I am going to bet that you know what the application “Outlook on the Desktop” does without me even having to describe a single byte of it. Congratulations; You win. Good day sir, ma’am.
You might be able to guess the app’s overall purpose, but I think you’ll be even more interested once you actually get the nitty-gritty of what it does. Let’s hit the big question first, though. Why would you even want to slap a widget-like implementation of Microsoft Outlook on your desktop to begin with?
Here’s my answer. I love Outlook on the Desktop for two main reasons: I like staring at my desktop as much as possible (especially during that half-hour in the morning when coffee is beginning to work its magical effects on my tired brain), and I like being able to quickly glance at my calendar while I’m in the process of doing other things.
Yo, dawg! We heard that you like operating systems and internet browsers, so Jolicloud’s letting you have an operating system and a browser with another operating system inside of that browser! It’s a cloud computing solution so slick that we’ve made it our Chrome Web App of the Week.
Business and institution customers have a line of new small form factor commercial desktop PCs to choose from. The new compact PCs come courtesy of Acer, which just announced its Veriton L4610G ultra small form factor (USFF) and Veriton X2110 SFF desktops packed with up to an Intel Core i5 processor and Nvidia GeForce 6150 graphics.
The sky isn't falling, the world isn't about to end, and PCs aren't dying. Why, then, is market research firm Gartner bugging out? Call it an overreaction or a temporary blip as tablets settle into the marketplace (or a little of both), but according to Gartner, worldwide PC shipments totaled 84.3 million units in the first quarter of 2011, a 1.1 percent slip from the same period one year ago. Doesn't sound like much, but Gartner says the shipment results are indicative of a potential sluggishness, not just a normal seasonal dip.
Hewlett-Packard on Tuesday announced a bunch of new additions to its workstation portfolio. The reinforcement exercise adds a lot of variety to the company's EliteBook series of mobile workstations with three new models - 8760w, 8560w and 8460w, whereas the Z210 is the only new workstation of the desktop variety.
Nvidia on Tuesday welcomed a new mid-range part to its family of Fermi graphics cards. Based on the company's 40nm GF116 GPU, the new GeForce GTX 550 Ti is priced below $150, making it Nvidia's most affordable 500 series desktop card thus far. Keep reading after the break for more detailed GTX 550 Ti specs.
With all-in-one (AIO) PCs driving most of the growth within the non-mobile computer market, it is no surprise that vendors are increasingly focusing on this lucrative category. Taiwan-based Asus is also constantly trying to raise its all-in-one game. The ET2700 is its latest play for dominance in the burgeoning market for AIOs. Hit the jump to see the ET2700 in action.
An upcoming Linux kernel patch has Linux patriarch Linus Torvalds very excited about the huge performance boost it promises. His enthusiasm is not unfounded either. The 233 line patch by Linux kernel developer Mike Galbraith punches way above its weight by reducing maximum desktop latency by over ten times and average latency by a factor of 60, paving the way for a faster, more responsive desktop experience.
“Yeah. And I have to say that I'm (very happily) surprised by just how small that patch really ends up being, and how it's not intrusive or ugly either. It's an improvement for things like smooth scrolling around, but what I found more interesting was how it seems to really make web pages load a lot faster,” Torvalds said in an email.
“So I think this is firmly one of those "real improvement" patches. Good job. Group scheduling goes from "useful for some specific server loads" to "that's a killer feature".
According to Linux-centric site Phoronix, the wonder patch has been designed to “automatically create task groups per TTY in an effort to improve the desktop interactivity under system strain.” As the Linux 2.6.37 nearing a second release candidate milestone, users will have to wait until 2.6.38 to tap into the huge speed boost.
Meanwhile, you can watch the two demo videos Phoronix posted to elucidate the tremendous performance boost this scheduler patch provides.
Walking into the Pande Lab at Stanford University is somewhat of a hardcore geek’s ultimate dream. This is, after all, where the real work gets done—or should we say, work units. For the various desktop systems and consoles scattered around the area are all a part of a larger initiative that likely you and I, as well as Stanford graduate students, researchers from around the globe, and consortiums of geeks and enthusiasts alike, have all contributed to.
But don’t take my word for it. Dr. Vijay Pande, an associate professor of chemistry, structural biology, and computer science over at Stanford—as well as the longtime director of the Folding@Home distributing computing project, which his aptly titled “Pande Lab” oversees—estimates that around 400,000 systems actively “fold” at the current moment. Given the program’s fairly linear growth of around 40,000 new systems a year, Folding@Home should be able to push past half a million “connected” PCs easily before its crystal anniversary.
Acer probably takes the name of its gamer-specific Predator desktop range too literally. The world's second largest PC maker has left no stone unturned in making every singly Predator desktop look curiously intimidating. The latest members of the Predator family also manifest this design philosophy. But let's for once turn blind to the exterior so we can sift through their innards.
The Acer Aspire Predator AG7750-U3222 packs in a quadcore Intel Core i7-930 CPU, NVIDIA GeForce GTX470 graphics, 1.5TB storage (supports up to 8TB), and 12GB SDRAM. Acer is asking $1,999 for the liquid-cooled AG7750.
But if you can't justify giving an arm and a leg for the AG7750, then try to justify spending $1,350 on the mid-range AG5900, which features a Core i7-870 CPU, 8GB of memory, 1.5TB of storage space and ATI Radeon HD 5850 1GB graphics.
“We’re now offering two killer Predator models with the goal of satisfying a wider range of gamers,” said Steve Smith, senior business manager of consumer desktops for Acer America. “Not everyone needs the most extreme gaming rig, so we designed the AG5900, a more mainstream alternative to our premium AG7750. The AG5900 boasts excellent core features, such as a high- speed processor, excellent graphics and tons of memory to hobble the competition at an affordable price.”