Despite rampant privacy concerns, annoying ads, creepy stalkers and the aggressive time stealing demands of the games it offers, for many of us, Facebook is still a much-loved way to share our lives with the people who matter to us. While we might be willing to put up with the social network’s many quirks and eccentricities, there’s one thing that most of us won’t tolerate when it comes to Facebook: A change to it’s interface or functionality. If your blood boils every time you hear the words ‘News Ticker’ you’ll want to download Facebook Classic, our Browser Extension of the Week.
Overclocking a CPU today is about as exciting and risky as driving to the grocery store to pick up milk. Back in the 1990s though, overclocking or "speed-margining" was a black art and strictly verboten. But just what if you wanted to OC your Pentium or 486 a bit? Fortunately, boot breaks it down for you.
In this age of feature films shot on camcorders and chart-busting albums recorded in home studios, it’s easy to forget there was a time when you couldn’t use a basic personal computer to mount even amateur-quality audio or video productions without investing in pricey upgrades.
What’s even funnier is that what passes for a professionally produced video these days doesn’t involve half the preparation and planning we urged readers to perform in this story. Our lighting recommendations—key light, back light, fill light—are still valid for a polished shoot, but when’s the last time you criticized a great YouTube video for having poor production values? Cheese is the watchword these days; the thicker, the better.
Recognize the cover boy for today’s Old School Monday? That’s right, it’s Valve’s VP of Marketing, the lovely and talented Doug Lombardi! Travel back 15 years in Mr. Peabody’s WABAC machine and you’ll find Mr. Lombardi toiling as a news editor at boot magazine, the ancestor to the Maximum PC you know and love today. Doug’s shorn his curly locks since becoming a titan of the gaming industry—he wore it shoulder length when we first hired him.
In this week's blast from the internet past, we take a look at the 1996 perspective on online gaming. Anyone who's read a few of our Old School Monday features knows that we haven't always been right in our predictions, but this one was right on the mark when it predicted that the internet was the future of multiplayer gaming.
Anyone paying attention in 1996 could have told you that internet gaming was a big deal for shooters and sims like Quake and Mechwarrior, of course, but we went a step further and called out the likes of the then-unreleased Meridian 59 and Ultima Online--titles that would pave the way for the entirety of massively multiplayer gaming.
And no, we can't explain why all those people are playing Quake with gamepads. Let's just chalk it up to it being the nineties and move on.
Apparently, we have quite a knack for timely posts - our ARM vs X86 feature went up literally hours before it was announced that a current projection shows that 25% of notebooks will contain ARM by 2015. (Damn, we're good). It is then, in the spirit of ARM, advancing processing power, and the rapid progress of technology that we take a look back on the battle for Socket 7 dominance, Cyrix chips and Intel's MMX.
It's that time of year again - the sun is out, the days are warm and we've been up to our elbows in high-performance components for weeks. That's right, it's Dream Machine season and this year's build is one slick rig. In just seven days you'll get to set your eyes on one of the sweetest, sharpest, most powerful rigs to grace our pages and in order to start off our countdown week to Dream Machine 2011 we're going to go back to where it all began: the first Maximum PC Dream Machine.
Last year we reminisced about the very first Dream Machine ever (from a 1996 issue of boot), gave homage to the evolution of the Dream Machine, and checked on our predictions. This year we'll be sharing even more behind the scenes stories by telling you the parts and pieces that didn't make it into this years build, getting the Maximum PC staff to discuss their favorite Dream Machines, and we'll make predictions for Dream Machine 2015. We'll unveil this years rig next Monday, July 11th - and we also have some video footage of the making of the Dream Machine to follow. Stay tuned for all that - but first, take a moment to remember where it began: an Intel 400MHz Pentium II, 128MB SDRAM, a 56K modem, Alps Floppy Drive and a Tyan S1836DLUAN Thunder motherboard.
Here at Maximum PC, we carry over some of boot's best traditions - among them the white paper, which explains key aspects of technology and advancements in the field, because understanding the inner workings of tech is what really separates the nerds from the normals, the hard-core from the hardly-informed, the PC master from the PC user.
We've done so many of them now that sometimes it's a struggle to find new technologies. That wasn't always the case though--in 1997 we wrote our first white paper about a topic that's as fundamental to computing as you can get: RAM. Read on to see what we wrote, and tell us what kind of tech you'd like to see a white paper on in the comments!
Remember POD? Remember gaming before MMX? No? Geez, noob brush up on your history a bit - you can start right here by reading our boot interview with Fabrice Valay from back in the day, which in this case means 1996. Hear about blistering fast 30 frames per second, the "French" touch, or reminisce about racing your cars to the safety of the escape ship.
Once a huge advantage for gamers, MMX eventually became part of the basic architecture with the MMX code becoming a native "must have" in all x86 CPUs. POD went on to sell 4.5 million copies (and share a name with a neu-metal band), while Valay's quotes from this article ("I'm working hard and I'm playing hard every day." "You can train, but you can never beat me because I'm smarter.") apparently went on to inspire Charlie Sheen's attitude about winning. Reflect on the good ol' days, and tell us what you miss most about POD or pre-MMX gaming in the comments!
We don't know what kind of relationship you have with your current PC, but take a look at 1997's In Crowd and be grateful that you're not rocking a hard drive with a 2GB capacity. Ah, the good ol' days of modems, 32-bit graphics, notebooks that lacked USB ports and DVD players that would become available "When it becomes portable."
Get a good long look at the PCs that wowed us back in the boot days, then give some thanks that we've moved past the point of 32MB of RAM and laptops that weighed a little "less than seven pounds."
Hey, it's another Old School Monday! This week, Senior Editor Michael Brown weighs in on Intel's AGP from our 1997 feature, The Gamer's Edge:
Intel’s Accelerated Graphics Port (AGP) was the best thing to happen to the videocard market since 3Dfx Interactive introduced its Voodoo Graphics technology—as long as you opted for a motherboard with an AGP slot versus one with an integrated GPU (you couldn’t upgrade the latter).
Introduced in 1997, AGP was twice as fast as the PCI bus—a whopping 66MHz—and it delivered a direct pipeline to system memory (modern PCI Express videocards, of course, utilize dedicated local memory and routinely run at clock speed 10 times faster). But AGP had an exceedingly long technological life span; in fact, you can buy today a brand-new AGP 4X/8X videocard with a GPU as recent as AMD’s Radeon HD 4670 or Nvidia’s GeForce 6200.
Such cards will limit you DirectX 9 games, though, and they’ll be slow even at that. There’s really no good reason why you shouldn’t have moved up to PCI Express by now, but it’s always fun to look back and see what excited us back in the olden days.