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The short answer is that Nvidia's drivers don't allow it to. Here's how you do it. Get Organized Before you begin, there are some files and information you'll need to acquire. First, grab a copy of GPU-Z www. It'll let you identify exactly which GPU revision is used and which Device ID is assigned to your par- ticular graphics card.

This information is important to note because it is not only Gbased cards that can be soft-modded in the manner we'll explain later: Many older GeForce cards can be modded into equivalent Quadros, as well. Second, download a copy of RivaTuner www. RivaTuner is the application that actually makes this particular mod possible.

And finally, download the latest drivers avail- able for the Quadro card that's equivalent to your GeForce. With this information in hand, you can find out which, if any, Quadro your card can be soft- modded into. There, you'll see a block of text in a group labeled "Localizable Strings" that lists all of the graphics cards sup- ported by the driver. The actual GeForce-to-Quadro soft mod requires two steps. First, RivaTuner is used to soft-mod the GeForce into a Quadro, and then after a reboot, the nec- essary Quadro drivers need to be installed.

To begin, install RivaTuner. Once the nv. RivaTuner typically backs up important parts of the Windows Registry that the program can modify when it is initially launched. This process can take up to a couple minutes. In the Target Adapter section at the top, click the arrow-shaped icon next to the Customize label, which is just below the graphics card listing. A small menu with a few icons will pop out. On the Customize menu, click the first button, which has a pic- ture of a graphics card on it.

If you hover your mouse cur- sor over the button, it will be labeled "Low-Level Sys- tem Settings. Once you've selected Custom, you'll be able to scroll through a list of options in the field below. Click through the list and select the appropriate Quadro option for your GeForce; in our case it was a Quadro FX Click Yes and let the system restart. When the system restarts, the New Hardware Detected Wizard will launch. Cancel the wizard and install the Nvidia Quadro drive package you downloaded earlier.

Once the drivers are installed, you'll have to reboot one more time. If all goes to plan, Windows will detect your card as a fully functional Quadro. Did It Take? To see if the GeForce-to-Quadro soft mod worked, simply go to Device Man- ager and check the installed display adapter.

If your card is detected as a Quadro, as well, run a few OpenGL workstation benchmarks or work in your favorite 3D modeling application to see if you can perceive any performance gains. With soft mods of this type, however, there's no guarantee that every single application certified to work properly with the actual workstation-class hard- ware will operate normally on a modded component.

The worst-case scenario is that the application doesn't benefit at all. But in the best-case scenario, the application will see a significant perfor- mance increase. Simply trying to install GeForce drivers won't work, because the operating system will still be detecting the card as a Quadro.

You'll essentially have to perform the mod in reverse order. Once the drivers are removed, restart the system. Cancel the wizard and run RivaTuner. Then in the Target Adapter section, click the arrow-shaped icon next to Customize. Once you've selected this option, click Apply and then click OK, and RivaTuner will prompt you to restart the system. Click Yes, let the system restart, and when Windows re- boots, install the drivers necessary for your GeForce, and your system should be back to its original state.

We conducted our tests on a 3. We used Nvidia's GeForce vl The results from the SPECviewperf benchmark were interesting to say the least. The rest of the results were within a couple of percentage points. SPECviewperf V9. To take advantage of its power, you need memory that is tuned to provide peak performance.

Whether you are building the ultimate in overclocked enthusiast systems, or ultra-stable workstations for demanding applications. Get the most from your system. Corsair recommends 6GB to reach maximum performance and overclocking potential. Learn more at www. So, what was modder David Mendicino o do when he decided to incorporate not one, but two hefty radiators into his design? Build a new case, of course.

Thus the MendoPlexl3 was born, and at 13 inches wide, David had no problems fitting in all the hardware he wanted to keep his system cool. David has been a modder for several years. Like most modders, he started out with sir pie cutting mods and painted cases. He became interested in more complex mods nfiv. His first big mod was the loPlex see the February issue of CPU , which was an entirely om-built case inspired by the completely clear PC cases that first start- ed appearing several years ago.

The MendoPlexl3 also has its roots in the clear case design and is made mostly from Plexiglas, but as you can see, David added some metal framing as well as a whole lot of fans and other Hardware to give the case a bit of a different look. It took David about a month and a half to create the MendoPlexl3, working in his office in his pare time, and using nothing more than a drill, rotary tool, and handsaws. David settled on the size of the MendoPlexl3 by calculating how much room he'd need to squeeze in a pair of Swiftech MCR radiators side-by-side, and he fig- ured 13 inches would be about right.

David also wanted to include several other fea- tures in the case that added to its functionality. For example, the side panels are hingec so he can easily access the PC's components, and the motherboard tray is removable. I also custom built two hard drive cages to house his collection of seven hard drives. He mounted the radiators with foam lining and Velcro so they could be removed without sle for maintenance and cleaning.

