Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Personal Computers

An Apple 1 computer was sold for $905,000 last week

When it was announced earlier this month that a 1976 Apple 1 motherboard would be up for grabs at the Bonhams' History of Science auction in New York, we wondered whether the sale prices such artifacts have attracted in the past adequately reflects their value as landmark innovations. This sale looks to have bucked the trend in the most emphatic fashion, attracting a successful bid of US$905,000 and becoming the most expensive Apple computer ever sold.  Read More

According to Bonhams, around 200 of the Apple 1 computers were built and were the first pr...

We have previously argued here at Gizmag that the rate of technological advancement, which often banishes early iterations of a product to the realms of obsolescence, has obscured the true worth of some of our landmark innovations. As such, sales like the upcoming History of Science auction at Bonhams New York could provide fine opportunities for medium-term investments in rare collectibles, like a 1976 Apple 1 motherboard.  Read More

The Silent Power PC uses an open-air metal foam heatsink for passive cooling

The Silent Power PC is claimed to be the first high-end PC able to ditch noisy electric fans in favor of fully passive cooling. In place of a conventional fan, the unit uses an open-air metal foam heatsink that boasts an enormous surface area thanks to the open-weave filaments of copper of which it is composed. The Silent Power creators claim that the circulation of air through the foam is so efficient in dissipating heat that the exterior surface temperature never rises above 50° C (122° F) in normal use.  Read More

The Ubuntu Edge is a smartphone and desktop PC in one device

The fine line between full-featured smartphone and powerful computer has been blurred with news that Canonical is developing a pocket-sized dual OS superphone that runs both Android and Ubuntu. When running Ubuntu mobile, users of the new Ubuntu Edge will be able to launch apps and access settings by swiping the edge of the display. Cabling the phone to a monitor and pairing it with a wireless keyboard and mouse allows power users to launch a full version of the Ubuntu desktop computing platform, with seamless transition between environments.  Read More

Chinese researchers have developed a cloud-based operating system called TransOS (Image: S...

While it has taken longer than some anticipated, cloud computing is finally coming of age and whether you have a business, creative or gaming focus, there’s a cloud-based option for just about any application you can think of. Researchers in China are now aiming to go one step further and take the operating system (OS) to the cloud with TransOS, a cross-platform, cloud-based OS.  Read More

Microsoft's Surface Pro tablet powered by Windows 8 marks a shift in the computing industr...

Windows 8 represents a big change for Microsoft’s industry leading OS. It breaks from tradition by doing away with the long serving Start button and replacing it with a tile-based and touch-friendly Metro UI. While this move has widely polarized opinion, especially in the enterprise sector, it does represent a major trend across the industry, with mobile-tablet operating systems becoming more and more closely related to their laptop and desktop counterparts. This trend is personified by Microsoft’s in-house tablet, the Surface Pro.  Read More

Intel has launched its first desktop PC motherboard with Thunderbolt I/O technology: the D...

After over a year of Mac dominance, the first Intel desktop PC motherboard featuring Thunderbolt I/O technology has been – somewhat quietly – announced. Based on the latest Z77 Express chipset, the DZ77RE-75K has been optimized for the new Intel -K Core processors. It features a new GUI BIOS, comes with integrated HD audio and video, and benefits from RAID 0, 1, 5, 10 support.  Read More

Orange Amps has given its computer/amp mash-up - the OPC - a system upgrade, and a drop in...

The combined computer and guitar amp introduced by Orange Amps last year - and which subsequently found itself being used in a successful Guinness World Record attempt by fingerboard speed king Tiago Della Vega - has just had some of its internals upgraded, and been given a bit a price cut, too. The Windows 7 OPC is now available with up to Core i7 processing power and 8GB of DDR3 RAM, USB 3.0 port connectivity and hundred of dollars worth of bundled music-related software.  Read More

Getac's new ultra-rugged flagship notebook, the X500

Getac's range of rugged notebook computers continues to grow with the release of the company's new flagship X500. Aimed at Getac's core military customers, the X500 is designed to withstand the most extreme working conditions. With Intel Core i5-520M (2.4GHz) and Core i7-620M (2.66GHz) processor options, 2GB of RAM and the option of a NVIDIA GeForce GT330M MXM GPU with 512MB of VRAM, the X500 is also the most powerful ultra-rugged PC in the company's 22-year history.  Read More

The Xi3 Corporation has announced that it will add a Chrome OS-based flavor to its modular...

The Chrome OS avalanche looks to be gaining momentum, with modular computer manufacturer Xi3 announcing a desktop computer addition to the mobile solutions announced by Samsung and Acer earlier in the month. Set to be a new flavor of the company's soon-to-be-generally-available, CES 2011 Innovations Award-winning modular computer range, the cube-like, low power ChromiumPC will be available with single- or dual-core processors and will benefit from a host of new input/output (I/O) modules currently being developed by the Xi3 Corporation and its partners.  Read More

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