OCMS News January 2009

Metal Gear Solid 4 Storyline Gripes
Friday, January 30, 2009
Warning: This is going to spoil Metal Gear Solid 4. Do not, I repeat DO NOT read this if you have not played MGS4 and have followed the series. If you haven’t played MGS4 go play it, because MGS4 effing rules. Come back here, this editorial will be here.

THIS IS YOUR LAST WARNING. DO YOURSELF A FAVOR DO NOT READ THIS IF YOU HAVE NOT PLAYED MGS4. I PROMISE YOU IT’S AN AWESOME GAME.

ONE MORE WARNING FOR FUN DO NOT READ THIS IF Aw screw it.

Microsoft Talks about Windows 7
Thursday, January 29, 2009
With the pending release of the latest Microsoft Windows operating system, I like many other PC users have questions about the latest system currently known as Windows 7. I recently was able to speak with a Microsoft spokesperson for the new OS who took the time to provide us at OCmodshop with this interview.

OCMS: What new enhancements does Windows 7 offer?

A: For consumers, Windows 7 breaks down walls and makes new things possible – we’ve made investments in user experience, multi-touch capabilities, media streaming and integration with devices that make it easier to find the information people care about regardless of where it’s housed on their PC, network, devices or on the cloud and do some cool new things.

Jeff Gardiner Answers Questions about Fallout 3 DLC
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Recently I got the chance to speak with Jeff Gardiner, lead producer for Fallout 3 DLC about the latest addition to the multi award winning game.

OCMS: What is the background and setting for the new material?

JG: Operation: Anchorage is allows the player to discover the location of a secret military installation housed deep inside of Washington, D.C. The Brotherhood of Steel Outcasts are trying to requisition top-secret military technology from a long dead war… But the only way to open the safe is by successfully completing a training simulation in which the player will have to liberate Anchorage, Alaska from an invading Red Chinese occupying force. This battle played out hundreds of years ago, and is a staple of the Fallout 3 canon. Once inside the sim the player will have to utilize stealth and combat cunning to overcome a huge military presence; they’ll even have the opportunity to outfit and order their own Strike Force in the process!

Data Security Related to Stupidity
Saturday, January 24, 2009
Instant information, instant entertainment, instant communications to and from anywhere in the world, with anyone is fantastic. It’s all been brought to us by the computer and communications industries. It’s a lot like Forrest Gump’s magic shoes, “They could take me anywhere.” The problem is a lot of other people also have magic shoes. Some good. Increasingly, some bad.

Surprise…it doesn’t have to work 100 percent of the time. If only .01 percent of a million emails respond then BAM!!! they’ve got enough account information to work with. As Forrest said, “Stupid is as stupid does.”

UPDATE: Microsoft Laying off 5,000 Employees
Thursday, January 22, 2009
UPDATE: 1/21/2009: We have learned that the problem is much worse than we originally thought. Microsoft employees confirmed that they are laying off 5,000 employees within the next months, and 1,500 are being notified today. The hardest hit is the Windows Mobile division, which is practically being gutted. The Windows Mobile division isn’t going away, because Microsoft plans to re-populate the staff with new hires or contractors.

SansDigital MobileStor MS2UTN+ RAID Enclosure Review
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Sometimes setting up a RAID array can be a pain in the butt. For one, professional RAID cards can be expensive. Two, many “easy RAID” features of motherboards are closed solutions. Three: cheaper solutions may not be reliable, and often require offline rebuilds when something goes wrong.. What if you want to have the redundancy protection or speed of RAID, but in an external modular box that doesn’t mess with your system’s current configuration?

SansDigital presents the industry with their MobileStor solutions, which are external hard drive enclosures with a built-in RAID controller. This solution allows you to instantly create several RAID arrays. Since the enclosure is its own little island, you can take your RAID array with you on place it on any computer.

Intel and AMD: What Went Wrong
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Ever have that feeling that someone with a Heavyweight title just put you in a coma? And when you awoke from that coma everything you thought you knew was no longer a reality? That was the same way I felt when I realized how bad Intel was kicking the crap out of AMD’s booty all over the CPU market. And as a long-time fan of AMD, I’m sitting here wondering… just what the heck happened?

