Let me start with a disclaimer: I'm a console gamer. Always have been, since my friend down the street in Minneapolis got an Atari 2600 in 1979, and I trumped him a year later with Mattel's Intellivision. (Along with George Plimpton, we found Intellivision's Major League Baseball to be clearly superior to Atari's Home Run baseball. Intellivision baseball, hockey, and skiing were pretty much all I cared about in 1980.) Like Larry King with wives, there's long list of consoles that I traded in for newer models over the years: Intellivision to Intellivision 2, to … Read more
In baseball, amassing a single, double, triple and home run in the same game is known as hitting for the cycle. AMD will try for the chip industry equivalent next year.
The company announced plans Monday to introduce a desktop PC processor with three cores in the first quarter of 2008. The three-core chip will carry the same Phenom brand name that AMD plans to attach to its quad-core desktop chips due to ship to PC companies by the end of this year.
Bob Brewer, corporate vice president of marketing and strategy, said that AMD's move was made in … Read more
It's likely that more than a few would-be Mac buyers who decided that for whatever reason they couldn't part with Windows ended up with a VAIO. All PC manufacturers place an importance on design, of course, but no two more than Apple and Sony. Both companies recently put out updates to their all-in-one and small-form-factor systems. Let's take a look at how they compare.
Let's be very clear: nobody but Apple gets much desktop love from Walt Mossberg's influential consumer tech column in the Wall Street Journal. Not Windows. Not Linux. Not anything except OS X.
Part of this is because of his audience ("This column is written for mainstream, nontechie users of digital technology"). Part of it is because he simply prefers the Mac or other Apple technology to just about anything.
The inventors of the Universal Serial Bus probably never envisioned just how "universal" their creation would become. Today it's used for pretty much anything, from electric guitars and coffee mugs to cigarette lighters and fragrance oil burners.
But there's at least one non-computing use that we can endorse wholeheartedly: the USB greenhouse. This 9-inch tall, egg-shaped terrarium isn't just a plastic container; growth rates can be monitored with its own software, which reminds you when to water and feed the plants.
We'll be taking bets on how quickly it dies under our brown thumb.… Read more
No matter, Lenovo has announced that it will launch a tiny, 45-watt desktop computer the size of a phone book. It's called the ThinkCentre A61e, or "Blue Sky," and it will be primarily aimed at businesses and customers overseas--where they still buy desktops.
The company has bestowed the "Blue Sky" moniker to denote its green qualities. Lenovo says its power supply is 85 percent efficient, and … Read more
For years PC makers have tried to come up with a true all-in-one desktop, but more often than not their efforts look like a few components that have been glued together or presented in other impractical forms. There's at least one new model on the Korean market, however, that really does seem to live up to its billing.
The "All-In-One" computer from Seoul-based SBCORE appears to combine all its functions and features in one solid aluminum-finished block that houses CPU, screen and speakers, as well as Intel Core 2 Duo chips, up to 2GB of memory and … Read more
The Office 2.0 conference ( more) opens up in San Francisco tomorrow. As it did last year, this show will push the Web 2.0 concept for business as far as it can go. I expect that a lot of activity at the conference will center around groupware and work-flow applicatiosn. In the past few days I've talked to the founders of four companies competing in this space-- Central Desktop, Sosius, Huddle, and ShareMethods -- each of which is aiming to use Web 2.0 concepts like simple design, hosted services, and a-la-carte pricing, to knock Microsoft's Sharepoint off its peg, and take on Web 2.0 work-flow stalwart 37Signals' Basecamp as well. Not to mention blocking upstarts from big companies, like Webex's WebOffice, before they can get major traction.
It's going to be a tough battle for these products to stand out from each other. The founders I talked to have similar pitches. They talk about low-cost, bottom-up (as opposed to IT-driven) sales, and the fact that they're not trying to replace office products like Microsoft Office or even Web 2.0 suites like Zoho, but rather trying to bring collaboration and workflow to every business with a Web connection.
The one area where these products all need to develop the most is in their integration with these online office productivity tools. At the moment, all of these applications will help you check in and manage files that you create on your PC, and they'll handle approval cycles, discussions, and project plans. But these applications really need tight integration with tools like Google Docs to truly free users from the shackles of local software. That's not just a philosophical perspective--working half online (for work flow) and half on a PC (for productivity applications) is confusing and will slow adoption of these products.
That said, I like all these services. They fill a need that e-mail and wikis can't, and that traditional software is too heavy for. Most of the products look great and aren't over-featured, making it fairly easy for users to get up to speed on them.
The differences between these applications are not immediately obvious...
We met up with fine folks at Gateway last week to check out some of their upcoming wares. While they were happy to tell us about the top-secret products the company had in the offing, not a word was whispered hinting at yesterday's announcement that Taiwanese computer maker Acer has agreed to acquire Gateway, currently the No. 4-ranked PC vendor in the world.
News.com's Erica Ogg reports that the purchase price is $710 million--far less than the $7 billion the company was valued at when Compaq offered to buy it back in 1997.
J.T. Wang, Acer'… Read more