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— -- Chip TaylorIt's easy to look at a laptop, an iPod, or a laser printer as nothing more than a tool to get work done with or to while away your free time on, but these and many other high-tech devices didn't fall off a tree. They emerged following years of hard work--and in some cases, an entire career devoted to a single technology--by inspired researchers, designers, and developers.

Our list of technology visionaries includes the guy who invented a way to store data in a portable form--and who almost got demoted as a result. It recognizes the woman who popularized the term "bug" after a moth flew into a computer relay. And it acknowledges a genius who might have saved modern gaming by inventing Jump Man.

So it's time to pay homage where homage is due. Here's our take on the 50 most important people in the recent history of technology--the most critical players (including a few forgotten heroes) who've been instrumental in crafting the last 50 years of technical innovation.

Our opinion doesn't have to be the last word on the subject, however. If you have additional nominees who deserve recognition, or if you want to chime in to agree with or reminisce about or rail against our choices, please add a comment to let us know.

1. Jack Kilby and Robert Noyce

Courtesy of Texas Instruments and IntelUnlike most of the other multiperson entries on our list, Robert Noyce (left) and Jack Kilbydidn't work together. But their common invention is still utterly crucial. In 1959, both men came up with the first integrated circuits--Kilby while he was at Texas Instruments, and Noyce at Fairchild Semiconductor. The IC solved the problem of size that got worse and worse as the need to jam additional transistors into a device grew more and more critical. Packing them all into a single chip effectively ended the era of the room-size computer. Ultimately, Noyce's design based on silicon, rather than Kilby's based on germanium, became the standard--one that we still use today--but both designs were instrumental in pushing the technology forward. Kilby and Noyce are often overlooked, but the importance of their contribution to technology cannot be overstated. Nothing else on this list could exist without the underpinning of the integrated circuit.

2. Sergey Brin and Larry Page

What is the defining contribution to technology made by Larry Page (left) and Sergey Brin, the fathers of Google? The company is the single most important business in Silicon Valley today, but of course search engines had existed long before Google came along. What impressed so many early fans was Google's relentless pursuit of refinement and accuracy in its search algorithm: Whereas other search engines' results tended to be laden with spam, Google's were generally on target. The company had lots of other tricks up its sleeve as well: The rapidly expanding Google universe now offers dozens of productivity and entertainment tools--from word processing to video--most of them free, underwritten by the company's ubiquitous ad-serving system.

Bill Gates (#3) to Shawn Fanning (#10)

Courtesy of Microsoft3. Bill Gates

The world's richest man (well, depending on that day's stock price) is also one of its most noteworthy technologists--a guy who dropped out of Harvard to launch Microsoft, a company that all techies are intimately familiar with, like it or not. No hands-off executive, Bill Gates has been involved with Microsoft product development at an incredibly detailed level over the company's entire 30-year history. Though he'll continue to serve as the company's chairman, Gates will effectively leave Microsoft this July to focus full-time on his nonprofit endeavor, the Gates Foundation, which he has endowed with an eye-popping $29 billion to support global health and learning. Critics love to caricature Gates as a ruthless corporate tyrant who rules the tech industry with an iron fist, but evidently he has a conscience and a social vision too.

4. Steve Jobs

Courtesy of AppleThe once and future King of Apple, Steve Jobs is familiar to even the most casual technophile. Jobs lays claim to two critical moments in tech history. First, with the original Apples, he pioneered the idea that computers belong in the home; and then, 20 years later, he convinced the world that people ought to carry their (digital) music with them everywhere they go. Apple may not have invented the PC, and it certainly didn't invent the MP3 player, but Jobs's famous "reality distortion field" has proved that who got there first is sometimes less important than what they brought with them. Today, after more than one brush with corporate death, Apple is bigger than ever, boasting market share that the company hadn't seen since the 1980s.

5. Tim Berners-Lee

Courtesy of Wikimedia CommonsNo bones about it: You wouldn't be memorizing this if not for Tim Berners-Lee and his 1989 invention, the World Wide Web. Everything from URL structure to hyperlinks were part of Berners-Lee's original specifications; and though they've been extensively revised (in large part under his guidance as director of the World Wide Web Consortium), they remain in use today. Berners-Lee continues to be a key figure in the development of Web standards, and these days he spends his time developing what many think is the next step for the Internet: The Semantic Web.

6. Ray Tomlinson

Courtesy of BBN.comIn 1971 Ray Tomlinson sent the message that would ultimately be heard 'round the world: An e-mail from one ARPANet host to another. When you open your e-mail program and see that your inbox has 112 unread messages, you may not feel like thanking Tomlinson, but imagine where digital communications would be without e-mail. Tomlinson also came up with the idea of using the @ symbol to separate the username from the host name in an e-mail address.

7. Douglas Engelbart

Courtesy of The Bootstrap InstituteQuick, click on this link. You now understand the importance of Doug Engelbart's creation, the computer mouse. Engelbart patented the idea of his "X-Y position indicator for a display system" in 1967, and also nicknamed the device the mouse (owing to its tail). Though it's hard to imagine working without one now, the mouse didn't catch on for more than a decade, until Apple computers started using them. Engelbart didn't stop at one invention, either: He and his research lab also developed an early online storage system--and even demonstrated videoconferencing back in 1968.

8. Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard

Courtesy of Hewlett-PackardNo company has touched so many facets of technology as the brainchild of Dave Packard (left) and Bill Hewlett, two titans of Silicon Valley who built a monster computing company out of nothing but spit and gumption. Originally responsible for building audio oscillators for Walt Disney in the 1940s, HP went on to create all manner of test equipment for electronics before jumping into computer servers, desktops, calculators, cameras, and of course printers. After a few rocky years, HP is back on top as the largest technology company in the world. And what other people have had their garage turned into a national historic landmark?

9. Shigeru Miyamoto

Courtesy of Makoto MishidaThe video game industry collapsed in the early 1980s, and for a while it looked as though the phenomenon would go down in history as just a quirky fad, like the pet rock. But Shigeru Miyamoto almost singlehandedly kept the industry alive with his creation of an animated character named Jump Man, who soon became known as Mario. Miyamoto's influence in the gaming business--he's now a senior director of Nintendo--has been crucial ever since. His latest creation: Wii Fit, arrives on U.S. shores this month.

10. Shawn Fanning

Courtesy of Wikimedia CommonsWith Napster, Shawn Fanning introduced the technology that, some doomsayers warn, could spell the end of the Internet. Today traffic from peer-to-peer programs consumes an estimated 70 percent of all broadband bandwidth, and AT&T says that peer-to-peer is a major reason why it will have to radically upgrade its infrastructure if it is to avert the collapse of the Internet as we know it by 2010. All of this because a guy was looking for an easier way to share a few tunes with strangers? Sheesh.

Gordon Moore (#11) to Michael Dell (#18)

11. Gordon Moore

You can't go wrong with a guy who's got his own scientific law, can you? Moore's Law, posited in 1965, three years before Gordon Moore founded a little company called Intel, predicted that the number of components on a computer chip would double every year (later, he amended it to every two years). As Intel notes, Moore's Law remains the "guiding principle for the semiconductor industry"; but, in truth, every field of high-tech--from hard drives to TVs--validates to some degree the almighty Law of Moore. Moore remains involved with Intel, which--at 40 years old--may be number one on the list of companies that Silicon Valley could not exist without.

12. Bill Atkinson

Courtesy of Bill AtkinsonMouse up to your PC's File menu, open a new window, and thank Bill Atkinson for being able to do that. His early ideas regarding user interface design elements like the menu bar became graphical user interface standbys not just on Apple computers (where he worked), but on every major operating system that has followed. As a programmer, Atkinson designed MacPaint, QuickDraw, and HyperCard, a sort of proto-Web system that clearly inspired the creation of the World Wide Web. After starting his own company, General Magic, Atkinson mostly retired from tech to work as a nature photographer.

13. Steve Case

Courtesy of The Case FoundationDon't laugh. The brainchild of Steve Case, America Online was a big deal back in the early 1990s. The timing was perfect for a service that offered online training wheels for millions of intrigued but trepid people looking for an introduction to the World Wide Web. AOL pioneered more than just the chat rooms for which it became infamous. Case launched Neverwinter Nights--one of the first MMOs (massively multiplayer online games)--was an early champion of user avatars, and (most notoriously) started the blending of online and big media by selling out to Time Warner in 2001. Not such great timing there, alas.

14. Martin Cooper

Courtesy of Rico ChenQuick, check your pockets. Whether you're toting an iPhone, a Razr, or an enV, you owe a debt to Martin Cooper and his 1973 patent responsible for the mobile phone as we know it. His invention, created during his tenure at Motorola, weighed just shy of 2 pounds, and ten years would pass before mobile phones broke the 1-pound barrier. Cooper is still active in the telephone business. His company ArrayComm develops antenna technology so today's 2-ounce phones can reach their network.

15. Nolan Bushnell

is synonymous with video gaming--so much so that the name remains in use (though now far removed from founder Nolan Bushnell, the undisputed father of video gaming) 36 years after it originated. Bushnell's inspiration--a world where everyone could play games in the comfort of their own home--is a rare instance where the vision panned out almost exactly as envisioned. Though no one is thrilling over Atari's consoles any more, Atari and Bushnell paved the way for every video game platform that has followed.

