The journey of the MBP begins

This evening I am spending time setting up both BootCamp and Parallels on the new laptop (Core 2 Duo Macbook Pro). I plan to install ArcGIS tomorrow and will begin to work with it for a while to see how it goes. I will be grabbing screenshots as I go through. I will be posting the details on my sadly underused blog at with a wrap up in a couple of weeks here on VerySpatial. review of Street Maps and Garmin GPS

On the Oct 19 episode of Digital Life TV (, Patrick Norton does a review of a dashmount Garmin GPS and the new Microsoft Streets and Trips and everyone uses many of the correct terms and phrases 🙂 The overall take on the Garmin model they reviewed was pretty good, and at a $250 (US) price tag it seems promising. Head over to to view the episode online or to download the video podcast. For the MS Streets and Trips they mention the Live Search integration. The review is around 35:00 minutes.

Location based police

Listener Eric pointed out a news item that discusses how police in the Dutch city of Groningen will be testing a handheld-based computer system which will allow them to access information specific to the areas they are patroling. The article also seems to say that information can be pushed out the systems and that they will be locationally aware. Sounds like a pretty sweet system for police walking the streets.

Central DNS Servers Mapped

Ever wonder where the central, root, base nodes of the Internet are located? Well here’s a map to help you out! At this scale, there looks like there’s only 7, but if you zoom in you’ll notice that quite a few are very close to one another. The Washington DC area has 5 alone!

It’s also interesting to note that one of the root servers is located in a city named Root. I kinda live for those little funny things 🙂

Table top control of 3D space

A Phd student at the University of Calgary’s Interactions Laboratory has come up with some pretty cool new interactive tools for Google Earth and Warcraft III (not at the same time). He’s using a tabletop environment to control how you interact with Google Earth. You can do much more hands on type interaction with the table setup. I think it’s a more natural environment, or much more paper map-like, than some of the mouse/keyboard setups we currently use. It’s worth checking out the videos (bottom right of his site or mirrored here). They give a good idea of the types of things you can do with this new type of system. I particularly like the Warcraft III “Command and Control” system demo.

And really, it’s all about kickin’ butt in video games anyways, right?

Get from Here to There using Photos

ShinyShiny, a tech gadget blog especially for girls, posted a review of the new Navman icn720 and 750 GPS in-car navigation systems that let you use photos to navigate to places. The unit has a built-in camera, so you just snap a picture of the IKEA store, your favorite restaurant, or whatever, and the photo is tagged with coordinates. Then, next time you want to go, you just bring up the photo and the Navman will get you there. Of course, it’s yet another cool device that we probably won’t get here in the US, at least not for awhile.

Well it isn’t in the shape of a whooping crane!

Apparently Microsoft has released the semi-final/latest word on their super-secret Origami project. It’s pretty much what all the rumors had said previously – it’s a “ultra portable” computer. The device is suppose to have around a 7″ touch screen and run full versions of Windows XP, abet optimized for Origami. Later versions are suppose to be under $500 and feature – get this – an all day battery life! The prototypes only run for 15 mins before their battery is drained. I guess Microsoft has a couple of hurdles between 15 mins and all day. However the devices are pretty exciting, especially for field work as I’m certain they’ll include some sort of expansion slot.

UPDATE: CNET has pictures!

New Matrox card and opinions on stereo viewing

Matrox PlanarWe received a press release on Matrox’s new Parhelia Precision SDT which is intended for specific applications and hardware such as the Planar SD1710.  While I am a fan of stereo, I am not as convinced that a passive system this complex is necessary or even cost effective.  Active stereo using a CRT is my preferred option for the desktop.

For projection I still say that the new InFocus projectors are the way to go instead of passive systems.  While active glasses are more expensive I would argue that it is still the better option for anything under 15 people when circular passive systems become a good option.

As for Matrox, I prefer their Parhelia 3 monitor line.  We have two of these cards and I hope to get one of the new PCI Express versions if they ever release one or the QID LP PCIe.  Two monitors are ever enough 🙂