Ever Wanted to Make Your Own Wood PC Case? This Guy Did!

When you start thinking about what your new computer or laptop would be made out of, you start to think about maybe some black plastic or a nice silver metal feel. That isn’t for everyone though and sometimes you just want to do something different, like make a wooden PC.

When you think of PC’s you tend to think of metal or plastic, but one clever person who goes by the name of LouisVW decided that he wanted to build something that looks little more smooth and natural. If that wasn’t enough they’ve gone so far as to post how they built it from start to finish, a process that seems to only create something both simple and beautiful.

Starting from the plywood sheet shown above the project started, by creating grooves on the sides to fit in panels at a later date and then cutting out space for four fans, two at the top and two at the bottom.

Next came controllers for the fans and lighting, with the back panel and power supply soon making the wooden box look like an actual PC. Below you can find a gallery of some of the stages the computer went through, ultimately ending in the masterpiece you see below.

What do you think? Interested in giving it a try yourself? Check out the instructions here and tell remember to share your builds with us at eTeknix.

Minecrafts Next Update Is A Combat Upgrade

Minecraft is a popular game, with people building everything from a castle to a self-farming industry with everything from lasers to spells. One thing that has barely changed since the game was released was the combat, with every player dashing around with sword and shield dodging the other players bows. This is all set to change in Minecraft 1.9, the combat upgrade.

Designed to shake up Minecraft combat system, weapons will be getting specific special attacks, a cooldown delay between each swing of a weapon and duel weaponry. Alongside the close-quarters combat, new shields and special arrows will force you to switch up your combat with every battle.

Other changes include The End being extended and the infamous Ender Dragon now being able to return to the world of the living to strike at you once again. Beware, a new mob, the Shulker, joins the battle alongside the skeleton riders, all looking to make you fight harder for greater rewards in a game that were seen as a builders fantasy.

Do you play Minecraft? Are you a creative player, building castles in the sky or someone who likes to hunt down the undead and creepers as they let out their final hiss? Did the combat need updating and if so, what do you want to see updated next?

Windows Fixes Issues With Games but Still Unclear With Mobile OS

Build 11102 of Windows 10 came to the public attention in a big way recently when it was discovered that the build would crash when running games. Ranging from starting up a game to swapping out from a full-screen application, many were put off updating when they discovered this bug; this has now been fixed as of Microsoft’s latest build.

Build 14251 follows on from build 11102 in fixing the problems that led to crashes when playing games. The significant jump in build numbers doesn’t reflect the level of work or number of features included in the new build. The new number is actually just to synchronise their mobile and PC versioning.

In a blog post, they reaffirm that they want to release builds faster to Windows Insiders, people who will be testing out and using the latest “version” of the operating system, often finding these little bugs in the process. The reminders in the blog post ask that people be aware, faster deployment of code means you will often find these little bugs and they may take several builds to fix.

Stating that they will be releasing builds for the Lumia 950, 950XL and 550, it is then said that they will “release Windows Mobile 10 to other devices”. Windows mobile received bad reviews, with some being fixed in the update to mobile 8.1 and more recently windows 10, although the speed at which handsets have been updated is too slow for some.

Do you use Windows 10, either on mobile or on your PC? How have you found the latest updates and patches? Was your phone or PC originally windows 10 or did you upgrade to it? Give us your thoughts in the comments below.

Windows 10 Build 10565 Improves Edge, UI, Context Menus, and Icons

Microsoft has released its newest build of Windows 10 (10565) bringing with it a plethora of new features, including improvements to its new Edge browser and Cortana personal assistant, new icons and title bars, and a revised context menu.

Here is the full changelist released by Microsoft:

Skype messaging, calling and video experience: As we’ve announced previously, Skype messaging, calling and video capabilities will come integrated into Windows 10 through the Messaging, Phone and Skype video universal Windows apps. These Windows applications enable quick and easy, free calling and messaging to other Skype users across phones, over 3G/4G and Wi-Fi tablets and to PCs Wi-Fi. With this build, you can preview the integrated capabilities on your PC while an upcoming Windows 10 Mobile Insider Preview build will have these integrated capabilities for you to preview soon on mobile devices. Try things like Quick Reply from Action Center where incoming notifications will come in with the option to reply inline without opening the application. This is an early preview and you can expect some bugs, and more features to come as we deliver monthly updates.

Tab Preview in Microsoft Edge: In Microsoft Edge, you can now hover over your open tabs and get a preview of what’s on those websites. Check it out and let us know what you think.

Syncing Favorites and Reading list items in Microsoft Edge: In this build, you’ll see a first look at the new syncing feature in Microsoft Edge that lets you sync your Favorites and Reading list items. We are still working on refining it, but definitely check it out and let us know what you think.

Cortana improvements: Cortana is able to intelligently understand your inked notes – setting reminders based on locations, times and numbers that she can understand from your digital annotations.