16. Vint Cerf

Courtesy of GoogleTuring Award. National Medal of Technology. Presidential Medal of Freedom. Vint Cerf has one of the most impressive résumés in technology. Cerf's work as an Internet pioneer has largely taken place in universities and government agencies, which in the early 1970s led directly to the creation of ARPANet, the predecessor to today's Internet. Cerf now works for--who else?--Google.

17. Don Estridge

Courtesy of IBMIBM veteran Don Estridge is widely known as "the father of the PC," at least in its Big Blue incarnation. Estridge developed a number of computer systems, even tinkering with NASA radar equipment. But he is best known for his work as a manager--leading a "skunk works" staff of just 14 people that ultimately produced the IBM PC, an "open" platform that could run third-party software and accept third-party upgrades, that would become the standard for business. Tragically, Estridge died in a plane crash in 1985 and never saw his creation achieve ubiquity.

18. Michael Dell

Courtesy of DellThe origin story of Dell Computer Corporation is so well-known it has become part of the canon of the tech business. Michael Dell started his company, PC's Limited, at age 19 out of his dorm room at the University of Texas. Eventually he dropped out of school to found Dell Computer, which grew at breakneck pace throughout the 1990s. Dell's marketing philosophy turned the industry on its ear: Rather than offer predetermined configurations, Dell's machines were totally customizable and built to order. Eventually almost every competing PC manufacturer followed suit--or went out of business.

Alan Kay (#19) to Grace Murray Hopper (#26)

19. Alan Kay

Courtesy of David WeeklyA jack-of-all-tech-trades, Alan Kay lays claim to at least two watershed innovations, starting with HP's original Dynabook, one of the first usable mobile laptop computers. Kay ideal was to design a laptop that weighed no more than 2 pounds. We still aren't there yet, but Kay's contributions to software--which include shepherding the idea of object-oriented programming and the notion of multiple, overlapping windows in a GUI--rank as essential milestones in computing.

20. Marc Andreessen

Courtesy of Duncan DavidsonThe Mosaic Web browser devised by Marc Andreessen may seem quaint now, but bits and pieces of Mosaic code remain standard software components of most of today's commercial browsers. It's a safe bet that many of Andreessen's other creations will leave similar legacies: Netscape, the company he founded, set off the tech stock craze of the 1990s, and his Ning Web site continues to grow in popularity as an outlet where anyone can build a topic-oriented social network. He even finds time to blog regularly about all this stuff.

21. Linus Torvalds

Courtesy of Martin Streicher, Linuxmag.comGiven the exorbitant cost of most Apple computers, Linus Torvalds is the godfather of what may be the last, best hope for an affordable alternative to Windows. The Linux operating system has been in continuous development since Torvalds conceived it in 1991, and has experienced steady gains in popular acceptance every year. And a long last, Linux is making the jump from server rooms to large numbers of desktop PCs, most visibly in low-cost laptops like the Asus Eee PC. The OS now has a market share in excess of 2 percent on the desktop.

22. Chuck Thacker

Courtesy of MicrosoftChuck Thacker has had his hands in a surprisingly wide array of tech projects, from the development of ethernet to the first laser printers. His most enduring legacy, however, involves a product that never reached market: The fabled Xerox Alto. The Alto, which Thacker designed, was the first computer with a GUI (and a mouse); as the story goes, it directly inspired Apple to build the Macintosh after Steve Jobs paid a friendly visit to Xerox. Thacker now works for Microsoft.

23. Bob Metcalfe

Courtesy of Wikimedia CommonsMoore's Law may be better known, but the law formulated by Bob Metcalfe has wider general application. Posited around 1980, Metcalfe's Law conjectured that the value of a telecommunications network is equal to the square of the number of nodes on the network. In other words, even a small increase in the size of a network makes it worth far more because of the enlarged number of new connections that each user can make. Metcalfe's invention of ethernet and his founding of 3Com are essential tech milestones as well, but his eponymous law--now in use to quantify value in the Facebook/MySpace milieu--will be around long after wired networking has passed on.

24. Vic Hayes

Courtesy of IEEEWi-Fi has long been one of technology's messiest standards--and without Vic Hayes, it might never have come together at all. In the Hayes-less universe we might be left to wallow in a morass similar to the a Blu-ray vs. HD-DVD swamp with multiple incompatible wireless standards. In 1990, Hayes formed the Wireless LAN working group and rallied some 130 companies to work together to develop open standards. The result: 802.11, and the cutting of a very firmly attached cord. Hayes continues to be actively involved in Wi-Fi development today.

25. Dan Bricklin and Bob Frankston

Courtesy of Dan BricklinAccounting departments around the world would be lost without the work of Dan Bricklin (left) and Bob Frankston, who worked together in 1979 to develop VisiCalc, the world's first spreadsheet and arguably the first "killer app" written for a personal computer. The 27KB program can run on PCs today, and its simplicity is a big reason why early PCs sold in droves, especially to business customers. But never mind the bean-counters: You probably owe a lot to VisiCalc yourself. After all, if it weren't for Bricklin and Frankston, you might not be getting your paycheck regularly.

26. Grace Murray Hopper

Courtesy of Naval Historical CenterThat's Admiral Hopper, bud. Naval officer "Amazing" Grace Hopper was a computing pioneer who cut her teeth in the calculator era. Later she worked on the team that developed the UNIVAC, the world's first commercial computer, and wrote the compiler software for it (the first such software ever developed). Hopper was instrumental again in the development of the COBOL and FORTRAN programming languages, and she remained a major figure on the technology scene until her death in 1992. Even our language owes a debt to Hopper: She popularized (and possibly coined) the term "bug" after a moth was found in a computer relay during her years at Harvard.

Jeff Hawkins (#27) to Karlheinz Brandenburg and James D. Johnston (#34)

27. Jeff Hawkins

Courtesy of Ed SchipulPortable computing was shaped in large part by Jeff Hawkins, who invented the acclaimed PalmPilot, and then followed that up by spearheading development of the Treo six years later. Both Palm and Treo became household names, though Palm as a company has suffered numerous setbacks in recent years. Hawkins is now working on a startup called Numenta with his longtime partner Donna Dubinsky, focusing on the subjects of machine learning and neuroscience, which Hawkins has long had a deep interest in.

28. Fujio Masuoka

Courtesy of Unisantis ElectronicsIf anything is positioned to challenge the dominance of Al Shugart's hard drive (see #33 below), it's Flash memory--an invention of Fujio Masuoka. Masuoka developed solid-state storage during his tenure at Toshiba (Masuoka says that the company initially tried to demote him after he came up with the technology). The technology is now seen as a possible way around the fragility of hard drives, as capacity ramps up and prices fall. For smaller gadgets, Flash has become essential...or would you prefer to be saving your digital pictures on floppy disks still?

29. Jonathan Ive

Courtesy of AppleAside from its showman/CEO Steve Jobs, Apple tends to keep its employees out of the limelight, but Apple VP and design guru Jonathan Ive has broken that mold. That's appropriate, since he broke another mold too, killing off the beige boxes and bricklike pocket gizmos that had become standard-issue in the tech industry. Ive's designs for the original iMac and for the iPod got people thinking about tech products as fashion accessories and decorative items instead of as impersonal and purely utilitarian objects.

30. Jeff Bezos

Courtesy of Amazon.comLong scorned by Wall Street, Amazon.com--the creation of Jeff Bezos--is today the one Internet service that many people can't live without. But Bezos hasn't stopped at hawking Harry Potter on the Web. His company has also become one of the leading providers of Web services, online storage, and by-the-hour CPU rentals, as Bezos pushes Amazon toward becoming a platform that anyone can use to sell anything that Amazon itself doesn't.

31. Meg Whitman

Courtesy of eBayA longtime Hasbro marketing executive, Meg Whitman went from the child's toy box to the grown-up's as CEO of eBay. Whitman joined the online auction site in its infancy and over the course of a ten-year run shepherded it into one of the most successful businesses on the Web. (She retired in March of this year.) Aside from squabbles over policy changes and the baffling purchase of Skype, eBay's run has encountered few speed bumps. That success, some say, might lead her to run for governor of California in 2010, but Whitman denies harboring any such ambitions.

32. Bill Joy

Courtesy of Wikimedia CommonsA legend in tech circles, Bill Joy was chief scientist for Sun Microsystems for over 20 years, where he oversaw numerous critical technology advances, the most important of which was the development of Java--the first major programming language designed for use on the Web. Still, Joy's greatest achievement is probably an academic project he worked on at Berkeley: The development of Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD), a major flavor of Unix; even Mac OS X uses BSD as its basis. Today Joy spends his days worrying about the evils of technology, such as bad robots and Grey Goo (a scenario where renegade nanomachines run amok and destroy the world).

33. Al Shugart

Courtesy of ComputerworldYou're probably using a product conceived by Al Shugart right now without even knowing it. Shugart's company, Shugart Technology, switched to the more exotic-sounding name Seagate Technology soon after opening for business. At Seagate, Shugart developed technology that he had tinkered with during a stint at IBM (where he led the team that invented the floppy disk) into the hard drive for the mass market. The colorful Shugart ran Seagate for nearly 20 years before redefining himself as a sort of venture capitalist/promoter, a role that made him a staple at big tech shows like Comdex. Shugart died in 2006.

