I ordered a the PS4 Pro as soon as it was announced. I use my PS4 for everything, VR, watching netflix, watching crunchyroll, playing games, streaming — Basically all of my entertainment gets to me through my PS4. I decided that because I use it so heavily I would drop some cash and make it as good as it can be. I just ordered a 1tb Samsung 850 Evo. One of the major things that convinced me is this article from 4gamer & this neogaf thread, which talk about how the PS4 Pro uses SATA 3.0 and therefore is expected to get even better SSD performance than the OG PS4. I’ll report back once I have it installed to talk about how much faster stuff loads 😀
This year I decided that I’d practice drawing every day. I started a drawing blog called Crummy Figures where I post daily. I’ve been doing a lot of fan art recently, but a lot of the time I do figure drawing practice so be warned that some of this stuff is gonna be NSFW.
Most of the time I try to do a stream of my nightly efforts on my Twitch Channel. All the streams get archived over on my Youtube Channel, too. So go check out any of that stuff if that seems interesting.
I know they are kinda old at this point, but I just recently picked up an Alienware Alpha i5 and I love it. I wanted a way for my girlfriend and I to play computer games without having to get bootcamp working on my iMac. Most of what we play on the PC aren’t bleeding edge games anyway, but it does have capability to play most current games with pretty respectable settings. Bootcamp is fine when it works, but its kind of annoying having to restart to do anything in it. Even worse, if you have to restore your OS for any reason it just totally wipes it away (which I learned the hard way).
With those dark days behind me I now can play stuff like Rocket League and Overwatch on this teeny tiny computer. I haven’t done a ton of testing on it yet, but I’ve seen people’s videos on youtube showing Overwatch getting 60fps on it. Rocket League looks like its running at 60fps without much problem. It is also really really easy to overclock the graphics card with MSI Afterburner, which I did, just cause why not. The one thing I was sort of worried about was the hard drive, but i guess they switched up the default hard drive awhile ago which is now 7200 RPM over the old 5400 RPM one that used to be in there and it seems to work great.
Form factor and design wise there is a lot to love about the Alpha. Its tiny at just 7.87″ x 7.87 x 2.17″ so it takes up very little space on the desk. I like that the software on the Alpha lets you change the colors of the lights on the front. I sort of wish you could set it up like Razer Chroma stuff and have it slowly transition between colors, though. It feels well built, and I love that it has a tiny compartment for a USB on the bottom that you can use to put the dongle for a steam controller without having to take up one of the more accessible USB ports on the front or back.
I am super impressed with the Alienware Alpha. Should you be looking to invest in one click my link and I’ll get a small kickback. Yay!
Why? Well there are a couple reasons. I really like that the Wolverines have speed hooks for lacing up the top 3 which makes putting them on much faster than something where you have to lace all the way up. I also really like that the 1000 miles use Horweeen Leather. In my opinion Horween makes some of the finest leather being produced today, so that was a big influencer.
I went with the Cordovan no. 8 color, which despite the name is not actual Shell Cordovan — a very dense and almost water-proof leather that comes from horse hide. These boots would have been much more expensive if they had been made of actual shell cordovan. There is a limited edition shell cordovan version, if thats what you’re into, but those retails for around $750. Beautiful, yes. But Woof. Instead is Horween’s Chromexcel colored to look like a style of Cordovan. Chromexcel is no slouch of a leather either, though. It takes Horween about a month to produce each piece, and there are 89 different steps to complete it. I really like the no. 8 color. Its a really awesome chestnut color almost. I cant wait to see how it ages.
I am also a big fan of the waxed laces. I’ve had round boot laces on my Red Wings, and Leather laces on my moccasins, and I definitely prefer the look of waxed cotton laces over both of those. They just look right when paired with this style of boot especially.
After wearing the boots for about a week there seems to have been zero break in time, and they feel comfortable right away. I remember when I first got my Red Wings it was about a week before I could walk more than half a mile in them without my heels being ripped to shreds. I’m pretty happy about that, seeing as I like my heels in tact.
If I had to level one criticism against the 1000 Mile Boot it would be that the insole is only a half insole. Not a huge deal, but it would have been nice.
Overall, I think these boots are worth every penny, and have no doubt that I will have them for decades to come, and that they will only get more comfortable, and look better with age.
I’ve been playing a lot of the Destiny’s beta over the past week. Above is a video of me exploring and running into a Spider tank. This is before I really figured out how to fight them, and now I can take these things out without much trouble, but it was quite a struggle for me when I recorded this.
Seeing how far the game has come since alpha has been really getting me excited. I really like the intro cutscenes that they’ve added and all of the story setup now. In the alpha they just kind of dropped you into the world, and it was a little weird. Even though the beta’s level cap is set to 8, there is still a pretty good feeling of progression. From what I’ve been hearing recently, some stuff from the beta may carry over to final release. Especially rewards secured on the final day of the beta. I have also been doing a lot more PVP since the Iron Banner events started happening, and I am getting really into that too. Its going to be a painful couple months waiting for the final game to come out.
Speaking of Iron Banner, I wish the lvl 20 hand cannon I unlocked would carry forward. So cruel.
I never bought the original MacBook Air, but I did play with one in the Apple store a couple of times and it left me with a bad taste in my mouth. It was horrendously expensive at launch (around $1800 if memory serves me correctly), was crippled with heat problems, and worst of all it was slow (in no small part due to having to under-clock itself so that it wouldn’t overheat). With the new 2010 versions of the MacBook Air a lot has changed. The form factor isn’t vastly different, but the changes that have been made show a level of polish clearly lacking in the previous model.
