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Self-Managing Drive Reordering
DroboPro and its underlying BeyondRAID technology currently support the Windows, Mac and Linux¹ platforms, with file system support for NTFS, HFS Plus, EXT3 and FAT32. Since DroboPro is a block level system, it easily adapts to almost any environment.
Grow storage in line with data capacity needs with minimal effort. To add capacity, customers can simply insert a new hard disk or replace the smallest disk with a larger one, even when all eight disk bays are full. Unlike traditional RAID systems, the BeyondRAID technology enables IT managers to efficiently mix n’ match disk brands, capacities and speeds. This allows for continuous expansion as disk capacities grow. Now, expansion is automatic, instantaneous and access to data is always maintained.
To find out exactly how much free capacity you’ll have with your choice of disk capacities, try out our interactive Capacity Calculator.
The time it takes DroboPro to rebuild data after a drive failure or removal is proportional to the amount of data stored in the pool—meaning the less capacity that is used, even on a 2TB disk, the shorter your rebuild times will be. This is superior to traditional RAID, which lacks proportional rebuild times, and is forced relay out every bit even if it does not contain user data.
Since DroboPro is “Data Aware”, it tracks where data is on each disk, so it can differentiate between used and unused portions of disk. This expedites rebuild times and reduces your risk of losing data to an additional disk failure. In short, your data is safer on a Drobo.
Create new volumes in seconds and manage up to 16 x 16TB volumes over time with ease. The innovative and timesaving Smart Volume management technology integrated into DroboPro allows volumes to pull storage from the common pool of disks rather than a specific physical disk allocation. The labor of resizing and migrating volumes is replaced with the simplicity of intelligent engineering. And increasing the available pool of storage on DroboPro is as simple adding or upsizing drives.²
BeyondRAID was designed from the ground up to allow the storage capacity of the array to expand and contract. BeyondRAID makes this a simple process by utilizing a technology called “virtualization.” Virtualization provides a layer of abstraction between the data requested by the file system and the physical location of that data on the disk drives. A given piece of data can be located on any drive, and on any physical location on that drive. This is what makes adding a drive to a Drobo so simple. The new drive just provides additional places to store data.
Virtualization is what enables BeyondRAID to effortlessly change the data arrangement on the drives, for example, changing data stored as a mirror into data stored as parity stripe, say, without interrupting the user access to data. Virtualization completely decouples the physical space available in the array from the space reported to the operating system. This is how BeyondRAID is able to remove the need to manually expand/contract the file system as more space becomes available or is removed.
Thin Provisioning is a technical term that describes how the BeyondRAID technology communicates with your operating system. BeyondRAID communicates with your OS about how much disk space you have, up to 16TB per volume (this varies with older operating and file systems). Specifying a larger amount of storage than is physically available allows you to grow into the volume without having to reformat or migrate your data in order to add capacity. BeyondRAID automatically also reclaims space as you delete files.
DroboPro is storage that manages itself. There are no complex configuration screens, DIP switches, confounding choices, web consoles or other complications that prevent so many other storage devices from working out of the box.
One long-standing requirement inherent in traditional RAID-based systems was that if for some reason you needed to remove the drives, you’d have to replace the drives in the exact same order. When you remove your disks from DroboPro, you can put them back in any order you like.
² The creation of multiple Smart Volumes will be supported through Drobo Dashboard v1.5.0.
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Lenovo has announced that eight of its ThinkPad notebooks have passed military-standards for ruggedization, making them not only resistant to pressure, humidity, temperature, dust and vibration, but to a greater extent than some “mil-spec” rivals. The ThinkPad X200, X301, X200s, X200 Tablet, T400, T500, R400 and SL300 all passed durability tests despite not being specifically marketed as ruggedized models.
Lenovo are crediting their Active Protection System (which parks the hard-drive automatically if the laptop drops), roll-cage, shock-mounted hard-drive and spill-resistant keyboard for the successes. The tests covered:
Vibration (operational and non-operational) – Jostles and jolts the laptops to make sure they can withstand shocks
To coincide with the testing results, Lenovo are adding a high brightness, wide angle screen option to the ThinkPad T400 range, making it four-times brighter than previous displays and, thanks to an anti-glare coating, usable in direct-sunlight. The Lenovo ThinkPad T400 range starts at $1,350.
