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Computer Hardware

It's the Modbook Ba-bee!

October 17, 2008

Image a MacBook with the screen already open when you pick it up and without any hinges.

Well, the description doesn't do it justice, but that's what you got with the Axiotron Modbook.

It's the first and only Mac-based tablet computer on the market.

Geared specifically for use by the design community, it seamlessly integrates a state-of-the-art Wacom pen-enabled display and the Apple MacBook computer's legendary ease of use and design sensibility. It gives artists and design-oriented professionals enhanced onscreen drawing and sketching functionality when they need it most.

But while it looks "touch screen," it's not. It does not respond to hand/finger touch for the reason that it is made for artists and design professionals whose work would be inhibited using a touch screen device because their hand rests upon the gadget as they draw or design.

In any case, a cool product, really neat for graphics and design -- and maybe a harbinger of what's to come when there is a touch-screen Mac?

Prices start at $2,199.

HP Says Touch Me Now!

October 16, 2008

Hewlett-Packard (HP), aiming to boost its personal computer sales against arch rival Dell (and Lenovo and Apple, too), is increasingly turning to touch-screen technology.

HP is now developing a consumer notebook with a touch screen that will debut before year end. It will include special software that supports the touch screen, but other details, such as pricing, remains unclear.

The new laptop is the latest in a series of touch-oriented devices, including an upcoming line of cellphones, that will become a priority of HP.

HP began promoting touch screens last year with a big-screen desktop computer called the TouchSmart (see photo above). A revamped TouchSmart debuted this year, with new software and a new external design. The touch-sensitive screen allow PC users to move items around, surf the Web or open files with their fingertips, replacing functions normally performed by a mouse and keyboard.

But tablet PCs, or touch-screen laptops, haven't done that well in the past.

Much Ado about the Apple 'Brick'

October 8, 2008

Mac enthusiasts have been transfixed lately by the mystery product, code-named "brick," that's due for release later this month.

Some bloggers and pundits have suggested it might be a new iteration of Apple TV or an updated Mac Mini. But according to a report on, "brick" refers not to what it is, but how it's made.

The Web site, which cites an anonymous source, says the code name has to do with a manufacturing process for Apple's MacBook and MacBook Pro lines of laptops. Apple will build the notebook out of a single piece of carved-out aluminum -- a brick.

A radically different production method might well boost costs, at least at the outset. But there could also be savings from the change, says market research firm iSuppli.

Best Buy Grabs MSI Wind

October 8, 2008

Lenovo Celebrates 16 Years of ThinkPad

October 2, 2008

Is Your City One of the Most Connected?

October 1, 2008

Among the top designated marketing areas (DMAs), San Francisco, Miami and Los Angeles are the most connected cities based on home networking adoption.

What does connected mean: A wired or wireless home network allows consumers to connect multiple PCs and printers, and to share Internet access among computers.

MultiMedia Intelligence's research identifies significant variations among major metropolitan areas. San Francisco has the highest household home networking adoption rate of 28% among the top DMAs. In contrast, the San Antonio, Chicago and Cleveland DMAs have among the lowest home networking adoption. This reflects, in part, the varying regional demographics. 

Home networking adoption correlates directly with household income.

Smelly MacBook Pros Not Good for You

October 1, 2008

Strong-smelling MacBook Pros have been discussed on Apple forums, but an anonymous French molecular biologist/researcher went to Greenpeace to check out why his smelled. Greenpeace got Analytica involved, and then Inéris, France's national institute covering the industrial environment.

Apparently benzene is a component of the smell, and this could be risky -- over time, sensitive people could develop leukemia.

Unconfirmed stories suggest the problem Mac Pros have been built in China, not at Apple's European factory.

Note, we're not talking about an ordinary "new equipment" aroma. The original poster at MacRumours said his new 3.0 Mac Pro Octo:
"Stinks to high heaven.

Asus Going 3.75G for Eee

September 25, 2008

Asus has announced that it will be adding 3.75G connectivity to its hugely popular series of Eee PC netbooks, enabling convenient and high-speed access to the Internet anytime, anywhere.

The inclusion of 3.75G is a perfect addition to the Eee PC's existing set of travel-friendly features such as its high portability, shockproof data storage and all-day battery life -- strengthening its reputation as the solution for computing on the go. 

Frequent travelers will particularly welcome the timely addition of 3.75G support, which comes as service providers around the globe are ramping up their adoption of 3.75G High-Speed Uplink Packet Access (HSUPA). This means that they will be assured of a reliable, high-speed mode of Internet access in many destinations around the world.

Read more about it at the Asus web site.

Netbooks Yes or Netbooks No?

September 25, 2008

A new report predicts that ultramobile devices will reach 200 million in unit sales by 2013 and will match the market for notebook PCs.

ABI Research said products such as netbooks and mobile Internet devices, or MIDs, will gross $27 billion by then, with MID units growing in popularity to surpass its rival.

All this from ZDNet.

On the other hand, in a wide-ranging interview, Dell CEO Michael Dell (in photo) voiced suspicion that small-screened netbooks will shake up the computer industry or become the primary computer in developed parts of the world.

"I think it's a second machine in developed countries and a first machine in newly developed countries," he said, according to a report in CNET.

So is it yes for netbooks or no for netbooks?

Time will tell ...

How About OS X on EEE?

September 17, 2008

Feel like stepping beyond the limits of Apple hardware?

Want a Mac netbook for under $650?

How about an EeePC running Mac OS X?

If you answered "Yes!" to any of these questions, then read on!

At least part of the appeal of the dimunitive EeePC netbook is its hackability -- from Linux to Vista, intrepid hackers have figured out how to run just about everything on the EeePC.

While many would question why you'd want to go to the trouble of installing OS X when there are many Windows and Linux distributions available out of the box?

Maybe you're looking for a challenge. Installing OS X on non-Apple hardware provides plenty of chances to flex those (very metaphorical) geek muscles. 

More at Wired.

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