We are also rolling out new features in Cortana to help you keep track of your leisure time, including movie and event reminders. Cortana will keep track of your bookings for movies and ticketed events through your email confirmations. Two hours prior to the event start time, you’ll get helpful information to be sure you know where to go and get there on time, including an option to book and track an Uber ride directly from Cortana.

More vibrant title bars: Thanks to feedback from Windows Insiders, with this build you can now enjoy your title bars with a full color intensity that matches the rest of your theme. Title bars will now appear darker. You can adjust the color by going to Settings > Personalization > Colors. Colored title bars will appear only if “Show color on Start, Taskbar, Action Center, and Title bars” is enabled.

Improved context menus on Start:You will notice we have made some adjustments and improvements to the context menus on Start including new icons for tile adjustments.

New icons:We know Windows Insiders love new icons – this build has another batch of new icons for devices (check out Device Manager). Registry Editor finally gets a new icon!

Device activation improvements: We have received a lot of feedback from Insiders on making it easier to activate Windows 10 on devices that take advantage of the free upgrade offer to genuine Windows by using existing Windows 7, Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 product keys. If you install this build of the Windows 10 Insider Preview on a PC and it doesn’t automatically activate, you can enter the product key from Windows 7, Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 used to activate the prior Windows version on the same device to activate Windows 10 by going to Settings > Update & security > Activation and selecting Change Product Key. If you do a clean install of Windows 10 by booting off the media, you can also enter the product key from prior Windows versions on qualifying devices during setup. Refer to the Insider Hub for more information on these activation improvements including requirements.

Managing your default printer: We are introducing a new mode that makes your default printer the last printer you used. This change helps ensure the best printer is preselected in inbox print dialogs. You can manage this behavior in Settings > Devices > Printer & Scanners to change this to the previous way Windows handled default printers. The ability to set a default printer by network location has been removed.

Here are some things we have fixed:

  • You should no longer see a warning message in the Settings app > Update & Security > Windows Update regarding changed ring settings for preview builds unless you actually change your ring settings.
  • Background audio playback works again when apps like Groove are minimized.
  • We fixed the issue where clicking on the system icons in the notification area quickly results in Windows Shell blocking the launch of fly-outs like Audio, Networking, etc.
  • After Build 10525, we heard a lot of feedback that some context menus were too big for mouse. We’ve made adjustments to many of the context menus to make them smaller for using them with a mouse.
  • You can now pin contacts to the Start menu from the People app.
  • Certain apps won’t appear twice anymore when pinned to the taskbar.
  • Hiding desktop icons via context menu on the desktop now works.
  • Windows Store apps should now be updating automatically.

Known issues:

  • The search box does not work if you are in a locale where Cortana is not available. We are currently investigating workarounds.
  • The Xbox app for Windows 10 will consume gigabytes of memory on your PC if you have any Win32 games (non -Windows Store games) installed on your PC that have been identified as games or added by you in the Xbox app. Closing the Xbox app will release your PC’s memory.
  • WebM and VP9 have been temporarily removed from the flight builds. We continue to develop a VP9 implementation that we intend to ship in Windows. Expect VP9 to return soon in a future release.
  • Small form-factor devices, like the Dell Venue 8 Pro, that boot with rotation or virtual mode screen size set larger than the physical screen size will experience a bluescreen on upgrade and will roll back to the previous build.

 

Thank you Windows Blog for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Wikimedia.

Couple Recreates Simpsons Kitchen in Their own Home

Marcia Andreychuk and Joel Hamilton decided to renovate their kitchen with a twist and replicate The Simpsons’ iconic colour scheme. The project, entitled, “retrovation” involved careful planning and referring to stills from various angles. During the process, the couple purchased a $20 counter top in blue and even managed to recreate the instantly recognizable, corncob curtains.

The renovation job didn’t stop there as the couple laid down blue and cream tiles, and covered the stove with green contact paper. Amazingly, they analysed the cooking utensils and performed extensive research to find matching pieces of equipment. Additionally, the drawers, knobs, and even insignificant details were taken into account.

While supply issues did cause a few problems, the couple employed their DIY skills to create interesting solutions. I personally think the final piece is a remarkable achievement but it’s not something I’d like to use every day. The kitchen feels too bright and during sleep-deprived states, I could actually believe I’m part of a Simpsons episode.

Also, The Simpsons hasn’t interested me since season 8, when it started to go downhill and lacked endearing stories. Whatever the case, this is an impressive build project but I’m more enamoured by other crazy designs such as an entire replica of the Star Trek Enterprise’s bridge.

Thank you Geek for providing us with this information

See How This Robot Is Able to Improve Its ‘Mini-Robots’ with Each Generation

Researchers at the University of Cambridge seem to be studying how evolution took place and are apparently using a ‘mother’ robot for that. The robotic arm in question is able to build miniaturized robots from a selection of blocks equipped with small motors, check their progress on the table and make the necessary adjustments to improve and fix what went wrong in earlier generations.

