Issue No. 04 - October/December (2004 vol. 11)
DOI Bookmark: http://doi.ieeecomputersociety.org/10.1109/MMUL.2004.33
Imac G5 Integrates Form and Function
Apple unveiled the iMac G5, featuring the G5 processor and a new design that integrates the computer into a 2-inch-deep flat panel display (available in two screen sizes). The 17-inch model comes with either a 1.8-GHz PowerPC G5 processor and a SuperDrive for burning DVDs or a 1.6-GHz G5 processor and a DVD/CD combination drive. The 20-inch model has a 1.8-GHz G5 processor and a SuperDrive.
Other product features include a 600-MHz front-side bus, 400-MHz double-data-rate memory (expandable to 2 Gbytes), accelerated graphics port 8X graphics, and 7,200 rpm Serial ATA drives up to 250 Gbytes. The iMac G5 comes standard with Nvidia graphics with dedicated video memory. In addition, it comes with a built-in 10/100Base-T Ethernet and a 56-Kbyte modem. An optional Bluetooth module is also available.
Pricing starts at $1,299. For more information visit http://www.apple.com/imac/.
Keyboard for Lefties
FrogPad announced the left-handed version of the company's one-handed keyboard. The FrogPad keyboard is a one-handed, ergonomic keyboard that is one-fifth the size of a traditional keyboard. It's designed around the 15 most frequently used letters in the Roman alphabet. According to the company, after an average of eight hours of training and practice, most FrogPad users can achieve input rates of 40 words per minute.
Blockset for Video and Image Processing
Mathworks announced the availability of the Video and Image Processing Blockset. This product lets engineers build models, simulate algorithms and system behavior, generate C-code for deployment on programmable processors, and verify their designs within the Mathworks Simulink environment.
The blockset's library includes 2D filters, conversions, geometric transformations, morphological operations, and transforms for rapid algorithm and system specification development.
Pricing start at $1,000. Visit http://www.mathworks.com.
Wireless Jacket With MP3 Player
Rosner, a German clothing manufacturer, and Infineon Technologies unveiled mp3blue, a men's jacket with integrated features such as mobile telephony and an MP3 player.
The jacket contains an unnoticeable electrically conductive fabric, which connects a compact electronics module with a textile keyboard on the left sleeve and with the headphones and the microphone, which are integrated into the collar. The module contains an MP3 player with 128 Mbytes of memory, a Bluetooth gateway to control a mobile phone, and a rechargeable battery supplying the electronics with power for up to eight hours.
For more information visit http://www.mp3blue.de.
Microsoft has integrated a fingerprint reader into some of its latest keyboard and mouse products. The Fingerprint Reader lets users log on to Web sites using their registered fingerprint whenever a password or user name is required.
The included software has a registration wizard that registers your fingerprints. When you visit a site that needs a password, touch the Fingerprint Reader to enter your data.
A fast user switching function in Windows XP lets you use the Fingerprint Reader to switch between user accounts without having to log off from the computer or close programs and files.
According to the company, the Fingerprint Reader should not be used for protecting sensitive data such as financial information or for accessing corporate networks.
For more information visit http://www.microsoft.com/hardware.
Plug-ins Aid Data Scanning
Raindrop Geomagic's plug-in for Perceptron processes scan data in real time and displays it as a solid shaded model. A Geomagic plug-in for Faro ScanArm turns the software into the equivalent of a 3D digital paintbrush. When an object is scanned, both plug-ins allow measurement data to be displayed as a solid polygon model.
The plug-ins include features that filter scan data during being captured. A real-time scan-line filter removes data not picked up accurately by the scanner. Noise reduction smoothes the surface of measurement line data in real time. Uniform sampling provides an even distribution of points in 3D space. Raindrop Geomagic provides a standard API that enables any scanner to be integrated with Geomagic software.
Download the free plug-ins at http://www.geomagic.com/support/downloads/plugin.php3.
LCD MONITORS PROTECT EYES
Prestigio introduced 15- and 17-inch LCD monitors with a tinted-glass screen coating. According to the company, the coating accentuates images, improves focus, and protects eyes.
The Prestigio P156 and P176 offer high resolution (1,024 × 768 XGA in the P156 and 1,280 × 1,024 SXGA in the P176), typical pixel response time (25 ms max.), sufficient viewing angle of more than 150 degrees, and good contrast ratio (300:1 in the P156 and 250:1 in the P176) and brightness (250 cd/m2).
For more information about the monitors visit http://www.prestigio.com.
Lossless Date Stamp for Digital Photos
Kozasoft's Gena PhotoStamper v.2.1 reads the date of a digital picture from a JPEG file and places a stamp without modifying pixels outside the stamp area. PhotoStamper can process many images at once. Stamps can be removed later to restore original images.
Other features include stamping pictures in Explorer windows, multilanguage support (various date and time formats for different languages), customizable stamp appearance (position, size, font, color, and so on), background area makes stamp reading easier, and EXIF data support.
Gena PhotoStamper requires Windows 98/Me/2000/XP/2003. A single-user license costs $14.95 and can be purchased at http://www.photostamper.com. Download a trial version at http://www.kozasoft.com/dowloads/pstamp.exe.
Manage PDF and Tiff Files
Jetsoft Development Company's Collate 1.0 lets users create a target multiple page PDF or TIFF document. Users can then add pages to the target from various source image formats including JPEG, BMP, PDF, and TIFF. They can rearrange, sort, or delete pages from the target. Any individual page can be edited with the bundled Collate Page Editor. When the target is a PDF file all searchable text is retained and any text added is also searchable.
Collate 1.0 has an introductory price of $119. Visit http://www.scanhelp.com.