You know Grid Systems’ Grid Compass 1101 laptop, right? you should. the laptop you’re using, the laptop you own, and the laptop you want all imitate its design. Why? the Grid Compass, from April, 1982, was the first clamshell laptop ever created.
TIME dove deep inside the clamshell design’s history and compared it with the motley crew of failed portable computer designs. It’s easy to see why we use William Moggridge’s clamshell laptop design now—everything else sucked. Some computers looked more like sewing machines or giant calculators. others were regular computers that masqueraded as portable computers because they were two pounds lighter than its desktop counterpart. As TIME says:
Moggridge’s design made for a far more portable computer than the Osborne [the sewing machine computer]. it let the user angle the screen to his or her preference. the backside of the display protected both the screen and the keyboard when the machine wasn’t in use. and unlike numerous mobile-computer cases to come, it was mechanically simple. It’s one of the most clever pieces of engineering in computing history.
To this day, every modern laptop uses the clamshell design of the Grid Compass. Read more about the history of the clamshell design at TIME. [TIME]
pWith regard to various kinds of a href=http://computergamehardware.infoPC Gaming Hardware/a, computer joysticks are very often preferred to other peripherals for PC games and a href=http://computergamehardware.info/logitech-gaming-keyboard-g510.htmleven over keyboards/a. If you are looking for a href=http://computergamehardware.info/genius-gx-gaming-sw-g2-1-3000-with-two-input-jacks-for-pctvdvdgame-devices-review.html%20a good joystick/a,/ppyou have to ensure that works with your computer bodies setup, easy to use, and is also successful at the same time.br /Above all you ought to determine the type of port entirely on the back of your computer. for instance, should you have a very PS/2 port, you’ll need a great adapter for the most recent and also newest a joystick that exist available in the market. Alternatively, if you use a USB port, then you can certainly expect to have the being compatible of virtually 99% using the most recent personal computer a joystick. Nonetheless, if your personal computer will be lacking these ports then you will call for adding the USB card for your system, so your brand new personal computer joystick may be used.br /Sometimes it is more helpful if you are able to have a test of your joystick just before the purchase. for instance, in the event that your favorite joystick is rather unpleasant or perhaps requiring you to definitely use a lot of force while controlling this in various directions, you should look at giving this product the miss. The reason being the continued usage of these kinds of personal computer a joystick might cause a pointless strain on your own arms. Moreover, it may hinder the possibility of possessing speedy reaction time which can be very essential to experience the most recent PC games.br /One more ingredient that you have to think about while looking to get a great personal computer joystick is that the cable from the joystick needs to be for a specified duration to comfortably reach the port of your computer system. you may also choose the cellular a joystick that are accessible nowadays.br /Joysticks can be purchased in numerous kinds and also sizes. If you are smaller a joystick that may be very easily locked in a single hands as well as bigger ones that are table-top models and therefore are more expensive. each kinds have their own very own groups of pros and cons. Some most respected brand names laptop or computer game playing a joystick are usually Gravis, Microsof company, Saitek and also Logitech. you can find a lot of numerous market web sites.br /Hence, you’ll want noticed value of possessing a great personal computer joystick. it will allow you to have got sleek game playing procedures. Don’t help make these kinds of acquisitions on impulse as they are able be expensive down the road. be diligent and also looking around around the various types of a joystick available for sale just before purchasing a single./p
It’s a common scenario: you’re leading an audience through your meticulously prepared slidedeck when you’re suddenly forced off script. Maybe someone in the audience asked an interesting and complicated question, or perhaps you’ve realized that a particular point in your presentation requires elaboration. Whatever the reason, it’s a moment when you need to shift the audience’s attention away from the screen and onto you.
With both PowerPoint and Apple’s Keynote, you can accomplish that task with a single keyboard tap. The “B” key in either program will immediately switch the screen to a black screen, while the “W” key will switch to a white screen. With nothing to see on the screen, the audience will refocus on you. When you’re ready to resume, touching any key on the keyboard will return the presentation to where you left off.
