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Remember the desktop PC? Intel is trying to reinvent it

Intel this week tried to breathe some life into a device category that's not exactly fertile ground: the desktop PC.

At the Game Developers Conference, the chipmaker said it was reinventing the desktop PC.

How is it being reinvented? "The desktop has gone from just a beige tower to all these new [designs]: touch, 170+ desktop [all-in-one] focused apps," an Intel spokesman told CNET.

In the GDC release, Intel goes on to cite "tiny PCs," small Steam Machines, and portable AIO (all-in-one) PCs in the kitchen as reinvention.

Probably better, however, to call it a … Read more

Five-deal Friday: Desktops, drones, downloads, and more!

Happy Friday! Nothing kicks off a weekend like a wheelbarrow-full of deals, and today I couldn't settle on just one. In fact, I'm pretty bad at math; there may actually be more than five here. Can't bother counting; I'm too busy buying stuff!

Droning on and on I've always wanted one of these, but couldn't (wouldn't!) pay the $299 list price. Now I'm sorely tempted.

Today only, and while supplies last, Woot has the refurbished Parrot AR.Drone 2.0 Wi-Fi quadricopter for $169.99, plus $5 for shipping. Controlled by your … Read more

Desktop Icon Manager for Mac review

Desktop Icon Manager for Mac is an AppleScript that lets you organize desktop icons and helps keep them always in place even when you change your screen resolution. It is quite useful because it lets you memorize your icons as a specific icon arrangement and restore it with just the click of a button.

After a quick installation, Desktop Icon Manager for Mac welcomes you with a straightforward interface. This app/script comes packed with some useful instructions from the developer and also gives you some troubleshooting tips. This app lets you save specific icon arrangements (e.g. work, kids, … Read more

Free Business Desktop Icons review

Free Business Desktop Icons has plenty of options, but none of the icons it presents are real home runs. There are too many retreads and repeats that limit your choices. While you'll probably be able to get some use out of these, you'll be downloading a lot of stuff you'll never use to do it.

This is a collection of animated icons that you could use to decorate a business card, Web site, letterhead, or other official business document. Though there are dozens upon dozens of options, there are only nine designs that are made in multiple … Read more

Getting better all the time: M-Audio BX5 Carbon speakers

I'm a big fan of M-Audio's desktop monitor speakers. Their build and sound quality standards, even for their near entry-level models, are exceptional. The new BX5 Carbon retails for $149.99 each.

The vinyl-wrapped, medium-density fiberboard speaker measures 10x7x8 inches. Around back there's a large bass port, so don't plan on placing this guy up against a wall. Each 11-pound speaker has two built-in amplifiers: a 40-watt unit for the 5-inch woven Kevlar woofer and a 30-watt for the 1-inch silk dome tweeter. Rather than use the more common Class D amps, M-audio engineers opted for … Read more

Home networking explained, Part 9: Access your home computer remotely

Editors' note: This post is part of an ongoing series. Check Related Stories below for the previous installments.

If you've been following this series, you'll know that I explained the LAN and WAN ports on a home router in part 1. And now, I need to tell you how you can use this information to remotely access your device at home. For example, if you know how to use Remote Desktop, a built-in feature of Windows, to control a computer in a different room of your home, how about doing that from somewhere away from home, and save … Read more

Windows 8 designer: Why Microsoft forced Metro on us all

Microsoft designed its Metro, aka Modern, interface for "your computer-illiterate little sister, for grandpas who don't know how to use that computer 'dofangle' thingy, and for mom who just wants to look up apple pie recipes."

At least that's the take from someone who claims to have worked on the design of Windows 8.

Chiming in on a Reddit conversation on Friday, Jacob Miller, a self-described UX designer for Microsoft, said that Metro was created for casual users first and foremost, but claimed that the interface ultimately will be a boon to power users as well. … Read more

Animated Desktop Wallpaper Starfield review

Animated Desktop Wallpaper Starfield creates the feeling that you're flying through space with its stars streaking past on a colorful background. From black to purple to blue to white, all of the colors you associate with space are visible in the backdrop to this wallpaper, which is attractive by itself. But the addition of the tiny, white moving stars makes the illusion that you are in space even more intense.

When you open this program, it's accessible from the taskbar in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen. Right-clicking on the app's icon there will allow you … Read more

Dream-Rain Animated Desktop Wallpaper review

Dream-Rain Animated Desktop Wallpaper transforms your desktop background into a dreamscape populated with gently-moving raindrops. When you want something a little different as a background to your work, this app provides it through a fantasy of gently falling rain.

When you install Dream-Rain, it immediately transforms your desktop into a landscape featuring a grassy field that stretches into the distance. Above this field is a blue sky spotted with white clouds, and moving toward you smoothly and steadily are realistically-sized raindrops. This produces an interesting illusion, since the rain is actually moving sideways rather than falling from the sky to … Read more

Friday Poll: Do you still use a desktop computer?

Sometimes it seems the death knell of the desktop computer has been getting louder and louder for years, yet the devices still hang around. They just won't be hanging around Sony any longer. The electronics giant announced that it's unloading the PC part of its business.

Sony's move is just the latest sign that the personal computing business has changed significantly in recent years as more and more customers spend more and more time on small mobile devices like smartphones and tablets.… Read more