Monthly Archives: May 2005

Nokia 770

Nokia 770

This has got to be my second most sought after device after the MDA IV. It has Wi Fi (no phone capabilities though), 800×480 px, Opera browser with RSS reader, media players and upcoming support for VoIP and IM and it’s based on Linux! Huzzah! And get this, Nokia is keeping everything open source, providing SDK for developers.

Ah… I can see millions and millions apps getting made for this baby. A giant company, hence mainstream acceptance of this device, hence more and more and more apps getting made for this. Can you say “http://www.770forge.net“? The best part is… it’s gonna be priced at a very competitive USD$350!

http://www.engadget.com/entry/1234000750044526/
http://www.engadget.com/entry/1234000943044620/
http://www.gizmodo.com/gadgets/cellphones/nokia/nokia-770-internet-appliance-104893.php
http://www.gizmodo.com/gadgets/pdas/nokia-770-makes-us-care-about-open-source-again-104947.php
http://www.mobileburn.com/review.jsp?Id=1376
http://www.infosyncworld.com/news/n/5991.html
http://linuxdevices.com/news/NS5409534614.html
http://hardware.slashdot.org/hardware/05/05/25/139202.shtml

This was gonna be a post of hope.

Her Room

Hope. Hope for a miracle. Hope for a friend that has battled her cancer for almost a year now that slipped into a coma just a few days ago to miraculously spring back and make a complete recovery. Hope.

But alas, god loved her more and took her away from the pain, from the struggle, from us.

It all started about a year ago, as all of us have already finished our first year exams and was waiting our supervised work experience that was going to commence in July. Everyone was excited, everyone was looking forward to it. Except one. The devastating news of her cancer was a wake up call to all of us.

She continued soldiering on, we continued our support. Even so, it was hard for me to even bring myself to look a person so innocent, so undeserving, to be stripped of dignity of even having a full head of hair, the unfairness of it all was overbearing. But her cheery disposition almost makes us forget why we were visiting her at the hospital, talking about her painful chemotheraphy as if it was just some weekly activity that she willingly partakes.

Days turn to weeks. Weeks turn to months. And last I heard was that she made a complete recovery and was due to retake the Supervised Work Experience portion of her Higher National Diploma. Although she had to take her medical leave for a year, her medical condition warrants a thorough fight with her cancer, and if the school deems that she would be illegible to rejoin the program, they’d find themselves 70 angry voices from our department.

Everyone was relieved to have heard that she was making a full recovery. Everyone was looking forward to see her again. Everyone was waiting for her to take her seat alongside us all again at the concourse.

But it was god’s will and god’s will always prevail.

Just today, the class was organizing to visit her again at the hospital. After much prodding, I found that the she had gone back to the hospital since last month, and just slipped into coma just a few days ago.

Nothing could have prepared me to the image I saw at that small room. And small enough as it is, the more I stare at her still body, the more the room shrinks, my eye fixated on her troubled breathing and her occasional grunts. I couldn’t take it. But I couldn’t shed a tear either. The damn contact lenses…

Another batch of our class later arrived, and I told them to just be ready for the image they’re about to see. Sure enough, they came out speechless, the beads of tears in their eyes, as had I.

But even now, what struck me the most was her mother’s strength, to keep her composure during the ordeal. If it was my mother and it was me on the bed, sure enough she’d be wailing and crying for the whole week.

I touched her cold foot before I went, just as if to say, may god be with you, and in turn, she grunted, still eyes closed, as if to acknowledge my message, as if to acknowledge the touch.

At 7:17 pm, Fandi called to tell me the bad news. Wiping the sleep from my eye, the news sent a shiver down my spine. I immediately called everyone that was there this afternoon to pay our respect for the last time at the hospital, and most that were there this afternoon were there to pay their respect their.

I went with another friend to the door of her room and her father, still keeping his composure, and was told to go in to say prayers for her. Feeling rather awkward as it was just her family in there, but out of respect I just stood there and said prayers as well. Again, nothing prepared me to stare at her lifeless body, as I quickly looked elsewhere, anywhere else in the room. Still, I’d still have that image of her in my head for a long time to come.

