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'[OT] Help me select a new laptop for work'
2009\07\30@133854 by William Couture

face picon face
Well, my work laptop (Lenovo T42) decided to die (video chip seems to
have died).

We had a spare T43 at work, and it was 'close enough'.  Put in the
hard drive, boot,
and install some new drivers.  Bullet avoided for now.

But, I need to get a new laptop.

It must run (or be able to run, if it does not come with it) Windows
XP Professional,
since many of the software packages I use do not run under Vista.

It must have a *REAL* serial port.  Not a USB <--> serial dongle.  I
work in embedded
software, and many things are still RS232.  USB will not work with too
much software.

The serial port can be on the dock (that's how it is on the T42 /
T43).  But it needs to
have a 16550A in there somewhere.

I'm open to brand and most everything else.

Thanks,
  Bill

--
Psst...  Hey, you... Buddy...  Want a kitten?  straycatblues.petfinder.org

2009\07\30@144901 by solarwind

picon face
On Thu, Jul 30, 2009 at 1:38 PM, William Couture<spam_OUTbcoutureTakeThisOuTspamgmail.com> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

I'm thinking Lenovo Thinkpad T400.

2009\07\30@160006 by Josh Koffman

face picon face
On Thu, Jul 30, 2009 at 1:38 PM, William Couture<.....bcoutureKILLspamspam@spam@gmail.com> wrote:
> It must have a *REAL* serial port.  Not a USB <--> serial dongle.  I
> work in embedded
> software, and many things are still RS232.  USB will not work with too
> much software.

My Dell d620 came with a real serial port, on the laptop itself even!
I'm not sure if the current one d630 has it too. I think the d820 had
it as well.

Josh
--
A common mistake that people make when trying to design something
completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete
fools.
       -Douglas Adams

2009\07\30@161733 by William Couture

face picon face
On Thu, Jul 30, 2009 at 3:59 PM, Josh Koffman<joshybearspamKILLspamgmail.com> wrote:
> On Thu, Jul 30, 2009 at 1:38 PM, William Couture<.....bcoutureKILLspamspam.....gmail.com> wrote:
>> It must have a *REAL* serial port.  Not a USB <--> serial dongle.  I
>> work in embedded
>> software, and many things are still RS232.  USB will not work with too
>> much software.
>
> My Dell d620 came with a real serial port, on the laptop itself even!
> I'm not sure if the current one d630 has it too. I think the d820 had
> it as well.

Hmmm... the d630 is no longer.  The new d6400 has a docking station
with serial.  It's on the list...

Bill

--
Psst...  Hey, you... Buddy...  Want a kitten?  straycatblues.petfinder.org

2009\07\30@163030 by Herbert Graf

picon face
On Thu, 2009-07-30 at 15:59 -0400, Josh Koffman wrote:
> On Thu, Jul 30, 2009 at 1:38 PM, William Couture<EraseMEbcouturespam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTgmail.com> wrote:
> > It must have a *REAL* serial port.  Not a USB <--> serial dongle.  I
> > work in embedded
> > software, and many things are still RS232.  USB will not work with too
> > much software.
>
> My Dell d620 came with a real serial port, on the laptop itself even!
> I'm not sure if the current one d630 has it too. I think the d820 had
> it as well.

In the "old days" you could get serial port PCMCIA cards, is there
nothing equivalent for whatever the current expansion cards are for
laptops?

TTYL

2009\07\30@163319 by Tamas Rudnai

face picon face
Most new laptops are coming with an ExpressCard slot. You can find an RS232
adaptor, all you need to make sure is that is not based on USB but on I/O
(16550).

For example:
http://www.synchrotech.com/products-expc/expresscard_34_serial_rs232_adapter_01.html

Or a dual one like:
http://www.cooldrives.com/twoporsexdbd.html

The price is a bit steep though, but definitely cheaper compared to a higher
ranked laptop + docking station. For example I have a Dell Vostro 1700 which
has a reasonable price + plenty of USB + full keyboard + dual HD and to be
honest I would not go for a double or triple priced one which is only that a
bit nicer and that has the capability of attaching to a docking station
otherwise the same.

Tamas



On Thu, Jul 30, 2009 at 9:17 PM, William Couture <bcouturespamspam_OUTgmail.com> wrote:

{Quote hidden}

> -

2009\07\30@164159 by Tamas Rudnai

face picon face
On Thu, Jul 30, 2009 at 9:30 PM, Herbert Graf <RemoveMEhkgrafTakeThisOuTspamgmail.com> wrote:

> In the "old days" you could get serial port PCMCIA cards, is there
> nothing equivalent for whatever the current expansion cards are for
> laptops?


Probably we wrote in the same time -- so it's the ExpressCard.

Anyway, "of course" the first link I mentioned was USB based one :-) But for
example here is one that clearly states is not USB based:

http://cgi.ebay.ie/Express-RS-232-Serial-1S-Parallel-1P-ExpressCard_W0QQitemZ220438482573QQcmdZ

Tamas




>
>
> TTYL
>
> -

2009\07\30@211840 by Adam Field

flavicon
face
> My Dell d620 came with a real serial port, on the laptop itself even!
> I'm not sure if the current one d630 has it too. I think the d820 had
> it as well.
>

Yup, the d820 I'm using now has a serial port. You do have to be
careful though, most laptop serial ports are 0-5V not -9V to +9V that
a "real" serial port is. Laptops usually won't run the JDM style PIC
programmer for example. But they will talk to most serial devices like
routers and switches, so it may not matter on your application.
However, your new laptop, even if you get an onboard serial port, may
not act at all like the old one did.

