OCMS News February 2006

Report: Swearing in Online Games
OCModshop :: Wednesday, March 01, 2006

From the “well, duh…” department…

An online games player has conducted a limited study into swearing on Xbox Live. In a period of about 30 hours of play on Xbox Live, blogger Josh Smith heard cussing, an average 20 times an hour; once every three minutes. The word ‘fuck’ was the most common swearword, rating 8.11 uses per hour. Highly offensive racist, homophobic and sexist language also featured prominently.
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Infineon to Blame for 360 Shortages?
OCModshop :: Wednesday, March 01, 2006
Although a low chip yield has been named as a culprit in the past, it’s the first time a specific supplier and component have been named. Unnamed sources told the Mercury News that Infineon wasn’t able to produce enough quality GDDR3 memory chips. Xbox 360 contract manufacturers Wistron and Flextronics reportedly had to sort through Infineon chip shipments, separating the good from the bad, which wasted both time and components.

Rejected chips couldn’t keep up with the Xbox 360’s 700 megahertz speed, and could noticeably affect the performance of the console if installed. Currently, Samsung is the only supplier other than Infineon that supplies Microsoft with the GDDR3 memory, a fact that increases the plausibility of such a component issue.

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Connect360 v1.5 public beta
OCModshop :: Wednesday, March 01, 2006
Another update of Connect360, the tool to stream your music and images from your Mac OSX to your Xbox 360 console, has been released. What’s new/fixed:

* Shoutcast streaming: Connect360 now supports streaming of live Internet radio broadcasts to your Xbox360! Simply add any station to a playlist and enjoy the live tunes from your Xbox!
* Networking: It gets even easier, Connect360 can now automatically configure your built-in Mac OS X firewall with a single click!

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DirecTV blade to bring HD TV and flicks to Xbox 360 Dashboard?
OCModshop :: Wednesday, March 01, 2006

During CES in January, Microsoft and DirecTV announced a “long-term agreement to expand the reach of digital content throughout the home and on the go.” Part of that agreement involved extending “the DirecTV experience to the Xbox 360 system.”

A scan of the March 2006 issue of Official Xbox Magazine reveals “that a DirecTV blade might be added to your Xbox 360 Dashboard to accompany the Xbox Live, Games, Media, and System blades. In that blade, you could download TV episodes in high definition, HD movies on demand, and standard-definition streaming DVR (i.e., TiVo) functions.”

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Takashi Sensui Replaces Maruyama at Xbox Japan
OCModshop :: Wednesday, March 01, 2006
Yoshihiro Maruyama became familiar to gamers as the face of Xbox Japan, the counterpart to J Allard in North America; just as a recent re-organization moved J Allard and other key Xbox executives, Maruyama has now been moved to a “strategic position” in Microsoft’s Entertainment and Devices Division (known as E&D).

Succeeding him will be Takashi Sensui, formerly director of the marketing department and game content group for Xbox Japan. He has worked closely with Maruyama for the Xbox 360 launch. Sensui is expected to lead Xbox 360, which is off to a rocky start in Japan. But as more games become available on the system, Sensui expressed confidence that adoption of the system will grow. Indeed, that will be his primary responsibility.

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Xbox360 Wireless Controller 11usd to Manufacture
OCModshop :: Wednesday, March 01, 2006
Bill-of-material estimates for the wireless controller come in at around $11, or 22 percent of the retail price for the product–a far cry from the negative margin of the console itself.

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The Hitch Hikers guide to the mouse
OCModshop :: Wednesday, March 01, 2006
Quote: “/This guide will tell you everything you need to know about a mouse, and even how to mod yours! Make your rodent look all pretty and stuff./”

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XLink One Development News: New Features
OCModshop :: Wednesday, March 01, 2006
Speaking to GamesIndustry.biz this week, Guild Wars developer Arena.net co-founder Jeff Strain has said that the business model used by Microsoft’s Xbox Live service needs to be overhauled before the service will be attractive to MMOG developers.

Strain, who was a senior developer at Blizzard before leaving to set up Arena.net, believes that the business model used by Xbox Live is fundamentally not designed for the close relationships MMOG operators require with their players and community. “Their whole goal is to encourage people to go and buy games on the shelf, then there’s an online component for it,” he explained. “But for us, when you buy it on the shelf, that’s just the beginning of our relationship with you – and we want a direct connection with our customer so that we’re always giving you new content, always supporting you directly. Xbox Live just wasn’t really built, from a business standpoint, to support that.”

Strain acknowledged that seeking to take the customer relationship away from the platform holder and back into the hands of the publisher or developer would be a difficult thing to negotiate, but he remains optimistic that both Microsoft and Sony will embrace the opportunity represented by the MMO market.

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Detailed Tech Info of Headers and Connectors on Xbox 360 Motherboard
OCModshop :: Wednesday, March 01, 2006
Most of the information was based on the top and bottom layers of a dechipped 360 motherboard and decapped chips, I will update the information once I gain full knowledge of the inner layers of the motherboard. For reference, I have also included some information I have gathered from images of Development Hardware and XDK hardware found on the net. Please double-check my information, I am human and I do make mistakes. I have also attempted to give credit where credit was due. If you find any errors or omissions, please let me know so that I can correct it on future versions. Like most, I am doing this as a hobby in my spare time, so I will do my best to keep the information up to date but I can not make any guarantees.

download the PDF here

No plans for free Xbox Live Gold weekend in Europe
OCModshop :: Wednesday, March 01, 2006
The free trial event, which is tentatively scheduled to take place in April, will offer all Xbox Live Silver subscribers the same access as Xbox Live Gold users for 72 hours – providing they live in the States.

“This is an American only event sponsored by Verizon,” a Microsoft spokesperson told GamesIndustry.biz. “There are no current plans for the same event in Europe and we do not have any announcements to make at the moment.”

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Microsoft Releases New Xbox 360 Stats
OCModshop :: Wednesday, March 01, 2006

The company has reiterated that it is on track to meet its shipment goal of 4.5-5.5 million units by June, and assembly will be further boosted by third manufacturing partner Celestica, joining manufacturers Flextronics and Wistron – though it made no official comment on recent reports that Infineon Technologies’ memory chips were the particular constricting factor in the slow Xbox 360 roll-out to date.

