Saturday, May 26, 2007

Enhance Firefox with Opera Features

Opera is good with speed dial, tab thumbnail preview and session manage. These very useful features are impressive but missed in the more popular Firefox. However Firefox extensions that available help Firefox to compete with Opera.

Speed Dial
- Function like latest Opera 9.2 Speed Dial feature. Speed Dial will be automatically loaded in blank new windows or new tabs. Set your most used websites and access through thumbnail view in new windows or tabs. Still need some improvement if compare to Opera Speed Dial feature.

Tab Scope
- Thumbnail preview of webpage when you move your mouse over the tab, you even can navigate(back, refresh, close, scroll, zoom, click on links) the page inside the thumbnail, cooler than Opera!

Can try Firefox Showcase if you want alternative thumbnail preview configuration. But it has some compatible issue with Tab Scope. I like Reveal , besides tab preview, it also provides thumbnail view on back and forward button when mouse moves over it, but sadly it is no longer supports latest version of Firefox.

Save Session
- You can choose to save the current session and load it for the next startup of Firefox. Just like you restore your session after Firefox crashed but now you can save your session at anytime and start Firefox the next time with the previous session. But Save Session only can save up to one session (the last session), if you want more control over session, you can try Tab Mix Plus, it includes a session manager that similar to Opera session manage. But TMP has some compatible issue with Tab Scope.

We hope Firefox will includes all these cool features internally in the next release.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Intel Santa Rosa (New Centrino Duo & Centrino Pro) launch

Santa Rosa the 4th Centrino platform officially launched. New platform come with new processor, chipset, wireless solution and extra features.

New Core 2 Duo processor (Merom)
FSB 800Mhz
-Increases from 667Mhz to 800Mhz, faster performance because the bandwidth between CPU and system is increases, improves the potential of Core 2 Duo

Dynamic FSB Switching
-FSB scale dynamically according to loads, thus more power efficient during low utilization because reduces of chipset and CPU voltage

Enhanced Dynamic Acceleration Technology
-As many applications still not utilizing multi-core processing, Santa Rosa can detects single thread programs and overclocks one of its two core while put the other unused core to sleep, this will boosts the performance of single thread applications

Enhanced Intel Deeper Sleep
-Increases power saving

Intel Mobile 965 Express Chipset (Crestline)
800Mhz support
ICH8M southbridge
GMA X3100 graphics
-500Mhz clock speed (before is 400Mhz)
-Shader Model 3.0 support
-Maximum allocated video memory to 384MB (before is 224MB)
-Support for Windows Vista Aero interface

Turbo Memory (previously called Robson)
-NAND flash memory cache that holding system files and other data that the operating system requires at start-up, restoring from sleep or during application switches that designed to work with Windows Vista ReadyBoost, to improve performance and lower power consumption.

Intel Wireless WiFi Link 4965AGN (Kedron)
-support 802.11n standard - faster speed and wider range

Santa Rosa business system is branded as Centrino Pro, while consumer system will carry the existing Centrino Duo name. Centrino Pro come with Intel's AMT(Active Management Technology) 2.5 firmware and an AMT/VT-capable BIOS that are not included in consumer system.

However WiMAX(802.16), DirectX 10 support have been delayed and the RAM support is not 800Mhz, still stuck at 667MHz, all of these technology may included in a refresh Santa Rosa platform that come with 45nm Penryn processor which release end of this year. Another technology - HSDPA is also not included in Santa Rosa.