Tech + Lifestyle

games, gear, and googleplexes (joke)

Weeky Shenanigans #4 (E3/Computex Edition)

Here lies Weekly Shenanigans #4…

  • Left4Dead fans were up in arms this week after Valve announced a sequel Left4Dead 2. Most felt that the sequel was taking the place of content updates or DLC. Valve’s own Doug Lombardi took some time at E3 to talk with Rock Paper Shotgun and seems to have mollified most of the gamers that were previously sharpening their blades and planning an offensive against Valve’s headquarters.
  • By far, Nintendo’s conference at E3 was the most uninspiring. Evidently they’re content with seducing even more of the casual demographic with things like the Vitality Sensor. I’m sorry, but really?! The Vitality Sensor? That sounds like a scam whose sole demographic is men with ED. They did announce a handful of interesting games, including a new Metroid from Team Ninja. I’m not sure who thought of that combination, but they deserve the biggest cookie in the history of baking cookies. With chocolate chips, and a chewy middle that’s just ever-s0-slightly doughy. The Penny Arcade guys summed it up pretty well with this:

June 7, 2009 Posted by | Gaming, Humor, PC gaming, State of the Blog, Weekly Shenanigans | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Treatise in Which I Examine the Finer Points of Computer Hardware, or Summoning the Beast: The Arcane Magic of Gaming Rig Resurrection and Improvement

After reading some reviews for the newly-released ATI Radeon HD 4770, I find myself thinking long and hard about my planned tech purchases. I’m often fond of referring to such spending as investments, but realistically that’s a misnomer. Regardless of what motherboard, or processor, or graphics card I buy, none of them will gain value the longer I own them. In reality, the value of computer hardware drops almost as quickly as that of cars, and in some cases even worse, given the six-month to one-year life of each generation of hardware. Before I go any further, that needs to be clear and ever-present in my mind and that of readers – any money dropped on hardware should basically be written off at a loss.

That being said, the logical thing to do is examine my reasons for upgrading my hardware. It’s pretty easy for me Continue reading

May 2, 2009 Posted by | Personal, Tech | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

A Day In The Life: AMD’s Execs

Sometime last week, in AMD’s boardroom:

AMD Exec 1: Members of the board, I have good news. We’re on schedule to deliver five new processors for our Phenom II line next week!

Board Member 1: That’s great news! What are the specs on them?

AMD Exec 2: First, we’ve got the the X4 910, which is essentially an X4 920 that’s been underclocked by .2 GHz. Then there’s the X4 810, which is the same speed as the X4 910, but it has 4MB of L3 cache instead of the 6 MB that’s standard on everything above it. Next is the X4 805, which has the 4 MB L3 cache like the 810, only it’s got a speed of 2.5 GHz. After that we’ve got two X3 models, which are X4s but with a core disabled. The X3 720 is clocked at 2.8 GHz, and it’s got the 6 MB L3 cache that the 900-series processors do, but 1.5 MB for the L2 cache instead of 2 MB like the others. The X3 710 has the same cache sizes as the 720, but it’s sitting at 2.6 GHz instead of 2.8. Finally, all the new processors are-

Board Member 1: That’s… confusing. Why do they vary in cache size and clock speed, but without any sort of logic to it? The 900 series should be the highest-spec’ed, followed by the 800 series, and finally the 700 series. That just makes sense.

AMD Exec 1: We would totally do that-

AMD Exec 2: -Totally do it.

AMD Exec 1: But we can’t.

Board Member 2: And why not?

AMD Exec 2: Well, here’s the thing: we can’t afford the R&D to actually design other processors.

AMD Exec 1: So we’re taking all the Phenom II chips with defects and then renaming them based on what’s wrong with them. The 800 series has jacked-up cache, but all the cores are fine, and the 700 series has cache that’s fine, but a core that doesn’t work.

Board Member 2: So we’re doing this to avoid wasting any chips, right?

*awkward silence 1*

AMD Exec 2: …Yes? Continue reading

February 9, 2009 Posted by | Humor, Tech | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Letter From Intel to the Incoming CTO

I just read this blog post by Justin Rattner (Intel Senior Fellow & CTO), addressing President Obama’s new CTO and the challenges the new administration faces. The original contents are below.

Thank you to the thousands of men and women who participated in Intel’s survey last week at CES. As I blogged about earlier, the survey looked to stimulate broad support for Intel policies, asking you what the top priorities should be for the incoming Obama administration’s chief technology officer (CTO) in four areas where technology plays a key role: education, environment, health and Internet broadband. Continue reading

January 20, 2009 Posted by | News, Tech | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Intel Price Cuts

Intel couldn’t resist. They’ve cut prices on a number of their processors. While I’m sure they planned to do so anyway, I can’t help but think that some small part of it was just to stick it to AMD and their new Phenom II processors. Anyway, I’ve taken some screenshots of the damage:

Core 2 Quad processors

Core 2 Quad processors

The most significant price cuts came in the Core 2 Quad line Continue reading

January 19, 2009 Posted by | News, Tech | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Everybody, meet Phenom II

Phenom II

AMD’s new processor is finally here. Yay! Now, what does that mean for the consumer… Continue reading

January 8, 2009 Posted by | Gaming, Tech | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

PC Component Holiday Guides

It’s that time of the year, boys and girls. Whether you’re celebrating Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanzaa, Winter Solstice, Festivus, or any other winter-related holiday, chances are you’re planning on buying gifts for family and friends (or convincing people to buy things for you). If you’re a geek, or you’re buying for a geek, pc components are a great holiday gift – I personally can’t resist the urge to upgrade whenever I’ve got the available funds. With that in mind, several sites have put together guides to help you decide what brand to go with, or particular product, or what have you. I’m putting up links to each review I’ve found, along with my personal pick for each category. Enjoy! Continue reading

December 16, 2008 Posted by | Tech | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Computer Build Part One – Choosing Your Components

I actually completed this build about two weeks ago, but I’ve been too busy with school to write up a decent post on it. I previously wrote one post about ordering the parts for it, and another with a few teaser pics of my work area. Now I’ll finally get into it. Here we go… Continue reading

September 20, 2008 Posted by | Tech | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

My First Computer Build

Maybe the title is a little misleading. While this is my first build, it isn’t really mine. I’m putting together a gaming rig for my friend Raymond, who has plenty of money available but not a ton of knowledge when it comes to computers. I’m by no means an expert, but I’ve upgraded computers quite a few times, throwing in new hard drives, memory, graphics/sound/wireless cards, etc. From time to time I’ve performed hard drive reformats, and I seem to have become 24-hour tech support for my family and friends. Raymond happens to be the most recent example, and I’m excited to challenge myself (and a little encouraged by how many people online state that “any idiot with a screwdriver and a how-to guide can build a computer”). Continue reading

August 29, 2008 Posted by | Tech | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment