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November 2007

Fujitsu Releases 2.5″ 320GB HDD

Fujitsu today announced the development of the MHZ2 BH series of 2.5″ hard disk drives with a maximum capacity of 320 GB (among the highest in the industry). The Fujitsu MHZ2 BH series delivers transfer speeds of up to 300MB per second. The series is designed primarily for use in compact desktop PCs, notebook PCs, and consumer electronics products, such as HDD recorders.
Supporting Serial ATA3.0Gb/s interface, the new Fujitsu series achieves the world’s lowest levels of power consumption, operating at only 1.9 watts when reading or writing data. The Fujitsu MHZ2 BH series also conforms to the RoHS Directive limiting the use of certain hazardous substances. Sales of the new series will begin in February 2008.

Read More : Fareastgizmos

Samsung F1 Series 1TB HDD Announced

Samsung today announced its F1 series 1 terabyte hard disk drive with the “world’s highest recording density” using only three disks.

The new Serial ATA 3.5” F1 Series drives running at 7,200rpm are designed for enterprise environments, personal video recorders, desktop PCs and other external storage applications.

It features 334GB per-platter capacity, 7200RPM speed, 32MB cache, and an MTBF of up to 1.2 million hours. The SpinPoint F1 Series is now available for $400.

Read More : PC Launches.com

Using Foobar in Ubuntu using Wine

Hi Guys

Foobar is one of the best audio players and with the help of wine we can now use it even in Ubuntu.

The newest version of Wine (Windows API Linux emulator) allows one to run foobar2000 with most of its plugins in Linux.

ColumnsUI also works .

PolishLinux.org has a tutorial on how to do this.

Read the Article : Here

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TeraCopy – Copy & Move Files at Max Speed.

Hi Guys

Just started using TeraCopy free version and must say its a nice program to transfer

huge files from one location to another location , allows you to pause or skip any files

on the fly , also has error recovery , nice utility.

TeraCopy is a compact program designed to copy and move files at the maximum possible speed.

Home Page: Tera Copy

Features:

  • Copy files faster. TeraCopy uses dynamically adjusted buffers to reduce seek times. Asynchronous copy speeds up file transfer between two physical hard drives.
  • Pause and resume file transfers. Pause copy process at any time to free up system resources and continue with a single click.
  • Error recovery. In case of copy error, TeraCopy will try several times and in the worse case just skips the file, not terminating the entire transfer.
  • Interactive file list. TeraCopy shows failed file transfers and lets you fix the problem and recopy only problem files.
  • Shell integration. TeraCopy can completely replace Explorer copy and move functions, allowing you work with files as usual.
  • Full Unicode support.

Download: TeraCopy – Free for Home Users.

Compact Mode

 

TeraCopy screenshot.

Full Mode

TeraCopy screenshot.

Caption Mode

TeraCopy screenshot.

TeraCopy Pro

You can also buy a Pro version of the program that lets you do the following:

• Select files with the same extension/same folder
• Remove selected files from the copy queue
• Get free updates and priority support
• More features coming soon!

TeraCopy Pro

File Menu (Pro Version)

TeraCopy screenshot.

Hardening Windows 2K/XP/2K3/Vista in 12 Steps

APK @ Neowin Forums has written a detailed guide on how to harden your Windows OS.

His Guide helps ACHIEVE 85.xxx (or, better) CIS TOOL scores for Windows users via the APK “12 step program” for a secure Windows NT-based OS (2000/XP/Server 2003/VISTA)

Read Complete Guide Here: Neowin Forums

Turn Your PC into a Linux Home Theater PC

Extremetech has a nice article on how to turn your computer into a HTPC for free.

The term “Home Theater PC” (HTPC) is rather ambiguous. A simple file server loaded with videos and music would let you play back media from any node on your home network, but you’ll probably want a bit more than that out of your HTPC.

HTPC machines are commonly used to play and record streaming media (usually from the Internet or cable TV), host media from static sources such as DVDs and CDs, play back the hosted media on both a TV and other computers, and manipulate that media in ways that we aren’t conveniently able to when using traditional devices. That last bit encompasses automatically skipping commercials, pausing live TV, etc.

