Archive for October, 2007

Crysis and the new NVidia 8800GT

October 30, 2007

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Gamers rejoice: Crysis demo release was accompanied by the announcement and release of NVidia 8800GT, the not too expensive video card, with good performance. It is positioned between 8800GTS and 8800GTX and is cheaper than the 8800GTS itself.

Here is a short roundup or quality reviews that include both Crysis and 8800GT tests both running DirectX 9 and 10:

My observations show that most of the cheaper versions of 8800GT video cards were gone in one day from Newegg.com. Checked morning of October 29 – they had about 6 or 7 versions, in evening – they had 3 left, with 2 showing ‘out of stock’.

Crytek Crysis: a real crysis for my video card…

October 29, 2007

Crytek has finally released the so much anticipated game of the year – Crysis. I managed to download it from the unofficial source even before the demo was officially released by EA. (Grab the official demo here)

My PC specs are totally out of date, but still I wanted to see how the game will run and just experience a bit of what everybody was expecting for over 3 years. The fist time I ran the game it took about 7 minutes to load on an AMD Athlon64 3200+, 1GB RAM. The framerate was terrible and the game was interrupted every time I tried to shoot. Seems like I had a lack of RAM. When I looked into the processes list, Crysis was using over 750MB of RAM. My video card ATI X1950PRO managed to produce around 15 frames per second at high settings after I added another gigabyte of RAM from my other PC! And those 15 frames were pretty stable all along the way. I wish I could experience the ful DirectX 10 support, but I was limited to Windows XP and a DirectX 9 video card.

So I came to the conclusion that this game does need a decent video card and a little more RAM, while you don’t need the Quad Core Extreme CPU from Intel to run the game smoothly.

Thank you, Steve!

October 17, 2007

Looks like Steve Jobs is actually reading blogs and comments on gadget news web sites. The hopes of many came true with the announcement of official iPhone SDK. Moreover the SDK is coming to iPod touch, so both camps will be glad with the ability to add new applications and features. It was pretty obvious to me from the very beginning that such a powerful hardware and software base as iPhone cannot be left out without the ability for third-party applications.

It is worth mentioning that Apple is taking security seriously with the plans of incorporating digital signatures for third-party software. This will dramatically decrease the chance of viruses and worms, because really nobody wants an infected phone or get your personal data stolen.

Apple, thanks to this announcement, you again raised in my eyes and in the eyes of the entire iPhone owners community! Thank you for such a wise step!

The smell of Steam… Not too good, uh?

October 8, 2007

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I’ve been using Steam for about a year now with Counter Strike Source CDs. About a month ago I ordered the download of Company of Heroes. I was so excited about the download speed, which was exceeding 1MB/s on my 15MBit connection.

It seems I was very lucky when I had that 1.2MB/s of download speed, because now I’m rarely getting anything more than 200KB/s while preloading Portal and Team Fortress 2. Most of the time speed does not go over 80KB/s. So I decided to look up online what others are saying about Steam.

The first Google result for ‘steam download speed’ gave me the page full of negative comments about Steam and Valve. Valve has always been an example company to me, but this illusion has suddenly disappeared after reading so many negative feedbacks about Steam. It seems they are saving money by not deploying enough servers.

In general I like the idea of Stem, online game store, but it does need a major speed boost. I think that as soon as Valve improves Steam it can become a primary source for your gaming needs as more and more publishers sell their games there.

HOWTO: Fix Apple’s rating among consumers

October 4, 2007

Apple’s rating among consumers (especially iPhone users) reached its very low point after Apple ‘bricked’ many iPhones around the world. A great majority of comments on the tech blogs are criticizing Apple for its attitude to the end-users. Does Apple think that after they bricked hundreds of iPhones the owners will buy another one and this time stick with AT&T? I don’t think so. They lost those users once and forever.

Fixing the bricked iPhones could be a great solution for Apple, even for a sake of earning the trust back. But at the same time, hasn’t Apple warned you about the possible failure of your device? (Yes, they did ;))

Another great solution would be releasing an official SDK. But why is Apple not doing it and keeps promoting its Web apps strategy remains unknown to us. I’m pretty much sure the real tech people at Apple realize the need of official 3rd party applications. Probably by the time Steve realizes it, it’s going to be too late.

Digg on the go with your iPhone

October 1, 2007

Soon after the release of iPhone Digg team brought an ultimate Digg experience to the iPhone, which immediately became one of my favorite web applications for iPhone. Scrolling through the lists of news is fun and easy. I can’t imagine scrolling through pages of news with hardware buttons or a scrollbar on your WM device. Wheel could make sense, but not many devices these days are equipped with hardware scroll wheels (Ah… missing those Sony Clie days).

Besides just reading the news you can actually Digg the articles the same way you do it on your PC. UI resembles one you are used to on the big screen. News items are big enough and you don’t have to aim for 5 seconds to hit the article. Thank you Digg team for remembering us, iPhone users, and brining us such a fascinating Digg experience to our pockets 😉