Tech News March 2009

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How to Assemble a Custom PC
Hi Tech Legion :: Tuesday, March 31, 2009
“Back in December I figured out what my new year’s resolution was going to be… I’m giving up pre-built computer systems! Oh those packaged Dells, Gateways and HPs certainly have their place. They’re great if you’re a complete novice, or if your computing needs are quite modest. But they can be very limiting in terms of expansion and customization. A much better choice is to build your own custom computer, which despite what one might at first think, is not rocket science.”

HornetTek Travel Plus 2.5″ SATA to USB External Enclosure
Dragonsteel Mods :: Monday, March 30, 2009
Have a spare 2.5” hard drive floating around? I’ve got a few of them and I’ve found they make nice, large capacity portable storage devices, but you’ll need some sort of enclosure to make it usable really for portable storage. There are many on the market, I’ve reviewed several of them, but the one I’ve got today is one that I find I like quite a bit, it’s from a new company called HornetTek, and it’s called the Travel Plus. The Travel Plus is a nicely made enclosure, mostly metal to protect and keep your hard drive cool, but what I like most is the built in USB cable so I no longer have to carry a USB cable around with me to use with the drive.

Nanoxia FX Series 80mm Fans
Dragonsteel Mods :: Monday, March 30, 2009
We’ve all got fans in our cases to keep our computers cool, but some of those fans, especially those that come in a pre-built system can be quite loud so we need to find a quiet replacement, but yet one that can still keep our systems cool. Today for review I’ve got two of the FX Series of 80MM fans from Nanoxia, a 1600RPM fan and a 3000RPM fans. In my time with these fans I’ve found them to be very well made, quiet and they can move quite a bit of air around. These fans come included with silicone bolts to keep them even quieter and a PCI bracket style fan controller as well.

XPAD SLIM Non-slip Laptop Cooler & Heatshield
Dragonsteel Mods :: Monday, March 30, 2009
Laptops are great products, they allow us to take our computers with us easily to get work done and have fun as well. There’s one problem with most laptops though, they’re really not meant to be on your lap, they all can get fairly hot and being on your lap is the possibly of covering the vents or fans making them even hotter and even more uncomfortable to use. There are many types of laptop coolers and pads out there, but many of them are big and bulky and also many have fans in them requiring power thus draining your battery a bit quicker than normal. Quite a while back I reviewed the Xpad laptop cooler and found it to be a very nice product overall, today I’ve got the latest version, the Xpad Slim. The Xpad Slim is much thinner than it’s predecessor, and lighter, though it is essentially the same look, an X style pattern of raised bumps that lifts your laptop up to allow better airflow under it, while at the same time shielding you legs from the heat. So continue on to learn more…

3-in-1 USB Adapter for HTC Phones
Dragonsteel Mods :: Monday, March 30, 2009
So yesterday we took a look at a USB adapter for HTC cellphones, and it’s a good product but I found it lacking one thing, a standard 3.5MM jack for headphones. USBFever carries many products, and they sent me over another HTC USB adapter, this one is similar to the one I reviewed yesterday, but it includes the 3.5mm audio jack, along with the mini-USB audio jack and the standard sync/charge mini-UBS port. It’s aptly named the 3-in-1 USB Adapter for HTC Phones, so if you’ve got an HTC phone as I do you might be interested in this product, so read one to learn more…

Weekly Giveaway – Vizo Ninja HS Notebook Cooler
Dragonsteel Mods :: Monday, March 30, 2009
Ok, time for the weekly Give Away. This week we’ve got something to keep your laptop cool, it’s the Vizo Ninja HS Notebook Cooler. Read on to learn what you need to do to get it!

Interview with ALexandra Kogan / Enermax
Driver Heaven :: Thursday, March 26, 2009
I recently sat down with Alexandra Kogan, Marketing Coordinator with Enermax. We chatted about their power supplies and direction within the industry.

Amazon Kindle 2 Review 
Digital Trends :: Wednesday, March 25, 2009
“Reading a book online is like cooking a hotdog with your bare hands at a campfire: it doesn’t really work, and the longer you try, the more it hurts. Even if you find a really compelling e-book, current generation LCD screens flicker too much – your brain and your eyes know this, even if you can’t tell – and the resolution is too low. Besides, no one wants to curl up for the night in front of their Dell desktop. Yet, as major newspapers such as the Seattle Post-Intelligencer move to an online-only format, the issue of reading online will only become more important. Amazon recently upgraded its first eBook reader, the Kindle, to make online reading more bearable – without a computer and without the Web. It’s an intelligent device, marred only slightly by a less-than-stylish approach and scant “open e-book” support.”

ECONOMIC RECESSION : Rebirth Of The Smart Computer Consumer
Tweaknews :: Wednesday, March 25, 2009
“Consumers are no longer replacing their computer every 2-3 years seeing the one they bought in 2002 after a format and OS reinstall is still perfectly fast and they are only out the cost of paying a tech to return their computer back to factory fresh.”

VIA ARTiGO A2000 Storage Computer Review
Think Computers :: Saturday, March 21, 2009
“Generally, when I think of a NAS, I think of computer which has been stripped of any input/output devices and is really little more than a hard drive on a motherboard with a network port. I liken it to a motorcycle compared to the car which is a desktop computer: only the necessities of storage, network, and processing power. The VIA ARTiGO storage computer is more the car than the motorcycle, but is aimed at the motorcycle-NAS-market. Powered by a VIA C7 processor on a Nano ITX motherboard, the ARTiGO A2000 desires to fill a need which cannot be met by shrinkwrap, walled garden NAS devices from Synol ogy, QNAP, D-Link, Buffalo, and the like. ThinkComputers checks out the device to see how it fares.”

