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How To Buy…Network Attached Storage (Part 1)
Network-attached storage (NAS), however, can offer you an alternative to the cycle of frustration. NAS devices attach to a network, acting as a stand-alone file server. They give you a place to store large files and run the software you need to stream those files direct to your PC or smart device on demand.
Troubleshooting And Benchmarking A New PC (Part 2)
It might sound unlikely, but the biggest bottleneck of any modern PC is quite likely to be the hard drive. Processors are getting quicker and quicker, but hard drives are getting bigger and bigger. Games and applications are becoming huge, and hard drives are expected to shift more data in and out of RAM than ever before at quicker speeds.
Troubleshooting And Benchmarking A New PC (Part 1)
Benchmarking and troubleshooting are both complicated, nuanced procedures that can’t really be given a full explanation -the easiest way to learn is by doing. However, we can point you in the right direction and help you get started with the basics.
Expert Computing Advice – January 2013 (Part 2)
How do I stop the Windows 8 Messaging app from putting notifications on my screen. I want to use the old Windows Messenger client, but I now get duplicate messages in the form of pop-ups from the built-in app.
Expert Computing Advice – January 2013 (Part 1)
If you used of any of the desktop gadgets in Windows 7, you will have noticed that they are no longer available in Windows 8. Microsoft has ceased support for gadgets under the new OS.
Buying Guide: Ultra-Quiet Upgrades (Part 2)
If you don’t want to change your graphics card, instead consider adding a quieter fan. The Arctic Cooling Accelero Extreme GTX Pro ($50, is a quiet cooler for nVidia GTX graphics cards, while the Gelid Solutions Icy Vision Rev 2 ($48, works well with a range of AMD and nVidia cards.
Buying Guide: Ultra-Quiet Upgrades (Part 1)
PCs require maintenance to keep them performing at an optimum level. Over time, parts wear out, screws work their way loose, and dust accumulates inside the case. A noticeable side effect is increased noise. When new, your PC may have been a monument to mechanical efficiency and whisper-quiet operation; a few short years later, it likely sounds more like a diesel generator.
Buy A Decent System For $325 (Part 3) : Shuttle SA76R4 Barebone AMD AM3, Asus V7-P8H67E, Foxconn nT-A3500 Nettop Barbones
All Barebone systems obscure their true cost to a degree. Once you’ve added all the things needed to make a working computer they never seem like the bargain they first appeared to be. That said, if you pick wisely then you can use one as the basis for a very cheap PC.
Buy A Decent System For $325 (Part 2) : MSI DC100-010XEU Wind Box Mini PC, Lenovo Q180 Nettop PC, Acer Revo L80 Nettop PC, Zotac Z-Box SD-ID12 Intel Atom Mini PC
Not everyone needs a complete desktop PC, even one that’s been shoehorned into a microATX enclosure. There are a breed of computer that are even smaller, and they can provide a very cheap option for someone who just wants something to surf the Internet or reply to emails. Here are some very competitively priced ones:
Buy A Decent System For $325 (Part 1) : , Zoostorm Desktop PC, Primo 6000i, HP Compaq DC7900 SFF, Dell Optiplex 745 MT
It appears that HP entirely miscalculated how many business systems it would sell a couple of years back, and the DC7900 is still being shifted because of that. As sold at this price, this is a rather old design built on the Intel Q45 chipset that first came out in 2008. Basically, this is a four year old computer!
Not Bad For A Monkey (Part 3) : What's a Fusion Drive?
The Mac Mini is the first Mac in which Apple has delivered its new Fusion Drive. It’s also available to order in the new iMacs, which started shipping as we closed this issue.
Not Bad For A Monkey (Part 2)
As we’ve hinted, it’s graphics tasks that the new minis struggle more to impress. In Cinebench’s OpenGL test, based on the cross-platform API widely used in games and graphics-oriented apps, the entry-level model rendered at 18.6 frames per second, up from 12 frames per second with last year’s basic mini and its Intel HD 3000.
