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PC ER: Downgrading Windows on an ASUS U47A

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It’s worse than I thought.

The new ASUS U47A comes with a whole host of “security” features to prevent downgrading of the operating system, Windows 8.

This particular U47A system was purchased in preparation for a federal criminal trial in Las Vegas in which I will be relying heavily on the system to serve up dense amounts of information. I learned my lesson from my last case to not rely on Windows 8 (more on that later), so, downgrading was part of the plan all along. ASUS’ position that “No,downgrading from Windows 8 to Windows 7 is not an option,” was unacceptable for me.

 

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How-To: Make Use of UltraVNC SC (Single-Click)

What is UltraVNC SC? It’s a solution for fast remote-access to a client’s system. It’s free, too.

What’s the difference between UltraVNC and UltraVNC SC? UltraVNC SC takes all of the complexities of setting up a VNC server, and puts the burden on the admin, rather than the client side. Forwarding ports, installing services, setting up passwords, configuring firewalls — all of that is transparent to the client. All the client has to do is double-click a custom *.exe that you set up ahead of time by following this guide.

So, let’s get started.

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How-To Archive Large Files with SkyDrive

I have a lot of stuff on my hard drives. Not all of it is entirely necessary. I have dozens of old 3d studio max files and other projects that have long since been completed or abandoned over the years.

I like the idea of having an off-site backup of non-mission-critical data. When I heard that Microsoft increased their online storage capacity on SkyDrive to 25GB, I became very interested. They have a cap on the filesize, 50MB per file. To work around this, I elected to use my favorite archiver — WinRAR.

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Gaming How-To: Connect Your PS3 to a PC Monitor

While VariableGHz is primarily a PC enthusiast sort of site, and by extension its gaming articles primarly focused on PC gaming, I envision a world in which consoles and PCs may live together in harmony. And as a pioneer of gaming equality, I did some research on uniting the two as seamlessly as possible. The primary reason why somebody would want to do this is for a cheap alternative to an HDTV. With the 360 and PS3 both capable of HD resolutions, you’re truly missing out if you’re still hooking them up to your old tube TVs. Unfortunately, HDTVs are still fairly expensive, but many people already have widescreen LCD monitors with their PCs.

For my setup, I wanted to be able to route the console’s video through the monitor, and the sound through the computer speakers. It wasn’t easy to find very reliable information out there; I found lots of forum posts asking how to do this. They were receiving very few definitive responses, and it sounded like a lot of folks were just guessing. So, I decided to make my own guide with as much detail as possible. The end result became a little lengthier and image-heavy than I anticipated, so I’ll be dividing it into two parts for each system.

Next week, I will cover the instructions for connecting an Xbox 360 without HDMI.

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How to Setup a Foolproof Proxy for Anonymous Browsing

All of my years of experience with proxies doesn’t much help those who want the benefits of a proxy, yet don’t have the technical wherewithal to accomplish it. As such, I set out in search of a sure thing, a foolproof proxy that anyone could use with minimal setup. I was surprised to find Vidalia.

Vidalia has proven by far the simplest (free) proxy solution. By GUI-ing Tor & combining a Torbutton for Firefox, it couldn’t be simpler. Here’s how to anonymize your Internet activity in just a few minutes.

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