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April 02, 2009

Yes, it's time for another issue of the Developer Shed newsletter. Never mind that this is being written on April Fool's Day...though that did make my job just a little bit harder. Too many tech types like to celebrate this holiday, with predictable effects. You can't believe everything you read, unless it's coming from us; we're celebrating this holiday the same way we do every year, by giving you plenty of helpful information to keep you from being branded an April Fool! For instance, are you afraid the current administration is being a little foolish about security? That's what the Business Software Alliance thinks, according to eWeek. They want a greater role in U.S. cyber-security and if you want more details, read the article.

So what articles did we publish for you this week? Dev Shed continued several popular series showing you how to do some very useful things with JavaScript, AJAX, and PHP; if you're interested in making your web pages safer with CAPTCHA alternatives or building resizable containers for your web site, we have all that and more. Those who work with Microsoft technologies, meanwhile, should check out ASP Free for our introduction to Silverlight 3.0 and our demonstration of how to create custom objects with Windows Script Components.

Website designers and developers reading Dev Articles this week learned more about building web pages with HTML magic edges, as well as constructing a web page calculator; we also covered the STL string class. Don't forget to check the site on Thursday and Friday for more great content to help you develop your web site. Hardware enthusiasts, meanwhile, got their fill of reviews on Dev Hardware, where we covered mobile devices, laptops, and digital cameras this week.

If climbing to the top of the search engine results page is your passion, you'll appreciate the offerings on tap this week on SEO Chat. We continued our five-part series on ranking factors, took a close look at what can be learned from web site statistics, and examined one way to make money online. If you're just getting your website up and running, or haven't been at it for very long, you'll want to check out the articles on Dev Mechanic. This week we pondered whether there's a science to site design and showed you how to configure your GoDaddy hosting server for WordPress. Don't forget to come back for Friday's Dev Mechanic article.

And of course there's more. On Web Hosters we went over the pros and cons of building a Flash-based web site. On Codewalkers we continued our series on UNIX with a detailed look at the file system. And of course, we have lots of content to entice you on Scripts and Tutorialized. Be sure to check it out!

As always, thanks for reading. Until next week,
Developer Shed Staff

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IBM eKits Make Development eAsy!
Take advantage of free e-kits from developerWorks. E-kits give you a collection of tutorials, articles, webcasts, podcasts, and demos about a particular product, task, or role. This one-stop shop of resources empowers you to maximize your enterprise investment.
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IBM Rational Project and Portfolio Management certification training e-kit
Get free PMI training in the IBM Rational Project and Portfolio Management certification training e-kit. As a member of the Project Management Institute's (PMI's) corporate council, IBM has more than 12,000 PMI-certified project managers and has been honored for its educational programs. Now, you can learn more about the difference that IBM's project management curriculum makes with six free courses based on IBM's best-practices processes and tools.
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Re-Thinking Mobile Applications and User Experience: Part 2
Aligning User Expectations and Experience

By Lisa Morgan
As the number of mobile devices and their capabilities continue to grow, new application development opportunities arise. This article discusses how end user requirements influence user experience design.
Read the full article >
Taiwan’s MEC: Paving the Way for Moblin Development

ByTina Gasperson
The Center for Moblin Linux (or Moblin Enabling Center - MEC), was created to help accelerate the development of mobile Internet devices that use the Moblin operating system, which is based on Linux.
Read the full article >

Linux Collaboration Summit
April 8th-10th, 2009 | Hotel Kabuki, San Francisco, CA | WEBSITE >
The Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit is designed with one goal in mind: collaboration. It is the only conference that brings together community members from every facet of the Linux ecosystem to work together.

OSiM Asia
May 12th-13th, 2009 | Shangri-La Hotel, Kowloon Bay, Hong Kong|
Massive business opportunities lie the Asian market for Open Source. With the Asian Region a key driving force in the increasingly worldwide adoption of open source in mobile, we are proud to announce the launch of OSiM Asia. WEBSITE >

May 19th-21st, 2009 | Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas, NV|
Attend the Interop Conference for a comprehensive, integrated view of technologies that will give your business a competitive edge. Learn how the recent surge of IT innovation can help you cut costs, get closer to your customers and increase revenue. WEBSITE >


Moblin Finds a Home with the Samsung NC10

Moblin Core V2 Alpha on
EeePC s101
It's edgy! It's irreverent! It's all about technology! It's News You Can't Use,
and you won't want to miss it! View this week's edition to learn the answers to these burning questions:

  • News of the Weird brings back the thought bubbles! But for some reason Jenny's do not seem to work.
  • Idiot of the week returns. Then goes away.
  • Dev Shed Hulk hates PBS. And iPhones. Puppies though, he is still on the fence about.

