On-the-fly mouse sensitivity switching

Is on-the-fly sensitivity switching needed for gaming mice? I find it to be a very useful feature. I have a Logitech MX518, which has on-the-fly DPI changing. A lot of people say this is a useless feature. I game almost daily, mostly playing FPS games like Counter Strike Source and Team Fortress 2. I find that it is very useful to be able to switch from high to low sensitivity when sniping or trying to shoot someone from far away.

I like to play at a very high sensitivity setting in Counter Strike Source. I play at 1600DPI, which is full on my MX518, and 4.8 sensitivity in-game. This lets me make about three 360 degree turns while moving my mouse six inches. This is considered very high, and most people like to play on very low sensitivities. But I like it like this because with this setup I do very well in both close combat and sniping, mainly because if I want to get a headshot from across the map, I will quickly switch my mouse to the lowest DPI setting, and proceed to get my headshot.

The MX518 doesn’t need software to enable DPI switching. However you can use Logitech software to change the default DPI settings, but I choose not to as the defaults suit me well. There are three settings, and I use the highest for gaming, lowest for sniping, and middle for Windows.

I find on-the-fly sensitivity switching to be a great and very useful feature, and I definitely will not buy a mouse without it.

Is Crysis Forgotten?

Crysis was one of the most over hyped games ever. People were flooding forums with Crysis related talk before the game came out. Everyone was eager for leaked info, footage, screenshots, and anything else that would make their wait easier.

And then Crysis was released. People found out they couldn’t play it on high settings, even if they had the latest hardware. They thought Crytek was kidding when they said computers wouldn’t be able to completely max it out for two or three years.

Now there is no more talk about Crysis. People found they couldn’t make it look as great on their own machines as in the release videos. And Crysis became a tech demo and benchmark. EA claimed sales exceeded their expectations, and while they probably did, I bet it’s not selling many copies anymore.

Crysis singleplayer is boring, and in multiplayer you won’t find a server without any hackers. For me, it’s just a tech demo now; the only fun I get out of it is downloading custom maps people make any playing them, mainly for the physics and graphics. The game makes an incredibly fun tech demo, but I wouldn’t play singleplayer anymore, and multiplayer is doomed. I wouldn’t purchase this game again.

People aren’t talking about it anymore in gaming forums. No one is posting Crysis screenshots anymore, while they’re still posting F.E.A.R., Call of Duty 4, and Battlefield 2 screenshots. Crysis has almost been forgotten by the gaming community.

Should you buy a Raptor or go with RAID?

If you are getting a new computer or thinking of upgrading yours, you might have thought about what kind of hard drive to get. If you are looking for performance and speed, people often recommend the Western Digital Raptor. But should you pay $170 for a 150GB hard drive, only to have it load Windows 5 seconds faster?

The Raptor is a great hard drive, but you can get much more value for the money. A solution to both performance and space is RAID 0. RAID works by using two or more hard drives as one. RAID 0 distributes data across several discs in a way which gives improved speed and full capacity, but all data on all disks is lost if any one disk fails. Most of the time a two hard drive RAID 0 setup increases your performance by 1.5 times.

With the new Seagate Barracuda hard drives, you can set up a RAID 0 configuration that will destroy a Raptor in speed, space, and cost. You can buy two 320GB Barracuda hard drives for less than $150. When put in a RAID 0 setup they will be faster than the Raptor and hold roughly four times as much, for less money.

Your computer must also support RAID; otherwise you will need to purchase a separate RAID card for about $50. But overall I recommend RAID 0 as an alternative to a 10,000 RPM hard drive. For more information on setting up RAID, take a look at this tutorial. Find latest, Best selling External Hard Drives from Segate, Western Digital, Buffalo, Iomega at ExternalHardDrives.org.uk.

MS Works vs Open Office vs Google Docs

With Microsoft releasing a new version of Works that is advertisement supported, many people will be wondering which is better – MS Works, Open Office, or Google Docs. This is a comparison between the three.

Microsoft Works

MS Works is a home productivity suite that is smaller, less expensive, and has fewer features than Microsoft Office. MS Works has a word processor, a spreadsheet, and a database. It also has some other small features, but these are the main ones most people will be using. Works comes free with most prebuilt computers, and now Microsoft has inserted advertisements into Works to allow smaller PC makers to preinstall it and make it available to you for free.

