If you like to flaunt your home audio system, you're probably not going to buy the Boston SoundWare XS 5.1 speaker system. That's OK; it's not made for you. But lots of people who don't make home theater their hobby still appreciate a true surround-sound experience, and Boston's system delivers that at an incredible size and price. The SoundWare XS 5.1 sounds surprisingly good, and we say surprising because its five satellite speakers feel only a little larger than a baseball in your hand. Combined with its compact 100-watt subwoofer, it's one … Read more
Quadraphonic was the first music surround format, and the first to bite the dust. That was in the 1970s. The SACD and DVD-A formats debuted at the dawn of the century, promising vastly improved sound quality over the CD, and both formats flopped. Their futures looked bright, so why did they fail?
Of course the record labels knew selling a new format on the basis of sound quality was a risky business, so they tacked on 5.1 surround sound. There were millions of households in the early 2000s with multichannel home theaters, so selling new music surround formats looked … Read more
These days, small businesses can use a break wherever they can find one. Free business software that performs as well as pricey packages seems a good place to start looking. We've found one: DRoster Freeware Standard from Kappix. It's a full-featured employee scheduling suite that happens to be free. It's highly flexible and almost completely customizable. It has the ability to create, schedule, and track assignments; create, print, and export reports; plan shifts and schedules; and back up data to an included Firebird database. It sounds like a lot, and it is, but DRoster is far from … Read more
Wikitup is a free desktop reference tool with extensions for Google Chrome and Microsoft Internet Explorer. Wikitup uses open-source data from sites like Wikipedia, Wikitionary, and Wikiquote to deliver search results quickly to your desktop via a system tray icon. It can translate selections in more than 700 languages as well as find photos and videos and present them in a Cooliris 3D Wall display.
To access Wikitup, we clicked the W icon in our Windows notification area, also known as the system tray. We right-clicked the icon and selected Settings, which let us select languages, data sources, hot keys, … Read more
Moving is always a time-consuming, life-upending experience, but it can also be an opportunity to rework, rewire, or completely redesign your multimedia setup. Having just moved 60-odd boxes, plus furniture, from one end of SoHo to the other (well, the movers moved, but I packed), that's the situation I currently find myself in.
As a native Manhattanite, I know going into any new apartment situation requires savvy use of minimal space. And in fact, while my new place is a larger than my old one (with an extra bedroom for the summertime arrival of Ackerman Jr. and a private … Read more
Why did home theater buyers readily accept surround sound, but consistently reject multichannel music formats? From Thomas Edison's very first phonograph in 1877 through the late 1950s, monophonic sound was the only way people heard music at home.
Stereo arrived in the late 1950s on LP and analog reel-to-reel tape, and stereo has remained the most popular music format to this day. Quadraphonic (four-channel surround) debuted in the early 1970s, but didn't survive the end of the decade. People didn't want to plant four speakers in their living rooms, and the Quadraphonic Wars ensured the format's … Read more
Simnet UnInstaller 2010 is a free utility for uninstalling programs from Windows PCs. It's compact and easy to use, and removes programs as completely as the Windows uninstaller. However, it does less than the Windows uninstall tool and similar free uninstallers. It also offers to help you manage your programs, but it only uninstalls them.
Simnet UnInstaller shares a similar interface with the developer's other tools, a compact, colorful dialog with buttons marked About, Status, Programs, Settings, and Help. The Settings are limited to check boxes for automatic updates and creating a System Restore point before uninstalling software. … Read more
Barnes & Noble has begun rolling out an updated version of its Nook firmware to those who own its e-ink e-readers. Considered a major update, the company says that version 1.5 of the firmware "will dramatically increase" the page-turn speeds of the Nook 3G and Nook Wi-Fi and deliver additional feature and performance enhancements.
While the user interface has largely stayed the same, search functionality on the device has improved, password protection has been added, and you can now organize your library into categories or "shelves," as they're called on the Nook. Also, the … Read more
Apple's professional image-editing software, Aperture, has recently been updated to version 3.1 though some users running Mac OS X 10.5.8 may not be able to install the update.
Users may find that using Software Update to install Aperture 3.1 fails to upgrade the software. Similarly, attempting to use the manual update (found on CNET's Downloads site) also fails to install the update.
Should you experience this issue on your Mac, you may need to install the latest ProKit for Leopard update, version 5.1. ProKit addresses various interface and compatibility issues for Apple's … Read more