- Last logged in Jun 29, 2016
It's a short piece and focused on the nitty gritty so people can get a quick read and general idea what's going on. Because I've tested audio products for so long I have a decent idea of how I want them to perform and I don't think I've shared that.
One of the key weaknesses in headphone design is the low frequency region, it's either a garbled mess that sounds like frequency response or the speaker driver is bottoming out creating really unappealing distortion instead of actual sounds. When you watch an action movie and your TV/Headset/Speakers go to turds you know the moment and cringe through it. Obviously that's not how the media was designed to perform and it's exceeding the spec of your gear in that moment.
To test that I use those same moments, deep frequencies for rumbling atmosphere from trains, cars and everything else. I also sweep through again testing the actual cycle response, usually around 30-35 at the bottom end and going to around 60hz because that's pretty much the sweet spot for most mainstream mediums. If the unit drops out before it hits near their claimed response range it's not a winner in my book, if you say you can do 20hz but it starts failing at 45hz there's going to be issues when people are really engaged in their experience later on.
Going beyond that I look at other elements pitched, the first being the microphone quality and how it handles direct feedback and ambient noise. How is the recording without using mastering? Are the vocals hollow / echoing? Is there any depth to the speaker, does it need an EQ master before it can get used in a video or is it something that could work for an 11th hour edit? Would it work well in streaming without passing it through a software EQ or hardware mixer?
When tackling items like DSP features it's complicated depending on the unit. Is it a stereo headset emulating surround or is it a multi-speaker solution? The results and behavior are actually wildly different as one of those assigns delay and other effects to the channel while the other can do those but assign them to multiple channels vs left or right. Because we're dealing with a product that rests on the ears the strength of those effects plays a crucial role especially in stereo headsets. When the DSP settings are too strong everyone comes off like they're locked in a steel container and everything drowns in post-processing, when they're too light it's easy to question if it's even working properly. Surround headsets with dedicated channels often skip this issue because there's not a case of 5.1/7.1 -> 2.0 -> emulated 5.1, these units can apply some emulation for the sound fields but it's generally not as severe even when converting stereo sound up, there's also a chance for better clarity because of dedicated low freqency, midrange and highs.
It's a tricky thing and even if it seems like it would be the case, few if any headsets perform the same. Earcup design, porting in the headphone casing and other factors settle in (open vs closed).
Anyway, I wanted to share that bit as I kept things shorter but there's much at work when going through a product like that.
Corsair is a name that stands tall in the PC gaming space, expanding their horizons from the days where they only made memory modules that everyone liked to brag about because of the slick heat shields and faster timings. Today the company also produ...
"There are no facts here that indicate Mad Panda's declaratory judgment filing had any
bad faith intent. First, there were no ongoing good faith negotiations. Gunnar's demands for
settlement were unreasonable and coercive, unlike the precedent on which Gunnar relies, where
there was a good faith effort to negotiate. Gunnar's laundry list of demands and threats regarding
past and potential future litigation falls far short of a good faith attempt at negotiation."
*Full disclosure: VeGiTAX2 was a competitor representing GMC at Madden Bowl XXI in Phoenix.
We came across our SLE 4WD after arriving by plane, the Quicksilver Metallic finish stood out in a line of new and used cars in the lot. It catches light and stands out with a crisp finish, the metallic flake balances with the paint to catch the eye without being overkill, many silver finishes often fall on the flat side, creating a dull appearance that feels lackluster. While many cars are doing this more, trucks don't always get the same treatment, GMC put a solid blend in on this color to really catch the eyes.
Once loaded up with luggage in the crew cab to prevent any rain from reaching the luggage we were on the move, the dash immediately boots up as the driver enters the car, allowing the nav / user interface to run post with enough time before they pull out of the car. It's a good consideration to those on the go as the system is ready before the driver is on the move. Features like the backup camera engage automatically by response to the transmission choice, the moment reverse engages it kicks on with guidance pattern to help new drivers understand if they're on the right angle to get out. As a new driver to the Canyon it was a nice help, the radius adjusting on the fly in response to my wheel angles.
Once we were on the move it was easy to feel the power of the 3.5L V6, it packs 305hp with 269lb-ft of torque and has no problem picking up the pace as needed, getting on the freeway it rolled on the power quickly to the drivetrain, the key of course is the same with any manual to apply the acceleration equally. For those who might be heavier on the gas, the manual mode also allows for more control by letting drivers wind out the gears to their desire vs having the automatic try to catch the proper gear to match the acceleration profile.
Personally I enjoyed both options, not for power purposes but to feel a closer level of control while cruising as someone coming from manual cars. It's not about winding out gears but just being able to feel things out while enjoying the ride, after a long day though it's nice to slip into drive mode and leave that up to the automatic to handle. When taking things off on the trail it's certainly understandable that drivers would want more control of their car also and this completely plays to that area.
It poured the first few days in Phoenix, while it was fun driving in RWD mode, the interest was putting that All Terrain feature to use, slipping into automatic 4WD mode allowed the Canyon to use best judgement while traveling over wet and puddled surfaces. While running on gravel and pavement we hit many scenarios but regardless the Canyon kept traction on without slip. Regardless of higher speeds on the freeways with sections of flooded underpasses on a fresh first rain or on gravel roads and dirt sucking up water and making puddles the Canyon handled the terrain without issue and in total comfort.
With a smooth ride and stable response the key was the steering using the upgrade packages for the all-terrain mode. Luckily the Canyon demonstrated smooth control, fairly generous turn radius and strong grip around the long bends without a lean. Those who get used to the dimensions fast will have no issues in parking lots or tight spaces, the steering response is quick for a higher profile vehicle without having a large dead zone or too much play in the wheel. Even with the electric steering the car still translates the road to the driver without feeling dead or clouded.
With smooth control and ride the Canyon of course finishes rounding out the package with a braking kit that allows for smooth speed reduction and quick response in tight moments. While we didn't push the truck into extreme braking we did have our share of stop and go not just in commuter traffic but in high pedestrian areas and wet weather which tested the response over the days.
While the Bose audio system within the SLE is very enjoyable, the feature of the GMC Canyon is the cabin sound or really, the lack of sound. The truck minimizes road noise to allow for a smooth ride experience, instead of hearing every element of the road and nature in the drive there's a quiet experience that allows for passengers and the driver to talk, enjoy the scenery, use the hands free system or the radio. It's a genuinely welcome experience for those coming from older models or other brands that have heavier cabin noise that catch winds and rough pavement sounds.
