It all started with a phone call from my mom. While she’s not a regular Maximum PC reader, she read my Windows 7 review online, and called me because she was worried about the, umm, “colorful” comments. I told her not to sweat that feedback—that those folks are fanboys, people who suffer an excess of product-focused enthusiasm.
The conversation got me thinking, though. When I posted my positive review of Win7, I expected a strong response from the fanboy contingent. I expected people to accuse me of being a fanboy (that happened, check), and I expected my critics to attack my opinions (checkerino), expertise (Chekov), and moral turpitude (ditto).
I wasn’t surprised by the Windows XP fanboys, who let me know that their intractable world lacks a place for any new versions of Windows. Also not shocking? That the Apple fanboys are convinced that Snow Leopard is faster, better, and cheaper than Windows 7. And I would have been disappointed if the Linux fanboys didn’t tell me that I’m a dumbass for paying for an inferior, closed-source OS. What I didn’t expect? Well, what I couldn’t prepare myself for was the Windows Vista fanboy.
Don’t be fooled by the Vantec ezShare’s unassuming looks. This simple six-foot white cable with its Type A USB plugs on either end is actually one of the easiest ways to quickly moves files between two computers. Just plug one end into an available USB port on a box running Windows (XP and up), and plug the other end into the second box.
A Windows Explorer–like app will auto-launch on each machine, letting you drag and drop folders and files between the two PCs. If this sounds an awful lot like Data Drive Thru’s Tornado (reviewed November 2007), that’s because the two products are pretty similar. The file-explorer UI and software functionality of both products are virtually the same. It’s close enough that we have a pretty strong suspicion that the underlying chipsets and software come from the same factory in China. There are a few key differences, though.
A week ago I opened up My Computer to go exploring my second hard drive. However, when I double-clicked the drive to open it, the Windows Search function started up and opened a new window. When I right-click either drive, the Search option is the default. This is really annoying. Many times I forget about this issue and double-click, only to have the computer slow down a bit and open a new box for the search. Is there a way to modify the default option for a double-click?
Read the answer to Dave's question after the jump.
It's not like TiVo for your PC, it is TiVo for your PC
To long-term TiVo users, most other personal video recording solutions, whether they’re PC-based or provided by your cable or satellite provider, just fall short. TiVo takes a complex task—recording your favorite TV shows for later playback on-demand—and makes it simple, easy, and even fun. As officially licensed TiVo software for your PC, LiquidTV delivers all the TiVo features you know and love in a PC-friendly software package.
The LiquidTV package comes with the software, a year of complimentary TiVo service (the annual fee thereafter is $40), a standard TiVo remote, a TiVo IR receiver/blaster combo, and a Hauppauge USB ATSC/NTSC/QAM combo TV tuner. The software requires a relatively unobtrusive activation process, although if you want to move it to another machine after you’ve activated, you’ll probably need to make a phone call.
I am getting an HP TouchSmart tx2z Tablet PC in the next couple of weeks for college. However, I need to install Windows XP on it, as it’s a requirement for the engineering software I will be using. Is it possible to repartition the hard drive and still keep the copy of Vista that comes preinstalled? If so, how would I do it? I don’t want to pay for a laptop with Vista on it, just to lose it for XP. Especially with Windows 7 right around the corner.
Read the answer to Andrew's question after the jump.
In our August 2009 ultraportable notebook roundup we fell hard for Toshiba’s Portégé R600—the lightest, sleekest ultraportable notebook we’d ever tested. At $2,150, however, that notebook isn’t cheap.
This month we tested Toshiba’s more affordable ultraportable, the Portégé A605, to see how this consumer-class model compares with its fancier business-class kin.
In looks, the two machines are quite different. While the R600 wowed us with its silver, svelte stylishness, the A605 looks more commonplace. Inside and out, it’s adorned with that shiny black plastic you see everywhere these days, which looks really good… until you smudge it. Its keyboard, thankfully, has the same fingerprint-proof silver coating as the R600’s, and more importantly, sports the same full-size dimensions that make typing on it easy. The A605, which measures 11.3x8.8x1.2 inches, is close in size to the R600, just not as wafer-thin, and it’s a noticeable three-quarters of a pound heavier. Like the R600, the A605 offers a generous selection of ports and expandability options, including a USB/eSATA port (in addition to two standard USB ports), an ExpressCard slot, and an SD media reader.
I am running 64-bit Windows 7 RC1, and can access only 3GB of my 4GB of RAM! I’m running an Asus P5B Deluxe with BIOS v. 8.00.12, a Core2 Duo E6600, and four 1GB DDR2 DIMMs. Asus’s website says that my motherboard can go up to 8GB of RAM, so why does it say only 3GB is used? I have taken out all the DIMMs and tested them individually and they all seem to work fine by themselves.
Read our answer to Joshua's question after the jump.
So much in life is unknowable. Will the economy rebound? Hard to say. Will oil prices skyrocket? Maybe, maybe not. Will Brangelina add to their brood? Frankly, we don’t care. But one thing’s for sure: Technology is ever-changing and each year guarantees new advances for the PC user.
As we do every year around this time, we got on the horn with our industry contacts—experts in their respective fields—and pressed them for details about what new and exciting hardware power users can look forward to in 2010. Some of what we learned was expected (SATA speeds will double), some came from out of left field (six 30-inch panels on a single videocard?!), and some just plain make sense (like a Nehalem chip for the masses).
Read on to find out how your personal computing landscape stands to be altered in the year ahead.
D-Link’s DIR-685 Wi-Fi router generated a lot of buzz at CES this past January. And when we took a gander at its spec sheet, we thought it a contender for Best of the Best in the router category; something that would finally displace the Linksys WRT600N, which is becoming hard to find. Alas, ’twas not to be.
The problem certainly isn’t with the DIR-685’s feature set: This router is absolutely loaded with goodies. The 3.2-inch color LCD can inform you of the router’s status and configuration; present digital photos from Flickr, Picasa, and Facebook; display RSS feeds, such as sports scores, weather reports, and stock quotes; and a lot more (this is one router your significant other won’t insist be hidden in a closet).
Next up, there’s a 2.5-inch internal SATA hard drive bay, which can turn the router into a NAS box (complemented by a built-in FTP server and BitTorrent software). There are two USB ports featuring D-Link’s SharePort technology, which allows you to plug in both an external hard drive and a printer and share these devices with any computer on the network. The router’s four-port gigabit switch automatically powers down any ports not in use to save a modest amount of energy.
In your “Better, Faster, Stronger” article (July 2009), one of the tricks you recommend is to defrag my computer. I have Vista and I am trying to do a full defrag through the command line. It will not allow it without an “administrator command prompt.” What is an administrator command prompt? I am the only user and my account is an administrator account. Any advice?