May 20, 2016

Hewlett-Packard: a Technology Success Story

Filed under: News — csadm @ 3:19 pm

This is the first of a two-part article on Hewlett-Packard as we celebrate the company’s 50th anniversary of HP Labs – the research and development (R&D) division of the multinational giant that is currently guiding the company into the future.

The path towards the future has also led to a split, with two publicly-listed companies born on November 1 last year. Few headlines of the past decade have caused as much tumult in the business world as the announcement that Hewlett-Packard would separate into two distinct companies: Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) and HP Inc. Some called the move bold; others saw it as a sign that the Silicon Valley powerhouse was responding, perhaps belatedly, to an utterly transformed tech landscape.

Before we look into the future, let’s first take a trip back 77 years ago to January 1, 1939 when two electrical engineer graduates with an initial capital investment of US$538 started a company that would eventually be the world’s leading PC company with a net worth in the billions.

Hwelett-Packard: a one-car garage and a toss of the coin

It’s a typical American start-up success story. A one car garage and two great minds. In the case of Hewlett Packard the garage was located in Palo Alto, California and the two great minds belonged to William “Bill” Hewlett and David “Dave” Packard.

Palo Alto is well-known in high-tech circles as an “incubator” having spawned companies such as Google, Facebook and Logitech among others.

But the HP story goes way back before these new-comers.

It was 1939 and the two co-founders of HP tossed a coin to decide whether the company they had founded in a garage would be called Hewlett-Packard or Packard-Hewlett. Bill won the toss and HP incorporated in 1947 and went public in 1957.

Their first commercially viable product was a precision audio oscillator. One of the earliest customers was Walt Disney Productions which bought eight Model 200B oscillators at $71.50 each for use in certifying the Fantasia surround sound systems installed in theatres for the movie Fantasia.

Early focus on scientific, business and industry sectors

HP’s early focus was on research and development in the areas of science, business and industrial markets. It was this focus that caused Steve Wozniak to eventually partner with Steve Jobs and start up Apple. HP turned Wozniak down five times after he designed the Apple 1 computer and tried to convince HP to further develop and market the device.

HP would go on and develop scientific and business calculators, oscilloscopes, logic analyzers and other measurement instruments. Wozniak and Jobs would go on to start up another IT giant in Apple Inc.

While Wozniak and Jobs were focused on personal computers, what was happening at Hewlett Packard was the laying of a foundation and dedicated commitment to research and development that would position HP for massive growth during the IT revolution of the 80s and 90s.

HP would eventually find a faster way into the PC market with the acquisition of Compaq computers in 2002.

Mainstream development

HP is a company that can truly lay claim to developing the future of information technology.

It now produces lines of printers, scanners, digital cameras, calculators, servers, workstation computers, and computers for home and small-business use. Many of the computers came from the smart 2002 merger with Compaq.

As of 2001, HP began promoting itself as supplying not just hardware and software, but also a full range of services to design, implement, and support IT infrastructure.

HP’s Imaging and Printing Group (IPG) was described by the company in 2005 as “the leading imaging and printing systems provider in the world for printer hardware, printing supplies and scanning devices, providing solutions across customer segments from individual consumers to small and medium businesses to large enterprises”.

Think about it – the Imaging and Printing Group have been at the forefront of major developments in inkjet and laser jet printers; consumables and related products; all-in-one printer/scanner/faxes; large format printers; and a variety of digital printing applications.

Another side of the business, the Personal Systems Group (PSG) claims to be “one of the leading vendors of personal computers in the world based on unit volume shipped and annual revenue.”

Once again, much of this ground was made with the acquisition of Compaq.

At the same time HP continued to develop within and for the areas of science, industry and big business.

In our next article we will look at some of the futuristic projects HP is committed to, mainly in the area of 3D printing.

For now, let’s take a look at where the company has arrived in development of laptops and personal computers with the HP Spectre 360 – claimed to be the world’s thinnest laptop. 

HP Spectre 360 – state of the art

HP has a multitude of laptops, desktop PCs, tablets and printers. Some are at the budget end for home and business, some are specifically designed for and targeted at gamers.

At the top end and a truly state of the art device is the HP Spectre 360.

The Spectre 360 lays claim to being the world’s thinnest laptop at 10.4 mm with full Intel Core i5 or i7 power.

Equipping a device so thin with so much power requires a special approach to cooling. Breakthrough hyperbaric cooling technology from Intel actively draws cool air in, rather than just venting heat out. This allows us to utilise a more powerful processor without overheating. Combined with dynamic power settings that adjust to your workload, this laptop keeps cool and stays at peak performance.

The breakthrough hyperbaric cooling system doesn’t just push heat out of the machine – it actually draws in cool air and directs it over the processor, to keep it running at peak performance.

In looks and design the Spectre 360 is a 13 inch hybrid lap-top come tablet, weighing in at just 1.1 kilograms.

The beautiful state of the art HP Spectre 360

The use of carbon fibre and aluminium in the body of the laptop gives it the look and feel of pure luxury. The two-tone finish on the copper-coloured spine provides a classy contrast. The interface is a durable and scratch resistant edge-to-edge Corning Gorilla Glass display.

The device’s best feature is its ability to morph from a laptop into a full-on Windows 10 tablet. This is achieved by flipping the screen back 360 degrees, thanks to a seamless geared hinge, which allows the laptop screen to smoothly arc up and down.

This transforming mechanic might sound very similar any of Lenovo’s Yoga hybrids – which have spawned more than a dozen copycat devices – but HP has come up with a design that blends in.

Whereas the watchband-inspired strips of metal found on the Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro stick out like a sore thumb, the metal hinges on the Spectre 360 look like they’re simply part of the machine.

