Quad-core CPUs: why you don’t need one – yet

It seems to be at the moment that if you’re about to buy a new computer, you’re just not serious unless it has a quad-core CPU under the bonnet.
While this might go down well with the enthusiast market, it certainly doesn’t make sense for the average person to jump on the Intel quad-core bandwagon – even if the chips appear to quite affordable.
The big problem with Intel’s budget quad-core Core 2 Quad 6000-series and 8000/9000-series chips is that… Read more

UserOS Home Server – why it’s different

Microsoft started a few minds ticking when it launched its Windows Home Server operating system in 2007. Unfortunately, it also came with a free bug that in certain circumstances saw data wiped from your system. It got us thinking in PC User Labs as well as a few outside projects.
Ubuntu Home Server was one project started, which unfortunately at the moment hasn’t managed to get to a useable stage and so far, other Home Server attempts we’ve seen have… Read more

Netbook buyers – beware the battery!

The netbook market has grown out of nothing in 2008 and it looks likely to finish the year with all the major brands such as HP, Lenovo, Acer and Dell all offering at least one netbook if not more.
However, while I’ve already blogged about the choice of operating system and storage options, there’s another feature you’ll need to be aware of before you settle on your final choice – and that’s the battery.
To keep netbooks light and slim,… Read more

The one thing stopping Linux from greatness

The booming netbook market is showing the potential Linux has to greatly reduce the cost of buying a new notebook computer. With brand-names such as Dell, Acer and Asus offering Linux-based options, many users are getting an up-close and personal look at the open-source operating system.
However, the release of Dell’s Inspiron Mini 9 netbook shows up a possibly worrying trend for Linux and that’s Microsoft’s ability to drop its license prices to almost ridiculous levels.
It wasn’t that long… Read more

XVCD – DVD video on CD-R media

I was curious to see a post of at MaximumPC talking about the Compact Disc turning 26 and how the “damn thing just won’t die”.
Personally, I can’t see that happening any time soon.
The world may be jumping about the music download bandwagon but if you’re interested in listening to music in the highest quality still possible, CD is still the way to go.
And although CD-Rs may have well and truly been bypassed for storage capacity, they’re a… Read more

Netbooks – SSD or HDD?

Apart from choosing your desired operating system, the other major choice you’ll have to make when choosing a netbook is whether you want a solid-state drive (SSD) or a traditional hard-disk drive (HDD).
SSDs offer a more rugged solution, which means they’ll survive that accidental drop a lot better than a hard drive – and that may be important if you’re about to send this netbook of to school with little Johnny.
However, it’s important to weigh up that ruggedised… Read more