Atari 2600/7800 Arcade Cabinet

Finished Atari 7800 Arcade Cabinet
Playing Space Invaders for the Atari 7800. Published by Atari Age

Playing Space Invaders for the Atari 7800. Published by Atari Age

This project began as a cabinet to house an Atari 2600 with a Harmony multi-game cartridge. While searching for a donor Atari 2600 unit I ran across an Atari 7800 to use as the brains and I couldn’t resist. This would allow for a larger library of games, but would make the build slightly more complex.

The Atari 7800 console was an underdog that never really got a fair shake against Nintendo. The 2 year delay of the console may have been the reason that Nintendo was able to get such a good foothold in the console market. This console was capable of graphics similar to the NES, but was lacking in the audio department due to the use of the TIA chip that was also used in the original Atari 2600. This can be overcome by adding a Pokey chip to the game cartridge itself, but this increased the cost of the game cartridge making it uncommon.

Changes

Because I used the Atari 7800 for the brain of the system I was able to include Atari 7800 in the library of games, but building in the paddles became to complex to permenitly wire into the system. In the future I would like to add a DB9 port to allow for the use of all Atari controls with this system.

Hardware Mods

I modified the Atari 7800 in several ways to make it feel at home in the arcade cabinet. I added an aftermarket component/s-video mod to remove the interferance that you typically get with the RF output. I also hardwired the Power, Pause, Reset and Select buttons to Arcade Quality buttons mounted just under the display. The front mounted power button allows for power cycling of the console to select a new game from the multi games cartridge.

Construction

This cabinet is my first real attempt at working with wood, so fortunatly I still have all my fingers. Since the completion of the project I have learned many skills, fixed old mistakes and I will be much more confident with my future wood working projects. *cough* MAME Cabinet *cough*

The primary building material in this cabinet is 3/4″ MDF, of which I have used two 8’x4’x3/4″ and a single 8’x4’x1/2″ boards. In addition I used 2×1 for screw strips  and 1/4″ piece of plexiglass.

Paint

4 - Painted

I have learned a lesson on the paint step of this project. Don’t use Latex Paint. It peels far to easy.  Otherwise the Onyx Black paintjob makes this cabinet look like the real thing. A temporary black mask has been added to the screen until the printed graphics show up.

Nearly Finished

Nearly Finished. Updates will include T-Molding, Decals and the addition of paddles or DB-9 ports.

Nearly Finished. Updates will include T-Molding, Decals and the addition of paddles or DB9 ports.

The Atari Arcade Cabinet is nearly finished. I plan on adding a few cosmetic updates to the cabinet. The first update I will make will be T-Molding, possibly black or Red. In addition I’m think about adding brushed aluminum with decals symilar to the orignal console system decals to the sides of the arcade.

Additional functionallity I would like to add would be built in paddles or DB9 ports that could accomadate additional controllers such as paddles, drive control or light guns. Finally I would like to add a coin slot that will function as the reset button. When these are added I will post an update.

Planned updates to the Atari 7800 hardware are planned as well. I have pre-ordered the Atari 7800 XM expansion module, which adds the ablility to save high scores, adds additional RAM and a Pokey sound chip. Also, I would like to add the Harmony 2 multigame cart to the system when it’s released.

The addition of the Harmony 2 cart will allow the cabinet to be used as originally designed, without having to swap out game carts for the 7800 games. Currently you can play all the Atari 2600 games from a single Harmony multi-game cartridge, but playing Atari 7800 games requires you to change cartridges. Because of this I have just left the back panel off. When the Harmony 2 is released this will become just a service panel.

Conclusion

This arcade Cabinet is capable of playing hundreds of classic Atari games. In the above gallery I have included pictures of the cabinet playing Classics such as Asteroids, Combat, Joust and Space Invaders. It will continue to hold a place in the family room for years to come.