On the audio side of things, HP has also made this device state of the art, engaging Bang & Olufsen to provide “PC audio perfection.”

HP Audio Boost gives you the maximum volume you need to experience entertainment to the fullest with outstanding clarity and more dynamic sound.

Another state of the art feature in the Spectre 360 is its hybrid battery. Four prismatic battery cells are distributed throughout the device in order to maximise the battery capacity in this ultra-thin design, enabling you to work longer on a single charge.

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May 6, 2016

Keeping in Mum’s Good Books

Filed under: News — csadm @ 10:00 am

If you are in someone’s good books, they are pleased with you.
Eg: “I cleaned the bathroom yesterday so I’m in Mum’s good books.”
(Cambridge Idioms Dictionary, 2nd ed.)

This article is dedicated to all Mums who deserve recognition for all they do in our lives.

Mums make the world a better place.

Without getting too sentimental, here’s my top six gift ideas for Mum from our Cool Stuf technology files. I have also included some good reasons as to why these gifts will keep you in the “good books” with Mum.

intro Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge

The Samsung Galaxy S7 and its big sister S7 Edge have a great looking metal and glass chassis. Screen size of the S7 Edge is 5.5 inches versus S7 5.1 inches, so my suggestion is to get Mum the bigger, better-looking of the two models.

The S7 Edge has an IP certification for water resistance, which means if it will survive if Mum accidentally drops it in the sink. The device also has expandable storage and a much-improved camera including the all-important front-facing “selfie” camera.

By the way Mums aren’t stupid. They know that an S7 without dual SIM means being at the mercy of the big red monster.

Make sure your S7 has dual SIM capability and take advantage of both networks. So your Mum’s phone can be bigger and friendlier both at the same time. Yu save? Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge Dual SIM will definitely keep you in Mum’s good books.


51-gPdRzvlL Remax RP-P2 Selfie Stick

Speaking of smart phones, for Mums that like a selfie, then a selfie-stick is a must.

For those that don’t know what a selfie-stick is, then it is not what you may be thinking.

A selfie stick, sometimes known as a “monopod”, is a simple way for Mum to take selfies with her smartphone. Especially photos that capture large groups of friends or panoramic backgrounds. If Mum is planning a vacation, or just loves to take photos, then a selfie stick is a smart gift idea.

A simple push of a button will see Mum taking all kinds of photos from impossible angles. Mum will love a selfie-stick so much that she may even invite you into her own selfie, living proof to friends and family that you are forever in her “good books.”


 simple.b-cssdisabled-png.h5b8d348958346df63a0afca4efee5002 Fit Bit

Fit Bit is the coolest and safest way to drop a subtle hint to Mum that perhaps she needs to shed a few extra pounds. Once you show mum how cool this device is she will automatically upload you into her good books.

“Look Ma, it connects and updates via Bluetooth with your smartphone.”

“Look Ma, you can see how many steps you need to take each day.”

Mum will probably faint when she realises that Fit Bit recommends you take at least 10,000 steps a day to achieve some kind of healthy lifestyle. That’s a lot of trips to the fridge.

Don’t let that put you off. Fit Bit is the start to a fun, healthier lifestyle for Mum.

Fit Bit will also show Mum how little sleep she is getting, probably as a result of stressing about her excess weight. Once she gets into the swing of it, Mum will learn to appreciate her Fit Bit and soon she will be training for half marathons. Once that happens, she will add you as a Fit Bit buddy…and you know what that means. So if you plan on giving mum a Fit Bit for Mother’s Day, I suggest you be prepared to get up at 5am on Sundays and join her and Powes Parkop as we all walk our way to fitness and a better life.

jc0watch Juicy Couture Watches

This gets back to basics. All mums like a bit of bling and Juicy Couture is definitely the hottest thing when it comes to bling. Sure, it only tells the time, but that’s probably all Mum wants to know – rather than how many steps she needs to take each day.

A Juicy Couture watch puts mum in the same league as Madonna, Britney Spears, Paris Hilton and Jennifer Lopez – maybe not financially, but all of whom have adopted the iconic brand as a lifestyle statement. Welcome to the new cool.

Juicy Couture started in LA, USA and since the late 2000s the brand has exploded with world-wide annual sales of around US$200 million.

A Juicy Couture watch is gonna look a million bucks on Mum and will defex have you in the good books.


 mirror Mini Mirror Boom Box

Another well-known fact is that Mums love music. With this cool-looking speaker, Mum can check her hair and listen to music at the same time.

The Mini Mirror Boom Box will convert Mum’s smartphone into a full-on sound system.

Thanks to integrated Bluetooth, the speaker works with Android, iOS, and any Bluetooth-enabled device, including most laptops and some desktops. It comes in an attractive Perspex presentation box, making it an ideal gift. It’s something different that will keep you in Mum’s good books. Just a tip, make sure you have similar tastes when it comes to music coz with a speaker you’re gonna have to listen to Mum’s music as well. If that’s not your thing, perhaps consider headphones as a perfect Mother’s day gift for Mum.


coffee-maker Sjostrand Coffee Maker

By now you may have noticed a trend. We are moving further and further away from the idea of giving Mum a Fit Bit for Mother’s Day.

Many Mums love a cup of coffee in the morning. After all, you are probably the reason she needs it. If she doesn’t like coffee, this machine is a shiny addition to any kitchen, so looks alone should be enough to get you in Mum’s good books. You’ve known that all along, right?

The Sjostrand coffee maker works with a simple push of the button and incorporates the very best of Swedish design.

So you can tell people you have a Swedish model in your kitchen and at the same time, Mum will have a perfect cup of the best brewed PNG coffee to start her day – something to remind her of you, first thing in the morning. Now that’s what keeping in Mum’s good books is all about.

Happy Mother’s Day!

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