Droid X: This is one hard phone to find (without a preorder) [Updated]

Update 07/22/10: I’ve spoken to Verizon reps at corporate stores across the Minneapolis metropolitan area and they have reported that the Droid X is sold out in all stores across the nation.  They explained that the only way to currently get the phone is to order it from Verizon online, which should start shipping on approximately August 3rd or 4th.  The phone will include free overnight shipping.

Well, it accidentally turned into Android week here at Techerator (sorry about that, non-Android people).  I’ve been running around today trying to find the newly-released Droid X with the same response from everybody: we’re sold out.

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It seems like most retailers, including Verizon authorized stores and Best Buy, sold their entire stock of Motorola’s newest, 4.3″ smartphone through pre-orders.  All stores have offered to put me on a waiting list, with new shipments “hopefully arriving next week”.

Had any luck finding the newest member of the Droid lineup?  Share it with us in the comments!  My search continues…

Opera Web Browser: Fighting Back With Version 10.50

Many people are aware of the instant popularity of the Google Chrome web browser, taking just over 3% of the browser market share upon its release.  Opera, a competitor in the web browser market since 1996, has only achieved a 2% market share in the past 14 years.  The Opera developers aim to get back into the web browser market with the 10.50 release of the Opera web browser.

The Opera 10.50 web browser boasts some features that all internet users will enjoy.  I’ll go over some of the major features of Opera 10.50 in this article.

Faster JavaScript Performance

Having the fastest JavaScript speeds is a major factor in why Google Chrome has been successful.  With the continued move to feature-rich, web-based applications, more load is being placed on the web browser.  Opera 10.50 is setting the bar higher by boasting to have the fastest JavaScript performance yet, performing 10 times faster than the previous version of Opera.

Opera Turbo

Opera Turbo is a feature that can help decrease page load times if you happen to be on a slow connection.  Using Opera’s compression servers, web pages are compressed up to 80%, allowing your pages to load faster.  Opera Turbo also helps to decrease page load times by preventing Flash content such as YouTube videos from loading until you click on them.  Image sizes are also reduced to decrease page load times.  Opera Turbo features an automatic mode, which will sense if you network connection has become slow, and enable Opera Turbo.

Visual Tabs

Opera already supported tabbed browsing, but a new feature in version 10.50 are Visual Tabs.  Visual Tabs allow you to see a preview of the open tab, along with the page title.  Visually recognizing the tab can sometimes be easier than referring to the page title.

Opera 10.50 also offers tab previews.  Hovering the mouse over a tab will show a quick thumbnail of that tab.

Speed Dial

Speed Dial allows you to quickly access your favorite sites whenever you open a new tab.  When opening a new tab, the Speed Dial page is shown with your 9 favorite sites.  Speed Dial pages can easily be changed or removed from the Speed Dial page.

Mouse Gestures

Mouse Gestures are a way to quickly perform common web browser actions with a right-click and movement of the mouse.  Some common browser actions you can perform with Mouse Gestures include opening new tabs, closing tabs, previous page, next page, reload, home, and many more.

Opera Link

Opera Link is a feature included in Opera 10.50 that allows you to sync your Opera browser information between multiple computers.  Opera Link allows you to sync bookmarks, Speed Dial, notes, history, and searches, allowing you to have them available wherever you are.  If you use Opera at home and at work, Opera Link is a great way to keep the same browsing information synced between the two computers.  Opera Link is also a great way to backup your browser information automatically.

Integrated Email

One of my favorite features of Opera 10.50 is the integrated email support.  Opera integrated email supports both POP and IMAP email and is easily configured.  Once your account has been added, your email is automatically fetched and displayed.  Opera’s integrated email also allows composing and sending of emails with the feature rich editor.

Opera Unite

Another promising features of Opera 10.50 is Opera Unite.  Opera Unite is a set of extension applications that add functionality such as photo sharing, music streaming, and file sharing, all from your browser.  Opera Unite already features a wide list of community developed applications with more constantly being developed.

Opera Widgets

New to Opera 10.50, Opera Widgets allow you to run your favorite internet service outside of your browser.  Acting like desktop applications, Opera Widgets allow you to access services like Twitter and Facebook even when your web browser is closed.  Opera features many community developed widgets, with more being actively developed.

