Thursday, May 19, 2005

Technology Report – Aviators and Wannabes Are Going to Love This and Other Stuff

CPU Magazine – Jun 2005, page 6: Pepper Pad, a 2.3 lb, “knee board” computer with an 8.4" screen. That should make pilots and Naval Aviators feel right at home. Anyhow, the author of this brief in CPU leads off with “Giant PDA? Midget Tablet? Monster Remote?” It’s Linux based, wireless built in, with a 624Mhz Intel XScale processor, and both a thumb pad, QWERTY keyboard and stylus input. A browser, IM software email and media player software are built in as well. It’s instant on (like my HP 3850 IPaq PDA), but lacks the horsepower of my Compaq TC1000 Tablet PC (1G Transmeta processor, 512M RAM, 30G HDD, wireless, with a stylus input inn addition to keyboard, and it weighs 3 lbs. (take the keyboard off to loose a lb, so it beats the Pepper Pad in that spec, too. The TC1000 has a 10.4” screen. I can put the TC1000 into hibernate from WinXP, to get an almost instant on, but that has battery use implications. Anyhow, looks like the price is $949, and, get ready wives, it also has the remote capability to be used as the control for the TV and entertainment system. Man with small computer that can also change channels and crank up the volume for the stereo and can be set on the knee to get a little feel of cruising around like Tom Cruise in an F-14…, such a deal. Hitachi Global Storage Technology Division looks like they have mastered perpendicular recording technology storage for hard drives, moving capacities for 1 sq In to 230G (yep, no typo, that’s 230 GIGABYTES!). They have a Flash cartoon, “Get Perpendicular,” to describe the method. This technology will be applied in the upcoming 1.8” Hitachi 80G drive to be used in things like jukeboxes. When I first read about this a few years back, it was being billed as “Perpendicular Magnetic Storage.” I’m thinking I know why it’s now called perpendicular recording technology…. On page 7, it sounds like Sony has come up with a way to use ultrasonic signals to transmit sensory signals, such as sound and smell, directly into the brain. A Sony scientist was awarded the patent for pulsed ultrasonic signals that alter the neural timing of the cortex. This technology has medical implications, to restore sensation to an injured area, as well as in the gaming world. Think about it, DOOM IV just won’t be the same when you decimate one of those ugly monsters with a BFG…now you’ll get to smell the burnt flesh from the blaster’s effect, too. Jumping to page 9, it seems Google Maps now will show the places using satellite imagery. Kinda cool, but until those slick personal aero cars are a reality, it migh just be a little bit of overkill. Page 10: Washington State University students have provided a free replacement for that rarely used Paint program that comes with Windows 2000 and XP. It will import directly from a scanner, too! Page 44: Don’t fret, they are getting close to 1GP camera resolution. Good reason for the Hitachi PRS capability, to save those monstrous pictures…Geez, and they are talking about the atmospheric conditions becoming an issue when you start snapping pictures like that. Break out those old "Met" books...

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