It can be difficult searching for spares eg Psion handheld computer batteries. Now there are online computer and electronic shops where one can order . In UK at Dixons and in USA Radio Shack.
2 Gybte Jaz
Fot about $500 Iomega have introduced this new removable hard disk system , which is very fast , plays normal Jaz disks and the new 2gbyte disks. This can store 1m pages of A4 text , more than a person can write in his entire life even if he writes 300 pages a day or more than 3000 books enough to fill a small library -and all on a disk which can fit a shirt pocket ! Very soon it will be possible in a couple of minutes to download on to a Jaz a full movie at the video store and then watch it at home in the new TV/PC marketed by Gateway and others.
End of Cash
Visa have started issuing £50 (75) cards which shops accept for change using a special machine. Once the money is used up the card can be recharged at a bank till. This is the start of the end of losse change
The world's largest bookshop
It does not even have a store ! Its online and offers books at a discount and ships to UK and other placesAmazon Book Shop
. One tip when browsing is to open one or more new browser windows by going to file menu . Having one's favourite selections one can then let the new windows search for content of different sites all at once saving a lot of time on downloads.
Panasonic have developed a new 5 inch DVD able to store 15 Gbytes on one side . This is good enough to play HDTV movies with twice the resolution of broadcast TV and four times that of VHS. It can also play hours of lossless audio.
Divx - no need to return videos
A new kind of DVD player $100 more than others will be produced next year. This will play rented $5 DVDs ( superb picture quality ) for a period of 48 hours from the first playing. Then the information becomes unavailaible due to coding . This coding can be removed by the video store over the phone line to give another 48 hours. Many people do not rent from stores because of the hassle of returninig tapes . With this method they can just throw away the DVD when they finish. DVD discs are so cheap to produce -less than $2 in quantity that this method could finally bring laser quality to Indian and Pakistani movies . At the moment there are complaints that the distributors deliberately degrade the picture to near unwatcheable levels to combat more copying.
Interenet for all schools
The new govt in Britain has promised that all schools in Britain will be linked with high speed internet within 4 years. Students will have email and web access at a cost in phone bills of less than $2 a year. This is to counter fears that the Internet is making a two tier society with the poor who have no access to the insant information that Internet offers falling further behind. No country can afford to let its students fall behind in this the most efficient form of acquiring new knowledge. Alreadyy there are sites offering help with homework and allowing students to practice for SAT and other exams.
National Geographic CD Rom
This months PC Format has a free NG CD Rom covering all the issues - articles , photographs etc. from the last three years of National Geographic free. It has full page photographs of Bombay , Cotton growing , Science topics etc. Please note ukindia cannot supply any more details - if you want the magazine see http://www.futurenet.co Internet by Microwave
A British school in Wales has become linked to its ISP by a line of sight microwave . It cost $5000 to install but it means that 70 people in the school can access at 2Mbsec simultaneously and never incur phone charges , saving $5000 in the first year alone. This is 100 times faster than normal 28k connections and means even video can be downloaded in real time. This may be a more effective way of internet in developing countries.
These can be sent free with stamps via email
Samsung 1Gbyte Dram
Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (SEC) announced the
development of the world's first one gigabit dynamic random
access memory (1G DRAM) chip that promises to change
the future of computers.
ultra-small device that's capable of storing information
equivalent to more than 8,000 newspaper pages or 400 still
Samsung's 1G DRAM will be used i in products that require rapid processing of vast amounts of data such as: video conference systems with interpretation ability, medical systems, satellite telecommunications, personal digital assistants, HDTV, 3-D graphics and other digital multimedia products.
Pakistan CD Rom
Future Management have produced a CD Rom of Pakistan's history over the last 5000 years with movie clips , still photographs and maps. It is upto date on all the facts till 1997 and contains a lot of other gacts on geography , music etc. It has taken tens of programmers two years to produce and the firm are looking for somebody to market it .
GPS Handheld GPS
GPS positioners costing only a couple of hundred dollars can give one's position accurate to a few meters anywhere in the world in all three dimensions. They take signals from three or four satellites circling the earth and because the distance of the satellites from each other is known , the time difference from receiving the same signal allows the GPS to calculate its postion in 3 dimensions anywhere in the world. In the near future as well as having street addresses we will have a GPS address as well and when the visitor reaches the destination he can from the GPS reading determine if it is the correct one. Those higher up in a block of flat will have a different GPS reading. Hours will not be wasted in searching for the house.