My old dell c840 (i think, maybe c800) had a large docking station
that took PCI cards. I was able to put a "real" serial card into that.

2009\07\30@220620 by Xiaofan Chen

face picon face
On Fri, Jul 31, 2009 at 3:59 AM, Josh Koffman<spamBeGonejoshybearspamBeGonespamgmail.com> wrote:
> My Dell d620 came with a real serial port, on the laptop itself even!
> I'm not sure if the current one d630 has it too. I think the d820 had
> it as well.

At work we have Dell Latitude D610/620/630 depending how long
you have work for the company (a new setup started in 2006). I
am one of the earlier employee so I am still using the D610. It has
real serial port and parallel port. D620 has the serial port. D630
has no serial port. But all of us have a docking station and an
external monitor. The dock has the serial port and parallel port.

You can probably buy newer Dell Latitude laptops with a dock
which comes with a serial port as well. The quality of the Dell
Latitude laptop is not bad (Inspiron is in general worse). The
quality of the dock and other accessories are questionable
as I have changed one keyboard and one docking station in the
past three years (I think the warranty is three years). Now the
warranty is expired.

--
Xiaofan http://mcuee.blogspot.com

2009\07\31@043312 by Alan B. Pearce

face picon face
>Hmmm... the d630 is no longer.  The new d6400 has a
>docking station with serial.  It's on the list...

I must admit that I do like the Dell machines, although my current work
laptop could have better looking (Latitude E6400). I have had good
reliability out of them - my previous work Inspirion 8600 served me well for
around 6 years, and is still a working machine.

2009\07\31@051805 by Tamas Rudnai

face picon face
On Fri, Jul 31, 2009 at 9:33 AM, Alan B. Pearce <TakeThisOuTAlan.B.PearceEraseMEspamspam_OUTstfc.ac.uk>wrote:

> I must admit that I do like the Dell machines, although my current work
> laptop could have better looking (Latitude E6400). I have had good
> reliability out of them - my previous work Inspirion 8600 served me well
> for
> around 6 years, and is still a working machine.


I agree, at my workplace every workstation is Dell (except my laptop which
is an IBM T42), and I had an Inspiron 6400 at home which got stolen, now a
Vostro 1700 and I am happy with both of them. There are only two things I am
not satisfied and both related to the screen:

1. It has a glossy screen which may be better for films but terrible when
coding (too much reflection)
2. It has a wide screen which is again great for films, terrible for
programming (less lines can be shown on the screen)

This latter one is a a tendency with every manufacturers as what they do is
cutting off the portion of the screen so it makes it cheaper to produce. So
for example if the screen was normally 1280x1024 then it will be 1280x768 in
wxga.

Tamas




>
>
> -

2009\07\31@141417 by William Couture

face picon face
On Fri, Jul 31, 2009 at 5:17 AM, Tamas Rudnai<RemoveMEtamas.rudnaispamTakeThisOuTgmail.com> wrote:

> 2. It has a wide screen which is again great for films, terrible for
> programming (less lines can be shown on the screen)

Am I the only person left on earth who still programs in an 80 x 25 text window?

Bill

--
Psst...  Hey, you... Buddy...  Want a kitten?  straycatblues.petfinder.org

2009\07\31@153401 by Herbert Graf

picon face
On Fri, 2009-07-31 at 10:17 +0100, Tamas Rudnai wrote:
> This latter one is a a tendency with every manufacturers as what they do is
> cutting off the portion of the screen so it makes it cheaper to produce. So
> for example if the screen was normally 1280x1024 then it will be 1280x768 in
> wxga.

I've long been annoyed with the low resolution of laptop screens. About
5 years ago I purchased a Dell laptop with a 1440x1050 screen, I loved
it! Even today it's hard to find a decent laptop with that many pixels.

Part of the problem is cost, another I believe is demand. Many people
have poor eyesight and simply don't benefit from the higher res (all the
icons are too small).

This has most annoyed me with the netbook market, it took them a long
time to get to 1024x600 (800x480 was a joke, there are cell phones with
that many pixels), and a year later they're still basically stuck there.
There is the odd machine with 1360x768, but it's very rare.

I would LOVE to have a 10" netbook with a ~1440x900 screen, but I don't
think it exists, if it does surely not for a decent price.

TTYL

2009\07\31@153641 by Herbert Graf

picon face
On Fri, 2009-07-31 at 14:14 -0400, William Couture wrote:
> On Fri, Jul 31, 2009 at 5:17 AM, Tamas Rudnai<tamas.rudnaiEraseMEspam.....gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > 2. It has a wide screen which is again great for films, terrible for
> > programming (less lines can be shown on the screen)
>
> Am I the only person left on earth who still programs in an 80 x 25 text window?

