Archive for the ‘Operating Systems’ Category

Robotic Future

A robot is an automatically guided machine which is able to do tasks on its own, almost always due to electronically-programmed instructions. The word can refer to both physical and virtual software agents, but the latter are usually referred to as bots. There is no consensus on which machines qualify as robots but there is general agreement among experts, and the public, that they tend to do some or all of the following: move around, operate a mechanical limb, sense and manipulate their environment, and exhibit intelligent behaviour – especially behaviour which mimics humans or other animals. Robotic science will change the world…

As they become more advanced, eventually there may be a standard computer operating system designed mainly for them. Robot Operating System (ROS) is an open-source set of programs being developed at Stanford University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Technical University of Munich, Germany, among others. ROS provides ways to program their navigation and limbs regardless of the specific hardware involved. It also provides high-level commands for items like image recognition and even opening doors. When ROS boots up on a robot’s computer, it would obtain data on attributes such as the length and movement of its limbs. It would relay this data to higher-level algorithms. Microsoft is also developing a “Windows for robots” system with its Robotics Developer Studio, which has been available since 2007.

They are designed in various shapes and sizes. Humanoid, modular, educational and sports robots are only a few different types. Lara is the first female humanoid robot with artificial muscles instead of electric motors. Modular robots can be built from standard building blocks that can be combined in different ways. RoboCup and TOPIO are examples of sports robots. Caterpillar plans to develop remote controlled machines and expects to develop fully autonomous heavy robots by 2021. Some cranes already are remote controlled. Robots such as HOSPI are used as couriers in hospitals, etc. Other hospital tasks performed by them are receptionists, guides and porters. They can serve as waiters and cooks.

Today’s market is not fully mature. One or more software compatibility layers have yet to emerge to allow the development of a rich robotics ecosystem (similar to today’s personal computers one). Microsoft is currently working in this direction with its new software Microsoft Robotics Studio. Other candidates to reach this goal might be Free Software solutions such as Player/Stage or cross-platform technologies such as URBI.

A robotic timeline predicts that every South Korean household will have a robot and many European in 2015-2020. In 2018 they will routinely carry out surgery. 2022 – Intelligent ones that sense their environment, make decisions, and learn are used in 30% of households and organizations. 2030 – They will be capable of performing at human level at most manual jobs. They will perform most household tasks in 2034. 2015 – one third of US fighting strength will be composed of robots. 2035 – First completely autonomous robot soldiers in operation. 2038 – First completely autonomous robot flying car. 2013-2017 – robots that care for the elderly will be manufactured.

Robotic science will certainly change the world. Almost everything will be done by robots in the future. We only hope that robots never grow powerful enough to threaten human people. Robots will only facilitate human lives.

64-Bit Operating System – Do I Need One?

Have you been considering upgrading to a 64-bit operating system? 64-bit operating systems are en vogue, but do you know why? Can your computer run a 64-bit operating system (or OS)? If so, what are the advantages and disadvantages of running a 64-bit OS?

To run a 64-bit OS, your computer must have a 64-bit processor. Most modern processors are 64-bit capable. The other hardware in your computer must also be usable with a 64-bit OS. Generally this isn’t a limitation of the hardware itself but rather the driver–or the software that tells your computer how to use a particular hardware device–that may not be available for a 64-bit OS. Check with the hardware manufacturer to see if 64-bit drivers are available for your devices before considering updating to a 64-bit operating system.

The first major difference between 32 and 64-bit OSes is how much memory–or RAM–each OS variant can access. 32-bit operating systems are only able to use a maximum of 4 Gigabytes of RAM. This is a technical limitation of 32-bit architecture.

64-bit OSes are able to utilize much, much more RAM. A 64-bit OS can theoretically utilize up to 16EB (exabytes) of memory. This limit is currently unattainable and thus major CPU manufacturers have placed a soft-limit on the amount of RAM the processor can use. This soft-limit is more than can currently physically be placed in any home computer or server. This is likely to change over the next several years.

