Tag Archive: Windows


Read the full in-depth review HERE

Developed By: 2K Games
Platform: Xbox 360, Playstation 3, PC
Players:1-2 (split-screen)
Online: 4 Player Co-Op

What It’s All About:
Welcome to Pandora, a bandit-ridden wasteland that draws the attention of off-world scavengers for one reason: The Vault. The Vault is a mysterious structure that is believed to hold the most powerful and wealthiest treasures in the universe, and everyone from scavengers to fortune seeking global corporations wants to get their hands inside. This is the setting you will find yourself wading through with Gearbox’s latest title Borderlands, a FPS meets RPG.

What It Did Right:

  • Great character development
  • Unique art design
  • Reward system
  • Fantastic Gunplay

What Brings It Down:

  • Vehicle Control
  • Lonely, anti-social single player experience
  • Cock slap of an ending

The Final Verdict:

Borderlands succeeds as a perfectly balanced combination of the RPG and FPS genres. Along with it’s unique gameplay style, it boasts an art design that makes Pandora come alive and will keep calling you back to the bandit ridden wastelands. With satisfying character development and an impressive arsenal of weapons, this game will keep you busy for a long time. There are a few places that the game could be improved, especially when it comes to the anti-social and lonely nature of it’s single player experience. All in all, Borderlands is a great title that is well worth checking out.

8/10

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Snow Leopard Review

review_LZWE7N The hotly anticipated Operating System dubbed Snow Leopard has finally hit shelves for Mac consumers across the globe. With it’s competitor Windows 7 sitting right behind it, how does the new OS X hold up?

First of all let’s layout the specs of the two machines we have tested Snow Leopard with.

Machine 1
Macbook – Aluminium Model
2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
2 GB 1067 MHz DDR3 RAM
Nvidia GeForce 9400m

Machine 2
iMac
2.0 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
4 GB 1067 MHz DDR2 RAM
Standard Intel Graphics

Installation is a breeze, simply pop in the disc, hit the install and away you go. No need to launch direct from the disc, Snow Leopard installs like an update rather than a clean installation. This is good in one respect, bad in others. For those who aren’t into the nitty gritty of their technology it’s a welcome prospect, feeling more like a system update than the daunting task of changing over to a new operating system. For the technology savvy the lack of ability to start a fresh is disappointing. When getting a new OS it’s always nice to start clean and fresh so you can put the new beast to the test. Snow Leopard simply doesn’t offer this feature, and while it’s not a deal breaker, it certainly is a feature that many will be sorely miss.

Installation time on the Macbook clocked in at a smooth 48 minutes, add an extra 5 minutes for the machine to index. For the record the Macbook had recently been formatted and didn’t have any photos, music or movies, just a bunch of documents and some work applications. The iMac on the other hand has been running for twelve months without a format. The iMac also has 85gb of music, thousands of photos, documents and a number of applications. The installation on this machine took 1 Hour and 25 minutes, with a further 15 minutes for indexing. Whether this was to do with the amount of data on the machine, or it’s inferior CPU is yet to be determined. Regardless the install time is rather standard and isn’t excruciatingly long. There in no user input after the installer starts so you can set it off and go out of the room and do something else which is a bonus.
Immediately after the indexing completed you can really notice a great speed boost in browsing your Mac. The dock is a lot smoother, stacks don’t take long to open up and are now scrollable, and launching applications is a lot quicker. This is due to Snow Leopard running everything in 64bit Architecture. It is simply amazing that a new operating system offers a speed boost, regardless of your machine specs.

Browsing through Finder is now more refined, and now viewing documents in the Cover Flow view is more stable, reliable and useful. Scrolling through documents but not sure the one you have selected is the one you are searching for? Simply hit the space bar key and you will be able to scroll through a real time preview of the document. It’s a handy feature for those who have their documents folder chocker-block full.

