# Saturday, 07 September 2013

So I finally got a Microsoft Surface Pro about 2 weeks ago, and as I mentioned way back when they first announced it. That attaching the pen via magnets where a stupid thing to do. I actually type up a whole draft of the source of my hatred but.. a video might be better!

Saturday, 07 September 2013 22:44:00 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [0]  | 
# Saturday, 17 August 2013

Let’s follow up on my PC Gaming adventures. First of all here are the specs of my rig.

  • Intel Core i5 2.8GHz
  • 4GB RAM
  • ATI 5700

It’s nothing too special, other than the fact that it’s plugged into a TV


Now if you’re wondering why there’s a disc taped to the front of the system, when you have a little infant who finds daddy’s screams of terror when he accidentally shuts down the PC funny, you too would want to make sure it’s not that easy to push the power button!

The primary game controller used is of course the Razer Sabertooth.


It’s really nice that most PC game developers understand the need to support the XBox Gamepad, an added plus is that when you run Steam in Big Picture mode, the guide button becomes the Shift-Tab hot key which you’d usually press on the keyboard so you can still access most of Steam’s functionality with only the Gamepad, neat!

Then I needed to handle the fact that I’d want to use my Turtle Beach PX5 on the PC.


I wanted to use the Optical Jack on the PC, but then I realized that I’ll have to remember to toggle quite a few settings to get the sound piped through the TV again. And that’s not good for one simple reason.

My Wife!

This is because my office room is also the room my wife uses to placate little WH if he wakes up and refuses to go back to sleep at night, so she’ll come to my room and use the TV to try and get him to sleep again. At this time, WH is usually, crying, screaming, squirming, etc. etc. Basically everything that would piss off and stress out a mommy who have just been woken up. Imagine how would she feel if upon turning on the TV and playing some videos and no sound comes out of the TV to soothe WH?

So I had to look for an alternate solution, the Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Surround 5.1 Pro


Yes, this is basically a USB sound card. And more importantly, it’s a USB sound card with an OPTICAL PORT


So why does this help my situation? When you set a USB sound card as your default sound device in Windows, the moment it is disconnected Windows will automatically pipe sound back through your internal Sound Card, and whenever you plug the USB one back in, it becomes the default sound device again. This makes it very easy for me to switch between output to the TV or to my headset, all I have to do is plug the USB in and I’m good.

Of course I’m quite aware that USB audio cards might have latency or other performance based issues, haven’t felt anything noticeable for now though.

As I started playing Payday 2, I realized I needed to get voice chat working or I’d never be able to play effectively. I tried all manner of cable converters to plug the PX5 Xbox 360 connection into the X-Fi’s mic jack, but none of them seem to work the way I’d like them to. Until I got fed up and just plugged the jack into the Sabertooth, at which point Windows made the familiar Hardware Inserted sound and… *poof* a new mic input device appeared for the headset of the Sabertooth…


And it works exactly like intended, just like on the Xbox 360! The driver support package which MS gave the Xbox 360 controller is amazing!!! In fact, you can even set your PC sound to output through the XBox 360 headset. Though it’s at a VERY VERY poor bitrate though.

The Journey Continues…

Gaming | Gear
Saturday, 17 August 2013 23:46:30 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [0]  | 
# Saturday, 20 July 2013

I recently dove back into PC Gaming, there were 2 main factors that influenced this decision.

First of all was the XBOX One was announced to have some severely crippling controls that would spell certain doom for parallel import players like me, and even though they decided to revert back to the current XBOX 360 control model, I can’t help but be slightly shaken by that.

Secondly was The Walking Dead, when I bought the Humble Bundle for Telltale games SPECIFICALLY to get The Walking Dead, I didn’t realize that it was Steam ONLY. Therefore I had to go back to using my dormant Steam account, one thing lead to another and I ended up with some more games in my Steam account.

So here’s what I feel so far after a few months of PC gaming.

The Good!

Cheaper Games! If you’re not chasing to play games immediately on their launch date, you most likely can get it cheaper after a few months, most likely on Steam. But a good site to keep tabs on stuff is through CheapShark.

More Variety! There’s a nice thriving Indie game scene on the PC, you’ll be able to find a lot of strange, quirky, and possibly entertaining games to play. But these games are not without their problems, for one thing, some of them might lack a lot of the iterated polish you’ll see in a proper retail game, this might make the game very unfriendly to newbie players or casual gamers who are not familiar with typical gaming tropes. One of the worst problems you might find if you’re unfamiliar with this is ending up buying a game that’s partially complete in which the developer swears they’ll constantly work on and improve it, you just gotta give them some faith and time. I’m not saying this is a BAD thing, but this might give the wrong idea to people unfamiliar with such a concept.

XBOX 360 Controller Support! The gold standard for a controller, thankfully most of the PC developers realize that they need to support the XBOX 360 controller which makes it much more comfortable in most scenarios. If you’re going to game on a keyboard though, it’d be highly recommended that you go for a keyboard which allows you to press multiple keys at a time since most normal keyboards will only detect about 3 or 4 simultaneous key presses.

The Bad!

Hardware Compatibility/Peformance Problems! While this is much less of an issue than it was a few years back, one thing that you must always be aware of when playing PC games is hardware compatibility and performance issues. At times you might run up with issues where games might not work properly because of certain hardware configuration in your PC, or maybe there’re some driver issues, or maybe it’s just your processor. Unlike a console you can’t just start a game and hope that it works perfectly all the time, you must be prepared to search for solutions and maybe even get your hands dirty to hack at some system settings just to get it to work. And most importantly, please don’t expect ANY system to be able to play ANY game, if your PC wasn’t spec’ed for game playing purposes you most likely won’t be able to deal with most big name titles.

The Ugly

Region Lock! I always thought that the PC gaming world was a free market, and yet the other day I was meant with a message from Steam saying I couldn’t enjoy the super cheap offer on Super Street Fighter IV Arcade Edition because the offer was not for my region..

Saturday, 20 July 2013 20:57:44 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [0]  | 
# Tuesday, 16 July 2013
So I just watched Pacific Rim…. my god what silly show. What follows is gonna be my rants about the movie, so if you haven’t watched it yet there’s a lot of spoilers incoming!

Tuesday, 16 July 2013 00:10:09 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [0]  | 
# Saturday, 06 July 2013

So your website requires an additional ActiveX control to work, no shame in that it’s not like HTML5 is perfect or that every browser has implemented all the features which everyone is dreaming of. You just need to do one small little change to your webpage so that Windows 8 users who are using Internet Explorer 10 in Metro/Modern/Windows UI mode will be informed that they need to view the site in the desktop IE because ActiveX controls only work in desktop mode.

It’s a simple change, just add this line to the HEAD section of your webpage.

<meta http-equiv="X-UA-Compatible" content="requiresActiveX=true" />

While the name of the tag contains the word ActiveX, this holds true for ANY kind of browser plugin other than Flash which will only work in IE10 desktop mode under Windows 8.

For more details about this switch you can refer to this document.

Saturday, 06 July 2013 22:50:27 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [0]  |