OCMS News January 2010

Noctua NF-S12B FLX Cooling Fan Review
Saturday, February 27, 2010
Generally I’m a big fan of international products. My favorite band is from Finland, my favorite television personality is from Scotland, and my favorite actor is from England. It seems that things made in the USA these days don’t really last as long as they used to. Of course, if Toyota keeps things up the way they have been, no one will buy import again. But when it comes to air movement, Noctua has more than set the standard for why we should buy from overseas.

The Austria-based company has released their successor to the original S12 (read our review here), calling it the NF-S12B. Noctua is well known in the market today for their exceptionally quiet fans. I personally have one of their heatsinks and three of their case fans in my PC at this very moment, aside from the one I’ll be putting in there to test today. While I’m still not the biggest fan of the colors they choose to use, I’ll refrain from commenting too much on that aspect in this particular review.

MLB 2K10 Interview: The Devs Answer Our Questions!
Friday, February 26, 2010
We recently had a chance to speak with the developers of Major League Baseball 2K10. Even though many sports games have a new version every year, the developers were very enthusiastic about the improvements to this year’s iteration. The game mechanics have changed to be more fun, but remain familiar so that veteran players will find it satisfying. The game has had a lot of spit and polish to make it look as realistic as posible, and less like a game. There’s also inclusion of “MLB Today” and “My Player” modes… and if that doesn’t get you excited perhaps the chance to win $1 MILLION DOLLARS will.

Zalman Trimon ZM-M220W 22″ Stereoscopic Monitor Impressions
Thursday, February 25, 2010
While visiting Zalman at a few trade shows, I was introduced to their new stereoscopic 3d monitor: the Zalman Trimon 22-inch monitor. nVidia has been showing off their own solutions that use any regular monitor, so what makes this monitor different, and why would you want to buy one?

I spoke with Richard Chung of Zalman, who gave me the lowdown on thi explained to me the differences between the Zalman monitor and nVidia’s 3d solution. For one, this 22-inch 3D LCD monitor is optmized for gaming purposes, supporting 3D and 2D realizations.

Mass Effect 2 Mega-Guide and Walkthrough
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Okay, it’s not the greatest game of all time, too many quirks and awkward bits here and there to say it’s perfection. And the combat is still a little jerky, and the “free roam” exploration aspect looks a little tired now.

But all that in mind, this is still the one of the only games to lose many weeks on many playthroughs. I gotta be honest, with my experience in Warcraft, this will be a most interesting series of playthroughs, and should be a solid guide.

How to Install Windows 7 From a USB Flash Drive
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
It took me about a day of messing around with Linux’s Easy Peasy OS, designed for the EEE netbook, to realize that I wanted anything but Easy Peasy. So I went on a Google search trying to figure out how to get Windows 7 on my netbook without springing for an external optical drive. The answer was obvious; I had to use a flash drive. Now, getting a computer to see a flash drive as a bootable source isn’t easy. You basically have to turn your flash drive into a hard drive with boot sectors, an exact replica of the original Windows CD or DVD. It sounds hard, and unless you know what you’re doing, it is. It took me hours of searching before I came across a forum that had instructions that worked. That’s what I’m sharing with you today.

The Problems with BioShock 2
Friday, February 12, 2010
Everyone has been anticipating the release of BioShock 2 ever since it was announced, and has been really hyped by the media. Many review websites gave it very high marks, like a 9.5 or 10 out of 10. While BioShock 2 is a very good game, I disagree with other critics that it is nearly perfect. Here are the glaring problems that others seem to be ignoring when rendering a verdict…

BioShock 2 Q&A With the Developers
Saturday, February 06, 2010
We recently had a chance to be part of a group discussion with the developers of Bioshock 2, who answered our questions about their highly anticipated shooter.

What was the biggest challenge in making Bioshock 2? It’s that Bioshock 1 was so well received (laughs). Had to build a team from scratch. Building out the team was mentally challenging, and going up against our own expectiations. It is odd and humbled to be working on a game that everyone is enthusiastic about.

ThermalTake 750W TR2 RX Power Supply Review
Friday, February 05, 2010
Ah, the heartbeat of the machine. The driving force that sends every pulse of electricity and every turn of the fan. The most important part of the computer and the most dangerous part are one. I’m talking about the power supply. Without it, every other part of your computer is just a bunch of silicon, wire, and metal sitting in a box. It must be reliable, it must be powerful, and it must look good. Well, that’s the consensus these days, isn’t it?


