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Category: #ExtremeTech (Page 1 of 10)

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The Beginner’s Guide to Btrfs

btrfs-feature.jpg Most desktop Linux users have probably heard of a “Copy on Write” filesystem like ZFS or Btrfs, and along with that, the benefits of those CoW filesystems. Compression, built-in RAID functionality, and snapshot capabilities make them incredibly advanced and modern filesystems. But how do you get started with one of these filesystems? Given that Btrfs is fully FOSS and built into the Linux Kernel, that’s a great place to start. Here we walk you through our beginner’s guide to Btrfs. Btrfs Support Under Linux One of the great things about Btrfs over ZFS is that Btrfs is already… Read more14086690.gif

Source: https://tracking.feedpress.com/link/12555/14086690/the-beginners-guide-to-btrfs
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The Article Was Written/Published By: John Perkins

How to Create Your Own Start Menu in Windows 10 with Open-Shell

open-shell-feature.jpg While the look of the Windows Start menu has evolved and changed, its functionally stayed largely the same. For those who loved the Start menu in Windows 7, the Windows 10 Start menu can be unfamiliar to you. It is not very customizable and comes with features you may not want, like Cortana, and can even run into issues with search. To address all these longstanding problems, we’ve found a free, open-source app you can download today to replace your Start menu with one unique to you. Read on to learn how to create your ultimate start menu in Windows… Read more14088183.gif

Source: https://tracking.feedpress.com/link/12555/14088183/create-own-start-menu-windows-open-shell
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Ruben Circelli

Transform Any Old Windows PC Into a Media Center With the Android TV x86 Port

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Why buy an NVIDIA Shield when you can add Android TV to your old Windows laptop? An unofficial Android TV x86 port allows you to turn just about any Intel or AMD PC into a snappy Android TV media center.

Read This Article on Review Geek ›

Source: https://www.reviewgeek.com/61071/transform-any-old-windows-pc-into-a-media-center-with-the-android-tv-x86-port/
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Andrew Heinzman

How Fast is Your CPU, and How Does It Stack Up To Others?

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Ever noticed how paper and flyer based computer sales ads focus on the speed of the processor? The truth is, the speed is only a single factor in overall CPU performance! Discover how fast your CPU really is.

Read This Article on CloudSavvy IT ›

Source: https://www.cloudsavvyit.com/7968/how-fast-is-your-cpu-and-how-does-it-stack-up-to-others/
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Roel Van de Paar

The Best Tools for Building Your Own Desktop PC

Gaming computer filled with LEDsAlberto Garcia Guillen/Shutterstock.com

All you need to build a modern desktop computer is a screwdriver. That’s it. But if you want an easier or safer time of it, there are a few simple tools you can add on top to make things go smoothly. Once you have your parts selected and you know the fairly simple steps to take, you’ll be ready to go.

A Driver Kit

iFixIt 64-driver tool kitiFixIt

A single screwdriver will do for a PC build, but having multiple size options (especially of the near-universal X-shaped Phillips head screwdriver) makes things a lot easier. For this purpose, we’ve recommended the iFixIt driver kit for years. The primary screwdriver is a super-sturdy hunk of steel with kerning for grip, and this kit comes with 64 high-quality magnetized steel drivers to cover almost any kind of small screw imaginable. These kits are so good that Apple’s been known to use them to help design new computers.

By the way, if you’re thinking about using a drill or electric screwdriver, don’t: Using a lot of speed or torque for the screws inside a PC case might break circuit boards or thin steel sheets. Stick with your trusty fingers.

iFixIt Driver Kit

iFixit Mako Driver Kit – 64 Precision Bits for Electronics Repair


This excellent little toolkit should have a designated home in of every gadget nerd’s desk drawer.

An Anti-Static Wrist Strap

Anti-static wrist strapKingwin

A lot of modern builders consider anti-static equipment overkill—so long as you’re working in a cool, dry place, you probably won’t short any parts out with a static discharge. But if you want to play it safe—and if you’re building an expensive high-end rig, why wouldn’t you?—an old-fashioned anti-static bracelet is the way to go. Put one end around your wrist, clip the other to a piece of grounded metal, and you’ll be free from worry about static electricity.

