Subject: Editorial | October 11, 2012 - 02:53 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: deals, deal of the day
Linksys App-Enabled Wireless N600 Dual-Band Gigabit Router Refurbished (EA2700) for $42.74 with Free Shipping@ Cisco (normally $120 - use coupon code HSDISH5).
14" Dell Alienware m14x r2 Core i7 Ivy Bridge Gaming Laptop for $1,049.00 with free shipping @ Dell (normally $1,100.00 - use $50 coupon code 9Q057LWVMPGG41).
Alienware X51 Core i7 "Ivy Bridge" mini Gaming PC w/ 2TB Hard Drive, GeForce GTX 555 for $1,049.00 with free shipping @ Dell (normally $1,200.00 - use $50 coupon code 9Q057LWVMPGG41).
Dell Inspiron 660s Dual-core Slim Tower w/ Logitech MK550 Wireless Keyboard + Mouse for $336.75 with free shipping @ Dell (normally $449.00 - use 25% coupon code ?$QNC1?HSKNR9F).
Corsair Force Series 3 240GB SSD for $140 with free shipping @ NewEgg (normally $200 - Use this form).
Antec Nine Hundred Two V3 Black Steel Computer Case for $70 with free shipping @ NewEgg (normally $120 - Use coupon code EMCYTZT2330 and Use this form).
XFX Radeon HD 7850 2GB Video Card + Free PC Game for $142 with free shipping @ NewEgg (normally $180 - Use coupon code HARDOCP1X1XC and Use this form)..
Red Beam Laser Pointer Keychain for $0.99 plus free shipping @ Meritline (normally $2.99 – use coupon codeMLCK110RNL1).
Logitech H800 Wireless Headset for $30 plus shipping @ TigerDirect (normally $100 - Use this form).
Subject: Editorial | October 10, 2012 - 02:45 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: deals, deal of the day
Intel 520 Series 2.5" SATA III 240GB SSD for $169.99 with Free Shipping@ TigerDirect (normally $240 - use $30 mail-in rebate).
15.6" Asus A54C-TB91 Pentium Dual-Core Laptop for $349.99 @ TigerDirect (normally $369.99).
14" Dell Inspiron 14z Core i7 Ivy Bridge Ultrabook w/ 8GB RAM, 32GB SSD for $897.74 with free shipping @ Dell (normally $1,188.99 - use 25% coupon code ?$QNC1?HSKNR9F).
HP ENVY 17t-3200 3D 1080p Core i7 "Ivy Bridge" Quad-core Laptop w/ Blu-ray for $1,049.99 with free shipping @ HP (normally $1,849.99 - use $50 coupon code SAVE50LOGIC).
D-Link DIR-615 Wireless-N Router for $30 with free shipping @ NewEgg (normally $60 - Use coupon code EMCJNNF39).
50" Toshiba 50L2200 1080p LED HDTV for $674.00 with free shipping @ Beach Camera(normally $1000 - Use coupon code BCSurfnSave25).
60" Panasonic Viera TC-P60U50 1080p 600Hz Plasma HDTV for $898 @ Walmart (normally $1,200).
Yamaha RX-V373BL Digital A/V Receiver + Sony SAVS310 5.1 Speaker Package Bundle for $259.99 with free shipping @ TigerDirect (normally $559 - Use $100 mail-in rebate).
RoboCop Trilogy Blu-ray for $21.49 @ Amazon (normally $59.99).
Subject: Editorial | October 9, 2012 - 12:56 PM | PCPer Staff
Tagged: deals, deal of the day
15.6" Asus A54C-TB31 Core i3 Laptop for $379.99 with $8.96 shipping @ CompUSA (normally $449.99).
13.3" Dell Inspiron 13z Core i5 Ivy Bridge Laptop for $629.24 with free shipping @ Dell (normally $838.99 - use 25% coupon code ?$QNC1?HSKNR9F).
24" LG 5ms HDMI LED-Backlit Monitor (E2442V-BN) for $179.99 with free shipping @ NewEgg (normally $249.99 - use $20 coupon code EMCJNNA28).
Linksys E2500 Simultaneous Dual-Band Wireless-N Router (refurbished) for $33.24 with free shipping @ Cisco (normally $89.99 - use coupon code: HSDISH5).
Linksys WET610N Wireless-N Ethernet Bridge with Dual-Band for $56.99 with free shipping @ Cisco (normally $89.99 - use coupon code: HSDISH5).
