You can't predict every hard-drive failure. But when a drive goes down because certain hardware components are slowly degrading, then S.M.A.R.T. (Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology) can help warn you of an impending crash, so you have time to run a last-minute backup. Mac OS X already uses S.M.A.R.T. to track the health of drives, but it only runs a check whenever you use Disk Utility to verify a disk. SMARTReporter is a free, open-source tool that checks the S.M.A.R.T. status of drives hourly (by default, or … Read more
Cost Benefit Analysis Template provides a simple tool for calculating financial futures. With its familiar layout and excellent direction, this program makes financial forecasting simple enough for even novices.
The program's interface was immediately familiar to us since it was built within an Excel spreadsheet. The money management aspects were simple as well, thanks to its onscreen instructions, which covered navigation and interpretation of fields and equations. This program allowed us to forecast a project's financial expenses as far as nine years away. We simply entered our costs and benefits into the appropriate rows and columns and the … Read more
An updated software tool combines energy-use evaluation with Google's 3D-modeling program to help improve building design in its early stages.
"OpenStudio is lauded around our office as one of the most complicated plug-ins ever written for SketchUp," Christopher Cronin, Google's strategist for SketchUp, said in a statement.
While Google may see OpenStudio as a plug-in for SketchUp, OpenStudio's creators may instead see SketchUp as an add-on to its simulation program.
The … Read more
Much has been made lately about the trend toward solid-state drives. Now a new Intel technology, code-named Braidwood, may delay that trend, blending the performance of solid-state drives with the economy of old-style hard drives.
Braidwood--like its predecessor, Intel's Turbo Memory technology (formerly code-named Robson)--is basically a solid-state cache for all the disks in the system.
I heard about Braidwood earlier this summer on CNET (see "Intel 'Braidwood' chip targets snappier software" by Brooke Crothers). But I shrugged it off, assuming it would be no better than Turbo Memory, which left a bad taste in the mouth of many PC makers, end users, and Microsoft execs. Turbo Memory (and Turbo Memory 2.0) wasn't cheap, and it definitely wasn't worth the cost. The PC industry operates on such slim margins that every dollar's worth of hardware has to earn its keep--and Robson didn't.
The 62-page report is titled "Intel's Braidwood: Death to SSDs?"
Handy's report argues persuasively that Braidwood might actually be worthwhile, and that got my attention. I've known him a long time, and he's a very good analyst--he's been covering memory and caching technology a lot longer than I have. He wrote one of the standard references for computer system architects, "The Cache Memory Book."
So I sent Handy a note, and he sent me a copy of the report. And now that I've read it, I'm inclined to agree with his conclusions, assuming the information he's obtained about Braidwood is accurate. It does seem reasonable, at least.
The first thing to understand is why flash memory can be a good disk cache. This boils down to its much faster access times: microseconds, not milliseconds. Flash can actually take much longer to write than a hard disk. But for reads, it's really quick. So if you can be smart about putting the right hard-disk data in the cache, especially by choosing the right time to do those write operations, you can save huge amounts of time on future disk reads.
You don't have to rely on a statistician or SAS to analyze data for projects thanks to this handy app. AcaStat Plus provides the most common tools for performing statistical processes.
It launches a nice-size interface with a large pane taking up most of the window, and a vertical row of displays on the right side of the window that changes based on the procedure chosen in the top display. The large pane is tabbed for manipulating the data: Output, Charts, and Decision Tools, along with Glossary and Handbook. This app performed very satisfactorily in our tests, responding quickly … Read more
MB Zodiac Astrology offers a great opportunity to learn every conceivable detail about your astrological sign. With a simple layout and surprising answers, this is certain to enlighten and please .
The program's single-page interface is so simple, a trip to the Help file is completely unnecessary. Consisting of a single drop-down menu and a small menu, this will be intuitive to users of all experience levels. Begin by selecting your astrological sign from a pull-down menu with all listed. From there, the image of that sign appears as a drawing and some basic facts about the sign appear. The … Read more
The VerbAce-Pro - Arabic-English-Arabic Dictionary is a simple, intuitive program that lets users translate and define words in English and Arabic. With more than 60,000 entries in each language, the program is a powerful tool for users seeking to navigate between the two tongues.
The interface is sleek and offers two ways to enter text: either type it directly into the program's text box, or click on a word that you want to see defined and translated. Users can adjust the combination of mouse and keyboard buttons they use to define words; for example, the default is Alt-left … Read more
The analysis of a single hair can reveal where a person is from and where they've been, which could allow government agencies to track the travels of international criminals and terror suspects, according to researchers.
Researchers measuring the longitudinal sulfur isotopic variations in a strand of human hair can detect slight changes in people's diets to show where and whether they've traveled, while shedding light on their lifestyle, according to a study published this month in the journal Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry.
The 404 Podcast crew scored tickets for an advanced screening of JJ Abrams' new "Star Trek" movie! We had a lot of fun interviewing all the hard-core "Star Trek" fans, and even battled a few overzealous Enterprise crew members.
Will we successfully stump the Trekkies with our in-depth knowledge of Borg cube transwarp conduit projections, or will they overpower us with a temporal chroniton field? Watch the video below to find out!
Update: 4 p.m. Wednesday: Let's get this G1 cost thing straight, shall we? Writer Matt Hickey clarifies some of the points he made in the post below and thanks readers for their feedback. This post was also altered to reflect the correct retail price for the G1.
When it comes to the next-gen phone wars, two handsets immediately come to mind: Apple's iPhone and the G1 from HTC and T-Mobile, the first commercially available phone to run Google's Android OS.
The G1 retails to new customers for $179, while the basic-model iPhone goes for for $199. … Read more