You can use this simple tool for free to look up information using several search engines, but its approach only saves you a few steps. We would have preferred that MultiSeach integrated with our browser.
MultiSearch is easily installed, but it adds a desktop shortcut without asking. The colorful interface has easily recognizable command buttons at the top, a list of search engines on the left-hand sidebar, and a viewing pane. A single field is labeled simply Search, so it's pretty clear what you need to do first. We made a few missteps after that, trying to hit Enter … Read more
In January of 2009, Apple announced the 17-inch model would be getting the same "unibody" aluminum chassis, buttonless (or more accurately, all-button) trackpad, and edge-to-edge glass on the LED backlit display. It's actually taken until late February for the systems to start shipping, but finally big-screen fans can get all the latest and greatest Apple improvements in a desktop replacement design, starting at $2,799.
The MacBook Pro, … Read more
Most new AV receivers come with an "auto setup" or "automatic calibration" feature, but despite the word automatic, these features can stump AV novices. If you're setting up an AV receiver for the first time, this guide will put you on the right track.
First, let's describe what auto setup systems do.
They send test tones to all the speakers and subwoofer, and use a microphone to pick up the sound of the speakers in your room. Auto setup systems determine speaker sizes and volume levels, set the subwoofer-to-satellite crossover frequency, measure distances from each of the speakers to the listener, and confirm that all of the speaker cables are correctly hooked up. Some receivers also use equalization to balance the frequency response of all the speakers.
Auto setup systems go by different names, but they all do approximately the same thing. Denon and Onkyo feature Audyssey; Sony has Digital Cinema Auto Calibration, Pioneer Multi Channel Acoustic Calibration, and Yamaha uses a Parametric Room Acoustic Optimizer.
The exact positioning of the auto calibration microphone is crucial for achieving accurate results. Some auto setup systems work from just one mic position, which would be the primary spot where you sit when watching movies by yourself. Ideally the mic should be placed at the same height as your ears when you're sitting watching a movie.
If you have a camera tripod, use it to place the mic at ear height; perfectionists should move the couch entirely out of the way. Lacking a tripod place the mic on the back of the couch, atop the highest pillow.… Read more
If you're planning to display a large image across several monitors--you know, maybe you're into world domination--then a wide bezel is a problem. With a wide bezel, there can be as much as several inches between sections of the image.
This week, NEC announced the 46-inch MultiSync X461UN "ultra-narrow" professional display, the intended use of that is in video wall solutions. The kicker here--and the reason for my setup paragraph (see previous paragraph)--is that when two of these behemoths are placed next to each other, there is only a 7.3 millimeters distance between the … Read more
Intel is back, pitching its processors for gaming graphics.
The chipmaker will attempt to promote its silicon for sophisticated game effects at the upcoming Game Developers Conference in March, as it strives to make a case for quad-core processors in lieu of graphics chips from Nvidia and Advanced Micro Devices.
The pitch goes like this: "Learn how to easily add real-time 3D smoke, fog and other fluid simulations to your game without using up the GPU." That's according to an Intel Web page entitled Intel at Game Developers Conference. (The CPU is the central processing unit, or … Read more
Multitouch gestures on the iPhone are simple and really easy to use. Mobile touch-screen devices that don't have it, however, can make Web browsing a harrowing experience. Enter Linja Zax, a new project that's trying to give users an easy way to zoom in and out of Web pages (and potentially other UI elements) with one finger only.
Similar to the "wax on, wax off" mantra of Mr. Miyagi from The Karate Kid, this simply involves moving your finger in a circular motion. Going clockwise zooms in, while counterclockwise zooms you back out. In the demo, … Read more
The US Patent Office has, as of January 20, 2009 awarded Apple, Inc. patent number 7,479,949, which is titled "Touch screen device, method, and graphical user interface for determining commands by applying heuristics". The patent covers the multi-touch and all its gestures (swipe, pinch, rotation, etc.) that are used on the Apple iPhone and was originally filed in September 2007.
A portion of the patent reads:
"A computer-implemented method for use in conjunction with a computing device with a touch screen display comprises: detecting one or more finger contacts with the touch screen display, applying … Read more
It's easy to understand how to use this system optimizer and maintenance tool, but it's not so clear how it goes about getting the job done.
WinMultiFix launches a tabbed interface that isn't particularly well designed, but its plain appearance mirrors its all-business functionality. Despite its no-frills look, the program could use a decent Help file to inform users about its processes and how it works.
For instance, one tab offers a Temp File Cleaner. Operation is simple--enter the drive to clean and press a button. A progress bar provided the only clue that the application was … Read more