You may be surprised to see your hard-drive space suddenly increase. Apple claim that installing Snow Leopard will give you back approximately 7GB of hard drive space due to it’s smaller footprint. On the Macbook system we were give back 10GB and the iMac gave us back a whopping 12GB. For those of you running low on space, those seven or so gigabytes might help you out just that little bit.
Another huge feature set of the Snow Leopard OS is the complete make over of the Quicktime system. With a new intuitive interface, and the ability to import movies directly into Quicktime and export to Youtube, Quicktime has come a long way. The interface is clean, easy to use, and for many will now replace the freeware VLC player used by many.

So just how much of a difference will 64Bit Architecture make to your Mac experience? Going from the Apple website you are looking at 1.3x faster performance on Quicktime Player Launch, 1.5x for Safari JavaScript and 1.2x for opening a large PDF Document. From all out tests, applications certainly open faster, scrolling through finder is smooth, fast and responsive, and everything just feels to be so much faster.

The big selling point for corporate users is now Apple’s Mail will completely interface with Microsoft Exchange 2007 environments. Office users in a Microsoft Environment will now have no trouble whatsoever accessing their mail, contacts or calendar appointments.

All these features aside Leopard users aren’t going to notice a huge upgrade in the way of cosmetics or functionality when upgrading to Snow Leopard. Many of the conventions introduced in Leopard back in 2007 have just been more refined this time around.

In that respect this really feels like more of an update rather than a new Operating System. Cosmetically it’s no different to Leopard, but for those of you who get down under the hood of you mac experience, you will notice a quantum leap with the 64bit architecture, Open CL and many of the new features.

The Final Verdict
Simply put Snow Leopard is a fantastic package that takes the technical side of OS X to the next level. Unless you are down with the mechanics of you Mac though, the lack of cosmetic upgrades will make you feel like this was more of a system update rather than a new Operating System. It may not be as revolutionary as Leopard was in 2007, or the upcoming Windows 7 for PC, but it certainly will keep Mac users happy for the next few years.

Overall
9/10

Killing Floor Review

KF2

It seems Zombie Shooters are back in fashion this season, going hand in hand with tight situations, big guns and tension at an elite level. We’ve already seen what kind of tension can be brought out of this situation with Vavle’s smash hit Left 4 Dead, but Tripwire Interactive has tossed their hat into the ring with their latest FPS Horror title Killing Floor.

Killing Floor is set in London where the city is overrun by flesh consuming “specimens” courtesy of a biotech firms experiments. These frightening creatures have decimated the city and have killed a majority of the public. You will be filling the shoes of one of six survivors, either a soldier or police officer, as you fight for your lives and try to clean the streets of this evil one at a time. Each of the characters has a short profile trying to explain their story, but it feels forced and doesn’t contribute to the gameplay whatsoever.

The Final Verdict

It may lack that style and flair that Valve’s Left 4 Dead had, but it makes up for it in content. Killing Floor is an excellent online experience, offering a co-op experience that is just as good, just as terrifying and with more classes of enemies than its competitor. If you are sick of Left 4 Dead this is the game for you, it has enough gameplay options to keep it fresh on your hard drive for years to come.

9/10

In-depth review with scores can be found here

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TellTale return a month later as promised with another serving of everyone’s favourite claymation duo in Wallace & Gromit’s Grand Adventures: The Last Resort. While it goes forward in leaps and bounds over the last episode, the story tends to get a little lost among the large cast, despite the episode being played out within the confines of a handful of rooms.

This episode see’s Wallace’s plans to visit the beach shot down by bad weather, so he has this fantastic idea to open up a beach resort in their own basement. Building beach resorts in your basements, albeit fun, is not cheap so the loveable duo open their house up to customers to help pay the costs. The episode can be split up into three gameplay components, the beginning will have you collecting items for the resort, the second will have you keeping the paying customers happy and finally a ridiculous mystery needs to be solved, which ensure hilarity.

