* Posts by KB

13 publicly visible posts • joined 16 Sep 2008

Windows 7 — It’s like Vista, only less annoying


Reason to upgrade?

I had Vista foisted on my with the purchase of a new PC - but you know what? After I got used to where everything was (and after SP1 sorted out some of the bugs like file moving inexplicably hanging) I have actually grown to quite like it.

The UAC nagging is the only remaining annoyance; otherwise it's reliable, stable, fast (on a Quad-core Q6600; 3GB RAM - nothing special) and good to look at. All my old peripherals from my previous XP machine worked fine so maybe I was lucky, but still - no complaints.

With 7 looking to put Vista into an early grave (and I understand why MS need to do this for business reasons) I'm faced with the decision of whether to upgrade or just stick with Vista until I next come to replace (or do a major upgrade) on my PC, by which time Windows 8 will probably be on the horizon.

I've no use for the touch functionality; Libraries sound pointless for anyone who actually stores their files sensibly in the first place; I don't like the idea of the new taskbar (I've never let windows 'stack' open instances of the same app - give me a separate tab for each so I can see what I'm doing) and alt-tab in Vista is fine for task switching...

So yeah, if this was a free Service Pack for Vista I wouldn't object to it, but I can't see any reason to spend money on it if you're already a Vista user.

Family-friendly gaming site launches


£25 a year - oh dear

Charging £25 for access to a start up website catering for a non-core sub-set of the gaming market? They've got no chance.

Sadly I think "family" gamers' apathy towards online gaming news and reviews outweighs even their stupidity - and you'd have to be very, very stupid to pay £25 for access to information that is freely available from countless other commercial websites for absolutely nothing.

Okay, IGN, Gamespot and Eurogamer might cater more for the core gamer market, but at least they have the good business sense to use advertising and other business ventures cover their costs.

I predict this site will fold before 2009 is out.

Businesses will postpone Windows 7 rollouts


What's actually new about this?

As far as I can see - not much.

Every business I've ever worked for has been deliberately slow to adopt new operating systems. It was the same going from NT4 to 2000 to XP. I don't think the reluctance to embrace Win7 the moment Microsoft ship it out of the door has anything to do with Vista's perceived failures.

In fact, I expect Win7 will bring with it all the same compatibility problems that Vista did - it's just that we're now two and a bit years further down the line and most of the hardware drivers have had a chance to catch up. If anyone is still running legacy software or hardware that has to have XP, Windows 7 isn't going to be the answer to their problems.

I don't really buy into the user-retraining argument either. Vista isn't that different to XP from your average user's point of view. Programs still load in the same way (double-click / Start - click) and the start menu is still where you expect it to be. The real culture shock will come when people are forced to leave Office 2003 behind. (For the record, I think Office 2007 is much improved, but I do occasionally still miss my drop-down menus!)

The main reason migration will be slow, though, is surely that Windows XP continues to be good enough for most businesses whose users just need to run Office (2003) and IE.

Microsoft SKUs Windows 7 clarity


@Herby / XP SP4

Joking aside, that's actually a very good idea.

Microsoft really just need two versions of Windows 7 - Home and Professional.

Home should cater for "working from home" people as well as the traditional "family" PC; Professional should be the all-in complete package by default but provide appropraite tools so that IT dept can switch certain modules on and off as they (or their users) so desire.

With those two bases covered, I do accept that Microsoft needs to do something to cater for the netbook market and older / cheaper PCs that can't handle Aero etc. And the simple answer is to continue to offer XP.

Yes, you'll still get the nay-sayers who will insist they want to stick with XP till the end of time, but frankly, Microsoft isn't going to persuade them to upgrade just by offering 6 SKUs, so it's hard to see how this confusing state of affairs is really going to help.

Asus ENGTX285 TOP overclocked graphics card


Is there any need for this much power?

My Q6600 / 2 x 8800GT 512MB SLI box is coming up to a year old now and I'm still playing pretty much everything with all the settings maxed.

Even Crysis worked very well indeed (30+ fps) with everything on Very High, albeit at 1280 x 1024 resolution. I just knocked it down to 1024 x 768 for the final boss.

Thing is, a 8800GT SLI setup costs a fraction of one of these cards and yet it really isn't that far behind when it comes to real life gaming. My point is, it really doesn't have to cost the earth to be able to play the latest PC games and whilst I do have a PS3 as well as my gaming PC, I wouldn't want to be without either. WipEout isn't really comparable to Crysis, is it?

In the ditch with DAB radio


In-car DAB

I am one of the few (apparently) that does have an in-car DAB radio, although if I'm honest, I specified it because I wanted the 6-CD autochanger and much improved amplifier and speaker system that the particular stereo system offered, rather than any interest in DAB.

