NVIDIA Ion Platform

Nvidia has introduced the ION platform, coupling NVIDIA GeForce 9400M integrated graphics solution with Intel Atom processor.

Graphics powerful small NVIDIA Ion Platform

Graphics powerful small NVIDIA Ion Platform

Advantages? It can run video at full HD resolution of 1080p. Its now possible to play many games at better frame rates on an Atom processor, which were not possible with the older Intel 945 chipset platform. It’s also possible to use Windows Vista on an atom. With Linux based OS you now run Compiz Fuzion with all the 3D effects enabled.How about keeping you friends wondering, how your little machine can do so much with Compiz Fusion on Linux.

The ION platform has hardware accelerated decoding of H.264 and MPEG-2 formats. But all this will come at the cost of battery life. The use of this graphics solution is seen as a bottleneck on the battery life of current netbooks. Definitely, it’s not for those who just do a bit of word-processing, online surfing on their netbooks. Also gaming on an tiny 10-inch screen is not worth it. Though I guess manufacturers will bring in bigger screen based on Atom processors soon.

Ok, after all its dis-advantages that overpower advantages, why am I talking about this platform. May be because you can connect a bigger monitor you an netbook, and go gaming at your relatives house with all the gaming progress saved on the netbook.

The bigger arena I hope to see this platform succeed is the Home Theatre PC (HTPC) market, where low power requirement is big boon, but the requirement are not very high. There’s no need of a power hungry graphics card and processor. You think you will use this combo for you next Home Theater PC? Another competitor for Nvidia Ion Platform is Nvidia Tegra.

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Power Saving for Computer

It is possible to save power even though your PC is ON, by using power saving options available. This green initiative will help do little green for the environment around and reduce your electricity bills a bit.

Please note that: All the power options mentioned used the last moment, when it detected inactivity (no mouse or keyboard usage) as reference.

This is the thing you need to do

Right click on the desktop and click on ‘Properties
Next click on the ‘Screen Saver‘ tab above
Click on the ‘Power‘ button at the bottom of the window
This will open a window with title ‘Power Options
Here you can create various power schemes for various requirements. (I have displayed my power schemes at the end of the post)

Power-management in Windows XP

Power-management in Windows XP

Description of terms used:
Turn off monitor: After the selected time limit, the CPU will put the monitor in standby mode. This helps in saving lot of power especially in case of CRT monitor. I will recommend all of us to use this option set to ‘After 3 minutes’.

Turn off hard disks: After the selected time, the power supply to hard-disk is turned off. This helps save a few tens of watts of electricity.

System Standby: This option put the system in a low power mode, turning off most of devices connected to the motherboard. This helps save a lot of power. To resume back to work after standby, just press any key on the keyboard.

Hibernate option in Windows XP

Hibernate option in Windows XP

System Hibernates: This option turns-off the computer completely. You can even switch off the computer after putting it in hibernate mode. To resume from standby mode press the ‘Power’ switch of your CPU. This mode saves maximum power and is equivalent to turning off computer, but it enables to get back to work faster, than turning off the computer and then start it again.

To manually put your computer in hibernation mode, Click the ‘start’ button. Then click on ‘Turn off Computer’. After that, hold down the ‘Shift’ key on the keyboard, the standby button will turn to hibernate. Don’t release the shift key before clicking on Hiberate.

This is how Hibernate mode works: Before turning off, the data in RAM is copied to the hard-disk. So the next time you start your computer, the data in hard-disk is copied directly to the RAM instead of verification process, and you get back where you originally were much faster.

Some of my Power  Management schemes are:

Scanning Power Management: For antivirus scans
Turn off Monitor:     After 1 min
Turn off hard disks:  Never
System Standby:       After 3 hours
System hibernates:    After 4 hours

Usual: For Regular Use
Turn off Monitor:     After 1 min
Turn off hard disks:  Never
System Standby:       After 3 minutes
System hibernates:    After 10 minutes

Movie Time: For use while watching movies
Turn off Monitor:     Never
Turn off hard disks:  Never
System Standby:       Never
System hibernates:    Never

You can create multiple power management schemes, by selecting the required settings discussed above and clicking the ‘Save As’ button and use them to as and when required. Using these measures will contribute to save our warming planet.

