Why gaming laptops are useless

Why do so many people buy gaming laptops? It doesn’t make any sense because laptops aren’t meant for gaming. Laptops are supposed to be lightweight and for doing things on the go. Gaming laptops are useless, and here’s why.

Gaming laptops are very heavy. They usually weigh around 10 pounds, while normal laptops weigh around three pounds. They’re also big and bulky. I wouldn’t want to carry around a gaming laptop in my backpack. It’s just inconvenient to have a heavy laptop.

A terrible battery life makes a laptop pointless. If you’re going to be gaming on it without it being plugged in, it won’t last more than an hour if you have a new laptop, especially with dual graphics cards. Laptops are for portability, and they become useless if the battery life is so low.

Gaming laptops produce a lot of heat. While normal laptops get very hot, I can still usually put one on my lap for an hour. After all, it is called a laptop. However, gaming laptops get so hot you will need a surface with fans blowing at the laptop if you don’t want it to overheat while gaming. Again, if it has dual video cards, it will produce a lot more heat, will weigh more, and will drain the battery more. SLI just doesn’t belong in a laptop.

Another factor is price. A gaming laptop will run you about $1500 or higher. A normal laptop will cost you $700 or higher. And here’s the thing – you can buy a desktop for $700 that will have better parts and will be faster and better at gaming than the $1500 laptop. So there is absolutely no point.

Laptops are for word processing, bringing on trips to stay connected on chat or email, and things like that. They were never meant for gaming. If you’re looking to buy a gaming laptop, do yourself a favor and get a desktop instead, and use the money you saved for buying a normal laptop.

Microsoft TouchWall Demo

This is a demo from TechCrunch of Microsoft’s new TouchWall. The TouchWall is like Microsoft’s Surface table, except it’s vertical and resembles a Smart Board. The TouchWall is capable of multi-touch and uses a rear mounted projector to display the image, which is more convenient than a Smart Board. There are three infrared lasers on the front of the board that pick up finger “clicks”. While the technology itself doesn’t seem like anything extraordinary, the software sure is unique and looks very intuitive and useful. Check out TechCrunch’s video below.

Nissan GT-R

It’s a Porsche, it’s a Lamborghini, no, it’s a Nissan GT-R. Yes, Nissan’s new GT-R is faster than a Porsche and Lamborghini. It features a twin-turbocharged V6 engine that puts out 480 horsepower, and 430 lb. feet of torque. The 0-60 time is just 3.3 seconds. The transmission is a six speed, and the GT-R is all wheel drive to get maximum traction. At $70,835, a fraction of the price of a Lamborghini, the GT-R is a bargain for anyone looking for fast in a car that seats four people, and has a drag coefficient of 0.27.

image copyright “crufty” @ flickr

How to use torrents

Have you ever asked a friend where to get the latest Linux distro, and you were told to download it from a torrent and didn’t know what that meant? Well here is my guide on how to use torrents.

First, you will need a torrent website. If you are reading this you probably aren’t a member of any private sites, so use something like The Pirate Bay or Mini Nova.

Second, you need a program to use the torrents. I highly recommend uTorrent. Download and install the program. Now configure it properly by setting your internet connection speed and anything else it asks for.

Now do a search for what you are looking for on a torrent site, in this example being a Linux distro. Download the torrent and open it. uTorrent will open and begin downloading the torrent.

Here’s the tricky part for most people. The download might be going very slow. If it is, you need to open up your router configuration and unblock the port the torrent program is using. This will be different for every router and torrent application, so I can’t really help you here. Try a Google search if you’re not sure how to unblock a port in your router.

After your port is unblocked, the torrent should be going full speed, unless you picked a bad torrent. Try to pick the torrent with the most seeds. If it has a low number of seeds, like 20, it will go slow. Most of the time 50 or more seeds will be fast. Seeds are the number of people uploading the files.

Make sure you pick a torrent with good comments. Most torrent sites have comments for each torrent, so see what people are saying. People usually comment if there is a virus or if it’s a bad torrent. However, even if the comments are all good, you still need to scan what you download.

Make sure not to seed too fast. Configure your “up” speed to be around half of your real up speed. If you’re not sure what your upload speed is, for DSL set it to 10kbps, and for cable set it to 100kbps. You should seed until it shows 100% or more, and then you can stop seeding and delete the .torrent file. If you seed too fast, it will slow down your entire internet connection and your download.

Many torrents are compressed and split up into multiple files. You might find around 50 files with unknown extensions, such as .000. You need to open up the first of these with a program like 7-zip or Winrar. Then it will open the other files automatically.

There are hundreds, perhaps thousands, of other small things that you can do to make your torrent experience better. These are the basic tips that should get you downloading your first torrent.

