Microsoft Releases Windows 7 "Convenience" Roll-Up

Subject: General Tech | May 18, 2016 - 03:40 PM |
Tagged: microsoft, Windows 7, Windows 8.1

I know this sounds like yet another story where Microsoft attempts to ram Windows 10 down your throat, but it's not (apart from a potential interpretation of the last paragraph). It's been about six-and-a-half years since Windows 7 launched, and about five years since Service Pack 1. If you've attempted to install Windows 7 recently, then attempting to run Windows Update makes it painfully obvious how long that's been.

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Image Credit: Microsoft

Finally, Microsoft is making an official roll-up available. Better? It can be slipstreamed into install media, so you don't even need to go through that step with each reformat. This will not contain every possible update, though. Microsoft lists 23 patches that they excluded based on three conditions:

  • “They don't have broad applicability.”
  • “They introduce behavior changes.”
  • “They require additional user actions, such as making registry settings.”

They also excluded every update to Internet Explorer, which makes sense. Users can install Internet Explorer 11 and update it, or just uninstall it entirely if they want (after they download whatever browser(s) that they will actually use). While some of these excluded fixes will affect many users, it should be a much better experience than several hundred patches and a half-dozen reboots. It's probably better to let the user choose many of these optional updates by hand anyway.

At the same time, they also announced that “non-security updates” will be merged into a monthly roll-up for both Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 (and several versions of Windows Server). They're not too clear about how this will work, but it sounds like users will not be able to pick and choose parts of optional patches anymore. Given how many of these were attempts to, again, shove Windows 10 down our throats, that's a bit of a concern. However, I suspect that this is just so Microsoft can align its release structure to how it's done on Windows 10. It's probably just easier for them to manage.

Source: Microsoft

DOOM is back

Subject: General Tech | May 18, 2016 - 01:39 PM |
Tagged: gaming, doom

Most reviewers agree, the new DOOM is a callback to the old days of run and gun shooters, not the overly prevalent cover shooters of today.  The speed is the key to having fun, leaping up obstacles, chainsawing demons when you are low on ammo or simply putting your boot through them.  The shotgun comes early and does exactly what you want it to, or you can choose different favourites from the arsenal you are sure to accumulate.  Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN were hoping for a little more variation in the common demon types and the inevitable mod to enlarge the colour palette used in the game but are having a great time already.  Check out their first impressions here if you have yet to find the time to play.

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"It’s early doors of course, so anything I say below may well become incorrect depending on how things shake out later on. I also haven’t dabbled in multiplayer yet, but will go hang my hide out for an online beating a little later today. "

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Gaming

Simply FUD or a message from the Forced Upgrade Department?

Subject: General Tech | May 18, 2016 - 12:44 PM |
Tagged: Intel, microsoft, fud

DigiTimes has a doozy of a post title, stating that Intel plans to limit OS support on future processors starting with Kaby Lake and Apollo Lake CPUs.  Now this sounds horrible but you may be taking the word support out of context as it refers to the support that major customers require which leads to the so called errata (pdf example), not that the processors will be incapable of running any OS but Windows 10.  This may not matter so much to the average consumer but for industries and the scientific community this could result in huge costs as they would no longer be able to get fixes from Intel, unless they have upgraded to Windows 10.   That upgrade comes with its own costs, the monstrous amount of time it will take for compatibility testing, application updating and implementation; not to mention licensing fees.

AMD should take note of this, focus on continued legacy support and most importantly advertising that fact.  The price difference between choosing AMD over Intel could become even more compelling for these large customers and help refill AMD's coffers.

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"With Intel planning to have its next-generation processors support only Windows 10, industrial PC (IPC) players are concerned that the move will dramatically increase their costs and affect market demand, according to sources from IPC players."

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Tech Talk

Source: DigiTimes

PCPer Live! GeForce GTX 1080 Live Stream with Tom Petersen (Now with free cards!)

Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards | May 16, 2016 - 03:19 PM |
Tagged: video, tom petersen, pascal, nvidia, live, GTX 1080, gtx, GP104, geforce

Our review of the GeForce GTX 1080 is LIVE NOW, so be sure you check that out before today's live stream!!

Get yourself ready, it’s time for another GeForce GTX live stream hosted by PC Perspective’s Ryan Shrout and NVIDIA’s Tom Petersen. The general details about consumer Pascal and the GeForce GTX 1080 graphics card are already official and based on the traffic to our stories and the response on Twitter and YouTube, there is more than a little pent-up excitement. .

