Category Archives: Technology

Technology related articles

Personal PC Project – Intel Z77 Platform 3rd Generation “Ivy Bridge” Build


It has been a while since I built a new computer, a few years in fact and I’ve been excited for a few months now since the release of the new Intel 3rd generation core processors “Ivy Bridge”. The Intel Z77 chipset brings some interesting new features and possibilities to enthusiasts also that I wanted to check out.

Conscious of budget vs performance I was leaning towards more of the performance end of things, but some sacrifices were made to hit the $900 budget I gave myself. The absence of a boot SSD hit me in the windows performance index score and PC mark benchmarks and rather than going for a Radeon HD7770 based graphics card, I could have gone with a more expensive NVIDIA 680GTX or something but for the price of $149 AUD the R7770 was a great deal.

The build went as follows – $900 AUD:

  • Asus P8Z77-M LGA 1155 motherboard
  • Intel Core i5 3570K @ 3.40Ghz CPU
  • Corsair  8GB DDR3 (2x 4GB) Vengeance RAM @ 1600mhz
  • XFX R7770 Black Edition 1GB DDR5 @ 1.1ghz Overclocked graphics
  • Seagate Baracuda 1TB 7200rpm hard drive
  • Samsung DVD-R optical drive
  • Antec 520w high current gamer 80 plus bronze PSU
  • Fractal Design Define R3 black pearl chassis

For gaming, heading into the Core i7 real isn’t really required. The core i5 3570k performs very well and is an unlocked (K) model processor also allowing for easy overclocking in the future should I see fit. As I didn’t fork out for a third party cooling solution (such as a corsair H100 water cooling kit) I’m running the machine on air alone. Again, to meet the budget water cooling can come into the picture in the future should any major overclocking come to mind, but for now I’m happy.

A few areas I’ll look at for upgrade paths in the near future:

  1. Solid State Drive for boot drive or SSD caching solution
  2. Water cooling such as a Corsair H100 for greater overclocking of the K model 3570 CPU

How To Upgrade Samsung Galaxy S2 (i9100) to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich


I recently upgraded my Samsung Galaxy S2 to the latest version of Google’s new Android 4.0 operating system ‘Ice Cream Sandwich’ and I must say, things have improved A LOT! There are many things that were missing from previous releases that we android users just took for granted, some features of which have been a staple in the iOS ecosystem for a while now but now that Android has these nailed down it is truely the killer OS out there at the moment in my opinion.

Many things that Android has done better compared with its competitors are things phone/tablet users use every day, rather what it’s competitors do which are questionably used as frequently.

A few of the new features include:

  • Resizable Widgets
  • New lock screen actions
  • Quick responses for incoming calls
  • Improved Text Imput

For a closer look at the feature set of this new release please check out the android developers – Android 4.0 Platform Highlights page for more information.

Roxio Game Capture Card – Hardware Unboxing + Tour


I have been thinking about purchasing a big HD PVR for capturing game console footage but I came across a cheaper alternative called the Roxio game capture card. It allows you to play your games to the TV in HD as it passes through the signal straight to the TV and allows footage capture up to 480p (720×480).

So only standard definition capture but since its half the cost of the cheapest HD PVR and if you’re not too fussed about capturing your gaming footage in SD I’d recommend you check this one out.

Top 5 Techies Worth Following on Twitter


There are so many influential people in the technology industry but if you’re interested in reading up on technology news or just have fun watching videos from technology conferences (you really need to be into it to do this all the time) then you’ll no doubt have your favourite sources for your information, and favourite people you like to watch. Twitter is one of those things that makes it easy to keep tabs on the people you watch the most in the industry as basically all of them use the service regularly. It can save you having to dig around the web to read the best stories, most of the time you can find where all the action is at on Twitter.

Here is my top 5 list of technology gurus worth following on Twitter (in no particular order):

  1. Leo Laporte: Great pioneer of internet video content (a netcast as he likes to call) and podcaster – @leolaporte
  2. Walter Mossberg: Writer for the Wall Street Journal and all round great tech blogger – @waltmossberg
  3. Kevin Rose: Founder of digg.com and founder/CEO of milk inc – @kevinrose
  4. Robert Scoble: American blogger and former technology evangelist at Microsoft – @scobleizer
  5. Mitch Kapor: Founder of Lotus, designer of 1-2-3. These days a start-up investor and advisor. – @mkapor

I follow these guys as I think they are some of the more interesting people in technology to follow, but looking through the list I follow each for different reasons. Mitch isn’t a guy that covers technology at all as a journalist but he invests heavily in new start-ups so to see who he’s working with can sometimes show you the new things to come before they are known. Kevin Rose built digg.com, his first web venture. Made a lot of mistakes (his words not mine) but has learned from them and now has his hands in more than 30 different start-ups both as an investor and advisor. He also runs mi.lk.

Leo Laporte would probably be my favourite though, I’ve been subscribed to many of his podcasts almost since he first started podcasting and still listen today.

If you’re on twitter and into technology, take a look at what these guys are doing and go from there.

Apple TV 2nd Generation Unboxing


Sorry for the poor video quality, next time I’ll remember to shoot video in 720p!

I get a lot of use with the XBOX 360 streaming content to my TV in my lounge room but there are a few things I can’t do with the 360 such as stream YouTube, Vimeo, Flickr, etc to the TV. This is where the Apple TV comes in for me. I picked it up this morning and thought I’d capture the unboxing on camera in case there are others out there thinking of getting an Apple TV but not sure if its right for you.