A particularly interesting area reported by Microsoft were selected highlights from yesterday’s January NPD report for North American hardware and software sales. These include news that Xbox 360’s software attach rate is 3.7 games per console. This apparently remains the highest attach rate ever for the first three months of a console launch in the U.S., but is obviously positively affected by the supply problems of the console. In addition, Xbox 360’s accessory attach rate is 2.9 accessory units sold per console with a wireless controllers attaching to almost every console.

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Halo Performance from Video Games Live concert
OCModshop :: Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Tommy Tallarico and Jack Wall sent around a link to a great video featuring a behind the scenes look at their popular “Video Games Live” concert. You can watch the show live if you’ll be attending GDC in March.

From Tommy and Jack:
“We thought you may all enjoy a little sampling of Video Games Live so we put together a video from our Halo rehearsals. The video also includes interviews with Halo composers Marty O’Donnell & Michael Salvatori who give a little insight on how they created the Halo soundtrack and what Video Games Live means to the industry and pop culture.

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Activision ordered not to show ‘misleading’ Call of Duty 2 ads again
OCModshop :: Wednesday, March 01, 2006
The UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has upheld complaints from three television viewers that adverts depicting scenes from Activision title Call of Duty 2 and its current generation console counterpart CoD2: Big Red One were misleading, and declared that they must not be shown again in their present forms.

The adjudication, published today, is likely to send shockwaves through the industry as it focuses on the question of whether pre-rendered footage is an acceptable representation of a computer game – in its defence, Activision didn’t argue that it was, but rather that using pre-rendered footage was “common practice”. In this case, the ASA received three complaints – two concerning Call of Duty 2 (PC, Xbox 360) and one concerning Big Red One (PS2, Xbox, Cube), both of which argued that the graphics used in the advert were superior to that of the game itself, and that viewers were being misled on those grounds.

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EA Confirms 39usd Price Point For Current-Gen Releases
OCModshop :: Wednesday, March 01, 2006
Following yesterday’s announcement that the current-gen (PlayStation 2 and Xbox) versions of its flagship boxing title Fight Night Round 3 would debut for $39.95 in the North American market, compared to $59.95 for the Xbox 360 version, an Electronic Arts spokesperson has confirmed to Reuters that high-budget titles Black and The Godfather will debut at that same current-gen price point.

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Datel Xbox 360 Transfer Kit
OCModshop :: Wednesday, March 01, 2006

These are pictures of the Xbox 360 Transfer Kit that will be released soon by Datel at an expected retail price around $14.99. It allows to easily connect an Xbox 360 memorycard to a PC USB port for those who don’t want to mod the memcard themselves (see how here or here). The device comes with software called Xchange360 … that (at this moment) can only backup and restore the whole memory card image (basicly a GUI version of Xbox Dumper(info)). You’ll need to use homebrew software like Xplorer360(info), wxHdd(info), wxPirs(info) and wxTheme(info) to fully access and modify the files on your memcard.

Official Features:
* Transfer gamesaves, downloads, user data and related files.
* Share your great gamesaves, themes and gamer pics on a globabl scale.
* Effectively use your PC as a huge memory unit.
* Super easy to use, just plug the memory unit into the docking port and connect it to any USB enabled PC.

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Analyst: 10-12mln 360s by Year-End
OCModshop :: Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Analyst P.J. McNealy with Amtech Research said in a report today that Microsoft is on track to sell 6 million Xbox 360s by the end of June, and 10-12 million by year-end. The mid-year forecast is greater than Xbox boss Peter Moore’s January predictions of 4-5.5 million sold by the end of June.

Amtech and McNealy also conducted a survey involving 125 retailers last week. Twenty-six of them had Xbox 360 units in stock, although all but five of them only had the non-hard drive Core units. Stores that did have the $400 Premium Packs late last week sold out of units very quickly. The report still said that stores with consoles in stock only had a paltry 1-3 units each, with only two of the surveyed stores having decent stock; one with 10 Premiums, and one with seven Premiums and six Cores.

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Microsoft Evaluating Xbox 360 Launch in China
OCModshop :: Wednesday, March 01, 2006
Microsoft is slowly evaluating the possibility of launching the Xbox 360 in China. “It’s a very controlled environment,” Alan Bowman, Microsoft’s general manager of entertainment and devices for Asia Pacific and Greater China, told the Associated Press. “We’re going to make sure that we make the right moves, develop the right content, have the right partnerships in place. It’s not something you want to rush in and do.” Console manufacturers are often wary of launching product in mainland China, due to the region’s relatively low per-capita salary and issues regarding piracy.

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XSR Review – Corepad Deskpad Moustmat
OCModshop :: Wednesday, March 01, 2006

“I recently reviewed the huge XtracPads RipperXL, and that was pretty impressive to say the least. But now there is a new big boy on the block; the Corepad Deskpad. That’s right; it’s a mouse pad that actually just covers your desk. It’s big, but does it perform? I aim to find out.”

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Microsoft Sees Positive Outlook for Xbox 360 in Korea
OCModshop :: Wednesday, March 01, 2006
To Microsoft’s surprise, the initial batch of pre-order units in Korea sold out in only nine hours. Alan Bowman, general manager of Microsoft Entertainment & Devices Division in Asia Pacific and Greater China Region, Microsoft is confident the Xbox 360 will perform in Korea better than in Japan.

Microsoft Korea officials explained that given the taxes, the price of Xbox 360 in Korea is highly competitive compared with pricing elsewhere in Asia. The retail price for the Xbox 360 Premium Edition will be 419,000 Won (~433usd or ~363eur). The Core package is priced at 339,000 Won (~351usd or ~294eur). Bowman also explained they have already learned a few lessons after the unfortunate Japanese launch. “We will make more games in Korean, and the important part of our success is to have Korean developers localize games,” Bowman said.

