How to build your own computer

This is the third and final part of CNET's guide to building your own computer. Make sure you have read part one and part two before proceeding.

Having all these small and expensive parts sitting in front of you may look like a daunting task, but in reality the setup process, while long, is relatively simple. Having tools like a box cutter, scissors, zip ties, and a screwdriver by your side will only make the process that much quicker.

The most important task, and I cannot stress this enough, is to ground yourself. This can be done by touching … Read more

What you need to know before building your own computer

This is the second part of CNET's guide to building your own computer. Make sure you read part one before proceeding.

Now that you have decided to build your own computer, you must have a basic understanding of what each component does. You didn't really think we would just jump right into building it, did you? These are the components that are found inside today's desktop computers:


The operating system and all your files are stored on your computer's internal storage. There are two different kinds of storage options available: hard disk or solid-state. The … Read more

The pros and cons of building your own computer

We may be entering into a post-PC world, but that doesn't mean the desktop computer is dead. Smartphones and tablets can be great for basic gaming, checking your email, and keeping in touch with friends and family, however you can still get more functionality out of a traditional PC.

Despite the push towards touch screens in recent years, nothing beats having a mouse and keyboard. Typing is quicker, navigating the interface is seamless, and the user experience is far more enjoyable, at least in my opinion.

Laptops are in a weird transitional phase, with companies now beginning to push … Read more

Review: Parallels Access is one of the most impressive remote access apps on iOS

Parallels Access is designed to give you remote access of your Mac or PC through your iPad's screen and it works as well as or better than promised by the developers. From the ease of opening and controlling apps to the customized interfaces for dozens of different app types, Parallels is a smooth experience that will provide a much-needed interface option for anyone that works on the go.

The one thing about Parallels Access that can be frustrating is setup and installation time. It takes a few minutes to install, verify, and then set up on your desktop. We … Read more

Apple aims 3D at the desktop

Apple is looking to bring a bigger dose of 3D to the desktop, at least based on details unveiled in a freshly-awarded patent.

The patent, dubbed simply "Browsing and interacting with open windows" and awarded Tuesday by the US Patent and Trademark Office, describes a desktop interface that lets you peek beyond the standard three-dimensional Cover Flow view already found on the Mac. Also part of Safari, that view lets you flip your way through open windows until you find the one you want.

In the patent, Apple envisions a way that you can tilt the desktop interface, … Read more

Canonical founder: Apple's 64-bit chip to unify Mac, iPhone

Here's food for thought: Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth believes that Apple intends to merge the Mac and iPhone.

"Apple was sending what we think is a very clear signal that it will converge the iPhone and the MacBook Air," Shuttleworth said in an interview with UK-based PC Pro, published Friday.

The creator of the Ubuntu operating system expanded on what he believes Apple was thinking when it announced the 64-bit A7 processor:

People are saying yes, mobile processors are catching up with the desktop. When Apple announced the iPhone 5s, it called the processor "desktop-class," … Read more

Create a file manager desktop background image in OS X

Often when using your computer, your desktop will be covered by the various applications you use. In many cases, people will almost never see enough of their desktops to make it of any relevant use; however, others regularly close, hide, minimize, quit programs and organize files on their desktop for the convenience it offers.

If you are one of these people, then OS X offers several options for organizing files on your desktop. These can be invoked by clicking on your desktop, and then choosing an option from the View menu to sort Desktop items. This is also available by … Read more

Microsoft to increase its reach with remote desktop apps

Is Microsoft ready to go to war with its longtime virtualization partner Citrix? It definitely seems that way, given the company's announcement on October 7 that it will roll out new remote desktop apps for iOS and Android devices.

Microsoft officials didn't play up the coming Remote Desktop apps, which will be delivered alongside Windows Server 2012 R2. (The apps will be available for download in their respective application stores later this month.) In fact, all they got was a one-sentence mention, buried in a press release.

Once these new Remote Desktop apps, which include an overhauled version … Read more

Get a refurbished Acer 21.5-inch Android PC for $199

Now this, this is cool.

What would you say to a kitchen- or den-friendly all-in-one PC with a touch screen, wireless mouse and keyboard, and amazingly low price tag? I'd say, tell me more!

Through 8 a.m. PT tomorrow, and while supplies last, Acer (via eBay) has the refurbished Acer DA220HQL 21.5-inch all-in-one touch-screen PC for $199 shipped. It's regularly $249.99 (refurbished), and it sells new for $479.99 (!).

Ah, but is this really a PC? A little bit yes, a little bit no. The DA220HQL runs Android 4.0, not Windows, so in some … Read more

Apple's A7 chip makes a run at Intel

Is Apple simply engaging in PR puffery when it talks about its "desktop" A7 chip? Not so fast.

Apple's claims for the first 64-bit "desktop class architecture" in a smartphone does sound like hype at first. A 64-bit design doesn't make any difference to most people, so it's marketing tripe -- so goes the argument.

Indeed, the repetitive PR-speak used in the A7 discussion in Apple's formal announcement of the iPhone 5S is a little off-putting. The A7's desktop-class design is the single most prominent feature that Apple mentions in the … Read more