MacFixIt Answers is a feature from MacFixIt in which we answer questions e-mailed to us by our readers. We have been getting regular contacts and questions from our readers, and we hope to share our correspondence so everyone may benefit from and contribute to them. This week we have questions about MobileMe synchronization errors, video resolution problems at boot-up, finding RSS URLs in Mail, booting to Safe Mode in Boot Camp, and missing items on the Desktop.… Read more
I read Geoffrey Morrison's review of the Olive 4HD music server on the Home Entertainment Web site with great interest, because I recently heard the 4HD at a friend's house. The review provides a lot of information that I'm not covering here.
It's a cool-looking device, and I really like that it can be used without being hooked up to a computer. It's more like a CD player with a built-in 2TB hard drive.
There's a Gigabit Ethernet port and a Wi-Fi module if you're into the home network thing, and a free … Read more
LAS VEGAS--Last year we reviewed a few new portable DTV units from no-name manufacturers that did OK in our tests, but fell short in terms of battery life and resolution. That's why we're intrigued with Philips' upcoming PET749, which combines a portable DVD player and DTV in a $179.99 (list) unit with a higher resolution 800x480 display.
While that's not HDTV resolution, it is a notch up from the 480x234-pixel resolution you see on many of the generic portable DTVs cropping up on Amazon and other sites (we reviewed the Envizen Digital Duo Box Pro ED8850A). … Read more
Some of us here at the lab think there needs to be a "Netologism," a new Internet word, for registry cleaners, something that encapsulates their controversial, let-the-user-beware nature. You may know the species: They generally offer a free download and/or system scan, which identifies "problems" in the Windows Registry that they will fix, if you buy the full version, which is usually around $30. If you pay up and just let it do its thing on your registry, there's a darn good chance you'll boot back up to a sick machine, or your … Read more
It's more than a little ironic; Linn Products, based in Glasgow, Scotland, burst onto the audiophile scene in the early 1970s with its LP-12 turntable. The LP-12 has never gone out of production and earlier this year it received a bunch of performance-enhancing upgrades.
When the CD was introduced in the early 1980s, Linn was a massive digital basher. The company spearheaded an anti-CD movement in the audiophile community. It wasn't just Linn; a sizable percentage of audiophiles worldwide didn't buy CD players through most of the 1980s.
Linn introduced CD players at the close of that … Read more
IdPhotos 2008 bills itself as an easy way for users to create photos appropriate for a variety of identification types. Although the program has potential, it wasn't as easy to use as we had hoped it would be.
The program's interface is sleek, and at first glance it seemed like it would be fairly intuitive. Users first select the type of document for which they need a photo; specifications for documents from 31 countries are listed, including those for passports, visas, and other types of ID. Each document type notes, for example, what color the background should be, … Read more
We've often complained about the video-like look of dejudder processing circuits like Samsung's Auto Motion Plus (AMP), Sony's MotionFlow, and LG's TruMotion found on those and other companies' 120Hz and 240Hz equipped LCDs. Using a process called Motion Estimation/Motion Compensation (ME/MC), they remove some or all of the judder from 24-frame, film-based sources, producing a look some viewers prefer. For the record, we strongly prefer to leave these modes turned off.
But in addition to that videolike smoothing effect, the processing also causes further image degradation. We've documented numerous such instances, which often appear as halos, trails and other unnatural effects clearly visible in program material, especially during medium to fast movement, such as an actor turning his head quickly during a closeup.
Now a post at HDguru.com by reviewer and industry observer Gary Merson exposes additional artifacts caused by the processing. The artifacts are visible in a video of five LCD TV makers' dejudder-equipped LCD TVs (a sixth plasma TV's wedge lacks the flashing and much of the moire). They appear as unnatural flashes and tears in addition to extensive moire that looks like confused, curving lines. The test pattern in the video originated from a Blu-ray test disc by Spears and Munsil, a copy of which is included with the Oppo BD-P83.
Using a few of the 120Hz and 240Hz HDTVs I have in my lab at the moment, namely the the Samsung UN46B7000 and LN52B750, the Sony KDL-46VE5 and KDL-52XBR9, and LG 47LH50 and 47LH90, I was able to confirm the Guru's results using the Spears and Munsil disc played via a PS3 at 1080p/24. The flashing artifacts were indeed visible with the dejudder circuits turned on, and disappeared when they were turned off (the flashes and extra moire can appear subtle in the video, but in person the difference is much more obvious).… Read more
Minesweeper is one of life's simple pleasures. It's such a basic, unflashy game, easily mastered by kids, yet addictive as ever for adults. Ivanche Minesweeper is very similar to the Windows version of the game that we all know and love, but with a few enhancements that make it even more enjoyable.
The interface is almost identical to that of the Windows version. The squares don't have quite the same 3D effect in this version, but the time, number of mines left, and smiley face are all where you would expect them to be. Gameplay is exactly … Read more
OS X has a variety of features that help people navigate, view windows and other items, as well as aid people with visual and hearing disabilities. Some of these features are relatively obscure, and need to be researched to enable, but others are more easily enabled. One of these, which has puzzled new OS X users is when the desktop seems to be larger than the extents of the screen, regardless of the resolution being used. This results in the screen moving around with the movement of the mouse.… Read more
Right now, many of you are reading this on a 22-inch monitor at a 1,680x1,050-pixel native resolution and you're probably thinking, "Man, this is it. I mean sure, it's not as big as some of my friend's monitors, but hey, 1,680x1,050 on a 22-inch screen ain't bad. Right?"
Wrong! I've already spoken about the 16:9 revolution that's sweeping this nation faster than Swine Flu hysteria and this is where it has its biggest impact, in the 21.5-inch to 22-inch category.
With a 16:9, 21.5-inch … Read more