You may not want that Windows Bay Trail tablet after all

encore-marquee-heroAn old friend has been telling me for months that the future of personal computing was coming with new Windows tablets using the Bay Trail system-on-chip architecture built with Intel Silvermont cores. Silvermont is the first major Atom revision in years and is designed to be much faster. Bay Trail would lead to $199 8-inch Windows tablets while also fixing the limitations of Intel’s previous Clover Trail. Well Bay Trail units are finally shipping but my techie friend is sorely disappointed with his.

The lure of this platform for Intel is great. Manufacturers could use the same chassis and chipsets for everything except gaming boxes and servers. Eight inch tablets, ChromeBooks, Ultrabooks, 10-inch tablets, and netbooks, all one chassis with up […]

Hello, Mr. Chips

I received an e-mail last week from someone who is sure to become one of my heroes — an electrical engineer turned high school math teacher. He was concerned about the proper use of technology, especially iPads, in the classroom, and had quite specific suggestions for what to do. We’ll probably get to that in my next column but here I’d like to consider his more fundamental idea, which is that technology in schools can be, in many ways, more a distraction than a solution.

“The problem is that I’ve found that all these things that are purported to improve student learning ignore the number one factor in student success, which is the student’s […]

Been there, done that: Private label newspaper tablets make no sense

Metropolitan newspapers in Chicago, Philadelphia, Baltimore and other places, seeking to survive, are embracing tablet editions to the point of marketing their own e-readers, most of which seem to be Android tablets. It’s a noble effort to avoid extinction but I’m here to tell you it won’t work. Private label tablet computers are a bad idea for newspapers.

The reason I can make this statement with such conviction is because I once tried to do it myself. The year was 1993 when I convinced International Data Group (my employer at the time) to create an electronic magazine about Microsoft. We called it Microsquish.

The magazine was intended to be distributed weekly in PDF format over this new […]

2011 prediction #3: 1.8-inch and 3.5-inch disk drives will die

This year will see the end of the iPod Classic and with it the 1.8-inch disk drive, 90 percent of which are sold by Toshiba. This is a testament to the rise of flash memory and Solid State Disk (SSD) drives, but that’s not the only cause or the only result, because I predict that late in the year the venerable 3.5-inch disk form factor will hit end-of-life, too.

Apple is by far the largest consumer of 1.8-inch disk drives with most of the rest going into competing media players and netbooks. Toshiba might be able to keep its 1.8-inch disk business going to serve those alternate markets but I don’t think Apple will allow it, […]