Apple to Cut Its Mac Computer Prices


‘Cuts are reportedly in store, both first desktop and laptop lines.’

Faced with slumping sales and stinging criticism from competitor Microsoft over its high prices, Apple is reportedly going to try a price cut to spur its computer sales.  While Apple’s general sales have been saved by its iPhone, its computer sales, both for laptops and desktops have slumped.  It is still earning more profit than some competitors thanks to large profit margins, but as losses continue, the company is becoming increasingly concerned. Continue reading “Apple to Cut Its Mac Computer Prices”

Surface Conduction Electron emitter Display (SED)

Surface-conduction Electron-emitter Display (SED)

The SED technology has been developing since 1987. The flat panel display technology that employs surface conduction electron emitters for every individual display pixel can be referred to as the Surface-conduction Electron-emitter Display (SED). Though the technology differs, the basic theory that the emitted electrons can excite a phosphor coating on the display panel seems to be the bottom line for both the SED display technology and the traditional cathode ray tube (CRT) televisions. When bombarded by moderate voltages (tens of volts), the electrons tunnel across a thin slit in the surface conduction electron emitter apparatus. Some of these electrons are then scattered at the receiving pole and are accelerated towards the display surface, between the display panel and the surface conduction electron emitter apparatus, by a large voltage gradient (tens of kV) as these electrons pass the electric poles across the thin slit. These emitted electrons can then excite the phosphor coating on the display panel and the image follows. Continue reading “Surface Conduction Electron emitter Display (SED)”


Like an ordinary dust  particle, Smart Dust will remain suspended in the environment acting like electronic nerve endings for the planet, monitoring almost everything on earth. Smart Dust is a concept originated out of a research project by the United States Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the Research And Development Corporation (RAND) in the early 1990s. Smart Dust is made of “motes” which are tiny sensors that can perform a variety of functions. They are made of “microeletromechanical systems” known as MEMS.

The goal of the Smart Dust project is to build a self-contained, millimeter-scale sensing and communication platform for a massively distributed sensor network. This device will be around the size of a grain of sand and will contain sensors, computational ability, bi-directional wireless communications, and a power supply, while being inexpensive enough to deploy by the hundreds. The science and engineering goal of the project is to build a complete, complex system in a tiny volume using state-of-the art technologies, which will require evolutionary and revolutionary advances in integration, miniaturization, and energy management. We foresee many applications for this technology: Weather/seismological monitoring on Mars, Internal spacecraft monitoring, Land/space comm. Networks, Chemical/biological sensors, Weapons stockpile monitoring, Defense-related sensor networks, Inventory Control, Product quality monitoring, Smart office spaces, Sports – sailing, balls.

The main object of the Smart Dust project is used to demonstrate that a complete sensor/communication system can be integrated into a cubic millimeter package.  This involves both evolutionary and revolutionary advances in miniaturization, integration, and energy management.




The SIDAC is a silicon bilateral voltage triggered switch with greater power handling capabilities than standard DIACs.

The SIDAC, or SIlicon Diode for Alternating Current, is a semiconductor of the thyristor family. Also referred to as a SYDAC (Silicon thYristor for Alternating Current), bi-directional thyristor breakover diode, or more simply a bi-directional thyristor diode, is technically specified as a bilateral voltage triggered switch. Its operation is identical to that of the DIAC; the distinction in naming between the two devices being subject to the particular manufacturer. In general, SIDACs have higher breakover voltages and current handling capacities than DIACs. The working of SIDAC is similar to a DIAC used as pulse generators in Triac controlled devices. It is similar to a Triac without gate and is a five layered device. Since the SIDAC handles much current, it can be used to switch on a device and not like the triggering in DIAC. Continue reading “The SIDAC”

What Is Bit-Banging?

Bit-banging is a method of using general-purpose I/O lines to emulate a serial port. Microcontrollers that include serial-port modules like SPI[tm] and I2C[tm] manage all synchronization and timing signals, and this activity is transparent to the user. With bit-banging each write to the port causes a single transition at the port pin. And it’s up to the user, first, to provide the correct number of transitions to obtain the desired waveform and, second, to ensure that the timing requirements (particularly setup and hold times for reading and writing data) are met. Continue reading “What Is Bit-Banging?”