It is nice to be able to switch quickly between radio stations without relying on auto-search or my own knowledge of the FM frequency I'm looking for, but beyond that, the best thing I can say about it is I haven't really noticed the difference between DAB and FM. The autochanger and amp/speakers were worth the extra cash - but unless DAB is part of the package, I wouldn't bother with it again.

Texas cop tasers himself


Fail as a noun


This is just "fail" used as a noun rather than a verb. As in "without fail" or "fail-safe". You might also have heard people talk about getting "a fail" in an exam.

It's not new - it's just something that's become a bit of an internet meme recently.

Demand for consoles, add-ons skyrockets as PC games plunge


PC gaming really isn't that hard

I've been a PC gamer and console gamer for years. Right now I've got a Wii, PS3 and a decent gaming PC and there's a place for all of them.

But I don't buy into the idea that the PC is somehow more expensive or difficult to play games with than the others. Yes, the inital hardware outlay is greater, but I just rationalise that with the fact I'm also buying a machine for work, photo sorting, video editing, managing my music collection, web browsing... worth an extra couple of hundred quid on the price of a PS3, no?

And as for graphics cards, there really is no need to upgrade that often. In the last 8-9 years or so I've had a Geforce 3 Ti 200; Geforce 6600GT and now I've got a pair of 8800GT cards that are more than enough to run any game I want to play on my PC. I might buy something better if I was buying now, but there's no real benefit to be had from constantly upgrading. And whilst I maybe can't run Crysis with all the settings totally maxed out, it still looks better than anything on a console.

The real benefit comes from the price of the games - buying say 7 games a year on the PC instead of a console could save you over £100. £100 a year over the expected 6 year term of a console generation = £600 saved.

Which is plenty to put towards a new gaming PC when yours is truly obsolete.

Windows 7 early promise: Passes the Vista test


Vista is okay

I'm another Vista fan. Well, not exactly "fan", but it's a perfectly good operating system to use.

I suspect part of my acceptance is just that I bought a new PC with Vista pre-installed, so everything just worked out of the box. I've had no driver problems to speak of - my existing printer and scanner worked fine - and since SP1 cleared up the file copying problem, everything has functioned as it should.

The sole exception to my appreciation of Vista is UAC - it really shouldn't be necessary to nag the user quite so often in the course of "normal" use of the PC. Fine, if I'm installing new hardware or updating drivers but I don't need my operating system to check with me repeatedly whether I really, really meant to do something every time I install or run a new program as administrator.

Bioshock sequel teaser trailer now showing

Thumb Up

Looking forward to this

Bioshock was a great game. Played it on my Vista PC and had no problems whatsoever.

The atmosphere, setting and artwork of the game is simply stunning and the way the story builds up to <i>that</i> revelation is superb. It's true, the last couple of levels lack the same sense of pace as the earlier stuff, and the closing level and boss battle were probably the weakest part of the game, but it's still a great shooter in one of the best game worlds ever realised.

Sequel or prequel I don't mind, but I'm looking forward to revisiting that game world again.

Next Windows name unveiled: Windows 7

Gates Halo

What about Vista users?

Who cares about the name - are Microsoft going to give those of us who have made the jump to Vista (with the sole exception of UAC being a *bit* annoying, it really isn't that bad you know) a nice cheap way of upgrading to 7 or do we have to pay full price like the XP-loving refuseniks?

Sony exec pours cold water on PS3 price-cut hopes


Value for money

I agree with the AC's first post - the PS3 really is good value - it's fairly easy to find retailer-led promotions that bundle a game or two with the console for £300 or a little over that, plus you get free online play and (arguably) one of the best blu-ray players on the market into the bargain.

Thing is, the Xbox 360 Premium (not so much the Arcade or Elite) is an absolute steal at £170 if you're someone who's only looking to get into HD gaming and doesn't mind paying extra for online and isn't fussed about blu-ray.

Sony stated months ago that their main focus was turning a profit on the PS3 business; not grabbing market share at all costs. Various execs have also been very clear that they wouldn't be cutting the cost after the 80GB model was introduced. It's nice to see them (so far) sticking to their word on that, and not being pressured by the press reports and analysts into making early cuts.

MS confirms European Xbox 360 price cuts


Of course it's good news

Surely any price cut is good news for consumers? Of course it is.

For Microsoft, they obviously figure that selling more at a lesser margin is going to be better for their long term business. That doesn't mean it's failing.

For the record, I've got a PS3, Wii, DS and a decent gaming PC - I have no intention of buying an Xbox 360 ever, but that doesn't stop me welcoming the competition it presents to the consoles I have got.