The TR Podcast 19: Android is open, Microsoft is confusing, and the Tech Share has shipped!

Date: Oct 4, 2008

Time: 1:09:56

Hosted by Jordan Drake

Co-Hosts: Scott Wasson, Geoff Gasior, Cyril Kowaliski, Adam Eiberger

Listen now:
Download: MP3 (64.2MB) | M4A (53.8MB)

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Sponsored by TheJewelStore.com, your online source for unbeatable diamond, gemstone and wedding jewelry with expert personal service.

 

Show notes

This episode catches up on several major tech and TR-related topics. We start the show by introducing our marketing manager extraordinaire, Adam Eiberger. He talks about his work here at TR then teams up with Scott to cover the latest TR Tech Share news. If you haven’t been following TR’s latest philanthropic endeavors, you’ll enjoy hearing about the cool things we’re doing in Uganda! Continuing down the road of vocal tech reporting, our editors answer listener mail, talk about Google’s Android platform, discuss one of the latest case reviews, and more.

Send in listener mail, and we’ll answer on the podcast. – jdrake@techreport.com

Listener mail:

Fast mobile hard drives? (0:24:31) – from Chris:

“Two years ago I purchased a Dell D420 Latitude laptop. I love everything about it, except the super slow hard drive – it’s a 4200RPM ATA/100. 1.8” form factor. I’ve been told it’s the same type that goes into the iPods!

“I’ve been poking around for a new HDD online, however there is an apparent lack of 1.8″ drives. I can find a couple of Samsung 5400 RPM drives, but I can’t find anywhere to purchase them in Canada (where I live) or the U.S. A few 1.8” SSDs do exist, however they are way out of my price range (and I can only find them on ebay ripped from Mac Airs). So my question boils down to this:

“a) Given that I’m looking at ATA-100 drives, is the increase from 4200RPM to 5400RPM going to be noticeable for real day activities, such as boot times, etc?

“b) Do you guys have wind of any cheaper 1.8” ATA-100 SSDs coming to market? It seems that all the new drives are SATA or SATA2.

“c) Is the move SSD even worthwhile if one is using ATA-100?”

Tech discussion:

    The Tech Share bundle ships out (0:02:56)- Read more

    Our editors discuss Google Android (0:28:50)- Read more

    Phase 2 of Microsoft’s newest ad campaign commences? (0:36:55)- Read more

    Rosewill’s Conqueror enclosure (0:57:29)- Read more

That’s all, folks! Check back on October 11 for the next TR podcast.

Comments closed
    • marvelous
    • 12 years ago

    I don’t get how Scott says how the reloaded isn’t overclocked. Just because the card is warranted under a 3rd party doesn’t mean it’s not overclocked. Let’s say I’m a computer reseller and started overclocking intel CPU’s to 4.0ghz and sold them and gave it warranty. Doesn’t mean the system isn’t overclocked.

    Why didn’t Scott use higher clocked 4870 in the review when he used higher clocked GTX 260 216?

    §[<http://forums.anandtech.com/messageview.aspx?catid=31&threadid=2235970&enterthread=y<]§ Here's another 8 page worth of comments about the review.

    • steelcity_ballin
    • 12 years ago

    Who blows their nose at 27:11 😀 I’m the official TR podcast Easter egg hunter.

    • Pax-UX
    • 12 years ago

    I really liked the first series of ads, what was interesting was the fact they didn’t go straight into Vista feel the wow crap. I’ve always liked Bill Gates; we wouldn’t have the PC without him and Microsoft’s cutthroat business practices which were downright shameless. But now Microsoft are becoming irrelevant, when Web 3.0 hits they’ll only be one of many players. By that I mean truly portable computing through handheld devices iPhone / android / smartphones are like a phase 1. Then into devices with foldable or rollable plastic screens to help increase display size, still down the road but by no means far future stuff anymore.

    It’s true that MS have gotten people talking about them again, as it’s been all Apple & Google for a longtime now and rightly so they’re actually doing the relevant stuff. Yet the topic of the MS conversation is about Advertisement and not why Vista is the Way. For the vast majority (i.e. not overly tech literate) people the most important things are style and social prestige. Where’s this for MS? The OS is not something that’s seen as sexy, but a shiny laptop or slim-line touch screen device are.

    Microsoft is becoming anachronism, I can’t even remember the last relevant application they’ve written for the PC, .NET maybe; and what’s up with their Flash clone??? Currently only Video Editing (NLE) software & computer games keep me running on a Windows platform. But now the games industry’s publishers are turning me off Window’s gaming with crazy DRM to the point where using a console is less hassle, as I know I can sell on my games or lend them to a friend. I like conspiracy and believe they have more to gain from a console only gaming world. MMOs are currently the only game genera exclusive to the PC. The Windows PC could become like the old Apple Macintosh, used by businesses because it has some niche applications (Office / Exchange / Sharepoint), while the general public go with something else. Things like MS-Office & Exchange have alternatives but people still aren’t migrating in large numbers, yet. I like Open Office but it’s got some rough edges.

