The Future of Hard Disks – Solid State Drives (SSD)

22 07 2009

Burn baby Burn!How many hard disks and how many precious data have ever died on you before you did a full backup? For me, I had 2 experiences which almost made me hang myself… SERIOUSLY! In my previous encounters with dying hard disks, precious pictures, videos and document files disappeared before I even got a chance to back them up, thus causing total heartbreak! So the question that most of you may ask is: Why are hard disks failures so common today?

One of the main reasons why traditional magnetic hard disks gets spoiled so easily is because it  runs on spinning magnetic disks. This means that even a speck of dust entering this traditional drive can cause your hard disk to die a slow death, leading to data loss and damages. A strand of hair on the other hand would cause even worst damage. Spinning magnetic disks have been creating problems for so many years till I have no idea why it took so long for the engineers to come up with something new. But fast forward to year 2009, these problems are starting to get answered.

2009 have been a very progressive year for  Solid State Drives, also commonly known as SSD so far. SSD resolves the issues that we have been facing by changing the way data is being read from a disk. By using solid-state memory to store persistent data instead of spinning disks, your data could still survive even if the hard disk have fallen from the 3rd floor of a building. Check out this great video by the guys at Samsung for proof!

Besides being reliable, SSDs also offers better performance, faster startup, no noise and lower temperatures!

The only issue that is preventing SSD from kicking off at the moment though is pricing. Several companies such as Dell and Apple are already introducing SSD based laptops in their lineup. However, the price is still too expensive for the mass public to purchase. Current checks on PC-Zone’s latest brochure shows that a 32GB SSD drive will cost RM299 (USD 150)! That amount of money would be almost enough to purchase a 1 TB traditional hard disk today.  A 64GB one on the other hand would cost RM599(USD200).

Intel® X25-M SATA Solid-State Drive (SSD)

Intel® X25-M SATA Solid-State Drive (SSD)

Of course, having said that, I bring you good news regarding the latest development in SSD technology. Just today, Intel announced that they have successfully delivered the industry’s first 34-Nanometer NAND Flash Solid-State Drives. What does this means for us as consumers? SSD drives will now be cheaper by up to 60 percent! So if you are really looking into getting a SSD, you can start scouting around for it in the next few months already.

As time goes on, we hope to see SSDs replacing traditional hard disks in the future so that we do not need to end up keeping backups all the time. And there you have it, the future of more reliable hard disks is coming to you right now!

Delivers Industry’s First 34-Nanometer NAND Flash Solid-State Drives; Advancement Lowers Prices by Up to 60 Percent


This Blog is Growing!

18 07 2009

Back from last week’s 1000 hit per week status for this blog, I have recently discovered yet another interesting statistic. Derek’s Tech Blog have been listed as one of the fastest growing blogs in WordPress. Let’s have the screenshot to do the talking!

Derek's Tech Blog is listed as one of the Fastest Growing Blogs on 17th July

Derek's Tech Blog is listed as one of the Fastest Growing Blogs on 17th July

Once again, thanks for coming over to visit for your weekly tech updates! My next post should be concerning website marketability. It should cover topics on simple strategies on how to get people to your site.

Visual Studio 2010 Professional Beta Download

17 07 2009

Visual Studio 2010 Mascots!?Visual Studio developers rejoice! Microsoft is on the verge of releasing its brand new version of Visual Studio, simply named Visual Studio 2010 which will run applications on the yet to be released .NET Framework 4.0. It is currently at beta and you can start downloading Visual Studio 2010 Professional Beta here right now. The new features which consists of a new enhanced user interface, parallel programming to make use of multi-core processors, new code features, cloud development and better database support are pretty nifty and cool. It also includes full Silverlight and WPF support without the need of an add-on this time around.

Visual Studio 2010

If you have been a big fan all along and want to try it out before its actual release, do so right now! Screenshots and reviews will be back right after I am done with my own download. 😀

A Big THANK YOU to all Visitors!!!

13 07 2009

Wordpress LogoAfter checking my blog’s stats at WordPress today, I was in for quite a surprise. This blog is hitting close to 1000 hits a week! From a humble beginning of 10 visitors a week in the 1st week of April, the number of visitors have been steadily increasing from strength to strength. I am proud to say that this is quite a milestone achievement for a tech blog which have just started.

