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April 18, 2009

I’m not exactly sure if I should have posted yesterday since we didn’t have class – not a whole lot to report, just some more progress on the desk and environment for the bank project. I thought I’d post a quick roundup and summary of some designs I think are a load of crap that I’ve found on the internet. I know some people’s opinions will be different regarding these, but hey, thats what makes it an opinion.

First, the IF-battery. I suppose I should start with the fact that they hype this as ‘multifunctional’. Not all that multifunctional really, it just connects to the wall with or without a charger – its still just a battery. And a poor battery at that – as one of their drawings shows, we get half the ‘battery’ for the volume, since their built in charger takes up so much space that you’re going to cut the actual battery to half its possible lifespan. And that doesn’t cover the part about how rechargable batteries are already less effective than non-rechargables in producing power – you’re going to be hogging a lot of wall space with this one, with how often you’d have to recharge it.

As a caviot, battery tech is improving in leaps and bounds recently – I read an article recently about how there was the potential for lithium batteries to go 10x their current capacity with some new technology. But still, I think I’d prefer to have a battery that holds as much juice as possible, and use an actual device to do the work between the battery and the wall circuit. I wouldn’t trust a small transformer like that to stand up to that sort of abuse for too long, and then the whole battery is junk. Better to have a charger that is up to the challenge, and batteries that do what they’re supposed to do – provide as much power as possible.

Next up on the chop block, the Lawn PC. Not to mention that it is chock full of trendy materials (plastic is infused with “Bio Batch additives”), and fanciful technology (solar cells printed on organic cotton blades of grass, which somehow remains biodegradable despite having a solar cell printed on it), arranged in an inefficient arrangement purely for the aesthetics of the situation (it looks like grass, lulz). I’m sure it has the benefit of being closer to omni-directional, but lets be quite honest, this isn’t real grass – real grass is made such that it does work from whatever direction it can get light, artificial solar cells are completely different. Despite having “hundreds of solar cells”, it still doesn’t have a large footprint of sunlight it is soaking up. It is also completely wireless, leaving the observant reader to wonder how in the world power gets from the grass to the peripherals and such – and I’d hate to be stuck on a cloudy day with an important paper I have to get done in the next 24 hours. Or Nighttime use. It also aparently doesn’t need a fan, since the CPU is somehow cooled by the (rather insulative) blades of natural cotton grass.

Anyways, just my opinion. Let me know what you think.

-Bryan

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