Surface with Windows 8 Pro is coming…

Microsoft announced that Surface with Windows 8 Pro will available in January 2013 in two versions: 64GB at $899 and 128GB at $999. It’s obvious that we will need the more expensive one…

The good news now:

  • The new Surface Pro will include a Surface pen with Palm Block technology that prevents your handwriting from getting interrupted if you accidently place your palm on the screen as you write.
  • As with the RT version Touch Covers and Type Covers will be sold separately.
  • Dark Titanium VaporMg casing.
  • Dual 2×2 MIMO antennas.
  • Intel’s third generation Core i5 processor.
  • 10.6” 16:9 ClearType display at 1920×1080 full HD resolution.
  • A full-size USB 3.0 port.
  • A mini DisplayPort can drive an external display up to 2560X1440 resolution.
  • Surface Pro will run all current Windows 7 desktop applications plus the metro Modern UI apps.
  • Less than two pounds and less than 14 millimeters thick.

The only drawback till now seems to be the battery life which, according to a twitter post and some calculations based on Surface RT, will be about 4 hours. We have to wait until January to find out if this is true. If it is so, then its usability is less than expected. We want it thin, but we also want it to run for a day…


We are living in a pre-PC era

It seems that the post-PC era is closer to the pre-PC era where the ruling company could dictate its own hardware specifications.

For the main 3.5″ SATA hard drive bay in the new 2011 machines, Apple has altered the SATA power connector itself from a standard 4-pin power configuration to a 7-pin configuration. Hard drive temperature control is regulated by a combination of this cable and Apple proprietary firmware on the hard drive itself. From our testing, we’ve found that removing this drive from the system, or even from that bay itself, causes the machine’s hard drive fans to spin at maximum speed and replacing the drive with any non-Apple original drive will result in the iMac failing the Apple Hardware Test (AHT).

Read the whole article here: Apple Further Restricts Upgrade Options on New iMacs Other World Computing Blog.

Infinite Loop is the address. Right? I’m back in the 80s… What was that? A Delorean?

A supercomputer in your hand

Older guys like me who have spent some decades in this “industry” still remember Cray and his creations. When someone plays with Angry Birds or “composes” music on GarageBand, we forget how far we have moved with processing power, size and power consumption in the last 25 years.

A research group has run a test on Apple iPad 2, and it turns out that the tablet would be a rival for a four-processor version of the Cray 2 supercomputer, which, with eight processors, was the world’s fastest computer in 1985. They have run the test on only one of the iPad microprocessor’s two processing cores. When they finish their project, they estimate that the iPad 2 will have a Linpack benchmark of between 1.5 and 1.65 gigaflops which would have insured that the iPad 2 could have stayed on the list of the world’s fastest supercomputers through 1994. More here: The iPad in Your Hand: As Fast as a Supercomputer of Yore –

IEEE’s Spectrum magazine had recently an article, The Tops of the Flops, on the recent performance increases and it was comparing 1.8 teraflops produced by Sony Playstation 3 (2006, 150 sq.m, 800 KWatts) with Sandia Lab’s ASCI Red (1997, 0.08 sq.m, <200 Watts). To get an idea of where we are now, Tianhe-1A in China’s (!) National Supercomputing Center has 186000 cores and a processing power of 4700 teraflops. For those who have access to IEEE’s content:

Green technology isn’t just a trend and Lenovo has the first certified laptop

Lenovo had some problems with Greenpeace in the past, but it seems that they learned their lesson well. UL announced that it has issued its first-ever Gold level Sustainable Product Certification for the laptop category to the Lenovo ThinkPad T420, scheduled to be launched later this year. This UL Environmental SPC Gold certification indicates a product has met the most stringent and prestigious of three levels of compliance in the industry-wide sustainability standard for laptops, IEEE 1680.1.

UL Environment tested the ThinkPad T420 to IEEE 1680.1 criteria including reduction or elimination of environmentally sensitive materials in product and packaging, energy conservation, end-of-life management and corporate environmental practices.

I’m waiting for my T420s. You know, the thinner, lighter, faster edition…

Lenovo ThinkPad T420 Is First Laptop To Get UL Environment’s Gold Certification.