This might sound quite scary, but it really is mind-blowing. The robotic arm is able to watch the progress of the robots while they move on the table with the help of a mounted web camera, while observing their speed and ‘imperfections’. Lead researcher, Dr. Fumiya Iida, explains that this might seem as a heartless evolutionary process, but don’t forget, this is done without the use of DNA. I mean, when you look at how evolution took place on Earth over millions of years, you kind of see a glimpse of it in the video below.

While we learn things in a similar way, evolution on a larger scale has different ways of ’embedding’ information into their ‘next generation’. Iida hopes that this experiment may shed some light on some unanswered questions about evolution, but in the meantime, he even has real-world applications for the project. Think about quality control and how these machines can spot imperfections or broken products on down the line. It is a start, but for those of you who are thinking about a Terminator scenario, we are still far away from something like that. At least with this particular project.

Thank you IFLScience for providing us with this information

Prison Architect v1.0 Launch Date Revealed

Prison Architect is a game that has had a very long and public development phase that is about to come to an end thanks to the announcement of Prison Architect version 1.0 and its launch this October.

The two main people behind this simple yet extremely fascinating game are Mark Morris as Producer and Chris Delay as Designer. Every month like clockwork they’ve released a new alpha version for the ones that bought one of the early access packs. The game has been on sale quite a few times already and this has been going on for a little over 35 months now. There have been exceptions due to “family addition”, where the fans had to wait an extra month for the next version as well as a new video each time.

And while the game is great, I have to admit that I’ve almost enjoyed the 50 minute long videos even more. Mark and Chris do a voice over the video where they show the new features and what else they’ve done, or as they describe it themselves: “Our audience expect a and ready, badly edited, long rambling discussions and bulls##t – and the occasional new feature.”

For now Alpha 35 is the newest version and this game has already come a long way from the very basic sandbox building game without many features and lots of bugs. It has become a very challenging game that can keep you occupied for hours and hours on end and I personally can highly recommend it, that is if you like building games.

Design and build your own prison, manage the finances and rehabilitation as well as all the prisoners needs, such as food, sleep, and hygiene. Deal with riots and catch escaping prisoners as well as gangs. Hire personal and create a beautiful place, or not. The choice is really yours, but you’re also the one that has to deal with what the prisoners do as a result of their treatment.

Prison Architect is truly a prime example on how early access should be handled. Create an almost working base and then continuously and regularly update with bug fixes and new features while you listen to your early backers and try to create the game that they really want. Well done guys, I for one can’t wait to get the “final” version to play.

Here Are the First Signs That Microsoft Is Getting Ready for the Windows 10 Launch

As the release date for Microsoft’s latest Windows build draws near, we see the company taking the first steps in prepping for their most anticipated date, July 29th. If you are a Windows Insider, you might already be familiar with the company’s recent move.

As of Monday, Microsoft suspended all new preview builds for Windows 10, stating that the next build will be rolled out on the production channels. However, Microsoft still needs a lot of testing before the launch date, so they are most likely focusing on wrapping up the clean install and upgrade process so that Windows Insiders can test and flag any major problems that could arise during the installation or upgrade process. There were a lot of problems with the Windows 8.1 update, especially with the Update 1, where users were even forced to clean install the OS after encountering serious problems during the upgrade process.

To be noted is that even pre-release activation keys will not work on earlier versions of Windows 10 preview builds. There is no word if Microsoft will release a fresh batch of keys for users who still didn’t get a chance to test Windows 10, but they will most likely be forced to upgrade from earlier Windows versions, since Microsoft is expecting a lot of people to migrate to the latest build after it launches.

The move to suspend preview builds also hints at the release of the first RTM build, which was expected last week. This means that the build will be shipped soon enough to OEMs such as Dell, Acer, Hewlett-Packard and Lenovo to install and start shipping Windows 10-powered PCs on July 29th.

Thank you PCWorld for providing us with this information

Not Everyone Will Get Windows 10 on the 29th of July

If you were eagerly waiting to get your hands on Windows 10 on the 29th of July, you might be a bit disappointed. Microsoft just ruled out some updates on the upcoming Windows distribution timings, so bear with us on this.

The company said that Windows Insider program members will be the first to get Windows 10 when it launches, with other users who have reserved their copies being notified by email. Once you get notified, you will be able to get on downloading the Windows build. However, the company will be rolling it out in waves, which will increase in size gradually. This means there won’t be a lot of users who reserved Windows 10 getting it when the clock hits zero.

For regular home users, Microsoft will release the notification once it gets enough information from your system and considers it “ready” for Windows 10. Users who do not have a PC fitting Microsoft’s requirement will be notified by the Microsoft team and be given details as well as contact information on what they should do to get the build.

Business users have something else to deal with. Windows 10 Pro businesses will be able to download the build alongside Windows Insider users on the 29th of July, but larger companies have to wait. Windows 10 Enterprise and Education will be available through the company’s Volume Licensing Service Center starting on the 1st of August.