The software you’re currently using on your 32-bit OS will most likely run fine on a 64-bit operating system. However, many software applications now come in a 64-bit version as well. The 64-bit version will almost certainly perform better than the 32-bit version of the same software. It is worth noting that 64-bit software will not run on a 32-bit system.

So is it worth it to upgrade? That depends on what you’re doing. If you’re a gamer then the answer is a resounding yes. Gamers will see tremendous benefit from having more than 4GB of RAM at their system’s disposal. Expect the ability to run games with high video quality settings enabled–assuming your video card can handle it.

If you’re doing any kind of video or photo editing then you will also see modest performance gains from switching to a 64-bit operating system. Video encoding will be considerably faster. Most commercial-grade photo editing software comes in 64-bit versions now. Working with large datasets where you would normally run out of physical RAM will now be faster due to the ability to use more RAM.

It’s important to note that applications won’t necessarily be faster merely because they’re running on a 64-bit operating system. A 32-bit version of an application running on a 64-bit operating system will likely be slightly–nearly imperceptibly–slower. However a 64-bit application running on a 64-bit system will almost always be faster. This becomes even more true when running memory-hungry applications.

Windows Phone Operating System

Windows Phone is the newest operating system on the market. Windows Phone has proven that specs do not matter if the operating system is perfected for the hardware requirements. This has even eluded iPhone which sees dramatic increases in system performance with better hardware. With Windows Phone the operation is always fast fluid and smooth regardless of which hardware requirement you are using.

To clarify that statement Windows Phone was released with requirements of 1 gigahertz processor, 5 megapixel camera, 256 system RAM, DirectX9 rendering, FM radio tuner, accelerometer, and ambient light sensor, proximity sensor, assisted GPS, capacitive 4 point multi-touch screen, 800 X 480 screen resolution, and six dedicated hardware buttons consisting of back, search, start, 2 stage camera, power/sleep and volume. The built in RAM and non removable SD cards are tested to meet operational requirements. A Windows Phone is required to turn on and be fully operational within 30 seconds from the time you press the power button. My 1st generation Dell Venue Pro is up and running in 21 seconds. The 2nd generation Nokia Lumia 710 in my house is up and running in 16 seconds.

All 1st and 2nd gen Windows Phones have 1-1.4 gigahertz processors and 512 of RAM. The third generation that is starting to come out will have 256 RAM and smaller processors to accommodate the lower end cell phone market dominated by Android. The smaller RAM and processor lowers the cost of a phone but some apps will not work at this time with the lower RAM and processor hence a lower end phone VS. a higher end phone with more RAM. Now I mention 3rd generation as accommodating the lower end however Microsoft is giving some sneak peak information on June 20th, 2012 and has already shown off the new SmartGlass feature that will be incorporated into the entire Microsoft product line.

Windows Phone was the beginning of total incorporation of all your cell, computer, and gaming systems. This started with the introduction of the Windows Phone operating system and its Metro interface replacing the icon driven screens of the past. This was followed up with the last Xbox 360 update which turned the Xbox 360 into a Metro interface. This included the release of the Windows Phone Xbox Companion app that allows a user to use their Windows Phone as a remote control for their Xbox 360. This also brought the release of the Halo Waypoint app that allows your Windows Phone to track your game information and maps in real time while you play the game on your Xbox 360. Now Microsoft has announced and shown the Xbox Companion app is turning into SmartGlass. SmartGlass will incorporate your PC, Laptop, tablet, Xbox 360, and you’re Windows Phone into one smooth operating system. Watching a movie on your Xbox 360, it will pick it up where you left off on your tablet. Surfing the web on your PC, it will pick up where you left on your laptop. Playing an Xbox 360 Live game, it will pick it up where you left on your Windows Phone. This is the idea. Implementation is supposed to occur around October 2012.

