Monday, December 5, 2011

Bonus Clue

Here's a bonus clue for all you stupid people: Always, and I mean ALWAYS, question things. Do not ever, under any circumstances, accept that what you are told is the God's honest truth of the matter. It may very well be, but don't accept that it is unless you have looked into the matter.

Case in point, a recent article wherein a climatologist claimed to want to clear the air about the "misconception" that the majority of climate experts do not agree about man-caused global warming. he claimed that the majority do agree, and that any claim otherwise is certain media outlets lying to support their own views. For two pages he went on about the consensus that man has indeed caused global warming. And yet, nowhere in the article did it mention how he knew that the majority of climate scientists agreed. Did they ask every climate scientist on the planet and compile the answers? Did they send out a questionnaire?  Did he only ask people that attended a Global Warming conference? Or - more likely - did he just fucking make it up?

Unfortunately, a lot of you will just swallow his story whole, accepting that as the truth without even stopping for a moment to ponder how it is possible that there is a consensus according to him, and yet there is no consensus according to others. There's not even a consensus on a consensus.

The 99%

My fellow Americans;
You are the 99%. That's right. 99% of you are FUCKING STUPID.

I read the news and your comments on it every day and I have come to the conclusion that the reason that this country is so fucked up right now is that you are all morons. After every news story is a series of comments by readers (Or more accurately, watchers, as so little of you can actually read and comprehend what it is you are reading) wherein you bicker back and forth like children about whose side is better. Liberals vs conservatives, Democrats vs Republicans, you fight like you are championing your favorite sports teams. Yet, in all of your fighting, none of you ever seem to be able to address things in a logical manner. Instead, you simply tow the faction line. Republicans are for things because some famous Republican said it was so. Likewise the Democrats. God forbid you think for yourselves.

I constantly read about how bad unions are for the economy. And yet, I cannot ever seem to get a straight answer about why this is. People will talk themselves in circles with statistics and rhetoric, and never ever come close to anything resembling a logical answer. The real reason that you think unions are bad (or good) is that you were told to think they were bad (or good) by your party of choice.

Today I was reading an article about gold mining in West Africa that is being done by children in horrible working conditions. After the article were thousands of comments by watchers about how this was awful, and it must be the Republicans' fault. No, it is awful and it must be the Democrats' fault. No, it's because conservatives are evil! No, it's because liberals are stupid! Why can't it just be awful? Why can't people ignore party lines and get together and do something about awful things like this?

Because you are all fucking stupid.

Now, don't get me wrong. The 1% of the population that can actually think for themselves are not necessarily the same 1% that have all the money. A good chunk of those people are stupid as well, they just happen to have been born into money or to have good fortune smile on them, or whatever. I mean, look at our last president. He's certainly a rich man, but nobody would accuse him of being smart. (Well, OK, maybe some Republicans who have to in order to justify their support of him.)

Here's a brilliant idea. All of you assmonkey retards who can't seem to think for yourselves, you need to stop listening to Rush or O'Reilly or Hannity or whoever and start listening to me. Stop letting party loyalty get in the way of actual progress. Stop letting party loyalty drive this country down the fucking drain. Here's a secret: BOTH PARTIES ARE THE SAME. They both believe in getting power, influence, and money from suckers who buy into their bullshit. Neither party gives a good God damn about you, your family, your friends, your community or your rights. They will crush you without a second thought to get what they want. Both parties claim to stand for the Constitution of this country, and yet both parties are actively working to subvert and nullify that same document. 

By the way: Statistics. Because you are stupid, you don't know this, even though a good percentage of you went to college and SHOULD know it - STATISTICS ARE FUCKING MEANINGLESS. If you take nothing else away from a basic, entry level statistics course you should at least take that. All statistics are subject to error and interpretation, but more importantly, all statistics are subject to outright tampering and ill intentions. If a company is paying another company to prove its views are correct, the company providing the statistics is going to skew the research in a way that gets the paying company what it wants. Why? Because they want to keep getting paid and the best way to do that is to satisfy the customer.

Have you never wondered why both sides can come up with statistics that support their views? How is it possible that guns both increase and decrease crime at the same time, depending on which side you are on? Shouldn't it be one or the other? Yes, it should, but if you ask a research group to prove that guns are bad with statistics, they WILL. It's not the truth that's important, it's what they want to hear.

Also - Reactionary Law Making: Stupid beyond all reason. Politicians feel the need to try to pass legislation anytime anything bad happens because it makes them look like they are doing important work, which makes you keep them in power, which makes them rich and powerful. Logically, you cannot make bad things stop happening by passing laws. It doesn't work because bad things do not obey laws. They wouldn't be bad if they did, now would they? You can pass all of the Sarbanes-Oxley acts you like, but at the end of the day corporations are still going to fuck people over while your legislation crushes small business men and women. You can outlaw every gun on the planet, but criminals will still use them to kill people. Stop infringing on everyone's' rights  by freaking out and demanding SOMETHING be done anytime something bad happens. Punish the guilty, not the innocent. Please understand that politicians do NOT care about protecting you from bad things - hell, they cause a good percentage of bad things themselves - they only care about making it LOOK like they care, so that they can benefit from it. They use bad things to increase their standing with you.