34. Karlheinz Brandenburg and James D. Johnston

Who says grad school is all impractical theory? At Friedrich-Alexander University, Karlheinz Brandenburg used his dissertation to work out a way of compressing digital audio files to radically smaller size without greatly deminishing their quality. We know the result now as MP3 coding. At AT&T Labs, American engineer James D. Johnston (left) improved on Brandenburg's work by introducing "perceptual coding," which strips out inaudible parts of an audio signal to compress the file further. Johnston's contribution, too, has become a standard feature of most audio compression schemes.

Ann Winblad (#35) to Alan Emtage with Bill Heelan and Mike Parker (#42)

35. Ann Winblad

Courtesy of MicrosoftHalf of the well-known Hummer Winblad Venture Partners investment group, Ann Winblad was a key figure in the Web 1.0 boom, investing in such proto-companies as Napster, Gazoontite, Liquid Audio, and Pets.com. Despite some ill-fated investments, Hummer Winblad picked enough winners to remain a lead investor in dozens of tech companies, primarily back-end enterprises. And lest you think that Winblad is merely a stuffed shirt, consider this: She began her career as a computer programmer in the 1970s and achieved indisputable nerd cred by having dated Bill Gates.

36. Charles Simonyi

Courtesy of NASACharles Simonyi (plus a little Gatesian muscle, natch) is the reason you use Word and Excel instead of WordPerfect and Quattro Pro. As head of Microsoft's application development group, Simonyi oversaw development of both Word and Excel back in the MS-DOS days and superintended the app suite for more than 20 years. The programs are now as close to ubiquitous as Windows itself (perhaps even closer, since Office is the standard app suite for the Mac as well). Fun facts to know and tell: Simonyi was the second Hungarian in space in space and is Martha Stewart's boyfriend.

37. Thomas Penfield Jackson

Courtesy of Jackson & CampbellFew people would have imagined that it a 62-year-old man unaffiliated with the company would have the most profound effect on Microsoft in years. But in 1999 U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson shook the tech world to its foundations when he handed down a landmark ruling declaring Microsoft to be an abusive monopoly and ordering it split into two companies. Though appellate courts eventually overturned many of Jackson's rulings, Microsoft has been on the defensive against antitrust actions here and abroad ever since, and all tech companies looking to merge have had to tread more cautiously in Jackson's wake.

38.  Jerry Yang and David Filo

This unassuming twosome got their start in 1994 while still at Stanford, with a truly humble idea: Populate a directory with cool places that they had found on the then-infant World Wide Web. Yahoo was born on a lark but Jerry Yang (left) and David Filo helped it become one of the Web's top destinations: Today it is the home page for millions of people seeking the easiest entry point into the Internet. After an unfruitful turn with Hollywood insider Terry Semel at the helm, Yang retook the reins as CEO in June 2007. Yahoo is now coping with separate forays for control of the company by Microsoft and by Carl Icahn. (Full disclosure: The author writes a blog for Yahoo Tech.)

39. Peter Norton

A Buddhist monk before becoming invovled in the tech world, Peter Norton has been a major figure in the computer industry for three decades, having made his mark early in the DOS era with Norton Utilities, the first major data recovery tool for the PC. Norton went on to produce a gaggle of related utilities for the PC and write a series of essential technical manuals before selling his company to Symantec in 1990. Symantec still uses his name on its utility apps.

40. Phil Zimmermann

Courtesy of Wikimedia CommonsPhil Zimmermann fought the law so you don't have to. His Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) application, the first mainstream encryption software, published in 1991, made Zimmermann a pariah in the eyes of the U.S. government. The feds spent three years investigating the possibility that Zimmermann had violated rules forbidding the export of cryptographic tools. The case was ultimately dropped, however, paving the way for everyday people to protect the material on their hard drives and in their e-mail with the same encryption standards that the government itself uses.

41. Jon Postel

Courtesy of Irene Fertik, USC News Service. Copyright 1994How do you move from one IP address to another? Easily, thanks to Jon Postel, the so-called Father of DNS--the system that translates into http://www.pcworld.com/. Postel also did substantial work on the TCP/IP and SMTP protocols, authoring some 200 Internet spec documents overall. But Postel didn't just envision the DNS system; he ran it himself for years as founding head of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (a position that led him into a memorable conflict with President Bill Clinton's science advisor when he tried to move control of DNS from Network Solutions to IANA). Postel died in 1998.

42. Alan Emtage with Bill Heelan and Mike Parker

Courtesy of Michael RhodesBefore Google--before the Web even--people had to find a way to locate files and programs hiding out on FTP servers around the world. The answer: Archie (a derivative of "archive"), a 1990 application devised by McGill University student Alan Emtage, who was assisted by Bill Heelan and Mike Parker. In its original incarnation, Archie contacted far-off FTP servers regularly and kept a local list of the files they contained, for easy indexing. That may sound like simple stuff by today's standards, but it inspired everything about the way we currently work with search, from the Web to the desktop.

Trip Hawkins (#43) to Udi Manber (#50)

43. Trip Hawkins

Courtesy of Digital ChocolateElectronic Arts is one of the few pure software companies that continues to be important 25 years after its founding--and it wouldn't have existed at all if not for gaming pioneer Trip Hawkins, a Harvard and Stanford grad and Apple alumnus who in 1982 saw the future in consoles and computer-based games. Hawkins's foray into hardware--he left EA to launch the 3DO in 1991--met with considerably less success, but his first baby continues to thrive. Just ask John Madden.

44. Arianna Huffington 

Courtesy of Huffington PostPolitical insider Arianna Huffington has had a major influence on technology, but one that has been felt only recently. She spent her early career inside the Washington, D.C., Beltway as a columnist, author, pundit, and TV show writer, far from the geek wiring of Silicon Valley. But in 2005 she launched a little online project called The Huffington Post, which rapidly grew into one of the Web's most powerful political voices. More than anything, the HuffPo has proven the power of the blog by attracting celebrity writers ranging from John Kerry to Jamie Lee Curtis, all eager to have their message heard through Huffington's medium.

45. Susan Kare

Courtesy of Susan KareAnother Macintosh 1.0 innovator, Susan Kare worked behind the scenes, but came up with essential innovations. Her earliest achievement was designing the typefaces--and  some of the, er, iconic icons--that shipped with the Macintosh. The "Happy Mac" remains one of computing's most visible expressions of things working well. Today Kare works as an independent designer: She designed the cards for Windows' ubiquitous Solitaire game and now designs Facebook's "Gifts" feature.

46. Sir Arthur C. Clarke

Courtesy of Scott ChaseSure, deliver Arthur C. Clarke credit for inspiring the minds of thousands of technology pioneers. But Clarke didn't just write seminal works of science fiction (including 2001: A Space Odyssey); he also conceived of geostationary communications satellites (satellites that orbit the earth at a speed proportional to the earth's rotation, so that the satellite always remains positioned above the same geographical point). Satellites with such orbits, sometimes termed the "Clarke satellite orbit," are essential to the telecommunications infrastructure, to GPS, and to numerous other technologies. Clarke died in March 2008 at age 90.

47. Herbie Hancock

Courtesy of Wikimedia CommonsWhen Herbie Hancock released his single, "Rockit" (from the album "Future Shock") in 1983, few listeners knew what to make of it. But everyone was struck by its unique sound--it was perhaps the first mainstream offering to use scratching. Though Hancock was by no means the first person to make heavy use of synthesizers, drum machines, and other computer-based musical equipment, few musicians relied so heavily on such gear and reached such a wide audience. "Rockit," with its innovative music video, is now considered a turning point in the electronic music-making scene, where Hancock is revered as an elder statesman.

48. William Gibson

Courtesy of Fred ArmitageThe king of cyberpunk, William Gibson, has dreamed up all manner of high-minded techno wizardry, some of which has actually started to come true. His early stories introduced the term "cyberspace" and the visualization concepts behind it, which in turn prompted people to start thinking about networks in a way that transcended text and a command line. We may not be plugging chips directly into our brains yet, but Gibson's fiction-based prophecies have a strange way of panning out.

49. Gary Kildall

Courtesy of Ipopisp.comCalled "The Man Who Could Have Been Bill Gates" by BusinessWeek, Gary Kildall was the guy Gates beat out in the bidding to supply IBM with the operating system for the original PC. According to legend, Kildall blew off the meeting with IBM to "go flying," though Kildall denied that rumor, posthumously, in his unpublished memoirs. Controversy aside, Kildall made significant contributions to the tech business--especially as the head of Digital Research, which created the seminal pre-DOS operating system CP/M, and (later) as a host of the classic Public TV program, Computer Chronicles. Kildall died in 1994.

50. Udi Manber

Courtesy of GoogleIf there is a search engine anywhere that doesn't have the the thumbprint of Udi Manber on it, we don't know about it. From Yahoo to Amazon's A9 to Google, Manber has been one of the search business's greatest contributers. But Manber's work goes back even farther than that, to AltaVista. He was a key member of the design team on what many feel was the best engine running until Google came along.

Christopher Null writes regularly for PC World and blogs about technology daily at tech.yahoo.com.

