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Monthly Archives: January 2018

Evolution of Computer Memory

Molecular Memory

Molecular memory is the name of a technology that uses organic molecules to store binary data. The Holy Grail of this technology would be to use one molecule to store one bit. For the near future, it would be more realistic to expect to have systems that use large groups of molecules to represent a single bit. Different types of molecules have been researched, including protein molecules. A more precise name of a molecular memory system that uses protein molecules is Protein Memory. Other types of molecular memory would have more precise names derived from the types of molecules on which the technologies are based.

Protein Memory

In the mid-1990s, the development of a protein-based memory system was the project of Robert Birge – chemistry professor and director of the W.M. Keck Center for Molecular Electronics. He was assisted by Jeff Stuart, a biochemist and one of Birge’s graduate students. The protein molecule in question is called bacteriorhodospin. Purple in color, it exists in the microorganism halobacterium halobium which thrives in salt marshes where temperatures can reach 140F.

The protein undergoes a molecular change when subjected to light making it ideal for representing data. Each molecular change is part of a series of many different states known as the photocycle. There are three main states: the bR state, the O state and the Q state. The O state represents binary 0 and the Q state represents binary 1 while the bR or rest state is neutral. To survive the harsh conditions of a salt marsh, the protein must be incredibly stable, a critical factor if it is to be used for representing data.

While in the bR state, the protein is placed in a transparent vessel called a cuvette, measuring 1 x 1 x 2 inches. The cuvette is then filled with a gel. The protein is fixed in place by the solidification of the gel. 2 arrays of lasers – one red and one green – are used to read and write data while a blue laser is used for erasing.

Reading, Writing and Storage Capacity

We will start in the bR state of the photocycle. A group of molecules is targeted and hit by the green laser array, also known as the Paging lasers. These molecules are now in the O state which represents binary 0. The O state allows for 2 possible actions:

• Reading – done with the red laser array set at low intensity

• Writing a binary 1 – done with the red laser array set at high intensity which moves the molecules to the Q state

The Q state allows for 2 possible actions:

• Reading – done with the red laser array set at low intensity

• Erasing – done with the blue laser which moves the molecules back to the bR state

A bacteriorhodospin storage system is slow. Although molecules change states in microseconds (millionths of a second), it’s slow when compared to semiconductor memory which has an access time measured in nanoseconds. Unfortunately, the time required to actually perform a read or write is even greater, on the order of ten milliseconds (thousandths of a second). The data transfer rate on this type of storage device is also very slow – 10 MBps (MB per second). In theory, the 1 x 1 x 2 inch cuvette could hold 1 TB of data or roughly one trillion bytes. In reality, Birge managed to store 800 MB and was hoping to achieve a capacity of 1.3 GB (billion bytes). The technology proved itself to the point that NASA was exploring methods of improving the technology during space shuttle missions, which in fact resulted in higher storage densities.

Types Of Earphones

In-ear earphones

Some people argue that these units are similar to the earbuds, but this isn’t the case. These pieces get inside your ear canal thus blocking noises from the outside. In addition to this, they are comfortable as they are often made from soft materials. The pieces are also light thus you can easily travel with them.

Just like any other pieces, they come with their negatives. Their major flaw is that they are delicate; therefore, they easily get damaged. This requires you to be very cautious when handling them.

On-ear

On-ear headphones sit right over your outer ear. When you wear them, they cover your ear canals rather than the entire ear. Their most identifying feature is a closed back thus you are able to listen to the music better. The units are also lightweight thus you can easily travel with them. In fact, some of the brands pack them with packing bags making it even easier to go with them.

While they are great units to have, they often feature a foam padding on the ear-cups that tends to get moist when your ears sweat. While you can use them both indoors and outdoors, they provide poor noise isolation when you use them outdoors. If you use them for a long time, they cause ear irritation.

Over ear

From their name, these units cover the entire ear. Due to this, they reduce noise pollution. They keep the sound you are listening to in thus you are able to get maximum results. In addition to maintaining the music in the ear, they are also very comfortable. In fact, some models feature cups made from velvet that don’t crunch your ears.

The main flaw with the units is that they are usually heavier than most of the other models in the market. Due to this, they cause fatigue when you wear them for extended periods of time.

About Cool Smartphone Gadgets

1. SELFIE RING LIGHT

The selfie ring is a piece of equipment that you put around your phone. It then shines a light directed on your face to give you soft, natural looking light. People sometimes wonder how all those Instagram celebrities take their photos. This gadget might be a step on the way to take the perfect picture.

2. SMART WATCH

The smart watch is a great compliment for your phone. You don’t only get rid of the effort to bring up your phone from your pocket or bag each time you want to check the time, you now also have to chance to check messages, play music and even take photos from your wrist. Simply awesome!

3. STANDING CHARGING CABLE

It is really irritating when you are charging your phone and there seems to be no good place to put it while it is charging. Perhaps even more irritating is those low quality cables that come with the phone, which breaks within a few months.

This standing charging cable for your smart phone will solve both of those issues. This cable has the benefit of working as a stand for your phone, so that you can enjoy a movie, YouTube or even gaming comfortably, while charging.

It is also really thing, and provides maximum charging speed, which makes it an overall amazing gadget.

Cool Web Tricks

Virtually everyone knows that Google.com ranks at the top of most people’s search engine lists, but it does a lot more than just tell you where to find vitamins or information on George Washington’s wooden teeth!

Need a map to a specific location?

Type in the address, city and state of virtually any location in the US, hit the search button, and Google serves up several different map providers across the Web.

Want to know what software application a certain file goes with on your computer?

Input the file name into Google’s search box and a number of reference sites will help you know exactly what purpose a file serves.

I actually used this to feature to identify a piece of “spyware” lurking on my computer.

Want to know who’s calling you on the phone in the US?

You can just input the phone number on your caller ID or cell phone display into the Google search box and get information on listed numbers before your answering machine can even pick up!

Log on to http://www.google.com/help/features.html for more cool search features that harness the search power of Google.

Text Zoom

Next time you can’t see small text clearly on a website, try holding down the “CTRL” key and then moving the scroll wheel on your mouse up and down.

The text in your web browser (and some programs) will increase and decrease in size as you roll the wheel back and forth.

This little trick provides an excellent means of quickly getting what you need from websites with tiny text.

Slow Surfing?

If your Internet Explorer web browser starts giving you problems, you might want to clean up your “Temporary Internet Files.”

Most people don’t realize it, but when you leave a web page, it doesn’t leave you!

Most of the time you keep a copy of websites you visit on your hard drive and, over time, they build up.

This collection of old web pages can eventually cause your surfing to slow to a crawl and even cause errors!

Here’s one way to clear out those old files. Click your “Start” button, then “All Programs,” “Accessories,” “System Tools” and “Disk Cleanup.”

After an initial check of your hard drive (which can take some time if it’s the first time you’ve ever launched the utility), you can check the boxes of the files you wish to delete.

To speed up your surfing, at a minimum, make sure you delete the “Temporary Internet Files.”

Surfing Shortcuts

To quickly cycle back and forth through a series of web pages you’ve visited, hold down the “ALT” key and tap your left and right arrow keys.

Left arrow takes you back while the Right arrow takes you forward.