Monthly Archives: November 2015

Windows 10 Features Gamers Will Love

Are these features you love?

Are these features you love?

What Windows 10 Features Are We Speaking of?

In the past, Microsoft tried to combine gaming with Windows, but never with any luck. Xbox always came out on top, while Games for Windows did not work out. However, with Windows 10 all that has changed, where they are combined in a way for all gamers to enjoy.

Support for Native Controller

One of the greatest gamepads is the Xbox controller, and is natively supported in Windows 10. No need to install new drivers, they are installed already. As of right now, there is only support for controllers that are plugged in, however, wireless adaptors will be available later in the year. Third party controllers are supported as well, such as Mad Catz and Logitech as long as their drivers work.

Xbox App

Users are provided with the connectivity the console offers with the Xbox app, right on their computer. When opening the app for first time, you may need to sign in. This connects you to the same account in which you sign into Windows.

Users can switch between pages from the tabs on the apps left side. There is a page for each game owned or want to own though their store. These pages allow users to view clips, find upcoming updates, look at what friends play, and browse achievements. This is a place where you can also see any screenshots or game clips in which you have captured.

Enjoy Xbox lives social experience from your device. Engaging with friends through chat or directly launching into a game of cross-device multiplayer.

Game Streaming

If Xbox one is connected to a television that is in use by someone, no need to worry. Games from Xbox one are capable of being streamed to a Windows 10 tablet or PC.

Due to the console still being what is technically playing the game, there is no need to have a powerful computer to play use. Windows 10 is basically acting as a second screen, displaying the output of Xbox One.

Record and Screenshot

There is no longer a need to use third-party software for screenshots or recording of games. Windows 10 allows it to be done straight from it. There are ways for settings to be customized, by selecting Game DVR from Settings, which is located on the left side. There are several different options available to explore, making it possible for video and clips to have looks that stand out.

Play & Buy Cross-Platform

Although, play with cross-platform is not technically new, users with controllers defeated ones with mice and keyboards. Now with Windows 10 and Xbox One running off architectures which are similar, developers can more easily create games supported by cross-platform play.

Cross-buy is a concept linked with this. There are some games which have downloadable content and in-game purchases, able to be accessed regardless of playing Xbox One or Windows 10 device, with no need to pay two times.

Features available for gamers are excellent, with more coming in the future. So why not take the leap of faith and make this your new go-to platform for all?

Guide to Buying a USB Flash Drive

twister

Know How to Buy the Right USB Flash Drive

Even though cloud storage is nice, USB flash drive has been around for long time is getting better than ever. It is extremely useful, from installing OS to backing up data. There are a few things you need to know prior to purchasing your next one to make sure you get the most.

2.0 vs 3.0 Speed Difference

There are two speeds that come with flash drives, and when it comes down to business; you might think faster is better. The faster speeds are a bit more expensive, but can be worth it if you are an impatient person when putting items on, or taking them off the drive. Depending on what you’re looking to spend, and how long you feel you can wait; either one is a great option.

Thin and Smaller May Not Be Better

Adjoining USB ports are hard to use, due to the large size of majority of flash drives. Throughout the years they have become smaller. However, with smaller size, you tradeoff some speed. Although flash drives which are smaller are portable and convenient, but when they become too small they are no longer able to handle quality components.

More physical space is a requirement for better components, so when size is cut there is a compromise. We will eventually see USB flash drives that are smaller and thinner, performing as well as high-quality-drives, just not yet.

It is fine to choose a drive that is smaller, if portability and convenience is a need, but if you need a drive that is powerful, you probably want to get a drive that is bigger.

Lifespans Limited are Okay

An average flash drive lasts for 3,000-5,000 write cycles. Seeing an actual number for when you flash drive will stop may make you jumpy, but that is actually a lot. Majority of flash drives do not last for this amount of time, anyway. When comparing, flash drives are good for millions of cycles of reading.

There is more of a chance of losing it, or damage being caused to the connector while inserting or ejecting than running through its lifespan.