The audio system in the Canyon allows for multiple levels of compatibility, aside from the radio, it allows for XM reception and bluetooth connectivity for media sync. The sound is rich and smooth even at higher volume levels without distortion. The combination brings a rich sound field with nice bass and welcoming midrange, the higher range does suffer somewhat but a bit of tuning with the head unit can fix that.
One of the big features of the GMC line is the Professional Grade quality, as such stitched leather throughout the cabin welcomes drivers and passengers in the SLE, it's a comfortable seating zone for the driver while the passengers can enjoy the stitched leather and metal accents throughout the truck interior and take in the features of USB charging, WiFi hotspot and bluetooth connectivity to share music and heighten the experience while riding along.
During the ride it was pure comfort, the electric seats allowed for quick adjustment depending on the time of day and level of traffic with materials that ensured a comfortable ride during the journey. Despite any rougher bumps or terrain, none of managed to really translate to the seating itself.
For many it's easy to claim a top quality interior experience but it's always clear at some point where the plastic or the vinyl comes into play at just the wrong point. In the case of the Canyon these elements exist when needed (who would really have a leather wrapped 12v port?) and they're carefully used to keep up the design goals.
Our Canyon drive was a positive one, with over 400 miles put on in mixed freeway and street driving we didn't even go through a whole tank. With a V6 pushing 305hp and variable driving through the experience it was very enjoyable having power and fuel economy on our side. The Canyon provided a smooth ride in multiple driving conditions and a comfortable experience through not only the seating but the low noise cabin and responsive climate control and automated 4WD and even lighting system.
After being in other class competitors like the Frontier and Tacoma I can say it's a very different feel in the Canyon, the ride is stiff enough for off-road but not so much that it's jarring to the ride, it takes the hits and works hard to make sure everyone has the best ride possible. For those looking to find a truck that delivers comfort and functionality the Canyon has the best of both worlds, a comfortable interior for the family and a functional design and power to take on bigger workloads.
The Los Angeles Auto Show is in full swing this weekend, and while there are a ton of cool cars to check out and admire, there was another story to see during the show. Chevrolet unveiled the Chaparral 2X Vision to the world, taking on the Gran Turismo challenge of creating a car of tomorrow that defies the norm, that dares to dream outside of the boxes while using real technologies in development or in research.
Instead of just doing a digital launch, Chevrolet opted to create the Chaparral to the best of their abilities with the materials they opted to assign to the car in game and kept that in mind during development. While talking with Clay Dean of the Advanced Design Studio on this project, there was an air of adventure for the project, looking at the past not for inspirations but for what made motorsports so exciting, the result was the Can-Am series, what was essentially a formula unlimited class of the truest form.
That format, that passion and creativity was what stood as the base of the Chaparral 2X Vision, from the body to the engine and seating position, the whole car was outside of any box that was really known before. Design choices like placing the driver in a MotoGP style position, using a laser firing turbine engine that's being researched by NASA and creating a body with extreme aerodynamics allowing the car to reach and maintain speeds at 293 mph or higher and allowing for cornering.
Speed was an obvious goal of the project but this wasn't just a sled racer, the teams took into account all of the aerodynamics to ensure the car could turn and that functionality remained. The drivers position tucks down in the front and compromises the larger field of vision but the team incorporated the use of integrated side and rear cameras into the driver UI / cluster to present video immediately within sight while driving at these high speeds. No head turning just a whip of the eyes while at full throttle.
Everything about the Chaparral strives to maintain the pedigree of the brand while also bridging new space with the GM team. While a crazy HP engine might possibly reach that same speed, the way it accelerates, the ability it has to maintain it and the consistency are unlike any other car. GM had the Chaparral 2X Vision on demo after the reveal and after multiple turns on the demo station I can say it's not something you can associate to any other motoring experience. Even if you drive jet cars at Bonneville for a living the handling and function and position are massively different.
Out of the gate the acceleration is quick enough to leave users catching the speedometer passing 200 mph and climbing fast, the car sucks up pavement while cutting down the track at breakneck speed, the first sense of the acceleration with the wheel and the fight from the wind resistance and lift as the car barreled forward leaves the hands tight on the wheel, worrying if it rocks too hard to the left or right will it be the end, shooting over the top of the hill at 287mph and launching down...289, 290... 291... 292...... 29....3... with a hard push there might be another digit there but in the demo form it stayed and eventually fell off from that top speed. Coming into the high bank corner holding 289-290 mph the car leaves fate to the user, cling to a line and finesse the corner or cut too hard and feel the backlash, go too easy and watch it openly skip up the pavement to the railing. The Chaparral is there to take the player to breakneck speed without apology and it does it very well leaving fate to the driver.
The demo station was limited to this top speed event, but from experimenting on the game it was clear there's handling in the car beyond record speed runs, after doing a fairly wide turn I moved to cut in on the high bank and watched the car correct and slice downward to the exit line I wanted, the response is there, it's just waiting to see it in action next.
So why go that far, why not just make a hybrid electric and combusion corvette with an aero kit of insane proportions? The Chaparral 2X Vision was designed as a way to reach out to what motorsports development was, a pure form of experimentation and research to reach new achievements and engineering heights. It's an ode to a development form that tends to be quite dormant these days and shows that when a team dreams big they can come up with results that weren't even really on the grid.
The Chaparral 2X Vision is coming to GT6 quite soon, the car will include full driver cluster / UI for cockpit experience and the full power of that laser firing turbine engine. There's an unforgettable sound of that engine blasting along the roadway, it's raw and rich allowing players to propel at insane speed and test their ability to manage engine thrust against conventional acceleration. It's certain a car to help spice up the lineup and a unique venture in engineering that I hope more will pursue than what we've seen so far.
*Photos by: Gabriel Vega (VeGiTAX2) do not use without permission.
Honestly there's probably a lot of factors that contribute to having your head wanting to split after doubling down for the 3rd time in a day. As long as I maintain a decent diet though I have yet to actually hit anything with my Watermelon Ultra. I took it with me to SDCC this year and I carried it in my sling bag, instead of letting days on end of walking and waiting and a lack of sleep ruin panels. Probably one of the first years I wrapped up the convention and I was still on my toes waiting for something else to do. Just a sip here and there and I was holding in like it was only the start of the day.