In addition to the above, all Windows 8.1 versions sold from retail stores will be given out with additional information on how to upgrade to Windows 10. More information about what Microsoft has planned for the Windows 10 rollout can be found over at their blog here.

Microsoft Listed the Features You Won’t See in Windows 10

As the release of Microsoft’s latest distribution of Windows approaches, we all need to be informed on what changes to expect from the company. This is why the company listed a few deprecated features for users to know what the final build will miss compared to previous versions.

Of course, we will see some driver compatibility issues at first with older hardware, but we are more interested in what features are not included compared to Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1. From what we can see, Microsoft is stripping out the Media Center completely, along with Windows 7’s gadgets.

Solitaire, Minesweeper and Hearts Games will be removed as soon as users upgrade to Windows 10, but the latest distribution is said to come with a new version of the latter games named Microsoft Solitaire Collection and Microsoft Minesweeper. Also, I don’t think anyone is using a Floppy Disk nowadays, but it’s nice to see you can still get support for it through additional drivers. The full list of deprecated features can be viewed below:

Feature deprecation section

  • If you have Windows 7 Home Premium, Windows 7 Professional, Windows 7 Ultimate, Windows 8 Pro with Media Center, or Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center and you install Windows 10, Windows Media Center will be removed.
  • Watching DVDs requires separate playback software
  • Windows 7 desktop gadgets will be removed as part of installing Windows 10.
  • Windows 10 Home users will have updates from Windows Update automatically available. Windows 10 Pro and Windows 10 Enterprise users will have the ability to defer updates.
  • Solitaire, Minesweeper, and Hearts Games that come pre-installed on Windows 7 will be removed as part of installing the Windows 10 upgrade. Microsoft has released our version of Solitaire and Minesweeper called the “Microsoft Solitaire Collection” and “Microsoft Minesweeper.”
  • If you have a USB floppy drive, you will need to download the latest driver from Windows Update or from the manufacturer’s website.
  • If you have Windows Live Essentials installed on your system, the OneDrive application is removed and replaced with the inbox version of OneDrive.

Thank you Gizmodo for providing us with this information

DirectX 12 Can Push 6 to 12 Times the Polygons of DirectX 11

Microsoft is eager to show the advancements made with DirectX 12 and so far, things have been exceedingly positive. We’ve seen that DirectX 12 can handle a lot more draw calls, more polygons, improved frame rates, more advanced graphical features, a list of benefits that just goes on and on. Now, at Microsoft’s Build 2015, they’re eager to show it off again.

The demo system was no slouch, a quad-SLI Digital Storm gaming PC, running the popular 2012 Final Fantasy Agni’s Philosophy technical demo. When this demo was run on DirectX 11 on the same hardware, it was impressive, no doubt about it, but DirectX 12 ran circles around it. The DirectX 12 version was able to run with 63 million polygons, which is between 6 and 12 times as many as were shown on the DirectX 11 version of the demo, dependant on which scene was being rendered at that time.

“As a part of a research project that studies a variety of next generation technologies, Square Enix conducted extensive research on real-time CG technology utilizing DirectX 12 in collaboration with Microsoft and NVIDIA Corporation.  Revealed today as a technology demonstration titled, WITCH CHAPTER 0 [cry], the results of this research will be incorporated into Square Enix’s LUMINOUS STUDIO engine, and is intended for use in future game development.”

Not only that, but Microsoft were able to move freely through the scene in real-time, adjust the lighting, as well as show off the new 8K x 8K textures, which Microsoft said was “Significantly more than we were able to do [with DX11].” They were also keen to show off that “Every piece of hair that you’re seeing is being rendered as a polygon” while using more than 50 shaders for that effect alone; incredible!

WITCH CHAPTER 0 [cry], has achieved some of the world’s highest-level quality of real-time CG. It portrays the human emotion of crying– one of the most difficult representations for existing real-time CG technology. The emotion is displayed in a level of quality which has never been seen before with a real-time CG animated character teemed with life.

WITCH CHAPTER 0 [cry] was created mainly by the developers of AGNI’S PHILOSOPHY – FINAL FANTASY REALTIME TECH DEMO, a tech demo for LUMINOUS STUDIO revealed in June 2012. Square Enix research enabled the real-time CG to feature even more refined graphics and improved processing capabilities in WITCH CHAPTER 0 [cry].

There’s just one thing left to add to this, HURRY UP AND RELEASE DIRECTX 12 ALREADY!

Apparently Microsoft has Never Heard of 4chan

It’s not uncommon for the business world and popular culture to clash, more often than not, it ends in hilarious consequences, but Microsofts’ latest gaff may be one of the best ones yet. It seems that no one at Microsoft has ever heard of a little thing called 4chan, legendary for its on going thread of chaos known as /b/.

With the Microsoft Build 2015 event upon us, Microsoft has tried to come up with some smart branding to try and simplify things, but I’m guessing they don’t see the confusion, or the funny side of calling Build 2015 by the name /b

This isn’t going to end well for Microsoft, they’re practically inviting themselves to get trolled into oblivion by 4chan members and it’s only a matter of time before they start getting laughed at on twitter.

