Tag: hardware

Using a SSD drive in a MacBook Pro: The speed will blow you away.

Wow, had the opportunity to test drive the SSD, solid-state drive, in the MacBook Pro as well as in a Air and it’s amazing! I was skeptical that the speed would increase for launching a app or opening documents but the difference is 2-3x faster with typical applications from Office, Keynote, Filemaker, Photoshop, Captivate, Flash and After Effects. Running my setup from a 750gb hard drive, launching apps, exporting content, compressing videos all were timed to 50-70% faster using the 512mb SSD drive. Boot times, from a off state were also noticeably difference with the SSD booting almost twice as fast. I would highly recommend investing or planning a upgrade on your current laptop to decrease waiting and increase productivity.
Learn more about SSD’s at Wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solid-state_drive

iPhone 3Gs – More than meets the eye!

Being passionate about Apple, its hardware and software is easy because it makes your life easier and helps bring out the creativity within us. Having purchased the original iPhone and the 3g I was not in a super rush to get my hands on the 3GS. Upgrading to the 3.0 version of the OS is a must because it just improves on the OS and adds several great features.

 I had an opportunity last week to make the upgrade and I decide to try it out, all I can say is WOW! The new hardware is amazing, it makes the OS run smoothly and having multiple apps opening and closing is a breeze with the new hardware. If you don’t have an iPhone or if you have one and you use it extensively I would say its a must have upgrade to improve on productivity because of the power boost. The added hardware features are a plus, the built in video, voice commands and improved camera are a great improvement over the previous generation. If you have played any games on the iPhone, the extra hardware improves on load times, performance and improved graphics. If you have the opportunity to upgrade, I would recommend you take advantage of it. http://www.apple.com/iphone/

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E3: Project Natal – First Product that utilizes the technology: Meet Milo

Milo is a new product by Lionhead Studios, using the Natal technology, he can recognize you and your emotions. Notice about 3 minutes in where Clare draws on a paper and waves it in front of the TV and Milo understands what’s on the paper. Just imagine if we get browser and flash support how we can utilize this for learning! If you have not watched the Project Natal video click here: E3: Microsoft Project Natal – Look’s Amazing. Controller free interaction, voice control, 3d imaging and sensing emotions.

Trying to grab a fish

Drawing a picture:

Places paper in front of bar and paper appears on screen and Milo recognizes shape.

Watch the full video:

Flip MinoHD Camcorder – Great Portable Video Camera

I’ve owned a Flip Camera since Christmas, Santa delivered it into my stocking and I haven’t stopped being blown away by the gadget. This video camera is amazingly small, compact and easy to use. The best part for me is it doesn’t freak people out if you start using it at an event or with the family because its not large and doesn’t have that fright factor “you are recording video of me.” Recording can be started quickly by pushing the power button on the side and then clicking the record (red button) on the back and you can start in less than 3 seconds if the unit is off. The camera is so simple, my 3 year old was able to start using it right away.

The HD model runs about $200 and captures 1280 x 720, up to 60 minutes of content, on the built in 4gb memory chip. Sliding a lever on the side exposes the USB Arm and easily plugs into a Mac or PC to upload the content to your hard drive. Using a Mac, it couldn’t be easier, the content comes right into iPhoto and you can start editing with iMovie or with QuickTime Pro. The video is saved in H.264 codec so the quality is incredible. The USB arm also allows you to charge while plugged in and the built in monitor and speaker allows you to review clips, delete or view while recording.



They just introduced a new model, the Flip Ultra HD which includes 8gb of internal memory which means up to 120 min of content and its sells for $199. The 4gb Ultra is $149. The new model also has an optional HDMI output for plugging right into a HD monitor or TV.
If you are looking to add video to your web site or start a video blog this is the perfect camera to get started with and record great quality content. It can also be used to record possible locations of a video shoot, interviews or testimonials.
Learn more on Amazon:

If you are making a presentation, check out this cordless remote to help free you from your laptop.

If you find yourself making a couple presentations a year or a month, I would recommend purchasing the Logitech 2.4ghz Cordless Presenter. It run’s under $45, Amazon: http://tr.im/iTm9, and frees you from being in front of or near your laptop. A USB connector, neatly pulls out of the back and plugs into your computer and sliding the on button on the remote to On allows you to connect with PowerPoint, Keynote or your favorite presentation tool. It allows for forward and backward movement as well as a built in laser pointer to assist in focusing the audience’s attention and parts of your screen. There is also a built in timer, which you can preset for a time limit and the remote will buzz to make sure you know you are running low on time and its time to wrap-up. I’ve plugged it into Macs, PCs with XP and Vista and no software is installed for quick use in case you are presenting from a client site. The display also displays how much battery life is left and it lasts approx 6 months based on your usage.
 
I’ve tried several other remotes over the years and found this to be the perfect size, feature set and ease of use to be able to quickly use during daily presentations.

8 gigabytes of RAM makes a difference.

I’ve been using Apple based laptops for several years now and I migrated to the 17″ model when they were originally announced by Apple. One thing I have noticed is that with the last 2 generations of the unit the high-res screen of 1920 x 1200 is a must have when working with several applications or windows. The extra real estate makes it easier to multi-task or move data around while brainstorming or wire framing. I ordered the new 17″ when announced at the January Macworld and got my hands in early March. Shortly after getting the unit I added the 8 gigabytes of RAM, from http://www.transintl.com/, which cost about $750 but wow was it worth it. My previous units had 4 gb’s which I always thought was enough but the 8 gb’s has made for a smoother experience especially running VMWare. I can now easily have Windows XP Home and alternate open or even Vista open with XP. Now Vista is slow and goofy but it runs comfortably now while running several mac apps at the same time and dare I say its usable.

 So if you been debating adding more memory to your workstation or looking at a new laptop, check out the Apple MacBook Pro 17″. The higher end MacBook Pro 15 also now supports 8 gb’s of ram as well.

 Update, last week I got my hands on the 7200 rpm 500gb hard drive and its nice to have some breathing room on the hard drive again. Great drive, quiet, and have not notice any additional heat or hit in battery life. Now, just have to find the budget to upgrade my team’s systems.

 Next on my wish list is a 30″ monitor.