Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Carl Sagan - 'A Glorious Dawn' ft Stephen Hawking (Symphony of Science)



A tribute to a legend of a man.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

FPSRussia

I came across a youtuber with all sorts of videos, basically all about guns and FPS, as you may have guessed. This guy does all sorts, from shooting pumpkins upside down and throwing knives at Justin Bieber posters to crazy fast FNG runs on CoD4, below.



Be sure to check out his channel and his other videos, too.

Saturday, 30 October 2010

Bigfoot Networks Killer 2100 NIC | Full length review

(We'll see about that.) 

With such a large and growing market like online gaming, it comes as no surprise that this has become a market where some companies push gimmicky products with no originality or benefit to the consumer onto customers - amongst the usual run-of-the mill and even decent products, many people are stung by bad purchases.

Gamers, however - the targets of this 21st century market are treat no differently to any other, but when it comes down to it sleek looks for most gamers it just doesn't cut it. Some of them can spend days, weeks or even months pouring over benchmarks before making a choice on their latest purchase, be it a new graphics card, CPU or something much more trivial.

The product I'm reviewing today, the Bigfoot Networks' Killer 2100 NIC is a product solely aimed at gamers. This is because you're average Internet user really isn't going to care if a network card can shave a few, or even hundreds of milliseconds off their latency. Whereas for serious gamers such as competitive players or gaming enthusiasts are going to want the very best they can get out of their machine, especially when it comes to gaining the competitive edge.


Functionality 

In short, this card aims to reduce your ping and allow for higher frame rates.

Now I know a lot of the tech savvy of you out there will be extremely sceptical of these claims, and rightly so. We've never really had any network cards marketed at gamers, specifically ones that claim these kinds of improvements. On the surface, this may sound like somebody is trying to get you to buy their gimmicky PCB with some metal wrapped around it, not the first time something like this has happened in the tech industry. However once you read how the card works, I'm sure you'll be much more forgiving of the technology.

The Killer 2100 works by bypassing the Windows networking stack that any other network controller (including the on-board one of your motherboard) uses. This theoretically (or Bigfoot claims) allows for lower pings and higher frame rates in your games, as the Windows networking stack isn’t optimised for gaming network traffic. The Killer 2100 does this by essentially being a computer on a plug-in card that runs a dedicated Linux install to pass data between your computer and your network, cutting out the middle man (Windows.)

(Click to enlarge.)
  

To do this the Killer 2100 comes with a 400MHz Network Processing Unit (NPU) and 128MB of 266MHz DDR memory. The card connects to your PC through a 1x PCI-E slot (I lacked a spare, however not to worry as the card will work in up to a PCI-E 16 x slot) and supports 10/100/1000Mbps connections. The Killer 2100 also comes with a black vented case and emblazoned with the Bigfoot Networks logo neatly on the front, which its predecessors lacked. However it’s a purely cosmetic addition but its feels sturdy and looks attractive.

Features

Bigfoot also ships the card with its own software, which is simple to install and very easy to use. Its user friendly interface allows you to choose between monitoring your NPU or bandwidth activity to many other details of your system. The software will even do a speed test of your internet connection if you wish. However the best feature by far of the software is being able to rank your programs and applications in order of which gets the most bandwidth and headroom, and allows you to cap the bandwidth on other programs, to ensure your game is getting all the network room it needs.

This allows you to torrent (albeit bottlenecked) and play your favourite online games smoothly at the same time.
 
 (Click to enlarge.) 

  (Click to enlarge.)

Testing 

One thing I suspected before even taking the card out of the box was how difficult it was going to be to review accurately. With internet connection speeds fluctuating constantly it would be hard to get a solid verdict, with even the time of day haven’t effects on its performance.
To try and get an accurate result I ran a speed test every night 3 nights prior to my review, and 3 nights after installing the card. My results showed no change here, with the speed bobbing between 10 and 13mb/sec for the onboard speed and for the Killer 2100.

Onto the game benchmarks, I had literally no clue whether I was going to see any improvement at all, as I’ve never heard of getting a NIC purely to enhance your games in the past.
My computer is quite average if not slower than most gaming rigs these days and could do with an overhaul, however this provides a good platform to see whether this card is worth getting to breathe new life into an older rig.

My computers key specs:

2.9 GHz Duo Core CPU

2GB RAM

4870 1GB Graphics Card

I decided to make FPS favourite Counter-Strike: Source my main benchmark, as it is still played by millions around the world and no genre other than FPS benefits quite as highly from those millisecond connection and frame improvements.

Running the in-game video stress test I wanted to see how much strain was being taken off the machine purely by having the network stack cut around, with very little internet usage going on in the background. I ran these tests 3 times on 4 different graphical settings, both on and off the Killer NIC, providing a total of 24 results.

(Click to enlarge.)

As you can see the biggest leap in performance was at the lower end of spectrum, with the lesser improvement with everything maxxed out. Strangely on high test the performance went in favour of the onboard networking. The most likely explanation for this is my computers activity as all the other tests showed an improvement in favour of the Killer 2100.

Jumping into online play over various play sessions I have found that even just refreshing the server list, the servers seem slightly nippier. With my lowest prior to the Killer 2100 was a load of servers sat with 42 latency, whereas with the Killer 2100 they are at 36. This wasn’t just a 1 time test either, for some reason the majority of the UK servers now sit at this speed, but as before they go no lower. (Ping in itself is hard to measure; especially in a game where players, location and server specs have an affect also). Keeping my eye firmly on the net graph I found my ping sat at around 30-40, occasionally bobbing into the 50’s. With on board networking it is no surprise to see it suddenly shoot into upper 60’s or 70’s, even on medium sized servers.

I usually play with my FPS capped at 101 as this makes it firmly sit at 100, which means the game always seems fluid. Drops however rare are very noticeable however you aren’t giving your computer all those extra frames to churn out, giving it undue stress with it shooting into the two or three hundreds at moments that aren’t visually intense, at competitive play with an FPS, it’s good to get comfortable with a set FPS.