Oh wait, it’s already happening, told you it wouldn’t take long!

It’s obviously too late for Microsoft to do anything about it, they’ve clearly already printed books, leaflets, banners, T-shirts and every other bit of material for the event with the /b logo. So if you see someone walking around sporting this branding, be sure to ask them which they support, Microsoft or 4chan?

Microsoft’s New Surface 3 Runs With Windows 10

Microsoft’s new Surface 3 will launch on the 5th of May, but some people in the industry already got their hands on the new dual-usable systems. The Surface 3 runs the full version of Windows 8.1 and is said to be working with Windows 10 too once that is released. That’s pretty much a given, but how does it handle the current beta builds?

Pretty good from the looks of it. The guys over at Neowin wanted to know for sure and they tried it out, and the results look promising. The direct update through Windows Update did take quite some time but completed successfully.

There are a few hiccups and things that don’t work yet, but that was to be expected. The onscreen keyboard disappeared during the login password entry, but the Type Cover and the pen both worked well and as they should. A few app crashes were noted too, but nothing too major and no bluescreens. Well, that’s not entirely true, there was an occasionally blue screen that required a tap on the power button to fix after logging in, but no BSODs.

Users who decide to test this for themselves once the Surface 3 arrives should remember to create a backup USB drive in case things go wrong and you need to revert back to the original system. You should also keep in mind that this is a passive cooled system and the update put significant stress on the tiny unit.

Thank you Neowin for providing us with this information

Leaked Windows 10 Build Reveals Mail and Calendar Apps

Leakers seem to always be one step ahead, even if Microsoft provides regular updates to its Windows 10 Technical Preview. The latest Windows 10 leaked build (10051) seems to include some new updates, but the most important one is that the build comes with the latest Calendar and Mail apps.

The apps are said to be very basic at this stage, but they are functional at least. Users will notice that they feel and look better than the ones found on Windows 8.1, having Microsoft adding its swipe features that are currently available on iOS and Android clients. Other features include support for multiple accounts and an easy way to add Google or Exchange accounts. The Mail client seems to be branded as plain ‘Mail’ right now, but Microsoft has plans to change its name in the final release to Outlook.

Looking at the Calendar app, users will be excited to know that Microsoft has finally added support for Google Calendar. The current Windows 8.1 calendar has no such support, but Microsoft seems to be correcting its mistake in its next OS version. Its aesthetics have also changed compared to the current version, having it be more colourful and feel like an actual Office app this time. One strange thing that Microsoft did with this version of Calendar seems to be that it did not integrate it with the Mail app, meaning that your synched calendars are separate to your email accounts.

Thank you The Verge for providing us with this information

Next Windows 10 for Phones Technical Preview Coming to More Handsets

Microsoft has stated in a blog post that its Windows 10 for phones Technical Preview released last month was available for “very limited” devices. The decision was made due to the partition size, having the company select just a few devices that matched its requirements.

The upcoming Technical Preview for Windows 10 for phones is said to be available for more devices this time, having Microsoft coming up with a process by the name of “partition stitching”. The latter process is said to essentially resize the partition dynamically, a process that would allow previously unsupported handsets run the upcoming Technical Preview distribution.

The company states that it requires one more week of engineering before releasing the new build, but the device list looks to be promising this time. Microsoft appears to be releasing the new Technical Preview for the following devices:

  • Lumia 1020
  • Lumia 1320
  • Lumia 1520
  • Lumia 520
  • Lumia 525
  • Lumia 526
  • Lumia 530
  • Lumia 530 Dual Sim
  • Lumia 535
  • Lumia 620
  • Lumia 625
  • Lumia 630
  • Lumia 630 Dual Sim
  • Lumia 635
  • Lumia 636
  • Lumia 638
  • Lumia 720
  • Lumia 730
  • Lumia 730 Dual SIM
  • Lumia 735
  • Lumia 810
  • Lumia 820
  • Lumia 822
  • Lumia 830
  • Lumia 920
  • Lumia 925
  • Lumia 928
  • Lumia ICON
  • Microsoft Lumia 430
  • Microsoft Lumia 435
  • Microsoft Lumia 435 Dual SIM
  • Microsoft Lumia 532
  • Microsoft Lumia 532 Dual SIM
  • Microsoft Lumia 640 Dual SIM
  • Microsoft Lumia 535 Dual SIM

Microsoft has also stated that the above list is not guaranteed, having the company remove devices that would encounter any sort of bug during the final tests.

Thank you Phonearena for providing us with this information

The Best Chassis for Steambox/HTPC Style Gaming Systems

Introduction


Steambox is certainly grabbing a lot of headlines throughout 2014, with system integrators (such as CyberPower) creating their own custom Steambox style systems, and chassis manufacturers creating new cases that are suitable for the job. Of course, there is a lot of smoke and mirrors surrounding Steambox, but we’re going to blow away any doubt and get you up to speed on what a Steambox is and how you can do it.

