Much of what we cover on Maximum PC revolves around Microsoft's Windows operating system, though lest anyone forget, there's this alternative called Linux. And of course there are many varieties of Linux to choose from, including Fedora 22 beta, which is now available. According to the Fedora Project, desktop and workstation users may not notice huge changes, but will see better performance behind the scenes in managing updates.
In episode 238 of the No BS Podcast, we tackled a number of hot issues that include the PC release of GTA V and what it looked like in 4k using three Titan Xs. We then switched over to Linux's chicken-or-the-egg problem with proprietary software and paying customers. In addition, with Apple Watch coming out, we talk about that (we figure you might want to hear our thoughts on the subject). We also had to say farewell to Tom McNamara, who will be leaving Maximum PC at the end of the week. Alex says he's going to miss letting the air out of Tom's tires. C'est la vie. In all seriousness, we're going to miss Tom and wish him well. And, finally, as always, we take time to answer some reader questions.
The Linux-based 'Developer Edition' starts at $949
In late 2012, Dell released a Ubuntu-running variant of its XPS 13 laptop as part of its “Project Sputnik” initiative. Named the Developer Edition, in reference to its target demographic, the Linux-based variant has accompanied every XPS 13 refresh since then and this year is no exception. The Linux flavor of the latest XPS 13 iteration—launched earlier this year—is (finally) available.
The sound of a dying hard drive can be terrifying. It means a headache, downtime, and replacement costs in the best case. In the worst case, it means sending the drive to a data rescue lab. Using a redundant array of independent disks with mirroring (RAID 1), you can make a drive failure less of a nightmare.
Up your speed by linking two or more drives in RAID 0
For serious PC builders, speed is the name of the game. Too often, storage becomes a bottleneck that holds back even the beefiest CPU. Even with the advent of SSDs, leveraging a redundant array of independent disks (RAID) can drastically reduce boot and loading times. RAID 0 is the easiest way to get more speed out of two or more drives, and lets you use a pretty cool acronym to boot.
OEMs are currently required to allows users to manually disable UEFI Secure Boot
Microsoft courted controversy when it emerged, in the lead-up to Windows 8’s release, that OEMs were required to enable Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI)Secure Boot by default in order to have their systems certified for use with Windows 8. Widespread fears that the security feature would have the effect of locking out other operating systems were allayed when another requirement surfaced: “A physically present user must be allowed to disable Secure Boot via firmware setup.” However, the same may not be true when Windows 10 arrives later this year.
Even files on external storage devices are not safe
Barely a fortnight into the year and we have already got ourselves a strong contender (if not a shoo-in) for the year’s scariest Steam bug. The good news is that the vast majority of Steam users don’t have anything to worry about as the bug in question, which was reported by a user named “keyvin” on Valve’s GitHub repository, only affects the Steam for Linux client.
Given the choice, most people would likely choose a Windows laptop over a Chromebook if both were free. They're not free, of course, and Chromebooks have found an audience due to their low price tags and ability to offer basic functionality, like surfing the web and being productive in Google's ecosystem. In addition, you can now run Linux in a Window on Chromebooks.
Variants of the Turla Trojan for Windows has been found on Linux systems
Security researchers have discovered at least two Linux-based variants of a Trojan that for years has been infecting Windows systems. Dubbed "Turla," the Trojan has been around for four years or more and has infected hundreds of Windows machines in use at government institutions, embassies, military facilities, educational institutions, and research and pharmaceutical companies.