Works doesn’t have many features, and it can’t create standard DOC and XLS documents. Instead it uses the WPS and WKS file formats. This means you will only be able to edit Works documents in Works.

Open Office

Open Office is an office application suite that is available on multiple operating systems. It supports Microsoft Office’s DOC format, so you can create and edit files that will be supported in both Open Office and Microsoft Word. It also supports many other formats. The thing that makes Open Office a competitor to Microsoft Office is that it is completely free and available under the LGPL license. Open Office is available for Windows, Linux, Solaris, BSD, and in part for Mac OS X.

Google Docs

Google Docs is a free web based word processor, spreadsheet, and presentation application. It allows users to create and edit documents online while collaborating in real-time with other users. Several people can edit one document at the same time. You can create spreadsheets, presentations, and word documents through a user friendly web interface, and then save it to your computer, email it, or save it to Google’s servers. You can save as DOC or XLS, as well as other formats.

The only problem with Google Docs is that there are file size limitations for all documents you create.

The Winner

  1. Open Office
  2. Google Docs
  3. Microsoft Works

Open Office has the most features, it’s free, it supports standard file formats, and it’s available for many operating systems.

Google Docs is free, supports standard file formats, and has some unique features.

Microsoft Works is ad supported or free only when it comes with a new computer, doesn’t support saving as standard formats, and doesn’t have many features.

While Microsoft Office is better than all of these applications, these are the free alternatives that people might look into if they can’t afford paying $300 for an application. This is a completely unbiased comparison. Comment on your experiences with these programs below!

What is Psystar doing with its Open Computer?

If you have been following technology news, you should have heard about Psystar and their Open Computer. They are trying to sell computers with Apple’s OS X operating system preinstalled. The problem with this is that it is against Apple’s EULA to install OS X on any hardware other than Mac hardware.

Psystar knows this, yet they are still selling their Open Computers with OS X preinstalled. Many people are thinking that this is one big scam. Others are thinking they are just trying to get attention. But how do they legally stand when it comes to breaking Apple’s EULA?

I’m not a lawyer, but I think that Psystar is correct in a way. Microsoft is not allowed to bundle its software with hardware, so why should Apple be allowed to bundle its hardware with its software? In a sense, they are creating an OS X monopoly. This is how I understand it. You can only buy OS X if you buy Apple hardware. This does not sound right to me. But what chance does Psystar have against Apple and its lawyers?

If there is a lawsuit, which I’m sure there will be if Psystar actually ships these systems, they might have a chance if they can get some good lawyers. I actually hope they win, as it will mean you won’t have to buy Mac hardware anymore to get OS X. This will bring OS X’s market share up, and people won’t have to waste money on overpriced hardware to get it.

Until someone confirms that they receive a shipment from Psystar of its Open Computer, I will be doubtful of the company. But if they do ship, Apple will sue, and hopefully Psystar will win.

Trackmania Nations Forever Review

<--- click picture to view gallery. Crysis isn’t the only game that you won’t be able to max out. Trackmania Nations Forever is the new release of the popular Trackmania Nations games. TmN is a completely free game for the PC. It is an online multiplayer racing game. It features very fast-paced races and excellent graphics.

TmN Forever has a completely new menu interface and will require a new account – normal Trackmania Nations accounts will not work with it. The graphics are slightly better, but still require lots of processing power. I was only able to play on High settings with no AA and opponent cars on medium, no motion blur, no bloom, and 4x anisotropic filtering. The highest settings are Very High with 16x MSAA and Anisotropic filtering. I am not sure if a 9800 can max this game, but my 8800 can’t.

The gameplay seems the same to me, while the website seems to say that physics and some other things are improved. Tracks have improved – you can make more complicated tracks and you can customize them more.

The game is still hard. You need to be very good if you want to come in a high rank on a top server. The top servers have hundreds of people playing on them, so you’re playing with many people at the same time. TmN does a great job of handling ping, as most players have good ping and don’t lag on your screen. If they do, it doesn’t affect you. I am pretty good and on my best run I came in 21st out of about 200 players.

The chat in the big servers is pretty crazy. People swear and insult each other every half second, and there is an unstoppable stream of racial insults. I find it hilarious but some people will find it offensive. If you don’t want to see the ingame chat, you can disable it in the menu.

Overall Trackmania Nations Forever is a very fun game that I recommend you download. It is only around 500MB so there is no reason you shouldn’t give it at try – after all it is free. Click here to download Trackmania Nations Forever from the Trackmania website.