part of the Blog News Channel

New Dell Comes With Sideshow

Dell has unveiled a new PC, the XPS 420, which comes with an integrated Windows SideShow display. SideShow, the exciting technology that allows PCs to have external screens with certain vital data, hasn’t gotten a lot of traction since Vista was released, but Dell’s endorsement may help turn things around. The display is on the top of a desktop tower, which may make it difficult to access if the computer is on a desk next to the monitor (and thus positioning the display above your head), but it should work nicely if your PC is on the floor.

The specs of this PC:

  • Intel processors, up to Core 2 Extreme 3 GHz
  • Vista Home Premium or Ultimate
  • Up to 4 GB RAM
  • Up to 2 terabyte RAID hard drives
  • Up to a Blu-Ray drive and dual layer DVD R/W drives
  • Up to 768MB nVidia GeForce 8800 GTX
  • Available AGEIA® PhysX® physics accelerator
  • Up to Sound Blaster X-Fi Xtreme Music audio (cannot order advanced audio and the PhysX card, presumably due to a lack of expansion slots)
  • Available ATI Theater 650 PRO Combo TV Tuner with up to Gyroscopic Remote and Xcelerator
  • Comes with Dell Bluetooth Wireless Media Hub + Bluetooth Keyboard and Mouse
  • 802.11b/g wifi card (but no available 802.11n)
  • Up to Bose Companion 3 Series II Multimedia Speaker System
  • Free 10GB DataSafe Online Backup for 1 Year

As maximum configured by me, with a 4-year warranty and no PhysX card (audio is more important to me), the system is $5,835. At base, you could get it for $1,499 with a 20 inch flat-panel monitor, 2.66 GHz Core 2 Duo, 2 GB RAM, 320GB Hard Drive, dual layer 16X CD/DVD burner (DVD+/-RW) drive, a 1-year warranty and no Office suite.
(via the SideShow team blog)

October 25th, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Sideshow, Vista, Windows | no comments

SideShow Patented

Microsoft has acquired a patent covering SideShow, ensuring the platform remains exclusive to Windows. Microsoft first presented SideShow back in 2001. The patent covers, “A portable computer system and method include an auxiliary system”.

Speaking of worrying about other companies stealing your technology, a year ago Steve Jobs said there was a secret feature in Leopard that they couldn’t present then for fear that Microsoft’s “photocopiers” would clone the feature in Windows Vista. A year later, after Steve Jobs presented all the features left in Mac OS 10.5, it’s clear he was talking about a feature that never shipped, or was drastically overstating the importance of that feature.

That is, unless he revealed it at some point yesterday and nobody cared. Could be. The WWDC 2007 keynote didn’t exactly wow the stock market.


Oh, and a security expert claimed to have hacked Apple’s new Safari browser for Windows within minutes of its release. Whoo-whoo-whoo-whoops.
(via Digg)

UPDATE: And if you are not a fan of the font rendering in Safari, you’re not alone. Here’s an article comparing it with Windows’ own font rendering.

UPDATE 2: Wait a minute, Leopard costs $130? Isn’t that a bit much for an operating system update? I mean, you can go from Windows XP to Windows Vista Home Premium for $112-125, and that’s an actual new operating system. Why does Apple charge so much for service packs, and what would they charge for OS XI? $400?

June 12th, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Sideshow, Vista, Apple, Windows, General | no comments

Hosting sponsored by GoDaddy

Windows SideShow Skype Phone

Asus is showing off the coolest SideShow device yet: A phone that includes all the typical SideShow functionality, plus wifi, Skype, a headphone jack, and iTunes and Windows Media Player music streaming, tied together on a color screen. That means you can come home, put one of these in your pocket, and stream all your music out of it and check your email, as well as pick up the phone when somebody calls and control your TV or Media Center-controlled stereo. Assuming the thing is designed well and priced well, it is my new #1 SideShow device, and somebody better hook me up with Asus so I can try it out.

Oh yeah, and it looks great.

January 16th, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Sideshow, Vista, Windows, General | no comments

A Sideshow Bag? Why Not!


Here’s an idea from the “So Strange It Might Be Brilliant” department: Eleksen unveiled at CES a prototype Windows Sideshow device that is built into a messenger bag. The Sideshow display is literally embedded on the outside surface of the bag, with fabric buttons nearby. Inside the bag, a Bluetooth module (with battery) or a USB cable communicates with the laptop inside.

It’s crazy. It’s genius! I remember when my MP3 player broke, the first thing I did was plug my headphones into my laptop, hit play, and put the laptop in the bag while I waited for a replacement in the mail. The Sideshow implementation is much prettier and easier to manage; just make sure the laptop gets the USB cable when you put it in the bag, and the Sideshow device will be able to grab MP3s, email and your calendar, without requiring you to open the bag or snake a cable out of it.

Elekson isn’t selling the device, but is making reference designs and ready-to-integrate modules for bag manufacturers. This is a great way for those with pre-Vista laptops to upgrade to Sideshow. If Elekson wants to make me happy, they’ll sell a “hobbyist kit” that lets me hack one into my bag myself, you know, if I knew how to sew.

UPDATE: Engadget’s got a hands-on look at some Sideshow remotes, including ones we haven’t seen before.

January 9th, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Sideshow, Vista, Windows, General | 3 comments