The Final Verdict

Telltale has stepped out with another great episode for their new series, yet it seems to be lacking what the first episode had to offer. Stuck in only a few rooms, and with minimal interaction between Wallace & Gromit, who seem to take a backseat to the supporting cast, it seems a little lacking. Regardless it’s well worth the price of admission and a must have for fans or adventure gamers alike!

Overall
7.8/10

Wallace and Gromit Episode 2: The Last Resort is available from http://www.telltalegames.com/wallaceandgromit or the STEAM store. It will launch on Xbox Live in the next few weeks

Full review can be found here with screenshots/in depth review points and scores

Some of you out there are using Windows Vista, and even after turning off User Access Control (UAC) you still get the occasional annoying messages from this super secure Windows Platform (even though it’s not that secure lol).

Well Windows Vista has a super secret Admin account that bypasses UAC and gives total control over your operating system. IF you are going to enable this, PLEASE make sure you have a strong password and a firewall turned on. Cheers to Hazy Morning for the guide.

First, open your control panel. Inside your control panel, click on System and Maintenance. Scroll down to the bottom and click on Administrative Tools.

Next, the Administrator Tools window will open up. From there, click on Computer Management. Then the Computer Management Window will open.

On the right-hand side panel, you should see Local Users and Groups, double click on it. Now in the middle panel, double click on Users. You should see the Administrator icon at the top, in the middle panel. Right click on the Administrator icon and then click Properties.

In the Properties box, uncheck the ‘Account is Disabled’ box.
Once that is done, you should be able to restart. Once restarted, you should see the Administrator Account on the Welcome Screen.

Now you have a choice of using that account and deleting your User Account or you can keep your User Account and just use the Administrator Account when you need it. However, the Administrator Account is going to be “like new”. You will have to personalize it if you decide to use it as your main account. Also, in my opinion, if you are not going to use it often then I would disable it again.

Working on a lonely Help Desk in a large organisation teaches you a lot, not necessarily things you actually need, or want to know, but teaches you none the less. Much in the way that a bartender is a confidant to the punters of the local pub, the Help Desk Monkey is the guy to blame for all of you life’s issues 
“It’s your fault that I pressed the close button without saving, it’s your fault that I didn’t save a backup on my USB Flash Drive, and it’s your fault that Interest Rates keep rising and my wife is having an affair with my brother John”
Yep, all in a days work for the unsuspecting Help Desk Monkey, trying to make his way into the ever growing IT Industry. Let’s be honest, being a Help Desk Monkey isn’t the most attractive job in the world, the pay is average, the work is boring and you get abused all day for things that are out of your control, but as the saying goes “Everyone starts somewhere”
Another thing you quickly learn is that many service providers and manufacturers don’t actually care if their products aren’t meeting your needs, or anyone else’s for that matter. I remember when the latest Windows OS “Vista” was released and I was tasked with completing research on if our current programs would be compatibkle. One company simply replied
Dear Hellerphant
We have done no testing on our product with Vista, nor do we plan to anytime in the near future
Wow, thanks guys, real help there. But I must say who can blame them, Vista is pretty much a horrible joke that just never ends. Microsoft really pulled through with that release, not only was it late, but it’s not even worth upgrading. Hell I was luck that work purchased me a copy of Ultimate, $752! You can build yourself an AMD 6000+ with 2gb of RAM and still have change for that price! Not to mention the awesome perfomance it offers, wow thanks for locking absoloutely EVERYTHING I would want access to. 
Recent news has shed light that XP Service Pack 3 blows Vista SP 1 performance enhaneces out of the water, so that’s another hit for Vista. Right now I can’t see any reason a user should use it….except for Gaming.
That’s right Gamers everywhere are groaning at the thought that they will need to install Microsoft’s latest demon spawn to run their new games like Crysis at full potential utilising the newly released Direct X 10. Only god can hope that somehow someone out there can make it work with XP so we don’t have to take the pain anymore.
Oh but, Vista is good….. I swear.