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Comments

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DRM vs. Unfinished Games

BikeHelmet Re:hmm (462 comments)

You buy a code, and that code unlocks your game, forever and ever, the transaction is finished. It's true you couldn't use the full game before the code, but you hadn't paid for it yet.

Until you reinstall/upgrade your OS! Then you need to contact them to get a reactivation code. Better pray they haven't gone under.

Got a laptop, and want to play on it as well? See above.

more than 4 years ago
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Nvidia's $200 GTX 460 Ups Bargain Performance

BikeHelmet Re:$200 is "mid" range? (197 comments)

Surprise special prices on newegg are neither imaginary nor magical.

But I assure you GTX460's won't show up in the surprise specials for quite a while. They seem to use it to flog off old stock.

more than 4 years ago
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Fastest Graphics Ever, Asus ARES Rips Benchmarks

BikeHelmet Re:Am I a cheap bastard? (208 comments)

Which is exactly my point. Steam has huge sales, often with 75-90% discounts. A lot of these games show up for $2 to $10 on Steam. Mass Effect has been $5 no less than a couple times.

For games with online communities, as soon as they hit rock-bottom prices, hundreds of thousands of people buy them. That leads to quite a lot of active players.

In the past year I've spent perhaps $400 on games, and amassed over a hundred of them. Far more than I'll be able to play over the next couple years.

With a console, you spend half as much as you would on a computer, but you're constantly spending $25 here or $60 there to keep entertained. At the end of a 3 year run, you've probably spent 3x as much, even if you factor in computer upgrades to keep current.

more than 4 years ago
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Familial DNA Testing Nabs Alleged Serial Killer

BikeHelmet Re:Only thats not really true. (258 comments)

Who the fuck really knows what makes a serial killer?

The unique and differing bacteria inside every person?

more than 4 years ago
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Familial DNA Testing Nabs Alleged Serial Killer

BikeHelmet Re:Why don't they find the serial killer gene inst (258 comments)

If you can't fix the environment for everyone, you can't fix every fetus's genes either.

What are you going to do if someone finds out later that they have serial killer genes? Kill them? Put them on watch lists and discriminate?

Just work on fixing the environment. It's safer and easier than altering our own blueprints.

more than 4 years ago
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The Mouse Vanishes

BikeHelmet Re:I like holding the mouse over fake holding one! (292 comments)

Would this work for exhibits? (often protected behind glass?)

Touchscreens are expensive, and open up the annoying possibility of something getting damaged. A $20 smart camera system detecting motion on the glass would probably be safer and cheaper.

This project doesn't interest me because I'm a gamer. I suspect this lacks the DPI necessary for precise movements. Also, I Claw.

more than 4 years ago
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Nvidia's $200 GTX 460 Ups Bargain Performance

BikeHelmet Re:Remember the LOLAMO (197 comments)

I always jump generations late, when you can get the best deals on new cards. My card choice is primarily based on what I can get for the money I have available.

I got an eVGA 7900GS when they came out at about $150. I lucked out - mine overclocked 70%, making it quite a bit faster than 7900GTX's - roughly the same speed as an 8800GS. (minus some shader power)

But, when I had a chance to get an 8800GS for $35, I jumped on that too. Turned out the memory wasn't stable at stock speeds, so I had to underclock it, making it slightly slower than my old card. Bummer. But at least it solved the crash issues L4D/L4D2 have with GeForce 7's.

When I finally got a chance to flip to a GTS 250 for $99, and sell my old card, I did that. It too was unstable at stock speeds, but some copper RAM sinks fixed that, and it now runs happily with a 20% memory overclock. It currently plays everything I throw at it at 2048x1152 - but newer games do require AA to be turned off.

My next GPU upgrade won't be for a while. I already have too many games to find time to finish. But I'll probably pick up a new CPU to speed up video encoding, shortly.

more than 4 years ago
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Nvidia's $200 GTX 460 Ups Bargain Performance

BikeHelmet Re:$200 is "mid" range? (197 comments)

Right now you can get a GeForce 240 512MB card for $98.00 with a 3DMark Vantage score of 6130 or a Radeon 5670 that scores 6223 for $99.99. This GTX 460 gets a 3DMark Vantage score of 14700. So on a price per performance measure, yes, it is a bargain.

Are you kidding me? I got a brand new GTS 250 512MB for $99 CAD six months ago. (worked out to about $85 USD shipped)

A friend of mine picked up a brand new Radeon 4870 1GB (slightly faster than a 5770 in DX10) for $104 USD shipped in late June.

These cards are approximately 3-6x as fast as the ones you listed, for the same price. More importantly, GTX 460 is only ~25% faster for +100% price. If DX11 matters that much to you, go ahead. To me it's hardly a bargain.