46" Samsung UN46EH5300 1080p 120Hz LED HDTV + $150 Gift Card for $799.99 with free shipping @ Dell(normally $880 with no gift card).
Jamo S426HCS3 5pcs Home Theater Speaker System for $249 with free shipping @ TigerDirect (normally $500 - use coupon code FXQ72652).
Sharper Image Pocket Breathalyzer for $79.99 plus free shipping@ Sharper Image (normally $99.99 – use with coupon code AFFRSHP for free shipping).
Choken Bako Coin Eating Dog Piggy Bank for $9.99 plus free shipping @ Meritline (normally $14.99 – use coupon code MLCK108PNL1).
RoboCop Trilogy Blu-ray for $21.49 @ Amazon (normally $59.99).
Subject: Editorial, General Tech | October 1, 2012 - 01:36 PM | Chris Barbere
Tagged: editorial, ea, battlefield 3
You know, I used to love Electronic Arts. There was a time in my younger days where seeing their name emblazoned on a PC game box as I wandered the aisles of Electronics Boutique was all I needed to see to buy it. I can still remember the scrolling colors through the big "E C A" on my Commodore 64 as I anxiously waited for Bards Tale or Racing Destruction set to load. Ah...the good old days.
Sadly, that warm and fuzzy feeling is long gone, and over the years I've come to dislike just about everything about EA and what they've become. My most recent foray into the mess that is EA has killed any nostalgia I had for them. Let's walk through the fun.
I love the BattleField series of games, and have been an avid fan of them ever since the days of BF 1942. Some of my best memories of LAN parties were BF 1942. Whether it was driving like mad in a Jeep from one end of Wake Island to the other to try to stop a flag capture, or jumping into a T-34 in Kursk, it was about as much fun as I can recall having with a video game. Over the years I've picked up most of the BF incarnations and when Battlefield 3 came out, I picked up a copy on release day for my XBox. I generally like playing games on PC's over consoles, especially First Person Shooters, but I had a few friends that were playing on XBox and we all wanted to jump in and play together. Even though I'm awful using the controller to play, we had a blast, but after a few months we stopped playing.
Fast forward to the other day and the PcPer crew decides they want to play BF3 after the recent podcast. I definitely can't pass up the option to get in on some Battlefield goodness, so even though I've already forked over $60 for the game and another $20 for the first expansion pack to EA on my XBox, I'm stuck with having to buy another copy of the game, just so I can play on a different platform. Off to Amazon and another $35 funnels into EA's coffers. Two hours and a 10 GB download later the install starts and up comes...
Ugh...Origin...really? I can understand why EA wants its own online game distribution system, but c'mon! I already have a ton of games through Steam and everything works without a hitch. Origin is a mess and I've had nothing but problems with it in the past. I dislike using it so much that I won't buy a game if I know I have to install and use Origin to play.
But I digress. I've already thrown another $35 at EA and we're going to play tonight, so I guess I'll just deal with it. Hoping to fire it up and get my keybindings setup and a little bit of practice in I double click on the BF3 icon and a browser window opens. What in the heck? A browser? Where's the game? I close the browser figuring something is wrong, double click on the game icon again and up pops the browser. Jeezalou. I struggle for a few minutes trying to remember my ID and password for EA's site and when I finally do get in I'm looking at my stats page for my soldier. My soldier on the XBox. Clicking through the menus I vainly try to find a button that will let me launch the game when I notice a little drop down arrow under my Soldier name that says "BF3 XBOX". Click on that and there's "BF3 PC". Seriously? I have to start over and lose all my unlocks? My google-fu finds that there's no way to merge the two, because apparently EA doesn't understand the concept of a shared database.
Regardless, I eventually find a button labeled "Quick Match" and here we go...
Holy batsnots, seriously? In this day and age, I can't play a AAA title video game on my PC because my default browser is 64-bit? Good lord! I really don't want to change my default browser just to play this game, so I end up having to fire up a 32 bit version of Internet Explorer, copy and paste the link into that just so I can try to launch the game. Error message doesn't pop up, but now I apparently need a few plugins. At this point I had to replace my keyboard as the head bashing knocked a few keys off. Once I get all the plugins installed I click on the "Quick Match" button again and...
Subject: Editorial, General Tech, Systems, Mobile | September 29, 2012 - 11:33 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: Windows Store, windows 8, censorship
And by the way -- Windows Store will censor apps. More on that later.
So around the same time as my future of Windows editorial became published PC Mag published a related piece: Notch from Mojang outrages over certification for Windows Store. Mojang voiced his concerns for the platform and its attempts to “ruin the PC as an open platform.”