Windows Shortcuts

General (applicable in most programs)

CTRL + C: Copy
CTRL + X: Cut
CTRL + V: Paste
CTRL + Z: Undo
CTRL + A: Select all

CTRL + F4: Close the active document in programs that enable you to have multiple documents open simultaneously.
CTRL + ESC: Display the Start menu.
CTRL while dragging an item: Copy the selected item.
CTRL + SHIFT while dragging an item: Create a shortcut to the selected item.
CTRL + RIGHT ARROW: Move the insertion point to the beginning of the next word.
CTRL + LEFT ARROW: Move the insertion point to the beginning of the previous word.
CTRL + DOWN ARROW: Move the insertion point to the beginning of the next paragraph.
CTRL + UP ARROW: Move the insertion point to the beginning of the previous paragraph.
CTRL + SHIFT with any of the arrow keys: Highlight a block of text.
SHIFT when you insert a CD-ROM into the CD-ROM drive: Prevent the CD-ROM from automatically playing.

SHIFT with any of the arrow keys: Select more than one item in a window or on the desktop, or select text in a document.
SHIFT + DELETE: To delete the selected item permanently without placing it in the Recycle Bin.
SHIFT + F10: Display the shortcut menu for the selected item.

ALT + ENTER: View the properties for the selected item.
ALT + F4: Close the active item, or quit the active program.
ALT + ENTER: Display the properties of the selected object.
ALT + SPACEBAR: Open the shortcut menu for the active window.
ALT + TAB: Switch between the open items.
ALT + ESC: Cycle through items in the order that they had been opened.
ALT + SPACEBAR: Display the System menu for the active window.
ALT + Underlined letter in a menu name: Perform the corresponding command.

F2 key: Rename the selected item.
F3 key: Search for a file or a folder.
F4 key: Display the Address bar list in My Computer or Windows Explorer.
F5 key: Update the active window.
F6 key: Cycle through the screen elements in a window or on the desktop.
F10 key: Activate the menu bar in the active program.

RIGHT ARROW: Open the next menu to the right, or open a submenu.
LEFT ARROW: Open the next menu to the left, or close a submenu.

BACKSPACE: View the folder one level up in My Computer or Windows Explorer.
ESC: Cancel the current task.
CTRL + SHIFT + ESC: Open Task Manager.

Dialog box

CTRL + TAB: Move forward through the tabs.
CTRL + SHIFT + TAB: Move backward through the tabs.
SHIFT + TAB: Move backward through the options.

ALT + Underlined letter: Perform the corresponding command or select the corresponding option.

F1 key: Display Help.
F4 key: Display the items in the active list.

TAB: Move forward through the options.
ENTER: Perform the command for the active option or button.
SPACEBAR: Select or clear the check box if the active option is a check box.
Arrow keys: Select a button if the active option is a group of option buttons.
BACKSPACE: Open a folder one level up if a folder is selected in the Save As or Open dialog box

Microsoft natural shortcuts

Windows Logo: Display or hide the Start menu.
Windows Logo + D: Display the desktop.
Windows Logo + M: Minimize all of the windows.
Windows Logo + SHIFT + M: Restore the minimized windows.
Windows Logo + E: Open My Computer.
Windows Logo + F: Search for a file or a folder.
Windows Logo + R: Open the Run dialog box.

Windows Explorer

END: Display the bottom of the active window.
HOME: Display the top of the active window.

NUM LOCK + Asterisk sign (*): Display all of the subfolders that are under the selected folder.
NUM LOCK + Plus sign ( + ): Display the contents of the selected folder.
NUM LOCK + Minus sign (-): Collapse the selected folder.

LEFT ARROW: Collapse the current selection if it is expanded, or select the parent folder.
RIGHT ARROW: Display the current selection if it is collapsed, or select the first subfolder.

Microsoft Internet Explorer

F5: Refresh the current Web page.
CTRL + R: Refresh the current Web page.
CTRL + O: Open the Open dialog box.
CTRL + F: Start the Find utility.
CTRL + H: Open the History bar.
CTRL + I: Open the Favorites bar.
CTRL + B: Open the Organize Favorites dialog box.
CTRL + E: Open the Search bar.
CTRL + W: Close the current window.
CTRL + P: Open the Print dialog box.
CTRL + N: Start another instance of the browser with the same Web address