Crazy case mods and heavenly hardware: The glorious PC gear of PAX 2015

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The PC is taking over PAX. I don’t know how it happened, or why it’s happening, but there is more PC hardware at PAX this year than I’ve ever seen before—and definitely more than we see at E3 and GDC. Everyone is here, from Asus to Alienware to Corsair to Razer to Cooler Master to…well, basically everyone except AMD, for whatever reason.

People are building PCs on the show floor. There are motherboards laying in the open. There’s Fallout-themed case mods. There’s liquid cooling galore. If you like to drool over machines, there’s quite a bit of eye-candy at PAX.

If you’re still at PAX today, let this be a guide for stuff you should seek out. And if not, at least there are pictures.

Airtel, Idea Hike Postpaid Mobile Data Tariffs

Telecom operators Bharti Airtel and Idea Cellular have hiked charges for postpaid customers by 20 percent in various circles, including the national capital.

As per information posted on the companies’ websites, Airtel has raised data tariffs in Delhi, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Maharashtra, Punjab, Rajasthan, UP East, and UP West circles.

Idea Cellular has done the same in Delhi, Punjab, and UP West.

Postpaid customers of both operators in the designated circles will now have to pay Rs. 300 for 1GB 3G data usage, as against Rs. 250 earlier.

Vodafone, however, has not raised data charges in the postpaid category and continues to offer 1GB 3G data for Rs. 250.

Airtel, Idea, and Vodafone had raised prepaid data tariffs for 2G and 3G services in Delhi by up to 47 percent in June following the spectrum auctions in March, when operators acquired airwaves worth Rs. 1,01,000 crores.

In a bid to improve profitability, telcos have been cutting back on discounts and freebies. Last year also, firms including Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Idea had increased data as well as call tariffs. After the March spectrum auction, industry associations had said there would be hike in tariffs as operators have to meet the commitment to the government.

Vodafone last week said it aims to roll out 4G mobile services by December, in five circles – Bengaluru, Delhi, Kochi, Kolkata, and Mumbai. The company had started 4G trials in selected areas in July.

Steam Machines revealed: Full details and pictures for every model

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Steam Machines revealed

After a long delay, Valve’s bid to replace your living room console with a true-blue gaming PC is finally taking shape. Valve and its partners revealed a whopping 15 new Steam Machines during GDC 2015, covering virtually every price point and internal component configuration. (They’re all small, though—these are supposed to fit in a home theater cabinet.) Valve’s so serious that it even launched a new hardware section in the Steam store ahead of the scheduled November 10 launch for Steam Machines, and will toss in free copies of Rocket League and Portal 2 if you preorder a system.

If you’re looking for impressions and video of the new Steam Machines, Gordon Mah Ung has you covered. Here, we’ll take a peek at each and every new Steam Machine announced, from iBuyPower’s $450 SBX to crazy $5000 rigs from Falcon Northwest and Origin. PCWorld’s massive graphics card performance round-up can help you get up to speed with the various visual options offered.

Let’s dig in!

Editor’s note: This article was originally published on March 6, 2015, but has been updated since then with additional information.

 

How to make the cursor or mouse pointer bigger

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Eston Burciaga asked if “there’s a way to drastically increase the size of the standard Windows pointer?”

If you move your mouse, and can’t find the pointer, it’s time to change the way that the pointer looks and behaves. You can make that adjustment through Control Panel’s Mouse tool. The easiest way to get to that tool varies depending on your version of Windows.

[Have a tech question? Ask PCWorld Contributing Editor Lincoln Spector. Send your query to answer@pcworld.com.]

Windows 7: Click Start, type mouse and select Mouse in the Control Panel section.

Windows 8: Go to the Search charm and type mouse in the text box. Click the option that simply says “Mouse,” and has an icon of a mouse. (Don’t be tempted by the “Ease of Access mouse settings” option. It doesn’t provide as many options as the Control Panel tool.)

Windows 10: In the Search field, type mouse. Select Change your mouse settings. In the resulting Settings app, click Additional mouse settings.

Now, whichever version of Windows you’re using, you should be in the Mouse Properties dialog box.

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Two useful tabs in the Mouse Property box

Click the Pointers tab. Pull down the Scheme menu and select something. You’ll find a variety of options in different sizes, colors, and outlines. When you select one, it won’t change the actual mouse pointer, but it will display your selection in the box to the right of the Scheme menu. If you really want to see how a pointer looks in actual use, click Applyand mouse around with it a bit.

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You’ll find more possibilities in the dialog box’s Pointer Options tab—especially in the Visibility section. Pointer trails can be especially useful in making the pointer more visible.

Pimoroni Display-O-Tron HAT Lands At Adafruit For $27.95

Pimoroni Display-O-Tron HAT

Following on from the arrival of the Pimoroni Piano Raspberry Pi HAT yesterday at the Adafruit store, another has also been made available this week in the form of the Pimoroni Display-O-Tron HAT.

The Pimoroni Display-O-Tron HAT provides a 16 x 3 character LCD display with capacitive touch pads, GPIO breakout pins, and a six-zone RGB backlight.

The backlit on the latest addition is twice as bright as the older Display-O-Tron 3000, says Adafruit, who explain :

The capacitive touch pad is ideal for navigating on-screen menus or inputting data and there are some pretty common GPIO pins added for those of you who want to merge with other projects and sensors. The six-zone RGB backlight plus new and improved LED bar graph add a dazzling splash of rainbow color! Monitoring memory usage and CPU load was never so much fun!

Pimoroni Display-O-Tron HAT

Features of the Pimoroni Display-O-Tron HAT

• Fully assembled (apart from optional GPIO header)
• Super slim 16×3 character LCD display
• Six capacitive touch input buttons
• Handy six element LED bargraph
• Six-zone RGB backlight with diffuser
• GPIO breakout for 5V, 3V3, GND, SDA/SCL, TX/RX, PWM, MOSI/MISO/SCLK/CE1, and GPIO #5, #6, #13, #19, #26
• Full ASCII set plus eight custom characters