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Interview with ABIT about USI’s purchase
OCModshop :: Wednesday, March 01, 2006
We are looking into the prospects of extending our product range further into the mainstream and budget segments. USI’s experience and economy of scale would clearly facilitate such a move, but we will never forget, nor leave, what has always been our main focus throughout the years. In the short-term we will continue to focus our resources on our core business, which is making enthusiast-level motherboards. When it comes down to it, it’s only through the support of the enthusiast community that ABIT has managed to become such a household name in performance hardware.

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Recovering From the Xbox 360’s Big Mistakes
OCModshop :: Wednesday, March 01, 2006
Two pieces up in the media right now talking about problems with the Xbox 360. Games.net has an overdramatically title piece, Five Ways to Save the Xbox 360. The article lays out ways in which Microsoft should revamp the console and its games in order to truly dominate the next-gen war. Meanwhile, a 1up editorial asks the question Is the Xbox 360 Hurting the Games Industry? The article looks at the ways in which Microsoft’s console was rushed out the door, and the negative consequences that may have on the industry as a whole. From that article: “More important, though less remarked upon, is that the Xbox 360 was also launched before the industry was ready. If you pay attention to companies’ end-of-year financial reports, which I’m sad to say my job requires me to do, one thing that stands out in the postholiday reckoning was the statement, again and again, that the Xbox 360 launch had hurt sales across the industry.”

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Perfect Dark Zero Review (Xbox 360)
Tuesday, February 28, 2006
At last year’s E3 Expo, Perfect Dark Zero for the 360 was being touted as the early “heir apparant” to the HALO mantle. Which made a certain amount of sense, since the Master Chief was not expected to be seen in the first year of the 360 and Microsoft Studios had a certain amount of expectations to fullfill. I mean, what would an Xbox launch be without a futuristic first person shooter with an enigmatic main character? Sorry Quake 4, but I’d rather see a hot chick shooting bad guys then yer ugly butt slogging through an alien war.

Since this is a prequel, you do get to learn how Joanna became the woman she eventually becomes. Working with her hardass ex-cop/ex-Marine Father, Jack Dark and the mysterious intel agent Chandra, Joanna has her hands full as the newest member of Dark Bail Bonds. A sort of Private Investigation cum trouble shooting outfit that takes a lot of jobs that the police won’t even go near. Well, I can tell you that the single player game leads Joanna and her team through a rather dangerous conspiracy that (not to ruin anything for you) eventually may have the fate of the world hanging in the balance.

Does Perfect Dark Zero get a Perfect Score?

Ultra Products X-Finity 600W Power Supply
OCModshop :: Tuesday, February 28, 2006
“Here is the biggest feature (besides the sweet 600W of power) that this PSU has; the cables. The X-Finity isn’t a modular PSU but it does offer unique flat cables instead of round cables. This allows you to run them places where you couldn’t with normal cables like under the mobo. One great advantage to running flat cables is you are able to make 90 degree turns by simply folding it over Origami style. Ultra claims a 30% increase in airflow due to the flat cables.”

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Perfect Dark Zero Puts the ‘Ass’ in Assassin
OCModshop :: Tuesday, February 28, 2006

At last year’s E3 Expo, Perfect Dark Zero for the 360 was being touted as the early “heir apparant” to the HALO mantle. Which made a certain amount of sense, since the Master Chief was not expected to be seen in the first year of the 360 and Microsoft Studios had a certain amount of expectations to fullfill. I mean, what would an Xbox launch be without a futuristic first person shooter with an enigmatic main character? Sorry Quake 4, but I’d rather see a hot chick shooting bad guys then yer ugly butt slogging through an alien war.

Since this is a prequel, you do get to learn how Joanna became the woman she eventually becomes. Working with her hardass ex-cop/ex-Marine Father, Jack Dark and the mysterious intel agent Chandra, Joanna has her hands full as the newest member of Dark Bail Bonds. A sort of Private Investigation cum trouble shooting outfit that takes a lot of jobs that the police won’t even go near. Well, I can tell you that the single player game leads Joanna and her team through a rather dangerous conspiracy that (not to ruin anything for you) eventually may have the fate of the world hanging in the balance.

check it out

Velleman K8020 high-end tube preamplifier
OCModshop :: Tuesday, February 28, 2006
Preamplifiers come in all shapes and sizes, most feature transistors or integrated circuits, a few of them however use vacuum tubes. We take a closer look at Velleman’s K8020 tube preamplifier kit and detail how to extract every last bit of performance from it.

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Perfect Dark Zero Review (Xbox 360)
OCmodshop :: Tuesday, February 28, 2006

At last year’s E3 Expo, Perfect Dark Zero for the 360 was being touted as the early “heir apparant” to the HALO mantle. Which made a certain amount of sense, since the Master Chief was not expected to be seen in the first year of the 360 and Microsoft Studios had a certain amount of expectations to fullfill. I mean, what would an Xbox launch be without a futuristic first person shooter with an enigmatic main character? Sorry Quake 4, but I’d rather see a hot chick shooting bad guys then yer ugly butt slogging through an alien war.

Since this is a prequel, you do get to learn how Joanna became the woman she eventually becomes. Working with her hardass ex-cop/ex-Marine Father, Jack Dark and the mysterious intel agent Chandra, Joanna has her hands full as the newest member of Dark Bail Bonds. A sort of Private Investigation cum trouble shooting outfit that takes a lot of jobs that the police won’t even go near. Well, I can tell you that the single player game leads Joanna and her team through a rather dangerous conspiracy that (not to ruin anything for you) eventually may have the fate of the world hanging in the balance.

Does Perfect Dark Zero get a Perfect Score?

Scosche’s BlueLife: The FM Transmitter Killer
OCModshop :: Tuesday, February 28, 2006
Quote: Using Bluetooth technology, Scosche has revolutionized iPod integration with both your car and home stereo systems. Scosche’s BlueLife System™ allows your iPod to move wirelessly from your home to your car.

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Intel’s New Vision: Finesse Over Brute Force
OCModshop :: Monday, February 27, 2006
“Only a few years ago Intel’s roadmap was aimed at failure. Many comments regarding Intel’s ill-witted trajectory were made by analysts, investors, consumers, as well as traditional and online press publications. Intel took the backlash, but by the Fall of 2004 Intel had announced plans for a complete roadmap change, perhaps the most profound roadmap change in the last decade from the chip giant, that would allow it to better compete with other processor manufacturers – namely Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD).”

