Let me start by by saying that I am a little bias when it comes to Ukritic as I am the developer and co-founder of the community.
With that said I would like to take some time to explain what has gone into developing the community and the measures that have been taken to ensure that the community is a safe place to post Product Reviews.
During our planning and design phase of Ukritic.com the sole focus was on making sure that the content posted is utterly unique and relevant content. From start to finish the review posting process is designed to maximize your SERP potential and give you all of the tools needed to post amazing high quality product reviews.
Some of the major features that are included in the process to make your review writing process easier are as follows:
Layout & Design
The review templates that are available when writing your review are designed by some of the top affiliate marketers on the web today. The design concepts are 100% focused on maximizing conversion and click through rates.
Ad placements are UN-obtrusive and the potential customer is directed to a variety of outbound links which point to a internal redirect link that directs to your own affiliate link.
The moderation process for new reviews and members has been designed to ensure only unique high quality reviews are allowed to be posted to Ukritic community. To assist in this process we have included a per-moderation process that will inform you while creating your review of elements that need to be tweaked for approval.
Moderation is very strict for new members as we consider it to be a training process, our philosophy is simple – “Make sure that each and every one of our members has all of the information required to write quality reviews that can convert to sales”.
Community based SEO
This is one of the greatest strengths of the Ukritic community, while the founders of Ukritic are ensuring that the Ukritic domain is protected and only truly white hat methods of promotion are utilized to grow the domain.
Each member that promotes or shares their krits through social channels is effectively helping to build the profile of all pages on Ukritic. So what that means to you is that each member that actively promotes their krits is adding to the overall search engine profile of the entire ukritic.com domain.
As an active member of Ukritic you will be sharing in leveraging the power of a community based review network. Everything that the other members of the community does to help the profile is actually helping every other member.
So why should I promote my reviews if others will get the benefit?
This is a discussion that I have had with quite a few members and it came up often during beta testing. With homepage being the king for internal link profiling we have implemented a ranking and reputation system for members while assigns a score to each and every review in the community. This score is a directly correlated to the members reputation which is related to the review scores.
This complex algorithm rewards members for being a more active member on Ukritic.com thus keeping your reviews closer to the home page in the internal linking profile.
So by safely promoting your reviews and leaving ratings/reviews, voting, and watching other members you are effectively increasing your internal link weight.
What about spam?
I am going to make this as clear as possible – spammy reviews, duplicated content and non white hat promotional tactics while not be tolerated. Any activity that can be deemed to damage the overall reputation of the Ukritic community will be removed. This can include removal of reviews from the index and or suspension of your Ukritic account.
So the short and skinny of Ukritic.com is that the community was built by legitimate affiliate marketers for legitimate affiliate marketers. NO EXCEPTIONS!
Who makes a good “Kritter”?
Anyone can be an active member of Ukritic that is willing to write comprehensive reviews of products, we provide all of the tools for you to get affiliate links and insert them into your reviews so you can earn commission from sales generated by click through traffic.
Be rest assured however that is you are looking for a platform to post weak article content or overly hyped scam products you may as well find another site! Low quality spam type content will never see the light of day.
Why use Ukritic instead of building my own site?
The answer is simple here folks, Ukritic has done all of the hard work for you – there is no need to design and build your own website. All of the SEO is already done, you will be posting to an already authoritative site. Instead of starting from scratch you are starting your review network ahead of the curve.
Let’s say you wanted to test out a new market without the risk of building out a dedicated website – why not use Ukritic as your test bed for traffic and conversion. Hey you might just find that Ukritic templates convert so well you might decide to just skip building out your own site – Ukritic.com is just that easy.
Well I have gone on long enough about this community why don’t you just give it a try and see what happens. There is nothing to lose it is completely FREE to join.
For those that may not know what HTPC is it an acronym for Home Theatre Personal Computer. Basically it is a PC that is dedicated to being a media computer connected to your Home Theatre System.
After a long time of researching options and components I have finally sourced out my HTPC system. The main concerns other than performance with this system was power efficiency and noise. As you will notice the components include the EARTHWATTS 80PLUS power supply, Western Digitals Green 1TB low energy use HDD and the ASUS 43T-M Pro green standard motherboard.
