Quote of the Day

This is funny enough for me to share, but too long for a tweet.

Wil Wheaton is playing Adventure on Atari:

Nolan: "You realize you’ve gone into that dead end five times, right?"

"Quiet you. This is how we did it back in the 80s."

Nolan: "You ran into the same dead end over and over again?"

"Yes, it was part of Reganomics.

See the rest here.

Hardware Upgrades- Vista and WHS

I just upgraded my main PC from XP to Vista  Business. And stuck a new graphics card in.

Before we discuss the Windows Experience Index, the only down side of the upgrade is that there are no Vista drivers for the front ports ( USB, SD, etc)  or the built in sound card from Compaq. None. Their driver downloads page for the model ( SR1629 UK) essentially says “best of luck” for those upgrading to Vista.

In fact, I suspect that the model number of my PC is different to that on the page as the picture does not show the front card reader and the drivers don’t show up for it. Any Suggestions???

This is extremely inconvenient, as you might imagine.I’ve lost 3 USB ports and  a 9-in one card reader. The sound issue was fixed by buying a cheap SoundBlaster Creative card.

I bought a  Radeon HD 3650 PCI- Express card.  512MB of GDDR3 RAM (that has a 1.73GHZ clock). A 790Mhz engine clock. Crossfire X support as well as full HD. The graphics that come out of this thing are amazing.

I bought it mainly to play Flight Simulator X on it and it rocks ( though I’m still adjusting the settings to get the best combination of  graphics and speed/playability).

Here’s the System information page with the Windows Experience Index:


And here’s the breakdown:


I must say I was expecting a dramatic improvement, but not by THAT much. Can’t remember what the original score was before I put the card in, but it was pretty dramatic.

There is a pretty in-depth discussion of the Index on the Vista Team blog here.

Moving on.

My Windows Home Server has been screaming for the last week that the USB drive had failed ( its connected and turned on and has been tried on multiple USB ports on multiple PCs). I’m not sure precisely what happened but I’m a hard drive short and have 200Gbs of space left.


So I’ve ordered two Samsung SpinPoint F1 750GB SATA-II drives. One to replace the failed USB hard drive and the other to replace the aging 80Gb IDE drive. Since there is the hard drive replication feature, I’ve gone down the path of more drives rather than higher drive capacity.  This should take my total drive capacity to about 2 TB, which is plenty. I go through hard drive space rather fast, mainly cause I use SageTv to record Tv and virtual server to run the occasional VM ( I have a 44 GB VM, to give you an idea of size).

I got all this great hardware from a UK company called Overclockers UK. Great customer service. They have no problem dealing with returned items (I had to return a AGP card because my system was PCI-E). They are quite reasonably priced and have some really amazing specials quite often.

My hard drives were shipped 40 minutes after my confirmation arrived in my inbox. And that really is amazing service. If i need hard ware, they’re my first port of call. Well done guys!!

Nerd Humor

If you don’t read the Official Playstation.Blog from Sony, you really should be. Its really good and is a daily staple of my blog diet, along with the Gamerscore Blog from Microsoft. I don’t have either console ( 360 or PS3) , but I really enjoy reading the posts.

Take this recent post from Jason Coker, Associate Producer of the PlayStation Network title PAIN for PS3:

What I CAN tell you is that it has been a blast to work on. It hasn’t been easy, but it sure has been hilarious. Here are just a couple of the gems I’ve heard (or said):

* “Coker, can you write up a description of a little person hip-hop pirate right quick?” (Yeah, I had the same reaction. You’ll see.)

* “Ummmm….who did the voice-over for that? That’s nasty.”

* “Hey man, if I get you a big glass of water, can you step into the recording booth and belch for about half an hour?”

* “Check the Leaderboards, Son. Spank. The. Monkey.”

* “Dude, I just really don’t think the farts are loud enough.”

* “Did you just grab that Granny by her head? Do it again! Do it again!”

* “That’s him right there. We call him the Ooch Master. He can’t be touched.” (You know who you are at Idol Minds, and I’m coming for you. The student has become the Master, baby!)

* “OH, *&%*!! THAT *^&%*#@ DONUT!!!!!!”

What are you waiting for? Subscribe!!

Green with Envy

Scott Hanselman has us all green with envy at his  soon-to-be built $1900 PC. And that includes getting permission from his wife.

Here’s the list:

  • Antec P182 Gun Metal Black 0.8mm cold rolled steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case – Retail
    Item #: N82E16811129025 $154.99
  • MSI P6N SLI Platinum LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 650i SLI ATX Intel Motherboard – Retail
    Item #: N82E16813130081 $144.99
  • 2 x MSI NX8600GTS-T2D256E-OC GeForce 8600GTS 256MB GDDR3 PCI Express x16 Over Clock Edition HDCP Video Card – Retail
    Item #: N82E16814127284 $337.98
  • Western Digital Raptor WD1500ADFD 150GB 10,000 RPM Serial ATA150 Hard Drive – OEM
    Item #: N82E16822136012 $199.99
  • Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST3500630AS 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive – OEM
    Item #: N82E16822148136 $119.99
  • Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Kentsfield 2.4GHz LGA 775 Processor Model BX80562Q6600 – Retail
    Item #: N82E16819115017 $531.90
  • Scythe SCMN-1100 100mm Sleeve CPU Cooler – Retail
    Item #: N82E16835185037 $32.99
  • CORSAIR CMPSU-520HX ATX12V v2.2 and EPS12V 2.91 520W Power Supply – Retail
    Item #: N82E16817139001 $129.99
  • 2 x Kingston ValueRAM 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model KVR800D2N5K2/2G – OEM
    Item #: N82E16820134117 $216.98
  • LITE-ON 20X DVD±R DVD Burner with 12X DVD-RAM write and LightScribe Technology Black E-IDE/ATAPI Model LH-20A1H-185 – OEM
    Item #: N82E16827106055 $33.99
  • Subtotal: $1,903.79
  • I’m keeping this list handy for the next time I have £800 in spare change.

    The above list put my PC to shame. Its only a year and a half old. What A Pity.

    Games Charts

    Theres an internal dicussion board in the Computer Science course on the game charts and their differeces. Heres my comment:

    Looking at the Japan chart there are two striking things:

    1. Most are for the DS or PSP
    2. Most are distinctivly Japanese games

    The DS and PSP feed in to the Japanese thirst for new technology – theres a reason why the 360 was released there first.

    Japanese games feed into the Japanese culture. You or I would feel rather lost playing a Japanese game, but would feel right at home playing Pro Evolution or Need for Speed. These are mostly japanese publishers so they understand thier home market. That is the reason why Mircrosoft is finding it difficult, if not impossible, to capture the Japanese market – the culture difference.

    Looking at the British Game Chart, you see the games that fit into our culture. FootBall, Golf, The Sims, and Shoot ’em Up’s. We are used to these things. That’s why Japanese games made for the Japanese market will never sell here ( take Pokemon, for instance)- no one would buy them since we would not understand them( at least not very well).Try do a proper Japanese bow, observing all the social conditions that dictate the precise degree of bowing ( I’m not kidding). Or understanding the intricit system social system in Japan? Get my point about different cultures . “Our” games, on the other hand, can be sold anywhere – everyone one understands the concept of football, the concept of killing the bad guys, of running Sims lives. Thats why we sell our games over there.

    The Americans are nearly the same, though the difference in sports games reflects the cultural difference. They get NFL instead of Fifa, NBA and NHL. We get plain old FIFA and PGA with the occisional Rugby tossed in for goot measure.

    Any comments?:)