It's weird honestly, used to always be a case of throw a monster in the freezer, grab it and run out the door and just hope it holds me through the event or night out and so on. I know companies like 5 hour energy tried to focus on portability long ago but my experience with it was pretty awful (stomach cramping like mad) so I've largely just avoided ever trying to go back. In past years I would stow 1-2 away in my bag and grit and bear drinking a warm one as the late afternoon kicked in but without tasting like syrup I was able to drink the Black Powder Ultra at any point.
I usually drink monster / red bull / rockstar / full throttle when I game as well, when its repetitive or a review it helps burn the hours or speed through. I've replaced those as well and I control my delivery to just a bit of a wakeup to "why am I constantly dying / crashing" and its the full punch. You get the focus, you get the energy and as long as you're not terrible at the game you're set to do better there as well. I don't use Black Powder Ultra just to wake up a little either which is what I would do with a regular drink, nursing it through a day until it was flat and I felt obligated to finish it off or waste the value on it.
Strange times but I'm glad things are changing and maybe we'll see more trying to reach that market. You have a ton of regular supplements like Gatorade, Propel and others going into powdered form for portability and casual drinks like Starbucks and Crystal Light repeating it. We should have that option on a larger scale for all things so I'm glad MRI and Black Powder Ultra are trying to set the bar for that market. Now I just need them to make it portable so I can avoid hassles trying to get it through the TSA.
We've lost a lot of good people to medical issues lately in this community, be it friends or family. Personally it's hit close to home with the recent cancer related death of Sarah Parries. She and many others have left too soon from the world and from our community. As someone who has faced cancer in the family and has a 5-year-old daughter, the story about Sarah hits to the core because really, it can happen to anyone at any time and it's the one thing we're still helpless against now.
Fortunately I wasn't the only one to feel that way, the MWO community was equally struck that a 5 year old MechWarrior that had just started into their world had passed from the world. The fans did what they do best, they petitioned, they reached out and they wanted to fight back however they could. The result is a customized Jenner Mech in tribute to Sarah that users could buy and all proceeds would go into Cancer research, not only did everyone get to contribute to a cause but they'll always have Sarah with them when they go into the battlefield or stand a chance to see her Mech running free through the world just as she would have.
Right now they're closing in on $100,000 in donations (now $97,280) and they're running toward the close of the event (August 20th). I think it's moving that a community can come together to raise money for things that touch each one of us these days. When people question if we've fallen into the depths, items like this show the community still has some fight and when the right cause comes they'll do what it takes.
At Neo we never had the largest MW community but it's interesting to see how sometimes even people who aren't the biggest fans can still feed off other groups and support them.
Sarah's Jenner Specs:
When I went looking for supplements on working out I also dug in for things to help build focus in development situations or in gaming so that I could sneak that extra hour in at 11pm for gaming and actually not fall asleep mid game. I came upon promotions for the new Black Powder Ultra, pitched for working out as well but also for them using a series of supplements focused around generating mental focus. At the time I was already getting the EO2 and aminos so I basically threw the Ultra in with the bunch.
While I didn’t initially focus on it because I was unsure of the reaction, I kicked myself after using it almost a week later as the awareness shot up and I was able to work without lingering headaches or the excessive crash afterward. I got many projects completed in the 11th hour range because of that stuff and it helped lead into the completion of the planning and executing for about 80% of our E3 needs this year. I wasn’t jacked up to the extreme but it was nice to have a mystical extra wind without the hand jitters or stomach churning aftermath from relying on those too much.
So in the midst of all this, I also tested the perks for gaming because hey, they said it’s for gamers to reach in for extra focus or go that extra mile. When you’re about 5 miles over that extra mile it’s really nice to be able to get into a shootout or a race and actually not be awful at it. I had just taken up ownership of a new Logitech G27 and was trying to get used to it with GRID 2 and my patience… it was just missing. After crashing, missed gears and general awful starts I summoned it up again and was basically riding Black Powder Ultra to get me to bond with the wheel at about midnight after spending hours measuring, printing, testing and photo shopping my brains out. As I mentioned above, at times the sensitivity to these things gets to be a bit high and instead of awareness I get jitters in my control instead. It was good though, I was getting kills, getting first and I wasn’t rage quitting anymore or passing out face first and getting admin kicked. A rarity that I enjoyed in the midst of piles of work.
Then E3 hit, it’s a drain fueled by anything you can get your hands on, in my case I made a bottle of it to wake me up, to bring me back to full awareness mid-day and to carry me into the night until it was time to settle in. During the show it was nice to be able to stand aware though while playing games instead of thinking of a nice pillow to plant my head on, although it didn’t stop me from being terrible at some games like The Crew, hit so many palm trees I swear I think I set a record. The bottle cycled over 3 days but I was able to actually enjoy what I was playing on the floor and even remember it later. On top of that I was again free from my body hating me completely and not on the verge of collapse.
Post E3 it’s been a unique ride, with a reduced schedule in general, more time to play during normal hours and not being tired or stressed I took myself back over to the Ultra instead of grabbing a Rockstar or Monster. Having it in mind that I was able to game without the shakes or jitters and actually enjoy it I said why not, I don’t usually need those for general gaming but it’s usually something I have on tap anyway for the moment. I jumped into GRID 2 and honestly, it was a bit better each step of the way, better shifts (faster with fewer misses) and I still had the same enjoyment. In shooters like BF3 it’s the same translation, less having to psych myself into the game and more just communicating with friends and laying it down on the other team.
I needed help getting ready for E3, I had exercise to do to be in better form for the group, I had a ton of development and design projects to clear up for my schedule as well. I went into supplements to get that extra hand and honestly… it wasn’t bad, I got to my goals ahead of schedule, I was able to improve my own health by not power chugging energy drinks and having my body out of whack and I honestly feel better after the show now than I have in any prior year. Also I don’t think I’m going back to Monster and others anytime soon, while the powder has the Taurine, L-Carnitine and Caffeine going for it along with other popular supplements, the way it digests or is used for me is a much more forgiving experience and for a lot of people that’s the big deciding factor, well along with it not tasting terrible and avoiding giving me the shakes.
