apple and Windows Authorized Service Establishment and an Apple Authorized Sales Center. They specialise in both Mac and PC Service for carry-ins and on-site service. With over 12 thousand clients on record consisting of individual end users and small businesses they offer on-site personal training for both the Mac and PC platforms and most popular applications.

! Geek News

!! NASA Kids’ Club

Featuring animated educational activities for children in kindergarten through fourth grade, the site aims to appeal to both parents and educators wishing to help develop children’s knowledge in subjects such as science, technology and mathematics.

[NASA Kids’ Club|http://www.nasa.gov/audience/forkids/kidsclub/flash/index.html] may be rocket science, but getting there is as simple as clicking on the link.

!! No Eye Candy for Software Pirates

[CNet News|http://news.com.com/] reports that Microsoft is [blocking access to the Aero graphical user interface for illegal copies of Windows Vista|http://news.com.com/Vista+wont+show+fancy+side+to+pirates/2100-1016_3-6060700.html]. This is in contrast to earlier anti-copying efforts by the company where registration was targeted to the operating system as a whole as opposed to just the most recent features.

!! Evolving Evolution

[The New York Times|http://www.nytimes.com/] is running a story entitled “[Study, in a First, Explains Evolution’s Molecular Advance|http://www.nytimes.com/2006/04/07/science/07evolve.html],” (free registration required) describing how “scientists have for the first time demonstrated the step-by-step progression of how evolution created a new piece of molecular machinery by reusing and modifying existing parts.”

In other news, [yet another “missing link” in human evolution|http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/sciencepaleontology] has been discovered in what is now Ethiopia. [Yahoo News|http://news.yahoo.com/] by way of the Associated Foreign Press covers the story.

! Email from Mike, near Scotts Valley

Hello,

On this week’s show (MC Squared) their was a brief discussion of DSL vs. cable and someone asked for comments.

Here’s my experience:

After years (literally) of trying to persuade the phone company that DSL was possible where I live, I finally gave up and ordered broadband cable, through Comcast. I was reluctant because I had heard bad things about the service and the cost was rather high. The cost was high—interestingly, as a non-cable customer, I found it was cheaper to order basic cable + broadband instead of broadband by itself. There are a number of second-party marketeers offering substantail, no-contract savings for the first 6 months.

Hardware is pretty cheap (it came free with my order.)

I consistantly get between 4 and 5 megabits/sec downstream and 370 k/bits upstream (as measured by the UCSC Web100 diagnostic.) I’ve had the service for about 3 weeks with very little trouble, I occasionally have to reset my router, but that’s a D-Link problem. The worst downstream speed I’ve encountered has been about 2 to 2.5 Mb/second…at its worst, it’s substantially higher than what DSL would have provided in my area.
After a bit of a rocky start, I think Comcast and I are now on the same page (I had to remind them I ordered basic cable.) I must say their customer service and on-site installers have been first-rate and easy to reach (a real surprise for me and far better than my satellite provider, DirecTV.)

Finally getting high-speed Internet has been a truly tranformative experience; it’s a different Web when you break free from dial-up. (I’m a retired software developer and spend a lot of time on-line, using Open Source tools, which means a lot of downloads.) Being able to take advantage of high-bitrate media has been very enjoyable.

I hope this information has been helpful.

I enjoy the show, thanks for doing it.

Mike