Conclusion

If you’re looking for a fast, full-featured web browser and want to try something other than Firefox and Chrome, then I suggest you give the Opera 10.50 a try.  I’m sure everyone will find something they like about the Opera web browser.

Have you used Opera as your web browser?  What is your favorite upcoming feature of Opera?  Let us know your thoughts about Opera by commenting below!

What’s New in Firefox 3.6

Today marks the release of the latest version of the Firefox web browser – Firefox 3.6  Some changes to the popular web browser have come about in the latest release, and are outlined below.

Lightweight themes

Included in Firefox 3.6 are lightweight themes, also known as Personas.  When using Personas, users will have the ability to quickly change themes without having to restart the browser.  Visit http://www.getpersonas.com to find the theme for you and check out our previous article about spicing up Firefox’s appearance with Personas.

Detecting device orientation

Firefox 3.6 adds accelerometer support, allowing the web browser to detect the orientation of your device (i.e. for tablet PCs, the browser will now auto-orient itself when you tilt it sideways).  There are a couple of different ways that developers can implement this feature, so make sure to checkout the Mozilla Developer page for more information.

Standards support

A major upgrade in Firefox 3.6 is improved standards support, including full-screen support for Theora video.  Support for WOPP fonts has also been included in this release of Firefox, allowing web developers to include smaller font packages and improve website speeds.

Out-of-date plugin notification

Keeping your system secure is important to all users.  Although Firefox will stay up-to-date, you may be running outdated plugins.  Firefox 3.6 improves out-of-date plugin checking and helps users to install the necessary updates.  You can check if you have the latest version of your plugins by running the Mozilla Plugin Check.

Performance improvements

As with every new release, many improvements in speed and performance have also been included.  As Director of Firefox Development Mike Beltzner describes in the video below, Firefox 3.6 is around 20% faster than Firefox 3.5.

Watch the video below from Director of Firefox Development, Mike Beltzner, as he describes some of the new features in Firefox 3.6

Download Firefox 3.6 from Mozilla.  Once you’ve had the chance to update Firefox, let us know your thoughts of the latest release in the comments.

Fedora 12 “Constantine” Released Today

fedora-logoToday marks the release date of the newest version of Fedora Linux distribution — Fedora 12.  Codenamed “Constantine”, Fedora 12 marks the newest release in a long line of Fedora versions.

Features

Some features included in this new release are listed below:

  • Gnome 2.28
  • Change to i686 architecture
  • Improved webcam support
  • Fedora Studio
  • PackageKit Browser Plugin

You can read my article describing these features in further detail here.

Download

The recommended way of downloading Fedora 12 is via BitTorrent, and a list of the torrent files can be found at the Fedora Project BitTorrent tracker.

Fedora 12 can also be downloaded from the Fedora FTP server and other FTP mirrors.  A full list of mirrors can be found at the Fedora Project Mirror List page.  Be sure to select a FTP mirror that is closer to you to help improve download speeds.

Have you experienced any problems after installing Fedora 12?  What are you opinions of the release so far?  Let us know by commenting below.

Windows 7 Officially Releases Today

win7-release-thumbWindows 7, Microsoft’s newest operating system and successor to the ill-famed Windows Vista, was released today after becoming the biggest pre-order product of all time on Amazon UK.  You may have already been following as we showed you how to install Windows 7 on a virtual machine, how to dual boot Windows 7 with your current operating system, and how to install Windows 7 from a USB flash drive for netbooks.

If you’re wondering if your computer is capable of running Windows 7, you can check out the Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor which will tell you exactly what you can expect with the new operating system.  As a general rule: if your computer can run Windows Vista, it will run Windows 7 just fine.  Many computers capable of running Windows XP can also use Windows 7 (just make sure you have 1 GB of RAM).

Still haven’t taken the leap?  You can purchase Windows 7 from Amazon, and make sure to check out the rest of our Windows 7 coverage.  We’ll have many more Windows 7 articles coming in the future!

