Stories by Tom Mainelli

Visualize your data in whole new ways

I spend an inordinate amount of time working in huge Excel spreadsheets that represent data about the worldwide PC monitor market. Excel's pivot tables and charts are useful, but sometimes I still struggle to find the trends buried in all those numbe...

FreeNAS

Based on the FreeBSD operating system (a Unix derivative), FreeNAS is a server operating system that offers lots of features, a very small footprint, and a can't-beat-it price (it's free).

Better music, from your PC, for free

High-quality PC audio is important to me, as I spend a lot of time listening to music on my desktop. In previous articles I've discussed the aural advantages of lossless audio codecs (like FLAC), discrete sound cards, and specialty music player softw...

Audioengine A2

If you're serious about music but you currently listen to tunes through a pair of tinny, cheapo PC speakers, check out Audioengine's A2 speakers

Virtualize this: The pleasures of a virtual PC

I like trying out lots of new software. But when I uninstall a stinker, I know it is probably leaving behind chunks of code that will bog down my system over time. So lately I've been trying out new programs on a virtual machine.

Rock the iPod with open-source upgrade

Life is too short to listen to crappy digital music. So I recently decided to begin ripping all of my newly purchased CDs into FLAC, the Free Lossless Audio Codec. Music files in FLAC format sound better than those using lossy compression formats suc...

XFX GeForce 7800 GT

When nVidia launched the GeForce 7800 GTX, several months ago, its stellar performance blew us away--but so did its scary price. The latest nVidia chip is the 7800 GT, which features great performance for power users on a slightly tighter budget.

Canon Digital IXUS 700

The Canon Digital IXUS 700 is so small that it fits easily in just about any pocket, leaving you no excuse for not having a camera handy when those once-in-a-lifetime baby/puppy/soccer shots happen. The resulting photos weren't our favorites, but the...

BTX gives motherboards a makeover

Intel's new BTX (Balanced Technology Extended) specification gives motherboards a makeover. The company says that the new motherboard and chassis spec uses fewer fans, resulting in PCs that run more quietly, and possibly at a lower temperature, than ...

Easy monitor calibration

If you've ever spent hours tweaking your vacation photos on the PC, only to have the kids sport Shrek-tone tans when you print, your monitor settings are probably out of whack.

Coming soon: 64-bit desktop computers

The dawn of 64-bit Windows desktop computing is upon us. So say the likes of Advanced Micro Devices, Intel, and Microsoft. And this time, they really, really mean it.

400GB serial ATA drive

Hitachi's Deskstar 7K400 is the new king of big: the 7200rpm Serial ATA hard drive comes with an 8MB buffer and a staggering 400GB of storage. The drive also features improved digital-media handling capabilities and in our tests performed exceptional...

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Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

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