Watch the video!

We're giving you all the tools you need to develop the
coolest Moblin core, Linux based applications for
entertainment and communication MID devices.

Check out more of the great content Moblin has to offer!
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Using Integer Multiplication to Protect Web Forms with Ajax
by Alejandro Gervasio, 2009-04-01

If you are a web developer who builds Ajax-driven applications and wants to learn how to use this technology for creating more secure web forms, then look no further. Welcome to the third part of a series focused on making web forms safer with Ajax. Made up of four comprehensive tutorials, this series explains how to generate different types of challenge strings via Ajax, which can be incorporated into any existing HTML form with the purpose of protecting it against attacks.
Read the full article
Utilizing the LIMIT Clause with the Active Record Pattern
by Alejandro Gervasio, 2009-03-31

Welcome to the fifth installment of a series focused on using the active record pattern with PHP. Made up of seven episodes, this series walks you through the progressive development of a MySQL abstraction class that utilizes the active record approach to perform CRUD (Create, Remove, Update, Delete) database operations and SELECT queries, without having to explicitly code any SQL statements.
Read the full article
Displaying Pinned Handles with Resizable Containers with the Ext JS Library
by Alejandro Gervasio, 2009-03-30

As a web designer, you know that building resizable divs for a web site can be a pretty challenging task, particularly if you are planning to do this from scratch. There is no need to reinvent the wheel, though, since there are a few handy JavaScript frameworks available nowadays, such as Ext JS and jQuery, that allow you to create this class of dynamic containers in a truly painless fashion. So if you are interested in learning how to incorporate dynamic resizing capabilities into certain containers on your web site using the Ext JS package, then this series of articles might be what you are looking for.
Read the full article
Adding CSS to Handling Views with CodeIgniter
by Alejandro Gervasio, 2009-03-26

Welcome to the second installment of a series that shows you how to handle views with CodeIgniter. Made up of seven parts, this series explains different methods that you may use for loading view files within your CI-based web applications, ranging from working with a simple sequential approach, to including views within other views. This part will show you how to improve your web page appearance with CSS.
Read the full article
What is Microsoft Silverlight?
by Joe Eitel, 2009-04-01

Let us be frank: Microsoft makes the world a more efficient place. Whether it is at work, your home office, or on your teenager's computer, Microsoft makes the world go round. Just when you think they have covered every market they could, they introduce a new product or application, and it leaves you wondering how you could have gone so long without it. In this case, that application is Silverlight. Keep reading for a close look at the recently-released Silverlight 3.0
Read the full article.
Coding a Custom Object with WSC
by Nilpo, 2009-03-31

In the previous tutorial of this series we used the Windows Component Wizard to create our own custom COM object file. We told the wizard how we wanted it configured and it output the basic XML file for us. Now it is time to put some code into that file.
Read the full article.
Creating a Custom Object with WSC
by Nilpo, 2009-03-30

In my last article I introduced the Windows Script Components technology as a means of creating your own custom COM objects without the need for high level programming or expensive development software. I also showed you how to build a basic object shell using nothing but a text editor and the scripting knowledge you already possess. Today, we will take all of that a step further and get our hands dirty creating a real, working object with all of the bells and whistles.
Read the full article
Creating Useful Array Functions
by Nilpo, 2009-03-26

Visual Basic Scripting Edition does not provide very good support for working with arrays. It has a very limited number of array functions, especially when compared to similar languages like JavaScript. In this article, I am going to show you some custom functions you can add to your scripts that will give you the flexibility you might find in other languages.
Read the full article
More on the Keyboard for a Web Page Calculator
by Chrysanthus Forcha, 2009-04-01

