Podcasts, Video

Video: Intel Laptop Gaming TDK at GDC2007

Cross posted at the Intel Software Network blog.

This is a video interview I did with Rajshree and Sateesh, both of Intel's Software Solutions Group, right after their GDC2007 session on the Intel Laptop Gaming TDK. The video is about six minutes long, and weighs about 12 MB. You can download it directly at this link.

The Laptop Gaming TDK is a tool kit that any developer can download for free, and use in your applications to check on the state of a laptop – things like "am I plugged in?", "how much battery is left?", "what's the wireless signal strength?"

Once you know about those things, you can make your game more "laptop friendly", by providing warnings to the player that their battery is about to die, or dynamically scaling things like the detail level or other aspects of the game to maximize battery life when playing unplugged.

You can download the Intel Laptop Gaming TDK for yourself, and try it out (it's free to play with and/or include in your games or other applications). We do ask for an email address, but we promise we won't spam you. We hate spam, just like you do.

If you want to learn more, or want to get in touch with an Intel software engineer that can help you, make sure to visit the Mobility community on Intel Software Network, including the Mobilized Software Development forum. We're here to help, at your disposal, so make good use of us!

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Podcasts, Video

Video: DeepFish Mobile Web Browser


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Here’s a 17 minute video I shot today showing off Deepfish, a new mobile web browser from Microsoft’s “Live Labs”. The video shows how Deepfish doesn’t try to squash normal-sized web pages onto your mobile device’s screen, but instead lets you scroll and pan smoothly, and zoom in to the parts of the page you want to read.

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I also compare Deepfish to the default Pocket IE browser that comes with all Windows Mobile devices, so you can see what really makes it different.

This is a beta/tech preview of Deepfish, so there are some rough edges, but it’s a very cool technology – similar to the mobile Safari browser that Steve Jobs showed off on the iPhone.

You can find out more about Deepfish, and sign up to be a tester at labs.live.com/Deepfish/. There’s also another video overview on Microsoft’s Channel 10.

This video was shot with my Canon XH A1 HDV camcorder at 1080i, then edited in Apple iMovie 6 HD and exported as a 320×240 Quicktime video file. It weighs in at 312 MB, and was cropped from 16:9 widescreen to standard 4:3 aspect ratio (and I chopped off the sides of some of the titles/credits in the process – oops!). Here’s a direct download link to the movie file.

Let me know what you think, or if you have any questions! I don’t have any affiliation with Microsoft, but I’ll be happy to help if I can.

Crossposted on the Intel Software Network blog.

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Podcasts, Video

Video: Windows Vista on the Asus R2H Ultra Mobile PC

As promised, here’s a 30 minute video of Windows Vista (the final RTM version, Ultimate flavor) running on my Asus R2H Ultra Mobile PC. The file is about 180MB, formatted for iPod in iMovie (but it should work just fine anywhere).

Hmm. Not sure why the video disappeared. You can access it directly at blip.tv at this URL:

http://blip.tv/file/110303/

Or you can download the video file directly at this link:

http://blip.tv/file/get/JoshBancroft-VideoRunningWindowsVistaOnTheAsusR2HUltraMobilePC355.m4v

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I shot the video on the day after Thanksgiving, at my wife’s parents’ house. I cover the installation process (went smooth), what worked right out of the gate (surprisingly, almost everything), what required some extra tweaking and driver installation (WiFi, etc.). Lots of general usage, including some appearances by OneNote 2007 and using Word 2007 to post to my blog.

I’ve since gone back to Windows XP – I talk about the reasons in depth on the video. Nothing major, but a combination of small quirks that I’m confident will be fixed down the line with driver and software updates from Asus.

Hope you find the video useful and informative (and maybe even fun, in a ubergeeky sort of way :-)). Post a comment or drop me an email if you have any questions about Windows Vista on the Asus R2H UMPC!

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Podcasts, Video

Video: Unboxing the Asus R2H Ultra Mobile PC

Having been lovingly introduced to the world of the Ultra Mobile PCs (hereafter UMPCs) by getting to play with a Samsung Q1 for a week, courtesy of the guys at Intel Software Network, I was hooked, and had to make arrangements to get a UMPC for myself. I do IT support for my brother’s moving company, Wright-Way Moving & Storage, in Seattle (give them a call if you need a professional mover!), and he’s interested in trying UMPCs out for his sales staff. So we ordered a couple to try out. :-)

I chose the Asus R2H over the Samsung Q1 and others, because is has more RAM, a bigger hard drive, an SD slot, a camera, and GPS, for the same price.

