Don't fall for Fallout 4

Subject: General Tech | September 9, 2015 - 03:54 PM |
Tagged: preorder, fallout 4, bethesda


It is that simple, if you want companies to stop offering supposedly magic beans to people who are willing to shell out money to an established corporation for a product that is still in development then do not preorder anything.  If a company has already broken even on a product they haven't even finished, do you really expect them to work as hard at polishing the final release when any copies sold after the release date are pure profit?

Not only that, this habit leads to worse habits such as offering the chance to pay $30 for DLC that doesn't exist for a game still in development.  That's right, if you toss another $30 at Bethesda right now then you will get a "Season Pass" for Fallout 4 which will contain $40 worth of DLC that even Bethesda doesn't have a clue as to what it will be.  Maybe Dogmeat will get a hat and your character can sport a merkin.  Seriously, as much as you may love the Fallout franchise, do not help to ruin it by giving Bethesda about $100 for a product which is not finished yet!  The news about modding tools which will be available which was shared with Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN is nice, hopefully that is not considered DLC.


“Since we’re still hard at work on the game, we don’t know what the actual DLC will be yet, but it will start coming early next year,” quoth Bethesda. I bet they have some idea, given Fallout 4 itself is surely deep in bug-splatting, QA, and certification at this point and there’ll be a whole load of devs hanging around needing things to do."

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Windows 10 for Enterprise gets a few new tricks

Subject: General Tech | September 9, 2015 - 01:31 PM |
Tagged: microsoft, windows 10, enterprise

In the very near future sysadmins pondering a Windows 10 roll-out will have a few new features to test.  Enterprise Data Protection offers protection against unintentional data leaks by encrypting files so that they can easily be encrypted for all but licensed programs, ensuring installed social media applications and the like can't get into places they really shouldn't be.  It also allows you to wipe those files remotely, leaving the rest of the machine intact which will be handy in shops that allow users to attach their own machines to the domain.  Microsoft Passport will be another identity manager tool, integrated directly into the OS and they will also be launching a separate Windows Store for Business catering to the needs of companies.  Check out more details by following the links at The Register.


"Microsoft says features of Windows 10 for enterprises that weren't available when the OS launched in July will begin rolling out this month."

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Source: The Register
Subject: General Tech
Manufacturer: Grado

Handcrafted in Brooklyn, NY

First impressions usually count for a lot, correct?  Well, my first impression of a Grado product was not all that positive.  I had a small LAN party at my house one night and I invited over the audio lead for Ritual Entertainment and got him set up on one of the test machines.  He pulled out a pair of Grado SR225 headphones and plugged them in.  I looked at them and thought, “Why does this audio guy have such terrible headphones?”  Just like most others that have looked at Grados the first time, I thought these were similar to a set of WWII headsets, and likely sounded about as good.  I offered my friend a more “gaming friendly” set of headphones.  He laughed at me and said no thanks.


The packaging is relatively bland as compared to other competing "high end" headphones. Grado has a reputation of under-promising, yet overperforming.

I of course asked him about his headphones that he was so enamored with and he told me a little bit about how good they actually were and that he was quite happy to game on them.  This of course got me quite interested in what exactly Grado had to offer.  Those “cheap looking” headphones are anything but cheap.  While the aesthetics can be debated, but what can’t be is that Grado makes a pretty great series of products.

Grado was founded by Joseph Grado in 1953.  Sadly, Joseph passed away this year.  Though he had been retired for some time, the company is still family owned and we are now seeing the 3rd generation of Grados getting involved in the day to day workings of the company.  The headquarters was actually the site of the family fruit business before Joseph decided to go into the audio industry.  They originally specialized in phonograph heads as well as other phono accessories, and it wasn’t until 1989 that Grado introduced their first headphones.  Headphones are not exactly a market where there are massive technological leaps, so it appears as though there has been around three distinct generations of headphone designs from Grado with the Prestige series.  The originals were introduced in the mid-90s then in the mid 2000s with the updated “i” series, and finally we have the latest “e” models that were released last year.