Lenovo Puts ThinkPad Laptops to the “Tough Test”: Meets Military Specs for Semi-Rugged Computing
RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC – February 24, 2009: Lenovo today announced that it is designating eight ThinkPad laptops for use in field and vehicle semi-ruggedized computing environments such as in public safety, utilities, construction and the military. The ThinkPad X200, X301, X200s, X200 Tablet, T400, T500, R400 and SL300 laptops meet a barrage of military specifications tests and are enhanced with specially-designed durability features such as an air-bag like protection system and a roll cage in select models. Because field computing requires excellent screen viewability, Lenovo is also adding a new optional 680-nit high brightness panel to its most popular laptop, the ThinkPad T400 laptop.
“ThinkPad is well known for quality, reliability and innovative security technologies for business computing,” said Tom Ribble, executive director, Worldwide ThinkPad Product Marketing, Lenovo. “The truth is we’ve always built tough laptops that can weather extreme conditions from hiking the rainforests of the Amazon to flying in space. You don’t need a PC that looks like a tank to excel in harsh environments, and unlike many of our competitors, we don’t put an extra charge on toughness.”
Optimized for Outdoors
As the adoption of laptops increases and connectivity options continue to expand, users are spending more and more computing time outdoors. That makes screen visibility extremely important. For a crisp and easily readable experience, Lenovo is equipping the ThinkPad T400 laptop with an optional high brightness, wide angle screen, making it nearly four times brighter than previous ThinkPad laptop screens. The high contrast screen eliminates reflections with its anti-glare finish. And by using energy-efficient LED technology, the laptop maintains long battery life.
Police Departments like the Conover Police Department in North Carolina are using ThinkPad laptops to turn their patrol cars into mobile offices. Reduced time spent at the station writing reports gives officers extra time on patrol to protect their community. Officers are using ThinkPad T Series laptops to write and print incident reports, issue tickets and conduct criminal background checks from their cars. For IT Director, Chris Niver, Lenovo’s engineering made ThinkPad laptops the easy choice.
Military Spec Tested Against the Elements
Baked, battered, blistered and blown with sand, Lenovo put the lineup of eight ThinkPad laptops through the gauntlet to pass a significant number of specifications for military-grade computing.
The ThinkPad laptops met tests for:
Low Pressure – Tests operation at 15,000 feet
Humidity – Cycles 95 percent humidity through the environment
Vibration (operational and non-operational) – Jostles and jolts the laptops to make sure they can withstand shocks
High Temperature – Simulates high heat conditions by baking the laptop up to 140 degrees
Low Temperature – Tests operation at minus 4 degrees
Temperature Shock – Fluctuates between minus 4 and up to 140 degrees to test operation
Dust – Blows dust for an extended amount of time
The tests confirm the durability and reliability that many customers already rely on to battle the elements. Geophysicist, explorer and expedition leader Pasquale Scaturro travels to the far reaches of the planet with his ThinkPad laptop.
“For over 180 days a year I can be found on the road traveling with my with my ThinkPad laptop -sweltering in the hot jungle terrain and surviving frigid arctic and mountain blasts, said Pasquale Scaturro, Exploration Specialists, Inc. “From bugs and humidity, to sand and dust, heat and cold, my ThinkPad laptop has been exposed to them all. I’ve logged more miles on my ThinkPad in the roughest and most extreme environments in the world than perhaps any person alive. From the heights of Mount Everest to the full length of the Nile, the world’s longest river, it’s been with me. The Active Protection System is a must in the rough environments I’ve taken this laptop into. Besides using my ThinkPad to help me navigate in my airplane when I’m flying in the African bush (it’s my real co-pilot) and send Internet dispatches to my website from Mt Everest, I depend on it to keep my geophysical business and my personal connections going. It’s withstood every imaginable environment on Earth and is still performing without missing a beat.”
Built Upon a Strong Foundation for Low Total Cost of Ownership
Lenovo engineers extra durability and reliability features into its ThinkPad laptops to help them survive all-weather conditions, lasting longer and outperforming competitors and leading to a low total cost of PC ownership.
Lenovo durability features include the:
Active Protection System – Temporarily parks the hard drive when the laptop detects a fall or sudden movement via an air-bag like system
Roll Cage – Serves as a protective frame around the internal components where the data resides and processing takes place with an extra top cover roll cage on the ThinkPad X301 laptop
Shock Mounted Hard Drive – Offers extra protection around the hard drive to protect data
Spill Resistant Keyboard – Withstands spills of up to two fluid ounces on select laptops allowing liquid to drain beneath the keyboard
In case of the unexpected, Lenovo offers Warranty and Accident Protection plans to help customers protect their PC investment. Lenovo also offers ThinkPlus Priority Support to give businesses around the clock technical telephone support, priority routing of calls and quick onsite repair. For an even faster response, ThinkPlus Priority 4 Support provides onsite repair within four hours after the original troubleshooting. Online Data Backup services are also available.
