The PlayStation Network (PSN) will be down for several hours for scheduled maintenance on March 1, 2012, Sony has announced. The maintenance window, if all goes to plan, is expected to last from 8:00 AM till 10:00 PM PST. Hit the jump for more.
A clean, efficient, and smoothly running PC only makes your life that much easier as a user: Your data is organized and accessible; your operating system is free of errors and other third-party problems; your system, well, works – and it works nearly as well as it did the first day you installed the OS.
In short, apps that help protect your system from yourself, from the outside world, and from its persistent push toward chaos are critical parts of the PC user experience, period. As it just so happens, we’ve come up with a list of the 21 best programs that can help prevent (or mitigate) PC performance problems before they make your life miserable.
Do you consider yourself a power user? It’s a tough question. After all, where do you draw the line? Hardware hacking? Command-line skills? Unix?
As we sat down to answer this question, the possibilities seemed endless, making our task feel more daunting. Windows registry hacks? Networking know-how? Upgrades? We even asked you, our readers, to contribute your suggestions. We received a bunch of great ones, but this only further broadened our pool of ideas.
Undeterred, we took a step back to consider the very essence of a power user. Eureka! A power user, we reasoned, is not a simple state of being. It’s a path, filled with accomplishments and achievements and failures and applied knowledge. And merit. We imagined a Boy Scout sash, filled with badges indicating various acts of heroism and knowledge, as well as empty spaces where future achievements will eventually reside.
On the following pages, you’ll learn what our version of this path is. Enjoy!
Security firm Symantec released its new "State of PC Health" study and the results are anything but comforting. According to the study, the overwhelming majority of American computer users neglect their PCs, resulting in lower performance and higher security risks.
The study was conducted by NortonLive, the consumer services arm of Norton, which pulled data from over 1 million PCs running Norton PC Checkup. Here's a sampling of what they found:
1 in 7 users do not optimize (or defragment) their hard drive often enough
68 percent of users experience slow system start-up and 66 percent of users have average or below average system performance, which NortonLive says is likely due to lack of computer maintenance
80 percent of users do not have any backup software installed
According to the study, Norton PC Checkup customers showed an equally lackadaisical attitude towards system security. For example, 41 percent of users use completely open wireless routers with no security protection, while 45 percent don't have a firewall installed.
Norton PC Checkup is a free diagnostic tool, which you can download here.