May you rest in peace, our dear friend.

Suriana bte Awg. Milin.

(1984 – 2005)

It’s 2 am.

And I’m still here waiting for the screenshots of my site to finish at http://www.browsershots.org/, while researching Personal Area Networks which the interim report is due in 3 days, and also opening a Word Document reading notes for the upcoming Computer Networking test which will be tomorrow, typing another document for Computer Networking class documenting how we got two computers to share an internet connection through a rather ancient looking hub, I’ve come to reflect on a recent post regarding the browser technologies in my May 1st.

I said that Opera was being a brat, not wanting to acknowledge margins through an attached stylesheet, which is later rectified by just having the padding and the margins as zero like so

body {padding:0; margin: 0}

Yeah. My bad.

About Firefox having an option where you can select the stylesheet under the View menu, yeah… I later found that Opera 8 also does that, under View > Style menu.

And also about the RSS icon appearing when a stylesheet is declared as so..

Yeah. Firefox has that too, but instead in the address bar itself, it’s located way down there on the bottom right corner. How do ya expect me to notice that?

Heh. Yeah I should research everything before I post, right?

Oh… I’m so wanting a Power Mac G5 right now just to put Photoshop CS2 through its paces. I bet the whole Suite would be killer on that. Hell it’d be killer on a Powerbook even!

I want my own Astromech Droid. Real R2-D2!

Artoo!

“Real” R2D2 made in italy
A prototype of R2D2 has been built by researchers at the university of Pisa. It will be presented in Livorno today (May 19th) during the presentation of Episode III.
It’s somehow taller (1.5 mt) but walks (with 2 or 3 legs) and beeps like the original, and flees from people holding light sabres! Oh, and comes with bluetooth and usb.

The robot actually is the resulting prototype of a research project in creating a kind of slave or companion robot with a friendly interface. What’s best than a worldwide icon that in 28 years of honored service ingnited the imagination of at least two generations?
In the mind of the researchers, this kind of robots could be used in to be used in museums, hospitals, or maybe even at home. The budget for the whole thing was about 50k euros.

Source : http://www.engadget.com/entry/1234000050043896/

Source : http://www.codewitch.org/archives/2005/05/real_r2d2_made.html

Italian Source : http://www.repubblica.it/2005/e/sezioni/scienza_e_tecnologia/r2d2/r2d2/r2d2.html

Star Wars 3: Revenge of the Sith

In one word: Breathtaking. Clearly an improvement over the last two titles and it could even nudge some older trilogy to take the top three spot. Everything in that movie brings a tear to the eye, and I meant that in a good way. Every scene will remind you of something along the rich history of the far away galaxy, from the Old Republic as seen in Knights of the Old Republic game, the Clone Wars animated series and of course the other five movies as well. And the whole experience was accentuated by a kid wearing a Darth Vader mask sitting directly in front of our row. Talk about coolness and geekiness.

If you have to watch a movie this summer, make it this one. Even more so if you’re a Star Wars fan. Just… be ready to feel… sad…

Whoops. My bad.

But I really thought that NintendoOn.wmv looked real. Anyway, here’s the real Nintendo Revolution.

Nintendo Revolution

Nintendo Revolution
– Release is sometime in 2006.
– Prototype shown is larger than final unit.
– Nintendo is still determining final colors for the console.
– All-Access Gaming, which refers to backwards compatibility to 20 years of Nintendo games, NES, SNES, N64. We don’t know particulars of how it’ll be accessed or what, if any, the cost structure might be.
– Downloadable to 512MB of flash memory.
– SD memory card slot.
– Wireless controllers.
– Two USB 2.0 ports.
– Built-in WiFi.
– WiFi used to interface with the DS.
– DS likely to enhance future games.
– Self-loading optical drive that will play 12cm Revolution discs and smaller GameCube discs
– Self-contained attachment for playing media content, including DVDs.
– No controller was shown. So even though the box looks a lot like the one leaked over the weekend, the accompanying controllers were not presented. So was it a leak, or a really good guess?

Via Engadget.