P.S. 4870 1GB's score closer to 10k in 3Dmark Vantage, so for benchmarking the performance difference may be 50%

more than 4 years ago
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Nvidia's $200 GTX 460 Ups Bargain Performance

BikeHelmet Re:Another review, with architecture comparison (197 comments)

Later drivers will probably correct the Metro 2033 anomaly.

It took a year, but nVidia delivered drivers for L4D that provided ~50% FPS gains.

I suspect we'll see the same thing here, in a couple months to a half-year.

more than 4 years ago
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Nvidia's $200 GTX 460 Ups Bargain Performance

BikeHelmet Re:NVidia engineering sucks badly (197 comments)

What manufacturer? After the last DFI piece of crap I bought, I've sworn off other manufacturers, and am sticking with Asus.

Plus eVGA for my videocards.

more than 4 years ago
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Fastest Graphics Ever, Asus ARES Rips Benchmarks

BikeHelmet Re:Am I a cheap bastard? (208 comments)

But you lose out on game prices if you do that. ;)

more than 4 years ago
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Nerds Still More Likely To Get Bullied

BikeHelmet Re:The key to not getting beaten up as a nerd (480 comments)

Learn social skills. THAT'S the lesson. They aren't hard and a handful of social cues makes all the difference.

For some people they are hard, and actually have to be taught.

I've met people that figured out double-digit multiplication and division when they were 5 - and yet had to be taught that when going to a job interview, it's polite to shake hands, you look in the direction of the person's face, and you comb your hair. :P

Society and education is heavily centred around socializing. If you don't pick it up naturally, you're going to struggle a lot more than you would if Algebra didn't just come to you in a spark of genius when you were 7.

To conceptualize the struggle for an average socially-well-adjusted person, think back to how hard it was for you to pick up some of that highschool math, and then imagine trying to understand it years earlier. For whatever reason, some minds are wired differently; those mountains in math are merely hills or slight inclines to some other people; likewise, what's obvious to you socially, which you've known since you were 5, may take someone else an extra decade to figure out naturally unless they're taught it when they need it

There are very few courses that teach social skills at all age ranges. We generally rely on friends and family to do this. If your parents are social dunces, then currently you need to luck out and end up with a friend that can point out all the nuances of social interaction. It doesn't happen for everyone, so there's a large percentage of people out there struggling with it.

more than 4 years ago
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Fastest Graphics Ever, Asus ARES Rips Benchmarks

BikeHelmet Re:Am I a cheap bastard? (208 comments)

I agree with your point of view. I never go to a movie - unless someone else is paying - because it takes away money that could be spent on computer upgrades or games. I have an entertainment budget that I apply to all entertainment.

$150 for a meal?... if that's what floats your boat, I'm glad you enjoy it. I'm one of the $10 spenders. :P

more than 4 years ago
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Fastest Graphics Ever, Asus ARES Rips Benchmarks

BikeHelmet Re:Am I a cheap bastard? (208 comments)

Not all of us have money to blow. Some people are college students, or *gasp* teenagers, scraping together money for their own computer.

Blowing $600 on a videocard when all you've got is $1000 is a bad idea. It'd be much more prudent spending $600 on a computer. If you maintain the rest as a buffer, then you can pick up whatever games come on sale, and you aren't totally screwed if a part fails.

Since you've clearly got money, go ahead and spend it. You pay the R&D so other people can get things cheaper, later. :P

more than 4 years ago
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Fastest Graphics Ever, Asus ARES Rips Benchmarks

BikeHelmet Re:Am I a cheap bastard? (208 comments)

Modern games lack a way to limit the framerate.

I'd be quite happy at a stable 30fps, but 30fps, 45fps, 60fps, 45fps, 30fps makes aiming more difficult. Especially if it starts fluctuating as soon as the action starts.

more than 4 years ago
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Fastest Graphics Ever, Asus ARES Rips Benchmarks

BikeHelmet Re:Am I a cheap bastard? (208 comments)

FPS is one of those subjective issues where there seems to be a lot more "I don't like X so you are daft for suggesting someone might" then hard facts.

It really depends on how the game is built. For lack of a better way to describe it, some games actually have multiple CPU frames per GPU frame. You can fire in the frame that doesn't get rendered - you just won't see it. (or perhaps more aptly, games can have more input frames, so even though you're running at 20fps, you can still have 100fps accuracy, if you can guess where to shoot)

As an example, I tested this in L4D1 when my old GPU was acting up. I had to downgrade from an 8800 to an 8300. My FPS dropped from ~60 to ~15-20. Frequently I'd move my crosshair, click where I thought my zombie was, and when the next frame rendered it was on the other side of a corpse flying through the air.

