Well, I did it. After four years with a hulking, noisy, upgraded-to-the-limit Pentium 4 tower, I finally pulled the trigger on a new system. It's a refurbished HP Pavilion M9350F, which eCost has on sale for $619.99.
The specs on this thing are pretty unreal: a quad-core AMD processor, 6GB of RAM, a 750GB hard drive, a 512MB GeForce 9800GT graphics card, a TV tuner, and 802.11n wireless connectivity. No Blu-ray drive, but I honestly couldn't care less. I'm happy with the LightScribe burner.
I just hope that it's quieter than the jet turbine … Read more
After several years of seemingly tireless 15 percent quarterly growth, the PC industry hit a wall at the end of 2008.
Overall PC shipments worldwide dropped 0.4 percent to 77.3 million units during the fourth quarter, according to IDC's Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker study released Wednesday. The results are more alarming for the embattled industry considering that the quarter--the worst in several years--wasn't helped out more by the holiday shopping season. There hasn't been an overall drop in shipments since the second quarter of 2001, after the last recession.
"We had projected growth of … Read more
While Palm has likely done a notably good job with the new Pre smartphone of reversing its slide into obscurity, the company has said little about the other half of its historical strategy, that of desktop syncing.
With the original Pilot 1000, Palm made handheld devices viable by including a technology it called HotSync with every device. HotSync allowed for one-touch synchronization of personal information data--like phone numbers, to-do lists, and even e-mails--between the organizer and your desktop or laptop software. That allowed you to carry your most up-to-date appointments and contacts around before there were ubiquitous wireless networks.
It … Read more
Historically, the Consumer Electronics Show hasn't been a place where we'd find a ton of new laptops, desktops, or computer components. After all, PC makers had Comdex (a now-defunct Vegas trade show), and are generally more interested in hitting the back-to-school and holiday seasons than releasing new products in January.
Still, this year was a decent one for new introductions, and almost every major name in the computer business had a handful of new products to show off. Most were more evolutionary than revolutionary, but when you're dealing with essentially the same small pile of CPUs, GPUs, … Read more
Advanced Desktop Shield installs an icon in the system tray that lets you access a nicely designed and easy-to-use interface. In our tests, saving a managing desktop layout was simple, and we mastered the process in less than two minutes, thanks to the clearly defined buttons and layout of the interface.
This application performed quickly in all our tests, and it restored changed desktop layouts quickly and without fail after multiple boots and restarts, even when we changed the wallpaper. If your PC has multiple users, this application offers a great method for each to have a customized desktop layout … Read more
Designed to work in conjunction with the publisher's mobile phone data keeper, this desktop database creator offers little on its own. Mobile Secretary for Desktop's almost blank interface is designed to let the user handcraft all data fields and folders. Any user needing a Help manual will be sorely disappointed and quick to give up on this freeware app. Operation shouldn't vex experienced users, but they'll find the app too limiting compared with other common database programs.
Mobile Secretary for Desktop requires the Java Runtime Environment to operate, which means it doesn't actually install to … Read more
Microsoft's hegemony depends upon two cash cows: Windows and Office. Mark Shuttleworth, the founder of Ubuntu, has his sights firmly set on Windows, and has both the means, the chutzpah, and the community to credibly commandeer an assault on Fortress Redmond, as suggested by Ashlee Vance in The New York Times over the weekend.
Others have tried to beat Microsoft at its own game and have failed miserably. The difference with Shuttleworth, however, is that he's not necessarily trying to beat Microsoft at its game. He's hoping to "fundamentally change the operating system market," something … Read more
My Simple Desktop Home Edition is a privacy tool that lets you control access to your desktop. It's beautifully designed and easy to navigate. So what's the catch? The program isn't password-protected.
Right away, we were impressed by its professional user interface. Not only does it look good, but it also flows well. The computer restriction settings are listed on the left side of the window, and are categorized by basic, advanced, and keyboard restrictions. Basic restrictions included hiding your Taskbar and Start Menu. Advanced restrictions limit access to your Control Panel and certain folders. In our … Read more