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FEATURED VOXPOP shandog137 Background: I own and have completed every entry in the Ninja Storm series, so there is inherent bias but luckily this isn’t a review. These are just my thoughts on a fun series I chose to pick up after my Dragon Ball Z Budokai days. I am also only about 3 episodes behind in the...

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The Driving Force: The tale of a laptop and the idiot using it
Posted on Friday, October 12 2007 @ 05:37:48 Eastern

Note that this tale is slightly updated from the version I sent both joeblow and LinksOcarina.

It's funny how drivers can affect your computer.

I have a Toshiba Portégé 7200CT laptop. It's an old laptop, running Windows 98 effectively and reasonably. When I first got it a few years ago, it was pretty much set up for work stuff, not gaming stuff.

At that point, it ran 16 colors at 640x480 as the best resolution.

Now, I found that just fine. It ran (most) of the stuff I wanted it to run such as all those DOS games that have gone freeware, such as Bio-Menace and Major Stryker. Unfortunately, the other things I wanted it to run, such as UT99 and even DOOM II needed bigger and better resolutions, something the default drivers couldn't cope with.

So, I tried to update the drivers myself. Note the word 'tried'.

Following my 'attempt' at upgrading the drivers, the laptop pretty much stopped working. I had stuffed something up big-time and had to restore the damn thing to factory settings.

That's when I gave it to my older brother, the A+ certified computer technician.

When I got back the laptop, he had not only restored it to factory settings,  but had downloaded me some new drivers and stuff.

At this point, my Toshiba Protégé 7200CT's best resolution was 32-bit colors at 1024x768. I say 'best' even though I could get bigger resolutions at 16-bit colors, although the inbuilt monitor could only handle 1024x768, which was the biggest resolution it could handle at 32-bit.

I was impressed. So was my older brother. With these new drivers, he had
taken a laptop that couldn't even run DOOM II and made it capable of running UT99 and, more astonishingly, Command & Conquer Red Alert 2: Yuri's Revenge!

Things were looking good, until I figured that the laptop could use some more 'oomph'. Let's just say that I learnt the hard way why Windows 98 machines are not recommended for Vista-level DirectX.

Another factory-settings restart and I got back to pretty much back where I had started,
with a laptop running 16 colors at 640x480 resolution, and memories of a better time. In fact, it has been only recently that I've managed to find the correct video driver for the thing. Now I'm back to 32-bit colour at 1024x768 resolution.

It's still not the best gaming machine around, but that's mainly due to hardware reasons. The thing only has 32MB RAM, I think...

Still, I can't say I haven't learnt anything from this experience. I've learnt about how drivers can both enhance and screw up a computer's performance. I've also learnt that I'm almost entirely useless when it comes to getting new drivers.


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Adbots on the forums
Posted on Monday, September 3 2007 @ 03:59:26 Eastern

I think I speak for all of those who frequent the GR forums when I say I am sick of stupid adbots logging in and making those stupid advertising forum posts.

I've done some snooping, and I think the problem is the $250 Game Card contest.

Now, I'm not saying that the contest is stupid or anything. In fact, it's quite the opposite. I love the GR contests. I'm just saying that these adbots can use the registration section of the contest in order to create a forum presence and annoy us with all those ads.

If they included one of those 'Re-print the code that we've put distorted on the right' boxes, that'd sort the problem.

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Things are looking Grim...
Posted on Monday, August 6 2007 @ 06:21:23 Eastern

...but I mean that in a good way.

For those who read the forums, you'll know that I passed up a chance to buy the adventure game classic Grim Fandango in order to purchase Sam & Max Hit the Road.

Well, a couple of weeks back or so, I was in New Lynn, and I thought I'd drop by Gamesman in order to see what was in stock. Well, that and I wanted to see if they had any Bleach anime.

That was a fateful decision. For, they didn't have the Bleach volume I wanted, but they DID have Grim Fandango. Now, I have a copy of the noir-esque game for myself.

I would have told you about this sooner, but to be honest I couldn't be bothered. As compensation, I offer you the trailer of Grim Fandango, off of YouTube.

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Tyr-Rant-is: The right of Expansion
Posted on Monday, June 25 2007 @ 06:14:57 Eastern

I thought I'd make a small rant about the industry today in my blog. Every so often I'll make one of these when I get peeved enough at any particular aspect of a game, be it graphics-over-gameplay (which is like trading a candy bar for a pre-digested...   read more...

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The crisis at hand
Posted on Saturday, June 16 2007 @ 07:32:17 Eastern

As some of you already know, there's some malicious code spreading through the site right now. The code embeds itself into people's posts and sigs, and is capable of putting itself back if you take it out.

So, in the interests of the site,...   read more...

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The (not so) Awful Truth
Posted on Sunday, June 3 2007 @ 06:49:36 Eastern

OK, I thought I'd come clean about a few things here in my blog. These are things I haven't necessarily lied about in forums and such, but stuff I haven't been telling you about.

1. I am NOT one of the head people at Levels4You.com. I am o...   read more...

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People don't check their profiles often, do they?
Posted on Friday, June 1 2007 @ 07:05:19 Eastern

I sent a GR Comrade invite out ages ago to Lakerol, and more recently MattAY, and they still haven't accepted.

Now, this brings up a problem with the Comrades system. Only by checking ones profile can they see that they have an invite, and...   read more...

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Was that supposed to be hard?
Posted on Tuesday, May 29 2007 @ 02:41:15 Eastern

I've noticed that my Black Tactical FAQ is getting steady reads on it. It's so far the 3rd most read thing I've ever written for GR, behind my Timesplitters: Future Perfect review and this very blog!

I don't get it.

Seriously, I...   read more...

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Updating my rig part two: Um, I'm finished
Posted on Sunday, April 29 2007 @ 06:42:28 Eastern

Well, the new rig is apparently done. Here's what I have, according to the Xfire Gaming Rig Evaluator program.

Manufacturer: GBT___
Processor: AMD Athlon(tm) 64 X2 Dual Core Processor 3600+, MMX, 3DNow (2 CPUs), ~1.9GHz
Memory:...   read more...

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Updating my rig part one: Case & Motherboard
Posted on Saturday, April 28 2007 @ 01:17:21 Eastern

Not many of you will know this, but I've been having increasing difficulty using my Hell Dell as of late. My brother, the one who is servicing the thing, has decided that it is, in fact, a lost cause. The motherboard had to be replaced, the graphics ...   read more...

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