After going through the prep to get fit for E3 and the overkill use of energy drinks to find those extra hours to get things done I wanted to write up my experience with it all and document a bit about what I did and how I got there. A lot of people just say “yeah bro, worked out, got jacked it was easy, just lift some weights and run” but I wanted something a little more about the why and how I got there. Also with Comic-Con coming up, I think it’s fair to document how I managed to not die at all and instead be active the whole time. Decent hour to cycling if not more, push for the inclines when you can get them and work out the areas you’re really going to use, high reps of a weight I could handle it with and honestly I think I’ll be really happy with myself through the convention walking and carrying phases. Nothing prepares anyone though for 8hours in a line though :P
Hopefully this was some help, I usually go with a lot of things until they break, in this case I couldn’t really stomach more shelf energy drinks especially stacked on each other and I found something that worked out really well and continues to do so. No shakes just focus, faster projects and a lot less dying in game lol. Also it's now the summer so bring it on Gaming.
energy drinks black powder ultra e3 design development musingsthoughts gaming related
When I set out to start this goal, I was knee deep in appointments, design and developing projects and even a special site for our industry friends. Needless to say my diet consisted of Monster / Red Bull / Rockstar and basically anything I was able to cook between those periods. As anyone will note, after a while and especially as you age these are not great staples of living.
I started looking into a few things toward E3 to increase my endurance and start getting my diet back in check. I started working with free weights throughout the day, also taking about an hour to cycle as well. Putting in my miles and my reps I was able to start building toward that goal, unfortunately living in Southern California, sometimes a nice day turns to death valley because the Sun loves doing that and your endurance crashes with it. After some heavy defeats I decided to step it up a bit with my timetable to E3 closing in.
Even with downshifting and water there’s only so much I can do against stiff elevation changes, I started using EO2 Edge from MRI to help optimize how I was working out, following the general advice of pre-workout and how to sustain mid-workout I was able to actually start pushing toward doubling my ride range. I was able to increase leg strength and stamina as a whole, with my refined diet I pushed to help that accelerated exercise schedule with amino’s from them to focus on the muscle development, while they are basically massive pills they helped immensely with the recovery periods and got me where I needed to be.
As a result of that focused workout, at E3 I was incredibly snappy to move around, it’s a given you’ll get warm but I wasn’t dropping buckets going from end to end at the show and that was a relief because despite the AC it’s often not enough and you don’t want to be the odd guy carrying a towel to dry off before you meet up with people. I can say that pushing for that 40 days or so of straight up cardio was a massive factor in it and using the E02 Edge was monumental because the uphill areas around where I live can just flat out kill after a while. It’s a cocktail of vitamins and supplements that let me keep pushing to the next tier in a hurry and it probably kept me out of what seemed to be a post E3 bug for a lot of people online.
My feet weren’t sore at E3, my knees weren’t killing me, I wasn’t a soaked mess and I was able to reach my goal of 7-8 miles of riding to get it done. I might not be ready to run a marathon or cycle in a massive race but I can say that having some physical prep going on for even just shows in general helps a ton and if you really push it you’ll be thankful. For my time available I needed the boost and I'm glad for taking that plunge because I'm in better condition after doing it and the time to get there otherwise could have taken much longer with a harder toll on my health.
On the free weights, focused on shoulder exercises and some incline bench which helped immensely with heavy bags or equipment for the team. Stuck to using high reps of 15’s for the whole thing and it was clutch since I always feel like I’ve killed one side by the end of E3 with my laptop bag and backback.
The prep hasn’t stopped though, Comic-Con is coming up and I’m still going strong with a bottle of my endurance prep while I ride. I look forward to being able to power through the show this year with all the crazy events they’ll have going on across the Gas Lamp district and more.
Part 2 follows this, talks about passing out and moving from standard energy drinks to something more forgiving.
exercise e3 mri e02 edge training gaming related musingsthoughts
For those unfamiliar.
quoteIn fact it proves itself daily as the forum reaches 12 years in age, our timeline of possibility going well over the response of 1 so often it's almost comical to see the references.As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1.
In the case of a site like this run over such a long period though, the disruptions often seem to stem from a failure to understand local and government laws not applying to corporate run discussion boards. Much like the mods at IGN or GameFaqs can be labeled "Nazi's" they're not, you agreed to a TOS that often doesn't promote the impression of freedom of expression, opinion or trolling or douchebaggery as standard practice. It's the lack of understanding of conduct and public and private space that people forget about and what makes moderation references using Godwin's law so entertaining at times.
Why would this be?
It's simple really, just as you can't waltz into a formal establishment and start spouting defamatory slurs or claiming sections of the building as your own, you can't do the same on a private board. Every time you post on one of these boards or in a comment thread or on Facebook or Twitter you agree that your content may be evaluated, monitored, removed or censored depending on the standards of the company.
Going on a rabid vulgar tangent, acting like an ass, starting a protest are all ways to express yourself but they're not covered by anything most sites state in their TOS / Rules of Conduct. We're always under the careful eye of those in moderation or management no matter what site or place we're on. It's not censorship, it's managing a community to the aim and wish of the company providing you the service.
Bull, I haven't seen that before.
Of course you have, Twitter accounts are often shut down when going too far, Facebook accounts can be suspended, blog comments can be completely scattered apart using filters like on BoingBoing or removed at the whim of the author or editorial team as they hold final say. I've personally had my own rants on corporate blogs go filtered, I take the knock and go with it knowing at some point one of their reps read it and had to take it in without coming back claiming it's run like a death camp. They do reserve the right to show the content they feel best demonstrates the general line they want to promote and I can't knock that because it's THEIR SITE.
To say such things are exclusive to one site or another is absolutely foolish, everyone has their own team monitoring commentary and posts go missing, edited or users get banned at any point. If users can't recognize the situation they're in it will always end up bringing Godwin back into the picture and laughably at that. There's no valid claim to be had, "damn you for restricting the freedoms that you never actually expressed that I had" just looks really absurd to anyone that realizes this.
Well what do I do?
Move along, realize there are things in this world within your control and others that are not, the sooner someone can accept they're not the owner or boss of a site the better off they'll be later for altercations. In the meantime stop letting everyone think you're unbelievably silly by slapping nazi labels anytime you don't get your way. It really does look sad in a not cute or pity inducing way.
I can't, I'm going to show these guys what's up.