Fast Internet access in India
Most cities in India have been 'cabelled' not as in the West underground but often with cable wires strung along telephone poles . From this year with the govt freeing Internet providers Cable operators plan to give subscribers fast internet access at upto 1- 10Megabit per second or over 50 times what a 28k line can deliver. The cable modem costs $400 and will be leased . Indians may be the first to get affordable video conferencing . Email and the Web could revolutionise communications in India (Asian Age July 30)
India frees the Internet
The Telecom Commission has decided to permit unlimited number of Internet service providers, as against the monopoly being enjoyed by VSNL at present. It also decided not to prescribe a licence fee for ISPs for the first two years.The number of internet connections is expected to increase tremendously. India has 21 million cable TV connections -- the third largest in the world. Access to Internet can be increased tremendously by converging technology to provide Internet on cable TV.
Engineers can now send data via the electricity lines . One can via the internet now control appliances in the house which are connected to the mains and which have microprocessors embeded eg washing machines , microwaves , even Robots from the office ready for when one comes home. It uses only 1V of the 240V and may be the means to bring Internet access to third world countries.
A new type of protonic chip made by America's Sandia National Lab in Albuquerque, New Mexico, retains all that is in the volatile computer memory even when the computer crashes. It uses very little voltage and so can retain the memory for long periods.
PC DVD Rom
Creative are selling a DVD Rom kit for less than $400 for those who have Pentium 100 or above. It can function as a 24 speed CD Rom as well ! It displays MPEG video as well as Video CD and CDR . It can output to PAL and NTSC so that movies can be watched on the TV or Computer Screen. More details at http://www.creaf.com/wwwnew/hub/press/1997/p970619.html
Lasers can now rapidly scan a 3D object from many directions and transmit this info over the net. At the other end a stereolithograph laser carves out an exact replica in plastic which soon hardens or even stone. Everbody can now have an identical copy of Michelangelo sculptures. Other uses could be made to measure suits etc.
Free Service watches your favourite web pages
A free service can keep track of changes in web pages on ukindia and others by informing you by email when those pages change. http://www.micromat.com/pagewatch/pwadvert.htm or send email to: email@example.com
Cheap Phone Service for 3rd world
Using receivers the size of large plates , Ionica has within a year signed on over 100,000 customers in Midlands . It gives two lines and gurantees that its rates will always be 10% less than BT. The cost to connect a home - $25 - is one fiftieth of that of copper wires!. The radio signal goes to a central high building in town or viallge from where it is fed into the telephone network. 3rd world countries can now bring telephone and internet services cheaply to all villagers . A small solar panel could make each household independent of electric power supplies.
Indian cooking CD Rom
Zee TV makers of Khana Khazana have produced an interactive CDRom with video clips and 150 recipes. For sale in India for Rs 1500($50). More details when availaible.
Get your own wepage for free
Geocities is giving a chance for everyone to have their own free webpage. It is adding gigabytes of storage each week. Although most ISPs provide web space it is difficult for people to find the right address. With Geocity the info is given. A very good example is the Afghanistan news page
Family Doctors in Britain are putting up their own websites. Patients clicking on a word see a form come up and can fill in the details of the drugs they want repeated and send it . The prescription is ready by the time they get to the surgery or can be delivered to the pharmacy. Others are putting advice on common ailments.
Cheap Slide scanners
The days of dark lecture theaters where slides are shown may soon be behindus . Artec are selling a slide scanner 30 bit color at 4600 dpi at less than $250 from July. With large scale over 33 inch TV Monitors down to less than $2000 thousands of high resolution slides can be stored on the hard or zip discs creating a revolution in education.
Last year a bank robber from the USA gave himself when in the remote village in Colombia where he was living somebody recognised him from his picture put up on a web site. Police are starting to use the same technique for local crimes. Putting details of cars , videos ,TVs etc. stolen with their serial numbers will soon make purchasers check with the web site before buying something secondhand as knowingly buying stolen equipment is criminal and even in ignorance it is confiscated without compensation. Pictures of known habitual criminals will also stop them getting jobs where they might be tempted.
