Switching over to Linux...

By Ethan Nobles on 12:43 AM

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Well, the unthinkable happened -- my hard drive developed a logic error, forcing me to reformat the whole shebang and reinstall everything.

Here's a tip for you cats -- get a Dropbox account and store your important files on it. You get two gigabytes of storage for free and the thing is easy to set up and use locally. The importance of Dropbox is this -- when your computer flakes out on you, at least you can recover your important files (the ability to access your files from virtually anywhere you have an Internet connection is important, too).

At any rate, I was surprised to see my hard drive on my netbook die because I've only had this nifty little computer for a year. Rather than go back to Windows XP, I decided to try something new -- Ubuntu Linux. Here's what I've learned -- Linux isn't scary, weird, limited or anything else. It just works and works very well.

You can read all about my adventures with Linux here.

Microsoft Kinect -- a pretty good controller (so far)

By Ethan Nobles on 1:46 AM

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Christmas has come and gone and good old Santa Claus left a Microsoft Kinect for the kids.

They must have been good this year as the Kinect is one of the "hot toys" of the season. However, there are some questions about it. Does it actually work? Is it a ton of fun? Does it live up to Microsoft's hype?

Yes, Microsoft doesn't really have a good track record when it comes to releasing products that work as promised and are as cool as the company's hyperbole suggests.

I'm happy to report, however, that the Kinect does work and the potential is there to provide a slew of fantastic motion-based games. Whether the controller will realize its potential and live up to the hype remains to be seen, but Microsoft appears to be on the right track with this.

Click here to read all about my initial reaction to the Kinect.