Category: Technology

Storage Options

Safe and efficient data handling is a necessary measure for a business that wants to implement a successful storage and backup plan. Intel® has developed several storage solutions with that in mind. One is not necessarily better than the other; the preferred storage method simply depends on a company’s needs and existing infrastructure. Today the functionality of a NAS and SAN are very similar; however, there are specific technical differences. The primary technical differences between a NAS and a SAN are:

A NAS identifies data by file name and byte offsets, transfers file data or file meta-data (file’s owner, permissions, creation data, etc.), and handles security, user authentication, file locking.

A SAN addressesidentifies data by disk block number and transfers raw disk blocks typically via SCSI calls.

When looking at the two Intel® storage networking solutions, the benefits of both NAS and SAN show marked distinctions.

First, a NAS consists of a storage device or combination of multiple storage devices connected to the existing local-area network (LAN). A NAS serves to offload the company’s valuable data to a dedicated storage location that is still readily accessible by file and application servers via the corporate LAN. A typical NAS solution consists of a server dedicated to file sharing over the network with a TCP/IP connection. Intel’s SSR212MA NAS Storage Solution device allows for more hard disk storage space to be added to a network that already utilizes main servers for other applications. The Intel® device delivers the data to the user over the existing LAN. It is not necessary for the Intel® device to be located within a particular server. It can exist anywhere on a LAN along with multiple NAS devices.

In contrast, a SAN consists of storage devices which are networked together (historically via a high-speed fiber backbone) separately from the existing corporate LAN. Intel’s SSR212MA SAN Storage Server’s primary method to attach to the storage is iSCSI. This is a more interoperable and cost-effective solution. In short, a SAN is a high-speed sub-network of shared storage devices (machines that contain nothing but disks for storing data) that can still be accessed by users through file and application servers. The SSR212MA can make all storage devices available to all servers on an LAN or wide-area network (WAN). When storage devices are added to the Intel® SAN server, they can be accessed from any server on the network. In addition, storage capacity can be added to the SAN storage system as needed without intrusion on the corporate network. The Intel® server is a bridge between the stored data and the end user.

Therefore, the differences between a NAS and a SAN can be highlighted in their main benefits.

A primary benefit of Intel’s SSR212MA SAN Storage Server is that it provides an effective disaster recovery plan. A SAN can replicate data belonging to many servers to a secondary storage array, which can be accessed locally or remotely. Although more expensive NAS devices have data replication functionality the SS4000-E NAS does not. Sharing storage adds flexibility because cables and storage devices do not have to be physically moved for data storage to go from one server to another. Furthermore, the Intel® SAN Storage Server features industry-standard hardware architectures and management tools to further lower the cost of SAN systems. Because of this, IP (Internet Protocol) SANs such as this Intel® server are now within reach of most companies.

The benefits of Intel’s SS4000-E NAS Storage Solution include methods to protect, manage, and share information. The device allows end users to access the same set of files over the common corporate network. Data sharing is done quickly and easily while maintaining the security of having a separate storage device. The cost of NAS devices, such as the SS4000-E, has dropped recently and their growing storage sizes are appealing to small business as a part of their data backup plans. As an added benefit, because the SS4000-E NAS Storage Solution is always available online, backed up data is available for restores at LAN speeds without the need to locate the correct tape. Complete and advanced data protection is provided through support for RAID Levels 10, 5 and 1.

In summary, for a business to implement an operable storage and backup design, it must concentrate on safely and efficiently handling its data. Although one Intel® storage networking solution is not necessarily better than the other, each possesses obvious distinctions. How the SS4000-E NAS Storage Solution or the SSR212MA SAN Storage Server can be utilized depends on the needs of the company and its network design.

Printer Toner

Printer toner contains the ink – whether in liquid or powder form – that allows our computer documents to come to life so that we may hold them in our hand. When we choose the print option from our computer, a signal is sent to the printer, and ink – of all necessary colors – is released onto our papers reproducing exactly the document we constructed on our computer.

Each printer comes equipped with compatible printer toner. Depending on the volume with which we print, the printer toner will have to be changed periodically or more frequently. In this case, we purchase replacement printer toner – which in many a case can be an expensive proposition.

Of course when replacing the printer toner most people turn to the printer manufacturer. The specific printer toner that is compatible with your printer comes with a product number that will help you easily and conveniently locate a replacement. While this can be a more pricey option then purchasing a generic alternative, you are sure to get the quality that your printer needs. Lower quality printer toner, while always less expensive, can seriously clog and damage your printer.

