Wednesday, June 18, 2008

USB Memory Sticks’ Types and Varieties

The memory stick is a silicon medium that is designed for a wide range of audio and visual applications. On a single memory stick, a wide variety of digital content like photos, computer data, music and movie images can be stored. Copyright protection of contents and application specification are defined that enable a range of content and data to be held in a single medium. This allows to record, playback and exchange data with many other related products.

The memory stick is a new type of recording medium that offers the combination of the features of convenient shape, healthy structure, low power consumption etc. Since memory stick is a removable storage medium for a portable device, Sony digital cameras use memory sticks for storage image files. With a memory stick capable reader, a user can copy the picture from the camera to the computer. Memory sticks are used in digital music players, PDAs, cellular phones, portable play station and in other devices.

Originally, the memory sticks were approximately of the size and thickness of a stick of a chewing gum with capacity varying from 4 MB to 128 MB. Memory stick Select similar to 5.25 inches floppy disks has two separate 128 MB partition, which the user can switch between them using a switch on the card. The memory sticks include a copy protection mechanism, which allows writing programs, and are called programmable memory sticks. They are pink colored and are available in 8 MB and 16 MB versions.

Memory stick is a removable flash memory card format comprising memory stick PRO, Memory stick duo and even smaller memory stick micro (M2).

Memory Stick PRO: Memory stick PRO would be a long lasting solution to the space problem. Memory stick PROs has a higher transfer speed and maximum capacity of 32 GB.

Memory Stick Duo: Memory Stick Duo is marginally smaller than SD (Secure Digital) format and approximately two thirds the length of the standard form factor. Memory stick duos are available in the same variants as their larger ones and have a simple adaptor (often sold along with the Memory Stick Duo) thereby permitting the duo to be used in any device that can accept its larger cousins.

The normal and PRO versions of memory stick duo are also used with PSP. This, when inserted with memory stick slot, shows saved data, music pictures, videos and games.
Memory stick micro: The memory stick micro (M2) measures 15 x 12.5 x 1.2 mm – roughly around the size of a finger nail – with a theoretical limit of 32GB. Maximum transfer speed is 160 M bit per second. Like duo sticks, it comes with an adaptor to ensure compatibility with current PRO devices.

In 2006, Sony added the memory stick PRO – HG, a high-speed variant of PRO, for high definition still and video cameras.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Digital Camera Purchase Advice

Digital Camera has become a very popular consumer item, since it makes so easy and cheap to take pictures. However, some buyers are impulsive by nature and they are hardly aware of the standard features of digital cameras. Only after using the camera, they may realize its drawbacks. Therefore, it is important to know some standard features of digital cameras so that one can make the right decisions while buying this gadget.

The following are some standard features:

  • Computing Platform: Most digital cameras have interface compatibility with Mac as well as Windows operating system platforms. However, some cameras might have more software for one platform than the other, where as a few will work only on one platform. In this case, usually these cameras work on Windows platform.
  • Image Quality: It basically includes factors such as exposure accuracy, color purity, optics (lens) quality and image compression techniques.
  • Onboard Image Capacity: Whether a specific amount of onboard image capacity is sufficient or not depends largely on your application. Image capacity and image quality share a strong co-relation with each other. For instance, there is not point in having a digital camera that offers high image capacity whereas the amount of storage is not adequate in relation to the resolution. Beware of the cameras that promise a large number of images but lack actual storage space. It might affect the image quality of your photos. Standard onboard camera memory might range from 2 to 16 MB and the image storage capacity can vary from 10 to 100+ images, depending on the image resolution.
  • Reusable Memory Cards: There are quite a few digital cameras that allow storing images on plug-in cards and this enables users to add as much or as little memory to the camera as per individual requirement. Unlike the older version of memory card where a single type of memory card known as Liner PCMCIA was being extensively used, now memory cards can be found in different types. Some of the most popular cards are Compact Flash and FlashMedia.
  • Exposure Versatility: Digital cameras are unable to handle different lighting conditions. This drawback is not found in film cameras as we can compensate for different lighting situations by using different types of films. So, since the image sensor of a digital camera acts as a film, users find nearly impossible to change this setup. However, you can ensure that the digital camera you are buying has the ideal camera exposure system, such as shutter speed, variable lens opening and supplementary flash to handle a wide range of shooting conditions.

