Zhooibaal\’s house of the unholy

23 April 2006

Case Wiring Cleanup

Filed under: Other — zhooibaal @ 20:34000000

As some of you know I’ve been to TheParty 4 this weekend. For those who didn’t know probable don’t know what TheParty is either, so here is a short explanation:
TheParty is one of the largest lanparties of the Netherlands. This year there were 1024 seats available, this doesn’t include the crew. Allthough not all of the seats were taken, it was pretty crowded.
For those who don’t know what a lanparty is; a lanparty is an event where gamers gather together in a room or eventhall in one big LAN (Local Area Network) and play games against and with eachother. Sometimes there are competitions in certain games which you (the gamer) can enter. When you win a competition you will receive a price.

But anyway, I’ll post on TheParty later.

Why did I mention this then? Well, I came across one of my former schoolmates there who showed me some nifty little things to improve your PC case’s airflow by cleaning up the cableruns. So what did I do when I came home? YES, I started to clean up the cables inside my PC.

Now, before I cleaned up the cables it looked like this:
Slashdev 01

The first thing to do is to disconnect all of your cables, thus including any power cables from you PSU to other computer parts, IDE, S-ATA, mainboard, everything. What isn’t disconnected is hard to move.
I have no picture of all the cables removed, but you get the idea.

Then first I reconnected all of the power cables and that made it look like this:
Only power connected
I used tywraps to wrap the cables to the case to keep them in place, works very well 😛

Next I reconnected all other things, thus meaning that I reconnected the mainbord wires and the IDE cables and it turned out like this:
Everything connected.
I know, you have seen better cleaned up cases, but it is quite an improvement over it’s previous situation… 😀

I also added even more case cooling; to make the heat of the videocard flow away better I placed a Spire Exhauster over it to suck away it’s warm air, it seems to work 😛
Unfortunatly I haven’t taken a proper picture of it, but like that really matters, I can also just show you Spire’s own picture on their official website.
I don’t think it’s a very good looking cooler, but heck, I don’t have a window in my case, so I won’t see it anyway, allthough I was planning on installing a windows at some point, but I’ll have to see about that.

…End of line.

Ps.: I will blog about TheParty itself after I have reinstalled Windows on SlashDev, it’s pretty screwed up at the moment…

…Next line.

19 April 2006

Virtua Cop, Sega Rally, Robotica and more Duck Hunt

Filed under: Other — zhooibaal @ 21:57000000

Another happy day today, except for the BenQ stuff…
A nice package containing more stuff for my Saturn arrived today. It contained Virtua Cop, Sega Rally Championship, Robotica and a lightgun.

Virtua Cop

Virtua Cop is an on-rails shooter. In case of the Saturn version as well as the original Sega Model 2 arcade version the player uses a lightgun to control the action. Allthough you can’t really speak of control… You just shoot the enemies on the screen with the gun in your hands.
The graphics are quite good for the Saturn, but ofcourse they are no match for the graphics of the original arcade version. But even with the Saturn having inferior specs when compared to the arcade machine, this game runs really smooth and looks really nice and it is tough, very tough.

Sega Rally Championship

Another Model 2 arcade game ported to the Saturn with cut down graphics. It suffers from quite a lot of pop-up, but it still looks very acceptable and this game runs far better on the Saturn than Daytona USA. I also think the controls of this game are better than the controls in Daytona USA and the car handling seems more responsive and the cars don’t tend to slide away at every slight turn. But even then, this game is very hard in the beginning.
Another plus is that this one has a 2 player option, something I really missed in Daytona USA and even while the graphics are cut down compared to the arcade version, this game looks better than Daytona USA. Easy choice on which one to play I guess 😀

Robotica

Now here is a different story. This is NOT a Model 2 conversion, but a Saturn original which I haven’t found on any other system as of yet. It’s a first person shooter game with nice graphics, pretty bad sound effects, lot’s of slowdown issues, a crappy storyline, repeatative level design, but yet a good atmosphere to back it up and despite all it’s flaws it’s actually a very enjoyable game.
The worst thing about this game is that it doesn’t have a save option. Just like with oldies like Super Mario Bros. you can’t save and have to start all over every time you play, which brings me back to it’s repeatative level design. The levels of the this game all look the same. Square room after square room, the same enemies over and over again and every few levels they switched texturesets. Not too brilliant, but some gameplay features make up to this.
You can’t only walk around and shoot stuff, your vehicle (yes, you play from within a vehicle called the Laocorn) can hover, speed up, activate plasma shields, fire special lasers and heal itself with the use of reactor energy which isn’t quite endless. Saying that it’s scarce is a better description, you’ll have to be carefull with using your reactor energy. And besides that this game (ofcourse) offers several different weapons for you to use. Weapons like a Vulcan cannon, laser gun and rockets are amoung the arsenal and they all prove to be very effective against both single enemies and groups.
Allthough this game suffers from severe slowdown almost all of the time, this game is still better playable than for instance Doom and Alien Trilogy. Both Doom and Alien Trilogy suffer from slowdown issues, allthough Alien Trilogy isn’t as bad as Doom when it comes to that, these games require to be running smooth because of the gameplay speed. Robotica’s gameplay doesn’t seem to suffer that much from it’s graphical slowdown as you won’t very often face more than 3 enemies at once and the movement speed is relatively slow and so are the enemies.
Now, if this was a PC shooter I wouldn’t have the ability to enjoy this game at all. A PC shooter should be fast moving, fast action. On a game console it’s different. The controller simply isn’t very suitable for such fast first person action, so the games have to be adapted to that, Robotica is, it’s slow enough to be able to control is very good and it’s not too slow, so it stays interesting to play.
I think Robotica will be a game that I’m going to play every once in a while to kill some time, for, let’s say, 30 minutes in a row max.