Breaking News: Microsoft Layoffs ‘Eminent’
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
There has been a lot of chatter that Microsoft will be laying off employees this month. The world economy has not been doing very well in the past year, and many companies are either bought out, absorbed, collapse, or simply trim the fat in an attempt to survive. People are looking to see if Microsoft, one of the most profitable companies in the world, will be laying off employees as a sign of just how bad the economic climate is.

We have learned through Microsoft employees that layoffs are not just a rumor, but they are eminent.

Prince of Persia Complete Walkthrough!
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Well, I’ve played all of the last generation PoP games, and I must say this one is both weaker and stronger. I also played Okami, and I’ve played Assassin’s Creed.

For one, the element of Okami, the beautiful graphics, are worth the play all on their own. The contrast between pure and corrupted highlights the cel- shaded graphics that were beautiful in previous generations and are only that much better in high definition. You almost want to cleanse each area just to see the crisp, sharp shadows from the shining sun.

How Surge Protectors Benefit Laptop Computers
Monday, January 19, 2009
Known as power spikes, surges, brownouts, and blackouts, these fluctuations can cause anything from fire to data loss in an unprotected laptop computer. When power returns, it can come in a rush, rising significantly above standard household voltage levels to burn wires, overwhelm circuits and potentially cause damage to laptops, adapters, and any external peripherals that may be connected to the computer. Even when the power surge is not strong enough to knock out a system, it can slowly damage the computer’s components, reducing its reliability and lifespan. A surge protector diverts the extra voltage from a power surge to a ground wire, sparing harm to any connected electrical devices.

North American Hunting Extravaganza Review
Monday, January 19, 2009
Everyone knows that the majority of people playing the Wii are Japanese women and children between 8 and 13, right? Who would have thought that this demographic would be screaming for a hunting game? Well, thankfully the guys at Arcade Moon and Destineer are such forward thinkers that they brought the Nintendo world the one thing that it has deperately been lacking: an animal murder simulator.

On one hand, the Nintendo is a perfect platform for a hunting game. The innovative Wiimote can be held just like a gun (or rifle with laser sight if you use the Eagle Neptor shotgun grip reviewed here). On the other hand you have a horde of impressionable little minds that are used to the realistic arcade physics of Mario Kart (reviewed here). Don’t get me wrong: I’m all for familiarizing our youth with deadly firearms. We need every able body we can get for the inevitable zombie apocalypse.

GlacialTech Altair A381 Home Theater PC Case Review
Sunday, January 18, 2009
We review so many Home Theater PC cases that sometimes they all start to look alike. Many of them try to mimic the look of either a home theater amplifier or DVD player. Due to size constraints, many manufacturers opt for the amplifier, which allows the consumer to use standard-size PC components. Some of the smaller designs look much more appliance-like, simply because at first glance it appears there’s no way to fit PC components into the chassis.

If you’re a fan of the low-profile HTPC cases, then you may be intereteste in the GlacialTech Altair A381 HTPC chassis, which has a lot of features found in premium home theater appliances, but without a lot of wasted space. The Altair is outfitted with an aluminum front panel, front panel buttons, VFD display, and a good airflow design.

CES 09 Wrap-Up
Friday, January 16, 2009
Like a scrotum, here it is in a nutshell… Ok, CES (Consumer Electronics Show) 2009 was off a little in the number of exhibitors and attendees.

So? It was a crappy second half of ’08 folks. No one has been drinking happy juice about the prospects for the next six months! Best guess there were only about 90,000 people at the Vegas show (after 5-10 shows a year for 10++ years…you get a feel for these sorts of things). But…you could get a flight at the last minute… Get a hotel room at the last minute… Get a cab… Not be cramped on the tram… Get a dinner reservation… Talk to the right people… Sounds good to us!

Interview with Defense Grid: The Awakening’s Michael Austin
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Recently I got the chance to speak with Michael Austin, CTO and lead designer for Defense Grid: The Awakening. I want to thank Michael and Lori Mezoff for helping make this interview happen.

OCMS: What is the background and setting for the game?

MA: Your home planet is suddenly attacked by an enemy with weak tactics, but seemingly endless numbers of troops. You make your way to an old military base where you awaken the A.I. – a military general from the last war who was placed there to assist in case the aliens came back. With his help you try to stay one step ahead of them… protecting the power cores that are necessary to keep your world functioning and driving the aliens away.