Of course, L4D2 messed this up by having zombies randomly change directions and speeds, making it much harder to predict where they'll be. Plus the hit detection is just plain funky - at 60fps, I can fire to the left of something running right, and kill it - but it doesn't work nearly as well at low framerates.

more than 4 years ago
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Fastest Graphics Ever, Asus ARES Rips Benchmarks

BikeHelmet Re:Am I a cheap bastard? (208 comments)

Actually, in Crysis 30fps is fine. It's totally playable down to about 20fps.

On the other hand, in a game like L4D or TF2, not having a stable 60fps is going to hurt your playskill a lot.

One other thing to consider - a 4870 is about the same speed as a 5770 - or perhaps 5% faster in a few games. $100 for 4870, or $150+ for 5770? You pick. You pay if you want DX11.

more than 4 years ago
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Fastest Graphics Ever, Asus ARES Rips Benchmarks

BikeHelmet Re:Am I a cheap bastard? (208 comments)

Both cards play almost any game. Something from 2007 and back can probably be played on Maximum. Something from 2010 and forward can be played on anywhere from Medium to Maximum, if you don't mind AA being off, or if you have a smaller monitor.

I was supporting the OP's "Am I a cheap bastard?" question by pointing out (through demonstration) that there are many more people like him.

But of course, I did it without a simple "My thoughts exactly", and instead by adding more info to the thread. A discussion piece, if you will.

Hmm... this post was entirely too analytical. I may be overthinking things. :P

more than 4 years ago
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Fastest Graphics Ever, Asus ARES Rips Benchmarks

BikeHelmet Re:Am I a cheap bastard? (208 comments)

I only spend ~$100 on average on my videocards.

I got a GTS 250 for $100 close to a half-year ago. A friend of mine just got a Radeon 4870 for $100!

more than 4 years ago
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Fastest Graphics Ever, Asus ARES Rips Benchmarks

BikeHelmet Re:OpenCL? (208 comments)

Folding seems to indicate the same. nVidia's recent changes to their architecture boosted power consumption, but made double-precision floating point ops about 4x faster. Good for GPGPU, but not so good for games. (which don't really use double-precision floating point)

more than 4 years ago

Submissions

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TCP/IP Compression? Free proxy software?

BikeHelmet BikeHelmet writes  |  more than 5 years ago

BikeHelmet (1437881) writes "Does anyone know of proxy server software with compression technology, or software that can compress entire TCP/IP connections? Like what Opera has for their browser, but for the entire TCP/IP stack?

I have a friend in Australia, which has a horrible ADSL2 internet connection. When he hits 25GB of transfer for the month(or when his ISP says he has), they cap him to 64kbit. This is too slow to do anything. Browsing the internet is slow, and playing games is nearly impossible without lagging out. (though to his credit, we managed to play a 4-person round of TF2 today... until two more people joined and he dropped.)

Since at 64kbit, his ping already spirals out of control, I figured maybe there's at least a way to get him more bandwidth. I recall dialup ISPs used to offer some sort of compression that made that 56k act more like a 12KB/sec connection for downloading webpages. If there's some sort of proxy server software that can compress packets on my end and pass them on to him, then I figure we could run it on our computers to speed up his connection.

And before anyone asks, my ISP is okay with acting as a server, and has all ports opened up. So, is there some free software that fits the task?"

Journals

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OpenOffice moving backwards?

BikeHelmet BikeHelmet writes  |  more than 5 years ago

I stumbled across a serious issue months back, which didn't exist in earlier versions of OOo. OOo 3.0 removed the option to associate file types, instead opting for the "I'll either do it or I won't." model. This is very confusing for users, and system administrators. The only way to fix it is complex registry changes, which is downright awkward to explain over the phone.

After upgrading to OOo 3.0, OpenOffice may(or may not) be associated with commonly used filetypes like .doc, .rtf, .xls, etc.; it makes the decision to associate itself based on an incomplete list of software that it checks to see if you have installed. It looks for things like Word, Excel, etc., neglecting to consider that there's other less well known office programs, and neglecting to associate itself if an extension lacks a program to open it.

I myself removed Wordpad from Windows, and deleted the .rtf registry entries. OOo 3.0 made no attempts to associate itself with them, yet OOo 2.4 figured it out just fine.

More info on the issue can be found here and here. Lets get this issue some attention, before OOo digs its own poorly thought out grave!

------- Additional comments from willkil Sun Feb 15 01:09:10 +0000 2009 -------

I disagree w/ the statement about 3 choices. There are only 2 states: make OOo
the *default* application or not. "Not register at all" doesn't make sense as a
choice. If there is not already an association for a given type, the checkbox
should default on. If there is an association already, the checkbox should be
off. But for *all* supported filetypes, OOo should associate as an *available*
application so that OOo at least appears under "Open With ->"

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