That is not to say, however, that you can not find quality printer toner at reasonable prices. There are generic brands that offer superior quality at a more affordable cost. The key is ensuring that you are dealing with a reputable company that will stand behind the products they sell.

Printer toner is an inevitable part of printer ownership. Take your time to learn what works and what prices you can find so that you affordably address your printer needs.

Sun Powered Battery Charger

Sun power is one of the strongest free energy sources available today. By using a solar charger for your batteries and other electrical devices, you will eliminate the need for electricity. Solar power can be used to charge your batteries, but if you have a large amount of solar panels, you can also use solar energy to operate most any electrical device. Even on cloudy days, a solar battery charger will still be able to charge your batteries.

Portable solar chargers are smaller and do not offer as much power. They are most commonly used to charge battery packs and other small devices like cellular phones. A portable charger usually consists of one solar cell panel that you can connect to the equipment you want to use. It can take several hours for a portable solar charger to work. You may need to plan ahead and have batteries constantly charging, so they will be ready when you need them.

Many people today are afraid to try any new technology. As a society, we have already had to adjust to so many technological ideas that some people just do not want to have to learn about another gadget. However, solar chargers are easy to operate. You do not have to have specific technical skills to use a solar charger. Most portable chargers come ready to use and you simply have to plug them into your device or battery charger.

Because solar chargers are so easy to use, they are becoming more and more popular around the world. Backpackers are carrying them on long hiking trips. Car travelers are keeping portable chargers on their dashboards. There are even houses that are entirely run off of solar energy.

It can be intimidating to venture into a new technology like solar power. Once you buy your first charger, you will be hooked. Because they are so easy to use, many people end up buying several portable chargers to use with their battery chargers and other small electrical devices. Solar energy is a free source of power, which in today’s world of high electric prices, is just what many households are looking for.

Try out a portable solar charger for yourself. You will see that they are easy to use and very convenient. First, decide what you want to use your solar charger for, and then get a portable charger that will fit those needs. Having solar energy available is another gift that we should all take advantage of. It does not matter whether you decide to use a portable charger for charging your batteries. You can decide to connect your entire household to solar power. Using a renewable energy source such as the sun is a great start to being environmentally responsible.

WebCams

Web

Web cameras typically have a digital camera which uploads images to a web server, either continuously or at regular intervals. Internet cameras can be used to monitor traffic, the weather and even volcanoes. Internet cameras connected to PCs can act as web cameras with certain software; the software uploads pictures to an FTP server, from which they can be made accessible to anyone, over the web. Internet cameras are also being used for security purposes. Internet cameras typically include a lens, an image sensor, and some support electronics. The term Internet cameras is also used to describe the low-resolution digital video cameras, which can also be used to record in a non-real-time fashion. A Internet cameras that records to a video file is essentially no different from any other video camera which records directly to hard disk, including hi-def cameras,which would never be described as Internet cameras. Occasionally, the web site is also restructured in order to improve accessability to the information it contains. So carry your Internet cameras with you wherever you go and connect it to your laptop at anytime.

Camera

A web camera (or Internet cameras) is a real-time camera usually a video camera whose images can be accessed using the Web, instant messaging, or a PC video calling application. Very simple to install and configure, components: a PC driver compatible with any Windows application that can receive video feeds from a web camera. Several Web cameras can be placed at the same time on your desktop. When the Web camera loads, click on the “Start Control” button and wait until the clock above the button turns green. If you have a web camera attached to your computer, you can broadcast live video. But beware of the word LIVE. It is very simple to install and configure, Web Cameras consists of 2 software components. Web camera’s are often used for vedio conferences, but these cameras typically take the form of a small camera connected directly to a PC. So carry your web cameras with you wherever you go and connect it to your laptop at anytime.

Computers With Soul

iPod

iPod isn’t great because of 80Gb storage or big screen. It isn’t great because of flashy features. No. iPod is great despite DRM obsessiveness of Apple, despite little customizability and despite high price.

It was the first and only MP3 player that has got soul.

Its little brethren haven’t got any; its imitators haven’t got any, but iPod has the character of classy prostitute–expensive, stylish and damn sexy.

You never thought that music player can be your friend, but pals at Apple show you the contrary.

iMac Core 2 Duo

Even if Apple products feature prominently in my blog, I’m not an Apple fanboy. My main desktop is Windows-based, and I have many complaints for Macs.

