I was walking through the dorms in 2003 when I saw it: a desk with three computer monitors, all with a Matrix screen saver scrolling green text. It’s laughable in retrospect, but I thought it was just the coolest. Don’t lie, you would have too.
Stardew Valley, the smash hit indie farming simulation role-playing game, is the kind of game players get quite attached to after sinking a lot of time into their farms, their relationships with the characters, and building their skills. Let’s look at how to safely backup your game so your farm is always safe.
Comic books as a medium seem tailor-made for tablets, even if the timeline doesn’t precisely add up. But there are a surprising amount of comic reading applications meant for old-fashioned desktop machines, too. This stuff comes in handy for gadgets that blur the lines, like the Microsoft Surface, or for someone who’s amassed a large collection of DRM-free comic book files.
Building a gaming PC is an expensive proposition, even on the “value” side of things—we’re talking about at lest $500 for a new machine. Penny-pinchers often forego unnecessary extras. And since most CPUs come with a cooler right in the box, why bother with a big bulky aftermarket cooler, especially if you’re not going to overclock anything?
This weekend, while most of the technology and gaming press wasn’t working on anything particularly important, Warner Bros. Interactive tried to slip a small news item past their attention. Middle-Earth: Shadow of War, the highly-anticipated sequel to the Tolkien-themed adventure game Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor, will include microtransactions. This $60 game—up to $100 USD if you spring for the special pre-order versions—will ask players to pay even more in bite-sized chunks to unlock some of its content faster.
Do you ever feel like software is just changing back and forth for no good reason? Windows 8 dropped the Start button, then Windows 8.1 brought it back—both decisions being touted as big improvements. Windows 7 brought Aero transparency before Windows 8 dumped the transparency, and both decisions were proclaimed design improvements at the time. Now, Microsoft is bringing transparency back again with Fluent Design.
Games are expensive. Want to play the latest headline-grabbing entry from EA or Activision? Be prepared to shell out $60…or $100 for the real version with a name like “Ultimate Edition.” Maybe that’s why so many developers are extending their horizons into the free-to-play arena. Here are ten online multiplayer shooters you can play without spending a dime.
Whether you’ve given a computer to your child or just want to keep things clean on your own machine, blocking sites that serve malware, porn, social networking, and gambling en masse is useful. And while there’s lots of third party software out there for the job, the hosts file is a built-in option for every major operating system.
Technology often yields ridiculous conveniences, like being able to turn on your computer from miles away without pushing the power button. Wake-on-LAN has been around for a while, so let’s see how it works and how we can enable it.
Virtual machines are isolated containers, so the guest operating system in the virtual machine doesn’t have access to your computer’s file system. You’ll have to set up shared folders in a program like VirtualBox or VMware to share files.
Want to quickly check the speed of your current Internet connection? With speedtest-cli you can run a test in the command prompt, on any operating system.
Google’s Chromebooks run Chrome OS, a lightweight operating system based on Linux that provides you with a full Chrome browser and a basic desktop environment. Before buying a Chromebook, you may want to play with Chrome OS in a virtual machine in a window on your desktop.
Want to turn any old computer into a Chromebook? Google doesn’t provide official builds of Chrome OS for anything but official Chromebooks, but there are ways you can install the open-source Chromium OS software or a similar operating system.
Virtual machines allow you to run an operating system in an app window on your desktop that behaves like a full, separate computer. You can use them play around with different operating systems, run software your main operating system can’t, and try out apps in a safe, sandboxed environment.
By default, VMware creates “growable” disks that grow larger in size as you add data. Unfortunately, they don’t automatically shrink when you remove data. You’ll need to clean up or compact your disks to actually free up space on your hard drive.
Remote controls are so 1950. If you have a Kodi media center and an Amazon Echo, you can play all your favorite movies and shows with a well-placed voice command…if you’re willing to do a little setup.
If you use multiple Windows machines on your desk, you’re probably tired of swapping between keyboards and mice. There are hardware solutions—KVM switches, which use multiple inputs and outputs to share physical mice and keyboards. Synergy, a program that does the same thing over a network, is a more elegant solution, and it works with Windows, macOS, and Linux.
Python doesn’t come prepackaged with Windows, but that doesn’t mean Windows users won’t find the flexible programming language useful. It’s not quite a simple as installing the newest version however, so let’s make sure you get the right tools for the task at hand.
VMware normally creates “growable” disks, which start small and grow over time as you add data. However, you can also create “preallocated” disks that start at their maximum size. If you want to compact a disk later, you’ll need to convert it from preallocated to growable. Or, you may want to convert a disk from growable to preallocated for maximum performance.
It can be tough transporting your videos and music to every device you use. How do you know your Mac, Xbox, and Windows PC can read your files? Read on to find your perfect USB drive solution.
If you want to try Linux, you’ll need to choose a Linux distribution. There are hundreds of different Linux distributions, but some are better to start with than others.
If you’re itching give Android a try but don’t necessarily want use your whole computer for the task, the best option is to run it in a virtual machine using VirtualBox. It’s actually pretty easy to set up, and will offer you the full Android experience in a matter of a few minutes. Let’s do this thing.
An SSH client allows you to connect to a remote computer running an SSH server. The Secure Shell (SSH) protocol is often used for remote terminal connections, allowing you to access a text-mode terminal on a remote computer as if you were sitting of it. It can also be used for SSH tunneling, SCP file transfers, and other things.
By default, VirtualBox creates dynamic disks that grow over time as you add data. However, if you delete data from the virtual machine later, you’ll notice that the disk doesn’t automatically shrink. But you can manually shrink a dynamic disk using a hidden command.
VirtualBox allows you to choose either a dynamically allocated or fixed size disk when creating a new virtual hard disk file. Dynamically allocated disks are faster to create and can grow to larger sizes. Fixed size disks may be faster to use, but can’t grow any larger once they fill up. You can convert between the two formats and resize disks, if you like.