Psiops Computer & Gadget Blog

A site for Psiops enthusiasts & general computer geeks

Hanvon BC10C Touchpad

Hanvon BC10C TouchpadTouchpad computers are easily the most exciting products to hit the shelves this year, because they have the potential to change the way we use computers in our everyday life. However, this potential may be limited by the fact that very few of these devices have been designed to run on the familiar Windows-based operating system, and for many of us the idea of transferring to a foreign OS is likely to cause some hesitation. Fortunately, the Windows faithful have not been forgotten completely, because Microsoft has teamed up with the good people at Hanvon to produce the stunning Hanvon BC10C Touchpad.

 

One of the first things you notice about the BC10C is that, unlike its non-Windows counterparts, Hanvon has developed this tablet with a look and feel more similar to that of a traditional Windows-based system. For starters, although the BC10C can be rotated 360° for portrait display, its design shows a clear favouritism towards landscape mode, with the preferred base being slightly more pronounced than the remaining three sides. Presumably, this bias towards landscape functionality is due to the traditional layout of the Windows 7 display, which Hanvon seems to have embraced with wide open arms.

 

The second thing Windows users will rejoice over is the addition of an optical mouse – a familiar feature that many other tablets have chosen to exclude entirely. This addition allows the device to be operated in a number of different ways, either via the exceptional multi-touch panel display, or through the use of the traditional mouse. This feature is especially useful for anyone who is unfamiliar with touchscreen functionality, as they’re able to familiarise themselves with the new technology, while the optical mouse serves as a full-time back up should they get stuck.

 

In terms of performance, the Hanvon BC10C is an impressive machine. Driven by a 1.3GHz Celeron processor, the BC10C is actually more powerful than the Apple iPad, which has only been provided with 1GHz. Not only that, but even the most advanced Apple tablet is nowhere close to matching Hanvon’s inclusion of a 320GB hard drive, with the closest Apple competitor falling short by a massive 256 Gigs. That’s similar to the difference between an mp3 player and a high performance desktop computer, a feature that puts the BC10C in a totally different weight class in terms of its capabilities as a computer.

 

Of course all of this power has to be housed, so in terms of size the BC10C is slightly larger, and heavier than its competitors, but at the end of the day that’s the price you pay for this level of performance. Hanvon’s BC10C Touchpad is a serious machine with some seriously powerful capabilities, and at $898.00, offers incredible value for money to boot.

 

The Hanvon BC10C Touchpad is available in Australia from officeworks.com.au

New Technology for Vending Machines

The days of old-fashioned vending machines are long gone. Nowadays, vending machines are high-tech and come in popping bright colors that are sure to attract any consumer. Not only that, healthier food options are now included in most vending machines. Moreover, it’s not only food that come out of these vending machines.

Take Red Box for example. They are the ones who make it possible for you to rent video games and movies straight out of the vending machine.

In other parts of the world, you can even get live bait straight from the vendo. Such is the case with Gary Harsel, who thought of PA Live Bait Vending as a new offering in his tackle shop. According to Harsel, “The first year I put the machines out, [customers] couldn’t grasp the concept,” He eventually sold the idea and it now turns out that hundreds of live bait vending machines are in operation.

It is also possible to purchase gadgets like digital cameras, iPads, and android phones from vending machines aside from video games, movies, and live baits. Usually, vending machines selling these kinds of products can be found in airports and some grocers.

Should grocery stores worry that vending machines are taking over the retail industry? Dan Negroni, Fresh Health Vending chief executive officer, has this to say, “Not really. They just complement what specialty retail stores offer by their ability to be almost everywhere people are everyday. We see this as just the beginning of the new self-service revolution that is taking hold in the U.S. and why this is a great opportunity for entrepreneurs looking for a flexible business with no employees necessary.” He also says that having vending machines in the stores can encourage customers to stay a bit longer in the grocery.

Moreover, it is not just the store owners who have something to gain from these vending machines. The consumers now have easier access to purchasing products, without the need to talk to store employees. Moreover, a healthier lifestyle can also be achieved since healthier food options are also available from the list of products being offered. Consumers can now even avail of freshly ground coffee instead of the usual instant coffee fix that were originally offered in vendos.

With the rate that the vending machine technology is going, it won’t be long until bigger and more sophisticated items will be up for sale from a vending machine near you.

For our Australian readers , please visit Your Choice Vending machines

Reviewed: The Lexmark c540n Colour Laser Printer

 

The Lexmark c540n colour laser printer is compact and does its printing jobs quietly. It is perfect for home and small office use. Its 1200 x 1200 dpi feature brings crisp images and it does so on a printing speed of 20ppm.

