Just came back from a my very first LAN event. An entire weekend of video gaming. Because it was my first time I was very open to what was going on. I talked to many gamers about why they play and why they come!
Gamers came from all walks of life; from plumbers, actors, bankers, body builders, doctors and I even talked to a receptionist! I never imagined receptionists would devote an entire weekend to LAN gaming.
I mainly played Counter Strike: Global Offensive and Left for Dead 2. The pro gamers still stick to Call of Duty 4; personally I got over that experience many years ago. It still baffles me why that old game is still the game of choice for these LAN events.
Overall, I did enjoy myself. The banter and the openness to just game with random people is funny and liberating. It is rare that I get asked to join a competitive game with other players so close to where I sit.
The organizers are already planning the next event; check out www.epiclan.co.uk/epic11
for more details.
There was an opportunity to start a new PC project based on some spare parts I had just doing nothing. I already have a well configured Windows 7 PC I use for editing photos, editing HD videos and gaming. My second PC acts as a file server for archiving purposes; it does have a decent AMD CPU and a 560Ti GPU but it doesn’t really see much action other than when I need to backup my commercial photos. My third PC is just something I built just for fun but it didn’t see much use other than playing a few games in the spare room so I wanted to give it more purpose by moving it into the living room to serve my 46″ TV. I also wanted a small mobile case so I could transport it to LAN events or hide discretely within my living room.
The case it was in was a cheap no brand case that merely served a purpose but it was too big for my sparse living room so I needed something much smaller and discreet. The motherboard is a Micro-ATX format board, it’s not as small as mini-itx but I didn’t want to buy any new components so the new case had to accommodate that. After extensive research I came across Silverstone’s Sugo SG09 priced around £90 new in the UK. Because I didn’t want to spend that much on a case I waited until it popped up on Ebay for £50! A bargain I thought and snapped it up.
As soon as it arrived I pulled apart the old PC case and set about putting all the components into the Sugo SG09. I had read a few reviews saying it was a tight squeeze when it comes to cable management and they were right! After a bit of trial and error I just cabled up the back with plastic ties but it still leaves a bulge when you put the case on. I had to put some of the cables underneath the PSU by literally shoving it in there. All this cabling is right next to a 120mm on the side.
One thing I didn’t like was the 120mm fan on the left side panel as I felt it served no real purpose; other than the cables I shoved in there, there was no component that needed cooling so I removed it. The rest of the build was very easy like any other case.
The internal specifications are as follows:
- 8gb Ram
- MSI GTX570 GPU
- Crucial 120gb SSD
I overclock the GTX 570 to 850mhz which produces quite a bit of heat so this was a real test for the SUGO SG09 to see if it really could exhaust the heat properly and to my amazement it handled it fine!
I’m sorry if this doesn’t seem very scientific, I just wanted to share my experience with this wonderful little case. I can totally recommend it to anyone who has a Micro-ATX motherboard. I am going to EPICLAN 10 in a months time, and this little case is perfect for taken to LAN events!
I have used it several times to watch videos using PLEX and played several games of Battlefield 3 without any issues at all!
When I first read about this on IGN.com I couldn’t believe it until I saw it. Pixar fans Jonason Pauley and Jesse Perrotta recreated the CGI film Toy Story shot for shot. It has made such an impact that Pixar themselves have given them the blessing to release it to the world! How cool is that!!?
I’m not ashamed to say I’m a comic book fan ever since I was a child and to see all these childhood heroes of mine come to screen has been a fantasy come true. After the oustanding Avengers comes Shell Head’s third outing on the big screen.
Marvel released the first official trailer today and my jaw dropped. Stark gets his butt kicked. Bring on April 2013!!!
Being a photographer, storage is incredibly important; storage that can expand and offer protecting is crucial.
When it comes to direct access storage devices that offer built in disk failure redundancy features and multi drive capabilities the biggest name is Drobo by Data Robotics.
However, I lived with a Drobo V2 for just over a year. This version had the USB2 and Firewire 800 interfaces. In the beginning it was great. Drobo was small, quiet and kept my files safe and protected. But I was soon wanting more from the diminutive device. I needed faster random access, faster sequential data throughput and finally I wanted an transfer interface that wasn’t based on 10 year old technology (USB and FireWire). So it was time to move on and I sold it.
18 months later there was a Drobo shaped space next on my desk. I still wanted all those features which the Drobo couldn’t offer. I looked at the Drobo’s newer siblings; the Drobo S and Drobo FS but reviews slated them for the slow speed and their inadequate ability to maximize their eSata and USB 3 interfaces. Plus they were notoriously expensive.
The search continued for many months when I stumbled on a small device from MediaSonic for around £100 (approx $160 US).
The device has a very silly name, it’s called the HFR2-SU3S2. Even with the silly name it does have a lot features. It has an eSata and USB 3 interface, 4 drive bays and a choice of RAID 0, 1,5 and 10.
This is how I’ve configured it:
- Three 2TB Western Digital drive at 5200RPM
- USB 3 interface
- RAID 5 configuration giving me 4TB of usable storage
Using the USB 3 interface it’s as speedy as any SATA drive in my PC; I was hoping it would be faster since I have it configured in RAID 5. I was expected higher performance since the data is spread across the three 2TB drives I have installed but without doubt the results are faster than the Drobos.
There is no software provided and the instructions are short; however this was not an issue for myself as I have a lot of experience with these devices, but I can imagine it would be a bit intimidating for the absolute beginner.
I have read other comments about the HFR2-SU3S2 being quite noisy; I have found it to be very quiet. It is by no means silent. I would describe the noise level to be on the ‘very quiet’ scale. I set the fans on auto and it just does the rest!
In the box, you get a USB3 and a eSATA cable. Both are quite short so if you plan on having the unit on your desk and your computer is underneath your desk, then you may have to purchase a longer lead like I did. I got a 2m eSATA cable for only £2.00
The lights on the front are bright but not distracting. When the drives are being accessed the activity lights turn purple. There have been comments from other users saying it’s too bright but I disagree. While they are noticeable on my desk they don’t annoy me.
Overall, this is a magnificent little device that has little compromise when compared to the more expensive Drobo. The only limitation I see is all the drives have to be matched (you can mix up manufacturers and sizes on the Drobo).
Buy it, it’s cheap and offers an expandable means of storage with redundancy.
I got a new mouse yesterday. It’s amazing! I’ve recently gone back into gaming on the PC, specifically first person shooters likes Battlefield 3. I needed a high resolution gaming mouse that didn’t break the bank. I saw the Sharkoon Fireglider Black on Amazon UK. It had a lot of great customer reviews so I took the plunge, spent £20 and waited.
It arrived yesterday and it makes a massive difference to the wireless basic mouse I had been using. I can totally recommend this mouse if you’re even semi serious about PC gaming.
I am always on the look out for unique photos that have a narrative so when I stumbled upon these set of photos about the Japanese Yakuza then it immediately opened my eyes.
These images are incredibly powerful when you realize that these people are reputed to be the toughest gangsters in the world. They are legendary and have often been compared with the Italian Mafia gangs.
Since I upgraded my processors over year ago I’ve often wondered what the full abilities of my Mac Pro was in a 64bit test. I’ve recently purchased the full version of Geekbench, and I’m very happy with the results!