Rules, rules, rules. It's one of the few things the open-source world has in common with its closed alternative. There are rules for downloading open-source projects. Rules for using open-source projects. Rules for distributing open-source projects. Rules for modify... ok. You get the idea.
It's one thing for open-source developers to define the legal parameters associated with the tinkering of their pet projects. That's the pill you swallow when you agree to download these bits of community-driven software. But that's also where the control factor ends. You can run open-source software on any platform you like. Depending on the parameters of the license, you can even populate your favorite open-source software applications to a new platform of your choosing--like a little bee in a digital garden, if you will.
Flying over the friendly skies of the closed-source world tells a different tale. Microsoft makes the rules here. Or, at least, as many rules as it can get away with making in relation to which of its operating systems you can use and how you can go about using them. Want to run a ton of programs at once? That's a license issue. Want access to additional functionality? Buy a better license. The list goes on, but it doesn't just end at the software level. A recent report has revealed Microsoft's intentions for Windows 7 in the netbook space, but this isn't the first time Microsoft has demanded that hardware manufacturers bow to a certain specification in order to bundle its operating systems along for the ride.
Check out Microsoft's full restrictions after the jump!
Taking DIY to a whole new level, Steve Chamberlin, a Belmont, California, videogame developer, rolled his own 8-bit CPU for an aptly named project he calls "Big Mess of Wires," or BMOW. The project took him 18 months, $1,000, and 1,253 wires to complete.
"Computers can seem like complete black boxes," Chamberlin said. "We understand what they do, but not how they do it, really. When I was finally able to mentally connect the dots all the way from the physics of a transistor up to a functioning computer, it was an incredible thrill."
The project began with a 12x7-inch Augat wire-wrap board with 2,832 gold wire-wrap posts purchased on Ebay for $50. Over time, BMOW came to encompass 1,253 pieces of wire painstakingly wrapped at a rate of 25 wires per hour to create 2.506 individually wrapped connections. More than just a prototype, Chamberlin has added a keyboard, LCD output, USB connection, three-voice audio, and VGA video to demonstrate a working computer.
For those of you in the San Mateo area, Chamberlin's BMOW will be on display at the fourth annual Makert Faire this weekend, May 30-31, as one of 600 DIY exhibits.
A sucker buys a new PC at the first signs of a slowdown. A savvy power user gives his aged PC a fighting chance for redemption. From tweaking your OS to compressing files to overclocking your videocard or CPU, there are plenty of ways to tune up a computer, and none require a trip to Bob’s House of New PCs. Follow along this step-by-step as we show you 21 of our favorite techniques for making a PC better, stronger, and faster — for free. These essential tweaks and tune-ups range from common-sense caretaking measures to practical adjustments that you'd be foolish to ignore. Combined, they release your PC's untapped potential and breathe new life into your system.
RussianMac is the latest company ballsy enough to tempt fate, and enter the fake Mac market.
On their site, they state that all of their machines come with a full version of Mac OS X Leopard pre-installed. They also state that the operating system will be able to receive automatic updates from Apple once everything has been installed. However, Apple has been able to dominate the Mac market because the OS X End User License Agreement (EULA), which clearly states that no one may install their software on hardware that hasn’t been sold by Apple. This clause has successfully shut down the entire Mac clone market.
But, in a twist, RussianMac claims that since they have bought the OS directly from Apple, they’re not in violation of the EULA (though, they are yet to explain how they’ve installed it on Apple’s hardware). It should be noted that the German company PearC was able to use that defense in order to sell machines in Germany, so perhaps this defense could work in Russia as well?
Building on their Republic of Gamers (ROG) brand, Asus recently announced the OC Station, a hardware-based, bay-mounted device that will allow users access to a slew of overclocking parameters.
The OC Station will fill up two 5.25-inch bays, and will feature a 3-inch TFT-LED display on an adjustable faceplate (movable up to 30 degrees). There is also a large rotary switch on the front, which is where the real business will take place. Users will be able to adjust fan speeds, change system voltages and frequencies in real time – all without having to use the BIOS. It will also let users check out their system information and change ROG-exclusive settings such as CPU Level Up and the Asus EPU-6 Engine.
No word yet on pricing or availability. But, if you’re interested in this type of thing (and I know you are), check out a leaked gallery of pictures here.
