Honey, I Shrunk the Chip!

Written by Mike Banks Valentine

Let's get small, real small, and then we can go anywhere! No, I'm not advocating we shrink ourselves, but rather discussing dramatic changes coming now that computers can be tiny and inexpensive. Recent movement in conservative, and previously very scarce venture capital investments (in two notable areas) suggests a brave new world of inexpensive, ubiquitous computing could be approaching.

What's ubiquitous computing and who cares about nanotech? These arerepparttar areas gaining that precious VC funding now. When I tried to discuss them with my wife she was NOT interested, so naturally I assumed that most folks would feelrepparttar 133574 same. But I'm fascinated, I gotta discuss this with someone! Hang on and let's go for a tiny ride.

Imagine a tube so small that it's 100,000 times smaller round than a human hair, so small that atoms must pass through them in single file! These tiny tubes arerepparttar 133575 new building blocks of miniature computing. I won't attempt a description here as I'm still a little foggy onrepparttar 133576 idea myself. Suffice it to say that smart folks are working on building extremely powerful computers that can also be cheap, efficient and everywhere using carbon nanotubes.

Current chips are called embedded microprocessors. They come in your watch, your TV remote, kitchen appliances and your garage door opener. It has been estimated thatrepparttar 133577 average American home boasts 50 microprocessors. Your PC has about ten more! The mouse,repparttar 133578 keyboard, speakers, USB interface, etc. each have additional microprocessors. If you are lucky enough to drive a new Mercedes, you have 65 microprocessors parked right there in your driveway!

About this time, my wife is muttering, "So What!?"

O.K., I did propose a short and tiny ride, so let's take a left turn now look at what it means if commercially viable (cheap) nanocomputers become available soon.

First and foremost, small and cheap mean computers'll be inside everything you buy. They'll put them everywhere they're currently found, such as your cell phone and PDA. But where it gets really interesting is when it becomes cheap enough to embedrepparttar 133579 little critters in items that don't currently need computing power. Why? Because they can! If you wantrepparttar 133580 low-down on these tiny 'puters, go torepparttar 133581 following link for a microscopic trip through this miniature world.


Venture Capital investments are being made not only by VC groups who recognizerepparttar 133582 dramatic potential of tiny technology, but a VC firm called Ardesta has been formed to act as a nanotech "accelerator". http://Ardesta.com Ardesta has built a cheerleading squad around what they prefer to call "Small Tech", an industry growing smaller by focusing their microscope on MEMS, or microelectro- mechanical systems.

Product Reviews: Windows XP

Written by Richard Lowe

Well, Windows XP is finally out. After years of hype and hundreds of articles and lots of promotion,repparttar new and wonderful, world changing operating system is here. Harrah.

Forrepparttar 133573 home user this is a very good thing indeed. The earlier, DOS based operating systems such as Windows 95, 98 and ME were very unstable and had more or less lived out their usefulness.

In fact, I believe most home users will find Windows XP to be a very nice change indeed. The new operating system has many advantages which make it so superior torepparttar 133574 earlier versions of Windows as to make it almost heavenly.

Some ofrepparttar 133575 advantages whichrepparttar 133576 home user will see include:

Plug-and-play that really works - In my book, this is probably one ofrepparttar 133577 hugest time-savers of all. Personally, I love to add new hardware from time-to-time, and changes to existing equipment is almost a daily occurrence. The truly superb plug-and-play makes this completely trivial.

Stability - Windows XP is so stable as to be spooky. Don't get me wrong, a crash or two now and then still happens (as with all operating systems and equipment) but it's no longerrepparttar 133578 daily occurrence that it was with windows 95 orrepparttar 133579 three-times-daily occurrence with Windows ME.

Well designed networking - I foundrepparttar 133580 networking capabilities of repparttar 133581 older operating systems to be difficult and touchy. Windows XP has changed all of that -repparttar 133582 networking setups and easy and quick. Combined with plug-and-play forrepparttar 133583 hardware, you should find adding an XP machine torepparttar 133584 network to be so simple as to be freaky.

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