Mon, 19 May 2008 04:37:00 -0500 en text/html https://abcnews.go.com/Technology/CEOProfiles/story?id=4882572
Killexams : HP Probook 430 G7 No result found, try new keyword!Are you subscribed to our RSS feed? You can obtain the latest headlines and summaries from our stories directly to your computer or smartphone by using a feed reader. Sun, 29 Jan 2023 09:59:00 -0600 text/plain https://www.geekzone.co.nz/forums.asp?topicid=303292 Killexams : 5 Monitors Worth Checking Out in 2023

There are a lot of different monitors out there, and too many of them aren't worth your time. It can be difficult to find a monitor that's worth buying, and it can be stressful considering it's a pretty important decision. You'll be staring at this screen for hours on end, so that's why we've done the research and testing to find five monitors worth checking out in 2023.

If you need some more budget monitors, you can also check out our list of best monitors under $200. And because shopping for a monitor can be a confusing endeavor, we've got some guidance that should help you make some sense of it all in our monitor-buying guide and gaming monitor buying guide.

Read more: The Best Monitors, According to the CNET Staff Who Look at Them All Day


Although it's part of HP's Omen gaming line, this has become one of my favorite overall monitors of the past 12 months. HP's 27-inch 2,560x1,440 27i features a wide color gamut (98% P3), a gaming-friendly 165Hz refresh rate with Nvidia G-Sync (over DisplayPort) and an elegant design that should pass muster with less gaming-oriented family members; it's got some simple gaming lighting, but also a useful task light shining down beneath the bottom bezel. 

And because of the unique port arrangement -- on the sides of a diamond in the back -- it's a lot easier to maneuver cables than the typical recessed, bottom-accessed design. I've been using it for months and I haven't had a single problem or screen artifact issue. (Note that the wide-angle photograph makes it look curved, but it's not.) Because of the thin-but-not-too-thin depth, it's also suited for perching a webcam atop.

Potential drawbacks for some people are the lack of built-in speakers and the moderately high price.

Read our HP Omen 27i first take.

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This 27-inch model isn't cheap, but if you have the luxury of considering something that will last you a while, the EX2780Q is a good multipurpose choice for the money (and the price has dropped recently). In addition to its 2,560x1,440 resolution for sharper edges in everyday use than 1,920x1,080, it's got a gaming-friendly 144Hz refresh rate, 400-nit brightness and a 95% P3 gamut for basic HDR support in games and movies, plus built-in speakers that actually sound pretty good. There's one drawback, though: you can tilt it, but not raise or lower it. 

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If you need a color-accurate monitor on the cheap-ish, the 2,560x1,440 PA278QV is a great way to go. Its sRGB accuracy is excellent, plus it's quite well-rounded for the money, with a 75Hz refresh rate if you need it for games that don't have fast action -- simulations, turn-based RPGs and so on -- a USB hub, a full set of inputs and speakers. And the stand raises and lowers, swivels and supports 90 degree rotation into portrait mode. The speakers don't get very loud and the connections can loosen when you move it, but otherwise I really like this one. 

If you can't afford it, the 24-inch model, PA248QV, costs $90 less in exchange for lowering the resolution to 1,920x1,200. (See it at B&H.)

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Lori Grunin/CNET

Desklab's 4K touchscreen model has the same advantages as most other portables, including a dedicated HDMI input or a USB-C connection (plus a second USB-C to power it), a USB-A port and stereo speakers with a headphone jack. My only complaint about it is the glossy screen, which can be quite reflective, but that's the tradeoff for a touchscreen.

Lori Grunin/CNET

If you want a cheap, attractive FHD monitor with built-in speakers that don't suck, this should be on your short list. They're hardly audiophile quality, but they're decent enough for watching movies, streaming music while you work or listening to podcasts, and they can get loud enough (without distortion) to hear from a fair distance away. And possibly loud enough to annoy your upstairs neighbors (who are annoying you by galloping around 24/7). 

It's got three HDMI 2.0 inputs with HDCP 2.2 -- most cheap monitors have two at most -- though most people really don't need that many. Other perks include 75Hz refresh with AMD FreeSync technology, audio profiles, the ability to change gamma and a mode that maps colors to compensate for color blindness. It's not an HDR monitor, but it can fake it as well as possible given its technological constraints.

Despite all the setting options, the screen isn't that bright and the onscreen display can be frustratingly wonky. Plus, you can only tilt, not raise or lower the screen.

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Sat, 14 Dec 2013 08:11:00 -0600 See full bio en text/html https://www.cnet.com/tech/computing/best-monitors/
Killexams : 2024 Volkswagen Atlas First Teaser Images Revealed Wed, 08 Feb 2023 19:17:00 -0600 en-us text/html https://carbuzz.com/news/2024-volkswagen-atlas-first-teaser-images-revealed Killexams : HP Z220N SFF Workstation No result found, try new keyword!Are you subscribed to our RSS feed? You can obtain the latest headlines and summaries from our stories directly to your computer or smartphone by using a feed reader. Sun, 22 Jan 2023 15:28:00 -0600 text/plain https://www.geekzone.co.nz/forums.asp?topicid=303152 Killexams : 11 Online Platforms to Boost Your Business Skills

Many entrepreneurs, small business owners and professionals are turning to online programs to boost their business skills and broaden the scope of their knowledge. The booming online learning market offers education and resources related to in-demand career skills, like web development, cybersecurity, data analysis, trade tariffs, specialized hardware and software, and much more. 

We'll highlight 11 established, new and niche business education resources and platforms for business owners and professionals who are looking to expand their skill sets.

Online programs to boost your business skills

In 2022, the online learning market surpassed $315 billion. According to Global Market Insights, a U.S.-based research company, the market is expected to grow another 20% by 2028. 

Amid this wealth of resources, the following platforms can help you access high-quality, specialized courses online to develop your business skills. Consider each platform's content and learning style when you're choosing an educational path. 


An annual paid learning subscription with Adobe Digital Learning Services includes multiple instruction options, including live virtual instructor-led training (in multiple global time zones) and on-demand recorded Adobe software training (accessible 24/7). All courses in the Americas are in English, but there's also a Japan-based subscription. 

Training prices for Adobe developers, implementers or creatives may offer an attractive return on investment, as Adobe software certifications are some of the most widely known and respected creative certifications in the U.S. The paid training is designed to prepare learners for certification exams for credentials such as Adobe Certified Expert or Adobe Certified Professional.

Visit Adobe Digital Learning Services online for more information. 

Tip: Use your newly honed Adobe Creative Cloud skills to effectively market your business and craft a corporate identity.


Leading experts and instructors from the world's best universities teach courses on Coursera. Small business owners and professionals who are interested in training and continuous learning can access video lectures, community discussion forums, and auto-graded and peer-reviewed assignments. 

Coursera offers a range of free and paid content, including university-recognized degrees. Choose from several tracks and hundreds of courses ranging from software programs, such as Microsoft Excel, to hard business skills, like financial accounting. Coursera also offers training materials for Google Cloud certifications and the best database certifications

Visit Coursera's website to learn more.


On edX, small business owners, entrepreneurs and professionals can enroll in free online courses from top universities worldwide. edX offers over 3,600 courses, from critical thinking to data modeling, from more than 160 universities. Courses are open 24/7; you can complete them on your schedule. Some of the more niche offerings on edX include free PowerShell training and free project management materials

Although university experts teach edX courses, the courses are non-credit-bearing. However, you can get a Verified certificate to prove you've mastered the class and concepts. Most edX courses are taught in English, but some video courses are in Spanish, French or Chinese. Check the At a Glance section on a course's introduction page to confirm course and video transcript language offerings.

Visit the edX website to learn more. 

Grow with Google

Small business owners and employees can grow their businesses and learn applicable career skills through free content on the Grow with Google platform. Organized by solutions to common questions, the free content on the Grow Your Career and Grow Your Business verticals is engaging and easy to navigate. 

The self-paced training courses for online professional career certificates are not free, and some require a monthly subscription. However, course development is done in partnership with learning companies such as Coursera, as well as colleges and universities, lending them additional credibility. 

The small business growth resources are free bite-size tutorials that support owners and managers as they leverage Google's digital tools to build awareness of their companies, engage with customers or analyze their digital data. Business owners can also find Google training in Spanish.

Visit the Grow with Google website to learn more. 

Tip: If you're looking for ways to help your small business grow, check out Google for Small Business, a free online portal that gives businesses resources for growth and success. 

HP Life

Tech giant Hewlett-Packard (HP) provides a free global training program called HP LIFE (Learning Initiative for Entrepreneurs) to educate business owners. HP LIFE offers courses in eight languages and multiple verticals, including communications, finance, marketing and operations. HP created the HP LIFE learning opportunities in partnership with other companies. 

Visit the HP LIFE website to learn more.

LinkedIn Learning (formerly Lynda.com)

LinkedIn Learning is an online video education library offering hundreds of courses on foundational business courses taught by thought leaders, authors and trusted online educators. For example, it offers excellent courses and guided practice for software such as the Adobe Creative Suite. 

LinkedIn Learning has learning paths, so you can take courses that build your skills on a subject from beginner to expert levels. The course catalog includes video and audio courses in seven languages — English, German, Spanish, French, Brazilian Portuguese, Japanese and Mandarin — as well as subtitling options. 

While LinkedIn Learning isn't free and requires a subscription, many U.S. public libraries offer free access to LinkedIn Learning, making the courses accessible to anyone with a public library card. 

Visit the LinkedIn Learning website to learn more.

