The Commodore 64 Is Back – Would You Buy One?

It you don’t know what a Commodore 64 computer is, let me explain how computing was back in the ’80s. The Commodore was one of the first powerhouse computers that was made for consumers. It contained a whopping 64 kilobytes of memory, and had a separate graphics and sound card. The Commodore was a popular computer for home computing use and the company sold two million units the first year. One must remember that the cost was $595 and did not include a monitor. It was pricey for its day but was well worth the cost at the time. I know because I was one of those who bought the unit when it first hit the street.

Today’s Commodore 64 computer has the familiar look of the older system, but contains today’s processing units, more RAM than the original and a host of other new features that makes the unit able to handle today’s computing needs. The units come with a 1.8GHz dual core processor, optional Blu-ray player plus built-in ethernet and HDMI ports. There are five different models ranging in price from $250 up to $900. Higher price units offer more RAM, Wi-Fi, and other goodies.

There is one thing that potential buyers need to be aware of, and that is that the new Commodore 64 comes with its own operating system. Those who wish to experience older 8-bit, 16-bit, or 32-bit era software can do so and the system is compatible with games made for the Vic-20, C16, C64, C128 and AMIGA computers. The company also states that the operating system includes a host of productivity software in the package. The company further states that its operating system is Linux-based, offering the modern features that today’s computer user expects to have on a system.

This is a very interesting project and should attract those who want the nostalgia of an older system but with the newest and latest hardware features — features that were not available back in the ’80s.

I guess my question is this: would you buy one of the new Commodore 64 computers?

Comments welcome.

Source – Commodore 64 Web site

Dell Inspiron Duo – Part Tablet And Part Notebook – Reviewed

Just before the holidays, I had spoken with a neighbor who was looking to buy a new computer. He mentioned his looking at both notebook and tablet computers, but was having trouble making up his mind. I briefly mentioned the Dell Inspiron Duo, and its part notebook part tablet design; I basically didn’t give it further thought about what he bought — until on Monday night when he called. Sure enough he had ordered a Dell Inspiron Duo several weeks ago and he knew I had a Cr-48. So we decided to swap computers for a day, which gave me the opportunity to review the Duo.

The first thing I had to do was put my prejudice aside regarding Dell computers. A decade ago I recommended Dell computers to all of my clients. But when Dell farmed out its technical support overseas, like others did, Dell lost its credibility. It became just ‘another PC maker’ and it was not offering anything new nor innovative. It also seemed to me that the quality of its hardware suffered. Again, Dell was no worse nor better than the others like HP, Compaq, and Acer to name a few.

Here is the first thing you must accept. Repeat after me: This is not an Apple iPad, this is not an Apple iPad. The Duo touch screen works fairly well. The only issue I noticed was that it appeared to me to be sluggish in performance. This could be a hardware issue since the little Duo comes with the Intel 1.5Ghz Dual-Core Atom processor. Windows 7 needs some extra horses, in my opinion. Also, I would prefer 3 GB of RAM instead of 2 GB, but that is just me.

Flipping from tablet mode to notebook mode is fairly simple. You just flip the screen and you are ready to go. But like with all touchscreen devices, this one is also a fingerprint magnet. For some of us, fingerprints aren’t a bother. But for me, I hate greasy fingerprints. I even keep my cell phone case and screen clean and free of fingerprints.

The Duo is also thick and heavy. Trying to hold the unit in one hand and use the touch screen with the other requires a good deal of strength. I had my wife try it and she thought it was heavy for holding in one hand, but worked just fine when placed on her lap or table.

I have another concern about the Duo. Since this is a brand new product and a brand new design, I wonder how long one could continue to flip the screen before developing problems? I think that waiting for the second generation of the Duo is advisable, unless you need the latest and greatest right now.

I think that Dell has a great idea and the Duo at $549 is reasonably priced for what you get. Yes, the notebook/touchscreen Duo could use a few additional hardware features, like more RAM, faster processor, better Web cam, and a media card reader. A future version of the Duo that addresses these concerns could be a winner, IMO.

If you own a Duo, please share your experience with us.

Comments welcome.

Source – Dell

The New Dell Inspiron Duo – Is It A Good Idea Or A Great Idea?

Dell is getting ready to introduce a new Inspiron model that is dual purpose. One side is a tablet and when you flip the screen you have a notebook computer. Specifications for the new computer include an Intel 1.5 GHz dual-core Atom processor, 2GB RAM, 250 hard drive, Broadcom HD graphics accelerator and Windows 7 Home Premium will be standard.

Here is what the unit looks like:

Once the screen is flipped you have either a tablet or notebook:

The Dell computer will come in black, blue and red. The chassis is made of a rubber material for protection and secure handling. Battery life is limited to only 3 hours. The unit does come with 2 USB ports and Java support.

Pricing starts at $549.

But here is a question for you. Is this a good idea or a great idea? Would you buy one?

Comments welcome.

Source – Dell

Source – Yahoo News

Apple iPhone & Their Secret Stuff – But Is It Really A Secret?

Apple has sent a letter to the FCC telling the governmental agency that there is more to the Apple iPhone than what the public knows.  In the letter Apple goes on to state that it would like the FCC to freeze photos of the iPhone for at least 45 days. The letter also states that:

“Although Apple has begun to market the device publicly, these documents reveal technical and design information that has not been publicly disclosed in such marketing and that is protected by Apple as confidential and proprietary secrets.”

The really big secret seems to be that Apple has kept hidden that the newest Apple iPhone will have 512 MB of RAM, more than double what its predecessor had. I’m excited.  If you want to find out any secrets about the Apple iPhone, just head into any bar in Redwood City, California and some Apple employee will spill his guts. LOL

Comments welcome.

You can view all of the secret documents here. You may be disappointed at what you see. I was.

Is It More RAM, A Faster CPU, Or Faster HD That Really Matters?

This morning as I wandered around the Internet I spotted an article about AMD and its new 6 core processor that it will soon be introducing. While thinking about the merits of a 6 core vs a 4 or 2 core, I thought back on days gone by when 8 MB of RAM and a 33 MHz processor was cutting edge. I also thought about the system I am sitting at with its dual core processor and 3 GB of RAM and sat in wonder on how far we have come. But my thoughts also included these.

A faster CPU, more RAM, or a faster HD — when it comes to computing power, which is most important and does it really matter? I already know the answer to my own question. It is all of this hardware working together that produces the raw power of any PC. So than the question is, does it really matter? I am not talking about someone who needs the extra power to run video editing, high power games, and professional multi-tasking applications.

I am talking about you, me, and the average person. Personally I prefer a fast Internet connection, since I spend a lot of time on the Net. With Facebook accounting for some 400 million users, and being touted as the new Internet, do we really need more powerful machines for the average consumer? I think not. In fact the PC is becoming slowly obsolete and the next wave of what we consider computers will be tablets and phones. No, the PC is not going to die overnight, since businesses will still use them. But for the average Joe or Jane, a high Internet connection will be more important than minor improvements in CPU speed ever will.

Just my two cents. What do you think?

Comments welcome.

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