There are cheaper ways of building this system but I wanted to maintain decent quality components and be as GREEN as possible with the build. The ASUS board has integrated HDMI output on the Intel GMA X4500 graphics chip. The availability of the onboard HDMI was a huge selling point for this board as it reduces the power usage from having a PCIe card and there is no need for GPU cooling fans. For heat reduction and stability I opted for the Corsair XMS3 with the raised heat sinks.
The Antec Fusion Remote case supports Windows 7 and MCE, being available without the PSU was a big selling point as it allowed the ability to use the Earthwatts PSU. For internet connection I have opted for the D-Link Xtreme wireless N PCi card to save running cables from the room where this HTPC will reside to the data closet on the other side of the house. For ROM playback I opted for a Liteon BLU-RAY Reader to open up the versatility. CPU is a little bit of overkill for a media PC but its always worth having a little extra processing power in any computer.
The system will be connected to a Sharp 37” 720P LCD for the time being until I replace that with a 40” 1080P LCD.
THE COMPONENT LIST
- Liteon IHOS104 4X BLU-RAY Reader BD-ROM Drive SATA Black OEM
- Antec Fusion Remote Black HTPC Case mATX 1X5.25 2X3.5INT No PS with LCD Volume Control & Remote
- Antec Earthwatts 430W Power Supply ATX12V V2.0 20/24PIN Active PFC 80PLUS 80MM Fan
- Western Digital WD10EADS Caviar Green 1TB SATA 32MB Cache 3.5IN Hard Drive OEM
- D-LINK DWA-552 Xtreme N Desktop Adapter 802.11 Draft N B/G Triple Antenna PCI Adapter
- ASUS P5G43T-M Pro mATX LGA775 G43 DDR3 1PCI-E16 1PCI-E1 2PCI HDMI Video Sound GBLAN
- Motherboard Intel Pentium Dual Core E5200 Dual Core Processor LGA775 2.5GHZ 800FSB 2MB Retail Box
- Corsair XMS3 TWIN3X2048-1333C9DHX G 2GB DDR3 2X1GB DDR3-1333 CL 9-9-9-27 Dual Channel Memory Kit
Parts were ordered on Jan 1st 2010 from NCIX I will add to this post with the build and testing. I plan on running Windows 7 Ultimate on this system.
>> Keep Checking back for the build.
Build Part 1
Well it is January 08 2010 and I received some parts in the mail. It looks like UPS misplaced one of the packages. The misplaced package contains the Case and PSU so just the internals have showed up.
First thoughts – The MicroATX mainboard is not as tight to work with as I originally thought it would be. The CPU and Ram was easy to install and there is more than enough space to route the wires for the PSU when it arrives. The ASUS P5G43T-M Pro mATX comes with 2 X SATA cables 1 X ATA Cable, although lacking in the accessories and parts department this is a tight little attractive looking motherboard package that will make the great heart of this HTPC.
Corsair Dominator ram as always looks a little over bearing on the MicroATX Motherboard but the extra cooling fins on this series of Corsair RAM I find invaluable on both OC systems and systems that passive cooling takes priority over fan cooling.
HDD and SATA BLU RAY ROM Drive are OEM so there is nothing to report on these components and this time. The D-LINK DWA-552 Xtreme N Desktop Adapter is compact and looks like it will have no problems fitting on the board and in the case with no interference.
That is all to report until the rest of the package arrives. Keep coming back to see the rest of the build and the follow up performance part.
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Well EA has released another year of the Tiger Woods PGA Tour franchise, after the crap show that was 2009 I was hesitant about purchasing this version as I just did not want any more of the ridiculous AI and pointless use of the controller as the game has a tendency to make up it’s own mind where the ball is going to go.
So a few months after the release of the game I was done with my Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2009 X-Box 360 so I caved in and decided to grab the newest version 2010. After loading the game up the first time I did notice some things that I liked better than the previous year. The interface was much better and the textures for the courses had gone up a level. Gone was the Tiger Challenge and replaced with the Tournament Challenge which seems to bypass the AI all together as the players shots in that you are against are preset in most of the events so you are playing against actual shots that have been made during past real PGA Tournaments.
