Will Apple Change Things Again?

Apple is going to unveil a new product today that will supposedly change the way we do things one more time.  A new device is rumored to be the new product, possibly a tablet that functions as a souped-up iPod touch but with more features.  Pricing will be an issue: the price must meet the sweet spot for most users who want to buy the device.

What should this tablet do?  Aside from running most iPhone and iPod touch applications, it should also function as a reader like Amazon’s Kindle.  Games might be more fun on a bigger screen.

Basic applications such as email, web browser, word processor and even spreadsheet might turn out to be more usable on a tablet.  Perhaps this tablet can be connected to other devices including a keyboard and a mouse (although the latter might not be needed since the tablet is touch sensitive already).

Whatever.  I hope it does a lot of useful and fun things for it to be worth buying.  I hope inputting text does become easier, given the size of the thing.  Anyway, in a few hours, the mystery will be revealed.

Have fun!

KDE 4 and Linux

After installing Fedora 11 in a virtual machine, I opted for KDE 4 to see how it looks.  It was quite interesting and pleasing visually.  I was impressed and it made me use the Linux desktop for a long time in one session.  Obviously, there was a lot of work and thought put into the design and implementation of KDE 4.

KDE 4 is what a Linux desktop should look like if Linux should become a mainstream desktop operating system.  I do not mean to ignore Gnome.  However, I enjoy using KDE 4 more than Gnome.  Check out KDE 4 and see if it suits you.

MATLAB Should Have A Home Edition Too

Recall that I wrote about Wolfram Research offering a Home Edition version of Mathematica 7.  A lot of engineering and scientific applications use MATLAB too.  However, the only way to get the cheap edition of MATLAB is to be a student.  Otherwise, you’d have to pay about $2000 for the software license.  I believe that the Mathworks should consider offering a Home Edition of MATLAB too for those who want to tinker with some engineering and scientific computations in a non-commercial setting.

Some Sites Of Interest

I have this routine for web surfing everyday.  I usually start with Slashdot.org and C|Net News reading the interesting news there.  I then head to ArsTechnica for some more tech news.  Gizmodo is a favorite of mine when I’m checking out the latest gadgetry.  Finally, I check Linux Today to see how my favorite operating system is doing on the planet.

Today’s news is something I also check, surfing the sites CNN.com, Wired, and USA Today.  Once in awhile, I check out The New York Times as well.

There are a number of other sites I check:  PC Magazine, ExtremeTech, Freshmeat.Net for the latest software, High-Def Digest for the latest in high definition gear and software, plus others.

Check out the sites I mentioned above.

Wolfram Research Releases Home Edition of Mathematica 7

At last, there’s a cheap version of Mathematica available now for personal use.  Mathematica Home Edition is only $295.  It’s a 32-bit version of Mathematica 7 available for Windows (2000/XP/Vista), Mac OS X, and Linux.

According to the Wolfram Research web site, this is a full featured Mathematica.  You can also use it for homeworks if you are a student, although it’s cheaper to get the Student Edition for that.  You may not use it in a professional/business setting.

With this reasonably priced Mathematica, many math and science hobbyists can now avail of the power of this software.  I’ve been meaning to get this software for sometime now but it has always been beyond my budget (about $2000+).  Now, it’s reasonably priced!

Firefox 3 On My Mac

I downloaded Firefox 3 yesterday afternoon to try it out. At first, I couldn’t get to the site.  After a couple of minutes, I was then able to download it at full speed via DSL.  It took only a few minutes, but note that the Mac version was around 17MB compared to the Windows and Linux versions (this is probably because Firefox 3 on the Mac is a Universal Binary).

Running Firefox 3 for the first time went smoothly.  The third-party add-ons I loaded using the Beta and Release Candidate versions of Firefox 3 worked fine.  I was relieved to find the Web Developer Toolbar working since I use it when I build web pages.

Browsing seems faster than before, even compared to the release candidate versions of Firefox 3.  Memory usage is nominal but less than Firefox 2.  The so-called Awesome Bar (i.e. the URL navigation bar) is handy and much faster now than in the beta and release candidate versions.

Firefox 3 On The Mac

I have browsed the usual web sites I visit each week (e.g. shopping sites, news sites, e-commerce sites, etc.) and have so far found no problems.  I like the new security features of Firefox 3 — the browser alerts you to suspicious or malicious web sites.  (Note: I’ll update this entry as I experience more stuff using this browser.)

It’s good to know that a solid web browser available for free exists to keep the web sane.  Firefox 3 does support most web standards and is a worthy competitor to other browsers such as Internet Explorer, Safari, and Opera.

The last time I checked, about 8 million downloads have been counted so far since the start of Firefox 3’s Download Day.  It exceeded their estimate of 5 million downloads, which is a good thing.  Some are still wary about downloading and using a newly released version of the software, but I can say that this is a solid release.  No one should be scared to download and use this piece of software.