Current software requirements are full Microsoft Office Suite with Word, Outlook, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Office 365, and SharePoint. Facebook integration without requiring a separate app though one is available and I do find it useful if not necessary. Xbox Live which allows you access to your game stats and Avatar as well as Xbox Live friends connection and messaging. This includes access to Xbox Live spotlight videos. The user may set up a single inbox to receive all email in one place though it may be separated by folders so it’s not all mashed together. The ME tile allows you to set your personal info and profile and allows quick access to Facebook post a message, check in, set chat status, notifications, and what’s new. Under the People tile you may of course access your contacts information. Contacts may be accessed by scrolling, using the search button, or touching a letter that represents the first letter on the name you want to find. Example, you want to call John click J and you go right to the beginning of the J names. These factors also work for app search. No more lost apps. I was looking for HoloPhone 3D in my apps list but couldn’t remember the name of the app. I hit search and typed the number 3., HoloPhone 3D came right up.

Full Bing search integration which includes local search, as well as Bing Maps integration. A small but fun feature, pictures put in favorites give a nice picture show on the picture tile on your home screen. The live tile integration allows your home screen tiles to update to show new information as it occurs for tiles you have pinned. Examples include weather updates every 30 minutes and push email notifications. Internet Explorer 9 mobile version with HTML5 is fully integrated.

The Windows Phone Marketplace has just passed the 100,000 mark and attained this faster than iTunes or Google Play. Ben the PC Guy from Microsoft has toured the world challenging all phones to compete against Windows Phone in everyday tasks with Windows in the Smoked by Windows Phone challenge. For more info on the challenge follow this link. http://www.microsoft.com/windowsphone/en-us/cmpn/smoked-by-windows-phone.aspx

Their have been 10 upgrades to the platform mostly identified by numerical code. The named versions of the Windows Phone operating system have been called, NoDo which was a minor update fixing some bug issues. Mango which has been the major update to the platform adding 500 features and Apollo which will be a major refresh to the platform. You will also hear mention of Tango which actually refers to the lower end specification cell phones described above. For an excellent comparison between current Mango specs and lower end Tango spec in real world use here is a comparison video by Pocketnow that shows it’s possible to have lower specs and still maintain performance.

Windows Phone Mango vs. Windows Phone Tango (Video)

That’s all I have at this time but I hope it’s been an informative read.

Telephony 3.0 – What is It?

Image your business with no telephones on the desk top. No large PBX to maintain if you have digital phones, no PBX configuration changes due to office moves. If you have Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), the switches in the closets that provide Power over Ethernet (POE) would be eliminated. Yet your business could still enjoy on-demand video conferencing, the productivity of unified voicemail/email box and only have to pay for one client device, all without the cost of infrastructure and personnel to support it. How far off into the future is this scenario… 3 years, 5 years? No, it’s here now.

Let me take a moment and provide a bit of history. Analog and later digital wireline has been around for many years, starting with Alexander Graham Bell in 1876 and his creation of the telephone. Wireline PBX telephony is Telephony 1.0; the Plain Old Telephone System (POTS) that has been in use for over 100 years. There have been enhancements to the technology, but no true breakthroughs until VoIP, also known also as IP Telephony, was created in the late 1990s.

Before VoIP, companies had separate voice and data networks and the cost of supporting both those networks. VoIP enables a company to use the data network for voice, giving voice calls priority so the calls are clear as those on traditional PBX. (FYI, voice is time sensitive where data, such as web pages are not). VoIP is about 20% less expensive to deploy and 20% less to operate.

There is a new paradigm in how voice and data communications will be provided to users in the corporate enterprise. Employees are more mobile than ever and it is more difficult provide the support and capabilities they need to work effectively. Telecom managers need to provide the latest capabilities while at the same time cutting costs in voice communications. Telephony 3.0 does this.

Today, there are two technologies that are making this future possible. The first has been around for 10 years, but has never deployed. The second, which is more recent, is a breakthrough that is simple in concept and practice, yet will have an earthshaking effect on telephony and business.

