Category Archives: Intel

HP Goes Large with the Z1 at CES

HP logoHP has announced the second generation of its Z1 high performance all-in-one workstation, with a 27″ ten-point touchscreen running Windows 8. The Z1 G2 is aimed squarely at power users, featuring 4th Generation Intel Xeon and Core processors, and RAID storage options paired with the latest NVIDIA Mobile Quadro GPUs for the best graphics performance. It also comes with Intel Thunderbolt 2 ports.

Since its launch in 2012, the highly acclaimed HP Z1 has opened the eyes and ears of customers hoping to solve business problems no longer being met by current vendors,” said Jim Zafarana, vice president and general manager, Commercial Solutions Business Unit, HP. “Today’s professionals demand high-performance products that are serviceable and easy-to-use, all wrapped in a sleek and elegant design.

HP Z1 G2

The Z1 G2 comes equipped with Thunderbolt 2 connectivity, for data transfer speeds four times that of USB 3.0. That’s nippy. To round out the high spec, the Z1’s audio capabilities aren’t too shabby either with dual-tone, front-facing speakers and DTS Studio Sound Audio. Overall, this is a beast of a machine.

The new HP Z1 G2 workstation is expected to be available in late January, with prices starting at US$1,999.

All About Haswell: Intel’s 4th Generation Archetecture


Intel announced their next generation Core chip architecture in the Haswell chipset at Computex Taipei. This chipset is meant for the mobile device out there. The 22nm technology is the 4th generation of the Intel Core processors and with Enhanced graphics can play videos faster, decode JPeg & Mpeg better, support multiple monitors – some with 2K or 4K support.

Haswell’s API support is based on DX11.1 and supports Open CL 1.2 and Open CL 4.0. Therefore, it will handle 3D Graphics of some of the newest games out there.

However, the biggest news comee from the battery life, power and heat of the Intel Haswell. From a 6 hour video playback to 9 hours – from 4.5 day standby to 10-13. The chipset is not only designed for desktops, but also mobile devices such as Ultrabooks and Surface tablet.

One CPU core used just six watts of power during regular tasks. This makes the Haswell chipset able to cooler, quieter and fanless – something that tablets need to be. This could make an i7 Surface tablet possible for people like myself who produce video and tax a computer quite often.

Haswell will come in 5 versions: H (dubbed iris Pro), M (20chip models), U (for Ultrabooks) and Y (for detachable products). Haswell will start at $197 for Core i5 to $368 for Core i7 4770K.

Create Your Own TV Station

One of the problems with watching video podcasts as an alternative to conventional television is that you have typically and deliberately watch one video at a time. On longer videos it’s not as much of a problem, but with short videos that last 5 minutes or less you have to keep manually restarting the next video after the previous one has finished.

I now have three Mac Minis – one is an old somewhat underpowered Power PC Mac Mini that I’m using as a video podcast aggregator. I have that machine’s iTunes database located on a much larger shared drive that’s available to every machine on my home network. I’m subscribed to a variety of tech podcasts, most of them in the highest resolution file sizes available.

I have two other Mac Minis that are of the latest design. I have an “Eye TV” USB HD tuner connected to one that’s connected to a substantial external antenna. Depending on atmospheric conditions I can receive up to 18 channels counting the various digital sub channels. This enables the Mac Mini to function as a DVR.

The second Intel Mac Mini is in another room and the Eye TV software also loaded on it is able to work from the other Mac Mini’s shared recordings.

Today I discovered by accident when playing around with iTunes on one of the Intel Mac Minis that the shared videos show up in the shared playlists from other iTunes databases. So, in other words, I can pick a shared iTunes list from the Power PC Mac Mini’s shared iTunes and a list of video files shows up. Since the videos are in the list just like audio would be, I am able to start a video file playing and when one file ends it will immediately start playing the next video file on the list. This is particularly useful because I can start videos playing as I do other things and it will continue to play just as if it’s a TV station. This is quite a handy capability to have. The lack of an ability to set up continuous video playback has long been one of the Apple TV’s biggest shortcomings.

Periodically I go to the Power PC Mac Mini and delete the video files that have been played, since iTunes keeps a play count, so I always have fresh material to watch.


GE Healthcare Reader, Capture Station, Quietcare, Intel Healthguide

Carissa O’Brien interviews Scott from Intel GE Care Innovations. Scott demonstrates the GE Healthcare text-to-speech reader in conjunction with the Capture Station.

Quietcare is a monitoring system for those living in assisted living facilities.

The Intel Healthguide is a remote monitoring unit that enables medical staff to do remote monitoring and interaction with patients in their own homes via the Internet, including video calling.

Interview by Carissa O’Brien of Geek News Central.

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Intel Builds the GPU into the CPU on Core

Jeffrey Power talks to Mike Martin of Intel, which announced the incorporation of the Intel graphics processor (the GPU)  onto the CPU across the whole of the Core range (i3, i5, i7).

The stand at CES had an impressive artistic display showing off the power of the new Core processors, which you can see in the video.

Available now – look for the Intel kink (the yellow branding tag) on the packaging.

Interview by Jeffrey Powers of Geekazine.

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Intels touchscreen netbook

In the world of gadgets smaller usually translates to cooler. While the new rnage of netbooks on the market have had some success in this paradigm I have not yet seen much to get me excited by them. They are not small enough to be radically easier to carry, and they are not large enough to be convenient to use for most purposes. The ultra-thin laptops are generally the better compromise position.

Until recently touchscreen laptops have not really lived up to the hype either. The speed of the handwriting recognition has not allowed them to live up to the promise. With the advances in touch screens, particularly multi-touch technology, the likelihood of this market becoming successful is growing.

Intel have combined new the latest touchscreen technology with a netbook to produce a kid-targetted laptop that looks interesting. According to laptop magazine Intel will be including a lot of third party software that is designed to take advantage of the touchscreen for school based activities.

This laptop is launching at CES and is likely to be one of the products that gets a decent amount of coverage. It will be interesting to see what the concensus is after more people post hands-on reports. I’ve been looking for a laptop for the kids, and this might end up being the one.

Mac Virus Detected last week pretty weak!

A Mac virus detected and reported on last week appears to be pretty weak, and so far has only infected about 50 Intel based Mac’s. The virus writer himself expressed his frustration within the code of the virus, indicating he was having a lot of trouble for such a small amount of code. While Mac users continue to enjoy a computing experience that is virus free, the concern for some experts is that the Mac users will become to compliant.

My thought on this is that while doubtful that a sophisticated virus for the Mac is going to appear anytime soon, that if one did it could really do some major damage. Only time will tell but Mac users will continue to be able to sleep easy knowing there operating system is pretty secure. [ZDNet]