I quite like it, its nice and small and completely silent which was something I was looking for. The 2nd gen Apple TV outputs 1080p which is nice, has built-in 802.11n WiFi (as well as Ethernet)  and can stream internet content such as YouTube, Vimeo and Flickr which was what I was looking for primarily. I already own an iPad and my girlfriend has an iPhone 4 already so taking advantage of the airplay functionality is great too. When iOS 5 releases next week there should be an update to the Apple TV also which will allow clone display of iPad and iPhone direct to the Apple TV.

It does the job nicely and is dead silent which is great.

Steve Jobs Has Died – Goodbye To A Visionary Master


Steve Jobs, 56, died peacefully this morning at his home in California surrounded by family and friends. Although the man has died, the Jobs legacy will live on in his products for years to come.

I am most definitely not an ‘Apple Fanboy’ by any account but I appreciate the work he has done for the industry and also the world. The technology landscape would look quite different today if it weren’t for Steve’s vision and passion for computers and technology. Some are now asking how Apple will fare in the coming years without a leader such as Steve. I personally think they’ll be fine.

Steve named Tim Cook as new CEO in late August of this year as part of a well documented succession plan at Apple and Tim is a highly capable individual who I’m sure will do a great job as CEO. Tim Cook was chief of operations at Apple before being named CEO and has been with apple for 14 years now so he already has a good knowledge of the company, and in fact he took over as interim CEO while Steve was away ill in 2010. However, What will happen when Apple’s current product pipeline dries up? Where will the new ideas for products come from? So many ideas came from Steve so will be interesting to see where the new ideas come from and what they might be. Steve left Apple in the best shape it’s ever been in and for a company that hinges itself on ideas and innovation to loose its innovative leader, Apple should be able to weather this storm better than most.

Rest in peace Steve Jobs, you were truly a guiding light. You set out to change the world when you started Apple, and…I think you succeeded.

Goodbye HP TouchPad!


Update (17/09/2011): The Touch-Droid team have released a guide and walkthrough videos on installing their Android build on the (former) WebOS device the HP TouchPad! You can check that out here: http://touch-droid.com/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=2

The HP TouchPad was released a few weeks ago, and a few days after it’s launch HP announced a massive fire-sale of its new 1.2Ghz tablet device for $99 USD. We saw the same thing happen here, Harvey Norman stores were practically giving them away! I wish I got my hands on one of them before they were all snapped up. Now the TouchPad is dead so what will happen with HP’s WebOS? Can the HP TouchPad become the cheapest android tablet around?

Here’s a look at what the HP TouchPad could have been:

You can buy a now obsolete TouchPad on eBay for around $280 AUD. Still much cheper than the $500+ iPad and if those guys on the TouchDroid team can re-write Android gingerbread to run on this it would no doubt be the cheapest android tablet around!

How to disable the CHKDSK – Check Disk, on start up for Windows 7 (via Eagle081183’s Blog)


I have been having an issue with my Windows 7 home premium machine at home with the disk scans taking forever to complete at boot up for no apparent reason. In my search for answers I came across these issues via http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_vista-performance/windows-7-support-and-chkdsk-issues/a8ab415b-4559-45c6-99a4-a54e27e5a836 then thought rather than waste time searching for the a solution to the underlying cause of the problem (I usually re-image my machines every 6-12 months anyway) I’ll just work around it.

I then found Eagle081183’s blog post ‘how to disable the CHKDSK…on startup for Windows 7’ and simply disabled it.

Good thinking 99! Thanks for the idea Eagle081183.

To disable automatic disk checking at Windows startup through registry, go to the following registry key: Important: This section, method, or task contains steps that tell you how to modify the registry. However, serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly. Therefore, make sure that you follow these steps carefully. For added protection, back up the registry before you modify it. Then, you can restore the registry if a pro … Read More

via Eagle081183’s Blog

Which smartphone do you use?


These days practically every phone available is a smartphone to some degree, all of which can be used to carry out very similar tasks but each in their own way are also very different. The definition of a smartphone is basically a phone that can do things other than making calls but uses some other sort of connectivity to connect to the internet and manage data. Email, social networking, etc. There are many different smartphone operating systems available to choose from also. iOS, BlackberryOS, Symbian, Android, Windows Phone, the list goes on.

I personally am using a trusty old Nokia E71 right now. I was using a HTC Touch Diamond 2 but if you’ve ever used a Windows Mobile 6.5 phone you’ll no doubt agree with me that they are problematic at best. I am interested to see what happens with the iPhone 5 (or whatever they decide to call it – iPhone 4s perhaps?). I will probably loose the Nokia and pick up the new iPhone when it comes out.

Besides iPhone though, Android devices are looking really interesting at the moment and are becoming a real contender to iOS.

Which phone are you using right now? What would you prefer to use? What are you most looking forward to releasing?

Rubik’s Cube Super Robot!


3 students from Swinburne University in Melbourne have built a robot that can solve a Rubik’s Cube in less than 10 seconds. As their final year project they were tasked to demonstrate skills necessary to create something that had major electrical, mechanical and software components. It took them all year to complete the project, but take a look at the video above and see it for yourself. This Robot is one quick machine!

Source: Meet Ruby, The Record Breaking Robot That Solves Rubik’s Cube – http://theage.com.au