Ubuntu for phones announced, adding one more mobile OS to the mix

Ubuntu Phone

Ubuntu Phone

Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu linux Distro, has announced Ubuntu for phones.  Ubuntu for phones seems to use the same Linux kernel that powers the desktop version of ubuntu, but with a touch based UI optimized for mobile phones and tablets.

The major benefit of Ubuntu for Phones is that you will be able to run the same apps on both the Desktop and Phone versions of Ubuntu.  App developers don’t even need to compile a separate version from each platform.  This interoperability between each version of Ubuntu will surely continue to Ubuntu for TV’s and Automobiles.

Not only will this phone run the same apps as the Ubuntu Desktop distro, but it can function as a desktop as well.  Canonical has stated that they would like Ubuntu phones to dock to standard a keyboard, mouse and monitor a la the Motorola Atrix.  Docking the phone will allow users to use the phone as a thin client or to run the standard Ubuntu Unity desktop UI, essentially giving users a full featured PC in their pocket.

Canonical has stated that Ubuntu phones will not available until 2014, but in the mean time any phone that runs Android will do.  Ubuntu for Phones uses the same drivers as the Android platform allowing users to easily run Ubuntu on their current phones.  Not only will Ubuntu run on Android phones, but its only a matter of time until you can run Android apps as well.

One major advantage that Ubuntu for phones seems to have is that native apps will not rely on Java for its apps like Android does, instead apps will run on native code.  Because Java has so much overhead this should mean better performance out of the same hardware that a Android uses. 

In a crowded mobile OS world it’s hard to be optimistic about a new mobile OS, but Ubuntu seems to have a well formulated game plan to take on Android, iOS, Windows Phone and BlackBerry devices.  Ubuntu for Phones looks to be gunning for the coveted #3 spot in the mobile OS world, and may be an a position to become #1 in the future. It looks like 2013 is shaping up to be and intresting year for mobile phone users.

Feature Highlights

  • Uses the same device drivers as Android
  • Can run on any device that runs Android
  • The phone becomes a full PC and thin client when docked
  • Docked phones can feature standard desktop Unity UI
  • Flow naturally from app to app with edge magic
  • Native or HTML5 based apps
  • Apps will work on both Ubuntu Desktop and for Phone without recompiling

Source: http://www.ubuntu.com/devices/phone


Samba 4 with Active Directory gets a stable release

SAMBA Logo

Samba 4 has been a long time coming, and now the world has a stable, free and full featured alternative to a Microsoft Server Active Directory Domain Controller on Linux/Unix based systems.  Head over to http://Samba.org and download Samba 4 now!

Samba Press Release:

The Samba Team is proud to announce the release of Samba 4.0, a major new release of the award-winning Free Software file, print and authentication server suite for Microsoft Windows® clients.

The First Free Software Active Directory Compatible Server

As the culmination of ten years’ work, the Samba Team has created the first compatible Free Software implementation of Microsoft’s Active Directory protocols. Familiar to all network administrators, the Active Directory protocols are the heart of modern directory service implementations.

Samba 4.0 comprises an LDAP directory server, Heimdal Kerberos authentication server, a secure Dynamic DNS server, and implementations of all necessary remote procedure calls for Active Directory. Samba 4.0 provides everything needed to serve as an Active Directory Compatible Domain Controller for all versions of Microsoft Windows clients currently supported by Microsoft, including the recently released Windows 8.

The Samba 4.0 Active Directory Compatible Server provides support for features such as Group Policy, Roaming Profiles, Windows Administration tools and integrates with Microsoft Exchange and Free Software compatible services such as OpenChange.

The Samba 4.0 Active Directory Compatible Server can also be joined to an existing Microsoft Active Directory domain, and Microsoft Active Directory Domain Controllers can be joined to a Samba 4.0 Active Directory Compatible Server, showing true peer-to-peer interoperability of the Microsoft and Samba implementations of the Active Directory protocols.

