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Archive for the ‘Tech Ideas’ Category

How is your desktop like today?

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For at least 7 years now, I have been obsessed with having a dual monitor setup to increase desktop real estate. From the early days in 2000 which I had two 17” CRT monitor side by to the current setup of one 22” wide LCD and one 17” LCD (which lasted my over 5 years now, it’s a Philips).

I am of the notion that every one, regardless if you are a power user or a normal user, that having two LCD side by side will benefit you in a lot of ways. It is not about being ‘cool’ but rather allowing one to be more productive. Below are some benefits of having a dual LCD setup:

  • Maximize or minimize application will be minimal. Having two LCD, one can place two documents side by side when you need to refer to another. Instead of alt-tab or going to the taskbar, two LCD give you quick reference to documents / web site you need without losing sight of what you are doing.
  • It is a lot cheaper to extend you desktop real estate by adding another LCD to it as compare to say, buying a much bigger LCD screen. Some people argue that instead of having two LCD, they would rather just get a bigger one! If you can afford a bigger one, by all means please. It is always nicer to have larger LCD (in my opinion, 24” would be rather ideal as compared to the 30” which to me is an overkill… for now), no doubt about that. Even if you get a much bigger LCD, don’t throw away your old LCD! Stick it to the side and you will find good use for it. But if you really want to get productive by having more space on your desktop for different application, then you might want to consider just adding a reasonably size LCD to your existing one. For example: before I got my 22” Chimei LCD two years ago, I only have an old 17” Philips LCD (my two CRT monitors died on me before that). At that time there was a PC Fair here in Singapore and the 22” was going for $565. 24” were all costing around $800 ~ $1200. 30” were already out… and the temptation was to get a 24” which gives me a screen resolution of 1980 x 1200. My 22” only gives me 1680 x 1050 but due to budget constraint and knowing that my 17” LCD can be reuse, I opted for the 22” Chimei. Two years has passed and I am still loving my dual LCD setup.
  • Most modern day graphics card support dual LCD monitor and all modern drivers has the dual setup option very easily setup in Windows or Mac, so no worries on that.
  • Landscape + Portrait combo setup! There’s one thing I realized lately and that is a lot of documents I worked on a regular basis do require me to scroll up and down as most LCD manufacturer has turned to wide screen LCD and has completely dropped the standard definition (4:3) LCD… for different reasons. Some manufacturers do produce 22” and above wide screen LCD that could be rotated to portrait mode (Dell, Samsung, Philiips, Hp…) and that became a hope / obsession for me. Imagine having a wide screen LCD on one side and another wide screen LCD in portrait mode on the other side! That would be awesome! My emails and media player sitting on my wide screen while my browsing, document editing, configuring web sites are on the portrait LCD!!!

Below is my current desktop setup, on two LCD. Running Vista Home Premium, Stardock ObjectDock (free), and Switcher (free) as my expose-like desktop manager!

My Desktop Edited

I am currently checking out the HP 2207w (22” wide screen LCD) that can be rotated to portrait mode and will add that to the setup… hopefully soon. By then I might have 3 monitor setup or mostly likely, remove the 17” and place that in my bedroom for watching online media via my Eee PC.

Below are some other articles on dual lcd setup and its benefits. Enjoy.

Tech tips from Geeks.com

Joel on Software

This following video is rather extreme… on 4 display but you get the idea. 🙂

 

There are many solution out design to support / hold multiple monitors and allowing for adjustable heights… Here’s one from 9X Media which is really on the high end… My current two LCD setup is elevated using four pack of A4 printer paper, which only cost me $20! Or you could use any books you have. With the A4 paper, the height are even.

I ever pondered two years ago about why LCD manufacturers themselves do not built such holding mechanism into the back of the LCD series. So rather than having additional 3rd party stand to hold / stick the two LCD together, the same manufacturer could promote the extensibility of that series, simply by getting another LCD from the same series and just ‘hook’ it up! The cost would be higher, yes I know… the weight support has to be the considered, yes I know… and I believe those can be solved. It is about marketing and promoting the series as say a professional LCD series and differentiate itself from the rest of the LCD manufacturer. Just a thought…

Anyway, what is your desktop like today?

Written by gooddealz

June 28, 2008 at 3:02 pm

Isn’t this similar…

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OLPC 2.0… Isn’t this similar to the idea I wrote about last year here? All I care is, please make it happen! And please put some thoughts into the interface and user experience.

Written by gooddealz

May 21, 2008 at 4:57 pm

Posted in News Only, Tech Ideas

From fantasy… to reality

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Months ago I wrote an article on a tech enthusiast dream… a device, having capacitive touch keyboard like the iPhone screen but instead, have it on the keyboard for those occasional typing (assuming it was made to a small portable device…) It seems that it might be coming to reality sooner than I realized…

Check out the Samsung’s 12.1-inch OLED laptop concept

Here’s the details from Engadget.

080516_sdi

The Keyboard should be be an OLED screen with capacitive touch and can be switched to display just about anything… text input, writing recognition, drawing board, application interface area… and more.

It is coming… tech reality begin its life as a fantasy / dream in someone’s head.