If you tend to wander away from your computer during presentations, look for a presentation remote that includes a blank screen button.
do you know how to type? Not hunting and pecking your way around a keyboard, but actual touch typing — you know, 10 fingers on the keyboard moving in perfect, clackity-clack synchrony? considering the amount of time that we spend behind a computer and keyboard, you’d think that we would learn to type, but for the most part, we simply don’t. Of course, most of us would like to learn how to type properly, but it’s the kind of thing that’s usually put off for a rainy day.
Well, that rainy day has finally come. It’s time to learn to type. You have written your last 30-minute email. Never again will you spend a whole day writing a multi-page report. and finally — yes, finally — you will no longer be the slow half of an IM chat.
Apps, apps, and websites You won’t be surprised to learn that the best way to learn to touch type on a computer… is with a computer — or to be precise, with apps and websites. Historically, learning to touch type was a terribly dull affair; you typed word after word, sentence after sentence, and phrase after phrase, usually under the ireful eye of a masochistic teacher who would shout every time you looked down at your fingers. Learning touch typing has evolved quite a bit from there, fortunately. It’s now very easy to teach yourself, a friend or loved one, and you can even have a bit of fun while you do it.
You pay for the best If you want the best touch typing training, either for Windows or Mac, you’ll have to be willing to pony up some cash. If you’re happy to opt for an experience that’s a little less smooth and not quite so tailored, however, the free options are quite effective. We’ll start with the paid options.
Mac & Windows No matter what kind of laptop or desktop you use, Typing Instructor Platinum is probably the best touch typing tutor available. whether you’re an absolute beginner or just in need of a little retraining, Typing Instructor’s lessons, games, and tests will get your fingers moving. The best (and possibly most important) aspect, however, is that Typing Instructor constantly shows you your progress as your accuracy and words per minute (WPM) improve — and rest assured that there will be progress!
Typing Instructor Platinum costs about $14. There’s a free trial that you can take for a spin, although it’s a pretty short trial indeed.
Freebie tutorials There are free touch typing tutors, but they’re generally not as refined or fun. Typeonline makes a good place to start, and then you can move on to Sense-Lang’s large array of practice lessons. When your concentration starts to flag, Sense-Lang also offers some typing games that you can play — and if none of those games catch your eye, check out TypingWeb’s selection. TypingWeb also has quite a healthy selection of lessons and practice sessions, too.
Typing on a smartphone? Are you one of those people who spend more time typing with their thumbs than their fingers? well unfortunately, no definitive “SMS tutor” exists, so the only real way to learn faster thumb typing is by practicing. You’ve probably seen kids who can type scary-fast on their cell phones; rest assured that they didn’t take any classes to get that fast.
The other option, of course, is not typing with two thumbs. If you’re an Android user, both Swype and SlideIT are interesting one-thumb solutions. iOS unfortunately doesn’t offer any alternative input methods — but with an iPad, if you lay it flat, you can touch type on the screen! BlackBerry phones do have alternative keyboards like Lightning Keyboard, but sadly, nothing that can be used with just one thumb.
For kids In today’s world of ubiquitous computing where almost every level of education and employment requires interaction with computers, learning to touch type at a young age can be incredibly useful. at my school, every kid had to learn to touch type before moving on to Word and Excel — and unless you could type very fast indeed, you could say goodbye to playing games for the last 10 minutes of the class.
Some schools now teach typing, but it’s not prevalent enough — and really, if you have kids, you should simply teach them to type. half an hour a day is more than enough to get them typing at hyperspeed in a matter of weeks! Typing Instructor Platinum (detailed above) is fairly child-friendly, but if you’re willing to spend another $11, get Typing Instructor for Kids Platinum. The lessons are much the same, but the overall tone of the software is more appropriate for children.
Tips & tricks Finally, a few tricks that I’ve used over the years to improve my own touch typing:
- Grab a sheet of paper and put it over the back of your hands. it can be very tempting to look down while you type — but that completely defeats the point of touch typing. The other option is to get a friend or loved one to jab you in the kidneys every time you look down — but I prefer the sheet of paper technique.
- Make sure your arms are horizontal with your keyboard. To avoid strain and to make touch typing easier, your wrists and elbows should be on the same horizontal plane, and your back should be straight (which means your elbows should be bent 90 degrees — don’t slouch!). If your desk is too high, you can put your keyboard on your lap.
