Wednesday, so close, yet so far away from the weekend.  To help those mid-week struggles, why not take a tour of the happenings in the world personal computing and games.  Today we have a case modders toolkit guide, the best Chrome extensions, the Rezzed UK PC games festival, a HTPC builders guide, a choose your interview adventure plus much more.

PC Hardware/Software

Is Windows 8 Worth $15 To New PC Owners? – Tom’s Hardware

For mere pocket change, you can reserve a copy of the fancy new OS, which will be a modern version of the Windows 95 concept from 1994. Of course, it’s a matter of perception whether $15 is a great offer or not. There is no doubt, though, that it is another brilliant marketing and sales strategy.

The Ultimate Case Modders Toolkit – Maximum PC

If you’re in the habit of giving credence to tired clichés, you’re probably aware that a good chef never blames a mistake on his tools. That’s not quite true when it comes to case modding. Anybody who’s ever tried molding metal (or anything else) into newfound shapes knows that skill is definitely a factor, but even Modderati masters can’t turn ducks into swans if their tools aren’t up to snuff. On the flip side, solid tools can help novices pump out professional-looking mods.

The Best Chrome Extensions – PC Mag

Rather than stumble through the almost endless number of entries in the store, however, browse through our efficient list of the 61 extensions just about everyone should consider. These are not the “apps” that are also very popular in the Web store, which are essentially links off to select Web app sites. Instead, we’re concentrating on the actual software that extends and improves your browsing experience, sometimes in ways you didn’t even think possible.

AMD Liano HTPC Builders Guide – AnandTech

Home Theater PCs (HTPCs) are becoming more and more popular due to a number of reasons. The desire of consumers to watch and enjoy their media, be it Blu-rays/DVDs or broadcast content, in an independent manner (i.e. not limited by DRM restrictions such as with Tivo recordings or even just optical media) has enabled the HTPC industry to gain a lot of relevance, as opposed to getting tied down with non-upgradeable consumer electronics equipment

Corsair Vengeance 2000 7.1 Headset Review – TweakTown

In recent times, memory specialists Corsair have really broadened their scope with what is now several top notch audio products covering both headsets and speaker systems. However it’s not until today that we have the first wireless gaming headset from Corsair, which boast’s algorithm based surround sound thanks to some nifty software that runs in the background.

Source Filmmaker – Official Site

The Source Filmmaker (SFM) is the movie-making tool built and used by us here at Valve to make movies inside the Source game engine. Because the SFM uses the same assets as the game, anything that exists in the game can be used in the movie, and vice versa.

Uninstalling Anti-Virus Software – Tech Spot

Whether you just bought a new system with bloatware or you’re just seeking greener pastures, you’ll eventually have to uninstall security software. Unfortunately, that’s not always as easy as it could be, especially with solutions on mass market retail machines. Shady business tactics aside, making security software tricky to remove increases the chances that clueless users don’t mistakenly scrap their protection.

Galaxy GeForce 640 Review – PC Perspective

The GT 640 GPU just isn’t impressive in any other light at the $99 price tag. If Galaxy and NVIDIA were to offer this at the $70 mark we might be able to make a case for the price differential relative to the performance gap, but as it stands now, that is nearly impossible to do.

PC Gaming

Bioshock Commentary With JP LeBrenton – Idle Thumbs

JP LeBreton plays through a few levels of Bioshock that he created and give commentary along the way.

Indie Impressions – Stranded II – Official RockLeeSmile YT

I was completely caught off guard… I had super low expectations based on the screen-shots I’d seen, however after playing a bit, I noticed more and more cool features that really added to the overall game.

Rezzed PC and Indie Games Show – Official Site

The Rezzed show floor will be stuffed to the SATA ports with PC and indie games.

Anna Anthropy Interview – Rock Paper Shotgun

There’s discussion of why gaming matters, why games should be more personal, and Anthropy’s recently published a book, Rise of the Videogame Zinesters. So please, choose your own interview.

