Subject: Editorial, General Tech, Systems | October 26, 2012 - 02:46 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: windows 8, video, system build, live
Today at 3pm EDT we are going to be doing a live stream of a system build and Windows 8 installation on our PC Perspective Live! page. Won't you come and join us?
UPDATE: Did you miss the event? Well then, we have you covered with the replay of the two and a half hour stream right here!
Sorry, no, I won't be doing it blindfolded this time...
If you are looking to learn how to build a PC, how the Windows 8 setup goes along with initial Windows 8 experiences, or just want to hang out during a lazy Friday, click on the link above or on the flashing radio tower to the left and join us!!
Windows RT: Runtime? Or Get Up and Run Time?
Update #1, 10/26/2012: Apparently it does not take long to see the first tremors of certification woes. A Windows developer by the name of Jeffrey Harmon allegedly wrestled with Microsoft certification support 6 times over 2 months because his app did not meet minimum standards. He was not given clear and specific reasons why -- apparently little more than copy/paste of the regulations he failed to achieve. Kind-of what to expect from a closed platform... right? Imagine if some nonsensical terms become mandated or other problems crop up?
Also, Microsoft has just said they will allow PEGI 18 games which would have received an ESRB M rating. Of course their regulations can and will change further over time... the point is the difference between a store refusing to carry versus banishing from the whole platform even for limited sharing. The necessity of uproars, especially so early on and so frequently, should be red flags for censorship to come. Could be for artistically-intentioned nudity or sexual themes. Could even be not about sex, language, and violence at all.
Last month, I suggested that the transition to Windows RT bares the same hurdles as transitioning to Linux. Many obstacles blocking our path, like Adobe and PC gaming, are considering Linux; the rest have good reason to follow.
This month we receive Windows RT and Microsoft’s attempt to shackle us to it: Windows 8.
To be clear: Microsoft has large incentives to banish the legacy of Windows. The way Windows 8 is structured reduces it to a benign tumorous growth atop Windows RT. The applications we love and the openness we adore are contained to an app.
I will explain how you should hate this -- after I explain why and support it with evidence.
Microsoft is currently in the rare state of sharp and aggressive focus to a vision. Do not misrepresent this as greed: it is not. Microsoft must face countless jokes about security and stability. Microsoft designed Windows with strong slants towards convenience over security.
That ideology faded early into the life of Windows XP. How Windows operates is fundamentally different. Windows machines are quite secure, architecturally. Con-artists are getting desperate. Recent attacks are almost exclusively based on fear and deception of the user. Common examples are fake anti-virus software or fraudulent call center phone calls. We all win when attackers get innovative: survival of the fittest implies death of the weakest.
Subject: Editorial, Storage | October 24, 2012 - 08:26 PM | Allyn Malventano
Tagged: hybrid, fusion drive, fusion, apple
Dubbed 'Fusion Drive', this tech enables the late 2012 Mac Mini and iMac models to have a pseudo-hybrid drive. There's been a lot of speculation today on just how this technology will work, but I've cut through the chaff to try and shed some proper light on just how this new thing works, and how it is so different than any other 'hybrid' solution out there.
First, it's not a hybrid drive. The iMac or Mac Mini comes with an SSD and a HDD. Two individual SATA devices. Both devices appear as individual drives, even in Disk Utility. Where the magic happens is that OSX can be configured (and is pre-configured in these new systems) to combine the two drives into one drive that presents itself to the user as a single logical volume. The important point is that the drives are 'fused' together, not merged or mirrored. The SSD and HDD each have their own partition, and OSX can reach beneath the Fusion layer and shift files back and forth between the two as it sees fit. Frequently used apps and files can be shifted back and forth between the SSD and HDD, as seen in the below pic:
The biggest differences are in that since it's not a mirrored hybrid solution, where the SSD space is not available, and a failure of the HDD causes loss of all data. Fusion Drive combines the two volumes and *adds* the space together, and the apps or files will sit on either device (but not both). All files written go to the SSD first and are later shifted to the HDD in the background. This is actually a very smart way to handle things. The entire OSX install always stays on the SSD, so there is no concern of OS files 'rolling off' of the SSD cache, causing intermittent slowdowns. More (perhaps most) importantly, if the HDD fails on a Fusion Drive setup, OSX should theoretically just keep on chugging, albeit without access to the files or apps that were stored on the HDD. On the flip side, if the SSD were to fail, the HDD could simply be mounted in Target Mode under another Mac, and all files stored to that drive could then be recovered. Sure you won't get everything back in these scenarios, but it provides *much* more flexibility for data recovery, and it's worth repeating the fact that an HDD failure in any other hybrid solution results in the loss of ALL data.
