Etymology: From Latin word misceō (“mix”). Synonym: miscellaneous
Todays post covers a few PC-related articles I had read recently involving a trend that makes sense in an evermore portable world – and that is the miniaturization of PCs – where the actual PC is still a desktop and yet totally portable like this article shows and not tied to whatever crappy little notepad keyboard and monitor that you may have on your laptop that would be needed to achieve the same portability of the box itself
I like the idea of simple, low-cost, very-transportable PCs which only need you to hook to a monitor – any monitor – I’d rather lug around a PC the size of a deck of cards and hook to available monitors than a laptop (assuming I have access to monitors – whether traveling, at home or at work) – think of a much smaller PC to “dock” into your workplace workstation. These new tiny PCs are engineered for high energy efficiency, etc – this in combination with cloud storage of projects, and archived data for a work-anywhere experience I like.
In the below article I find something that brings me back to my childhood – remembering how I could hook up our VIC-20 home computer right to the TV’s RF box – no need for monitors back then and I see the below project – it’s a single board computer (actually saw a video of someone who had the game Quake running on it) which they hope to produce at the goal cost of $25
What could this do to the amount of hobbyist developers if people had a homebrew ultra-cheap computer to work on?, maybe multiples of them for a variety of projects – maybe we would even see school districts update computer labs with bare-bone necessities for learning software, etc to expand access while cutting down dramatically on maintenance and upgrade costs by implementing a Netbook scheme with simple low cost CPUs and the cloud for storage– the move to “simpler over the complex” is the way to go for using computers in the schools. In fact, one guy has even started a company named Neverware around the concept of schools, government agencies, non-profits, etc buying a a single beefy virtualization server supporting a few hundred users with the concept that they never need upgrade the end user PCs again
I watched for years with interest at the One Laptop Per Child effort which I still think was an incredible idea and effort complete with PCs that could be solar-powered or hand cranked in desolate areas but they were never able to get to their goal price (some think the major manufacturers interference stymied that effort) however still they march on with their goal of how the world could be transformed if even the poorest parts of the world had access to knowledge and computing power. Their implementation of bringing Internet access to the most remote areas by using a mesh network of people piggybacking nearby signals was awesome. Check out these videos. These kind of efforts to change the world are awe-inspiring. Just check out what the internet and global communication has done to topple dictatorships and monarchies in the Middle East already – that trend is not going away – education and knowledge is the answer. Communism and absolute monarchies do not have a long term future when people can learn, communicate, organize, and compare their situation so easily with others around the world.
Finally, I love having the GodMode shortcut on my desktop and after forgetting how to do this and helping others find it, it was time to just post it here as well for future reference so I can find it easily enough the next time I need it. For those that have not seen it, starting with Vista and extending to Windows 7, Microsoft developers added a small easter egg known as the “GodMode” feature which is a very handy shortcut to all things you even need to do on your machine from one very handy shortcut.
Just create a folder on your desktop and name it
Once that is done the folders icon will change to resemble a control panel as seen here
which when clicked will take you to a nice list of about every action you may want to take with your PC all from one handy shortcut – defrag hard drives, change color schemes and themes, fonts, printers, backups, installed programs, you name it – I think everything from the Control Panel is neatly organized from this one list which a small portion is displayed below