When MicroUSB Ports Are Useful

Users of Android are tempted when they see flash drives which have both microUSB and a normal USB port. They believe all their stuff can be transferred easily from their computer to their Android. However, the Android needs to support USB OTG, this is a standard allowing Androids to read flash drives which are external. It is pointless in purchasing a flash drive with microUSB port, unless the device supports it. It is a great way of adding storage to devices that do support it.

Secure and Rugged Flash Drives

Protection is offered to rugged flash drives from physical damage, such as when a person leaves the drive in their pants and throw it in the washer. Protection is offered to secure flash drives from hackers and people wanting to steal data.

If needing a secure USB there are flash drives which offer keypads for password entering. Majority of users will not need this amount of security, and can save money getting a normal flash drive.

Rugged flash drives are not as useful, storage with Cloud is a great way of creating backups just in case of damage.

Pros and Cons to Flash Drives

The main use, and pros of using flash drives is for portability, easy accessibility and security since they can be encrypted to protect private information stored on them. However, there is the fact that they can break or have errors quite easily. This means you should never use them as a primary back up, and only to transport information from one place to another, or as a secondary back up.

USB flash drives are continuously improving. Who knows what the future holds!

Effective Ways to Extend Wireless Networks

Wireless-Networking-Services-for-your-Business

Extend Your Wireless Network with These Effective Ways

If you experience interference issues or have wireless dead spots in your home, extending your Wi-Fi network is a helpful idea. Doing so will ease some interference, and allow you to reach places in your home where you normally could not.

Here are some ways to extend your wireless network:

Wireless Bridge

When one router is communicating to another router wirelessly, this is a wireless bridge. Ethernet cables are what connects individual devices to routers, however, the routers are wirelessly linked. All device which are connected are able to be on the same network, due to both routers being united.

This setup allows for many configurations. Connectivity is a benefit of using a wireless bridge. The connection is more stable, faster, with less interference because the router having devices wired to it. However, there is a downside. There is a vulnerability for Wi-Fi issues with the bridge itself. Bridges which are wired do not experience this issue, but you would have to deal with a wire between the two routers.

Powerline Adaptors

When electrical wires that are in your home are used as Ethernet extensions, it is called powerline networking. Primary responsibility of these wires is to carry electric current, they can be used for repaying internet signals as well.

Two powerline adaptors normally come with a kit. The first power adaptor is plugged in a power outlet, then using an Ethernet cable connect is to the router. Now, the second power adaptor gets plugged in a power adaptor that is in a different room.

A signal is forwarded from the first adaptor to the second, through the walls. Now you are able to use an Ethernet cable to plug devices in the second adaptor, and plugging in another wireless router extends your Wi-Fi access.

Ease of setup is a benefit of using powerline networking. To use these powerline adaptors, only a small amount of networking knowledge is needed. Another benefit is no wires that are visible except Ethernet cable which are plugged in them.

Powerline networking does not have many downsides. However, most noticeable one is that it does not work as good in a home that has electrical wiring which is older. Plugs may be too far apart, or possibly the line has interference on it, are some other downsides. Without having an electrician inspect your wiring, it is not possible to know if powerline adaptors will work well for you or not. With houses that are ideal, it may not be as stable or fast as using an Ethernet cable plugged straight into the network.

Both of these options effectively extend your wireless network, it is up to you which one you use.

Free Tools to Convert Any File Format Online

convertani

Use These Free Tools for Conversions

There is no need to download any software when wanting to convert a PDF into a DOC or a FLAC into an MP3. You only need to go to the computer, open your browser, go to one of these sites mentioned below, and be done in a hurry.

When using apps on the web, you do not need to worry about malware being installed as it does with software. In addition, there is no need to uninstall or clean this stuff out of your computer.

Zamzar: Convert Anything to Anything

Zamzar is one of the most popular and oldest online conversion tools. More than 1200 different format conversions are supported. It is safe to convert video files, audio files, images, documents, and many more. Size needs to be below 100MB.