Other features:

Consider buying a waterproof camera as it can withstand moistures.

The camera you are buying should preferably have ISO support for crisper and cleaner images.

Go for higher mega pixel resolution cameras, which will offer you greater cropping ability. The higher the mega pixel resolution, the more one can enlarge his photographs. But don`t get too fussy about mega pixel resolution as it is not everything in a digital camera.

Look for pre-programmed scene modes in your camera which will take photos even in the tough and challenging lighting conditions.

While buying, focus more on optical zoom of a digital camera and not so much on the digital zoom. Optical zoom makes use of lens to get closer shots and delivers better images.

Finally, you have to be careful of not being lured into buying a camera with a `package deal` offer. What costs cheaper could also be cheaper in quality too! Digital cameras have made it easy for those who want to capture special moments. Now with so many features and affordable prices, digital camera have really become a world wide consumer product.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Do You Need Bluetooth?

When buying any digital electronic device, whether a cellphone, PDA, or notebook computer, it is important to check the specifications to ensure that it will serve your purposes. Bluetooth is becoming an increasingly popular offering in personal electronics, but do you need it?

What Is Bluetooth?

Bluetooth is a wireless PAN (Personal Area Network) transmission protocol standard. In layman’s terms, Bluetooth is a technology that enables a device to communicate and share data with other Bluetooth capable devices - cellphones, headsets, PDAs, notebook computers, desktop PCs, computer peripherals, printers, cameras, and others - through radio wave transmission (so there is no need for wires) at a range of around 1, 10, or 100 meters, depending on the class of your Bluetooth device (Class 1 has the longest range and Class 3 the shortest).

If a device has a Bluetooth chip, it can communicate with other devices that have a Bluetooth chip. Users can share pictures, movies, datasheets, documents, and all sorts of information among them as long as their devices are in range (they do not need to be in direct line of sight). For instance, a Bluetooth-capable digital camera can communicate with a Bluetooth-capable printer for direct printing. Likewise, a Bluetooth-capable cellphone can be connected to a Bluetooth-equipped headset so that a person can take and make hands-free telephone calls.

Bluetooth can be used for internet connectivity as long as a Bluetooth-enabled computer is in range of a Bluetooth modem. Bluetooth devices can also form a small wireless network (called a piconet) of up to 8 devices. For security, devices can be paired and transmissions encrypted. So that it causes only minimal interference, Bluetooth periodically changes frequency channels.

Bluetooth uses the same radio frequency that 802.11 Wireless Networking does, but it is much simpler than 802.11 technology, negating the need for complex network configurations. Bluetooth also has lower power consumption, making it more economical, though its range is shorter.

You Need Bluetooth

If you wish to have an extremely basic home network, Bluetooth is for you. There are no wires to trip you and there are no complex configurations like network permissions or addresses to deal with. Piconets are temporary, so a new device can immediately join or leave a Bluetooth network with nothing more than a simple device discovery. It is important to note, however, that piconets are no substitution for a traditional home network (whether through Ethernet or 802.11 Wireless), which are much more reliable and offer much more full-bodied security options.

If you have a notebook computer, there is a good chance you will want to have Bluetooth connectivity so that you can take advantage of the many Bluetooth-equipped peripherals, thereby eliminating the need for bulky wires. You can also easily synchronize data between your handheld devices and your notebook computer. Moreover, if you are fond of sharing data with other handheld device users, you definitely need to have Bluetooth for easy and convenient data sharing.

You Don’t Need Bluetooth
It is important to note that Bluetooth can present a security risk if you store sensitive information on your Bluetooth-enabled device. If you are traveling with sensitive information on your computer, cell-phone, or PDA, it is wise to disable Bluetooth temporarily to prevent data theft or exploitation. Please also note that some corporations and government entities disapprove of Bluetooth and similar convenience-based additions, so please check with your employer if you intend to use your Bluetooth-enabled notebook for business.

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