Did you know? Business owners and professionals can also use LinkedIn business resources, including company and career pages, LinkedIn profiles for job searches, and LinkedIn groups for effective networking.

Microsoft Learn

The free Microsoft Learn platform offers product and role-based training paths. It can support your goals whether you're seeking Excel training for yourself or data analytics training for an employee who's growing into a new data analyst role. While the training content is free, the Microsoft certification exams come with a price tag. 

Visit the Microsoft Learn website to learn more.


The Open University is a free online learning platform with 60-second videos as well as 24 hours of course content. Browse OpenLearn's offerings by course, qualification or subject area. It features several business-specific courses — such as business management, economics and marketing — as well as IT, design and law. For defined degrees, the Open University may charge tuition.

Visit OpenLearn's business content online to learn more.

Small Business Administration

The Small Business Administration (SBA) has supported U.S. businesses for generations through SBA loans, support and an extensive online learning platform. All SBA resources are free. They're ideal for new entrepreneurs and small business owners who are looking to learn business basics. 

Courses on writing a business plan, financing options, social media marketing, and sales are popular offerings. There's also SBA en Español, a dedicated section of the website for Spanish-speaking small business owners. 

Visit the SBA Learning Platform website to learn more. 


Udacity provides online courses and learning resources for individuals who are interested in entering the U.S. tech industry. This platform focuses primarily on data science, cybersecurity, AI (artificial intelligence) and other high-demand tech skills. 

Udacity breaks down learning into nanodegree paths that provide credentialing. Its courses are in English and may be available for translation into other languages, but that option varies by course. Depending on which courses you sign up for, Udacity may charge a fee.

Visit the Udacity website to learn more.


Udemy considers itself a global community. Instructors from around the world, teaching in over 75 languages, created the Udemy course catalog. With 200,000-plus offerings, you're sure to find a broad selection of courses in multiple learning styles on courses such as Microsoft Excel, web development and data science. The price per course is lower than for some other large platforms. 

Udemy also offers Cisco certification courses, CompTIA certification courses and storage certification courses.  

Visit the Udemy website to learn more. 

Did you know? Providing access to online courses for your team can ensure effective employee training in the areas your business needs for growth and success. 

Benefits of using online business education programs

Online learning programs can enhance your skill set and support your organization regardless of your current role or business stage. 

Some benefits of online business education programs include the following: 

  • Online business education can strengthen your organization. You can learn new skills and business concepts to set up your company for future growth.
  • Online business education is cost-effective. Many online learning programs are free or low-cost.
  • You can learn at your own pace with online business education. You can focus your attention on growing your business while developing your skills at your own pace. 
  • Online business education closes skills gaps. Business owners may discover a skills gap in their workforce when their business grows, enters new markets or introduces new product lines, or when technology advances faster than their current employees' knowledge base. Online business programs can help close those skill gaps by matching employees with online programs that meet their needs.
  • Online business education saves time and money. Business owners save time and money by retraining themselves or their teams and helping them learn new skills. They devote less time to hiring new staff while engaging current employees and supporting their professional development.  

Online business learning platforms offer endless opportunities

The online learning market is robust, providing nuanced options for business owners and professionals who are seeking to boost their business skills. 

As the online learning market grows, so will the accessibility of specialized courses that meet your business's unique needs. If you're a business owner, the skills you acquire can help grow your business to new levels. If you're seeking to advance your career, these courses deliver you new skill sets while showing employers your willingness to learn

Matt D'Angelo contributed to the reporting and writing in this article.

Thu, 02 Feb 2023 06:15:00 -0600 en-US text/html https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/smallbusiness/11-online-platforms-to-boost-your-business-skills/ar-AA172Ebs
Killexams : HP LaserJet Pro MFP review: A multifunction laser printer you won't hate

I have always had a problematic relationship with network-attached printers. And among IT professionals, I know I'm not unique in that. 

In fact, I always avoided using them in my SOHO environment because, more often than not, the time when you need to use a printer the most is usually when it malfunctions with a paper jam or your print job vanishes without explanation into the ether. Then you're spending an hour trying to figure out whether your drivers aren't up to date or if there's something wrong with the networking.

But when HP offered me the chance to look at its new LaserJet Pro all-in-one line, in both monochrome and color, I jumped at it. 

Why? I hadn't looked at a new laser printer in at least 10 years, and the monstrosity in my closet's tech stack was out of date, I couldn't print directly to it from my mobile devices, it didn't work well on my new Macs and Windows 11 systems, and from a networking perspective it was insecure. 

Maybe this new printer would be my friend as opposed to a foe?

LaserJet Pro MFP 4101fdwe Specs (Monochrome)

Functions Print, copy, scan, fax
Print speed - Black (normal) Up to 42 ppm[6] Measured using ISO/IEC 24734, excludes first set of test documents. See more information here. Exact speed varies depending on the system configuration, software application, driver, and document complexity.
First page out (ready) black As fast as 6.1 sec
Resolution (black) Fine lines (1,200 x 1,200 dpi)
Resolution technology HP FastRes 1200, HP ProRes 1200, Economode
Monthly duty cycle Up to 80,000 pages. Duty cycle is defined as the maximum number of pages per month of imaged output. This value provides a comparison of product robustness in relation to other HP LaserJet or HP Color LaserJet devices, and enables appropriate deployment of printers and MFPs to satisfy the demands of connected individuals or groups.
Recommended monthly page volume 750 to 4,000
Print technology Laser
Display 2.7" (6.86 cm) intuitive color touchscreen (CGD)
Number of print cartridges 1
Replacement cartridges HP 148A Black Original LaserJet Toner Cartridge (~2,900 pages), W1480A; HP 148X Black Original LaserJet Toner Cartridge (~9,500 pages), W1480X[3]
Print languages HP PCL 6, HP PCL 5e, HP postscript level 3 emulation, PDF, URF, Native Office, PWG Raster
Automatic paper sensor No
Paper trays, standard 2
Paper trays, maximum 3
Mobile Printing Capability HP Smart App; Apple AirPrint™; Mopria™ Certified; Wi-Fi® Direct Printing
Connectivity, standard Gigabit Ethernet LAN 10/100/1000BASE-T network; 802.11b/g/n / 2.4 / 5 GHZ Wi-Fi radio + Bluetooth; 802.3az(EEE)
Minimum system requirements 2 GB available hard drive space; Internet connection; Internet browser. For additional OS hardware requirements see apple.com; 2 GB available hard disk space; Internet connection; Internet browser. For additional OS hardware requirements see microsoft.com;
Compatible operating systems Windows 11; Windows 10; Windows 7; Windows Client OS; Android; iOS; Mobile OS; MacOS 10.15 Catalina; MacOS 11 Big Sur; MacOS 12 Monterey; Chrome OS
Memory, standard 512 MB
Memory, maximum 512 MB
Printer management HP Printer Assistant; HP Web JetAdmin Software; HP JetAdvantage Security Manager; HP SNMP Proxy; Agent (Part of HP WebJetAdmin); HP WS Pro Proxy Agent (Part of HP WebJetAdmin); Printer Administrator Resource Kit for HP Universal Print Driver (Driver Configuration Utility - Driver Deployment Utility - Managed Printing Administrator);
Supported network protocols TCP/IP, IPv4, IPv6; Print: TCP-IP port 9100 Direct Mode, LPD (raw queue support only), Apple AirPrint™, Mopria, IPP Print; Discovery: SLP, Bonjour, Web Services Discovery; IP Config: IPv4 (BootP, DHCP, AutoIP, Manual), IPv6 (Stateless Link-Local and via Router, Stateful via DHCPv6), SSL Security and Certificate management; Management: SNMPv1, SNMPv2, SNMPv3, HTTP/HTTPS, Syslog, FTP FW Download
Hard disk No
Paper handling input, standard 100-sheet tray 1, 250-sheet input tray 2; 50-sheet Automatic Document Feeder (ADF)
Paper handling output, standard 150-sheet output bin
Duplex printing Automatic (default)
Envelope input capacity Up to 10 envelopes
Finished output handling Sheetfeed
Media sizes supported Tray 1: Letter; Legal; Executive; Oficio (8.5 x 13 in); 16K; Japanese Postcard; Double Japan Postcard Rotated; Envelope #10; Envelope Monarch; Envelope B5; Envelope C5; Envelope DL; Custom Size; 4 x 6 in; 5 x 8 in; Statement; Tray 2 & Tray 3: Letter; Legal; Executive; Oficio (8.5 x 13 in); Custom Size; 5 x 8 in; Statement
Media sizes, custom Tray 1: A4; A5; A6; B5 (JIS); Oficio (216 x 340 mm); 16K (195 x 270 mm); 16K (184 x 260 mm); 16K (197 x 273 mm); Japanese Postcard; Double Japan Postcard Rotated; Envelope #10; Envelope Monarch; Envelope B5; Envelope C5; Envelope DL; Custom Size; 4 x 6 in; 5 x 8 in; Statement; Tray 2 & Tray 3: A4; A5; A6; B5 (JIS); Oficio (216 x 340 mm); 16K (195 x 270 mm); 16K (184 x 260 mm); 16K (197 x 273 mm); Custom Size; A5-R; 4 x 6 in; B6 (JIS)
Paper Trays  Tray 1: 3 x 5 to 8.5 x 14 in, Tray 2, 3: 4.12 x 5.83 to 8.5 x 14 in
Media types Paper (plain, EcoEFFICIENT, light, heavy, bond, colored, letterhead, preprinted, prepunched, recycled, rough); envelopes; labels;
Supported media weight Tray 1: 16 to 53 lb; tray 2, optional 550-sheet tray 3: 16 to 32 lb
Media weights by paper path Tray 1: 60 to 200 g/m² ; tray 2, optional 550-sheet tray 3: 60 to 120 g/m²
Power 110-volt input voltage: 110 to 127 VAC (+/- 10%), 50/60 Hz (+/- 2 Hz); 220-volt input voltage: 220 to 240 VAC (+/- 10%), 50/60 Hz (+/- 2 Hz) (Not dual voltage, product varies by part number with # Option code identifier)
Power consumption 510 watts (active printing), 7.5 watts (ready), 0.9 watt (sleep), 0.9 watt (Auto Off/Wake on LAN, enabled at shipment), 0.06 watt (Auto-off/Manual-on), 0.06 (Manual Off) Power requirements are based on the country/region where the printer is sold. Do not convert operating voltages. This will damage the printer and void the product warranty.
Energy efficiency ENERGY STAR® qualified; IT ECO Declaration
Operating temperature range 50 to 90.5°F
Operating humidity range 30 to 70% RH
Software included No software solutions are included in the Box only on http://hp.com; http://123.hp.com;
Warranty Two-year Bench/Depot Repair warranty. Warranty and support options vary by product, country and local legal requirements. Contact your Contractual Vendor or go to hp.com/support to learn about HP award winning service and support options in your region.
Dimensions (W X D X H) 16.54 x 15.35 x 12.72 in
Dimensions Maximum (W X D X H) 16.93 x 25 x 12.8 in
Weight 27.78 lb
Package weight 34.2 lb
What's in the box Preinstalled HP Black Original LaserJet Toner Cartridge; Getting Started Guide; Support Flyer; Warranty Guide; Regulatory Flyer; Power cord
Cable included No, please purchase USB cable separately
Sustainability impact Forest First product with HP+; Recyclable through HP Planet Partners; Compatible with Accessibility Accessories; Contains post-consumer recycled plastic


