Friday, June 20, 2014

The New Face of Computing

 

Jimmy is a humanoid robot based on Intel Core i5 technology that walks, talks, makes hand gestures, uses social media channels and more. It is part of the 21st Century Robot Project that provides a forum for makers worldwide to collaborate and build affordable, personalized robots using open-source design files and available apps. Combined with the growing maker culture, technologies such as Intel Galileo, Intel Edison, 3-D printing and open-source app development are making it easier for individuals to create inventions such as Jimmy. It is feasible that within the next five years people may be able to build affordable custom robots based on Intel technology for less than $1,000. 

Intel is committed to lowering the barriers to entry for all innovators - whether it's a child, the hobbyist or a professional designer- who have great ideas but not deep experience with technology. Intel Labs is bringing Jimmy to life in collaboration with publisher MAKE, University of Southern California*, Olin College for Engineering*, maker space The Artisans Asylum* and Trossen Robotics.

Jimmy helps encourage people to think differently about what a computational device could look like in the future and to spark the imagination of inventors of any age to reimagine the ways in which people can design, create, enjoy and use new digital technologies. Powered by Intel, these new computing models - like robotics - may become mainstream consumer electronic devices that could act as social companions, organizers, educators and more. Imagine a robot that acts as a caretaker to senior citizens to remind them to take their medicine or is used in the classroom to augment the teacher to provide more individualized attention to students.

Monday, June 09, 2014

High speed mobile Wi-Fi – The Huawei E5372 LTE from DCC


Take advantage of LTE mobile broadband speeds and securely share your connection across a home, office or any other location with the Huawei E5372 LTE from distributor Drive Control Corporation (DCC). This mobile Wi-Fi hotspot boots up in just five seconds, enabling users to wirelessly connect up to 11 devices at a time and share high-speed Wi-Fi connectivity with download speeds of up to 150 Megabits per second (Mbps).

“Many users in South Africa do not have access to ADSL or fibre, and therefore turn to mobile broadband for Internet access such as 3G and more recently, LTE. With the growing availability of LTE, this is becoming an even more viable option. The Huawei E5372 LTE is the perfect device for turning mobile broadband into a Wi-Fi network for sharing in a small office or with friends and family at home, and even for taking your hotspot with you wherever you go. Simply boot up, enter the password and connect. The device can also be connected via USB to a computer, and supports Vodacom, MTN and Cell C networks,” says Fayaaz Seedat, Huawei Consumer Product Specialist at DCC. 

The E5372 features AC power as well as up to 10 hours of battery life on a full charge, making it ultra-portable for a wide range of applications. Two internal antenna interfaces enhance indoor Wi-Fi signal coverage, ideal for larger homes or offices. Unauthorised access is prevented by password protection to ensure security, and a MicroSD card slot enables you to store and share data through your Wi-Fi hotspot. The E5372 supports both Windows and Mac Operating Systems (OS), compatible with all versions of Windows from XP onward and with Mac OSX 10.5 and up.

The Huawei E5372 LTE will be available mid-June from resellers and leading retailers for a recommended retail price of R2 560.00 including VAT.

For more information, visit www.drivecon.net.

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

High performance NAS with personal cloud capability – WD’s My Cloud EX4 from DCC


Get ahead of your data storage needs with up to 16 Terabytes (TB) of Network Attached Storage (NAS) as well as personal cloud functionality with WD’s new  My Cloud EX4 from distributor Drive Control Corporation (DCC). The My Cloud EX4 is a high-performance, four-bay NAS for your home or small office, built from the ground up with the quality and reliability users have come to expect from WD. It offers a robust all-metal enclosure, multiple Redundant Array of Independent Disks (RAID) volumes, easy drive installation and a full suite of applications (apps) for the power and flexibility to expand your NAS features. In addition, the My Cloud EX4 gives users their own personal cloud, allowing you to take advantage of the benefits cloud has to offer without any of the hassles or drawbacks.

“The My Cloud EX4 delivers centralised NAS storage for your home or office, allowing you to keep all of your content safe in one place. However, the real innovation is the personal cloud functionality, which means you can access this content remotely using a variety of devices, by using the WD My Cloud mobile and desktop applications, no matter where you are in the world. Your own cloud means you are in control of your data and where it is stored, and if you need more space, you can simply add capacity to the device – up to 16TBs in total and no need for monthly fees to a cloud provider,” says Ruben Naicker, WD Product Specialist at DCC.

