Sunday, January 11, 2004

A New Home 

This is the final entry I’ll be posting on my current Blogger page, and have transferred all my materials over to a new home at www.richardsviewpoint.com, where I hope to be able to try out some interesting new ideas for creating and distributing content. Please change the bookmark in your browser accordingly!

Thursday, January 08, 2004

CES Day 1 

It certainly was an action-packed first day at CES. The highlight for me was, of course, our press conference with Apex Digital at which we announced the ApeXtreme PC Gaming Console based on the VIA Glory Personal Gaming Console Platform. With its ability to play thousands of PC games as well as a wide array entertainment capabilities, including watching DVD movies, listening to digital music, and running slideshows and home movies, this is a really exciting product and I am sure that it will do extremely well when it comes onto the market towards the end of the first quarter. For more information about the ApeXtreme, please visit our website at www.via.com.tw.

Unfortunately, I didn't have the chance to visit the show today. I hope to do that tomorrow!

Wednesday, January 07, 2004

VIA Embedded Platforms Division 

Wow! I can’t recall ever having started a new year with such a flurry of major announcements. It’s all been extremely exciting, but at the same time very exhausting for the members of my team who have been working really hard over the holiday period to put together all the materials. I really appreciate their wonderful support.

I won’t go into the details of the announcement we made that we will be adopting IBM as the foundry for manufacturing CPUs using their state-of-the-art 90 nanometer process, except to say that this is a clear sign of our long-term commitment to our processor business and of our determination to become a major player in the market.

We have made great progress towards achieving this goal over the past couple of years with the introduction of innovative products like VIA Eden and the VIA EPIA Mini-ITX, and with the formal establishment of the VIA Embedded Platforms Division we are further strengthening our focus on developing innovative platforms for what we now call Smart Connected Digital Devices, such as Telematics Systems, Digital Entertainment Centers, Personal Gaming Consoles, and even Wireless Mesh Networking Systems. These are the high-potential products of the future, and with our new Spearhead Platform Initiative, we have the right vehicle for enabling our customers to bring them to market quickly and cost effectively.

It was a great pleasure to see Richard Lander of LocustWorld again this week when he kindly came over to Taipei for our press conference, and very encouraging to see how quickly their wireless mesh networking solutions are taking off. LocustWorld are now almost at the stage where they are pretty much announcing the establishment of at least one new wireless mesh somewhere in the world each and every week. The latest one is in the idyllic village of Lauris in Provence, France.

Personal Gaming Consoles that run the thousands of PC games that are already available also provide an extremely interesting opportunity, and we are very excited to be working with Apex, the number one player in the US DVD market, on the introduction of their new Apextreme PC gaming console. I’ll write more about that after the official launch of the product on Thursday.

Saturday, January 03, 2004

CES 2004 

Now that the holiday season is almost over all roads lead to CES, which starts on Thursday 8 January. According to the press reports I've seen, it's going to be a massive show this year with over 120,000 attendees and all the major IT and Consumer Electronics vendors present. I have no reason to doubt these numbers, given the difficulties I had in finding a hotel room - just like it was during the glory days of Comdex.

Even now, I can imagine all the stimulating conversations I'm going to have about the difficuly of finding taxis:)

Friday, January 02, 2004

2004 Tech Trends 

Work on the new front end and back end for this blog is progressing well, and I'm hoping that I'll be able to go online with the new design on Monday. This weekend I'm going to have to spend a few hours familiarising myself with the new content engine: it's a lot more complex than Blogger, but I guess that's inevitable given the greater number of features it provides.

Forbes have posted an interesting article predicting the Top Tech Trends of 2004. I totally agree with their contention that "the laptop's steady march to overtake the desktop as the face of the PC" will be the "defining tech trend of 2004", and I'm confident that VIA will play an increasingly significant role in driving this transition with our VIA Antaur processor based mobile platforms. You'll be hearing a lot more from us on that subject in the coming months.

Forbes is also predicting that Video Blogs will be a major trend in 2004, as new products such as video-capable cell phones become more widely used. As I mentioned in my 31 December entry, I've been working on some videos myself, which I'll start posting next week. But don't expect anything too exciting here. As Forbes concludes, "now we'll get to see the boring moments in people's lives, instead of just reading about them."

Thursday, January 01, 2004

The Return of The King 

I've been looking forward to seeing the Return of the King, the final episode of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, ever since I saw the Two Towers. The long wait proved to be more than with it, for it far away exceeded my initial (already high) expectations. What a wonderful conclusion to a wonderful story! I was blown away by the marvellous acting and the amazing special effects. Now I can't wait for the DVD to come out, so that I can watch all three Lord of the Rings movies in a single sequence from the comfort of my sofa.

As the makers of the films have noted on a number occasions, it wasn't until recently that there was enough computing power available to enable them to create all the necessary special effects, most notably for the massive set-piece battle scenes in the second and third films. So now that all this computing power is finally at hand, I wonder what other stories the world's film-makers can bring to the big screen in similar grand style. Off hand, I can't really think of anything, with the possible expection of a couple of Greek myths. One thing is for certain, though: it's going to take a long time before someone produces a film as maganificent and as epic in scope as the Lord of the Rings!

Wednesday, December 31, 2003

New Year Resolutions 

Today being new year's eve, my thoughts have been meandering their way towards the subject of resolutions for 2004. Like many people, my record in sticking to previous resolutions has been less than stellar, but I guess that shouldn't stop me from trying again, and if I don't succeed, well, there'll always be the following new year.

My wife has been making some unsubtle hints that I need to improve my rather sedentary lifestyle by buying me a membership to a health club that recently opened up nearby. In fact, it's only five minutes walk away from home, so I can hardly make any excuses about it being inconvenient to get to (which is probably her point). Still, the idea of submitting to a daily regime of exercise on the treadmill or in the swimming pool makes me feel all queasy after nearly two decades of watching sport rather then playing it. On the other hand, my middle age spread is becoming increasingly apparent, so I guess I'll have to do something about it next year.

Of course, if I'm serious about doing more exercise next year, the next logical step would be to give up smoking. But here I draw the line. As obnoxious as many people find the habit, I really enjoy smoking and find it the most effective way of dealing with the numerous pressures of my job. I simply cannot imagine substituting my cigarettes for chewing gum or jelly beans. Besides, they don't exactly mix very well with the numerous cups of coffee I drink.

Caffeine and nicotine also provide much of the fuel that powers this blog, and improving the site is my number one resolution for next year. I have had a lot of fun posting my (almost) daily entries, but I feel that there is so much more I can do with it. As the first step, my colleague Tim Brown is designing a new front and back end for me so that my entries will be searchable and I can put up links to other sites that are of interest to me. In addition, I'm working on developing more multimedia content such as photos and videos that I hope will liven the site up a bit, and there'll be a feature that will enable readers to post your comments.

I'm looking forward to an interesting 2004. Happy New Year to you all!

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