We’re on a bit of an IP kick this month in the R&D section. In the Windows Tip we showed you how to locate your local IP, and in the DOSBox article we showed you how to play old games online, as long as you know your IP. We’ve got one more IP-related trick up our sleeves: How to set up a Ventrilo chat server for your gaming friends, using a static IP from DynDNS.com.
In the decade or so since the rise and fall of Napster, it’s become very hard to find a single person who doesn’t keep a super-size collection of MP3s on their hard drive. That’s all well and good, but what happens when you get a new roommate or move in with a significant other, and want to merge two music collections into one? Windows 7 and most popular music library managers, like Windows Media Center, iTunes, and WinAmp offer solutions for sharing your music library over a home network, but a big decentralized library (likely with lots of duplicate files) spread out over a network is inefficient, hard to manage, and hard to keep backed up. In this article, we’ll show you how you can use a free program to merge multiple libraries into a single, organized music archive.
Most PC gamers have, at one point or another, known what it feels like to have a computer that’s too slow to play the latest games on the market. It sucks, but it comes with the territory—you just save up some cash and upgrade. Unfortunately, there’s another, more insidious problem that can keep you from playing the games you want to: a PC that’s too fast.
If you’ve ever tried to run an old DOS game on a modern computer, you probably know what we’re talking about. If the game loads at all, it’s glitchy, or too fast, or the sound doesn’t work. It’s a symptom of software written at a time when gigahertz-scale processors and gigabytes of RAM were simply unthinkable. If you wanted to, you could try to fix the problem by building a PC out of vintage hardware and running DOS natively, but there’s a much easier solution, called DOSBox.
DOSBox is an emulator, similar to those that allow you to play classic console games on your PC, which simulates a DOS environment running on old hardware. In this article, we’ll show you how to get set up with DOSBox, so you can play all of the classics on even the most breakneck-fast modern rigs.
Mobile devices like smartphones, tablets, and netbooks have always had a trade-off. What you get in convenience, you lose in good old-fashioned power. Even as modern smartphones close the processing power gap, and web apps get more sophisticated, you still can’t do everything you could do at your primary PC. Or can you?
In this article, we’re going to show you how to use remote-desktop software to control your PC from another PC or mobile device. There are several programs that let you remotely control a computer, but in our experience LogMeIn offers the most useful and consumer-friendly software in the category. In light of that, we’re going to show you how to configure and use LogMeIn Free and LogMeIn Ignition to get desktop-grade power, anywhere.
In a personal computer, heat is poison. It hurts performance, causes instability, and makes parts degrade faster. There are ways to reduce the heat in your system, but how do you know when you've got a problem with too much heat?
You could wait until your hardware dies, but that's expensive. You could stick your hand inside the case, but that's imprecise. Or, you could use a dedicated software or hardware heat monitor. Now we're talking, but which one's the best? In this article, we'll explain the pros and cons of 6 heat-monitoring solutions; 2 programs and 4 hardware monitors.
Read on to find out how to tell if your computer's getting too hot.
With the arrival of the much-hyped iPad and the rest of tablet-mania, it seems like ebooks are about to have their “iPod moment,” when they’ll go from a favorite of early adopters and bibliophiles to a mainstream phenomenon. There’s one problem, though: Unlike MP3s, there’s not a single, near-universal standard for ebooks. Historically, this has made it difficult to organize your ebooks and transfer them between various reading devices.
Fortunately, there’s one program that can help you solve nearly all of your ebook-related problems: Calibre. A free, open-source project, Calibre is one part iTunes-esque library-management program, one part batch-conversion tool, and one part file-transfer manager. In this article, we’ll show you how to use Calibre to manage your ebooks and to get them working on any reader.
There are few moments in life quite as sickening as realizing that you’ve spilled a beverage on one of your gadgets. The feeling can range from mild infuriation (spilling a Bud Light on your PlayStation controller) to near-coronary levels (knocking over a Mountain Dew: Code Red onto your brand-new laptop). Either way, it’s never something you want to go through. Because of that, we’ve put together a simple disaster plan for dealing with beverage-soiled electronics. We hope you never have to use it, but if you do, you’ll be glad you read it.
Apple has done everything in its power to convince the public that when it comes to music hardware and software there’s only a single choice: the iPod, and iTunes, respectively. And while we do admit that the iPod is an excellent MP3 player, we’re not so enamored with iTunes. That’s why we’re going to show you how you can use Foobar, a popular open source program with a powerful, modular design, to manage your music files, rip CDs, and even manage your iPod.
In this guide we’ll show you how to get started organizing your music with Foobar, as well as how to customize the program, burn CDs, and manage an MP3 player. Read on to find out more!
As part of our ongoing efforts to showcase some of the fun effects you can apply with photoshop, we're going to touch on how to selectively desaturate an image. There are multiple ways to achieve this type of effect; each method involving the utilization of Photoshops massive tool box to do the work for you. We’re going to go over a couple of different ways to selectively desaturate, but first, what does that even mean?
‘Saturation’ is a term used to describe the intensity of basic colors that make up an image. As such, the lower the saturation of the image, the less intense the colors. When an image has no saturation at all (see: desaturated) , it becomes a black and white image. ‘Selective saturation’ usually involves converting an image into black and white, with the exception of a single part of a photo that remains in color. Often, the part of the photo left in color is the primary subject.
Thousands of photographers have used this technique, with varying degrees of success, for a long time. We won’t claim that our example here is going to be high art, but it should serve as a nice guide.
In the pantheon of nerd achievement, water cooling ranks near the top—somewhere between installing Linux and becoming fluent in Klingon. And there’s a reason the hardest of the hardcore prefer water cooling: It’s incredibly effective at lowering the temperatures of core system components. With higher thermal conductivity and specific heat capacity than air coolers, water cooling can mean double-digit drops in CPU and GPU temperatures.
However, water cooling isn’t exactly a walk in the park. You’ve got two challenges ahead of yourself: Designing the water-cooling system that’s right for your PC, and actually putting it together. Both tasks will take some time and effort, but neither has to be daunting. Every first-time water-cooling build is a learn-as-you go experience, but we’ll walk you through the details and help you avoid the mistakes that would take the biggest toll on your system and your wallet.