The My Cloud EX4 offers a number of configuration options to suit any requirements. A diskless enclosure allows users to easily install and hot swap to add up to four compatible drives and add capacity as needed. The solution is also available pre-populated with WD Red hard drives, which are purpose-built for 24x7 NAS environments for enhanced performance and reliability. Features include dual network and power supply, 512 Megabytes (MB) memory and a 2.0 Gigahertz (GHz) processor for superior performance.

To deliver enhanced data management, the My Cloud EX4 supports multiple RAID configurations, including RAID 1, 5, 10, as well as spanning and JBOD modes. Data protection options include remote backup to another My Cloud EX4, integrated cloud backup or local LAN/WAN backup. The device includes WD SmartWare Pro for PC users and Apple Time Machine for Mac to ensure optimal data protection.

The solution is designed to be easy to use and easy to manage, with a powerful dashboard and LCD display for continuous monitoring of drives, management of users and utilisation of energy saving features. The My Cloud EX4 enables users to stream videos and photos to connected TVs, media players, gaming consoles and more, and an integrated file server, FTP server, backup server and P2P torrent download server provide advanced servicing options. In addition, email and mobile alerts keep you informed on the status of your My Cloud EX4 at all times.

“The My Cloud EX4 also gives users access to a number of award-winning desktop and mobile apps. WD’s app allows you to upload, access and share your documents from anywhere and transfer files from your public cloud service to the My Cloud EX4 directly from the mobile app. Other industry-leading apps include aMule, Icecast, Joomla! phpBB, phpMyAdmin and SqueezeCenter, which allow you to customise your NAS to meet your unique requirements,” says Naicker.

Expanding capacity is easy - simply attach a compatible USB hard drive directly to one of the two USB 3.0 expansion ports on the My Cloud EX4 and instantly expand your storage. Users can also save power consumption with integrated energy-saving features such as disk spin-down and scheduled power on/off. A full suite of advanced features include iSCSI target, full-featured FTP services, link aggregation and failover support, jumbo frame support, iPv6 ready, UPS support (USB and network), real time resource monitor, volume encryption with boot-up password, SNMP and virtual volumes.

“This product is a unique offering on the market, with a host of powerful yet easy to use features. By adding this enclosure to our portfolio we are enabling resellers to target both the SME market and prosumers with a comprehensive solution that provides capacity, redundancy and high performance NAS, critical in today’s data-driven world, along with a host of value-added features,” Naicker concludes.

The WD My Cloud EX4 is available immediately from selected resellers. For the latest list of compatible drives, visitwd.com/mycloudex4.

For more information visit www.drivecon.net.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

DCC’s new UltiMate – affordable tablets for everyone

Tablets are increasingly becoming part of our everyday lives, and are often used by every member of the family. However, the price point of many tablet devices has been a significant barrier to entry – until now. Distributor Drive Control Corporation (DCC) introduces the UltiMate – a range of performance tablets with all of the features you need, at a price that won’t break the bank. Available in both 7-inch and 10-inch models, the DCC UltiMate is the ‘ultimate’ in affordable tablet computing.

“Tablets are everywhere – there’s no getting away from how useful they are for performing everyday online tasks on the move, for socialising, and even for playing games. From parents who need portability and easy access to online content and social media, to children who require tablets for classes and schoolwork, the need is growing. However, many users are unable to afford a branded device. DCC’s UltiMate is the perfect affordable solution, with the right balance of excellent pricing, solid performance and a full array of features,” says Bruce Byrne, Visual Communications Specialist at DCC.

Featuring Android’s Jelly Bean Operating System (OS), the UltiMate gives users access to thousands of applications (apps) on the Google Play store, from games to online newspapers and magazines, as well as eLearning content and eBooks. A 1.3GHz Quad Core processor and 8 Gigabyte (GB) Random Access Memory (RAM) offer enough power and performance for some serious multitasking, while a USB port, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and 3G with dual SIM slots offer a range of connectivity options.

The 1GB of on-board memory can be upgraded with up to 32GB MicroSD expandable storage for storing photos, movies, music and more, and an HDMI port enables the UltiMate to be connected to High Definition (HD) televisions and monitors for content sharing. HD IPS panel screens on both the 7-inch and 10-inch models offer crystal clear viewing.  Built-in speakers and a headphone jack let you enjoy quality sound out loud or in private, perfect for gaming and content viewing at home or on the go. Topping off these impressive features, the UltiMate includes a 3 Megapixel front facing camera for video calling, and a 5 Megapixel rear camera for capturing memories on the move.

