Anyone can build a gaming PC. Seriously, it’s easy. Minus a few technological bits of know-how here and there, there’s really nothing that tough about buying the fastest components you can afford and slapping them in whatever chassis you happen to have on hand. Done, right?
Maximum PC never shies away from a challenge, however, and Sr. Associate Editor Nathan Edwards has upped the ante for this month’s build-it. One of the key problems of building a tricked-out rig is that you’re sure to increase the ambient volume of the system as you increase its power. But I’m not here for a trade-off: No, I’ve accepted the challenge to build a gaming system that’s as quiet as a mouse.
Your X-Mas wish came true! Santa wisely consulted one of our best-of-the-best lists and left you a shiny new smartphone under the tree. So, uh, now what? Here's a step-by-step guide to getting that bad boy up and running.
Christmas victory! You've just obtained the final component for your ideal home theater set-up. Now it's time to hook everything up and turn your living room into that badass entertainment zone you've always envisioned. We'll guide you through the basics.
So, you’ve got a terabyte of media on your home PC—movies, music, TV shows, the works. On top of that, you like to watch streaming videos on the web and listen to Internet radio. Isn’t the future great? But how are you getting at all this media? Do you keep all your files in folders on your desktop, or are they just sitting on a NAS box? Maybe you use something like iTunes, and then fire up your browser to get at streaming content. There’s a better way.
What you need is a media front end, which can help you organize and access all your media, whether it’s files on your system or in the cloud. In this article, we’ll show you everything you need to do to get XBMC—a popular media front end—up, running, and customized.
It’s hard to imagine that one could really tweak or improve iTunes in any particular fashion. I say that not because the software is perfect, rather, because it’s completely closed-source. Apple doesn’t have a list of extensions that you can just install into the application at a whim. If anything, iTunes is built for two purposes and two purposes alone: Buying stuff from Apple’s Store and transferring said stuff over to an Apple device of your choosing.
Yet, the more I looked into ways that one can extend the iTunes experience, the more I found that yes, Virginia, there are plenty of different tools, add-ons, and techniques you can employ to really make this music application shine. And before you start in the comments, yes, I know that there are better music players than iTunes. However, that’s not to say that iTunes itself is a poor program—with a little tender love and care, you can make it as welcome in your home as any other program you enjoy. Trust me.
As a digital photography and video enthusiast, I needed a system that could handily withstand the rigors of Photoshop and make my occasional work in Adobe Premiere Pro CS5 move more smoothly. High-end enthusiast PC parts seemed like the way to go, allowing me avoid the crushing cost of professional workstation components.
But a fast PC isn’t the only ingredient. I also needed to consider the peripherals. For instance, by going with an ultra-high-resolution display, my editing can be much more exact, saving me time in the long run, and enabling me to produce high-quality results. A high-end photo printer gives me a means for displaying my masterworks with poster-size prints.
Today is (believe it or not) the 25th birthday of the Windows operating system. To celebrate, we’re going to take a little trip back in time, and relive the glory(?) days of Windows 3.1. Windows 3.1 was a lot of people’s first exposure to Windows, but there are also a lot of younger computer fans who never got a chance to try it out. In this mini-how-to we’ll show you how to get a virtual Windows 3.1 sandbox up and running, using free, virtualization software VirtualBox.
So whether you missed out on trying the earliest popular version of Windows, or you just want to take a little nostalgia trip, read on!
Lo-Jack schmojack. You don't need some spendy GPS unit and to keep tabs on that new Escalade. Uplinking your wheels to the great eye in the sky without breaking the bank is easier than you think.
Standalone GPS units can cost hundreds. And that's not counting the installation and (frequently hefty) activation and monthly fees associated with whatever service you do choose. For most of us, it's overkill. The good news is that if you happen to have a GPS-equipped phone lying around, you can rig your own vehicle tracking system for virtually nothing. Here's how it's done...
Windows Media Player: The end-all, be-all software for displaying most multimedia on your system. It’s an inescapable part of the Windows experience. While, sure, it seems as if there are as many alternative song library apps, video playing utilities, and music-blasting programs as there are pages on the Internet, it’s hard to resist the urge to turn to the simple, no-fuss attraction of good ol’ WMP. It works; it’s there; it’s quick to load and it plays your files without hassle.
There are always going to be ways to tweak your experience with any multimedia application. Some are inherent to the program itself, some require a modification or a tweak to unlock, and others can be seen as a kind-of total converstion: a third-party application that works in tandem with your multimedia app to bring forth some kind of awesome new functionality.
We’re fans of all three scenarios at Maximum PC. And let’s face it: Windows Media Player might be entrenched inside of your operating system worse than a camper in Call of Duty: Black Ops, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t build it up into the Greatest Media Player Ever with a few (or more) helpful tips. We’ve split our list into sections based on the difficulty of the tweak—let’s get started!