Mobile Computing
Chuck Horowitz

T’was the night before Christmas…. Actually, it was the morning of Christmas.

I came downstairs and checked under the tree, and to my surprise and delight there was a brand new notebook computer (no brand name, of course). I couldn’t wait to open the box and see if I had my dream machine.
It was a 21 inch notebook that was as light as a feather (figuratively speaking) and when I opened it up, it booted immediately. At first, I couldn’t tell what operating system it had, only that it was not Vista. Apparently it was something new that I had never seen or heard of before. It was not Linux, or any other operating system that I’m familiar with. The screen was crisp and everything could be seen clearly from any angle and in almost any light.
This wonder machine boasted 10 gigabytes of RAM (or something like RAM), a 2,500 gigabyte hard drive (I remember thinking that I couldn’t fill that much space in a lifetime lasting much longer than I have left. Then the reflection came to me that I had said the same thing many years ago about a 20 megabyte hard drive.
Whatever the CPU is in this machine, it blew away everything I have seen, or heard of. Everything happened at lightening speed. Working with multiple windows open was a pleasure. There was no hesitation on any command, they took effect immediately.
The graphics are awesome; it’s as if you’re looking through a window, and not on a computer screen. A gamer would be in seventh heaven. Pictures were clear and as sharp as the original print. Even video from external media were crisp and clear.
The sound was astounding, without any additional speakers, it felt as though you were in the middle of conversations and happenings in real time. Too bad I’m not a gamer; I’d really be in heaven.
Getting on the web was instantaneous. As quick as you can click on an icon, you are connected. There is no waiting for downloads, they are as fast as the site you are connected to can handle. Unfortunately, this machine can’t make up for the inefficiency of the internet or the sites you connect to. You will still get a menu of sites in your browser when you do a search that is loaded with completely unrelated links.
Built-in wireless networking is like going on a rocket trip. If there’s a network in range, you’re connected, and the range is many times larger than the current norm. No need to search for a network connection, this notebook does it all for you automatically.
I’m not sure what to call it but, there’s a drive that plays any DVD or CD that you put into it. I played a DVD-R, DVD-RW, a CD-R and a CD-RW, ±, without any problems. Copying to any of the media was also not a problem. You could copy or save to any drive including jump drives or media cards as easily as saving to the hard drive. You should have seen the way the Disney Blue Ray movies played. I could become a fan of these children’s movies watching them on this machine.
Of course, it had the normal array of USB (4), FireWire (2), and Ethernet ports. I didn’t mind that it did not have a serial or parallel port because I nave all the USB cables that convert to these connections.
Did I mention the integrated TV Tuner and Web Cam? I still can’t get used to watching TV on my computer. I haven’t found a use for the Web Cam as yet. I don’t want to do any live conference call just yet.
I love the voice recognition that’s integrated into everything on the computer. You can speak any command that can be typed, although, it will take a bit of getting used to. Some high tech scientific types may have a feel for this feature but, I’m still way behind on voice recognition. I could sure use it if it can recognize 100 percent of what I say. Maybe this machine does.
 As far as battery life goes, I’ve had the machine on for 16 hours without turning it off and there is no sign that the battery is going dead.
Wait a minute; I hear an alarm going off. Darn, it’s my alarm clock. Time to get up and go to work now. I guess it was all a dream. It was a great dream though, wasn’t it?
A very merry Christmas, and a happy New Year to you all. Be safe and happy.
Chuck Horowitz, a HAL-PC member, can be reached at for questions or comments.