I was happy to discover that the years of complex printer installation with huge software requirements were long gone with the HP LaserJet Pro units. The biggest amount of labor was getting the 28-pound bundle of joy out of its box, placing it on a sturdy surface (the shelf in the closet of my wife's office did nicely), plugging it in, and turning it on. I chose to go wireless, but you can also plug in a Gigabit Ethernet connection or USB cable if you want to go hardwired. 

Also: Need a printer? We ranked the best inkjet, photo, and laser printers

And yes, there's also a fax line if you still do that instead of just emailing.

The current crop of LaserJet Pro units has already-installed toner cartridges, so that's another hassle you don't have to contend with. The pre-installed 148A cartridge is suitable for about 2,900 pages. When you need to replace the toner cartridge, the 148X retails for $227 and yields about 9,500 pages. The Color LaserJet Pro MFP unit, which I also looked at, uses a bundle of cartridges, the W211X series, in cyan, magenta, yellow, and black, each going for about $100. Yes, the supplies for these LaserJets are expensive, but that's typical given the higher-quality toner needed.


There are two ways to get the device onto your network. You can install the HP Smart app on your phone and go through the "Set up or add printer" wizard, or you can do it directly from the printer's touchscreen display. 

I chose to set up the device with the display on the monochrome unit. While it sounds simpler, it would not be my recommended route because you have to do a fair bit of typing on it to enter your wireless network credentials, and the screen is only 2.7 inches wide, so it's very easy to fat-finger. I used the app to set up the Color MFP, and it was much easier.

Also: Epson is going to stop selling laser printers. Here's why

If it is your first time setting up an HP printer using the HP Smart app (and also the display), you will be prompted to set up an account on HP's Smart cloud, which allows you to use the app to print, scan, or fax from anywhere on any HP printer, not just the printer you are setting up. It can discover all printers on the network you are connected to and can also link to your various cloud storage accounts, such as Google Drive, DropBox, Box, and Evernote, as well as other WebDav servers.

In addition to standard Wi-Fi print connectivity, you can also print via Wi-Fi Direct, a direct connection to the printer. iOS devices can print to it using AirPrint, built into iOS and iPadOS. To connect to the printer with my Macs, all I had to do was open Settings and choose Printers & Scanners, and it was automatically discovered. With a Mac, you can also use this menu to scan documents with the LaserJet Pro, so if you've installed HP Smart on your iPhone, you don't need to install it on the Mac itself. 

Bonjour autodiscovery of HP LaserJet Pro on MacOS Ventura.

Screenshot by Jason Perlow/ZDNET

If you want HP Smart on your Mac, make sure you're installing the version from the Mac App Store and not HP's website, as you'll get a security warning if you try to use the HP website one on newer Macs. Yeah, there's always something.

On Windows, you'll want to visit the HP Easy Start website and obtain the software, which installs various drivers and utilities for the printer.

Overall I thought HP did a good job with the software on this printer, and the company appears to have standardized its development toolkit so that Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android versions of HP Smart have a similar look and feel. All of them appear to have been built on MIT-licensed open-source software and Microsoft .NET and C#.

This is a far cry from the stuff HP put out not even 10 years ago, and it's surprisingly a small package, taking up only 130MB on the Mac. The only downside I see to HP Smart is that much of its operation appears to be cloud-centered, so if its cloud is under heavy use, it can be sluggish to respond; this is the flip side of not having such a huge software payload sitting on the client when all of the management is running remotely.

HP Smart running on a Mac, using open-source software components.

Jason Perlow/ZDNET


Generally speaking, I have found the LaserJet Pro series to be trouble-free once you get the HP Smart situation squared away, but with a caveat that if the printer is being used wirelessly, you absolutely want to make sure it is in an area with good Wi-Fi reception. I had to flip between two different networks to make sure I was getting good connectivity, and because the printer was placed in the corner of the house that was relatively far from the access point, I had to set the network it was using in the touchscreen display to 2.4GHz as opposed to 5GHz. 

The other issue I encountered with this line of printers is that they're designed to be power-efficient, so they go into sleep mode after only being on for minutes at a time. There can sometimes be a short lag before the printer wakes up when using HP Smart or when sending print jobs to the unit if it has been in its power-suspended mode. So if your Wi-Fi connectivity isn't great, it will take a long time to reacquire the network (or might not even acquire at all), and you'll be wondering why you can't print to it.

Otherwise? It's a classic multifunction LaserJet with two paper trays with light to medium office capacity and excellent print quality, and at retail currently about $420. Given market consolidation, few other SMB laser printers are on the market that will do the same job, with the same connectivity and manageability for the same money. 

The last time I didn't hate a personal/small business laser printer was probably my trusty HP LaserJet Series 5P I bought to print my wedding invitations in 1995, back when Canon still made the laser engines, and I was working for the company as a software engineer. 

Bottom line

It took HP probably over a decade, but it finally released a small-business multifunction laser printer that I not only do not hate but actually enjoy using -- it's fast, it produces high-quality output, it has secure networking, and it also had a fairly trouble-free setup accompanied by excellent mobile device connectivity so that you can print from smartphones and tablets with ease. 

If you are a small business or a SOHO environment with light to medium printing requirements that needs laser-quality output as opposed to an inkjet and also needs to do occasional scanning and faxing, the HP LaserJet Pro MFP series in monochrome or color would be a good choice.

Alternatives to consider 

The color version of the LaserJet Pro MFP is a good choice if color printing is a heavy requirement for your small business besides monochrome document output.

The M40dw is a wireless and networked laser printer for workgroups that only need print capability; it's a classic monochrome LaserJet. 

Tue, 07 Feb 2023 04:32:00 -0600 en text/html https://www.zdnet.com/home-and-office/smart-office/hp-laserjet-pro-mfp-review/
Killexams : Is this the next great leap for internal combustion? © Provided by Hagerty Media Piston up and down, barrel spins, fuel-air mix moves in, exhaust gas moves out. Full flow, no poppet stem or face in the way. Vaztec © Provided by Hagerty Media Piston up and down, barrel spins, fuel-air mix moves in, exhaust gas moves out. Full flow, no poppet stem or face in the way. Vaztec

We may have been doing this wrong all along. With cylinder heads, that is.

Back when it all began, steam was the start, how we first captured heat energy from fuel and put it to work. More than a century ago, steam powerplants formed the basis for the design of the first internal-combustion (IC) engines. Moving the combustion from an external source (a steam boiler) to the inside of the drive cylinder was a major step forward in power and efficiency.

Since steam engines were laying around all over the place, many parts were carried over. Components like pistons, connecting rods, and cranks were near-enough correct to make a gasoline engine sort of run, and things evolved from there. The sliding sleeves and popular barrel valves used to control the flow of high-pressure steam, however, did not make the cut. They leaked.

Leaking a little high-pressure steam here and there is not of major consequence in the grand scheme of a locomotive. Because cylinder leakage carries real drawbacks with an IC engine, sleeve valves and barrel valves were abandoned, replaced by a kind of valve called the poppet. The type of valve now found in almost every four-stroke IC engine on earth.