I still do my programming (actually I'd call it more "coding" since the
language is HDL) in xterm text windows (using vim for highlighting,
although sometimes I do use gvim), but I'd never restrict myself to
80x25. I use Xterms and usually have two windows on my screen, both
taking the full height and half the width, very comfortable way for me
to code. Even when using gvim I have a similar config (dual monitors are
an amazing thing to have, two coding windows and on the other monitor
the relevant data sheet or language reference).

TTYL

2009\07\31@200946 by Tamas Rudnai

face picon face
On Fri, Jul 31, 2009 at 7:14 PM, William Couture <EraseMEbcouturespamgmail.com> wrote:

> > 2. It has a wide screen which is again great for films, terrible for
> > programming (less lines can be shown on the screen)
>
> Am I the only person left on earth who still programs in an 80 x 25 text
> window?


I started with 40x24 I think on Apple ][ and then I got a special card that
was capable of 80x24 which was something very advanced by that time :-) On
PC when the EGA screen appeared I always switched to 80x50 or 60 can't
remember, and with VGA to 132x60. Nowadays mostly I am splitting the screen
so actually I would not see too many lines from one file actually, but if I
do I quite like that I can see the entire function at once. Actually I would
prefer if the screen was higher than wider and with some LCD it is possible
to rotate by 90 degrees -- not with my laptop screen though.

Tamas




>
>
> Bill
>
> --
> Psst...  Hey, you... Buddy...  Want a kitten?  straycatblues.petfinder.org
> -

2009\07\31@214235 by Xiaofan Chen

face picon face
On Sat, Aug 1, 2009 at 3:33 AM, Herbert Graf<RemoveMEhkgrafEraseMEspamEraseMEgmail.com> wrote:

> I've long been annoyed with the low resolution of laptop screens. About
> 5 years ago I purchased a Dell laptop with a 1440x1050 screen, I loved
> it! Even today it's hard to find a decent laptop with that many pixels.

The Dell Inspiron 600M I bought in 2003 has this 1440x1050 screen.
The Dell Latitude D610 at work has this 1440x1050 screen as well.

> Part of the problem is cost, another I believe is demand. Many people
> have poor eyesight and simply don't benefit from the higher res (all the
> icons are too small).

I am used to it. My eyesight is not that good but I do not really need
to wear glasses for daily life.

> This has most annoyed me with the netbook market, it took them a long
> time to get to 1024x600 (800x480 was a joke, there are cell phones with
> that many pixels), and a year later they're still basically stuck there.
> There is the odd machine with 1360x768, but it's very rare.
>
> I would LOVE to have a 10" netbook with a ~1440x900 screen, but I don't
> think it exists, if it does surely not for a decent price.

Since I do not need the mobility Netbook offers, I am not into
netbook any time soon.


--
Xiaofan http://mcuee.blogspot.com

2009\07\31@220957 by Funny NYPD

picon face
There is few laptop has serial port, even most of the desktop only include one serial port these days.

Dell used to carry a Business laptop which got one serial port, not sure they still carry these. Maybe some special order can be placed for large orders.

We have a few Toshiba laptops which doesn't have a serial port at all, so our lab guy always use USB to serial converters for product tests, so far we got no issue at all.

Here are a USB to serial products we found working good and offer on our online store:
http://www.auelectronics.com/products/adp-usb-232.html

This PL2303 based USB/Serial converter comes with a power LED (which is a hard to find feature, it is kind of dim though, I personally like it since my FTDI based converter is so bright, it hurts eyes sometime.) and works as fast as a motherboard integrated serial port.

We have found that FTDI chip based USB to serial port are really slow on all of our MCU communication application, such as bootloading. FTDI USB converter works, but only got about 1/4 speed of a pl-2303 based USB/Serial converter.

Anybody knows why? We got both products in the lab, the technician who got FTDI USB/Serial  converters constantly complain the speed is slow comparing with the pl-2303 USB/Serial converters. Could it just be a driver issue.

We got a tutorial on install driver for FTDI USB/Serial converter here:
http://www.auelectronics.com/Q9.htm


Funny N.
Au Group Electronics, http://www.AuElectronics.com
http://www.AuElectronics.com/products
http://augroups.blogspot.com/
stinfo/piclist



     

2009\07\31@224331 by Funny NYPD

picon face
>The Dell Inspiron 600M I bought in 2003 has this 1440x1050 screen.
>The Dell Latitude D610 at work has this 1440x1050 screen as well.
Where did you find these, I can change the setting, but doesn't know where to find these hardware specs. I got a Toshiba.

>Since I do not need the mobility Netbook offers, I am not into
>netbook any time soon.
I didn't like a netbook either. My sister just bought a regular laptop for US$299 at local Walmart store. It really sounds like a good deal. 3G RAM, 160G hard drive, AMD Sempron CPU, wifi, etc.

Funny N.
Au Group Electronics, http://www.AuElectronics.com
http://www.AuElectronics.com/products
http://augroups.blogspot.com/




________________________________
From: Xiaofan Chen <RemoveMExiaofancspam_OUTspamKILLspamgmail.com>
To: Microcontroller discussion list - Public. <RemoveMEpiclistTakeThisOuTspamspammit.edu>
Sent: Friday, July 31, 2009 9:42:34 PM
Subject: Re: [OT] Help me select a new laptop for work

On Sat, Aug 1, 2009 at 3:33 AM, Herbert Graf<EraseMEhkgrafspamspamspamBeGonegmail.com> wrote:

> I've long been annoyed with the low resolution of laptop screens. About
> 5 years ago I purchased a Dell laptop with a 1440x1050 screen, I loved
> it! Even today it's hard to find a decent laptop with that many pixels.

