Fastest Mainstream PCI-e SSD card

OCZ have announced the bootable PCI-e Z-Drive. Lets take a look.

Now although the drive claims to be mainstream, you’ll need to sell both kidneys and possibly a lung to actually own one. The prices are insane, too insane to mention. Try not to look away in fright :

The drive comes in SLC and MLC (Mainstream) versions. Don’t think the MLC version is slow too, because its lightning fast, and don’t think its cheap because again its bloody expensive.But just look at the specs on this baby! This is the MLC version btw!!!


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5 things I don’t feel sorry for

In this list you’ll discover 5 things people shouldn’t be doing, and yet when they get hurt or into trouble, due to their arrogance, they almost always fail to see what they were doing was wrong, and even continue to do so. Trust me, people who are involved or were involved in these activities do not need our sympathy.

1. Bull Wrestling or people who screw around with wild animals in general

Why I don’t feel sorry for them? Bulls are wild dangerous animals, best left alone in the wild. People who participate in these events have no concern for the animals welfare. Almost always when something bad happens, they’re puzzled. They also love to brag about how dangerous the so-called sport is, and how tough they are. Year after year more accidents happen, more people are crippled or end up with serious injuries, but it doesn’t stop these idiots coming back for more.

2. East Berlin Wall Guards who got killed by civilians trying to escape into West Berlin during the Berlin Wall Period.

Why I don’t feel sorry for them? They were trained to kill civilians trying to escape to a better life. I don’t care if it was “just a job” or if they felt they had some patriotic duty. They knew they were doing wrong! In one attempt to escape, an East Berlin guard gets shot and killed by a man fleeing with his wife and kids. The man opened fire because he believed the guard was about to kill his family. Tower guards reacted by taking pot shots  at the kids. Luckily that day this family managed to escape unharmed. But over a 1000 innocent people were killed trying to escape to West Berlin, mostly their crime was wanting to be reunited with their families.

3. Motor Bike show offs who get hurt

Why I don’t feel sorry for them? The web is full of videos of these show offs, who think they’re ultra cool. They’re ultimately using a piece of equipment in a way it wasn’t designed for, and its amusing when they fail. Trust me these most of these bozos have huge ego’s and don’t need your sympathy.While we’re on this point, I think this also covers stunt men who perform outrageous stunts where the result is inevitable also quality here.

4. Bill Gates, Win 98 Blue Screen of Death launch

Why I don’t feel sorry for him? Here is a company launching a product that clearly hasn’t undergone enough testing. The most popular desktop operating system of its time and it couldn’t even get through 5 minutes of presentation without a crash. Luckily things have improved since then.

5. Emo’s


Why I don’t feel sorry for them? The web is full of these preppy creeps, caught up in the emo fad. Luckily its just a fad, but omg how embarrassing for the emo’s who posted on you tube. Not the type of thing you want your kids or grandchildren to see.

The Noctua NH-D14 means business

If you’re looking to enter into the i7 market, you might be interested in doing some overclocking. In that case you will need an after market CPU cooler.

Intel provide you with a most basic CPU heat sink (cooler), but this cooler is not good enough for overclocking. I am not even sure I would trust it to run stock frequencies. Today we’ll be looking at the Noctua NH-D14 After Market Cooler. It’s a cooler I’ve just gotten to know and I am very impressed with the results.

Remember the basic rule of coolers is the greater the surface area of the fins, typically the more effective they will be. This is why the Noctua NH-D14 does so well, its huge.

It’s one of the biggest coolers out there, as you can see from the photos below.

As far as coolers go, its not cheap, but compared to the price of a good CPU or Graphics card its affordable. You’ll need to check your local area for prices.

The cooler works by dissipating heat from the CPU to the Fins. 2 fans operate in a push/pull manner to blow heat off the cooler into the air.

For this reason a cooler alone is not enough for air overclocking solutions. It makes sense that once the air in the case is hot, it needs to be blown out of the case and into the surrounding room. For this reason it is essential you combine your aftermarket cooling efforts with a case that can provide high air flow. As much airflow as possible if you want a stable reliable overclocking result.

Anarchy Online my closing thoughts

I guess game blog posts are the most fun to write. I played Anarchy Online for about 2 years, then quit. Later I rejoined, but after about 4 months lost interest again. I know this time around I won’t be going back. During my time off I’ve done some objective thinking about gaming, particularly MMOs and I’ve had enough time away from AO to look at it from all angles.