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Icemat 2nd Edition Gaming mouse mat
OCModshop :: Monday, February 27, 2006

“The originally Icemat was hailed the world over my gamers and enthusiasts for its sleek looks, gaming prowess, and the all important part of aiding the experienced gamer in making fragging those “noobs” just that bit easier. Today I have with me the newer, sleeker and sexier looking Icemat 2nd Edition, let’s see how it does when put through its paces.”

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How Does 95th Percentile Billing Work?
Friday, February 24, 2006
Many web businesses are hosted through a datacenter, and there are many pricing plans depending on your bandwidth needs. If your site is heavily text based without a lot of images and steady traffic, then a flat rate might be best for you . If you are like most web businesses, then you need dynamic bandwidth that can handle spikes, but don’t want to overpay for unused traffic. Much like cell phone plans, you don’t want to overpay for minutes you’re not using but don’t want to guess too short and have to pay overage charges. A 95th percentile pricing schedule can dynamically bill you based on your bandwidth needs, but is a little complicated to follow.

95th Percentile is a method of measuring bandwidth that bases your bill on peak utilization. Your bandwidth is measured from the switch or router and recorded in a log file. At the end of the month, your usage statistics are sorted, and the top 5% (approximately 36 hours of a 30-day billing cycle) of data is thrown away, and that next measurement becomes your ‘billable utilization’ for the month. Usually only a few services are billed using 95th percentile pricing: Dedicated T1 and Colocated servers. DSL and Wireless customers are usually billed on the total bandwidth used over the entire billing period.

Understand Bandwidth Billing here

How Does 95th Percentile Billing Work?
OCmodshop :: Friday, February 24, 2006

Many web businesses are hosted through a datacenter, and there are many pricing plans depending on your bandwidth needs. If your site is heavily text based without a lot of images and steady traffic, then a flat rate might be best for you . If you are like most web businesses, then you need dynamic bandwidth that can handle spikes, but don’t want to overpay for unused traffic. Much like cell phone plans, you don’t want to overpay for minutes you’re not using but don’t want to guess too short and have to pay overage charges. A 95th percentile pricing schedule can dynamically bill you based on your bandwidth needs, but is a little complicated to follow.

95th Percentile is a method of measuring bandwidth that bases your bill on peak utilization. Your bandwidth is measured from the switch or router and recorded in a log file. At the end of the month, your usage statistics are sorted, and the top 5% (approximately 36 hours of a 30-day billing cycle) of data is thrown away, and that next measurement becomes your ‘billable utilization’ for the month. Usually only a few services are billed using 95th percentile pricing: Dedicated T1 and Colocated servers. DSL and Wireless customers are usually billed on the total bandwidth used over the entire billing period.

Understand Bandwidth Billing here

ButtKicker promises to shake your money-maker
Wednesday, February 22, 2006
PC games are becoming more advanced these days, implementing better visuals and audio for a complete entertainment experience. Games are starting to make their way into the living room and the family home theater, as many PC games and consoles feature Dolby Digital and other sound positioning technologies. Many games and DVD movies feature Low Frequency Effects (the low rumble you hear in an IMAX movie) to complete the “theater at home” experience, but mostly go unheard in the average home theater and gaming setup. Home theater and gaming enthusiasts will both be pleased with this great new product from The Guitammer Company Inc: The ButtKicker Gamer. It ties inline with your sound system to finally allow you to “feel” the bass with similar technology used in professional movie theaters, and aims to make the PC gaming and multimedia experience that much better.

The ButtKicker is a small, linear motor, which reacts to an audio signal sent by an amplifier. It is similar to a loudspeaker, but instead of moving a cone, and transferring sound waves through the air, it attaches to seats and floors, and sends low frequency sound directly into the listener’s body. The effect is amazing.

Get your Butt Kicked here

ButtKicker promises to shake your money-maker
OCmodshop :: Wednesday, February 22, 2006
PC games are becoming more advanced these days, implementing better visuals and audio for a complete entertainment experience. Games are starting to make their way into the living room and the family home theater, as many PC games and consoles feature Dolby Digital and other sound positioning technologies. Many games and DVD movies feature Low Frequency Effects (the low rumble you hear in an IMAX movie) to complete the “theater at home” experience, but mostly go unheard in the average home theater and gaming setup. Home theater and gaming enthusiasts will both be pleased with this great new product from The Guitammer Company Inc: The ButtKicker Gamer. It ties inline with your sound system to finally allow you to “feel” the bass with similar technology used in professional movie theaters, and aims to make the PC gaming and multimedia experience that much better.

The ButtKicker is a small, linear motor, which reacts to an audio signal sent by an amplifier. It is similar to a loudspeaker, but instead of moving a cone, and transferring sound waves through the air, it attaches to seats and floors, and sends low frequency sound directly into the listener’s body. The effect is amazing.

Get your Butt Kicked here

Ultra Products Aluminus ATX Case
OCModshop :: Wednesday, February 22, 2006
“When we put our hard earned money down for any purchase it is nice when we get what we pay for, much less getting something with all the bells and whistles. So the key word for this review is definitely options. The Aluminus ATX Full-Tower Case seems to have thought of everything that would make building your own computer easier. While also throwing in the practical, and functional components that will make it look like a professional did the work.”

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Low-end PC Buying Guide
OCModshop :: Tuesday, February 21, 2006
Build your budget box right. Creating a cost-effective PC is more than just assembling from the cheapest parts you can find. It is an important balance of quality, features and cost. For this reason, you will quickly discover that getting the most for your money becomes a major headache. Fortunately, this guide serves as a cheat sheet for choosing the most appropriate equipment and a reference for real-world street prices.

The goals for this article were based on four major criteria: budget-friendliness, adequate performance, upgradeability and useful features. The intended use for such a system is primarily office work, web surfing, common multimedia and modest creative content creation.

