Archive for the 'archmaille' Category
If we had to describe the past week to you, we would probably say that it was very educational. Actually, that’s not what we’d say at all, our true answer would likely be laden with copious amounts of crying and more profanity than a Bob Saget stand-up comedy special. For decency’s sake, we’ll explain it to you, dear readers, as being positively chock-full of education.
How so, you might inquire? Well, first and foremost, we’ve learned to never trust colleagues who claim to have discerned knowledge from the future based solely on their favorable placement on the time zone chart. We’ve learned that entering the stock market during a period of remarkable turmoil is an unfathomably unwise course of action. We’ve also learned that Chihuahuas, while adorable, are not what established investors would refer to as “blue chip” stocks. Finally, we’ve learned the sort of anguish one feels when they lose their entire savings and all personal property within a matter of hours, and, as a result, how to build a comfortable dwelling out of a hollowed-out Maytag dishwasher.
The Japanese video game industry seems to have had an equally disastrous week, with significant decreases in hardware sales across the board. However, it’s difficult for us to feel pity for the companies involved in this weekly Battle Royale — we wager nobody at Sony, Microsoft or Nintendo has been forced to learn the proper way to cook and eat shoes due to the unfortunate figures you see below.
- DS Lite: 31,914 10,471 (24.70%)
- PSP: 23,901 2,144 (8.23%)
- Wii: 22,877 2,453 (9.68%)
- Xbox 360: 7,763 508 (6.14%)
- PS2: 6,982 1,636 (18.98%)
- PS3: 5,734 1,498 (20.71%)
[Source: Media Create]
Microsoft Zune 1.8″ Green 4GB MP3 / MP4 Player
Green 4GB Zune, with originals art
Wahoo! I feel so cool, I just got a Zune! Funny thing is, a lot of people asked me before-hand “why didn’t you get an Ipod… I’ve never heard of a Zune before” now many of those same people are saying things like “Jeez, I wish I would of known about the Zune when I got my Ipod.” Learn to do some product research people! Besides I hate copycat products so there was no way I was getting an Ipod! I mean seriously, just look at them they’re designed almost exactly alike, especially as far as looks go. (And yes, the Zune was first, there are several beta product photos out that pre-date the Ipod by a long shot, before the Zune even had a rightful name).
Anyways, at a decent quality setting ripping my CD’s to my computer I’ve only been able to fit around 1,000 songs, both Charlie the Unicorn videos, and a few photos on my Zune, but that’s not so bad. It’s only a 4gig one so I can’t say too much. I was just kinda looking for something that I could listen to in the car when driving home from taking Rose to her house (no radio in car), and have a decent song collection when I am away from the computer (God forbid I should ever leave the computer!) the Zune has filled those tasks quite nicely!
Now that is the question… And a good question indeed. I have answered it not to ReadyBoost any longer. The REAL thing that I wanted to see major improvement for was boot times… and in all honesty I didn’t really notice much difference. I hear a lot of people saying ReadyBoost made their computer start up 40% faster and some claim even more than that. I never saw it myself, maybe they’ve got 1gig or less of RAM I don’t know, but it didn’t seem that amazing to me. Plus, sometime here in the somewhat near future I do plan on making the move to a 4 HDD RAID 5EE array which should take care of any sluggish load times.
Another thing that I HATED about ReadyBoost was that when it cached items… I don’t know what it was caching, but it must of been big, about three times a day (at least every day as I noticed) it would start to cache (I could tell because the HDD light would come on, and the light for the flash drive would freak out) my computer would come to a halt, using 75% of my CPU and sucking down every bit of resiliance my Hard Drive had it would try to make things easier for Windows to find IN CASE it might need to be loaded… And then inevitably it would do it in the middle of the night when I was trying to sleep, although a relatively silent process the wildly random blinking lights were always annoying when trying to fall asleep. Because I have so much open all the time (Firefox, Games, Thunderbird, etc.) any time I closed anything it seemed to want to cache that item right away.
I will give ReadyBoost credit though. It did seem to make game map loads much quicker for certain games. Ones such as Half-Life:2 and a few others that would pre-cache maps it made the loading screens few and far between, which I was very happy about.
Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1
Most of you have probably seen that Windows released Service Pack 1 for Vista not long ago, along with a release of SP3 for XP users. I decided that it was time to finally make the leap to Vista, it’s been in the plans for a long time, especially since I used it during the Beta and really loved it! I still waited for SP1 to come out just because back when I was using it in the Beta some companies such as Logitech still hadn’t gotten around to making any drivers for it… so I figured some maturity time was in order.