ECS Elitegroup GeForce 6100PM-M2 V2.0 Motherboard Review
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
The funny thing about how expensive technology is, is that as soon as you buy something that costs $300, it’s automatically obsolete and is worth roughly 1/3 of the original price. Actually, it was pretty much obsolete the moment you bought it. The world of the PC DIYer is a fantastic world, but the price bracket sucks the biggest set of hairy boys possible. That’s why when I had to replace my motherboard on my tight budget, I went for one that wouldn’t break the bank. Because let’s face it. There are going to be a couple dozen introduced next week that will render your new i7 compatible board as ancient technology. I think I’ll stick with my Athlon Dual Core until the price range comes down.

The motherboard I chose to replace the junker with the fried PCI-E slot is the GeForce 6100PM-M2. Yeah, it has an Nvidia chipset. And while Nvidia may not make the best chipset on earth, they make one of the cheapest when you are on a budget. And since it supports my Athlon 64 X2, along with 16GB of DDR2 RAM, I am more than happy to give it a shot

Does DirectX 10 Deliver Better Gaming?
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
As with any new technology there is a lag time before everything catches up, before the new technology is truly integrated into the old, in this case gaming systems. The big question on everyone’s mind (especially gamers), how long will we have to wait before DX10 graphics delivers the goods?

In other words, how long is the lag time before performance (what you see in your games) catches up with the technology DX10 Graphics will ultimately deliver?

Editorial: RIP EGM, Microsoft, and Midway Suck Balls
Saturday, January 10, 2009
The big news of the week…and there were a few things big, but none other than Electronic Gaming Monthly shutting its doors. While I guess I could call them competition, since 1up is in the same industry as [OC]modshop.com, they still are fondly remembered as THE video game magazine at one point.

It is truly sad, as several writers are losing their jobs, and EGM was a staple in the video game industry. I remember pretty badly wanting to work there out of college and not getting a fricken job interview, but I digress. It really is a blow to videogames as this was the TV guide of the game industry in my day.

Razer DeathAdder Gaming Mouse for Mac Review
Thursday, January 08, 2009
Apple users are the most hardened group of gamers on the planet. There are so many games available for the Mac platform that you just can’t count them all. They have such hits as World of Warcraft, Warcraft 3, Black and White 2… um…. well, they have a bunch of solitaire and board games, that’s for sure.

Regardless of the amount of games for the Mac (or lack thereof), Razer thinks there are more Mac users than Southpaws (Razer doesn’t make any left-handed mice), because they have released the DeathAdder Gaming Mouse for the Mac. Fortunately, this mouse also works with the PC, so it could be a good mouse for those that own both platforms.

I-Star T5F-SS Hot-Swap Hard Drive Bay Review
Wednesday, January 07, 2009
I love storage. It doesn’t matter what kind. I have stock in those plastic dresser-style drawers, and I keep ’em chock full of crap I’ll never use or at the most very rarely. Any time I look at a car I check out the trunk first, and try to estimate how many bodies would fit in there. If I’m unsure, I’ll ask the salesman. And yes, I have done it before. Ah, the joys and freedoms of being a sociopath. But my favorite type of storage is always those heavy bricks we call Hard Drives. I have them in all capacities, and when I want to access one, I simply take apart my external storage unit, or power down my computer and take the side off, install the HD, and then put it all back together. It’s a pain in the ass at best.

Follow OCmodshop on Twitter
Tuesday, January 06, 2009
OCmodshop is finally sucombing to the whole social networking thing. You can now follow all the latest news and reviews from OCmodshop on Twitter! Get updates on your cell phone, and of course you can comment on the articles, too.

NZXT Tempest Gaming Computer Case Review
Tuesday, January 06, 2009
PC Gaming is a serious business. Maybe it’s because PC gamers are constantly upgrading their hardware and are usually on the cutting edge (if not bleeding edge) of the latest PC technology. PC gamers not only require their hardware to be fast, but look cool at the same time. There is a degree of one-upmanship amongst PC gamers, and the green-eyed monster usually sparks an interest at LAN parties. I know when I go to a LAN party I find lots of new hardware I just have to have in order to feel like the technology guru I know I am.

Unfortunately, the hardware specifically targeted towards gamers is also very expensive. An elite PC Gaming Case (chassis or enclosure) has many more features than your standard office PC. For one, many include built-in support for watercooling, and others provide easy access to USB and audio ports…. and of course should have a window to show off all of your LEDs, VFDs, CCFDs, and all the other acronymns you have inside.

