My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: Chrome OS Cr-48 and the Mobion Fuel Cell Generator - Green Lantern

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Chrome OS Cr-48 and the Mobion Fuel Cell Generator - Green Lantern

Instead of dirt and poison, we have rather chosen to fill our hives with honey and wax; thus furnishing mankind with the two noblest of things, which are sweetness and light.

Swift, The Battle of the Books

The debut of the Google Chrome OS powered Cr-48 smartbook from partners Google, Acer and Samsung as detailed in my blog article entitled “Google Chrome OS and Open Source - Star Wars A New Hope”, as promised by Google created a flurry of excitement.

Since its debut, the noise in Developer, Electronics and IT world especially aficionados of Open Source, Cloud Computing and NC (Network Computers) has continued to boil on, refusing to die quietly, as everyone is slowly warming up to the idea of a Laptop with SSD (Solid State Drive) that is quiet, lightweight, Cloud-Based and has a ten (10) hour battery life.

The smartbook was born on Tuesday December 7th 2010, but came out too late for Christmas 2010.

Still, improvements must be made as the people who have gotten the limited Beta Edition of the smartbook to try out and tweak may read the news below and realize that the smartbook, finally answering the demand from customers for SSD, can have longer standby times.

I speak of the recent announcement of a breakthrough by MTI Micro called the Mobion Fuel Cell Generator as mentioned in the article “Portable fuel cell generator: Green and powerful”, published December 13, 2010 1:53 PM PST by Dong Ngo, CNET News - Crave.

Finally, a bit of Organic Chemistry, as it ties in nicely with the electronics and the basic science of fuel cells!

A fuel cell powered by Methanol, with chemical formula CH3OH, differing from the much publicized Ethanol (C2H5OH), having a lower boiling point due to its simpler molecular structure. The educational stuff aside, it generates much interest as the process for making Methanol from Carbon Dioxide, Hydrogen and Oxygen using Chromium/Manganese Oxide Catalyst, at fifty (50) to two hundred and twenty (220) atmospheres at around 723K.

Or you can make it in your back yard using a common Methanol Generator that reforms Ethanol (think alcoholic spirits!) and Distilled Water to make all the Methanol you will ever need to refill as many Mobion Fuel Cell Generator cartridges as many times as the warranty for the device lasts.

The development of this technology spans a considerable time period and reflects the usual problem that has bedeviled electronics: Power Supplies. As far back as 2003, the idea of fuel cells powered be methanol was conceived.

But technical difficulties as it relates to scaling down the technology to work inside a Laptop or smaller sized consumer electronics device as stated in the article “Bye-Bye Batteries?”, published  April 3, 2003 3:00 am, by Lincoln Spector, PCWorld albeit further advances, note-noteworthy, failed to address the issue of the power usage of devices such as Laptops.

Thus SSD’s have popped on the scene from Apple in 2007 with the first Apple MacBook Air, recent updates in 2010 improving on both the price as well as the performance as per my blog article on Administrator Kirk’s Geezam blog entitled “MacBook Air and FLASH-based Harddrives - The Quest for Instant On”.

Apple, which gave us the Apple iPad, the first tablet, redefined the Netbook with the Apple MacBook Air and now Google has redefined the Laptop and rebranded it as the smartbook, fulfilling my predictions of the coming relevance of SSD’s as per my my blog article entitled “Dell Inspiron Duo and Solid State Drives - Charles Darwin and the survival of the Fittest”.

Despite the major advancements in Processors and Motherboards, even the mighty Apple has left the Power Supply Design in the backwater for PC, which the Apple iPad appears to be showing the ability to kill as per the article entitled “Tablets and the Future of the PC - Jurassic Park and License to Kill”.

Apple has instead opted to design a battery replacement in the Apple iPod, Apple iPod Nano, Apple iPod Shuffle, Apple iMac, Apple Mac Mini, Apple TV, Apple Air, Apple MacBook Pro and their latest toy, the Apple iPad with built in Solar Panels as per the article “Apple eyes gadgets with built in Solar panels”, published January 22, 2010 7:46 AM PST by Martin LaMonica, CNET News - Green Tech.

It is further asserted in the article “Apple patent bid combines solar with Touch Screen”, published June 7, 2010 6:31 AM PDT by Martin LaMonica, CNET News - Green Tech in a bid to kill off the charger

Thus it would seem that this humble development may actually be a serous game changer for Power Supplies, as conceivably it could be used to give Laptop, Netbooks and PC’s longer battery life on par with smartbooks.

The likes of the Apple iPad and the Apple MacBook Air both threatening to make them extinct as stated in the article “Tablets threaten to make Netbooks obsolete”, published Wednesday September 8, 2010 2:20 pm ET by Tony Bradley, Cold Business Center, Yahoo! News as well as on my blog article entitled “Tablets and the Future of the PC - Jurassic Park and License to Kill”.

The investment in a Methanol Generator would be seen in the saving in your Utility Bill and would bring a smile to may a householders face, knowing that such as simple Fuel Cell technology has finally been made portable and cheap enough to power their myriad of electronic gadgets.

Google Chrome OS powered Cr-48 smartbook could be exponentially extended, making the smartbook become a device that is forever on and truly cutting the cord. But the real developments would be awaiting the MacBook Tower line of PC.

Augmented with LightPeak, as everyone appears to be speculating, according to recent rumors with regards to Apple possibly adopting this port specification as per the article “Anticipating 'Light Peak' Tech from Intel, Apple”, published December 15, 2010 4:00 AM PST by Brooke Crothers, Nanotech - CNET News and predicted by my blog article entitled “Wi-Fi, LightPeak and PowerLine Broadband - The Young and the Restless”.

Augmentation with Solar panels to power Intel Processors, with MacAfee Antivirus built into the Intel Processor firmware is even a more exciting prospect, oweing to the fact that the Japanese and Chinese have been developing Intel replacement chip technology that uses Solar panels as per my blog article entitled “Intel and LightPeak - Race towards the Sun”.

The PC too may also see its Design redefined with the Power Supply finally stepping into the Alternative Energy Mantra that appear to be pushing everything else, the Ultimate case of Cord-Cutting as per my blog article entitled “Alternative Energy and Solar Power - Die Another Day”.

Too bad MTI Micro could not have made the Mobion Fuel Cell Generator to run on tap water, which I suspect is the next step, a stone throw away from the Hydrogen Fuel Cell I do desire as per my blog article entitled “Lithium-Ion vs Hydrogen Fuel Cell - The Living Daylights”, Green Lantern Style.
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