So, in conclusion, 99% of you are stupid. Please, for the sake of humanity, realize this. Realize that you are being led by the nose by other stupid people who do not have your best interests in mind. And then stop being led by stupid people, and listen to what the 1% of thinkers in this country have to say. And that is: STOP MAKING DECISIONS BASED ON SIDES LIKE SOME BUNCH OF FUCKING CHILDREN.

EDIT: Please do not take this as a bash on the Occupy protestors. I do not agree with all of their viewpoints, but by God, at least those people are smart enough to realize how insanely fucked up our country is and they are trying to wake the rest of you morons up. Here again, however, we find people who were themselves protesting as Tea Party activists bashing on the Occupy people simply because they think they are a different sports team that must be opposed. Stop picking sides and work together, you jackasses. It's fucked up for all of us, so instead of bashing on the people who are working to change it, how about helping them instead? Or are you too stupid to even realize when you are in trouble and need help?

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Dr. Derpy

Check out this Amazon Review

Let me sum it up for those of you who are too lazy to click the link: Dr. Derpy buys an Acer Iconia A500 tablet, roots it, and can't figure out how to get his BOOTLEG movies to play on it. He can't figure out how to get Office to work, and he's too cheap to spring for an app. He also hates the touchpad keyboard, but has no clue that almost any keyboard on the planet works with this tablet.

Seriously? You are a DOCTOR. Why do you feel that you need to STEAL movies? Why can't you afford an APP? Do you not know how GOOGLE works?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Getting your Amazon Unbox videos to play on your XBOX360

I have been looking for a way to play my Amazon videos on my TV for a while. I was almost resigned to purchasing a Roku box when I stumbled onto this page by accident. Amazon does NOT make this easy to find. The 360 is not listed as a compatible device, but ti turns out that you can easily watch your Amazon videos through it. Sweet!

Sunday, September 11, 2011


Dream Theater - Sacrificed Sons

Walls are closing
Channel surfing

Burning City
Smoke and fire
Planes we're certain
Faith inspired

No clues
A complete surprise
Who'll be
Coming home tonight

Heads all turning
Towards the sky
Towers crumble
Heroes die

Who would wish this on our people
And proclaim that His will be done
Scriptures they heed have misled them
All praise their Sacrificed Sons
All praise their Sacrificed Sons

Teach them
What to think and feel
Your ways
So enlightening

Words they preach
I can't relate
If God's true Love
Are acts of Hate

Who would wish this on our people
And proclaim that His will be done
Scriptures they heed have misled them
All praise their Sacrificed Sons
All praise their Sacrificed Sons

God on High
Our mistakes
Will mankind be extinct?
There's no time, time to waste
Who serves the truth
For Heavens' sake

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Motorcycles and Occam's Razor.

So, I was driving home from the park today on my bike. It was after sunset, the highway was pitch black, and I was following my wife. Then my engine starts jerking and losing power for a few seconds. Then it starts happening more frequently. Then it dies.

My first instinct was to look at the trip meter. I don't have a fuel gauge, so I have to keep track of mileage so that I know approximately when to stop for gas. My trip meter only read 108 miles, and I have done a bit over 120 before stopping for gas, so I thought that was clearly not the problem.

So, there I am, on a dark country highway with a bike that will not start. I tried setting the choke and it started for a second and then died again. I pulled out my handy Streamlight flashlight and started checking the plugs and the wire connections. My wife called and I was explaining to her what happened when it dawned on me:

I. Am. Retarded.

On my last long trip, I forgot to reset the trip meter after getting gas about 40 miles from home. Instead of the 108 miles I thought I had driven on that tank of gas, it was 148 miles. My gas tank only holds 2.5 gallons, so the fuel level had dropped below the normal feeding line. Had I not forgotten to reset the meter, I would have felt the sputter, looked at the meter, and automatically switched to the fuel reserve until I hit a gas station. Instead I spent a good ten minutes panicked on the side of the road.


So, the lesson for today, kiddies, is to ALWAYS RESET THE &*^%ING TRIP METER!

Summer Catch-Up.

OK, I've been lax in writing anything on this blog. But, I have a good reason. Anyway, here's a list of things that took place this summer. You know, for posterity. And also so that going forward my posts make some sort of sense.

  • Sometime in June I was diagnosed with Mononucleosis. This is the second time I have had this stupid virus. 
  • Mono suppresses your immune system fairly well, so I also got to experience a good handful of other things on top of it. 
  • I attended a Summer semester at college. With mono. About as fun as it sounds. 
  • I purchased a motorcycle, attended the MSF safety course, and received my motorcycle license. 
  • I've been driving the motorcycle almost exclusively for about two months.
  • I've been spending WAY too much time playing video games.
There, I think that about catches you up to mid-August. 

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Fuck you, NY State. Seriously.

So I get a letter from the NYS Department of Labor on Tuesday. (July 5th) Being that it is from a NY governmental agency, the letter itself really makes no sense. Our unemployment has dropped below 8%, so instead of 20 weeks of extended benefits, we only get 13. And a lot of other stuff that tells you basically nothing.

