Archive | August, 2011

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HP tablets selling like hot cakes

Posted on 22 August 2011 by Michael

Seems like a classic case of too little way too late.

With HP getting out of the tablet making business, they’ve slashed prices on their products, which is attracting plenty of attention from customers looking to take advantage of the huge price cuts.

Nevermind that product support for the tablets will be none existent in a few years, people just want cheap tablets and with the price of a basic version of the HP Touchpad being marked down from $499 to $99, I can’t blame them.

If you’re in the market for one good luck.  These tablets are sold out in all major stores both online and off.




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A fun way to get your kids interested in programming and robotics

Posted on 20 August 2011 by Michael

Let’s face it. Kids love robots. Robots and puppies. But since this article isn’t about puppies, let’s delve into the robots thing for a bit and discuss what’s quite possible the coolest Lego set to come out since the Lego Pirate Ship Barracuda was released back in the early 90’s .

I’m talking of course about Lego Mindstorms.

Lego Mindstorms NXT 2.0 is the latest in a series of Lego sets that teach the basics of robotics and programming. It is the only Lego set to feature a programmable brick, known as the NXT Brick, which allows kids to control the movement of their creations.

Pretty cool huh? If only they had this when we were kids.

The NXT 2.0 set itself consists of 619 pieces, including color, touch and ultrasonic sensors, 3 servo motors and the NXT Brick. It’s capable of Bluetooth connections with a computer and up to three other NXT Bricks.

These sensors allow you to do just about anything imaginable. You can build a robogator, capable of snapping its jaws at unsuspecting fingers, a shooter bot that launches balls at various targets, a color sorter that can distinguish between different colored balls, and just about anything else you can imagine.

Let’s see the Pirate Ship Barracuda try any of that.

The Lego Mindstorms NXT robotics building set gives your child an educational and fun experience.

Not all that creative? Don’t worry, there are tons of books available online and at your local bookstore that feature a whole bunch of ideas for things to build. Just follow step-by-step pictured instructions and you and your child are all set.

Learn Programming

The programming of the NXT Brick is pretty straightforward. It’s all GUI(Graphical use interface. Think your windows OS.) based. The programming language is NXT-G and it’s all included in the box. Download it onto your computer and open it up. It’s simple drag and drop environment.

While extremely educational, Lego Mindstorms also makes for a great family experience as well. Think back to your own childhood. For those of you who had Lego sets growing up, remember how much fun you had building it for the first time with your mom or dad. Why not create those same kinds of happy childhood memories today with your son or daughter, while at the same time, giving them an educational experience helping them better prepare for their future.

Educational

Science and technology are the careers of the future. The best thing about Lego Mindstorms is that it gives your child a solid foundation in subjects like engineering, computer science and physics, not to mention it’s just a really fun and cool way to let loose your creativity.

Legos are great at sparking the imaginations of children and teaching them how to turn those images into Lego brick masterpieces. Dump a bucket of Legos and watch their eyes lighten up in excitement.

So if you’re looking for a way to introduce your child the wonderful world of programming and robotics, or you’re looking to for a fun and creative way to bond with your child while educating them at the same time, Lego Mindstorms might just be what you’re looking for.

And, unlike a puppy, you don’t have to feed, water and pick up it’s messes everyday either.

 

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hp_touchpad

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Hewlett Packard calls it quits

Posted on 19 August 2011 by Michael

So long HP and your wonderful computing products. So long HP TouchPad. We hardly knew thee.

Following in the footsteps of what IBM did 10 years ago, the long time computer maker has decided to sell of it’s computer, tablet and smartphone division and shift its business model to selling software and hardware to government and business, which is usually more profitable.

I wonder what they’re going to do with all those left over TouchPads.

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One of IBM’s original engineers declares the PC era dead

Posted on 13 August 2011 by Michael

The original IBM PC, the 5150. I don't about you, but I just love those old computers.

 

Mark Dean, one of the engineers who worked on the design of the original IBM PC5150 in the early 80’s,  recently wrote a blog post entertaining the idea that the PC era as we know it is being replaced by, as he states, social ideas.

Read Marks words,

“PCs are being replaced at the center of computing not by another type of device — though there’s plenty of excitement about smartphones and tablets — but by new ideas about the role that computing can play in progress. These days, it’s becoming clear that innovation flourishes best not on devices but in the social spaces between them, where people and ideas meet and interact. It is there that computing can have the most powerful impact on economy, society and people’s lives.”

You can read the full article here.

Not that I disagree with what Mark’s saying, but, I’d have to say that the driving force of PC development all along has been the need to establish, maintain, and improve social connectivity. Sure the technology has changed, but its part in the grand scheme of things is the same today as it was back when I was typing along on my old IBM 386.

Oh yes, the PC  itself may change shape, color, sexual orientation (no wait, computers can’t do that yet), size and function, but as long as you and I continue to use technology, there will be a PC of some form inside that whateveryoucallit gadget, whether it be an iPad, iPod, iToilet, fueling our desire to remain connected to those around us. Of course, nothing divides a family better then a TV in every bodies room, but that remains to be discussed for another day.

Technology itself may change, but the ideas and social forces that has driven the development of the PC is nothing new. It was here when IBM first created it’s PC’s, it will be here long after IBM is gone,  driving technology to it’s limit and beyond.

Nothing new about that.