Written by gooddealz

May 16, 2008 at 9:04 am

Posted in Great Stuff, Tech Ideas

Samsung i780 coming to Singapore…

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Months ago, I wrote a possible phone design from Samsung that could have been a major design win… see here for details. I forgotten to follow up after that article. Basically, I would rather have Samsung take out the D-Pad and the few keys above the keypad all together and give it more screen space instead. That would have been fantastic from usability standpoint in that since the key for Calls or Reject or direction pad are softkey based, it could be turned on or off depending on the application, given it more space to display the information on the already smaller screen.

What do you think? Do you think such devices are on the horizon? I have yet to see a Windows Mobile Devices that only has a screen and mini keyboard only. Most would have some hard keys to allow for Calls or D-Pad or Reject keys which honestly do take up the space… Could it not be solved by a software layer over the WM5-6 interface? Could Microsoft consider assisting hardware manufacturers with such changes to the OS layer if needed?

Anyway, I look forward for the Samsung i780 to arrive in Singapore. It will be noteworthy to see how Samsung is continuously pushing their design capability. Here’s the details.

Written by gooddealz

January 5, 2008 at 8:14 am

Posted in Tech Ideas

Leaked MacWorld 2008 Transcript…

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According to InsanelyMac.com, there’s a leaked version of the MacWorld transcript available online now at their site here.

Interesting though is the idea that I posted weeks ago on something that probably Apple could pull off, a dual screen multi touch device. (I did not get any rumor or hint from any news site… but was just wondering off on some tech ideas…)

See my article here.

MacTouch
• New product not in the MacBook family
• Two 9″ multitouch-sensitve widescreens, both at 1280 x 854
• Innovative, minimalist, two-way folding/sliding, dual-screen, multi-position design with magnetic clasps. Inspired by the paperback book, but thinner, more flexible and surprisingly tough.
• No optical drive or mechanical HDD, uses a SSD drive.
• Will run most existing OS X apps when in dual screen mode; 2nd screen becomes keyboard and touchpad
• iPhone-ish springboard when in single screen mode
• Multitouch sensitive version of iPhoto
• Bluetooth, 802.11b/g, USB2.0, optical/analogue audio in/out, built in speakers & microphone.

It will be interesting to see if that really do come true at MacWorld. Then I will be one happy dreamer! 🙂

Written by gooddealz

January 3, 2008 at 8:45 pm

Posted in News Only, Tech Ideas

Old ideas for new wave of tech gadgets…

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Following up with my previous thoughts on something rather spectacular and that probably only Apple could pull it off.

The idea is a Nintendo DS style two screen devices but in this case, more like a laptop feel to it. The top screen will be the traditionally LCD based, non touch sensitive while the screen below will be using similar or exactly the one used by iPhone which is a capacitor sensitive type. Then again, heck… throw in both screen as capacitor touch based!

Now the size, I see that being slightly bigger than the iPhone but definitely smaller than a 11.1 inch size laptop. Perhaps something like the Eee pc width but with 2/3 the height of the Eee. The logical reason for reducing that is obviously for battery as now the system has to power two screen instead of one.

Input system. The iPhone like screen below will serve as two ways of input. Either using the same onscreen keyboard style like the iPhone but now with wider area for input due to the wider footprint of the screen area and it will be dimmed down to conserve battery and allow an add on layer of physical keypad on top of the screen that will hit on the capacitor screen below. The physical keypad could either slide out or be folded in some way to allow user to interact directly using their fingers. Either way, it will be a old idea used by the Nintendo DS and apply it to a near real world UMPC or whatever you wanna call it.

Imagine the interaction of that kind of devices. The touch screen not only can do onscreen keyboard, but a big mouse pad so to speak to manipulate / control all kind of applications / features… Plus it serves as a second screen for the application should there be more information to be displayed.

Assuming that the size of the devices is the same thickness as the Eee (or two iPhone stacked together), the width being that of the Eee Pc and the breadth to be about 2/3 of the Eee PC. That would be something I am comfortable bringing around. The best thing is that a typical palm can hold it tightly due to the breadth of the device. We are mostly used to carrying thicker books around our palm… the problem is never the thickness, but the width / breadth as the weight will tilt the thing to a less comfortable state. This I imagine will be just nice.

So, will we see such devices one day… from Apple or other manufacturers… Time will tell and in particular battery / cell development will accelerate it to a more usable stage. The rest really is up to our imagination… but certainly looking at today technology, the iPhone, the Eee PC and the software that powers it all… I don’t see why not.

Written by gooddealz

December 26, 2007 at 12:45 am

Posted in Tech Ideas

iPhone killer… possibly

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Just the other day as I was writing about the up and coming Samsung i780, a simple thought came to my mind on how I would have done it differently from the design that Samsung showed… given the excitement surrounding the iPhone touch interface and how it can make life without a stylus, simply easier.

I will be coming up with my own renditions of an Samsung – iPhone combo phone with the best of both world… That’s right! It’s coming… and I do not think it is that hard.

More on this topic soon.

Written by gooddealz

September 26, 2007 at 11:39 pm

Posted in Tech Ideas