First thing is first, Steambox is a PC, nothing less and nothing more. What we’re really looking at here is a clever rebranding by Valve to make HTPC gaming sound cool. Of course, it really is cool and credit goes to Valve for creating something that is appealing to both mainstream console gamers, as much as it is PC gamers. The major difference for Steambox is the introduction of SteamOS, which is still in beta, but once again all that really is a Linux distro designed to launch Steam as the native desktop. This may sound a little complicated for some, but don’t worry as I’ll be revisiting this subject over the next couple of weeks to bring you up to speed on how it all works, how you can build your own, set everything up and more.

While much of the fun stuff is certainly contained within the games you’ll be playing, let’s start things off nice and easy and find out about the chassis you’ll be using. There are lots of great PC chassis’ on the market, but I’ve picked up a bunch that I thought would be ideal for the job and today I’m going to put them to the test. I’ll be looking for several key factors from each chassis, their price, form factor, hardware/component compatibility, built quality, acoustic performance and thermal performance.

The chassis’ I’ve picked are quite varied, and I’m hoping to find something suitable for each budget from each of these.

  • Silverstone GD05
  • BitFenix Phenom Micro-ATX
  • Corsair 250D
  • Thermaltake Urban SD1
  • Silverstone SG09
  • Cooler Master Elite 130

I’ll also be using my Lian Li test bench to get open-air results of the thermal performance on our CPU and GPU.

Seasonic Release ECO 430W Power Supply

Taiwan-based power supply manufacturer Seasonic has just announced their launch of two new skews – set to be on sale in mainland China in the coming weeks.

Their first announced product is the ECO430, being given a 80PLUS 230VEU certification, this PSU is marketed at those who are looking to save a little extra on their power bills. For those who are unaware, an 80PLUS Bronze rating means that the power supply efficiency rate is that of 85% or above – signifying that at least 85% of the power that is drawn in through the wall socket can be distributed throughout your PC components.

This unit comes with your standard 120mm FBD bearing fan alongside Rhine temperature control technology. By looking at the images provided, it doesn’t look like this model is modular (news sources were unable to confirm) – but modular capabilities is something that we don’t often see in a budget-level power supply. The ECO430 does however feature a flat 24-pin Motherboard cable to help a little with your cable management capabilities.

The announced release price for this product is 399 yuan ($65 US), which see’s it competing with budget ‘eco’ offerings including Thermaltake’s TR2, FSP’s 400w, The Corsair CX500 and Antec’s Neo.

There is no set plan of release in the Western world as of yet – we will report if the story develops. Looking at the links provided above, will this Seasonic unit be worth the extra $10 US for a 430w offering when compared to the Corsair CX500 which comes in at $55 US?

 

Images courtesy of Chiphell

ASUS With All New White PCB Motherboard

ASUS have announced their new iteration of the white, Sabertooth series. Containing a white PCB and named the Sabertooth Mk S, this hot piece of tech is created on the Z97 platform and was previously seen under the codename ‘Sabranco’ at Computex in Taipei, Taiwan this year.

Similar in style to their previous white PCB models, the new version is said to offer a shroud and metal back plate both containing a snow camouflage design. The shroud design contains a small fan to help keep your board cool, alongside this board offering an advanced and extended shroud covering when compared to previous models.

As for features, the Sabertooth Mk S will feature four slots of dual channel DDR3 capable RAM bays, three PCI-E 3.0 x16 slots and 3 PCI-E 2.0 x1 slots to enable different methods of SLI or Crossfire configurations. The board also has your data storage covered with eight SATA 6Gbps ports, four USB 3.0 ports, four USB 2.0 ports and supports display outputs of HDMI and Display Port and LAN capabilities through it’s two Gigabit Ethernet ports.

The shroud covering is said by ASUS to be manufacturerd to cover the generally ugly components located within a motherboard, allowing for a sleek and neat design.

This board offers a very love or hate style design we feel, the specifications of the board are rather impressive but it’s a little sad that DDR4 isn’t yet incorporated.

We’d love to see any white case mods that you may have at eTeknix, please feel free to send us PM with some images and we may very well share them on our social media.

Image courtesy of Chiphell

How to Build Your Own Apple I

It seems like every other week we hear about an ultra rare Apple I selling for some insane figure ($905,000 for the last one).

So if you don’t have that sort of money in your back pocket to buy one of the fewer than 50 surviving Apple Is, tech tinkerer YouTuber Ben Heck shows you how to get started in the video bellow.

While we know that some of our readers will feel limited by the 4 KB of RAM and the 1 MHz processor, you could still get some of your less computer literate friends into believing you own the real and highly valuable relic of computer history.

Source: 9to5Mac

ASUS ROG Announce G20 SFF Gaming PC

Often known for its manufacturing of PC components and peripherals – ASUS’ ROG (Republic of Gamers) division has released another pre-built system to their array of choices.

