Advancements in Computer Technology

August 28, 2012 by  
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With technology progressing as fast as it is at the present, it is a wonder we do not have a new mass-marketed gadget appearing every few minutes. Personal computers, once predicted to be owned by a mere handful of individuals, are everywhere nowadays. If you are a student a personal computer is virtually a necessity. Accompanying the ever-increasing popularity of the personal computer is a plethora of gadgets and technological advancements. though it may not be every few minutes, it seems as though every couple of months we hear about a computer with more storage space or a new device that one can connect to their computer.

Some devices that appear on the market are either completely superfluous or not so accessible to the entirety of the population, whether it is because of their cost or their limited supply. the costly devices are reserved to those who can afford them, until some new gadget replaces them and the price of these machines decreases, much like any new technology that appears on the market. Those gadgets, which are unnecessary, are not overly practical and the market for these creations is comprised mainly of those with an affinity for such devices. Inventions like webcams, while they are certainly fun to play with, are essentially unnecessary as they have no bearing on the actual operation of the computer and are used largely for leisure computer activities.

The more purposeful advancements in computer technology revolve around those, which increase the computers ability to manage certain tasks and those, which increase the storage space of the computer. many personal computer owners find themselves craving more space to store songs or various other files and often wishing that their computer were faster. though many computers produced today have a excessive storage space, that is, it is nearly impossible to fill a personal computer to capacity, these types of advancements permit a much speedier and more efficient functioning computer.

Some Items You should consider About Laptop or computer Security

August 26, 2012 by  
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Everybody knows that you need to code safeguard your accounts. everybody knows to not give these bookmarks out. We know to work with WPA attached cellular cable connections. We know to not opt for simple to imagine bookmarks. having said that, id theft is always a genuine chance in Computer system management, no matter whether you understand all the steps or you cannot. here are a couple things would likely not have considered about Computer system security.

The Tastes Id Theft is Due to Plastic Card Theft

No topic how well you safeguard your personal computer themselves, virtually all id theft basically has to do with compromised plastic cards. once you know what you are doing, for those who invest time to make certain everything is code secured, you use a very good Computer system security application to hold the spybots and spy ware at bay, then chances are, you aren’t going to have your individuality quantity compromised over the world-wide-web. having said that, losing your debit card or becoming careless with bills is usually a really serious liability. just be sure you keep your greeting card themselves, along with your quantity, as protected when you maintain your on-line bookmarks.

Remote Obtain Can Help

If there isn’t a fog up server for ones laptop or computer, now is an effective time to get one. There is a movie that proceeded to go virus-like a little while ago, collecting around two Ares million ideas. The video itself is unremarkable, even if uncomfortable for that individual producing themself while using the laptop’s developed-in digicam. The video was put up by way of the laptop’s initial manager, who received utilized his fog up server to get into his laptop or computer from afar and learn exactly what the laptop computer thief have been doing with it given that thieving it several days past. Out of the way entry is usually a important help out with rescuing compromised computer systems and protecting your information in the eventuality of thieves.

At household, you likely sustain a routine of abandoning your personal computer authorized within your accounts. This is a good concept simply because it saves you lots of time, but when traversing to a companion, funding another woman’s laptop or computer or verifying your e-mail when in the catalogue, work or school, you desperately want to hide your songs. Manually signal out, as a short time of disregard may cost you many weeks of backpedaling afterwards when you alter your bookmarks and conceal very sensitive details as part of your e-mail email.

Staying protected isn’t really so difficult. Identity burglars are always there, but Computer system security is definitely a step in advance. Until now, we have been receiving the struggle, so take it easy so you would not pass up in the battle with hackers.

Laptop computer Ratings

August 11, 2012 by  
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Do you realize that you can find the so-called laptop computer ratings? In determining to get or buy a laptop computer of your respective personal, it will be proposed that you just ought to study some ratings too as reviews more than the net. Reading and participating some on the internet forums may also be helpful in your resolution. These are certainly not only accessible on the web nonetheless it may also be located on some personal computer magazines. Even so, in reading them, you should ensure that they may be based mostly on precise facts also as great characteristics accordingly towards the require from the person, upgradeable, portability, service and assist, selling price, efficiency and reliability.