The company also offers five different lines of headphones that range from the $50 eGrado up to the $1700 PS1000E.  They also use a variety of materials from plastic, to metal, and finally the very famous wood based headphones.  In fact, they have a limited edition Grado Heritage run that was made from a maple tree cut down in Brooklyn very near to the workshop where Grado still handcrafts their headphones.


That townhouse in the middle? That is where the vast majority of Grado headphones are made. Not exactly what most expect considering the reputation of the Grado brand. (Photo courtesy of Jonathan Grado)

I was sent the latest SR225e models to take a listen to some time back.  I finally got to a place where I could just sit down and pen about my thoughts and experience with these headphones.

Click here to read the entire Grado SR225e review!

What went down at IFA 2015

Subject: General Tech | September 8, 2015 - 01:48 PM |
Tagged: IFA 2015, xperia, acer

Now that the show in Berlin has wrapped up The Inquirer talks about what they saw at the show, both good and bad.  For those with really good eyesight the Xperia Z5 series was shown off, including the Xperia Z5 Premium which has a 5.5" display at a 3840x2160 resolution and 806ppi pixel density.  Acer showed off their new SFF machines, the Acer Revo along with the Revo Build Series M1-601 modular case, designed so that pieces of the case can be added or removed as you add or subtract components from your machine.  Read more about those products and the interesting design of the conference centre it was hosted in here.


"As predicted, there were stacks of announcements from most of the world's biggest names in computer hardware at the show this time round, such as Sony, Lenovo, Intel and Samsung.

Here are The INQUIRER's picks of the best and worst at IFA 2015, in no particular order."

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Source: The Inquirer

Part 2 of iBookGuy's Oldschool Graphics Series

Subject: General Tech | September 7, 2015 - 07:01 AM |
Tagged: pc gaming

A few weeks ago, The iBookGuy published a video that explained how early computers struggled to draw information to their displays because they lacked enough RAM to hold a single frame buffer, even without application code. After highlighting the problem, he explained the Color Cells method of bypassing it, which breaks the screen up into eight-by-eight chunks that each can contain at most two colors (or four if you double horizontal pixels).

This video explains the Apple II and Atari 2600 graphics, which did color images a little different. Both systems operated on a single line at a time, rather than an eight-by-eight grid, although their specific methods were very different -- Apples and oranges if you will. The former was quite similar to Color Cells, except that it did seven (sub-)pixels in a single byte with an extra bit to allow for six possible colors. The Atari, on the other hand, didn't store a frame buffer at all. Instead, the CPU continually dumped the current scanned pixel to the monitor as it needed it, which seriously eats into game code time. He then mentioned CPU-driven graphics in the Commodore 64, which typically used the Color Cell method, but noted that basically no game used it because it wasn't worth the CPU time.


Image Credit: The iBookGuy

Apparently the next video in the series, whenever that will be, will deal with audio.

The real genius behind the official BB-8 you stood in line for

Subject: General Tech | September 4, 2015 - 03:06 PM |
Tagged: Star Wars, bb-8

The unofficial BB-8 toys that makers have been building were based off of the Sphero toy but as it turns out the officially released one is not.  As it turns out it was a team from Creature Animatronics who created the toy for Disney, a team recently talked about because of their large sized hexapod robot.  If you haven't picked one up yet you have at least heard about it in your travels on the net today and as it turns out we do not know all the tricks it will be capable of yet.  According to Disney they will release more features for the app that interfaces with the robot as the release of The Force Awakens gets closer.  Check out the links at Hack a Day for more information.


"As it turns out, it was actually built in Pinewood by the Creature Animatronics (CFX) team which includes [Matt Denton] — He’s the guy who built the Mantis Robot. A hacker / engineer — not a big toy company."

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Source: Hack a Day

PCPer Live! Logitech G Sponsored Racing Game Stream! Win a G29!