Playing on a UK server on de_dust2 with around 14 players with an uncapped FPS I found it go from a previous 170 to around 190 in open areas, another good but varying improvement.

With Battlefield: Bad Company 2, I find the pings too ecstatic measure accurately, however I did find more fluidity in open areas when a lot of action is going on.


Conclusion 

Undoubtedly the Killer 2100 does provide a degree of improvement, and now that you can pick up this card for £60 over their older prices of over £100, it certainly is a sweeter purchase. However justifying £60 for a few more frames in some games will be hard for some, especially as with my experience at moments it appears you’re getting little to no improvement, as you can see in my benchmarks.

In favour of the Killer 2100, it is a hard product to benchmark and overall has shown improvements in each game I have tried, however for some it will be hard to justify the cost for a 20 or 30 FPS improvement, especially with games that are producing over 150 FPS anyway.

In my opinion at the price of £60 for some this could be better spent on other hardware upgrades and this card shouldn’t be relied on as an upgrade to bring your computer into the modern age, but rather to compliment higher specced machines with already good hardware such as that of enthusiasts. It may give small improvements but don’t expect miracles, as already proven with this product and its mixed reviews on the internet; you’re mileage may vary.

"This card should be used to compliment higher specced machines, rather than relied on to bring your computer into the modern age."


7/10


Gimmick | > > > > > > > - - - | Give me it

+ Very useful and intuitive software 
+ Looks the part
+ Easy to setup 
- Debatable performance increases 

Price: £60

Full list of specifications:

Connection 1x PCI-E
Data rates 10/100/1000 Broadcom Gigabit Ethernet
NPU 400MHz
Integrated memory 128MB PC2100 266MHz DDR
IEEE Compatibility 802.3, 802.3u, 802.3x, 802.3z, 802.3ac, 802.3ab
Ports RJ-45


Previous reviews:  

Steelseries Siberia Headset V1 & V2

Razer Lycosa gaming keyboard

Thanks for reading another product review and as always your feedback is read and appreciated. 

Thursday, 28 October 2010

Nokia N8 TV ad - It's not technology, it's what you do with it.

This is one of them ads that comes along every once in a while that I don't mind watching.



Can somebody let me know whether that kickflip/skate scoring technology exists?

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Kid Breaks Leg at Blizzcon

I'm sure for those of you that have been following this years Blizzcon with a keen eye will have already seen this, but for those of you that haven't.. this is a pretty boss way to break a leg.. I guess.

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Hypes Store

A few weeks ago a good friend of mine and his friend opened hypes.biz. They have spent sometime preparing it for launch and tweaking it since. The site sells coding, e-books and all sorts. You can find a lot of the website in English and German. The site is totally legitimate and all of the e-goods sold on the site are entirely legal. If you would like to get involved, purchase a service or would like to make a request, then head over there and sign up. (You must be logged in to view products.)

You too can sell your own e-books or closely held tips here for anything from increasing web traffic to starting your own business for a small charge.

You can buy almost any online service on here, just ask on the forums for what you are looking for, chances are these guys can do it. Need some coding? Got it covered. Need a website? Got it covered.

Anything sold by the admins will always be 100% legitimate and working, however with users selling items too you need to be cautious, common sense is usually the best trick here. Most products are reviewed and will be reviewed at request if possible, trusted and well rated sellers gain reputation points, so you know who you can trust.

A current hot seller is their spreading guide, for only €20 you can learn the best ways to advertise your website, video or other message and increase traffic for free with a full length tutorial explaining everything you need. This is a very robust guide and can be used for tons of uses!

Besides from the guides one of the coolest products by far is the 100's of legitimate CD keys they have in stock for all kinds of software, lost your CD key? Don't re-buy the software, buy your own personal, legitimate key for a fraction of the price! (All these keys are legitimate, not key gens etc.)

You can even use the forums as your own platform to advertise your products, and for €3 a month you can have your thread pinned to ensure maximum exposure - which of course means more potential sales! Win-Win situation.

Already services are flying out of the window, so hop on it now and check if there is anything you need. The site is in the process of adding various payment methods.

As always, read the rules and terms of service when you sign up, remember that certain products may have their own specified disclaimers and simply not all products can be guaranteed, so just don't be stupid.

Have fun and I hope you all have time to check this out, don't hesitate to lap up the full potential this website can bring you!

My Absense Explained

First off, I apologise for leaving you all without a post for so long, and secondly.. Well I'll get onto that in a moment.

This weekend I've been busy with a few things, shopping, spending time with the girlfriend and the usual lifely tasks. However the free time I had around these was quickly eaten up by a little plague (or my new love, rather) that bit me a few days ago. This plague is MINECRAFT... Never.. Ever.. EVER play this game. And by this of course I mean play it, play it now, oh god play it so bad.

What is Minecraft I hear you say? Well for those of you actually reading this, (because you're not playing Minecraft..) In which case I'll assume you live under a virtual rock or oh say.. Are a normal human being. Let me give you a quick explanation with a little fan-made trailer I found:



(I could post tons of these, but in the side video's you'll find endless supplies of Minecraft wonder to discover for yourself.. Infact I'll leave you with 1 other video, this time full of pant-crapping pixelated terror. Don't watch it, don't research it, don't do it, look away now, close this window and never look back. ARE YOU LISTENING TO WHAT I'M SAYING TO YOU?! Cuteness, below.



This cute little pixel-art world is the creation of the Swedish now E-God "Notch" and is currently in its Alpha stage. The landscape is rendered completely new each time you start the game, the general idea is to craft and survive. Oh and if you're worried about the scale of the game being small.. The game can render an area the size of 8 times the surface of planet earth, and every time its completely new and random.

I am not the only one loving the creation of this instant indie classic, the game has now been purchased nearly half a Million times already. Two corner posts of gaming; Steam and PC Gamer magazine are even feeling the mighty wrath of the Minecraft plague themselves. The latter have all kinds of articles popping up about the game all the time and the man behind the intertubes himself, too.


