Thursday, February 12, 2009

GPS saves the day... just like a TV commercial

GPS or Global Positioning System is actually an old technology used by US military forces. Now made for public more and more mobile phones comes with a GPS chip built in.

When GPS was first intergrated into phones I thought BAHH!!! and dismissed it thinking that integrated devices were unstable and that I wasn't going to any foreign places anytime soon and I know how to get around KL,PJ. Worse comes to worst I'll just rely on the road signs.

Not until recently I purchased a Nokia E71. Bought it for its long battery life and internet connectivity options with WiFi. Although I did not buy it for its built in GPS I thought I'd give it a go since the feature is already there (why not, its free anyway)

The commercial begins,

As the "Dad" I was given the task of purchasing a baby gate so that mum could cook delicious morsels of food for dad without junior coming in the kitchen and opening the fridge and other cupboards.

The shop location...

The shop was located in "no mans land" to me coz I have never been or even heard of the area. Sumwhere in Kuchai Lama, in Taman Bandaraya on a street called jalan lazat 1. Jalan what?!?!! I thought.. never mind, time to give my E71 and the Garmin GPS a go.

Got out of the house, started the car and switched on the GPS on my E71. It took around 2 mins to get a satellite link up (not bad since I disabled A-GPS). keyed in Jalan Lazat in the address section....and violaaaa it found it in the database and it said "ready to navigate"

Upon clicking "GO" a womans voice came out "drive, 4.4 kilometers then take exit left" I said okay.... and went off.

I guess this is the point in history where humans start listening and taking orders from the machines that he created. Not quite AI matrix or terminator stuff but I guess we are heading that way...

The wonderful thing about garmin GPS is that if you choose to deviate from the course. (Take that AI!!! I dont take orders from machines!!!) it would recalculate a new route for you and resume giving you directions. This would come in handy if you want to avoid jams or tolls.

Worked like a charm and I was there in a place that I have never been to in no time.

As I got out of the car I realized that I forgot to withdrew money. Damn, and just like a TV advert I turned to my trusty E71 and keyed in ATM and it gave me directions to the nearest atm!!! Convinient??? it saved the day!!!!

Monday, February 9, 2009

One sunday with my best buds...

hmmm last sunday, the three amigos were united again and we did the one thing that we enjoyed most, no.. no going to sungai wang and lowyat plaza... the other thing...jamming!!!!

It was me, and my best buds Syed Khaliz and Bob, we used to have sooo much fun just hanging out and we would come up with the silliest of jokes like "Nasik LeBob" and "Adob a duck!!!" hahahaha (actually only the three of us would understand why this is funny)

Before we headed of for jamming I accompanied syed to get his car wash and then I was supposed to take some pictures of his car coz he is selling it. (expansion of the family)

Jamming was well, we started goofing off well but then came to realize that we were missing one more player and vocalist, all of us could sing well and play well but alas none of us could do both at the same time :P

so after jamming, I took some photos of syed's blue car....

Thursday, February 5, 2009

The secret of stamina laptops,

Whats the use of using a laptop if cannot take it anywhere with you, for me the main idea of purchasing and using a laptop is so that I would be able to surf the net, check my online messages and do some work while being on the road or in a cafe while waiting for someone or just killing some time.

Unportability means

1) Your laptop is 15- 17" big and weighs like 3-4 kilos having big screens and footprint therefore not much space on the table for your coffee

2) Big screens have more power consumption and is much more likely to get knocked on by a clumsy passer by

3) You dont need a big laptop for presentations (theres a projector for that)

4) using a 3-4cell battery means that It wouldn't last very long, Short lasting batteries means that you would have to search for a power outlet and thus have to make room for the charger adapter to kept in the bag aswell

The key factors for getting a portable and stamina laptops

1) the smaller the screen the less power required to light it up. 10" screens might sacrifice keyboard size so 12"-13.3" screens are the way to go. 15" above... a big NO NO!!