Standing at only 104 x 340 x 358mm, the G20 is a small desktop gaming PC built to not exceed a rather quiet rating of 25dB. Don’t let the size fool you however; this machine packs a punch with an Intel Core i7-4790 processor, H97 motherboard, 16GB DDR3-SODIMM RAM, a beefy GTX780 graphics card and the choice between a 3TB HDD or 256gb SSD. On top of this, the small chassis offers you four USB 3.0 ports, four USB 2.0 ports, an ethernet port and an eight-channel audio output interface.

ASUS ROG have installed the ability to reduce the computers power requirements, enabling it to draw as little as 20W in eco mode alongside its cool ability to display 8 different colours amongst it’s exterior through the help of changeable LED lights.

ASUS ROG has proudly stated that the G20 has won this years’ Computex Taipei Best Choice Gold Award and the Best Choice of the Year Award.

The main issue with these pre-built systems tends to be the price, and no matter how fancy the exterior or how impressive the specifications are – if the PC is too expensive it simply isn’t worth it for most. Unfortunately, we’re all out of luck and have no confirmation yet as to the release price of this product or an exact date planned for shipments, but we will cover this news when it comes to light.

Image courtesy of Geeky Gadgets

New Technology Put to use – a 3D-Printed Castle!

3D printing is an extremely cool concept – some people enjoy printing weapons, others like to make food and there are some really practical applications such as fighting against disability. But why not take it one step further – who doesn’t want to live in a castle?!

Andrey Rudenko from Minnesota is an architect who has taken a liking towards 3D printing, so much so that he’s spent months designing and building this masterpiece. Starting this project in April, Rudenko decided he wanted to set the bar for 3D-printed homes.

This kind of printing has previously encountered some scrutiny, with similar projects to this have been carried out in China. With all new building and architectural technology, the question of stability and longevity of materials is often asked. In an interview with 3DPrint, Rudenko said:

“It has been two years since I first began toying with the idea of a 3D printer that was capable of constructing homes. While testing the printer, I ran into obstacles (such as the nightmare of the extruder clogging) and discovered even further abilities of the printer, like that it can print much more than 50cm a day as I originally thought. I was able to calibrate the machine so that it prints nearly perfect layers now, and I played with various heights and widths of the cement layers.”

Rudenko’s printer uses layers on concrete measuring 10mm high by 30mm wide, allowing him to create this amazingly detailed castle. Often 3D concrete printers can make quite crude and uneven projects, but this one seems like a massive success.

As the technology develops, 3D printing is becoming cheaper and more mainstream. When they become feasible for the ‘average’ public to start purchasing them freely – what will you start making?

Images courtesy of 3DPrint

The UK Plans to Build its First Spaceport by 2018

The United Kingdom is said to have planned its first spaceport to be built and be up-and-running by 2018, while Virgin Galactic is preparing to become the first company launching space-tourism flights from within the country.

The British government is said to have planned an official announcement this Tuesday, where it will go into detail regarding the eight possible locations for the spaceport. The Guardian states that amongst the rumored locations include the north of Scotland, Norfolk, Bristol and Outer Hebrides.

“We have worked out the regulatory regime we need to launch spaceships in Britain and assessed what kind of aviation checks will have to be imposed when we put craft into space,” UK science minister David Willetts tells the Guardian. “In the wake of that work we have now created a shortlist of locations for the first British spaceport.”

The news does not come as a surprise, since the United Kingdom’s space sector is now worth over £11 billion / $18,8 billion, having the government aiming at raising it to around £40 billion by the end of 2030. In terms of flights, it is said that both commercial satellites and manned mission will be able to launch from the spaceport, with companies such as Virgin Galactic and XCOR Aerospace already lining up as potential users.

Commercial space tourism is said to have been rapidly growing, having the UK jumping in at a key moment. Virgin Galactic is stated to have planned its first flight later this year, taking off from a base in New Mexico. In addition to the company’s flight schedule, Richard Branson, the founder of Virgin Galactic, is reported to have already identified at least one location in the UK suitable for launching space flights in the near future.

Thank you The Verge for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of Fox News

Android Devices Get Support For Amazon Coins

The Amazon Coins payment option was introduced in May last year, but ever since it remained somewhat a currency used on Kindle Fire tablets. The virtual currency was designed as a simple method of paying for your goods and better monetization for developers.

If you liked the payment method, them you are going to be pleased to hear that the Amazon Coins can now be used on all Android platforms. The change has been made available in the latest software update and the virtual currency can now be used via the Amazon Appstore. However, the service us currently available only in the U.S., U.K. and Germany at the moment.

The virtual currency extension is extremely beneficial not only to customers, who are given a quick and easy to use payment method, but also developers. The hard work put in developing the applications will be rewarded with a 70% cut from the virtual currency method. However, the biggest benefactor in all this will always be Amazon itself, since it will receive the other 30% from all purchases made using the virtual currency.

