OCMS News December 2007

Nyko PerfectShot Pistol Grip for Nintendo Wii
Monday, December 31, 2007
Nintendo has created their own grip that transforms the Wiimote into a handgun, but requires two hands, much like a Tommygun or crossbow. Many people have criticized the Zapper for its awkwardness, and it was only a matter of time before a third party invented a better grip.

Nyko is no stranger as a third-party console accessory provider. They have a flavor or nearly every OEM’s accessories, from battery packs to controllers, and have even debuted innovative add-on products, like their Intercooler. Nyko now introduces their PerfectShot pistol grip for the Nintendo Wii, which has several improvements over Nintendo’s offering.

Boynq Mistral USB Notebook Fan Review
Sunday, December 30, 2007
The Mistral USB Ventilator from Boynq is yet another genius invention. Home cooling units have always been helpful, especially in the heat. Have you ever been to an intense LAN party and sweated like a pig because you couldn’t get cool? Now you can pop in a suave-looking USB fan and cool yourself with your own unit! Eliminates the need for those special orange clip-on personal fans.

The Mistral fan is similar in many ways to the D’light. Both are small, compact, have an on/off switch, provide some kind of illumination, and have a flexible wire. In comparison, it could be argued that the fan is more useful than the light. Cooling yourself off is more important than being able to see your keyboard.

Can OLPC Make Computers Cheaper?
Saturday, December 29, 2007
The OLPC (One Laptop Per Child) seems to be a great idea. So why can’t road warriors get the same rugged, easy-to-use system for under $1,500? Even the OLPC color grows on you after awhile. But the OLPC may change the price point for the rest of us… Hey it’s fun to think about.

Imagine…envying some kid in a third world country (and Alabama)! But all of a sudden they’re being offered a really good, really connected, really low power consumption, really rugged notebook for about $100! All because some MIT professor came up dreamt up One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) and it’s gaining traction.

Boynq Haspel 4-Port USB Hub Review
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
USB hubs are important for laptop-toters and PC nerds alike. It seems like even if we have four USB ports on our machine and perhaps two extra on the monitor, there is never enough room for all of our gadgets, printers, mp3 players, cameras, and flash drivers to plug in. So if you have to pick up a USB hub, what should you get for an inexpensive price? Boynq’s 4-port USB hub looks like a good choice…

Boynq is known for making unique peripherals. Some are useful; others are just extra bells and whistles. Boynq’s USB hub is functional and small – perfect for traveling and fitting into small places. It could also be confused with a ninja throwing star, to go along with your new shiny ninja Ideazon Merc Stealth keyboard…

Boynq D’Light Portable USB LED Light
Saturday, December 22, 2007
Boynq markets the D’light as a way to “set the mood”. Personally, I have never had someone trying to get it on set me in a computer chair, click on a USB light, and cue the Marvin Gaye. If you’re a dude looking for a way to seduce a chick, I’m pretty sure no USB light it going to make up for your lack of personality or looming computer tower. And if you’re a chick trying to seduce a dude… wait… what!?

Alright. Enough with the smut. The Boynq D’light is one of the weirdest USB gadgets I have ever used….and the least useful. Besides being used as a mood starter, the D’light is supposed to illuminate your keyboard to make those late night term papers easier on the eyes.

Finding Your Stuff: The Need for DAM
Friday, December 21, 2007
Information and content is flying out of devices so quickly we grab everything we can the minute we see it.

It’s a great time to be in the storage industry since all that stuff has to be stored somewhere. Despite the fact that none of them – removable flash, consumer/computer tape, HD,optical – could satisfy the world’s hunger they all claim they have the ideal storage solution.

GMC Noblesse AVC-S7 Slimline HTPC Case
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
I love Home Theater PC cases. Several years ago there weren’t many to choose from, and many of them looked more like PC equipment rather than OEM home theater equipment. Now there are several great designs that look like they belong in your rack of audio equipment, and have functionality that makes them work like a true home theater appliance.

GMC (not to be confused with General Motors) is a relatively new company to the U.S. market, but have been producing quality computer products in South Korea for some time now. They have several innovative HTPC cases, and one of their latest is the Noblesse AVC-S7 Home Theater PC Case. This slimline case incorporates alot of pre-installed hardware into its chasis, so it can alsmost be considered a barebone PC kit… all that’s needed is your motherboard (with CPU and memory) and a hard drive.

