In the previous how-to, we discussed multiple monitors as a great tool for increased efficiency. However, sometimes multiple displays just don’t work in a certain environment. Fortunately, there’s still a way to get some of the efficiency benefits of having multiple desktops without needing two displays: virtual desktops.
A laptop is a lot of things—it’s a mobile entertainment center, a portal to the web, and a way to get work done away from home. More than anything, though, it’s a freakin’-expensive piece of hardware that you absolutely do not want to lose.
Of course, the best way to keep your laptop is to not get it stolen in the first place. But if you do, you can be prepared to try and track it down.
Were there a Mount Everest of PC builds, the see-through PC would likely be it. The difficulties are great, and the possibilities for failure high, but there’s nothing that gets me more excited than the opportunity to crack my knuckles and customize the lighting and electrical setup of a transparent desktop system.
Running multiple monitors has become something of a necessity for serious PC users. You don’t have to take it to the sort of extremes we do in this month’s display challenge, but anything less than two monitors is risking serious damage to your nerd cred.
Unfortunately, running multiple monitors can make it difficult to keep your desktops looking nice with custom wallpapers. Here's how you can run multiple wallpapers, without bloating your system with extra software.
They say that the kids don’t use email that much these days. Doesn’t that sound dreamy? We adults, unfortunately, have no such luxury. For better or for worse, email is a major part of our personal and work lives.
We’re tempted to just leave it at that. But there’s no need to feel hopeless. We took a good, long look at the center of our communication universe with an eye toward improving, upgrading, and (hopefully) dominating it. The fruits of our labor are in the following pages. Enjoy! (Or maybe we should say, suffer less?)
From Windows 95 right on through to Windows 7, the Start Menu has always been just a wee bit short of perfection when it comes to increasing your productivity. Fortunately, Launchy has been helping Windows users get back up to speed since 2007. For those of you not familiar with this fabulous, free utility, Launchy is a Start Menu alternative that provides you with wicked fast access to every file, bookmark and program on your PC using nothing more than a few keystrokes. Once you’ve installed it and bent Launchy to your will, you’ll wonder how you ever got along without it.
With Vista and Windows 7, Microsoft has been making some big strides in the quality of Windows’s native search. For regular, targeted searches (finding a file in your downloads folder, for instance), it does a great job of giving you near-real-time results. Unfortunately, that’s not always good enough.
Sometimes you know you’ve got a file, but you just can’t remember where you put it. That means you’ve got to resort to the dreaded Search Local Disk (C:), or even worse, Search Computer. It doesn’t take as long as it used to, but it can still take quite a while to find what you’re looking for. If you find yourself in this situation regularly, you need true instant search. You need Everything.
There are few services on the internet today more ubiquitous than Google Maps. Originally designed to be downloaded by users as a desktop application, it quickly became a web-based service once the company that gave birth to it was acquired by Google in 2004. By 2005, the user-friendly mapping solution was a household name. Six years later, developers are still discovering new ways to leverage the venerable mapping service to produce more information and expand its functionality, making an already awesome free service even better. To show you what we’re talking about, we’ve put together a list of our ten favorite tips and uses for Google Maps. Some come from Google, others from third-party developers. All of them are awesome.
When the Kinect first launched last November, gamers were (to put it charitably) a bit skeptical. Here was a device with incredible technological potential, and the most impressive game that came out with it was a dance simulator.
Still, the Kinect has become a bona fide hit, selling more than eight million units in the first 60 days alone and being named the “fastest-selling consumer electronics device” of all time by Guinness World Records. But more importantly, the software problem has been solved. Not by Microsoft, whose Kinect releases have been few and far between, but by the ever-growing legion of hackers creating innovative tech demos and applications for Kinect on the PC.
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.