Ever find yourself sitting at your mac, needing to connect to a windows machine and run the Remote Desktop? Do you think that Windows and Mac hate each other so much, that it is hopeless to assume that you can use Remote Desktop Connection through a Macintosh? Well think again, because Microsoft has created Remote Desktop Connection for mac.
First things first, this has been out for a while. For those of you who don’t know much about RDC (Remote Desktop Connection), it has traditionally been a program that allows windows users to remotely login to another windows machine. Features include cutting/copying from one machine and pasting into the other, to printing a document on another machine that is connected to a printer. It comes in handy, much more efficient than emailing a file to yourself, using a thumbdrive to transfer a file, or having a network attached storage device (NAS). This comes in handy when it comes to the file systems of the two operating systems, while windows refuses to even acknowledge the OSX file system, OSX will for the most part recognize the NTFS file system and read from it, but will not write to it.
Without further ado, here is where you may download RDC for Macintosh:
The URL is huge, but if you need to paste it into your browser it is:
Now here is a photo odyssey of what it takes to use this software. Keep in mind that this setup is a mac using RDC to connect to a Windows 2003 Server.
These icons appear on your desktop now:
Oh look, I can access the user files on the server:
Odd looking, isn’t it?
When you type in an address at the top of your browser, lets say you want to visit www.weather.com for instance, your computer sends a request to a DNS server that it is connected to. In most cases this is provided by your ISP (Internet Service Provider), and is usually retrieved automatically using DHCP. The DNS server is like a phone book for the internet. It takes the address you typed in (www.weather.com) and looks it up, finding the IP address of the server containing the web page. This accounts for part of the time it takes to load a web page, because your request is put in line with a thousand others and it takes a few milliseconds to process. Once the server has found the appropriate IP address for the page you are looking for, it directs it your way.
Now, why change which DNS server you use? Well maybe your ISP provides you with a crappy one, maybe you think your internet is a bit slower than it should be, or maybe you just want to be a propper geek, and change everything about your computing experience that you can. It doesn’t matter, because in almost every case, changing from ISP DNS to Open DNS will improve performance, it may not be noticible and only visible in added milliseconds, but the improvement will be there.
How can you change your DNS server’s address? I’ll show you how to do so in Windows and in OS X. If someone would like to share how to do so in Linux, let me know.
Go to System Preferences, Network, click on your Ethernet or Wireless network settings and click Configure, And where it has DNS Servers, add these two IP addresses:
In Windows (basically all versions):
Go to Control Panel, Network Connections, click on your connection(s) – whether they are wireless or not, then double click on the correct icon, hit properties, then scroll down to TCP/IP and hit properties. De select Obtain DNS automatically, and input the same IP addresses as in OS X:
Hope you enjoy!
Have an old Xbox lying around collecting dust? Does your 360 scoff at its 1st generation counterpart and its inability to play Gears of War? Well put that thing to good use. Put Linux, or better yet, Xbox Media Center on it and create a low-powered media PC capable of receiving streamed content over your home network! An amazing mod that only requires a day or two, but is well worth it.
First thing’s first, I didn’t come up with this technique, and there is a good chance that if you don’t know what you’re doing, or you mess up in some way (hey, accidents happen) that you may end up losing your Xbox completely. You have been warned, do this at your own risk, if you mess up, its not my fault, or the fault of the person who thought of this.
Another thing to consider is the cost of this venture. If you already have an Xbox, it will cost around $45 in materials to put the mod onto the Xbox. Thats if you buy everything brand new, if you buy it used, you can probably get everything for $10ish.
I am not going to explain step by step detail on the process, because I found out about it from this website:
Here is a list of the materials you will need:
- Microsoft Xbox ($150)
- Networked PC Computer ($???)
- Original MechAssault game ($20)
- Datel Xbox Action Replay ($25)
- Krayzie’s NDURE installer ($0)
- Xbox Media Center (XBMC) ($0)
- uTorrent ($0)
- FlashFXP ($0)
- Winrar ($0)
MechAssault is used to exploit the Xbox and load a different operating system onto the Xbox. You can also use 007: Agent Under Fire, and the original Splinter Cell.