The Dell Inspiron 600M I bought in 2003 has this 1440x1050 screen.
The Dell Latitude D610 at work has this 1440x1050 screen as well.

> Part of the problem is cost, another I believe is demand. Many people
> have poor eyesight and simply don't benefit from the higher res (all the
> icons are too small).

I am used to it. My eyesight is not that good but I do not really need
to wear glasses for daily life.

> This has most annoyed me with the netbook market, it took them a long
> time to get to 1024x600 (800x480 was a joke, there are cell phones with
> that many pixels), and a year later they're still basically stuck there.
> There is the odd machine with 1360x768, but it's very rare.
>
> I would LOVE to have a 10" netbook with a ~1440x900 screen, but I don't
> think it exists, if it does surely not for a decent price.

Since I do not need the mobility Netbook offers, I am not into
netbook any time soon.


--
Xiaofanhttp://mcuee.blogspot.com


'[OT] Help me select a new laptop for work'
2009\08\02@074436 by Justin Richards
face picon face
We needed pcmcia and rs232 and just purchased a tecra a10 that has both.

It came with xp sp3 disk but currently installed with vista which i hope to
remove shortly.
Cheers Justin
2009/8/1 Funny NYPD <RemoveMEfunnynypdKILLspamspamyahoo.com>

{Quote hidden}

>  -

2009\08\04@171813 by Herbert Graf

picon face
On Sat, 2009-08-01 at 09:42 +0800, Xiaofan Chen wrote:
> > This has most annoyed me with the netbook market, it took them a long
> > time to get to 1024x600 (800x480 was a joke, there are cell phones with
> > that many pixels), and a year later they're still basically stuck there.
> > There is the odd machine with 1360x768, but it's very rare.
> >
> > I would LOVE to have a 10" netbook with a ~1440x900 screen, but I don't
> > think it exists, if it does surely not for a decent price.
>
> Since I do not need the mobility Netbook offers, I am not into
> netbook any time soon.

This might be a case of you not knowing what you're missing.

Many days my netbook has been the only machine I used. It's perfect for
meetings and even town halls.

While I don't like coding on it, I usually don't code much, so for xterm
type stuff it's ideal.

Even browsing the web while working or watching TV is an absolute joy on
it.

6+ hours life means I rarely have to plug it in during the course of the
day.

Traveling with it is even better. It easily fits in the back pocket of
plane/train/bus seats. It's so small that I can watch videos or do other
things on it even if the seat in front is reclined. The battery life
means I don't even need to look for an outlet until I get to my
destination. Last December I took a 9 hour train ride with onboard WiFi
(actually cellular was the transport, these days I'd just tether to my
cell phone) and spent the whole time watching TV shows on Hulu like
services. It's so light (about 2.4lbs/1.1kg) that I just throw it in my
back pack when exploring.

To be frank, I just don't see myself buying a "regular" laptop in the
future, I'll just get the newest netbook when something demands it (so
far speed wise I'm more then happy, even plays 720p mkvs if you run the
right codec).

It's not for everyone, but for me the netbook form factor is beyond a
perfect match for my usage pattern.

TTYL

2009\08\04@213633 by Xiaofan Chen

face picon face
On Wed, Aug 5, 2009 at 5:18 AM, Herbert Graf<EraseMEhkgrafspamEraseMEgmail.com> wrote:
> On Sat, 2009-08-01 at 09:42 +0800, Xiaofan Chen wrote:
>> Since I do not need the mobility Netbook offers, I am not into
>> netbook any time soon.
>
> This might be a case of you not knowing what you're missing.

Actually it is just the usage pattern.

> Many days my netbook has been the only machine I used. It's perfect for
> meetings and even town halls.

At work the regular notebook is the one I use. Occasionally I need
to travel and I need to bring it as well. The VPN and many other
softwares will not work with one's own notebook.

At home, I use a desktop and an old 17" LCD. My wife has a laptop
but it is mostly used as a desktop with the AC supply always plugged
in. At work she uses a desktop.

> While I don't like coding on it, I usually don't code much, so for xterm
> type stuff it's ideal.

At work, I seldom use the laptop screen. I use the external 19"
LCD. It is more comfortable to use the external LCD, keyboard
and mouse. Even at meetings, I will bring a USB mouse with me. ;-)

> Even browsing the web while working or watching TV is an absolute joy on
> it.

Browsing web on a small screen is not that nice for me.
I'd prefer watch TV on a 42inch LCD. ;-)

> 6+ hours life means I rarely have to plug it in during the course of the
> day.

My laptop is always plugged into the AC power supply. The battery
is almost useless.

> It's not for everyone, but for me the netbook form factor is beyond a
> perfect match for my usage pattern.

So it is just my usage pattern that I do not really want to
use the netbook for most of the things I do at work or at home.

--
Xiaofan http://mcuee.blogspot.com

2009\08\04@220853 by Dwayne Reid

flavicon
face
At 03:18 PM 8/4/2009, Herbert Graf wrote:

>Many days my netbook has been the only machine I used. It's perfect for
>meetings and even town halls.