Each radiator supports three mm fans, and I built a fan controller to control them. Of courses, a clear case like this is begging for gc lighting, so David modified several LED fans. The light in the fans won't dim if th are turned down. And, as you can see, Dave also added cold cathode lighting, and cables in the PC are sleeved. About the only parts in this case that David didn't ere himself are the motherboard tray and the optical drive cage.

There's a whole lot of hardware in this PC. When your custom-made case includes as many fans as the MendoPlex13 does, you need a few switches and a fan controller to manage them. All the cables are sleeved, and all the wires sport blue connectors. David made almost everything in the case by hand, including the hard drive cages. A clear case such astheMondoPlex13 is begging to be lit up.

Have a computer mod that will bring tears to our eyes? Email photos and a description to madreadermod cpumag. We're looking for rigs that are recognizable as PCs; your Wookiee mod won't find a home here.

Please include all pertinent system information, u You would think the design and build process could have been optimized enough at this point that this sort of technology could become reality. Want some advice on your next purchase or upgrade? Have a ghost in your machine? Are BSODs making your life miserable?

Paul F. Bear with me for a minute while I explain the sit- uation. I'm not terribly tech-sawy, but I managed to set up a wireless and wired network in my home that my wife, kids, and I all use. Later I added a Western Digital network-attached drive so that we could all share files more easily.

For the most part everything works, but whenever I have to reset my router which I unfortunately have to do often because my DSL connection is horri- ble , the Western Digital drive gets a different IP address, and I have to completely resetup the logear box. Is there something I could do to make sure the Western Digital drive always has the same IP address on my network? Minutes Revoke Reserve dec0 DHCP virtually eliminates the need for manual config- uration, but if certain parameters aren't set, you can run in to a situation like yours where network attached devices end up with different IP addresses when the DHCP server which in this case is your router is reset.

To resolve your problem, you can do one of two things. The first and more difficult option is to set all of your IP addresses manually and configure your router for operation with static IPs. That's a pain, though, and it makes it more difficult for friends to get on your network if they bring a notebook or other PC over for whatever reason. A better solution, in our opinion, is to reserve an IP address for the Western Digital drive so that it's assigned the same IP address whenever the DHCP server is reset, assuming your router has the ability.

If you have a decent, fairly new router from a respected brand such as Linksys Cisco , Netgear, Belkin, or D-Link, it will likely have the option built-in to create a DHCP reserva- tion list. If it doesn't, make sure you're using the latest firm- ware, as the option may have been added after the router's original release. Log in to your router by opening up a browser window and entering its IP address usually If you never changed your router's login information and don't know the name and password, refer to your users manual for the default credentials.

Once logged in, navigate to the setup menu and then the advanced network setup — it may be called something else, depending on the brand of your router. On that menu you should see the option for DHCP reservations, along with a list of the devices con- nected to your network. Select your Western Digital drive, add it to the reservation list, pick the IP address you want, and you should be all set. Chad W. What always leaves me baffled is why they can't put one together that at least has some level of gaming capability.

Now, I wouldn't expect these little machines to fire up and play Crysis at 1, x 1, resolu- tion, especially since they only have tiny inch or smaller screens. However, at a native resolution of 1, x or so, you would think they could at least build one with some sort of 3D graphics capability. Granted battery life could be a bit hampered, but with all the power savings and deep sleep modes of current GPUs and CPUs, the system could easily be ramped down when not being stressed under a gaming condition.

I, for one, would be willing to pay a little bit more for a small netbook that I can take anywhere that would be able to do some light gaming. I'd also have no problem with needing to plug it into a wall socket for a gaming session, just so I don't run the battery down too quickly. When will we see these types of machines, with just a little more capability, hit the market?

Or is there just not enough market potential for them? It would seem to me that small doesn't have to equate with completely emaciated processing power. Al We feel your pain, Chad, as we've oftentimes wished that some of the major OEMs or even a boutique manufacturer could break out with something innovative like what you described.

You would think the design and build process could have been optimized enough at this point that this sort of technology could become reality. Unfortunately, the laws of physics simply get in the way. Thermal management becomes a huge challenge when dealing with bleeding-edge designs like this, with powerful processors under the tight mechanical constraints of a inch or even inch netbook form factor.

However, very recently one manufacturer has actually broken the mold, so to speak. Asus has released a inch netbook called the NIOJc and, as the company claims, this is what it's calling its first "corporate" netbook. Frankly, we're a little lost on that branding as we think it would be more aptly named the first "performance net- book. Fortunately, the graphics subsystem is also switchable. As a result, when you don't need the pixel shading power of the GPU, you can switch it off and rely on the inte- grated graphics core of its Intel chipset.

When you engage the system's discrete graphics engine, you can get by pretty decently at the NIO's native 1, x screen resolution in a few of the lighter-duty game engines. Stacy V. As far as I know, L3 is a slower, higher-latency cache, so this chip is hampered right out of the gate with that, right? Also, clock speeds are starting out at 3. So where's all the new-found performance that Intel is claiming going to come from?

