No Nirvana? Is Asus rethinking Android-Windows 8.1 device?

Is a dual Android-Windows device just a pipe dream? And are these devices doomed in general?

We don't have an answer to that yet, but there are signs that not everything is copacetic.

A report last week from Asia claimed that Asus may be "forced" to give up the Transformer Book Duet TD300, a novel laptop-tablet hybrid that can instantly switch between Android and Windows 8.1.

And an industry source familiar with the Duet told CNET that there has been sparring with operating system partners, echoing the reports from Asia. However, the CNET source did not … Read more

Select a startup disk in OS X

If you need to boot to a secondary hard drive on your Mac, you can do so using several different means. For most PC systems, you will need to press F12, or another F-key, or perhaps the Escape or Delete keys when booting your system in order to select an alternative boot drive. To do this on a Apple computers, you use the Option key; however, there may be some constraints.

Generally you can start up or reboot your Mac, and simply hold the Option key once the screen goes black so that when it reboots it will show you … Read more

Firefox OS sinks its teeth into low-end smartphones

In an impressive first-year achievement, Firefox OS has found a toehold in a fiercely competitive smartphone market. The next challenge for Mozilla's browser-based mobile operating system will be to convert that toehold into a foothold.

As the struggles of BlackBerry OS, Microsoft Windows Phone, and Samsung Tizen have shown, it's extraordinarily hard to find any room in a mobile operating system market where Apple's iOS and Google's Android dominate. Yet Mozilla has managed to do just that by focusing on super-low-cost smartphones and on partnerships with carriers who want something to offer in markets where even … Read more

Boot Camp update brings 64-bit support to Windows drivers

Apple has released an updated version of its Boot Camp software to support installations of Windows on a secondary partition of its Mac systems. While Apple does not officially support third-party operating systems and software installed on your Mac, it does provide Boot Camp as an option so people can use Apple's trackpads and other hardware when running in Windows.

The Boot Camp update comes in two versions: one for the latest 2013 model iMac and MacBook systems, and another for all other models.

If you have a mid-2013 MacBook Air, a late-2013 MacBook Pro, or a late-2013 iMac, … Read more

Computers and hardware at CES 2014: Hybrids, Chromebooks, and 4K screens

LAS VEGAS -- If you came to CES 2014 looking for a major collection of bold new laptops and desktops, you came to the wrong show. Instead, this early January event focused more on taking existing PC products lines and streamlining them, adding new features, new technologies, and new screen sizes.

The new stuff Of course, a few exceptions popped up. Razer's modular Project Christine concept was impressively different, as was Toshiba's highly configurable hybrid prototype. But for the most part, we're seeing some of our favorite 2013 laptops and hybrids get worthwhile version 2.0 (or … Read more

Next-gen Samsung Galaxy Tab could dual-boot Windows RT

The 2014 line of Samsung Galaxy Tabs could dual-boot Android and Windows RT, according to a new report.

Microsoft allegedly asked both Samsung and Huawei to consider loading the OS onto Android tablets and smartphones as a dual-boot option.

Samsung has reportedly begun development on a 12-inch tablet with a very high-definition display; those who claim to have spent time with the device say it works quite well.

The news comes quickly on the heels that HTC may also be considering integrating Windows Phone into future smartphones alongside Android. Microsoft, obviously desperate to expand its mobile market share, is said … Read more

Star Apps: Little Boots

An exponent of artists like Madonna, Kylie Minogue, and Ladytron, Little Boots has some pretty big dancing shoes to fill. But the 29-year-old British synthpop singer (born Victoria Hesketh) is definitely on her way. Her sophomore album "Nocturnes," following on the heels of her UK Top 5, Gold-selling debut "Hands," finds Boots working with DFA Records co-founder and production visionary, Tim Goldsworthy, Hercules and Love Affair's Andy Butler, and Simian Mobile Disco's James Ford, on nine tracks so danceable they'll wear out your boogie shoes.

Using "Nocturnes" as our North Star, … Read more

Review: Boot Chart offers plenty of startup statistics, but doesn't help locate them

Boot Chart offers a great way to view detailed startup statistics, but newbies won't be able to do much with it. Most of the details will be hard to find and even harder to decipher for anyone who doesn't know what they're doing. However, it's a neat tool for benchmarkers or other computer gearheads.

This app doesn't download as a traditional program, but an application you can stick on a portable drive and take anywhere. It's very light at only 57KB. It searches for event trace logs to analyze, but you have to already … Read more

How to boot to another hard disk in OS X

There are times when you may need to boot to a volume other than the main OS X installation on your Mac, whether to try a specific software configuration without affecting your main workflow, or to troubleshoot an existing OS X installation by loading a fresh one from an external drive, or even to boot and use a Linux or Windows installation.

The standard way to do this for Apple's systems is very simple. When you boot your computer, hold down the Option key -- before or after hearing the boot chimes, depending on the type of keyboard you'… Read more

How to boot directly to the desktop in Windows 8.1

Update, October 21, 2013:This post was updated to reflect a change in the description of the setting, in the final release of Windows 8.1.

The Windows 8 Start screen is a good starting point for Windows 8 devices with touch screens, but on PCs with standard screens, you might prefer to boot directly to the desktop. Previously, you could bypass the Windows 8 Start screen with Start8, but Windows 8.1 now lets you do it natively. Here's how:

Step 1: Right-click on the Windows 8.1 taskbar, then choose Properties.

Step 2: Click on the Navigation … Read more