I hadn't taken the time yet to respond to this thread, but your
comments regarding netbooks is right on the money.

I purchased an Asus 1000HE back in March with the sole purpose of it
being a travelling movie machine - my wife and I were about to embark
on a trip to Jamaica and I wanted the ability to watch what I wanted
rather than whatever the airlines might have.  To that end, I
replaced the drive with a 500GB version and upped the RAM to
2GB.  Also purchased a couple of extended run-time batteries (12000 &
13000 mAh) for it just in case.

I filled most of the drive with movies and music - even a couple GB
of audiobooks.  Loaded up my favorite browser (Opera) and email
client (Eudora) and away I went.

Used it for a couple of weeks in Jamaica and promptly fell in love with it.

You know - that little machine is a REAL performer!  I realize that
the N280 processor is wussy by todays standards but I think that
machine works VERY well.

I've since loaded MPLAB, Corel Draw X3, some CNC stuff, Kitsrus K149
(I think) PIC programmer, PicBasic Pro - pretty much all of the tools
I use with my 'real' laptop (Dell XPS M170) - the Dell now lives most
of the time sitting on a table in front of the sofa in my living room
and the little tiny Asus 1000HE travels with me wherever I go.

Its good for around 10 hours use with the aftermarket large
batteries.  Asus says that its good for "9.5 hours" with the stock
battery, but I'd guess that's with all peripherals turned off and the
backlight turned to its lowest level.  I get a solid 10 hours with
the backlight at about half-way (plenty bright) and don't worry at
all about what peripherals are running.

I'm back to using the Dell M170 right now - but not by choice.  My
wife is in California for another week and she took the netbook with
her.  I can see that I'm going to have to get a similar machine for her.

I spent a fair while looking at the various netbooks in stock at our
local Futureshop and Best Buy stores before settling on the Asus
line.  I've actually purchased 2 Asus machines: the first was a
1000HA which I in turn sold to the in-laws after purchasing the
1000HE.  I did upgrade the 1000HA to 2 GB RAM and also installed a
bluetooth card before deciding that I wanted the N280 processor
instead of the N270.  The in-laws were only too happy to purchase
that machine from me - they, too, also love that little machine.

You know, the first netbooks WERE pretty wussy and bordered on
useless.  Not so with the current crop.

dwayne

--
Dwayne Reid   <@spam@dwayner@spam@spamspam_OUTplanet.eon.net>
Trinity Electronics Systems Ltd    Edmonton, AB, CANADA
(780) 489-3199 voice          (780) 487-6397 fax
http://www.trinity-electronics.com
Custom Electronics Design and Manufacturing

2009\08\04@221659 by SM Ling

picon face
> On Wed, Aug 5, 2009 at 5:18 AM, Herbert Graf<spamBeGonehkgrafspamKILLspamgmail.com> wrote:
>> On Sat, 2009-08-01 at 09:42 +0800, Xiaofan Chen wrote:
>>> Since I do not need the mobility Netbook offers, I am not into
>>> netbook any time soon.
>>
>> This might be a case of you not knowing what you're missing.
>
> Actually it is just the usage pattern.

Get one anyway :-)

Was thinking to get a N97 or a eReader "Lizard" to read e-materials,
and maybe a netbook when window OS settle down further.  But N97 or
eReader are at "hype" price now.  Then I came across a netbook with
touch screen feature, flippable 10.2" LCD, the Gigabyte T1028.  So it
is low cost tablet PC, about S$879.00 (<US$500).  Now I am using as a
video-skype station with relatives, e-reference station for myself and
kids, a e-book reader, netbook, field-machine - and lately replacing
more and more activities I doing on normal laptop.

Stylus making processing gmail and other activities very efficient.
Battery life is much better than laptop.  It is 12V powered, so I hook
up a 12V 9AH SLB for super-long field trip.

Cheers, Ling SM

2009\08\04@225045 by Marcel Birthelmer

picon face
> I'm back to using the Dell M170 right now - but not by choice.  My
> wife is in California for another week and she took the netbook with
> her.  I can see that I'm going to have to get a similar machine for her.
>

http://techreport.com/articles.x/17249
This review was posted on slashdot today... it's pretty interesting
that the netbooks are now encroaching on the notebooks in terms of
display size etc., even while keeping their low price point. I agree
that it's very impressive, and for light development (where compiles
don't take hours and hours), these things are quite adequate.

2009\08\04@225300 by Gaston Gagnon

face
flavicon
face
Dwayne,
have you tried to use the Asus 1000HE to control your FireballCNC?
Gaston


2009\08\05@080108 by Xiaofan Chen

face picon face
On Wed, Aug 5, 2009 at 10:15 AM, SM Ling<.....ipal11spam_OUTspamsingnet.com.sg> wrote:
>>> This might be a case of you not knowing what you're missing.
>>
>> Actually it is just the usage pattern.
>
> Get one anyway :-)

I'd like to do that. But the finance minister at home will not
approve the purchase request. ;-)

{Quote hidden}

That is a nice one.

