LibreOffice is a free alternative to the not-inexpensive Microsoft Office suite. I’m using it to replace AppleWorks, which I’ve been using since ClarisWorks 1.0 shipped back in the System 7.0 era. Unfortunately, AppleWorks is incompatible with OS X 10.7 Lion and later, so I’ve had to find an alternative since installing OS X 10.9 Mavericks […]
From the 8080 through the 80386, CPUs gained most of its improved performance from greater clock speed and a wider data bus. With the next generation, released in 1989 and 1990 respectively, both Intel and Motorola (in their 680×0 family) worked on making their processors more efficient.
The 80386 initially shipped at 16 MHz with sample quantities in October 1985 and release to manufacture in early 1986. At 16 MHz, it has a higher clock speed than any Intel version of the 80286. Although the ‘386 includes the same addressing modes as the 8086 and ‘286, it also included new addressing modes, including one […]
Intel’s 80286 CPU, introduced in February 1984, was the first big step forward from the 8088 CPU used in the original IBM PC and a host of PC compatibles.
The IBM PC of August 1981 was build around Intel’s 8088 processor, a CPU released over two years earlier in June 1979. The 8088 itself was designed as a version of Intel’s 16-bit 8086, but on an 8-bit bus instead of a 16-bit bus. Although this made the 8088 a bit less efficient than the 8086, it […]
Although the Intel 8080 never ran MS-DOS, it is the direct predecessor of the 8086 and 8088 CPUs used in the first IBM PC. The 2 MHz 8080 was released on April 1, 1974 and formed the core of the first personal computers, the MITS Altair 8800 and the IMSAI 8080.
I recently installed the lightweight Linux distro LXLE on a netbook and then on an aging laptop. Now I compare the two machines.
How do you prevent unwanted email from showing up in your in box? If you’re a Yahoo! Mail user, it’s really quite easy.
In my previous Low End Mac article, I wrote that I was planning a trip for later this spring. I wrote about options for take-along tech gadgets: digital cameras (small is good), mobile phones (get a local SIM at your destination), tablets (bigger than a mobile phone, less capable than a laptop, but good enough for […]
Cable and satellite TV are growing more expensive all the time. If you’re looking to reduce your entertainment costs, an older laptop can be an easy way to do so.
Personal computer history doesn’t begin with IBM or Microsoft, although Microsoft was an early participant in the fledgling PC industry.
With Windows XP support officially ended, switching to Linux could be a way of saving low-end hardware. I compare two identical machines, one running XP, the other running LXLE. Let the fun begin.
I put my MacBook out of the way and installed LXLE on a 10” netbook. Find out what I think after an entire day of use.
This weekend, Linda relayed a question from a colleague who wondered what sort of tech gear to take travelling. As with most simple to ask tech questions, my best short answer is. “It depends.” So let’s expand on it a bit.
Moving to a new OS can be a steep learning curve, and you may have to leave behind your beloved Windows apps. What if you could run Windows apps without using Windows? Step up ReactOS.
Linux is an awesome operating system, but perhaps a little too different for Windows users. But what if there was a distro that looked like Windows? Step up Q4OS.
Windows 9 might go some way to fix the mess that Windows 8 is, but could Windows 10 – or whatever they decide to call it – bring a whole new era for Microsoft, or just more of the same?
In this modern age of multicore processors and gigabytes of RAM, I began wondering how low-end of a computer I could get away with using in 2014.
Microsoft is to end extended support for Windows XP in April 2014, but with so many people still hanging on to the decade old OS, what are their options?
I’m not a fan of Windows, and after a lot of headaches with the computer my children use over the past few months, I decided to switch them to Ubuntu and see how they get on. Good-bye, Microsoft?
WiFi might be great for laptops and smartphones, but in terms of speed and reliability it is still far behind ethernet. This is why I have installed ethernet cabling throughout my house.
Macs have had hard drives for nearly as long as Macs have been available, as is true of PCs, and a lot of those very early hard drives didn’t have great life expectancies. In addition to higher capacity and lower cost per data unit, hard drives have become far more reliable than those from the […]
This is the tale of three operating systems: Windows XP, its presumed successor Vista, and the recently displaced as king of the hill Windows 7.
I am a Mac user and have been for over a decade. No matter how much Windows changes, it will never be enough to pull me away from the beauty that is Mac OS X. But does Vista deserve the stick it gets?
Linux distributions (a.k.a. distros) are a great free alternative to Windows for both PCs and older Intel Macs. With hundreds of distros available, it can be hard to decide, but Elementary OS stands out.
The original Asus EeePC can handle Windows XP very well, but the 4 GB SSD can be a bit cramped. Here is how to slim it and tweak it.
I saw an advertisement on television a few days ago for the new Google ChromeBook. Originally launched in 2010, I had shown a small amount of interest in them, but the new price was the clincher that made me sit up and pay attention.
Until 1995, Microsoft Windows took a back seat to the Macintosh. Although Windows 3.x supported 256 color 320 x 200 VGA mode, by default is used a higher resolution (and thus sharper) 16 color mode. There wasn’t the least thing pretty about it. By contrast, Macintosh System 7 was very impressive, with its support for […]
I haven’t always been a Mac user. I started my computing days out on a Commodore 64 and an Acorn 3010. I bought my first PC from my employer in 1997 – a massive, heavy beige tower containing a 486DX2-66 processor, 64 MB RAM, 500 MB hard drive, a CD-ROM drive, and a 15″ SVGA […]
Is it really fair to compare a three-year-old operating system to a three-month-old one? Maybe not (for the three-year-old), but it is interesting.