Thermaltake has tossed us another bone with the TR2 RX 750-Watt power supply. It looks great, its 750 watts strong, and today I’ll find out how reliable it is. Thermaltake doesn’t disappoint very often, and I have high hopes for this particular piece of hardware. I’m going to be testing it on my usual testing rig, a 2.9Ghz Athlon 64 X2 dual core with 2GB of 800Mhz RAM. I also have six 120mm case fans all running at once, two DVD-RW drives, two SATA HDDs , and an ATI 4870 video card. Normally, this setup would warrant at least a 500W power supply, so the TR2 should have no trouble keeping up.

OCZ Sabre OLED Gaming Keyboard Review
Thursday, February 04, 2010
Do you remember that complicated programs used to come with “keyboard overlays”. I remember the old WordPerfect function key overlays, which were really more of a reference-sheet than a quick guide. Complex games with lots of functions (like MMOs) had keyboard overlays, and some keyboards like the Z-board had custom skins for popular games. If you could change the key to be an icon then there would be no need to memorize which command corresponded to which key.

Entering the customizble keyboard scene is OCZ with their OLED Gaming keyboard. While it can’t change hard-coded letter keys, it does combine the best of both worlds by combining a standard gaming keyboard with a customizable OLED keypad. Using such a keypad allows you to dynamically update the key label on-the-fly depending on the application or game you’re running.

NitroX iConn+ Battery Case for iPhone Review
Wednesday, February 03, 2010
There are several battery packs available for the iPhone, all with their strengths and weaknesses. Some devices are “generic” and are meant to be used to charge any USB device, but these require one to carry the appropriate USB charge cable. Others are “emergency power” only and are very small and dangle precariously at the bottom of the iPhone. Most people don’t want to carry a bunch of extra gadgets and would prefer an integrated battery solution. NitroX agrees and have released their iConn Plus iPhone case with integrated battery power.

NitroX X835 Bluetooth Handsfree Kit Review
Tuesday, February 02, 2010
Cell phones are practically ubiquotous in today’s modern society. A natural response to new technology are laws to make that technology safer. Most people use their cell phone as an extension of their physical being, and as such talk and text in the car, which have caused many unnecessary accidents. It is not advisable to talk on the phone while driving at all, but if you must then a Bluetooth handsfree device is the way to go.

Bluetooth handsfree car kits have been around for a while. You would think they would have fairly straightforward features such as a good speakerphone, noise cancellation, caller ID, and overall intelligence, but many of them do not. Thankfully NitroX enters the fray and stands out from the crowd with their X835 handsfree kit.

5 Things To Make Final Fantasy XIII Not Suck
Monday, February 01, 2010
Face it: if Final Fantasy XIII suffers the same divide FFXII did, the series is over. It will go the way of Tomb Raider, Army Men, and whatever else, gradually being unsold and eventually canned. The secret’s out-people aren’t happy with Final Fantasy’s direction. Final Fantasy XIII is the series’ last shot if it doesn’t turn itself around.

It won’t be immediate, after XIII there will be more games, XIII very well could be the stab wound that causes the most bleeding.

Here are a list of items that need to happen to ensure the series doesn’t tank.

Slappa PSP Complete Hardbody Case
Saturday, January 16, 2010
If you’re serious about protecting your portable gaming investment, then you certainly need a quality case. There are many to be had, each with their pros and cons, but if you’re going to spend the money then why not get a good one that can hold everything?

The Slappa PSP Hardbody Complete Case isn’t just another PSP housing, but a complete system that can protect and organize your PSP, games, video cables, supply, and just about every other PSP accessory you can think of.

Slappa Black Wave 600 Hardbody CD Pro Case
Friday, January 15, 2010
If you didn’t know this was a CD case then you might mistake this case for overnight luggage. The case has rugged-looking black fabric and PVC accents stitched on the corners. The bottom of the case has rubberized PVC runners to allow it to sit upright and take scrapes. The bottom also features the same type of wheels used on inline skates, so they are very durable and provide a smooth ride. The top of the case has a 5-stage telescopic handle, so you can easily drag your media behind you instead of having to schlep its weight around.

GTA4: Ballad of Gay Tony Walkthrough
Friday, January 01, 2010
This game is brilliant because it messes with your own sexuality. Someone like me who no longer has any emotional reaction to the word “gay” could appreciate Rockstar’s effort. Throughout the game your character shows signs of clearly not being gay, but does appear to have a soft spot for his gay “business partner” that seems odd for an ex-con who kills for money. And then you have all the gay jabs that aren’t out of place for your character, and the game is very open about sexuality in many forms (even Princess Robot Bubblegum!).