Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Extreme Gaming Notebook

DELL, INC. UNVEILED A second-generation Inspiron XPS notebook on Thursday specifically designed for LAN gaming: The XPS Gen 2.

Although a small percentage of its overall business, the enthusiast and gamer niches continue to significantly influence the design of Dell's products, according to Gretchen Miller, director of worldwide mobile product marketing at Dell. "It's a complement to our corporate business," Miller said. "People want to do more than just productivity."

2ND GEN DELL INSPIRON XPS (If you cannot see this image in your browser, please click on the refresh button.)
Inside the machine, the Inspiron XPS Gen 2 contains the first 256-MB equipped mobile graphics card, the GeForce Go 6800 Ultra that uses a proprietary Dell version of the MXM removable graphics module, according to Dan Vivoli, senior vice president of marketing for Nvidia, in an interview.
The Gen 2 also ships with hard drive options ranging from 60 to 100 Gbytes, optional Bluetooth and optical drives, S-Video, a PC Card slot, six USB 2.0 connections, and a 9-cell Li-ion battery that will offer about 2.5 hours of battery life, according to Dell's Miller. The notebook boasts either a 2.0-GHz Pentium M 760 or 2.2-GHz 770., with 512-Mbytes to 2-Gbytes of DDR-2 DRAM.

Note from DC: According to Vivoli, the GeForce Go 6800 Ultra makes the new Inspiron XPS faster than 99 percent of all shipping desktops, let alone notebooks!

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Blueprints Not Required

JUST AS TERMITES BUILD castles on Earth, robots could erect skyscrapers on the moon. Francois Roche is a French architect who is exploring what happens when traditional design constraints are allowed to fall away.

Roche imagines a programmable assembly device dubbed the "viab," a construction robot capable of improvising as it assembles walls, ducts, cables and pipes.

CITY TOWERS (If you cannot see this image in your browser, please click the refresh button.)
A viab would produce structures that do not follow blueprints. The viab would have no innate design, boundaries, or service life. It would take whatever form was called for at the moment, like a human habitat, and build something unplanned, responsive, densely monitored, massively customized, and rock-solid, will all modern conveniences.
For more information, read the full article in WIRED Magazine, An Architect's Wet-Cement Dream.

Quote by Bruce Sterling, WIRED Magazine: "The moon or Mars would be a natural venue for the concept, a place too hostile for mankind, where viabs could work around the clock: Let robots spit out a city, then settle in when it's ready."