Archive for May, 2006

HD DVD on sale at Wal-Mart

Friday, May 26th, 2006

Apollo 13 HD DVD

I saw this on sale at Wal-Mart last night.
Actually, there were several others on sale as well.
I couldn’t resist buying one.
One day I expect to have a combo HD/Blu-Ray player.
But until then I won’t be able to play this disc.

I thought that this would be one of the one-side-HD-the-other-side-DVD discs, but no luck there.

posted pictures on Flickr
of the case, the disc, etc, so enjoy.

Realtime satellite tracking via Google Maps

Thursday, May 25th, 2006

Yet another very cool Google Maps API use: tracking satellites in real-time.
Click on the pic below to see the full-size screenshot.

sat track

The ISS was above the horizon around lunch time today.

I am curious about how it figured out my longitude and latitude.
Perhaps by my IP address?

(via Wohba)

AMD releases “me too” dual core mobile CPUs

Tuesday, May 23rd, 2006
Turon X2

AMD released their Turlon X2 CPUs, and their spin on this catch-up offering was that they are the “first to market” with a 64-bit mobile CPU.

Ya, like we can really cram in more than 4 GB of RAM on a laptop.

Core 2 Duo

Intel seems to be the one coming out with signifigantly upgraded products this year.
To be fair, they are really playing catch-up with AMD.
However, in many instances, they are playing catch-up-and-pass.

Meanwhile it seems like AMD is treading water.
The whole AM2 chipset thing doesn’t seem to be getting any markket buzz at all.
I give kudos to AMD for a relatively stable chipset history though.
Intel’s chipsets have required motherboard upgrades a lot more frequently over the last 3 years or so.

At this point, AMD is still the power CPU de jour, but for anything else, the Core Duo brand is taking it all.

And with the Core 2 Duo
around the corner, it doesn’t look like that will change any time soon.

64 GB USB Key

Friday, May 19th, 2006

Kanguru 64 GB USB Key

Yow! Mark just told me about
this 64 GB beauty.

That’s a lot of room in your pocket.
Geez, I still remember the really expensive, really loud, HUGE hard disk we bought at Alias to use as The Big File Server.
It was all of 300 MB!

Oh, they use 1 GB == 1,000,000,000 bytes, so it’s really a 59.6 GB drive. Shucks.

BFG PhysX card on sale in Canada

Wednesday, May 10th, 2006

You **can** get them in Canada!

Iain pointed me to
this BFG page
when he told me I could buy a PhysX card for my PC.
He said it didn’t seem to be available in Canada.

However, if you scroll down the page you will see that they are promoting the following Canadian places to get the BFG PhysX card:

TigerDirect’s price is
which is a bit steep considering it only costs $300 in the US.

Maybe I should get one before I go.
$CDN/$US is currently at 0.9085, so if I buy it here (ignoring costs of converting currency),
it would “only” cost $330 or so.

Physics Engines

Saturday, May 6th, 2006

I was somewhat taken aback last night when Iain told me that physics chips for games were no good.
He expanded on this by saying that because the data flows over the PCI bus, it slows everything down.

Now, wouldn’t they be PCI-express cards? Hm.

Today I ran across a Slashdot story titled
Comparing PC Game Physics,
which details how the companies behind the two big physics engines are depating each other’s merits on public forums.

Apparently it started when Havok, the company behind Half-Life 2’s physics engine (I guess it’s a 3rd party library that the Half-Life guys licensed?)
commented on
Ageia’s PhysX card being used in Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter, which also a Havok game.

Ageia has now
shot back a response.

Interesting goings-on..

Blu-Ray goes to 200 GB

Thursday, May 4th, 2006

This XbitLabs article
explains how TDK has built a prototype Blu-Ray disc with 6 33(and â…“ no doubt)GB layers.