A while back we showed you how to customize your OS X Dock with themes and other kinds of changes with a small, free program. Today we want to take that a step further and create unique custom themes using that same application. If you’re not familiar already with cDock, we suggest you read our article so you know what it can do . It’s best to relocate the tiny cDock executable to somewhere like the Applications folder so it’s always there if you want to use it, plus it can automatically check for updates so you’re always using the latest version. With cDock open, go ahead and play around with it if you like. Today we want to familiarize ourselves with the custom options, so click the menu next to “Dock theme” and select “Custom” and “Apply.” Your Dock will reload plain white and semi-transparent (50%). Two text documents will also open, “settings info.rtf” and “settings.txt”. It is recommended you place these docs side-by-side to facilitate easier … [Read more...] about How to Create Custom Dock Themes in OS X
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Most computer and video games created in the 20th century featured blocky, pixelated graphics. If you didn’t grow up with them (or never paid attention to the technical details), you might wonder why. We’ll explore the origins of pixel art and how graphics have exploded in complexity over time. The Short Answer: Resolution Was Limited by Cost and Available Technology The pixelated artwork in older video games—where the display resolution is low enough that the pixels are obvious and blocky—was largely the result of low-resolution television sets and the high cost of memory chips and digital logic at the time those games were created relative to today. While it was possible to create an HD-resolution digital still image by the late 1970s, the technology to animate it in real-time did not exist until much later. Such technology was far too expensive to put into a mass-produced entertainment product that consumers could afford until the mid-2000s. Game designers did what … [Read more...] about Why Were Old Video Games So Pixelated?
If you use Windows, you might have wondered about the small key with the Windows logo on your keyboard. It opens the Start menu and performs useful shortcuts, but where did it come from? Why is it there? Let’s take a look. The Origin of the Windows Key It might seem like the Windows key has always been with us, but it hasn’t. It first appeared in September 1994 on the Microsoft Natural Keyboard . This ergonomic keyboard was in the same vein as the earlier Apple Adjustable Keyboard , which split the standard QWERTY keyboard in half. Unlike Apple’s keyboard, though, Microsoft’s tilted each half at gentle angles to reduce wrist strain. By this point, Microsoft had already created other hardware products , including its widely acclaimed mice. When it was time to create its first keyboard, someone at Microsoft had the brilliant idea of including a permanent piece of Windows branding on it. This resulted in two Windows keys, located between the Control and Alt keys to the … [Read more...] about Why Do Keyboards Have a Windows Key? Here’s Where It Started
As a hobby, vintage computing is on the rise. A generation that grew up with classic PCs is looking back and revisiting the glory days of the ’80s, ’90s, and 2000s with the authentic machines. But what’s the best way to get the hardware? We’ll show you the options. The Catch: Many Vintage Computers Need Repair Before we begin, there are some “gotchas” you should know about buying vintage computers. Unless a machine has been shown to be in working condition, don’t buy it, because the older it is, the less likely it is to work as soon as you get it. That makes an “as-is” purchase risky for people who don’t have the technical background to repair or recondition a vintage PC. Almost no PCs were designed with three-decade longevity in mind. As a result, these sensitive electronic devices include components that degrade over time. Here are some frequent problems that pop up with vintage PCs: Plastics discolor or become brittle Rubber components or cables degrade and get … [Read more...] about What’s the Best Way to Buy a Vintage Computer?