I’m not much of a cut and paster, and besides, I don’t want to generalize on a very complicated process, so visit the Product wiki website and follow their instructions to the letter.
Xbox SoftModding: ProductWiki
Interesting, apparently Internet Explorer is worst in 2 out of 3 examples – who would have guessed that?
Back to Safari, while it’s execution speeds are impressive, it’s ability to pass the Acid 2 test is even more impressive. The Acid 2 test is a HTML page that shows a smiley face. Opera 9 passes the test, while Firefox 2 does not. Here is a comparison to the Safari browser and Firefox:
As you can see, Firefox comes nowhere near passing what Safari can do easily and with considerable speed.
Those are the pro’s to Safari, so you’re probably wondering “My goodness, Safari sounds like it kicks ass, why don’t I get it?” The answer is simple: security. Safari 3.0 is a Beta release. Which means that it is currently in development and that there are many, many bugs. One of those bugs is that it had a zero day exploit found only hours after its public release. This means it will execute malicious code without the user ever knowing – a big no – no in the web browsing and security world. This one flaw is enough for most people to shy away, after all, who wants their precious computer turned into a zombie PC?
Because of the security issues, I recommend holding off on Safari until the final release, and even then, ONLY if Apple fixes the security issues.
Want to keep your computer running at tip-top performance? Have you defragged, reformatted, scanned for viruses, spyware, and adware, and yet you still want better performance out of that less-than-stellar computer of yours? I’ll show you a few tricks to squeeze a few extra horse power out of that XP machine of yours.
Before I begin telling you the nitty-gritty details of what you need to do, why you’re doing it, and what it will mean performance wise, I need to warn you about a few things that could possibly go wrong. You have to know what you are doing when you mess around with some of these settings, otherwise you may need to re-install Windows XP. That is the absolute worst case scenario; less destructive possibilities include various programs not working, XP crashing, or instead of improving performance, you may degrade performance. So when I warn you to be careful and make educated decisions, I mean it.
Ok, let’s start off with some relatively easy methods. Go to the Start button and click Run. Type in Services.msc. A window like the one below should show up:
In this list are all of the programs that either start up automatically at startup, or have the potential to initialize at start up. There are different columns with the name, description, status, and startup type. These are the important columns. Now is the part where you need to use some intelligent personal discretion. Look through this list and decide what you can do without. If you find some suspicious processes that do not look in any way familiar, check the path on the last column on the right in the picture and see where its coming from. If it still looks suspicious, look it up on Google and see if it is a viral process. If it is, run a virus scan and/or remove it from this list. Anyway, back to deciding what you can do without. Once you find something you don’t like (Example: you find a QuickTime or Real Player process, who needs those at startup?) right click it and delete. If you have never done this before, there might be quite a few things in there that you can get rid of safely. But like I warned you earlier, there are some things in there that you shouldn’t remove, things like Win32. Anyway, if you sort out the gold from the garbage you should have a faster startup and better XP performance!
Alternate way of removing processes:
Go to My Computer, your hard drive that Windows XP is installed on, click the folder called WINDOWS, and look for this icon:
Double click it. This is Windows XP’s built in Registry editor. It shows all of the processes your computer is capable of. Now here is where it gets tricky, follow these navigation instructions:
Now something like this should be shown:
Use the same discretion you did with the msconfig tip, these are some processes that start at startup/run while your computer is in use. They slow your precious CPU down, so the bad processes need to be dealt with. I have found a few viruses by looking into these processes, so keep that in mind when looking through the list and finding names you don’t recognize.
Another place to check for useless processes is:
And one more place is:
If you have further issues with XP (Honestly, who doesn’t have issues with any form of Windows.) I suggest visiting tweakxp.com
And if you are an unfortunate soul running Windows Vista, visit tweakvista.com.