As I originally understood it, benefits would continue until the end of this year. Which was great, because I have only one more semester left in college before I get my AAS degree. So, I was thinking, OK, seven weeks shortened from that means I will be dipping into savings to live the last seven weeks of school.

And then we checked with the NYS DOL today. Oh, no, they tell us, YOUR benefits end next week!


First of all, one week's notice? Thanks for that, assholes.

Secondly, 13 from 20 is 7 weeks. If it was supposed to run until December 31st, how is 7 weeks shorter July 11th?

Thirdly, what kind of fucking retard writes a bill that bases extending help to people off of an imaginary number. Look, if the unemployment rate drops below X%, we can drop it even lower by kicking more people off of unemployment! We'll look great! (Except for all the starving out of work people that we don't count because we're not paying them...)

So, in conclusion: Fuck you, NY State. Fuck you right up your stupid ass. (And I include our wonderfull bill-writer as well. FUBO!)

Friday, June 10, 2011

XS Big Dot 24/7 on a Walther PPS

I've always wanted to try the XS Big Dot 24/7 sights, so when my laser went kaput on my Bodyguard 380 it gave me the perfect excuse to equip my Walther PPS with them. (I need something that I can shoot at night, right?)

I found a good deal on them online and two days later they were in my hands, ready to install. or so I thought.

The front sight was very easy to remove from the PPS. Simply unscrew a flathead screw and pop it off. No problem. The rear sight was another story. According to the instructions and others online, you simply use the included non-marring punch and drive the rear sight out of its slot with a few light hammer taps. In reality, that sight was damned if it was going to leave its home. I ended up having to use a heavy brass punch, lots of hammer blows, and heavy cursing to get it out. And tape. Lots of blue painter's tape. (So I wouldn't scratch the slide.)

Anyway, once the old sights were off, the new front sight almost fit in easily. I tapped it in a bit with the non-marring punch and it fit flush to the slide. Honestly I don't think it would have moved even after that, but I used the red thread-locking fluid XS supplied and screwed in the new screw. (Don't use the screw from the old sight, it will break the tritium vial in the front sight as it is too long.)

The rear sight, unfortunately, was just as bad as the old rear sight. It would not slide into the slot, even with light tapping. I ended up having to buy a $30 set of files to shave off enough material from the sight to allow it to fit. Once I did get it slid into the slot, I lined it up by eyeball and tightened the set screw. I then applied the red fluid to the sight and let it set overnight as directed. As you can see from the pictures, it seems to look OK.

I took it to the range after the fluid had set and fired off about 100 rounds of 165gr .40 S&W ammo. Eyeballing the sight seemed to have worked OK, as I didn't have any windage issues. It did, however, take me about 40 rounds just to get used to lining up the big dot on the front sight with the line on the back sight. I kept lining up the middle of the dot, and instead should have been lining up the bottom of the dot. So, for 40 rounds all of my shots were low. Once I figured it out, I was able to punch a bunch of holes in the bullseye at 7 yards. I didn't try any farther as I was getting used to the sights and had a limited supply of ammo on me, but I feel confident the sights would do well at longer distances too.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Time Warner Funnies

A comedian recently took out a full page ad in newspapers to bash Time Warner for their appalling customer service. 

Time Warner responded in a pathetic, trying-too-hard kind of way.

What I think is really funny is this line from TW's response:

Missed installs and clumsy customer communications are issues that have plagued us for too long. They’re not unique to us, though — all of our peers and competitors struggle with the same problems, and not just in the United States, either. We have over 47,000 employees servicing 13 million customers. 

Firstly, you sound like an asshole for trying to excuse your company with the old "they do it too!" routine. Secondly, HEY JACKASS *BOING!* Do you think, maybe, perhaps, that having 47,000 employees trying to service 13 MILLION customers might be your base fucking problem right there? Hey, maybe stop trying to step up the bottom line by making each customer service person cover a few hundred customers and instead cut the insane top level bonuses out. You know, the ones where you pat yourselves on the backs for paying the people who do the actual work for your company jack shit while pissing off a huge chunk of your customers and making everyone hate you? But, what do I know? I'm only working on a degree in a business, I don't yet have my masters in fucking everyone over and dying rich but friendless.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Alienware Aurora R3, GeForce 590 GTX note

Just a small addendum to my Alienware articles. I wanted to note that the GeForce card that came in my system (which I specifically upgraded to when speccing it out) - the GeForce 590 GTX - was noted as having 3 DVI and 1 HDMI outputs. This is incorrect for the card I received, as it came with 3 DVI and 1 mini-Display port outputs.

Also, since I did not have any DVI cables, I had to run out and buy an adapter for my HDMI cable. As a warning to others, this is a Bad Idea. Oh, it works. You get a nice picture and can use your existing HDMI cable. But, the communication between the adapter and the cable gets interrupted every once in a while to the tune of a black screen for between two and ten seconds. Irritating if you are reading or watching something, devastating if you are playing a game. I finally sprung for a new DP cable to stop it. (After getting killed ins everal different games because of the black screen.)