I have, and continue to, claim that Microsoft appears to want to close the Windows platform in a near-future revision of the platform. Once there is enough software available through Windows Update and Windows Store it seems highly likely that Microsoft will remove all other ways on to your device -- as they have done with Windows RT. The concept of a cross-device, controlled, and secure platform is just too tempting.
Loyal, but not stupid.
But backwards compatibility is not the only concern with going metro. Everything must be certified.
Indeed - as of the latest July 2012 certification requirements for Windows Store - Microsoft will predictably be censoring applications just as they do with the Xbox. Section 5.8 and 6.2 of the aforementioned certification requirements clearly state: applications must not contain excess or gratuitous profanity and applications must also not contain adult content. Of course this is aimed squarely at the various niches of adult
graphic novels (correction: I apparently meant visual novels, not graphic novels - but I'm sure those would not be let on the Windows Store either) and similarly themed interactive content and the message is clear: get out and stay out.
I can think of a couple of countries where that will not fly.
To be fair Microsoft has addressed the issue in the very same section with the following clause:
We understand that in some cases, apps provide a gateway to retail content, user generated content, or web based content. We classify those apps as either Storefront apps, whose primary function is to aggregate and sell third party media or apps, or Streaming apps, whose primary function is to aggregate and stream web-based images, music, video or other media content. In some cases, it may be acceptable for a Storefront or Streaming app to include some content that might otherwise be prohibited in a single purpose app.
The clause functionally means: “Yeah we know web browsers cannot prevent themselves from surfing to the wrong side of the internet’s metaphorical tracks. This is not an excuse to ban them.” It also does not limit the censorship that Microsoft is clearly imposing.
And frankly the issue is not even with adult content; the issue is with the certification itself. We are at a point where Microsoft seems to want us to accept and migrate to their closed platform where everything is certified.
But what if future certification seriously limits or disables 3rd party modifications to software like attempted with Games for Windows Live? What if Microsoft decides to charge developers tens of thousands of dollars just to certify a patch? These are all serious issues to think about.
While you are thinking - consider a plan to simply ditch the Windows platform altogether and go with an open platform we can actually trust.
Or: the countdown to a fresh Start.
Over time – and not necessarily much of it – usage of a platform can become a marriage. I trusted Windows, nee MS-DOS, guardianship over all of my precious applications which depend upon it. Chances are you too have trusted Microsoft or a similar proprietary platform holder to provide a household for your content.
It is time for a custody hearing.
These are the reasons why I still use Windows – and who could profit as home wreckers.
1st Reason – Games
The most obvious leading topic.
Computer games have been dominated by Windows for quite some time now. When you find a PC game at retail or online you will find either a Windows trademark or the occasional half-eaten fruit somewhere on the page or packaging.
One of the leading reasons for the success of the PC platform is the culture of backwards compatibility. Though the platform has been rumored dead ad-infinitum it still exists – surrounded by a wasteland of old deprecated consoles. I still play games from past decades on their original platform.
Subject: Editorial | September 17, 2012 - 06:32 PM | Josh Walrath
Tagged: ssd, Ryan Peterson, ocz, CMO, CEO, Alex Mei
OCZ started in a strip mall making heatsinks and fans in 2002. Not exactly an auspicious beginning to a company that now is a dominant force in the SSD industry. The guy that has helped the company make the massive jumps it has is Ryan Peterson. Today OCZ has announced his resignation. Alex Mei, current CMO (chief marketing officer) is taking over as interim CEO until a replacement can be found.
It is hard to believe that just 10 years ago OCZ sprang into existence. A few quick exposes from other tech sites revealed a small company that was situated in a strip mall. Back in those years there was some questionable marketing tactics that the company used to present themselves as a much larger organization than they actually were (their website showed large, modern buildings and automated memory manufacturing equipment- neither of which the company had). Through perseverance, decent technical support, and some really interesting products at a time where enthusiast style memory was starting to grow, the company thrived and expanded.
The memory market has softened, and seemingly OCZ was well aware of where the market was going. They transitioned from being a memory company to a full blown SSD manufacturer. Along the way they picked up Indilinx and are now finally starting to produce their first custom silicon. The company continued to grow, and at the head of it all was Ryan Peterson. Often known as a polarizing figure, he nonetheless helped to lead OCZ into a position of significance and authority when it came to SSD technology.
