Archive for Tech

MacBook Air 1.6Ghz HDD vs 1.8Ghz SSD Benchmarks

Some SSD numbers for the MacBook Air from Mac Rumors:-

MacBook Air 1.6GHz HDD 1.8GHz SSD
CPU 79.98 99.61
Thread Test 148.81 134.99
Memory Test 140.42 148.00
Quartz Graphics Test 96.89 107.74
Open GL 17.26 18.27
User Interface 105.81 113.53
Disk Test 24.05 47.26
 Sequential 42.21 40.82
    Uncached Write 30.96 MB/s 20.83 MB/s [4K blocks]
    Uncached Write 31.19 MB/s 26.32 MB/s [256K blocks]
    Uncached Read 7.27 MB/s 7.97 MB/s [4K blocks]
    Uncached Read 30.42 MB/s 48.75 MB/s [256K blocks]
 Random 16.81 56.13
    Uncached Write 0.57 MB/s 2.23 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Write 18.35 MB/s 16.92 MB/s [256K blocks]
    Uncached Read 0.35 MB/s 7.02 MB/s [4K blocks]
    Uncached Read 13.28 MB/s 48.24 MB/s [256K blocks]

(Larger numbers faster)

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AnandTech: The MacBook Air CPU Mystery: More Details Revealed

AnandTech: The MacBook Air CPU Mystery: More Details Revealed:

Why did Apple and Intel opt for a hotter than necessary chip for use in the MacBook Air? Here’s where our trail goes cold but we suspect that in order to bring the smaller CPU/chipset packaging to market earlier, some tradeoffs had to be made. Remember that CPU packaging controls far more than how big the chip is, but also governs FSB frequency, power delivery and getting data in and out of the chip itself.

The shiny die connects to hundreds of pins on the bottom of the package. The more pins that need to be connected, the higher the FSB frequency and the smaller the chip the more strain this puts on the packaging technology itself. It’s quite possible that one side effect of the small form factor CPU package is worse power delivery, requiring that the chip be given a higher than normal operating voltage.

The bigger concern however has nothing to do with packaging technology or operating voltages, but overall thermals. The MacBook Pro runs very hot and while the 20W TDP of the MacBook Air is significantly lower than the 35W TDP of the Pro, it’s high for such a small chassis. We won’t know for sure how hot the Air will get until it’s in our hands but the SSD route seems like an even better bet now that we know a little more about what we’re dealing with. Cutting down heat in that thin chassis will be very important, and moving to solid state storage is the only real option you have there

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Thunderbird sync with Zimbra and GCal

After seeing this post about Contact syncing with Zimbra and Thunderbird by Zindus. I figured I also see what progress the Mozilla Calender project had made.

Last time I checked Mozilla Calender was at 0.3, it is now at 0.7 and has come a long way. Installing 0.7 and adding an ICS shared link calender link from Zimbra just works and is very cool. It is possible to add events from Thunderbird, but I’ve noticed some issues deleting events. Tasks can also be added, but with Zimbra 4.5 they don’t seem to appear in the WebUI.

Some even further cool is the Provider for Google Calender, which also allows you to sync via the Private XML link to Google Calenders. Adding and deleting events seems to work with this provider, but not tasks.

Update: Zimbra events in Thunderbird can be “deleted” by cancelling them. (note from p24t: As of 5.0RC1 and earlier, Calendar events cannot be ‘deleted’ from Tbird. They must be marked as ‘Status: Cancelled’ through the properties dialog ‘More’ section (lightning 0.5) or from the menu Options -> Status -> Cancelled (lightning 0.7RC1) )

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Remember The Milk for Gmail

Remember The Milk for Gmail:

Remember The Milk for Gmail is a Firefox extension that allows you to manage your tasks in Gmail complete, postpone, and edit tasks, add new tasks and connect them with your emails, contacts, and Google Calendar events, automatically add tasks for starred messages or specific labels, and much more.

From Paul.

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Nokia, the N810 Tablet & the Long View

An interesting commentary on the different business models for the new phone platforms, Apple vs Nokia: Nokia, the N810 Tablet & the Long View « GigaOM.

To be sure, both the iPhone and the N810 are phenomenal pieces of engineering. But Apple is actively trying to restrict what runs on the application in an arms race of unlocking, software updates, and bricking. This has forced many firms (Skype, Webot) to get “applications” on the iPhone through the Safari browser.

Contrast this war with Nokia’s handset, which is based on Linux. Nokia is building a platform that can run arbitrary software. It’ll be messy, and will go through several iterations. But in the end, we know how this story plays out: iPhone is Compuserve; Nokia is the Internet. (Google’s (GOOG) much-speculated mobile device is also rumored to run a pared-down Linux.)

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Mozilla Prism

Prism is an application that lets users split web applications out of their browser and run them directly on their desktop.” I’ve been waiting for something like Prism for a while, a means to pull out some of the long run tabs I use for webapps. It is often a PITA when your browse hangs because of some flaky site and you can’t access your other tabs. Prism still seems to use one thread: XULrunner. So it might not be a complete solution if you have several webapps and one causes problems for the others.

Plus flash doesn’t seem to be working at the moment. This might or might not be a good thing. Flash is one of the main causes of memory issues in Firefox. I have a couple sites using flash, the FX Oanda tracker for example, that I would like to split out of main Firefox browser.

Prism seems to handle http links intelligently. I’m guessing that links to external sites a passed-thru. At least with both Gmail and GReader it works as you would expect.

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Gmail gets IMAP – Finally!

Excellent news: Gmail gets IMAP.

Note the comment at the end about logging out and in again. This seemed to work for me.

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The Everun – One of the best replacement for a Pocket PC

The Everun, a little PC to take everywhere – Mobility Site:

The Everun is a compact 5 inches UMPC. One of the best replacement for a Pocket PC in the market. The inclusion on it of a HSDPA option is a very big plus in this always connected world. I would like to see Raon Digital exploring solutions with other more powerful processors than the AMD Geode but at the same time I admire the good work done by Raon Digital achieving the highest possible performance in the Everun. The machine is clean, no crapware of any kind installed. You can start using it right out of the box, you don’t have to spend hours cleaning or uninstalling trials. There are two kinds of UMPC users, those who use the UMPC as their main PC and the other group that uses the UMPC as a companion PC. I would recommend this machine to anyone in the second group of users.

I had a play with the Everun while I was in Hong Kong a couple weeks ago. I was impressed with the quality of the unit, but at the time when it didn’t seem to balance against a OQO2, Q1U or P1010/810. Also in HK it is not a common unit, so the standard street price is above what you can get it at Dynamism. Given I was getting a TyTN II, I decided against the purchase.

This review strongly puts the unit into context for me: a Pocket PC replacement. The battery life is good enough, the XP Home aspect is non-important, and the solid system software integration a bonus. If I was needing to get an OQO2 to try for travel computing testing or replace my desktop, I’d probably consider getting one to replace my aging hx4700.

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Police wiki lets you write the law

New NZ Police Act with public assistance via a wiki – “Due to a new wiki launched by New Zealand police, members of the public can now contribute to the drafting of the new policing act.”

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Google Books

Google has just released a personalised version of Google Books. It looks quite cool. I’ve been meaning for a while to move my delicious monster library set to librarythings, might have to consider Google Books instead.

From lifehacker.

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