How can this thing be faster with a higher-latency cache and the same clock speed? Were there at least some additional power-savings features designed in? I've seen some of the benchmarks out there and the numbers look promising but I wonder if they equate to the real-world performance, when you consider on paper how almost run-of-the-mill this new Intel processor seems to be. What gives? In fact there are more ground-breaking innovations on this new Intel desktop CPU at least for Intel than have been introduced in the last several new Intel process- or architectures introductions.

The most significant architectural update would be Intel's new QPI Quick Path Interconnect interface that now replaces the Core 2's aging shared frontside bus architecture. This 40 lane bi-directional serial interface provides more than 25GBps of available bandwidth, several times more than Intel's old bus architecture.

In addition, the Core i7 now incorporates a DDR3 memory controller on-chip, where his- torically it resided in the chipset of the motherboard. This new level of integration of the memory controller allows for a sig- nificant reduction in latency. Also, it's a triple-channel archi- tecture that offers over three times the memory bandwidth vs. Intel's previous generation double channel discrete memory controller design.

So, in short, there's a lot of new technology under the hood of Intel's new chip that goes far beyond just cache and clock speeds. Charles T. I checked my hard drive and graphics card, and they seem to be fine, so I assume it's my power supply that's having a problem. I say assume because I don't know of a way to specifically test it outside of my system, but the noise seems to be coming directly from the PSU if I put my ear up to it, so I'm pretty sure it's going bad. Do you think I should replace the whole thing, or could it just be the cooling fan going bad?

If it is just the fan, is that something that can be replaced easily? I was told I should never open up a power supply because they hold a charge and could kill me. Is that true? Al Actually, yes, it is true that the capacitors in a power supply can hold enough of a charge to kill someone, which is why some people say they shouldn't be opened up and worked on.

But if you take some precautions and be careful, you shouldn't have to worry. If not, it's probably just the cooling fan that needs replac- ing. If you do smell something funky though, replace the whole PSU. Should it turn out that you simply need to replace the fan, unplug your PSU and let it sit disconnected from everything for as long as possible to give the capacitors some time to dis- charge — a full day would be best, but even then the caps can still be holding a charge, so you'll have to be careful.

When you open up the PSU, be extremely careful not to touch any of the solder connections on its internal PCB so you won't get shocked; we'd also recommend wearing some rubber gloves if you want to be extra cautious. With the power supply opened up, it should just be a matter of unscrewing the PSU fan and replacing it with one of a simi- lar size. The worst-case scenario is you'll have to cut the fan's leads because they're soldered to the power supply's PCB and connect the new fan's leads directly to the old one, but that's fairly painless.

Full Photo Frame Functionality Plays photo slideshows from the built in 51 2MB memory, a camera memory card or from your Flickr account. It also plays stored music and videos. Void where prohibited by law. Sweepstakes is open to legal residents of the United States who are at least 18 years of age. Entries must be received from September 16, to March 15, One entry per person.

For a complete set of rules, visit www. C0m Buy. China's Loongson microprocessor brand name, however? Definitely not as well- known, especially in the United States. But, at least in its home country, Loongson might be on its way to becom- ing more famous than the others. As part of a project sponsored by the Chinese government over the past decade, Chinese researchers announced plans to release a quad-core Loongson micro- processor this year.

The Chinese Academy of Sciences' ICT Institute of Computing Technology has a few hundred researchers, engineers, and designers working on the project, which is creating chips brand-named Loongson "dragon chip". The Loongson project has a goal of achieving "CPU independence" for China, meaning creating inexpensive, usable CPUs in enough quantities to allow most middle-class Chinese citizens to afford personal computers by , with- out having to rely on imported chips.

The chips will appear in workstations and com- puters aimed at school children, too. Some Loongson chips alreadv are in servers and PCs in use in China. It makes sense for them. The four-core Godson-3 projected for a release this year will make use of nanometer manufacturing.

Eventually, Godson-3 should feature an eight-core version. CPU, but it will feature four cores with four L2 cache blocks. An eight-by-eight crossbar switch handles traffic between the cores and the cache blocks. With the first quad-core design, Godson-3 will make use of general-purpose cores called GS In the future, with the eight-core design, ICT expects to introduce multipur- pose cores called GStera. Loongson runs Chinese versions of Linux and other open-source software.

Engineers included an additional plus lines of code with Godson-3, allowing it to simulate the Intel x86 architecture. With the x86 simulation, Godson-3 will be able to run some Windows software. As with other chips that simulate x86 compatibility, the Godson-3 will run the x86 software more slowly than native x86 chips.

However, because the simulation is built into the chip's coding, Godson-3 should run the x86 software much more quickly than other simulation options, such as x86 emulation software, for exam- ple. They're not stealing the design work; they're making it compatible. MIPS chips typi- cally use less power than x86 chips, mak- ing them work well in embedded devices. Low power consumption is a benefit of Loongson chips, too. For example, ICT has announced that it expects Godson-3's four-core design to use 1 watts of power and the eight-core design to use 20 watts, both of which are less than the power requirements of four- and eight-core Intel or AMD chips.

