That's right. The HP product design team wanted to reach out to users and invited some bloggers and industry experts to realy to them what consumers want in a laptop.
So, please post in the comments below your feedback and what you expect on your ideal PC.
I will collate the comments here and send to HP through a forum created for us to post comments and feedback on design, functionality, features, etc.
You can also contact me in private if you prefer.
It doesn't look like he is impressed with "broadband everywhere":
One of the cool things about the Vodem is that it not only installs itself as a communications device, it also includes a built in flash-drive that contains the software and drivers you need to make it all work. This means there’s no need for a separate CD. Also, when you update the modem firmware you’re also updating the built in software. Nifty.
The first problem was the Vodafone supplied software. For some reason that I completely fail to understand, it appears that telephone companies and manufacturers of telephone equipment are incapable of writing good PC software. Fixing this wasn’t too hard - discard the software and set up the connection within Windows as a normal PPP connection using the Vodem. Problem #1 solved.
The Vodem would rather spend time endlessly hunting between GPRS/UTMS/HSDPA, flicking its little indicator LED from blue to greeny-blue and back again, then actually moving data back and forth. Each time it switches there is an interruption in your internet connection that lasts 10-30 seconds, and there’s no guarantee that when the connection is re-established that it won’t immediately switch back again.
It’s got to the point now that I’m looking for the commands I need to disable some of the connection types in the hope that it will be more stable (because it’s treated like a modem it uses a very extended version of the AT command set). GPRS may be slow but I’d rather have a stable slow connection than an intermittent fast one. Sadly the documentation isn’t very good and the Huawei website doesn’t let commoners like me download the manuals. Time to go googling, I’ll post an update when I find the solution.
Verdict: The Vodem is a neat idea and I really want it to work but I can’t recommend it at this time.
If you don't know Sprite Backup is written by the same guys who brougth us Ghost (before it became Norton Ghost). It's a great backup solution for Windows Mobile devices, both Pocket PC and Smartphone. And now it's compatible with Windows Mobile 6.
So if you fancy a $5 discount on this software simply visit the Sprite Software on-line store and use the code "freitasm" during check out to get your discount!
The discount code is valid through 17 August 2007, so hurry up.
Great chat - met with some of the Wellington bloggers (Sandy, Brenda, Stuart), tech friends (Sam Ng, John Clegg) and some of the Geekzone users based here in Wellington (inane, rscole86, sbiddle).
The talks were interesting, with the keynote Brian Sweeney talking about the NZ Edge. Speakers ranged from gaming development here in Wellington through OpenSolaris development (yes, there's someone in the project here in Wellington as well).
Now, if Rennaisance Apple division's Lee Hebert would send me a MacBook similar to the one he used for his demo, I would be inclined to try it for a while - and even get one myself if it's really that fast even after loading all the programs we need. Seeing how fast he started Windows XP Pro on Parallels made me say to Geekzoners around (and my wife after the event) that I would switch.
Seriously fast. Faster than my top of the range 64 bit Acer Ferrari.
The way I heard the story (and so far it's a rumour) it's an entry level offer, where customers sign for a plan paying a NZ$40 monthly phone line rental, and if you use NZ$20 or more in toll calls then you will have 1 GB (gigabyte) "free" for that month.
Now, I have to question if there will be enough "broadband" for everyone, or we would see another "Xtra unleashed" fiasco.
If I recall correctly (damn, I've sent this month's Unlimited magazine to the "archives" already) Russell Stanners, Vodafone New Zealand CEO, commented on an interview that he agrees IHUG's previous owners didn't invest much in infrastructure. Please correct me if you have the magazine handy to verify this.
Would this be the reason why IHUG's sending out e-mails to customers on its "unlimited" plan informing that "unlimited" now is actually limited in terms of speed?
This is, according to some users in our forums, the e-mail:
We hope you're loving your broadband with ihug!
We've had lots of feedback about making our broadband 3 fair use policy easier to understand...
And that's just what we've done, so we wanted to give you a quick update (as per our terms and conditions)!
Gone are the days of rolling averages and slower speeds if you ever use more than 500 MB in a day - our new broadband 3 policy is much simpler.
How does the new fair use policy work?