Just something to be aware of.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

My Alienware Experience - Part 4

Well, it's been two weeks now, and I am still using my Alienware Aurora R3 PC, and I still love it. I've had the chance to really give it a workout in some new, high end graphical games, and it really shines. It also works great for the day to day computing that I do.

Let me start out by saying that if you are like me and research the crap out of major purchases before you commit, then you will have read all of the internet horror stories about Alienware. They ship broken, or they don't work right, or you have to spend two months working with support to get the right stuff, etc. Of course we all realize that the Internet is 90% bitchfest, and only 10% praise. People don't come online to tell you how great a purchase they just made, but they sure do come on to complain when something goes wrong. So you may be a tad bit anxious about purchasing a computer that even has it's own site. I say "don't be."

My Alienware shipped on-time - actually, a couple of days early. It was working flawlessly when I set it up. (Yes, I had to install all of my software and update some drivers, but hey, that's life with a PC. If you don't like that, you shouldn't be using a PC.) It has performed with excellence in all tasks that I have shoved at it, and I have yet to have occasion to complain.

As far as performance goes, let's talk briefly about two modern games: Brink and Rift. I ran Fraps during both of these games for extended periods to make sure that I was getting decent performance for my money. I chose these games because they are both newer releases, and because they both push the graphics card to work hard. In fact, these two games are the only games that I played recently that actually caused the graphics card fan to spin up to a faster level.

During multiplayer, 16 person Brink sessions, the fps (Frames per Second) never dipped below 38. They averaged out at 44. This is with all of the graphics options turned up as high as they will go and at a resolution of 1920x1200. The game looks nice, and it played smoothly, with no detectable hitching. I will note, however, that Brink is a really new release, and that it still has its share of graphical bugs. I expect that as the game is further optimized, I will see an increase in fps.

Rift is a newer MMORPG game that really has spectacular graphics. Of course, in order to enjoy those graphics, you need a PC capable of showing them to you in an acceptable framerate. I ran Rift at a resolution of 1920x1200, on the Ultra setting at first, and I was getting an average of 62 fps. But then I noticed that the "ultra" setting left quite a few graphics sliders turned down. How ultra is ultra if it isn't actually ULTRA? So, I went ahead and turned all of the sliders up to the max. Go big or go home, right? When walking around solo and questing, I averaged around 45 fps. In groups doing dungeon runs, my fps dropped just a tiny bit to average around 42. And the real test, giant raid sized outdoor events where rifts are opening and spilling out hordes of monsters and 100+ players are all on the screen at once battling those monsters. During these chaotic events, the Aurora R3 still averaged 28 fps, with a low of 24fps. Even with that many things happening onscreen at the same time, the gameplay was smooth and I never noticed any detectable graphical hitching. My old system hitched during World of Warcraft raids with as few as 20 players present, and it wasn't out of date or under-powered. it just wasn't as top notch as the new Alienware.

So, I am going to end my series of articles on the new Alienware Aurora R3 with a positive rating for the system and a few notes. The only thing even slightly bad I can say about it is that when playing Rift and Brink the GeForce 590 GTX card's fan kicks up the speed quite a bit, and the exhaust sound is quite loud. It actually makes me turn up my speakers a bit. Of course, my system sits level with my desk and about a foot away from my monitor, so moving it might make the noise a non-issue. (Or liquid cooling it, like the CPU.) The only time the system ever crashed was the first day that Brink was released. The open GL interface between the game and the graphics card locked it up tight. Other than that, it has run flawlessly. The lighting system looks great, and is fun to set up with different color schemes for each game or flashing lights when you receive an email. So far, my Alienware experience has been very positive, and I would definitely recommend them to others who want a custom gaming PC, but don't have the time to build and support it themselves.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Holy Christ, the rapture!

Let me start out by saying that while I believe in God, I despise organized religion. Belief is great. Religion is about controlling people.

Having said that, I think that if you are going to follow a religion, perhaps you should be aware of the basic tenets of your faith. I know, I'm wasting my breath. Christians are one of the most bigoted groups in the world, and they also tend to not believe even their own faith. God is all powerful. Yet they fear Satan may take over. Well, which is it? You either believe God is all powerful, in which case nobody is taking over because ALL POWERFUL means that if Satan looks at him crosseyed ZAP! God snaps his fingers and Satan disappears in a poof of sulfuric ash, or you don't believe it and pray every night that the boogie man won't get you.

Anyway, if you believe in Christianity, God, and the bible, how in the everloving fuck can you believe the world is going to end tomorrow based on same crazy-ass radio DJ's prediction? Let's go to the bible and check it out:
Matthew 24:36 (whichever version you have, it translates to roughly) But of that day and hour knows no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.

OK, so crazy religious nuts, here's your checklist:

1: Is this radio DJ God? - No.
2: Is this radio DJ a man? - Yes.
3: Is he some crazy ass dipshit flying Wacky Motherfucker Airlines? You betcha.

He's not God, he is a man, and he is crazy. Since only the Father (God) knows when the return is, I guess it isn't happening tomorrow.