ICT is saying, 'Here's what we did. It's real. With its MIPScompatible architecture and its 65 nm manufacturing process, Godson-3 is well behind the technological advances of CPUs from Intel and AMD, and it likely won't offer transistor counts or overall power anywhere close to what Intel and AMD are offering with their current families of chips.

It's not going to com- pete performance-wise with an Intel or AMD processor. They're trying to make cheap PCs for home, for schools, etc. They're trying to make them affordable. They're charged by their government to make inexnen- sive processors. Several compa- nies recently announced new sensors and digital cameras that surpass 50 megapixels in resolution. The bad news? Obviously, with that price tag, manu- facturers have aimed the new generation of digital cameras with 50MP and higher resolutions at professional photographers who need to create huge prints with near- perfect detail.

Kodak says its 50MP sensor could provide enough detail in an aerial photo covering 1. For the rest of us, we'll have to be con- tent with consumer-level and digital SLR D-SLR models with maybe around one- fifth as much resolution — and a much lower price tag — and wait for the trickle- down effect found in almost all types of technologies.

Not a bad tradeoff. Medium-Format Cameras Achieving 50MP and higher resolution numbers requires a type of camera called a medium-format camera. Before digital photography, the term medium-format cameras referred to cameras that used film wider than 35 mm film. When using a medium-format camera for digital photography, you typically have a couple of options. Digital camera back. You sometimes can adapt a medium-format film camera by adding a digital camera back, which contains the sensors and electronics required for digital photography.

The dig- ital camera back often replaces the film holder on the camera. Obviously, having the ability to switch back and forth between film and digital photography with one camera body is an advantage to the professional photographer. Integrated system. You also can pur- chase a new medium-format digital cam- era that's integrated in a complete system, containing the sensor and electronics required as part of the camera body.

With an integrated solution, a professional pho- tographer can have a camera designed to work as one system, theoretically improv- ing speed and functionality. However, the 6. In the illustration at left, you can see a top view of a 6. Each pixel contains two sections, an IT0 gate electrode and a polysilicon Poly gate electrode. Either gate can collect light, although the IT0 gate is more sensitive to shorter light wavelengths. B1, B2, and B3 represent barrier regions around the buried channel Bch.

The buried channel confines the signal in the electrodes during exposure and readout. The channel stop Chst area isolates the pixel horizontally, and the lateral overflow drain L0D carries any excessive signal away from the electrodes. With smaller pixels, as used in the 39MP and 50MP sensors, the L0D is im- portant for allowing larger charge capacities 6. Blooming control refers to the pixel's ability to record a bright light source that saturates the pixel without bleeding electrons to nearby pixels that would negatively affect image quality.

The illustration at left shows a 3D representation of the pixel in terms of voltage potential. V1 marks the polysili- con gate electrode, and V2 marks the ITO gate electrode. As compared to the 6. The CCD sensors in medium-format digital cameras and in digital camera backs appear in different sizes and with different numbers of pixels, achieving dif- ferent resolutions.

For example, the Kodak 50MP sensor measures around Some professionals use large-format cameras, which have film sizes or digital sensors measuring 4 by 5 inches or larger and offering up to several hundred megapixels of resolution.

The New Standards At the time of Kodak's announcement of its 50MP sensor in July , the new sensor replaced the medium-format cam- era industry's previous highest resolution sensor, a 39MP unit, also from Kodak. A couple of weeks later, Phase One sur- passed Kodak with a The flurry of high-resolution sensors and related cameras equaling and surpass- ing the 50MP barrier thrust medium-for- mat digital cameras into the spotlight. So, having the pixels and the performance you need is critical to capturing exactly the shot you want.

So, now, 50 is the new Kodak's sensor offers an 8, x 6, pixel array. The KAF features pix- els measuring 6x6 microns, smaller than the 6. At September 's Photokina trade show in Germany, Hasselblad announced plans to release an H3DII medium- format digital camera that will offer 60MP of resolution sometime this year. During the initial announcement, details concerning the 60MP sensor, including the manufacturer, were not available.

Phase One's With Truesense 6. Because the 6. Consequently, Kodak had to reduce the noise to retain the desired dynamic range. The 39MP sensor used a two-channel readout, while the 50MP sensor uses a four-channel readout. The four-channel setup gives Kodak more bandwidth with which to move data, allowing the sensor's amplifiers to run at a slower pace 18MHzwith the 50MP sensor, vs.

In the four- channel read- out, two rows can reach the output register at one time, with half of the data going right and half going left. In the two-channel readout, only one row can reach the output register at one time. The 50MP and 39MP sensors are essentially the same physi- cal size, I believe we are able to achieve this and more.

The Leica S2 contains a 45 x 30mm sensor from Kodak. Leaf AFi-II With its wider sensor, the AFi-II 10 offers a wider image capture than most medi- um-format cameras can achieve. We don't want to get embroiled in a megapixel war. What really sets us apart are the features and what we do with that resolution. Sony announced recently the largest resolution for a D- SLR camera at Leaf's Greenberg says he was impressed with the detail shown in the various prints dis- played at the Photokina trade show from the Leaf medium-format cameras.