One thing that really does bother me a LOT about this purchase is that Microsoft is no longer including the copy of the 64bit Operating System with your purchase! They dropped the price by $10 and send only the 32bit Windows Vista Operating System with your purchase, then if you want the 64bit version of Windows Vista you’ve got to go online and order it for $10. To me this is backwards thinking on Windows part, I see the merit in it that the 32bit Vista works on any processor and the 64bit edition needs to be run on a 64bit processor… but honestly who doesn’t have a 64bit CPU now? And if you don’t why are you trying to install Vista in the first place?!?!
I still really like the operating system none-the-less and have run into very few problems so far… actually a lot of problems I was having (such as with the newer versions of Opera) have gone away… I’m with a lot of enthusiasts who say that if you’re having problems with Vista it’s because your computer is a piece of crap and you need to throw it off a building. Seriously Microsoft Windows Vista ran smoothly on my comp when I was doing the Beta and back then all I had was a 2.2ghz Dual Core AMD, 2 gigs of RAM, and an ATI x1600 video card… games were pretty darn slow, but really still playable, though some like Company of Heroes needed to be lowered in resolution and settings. Now with a 2.6ghz (OCed to 2.9) Dual Core AMD, 4 gigs of RAM, and an ATI HD 3850 I’ve had absolutely no major glitches with Vista to date… of course I’ve only been running it for a few days so I’ll get back to you on what I think of ReadyBoost, and whatever else pops up as it comes up.
CORSAIR Flash Voyager 4GB Flash Drive (USB2.0 Portable) Model CMFUSB2.0-4GB
Corsair Flash Voyager 4GB Flash Drive
It’s really nice having a flash drive with 4 gigs of storage space, but that’s not why I bought this drive. Well it is, but only partially. I bought a larger flash drive primarily for ReadyBoost Windows new technology to help speed up your computer! Instead of using swap space on your hard drive, or taking up valuable RAM windows will now use a flash drive (if you’ve designated it) to work as a cache, it’s also supposed to help speed up your system.
I looked into a lot of different drives, some cheeper, some more expensive, some claiming to be faster… but what really got me was I found a few different lists of people who show you how to find what speed your drive is running at for ReadyBoost and record it. The Corsair Flash Voyager series seemed to hold the crown for every list I looked at. How accurate those lists are I don’t know, they’re not really scientific, and no one really verifies results, you just plop your results into a database and vuala so in actuality people could say whatever they way.
We’ll see here in a few weeks how things actually work out. And if Windows Vista really does have a nice trick up their sleeve.
Sapphire ATI Radeon HD 3850
SAPPHIRE 100226L Radeon HD 3850 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card
I love how technology advances! I’ve been holding out from an upgrade of my Saphire Radeon x1600 256MB Video Card for a while now because there’s always something better! And boy, oh boy am I glad I did! I kept thinking about getting an ATI x2600 series card, but never could really justify it. When the ATI HD 3000 series of cards came out it didn’t take me more than a slight price drop to justify the purchase. For the same as what I paid for one of my ATI Radeon x1600’s (Used to have two in crossfire, gave one to Credal a while ago though, so been running a single for some time now) I was able to get a ATI Sapphire Radeon HD 3850 with double the video RAM of my current card up from 256MB to 512MB. Also GDDR3 instead of GDDR2 so everything about it is a HUGE improvement, for the same price! Now when I was looking at the ATI 2600 cards they were the same price as my current card, and even a decent 165% faster in most games than my current x1600. But since I was planning on going to Vista, it was a good idea to be on a DirectX 10 card, which is another reason for the 2600 upgrade… luckily ATI came out with the new 3000 series of cards, and the 3850 just so happens to be at the mid price range for video cards. I was EXTREMELY happy abou this as the HD 3850 with 512MB of RAM is about 200% faster than the 2600’s and obviously MUCH more powerful than the old x1600 I had been running. Power consumption isn’t that huge of a concern either, as it’s got the new 55 nanometer (NM) die. It’s nice to finally be able to play all of my games at full resolution (1680×1050) with some sort of anti-aliasing, and antistropic filtering. Plus I’m ready for Vista as soon as it gets here!
I finally got a webcam! I have to say that I really like it too. I probably paid a little bit too much for it (Even though I got it from NewEgg and saved nearly $50 because it was on sale), with how little I use it… but I like it anyways. It’s good for conferences that I need to do with work, I’m on a big kick with social networking sites so I get to use it occasionally meeting a new person, and I figured if Credal and I decide to start up a podcast, or some sort of more frequent video shooting I’d be able to use it for that too. If we do start up some sort of PodCast then I didn’t spend too much on it, other than that… yeah, it’s a little overkill. But hey, with it on sale it was only like $5 more than the equivelent 1.3MP Logitech WebCam so why not spend the couple of extra dollars and get the good stuff?