Even more, I disregard Mac Pro (which I still remember as Power Macintosh back from G3 days) as one of the most disgusting leviathans in computer industry.

But iMac… iMac has got soul, soul very powerful and still innocent. iMac’s spirit is one of geeky schoolboy that got rid of acne and bought some stylish clothing, but still is very geekish inside. With each year iMac grows wiser and more powerful; it loses its teen innocence of early iMacs.

But what it doesn’t lose–it’s its spirit.

iPhone

Let’s admit — iPhone isn’t that great. Clumsy touchscreen and draconic deal with Cingular are only the tip of iceberg.

In fact, iPhone’s greatness consists of two parts–one being heavy marketing hype and other being soul of this cellphone.

iPhone is hybrid between iPod and iMac with some GSM adaptor thrown in, and its spirit is Frankensteinic mix of its parents. iPhone is female geek, and not just female, but feminine, and it tears itself apart between lipstick and calculus, perfume and Star Trek.

Perhaps it will grow up and lose teenage paradox of its nature… but for now, iPhone’s psyche is most complicated and problem-ridden of living, breathing, thinking machines from 2007.

Cray SX-6

Thinking about #1 machine with soul almost drove me mad. And what saved me from life spent as drooling vegetable, you’d ask?

It was this machine.

To my shame, I’ve never seen it in action. I’m only fed with talks of those who did. Supercomputers are boring, admit it. They are as lifeless as machine can get… But this one got spirit of its own.

What brought it on the number one spot is its infinite power. I won’t describe it to you — you know it yourself, and if you don’t, you’ll never imagine it.

But with great power comes great responsibility, and this chap bears all of the responsibility. It is wise and stalwart, akin to PlayStation 3 grown twenty years older, but it also retains some basic pleasures of youth. God help you to use this masterpiece as weather calculator or something akin to it… But I think that it is the machine is exactly one that can host artificial mind.

Electronic Design Automation

EDA domain is purely in software. It is how software are used to help integrated circuit (IC) designers to design ICs. These software are referred to as EDA tools.

While the high level stage of the IC design requires a lot of creativity, but the low level and details part of IC design can be very repetitive, tedious and boring. The EDA tools help the designers in doing the repetitive and tedious tasks.

While in collage, students majoring in electronics learn basic electronic system design using small number of components called gates. Basic system can be construct with less than 10 gates. By their final year, the students will learn how to construct larger system which consists of up to hundreds of gates. This is not how it is done in the real world.

In the real world, a system such as the Intel Pentium 4 chip is constructed from 14 million gates. And with the current trend, it will not be long before we pass the one billion gates (in one chip) mark. This is so much different from what is thought in college. That is why in the real world, IC is design using different method.

On the very high level a system can be described using special languages, called hardware description language (HDL). Two most prominent HDLs are Verilog and VHDL. Verilog is widely used by designers in North America, and VHDL is widely by the european designers.

Instead of designing a system on gates level, using these languages a system is described at a higher level. Then a software is used to translate this high level description into gates level. This process is called synthesis, and the software is referred to as a synthesis tool. One line in HDL can be translated by the synthesis tool into few gates. Synthesis tool is one of the examples of EDA tool.

Even before a design using HDL is processed by a synthesis tool, there are other EDA tools that can be used by the designers to check if their HDL codes follow certain rules and guidelines. These EDA tools are called rule checker software. The HDL design is check again good circuit design guideline in order to catch possible error which can caused circuit failure when it is converted into gates.

Network of connected gates which are synthesized are called netlist.There are various verification EDA tools can be used to analyze a netlist. The tools can be a static tools which can look at a netlist and resolve it functionality mathematically. There are also dynamic tools such as simulators which look at how the circuit behave virtually when it is operating. Simulated input voltages and currents are fed into the netlist, and the simulated output is shown to the designer.

Using these verification tools, designers can verify that their design work – at least in controlled simulated environment. Final verification of the actual chip is still needed because the long and intricate manufacturing process can cause problem to a circuit which not counted in during a simulated verification.

Using various EDA tools,such as synthesis tools,rule checkers and verification tools today designers have been able to create a chip which contains multi million gates in it. Other than synthesis, there are also other EDA tools that help designers with other process of an IC design such as layout tools, and timing verification tools.

