Chromebook Pixel Unboxing Video (YouTube)

Chromebook Pixel

Chromebook Pixel (Photo credit: Stratageme.com)

Google’s premium laptop Chromebook Pixel is a nice expensive toy, but how nice?  Well, if you ask me, I would say probably not much.  Nonetheless, if you ask other people, I bet some of them would bet that I’m wrong.  I’m not going to be mad though, because everyone has their own opinion.  This is why I don’t mind to embed the YouTube video right after the break which shows you the unboxing of Chromebook Pixel.  Oh, if you insist on asking why I do not think much of Chromebook Pixel, you can just check out my other article which is “Nice Try Google, But You Can Do Better Right? Chromebook Pixel Is Nice, But It Should Be Nicer!!!”  By the way, check out the awesome unboxing of Chromebook Pixel right after the break.

Nice Try Google, But You Can Do Better Right? Chromebook Pixel Is Nice, But It Should Be Nicer!!!

chromebook pixel

chromebook pixel (Photo credit: Frances Berriman)

Is Chromebook Pixel real or just a concept?  It seems that arstechnica reported that Chromebook Pixel is indeed a real product.  According to arstechnica’s “Google’s new touchscreen Chromebook Pixel: a $1,299 laptop for cloud dwellers” article, Google had just announced the existence of Chromebook Pixel.  If Chromebook Pixel is real, so?  The buzz about Chromebook Pixel is that it’s an exotic animal.  By this I mean it’s basically a machine which mainly focuses on staying connect to the Internet only, but it’s a very gorgeous only online machine (if we discount that it does have some offline features).  I’m sure it got some offline features, but it is designed to be working with the cloud.  It’s no surprised really since Chromebook Pixel is a more expensive version of other Google’s Chromebook products.  So, Chromebook Pixel is more of a beast among Chromebook products, but its core functionality is still all about cloud functionalities.  Simply really, Chromebook Pixel is just a lot more gorgeous in terms of screen resolution and other whistles and bells.

arstechnica reported that Chromebook Pixel has screen resolution of 2560×1700 with 239 pixel per inch, 1.8GHz Intel Core i5 processor, 4GB RAM, 32GB flash storage for Wi-Fi model and 64GB flash storage for LTE model.  By purchasing Chromebook Pixel, a customer will get 1TB of Google Drive cloud storage for free for 3 years.  Cloud storage?  If you never heard of cloud but know of Dropbox, then Google Drive is somewhat similar to Dropbox.  1TB of Dropbox would be nice eh?  So, if you like Dropbox that much, then I guess 1TB of Google Drive is definitely one of those temptations that is hard to refuse.

It seems that the screen resolution for Chromebook Pixel is the main focus, because 2560×1700 is a lot.  It’s a beast!  I’m not a fan of i5 processor, therefore in term of processor Chromebook Pixel is a let down for me.  4 GB of RAM only?  In my opinion, 4GB of RAM for any machine from today onward isn’t enough (but you might think otherwise and I don’t mind).  Since Chromebook Pixel is an always online machine, 32 or 64 GB of flash storage does make sense until it doesn’t.  How come?  In my opinion, the 2560×1700 screen is a waste on Chromebook Pixel.  I’m reasoning that whoever wants to work with such beautiful/exotic screen resolution might need to store humongous sizes of visual data (e.g., videos, photos, etc…), but what Chromebook Pixel doesn’t carry — Chromebook doesn’t support USB 3.0 and 802.11ac Wi-Fi speed — will hamper the productivity of whoever wants to use Chromebook Pixel in a more hardcore manner.

Now, if Chromebook Pixel supports USB 3.0 and 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard, even though Chromebook Pixel doesn’t have huge local drive storage space, I will definitely want a Chromebook Pixel for myself, even with the current might be Chromebook Pixel’s price range $1200 – $1400.  How come?  Let pretend that I’m a real photographer (because I’m only an aspiring one), I definitely have tons of photos and videos to store, to make backups of, and the likes.  With USB 3.0 support, I can use USB 3.0 capability to speedily transfer my videos and photos back and forth between the external hard drives and Chromebook Pixel, because making data backups is so important to people like the photographers.  Let say I’m a paranoid data integrity and data redundancy freak, and so if Chromebook Pixel supports 802.11ac standard, I can definitely speed up my backup of data to the cloud.

You see, I think Chromebook Pixel lacks some really important features even though it is obviously designed to be an online only machine.  I think Chromebook Pixel should not emphasize an online only machine to the point that alienates the good features that it supposes to carry for offline needs.  Instead of carrying USB 3.0, Chromebook Pixel carries USB 2.0.  We know USB 3.0 is the way forward, but people are also comparing USB 3.0 against Thunderbolt too.  This is why it’s so weird for me to see Chromebook Pixel carries only USB 2.0.  Perhaps, not carrying any USB support at all might make more sense than not carrying USB 3.0?  Also, faster Wi-Fi is always a must have feature.  We know that we have the faster Wi-Fi capability through 802.11ac standard/capability, but Chromebook Pixel decides to not support 802.11ac?

