Views of Earth from space are as close as the nearest weather site, but in the great scheme of things, we've only had the privilege a short while. We were reminded of just how awesome the view of everyone's home from space can be when we tried Desktop Earth, a free screensaver that rotates high-resolution satellite images of Earth on Windows desktops. But Desktop Earth does more than most other screensavers do. For instance, it changes with the time of day, displaying daylight and night images centered on your location. You can set it to center on any … Read more
iTunes 11 is finally here. I hear that it's a step in the right direction, correcting many of the missteps and redundancies that have crept into the bloated software over the years.
But I can't really give you a full opinion onbecause I really haven't spent that much time with it on a personal level.
That's because I don't use my Mac for media.… Read more
Decor8 is a simple app for Windows 8 that enables users to customize the look and feel of their desktops, lock screens and the new Modern UI environment. Though Windows 8 comes stocked with some basic options, Decor8 adds extra features to give users that extra level of personalization and refinement.
After you install the app, Decor8 will appear on the Start screen like any other tile. When you open the app, you'll be greeted with an options menu that appears mighty hard to discern from a standard Windows 8 settings menu. From the Background settings, choose any custom … Read more
The end of the desktop is near, according to reports trickling out over the last few days.
Changes in the way Intel connects its processors to the circuit board may signal broad changes to the desktop PC as we know it today.
Desktop processors are attached to the PC's main circuit board (aka motherboard) via a socket. Intel processors compatible with that socket are then inserted by the end user, be it an enthusiast or PC supplier.
This is the design that is in danger of disappearing, reports claim.
Mobile processors, on the other hand, are soldered directly to … Read more
This is a follow-up to last week's "Before you buy a sound bar speaker, read this" post, but this time I'm setting my sights on expensive, $400-plus iPod and Bluetooth speaker "docks." They have built-in limitations common to all single-speaker systems. They might have two sets of speaker drivers housed in a single cabinet, but when the drivers are just a few inches apart, "stereo" sounds more or less like mono. In the quest to make these speakers as sleek and lightweight as possible, bass and dynamic range capabilities are limited, compared … Read more
For some people, smartphones and their always-on Internet connections and apps is a waste of money.
If you don't need apps or games and you can live without fast, robust access to the Net from your cell phone, then a smartphone might be expensive overkill. All four of the major U.S. wireless carriers still offer basic feature phones, which don't require expensive data plans. In this Ask Maggie, I offer some advice to a reader who is looking for one of these phones.
I also offer some advice regarding the new all-in-one desktop computers.
Going retro with … Read more
As Black Friday expands into a week-long marathon of deals (followed by the now-requisite Cyber Monday), a new laptop, desktop, or tablet may be high up on your shopping list. And with Windows 8 launching dozens of new computer models, that's just one more reason to upgrade. Perusing the major retailers for PC deals, I found a few noteworthy ones, as well as a few you should be warned away from.
There are decent discounts on some mainstream full-power laptops, as well as on newer touch-screen Windows 8 systems. Tablet deals were less common, largely restricted to no-name brands. … Read more
Lenovo seems to one of the few PC vendors thriving in a weak market.
For its fiscal second quarter that ended September 30, the Hong Kong-based company scooped up record sales of $8.7 billion, a jump of 11 percent from the prior year's quarter. PC shipments rose 10.3 percent, a healthy gain given that shipments for the overall industry fell more than 8 percent.
The publishers describe SNV Timer as a reminder program, but it actually includes three separate applications designed to manage shutdown operations, user-set alerts, and more. While many will see this diversity as a benefit, others will find that the lack of integration between programs and the redundancy of some functions negatively affect SNV Timer's usefulness.
When you install SNV Timer, you'll actually get SNV Timer, SNV Notepad, and SNV Calendar, each with its own desktop icon. SNV Timer does just what its name implies: it allows you to choose a specific time or number of hours for whatever … Read more
A useful tool for the multitasker, Virtual Desktop Assistant lets you create multiple virtual desktops on one computer, and can help busy people stay organized.
Virtual Desktop Assistant has an intuitive layout that makes it easy to get started. It sits in the taskbar for quick access and displays the numbers 0 through 3 on the bottom-right corner of the user's window. Zero represents the default system desktop and 1 through 3 represent virtual desktops that can be navigated to simply by pressing the Alt key and the number that represents the virtual desktop you want to switch to.… Read more