ASUS Republic of Gamers Maximus IX Extreme Motherboard

Looking to build an ultimate gaming rig? The latest Asus ROG motherboard can help get you started.

This high-performance Z270 gaming motherboard comes with integrated monoblock water-cooler, Aura Sync illumination, exceptional audio, multiple safeguards, and latest connectivity.

I have not really kept up with the latest in PC technology, but here’s a quick refresher on the latest features to look out for. It’s a long list and an excellent starting piece for your ultimate gaming rig.
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Jide Remix OS for PC

After the successful launch of Remix Ultra-Tablet & Remix Mini on Kickstarter. Jide is bringing their Remix OS to the next level by offering Remix OS for PC!

Remix OS is an Android-based OS that follow a typical PC experience such as Desktop support & Multi windows application. Jide aims to provide extended flexibility that stock Android could not provide at the moment. With the rising trend of larger tablet replacing computer in the market, Jide may hit the jackpot by attracting customers with their unique yet familiar interface.

Remix OS for PC is the 3rd step of Jide’s expansion for their Remix range

Built on the Android-x86 project, Remix OS for PC is compatible to most of the laptop & desktop that are running on Windows (or even Macs). It could be an alternative OS on your Surface Pro, a play-time complement. Based on their own benchmarking, it even overtake one of the best Android performer in the market (Galaxy Note 5) by 2 times. The only requirement is for your PC to have an USB 3.0 to run the system.

If your PC does not meet the requirement, you are able to experience Remix OS by purchasing the Jide Remix Mini at just US$70. Running on 64bit Allwinner Quad Core processor with 2GB ram, it might not be able to rival against chipset competitor such as Qualcomm & Mediatek, However, it does the job for video streaming/gaming smoothly.

Remix OS for PC is said to be available for public from tomorrow onwards for FREE(!) with Jide’s promise to provide constant updates for the OS.

Faster Raspberry Pi 2 Released

The credit-card sized Raspberry Pi gets an upgrade, offering faster processor and more memory. I am glad I held off on the Raspberry Pi B+, as just barely six months after it’s launch, the Raspberry Pi 2 is now available and it offers significant improvement over it’s predecessor. The Rasp Pi 2 now sports a quad-core 800 / 900 MHz chip with 1GB of RAM. This is expected to offer six times the performance of the old Model B+. Footprint remains the same and it offers the same connectivity as the previous version. Best of all, pricing remains the same too at US$35.

The GPU and other specifications remain the same. It has an identical form-factor to the existing Raspberry Pi 1 Model B+, so you can re-use your existing case and other accessories. All of the connectors are in the same place and have the same functionality, and the board can still be run from a 5V micro-USB power adapter.

The latest Raspberry Pi 2 would also be compatible with Windows 10, and for those intending to explore Windows, the Raspberry Pi version would be made free. It is still pending further details on how the ARM architecture will handle Windows and its app supportability. Loading an OS is as easy as copying the necessary files to the MicroSD and that should increase the ease of access to the Raspberry Pi.

It is currently selling now. Singapore buyers should be able to get the Raspberry Pi 2 when it is available from both Element14 and RSOnline, although initial stocks would be limited. The link for RSOnline is now up at (http://sg.rs-online.com/web/p/processor-microcontroller-development-kits/8326274/)[http://sg.rs-online.com/web/p/processor-microcontroller-development-kits/8326274/] and retailing at S$47.17, priced slightly higher than normal.

Raspberry Pi 2 Model B SBC

  • Broadcom BCM2836 800MHz ARM Cortex-A7 quad-core processor with VideoCore IV dual-core GPU
  • GPU provides Open GL ES 2.0, hardware-accelerated OpenVG, and 1080p30 H.264 high-profile decode
  • GPU is capable of 1Gpixel/s, 1.5Gtexel/s or 24GFLOPs with texture filtering and DMA infrastructure
  • 1GB LPDDR2 SDRAM
  • HD 1080p video output
  • Composite video (PAL/NTSC) output
  • Stereo audio output
  • 10/100 BaseT RJ45 Ethernet socket
  • HDMI 1.3 & 1.4 video/audio socket
  • 3.5mm 4-pole audio/composite video out jack socket
  • 4 x USB 2.0 sockets
  • 15-way MPI CSI-2 connector for Raspberry Pi HD video camera (775-7731)
  • 15-way Display Serial Interface connector
  • MicroSD card socket
  • Boots from MicroSD card, running a new version of the Linux operating system (See Note below)
  • 40-pin header for GPIO and serial buses (compatible with Raspberry Pi 1 26-pin header)
  • Power supply: +5V @ 2A via microUSB socket
  • Dimensions: 86 x 56 x 20mm