There some Web web-sites also as pc magazines offering ratings and publicity stunts simply because of company purposes. Be cautious in believing on these as you may get overwhelmed though reading the reviews. In laptop computer ratings and reviews, there needs to be some diverse classes also as total variants which might be offered within the marketplace. there are actually some reviews incurred with famed designs of superior promoting. These designs do give the laptop computer ratings and reviews they’ve purchased plus they give details which is extremely effective adequate to persuade an trying purchaser of laptop computer. inside conclude, cases transpired the laptop computer model will not be adequate as being a machine.

It’s best to be informed the very best and precise reviews do arrive through the precise users. You have to seemed in to the on the internet forums wherever real users of laptop computer publish their views regarding the model item they’ve purchased. These users also present the correct feedback which you can use as foundation for ones conclusion of buying a laptop computer of the individual. Also, you ought to examine out for that users which have exactly the same habit and situations similar to you in which you could base your laptop computer ratings and reviews previously last but not least determining to purchase your individual laptop computer. As quickly as you get pleased using the laptop computer ratings and reviews you’ve got seen, the subsequent step you need to do ahead of buying will be to find the top supplier also as test the very best selling price attainable. For genuine time, examine for some featured laptop computer model provided by major laptop or computer brand names in most of their web sites. Generally, the laptop computer ratings are generally offered based mostly around the features on the laptop computer whereas features serve as significant components for that laptop computer ratings.

To find out more about this topic, visit Laptop Reviews And Ratings

Crucial PC Game playing Hardware

August 8, 2012 by  
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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

Some Helpful Tips On What Computer Should I Buy?

July 22, 2012 by  
Filed under Every thing you Need to Know

This problem what personal computer must I acquire constantly pops in my head when deciding on to get my subsequent pc. There’s so a lot of on the industry and obtaining one particular could be a nightmare. Hopefully I can give you the proper guidance to not make the same miscalculation I did in this post.

To begin with, you may need to think about what you want it for? the duties you want to carry out and many others…

Technology is constantly changing and I am always seeking for the finest thing because I’m a minor impatient so the pcs have to be rapidly for me.

Secondly, do you want a transportable personal computer! Most folks today have busy lives and cannot always be at home so they could need a notebook for personalized or company use.

Your not constantly heading to get all the specs that you want in significantly less you shell out for a specialized laptop or computer which doesn’t come inexpensive but you will get close. the far more the specs the greater the price.

For illustration, for a gaming computer you will need to acquire the top of the selection online video and graphics card. If your mad on gaming you will want a pc with a quickly processor and graphics card to get the finest possible knowledge. You may want to feel about acquiring a even bigger difficult drive so you can store your documents. Most video games now call for processors to run efficiently so assume about that if you require a laptop or computer to run game titles.

You may just want a pc for organization use utilizing word or excel. You can find filth inexpensive computers for that. There are a lot of causes why people assume about what pc ought to I buy simply because they want to come to feel they have the greatest deal for them. it might get time to find the correct one but when you do it can be a very good sensation.

With that Mentioned, do you research ahead of buying everything. Store close to and try to uncover the correct fit for you right up until you’ve found your perfect personal computer. the solution to the problem what personal computer should I acquire is believe about what you really need to have it for? the brand name does not make a difference as extended as it does what you need it to do. You don’t want to go mad on buying an high-priced laptop or computer only to uncover out it is no very good for you.

Hope you have located my write-up on what personal computer must I acquire valuable. by shopping about or looking on the internet you can really locate fantastic bargain offers.