Derek's Tech Blog Statistics as of 13th June 2009

Derek's Tech Blog Statistics as of 13th July 2009

As of such, I will try my very best to write more about simple tech stuff that YOU can do. Don’t only view tech from a user standpoint, try getting involved in it too! 😀

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who have chipped in their comments and ideas in this blog as well. Lets keep in touch. 🙂

Microsoft Silverlight 3 Deep Zoom for Your Images…

12 07 2009

Deep Zoom LogoMicrosoft Deep Zoom is yet another impressive web app based technology piggybacking on the recently released Silverlight 3 which allows users to pan around and zoom in a large, high resolution image or a large collection of images.  Anyone who have checked out sites like the Hard Rock Memorabilia would surely be impressed with the way their collections have been organized. Not convinced? Just have a look at the video demo on the Hard Rock Memorabilia below:

Creating applications like what you saw above ain’t hard and the possibilities of what you can do is great. Some of the applications possible would be virtual newspapers, virtual mind maps and virtual picture galleries which are zoomable to several levels according to your liking. To create, you only require a simple drag n drop tool called the Deep Zoom Composer and some creativity to come up with your Deep Zoom app. By following this guide, you will be able to create your deep zoom applications in no time!

Step 1: Download the Deep Zoom Composer

Click here to get the latest version of the Deep Zoom Composer from Microsoft.

Step 2: Create a New Project and Add your Images

To start composing a Deep Zoom application, click on the ‘New Project‘ button. Right after that, the first step that you will need to perform is to import the pictures that you want into the project first by clicking on the ‘Add Image‘ button. In this sample, I will try to embed multiple playing card pictures into a single card. Try to keep the color tone of the images in the number to be as close as the larger picture so that it looks more natural.

Deep Zoom 01

Click on 'New Project'

Add your Selected Images after Clicking on the 'Add Image' Button

Add your Selected Images after Clicking on the 'Add Image' Button

Step 3: Composing your Deep Zoom App

Once you have added your images (you can always go back and add more if you want to), click on the ‘Compose’ button at the top center of the program to start composing your Deep Zoom application. To do so, just drag the images from the bottom of the composer into the workspace and compose the application in any way that you desire. The best practice is to of course get images of higher resolution to be used as it will provide a more clearer viewing experience. To move around your image, make use of the navigator located on the bottom left of your workspace, highlighted in red below.

Drag your Images into the Workspace and Resize them accordingly

Drag your Images into the Workspace and Resize them accordingly

Step 4: Finalize and Export your Project

The final step should not be an issue too. What you should see once you click on the ‘Export’ button would be a preview of your entire project that you have composed earlier. If you are not happy and would like to apply certain changes, just go back to the previous step by clicking on the ‘Compose’ button at the top center of the composer.

If you are happy with it however, you may choose to either export your application to the Internet through your DeepZoomPix account which you must register first OR by clicking on the Custom tab to export the project to your local computer. In this case, I will be exporting the project to my own PC so that I can view it locally.

For exporting, you may choose to export into a ‘Silverlight Deep Zoom’ application or a ‘Seadragon AJAX’ application. In this case, choose Silverlight Deep Zoom if you would like your Deep Zoom application to be viewed through the Silverlight plug in or  Seadragon AJAX if you do not want your application to be viewed by the Silverlight plugin. Do take note that Seadragon AJAX’s performance may not be as good or satisfactory as Silverlight even though it is viewable without the Silverlight plugin.

You can also choose the quality and the type of the images being exported in your project too to scale the loading time of your application. Once you are done, press ‘Export’. All steps are listed down below

Set the settings of your Exported project on the Right hand side of the Composer and click on the Preview in Browser button to check out your application!

Set the settings of your Exported project on the Right hand side of the Composer and click on the Preview in Browser button to check out your application!

After completing the previous step, you should get a dialog box telling you that your export have been completed. In this case, select ‘Preview in Browser’ to view your Silverlight Deep Zoom application in your browser.

Step 5: Mission Accomplished

If your preview works well, you may now publish your Silverlight application into your IIS server. Just copy the exported folder into IIS and everything should work as what you have seen in your preview.

Hint: Do check out the toolbar at the top of your Deep Zoom app as it has many functions, most notibly zooming to highlighted areas/images in your project.

That’s it for today’s tutorial. Come back to my blog for more on Silverlight and ASP.NET application development!

Official Malaysian iPhone 3GS Page for Maxis Added!

9 07 2009

As predicted, Maxis have finally added a page for iPhone 3GS.  Go here and you can subscribe for updates via mobile/e-mail too. Price and other details will be announced on the 15th of July. Hope it will come out on the 19th of July as mentioned in WWDC.

Maxis 3GS Page Just Launched!

Maxis 3GS Page Just Launched!

There are also rumors that it will be out on 31st July. Having said that, the sooner the better! Come back here for more updates!