Setup Plex on Cloud for Channel Streaming

I was looking at setting up a Plex Media Server on the cloud for a couple of reasons. It allows me to have my Plex server permanently on, and not having to leave my computer on all the time at home. The other reason was to access US-based content as Plex would be running on a foreign IP, and could access to Plex channels. I was looking at a few of the more common cloud options, AWS, Azure, DigitalOcean and a few others came to mind but I settled for DigitalOcean thanks to the free $100 credit for education-linked sign up through Github. The below steps would largely apply to other VPS / cloud providers but I decided to go with DigitalOcean because of the free credit. At $5 a month, I could operate the server for close to two years! I initially thought I could configure the on/off time for the server to reduce my monthly bill even further. Powering off the server will see you still consume computer resources and be charged accordingly. I guess you could create a snapshot and destroy the server when not needed.

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ASUS Announces 500 Million Motherboard Sales with Giveaway

ASUS announced today that it has sold over 500-million motherboards since the company’s inception in 1989. This significant milestone will be celebrated with a global competition, giving ASUS fans and followers around the world the chance to learn more about the history of ASUS and to win some amazing prizes, including a Z97 PC in a unique ASUS TUF case mod.

Did you know that ASUS was started by four engineers in a small Taiwan apartment?
ASUS was founded in Taipei in 1989 by T.H. Tung, Ted Hsu, Wayne Hsieh and M.T. Liao, and all four were previously working at another tech company, Acer as computer engineers.

ASUS History
ASUS History

Source: http://www.asus.com/Microsite/mb/ASUSMB1st/index.aspx

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INTEL wants to put a full Windows PC in your Pocket

How about bringing your work home in your pocket instead of lugging a laptop home? Intel takes a leaf from the China gizmo manufacturers with their latest Intel Compute Stick, their take on the mini TV stick. The Intel Compute Stick sports a familiar looking design, with the HDMI port, and micro USB connection for power. It can run either Linux or Windows, and will be powered by a capable Intel Atom quad core Baytrail Z3735F processor, with up to 2GB of RAM, and up to 32GB of eMMC storage. WiFi is built in and memory can be further expanded via micro SD.

Back in 2012, I was impressed by the MK808, and thought that it could be fun to use as a PC stick equivalent. “The MK808 also offers other computing advantages such as internet browsing, word processing, etc, and its very scalable. The previous version MK802 was able to fully run Linux (Ubuntu, Puppy Linux). I thought it might be interesting to SMEs with technology cost constraints. This could easily replace a laptop (SG$1000). I owned one of those TV sticks and in truth, it was a little under utilised. Despite the convenient form factor, you still need to find a USB hub for your other essential computing devices like a mouse and keyboard, and the Android OS just wasn’t mature enough at that point in time for full computing. Well, the Intel Compute stick might have arrived at the right time. With Microsoft offering Windows 8.1 at a song for tablet-esque devices, this have made the Windows version of the Intel Compute stick affordable at $149. You should definitely opt for the Windows version as the additional 1GB and 24gb of storage is definitely worth paying the $50 more.
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Logitech K400R Review: For Couch Surfers

I bought the Logitech K400R keyboard from Amazon – a bit of an impulse buy really, in order to make up the Free Shipping requirements for US$125. Here’s my quick thoughts on the keyboard. The Logitech K400R keyboard combines both the keyboard and mouse functions into one here, and is primarily designed for use as a home theatre PC, multimedia box or smart tv companion.

Nutshell Summary

  • Easy and comfortable typing on quiet keys
  • Integrated multi-touch trackpad
  • Irritating function key setup
  • Well suited for Home theater environment
  • Works with Windows, Linux, ChromeOS and Android
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