Find some more computer suggestions that I’ve produced for you by adhering to these backlinks. These tips and advice is to assist you select your excellent pc which I’ve also provide pictures and movies for you…

The Significance of Computer Vacuum Cleaners « Diet and Health Tips

July 21, 2012 by  
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To keep your personal computer in good working conditions, you should clean it often. not only will your computer keep going longer with less technical issues, it will stop it from spreading germs.Many people do not understand the significance of computer cleaners. Whether you use your computer for business or personal use, without the use of computer vacuums, your computer may drop. Today’s community depends upon computer use. Downtime is encountered by everyone and in some cases that downtime is very costly.Computer downtime will be kept by vacuum cleaners caused by dust. Dust builds in and around your computer because of the electricity that is required to make a computer run. Pcs produce areas of static electricity. That static energy is what draws dusts and other debris. This is what causes equipment failures and increases the chance of problems due to reduction of ventilation. a standard vacuum cleaner could damage your computer system, but computer vacuum cleaners are exclusively made, therefore protected to use.You could always try to cleanse all the dust without computer vacuum cleaners, but it’ll get a lengthy time and you still might not adequately get of all the dust. not only is there the buildup of dirt, but there is the accumulation of filler, hair, garbage and pieces of paper that could get drawn in a very computer. An otherwise good computer can begin having working problems because of most these elements.If you smoke or live in a home where there are smokers, you’ve to be prudent in maintaining your computer clean. its way is then made by the smoke leaks inside the computer case, onto the motherboard and other important pieces of hardware. You also have to worry about the smoke making mouse and the monitor display, keyboard stained. other things that are big issues, are conditions filled up with large amounts of street dust, smog and dog dander. All of which will involve the use of consistent cleanings with computer vacuum cleaners.there are several versions of computer vacuums on the market. most are small and fit easily in the side of your hand. This helps it be an easy task to reach the most difficult areas in or out of your personal computer. You will find three principal types to select from AC powered, battery powered and USB computer vacuum cleaners. The AC operated should be the last alternative because the motherboard can be destroyed by it since it generates stationary. The battery operated pc vacuums works well but also for many the favorite form is the USB models. not only are they portable but they do not require the use of batteries.Different models present an assortment of features such as LED lights to help you see dirt and dust in black areas of the computer. some have a bristle brush and rubber nozzle to clean into keyboard keys.

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Cortical boots » Cheap Gaming Computer

July 20, 2012 by  
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t of us or our siblings are obsessed with games and we face problems we use or share our un-customized PC with them which is not design for games with heavy formats. this creates several problems as not only our PC starts working slowly because of the load of hard core games but it is also difficult for gamers to play with such a PC because it slows down the pace of the game also. For them a Gaming computer is best option which is customized and upgraded for gaming.

A Gaming computer is just like a personal computer which is properly customized and upgraded that increases its capability of playing hard core games. Its efficiency and performance is increased by addition performance oriented video card and larger RAM. it is built to achieve maximum performance for serious and enthusiast game play. Thus a Gaming computer is actually the computer to play hard core games with. Therefore if you have a gamer in your family or are yourself a gamer do yourself a favor and satisfy your gaming needs with an exclusively customized and reasonably priced Gaming computer from a wide range of affordable computers the one that fulfills your gaming needs and interests in the best possible way with the help of competitively priced Gaming Computers.

Most of the users build their Gaming computers themselves but it is a decision that I can not favor or suggest to somebody because home-building one’s computer is accompanied with several drawbacks that a custom made or pre-assembled computer is virtually free of. The most important thing to be taken care of is that the case of your PC must be able to provide cooling for the high-end components plus extra space to give room for expansion and customization. but when builds a computer at home he can do nothing about these aspects and can only depend on being lucky to have a C with large case. Also one has to deal with individual component manufactures, face the inconsistencies of after purchase support and be the sole responsible for the problems that raise their heads later on. hence it is better to buy an economically priced Gaming computer at home from the large online store of Electro Computer Warehouse then doing experiments on the only computer at home

First Ever Computer Virus

July 7, 2012 by  
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First Ever Computer Virus – first at any time Personal Computer virus was named as Brain, was created by two Pakistani bothers, Amjad Farooq Alvi and Basit Farooq Alvi, who are at the moment running an ISP, IPTV, Telephony and numerous other solutions under the title of Brain Telecommunication Restricted. Birthplace of this harmless virus is specifically wherever Brain’s office is nowadays, and interestingly, each the brothers talked about their tackle in virus code that they had written. Brain Virus was not harmful in nature, in reality, it absolutely was produced to test the replication attributes of DOS. Brain was able of copying by itself to each and every disk that was inserted in Brain-hit computer. the only effect of “Brain” virus was that it used to change the label of the disk. to see video about first Computer Virus in the World please click on read more button. Your comments about First every Computer Virus will highly be appreciated by Tips in Urdu.