This was a welcome surprise in the game and I played through a few of the courses and challenges to build up some skills and some cash to buy equipment before tackling the event calender for the PGA Tour season.
At this point I am impressed with the game and the new precision putting tool is awesome, far more intuitive than the old putting system. More control over the power of you putt but the same control over reading the line. The RB preview of the putting path is spotty at best and I would not bank important putts on this pre read of the lie. It like the games in previous years I found to randomly decided to show the wrong path during a very important putt.
I am not going to be writing much more detail in the review as I only got two rounds in the season before I realized just how incredibly pathetic the game this year is. EA in all the great idiocity has made the rubber band AI and random crap shot even worse than ever this year. Wind of 7mph randomly has the same affect as a hurricane gale on your ball flight. My character was pretty decked out after playing through some of the Tournament Challenges and I had 10-11 in all attributes (Including some Beginner equipment giving some boosts). Not a bad character and should fare well in tournaments.
The second tournament “The Buick Invitational” was when I realized that EA has really butchered this badly. I played 4 incredible rounds of golf in the game only to end up T5 at -30 with Tiger Woods finishing at -40 for the win. Are you kidding me where the hell do these scores come from? He finished round 3 at -28 but when we started round 4 he had not completed any holes yet was at -30. Where the the magical -2 come from? Is there some 300Yrd Par 5 19th hole that was not available to anyone but him. I was in 2nd place at the end of the 3rd round at -23, So in theory Tiger Woods and I would be the last to start in the final round however this was not the case other players in the round Tee’d off behind me and jumped up the leader board as my character played through the round. Shooting a -7 to finish at -30 was only good enough to tie for 5th place in that tournament.
For all the effort that EA tried to put in to making this game more and more realistic and true to the real players with tournament mode etc. I would have figured that the season play would be more realistic and true scoring. I guess I gave EA Sports too much credit there cause this is the worst I have ever seen in the game. Good luck ever getting the achievement for winning all tournaments in a season when the AI scores obscenely high scores randomly while having players in lower position tee off behind you and pass you in the final round.
EA SCREWS THE POOCH ON TIGER WOODS PGA TOUR 2009 . Total write off. Psyc3d.com score 2/10 and only a 2 because the graphics are better and there are some interesting add ons in this version. I have deducted all value in the game from the score because of the impossible rubber band AI.
*UPDATE* - Been playing through this game a little more only to update this to THIS IS THE YET AGAIN A TOTAL PEICE OF CRAP EA – YOUR RUBBER BAND AI IS SO ANNOYING THAT AFTER A FEW ROUNDS THE GAME IS ALMOST UNPLAYABLE.
When will EA Sports get their heads out of their collective A$$es and do something with the AI in this franchise. You have lost a customer EA I would rather not play golf videos games than to have to provide you with another penny of my money on whatever CRAP you decide to put out in 2011.2
Well it is time for another moview review, I only review a movie when it is really good or really bad. It is with great displeasure and a broken heart, that I bring you the following review of Transformers 2 – Revenge of the Fallen. There are spoilers in the review so if you still plan on seeing it don’t read ahead any further.
Never before have I been as dissapointed in a movie as I was tonight. Anxiously have I awaited the release of this sequel to one of the greatest movies I have ever seen. So much potential for this sequel;
Micheal Bay a director famous for good sequels.
Introduction of more transformers and characters.
A perfect ending to continue from.
Instead this movie is of the same caliber as King Kong by Peter Jackson. I mean this movie was so bad I almost walked out of the theatre half way through. At every turn I was hoping something would happen to save the movie but it never did. At every opportunity to save it Michael Bay screwed it up even more.
Top reasons why Transformers 2 – Revenge of the Fallen sucked – let me count the ways.
- Michael Bay has invented a new race of Transformers the moronicons, these are the endless stream of little “Decepticon” robots that flooded this movie. Their moronic behaviour, babble and the seemingly endless stream of them alone was enough alone to wreck this movie.