HTPCs are usually connected to TVs for video output and use IR remote controls for input. Most HTPC software goes above and beyond this call of duty by also integrating slick interfaces to programming listings, games and emulators, photo slideshows, and even web browsers.

Read Complete Article Here:

Introduction
MythTV
Freevo
LinuxMCE
LiveCDs and Pre-configured Distributions
Networking your HTPC
HTPC Tribulations
Putting it all together

All Credits to Extremetech.com for this.

Hacking Ubuntu to Improve Performance

Hacking Ubuntu to Improve Performance

This feature includes various hacks to boost Ubuntu’s performance, such as viewing running processes, identifying resources, finding process startups, tuning kernel parameters, and speeding up boot time. This is a complete chapter in the ExtremeTech book “Hacking Ubuntu: Serious Hacks Mods And Cusomtizations.”

Read Complete Article Here:

Introduction
Viewing Running Processes
Killing Processes
Identifying Resources
Measuring Memory Usage Network Throughput
Finding Process Startups
Further Inspection
Tuning Kernel Parameters
Speeding Up Boot Time

 All Credits to Extremetech.com for this.

Making Ubuntu Usable

Making Ubuntu Usable

Another good article from ExtremeTech

In this chapter from the ExtremeTech book Hacking Ubuntu: Serious Hacks Mods and Customizations you’ll learn how to set up the operating system to your taste with things like changing the startup music, the background, fonts, icons, and colors, and navigating the Nautilus file manager—on both PCs and Macs.

Read Complete Article Here:

Introduction
Changing the Background
Changing the Fonts
Tuning the Shell
Using Ubuntu on a PC
Tuning Ubuntu on a Macintosh
Tweaking GDM
Navigating Nautilus
Stretching Icons and Adjusting Fonts
Tuning Templates

All Credits to Extremetech.com for this.

Hacking the Ubuntu Installation

Hacking the Ubuntu Installation

Extremetech has a detailed article on this.

Read Complete Article Here:

Introduction
Installing the Server or Workstation
Using the Desktop or Alternate CD-ROM
Changing Options
Installing a Minimal System and Installing Over a Network
Installing on a Mac and Using a USB Drive
Sharing Files and Booting with a USB Drive
Kicking Off the Network Install with a USB Drive and Using a Boot Image with Files
Installing a Full File System
Booting Variations
Upgrading Ubuntu
Upgrading Issues with Ubuntu

 All Credits to Extremetech.com for this.

Top Ten Vista Tips + 50 Additional Tips And Tricks : ExtremeTech

Extremetech.com gives us Top 10 Vista Tips.

Source: Extremetech

Here they are.

Ten Windows Vista Top Tips
Boot manager for Windows Vista and Windows MCE?
I have a system with TWO hard drives installed. One has MCE and the second has Vista. I would like to get a boot manager that will allow me to pick one at boot without having to access the BIOS or innards of the machine. Any suggestions?

Can I upgrade 32 Bit Windows XP to 64 Bit Windows Vista?
The real question is can I buy the 64 bit upgrade version and be able to apply it to my current 32 bit Windows XP? Or do I have to buy the more expensive new install 64 bit version and do a fresh install, thus losing all my precious Windows stuff?

Windows Vista using too much of my RAM?
Just got a new computer, with Vista pre-installed upon it. 32 bit version, and man was it confusing at first. I was pulling my hair out trying to find “My Computer”… to say the least I’m not too good with computers. At least with Vista, for that matter.

I enjoy some games in my part time, for some relaxation. However, in my 1024MB RAM system, there is 400-500MB RAM already taken up by the programs, effectively reducing the gaming experience. What can I do to drop it down? On my old computer, a good ol’ CTRL-ALT-DEL and you could wipe out all the unnecessary programs, but in Vista, they don’t seem to be there. And on the “Services” tab, I’m not sure what to turn off.

Any ideas? I’m sure there is a way to salvage at least 200MB more RAM. I’m almost to the point of buying a 256MB stick to make up for it!

Will Windows Vista make my video card obsolete?
I will be building a new Core 2 PC soon, and I already have a 7950 video card for it. What I plan on building should last a very long time (main components are Core 2 E6700, Asus P5N32-SLI SE, 7950 GX2, 2 GB DDR2 800 RAM, 250GB SATA HDD, Thermaltake Toughpower 750, Creative X-Fi ExtremeMusic). This will be Vista ready and beyond. And as time goes on, I can always add another 7950 to boost performance (can’t imagine a time when this rig will be slow!).