Built upon a strong foundation, Lenovo’s laptops offer the latest technologies with models including solid state drive storage for reliability, switchable graphics for longer battery life and the latest Intel® Centrino 2 processor technology for fast processing. They also come with choices of large hard drives, multimedia like Blu-Ray DVD players and a host of wireless connectivity options including WiMAX, mobile broadband, WiFi, Bluetooth and GPS. Lenovo has also collaborated with AT&T and Ericsson for price reductions on ThinkPad laptop AT&T mobile broadband connectivity. Additionally, the ThinkPad X200 Tablet is the first Tablet to offer WiMAX connectivity.
Pricing and Availability1
The ThinkPad T400 laptop with the high brightness screen is available through Lenovo business partners beginning immediately. Pricing starts at approximately $1,350.
Greening your business has short-term effects that will save you money, let employees breathe better, and maybe even help land you a few more customers. These tips, sites, and kits can help your business go green for 2012.
2. Make Fuel Economy a Priority
Whether you have one company car or a fleet of delivery vehicles, make fuel efficiency a priority. You don’t have to buy a hybrid or a diesel car; the Department of Energy displays the most fuel-efficient vehicles in the country in each category on its website. And consider hooking employees up with memberships to by-the-hour car-sharing services such as Zipcar, which offers hybrids.
3. Install a Living Wall
No, a living wall doesn’t pulsate with chthonic forces and demand to be fed with brains. It’s loaded up with plants that help clean up your indoor air quality, and they don’t have to cost a fortune. Home or small office versions can be found here starting at $450.00. If you’d rather not have a wall of plants, look at buying a few more plants to spread around the office to help you and your employees breathe easier. NASA-backed research shows that greenery removes toxic chemicals, including those found within computers and printers, from the air. The most potent air-cleaning plants include the low-maintenance peace lily and English ivy.
Before you make any purchases, particularly for high-volume items, look at the packaging and materials that go into the product. While everything you buy can’t be 100-percent organic or packaging-free, choose a product that’s a bit more eco-friendly than its competition. The nonprofit EPEAT ratings mark laptops and desktops that conserve more energy and use fewer toxic materials than others. The quarterly Greenpeace Guide to Greener Electronics ranks the best practices of big tech brands. Consider undertaking a life cycle assessment for your own products or services to determine where you can make improvements.
If you print brochures or other marketing collateral, try to go as green as you can with your printing choices. Check out these five green printing tools. If you need a third-party to print materials, chúng tôi makes a commitment to the environment.
Many tools allow employees to work from anywhere, and employers enjoy bottom-line benefits to telecommuting policies. GoToMeeting, Skype, Google+ Hangouts, and many other technologies let you meet with employees on the fly even if they are working in their slippers at home. The savings alone for in-person meetings where employees need to fly to a destination is 1600 kilograms of carbon emissions, according to the World Wildlife Fund. That’s not to mention savings for your travel budget.
7. Power Off Everything at Night
If you want to turn all of your office equipment and lights off at the same time, you can do it with an INSTEON system. Put the on/off switch beside the office door to rest assured that lights, printers, and other items aren’t silently sucking money out of your bottom line every night. Don’t put computers on this kind of system; follow the next tip instead. It’s also worth investing in smarter power strips that reduce the standby power drained by gadgets that aren’t in use. Belkin has a number of easy-to-use gizmos to help control the power demands of everday equipment.
Every computer can be run in power-saving mode. In Windows 7, go into your control panel, and then choose Power Options and Power Saver, except where you really need your computer to run at peak performance. Your graphic designer, for example, may not want to run her computer on Power Saver mode. And if she’s rocking an Apple, check out built-in power saving features for OS X.
–Elsa Wenzel contributed to this story.
Angela West dreams of opening a Fallout-themed pub featuring wait staff with Pip-Boys. She’s written for big insurance companies, small wildlife control businesses, gourmet food chains, and more. Follow her on Twitter at @angelawest and Facebook.
Acer Aspire RevoView 1080p media streamer packs HDD bay
Acer has injected some of their nettop DNA into a new network-capable media player, the Acer Aspire RevoView. The STB is capable of Full HD playback from local storage – either on memory card, USB drive or in the user-accesible 3.5-inch hard-drive bay – or streamed over the network via the RevoView’s ethernet port.
Ports include two full-sized USB 2.0, HDMI, 10/100 ethernet, S/PDIF optical digital, component and composite, along with a miniUSB port for hooking the RevoView up to a PC and treating it as an external hard-drive. There’s also a multi-format memory card reader on the front.