You can't achieve it with the mega-D-SLRs. Because the technology didn't yet exist to move such large amounts of data efficiently, the early digital camera backs often used an external cable to connect to a computer for data down- load. Early models only shot in black and white, too, re- quiring the use of color fil- ters and a trio of images to create color prints. Digital camera back tech- nology has advanced signifi- cantly in the past several years, especially in terms of resolution. As you can see from this example, the digital camera back the area containing the display screen fits onto the back of this medium-format camera.

Some of the milestones in development of digital camera backs include those listed here. First digital camera back, produced by Leaf, offers 4MP of resolution. MegaVision introduces the T2 digital camera back, which offers 4MP of resolution. Phase One is founded, and the compa- ny begins selling digital camera backs within a few years.

Leaf offers the 6MP Volare model. Leaf quickly followed with the22MPValeo. Mamiya begins offering the Mamiya ZD, which is an all-digital medi- um-format camera that doesn't require a digital camera back. Kodak purchases Leaf, making Leaf a subsidiary of the larger company. A few different manufacturers announce plans to offer 50MP or more of resolution in digital camera backs and in medi- um-format digital camera systems. In fact, Kodak's Antonio Ciccarelli, the company's worldwide marketing manager for Image Sensor Solutions, says the prima- ry technology, the sensor, probably will not trickle down to consumer-level cameras anytime soon because medium-format digi- tal cameras are using CCD technology, and consumer-level and D-SLR cameras are transitioning to CMOS technology in the sensors.

CMOS might eventually replace CCD in many types of cameras, but not for medium-for- mat cameras, at least in the near future. Both types of image sensors con- sist of pixelated metal oxide semicon- ductors.

Each pixel orange squares in these illustrations accumulates charge proportional to the intensity of the light that strikes the sensor. Bell Labs developed CCDs charge-coupled devices in the late s. CCDs received a new assign- ment, proving to be a good choice for recording digital images.

CCDs initially appeared in scanners and TV cameras in the mids. Digital cameras featuring CCD sensors first appeared in the late s. Although CCDs yield tremen- dous image quality, they can be more expensive to create than CMOS sensors because they use a different manufacturing process than other computer chips. CCD sensors also require more chips and electronics than CMOS sensors, causing them to use more power, to require more space, and to cost more in man- ufacturing.

Despite some drawbacks, CCD image quality is outstanding, and CCD sensors appear as though they'll remain the only tech- nology used with medium-format digital cameras. For profession- al photographers creating extremely high resolution prints, image quality is far more important than speed or sensor cost. The charge packet from each pixel shifts from square to square before reaching the output register bottom row of orange squares. The output register passes the data to the circuit board.

Other functions then take place on the circuit board to finalize the image data. CMOS complementary metal oxide semiconductor is the technology behind the manufac- turing process used to make the sensors. Because of advances in manufacturing technologies in recent years, it has become easier to make CMOS sensors in volume.

Rather than requiring extra chips and electronics to perform various functions, manufacturers can incorporate those items directly into CMOS sensors. Because they cost less, provide good speed, and generate decent image quality, CMOS sensors are appearing with more frequency in all consumer-level digital cameras, especially high-end digital SLR D-SLR cameras. In the illustration here, each pixel in a CMOS sensor performs the full photon-to-electron-to-voltage conversion itself. The ana- log-to-digital conversion takes place on the CMOS sensor as well.

Sony announced its development of a Sony has aimed its sensor at digital SLR models. Forget idealistic notions about freeing your- self from the clutches of Microsoft's propri- etary code and living a new life, reborn in a brave GNU world. You don't have to be a staunch supporter of Ubuntu or a tireless defender of Fedora to have an appreciation for open-source software.

In a sense, open-source software is a natural choice for you modding types. Sure, there are countless system tweak- ers, optimizers, and other utilities that help you get the most out of your soft- ware. And although we'd consider that modding, nothing says "ultimate soft- ware mod" quite like being able to tweak the operating system itself. If you have the programming chops, open- source software is both infinitely and personally customizable.

Open source has also made tremen- dous strides from the days of the com- mand line. Linux distributions that used to require an almost otherworldly knowl- edge of the command line now sport functional, accessible GUIs that make them almost indistinguishable from their Microsoft and Apple counterparts. Perhaps it's going a little far to say that Linux is now an OS for the masses, but consider the inroads it has made.

For a few modern examples of open- source software's emergence as a factor in our everyday computing lives, turn to the mobile world. Asus sparked a revolution in laptops, effectively creating a new class of laptop — the netbook — when it debuted the Eee PC. The tiny wonder, which full disclosure! The XO-1, designed with the intent of equipping children in developing nations with PCs, used its very own customized infinite customization at work, see? Sugar OS. These two pint-sized powerhouses proved that open-source software is more than just viable: In some cases it's advanta- geous or even desirable.

