TV 2.0, Bluray and HD-DVD

Don\’t you know there are six new ways to watch? Wired.com has an article about TV 2.0 and it talks about the differences among internet TV, P2PTV, HDTV, IPTV, Streaming video and Cell phone TV. I\’m currently a big fan of P2PTV and streaming video but I didn\’t know their backgrounds. So if you don\’t know much about these technologies I recommend that you read the article. Wired.com has compiled information about these technologies and discussed why these technologies really matter.

In relation to video, Tech News World reported that Samsung plans to market a player that will read both HD-DVD and Bluray discs! For the uninitiated, Sony, the leading backer of the Blu-ray high-definition DVD format, and Toshiba, the leading backer of rival HD-DVD, cannot agree which format should prevail. Samsung, on the other hand, announced that it will release a machine that would play both, adding pressure to other companies to do the same.

Links:
TV 2.0
Samsung Avoids Battle, Plans Dual-Format DVD Player

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8GB Miniature Hard Disk

\'Hitachi This is a really cool product, codename Mikey. It is Hitachi\’s latest Microdrive model 3K8. I\’m sure there\’s a sizeable market for Mikey specially in mp3 players (like iPod), digital cameras and other portable devices. I remember doing a research project about portable storage a year ago and I covered about 1 inch reduced form factor with 1 GB storage. Now the capacity reaches up to 8 GB!

To give you an idea how big 8GB is… it is equivalent to about 4,000 songs, 2 hours DV quality MPEG-2 video, 10 hours MPEG-4 video or 8,000 digital photos. That\’s a lot in just one inch mini HD. In fact you can install a default installation of Windows XP in this 8 GB Microdrive already. With that in mind, I wonder how small PCs can be in the future. We might see very small computers using this form factor, but I doubt it will come out soon.

3k8 is very sleek. It has a rotational speed of 3600rpm and an average seek time of 12ms. It can reach 33MB/sec transfer speed utilizing CE-ATA interface, with sustained transfer rate of 10MB/sec.

Sooner or later some companies will utilize Microdrive in their portable devices, like Creative for ther MoVu2 Mp3 player. I\’m sure that it will be available in the Philippine market later.

Link: Microdrive 3K8 official site

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Free SkypeOut Day!

Finally, after missing the first free SkypeOut day I\’ll be anticipating this one and grab it! You should know what Skype is by now. So, here\’s how you can get the free 10 minutes of SkypeOut on Wednesday. If I were you already have an account, head to your your account overview and get the free 10 minutes of SkypeOut ^_^

You can check for more SkypeOut Day at http://share.skype.com. If you have Firefox, it\’s quite useful if you put them in live bookmarks under bookmarks toolbar so you can easily track the SkypeOut Day announcements.

\'Skype\'

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Fleeting Moments with Dell Servers

It\’s not goodbye yet… there\’s a high possibility that we will purchase these Dell PowerEdge servers again. For now, they were refunded and I really feel bad that we have to let them go.

Here are the specs of the server. These commemorates our fleeting memories with these Dell PowerEdge servers.

Dell PowerEdge 750-160

  • Intel Pentium processor at 3.0GHz with HyperThreading
  • 1MB L2 cache
  • 1GB DDR-2 SDRAM, upgradeable to 4GB
  • Two 160GB 7200RPM S-ATA drives
  • 100Mbps Network Connection
  • Intel PRO/1000 MT single port Gigabit NIC (at 100Mbps)

Dell PowerEdge 1850-300 Pro

  • Two 64-bit Intel XeonTM processors at 3.2GHz
  • 1MB L2 cache
  • 2GB DDR-2 SDRAM, upgradeable to 12GB
  • Two 300GB 10,000RPM Ultra320 SCSI drives
  • Hot Swap Drives
  • 100Mbps Network Connection
  • Intel PRO/1000 MT single port Gigabit NIC (at 100Mbps)

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Adobe CS2 Seminar in Manila

I attended the Adobe Creative Suite 2 Seminar today, Thursday 14 Jul 2005 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM. It\’s theme was \”Everything but the idea\” … I believe they use that phrase in CS2 Marketing as well.

This is my first seminar with Adobe. The funding is so extravagent, they made the seminar FREE, served lunched and snacks, gave away lots of freebies and raffled amazing prizes! I think they spent more or less P200 for each person\’s food alone. Mind you, we didn\’t even pay a single cent! We just went to Onstage, Greenbelt 1 and that\’s it.

