Sony PSP 2 Officially Announced; Sports A Quad-Core CPU

The successor to the Sony PSP the PSP 2 has been finally unveiled by Sony. The next generation PlayStation Portable 2 carries a codename of NGP and is powered by quad-core Cortex A9 processor while a quad-core PowerVR SGX543MP GPU handles the graphics section. The screen of the PSP2 has been upped to a 5-inch O-LED display with a resolution of 960×544.

It also sports Wi-Fi, 3G, GPS, Bluetooth, an accelerometer, a gyro-scope, an electronic compass and dual-analog sticks.

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The back of the portable console also sports a touch-panel which will provide gamers with a better gaming experience. The portable console has an oval design which will allow it to fit comfortably in the gamer’s hand. The back and the front of the handheld console also sport a camera, each. The PSP 2 also sports stereo speakers and a microphone.

With the PSP 2, Sony has dumped UMD for a new type of flash memory especially for NGP. The PSP2 will have a new LiveArea’ UI where gamers can interact and compete with other gamers out there. At their live event, Sony also demoed some popular games like Killzone, Resistance and Uncharted. Readers can read the full press release from Sony here.

The PSP2 is definitely one of the most powerful handheld consoles in the market with a quad-core CPU and a GPU. Sony did not mention the pricing of the console but the device is expected to hit the retails stores by the holiday season of this year.

The Razer Switchblade Concept PC Will Blow Your Mind

At the Baskerville estate, Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson have a rather curious conversation:

Watson, how do you play your High Def games on the go?

Well Holmes, you must know that I use my Alienware M15x. It’s huge, it’s bulky, but it delivers near the wild Dartmoors and keeps that wretched Hound at bay!

An Alienware? Come now, Watson if you really want to game on the go, you should use the Razer Switchblade portable PC.

Ha but that is still a mere concept! How will I ever use it?

Elementary, my dear Watson; all you have to do is write sufficient blog posts to generate enough buzz about the platform and you’ll have the hardware in no time.

You are right, Holmes, as always!

Alright, it got strained towards the end, but the Razer Switchblade is probably one of the most ambitious projects to come up in the Ultra-Mobile PC (UMPC) platform in ages. It was made specifically to cater to the correct form of gaming: PC gaming.

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You see, Razer is a company that strives to perfect the PC gaming experience, and makes boatloads of cash while doing so. Their equipment is extremely expensive, but satisfyingly awesome. I have no doubt that their foldable UMPC, the Switchblade will be the same.

The Switchblade concept features a multi-touch ultra-precise touchscreen, a USB 3.0 port and an HDMI port. What sets it apart from any other UMPC (or laptop, for that matter) is the beautiful, adaptive keyboard. Now, it’s hard to describe just how beautiful this keyboard concept is, and while it has been done before it’s never been done this well. You see, each key of the keyboard has a tiny color LCD screen at the head of the keyboard. These can change to show the normal QWERTY layout, or (as in the case of the Switchblade) show tiny icons of shortcuts for the game that you are playing. Like the icon of a gun in Quake, or a spell in World of Warcraft.

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I’ll let the pseudo-solemnly-epic video do the major part of the talking here:-

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If implemented, the Switchblade will feature an Intel processor and a dedicated graphics card (obviously). The hands on preview is available at CES South Hall #30754. Since it’s still a concept code, the name is bound to change to a predatory animal’s as soon as the device is in production.

Manage Windows Services with Portable Services Suite

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If you need a fast, functional and easy way to manage the services that run on your PC, take a look at Services Suite, a portable application from RoyalFool.de. Below are some screenshots and a brief description of how it works.

To use it, you’ll have to download and extract it to a folder somewhere on your PC or on a flash drive. It’s offered as a RAR file download, so if you aren’t familiar with RAR archives, you we’ll show you how to open a RAR file.

Once you have it unpacked, all you have to do is double click the file ServicesSuite.exe to start the program.

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When it’s first started, you may have to select your language in order to read the menus. Right now, it’s only available in German and English.

The program interface will list all of the registered services on a PC in a three column format. The three columns are automatic, manual and deactivated, as shown next.

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In order to change the status of any service, you can click on it and drag it from one list to another. When you are finished making changes, you’ll have to write these changes to the registry by clicking on the check mark icon in the top right of the application window.

