Thursday, September 6, 2007

Newegg reviews - Cooling solution edition

It never ceases to amaze me how stupid 90% of the people writing reviews of products at are.

For instance: Lately my PC has been driving me insane with this crazy rattling noise. After a little investigation, it appears to be the stock AMD cooling solution. The fan is clipped to a frame that is clipped to the heatsink, and it's just loose enough to vibrate when the PC is on, thus making a horrible racket.

So I went to Newegg and looked for a cheap replacement cooling solution. I found a decent Thermaltake fan/heatsink for around 20 bucks. It's a 20 dollar cooling solution, so any rational mind would realize that it's not meant to do much more than replace a stock cooling solution, or serve as a cooling solution for an OEM processor that came without a cooling solution.

Of course, the people writing reviews at Newegg don't seem to care about being rational. I read complaints that it didn't cool as well as Zalman cooling solutions 6x its price range, that it wasn't good for overclocking, and that it wasn't totally silent. People, it's a 20 dollar cooling solution. If you want those things, you're going to need to pony up the cash for them.

I have a feeling I'm going to be totally satisfied, because I know what I'm buying. All I need is a cooler that doesn't rattle. This heatsink/fan combo has rubberized washers to prevent fan vibration. That's all I want.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go drop 20 bucks on a video card from 1999 and complain that it won't run Bioshock.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Cragslist replies to PC ad

Hello, I am interested in the immediate purchase of your item .I am a registered purchasing and sales agent. One of my clients has placed an order for this particular brand and hence the need to negotiate with you on the sales. Please get back to me with your asking price and the scanned pics of the item so that i could forward it to my client for onward assessmenmt. Immediately a response is recieved ,reviewed and terms accepted , I will need your physical mailing and the name which you want the payment addressed. A United State Certified Cashier Check will be send to your address. This Check is cashable the same day you receive it. and this payment will include your payment and some excess funds for the shipping company that will come and pick the item at your residence, so you will have to deduct your payment from the check after you cash it and send the remaining excess funds to the shipping company the same day you cash the check. Hope to hear from you the soonest time,thanks and stay bless.
Carlos Smith

Dear Carlos,

The King of Nigeria called. He'd like his scam back.
Also, please send me a check for 1 million US, from which I will deduct half for wasting my time and send the rest back to you. Promise.


I am responding to your ad reguarding the item you have for sale. I am
interested in learning more specifics about the item. Could you send
me any details that you may have excluded from the ads.I look forward to your response,Thanks
roberth jojo

This was sent to me regardless of the fact that all stats and issues are clearly listed in the ad. You'll notice there's no mention of what "the item" is. Thanks for inquiring, "Roberth". Go suck an egg, I'm not giving you my email so you can spam me.

Hello how are you and the family i hope fine i wanna know the condition of these item
brain ken

My family is fine, thanks for asking, "brain". By the by, most people named Brian don't misspell their name. Also, the condition is listed in the ad, so thanks for proving you're a spambot.

G9 Pictures

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Behind the scenes at's hardware reviews

The most irritating thing I see posted in the comments after my reviews is The Accusation.

The Accusation is always this: I am biased. Company X pays me/ to say nice things about it, or they advertise with us so we have to say nice things, or they give us stuff to give away so we have to say nice things.

I wanted to clear up this misconception. I do not get paid by anybody, EVER to say nice things about their product. Period. It has never been offered, and I would never have accepted if it had been.

If I like a product, it's because I genuinely like it. The opinion is mine. I don't even have contact with the people responsible for advertising on the site. I don't know what we make from advertising, I don't care. Is it possible a bad review might make us lose ads? I guess. Like I said, I have no contact with that side of the business. It's not my job to worry about that.

My job, such as it is, is to check out new PC hardware that might interest MMORPG gamers, and write a review about my experiences with it. That's it. If I don't like it, I will say that I don't like it. If I like it, I will say that as well.

I'm also not sure people realize how we go about getting review samples. Companies are not lined up around the block asking me to review things for them. In fact, I can think of only three things that have been offered to us:

The Killer NIC and the Killer K1 - because my former editor previewed their release in an article about a convention, and I called BS. The guys at Bigfoot wanted to prove to me that they had a good product, so they sent me review samples. Guess what? I actually did like it, and they changed my mind.

The Evoluent Vertical mouse - and I'm not sure why we we're offered this, but I'm working on the review anyway.

That's it. Everything else I have reviewed? I have to go out and do legwork. I have to find out who to contact at a company, and then I have to get in touch with them and ask for a sample. Most of the time these people don't ever get back to me. Not classy enough for them. It's a pain in the ass, and I'm grateful to the companies who agree to work with us, or I'd be looking for something else to write about.

BUT, that still doesn't mean I am going to automatically give them a good review. If a product is s**t, you will read about it being s**t. I'm not going to gloss it over to gain favor with anybody.

Logitech G9

My newest review specimen was waiting patiently for me on the porch this morning. Have I mentioned how much I enjoy getting new tech before it's widely available? Well, I do.

Thanks to Kate at Logitech for sending one of these puppies over for review. I apologize in advance, but I'm also going to be asking for the new G15 keyboard. (I know, reviewers are always so damn greedy!)

Pictures when I arrive at my house later tonight. (And it's killing me not ripping this thing open right now, so I hope someone appreciates this.)


Anybody can post whatever comment they like about my writing. You want to call me a dumbass? Go right ahead. Disagree with everything I say? Fine by me. You can rant, rave, jump up and down, I don't care. I'm an adult, I can take it. If you want to tell me or others about your blog, or something cool you've written or been a part of, fine.

You CANNOT, however, use my comment section to advertise products or services, especially scams or bogus money making schemes. F**k you very much, get bent, etc...

Monday, September 3, 2007

Warcraft III

It took me two years, but I finally beat Warcraft III today. What can I say, I'm not a huge fan of RTS games, so it's hard for me to muddle through to the end. I basically wanted to learn the background story for World of Warcraft, so I played whenever the mood struck. (Not often.)

Now it's on to The Frozen Throne, which I can hopefully beat before the new WoW expansion, so I am all caught up in the lore.


So my wife and I picked up the first season of Heroes when it was released last Tuesday. We don't have any sort of TV programming anymore (Cable, satellite, etc...), so we don't really watch any shows that we can't get on DVD, except for Eureka, which we buy on iTunes. Since we can't watch shows on TV, we often find out just how great some shows are after they have already completed their first season, or - as was the case with Daybreak - after they are done and over with.

We sat down last night and popped the first disc of season one in the DVD player to watch while we ate dinner.

Heroes is so good that one day later we have watched half of the first season, and we're only stopping because we both have to work in the morning.

Just like Prison Break, I'm probably going to be very annoyed that I have to wait until next year for season two on DVD. Maybe someday my wife and I will figure out what we want to do about getting TV again, but I'm actually happy to be without it right now. We seem to accomplish more.