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Corepad’s Eyepad
OCModshop :: Tuesday, February 21, 2006

“At 18 years old I am probably reaching the peak of my gaming career. I have the previous experience of many games to help me make decisions in new ones. I have good reflexes that will probably only deteriorate over time. I am at the age where money is not so hard to come by, so my gaming equipment is generally top notch. However recently something has seemed to be missing. I realized what that was when trying out this fine piece of gaming equipment from CorePad (kindly supplied to us by Everglide.co.uk), a true gamers mouse mat”

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Final Fantasy 12 Preview
OCmodshop :: Tuesday, February 21, 2006

The mysterious cloud surrounding Final Fantasy XII is finally beginning to lift. With several press releases regarding the plot and characters, as well as a short playable demo included in Dragon Quest VIII, fans are anxiously awaiting the release of the next game in this popular series. Between wiping the drool off my chin and viciously fighting off Sleipnirs, I was able to gather some information about this juicy upcoming game.

From the looks of it, FF12 seems extremely promising for both loyal fans of the series and any newcomers. Square Enix continues to push the limits of graphics and sound, even in this bite-sized demo. I found that the battles are a little more difficult than before, however they shouldn’t be difficult enough to discourage the Final Fantasy rookie. The story is told through cut scenes, where the graphics are second to none. Although the demo doesn’t hint much at the storyline, as always it looks to be dramatic and gut-wrenching.


Check out Final Fantasy XII

World Exclusive: The TJS0005 Heatpipe Chipset Cooler from JingTing Review
OCModshop :: Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Quote: “ Out of the blue we received a small box containing a new kind of chipset cooler. The company that send it to us goes by the name of “JingTing”. I must say I have never heard of them before, but when I took a peek at the content in the box it looked very impressive. If you have a noisy chipset cooler you might want to check out this cooler. ”

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Antec Vcool
OCModshop :: Tuesday, February 21, 2006

“Antec say they are the #1 brand in computer cooling, but graphics card cooling seems to be a new branch for the huge Antec company. Does their first attempt meet the mark?”

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Final Fantasy 12 Preview
Monday, February 20, 2006
he mysterious cloud surrounding Final Fantasy XII is finally beginning to lift. With several press releases regarding the plot and characters, as well as a short playable demo included in Dragon Quest VIII, fans are anxiously awaiting the release of the next game in this popular series. Between wiping the drool off my chin and viciously fighting off Sleipnirs, I was able to gather some information about this juicy upcoming game.

From the looks of it, FF12 seems extremely promising for both loyal fans of the series and any newcomers. Square Enix continues to push the limits of graphics and sound, even in this bite-sized demo. I found that the battles are a little more difficult than before, however they shouldn’t be difficult enough to discourage the Final Fantasy rookie. The story is told through cut scenes, where the graphics are second to none. Although the demo doesn’t hint much at the storyline, as always it looks to be dramatic and gut-wrenching.

News: Aluminum Spire Mod
OCModshop :: Saturday, February 18, 2006

“I decided to turn the old plans vertical and mod my girlfriends PC, because her computer was noisy and ugly (some old compaq case). Because of the comments I have received from my friends, I have to state that this case has nothing to do with Xbox360. I Designed my case before I ever saw the xbox.”

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SteelPad 5L Mouse Surface review @ CyberwizardPit
OCModshop :: Thursday, February 16, 2006

“Established gaming manufacturer Steel Series have been manufacturing gaming equipment for quite some time now, from mousepads to headphones and even their own clothing line, releasing new items from time to time – and Steel Series are at it again with their latest product, the SteelPad 5L Mouse Surface. A cloth-plastic hybrid, is the 5L just a giant napkin, or a full-fledged, professional-grade mousepad? CyberwizardPit puts the new Steelpad 5L to the test in this article, and whether or not it stands its own ground in today’s competitive market of pro-gaming surfaces.”

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Cooler Master NanoFusion Thermal Compound
OCModshop :: Thursday, February 16, 2006
We have a new, quick review up on an outstanding thermal transfer paste from Cooler Master named NanoFusion. This stuff managed to perform better than Arctic Silver.

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LCD Image “Screen Burn” on Dell 2005FPW
OCModshop :: Thursday, February 16, 2006
WidescreenGamer.com is discussing something that is becoming a nuissance for owners of the popular Dell 2005FPW widescreen monitor: Image ‘Screen Burn’ after prolonged periods of use.

It’s actually not really ‘screen burn’ at all, and you’ll be relieved once you read what we have to say about this phenomenon.

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Mad Dog Multimedia 37″ UV S-ATA cable Review
Wednesday, February 15, 2006
S-ATA’s small transfer cable has caught the attention of modders because they are more flexible and allow users to easily route the cable throughout their cases. Up until recently there really weren’t a lot of modded SATA cables, and we were stuck with the standard red or black cables that came with our motherboards. These OEM SATA cables are generally very short, at around 15 inches, which prevents a lot of clever cable routing even in smaller cases. Serial ATA cables are begging to be routed, as they are so thin they can easily fit behind case components and can be tucked away without being seen, leaving one’s case looking so much neater.

Mad Dog Multimedia has answered the modder’s pleas for a tricked-out SATA cable. These cables feature the standard speeds for SATA-2 as well as some additional enhancements. These cables are UV reactive and are slightly more responsive than an OEM cable. Mad Dog Multimedia has also implemented a locking mechanism in the connector head to prevent accidental unplugging. They come in 3 different colors (blue, green, and clear), which provides more than just a custom look: you can use a set of colors to visually designate particular drives or clusters of drives.

Pet the Mad Dog here

Hard Drive Cooler – The Silent Savior
OCModshop :: Wednesday, February 15, 2006

“As a hardware reviewer, many pieces of equipment have passed through my hands. I have sampled coolers for almost every place in my current rig. Radiator, CPU, RAM, graphics card, chipset, and case fans. However I have never had the chance to review a hard drive cooler, well thanks to CooLink, now is my chance.”

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i-PHONO mini Bluetooth Stereo Headphone Review
OCModshop :: Wednesday, February 15, 2006
The Bluetake i-PHONO mini Bluetooth Stereo Headphone has set the bar for wireless stereo headphones. Because of its comfort, superb sound quality and the simple fact that it allows you to listen to stereo music while being able to move about freely, we feel the i-PHONO mini is a definite hit.

