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Acer Unveils New Tablets

Acer is the latest personal-computer maker to join the tablet bandwagon after Apple’s iPad. This will also compete with Samsung’s  Android based tablet with a 7-inch screen. Other companies such as BlackBerry  and Hewlett-Packard Co., have announced plans to introduce tablets in the near future.

The  10.1-incher looks quite interesting, boasting a dual-core 1GHz processor, an HDMI output and a native 1280×800  screen resolution. You’ll also get a 5 megapixel rear camera, an HD front-facing camera for video calling and full multitouch support.  The 7-inch tablet  packs the same screen resolution, a dual-core 1.2GHz Qualcomm CPU and the same Flash 10.1 support.  The Android OS  Acer will be using is believed to be Android 2.2.  The 10.1-incher boasts a 13.3mm thick shell, 1080p output over HDMI, a ten-point multitouch system and an inbuilt Gyroscope for gaming purposes. The 7-inch sibling seems mostly identical except for the screen size, packing a dual core CPU, DLNA technology, WiFi and integrated 3G.

Specs by model.

7-inch Acer tablet

* 7-inch touch screen (1,280 x 800 resolution; 16:10 aspect ratio)
* Dual-core processor
* Adobe Flash Player 10.1 support
* Dolby Mobile Technology
* Wi-Fi
* 3G
* DLNA support
* Front-facing HD camera
* HDMI

10.1-inch Acer tablet

* 10.1-inch touch screen (1,280 x 800 resolution; 16:10 aspect ratio)
* Dual-core processor
* Adobe Flash Player 10.1 support
* Dolby Mobile Technology
* Wi-Fi
* 3G
* DLNA support
* Front-facing HD camera
* HDMI

10.1-inch Acer Windows  Tablet


Weighing in at less than 2.2 pounds, the 0.6-inch thick tablet is quite different from the other Acer tablets unveiled today, and it’s not just the operating system. This 10.1-inch slate also comes with a dock that sports a full-size keyboard. As someone who wants a tablet but still wants a physical keyboard to be productive, this sounds like it could be the perfect slate computer.

Not all of the specs on this machine has been announced yet.

* AMD processor
* Dual 1.3-megapixel cameras (one on front, one on rear)
* Wi-Fi
* 3G

Here is the Press release from Acer:

New York, November 23rd 2010 – Acer enters the tablet arena with a very clear objective in mind: complete its range of products in support of its goal to simplify content consumption – a strategy which began with the development of Acer’s multimedia sharing system, Clear.fi.

Acer’s strategy is based on the concept of sharing multimedia content and enjoying it across any device, and Tablets are ideal devices for this purpose.
With close to 19 million tablets sold worldwide in 2010, 54.8 million units expected to be sold in 2011, and 208 million units forecasted for 2014, the market seems to confirm this idea.

Mobility, which has always been part of Acer’s DNA, finds a new form of expression in the range of tablets on offer, which feature various display sizes and models designed to fit different kinds of usage scenarios.

Weight and display size have a huge impact on the user experience. While devices with bigger screens are used to share and enjoy content, smaller devices are often used to create content – taking photos, recording videos or sending messages.

A 10.1″ Android tablet for a superb mobile and home entertainment experience
Sleek, smart and full of innovative features, the 10.1″ full capacitive touch screen tablet with Wi-Fi and 3G connectivity ensures an optimal on-screen experience from every angle. Aluminum casing provides a cool look and feel, while its high gloss finish decorated with engraved patterns creates a subtle sophistication. And despite being just 13.3mm thick, it’s powerful enough to guarantee fun and productivity whether you need it .

Designed for HD entertainment, this tablet comes with a high resolution, high color contrast display, allowing you to play or share HD video with your friends wherever you are. Complete with a built-in HDMI port and 1080p capability, you can also use it to enjoy multimedia content in Full HD on your big screen TV.
But the best of all is that on this tablet you will be able to run and play premium HD arcade games and complex online 3D games, thanks to the 10 point multitouch and gyro meter control, that guarantees an entertainment experience on par with the best game consoles.

Available April 2011
7″ Android Tablet: the epitome of mobility
Don’t be fooled by its ultra-compact size: the 7″ tablet is fully featured and takes your mobile experience to the next level. On the 7″ (1280×800) 16:10 aspect ratio full touch screen, you can enjoy games, photos, videos while keeping up with your emails or your favourite social networks. Video chat or record a video with the front-facing HD camera. With HDMI support, hooking it up for a big screen video experience is easyier than ever!

The 7″ inch tablet will feature a dual core processor with Adobe Flash Player 10.1 support for the fastest HD Web experience and multimedia playback anywhere. And for a truly amazing sound experience, it will come with Dolby Mobile Technology. Wi-Fi and 3G connectivity allow fast and easy connection to available networks, while DLNA support makes sharing your multimedia on other devices easier than ever.

To follow up all that information is some pictures of the Acer Tablet.

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Will Android over take Apple’s IOS?

Android seems to be over taking then mobile phone market with the growth of smart phone sales.  To make the case a little stronger Apple’s own Steve Wozniak  had this to say in an interview about Google’s Android vs Apple’s IOS.