Open-source software's success, at least in the mobile space, must be infectious, because the Google-led Android charge is taking the battle to one of the industry's juggernauts: Apple. When it comes to portable electronics, it's tough to beat the two-headed monster of the iPod and iPhone, but Android, as seen in T- Mobile's Gl mobile phone, is certainly poised to give Steve Jobs a run for his money.

The Gl was released less than two months before we went to press, so it's too early to tell whether Android and the Gl will make a dent in Apple's momentum. But the mere fact that so many people are onboard with Android yes, having Google at the helm helps immeasurably is promising. And while we're on the subject of Google, the Web search leader recently brewed up its own open-source Web browser.

Maybe you've heard of it? Well, for all you cave and under-rock dwellers, Chrome is here, and it's definitely made its mark. Looking for open-source PVR soft- ware? You got it. How about a financial app, now that tax season is upon us? It's out there.

Why, there are even plenty of open-source video games, provided you're willing to be generously forgiving about the graphics. Put simply, open- source software covers every area of the computing world. It's just too ubiqui- tous to ignore. This month, we have a brace of articles covering open-source operating systems and software. And don't worry if you're still a little wary OK, really wary to become a born-again Linux convert: We have plenty of open-source software that runs on Windows and Mac OS; a lot of it rivals or even beats closed-source pro- grams of the same kind.

We finish with a one-page rundown of the essential apps any self-respecting open-source user can't live without. Welcome to Penguin Country. You're thinking about trying it out. But you keep hearing about how one distribution is better, faster, or more sta- ble than another — maybe a combination of all three. As a result, you're not quite sure about the differences among Linux distributions. Or maybe you're an old hand at Linux and have been interested in other Linux flavors.

If you fall into either category, then this article is for you. Ubuntu The first Linux release that we'll cover is the very popular Ubuntu distribution www. According to some sources, it's the most downloaded Linux of the past four years. Ubuntu is what we consider to be the most "Mac-like" of all the Linux releases. That is, before the Mac came out, everything about comput- ers was a text interface, and you had to be taught how to use it.

But when the Mac came out, its GUI made it easy enough for the casual user to learn. Ubuntu is much the same way. It eliminates lots of things that can confuse people and, as a result, is very easy to use. Installation is quick and easy, requiring little knowledge of computer terminology.

There are a lot of other distributions that, during the course of an install, due to his- torical reasons, ask a semi-techie question. Most people simply take it on faith that the default answer is the right one, but they don't know why. Installing Ubuntu involves none of that. You can breeze through the installation and have a good feel for what you're doing. Added to its easy install is its modest footprint, requiring only 4GB of disk space for a typical install.

In terms of being easy to use, Ubuntu comes with a lot of drivers turned on by default; as a side effect, it boots slower than other Linux distribu- tions. The default install of Ubuntu comes with Firefox for the Web and Evolution for email. For instant messaging needs, there's Pidgin, and for all your office-related stuff, there's the OpenOffice. Q Gemote Desktop i 6 : ftirnnv. The user- friendly Linux distribution has a relatively simple installation process and an attractive Ul.

And if you want to spend some time relaxing, there are also a few games. If you get stuck or have questions you can tap into the Ubuntu community for free help www. This comes in the form of online forums, IRC chat chan- nels, and mailing lists, all from links avail- able from Ubuntu's home page. The Ubuntu home page can help you locate Local Ubuntu Teams, which are basically regional user groups that can provide some free help.

All of the community support options are available by going to Ubuntu's home page. If you want commercial support, Canonical, which develops Ubuntu, offers paid support, but this option is primarily aimed at business and enterprise users. These costs include phone and email sup- port along with upgrades during the year.

You can get Ubuntu as a download- able CD image that you can burn to a blank disc. If you don't have broad- band or just want physical media, you can also have a free CD of Ubuntu shipped to you. Even if you've never heard of Fedora, you might be famil- iar with its commercial counterpart: Red Hat Linux. Red Hat is also the name of the company that produces these distribu- tions. Red Hat was one of the first compa- nies trying to make money off of Linux shortly after the free OS hit the computing scene.

Initially, people wondered if Red Hat's business model of only selling services was viable, but as Linux took hold other vendors took the same approach. Installing Fedora isn't particularly diffi- cult; the defaults are fine for most people. But there are a few things that can trip up people who aren't familiar with Linux in general. In particular, the package selection phase of the install should be avoided by anybody not comfortable with Linux. It lets you choose from the literally hundreds of packages that can be installed.

This is both good and bad, because the true power user can take con- trol of what packages Fedora loads during installation. Newbies, on the other hand, face information overload. Once installed, Fedora comes with pretty much the same set of apps that Ubuntu does, although you'll notice dif- ferent versions. One notable shortcoming is that Fedora only includes the Totem media player. Linux media players are notorious for having hit-and-miss format support, so there may be some media you can't play correctly.

