Archive for August, 2009

Finely tuned.

Tuesday, August 25th, 2009

I don’t get it:

Snow Leopard
The world’s most advanced operating system. Finely tuned.

Finely tuned? Nothing more. Do they mean up to now Mac OS X was just slow, sluggish and they finally just finely (or otherwise where forced to, e.g. by customer complains) tuned it?

This sounds way too much like Microsoft Windows ads: Windows 7 – (Vista) finely tuned!

Are they sure they contracted the right PR company?

Nokia Booklet 3G

Monday, August 24th, 2009

With 12h battery life and lighter with 1.25 (or so) kg, 2cm thickness and 10″ display. Including partially Aluminum enclosure. Makes the Wind U210 look not so cool anymore. Too bad it certainly will be powered by some 64bit and VT lacking Intel Atom. Yuck.

Update: 12h battery life as specifically tuned by factory settings, 9h when run with more common, performing settings.

MSI Wind U210

Monday, August 24th, 2009

If it just would pack a little newer AMD Neo X2 L325 or L625. (instead of the non-X2 [non dual core] MV-40), a 3G modem and be a little smaller (10″, to fit in my every day bag), and lighter. A longer battery life would also not hurt.

Update: On some high-res pictures it actually looks like it has a SIM slot, let’s hope it also has a modem behind it despite not being listed in some press material.

Why the wreck did Sony remove the OtherOS Linux option from the PS3 Slim?

Wednesday, August 19th, 2009

Cost’ them nothing, just shuffled a few more units. Well, given some super-computers build out of massive amounts of PS3’s probably quite some units. Though maybe the unit shuffling was the problem: sold below the manufacturing costs to people not buying games to subsidize it, …

Maybe they just wanted to boost the sales numbers initially to look better against the Xbox 360 and Wii, which where sold ahead of the PS3 lunch. Or it was a special deal with IBM to promote the Cell SPUs by getting them into the hands of developers cheaply?

ExactScan Pro 2.7 with file batch processing

Tuesday, August 18th, 2009

You want to convert an PDF into bitmap graphics? Or bitmap images into a PDF? Split a multi-page file in per-page files or vice versa? Have the text in existing, archived bitmap images recognized (OCRed)?

Since version 2.7 ExactScan Pro comes with support to not only process image data from an actual scanner, it can now also load common bitmap file formats and PDFs and process the data as it it came from a scanner!

This means all the various image processing filter options, enhancements as well as the OCR are available for batch processing of existing files. Just setup your workflow in the Preferences, choose the profile you want to use and select File -> Open File…

The possibilities are endless.

PS: File input processing is a dedicated feature of the Professional version.

My quest for a usable N.tB..k continues

Sunday, August 16th, 2009

For some time I’m now looking for a usable N.tB..k (ok, Intel brought the former trademark from Psion, I could probably start using the word unmangled …). Some kind of ultra-portable notebook I can take with me, everywhere. My expectations are not really high (e.g. I do not need excessive Phenom (Core 2 Duo, or i7) power on the road. An Via Nano certainly has enough processing power for some minimal Linux to do some text editing and photo upload. However, there are some basic thing I need for the device to be functional:

  • Intel VT, AMD SVM, to start some virtual machine when a customer calls
  • x86-64 (AMD64, Intel EM64T), gives a little extra performance due to more registers for the register constraint x86 legacy, most of my “Pro” software certainly depends on it, today, …
  • digital video out (HDMI, Display Port, whatever) to connect a display when I’m at some desk to do some more work abroad (customer on-site, presentation, meeting, speech, etc.)
  • some integrated 3G (UMTS) modem would also be nice to save to carry some additional plastic tube
  • ok, it should not look like the cheapest “crap-ware”

To bad most of the “all too similar” standard NetBooks already fail to just meet the first 3 points above, no VT extension, no 64bit and a digital video out mostly missing anyway.

Anyway, I looked at some of the latest arrivals in the sore and collected some data: Toshiba NB200, Samsung N310, Packard Bell DOTM and Asus EeePC 1003HAG.

I find it most irritating that most cheap PC manufactures do not have any unique selling point whatsoever or add higher end features, and merrily compete with exactly same SPECs in a price race to the bottom.

Manufactures: Please, may you please adapt some more decent silicon like the AMD Neo or Via Nano (64bit and VT/SVM aware!) in some products? And manufacture products that suck-less(tm)? Some less thick plastic bezel around the screen (less wasted screen real estate and space in the bag) would also be a welcome design goal. And while we’re at it: less than 600 vertical pixel really don’t cut it anymore. Not in this millennium, ever. Thanks.

PS: Maybe I should just get an “some years old” 12″ Apple PowerBook from eBay … :-(

Tip of the week: run your (rented) car automatic transmission in Comfort mode

Thursday, August 6th, 2009

With a car rented recently (Mercedes B) for some tour thru Germany we wondered why we run out of gasoline so quickly. It was just then (after some 600 km (some good 372 miles) that we spotted the automatic transmission was set to “Sport” mode (read as: waste some extra gasoline) instead of the “little more saving” “Comfort” mode.

So the tiny reminder and tip of the week: Better double check some basic settings of your rented car – especially the Comfort mode can save you some extra bucks on a longer trip given recent gasoline prices, …

ExactImage QuickLook plugin now with improved PCX support

Thursday, August 6th, 2009

Update: Now with 16 bit channel support!

I updated my ExactImage-based QuickLook plugin to also correctly display certain flavors of color mapped PCX files, enjoy: 1.6 update with improved PCX support. As usual: If you have another image format you like to preview on the Mac just let me know!