Laptop Pioneer’s Innovation Led to the Clamshell Case Still Used Today

Posted by admin on Oct 21, 2012

Taken from The New York Times

In 1979, William Moggridge was hired by Grid Systems to design a new type of computer – one that could fit into a briefcase. His ingenious solution was a clamshell case, roughly 38 x 30 centimetres, which popped open to reveal a luminous screen on top that folded over the keyboard on bottom. The Compass, as this groundbreaking laptop was called, went on sale for about $8000.  It even made trips aboard the space shuttle starting in 1983.

Moggridge, who died at 69, was not only the designer of that first laptop, he is also widely viewed as a father of the field of interaction design, and discipline that focuses on improving the human experience of digital products.

In his book Designing Interactions, Moggridge wrote: “I had the experience of a lifetime developing a design that was innovating in so many ways. I developed the way that the screen was hinged to fold down over the keyboard for carrying.”  In fact, almost every laptop since has used some form of Moggridge’s design.  His name is on the patent, but the rights to the patent were assigned to the client. Grid was bought by the Tandy Corp. in 1988.

William Grant Moggridge was born in London in 1943, and died in 2012.

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Commodore C64 Computer Introduced 30 Years Ago

Posted by admin on Oct 14, 2012

Was it really 30 years ago that Commodore introduced the C64 computer?

The CPU, featuring a whopping 64kb of RAM, 16 colours, and an integrated keyboard racked up the all-time highest computer sales figures and an astounding product run for starters.  Between 12.5 and 17 million C64 consoles were sold (estimates vary due to suspect accounting and other factors) between its introduction in 1982 at the amazingly low prince of $595, and the company’s demise 12 years later. In the vanguard of gaming machines, over 10,000 titles were developed for the C64.

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Networking your Home Theatre System

Posted by admin on Oct 7, 2012

Pretty much all the AV manufacturers agree that networking has become a baseline feature with their products.  Even entry level TVs and Surround Receivers are coming equipped with networking capability.  So why, you may ask?

There are several reasons, but on the most basic level, it allows you to easily download updated firmware (software) for your device, fixing problems and adding features. In addition, however, there is the plethora of sources that you can stream media to and from.  Your new Surround Receiver or TV might be able to stream content from YouTube, Netflix, and internet radio stations without the need for a computer.  You could have a media server (basically a big hard drive full of movies and music) connected to your home network and be able to pull content directly to your TV in the bedroom or the stereo in the kitchen.

Connecting everything with a Cat5e or Cat6 network wire is the best method, but there are a few options for using wireless technology as well.  For HD video, you will want to make sure you use Dual Band wireless devices.  For lower-resolution video and audio, you can get away with the standard wireless technology. Setting up all the devices on your home network can be a bit tricky, but if you plan it out properly, you can save yourself a lot of headaches.  We at ICS are experts at networking, and can help you with this process.

You should stay away from using the routers that are supplied by many Internet Service Providers (ISPs).  Even low-cost entry level routers have better features than the ones provided by your ISP.  We suggest investing in a good quality router and switch that can handle the amount of data traffic you will be running through it.

If you are planning on investing in some new AV equipment, or are interested in networking your home, come in and chat with us.  We can help you with every stage from planning to installation.