Showing posts with label hardware. Show all posts
Showing posts with label hardware. Show all posts

February 24, 2011

iPad alternatives

The iPad is a great little device! It works very well, almost everyone seems to be able to use it instantly and everyone wants one. Well, almost everyone (hi Martin!). But while Apple must be given credit for starting it all and showing that tablets are incredibly useful and handy, the iPad is not cheap and... well... from Apple. So what else is there? Competition is always good and here it's no different.

T3 has a round-up of iPad alternatives and lists the HTC Flyer, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, the LG Optimus Pad and the Acer Iconia Tab A500. (Also check the review.)
But don't forget the Notion Ink Adam, Motorola XOOM, Dell Streak and more from Toshiba, Asus and Archos.

Most of the Android tablets will be based on Android 3.0 aka Honeycomb and feature a powerful dual-core CPU. The iPad2 may even the playing field again come September, but until then Android rules the iPad in power. Usability and personal preferences remain, well personal. :)

Update: Sony Ericsson Play, XOOM review
Update2: another Xoom review by Engadget
Update3: www.tabletcenter.nl for tablets in Holland

April 8, 2010

Generic webcams

Video chat is all the rage, I know. But webcams are stupid accessories. They cost a lot, they never work when you need them most and everyone has their own drivers. :puke:

Enter Universal Video Classes. OS X, Windows, Linux all support UVC web cams out of the box. No wires required. I recommend the $30 HP Deluxe Webcam. It's available at Amazon and every other retailer or cheap site out there. It's small, simple and works great! No software or [additional] drivers required.

December 17, 2009

Nexus One Hardware Running List

An Android website is keeping tabs on the Google Phone "Nexus One" that comes out early next year. The specs are close to what my Liquid does, so nothing exciting there apart from the newer Android version 2.1 (vs my v1.6). Read the article on these are the droids.

November 26, 2009

Canon EOS 7D Review

Speaking of expensive digicams, I want the EOS 7D now. Also about €1500 but now for 18 Mpx. Read the Canon EOS 7D Review by DPreview.

November 11, 2009

Go, Google's New Open Source Programming Language

Slashdot: "Go, the new programming language Google has released as open source under a BSD license. The official Go site characterizes the language as simple, fast, safe, concurrent, and fun. A video illustrates just how fast compilation is: the entire language, 120K lines, compiles in under 10 sec. on a laptop. Ars Technica's writeup lays the stress on how C-like Go is in its roots, though it has plenty of modern ideas mixed in."

I know this is YAPL (yet another programming language), but with all of Google's effort in trying to transform the way we interact with the Internet (Google's search, Google Android for smart phones, Android OS for netbooks/laptops, Google Wave for Web3.0 communications, and all of Google's applications such as Froogle, Docs, Books, Mail, Calendar, Maps, Sync, Earth, YouTube, Picasa, AdSense, Analytics and many more), knowing or learning the language that can tie it all together may make good sense...

November 9, 2009

Digitally pimping a home network

While visiting Michiel in Singapore, I pimped their home network a bit. It was fine, but cumbersome and loosely tied together: 5 laptops, PS3, Wii. They have a cable modem, but didn't know their connection speed. WiFi was setup but not used because downloading over a fixed connection into the WiFi router was "going faster". Hehe, I told them their ISP limits the speed and after a bit of testing concluded that their 8 Mb down-link would scarcely fill the 54 Mb/s bandwidth of their 802.11g WiFi network. So no need for the fixed network hook-up not sitting near the router, freedom to sit around the house wherever they wanted to. I moved the Linksys WRT54G into a nook, out of the way, receiving thousands of thank-yous from the housekeeper who hated the nasty blue box on the floor in the livingroom. ;)