- Be gentle. Don’t hammer the keys — just push gently. You will know if you’re pushing the keys too hard, as your other fingers will come off the keys. all 10 of your fingers should never leave the surface of the keyboard!
More stories from Tecca:
- Do cell phones belong in schools?
- The 6 best back-to-school iPad apps for teachers
- Local Discovery: 9 tips for finding your way around your new college town
Microsoft has set Oct. 26 as the release date for the commercial version of Windows 8 – a date IT pros should mark on their calendars, not because they want to immediately buy it in bulk, but because they need to find out just how it will fit into their corporate network plans.
with the bulk of Windows shops running on Windows 7 and another sizeable chunk hustling to switch to it from Windows XP, there’s no compelling business reason to latch onto Windows 8 any time soon.
But there is ample reason to check it out. with its touch-friendly Metro user interface, the operating system really does present a different way of navigating through applications. The big question is whether that difference offers a better way of accomplishing work tasks, and that’s the question IT decision makers have to answer.
Can workers using desktops get just as much work done on Windows 8 as Windows 7 using a keyboard and mouse? That’s the minimum requirement. will the Metro interface and touch capabilities get more work done on existing desktop hardware? That’s the real question, the answer to which needs quantifying.
will tablets outfitted with the Microsoft Office get more work done? Windows 8’s catering to tablets is the big difference between it and Windows 7, so businesses need to look carefully at what benefits it will bring to productivity.
The answers will vary business to business, and those who are mapping corporate planning should remember the arrival of Windows 8 isn’t happening in a vacuum. It’s coming out amid a flood of other software updates – Office 2013, Windows Server 2012, system Center 2012, SQL Server 2012 – that require consideration and, if found worthy, deployment. Adding desktop overhauls to the list without compelling business gains makes no sense.
European Union investigates Windows 8 browser policy
The European Union has found that Microsoft failed to offer Windows 7 customers in Europe a screen on which they could choose what browser they wanted to use, prompting EU regulators to ask whether the same problem is likely to crop up in Windows 8, Reuters reports.
Microsoft failed to include the Windows 7 browser-choice as it agreed to, setting itself up for possible fines, and also for an investigation into whether Microsoft is cutting other browsers out of Windows 8.
BACKGROUND: Firefox, Chrome cry foul over Windows 8 ARM
in may Mozilla and Google protested that their browser teams weren’t getting access to APIs that would enable their browsers to perform advanced functions on the Windows 8 version made for ARM-based devices and known as Windows RT. that flavor of the new operating system will only be sold to consumers installed on hardware devices – never as standalone software.
The claim of Mozilla and Google was that being left out stymied competition and was ultimately bad for customers who will have no choice but to use Internet Explorer. back then Mozilla general counsel Harvey Anderson predicted that the EU probe might be result.
“If Windows on ARM is simply another version of Windows on new hardware,” he blogged, “it also runs afoul of the EC browser choice and seems to represent the very behavior the DOJ-Microsoft settlement sought to prohibit.”
Microsoft has said it wants to lock down the software that is allowed on Windows RT devices in order to insure the machines perform well and are less susceptible to rogue applications that could carry worms, viruses and other malware.
Microsoft put a lot of thought into what’s the best keyboard for Windows 8 tablets and came up with two answers.
first, a QWERTY keyboard for users to type on with all their fingers, and then a split QWERTY keyboard with the halves pushed out toward the right and left edges for typing with thumbs.
they concluded that since fingertips can’t feel keys on a tablet screen the way they can on a mechanical keyboard, their touches tend to drift over time and miss the areas designated for the letters they are trying to hit.
To address this Microsoft programmed in some smarts that guess which key was actually being aimed for. first, it factors in common mistakes made because of the mechanics of the hand, such as often hitting the o key when aiming for the p because fingers tend to curve in that way. Second, it considers the context of the words being typed and guesses at which word is likely to follow the others already entered.
The keyboards have a feature for finding special letter keys needed for typing foreign languages, too. by holding a key down, related letters with accents pop up around it. Users pick the one they want by swiping at it with their finger still on the glass. So to get an e as in flambé¬ users would keep their finger on the e key and get the option shown below:
after much deliberation, developers left off the top row of numbers and symbols as a tradeoff for having larger letter keys while minimizing how much of the screen gets taken up by the keyboard. Tapping a number/symbol key calls up a different keyboard with just numbers and symbols. Numbers are arranged as they are on mobile phones with 123 across the top rather than as they are on many PC keyboards with 123 across the bottom. this is because users have become familiar with the phone-style layout.
