Bad Capacitors

A few weeks ago, one of my work PC’s decided to just died on me. It was able to reboot but crashed late in the boot process. Eventually it turned out that one of the video cards (NVIDIA Geforce4 MX4000) went bad. Pulled the card and I just threw it on a shelf. The other day I looked at it and noticed 4 of the 5 capacitors on it actually vented. I took a few quick pictures of the carnage. You’ll likely want to go to the real high resolution pics to see the detail.

The alarming thing about this is that capacitors are found in a very widespread range of products. That’s why backups are important when you have critical systems.


Apple Needs a 15″ Version Of The 17″ MacBook Pro

Dear Apple,

Your MacBook Pro lineup is just downright annoying. Your 17″ model (MB604LL/A) is absolutely awesome with it’s optional matte display which any sane person prefers over its eye torturing glossy cousin. The ability to add up to 8GB RAM is also far superior to the 4GB cap on the 15″ model. This thing rocks.

Your 15″ model (MB471LL/A) however has the advantage of a smaller form factor and lower cost due to 2″ less LCD one must pay for. The removable battery is just another plus. For whatever reason, despite the fact that NVIDIA says the chipset will support 8GB, these laptops only support up to 4GB. Why? There’s also no option for a matte display. Insanity.

From what I understand the 17″ uses the same NVIDIA 9400 chipset as the 15″ making this more of a software limitation than a hardware one. I personally wouldn’t ship it with any more than 4GB RAM, but I sure would like the option to upgrade it later.

I want a 64 bit, 15″ laptop with a matte display whose manufacturer states that it is tested and known to work well with 8GB RAM.

As for the lack of a matte display option, that’s just totally not cool. While some people don’t care, others like myself are quite particular with our hardware especially the part that we stare at endlessly for hours.

Your favorite customer,

P.S: Push notification for the iPhone would be a spiffy too.

Hardware In The News

What does AMD the ATI deal mean for mobile computing?

There are not to many out there who think AMD is serious about mobile computing (laptops mainly). AMD still hasn’t figured out how to keep performance, thermal, and power management all under control, giving Intel a somewhat strong lead in that market. It seems most Intel laptops have been using ATI graphics chipsets, since they are relatively low power, and in general very compatible.

So now that AMD is buying ATI, and Intel cuts ties with ATI, where does that leave mobile computing? Are we going to see all Intel Integrated systems? Or Intel/Nvidia?

I have this feeling it’s going to get messy before things stabilize. I just hope we don’t have to see a generation of pathetic laptops before things rebound.