Volume 2, Number 4

February 2006 

It has been about 6 months since the last Ezine. During that time, Devvie and I have been occupied with a number of issues, culminating with my mom's passing last month after 5 weeks in intensive care following emergency heart surgery. Fortunately having a wonderful wife makes these difficulties easier.

But time marches on. A new semester has started, the dogs continue to cost me more money, two more of my books have been published, and I am still overdosing on LAVC Cafeteria hot dogs while tormenting my students with stale, recycled jokes. So it is time for another Ezine.

My students (and others) know of my passion for gadgets. So this Ezine will be about something new in gadgets ... Dual Core, or is it DualCor? Actually, it is both.

You likely will be hearing soon about Dual Core and DualCor. After reading this Ezine, you will know what they are. This may be important, especially if you will be making a computer purchase in the near future.

When you buy a computer, perhaps the most important component is the processor, or CPU, since that is the "brains" of the computer. The processor may be described at a Pentium IV or Celeron, with a number such as 1.8 or 2.6 in gigahertz (GHz).

Computers generally have one processor. However, computers may have multiple processors, or SMPs, The advantage of multiple processors is an increase in speed and performance. But multiple processors cost more money. Additionally, multiple processors generally were limited to desktops, and not seen in laptops because of size and battery life considerations.

Enter the Dual Core processor. This in essence is two processors on one processor die. This lowers the cost, size, and battery consumption. The result is multiple processor performance even on laptops! For more, read Will Core Duo Notebooks Trade Battery Life For Quicker Response? on the excellent Tom's Hardware site.

Is the Dual Core processor for you? It depends. The extra speed and performance of a dual core processor may not be worth the extra expense if your computer use is limited to word processing, email and the Internet. However, if you are a "power user" or like computer games, you should consider the Dual Core processor.

DualCor is something quite different. For years, gadget guys and gals have chased the holy grail of one device that combines a phone, an "instant on" (boot time in seconds rather than minutes) organizer like a Palm Pilot or PocketPC, and a laptop that can run Windows applications. In the last couple of years, the phone and instant on organizer have been combined in devices such as PocketPC phones and the Treo. But still no laptop functionality.

Now you can have it all in the DualCor cPc, shown and explained in this article on the excellent JkOnTheRun site. Do a Google search on DualCor (not Dual Core) and you will see other articles on this device, which may be available next month.

Will the DualCor will be the long awaited all in one device? Or instead will it be an oversized phone mated with an underpowered laptop having an undersized screen? The user feedback should be interesting.

Another issue is whether an all in one device really is necessary. What is the big deal about having two devices, a laptop and a phone/organizer? Right now I use a Motion LS800 TabletPC and a BlackBerry 8700c. The BlackBerry phone is small, easily fitting into my pocket, so having that second device is no big deal for me. But still the thought of just one device is intriguing.

The laptop part of the DualCor also is a TabletPC. The TabletPC is increasingly being used in education, often by teachers, but even more so by students. My plan is for the next Ezine to focus on the TabletPC.

To see prior Ezines, go to GenghisKhent.com and click the menu "quicklink" to Ezines. To unsubscribe from this publication (though why would you ever want to), email jkent@genghiskhent.com from the email account at which you received this message with the subject line Unsubscribe.