Good luck, you'll likely go down in an embarrassing blaze of glory and fail in the process.
godwin internet freedoms musingsthoughts
- NZXT Phantom - White
- Jetway HA08 ComboL 790GX
- AMD Phenom II B93 @ 3.7GHz
- GELID GX-7 Cooler in push pull configuration
- Crucial PC6400 DDR2 4GB
- ASUS EAH6850 DirectCU @ 1000/4600
- Creative X-Fi Xtrememusic
- Cooler Master Real Power Pro 650W
- Turtle Beach AK-R8 Headset
- Altec Lansing 641 4.1 Speakers
- Logitech Wireless KB
- Logitech G9 mouse
pc hardware builds diy pc gaming amd
For those curious on what the magic entry fee delivers it's a few things.
The tracks are in depth and have open mic opportunities for attendees to voice their mind and get feedback on their direction or the direction of the panel at any given point. It's a dynamic energy driving new minds to veterans in the field. Worried if your new app is really going to hold up to the test of time? Sit in during the mobile panels and find out how the trends tend to work and how to extend the longevity of your product. Learn what your consumers are leaning toward in the analyst panels and feel out the field of gaming as a whole with new technologies like streaming and cloud storage.
Here are a few panels I hit for Neoseeker this year as samples, please excuse me if they're slightly rough.
Panel 1: State of the Industry
Jesse Redniss - USA Network
Jack Buser - Playstation Digital Platforms
Matt Hulett - GameHouse (Real-Networks)
Mark Spencer - Rumble
Baudouin Corman - Gameloft
Mark Friedler - Worlds and Games Consulting
The Los Angeles Games Conference kicks off the first panel with a simple question, where is the state of the industry at for your respective companies, where do you see the tides going in the future?
Jack Buser brings a very interesting development Sony and their side of development. While we've heard investors ask Nintendo to consider other platforms but the same was never requested from the other mobile developer, Sony. Playstation Digital is working on a new platform of Playstation Certified devices powered by Android to cater to this space. The idea is that binaries written for Vita can run without porting on devices that meet the requirements to get approval from Sony, the program is currently in beta right now and the development entry cost is their lowest yet at $99 to get into this new ecosystem. The idea of course is the Playstation experience can eventually reach HTC, Motorola and other devices through their development investment right now and that richer experiences will make their way to the consumers.
Baudouin supports the movement from Playstation Digital, mentioning this should help the continued growth in emerging markets by making widely accessible content. Also noting that new IP's are still just as viable as ever in the mobile space and that Ice Age Village has moved over 5 million downloads in 7 days time. Matt Hulett stepped in to note that IP development is on a rise again with old genres coming back into the mainstream again. Bejeweled and even poker games coming into the fold again, the market around them has gone from 2 primary IP's in to 6 in the past year catering to these areas.
Jesse Redniss explained that while many feel the industry is coming to a head for developments that room still exists to expand as a result of those genre revivals and new approaches to them are always coming. Even with that, there will be a convergence in his mind, understanding the market and users and eventually seeing focused and driven content make its way into syndication for that global market. Mark supported this noting that developers are coming through with reduced complexity in input to meet the current market already so a high quality experience is coupled with ease of use, LA Noire being an example of this movement.
Jack was able to follow-up with other examples for Playstation in this field with Dust 514 being a complete F2P experience for PSN soon. The focus being all the testing done in Playstation Home coming full circle, they've tried so many things that they understand social isn't just a chat log and much more for a core player and they feel Dust 514 will act as a demonstration of this analysis.
The panel moved forward to a sensitive question of Hype, what's overused or stressed in the industry right now?
Mark was first to bat noting Play Anywhere is a huge buzzword for those in the industry right now, the reality is that while a nice idea that devices are not universal. The focus should be on the experience and developers would be wise to act carefully about the experience they end up delivering to the users or they'll lose them from those bad ports. Baudouin was able to chime in with the issue of quality, can it be retained across a field with so many levels of division. The feeling is that developers need to mature how someone experiences a game and that it can't just be a simple control adjustment. Jack stepped in after with Cannibalization of the market, noting that while core gamers may feel threatened that a strong reality is the group isn't going anywhere in the market. The demise of the core group of gamers is just a hype sensation and that essential products will always exist in the market to meet those needs.
Baudouin noted that even Gameloft has faced harsh reactions from the public but once the fans were able to give it a shot they could see it wasn't a threat directed at them and an enjoyable experience could be had. As a whole gaming isn't being diluted in his eyes, it's just growing outward and the pool that it attracts is vast but it's a new audience not a breakdown of the current core culture.
The big question then was simple, is this sustainable? Will a CPM model hold up in these developing markets or will a new shift be required to keep these alive.
Jack was first to catch this question, bringing up investment figures from players in Playstation Home, average user sessions hit 1 hour at a time and the 3D engagement of the world and campaigns allows for complete immersion during the play experience that 2D struggles to keep up with in comparison. For Playstation the idea of integrated experiences makes for a fluid presentation while they feel that 2D will just erode over time without the same level of immersion to the player.
Jesse was able to chime in on developing content around that issue, moving from CPM to connections, getting a transcending movement isn't so simple though as it takes a dedicated and detailed partnership to commit to these plans. CPM still stands as king in the TV space for content publishers / stations but companies like USA are looking to the next evolution of experience like Defiance by Trion. What happens in-game shapes the TV show and users are constantly engaged on both sides of the story, content partners in this case are integrating products by thinking ahead 30 years into the future to be part of that landscape.
Mark as the newcomer in the bunch felt that advertising was only a small piece of the puzzle and micro-transactions will play a larger part in the future of the industry. Prove the value of the game outside of just the aesthetic perks seen today, sure you can buy some cool clothes for your avatar but what happens when it fades? Instead the focus for Rumble is helping not only the player but their group or guild as well, by involving a greater pool there's a reward and longer term delivery for users.
The panel closed on a final outlook topic, where is development changing and what is happening?
Mark noted the increase of F2P and live gaming is a shift for teams that are used to traditional development cycles, in the console world a game is produced by a team and a month out as it enters testing the team retires on vacation and comes back to start on their next task after launch. In these new live worlds a game is released but what rests ahead is the next update and in that period there are hundreds of thousands of users actively engaging those games. It's a difficult shift but it's something that developers learn, marathon and sprint as needed, remember the game is a service not a product anymore and the adaptation comes from there.
Matt was quicker to talk about the technical side of all these devices on the market, controlling memory footprints and technical delivery to the user. With so many devices out there from Apple and Android the best products require a firm understanding of universal limits.