PC Gamer magazine are such big fans, they made him a joke magazine cover and sent it to him in the post which he now has framed on his wall!

I am not being biased when I big this game up, I'm just being honest. If plundering the earth and building all sorts in singleplayer's survival mode till you're eyes bleed or until you FINALLY declare you've had enough of it, then perhaps the multiplayer online Indev mode which allows you to create anything, with unlimited possibilities, with your friends with unlimited possibilities is more to your taste? No.. Oh.. Well I guess you'd rather just grief the hell out of everybody and their precious building projects? Well, you can do that too.

The possibilities aren't endless as such... well yeah actually, I guess they kind of are if you have the time, resources and required level of autism dedication then you can achieve anything in the game. A quick youtube search and you'll know what I mean. TNT cannons that fire pigs into space.. Or a full size replica of the Starship Enterprise, a BIG river, a music video for your favourite song. Or maybe even a model of The Earth? Perhaps a big ditch, instead. The list could go on, forever.

TL;DR:

(Click to enlarge.)
Its funny because its true. "It's everything" might have been a more appropriate caption, but the brutal truth is even better.
 
Also if I forgot to mention it; Get this game. Oh yeah, and it's only €9.95 - for a limited time only. It will be €14.95 once it goes into beta, then €19.95 when it goes into full release, so snag a bargain and start enjoying it now. Although it certainly deserves its full price, and more in my opinion.

Please, please, please, if you're going to get this game - don't torrent this. This guy deserves all the money he gets for his hard work, and supporting an indie developer like this encourages creativity and originality, rather than re-hashed rubbish like I mentioned in my last post!

On another note I'm currently on my college 1 week half-term holiday, and as a strange surprise to the way my holidays usually go, I am quite a busy bunny doing all sorts, and this is made 10 fold worse by Minecraft.. I think I'm getting it out of my system now though! At least to a degree ;).

With a few cool planned days coming up, a Halloween party and some college work I will force myself to chew through, I'm certainly not short of stuff to do. However I will still make sure to pop by and make a few posts when I can.

Assuming I get my Bigfoot Networks' Killer 2100 sometime soon then you should have a review to read by the end of this week, and if so, then stay tuned to read that.. and if not, read anyway!

Friday, 22 October 2010

Poll Results: Best Shooter Game Series

So my poll results have been sat there a while now; I'm certainly not that surprised that Call of Duty came out on top. Without trying to sound too biased or elitist, its pretty much sure around 80% of those votes were casual gamers, probably console gamers at that. CoD4:MW1 and CoD2 however, especially at a competitive level were the shiz, even just to watch.

Tailing behind in second by only 4 votes was Half-Life, a PC gamer favourite. Many HL1 players are also huge CS 1.6 fans, as this started as a mod for HL1 back in the day. I'm sure they would have smashed its way to the top of the pile with ease had I tied it into 1 option.

Unsurprisingly the Counter Strike series is up in the top 3, but only at 3rd. If you think you're an FPS gamer, especially from CoD or a similar style game, then try this if you haven't. Bonus points for being a console gamer, I guarantee you will rage and probably quit, whilst blaming the game for being "broken" or too hard.

Poll Results:

Half Life 33 (20%)

Counter Strike 25 (15%)

Battlefield 8 (5%)

Call of Duty 37 (23%)

Quake 8 (5%)

Unreal Tournament 7 (4%)

F.E.A.R 0 (0%)
Metal Gear Solid 11 (6%)

Resident Evil 9 (5%)

Halo 21 (13%) 

*RANT WARNING*

In summary Call of Duty is in no way a bad game, I just think its modern incarnations are very much mass-marketed sell outs. Having played every game thoroughly in this top 3, I have a pretty experienced opinion of each. (I mean I've played for 100's of hours, and in the case of HL and especially CS - for 1000's.)

This may be the die-hard critic coming out in me, but there is just a general lack of quality in 99% of the games hitting the market these days, it's gotten to the point where I rarely even bother to watch the trailer of a game, never-mind even get excited for it. When you've had your hopes crushed time again by game developers who fail to deliver, you very much so become once bitten and twice shy.

It seems some console gamers never learn (or will play any rehashed bull), and it seems its usually PC gamers who become the cynical if not slightly bitter gamers after all this, but with the freedom and variety PC has over console, I suppose we become to expect better - or at least know what is GOOD; most of us have anyway.

I'm not hopping on the old-school or hate wagon because its the cool or out-there thing to do, it's just how it is from my experience.

I know this post became more of a rant and about personal opinion rather than the results of this poll; but I suppose thats the point of a blog, and why I conduct such polls. After all, I'm not a newspaper, and I don't have to be unbiased or even fair if I don't want to. Although I do try and keep my posts informative, my own opinion and I at least try to keep it as fair as I can.

I saw a few comments asking for other series that should have been included, and some that maybe even shouldn't. Although a couple of them I did agree deserved to be in the poll, these were the instant ones that stuck in my mind - and thats for a reason. With the above paragraph in-mind; this is my blog and I'll cry if I want too.

I just wanted to a gauge an opinion from you all, and thanks for taking time to vote. I should have kept the poll open longer really, but even with the small voting sample - I think that this represents the gaming market today rather accurately. This of course being that there is pockets of what you would call hardcore, die hard or even old school gamers spread out across a whole manner of games, genres and plaftorms. Whilst these have steadily been replaced or pushed out over the years by a pretty generic block of mind-numbed gamers that have reared their heads in recent years. And I'm going to describe these new-age gamers with the coined word "Casual Gamers". Not so much your Gran or Mother playing with their Wii; but more the 13 year olds squeaking into microphones over Xbox Live. Hell, if I was their age maybe I'd have been sucked so easily into this consumer-pit. I'm not saying every console gamer is casual, and not every PC gamer isn't a casual. This just seems to be the general trend, but with brand loyalty and preference to a general platform, some just stick to what they know, and as the saying goes: if it ain't broke don't fix it.

