• Macbook Air is another sub-notebook eventually

    imageThis is almost the same spec as Macbook but whole lot thinner and lighter that Apple had never achieve in the notebook line before.Briefly specification:

    CPU Intel Core 2 Duo 1.6-1.8GHz (Merom, I guess)
    2GB of DDR2 SDRAM onboard
    13.3" Screen -- 1280 by 800 native resolution
    80GB 4200rpm P-ATA [1.8" I guess] or 64GB SSD
    802.11n + Bluetooth 2.1
    Backlit Keyboard
    5hr Battery Life
    1 USB port/1 mini-DVI port
    optional USB SuperDrive $99
    optional USB Ethernet Port $29

    Height: 0.16-0.76 inch (0.4-1.94 cm)image
    Width: 12.8 inches (32.5 cm)
    Depth: 8.94 inches (22.7 cm)
    Weight: 3.0 pounds (1.36 kg)

    Damn! it looks so good on the paper, but until now there is no word on price, maybe we have to wait for Steve Jobs' KeyNote ended first. However, I found that Mac dealing with non-CD notebook so good. They just use CD Drive on another Mac and share to Macbook Air. Although it's the basic thing we always do, most people just can't do this on their own. Nice job, Apple.

    remote disc

    From the spec (plus Apple logo on the lid), it won't cost less than 1.5 grand for sure; it's just too far to reach since Thinkpad X61s will cost you only $800 after promotion/coupon and it's lighter (but thicker) and faster than this baby.

    Macbook Air @ Apple.com

    updated: this baby will cost you $1,799 and $3,098.00 respectively by hard drive configuration--ooh, 2-3*Thinkpad X61s and about same price as Macbook Pro.. No more word :-x

  • e-book will be better after acquiring eReader by Fictionwise, won't it?

    imageOnly one thing that exacerbates eBook market is tons of DRMs out there. Even though you have such a great device like e-Ink device (Sony Reader, Amazon Kindle), or Nokia Internet Table (which has very nice screen, 220dpi), or even your PDA or notebook, you still have very huge obstacle in order to read because most devices have their own backing, and they mostly accept only one DRM.

    good e-book store and good device are parallel; You may think unlike me since MobiPocket.com, eReader.com, etc. offer many platforms like Mac, Windows, Palm, PPC, and Symbian. That covers almost all devices people use this day. Nonetheless, sadly, none of them are suitable for reading e-book. Since PDAs have such a low resolution and too small screen, thus you will end up with your eye pain after several pages. Any notebook or sub-notebook to date is too large to consider as portable, then you will find you couldn't read any time you want or it won't last long to the book ended.

    Suitable devices I could find all have the problem with DRM one way or the other. Firstly Nokia 770 or N800 series could be a good e-book reader device since they are portable and have decent screen, enough battery life, and great e-book reader program I could find--FBReader. But then again it doesn't support any protected e-book. Also, Kindle and Sony Reader are too strict to their own DRM and the bad part is their stores don't have the large resource as other stores.

    image About the store, MobiPocket and eReader are the websites who really strict on their DRM while Fictionwise offers various formats--support wide range of devices, both DRM and non-DRM. I won't say it's better than others, but I just hope there will be one provider who has bunches of e-books and provide a program for all e-book platforms really. As you may know, it doesn't that much, only a few more platforms left. Or actually Fictionwise + eReader could release their e-Ink or good enough device; that solution could be nice since they have enough resource to build up the community already.

    image Just so you know, I'm one of Fictionwise and MobiPocket customers, but not eReader. And I have heard that eReader is so good to allow your e-book, which encrypted with your own credit card number, to put in many devices as you want. IMO, It's a better way comparing to MobiPocket that allows you to use with only 4 (or 5?) devices at a times--you may add/remove devices as you want, so you could count it as any devices, but it's just too much effort.

    Briefly, I however just don't care how it works. All I care is having the better device for reading and I am able to use that to read books I want without any trouble or effort. I bet there are people like me a lot and that's the main reason why they are still reluctant to buy e-book reader and e-book for the time being. Perhaps we just have to wait an iPod-like e-book reader--the one that's good enough to rule them all. I hope merging of Fictionwise and eReader could do some impact to an e-book landscape rather than they just want to gain more profit themselves.

  • A Trend of Notebook in Year 2008, fashionable notebook maybe?

    Since there are tons of new CPU/GPU in the market now, most of them are over-performance of what we really need now. Joe and Jane folks, we all use computers mainly for surfing the Internet, checking e-mail. You may argue that you are kind of gamers, graphic designers, or whatever bla bla bla... imageBut you may know, you are minority.

    Ever since I have computer at the age only 1-digit, I mainly use computer for gaming, and learning something inspiring me until now. But at that time, notebook or portable device is just too expensive for everyone, only business use, I bet. These days, I guess kids still do the same as me, but, because of computer getting smaller, lighter, and more importantly cheaper so that they could bring their new tools (& toys) to school for lecturing. That's why the word *fashionable* is coming to this world in order to increase "wow" factor and let buyer take the money out easier.image

    I guess Apple should be named as the first who brought this word to the electronic world really from iMac G3 up to now. But, this year, I bet you will see lots of fashionable notebook going to town. First, unfashionable Dell was starting to color their popular Inspiron line, though it was a first take which was not quite impressive since there are complaints about wearing out of the color. However, from what I can see, they are selling quite well comparing to other models. I guess it's just like something extra on top, no reason why you wouldn't get it?