Talking about Onstage, I had quite a long walk searching for Greenbelt 1 and it\’s my first time there. I\’m not really excited going there since I\’m clueless where it is. I just asked each security guard I encountered on entrance check point / body inspection. I really thought that the mall near Landmark was Greenbelt 1, but I it was Greenbelt 3 actually. Silly me. :P

Then I arrive in the venue about 9:30 AM. I had to walk to the upper seats because all the seats in front were taken already. I\’m quite upset that my classmates didn\’t save a row or a couple of seats for latecomers. So, the seminar began exactly on 9:00 and the speaker was already discussing about Bridge. Then Photoshop CS2, InDesign CS2 and Illustrator CS2 followed.

Later on, they want to enliven the crowd so they gave away tiny cellular phone accessory. They wanted all the participants in red clothe only! x_x Too bad… then they called on white, gray, yellow, green, wearing sunglasses, and finally blue, the color of my t-shirt. Most of the participants went wild just to grab that tiny accessory. LOL. There\’s an equal proportion of students and professionals in the room and that\’s the reason why. :D

Prizes were drawn in raffle. I was so frustrated that I didn\’t win any prize. :( I really stayed until the end so that when I was picked as the winner I\’ll be able to claim it (the organizers won\’t release an item if the winner already left the seminar) … anyway I\’m already satisfied just to be present in that seminar. With all the food, freebies and fun, not to mention that it is free, I really think it is the most enjoyable seminar I attended this year so far.

\'CS
Adobe product box shot reprinted with permission from Adobe Systems Incorporated.
Adobe and its products are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Adobe Systems Incorporated in the United States and/or other countries.

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PHP 4.4.0 Released

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The PHP Development Team would like to announce the immediate release of PHP 4.4.0. This is a maintenance release that addresses a serious memory corruption problem within PHP concerning references. If references were used in a wrong way, PHP would often create memory corruptions which would not always surface and be visible. The increased middle digit was required because the fix that corrected the problem with references changed PHP\’s internal API. PHP 4.4.0 does not have any new features, and is solely a bugfix release.

Source: http://www.php.net

Does that mean I have to upgrade as soon as possible? Hmmm, maybe not… I need to know if all scripts and programs work well with this version and not just jump into upgrading. I want to find out from guinea pigs if upgrading is painless. :D

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Clustering and Load Balancing Hell Ride

First and foremost, I don\’t like to mention company name(s) or person related to this resolved issue because it was already settled. This is the reason why I was not able to update my blog for the past three days. Now I\’m posting this so share my experience and I hope you\’ll be able to learn something from my mistakes.

Within my server clustering-and-load-balancing-hell-ride days I have been tormented with different problems involving 3 clustered and load balanced servers. I am supervising these servers and to my surprise, the solution that we bought didn\’t have the features we look after a clustered system. Initially, during our presales with our datacenter, these features were mentioned: (1) uploading files would be easy – upload once, distribute to many servers, (2) servers would require little modification to run and (3) detailed documentation would be supplied. We didn\’t have the enough information in hand that\’s why we only had a limited idea on how it should work.

We trusted that everything will be ready when the servers were released to us; however, it seems that the servers were not yet completed by the time they ware released to us. Disappointed, we waited until the admins fix the cluster and so, after 3 week of standing by, we got the servers up and running. Then again, the servers were plague by intermittent ups and downs. We were really frustrated and complained to the point that we thought of getting our money back. After all, the diagnostic shows that the rsync program causes Apache to reload again and again to synchronize both servers. That\’s really not my forte so… hell I know! The reason we bought this clustering solution is to free ourselves from the complexity of clustering and load balancing, and so this should not be our problem. We just want the solution to work and that\’s all we want to get our expectation matched.

After all the negotiation, one of our hardware was replaced with RAID solution to accommodate the growing database. Now the SQL server runs independently now. On previous cluster design SQL server was already synchronized with the static content, therefore mixing the dynamic data, resulting to a lot of inconsistencies. Now that I know it already it\’s really ridiculous to begin with. Right now the clusters are already fixed, but we are facing another phase of testing and so I hope that everything goes smoothly as planned.

To know more about load balancing and clustering, refer to these links
Load Balancing
Clustering

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