Economy got you down? No longer able to make those day-long trips to your local computer store of choice for all the latest and greatest software tools? Tired of paying top-dollar for programs that don't quite have the functionality you want? Well get ready. It's freeware and open-source week at Maximum PC. We're going to spend the next week showing you the best (and cheapest) software we've been able to find across different themes: graphics design, system optimization, games, and office/productivity.
Just because it doesn't come in a box doesn't mean that these titles are any less powerful than their retail counterparts. The graphics category exemplifies that fact, offering programs that are every bit as good as their hundred-dollar Adobe counterparts. But just for good measure, we threw in our favorite free Adobe graphics program too. Check out that, and the rest of our exclusive list, after the jump!
Since our last Budget Badass update back in July, the hardware industry has made some dramatic turns as far as new technology goes. With the release of the energy-efficient Penryn core from Intel, we took a side step away from the Kentsfield core and took a swing at the Q9300. While the Q9300 sports a slightly smaller cache than the Q6600, we found the Penryn to perform better in our tests. With the extra leeway we had in the budget from the previous configuration, we also swapped out the Radeon 4870 for a beefier GTX 280 while keeping the final price tag under $1500. Now this, my friends, is what we would like to call a Budget Badass!
Odds are, we’ve all done it: Clicked that little Digg button on a story we liked or were entertained by or just plain laughed at. But have you ever considered the unbelievable traffic pushing-power you have as a button-masher, even as the smallest cog in the Digg army? To find out exactly how much cold, hard cash your click on a Digg badge is worth, we plugged a bunch of publicly available information into our handy-dandy spreadsheet, and hit the calculate button.
Hit the jump for the complete, site-by-site breakdown and find out what YOUR Digg is worth.
A man needs a place of his own, and when Thom Davis found using the family computer for his gaming pursuits to be less than ideal, he set about building the Seizure, the ultimate form-follows-function gaming rig. His goal was to create a rig that was gaming friendly, had no exposed wires, and looked good in the living room. We think he succeeded on all three counts.
While building the Seizure, Thom discovered that connector manufacturers definitely tend to think “inside the box,” and typically don’t make cables suitable for such a large rig, but with the assistance of a local electronics supply store, he was able to create the 6-foot cables he needed to complete the job.
If there's one tool no power user should ever be without, it's the screwdriver. Just like opposable thumbs, the screwdriver is what separates enthusiasts from lesser creatures. Without it, we'd be reduced to purchasing pre-built PCs from overpriced vendors, and we'd be oblivious to the evils of proprietary parts. Just like Mac users (ZING!).
With the invention of the screwdriver, we've been able to evolve from PC users to PC builders, from mere consumers to hobbyists. Thanks to a single tool, we're prepared for whatever computer related situation arises, whether it means constructing a full blown Dream Machine or replacing our neighbor's dead motherboard with one that works, and then throwing in a name brand power supply just for good measure.
But just as doctors wouldn't use any run of the mill scalpel during surgery, we're just as discerning when it comes to picking out the right tool for diving into a pile of parts. With this in mind, we've assembled a collection of 26 screwdrivers ranging from ordinary in appearance to extraordinary in features. We've used and abused each one and will tell you which screwdrivers have earned the right to travel in your toolbox, and which ones that aren’t worthy enough for your prized gaming rig.
For more than a year, Apple’s iPhone has garnered the lion’s share of press and remained a must-have device for gadget junkies. In an industry in which $300 products quickly become free incentives for signing a contract, the iPhone has managed to remain relevant. This is due in part to Apple’s marketing savvy, which made many people—consumers and journalists alike—look past the device’s shortcomings, but also because the iPhone’s innovative interface and full web browser provided consumers with something truly new.
Now, handset-maker HTC, T-Mobile, and Google hope to get some of the attention the iPhone has received by releasing the G1, the first mobile phone to use Google’s mobile OS, Android.
Vic McGuire found a diamond in the rough when he set out to build his latest mod. While browsing through a computer store, he found a custom case with chrome-plated front air grills in the junk pile and an idea came to mind. After arduously sanding the rust off the grills, Vic had the basis for the HawgWild U.S.A.
In one second, the nuclear fusion process taking place inside the sun produces enough energy to satisfy the needs of the earth’s population for nearly 500,000 years. Photovoltaic cells are capable of capturing some of that energy and converting it into usable electricity; unfortunately, today’s technology can’t do this very efficiently.
French physicist Edmond Becquerel first described the photovoltaic effect in 1839. He discovered that some materials were capable of producing small amounts of electricity when exposed to sunlight. The first photovoltaic cell, however, wasn’t created until 1883, and more than 70 years passed before the next major scientific advance took place, when researchers at Bell Labs developed the first crystalline silicon photovoltaic cell in 1954.
It’s the final hour—the last stretch in your race to freedom. Paper footballs litter your desk and paper basketballs surround the trash can. Yet even after these sporting events have ended, the little hand continues to hold a grudge against the 5. It’s high time you find a more efficient—and less obvious—way to pass the time.
Consider this your go-to guide against workplace stagnation. We’ve spent dozens of hours scouring the Internet in search of the most enjoyable and alt-tabbable browser-based games. They require no installation and, best of all, are 100 percent free. When the boss man walks by, you can easily switch to that budget report for accounts payable—he can’t fault you for grinning like a fool at a spreadsheet!
Grin like a fool at totally work-related stuff after the jump.
Take note, Rainier Wolfcastle, because these goggles may actually do something. Nvidia’s latest visual computing venture is a serious foray into stereoscopic 3D, a technology that has not found success among mainstream consumers (or even enthusiasts) in recent history. 3D movies and gaming at home have always been seen as gimmicky, a perception that can largely be attributed to the fact that you have to wear some pretty goofy glasses to experience the effect. In fact, past iterations of 3D stereographic technology (including efforts by the now-defunct company ELSA) have been especially troublesome because they required bulky headgear (that had to be tethered to your PC) that had a tendency to give gamers headaches after just a few minutes of use. Nvidia wants to reinvigorate the 3D stereoscopic market by developing its own glasses hardware and driver software, which they hope will avoid the pitfalls of previous efforts.
Do we have the technology to make stereoscopic 3D tech practical? And more importantly, is this something that, as a gamer, you’d be open to embrace?