But when Vista comes out, and ultimately DX10, the 7950 will obviously handle anything thrown at it, but is DX10 compatibility something that can be handled via a driver update? Or will you have to buy a whole new card? I’ve got the fastest card on the planet, but will it be obsolete in a few months when DX10 comes out?

Fan too loud while running Windows Vista!
Anyone else find that a Vista upgrade makes your Nvidia graphics card fan run at max all the time? My system is so much louder than before and it’s unpleasant just having it on. (It’s a 6600 GT/ Athlon 3400+/VIA chipset on the mobo.)

Which video card should I get for Windows Vista?
Currently have a Formac Monitor 2020 for photography use, not games (I hate games). The Formac is DVI and quite high resolution. I did a test to see if my PC was ready for a Vista upgrade and the graphics card failed. Anyone know what card I should get?

Monitor problems in Windows Vista?
I have a HP Pavilion a6010n with a GeForce 8500 video card and HP monitor. The operating system is Vista Home Premium. The computer is 3 months old. Starting a few weeks ago, I suspect after an automatic Microsoft update, the computer will quit communicating with the monitor. When the computer first boots up it will work well for hours at a time, but if it is left on and not used for several hours, the monitor will quit communicating with the computer. The time in the lower right corner of the screen will be frozen and not updated. When I try to use the computer the monitor display becomes scrambled: the task bar and Windows button jump to the top of the screen. Nothing functions.

Alt-Ctrl-Del will reset to a screen that will allow the computer reboot button to function. The computer reboots and works well for several hours at a time. But if left alone for several hours, the same thing happens again. The Nvidia card driver is the most current from September 2007. Aero has been turned on and off. All non-essential display drivers have been deactivated. The problem persists. Any ideas before I reinstall Vista or do I ditch Vista and go back to Windows XP?

Is now the time to Upgrade to Vista?
I’m running XP home. This is my machine, mostly for playing games and zipping about the Net. I do have XP Office Pro which i use alot. the only thing that’s holding me back is having to buy a new office suite which I will not do again for some time to come. also I’m not so sure about the upgrade or how well the machine will do on the game end of things. It’s an AMD64@3800, 7950 Nvida card, and 2GB of RAM. I’m pretty happy with XP, but I do hate being behind on an OS. Should I go Vista or stay with XP which I enjoy.

Free Image (ISO) Recorders for Vista?
In XP, I used Nero to burn .iso files to CDs, but Vista doesn’t like my older (version 6) Nero, and I don’t have the money to upgrade to the new version. Does anyone know of any free CD image burners that work well in Windows Vista 32bit?

Windows XP or Windows Vista?
I just wanted to discuss these two options for an operating system. I have been using XP for several years now and I like it very much. XP is a pretty good operating system unlike 98. I don’t buy desktops anymore, I build my own so I know what I am getting. I plan on building a new system in the near future using XP. My concern is Vista. I feel like its being pushed on us and we don’t have a choice. Businesses such as Best Buy etc., are selling computers with Vista only. You can’t go to a store and purchase one with XP. XP has been pulled from the shelves making way for Vista. Has anyone heard if Microsoft has set a date for withdrawing tech support and updates for XP?

If you think this is the end you are wrong.

Vista Made Easy: 50 Tips And Tricks 

Tips 1 to 10
Tips 11 to 20
Tips 21 to 30
Tips 31 to 40
Tips 41 to 50

NOTE: All the credit goes to guys at ExtremeTech for answering this.

Running CCleaner for All Users

Guys we all know that most of us have multiple logins on our PC and we all know

there are various unused files occupying space on our harddisk and every user login

keeps the data seperately so each user has to clean the unused data in his login.

CCleaner helps us clean all user’s unused data occupying from one login only.

What is CCleaner ?

CCleaner is a freeware system optimization and privacy tool. It removes unused files from your system – allowing Windows to run faster and freeing up valuable hard disk space. It also cleans traces of your online activities such as your Internet history. But the best part is that it’s fast.
Popcorned @ Neowin Forums has written a nice article on running CCleaner for all Users.