This post is for people who have actually played AO for an extended amount of time, if you’ve never heard of AO, this post gets specific about game issues you may not understand.

Firstly lets commend Funcom for having created this outstanding game. I believe in the beginning Funcom really lived up to its name. The MMO scene was cutting edge. Back when AO was released, the DX7 engine was advanced enough to offer amazing character customizations, besides this RK is huge and AO can keep you amazed for at least the first year of playing it. I can imagine the game designers were exceptionally proud by what they produced initially, but were unable to keep the game as current as they would have liked.

The initial game direction is fantasic. The futuristic sci-fi theme really works, and the ability to create robots and have pets is another appealing factor of the game. RK as a planet is quite diverse, and its easy enough to get around. Unfortunately instead of enhancing the sci-fi aspects of the game, FC decided to go in a totally new direction with it, and instead add more fantasy real estate along side more religious lure. So once you hit SL the game stops being a sci-fi and instead turns into a fantasy where some classes have ranged weapons.

I guess it only took so long before the staff and/or game directors started seeing the success of WoW, and so decided to release a WoW clone, something that would be able to compete with WoW or at least take a slice of that huge player base. FC’s edge was they were building a game from the ground up. They marketed AoC as a game with awesome graphics, revolutionary combat system and outstanding P2P.  I think they were a bit over confident, because at the same time they started the development of TSW. Unfortunately neither AoC nor TSW have become huge hits, I guess because AoC was one of the most disappointing MMOs ever launched, and once bitten twice shy, as they say. This post is not really about these games, but I’m making this point because FC effectively left the development of AO behind, and I question this decision.

You see in my mind, this is where the company stopped being a “Fun Company” and instead started producing if anything bog standard MMO’s, one of them (AoC) an obvious WoW rippoff. How fun can it be to be writing clones, or living in the shadow of a far more successful game (WoW).  There are more than 50 WoW clones on the market, and AoC, now FC’s flagship product is just another WoW clone, and somehow I think they know this. I have to guess its not a huge success when I find emails in my inbox begging me to come back to the game, offering me some rewards and incentives.

What should they have done? Its a pretty obvious answer, they should have capitalized on their existing monopoly – the sci-fi genre. Instead they left a huge gap in the market for games like Eve and now the emerging sci-fi’s coming out this year or next, for example Star trek online. The short answer – they should have released AO2. Take a great idea and progress with it. Instead they hung AO out to dry, and abandoned their player base, so to speak.

AO is getting less and less love every year. The graphics engine is a joke, and I don’t think it will ever launch. I’ve personally been waiting for it for 2 years, but some people have been waiting for it for over 5 years. Read some forums if you don’t believe me. FC have yet to release any tangible evidence that it can actually be implemented. A few screen shots here and there and 1 or 2 vids are all they’ve managed to produce.

Bottom line, unfortunately the game is dead. Its still around but the hosting servers are all merging into 1, as the player base shrinks, and eventually it will just fade away. I’m expecting that in the next 2-3 years the servers will be shut down, but this is just me projecting. I could be wrong.

Now for a more positive side of the post. I enjoyed playing this game, and because of this I will remember the good, and not forever think about how great it could have been. Its a game you play for a while then you should stop, otherwise you get too involved in waiting for changes and updates that don’t happen quick enough.

Overall these were my best memories in AO.

1. Landing on RK.

There are a lot of starter quests, and you meet some interesting people. Learning out how to use the maps, and click saving was also fun. Back then your run speed is so bad, getting to the missions and completing them is a real challenge. Heading down the longest road trying to avoid over powering mobs. Picking up loot and selling it in the shops. Then finally making some friends and heading into the sub way, then you feel more informed I guess, and starting to find your way.

2. Finding out about yalms, and doing an insane amount of missions to be able to afford one.

I worked for every cred, and could only afford a yalm at around level 60. Before that I had this one friend who owned a yalm and used to demonstrate its potential. When I finally got one, the whole game took on new meaning. Getting around was much quicker, and the whole map opened up. Adventuring became safer too.