In this fifth part of a six-part series on building a web page calculator, we shall see how to use the keyboard with the calculator. The event involved is the onkeypress event, which we saw in the last part of the series. For an element to respond to the event, it has to have focus. With some browsers, if all of the elements that have to respond to the keyboard have the same function, and are in the same group (on the calculator), you only have to give one of the elements focus. This is the case with my browser.
Read the full article
The STL String Class
by Gabor Bernat, 2009-03-31

A text is nothing more than a successive sequence of characters. In the old days of programming, text was generally stored inside an array of characters. However, working with such arrays proved to be problematic, as you could easily trigger an overflow of the pre-allocated buffer or call for an invalid index. Fortunately, there is an easier way to handle this today, which you will learn in this article.
Read the full article
Working the Pane for HTML Magic Edges
by Chrysanthus Forcha, 2009-03-30

In this part of the series, we effectively carry out a project. The project deals with a web page. The aim of the project is to allow visitors to move their mouse pointer to the edge of the web page to cause a pane with a calculator or some other useful tool to scroll into the page. The visitor can do whatever they want with the tool. Then, when they click on the BODY of the page, outside the pane, the pane scrolls back into the edge. The detailed requirements of the project are in the previous part of the series.
Read the full article
Drop Down Functions for a Common Browser Menu
by Chrysanthus Forcha, 2009-03-27

In this part of the series, we continue with the JavaScript for the main menu and its sub menus. We will first complete the explanation of the second code segment of the dropDownMenu(ID) function, and then introduce a new feature with it.
Read the full article
Using the Text-align CSS Property to Center DIVs
by Chrysanthus Forcha, 2009-03-26

Building fully-centered web page layouts with CSS can be more challenging than it appears at first glance. In this seven-part article series, we walk you through a variety of techniques that reduce the hassles you may face in achieving these layouts. In this second part of the series, we'll focus on a new way to use the text-align property.
Read the full article
Pentax Optio A40
by Bruce Coker, 2009-04-01

Face detection, shake reduction and 12 mega pixels can not quite make up for the limitations of the Pentax Optio A40. Keep reading for the full report.
Read the full article
Gateway P-7811FX Laptop
by wubayou, 2009-03-31

Gamers in the market for a high-performance laptop that meets their hardcore gaming needs should definitely keep their eyes open for the Gateway P-7811FX laptop. This large laptop gives you the power and resolution you need to make your gaming experience a pleasure, at a price that may leave you pleasantly surprised. Keep reading for a closer look.
Read the full article
LG CU515 Cell Phone
by Joe Eitel, 2009-03-30

The LG CU515 is a recent addition to the cell phone market that provides some fairly impressive features at a relatively low price. LG is marketing the phone as a powerful media device, but in reality it falls more into the category of an upper-end utilitarian phone.
Read the full article.
HP Pavilion dv71025nr Laptop
by wubayou, 2009-03-27

Are you in the market for a new laptop that combines attractive design with great multimedia performance? Do you like to kick back and watch DVDs on your laptop while traveling or if you do not have a television or DVD player handy? If so, the HP Pavilion dv7-1025nr laptop may be the perfect choice for you.
Read the full article.
HP Pavilion dv5-1004nr Laptop
by wubayou, 2009-03-26

If you are in the market for a laptop and affordability is the highest priority on your list, you may want to look at the HP Pavilion dv5-1004nr. The HP Pavilion dv5-1004nr is an affordable mainstream laptop currently under $1,000 that should suffice for those needing a machine to enable them to complete term papers and business-related tasks. Let us take a closer look.
Read the full article.
Web Site Statistics: Do You Know How to Track Your Pages?
by KC Morgan, 2009-04-01

What are your most popular pages? Where does most of your traffic come from? Do you know? Do you know how you can find out? Keep reading to learn how you can discover your web site statistics, very useful information to know for just about anything you want to do with your site.
Read the full article
Relevance and Other Search Engine Ranking Factors
by Ivan Strouchliak, 2009-03-31

This is the third part of a five-part series on search engine optimization factors. In this part, we will cover topical relevance of links to a site, a site's relevance to the search query, whether Google manually awards rank to some sites, and more. We will also take a look at some factors that can negatively affect your site's ranking in the search engine results pages (SERPs), and finish up with an in-depth look at different kinds of links.
Read the full article
A Further Look at Making Money Online
by Joe Eitel, 2009-03-30