From September 3rd, 2007 you'll be able to do more online each day without being slowed down!
That's because we've increased the fair use policy to 2GB a day (in other words, 2 full length movies or around 400 songs). If you do happen to download more than 2GB on a day, you'll simply surf at 64kbps for a day - no more confusing calculations to make!
Our new fair use policy also makes sure a few 'enthusiastic' people don't spoil things for everyone else by using unreasonable amounts of data - so if someone uses more than 20GB a month, their speed will be reduced to 64kbps for the rest of that month. (If you happen to be one of the few that use more than this each month, broadband 3 probably isn't the best plan for you - click here to check out our other plans with up to 60GB of data!)
Click here to find out more about the new fair use policy.
We hope this makes your broadband 3 plan easier to manage so you can enjoy your time online without any hassles!
So if you download 2GB in a single day, then your speed is limited to 64 Kbps the next day and if you use 20 GB in a month you can still enjoy yor unlimited allowance, but throttled to a 64 Kbps connection for the rest of that month.
Perhaps these limitations will allow for a bit more bandwidth for the 1GB/month users?
Now I know - and I am using Acronis True Image to clone the current IDE-based virtual HD to a SCSI-based virtual HD.
In the process I am also adding a few gigabytes to this virtual drive. The SCSI virtual interface allows for larger drives too.
The only thing that surprised me was the requirement to reactivate the Windows Server just because of the virtual SCSI interface addition. For me a minor change, but for Windows Server 2003 "significant", even though it was adding the interface, not replacing it.
I don't have a contract with Vodafone, I am free to move to another operator. But the other operator is locking out at least one new customer by requiring a long term contract.
Contracts are bad. The operator lock you in, and you have no choice if their services are bad, or the coverage is not ideal, or if their plans are getting more expensive than the competition.
It's all great for the operator, bad for the consumer.
As I posted before, contracts also no only lock people in. They lock people trying to port mobile numbers out.
How dumb. Of both operators.
As for why I wanted to move out of Vodafone? I can't trust them. Too many stories behind stories. Personal trust is gone.
And the Vodafone service where it's most important to me - at home, is gone downhill. It used to be great, with five out five bars, full HSDPA speed. Since then the service has gone so bad it's hard to keep a voice call. Data is almost impossible around here.
So I am between bad services and lack of trust with one operator and dumb contract requirements with another.
We need a third decent operator.
I would like to say thanks to the folks at Telecom New Zealand who tried on my behalf, but couldn't go around stupid rules...
Microsoft Tech Ed New Zealand 2007: the largest technology event in New Zealand. This is my first time attending the Tech Ed, and I will be blogging live throughout the event in our Unofficial Tech Ed Blog. Subscribe to the RSS feed to get up to date information about this huge event - more than 120 sessions, more than 2,000 people! 12 - 15 August 2007, Auckland (New Zealand).
Symantec Vision 2007: this is a security and infrastructure one day conference with all the latest updates from Symantec for enterprise and business users. This year the Symantec Vision Agenda will have sessions in three streams: Business, Solutions, and Technical. 12 September 2007, Sydney (Australia).
Microsoft New Zealand Partner Conference: come and watch me talk about Windows Mobile 6.0, integration with Microsoft Office applications, and why you should build mobile capabilities in your business. 19 - 20 September 2007, Auckland (New Zealand).
This third volume of the best-selling GPU Gems series provides a snapshot of today’s latest Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) programming techniques. The programmability of modern GPUs allows developers to not only distinguish themselves from one another but also to use this awesome processing power for non-graphics applications, such as physics simulation, financial analysis, and even virus detection—particularly with the CUDA architecture. Graphics remains the leading application for GPUs, and readers will find that the latest algorithms create ultra-realistic characters, better lighting, and post-rendering compositing effects.
Major topics include
- Light and Shadows
- Image Effects
- Physics Simulation
- GPU Computing
About the author: Hubert Nguyen, Manager of Developer Education at NVIDIA, is a graphics engineer who worked in the NVIDIA Demo Team before moving to his current position. His work is featured on the covers of GPU Gems (Addison-Wesley, 2004) and GPU Gems 2 (Addison-Wesley, 2006).