3. Finding my first (and only org)

No matter how you look at it, there are 2 stages of playing AO. Life before and after an org. Before an org, you’re all alone, and wearing crap gear, and just generally lost. But because of this, the game is fun. Once you join an org, you get higher levels who will kit you out, and take care of you. This is great in a way, but it also subtracts from the overall enjoyment of the game, unfortunately by the time you realize this its too late. Being in an org is overall a good experience though. And people help you out with impossible boss quests, its great. You also learn a lot about the game.

4. The Shadow lands

Jobe looked really cool the first time I saw it. SL was always a dark and mysterious place, but in the beginning so much more. Tiggs and Hecks, first time around also added a whole new level of enjoyment to the game. Before I played AO, I had no idea what a tank was, I was clueless, so team work was pretty new to me. You level quick, and finally get through to Pen, then Inf.

That’s about it really. There were lots of encounters with great people, but I think after I got to around level 210, the game stopped being enjoyable for me, and became an endless grind.

Can’t really say I ever enjoyed BS, I’ve played lots of better PVP games, and the action in BS is totally crap. To this day FC hasn’t bothered upgrading it.

Anyways – enough said. Farewell to AO, DX11 is coming out and I’ve got a new i7. I can’t wait to see what games are coming out this year for this platform.

Logitech LS21 2.1 Speaker Unbiased Review

Today I will be reviewing the Logitech LS21 2.1 Speaker System. It’s important to mention that I don’t work for Logitech, and like ALL products I review on my blog, I’ve gone out and bought them with my own money. I don’t have any affiliations with any hardware or software companies. This is a private non profit WordPress blog, I do these reviews in my spare time, and I try to review every substantial product I buy, in this way helping you guys make a choice into buying it or not.

The story behind me buying these speakers is a bit different than usual. I was in a hurry, and bought them while doing my grocery shopping from the local supermarket. Yes, that’s right. I didn’t research them at all, or make a choice between all the other great 2.1 speakers out there. I noticed them on the shelf amongst a few other cheap speakers and thought “What the hell, I’ll give them a shot”.

My very first impression was obviously the price. They’re priced just under $50. Well this might not be the cheapest set around, it does fall in the “cheap range” of speakers. Before I popped them in the trolley, I gave the box a once over. The problem I have with Logitech products is they all claim to be outstanding. Most of the time they are, but every now and again, I’ve had bad experiences buying the cheaper priced Logitech products. I was skeptical but decided to take a chance.

The unboxing

I was still a bit worried by the time I got home. But I ripped open the packaging to reveal the speakers. The system comprises 2 speaker units and a sub woofer. As well as the speaker cabling and power cable. All in all the packaging was acceptable. It’s worth noting that the packaging is all made using recyclable materials.

Design

The speakers are small, but not tiny. There is no doubt about it, they’re stylish. Due to their size they’re a perfect addition to your desk, not taking up too much space, or looking pimp. The sub woofer is designed to sit on the floor, and the only outstanding feature it possesses is the sub woofer speaker actually faces down towards the ground. Other than that it has a knob to adjust the bass level and inputs for the speakers. The cabling provided is outstanding, there is enough of it, and it’s intuitive. It has a volume control and headphone jack. Headphones not included (obviously). I’ll also add that I’m skeptical when I see a bass knob on computer sub woofers, usually it means turn up to hear cheap thuds and down to hear tin. So I turned it 1/2 way before plugging it all in.

The sound quality

Here was the real test. How would these “cheap” and “little” speakers perform. I did not have high expectations, but then…. I was astounded. Very clear sound, and a decent enough bass. I decided I would turn the bass knob up all the way. It maintained a deep quality bass. Next test was volume. Speakers on full, sound card output on full, and it kept clarity.

I’ll end by saying don’t be put off by the “cheap” price of these speakers, nor the size. They’re great for gaming, music and movies. Overall I highly recommend this product.

How to enable concurrent user sessions in Windows 7 RTM (tested)

RDC (Remote Desktop Connection) is great, but it only allows 1 user to be logged on at 1 time. This can be frustrating because it not only will automatically log off the current user, but it does not automatically log that user back on when the remote session is disconnected.

This is especially a problem if you have a media PC, and are trying to remote admin it. Most Media PC’s don’t even have a keyboard or mouse connected.

Luckily there is an easy solution, just download a patch here (http://www.mediafire.com/?hzz2l5mznzm)

This will allow you to log more than 1 user on, meaning you don’t have to disconnect the account that is running active media, while performing remote admin.

Hope this helps 🙂 enjoy!