It's been a strange and wonderful ride watching solid state drive technology finally start to come into its own and threaten traditional hard disk drives. Frustrating too, as the handful of SSDs that manage to blaze a performance trail cost an exorbitant amount per gigabyte, while some of the lower cost drives based on the JMicron controller suffer from stuttering problems. That's why we're thrilled to see JMicron take a mulligan.
According to news site DailyTech, JMicron plans to unveil a new NAND flash controller at Computex. Designed to fix the aforementioned stuttering problem, the JMF612 chip will use an ARM9 core in a 289-ball TFBGA package and support the use of up to 256MB of DDR or DDR2 RAM for external cache duties.
The other part of the equation involves a new generation of NAND flash chips that are smaller, faster, and cheaper to manufacturer. At least one company -- IM Flash Technologies, a joint venture between Intel and Micron -- is said to already be building 34nm NAND, and SSDs based on the new chip(s) will support NCQ. Moreover, JMicron's refreshed controller has been specifically designed to take advantage of these new NAND chips.
We don't know if this will become a trend, but accident-prone gamers have little to fear with iBuyPower's new Battalion 101 CZ-10 gaming laptop. The release kicks off the company's new accidental damage protection plan, which comes standard on the Battalion and has gamers' backs in the event of spills or drops.
"We felt it was time to refresh our mainstream gaming notebook line," said Darren Su, VP of iBuyPower. "We are excited by the features and exceptional coverage we are able to offer with the CZ-10 Premium at a very competitive price."
Less exciting is the 15.6-inch Battalion's mishmash of both high and lower end components. Starting from the top and working our way down, the 101 CZ-10 comes equipped with Intel's Core 2 Duo Mobile T9550 processor (2.266GHz, 6MB L2 cache, 1066MHz frontside bus), 4GB of DDR3-1066 RAM, AMD's ATI Radeon HD 4650 graphics, 8X DVD burner, and a 500GB hard drive spinning at 5400RPM.
Other features include four USB 2.0 slots, HDMI, 3-in-1 media card reader, finger print scanner, and 6-cell battery.
The Battalion is available now starting at $1,235.
Intel this week said its Nehalem-EX processor, an 8-core beast of a chip, will go into production sometime later this year and start shipping in server systems by early 2010. Even better, each chip supports 16 threads, says Boy Davis, Intel's GM of the Server Platforms Marketing Group.
Already on-board is IBM, who is already developing a server based around Nehalem-EX. The server will hold eight processors, making use of 64 Nehalem-EX cores capable of handling 128 threads.
"We're very excited today to be the first to demonstrate Nehalem-EX," said Alex Yost, VP IBM BladeCenter.
In addition to more cores and threads, Nehalem-EX also ups the memory ante, doubling the capacity with up to 16 memory slots per processor socket.
Toshiba's facial recognition technology isn't new, but up until now, it hasn't been used in motor vehicles. During a recent demo, Toshiba showed how its system would allow drivers to control the A/C or change radio stations just by a glance, as well as alert distracted drivers who take their eyes off the road for an extended time.
Making all this possible is a camera that sits above the steering wheel. The camera can identify and map the driver's facial expressions, including head movement, eye direction, and blinks. Eventually this could even be used to alert drowsy drivers, Toshiba says.
It might be awhile before you get to actually play with this stuff, however, Toshiba says it doesn't currently have any immediate plans to commercialize its system or work with any auto makers, and instead is focusing on further developing the technology.
Going toe to toe with Apple's crazy popular iPod Touch is no easy task, but that's exactly what Microsoft will do with its new Zune player, and it isn't shy about saying so. The software giant this week confirmed plans to release the Zune HD this fall, which will be made available only in the U.S. at launch.
"This device is created to go head to head with the iPod Touch," Chris Stephenson, general manger of global marketing for Microsoft Zune, said in a telephone interview with CNet.
Helping it do that will be an OLED touchscreen and HD Radio tuner. The Zune HD will be based on Windows CE with a version of Internet Explorer customized for its touchscreen, Microsoft said. The company also indicated that Zune owners will be able to play HD content on their televisions with a dock.
Expect to see the Zune HD become the definitive Zune product going forward," Stephenson said. "You will continue to see the hard drive product in the market. (The Zune HD) will take over from existing flash devices."