I am the proud owner of an Apple Thunderbolt Display (2560×1440). It has an outstanding image quality, comes with built-in microphone, speakers, and autofocus FaceTime HD camera.
- Btw, the camera does a rather poor job with the white balance and has a red tint, but becomes useable with a tool like iGlasses 3 -
On the back, it has three USB -, one Firewire -, one Thunderbolt, and one Ethernet port. There is also this single bigger cable to the Laptop, combining Thunderbolt and power and keeping the desk neatly organized.
For a year or so, I have an external USB Harddrive (Western Digital 2 TerraBytes) connected to one of the display’s USB ports. I’m mainly using it for Time-Machine backups and storing application disk images etc. Since all cables disappear behind the display and not cluttering my desk, I never thought about connecting the harddrive straight to one of the Laptop’s USB ports directly. However, as it turns out, my nice and neat setup comes with quite a penalty.
The broad introduction of Voice User Interfaces, which allow humans to interaction with computers through voice/speech, may be the next revolution, when it comes to User Interface Engineering and represent an even bigger change, when compared to the transition from text-based to graphical user interfaces. A Voice User Interfaces seems to be especially attractive on smaller devices, like small phones or watches that don’t allow for many buttons or have a touch-screen that is just not big enough, to allow for comfortable interactions.
The first generation of watches that connect to smartphone via Bluetooth is now available, most of them are not equipped with a microphone and speaker, i.e. don’t provide a good platform for a Voice User Interface.
- Pebble, E-Paper Watch for iPhone and Android.
- Smartwatch, Sony Android watch.
- MOTOACTV, Motorola GPS Fitness Tracker with MP3 Player.
- NEXD, The Next-gen Android watch.
- i’m Watch, i’m SpA, Smartwatch connects via Bluetooth to a phone.
Sigma 30mm f/1.4 EX DC HSM Lens
I really wanted to like this lens. It has a nice build quality and has a really good feel and helf. I also liked the larger 62 mm Filter-Thread, compared to comparable lenses. However, mounting the lens already felt somewhat odd. It did not want to go on a Canon 7D body, as easily and smooth as my Canon and Tamron lenses.
Taking the 1st shots and looking at them at the camera’s LCD already was disappointing – the pictures has an odd pale almost green look. After importing the photos into Lightroom we saw the stunningly poor quality. Not even close to an inexpensive 1.8 nifty fifty and worse than any of my zoom lenses in that rage; unbelievably soft and out of focus.
Pack your own parachute and bring your own wireless router
If you ever gave a talk or presentation that involved demonstrating software running on a wireless device, you probably remember some restlessness, approaching the venue.
What would the Wifi conditions be? Would you be able to connect your device(s) to the Wifi network? Would the bandwidth be sufficient, to support a smooth demo? etc. etc.
There is no such thing as perfect and you can never be over-prepared. The same it probably true when it come to display-adapters, especially if a MacBook is your presentation tool of choice. Pack all the Thunderbolt/MiniDisplayPort to DVI/HDMI/VGA adapters you can find. And just in case, I usually export my slides to PDF and put that file on a FAT-formatted USB-Thumb-drive. Moreover, I used to schlep a standard home-office router, together with its bulky power-supply of course. But not anymore …
I recently came across a nifty and tiny Wifi Router that is not only fast enough, but can be powered with a standard 5V phone charger, using a standard Micro-USB Cable – or even better, leeching power off a standard USB-Port (e.g., one of the MacBook’s USB-Ports).
Now that even Verizon’s version of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus has received the Android 4.1.x (a.k.a. Jelly Bean) update, it’s time to put it to good use. Compared to it’s predecessor, the Galaxy Nexus’ battery has been upgraded in capacity and size. However, the 4G cell networks seem to require a lot more juice and drain phone batteries much more quickly.
The extended battery for the Galaxy Nexus is slightly thicker than the standard battery and doen’t fit under the standard cover.
This is why the Galaxy Nexus i515 Battery Bundle Kit contains not only the extended battery, but also a new battery cover. Fortunately, the thinner standard battery fits fine underneath the new cover as well, i.e. when exchanging the batteries, you don’t have to carry the original cover with you as well.
Looks like Android 4.0 (aka Ice Cream Sandwich) is coming to the Raspberry Pi. But even without Android, the Raspbian OS (Debian Linux-based operating system optimized for the Raspberry Pi) turns this credit card sized computer into a powerful tool.
The single-board computer comes equipped with the Broadcom BCM2835 SoC (system on a chip, includes an ARM-11 700MHz processor, VideoCore IV GPU, and 256MB RAM.) While the computer does not have any Flash Memory on-board, the SDCard socket allows adding up to 64GB Flash Memory.
The HDMI video and audio support, Ethernet socket, and the two USB sockets, allow the device to be used as a mobile computing platform or embedded system. However, its complexity and lack of analog inputs will probably not make to many Arduino enthusiast jump ship just yet.
The size, price, available hardware features, combined with a Debian-based operating system make this board the perfect prototyping, learning, and teaching device for more than just basic computer science.