Race Driver GRID Demo Review

Yesterday the Race Driver GRID PC demo was released. You can download it at GamersHell. So I played it today and here is my review. Remember it is just a demo and doesn’t represent the quality of the final game, and so neither does this review.

GRID has almost the same gameplay as DIRT. You can probably say that GRID is the same thing as DIRT except it’s not off road and has different cars. However, compared to the other ToCA Race Driver games, GRID has the same type of handling. GRID is an arcade type of game, and I don’t think it is supposed to be a simulator. There are physics, but they’re not realistic.

Racing is fun but can also be annoying. Using a keyboard, it is hard to turn at high speed because if you let go of the gas and then press it again your car will beg to spin out. This can be solved with tiny taps on the gas key. I haven’t tried to play GRID with my Logitech MOMO wheel yet, but if it’s going to be anything like playing with a wheel in DIRT, I won’t even try.

The sounds are good. The crowd cheers you on when you’re driving, goes “ooohhhhhhh” when you crash, and boos you when you’re messing around and doing things like going the wrong way, spinning donuts, or burning out. The tire screeching is good, and the engine noise is decent. Gear shifting though sounds completely unrealistic, almost like crumpling a water bottle. And backfires are too quiet and also soft sounding.

The graphics are great but have some flaws. The edges of everything look blurred. The antialiasing seems flawed. It runs great at 4X MSAA, but anything above that and the menu goes at 1fps, making you ALT-F4 and restart the game in safe mode, and change back the settings. But at 4x AA, the edges look jagged yet blurry. Almost as if you’re using no AA at a very low resolution. But I was running it at my monitor’s native 1440×900. The cars look great though, and so does the track. And now that I think about it, DIRT had the same problem with looking blurry.

I ran this demo on Ultra settings at 1440×900 resolution with 4x antialiasing. I ran it on Vista Ultimate x64, E6600 CPU @ 3GHz, 4GB (2×2) RAM @ 830MHz, and an 8800GTS 320MB GPU @ stock speeds. It ran at about 50FPS, dropping into the 20’s when surrounded by lots of smoke (from burning out, drifting, etc).

In conclusion: the gameplay is very arcade, so if you like arcade type racers, this is great. Controls are decent on the keyboard. Sounds are mostly good. Graphics are great except for being blurry. And no it’s not the blur that’s making them like this, because it’s blurry even if you’re not moving. Blur isn’t supposed to be active when standing still. Since it’s a demo, you should just go download it here and see for yourself if you like it.

Check out a few screenshots I took below. Check out exclusive Nintendo Wii Game Console Review, Sony PlayStation 2, PS3 reviews at game-consoles.org.

Chinese knock-off cars – maybe you should just walk instead

Now, you can buy a Chinese made BMW for $5,000! Simple as that? No. As China continues to expand its market, selling things like appliances, shoes, and shirts, Chinese cars are also beginning to appear in the world market. Chinese cars aren’t much better than fake iPods and cell phones that are also made in China. Chinese brands like Chery Automobile, BYD, and Great Wall Motor Company (GWM) are copying major car manufacturers like Toyota, BMW, and General Motors (GM). Chinese engineers can now reverse-engineer established car manufacturers’ cars so well that an average consumer couldn’t really even tell the difference between a knock-off Chinese car, and its original counterpart.

Knock-off Chinese cars are built below the world standard. They fail crash tests miserably; many Chinese cars get a score of one star. Mechanically, they don’t last very long because they are “reverse-engineered;” they are not designed the same way that the engineers of the original non-knock-off cars designed their cars. It is also hard to find specific parts for Chinese automobiles since they are not widely used in the USA yet. For the price of a summer job’s pay, who wouldn’t want drive around in a brand new Chinese car with leather seats made to look like a BMW? I know I wouldn’t.

Smart Car

The “Smart Car” brand is appearing in the USA as the ultimate city car. Smart Car is owned by Daimler-Benz, and production takes place in France. There is mainly one model available in the USA at this moment – the “Fortwo,” which is available in its most basic form as “Pure,” and, in more user-friendly forms, as a “Passion Coupe” or “Passion Cabriolet”. It features a three cylinder, 1.0 liter engine, which produces 71 horsepower. Top speed on the Smart Car is 90mph, and its 0-60mph time is 12.8 seconds. The horsepower rating may not seem like much, but the car weighs just 1808lbs., and it gets 33mpg in the city, and 44mpg on the highway – and let’s not forget that it is not a hybrid. Safety features include front and side airbags, and a collapsible steering column. If there is an impact, the car is engineered to “crush” itself until the impact reaches the passenger compartment. The doors are reinforced for side impacts. Pricing for the Fortwo starts at $11,590 for the most basic “Pure” version, and it goes all the way up to $16,590 for the “Passion Cabriolet.” For that money, it’s hard to not want to buy a car that’s also exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, and is the only car in the museum still in production and on sale today.

image from Elijah on Flickr – source