I used to be a PDA fan. I still have three PDAs but hardly use
them any more: a Windows CE 1.0 Handheld PC (with 2.0 Rom
upgrade), a Palm IIIXe PDA and a HP Jornada 565 PocketPC 2002.
I was using the Jornada 565 as a eBook reader and it actually is
very good for that purpose. But other than the eBook function, I think
it is not that useful in the end. My brother-in-law is using the
HP iPaq 212, with a 4inch VGA screen, he likes it quite well
for casual web browsing. Both of us are not into smart phones.

--
Xiaofan http://mcuee.blogspot.com

2009\08\05@130938 by Herbert Graf

picon face
On Wed, 2009-08-05 at 20:01 +0800, Xiaofan Chen wrote:
> I used to be a PDA fan. I still have three PDAs but hardly use
> them any more: a Windows CE 1.0 Handheld PC (with 2.0 Rom
> upgrade), a Palm IIIXe PDA and a HP Jornada 565 PocketPC 2002.
> I was using the Jornada 565 as a eBook reader and it actually is
> very good for that purpose. But other than the eBook function, I think
> it is not that useful in the end. My brother-in-law is using the
> HP iPaq 212, with a 4inch VGA screen, he likes it quite well
> for casual web browsing. Both of us are not into smart phones.

Hehe, I guess you and I are just different then!

I splurged last year and got the HTC Diamond Touch. It's Windows Mobile
based, so yes you have to deal with some "issues", but once you're aware
of them it's an incredibly useful device.

It's got a 640x480 screen, so browsing the web on it is as close to the
desktop experience as any smart phone (the extra resolution makes it
better IMHO then an Iphone, which is the standard).

This past weekend I was in Montreal and for the first time pretty much
ever, I never had to pull out the laptop (it sat in it's bag the whole
weekend). Every time we needed to look something up (directions, phone
number, things to do) I just pulled my phone out and got the answer.

At one point we were looking for a store that was in the guide book.
When we go there we realized it wasn't there anymore. Pulled out my
phone, turned on the GPS and asked google maps where other locations
were, couple minutes and we were on our way, incredible.

Mobility is the future for most devices, we're on our way!

TTYL

2009\08\05@172051 by Tamas Rudnai

face picon face
On Wed, Aug 5, 2009 at 6:09 PM, Herbert Graf <TakeThisOuThkgraf.....spamTakeThisOuTgmail.com> wrote:

> At one point we were looking for a store that was in the guide book.
> When we go there we realized it wasn't there anymore. Pulled out my
> phone, turned on the GPS and asked google maps where other locations
> were, couple minutes and we were on our way, incredible.


Maybe we just forgot that the same was possible before without electronic
devices :-) I remember when I lost the GPS signal in Paris -- I was just too
much trusting that device and had no traditional map with me. It was 10
times more difficult using an electronic map without the GPS coordinates
than using the good old paperback street map.

Tamas




>
>
> Mobility is the future for most devices, we're on our way!
>
> TTYL
>
> -

2009\08\05@195451 by Xiaofan Chen

face picon face
On Thu, Aug 6, 2009 at 1:09 AM, Herbert Graf<TakeThisOuThkgrafKILLspamspamspamgmail.com> wrote:
> On Wed, 2009-08-05 at 20:01 +0800, Xiaofan Chen wrote:
>> I used to be a PDA fan. I still have three PDAs but hardly use
>> them any more: a Windows CE 1.0 Handheld PC (with 2.0 Rom
>> upgrade), a Palm IIIXe PDA and a HP Jornada 565 PocketPC 2002.
>> I was using the Jornada 565 as a eBook reader and it actually is
>> very good for that purpose. But other than the eBook function, I think
>> it is not that useful in the end. My brother-in-law is using the
>> HP iPaq 212, with a 4inch VGA screen, he likes it quite well
>> for casual web browsing. Both of us are not into smart phones.
>
> Hehe, I guess you and I are just different then!

Not that different in this case. The main reason we do not like
Smart Phone is the small screen and the battery life. PDAs
without phone function last much longer with the battery.
The bigger screen also helps.

That being said, if there are similar smart phone with good
battery life, I will probably get one in the future.

> I splurged last year and got the HTC Diamond Touch. It's Windows Mobile
> based, so yes you have to deal with some "issues", but once you're aware
> of them it's an incredibly useful device.

We are ok with Windows Mobile. Actually I like Windows Mobile than
anything from Apple since it has more free applications. I am actually
ok with most of the Microsoft offerings, even Windows Vista. ;-)

> It's got a 640x480 screen, so browsing the web on it is as close to the
> desktop experience as any smart phone (the extra resolution makes it
> better IMHO then an Iphone, which is the standard).

The iPAQ 212 has a 4 inch 640x480 screen. So we are the same
here: we all like bigger screen. ;-)

The data service in some places is very cheap, but not really here,
especially for someone who do not use cell phone that much like me.

> This past weekend I was in Montreal and for the first time pretty much
> ever, I never had to pull out the laptop (it sat in it's bag the whole
> weekend). Every time we needed to look something up (directions, phone
> number, things to do) I just pulled my phone out and got the answer.
>
> At one point we were looking for a store that was in the guide book.
> When we go there we realized it wasn't there anymore. Pulled out my
> phone, turned on the GPS and asked google maps where other locations
> were, couple minutes and we were on our way, incredible.

Yes I like this form factor much more than netbook.

> Mobility is the future for most devices, we're on our way!
>
I agree with you.

