Categories
tech

From hot oven onto your hands – Space Shuttle Thermal Tile Demonstration

Roscket Tasartir published a video in 2011 in which we can see a space shuttle thermal tile demonstration. The cool thing in there? You could take the tile from a hot oven and then grab it by the corners and still live to tell the story.

Since those space shuttle tiles are made of silica and have over 98% air in them, they are really good thermal insulators and thus you won’t be harmed if you catch them by the corners. Those tiles were glued to the space shuttles and helped those shuttles survive athmospheric re-entry when they came back from the ISS.

Some of those tiles would be destroyed after such an endeavour, but NASA engineers would glue new ones in place. So sad that the space shuttle program has been scrapped. That and many other NASA programs should allow crowdfunding and I bet millions would send over at least 1 USD a month. You would be able to actually get NASA back on track using such a crowdfunding work.

Anyways, this is what science and technology is doing for us: superhot tiles which we can touch and remain unharmed. Damn!

Via Interesting Engineering.

Categories
entertainment geek tech

Video games: RetroAhoy – Quake, overclock your video card, Nvidia GTX 1070 performance review

RetroAhoy has created a new documentary in regards to the video game industry. In a mix of video game history, gameplay explanations, excellent storytelling and great graphics, Retro Ahoy explains why Quake was the game that changed the face of video games for ever.

The way the levels were created, number of enemies, fast-paced action and the fact that you could mod the game have transformed Quake into a game of reference, a legend. I’ve played the game in the 90s and early 2000s and it was a great experience. It was in a time where computers like the one we have today were a chapter in a scifi movie.

The world has changed a lot and Quake made sure to change the video game landscape for ever. Quake forever.

Getting to things that are more close to today, JayzTwoCents explains why we should overclock our video cards: the video card producers limit the performance on purpose, but give you tools to overclock so that you can use the card at its full capacity. It will shorten the life of a card from 5 to 4 years, for example, but most of us will buy a new card within 2-3 years anyways, so it is a good bet.

What about a performance review for Nvidia GTX 1070, one of the newest kids in the block from Nvidia? There is such a review and the numbers say it aloud: it is the best card around for 1440p gaming. Go get it:

Categories
geek learn tech

AMD CPU Zen, CPU vs GPU, SD cards

In sweet preparation of my dream gaming pc I am looking left and right in order to see what are the best computer components to get into that gaming machine. Later in the summer I’ll have the new gaming rig at home and I’ll enjoy some fine gaming with the newest games from 2015 and on.

Until I’ll get all those coins in one place I’m spending my time playing games like Skyrim or watching the X Files, the old series. And also learn as much as I can about computer parts. And also blog from time to time about random stuff, like IT/tech and science.

Now, should we wait for the AMD Zen architecture from their CPU line? My thought on this: don’t wait. Buy something good enough now, wait for the Zen architecture to mature 1-2 years and then see if it is worth it to use it. For now Intel makes the best CPUs, but AMD makes the most affordable ones.

Good question: why do we need GPUs when we already have a central processing unit, the CPU? Well, the GPU is a special purpose CPU and this is why it is used to process graphics. The CPU is a general purpose processor which is able to handle any program, not just graphics.

And to finis, here is a short history lesson about the SD cards: quite small, they pack the storage punch really hard. Small and cute:

Categories
comic geek tech

CRASH: The Year Video Games Died


Ahoy has a great new video about the video game history. In 1982 Atari died and along with it many other games and clones. Everyone in the US thought that was it, but Japan and Europe still had games.

After a while the Japanese entered the US market with NES and other games and the video games have started to grow again. Since then the video game industry has grown year by year and the games are becoming increasingly interesting and beautiful.

Categories
geek learn science tech

Solar System in an amazing 360 video


The guys at Crash Course have created an amazing 360 video animation where we can learn more about our solar system. What’s a 360 degree video, you ask? It is a video in which you can rotate around and see other perspective while the video is still running.

If movies would have such a 360 degree video, then you may be able to see the cameras rolling while the actors do their thing. Just kidding. A great concept applied to a science video. Neat.

Categories
geek learn science tech

Can you see molecular bonds? IBM says yes.

