When I got this MacBook Pro (MBP), with its 2.33GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, back in November, one of the reasons for upgrading was the availability of Parallels Desktop 2.5. The Parallels software runs Microsoft's Windows XP or Vista in a virtual-machine environment. You get the Windows desktop in a window on your Mac desktop, so both environments are available at the same time. The Windows hard disk can be created as a file in your Mac filesystem, so you don't waste much disk space.
Boeing rolls out the 787 Dreamliner (here). Yup, that's the airplane I want.
Often missed in the news coverage is that Boeing has yet to announce exactly how the 787's composite structures-- skin, wings, tail, etc.-- are made. Early in the project there were some very definite rumors that Boeing had decided to go with a new kind of carbon-titanium composite made from layers of carbon fibers alternating with layers of titanium foil. The combination was said to have more fatigue resistance and a longer service life.
But as far as I know, Boeing has never addressed … Read more
I upgraded my MacBook Pro (MBP) today with a 250GB 5400RPM hard disk from MCE Tech (product info here). The drive came with an external enclosure with USB and eSATA interfaces for the drive I was removing, which is a nice touch, and even so MCE's price was competitive.
I've bought drives from MCE before. They make some good products, and their customer service is excellent. MCE promised the drive would ship in 7 to 10 business days because they were waiting on the enclosures. It shipped on the 10th day, and MCE volunteered to upgrade the order … Read more
Today the iPhone is the alpha gizmo, the one item of consumer electronics that dominates all the others.
But in 1993, the hot new gizmo was Apple's Newton, and it was a whole different thing.
Not very many people had Newtons. Apple sold fewer Newtons over the whole life of the product than it sold iPhones the evening of June 29.
Also unlike the iPhone, the first Newtons weren't even very useful. Although called "personal digital assistants" (PDAs), using a Newton was significantly more difficult than using a Day-Timer. The original MessagePad had very poor handwriting … Read more
I really enjoyed going through this image collection over on CNET's News.com. It lists ten influences from the world of science fiction on today's high-tech industries:Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash Philip K. Dick's Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep and Minority Report William Gibson's Neuromancer Bruce Sterling's Distraction Robert A. Heinlein's The Moon is a Harsh Mistress Arthur C. Clarke's 1945 invention of the geosynchronous communication satellite Isaac Asimov's I, Robot Star Trek Karel Capek's R.U.R.
I'll go along with the Heinlein and Star Trek references, … Read more
Today I take my lead from a Reuters article that describes two alternative display technologies that may some day replace (or at least augment) LCDs in mainstream computer systems.
Both are on the market today. OLED (organic light-emitting display) technology, used on some cellphones, creates what amounts to an array of tiny LEDs. This approach is theoretically superior to the way LCDs work, which is to combine a white backlight with colored filters and tiny shutters (the liquid crystals) for each pixel. All the light generated by the OLED is visible to the user, but most of the light in … Read more
From time to time I'll highlight interesting or useful websites.
I'll start off with three sites that appeal to my interest in product design. And no, none of them are this one.
Kevin Kelly's Cool Tools blog isn't just about cool tools, although there are lots of those. It's also about books, videos, and websites that tell you how to do things. Anyone may contribute a recommendation; other contributors include Paul Saffo and Stewart Brand.
I like to listen to music. I fell out of the habit for a while, but then I got an iPod, which got me interested again. Now I probably buy more CDs every three months than I did throughout the 1990s.
I'm addicted to New Music Tuesdays on the iTunes Music Store, mostly because of the "Free on iTunes" section. There's a lot of good music out there! And a lot of bad stuff, too, but when it's free, that's not so much of a problem.
Oddly, I can't seem to get interested … Read more
Ever since Friday night, I've been staying away from the Apple store just down the road. And the company store at the Apple headquarters down the road in the other direction, just in case they have the things too. And the two AT&T stores I drive by on my daily commute.
Basically, I'm just staying at home when I'm not at work. And when I am at work, I stay away from the water cooler.
This minimizes my risk, because seeing an iPhone in person might be bad. For my wallet, anyway.
The problem is … Read more
The Free Software Foundation last week released the third version of the GNU General Public License-- GPL 3 (also known as GPLv3).
This CNET News article explains the new features of GPL 3, which the FSF hopes will be adopted by most open-source developers in place of the GPL 2 license. The older GPL 2 will remain available, however.
FSF founder and president Richard M. Stallman has devoted his entire career to making free software--and to making software free. A strong opponent of copyrights, patents, digital-rights management, and all other legal or technical constructs that limit the freedom of software … Read more