Up to 2TB drives can be installed inside, and the RevoView will work with UPnP/DLNA streaming sources. The compatible file types and codecs includes MKV, MP4, H.264 and ISO – there’s a full list in the gallery below – and the STB itself is expected to go on sale in the UK on November 8 for £119.99 ($194).
Acer Aspire RevoView – the best TV companion
London, 3rd November 2010 – The new Aspire RevoView is an HD DLNA certified media player that can playback media content from all DLNA certified devices that helps you share and enjoy your digital media. Featuring network capability and Full HD 1080p playback, it makes watching digital content on a high-definition TV easy and intuitive. There is no need of complex devices settings, burning DVDs or connecting a computer to the TV: Aspire RevoView connects directly to your TV via an HDMI port, plus it seamlessly integrates with your surround speaker system for an immersive entertainment experience.
Four easy steps are all you need to enjoy digital content on your TV with the Acer Aspire RevoView:
1. Save your created or downloaded content to an USB storage device or memory card
2. Plug USB device into the Aspire RevoView or insert memory card in the slot
3. Connect the Aspire RevoView to your TV
4. You are ready to enjoy your HD content on TV!
It can get even easier than that. The Aspire RevoView can be equipped with an internal swappable 3.5″ HDD for seamless media exchange. The HDD tray can be shared with the 2010 Aspire M Series desktop PCs, allowing you to easily share and enjoy your downloaded or created content. The RevoView really bridges the gap between the computer and entertainment world.
There’s no end to the fun thanks to the extensive digital media support: the Aspire RevoView makes it easy for everyone to store, play and share their media with no concern for compatibility.
A user friendly interface brings together all available media, permitting to effortlessly navigate through music, video and photo collections. Content can be displayed by folder, list or thumbnails and it can be sorted either alphabetically or by date. Plus, you can playback content from USB connected mass storage and memory cards as well as optical disks.
For seamless operation, the Aspire RevoView comes with an handy 26 keys remote control permitting to easily work media playback functions from afar and to swiftly navigate through the user friendly media center. What’s more, main functions, such as videos, photos and music are quickly accessible through dedicated hotkeys.
Aspire RevoView can also be used as an USB external hard drive where you can store your growing digital libraries and can be used as a back-up drive. A fully featured media player, Aspire RevoView combines high storage capacity, a compact design and seamless playback functionalities.
The Aspire RevoView will be available from the 8th November with RRP starting at £119.99 inc Vat.
Why is Apple switching to HEVC and HEIF?
For the past few years, camera videos on iOS have been using h.264 video compression and camera photos have been regulated to JPG. As the camera improves every year, and storage capacity needs increase, and Apple pushed towards a solution with compression and quality in mind.
It should be noted that neither of these new camera formats were originally built by Apple. HEIF is a relatively new system with technical specifications having been finalized in 2023, and HEVC being around for about as long. Apple is adopting HEVC and HEIF to tap into their strengths on their own systems.
By bringing in these new camera formats, Apple can continue to improve photo and video quality, while needing nearly half of the storage. That means savings not only in photos and videos taken in the camera app, but bandwidth from live streaming services too.
By making the move to High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) and High Efficiency Image File Format (HEIF), Apple is getting ready for the future of media consumption and creation.What does that mean for me?
Basically, you’ll save 50% on storage when taking photos and videos using the iOS 11 camera app.
If you’re currently running iOS 11 beta 1, you can verify this by switching between the High Efficiency and Most Compatible formats under iOS Settings → Camera → Formats. Under the High Efficiency format, images will be saved as HEIC and movies as an HEVC .mov file. Under Most Compatible, images will be saved as JPGs and movies as an h.264 .mov file.
In testing I went out at night and took a photo and video of the New York City skyline. The outputted JPG image weighed in at 2 MB, while the HEIC image came in at 1.2 MB. Similarly, the h.264 encoded video was 61.2 MB, while the h.265 (HEVC) video was 33 MB.
Full resolution images are available here.
Outside of the camera, Apple has already begun encoding videos as HEVC in another iOS app: FaceTime. Starting back with the iPhone 6, HEVC was the format of choice in iOS video calls. By applying HEVC to the video conversations, Apple saved on bandwidth and data. This meant clearer and cleaner videos even when suffering from poor internet connectivity. In Apple’s WWDC 2023 High Efficiency Image File Format session, they showed just how HEVC’s deblocking filter can improve an image’s appearance.
