Category Archives: Hardware

3D Printing Marches On

The rise of 3D printing continues. The mighty logistics machine that is the US Army now uses 3D printers to manufacture spare parts. The scale model of the Aston Martin DB5 in Skyfall (spoiler alert?) is also a “printed” 3D model.

“3D printing” is a bit of a misnomer and I prefer its more technical term, additive manufacturing. That nicely illustrates how it works – you add material to build up whatever you want. It also highlights the difference between it and conventional machining, which is substractive – you remove material from a block until you’re left with the object you wanted. This is of course highly inefficient and wasteful compared to building up the object using only the materials you need. Continue reading

Apple is the New Microsoft (and vice versa)

The first computer I used was during an optional after-school computer class in the first grade. There were about six or seven of us at tables, each with what I think were old 386es, where we would learn to type (although I still use my “Ninja Turtle” six-finger method), use basic DOS commands, and play Commander Keen.

The first Mac I used was a few years later, an old black-and-white Mac (probably a Mac Classic in hindsight), in art class (of course!). This was around the time that Windows now had a GUI and Warcraft I was the best game around.

Other than that one Mac, Windows machines were what I used almost exclusively, other than during my internship at Hawk Communications where I got to use a first-gen iMac with that godawful hockey-puck mouse. At home we had a Windows 98 desktop with a 1.5 GB hard drive that was always full. Continue reading

The PC is not Dead

The world is going Mobile! Mobile first! The PC market is collapsing!

It seems that everywhere we turn these days we see doomsayers with “The End of the PC is Nigh” sandwich boards – well, maybe not literally, but I wouldn’t be too surprised with all the bandwagon-jumping going on. Since the rapid rise of tablets and smartphones and the slowing of the desktop and laptop PC markets (and by PC I mean Macs too) the cries to abandon PCs altogether are becoming ever more strident. Continue reading

Flexible e-Paper Display by LG

LG have just unveiled a new e-paper screen. It’s thin and light, but most importantly it’s flexible. Looks like we’re one step closer to having an e-reader we can fold or roll up for easy storage. Such a design would need a rigid part somewhere to store the battery, but it’s still more convenient than an inflexible slab of plastic.

Then again, will readers as a whole be made obsolete by projection glasses, as Epson have just released? The glasses look absolutely ridiculous, so maybe we’ll have handheld devices for a while yet – at least until we have LCD contact lenses.

Either way it shows that reading is alive and well, despite the constant cries to the contrary.