This PC has clearly swallowed Hunter S Thompson's adrenal gland. Extreme gaming machines don’t get any more violently garish than this.
The Venomised Holly comes with a paint job worthy of a sports car from your choice of a million colours. Holly will even spray an iridescent finish on the computer -- depending on the angle you’re ogling it from, the paint will appear a different colour.
It's difficult to see the point of what some people get up to with their Mac Mini, but there's no shortage of crazies messing about with them. Silas Bennett has installed an internal battery in his Mini which makes it run without being plugged into a wall socket. You'd still need to plug the monitor into the wall, which makes this a curious DIY project. Mind you, we've put up shelves that have been less useful.
Welcome to the new Crave. We thought Crave's crack team of highly-trained gadget monkeys were having far too much fun to be left on their own, so we've decided to join them and Crave is now part of CNET.co.uk, a brand new Web site which launches today.
Crave will continue to keep you up to date on the latest gadget gossip, but will now also be able to give you access to in-depth product reviews on many of the things the Crave team have been lusting after, as well as to personal technology and consumer electronics News and Digital Living features to help you make sense of the technology you already own.
Alienware have been busy little lunatics this week. No sooner had they sent Crave two Area 51s than they released photos of this Dark Side PC. We've previously brought you tantalising photos of the Light Side edition, but feast your optical cortex on this freak.
Let's hope these new Star Wars PCs don't share the same vunerabilities as the Dark Side's other machines -- the Death Star was famously flawed.
Stand to attention soldiers, this is military grade home theatre equipment. The Moore Medio runs Windows Media Edition, but looks like it fell off a fighter jet. Tough steel fins run down both sides of the CPU, these serve as heat-sinks -- good job too, considering the kind of heat the chassis generates.
The Medio comes in its own aluminium carry case - we felt like we were unpacking a nuclear bomb when it arrived at Crave HQ. Everything on the Medio is beautifully machined and polished. It's not elegant in the vein of Linn or Bang and Olufsen, but it definitely doesn't look cheap. If you've ever stripped down a Briggs and Stratton, you'll have an idea of the sheer bulk and solidity of the Medio. Continue reading...
The Apple fans currently have some good ammunition against the PC-heads in the office, with some of the team unleashing Tiger as we speak. And since Monday, fans of white finishes and fruity logos have access to high definition movie trailers too. Available from its trailer site, you can now watch clips from new movies such as Batman Begins, Fantastic Four and Kingdom of Heaven.
For anyone unfamiliar with the hi-def revolution, its basic advantage is that it offers video at a much higher resolution than current standards, such as television and DVD material. Written down that might not sound too exciting, but in action it's a revelation -- think of a bigger jump in quality than DVD over VHS and you'll be somewhere close to the additional detail you'll see with hi-def.
There's something odd afoot in the minds of Microsoft. This is the third Media Centre in a row that doesn't display video on a TV out of the box. Beat us like dogs if we're mistaken, but shouldn't a device that is brazen enough to claim it's the 'centre' of all your 'media' at home be able to communicate with the lowly television set?
Ok, we've coaxed these stubborn animals to output video to TV before, but why in the name of Bill aren't they configured for TV output by default? Things looked momentarily hopeful with the Tranquil T2 -- the Windows start-up screen appeared on our TV and then... an ominous black cloud fell across the world. Continue reading...
Picture this. You plug in your VHS video recorder with two leads, you insert a video, you press play. You watch the video. Fairly simple, right?
Ok, now picture this. You plug in your Media Center and no picture appears on the TV. What are you going to do now? If like us, you turned to the manual, then you're a sucker. It's no help whatsoever -- in fact it actively taunts you with a series of cute little drawings that imply that plugging in a Media Center is like plugging in a toaster. The manual will beat you into a rage with its patronising tone, skipping over vast detail -- like a helicopter manual that asks you to 'take to the skies' before explaining how to switch the thing on.
The MicroNet drive comes in various capacities, from 80 to 400GB. Disappointingly, the plinth doesn't get thinner for the smaller drives.