Windows 7 System Requirements:

  • 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor
  • 1 gigabyte (GB) RAM (32-bit) or 2 GB RAM (64-bit)
  • 16 GB available hard disk space (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit)
  • DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM 1.0 or higher driver

Fedora 11 “Leonidas” Released Today

fedora-logoThe Fedora Project has released the next version of the Fedora Linux distribution — Fedora 11.  After the release date was pushed back two times due to last minute bugs (Bug #1, Bug #2) Fedora 11 – code name “Leonidas” – is now available for download.

Features

Some features included in this new release are listed below:

  • 20 second boot time
  • Change architecture from i386 to i586 default – more info
  • Gnome 2.26
  • Automatic bug reporting tool
  • ext4 as the default file system
  • Better fingerprint reader support
  • Firefox 3.1
  • Thunderbird 3
  • Windows cross-compiler
  • Improved power management

The full feature list can be found here.

Download

The recommended way of downloading Fedora 11 is via BitTorrent, and a list of the torrent files can be found at the Fedora Project BitTorrent tracker.

Fedora 11 can also be downloaded from the Fedora FTP server and other FTP mirrors.  A full list of mirrors can be found at the Fedora Project Mirror List page.  Be sure to select a FTP mirror that is closer to you to help improve download speeds.

Have you experienced any problems after installing Fedora 11?  What are you opinions of the release so far?  Let us know by commenting below.

Want To Try Windows 7? Install it on a Virtual Machine

windows7thumbWith the public release of Windows 7 RC, many software developers and tech enthusiasts are flocking to the download site to get their hands on the highly anticipated successor to Windows Vista.

Many individuals downloading the Windows 7 RC have extra systems that are dedicated for software development and application testing.  But what if you don’t have spare computers around and you want to test drive Windows 7?  There is a solution: Install a virtual machine.

Important note: Virtual machines will use large amounts of system resources, especially RAM and hard drive space.  It is important that you have enough memory to run your current operating system, along with the guest operating systems of your virtual machine.  If resources are low, your system will become unstable.

What is a virtual machine?

From Dictionary.com

In computer science, a virtual machine (VM) is a software implementation of a machine (computer) that executes programs like a real machine.

Simply put, a virtual machine allows you to have multiple operating systems installed as guests of the main operating system, which are separated and easily added or removed without making any changes to the host operating system.

Two popular pieces of virtualization software are VMWare Server and Virtual Box, both of which are free.  Each piece of software is pictured below.

VMware Server 1.0.9
VMware Server 1.0.9
VirtualBox 2.2.0
VirtualBox 2.2.0

Setting Up Your Virtual Machine

Once you have installed your virtualization software of choice, point the virtual CD/DVD drive of VMware or VirtualBox to the Windows 7 RC ISO you downloaded.  When you start the virtual machine, it will boot from the ISO file as if it was in a physical CD/DVD drive connected to a computer.

When you have completed the Windows install, you are then free to explore Windows 7 while continuing to run your current operating system.  Any changes that you make to the Windows 7 virtual machine are contained, and will not affect your host computer or current operating system in any way.

Which virtualization software do you prefer, VMWare Server or Virtual Box?  Besides Windows 7, what other guest operating systems do you have installed or have tested in a virtual environment?  What are your initial thoughs on the Windows 7 RC?  Let us know by commenting below.

Ubuntu 9.04 “Jaunty Jackalope” Released

ubuntu-logo1Ubuntu – currently the world’s most popular Linux distribution – released it’s newest version today named “Jaunty Jackalope” which offers some major improvements over previous versions.  Available in desktop, server, and netbook editions, Ubuntu 9.04 offers faster boot-up times (23 seconds on a solid state drive!), better device compatibility, and new software such as Firefox 3 and OpenOffice.org 3.0.

In the back-end, Ubuntu 9.04 includes Gnome 2.26 which boasts better multi-monitor handling, as well as X.org server 1.6 which provides support for new video cards and better video performance.  Long-time Ubuntu users will notice a new notification style and preferences and added support for the Ext-4 file system.

Ubuntu 9.04 server edition comes equipped with Eucalyptus, which is an open source technology that allows users to create their own private cloud computing servers.

Check back for guides and reviews of Ubuntu 9.04 and Ubuntu-related software coming soon.