Coolink GFXChilla VGA Heatsink Review
Monday, January 05, 2009
I’m always looking for the right balance between proper cooling and noise output. Remember the old cases and cpu coolers you used to get that where so loud it was plain stupid, luckily things have gone a long way and we have abandoned 40/60mm screamer fans (remember the old Deltas? ) but today still I have to say the loudest component in my PC is my video card.

But let’s face it, now-a-days graphics cards make waaaaay too much noise… not to mention high temperatures.

Nova Killer 2 Mousepad Review
Sunday, January 04, 2009
I sometimes sit at my desk and think to myself, “I have way too much space here”. But what can I do about it? I guess I could stick a Tiki doll there for a little good luck. Set up a shrine to Carmen Electra? And then it came to me. A mousepad. But not just any mousepad, a gigantic mousepad that would ensure I would never have extra room on my desk again. And that mousepad is non other than the Nova Killer 2. It’s big, bad, made for lasers, and can be doubled as a car port in case of bad weather.

How to Overclock your PSP
Saturday, January 03, 2009
The chip in your PSP was designed to run faster than it does out of the box. By default, the CPU runs at 222Mhz, but the MIPS R4000 processor was designed to run at 333Mhz with a 166Mhz bus. I don’t need to spell out for you what it means that the most powerful handheld gaming device is factory underclocked.

Well, Sony allowed developers to change the clock speed from within the game, starting with Bios 3.5, which GoW takes advantage of. What about the other games that turn into slideshows? How do you unlock the CPU and get them to run faster?

ButtKicker LFE Kit Review
Friday, January 02, 2009
You know what you need for the New Year? A good swift kick in the butt. God knows that you deserve it. You know you deserve it. So why not treat yourself? And the ButtKicker is just the right tool for the job.

Imagine this, if you will; It’s Saturday night. You rigged up your surround sound for optimal performance. There is a speaker in every corner and cranny of your den. You rented the notebook so that your girlfriend will see what a sensitive guy of the modern world you are. And she’ll hear that whiny little punk who stars in it whine throughout the whole movie from every direction. Hey, didn’t he play a murdering sociopath once? Ah well, another day another dollar for an actor. But right now, it’s sensitivity time. And you have a secret weapon hiding under the couch. No, not the doll. That’s for backup in case you screw this whole thing up.

OCmodshop’s 2008 Year in Review
Thursday, January 01, 2009
2008 was an interesting year for OCmodshop. We were affected with all the highs and lows that others experienced this year, which was primarially due to the sucky economy in 2008 (thank you for the hard work, Mr. Bush). We’ve managed to hang in there, but believe me when I tell you that all technology websites earned their keep this year. Sponsors aren’t so willing to supply products when they have a limited marketing budget.

We published over 300 reviews this year alone, which well exceeded our personal goals… we almost published one article a day. We also tried to deliver tons of great technology and gaming news, and this year we published our 42,000th news item. Some of these are from other sites, others are press releases from companies, some from our news inbox, and some we just thought was cool and you should know.

We brought on more staff this year, which helped diversify our content. Nerds and geeks are interested in more than just computer hardware, so we brought you reviews on popular movies that us geeks are interested in. We also published several game walkthroughs of the hottest Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 video games.

GMC Noblesse AVC-K1 ‘Muse’ HTPC Case Review
Wednesday, December 31, 2008
The GMC Corporation (not to be confused with General Motors in the USA) is a Korean company that has produced some of the most innovative case designs in recent memory. OCmodshop has had a chance to review some of their creations in the past, and each of their designs has provided a good shot in the arm of ingenuity for the PC industry.

The same can be said for the Home Theater PC Market. Now, everyone is jumping onboard with Media Cases, and many of them copy each others features or designs, so that many start to look rather stale in comparisson. If you take a look down the Boom Box (or “Personal Stereo”) aisle of Best Buy, you will see that music systems have changed dramatically in the past decade. Stereo equipment is no longer the sleek black box, but in-your-face designs with custom VFDs and a million flashing lights. Why can’t we have the same look in our Personal Computers?

nMedia 1000B HTPC Case Review
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
If you’ve made the decision to upgrade your life to include a Home Theater PC, then one of the biggest decisions you can make is the case you choose. Within the past few years there have been many cases vying for your living room, and their features vary as much as the internal builds.

