Stories by John Brandon

  • 6 cool innovations for the data center

    Sure, consumer gadgets are getting most of the attention these days, but data centers are getting some love too. These new products and technologies promise to solve real data center problems or are already working to make enterprise operations run more smoothly. How many are on your wish list?

  • Your old computer, born again

    They're collecting dust in storage rooms and taking up extra space in your garage or office. They can't handle today's applications, peripherals or operating systems. Yes, older computers are a nuisance, like the brother-in-law who sleeps on your sofa for a few months.

  • How the iPad works

    Like the iPhone before it, <a href="http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9137163/Apple_Update">Apple</a>'s new <a href="http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9149338/Continuing_coverage_Apple_s_iPad_tablet">iPad</a> tablet is a technological powerhouse with a multitouch-screen interface, an accelerometer that senses movement and tilt, an antiglare screen you can view from a side angle, a long-lasting battery and more. To uncover how the iPad works, you could dismantle the device and void the warranty. Instead, let me explain the embedded technology.

  • The supercomputer on your desktop

    High-performance computing (HPC) has almost always required a supercomputer - one of those room-size monoliths you find at government research labs and universities.

  • How the iPhone works

    You put it up to your ear and the screen goes blank. Turn it on its side, and the screen rotates. Walk outside and it can find your location, point a compass in the correct direction and post your geostatus on Google Latitude. Point it at a Twitter user in the real world, and you can see his or her status on a pop-up screen.

  • 10 Microsoft research projects

    Innovation is not just about cool new products. In technology, the best ideas require a) really smart people and b) lots of funding. For the past 33 years, Microsoft has had both in spades.

  • Is managed WAN optimization the best option?

    A tech-support call starts it all. Why is my application running slow? What happened to my spreadsheet data? Is HQ using a 56K modem to handle traffic for my branch office -- again? The number of calls suddenly increases, and network analysis reveals unforeseen usage spikes at a new marketing location. The dream of data-center consolidation turns into a nightmare.

  • 10 broken technology ideas -- and how to fix them

    Sometimes a technology idea is too good to be true. A flexible keyboard, Internet voting and watching feature films on your smart phone are examples. Today, these concepts are still evolving, but they're broken right now. I'll tell you why and what could be done to fix them once and for all.

  • Virtualization shakes up backup strategy

    Virtualization is causing customers to rethink their backup strategies, with technology that combines pieces of traditional and well-understood enterprise backup with some pieces that are unique in the virtualized world.

  • Where to find free TV on the Web

    Video is all over the Web, and no wonder. With the advent of superfast broadband connections running at over 5Mbit/sec., widescreen monitors that have finally replaced the boxy CRTs of the past and a plethora of fresh and funny content, there's a perfect storm for video to gain even more momentum.