After a file is added, the extension is analyzed and file formats in which it could be converted to will be shown next.

Interface is easy to use, with an option for a notification to be sent by email, which can be a nice way to send a friend your file link. There is no need to sign up.

Cloud Convert: Convert Cloud Based Files

Zamzar has two limitations making it worth to look at Cloud Convert. You are able to convert up to 1GB of files when you sign up for a free account, and you are able to connect it to cloud storage such as Google Drive. OneDrive, Box and Dropbox to download and upload files automatically from them accounts.

Although Cloud Convert only supports 208 file formats rather than the 1200+ that Zamzar supports, majority of formats you regularly use, including video, audio, image, and office-suite formats. Compared to Zamzar’s interface, it is more appealing and modern.

Small PDF: Convert To and From PDF

In many cases PDF files are not able to be edited, they need to be converted first for program use such as PowerPoint and Word. You cannot easily combine 2 PDF’s into 1, or only take one page out. Special software is usually needed for these actions, however, Small PDF takes care of this need.

It is possible to also convert a PDF file into PDF, so you will be able to compress and reduce the size of the PDF. You are able to split and merge two separate PDF files using Small PDF. The user interface is the most simplest ever.

Google Docs: Convert Images to Text

Google Drive is the best tool to use online for converting images to text. Go to Google Drive, click “Settings” under the cog wheel icon, and check the box “Convert Uploads”. This brings uploads to Google Docs. Upload a PDF or image to Google Drive, right-click, select Open With > Google Docs.

Very simple to convert files without having to download any software.

Make an ISO File into a Bootable USB

WinUSB-Maker-v1.3

Change That ISO File into a USB

Using a USB flash drive to update computers to a new operating system, is now one of the simplest ways of doing it. This way is easily portable, quick, and can return to a device for storage when your install is complete.

Here are some tools that make it possible to make a bootable USB from an ISO file:

Rufus

Features: Bad sector check, file systems, partition schemes, mode of bootable

Rufus is an executable which is very small, not many options to play with, apart from cluster size, partition scheme, type of bootable creating, and file systems. Just need to choose bootable disk type and which ISO image file you want burned, press Start. Burn time quite fast.

RMPrepUSB

Features: file systems and override, Bootloader options, QEMU Emulator, syslinux, grub4dos

Compared to majority of ISO to USB tools, RMPrepUSB has the most features. Apart from the ones already mentioned, it is packed with a horde of other Speed Tests, DiskDoctor, BootLoaders, and separate user configurations for drives that are being constantly prepared. With the amount of customization options, it makes up for the slower speed than other tools of this kind.

WinSetupFromUSB

Features: QEMU Emulator, three tools used for formatting which includes RMPrepUSB, Bootloader options

WinSetupFromUSB is not as feature packed as RMPrepUSB, but compared to many other burners, it offers more, such as the addition of Bootice, RMPrepUSB, and FBinst Tool. These additional tools each come with instructions which popup with details of their use beside WinSetupFromUSB, but can also be used with their normal functions, specifically RMPrepUSB opens in dialogue of its own with a ISO/USB interface that is customizable. Speed on this tool is slower than other tools, mostly due to the amount of customization available for users.

UltralSO

Features: Hide boot partition, write method

You can use the free trial version of UltraISO to create a USB from an ISO. Size of the ISO you can create is limited, however, it does not do this when burning something that has been created elsewhere. Open UltraISO, go to the location of your ISO on the file explorer’s lower half. Once you located it, double click. Now your ISO image should be loaded for burning. Next, go to Bootable > Write Disk Image. To receive best results make sure you are using the USB-HDD+ option, unless you are advised not to do so. Finally, press Write and you are done. Timing for UltraISO is a little slow, but does not come in as the slowest.

These are four of the many tools available to make a bootable USB from an ISO file. Some have more options available than others, but may take more time to burn your image. If you are willing to wait a few more minutes, you will be able to have the customization many people desire.