One case that looks like a worthy contender is nMedia PC’s 1000B HTPC Case. Not only does this case have a ton of media features, but it has also been selected as the standard case for several HTPC OEMs like AMD’s Maui HTPC.

Gears of War 2 Complete Walkthrough
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
What we should all appreciate about Gears 2 is that the devs did not make it Gears 1 with more stuff. Instead of this game having five berserkers, 20 seeders, and a boss that was just Raam 2.0, the people at Epic said “Gears 1 was Gears 1, Gears 2 will be different.”


Sure, it’s mostly the same game with the cover fighting, but the pacing of this game is 20 times faster than the last. You’ll be deep underground one moment, in a worm, in a haunted mansion-like place, up a snowy mountain, and then fighting a water monster back underground in not a lot of time. There is so much variety that some of it seems tossed in, not very hard, and more than a bit unnecessary, but it does help the game fly along.

Build a PC that Doesn’t Suck for $300
Monday, December 29, 2008
Starting off building a lower budget gaming system is a great option. I have a budget of $300-$350. Remember that you can always upgrade your hardware anytime you get the money to do so. This article is for those who want a gaming system but can not afford the high price hardware that is out there. All hardware mentioned in this article is available on Newegg.com.

Jeffrey Katzenberg of Dreamworks Talks About Monsters vs. Aliens
Friday, December 26, 2008
Recently I got the chance to attend a special function with Jeffrey Katzenberg of Dreamworks about their upcoming movie “Monsters VS. Aliens”. Katzenberg also went into great details and fielded questions about the new 3D technology that Dreamworks will be making a key point of all future animated and eventually live action films.

The presentation opened with Jeff talking about how the new 3D is a new age in cinema. He equated it to the 1920s moving from silent to talking films and in the 30’s the transition from black and white to color and said it would not only be a better experience for the viewers but it would be the next revolution in film as “it is not your fathers 3D”

Verbatim Color LightScribe DVD+R Media Review
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Verbatim is at it again with a new line of recordable media. This time, we get a variety of colors in the form of the image-etching tool known as LightScribe. Originally they came only in the color “Gold”. I guess it wouldn’t be as flashy to call it “Vomit Yellow”, and now they have one-upped themselves by bringing us four new brilliant colors to make our burned media look that much more vibrant. Now you can have any color of the rainbow you want, as long as you only want Green, Blue, Red, Orange, and Yellow. Here’s some more info on it before I commence the burning.

Antec Veris Multimedia Station Premier Review
Monday, December 22, 2008
We’ve reviewed many Home Theater cases over the years at OCmodshop. Some of them have multimedia features that are seamlessly integrated with the case, while many others are nothing more than standard desktop cases with a fancy front panel. There are several cases I have owned that were awesome, but converting them into Home Theater cases would have been way more trouble than it would be worth. If only there was a way to implement an awesome display and media controls into any case…

Well finally there is a solution! Antec’s Veris Multimedia Station Premium is a front panel that uses the same technology found in most expensive HTPC cases today. As a matter of fact, the innards of this device are by Soundgraph using an implementation of iMon displays. These same displays have been implemented in pretty much every home theater case we’ve reviewed in the past 3 years.

El Pato Responds to Girl Gamers
Monday, December 22, 2008
So, I got a scathing email the other day by a female…gamer…who uh, didn’t like my editorial from like, two months ago where I basically blasted girls in video games. Wow, I didn’t know people still read that thing, I thought that was old news.

Anyways, to make a long story short, the letter, which has worse spelling than my stuff does before I run a spell checker, accused me of being sexist, anti-semitist (yeah, I don’t get it either), a pig, and uh, I got called a fart knocker (I am still laughing).

X-oom Podcast Studio Review
Sunday, December 21, 2008
And all you have to do to be a part of it all is to simply own one. But what about those people that want to take it a step further? There are bloggers all around the world wanting to get their word out, and what better way to do it than the net? And what better format than audio. You spurt your random nonsense into a microphone, send that crap to cyberspace, and every person on the planet with an internet connection has access. And the peeps over at X-OOM have the studio to help you make your dreams of being a world-wide-blabbermouth come true. Today I’m checking out X-OOM’s Podcast Studio, and I’ll check out the joys of podcasting for myself. But first, check out the info:

How to Speed up Windows Explorer in Vista
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Windows Vista of course, has lots of extra features, which usually means you need a faster computer to keep the same speed as the previous generation. One of the most basic things people do with their comptuers is browse for files using Explorer. Sometimes you can think your comptuer is really slow, because Explorer is busy getting video or photo thumbnails, or doing other automatic things to “make your life easier”.