Click here for the title reference.

 

 

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  • Steven S

    So is anyone really excited about Windows 8? I’m completely indifferent to the announcement but I’m a poor measure of such things. The last time I upgraded OSes I went from Windows 98 to Vista, so I won’t be in the market for a new upgrade for about 5-6 more years. I know some people who are very excited about Windows 8, but most of them can’t really tell me anything beyond that it’s “new so it must be better, somehow.” I think that aside from the Metro UI I don’t see a vast difference for the user between Vista, 7 and 8.

    And now I’m off to to go add some extensions to my Chrome.

    • http://truepcgaming.com Adam Ames

      I do not like the look and what I have read about Win8 at all. Seems to me MS is pushing mobile so hard even to such a degree that they mess up desktop PCs. Giant tiles that take up the whole screen? The disappearing/reappearing start menu?

      No thanks.

      • Russell S

        I think MS needed to do something to catch up with Android & iOS in the mobile sector, and from what I’ve read about Win8, they’ve done a pretty good job, especially as far as their plans go with merging everything together with phone, tablets & desktop. As for me, who doesn’t have or want a tablet device, or a Windows phone, Windows 8 for PC just looks pretty meh, and not in the good looking pretty way.

        I kinda understand what Metro is all about and what MS are doing, but when I turn my PC on my priorities are running browsers and games. Thinking about it, the first things I did when I got XP & Vista was made them look like “Windows Classic” (i.e.: 98) because I knew that look, and I still do. Who doesn’t go to Control Panel on a PC and switch it to Classic/ All Items ?

        So yeah, I can’t really see it being of much benefit to me. I think I’ll wait to see what 9 is like, and then probably consider 10 in another 4 years time.

        • http://truepcgaming.com Adam Ames

          Again, we are on the same page. I personally have no use for tablets or advanced mobile devices. I want my cell to make calls and receive calls.

          In any event, Win7 is not going anywhere for the vast foreseeable future so at least we have that to fall back on.

      • Steven S

        I was the same way. I had a regular cell phone that just made phone calls and barely used it. Then I got a new job where the email system was setup with mobile devices in mind, and since I was in a pseudo IT position I decided to get a smartphone. The only extraneous feature I insisted on was a physical keyboard, because I hate trying to type by pushing pictures of keys. I think of it more as a small computer than as a phone. I use it as an EBook reader and MP3 player, I surf the net and watch Neflix movies on it. (in fact I using it to write this post) I think the only thing I don’t use it for is making phone calls. Now if you’ll excuse me I’m going to use the DosBox app to play some Ultima 4.

      • Russell S

        Maybe we aren’t on the same page Adam. I have an Android phone, and I’m more than happy with it. I happen to agree with Steven S, about the only thing I don’t do on it is make phone calls, or very rarely at most. I use it for surfing, emailing, catching up on my sports results, as a sat-nav, guitar tuner and for sending the occasional text. I’ve also been known to play the odd game of Angry Birds on it when I have no signal.

        I still don’t see a need for a tablet device. They are pretty cool looking gadgets for sure, but a £400 gadget that weighs less than a laptop as it’s only useful claim for purpose doesn’t quite sit well with me. And my phone does what I need to do very well, so unless Windows 8 phones have 1/2 the monthly rental of my current phone I see no benefit in that either. However, I have no brand loyalty whatsoever, so I really hope they do some Win8 phones for 1/2 the cost of what I pay now :)

      • Steven S

        Using your phone as a guitar tuner? Thats Brilliant! I can’t believe that never occured to me. I’ve had my tuner and phone sitting on the desk side by side and the thought of a tuner app never crossed my mind. I’m downloading a couple of those apps now and will try them out.

  • Russell S

    Oh, and got my ticket for Rezzed next Saturday. Looking forward to it, should be good :)

    • http://truepcgaming.com Adam Ames

      Great. Let us know how it goes.