Besides the lack of various important features I mentioned, Chromebook Pixel does look like a very nice toy.  From what I’ve seen of it, it looks nice!  The screen, the body, and the shape of Chromebook Pixel speaks to me in a very positive manner.  Simply put, I love the overall look of Chromebook Pixel.  Unfortunately, it reminds me of Macbook products.  Fortunately, I think it might look even better than Macbook Pro, but I’m not sure unless I can see and touch it (only see a video of it).  Oh yeah, if you think I’m a Mac fanatic, then you don’t know me at all.  Obviously, that should be the case since you don’t know me at all in real life.  Nonetheless, let me reveal to you something about me, I’m also a Windows 8 and Linux fanatical sort of person.  If I know another good sort of OS-brand-hardware type out there, I might as well be a fanatic for such too…

Before I end this post, let me say that you can also reach out and touch that beautiful Chromebook Pixel’s screen.  How come?  It’s a touchscreen yo!  Check out the Chromebook Pixel in the video right after the break.  Enjoy!!!

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Tablets And Smartphones Might Not Be So Hot If These Devices Came Out A Decade Or Two Earlier

If tablets had come out a decade or two earlier, I doubt people would care!  How come?  I imagined at that time, tablets would be near useless since modern apps, processors, and plethora of computing options that are now being able to be packaged nicely into a tiny tablet were the stuffs of imagination then.  After all, personal computers back then were still so new and incapable if we are comparing the then personal computers against the current ones.  In a way, I think I’d read somewhere that had mentioned that Steve Jobs might get the tablet idea from Star Trek, whether this piece of information is wrong or not, even if Steve Jobs had come out the tablets then, nobody would care.  With perfect hindsight, now we know why, right?  In fact, I think I’d read that Microsoft had come out with certain tablet form factors way earlier than the first wave of popular iPads, but even though at the time laptops and PCs were the norm Microsoft’s tablet form factors failed to pick up steam.  In fact, nobody had cared about Microsoft’s tablet form factors then!

With hindsight, we now clearly know why tablets are only matter now, but not back then.  Nonetheless, even now, without the hindsight, I think tablets won’t be all that important and cool as to how the current media would like us all to think.  In fact, tablets are something that people want to use in very unique circumstances.  Let say, smartphones are definitely the better device form factors to carry around since the biggest smartphones might still be a lot smaller and lighter than the smallest and lightest tablets.  You get the picture!  Smartphones obviously are more convenient and easier to pocket, therefore people feel more personal about their smartphones.  The usage of tablets are for the people who have the patience to carry more than one electronic devices when they are out and about.  I don’t think there are more folks in that camp than the camp of let carry only all in one small but powerful electronic device (such as smartphone).  I can see how awesome a tablet might be as a remote control for a big screen TV.  I can see how awesome a tablet might be for reading electronic books and magazines.  Nonetheless, I still think people prefer to do all of that on smartphones if they’re out and about.

With the current electronic trend, people are buying more tablets than personal computers.  With the current electronic trend, people are definitely buying more smartphones than personal computers.  Does this electronic trend tell us that personal computers are about to die a slow death?  I doubt so!  Nonetheless, I can see why people are buying more smaller electronic device form factors.  I don’t think it takes a rocket scientist to see the benefits of carrying something so small and yet so useful as a smartphone or a tablet.  For an example, to be able to store thousands of electronic books in a smartphone is definitely a big plus over to how things were done traditionally when it comes down to books.  Basically, convenient, useful, and powerful are the three terms that immediately come to mind whenever I think about small electronic device form factors.  Smartphones and tablets allow us to feel the power of being productive while on the go.  In a sense, the productiveness that radiates from today small electronic device form factors is something that the older generations of homo sapiens had never ever seen before.  These small electronic device form factors that set the trend which can be comparable to the older trendsetters such as the bring about of automobiles, planes, and so on.

So, people are buying up more small electronic device form factors, does it mean that the personal computer trend is on a life support system?  No, because people still need to be content creators first before there will be content consumers.  Without personal computers that are powerful enough to churn out creative works, I doubt there will be much of contents to be consumed on small electronic device form factors.  So, I think personal computers are safe for now, because there aren’t any tablet or smartphone out there that can upheave this personal computer reign just yet.

Sure, personal computers are more powerful and come with more choices than ever before, but why people are not thinking or talking about them as much as they used to?  Perhaps, personal computers are so normal that we can only see them when we’re actually using them?  They’re not exotic as tablets and smartphones.  Nonetheless, asking most gamers out there which device or machine they prefer to play latest games on, I would bet personal computer with a humongous display would be the preferable choice, always!