One method of making money online is considerably less reliable than traditional retail business, but considerably more interesting. Although it is unlikely that most individuals will be able to make a living out of this type of revenue generation, it can certainly provide a considerable amount of extra cash with relatively little pain. This method of making money is taking advantage of online markets.
Read the full article
Designing Flash Websites: Pros and Cons
by Joe Eitel, 2009-04-01

If you are considering using Flash on your web site, you will want to read this article first. Whether you want to go all out with a totally Flash-based site or use it in a more limited way, Flash comes with certain advantages and serious disadvantages. You will want to be aware of the pros and cons to using Flash before you employ it on your web site. Keep reading to learn whether Flash can work for you.
Read the full article.
URL Redirection
by Bruce Coker, 2009-03-18

Known by many names, URL redirection is a technique used to make a web page accessible to users via multiple domains. There are several reasons to do this, not all of which are on the up and up. In this tutorial, we will look at each one, and in our next article, learn the various methods used to achieve this effect.
Read the full article.
Drupal: Content Management Made Easy
by Bruce Coker, 2009-03-18

Content management systems have made it easy for even novices to set up intricate web sites, complete with many interactive features. One of the most popular open source CMSes is Drupal. This article will take a look at why it is so popular, and what features it offers the prospective user.
Read the full article

Check out the amazing tutorials from IBM developerWorks and see what all the buzz is about!

WebSphere Service Registry and Repository
Manage, govern, and share services across your organization by using WebSphere Service Registry and Repository. Follow the hands-on exercises to learn how to navigate the Web interface to publish, find, reuse, and update services.

Building JavaScript applications with JSEclipse
Using JSEclipse, JavaScript programmers now have their own Eclipse plug-in that provides many important features to aid in the development of JavaScript applications. JSEclipse gives JavaScript developers the same ease of use that Eclipse has been providing in the Java language and others for years. Learn to use this tool, while creating a colony of evolving "creatures" on your page.

Learn how to install and use the Rational Asset Manager Eclipse client
In this tutorial, you can learn how to install and configure the IBM Rational Asset Manager Eclipse client, explore the different views in the Asset Management perspective, learn various search techniques, work with existing assets, and submit a new asset.

Improve your build process with IBM Rational Build Forge, Part 1: Create a continuous build and integration environment
Learn how to implement a build management system that uses and extends your existing automation technologies. This tutorial shows, step-by-step, how to install and configure IBM Rational Build Forge to manage builds for Jakarta Tomcat from source code.

Build Web services with transport-level security using Rational Application Developer V7, Part 1: Build Web services and Web services clients
Build secure Web services with transport-level security using IBM Rational Application Developer V7 and IBM WebSphere Application Server V6.1. Follow this three-part series for step-by-step instructions about how to develop Web services and clients, configure HTTP basic authentication, and configure HTTP over SSL (HTTPS). This first part of the series walks you through building a Web service for a simple calculator application. You generate and test two different types of Web services clients: a Java Platform, Enterprise Edition (Java EE) client and a stand-alone Java client. You also handle user-defined exceptions in Web services.

Test terminal-based applications with Rational Functional Tester
Regression testing -- in which code is thoroughly tested to ensure that changes have not produced unexpected results -- is an important part of any development process. But many testing environments neglect the terminal-based applications that still form the backbone of many industries. In this tutorial, you'll learn how the Rational Functional Tester Extension for Terminal-Based Applications works with other Rational Functional Tester to help test terminal-based applications quickly and easily.

Improve your build process with IBM Rational Build Forge,
Part 2: Automate builds for a real-world Tomcat project

Learn how Rational Build Forge can extend a simple compile and package build process by adding customization and deployment capability. Go from a manual method to automating: checking for code changes; getting the latest source; compiling and packaging; customizing; copying to and restarting a deployment server; and sending e-mail notification that a new version is available.

NEW! Application development for the OLPC laptop
The XO laptop (of the One-Laptop-Per-Child initiative) is an inexpensive laptop project intended to help educate children around the world. The XO laptop includes many innovations, such as a novel, inexpensive, and durable hardware design and the use of GNU/Linux as the underlying operating system. The XO also includes an application environment written in Python with a human interface called Sugar, accessible to everyone (including kids). Explore the Sugar APIs and learn how to develop and debug a graphical activity in Sugar using Python.