LG Flatron W2442PA User Review (Not too technical)

Recently I went shopping for a new LCD, the LG Flatron W2442PA was at the top of my list, because it was reviewed as a good all rounder. What you are about to read is is not a detailed technical review of the hardware, if you are after a more technical description, please read this article here. This is just my informal thoughts on this pretty decent monitor.

The W2442PA comprises a a 24Inch HD (1920×1080)  display with a genuine 2ms response time. The contrast ratio is 10000:1 which is not over exaggerated. On paper it does look good, but what is it like for general usage?

1. Design

LG have gone for a stylish simplistic look. There is nothing overly complicated about the design, its functional, but still manages to give off an air of class. The screen is easy to reposition, and the display can tilt and swivel, so its easy to find a viewing sweet spot. You might have read that this monitor has a flimsy base. I’ll now let you in on a little secret. There is a pin at the back of the monitor which you need to remove once the monitor is in an upright position, before you do this the display rests on this pin, and because of this is highly sensitive to desk movement. After removing the pin, the monitor was much more sturdy. My guess is that there are people reviewing this monitor with the transport pin still in place.

2. Menu Options

The menu system is not intuitive at all. I like menu systems to have easy to understand interfaces. Unfortunately you’ll need to be a bit of a rocket scientist to figure the menu out. I wouldn’t let this put you off from purchasing this product, because it should arrive without needing any manual adjustment. Once a display is set, you typically will not be playing around with monitor settings.

3. Screen Size

24 inches of screen is the type of real estate you could really get accustomed to. I guess it depends what you’ll be using it for, but its large enough to sit a comfortable distance away from, while still not looking ridiculously huge. The screen size seems just right.

4: Resolution

+1: 1920 x 1080 is a great resolution, lots of screen real estate. This is a wide screen display, so perfect for programmers and designers.  Its recommended that you always run an LCD on its native res. 1920×1080 is quite high up on the resolution scales, so ensure you have a graphics card that can process high detail at those resolutions, if you are planning on watching HD content, or playing HD games. If you are in any doubt, visit a local computer store and see the differences for yourself. Read some articles, and make sure that your graphics hardware can cope.

5: Color and image quality

So far this monitor has been if anything average, however cosmetics aside, it scores highly for pure image quality. The color is outstanding. Images look realistic, not a single complaint. Only the most cynical hawk will tell you otherwise. I would even recommend this monitor for design usage. The refresh rate is 60Mhz, which is the same as 99.9% of LCDs out there, so its not like you can really make a comparison. I don’t have enough experience to tell you if this 2ms response time is better than a 5ms response time, but what I can say is the monitor looks great for general windows usage.

6: Motion and Gaming

This monitor scores an 8/10 for movies and games, motion looks good, but you will experience some screen tearing unfortunately. The problem is ALL LCD’s that run on such low refresh rates (60Mhz) are subject to screen tearing. Having said this its for the most part not that noticeable. If you’re serious about gaming then you’ll more than likely have a quality rig that is capable of playing your games above the 60FPS mark. Once your FPS exceed that of the monitors 60Mhz (60 draw frames per second), you will experience some degree of screen tearing. You can enable VSync and Triple Buffering, but this will only take you so far, in my experience it can even make the graphics look worse. I guess it depends on the rig and the game you are playing.

There might be some hope for the LCD world, Samsung have made headway, I can’t comment on how effective their new gaming monitor is. This display does seem to have a 120Mhz refresh rate. Theoretically this should solve screen tearing, but no review site I’ve found are willing to comment on this.

7: Speakers

The speakers on this monitor are so bad, I am not sure why LG even bothered putting them in. Honestly they’re the worst speakers you’ll ever find, anywhere! When I was growing up, we were once tasked with making a speaker out of some tin foil and a matchbox. The LG speakers sound worse than that matchbox. Forget listening to music on them, they’re emergency speakers at best. They’re just an embarrassment and I would suggest forgetting they exist. If I was comparing these speakers to a PC game, these speakers would be Big Rigs.

8: Overall

This monitor has really good inner core functions. The technology that drives the screen is great, and that’s perhaps the most important thing. The overall design is not bad, except LG should have emphasized the need to remove the transport pin from the back of the stand. The color is excellent and its capable of playing games and movies with reasonable results. The design management team that packaged the display made some wrong turns and should be fired / shot for not adding quality speakers.

Verdict: Highly recommended!