Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Chromebook Pro

Samsung are introducing a new high-end hybrid laptop running ChromeOs (Chromebook) with a touchscreen and stylus. The stylus is not the same type as used in the troubled Galaxy Note 7. At $500 US this is a high price as most Chromebooks are half that price. The high resolution 12 inch screen, 6 core CPU, running Android Apps and long battery life could help sell this Unit. The Laptop has a 360 degree hinge allowing it to flip over for use as a tablet. Samsung are positioning the Chromebook Pro as a premium device.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Superbook Laptop

Superbook is a kickstarter project that has attained enough money to start manufacture. It started out as an idea for using a Windows phone as a computer linked by cable to a empty Laptop shell. As the Windows phone was a complete failure the designers switched to Android phones. This will be in time for Android 7 which has been updated to support multi freeform windows, just like a standard Desktop. As the Laptop only has a screen, keyboard and a power supply it should be relatively cheap. The linking cable plugs into the USB port of the phone. The plug that is normally used to charge the phone actually has other another set of connections called MHL (Mobile Hi Definition Link). This supports Video and Audio streams for an HDMI port on a TV or Monitor. The Keyboard and Trackpad can use the bluetooth wireless.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Windows 10 Aniversary Update

Microsoft released the first yearly Update to Win 10 and it is free. There is a 10 day optional Rollback if something fails. The main change is that the Cortana (Digital Assistant) search is now the main way of finding and starting things. The option for switching this off has been removed. It will show notifications more like a phone. Skype will now be part of the operating system and not a stand alone program, and has a new interface. On September 15 Skype will have to be registered as a service to continue using it. This is possibly in response to "Viber" which is what the mobile users prefer. Viber does not require registering but a cellphone number is used as identification even when used on a tablet or PC. Viber has twice the number of users than Skype.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Windows 10 Nag screens

Microsoft are going full screen in their final bid to push for the Windows 10 free update which finishes at the end of this month. The good news is that the standard "RED X" is going to close the dialogue box instead of going ahead with the installation as in the previous nag screen messages. Changing the definition of a standard function to trick people into install something they did not want can only be classed as malware. The question that has not been answered is how Microsoft is going to make money from the lost revenues by upgrading old computers to Windows 10 for free.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Google moves into the Laptop arena.

Android is finally coming to the desktop via the Chromebook / Chromebox. Google announced that this month Chromebooks with touchscreens will get Android and all the rest in three months time.The ChromeOS will remain and the Android OS will be run in parallel with it, with both operating systems interconnecting. This will give the Chromebook an estimated one million extra apps, although not all will be useful in a desktop mode. Education is where most Chromebooks are found and these can disable Android to keep the security at a higher level. These will make a great Laptop as Android is already well known as the most popular Mobile phone and Tablet.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Android version 'N'

The next version of Android is destined for the Tablet, Desktop and TV with multi resizable windows. Google calls these 'Freeform Windows' which will be Androids first serious move to the Desktop computer. A name has not yet been given to this version so it is simply known as 'N' which will eventually be the first letter of a confectionery item. The main advantage of resizing the windows is that 'Portrait' screens can be displayed on the monitor as shown in the accompanying picture.   

Friday, March 4, 2016

Android Desktop

Android is now powering more than 1.5 Billion devices so the next step would be the Desktop. This has a problem that most applications are in Portrait mode and there is no Taskbar. Jide, is a Chinese software company that has overcome these restrictions. The developers have their origins at Google and are calling their new operating system 'Remix OS'. The Portrait apps use resizable windows so they are shown correctly when using a Landscape Monitor. More than one application can be shown at the same time as the accompanying image shows. Also a Taskbar has been added to the bottom of the screen. This OS is in beta and is a free download for use with most modern PC's, Desktop or Laptop, using a bootable 8Gb Flash drive. Google Playstore has to be added after the system is running.

Russia starts building its own PC's

Tavolga is a Russian computer company that is manufacturing the new "All in one" PC's for general use. With sanctions in place they have chosen a Homegrown 1.2GHz Dual core 'MIPS' processor that is more likely found in a TV Set top box. Running Linux Debian 8, which is the same base Ubuntu uses, should give this computer enough power to run Libeoffice, Firefox, Chrome, VLC etc. The Screen is 21 inches and the unit has all the normal ports for general use. Price is not availabe yet.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Win 10's new Nag Screen

Click on image to enlarge
Microsoft's new Nag screen for Windows 7 and Windows 8 users is designed to trick the unwary into installing Windows 10. "Upgrade now" or "Upgrade tonight" are the only options given. If the Red Cross in the top right hand corner is used to close the dialogue box then Windows 10 will not be installed. The fact that Microsoft is using these methods to force install Windows 10, should be a reminder that at some stage this new Operating System has to be paid for. Microsoft is not a "Non Profit organisation".