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New XSR Review
OCModshop :: Wednesday, February 15, 2006

“Although you may not have heard of Hiper, over the past few years they have produced some of the finest power supplies available to the mainstream user and enthusiast alike. However, their new TypeR range of PSUs is scheduled to blow competitors out of the water; with its huge 580W power output, and flashy looks. The particular model I will be reviewing is the Modular TypeR 580W model. TypeR, a name synonymous with speed and power. Let’s see if Hiper’s flashy boy racer can stand up to this prestigious name.”

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Corsair Flash Voyager 1GB USB 2.0 Drive
OCModshop :: Wednesday, February 15, 2006
“The drive is good looking enough and completely covered in a rubber that looks and feels like neoprene. That would explain it’s water-resistant attribute. The drive is 2 7/8 inches long and 7/8 of an inch wide (7.3 cm L x 2.22 cm W) which makes in a little smaller than a disposable lighter and is flat enough to fit comfortably in your pocket. The only drawback with the black rubber coating is that it allows lint and other sundry objects to stick to it so when you pull it out of your pocket it can look kind of fuzzy.”

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Mad Dog Multimedia 37″ UV S-ATA cable Review
OCmodshop :: Wednesday, February 15, 2006

S-ATA’s small transfer cable has caught the attention of modders because they are more flexible and allow users to easily route the cable throughout their cases. Up until recently there really weren’t a lot of modded SATA cables, and we were stuck with the standard red or black cables that came with our motherboards. These OEM SATA cables are generally very short, at around 15 inches, which prevents a lot of clever cable routing even in smaller cases. Serial ATA cables are begging to be routed, as they are so thin they can easily fit behind case components and can be tucked away without being seen, leaving one’s case looking so much neater.

Mad Dog Multimedia has answered the modder’s pleas for a tricked-out SATA cable. These cables feature the standard speeds for SATA-2 as well as some additional enhancements. These cables are UV reactive and are slightly more responsive than an OEM cable. Mad Dog Multimedia has also implemented a locking mechanism in the connector head to prevent accidental unplugging. They come in 3 different colors (blue, green, and clear), which provides more than just a custom look: you can use a set of colors to visually designate particular drives or clusters of drives.

Pet the Mad Dog here

AMD Athlon 64 3200+ CPU
OCModshop :: Monday, February 13, 2006
“Since these days the Athlon 64 3200+ isn’t a just released CPU and AMD seems to have once again forgotten to send me my twenty page PR folder with the pretty graphs and a listing of all the new architectural innovations most sites get , I figured I would focus this review on the areas that I thought most of the readers–as well as myself–would be interested in: price, performance, overclocking, and temperatures.”

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Blu-Ray and DVD comparision
OCModshop :: Monday, February 13, 2006
Description: An article that compares the two new storage devices – DVD and Blu-ray, and compares both the storage systems used as well as the read speeds between the two.

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America’s Army Tweak Guide
OCModshop :: Monday, February 13, 2006
I’ve had the opportunity to go through and update my America’s Army Tweak Guide for the new Version 2.6 release. For the most part there are no major changes, since Version 2.6 is almost identical to Version 2.5 in almost every respect. The main changes are the new Server Browser options and PBSetup utility, both covered on Page 5 of the guide. If you’re having problems with the game, or haven’t read the guide before, or are new to America’s Army I suggest you read through it thoroughly for all the details of how to setup, optimize and play this great game.

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News: Act-On AMD 0520 – MicMouse Review at nV News
OCModshop :: Monday, February 13, 2006
The Act-On AMD 0520 – MicMouse is a one of a kind mouse as it combines the everyday mouse and desktop microphone into one product. The MicMouse is great for Internet telephone conversations or everyday voice recording.

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Cooler Master Real Power 550W PSU
OCModshop :: Monday, February 13, 2006
“While Cooler Master might not have always been the best, they have always been in the top 5. Not once have they backed down from a faulty product. One step back for Cooler Master makes them take 2 steps forward. Heaven forbid if they take a step forward, can we say Juggernaut? Cooler Master had great success with the Real Power 450 ACLX PSU, and here they are trying to continue that success with the Real Power RS-550-ACLY PSU and looking to take those extra 2 steps forward once again.”

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aquacomputer Multiswitch Review
OCModshop :: Friday, February 10, 2006

Quote: “Of aquacomputer-berlin we received an extremely innovative product which be interesting for electronics, modder and Watercooling Friends. The multiswitch. ”

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SanDisk Cruzer Mini USB 1Gb Flash Drive
OCModshop :: Friday, February 10, 2006

Snippet: “With the phenomenal acceptance of USB (by both users and manufacturers alike), a new portable data storage medium has become all the rage. Flash drives, jump drives, intelligent sticks, call them whatever you like – they’re here to stay. Sandisk is a prominent maker of such USB drives – including a very popular series, the SanDisk Cruzer Mini 1Gb.”

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64-Bit FAQ
Thursday, February 09, 2006
Over the last year, CPUs extending the IA-32 instruction set to 64 bits have hit the streets. There are two incarnations of it, AMD’s AMD64 and Intel’s EM64T. While very similar, there are in fact a few differences between the two. Not huge differences, but they do exist. First let’s discuss what CPUs have what capabilities. Here’s a brief list:

For the crib sheet to that, 64 bit Integer calculations are one of the things that make 64 bit CPUs so great – they can make 64 bit calculations in hardware rather than emulating it with a bunch of 32 bit calculations. The address space is the logical address space the CPU can handle. The AMD64 and EM64T CPUs do not have a full 64 bits of address space, as they won’t need it for a while. They use 64 bit addresses and truncate them internally to save on die space.

BlueTake BT510 Mouse and BT007Si Dongle
OCModshop :: Thursday, February 09, 2006
Placing the BT510 next to a MX700 shows the relative size of this mouse. Underneath there is an on/off switch for transportation, the connect button and the 800 dpi optical sensor. It is on the small side and very light even with the batteries installed.”