Cidoc's new invention may well change our lives .It is a phone with a recessable keyboard underneath . On top is the phone and an 8 inch high resolution black and white LCD screen (VGA) . With this one can access the net. It costs less than $450 One can even send email . Now when we enquire about train times etc. the whole timetable can come on the screen and one can work one's way through it. Ordering groceries , cinema listings, bank statements etc. can be done easily from the armchair. But the most important use may be to leave messages , important information on one's own web site accessible with a password to family and friends. More details www.cidco.com
Far off Dictation
Doctors in Washington DC now dictate their notes and send them by satellite voice mail directly to Bangalore in India. Here it is transcribed by typists on to their computer screens and sent back within a few minutes and the typed letter is back on the Doctor's computer screen much cheaper than can be done in the USA . Millions of new jobs are being created in the third world by computer and satellite technology.
Ameritech of Chicago after succesful trials will roll out an ADSL service in a few months . This downloads information from the net at over 2 mbps - about a 100 times faster than the fastest modem now ! and uploads at 56K . The main benefit is that it uses ordinary phone lines and may suit third world countries . It is reported that customers loved it so much that they refused to let Ameritech take the box out of back.
In India VSNL has competition . New service providers it is reported will be licensed making it a local call from all over India . At present it can cost 40 rupees or $1 a minute to access the net. With local call access businesses will start to make heavy use of it as an email costs almost nothing .
International calls at local rates
Lucent an American company have developed new software which can digitise and compress phone calls in real times with good sound quality. A phone call is made to the centre where this compression is done and then the call is sent long distance over internet lines and decompressed at another centre in the receiving country from where it is sent as a local call. Neither sender or receiver needs to have a computer. This technolgy could send international calls at local rates ( plus a bit extra for what Lucent may charge) and make much more efficient use of phone lines in third world countries where the number of connections are few. MCI will start trials in a few months. More info on the Times web site.
Language will probably improve markedly on the internet newsgroups , now that dejanews has started stroing every message ever put on the internet. Ukindia has a new link on the front page Usenet Search which will help you get any article by subject or author . Science , computer and other groups can now be searched for any topic -eg cold fusion will bring out all the articles on that subject.
This is a disc the size of two postage stamps which can hold 20 megabytes of information , enough for about 100 high resolution pictures. As it costs only $20 it should lead to low cost , high quality digital cameras , low cost solid state tape recorders and map readers . It is made by Iomega , who also make the zip drive -every computer owner should have one, and the larger 1000 Mb Jazz drives.
Email for all kids
One of the parties in the British elections has said it will provide individual email addresses for all schoolchildren. This will enable them to correspond with others in the world and to get help with homework from on site internet teachers. Very soon the Internet could hold a copy of the text and pictures of all the books and lectures in the world updated frequently. With another proposal of libraries being open all hours it could give children access to information about sciences etc whenever they want . Even in the third world one internet computer in each village could provide the latest teaching for bright children. A small fee could be given to the author by the govt each time somebody accesses their lecture. It would save a lot of trees . University students would of course benefit the most.
Hitachi have released the world’s first read only DVD Rom drive at about $600. It stores nearly 5 gigabytes of data on a single layer -enough for a movie -but you need a high power Pentium and a special MPEG card to view the movies in resolution twice as good as VHS. With two sides and two layers it can store many more movies with dubbing and subtitles ,and computer programs on each disc.
Police in England are starting to sell for about $25 a solution which has 1000 microdots of information that can be painted on to computers etc . Each dot is only the size of a full stop and the information can be read with a magnifier. There has been a marked reduction of theft of equipment marked with such dots. More than 60 letters and numbers can be put on each of the identical dots
Mouse which communicate with the PC via radio waves have now come on the market. While infra red needs to be less than 1 meter from the PC and in a cone of 30 degrees , radio controlled devices can be put anywhere in the room.
Sony digital camera
Sony have brought out a digital camera with good resolution costing about $500 which uses magneto optical recording called mini disc which can store 1000 images on a single small reusable 6cm disc.