Cheap Laptop

July 6, 2012 by  
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A laptop computer or simply laptop (also notebook computer or notebook) is a small mobile personal computer, usually weighing from one to three kilograms, depending on size, materials and other factors.

While the terms laptop and notebook are often used interchangeably, laptop is the older term, introduced in 1983 with the Gavilan SC. Notebook computer is a later coinage, which was used to differentiate smaller devices such as those of the Compaq LTE series in 1989, which were, in contrast to previous laptops, the approximate size of an A4 paper sheet.[1] Either term is often used improperly: due to heat and other issues, many laptops are inappropriate for use on one’s lap, and most are not the size of an A4 sheet. although, some older portable computers, such as the Macintosh Portable and certain Zenith TurbosPort models, were sometimes described as laptops, their size and weight were too great for this category.

Laptops usually run on a single battery or from an external AC/DC adapter which can charge the battery while also supplying power to the computer itself.

An Acer laptop with touchpadAs personal computers, laptops are capable of the same tasks as a desktop PC, although they are typically less powerful for the same price. They contain components that are similar to their desktop counterparts and perform the same functions, but are miniaturized and optimized for mobile use and efficient power consumption. Laptops usually have liquid crystal displays and most of them use different memory modules for their RAM (for instance, SO-DIMM in lieu of the larger DIMMs). In addition to a built-in keyboard, they may utilize a touchpad (also known as a trackpad) or a pointing stick for input, though an external keyboard or mouse can usually be attached.

Categories
Terms sometimes used for subtypes of laptop computers include:

Ultraportables
Laptops with screens typically less than 12 inches diagonally and a weight of less than 1.7kg. Their primary audience is usually business travellers, who need small, light laptops. Ultraportables are often very expensive and house power-saving CPUs and almost always have integrated graphics.
Thin-and-lights
Laptops usually weighing in between 1.8kg and 2.8kg with a screen size of between 12 and 14 inches diagonally.
Medium-sized laptops
These usually have screens of 15 – 15.4 inches diagonally and a weight of around 3-3.5kg. They usually sacrifice a little computing power for smaller dimensions and longer battery life, although the length and width are usually determined by the screen size.
Desktop replacement computers
Powerful laptops meant to be mainly used in a fixed location and infrequently carried out due to their weight and size; the latter provides more space for powerful components and a big screen, usually measuring 15 inches or more. Desktop replacements tend to have limited battery life, rarely exceeding three hours, because the hardware does not optimize power efficiency.
History
Before laptop/notebook computers were technically feasible, similar ideas had been proposed, most notably Alan Kay’s Dynabook concept, developed at Xerox PARC in the early 1970s.

The first commercially available portable computer was the Osborne 1 in 1981, which used the CP/M operating system. although it was large and heavy compared to today’s laptops, with a tiny CRT monitor, it had a near-revolutionary impact on business, as professionals were able to take their computer and data with them for the first time. This and other luggables were inspired by what was probably the first portable computer, the Xerox NoteTaker, again developed at Xerox PARC, in 1976; however, only ten prototypes were built. the Osborne was about the size of a portable sewing machine, and importantly could be carried on a commercial aircraft. However, it was not possible to run the Osborne on batteries; it had to be plugged in.

A more enduring success was the Compaq Portable, the first product from Compaq, introduced in 1983, by which time the IBM Personal Computer had become the standard platform. although scarcely more portable than the Osborne machines, and also requiring AC power to run, it ran MS-DOS and was the first true IBM clone (IBM’s own later Portable Computer, which arrived in 1984, was notably less IBM PC-compatible than the Compaq[citation needed]).