In short, personal computer technology has came a long way and has matured to a point of it’s no longer needing to be talked about constantly in order for it to be attractive.  Plus, as personal computer technology improved, so the lifespan of personal computer machines.  With so many households are already teaming with personal computers and most mid-end to high-end personal computers are more expensive than smartphones and tablets, therefore I don’t think people want to think or buy personal computers in the same light as how they might want to do so for smartphones and tablets.

In conclusion, I think the three terms I describe earlier — convient, useful, and powerful — are some of the most important factors that dictate why people have been buying so much smartphones and tablets.  Nonetheless, if these smartphones and tablets had come out a decade or two earlier, I highly doubt that people would care!  In a sense, people are now finding these small electronic device form factors quite useful thanks to the advance of personal computer technology first.  In a sense, personal computer technology isn’t a trendsetter anymore showing that personal computer technology had been so matured.  Nonetheless, don’t think for a second that personal computer technology is dying, because it’s still the trendsetter when it comes to content producing.  So, until the small electronic device form factors get more capable, actually be as capable or better than personal computers, I don’t see how personal computers will be outdated.  With that being said, technology usually moves at the speed of light, therefore I’m not sure how relevant my saying, in regarding to personal computer popularity, will be in a near future (i.e., five years down the road).

iPad Mini Review

Got my hand on iPad Mini, and so I reviewed it in a video.  Enjoy!!!

Check Out The Assembly Process Of The Motherboards

labeled diagram of Acer E360 Socket 939 mother...

labeled diagram of Acer E360 Socket 939 motherboard by Foxconn (labels in English). Compare the previous image: :Image:ASRock_K7VT4A_Pro_Mainboard_Labeled_English.svg (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sometimes, when you visit YouTube and right away a video begs for your attention, and the one which I’m going to share with you within this blog post is exactly that.  The title for the video is a bit misleading, because you won’t be able to make a motherboard even if you actually watch the whole video.  Nonetheless, the title goes “How to make a Motherboard – A GIGABYTE Factory Tour Video.”  I must warn you though, the speaker for the video had a strong accent, and so it was hard for me to actually understand him as I tried to watch the video.  Luckily, the video itself is well done as it shows the motherboards go through orderly steps of being manufactured (i.e., how the motherboards are pieced together by machines and humans).  Even though the video was uploaded around two years ago, it was quite interesting for me (and probably you too) to be able to see how the motherboards were assembled.  Today motherboards are probably being assembled in similar manners!  Enough with the rant from me, check out the video right after the break and enjoy!

I’m A Noob In The Hardware Department, Anyone Else?

Telling you what, I’m a noob (i.e., a newbie) in hardware!  Sure, I know all the basics such as certain graphic card that I must need for my system specifically, power supply and its wattage potentials, must have cpu (i.e., type and performance), and other unimportant components (i.e., not something as a motherboard) — but in reality I only had experience in replacing graphic card and RAM (Random Access Memory).  Fortunately, I was bold yesterday and went ahead with the upgrade of my computer’s power supply and graphic card.  It was really a challenge since hardware to me would always be difficult.  I guess I was more of a software person.  Anyhow, in any case, power supply should be the easiest to remove and install right?  Wrong, because power supply came in many shapes and sizes and wattages.  Getting the wrong one will get you nowhere and a lot headaches since you might have to reconnect bunch of connectors such as SATA connectors.  Also, you might not be able to fit the power supply into your case correctly if you’re getting one that is too big for your case (i.e., mid range case or smaller).  Getting the wrong one might not give you enough power to support the many hardware that you intend to rig for your computer system (i.e., enough power to power many hardware at the same time).  Getting the wrong one will not allow you to have the right connectors so you won’t be able to power your mother board or CPU — I’m looking at you Dell (i.e., Dell sometimes has rigged/wired their computers differently then the standard blueprints that most computer manufacturers/brands would follow closely).  This is why sometimes I think it’s best for you to build your case from start, but how can one do that if one has very little experience in hardware?  Me, me, anyone else?

