Raspberry Pi’s and Arduinos come to Schulich

Launch of Raspberry Pi and Arduino lending program at Schulich - 21 Sept 2015We had a lot of fun this morning at Schulich launching our new Raspberry Pi and Arduino lending programme! These devices are two types of credit-card sized computer which are developing a rapidly growing following due to the ways they can be incorporated into a wide range of projects.

IMG_2108Schulich will start lending these items out later this week, for a loan period of two weeks, and will be monitoring the service over the next few weeks – the kits will be available on a first-come, first-served basis like all other library materials.  We’ll also be lending out a robotics unit and a wearable computing device.  Please come to the Schulich loans desk if you’d like to borrow a kit.

We’d love to hear about the creative ways these are used by the McGill community!  If you take out a kit, please spare us two minutes to give us your feedback using this form, and consider sending pictures of your project.

Making life easier with assistive technology

I came across an interesting new blog called, The Assistive Technology Daily, which discusses assistive technology devices that can help make life easier for people of all ages and abilities, such as the:

Visit The Assistive Technology Daily to discover more of these helpful devices.

Top 10 technology predictions for Canada

In today’s newspaper, The Gazette, I read an article about the top 10 technology predictions made by Deloitte, a company that offers audit, tax, consulting, and financial advisory services.  The prediction that surprised me the most is that over 90% of passwords can be hacked in a few seconds.  Visit Deloitte’s website to read the top 10 predictions and get more information.

Image from Microsoft Office Clipart

Windows 8 apps

April recently wrote a post about designing your own applications for iphone. On the lately released Windows 8, getting apps is more like the way we use for an Apple device. Instead of the Apple store, we get apps from the Microsoft store either for free or for a payment. Read more at here.

If you are interested in learning more about Windows 8, here is a review.

Shopping for a laptop

Do you need to purchase a new laptop?  Are you debating whether to buy a Windows PC or a Mac?  For advice from technology experts, see “PC or Mac? The experts weigh in.”

If you would like a test drive, you can borrow Windows or Mac laptops for 48 hours at the loans desk of almost all of the McGill Library’s branches.  A number of iPads are available to borrow for a one-week period.

Image from HippolyteBayard

Interact with computers without a mouse

You may still remember the scene from the movie “Minority Report” where Tom Cruise controlled the computer by wearing a pair of special gloves and performing gestures in the air. A new software, called “g-speak”, came into being at Oblong Industries which might change the way we interact with computers in the future, since a mouse will never be useful in a g-speak operating environment. The following video demonstrates how the g-speak system works.

Read more at ‘Minority Report’ software becomes a reality

Sequoia – The Fastest Supercomputer

The IBM team behind the world’s fastest computer.

IBM Sequoia, is now the fastest computer in the world. The computers were ranked by a test, the Linpack Benchmark, which gives each computer a petaflop/s score (quadrillion floating-point operations per second). Sequoia tested at 16.32 petaflop/s, compared to the previous top one – Japan’s K Computer’s 10.51 petaflop/s, which made K fall to the second place. Wonder how fast it works? IBM said, “Sequoia is capable of calculating in one hour what otherwise would have taken 6.7 billion people using hand calculators 320 years to complete if they had worked non-stop.” Also, Sequoia consumes less energy than the K computer, 7.9 megawatts compared to 12.6 megawatts. Professor Dongarra told the BBC “it was unlikely that another manufacturer would overtake IBM in the next year”.

Adapted from http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-18457716