- Lets just jump right ahead 2 years without any introductions to the new Autobots that have arrived and are working with the humans in a special task force. Except of course idiot twins which reminded me of a really bad cheech and chong movie.
- Someone forgot that you need to develop new characters when making a movie instead of just having them appear guess chevy owned the movie and wanted to show off the new Corvette.
- A giant chevy commercial, OMG I can totally understand car companies sponsoring a movie but seriously General Motors logos showcased on the screen at every opportunity. What a total waste. Why not allow other car companies to have vehicles in the movie, add some variety to the Autobots. But I Guess GM spent ALL there money making sure that it was only their cars in the film when they should have been worrying about the state of their company. Shame on Michael Bay for letting this happen.
- I am all for comedy in a movie but really this was so over the top rediculous that it hurt to watch.
- The little moronicon humping Megan Foxes leg! – Seriously what idiot thought this would be a good shot for the movie. Sure the audience laughed but come on!
- The giant testicles on the constructicon at this point I was wishing that they would just aim the big rail gun at the theatre and end my torment.
- Jetfire – As the movie introduced the SR71 it looks like there is going to be something that changes the downward spiral it is on. But no! Why would you save the movie instead lets make a decrepid cenile old robot that walks with a cane. Who let all the idiots into the writers group, just because it seems funny in your head doesn’t mean it will help the movies you talentless hacks.
- Super prime – OMG Optimus Prime went to Canadian Tire and bought all the stick on parts he could find and went into battle.
- The human Decepticon with the super tounge, WTF you seriously added a Terminator T-X into the movie. Did someone not tell him that they made Terminator Rise of the Machines already and that you did not need to add one into the transformers.
- All the transformers have breath. Yes they have breath and spit alot, Note to writers: You did not need to make them more human like for the audience to love them WE ALREADY LOVED THEM YOU IDIOTS!
- BumbleBees little emotional breakdown in the garage where he cries. Hmm lets see his character was established in the first movie now he is a brooding & bumbling little whiner instead of the gaurdian that he was supposed to be.
- Action for the sake of action, lets just blow shit up ALOT, forget plot, story and character development. If we just blow stuff up and have lots of big robot battles people wont realize that movie sucks.
- We have all seen Pearl Harbour and don’t need to watch scenes from it in transformers. The bodies floating down after the aircraft carrier sinks jesus man why would you need to add that scene into the movie it does nothing for the movie other than give you a 14A rating.
That is the major reasons that this movie sucked balls. Such a fitting term considering all the references to balls and sacks in the movie. I wish there was something good I could say about the movie but it is so tarnished by crap that there was nothing that could save it. No matter how good the special effects were or how much stock military footage you through into it, CRAP is still CRAP.
1/10 is all that I can rate this movie. I have never been dissapointed to badly by a sequel as I was by this. I am fed up of over hyped directors thinking they can do whatever they want with a movie franchise and wrecking it. Not that I am an advocate for piracy but if you want people to goto the theatres and buy the DVD’s instead of pirating movies make something that is worth the price of admission and waiting in long lines to see. Judging by IMDB it looks like Michael Bay has been listed as Director for Transformers 3. I certainly hope you fix the mess of this franchise that you made with Revenge of the Fallen.
Well that is all I have to say about this, I think I will go watch Transformers (the first one) and find a way to get over this horrible night.
For years I have dreamed of owning an Alienware laptop, all of my desktop computers are at my office so other than my Fujitsu laptop I don’t have a serious computer for at home. Looking over the Internet I found a sparse number of reviews of the M17 none of which provided any really good information for me the consumer. Alienware is renowned for their customizable configuration so reviewing them can be difficult due to the multitude of configurations available.
The following is my configuration of the M17 for this review.
