Car nuts race their rides to see who’s machine is the fastest. Fitness fanatics run marathons to test their physical limitations and endurance against that of their fellows. Geeks and gearheads? Our battles are fought and won on the basis of how capable our hardware is. While our desktops and laptops might be a thing of wonder to behold, carrying them around with us for the sake of collecting the accolades we deserve isn’t always convenient. Carrying around a smartphone or tablet, however, is. Benchmarking also provides the added benefit of telling you how well your phone manages the current version of your handset’s operating system and apps, as well as whether future OS upgrades will slow all that zippy mobile computing hotness to a bag of sluggish hardware fail. If you’re the owner of an Android handset, there’s a lot of options out there to see how hard your phone rocks. Here’s three of our favourite free benchmarking tools, along with the reasons why you should use them.
Discovering that user-activity logging program Carrier IQ might be loaded on your phone is like finding out there’s a peeping tom in your neighborhood: You want to find out if your house was on the scumbag’s route or not. Well, if you have a rooted Android phone, you can do just that, thanks to a utility by Trevor Eckhart, the dev responsible for uncovering this scandal.
With Windows 8, Microsoft is reimagining the most basic premises of personal computers. CEO Steve Ballmer recognizes the drastic changes coming in Windows 8, even calling the platform one of the biggest risks taken by the industry giant.
If you want to take the plunge and give Windows 8 a try, we don’t recommend installing Windows 8 as your primary system, but we do encourage you to take it for a spin and spend some time tinkering under the hood. So read on and we'll tell you how to do just that.
We may call the glorious series of tubes the World Wide Web, but that doesn’t mean you can view every website’s content all around the globe. Many of the big name content providers – like Steam, Netflix, Pandora and BBC – employ region locks to limit their services to specific countries. But this is the Internet we’re talking about, so naturally, there are ways around the roadblocks.
Thanks to the difficulties that RIM is having with getting BBM to work with the Playbook’s QNX powered operating system, the launch of Playbook 2.0 has been delayed until February, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the benefits of rocking a few Android applications on your Playbook right now. Thanks to the clever coding efforts of a number of Blackberry enthusiasts, a little elbow grease, and some patience, you’ll end up with a RIM-built tablet that’s not only functional (finally), but also down right enjoyable to use.
We’ve built our fair share of home theater PCs in the past, with all sorts of different use cases in mind. Our August 2010 HTPC was a stunner built for 3D, with passively cooled GPU, CPU, and PSU, as well as a four-channel CableCard tuner and Blu-ray 3D support. In June 2011, Gordon tried to make a small-form-factor HTPC that could cut out the previous build’s bulk (and CableCard) while still supporting Blu-ray 3D. Both of those rigs handled their respective tasks well, but what if I don’t care about cable but do care about gaming? This month’s task is to create a kick-ass gaming rig in an HTPC form factor—one that can handle modern games, as well as 3D Blu-ray and Dolby TrueHD audio, without sounding like a jet engine.
When it comes to protecting the data on your computer, you can’t do better than strong encryption. Properly encrypted, your files are safe even if a ne’er-do-well gains access to your computer, either physically or through a network. In the past, we’ve discussed how to use various encryption tools to encrypt individual files or create virtual, encrypted drives. Now, we’ll look at how to get maximum security by encrypting your boot disk using the BitLocker full-drive encryption system that’s built into Windows 7 Ultimate and Enterprise.
By taking the power of the of the open source Drupal 7 Content Management System and combining it with turnkey-style site management, Drupal Gardens offers up a Drupal-a-Service platform allowing users to go from nil to an up and running site in well under and hour. With Drupal Gardens, there’s no need to worry about backend administration, working with frustrating FTP uploads or paying scads to a talented web developer for his years of dedicated technical education. Simply sign up for an account, set up your site and get posting. We show you how to get started.
As Maximum PC senior editor Gordon Mah Ung puts it, building a budget gaming rig for a 30-inch panel is the metaphorical equivalent of slapping a Ferrari engine into a crappy Ford car. If you can afford a display that rings up north of $2,000, then why the heck are you trying to cut corners on the system you’re connecting it to?
I can’t answer that one for you. But what I can tell you is exactly how you can go about getting the best frame rate for your buck without purchasing a PC that’s more expensive than your mega-monitor.
With the advent of E-readers like the Kindle, the publishing industry has been blown wide open. Before, getting your book in front of somebody meant flying to New York and scaling the granite walls of giant publishing houses. Failing that, you could always go to some shady vanity publishing company, but their primary concern was separating you from your hard-earned money.
Nowadays it's much easier to get your work into the hands of your eager audience. Whether you're looking to publish the next great American novel or just want to get your family cookbook on the Kindle, we'll show you how you can use a couple of free tools to get your work on the Amazon bookstore.