So there you have it. The only people that are going to meet God tomorrow are the loony-tunes that show up on my front porch claiming the rapture is happening, or the ones that follow claiming the rapture passed them over and so they're going to loot my house. Those people are going to earn themselves a face-full of 00 buckshot, for Jesus!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


To start with, I really, really need to never open my mouth and say I don't want to buy something, because every time I do that (Playstation 3, my Jeep, etc...) I end up buying whatever I said I didn't want to buy. I said that I didn't want to buy Rift because I beta tested the game, and it really felt just like World of Warcraft with better graphics. I was playing World of Warcraft with my friends, so paying to play another game just like it seemed silly.

And then Alienware started a contest to win a new laptop by trying the 7 day Rift trial and leveling a character past level 5. I entered the contest and wound up at the level limit of the trial (15). Then I ran out the next day and bought the collectors edition.

You see, Rift is not really just like WoW. It's close enough to feel comfortable, but it adds elements from Everquest 2, Warhammer Online, Lord of the Rings Online, and dozens of other past MMOs. So it feels like an old flame dressed in a hot new outfit. You already know what she is like in a relationship, but damned if you don't have a couple of drinks and wind up in the sack with her anyway.

I've also made the self discovery that I don't like the endgame of most MMOs. I love leveling up and discovering the story and exploring the new areas as they come, but once I hit the level cap and work through most of the content, I don't want to keep doing it over and over forever just to get new gear. I wind up leaving until an expansion or sequel comes out. I've done it with WoW every time I finish an expansion, and I've done it with a bunch of other games. I left WoW recently because I think Blizzard made a mistake and this newest expansion was too short. I finished it, did all of the dungeons a few times, and even raided a bit. Then I burned out. I'm sure Rift is headed to the same fate, but... Oh well. I'll enjoy the ride until then!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Tattoo Designs 2

Tattoo Designs 1

So, I've been coming up with designs for my next tattoo, and I've decided to post some of the designs I rejected on my blog. You know, because they are cool. And stuff.

Right. Here is my first one.

Monday, May 9, 2011

My Alienware Experience - Part 3

So, I've had my new Alienware Aurora R3 for a whole weekend now. I wish I could say that I played the crap out of some games, but the reality is that I spent a good deal of time transferring data from my old PC, loading in programs that I use, loading drivers, and just generally setting things up. I did get to play for a decent amount of time, just not enough to form a solid opinion yet.

My impression so far is that it is a fast system, and it has been very stable. It's fairly quiet. There's always the low humming of a fan, but it's not very noticeable until the GeForce 590 gets hot, and then it can be fairly loud. I play with surround sound speakers on, however, so it's not really an issue except in very quiet moments, and really the only time I have heard the 590 heat up at all is in GTA IV. It has yet to kick in the fan on Fallout: NV, Borderlands, WoW, or COD: Black Ops. We'll see tomorrow whether or not Brink heats it up.

I really like the case and the lighting, but I wish there were more USB ports. That's not Alienware's issue though, as even if they had 50 I would want more. Mouse, keyboard, printer, back up external hard drive, UPS, XBox controller, hey, where did all my rear ports go?

I'll keep pushing it this week and we'll see how it fairs. I'm keeping my fingers crossed. I'm a pessimist, however, so the fact that it worked right out of the box means it has already surpassed my expectations.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Alienware - Pictures

 Man, that's some cool packaging. I can't help but wonder how much they could shave off the cost by using generic boxes, though.
 Inside the Alienware Aurora R3. I like the little alien head on the liquid CPU cooling block.
All hooked up to my 27" Dell Ultrasharp. Notice the lack of bloatware on the desktop.

Alienware - Grand Theft Auto IV

This is a game I picked up a couple of weeks ago when it was on sale on Steam. I was bored, it was cheap, I figured what the hell, at the worst I'll get a few hours of enjoyment out of it while I am waiting for other games to release.
Yeah, I really should have checked into it before buying it.

GTA4 runs like crap on the PC. No matter what settings I chose, the game jerked so bad when I was driving that it literally made me dizzy. I gave up after an hour of trying to fix it because I was about to throw up. It turns out, lots of people have complained about how bad this runs on the PC.

Well, tonight I thought I would try it out again on the new Alienware and see if it was any better.

Holy. Shit.

I can actually play this game now. It looks good, it is completely smooth, and the graphic settings are turned all the way up. Color me impressed. As long as this system doesn't crap out on me during the magic money-back window, I'm sold.

Alienware - Fallout New Vegas

Had a chance to put Fallout New Vegas through its paces with my new Alienware Aurora R3. All I can say is wow. My last PC was no slouch, but the thing that always killed New Vegas for me was the load times between areas, and the jerky frame rate that occurred for the first 20 or 30 seconds you were in a new area.

The Aurora gets rid of that. The longest load time I have experienced was about three seconds. Most areas transition so fast now that I don't even see the load screen pop up. There's no jerkiness as the textures load in a new area, and the animations on things like fire are much smoother. The lighting effects seem to stand out a bit better as well.

So far I'm impressed. Hopefully this Alienware will perform just as well in my other games. (Especially Brink!)