Lexmark C540H2YG printer cartridgeThe Lexmark c540n colour laser printer comes with 1,000 page colour and 1,000 page black toner cartridges. All you need to do is set up the laser printer and you’re ready to print documents. Another great thing about this printer is that users can save when they choose to use the Lexmark C540n as this printer’s photoconductor and toner units only need to be replaced when needed. Hence, you get your money’s worth with this printer. You also have the option of getting the 2,500 page black and 2,000 page colour toners when you run out of the original toners that come with the package.

 

Environmentalists will also enjoy using this Lexmark printer as the manufacturer offers the Lexmark Cartridge Collection Programme. This is a program where users can return their used toner cartridges to Lexmark free of charge. The manufacturer will then re-fill the used cartridges. Hence, carbon footprint of the printer is lessened.

Lexmark C540A1MG printer cartridgeOn another note, the c540n comes with a Lexmark guarantee that is good for a year. This also goes without saying that Lexmark engineers will be sent to check and repair your Lexmark c540n colour laser printer on the off chance that it needs repairing.

 

In fact one of the only downsides to the c540n is the lack of Australian retailers stocking the appropriate cartridges. After a few hours we were able to find one stockist with a decent supply for the Lexmark c540n colour laser printer

 

Meanwhile, it doesn’t need an engineer to set up the network connections of the Lexmark c540n colour laser printer. This comes with an Ethernet port and easy to use installation software. Once installed, everyone in the work area can easily connect to the c540n laser printer and get copies of their printed documents.

 

Lastly, the Lexmark c540n colour laser printer is awarded the Energy Star. This means that it is a product that it is possible for the users to save some energy while using the products with the Energy Star award.

 

In conclusion, the Lexmark c540n colour laser printer is a compact, easy to use b/w and colour laser printer that does its printing jobs quietly and efficiently. Small business owners will best benefit from using this energy-saving printer.

Markus Fenix: From Prisoner to War Hero

Markus Fenix (pictured below), anti-hero and protagonist of the futuristic shooter series Gears of War, definitely is a modern hero. There is no resemblance to classic super-benevolent heroes like Superman, the A-Team or Hulk Hogan. Markus Fenix clearly follows in the footsteps of “bad guys” such as Batman, John McLane or Stone Cold Steve Austin.

At the beginning of the first Gears of War game, Fenix is locked in a prison cell as the Locust (humanoid aliens who stereotypically hate humans) attack. He first appears to be a cynical man with no care for anyone. He seems to like excessive violence more than anything else – which is, let’s be honest, convenient for a shooter game. Before his imprisonment, he was a distinguished Gear. Gears are  highly trained and tough infantry soldiers. Fenix excelled in this role. He even earned the highest military award!

 

Soon it becomes clear he was not imprisoned for a selfish reason; he abandoned his military post in order to make an attempt to save his father. Unfortunately, his attempt was futile, and his father is supposedly dead now. Furthermore, this action resulted in his dishonourable discharge and ultimately, four years in a dilapidated prison.

 

As the game starts, he is released by his old friend Dominic Santiago. Both share some characteristic traits: They like to dismember their enemies and they love excessive swearing and vulgarity in many forms. But they have one more thing in common: They care about their families (Santiago is looking for his wife who had gone missing). They don’t shy away from taking detours to even follow hopeless trails to find their families.

 

However, it is also hinted several times that Fenix’ relationship towards his father is a troubled one. It is known his father lied to him about the death of Markus’ mother and that he did not want Markus to join the Gears. Therefore, Markus seems to hold a grudge against his father.

 

Soon, Fenix and Santiago join the Delta Squad, a team of elite soldiers chosen to fight deep behind enemy lines. Their mission is to destroy the tunnel system of the Locust horde. Markus Fenix does not only redeem his status as a war hero but during the events of Gears of War, he gets promoted to Sergeant. Fenix eventually kills General RAAM, the antagonist, and plays the biggest part in detonating the lightmass bomb.

 

In Gears of War 2, it is revealed that the Locust are far from finished. With his reputation restored, Markus Fenix is finally regarded a proper war hero again. However, this does not save him from tragic events: He hands a severely injured friend a shotgun – but his friend decides to kill himself instead of fighting the Locust. Fenix was also seen shaken when his friends Carlos Santiago and Ben Carmine died. In times like these, Markus’ hard shell cracks a little – but he does not allow anyone else to witness his weakness.

 

Gears of War 3 will greet Markus Fenix with a huge surprise: His father Alan Fenix is still alive! Will Markus is able to forgive his father? Will the Gears be able to defeat the Locust horde for good?

