Bye-Bye Windows XP: What You Need to Know

Planned obsolescence. You expect it with your cellphone and your TV. You’re used to it with your car. But your computer operating system – the software that determines what you see on the screen and how you make the hardware work –  has nearly always allowed you to upgrade and stay connected and productive. Now, if you’re among the hundreds of millions of computer users running Windows XP, it’s the end of the road. After April 8, Microsoft is cutting …

Meet the iPad Air … and Its Competition

Everybody knew that Apple would announce its new, lighter, slimmer, faster iPads on Oct. 22. Only the change in name came as a surprise. Welcome the iPad Air. Whether the faster processor, faster graphics, better cameras and sound, improved software, and slimmer-than-ever appearance mean you need this thing is, of course, up to you. Apple makes the case that 475,000 apps give the iPad an unbeatable advantage. Sign up for the AARP Money Matters newsletter And, if the 1-pound, 7.5-mm …

WebTV: The Internet Revolution That Wasn’t

  Back in the mid-1990s, when PCs cost thousands of dollars and required a fair amount of technological savvy to set up and operate, WebTV seemed like the next big thing: an easier, cheaper ($300) way to get online and experience the still-newfangled wonders of the World Wide Web. “After spending a couple of weeks using WebTV,” BusinessWeek technology columnist Stephen H. Wildstrom gushed in 1996, “I think we may now have the product that could turn the World Wide Web …

Douglas Engelbart: The Man Behind Your Mouse (And a Lot More)

If it weren’t for Douglas Engelbart, the computer on your desk might still be little more than a glorified typewriter, and you might still be struggling to remember arcane DOS commands so you could type them into a luminous green C:\ prompt on a black screen. And the multimedia marvels of the Web might not have ever existed. As computer historian Howard Rheingold once wrote, “We wouldn’t be sitting in front of personal computers today if it wasn’t for him.” Back …

App of the Week: Stop Waiting On Hold, Have ‘Em Call You

Do you hate waiting on hold for a customer service rep to answer the phone?   How about that phone tree navigation system that nearly every company uses?  Don’t you just want to scream “representative” to the recorded voice that isn’t listening? Oh yeah, there’s an app for that too. It’s called fastcustomer.com. The app is available for iPhone, iPad, Android and Kindle Fire and Chrome.  As long as you have an internet connection and a phone, you are in business. …