Fedora only requires about 3GB of disk space, but it has slight- ly fewer end-user apps. It does, however, boot up a tiny bit faster than Ubuntu, but it's nothing significant. As with other Linux distributions, Fedora offers free community support, which basically amounts to end users helping each other. Like Ubuntu, you can subscribe to mailing lists, join IRC chan- nels, participate in online forums, and read the online documentation from Fedora's home page.

Although you can file bug reports for the developers who occasionally lurk in mailing lists, support for Fedora is largely up to the users. There, you'll find four Desktop and three Server versions, respectively. All of the versions have the same base release, but they offer different add-on features. In our tests, Mandriva booted faster than Ubuntu and Fedora. This gives you free software updates for one year with Web- based support and two-business-day response. Mandriva We'll forgive you if you've never heard of Mandriva www.

It isn't that Mandriva is new to the Linux world — quite the oppo- site: it's been around for more than 10 years. Prior to Mandriva was known as Mandrake Linux, but due to a lawsuit over the name "Mandrake," the develop- er now Mandriva SA had to rename the distribution. Installing Mandriva is quite different from installing most other Linux distribu- tions. When you boot into the CDs of other distributions, you can either run the image on the CD or install that distribu- tion.

Mandriva lets you do both. When you boot into the Mandriva CD, you're asked a few trivial questions and then you're running the CD image. You can keep running off of that image and, when- ever you feel like it, click the Live Install button on the Desktop to install Mandriva. Installing Mandriva is so easy you almost don't realize you're doing it.

You're asked a series of straightforward, though slightly techie, questions, and then it gets installed on your system. The most intimidating question asked during the install is how you want the disk parti- tioned. The typical Mandriva install will use about 2. Despite its small footprint, Mandriva comes with the typical set of open-source apps you'd expect. It comes with Firefox and Totem media player, as well as OpenOffice. Support for Mandriva comes in the form of the typical online community support.

Discussion forums, mailing lists, IRC chat channels, and an online, constantly updated wiki are all available for free from Mandriva's home page. For commercial support purposes, Mandriva offers a per-incident support policy either by phone or over the Web. Prices are in Euros, so the price can change slightly because of current exchange rates. Support incident prices range from 30 Euros for a single incident logged over the Web up to Euros for 10 incidents made over the phone.

Pricing for Man- driva Corporate Server is a bit more com- plicated. On the low end, for Euros, you can download the server version and all updates for it for one year, but you can't log any support requests. For Euros, you can down- load the server software, get three years of updates, one year of unlimited Web-based support incidents, and one month of unlimited phone-based support incidents.

It's probably best-known for Novell NetWare, a cross-platform net- working environment. However, as the PC market grew and Microsoft moved into the server and networking fields, Novell found itself losing market share. It also includes the complete suite of Evolution apps. Installing openSUSE is mostly harmless in that all of the defaults are quite safe. The only real problem with its installation is the last screen before it actually installs stuff.

When you set out to install open- SUSE, you're asked a series of questions, which is to be expected. But when you get to the last screen, you're shown all your options plus some you were never asked. Dwelling too much on the last page or poking around some default selections can be intimidating.

But if you just trust the options you selected, you'll be fine. Despite using up this much space, openSUSE boots faster than most distrib- utions. It also includes some software that isn't part of most other distributions, such as RealPlayer. The biggest and most impressive set of programs that comes with openSUSE is the full Evolution suite.

Other distributions will only give you the Evolution mail client, but openSUSE gives you all of Evolution's other tools. This is significant because the Evolution suite of applications will work with Microsoft Exchange Server. If you need help with other parts of openSUSE, you can go through online community forums or join mailing lists; many are offered in a variety of languages.

But if you want someone to call for support beyond just installation, then you'll have to look at Novell's SUSE Linux Enterprise family of products. This is a complete suite of Linux distrib- utions tailored to suit any corporate need. Pricing for this stuff is complicat- ed because Novell sells maintenance and ongoing releases of the software sepa- rately from support, which you can call for help.

It's based on an earlier version of Ubuntu, and so you're no doubt won- dering why you should even mess with a derivative of a better-known release. The reason is because Freespire is probably the least open-source of the Linux distribu- tions. It's one of the few Linux releases that includes proprietary closed-source code. This means that Freespire will be able to do more with some multimedia files and hardware than other Linux distributions.

Although most users will find this perfectly acceptable, much of the open-source crowd has a big problem with it. But if you don't have a problem with this mixing of open- and closed-source software in one package, Freespire is worth a look. The installation program of Freespire takes its task literally, as all it focuses on is getting the distribution on your system. If you want to be able to choose specific software packages or a special partitioning scheme, look elsewhere. You're simply asked for basic networking information and the destination disk for the instal- lation.

And Freespire boots up a tad bit faster than Ubuntu, even though it came from the same base. Free support is available through the online discussion forums and searching Linspire's knowledgebase. The support is provided through Freespire's Web site, with no phone sup- port option available.

