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.
Spotify’s a pretty awesome streaming music service, but the Facebook integration it’s rolled out in the past week has left users with a pretty not-awesome taste in their mouths. Never mind the fact that new users need a Facebook account just to sign up now; even old users woke up the other morning to find their Spotify listening selections blasted on their Facebook feed. That sucks, so here’s how to disable it from either application.
If you’ve invested heavily in Steam’s growing portfolio of games, you’ll know that aside from offering a large enough selection of PC games to make GameStop blush in shame, the service also has a slick Graphic User Interface that makes keeping track of your downloaded titles a breeze. With very little effort, you can leverage Steam’s awesome library interface to keep track of and open all of your favorite web browser-bound games in exactly the same way.
From the get-go, the Steam client is designed to allow users to add executable files to their game list, but isn’t too keen on command line switches. That means that if you want to, you could add Google’s Chrome browser to your Steam library, but not a particular website or Chrome web application like Angry Birds. In order to do that, you’ll need to build your own executable file. Doing so is a lot easier than you might think.
Nothing will put a crimp in your computing style quite like a Windows error. Although Microsoft's OS has gotten exponentially more stable over the years, it's still very possible for Windows system files to become corrupt. When you encounter a Windows error, your first instinct may be to back up your data, grab the ol' installation disk, and weep silently as you press the Reformat button. We're here to tell you there's another way.
There's an old saying that goes "You can't take it with you when you die," but we disagree. Sure, you might suffer an XP loss or have a nifty +3 bastard sword disappear from your inventory, but all in all, your belongings remain intact in the event of an untimely character death. The saying should be "You can't take it with you if you don't save your game data." We can't help with your lack of FPS skills, but we can help you transfer your game data to a new PC or hard drive.
The last thing that you ever want to see through your pretty plexiglass is a PC that’s covered in dust. It can lead to system overheating, it’s gross, and it only gets worse the longer you put it off. We always joke that spring cleaning is the perfect time to bust out the ol’ can of compressed air and get to work but, truthfully, cleaning one’s system shouldn’t just be a yearly affair.
So allow us to shave a few seconds off of your quarterly clean with a quick walkthrough of how to best prepare your assault on dust, dirt, and grime. Leave no survivors!