“This tablet has everything users need, and can even be used as a phone or a GPS thanks to the ability to install not one, but two SIM cards for voice and data bundles. It is a must have for schools and school children, as reference books can now often be downloaded and interactive learning is becoming increasingly popular. It is also ideal for Point Of Sale (POS) interactive advertising, promotions, sales staff and anyone else who wants the features of a tablet without the expensive price tag,” Byrne concludes.

DCC’s UltiMate tablets feature a one-year warranty. They will be available in March 2014 from resellers and leading retailers. The 7-inch model has a recommended retail price of R1 400.00 including VAT while the 10-inch model retails for a recommended price of R2 500.00 including VAT.

For more information, visit www.drivecon.net.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

DCC announces Huawei’s Wingle - extending 3G coverage to additional users



With the mobile workforce on the rise and individuals always requiring Internet connectivity, access is an essential in everyday life. The Huawei Wingle, available from distributor Drive Control Corporation (DCC), addresses this requirement with a convenient 3G USB connectivity device that allows up to 10 additional users to make use of the 3G connection via WiFi.

“Everyone requires a combination of connectivity, mobility and Internet sharing.  However, many devices such as USB dongles on the market today only offer connectivity for a single user. The Huawei Wingle allows users to easily share 3G Internet connectivity using only one USB connectivity device, making this ideal for people without ADSL or with budget constraints,” says Raul Del Fabbro, Enterprise Solutions Manager at DCC.

Catering for small businesses and even households that require shared Internet connectivity, the Huawei Wingle supports full 3G / HSDPA with transfer rates of up to 21 Megabytes per second (MB/s) for downlinks and uplink speeds of up to 5.76 MB/s. This ensures that users are able to work on the move without compromising fast connectivity speeds.

The Huawei Wingle is simple to use and requires one user to insert the USB device into their laptop or PC. This connection is then shared with up to 10 users – wirelessly.  This is ideal for small businesses with two to ten personnel or families that don’t have ADSL. The Huawei Wingle allows these users to share connectivity easily and cost effectively without having to purchase additional USB dongles for each person.

The Huawei Wingle is automatically charged when plugged into a laptop or PC and can also be charged with the provided power adapter or by making us of a USB car charging kit. This allows users to plug the Huawei Wingle into a charging kit and make use of the 3G connectivity while sitting in a car. Supporting Windows, MAC and Linux Operating Systems (OS), the Wingle can be used on a variety of PCs and notebooks.

“The combination of a 3G USB that allows users to connect through WiFi is the ideal solution for shared connectivity across multiple devices,” concludes Del Fabbro.

The Huawei Wingle (Model Number: E8231) is available from DCC and selected retail outlets immediately for a Recommended Retail Price (RRP) of R900.00 inclusive of VAT.

For more information, visit www.drivecon.net

Monday, March 24, 2014

The Ultrabook – where laptop meets tablet and provides the best of both worlds

By Farhad Alli, Dell Consumer Product Specialist at DCC


There can be no doubt that the emergence of the tablet changed the face of computing dramatically, offering unprecedented levels of portability, intuitive touch screen technology and the ability to complete certain tasks on the move with ease. However, the tablet, like its predecessor the netbook, is subject to some limitations, particularly the lack of processing power, which make these devices unsuitable as a complete replacement for the laptop. Enter the new generation of Ultrabooks, featuring all of the processing power of a notebook with touch capability and innovative screen technologies that converge two separate devices into one powerful, portable machine that does the job of both.

While tablets have gained popularity because of their size, portability, instant start-up and ability to work on the move, the physical size of the tablet is in itself a limitation. With such a small chassis, there is only so much processing power that can be included, and there is no room for a keyboard, which limits the functions that can be performed. For example, tablets are unable to handle large and complex spreadsheets, and the touch screen with no keyboard makes word processing challenging. As these two functions are common in daily office work, many mobile workers find it necessary to use multiple devices – a tablet and a notebook or laptop, in order to deliver the required functionality.

With the entrance of Windows 8, which is optimised for touch screen, the demand for this capability is on the increase. New generations of Ultrabooks effectively solve all of these challenges, with more processing power, Solid State Drives (SSD) to ensure fast boot-up, large storage capacity, touch screens, and the opportunity to add extra monitors and wireless keyboards and mouses in the office. This allows business users to purchase a single device that looks like a notebook, but that can easily transform into a tablet, giving users the option to use one device that meets all of their needs.