Poppet valves were and are a decent fit for a four-stroke’s high internal pressures and combustion temperatures. Mated with a countersunk seat, the poppet’s chamfered face forms a positive seal, and that seal improves as pressure on the valve face increases. Although they require complex drive and support systems (cams, keepers, springs, lubricated guides, etc.) poppets have been developed into a reliable solution.

A patent drawing for a novel poppet-valve system filed in the early 1920s. The specifics of this particular layout proposal aren’t important, but note the tulip-shaped valve at right. A century later, poppets don’t look much different. USPTO © Provided by Hagerty Media A patent drawing for a novel poppet-valve system filed in the early 1920s. The specifics of this particular layout proposal aren’t important, but note the tulip-shaped valve at right. A century later, poppets don’t look much different. USPTO

What we gained in reliable sealing, though, we lost in flow. A poppet valve’s head is always in the way. On the intake stroke, a poppet valve’s head blocks about 20 percent of the air trying to fill the cylinder. With the exhaust stroke, the valve is essentially attempting to evacuate a crowded theater through a door that won’t fully open. The piston is rising, pushing combustion byproducts out the exhaust port, but the valve’s head is in the way.

In the case of the intake valve, we’ve evolved to a sweet spot where a poppet can flow more than 100-percent capacity—more air can be moved past the valve and into the cylinder than the dimensions of the intake path and cylinder would suggest. But that’s due to the velocity of the incoming airstream, the air “ramming” itself past the valve’s head. (For an exaggerated illustration of this effect, see the now-outdated Japanese “subway stuffers”—they were literally ram effect personified.

This is no small issue. Every engine is, in essence, a dumb air pump, limited in its ability to bring in air. Burning gasoline and exhausting high-pressure gases are pretty easy tasks by comparison.

Cylinder filling has been the problem for two centuries, since we began moving away from steam. The column of air sitting over the earth weighs only enough to create around 14.5 psi of ambient pressure at sea level. When it comes to pushing air into a vacuum—like the one created by a piston moving down a cylinder—that pressure isn’t much. It’s even less at altitude, like on Pikes Peak, where the mountain’s height leaves the air column above short enough to deliver less than 9 psi. (Ever wondered why turbo- and superchargers predominate on race cars run at altitude? Now you know.)

After 100 years of being fussed with, the poppet valve is, in a sense, grandfathered in. It is now highly functional but not optimal. We have band-aided the poppet’s poor performance partly by increasing the number of valves—some cylinder heads have four or more per piston. Over the last century, however, the inventive human mind has tried to revive certain steam-engine concepts, to take advantage of their superior flow ability.

During World War II, when air power was the ultimate arms race, engine designers on both sides dusted off the concept of sleeve valves. By configuring those valves around pistons, they found tremendous power improvements. (While also making massive progress in the development of things like high-octane fuels, superchargers, turbochargers, and nitrous-oxide injection—all over the span of about five summers.) The power increases came mostly from the airflow made possible by those sleeve valves, a clean and unobstructed path from intake port to cylinder, no poppet head in the way.

The operation of the sleeve-valve assembly used on Bristol airplane engines during World War II. The sleeve rose and fell within the cylinder, around the moving piston; the holes in the sleeve’s side served as ports for intake and exhaust. Bristol Aeroplane Company © Provided by Hagerty Media The operation of the sleeve-valve assembly used on Bristol airplane engines during World War II. The sleeve rose and fell within the cylinder, around the moving piston; the holes in the sleeve’s side served as ports for intake and exhaust. Bristol Aeroplane Company

This improved air flow was put to good use: A fighter plane that can out-climb or outrun an opponent can easily turn and shoot them down. For all the benefits brought by their improved flow, though, sleeve valves leaked oil, they wore out too quickly, and they required monkey-motion levers in the crankcase in order to work correctly. The technology never made it to automotive production in any significant form.

Still, the siren song of full flow capacity is hard to resist. And like the sleeve valve, the barrel valve—a type of rotary valve—has long captured the fascination of engine designers.

The barrel rotary valve and cylinder head of a 45-cc single-cylinder prototype engine developed by American firm Vaztec. As the barrel spins, the rectangular holes allow air-fuel mixture and exhaust gas to reach the engine’s intake and exhaust ports, respectively. Vaztec © Provided by Hagerty Media The barrel rotary valve and cylinder head of a 45-cc single-cylinder prototype engine developed by American firm Vaztec. As the barrel spins, the rectangular holes allow air-fuel mixture and exhaust gas to reach the engine’s intake and exhaust ports, respectively. Vaztec

A shaft with a slot cut into it, rotating in seals, is so simple and capable that it has been tried dozens and dozens of times. Where a standard poppet valve may peak at flowing 85 percent of its intake area (and then only temporarily, when fully open), a rotary valve opens faster and can flow 100 percent of its intake area more of the time (meaning, over more of the valve’s opening duration). If you have a 5.0-liter engine that can only breathe at 85 percent of capacity, you don’t really have a 5.0-liter engine. One-hundred-percent intake-valve flow makes more power every time.

With the barrel valve, the gremlin has always been sealing. For a long time, any seal material that pressed against a barrel valve’s shaft enough to contain combustion pressure—upwards of 1500 psi at 2500 degrees Fahrenheit—would also deliver high friction and wear. If you loosened up the seal’s tolerance on the shaft to reduce that friction, it would leak. Either way, the high temperatures ate away at any sealing material tried.

The industry birthed prototypes, test engines, and a few production attempts, but no rotary-valve design or layout has been fit for real commercial success. Felix Wankel, the inventor of the rotary engine, started his career developing disc rotary valves that were eventually used in German torpedoes. In 2004, the Mercedes-Ilmor Formula 1 team got as close to the summit as anyone, with an adaptation of a rotary valve patented by a man named Bishop. But alas, F1’s (power-hating?) sanctioning body responded by outlawing any valve not a poppet. So much for racing promoting innovation.

The Cross rotary valve and the 500-cc circa 1935. The arrangement is similar to the now-outlawed Bishop design developed by the Mercedes-Ilmor Formula 1 team for 2004. Crossley Bros./oldbikemag.com.au © Provided by Hagerty Media The Cross rotary valve and the 500-cc circa 1935. The arrangement is similar to the now-outlawed Bishop design developed by the Mercedes-Ilmor Formula 1 team for 2004. Crossley Bros./oldbikemag.com.au

All hope is not lost. As part of my work as a professor of IC Engine Design at UNC-Charlotte, I was called to consult in “Race City, USA” (a.k.a. Mooresville, North Carolina, home of NASCAR), to assist a company that had found a way to seal a rotary valve and take advantage of the potential.

That company, Vaztec, was founded by a team of engine developers who had supported GM and Ford racing for decades, and who had grown disillusioned with how badly a poppet valve actually flows. Now six years in, they have just returned from a Society of Automotive Engineers conference in Japan, where their white-paper presentation on a successful rotary-valve design won an award.

Maybe time is nigh for a change.

Vaztec © Provided by Hagerty Media Vaztec

Vaztec has developed and patented a dynamic, high-temperature sealing system that adapts to the shape of a rotary valve as it expands. That expansion is the true Achilles heel of a rotary-valve system. Almost all metals expand as they heat up. If your valve seal relies on a thousandth of an inch of clearance to work, as many automotive seals do, having that valve grow three times that amount as the engine warms is a recipe for failure.

As the Vaztec project advances, some interesting side benefits have appeared. One is a cooler-running valve. The poppet is a sitting duck in the combustion chamber, exposed to 2500-degree combustion gases during the piston’s power stroke. Then, during the exhaust stroke, the valve’s head gets stuck in a jet blast of 1400-degree exhaust. Milliseconds later, that head carries leftover heat into the engine’s next power cycle. Because a barrel valve is constantly turning, heat transfers more evenly into the cylinder head.

Piston up and down, barrel spins, fuel-air mix moves in, exhaust gas moves out. Full flow, no poppet stem or face in the way. Vaztec © Provided by Hagerty Media Piston up and down, barrel spins, fuel-air mix moves in, exhaust gas moves out. Full flow, no poppet stem or face in the way. Vaztec

That heat transfer is helpful. At peak power, the head of a poppet exhaust valve can serve as a “glow plug,” growing so hot as to spontaneously ignite fuel and air. Lowering an engine’s static compression ratio helps alleviate this; by the same token, if you eliminate the glow-plug effect, you can make that ratio higher. All else being equal, higher compression ratios Excellerate power and efficiency—a strong step toward keeping the IC engine alive and relevant in years to come.

Those benefits were somewhat expected. An unexpected byproduct of unobstructed intake flow was the increased, and now very high, velocity of intake air as it rushes into the combustion chamber.

Intake air gets up to crazy speed in high-load conditions—Mach 0.55, or around 450 mph. That velocity is what drives the aforementioned “ram effect,” the jamming of a combustible air-fuel mixture into a cylinder. That velocity generally produces turbulence, which stirs up and quickens the combustion process, aiding power.

