DIY Laptop Stand: Cardboard Style

Posted by: pctutorials  :  Category: Case Mods, How To

Man was I amazed when I saw this: 

 

GreenUpgrader has managed to create an usable and cheap laptop stand. I know it doesn't look a million dollars but hey, it will certainly increase airflow to the Laptop and will provide better screen position. Head over to GreenUpgrader to print out the template yourself and give it go. The how-to article is easy to follow and has plenty of pictures to go with it. My laptop is out for repairs at the moment and does weigh a fair bit. With a few modification, I might just have myself a cheap, effective and usable cardboard laptop stand.  ;) Have fun!

If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!

Rumored Microsoft 3D Wii killer

Posted by: pctutorials  :  Category: Gaming

 Xbox 360 Wii Killer

The rumors, leaked images, and speculation are only going to get worse as we move closer to E3, and now it's Microsoft's turn to bear the scrutiny of the gaming press. A report making the rounds, along with a "leaked" photo from Engadget, seems to show a type of sensor bar that will allow gamers to control their games using only their body. You don't have to hold any hardware, there is interaction with both video and sound, and the system is able to focus on the player and ignore the rest of the movement in the room. How likely is this rumor? Very. In fact, we think we already saw and demoed the technology… last year.

Microsoft is making it clear that the company will have big things in store for E3. “Microsoft is gearing up for a big presence at E3 which will completely transform how people think about home entertainment," Don Mattrick, senior vice president for the Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft, said in a statement at the beginning of the month. European executive David Gosen also hinted that E3 this year would be "gaming changing." It seems that people are comfortable with big promises, on the record.

So what fits the description of the technology according to the leak? At CES last year we met with a company called 3DV that showed off a small Web-camera-like device that was able to detect movement and interaction in 3D space. We even played a boxing game that worked very, very well. Even more impressive was the ability to control media functions with gestures. You could swipe your way through your movies, interact with pictures, change channels, all with a small camera and your arms. Imagine a Microsoft Surface—without the Surface.

In my years of covering games I've sat through literally hundreds of briefings and tech demos at trade shows, and what impressed me about 3DV was how real the technology was. Most companies are all show and no go at trade shows, but 3DV had a camera I could pick up and look at. They had a game I could play, as well as demos of the user interface functions. It was all there, and it was all working. "We're going to be launching comfortably in the sub-$100 area," Tomer Barel, VP of Marketing and Product Management for 3DV, told us.

The 3DV camera does everything the new Microsoft rumor suggests. So is there a connection? Of course there is. In February, Reuters started talking about reports that Microsoft was buying the company, and chief among the uses for the company's ZCam were gaming and teleconferencing applications. Sound familiar?
benbox.jpg

Every feature discussed in the Engadget report—every single one—we saw in action in January 2008, by a company that Microsoft was reported to be in talks to buy, using sub-$100 technology that was mature more than 15 months ago.

If Microsoft is going to be showing its own version of the ZCam hardware, it could be bringing motion control that, in our time spent with it, felt even better than Nintendo's. The difference is that this technology works without having to hold any peripherals, with the power of the 360 bringing high-resolution graphics and surround sound, and at a good price. You could use the hardware to pause your streaming Netflix movies, or browse the music on your 360's hard drive. The features of the ZCam brought to the 360 simply makes sense.

Or the original leak and rumor were just that, and we may be spinning our wheels. After contacting Microsoft we received the expected lack of comment. Still, the possibilities here are more than enough to get excited by.

Source:Arstechnica

As they say: "If you can't beat them, join em." Can't say I wouldn't mind it.

If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!

BluWiki Sues Apple

Posted by: pctutorials  :  Category: Internet

Here’s a high-tech twist on the ‘man bites dog’ story. Having launched many legal actions against Web sites and bloggers in the past in order to protect details on its products, is now being sued by the operator of a Wiki site dedicated to iTunes workarounds.

It started when a group of users of the BluWiki site began swapping notes on how to get their iPods and iPhones working with software other than Apple’s own iTunes, such as the popular WinAmp and open-source Songbird.

Apple’s lawyers contacted OdioWorks, which runs the BluWiki site, with one of their boilerplate take-down letters demanding the content be removed citing alleged breaches of copyright infringement and violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. OdioWorks complied, and then kick-started legal action against Apple to retract its threat and allow the non-commercial wiki site to restore the threads.

“I take the free speech rights of BluWiki users seriously” said Sam Odio, owner of OdioWorks.  “Companies like Apple should not be able to censor online discussions by making baseless legal threats against services like BluWiki that host the discussions.”

The suit has been filed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), with staff attorney Fred von Lohmann claiming that “Apple’s legal threats against BluWiki are about censorship, not about protecting their legitimate copyright interests.”

“Wikis and other community sites are home to many vibrant discussions among hobbyists and tinkerers. It’s legal to engage in reverse engineering in order to create a competing product, it’s legal to talk about reverse engineering, and it’s legal for a public wiki to host those discussions.”

Source: APC MAG

Serves them right. What goes around comes around.

If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!