I won't be surprised at the flames I'll get for people that have bothered to read this far, (hell - this post was just meant to be a short post about the results) but when reading bare in mind that I've tried almost every game genre. I've been from console to console (especially when I was young, and hell I loved them) but over time it seemed I gained a more and more refined taste in what was entertaining, especially as I was treat to some utter gems in gaming over the years - ones that even with crap graphics are still fun to play now (and not just because of the nostalgic value either). It seems a lot of these gems have been lost and are becoming increasingly rarer to find, across the entire game-world in general, not just on one system.

Haters gunna hate, but maybe I have a niche taste in games, or maybe I'm just hard to please these days - but as far as I can see games just aren't that good even when they're supposedly getting better. With the few exceptions that rear their faces from the litter of runts, they just don't make 'em like they used to.

I don't claim to be an old-school gamer, as theres plenty of gamers that have been playing much longer than I've even been alive. I'm a 90's child, and even though that makes me young, I'm sure theres plenty that agree with my point of view. Just because I'm young doesn't mean I don't know whats fun, I suppose that comes with playing games as quickly as you learn to pick up a controller or use a keyboard.

I'll leave it at that because I'm tired and my keyboard is crying for mercy.. and the fact I probably couldn't cover any more even if I wanted too. Thanks for reading and look out for my future posts, polls and EPIC RANTS, I guess!

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Fragmore University


A couple of days ago Bigfoot Networks launched Fragmore University

Bigfoot Networks is proud to open the doors of Fragmore University, get online gaming lessons from pro gamers and catch up on other tips, tricks and daily news about online gaming. The posts are updated regularly and actually contain hints and tips to make you a better player in your game.

"Play More, Win More, Fragmore!" 

 To celebrate the launch of Fragmore University, Bigfoot are having a giveaway of games and one of their much coveted network cards.

First Prize - 4 games of your choice from Steam and a Killer™ 2100 Gaming Network Card;
 Second Prize - 2 games of your choice from Steam and a Killer™ 2100 Gaming Network Card.


The Survey ends on November 5th, so fill it out soon by clicking here

Feel free to send them gaming tips for the website to give your team exposure.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Peculiar Package


Yeah you read that right.. I stumbled across this website an hour or so ago, and as it turns out you can have a lovely brown package shipped pretty much anywhere around the world anonymously.

This site allows you to choose from 3 flavours: "Cow dung", "Elephant Crap" and my personal favourite; "Gorilla Shit".

Available in either a quart or a gallon, they tailor to fit every of your fecal needs! Oh and use responsibly.. yeah, okay.

Edit: It seems the sites MySQL database is currently down.. :(

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

XFX Radeon HD 5970 Black Edition, Limited Edition Unboxing

The most elaborately packaged graphics card ever!



This card sports 4GB of GDDR5 memory clocked at 4.8GHz and dual Cypress GPUs clocked at 850MHz, 125MHz faster than the reference models. This would be enough for most gamers, but the XFX card takes the 4GB HD 5970 in an entirely new direction. This is because the card uses six Mini-DisplayPorts to add support for up to six monitors using the ATI Eyefinity technology. With 3200 Stream processors to go with it this thing is a beast, however if you fancy buying one then expect to drop around £450-£480 on one here in the UK.

With the 6XXX series cards around the corner, this would be excessive - and most likely a waste of money, even for the immense horsepower it sports.

It does however come with a ton of extras, and some people have to have the best of the best ofcourse - so live and let live I guess.

Monday, 18 October 2010

An update

It's almost as if everybody in the tech world has died.. not a reply to a single email in the past say 4.. or 5 days.. to some things that are a matter of great urgency too!

On a good note I should have a couple more products to review for you over the next week or two, even with the wall of hush that I'm getting at the minute I found something that made me smile. I was reading through the comments of one of my posts and found a reply from a comment I made a while ago on "Hollowgirl" a.k.a Samara's blog. She was taking suggestions for what to draw next and I got my very own Squirtle drawn ;o!

B) 

Thanks Samara! <3 (I'd return the favour but I haven't drawn in forever!)

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Worst SCII Strat Ever

Yeah this may result in a win.. doesn't stop it being absolutely awful though.

Off topic

How hasn't this gone viral yet?..



I don't know why but I had to keep listening.. oh man the laughs!

Friday, 15 October 2010

"A Few Perspectives on OpenOffice.org"



So what do you think? Propaganda or a degree of truth?

One of my last shifts

Was planning to put something tech related up this morning, alas I haven't, partly because in the past 20 minutes a stomach destroying cramp has creeped up on me and now I'm close to breathing like I've gone into labor. This wouldn't be too bad but I have work in 40 minutes and I'm considering taking my first day off.. and its one of my last shifts too.

Not had the greatest start to the day this morning really, had to deal with a couple things that are far from great, but I'm in a positive mood and life is what you make of it, so I WILL enjoy my day.. hopefully. No, wait, I will.

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Employee Survey Labels Gadget Maker Foxconn a ‘Prison’

"Workers at Foxconn, the Taiwanese electronics maker famously known for manufacturing Apple’s iPhone, among other gadgets, used words like “prison” or “cage” to describe working conditions at the factory, according to a recent survey.

The workers quoted in the report complained about inhumane schedules requiring regular overtime work, stagnant wages and inflating dorm fees for factory beds, according to Global Post, who has been investigating Asian supply chains. The employee complaints were cited in surveys conducted by roughly 100 academics at China’s top universities.

“Under the labor and dormitory system, there is great physical, spiritual and spatial repression,” the report said when describing Foxconn’s prison-like working conditions. “An ordinary worker can easily be forced to the edge of collapse.”

Foxconn’s problems are symptomatic of a widespread issue in Asia, where gadget factories are notorious for committing labor violations, sometimes paying hourly wages of a dollar, firing people without notice and violently abusing employees.