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Here is the Unboxing Ceremony video of the R2H – from very beginning, to getting everything plugged in and up and running. I cover all of the in-box accessories (which vary from country to country), and try to get as in-detail as possible. Lots of closeups, and some personality thrown in courtesy of my 3 year old daughter Emma, and my lovely wife Rachel manning the camera for the first half. I did my homework on this device, and felt like I knew it inside and out before I even cracked the box. You can probably see how excited I was in the video. :-)

I ordered the two UMPCs from ProPortable, and their service was excellent. Not only were they practically the only ones to have these relatively new devices in stock, Sean in sales was very responsive to my emails, and the founder, Justin, is active in various Tablet PC and laptop forum communities. And you’ll see how well they packed the UMPCs for shipping in the video. I highly recommend them for your UMPC and laptop needs. If you do order anything from them, tell them that Josh Bancroft from TinyScreenfuls.com sent you. :-) I have a feeling I’ll be doing business with them again.

The video is about 34 minutes long, and weighs in at about 200 MB. You can download it using the “download” link, or get this and other audio and video podcasts delivered to you automatically by subscribing to the TinyScreenfuls feed in your favorite podcast aggregator, like iTunes. Brian Enigma informed me that my last couple of videos weren’t compatible with the iPod, so I made sure to use the “iPod” encoding option when exporting this one from iMovie. Of course, it’s still very viewable on a computer. Let me know if you have any problems.

Enjoy, and let me know if there’s something you want to know about the R2H! You can bet that I’ll be doing a more in-depth review, and sharing my impressions after living with the device for a while. Expect more podcasts and videos, too! :-)

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Podcasts

TinyPodcast: A week with a Samsung Q1 Ultra Mobile PC

I wrote a teaser post a few days ago in ink, about a new device that I got to play with for a week. To top off that week in grand style, Brian and I got together to record a podcast, old-school style. Just two geeks in a conference room with a mic, some gadgets, and a whole lot to talk about. The show is about an hour long, and 27MB. You can play it directly from the player on this post, or use the download link. Or even better, subscribe to the TinyScreenfuls feed in your favorite podcast aggregator (like iTunes) to get it automatically.

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Aaron from Intel Software Network was nice enough to arrange to get me a Samsung Q1 UMPC to use for a week (it’s actually the same unit you see in my video with Aaron). “But you have to blog about it!” he said. I didn’t blog about it while I had it, because I was saving up to talk about all of my impressions on the podcast with Brian (Aaron was invited, but couldn’t make it). Aaron, I hope this podcast makes up for it. :-)

What’s a UMPC? For those who don’t know, it’s basically a very small Tablet PC. It runs full blown Windows XP Tablet Edition, and can be hooked up to an external monitor, keyboard, and mouse, and used just like a regular PC. But the Ultra Mobile part is what’s so cool about it. About the size of a paperback book, with a 7 inch touch screen, you can take it anywhere. Imagine what new uses you could find for such a powerful, small device in your life. I know I have…

So, here you have a full hour of pure, geeky TinyPodcast goodness. Brian and I talk about the Q1 and UMPCs in general. Brian bought himself a Q1 UMPC a few months ago, and has been living with it daily since then. He loves it, and has been blogging about it over on his blog, Geekblog.org. In the podcast, we go over what we each like and don’t like about the hardware, design, software, and general usage of the UMPC.

What’s the verdict? Well, all I can say is the best way to sell these puppies is to let people use one for a while. I fell in love pretty quickly, but no one who reads this blog will be surprised by that. :-) I had to give it back this morning, and that was HARD. Even worse, I now have a terrible case of “gadget lust” – you know, the irrational yearning for a new toy that leads to you being willing to rack up the credit card debt just to get your hands on the object of your desire. My wife is NOT amused. 😉

For me, though, it’s not the Samsung Q1 that I want. Brian tipped me off to the Asus R2H, which is the same form factor and price as the Q1 ($1000), but has more RAM (768 MB vs 512 MB), a bigger hard drive (60GB vs 40GB), an SD slot (instead of CF – more useful to me), integrated GPS (turns it into a full navigation system), and a 1.3 megapixel camera. NewEgg has them for $998, and I’m telling you, it’s SO hard not to reach for the credit card! I have to sell some old gadgets or something to come up with a way to finance this, because I REALLY want one of these! If anyone wants to sponsor TinyScreenfuls for a while by getting me one of these, let’s talk! :-)

Hope you enjoy the podcast – as always, let us know if you have any questions or comments. You know how to reach us. And before you ask, yes, Brian and I are going to start doing the podcast regularly again. So stay subscribed! :-)

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Podcasts, Video

Video: Going Deep on Multi-Core with Intel’s Charles Congdon

Charles Congdon is a software architect at Intel, and in this 1 hour 22 minute (186 MB) video, he gives the best, most in-depth explanation I’ve ever heard about what the coming age of multi-core in general, and in particular, what it means to you as a developer.