Acknowledging the value of the interoperability of the Samba 4.0 Active Directory Compatible Server, Steve van Maanen, the co-founder of Starsphere LLC, an IT services company in Tokyo, said:

“Thanks to Samba 4, I have two fully replicating Active Directory Domain controllers that boot in under 10 seconds ! It is nice to have alternatives, and Samba 4 is a great one.”

Upgrade scripts are also provided for organizations using the previous Microsoft Windows NT Domain Controller functionality in Samba 3.x, to allow them to migrate smoothly to Samba 4.0.

Suitable for low-power and embedded applications, yet scaling to large clusters, Samba 4.0 is efficient and flexible. Its Python programming interface and administration toolkit help in enterprise deployments.

Created Using Microsoft Documentation

The Samba 4.0 Active Directory Compatible Server was created with help from the official protocol documentation published by Microsoft Corporation and the Samba Team would like acknowledge the documentation help and interoperability testing by Microsoft engineers that made our implementation interoperable.

“Active Directory is a mainstay of enterprise IT environments, and Microsoft is committed to support for interoperability across platforms,” said Thomas Pfenning, director of development, Windows Server. “We are pleased that the documentation and interoperability labs that Microsoft has provided have been key in the development of the Samba 4.0 Active Directory functionality.”

Introducing SMB2.1 File Serving Support

Samba 4.0 includes the first Free Software implementation of Microsoft’s SMB2.1 file serving protocol. Building on the success of the SMB2.0 server in Samba 3.6, the Samba 4.0 file server component is an evolution of the trusted Samba file serving code that is used worldwide by vendors of file servers, such as IBM’s clustered Scale Out Network Attached Storage (SONAS), and many other commercial products.

In addition, the Samba 4.0 file server contains an initial implementation of SMB3, which will be further developed in later Samba 4 releases into a fully-featured SMB3 clustered file server implementation.

Future developments of our SMB3 server and client suite, in combination with our expanding number of SMB3 tests, will keep driving the performance improvements and improved compatibility with Microsoft Windows that Samba users have come to expect from our software.

Integrated Clustered File Server Support

Building on our success as the first commercial implementation of a clustered SMB/CIFS server, Samba 4.0 provides industry-leading scalability and performance as a clustered SMB2/SMB/CIFS file server, using our “clustered tdb” (ctdb) technology – also available as Free Software.

Clustered Samba provides a “Single Server” view of clustered file storage, allowing clients to connect to the least loaded server and still providing a completely coherent view of the underlying clustered file system.

Written and tested to be compatible with most clustered file systems, both Free Software and proprietary, Samba 4.0 with ctdb provides a scalable clustered file server solution with full Windows file sharing semantics.

Samba and ctdb have been shipping in production file serving products for many years, to some of the most demanding customers in the world.

Easy Integration into Existing Directory Services

Samba 4.0 ships with an improved winbind, which allows Samba 4.0 file servers to easily integrate into existing Active Directory services as member servers. Both Microsoft Active Directory and Samba 4.0 Active Directory Compatible servers are supported.

Stability, Security and Performance

Samba 4.0 has been tested using our widely accepted smbtorture test suite, created by the Samba Team to test Samba itself and now used by most of the companies writing SMB3/SMB2/SMB/CIFS file server software to test their own products. We also regularly test interoperability with other major vendors at plug-fest events to make sure Samba 4.0 deployments work correctly with existing customer equipment.

In addition, Samba is one of eleven open source projects that leading software integrity vendor Coverity has certified as “secure” and has reached Coverity “Integrity Rung 2” certification.

The Samba Team provides immediate responses to any security vulnerabilities, and provides fixes to all vendors using the Samba code in coordination with industry standard security reporting agencies.

A Modular Toolbox for OEM Vendor Needs

As Free Software, Samba 4.0 is the ideal choice for Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) to use for their file, print and authentication products. It is easily integrated into a whole host of different tasks, and can be customized at will by the vendor to satisfy their needs.