Steve Wozniak thinks that the iPhone is tops in overall quality but also that when all’s said and done, Google’s Android platform will reign supreme in the mobile market.  “The Apple phone has very few weaknesses,” Wozniak told Netherlands newspaper De Telegraaf in an interview  posted today. “When it comes to quality, the iPhone is leading.”  Wozniak also said, however, that “Android phones have more features” and deliver more buying options for those who don’t want to be limited to a single device. In addition, Wozniak told the publication that like Windows in the desktop OS space, Google’s mobile platform will become the “dominant” option in its own market.  Beyond that, Wozniak also revealed that Apple had developed a smartphone in 2004, but never released it. According to Wozniak, the company “was satisfied with the quality, but wanted something that could surprise the world.”  “If Apple comes [out] with a new product, it must have a real breakthrough,” Wozniak said. It seems that Apple felt that “breakthrough” came in 2007 when it released the first-generation iPhone.  But it’s Wozniak’s comments on Android’s future domination that will likely cause the most ruckus, given that he’s a co-founder of Apple and still a shareholder in the company. That said, he’s not covering new ground with those comments. Many analysts believe Android will eventually overtake the mobile market and leave Apple far behind.

By 2014, market-research firm Gartner expects Android to own about 30 percent of the worldwide mobile OS market, while Apple will account for just 15 percent. Another research firm, IDC, expects Android to have about 25 percent of the smartphone market globally in 2014, compared with Apple’s expected 11 percent share.

Apple still offers more mobile apps for the iPhone with a number around 250,000, however Android apps are growing and are currently in the range of 100,000.  Also the next update for Google’s Android mobile operating system, Android 2.2 will support date tethering via USB and Wi-Fi. The tethering function, which the iPhone has but there is limits on the data packages you can purchase, will let you share the phone’s data connection with other devices. You can either hook it up via USB, saving battery-life and acting much like a 3G USB dongle, or you can create a Wi-Fi hotspot like the MiFi personal wireless router.  I do think that only being on the AT&T network is a hindrance to the iPhone.

Another big thing is the simple number of phones that run Android compared to the single iPhone.  I think it will be hard to compete with the shear numbers that flood the market and the different designs that give users some choice in the size, configuration, and some features they can chose from.  I must admit that I don’t have a touch phone of any kind and that I currently prefer a Blackberry type phone.  But I do like the fact that if I want to develop some apps for Android I can where as I would have to get the Apple development software to allow my apps to be sold on the iStore.  The number speak for itself and Apple did make a great product with the iPhone, but they can’t compete with the numbers of Android phones.  So only time will tell and the prediction isn’t for them to take over the market for several years.  But is has begun, but you never know one mistake by Google could cause them to fall from grace just like Microsoft with Vista.  I am just throwing out my opinion with some facts, who knows what the future brings.

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Using Conky to display Linux system information

I recently install Fedora 14 on a laptop to test it out and see how it worked compared to other distributions of Fedora that I had already used. All in all I think it is great and I really like working with it, partially because I learned how to use Linux using Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Fedora with the Gnome desktop is pretty much the same thing.  Anyhow I had seen images of desktops that displayed the CPU, network, and other information on the desktop and I thought it would be pretty cool to have that as well.  So after some research I found the program and it is called Conky.  It is of course open source and has a great deal of people that have a lot of experience using and configuring it.  Anyhow as with most Linux application you have to download the source code and make the install.

So after un zipping the package you use the ./configure, make, and make install commands to install the app.  How ever with Fedora I used yum and it installed it for me.  Once it is installed the only thing you have to do to bring it up is to type conky or ./conkyrc depending on how you installed the application.  With my yum install I just type conky in a terminal and there it is.  The only part that is a little bit of a trick is setting it up to work as you want it to look.  Fedora 14 places the config file in the /etc/conky directory.  It takes some time but after a little research and playing around I got what I wanted.    One of the best websites I found for configuration help is http://crunchbanglinux.org/forums/topic/59/my-conky-config/.  You can also download Conky from http://conky.sourceforge.net.

Conky is a free, light-weight system monitor for X, that displays any information on your desktop. Conky is free software and runs in X on Linux and BSD. Originally a fork of Torsmo, Conky’s torsmo-based code is BSD licensed. New code in Conky has been licensed under the GPL 3.0.  Conky has more than 300 built in objects, including support for:

  • a plethora of OS stats (uname, uptime, CPU usage, mem usage, disk usage, “top” like process stats, and network monitoring, just to name a few)
  • built in IMAP and POP3 support
  • built in support for many popular music players (MPD, XMMS2, BMPx, Audacious)
  • can be extended using built in Lua support, or any of your own scripts and programs
  • built in Imlib2 and Cairo bindings for arbitrary drawing with Lua

Here are a few scren shots of several different Conky setups.

I like this for my servers but it my be more of a bother on a desktop/home use machine.  This is a cool piece of software and you should check it out and see if it will work for you.  It is completely customisable and can be tailored to you individual need.  Plus most people that run Linux as a desktop OS usually like to know all they can about the performance of their machine.  This will fit the bill.