Read Complete Guide Here: Neowin Forums

Optimize XP for Dual Core

rajputwarrior @ Neowin Forums has written a nice guide on how to optimize Windows XP

for Dual Core.

This article is for both Intel and AMD’s Dual Core based CPU’s

Read Complete Article Here : Neowin Forums

——————————————————————————

For your sceptics out there, check out this review of a sager laptop with the fix applied. Not only does it fix the games in this review, but a lot of the newer ones (such as HL2 or GRAW and the upcoming unreal tournament 3) this will give you a nice boost in performance.

SagerLaptop Review : NoteBookReview

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Detailed Info on Computer POST / Beep Codes

Computerhope.com has very detailed guide on beep codes ans POST.

Well all know how important the beep codes can be for any computer expert

to zero in on any hardware problem when facing issues starting the PC.

————————————————————————–

POST ABCs

The computer POST (Power On Self Test) tests the computer, insuring that it meets the necessary system requirements and that all hardware is working properly before starting the remainder of the boot process. If the computer passes the POST the computer will have a single beep (with some computer BIOS manufacturers it may beep twice) as the computer starts and the computer will continue to start normally. However, if the computer fails the POST, the computer will either not beep at all or will generate a beep code, which tells the user the source of the problem.

The steps of a POST

Each time the computer boots up the computer must past the POST. Below is the common steps a POST performs each time your computer starts.

  1. Test the power supply to ensure that it is turned on and that it releases its reset signal.
  2. CPU must exit the reset status mode and thereafter be able to execute instructions.
  3. BIOS checksum must be valid, meaning that it must be readable.
  4. CMOS checksum must be valid, meaning that it must be readable.
  5. CPU must be able to read all forms of memory such as the memory controller, memory bus, and memory module.
  6. The first 64KB of memory must be operational and have the capability to be read and written to and from, and capable of containing the POST code.
  7. I/O bus / controller must be accessible.
  8. I/O bus must be able to write / read from the video subsystem and be able to read all video RAM.

If the computer does not pass any of the above tests, your computer will receive an irregular POST. An irregular POST is a beep code that is different from the standard one or two beeps. This could be either no beeps at all or a combination of different beeps indicating what is causing the computer not to past the POST.

————————————————————————–

Read Complete Article Here: ComputerHope

3-way SLI Tested On nForce 790i SLI Board

VrZone Reports on 3-Way SLI

As Nvidia is preparing 3-way SLI technology for launch soon, we had some initial testing results from the 3-way SLI configuration made up of C73 DDR3 reference board (nForce 790i SLI) with 3 x GeForce 8800 Ultra cards and a Core 2 Duo E6750. Using the Forceware 167.10 3-way SLI beta drivers on Windows Vista, we need to tune up the AA/AF to actually see the performance differences between 2-way and 3-way SLI. We got a 26% improvement in 3DMark06 at 1920×1440 resolution, 8 sample AA with 16x AA Quality and 16x AF over 2-way SLI. Without AA/AF, we got only a 5.6% performance boost. Nvidia is still working hard to enhance the 3-way SLI drivers further so we hope to see a bigger FPS boost in latest games which are more GPU intensive with better multi-GPU support. So make sure you run those intensive games to high resolutions like 1920×1440 or 2560×1600 etc with all the image quality settings to the max to enjoy full benefits of a 3-way SLI setup.

Source : VR-Zone

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Windows XP SP3 Yields Performance Gains Over Vista SP1

After a disappointing showing by Windows Vista SP1 (see previous post), we were pleasantly surprised to discover that Windows XP Service Pack 3 (v.3244) delivers a measurable performance boost to this aging desktop OS. Testing with OfficeBench showed an ~10% performance boost vs. the same configuration running under Windows XP w/Service Pack 2.

Since SP3 was supposed to be mostly a bug-fix/patch consolidation release – unlike w/Vista SP1, Microsoft made no promises of improved performance for XP – the unexpected speed boost comes as a nice bonus. In fact, XP SP3 is shaping-up to be a “must have” update for the majority of users who are still running Redmond’s not-so-latest and greatest desktop OS.

Of course, none of this bodes well for Vista, which is now more than 2x slower than the most current builds of its older sibling. Suffice to say that performance-minded users will likely choose to stick with the now even speedier Windows XP – at least until more “Windows 7” information becomes publicly available.