In addition, Samba 4.0 includes a modular “Virtual File System” (VFS) interface that vendors can use to quickly and efficiently customize Samba to take advantage of any specific features of their underlying technology without having to modify any of the core Samba code. From advanced file systems to network traffic analysis, the Samba VFS layer allows external code to be easily integrated with Samba. Example modules are provided as source code for vendors to customize as they wish.

Samba is the leading choice for Microsoft Windows connectivity

Samba is the leading technology choice for Windows file serving on Linux and UNIX platforms and in embedded Network Attached Storage (NAS) solutions. Samba is used by vendors selling NAS solutions ranging from high end clustered business-critical systems, to low end consumer devices, and everything in between. Samba is fully IPv6 enabled and meets all mandates for modern network interoperability.

Commercial support is available for Samba from many different vendors.

Getting Samba 4.0

Samba 4.0 source code is available now from the Samba Web site.

About Active Directory

Microsoft Windows and Active Directory are trademarks of Microsoft Corporation.

About the Samba Team

The Samba Team is a worldwide group of computer professionals working together via the Internet to produce the highest quality Free Software Windows (SMB3/SMB2/SMB/CIFS) server and client software. We are the undisputed experts in providing interoperability with computers running Microsoft Windows. Members of the Samba Team work for many of the largest companies in the software Industry and even helped Microsoft produce the protocol documentation that fully specifies the SMB/CIFS protocol.

Tech of 2012 that will shape the tech landscape of 2013

mayan calendar

With 2012 coming to an end(not the world), it’s time to reflect on this years tech that will help shape tomorrow. From the NASA Curiosity Rover, to the Microsoft Surface and the Tesla Model S, see the tech that will revolutionize the world in 2013 and beyond.

6) NASA’s Curiosity Rover & Sky Crane Landing System

NASA Curiosity Rover and Sky Crane

Manufacturer:
NASA
Cost:
$2.5 billion

NASA has made history in 2012 by landing the 1,982lbs Curiosity Rover on the surface of Mars. Although this may seem like something we have done many times before, it was a revolution in spacecraft landing techniques.

All previous rovers landing on Mars were essentially wrapped in bubble wrap, given a parachute and we hoped for the best.  The Space Crane system will allow us to land much larger and more delicate mechanical systems on Mars by gently lowering the equipment to the surface of Mars, and then jettisoning the space crane miles away from the equipment.


5) MakerBot Replicator 2 desktop 3D printer

MakerBot Replicator 2

Manufacturer:
MakerBot Industries, LLC
Cost:
$2,199

The MakerBot Replicator 2 allows anyone with $2,199 budget to easily fabricate and create almost anyting they can think of.  This device makes it much cheaper to prototype and even create products for sale.

The machine uses spools of plastic filament to lay down layer after high-resolution layer of resin that forms your object. The 3D printer revolution has begun.  Head over to http://www.makerbot.com  to make your imagination and 11.2 L x 6.0 W x 6.1 H your limits of fabrication.


4) Philips Dimmable LED 12.5 Watt(60 Watt equivalent) Light Bulb

Manufacturer:
Philips
Cost:
$21.23
Life expectancy:
22.8 years
Energy savings:
$130.62 per bulb

With the incandescent light bulb being banned in the United States in 2014 you will have no choice but to use a more efficient light bulb. Most people are familiar with the CFL(aka Compact fluorescent, aka squiggly bulb). These bulbs are an excellent energy saver, but have about half the life expectancy with the nasty side effect of releasing toxic mercury into landfills when disposed of improperly. That’s right, CFL bulbs are to be disposed of as hazardous waste. Save your self the trouble by investing in an energy saving bulb that doesn’t have to be handled as hazardous waste.

Philips 60 Watt LED equivalent bulb consumes only 12.5watts of energy, lasts 22.8 years, can be used on a standard dimming circuit and will not fade fabric or colors. That all sounds great, but a common argument they cost twice as much as a CFL. Keep in mind that that negligible 1.5 Watts saved with an LED light over a CFL is over the 22.8 years life span, which is over 3 times longer then the CFLs 7 year life span. Pay twice upfront, save energy and get and extra life out of the bulb. That sounds like a winner to me.