Low-power Intel tablets
Intel CEO Paul Otellini says he’s aware of more than 20 Windows 8 tablets that are in the pipeline for PC makers, including some based on Intel’s Clover Trail Atom system on a chip. And he sees tablets based on traditional Intel core processors as well, according to a transcript of a conference call he held with analysts about the company’s second quarter financial results that was posted by seekingalpha.com.
(Tim Greene covers Microsoft for Network World and writes the mostly Microsoft blog. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter https://twitter.com/#!/Tim_Greene.)
Read more about software in Network World’s Software section.
This post originally appeared on O’Reilly Radar (“A reduced but important future for desktop computing“). It’s republished with permission.
By Jenn Webb
Josh Marinacci (@joshmarinacci), blogger and co-author of “Swing Hacks,” sees a near-term future where the majority of computer users will be served by mobile devices, but advanced users — the 10% who need power, speed and UI flexibility — will continue to rely on a desktop experience. in the following interview, Marinacci discusses the mobile transition and what it means for desktop devices and software.
One of your upcoming OSCON sessions will explore how future desktop applications may no longer be the default, but they’ll still be important to advanced users — who are these advanced users?
Josh Marinacci: I think that in less than a decade, 90% of people will use a smartphone or tablet as their primary computing interface. they might have some shared computer with a keyboard for when they need to type in a long essay, but almost all of their time will be spent on these smaller devices. It will simply meet their needs better than a traditional PC. (When I say “PC,” I mean desktops and laptops with a traditional OS, like Windows or Mac OS X or Linux).
However, the remaining 10% need something more. These are the people whose jobs are to create and process significant amounts of information. think designers, software engineers, project managers, pro photographers, professional authors, etc. These people need the physical assets of a traditional computer: high-speed input and output through a large monitor and physical keyboard. they also need the processing power and UI flexibility provided by a traditional desktop OS. It would seem like a lot of people should fall into this category, but I really think it’s only about 10%. Most people will be better served by things like iPads.
How will current desktop applications need to change to accommodate advanced users?
Josh Marinacci: The needs of users, as well as the computational power of our computers, has grown tremendously over the past few decades. Desktop interfaces, however, haven’t changed since the mid-’90s because most of the industry’s focus has been on mobility and the web. I want to see that change.
I think there are three core places where current interfaces fail: customization, automation, and scaling to large amounts. Advanced users need to customize their tools to efficiently handle workflows. The few attempts at interface customization, like the toolbar in MS Office, have failed miserably. I think we need some new approaches to the problem.
Automation seems like a given. once a user has customized the interface to do particular tasks, they will likely benefit from making those tasks repeatable. Sadly, almost no software does this outside of the programming domain. Adobe’s Creative Suite and MS Office have almost no support for automation outside of complex macros, which require a full understanding of programming to be effective. Mac OS X’s Automator seems promising, but Apple is moving away from it with the new locked-down Mountain Lion OS X.
Finally, the core interfaces of desktop GUIs — lists, folders, and buttons — simply don’t scale to the massive amounts of information the modern desktop user has to process. probably the best example of an app that tackles the problem is iTunes. The average user’s music library is far too big to effectively manage as files, so iTunes has to introduce essentially a baby version of SQL for creating saved searches. I suspect we will see more interfaces along these lines.
Laptop computers are great portable offices, and as technology increases and speeds of computers increase, we are seeing battery life also increase and provide longer usage time with out the need to be plugged in. They are more fragile than desktop computers, so they tend to have a much shorter operational lifespan. Why a much shorter operational lifespan? because you’ll be carrying it around with you from room to room or even country to country so the poor thing is bound to have a few accidents along the way.
Laptop computers generally have two main parts, a display screen housing hinged to a keyboard housing and come in all different weights, sizes, and speeds. They take up less space on the desktop and can easily be moved aside to make room for other endeavors.
