Stories by Preston Gralla

Is IT dead?

The latest news from HP should be chilling to IT employees: The company is eliminating 9,000 IT positions.

Acronis Drive Monitor Is S.M.A.R.T. about hard drives

Your hard disk is a time bomb, waiting to go off. If you're lucky, like most people, it will never detonate. But if you're unlucky, like some people, you could lose all of your files, works, and applications, with no warning when your hard disk crashes. Acronis Drive Monitor (free) promises to give you warning before that crash, so that you can take action before you're hit with disaster.

The best Windows 7 downloads

Not quite happy with the way Windows 7 works, or looking to get more out of the operating system? You've come to the right place. We're big fans of Microsoft's latest OS, but we're also big fans of making Windows better. In this article, we've rounded up the best Windows 7 downloads. They'll let you customize it in any way possible, give it features that Microsoft removed or neglected to include, and more. So get ready to download--you're about to take Windows 7 to a new level.

Safari 5 in depth: Has it sped past Chrome?

The just-released Safari 5 ups the ante in the browser wars, with two major improvements: a performance boost to rival speed king Chrome, the highly useful Safari Reader, which makes it much easier to read multi-page Web articles.

MS Windows Live Essentials rides new wave

The beta of Microsoft's latest update of its free Windows Live Essentials line of online applications -- which Microsoft calls Wave 4 -- was recently released to reviewers and beta testers; the final release is expected sometime this summer. It's a grab-bag of useful, if often unrelated, applications that offer a variety of services for doing things such as managing photos, creating videos, checking e-mail, doing instant messaging, writing blog posts and synchronizing data among PCs.

Why Google's Windows ban doesn't make sense

Google's move to ban Windows for internal use was ostensibly for security reasons. But that looks more like a convenient excuse than anything else, because there are plenty of reasons the ban doesn't make sense.

Google Docs better; ready to take on Office?

The new version of Google Docs sports considerable collaboration tools, as well as improved editing and formatting, a faster, more useful spreadsheet and new collaborative drawing software.

10 downloads to power up your printer

What's the most underused productivity tool in your home or office? Your printer. Confined within that unassuming box, however, is a lot of power--far more than you might imagine.

Greenpeace: Facebook has a hand in global warming

Greenpeace has charged that Facebook, Apple, Microsoft, Google and others are contributing to global warming by using coal to power data centers for their cloud-based services. The charges are dramatic --- but are they on target?

Microsoft turns 35: Best, worst, most notable moments

The year is 1975. Gerald Ford is in the White House, South Vietnam falls, Muhammad Ali defeats Joe Frazier in the "Thrilla in Manila" world championship boxing match, the late-night comedy show NBC's Saturday Night (later called Saturday Night Live) debuts, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest sweeps the Oscars, and Captain & Tennille's "Love Will Keep Us Together" and Glenn Campbell's "Rhinestone Cowboy" top the music charts.

Speccy public beta gives geeky system details

Want to get the rundown on every aspect of your system hardware? Speccy (free public beta) gives so much detailed, technical information about hardware, it could choke even the mind of a hard-core techie.

10 great free digital photography downloads

With these free image editors, photo managers, and other utilities, you can take control of your photo collection.

Google, Microsoft and Apple: Which one will thrive?

Apple, Google and Microsoft are locked in a three-way struggle for industry dominance, competing to varying degrees on hardware, computer and cell phone operating systems, applications, entertainment, Internet search and more.

Firefox 3.6 adds speed, Personas-is it enough?

The just-released final version of Firefox 3.6 is a moderate improvement over previous versions -- it's faster and introduces a nifty new feature or two. But at heart, it's the same browser that has steadily gained market share against Internet Explorer for years.

Has Microsoft become toothless, or a friendly partner

At one time, Microsoft was about as welcome in Silicon Valley as Darth Vader at a Jedi knight convention. Commonly referred to as the Evil Empire, the company was feared and hated in roughly equal measure when it opened its first Silicon Valley office in October 1999.