Source: Neowin

AMD says GPU Physics is Dead until DirectX 11

PC gamers have been looking for more than just pretty graphics when it comes to their game titles over the last few years. Not only do gamers want realistic graphics, but they want realistic physics as well.

Physics have long been a part of PC and console games to some extent. As games get more complex the mathematical calculations required for accurately rendering things on screen like smoke and explosions gets more complex as well.

GPU makers ATI and NVIDIA both know the value of physics processing and both companies put forth similar ways to tackle physics for video games. DailyTech reported in January of 2007 leaked specifications from ATI showing exactly what would be required for its asymmetric physics processing. Almost a year before those documents were leaked, DailyTech reported on NVIDIA’s Quantum physics engine.


Things in the world of video game physics heated up when Intel announced in September that it intended to buy Havok, the company whose physics software is widely used by game developers around the world. Xbit Labs reports today that AMD’s Developer Relations Chief, Richard Huddy is saying that GPU physics is dead for now.

Source: Neowin

WolfKing Warrior XXTREME Hybrid Gamepad Keyboard Announced

WolfKing’s latest gaming product is up for grad on their website. The Warrior XXTREME is a sexy keyboard which incorporates “all the features that made the original WARRIOR a must-have device for laptop gamers and LAN center patrons, while adding a second keypad for commands in massively multiplayer games or chatting with clan mates.” The keys on this strange keyboard are arranged in different manner. It combines the original circular 54-key disc of the WARRIOR with 40 additional keys in a modified “QWERTY” arrangement on a second attached disc. The keyboard also offers stylish blue backlit, and two USB 2.0 ports. It’s now available for $80 from Dell’s gaming store.

Source: PCLaunches.com

Product Site: Wolf King Site

D-Color XP – View Desktop Icons in Large , Small & Tile View

D-Color XP 1.2

The program allows you to change the appearance of the desktop icon text foreground and background colors.

D-Color gives you the possibility to modify the appearance of the desktop icon text foreground and background colors.

It also allows you to change the view of your desktop icons from Large, Small, and Tile view icons.

Here are some key features of “D Color XP”:

· Customize foreground color
· Customize background color
· Customize icon view appearance
· Allows transparent background color
· Automatically refreshes colors
· Starts with Windows
· Show/hide desktop icons
· Save/restore icon layout
· Display colors in hex/long formats
· Saves all choices in the registry

Download : Here

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Blu-ray Beats the Crap Out of HD DVD

According to the figures provided by market research firm GfK, it seems the Blu-ray has really KO’d HD DVD, at least as far as DVRs are concerned. Thus, in the week ending on November 11th, just 2.8 per cent of them were HD DVD units. The remaining 97.2 percent were, as expected, Blu-ray devices (while the previous weeks were not exactly a lot better, Blu-ray reaching a percentage of around 98.7 at some point).

Although these figures might seem to be pretty unfavorable to the HD DVD side, the truth of the matter is that there a few reasons why this situation was to be expected. First of all, the number of Blu-ray based DVRs is a lot larger than that of their HD DVD-powered counterparts. Then, the research was carried out in Japan, where Sony’s format is a lot more popular than Toshiba’s, partly due to the increasingly higher popularity of the PS3 (although this is quite a strange situation, especially since both next-gen DVD formats are of Japanese origin).

Read Complete Article Here: SoftPedia

Nvidia Due to Implement On-The-Fly GPU Switching

Nvidia have announced that the MCP78S chipset will give the user the possibility to switch between GPU cores. The new chipset incorporates a GeForce 8-class DirectX 10, Shader Model 4.0 graphics engine, but also has the capability of controlling a PCI Express 2.0 graphics card connected via the chipset’s 16 PCIe 2.0 lanes.

This is not a title of novelty, since this feature is widely supported by most of the integrated chipsets, but the chipset also supports HybridSLI, giving the user complete control over the two GPUs. Should the system need hardcore graphic performance, the user may enable the graphics card, while on average computing the system graphics is hosted on the lower-power integrated GPU. This feature really comes in handy since, unlike the previous versions, GPU switching does not need a computer reboot.

Read Complete Article Here: SoftPedia

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