Tutorialized is dedicated to programming, designing, and many other
tech related tutorials.

Straighten Crooked Photos
Learn how to easily straighten crooked photos in Photoshop.
Read the tutorial.

Basic Drag and Drop in Flash 8
How to create basic drag and drop with Flash 8.
Read the tutorial.

Blend Techniques With Layer Mask
Learn blending techniques by using this layer mask. Read the tutorial.

Grails Services and Google Maps
A guide to using them. Easy tutorial and simple to read. Read the tutorial.

Flash Zoom In and Zoom Out
A Flash zoom in and zoom out application with Actionscript 2.0.
Read the tutorial.

Google AdSense Split Testing
Guide to maximizing your revenue with a small PHP script.
Read the tutorial.


Want to Earn Cash & Fame Writing
for ASP Free?

Developer Shed is actively seeking fresh, new writing talents for our Microsoft Windows technology site. We're looking for Windows programmers, system administrators, and more to provide our readers with the latest, up-to-date techniques and strategies.

Here's your chance to earn some cash, gain some exposure, and beef up your resume! If you would like to join our team, email your name, a description of your qualifications, and the topic areas you would like to cover to


Scripts is dedicated to developer and programming related scripts both commercial and free, and for all OS platforms.

h2desk Help Desk Software
h2desk is the powerful way to provide online support to your customers. Create, manage, and overlook unlimited staff and more.
Learn more.

PHP Store Pixel Ads
PHP Store Pixel Ads comes with advanced settings including the ability to use interlaced images, and much, much more. Learn more.

Framework for WEB Development
You will be able to develop easily and really fast grids, reports, graphics, filters, forms, and more.
Learn more.

Inventory Bookkeeping
Billing accounting software generate various accounting reports including final report, stock reports, sales reports, and others. Learn more.

Time Tracking
TimeTracking is a web based time tracking application. It allows you and your team to enter time spend on different task while working.
Learn more.

Remote PC Monitoring Software
Network asset database administration freeware utility generates software auditing and management reports. Learn more.

Is There a Science to Site Design?
by KC Morgan, 2009-04-01

You know enough about site design to know that you should choose pleasing colors, a simple layout and lots of navigational links to help your traffic move around within your pages. But do you know what subtle influences you might be creating with those colors you chose so quickly? Do you know why some people love your pages and long to linger there, while others can’t stand to look at them? Is there a science to site design that you’re not even aware of?
Read the full article
GoDaddy Hosting Server Configuration for WordPress
by Codex-M, 2009-03-30

GoDaddy offers free hosting, but with ads on your website. This is only possible if the domain is registered in their domain. If you registered your domain with GoDaddy and you would like to set up WordPress, also hosted in their domain, this article gives the details.
Read the full article
FeedBurner: Burning Feeds on Gasoline
by KC Morgan, 2009-03-27

Generally speaking, we could reduce the entire Internet to a concentration of content, including content of all kinds, from good and useful information to bad and harmful spam. Web feeds revolutionized the way content is delivered, or should we say syndicated, these days. FeedBurner is a next-generation free service that supercharges your existing web feeds with numerous and powerful extra features!
Read the full article
In Detail: UNIX File Systems
by Gabor Bernat, 2009-04-01

The dream of every designer is to make something that works perfectly, or at least almost perfectly. Achieving this goal requires an investment of countless hours and effort. Additionally, most of the time you will need to take care of many details. During our previous meeting, I presented the general concept of the file system in UNIX and the rights system that governs UNIX systems. Now we need to look into the details of the file system.
Read the full article
Rights Management in UNIX
by Gabor Bernat, 2009-03-25

What is the perfect rights management? It is obvious that a completely democratic system would fail within just a few seconds, as everybody would start to abuse the system and mess with things that a computer needs in order to work properly. The trick is to give each person just as many rights as he absolutely needs, in such a fashion that he does not get the sense of being restricted.
Read the full article
UNIX File Systems
by Gabor Bernat, 2009-03-18

Chaos is bad by definition. To avoid chaos, we have built solid rules that must be respected. You really want to avoid chaos in a file system. Therefore, the UNIX file system comes with regulations that you cannot break if you want to use it. Once you learn this, working with it will be much simpler.
Read the full article

The Web Buyer's Guide is your best source for white papers on a wide range of
IT products and services. This Week's Featured Products:

30-day Trial of Ninja Email Security for Exchange - Trial Download by Sunbelt Software
Ninja integrates best-of-breed antispam, antivirus, disclaimers, & RBL and attachment filtering on your Exchange server. It also allows you to kill newer variants of existing image spam.