Subject: General Tech | September 3, 2015 - 07:46 PM |
Tagged: video, project cars, logitech g, logitech, live, G29, DiRT Rally

UPDATE: Did you miss the event? Sorry to hear that, but you can catch the fun and humor from our racing adventure right here:

Everyone once in a while we try to have fun around the PC Perspective offices, and tomorrow night is going to be one of them. The team is gearing up for racing simulation action, pitting me (Ryan) against the likes of Allyn and Josh in a handful of racing titles including Project Cars, DiRT Rally and maybe more. Even better? We hope to have YOU join us as well if you want to - we are working on setting up the correct lobbies and groups in Steam to make it happen. I'll have details on this page as we get closer to the appropriate time on how you can join us for some racing fun!

And if we are going to be racing and I am going to be embarrassing myself, why not live stream the whole thing as well to hang out with the loyal PC Perspective readers?!? So join, us won't you?


And what's a live stream without prizes? Two lucky live viewers will win a Logitech G29 Racing Wheel of their very own! That's right - all you have to do is tune in for the live stream tomorrow afternoon and you could win a G29 valued at $399!! (Be sure to read Allyn's review of the G29 right here!)


Logitech G Racing Live Stream and Giveaway

5pm PT / 8pm ET - September 3rd

PC Perspective Live! Page

Need a reminder? Join our live mailing list!

The event will take place Thursday, September 3rd at 5pm PT / 8pm ET at There you’ll be able to catch the live video stream as well as use our chat room to interact with the audience. To win the prizes you will have to be watching the live stream, with exact details of the methodology for handing out the goods coming at the time of the event.

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 us?

So join us! Set your calendar for this coming Thursday at 5pm PT / 8pm ET 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!

Podcast #365 - R9 Nano Preview, Tons of Skylake SKUs, Asynchronous Shaders and more!

Subject: General Tech | September 3, 2015 - 04:19 PM |
Tagged: Z170-A, video, skylake-u, Skylake, r9 nano, podcast, phanteks, Intel, ifa, g-sync, fury x, Fury, Fiji, dx12, async shaders, asus, amd

PC Perspective Podcast #365 - 09/03/2015

Join us this week as we discuss the R9 Nano Preview, Tons of Skylake SKUs, Asynchronous Shaders 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: - Share with your friends!

  • iTunes - Subscribe to the podcast directly through the iTunes Store
  • RSS - Subscribe through your regular RSS reader
  • MP3 - Direct download link to the MP3 file

Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Josh Walrath, Allyn Malventano and Sebastian Peak

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

Microsoft is a little fuzzy on what the word 'no' means

Subject: General Tech | September 2, 2015 - 06:37 PM |
Tagged: microsoft, KB3080149

It seems that not only aren't people leaping to Windows 10 and allowing Microsoft permission to collect their metadata but far too many who use Windows 7 or 8 are opting out of the program.  KB3080149 is a recent 'Update for customer experience and diagnostic telemetry' which will enable Microsoft to track your usage even though you explicitly opted out of the Customer Experience Improvement Programme.  At least the data sent is encrypted, little consolation for users as The Inquirer points out.


"MICROSOFT HAS BEGUN retrofitting some of the more controversial aspects of the new Windows 10 operating system to predecessors 7 and 8."

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Source: The Inquirer

Need to fake a signature? Perhaps you should try ThermalTake's new Posiedon keyboard

Subject: General Tech | September 1, 2015 - 07:18 PM |
Tagged: input, thermaltake, Poseidon Z Forged

At $100 the ThermalTake eSPORTs Poseidon Z Forged keyboard is a little less than most LED bearing mechanical keyboards.  It has 10 programmable keys, five to a side, which caused Techgage some consternation. but they did get used to the placement of the Enter key eventually.  The model they tested used Blue switches, Brown are also available if that happens to be your preference. The onboard DAC amplifier for S/PDIF headphones makes the keyboard an even better value compared to the competition, Techgage like how it performed but wonder if another lower cost version could be offered without the DAC.  Check out the full review here.


"Thermaltake was once known only for its chassis and cooling products, but over the years, the company’s branched out tremendously. Through its Tt eSPORTS brand, it caters to those who take their gaming seriously. On the test bench today is a perfect example of a “serious” gaming peripheral: the Poseidon Z Forged keyboard."

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Source: Techgage