3) Second Generation Nest Learning Thermostat

Manufacturer:
Nest Inc.
Cost:
$249.99
Energy savings:
20% of HVAC bill

Your heating and cooling bill is typically 50% of you energy bill. This fact alone means small improvements in efficiency will save you a lot of money in the long run. The Nest thermostat can save you up to 20% of your heating and cooling bill. The Nest thermostat allows such savings by learning your living patterns, controlling your HVAC system more efficiently and allowing for remote control of your heating and cooling system via your computer or smart phone.

All of these features can be added to your home in less then 30 minutes. Not only will you save yourself some money on you monthly energy bills, but your thermostat will look a whole lot “cooler.” The savings of 20% on half of your energy bill, essentially paying itself of the first year, makes this the number one pick for saving money on your energy bill.


2) Microsoft Surface Tablet

Manufacturer:
Microsoft
Cost:
Windows RT – $499.99
Windows 8 Pro – $899.99

Microsoft has been in the tablet category for a while now, but never in a form that customers accepted. Microsoft made a bold move with Windows 8 by removing the Start menu and replacing it with the touch friendly Start Screen (aka Metro), and in the process they have created the Surface tablet that may even rival the iPad.

The Microsoft Surface Pro tablet runs a full version of Windows 8 that runs all of your favorite x86/64 Windows programs in a form factor that was dominated by what is essentially an operating system for a smartphone. This allows for you to run any app that you would typically run on your PC like Microsoft Office or its free rival Libre Office. These full featured Office suites alone makes the Microsoft Surface, for many users, more useful then a tablet running iOS or Android.

In addition to the Surface Pro being able to run legacy Windows apps, a program call “Blue Stack” allows you to run most Android apps on your Windows 8 machine. With Blue Stack you have access to 700,000 Android apps to keep you busy until the Windows Store gets filled with apps.

Even with the oddities found in Windows 8 we think that the Microsoft Surface is on the path to being a no compromise tablet, even for hardcore PC users.


1) Tesla Model S

Black Tesla Model S

Manufacturer:
Tesla Motors Inc.
Cost:
$57,000

The Tesla Model S is in our opinion the single most influential piece of tech this year. The Tesla Model S is showing the world that electric cars are viable alternatives to standard gas powered vehicles, and that you can go green without driving a slow ugly shoe.

The Tesla Model S can get 300 miles on a single charge, while out performing many gas powered competitors in the same class.  While the Model S still suffers from the long charging time EV’s are know for, there are now options that allow you to charge your Model S to 80% in 30 minutes.


Fix for Google Chrome Crash on HP Touchpad with 120 or 132 dpi

Hp Touchpad with Chrome Working

User’s of the HP Touch pad may have noticed that the latest version of the Chrome browser crashes when loading unless your Touchpad is in 160 dpi mode. This isn’t an issue with Cyanogenmod, but with Google Chrome after version 18.0.1025308.

Workaround

  1. The workaround is as simple as downloading an older version of Chrome for Android until this issue is resolved.  You can download the last know working version at here.
  2. Once you have downloaded the APK run it to install the older version of Chrome over your current version of Chrome.
    Note: If you haven’t already done so enable installation of APK from unknown sources by going to  “Settings>Security” and checking “Unknown Sources” option.
  3. Important: After installing the working version of Chrome you must uncheck the automatic update of the Chrome app, or it will be auto updated to the latest non-working version.

 

Knights & Merchants Remake adds new life to an old game

Knights & Merchants: The Remake Multiplayer

Knights & Merchant is one of the games from my childhood that I will always remember.  Recently I had the itch to play again and discovered that it had be remade from scratch to improve compatibility, game play and fix problems that plagued the original game.