Foxconn, however, has been under intense scrutiny in the media spotlight in light of a dozen employee suicides that have occurred at the factory this year. In response, Foxconn opened a tour of the factory to journalists and later promised it would work to improve working conditions by implementing wage hikes, among other changes.

However, the newest survey claims that these promises for improvements have yet to materialize.

In an e-mail response, Foxconn denied the allegations.

“Foxconn is certainly not perfect,” Foxconn said in an e-mail statement sent to The Register, “but we take our responsibility to our employees very seriously and we are committed to giving each and every one of our more than 937,000 employees in China a safe and positive working environment and compensation and benefits that are competitive with all of our industry peers.”

The Hong Kong-based organized Students and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehavior, or SACOM, which helped conduct the investigation, said it was calling on manufacturers such as Apple, HP and Dell to take responsibility for the tragedy. The three companies said in May that they were in contact with Foxconn to examine the working conditions." Wired.com

Chozo the rage wagon



An awesome clip of a guy named Chozo playing TF2, I found this last night thanks to The Rage Blog. There is a first clip however I much prefer the second one. Enjoy!

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Tetris BEAST



This guy will take even your mother to school.

Psycotic Gaming quietly closes its doors

Last month unfortunately Psycotic Gaming (for whom I news wrote) shut up shop; it had been fun at times and ofcourse tiring at others. But it was great - being part of an organisation that managed some decent results against Top EU teams such as Reason Gaming, it was truly a group effort to make it all work.

Having been established since April it seemed like nowhere but up, even though obviously being a new gaming organisation we were faced with certain difficulties, but seemed to overcome anything that was thrown at us and always came up with new and exciting ideas and luckily caught ourselves some very supportive, possitive and well driven sponsors.

After disapointing LAN results, multiple and regular roster changes partnered with an eventual lack of internal communication, Dan "Sweetind" Sweeting, the rather dedicated organisation manager decided to call it quits - for now at least.

This isn't the end however; come November Psycotic Gaming will be re-opening with a refreshing new logo, website design and a new team of staff and players.

Keep an eye on out on this space for updates as I receive them. I will most likely be working in partnership with Dan in one way or another, I wish him the good luck and all the best as he works to rebuild the organisation - as this guy deserves nothing but the best teams under his banner.

I wish everyone who had the chance to be part of the team and invested the time and effort that they did (not to mention funding) all the best in the future and a big thank you.


Stay tuned!



Old Logo (Can no longer find a larger one on the net.)

Razer Lycosa gaming keyboard | Full length review


Razer are well known for their gaming peripherals, by some for being somewhat overpriced and by others for being excellent gaming gear. Whether they are just marketed well or worth the money, it’s more a case of personal opinion than fact.
It will be no surprise to you then that any LAN environment you step into will be teaming with Razer keyboards, headsets, mice and mouse mats.

Today I will be seeing whether the Razer Lycosa gaming keyboard is worthy of its position on any gamers desk.


The Lycosa

If you’ve ever owned any Razer product, you’ll know how sleekly they come packaged, and that the hardware its self matches this look too. This rings true with the Lycosa too; with its non-slip rubber keys, smooth material and glossy, expensive looks and backlighting – it looks up to the job.

Functionality

Out of the box you cannot deny the Razer Lycosa’s quality look and feel, with some interesting specifications to go with it. Such as 1000Hz Ultrapolling™ / 1ms response time – whether this makes a massive difference I am unsure, but gamers always want the edge. I didn’t as such notice anything to any previous keyboards I have used (admittedly it is hard to notice a millisecond or 2 difference).

However the key travel is almost perfect for me, with the key size being almost directly in-between a laptop key and the classic chunky full-size keys. This, combined with good key spacing and placement, this makes the keyboard really fun and a treat to use, whether you bounce around hammering keys in FPS games such as quake, MMO’s or RTS – even for simple word documents, I’ve never felt as though using it was an arduous or uncomfortable task. It’s always nice to switch to a new keyboard and for typing to feel natural, too – rather than finding the keys are in strange positions and having to re-learn how to type.

To improve comfort further, you have the choice of removing the wrist rest – something I felt that the Razer Reclusa really needed. I bought mine second hand and found the large gap between the top of the keyboard and the desk meant you had to literally hover your hands in the air, which after a short amount of time can become uncomfortable, even painful – especially during them long gaming sessions. Thank god they rid this with the Lycosa. A cool little extra you will notice with the Lycosa is it is quite light and extremely thin (15mm high).


One extremely useful feature is the fully-programmable keys with macro capability; this really shines in MMO’s over FPS’. Most bindings you will ever need to do for most games can be done in the game, however games like World of Warcraft take the needs for key binding to a whole new level, especially in Player VS Player combat and opens up a world of possiblities with a little imagination and practice. Check out the video below for a basic example of macroing on this keyboard. With the use of time delays at your disposal, you could run your entire trash clearing rotation with 1 key at ease.


One thing however I have noticed – which would destroy the rating of this peripheral, however since I know I’m amongst the minority affected then I ease on this slightly. This is the fact that the keyboard randomly locks a key in, by this I mean it thinks a key is being pressed when it isn’t. For instance I’ve been in quite a few Quake Live duels and then I will strafe, or press any key for that matter and every 1 in a million times the key seems as if it is held down. Causing me to strafe into a wall until I unplug the keyboard and plug it back in. This is annoying at casual level of game play, and simply unacceptable at competitive level gaming, especially considering the price of the gear you are paying.

I have discovered that this issue is limited, I am not the only person to complain about this though, I assume it is a batch bug or driver issue but I have plenty of friends with the same keyboard who have never experienced this and play just as much as I do. For me it has ranged from happening 3 times a night to once a month – purely at random. Not fun.
However since I am reviewing THIS product and not a theoretically perfect working one, I have to take this into account.

Features

Onto the features – and this keyboard has a ton of them.