It seems that the recent downturn in the company’s profits, and the seeming failure of the sale to Seagate of the company, Ryan submitted his resignation and the board of OCZ accepted it. Not much else is included in the release, other than thanking Ryan for his dedication to the company and wishing him and his family the best of luck.
This must be a hard day for Ryan, as he was truly a driving force in taking OCZ from the strip mall to the high rise. Change is inevitable though, and rarely do we see CEO’s like AMD’s Jerry Sanders last for decades at the helm of a company. The market is changing, and perhaps OCZ needs a new vision. Still, OCZ is now synonymous with the growing SSD market, and their acquisition of Indilinx allows them some flexibility and differentiation in what is now a very crowded area. Their introduction of inexpensive “server” style PCI-E SSD devices was another milestone, and it provided an inexpensive (and powerful) solution that competed well with other much more costly products from companies such as FusionIO.
It will be very interesting to see where the company goes, but we wish Ryan the best of luck.
Subject: Editorial, Graphics Cards | September 17, 2012 - 02:23 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: pcper, nvidia, live, giveaway, contest, borderlands 2
I hope your day is going to be free tomorrow - we have some big stuff planned! In cooperation with NVIDIA, Gearbox and PC Perspective, we'll be hosting a multi-hour live streaming launch party for Borderlands 2! We'll be going over some of the unique PC-exclusive features, showing off gameplay in the crazy co-op mode and we'll have some giveaways for viewers as well including a pair of Zotac GeForce GTX 660 Ti cards!
Tomorrow, Sept 18th, from 4pm ET until at least 8pm ET, staff from PC Perspective and NVIDIA will be using our PC Perspective Live! channel to discuss and show off the new "shoot and loot" title from Gearbox.
Come join us to see Borderlands 2 in action, hang out with PC Perspective and NVIDIA reps and enter for a chance to win one of two Zotac GeForce GTX 660 Ti cards!
Be sure to set your calendars and join us for the Borderlands 2 launch live streaming celebration!!
- PC Perspective Live! channel - pcper.com/live
- Start time: 4pm ET / 1pm PT
Subject: Editorial, General Tech | September 11, 2012 - 02:54 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: Amnesia, piracy, DRM
Frictional Games, the developers behind the Penumbra and Amnesia franchises, commented on the two years since the release of The Dark Descent through their company blog. Frictional has finally released the development budget for Amnesia which rings in at just $360,000 USD which is less than a tenth of their revenue. They also have not even thought about piracy in over a year: they are paid in sales not piracy figures – and paid they have been.
It is so nice when common sense prevails.
As I have discussed in my “Video Games Do Not Want to Be Art?” column, there are some developer-publishers who find their content intrinsically valuable and aim for long-term steady sales. Frictional Games appears to be one of those companies. Amnesia: The Dark Descent is possibly the most terrifying game in existence without compromising on their highly engaging story.
They also have not even thought about – let alone get frightened of – piracy in over a year.
Or maybe after making Amnesia these Swedes are not scared by anything lurking in shadows.
There is room for both blockbuster titles as well as enduring content with intrinsic value. Over the course of the last two years Amnesia has sold just shy of 1.4 million units. Amnesia currently – 2 years after its release – sees a steady 10,000 units sold each month excluding bumps in sales due to discounts. This revenue is over ten-fold larger than the $360,000 development budget.
The developer kept the topic of piracy brief with a simple statement:
It has been over a year since we even thought about piracy. With sales as good as above we cannot really see this as an issue worth more than two lines in this post, so screw it.
That is literally all that has been written about piracy.
Whenever I discuss piracy I feel the need to preface my statements with, “The solution is not to condone piracy.” I do not condone piracy nor has Frictional Games. If you wish to acquire a game – pay for it. If you do not wish to acquire a game – ignore it. Still, from the developer or publisher’s point of view, do not concern yourselves with piracy figures. Piracy figures are horrifically inaccurate and – most importantly – not a measurement that pays you one way or the other.
Worry about what will increase your sales – such as adding mod tools or design to sell your product indefinitely – because that will be what puts the roof over your head.
If you lose customers because of your paranoia – companies like Frictional will be there. Good on them.
Subject: Editorial, General Tech, Processors | September 11, 2012 - 11:52 AM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: Intel, idf, idf 2012, keynote
The Intel Developer Forum is one of the best places in the world to get information and insight on the future of technology directly from those that creat it. Join me as I live blog (Wi-Fi connection dependent as always!) the keynotes from all three days at http://pcper.com/live!!
Be sure to stop by our PC Perspective Live page at 9am PT on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday!!