The new ultra-fast USB 3.0 standard, which should have a data transfer rate of 600 mbps, is planned to launch early in 2008. It is being developed by Intel, HP, Microsoft, NEC, NXP Semiconductors and Texas Instruments (no British involvement there, as is usual these days, sadly).
USB 3.0 will be backwards-compatible with earlier versions but will also be "future-proofed", with optical cabling. Furthermore, it will be designed for lower power consumption.
The current technology, USB 2.0, which was released in 2000, has a maximum data rate of 60 mbps. USB 1.0 managed 192 kbps back in 1996. Which is plenty fast enough for keyboards, mice and joysticks (all of which are now referred to as human-interface devices, or HIDís, apparently).
... but meanwhile, let's hear it for the hundred dollar laptop! I particularly like the idea of a "geek key". There needs to be one of those on every keyboard! I'm also pleased to see that it runs on a Linux OS, that takes up only 130 Meg. No revenue stream to add to Mr. Gates' over-stuffed pockets, there, then. Plus a load of practical features, such as built-in Wi-Fi. A great bit of kit, I reckon!
I'm a great believer in appropriate technology, and strongly contend that this approach is the way to go with medical equipment too (can anyone cite any examples of that?). It doesn't always have to be the latest stuff. I still run a 475 MHz laptop with only 28 MB of RAM that has served me well for ten years of heavy usage. I also have a few (yes, more than one) old Toshiba 33-MHz laptops with 4 MB RAM, that I picked up off eBay for a few quid apiece. These are very rugged units, and handy for rough use when out and about. I wonder how soon it will be before we see those OLPC XO machines on eBay too?
Last edited by Geoff Hannis; . Reason: My Geek key's playing up again!
Here's something to make you think:- "A computer hard-disk reader ... is equivalent to a jet flying at a speed of 30,000 km/h, at a height of just one metre above the ground, and yet being able to see and catalogue every single blade of grass it passes over."
Yes, it's interesting to observe the comings and goings on this forum. It usually starts to light up at around nine in the morning, as all those hard-working biomed shops put on the kettle and boot-up the PC's. Conversely, it goes a bit quiet at knocking-off time. Very few come on over the weekends. There are a couple of night-owls (you know, those you don't give a hoot what time of day or night it is). And then there are those saddo's like myself, who, occasionally working at the computer(s) for days (nights, whatever) on end, are always lurking. And, of course, Huw (or one of his aliases) is always on too, or so it would seem.
The only thing that offends me (too strong a word, really, irritates would be more accurate), are those who come on here, ask their question(s), get their answer(s), and then scuttle away never to be heard from again. Until their next problem comes along, that is. It's always nice to hear how they got on, whether they "got a result" or not. But that's human nature for you. Some folks take, but never give.
Last edited by Geoff Hannis; . Reason: The bit about Huw.
Well, judging by the growth in the size of operating systems and application software on the average PC in the past 15 years, we WILL need terabyte hard drives just to do the same in the future as what we do today!
Bring back DOS. Now you're talking, Jon. But surely the most exciting thing about nanotechnology is the prospect of tiny tunneling machines (etc.) toiling away through the blocked arteries of Obese Britain? Yeah, let's hear it for the fattest nation this side of the Atlantic!
Last edited by Geoff Hannis; . Reason: Added the link of shame!
Did anyone see Michael Winner on Parkinson on Saturday? He was promoting his new book "The Fat Pig Diet"!!!! Essentially, the basis of the diet is that you can eat what you want but just cut down on the amount (sounds too logical). Or as Jasper Carrott used to say " The reason people are fat is that this hole (pointing to mouth)is bigger than this hole (pointing to backside)"
Anyway, maybe we should be more concerned about this!
Why am I not surprised to learn that Automatic Number Plate Recognition was invented in Britain?
I sometimes wonder if I'm in the wrong line of work. Perhaps it would have been better to have shifted into a more thriving industry. You know, one with loads of resources available for the development of exciting new kit!
Last edited by Geoff Hannis; . Reason: Just wondering!
I was pondering earlier on today (as one does) about what impact the web has had (or is having, or will have ... whatever) on the practise of the tech support of in-service medical equipment. Just imagine, even being out in a remote part of the world, as long as you've got a connection to the web (not always guaranteed, of course), you've got a reasonable chance of getting some help, availability of spares, .pdf manuals, and all the rest. Not quite such a lonely existence out in the bush these days, I should imagine. On the other hand, if you still can't access the web ...
When I worked out in the field the problem was always that of not being able to carry all the spares one needed, having to order the bit and then having to do a return journey for a 10 minute job (often involving a 6 hour round trip).