First off you get the usual driver disk, stickers, and Razer catalogue. Onboard the keyboard itself is a touch screen with all your media controls on, a button to cycle between the backlight options of full, WASD cluster and off. This functions pretty well for the most part, however you can find yourself accidently pressing the wrong key if you’re not careful, along with the fact that if your hands are cold or wet – this thing probably won’t pick you up.

Oh and the panel also has a nice big Razer logo in the middle, holding down your windows key and pressing it disables your windows keys on the fly, so you won’t be accidently tabbing out of your games – an e-life saver.

The keyboard also supports anti-ghosting and allows you to press up to 10 keys at once and every key stroke will be recognised, useful for EVERY type of game.

At the back of the board is also an analog mic and headphone jack, along with a USB jack too if you need it. This is useful for charging your iPod, using a USB headset etc. Pretty useful if you have a short headphone cable, have limited USB ports or simply want to keep your desk tidy and stop trailing cables.

Oh and if you happen to spill and energy drink or anything under your keys, you can comfortably pop your keys in and out without doing any damage to them. Good to know when you’re forking out a good £50-70 for a keyboard.

The macro software I talked about earlier is extremely robust; check it out below for an Idea of what I’m talking about (This comes with the drivers.)


Click to enlarge

Conclusion

Overall this is a great keyboard and at a reasonable price, the media panel works moderately well and the keyboard is responsive and for the most part reliable - and packs all the features you could ever want or find a use for - bar an LCD screen such as the ones on some Logitechs.

Unless you are a die-hard fan of your current keyboard or prefer a keyboard such as the Logitech G series then there isn’t much reason to change. However if you’re looking for a comfortable, robust, low-profile and sweet looking keyboard with a ton of macro capabilities, then look no further. It suffers from some batch issues but the chances that you get a faulty one look to be rather slim, especially now as I assume this problem has been ironed out. Buy at your own risk – RMA’s and buyer’s remorse are never fun.


"If you’re looking for a comfortable, robust, low-profile and sweet looking keyboard with a ton of macro capabilities, then look no further."

7/10

Razor | > > > > > > > - - - | Razer  


+ Endless macro possibilities
+ Looks slick
+ Packed with features  
+ Comfortable and lasting
- Some production batch issues

Price: £54.99-£64.99 on average.


Please let me know what you thought of this review and the product itself below.

Monday, 11 October 2010

'Cheating' gamer stabbed through head

Old news, but news.

"A Chinese teenager has survived being stabbed through the head with a 14cm blade after being accused of cheating in a computer game.

Xiao Wei, 16, was playing the online game Counter-Strike at an internet cafe in Mishazi, Jilin province, when he was dragged outside and brutally attacked, the Daily Mail newspaper reports.

Wei remained conscious throughout the attack and managed to walk to the Second Affiliated Hospital of Jilin University with the help of his friend Huang, who had also been stabbed.

Doctors there said an X-ray showed the blade entering Wei’s right temple and exiting about 1cm above his left temple.

"His face was covered in blood, but he was still conscious," neurosurgeon Yan Shijun was quoted as saying.

It took surgeons more than two hours to remove the knife and Wei is now in a stable condition.

Huang, who suffered injuries to his arm, said he and Wei were attacked after being accused of using a cheat code in Counter-Strike to see through walls.

"When we were playing games, a group of people from the same cafe came to us, saying we must install some software to win the game — then we had an argument with them," he said.

"My left arm was stabbed through by them, and when they had gone, I found Xiao Wei was lying on the ground with a knife in his head."

Dr Yan said he had never seen someone stay conscious after being stabbed through the head." 9 News.

Review pushed back

Due to me being a little busy, the review of the Razer Lycosa keyboard shaln't be up until tomorrow. A good thing, however, is that my Bigfoot Networks Killer 2100 pro gaming network card for review is getting posted tomorrow.

In the mean-time, my poll is almost over - so if you haven't voted yet, please do.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

My weekend has begun

Well.. kind of. I finished work, I now have Sunday and most of Monday to enjoy myself and do stuff other than work/college.

Had a long night at work, was actually fun toward the end of the night but didn't get out until 11pm, was hoping for an 8ish finish. Not a bad way to finish one of your last shifts though, got to have a good laugh and banter with the guys at work whilst cleaning up and not just feeling like a slave the whole time.

Anyway I came home hoping to put a post up, chill, then bed. Instead I found my internet speed seemingly getting raped, so I restarted my router, same thing. Logged into my router, setup a new network, same thing. Restarted my PC.. same thing.. Spotify works fine.. no browser loads.. can't connect to EA on BF:BC2 which I planned to chill on as a stress reliever instead. Great. So I eventually realised that some how after I messed with my PC one of my LAN connections was fucking the other over (I have 2 plugged into the router from my PC because once every blue moon my PC likes to randomly switch ports.) and all I had to do was disable the second one. So yeah.. not very fun.

So here I am now, after saying fuck it and playing Bad Company 2 for a good few hours.. its the early hours and I'm absolutely shattered, so it's time for bed and a good sleep. I won't make myself feel bad for making it a GOOD sleep either, I suppose I've earned it after spending most of my waking hours over the last 2 days at work.

On the phone front, I think I'm settling on a HTC Desire, however I don't plan to buy a replacement for a little while yet, probably a month or so down the road I'll have to make my decision. I'll be getting it on pay as you go and paying for it outright. Oh and good news the sound on my phone has sprung back to life! Atleast I think.. it's a bit touch and go when it closely resembles a paper cup phone (my phone screen detatched itself from the body, if you missed my post a couple days ago about it.)

This, now resembles THIS quite closely.


On the plus side of things I have plenty of spare time over the next couple of days, So I will be putting up a few posts, commenting around a plenty and also putting my Razer Lycosa gaming keyboard review up tomorrow, so be sure to check that out!

Oh and one last thing, I might have some goodies instore for you in future. You'll just have to wait and see what I mean by that, but if all goes to plan then I'm sure you'll love it.

Right time for some sleep, g'night!