Turok: A Preview
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
It’s been a long time since I’ve played a Turok game. Honestly, the last Turok I played was on the N64. I fondly remember my experience with my first Turok:

I was in the 6th grade, still yet a young gamer. I remember swimming, picking up guns, killing giant dinosaurs, centipedes, and aliens, and exploring vast worlds of many different varieties. I also remember the insane difficulty, awesome cheats, and no save points.

It has been nine years, and how has Turok changed? We’ll have to wait for the full release apparently, because the demo frickin’ sucks.

Game of the Year Awards 2007
Monday, December 17, 2007
One could say that 2007 has been one of the best years for video gamers. Or, more accurately: it’s been a great coulpe of months.

Most of the great video games this year, regardless of the platform, have been introduced during the fall quarter. Nearly every gaming platform has had at least one hotly-anticipated title, and the games have been so good that some gamers are now owners of multiple platforms.

Since there were so many great games this year, we have broken them down by platform. We analyzed each game for its innovations, how they utilized the platform, playability, and other factors that make a game great.

ThermalTake iFlash Plus 120mm Cooling Fan
Sunday, December 16, 2007
One of the first products to come from the pre-fabbed modding scene were LED fans. At the time these clear fans with multi-colored LEDs were absolutely fascinating, and the clear fans were much more interesting to look at than standard matte black fans. These fans gave us a reason to take up a Dremel and cut holes in our computer cases for windows.

ThermalTake has given us a reason to stare aimlessly through our computer case windows again with their iFlash Plus series of computer fans. These clear fans have onboard circuitry to spell out messages through its array of tiny LEDs, and is one of the most awesome case visuals I’ve seen in a long time.

Boynq ToastIt 7-in-1 USB Card Reader Review
Saturday, December 15, 2007
Card readers are pretty handy these days. With everything that requires or uses memory sticks, flash drives, and SD cards now-a-days, toting around a card reader can be helpful for getting tasks accomplished in our busy lives.

So out rolls Boynq with a sweet 7-in-1 card reader in the shape of a… erm… toaster? A toaster! Whipping out a card reader is no big deal, but one in the shape of a friggin’ toaster… well that’s just magical. So why should you surrender your macho gamer/tech nerd status so you can carry around a card reader in the shape of a toaster? Because men with gadgets impress the ladies… especially if it means they might possibly be in to cooking or toasting bread. Never underestimate the power of hot peanut-buttered toast…

Ideazon Merc Stealth Gaming Keyboard Review
Friday, December 14, 2007
There comes a time in every young man’s life when he must decide whether to game in red, blue, or purple…

The Merc Stealth gaming keyboard from Ideazon combines the three key elements that all PC gamers demand: style, tailor-made for gaming, and keys that light up! PC gamers are always on alert for that next new add-on that allows more pwnage per hour, and all PC gamers have a natural allergy to light so they must always play in the dark, just like ninjas. Prepare to donate your old noob board to a, well, noob, and upgrade to a ninja-level board!

Mass Effect Complete Walkthrough and Guide
Thursday, December 13, 2007
BioWare’s Mass Effect is one of the most anticipated games of the year. This Xbox 360 game combines classic RPG elements with a great FPS game to intertwine one of the most engrossing stories with gripping gameplay. Our Mass Effect Walkthrough is so freakin’ complete that it takes up 24 pages! Here’s a little snip from the guide:

Commander Shepard is the main character in Mass Effect, and is directly controlled by the player. Shepard’s actions, whether generous or ruthless will decide the fate of the galaxy. Shepard’s background and pre-service history are decided by the player. At the beginning of the game, Shepard is the Executive Officer on the SSV Normandy, a prototype Alliance Military vessel.

Microsoft Wireless Windows Media Center Keyboard Review
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
If you one of the many of people discovering the joys of a Home Theater PC, then you’ll want to get as much usefulness from it as you can. Other vendors have created Media Center remotes that offer more functionality, but sometimes you just need a keyboard.

There are several wireless keyboards out there, but wouldn’t it be great if they had all of your standard Media Center functions integrated right on it? What if the keyboard could be programmed to power your TV? What if analog mouse controls were integrated right on the body? Well, Microsoft’s Remote Keyboard for Windows Media Center was developed specifically for Home Theater PCs running Windows Media Center to address these tasks with a single device.

