Tag Archives: performance

Top 5 Intel Processors

Geek!This is Aidan Allen’s submission for the HP Magic Giveaway. Feel free to leave comments for this article as you see fit – your feedback is certainly welcomed! If you’d like to submit your own how-to, what-is, or top-five list, you can send it to me. Views and opinions of this writer are not necessarily my own:

  1. Intel Core i7 Extreme – A good choice if you are a hardcore gamer and want the best graphics and performance processor. The clear graphics will leave you wondering which reality is and which is not. This all comes at an incredible speed, of 3.46GHz, for each of the 4 cores, which all comes at £899.99 or $1,495.99.
  2. Intel Core i7 – The next choice down for serious gamers. It provides you with HD Graphics and great responsiveness which is perfect for Gaming, Video editing, and Web browsing – all with the performance you need. All at around 2.93GHz and again the adding feature of 4 cores giving you the edge for all your needs, but it does come at a price of £259.36 or $565.99.
  3. Intel Core 2 Quad – With 4 cores again to offer high end graphics and speeds of up to 2.93GHz, this is perfect for HD encoding photo editing and even HD gaming; it has 50% faster graphics than the old Intel Core 2 Quad HD Processor. All of this adds up to bring you the best overall performance for your PC, all at around £184.00 or $317.50.
  4. Intel Core 2 Duo – This is the processor for an average home computer. This is a good choice if you are not into gaming and just want the basic all around processor. With only 2 cores it is the most energy efficient processor made by Intel. It does support HD video and has some good solid performance. This runs around £159.99 or $210.99, but amazingly for that price you have 2 Cores both running at an incredible 3.16GHz helping you make the most of your PC.
  5. Intel Centrino 2 – This is a notebook processor but you are able to be the most productive you ever be. With integrated wireless technology with a speed of 2.8GHz in both two Core. This processor is designed to have longer battery life when you are away from your power supply. The integrated Wi-Fi manages two times better range and five times more internet performance. This processor can’t just be bought off of the internet – you have to buy a laptop that has the processor included. No fuss and bother in installing it.
  6. That is my top 5 list of the best processors that you can buy. I hope this will help you and kept you up to date with all the processors that have just come out from Intel including the “i7 Extreme” and the “i7” itself, along with the other processors mentioned in this article. I hoped this helps you if you are building a PC, and gives you the advice and choices about processors you may be looking for.

Speed up Mac OS X for Free

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One of the reasons why I fell in love with the PC back in the day, was because I could tweak it. I loved playing with configuration. I love to mess around and discover speed tweaks that are turned off by default. I was talking with Jeff the other day, and he mentioned that he would be using Safari on his Mac, if only he could enable a single window mode (which is NOT a visible configuration option). I am completely with him there. The only reason I don’t use Firefox as my default browser is due to a GUI that just isn’t “there” yet for me, as well as a few speed issues.

So as I’m talking to Jeff, I mentioned Secrets, which is a database of hidden settings for Mac OS X. When installed, it will scan your system and look at everything you use. It will then recommend what you need to enable in order to make your experience a better one. Think of it as a “TweakUI” that continues to grow as more of these tweaks are added to the central database. All these different things are pulled in from across the Internet and added on a regular basis.

That’s the great thing about OS X. You can tweak certain things. All the tweaks that are surfaced inside the Secrets preference pane are usually only able to be toggled on the command line. This application surfaces them all into a GUI. It’s free, and it’s easy. This is definitely one of the best freeware apps for Mac OS X I’ve come across. Here are just a few of the tweaks you can apply:

  • Grab File type for screen captures
  • Every App Scroll bar type
  • Safari Use circular progress indicator
  • Dock Dock Appearance, minimize effect and pinning
  • Xcode Organization name
  • Safari Enable debug menu
  • Dashboardlauncher Drag widgets out of dashboard
  • Finder Show stripes in list views
  • GlobalPreferences Login window desktop picture
  • Finder Show hidden files
  • iTunes Arrows link to library instead of store
  • Terminal Make focus follow mouse
  • Frontrowlauncher Enable high definition movie trailers
  • Safari Show Link URL in Tool Tip

As always, do your homework. Make sure you know what it is you’re toggling, and that you make a good backup prior to making any changes.

What other tweaks and tips do you have? If they’re really good ones, I’ll definitely pass them along to the rest of the world.


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How to Record Live Performances (Concerts, Plays, etc)

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Jon writes: “My friend and I like filming shows at local venues. After a while there are some things you seem to focus on while recording these. Here are my tips for recording live performances, shows and concerts.”