Nokia and Microsoft – an unholy alliance?

We are living in interesting times… Nokia and Microsoft are “shaking hands” on many different things and not just a smartphone OS platform.

Till now they were considered to be “enemies” even though they had already agreements on Exchange and Office technologies. Starting from today, they are discussing about Ovi Maps and Bing (Nokia owns Navteq, one of the big two mapping companies – the other one is TeleAtlas owned by TomTom), XBox Live on Nokia devices, Bing Search and adCenter on Nokia devices and services.

Time will show if this strategic alliance can bear fruit or just cost money and lost jobs. The only certain thing is that competition is increasing and this is good for all of us. Some people in key positions are losing their sleep…



Today’s press release:

Nokia and Microsoft announce plans for a broad strategic partnership to build a new global ecosystem
February 11, 2011

Companies plan to combine assets and develop innovative mobile products on an unprecedented scale

Nokia Corporation
Stock exchange release
February 11, 2011 at 9.30 (CET +1)

London, Feb. 11, 2011 – Nokia and Microsoft today announced plans to form a broad strategic partnership that would use their complementary strengths and expertise to create a new global mobile ecosystem.

Nokia and Microsoft intend to jointly create market-leading mobile products and services designed to offer consumers, operators and developers unrivalled choice and opportunity.  As each company would focus on its core competencies, the partnership would create the opportunity for rapid time to market execution.  Additionally, Nokia and Microsoft plan to work together to integrate key assets and create completely new service offerings, while extending established products and services to new markets.

Under the proposed partnership:

– Nokia would adopt Windows Phone as its principal smartphone strategy, innovating on top of the platform in areas such as imaging, where Nokia is a market leader.

– Nokia would help drive the future of Windows Phone.  Nokia would contribute its expertise on hardware design, language support, and help bring Windows Phone to a larger range of price points, market segments and geographies.

– Nokia and Microsoft would closely collaborate on joint marketing initiatives and a shared development roadmap to align on the future evolution of mobile products.

– Bing would power Nokia’s search services across Nokia devices and services, giving customers access to Bing’s next generation search capabilities.  Microsoft adCenter would provide search advertising services on Nokia’s line of devices and services.

– Nokia Maps would be a core part of Microsoft’s mapping services.   For example, Maps would be integrated with Microsoft’s Bing search engine and adCenter advertising platform to form a unique local search and advertising experience

– Nokia’s extensive operator billing agreements would make it easier for consumers to purchase Nokia Windows Phone services in countries where credit-card use is low.

– Microsoft development tools would be used to create applications to run on Nokia Windows Phones, allowing developers to easily leverage the ecosystem’s global reach.

– Nokia’s content and application store would be integrated with Microsoft Marketplace for a more compelling consumer experience.

“Today, developers, operators and consumers want  compelling mobile products, which include not only the device, but the software, services, applications and customer support that make a great  experience,” Stephen Elop, Nokia President and CEO, said at a joint news conference in London. “Nokia and Microsoft will combine our strengths to deliver an ecosystem with unrivalled global reach and scale. It’s now a three-horse race.”

“I am excited about this partnership with Nokia,” said Steven A. Ballmer, Microsoft CEO. “Ecosystems thrive when fueled by speed, innovation and scale. The partnership announced today provides incredible scale, vast expertise in hardware and software innovation and a proven ability to execute.”

Please visit for press materials.

About Nokia

At Nokia, we are committed to connecting people. We combine advanced technology with personalized services that enable people to stay close to what matters to them. Every day, more than 1.3 billion people connect to one another with a Nokia device – from mobile phones to advanced smartphones and high-performance mobile computers. Today, Nokia is integrating its devices with innovative services through Ovi (, including music, maps, apps, email and more. Nokia’s NAVTEQ is a leader in comprehensive digital mapping and navigation services, while Nokia Siemens Networks provides equipment, services and solutions for communications networks globally.

Nokia and Microsoft have entered into a non-binding term sheet. The planned partnership remains subject to negotiations and execution of the definitive agreements by the parties and there can be no assurances that the definitive agreements would be entered into.