Thank you Ubergizmo for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of Ubergizmo

London-based Startup Invents ‘Wave your wallet at a computer’ Payment Method

Wondering how to make online payment more interactive and easy to use? A London-based startup has the answer for you. They have allegedly created a technology which can recognise an object, pose and gesture. It is said that you can merely wave your wallet around at a computer and it will open up an online payment.

The company behind the technology is called Seeper, which have developed the Seemove application for many purposes and not just online payment. Other described uses are Iron Man types of poses to pretend one’s Tony Startk. But let’s set aside the childish things which can be done with Seeper and go into more ‘mature’ and interesting things it can do.

[vimeo]https://vimeo.com/80474997[/vimeo]

The Seemove technology is said to be able to memorize and interpret any object in order to identify it. For example, Seemove can identify your smartphone and sync with it in order to share photos and videos between the computer and handset, which is quite useful if you are too lazy to sync it yourself via wireless or cable.

However, Evan Grant, the founder of Seeper, says the video is designed as a demonstration of what the technology can do and may or may not reflect how consumers ultimately use Seemove. Grant says that Seemove will be released as Middleware for developers to use in creating applications based on gestures, poses and objects. He also adds that, besides waving your wallet to trigger an online payment, Seemove could also be used for interactive kids toys, controlling home entertainment systems, gaming and even sign language.

Thank you Mashable for providing us with this information
Image and video courtesy of Mashable

Windows Phone 8.1 SDK Starts Shipping To Select Developers

While Windows Phone 8.1 comes closer to being officially announced in April, developers are acknowledging they are receiving invitations from Microsoft to try out the Windows Phone 8.1 Development Kit (SDK) to start planning and building application based on the new Windows-based operating system.

Microsoft has been criticized in the past for keeping its SKD secret from developers and they haven’t officially acknowledged Windows Phone 8.1 yet either. The Verge have been able to talk via a Skype conference with Microsoft officials, stating that ‘select partners’ are starting to receive the WP 8.1 SDK and they plan to fully detail the product at the Build developer conference in April.

Reports say that Microsoft is not planning to discuss WP 8.1 until the Build conference, though they are said to be planning a conference about it on February 28th in London, where business customers will be presented with roadmap updates and technical briefing. Microsoft is said that built-in enterprise feature packs will be available in the new OS, including a VPN feature.

There have been leaked images of the new Windows Phone 8.1 Notification Center, which does look quite useful and nice, but we have to see it in action before an opinion can be given to the new feature. Aside from the notification center, Microsoft is said to add additional features alongside some major API changes, along with a voice-based “Cortana” personal assistant will ship with Windows Phone 8.1, improvements to volume controls, a feature to mirror Windows Phone screens to TVs or monitors, and access to quick settings from the new Action Center.

Thank you The Verge for providing us with this information

Google Chrome Turns 8-Bit, Lets You Play, Post and Share With Lego Blocks

Back in mid 2012, Google has revealed one of their projects dubbed ‘Build’,a virtual Lego tool that lets you play with plastic bricks in your browser. And fast-forwarding to the present, Google also releases the project to the public, having it now opened to everyone.

In the past, users wishing to give the project a try had to find a parcel of land in Australia and post their ‘masterpieces’ there, being the only way to use the app. Now the tools is available worldwide and users can do the same anywhere in the world. The geographical features make it possible to browse user creations by location, and a new addition also lets you see what your Google+ buddies have built with the tool. There is also a filter that lets you see only specific types of creations, such as buildings.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r4TIkhm2tWc[/youtube]

The tool is based on WebGL platform and is reportedly compatible only with Chrome browsers. Google also states that you should be able to play with virtual bricks using the Android version of the web browser in addition to the web, so long as you have a device with “high-end graphics capabilities.” There is also a promotional aspect, given the Lego blocks, having a series of characters and scenes from the upcoming Lego Movie. Those of you interested can start building their own ‘masterpiece’ here.

Thank you The Verge for providing us with this information
Image and video courtesy of The Verge

Windows 9 Rumored To Be Released This Year, Way Off The April 2015 Preditictions

There is a lot of tension as we approach April and the moment when Microsoft will reveal Windows 9 and release the latest big update for Windows 8, which is expected to fix and add features noted by users along the way. We will be able to see and probably know the exact path Microsoft is going to take with the latest Windows platform, but until then, we hear of more rumors, this time regarding the release date of Windows 9.

News has been spreading that Windows 9 will not be released in April 2015, as previously noted. According to “WZor”, who is said to be a credible source with solid information from inside Microsoft, the new operating system will be released somewhere at the end of October, noted to be the 24th of October on his Twitter page. The date mentioned is said to be the deadline for Windows 9 RTM, which should be sent to PC manufacturers in order to start shipping new PCs and laptops with the latest operating system.

This means that the April 2015 date has been way off. We can even see a service pack being released for Windows 9 until we get to April 2015. But, as always, take the information with a grain of salt. We should be able to get more official information when we reach the BUILD conference in April, and possibly a roadmap for Windows 9.

Thank you BGR for providing us with this information