Anyhow, Dell XPS 8100 is what I got for Windows 7 computer/Desktop.  I upgraded Dell XPS 8100’s 350w stock power supply to OCZ ZT series 550w.  I figured I needed a better graphic card, and 350w would never allow me to use a better graphic card.  The stock graphic card that came with my Dell XPS 8100 was ATI HD Radeon 5770.  Sure, the ATI HD Radeon 5770 was plentiful, powerful for most games and whatever else that needed the graphic power.  Unfortunately, it was not powerful enough for the games that I wanted to play.  Witcher 2 and Star Wars The Old Republic had ATI HD Radeon 5570 ran hot.  Anyhow, I might have been too extravagant in upgrading graphic card for naught (i.e., gaming isn’t glamorous in practicality of all things).  Nonetheless, I wanted to upgrade the power supply since I used it to power so many external hard drives and internal hard drives (that I had installed) to a point which the power supply’s fan got extremely loud and annoying.  The new power supply is super quiet and has a bigger fan which cools my system down (CPUs) tremendously.  Of course, with modular power supply, cable management is way more fun and somewhat providing better airflow, consequently somewhat cooling down the graphic card in the process.  Newer graphic cards tend to run quieter and using power ever more efficient even though one might use them to play extreme graphic taxing games.  I find this to be true with my new graphic card.

The reality was that it took me way too long just to install the power supply and the graphic card.  What was worse was that I thought I had destroyed my whole computer system right after I powered up the power supply and the computer.  How come?  The power supply did power up the motherboard as an amber light was lighted up inside the motherboard, but nothing else had happened — no graphic on monitor and no spinning fans at all (e.g., power supply fan, case fans, cpu fans).  It was a noob mistake, and I was a noob in hardware so it was not a surprise.  It turned out my motherboard required only 4 pins connector to power the CPU, but I did not use the right cable with the right pin to power the CPU.  The funny thing was that the PCI-e connector was able to fit onto the 4 pin power controller for CPU on the motherboard.  Even more funny was that the right cable had labeled PSU/CPU, but as always when it came to hardware I just went on without looking into details.  Luckily, nothing was shorted or broken, and I figured it out in time to have the CPU powered, consequently allowing the computer to work correctly.  Luckily I wasn’t crazy and stupid enough to think brand new power supply was broken, because I could have thought so since I had to actually and tightly snuck the darn power supply with some force so it would reluctantly melted with my Dell XPS 8100 case.  Obviously, this case wasn’t built for having great power supply, because you would know what I meant if you actually had to install something much bigger and more powerful than 350w power supply inside a Dell XPS 8100 case.  If I had thought the power supply was damaged from beginning, I definitely would have wasted even more money to buy another power supply which might just turn out to be not too great either.  In the end, the power supply fitted nicely with the case as if it was made to be married to the case, although a forceful one.

Nothing to be worried really, I was able to get power supply and graphic card installed without blocking the airflow of the case even though the power supply was a little bigger than the original one.  Gotta thanked the four screws that held the back of the power supply to the case!  Anyhow, so I thought everything would be smooth sailing from here.  Indeed it was somewhat until I saw ATI’s drivers complained how my system didn’t run the correct drivers.  Of course, software is my turf and so I went on to simply uninstall ATI’s Catalyst Control Center (CCC).  Unfortunately, ATI drivers were too tightly embedded into my system, therefore removing ATI’s CCC was a futile effort for removing ATI’s drivers altogether.  The same annoying warning (how ATI’s CCC would not support the current graphic driver) came up after rebooting the system.  A quick look into the Windows Task Manager, I saw annoyed ATI’s processors of all types appeared.  Some of them refused to end even though I had killed these processors.  The simplest solution I had was of course went into C drive, typed name of the ATI’s processor into the search box, did a right click on one of the result and executed open file of location, deleted the file — lather, rinse, and repeat!  Unfortunately, it turned out some of these files that belonged to ATI’s drivers were protected with permissions.  So I had to take ownership of these files and changed the permission of these files to full control for everyone, and then I was succeeded in deleting these files.  Finally, I was tired of deleting each file at a time, and so I deleted the whole directory of AMD/ATI’s drivers — of course one had to be sure all files within such directories were belonged only to AMD/ATI’s drivers or else one might delete important system files.  At the end, I used CCleaner to clear up the registry as uninstalling and deleting AMD/ATI’s drivers might leave unused registry behind.

The whole experience told me that I have got a lot to learn in hardware department.  Obviously, each time I decided to upgrade something, I had learnt something new.  The whole upgrade process for whatever components had always been fun and scary at times.  Soon, I’m thinking of upgrading the stock CPU’s fan and perhaps the CPU itself.  Obviously, this has got to be within the limits of the motherboard that I got, because the ultimate upgrade has got to be building one’s own computer which obviously points to the whole idea of getting a brand new motherboard.  I think I won’t be able to build my own ultimate computer for whatever purpose just yet, because I have got a lot to learn on the hardware department.  Perhaps, I might build a physical NAS box next which will use FreeNAS as the OS.  This project might be a lot easier than building a brand new computer since it requires less research!  After all, it’s not so hard in using a spare computer that can support more than three hard drives that come in size of 2 terabytes.  Software RAID anyone?  Until then, I think I’m just going to dream about me getting all work up again about upgrading something or building something that is computer related.  Until then, I be mucking around with more software and writing.  Until then, I keep on being a noob on the hardware department…