I then tied the PS3 and Wii to the WiFi network. This meant all devices were now on the same subnet. I installed PS3 media server on Molina's Vista Acer laptop. (It's free, open source and supports Windows, Mac and Linux!) Up until then, they'd had borrowed the HDMI cable from the PS3 if they wanted to watch downloaded TV series. Fine, but why swap cables?! :) Now, they hook up USB disks with movies, music and series to the Vista laptop, fire up ps3 media server, turn on the PS3 and watch or listen to anything from the Windows laptop. :)

linksys WRE54GNext, after seeing this digital revolution in his house, Michiel asked if he could somehow get WiFi on his 17 m2 roof terras, overlooking the Singapore skyline? I said sure, but he'd likely have to drill a cable up to the roof. The reinforced concrete would be unlikely to pass his WiFi signals. So did a little digging and after MrVanes suggested WiFi Range Extenders (I had been looking for that term), it all came quickly together:
* get a WRE54G Linksys Range Expander to get unobstructed full speed WiFi access outside on the roof
* pulling a cable up from the livingroom
* Connect a QNAP TS-410 NAS server to a free network port on the WRT54G and add some disks to taste.

QNAP NAS SOHOThe NAS supports Windows, Apple and Linux, has built-in everything and is expandable with hot-swap drive bays. The UPnP/DLNA media server supports their PS3 so the Windows laptop can be used as a workstation instead of doubling as a media server, the built-in bittorrent (BT) client let's them download directly to the NAS and the iTunes server let's them stream their music collection to their laptops, iPhones or iTouch devices. If only I could be there to install it and see it work!!! :)

November 4, 2009

Intel Atom CE4100 chip for STB

With Full-HD TVs and Blu-ray soundly established on the consumer market these days, Intel announces the Atom CE4100 for insanely powerful cable boxes and Blu-ray players. Dual 1080p streams can be decoded, MPEG4 and 3D graphics capability, as well as raw uncompressed 1080p capturing!

October 28, 2009

New Apple MacBook Pro revealed by OS X update

In an update for Snow Leopard for developers, Apple has revealed that two new MacBook Pros are likely to appear soon. Rumors have it that these will contain quad-core CPUs, since Mac Pro and new iMacs are already available with the Intel i5/i7 quad-core CPUs. If true, this will make the new MacBooks extremely fast compared to current versions! See also MacRumors.

October 26, 2009

1337arts

2 MIT students take a $150 weather balloon, attach a beer cooler, put a Canon digicam in it, a cell phone with GPS and send the sucker up into near-space at 24 km altitude to take some pictures! Check 1337arts. Now they want to cross the Atlantic with the same idea!

October 21, 2009

Apple iMac Goes Intel Core i5, i7

Apple has refreshed their iMacs. The entry models still have a Core 2 Duo but the high-end versions will use Intel's new Core i5/i7 quad-core super fast CPUs! Prices start at $1200 for the low-end and $2000 for the top model. Still, if I would design my own Windoze PC, it'll also cost me at least $2000 and probably more!

Source: Tom's Hardware

October 19, 2009

Google Android: Acer Liquid A1


I'm glad I know MrVanes because he and I are so much alike in some ways. I'm also glad he told me NOT to go for an HTC Android phone while in Singapore, because the Hero and Magic sucked! Bad feel, bad form, terrible handling Yuck!
Anyway, he spotted the Acer Liquid A1 planned for Q4 (aka now!) with an est. retail price for €400 and an 800x480px screen powered by a 1 Ghz Snapdargon CPU from the good people at Qualcomm. I can't wait! Acer's netbooks are great and the laptops are better than average, so why can't they do the same for Android phones? :)

September 30, 2009

Cool animated movies coming up

While in Funan, world's largest IT dept store, I walked past some laptops showing off graphics using some new upcoming computer animated movies:
* 9 (amazing)
* Planet 51 (hilarious)
* UP (outstanding)
* Avatar (breathtaking)

September 26, 2009

Installing Firefox Portable in an Internet Center

Having spent 1 day in Schiphol, waiting for my flight, I've been to the KPN Internet Cafe a few times. While you can access KPN hotspots using various accounts from third-parties, if you don't have a laptop, your only way to read Email is to use the terminals from KPN. And you can only pay for access: €3 for 15 minutes. Thieves, that 's what they are. ;)
To make matters worse, these terminals run an outdated Windows version with most certainly not the latest security fixes for IE and... the dreaded IE6. (When I'm back in the office, I'm going to write somebody about fixing it!). Problem with IE6 is that it's a terrible browser, no standards support, very leaky and brain-dead. Gmail, Facebook, Twitter... they all warned me I was using a bad browser. Sadly, most of these terminals are protected against updating configuration and installation of software. But wait, there is more...
I went to portableapps.com, downloaded FF 3.5.3 (9 MB), installed it in My Documents and ran it using the security flaw in IE6 that allows me to open a local file even if it's an executable! W00t! So now I have 4 tabs open, my surfing is (more) secure and I can control what my browser stores in its cache or not. The Terminals are wiped and reinstalled after I logout, so there will be no trace. Damn, I'm happy with myself!