--
Xiaofan http://mcuee.blogspot.com

2009\08\06@045207 by SM Ling

picon face
> Maybe we just forgot that the same was possible before without electronic
> devices :-) I remember when I lost the GPS signal in Paris -- I was just too
> much trusting that device and had no traditional map with me. It was 10
> times more difficult using an electronic map without the GPS coordinates
> than using the good old paperback street map.
>
Divorce rate is lower recently, the economists factor it to the bad
economy.  I think it is the GPS navigation that saves many marriages
from breaking apart especially after holiday trips.  It has been
saving a lot of heated moments for me as my old human assisted
navigation can only prompt me to turn right at or after the junction.

Cheers, Ling SM

2009\08\06@062837 by Tamas Rudnai

face picon face
On Thu, Aug 6, 2009 at 9:51 AM, SM Ling <.....ipal11spamRemoveMEsingnet.com.sg> wrote:

> Divorce rate is lower recently, the economists factor it to the bad
> economy.  I think it is the GPS navigation that saves many marriages
> from breaking apart especially after holiday trips.  It has been
> saving a lot of heated moments for me as my old human assisted
> navigation can only prompt me to turn right at or after the junction.


LOL, very true :-)

Tamas


>
>
> Cheers, Ling SM
> -

2009\08\06@102444 by Herbert Graf

picon face
On Wed, 2009-08-05 at 22:20 +0100, Tamas Rudnai wrote:
> On Wed, Aug 5, 2009 at 6:09 PM, Herbert Graf <RemoveMEhkgrafspamspamBeGonegmail.com> wrote:
>
> > At one point we were looking for a store that was in the guide book.
> > When we go there we realized it wasn't there anymore. Pulled out my
> > phone, turned on the GPS and asked google maps where other locations
> > were, couple minutes and we were on our way, incredible.
>
>
> Maybe we just forgot that the same was possible before without electronic
> devices :-)

But that right there was the point, we WERE using a dead tree guide/map,
and it was the one that failed us. Had we used google maps first we
would have know it wasn't there anymore.

I do still navigate the "old" way from time to time just to keep my
skills well tuned. That said, when travelling somewhere you've never
been the absolute freedom that modern navigational aids is astounding.

> I remember when I lost the GPS signal in Paris -- I was just too
> much trusting that device and had no traditional map with me. It was 10
> times more difficult using an electronic map without the GPS coordinates
> than using the good old paperback street map.

Perhaps you need a better electronic map? I've regularly used my Garmin
Nuvi in situations where there was no GPS signal and it's easily as
useful as a paper map.

To each his/her own I suppose.

TTYL

2009\08\06@171656 by Ruben Jönsson

flavicon
face
>
> I do still navigate the "old" way from time to time just to keep my
> skills well tuned. That said, when travelling somewhere you've never
> been the absolute freedom that modern navigational aids is astounding.
>

Just make sure to spell the destination right...

<http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/8173308.stm>

/Ruben
==============================
Ruben Jönsson
AB Liros Electronic
Box 9124, 200 39 Malmö, Sweden
TEL INT +46 40142078
FAX INT +46 40947388
spamBeGoneruben@spam@spamspam_OUTpp.sbbs.se
==============================

2009\08\06@222216 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Herbert Graf wrote:

> That said, when travelling somewhere you've never been the absolute
> freedom that modern navigational aids is astounding.

Kind of... For me, when traveling, it's not so much about arriving at my
target, but the experience of getting there. And this is possibly
enhanced by the occasional chat about where I am and where I want to go.
It seems that these aids not exactly make these experiences impossible,
but probably less frequent -- you just don't ask. With which one may
lose out on something.

Besides, "modern navigational aids" and "freedom" in the same sentence
immediately caused the image of a thousand firearm-bearing freedom
fighters on their way to defend their freedom, guided by their modern
navigational aids, which are connected to a system that's been hacked by
the enemy -- and when they think they're getting to their secret meeting
point, boom! :)

Gerhard

2009\08\07@042640 by Dario Greggio

face picon face
Gerhard Fiedler ha scritto:
> Herbert Graf wrote:
>
>> That said, when travelling somewhere you've never been the absolute
>> freedom that modern navigational aids is astounding.
>
> Kind of... For me, when traveling, it's not so much about arriving at my
> target, but the experience of getting there. And this is possibly
> enhanced by the occasional chat about where I am and where I want to go.
> It seems that these aids not exactly make these experiences impossible,
> but probably less frequent -- you just don't ask. With which one may
> lose out on something.


Agreed HErbert, I don't like GPSs as well, because of that "keeping your
brain" in a box, and losing some of the fun in travelling.

I'd only advice them to people who need to travel a lot for work, and in
a hurry.

Dario

2009\08\07@131524 by Herbert Graf

picon face
On Thu, 2009-08-06 at 21:22 -0500, Gerhard Fiedler wrote:
> Herbert Graf wrote:
>
> > That said, when travelling somewhere you've never been the absolute
> > freedom that modern navigational aids is astounding.
>
> Kind of... For me, when traveling, it's not so much about arriving at my
> target, but the experience of getting there. And this is possibly
> enhanced by the occasional chat about where I am and where I want to go.
> It seems that these aids not exactly make these experiences impossible,
> but probably less frequent -- you just don't ask. With which one may
> lose out on something.

