In the 1990s, Microsoft produced a wide range of multimedia CD-ROM educational and entertainment titles under the brand “Microsoft Home.” These guides covered topics as diverse as dogs, dinosaurs, wine, and gardening. We take a look at some of these forgotten classics. The Origins of Microsoft Home In the 1980s, Microsoft pushed heavily for the future of the CD-ROM format, even organizing the first major industry conference on CD-ROM in 1986. In a time before the internet could deliver unlimited research materials to your PC, the CD-ROM medium, with its massive 650 megabyte capacity per disc, promised to bring large reference works and multimedia to home computers. After the successful release of the Microsoft Encarta CD-ROM encyclopedia in March 1993, Microsoft launched the “Microsoft Home” brand under its consumer products division in October of that same year. Led by Patty Stonesifer, the Home brand would encompass hardware products like mice and dozens of … [Read more...] about Dogs, Dinosaurs, and Wine: The Lost CD-ROMs of Microsoft
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One of the biggest promises VPN services make is that they don’t keep logs. It’s plastered across their websites and features prominently in their marketing material. But what are logs, exactly, and what makes for a “no-log” or “zero-log” VPN? What Are Logs? In short, a log—also called a log file—is the record of events between two servers. When you visited this web page, your computer reached out to How-To Geek’s server through your internet service provider’s networks. Both the ISP and our server made note of that in their logs. Logs are available to your systems administrator (your ISP or boss, if you’re at work) as well as the websites you visit. The log contains your IP address , the time you connected, and the duration of your connection. Though it seems like pretty innocent information, it can be worth its weight in gold to marketers. They can determine somebody’s general location using their IP , then figure out some of their browsing habits thanks to the … [Read more...] about What Is a No-Log VPN, and Why Is That Important for Privacy?
High-quality sound on PCs from drop-in sound cards and external DACs is a weird subject. It’s not as necessary as it once was. In fact, nobody even thinks about it much anymore. There’s no song or game that you won’t be able to listen to because of underpowered gear. Sound vs. Graphics Hardware Your computer’s built-in sound is pretty good for most tasks. Contrast that with gaming, where if you want to play the newest AAA games at high frame rates, you need a graphics card. A CPU’s integrated graphics processor simply isn’t up to the challenge. Nevertheless, some people still want better sound than a motherboard can offer. When that’s the case, it comes down to two primary choices: a sound card or an external DAC (digital-to-analog converter). A quality listening experience needs a minimum of electrical interference, which is a problem because a PC motherboard is a hotbed of electrical activity. That’s why onboard motherboard audio has shielding to protect itself as best … [Read more...] about What Is an External DAC, and Do You Need One for a PC?