CD Rom shopping
After successful trials in London , Tesco is expanding internet shopping into other cities. You get a free CD with all the products and prices listed and then select with the mouse , drop it into a virtual basket and upload to the internet site. Groceries are delivered for $7 (£5). Asian corner shops are under great pressure from Supermarkets but for busy customers they could store the products for later delivery for a small additional free when the customer is at home. Sainsbury will also launch home shopping in a big way in a few months.
Yahoo personalised news
Yahoo - there is a link from the front page of ukindia Yahoo will customize news for you. If say you are interested in movies , computer , world news and cricket ,then you can set up a page on your browser and when you click on this in the bookmark it will get the headlines in these areas.
Internet via satellite
Gateway and others are selling a digital satellite internet system for less than $300 which uploads at the speed of the modem but downloads directly into the computer 30 times as fast . This makes possible download of songs and movie clips in almost real time.
These have fallen to record lows. 16 MB which cost four hundred dollars only about a year ago can now be bought for about a hundred. Windows 95 flies with 32MB total . Any less and the hard drive gets thrashed as the computer tries to juggle memory hungry applications. It is a much more worthwhile upgrade than a faster processor. Another useful piece of hardware is the Iomega ditto tape device now less than $150 which can back up a 2gbyte hard disk in minutes.
Talk to your computer
This months cover CD of Computer Buyer - Jan 97 has the Kurzweil voice pad a program which enables one with a $10 microphone to dictate letters to the computer. One has to spend a few hour teaching it the common words but it does work remarkably well. After typing in what it thinks you said eg ' for' , it will offer a choice eg 1.four 2 fore etc and if you meant four just say 'take 1' and it corrects the spelling ! The star trek computer taking voice commands is not far away . There is also an excellent Office forms program with which one can make invoice templates etc.
Any student who hasnt got a Psion 3a pocket computer should get one. Two thumb typing is fast enough to write in lecture theaters and it can store a whole three months on one set of batteries . In the evenings one can connect it to a desktop with a Psion link and can correct spelling mistakes and print out the notes.Most of the successful students at University rewrite the lecture notes on the same day in neat writing and then make essays on the topics for quick revision at exam time. It has a spelling checker built in , can store hundreds of names and addresses , has a spread sheet for expenses and one can buy foreign language phrase cards. It costs less than $500 and can even be linked to a mobile phone to download data on the beach. The new one even has an infra red link to type out letters on the printer
Black Widow are selling a flat bed scanner for less than $300 which can scan in 3D and keep objects in focus. It is most useful in scanning books which cannot be laid flat . Keys and small objects can also be scanned by this 3D head scanner.
Trillion calculation computer
The worlds fastest computer has been made with just 7000 Pentium processors linked together . Each processor cost less than $500 so this is a very cheap way to build computers . The processors work in parallel ie each deals with a small bit of the information . This 1000 GHz ( pentium runs at 133Mhz) computer can be used in making very accurate weather forecasts and in understanding body chemistry. The brain uses parallel processing but it has trillions of cells all doing very simple tasks and computers are now being built which can emulate it. The main difficulty is designing software that can make the processors work together.
Its reported that there are over 500 scams operating on the Internet. Most of them have keywords like 'network marketing' etc. ie where you earn the money by paying a large sum upfront and then by recruiting other salespeople rather than selling the products itself. Water filters , herbal products etc are common items for 'sale'. Do not fall for any of these. Pyramid schemes are illegal and should be reported to http://www.bbb.org,
Verity makers of wharfedale loudspeakers have developed flat panel ones only 3mm thick which can produce much better sound than current speakes.The panel produces sound in multitudes of phases called DML-much like the back of a violin which do not cancel themsleves and so do not need to be in an enclosure.
Those who enjoy the articles on the newgroups need to get this free software from http://www.forteinc.com . After setting it up , type news:news.aol.com or whichever your ISP is and for mail mail:mail.aol.com . It then goes online to get all the newgroups the service provider carries . Be warned some are very controversial and many have pictures!. Free Agent is excellent for compiling messages offline . The commercial version costs only $40 or so and has spelling checker and other facitilites.