 

Find out on 20 September when Gears of War 3 will be released.

 

John is a guest blogger from HMV.com where you can pre-order Gears of War 3 online now

Canon IXUS 210 Digital Camera

 

Canon IXUS-210 DSLR camera

The current market for digital cameras is easily one of the most confusing a potential buyer can enter into, especially if words like ‘aperture’ and ‘aspect ratio’ are as familiar to you as a foreign language. With many customers looking for a camera that will just point and shoot, manufacturers are faced with the challenge of producing models that are simple to use, yet still have enough features to satisfy the more experienced photographers looking to buy. One model which has succeeded in this requirement is the Canon IXUS 210 DSLR, available online from The Good Guys.

 

From a functionality perspective, the IXUS 210 is an absolute dream, featuring a vibrant 3.5 inch, LCD touchscreen that makes shooting, recording, and displaying each photograph as easy as it gets. With its simple 5x point and zoom feature, subjects are pulled in or out of focus with the easiest of motions, allowing the cameraman more opportunity to capture each moment with perfect accuracy. This ability is further enhanced by the speed at which this camera is able to switch between photo and video capabilities, making it next to impossible for the action to be missed.

Canon DSLR cameraEase of use is definitely a heavy focus with the IXUS 210, but it hasn’t come at the expense of good old fashioned human creativity. Even the most discerning student of photography is provided with the freedom to alter and adjust almost every aspect of the image, using intuitive touchscreen controls designed specifically for improved usability over the earlier IXUS 200 model. What the 210 really manages to do well is balance the complicated nature of traditional photography with a user interface that makes everything seem childishly simple to use.

 

Aside from its incredible usability, Canon’s IXUS 210 is also a very smart camera in terms of design. Sporting a slim-lined frame, the 210 is constructed from durable metals and plastic, and weighs in at a measly 160g including battery. Stylish in its minimalism, this camera’s smooth surface is broken only by the detailing that surrounds the lens, giving the IXUS 210 a very slick look and feel overall.

 

In a word, the Canon IXUS 210 is sharp. It’s easy to use, comes packed with features, and most importantly it shoots beautifully. Whether you’re a seasoned pro, or a first-time buyer the IXUS 210 has got you covered. And at just $358, the price of the Canon IXUS 210 Digital Camera is far from its least impressive feature.

ASUS K52F-SX166V 15.6 Notebook

ASUS notebook$798 dollars is a small price to pay for a notebook computer, especially one that boasts the sort of specs offered by the ASUS K%@F-SX166V 15.6″ Notebook. With their latest addition, ASUS have achieved something many manufacturers have failed to in the past – they’ve created a powerful, reliable small computer that demonstrates a strong and successful focus towards user comfort in its design. The result is a device that’s very, very sharp, both in terms of its processing capabilities, and its overall usability.

 

Under the hood, the K52F is powered by a 2.26Ghz Intel Core i5-430M processor, which makes for a very fluid driving experience indeed. This snappy processor is backed up with 2GB RAM memory, ensuring that responses are almost never compromised, even with Windows 7 Home Premium running full tilt. Add to that a 320GB hard drive, and you’ve got a very powerful device that’s capable of running just about anything while you’re on the move.

 

In terms of screen quality, the ASUS K52F comes standard with a 15.6 inch widescreen display which, although fairly modest in terms of size, helps greatly to enhance the overall mobility of the machine. Plus, the inclusion of an embedded Intel GMA HD graphics performance chip helps you forget all about the size of the screen, with the K52F producing crisp, vibrant images that would impress even the most seasoned of gamers.

 

What makes this model really impressive however is less to do with its processing capabilities, and more about the thought processes that have gone into its usability. From a design perspective especially, the ASUS K52F isn’t your average open and shut laptop. With a sunken hinge design, and a concaved Chiclet keyboard, the user is able to view the screen from more comfortable angles than most notebooks will allow. In terms of usability, the intuitive multi-touch mouse pad gives the user a world of diversity, including the ability to zoom in and out with ease. Combined with a sleek, slim design for added mobility, the K52F is quite simply a joy to handle.

 

When you get down to it, the ASUS K52F-SX166V 15.6 notebook really is a beautiful machine, especially when you consider the strong focus towards usability that’s been built into its design. The speed at which the K52F runs is definitely impressive, but the power associated with this device is almost downplayed by the general enjoyment that you experience when using it. So, if you’re in the market for a really stunning notebook computer, take the ASUS K52F for a test drive and experience the quality of this device for yourself. A1 Battery Pro is providing laptop batteries in Australia for this Asus notebook product.