Category Archives: hardware

Computer Predicitions for Sep 1 2015

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We are having an interesting discussion at gaming tonight about the trajectory of the computer market. Iain and I are arguing that Windows PC’s are being squeezed out by tablets running iOS or Android. Tom and John argue that Windows dominates the workplace. John goes so far as to say he knows of *no* company that uses tablets.

Thus this post, where we will predict the market share of Windows PC’s in 3 years [Aug 2015].

I will go first and say that Windows will have 1/2 the market share it has now. Further, in the workplace it will have 2/3rds of its current market share. I will further predict that Windows will be relegated to 3rd place in market share in 4 years [Aug 2016].

John agrees with my 1/2 market share overall, but says 3/4 in the workplace. John thinks it will take 20 years [Aug 2032] before Windows is in 3rd place of market share.

Iain says non-Windows computers (which includes tablets but excludes phones) will be 40% of the market in 3 years [Aug 2015].

Tom says in three years there will be 3/4 the number of desktop PC’s (i.e. not tablets). This includes laptops as a “desktop PC”. He also says the absolute number of PC’s running Windows will only drop a little bit, say by 15%. The share of tablets sold in that year will be 50% and desktops+laptops at 50%.

Jeff includes smartphones and predicts tablets + smartphones will be [… Bueller?]

Vartan says the market share of PCs (vs tablets+smartphones) will be more than 1% in 3 years [Aug 2015]. The absolute number of PC users will be about the same.

Note: we all agree to allow MS Surface (remember those?) to be included as Windows PC’s, even the ARM ones.

iPhone Updates

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It seems that (a) Apple is pissed at Rogers data plans and is limiting its shipments of iPhones to Canada as a result, and (b) Rogers will let you buy an iPhone on your existing plan, without a data plan.

Now, *I* would think that you would have to pay a higher price for the iPhone, since Rogers is subsidizing them with their onerous data plans, but Sergey says that you will still be able to pay the $200/$300 prices. We will see, I suppose.

P.S. This is a “blog post” submitted via ping.fm , and I’m curious how it will look..

P.P.S. This is a second attempt. Hope I can delete the first one from LiveJournal..

Apple TV Hacking: success!

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I managed to get ssh working at last.
And then I tried to
enable USB storage,
but that was a mistake.
I thought it meant I could plug in a USB drive and the Apple TV would play content off of it.
But no, it meant rebuilding the kernel so that any USB drive plugged in to the Apple TV would have its main disk copied to it.

The idea is that this external, much larger disk will be the new boot volume.
But that’s not what I wanted at all.
So the Apple TV got stuck, so .. I reset to factory settings (that’s a brilliant option, btw).

So, I know I can do it now.
The scripts “out there” are pretty rough and tumble.
I’m thinking I may create a Mac OS X 10.4.9 partition on my Mac Pro, just so that I can copy over all the missing frameworks and libraries so that I can get things like wget to work..

New DVD drive: combo HD-DVD/Blu-ray?

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So I’ve been burning DVDs on my Mac Pro to free up disk space.
Leopard requires I wipe my hard drive (more on why later perhaps), so I need to vacate my main partition.
This means I often leave discs burning late at night when I go to bed.
When Toast finished burning a DVD, it opens the DVD tray with your shiny, newly-burned DVD.

Luisa is up early in the morning, and now that I’ve taken over her office, she likes to use my Mac.
It has Firefox, so she’s at home browsing the web, reading gmail, etc.
But yesterday morning, when she got up to leave, her knee smashed into the open DVD tray.

So, I’m down one DVD burner.
Not too bad, since my Mac has two (it’s a Mac Pro).
So, it’s time to shop for a new one.

Canada Computers has the
LG GGC-H20L Blu-Ray HD DVD Combo Drive
for sale at $294.
Hmmmm!
But I would only be able to watch Blu-ray and HD-DVD movies in Windows, since I don’t think Mac OS X supports it yet.
It also doesn’t *burn* either Blu-ray or HD-DVD.
So, .. is it worth it?

Visiting Fry’s next week

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So while I’m in San Francisco next week, I want to go visit a Fry’s Electronics to both pick up a new phone for home (the Panasonic KX-TG1034s with an extra handset), and to just browse.
There is no store near Toronto like Fry’s.
It’s like Canada Computers on steroids.

On the other hand, maybe there is an electronics place in San Francisco that sells the handsets at the same price and would be much easier to get to.
In order to go to Fry’s I’ll have to take the CalTrain (very similar to Toronto’s GO Trains) to Palo Alto and then
either walk or take a cab for two miles.

If anyone has advice about electronics stores in San Francisco, I would gladly appreciate it!

Missing my mini-FireWire cable!

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stack o videos
stack o’ videos – click for readable text!

So the deal is, if I transfer all our old 8mm videos to DVD/DivX, then we can buy a new HD video camera.

Cool, thinks I, all I need to do is borrow Vartan’s 8mm videocamera, which has FireWire out, making digitization a snap!

Vartans videocamera
Vartans videocamera

So I pick up the camera from Vartan Friday night, and tonight I try to set it up, only to discover that.. I can’t find my mini-FireWire cable!
You see, the videocamera has this teeny-tiny FireWire jack.

mini-FireWire jack
mini-FireWire jack

I have lots of full FireWire cables, but I think I may have lent out my mini-FireWire cable. 🙁

If you have such a cable I could borrow, or you have one of mine, let me know!
I’ll try asking at Friday night gaming, if I remember.
I guess I could always buy one while I’m in San Francisco next week..

Power Saving Trick for Mac Pro

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I put this in my crontab:


# save energy by disabling unused CPUs
0 0 * * * /usr/bin/hwprefs cpu_disable 2; /usr/bin/hwprefs cpu_disable 3; /usr/bin/hwprefs cpu_disable 4
30 8 * * * /usr/bin/hwprefs cpu_enable 2; /usr/bin/hwprefs cpu_enable 3; /usr/bin/hwprefs cpu_enable 4

This turns three of my four CPUs off between midnight and 8:30am every day.
Since each CPU burns a fair number of watts, I’m hoping this will save me some power costs.
I looked for a way to set the CPUs to “power conserve” mode or something in the energy/sleep settings, but no luck.