Knights & Merchants is an RTS style game with a complex economy and battle system.  The economy is much like playing a game of Sim City.  You must build multiple building for the merchant units that include farmers, bakers, blacksmiths and miners.  Each building and merchant depends on one another for food and supplies.  The Knights depend on the Merchants to produce their weapons and the serfs to feed them when they get hungry.  The Serfs moved around supplies, products and food to all the building and units in the game.

The fighting system in Knights & Merchants: The Remake is balanced and functions like the original.  Their is no technical limit to your army with the exception of available resources to build the needed weapons and armor.  Unlike most RTS games Knights & Merchants only have one civilization, so each player has the same advantages / disadvantages.

Both of the original single player campaigns are available in the Knights & Merchants remake.  The story remains unchanged and holds up very well with its age.  The tutorial has been improved and many bugs have been remedied with the complete rewrite of the engine.

Multiplayer has received the most significant improvement because they fixed the crippling multiplayer bug that caused the game to go out-of-sync, making the game unplayable in any condition.  The Knights & Merchants remake team has also included a dedicated server for both Windows and Linux.

To install Knights & Merchants: The Remake use must own the original Knights & Merchants: The Peasants Rebellion CD or purchase it DRM free at the GOG.com website at: http://www.gog.com/gamecard/knights_and_merchants_the_peasants_rebellion.  The Knights & Merchants: The Remake installer can be found at:  http://www.kamremake.com/download/.

I would personally like to thank the Knights & Merchants: The Remake team for all their hard work and attention to detail.  This game is a highlight in my childhood and they have made the memories better and now allow for me to battle my brother in a game of multiplayer without the horrible out-of-sync issue.

Bug Fixes:

  • Multi-player out-of-sync bug fixed

New Features:

  • Add a beacon with the new ‘B’ hotkey
  • Holding the “t” hotkey identifies plays units
  • Assign groups to number keys with ‘CRTL + 1, +2, +3, …’
  • New tutorial messages
  • Peacetime of up to 2 hours added to multiplayer games
  • Auto reconnect in multiplayer when server drops out of the game.
  • All standard resolutions are now supported, including HD resolutions.
  • Re-sizable chat window
  • New victory and defeat music
  • Music track shuffling
  • New stat screens
  • New icon when under attack
  • In-game map editor
  • Multiple language translations
  • Mutliplayer AI that build their town and fights is in the works
  • Windows and Linux dedicated servers

Free Game: Battlefield 1942 (2002)

Battlefield 1942 Box Art

Battlefield 1942 Box Art

Release Date: September 10, 2002
Publisher: Electronic Arts (aka EA)
Platform: Windows
Cost: Free
Download: Here

Battlefield 1942 is game that started EA’s most popular franchise, and it’s now available for free on the PC in celebration of the franchises 10th anniversary.

Battlefield 1942 is an on-line multiplayer FPS that takes place during WWII.  Singler player is available, but lacks a story line, decent AI and lacks anything resembling fun.  You can’t knock BF1942 for this because it was designed as a solely multiplayer game, at which it excels.

Battlefield 1942 allows players to battle up to 64 players per server as either an Axis or Allies soldier.  You can play as one of the following classes: Scout, Assault, Anti-Tank, Medic and Engineer.  You are able to control Jeeps, tanks, fighter planes, bombers, battleships, aircraft carriers and submarines.  The variety of weapons, classes and vehicles at your disposal allows for the highly dynamic multiplayer gameplay the Battlefield franchise is know for.

Your objective is to capture and hold “Control Points.”  Control Points act as a base for your team to spawn reinforcements and vehicles.  Hold as many points as possible until the timer runs out or the opposing forces run out of reinforcements.  Accomplishing this task requires teamwork, which was a often a  foreign concept in first person shooters at the time.

The graphics in Battlefield 1942 are dated, but the game play is as strong as ever.  Head over to the Origin website and download the original Battlefield now.

