Matt Kohut

I haven’t forgotten my promise to write about 5th generation Owl Blade technology.  This topic is weighing on me this morning, so I'm going to go with it. I’m wondering if it is time for me to give up using a TrackPoint in favor of (gasp!) a touch pad.  Five years ago I would never have made such a heretical statement, but maybe it is time. One, I’m worried about carpal tunnel syndrome.  I don’t suffer from it, but I wonder if I’m headed down that road.  As of late I’ve noticed that sometimes at the end of a long day, I can feel one of my right arm’s tendons – not hurting mind you – but feel it.  I’ve taken extra steps to make sure I use good typing habits (not letting my wrists sag and all that), but in narrowing down the cause, I’ve noticed that it takes a LOT of force to move a TrackPoint.  It’s the tendon for my right index finger that I have been noticing at the end of a long day. For the uninitiated, there are two ways you can affect how your TrackPoint operates.  First, in mouse properties in Windows, you can adjust the pointer speed.  This is a global Windows setting that controls acceleration for any pointing device. The second way is TrackPoint specific.  Head on over to the UltraNav tab and adjust your sensitivity there.  I’ve cranked the sensitivity to eleven and hope that may solve my problem. My second...

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I have been alternately looking forward and dreading today’s announcements.  Even though I confirmed some specs about the ThinkPad T420s in this thread during the CES timeframe, I knew there would be considerable backlash about our final move to 16:9 displays.  I know many are unhappy, and over the years, we’ve been through this here.  I skipped the T410s, but I can’t wait for my T420s coming in a few weeks.  Look at some of the cool improvements that I like: Better battery life.  Your bay batteries from the T400s/T410s still work.  The Intel processor with onboard graphics has more performance and better battery life than before. Slightly lighter.  We are about .2 lbs. /.1 kg lighter, mostly from the move to a new display panel. New VoIP enhancements.  The camera has much better low light sensitivity with backlit sensor technology.  Instead of muting the microphone when you type, we actually filter out the keyboard noise. Dolby Certified Sound.  ThinkPad speakers have always underwhelmed me.  This will set a new standard for quality sound. UEFI.  We have two modes in “BIOS.”  Legacy and fast boot.  Choose fast boot unless you are in a corporate environment and you’ll see much faster startup/shutdown.  Sadly, for the dull...

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We may be able to slow it down, but we can never contain, control or comprehend it.  It’s the machines’ market now; we just trade in it.  -- Wired Magazine – Bull vs. Bear vs. Bot, Jan 2011 The above quote comes from January’s dead tree version of Wired Magazine in a multi-page featurette on the state of artificial intelligence.  While AI isn’t quite what the futurists of the 1960s imagined, we are completely dependent on it forevermore.  Using a comprehensive suite of sensors and algorithms, machines are using the scientific method to test the world around them and learning from their mistakes. These same principles can be used to make the perfect PC portfolio in time for Lenovo to debut at the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show. A lot of the foundation we need is already in place.  Intel heavily relies on computers to design its next generation of processors.  If PCs can design complex CPUs, something as “simple” as a notebook computer can’t be that out of reach.  All it takes is data. Lenovo sells a large number of notebook PCs, many of which have overlapping features and specs.  We get massive amounts of sales telemetry data from lenovo.com, our business partners, and our retail storefronts.  In addition, Lenovo gets lots of industry-specific data from amalgamators like International Data Corporation (IDC) which can slice and dice any number of ways by geography, product...

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Now is the time of year when many people write predictions for 2011.  Here are mine: USB 3.0– This is the year that USB 3.0 appears on many notebooks.  End users will shop for it, but no one will actually have anything useful to connect to the standard.  This will be a technology that is rather staid, but very useful.  It allows faster HDD storage, but no one has come up with the killer app for it. Light Peak– To steal one of my favorite lines of the year “Are you there God?  It’s me, Marketing.” Intel has been rather quiet on this technology for a while. Slates– This is an easy one to make because everyone is making the same prediction.  Supposedly there are 70 slates being announced at CES in January.  Most of them will be commercial failures with disappointing sales and widespread malaise and apathy from consumers.  Seventy is way too many, but this is a natural course evolution for any new product.  The bell curve for technology has shrunk.  We’ve moved from the pioneer stage to the early portion of mass adoption.  Look for some very cool products this year.  This is THE category to watch. Android– Hugely popular for the masses.  People will ask for it by name,...

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It has been a while since I have posted.  I’m sorry. I was cleaning up some old files yesterday and came across a lot of folders with last modified dates of August 19.  I realized that August 19 was the day I switched over to Windows 7.  One year later, I still love the operating system, but it is either time for a service pack or for me to reinstall or start fresh.  I think both are needed. It is not that Windows 7 isn’t running okay, but I have a bunch of little nits that have crept into my day to day usage.  This system isn’t suffering from Windows rot in the classical sense, but it is not daisy-fresh any longer either. Boot and reboot times have slowed somewhat.  Granted, I have added a screen calibration utility to my boot up sequence and Sun and Adobe are completely out of control with their respective resource-hogging, intrusive updating apps, so this problem is not entirely Microsoft’s.  Net, this system isn’t quite as spry on reboot. Windows 7 Libraries sorely need a service pack update.  I like the idea in theory, but the execution is flawed.  I need to rebuild my index about every month or so because my latest files don’t show up in my listing.  Windows constantly wants to refresh my view whenever I open My Pictures, making me wait.  Most maddeningly, no matter what I do, the Documents Library will not retain my view sorting parameters.  When I...

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