Archive for January, 2010

Why is the Apple iPad that affordable?

Saturday, January 30th, 2010

I only say: Subsidized, or near no margin for a “gold rush” thru content, App sales.

The Apple iPad

Thursday, January 28th, 2010

Well, the iSlate name rumor sounded really strange. iTablet? Oh well. iPad indeed makes a little more sense.

However, honestly, the “iPad” is not really what I’ve been waiting for. Having one device for a job is so from the 90th - where several manufactures wanted to sell a device per job: one for calculation, one for phoning, one for your music, etc. pp. Obviously that did not turn out to be accepted too well. The iPhone was such as success because it combine so many required things in one device: phone, email, photo, web, music.


How limited the new Intel Atoms really are

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

So some time ago Intel released some new Atoms, and at first they might have left a slightly positive impression in my weblog due to the reduced chips (3 down to 2), and finally enabled AMD64 (Intel EM64T) 64bit extension. However, I had to find out how unnecessarily (from the technical standpoint, probably necessary to drive Intels revenue) limited they are:

  • no FSB, no NVidia Ion (only as add-on PCIe chip to the 2 platform chips)
  • LVDS limited to 1366×768
  • nothing prepared for TMDS, e.g. no SDVO, so no: DVI, HDMI, DisplayPort et al.
  • PCIe lanes reduced to just 4

1201T - The first Asus Eee PC with AMD CPU !!!

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

Honestly I saw a lot coming, but not Asus actually, finally switching to something more useful than the serve limited Intel Atom any time soon.

The Eee PC 1201T apparently comes with all the goods the AMD platform brings:

  • a little more performance (the Neo X2 would bring way more)
  • reasonable graphic performance
  • digital video, HDMI, output
  • higher resolution screen (1366 x 768), compared the standard NetBook one where not even all Windows dialogs fit onto (1024 x 600)

Let’s praise Asus for this move, and recommend it to all your Netbook-longing aunt Tillis and neighbor’s kids around!

Blue ray firmware update on the PS3

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

So I got a Star Trek 11 Blue Ray Sunday. It already came with a strange “package insert”, indicating that if the disc was manufactured after the purchase of the Blue-ray player, a firmware “configuration update” may be required. Of course it was on my only Blue-ray player, which happens to be a Sony PlayStation 3. So normally I try to avoid firmware updates on the PS3, in order to use as much “out-of-spec” features under (T2) Linux, such as GPU access, as possible. However, well, now I had to bite that bitter pill.

Also very interesting how the parties speak about “configuration” instead of cryptographic key update, …

Fortunately others are currently hacking into the hypervisor for all the goods of it.

Let’s hope this also brings Linux onto the Slim :-)

2-5 years left to drop your UKW radio in Germany

Monday, January 18th, 2010

Not too many noticed, but after going all digital with the analog TV (now being broadcasted via DVB-T only for some time here in Germany), your loved UKW radio is next on the list. I personally hope we can stick to the schedule of 2012 to 1025 and use the frequencies more efficently.

Hint: Don’t invest in analog radio (e.g. alarm clock, car radio, etc.) anymore, :-)

How can software get that broken

Friday, January 15th, 2010

So I update my main workstation running Linux to the latest, greatest release. To my surprise the already not so fast xf86-video-nv driver stopped working entirely. I get no video signal either on the laptop’s internal LVDS panel, nor the external, DVI port. As quick, even slower, fallback at least xf86-video-vesa still worked. Just on the internal display, of course. At least something. However, my biggest surprise was still ahead: The keyboard layout kept constantly changing! Between English(US) and German(DE) !!!! How am I supposed to type, work, that way, heh? Even entering my login password became a challenge only cut’n paste could solve, …

How the heck can software regress that majorly. Ok, well. Random hacking might explain it. Too many cooks spoil the broth. But really. ‘nough is ‘nough. The machinery worked better 10 years ago in the days of XFree86 on my then 120MHz Intel Pentium, 233MHz IDT Winchip 2(a or so). Certainly some S3 Virge3D, later Matrox graphic cards.

Update: Good old modeline stuff segfaulting, yuck:

Program received signal SIGSEGV, Segmentation fault.
(gdb) bt
#0 0×0000000000000000 in ?? ()
#1 0×0000000000487813 in xf86CrtcSetModeTransform (crtc=0×7f3f80, mode=0×7f4068, rotation=1,
transform=0×3, x=0, y=0) at xf86Crtc.c:358
#2 0×0000000000487b65 in xf86SetDesiredModes (scrn=0×7f1de0) at xf86Crtc.c:2608
#3 0×00002b700de77b12 in AcquireDisplay (pScrn=0×7f1de0) at g80_driver.c:467
#4 0×00002b700de77eb3 in G80ScreenInit (scrnIndex=, pScreen=0×7f6f10,
argc=, argv=) at g80_driver.c:894
#5 0×000000000044df45 in AddScreen (pfnInit=0×2b700de77b80 , argc=1,
argv=0×7fff7bce36e8) at dispatch.c:4062
#6 0×0000000000478519 in InitOutput (pScreenInfo=0×7d3300, argc=1, argv=0×7fff7bce36e8)
at xf86Init.c:1043
#7 0×00000000004224e5 in main (argc=1, argv=0×7fff7bce36e8, envp=0×7fff7bce36f8) at main.c:204

Update 2: Not soo much good-old-modeline as guessed at first - more so newly added gamma fluff, … bug - so basically the whole X server setup is crashing in many combinations and cards since last November??? What a fun.

Streamlined OCR to PDF for Apple Mac OS X

Friday, January 15th, 2010

You asked for it, we deliver it. A streamlined and native, Intel Cocoa application for Mac OS X to convert your non-searchable PDFs or other images to searchable PDFs with the recognized text.

Simply dag’n drop your files on the OCRKit application icon, for example in the system dock – or open the file form within the application’s menu: File -> Open File.

Of course multiple OCR and UI languages are supported.

Surprisingly unsuccessful: Via Nano

Saturday, January 9th, 2010

When it was announced, released, back in the other year, the Via Nano (x86) CPU had so much potential:

  • 64bit (x86-64, AMD64, Intel EM64T, …)
  • VT (Virtualization Technology) extension (ok, unfinished in the early silicon, said to be in the 3rd stepping)
  • quite power efficient, yet reasonable performance

Too bad they somehow did not manage to get into the market. Very strange given that the Taiwan company (Via) is located exactly where most of the devices are actually manufactured (Taiwan, China). On the other hand even the way bigger AMD struggles to gain in the ultra-portable, mobile market.

I guess Intel is just too established, pressuring, buying the manufactures.

So Lua 5.2 is slowly trickling in

Saturday, January 9th, 2010