Learn about the technologies behind the Internet with The TCP/IP Guide!
NOTE: Using robot software to mass-download the site degrades the server and is prohibited. See here for more.
Find The PC Guide helpful? Please consider a donation to The PC Guide Tip Jar. Visa/MC/Paypal accepted.
View over 750 of my fine art photos any time for free at DesktopScenes.com!

.....technobabble .....for the week of January 15, 2001

.....technobabble.....a couple of weeks ago I wrote in this column about the proposed Content Protection for Recordable Media (CPRM) initiative, which is being proposed by content providers to reduce piracy. Amongst other things, there are concerns that this new technology could hamper the usability of IDE/ATA hard disks. Apparently there may be more to this than I first realized. Intel is in fact claiming that CPRM is not intended for use in hard disks at all. This PC World article provides some more perspective on CPRM; you'll have to decide for yourself if you are willing to believe what the proponents of CPRM are claiming. I personally am quite skeptical. I wrote last week about how disappointed I was with Intel that they decided to ramrod Rambus at the computing world, if you recall. Well, this is part of the legacy of the decision they made: even when Intel says that CPRM on hard disks would be "bad business" for them, I don't necessarily believe it. I think it's all a matter of what their marketing gurus and financial analysts are telling them. It may be that they are in fact telling the truth about this, but I have no confidence that Intel is doing anything at all any more based on what is good for the consumer.....

.....the start of the new year in techie-land was punctuated by the 2001 Consumer Electronics Show, where many new and nifty toys were introduced. If you haven't been following the latest and greatest in the world of consumer gadgetry, you can find a brief profile of some of the "hottest" new products in this ZDNet article.....

.....that story covers what is new in the consumer world, at the "high end of the technology food chain", if you will. In a different ZDNet article, I found a very interesting discussion of new technology at the opposite end of the spectrum: the machinery that enables the manufacturing of the chips that power the computer industry, and much of the consumer electronics industry as well. Computer processors ("chips") are made using a process called photolithography, which transforms the designs of chip makers into actual hardware. Over time, to enable faster speeds and more capabilities, chips must be continually reduced in size, which places greater miniaturization demands on the lithographic devices. The article I referenced describes a significant accomplishment: the creation of the first Extreme Ultraviolet (EUV) lithography machine. It is anticipated that this new technology will enable the creation of chips running at up to 10 GHz within the next few years.....

.....holy cow. Have you heard all the talk about some radical new invention called either "Ginger", or the incredibly precise "IT"? (As in "Cousin It", not "Information Technology".) Man, I have never heard so much hype about anything before in my life, particularly considering that nobody really knows what "IT" even is! Steve Jobs is talking about cities being built around this thing, and investors are pouring millions into the company formed by inventor Dean Kamen to produce these..... devices, which some say may bear some similarity to a scooter. Boy, this had better be some kind of scooter when we actually get to find out what it's all about! At the risk of spreading what may be the most overhyped technology since "cold fusion" (remember that?) I'll refer you to this CNet article for more information (sketchy as it is).....

.....this past Friday was a sad day for the world of technology, as industry pioneer William Hewlett, co-founder of Hewlett-Packard Company, died at his home at the age of 87. Hewlett and his former partner, David Packard, started the industry giant in that now-famous garage in California, and grew it into a hallmark of the computing and electronics worlds. With his passing, both of the founders of HP have now left us (Packard died in 1996). For more on this story, see here.....

.....let's take a look at some more comments on feedback from The PC Guide Reader Survey. One thing that I have noticed is that my site gets a lot more "first-time" visitors than I ever realized. This is great, of course, and I'm pleased that so many new people are finding the site every day. However, some of the questions in the Survey are not that conducive to being answered by someone visiting the site for the first time. Basically, everyone should feel free to not answer any questions that they don't feel are relevant. In some ways, filling out the survey makes more sense if you do it only after having had a bit of time to check out the site first.....

.....speaking of the Survey, I've had a few people send me personal notes in the "Like" and "Dislike" boxes on that form. I read all of these comments, and appreciate them very much. However, in some cases people have written comments or questions that seem like they might require an answer. Well, when I said that the Survey was anonymous, I meant it: I get no indication of an email address when I get a reply to the Survey, so I cannot respond personally to anything written there. The regular feedback page is a better choice for comments requiring a reply.....

.....that's it for this week. Did this column tickle you pink, or make you feel blue? Give me your feedback, please! And if you like the column, please tell others, as not enough people are reading it yet..... ;^)


Home  -  Search  -  Topics  -  Up

The PC Guide (http://www.PCGuide.com)
Site Version: 2.2.0 - Version Date: April 17, 2001
Copyright 1997-2004 Charles M. Kozierok. All Rights Reserved.

Not responsible for any loss resulting from the use of this site.
Please read the Site Guide before using this material.
Custom Search