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64-Bit FAQ
OCmodshop :: Thursday, February 09, 2006

Over the last year, CPUs extending the IA-32 instruction set to 64 bits have hit the streets. There are two incarnations of it, AMD’s AMD64 and Intel’s EM64T. While very similar, there are in fact a few differences between the two. Not huge differences, but they do exist. First let’s discuss what CPUs have what capabilities. Here’s a brief list:

For the crib sheet to that, 64 bit Integer calculations are one of the things that make 64 bit CPUs so great – they can make 64 bit calculations in hardware rather than emulating it with a bunch of 32 bit calculations. The address space is the logical address space the CPU can handle. The AMD64 and EM64T CPUs do not have a full 64 bits of address space, as they won’t need it for a while. They use 64 bit addresses and truncate them internally to save on die space.

read the 64-bit FAQ here

Corsair Flash Voyager 128MB USB Drive Review at HardwareXL
OCModshop :: Thursday, February 09, 2006

“There are a lot of portable storage devices, but not all of them are practical. Most USB drives are made of hard plastic or have a shiny coating which wears of after using the drive for a while. The people at Corsair found a good solution to prevent the USB stick from getting easily damaged. They just packed the flash memory in a rubber casing. Finally a product I can test indoors as well as outdoors. I will be dropping the Flash Voyager Memory Drive from a 14 story building, wanna know more? Read on.”

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Timeline of Major GPU Announcements (2001 – 2006)
OCModshop :: Thursday, February 09, 2006
Hi guys, just a little timeline of major GPU technology announcements from ATI & NVIDIA. We’ve added this to our previous and popular article on the history of desktop 3D graphics (circa 1995 ~ 2001). As these more modern events are well documented across the Web, we have included a more lighthearted and slightly veiled narrative.

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Seasonic S12-600 (600W) PSU Review on Technic3D
OCModshop :: Thursday, February 09, 2006

Quote: “After the test of the S12-500 in September we received the Top product of the S12 now with the S12-600 also still to the test.”

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Thermalright V1 Ultra VGA Cooler Review
OCModshop :: Thursday, February 09, 2006

“Finally, after waiting many years, Thermalright has entered the video card cooling market. The long time maker of quality CPU heat sinks has released the V1 Ultra, a cooler for the latest and greatest video cards from both ATI and NVIDIA. The V1 Ultra is similar to the SI-120 CPU heatsink in terms of design and technology, utilizing aluminum/copper construction and heat pipes. In this review we will examine Thermalright’s new video card cooler and see if its performance level can match that of the famous Thermalright CPU coolers.”

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Call of Duty 2 Review
Wednesday, February 08, 2006
The quality of the first-person shooter genre outside of the PC platform has been debated by countless fanboys in numerous forums on infinite parallel Internets. However, it is safe to say that yes, there have been some good shooters on consoles. It is my belief that since the Goldeneye/Perfect Dark era of the Nintendo64, the Xbox has had the most success in delivering quality first person shooters to console owners. Also available for the PC, Call of Duty 2 does its best to fill the Halo-shaped hole in the 360 lineup and performs admirably although it is hardly revolutionary.

As before, the game divides its single player campaign among three soldiers of different nationalities—Russian, British, and American—which allows it to tackle different fronts of the global conflict. You don’t strongly identify with the characters you play, but Call of Duty 2 isn’t worried about plot—the important thing is that World War II is on and there are Nazis that need slaying.

Read how COD2 refines the WWII genre

Call of Duty 2 Review
OCmodshop :: Wednesday, February 08, 2006

The quality of the first-person shooter genre outside of the PC platform has been debated by countless fanboys in numerous forums on infinite parallel Internets. However, it is safe to say that yes, there have been some good shooters on consoles. It is my belief that since the Goldeneye/Perfect Dark era of the Nintendo64, the Xbox has had the most success in delivering quality first person shooters to console owners. Also available for the PC, Call of Duty 2 does its best to fill the Halo-shaped hole in the 360 lineup and performs admirably although it is hardly revolutionary.

As before, the game divides its single player campaign among three soldiers of different nationalities—Russian, British, and American—which allows it to tackle different fronts of the global conflict. You don’t strongly identify with the characters you play, but Call of Duty 2 isn’t worried about plot—the important thing is that World War II is on and there are Nazis that need slaying.

Read how COD2 refines the WWII genre

Athena Power SNT-2132B2 External HDD Enclosure
Tuesday, February 07, 2006
In today’s world, people need to carry their data with them wherever they go. Memory sticks and USB drives are fine for small files, but transporting large amounts of data from work to home is impractical. An external portable hard drive can be just the thing to lug alot of data between home and the office, and can also be used as expanded storage for laptop users. Using an external hard drive enclosure makes it possible to transform a normal 3.5″ internal hard drive into a portable data expansion. These can be used on any computer with USB. Athena Power’s SNT-2312B2 external 3.5″ enclosure hopes to wrap its aluminum arms around your hard drive’s bits and bytes for your data expansion needs.

The enclosure has a silver aluminum body that has been textured to shimmer more light, with smoked acrylic end caps. The actylic looks like it can easily crack or scratch, but is actually pretty rugged. There are 4 rubber pads on the bottom of the enclosure for stability. There are no rubber pads for the sides, so this drive is intended to be laid flat on your desk. There are no cutouts or holes to dissipate heat, and there’s no fan to be found, either. The rear of the enclosure houses the power switch and connector, and a USB 2.0 port. There are also two screws here that secure the drive tray within the enclosure.

feel the embrace of Athena here

Athena Power SNT-2132B2 External HDD Enclosure
OCmodshop :: Tuesday, February 07, 2006

In today’s world, people need to carry their data with them wherever they go. Memory sticks and USB drives are fine for small files, but transporting large amounts of data from work to home is impractical. An external portable hard drive can be just the thing to lug alot of data between home and the office, and can also be used as expanded storage for laptop users. Using an external hard drive enclosure makes it possible to transform a normal 3.5″ internal hard drive into a portable data expansion. These can be used on any computer with USB. Athena Power’s SNT-2312B2 external 3.5″ enclosure hopes to wrap its aluminum arms around your hard drive’s bits and bytes for your data expansion needs.