Another significant machine announced in 1981, although first sold widely in 1983, was the Epson HX-20. A simple handheld computer, it featured a full-transit 68-key keyboard, rechargeable nickel-cadmium batteries, a small (120 x 32-pixel) dot-matrix LCD display with 4 lines of text, 20 characters per line text mode, a 24 column dot matrix printer, a Microsoft BASIC interpreter, and 16 kB of RAM (expandable to 32 kB).

However, arguably the first true laptop was the GRiD Compass 1101, designed by bill Moggridge in 1979-1980, and released in 1982. Enclosed in a magnesium case, it introduced the now familiar clamshell design, in which the flat display folded shut against the keyboard. the computer could be run from batteries, and was equipped with a 320200-pixel plasma display and 384 kilobyte bubble memory. It was not IBM-compatible, and its high price (US$ 10,000) limited it to specialized applications. However, it was used heavily by the U.S. military, and by NASA on the Space Shuttle during the 1980s. the GRiD’s manufacturer subsequently earned significant returns on its patent rights as its innovations became commonplace. GRiD Systems Corp. was later bought by Tandy (RadioShack).

Two other noteworthy early laptops were the Sharp PC-5000 and the Gavilan SC, announced in 1983 but first sold in 1984. the Gavilan was notably the first computer to be marketed as a laptop. It was also equipped with a pioneering touchpad-like pointing device, installed on a panel above the keyboard. like the GRiD Compass, the Gavilan and the Sharp were housed in clamshell cases, but they were partly IBM-compatible, although primarily running their own system software. both had LCD displays, and could connect to optional external printers.

The year 1983 also saw the launch of what was probably the biggest-selling early laptop, the Kyocera Kyotronic 85, which owed much to the design of the previous Epson HX-20. although it was at first a slow seller in Japan, it was quickly licensed by Tandy Corporation, Olivetti, and NEC, which saw its potential and marketed it respectively as TRS-80 Model 100 line (or Tandy 100), Olivetti M-10, NEC PC-8201.[2] the machines ran on standard AA batteries. the Tandy’s built-in programs, including a BASIC interpreter, a text editor, and a terminal program, were supplied by Microsoft, and are thought to have been written in part by bill Gates himself. the computer was not a clamshell, but provided a tiltable 840-character LCD screen above a full-travel keyboard. With its internal modem, it was a highly portable communications terminal. Due to its portability, good battery life (and ease of replacement), reliability (it had no moving parts), and low price (as little as US$ 300), the model was highly regarded, becoming a favorite among journalists. It weighed less than 2 kg with dimensions of 30 21.5 4.5 cm (12 8.5 1.75 inches). Initial specifications included 8 kilobyte of RAM (expandable to 24 kB) and a 3 MHz processor. the machine was in fact about the size of a paper notebook, but the term had yet to come into use and it was generally described as a portable computer.

Among the first commercial IBM-compatible laptops were the IBM PC Convertible, introduced in 1986, and two Toshiba models, the T1000 and T1200, introduced in 1987. although limited floppy-based DOS machines, with the operating system stored in read-only memory, the Toshiba models were small and light enough to be carried in a backpack, and could be run off lead-acid batteries. These also introduced the now-standard resume feature to DOS-based machines: the computer could be paused between sessions, without having to be restarted each time.

The first laptops successful on a large scale came in large part due to a Request For Proposal (RFP) by the U.S. Air Force in 1987. This contract would eventually lead to the purchase of over 200,000 laptops. Competition to supply this contract was fiercely contested and the major PC companies of the time; IBM, Toshiba, Compaq, NEC, and Zenith Data Systems (ZDS), rushed to develop laptops in an attempt to win this deal. ZDS, which had earlier won a landmark deal with the IRS for its Z-171, was awarded this contract for its SupersPort series. the SupersPort series was originally launched with an Intel 8086 processor, dual floppy disk drives, a backlit, blue and white STN LCD screen, and a NiCD battery pack. Later models featured an Intel 80286 processor and a 20MB hard disk drive. On the strength of this deal, ZDS became the world’s largest laptop supplier in 1987 and 1988.