    That just was the start; the upcoming is not only plain color anymore, it's getting more style. For Dell new Inspiron 1525 series, you will see choices of unique patterns like strips or waves.

    imageimage

    imageBut the most impact model of Dell is XPS series, m1330 and m1530, they are just so appealing in a way Dell customers couldn't ever imagine. Not only did Dell do this, others are on the way as well. HP gives you such a variety of very cool choice like this:-

    image image

    Also, Lenovo who doesn't seem to care much about their consumer line is going to release the small notebook in Chinese red suit and its siblings named ideaPad U110, Y510, and Y510.

    image image

    Don't get me wrong, fashionable doesn't have to be colorful, though colorful is preference and easier to present. Some notebooks like Macbook and Asus Eee PC are good examples of fashionable notebook without color (color version comes later on anyway.) They have lots of wow factor in itself much more than many models in the market.

    image image

    All in all, these are just the example of upcoming notebook. And you know all these notebooks haven't had any kind of horse power hardware. Thus, year 2008 is going to be the year of fashionable notebook indeed. We'll see!

  • Is a format war over? Blu-ray eventually?

    I just have no idea really because I haven't had any chance to have any Hi-Def disc drive myself. However, I thought this war already ended up months ago. Now I just sit reading news and surprising why people are still whining about this again and again...

    image The previous format war is recordable DVD standard, DVD-R or DVD+R. This ended up peacefully by hybrid drive which is able to handle both of them. With the same scenario, I thought the release of Samsung BD-UP5000 1080p HD-DVD Blu-Ray Disc Combo Player is great ending--no compromise, and fully compatible with both. It was about $1049 in Q4, 2007, and now, only a week of 2008 it's only $799. No doubt, there will be bunches of Combo player like this coming very soon (now LG) and, surely, the price will go deep down rapidly over time like you had seen with other previous formats--DVD, VHS, or else.

    The question is why? why do people still talk about this war? here, here, and here. Warner will go for Blu-ray exclusive and is that it? I don't think so. Even though Blu-ray has more capacity (dual-layer: 50GB) per disc comparing to HD-DVD(dual-layer: 30GB), the price is higher as well. For example, Amazon sells Blu-ray and HD-DVD around $19.95 to mostly $27.95 and mostly $19.95 respectively. From what I have seen, the price is going to be real vital factor which consumers decide to get. Like me, I still prefer burning with single-layer DVD (20-40c/disc) to dual-layer DVD ($1.25-?/disc) because of the price solely. Nevertheless, I still prefer to see this war ends with whatever you choose, we can play.

    In short, all I hope is both of them become cheap so that we all can take the advantage of them.

  • How to install Thai input in Eee PC

    I don't know if this is useful, but I found many sites mentioned that Eee (Xandros) is not capable of handling Thai--only for input, I guess. So this could help somebody who passes by and is finding how to add Thai as an input language.

    Originally, Eee PC comes with English and Chinese, of course. Thus, it needs something to switch between those languages already. Luckily it is SCIM - Smart Commom Input Method Platform. If you are familiar with another linux distro and using other language besides English, you will know it well. This is all you have to know in order to add Thai or any language as a keyboard input.

    image

    source: screenshot of openSUSE 10.3

    Basically, SCIM has 2 parts which are core programs and tables (.bin & .png) for any languages. Usually, when you install SCIM, it will bundle tons of table for you to choose, but unfortunately Eee does have only English and Chinese. So, what you have to do is copying the table for the language you need into SCIM directory. That's it!

    I upload all non-CJK tables for SCIM in Sky Drive here, it's only 110kB, so you may add all that or just choose what you want.

    After you got the file, you have to extract and put them in

    /usr/share/scim/

    or if you want to add only Thai language, you have to copy Thai.png in icons folder to /usr/share/scim/icons and Thai.bin in tables folder to /usr/share/scim/tables. (you have to gain root privilege in order to do so)

    image

    Then you have to set for a hotkey for switch the language a bit. You might not use grave accent though since grave button is not on the right place as usual keyboard. I found that Ctrl+space is very comfortable way to switch, but it's just my way.

    Step-by-Step: how to add thai for eee pc:

    1. download SCIM table from my Sky Drive here
    2. Extract to where you want, assume /home/user
    3. get into Terminal (Ctrl + Alt + T)
    4. gain root privilege

    sudo -i

    5. copy 2 files needed for a lauguage you want

    cp /home/user/scim/icons/Thai.png /usr/share/scim/icons/
    cp /home/user/scim/Tables/Thai.bin /usr/share/scim/tables/

    6. right-click on SCIM and set for a hotkey
    7. you are now able to type Thai on Eee PC, congratulation!

    #-----added on 2007-12-25---- การลงภาษาไทยใน eee pc --------#
    Additional part for you guys who prefer Pattachote keyboard layout (ปัตตะโชติ บน eee pc) pattachote on Eee; ปัตตโชติ บน eee

    First of all, you don't have to follow the step above. You have to do something a bit different which is adding scim-thai repository.
    1. Get into terminal by ctrl+alt+t
    2. add repository that has scim-thai (one I know is from linux.thai.net)

    sudo kwrite /etc/apt/sources.list

    add the following line into the file, then save and exit.

    deb http://linux.thai.net/apt ./

    3. update the repositories and install scim-thai in terminal

    sudo apt-get update

    You may have to try several times until you haven't seen an error. Then:-

    sudo apt-get install scim-thai

    apt-get_scim-thai
    4. once you finished installation; restart once--I don't think it needs to but scim sometimes confuses about adding new stuffs.
    choose_layout_in_scim-thai
    5. After you get back; setting in SCIM then you all set!
    test_keyboard_on_eee

    Happy New Year! I hope you find some fun with your Eee PC!