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Shopping for a used computer? Try the flea market

Shopping for a used computer? Try the flea market

Posted on 11 August 2011 by Michael

If you’re in the market for a not so new computer, in other words used, why not try your local flea market? That’s right. A flea market could be a great place to get a decent used computer.

Sure you could go online like on Craigslist and do it that way, but in my opinion, the flea market could be just as good if not better. With a flea market you get an abundance of selection and you can probably negotiate a great price on whatever computer rig you find.

I once found a decent little machine at a flea market for $10.  I just had to add a hard drive and that was it. I installed Freebsd on it and it now serves as a great little test box. Of course it’s processing power is pretty slow, it takes all day to download and compile software, but for what I paid, it was a great deal.

Just keep this in mind when shopping flea markets for your next desktop. Some used computers you find may need some opening up and swapping out of parts. If you are handy with tools and not afraid of swapping out some memory or a bad hard drive, then you should have no problem. If that’s not something you are willing or ableto do, you might wanna head over to Fry’s and get a new computer. But if you don’t mind changing some stuff out then go ahead and see what you can get.

Oh and you also wanna make sure it comes with a working operating system, but of course you could also pick up an old copy of Windows XP for $50 and install it yourself.

So all in all, if you’re not afraid of opening up a case and changing some things out,  the flea market can be a great place to find a computer. Buy a churro and an ICEE and you’re all set.

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Apple blocks sale of Samsung’s Galaxy tablet in most of E.U.

Posted on 10 August 2011 by Michael

Apple’s attempt to block the sale of Samsung’s Galaxy has been a success or at least in the E.U. anyway.

A German court has ruled in Apple’s favor, blocking sales of the Galaxy throughout most of the European Union.

So what’s Apple’s beef with Samsung?

Apple accuses Samsung with blatantly ripping off their products from design and interface, right down to the packaging of the Galaxy. Samsung is counter suing.

Suits in the U.S., Australia and elsewhere are still pending so stay tuned.

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Check out these back to school netbooks

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Check out these back to school netbooks

Posted on 08 August 2011 by Michael

With the start of school less than a month away, let’s take a moment to check out some netbooks out there right now. T

That’s right, I said netbook. Notice how I did not mention anything about tablets. Sure tablets are great browsing the web or checking email, but when it comes to getting actual work/studying done, they just can’t cut it. Students need either a laptop or netbook.

And with netbooks running a tad bit lower in the wallet department, I think you know what the smart choice is.

Let’s get started.

ASUS Eee PC R101D-EU17-BK Netbook

Size and portability are no issue with the Asus Eee pC netbook. With its 10″ screen size and 2.80 lbs of weight, it weighs as much as a feather. you’ll forget you’re carrying it around.

It comes with a 250GB hard drive, 1 GB of DD3 RAM, an Intel Atom 1.66GHz processor and preinstalled with Windows 7,  it has everything you need to get your studying done, with out the weight of a full sized laptop. A great buy.

See this at TigerDirect.

 

HP Mini 1103 XT981UT nETBOOK

This is a great netbook from HP that features a load of productivity in a tiny package.

It features an Intel Atom 1.66GHz processor, a 250GB hard drive, 1GB of RAM
and a 10″ display. All with the Windows 7 starter package, this netbook has what you need to get those high grades.

Shop for this at TigerDirect.

 

Toshiba mini NB505-N508BN PLL50U-01900C Netbook

The Toshiba features a sleek durable design built around performance packed core.  It comes installed with Windows 7 and weighs a mere 2.9 lbs. It’s packed without the weight of traditional laptops.

It features a 250 GB hard drive, an Intel Atom 1.66 processor and 1GB of RAM, this netbook gives you more for less.

 

Shop for this netbook at TigerDirect.

 

So there you have some great netbooks packed with the hard ware you need to get your or your childs school work done. Priced around the same as tablets, these netbooks are more powerful and offer more functionality then the tablets and definitely give you more bang for your buck.

So whether you’re getting a netbook for yourself of that student in your life, do you homework and give these netbooks a look.

You’ll be glad you did.

 

 

 

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A kick ass gaming laptop from Alienware

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A kick ass gaming laptop from Alienware

Posted on 05 August 2011 by Michael

For those of you into mobile gaming, here’s a laptop that should suit your needs just fine. And the fact that it’s by Alienware means that at least the case won’t be as lame as something you might get at Bestbuy.

Check it out.

It’s got an Intel Core 17 2.0 processor with 8 gigs of DD3 RAM, A 750 GB hard drive and an eerie backlit keyboard.

But don’t take my word for it, check it out for yourself at Tigerdirect.

Alienware M14X AM14X-5283SBK Laptop Computer

 

 

 

 

Check this video out. As if you needed any more reason to get this thing.

 

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motorola_zoom4

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Should you get a Motorola Zoom?

Posted on 05 August 2011 by Michael

With all the tablets out there competing for your hard earned dollars, it’s hard to choose which one you should buy.

Should you be like all those other mindless trolls and buy an Apple product just because it’s “cool” or do you go the geek route and get anything with Android.

I guess you should do whatever makes you happy.  Personally for me, since I’m a web designer and self proclaimed geek, I would have to choose something Android related and just stick to Apple when it comes to phones.  My GF demands I have an iPhone.

One tablet that comes to mind would have to be the Motorola Zoom.  It’s a pertty little machine, that’s right, pertty, and it basically comes with all the little goodies that just about all the other tablets have. But don’t take my word for it.

Get more info on the Motorola Zoom.

Check out this chart and compare the Zoom with some other popular tablets out today.

 

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