How to Trace Code Issues to the Source - White Paper by Borland Software
Find out how to trace performance bottlenecks down to the offending line of code. Quickly isolate what the problem is, then drill deeply to the specific code to fix it fast.

How to Digitally Sign Downloadable Code - White Paper by Verisign
Learn how to implement code signing digital certificates, which provide assurance to end users that the code really comes from the developer who signed it, and has not been altered or tampered with since it was signed.



It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, World

Pity the poor editor who needs to put together a collection of short, interesting, entertaining and tech-related items on April 1 with the proviso that all of them must be true. Tech web sites have a long history well, long in Internet time anyway of April Fool's Day prank postings. This year is no exception.

Naturally, Google leads the pack with CADIE, its newly-created panda-loving artificial intelligence. This AI is making new Google services possible, such as Gmail Autopilot (computer-generated answers to your email so you never have to actually read it) and the addition of red eye to Picasa photos. While other search engines didn't seem to be making April Fool's pranks, some celebrated by linking to stories about such pranks.

Going beyond the search engines, New Scientist ran a selection of stories too strange to be believed at first glance, with headlines such as Yeast-powered fuel cell feeds on human blood and Genes may time loss of virginity. Slashdot climbed on board the April Fool's bandwagon with an item indicating a link between autism and vinyl flooring, another about the battle between comedian Stephen Colbert and NASA, and the launch (this one legitimate) of user achievement awards. The venerable British newspaper The Guardian, meanwhile, stated that after 188 years of ink, they would be switching to Twitter, because any story can be told in 140 characters. And the jokes just kept coming.

Read more about this

In Praise of Colorful Conversations

Whoever thought the phrase colorful metaphor could be taken so seriously? When computer scientist Karrie Karahalios activates her computer terminal, she can show conversations as lively colors reds, yellows, blues, greens that get larger as voices get louder, overlap other colors when one voice interrupts another, or narrow when a speaker goes silent. It lets users see their conversations.

It might be fun, but how is it useful? People who have Asperger's Syndrome or other autism spectrum disorders are often saddled with poor social skills, and can benefit from the extra cues. Even people without such handicaps can sometimes use this kind of help in their interactions such as the man whose spouse complains that he hardly ever talks. The computer provides a social mirror that lets users adjust their interactions in real time. Most users, when presented with this changing, real-time image, tried to balance the play of colors, thus balancing the conversation.

Karahalios has dubbed the computer program that provides the colorful feedback a conversation clock, and notes that it has already been tested with autistic children and in marriage counseling. Plans are in place to study its potential use with children with Asperger's over the summer at the College Park, Maryland campus of the University of Illinois.

Read more about this

A PC For Your Kitchen

Touchscreen PCs may not be making a big impact in the office yet, but some PC makers see huge potential for these devices somewhere completely different. They hope consumers will take to them in the home and not in the den or the living room, mind you, but in the kitchen. The idea is that a PC with a touchscreen is just thing to use for leaving notes or surfing the web for dinner recipes.

So far, four PC makers Dell, HP, Asus and MSI have built touchscreen PCs with an eye to how they can be utilized in the kitchen. These PCs do not have keyboards; some of them come with very large (19-inch) touchscreens, and they range in price from $600 to $800, about what you'd expect to pay for a major appliance. Some analysts see kitchen PCs as offering the same advantages over desktops that netbooks do over notebooks: they're cheaper, smaller, and less powerful, but just the thing when you don't need all the extras that the larger, more powerful, more expensive machine offers.

One of the nice aspects of kitchen PCs is their design. It isn't just that the computer features a touchscreen; it's an all-in-one design with no mouse, keyboard, or separate tower for the CPU. Instead, all of the computer's operating components the CPU, hard drive, and memory are folded into the display unit. Users simply interact with the touchscreen to get e-mail, weather, news, calendars, recipes, and so forth. Manufacturers don't expect kitchen PCs to be someone's main system, but they may provide a little more mileage to the desktop model.

Read more about this

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