- CPU – Core 2 Duo T9550 2.66Ghz
- GPU – Dual Radeon 3870 Mobility in Crossfire X
- RAM – 4GB DDR3
- Screen – WUXGA 17″ 1920X1200
- HDD – 128GB SSD
- NIC – Intel Wireless N with MIMO
- OS – Windows Vista Home Premium
- Headphones – Alienware TactX
- Orion Backpack
Total Price including shipping to Canada $3005 US
Ordering and Intial impressions
The order process was not as easy as expected I had to call the billing line because I am outside of the US. After a quick call to validate my credit card information the order was processsed. Much like Dell I was able to follow the build process of the laptop over the 9 phases of assembly, testing an shipping. I opted for the standard Fed Ex shipping offered from Alienware. Shipping was amazingly fast I had the laptop at my door in 2 days. The system comes in a big black box which contained another box with laptop and accessory pack. The M17 itself was covered with an alienware form fitting felt sleeve. The accessory package is top notch from the leather bound instruction manual to the monsterous 3lb power supply. Even the connecting cables for the powersupply are thicker than average and higher quality than found on most laptops. Pulling hte M17 out of the box and opening the felt sleeve is remenat of a scene from 2001 Space Odyssey all that was missing was the music playing in the background. The casing feels like the material the bat suit is made of. Softer to the touch but a hard protective shell. On my M17 I opted for the original SkullCap lid. Opening the lid for the first time it felt substantial and rigid no concerns about flexing even with a 17″ screen. Overall I am quite impressed with the look and feel of the unit. The only minor flaw I can find is that there is a slightly raised section where the indicator lights and quick touch buttons are but its nothing that impeeds the usabilty or cosmetics.
It is difficult to call this Laptop a Laptop seeing as you cannot use it on your lap without a hard surface between your legs and the computer. There are some small vents on the bottom of the case that are not to be blocked. At close to 10 lbs the laptop is also a little on the heavy side but overall it is easy to manouver around. Picking it up with one hand is still an option and when you do there is no flexing of the chasis when lifting. I for one am willing to deal with a slightly more bulky laptop to have the security of a rigid chasis that doesn’t feel like it will break if you breathe on it wrong. I expected this beast to sounds like a 747 when I fired it up but was extremely surprised to hear almost nothing. The SSD drive is partially responsible for the lack of noise from the case. Under normal usage conditions you can barely hear the cpu fan making the M17 an extremely enjoyable desktop replacement while maintaining the mobility of a laptop. There are some minor annoyances under regular usage with the ergonomics. The touch pad is not easy to operate but with some tweaking of the sensitivity I’m sure it will be fine. Most of the time I am using a trackball or wireless mouse on the machine anyway so its not of major concern. The front edge of the case has a somewhat hard edge where your arms are resting so if the position of the computer in height relative to your arms is important to avoid serious rubbing of your wrists on the edge when typing. I found that having the keyboard slightly below so that you wrists are slightly bent when typing will aleviate that minor ergonomics problem.
Wireless performance is incredible, When connected wireless to my WRT160N or my WRT300N router I am pulling speeds of up to 1.8MB/Sec on download, when connected to an old WRT54G wireless G router I was pulling sustained 600KB/s to 900KB/s on torrent downloads.
The keyboard responds to soft touches well and is a little on the loud side for a keyboard but I am ok with that I don’t mind a loud keyboard when typing. The port configuration for USB and audio is extremely user friendly with enough ports on the right side of the machine to facilitate you needs. The volume wheel yes wheel no more annoying buttons works smoothly and responsive and is located in a place that is very easy to operate.
Configuration and Installed Software
The OS fired up in quick time comared to other vista instalations. I opted for both the VitaKey fingerprint scanner and the facial recognition biometric data for logging into Windows. I have never been a fan of these kind of devices in the past they have not been reliable. It has been a week now and between the fingerprint scanner and the facial recognition it is easy and faster getting into windows than using the traditional password input. The fingerprint scanner sometimes take a couple of swipes but in decent lighting conditions the facial recognition usually logs me in before I get to the second finger swipe. Much to my surprise and delight there was NO demo software in the windows installation when I fired up windows. No trials of office, no wildtangent games, no antivirus trial bugging you. All that was on the computer was an installation of power DVD and required device drivers. Finally a computer that didn’t need hours of software tweaking before I could be happy using it. So far so good, I have opted to keep this machine pretty clean and run alot of open source software here is the list of apps that I have installed and are running for productivity.
