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.
Once more unto the breach, dear friends. The first iteration of Microsoft’s next operating system has arrived, and things are looking up for the Windows faithful. In fact, the first beta of Windows 7 is so reliable and responsive that it reminds us of the early Windows XP betas. With less than 12 months to go before launch, Windows 7 is in much better shape than Vista was at the same time, and it feels like a much more usable operating system than even XP did during its beta phase.
Windows 7 features a completely overhauled interface along with a host of new features. We give you a quick tour of what to expect.
Finally, someone has announced an iPhone killer that we can all get behind. The Palm Pre surprised everyone at CES with its best-of-all-worlds specs and features. We’re talking about a multi-touch phone with slide-out QWERTY keyboard and a truly innovative web-integrated user interface.
Early impressions indicate a really smooth and fast interface and web-browsing experience, with all the productivity and media features that we’ve come to expect from a modern smartphone. It’s as if Palm designers made a list of everything that was lacking from the iPhone and made a point to incorporate it here. Real GPS, MMS messaging, USB port, and removable battery lets Palm blow a raspberry at the competition. Copy and paste is just gravy. But too bad it won’t be converting iPhone users anytime in the near future – the Pre is a Sprint exclusive.
Tired of scratching all of your discs every time you fling them about your desk after an install? Want to pull of your favorite online services--Google Mail, Google Picasa, Amazon S3--directly into Windows explorer, bypassing the need to log into them from a Web site? Want an easy way for compressing the contents of your folders into a single mountable source, and beyond that, a way to mount up to 20 of these at once? It's mount week at Maximum PC's freeware... repository... feature... thing. We're going to take a look at five different programs that will make your optical drive quiver with fear, your Internet connection explode, and your general computing life much easier.
Did you know that more Wi-Fi networks are out there than what your computer can normally see? It's true. But depending on the security settings of the wireless network and its overall signal strength, you might not see these alternate options pop up in the standard Windows network settings dialogue. That's where Wi-Fi scanning applications like NetStumbler or inSSIDer come into play. That, and they're the best way you go about cataloging all the hotspots in your neighborhood from the passenger seat of your moving vehicle.
Click the link, and we'll show you how you can use inSSIDer to find out valuable information about the wireless networks floating around you right now!