Mike Chin's blog

Zonbu releases a $279 15.4" Laptop

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Zonbu has just released a VIA 1.5GHz C7-M laptop with a 15.4" WXGA screen. It's made by Everex and equipped with the same Linux OS used in their desktop Mini. Details are sketchy, but the laptop appears to employ the same external online storage service along with a 60GB conventional 2.5" hard drive. Zonbu's 5% discount for SPCR buyers extends to the notebook as well. Use coupon code SILENTPC or just click this link to receive your discount.

Zonbu discount for SPCR readers

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Zonbu is offering a 5% discount on their products for SPCR buyers. Use coupon code SILENTPC or just click this link to receive your special discount. Zonbu is a tiny, completely silent PC which has many other attractive features and benefits including:

  • silent and reliable because there is no moving parts - no hard disk, no fan
  • affordable at $99 plus a two-year service contract
  • hassle-free experience with transparent software update, unlimited support and automatic backup for $14.95 a month
  • eco-friendly - the first consumer PC to receive EPEAT Gold, it consumes only 9W on average.

Give One, Get One: Extended to Dec 31

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"The mission of One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) is to empower the children of developing countries to learn by providing one connected laptop to every school-age child. To accomplish our goal, we need people who believe in what we’re doing and want to help make education for the world’s children a priority, not a privilege. Between Nov 12 and Nov 26, in the U.S. and Canada, you can donate the revolutionary XO laptop to a child in a developing nation, and also receive one for the child in your life in recognition of your contribution."

Program end date extended: You now have until Dec 31, 2007 to make your donation and receive your gift.

Personalized Music Stream: Pandora (and Last.FM)

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It's not about silent computing, but it's compelling... Sometimes, you're free floating on the web, and you don't even recall how you got there, but there you are... or here I am at 2AM on a Tuesday night, unable to get to bed because I can't stop listening to a personalized stream of music from an Internet radio station that's got me mesmerized... all after naming just one performer I was in the mood for: Madeleine Peyroux. Pandora describes itself as "a new kind of radio -- stations that play only music you like." So far, it's batting a higher average than any radio station I've ever listened to, and this is just after a couple hours.

Are PC enthusiasts heading for extinction?

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Scott Wasson posted this timely question last night to open a lively discussion at The Tech Report. His comments and questions reflect some of my own thinking; the responses are well worth a look, too.

P180/182/190 Intake Airflow Restriction: A simple solution

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Some users feel the front intakes on Antec's popular enthusiast PC cases don't allow quite enough air inflow. Here's a simple way to improve it.

Silent Computers and SPCR in the NYTimes

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PCs to Be Seen, Not Heard is the title of an Oct 11/07 article by technology columnist Peter Wayner in the New York Times. It provides a good overview of the current "silent PC" sector, and features key players, including EndPCNoise, Antec, Zalman, Atech, QuietPC... and yours truly. Discuss this news in the forums.

Tiny ionic wind engines to cool computers?

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It falls in the don't-hold-your-breath news category, but the BBC reports that a collaboration between Purdue University and Intel has resulted in the development of...

"...a prototype device that creates a 'breeze' made up of charged particles, or ions, to cool computer chips. The 'ionic wind', the scientists say, will help to manage the heat generated by increasingly powerful, yet ever-shrinking devices. Conventional cooling technologies using fans are limited because they can suffer from air-flow problems. As the spinning blades waft air over a chip, the molecules nearest to the chip can get stuck and remain stationary, hindering the cooling effect. But the new experimental wind engine employs a different strategy.

EPEAT Eco-Computing Registry

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Eco PC Review has an article on EPEAT, the Electronic Products Environmental Assessment Tool funded by the EPA. It's a "green mark" program for computing products, the first in the US. Long overdue, not without flaws but still a welcome start. Discuss this news in the SPCR forums.

Introducing Eco PC Review

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Eco PC Review is a new web site dedicated to bringing news, information and analysis to educate people about the environmental impact of computers. This is a issue that is not widely understood, and we are only just beginning to get an inkling of what all those electronic thinking machines might be doing to the environment. A majority of people in the developed world are computer users and the ubiquity of computers is almost complete, yet the questions about their eco-footprint are only beginning to be asked. There is much to be learned and solved.

Whining Notebooks

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Some combinations of CPUs and motherboards in current laptops are producing an annoying, "intermittent high frequency buzzing noise" that has actually been identified as a problem by Dell. The problem was first noted last year in MacBook Pros, but has since been heard in some Dell and HP notebooks as well. The afflicted models run Intel Core 2 processors. Dell's tech support notes state,

Join EcoPCReview.com

Eco PC Review will examine all the ways in which environmentalism applies to computing. EPCR will have a proactive, user-centric, and practical focus on the ways that the environmental impact of computer proliferation and usage can be minimized. EPCR aims to establish a leadership position in providing environmental information about computers relevant to both individuals and enterprises. We seek exceptional people to fill the following positions: Assistant Editor, Writers, and Hardware Reviewers. Click on read more for details.

PSU Tester v4.1: Bonefish edition

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