This is only the beginning for the new formats. In the WWDC sessions this year, Apple explained that developers should begin building in HEIF and HEVC support in their applications today. Of course, the question of compatibility arises. Not all services, apps, and hardware support the new formats, so Apple shares some ideas on accounting for that.
Apple explains that to use these new camera formats, iOS devices will need to have at least an A9 chip.
On stage this year Apple made it clear it’s going all in on HEVC and paving the way for HDR. To support HDR10, a device would need to play content from an HEVC video and have support for 10-bit graphics. It just so happens that Apple announced that the new iPad Pro supports HDR video and that the new iMac will support 10-bit graphics. Dan Rayburn of Streaming Media, predicts that Apple might even “re-encode their entire library including SD and HD videos,” which would result in smaller files when streaming or downloading to your Apple TV or iOS device.
iOS 11 is currently in developer beta, with a public preview expected for later this month.
You can watch the full developer talk Introducing HEIF and HEVC at WWDC 2023 below:
Update 06/08/2023 3:03 PM PT: Clarified that HEVC was already being used on FaceTime, beginning with the iPhone 6.
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Let’s just say it: For the vast majority of computer shoppers, buying a Windows PC doesn’t quite qualify as a decision. Around nine out of ten computers run one version of Windows or another, making it the world’s default option in operating systems. It’s opting for something else, like a Mac, that always represents a conscious choice.
Here’s my list of the eight most compelling reasons to buy a computer whose operating system hails from Redmond. I’ve ranked them in order of importance as I see it. But as always with anything relating to technology, your priorities are almost certainly at least somewhat different than mine.1. Variety is the spice of computing.
You can buy a portable Windows computer that weighs a pound and slips in your pocket. Or one with a spectacular 18.4-inch display that stretches the definition of “portable.” Some Windows computers are lean and mean; others are loaded with features. There are ones for hardcore gamers, for fashionistas, and for people who hate to type. In short, you can almost certainly find a Windows PC aimed at you–and usually a bunch of them competing for your dollars. By contrast, Apple has a grand total of nine different Mac models, none of which cater to specialized audiences.2. The cost of admission is lower.
From the spin in recent Microsoft marketing, you’d think that Windows computers are inherently thrifty, and that Mac fans pay a punitive “Apple Tax.” Not true–the priciest Windows boxes will put a bigger dent in your credit-card bill than comparable Macs. What is entirely accurate–and valuable–is that the Windows world offers plenty of PCs at every price point, including the low ones that Apple ignores as a matter of principle. The cheapest Mac laptop, for instance, costs $999; chúng tôi offers 78 Windows notebooks that cost less than that.3. Windows PCs have worthwhile features that Macs don’t.
Apple has popularized more important hardware innovations than any other company, from the mouse to Wi-Fi. At the moment, though, it steers clear of multiple useful features that its Windows-based rivals have embraced. With Windows systems, for instance, built-in memory-card readers are standard, and HDMI connectors for easy HDTV hookups are becoming so. Wireless broadband, built-in TV tuners, and Blu-ray are all reasonably affordable options. In Macland, you can get some of those features only through third-party add-ons. And others you simply must do without.4. The more software the merrier.
If you want to perform a task that computers are capable of helping you perform–from keeping track of your watch collection to managing a pet store–a Windows application will help you do it. Usually several of ’em, including ones that cost little or no money in many cases. That’s because most companies and individuals that write software choose to do so for the platform that offers them far more potential customers than any other. Third-party Mac programs are often terrific, but there are simply fewer of them, especially in exotic categories.5. Windows users get preferential treatment. 6. You get the chance to do it yourself.
No computer is more perfectly tailored to your needs than one you assemble from scratch using hand-picked components. Building a handcrafted Windows machine is so simple that plenty of people wouldn’t dream of settling for a store-bought computer. But while home-made OS X systems exist, they’re closer to being science-fair projects than a viable alternative to buying a real Mac manufactured by Apple.7. Who says Macs have more fun? 8. Windows-only corners of the Web remain.
I seethe a little just thinking about it, but some Web sites still work properly only in Internet Explorer. Take, for instance, the one belonging to my health-insurance administrator, which shall remain nameless–it’s so archaic that it still has a “Download Internet Explorer 6.0 Now!” button on its home page. And even Intuit, which sells Mac versions of QuickBooks and TurboTax, hasn’t gotten around to making QuickBooks Online run on anything other than Windows. As ridiculous as it all is, there are times when I’m glad–or at least relieved–that I’m able to fire up a Windows PC to get to a site that doesn’t seem to want the business of Mac users.
Harry McCracken, the former editor of PC World, now blogs at Technologizer .
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