Interview With James Hildebrandt, CEO of Psyko
Bjorn 3d :: Friday, March 20, 2009
Bjorn3D has an opportunity to do an interview with James Hildebrandt, head of Psyko. Psyko made a huge noise this year at CES with their hardware based 5.1 headset. James is kind enough to give us a bit more information about the headset and his background, his company, and his thought in the 5.1 heatset. We have invited our readers to contribute to the questions which we have compiled along with our own list and submitted to Psyko.

Just to provide our reader with a bit of information. The headset from Psyko is a radical departure from the old 5.1 headset. This headset is a hardware based rather than software based as the headset itself comes with speaker and it does not rely any software emulation to get real-time 3D audio position.

How to Stop Cold Calls and Credit Card Offers
Hardware Secrets :: Friday, March 20, 2009
“O.k. I know that this has absolutely nothing to do with PC hardware, but since I HATE cold calls and junk mail, especially credit card offers, and spent some time researching how to stop them, I thought that it would be worthwhile sharing my knowledge, so other people on the same situation could stop being bothered.”

Touch Screen Desktop PC
Legit Reviews :: Thursday, March 19, 2009
“The ASUS Eee Top was designed with usefulness and convenience in mind. It is an excellent solution for networking, as an educational tool in small meetings or classrooms, leaving memos without the paper waste, or even for using at home for something as simple as looking up recipes online without taking up hardly any counter space!…”

Interview with Sapphire’s Bill Donnelly
Driver Heaven :: Wednesday, March 18, 2009
We recently sat down with Sapphires Global PR Director Bill Donnelly and asked him a few questions.

Medis 24/7 PowerPack Fuel Cell
i4u :: Saturday, March 14, 2009
“Today we are going to look at the Medis fuel cell for recharging all sorts of devices that use USB or other adapters. The fuel cell is a promising bit of technology that can allow users to shed the wires from their mobile devices and charge wherever they day or several days may take them. The promise of fuel cells sound good, but does the fuel cell reality live up to the promise. Read on to find out.”

10 Best Ways to Backup Data 
Digital Trends :: Friday, March 13, 2009
“Most computer users recognize the importance of backing up key files on a regular basis — be it documents, music, irreplaceable photos and camcorder footage — but not everyone is aware of how to go about doing it, and which products are needed to pull it off. Here we look at a handful of top-rated backup solutions to help you make a suitable choice based on your needs and budget.”

What Goes On Within AMD’s Linux Beta Program?
Phoronix :: Friday, March 13, 2009
“This year NVIDIA has been following the “release early, release often” mantra with it seeming like two weeks can’t even go by without seeing a new Linux driver — whether it’s a beta driver, an official driver update, or one of their legacy drivers picking up a few fixes (at times they have even released four drivers at once). On the opposite spectrum, AMD continues with monthly Catalystdriver updates on both Linux and windows. Rather than a continual stream of new public driver releases, AMD maintains a private beta program for their Catalyst Linux driver. This private program is made up of AMD developers, hardware vendors, users of different Linux distributions, other Linux vendors, and end-users. Phoronix has been apart of this program for years, but those testing this driver are under a strict Non-Disclosure Agreement with AMD regarding pre-releases of their Linux software. Today, however, AMD has decided to declassify some information pertaining to its Linux Graphics Driver Beta Program.”

Interview with nVidia’s Chris Daniel
Driver Heaven :: Thursday, March 12, 2009
Today we had a chance to speak to Chris Daniel, Software Product Manager for Nvidia’s GeforceGPUs. Chris speaks about CUDA, PhysX and details Windows 7 driver support and development.

NVIDIA GeForce GTS 250 Technology Report.
Tech ARP :: Wednesday, March 11, 2009
When we were recently invited to one of NVIDIA’s many conference calls, we were quite excited. After the shocking mauling by ATI’s Radeon HD 4870 and its ilk, we expected NVIDIA to strike back with a new GPU or two. Something along the lines of the Empire Strikes Back, perhaps?

However, that hope was quickly dashed. The big announcement (with NDA and all) was nothing more than a rebranding exercise, and it was a weak one at that. If this is the best response NVIDIA can come up with, then 2009 is going to be a really painful year for them.

Don’t believe us? Well, see for yourselves.

CeBIT 2009: Girls
techPowerUp :: Monday, March 09, 2009
In times of economic crisis companies are saving where it hurts most: the amount of booth babes at this year’s CeBIT has been at an all-time low. We looked extra hard to bring you proof that there are still companies out there who can afford to please your eyes.

Frothing at the MacHole, not-so-new GPUs, and a trip down memory lane
Tech Report :: Monday, March 09, 2009
This week on the podcast, our largest panel ever hits all the stops including the war against sucky TV, Macs vs. PCs, Nvidia’s branding controversy, and more.

2 BIOS Features added to the BIOS Optimization Guide
Tech ARP :: Monday, March 09, 2009
“Both the DRAM Termination and the On-Die Termination control the impedance value of the DDR2 / DDR3 on-die termination resistors. DDR2 modules support impedance values of 50 ohms, 75 ohms and 150 ohms…”