    So to sum up that last paragraph, Windows as an OS is becoming irrelevant because the OS is becoming irrelevant, there, I’ve said it. Not sure of the buzz words, something like Service Ordinate Applications. The OS is becoming akin to a giant BIOS, it needs to be augmented with relevant applications and most of these application are cross platform or web based. Microsoft owned ones most relevant are IE/Outlook Exchange, Live Messenger and Hotmail. But take Apple, it’s just as capable as Windows + it’s got a number halo products, iPhone, iTunes (Music + App Store) and iPod. Linux is good to some extent, but doesn’t have iTunes which is important for iPhone & iTouch, but Android seems like a viable alternative in the future.

    Microsoft could become irrelevant outside of the business world. That’s doesn’t mean it can’t be very still successfully, just look at IBM.

    • A_Pickle
    • 12 years ago

    As far as the iPhone and it’s superiority goes… I’ll give it this: It was a pretty revolutionary product. The industry was shaken by it, and that was a few years ago. Nowadays, I think it boils down to platform and personal preference, a lot of phone makers HAVE responded with some pretty competent solutions. I recall Scott saying something in a previous podcast that Sprint offered him the Samsung Instinct when he mentioned the iPhone, and how he felt like the iPhone was a really space-age, almost super-alien technology compared to them.

    In part, I agree. I think the Samsung Instinct, the LG Envy, the LG Dare, and all of the other stupidly-named “smartphones” are largely undeserving of the term, and they do indeed pale in comparison to the iPhone.

    BUT.

    I am compelled to mention that none of those phones run a standard smartphone platform, or even feature basic smartphone features — like desktop sync, etc. When comparing the iPhone to Windows Mobile, Blackberry, or now Android devices… the distinction isn’t quite so clear — and I think that these devices are largely the calm before the storm. The HTC Touch series devices are going to be coming out soon, and those will offer a very nice mix of features and design that, frankly, will strongly challenge the iPhone.

      • jobodaho
      • 12 years ago

      But to me, I think that it is crazy that it takes companies so long to just “compete” with Apple products (ipod, iphone, etc.). I don’t own a single Apple product, so don’t try and accuse me of being a fanboy of any type, but I am soon going to be considering a new phone/service provider and will really be interested in what will be available in the near future.

        • sigher
        • 12 years ago

        Yeah it reminds me of the ‘fatal1ty’ thing, why would you need a gamer to tell you what features a system should have? Is there nobody in those companies who can figure that out themselves? Same weirdness, why does apple have to come and make a mould? Surely almost ANY halfway intelligent person can figure out what makes a good experience, they use phones themselves all day for christ sake, why are there seemingly so few people of the 6.8 billion that can put 1 and 1 together?
        Not that apple doesn’t bizarrely drops the ball too of course on a regular basis, but at least they drop their ball and don’t mimic dropping balls I guess.

      • FireGryphon
      • 12 years ago

      If the iPhone could use an analog network, it would be the perfect smartphone. As it stands, my friends with original iPhone and iPhone 3Gs have trouble getting reception even in parts of New York City, and I find that unacceptable. That’s why I’ll be watching these new smartphones rather closely. Maybe the new ones won’t get analog service, but there’s got to be something better than what the iPhone gets.

      But then, I’m spoiled after being able to make calls from remote deserts and mountaintops on my regular ol’ phone that dials in to Verizon’s analog network.

      I don’t want to trade usability for features, or visa versa. Let’s see what the next gen brings.

    • FireGryphon
    • 12 years ago

    The file size is supposedly 76.3 MB, but I’ve just tried downloading it twice (right-click, save-as in FF3) and both times it said, “xxx of 64.2 MB”. Is there an error with the download?

      • Cyril
      • 12 years ago

      Looks like the correct file size is 64.2MB. I’ve updated the article to reflect that.

      • glynor
      • 12 years ago

      Publishing a MD5 hash could help a bit, until you get the distribution problems sorted out.

      Hmmm… I wonder if the problems happen more frequently right after the podcast comes out (when server load would be the most intense).

      Either way, I thought I’d mention that I haven’t yet had a single “broken” podcast download from you, so it certainly isn’t everyone. I don’t use iTunes for podcasts though (I use J. River MC), so perhaps that has something to do with it as well.

