The New Look Tech Blog

Going Mobile


So… the Windows/Linux comparisson will have to wait till tomorrow. Incidentally I have them both installed on my Laptop.

Made me think. A Laptop is not the most mobile of computing devices out there anymore.

The smartphone is!

I have been using cellphones for close on ten years now. I still remember my first phone: an Erickson C10i. (I think it was called that…)

I was awed by the “full color” display – in fact you had three choices: Red, Blue and Green. I was so looking forward to owning the “…worlds first full color cellphone…” that it was a downer to not only be limited to three colors, but the blue and green was indistinguishable from each other unless the phone was tilted in light.

Boy have we come a ways since then!

Until recently my everyday phone was a Nokia 9300. What a piece of hardware! And while more traditional PDA users used to scoff at the lack of a touch-screen, I needed only flip it open to reveal the full qwerty keyboard on which I could easily type quicker than they could scribble with those teensy styluses.

Of course PDA’s are awesome marvels of tech as well. Between all the features (and now there are examples with pull-out qwerty keyboards…) and the internet/e-mail/document editors/telephone functions/etc/etc/etc they are potent business tools.

On my Nokia I used to take voice recordings of all my meetings to edit or store for later use. That is how I caught an ex boss lying to me and going back on his word time and again… but I digress.

Since it is new-years, I thought it pertinent to let my mind wander to where mobile tech is going, after all I bet a friend that cellphones would have Laptop equaling capabilities one day.

Right then…

I am guessing that in the future of mobile devices we will see cellphone size devices that will rival current laptops for power and storage size. Heck there are already cellphones out there with hard/flash drives of equal or larger capacity than the hard drives that were available ten years ago!

One limiting factor I see is screen size. Even though I loved the Nokia, the screen was *just* too small for some applications. If developers can find a way to produce a pull-out roll-up screen such as those we have seen in the Val Kilmer blockbuster MARS or maybe even holographic screens that can be projected into thin air size will only be limited by what the human hand can operate.

That brings me to my second limiting factor: key size. Some of the newer phones have these awful minuscule smurf finger size keypads that make them impossible to use!

I know there are infra-red/bluetooth devices as large as a lipstick that can project a full-sized keaboard via laser onto your table. I bet a decent application that will not need a table to work with is not too far off in the future.

And the third major barrier. Heat. A laptop generates oodles of heat to run at its operating speed. as I type this my CPU sits at 53degrees celsius. For a cellphone to really catch up with a laptop power wise it would need to generate less heat per degree in performance, and be able to effectively dissipate the heat it generates.

On connectivity and features I have very little to say. We have camera phones that are rapidly catching up to “proper” cameras. We have music phones that equal dedicated music devices such as Apple’s iPod for storage space and sound quality – heck I can store more music on a decent cellphone now than I could on a full desktop computer of the year 2000! (If you factor out really monster hard-drives of that time, which have been dwarfed by the drives available today…)

I am betting that anything and everything you can dream off that your cellphone must be able to do for you will be possible, excluding teleportation and coffee making of course.

On the coffee thing… there is a way you could get your cellphone to make you coffee. There are coffee makers out there that have bluetooth communications abilities. Sync your cell via bluetooth, set it to ping the coffee machine a few minutes before your break and voila! Cellphone got you coffee!

Heck I know of a guy that runs his whole house from his cellphone.

So. GPS? Done. Camera? Old News. Holographic Keyboard and Screen? Whatch this space.

Converting to Linux



I have been using Linux for a good year-ish now. I have not totally converted. Yet. My other operating system is Windows XP.

Why have I decided to move over to the “Free World?”

Well, for one everything on Linux is free.
I needed an upgrade to my OS because XP was not cutting it for me any more.
Vista was not an option, for several reasons, one being my Laptop had no hope under our sunny skies to even run Microsoft’s newest bloatware.

Right now I am writing this using Linux Mint with Enlightenment as my Desktop Environment.

Overall I am well impressed with Linux and the free software available for it. Other than the freeware you get for Windows, these are actually useful and stable.

Next up I will do a complete install comparison between Windows XP, Linux Mint and PCLinuxOS running on this laptop.

And after that a run through of OpenOffice and after that…