Laptops are purchased for personal use, business use, or both and have built-in keyboards with a touchpad or a pointing stick for input and ease of use. usually they run on a single main battery or from an external AC/DC adapter that charges the battery whilst also supplying power to the computer itself even in the event of a power failure. Inside are components which are similar to their desktop counterparts and perform the same functions, but are miniaturized and optimized for mobile use and efficient power consumption, although typically less powerful for the same price.
Do bear in mind that laptops are generally prized targets of theft, and theft of these can lead to more serious problems such as identity theft from stolen credit card numbers. Being vulnerable to theft means the possible loss of all data contained on them. also of course, due to their small size and mobility, they are much harder to secure than desktop computers.
Laptop computers generally cost more than desktop computers with the same capabilities because they are more difficult to design and manufacture. Remember, they are great tools for teaching and learning.
Comfortable and useful on vacation, these machines are going everywhere these days. They are very popular information products today as they are light, compact, and convenient to carry around and may store voluminous information. So if you want or need one, then get one but don’t let it out of your sight or it might just walk. Just use the common sense that you already have.
Input Devices : Overview
Input devices are essentially all the peripherals that controls the data and sends information to an information processing system. It performs the task of transferring the data from one device to the other and are connected to a computer or any computational device in most of the cases. the scope of input device hardware is not limited to one’s house but today shopping malls and even small retail shops have various input devices to assist them in calculations and convenience in collecting information. the markets have been flooded with variety of options and almost everyday a new technology is launched in the market. Some of the recently launched products are discussed below.
Crayola - Living up to its name is the Crayola keyboard that will give your dull mood a swing. for all those who are bored with using their dull keyboards switch to this colorful version of keyboard that not only is attractive but will make your children’s experience on computer, more fun. This is the latest one from the computer hardware industry.
Logitech Cordless Mouse – enjoy highest level of comfort while doing the most tedious job on your computer, while working on the Logitech Wireless Desktop Wave Pro keyboard-and-mouse combination, giving a unique feel to your computer hardware.
Ultimate Gaming Mouse – Avtar has launched a gaming mouse that has unique features to make computer games much more interesting and easy to play. the optical sensors provide maximum sensitivity and responsiveness which yields unparalleled gaming accuracy 7 programmable keys allows gamers to customize their configuration. the Ambidextrous design gives full use to both right and left handed gamers and it can be easily plug into a USB port.
USBee Flash Memory – Having and elastic neck, a clever ventilation system to prevent it from heating up and a unique look is the USP of this USBee flash memory drive.
Socket Compact Flash Scan Card 5M Bar code scanner – This product has the capacity to turn your pocket PC to an advanced mobile bar code reader. Introduced in the input hardware market by Socket, this device has a new level of convenience and portability to mobile data collection by combining Socket’s Mobility Friendly Compact Flash technology with a revolutionary laser scanner from Symbol Technologies.
Speed Pad Gaming Mouse 3- a new device in the game controller segment has been launched by Belkin. However, it has been launched only for specific action packed games like MMORPGs, FPS and RTS and World of Warcraft.
Lipstick 1GB USB Pen Drive – This lipstick shaped USB port has been designed especially for girls who can disguise this USB drive in their purses. the Lipstick Drive can store and transfer your pictures, music, video and data to another computer with a USB port and is fully compatible with all USB connectors.
Launch X431 Scanner (LX-A106) – This is a milestone product in the input hardware market. This new generation tool is a perfect amalgamation between automotive electronic technology and information networking. Adopting diagnostic technology, it has PDA functions apart from reading trouble code, data stream and actuation test, sensor waveform and digital code control.
The computer hardware industry has grown leaps and bound in the past decade. different types of 2D and 3D input devices has helped the scientific community spread its horizon in the consumer market. Effective cost and efficient service is all that lures the consumers to buy these input devices.
Of course, for business applications, there is the option of a desktop replacement laptop, one that can be set up as a semi-permanent desktop, but has the advantage of saving space as you don’t have to worry about the extra room for the keyboard, tower and a large monitor. There’s also the consideration of what kind of work will you be doing on your laptop; will it be for personal use only or for work? Will you need specialized software and a crystal clear screen that you could use for demonstrations and presentations? These are all primary considerations when doing any laptop comparison.
