Back in the August 2010 issue of Maximum PC I built a 3D HTPC that I was pretty damned happy with, but the times have changed. The CableCard quad tuner that was featured prominently in that machine is no longer needed, as I have joined the ranks of the Cable Cutter Movement™. So without the need for a CableCard, I wondered if I could build a rig with all the same capabilities but make it much, much smaller.
We remember a time when “back up” meant hitting the “clone drive” button—and that was about as hard as it got. Unfortunately, things have changed. Now that we measure our digital lives in terabytes instead of megabytes, it’s just impractical to copy the entire contents of one drive over to another as part of a routine backup schedule.
That’s why we like 2BrightSparks’ SyncBack program. With but a few clicks of a mouse you can ensure that only the files you care about most are either backed up on a regular basis or, better yet, automatically synchronized between two locations at once.
Say what you will about Twitter, but it’s ubiquity is startling. Consider the following statistics:
• An average of a billion tweets are sent each week. That amounts to approximately 140 million tweets per day. Per day!
• When Michael Jackson died back in June 2009, Twitter saw 456 tweets per second. Almost two years later, the record stands at6,939 tweets per second. (That occurred in Japan on New Year’s day.)
• Twitter is seeing almost half a million accounts being created each day.
The most interesting thing about Twitter is that it’s simultaneously entertaining, informative, connective, distracting, and (potentially) destructive. As with all things multi-dimensional, the key to making the most of Twitter is understanding how to use it. With this in mind, we present a litany of tips. Feel free to chime in with your own (or disparage ours) in the comments section below.
It's hard to think of a program that's as quintessentially Windows as good ol' Notepad.exe. It's been there for us since the very beginning, and it hasn't changed a bit. And that's the problem.
If you do much work with plaintext, you know that there are better options than Notepad, chief among them Notepad++. If you've never tried Notepad++, you should give it a shot. It's available for free here and adds a whole bunch of modern features to the plaintext editor formula, including tabbed documents, syntax highlighting and plugin support.
If you have used Notepad++, you probably haven't used it to its full potential, read on for 11 quick tips and tricks to get more out of Notepad++.
Google Voice. Skype. VoIP-to-PSTN providers. SIP-to-SIP calls. All of these technologies and products allow you to make calls that are either free or much cheaper than on your landline. Wouldn’t it be great if you could escape the clutches of your Telco and connect your home phone to these services? A phone server like Asterisk can help you realize this dream.
For anyone who deals with images on a regular basis—whether they’re photographers, bloggers, or digital artists—Adobe Photoshop is an indispensable tool. And while the program can be used to make extensive alterations to a single photo, there are times when what you want is to make more simple alterations to lots of photos. Fortunately, Photoshop makes that easy. Here’s how you can use the batch-processing capabilities in Photoshop to kick-ass-ify all your photos at once.
In the world of photography, Photoshop is the industry standard in post production work--capable of doing nearly anything to any given photo. Though the rabbit hole is extremely deep, there are a few simple steps you can take to spruce up your images quickly and efficiently.
In our March issue’s cover story, we threw out a challenge: Send us your favorite application tips, and we’d grant the five best submissions Maximum PC coins. We got so many tips it’s taken us some time to go through them all. And so many of them were interesting, we decided to up the number of winners from 5 to 10. Hey, that’s a nice problem to have right.
Hit the jump for the winners, in all their glory. Congrats, everyone.
In the forever war between CPU vendors, AMD and Intel have traded places many times—one leads, then the other. Since the advent of Intel’s Core i7, though, AMD hasn’t been able to touch the performance of Intel’s high end, and Sandy Bridge further increases the gap. But, well, you couldn't buy Sandy Bridge motherboards when I wrote this build-it story in February for the May print issue—something about a bad chipset—and I'd been meaning to build an AMD-powered machine for a while now—with CrossFire, even. Why? Partially because I can, but I also want to witness the performance delta firsthand.
If you read our massive browser battle article, you know that Firefox 4 has recently been released. Call it a response to Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 9; call it general and expected progress; call it whatever you want—Firefox 4 is no slouch. It takes the best features of Internet Explorer and Chrome, improves them, throws in a mountain of new features itself, and wraps it all up in a sleek, intuitive package. To kick it all off, we’ve put together a visual guide to some of its best new features along with some tips and tricks to help turn you into Firefox power user. Read on!