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  • End of Business

    DTC Consulting would like to thank all of their past and present clients for their custom.

    We have officially shut our doors as of January 1, 2019. We suggest you contact Moosenet Computers here in Moose Jaw for any technology or computer issues you need assistance with.


  • Technology: Then and Now

    Posted on by Jess

    In 1965, Gordon Moore predicted the number of transistors the industry would be able to place on a computer microchip would double every year. He was pretty much right on with his prediction for some time. Nowadays, we know there is a theoretical maximum, but humans are clever and have found ways around even that limit. The doubling has slowed to about every 18 months, but we’re still going strong.

    Using these leaps, real world inventors have followed in the footsteps of science fiction writers. Over the past 30 years, consumerism in one form or another has really driven technology development. Here are a few examples:

    Cell Phones

    1984

     

    The Motorola DynaTAC was the first commercially available handheld cell phone. A full charge took about 10 hours and it sported a beefy 30 minutes of talk time. It had a fancy LED display for dialing and recall, and could store 30 phone numbers in it’s “phonebook”.

    It retailed at $3,995 then (a modern day cost of about $10,000). Motorola continued to sell these right through to 1994.It became associated with 1980’s pop culture and has been used extensively in film and media set in that period.

     

    2016

    Smartphones are the “de rigueur” for cell phones now. Flip phones were popular through the start of the millennium, but Apple introduced the first massively adopted smartphone in 2007. It quickly replaced a large number of previously common devices: walkmans, still and video cameras, memo recorders, and pagers. Exactly how good is this phone?  Paul Ledak poses this:

    # of transistors – iPhone has 130,000 times more than Apollo
    clock frequency – iPhone is 32,600 times faster than Apollo
    instructions per second – iPhone is 80,800,000 times faster than Apollo
    overall performance – iPhone is 120,000,000 times faster than Apollo
    or 1 iPhone 6 could theoretically  guide 120 million Apollo rockets at the same time

    Laptop Computers

    1991

    Almost everybody has used, or at least seen a laptop computer. While the Powerbook 100 isn’t the first laptop, it was on one the most popular of the early models. The Powerbook 100 boasted a Motorola 16 MHz processor, two to eight megabytes of memory, a 20 Mb hard drive, and a 9-inch monochrome monitor. It was released in 1991.

    It was considered one of the 10 best PC’s of all time by PC World in 2006, almost 15 years later. And as we are seeing, 15 years in technology time is an eternity.

     

    2015

    So that we are comparing apples to apples (HA!), here is the newest offering by Apple. The MacBook (2016). The MacBook has a 2.4GHz processor, two Gigabytes of memory, 250 Gb hard drive, and a 13.3-inch display capable of high definition video. It is one of the most popular laptops in the world, and is commonly seen in TV and Film.

    Comparisons are difficult as there are many other peripherals that the MacBook has over the Powerbook. Webcam, 5.1 audio, WiFi, Ethernet, and Bluetooth to name a few.

     

    Video Games

    1987

    In 1984, Nintendo released “Duck Hunt”. It was a single player game that had a pistol controller to allow you to shoot ducks as they flew up. It was designed for the Nintendo Entertainment System. While not the first home console to hit the markets, it was one of the most popular and is recognizable to all and helped revitalize the video game industry. Over 60 million units were sold world-wide.

    The system it was played on was an 8-bit console that had 2 kilobytes of ram. Games came hard coded into cartridges that were inserted into the deck. It could show up to 25 simultaneous colors.

     

    2016-2

    In 2016, Ubisoft released Tom Clancy’s The Division. The Division is classed as a online only open world third person shooter game. It has photo realistic graphics, 7.1 surround sound, and an extensive in-depth plot that develops as the player progresses through the game.

    It is available to play on all three major platforms: PC, Xbox, and PlayStation.

     

    EDIT: I found a gallery of video game graphics evolution over the past three decades. Check it out!

     

     

    As we progress into the future, Cell phones, laptops, and video games will continue to push the envelope. A newcomer to the technology race is Virtual and Augmented reality headsets. The technology is relatively young, but has a strong backing by consumers to move forward.


