New Laptop Hard Disk and Disk Enclosure

With all the Virtual Machines I have (not all that many really), my external USB 40gb HDD is almost full and its time to buy another one which is a little bigger and faster. My criteria was a 100 gb at least and preferably a 7200 rpm in a 2.5″ factor – which are quite rare these days, but it seems like I found the perfect fit for me. Seagate has their new Momentus 7200 which is a 100 gig HDD, spinning at 7200 rpm and 8mb buffer (you can get the detailed specs here).

But, equally important was the case/enclosure/whatever-you-call-it-in-your-corner, and that is where one of my colleagues pointed me to Avix. This baby, can do a lot, from being a portable DivX player to a powerful car AV Player, and yes also the HDD enclosure I was looking for. If you don’t have the HDD (as in my case), then you can just get the enclosure. Here is the blurb from the site:

AivX is a compact & excellent quality portable DivX player. It gives you freedom to playback all your favorite video and audio files anywhere you go – at home, hotel room, in the office, client office, even on the plane! It supports various video formats such as AVI (DivX 3.x, 4.x, 5.x, XviD), MPG, VOB etc, and surround sound with 5.1ch digital coaxial audio format. A built-in FM Transmitter also makes you enjoy digital movies and music in the car by tuning radio frequency. Besides it can be used as a multimedia player, MP3 player or photo slider on HDTV. AivX also works as a USB 2.0 storage device to backup all your valuable data.

I think I am going to get one of these, does anyone else have one of these, whats the feedback?

Giving away XBOX 360 @ TechEd!

Believe it or not, but at TechEd Europe 2005, Microsoft is giving away an XBOX 360 as a lucky draw. All the attendees who submit feedback for each session are entered in the lucky draw and one winner from every session is being given a XBOX 360 – a full, what is it, 4 months before public launch? No, I have not seen it yet, if I do, keep watching this space.

Also lots of other exciting stuff from TechEd, I will be posting it here as and when I get the time.

Fiddle and see what happens

An editor’s note warns “Technology, the laws, and limitations imposed by manufacturers and content owners are constantly changing, Thus, some of the projects described may not work, may be inconsistent with current laws or user agreements or may damage or adversely affect some equipment. Your safety is your own responsibility, including proper use of equipment and safety gear, and determining whether you have adequate skill and experience.”
How scary. And how refreshing. Make, a new quarterly put out by O’Reilly Media, a publisher of computer and technology books in Sebastopol, California, is a throwback to an earlier time, before personal computers, to the prehistory of geekiness – the age of how-to manuals for clever boys, from the 1920s to the ’50s.

The technology has changed, but not the creative impulse. Make’s first issue, out in February, explained how to take aerial photographs with a kite, a disposable camera and a rig of Popsicle sticks, rubber bands and Silly Putty. It also showed how to build a video-camera stabiliser – a Steadicam, basically – with $14 worth of steel pipes, bolts and washers; how to boost a laptop computer’s Wi-Fi signal with foil from an Indian take-out restaurant; and how to read credit card magnetic stripes with a device made with mail-order parts and a glue gun.

True, the fiddles in Make are harder than your basic stencilled pillowcase. The third issue, due out in August, will include projects for tricking out your house for Halloween. That leaves three months to study the instructions and to assemble who knows what will be required: presumably wires, switches, cables, adaptors, speakers, goggles, hard drives, Legos, plywood, dry ice, acrylics, glue and spent nuclear fuel rods.
You’ll proceed strictly at your own risk, but if the first two issues of Make are any guide, the trip will be a blast.

(cross posted from IHT, read the editorial here).

Storage storage storage

Storage is one thing which is never enough, yes even that terabyte of space you have sitting at home! (You do have that much right?). Anyways, all is not lost. Check out the Silicon Image/Hitachi Storage demo which puts 2.5TB of storage in a tiny package, connected to the system by SATA 2.0 interfaces capable of 300MB/sec transfer rate.

Or how about Sapphire Technologies Blizzard, which is a liquid metal cooled X850 XT using technology developed by Nanocooling. Based on technology developed to cool nuclear reactors, the liquid metal cooler used in the Blizzard is completely sealed and uses a pump with no moving parts. Even if the metal does ever leak out, it’s non-toxic and environmentally safe. It remains to be seen if the new cooling technology enables quieter fans, but it’s certainly the most interesting new tech for cooling to come along in awhile.

Or how about MSI’s Universal Graphics Card which you can use as an AGP card, then flip it over to use it as a PCI Express card. It’s based on the ATI X800 XL chipset. The display connectors are on a second expansion slot connector, so they can be easily re-oriented.

You can check out more interesting things coming out at the Best of Computex.

Looking into a wirless home

PCMag has a very interesting look into a Wireless Home – could this be our home of the future? You can check out things from Buglar’s beware, some place you can always be connected, the paranoids who should not read this, meter readers going the way of the milkman, a bluetooth hub, among others. I guess I should start saving to buy… 🙂

Over-the-Top Tech Toys

Got money to burn? PC Magazine is here to help, and they are not talking Champaign kisses and caviar dreams; they are talking about the hottest entertainment technology money can buy. Their roundup covers everything from 61-inch plasma displays to media hubs for piping tunes throughout your house. Go ahead and ogle.

Your $150 million lottery haul snuggles safely in the mattress. Another $100 million, left you by the cat lady for rescuing Hieronymus, rests pleasantly under the petunias. You own both Park Place and Boardwalk. Life is good, but then Ed McMahon saddles you with a check for a million – annoying pocket change hardly worth hiding in the sock drawer. What to do?

Fortunately, when surplus money pools, technology can find an efficient way to absorb it. For those burdened by the affliction of excess capital—or those concerned about the future possibility—we have reviews of high-tech lifesavers that quickly relieve the strain from the weight of filthy lucre.

Since you’re an independently wealthy, carefree individual, there are just too many hours in a day that need filling, so this first installment will concentrate on the serious business of entertainment.

Dell's Amazing 24" LCD Screen For Less

 Dell has done it again. The company has just released a 24″ LCD monitor for your computer at an amazing price. While most other comparable monitors cross $2k – their’s costs only $1200! The monitor also includes 4 usb ports and a 6-in-1 card reader supporting CompactFlash (type I and II), SD/mini-SD card, Sony Memory Stick / MS Pro, Smart Media and Hitachi Microdrive. The display also offers a load of connectivity options, including VGA, DVI, composite, component, and S-video connections. It also has integrated picture-in-picture (PiP) that works with any pair of inputs. The PiP lets you display a small window in one corner (user-selectable) or side-by-side windows. The addition of component inputs is welcome and makes the unit suitable as a small HDTV monitor. But the DVI input does not support HDCP content protection, so you can’t use it with HDTV sources that require HDCP. Since this is primarily a desktop PC monitor, it also lacks HDMI connections. The on-screen display (OSD), is in color (the first time I have seen one). You can read up the full review (including pictures) here.