Jack noted that while Playstation has one of the largest development pools out there, they're still cutting their teeth on these concepts and the generations of developers are exchanging their histories. The most prominent example coming to mind was the issue of new developers caught up in the business side of development, making a game that follows the metrics to sell or go viral with ease. The older developers from the console side had their own injections though, while you can have a formula game that delivers on basic points you still need to make something fun for the player or it's a waste of time.
Baudouin felt that with new power coming in the next year to the mobile arena that developers face the challenge of keeping games as a service instead of a single experience. Processing power will add incredible opportunity but the potential needs to be controlled so it streams to any platform with the same care for delivery over all else.
Panel 2: From Console to Cloud: Exploring today's multiple distribution possibilities
Nanea Reeves - Machinma
Joel Resnik - Redbox
Jon Estanislao - Activision
Chris Donahue - Onlive
Brad Hisey - Nexon America
Ted Cohen - TAG Strategic
Ted put down a quick question to the panel, will players still be on consoles are will things evolve to streaming for content?
Chris was first to respond, noting we're in a digital content boom right now, you have streaming experiences coming to all platforms in at least some form, you can be on a tablet and stream Netflix or on a Mac and Stream PC games to play through. The idea of gaming going away from the TV is another story though, noting that gamers will always reach out to experience their titles on the biggest screen they have no matter how content is delivered, as a result it's hard to say that streaming means getting away from a console.
Nanea followed in quickly noting that Millennials are proving to be a digital generation, not focused on physical media in her experience.
Joel was quick to include device experience is also a factor here, how a developer controls the lines for experience on each device will also dictate how consumers react.
Jon was able to step in with the experience from Activision, they had a simple question on going digital, "How can we deliver values to the consumer?" the factors considered were improving how they interacted with customers and how to connect and engage them before trying to monetize on that experience. As a result they've favored creating big brands as a way to support that pursuit.
Nanea expressed a factor in the cloud will be ownership, do consumers own the bits and can they access them offline somehow, if the publishers can overcome the hurdle they'll simply have technology pushing platforms away.
Chris followed up on this noting that platforms are already fading with technologies like Onlive you can now have PC game experiences on a Mac, Netbook or a Tablet that were exclusive to those gamers without needing a hardcore PC to power it. All users can share the experience at any time and from a publisher side, it makes it harder to cheat the system in the process.
Joel responded on this noting that few have attempted to embrace other streaming variations outside of just Onlive, mentioning that progressive downloads aren't facing acceptance either and to stay in the game it would help to see a game readily accessible instead of waiting hours for it to install.
Jon reaffirmed Activision is still firm to the retail space, Asia heavily consumes physical media and they're working to develop the retail experience even more with games like Skylanders which offer hardware expansion with a wide selection of figures to collect for the game.
Chris came back mentioning that streaming needs a focus of tailoring games to the user experience, touch controls to make it work but simplify those controls when needed to make it accessible.
Nanea broke in for a moment noting more social games need guns.
The next question asked if we're there yet with the cloud?
The general group shot quick reactions about broadband accesssibility for the country as a whole. Expanding with 4G as an alternative to cable crisis issues, but even then Verizon and AT&T have petitioned to expand their spectrum from their current allocations and wide spread availability would still be an issue reaching those customers if they're falling short in their current state.
Joel reminisced that even with a digital catalog to flip through it's hard to beat the experience of going through the bin and picking out a title.
Brad chimes in with Uberstrike as an example of how in regions you have games already in the system that allow for instant access without a massive client.
Nanea notes that for her experience we're already there with digital and community has driven content like walk-throughs into digital form that you can access anywhere. The community driven contributions are growing and eliminating the need to consult a guide book anymore. From her experience the retail community needs to involve the consumer in new ways or it loses to digital.
The panel turned to Redbox as a whole, without revealing very much the outlook was set on how the company integrates the digital experience. Users are able to trust Redbox as a community brand and use word of mouth to expand their experience. They embrace their community through social media channels and email and text so they're able to listen to the demands and react to those appropriately while earning trust. Redbox may look to the cloud but as a whole they fill that middle area where users still want their physical media on the coastal states and throughout the rest of the country.
Jon mentions that Activision is actively learning and developing with the community to see what will work in their future plans or changes before they roll them out. (referencing COD Elite most likely) Also mentioning that Activision is always looking at new cloud models and will expand in the space as openings present themselves.
Nanea suggested that while the cloud may not be here completely that experimenting with pricing or time based use might help expand its presence in the market to those gamers it wouldn't normally reach.
Chris was quick to jump in mentioning that Onlive has had a large amount of success using a variable pay system or as they call it the PlayPack for $10 which gives flat access to a large library to get exposure for those companies. As companies wish to pull out of it or join in they can in a drop of a hat and get access to those users in that subscription pool. The idea is they're able to cater to the sampler players vs the hardcore who want to lay down a larger sum for a specific game and that it captures monetary value normally lost to high prices. He also went on to note that while the industry is quick to embrace new technology as it has, the retail side is still lacking as his company had experienced in 2011 (Gamestop Deus Ex vouchers, he doesn't mention this specifically for legal reasons so please treat with care).
With the final words from Chris the panel wraps up.
It's just a sample and without all the action and gestures it's not the full picture of course but it's a unique event and young minds that can afford to get in or new companies looking to expand their vision should really think about what the show has to offer with so many people readily available. Being able to sit in on a panel and walk out with the hosts and talk to them at lunch or in the lobby and get that one question in for them to see how its going. Some are even more flexible and make a habit to set up shop for discussion after the event wraps.
We have attended for quite a few years now and it's always a unique experience to gain another perspective on the growing game industries and how the landscape is constantly evolving as it matures each year. While it's not an absolute source of information it's a huge step for many, it would be nice to see some of the moderators engage other issues in the future though, one that stood out in the cloud and online debate was the current network provider issues, bandwidth caps and limits to fiber across the country to sufficiently stream over gaikai or onlive.
gaming conference mobile developers mobile gaming web development technology gaming related
Top fan in the left corner is supposed to be blue, not dead.
The tale gets better, I've been contacting NZXT customer support for the past weeks and the best I've gotten from them is 0 response from their support group. I see tales of how they rushed new fans out to replace the essentially DOA fans but I'm wondering how much of that is either the old NZXT or just made up.