Not surprisingly, Freespire has a com- mercial version, known as Linspire www. Linspire was originally known as Lindows until Microsoft sued Linspire for trademark infringement. Microsoft lost the suit but appealed the case, but during the appeal the two sides struck an agreement. Lindows would be renamed to Linspire, and Microsoft would buy the Lindows name. Linspire is most often found pre- loaded in store-branded budget comput- ers, usually as a cheap alternative to the Windows systems.

Along with selling you the com- mercial CD and possibly support inci- dents, Linspire has other ways of upselling products and services to you. Freespire and Linspire both come with a client for CNR www. CNR is a site where you can download and install third-party products. Some products are merely links to free Web pages, such as YouTube, while others are full-fledged commercial products.

Gentoo Linux Gentoo Linux www. The goal of this community-based distribu- tion is, you guessed it, speed. And does Gentoo ever deliver on speed. It's the fastest-booting Linux of all the distribu- tions in this article. It's essentially a mod- ern Linux distribution stripped of most of its user-friendly bells and whistles and optimized to your system.

And when we mean it's optimized for your system, we mean that literally. Gentoo software pack- ages are made for your specific machine. Where other distributions will give you all sorts of open-source apps that work for most people, Gentoo only really gives you a Web browser. The Gentoo community didn't want to guess what mail client you might want to use, so you can decide that for yourself. Similarly, you don't have to override someone else's decision on your office suite: Install the suite you like best.

It's a very minimalist approach, and you're going to have to poke around to find what you want. Gentoo is available via free download of any number of CD images for various processors. Installing Gentoo is done by booting from the free LiveCD image and then clicking the installer icon on the Desktop. The actual installation starts by asking you to partition the disk before it starts its initial file copy. Other Linux distribution installers will ask you a series of questions and then copy all the relevant files.

Gentoo's installer will ask you a few questions, copy files relevant to those questions, and then ask you some more questions. At first, it asks for the basic disk layout and copies the basic sys- tem files. After you've been asked about the networking configuration, it copies the networking-related files over, and so on. Unless you're familiar with Linux, you should just accept the defaults. One thing to note is that when it asks about optional software packages, just install everything.

This makes the installation use 2. The questions can be somewhat technical, and the installer has no problems not copying files you may need because you didn't know to have it load them. Another bit of advice is that once Gentoo is installed on your system, use the XFCE Session when you log in, because chances are that's the only graph- ical environment you'll have available. The biggest difference that Gentoo has over every other Linux distribution is how you install additional software on the sys- tem.

With other distributions, you can download packages of precompiled soft- ware and install them on your box. Gentoo uses Portage as its package manag- er, but it doesn't download precompiled software. Portage downloads the Gentoo- friendly source code for a package and then builds the package on your system. Gentoo takes a minimalist approach to Linux. Everything about its installation is completely customizable. Didn't we tell you it was optimized for your system? However, for very large packages, such as the OpenOffice.

Because Gentoo is a community-based distribution, it relies on its own community for support. There are mailing lists, discus- sion forums, and IRC chat channels you can use to get help using Gentoo, all from Gentoo's Web site.

But if you're looking for a number to call or a Web site to log a support ticket, you won't find it here. However, Gentoo claims its developers fre- quent community channels to participate in discussions and answer questions. Gentoo isn't like the previously men- tioned Linux distributions that have com- mercial entities behind them. It does have corporate sponsors that provide some hardware and services, but its developers contribute their free time.

If you like their work, you can always make a donation. They do have an online store where you can buy clothes, mugs, and other swag with the Gentoo logo. Slackware Linux Some people criticize open-source soft- ware as being dependent on the will of a few die-hard people for support. If those people suddenly stop doing work on a particular product, that product dies. Slackware Linux www.

Slackware Linux isn't just the oldest Linux distribution still maintained, devel- oped, and in use. Have you ever been to a strip club? Watch as a group of nerds throw money at strippers for the first time. Euro Truck Simulator 2 - Ep. In this episode we arrive in Berlin, and wow ProMods really has done a number here.

I also activate Grime's Late Autumn Mod and the effect is just perfect to simulate that late autumn feel in Berlin. You can check everytimezone. Hope to see you there! Come join me as I go for some chill trucking in Europe. Lastly, don't forget to like the video if you enjoyed and subscribe to the channel for more updates! With dozens of cities to explore from the UK, Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, and many more, your endurance, skill and speed will all be pushed to their limits.

Spanish fans gather at Fanzone for WC final 11 Jul 1. Wide pan of pizza delivery boys driving past on motorcycles with Spanish flags 2. Various of preparations at Cibeles square Fan Zone 3. Spain flags hanging from masts 4. Spain football fans sitting on grass in Fan Zone 5.

Wide of fans singing and jumping 9. They are going to make us suffer but we are going to win Telepizza delivery riders tooted their horns and punched the air as they drove through central Madrid on scooters decked out with a national flag. Madrid's central Cibeles fountain, often a scene of celebration after Real Madrid wins, was also draped in a flag. A giant TV screen was being set up next to Cibeles, facing northwards up the Paseo de la Castellana boulevard where up to thousand fans were expected to watch the match live.

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