If you were worried about sullying the clean lines of your Mac Mini with a brick-like external hard disk, the MicroNet keeps to the Apple dress code. This is the kind of drive we'd happily take home to mother. -CS
It's by far the best looking Media Centre we've seen so far -- slot-loading DVD drive; wire-brushed aluminium fascia; HIFI chassis. Once we’d peeled off the ugly Windows stickers that are compulsory for these hotrod PC PVRs, it looked like a work of art.
Slot loaders are great -- Crave can’t understand why these aren’t standard-issue on every device that accepts CDs or DVDs. It’s slightly annoying that Evesham has chosen to colour code the sockets on the front of the ebox in Playschool primary colours -- the only flaw in an otherwise viciously chic design.
These lavishly airbrushed Star Wars Systems are available from Alienware just in time for the release of Episode III. They come in either Dark Side or Light Side Case Designs, and have exclusive Star Wars Content pre-installed.
Both the dark and light sides of the force are apparently running AMD Athlon™ 64 FX-55 Processors this season. They also both use Microsoft Windows. Shouldn't the Light Side edition run Mac OS? Or Linux at the very least?
While you're eating biscuits at your desk and dropping crumbs into the keyboard, Stanford student Dan Maynes-Aminzade is licking flavours off his monitor. He's trying to solve one of the key problems in user interfaces: the lack of mouth-wateringly delicious feedback.
Maynes-Aminzade has developed two Edible User Interfaces (EUIs), BeanCounter and TasteScreen. BeanCounter dispenses jellybeans according to the use of system resources. Beans drop into a clear chamber when memory is allocated, then fall out into a bowl when the memory is released, enabling programmers to monitor up to six processes. Of course this might lead to all sorts of maverick programming, because the best way to get jellybeans is by using up lots of memory, then releasing it quickly -- but hey, it's a lot prettier than a bar chart.
One thing is certain about this liquid cooled Holly - it's faster than anything we've tested before. There was no perceptible slow-down in gaming performance no matter how many video options we tweaked into dangerous territory. We turned up Half-Life's video resolution and FX settings all the way and the Holly didn't miss a step. It just glowed at us in its smug blue neon way.
With liquid coolant being blasted at high pressure against heat sinks attached to the processor and dual graphics cards it's no surprise this sucker is hardcore. Next up: We install Doom 3 and see how badly we can scare ourselves.-CS
Crave unpacked the DMSII 3400 this morning and plugged it in. The build quality on the DMS is something special – we’d expect this kind of solid construction from LINN, but Hi-Grade surprised us with a machine that feels like a pro hifi component.
Ten minutes with Windows XP Media Edition was enough to crush our enthusiasm -- Microsoft are never going to be the centre of your digital home while you still have to read 10 page licence agreements and set up user accounts – this is supposed to be a home entertainment system, not a missile launch computer.
This arrived in the post today -- it’s one of the fastest gaming PCs on the face of this good earth. Like you - and perhaps me - this thing actually has a circulatory system. It’s not pumping blood though; it’s pumping liquid coolant. Pumping it like the world is about to end.
While we obsess over all things new and shiny, intrepid modders are packing today's tiny products into the larger, sturdier and possibly more stylish gadgets of yesteryear.
• Matt Billings didn't want to expose his Mac Mini to thieving passers-by, so he tucked it away inside an old Dell desktop. His Flickr photoset documents the build.
Apple's the best brand on earth at the moment, say marketdroids, beating Google into second place. If the company bought Irn-Bru they'd rename it iRn-Bru, get it onto the wine list at the Savoy at fifty quid a bottle and quadruple sales in a week. Which is why you can buy PCs like this one, with more memory, CPU and disk than a Mac mini but for the same money. The shop'll even throw in a TV tuner, MS Media Centre software and a keyboard.
There's tonnes more software out there for it than anything Apple-flavoured, much of it free. Software sells hardware, remember? Not now it doesn't. You can buy PCs like that, but you don't. That's why they're languishing as remaindered stock while people queue for miles to pick up anything with a half-eaten fruit on the front. There'll be tears. But there'll also be bargains. I can live with that. -RG Continue reading...