ZDS partnered with Tottori Sanyo in the design and manufacturing of these laptops. This relationship is notable because it was the first deal between a major brand and an Asian OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer). At the time, Compaq, IBM, Toshiba, NEC, etc. all designed and manufactured their own machines. However, after the success of the ZDS offering other relationships, like Compaq and Citizen, soon followed. At this time the quality of Japanese engineering and manufacturing in conjunction with the strength of the dollar relative to the yen (typically about 130 Yen = $1) drove most brands to suppliers in Japan. Companies such as Sanyo, Tottori Sanyo, Citizen, and Casio were all heavily involved in this business as OEMs. However, by the mid-1990s a weakening dollar and the rising viability of Taiwanese OEMs such as Acer, Quanta, Compal, Twinhead, and Chicony lead the supply base to rapidly shift from Japan to Taiwan. Additionally, brands which were more nimble and relied less on internal engineering such as Gateway, Dell and Micron began to rise quickly to leadership positions. Combinations such as Dell/Compal and Gateway/Quanta eventually became powerhouse partnerships and greatly contributed to the prominence of Taiwanese OEMs as the center of PC manufacturing from about 1995 onward.

Another notable computer was the Cambridge Z88, designed by Clive Sinclair, introduced in 1988. About the size of an A4 sheet of paper as well, it ran on standard batteries, and contained basic spreadsheet, word processing, and communications programs. It anticipated the future miniaturization of the portable computer; and, as a ROM-based machine with a small display, can — like the TRS-80 Model 100 — also be seen as a forerunner of the personal digital assistant.

The Macintosh Portable, Apple’s first attempt at a battery-powered computerThe first Apple Computer machine designed to be used on the go was the 1989 Macintosh Portable (although an LCD screen had been an option for the transportable Apple IIc in 1984). actually a luggable, the Mac Portable was praised for its clear active matrix display and long battery life, but was a poor seller due to its bulk. In the absence of a true Apple laptop, several compatible machines such as the Outbound Laptop were available for Mac users; however, for copyright reasons, the user had to supply a set of Mac ROMs, which usually meant having to buy a new or used Macintosh as well.

The Apple PowerBook series, introduced in October 1991, pioneered changes that are now de facto standards on laptops, such as the placement of the keyboard, room for palm rest, and the inclusion of a built-in pointing device (a trackball). the following year, IBM released its Thinkpad 700C, featuring a similar design (though with a distinctive red TrackPoint pointing device).

Later PowerBooks introduced the first 256-color displays (PowerBook 165c, 1993), and first true touchpad, first 16-bit sound recording, and first built-in Ethernet network adapter (PowerBook 500, 1994).

The summer of 1995 was a significant turning point in the history of notebook computing. In August of that year Microsoft introduced Windows 95. It was the first time that Microsoft had placed much of the power management control in the operating system. Prior to this point each brand used custom BIOS, drivers and in some cases, ASICs, to optimize the battery life of its machines. This move by Microsoft was controversial in the eyes of notebook designers because it greatly reduced their ability to innovate; however, it did serve its role in simplifying and stabilizing certain aspects of notebook design. Windows 95 also ushered in the importance of the CD-ROM in mobile computing and initiated the shift to the Intel Pentium processor as the base platform for notebooks. the Gateway Solo was the first notebook introduced with a Pentium processor and a CD-ROM. By also featuring a removeable hard disk drive and floppy drive it was the first three-spindle (optical, floppy, and hard disk drive) notebook computer. the Gateway Solo was extremely successful within the consumer segment of the market. In roughly the same time period the Dell Latitude, Toshiba Satellite, and IBM Thinkpad were reaching great success with Pentium-based two-spindle (hard disk and floppy disk drive) systems directed toward the corporate market.

