95 episodes

Hosted by Avram Piltch, Editor-in-Chief of Tom's Hardware, and moderated by Scott Ertz, The Piltch Point is a livecast covering news, reviews, and previews of devices and components. Avram showcases new technology, gadgets, and concepts, as they are announced or released. Review products include smartphones, smartwatches, wearables, laptops, and tablets.

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Hosted by Avram Piltch, Editor-in-Chief of Tom's Hardware, and moderated by Scott Ertz, The Piltch Point is a livecast covering news, reviews, and previews of devices and components. Avram showcases new technology, gadgets, and concepts, as they are announced or released. Review products include smartphones, smartwatches, wearables, laptops, and tablets.

    Hands on With Windows 11 Preview - Episode 263

    Hands on With Windows 11 Preview - Episode 263

    DescriptionWith any new version of Windows comes an updated UI. Windows 11 has introduced some of the biggest UI changes since Windows 95 (with Windows 8 set aside since Windows 10 undid almost all of that paradigm). Avram has been living inside of the latest Windows 11 build and has some of the most important changes, as well as ways to restore previous Windows UIs (for now).
    With change comes discomfort for many, and Windows 11 has a lot of big changes. The biggest and most obvious is the Start Button and Start Menu. First, let's talk about the position: the Taskbar, and therefore the Start Button, is centered by default. This is a major change, as Start has been in the lower-left corner since Windows 95. One of the biggest complaints with this positioning is that the Start Button moves around based on how many apps are open. If Microsoft had decided to place the Start Button in the middle of the taskbar and apps stretched out left AND right from that position, it might have had a different reaction, but that is not the case. Instead, it is left-justified in a centered world, meaning it doesn't have its own place. The good news is that you can easily change this back to left justification in the Taskbar settings.
    The Start Menu itself is the next major change. By default, it is bigger than the Start Menu in previous Windows versions (except Windows 8, which was full screen). But, while there is more space on the new menu, there is less information available. Only 18 apps appear pinned on the screen, followed by recent and recommended content. To get the full app list, you must click a button in the top-right corner, and then you get the alphabetized list. In Windows 10, you can have the full list appear on the left with your pinned Tiles on the right. This gives a lot more access without clicks. Now, the majority of the Start Menu is hidden behind a click.
    Adding to that, Search has changed, as well. In Windows 10, you can hit the Windows key on your keyboard and start typing to search your computer and the web. Now, Search and Start are different screens, and switching between them requires another click. When you click in the search bar at the top of Start, you are switched out of Start and into the new Search experience. The Search panel is larger than Start, and positioned differently, so the transition is a bit jarring. You can access the menu directly by using Windows+S, but that will, of course, require more keys and changes to behavior that has been taught for the last number of versions of Windows.
    There are ways to get a classic Start Menu back, as well as a classic or custom Start Button, using some tools available online. You can also get the full Windows 10 taskbar back using a Registry key change, though many aspects no longer work, such as Search and Task View. These hacks could always be undermined, as Microsoft keeps taking things away with updates.
    ParticipantsScott ErtzHostScott is a developer who has worked on projects of varying sizes, including all of the PLUGHITZ Corporation properties. He is also known in the gaming world for his time supporting the rhythm game community, through DDRLover and hosting tournaments throughout the Tampa Bay Area. Currently, when he is not working on software projects or hosting F5 Live: Refreshing Technology, Scott can often be found returning to his high school days working with the Foundation for Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST), mentoring teams and helping with ROBOTICON Tampa Bay. He has also helped found a student software learning group, the ASCII Warriors, currently housed at AMRoC Fab Lab.
    Avram PiltchHostAvram's been in love with PCs since he played original Castle Wolfenstein on an Apple II+. Before joining Tom's Hardware, for 10 years, he served as Online Editorial Director for sister sites Tom's Guide and Laptop Mag, where he pro

    • 29 min
    The Basics of 3D Printing - Episode 262

    The Basics of 3D Printing - Episode 262

    DescriptionRecently, Tom's Hardware has begun covering 3D printers. As such, Avram has been doing a deep dive into the world of 3D printers and what it takes to use them effectively. What he has learned is that they are not exactly straightforward, but also not exactly complicated. There are choices that need to be made, processes that need to be followed, and you'll be able to accurately predict the end result.
    First and foremost, you need to choose your printer. There are tons of companies that are in the 3D printer space these days, and there is a whole spectrum of printers available. There are a number of conditions to take into consideration: size, print surface, materials, method, and price. Size and print surface are often tied together - a smaller printer will likely be able to print smaller items, so you'll need to decide what it is you're going for.
    Next is deciding the type of printing you want to do. There are several ways of printing, including extrusions (usually through spools of plastic) and resin (using a liquid and lasers). Extrusions printers are the ones most people are familiar with, and offer the less expensive entrance into the experience. They are similar to a standard ink jet printer. Resin is more expensive to get started, but offers a more detailed print, as well as a lower cost to operate over the long run. This would be more like a standard laser printer.
    All of these choices lead to possibly the most important aspect: price. Larger printers, more detailed tools, and better print technology will lead to higher prices. But, for those who are just getting started, beginning with a less expensive device might be the right way to go.
    Now that you've got your printer and all of your supplies, it's time to put the printer to use. There are several places where you can download existing models for items, but the most popular is Thingiverse from MakerBot. On this site, you can find everything from a wall hanging of Homer Simpson's face to a chassis for a remote controlled car. Starting here gives you the ability to test out your printer and get comfortable with the concept.
    Once you're comfortable with your hardware, you can start customizing. There are software products designed specifically for 3D modeling. They range from free to incredibly expensive, offering a wide range of features and precision. Unless your printer comes with a license for a paid version, it's best to try out one of the free ones in order to get used to it. If you're like Avram, though, the free products will not provide the precision that you need.
    Tom's Hardware now has a lot of detailed information about 3D printers, including a number of reviews of printers. Use this information to help you make a smart, informed decision about which one is right for you and your needs. Then, make sure to share with us the items you make with your printer!
    ParticipantsScott ErtzHostScott is a developer who has worked on projects of varying sizes, including all of the PLUGHITZ Corporation properties. He is also known in the gaming world for his time supporting the rhythm game community, through DDRLover and hosting tournaments throughout the Tampa Bay Area. Currently, when he is not working on software projects or hosting F5 Live: Refreshing Technology, Scott can often be found returning to his high school days working with the Foundation for Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST), mentoring teams and helping with ROBOTICON Tampa Bay. He has also helped found a student software learning group, the ASCII Warriors, currently housed at AMRoC Fab Lab.
    Avram PiltchHostAvram's been in love with PCs since he played original Castle Wolfenstein on an Apple II+. Before joining Tom's Hardware, for 10 years, he served as Online Editorial Director for sister sites Tom's Guide and Laptop Mag, where he programmed the CMS and many of the

    • 22 min
    Windows 11: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly - Episode 261

    Windows 11: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly - Episode 261

    DescriptionThis week, Avram Piltch talks about the newly announced Windows 11 (Sun Valley), the new features, and the confusion around the release.
    ParticipantsScott ErtzHostScott is a developer who has worked on projects of varying sizes, including all of the PLUGHITZ Corporation properties. He is also known in the gaming world for his time supporting the rhythm game community, through DDRLover and hosting tournaments throughout the Tampa Bay Area. Currently, when he is not working on software projects or hosting F5 Live: Refreshing Technology, Scott can often be found returning to his high school days working with the Foundation for Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST), mentoring teams and helping with ROBOTICON Tampa Bay. He has also helped found a student software learning group, the ASCII Warriors, currently housed at AMRoC Fab Lab.
    Avram PiltchHostAvram's been in love with PCs since he played original Castle Wolfenstein on an Apple II+. Before joining Tom's Hardware, for 10 years, he served as Online Editorial Director for sister sites Tom's Guide and Laptop Mag, where he programmed the CMS and many of the benchmarks. When he's not editing, writing or stumbling around trade show halls, you'll find him building Arduino robots with his son and watching every single superhero show on the CW.
    Live DiscussionPowered by PureVPNWindows 11 is official, bringing big changes to the interfaceWhen Windows 10 was announced, one of the biggest changes was to the distribution model. Rather than being a multi-year development cycle with major updates bringing a new version number and a new charge, Windows 10 would be the last version of Windows. All updates would come under that moniker and would not cost - instead, these updates would be bi-annual and be distributed through Windows Update. This week, some of that has been walked back, but not the important part - Windows 11 will be a free update for Windows 10 owners.
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    • 34 min
    How to Fix a Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) - Episode 260

    How to Fix a Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) - Episode 260

    DescriptionIf you use a computer, you've experienced some sort of a crash. Even Apple, despite its marketing, experiences hardware failures, software conflicts, or driver issues. But, there's a very famous and painful type of computer failure that nearly everyone is familiar with: the Blue Screen of Death (BSOD). This is the screen that Windows shows when something has gone tragically wrong. To recover from one of these failures can be a challenge, but Tom's Hardware has got a lot of information to help you get back up and running.
    One of the best ways to recover from a BSOD is to keep the stop code or the QR code on the error screen. This can give you a lot of information about what happened because the screen can be caused by a lot of different issues. The debugging process is different for CRITICAL_PROCESS_DIED, versus IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL (or the various other errors). You can then head to Microsoft's page for some next steps. But, Windows is set by default to reboot after a failure, so you're up against a clock. If you lose the details, it's okay - there's another way.
    Windows creates a memory dump during a crash, and you can use the minidump file to debug your issue. There is software available to read and interpret the file to give you insight into what happened so you can undo it. But, even with all of the information, you might need the trial and error method.
    Safe Mode is a great tool for trial and error. It prevents a bunch of possibly problematic aspects of Windows from loading. From here, you can turn things on one at a time to determine if a new driver, Windows Update, or piece of software has caused the issue.
    ParticipantsScott ErtzHostScott is a developer who has worked on projects of varying sizes, including all of the PLUGHITZ Corporation properties. He is also known in the gaming world for his time supporting the rhythm game community, through DDRLover and hosting tournaments throughout the Tampa Bay Area. Currently, when he is not working on software projects or hosting F5 Live: Refreshing Technology, Scott can often be found returning to his high school days working with the Foundation for Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST), mentoring teams and helping with ROBOTICON Tampa Bay. He has also helped found a student software learning group, the ASCII Warriors, currently housed at AMRoC Fab Lab.
    Avram PiltchHostAvram's been in love with PCs since he played original Castle Wolfenstein on an Apple II+. Before joining Tom's Hardware, for 10 years, he served as Online Editorial Director for sister sites Tom's Guide and Laptop Mag, where he programmed the CMS and many of the benchmarks. When he's not editing, writing or stumbling around trade show halls, you'll find him building Arduino robots with his son and watching every single superhero show on the CW.
    Live DiscussionPowered by PureVPN

    • 12 min
    Chia: What is It and How Do You Farm It - Episode 259

    Chia: What is It and How Do You Farm It - Episode 259

    DescriptionIf you follow the cryptocurrency world, you've likely encountered Chia - the new currency that works differently from all the others. Normally, coins are mined through a process called "proof of work." This requires a lot of computing power, which in turn requires a lot of electrical power. The reward is a coin in the corresponding currency, whether it be Bitcoin, Etherium, Doge, or others. But Chia doesn't use proof of work, and instead uses a Proof of Time and Space algorithm.
    This altered process doesn't rely heavily on processing power, but instead on storage. Tom's Hardware has a rundown on what is needed, but the concept is modeled on farming. You have a hard drive, which is untamed land. You create a plot on that land in order to farm. You plant your seeds and wait for your number to be chosen in order to reap the rewards.
    The biggest issue with farming Chia is that blocks come to you on a random lottery system. So, you could be waiting for a very long time before one of your plots matures, or you could hit two in a row. There is absolutely no telling or predicting how or when you might receive anything for your time. In other systems, there is a bit of the unknown involved, in that you are never guaranteed a block to mine. But, blocks are readily available, and the amount of work for one is enough to distribute between multiple systems. Plus, most crypto systems start to assign blocks to known entities - essentially individuals or pools that are guaranteed to complete a block. Chia is working to add pooling in order to offer wider distribution of rewards, but unlike with Bitcoin, it's not quite the same compromise being made to join a pool.
    ParticipantsScott ErtzHostScott is a developer who has worked on projects of varying sizes, including all of the PLUGHITZ Corporation properties. He is also known in the gaming world for his time supporting the rhythm game community, through DDRLover and hosting tournaments throughout the Tampa Bay Area. Currently, when he is not working on software projects or hosting F5 Live: Refreshing Technology, Scott can often be found returning to his high school days working with the Foundation for Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST), mentoring teams and helping with ROBOTICON Tampa Bay. He has also helped found a student software learning group, the ASCII Warriors, currently housed at AMRoC Fab Lab.
    Avram PiltchHostAvram's been in love with PCs since he played original Castle Wolfenstein on an Apple II+. Before joining Tom's Hardware, for 10 years, he served as Online Editorial Director for sister sites Tom's Guide and Laptop Mag, where he programmed the CMS and many of the benchmarks. When he's not editing, writing or stumbling around trade show halls, you'll find him building Arduino robots with his son and watching every single superhero show on the CW.
    Live DiscussionPowered by PureVPN

    • 22 min
    Tech Changes Over the Past 25 Years - Episode 258

    Tech Changes Over the Past 25 Years - Episode 258

    DescriptionTom's Hardware was founded 25 years ago and made a major impact on the internet. In the years since the first article was published, a lot of things have changed in the computer industry, while other things have remained mostly unchanged. As part of the anniversary, Avram decided to look back on the industry, rather than the site, and show how the industry has progressed.
    For example, let's look at the core of the computer: the processor. In 1996, the bleeding edge, top-of-the-line processor was the Pentium P54CS, which ran at 200 megahertz. In today's world, processors in the megahertz range are for microcontrollers, not for computers. Instead, the Ryzen 9 5950x, today's top processor, runs at 3.5 gigahertz with a max boost of 4.9 gigahertz. But, in addition, there are 16 CPU cores, compared to the single-core of the old Pentium.
    Another area where there has been significant change is in monitors. In fact, the fact that we use a screen at all is the only real similarity between 2021 and 1996. The Sony Multiscan 20se II was the top monitor in 1996 and was a whopping 21" of 1600x1200 glory. This CRT monitor weighed 66 pounds and was almost as deep as it was wide. Today, the LG 27GN950 offers 4K gaming with 1 millisecond response time at 144 hertz. All of this in a 27" screen that is incredibly thin.
    But, not everything has changed completely. The mouse continues to exist, and exist very similarly. The Microsoft IntelliMouse premiered in 1996, bringing with it the design we are all comfortable with today, including the scroll wheel. But, this model of the mouse still used a ball. Today, the mouse looks similar, but has a lot of new buttons and has ditched the ball for an array of optical sensors.
    Of course, a lot of other technology has changed, including storage (hard drives and removable storage), phones, memory, and more. Avram discusses some of it, and will publish a full article at Tom's Hardware.
    ParticipantsScott ErtzHostScott is a developer who has worked on projects of varying sizes, including all of the PLUGHITZ Corporation properties. He is also known in the gaming world for his time supporting the rhythm game community, through DDRLover and hosting tournaments throughout the Tampa Bay Area. Currently, when he is not working on software projects or hosting F5 Live: Refreshing Technology, Scott can often be found returning to his high school days working with the Foundation for Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST), mentoring teams and helping with ROBOTICON Tampa Bay. He has also helped found a student software learning group, the ASCII Warriors, currently housed at AMRoC Fab Lab.
    Avram PiltchHostAvram's been in love with PCs since he played original Castle Wolfenstein on an Apple II+. Before joining Tom's Hardware, for 10 years, he served as Online Editorial Director for sister sites Tom's Guide and Laptop Mag, where he programmed the CMS and many of the benchmarks. When he's not editing, writing or stumbling around trade show halls, you'll find him building Arduino robots with his son and watching every single superhero show on the CW.
    Live DiscussionPowered by PureVPN

    • 20 min

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