Building DVR and HTPC

  • Case
    Your case is important because it is going to be sitting in your living room alongside your television, DVD player, stereo and so on. You don’t want some beige office PC cluttering up your home theater. Here you can either splurge on a custom, HTPC case or you can paint and customize your own. I went with contact paper and acrylic paint as a cheap solution to decorating a beige case.
  • Video Card
    Incredibly, your video card is a place you can save some money on your homemade Tivo. Unless you plan on playing some serious high-end computer games, all you need is an appropriate video out (s-video, DVI, or HDMI depending on your needs).
  • Tuner Card
    Make sure you don’t go cheap here. Go with a Hauppauge brand tuner card. At least the PVR-150. These are quality cards that take a load off your main processor.
  • Sound Card
    You can get a card with 5.1 surround sound for about $50 (maybe cheaper on eBay). If you want to hook up with your existing stereo system, you’ll want to spend a little more on a card with an S/PDIF out.
  • Memory
    To be safe, you should probably get 1GB of memory for your HTPC. Unless you want to play high end games, 1GB will be great and provide plenty of room for your programs.
  • Hard Drives
    Hard drive space is getting cheaper by the second, so you can choose to save or spend here. I have 300gb and it’s plenty for music and some TV shows. If you want to store all your DVDs, then start looking for some more space.

Basics of VoIP

VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol but is more commonly know as Digital Phone, Broadband Phone, or even internet Phone service. Simply put, it refers to using your internet connection to talk to people. The people you talk to can be across the world or even just down the block.

Although there are free programs to let your computer act like a telephone, it is more common for people to purchase specially made devices that are separate from their computers but still use their internet connections. These devises then also plug into your homes telephone wiring system. This has the advantage of allowing people to use the phone equipment they already own.

To make a call, just pick it up, dial a number and talk just like you would with a traditional phone service. It does not matter if the person receiving the call has VoIP or not, because that is taken care of by your VoIP service provider.

Compared to traditional phone services, VoIP is often more cost effective. And because it is not yet regulated like the traditional phone industry there are no unexplained taxes or mysterious service charges. Because all calls on a VoIP phone are the same, there are no long distance charges. This can make international calling especially cheep.

VoIP really is the technology the world is moving to. And with its ease of use, feature rich service, and simple set up it is easy to see why. So if you would like to save a significant amount of money each year you need VoIP.

Protyping Made Easy

Prototypes are an important step in the manufacturing process. It is in this process that we will encounter computer numerical control or CNC prototyping. In CNC prototyping, a computer controller basically translates the design data and produces a 3D output of that data through a mechanical device.

This whole process has revolutionized the manufacturing process because previously, prototypes were difficult to produce because it consumed a lot of time, effort and cost to make. Now with CNC prototyping, complex 3D virtual designs by design engineers are easily translated actual 3D models with straight and curved lines easily replicated automatically. With CNC prototyping machines, producing prototypes are fast, easy and cost effective.

Now that CNC prototyping processes are available for most prototyping problems, the manufacturing process is greatly sped up. The savings in time and effort allow greater productivity by allowing design engineers to work on more with less time needed. This means a greater and faster turn over within a shorter amount of time. This of course then directly translates into the bottom line and profits for the business.

Sometimes, there is need for more than one CNC prototyping machine to produce the various components of a prototype. In this case, a series of CNC prototyping machines are grouped together and in most cases, these CNC prototyping machines are controlled by computer aided manufacturing or CAM software packages.

It is this CAM software package that aids the design engineer in deciding what types of tools, processes and paths in manufacturing are to be used. After this, the process becomes almost completely automated.

With continuous technological advancements in this area of CNC prototyping, it won’t be long before the whole process is made even easier and more convenient. Thanks to the aid of machines run by computers, there won’t be much need for too much human interference in the prototyping process. This in turn, speeds up the actual manufacturing process. Which in turn, makes things easier for everyone.

USB Flash Pen Drives

Being about the same size as the standard pen, USB pen drives, most popular added feature to date is its MP3 playback function. A lot also have an LCD display for track browsing, and audio input jack and a rechargeable battery. The newer models also offer up to 10 hours voice recording and may even come with tiny speakers for added functionality.

Further, a lot of pen drives come with card reader support for portable memory formats. Some of the newer pen drives can double as a Web cam and a still camera because they have tiny camera lenses for snapping low resolution pictures. These units also come with mountable stands and for greater functionality as Web cams.

USB pen drive applications may also be used to allow the user to save desktop configurations, documents and even bookmarks and makes for easy accessibility and transfer from one computer to the next. It only takes a minute to display the personal settings and data from the previous changes including the updates and changes that you have saved in the USB pen drive.