2) if possible get a laptop that has at least a 6cell battery.. 9 cells would be better

3)ULV processor are good too coz ULV means Ultra Low Voltage (although sacrifices performance)

4) Dont leave CDs or DVDs inside the drive if you are not using it

5) lastly get one that doesn't use a fan to cool the processor but uses the conductivity of heatsinks and alloy casings. Not having a fan would dramatically increase your laptops battery life 2 folds. One such laptop is the fujitsu P7120 battery can go 6 hours!!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The story of the laptop/notebook PC

Ever since I first laid eyes on a laptop, I straight away fell in love with the concept of being able to bring the personal computer anywhere you wanted. The very first laptop that I ever played with was a toshiba laptop. It was quite small with a 8" screen with a 486 DX 33MHz processor (thats 0.03 GHz if you youngsters were wondering) it had 8MBs of RAM (not GBs) , a 120HDD, a trackball and running MS-DOS 6.22 and windows 3.11 (DOS???? aper tu??)

Well any ways as the development of the microprocessor gave birth to much faster machines i.e the 486 DX4 100MHz, The pentium mmx 200MHz, The pentium II 300-450MHz, The pentium !!! going from 500MHz to as high as 1200MHz or 1.2 GHz, Pentium 4's going all the way to 3.4 GHz and then the DUAL COREs and QUAD COREs

Back then all the laptops were using the very same desktop processors until the manufacturers faced a raod block. Coz everytime the processors increase in speed, the power consumption would also increase and back then even with the new Nickel MetaHydride batteries the laptops just couldnt cope so most laptops would last 0.5-1 hours tops. In the end these laptops ended up being plugged to the wall power outlet and left to be used on office desks.

People didn't seem to mind back then because they only needed the "portability" of a laptop during thier business trips, mainly for presentations. If they wanted to send E-mails and be connected to the internet, they still had to use a wired modem and find a phone out let. so setting up a laptop with a power outlet and a phone outlet was pretty much accepted.

To tackle the problem of high power consumption, intel came out with the "mobile" version of the desktop processors hence called pentium III-m or Pentium 4-m (m designating mobile). This improved the batterylife of laptops to around 1.5 to 2 hours enough but hardly a major step.
And by the time Pentium 2,3 and 4 laptops were introduced, more power hungry peripherals were used like CD/DVD-ROM drives, bigger and brighter LCD screens, Wireless radios such as bluetooth and WiFi. Back to square 1.

A breakthrough....

Somewhere during the new millenium, intel introduced the "CENTRINO" certification for laptops. Laptops carrying the Centrino logo means that it would have :

1) A new and improved Pentium-m processor in which the L2 Cache was raised to 1MB which doubles the performance while lowering the clockspeed (GHz) i.e a 1.3GHz pentium-m would have the same speed as a 2.4GHz Pentium 4 desktop at the time

2) An improved chipset providing integrated graphics (which suxx) and USB 2.0!!

3) A wireless adapter which means that you could now surf the internet without a wired modem!!! with speed of 11Mbps (at the time)

With the first generation of Centrino notebooks, it caught the consumers attention with long lasting battery life!!! some claimed up to 6 hours of usage!!! now this was a major step up indeed. And with the addition of a wireless adapter. this means that computer users now could actually bring out thier laptops as if just bringing a book. No cables needed... no power outlets required and no wired modems!!! The timing couldn't be more perfect with more and more cafes, coffee outlets and shopping malls providing free WiFi Internet as an attraction.

The first generation centrino,s was when the laptop actually became a practical tool for business, learning and leisure.

My first Centrino laptop : The Asus M2000N

Quickspecs :
Processor : Pentium-m 1.3 GHz
HDD : 40GB
RAM : 512MB
SCREEN : 14"

It was one hell of a laptop, tough robust and handled windows XP flawlessly, I could watch a whole DVD movie, and do some some typing and surfing the web all without plugging to the power outlet!!

Best thing is its still working great after 9 years!!!!!! believe that!!!