Tesla reports profitable week and Model S gains “Sleep Mode”

Tesla Model S White

 Tesla Model S White

Tesla Motors is having a good week with the announcement by CEO Elon Musk that the company had achieved a positive cash flow last week.  In addition to getting their cash flow Back in Black, Tesla has updated the firmware on the Model S to v4.0.

In this firmware update Tesla has added a new energy saving sleep mode, as well as made improvements the door handle capabilities, Voice Commands and enhanced media browsing capabilities, and added functionality for Maps, HomeLink, and Steering Wheel Controls.

The new power saving sleep mode shuts down all electronics when you leave your car, and will power them up again when your key comes in range of the vehicle.  This allows for minimal wait time before you can begin driving.  This feature saves up to 8 miles worth of electricity from being drained from the battery pack while with vehicle is in storage, your at work or run errands. This will let you squeeze even more range out the the battery pack when you don’t have a charger at your disposal.

Press Release

MODEL S SOFTWARE RELEASE NOTES v4.0

A new software update will be available in the coming days. The onboard notification will guide you through the installation. If you would like to review the process, instructions are available at the end of this email.

After installation, Model S will feature new energy-saving “sleep” functionality, improved door handle capabilities, Voice Commands and enhanced media browsing capabilities, and added functionality for Maps, HomeLink, and Steering Wheel Controls.

Beginning with this update, Release Notes will be displayed on the touchscreen right after the update and can always be accessed later by tapping the Tesla T in the status bar and tapping the Release Notes link located above your VIN number, next to the software version number.


NEW FEATURES

  • Vehicle Sleep
  • App Launcher
  • Release Notes
  • Voice Commands

ENHANCEMENTS

  • Synchronized Door Handles
  • USB Media Browsing
  • Alphabetical Index
  • Calling from Maps
  • Steering Wheel Controls – Fan
  • Speed / Sunroof
  • Throttle Response
  • HomeLink – Location Awareness
  • Energy App

NEW CONTROLS / SETTINGS

  • Auto-Presenting Door Handles
  • Alarm
  • Metric Distance Unit
  • Range Driving Mode

NEW FEATURES

Vehicle Sleep

With this release, Model S will power off the display and vehicle electronics each time you exit, transitioning to a “sleep” state. When you return to Model S, you’ll note a modest increase in the time it takes the touchscreen and instrument panel to wake from this energy-saving state.

Model S will initiate the startup process the moment the key is recognized nearby. You can only begin driving once both displays are ready.

If you would prefer to keep the displays powered so they’ll be instantly available each time you return, you can change the setting in Controls > Settings > Vehicle. Note that keeping the displays powered will reduce your car’s range up to 8 miles per day when the car is not plugged in, and will also reduce the life of your 12V battery and vehicle electrical systems. If displays are set to power off, the displays will power off 2 hours after the rest of the car goes to sleep. The displays will also power off when the battery charge is low (or after 60 hours without use), regardless of the setting.

DISPLAYS

  • App Launcher – With this feature, you can easily launch an app in the bottom app window (in addition to the current default behavior, where tapping an icon replaces the app in the top window). To try it, tap and hold an application icon. You’ll notice a small pop-up indicating the top and bottom viewing panes. Drag the icon to your preferred location.

KEEP DISPLAYS POWERED ON

COPYRIGHT 2012 TESLA MOTORS INC

Xbox 720 Rumor Round-Up

Microsoft Xbox 360 Closeup

Microsoft Xbox 360 Closeup

The Xbox 360 celebrated it’s 7th birthday last week.  That’s quite a long life for a gaming console, and that means its time to get excited about the next generation of consoles.  Nintendo has already kick off the next generation of consoles with the Wii U, so everyone is waiting to see what the Xbox 720 and PS4 has to offer.  We have compiled all of the Xbox 720 rumors we believe have merit into one article.