A couple of other quick gotchas: You can still dual boot with boot camp under a Fusion Drive setup, but the boot camp partition will only be at the end of the HDD, not on the SSD. Windows will not only run slower because it's on the spinning disk, it will run slower because the latter portions of a HDD typically see about half of the throughput as compared to the start of that disk. Also, you are only allowed *one* additional (non-Fusion) partition on the HDD, which can be used for another OSX install *or* for the Boot Camp Windows install. Users who prefer to boot greater than two operating systems on their newer Mac will have to do so with Fusion Drive disabled.
More to follow as more data comes in. For now I'm only working off of the other speculation and the Apple Support Page on the matter.
Subject: Editorial, General Tech, Mobile | October 22, 2012 - 06:22 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: asus, vivo tab rt, tegra 3, nvidia, video, live
If you happen to be free tomorrow afternoon and would like to be one of the first to see the upcoming ASUS Vivo Tab RT based on the Windows RT operating system and the NVIDIA Tegra 3 SoC, you should set your calendar for 12pm PDT / 3pm EDT and join me on the PC Perspective Live! page.
While we won't have any insight on our long term experiences with the device at that time tomorrow, you can see our initial impressions and anything/everything that occurrs with our intial setup and usage!
If you have questions or thoughts on the device that you want addressed during the live stream, you can leave them here in our comments or hang around in our chat room during the event as well. We want this to be interactive so your input is requested!
Again, that is 12pm PDT / 3pm EDT at the PC Perspective Live! page.
Subject: Editorial, Graphics Cards | October 20, 2012 - 12:33 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: hitman, amd, extravalanza, hitman: absolution, video
We are at the first AMD ExtravaLANza today getting some hands on time with some cool new hardware as well as new games like Far Cry 3, Tomb Raider and Hitman: Absolution. We attended a session with the Hitman developer IO Interactive where some interesting information about the DX11 features. I recorded a video of the presentation for those interested in seeing it in its entirety.
The brand new Glacier2 engine has some impressive new features including:
- DX11 hardware tessellation on character models
- A global illumination engine using light propagation volumes
- AA options including FXAA and MSAA 2x-8x
- Eyefinity and HD3D
There is more, but you can hear it all in the video above. IO Interactive wanted to assure PC gamers that they are developing the game to be a first class PC title with higher quality imaging, controls and texture detail; this doesn't look to be a standard console port.
Subject: Editorial | October 19, 2012 - 01:07 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: deals, deal of the day
Today Only! Klipsch Energy RC Micro 5.0 Home Theater System Bundle for $279.99 plus free shipping @ TigerDirect (normally $800 – use coupon code WEV73894).
17.3" Dell Inspiron 17R Special Edition 17.3" 1080p Core i7 "Ivy Bridge" Laptop for $949.99 with free shipping @ Dell (normally $1,138.99 – use coupon code J$WNJV54BQ3N4Q).
Dell Vostro 470 Core i7 Desktop w/ 8GB RAM, 1TB Hard Drive for $779.99 with Free Shipping @ Dell (normally $1,119.00 – use coupon code 909$K?5V4?C2LP).
Dell XPS 8500 Core i7 "Ivy Bridge" Desktop w/ 2TB Hard Drive for $699.99 with Free Shipping @ Dell (normally $1,119.00 – use coupon code V48PR?HP99J3D?).
OCZ Vertex Plus R2 2.5" SATA 3Gb/s 120GB SSD for $60 with shipping (normally $110 - Use this form).
Iomega Helium 500GB USB 2.0 Portable Hard Drive for $50 with free shipping @ NewEgg (normally $100 - Use coupon code EMCJNJB47).
VisionTek Radeon HD 7970 3GB GDDR5 Video Card for $360 with free shipping @ NewEgg (normally $450 - Use coupon code VISTEK).
Linksys EA6500 Smart Wireless-AC Dual-Band Gigabit Router for $194 with free shipping @ BuyDig (normally $220 - Use coupon code DigFallSave5).
Sharper Image Set of 2 Battling RC Choppers for $84.99 @ Sharper Image (normally $99.99 – use coupon codeENT2010).
