In a personal computer, heat is poison. It hurts performance, causes instability, and makes parts degrade faster. There are ways to reduce the heat in your system, but how do you know when you've got a problem with too much heat?
You could wait until your hardware dies, but that's expensive. You could stick your hand inside the case, but that's imprecise. Or, you could use a dedicated software or hardware heat monitor. Now we're talking, but which one's the best? In this article, we'll explain the pros and cons of 6 heat-monitoring solutions; 2 programs and 4 hardware monitors.
Read on to find out how to tell if your computer's getting too hot.
With the arrival of the much-hyped iPad and the rest of tablet-mania, it seems like ebooks are about to have their “iPod moment,” when they’ll go from a favorite of early adopters and bibliophiles to a mainstream phenomenon. There’s one problem, though: Unlike MP3s, there’s not a single, near-universal standard for ebooks. Historically, this has made it difficult to organize your ebooks and transfer them between various reading devices.
Fortunately, there’s one program that can help you solve nearly all of your ebook-related problems: Calibre. A free, open-source project, Calibre is one part iTunes-esque library-management program, one part batch-conversion tool, and one part file-transfer manager. In this article, we’ll show you how to use Calibre to manage your ebooks and to get them working on any reader.
There are few moments in life quite as sickening as realizing that you’ve spilled a beverage on one of your gadgets. The feeling can range from mild infuriation (spilling a Bud Light on your PlayStation controller) to near-coronary levels (knocking over a Mountain Dew: Code Red onto your brand-new laptop). Either way, it’s never something you want to go through. Because of that, we’ve put together a simple disaster plan for dealing with beverage-soiled electronics. We hope you never have to use it, but if you do, you’ll be glad you read it.
Apple has done everything in its power to convince the public that when it comes to music hardware and software there’s only a single choice: the iPod, and iTunes, respectively. And while we do admit that the iPod is an excellent MP3 player, we’re not so enamored with iTunes. That’s why we’re going to show you how you can use Foobar, a popular open source program with a powerful, modular design, to manage your music files, rip CDs, and even manage your iPod.
In this guide we’ll show you how to get started organizing your music with Foobar, as well as how to customize the program, burn CDs, and manage an MP3 player. Read on to find out more!
As part of our ongoing efforts to showcase some of the fun effects you can apply with photoshop, we're going to touch on how to selectively desaturate an image. There are multiple ways to achieve this type of effect; each method involving the utilization of Photoshops massive tool box to do the work for you. We’re going to go over a couple of different ways to selectively desaturate, but first, what does that even mean?
‘Saturation’ is a term used to describe the intensity of basic colors that make up an image. As such, the lower the saturation of the image, the less intense the colors. When an image has no saturation at all (see: desaturated) , it becomes a black and white image. ‘Selective saturation’ usually involves converting an image into black and white, with the exception of a single part of a photo that remains in color. Often, the part of the photo left in color is the primary subject.
Thousands of photographers have used this technique, with varying degrees of success, for a long time. We won’t claim that our example here is going to be high art, but it should serve as a nice guide.
In the pantheon of nerd achievement, water cooling ranks near the top—somewhere between installing Linux and becoming fluent in Klingon. And there’s a reason the hardest of the hardcore prefer water cooling: It’s incredibly effective at lowering the temperatures of core system components. With higher thermal conductivity and specific heat capacity than air coolers, water cooling can mean double-digit drops in CPU and GPU temperatures.
However, water cooling isn’t exactly a walk in the park. You’ve got two challenges ahead of yourself: Designing the water-cooling system that’s right for your PC, and actually putting it together. Both tasks will take some time and effort, but neither has to be daunting. Every first-time water-cooling build is a learn-as-you go experience, but we’ll walk you through the details and help you avoid the mistakes that would take the biggest toll on your system and your wallet.
Adobe's Photoshop is industry-standard software, used by creative professionals all over the world. It's a serious tool, with serious uses. But don't let all that fool you—it's also a ton of fun. That's why we're starting a new series of how-tos, where we'll show you how even photoshop-beginners can use the program to achieve lots of cool and fun effects. To kick it off, we'll show you how to do this:
Yep, you can clone yourself, using just a DSLR camera, a tripod, and Adobe Photoshop. The steps involved in this tutorial will act as a crash course in manual DSLR shooting, the use of a stable tripod, and the fundamental applications of ‘layers’ in Photoshop. As with any other creative hobby, learning these basic ideas will serve you well as you journey further down the complex path of photo editing and illustration.
Whether you are preparing to reuse a hard disk for another operating system, clear off your junk shelves by passing along outdated drives to a friend or relative, donate an old PC to a charity or school, discard a too-small USB drive or flash memory card, or repurpose an SSD, you don’t want to leave any information on the storage device. With stories abounding of identity theft aided by information lifted from discarded storage devices, you want devices you no longer plan to use to have no usable information when they head out the door.
When you erase/delete a file from your computer, it’s not really gone until the areas of the disk it used are overwritten by new information. If you use the normal Windows delete function, the “deleted” file is sent to the Recycle Bin until the space it uses is required by other files. If you use Shift-Delete to bypass the Recycle Bin, the space occupied by the file is marked as available for other files. However, the file could be recovered days or even weeks later with third-party data recovery software. As long as the operating system does not reuse the space occupied by a file with another file, the “deleted” file can be recovered.
In this article, we'll show you how to erase your drives the right way, leaving no trace behind.
Google Maps is great—it’s got tons of convenient, frequently updated information about pretty much everywhere in the world. There’s just one problem: It’s stuck on the internet. Or at least it was, because now, with Google Map Buddy, you can print Google Maps out at any size, whether you want to put together your own old-fashioned roadmap or make a giant geographical mural for you wall.
In addition, you can use Google Map Buddy to create large, continuous digital images from Google Maps, which make excellent desktop wallpapers. We'll show you how to do both in our Google Map Buddy how-to.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last year, you know that 3D is this year’s entertainment buzzword. With 3D blockbusters like Avatar scoring megabucks in the theaters, 3D cinema’s jump to the living room is all but a foregone conclusion. But where does that leave all your old 2D files and DVDs?
Thanks to a couple of very cool programs and some clever scripting, there’s hope for them yet. In this article, we’re going to show you how to use AviSynth and VirtualDub, along with a script from the 3D Vision Blog to give any 2D film the 3D treatment.