There are several ways to control the volume on your computer. If your a keyboard ninja you may rely on hot keys to control volume. If you have a set of amplified desktop speakers you can use the volume knob. There is also the old fashioned way of clicking on the speaker icon in your system tray and adjusting it there. Volumouse allows us to control the volume and more with the mouse and / or other hotkey combinations.
As a home musician typically you’re going to have programs such as Fruity Loops or other VST (Virtual Studio Technology) instruments within your favorite DAW (Digital Audio Workstation). If you are on a budget these programs are expensive enough, let alone purchasing the hardware. A common device for home musicians is a MIDI keyboard. You can buy a decent one for under $100 or with this tutorial, if you already have a game controller … Free! Because there are so many possible configurations with different audio software this how-to is meant to get you started. Once you have these basics you can play around and find the right combination of settings for you. I am using a USB Logitech controller a couple years ago and Fruity Loops Studio 8.
CD / DVD ROM emulation is a good thing especially if you only have one optical ROM drive. The other benefit of a virtual ROM drive is the ability to run programs on your local hard drive which means less changing in and out discs and the programs actually seem to run faster.
One of my favorite VST commercial plug-ins for recording guitar is the BBE Sonic Maximizer. This plug-in emulates the actual BBE Sonic Maximizer hardware. It adds a lot of meat and more punch to your recorded guitar tone. I will use it a lot if I am quickly recording some ideas for riffs. If my tone is weak during the recording (which it probably is because I just want to get the musical idea down) I will use this plug in to beef it up. You can also use it in real time if you have a properly set up computer with no latency.
After writing yesterday’s article about creating a shortcut to the Safely Remove Hardware dialog, a number of readers mentioned to me that they’d like create a shortcut to immediately eject a specific drive, so we’ll cover that here.
I thought I would take a break from Microsoft and cover the much talked about gOS. This is the Operating System included on Wal-Mart’s $199 PC’s. Although there are a lot of Google applications included, gOS is actually based on Ubuntu Linux and stands for GreenOS. This is a very light weight OS which can run on lower powered systems. To maximize all the features included you will need a High Speed Ethernet connection.
Normally we try and focus on articles about how to customize your computer, but today we’ll take a break from that and do a book review. This is something I’ve not done before, so any suggestions or questions will be welcomed in the comments.
Let’s face it … CRT monitors are still out there in the office environment. Where I work we are slowly phasing them out as our budget allows. The other day I was troubleshooting an issue with an older computer with a CRT monitor and when I looked at it I almost got sick from the flickering screen. Fixing that issue is easy, here is how.
Have you ever noticed that you have to switch to a window before you can use the wheel button to scroll it? This is especially annoying if you are trying to multi-task or follow along with a lengthy tutorial in your browser window.
OpenDNS is an incredible alternative to your ISP DNS server. Simply put DNS (Domain Name System) translates IP address to easy to remember hostname’s. Not only will OpenDNS make your browsing faster, there are a lot of additional features provided by this free service.
If you are looking to upgrade the memory in your computer, you are probably wondering how many open slots you have, what type of memory is already installed, and what you need to buy for an upgrade… without having to open your computer.
Technology in our world is constantly evolving at an incredibly rapid rate. The consensus in the IT industry is to stay ahead of the curve. If you misstep the IT bus leaves you behind with the Pentium II’s. It leaves you stuck, trying to achieve the unachievable… stuck in a horrifying downward spiral… a desolate void… or a classic?
If you are experiencing weird issues after upgrading your hardware, or you’ve just upgraded to the latest hardware device and aren’t seeing the performance you’d like, you might want to remove the old drivers which are still installed for the old hardware, even though you can’t normally see them in device manager.
I don’t know about you but anytime I have to use a CRT monitor anymore I just cringe. Yes there are still high quality CRT monitors out there, but they are such dinosaurs. CRT’s are so huge, clunky, and in the way. I am a huge fan of saving space in my computing work area and flat screens certainly accomplish that. Not to mention the other important benefit of LCD monitors which is power consumption.
With older versions of Windows and still through XP I tend to be a graphical minimalist geek. I would always use the most minimal graphics effects possible. Now that I have finally moved to Vista I have gone to the other extreme. I don’t have the worlds most powerful system but definitely great for running Vista. An AMD Athlon 64 x2 4200+ CPU, 4GB of DDR2 SDRAM, and now the NVIDIA GeFORCE 8600 GTS graphics card. I have the full on Aero features going on and it’s all snappy and extremely crisp! I got the PNY version of this card which only put me out $199. This is the largest and heaviest card I think I have ever used and it is extremely quiet. I would be very interested in hearing what kind of systems you the readers have. What you think is important component in your computing. Are you a graphics freak or a graphical minimalist as I used to be?
Apple has been pushing the use of the Macintosh as the heart of one’s media center for a long time now, but more specifically since the release of the Mac Mini. With its compact size, low price and FrontRow, it’s the perfect computer to plug into your TV and watch some of those “archived” Lost episodes.
A common security concern at organizations is allowing users to plug in a usb flash drive, because they could so easily copy corporate data.
Windows Vista has built-in support for Serial ATA(SATA) hard drives, but it doesn’t automatically enable advanced write caching features. You can speed up your computer by enabling this mode in Device Manager.
Windows Vista includes a new feature called ReadyBoost that lets you plug in a flash memory stick or SD card to store commonly used files for quicker access than off the hard drive.
TrueCrypt is a phenomenal open-source disk encryption software that runs on Windows or Linux. Unfortunately, the installer doesn’t work so well on Ubuntu Edgy, so I’ve created this article to help walk you through the process.