The first, which goes by different names depending on the carrier, is a method to route cellular calls over a company’s telephony network and thus eliminate international roaming. In the case of traditional PBXs, which use standard voice circuits to route calls through the Public Switched Telephony Network (PSTN); the corporate entity would tie its PBXs together into one network to route calls and in the case where VoIP it deploayed, the company would use its data network to send cellular calls.

Below is an example of how routing cellular calls over the corporate telephony network would transpire and eliminate international roaming charges.

Service provider Verizon calls this technology/service Mobile Voice System (MVS), which has been developed in conjunction with Research in Motion (RIMM), the makers of the ubiquitous Blackberry. We’ll use the example of an executive who is based in Chicago and flies to Paris, (corporate headquarters) for a week of meetings. The executive will have his/her cell phone on the entire week, and will receive a large phone bill from a week’s worth of roaming charges as well as call.

With Verizon’s MVS product, a call from his/her mobile phone from Paris to Chicago would be routed to a company server in Paris, running the MVS software and the server would forward the call to the company’s PBX in Paris, which would then route the call over the networked PBXs to Chicago, where is comes out as a local call. No international roaming charges. The only charge is the local minutes from the cell phone calling plan. The cost to deploy such as solution would be thousands of dollars but is has the potential to save a company millions.

The second technology will arguably have a bigger impact than Verizon’s MVS. Extenet Systems, based in Lisle, Illinois, has patented an antenna system the utilizes the Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning, commonly known as HVAC, to provide Radio Frequency (RF) signal throughout a building. This technology is known as Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS). Before this invention, concrete and metal HVAC ducts were inhibitors to providing a good RF signal and why it was so difficult to provide clear signals in downtown high-rises and why calls dropped so often.

What Extenet Systems has done is no less turn a negative into a positive. By using the duct work of a building, the RF signal can be provided to every office, every location in a building where there is HVAC. This means clean, crisp calls anywhere in the building and with the ability to make and receive high quality calls there is no need for a landline phone for companies that are using cell phones extensively.

For companies that utilize both of these technologies and have not deployed IP Telephony (VoIP) there would not only be huge operational savings, but capital expenditures savings as well. Let’s use the example of an international company (ABC) that has 10,000 employees and wants to deploy VoIP. ABC would spend $ 200 per phone times 10,000 employees or $ 2 million, just for the phone handsets that sit on the desk. Half the cost of deploying VoIP is the cost of the handsets.

In addition, the VoIP phones need power, which will be provided by Power over Ethernet (POE) switches. A PoE switch with 48 ports (each phone needs a port) would mean a 10,000 person company would need to buy 209 switches (10,000 divided by 48 ports = 208.33) at a cost of about $ 6000 each. The total cost for the POE switches comes to $ 1.25 million. So ABC would need to spend $ 3.25 million just to replace the digital handset they have today.

In addition, there may be additional network upgrades that would be necessary to support time sensitive applications like VoIP. The $ 3.25 million cost of the handset replacement would be eliminated by the deployment of the two technologies identified in this article.

What is the down side?

Your company would be dependent on the service provider to provide the necessary capacity and redundancy to ensure there is sufficient capacity and reliability to meet service level agreements. However, the technology to determine the necessary capacity has been around for many years so that would not be an issue. In addition, service providers are deploying fiber to their cell sites to make sure there is adequate bandwidth from the cell phone to the central office to provide services such as Multimedia Message Service (MMS), which is images, audio, and video. Detailed, tight, service level agreements would resolve the issue of high reliability.

The antenna companies and service providers are working with Real-Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) to deploy this technology in multi-tenant buildings. If a company owns its buildings and wants to deploy the DASs, it is simply a matter of working with Extenet Systems and a Service Providers.

If the technology provides such great cost savings, why haven’t I heard much about it?

With any change that fundamental is nature; it takes time for the corporate mindset to make the paradigm shift. In the case of MVS and DAS, it is not an issue of technology as it is an acceptance that the desktop phone is no longer necessary and is just an added expense.