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That’s all there is to it. The only problem you might have is if you aren’t a system administrator on the PC you are using. Some services can only be changed if you are the administrator.

arrow-down-double-3 Download Services Suite (requires .NET Framework 2.0)

[via WebDomination]

Other ways to work with Windows Services:

How To Delete/Remove Services In Windows XP and Vista

Tweak Windows 7 Services With SMART | Windows 7 Services Optimiser

Advanced Windows Service Manager Plus

ServicesEditor Makes Tweaking and Restoring Windows Services Easy

Techie Buzz Verdict:

For experienced users, this may not be a huge help. After all, you can easily access the system services using the services.msc applet. However, it’s nice for quick changes and it’s so simple to use. The fact that this app is very small, portable and free, makes it a win on my score card.

Techie Buzz Rating: 3/5 (Good)

A Review of Emsisoft Free Emergency Kit

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[Windows Only]  Emsisoft isn’t a big name in the anti-virus, anti-malware industry, but they are well respected and they’ve been offering great products since 2003. When I first ran into them, they were offering one of the best anti-trojan scanners, named A-Squared. Recently, they’ve come out with a new bundle of anti-malware called Emsisoft Emergency Kit, and it’s completely free.

The first feature of this software kit that I liked, was the fact that it’s also portable. This means that the files making up this bundle can be copied to a CD or a USB flash drive, so that it can be used easily on any PC. All you have to do is download the Zip file and extract it to any drive you want. Below is a screen shot of the files included in this package.

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To start up Emergency Kit, simply double click the start.exefile.   This launches a selection screen and you can choose one of the four main programs included in the kit.

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Below is a list of the programs in the kit and a brief description for each.

• Emsisoft Emergency Kit Scanner

Search the infected PC for Viruses, Trojans, Spyware, Adware, Worms, Dialers, Keyloggers and other malign programs.

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• Emsisoft Commandline Scanner

This scanner contains the same functionality as the Emergency Kit Scanner but without a graphical user interface. The commandline tool is made for professional users and can be used perfectly for batch jobs.

• Emsisoft HiJackFree

HiJackFree helps advanced users to detect and remove Malware manually. With HiJackFree you can manage all active processes, services, drivers, autoruns, open ports, hosts file entries and many more. It’s a tool very similar to the old and much revered HiJackThis, except that it offers more information and the ability to consult an online analysis tool for advice.

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• Emsisoft BlitzBlank

BlitzBlank is a tool for experienced users. BlitzBlank deletes files, Registry entries and drivers at boot time before Windows and all other programs are loaded.

Here’s the Emergency Kit home page for more details and the download: http://www.emsisoft.com/en/software/eek/

Note: Another great tool from Emsisoft is the well known Online Armor firewall (free version).

. . . . . .

Techie Buzz Verdict:

I tried out Emsisoft Emergency Kit briefly and I was not disappointed. Even though most of the tools in this kit are for experienced users, the Scanner alone can help almost anyone. It’s not a small download, but it’s portable and most importantly, it’s free. I give it a big thumbs up.

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Techie Buzz Rating: 4/5 (Excellent)


Protect Your Portable Files with USB Safeguard

usbsafeguard-ico Traveling around with a USB flash drive full of your personal files is often very useful. However, it can also be risky. These little thumb drivescan easily be lost or stolen. If you have personal information on them, the loss could cause you plenty of trouble. Fortunately, there are several free utilities designed to keep your personal files protected (encrypted) with a password.   USB Safeguard is a good option.

USB Safeguard is available as a single executable file named usbsafeguard.exe’. It’s only about 736k, so it will fit easily on most current USB drives. You’ll find that you actually have to move the usbsafeguard.exe file onto the flash drive before it will run. Once it’s started for the first time, you’ll see the following prompt for a password:

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You can type in your password, or you can use the built in on-screen keyboard by clicking the tiny keyboard icon just above the first password field. You’ll have to enter the password twice to confirm it’s typed correctly.

Next you’ll be asked to save the password in a text file on your hard drive. This is a precaution you might want to take, just in case you forget the password later.

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After that, you’ll get the main interface where you can add files from your flash drive that you want to encrypt. You can add files by dragging and dropping them into the large empty area, or you can use the Encrypt Allbutton to grab everything on the flash drive.

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If you’ve added files by dragging and dropping, you’ll need to hit the Encryptbutton to move to the next step. Here’s what it looks like while it’s encrypting your files.

