Thursday, May 24, 2007

No More Big Ideas

Six years ago, Phil Vischer revolutionized Christian family entertainment by selling 30 million Veggie Tales videos. He was running the largest animation studio between the coasts, and had dreams that his empire, known as Big Idea Productions, would become the next Disney.

But by 2003 his dream was over. After a heartbreaking court decision, later overturned on appeal, Big Idea declared bankruptcy, and Vischer sold the company’s assets, including his computer animated characters Bob the Tomato and Larry the Cucumber. His new book, Me, Myself, and Bob (Nelson, 2007) tells the story of Big Idea’s rise and fall. We sat down with Vischer to talk about what he’s learned.

Read more at CT Leadership Journal

Thursday, May 17, 2007

"Ghost" Windows XP for free

If you have ever had the pleasure of re-installing Windows XP from scratch, you know what a hassle it can be. The idea of endless tweaks, patches, driver hunts, reboots, and scouring the web for software does not exactly fill me with glee. Did I mention the reboots? For me, the worst part is the sinking realization that when I finish the endless tweaks and software installs, I may end up doing the entire process over again from scratch six-to-eight months down the road. Why? Masochism may be one answer, but a more probable answer is an unexpected bout of spyware, a rogue virus, or a bloated registry that is causing the system to behave erratically.


Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Killing the Crapware Problem on PCs

As many readers know, I'm not a fan of the Apple ads, but this one was spot on and not to mention funny. Poor old PC looked like a balloon and his dangling arms almost made him look like Jabba the Hutt.

One of the things that bother me the most about the PC industry is the inclusion of all that crapware (or crapplets) PC makers put into their computers. The same thing extends to the software industry as a whole. Every time you download some software, you're prompted (often the default setting) to install some kind of add-on for your Web Browser. By the time it's all said and done, we're looking at a computer that spends three to five minutes booting up and a Web Browser that's so jacked up that half the screen real estate is taken up by utilities that people never use. Of course, this isn't entirely unique to the PC industry, and I've seen Macs loaded with lots of junk during the startup process as well, but at least you don't get all that crap in a brand new Mac.

The first thing I do whenever I get a PC from any computer maker is format the entire hard drive and start with a clean slate. This isn't feasible for most people, so I'll usually resort to my second option, which is to clean out the startup with the MSCONFIG utility you can run from the start - run prompt (run prompt not needed with Vista).

Read more at ZDNet Blogs