An old (1997) Micron laptopAs technology improved during the 1990s, the usefulness and popularity of laptops increased. Correspondingly prices went down. several developments specific to laptops were quickly implemented, improving usability and performance. Among them were:

  • Improved battery technology. the heavy lead-acid batteries were replaced with lighter and more efficient technologies, first nickel cadmium or NiCD, then nickel metal hydride (NiMH) and then lithium ion battery and lithium polymer.
  • Power-saving processors. while laptops in 1991 were limited to the 80286 processor because of the energy demands of the more powerful 80386, the introduction of the Intel 386SL processor, designed for the specific power needs of laptops, marked the point at which laptop needs were included in CPU design. the 386SL integrated a 386SX core with a memory controller and this was paired with an I/O chip to create the SL chipset. It was more integrated than any previous solution although its cost was higher. It was heavily adopted by the major notebook brands of the time. Intel followed this with the 486SL chipset which used the same architecture. However, Intel had to abandon this design approach as it introduced its Pentium series. Early versions of the mobile Pentium required TAB mounting (also used in LCD manufacturing) and this initially limited the number of companies capable of supplying notebooks. However, Intel did eventually migrate to more standard chip packaging. One limitation of notebooks has always been the difficulty in upgrading the processor which is a common attribute of desktops. Intel did try to solve this problem with the introduction of the MMC for mobile computing. the MMC was a standard module upon which the CPU and external cache memory could sit. It gave the notebook buyer the potential to upgrade his CPU at a later date, eased the manufacturing process some, and was also used in some cases to skirt U.S. import duties as the CPU could be added to the chassis after it arrived in the U.S. Intel stuck with MMC for a few generations but ultimately could not maintain the appropriate speed and data integrity to the memory subsystem through the MMC connector.
  • Improved liquid crystal displays, in particular active-matrix TFT (Thin-Flim Transitor) LCD technology. Early laptop screens were black and white, blue and white, or grayscale, STN (Super Twist Nematic) passive-matrix LCDs prone to heavy shadows, ghosting and blurry movement (some portable computer screens were sharper monochrome plasma displays, but these drew too much current to be powered by batteries). Color STN screens were used for some time although their viewing quality was poor. By about 1991 , two new color LCD techologies hit the mainstream market in a big way; Dual STN and TFT. the Dual STN screens solved many of the viewing problems of STN at a very affordable price and the TFT screens offered excellent viewing quality although initially at a steep price. DSTN continued to offer a significant cost advantage over TFT until the mid-90s before the cost delta dropped to the point that DSTN was no longer used in notebooks. Improvements in production technology meant displays became larger, sharper, had higher native resolutions, faster response time and could display color with great accuracy, making them an acceptable substitute for a traditional CRT monitor.
  • Improved hard disk technology. Early laptops and portables had only floppy disk drives. As thin, high-capacity hard disk drives with higher reliability and shock resistance and lower power consumption became available, users could store their work on laptop computers and take it with them. the 3.5 HDD was created initially as a response to the needs of notebook designers that needed smaller, lower power consumption products. As pressure to continue to shrink the notebook size even further, the 2.5 HDD was introduced.
  • Improved connectivity. Internal modems and standard serial, parallel, and PS/2 ports on IBM PC-compatible laptops made it easier to work away from home; the addition of network adapters and, from 1997, USB, as well as, from 1999, Wi-Fi, made laptops as easy to use with peripherals as a desktop computer.

The $100 laptop

A first generation prototype of the $100 laptop
In 2005, faculty members from the MIT Media Lab including Nicholas Negroponte introduced the $100 laptop and the One Laptop Per Child project. the aim is to design, manufacture, and distribute laptops that are sufficiently inexpensive to provide every child in the world access to knowledge and modern forms of education. the laptops are to be sold to governments and issued to children by schools. These equipments, of which many prototypes have already been presented, will be rugged, Linux-based, and so energy efficient that a hand-cranking dynamo can alone provide sufficient power for operation (although this hand-crank has since been removed). Ad-hoc wireless mesh networking may be used to allow many machines to share a single Internet connection.

PCs are still doomed and their end will come quicker than you think

July 6, 2012 by  
Filed under Every thing you Need to Know

A reader pointed out to me this past week that the personal computer is well over 30 years old — a number that has real consequence if you are familiar with my work. He remembered I predicted in 1992 that PCs as we knew them would be dead by now.

I was obviously a little off in my timing. But only a little off. PCs are still doomed and their end will come quicker than you think.