Pics

Here are a few pics of the games’ covers.
Virtua CopSega Rally Championship and Robotica

The lightgun

Virtua Cop came with a lightgun. The ad said that the gun wasn’t in a very good condition; the trigger wasn’t good, but I haven’t yet noticed anything apart from the trigger being pulled backward a little far and that you have to pull it back even further to fire, but it does work and it’s nothing you notice during use.
Something that did surprise me was it’s size, this thing is frickin’ huge! I thought the G-Con for the good old Playstation was big, untill I saw this one, holy crap.
Anyway, it’s very lightweight and easy to hold, but when using it for an extended period of time you will notice how heavy your arms actually are.
Here are 2 shots of it, one including myself.
Sega Saturn lightgunMe and my gun

Duck Hunt!

I did mention something about Duck Hunt, didn’t I? Well, a little while ago I took my NES, the Zapper and Duck Hunt with me to my new weekend job. I work as a clerk at a bikeshop at the trainstation in Weert (Limburg, the Netherlands). Here I have to give people tickets to safely put their bike inside, have them pay when they leave and take back their tickets, rent out bikes to people who would want that and tell people that I don’t repair bikes myself.
In other words, I don’t have enough to do to keep me busy all day, so I bring something to keep me busy, the NES it is. A few friends came over and joined in, allthough only Tim and I actually played (and Mark, but that session doesn’t count). Here are a few pictures that were taken that day.
TimMarkMeMeMeThe setuptv shot

…End of line.

The Big Announcement!

Filed under: Other — zhooibaal @ 16:13000000

Today it has happened, a new teamblog has been launched and it is called geeklimit.com and I’m one of it’s team members.
From this day on I will use this personal blog for my gaming adventures like the games I buy, get or aquire in any way and the other stuff, like the BenQ Chronicles, tech stuff and other stuff like that will be moved to the ‘limit.

Here you can find the next episode of the BenQ Chronicles and that means it’s “…End of line.” for BenQ on this blog, so I won’t be bugging you about that on here anymore.

I have received some new stuff today, but because of the absense of my camera and the absense of the stuff itself at the place where I am now (at work) I will be blogging about that a bit later.
And I will also blog about some other things I promised before like a Duck Hunting night at the bikeshop near the trainstation in Weert. Stay tuned for another episode of… ZHOOIBAAL!

…End of line.

18 April 2006

The Benq chronicles: small update

Filed under: Other — zhooibaal @ 10:54000000

I just received a phonecall from Benq Support that my “Joybook” will be delivered back tommorow sometime between 9:00 and 17:00, nice timespan…

Anyway, this means that tommorow is the time to look at what they actually did to my laptop and to start calling them untill they puke of me if what they did wasn’t right. For some reason I have hope that they deliver it back to me just as they received it, I’m in a sadistic mood >=D.

…Next line.

14 April 2006

The Benq chronicles part #1

Filed under: Other — zhooibaal @ 8:33000000

Allright then, there are still a few things I need to post blog entries about… Things like 3 new DVD movies I have bought, 2 “new” DOS games and a new Windows game, but first comes something of much higher significance: my never ending road of problems with Benq.
Benq
In my previous post I mentioned that my crappy BENQ laptop broke once again. Just like the first time which I haven’t blogged about but is mentioned in this post , the DVD burner is broken.
It promptly refuses to take DVD+R media and does, on the other hand, burn CD-R media without any trouble. That’s about exactly what I told Benq when they asked me for a problem description.
So, this morning they called be around 8:30 and told me that they couldn’t find a defect in my DVD burner and that they had tested it with several different CD-R media… DOH! Shit, I thought they actually had intelligence to some extend, but it appears that they don’t even understand that they should test a DVD+RW drive with a DVD+R disc instead of a CD-R, but the good part has yet to come.
This guy on the phone was clearly no tech himself, he was probably instructed with what to say so the poor guy just told me what was told him.
He said that it was a software problem, because I was running a program called Daemon Tools. According to Benq Daemon Tools can cause a software incompatibility with DVD and CD burning hardware. I wonder how it is possible that I have written DVD media all the time with this program running… So I replied to him that that is just bullshit, that I have been burning DVDs all of the time with Daemon Tools running. He stuttered for a moment and “advised” me to turn off Daemon Tools in the future if I want to burn a DVD or CD. My turn again, after I said this I could barely stop myself from laughing my ass off. I said that Daemon Tools is a SCSI emulator which on top of the emulation runs a simulation of a physical CD/DVD drive which gets it’s own IRQ number from Windows for the SCSI driver and does in no way influence the CD/DVD burning of the real drive and that when I inserted a DVD+R disc before Windows even booted the noises the drive produced were exactly the same indicating that it doesn’t take the disc.
At this moment he had no clue on what to say, he stuttered for a few moments, I could even say that he sounded a bit scared at this point, poor sob. And eventually he said that someone from the tech department would contact me later today. I gave him my cellphone number so that the tech could call me on that, because I won’t be home for the rest of the day.

So now I wait for the call from the tech guy who will undoubtly try to make me believe that the other guy was right and that the laptop will be returned without any repairs done.
This will undoubtly be continued.

…Next line.

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