Mohammad Al-Ubaydli’s blog


Posted in Articles, My publications, Technology by Dr Mohammad Al-Ubaydli on May 25, 2001
Hitachi DVD-RAM video camcorder
The latest digital video camera from Hitachi is causing quite a stir. It is the first home video camera that tapes straight onto DVD. The bad news is the price. It sells for around £1,799.99.
The rest is all good news. Most digital video camcorders use the miniDV tape but this one uses actual DVD discs. This is superior for a lot of reasons – it can record two hours of digital video in one DVD disc. It can take 2000 still pictures in higher resolution than most miniDV camcorders. The DVD disc can be played directly to your DVD player, giving the expected superb picture quality. Finally the DVD has a non-contact head so the DVD disc will last much longer compared to a tape, which is usually gradually eaten up by the head when you haven’t used it or when it is dirty.
Archos Jukebox 6000
MP3 players are a great way to carry around your music. However the costs of their storage media tend to be quite high.
Enter Archos with their Jukebox 6000 player. At around £200, it fits (somewhat heavily) into the palm of your hand. But its storage method is an actual hard disk – 6 GB of space can store up to 150 hours of music. The USB connector ensures fast transfer from your computer to the player. Taking all your music with you becomes a very real possibility.
Plus, you can use the hard disk as, well, a hard disk. It’s a great way to carry around your work files until you find enough music to fill up 150 hours of listening time.
Sony CMD-MZ5
Not to be outdone, Sony have their own version of an MP3 player – a mobile phone.
Sony have stuck memory sticks into everything, including their Vaio laptops and Palm-compatible CLIE’s. This mobile phone is no exception, with slots for the svelte sticks to store MP3’s. 8-12 tracks can be held on each 64 MB stick.
What of the phone itself? It’s a slight change, revised and corrected, of the gorgeous CMD-Z5. Stylishly thin, light and sporting Sony’s usual Jog Dial, if it ain’t broke, why fix it?
Compaq iPaq
This is the latest PocketPC from Compaq, using the latest operating system from Microsoft for handhelds – and it’s a stunner.
The colour version boasts 32 MB of RAM, and a stunning front lit screen. You really have to see this one to believe it, but if you’ve tried any other handheld you’ll know the trials and tribulations of reading text. Books look gorgeous on this, and can even be read outside in broad daylight.
The machine comes equipped with all manner of software, including pocket versions of Microsoft Word, Excel and Money. The voice recorder is great fun, and the speakers allow it to become an MP3 player.
All in all, this is a true PC in your pocket.
Vianix SASO
Pronounced “SaySo”, this is a strange little machine that has much promise.
It’s a digital voice recorder, and then some.
It records speech with pretty good clarity given its size. Of course, there’s the inevitable ability to store MP3 music files. The manufacturers seem particularly proud of the ability to organise the audio files into numerous folders on the device. The neatest twist is the ability to clip it into a Palm Pilot, then share files back and forth, or control it through the Palm.
This should make a great dictation tool for clinics – until you factor in the temptation to play with all its other features.
Samsung NV
Case presentations begin with the casing of your presentation – and Samsung have just come out with one of the most attractive offerings for any PowerPoint presentation. Yep, for a mere £2500 or so, you too can be the envy of your grand round.
Underneath the silky beauty is raw power. This is one of a new breed of Desktop Replacement laptops – 12.1-inch TFT XGA screen, Intel Mobile PIII 500 LV, 128Mb RAM, 20Gb hard drive, internal 56K V.90 modem, 2 USB connectors, docking station with 8x DVD-ROM drive and floppy drive, PCMCIA Type I or II slot, internal flash memory MP3 player & voice recorder, remote control earphones, Windows ME, USB 850,000-pixel digital camera, 1.5 Kg.
In case you missed the important points in that alphabet soup, you should know that the machine includes a video camera, and weighs a spritely 1.5 Kg.
Consider your desktop replaced.
SMaL Camera
In case you’re wondering, this machine is the size of a credit card. And it takes picture. Yep, coming in Autumn 2001, this tiny machine is actually a camera. It’s expected to cost just £90.
What more can you say.
Published May 2001 in Medical Futures magazine

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