Not Bad For A Monkey (Part 1) : The diminutive desktop
The latest Mac mini comes with faster Intel processors, brand new USB 3ports and the option of Apple’s remarkable Fusion Drive. It’s still easy for anyone to open, and it still starts at under $750.
Choosing The Right Components (Part 4)
Network capabilities are an essential feature of any current-generation PC, but that’s not to say you need a wireless card. Motherboards usually contain on-board network controllers (often gigabit Ethernet), but using an Ethernet connection means you may have to trail cables around the house or office to reach the router or modem.
Choosing The Right Components (Part 3)
You have two choices when it comes to storage: cheap, high-capacity mechanical hard disk drives (HDDs) or fast, low-power, solid-state drives (SSDs). If you’re building a workstation, you can pick up a 1TB HDD for a relatively low price, which should be more than enough space to last the lifetime of the system.
Choosing The Right Components (Part 2)
The processor is a good place to start when you’re selecting components for your PC. Not only does it determine what type of motherboard you buy (and thus impact the rest of the system), it determines the overall speed and power of your machine.
Choosing The Right Components (Part 1)
Building your own PC is no mean feat. Whether you’re selecting and assembling the components with your own two hands, choosing them from an online system-building wizard, or even looking at an off-the-shelf system to customise, you’ll have to decide what components you want inside it.
Extending the Real-Time Communications Functionality of Exchange Server 2007 : Installing OCS 2007 (part 3)
After the server software has been installed, OCS services are not started by default. Instead, the Deployment Wizard encourages administrators to configure certain settings first before doing so.
Extending the Real-Time Communications Functionality of Exchange Server 2007 : Installing OCS 2007 (part 2)
After all of the prerequisites have been satisfied and the AD schema has been extended, the process for installing an OCS 2007 standard server can begin. This process will be the same for as many OCS servers as will need to be deployed.
Extending the Real-Time Communications Functionality of Exchange Server 2007 : Installing OCS 2007 (part 1)
OCS 2007 has a surprisingly complex installation process at first glance. What Microsoft has done, however, has been to divide up the installation process into multiple sections, providing for checks along the way so that there is less room for error.
Programming .NET Compact Framework 3.5 : Creating Graphical Output - Drawing on the Display Screen
The various System.Drawing classes in the .NET Compact Framework exist for two reasons. The first and most important reason is for output to the display screen. The second reason, which exists to support the first reason, is to enable drawing to bitmaps, which can later be displayed on the display screen.
All About Battery Life (Part 3)
The conventional thinking is that the battery is an object in the device that you can easily identify and, if the manufacturer agrees, even replace yourself. However, that’s far from what a team at Rice University have been developing using traditional battery chemistry.
Brits Snap Up Mips To Bag Bits For System On Chips
Imagination Technologies, the FTSE 250 company formerly known as VideoLogic that licenses architectures for graphics processing units (GPU), has agreed a deal to buy the operating assets of MIPS, a US company which designs central processing units (CPU) used in devices like Blu-ray players, games consoles and network routers.
How To Buy…A Wireless Router (Part 2)
Without getting too deeply into the nuts and bolts of wireless standards, you should also cast an eye over the bandwidth support of a router. Wireless N can run on two different bandwidths - 2.4GHz or 5GHz – both of which have their own strengths and weaknesses. You can get single-band wireless N routers, but dual-band devices support both, giving better performance and speed because of it.
How To Buy…A Wireless Router (Part 1)
Routers all look pretty similar from the outside - a small box of flashing lights with an aerial (or two) sticking out of the back - but when it comes to choosing one, you have to be aware of the fairly substantial differences between a router and its immediate neighbour to ensure that you’re not wasting money or buying the wrong thing.
Remove Internet Limits With A VPN (Part 4)
UnblockUs is an unusual service that is slightly different to regular services, because it’s not actually a VPN. Few details are given on the website, so it’s hard to discover how it actually works. It’s configured by changing the DNS addresses on the computer to custom ones run by UblockUs. This can either be done manually or by downloading a small utility on the computer for those not sufficiently knowledgeable to do it themselves.
