Friday, December 10, 2010

Direction of Computing

I was just thinking that it is interesting that the direction of modern computing is actually being driven by the development of mobile devices and smart phones. For example one of the newest trends is the advent of the app store. Smart phone users are familiar with the iphone app store, android app market, and blackberry app world.

Now we are starting to see this trend make the leap to the personal computer with Apples announcement of a new Mac app store and the new Chrome Webstore. (On a side note I am very impressed with the Chrome Webstore. I have spent several days browsing it and I am a fan of the concept.) We also have the itunes store and Amazons' MP3 store for music and other streaming media. And sites such as Hulu, Blockbuster, and Netflix for our movies and tv shows. Of course there is also Pandora and Launchcast for streaming music, and Kindle and Nook Apps, and Google books to take care of reading books and magazines.

Further all data is moving to the cloud meaning that nothing need be stored on our pc's any longer but instead is stored in the cloud. In fact this is the entire concept behind the Chrome OS. We have Microsoft Office Web Apps and Google Docs for office productivity and file storage and Windows Live Photo and Picasa for our photos.

Overall newer devices are getting lighter and smaller such as Netbooks and Apples' Macbook Air. Or may even be touch screen such as Android Tablets, the Ipad, the Nook or the Kindle. These devices aslo contain far less disk space and overall computing power, why? Because all the processing is happening in the cloud and the data is stored in the cloud. The minimal clients that run on a web-browser platforms for newer apps really don't require much horsepower.

Lastly, we are seeing the social networking and collaboration built in everywhere. Modern apps are almost always tied to twitter or facebook. Or they contain the ability to chat or share information in real time or collaboratively work on documents or projects. So what's going away?

1. Traditional Hard Disks, will be replaced by Solid State or Flash memory.
2. Media Drives, such as DVD or CD Drives will soon become a thing of the past, to be replaced by online delivery of everything from Software to Movies and Music.
3. Cable Based Networking. To be replaced by Wifi many modern devices are wifi enabled, everything from PC's and Laptops, to gaming systems, tv's, and even some kitchen appliances.

Expect smaller, lighter, and less expensive devices overall that are essential disposable becuase nothing of any value is stored on them.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

What's New in IE 9 Beta

There a lot that's new Microsoft's next generation of Internet Explore. After taking a look I can't help but feel that MS is playing catch up to Firefox and especially Google's Chrome. That being said I think that is certainly a step in the right direction. See This Link for some videos on the new features. Here are some of the high points...

1. A new add-on advisor that allows you to find, manage, and troubleshoot your add-ons.
2. A new download manager that allows to pause and restart downloads. Also adds new security to protect you from harmful downloads
3. Increased speed and stability. With new features that allow individual tabs to be isolated from each other. If a page locks up or crashes it can be closed and recovered without effecting other tabs.
4. Improved Inprivate browsing to protect user data and passwords. As well as greater control over shared data and tracking. New features to protect you from harmful sites and downloads.
5. Streamlined interface with fewer options and combined search and address bar.
6. New feature allow to pin individual tabs and sites to the desktop and taskbar. You can move and manipulate tabs individually or put them in separate windows.
7. Tighter integration intoWindows 7 with improved jump list and menus.
8. New tab menu that categorizes and tracks your favorite sites similar to Chromes' start page.

If you'd like to try it for yourself check out:

Posted by: Joshua Nicholes

Friday, September 24, 2010

Ubuntu 10.10 Beta

As many of you know I am an Ubuntu fan and user. So I've been checking out the 10.10 Beta. Unfortunately there isn't much to report. Not alot is changing with Gnome 3.0 not included changes are really too minor to mention. Previously Gimp was dropped in favor of F-Spot and now F-spot has been dropped in favor of Shotwell. Not that exciting, after you upgrade go ahead and install Gimp anyways. In my opinion its a better program.

Looks like we have to wait for 11.4 for any significant changes.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Will we ever see the Notion Ink Adam?

According to this updated endgaget article we may see the Adam sometime in December (I hope). Due to some investors backing out it sounds like there were delays causing Notion Ink to push back the manufacturing and release dates they had originally planned. Read more below.
Hope this time it happens cause I really want one of these.

Posted by: Josh Nicholes

Friday, July 16, 2010

Run Android on your Computer

Ever wanted to run Android OS on your laptop? Now you can, check out download the live CD ISO image. You can install directly to your machine, use it as a Live CD, our use as a virtual machine using applications such as VMWare, Parallels, or Virtualbox. Have access to all your favorite android apps and this also makes a great testing platform.

Posted by: Joshua Nicholes

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Traditional Radio is Dead... and TV's next.

I was just thinking yesterday, that I don't remember the last time that I listened to AM/FM radio. Between the Sirius Radio in the car and on my laptop, Pandora Radio on my phone and my laptop, and my synced media library on my phone, laptop, on my mp3 player, and available online via my home media server if all traditional radio went off the air tomorrow I wouldn't even notice.

