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Posts tagged laptop

(Nearly) completely open laptop project launches crowdfunded production run
April 3, 2014 | 3:16 am

novena-1068_pledge-bodyIn January, I covered the hardware hackers who had created a design to build a completely open laptop computer from scratch—including designing and building their own custom circuit boards. It didn’t look terribly pretty, and it wasn’t cheap, but the designs were completely open and publicly available to all. They were planning to crowdfund the design and production of a more-streamlined version. At the time, I wondered what the crowdfunded version of the laptop would end up costing. Now we know. Wired reports that the campaign is ready to launch, and these custom machines are anything but cheap. You can purchase...

Hardware hackers build their own laptop, tablet
January 12, 2014 | 4:08 am

novena_full-e1389122192543Well, there’s something you don’t see every day. On Makezine, hardware hacker Bunnie Huang writes about designing and building his own open-hardware, open-source laptop computer. He wasn’t satisfied with the current choices available to him, and he didn’t want to “downgrade” to a phone or tablet, so he and a friend put in the time and effort to make one themselves. While it doesn’t exactly look pretty, and it wasn’t exactly cheap, Huang reports it works well, and stands up to rugged use. After over a year and a half of hard work, I’m happy to say our machines are in a...

The ‘$100 laptop’ is now a tablet
December 21, 2013 | 1:00 pm

hisense7Whatever happened to the “$100 laptop”? On Engadget, Ross Rubin poses the question, looking at the original lofty goals of the OLPC to put computing in the hands of everyone for less than $100 and seeing what can be found in that range today. (Was that really all of seven years ago?) Now, of course, the “$100 laptop” is no longer a laptop at all. Back in 2006, Rubin tried to see what computers he could find at the $100 range, which consisted mostly of checking Ebay for computers that tended to have rather dubious pedigrees. This time around,...

Lego Mindstorms + Kindle + Laptop = E-book Scanner
September 7, 2013 | 6:47 pm

Fullscreen capture 972013 54201 PMPaging Rube Goldberg… Found via BoingBoing, Arik Hesseldahl has a report at AllThingsD about an Austrian university professor who has used a Lego Mindstorm kit to hack together an e-book de-DRM scanner out of his Kindle and his laptop. Professor Peter Pergathofer built a Lego device that keys the page down button on the Kindle, then the space bar on the computer, to take a picture of one Kindle page at a time. The computer then submits the picture to a text recognition service to OCR it into a text file. Pergathofer created the project to protest against...

‘Temporary’ Surface Pro Price Cut of $100 Now Permanent
September 1, 2013 | 1:48 pm

Surface ProI called it earlier this month when I wrote about the temporary price cut on the Surface Pro tablets. I said I wouldn’t be surprised if the cut became permanent, and now it has. Check out the All Things D article on the price cut. Their choice of image is priceless. They are also reporting that the cut, which previously had been available only to customers in the U.S., Taiwan, Hong Kong, China and Canada, is now available in all markets where the Pro is sold. They are also offering a $40 discount on Touch Covers and a $50 discount on Surface RT bundles. In...

Vision of the future, Microsoft style
August 10, 2013 | 3:00 pm

windows-home-serverI'm in the market for a new laptop, come Christmas, and a recent reconnaissance to Canada's only Microsoft retail store, which happens to be 10 minutes from my home, was illuminating. I wanted something small, light and portable. And option abounded for it—but the battery life for the small and cute things averaged about 3 hours. That is subpar for my needs. The Surface is as portable as my iPad and, I reluctantly admit, more robust. But I could go all day on a single iPad charge... As for storage, I was worrying about where I would out my...

Technology: No Big Deal Anymore?
July 16, 2013 | 3:30 pm

technologyI posted earlier about the computer shopping that's been going on in my family lately. Well, gadget lusts strikes again—the Beloved's mother showed me a 900-page doorstopper of a historical fiction novel she plans to take on an airplane with her, and I commented that it would be so much easier to just take an -ebook reader with her. There proceeded a 20-minute debate about whether she reads enough to 'justify' the purchase, and if so, what sort of purchase she should make. Privately, the Beloved and I concluded that, just as my own parents do with tech purchases, she is vastly...

How Has the Tablet Changed Your Life? Your Business? Your General Disposition?
April 17, 2013 | 2:10 pm

tabletIt's hard to believe it's already/only been three years since Apple introduced its category defining iPad. On the one hand, it seems like only yesterday. On the other hand, for those of us with tablet computers of one stripe or another, it's hard to imagine life before our new constant companions—in the same way those of us who came up before the Internet can barely remember the days before Pine. There was a great piece on Ars Technica about two weeks ago in which its editors reflected on the device, their initial impressions and its impact on their lives since. I recall my own...

Seattle blogger defeats Apple in small claims court
April 20, 2012 | 12:18 am

Although this story isn’t about e-books directly, it speaks to the mindset of Apple, one of the major players in the e-book and portable device category these days. Blogger Seattle Rex posts the story of how, after exhausting every possible avenue of mediation and redress, he took Apple to small claims court over its refusal to fix a known faulty logic board in his $4,000 computer as it had promised—and won an award in the amount of the cost of his computer. Apple sent two representatives to the hearing to argue against the need to replace the computer, but...

Hurdles Remain Before College Classrooms Go Completely Digital
February 21, 2012 | 9:20 am

Images That's the title of a most interesting article in ReadWriteWeb.  Written by someone in the trenches.  Here's an excerpt: If you were to visit the library on the campus where I teach, you would see students waiting to use outdated desktops in the computer labs and library, particularly around midterms and finals week. It seems odd at first, considering the school has a laptop requirement for all undergraduates. That means you have to have a laptop computer when you enroll, and presumably, as an instructor, I can require my students to bring them to any class. But here's the reality: laptops break,...

What writers write with, by Meredith Greene
January 26, 2012 | 9:12 am

Tablet vs laptop 300x156My aging laptop, a trusty and wonderful device–on which I’ve composed five novels, countless articles, poems and pieces—is nearing the end of its existence. I extended its life expectancy substantially by replacing various components as they wore out, namely the hard drive and battery pack, but still the Time Has Come to replace the device altogether. Recently, while standing in line at a coffee-shop, I observed an individual place a roll-out rubberized keyboard on a small bistro table and then plug it into his smartphone. He put the android device on a small stand and began typing away like mad. This...

Review: TruConnect prepaid 3G MiFi 3300
January 15, 2012 | 1:15 am

GEDC0518A while ago, I wrote about the idea of using a MiFi to retrofit 3G mobile web access to wifi-capable devices (such as e-readers), and I also mentioned the TruConnect MiFi pay-as-you-go service that allows bite-sized prepaid-3G-wifi usage with no contract required. It has been a couple of weeks since I received my TruConnect MiFi for Christmas, and I’ve used it enough to get a decent idea of how well it works. I use the MiFi mostly with my iPod Touch and iPad, though I have had the chance to try it with my laptop as well. Fundamentally,...