An animation of the path taken by the intake charge in Vaztec’s barrel-valve system. The gradient strip at the bottom reflects charge velocity. Vaztec © Provided by Hagerty Media An animation of the path taken by the intake charge in Vaztec’s barrel-valve system. The gradient strip at the bottom reflects charge velocity. Vaztec

Interesting side note: A few decades ago, I had a fascinating conversation about intake velocity with former Car and Driver editor Gordon Jennings. He proposed Mach 0.9 as the actual goal—near-sonic airflow. Even then, however, things would still be greatly disturbed by the poppet valve’s head, which hangs out at the end of the intake port like a bouncer at the entrance to a party. With the bouncer gone, things change. Rather than an orderly “deflagration” (picture of a sheet of paper lit by a match at one corner, the flame moving slowly to engulf the page), we get flame-folding and combustion that takes place much more quickly.

This is a different type of cylinder process than we are used to, one highly efficient, very rapid, and very useful. A telltale is how Vaztec’s development engines have required roughly half as much ignition-timing advance as they would with poppet valves. Because the fuel-air mixture burns quicker, these engines can fire their spark plugs later in the combustion stroke, which means lets them make more power—the force of the cylinder’s burn is no longer trying to shove the rising piston back down. (With slower combustion rates, this is a very real “taxation” cost of advanced ignition timing.) The greater turbulence also sweeps lazy end-gases into the combustion party, giving less time for detonation sites to emerge in the chamber.

A high-velocity intake stream slows greatly when forced to work around the stem and head of a poppet valve—note the relative lack of yellow and red in the combustion chamber (the rectangle on the right) of the upper image. Vaztec © Provided by Hagerty Media A high-velocity intake stream slows greatly when forced to work around the stem and head of a poppet valve—note the relative lack of yellow and red in the combustion chamber (the rectangle on the right) of the upper image. Vaztec

Designing a new engine system is one thing. Actually getting it to run is another. Six years ago, Vaztec began developing its rotary valve inside, of all things, a diesel engine. Diesels use extremely high combustion pressures, up to 2500 psi, so this was a tall bar, but also a fine way to prove the idea. Next, the company set its sights on the power kings of the engine world: two-strokes.

A two-stroke cylinder has a firing cycle every crankshaft rotation. A four-stroke fires only every second rotation, half as many power pulses for a given rpm. Although two-strokes excel in power output per cubic inch, they offer relatively poor control of incoming and outgoing gases, and that serves as an upper limit for output. (My ’72 Bultaco 250-cc two-stroke motocross bike made 144 hp per liter when I raced it 45 years ago, and Honda’s two-stroke, 500-cc NSR 500 grand-prix bike made 400 hp per liter in the 1990s. Compare these to the laudable 5.5-liter V-8 in the current Corvette Z06, which makes 122 hp per liter. What two-strokes don’t do well is run cleanly, which is why federal emissions regulators are eyeing them for eventual banishment.)

Honda’s NSR 500 motorcycle. Honda © Provided by Hagerty Media Honda’s NSR 500 motorcycle. Honda

As a test, Vaztec set its sights on making a high-power, clean-emissions replacement for a 50-cc two-stroke, in the form of a rotary-valve four-stroke. This was the subject of the award-winning SAE presentation mentioned earlier. Vaztec’s rotary-valve, 45-cc single matches the power of a production 45-cc two-stroke chainsaw/weed-trimmer engine, and it can rev just as high (more than 12,000 rpm). It also made 50 percent more power than a similar, 48-cc four-stroke poppet engine currently on the market.

Vaztec © Provided by Hagerty Media Vaztec

About that rpm peak: Poppet valves deliver an engine an upper speed limit by nature. At extremely high rpm, a spring-closed poppet valve will float—hover off its seat, unable to fully close and seal before the cam that controls the valve forces it open again. Since a rotary valve spins like a shaft, supported by bearings (imagine a camshaft without lobes or loads), it lacks that traditional limit. That Mercedes-Ilmor F1 engine easily spun above 20,000 rpm, limited primarily by the strength of its crankshaft and connecting rods.

For a more automotive-scale test, Vaztec has developed a one-cylinder engine with two rotary valves, one each for intake and exhaust. This engine uses a 90-mm bore and a 70-mm stroke, which makes it comparable in size to one cylinder of a 1.8-liter in-line four. It currently makes 50 percent more power at 4000 rpm than the similarly sized poppet-valve engine that Vaztec chose as a baseline. Very promising.

On the endurance front, Vaztec has built ten prototype engines over the past six years, from a 28-cc single to a 5.3-liter version of GM’s LS1 V-8. The company’s engineers have hundreds of hours of durability tests showing scalability and strong results. The valve itself is simple, with very little to deteriorate. Even at these early stages of development, wear rates of these prototypes extrapolate to an engine life exceeding 5000 hours.

Vaztec © Provided by Hagerty Media Vaztec Vaztec © Provided by Hagerty Media Vaztec

At the moment, Vaztec is working with engine manufacturers to scale the technology into powersports, and eventually automotive-production applications, including hybrids. The greater power density, improved combustion, and increased efficiency are coupled with reduced noise, reduced vibration, and reduced wear. On top of that, those benefits are brought by a system that uses 33 percent fewer parts than a traditional poppet arrangement, that requires no special materials or processes to create, and that costs less to make and assemble.

An added bonus? No valve adjustments for the life of the engine. And we get to keep our pistons and crankshafts.

While most of the advances in engines in the past three decades have related to controls like direct fuel-injection and variable valve timing, it seems we’ve found a way to Excellerate the fundamentals once more.

Could the poppet valve go the way of the choke lever and dashboard cassette player, into the dustbin of history? Perhaps, just as carburetors have been largely replaced by fuel injection, rotary valves will take over. We shall see.


Full Disclosure: Norman Garrett is an engineering consultant for Vaztec and has helped develop the company’s rotary-valve technology. He is a freelance contributor to Hagerty and was paid for this story.

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Killexams : Speakers announced for CT Flower & Garden Show

HARTFORD — The 41st Connecticut Flower & Garden Show opens Feb. 23 and continues to Feb. 26, at the Connecticut Convention Center, 100 Columbus Boulevard.

New England’s only 2023 flower exhibition show covers almost two acres, and will offer ideas for house, apartment, and condo dwellers. “Gateway to Spring” is the theme of this year’s show that features more than a dozen expansive live gardens in full bloom, a nonstop schedule of seminars and demonstrations, the Federated Garden Clubs of Connecticut’s annual Standard Flower Show, and hundreds of vendors displaying and selling all types of items.

More than 25 horticulture and gardening experts will present a variety of topics, totaling over 80 hours during the four-day event. Attendance at these programs is included in the general admission, and questions are welcomed by the speakers. The following is the list of speakers and courses and also is posted at www.CTFlowerShow.com:

Lorraine Ballato: Easy Breezy Plants; and Shady Characters; Ruth Bennett: Irises New Introductions & Interspecies Crosses; Pamm Cooper: Good Bug, Bad Bug, or Benign Bug?; Rich Cowles: Climate Change & Impact on Rose Culture; Christine Darnell: Radically Re-thinking Garden Design; Nancy DuBrule-Clemente: Native and Non-Native Plants for Sustainable Landscapes; and Curb Appeal for Pollinator Gardens; Kim Eierman: Pollinator Victory Gardens with Native Plants; Unlocking the Mysteries of Native Plant Selection; Dr. Nick Goltz: House Plant Diagnostics; Len Giddix: The Reflection in Your Garden; Larry Huzi: Spring Floral Designs with PAZAZZ!; Trish Manfredi: Easy Creative Floral Designs; Laurie Masciandaro: Connecticut's Historic Gardens.

Also, Owen McLaughlin: Introduction to Rhododendrons & Azaleas; Kerry Ann Mendez: Gardening Simplified; and Hydrangeas Demystified; Jana Milbocker: Gardens of the Gilded Age; and Artists Gardens in New England; Amanda Morris: Gardening With Chickens; Charlie Nardozzi: No Dig Gardening; Ellen Ecker Ogden: 6 Steps to a Successful Kitchen Garden Design; Dawn Pettinelli: Successful Seed Starting; Peter Picone: Ways to Create & Enhance Wildlife Habitat in Your Surroundings, One Native Plant at a Time; Paul Split: Organic Container Gardening; Diane St. John: Every Yard Matters - How to Create a Healthy Monarch Butterfly Habitat at Home; Rob Townsend: Water Garden Basics; George Trecina: A Tree For Every Yard; and Embracing Volunteer Seedlings & Aggressive Plants; Dennis Tsui: Low Light Houseplants; and Steve Walowski: Organics 101 - An Organic Approach To Lawn Care.

Returning this year is the popular Barnes & Noble Center, selling flower, plant, and garden books, including those written by the show’s seminar speakers.

Discounted tickets, at $17 for Adults & Seniors are on sale now at www.CTFlowerShow.com and can be purchased online through the last day of the show. Tickets at the door are $20 for adults and seniors, $5 for children 5-12, and free under age 5.

For general information or to become an exhibitor, visit www.CTFlowerShow.com or Facebook, or call

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Killexams : Ineos Grenadier first drive: a Highland expedition in the back-to-basics off-roader

What if the Land Rover Defender didn’t go out of production in 2016? That’s the question the Ineos Grenadier is trying to answer. An all-new car from an all-new car company, called Ineos Automotive, the Grenadier is a rough-and-tough, utilitarian off-roader that furrows its brow if you even try to call it an SUV.

This is – in spirit and design – what the Defender might have become if Land Rover had updated it enough to stay on the right side of regulator rule books, added some new tech like Apple CarPlay, increased cabin space, and resisted the lure of taking its oldest nameplate upmarket.