Sharper Image App-Controlled Car for $74.99 @ Sharper Image (normally $89.99 – use coupon codeENT2010).
Subject: Editorial, General Tech | October 18, 2012 - 08:09 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: contest, video, giveaway, amd, llano, APU
In a self-serving attempt to increase awareness about the PC Perspective YouTube channel, we are running another contest where you can win one of four AMD Llano A8-3870K APUs simply by leaving a comment and being a subscriber.
That's right, there are two steps:
We'll pick our winners on October 24th! Good luck!
Subject: Editorial | October 18, 2012 - 01:00 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: deals, deal of the day
Crucial M4 2.5" 256GB SATA 6Gb/s SSD for $180 with free shipping@ TigerDirect (normally $250 - Use coupon code DigFallSave5).
EVGA GeForce GTX 550 Ti 1GB Memory Video Card for $90 with free shipping @ NewEgg (normally $135 - Use this form).
EVGA GeForce GTX 650 1GB GDDR5 Video Card for $99.99 with shipping @ TigerDirect (normally $110 - Use this form).
Cooler Master Elite 371 ATX Mid-Tower Case for $20 plus shipping @ TigerDirect (normally $45 - Use this form).
Sharper Image HD Camcorder Watch for $154.99 @ Sharper Image (normally $169.99 – use coupon codeENT2010).
Subject: Editorial | October 17, 2012 - 02:50 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: deals, deal of the day
Pre-order: Microsoft Windows 8 + $30 Amazon Credit for $69.99 @ Amazon (normally $199.99).
Dell Vostro 270s Core i5 Ivy Bridge Slim Tower Desktop for $529.00 with free shipping @ Dell (normally $849.00 - use coupon code W9D06J14FX10WM).
Intel 330 Series 2.5" 180GB SATA 6Gb/s SSD for $99.99 plus shipping @ TigerDirect (normally $170 - use this form).
Corsair Vengeance 2000 Wireless 7.1 Gaming Headset for $100 with free shipping @ NewEgg (normally $150 - Use coupon code EMCJNJD73 and Usethis form).
Sony MDRV55 DJ Style Headphones for $85 with free shipping @ Dell (normally $100 - Use coupon code 7BRL7?2ZDK?H4G).
Nike+ Fuelband for $149 plus free shipping @ Nike (normally $249).
Panasonic ES-RT51-S Wet/Dry Pivoting Head Shaver for $39.99 plus free shipping @ NewEgg (normally $79.99 – use coupon codeEMCJNJD222).
Subject: Editorial, General Tech | October 17, 2012 - 03:35 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: Minecraft, far cry 3, crossover
Ubisoft crafted an olive branch for their PC gaming fans, and Mojang’s fans too…
Far Cry 3 might be coming to North America in early December but Ubisoft thinks you might need something to tide you over until then. Of course, Assassin’s Creed III could have held us over if it were launching alongside its console brethren but - oh never mind. I guess I should cut Ubisoft some slack. They probably did not have a whole lot of Olive planks for the Olive branches. I mean they probably had to spend four on the crafting table alone and then there was that creeper so Ubisoft totally needed that wood sword.
Lost? Oh! Where are my manners?
In an effort to promote the release of Far Cry 3 for the PC - a simultaneous release with the other platforms - Ubisoft created a Minecraft mod team. The order: create a map in Minecraft themed like Far Cry 3.
Get my agent! I want to star in an Indie PC cross-over mod too! One with pigs!
Machine for Pigs? I’m having a hard time remembering that… but if you say it is popular…
The team consists of Michael Lambert with Axel Janssen and Yohann Delcourt providing texture work. Michael, known as Sacr3 to the Minecraft community, made a name for himself with his large city build, Novax. He replied to a comment on his World Trade Center video three months ago when confronted about his activity:
I'm working on something big right now, i'll get back to this map once i'm done my other project.
I would say so.
So I buried the lead long enough - what is the mod about? The environment is themed and textured based on the aesthetic of the game. Accompanying the custom map are a new set of weapons and tools with themes rooted in the game. You will be able to find Vaas, Citra, and the protagonist Jason all in Minecraft style along with 50 Easter Eggs. If anything it is an interesting tactic to draw brand recognition especially with such a PC-centric strategy. I am guessing Ubisoft knows where their brand has been tarnished most and especially wants to recover it with the Far Cry property. Well done Ubisoft.
The mod is expected to be released on October 26 at their official Far Cry website.