    • Prototyped
    • 12 years ago

    Re the 1.8″ mobile hard drives: Unlike 3.5″ desktop drives or 2.5″ mobile hard disks, the 1.8″ drives are seek limited (as opposed to limited by rotational latency). Even the 5400 rpm drives in that form factor have high seek times (14 ms [1], and the rotational latency is in addition to this), and these are similar to the 4200 rpm drives’ seek times, 15 ms or so [2]. As such, the <2 ms difference in rotational latency won’t make nearly enough of a difference to improve the responsiveness substantially when you’re talking 8.3 ms (firmware latency) + 14 ms (seek time) + 5.6 ms (rotational latency) = 27.9 ms for the 5400 rpm drive as opposed to 8.3 ms + 15 ms (seek time) + 7.1 ms (rotational latency) = 30.4 ms. You’re kind of stuck with that form factor unless you opt for an SSD.

    The difference is more significant for 2.5″ drives whose seek times are down in the 12 ms range (and firmware latencies are also lower), and even more significant for the 3.5″ desktop drives with even lower average seek times (9 ms), with higher rotational speeds (7200 rpm).

    [1] §[<http://www.samsung.com/global/business/hdd/productmodel.do?group=72&type=60&subtype=68&model_cd=398&ppmi=1160#<]§ [2] §[<http://www.samsung.com/global/business/hdd/productmodel.do?group=72&type=60&subtype=68&model_cd=317&ppmi=1160#<]§ And regarding /[http://gizmodo.com/5058862/voodoopc-will-survive-but-confirms-integration-into-hp<]§

      • redavni
      • 12 years ago

      Wow 8.3ms firmware latency. What causes it to be that high? When you say firmware, are you talking about just the HD or the HD controller as well? I googled a bit and didn’t find anything. I’m not doubting you, just seems real high.

        • Prototyped
        • 12 years ago

        It’s the latency on the controller embedded into the drive itself, as per Samsung’s spec sheet on the SpinPoint N1c.

      • adisor19
      • 12 years ago

      That’s why running a laptop like the Air on a 1.8″ drive is pure torture. It is imperative that flash drives completely replace hard drives in the 1.8″ segment.

      Adi

        • ssidbroadcast
        • 12 years ago

        q[

          • adisor19
          • 12 years ago

          I don’t quite see the point of your attack..

          Adi

            • FireGryphon
            • 12 years ago

            There’s no point, it’s just funny to mock Mac users. 😉

    • srg86
    • 12 years ago

    This podcast is always a pain to download, this is the second one in a row in which my first attempt at downloading it has just stalled.

      • DrDillyBar
      • 12 years ago

      Just get the MP3. Flawlessly easy.

    • RandomNull
    • 12 years ago

    I decided to try the podcast out again hoping this time it was better than the first one but was curious as to why the podcast is nearly 80MB

    Most the other podcasts I listen to are ~4-5MB for 25mins, is there really a need to have the filesize so large? I can’t imagine you need a high bitrate when it’s just talk..

      • sigher
      • 12 years ago

      True, but better too much quality than too little eh.

    • _Sigma
    • 12 years ago

    Sweet, thanks for answering my question guys! Really helps…Now I just have to find those harddrives in Canada!

    • ssidbroadcast
    • 12 years ago

    Regarding MS ads:

    Since no one else said it, I will: Cyril needs to wakeup. Occam’s Razor; the simplest solution is often the correct. In other words, people probably over-estimate what goes on behind closed doors in Microsoft’s marketing meetings. The guys planning Microsoft’s ads are probably scared talentless professionals who are willing to drop something that didn’t work and try something else that doesn’t work.

    Scott and Jordan–although maybe it’s just Jordan’s predisposition towards Apple–seem to have properly functioning BS-detector’s and I’m glad that someone agrees that the “I’m a PC” ads are total non sequiter to the Gates/Seinfeld ads in which towards the end of each Bill “hints” that something major is coming along. It just doesn’t pass the smell test.

    Cyril is a smart guy, so I just think it’s troubling that his judgment could be so clouded.

      • adisor19
      • 12 years ago

      I second that entire post. There is no way in hell the second “part” is a logical follow up to the first 2 ads. Someone somewhere decided it was time for the backup plan. Sadly enough this was NOT the kinda of backup plan that you’d think it was soooo good as to make it the main plan.

      Adi

      • Pax-UX
      • 12 years ago

      doh! wrong place, this can be deleted.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 12 years ago

      I actually kinda like the “I’m a PC” ads. They don’t tell you anything, but they feel good. Meh.

        • sigher
        • 12 years ago

        You know that “I’m a PC” ad says to me ‘anybody can be bought’ more than anything else, and I find it odd that people are so wide-eyed that they only see the intended message and don’t have the savvy to unavoidably see that all these people in the video don’t spontaneously or from their own mind say “I’m a PC” but are just saying whatever the guy paying asks them to say, and once realising that get the same message as I get from it.
        No wonder the world is full of the kind of people running things that are running things, and wars can be started by using the thinnest of lies and people can be screwed out of their freedom and money and houses left and right.

    • DrDillyBar
    • 12 years ago

    Early. w00t.

    Edit: the wiki page fits Perfectly on a maxed IE 16.10. Needs more. 🙂

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