A Silicone Work Mat

Ceatech Silicone Soldering MatCeatech

One thing that might surprise you about building a PC is how many screws you have to manage. You can use cups or bowls from your kitchen to keep them straight, but this handy silicone mat is even better: It has built-in dividers for keeping things organized, backed with magnets to make sure they don’t go flying. The silicone material means that you can rest components directly on the mat without worrying about static discharges, too.

A Telescoping Magnet

A telescoping magnet.Master Magnetics

We’ve all been there: getting a fiddly little screw down perfectly into a case goes wrong, and the screw is now lodged somewhere your pudgy fingers can’t reach. This telescoping magnet can grab them without the need to remove entire components … or abandon them to rattle around the bowels of your PC case forever.

Telescoping Magnet

Slim 25” Durable Telescoping Magnetic Grabber/Retrieving Magnet with Pocket Clip (07228)


This handy tool helps you track down lost screws without removing any components.

Some Cable Ties

AmazonBasics velcro cable tieAmazon

Things can get messy inside a PC case, with data cables going from your storage and disk drives to the motherboard, and power rails from the power supply to the motherboard, CPU, GPU, storage drives, and all fans. To keep things tidy, pick up a few of these reusable velcro straps. Not only will they keep cables out of the way while you’re building your computer, but the interior will look neat if your case has a transparent window. They’re also a better option than zip ties since they’re reusable.

AmazonBasics Reusable Cable Ties

AmazonBasics Reusable Cable Zip Ties – 8-Inch, 50-Pack


These little velcro ties will keep the power and data cables inside your PC nice and tidy.

A Set of Spare Screws

Computer screw kitHelifouner

A new case and fans should come with all of the mounting equipment you need. But if you manage to lose something, or if you’re upgrading an existing build, you might be short a screw or two. (Literally.) This kit includes spares of pretty much everything you could ever need, including the hard-to-find motherboard standoff pegs, fan mounting screws, and thumbscrews.

Space computer and case screws

HELIFOUNER 450 Pieces Computer Standoffs Spacer Screws Assortment Kit for Hard Drive Computer Case Motherboard Fan Power Graphics


This kit will give you spare copies of every one of the weird little screws you might use in your PC build.

Spare Thermal Paste

Arctic Silver 5 thermal pasteArctic Silver

If you’ve bought a new processor or CPU cooler, it should come with a small tube of thermal paste, a substance that helps dissipate the heat from the processor to the cooler. But if you lose it or you need some more, it’s easy to find. We recommend a trusty PC building favorite, Arctic Silver 5. If you don’t know how to apply it, check out this article over on How-To Geek.

A Canless Air Tool

Opolar canless air toolOpolar

Canned air is a favorite for PC builders who are upgrading or simply cleaning their machines. But it’s not ideal: Those cans are basically built to be disposable, and the chemicals inside are very unfriendly to the environment. Instead, use this tiny little electric “canless air” machine: it’s basically a leaf blower for the inside of your PC. It’s great for cleaning off your nasty keyboard, too.

Opoplar Cordless Air Duster

Isopropyl Alcohol

Isopropyl alcoholMaxTite

If you need a more direct way to clean problem spots in your computer, especially the crucial electrical contacts on plugs and circuit boards, isopropyl alcohol is the way to go. Use Q-tips to gently apply the alcohol in a thin sheet. It’s sterile and will clean off any gunk, then evaporate, leaving your components ready for action.

Isopropyl Alcohol

MaxTite Isopropyl Alcohol 99.9% (16oz)


This cleaning agent is ideal for getting dust and other gunk off of electrical contacts and wires.


If you still need help selecting the actual PC components of the computer you want to build, be sure to check out these online tools to help you nail the compatibility and pricing. And of course, if you want a step-by-step guide on every single part of building the PC itself, check out How-To Geek’s exhaustive guide.

