Good day dear readers! Some interesting things have recently been announced by some of the biggest players in the technology world and I will attempt to cover the more important ones today.
At the Consumer Electronics Show in Beverly Hills, Fla., Microsoft announced a new pricing policy for all of their software. Anyone who has ever read a book can purchase one copy of any Microsoft product at a greatly reduced price. The customer needs only to bring a book that they have read into the dealer’s store and trade the book for the software. The customer will be required to recite one or more full pages of text randomly selected by the store employee. The customer will also be responsible to pay the sales tax on the software based on the original price times a factor of 1 raised to the power of the buyer’s age.
At the same show, Gateway Computers announced their latest offering for the low-priced PC market. It is a desktop system with a 6.5” LCD monitor. The system uses a CPU from California Research And Production. The CPU is an 8-core unit with a 1 Gb (Gigabyte) L1 cache and the computer comes with 16 Gb of RAM and a 256 Tb (Terabyte) hard disk drive. The system, known as the model 16224 Graphic Enhanced Turbo Laced Office Support Tower, should be on the shelves in time for Labor Day at a price of $18.95. Upgrading to a 22” wide-screen monitor will bring the price up to $11,578 plus ttl.
HP Computers, not to be outdone, will be offering a new “green” notebook computer made entirely of recycled paper and recycled aluminum. One very interesting feature of this computer is that, after the notebook has outlived its usefulness, the user can set it on fire then take the remaining aluminum to any local Coors brewery and exchange the aluminum for a 24-can case of any Coors product. You should be seeing this notebook on the shelves before Memorial Day at a price of $398. If you bring 24 empty cans of any Coors product, you will receive a coupon for a 215 mail-in rebate. (You must be 21 to purchase this computer.)
Dell computers recently announced a new addition to its product lineup. At a press conference at their Advanced Technology Division headquartered in Ringling, Ala., Division Chief Horst Buckholz demonstrated Dell’s new model 8112 PSC (print/scan/copy) device. One of the more innovative features of this machine is its ability to print extremely high-resolution 3-D photos. Using 128 colors of ink (including 32 shades of gray) at a resolution of 8112 x 8112 dpi, the images are so realistic that they seem to jump right off the page. The inks for this device are also quite innovative. The user purchases the inks in a highly concentrated form for an average price of 4 per color (about $5 per package). After loading the inks into the machine, the user adds one liter of rubbing alcohol and is set for up to 8,500 prints on 8.5” x 14” paper at 75% coverage. The 8112 PSC must also be connected to a supply of water (at 128 F) and a drain. The unit is quite large, occupying a space of 15’ x 3’ x 4’ (W x H x D) and weighing in at just under 512 pounds (sterling).
The addition of the Type-256 expansion module gives you the capability to produce 3-dimensional copies of anything scanned. The size limit for such items is 6m x 2m x 3m (W x H x D).
The 8112 PSC is expected to hit the market later this year at a price of $256,000. Up to six-months after the introduction, Dell will be offering a mail-in rebate of 27,000,000.
Toyota Motors will soon be offering a GPS device that interfaces with the car’s steering and drive systems and will actually drive the car. One neat feature of this unit is the ability to “teach” the car a route, like from your office door to the nearest parking lot. After the route is learned, the car can go park itself and, with the aid of a key-chain remote, come back for you at the end of the work day.
Toyota does admit the collision avoidance is a problem they are, “eestill working onee”, in that there is presently nothing in the system that can detect and avoid adjacent or nearby cars and other obstructions. Toyota believes, though, that if the car owner has their insurance with Allstate, all will be forgiven.
(Author’s Note: Since I had to be out of town on the date the Beacon goes to press, I had to write this on Tuesday. I hope everything is still current.)
If you have a computer-related problem or question that you would like answered in this column, please send it to the Cedar Key Beacon by email at editor@cedarkeybeacon or PCTech@islandcity.net.
Editor's note: April Fool.