Body and Case
The first thing you notice when you take the MacBook Air out of the box is that it’s incredibly slim. Even after a week of use I still marvel at its size and weight nearly every time I pick it up. The new unibody case feels solid and robust even though the screen isn’t much thicker than a couple of stacked DVDs. It feels quite rigid and gives you the sense that it could take a couple of dings without much of a problem. The screen is missing an ambient light sensor and the edge to edge glass of the MacBook Pro line, but in a form factor so small and light, the trade off hardly seems like an issue. Aesthetically I do miss the black bezel around the screen, but the MacBook Air feels like a Spartan version of a MacBook Pro so it’s aluminum bezel kind of fits.
The bottom of the computer is where most of the bulk is (if you can even call it that). The keyboard, though full-size, lacks a back-light. Not a deal breaker by any means, but something of note. The computer is divided internally front to back. The front 2/3 are occupied by the system’s batteries, and the back 1/3 is the rest of the internals. Because batteries are so heavy for their size, the MacBook air feels very well balanced front to back, which is sort of surprising given its tapered edge.
As far as ports go, the right side has an SD card slot, a USB 2.0 port, and a Mini Display Port. On the left, an omnidirectional microphone, a headphone jack, a second USB 2.0 port, and a MagSafe power port.
Not much can be said about the MacBook Air’s screen. It’s fantastic. The 1440×900 resolution found on the 15″ MacBook Pro crammed down onto a 13.3″ screen results in a picture that is extremely crisp and clear. The high pixel density makes text easy to read and makes images sharp and detailed.
One of the first things I noticed when I started really using the Air, and I did some video editing with iLife ’11 on the very first day, is that the thing is completely silent even when under decent load. Compressing a 720p movie barely phases the Macbook Air, and even though you could get the job done faster on a MacBook Pro, its performance is admirable and actually quite impressive given its size and weight. The only time the air even begins to show that its working is when a game is being played. Fans roar into action but aside from the fanfare there isn’t really any other signs of a struggle. I ran Team Fortress 2 for several minutes in a full 24 player server on native resolution and medium/high settings, and gameplay was smooth and fast. After even that, the MacBook Air’s external temperature only achieved mildly warm, never approaching the hot or surface-of-the-sun temps that the top of a core i7 iMac can achieve.
Under normal use like web browsing, streaming HD video, and the like the 13″ MacBook Air is a champ and feels zippy and responsive. Because of the built in flash storage (128GB by default) opening files feels impossibly fast and even turning the computer on only takes 10-15 seconds.
The official Apple line is that the 13″ MacBook Air gets 7 hours of battery life. For me though, I never use a laptop for 7 hours straight. If I’m on a trip or away somewhere I’d be using my Air exclusively it would most likely only be for a couple of minutes at a time to look something up, dump a bunch of photos onto it, compress a quick video, etc. and I think that it is for these types of tasks and intermittent use where the MacBook Air really shines. By default the MacBook Air is aggressively sleepy. If left alone for a couple of minutes the screen shuts off and the computer goes to sleep. This, coupled with such a long standby time means that if you’re away from the computer the battery really isn’t going to go deplete much at all. I’ve used it on and off for 2 days and had the battery still holding strong at 75% and that is a great feeling.
The MacBook Air, for all intents and purposes, is the notebook of my dreams – An extremely thin and light laptop that is ultra-portable, yet is powerful enough to roll up its sleeves and do some real computing when it needs to. I think that the MacBook Air may be one of the finest products that Apple has ever produced and I couldn’t be any happier with my purchase.
A lot of camera companies have RAW formats that are specific to that brand. Not only does it make interoperability a pain, but often these files are not really very well constructed and require an extra file to accompNy them in order to see any of the non destructive editing. Enter adobe’s DNG file format. DNG is an archival open standard which in addition to providing a 15-20% smaller file size, also contains any edit data within a wrapper so that it’s always accompanying your image. After I get home from vacation I’m going to convert all of my RAW files.
Shown last week at Gamescom Gran Turismo 5 was playable in an early build. In addition, many of the games upcoming features were also announced and they have me pretty excited. Among the normal stuff like 1000 cars, 80 tracks (60 confirmed), car damage, improved physics, and custom soundtracks lays a gem– Head tracking using the PlayStation Eye. What this means, is that much like TrackIR the PlayStation Eye will be able to detect your head’s movement and translate it to an amplified version of that movement in game. This means it will allow you to move your head inches and you’ll be able to check your mirrors, look to the sides of your car, lean into turns, etc. Not having used TrackIR in the past I cant really even guess how much this will add to the game, but if it works it should be pretty amazing. Since building my racing setup I haven’t really had any games to play with it so I cant wait till GT5 comes out so I can cut my teeth on it.
While I do plan to do a full post about Comic Con, today I just wanted to write a quick post about getting free stuff with the use of twitter. So far I’ve managed a free dinner for 3, a free Killzone 2 map pack– a decent haul, but nothing amazing. Today I think I’ve officially bested my previous “freebies”.
Today while waiting in line for the LOST panel (which was amazing by the way), Liz and I were talking to the guy in front of us. He mentioned having won an HD camcorder simply by replying to a twitter update by “theIHC“. I added them to my followed list and didn’t really think to much of it. A few hours later while waiting for the James Jean panel to start I checked twitter and saw that theIHC had posted a “first four to respond wins a prize” update. Unfortunately it was 7 minutes ago. I tried anyway and sure enough a few minutes later they sent me a DM saying that I’d won and that to claim my prize I had to get over to them in 20 minutes. I ran out of the panel room and across the convention center, outside, and across the street and BLAM! Brand new Sony MHS-PM1 HD video camera. I love twitter.