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After it’s finished encrypting, the original files will need to be removed. The following screen gives you several options for dealing with them.

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Here’s what it looks like when you are deleting files:

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Now when you look at the files on the flash drive, you’ll only see the usbsafeguard.exe file and the encrypted archive named image.dsk. That single image file could contain hundreds of files if that’s what you want in it. The size of you flash drive is the only limitation.

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In order to get your files back out, all you have to do is run the usbsafeguard.exe file and supply the password. You’ll see all the files listed and you can select them and decrypt(unpack) the ones you want.

Here are three other file encryption tools we’ve written about:

Keep USB Data Encrypted With SafeHouse Explorer
Encrypt and Hide Data on Flash/USB Drive with Rohos Mini Drive
TrueCrypt | A FREE file encryption utility that is useful too

Techie Buzz Verdict:

This is a good solution for protecting files. I’m not very happy with the main interface that’s used to drag and drop files into. I think it might be more useful if it was more like a Windows Explorer file browser. That said, I plan to keep a copy of it.

Techie Buzz Rating: 3/5 (Good)

Macpup Opera 2.0 is Launched – Fast Portable Linux

puppy-logoMacpup Opera is a   branch of Linux based on the famous Puppy Linux, which is known for it’s small size and portability. Puppy was designed to be able to run from a CD or portable flash drive. Macpup Opera takes the Puppy feature set and wraps it up in a beautiful and user friendly interface. The release of version 2.0 of this distro brings with it:

• e17 window manager
• Opera 10 web browser
• Gimp image editor
• Abiword word processor
• Gnumeric spreadsheet
• and dozens of other programs

In order to try out Macpup Opera, I downloaded the 163mb ISO live CD image and burned it to my 2Gb SD Flash card using Unetbootin. In a few minutes, I was running Macpup, and I had a nice little laugh, because it barked at me when it was done booting.

The first thing I had to do was to get my wifi network connected. I’ve always been disappointed with the networking wizard that comes with Puppy, but I’ve struggled with it often enough that I got it to recognize my network. Next, I opened the Opera web browser to see how it worked in Macpup.

I was amazed at the speed that I was getting compared to my Windows systems. Opera was surfing, paging, and refreshing faster than I’d ever seen it. This alone is a good reason for me to keep a copy of Macpup around. If my Windows PC ever crashes, I can always boot into a Puppy session for getting fixes off the web.

The Opera browser comes with it’s new Unity service and lots of desktop widgets that you’ll love playing with.

Instead of boring you with more details, here’s a video showing off this unique and completely free OS:

Link to video

For those who can’t see the video, here’s a screenshot:

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This is one sweet looking little operating system and it’s sure to get a second glance as people pass by your PC.

Download Macpup Opera 2.0

Techie Buzz Verdict:

Many people won’t have any use for this unique Linux version. On the other hand, it’s small, fast, free and really pretty to watch. It’s a great place to start for those who’ve never used Linux before.

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Techie Buzz Rating: 4/5 (Excellent)

Know Your System’s Details With Speccy [Hardware Analysis]

[Windows Only] Coming from the same guys who made CCleaner and Defraggler, this one called Speccy from Piriform sure takes a hit at being simple and doing just what it should. Speccy is a hardware information tool that scratches your system for details and lists down everything about your hardware in a neat and tidy interface.

For people using Windows, CCleaner has been a clear favorite when it comes to quick system maintenance. Falling in the same league, Speccy allows you to have a glance of all the system details swiftly without any fuss required at the user-end.

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The application caters to all aspects of hardware, from the CPU to Network to Graphics and whatever comes in between. There’s a summary page where you can see all the details in brief and then click through them to have them explained. If you’re the regular forum bird, Speccy can come in handy in a lot of situations where you need to hand over your system specs to another party, for Speccy allows you to take a screenshot’ of your configuration and have it saved to a file. This screenshot is not a jpeg as many would have assumed. It is a .speccy file which you can send over to another party and can only be opened with the Speccy application. When opened, it will present a duplicate copy of configuration as snapped from your PC.

Like other Piriform apps, Speccy is available as an installer and a portable zip file which, again, can come in handy if you’re the de facto tech support for everyone around you!

Thanks to Lee at DownloadSquad for the hat tip!