Best Operating System For Mobiles

Mobile phone these days are not just devices used to make and receive calls. They are much more than that. They can calculate, organize, help you surf the web, take pictures, edit excel files and much more. If you want your cell to be able to do that and do it efficiently you have to make sure it has the best operating system for phones. Of course, when you buy a cell you analyze the price, the features and probably the design of the device. These are obviously very important but maybe even more important is the software that runs it all.

You are surely aware of the differences between Windows, Linux and Leopard OS but to be able to choose the Best operating system for mobiles you have to be familiar with Symbian, Windows Mobile, Blackberry, Android or iPhone OS. These all have strong and weak points and will allow you to use specific functions or not.

Most cells come with a preinstalled own OS and according to this you may buy the phone or not. For example the iPhone has the iPhone OS which is a specially designed OS derives from Mac OS X and some people consider it the Best operating system for mobiles although it can only work on the iPhone. This OS is very user friendly and allows multi-touching manipulation and you can download and use up to 100000 specially designed applications from the internet. Windows mobile 6 comes with a set of standard applications like calendar or notes and lets you synchronize Microsoft Outlook or Word and Excel files. It also has multimedia functions and lets you install any mobile software you want.

The Blackberry OS is considered the Best operating system for mobiles used for business purposes as it has all the application needed in that respect: email, calendar, instant messaging, internet browsing, data transfer and it still has multimedia support. The Symbian OS can look different from cell to cell as it is usually designed for a specific hardware. The Android OS is derived from the Linux Kernel and it is a flexible OS with a lot of features. It is also quite fast.

You can’t really choose the best operating system for phones. You should choose the best one for you. It depends on the kind of features and functionalities you value the most. Windows mobile is the most preferred and common system, Blackberry is for email fanatics, iPhone OS is perfect is you want a slick to the point OS and Symbian and Android can do almost anything. Ask the sales advisor what each system can offer and decide if it is the right for you.

Pros and Cons of the Major Operating Systems

There are several options when it comes to choosing an operating system for your computer. Of course Windows is the overwhelming heavyweight in the market place and it isn’t a bad choice in some ways, especially for those not interested in the nuts and bolts of things. Also looking for users are Linux, BSD and Leopard.

1. Windows

The good side of Windows is that it is made to operate programs. The rich variety of software that works here is a huge selling point. You don’t have to be a programmer or even a techie to be a user. Everything comes from a disc or a download. Click the install button and away you go. Word processors, Spreadsheets, Games, Synthesizers, Photo Editors, Art Creators, Email Handlers, Bookkeepers and Website Makers are some of the most common. Then there are the not so popular yet also intriguing out of the mainstream volumes such as File Converters, Iso File Makers, Virus Hunters, Adware Killers and endless utilities you may discover once you start looking. There is a small utility that saves clips (as many as you want) that can be pasted anywhere so you don’t have to retype all the time.

That’s the good side of Windows. Just so you know it’s not all roses and candlelight you should know there are some drawbacks too. Everything you do on Windows should be backed up regularly. Why? Because just about the time your five week project is within a few paragraphs of completion, Windows will have a hiccup and lose the whole thing or some virus will erase your hard drive, or you’ll press the delete button accidentally. Boom, it’s all toast. Another thing about Windows is that it’s already programmed, you have to accept it as it is. If it doesn’t have a feature you need, you’re out of luck. If the button arrangement is not convenient (although there is some flexibility), you must adapt. Don’t need all the bells and whistles? Your stuck with them. Then there are the slow days when it all just seems to sit there and mock you taking it’s sweet time. It’s no wonder someone occasionally tosses one out the 10th story window.

2. Leopard

So, what are the other options? Well, first is Leopard which is the Macintosh operating system. Macintosh is made by Apple Computers. If you don’t know who Steve Jobs is, you must live in a dark and deprived world. Macs, as they are known, cost a little more than others systems (about twice the price of a Windows machine). I will tell you right here that I have yet to meet a Mac user that has a bad word to say about his or her machine. If you get one, you are practically guaranteed to love it. They are the choice of graphic artists almost universally. The local ad sheet for the city is made on them, so they make commercially viable tools.