At this point I’d usually show it off and show you guys how the images look with it and everything… uh… just take my advice that it’s good! Really good… Maybe later I’ll post a video from it, and some pictures, but right now I just don’t want to put anything more than my boxers on (Yeah, the problem with working from home is that I get the luxury of sitting around in my boxers all day long and I really like it, hate to get dressed for anything).
It seems like not yesterday the number one game on both Credal and I’s Xfire profiles was Stronghold 2. Now with only 162 hours and in third place it seems like we didn’t play the game at all! Of course it kind of sucks that Xfire has some sort of glitch with Windows Vista and it shows me as ALWAYS in game for Company of Heroes. Once I get in the game until I restart the computer it shows me as in game! Which BTW I absolutely hate! It doesn’t show a true record of how long I’ve been in game… the past 3 weeks I’ve probably gained 100 hours in CoH alone simply because I can’t get “out of game” without restarting my computer! (I think it has to do with Vista’s caching system, since the game loads UBER faster if I’ve already had it up once… make use of that 4 gigs of RAM!)
Oh well, I still can’t deny the fact that I’ve got a good 600 or so hours in CoH, and at least 200 in Counter-Strike:Source.
Archmaille’s Xfire Profile
Wow, so it’s amazing to finally be back on Archmaille.com
Maybe I should just fill you in on a little history first. Archmaille.com is and was the oldest and first site that I ever created! Lets face it though… Archmaille.com sucked back then. It was “designed” in a crappy text editor that used divisions and pixel placement of those divisions to place images, text boxes, etc. It looked very basic and childish to start with, and if you used any different screen resolutions you may as well forget it. The original intent was to sell my sterling silver jewelry on here… but let’s be honest it wasn’t going to happen with that website and a few PayPal buttons for orders.
Some time in 2005 I started using a slightly better system with tables, some basic images, and some copied CSS for the navigation links (that didn’t really fit very well might I add). The look of the site was only slightly improving, but my knowledge was growing fast.
By 2006 (Actually some time between June 4th and 8th 2005) the site had been completely reworked thanks to some help I found on a webmasters forum, a guy made a simple banner, and helped me with some template/color issues.
The site stayed basically the same for quite a while since it was banned from Google for the use of “scraper” pages… which were my form of payment for using the site. Since I wasn’t hosting the site, and didn’t own the domain Jordan put the pages up to help subsidize the cost of it. He made plenty of money from it and eventually the ban was lifted though I never got PR back or really got indexed very well. So I took the site to a new place ArchmailleDesigns.com and put a 301 redirect to that from all Archmaille.com pages. Now that I’ve transfered all domains to my new server, Archmaille.com has sort of been in no-mans land for a while… but finally transfering it as well I’ve noticed that with the latest PR update it also has a PR4 from the countless hours of link building done for the site… so I’ve decided not to put the 301’s back in place but instead use this as my “gaming” blog.
I’ve been gaming pretty much most of my life and known in game as Archmaille for the last 4 years. It’s only fair that I use this domain for my gaming stuff.
Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST3160815AS 160GB 7200 RPM 8MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive
What can I really say? It’s a Hard Drive under $50 and double the capacity of the two 80gig HDD’s I have in right now. Funny thing is I have my main Operating System on a Western Digital Raptor 74gig 10,000 RPM Hard Drive, and the output of this drive is the same as the Raptor. The only advantage the WD Raptor has over this drive is faster seek times… which matters more for database driven systems and the like, not a huge difference for desktop applications… kinda makes me wonder why I paid $150 back in the day for the WD Raptor in the first place.
Oh well, I’m not complaining about either. I have the Operating System, a few small programs, and games installed on the WD, larger programs, and a storage dump on the Seagate, music, and media files on the other drive. My computer starts up quick enough (with most start-up programs coming from two sources), and does what I want it to. I’m testing out the Seagate to see about later this year getting three more and putting four of them in RAID 5EE for ultra fast transfer speeds (also with a RAID controller that gives me a dedicated 500mhz processor for the Hard Drive, and 256mb DDR2 of dedicated Hard Drive cache)
Stats for both the Western Digital Raptor, and Seagate Barracuda:
HD Tune Benchmark WD Raptor
I thought the spike or drop in performance in the middle of the drive may have been a fluke, but I’ve tested it many times, it does the same thing every time. Even with other hard drive benching software.
Seagate Barracuda 160GB HDD
The Seagate does not have as “straight” of a line across as the Raptor, but it has a much higher maximum output speed, no degrading performance spike in the middle, and a much higher capacity. The higher capacity could be to blame for the sharp decline in performance towards the end of the drive.