My Alienware Experience - Part 2

Let's start off with the good:

  •  My PC shipped 2 business days early. That means I got it on Friday, May 6th instead of Tuesday, May 10th. Nice. Time to set up before Brink releases.
  • The system looks amazing. Ah. Maze. Ing!
  • Install was very clean for a pre-built. No bloatware at all. 
Now the not so good:

  • The system shipped with a GeForce 590 GTX card with 3 DVI connections and 1 mini-Display Port connection. Alienware sent me a mini-HDMI to HDMI adapter. I have an HDMI cable with a mini on one end and a full size on the other that I have been using for years. I have no DVI cables left. I have a full size Display Port cable. This means that I had to run out and get an adapter for $25 just to be able to turn the thing on. Grrr. Small oversight on their part, but giant pain in my ass.
  • The system shipped with NVidia drivers installed that don't support the GeForce 590 GTX card. The card laughed at me when I tried to play World of Warcraft.
  • The pre-installed version of WoW is still Wrath of the Lich King. Great. Good thing I have all my stuff on a hard drive in my old PC that is separate from the OS drive. Just popped that out and plugged it into my Alienware. (Which worked flawlessly.) 
  • The Dell monitor that came with the system: Ugh. I guess I am spoiled by my 27" Dell Ultrasharp, but this new monitor is washed out looking and just not anywhere near as nice. I had hoped to use it as a second display (I mean, what the hell, I got the graphics power to burn now) but I think I may just end up selling it.
It may look there are a lot of negatives compared to the positives, but keep in mind that I just spent 10 hours setting up the system, transferring files, updating drivers, and playing with settings. I haven't really had a chance to drive it all that much, and for the most part the negatives are minor. (Getting that part really annoyed me, though.) The monitor was always just a bonus in this deal, as it came with the best system deal. So no biggy if it has to go.

I have a lot more programs to install on the new system, but hopefully I will be able to take a break and put it through its paces in some games. Then we'll see what it can really do.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Alienware Aurora R3 specs


Alienware Aurora-R3
Intel Core i7-2600 (8MB Cache) Overclocked Turbo Boost to 3.9GHz
8GB Dual Channel DDR3 at 1333MHz
Alienware MM Keyboard, US
Dell 23 Inch Wide ST2320L
Single Nvidia GTX 590
1TB SATA 3Gb/s (7,200RPM) 32MB Cache
Matte Stealth Black Alienware Aurora w/ 875W Multi-GPU Approved PSU
PC-Restore, Dim/Insp
DataSafe Local BackUp
Genuine Windows 7 Home Premium, 64bit, English
Dell Resource DVD with Application Backup
Accessory Kit, Aurora 3, Eng
Alienware Optical Mouse, MG100
AlienFX Color Astral Aqua
Single Drive: Dual Layer Blu-ray Reader (BD-ROM, DVD+/-RW, CD-RW)
1Power DVD 9.6, 3D
Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium
Automatic Updates: On
Alienhead Glow
Dell Hardware Limited Warranty, Extended Year
Dell Hardware Limited Warranty, Initial Year
Dell Limited Hardware Warranty Plus In-Home Service After Remote Diagnosis, 1 Year Extended

Dell Limited Hardware Warranty Plus In-Home Service After Remote Diagnosis, Initial Year
2 Year Limited Warranty
Accidental Damage Service, 2 Years
Warranty Support, 1 Year Extended
Warranty Support, Initial Year
Soft Contracts Consumer Accidental Damage Agreement for Alienware
Soft Contracts Dell In-Home Hardware Agreement for Alienware
Software, DataSafe Online 2.0 2GB
To activate your online backupaccount, go to Start, Programs, DataSafe Online
DataSafe Online 2.0 2GB
Steam and Portal Factory Installed
World of Warcraft Preinstall Edition
Alienhead 3D
Thank you for choosing Dell
Alienware High-Performance Liquid Cooling

Thursday, April 28, 2011

My Alienware Experience - Part 1

So, I recently came to the conclusion that I need to buy a pre-built computer. The PC that I have been rebuilding over and over since the year 2000 is giving me major issues with just about everything that you can think of. I solve one issue only to be vexed by another. Hey, no problem, right? I used to work in tech support, I should be able to fix these things.

Yeah, no problem. Except that now I have a little girl, a wife, a dog, and a cat who all want some sort of attention at least once a day. I also attend college full time. I also practice the drums for a couple of hours a day. So, when I sit down at my PC, I want to check Facebook and then jump right into a game. (Or, you know, do my homework/ term paper/ online courses) I don't have the extra time I used to have to figure out why the hell my PC is freaking out again.

So, with all that in mind, I started looking at pre-built PCs capable of doing high end gaming stuff as well as my papers. Alienware has been around for a long time, and I was aware of them, but I was also aware that they are expensive. So, believe me when I say I did my homework. I looked at every custom gaming PC shop online. I looked up parts prices to make sure I knew what things should cost compared to what I was being charged.

In the end, I came back to Alienware.

There were a few reasons for my choice. First, they are owned by Dell. This is a big one, as I have dealt with Dell professionally for close to a decade through different jobs. I know what kind of tech support I can expect from them, and I know how to work them to get what I want. This is the biggest reason for me to buy a pre-built. I want someone else to work out the issue while I move on to something else. Dell can connect remotely and solve issues, and my coverage will let them send someone to work on it if they have to, or replace the whole thing if need be. Hell, I even have coverage for accidental spills and drops.

Secondly, was price. I know, I know, all the Internet ragers claim Alienware is ridiculously overpriced and horrible. The fact is, when you look at what you get for what you pay, they are about the cheapest custom gaming PC you can get, bar Cyberpower PC and their ilk. This is true even after looking at local shops. It helps that I got a huge discount for being a student as well.

For a little over $2000 US, I got a PC with CPU liquid cooling, an Intel i7 Sandy Bridge clocked at 3.9 GHz, 8 Gigs of DDR3 RAM, a Geforce 590 card, 1 Tb HDD, 875W PSU, Blu Ray drive, and a custom case. Because of my student status, I also got access to a package (which they pulled the day after I ordered) that included free 2 year warranty status (which I upgraded to advanced for $30), a 23" Dell HD monitor, and a free $100 Alienware headset. (TactX) I also had a coupon for $50 off, so I used it to upgrade to overnight shipping.

All in all, I am theoretically happy with my purchase. When it ships next week (The PC, I already have the headset) I will start my evaluation period and decide if it is really worth it.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Fear Mongering by Gun Control Activists

Here’s some logic for you: Ban “assault clips” – magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds – because they are only good for killing a lot of people very fast.

Here’s some similar logic: Ban “assault vehicles” – minivans and other vehicles capable of holding more than 5 people – because they are only good for killing a lot of people very fast.

But, you may say, minivans are actually very useful because they allow people to transport larger groups of family and friends to school, sports events, or other outings. Sure, some nutjob parents may have killed a bunch of their kids by crashing them or driving them into water, but the rest of us shouldn’t be punished for their actions right? I mean, obviously minivans weren’t created simply to allow people to kill other people. That’s not their primary purpose.

And all of that is true.

It’s also true that magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds serve equally benign purposes. Competitors in shooting events have a better chance to score higher, target shooters can spend less time reloading and more time enjoying themselves, and people concerned about safety for themselves and their families can rest easier knowing they have a better chance to defend themselves.

But, but…people can use those large magazines to kill other people! Yes, this is true. It’s also true that people can use cars to kill other people. In fact, many times more people are killed each year by motor vehicles than are killed by firearms. Many tragedies occur daily involving vehicles, and yet we don’t have a public outcry to ban them. When the rarer gun death occurs, however, people are quick to try to capitalize on the tragedy to spread fear.

And make no mistake; this is about controlling people with fear. That’s why the argument is completely illogical. They don’t want you to think about it, they want you so afraid that you agree with them and advance their political agenda.

Here are some of their arguments:

You don’t need more than 10 rounds to defend yourself.
– The fact is that in stressful situations, even trained military and law enforcement officers miss more often than they hit. The fact is that there are many instances where the bad guy doesn’t stop his aggressive behavior even after being hit a dozen times. The fact is that often people are attacked by multiple bad guys at the same time.

If they really thought this was true, why wouldn’t they be calling on the government to ban large capacity magazines for law enforcement and military too? It’s obvious that they know this is a lie, and they’re just hoping that you swallow it.

There are no legitimate reasons to need that many rounds in a “clip”. – Fact: many competitions require you to fire as many rounds as you can in as short a time possible. The bigger the capacity of the magazine, the less time you spend swapping magazines and the better your score. Fact: many of us would rather concentrate on the principals of marksmanship than on reloading our magazines every five seconds at the range. And I already mentioned the legitimate need to defend yourself and your family.

From the Brady website:

4. They Claim: If you ban large-capacity ammunition magazines, only criminals will have them and law-abiding citizens will be outgunned.

Response: Are you saying we should continue to make it easy for dangerous people to get their hands on ammunition magazines that hold up to 100 bullets? A ban on the sale of large-capacity ammunition magazines would make it harder for criminals to get them to commit mass murder. If manufacturers stop making these magazines for civilian use, criminals aren’t going to start making their own. The supply will eventually dry up.

It’s so obvious now! Except that automatic weapons have been effectively banned from civilian ownership in this country, and yet criminals still manage to get them. In fact, it would be very easy for criminals to manufacture their own magazines. You don’t exactly need a lot of complicated equipment and skills to put a piece of sheet metal together with a spring. They could simply use the followers and floorplates of factory magazines to complete their very own high capacity magazine.

Many of the AK-47s on this planet are manufactured in villages with no indoor plumbing or electricity. To think that American criminals with access to even basic tools could not put together their own magazines is ignorant in the extreme.

Come on people, sometimes awful things happen, but you shouldn’t use those bad things to impose your will upon others or to spread fear and ignorance. And I’m sorry, but you simply cannot legislate crime away. You can only punish law abiding citizens and ignore inconvenient truths.

Here are some more useful facts for making up your own minds:

99% of the time when someone says "clip" they are referring to what is actually called a magazine. A clip is something that feeds or loads a magazine. Of course, most of the lawmakers trying to create legislation for guns don't actually know much about them. Perhaps that's why they fear them so much.