Guitar Hero World Tour Drums On PC

Posted by: pctutorials  :  Category: How To, YouTube

I mentioned a while ago that I would create a how to video on using your Guitar Hero World Tour Drum kit on your PC. Thanks to Magnus’ PS360MIDI Drummer software, the ability to use the GH:WT drum kit on PC became possible. To think that you could turn a gaming controller into a high quality midi controller is amazing. Something like a Yamaha DTXpress costs $800 AU + .

I realize you can’t compare the GT:WT drum kit to fully decked electronic drum kit, but for less than $150 , the Guitar Hero World Tour Drum Kit does a pretty awesome job. Watch the videos below on how to setup your Guitar Hero World Tour Drum Kit on PC.

What you need:
Guitar Hero: World Tour Drum Kit (Must be either Xbox 360 or PS3 version)
Microsoft Xbox 360 Wireless Receiver For Windows (Xbox 360 version only)
PS360MIDI Drummer
LoopBe1
ASIO4ALL
FL Studio
Addictive Drums

If you have a rock band 2 drum kit and can provide some technical data for Magnus so that he can add rock band 2 support , you can contact Magnus at magnus.ellinge[at]gmail.com

 

If you get a bit more serious into drum playing and/or recording, consider purchasing the full version of Addictive Drums which will give you access to the full, multiple drum kits, which by the way, sound excellent. If you don’t have a digital audio workstation, FL studio is something worth buying; I use it and can not fault it.

Have fun drum playing and if you get any videos up of your drum playing on your GT:WT drum kit, post them in the comment section!

If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!

Add Google and Wikipedia search to your Start Menu in Vista

Posted by: pctutorials  :  Category: Tips, Windows

If you access or search Wikipedia frequently and if you want to add an option to Search Wikipedia to your Windows Vista Start Menu Instant Search Box, here is what you need to do.

First, click on the Start button and type in the search box GPEDIT.MSC and press Enter. This will open the Local Group Policy Editor. Now you need to navigate to the following policy setting:

User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Instant Search > Custom Instant Search Internet Search Provider

Double click on the policy setting in the right side pane and set it to Enabled. Now you need to simple type the settings in the two boxes provided. For “The string or DLL resource from which to load…” option, type in “Search Wikipedia” and for “The URL to use..” type in the following: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%w

So it should look something like this for your group policy setting:

Pretty simple yeah? Now you would just click OK and restart your computer and you should see the option to search Wikipedia in your Instant Search box.

You can also add other search providers to the Instant Search menu, such as Google or Yahoo. For Google, use the following URL:

http://www.google.com/search?q=%w

For Yahoo search, use the following URL instead:

http://search.yahoo.com/search?p=%w

The only issue you might have is if you’re running Windows Vista Home Basic or Home Premium as they do not have the option to edit the group policy settings in Vista. I believe you have to be using Vista Business or higher.

[Via WinVistaClub]

If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!

Photo Synth – Cool Social Imaging Technology

Posted by: pctutorials  :  Category: Web Design, YouTube

After having a browse through Youtube, I came across a really interesting video. Blaise Aguera y Arcas is an architect at Microsoft Live Labs and has co-created a software called Photo Synth. It’s a little bit tricky to explain in text, but it’s a monumental piece of software capable of assembling static photos into a synergy of zoomable, navigatable spaces. What that means is that the software collects photos from all around the world from end-users that share their photos online and create a 3D navigatable area based on the photos provided on your computer.

Still not making sense? Watch the video, it is truly a masterpiece :)

Want to try it out? The software is ready to go at Photosynth.net. The speed at which it renders the pictures is amazing.

If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!

Preview Torrents

Posted by: pctutorials  :  Category: Internet

Unlike normal downloads, torrents use multiple PC’s (peers) to re-create a file. So previewing a torrent is somewhat more difficult. However, thanks to Vertor, it’s possible to preview torrents.Using it’s advanced algorithm, it’s able to pull together enough files to create a short preview, thus making sure you don’t end up with a dud file. It’s defiantly one to bookmark.

If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!

AusLogics Registry Cleaner Free For All

Posted by: pctutorials  :  Category: Freebies, Top Software

auslogics-free-registry-cleaner

Auslogics has released a new edition to their lineup – a registry cleaner. What’s a registry cleaner? Well, something that cleans the windows registry :) .

The Windows Registry is one of the most vital and the most vulnerable to errors part of a computer. Programs access the Registry thousands of times per second and new registry entries are created whenever new software or hardware is installed.

Most programs delete their entries when they are uninstalled, but some applications leave a lot of their registry keys behind. That’s how invalid entries mount up and the Registry becomes cluttered with unused and corrupted keys and references. As a result the system needs more time to access the Registry and find the entries it needs, which causes dramatic computer slow-downs.

Auslogics Registry Cleaner is designed for fast and safe Registry clean-up and optimization. First the program offers to choose categories to scan, then scans for registry errors, and then provides the list of errors to fix. Each problem comes with a detailed description and can be solved with a click of a button.

So if your PC has become sluggish or just needs a clean out, there is no excuse no to do it. Since Auslogics Registry Cleaner is free, you can get started straight away ;)

If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!