Source: https://www.reviewgeek.com/60598/the-best-tools-for-building-your-own-desktop-pc/
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Michael Crider

How to Find and Delete Broken Symlinks on Linux

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The symbolic links on Linux are a fantastic feature, but they can become broken and left pointing at nothing. Here’s how to locate broken symbolic links, review them, and remove them from your system if you need to.

Read This Article on How-To Geek ›

Source: https://www.howtogeek.com/698838/how-to-find-and-delete-broken-symlinks-on-linux/
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Dave McKay

Ubuntu fixes bugs that standard users could use to become root

Image of ones and zeros with the word

(credit: Pixabay)

Ubuntu developers have fixed a series of vulnerabilities that made it easy for standard users to gain coveted root privileges.

“This blog post is about an astonishingly straightforward way to escalate privileges on Ubuntu,” Kevin Backhouse, a researcher at GitHub, wrote in a post published on Tuesday. “With a few simple commands in the terminal, and a few mouse clicks, a standard user can create an administrator account for themselves.”

The first series of commands triggered a denial-of-service bug in a daemon called accountsservice, which as its name suggests, is used to manage user accounts on the computer. To do this, Backhouse created a Symlink that linked a file named .pam_environment to /dev/zero, changed the regional language setting, and sent accountsservice a SIGSTOP. With the help of a few extra commands, Backhouse was able to set a timer that gave him just enough time to log out of the account before accountsservice crashed.

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Source: https://arstechnica.com/?p=1722318
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Dan Goodin

Is Your Linux System Memory, CPU or IO Bound?

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System running slow? If so, your system will be either Memory, CPU, or I/O bound. This article will show you a quick way to find out which of the three it is, allowing you to make informed system performance enhancements.

Read This Article on CloudSavvy IT ›

Source: https://www.cloudsavvyit.com/7826/is-your-linux-system-memory-cpu-or-io-bound/
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Roel Van de Paar

AMD’s Zen 3 CPUs are here—we test the blistering-fast 5900X and 5950X

Brand-new CPUs look so pretty before you put the thermal paste on and hide them under a cooler.

Enlarge / Brand-new CPUs look so pretty before you put the thermal paste on and hide them under a cooler. (credit: Jim Salter)

Specs at a glance: Ryzen 5000XT CPUs, as tested
OS Windows 10 Professional
CPU Ryzen 9 5950X (16c/32t)

Ryzen 9 5900X (12c/24t)

Ryzen 9 3900XT (12c/24t)—$455 at Amazon
RAM 2x 32GB Corsair Dominator Platinum RGB DDR4 3200—$180 ea at Amazon
GPU MSI GeForce 2060 RTX Super—formerly $450 at Amazon
HDD Samsung 860 Pro 1TB SSD—$200 at Amazon
Motherboard ASUS ROG Crosshair VIII Hero (Wi-Fi)—$380 at Amazon
Cooling NZXT Kraken X63 fluid cooler with 280mm radiator—$150 at Newegg
PSU EVGA 850Ga Modular PSU—$140 at Amazon
Chassis  Primochill Praxis Wetbench test chassis—$200 at Amazon
Price as tested ≈$1,500 as tested, excluding CPU

A month ago, AMD announced the arrival of the Zen 3 desktop CPU architecture. The announcement included new AMD internal benchmarks that implied Intel had lost its last desktop performance trophy—pure single-threaded performance.

Last week, Ars got samples of the two highest-end models in the new CPU lineup—the $800, 16-core/32-thread Ryzen 9 5950X, and the $550 12-core/24-thread Ryzen 9 5900X. And we can confirm most of AMD’s benchmark claims—IPC has improved, along with both single and multi-threaded performance, across the board, beating Intel soundly on nearly all fronts.

The only quibble we have with AMD’s claims regards power consumption, not performance—and to be fair, it’s almost certainly not AMD’s fault. The system’s desktop idle power consumption increased about 10W—but the increase affected our older Ryzen 9 3900XT CPU, as well as the two new Zen 3 parts. Knowing that, we expect the increase comes from the mandatory BIOS upgrade we had to perform on the ROG Crosshair VIII Hero motherboard, rather than the new CPUs themselves.

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Source: https://arstechnica.com/?p=1719448
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Jim Salter

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