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Phone choices

I've cut my choices down to 5 phones, which are:

HTC Desire 


HTC Wildfire

 
Xperia X10 

Samsung Galaxy S 

 iPhone 4G

I've heard nothing but good things about HTC's, and I would also like something with Android, almost purely for spotify support.

I hear Android has plenty of other bonuses, and I also don't particularly fancy getting my balls DRM'd to feck  by the iPhone, even though it is quite aluring.

I quite like the look of the Desire and I hear it mentioned alot, so out of the 2 HTC's that would probably be my choice.

However when I came across the Xperia X10, the first thing I noticed was its beautiful looking UI and interface, you have to admit - it does look pretty good.

The Samsung Galaxy S looks nice, and probably functions well - but I've just never particularly liked their phones. This is another phone I hear good things about, and hence why it is on this list. 

Can I get any advice on these phones? What are your opinions and personal experiences?  
  

Random fact

As memorable as Leeroy Jenkins



Also, good night all!

Friday, 8 October 2010

I Quit I Quit I Quit!

So I told my boss I don't wanna waste my weekends there anymore.

I know some of you would kill for a job, but now that I have multiple sources of income theres just no need for me to work there and the time can be better spent, so you're welcome to go and work there instead. =D

2 more weeks then I'll be gone from there.

edit: #1: Those weren't my actual words, and I can make more money in a day through my various other methods than at work. She was perfectly understanding and kay with quitting.

#2: As much as I like the staff at the restraunt (I was a kitchen porter) The work was just plain SHITE at times. So no thanks.

3 months ago I was with hardly any income and needed the money, so was glad to get the job. But since I've pondered over quitting for the last 3 weeks or so, and my alternate incomes now heavily out weigh my job wage so it's not worth it.

Oh and I'm also at college full-time.


A secret message?  So what are you all up to?

Mid-day rant

Long long long morning and afternoon at work. Was absolutely starving and kept having dizzy spells.. Off back to work in 15 mins. Also I'm considering going with an Android phone or POSSIBLY an iPhone 4.

Considered going with something cheap but I want a nice little powerful device with good a music player (spotify cough cough) So I'm still on the look out.

I managed to further damage my phone this morning by picking it up by the detatched screen when my alarm went off.. it no longer has sound. =(

Hope your day is going better than mine! Atleast I got some good sleep.

Good sleep in

I'm usually sleep deprived, but for once I went to bed at 11pm, almost got up at 7 am but decided to not get up until I had to. 10 am doesn't usually sound like much of a sleep in to me, but it felt good!

Thursday, 7 October 2010

360 degree video

I thought this was amazing when I found this yesterday, and still do - especially as you control it and can look anywhere in real time. It must have taken some time and skill to make this, I bet getting over the original whole just "getting it to work" thing was a son of a gun.

New South Park episode!

1408: "Poor and Stupid" is now online and on TV to view. I've gotta watch this, be sure to watch it legally though!

Suggest a new phone

Today I managed to pull my phone off a table at college when I reached for my headphones, for about the 10,000th time. This time however the screen managed to detatch itself from the body.. I have a Sony Ericsson W595 slide phone (pictured below).


The phone still works since the cable did not detach, however it wobbles around freely. I can live with this for now, but when I do replace it (which now seems to be much sooner than I originally intended) I plan to replace it with a smart phone.

I like/d my current phone, but it just lacks the horse power to do anything decent with, and even upon receiving texts it would lock up for a short while, especially when playing games/listening to music (I do alot of the latter over mobile games.)

If I can find something I like, which deserves its price tag and I'm happy with it, then I'll go for it.

Can any of you suggest some good smart phones, ones to avoid too perhaps? Thanks <3

Oh and just because I don't play many games on my phone at the moment doesnt mean I'm not looking for a phone thats fun to play games on, if theres decent ones for X, Y or Z OS then I will probably play them much more. =D

Upcoming: Killer 2100 & Razer Lycosa review

Over the next week or so, I shall be receiving a Killer 2100 pro gaming network card to review - the card designed to decrease your ping and latency whilst increasing your frames per second which makes for a better all round gaming experience, courtesy of Bigfoot Networks. I will be reviewing that over a couple days after I receive it, so keep your eyes peeled for that.


 Over the weekend I shall be reviewing my Razer Lycosa gaming keyboard, to give you a good idea of whether its worth the money and the board to buy for gamers.


I am always looking to expand my review catalog, so watch out for all my future reviews! 


Spam

I've noticed a lot of spam blogs and illigitimate posts, I try to give each of my readers a nice post back. While most of my readers and commenters are geniune and interesting - remember that if you have nothing worth reading, chances are I'll post something not worth reading on that post.

I put alot of time into my blog, and so do many other people. Please keep up with good content, I'm always looking for something fresh to read, thanks!

<3

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Wired.com MSI GX660 gaming laptop review

"Gaming Notebook Nose-Dives off Ugly Tree, Hits Every Branch on Way Down.




The only explanation I can guess at for why the MSI GX660 looks the way it does is that someone made a bet with an MSI engineer, challenging him to design the most horrendously ugly computer possible.

This engineer has succeeded admirably. Not since the original Dell Inspiron XPS has a computer this fugly been unleashed upon America.

It is a throwback to an era that has never actually existed except in the minds of ’70s sci-fi enthusiasts, with harsh angles, weird textures, and a combination of automotive inspirations and goofy octagonal designs attempting to live together.

It’s like someone saw a Battlestar Galactica highlight reel and just didn’t get it. Even the Windows desktop wallpaper is hideous.

And MSI, known for its dirt-cheap yet capable machines, wants to convince you to fork over $1,750 for this monstrosity.

Pushing past the design aesthetic, here’s what MSI is giving you for your investment: a high-res, 1920 x 1080-pixel, 15.6-inch LCD; a 1.73-GHz Core i7 Q740 CPU; two 320-GB hard drives in a RAID 0 configuration; 6 GB of RAM; and an ATI Radeon HD 5870 graphics card. Hey, looks pretty good.