  • Cellphone Madness!

    Ever wonder what all that stuff means when you go to look for a new cell phone? What’s the difference between and iPhone, Android, Blackberry and others? We can help!

    We will provide you with a clear understanding of what all the bells and whistles that current day smart phones have. We can also help you find the best carrier and plan for your needs.


  • Updated Info on Parts Ordering


    Just letting everyone know that we can handle any orders you wish to make through Tigerdirect.ca!

    We have a unique relationship with their Canadian distributor and can usually get you great prices on almost everything they list on their website.

    To have an order priced, simply visit their site and find the parts you would like. Email us the SKU codes, or links to the items and we will have a price sent back to you as soon as possible. Most times it is a 24 hour turn around on pricing. Sadly, we can not process anything on weekends, but you should get your response on Monday!

    As always, we would be happy to sit down with you to explain about what the various technical terms for each part you want may mean. Let us help plan your perfect computer purchase, without the concern that you’ve bought something way over priced, or more than you need. Why spend money on a Ferrari when all you needed was a pick-up truck?

    UPDATE: We are no longer purchasing equipment for resale. DTC has no service bay to perform repair and installation work. We have teamed up with a local shop who has the best technician in the area, as well a fully capable repair shop. Please direct all equipment purchase inquiries to Moosenet Computer Services.


  • Podcast!

    Just as an aside, Jess Hallsworth has teamed up with Wes Nairne to produce a weekly podcast called The Digital Crockpot.

    They pick topics from current events, cool new technology, and basically anything that catches their eye. They also accept submissions from listeners for topics!

    NOTE: The podcast has completed its run. Thank you to all of our listeners!


  • Project: Media System

    A few months ago we started researching HTPC’s. Now we know what you’re thinking.. what the heck is a HTPC? Here’s a description in a nutshell:

    Some people use a computer connected to their TV to play video, music and display pictures. Now, most computers and laptops are fairly large in comparison to the regular stereo and video equipment, such as DVD and Blu-Ray players. Why do it? Some people have many thousands of hours of video, music and pictures saved on their home computers. There are several ways to display this content on the family tv, but the easiest is to have the computer directly connected. What a Home Theatre Personal Computer does is simplify this process by providing the content directly to the TV through the person’s home network.

    There are many models of them out there, from the full size computer to a laptop doing the work. Digital media is the way consumers are moving, and the ability to pick up a remote control and browse all your movies collection on the screen, then press a button to play, pause, rewind, etc. is a big draw.

    What we have been researching is a smaller model of the PC, something more along the lines of a DVD size computer. Here’s some of the results:

    Mini-ITX computers are fairly new to the market. They don’t have a lot of penetration to the general consumer and tend to be used by hobbyists or specialists for one-of uses. We chose the Zotac ION motherboard as it incorporates a good processor and a top of the line graphics card. It’s got an HDMI port and optical audio connection for high quality video and audio. This means you can plug it into your existing TV an stereo systems with no special connectors.

    With no fan, the system is totally silent. One drawback is to keep it cool enough to run there are a multitude of vent holes across the entire case. If they are covered, it may cause a heat build up that would degrade performance.

    For software, we looked for something that wouldn’t increase the cost of the unit. Linux is a free operating system that has several bonuses to it. First and foremost, it’s free! Next on the list is the size, at less than a gigabyte with the media playing software, it can easily reside on a usb thumb drive.

    There are several media playing software packages on the internet. All of them are good, and have great qualities about them. For this project I chose XBMC.

    Everything seems to be working with a single exception: We can’t get the HTPC to connect to any Microsoft Windows 7 computers. Ubuntu (linux) and Windows XP or Vista all work. A little research on my part finds that We’re not the only people with the same trouble. It seems that either an update done to the XBMC software or one that Microsoft made has broken the connection. While we’re pretty good with the software, there are better programmers and software engineers than us!

    Currently, this project is on hold. As soon as the issue with the connection to Windows 7 machines has been resolved, we’ll begin development of the HTPC again. If anyone has a solution to our trouble, please give us a heads up!