A year is a long time in the life of the average PC. If it's been a while since your computer was brand-spanking-new, you may have noticed that it takes longer to start up, or your programs and files take longer to load. You can reclaim some of your computer's original performance with the help of EaseUS CleanGenius. This toolkit cleans and tweaks your system, deleting junk files and unneeded registry entries on demand or on schedule. It can make a big difference on older and slower systems, but even newer computers can benefit from regular maintenance with … Read more
Everybody should back up his or her data. You already know that, of course, but sometimes it's hard to remember to get around to it. This is when a portable drive with automatic backup software comes in handy. For you Mac users, a drive that works with your system's Time Machine will do the trick.
Here is our list of the top five backup devices for home users. They may not be the best storage options overall, but they'll make backing up easy. On top of that, they are all very good-looking.
Pantech just announced the Pantech Ease, a messaging handset which, according to the company, focuses on simplicity and ease of use. It has a 3.2-inch touch-screen display and a slide-out full QWERTY keyboard.
As with its entry-level Breeze, the Pantech Ease has two modes: easy and advanced. The easy mode has a simplified menu interface along with large legible font that you can increase for even larger text. Pantech isn't marketing the Ease as a senior-friendly device only; however, the company makes it clear the Ease was designed with senior citizens in mind.
The Easy Mode has a … Read more
There must be something in the water in Mountain View, Calif. Or maybe it's the backrubs.
Google, notorious for its engineering-driven culture, really shouldn't be able to consistently crank out consumer-friendly products. But it does.
What's the secret?
After all, the open-source world is also dominated by engineers, but we have historically been accused (often correctly) as developers developing geeky software for other developers.
How are Google's … Read more
With its Ease GPS device, TomTom has somehow managed to slip a new entry-level portable navigation device into the lineup below its previous entry-level TomTom One series. This places the Ease and the One in the precarious situation of potentially stepping on each others' toes at the sub-$150 price point--after all, there are already six One series variants listed on TomTom's Web site.
For the purposes of our evaluation, we compared the Ease with the TomTom One 140 S and found that while the Ease isn't as feature-rich as the best of the One series, it is … Read more
Apple gets a fair amount of criticism for its supposed elitism, but Apple products reveal the opposite: they're made for normal people who generally don't obsess about technology. For all the beauty of its designs, the real reason Apple succeeds is simplicity. Apple takes complex technologies and makes them easy to use.
Normal people can use Apple technologies without ever opening a manual.
What's amazing is that Apple manages to do this from the heart of Silicon Valley, a place that lives and breathes technology and, hence, conveniently forgets that approximately no other human beings on the … Read more
Despite booming enterprise server sales, some in the industry continue to grumble that Linux is too hard. Designed by geeks for geeks, the theory goes, Linux will never be mainstream.
Reality hasn't been kind to such arguments.
Consider the fact that Linux-based Google Android saw 350 percent growth in 2009, according to Myxer data. I've yet to hear anyone talking about Android being hard to use. My teenage neighbors bought their Android phones and have had little trouble texting, browsing the Web, and installing applications.
It's Linux. It's not hard.
Where Linux does sometimes fall down … Read more
Technology that requires a manual is technology that doesn't get used. At least, where mainstream users are concerned in the consumer and enterprise software markets. One of the lessons of the last 30 years of computing, and particularly in the rise of the consumer Web, is that ease-of-use trumps deep functionality most of the time.That's what made Microsoft the billion-dollar behemoth that it is. It's what is driving Apple's iPhone into millions of consumers' hands. And it's what makes Facebook, Google, and other Web companies so successful.
They're easy. They're intuitive. They … Read more
Open source's greatest strength may also be its Achilles' heel.
As a developer-driven phenomenon, much of the best open-source software ends up being written for other developers. For example, it's not surprising that Linux wins on the server (technical audience) but largely loses on the desktop (non-technical audience). Companies like Canonical and MindTouch can mitigate this by paying for usability design. But as an overall movement, it remains a weakness.
Apple has the opposite problem. It is religiously focused on usability, but struggles to open up to outside developers.
Even so, its attention to the user is something … Read more