Designed as a gaming laptop (complete with arrows on the WASD keys), the GX660 is powerful, but hardly a record-setter. Benchmarks were on target for a high-end machine, but we’ve gotten better numbers on both general apps and games out of a ThinkPad.

Props to MSI for at least putting a real battery in the system. With 1 hour, 51 minutes of battery life, the MSI is genuinely portable in ways that few gaming rigs are. Its mere 7.6-pound weight is positively gossamer for this category, too.

We also liked the MSI’s touch-sensitive control panel along the top of the base. These seem to be all the rage, but most barely work. The MSI’s icons are actually easy to comprehend, and they perform as expected.

We were less thrilled with the much-touted Dynaudio speaker setup, which puts very visible, oversized speakers on both corners of the base. They’re nothing to write home about. In fact, it would have been nice if they’d been even louder, so as to drown out the jet-engine–class fan that’s installed to cool the dang thing.

WIRED Quite affordable for a gaming notebook — it’s just too bad the performance isn’t top-notch, too. Dual USB 3.0 ports. Light and long-lived, considering the category.

TIRED So ugly you’ll keep it in a paper bag. Weak keyboard, with boneheaded numeric keypad layout." Wired.com

  
I think the review of its looks are a little harsh, maybe the picture makes it look much better than it is, and in real life it could obviously look quite tacky rather than classy. The specs are tip top though, which is always a good thing.

Comments? :) 

Best interview EVER

The brutal truth

 
 Just got back from a slightly tired day at college.. Discuss the pic!

Off to college

I have a full day of college ahead of me, and I'm about to head out.

So i'll leave you a video.. even if it isn't a particularly happy one.

For those that don't enjoy heights

Oh god oh god oh god what the fuck I'm sure you'll enjoy these videos as much as I did.



That had an actual purpose.. now this is just being an idiot:



I spent most of the first vid with a pair of sweaty palms mushed into my face, having to occasionally look away. I felt a bit of a cringe at the second one, I think the first one hardened me a little.

Post your responses below.. I look forward to reading them =D

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

University

It's that time of year, if your applying for University - which one, and what course?

Hope your prospects look good, over the next few days I'm going to start working on my UCAS account (UK College/University management, you use this to apply to universities etc.)

I myself am going to looking around for IT courses, I'd like to steer away from programming and that side of IT, and work on the more creative and artistic side of it, if I can.

Wish me luck!

Ken Block - Gymkhana

I know alot of you will already have seen this - at the current moment in time it has 12.5 million views. If you haven't already seen it - check it out!

DJ Enferno

This guy is just too good not to post here, I first heard him in the DMC Technics World DJ Championship all the way back in 2003 when I was just a sprout. He's just a god, so yeah - check him out!

Monday, 4 October 2010

Funny phone prank

Found this on another blog. The actor from the pic is pretty fitting for the voices.



It's simply awesome.

Sunday

So today was a pretty chill day for me, caught up on my sleep a tonnn then spent most of the day relaxing with my girlfriend, then a good few hours of Bad Company 2 to top it off, now onto the rounds and reading my followers blogs!

Hope you all have fun soldiering through the week, whatever it is you will be doing!

Saturday, 2 October 2010

The weekend

I found yesterday quite tiresome, working about 9 and a half hours.

I drudged through the day extremely tired but met a friend later which helped make up for it. We had a night of green tlc, I've never had anywhere near as much - and I don't do it often, at all. Went to bed at 3 am, in work at 11 and here I am now, back to work in 30 mins and I have about a 6 hour shift infront of me.

I managed to skate by easily today, time flew and I was just elsewhere a little really. That might be due to a bit of yesterdays stress relieving help. I realised just before that even though I'm feeling a little rough, that might be the reason I'm manage to take today much more carefree and not being too bothered about anything.

I'm a kitchen porter, and the guy I've been working with today and who I'm working with tonight was feeling quite ill, so we're swapping around so that he gets to go early and I have to stay and clean, even though it was my job last night - I'm not really fussed, I'm paid by the hour so its all good =D.

Probably be home sometime between 11 and 12, probably closer to the 12 mark. When I originally planned on writing this I didn't mind but I'm now feeling the tiredness kicking in.

Looking forward to tomorrows day of rest, oh and one last thing - last nights damages list:

1 semi-cooked pizza.
Half a tub of icecream.
A pack of buiscuits.
A bag of monster munch.
A lot of pepsi.
Some mini fudge brownies.
1 large bag of popcorn.

So yeah I ate alot really.. but thats what it does to you! So thats it really, I'll leave you with this:

How have your "green tlc" experiences been, as soothing as mine? Well I say that.. but I had pains all over my body at the time and I could feel them in a weird numbed sort of way. Still sore a bit really, need some good sleep! Anyway, what have you all been up to today? I'll check by later to read your comments =)

Oh and forgive any sloppy typing or spelling.. I am rather tired.. well a few things.

Friday, 1 October 2010

Tired tired tired

So how is today going for everyone? I'm feeling pretty fucked, went to sleep alot later than I should have, then up for work and now time to chill and blog.. back to work in an hour and a half... I should have got more sleep last night! I'll live though, going around a friends tonight after work for some green TLC, then work again tomorrow.

Damn I'm looking forward to sunday.

For now I'm just sat listening to hardstyle and have some blogs to catch up on, how about all of you?

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Best shooter video game series.

I've compiled a list of various very popular shooter series, spanning across many platforms and garnering very large fan bases over the years.

Now its time to choose your ultimate shooter series, albeit because of its gripping story line, immersive gameplay, visceral graphics, theme, weapons, opponents, or any other reason you'd love a game! You can vote in the sidebar now.

If your game isn't here, then drop it in the comments and please still vote on your favourite from the list!

Half Life


Counter Strike



Battlefield


Call of duty



Quake


Unreal Tournament


F.E.A.R 


Metal Gear Solid


Resident Evil


Halo   


Let the voting begin!.. And probably a discussion-turned fanboy war.