High Capacity magazines - Most of the time this is used to demonize magazine capable of holding more than 10 rounds. The fact is that standard capacity for most modern semi-automatic rifles is 20 - 30 rounds. Standard capacity for most modern semi-automatic pistols is between 12 and 20 rounds. Pistol that shoot larger bullets, a .45 for example, tend to hold 8 - 10, and tiny pistols made for concealment tend to hold 6 - 10 rounds.

According to the FBI
, violent crime in the country has been decreasing steadily since 1992, regardless of the assault weapon ban in 1994 and it's lifting in 2004.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Top 5 Most Annoying Religions

In no particular order.

1. - Christianity. A million different sects, all with their own rules and beliefs. Most of them incompatible with each other. You don't like black people, or Jews, or gay people, or people that drive Volkswagens? Then there's a Christian sect for you. And they're all right, and you are wrong. And they love to tell you about it. Loudly.

2. - Atheism. The religion that revolves around telling anyone who believes in anything that they are wrong and that life is all a huge coincidence. They believe so strongly in their non-belief that they feel the need to shove their non-belief on to everyone else, thus making them a religion of non-religion.

3. Global Warming Eco-Freaks. The religion of decrying the evils of man and their planet killing technologies. Al Gore is their pope, and you are an enemy of the planet. Never mind that scientific evidence tells us that the Earth warms and cools in cycles and has been doing this for millions of years without mankind's evil. No, it's all because of US and we're all going to be EXTINCT!

4. Islam. - Almost any religion is about controlling people and getting them to act the way that you think is appropriate. Islam is just a lot more open about that, and is in control of a good many governments throughout the world. You know, friendly, happy places like Iran, Sudan, and Indonesia. Combine the countries controlled by Islamic law with the actions of groups like the Taliban and al-Qaeda and you can kind of see why Islam annoys people.

5. Democrats and Republicans. Oh, come on. You know that you are religions. Your followers believe everything you say, and try to convert people from the other side. You both take offerings from your followers, promise to take care of them and lead them on the path, and fleece them like a televangelist with a million dollar gambling debt.

Sunday, March 6, 2011


Yeah, don't feel bad if I forget yours. (If I know you. You other people can piss off.) I can't ever remember how old I am unless I take a few seconds to remember my birthday and calculate how old I am from my birth date. Memorize my age? Yeah, I tried that. Unfortunately, while I sleep my subconscious keeps whispering over and over to my slumbering mind "you're 25! You're only 25!" Reality doesn't help much either. You can't be that old, you're still in college and you don't have a job!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Fox "News"

Fox news is shit because it has never been news. It has always been about slanting "news" to counter the perceived liberal bias in other news sources. Which in turn caused the other news outlets to slant their stories in the other direction even more.

I am neither a liberal or a conservative, Democrat or Republican. I think they are two sides of the same coin. So understand that my bias is that ALL news outlets are shit to varying degrees. We have long since given up on journalistic objectiveness and integrity. Fox news is just the shittiest of the shitpile. King shit of shitty news, if you will. And the Huffington Post is his personal asswiper.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Violence never solves anything

Robert Gibbs, spokesman for the White House, is telling us now on a live feed that violence won't solve this issue in Egypt.

You're are correct, Mr. Gibbs. However, look at history. Violence never solves issues, but sometimes it is the only way to make people take issues seriously. Disagree? If you live in the US, you live in a country that was freed from British rule by violence. President Lincoln forced our country to stay united with violence. The resolution of these issues almost always takes place after violence forces the issues to the forefront of peoples' minds.

Also, when was the last major media blitz about human and civil rights in Egypt? It took this outbreak of violence to bring these issues to the attention of people. (And even now I would bet a majority of people in the world with access to media are still ignorant of the situation.)

I'm not condoning violence, but I can't force my conscience to feel bad that these people are using it. Freedom is important, and sometimes you have to fight for what you believe in.

NOTE: There is quite a difference between this and terrorism. I do not, under any circumstance, think terrorism is a legitimate way to do anything. Violent protests against oppressive governments target those governments in an attempt to force change. Terrorism targets bystanders and civilians in an attempt to scare people, and it has never achieved anything but more violence.

Believing in Violence

A man says to his friend, over drinks one day, “I don’t believe in violence.”

His friend calmly sets down his drink and then punches him in the face. “Do you believe in violence now?” he asks.

“No! What the hell was that?”

His friend punches him again. “Now do you believe in violence?”

“No!” The man protests again. “Why do you keep hitting me?”

His friend punches him in the face one more time. “How about now?”

“No, please stop hitting me!”

The friend shrugs and picks his drink back up. “Well, I’ve showed you it exists three times now. If you still don’t believe, that’s just willful ignorance.”

The “situation” in Egypt

Seriously folks, wake up. The US government is feeding us BS about being concerned with Egyptian freedom all along, but if it had been, wouldn’t they have withheld aid? Instead we have funneled them money since the late 70s, regardless of the brutality of their police force and their suspension of civil rights. The White House’s talking head is simply trying to spin this to make us out to not be callous.

Suspension of rights due to terrorism? Poor economic conditions? Oh, wait, why would Washington care, we have that here and THEY caused it!