SteelSeries QcK Heavy Mouse Surface Review
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Today there is no longer a “need” for cloth mousepads, and they really only survive because people have grown familiar with how they feel. Choosing the right mousepad for you is a matter of personal preference. Twitch gamers may prefer ultra-slick polycarbonate or aluminum surfaces, as today’s optical and laser mice glide effortlessly on them.

If you prefer the tactile feel of a good cloth pad, but desire a super-sized surface, then the SteelSeries QcK Heavy Mousing Surface may be just what you have been looking for.

Gigabyte 3D Galaxy II Water Cooling System Review
Monday, December 10, 2007
I’ve reviewed a number of watercooling kits and blocks and handled even more, but this would be the first time to review / install a full watercooling set, with all from the same brand. When we were contacted by Gigabyte to review one of their kits I was thinking “Oh, hell here comes another bogged-up low-quality kit”, but these thoughts turned out to be premature.

It is a basic copper watercooling block with loads of pins to increase the effective cooling surface. The top again is made of a kind of hard plastic, and again with solid hard plastic fittings running side to side, now again the same remark about the block as I did for the pump, it has no loose fittings, which seems more prone to snapping and cracking when using other clamps than the ones provided.

How to Record XM Radio on Media Center
Friday, December 07, 2007
When XM Radio first came out, they featured a radio that connected directly to your PC. This wonder allowed you to capture the audio stream directly to your PC, which could then be edited or converted in any way. Needless to say, the recording industry was not happy with this, and those XM products have been discontinued.

XM is a great service. It is way better than traditional FM radio, and offers hundreds of commercial-free music, talk radio, comedy, sports, news and other channels. It is just begging to be put on your Media Center PC, but how? Here are a few options on how to receive (and even record) XM radio on your Media Center PC.

Xtreme Mac MicroPack iPod Dock and Battery Charger
Thursday, December 06, 2007
The iPod is without a doubt one of the most successful audio players in electronics history. So much, in fact, that there are a ton of third-party peripherals to add extra functionality to these musical wonders. One complaint that iPod users have is the length of the battery life, so several manufacturers have developed external battery packs. Other users want an external dock with two headphone jacks to share their music with a friend. What is there was a device that did both?

Xtreme Mac throws their MicroPack iPod dock and battery charger into the fray. Another day, another iPod dock/battery combo. So, why should you fork over your hard-earned sweaty dollars for the Micropack? Read on…

Escape From Bad Cell Service
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
The great thing about the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona is that you get to see everything – present/future mobile infrastructure technology…services/offerings in every country…devices/features that make your eyes water. We change “devices” about every six-nine months (it helps the economy). Until recently, we kept the same mobile service provider. Service was OK. Digging to find a new provider just seemed to be too much work.

Tech support in Bangladesh assured us the provider has service in those area. Had to be “our” fault. Weren’t satisfied? Call to their international roaming staff. No they can’t transfer you. No they can’t email them to call you. Other option…escape!

John Deere: Harvest in the Heartland Review (Nintendo DS)
Tuesday, December 04, 2007
You are a punk kid who is given a patch of land to make your own. As a farming noob, you have to learn to plant, raise, and harvest crops as well as rear animals and win prizes for your livestock and produce at the local fair. When you become proficient, you will be given money to buy authentic John Deere equipment, including tractors and variable attachments. What more could you want in life?

Itching for a Harvest Moon to come out? John Deere could most likely pass the time. For those of us that are addicted to farming simulators, John Deere hits the spot long enough for our withdrawal symptoms to pass.

Delphi SkyFi3 XM Satellite Radio Review
Saturday, December 01, 2007
New technologies like HD-radio boast CD-quality sound without any flutters, dead zones or other sound degredation associated with traditional radio. Even with upgraded sound quality, we want even more convenience. I am so used to DVRs that I wish the capability were available for radio. Imagine being able to skip back a few seconds to hear what you missed, skip through commercials, scheduling recordings, and recording a song in its entirety when you’re half-way through it.

The Delphi SkyFi3 XM radio delivers a portable XM radio that is essentially an audio DVR. You have access to literally hundreds of channels in every audio genre you can think of, and you can record, schedule, and bookmark your favorites just like the DVR in your house.