HTML Editing – Notepad ++
Image Editing – GIMP
Browser – Firefox
Media Player – VLC for video and Media Player for Music. I really dont use Media Center for anything as I hate it with a passion.
Email and Messaging – Windows live essentials
Thats about it for the software portion of this review I haven’t chosen an office suite yet but will most likely use open office. The one bit of advanced configuration required is to reconfigure the soft touch quick launch buttons above the keyboard. See below for how to configure the buttons on the M17, I have listed my configuration for the buttons. You can copy and paste the entire code block and save the file with extension .reg then double click the file to merge the contents into the registry.
Gaming Performance & Benchmarking
On the desktop there was a shortcut to a file named ‘My Alienware PC Information’ the path to the file “C:\Windows\System32\Alienware\My PC Information.XML”. In this file is all the information about my laptop including all of the benchmark runs and it is formatting like an Area 51 secret document. Below you will find the results from the burn in benchmark tests run on my specific machine. The rest of the document contains specific details about the components and drivers.
3DMark Score- 13,081.00 3DMarks
SM2.0 Score- 5,712.00
HDR/SM3.0 Score- 7,477.00
CPU Score- 2,410.00
Game Score- 0.00 Points
SM2.0 Graphics Tests
GT1 – Return To Proxycon- 46.22 FPS
GT2 – Firefly Forest- 48.99 FPS
CPU1 – Red Valley- 0.77 FPS
CPU2 – Red Valley- 1.20 FPS
HDR/SM3.0 Graphics Tests
HDR1 – Canyon Flight- 87.19 FPS
HDR2 – Deep Freeze- 62.36 FPS
Unreal Tournament 3 Demo
Average FPS- 59.31 FPS
Time Spent Over 30 FPS- 99.76 percent of total benchmark time was spent above 30 FPS
Pretty impressive results in a laptop I have to say. I quickly installed steam and downloaded my instal for Drakensang and Unreal Tournament 3 both games played with high framerate at full detail 1920X1200 resolution. I am more than happy with the results of the gaming performance. As far as the noise level when gaming, well what can you expect from a highpower machine playing games you need to have some serious cooling power to keep things running stable. After playing Drakensang for 4 hours straight there is no issues with the laptop getting overly hot and or reduced performance.
Pros: Amazing customer experience, Magnificant machine, Great gaming performance, Very quiet under normal usage conditions.
Cons: Hard edge on the front of the case is a little rough on the wrists under certain operating conditions, Bulky power supply.
As a Multimedia business owner workflow and efficiency are the keys to success. I use a multitude of shareware and freeware applications to increase my efficiency at the office. There are a few that really stand out and deliver the ultimate in time saving so I decided to share them here.
Duplicate File Finder is a simple, but effective tool to locate duplicate files in one or more selected search paths. It scans the files and compares them based on Byte for Byte Comparison, which ensures 100% accuracy. You can then choose to delete the selected duplicate or original files. The program is multi threaded and performs scans quickly.
Resizing hundreds of images is now extremely fast and simple.
Just drag and drop the images you want to resize onto the dialog.
%name variable can be used to retain the original file name (without extension).
Supports saving files into the same directory, or subdirectories.
Bulk Rename Utility is a free file renaming software for Windows. Bulk Rename Utility allows you to easily rename files and entire folders based upon extremely flexible criteria.
Add date/time stamps, replace numbers, insert text, convert case, add auto-numbers, process folders and sub-folders….plus a whole lot more!
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Check the detailed preview before renaming.
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CCleaner is a freeware system optimization, privacy and cleaning tool. It removes unused files from your system – allowing Windows to run faster and freeing up valuable hard disk space. It also cleans traces of your online activities such as your Internet history. Additionally it contains a fully featured registry cleaner. But the best part is that it’s fast (normally taking less than a second to run) and contains NO Spyware or Adware!
