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Archive for the ‘thumbs up’ Category

TechSpot Weekly = Our Staff Blog

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FYI, we have dropped the use of this blog for posting behind the scene updates on site developments and the staff in general, instead you should check out our semi-regular Monday updates called TechSpot Weekly.

Did you know TechSpot even has its own soccer team? Really.

Written by Julio Franco

September 14th, 2010 at 4:22 am

Posted in blog,techspot,thumbs up

Photoshop on steroids, no skills required

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Adobe will be launching Photoshop CS5 next week and with it a new tool in particular that’s simply amazing. Enter content-aware fill:

Written by Julio Franco

April 4th, 2010 at 4:27 am

The Fuhrer reacts to Fermi – w/video

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Not meaning to take sides or anything, but these two videos are simply hilarious. Thanks to Steve for sending the links…

First the newest one: “Hitler reacts to Nvidia Fermi Benchmarks:”

And here’s the same video with an older caption from the days of the Radeon HD 5000 series launch…

Written by Julio Franco

April 1st, 2010 at 7:55 pm

New Super Mario Bros. Wii trailer shows off more gameplay

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I was one of those lured by the Wii’s innovative gameplay proposition when the console was launched. If you recall how that went, demand was incessant and Nintendo was barely able to stock enough units during its first year. In fact, I had to buy my console at a premium from eBay.

Looking back, I can’t believe I went to those extremes for a console that is now basically collecting dust after the Wii Sports novelty wore off and after I got my fair share of Super Mario Bros. and Punch Out nostalgia sessions. Long story short, the Wii is now my wife’s console but this could be getting me back for more…

The trailer above was just released and shows new gameplay elements for the upcoming New Super Mario Bros. Wii slated for release this November.

Written by Julio Franco

August 22nd, 2009 at 4:51 am

An editorial on LCD panel quality and what to look for on your next purchase

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This editorial is an open response to AnandTech’s Desperately Seeking Quality LCDs article published last June 17.

For the last 2+ years there have been two developments in the LCD market that I know I’m not alone in disliking:
(1) Glossy panels, you either love them or hate them – I’m in the latter group.
(2) So-called LCD “post processing”, used on many high-end displays.

Furthermore, the response time race also known as the “ms race” has had a very negative effect on LCD quality. This somewhat relates to the megapixel race seen in point and shoot digital cameras, where marketing went crazy for higher megapixel counts at the cost of reduced performance in low-light conditions.

Dell 2209WA monitor E-IPS panel

It is a commonly known fact that 60hz is what most people will find a LCD pleasing to look at, and this is also close to what our eyes are capable of processing. 60hz is also what 99% of LCDs sold today operate at, with very few exceptions.

One second = 1000ms, thus a refresh rate of 1000ms / 60hz = 16.7ms.

What this means is that at 60hz the screen is redrawn once every 16ms. So why do we see LCD displays continuing to push below 16ms when there is no way for it to render that fast at 60hz? The answer is simple: marketing.
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Written by Per Hansson

July 28th, 2009 at 2:56 am

Access multiple email accounts with Gmail in 3 easy steps

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gmail

It seems as though nearly everyone has at least two email addresses these days, and it’s not uncommon to have upwards of four that are used on a regular basis for separate purposes.

You may or may not have heard of Gmail’s multiple inboxes feature and how useful it is, so if you’d like to take advantage of this awesome way to manage your email, read on.

The multiple inbox feature can be enabled to access third party email accounts (hotmail, your ISP email, etc.) alongside your Gmail account and can even be used to display certain sections or labels within your Gmail account simultaneously, e.g. by creating a search filter for a labeled or starred email.

Though at first glance this may seem daunting, it’s not that bad to configure and will give you the advantage of never ever having to check 2+ separate email accounts again.
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Written by Matthew DeCarlo

March 5th, 2009 at 5:26 am

A Quick & Easy Guide to Bulk File Renaming

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If you’ve ever been in a situation where you had to rename dozens or even hundreds of files, performing each and every file name edit manually, you can certainly understand the need for an utility like the Bulk Rename Utility.

While it might be a bit overwhelming at first sight, the 5-15 minute learning curve is well worth the time and energy you’ll undoubtedly save.

The Bulk Rename Utility allows you to perform a plethora of bulk file name modifications, all of which leave the files’ extension untouched unless you deploy an edit using the “Extension” section. You can easily add, remove and substitute letters, numbers, date and timestamps and it can all be done in more than a single way in some situations, ultimately leaving the process very open to the user.

You are provided with a preview of all potential and pending changes so you can tinker with and tweak your settings accordingly, though if you make an error it’s easily reversible by tapping CTRL+Z.
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Written by Matthew DeCarlo

March 2nd, 2009 at 4:25 am

List of antivirus suites that presently work with Windows 7 Beta

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If you’ve decided to give Windows 7 a whirl and have recently installed the open now closed beta, you’ll have noticed that upon installation you are notified of the fact that you’re lacking proper antivirus software.

This is nothing new and actually has been a “feature” of Windows ever since XP’s SP2 got released and the Security Center came to exist. It’s nothing new either to have a majority of antivirus suites to become incompatible with brand new operating systems – and Windows 7 is no exception, especially more so in its current beta form.

windows-1

Upon a bit of investigation you probably made your way to the Windows 7 security provider page at Microsoft’s site and perhaps were let down by the fact that the three “officially” supported AVs are all paid software or that your preferred suite isn’t listed (AVG is listed but not the free version). So, we’ve decided to install and test a variety of the more popular options out there so you don’t have to.
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Written by Matthew DeCarlo

February 12th, 2009 at 5:05 am

Cool wallpaper from Microsoft’s PDC

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One thing to love about upcoming operating systems and its public beta releases is that eventually feature details and design elements leak and get distributed all over the web. You may remember how there were several prospective default wallpapers for Vista that made it to the web months before the OS release. Something similar has happened with OS X releases which also come with great wallpapers out of the box.

Now Microsoft is expected to unleash the first public preview of Windows 7 at their Professional Developers Conference this week. Some details have leaked already, but nothing to share just yet in terms of UI elements except for this PDC wallpaper that all computers at the conference are using (courtesy of istartedsomething). I have been using it for the past few hours and I had to recommend it. Nice colors, blends well and is a bit flashy (Vista style) without being too distracting.

Written by Julio Franco

October 28th, 2008 at 6:03 am

Use the Windows Embedded Theme on XP and Server 2003 (without patching)

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Windows XP has to be the most tweakable and skinnable piece of software ever created. Of course, how to compete with such a dominant and widely used operating system, but then again it might also be its light blue fisher price-like theme that gets in everybody’s nerves eventually.

For some of us, upgrading to Vista has been somewhat of a relief. The rest of Windows users still using XP have probably either gone back to the silver boxy Windows or relied on official or third party patching for getting the job done. Unfortunately last time I checked (a couple of years ago), even the most elaborate skins for popular applications like WindowBlinds lack the finish and subtlety I require.

But don’t despair. My advice, use some of the Microsoft-made themes that replace the original blue theme and make for a much better impression than the built-in silver or green themes.

Windows Embedded Theme for Windows XP/2003

Previously available themes include:
Royale
Royale Noir (by far my favorite)
Zune theme

Now also available (thanks to Sizzled Core), the Windows Embedded theme that uses a strong blue but still looks quite good IMO.

Notice neither of these require UxTheme.dll patching or other workarounds.

Written by Julio Franco

October 13th, 2008 at 6:40 am