Game Boy Micro

Game Boy Micro
– Launch is slated for this Fall.
– Silver in color for now, expect all sorts of rainbow-flavored variations.
– Dimensions: 4 inches wide by 2 inches tall and 0.7 inches thick.
– Weight: 2.8 ounces (80 paper clips’ worth of weight).
– Processor: Same as GBA SP.
– Form factor: “Gleaming shoulder and start/select buttons that literally shine”, removable and customizable face plate.
– Screen: 2-inches, backlit and the “best Game Boy screen ever” with adjustable brightness controls for use indoors or outdoors.
– Marketing angle: “We’re making the gorgeous Game Boy Micro for image-conscious folks who love video games, the ones who want the look of their system to be as cool as the games they play on it” according to George Harrison, Nintendo of America Sr. VP of marketing. It’s clear that they’re going after the kids who are too cool to carry around an obvious gaming device but who don’t mind carrying something that looks like the cell phone that they’re already carrying.
– Accessories: built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery; supports standard headphones.
– Software: the Game Boy Advance has nearly 700 titles available, all of which will be playable on the Game Boy Micro.

Via Engadget.

Ok. Everyone has dealt their hands. Sorta.

Xbox 360

Totally hot, but totally trumped by PS3 in this first salvo of numbers bombardments.

Xbox 360 System Performance

Custom IBM PowerPC-based CPU
3 symmetrical cores running at 3.2 GHz each
2 hardware threads per core; 6 hardware threads total
1 VMX-128 vector unit per core; 3 total
128 VMX-128 registers per hardware thread
1 MB L2 cache

CPU Game Math Performance
9 billion dot product operations per second

Custom ATI Graphics Processor
500 MHz
10 MB embedded DRAM
48-way parallel floating-point dynamically-scheduled shader pipelines
Unified shader architecture

Polygon Performance
500 million triangles per second

Pixel Fill Rate
16 gigasamples per second fillrate using 4X MSAA

Shader Performance
48 billion shader operations per second

Memory
512 MB GDDR3 RAM
700 MHz DDR
Unified memory architecture

Memory Bandwidth
22.4 MB/s memory interface bus bandwidth
256 GB/s memory bandwidth to EDRAM
21.6 GB/s front-side bus

Overall System Floating-Point Performance
1 TFLOP

Storage
Detachable and upgradeable 20 GB hard drive
12X dual-layer DVD-ROM
Memory unit support starting at 64 MB

I/O
Support for up to 4 wireless game controllers
3 USB 2.0 ports
2 memory unit slots

Optimized for Online
Instant, out-of-the-box access to Xbox Live features, including Xbox Live Marketplace for downloadable content, Gamer Profile for digital identity and voice chat to talk to friends while playing games, watching movies or listening to music
Built in Ethernet Port
Wi-Fi Ready: 802.11 A, B and G
Video Camera Ready

Digital Media Support
Support for DVD-Video, DVD-ROM, DVD-R/RW, DVD+R/RW, CD-DA, CD-ROM, CD-R, CD-RW, WMA CD, MP3 CD, JPEG Photo CD
Stream media from portable music devices, digital cameras, Windows XP PCs
Rip music to Xbox 360 hard drive
Custom playlists in every game
Windows Media Center Extender built in
Interactive, full screen 3D visualizers

HD Game Support
All games supported at 16:9, 720p and 1080i, anti-aliasing
Standard definition and high definition video output supported

Audio
Multichannel surround sound output
Supports 48 KHz 16-bit audio
320 independent decompression channels
32-bit audio processing
Over 256 audio channels

System Orientation
Stands vertically or horizontally

Customizable Face Plates
Interchangeable to personalize the console

Playstation 3

Playstation 3 System Performance

I have been assured the design is NOT FINAL. But the specs are pretty impressive.