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On hand to talk about the new graphics card, answer questions about technologies in the GeForce family including Pascal, SLI, VR, Simultaneous Multi-Projection and more will be Tom Petersen, well known in our community. We have done quite a few awesome live steams with Tom in the past, check them out if you haven't already.

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NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Live Stream

10am PT / 1pm ET - May 17th

PC Perspective Live! Page

Need a reminder? Join our live mailing list!

The event will take place Tuesday, May 17th at 1pm ET / 10am PT at http://www.pcper.com/live. There you’ll be able to catch the live video stream as well as use our chat room to interact with the audience, asking questions for me and Tom to answer live. 

Tom has a history of being both informative and entertaining and these live streaming events are always full of fun and technical information that you can get literally nowhere else. Previous streams have produced news as well – including statements on support for Adaptive Sync, release dates for displays and first-ever demos of triple display G-Sync functionality. You never know what’s going to happen or what will be said!

UPDATE! UPDATE! UPDATE! This just in fellow gamers: Tom is going to be providing two GeForce GTX 1080 graphics cards to give away during the live stream! We won't be able to ship them until availability hits at the end of May, but two lucky viewers of the live stream will be able to get their paws on the fastest graphics card we have ever tested!! Make sure you are scheduled to be here on May 17th at 10am PT / 1pm ET!!

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Don't you want to win me??!?

If you have questions, please leave them in the comments below and we'll look through them just before the start of the live stream. Of course you'll be able to tweet us questions @pcper and we'll be keeping an eye on the IRC chat as well for more inquiries. What do you want to know and hear from Tom or I?

So join us! Set your calendar for this coming Tuesday at 1pm ET / 10am PT and be here at PC Perspective to catch it. If you are a forgetful type of person, sign up for the PC Perspective Live mailing list that we use exclusively to notify users of upcoming live streaming events including these types of specials and our regular live podcast. I promise, no spam will be had!

Curious how Google handles its Cloud? Meet Chromium OS

Subject: General Tech | May 16, 2016 - 03:12 PM |
Tagged: google, Chromium OS

Google has released a beta version of their Container-VM Image to those interested in how they manage their Cloud.  It is built to handle Docker and Kubernetes instances on the Google cloud, not for home usage on a small scale.  If you are curious about the competition for Amazon, Microsoft and other providers of Clouded services you should follow the links from the post on The Register for a look.  Be aware this is a beta, not all features are available and some of the ones which are may not be compatible with future updates but it is a great way to familiarize yourself with the inner lining of the Google Cloud Platform.

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"Google's decided the Chromium OS is its preferred operating system for running containers in its own cloud. And why wouldn't it – the company says it uses it for its own services."

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Tech Talk

Source: The Register

MSI's DS502; one order of gaming headset, hold the extras

Subject: General Tech | May 12, 2016 - 05:56 PM |
Tagged: msi, ds502, gaming headset, virtual 7.1, audio

MSI's DS502 seem great for the gamer on a budget who needs to play quietly but who would still like some style.  At $64 they do have some compromises such as 40mm drivers and a self adjusting headband but they also have the features you want such as plush earcups and virtual 7.1 surround sound.  Kitguru found them effective during gameplay and the mic, while not stellar was good enough for in game communications and did not need the input to be raised significantly to be audible.  If you are in need of a simple headset with controls that give you enough options to game and want to leave the fancy stuff to the audiophiles drop by for a look at the review.

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"Today we are taking a look at MSI’s brand new gaming headset, the DS502, boasting 7.1 surround sound, premium build and Hi-Fi level sound quality in a lightweight, ergonomically designed package. How does it hold up? "

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Audio Corner

Source: Kitguru

Podcast #399 - GTX 1080 Launch, UWP Updates, DOOM Vulkan Patch, Kaby Lake Leaks, ASUS ROG STRIX X99, and more!

Subject: General Tech | May 12, 2016 - 04:28 PM |
Tagged: podcast, video, GTX 1080, galax, founders, uwp, doom, vulkan, kaby lake, EKWB, rog strix x99

PC Perspective Podcast #399 - 05/11/2016

Join us this week as we discuss the GTX 1080 Launch, UWP Updates, DOOM Vulkan Patch, Kaby Lake Leaks, ASUS ROG STRIX X99, and more!

You can subscribe to us through iTunes and you can still access it directly through the RSS page HERE.