Emailing foreign languages
Scanners have fallen in price so much - the Primax 4800 flatbed for instance costs less than $200 and connects to the parallel port - via printer pass through if you dont have a spare slot- so that it does not need a card inserted into the computer. Scanning a letter or document handwritten or printed in a foreign language -just on line art and lower resolution does not take much memory. This is saved as a bitmap which is then converted to gif via Thumbs etc reducing its size tenfold. This gif file can then be sent as an email attachment to anywhere in the world. Photographs too can be sent in this fashion. Many firms now will print out the letter in the foreign country on a laser printer and post it locally so that it gets there the next day. Software such as Universal Word which is used to make ukindia language lessons can type in Punjabi, Hindi etc directly on the screen and this can be edited and pasted into paintbrush as bitmap .
A scientist working at NASA has developed what promises to be the next megahit computer game. It has 3000
3D scenes giving an almost infinite variation . He says that there is nothing novel in Doom after the first five minutes while his game will keep people entertaind for days.
US Robotics will be selling these in a few months. Download from ISP is 56k over ordinary lines while upload is 28k
Britain will get a daily computer channel from this week . It is on the air between 6-8pm on Cable and Satellite. Other computer related programs are on CNN - computer chronicles weekly , on NBC Sat mornings and CNet on the science fiction channel. All are excellent . Readers also have access to Yahoo from the ukindia front page which now has news pages listing the latest world , science , computer and health news.
Magneto -Optical drives
Made by Panasonic and others these have become cheap enough at less than $500 - to install in home computers. They provide 650- 1,300 Mbytes of storage on one removable disc- which costs about $50 . The jazz cartridge stores 1,000 Mb but costs more and the optical media should be more durable. These high storage devices should lead to a new era in document and picture storage
Home deliveries by Internet !
Tesco has become the first supermarket in the world offering almost its complete range of goods -over 20,000 items over the internet. After selecting their purchase customers can either phone or order directly via the computer for home delivery at a cost of £5- $7. Now in Ealing , London but will probably be extended nationwide soon .Inner city residents who cant afford to travel to the hypermarkets will benefit the most as will busy professionals.
No email no job
Britain must be the only country where one comes out of the supermarket with more money in the pocket . Most give cashbacks of about $70 with a credit card purchase. Now some are refusing to employ workers without email. Other innovations include self scanning by selected customers as they put items in the trolley. The more the customers do their own work the more the savings.
Professor Dawkins - Professor of Zoology at Oxford has brought out a CD Rom for about $45 on the Evolution of Life. One can define one's own conditions for the evolution of life and the computer will show them the life forms that will evolve under those conditions. It is being published by Notting Hill Publications .
This new palmtop from psion communicates with a desktop by infra red . It has wordprocessor and spreadsheet functions and the batteries last for months. For those who like to type on full sized keyboards and need one mostly for wordprocessing a good choice is the Amstrad 200 and Amstrad 100 notebooks. The 200 has a beautiful backlit screen , weighs about 2 pounds and has a floppy and PC card slot . The 100 is about a pound and has a PC Card slot . Batteries last for months . The 200 is about $300 while the 100 is much less.
Hitachi video camera
Hitachi are bringing out a video camera weighing less than one pound which uses a 260Mb hard disk to store video information. A very powerful chip compresses to MPEG standards giving 30 mins of better than VHS video. It can also store 3000 JPG still pictures. Costing less than 2000 dollars this camera could lead to a revolution in document storage and film production as unlike tape it gives instant access .
Full Screen Video without card
Apple will release next month Quicktime version 2.5 which gives windows and other computers the ability to run full screen video as good as video quality. There is no need for an extra MPEG card. More details when available.
3D screensaver for free
From the Free Agent web page (www.forteinc.com) readers can download the free agent 3D screensaver for free. It consists of worm like figures going down the screen.
Advertise free on the net
ukindia which has its own domain now -http://www.ukindia.com has put a link on the front page to the magazine LOOT where readers can put in advertising for free. This may indeed be the killer application for the internet. At the moment it appears that only the London area is covered but soon it will be possible in all areas.
This software makes text into bit mapped images. When installed into computers at either end multipaged text files can be sent in a tenth the time saving on long distance phone calls.
Many firms are finding that if they give the workers eg truck drivers hand held computers linked by radio to base they can key in data at the point of sale and update their records . Invoices can be printed. This system is much more efficient than sending all invoices from the office.
This new 64 bit system with the advanced chip built by Silicon graphics has gone on sale in Japan at $400. It provides shading and 3D graphics even Pentiums cant match and is proving very popular.