- Windows XP Tips & Tweaks
- Must-have Firefox Extensions
- Ultimate List of Free Programs for Windows
- Windows 7 Tips & Tweaks
- How to Split Videos into Multiple MKV Files (Without Quality Loss)
- How to Configure Media Player Classic and DivX H.264
- How to Convert MKV to MP4 (With AC3 5.1 Surround) for the PS3
In the past, I've used a free version of a defrag program called Ultimate Defrag. Unlike most defrag programs, Ultimate Defrag lets you dictate which files get high performance priority and low performance priority. It will then defrag your files and place them accordingly for the best performance. The high performance files get placed on the outside of your harddrive where reading files is faster and the low performance files get placed on the inside of your harddrive where read speed is not very important. To top it off, Ultimate Defrag has an option called Strict Placement, which forces your files to be sorted by folder structure and alphabetical order.
I have been using a commercial H.264 decoder for a few years now, and I figured I'd spread the word about a great deal being offered for a limited time. CoreAVC, a commercial H.264 decoder by CoreCodec is selling for $10 after you insert a promo code. This deal is only good until February 28th, so get it while it's hot! The promo code is displayed at the purchase screen after you click buy for CoreAVC. CoreAVC is faster than all other H.264 decoders including those found in FFDShow Tryouts (K-Lite Codec Pack or Combined Community Codec Pack). CoreAVC is both a software and a hardware decoder, depending on what graphics card you own.
CoreAVC is useful for playing 1080p videos or movies on slower computers without lag. It can be used to watch Blu-Ray movies, too. If you've ever downloaded a .mp4 file from youtube, CoreAVC plays that too. I can't tell you everything about it, except that I have used it for many years, it keeps getting better with every release, and it is maintained and updated often.
CoreAVC is a decoder, not a program--which means it can work with Media Player Classic or Windows Media Player (pretty much any player that supports DirectShow for video output.
I am not affiliated with CoreAVC and I was not paid to write this or advertise their program--although I wish I was. lol...
Get CoreAVC at http://corecodec.com/
I hate to sound like a hippocrite when it comes to Steam (I'm always praising Steam), but there's a weekend deal going on right now just begging for a little ridicule. Crysis or Crysis Warhead (for this weekend only) is 50% off. Crysis being $30 is now $15 and Crysis Warhead being $30 is now $15. Together, those total $30. Deal, right? Not so fast.
If you look closer, you'll realize that Steam sells both of these games together for a normal selling price of $40. They call it the Maximum Edition. 50% of $40 is....
$30? That's a mere 25% discount. More like Maximum Deception! I was excited to find out that I might be able to get the Maximum Edition for 50% off, but to my dismay, it's only 25% off. I realize this is a matter of technicality. The deal is for either game, not both. Comon Steam, you should know better than that. If you're going to sell either game for half off, you should at least do likewise for the Crysis Maximum Edition. Or, at the very least advertise the Maximum Edition as a 25% discount so there isn't any misleading.
Better yet, lower the price of Crysis and Crysis Warhead to $20 a piece. This would prevent people from accidentally buying both games separately at normal price, effectively wasting $20 when they could have bought the Maximum Edition for $40. This way, you can offer all Crysis products 25% off. On top of that, I wouldn't call Steam out for deceptive advertising. I'm sure I'm not the only one that looked at this weekend deal and thought, "Wait, what?"
About a week ago, I posted a rant about Modern Warfare 2's attempt to screw the PC gaming community with its creation of IWNet. Finally, MW2 is released and people are talking about it. If you're still not sure what the huge deal is, I have a 2 part video that sums it up nicely. These videos do not belong to me and I take no credit for them.
This is going to be my first attempt at reviewing a game. I recently picked up a game called Shattered Horizon for $18 on Steam. I saw the previews and the game looked very impressive. It's a game made by Futuremark, the creators of the popular 3dMark benchmarking engine for 3d graphics. It takes place in space in the near future, where the moon has been "shattered" by a nuclear explosion. Many of the level settings take place in the midst of asteroid debris in our solar system where earth and the moon are clearly visible. What makes this game so appealing is, it's a first person shooter in a floaty environment. The last game to do that was Tribes, which hasn't seen a sequel or true successor in years. I found out a buddy of mine preordered it, so I decided to give it a gamble. I finally got a chance to play it, and these are my thoughts thus far.
The price is "almost" right. For $20, the amount of content is lacking, but I am giving Futuremark some faith. This is their first shot at a game and based on the level of realism in both graphics and gameplay, I have to say I'd feel guilty for giving them any less, but at the same time I wouldn't pay more for it. $20 is about the perfect spot for a game of this complexity.
Heads up--this is going to be a rant, which I try not to do very often, but this is simply unavoidable. I have to dispense my thoughts about this because I know I'm not the only person out there that feels the same way as me.
I've been using Steam for several years now, but only recently have I begun to truly cherish the service it offers. In the early days, Steam was chastised by many gamers due to it's imposing-like nature, but over time Steam has earned a new reputation for being the best thing since sliced bread. It's impossible to emphasize how great Steam is without resorting to a list of points, so that's exactly what I've decided to do. This is my own, personal list of reasons to use Steam, with a few suggestions and influences from my friends.
10. The Steam Chat System and Friends Lists Make it Easy to Stay in Touch and is a Decent Alternative to X-fire.
Steam has its own in-game interface that lets you chat with your friends without having to minimize to your desktop. You can easily see what games your friends are playing and you can even join your friends games from the buddy list. X-fire has long since been the gamer messenger of choice, but it's good to know Steam is a competitor. X-fire may never be around forever, so it's good to know Steam will be around.
9. It's Usually Faster Downloading than Ordering Games Online or Buying From a Local Store.
When preordering a game on Steam, you get the game as soon as it's released. If you have a fast internet connection, the wait can range from 30 minutes to a couple of hours. That means you don't have to waste a trip to your local Best Buy or Gamestop, or wait several days for your game to be shipped to you... and you get all of the other benefits of using Steam.
8. Steam Fixes Registry of all of Your Games if you Reinstall Windows
This is just one of my personal favorites. I like to install Windows on its own harddrive (or partition) and in the event I upgrade Windows or need to reinstall, all of my Steam games remain unharmed because they are on a secondary harddrive. All I need to do is reinstall Steam and launch my games. Steam will automatically recreate the registry entries to make those games work, saving hours of time you would have otherwise needed to install or download the games.
Hey guys, I have finally uploaded my MeGUI tutorial to Youtube and it's in glorious HD. If you're wondering what took me so long, it has a lot to do with Youtube being really bad. lol. Basically, youtube would never put my video in HD becuase it was so high quality, it compressed extra well and I guess Youtube's encoders decided my video was unworthy of high definition. It hit me that maybe I should try and fool Youtube, and that's exactly what I did. I applied a film grain effect to my video tutorial and that seems to have fooled youtube into thinking my video was worthy of HD.
I have created another video tutorial for a program called Areca. It's a free, cross platform, open source backup and recovery program for backing up and recovering your files. It supports features like compression, encryption, incremental/differential backup modes, verification, automatic backup deletion and backup scheduling.