Explorer can be made to display faster if you toggle some of these optional features off. The result of these tweaks mean your Vista computer will only work faster, at a cost of some eye candy.

Combat Arms Game Card giveaway contest winners!
Saturday, December 20, 2008
The Combat Arms giveaway contest ended last night at midnight, and the 3 winners have been selected and emailed.

The One Internet Marketing Lesson You Must Lean
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Coming from a professional background in education I have always known the importance of information. How it can change and enrich one’s life for the better. It’s a general consensus that has proven itself again and again. So much so, that it’s a given fact, information and knowledge can lead to the very good things in life.

However, it wasn’t until I became a professional online marketer that I realized how effective information can truly be in achieving your goals. Even the smallest bit of marketing information can have life changing effects on those who put it into practice. The results have totally astounded me.

Make Money From Blogging: Getting Started
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Believe it or not, but it’s actually possible to make money from blogging. One teenager has, in fact, earned $5,000 a month just from making posts on his blog! Of course, not every blogger is this lucky. It does take some skill, and some luck to make money from blogging. What it also takes is some knowledge of how exactly to generate income just by posting blogs. In this newsletter, we will go over three specific methods of making money on your blog: Adsense, Pay Per Lead, and Affiliate Links.

So how exactly to I make money on my blog?

Wrath of El Pato: Spike’s 2003 Video Game Awards Suck
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Yeah, anyone else remember how bad these things are? Lets just go through 2004 and see how bad these were. I’m gonna skim through the awards for the following years, but this one I want to tear apart. This one I want to go in depth. Why? Because the boss nailed me to a chair and made me watch the stupid stuff. This is worse than Dr. Quinn Medicine woman, trust me, it is BAD.

The awards were hyped in an Ad campaign by famed SNL Alumni David Spade, who said award shows suck and he didn’t want to MC it. Then they said that it was just awards and no bullstuff.

TeknMotion PulseWave PC Gaming Headset Review
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Seriously, PC gamers expect a lot from their audio, and frankly most of the headsets catered to gamers just don’t deliver. Either they are ultra-expensive headphones geared towards the audio enthusiast, or barely mediocre communication headsets with underachieving positional sound. Many gaming headsets also lack in one critical area: the bass. Many PC gamers are playing First Person Shooters, which usually involve more explosions than a Michael Bay flick. Where’s the Bass?

TeknMotion has your bass, with buttloads to spare. Their PulseWave headset is built for PC gamers primarially, as it sports positional 7.1 surround sound, bass vibration, dancing LED lights, and a removeable microphone… and it can be used with your MP3 player or audio system, too.

BudgetGadget 5.1 USB Sound Card Review
Monday, December 15, 2008
Anyone who knows me can tell you that I love nerdy little gadgets. I’ve gone through my period of USB-powered missile launchers and night vision webcams. I moved on to bigger toys, audio and video hardware that seem to take up tons of room. So much so that I have a shelf next to my desk specifically for my toys and tools. Seriously, this crap takes up a lot of room. So when I came across this website called BudgetGadgets.com, I was immediately enthralled. You know the expression about the kid in the candy store? A geek on a gadget website is the same damned thing. And that is where today’s toy comes from.

It’s a little like the Dollar Tree, if you’ve ever shopped there. Things are inexpensive and fun, but if you’re not careful you’ll wind up with a cart full of stuff you don’t need and a nice little chunk taken out of your bank account. So I settled for one single gadget. It’s called USB Sound. It’s a 6 channel USB powered audio controller. It supports 32KHz, 44.1KHz, and 48KHz sampling in digital and analog recording as well as in digital/analog playback.

Verbatim TuneBoard Speaker Keyboard Review
Sunday, December 14, 2008
I love music. I have more music than I know what to do with. Everything from Ludacris to Dean Martin graces the hard drive of my iPod and the shelves of my CD rack. I listen to music when I write and when I’m cleaning. I even take my MP3 player to work when I can get away with it. But being able to play music from a keyboard? A keyboard with built-in speakers and music controls that totally negate the need for bulky desktop speakers? I’m all for that. In fact, I find that freaking awesome.

