Are you ready for some f... reeware? It's Super Bowl weekend at Maximum PC, and we're doing all we can to find you the best, quick-hit freeware applications that will make a profound difference in your computing life. It's hard to manage the grill and install freeware, so we're giving you a mix this week: Tiny applications that don't require much of your input at all to interact with, as well as a pretty big application or two that should easily distract you if football-watching isn't your thing. We're covering a lot of field this week with our applications. Be prepared to check out everything from efficient file unzippers, to 3D designing programs, to pretty desktop RSS feed readers.
So what are you waiting for? Put on your helmet and get ready to go third and long with our latest batch of freeware applications!
If a computer can exist without hardware, as we learned in last month’s white paper about virtual machines, can it be useful without application software? It can if it relies on the concept of cloud computing.
Cloud computing describes a data-processing infrastructure in which the application software—and often the data itself—is stored permanently not on your PC but rather a remote server that’s connected to the Internet. When you need to use the application or access the data, your computer connects to the server through the Internet and some of that information is cached temporarily on your client machine. What do clouds have to do with all this? The cloud is simply a metaphor for the Internet, based on the symbol that’s used to represent the worldwide network in computer network diagrams.
Sometimes gamers just have to go back to their roots. It's inevitable. Blazing, next-generation graphics can be a blast to check out, and all the crazy advances in storytelling and immersion have allowed games to penetrate peoples' lives more than ever before. Don't get us wrong, these are all good things for the industry and its many, many fans.
But gamers always get that urge--a tickling--to give their turbocharged video card a break and fire up some titles that have withstood the test of time. Or better yet, modern reinventions of classic gameplay motifs. Some of these titles can be a blast to play, which is exactly why we're jumping into the gaming remake scene with this week's freeware roundup. If you loved the originals that these games are based on, you'll find yourself sinking just as much time into these freeware remixes as before. Don't worry if you've never played some of the genres that these newer titles are based on. Spend a few minutes downloading these titles, fire up a game or two in your spare time, and see what you think!
Enterprise business applications still outnumber all other open-source projects, according to a survey of 380 Linux developers by market research firm Evans Data Corporation. But open-source is on the move away from traditional enterprise infrastructures and into the Cloud--the concept of data being stored "on the Internet" without a single entity or specific server to call home. Google's App Engine takes top billing as a Cloud provider, with 28 percent of Cloud-ready developers opting to use this service versus 15 percent for Amazon's Elastic Compute.
That's great and all, but where are open-source developers making their money? We've got the answer after the jump, but here's a quick hint: It's the exact same way that no-name application and game developers are cashing in on a critical consumer platform.
It’s a tough job, but someone’s got to do it. We’ve spent a good deal of the last 12 months hunkered down at our PCs playing every game that’s come our way. The very best of them have pulled us into their imaginary, action-packed worlds and stolen hours of our valuable time—and we love ’em for it! Others, not so much. Here forth is our frank assessment of 2008’s most noteworthy games.
What’s a USB key good for? Carrying files from one computer to another? If you think that’s all, then you’re missing out. USB thumb drives can be used in almost all the ways a regular hard drive can, including storing all sorts of useful apps. We think that this presents a great opportunity for savvy PC users to keep their favorite programs at hand, no matter what computer they end up using.
In this article we’re going to show you a number of different loadouts for USB “tools.” With these on hand you’ll be able to do everything from checking your email to recovering data off a damaged hard drive on any computer you find yourself sitting in front of. We'll also show you a couple of cool tricks, like how to run a virtual, encrypted drive from a thumb drive, so gather up some of those spare USB keys you have lying around and read on.
It's been over a week since the Windows 7 Beta was released to the public. You've read our initial impressions and even followed our guide to installing the OS using a USB key. So what now? Microsoft's post-Vista Windows experience is more than the obvious Taskbar and user interface updates; there are plenty of hidden features and shortcuts that haven't been advertised. But fear not: we've compiled a list of every known Windows 7 tweak and secret. Follow these 20 tricks to make the most out of this beta and become a Windows 7 power user.
Having trouble staying productive at work or home? Tired of feeling like you're staring at the screen and accomplishing absolutely nothing? Want to speed up your file transfers? Protect your surfing habits? Synchronize your files across your PCs and Macs? These are all themes we're going to explore in this week's freeware and open-source software roundup. Were there an official title for this week's grab-bag of programs, it would be that: The Hodgepodge Edition. But when you drill down and consider what each program brings to the party, a picture starts to emerge. These applications are designed to enhance your productivity. We've explored this subject before, so feel free to check out our earlier recommendations for making the most of the time you spend at your PC.
Free up some space on your hard drive and get clicking--time's a-wasting!
Some would argue that 'Data loss' is the biggest of the three Ds ('Death' and 'Divorce' being the other two). But no matter how you rank them, few things in life are capable of inducing that same gut wrenching feeling you get from realizing you just deleted a group of files you weren't supposed to, or nuked the wrong partition. Oops!
Lucky for you, several companies have stepped up to the plate with programs that promise to recover your data when you can no longer do so on your own. How can that be? Well, whether you deleted a file or hosed an entire partition, your data isn't actually destroyed, Windows just no longer knows where to look for it. Your files remain until their location is overwritten with new data. For this reason, you'll want to install a data recovery app on a separate drive than the one you're trying to recover data from.
We put eight different data recovery apps to the test -- six of them free, and two that will set you back half a C-note -- and we'll tell you which ones are worth your time and, if applicable, your money.
Draw the line in the sand! It's the showdown the tech world has feared: Microsoft's upstart Windows 7 versus Linux. We've seen plenty of volleys back and forth from both camps over the past few days, thanks to the beta launch of the Windows 7 operating system. The new OS has a lot going for it--features that directly target the growing Linux base in the mobile PC market coupled with design elements that, honestly, look a lot like what we've seen in Linux desktop environments for some time now. But will that be enough to topple the best the open-source world has to offer? We dig deep into the arguments from both camps to find out whether Windows 7 is The Terminator... or John Conner.