See, for me it's most certainly the journey, not the destination, yet I
look at it completely differently. There are two elements here for me:

1) When navigating the dead tree way I'm always concerned about taking a
detour since it's a relatively large amount of effort to figure things
out again, ESPECIALLY if the detour isn't on your map. As a result I
always found I was resisting seeing where that weird looking road went.
With my GPS I don't think twice, I just turn and it figures out the best
way to continue. Since the GPS has a huge "points of interest" database,
far bigger then any paper map, it actually enhances your options.

2) The time of arrival feature is by far the most useful to me. When I
see something along the way that I want to see I just add it as a via
point. The GPS then reports my revised time of arrival. Based on that I
can decide whether to "go for it" or not. MUCH more relaxing then the
dead tree method where you're taking out a ruler to see how much time it
will likely add to your journey.

To each his or her own I suppose, but I know for me it's been that much
more fun to travel with a GPS then without. I can explore as much as I
want, as long as that time of arrival doesn't go over the time I need to
be where I need to be I can continue exploring.

Heck, I even use my GPS to go home, not for the directions, but just for
the time of arrival, it's very accurate.

TTYL

2009\08\10@035737 by Alan B. Pearce

face picon face
>Heck, I even use my GPS to go home, not for the directions,
>but just for the time of arrival, it's very accurate.

A friend of mine was going to drop his son off ay boarding school. He had
recently got a new car with GPS installed (this was a good few years ago
now), and decided for the fun of it, to use the GPS to find his way there.
He was quite surprised to find the GPS found a route that was 15 minutes
shorter than his 'normal' one.

2009\08\10@062933 by Marechiare

picon face
Herbert Graf wrote:
> I splurged last year and got the HTC Diamond Touch.
> It's Windows Mobile based, so yes you have to deal
> with some "issues", but once you're aware of them it's
> an incredibly useful device.
>
> It's got a 640x480 screen, so browsing the web on
> it is as close to the desktop experience as any smart
> phone (the extra resolution makes it better IMHO then
> an Iphone, which is the standard).
>
> This past weekend I was in Montreal and for the first
> time pretty much ever, I never had to pull out the laptop
> (it sat in it's bag the whole weekend). Every time we
> needed to look something up (directions, phone number,
> things to do) I just pulled my phone out and got the answer.

>From my experience HTC Diamond Touch is pretty much useless on any
trip due to its weak standard battery. Did you buy 1300 ma/h battery?

2009\08\10@080515 by Marechiare

picon face
> Yes I like this form factor much more than
> netbook.

How about Tegra APX-based devices (The first Tegra APX-based devices
are expected to begin shipping in the second half of 2009)

http://www.nvidia.com/object/product_tegra_apx_us.html.

Peripherals:
USB 2.0 OTG,
HDMI,
MIPI CSI/DSI/HSI,
UART,
SPI,
SDIO,
I2C,
I2S

2009\08\10@151408 by Herbert Graf

picon face
On Mon, 2009-08-10 at 13:29 +0300, Marechiare wrote:
> Herbert Graf wrote:
> > I splurged last year and got the HTC Diamond Touch.
> > It's Windows Mobile based, so yes you have to deal
> > with some "issues", but once you're aware of them it's
> > an incredibly useful device.
> >
> > It's got a 640x480 screen, so browsing the web on
> > it is as close to the desktop experience as any smart
> > phone (the extra resolution makes it better IMHO then
> > an Iphone, which is the standard).
> >
> > This past weekend I was in Montreal and for the first
> > time pretty much ever, I never had to pull out the laptop
> > (it sat in it's bag the whole weekend). Every time we
> > needed to look something up (directions, phone number,
> > things to do) I just pulled my phone out and got the answer.
>
> >From my experience HTC Diamond Touch is pretty much useless on any
> trip due to its weak standard battery. Did you buy 1300 ma/h battery?

The CDMA version comes standard with the 1340mAh battery. That said, the
battery life of every single smart phone is atrocious (pretty much
number one complaint of the iPhone, Blackberries are better, but even
they with moderate use can't reach 2 days). Packing that much
"stuff" (in my case, 3G, 640x480 screen, WiFi, GPS, camera, and a
network provider with horrible coverage meaning my phone is very warm to
the touch most of the time) into a handheld device at the moment results
in a phone that will likely not last more then a day, even with light to
moderate use.

Since it has a USB port I simply keep it charging all the time, at home,
on my desk, on the road, that way I don't have to worry much about
battery life!

When I am away from a charging location long enough I do turn off all
the "nice features" (anything that sucks data will suck battery life).
It's an adjustment from the days of 5 day battery life (my cheapie Nokia
still can go days on a charge, even with moderate use), but considering
I basically have a full web connected computer in my pocket it's a
really small price to pay.

TTYL

2009\08\11@041942 by Marechiare

picon face
> The CDMA version comes standard with the 1340mAh
> battery...

Yes, 1340mAh battery is usually enough for one day moderate use
(without full power Wi-Fi)

> I basically have a full web connected computer in my
> pocket it's a really small price to pay.

Opera web browser is quite good on it, IE on my device sucks.

HTC internals:
www.scribd.com/doc/16511471/HTC-Diamond-Service-Manual
(up on you to decide if it's legal to read/download it)

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