Remove Internet Limits With A VPN (Part 3)
The main disadvantage with using a VPN is that it slows down your internet connection. This is partly because of all the encryption and decryption of internet traffic, but it’s mainly because you’re competing for bandwidth. Internet traffic is routed through servers in other countries, which lots of other people might be using at the same time.
Remove Internet Limits With A VPN (Part 2)
Websites can limit access to certain content depending on where in the world you’re located, such as in the example where someone is travelling abroad and can’t watch iPlayer or if you try to access a US service from the UK. How can websites tell where you are in the world?
Remove Internet Limits With A VPN (Part 1)
Picture the following two scenarios. The first is someone that frequently travels abroad and while they’re away they want to keep up with their favourite television shows. They can’t bear to miss an episode of Eastenders. No problem, you think; they just need to log into iPlayer at the BBC website and watch it over the internet.
All About Battery Life (Part 2)
Batteries are fine, but what happens when you can’t charge them? That’s precisely the problem that faces expeditions to remote places or just those for whom a power socket isn’t readily available.
All About Battery Life (Part 1)
If like many people you own a smartphone, then you’ll be familiar with the daily ritual of charging yours or putting it on charge when you get to work if you use it plenty. Even the earliest mobile phones lasted longer than that, so what’s happening to battery technology, and can we extend those charging sessions to more helpful timescales?
The Secret Processor Revolution (Part 3)
It’s not common practice in business for one company to publicly bad-mouth a rival. Instead, more subtle methods are used to sway public opinion. When a company does start slinging mud, it’s usually because it’s concerned a rival may be in with a chance of stealing significant market share.
The Secret Processor Revolution (Part 2)
The secret of ARM’s success lies in its instruction set architecture, or ISA. Based on the concept of reduced instruction set computing (RISC), ARM’s processors are significantly simpler than the complex instruction set computing (CISC) products of its rivals.
The Secret Processor Revolution (Part 1)
For years, the computer industry has been dominated by two companies: Microsoft and Intel. The former’s Windows operating system runs on more than 80% of the world’s laptops and desktops, while the latter’s processors account for an equal chunk of the pie.
Seagate 3TB FreeAgent GoFlex Home
The Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex Home is unlike any other NAS that we have ever seen. It comes in two sections, with a docking station that you connect to your network router with the supplied Ethernet cable while the power is supplied by a mains plug adapter.
ZyXEL PL4201 Powerline Adaptor
ZyXEL ’s PLA4201 Powerline Adaptors break the mould from the standard affair we’ve seen in the past. For starters, they're incredibly small, being only 50 x 60 x 70mm, and they're dwarfed by their competition, such as the D-Link Powerline.
Patriot Gauntlet Node - BYO Media Streamer
If Jerry Seinfeld worked at Maximum PC reviewing overpriced gadgets, we’re pretty sure he’d be saying: And what’s the deal with getting charged so much for so little RAM? You know, the 16GB version of the HTC Galaxy 5 costs $199 but the 32GB costs $299? And, what? No expansion slot for additional RAM?
Apricorn Velocity Solo X2 PCle SSD Adapter
The Apricorn Velocity Solo X2 is designed to do one thing and one thing only: let you upgrade your boot drive to a SATA 6Gb/s SSD on a system that doesn’t have any of them newfangled ports. Living in a world filled with PCs that could be used in the space program, it’s not a problem we encounter very often, but we can certainly understand its utility where an older motherboard is involved.
Belkin Screencast AV4 - Great Way To Create An Elegant Entertainment Environment
Oh goodness, this was unexpected. The invitation for our group test asked for 'NAS boxes for streaming media' so naturally enough we expected to receive some sort of box with a network connection and an ability to add a hard drive or two. Belkin took the wind from our sails when it sent us the Screencast AV4, which doesn't have any storage, and neither does it have any form of networking.
Programming .NET Components : Serialization and Persistence - Serialization Formatters
The SoapFormatter class, defined in the System.Runtime.Serialization.Formatters.Soap namespace, is used exactly like the BinaryFormatter class. The only difference is that it serializes using a SOAP format instead of binary format. Example 3 demonstrates serialization into a file stream using the SOAP formatter.
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