Tag Archives: tablet

BlackBerry Says “Thank You”– Offers Free PlayBook Apps At BlackBerry App World

imageI captured a runaway 32 GB BlackBerry PlayBook a couple of days ago. As it dashed past, I reached out and grabbed the little speed demon by its price tag – $248 (down from $599) . Last PlayBook in the store – so, I had to throw a few elbows during my robust maneuvering. You’ll notice – no mention of Mace, or pepper spray.   Smile

Now, before the trolls sharpen their pencils, and jump on the  “what, are you nuts!” bandwagon – it’s pretty simple – I buy hardware based on my knowledge. Sound arrogant? Maybe – but, I live in a “grain of salt” tech world.

After 30+ years at this game – skepticism has long been my conditioned response to “the latest”; “the greatest”; “game changing”; “overwhelms the competition”; “reinvents the technology” ………. hype.

Almost without exception, from where I sit in my arrogant chair, skepticism has been much more appropriate, than not. As, has been my response to – “the latest”; “the greatest”; “game changing”; descriptions bandied about and painted on upcoming entries into the tablet market – wariness, and an unwillingness to capitulate to the hype.

On the other hand – query a typical person on what a Tablet is, and almost without exception, you’ll find that person referring to an iPad. This, despite the fact that as of January 2011, 60+ manufacturers were already producing, or had under development, more than 100 Tablet variations.

Sort of takes me back to the old days, when it was commonly assumed that IBM was the sole manufacturer of the PC. In reality, other than for a short period of time, that was never the case.

I’ve not set out to write an in-depth review of the Playbook – 2/3 days usage is hardly sufficient time – but, I’m loving what I’m seeing. Nor, is this post intended to “savage” the iPad. Love to though – just to P.O. a few fanboys.   Smile

Instead, this a simple, lazy, mid-Christmas season post, to inform those who made the choice to focus on the PlayBook, that BlackBerry is offering a number of freebie applications, including –

Shazam Encore

Vlingo

DriveSafe.ly Pro

DriveSafe.ly Enterprise

Bubble Bash 2

The Sims 3

Bejeweled

Nobex Radio Premium

N.O.V.A.

SimCity Deluxe

iSpeech Translator Pro

Texas Hold’Em Poker 2

as a “ Thank you”, for choosing and supporting BlackBerry.

This offer expires on December 31st, 2011 – so, now would be a good time to download these applications.

 Go to – 

 

You’ll notice on the site, there are considerably more freebies available than I’ve posted here.

Note: A couple of things struck me immediately, while running through some “let’s see what this baby can do” processes with the PlayBook –

Multi-tasking (true Multi-tasking, BTW), was only marginally less efficient than running the same set of applications on my quad core Desktop. Impressive.

The PlayBook is capable of recording 1080p HD video with both the front and rear cameras. Very impressive results.

Drop back here in a couple of weeks for a full PlayBook review. In the meantime – readers from India might consider going on the hunt. I hear from associates in India, that a 16 GB PlayBook can be had for the equivalent of $199 USD, or less.

If you found this article useful, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.

8 Comments

Filed under BlackBerry, downloads, Freeware, PlayBook

ARM and Windows 8 – The Future Of Personal Computing?

Are ARM processors the future of personal computing? Will they make the leap from powering only mobile and embedded devices, to the mainstream personal computer market? With Windows 8 support for ARM on the horizon, guest writer Erphan Al-Delgir sees some big changes on the way.

imageSince January 2011, when Microsoft debuted Windows 8 at the Consumer Electronics Show, there has been a lot of buzz about the upcoming features and capabilities in the Windows 8. One of the most significant new capabilities of Windows 8 is it’s ability to run on an ARM processor.

ARM, abbreviated for Advanced RISC Machine, processors have been prominent around smaller items over the course of the last decade, but have not been prominent in the personal computer market.

ARM-based processors are different from current PC offerings from Intel and AMD, in their way of handling instructions. ARM processors run on a RISC (Reduced Instruction Set Computers) architecture. A RISC architecture system processes single instructions per clock cycle, at a very high speed.

For the past few decades, this has fit perfectly with the products ARM processors serviced because they only required one task or,  a number of minuscule tasks. This contrasts with a CISC (Complex Instruction Set Computers) architecture, which can follow complex sets of instructions. CISC processors (x86) processors have been more popular in PC’s because of the need for the processor to simultaneously run multiple complex operations.

Whereas CISC architecture based systems have heavy emphasis on the hardware (PCs), RISC architecture based systems have heavy emphasis on the software running. This is one of the reasons that ARM processors have received such little consumer exposure.

While ARM hasn’t been a household name over the last decade, it’s likely that each household has at least a handful of products, which are made possible through the use of ARM processors. Ranging from the first Palm Treo to the current generation iPhone – ARM processors have surely and steadily kept their market growing. ARM processors can be found in things as minuscule as digital clocks to pacemakers.

Microsoft’s announcement indicating the ability of Windows 8 primarily exposes two separate things. First, it’s intention of entering the tablet and netbook market through Windows 8, instead of a mobile operating system like Windows Phone 7. Whereas other popular tablets at the moment run “watered down” operating systems, such as the Apple iPad which runs a downplayed version of Mac OS X (iOS). Microsoft intends to integrate its amazing fully featured operating system environment onto tablets with the operating systems’ capability of running on an ARM system.

Microsoft’s other intention of supporting ARM in their newest operating system is the fact that the latest processors from companies like AMD and Intel are far beyond the needs of more than half of the PC market. While some people will need the latest variant of Intel’s offering (I confess, I will) most people will be quite happy with the features, and advantages, of ARM-based systems.

While CISC systems will continue to dominate the higher end of the personal computing world, ARM processors are only beginning to gain their share of the personal computer market. Microsoft’s stated goal is to implement ARM processors into tablets and netbooks running Windows 8. The advantages of ARM in these systems are much greater than the advantages of using CISC systems from Intel and AMD.

ARM processors require significantly less power and generate a lower amount of heat while running. Whereas a CISC processor needs to be cooled down by a fan, in most cases, a RISC processor is likely to stay much cooler and operate optimally without a fan.

ARM processors are also much less costly than Intel and AMD’s offerings. This is because ARM technology is licensed to manufacturers and developers to make their own variants of ARM processors. Whereas, with Intel and AMD, manufacturers must purchase the chips directly from Intel or AMD, with ARM they will be able to license the technology and develop the processors themselves at a cheaper cost.

Additionally, since RISC architecture is also simpler than the CISC architecture utilized by Intel and AMD, it’s likely that the overall manufacturing costs for ARM processors will be significantly less. The cost effectiveness of RISC technology is beneficial to both companies and consumers.

While I don’t see ARM as the market dominator in the next few years, I do see a lot of growth in the consumer market for this technology. With the backing of Microsoft, Apple, Qualcomm, Nvidia, and many others – this technology has the industries biggest and best behind it.

Guest writer Erphan Al-Delgir has just set up his first website, Teenly Political – “political views from a teenager who can’t seem to make up his mind.” 

It would be hard to argue that young people aren’t the future – so, take a peek at how a smart young guy like Erphan looks at the future – take a run over to his site.

If you found this article useful, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.

4 Comments

Filed under ARM, Guest Writers, Operating Systems, Point of View, Processors, Software, Windows 8, Windows Tips and Tools