WampServer is a Windows web development environment. It allows you to create web applications with Apache, PHP and the MySQL database. It also comes with PHPMyAdmin and SQLiteManager to easily manage your databases.
WampServer installs automatically (installer), and its usage is very intuitive. You will be able to tune your server without even touching the setting files.
WampServer is the only packaged solution that will allow you to reproduce your production server. Once WampServer is installed, you have the possibility to add as many Apache, MySQL and PHP releases as you want.
WampServer also has a trayicon to manage your server and its settings.
I have tested this software on Vista 32bit, Vista x64 and windows XP and have had no problems with any of these tools on any of the systems tested on. These utilities are FAST and efficient at what they do. A must have for anyone looking to speed up some of the mundane tasks involved in the Webdesign business, Graphic Design business and Programming.
Hope you enjoy…
Well I figured its time to re-review Windows 7, in my previous review I did hammer on it a little bit but the major issues were due to the age of the machine that I was trying to install it on. There was a lack of driver support for some of the older equipment in the box.
Well I have built another machine for the office and decided to test Windows 7 again and see what it is all about.
Mainboard Gigabyte EP45-UD3P
4GB DDR2 Corsair Dominator 5 5 5 25 Ram
250GB Seagate 7200.11
Intel Q6600 Quad core
BFG Nvidia 9600GT
Seasonic 650W PSU
Antec 300 Tower
The previous disk that I had for Windows 7 would not allow an install to occur. Missing win install dll was the error that came up during the installation. So I grabbed a fresh copy of Windows 7 (this time I opted for the 64 bit version) and started again, just as the previous time I installed 7 it went very smoothly and installed as quickly as Vista does.
The majority of the drivers required were automatically installed with the installation. Again though there was no drivers for the onboard lan, out comes the driver disk from the motherboard box. Once the driver was in I was able to activate windows and the updates began to download. So far so good!
The first things that I noticed was the new desktop tools. The side bar is now removed making way for free gadget placement on the desktop. Right Click >Personalize to find that the interface for desktop customization is much easier to navigate through. The options are listed on the bottom of the panel with nice big icons. The same old customization tools are present however there is more choice of color for the windows and there are some nice default themes. But wait what is that desktop slideshow tool I see? Using the browse tool I was able to navigate to my favorite wallpaper folder and I see a select all button. When pressed it selects all of the images in the folder and the slideshow options are available below. I cannot beleive what I am seeing here, the one feature I have wanted in Windows for years, can it be real? YES it is Windows 7 uses a slideshow for the desktop wallpaper. I am overwhelmed with awe as I am now able to have my favorite wallpapers change at set intervals.
The rest of the interface is just as described in my previous review.
Just as I was thinking all is good with this new installation, time to play some video files and check out Media Player 12. The interface in media player 12 has changed again, I am not sure if I like it this time. The enhancements tools are nowhere to be found and the player seems to be separated from the library all together so that you can have the library and the player open at the same time. BSOD oh yes part way into the video the dreaded Blue Screen Of Death! well thats not very good. After a few attempts at playing videos with constant Blue Screens its time for diagnostics.
- Updated all drivers for sound and video – No fix!
- Downloaded Windows 7 Video codec pack – No fix!
- Disabled sound in biot – No fix!
- Switched to the 64 bit player (Vista and 7 Default to using x86 player) – No fix!
- Checked the error logs!
After getting into the error logs I was able to find out that there is a hotfix for a transer protocol which was causing the BSOD. Send off email to Microsoft and request the hotfix. 5 minutes later I recieve an email with the hotfix download and install it on the machine. Very hesitantly I open up a video and to my amazement I am able to watch through the entire video. Keep in mind this is the Beta 7000 Build so I cannot expect perfection.
The dreaded experience index is still present in windows 7. Although there is a much larger range of numbers so no cap out at 5.9 like in Vista. Something is not right here however my index is listed as 2.9 due to disk data transfer rate. I tried to enable AHCI instead of IDE in the bios for the SATA drive but it caused BSOD on boot. Not willing to go through another hassle of debugging this glitch I reverted back to the IDE control interface for the SATA drive.
