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Archive for Antony Leather

A Week With Windows 8

Posted on 28th Apr 2013 at 16:26 by Antony Leather with 91 comments

Antony Leather
Windows 7 was largely well received from the moment it was released. It looked and felt a lot like XP and Vista, but with some noticeable and useful tweaks including everything from Snap (aligning two windows side by side in a matter of seconds) to Snipping tool and decent SSD support. It’s little wonder, then, that Windows 7 sold very well indeed.

With Windows 8, however, Microsoft has made the most significant visible changes to the OS that we’ve seen in over a decade, and most reviews have been far less glowing. So when ordering my new laptop the plan was to install Windows 7 on it as soon as it arrived. But, not one to blindly take other people's word for it, when the laptop did arrive I thought I’d relent on my original plan and actually give Windows 8 a go for a week. Here’s how I got on.

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Intel NUC - a mini-PC revolution?

Posted on 25th Feb 2013 at 10:00 by Antony Leather with 22 comments

Antony Leather
It’s an immensely exciting time for anyone interested in small form factor hardware. Whether you’re gaming and performance focused or interested in gear perfect for an HTPC, there’s plenty of new stuff arriving on shelves at the moment.

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It's time to bin your optical drive

Posted on 8th Feb 2013 at 09:37 by Antony Leather with 132 comments

Antony Leather
I absolutely loathe the optical drive. The only times I've felt remotely attached to this historically flaky device is the first time I used one 20 years ago, when I got my first CD burner, and maybe when they finally started using SATA cables and not mile-wide IDE monstrosities.

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Just Cloud is a terrible backup service

Posted on 23rd Jan 2013 at 13:33 by Antony Leather with 50 comments

Antony Leather
So, I’ve been duped. The story began in my quest for a hefty online backup service. I was after something in excess of 100GB to backup my important photos and other paraphernalia – stuff I’d probably shed a few tears over if the house was burgled or burned down.

Needless to say, anything like that isn’t totally safe in your home, even if it's backed up. And not one to go through the palava of dumping stuff onto an external backup drive and leaving at my parent's house, I was also happy to ditch the idea of buying a 2TB drive and shoving it in the shed and investigate online backups instead.

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Can it play Crysis 3?

Posted on 5th Jan 2013 at 09:31 by Antony Leather with 72 comments

Antony Leather
Turn back the clocks to 2007. It was the beginning of the GeForce 8800 GTX's phenomenally long reign as the best graphics card around, but also a period that saw more and more PC gaming titles relinquished to mere console ports. They barely touched the surface of Nvidia's graphics cards' pixel pushing - one of the main reasons it had such a long life.

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Games I'd like to unplay

Posted on 13th Dec 2012 at 09:06 by Antony Leather with 65 comments

Antony Leather
I had an interesting if slightly odd thought the other day. I like pondering about ‘what ifs’ and considering things like ‘what if this piece of hardware had been around 10 years ago?’ What difference would it have made? I realised that games are actually even more diverse than hardware when it comes to working and being good value for money or even enjoyable.

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Intel should simplify its CPU naming policy

Posted on 29th Nov 2012 at 07:51 by Antony Leather with 55 comments

Antony Leather
Something happened the other day that made me realise just how complicated Intel’s naming regime is. It’s been a bone of contention for years now, and we regularly pass jokes in the office about whether the average consumer really knows the difference between Core i3, i5 and i7 and where Pentiums and Celerons fit in to all this as well.

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Thoughts on AMD's new APUs

Posted on 24th Oct 2012 at 07:10 by Antony Leather with 12 comments

Antony Leather
I've been a big fan of AMD's recent desktop APUs. While its embedded offerings aren't much to shout about, Socket FM1 was a small triumph for AMD in an otherwise poor showing on the desktop CPU/APU front. I'm not going to mention the 'B' word here, as it's not really relevant but needless to say, it was nice to see an AMD desktop chip actually scoring highly for a change.

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16:10 vs 16:9 - the monitor aspect ratio conundrum

Posted on 22nd Oct 2012 at 09:05 by Antony Leather with 100 comments

Antony Leather
I've been lucky enough in the last couple of months to have three of the latest IPS monitors sitting on my desk for weeks at a time. They range from several 23in 1,920 x 1,080 models to a 27in screen of the same resolution - all 16:9 aspect ratios of course. However, key to the point of this article is the middle man - a 24in monitor with a resolution of 1,920 x 1,200 - an aspect ratio of 16:10.

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What to do when hardware goes wrong

Posted on 20th Sep 2012 at 08:01 by Antony Leather with 34 comments

Antony Leather
Anyone who's built a PC themselves or owned one for long enough has undoubtedly had moments that made them question their hobby. Random crashes, complete failure, even smoke and flames are usually part of the course as far as being a PC enthusiast goes (thankfully random crashes are rare these days, complete failure even more so and it's been years since we've smelt the sickly-sweet smell of burned silicon.)

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CM Storm NovaTouch TKL Review

CM Storm NovaTouch TKL Review

If you're not keen on membrane or mechanical keyboards, the NovaTouch TKL...
Mod of the Month September 2014 in association with Corsair

Mod of the Month September 2014 in association with Corsair

Take a look at six of the best up and coming projects from our modding...

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