I'm bummed on this setup, everything is set in stealth and basically I have an older Antec 250 throwing out random Tri-Color combinations and an LED light strip lighting up the rest of the case. At one point I wanted to swap out the Antec and just run the main fans but now I need it to carry any kind of accenting.
NZXT, you guys let me down in ways I never thought possible. I'm looking into other companies for some decent low noise 200mm fans with optional lighting in them that wont randomly die just after installation and will actually support what they put their label on.
I had that built up for a while and it feels to let it loose. They could have at least responded noting they were busy or looking into the matter instead of blowing it off.
Update: Contacted NZXT on Twitter, still no response. Buyer beware guys.
Update 2: NZXT PR contacted me a few hours later, new fan on the way. Lets hope it actually works though. Took about 3.5 weeks to get a response for something this simple. Wow.
Take into the account that media status standing was probably a factor as well in getting this pushed through. It's not a good showing by the company for the general consumer especially given the general attitude.
I was honestly just going to go to Microcenter instead and buy something else from another company to avoid the headaches. We'll see how this goes first. :/
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Fortunately I stuck it to Seagate a year or so ago when I recovered a drive with a firmware error instead of paying them like $400.
The problem: Micro SD Card is giving RAW format error
*WARNING - Do not format the card at all until it's noted in the instructions, Windows and Android will keep asking you to during this process.
- Download a force mount / unmount SD widget for the phone
- Force mount the card so that Windows can read it over USB
- Depending on situation, force mount may require a few tries or reboots
- Check first to see if the card can be read once mounted, usually it'll still be RAW in Windows
- Start up Power Data Recovery - [link]
- Run advanced recovery and select the drive letter for your phone off the list
- Once selected choose full scan and let it roll, given the damage you will end up possibly spending hours here as it goes through error messages and finding files.
- Once complete, select the files you need to recover at the highest priority and click save files / save to recover them to your hard drive.
- After you get your higher priority files / folders you can attempt to recover the rest of the card, beware that this process can take much longer with larger files or possibly freeze on those larger files if they are damaged.
- Once you complete the recovery of your files the SD card is pretty much done with. At this point you can install a new card or you can format it.
- To format I recommend using the Panasonic SD Card formatter - [link]
- Once formatted unmount the card and let Android read it, there should be a damaged SD card error that comes up again.
- Open the tray and select the error, Android should ask you if you wish to format, now that the file system has been restored by the Panasonic formatter you can actually attempt this.
- Android should now be able to format the card and it should be fully functional for now. I would suggest contacting the SD card maker about the issue to see if they might replace it anyway.
mobile gaming technology pc hardware error sd htc damage android
For history though here's the lineup
December 2010 - 9600BE
- Core stability errors (clock interval bsod)
- Unstable below stock speed until 2.0ghz (stock is 2.3)
- RMA - AMD replaces with 9600 from week 50
- Cores become unstable again, crashing in Firefox and games
- Unstable until 2.1-2.2GHz on all cores
- RMA - AMD replaces with 9750 B3 stepping CPU
- Cores are amazingly stable, no crashing at all
- Upon tweak testing, cores stable so far to 2.8GHz on stock BE cooler
- All games fly like the wind
- AMD RMA process finally comes through with upgrade + functional CPU
9600 9750 amd phenom x4 pc hardware
7 copies of Halo: Reach Defiant Map Pack
1 copy of Homefront on the PS3
Where do we go from here though? Some might say that we just keep giving away stuff, I'm pondering new event formats though and one of them happens to be using Xtranormal to animate videos for participants to make funny videos on why they deserve to win or why their game is the best.
Given the popularity of the current format it might be hard to break everyone away so maybe these special format moments will come with perks for the effort. :D
Any discussion is welcome on the topic, we still have Yakuza 4 and Two Worlds II coming up for the end of the month so watch out for those. :D
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ATI HD 6990 Review
For those that don't know, this thing eats every game up right now and it spits it out laughing.
quoteTimegate Studios <3's NeoseekerOverall the HD 6990 smashed any expectations we had going into the review as it just dominated any other card in its path, including the current single GPU speed king, the GTX 580, and the dual GPU HD 5970.
We're giving away 5 copies of Section 8 Prejudice, we're also giving away 5 swag packs from Timegate to those lucky winners as well. Enter now, it ends Friday!
Warhammer invades Neoseeker
We're giving away 8 copies of Retribution from THQ and D2D, these guys went out of their way to bring the goods so we're giving them out in an extended contest. Keep in mind one of them is a Collectors Box that raises the stakes even more.
That's about it right now, hopefully we have a few more epic contests coming your way. :D Enjoy
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Here's the link:
How to get @Neoseeker some votes:
Register an account on Twitter, after that head to the link above for the Shorty Awards
Once you're there you'll then have to edit the nomination page, it seems to cycle category so be sure to change the # tag to #gaming
quote Short AwardsAfter:I nominate @Neoseeker for a Shorty Award in #fashion because...
quote Short AwardsAfter you vote:I nominate @Neoseeker for a Shorty Award in #gaming because...
You'll be presented with an authorization page asking if it's okay for the Shorty Awards to use your Twitter account. You have to allow this to go through or your vote will not be counted. It's not malicious but it's what lets their system tally your vote and inform your friends on Twitter.
After that tell your friends and try to vote as often as you can for @Neoseeker :) let's get Red to NYC to pick up a sweet award.
neoseeker related shorty award neoseeker contest awesome
- The 570 LT SLI chipset supports a max of x8 lanes for PCI-E, no x16 as would be found on any normal board. I'm running half the bandwidth for no reason at all with no ability to change it.
- The flashes for the K9N SLI V2 fail to actually address voltage issues with the Phenom, I can change the VCore up or down but it's fixed in every reading I have to 1.25 which actually varies between 1.26 - 1.275.
- A result of the voltage issue is that I have no chance to really overclock the chip with no voltage control. 2.3 is the default but many run 2.6 stable if their board plays nice.
- The board lacks any settings for the other HT speeds, I have stock Athlon X2 1x - 5x setting but that's it. In general the settings are completely absent on this board.
- The on-board performance adjustment for automatic overclocking doesn't even work on this chip.
- nTune is hopeless, it doesn't have enough values available to bother trying to tweak the system. My RAM is already adjusted which is about all it can do anyway.
