Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A Laptop Running on AA Batteries

…….and costing under $200. And maybe as low as $135 if acquired bare-bones.

Such could describe the newly-introduced Gecko EduBook produced by Norhtec.

Bundled like a regular small laptop with an 8.9 inch screen configured at resolution of 1024x600, it runs on 8 rechargeable (NiMH) batteries that can be recharged while installed inside the notebook. Using a regular power cord without the heavy adaptor appendage.

Its core chip module with the CPU and RAM, called the Xcore86, another product of NorhTec, is the size of a typical full-featured cell phone. Updating the unit simply requires removing and changing the module.

It operates quietly without any whirring fan. It has instead a heat sink to dissipate heat generated.

Features include the following:
CPU 1GHz Xcore86 Device on Chip™
Graphics Integrated Graphics Chip
Memory 256MB / 512MB / 1GB DDR2
Display 8.9" WSVGA 1024 x 600 resolution TFT LCD screen with LED backlight
HDD SD Card or IDE Flash Disk
Audio Line-out, Mic-in, Internal Mic, Internal stereo speakers
Ethernet Built in 10/100 Base-T
USB 2.0 ports External : 3 ports, Inernal : 1 port (reserved for WIFI, GPRS,
CDMA, 3G or 3.5G USB dongles)
I/O D-sub 15 pin VGA out, integrated SD card reader, touch pad
Power / Battery Rechargeable AA Battery - NiMH 8 pcs (4 hours max) or Li+3S (4 hours max) or Li+3S2P (6 hours max)
AC 100V-240V (no external adapter)

As seen here even amidst all the negative repercussions of a very deep global recession, we still see fearless innovation in the forefront. Creative minds continue to look for products that are not only cheaper, but adaptive to changing consumer needs.

Lately, I have shifted my usage to rechargeable batteries – for my digital cameras, flashlights, and other consumer electronic products requiring batteries. In the long run, one saves quite a lot adopting the change.

While initially the change will involve additional outlay, in the long run it will redound to considerable savings. A pair of AA rechargeable batteries will cost over 300 pesos compared to about a 100 pesos for standard batteries. A dependable Made In China battery charger will cost an additional 125 pesos. Suggest you get an extra charger for convenience.

Now both standard and rechargeable batteries last almost the same time as tests have proved. But guess what happens next?

Dead standard batteries are thrown away, but rechargeable batteries come back again, and again, and again, etc., fully charged and good as new.

Bye, Bye, Birdie

In the morn of June 15th, Monday, as I hustled up the dizzying spiral staircase for my daily visitation to the roof deck, what greeted me left me with some deep loss and longing for two feathered cuties which had for the past three weeks tugged at the brittle strings of my jaded and cynical self.

An empty nest stared back at me, this time riddled with a horde of tiny black ants feasting on the former occupants’ unconsumed food and dried-up droppings. A shiny little egg sat solitarily in the middle of the chaotic frenzy, looking like the dud that it probably was and simply left behind by the laying bird.

So in summary, in the short span of less than 3 weeks, eggs were hatched and the issues developed sufficiently enough within that time frame to fly from the coop and be on their own.

Comparatively, humans take what seems like a lifetime to develop sufficiently enough to be able to live independently - without their parents’ assistance.

A little lesson of life learned.

Then in an ironic twist my regular Internet incursions accidentally brought me to this YouTube item:

A dead gecko attacked by a rampaging horde of ants reducing the carcass to a skeleton, using time-lapse camera.

Another little lesson learned, this time in the cycle of life.