-It will support Blu-ray (obviously), DVD±R/W, CD-R/RW
-Backwards compatible with the PlayStation 2 and original Playstation
-One 3.2GHz Cell processor-total system performance rated at 2.18 teraflops (uh, that’s actually about twice what Microsoft is claiming the Xbox 360 will do); it will have 256MB system RAM 3.2GHz, and 256MB GDDR VRAM at 700MHz
-The nVidia graphics will be called the RSX (“Reality Synthesizer”), and will trump the Xbox 360 with 1080p (yes, that’s a p) graphics support.
-There will be a 2.5-inch hard drive (i.e. laptop hard drive) attachment-a first for a Sony launch (no, we don’t count the PSX and/or the FF add-on)
-Memory Stick Duo slot, and very surprisingly, an SD and CF slots
-Bluetooth support with up to seven wireless controllers
-Six USB system ports

Via [Engadget]

Check out the games here. Mindblowing.

Nintendo Revolution (?)

The wierdest out of the three, and I’m not sure if this is the work of some really, really, really crafty prankster, but if this Video (http://onefed.com/media/NintendoON.wmv) turns out to be legit, you’d be playing your games in a really new and frickingly unvelievable way. You just have to download the video to see for yourself. Hint: It looks like a helmet for a reason.

My 2 cents? : Seeing how Sony’s procilivity of hyperbole is only rivalled by Trip Hawkin’s, I don’t think they’ll be pushing anything substantial through that systems in terms of graphics. Remember how the Emotion Engine in the PS2 was supposed to sustain its life for 8 years and blow PC graphics out of the water? Yeah. We all remember that. While playing inadequately polygone-d Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory. The power of the system is impressive granted, and seven wireless controllers definatly beats 4 on the Xbox, but seeing the sexy design of the Xbox 360 (yes I might not have been truly loving of the design at first, but how was I to know it wasn’t gonna have wired controllers?) but that thing wouldn’t look out of place in the entertainment system. The games as far as I can tell is what’s gonna sway one crowd to one platform and another crowd to the other. I can’t live without my Final Fantasies or Tekkens or Soul Caliburs or the countless other Japanese RPGs that’s surely swinging to the Playstation’s way, but gaming developers are already warming up to the 360, hell even the creator of Final Fantasy is on the bandwagon.

Looks like it’s not gonna be a clear cut case of buying the 360 at launch anymore. Now, as time and time again, the sit and wait and see approach will be put into effect.

And if the Nintendo Revolution does sport that virtual reality thing, will that shake the the gaming industry at it’s roots? Just watch the part with Metroid. You’d watch it again. And again. And again.

Heh… It all boils down to the games. This industry can support 3 major players and if the games are all good on all three systems, I don’t think any gamer should be complaining in this world of gaming abundance that we are in right now.

Game on.

Xbox 360 Hard disk

Oh… It’s not a slot then… My bad… A shot from the video from two post previous.

Oh yeah. I’m a Star Wars nut.

Click for link

We’re gonna catch a screening of it this Wednesday at 11 pm, much more earlier than everyone else on the planet (except the damn Japanese and the Aussies and those early screener people at the Cannes Film Festival which gets to see it this Sunday.

In marking the celebration of a fine uh… [quintology? Sextology?] I’m celebrating it with growing a Padawan ponytail. Yes. It gets looks and stares, but after a few seconds they realize where I got the idea from and they generally don’t say antyhing much. Maybe the fact that they think I’m a real Jedi knight? …. Nah… not really. Will of course lengthen it with a fake one just for the occasion, and I will burst out in enjoyment when the film ends, much like how I did with the first two episodes. Can’t wait.

Xbox 360 Unveiling Frenzy!

Yawww!!! They just unveiled the Xbox 360 on the other side of the world’s MTV, and that is gonna take its own sweet time to air in this region’s tvs anytime soon. Anyway, powered by Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra, here I am going all link crazy on you fools!

Kotaku Xbox 360 Detailed Rundown
Kotaku Xbox 360 Factsheets [The comparison is trouser snake arousing]
Engadget’s live coverage of the Xbox 360 launch
Xbox 360 Official Site Just Opened
Tom’s Hardware’s take on the whole thing
IGN’s coverage
Gamespot’s coverage
5 Minute Trailer of the Xbox 360 [Download it with Coc Soft Stream Down]
Picture of me getting aroused by the thing