      • Russell S

        Got back from Rezzed a short while ago, and I have to say it was a pretty good show. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, as in how big it would be or the kind of setups the exhibitors had for showcasing, but it was big enough and well organised. There was a nice selection of indie games, decent budget games, MMOS and ofc the “blockbuster” titles.

        There were dev talks on every hour in a conference hall but I only went to the Day Z one out of the big talks, and sat in on the XCom one which was more like a quick gameplay demo. It’s looking really good though if you like that kind of turn based strategy, which I do – AND YOU GET TO MAKE AN UNDERGROUND BASE FOR YOUR MINIONS !!!! So, erm, yeah, I’m sold on it ;)

        There were enough PCs set up for some hands on without waiting too long. Some stands Aliens: Colonial Marines had demos that let people Q up to play this one level – one side of the stand as marines, other side as aliens. That had quite a Q, and a lot of spectators. Day Z only had a few PCs and a crowd around it.

        The biggest disappointment was Borderlands 2. They had a huge section all to themselves, and tbh was the main interest for me. They had 4 sections, 4 PCs per side, each side got to do a single level, all players starting at lvl 25. They were sadly using the E3 build, so every PC had an XBOX controller attached – no KB or mouse. I gave it a go for 5 mins and then walked off – VERY disappointed. It seems I was in the minority though, as their stand always had someone playing on each machine, most cursing, but still playing.

        Far Cry 3 was also there with 4 PCs, but only usually 3 playing at a time. PC 4 only had an XBOX controller. This poor French bloke from the Far Cry 3 team was offering any passerby a chance to play on PC 4. He didn’t get many takers.

        It was good to see a lot of MMOs there, even though they aren’t really the kind of game that showcases too well at a mixed convention. In a game that you are likely to invest dozens of hours in, how do you show that potential off in a hall full of people who all want a go, and yet still have no idea what they are supposed to be doing in it whatsoever ?

        Q.U.B.E also had a stand there – I didn’t see any devs about to thank them for my TPG gift though :(

        All in all, it was a good day out. I hope to see more PC specific gaming events like it, and for a first venture at it, both RPS & Eurogamer deserve a round of applause even though they should have told the Borderlands 2 team to, erm, not bother attending if they didn’t have M&KB worked out. I Spoke to one of BL2 team, and he assured me the retail will have full M&KB support and I quote “The PC version is by far the best version”. Then again, he would say that at a PC show.. ;)

        • http://truepcgaming.com Adam Ames

          From my point of view, I would have been extremely upset at the BL2 team for not giving the full PC treatment. Gearbox made this big huge deal about BL2 being PC focused this time around with their “Love Letter” and they offer with only a controller? Exactly why PC gamers are so jaded.

  • Russell S

    Looks like the ‘Reply’ option has just vanished from the posts all of a sudden ?

    But I know exactly what you’re saying Adam, as Iwas left with a bad taste in my mouth as soon as I saw their setup. BL2 was the game I was most excited about as our Friday night gaming group have all pre-ordered it as we loved BL1 so much. OK, it’s not the pinnacle of PC gaming but it’s a hoot 4 player co-op which is what we tend to play most often these days. On the way there my mind was filled with images of my imaginary l337 pwnz0r head-shot skills, and then I saw the 360 controllers and I must have had a face like a smacked ass =/

    I did try playing it for a bit, but I lost patience pretty rapidly and had to give up before I found out how solidly built the controller was vs hard surfaces at high speed. I did watch my friend have a go, and he came to the same conclusion as me. I must admit it also made me kinda sea-sick watching.

    Like I said, to their credit, they did say it was the E3 build that only works with controllers (but only after I asked the obligatory ” WTF DUDE !!!!” question) and it will be good for 21st Sept release. If it isn’t then Blizzard may well have found a perfect distraction for the D3 debacle, because the BL2 fallout will be cataclysmic after all their reassurances…

    • Steven S

      Just like a stupid dev, he brings a console to a PC show.