I was able to get the drive performance to 5.3 by disabling the Write Caching on the disk which is good for now. The rest of the Experience Index was acceptable so no need for any major tweaks here. Now that the system is up and running I move some files around, the transfer speeds of files is far superior to that of vista.
I use multiple computers with same keyboard and mouse utilizing Multiplicity by Stardock. The application installed smoothly and needed no addition setup to run on Windows 7 and I am able to use concurantly with Vista 64bit on the other computer.
I haven’t had a chance to go any further into the OS and play with performance but Windows 7 really does feel more responsive than Vista and even with the hassles I faced it does seem more stable than Vista aswell. The OS itself seems like it is lighter as there are less applications integrated with it now. The live essentials pack is downloadable and there are WAY more options for removing windows components in the control panel. Overall I would have to say the Microsoft has gotten it right with this OS. I cannot wait to see the Release Candidate.
Psyc3d Updated Rating 8.5/10
A local software company that develops some award winning software is offering downloads and trials of their applications. The software that is provided buy Pareto Logic is amazing and easy to use, the appilcations are all utility based applications designed to help the average computer user maintain a clean and optimized computer.
Psyc3D Recommends these products and believes in this company we have seen their office and met the founding partners so I vouch for the quality of the products offered.
I had been told that this movie was terrible and not worth watching. I never believe the critics so I decided to give it a go and see what this movie was all about. A remake of the 1951 classic sci-fi film about an alien visitor and his giant robot counterpart who visit Earth with a premise of the movie much like Independence Day with an alien race coming to Earth intent on destroying us all. The major difference here is that in this story the alien race are ultimately omnipotent beings that are intent on saving the earth from its ultimate destruction by the human race.
There are many plays on the mentality of military in this movie which I really like in a movie. For example when the alien being (Keanu Reeves) first appears someone in the military squeezes of a round. Welcome to Earth “BLAM” oops sorry my bad. This intro really tells the audience that something sinister is going to happen. It also really instills the wrong mentality of the military thought process. The US military in this movie yet again have the belief that there is nothing in the universe more powerful than them. A mentality that is proven wrong ever so quickly in this movie.
The rest of the movie is the story of one woman played by Jennifer Connelly and her son who obviously has far too much faith in the military (his father was killed at war) trying to save the world by convincing Klaatu (Reeves) that the human race deserves to live. Klaatu is judge and jury on teh human race and in good old Reeves style is completely emotionless through the entire movie.
The end of the movie is as you would expect from Hollywood, Connelly saves the world by convincing Klaatu that the human race can change and that they are worth saving. The aliens stop all mechanical and electrical devices in the world form functioning allowing the entire human race to hear the beauty of the earth around them.
Conclusion and final thoughts
I found this movie to be very interesting and fun to watch, the special effects are fantastic and the story is one that portrays a ‘stop and smell the roses’ mentality. However like so often in Hollywood productions there was little thought put into plot flaws and integral scenes from the movie. The alien race that was bent on destroying the entire human race had a change of heart and decided to spare us all. The monumental movie flaw here almost wrecked the whole movie for me. When the aliens stopped ALL mechanical and Electrical devices from functioning did any one in the writing, editing, directing team think about all the people in the world on life support systems in hospitals, people that are currently in surgeries, pacemakers and finally AIR TRAVEL. Come on people how did this get past you all before releasing this movie. It would have been so simple to correct this before hand with a few well placed shots of governments around the world clearing all the skies of aircraft once the intent of the alien race was discovered. At the end when all the devices in the world ceased to function a couple of shots of people in hospital waking up after the life support systems ceased to function. This could have even been introduced into the plot line s for the movie, maybe having one of the characters end up in hospital on life support. There was so much more potential for this film than was realized in it’s final release. Like usual though it was so focused on the US and not the rest of the world, as if the US was the only important country on the planet. Even Independence Day included other countries albeit quickly.
My rating on this movie is:
6/10 – Tonnes of potential to be one of the great movies of the year but tainted with a lack of real thought and a USA dominant theme.
Its a shame there are so many movies with great potential that are killed by poor writing/directing and thought.