Upgrade

Technology Blog, by: David Monaghan.

Archive for June, 2006

Net Neutrality, Moore’s Law and Podcasts.

Posted by David on June 10, 2006

Three things I’ve been focusing on recently and want to share, they’re all things that people interested in technology should take a look at.

Network neutrality, it’s about the way our technology handles various information. There’s a lot of movement revolving around this term so I recommend checking this out above all else.

Moore’s law is about the way computer technology is progressing, there are various interpretations but the Wikipedia article provides some insight.

Podcasts are probably the most popular of the three things I’m pointing out today so I wouldn’t be surprised if you’ve heard of them. While the term comes from the combination of iPod and broadcasting the idea actually stems from many other technologies not related to Apple. RSS or feeds and audio file formats (mainly mp3) among many other things make it possible for users to ‘subscribe’ to a feed which delivers the content in enclosures which make downloading easy to the user and more importantly to software. While the technology combination is extremely valuable the end users wouldn’t benefit from it without the great many sources of content which produce and host the audio to be retrieved. I don’t listen to very many podcasts because I focus my time on technology information (or information technology) but I’d like to share some of those on my list. Before I do so I’ll point you over to Netvibes which I use to aggregate and read all of my feeds including podcasts (Netvibes has a built-in audio player) and recommend that you check out iTunes if you’re seeking the easiest solution. The first podcasts I started listening to was TWiT (This Week in Tech) which mainly features ex-hosts from The Screensavers – a show I got hooked on to feed my tech fix. I also frequent the following technology shows in podcast format; Inside the Net, Security Now!, Cranky Geeks, Drunk and Retired, TalkCrunch, Ruby on Rails Podcast, some of the many course podcasts on Berkeley.edu, and Harvard’s Computer Science E-259. I should mention all of these are free and there are more if you’re willing to pay.

Side Note: This post would have been longer if A) Firefox didn’t crash in the middle of writing the original B) I saved the post on WordPress.com after having more content than I’d be willing to use C) I didn’t open up so many tags with Flash, or D) WordPress.com had an auto-save on the post editor. So this hopefully won’t be happening again and the cool thing is nothing above has to change; Writely.com has auto-save and will upload the posts to WordPress.com. I’ll be making an effort to start writing posts in Writely which I hope will at least match the WordPress experience if not enhance it, wish me luck in the process. Besides auto-save Writely also has RCS, will write and read Word doc files, and allows more than one person to edit the same document at the same time. Want to come and edit files with me but don’t have an account? Worry not, I can get you in there, besides I’d love to start collaborating more with others interested in similar topics.

Advertisements

Posted in Cultural Forces, Techniques, Tools | Leave a Comment »

Computer Shopping.

Posted by David on June 6, 2006

I wrote up this email to my friend (you know who you are) and just before I hit the send button I realized I should post it here instead. I'm not really doing any shopping at the moment but I always have a list of what I'd get running. I use it when I do shop for computers as an end goal and comparison. Perhaps now I'll keep this updated here rather than in my head, no promises.

Here's the message (BTW I refer to a computer as a machine many times, trust me a computer is just a complicated machine);
http://pricewatch.com is really good for finding a good price on equipment though it's sometimes hard to make out what's what.

One of the best retail websites for computer parts is Tiger Direct at http://tigerdirect.com of course.

There's also http://outpost.com which is Fry's Electronics' site but it lacks a full view of what is in the store.

Tiger Direct has a selection and price comparable to going in to Fry's from what I remember. A better deal can always be found but the risk is often in the retailer; Often won't get the part, will get a wrong part, or will get damaged parts.

My Dream Desktop Multimedia Machine

  • CPU: Dual+ Intel 2.5ghz+ 64Bit Processors w/ 1mb+ of L1 or L2 cache and 800mhz+ bus speeds
  • MTB: Supporting processors and with little built on and many PCI, AGP, and PCI Express
  • PWR: 500W+ supporting MB, quiet if possible.
  • HDD: 500G+ SATA or SCSI (8mb+ cache 7200rpm+ 9ms- seek time) (Seagate if possible) and supporting controller card
  • RAM: 2G+ per stick (or one stick) w/ 800mhz+ bus speed (Any brand w/ 1yr+ warranty)
  • GFX: 512mb+ AGP or PCI Express w/ VGA, an optional DVI would be optimal (NVidia if possible) + Obviously the largest screen with the lowest depth and best quality affordable (ViewSonic is good for computer monitors, Sony is good all around, see also Apple's flat-panel monitors), oh yeah and you want two or more if possible
  • PTS: at least one USB and Firewire in the back and likewise in the front
  • ROM: DVD and CD at least, anything better than bottom line would be a bonus (Sony if possible)
  • SND: 5.1 or more w/ optical out and remote (SoundBlaster or better if possible, see also MAudio, and DigiDesign at http://musiciansfriend.com) + Bluetooth w/ headset and audio profiles and bluetooth headset/headphones
  • INP: Optical mouse, quiet keyboard w/ media keys, wireless if possible (Logitech if possible) + drawing tablet
  • FLP: SuperDisk floppy combo drive or just a floppy, if possible.
  • NET: 802.11g/a/b (perhaps n?) w/ MIMO and SpeedBooster + Ethernet 10/100/1000 (Linksys or Intel if possible)

My Dream Mutimedia Server Machine

  • CPU: Dual+ 2.5ghz+ 64Bit Processors w/ 1mb+ of L1 or L2 cache and 800mhz+ bus speeds
  • MTB: Supporting processors and with little built on and many PCI
  • PWR: Redundant 500W+ supporting MB, quiet if possible, battery backup if possible
  • HDD: 4T+ SATA or SCSI RAID (8mb+ cache 7200rpm+ 9ms- seek time) (Seagate if possible) and supporting controller card
  • RAM: 4G+ per stick (or one stick) w/ 800mhz+ bus speed (Any brand w/ 1yr+ warranty)
  • GFX: 2+ Video Input w/ S-Video, DVI/VGA/RCA/Component Video if possible + matching digital video receiver/tuners.
  • PTS: At least one USB and Firewire in the back and likewise in the front
  • ROM: Not needed
  • SND: 5.1+ channel audio input w/ optical if possible + digital video/audio receiver/amplifier/tuner/distributor (combo or separate units) with 5+ video/audio outs
  • INP: Infrared and/or RF and/or Bluetooth remote functionality (all if possible)
  • FLP: Not needed
  • NET: Dual 802.11g/a/b (perhaps n?) w/ MIMO and SpeedBooster and/or dual Ethernet 10/100/1000 (Linksys or Intel if possible) and/or dual fiber channel and Bluetooth w/ headset, audio and video profiles

My Dream Multimedia Laptop

Okay, the laptops a huge dream, otherwise it's pretty obvious… as close to that as you can get…

Hope I didn't miss anything too obvious or important…

I recommend also looking at the current Mac lineup, they have a computer as cheap as $600 that is pretty powerful and insanely small (see the Mac Mini) as well as much more expensive and powerful machines.

Posted in Tools | Leave a Comment »