IBM is mostly interested in finding new ways to build a processor or a storage medium instead just pure physics knowledge. They were able to image the bonds that can be seen in molecules and were also able to steal electrons from the molecule in order to change its type.

In the papaer publicshed in Nature Cemistry under DOI: 10.1038/NCHEM.2438 IBM researchers, in collaboration with CiQUS at the University of Santiago de Compostela, have observed the rearrangement reaction known as a Bergman cyclisation – which was first described in 1972 by American chemist Robert George Bergman.

The abstract says:

“Here we demonstrate a reversible Bergman cyclization for the first time. We induced the on-surface transformation of an individual aromatic diradical into a highly strained ten-membered diyne using atomic manipulation and verified the products by non-contact atomic force microscopy with atomic resolution.”

Which simply means that they were able to manipulate atoms in order to change the configuration of a molecule. Simply put, this is awesome. It is not the first time, but it has one of the simplest explanatory videos out there. Good on you, IBM.

Categories
geek learn tech

Crazy machines: the Stirling Engine

What you see in the video from above is the Stirling Engine, a simple engine in which hot air moves a piston in ways you never knew possible. As you see, the piston is smaller than the cylinder it’s in. When the lower metal place is heated, the air that is at the bottom will heat up and then push the piston while going up.

Then the cool air from above the piston will be pushed down and heat up. The cycle begins again. While such an engine isn’t extremely practical, it serves quite well as an example of what engines are: devices that transform energy into mechanical work. That’s all there is to know about engines. Way for the Stirling Engine.

Categories
geek tech

2016: get you pc overdose by learning about BIOS, UEFI, M.2, SATA, SAS, CPU vs GPU, extreme gaming rigs

2015 was full of IT/computer stuff and 2016 awaits the ZEN CPU architecture from AMD. Although Intel won’t reduce the prices for its processors even if AMD catches up, maybe we’ll finally see AMD CPUs being on par with Intel ones. Long history between those two, you know.

First, let’s start by learning with TechQuickie about the tech in our computers. You don’t need to remember everything said in the videos, but it will help you in the future. Nothing worse than listening to guys talking pc stuff and you being a complete noob about pretty much everything.

What is BIOS? Why was UEFI invented? BIOS is the Basic Input Output System, a software built into the motherboard itself (on a ROM chip aka flash chip) which is able to detect the components of the computer and let you run some diagnostics. It does basic stuff and can handle drives up to 2TB. This is why UEFI, Unified Extensible Firmware Interface, was created.

UEFI can use an actual graphical interface, inclusing mouse usage, will recognize drives way bigger than 2TB and is faster. Linus explains more in the video from below:

Now, what about video editing? In the era of the film you would need to physically cut and then paste a part of the film into another part. A tedious process prone to human error. After video casettes became a thing machines that could stop a video and then record a part of it onto another casette were created. Learn more about video editing and about the difference between film and video:

But what is film really? Let’s learn more about film in the video from below:

But how are CPUs made? Well, it is pretty much like 3D printing with etching combined. The factory creates a layer of silicon, then uses lasers to cut into it and create transistors this way and then another layer is setup to insulate from the next layer of silicon based transistors. A process that is impossible to do without robots and a very clean environment:

In order to make the computer faster the M.2 connector has been invented. This allows you to have flash drives installed in your computer and increase the write/read speeds up to 4 GBps, which is a huge increase. Also, M.2 drives are significantly smaller than hard drvies or SSDs.

Usually the M.2 drives use the PCI E 3.0 X4 port in order to connect to the computer. There are many types of devices that can use the M.2 port, like WiFi or Bluettoth, so you need to be careful at dimensions, usage and drive sizes.

Now, whats the difference between SATA and SAS. SATA ports allow you to transfer data from your drive in speeds up to 600MB/s, but SAS can reach up to 12 Gbps. SAS is Serial Attched SCSI and can deal with incoming and outgoing data at full speed at the same time as SATA can deal with only one type of data at a time.

SAS also uses drives that have up to 15000 RPM, but cost more and are usually used for servers, not for home usage. SAS is tipically used when you need a lot of people to access you hard drive at the same time. So, the general advice is to stick with SATA or M.2 or PCI E or with RAM drives for home usage.