Laptop Comparison Features – those important Specifications
Regardless of how you will use your laptop consider these key points:
The mini-laptop or netbook is sleek and just a fraction bigger than a portable DVD player. Sizes are as small as 8 and offer everything a normal laptop has to offer, with the exception of a built-in optical drive. Some models even include touchscreen capabilities and GPS navigation systems. These usually weigh anywhere from a pound and a half to just under four pounds.
The subcompact (thin and light) laptops, are very portable, provide a full range of feature sets and are well suited to frequent travelers.
Next are your more conventional or standard laptops that provide full feature sets and are suitable for most anyone except power-users that spend a great deal of time editing video or using graphics intensive applications.
Finally, your multimedia models that are most frequently used for replacing your desktop computer without losing any of the functionality of a desktop. Depending on the configuration, these beautiful machines can do it all, but usually don’t offer much in the way of battery life. you need to stay close to an AC outlet.
It’s amazing how far our technology has come, because now screen sizes on laptops can start at 8 on up to 18. if you use your laptop for business these smaller laptops probably aren’t the best suited for presentations, but might be more suitable for long trips and personal use. if you are more apt to use your laptop for business, than the most popular screen size would be the larger screens, usually starting at around 15.
Processors and Memory – The need for Speed
But screen and size are only a small part in making a decision to purchase the right laptop for you. Remember what you are purchasing the computer for and the reasons you need it. ever see those MAC and PC commercials? Well, think about the point of the commercial. know what you need out of your laptop before you make your purchase.
There are many good deals out there and some give you more value for your dollar, so consider this: Intel Celeron is an adequate processor, if your computing needs are basic and you don’t require anything other than Internet access, email, and word processing. The Pentium Core Duo and Dual Core processors will handle your needs more than adequately for most any application. Intel also has a specialized notebook processor that was tailor-made for mobile technology, the Pentium M, and it’s useful for those on-the-go road warriors who travel a great deal and require extended battery life.
Look for a laptop system that has at least 2 GB of RAM as a minimum. when it comes to RAM, the more the better. This is also of paramount importance if you are a gamer and are running graphics intensive 3D games.
Hard Drives and Optical Drives
Hard drive capacities are unbelievable these days. a few years ago an 80GB was considered large. The largest one available today is 500GB. But keep in mind that the bigger the hard drive, the better off you will be when it comes loading additional software applications or for storing memory-hogging videos and music files. you may of course not have the money to purchase such a high priced laptop, so therefore go with what you afford. Consider though, the larger the hard drive, the longer it will be before you outgrow it.
If you like watching movies, copying CD’s for family photos or recording music files, an optical drive is a great feature. DVD optical drives come standard on most laptops now. (They are not standard on netbooks and you will need to purchase and external DVD drive that attaches to your netbook via a USB port.)
Mobile Technology, combines mobile processing power with built-in wireless networking capabilities. This is a valuable must have if you are a mobile Internet user. you can go to your favorite local hot spot and sit there surfing the net, video conference with your boss, or just sit at home on the couch checking email. I know it’s wonderful right? No more sitting at the desktop listening to dial-up noises. you can be virtually anywhere today and have a fast wireless connection.
either you do an f-ton of typing or your batteries are crap! i get about 3 weeks – a month out of mine. Fortunately you can unscrew the battery cover and replace the stockers with something with much better life, as they are AA – i wonder how long a set of eneloop or something would last?
i have never bothered with the setpoint so far either – the FN key with F5/F6 will set the illuminate level, F8 for sleep mode, and F7 when i need to check the battery, altho the battery level usually comes on as i start typing and then goes away. there are others too of course; but ive never bothered with them.
the unifying reciever is awsesome, i have another logi mouse which has never had its receiver taken out and used as i simply bound the mouse to the keyboard receiver. spares are always handy
and lastly it is not a proprietary plug; it is simply a USB micro (not mini!) plug, i actually have a mini-micro adapter i plug into my camera cable ( or at least the cable i HAD for the camera, the thing is long gone ) and that works ferfectly pine for charging the K800.
put it this way – of all people, my mum was impressed enough with mine she got one for herself too. i dont see myself giving mine up till the thing dies on me…. and then i’ll either have to get another one – or filch mums