The enclosure has a silver aluminum body that has been textured to shimmer more light, with smoked acrylic end caps. The actylic looks like it can easily crack or scratch, but is actually pretty rugged. There are 4 rubber pads on the bottom of the enclosure for stability. There are no rubber pads for the sides, so this drive is intended to be laid flat on your desk. There are no cutouts or holes to dissipate heat, and there’s no fan to be found, either. The rear of the enclosure houses the power switch and connector, and a USB 2.0 port. There are also two screws here that secure the drive tray within the enclosure.

feel the embrace of Athena here

Day of Defeat: Source Free This Weekend
OCModshop :: Tuesday, February 07, 2006
This weekend Valve is inviting everyone to try Day of Defeat: Source for free via Steam. Visit Steampowered.com to pre-load the game and be set to play at 12:00 pm PST on Friday, when the Free Weekend begins. Join the ranks as Axis or Allies troops located in Western Europe during the height of the war in 1944. For more information, visit www.steampowered.com.

AplusCase Dacapo Review
OCModshop :: Monday, February 06, 2006
Quote: “The meaning of the word “Dacapo” is to be found in the music-scene and means an instruction from the front to begin the music piece in a certain place. That applies also to that the Technic3D editorship available silver Case from the house AplusCase very well”

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Silverstone Strider ST56F PSU Review on Technic3D
OCModshop :: Sunday, February 05, 2006
Quote: “The available “smaller brother” from the ST60F was allowed with his 560 Watts still playing with each SLI/CF – system become finished”

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New XSR Review
OCModshop :: Sunday, February 05, 2006

“Over the last few years, the name Johnathan “Fatal1ty” Wendel has become synonymous with gaming prowess. In the same way ABIT’s line of motherboards under the same name have themselves become synonymous with being the powerhouses of gamers computers the world over. Today I have managed to get my mitts on the Abit Fatal1ty AN8 SLI, lets see how well it lives up to its reputation.”

A news post on your site would be very much appreciated. We would also love you to add us to your news list, so if you are interested in us posting your news on our site, then please send all news to the email below! If you like our site and would like to swap links and become a site affiliate then please email us as well.

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How Digital Technology Is Changing The Face Of Music
OCModshop :: Friday, February 03, 2006
“Look at how this have evolved. In the past we had to buy our music in a fixed format – normally 10 to 14 songs on a CD, LP, cassette, or 8 track (for those who remember what those were). But with the advent of the always connected home computer, services have emerged that allows us to pick and choose, like internet radio. There are so many ways digital technology has changed the way we consume music. Let’s look at how this happen and where it’s heading.”
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OCZ Gold PC3700EB Review
OCModshop :: Friday, February 03, 2006
“OCZ pc3700EB has gone up in the halls of fame for classic overclocking ram due to the outstanding performance it gave to users back in it’s prime in 2004. Today, a little less than 2 years later, we clean the dust off the trophies as we look at a 2x512mb kit of EB”
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Cooler Master Susurro CPU Cooler
OCModshop :: Friday, February 03, 2006
“No need for a Rocket Science degree to install the Susurro. It is a simple task with the standard motherboard bracket in place. Just a matter of clipping it in down, and locking the bracket. The clearance on the heatsink was only tight in one location, and that was the first memory slot. It just took some creative maneuvering, and it worked fine.”
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Setting up a Backup Server
OCModshop :: Friday, February 03, 2006
Quote: “/If you don’t backup your data, you have a disaster waiting to happen! This article will show you how to setup a backup server./”
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Hello Halo 3!
Wednesday, February 01, 2006
An industry insider revealed today that Halo 3 is finished and is at the mastering plant, awaiting the green light. The final artwork has been finished for the disk, booklets and box art.

It is likely that Bungie will try to build the hype for Halo 3, adding to the frenzy right before its release. Some of the rumored features of Halo 3 include the following:

read what we know about Halo 3!

Intel announces Pentium 4 stepping changes
OCModshop :: Wednesday, February 01, 2006
The 661 is a 3.6GHz MPU, the 651 a 3.4GHz chip, the 641 is a 3.2GHz microprocessor, while the 631 is a 3GHz CPU. These are Cedar Mill cores. They supersede the 6×0 series of CPUs.
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Thermaltake Hardcano 14 Review on Technic3D
OCModshop :: Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Quote: “With the Thermaltake Hardcano 14 comes a further HDD-Cooling into the trade. Technic3D looked at itself it more exactly”

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Corsair TWINX2048-4000PT @ VelocityReviews.com
OCModshop :: Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Quote: “Ready for overclocking? or is your ram holding your overclocking ability? Well this is going to make you drool. *Drools on keyboard*”
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Juice – PC Power Supply Load Calculator
OCModshop :: Wednesday, February 01, 2006
Fu3lman has released a new application which is an advanced PC wattage calculator for determining the power usage of your system. (This is an expanded power calculator that goes beyond what his previously released Overclockulator could do and is a totally rewritten application.)
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Noctua NH-U9 and NH-U12 CPU Coolers
OCModshop :: Wednesday, February 01, 2006
“The biggest drawback to the NH-U12 is the size and you have to really ensure that you have clearance for your RAM, video card, and case door before you consider buying one. But you know what? Even if you don’t have the room for the big boy, you will have room for the NH-U9 which also performed better than any heatsink I had tested before. Noctua not only took the performance crown with a single cooler, they did it with both of their very first products.”
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Hello Halo 3!
OCmodshop :: Wednesday, February 01, 2006
An industry insider revealed today that Halo 3 is finished and is at the mastering plant, awaiting the green light. The final artwork has been finished for the disk, booklets and box art.

It is likely that Bungie will try to build the hype for Halo 3, adding to the frenzy right before its release. Some of the rumored features of Halo 3 include the following:

read what we know about Halo 3!

Camera Phone VS Digital Camera
OCModshop :: Wednesday, February 01, 2006
Cell phones with cameras are everywhere nowadays. It really makes us think whether we now have a mobile phone with camera or a camera with telephone capability. In this article, we’ll take a look at camera cell phones and see who they stack up against today’s digital cameras.
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