The time when your app got a free performance boost when a faster processor came along is going away. Now, with the advent of two, four, and many-core systems, there are some pretty fundamental changes that have to happen in your applications in order for them to keep up. Parallelism, mutli-threading, being threadsafe, and more. It could be that one of your competitors “gets” multicore more than you do, and therefore his apps perform better on multicore systems. Or, worst case scenario, your app could be just plain broken on multicore.

But fear not! There’s hope and help out there for you. Intel Software Network has a vested interest in helping you make your code ready for the multicore era. There are lots of tools, resources, and people available to help you. And watching this video is a great place to start. Charles gives a very easy to understand explanation of everything from the basics on up to debugging tips, etc. I’m not a real developer, but even I could follow his explanations.

So grab this video file, set aside an hour and twenty minutes or so (or break it up into smaller sessions – there are logical stopping points in the video), and go deep with Charles, to get up to date on developing in a multicore world.

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Blog, Podcasts, Video

Video: Intel Software Network’s Aaron Tersteeg

Update: Some people reported that this video wasn’t compatible with their iPod. Sure enough, I don’t know what the exact problem was, but it wasn’t working on mine, either. I re-encoded the video out of iMovieHD, this time picking “iPod” as the target format. That should fix the problem – if you were experiencing that issue, you can re-download the video file. Sorry! :-)

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This is a video interview I shot with Intel Software Network’s Aaron Tersteeg. Aaron is a great guy, and a true geek. He’s the Mobile Community Manager for Intel Software Network – basically, he works on building the community of developers that use the tools that Intel makes available for developing mobile-friendly applications (like the Laptop Gaming TDK, etc.) He also gets to play with some cool toys, and was even kind enough to hook me up with one to use for a week (I’ll be doing a podcast later this week to talk about what it is, and my week using it). Aaron was also one of the first public bloggers on Intel.com – check out his blog on Intel Software Network.
The video was shot in his cube, and is about 13 minutes long (64 MB). It’s 320×240, Quicktime, so it’s iPod friendly. You can download it, watch it in your browser, or subscribe to the TinyScreenfuls feed in your favorite podcast aggregator, like iTunes, etc.

I hope to have lots more videos like this to share in the future, and I’m shamelessly following the Channel 9 style and philosophy, so if there’s something you want to see, just let me know! :-)

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Blog, Podcasts

TinyPodcast: On Podcasting, presented to OCIABC

This is the audio of my presentation tonight to the Oregon/Columbia Chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators. The group was awesome, and I recorded my presentation by sitting my M-Audio MicroTrack on the table next to my laptop. I was up and walking all over the room, so the audio levels vary, but it shouldn’t be too bad.

I am super impressed with GigaVox’s Levelator tool. The audio levels were really low in the original file, with lots of spikes. The only processing I did on this file was to drop it on the Levelator, and it came out great (for what it is).

Thanks to the OCIABC folks for having me – I had a blast. I hope this was useful, and might be useful to others. It’s about an hour long, 32MB. Have a listen! :-)

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Blog, Podcasts

TinyPodcast Returns! And you thought it would never happen…

16 minutes long, about 7 MB. You can download the MP3 file here, or simply subscribe to the TinyScreenfuls.com feed in your favorite podcast aggregator. If you happen to still be subscribed to the old TinyPodcast feed, that will work, too (I’ve merged the two, so no need to subscribe twice).

Remember a couple of weeks ago, when I tried to record a podcast in the car on the way to work, but failed? I did it again this morning, and it was successful (though I’m going to have to try to find a way to minimize the road noise).

The show is kind of noisy, but in it, I talk about the Apple news from yesterday (the new iPods, iTV, iTunes 7), including some problems I’ve had with iTunes 7. It hasn’t been a smooth ride so far. I also talk briefly about being featured in the Wall Street Journal for the Intel-wide wiki I created (more on that soon).

I’ve had lots of comments and emails from people wondering when the podcast was going to return. So here it is! :-) Brian’s not on this one, but I’m going to see what I can do about that in the future. I’m going to do these regularly, so any feedback is definitely appreciated. Thanks! :-)

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Podcasts, Video

Video – Bloglines integrates streaming audio player for podcast feeds

Watch the video

I noticed in the last day or so that podcast feeds that I’m subscribed to in Bloglines now have a little Flash streaming player link next to the traditional “enclosure” download link. Click on the play button, and it begins streaming the MP3 file immediately. Very cool for previewing a podcast before you subscribe.

I decided to shoot and post this video to play with blip.tv and my new Canon SD700 camera a little more, so let me know what you think. I know that the focus is messed up on this video, and I’ll try to fix that in the future. All other feedback is welcome! :-)

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