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Thursday, February 23, 2006

Time Wasting

I can't believe that I got up today and Cycled though snow to get to my 9am lecture!

There was so many wrong, incorrect or "well duh!" statements with my lecture today that I thought you might like to hear some of them. (and it feels good to rant about it)

The Microsoft Media Player (he meant Windows Media Player comes installed with every copy of Windows XP (he meant if you don't live in Europe... Breaking news in 2001 to 2005 from the EU) and is currently at version 9.5 (he meant 10 but he was only half a version out...) plays most media with the right codecs installed but currently cannot play DVDs (unless you have the right codecs installed)
"DVD-ROM, an alternative to the CD-ROM with greater storage capacity than a CD-ROM" Well done, you have correctly informed a class of 3rd year science and technology degree students about the existence of DVDs.
"The V stands for Versatile, which is useful because it is versatile."
Apparently some DVD burners are starting to have the ability to burn dual-layer discs, but not many. (He meant here that it was becoming a standard feature when I bought my laptop 14 months ago and that you would be doing will to find a DVD burner that couldn't do it in the shops today)
Apparently in 4 years everyone will be using BlueRay or HD-DVD technology and will have thrown away all their CDs and DVDs. Apparently. (I acknowledge that I, Dave, could be wrong about this point, but really?)
USB! (now he started to get interesting)
"The first version of USB had a very low data rate and was hopelessly ineffective - design cock-up" But it was still better than parallel and serial for the majority of users, and has been improved by USB 2.
In my notes here I have three lovely photos of some USB connectors, just in case I had never seen one before.
A useful bit of information, that one day you might need to know is that on the USB connector pin 1 is the power line, 2 and 3 are "signal" and 4 is ground.
"There are occasions when it's necessary to increase the number of physical USB connectors on a PC- use a hub"
"Modern PCs only have up to 2 USB connectors so if you add a 4 port hub you increase the number of ports by 3."
You'd think that he would end his torture here but no, he plowed right on into "Memory Cards"
Which to summarize his 3 sides of A4 lecture notes,
Memory cards come in 5 types,
  • xD - used by Fuji and the max size is " 128Mbyte" (he means 1Gb)
  • Memory Stick - made by Sony, available in 128Mb and 256Mb sizes (he means up to 4Gb)
  • Multi Media Card - available in 128, 256 and 512Mb sizes (or 2Gb)
  • Smart Media Memory - He actually gets it correct here, I can't find anything bigger than a 128Mb card for sale.
  • sD Card - Stands for Secure Digital and has a little write-protect switch, and available in up to 1Gb in size (or 4Gb)
(A quick thank you here to Flash Memory Store for providing me with latest card sizes)

All of the above specify many thousands of insertion cycles and can be used in digital cameras, digital camcorders, handheld PCs, digital audio players, smart phones, electronic toys, PDAs, pagers and sD even can be used in Rolands KN7000 keyboard.

This all took an hour to get through. And at the end he announced that this was just a brief introduction to memory cards, I would hate to see him go on at length about it.

Grrrrr. I think I might not be getting up on Thursday mornings any more.

On a slightly more humorous note, at the bottom of both sides of one of the biggest hills (read bridges) there is an advertisement for electric bicycles. Clever strategic adverting.
Lunch time

See ya


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