Verbatim has reached out and touched us once again by playing the heartstrings of the media-loving consumer at large. The Verbatim TuneBoard seems like a music lover’s dream. But don’t take my word for it. Well, actually, please do take my word for it. This thing is pretty damned cool looking. But will that be good enough to make it to the final round? This is the world of technology, folks. Beauty gets you nowhere unless you have the marble sack to get the job done. So today I am going to take this keyboard apart, screw by screw and solder joint by chip to make sure that the quality is perfect. Verbatim, I hope you wore clean underwear today, because you are about to get pantsed.

Nyko Wing Classic Controller for Nintendo Wii
Saturday, December 13, 2008
These classic games don’t play well (or at all) using Nintendo’s new-fangled motion-sensitive controllers. You either have to use the ugly Gamecube controllers or Nintendo’s Classic Controller extension for the Wiimote. There are a few glaring problems with the Classic Controller. For one: it isn’t very ergonomic at all, and two: it is wired and must be tethered to the Wiimote.

Nyko once again swoops in and saves the day with their Wing Wireless Classic Controller for Nintendo Wii. Not only is this controller more comfortable, but is completely wireless!

Eagle Technology Neptor Wii Shotgun Review
Friday, December 12, 2008
The Nintendo Wii has resurrected the old ‘light gun’ gameplay of yesteryear. The formula has worked so well that several companies (including Nintendo) have unleashed specialized gun grips for the Wii controllers. Some of these controllers are better than others, depending on the features of the game, but gun grips do increase the fun in certain shooters.

Until now, consumers have had to deal with grips that feel similar to pistols or crossbows, but what about a shotgun or machine gun? Eagle Technology has released their Neptor Shotgun grip for the Nintendo Wii, which lets you hold your controllers like a Tommygun-weilding mobster.

Nyko Charge Base 2 for Playstation 3
Thursday, December 11, 2008
There is one critical feature that the Playstation 3 doesn’t have, and that is removeable batteries for its Sixaxis controllers. Even though the batteries last as long as the Xbox 360 controllers (about 30 hours), the only way to charge them is through a USB cable… and we all know that this can be a slow, painful process. Gamers can continue to play while their controller is tethered to its USB lifeline, but many consoles are in the living room and many people will need a 20-foot USB cable to sit on the couch.

Nyko, as always, has a better solution to charge your Playstation 3 controllers. Their Charge Base 2 can charge 2 Sixaxis controllers at the same time, and doesn’t require awkways USB cables or connection to the host console. Nyko’s other chargers usually come with custom batteries, but since the PS3’s controllers are internal, they had to come up with another solution…

Little Red Riding Hood’s Zombie BBQ Review
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Let’s face it: shooting zombies are fun. Maybe it’s because we all secretly want to go Postal at some point, and can hide behind the moral mask that these humanoids aren’t real humans. There’s no moral ambiguity: you have to shoot your former colleague in the head or become zombie chow. There are lots of games tap into our guity pleasures; otherwise games like Resident Evil and Left4Dead wouldn’t be so popular. Heck, Capcom basically buit their empire on zombie carcasses.

Everyone needs to be ready for the inevitable zombie apocalypse; even little kids. That’s why publisher Destineer has released Little Red Riding Hood’s Zombie BBQ.

A Guide to Xbox 360 Overheating and Repair
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
The Xbox 360 is one of the most popular gaming consoles on the market. It is capable of rendering incredible graphics, providing online group game play, head-to-head game play and wonderfully immersive environments. However, the console is also prone to numerous issues. Owning an Xbox 360 console can be enjoyable, but it can also be frustrating and maddening, especially when you understand that Microsoft will do little to nothing to help in the case of errors due to manufacturer defects.

Verbatim Recharge & Go Wireless Mouse Review
Tuesday, December 09, 2008
How scary are the rodents of the future? Mice that can shoot lasers with advanced precision from a single eye. They have no fear and invade homes by the millions across the country. Around the world, even. And, they are wireless. But weren’t mice always wireless? The disease-spreading kind were, but Verbatim’s Recharge/Go wireless laser mouse is a picture of the advances we have made toward making wires a thing of the past.

The Recharge comes in a black and green box wrapped around blister packaging. It’s a very eye-catching array of colors that grabs you from its perch on the shelf. And why don’t more people use matte black with glossy pictures on their boxes? All the big gaming companies do it, why don’t the little guys? It would actually cost less in the long run to leave it matte and just put a little bit of gloss on it. Packaging is the seller when it comes to store shelves, people.

