Monthly Archives: May 2009

Vista SP2 and Cheap Broadband

windows-vista

We have two things to discuss today; Vista Service Pack 2 and cheap broadband.

Starting off with Vista; those of you with this Operating System would be advised to download the Service Pack from www.microsoft.com or via Windows Update as along with fixing hundreds of little bugs and glitches it also adds a number of new features.Most notable changes include support for Via Technologies new Nano 64-Bit CPU, support for Bluetooth 2.1, BluRay writing directly from the Operating System and improved performance for WiFi connections.

This update is 348mb in size meaning that you would really need to be on a broadband connection to consider the download; this leads me neatly on to my next point.

I was contacted this week by a reader who was still using a dial up connection.I had assumed that this hardcore group of users had disbanded and joined the 21st century but it Read the rest

BluRay, AACS and HDCP

bluray

Being a self confessed geek, not to mention the author of a weekly technology column, it might surprise you to learn that until this week I was still watching my movies in standard DVD format rather than in high definition [collective gasp].This was all set to change this week, however, as realising that I needed a new laptop I plumped for a shiny Sony Vaio with an inbuilt BluRay writer.

I swiped a HDMI lead from work, rented a BluRay film from Blockbuster, connected the laptop to my TV and at around 9pm the missus and I sat down ready to be left in awe at the improvement in picture quality.All was going well until after approximately 15 seconds of footage we were greeted with a message telling us that the ‘display configuration that we were using was not supported by this film’.

Somewhat bemused I started trawling Google and Read the rest

Steam

Steam

It was pointed out to me today that this article covers a woefully small amount in the way of gaming. I attribute this to the fact that I wouldn’t really consider myself a gamer and as such don’t really feel qualified to cover the majority of games out there. One of the guys that I work with is a big fan of the digital distribution network Steam so in order to plug the absence of gaming related material in this article, I decided to download it and give it a spin myself.

Steam is a multiplayer, games distribution and communications platform developed by Valve Corporation (famous for games such as Half Life and Day of Defeat) which has been designed to distribute a wide range of games and related media entirely over the Internet. At present there are 667 games available … Read the rest

EASUS Partition Master – Home Edition 3.5

easeus-partition-master

Modern day hard drives are continuing to leap forwards in terms of their storage capacity and, as a result, the prospect of dividing a large drive in to several partitions becomes increasingly tempting.

Partitioning a drive up in to several smaller segments allows you to easily create completely separate drive letters that can be used for specific purposes.For example, rather than just having your ‘C:’ drive which is used to hold your Windows installation and program files you could also create alterative drive letters such as a ‘D:’ drive to store all your documents and an ‘E:’ drive that is used solely for media such as pictures, music and video files.

In particular, one thing that frustrates me is that whenever you purchase a new computer, the system manufacturers often decide that you should use sizable chunk of the drive to hold your Windows backup files in case you need Read the rest

YouTube and the PRS

youtube_logo

YouTube has always been one of my favourite sites on the Internet and so I’m extremely disappointed that a row between the site owners, Google, and the Performing Rights Society has culminated in them prohibiting UK users access to thousands of music videos.Apparently the two groups were unable to find “mutually acceptable terms for a new licence” as PRS had proposed new payment terms resulting in YouTube paying a greater figure to show the video than it makes from the advertising displayed on the same page.The sad fact is that until terms are settled, UK viewers will simply reach a message saying ‘the video you have chosen isn’t available in your country’ whenever they try to play a music video.

The PRS, along with TV licensing, is one of those groups that I’m surprised are allowed to exist in their current guise within the modern day world.If we can focus Read the rest

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