The same holds true for regular over the air TV. Thanks to satellite TV I haven't watched over the air TV for at least 10 years. As far as that goes Thanks to YouTube, Hulu, streaming Netflix and my home media server I am becoming more reliant on my laptop for watching TV and movies. In fact I find that I am even using the laptop as my primary DVD player. Thanks to the Wii my big screen TV also has Youtube, access to my home media server, and streaming Netflix. Can't wait for Google TV.

Posted by: Josh Nicholes

Saturday, June 12, 2010

What's New in Office 2011 for Mac

Like Microsoft's Office 2007 and 2010 for Windows the new MS Office 2011 for Mac brings many improvements over its predecessors. The new Office introduces the Ribbon Menu and updated user interfaces from Office 2007 to the Mac environment. Additionally it also introduces dynamic rendering allowing you to preview document styles and changes before you commit to them.

Entourage is gone, Office 2011 introduces a version of Outlook for mac. Other improvements include a true full screen view, co-authoring, conditional formatting in Excel, and a more powerful PowerPoint.

Posted by: Josh Nicholes

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Alright Palm Fans

As many of you probably know HP recently bought out Palm. At that point I was suspicious that we might see a Web OS tablet, and I may have been right. According to Slashdot ( we may see a Web OS tablet by October. If that is the case I am definitely buying one for my 2 year old.

My wife has a Palm Pre Plus and though my daughter can't read see can make calls by picking out faces in the contacts and knows how to play and switch between several apps, games, and videos she likes. Talk about user friendly.

Posted by:
Josh Nicholes

Friday, May 21, 2010

Check Out Google TV

Google has decided to take over and improve TV. With their incredible ability to vastly improve and integrate web services we can't wait to see what they do with TV. I've said it before Google will one day rule the world. Check Out:

Posted by: Josh Nicholes

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Notion Ink's Adam has a New Website

The ipad is a let down the tablet you really want is the Notion Ink Adam. Coming soon we hope. Better specs, more user friendly, and it multitaks. With the added benefit of Apple not policing the content and its flash capable. It's rumored to be able to run either Android, Ubuntu, or Chrome OS. Can't wait to get our hands on one.

Posted by: Josh Nicholes

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Ubuntu 10.4 is Here

Ubuntu 10.4 released a few days ago. So far here's what's new;
Overall very little has changed from what I can see. There are some minor visual tweaks to improve the look and feel.
1. Ubuntu is moving away from the traditional brown theme in favor of a dark grey theme.
2. The boot up speed has improved but only slightly as I didn't notice a huge difference.
3. Conical introduces the new Ubuntu One music service that allows users to pay for and download there favorite songs and albums.
4. This version add the new Me menu giving you access to Facebook, Twitter, and some other social networking services right from the desktop.
5. Gimp is no longer included as part of the default install, but can be added at any time from the Software Centre

To see more or download Ubuntu CLICK HERE

Posted by: Josh NIcholes

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Ipad, Apples new tablet is a let down.


After all the hype it turns out that the ipad is an ipod touch with a larger screen. Initially I envisioned the Apple tablet to be a replacement for a laptop and or netbook. There are a couple of problems though;

First off its running the iphone os which is not a truly useful os for any practical user because there is no multi-tasking capabilities. The minimal hardware and proprietary processor will also make it impossible to do any hard core computing or running any demanding apps.

Second it only has, at best, 64 GB of storage space. That won't even accommodate most peoples media library's these days, let alone apps, data, etc.

Third, it only has a single speaker? I though this thing was going to be a media dynamo.

Think more of a palm pilot replacement than a netbook replacement. After all my palm (circa 2003) can do everything the ipad does it just lacks the large display and multi-touch capabilities.

There are a few things Apple did right though, foremost the pricing is getting better. It is nice to see them selling a device at a competitive price. I expected the ipad to be around $1,000. Also it would be a convenient device for e-books or watching movies.

But at this point it is more of a toy or an accessory to your mac than a standalone device. What we really need is an I pad with at least a 2.0 gzh processor, 2 GB of ram, (maybe more) 160 GB (or more) of storage space, running mac OSX Snow Leopard. Think Mac Book touch. Just ditch the keyboard and make the entire display a touch pad.

See also:

Posted by Joshua Nicholes

Sunday, January 10, 2010

What's New in Office 2010

Here is a quick look at what's new in Office 2010:

1. The ribbon is now standard throughout all office apps including One Note and Outlook.
2. The Office Button is gone and has been replaced with a file Menu integrated into the ribbon.
3. Greatly improved photo, video, and graphics editing tools integrated in office.
4. You can now edit a document from 2 locations simultaneously.
5. Office Online Features allow you to save documents to the cloud and edit them from anywhere.
6. Collaborate on documents in real-time with integrated chat.
7. New Screen shots feature allow you to take screen-shots and paste them directly to a document.
8. Broadcast Presentations online from within office.
9. Consolidate outlook email messages into threads.
10 Add dynamic graphs and charts into single cells in Microsoft Excel.

If you want to give it a test drive download the beta HERE.

Posted by: Josh Nicholes