The negative side. Not a lot really. There isn’t as much software made for them, but the ones you get are extremely well made. A lot of the less popular stuff doesn’t exist for Macs. That along with the higher price are the main hitches.

3. Linux

Another option is Linux. The Linux operating system is actually free at this time so the price is right. There are many flavors (versions) of Linux, so you don’t have to use the same thing everyone else has. Some that I know of are:

* Red Hat * Ubuntu * Suse * Damn Small

Each one has advantages and limitations because they are geared toward a certain area such as games or internet or servers. They have a ways to go to become popular, yet are making great strides in market share. Also, if you can do the programming, Linux offers wonderful access to the code. In the last year or so, it has become quite easy to obtain and install Linux on any computer. In fact it will coexist right alongside Windows, so now there is little excuse for not trying it out. They offer a GUI similar to Windows and Leopard which is fairly intuitive. Some software is quite comparable to the bigger fish. OpenOffice will take Office on and come through looking pretty good. Gimp has a learning curve, but can do much of what Photoshop does for free.

The downside is that Linux is just not as developed. It is a terrific platform for geeks that love to swim through code and troubleshoot glitches. The creative potential is unlimited which is the main drawback at the same time. Most people want something ready to go, not something they have to create before they can operate. The number of programs (though growing) is quite limited.

4. BSD

The last of our operating systems to consider is BSD. Just like Linux, it is free (though there is a commercial version). The major selling point is that it is the most modern system. It doesn’t have the backward compatibility issues of Windows. So many advances in hardware have been made since windows was introduced that you wouldn’t believe some of it. BSD was created to take advantage of these advances. It has the most potential of all these systems because of it’s modern design. It is quite compatible with and similar to Linux, just more modern.

That at the same time is it’s largest problem. Most of the accessories that go with an operating system (software and interface) are lacking at this time. It’s like having a Ferrari engine and framework without the rest of the drive train.

32-bit And 64-bit Operating System, Which Is Better?

When it comes to operating system, there are two variants, 32-Bit and 64-Bit OS. Now, as a computer user you may think which is better for you, system with 32-Bit or 64-bit operating system. In this article we have tried to find out the answer. Dont have any idea about 32-bit operating system and 64-bit operating system? Well, the key difference between these two operating systems is that a 64-bit operating system has more potential computing power as compared to its counterpart.

Lets taka a closer look. The word “bit” indicates the way PCs deal with information in binary. All data in a computer system are listed as a string of digits which can either be a 0 or a 1 and each of these digits is called as one bit. This means a 32-bit processor can process 32 digits at once while 64-bit processors can process 64 digits. If your computer is having any issue, you can get in touch with a remote PC repair company.

But you should not confuse this with memory. Main memory of the computer measures the total amount of information a PC can remember without needing to use your hard disk. It is better to know that the software for a computer with a 32-bit processor needs to be specifically written to match that processor. This includes the operating systems like the Windows. And the same principle is applied to the 64-bit processors as well. All the latest version of operating systems from the house of Microsoft Windows XP, Vista, and Windows 7 come with 32-bit and 64-bit editions.

There are some notable mathematical limits to these types of processors too. The 32-bit processor can work with a maximum of 4GB of memory. On the other hand, a 64-bit processor has ability to work with 17 billion GB of memory. In addition, you will experience two times better performance from a 64-bit processor as compared to its counterpart.

The memory limitations of a 32-bit processor put it on the backseat and 64-bit processors have started dominating the market. This has caused the increase in the number of computer users interested in 64-bit operating system.

From the above discussion, it is quite evident that programs designed to run in 64-bit environments can perform twice as fast as it did before. So, to enjoy better computing experience, it is highly recommended to opt for 64-Bit Operating System.

If you have more queries in this regard, you can get in touch with a PC repair company. There are many such service providers that offer tech support to the PC users to deal with this kind of issues.

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