1024×600, or where to start optimizing software for Intel Atom

No matter how banal, but our lives are becoming more and more mobile. It seems that the Internet had to cancel trips as a class, but most of my friends from the large IT-companies (stress, IT) spend in other cities and countries a good half of life. And, arriving from another trip, immediately fly away on holiday. Of course, with such life it’s impossible to exist without a compact notebook.

I got a mobile computer later many of my colleagues — at the beginning of 2004. And after the first trip in his company I realized that I can’t travel alone anymore. Oh, six years have passed, and I still remember that strange feeling. Imagine: grim deserted hotel in a dozen miles from Dublin, behind a day, full of events and information, and ahead — the night in a standard room (I wonder how they manage to be so similar around the world?). I went to the press center, stuck in the laptop Ethernet-cable (yes, Wi-Fi wasn’t too popular in those good old times), and suddenly found myself … at home. No, the walls of the former school for girls, where in the late 20 th century made a hotel, not moved, and the portraits of BG and Elvis did not appear around me. But in the ICQ there as a usual circle of friends, in the mail — letters from colleagues and readers, and on the desktop — the familiar shortcuts. By and large, though nowhere and never left. Perhaps when you’re on vacation, this feeling isn’t too pleasant. But when you work somewhere very far away from the usual places, feel virtually at home very, very important.

Excuse me for a long entry :)

Since then I’ve used half a dozen of notebooks, and quite a long time (according to computer’s standards, for sure), I traveled with a little Sony TX, working on Intel Core Solo. In this model, I really liked a long battery life (around seven hours) and the presence of writing DVD, what is really cool for 11-inch baby. But lately I’ve find, that the optical drive does not handy, and power of Core Solo, to my surprise, is no longer enough even to show the majority of web pages. It should appear somewhere the flash banner or just some thingies, and even text input becomes a real misery.

Some months ago I’ve got a netbook Acer D250 with 6-unit battery, which is enough for six hours. CPU Atom N270 works great with Flash, and a built-in card reader, unlike the counterpart in the ancient Sony, excellently eats format SDHC. I decided to take Acer to a trip once, but not simple 2-day business fly, but the transatlantic one — on the New York launch of Windows 7. There netbook has to make a RAW and video conversion — and with all that it has overcome more than satisfactory. Before that I believed that more or less productive are only dual-core Atoms. I have one of them at home, in my hand-made NAS, and it already coverted hundreds hours of video for PSP. But new experience with single-core, equipped with Hyper-Threading, is also very, very good for it’s price and power consumption.

It would seem, travel and be happy, but no such luck. Problems crept, as usual, from the software side. First of all, the built-in Photoshop RAW-converter was unable to function normally because of the peculiar needs in resolution 1024×768. Of course, there are a lot of alternatives, but to me it is more convenient to do everything at once in a familiar environment, rather than jumping from one program to another. The second case is generally anecdotal. I have recently started to use more common converter HandBrake instead of Xvid4PSP. So in Nizhny Novgorod I decided to convert for PSP a DVD image with the film-opera «Don Quixote», starring Fyodor Chaliapin. Anyway, netbook will be boring until I explore the city, so converting a movie will entertain it. I started HandBrake and got a message: «Sorry, but I need at least 1024×620″, and program closes itself with a clear conscience.

What is the resolution 1024×620? Where have you seen it ever? The mystery is great there. Of course, with the help of AsTray Plus, I tamed the defective converter, but all the situation is really strange.

I’ve started digging into the Internet, finding out — what else does not like resolution 1024×600. Came across a howling of DJs, whose favorite application Rane Serato Scratch LIVE! Is quite satisfied with power of Intel Atom, but again it doesn’t feet screen resolution.
I have this to the fact that makes sense to start Atom optimization programs with these strange little things. And only then deal with energy efficiency, battery life, etc. etc. Just because resolving problems with resolution is easier, faster and — importantly — more clearly for people.

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