Equipment – Always prepare your equipment before hand. Nothing is worse than showing up on a scene without your necessary things. Here is a list of useful or necessary things you should bring along:

  • Camera(s) Always make sure you have properly packed your camera(s). Nothing is worse than showing up on a scene to find that your camera is damaged or even lost due to improper packing. Multiple cameras and cameramen(or camerawomen) are always recommended for any production, no matter how small. It’s always better to have a second angle to switch to if your shot gets disrupted or even too boring.
  • Batteries and tapes Having extra charged batteries and tapes are a must. Besides the people behind the project, the battery is the part giving any power to your operation. The tapes are your canvas (for now). Without either of these, you can’t record your event, and they are 100% necessary.
  • Tripod or Steadycam Nobody wants to watch a shaky video, even if the talent is amazing. Try a Tripod or Steadycam. Tripods tend to cause for a boring shot, but are more stable. A simple Steadycam, however, can be made easily and cost pennies. A cheap Steadycam like the one I made can serve as a Steadycam, a Bipod, a camera boom, and many more things. A ‘bar’ Steadycam, as I like to call it, is the perfect filming multitasker for the budget filmer, and will come in handy more than one would imagine.
  • Lights Like a shakey video, nobody wants to see a dark, unlit video. Even if you can’t find a professional, yet affordable, portable filming light, you can still bring along a compact halogen or such light. You would be amazed by how big of a difference a single light can make, never mind a second or third. I picked up 2 halogen lights for $10 each at a tool expo that came by town, and it works great, especially for its price and size. Just remember, anywhere there is a performer, there will probably be electricity, and someone more than willing to let you plug in to help film and promote their event.
  • Audio Many cameras have decent onboard mics, but sometimes that just isn’t enough. If you can get your hands on a different audio device, use it. Its always better to have too much instead of too little. A mini disc recorder works well, is compact, and is relevantly easy to transfer to a computer. If you can get a high quality digital recorder, that’s even better. They should have more recording options, allowing you to compensate for recording time, quality, whether or not you need phantom power, and many more. Also think about an audio source. It could be a soundboard from the attraction or venue, or just a quality condenser mic that you bring along. Bring everything into consideration for your audio.
  • Storage/Tote Always bring a proper means of storage for your equipment. Bring what you need, leave the rest in your car. Just because your bag can carry 250 lbs of equipment, doesn’t mean that you can. There is a difference between over packing and over preparing. It is clear which is good, and which is bad. Keeping your eye on your 4 extra tripods are going to be a bigger burden than if you didn’t have any tripod at all.
  • Crew Always pick a good crew that you can trust and know possess the skills you need. A crew doesn’t need to be 25 people, consisting of directors, boom operators, dolly pushers, etc. In most cases, you’re only going to need a director (who will probably work camera or audio as well), first, second, and third cameraman (fourth fifth etc depending on how many shots you have), audio technician, and someone to watch your stuff. A crew of 3 or 4 people is ideal for most low budget productions, and can be easily communicated with and transported. Does your car seat 4 people or more? I thought it might.
  • Extras This includs any useful lenses you have (love my fisheye), cables (a must), pen and paper (these have been handy for centuries), or anything you might need. Always keep these neatly packed and ready in case you might need them.

Once all of these things have been thought of and taken care of, you’re ready (hopefully) to get onto your show. When you’re at this event, there are a few tips I think might help you out:

  • Don’t be shy Talk to the talent, band, or whomever before the show and get their permission. Be sure they don’t mind if you try for a more creative shot in case it might ‘invade their space’.
  • Get creative After all, it is art! Don’t be afraid to ‘exploit’ your equipment for every fun shot you can. I use my Bipod Steadycam to get boom shots above guitarists, and I even tip it upside down and get an upside down shot from someones’ feet. It sounds like a bad idea, but you can always flip the image without losing any quality later, and the shot looks amazing and creative. Always try new things and new angles to film from. If it looks bad, you can always switch to a different camera. But, if it looks good… you will be switching to this shot.
  • Keep Safe No matter where you are, there are risks to you, and your equipment. If you’re filming in a studio, there is always the possibility of tripping on a cable or something falling over. At a rock concert, filming from the crowd means you could get bumped into by somebody, or even somebody coming out of the mosh. Always be aware of your surroundings. The only thing here worth more than your equipment, is you.
  • Setup Get ready as quickly and smoothly as you can. Keep organized… and out of the way. If you’re a nuance to the staff, they’re not going to let you film here. You must be respectful during setup and overall production.
  • Setting When preparing to film something, you must think about the size of the stage, crowd area, or any place you might use for your video, whether its going to be filmed, or going to be filmed from. Always take into consideration the size of the crowd, the size of the talent, and the sound levels as well.


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The Vista Bashing Bandwagon

It’s not often I find myself agreeing with The Inquirer. Microsoft Vista is still a mess:

Vista’s still a mess. It’s meant to be at release candidate stage, yet vendor’s are struggling to provide sufficient driver support, features are still missing or not yet complete, and its performance compared to XP is still poor. Nowadays hardware is cheap, and it would be sufficiently acceptable to upgrade in anticipation of a wonderfully revolutionary OS. Unfortunately Vista provides little to no benefit for end users compared to that of the previous version of Windows, released five years ago in 2001.

Agreed. Agreed. Agreed. I think we’re all hoping for dramatic (and I mean, DRAMATIC) improvements between RC1, RC2, and Gold.