What has truly enabled this convergence is innovation in design and screen technologies. New generations of Ultrabooks have the ability to convert into tablet devices with touch screens on both devices. One method being used to achieve this is a flip hinge design on the lid, which enables users to flip the screen and fold it back over the keyboard to transition from notebook mode to tablet mode. Another innovation is the emergence of very powerful tablet devices that incorporate a removable docking keyboard, which effectively means that simply by plugging the tablet in to the keyboard dock, which incorporates a touch pad and extends battery life, users gain the advantages of a notebook. The tablet can then easily be removed for meetings and working on the move.

This new generation of Ultrabook combines the ability to access software suites such as Microsoft Office, which are critical to working productivity, with the ability to access a wide range of applications available for Windows 8. Like tablets, they start up almost instantly, but like a notebook, they offer enhanced storage capabilities, either through integrated Hard Disk Drives (HDD) or via the Cloud. The combination of a touch screen and a keyboard means that any task can be completed in the most efficient way possible, and improved processing power not only enables greater functionality, but enhanced ability to effectively multitask as well.

In a world where mobility is becoming key to productivity and competitive edge, both tablets and notebooks have a role to play. With the new generation of Ultrabooks however, the need to carry two separate devices is no more. Users can now get the best of both worlds and work effectively from anywhere, no matter what the task at hand.

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

WD VelociRaptor hard drive reaches new performance peak with 1TB model


Western Digital has announced it is now shipping the new WD VelociRaptor 1 TB hard drive, the latest addition to its award-winning drive family, the largest capacity 10,000 RPM hard drive on the market today. Designed for high-performance PCs, Mac computers and professional workstations that require a balance of high performance and capacity, the WD VelociRaptor drive is a favorite among enthusiasts and creative professionals. The WD VelociRaptor will also come in capacities of 500 GB and 250 GB.

Leveraging enterprise-class mechanics to provide 24x7 durability under high-performance workloads, the new WD VelociRaptor 1 TB hard drive is geared for creative professionals who demand the ultimate SATA drive.

“Creative pros use write-intensive applications that manage large, dynamic files; for example, video editing and digital content creation and management, which ultimately put a strain on storage devices that utilise write-challenged NAND memory for performance enhancement. WD VelociRaptor’s outstanding read and write performance across the entire disk capacity make it a perfect match for the creative professional and enthusiast who want to optimise their tools, enhance productivity, and increase storage space at the same time”, says Barber Brinkman, Western Digital Sales Manager Benelux and South Africa.

“WD is committed to providing customers with the best performing and most reliable SATA hard drives and our WD VelociRaptor family of drives underscores that promise,” says Darwin Kauffman, vice president and general manager of WD’s enterprise storage. “With ever-increasing demand for greater capacity, the new 1 TB WD VelociRaptor drive delivers the ultimate combination of speed and storage for the power user.”

The WD VelociRaptor 2.5-inch hard drive comes in the IcePack enclosure, a 3.5-inch mounting frame with built-in heat sink - a factory customisation that fits the drive into a standard 3.5-inch system bay and keeps the powerful drive extra cool when installed in a high-performance desktop or workstation system.

Says Anamika Budree, Western Digital Country Manager – South Africa, “The local market is ready for the new and improved VelociRaptor with the increasing demand for power, performance and capacity.     The value lies in the combination of a high performance and now high capacity drive which improves read/write speeds as well as the overall performance of the drive.  We expect the market to grow further and will see more users adopting this high-performance drive, thanks to the adoption of more ‘standard’ desktop values.”

Features of the WD VelociRaptor hard drives include:

  • Super speed - SATA 6 Gb/s interface and 64 MB cache optimise the 10,000 RPM WD VelociRaptor. 
  • Higher capacity - WD VelociRaptor SATA hard drives employ Advanced Format Technology to achieve capacities up to 1 TB. 
  • Rock-solid reliability - Designed and manufactured to workstation standards to deliver stellar reliability in high workload environments.
  • Ultra-cool operation - Consumes less idle power and uses similar active power as the previous generation WD VelociRaptor while offering greater capacity and performance. 
  • Rotary Acceleration Feed Forward (RAFF) - Optimises operation and performance when the drives are used in vibration-prone, multi-drive chassis.
  • NoTouch ramp load technology - The recording head never touches the disk media ensuring significantly less wear to the recording head and media as well as better drive protection when in transit. 
  • Environmentally conscious - In addition to being RoHS-compliant, this generation of WD VelociRaptor is also a halogen-free design.


Price and Availability 

The VelociRaptor will be available from resellers and select retail outlets.
The recommended retail pricing exclusive of V.A.T. is:

VelociRaptor 250GB – R 1 530,00
VelociRaptor 500GB  - R 2 005,00
VelociRaptor 1TB – R 2 850,00