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Power Saver, Balanced, or High Performance?

Power settings matter a great deal, especially on notebooks. Many pre-built computers come with their own power settings built into the OS, usually called something like “Dell Recommended.” These settings are usually decent, but to be sure you’re getting the best power management it is advised to instead use Balanced which will likely do a better job of dynamically setting the CPU as necessary. There’s always more to power settings than meets the eye, however; for example in XP, power settings were curiously hidden in various names like “Home/Office Desk” and “Minimal Power Management” — and, what’s the difference between “Presentation” and “Always On”? Turns out, if you wanted XP to use full power you’d have to set it to “Home/Office Desk.”

In Windows Vista & 7, the power settings have been dramatically overhauled for the better. Here’s what’s different and noteworthy:

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Top 5 Free Online Storage Reviews

I’ve got a lot of data. For me, storage is critical. As I mentioned in my previous article on how to archive large files on SkyDrive, sometimes I want to move files to the cloud for an extended duration of time or permanent archive. It’s good practice to keep a copy of critical data off-site to prevent against theft, fire, earthquakes, human error, and whatever other paranoia you can come up with.

So, since you’re being cheap and searched for free online storage reviews, here are the current best 5 free five online storage services:

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The Perfect Sync

In a previous article, I detailed my awkward experience with Windows Home Server and setting up a stable FTP server. In the end, I converted it into an XP server and assigned my clients with NetDrive so that they could mount the FTP server as a drive letter and browse effortlessly.

Problem is, NetDrive’s performance was subpar with large files, such as PDFs. For example, if I were to open a large PDF, instead of caching the entire PDF and reading it locally, NetDrive would proceed to download the PDF in parts much the same way it works when you view a large PDF from within a web browser. Because many of the PDFs on the server are large (100MB+), this resulted in extremely slow performance. Moreover, a client requested that the files be made available offline so that data from the server could be reviewed and edited while on a plane, for example. Dropbox’s impressive core sync engine evidently left quite an impression, and rightfully so.

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Windows Home Server is Incredibly Awkward

I was compelled to set up a file server because my clients maxed out their Dropbox. Originally, they were only sharing about 100MB worth of documents, so, I figured Dropbox was the ideal solution for them. Of course as they got real comfortable, they started sharing folders and moving enormous PDFs, .wav files and videos into the Dropbox. Needless to say, they maxed it out pretty quickly. I could upgrade their Dropbox, but then I’d have to upgrade everybody’s Dropbox and at this point there are at least ten different clients accessing the data at any given time. So, a dedicated file server seemed like the logical choice.

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Flash Video/Games on the iPhone Using CloudBrowse

Many complaints about the iPhone being unable to do what Android devices can do are often unwarranted. Flash doesn’t work on Safari, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t workarounds. There’s always a way. After reading about Flash’s poor performance on Android, I decided to give Flash a try on the iPhone using the free app “CloudBrowse,” (no jailbreaking required) easily the most interesting app I’ve seen on the iPhone since MicroSurface or JellyCar. Although it’s possible to view/play Flash content on an iPhone, is it worth the trouble? Read on to find out and see a video of its performance with CloudBrowse.

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Livedrive: “Unlimited” Online Backup Review

Update: See our Top 5 Free Online Storage Reviews (11/1/2010) for more cloud storage goodness.

I’ve been in search of truly unlimited online storage for quite some time. I don’t mind paying, as long as it’s really unlimited. In my quest, I’ve come across a wide variety of services that fall short of their claims because they require the use of a proprietary client to facilitate the backups, thereby effectively making an online RAID 1 mirror. The catch is that if you delete something on your local machine, it will be deleted (typically within thirty days). So, they’re obviously not too worried about you using too much space since it is unlikely that you’ll have 100TB of data on your machines.

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