Not Dead Yet

Here’s what I wrote in my book Accidental Empires in 1992:

It takes society thirty years, more or less, to absorb a new information technology into daily life. It took about that long to turn movable type into books in the fifteenth century. Telephones were invented in the 1870s but did not change our lives until the 1900s. Motion pictures were born in the 1890s but became an important industry in the 1920s. Television, invented in the mid-1920’s, took until the mid-1950s to bind us to our sofas.

We can date the birth of the personal computer somewhere between the invention of the microprocessor in 1971 and the introduction of the Altair hobbyist computer in 1975. Either date puts us today (1992, remember) about halfway down the road to personal computers’ being a part of most people’s everyday lives, which should be consoling to those who can’t understand what all the hullabaloo is about PCs. Don’t worry; you’ll understand it in a few years, by which time they’ll no longer be called PCs.

Radio was invented with the original idea that it would replace telephones and give us wireless communication. that implies two-way communication, yet how many of us own radio transmitters? in fact, the popularization of radio came as a broadcast medium, with powerful transmitters sending the same message — entertainment — to thousands or millions of inexpensive radio receivers. Television was the same way, envisioned at first as a two-way visual communication medium. Early phonographs could record as well as play and were supposed to make recordings that would be sent through the mail, replacing written letters. The magnetic tape cassette was invented by Phillips for dictation machines, but we use it to hear music on Sony Walkmans. Telephones went the other direction, since Alexander Graham Bell first envisioned his invention being used to pipe music to remote groups of people.

The point is that all these technologies found their greatest success being used in ways other than were originally expected. That’s what will happen with personal computers too. Fifteen years from now, we won’t be able to function without some sort of machine with a microprocessor and memory inside. Though we probably won’t call it a personal computer, that’s what it will be.

Better value Proposition

Though I had no inkling of it back in 1992, what’s rapidly replacing the PC in our culture is the smartphone. Today the PC industry and the smartphone industry are neck-and-neck in terms of size at around $250 billion each. But which one is growing faster?  for that matter, which one is growing at all? 

We still rely on devices with processors and memory, they are just different devices.  The mobility trend has been clear for years with notebooks today demanding larger market share than desktops. and one thing significant about notebooks is they required of us our first compromise in terms of screen size.  I write today mainly on a 13-inch notebook that replaced a 21-inch desktop, yet I don’t miss the desktop. I don’t miss it because the total value proposition is so much better with the notebook.

I wouldn’t mind going back to that bigger screen, but not if it meant scrapping my new-found mobility.

Now extend this trend another direction and you have the ascendant smart phone — literally a PC in your hand and growing ever more powerful thanks to Moore’s Law.

What’s still missing are clearcut options for better I/O — better keyboards and screens or their alternatives — but I think those are very close. I suspect we’ll shortly have new wireless docking options, for example.  for $150 today you can buy a big LCD display, keyboard and mouse if you know where to shop.  Add wireless docking equivalent to the hands-free Bluetooth device in your car and you are there.

I’d be willing to leave $150 sitting on my desk if doing so allowed me to have my computing and schlepp it, too.

Or maybe we’ll go with voice control and retinal scan displays. No wonder Google is putting so much effort into those glasses.

The hardware device is becoming less important, too.  not that it’s the thin clients Larry Ellison told us we all needed back in 1998. what matters is the data and keeping it safe, but the cloud is already handling that chore for many of us, making the hardware more or less disposable.

What’s keeping us using desktops and even notebook, then, are corporate buying policies, hardware replacement cycles and inertia.

Next-to-Last PC

How long before the PC as we knew it is dead? About five years I reckon, or 1.5 PC hardware replacement cycles.

Nearly all of us are on our next-to-last PC.

Microsoft knows this on some level. their reptilian corporate brain is beginning to comprehend what could be the end. That’s why the company is becoming increasingly desperate for ways to maintain its central role in our digital lives. we see the first bet-the-company aspects of that in Redmond’s recent decision to run the Windows 8 kernel all the way down to ARM-powered phones and tablets even though it requires shedding features to do so.

I doubt that will be enough.

Reprinted with permission

Photo Credit:  wrangler/Shutterstock

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