Noctua NH-U12P Heatsink Review
Sunday, December 07, 2008
It seems like everyone and their mother has a heatsink out now. Companies known for their graphics cards, power supply moguls, and case manufacturers have all had their go at making the latest and greatest heatsink. And most of the time, the ugliest. And now someone else wants to put their chilly mark on the cooling industry. Actually, it’s a whole freaking country. They call themselves Noctua, and they want to show us that Austrians are as cool as the rest of us.

My test product this friendly afternoon is the NH-U12P from the good people at Noctua. It boasts the quality of sound-optimized premium components, including the new NF-P12 fan which has been specially designed for high air pressure and flow. The fan even has Vortex-Control Notches, a proclaimed psychoacoustic optimization that enables maximum airflow without sacrificing your peace and quiet.

Call of Duty: World at War Walkthrough
Thursday, December 04, 2008
Eh, WWII is officially over after this game. This was a great game, good as could be for a material more overdone than the obligatory holiday romantic comedy.

This is a great game worth a play at the very least, but it must be by far the best WWII game ever, maybe only challenged by CoD2.

Black Friday Relapse and Spike TV
Thursday, December 04, 2008
So the Xbox 360 kicked ass during Black Friday. That’s surprising. A few months ago I said that the reason Sony was selling better than Microsoft simply was because everyone already had an Xbox. No one had a PS3, and if you look at the numbers, there is no way the PS3 is ever going to catch up.

So with that being said, I am very surprised about it. I felt that the 360 was already saturated in the market and now Microsoft was concentrating on the games. Well apparently a few people decided to invest in the cheaper console. This doesn’t really help Sony at all, as they have been at least making a half-ass attempt at digging themselves outta the hole they put themselves in.

Megaman-a-thon part 1: Megaman
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
Here we go. Every few days I am going to do another Megaman review until I can actually get all them reviewed. For the record, all games are reviewed in the order they are released.

I don’t think many people played this game as the first Megaman. Most of the gaming public started with Megaman 2, then found the original and played it. The original was kinda tucked away in a corner. The horribly bad box art didn’t really help it much either. It had some dude that looked like an alien holding his gun like a senile soldier and squatting like he is gonna crap nuts and bolts.

Understanding the Red Ring (Xbox 360)
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
The Xbox 360 has been plagued with problems, seemingly from the first day after its release. While the console undoubtedly has numerous high-tech components hidden within its confines, it also houses the potential for devastating problems. The 3 red light error, affectionately termed the Red Ring of Death, or simply RROD, by gamers, has been the most pervasive issue to strike the console.

However, the 1 red light error also has a high level of incidence. Keeping that console running is the only way that you can ensure your considerable investment is worth it, not to mention being able to actually play games. What is the 3 red light error? What is the 1 red light error? Can you repair these issues without compromising the integrity of your console?

Combat Arms Game Card Giveaway Contest
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
[OC]ModShop and Nexon are giving away gamecards for use in the new ‘Combat Arms’ online shooter.

For those of you who don’t know, Combat Arms is an online game that is absolutely free to play. You can upgrade your weapons and equipment by purchasing in-game items with real money… and since we know you’re all cheap bastards we’re giving you the money!

First prize: $50 game card Second Prize: $25 game card Third Prize: $10 game card

Sapphire Radeon HD 4870 Toxic Revew
Tuesday, December 02, 2008
The PC gaming industry has seen many graphics chips come and go. Companies like 3dfx, S3, Trident, Intel, nVidia, ATI and others have tapped into the gaming industry and have produced 3d accellerators for the PC, and most of them have gone. There are only two major players in the PC graphics industry: nVidia and ATI.

These two graphics juggernauts unveil new products every year, which effectively doubles the effective processing power over the previous generation. This ruthless competition is both good and bad news for consumers: Good in that faster technology becomes cheaper, and we have many options. Bad in that the expensive video card you just purchased will remain bleeding edge for only a few months.

The latest battle comes just in time for the 2008 holiday season. ATI’s 4800 series goes up against nVidia’s GTX line of cards. Sapphire is one of the more well-known manufacturers of ATI-based video cards, and they have a secret weapon in the world of single-GPU video cards. Their 4870 Toxic video card not only comes pre-overclocked, but is stacked with 512MB of the fastest GDDR5 memory, which is certainly enough for today’s gamer.