Anyway that's about it. It's an older board only found in bundles from Tigerdirect for the most part, if you ever hope to do much with it just kill that dream now. As for me, as soon as I can find a board to replace this with the K9N is becoming a pile of keychains.
pc hardware msi k9n amd phenom
- 939 Athlon X2 4200+ @ 2.6GHz
- Foxconn nForce 4 Ultra
- 3GB PC3200 Corsair DDR
- ATi Radeon HD 3850 *Downgraded GPU to X1800XT 512MB
- Antec P193 Case
- AM2+ Phenom X4 9600BE
- MSI K9N SLI V2 (1.31 Beta bios) - nForce 570 LT SLI
- 4GB PC6400 Crucial DDR2 @ 4-4-4-12 (1.95v)
- ATi Radeon HD 3850
- Antec Skeleton Case
For now my apps are running fast and the memory timings have been a huge help from 6-6-6-18 that they were running.
Build struggles this month:
- I had to RMA the 9600 after running it for a week, the CPU was unable to maintain stability at stock speed. From rumors around the net the 3rd core is weak and prone to instability in many batches. I don't have a board that supports AOD so I wasn't able to configure the multiplier lower by hand.
- Replace this nForce board. The 570 LT is lacking in a ton of areas, the PCI-E lanes are restricted to x8 per lane only offering x16 when in SLI mode. >_< The overclocking options are terrible and it generally seems designed around the original AM2 chips still with minimal support in nTune.
- Upgrade the video. The 3850 was pretty great the day it came out, today it has been passed up by 3 new generations and really only contends with some of the midrange cards on the market. Running it at 750/975 right now and cooling it with Rivatuner manual fan control to keep framerate at a playable level.
pc hardware phenom msi k9n antec amd
+ HTC Droid Eris (rooted) with xtrROM 2.1 and wired tethering
+ Nikon D50 With 18-55 kit lens and 70-300 lens
+ Canon ZR500 (480i) Camcorder + 3 DV tapes.
+ 30GB Zune (White) because running between meetings needs a soundtrack.
+ Velbon tripod for the steady shots we always wanted.
Also a boatload of snacks to survive the days because of the tight schedule we're running for E3 this year.
The 1100 is a dinosaur in some things, in web publishing it hauls with a 135mb consumption profile. My desktop config could use such an easy profile with it consuming about 350mb at startup. D;
Anyway, expect some cool stuff and also keep an eye on that Ustream channel for random clips from the day. Maybe I'll catch RCG so she can say hi to everyone.
Later guys, wish us luck.
The main page condenses the format of the page to a handy format that reduces bandwidth consumption and the need to pinch to zoom everything. The news, blogs and fanart are revamped in the same fashion to conserve for those on a tight data plan.
I took some shots of the new look on my Eris, the only notable issue so far is the user review formatting as I can't zoom out to fit the full page in landscape mode. Other than that it's working like a charm right now. :D
Keep an eye on that for raw clips from the show, I can't promise what content I'll get on camera as some companies block direct recording from their screens. (Ex. At the MS brief we'll be unable to transmit live as it is a no technology event)
Keep an eye on the frontpage of Neoseeker.com to catch the latest news and content from the show. We'll work our hardest to get things out in a timely manner.
Also check out the Neoseeker contests, they're not hard to win, the competition isn't that high and you actually stand a good chance to win something. People would be amazed at how easy this stuff is and we don't ask you to pay shipping or anything. :P Think of the in-store credit you could get even if you didn't want the specific game. Yesh.
Please report these things to the super moderators or use the complaints & reports forum instead to make sure action is taken instead of letting them run on a rampage.
Super moderators on duty:
+Equipment still needs to come together, need to load up on dv tapes and see if I can find extended batteries.
+New technology needs to be tested, while we're going to run video to neo.vids I'm doing low res direct feed over either Ustream or Justin.tv direct from the show floor to show gameplay on the fly. I should have a channel name figured out by the end of the week. Frequency of the videos will be determined by the WiFi availability at the event as 3G service tends to artifact.
+Instead of resting or doing something sane, I also have reviews for Green Day: Rock Band, Armored Core: Last Raven and a slew of previews / reviews from the 1C Company this week.
Count on the official Neo team to bring some great coverage of the show this year and keep your eyes locked on the Neoseeker.com homepage for updates (unless we do get an E3 forum in which case the mods should be linking our articles directly to the forum).
Coverage starts Sunday Night and should run through Thursday / Friday for reporting (Show ends on Thursday but we may still have piles of stuff to give impressions on).
I'll have a full gear report as we go into the show, thankfully technology has allowed me to consolidate some stuff this time around.
Create a comic and win Sam & Max Season 3 (PC/Mac)
FIFA World up South Africa (PS3)
Final Fantasy XIII (PS3/360)
We also have a few more contests coming this month, some which may make MW2 fans happy, or maybe even some fans of Spy games or people who like large random giveaways of games and merchandise.
Keep an eye out though in site news and announcements for the latest on these. We want to give everyone lots of free stuff, but you have to make the effort to actually take it off of our hands.
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Check it out and get a slight preview of things we have in store for the 2009 article on the show. :D Also maybe we'll have some new content features to spur out from this point. One never knooowws except me but that's cool.
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If you're interested in following our adventures check out these links during the E3 week. We'll also be hitting out more detailed wrap-up features as things go along but the focus is hitting with as much info as we can as fast as we can.
Neo E3 Links:
(Tek said something about a special E3 page, not sure if we'll have it)
Some of us might twitter in our own things during the day but it seems likely the service might just take a horrible dive over the course of the show.
If there's time somehow check our blogs as well for any impressions that we might be reserving on the side. I wouldn't say that we're going to update these more compared to the front page though.
And finally a shot of some equipment I'm lugging around
Not pictured (Flip Video Cam, tripod)
Pictured (EOS 10S, Rebel XTi, Sony DSC85, Canon 18-55mm, Canon 35-80mm, Sigma 70-300mm, Canon ZR500, Zune 30G, DS Lite (black), LG enV + backup battery, backup battery for the XTi and business cards)
Yeah the 10S doesn't make sense for the day show but it's cool for the late night events <3 film.
musingsthoughts pc hardware gaming related nintendo microsoft sony e3
- Joined Apr 15, 2001
- 34 years young
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- Communications Manager | Sr. Editor (Gamegrep)