September 1, 2009

Canon EOS 7D specs leaked

T3 reveals canon's latest DSLR digicam: Canon EOS 7D. 18 Mpx, DIGIC4 DSP and a huge 3" high res LCD plus HD video recording inherited from the 5D. :drool:
Maybe I can get it cheap in Singapore after all! ;) naah, just a nice 17-105 f2.8 L lens would do nicely

Update: DPReview has a hands-on preview and the cam will appear in late September for $1900. :)

August 20, 2009

T3: Sony PS3 Slim official pics and details

sony ps3 slim
T3 has the first official pics and details for the Sony PS3 Slim.

It's smaller (duuh) and consumes less energy (-34%). However, the inside has completely changed to fit in the smaller casing. Sadly, still no PS2 compatibility. Also the "install alternative OS" option has gone, so now it'll be a little harder to get Linux on the PS3. But at €300 (approx) it could prove a big seller starting September 1st.

Update: T3 mentions the Cell CPU has been upgraded too.
Update2: Tom's hardware has disassembled the PS3 slim!

July 14, 2009

Android Live CD

If you're interested in Google's Android OS (aimed at phones and netbooks), you should checkout Android Live. It's an ISO that will give you a LiveCD with the smartphone OS that Google is making.

Chrome OS, a sort of competitor to Android is something different and as of yet I'm not clear on how Google sees these two similar operating systems.

July 8, 2009

Google Chrome OS

Official Google Blog: Introducing the Google Chrome OS says "Google Chrome OS is an open source, lightweight operating system that will initially be targeted at netbooks. Later this year we will open-source its code, and netbooks running Google Chrome OS will be available for consumers in the second half of 2010. Because we're already talking to partners about the project, and we'll soon be working with the open source community, we wanted to share our vision now so everyone understands what we are trying to achieve.

Speed, simplicity and security are the key aspects of Google Chrome OS. We're designing the OS to be fast and lightweight, to start up and get you onto the web in a few seconds."

Google Chrome OS, Chrome itself and Google Wave... hmmm, I'm starting to see a pattern develop. anyone?

July 6, 2009

Sony Ericsson Android phone leaked pictures

T3 has some details on Sony Ericsson's latest Android phone codenamed "Rachael". Based on the Qualcomm Snapdragon platform, the hardware looks decent. 1 GHz CPU, 600 MHz DSP, Wifi, bluetooth, 720p video, WXGA display support, up to 12 Mpx digicams and a whole slew of audio/video codecs. Even DVB-H (video calls, TV on your mobile) can be included. And... Linux is support too. ;)

To me it's the first decently styled Android out there, something Sony was always pretty good at. It may even become my first Sony phone. ;)

June 17, 2009

Amazon releases Kindle source code as open source

Amazon lives up to its promise and released the Kindle source code to the world. Basically a 2.6.22 kernel with E Ink drivers and various hardware support. It seems to have a GPL license, but that is as of yet unconfirmed.

May 7, 2009

Amazon Kindle DX

amazon kindle dx
I think this is only a hype in the US and UK. Here in the Netherlands mentioning the word "Kindle" resembles the Dutch word "kinder" too much and people think your drunk and talking about children ("kinderen").

I for one am excited about the Amazon Kindle DX. I think it is long overdue that we have a good, solid usable eBook reader that everyone can use. And loads of content for it. So my only gripe to Amazon is not enabling PDF on them? Thankfully, the DX solves this! :) Finally.

The Kindle is a bit larger than the Kindle 2, which was larger than the first one. (Eee PCs have the same things happening, spot a trend?) It has a comfy 9.7" screen at 1200x824 pixels, weighs 535 gr (just over a pound@454 gr) and can hold 3500 eBooks internally. Read T3 for more details.

Update: Video and the price $489 O_o