When the Kinect first launched last November, gamers were (to put it charitably) a bit skeptical. Here was a device with incredible technological potential, and the most impressive game that came out with it was a dance simulator.
Still, the Kinect has become a bona fide hit, selling more than eight million units in the first 60 days alone and being named the “fastest-selling consumer electronics device” of all time by Guinness World Records. But more importantly, the software problem has been solved. Not by Microsoft, whose Kinect releases have been few and far between, but by the ever-growing legion of hackers creating innovative tech demos and applications for Kinect on the PC.
No one should escape the deflating experience of suddenly feeling old by seeing something they once used now exhibited in a museum. (“Hey, I used to have a rotary landline telephone just like that!”). To bring this discomfort to younger folks than ever before, some enthusiasts in Silicon Valley are founding a Digital Game Museum.
Back in the August 2010 issue of Maximum PC I built a 3D HTPC that I was pretty damned happy with, but the times have changed. The CableCard quad tuner that was featured prominently in that machine is no longer needed, as I have joined the ranks of the Cable Cutter Movement™. So without the need for a CableCard, I wondered if I could build a rig with all the same capabilities but make it much, much smaller.
We remember a time when “back up” meant hitting the “clone drive” button—and that was about as hard as it got. Unfortunately, things have changed. Now that we measure our digital lives in terabytes instead of megabytes, it’s just impractical to copy the entire contents of one drive over to another as part of a routine backup schedule.
That’s why we like 2BrightSparks’ SyncBack program. With but a few clicks of a mouse you can ensure that only the files you care about most are either backed up on a regular basis or, better yet, automatically synchronized between two locations at once.
If it’s true that Google is set to take over the world, we should probably all get to know our online overlord a little better. After all, the Mountain View giant moves more than 65 percent of the world’s search traffic, and dominates the rest of the web with a broad swath of free services. Since it’s almost impossible to get through a day on the Internet without crossing Google’s path, we’ve created this comprehensive guide to all things G.
If the automotive world progressed as fast as the computer industry, the old joke goes, we‘d all have $1,000 cars that get 400 miles to the gallon, never need maintenance, and crash catastrophic-ally every eight weeks for no reason. Ancient punch lines aside, comparing this year’s storage options to those of even half a decade ago would be like entering a Bugatti Type 35 in the Preakness Stakes.
We’ll say this for the Plextor M2 Series SSD: It’s a huge step up from Plextor’s last SSD. The M1S Series SSD we tested in our June 2010 roundup used Marvell’s “Da-Vinci” 88SS8014-BHP2 controller, which suffered from instability and slow writes. We gave that drive a 5 verdict. To our great relief, the M2 series SSD instead uses Marvell’s newer 6Gb/s SATA controller, the 88SS9174-BLD2—marking the third appearance of a Marvell 9174 controller in this roundup.
Nobody panic. Intel is still coming out with its much-delayed third-generation solid-state drive. The 320 Series will use 25nm NAND and Intel’s latest controller, on 3Gb/s SATA, and will focus on what made Intel drives great: high read speeds and random writes, and rock-solid reliability. Intel, recognizing that 250MB/s read speeds ain’t gonna cut it in 2011 (and holy cow, do we love typing that), is also bowing to popular demand and releasing an SSD with 6Gb/s SATA capability, but rather than design its own controller for that, Intel is using a third-party component. Intel wouldn’t officially tell us which controller, but thanks to the mysterious and powerful technol-ogy known as screwdriver, we can say with confidence that it’s Marvell’s 88SS9174-BKK2.
At first blush, the Crucial m4 seems virtually indistinguishable from its predecessor, the Crucial RealSSD C300. After all, it’s available in the same capacity with the same Marvell 9174 6Gb/s SATA controller and same amount of DRAM cache—256MB for the 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB versions, and 128MB for the 64GB drive.