The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!

This episode of the PC Perspective Podcast is sponsored by Casper!

Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath, and Allyn Malventano

Program length: 1:03:21

  1. Week in Review:
  2. AD BREAK
  3. News items of interest:
  4. Hardware/Software Picks of the Week
    1. Allyn: Old retro gaming history from PlayValue
  5. Closing/outro

Subscribe to the PC Perspective YouTube Channel for more videos, reviews and podcasts!!

G.Skill has a different take on Cherry MX RGB, check out the Ripjaws KM780R

Subject: General Tech | May 12, 2016 - 03:40 PM |
Tagged: input, G.Skill, Ripjaws KM780R, gaming keyboard, Cherry MX, cherry mx rgb

G.Skill have joined the ranks of those who have released a Cherry MX RGB keyboard, you can choose between Red, Brown and Blue switches to accompany the light show. They chose an interesting set of caps, which float above the keyboard allowing more backlighting to show through but The Tech Report noticed that the caps feel like they are rubbing against something.  As the caps are replaceable this can be resolved if you do find it to be an issue, but you will lose some light and the keyboard will not be as easy to clean.  In addition to having audio jacks and a USB pass-through the optional software allows an immense amount of control over your lighting.  Drop by and see if this keyboard meets your needs.

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"Established RAM manufacturer G.Skill is branching into gaming peripherals of late. We've already examined the company's Ripjaws MX780 gaming mouse, and now we're looking at the KM780R gaming keyboard. Join us as we see whether this keyboard has what it takes to be a contender in the crowded gaming peripherals market."

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Tech Talk

Say it ain't so AMD; Polaris may not shine at Computex?

Subject: General Tech | May 12, 2016 - 01:56 PM |
Tagged: rumour, Polaris, computex, amd

There is a rumour floating around this morning and it is not good.  Guru of 3D translated a story over at Nordic Hardware which suggests AMD has stated they will not have any new working cards to show at Computex.  The only Polaris hardware they will have ready will be equivalent to the current R9 390 and 390X, albeit at a lower price point.  The rumoured problem is that the new flagship cards simply won't hit 850 MHz reliably, which in turn means high end GPUs are right out. 

This had better not be true or AMD may find themselves shoeless and GPU enthusiasts will be as disappointed as White Sox fans back in 1919, albeit for different reasons.  Those in the NVIDIA camp would do well to remember this has an effect on them as well; why would NVIDIA lower the price on those shiny new 1080's or 1070's when there is nothing in the market to compete with them? 

This is a rumour from an anonymous source at an AMD partner, so be sure to take it with a grain of salt and hope that it is completely unsubstantiated; or that a silicon-based miracle happens in the coming months if there is some substance to this.

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"Okay before I start on this news-item, I really need to state that this is based on a vague rumor, nothing has been confirmed or denied otherwise. Here's the story, some reports say Polaris 10 can't hit 850 MHz reliably and that availability will be pushed back to October. I sincerely hope the rumor is not true."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: Guru of 3D

Final Fantasy X and X-2 Confirmed for PC... Launches Today

Subject: General Tech | May 12, 2016 - 07:01 AM |
Tagged: square enix, final fantasy

Okay, so we're starting to get just about every main-line Final Fantasy title on the PC platform. They haven't always arrived in good condition, with Final Fantasy XIII having major user interface issues, which were mostly (but not entirely) patched, and Final Fantasy IX requiring the installation of a few Android plug-ins... on Windows. Still, many of them are classics and it's therefore good to have them on platforms that (barring current UWP discussions) encourage perpetual compatibility.

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As for its system requirements? They don't specify integrated GPUs, ie: Intel, but what they do list are what we would expect for a game that targets the Xbox 360 and PS3. If it comes from AMD or NVIDIA, and they are still releasing drivers for it, you should be fine. SquareEnix declares a minimum of either a AMD Radeon HD 2600XT or a NVIDIA GeForce 9600GT.

Check out the Steam page if you're concerned, though.

Excluding the spin-offs, the PC is now missing just the original Final Fantasy, Final Fantasy II, Final Fantasy XII, and the upcoming Final Fantasy XV. The rest have arrived on the PC in some form, be it a port of the original or one of their remasters. Still no word on any of those remaining four, though, but it seems like Square is just dropping games onto Steam with a few days of notice now.

Oddly enough, no price is listed (at least in Canada). No idea why.