Now, let go into the pc gaming realm once we’ve feasted on tech knowledge in regards to all these shiny ports. Lets see what Newegg has to say about Gigabyte Xtreme Gaming graphics cards like this 629 GBP video card:GeForce GTX 980Ti Xtreme Gaming.

If you ask me, in terms of performance Intel beats AMD in the processor world and Nvidia beats ATI in the GPU world. If you have the cash, then Intel + Nvidia is a good choice, if not, then AMD + ATI will bring you almost the same performance, but with at least 10-30% in price reduction.

When I look for a new computer, be it laptop or gaming rig, I usually look at the newest generation of i7, which is Skylake now. But each generation of CPUs has its own i3, i5 and i7 version with each having different subversions. It is crazy. Learn about these difference from PC Advisor.

Also, did you ever wanted to know the difference between a CPU and GPU? GPU is more prone to graphics and triangle calculation whereas the CPU is more prone for general works, like video processing, browsing. GPU is a specialist CPU which handles the way pixels are displayed based on the 3D model. When fewer calculations are needed a CPU can be faster, but when millions of floating point calculations need to be done, then a GPU will use parallel calculations to solve the issue much faster than a regular CPU:

Also, what is the big fuss about DirectX 12 which runs only on Win 10? Well, DirectX 12 will let you use all the cores in the CPU while in-game so this will increase the life of your processor. This is the biggest change, but will also allow you to save on power usage and offer better effects. When gaming you need to be able to use any extra performance to have a better experience.

Now that you use a DX 12 compatible video card, would gaming laptops with GTX 980 video cards worth the money? It seems like yes, they are worth the money:

Finally, I like what Jay has done with his extreme rig and with all that liquid cooling in there. I won’t go overkill like that, but it is a good to know what you can do with your gaming rig:

Learn more about liquid cooling from Maximum PC.

Bonus: what can you go with a 30 000 USD gaming rig? Well. you can allow 7 people to play with this single machine. Linus explains:

In the mega gaming rig they use two Intel® Xeon® Processor E5-2697 v3 processors with a cost of 2700USD each. Other parts:
– motherboard Asus Z10PE-D8 WS, allows 7 video cards on it and two Intel Xeon processors
– 256 GB or RAM from Kingston, 32GB each
– seven AMD R9 Nano video cards
– 1600W power supply

Happy 2016 😀

Categories
geek science tech

A phone battery has an energy equivalent to 40 .44 Magnum bullets


Now, that is something new, but the fact that a phone battery can hurt you is not new. Do NOT ever, under any circumstances breck the battery apart. Since it has compounds of lithium in it and since lithium is very reactive with air, the batter will start burning and will explode.

The energy stored in a battery is the same as the one from 40 .44 Magnum bullets. The word says that such a bullet can rip you head off, but closer to the truth would be that it will rip a part of you head off. The same with the battery: it can burn and hurt you if you are not careful enough. Also, try not to speak at the phone while the phone is charging.

Categories
geek tech

Computer fun: how a CPU is made, aspect ratios, case recommendation


A CPU is build in a very strictly controlled environment where the transistors are build by simply building them layer by layer though a process called photolithography. Today we have CPUs in which the transistors are 14nm big. It is an incredible step since the first ICs in 1947, but basically a CPU is build from dumb things which let current flow. A transistor does not know anything about how the entire CPU much like a cell in our bodies doesn’t know or understand how the entire body works.

A book is recommended in this case: But How Do It Know. It is about how a CPU is build. It is build from dumb things which, when taken together, can do a lot of work.

Noe, let’s get to monitors. Today’s aspect ratio is 16:9, but it wasn’t always this one. 4:3 was very popular with CRT displays. If you remember those displays, then you know they could offer great color contract and images.

Also, once we’re here, you might want to take a look at what video cards are best depending on the display resolution you have. A great shift int he way the guys at Tom’s Hardware are making their reviews.

Now, if you want a quiet and a cool case for your computer, then why not get your hands on BeQuiet Silent Base 600 PC Case. Linus reviews it below: