Tom's Mac Software Picks 2016

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The unusual shape may be eye-catching, but it requires an excess of packaging materials to keep it safe in transit, which also meant fewer chips per shipping box.

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Jide Technology's Remix OS 2.0 is soon to be available for just about any PC or Mac supported by the Android-x86 project, thanks to the collaboration between the two teams.

When Intel launched the Core i9-9900K in 2018 and subsequently the 9900KS in 2019, they shipped in a very eye-catching translucent blue dodecahedron-shaped box. However, we won't be seeing that packaging again as Intel has admitted it's quite wasteful.

As Tom's Hardware reports, Intel posted a product change notification (PCN) on May 29 announcing that the dodecahedron packaging is being discontinued. Intel's customers can continue to order the Core i9 chips in the special packaging until June 26, but after that 9900K orders will only ship in 'standard folding carton packaging.'

The decision to discontinue is down to waste. Intel explains that by switching to more standard packaging there's less overall materials required. The dodecahedron shape meant fewer chips could fit into a shipping box, and to protect against damage in transit, Intel had to use extra foam packaging which just adds to the cost, weight, and waste of shipping processors in this way. By switching to the more typical rectangular shape, the size of the shipping box for these chips changes from 568-by-568-by-246mm to 594-by-495-247mm. Intel doesn't state how many extra 9900K processors it can fit in the new shipping box, but it's certainly going to be more.

SEE ALSO: Former Intel Engineer Explains Why Apple Switched to ARM

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For anyone purchasing a new processor, the packaging really is the last thing on your mind. It's the chip inside that counts. It's also worth remembering that the 9900K and 9900KS are on their way out now that 10th generation chips have hit the market, including a Core i9-10900K. Intel will keep selling the older chips, but understandably wants to reduce costs whenever it can to help maintain a healthy profit margin. If it produces less waste in the process, all the better.

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If you're having problems when trying to visit certain websites, flushing your DNS cache might help. Here's what that means, and how to do it in Windows and on a Mac.

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When you type a website into your address bar—like PCMag.com—your computer doesn't actually know where to go on its own. Instead, it looks that address up on a Domain Name System (DNS) server, which matches it with an IP address for your computer to visit.

It's like your friend saying 'meet me at Tom's Bistro'—if you don't know where Tom's Bistro is, you can look up the address in the phone book and drive there.

However, it can take a long time to scan the phone book before you find the right address. In order to speed this process up, your computer saves some of these entries for easy access later on. To continue with the previous metaphor, it's like writing down 'Tom's Bistro - 123 Main Street' on a sticky note. This allows your computer to navigate to sites you've already visited, without asking the DNS server every time. Unfortunately, on rare occasions, this cache can cause problems.

SEE ALSO: The Best Laptops for 2020

Maybe the site you're visiting changed servers, and is no longer located at the cached address, or you have some malware that's trying to redirect common pages to malicious sites. (If you suspect the problem might be malware, you might want to run a scan with one of these tools.) Whatever the case, you can 'flush' your DNS cache to start from scratch, so your computer looks up web addresses on the DNS server again.

This process is, of course, different from clearing your web cache from a web browser. If clearing your browser's cache has not solved the problem, clearing your DNS cache may be the next step. Here's how to do it on Windows and macOS using the command line. (If you're using Linux, you'll need to look up instructions for your particular distribution.)

Flush the DNS Cache on Windows

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If you're on a Windows machine—any Windows machine, even going back to XP and older—flushing the DNS merely takes a simple command. Click the Start menu and type 'cmd.' Right-click on the Command Prompt option and choose 'Run as Administrator.' In the Command Prompt window that appears, type the following command:

If successful, the Command Prompt will report back with 'Successfully flushed the DNS Resolver Cache.' Try visiting the website in question again and see if that solved the problem. If not, the site may be down, you could be having Wi-Fi problems, or you may have a more elusive network problem on your end that needs to be tracked down. If this is someone else's computer, you can always try troubleshooting remotely.

Flush the DNS Cache on a Mac

Mac users need to run a quick Terminal command to flush the DNS cache, but the command differs depending on your version of macOS. First, press Command+Space to open Spotlight and search for 'Terminal.' Press Enter to open it.

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Most modern versions of macOS—from OS X Lion through macOS Sierra—use the following command. Type it into the Terminal and press Enter:

If you're on OS X 10.10.1, 10.10.2, or 10.10.3, you'll need to run this command instead:

Age of Mac OS versions to be supported?. Support off-site users with updates &/or imaging?. Mac os project management software.

You won't see a success message for either command, but you can check the problematic website and see if it fixed the problem. If not, you'll have to move on to other troubleshooting steps.

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