Nokia – Press Release.

Noteslate – another approach to taking notes


Noteslate is promising another way to take notes. But will they deliver? The suggested price is also exciting: $99!


I copy from Noteslate’s website:


The NoteSlate is trying to define the product itself, archetype, electronic paper. We are trying to define this archetype for general public, bit against their today`s usual network expectations. It`s active, creative, you cannot browse the web, networks, read, watch, play… the Internet, social networks, connecting everywhere are just beginning, part of the contemporary future. Although with NoteSlate, you will have always something, what you can be in. We don`t want to be overwhelmed with technology. The biggest simplicity is enough to express the basics, to explain the idea. Today all the devices are for us technologies, screens, gates, glossy shining objects… we think you will be covered with that anyway. And fortunately you will have the NoteSlate. Maybe we would welcome something straight, less network connected, rural, almost natural, looking as a paper, physical, although very very useful. NoteSlate can be your own diary, notepad, writing memoir, for ideas, blurbs, hints, .. drafts,… your own world, you can believe on and you can create in. And you will love the wooden feeling of writing or drawing.


This low cost gadget is very useful for everyone in a daily life. You can keep it anytime with you. Every day you need some notes, meeting notes, sketches, concentrate on your work. This e-paper tablet could help you to make that process as simple as possible. Immediately. The low consumption technology is enough for that …. Our target are all the people out there (creatives, managers, accounts, planners, future thinkers, writers, drafters, teachers, children, schools, geeks, all living people also in the third world, who needs to grab ideas on the paper and are still doing that with pen. And for the lowest possible price, it will be accessible for all the parts of the world. And the highest value it has are your own notes, ideas,…

Technical description

In the form of NoteSlate was the simplicity as the main point. One colour defines it self. So we was trying to push the form into one compact flat surface. NoteSlate, lets call it paper A4+, has 210x310x6mm dimensions. The great slick design, thin body and beautiful raw screen brings the tablet further classic paper look and feel. The edges of the device are smoothly attenuate, and the display is visually connected to the body. The screen is matte again for paper feeling. The eInk monochrome display has 190x270mm, 13” diagonal (! 750x1080pixels), weight is 280g. There are three main physical buttons for amazing simple user experience: save current screen , view previous screen, delete current screen. On the top side are basic inputs (USB, switch, headphones, SD Card,..) and pen – the basic tablet input. Push that and the pen comes from the tablet. The basic model has the dark frame (turned off it is one flat surface). The whole NoteSlate product range is made from different color variations . Anyway always with one color scale display. We are planning also one special model, which has 4 (!) colors. One of the most important technical aspects is the low consumption, which gives the tablet about 180 hours life (about 3 weeks of regular daily work !!). NoteSlate is operated by own NS Firmware ver.0.7, which is just for basic drawings. There is also option for mp3 playback from headphones. In the future we will have option for NS Firmware 1.5 free upgrade of simple *.pdf text viewer / reader under Adobe license and we are preparing OCR recognition for written text. Part of NS Firmware will be published as open source for general usage.

Basic Characteristics

– REAL PAPER look design
– ONE COLOR display
– ONE TOUCH ability just with pen / eraser
– 210x310x6mm thin body
– 13 inch matte monochrome eInk display
– 190x270mm active display, 750x1080pixels
– 180 hours battery life (almost 3 weeks of daily work !)
– 280 g weight !
– basic inputs: pen with eraser, USB mini, SD Card, Jack 3.5 mm, AC/DC 12V
– Wi-Fi module on request with order (no added charge (!)
– no web browsing !
– end price $99
– ONE POINT OF SALE – NoteSlate online e-store

Special patents

– simple three button physical interface ( SAVE CURRENT SCREEN / SHOW LAST SCREEN / DELETE CURRENT SCREEN )
– pen magnetic holder directly on the tablet surface (throw the pen away and go !)
– any ordinary pen or pencil usage (works just on NoteSlate NATURAL model )
– real paper look and feel when using

Keith Combs’ Blahg

via Dig this slate device – noteslate®.