CPU

The Xbox 720 is rumored to be powered by a 16-core IBM PowerPC, compared to the current generation Xbox 360 with a 3.2GHz Tri-Core PowerPC processor.  Although we don’t know the clock speed of the processor in GHz, the fact that the processor will have 16-Core means that game developers and gamers alike will have massive amounts of computing power for their Eighth Generation console games.

RAM

The Xbox 720 is rumored to contain 8GB of RAM.  This is a massive jump in memory compared to the Xbox 360 with 512MB of shared memory.  That is 16 times the memory of the Xbox 360.  Even if the 8GB of RAM the Xbox 720 will be graced with is shared that gives the developers a lot more room to store AI algorithms  textures, models and code to cram into the memory.

Optical Disc

The Xbox 360 was released too early to receive an HD disc format, and even still Microsoft put there money on an external HD-DVD drive.  We all know that HD-DVD lost the format war to Blu-Ray, but the Xbox 360 never got an HD optical storage disc in mid-life refreshes.  Will this generation of Xbox finally include Blu-Ray?

Rumor has it that the Xbox 720 will include a Blu-Ray Disc drive or not include an optical drive at all, but instead rely on downloaded content.   My money is on the Xbox 360 including at least a Blu-Ray Disc drive.  The shear power that will be packed into the Xbox 720 means that AAA games will require a massive amount of storage, and this would cause the gamers to wait an outrageous amount time before getting to play their games.  Microsoft is also pushing the Xbox as an all-in-one media center, so playing Blu-Rays would just add one more trick to its list.  At minimum I believe Microsoft will include a proprietary disc format based on the now defunct format of HD-DVD, but I believe this is unlikely.

GPU

The Xbox 720 is rumored to receive a AMD Radeon HD 7670 Series GPU which is seven times more powerful then the Xbox 360’s GPU.  This seems to be a little underwhelming compared to the massive jumps the CPU and RAM received.  This still puts the Xbox 720 graphics chip on par with the PS4’s rumored GPU, but will outpace the Wii U’s AMD Radeon HD 5670 by leaps and bounds.

Controller

The Xbox has had quite an interesting history with controllers.  Starting with the massive “Duke” controllers of the original Xbox, which ended up getting slimmed down in the S controller.  The Xbox 360 received it’s own controller based heavily on the privious generations S Controller.  The Xbox 720 is rumored to be getting an updated version of the 360 controller with a twist.

The rumor has it that the new controller will receive an HD touchscreen in the middle of the controller.  This will be similar to the Wii U tablet controller, but about the size of a Playstation Vita.  This is a welcome improvement in my book, as long as the near perfect controller formula doesn’t change to much.

Kinect 2.0

Xbox Kinect 2.0

The Kinect 1.0 was an amazing advancement in motion/controller-less gaming, and we are excited to see the next generation of the Xbox Kinect.  In addition to an updated Kinect sensor there has been rumor of Kinect glasses floating around as well.

Kinect 2.0 is rumored to support tracking of up to 4 players at a time with precise tracking of small movements like fingers.  How the new Kinect will pull this off is unknown, but may have something to do with the multiple Kinect sensors rumor.  As you can see in the picture there appears to be two separate Kinect sensors place on opposite sides on the TV.  Such a setup would give Kinect a better and wider view of the player(s), thus allowing improved tracking and 4 player support.

The above picture that was part of a 52-page leaked document above also shows the rumored Kinect glasses.  The kinect glasses seem to allow for multiple players to experience 3D virtual reality in games.  The prospect of having virtual reality in addition to controller-less control is exciting to say the least.  An additional perk the Kinect glasses allow for is multiplayer support taking screen looking out of the picture for same room play.

Conclusion

The Xbox 720 has some big shoes to fill, and if the rumors hold true the Xbox 720 will have no trouble doing so.  With a improved Kinect and Kinect Glasses powered by 16-Core processor, 8GB of RAM and a powerful AMD Radeon 7000 series GPU the 2013 holiday season will blow gamers away.