No Man’s Sky

With all the buzz around this title: No man’s Sky (NMS), I could not be helped but try it out. But for a indie title like this at $60 is a little steep. But for exploration games sometimes it might be worth it.
With the fire they are getting for a crappy port stating that most of the issues is caused by under spech PCs is a clear indication they don’t know how the PC community works. We don’t have a minimum spec since you can have an old er generation GPU that can outperform a new generation GPU.

It kinda feels like NMS spent more time getting the game to work on smaller GPUs for nvidia than the later GPUs of Radeon (pre OpenGl4.5). My laptop has a GeForce 840M and it works but is sooooo slow it makes me get sick playing it. On my PC i have a Radeon HD 6870 and it kept crashing. So with the fix on below link that
FIX for video Card without OPENGL 4.5

With that fix that injects the version into the game allowed me to play the game on my PC and on medium it runs relatively well.

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There are some glitches with some flickering but if I get to play the game at the frame rate it was designed for i am cool with that.My i7 and 8gb ram with the HD 6870 has no problem of being less than the minimum specifications since my GPU is the later range of the HD 6000 series.
Now I get to fly around until they fix the issue in game and remove the OpenGL requirment. But one would think that is not going to happen. They have a hardon for Nvidia those biased Hello games.

Explore and find the pattern of repetition

Although it is fun at the moment i hope I don’t get bogged down when I see the repetition of the algorithm using same layouts and textures. But until that happens ill have lots of fun.

VR on the cheap

Ok, so VR is the new topic everyone is talking about. Looking at the two main VR contenders, Oculus Rift & HTV Vive, the entry level PC and device is extremely expensive. The next best thing is to use your existing mobile phone and use it as your mobile device. I started with a Google Cardboard and it is great…as a temporary solution. It starts getting dirty and falls apart with continued use. Too the rescue comes plastic VR molds. The Samsung Gear VR is great but mostly geared towards Samsung devices and is $99. That seems a little steep for a plastic mold that only holds your phone. So what do you do if you don’t have a Samsung? You go VR Box V2.

Google-Cardboard-VR-India

Mine is on its way and after doing some research on the device it looks to be a cheap alternative that is comparable with many IOs and Android phones. I ordered mine on AliExpress and only costed me $28 and looks to fit my LG G4 perfectly. Some smaller phones might have issues with seeing the edges but the lenses are adjustable.

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The kit comes with a Bluetooth controller which will come in handy since the headset does not have the magnet button the google cardboard has.

Now id your thinking lame why get a cheap version when you can just get an expensive Rift. 1. You can use your current phone. 2. Google IO just showcased Daydream.

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Daydream will bring the VR world to the masses without you have to spend R20,000.00 on a new PC and R12,000.00 on just the Rift without controllers. With this platform I will stay happy until the Rift second generation comes out with higher definition screens and better tracking speeds. That might take another 2 years but at that cost of buying in I don’t mind waiting and playing with cheap alternatives such as Daydream.

All I need to do is get a better VR controller once Daydream is released.

Lets hope for some Android PC integration so I can play Star Citizen, streamed to phone VR setup.

VR is here

With the Oculus Rift having gone on pre-order and HTC vive not far after it the question are we ready? Some people are experimenting in creating real world situation.

Others see how long we can live in that world like an artist Mark Farid will spend 28 days in a VR world.

I might get it or just wait for the technology to be cheaper so I don’t run into that white elephant situation with my VR920 I didnt use for more than 1 year.’

Lets watch this tech closely.

Oculus

HTC Vive

Deadpool was Crazy

When I first heard of Deadpool last year the hype only grew to such a hype train it has been impossible to miss. My thoughts…The movie was great and I enjoyed the action scenes supported by snippy humor. The Mercenary with the mouth.
So thinking of this movie a year from now will we remember it? Short answer, No.

What we will remember is what this movie represented. New IP, small budget R-rated movies and 4th wall breaking story telling. Deadpool’s next movie might be good but this model of the actors telling us what we should know or find funny about it is kinda annoying when over used. The director should find better ways to convey the Lore.

Final thoughts would be Deadpool was not groundbreaking or visually stunning. In fact it was subtle with the CGI if you discount Colossus and the final scene of the ship falling over. I am still not sure why they linked Deadpool to the X-Men since if you remove the X-Men nothing will change in the story except some fight scenes but overall it was pointless. Ok movie to see if you have a chance but not so amazing to go out as fast as possible to go see it.

Sound can set the mood

With my increased use of over the ear gaming headphones to speakers I only now started thinking how important it is to have good quality gaming headphones, not the most expensive, but good build and sound quality. To think I now wear a headset almost 24/7 to have my own little world full of emotion and mood setting, whether I am listening to an audio book or just streaming or playing from Google Play music.

My quality factors for headphones are:

  • build,
  • sound,
  • comfort,
  • microphone,
  • cost.

But should one just think you have to get the most expensive one to get the best for you experience? No, I am now sure that spending less than R1000 on a headsets can still get you the same experience than a R4k headset.

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Plantronics Audio 655 DSP

My previous headphones, Plantronics Audio 655 DSP, costed about R350 which finally broke (plastic extension bracket just bent) and has OK sound and comfort had some problems with quality and mic. So with me shopping for a new set I looked for gaming headsets since I am not fussy with built in microphone that is OK.

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Astrum Stereo Headset Black & Red – HS230

Using Takealot I ordered a budget gaming headset (Astrum Stereo Headset Black & Red – HS230) for around R150 and then found, OMG for that cost you get crap. Even R50 cheapo PnP headsets has better sound; I know since my work headphones is cheap plastic cup set that is margins better than the Astrum Stereo Headset headphones I got from Takealot.

What bugged me mostly is that Takealot does not publish negative comments at all, as is their prerogative, but one does not know how bad it is until you get it. I even asked them on Twitter ‘why don’t they publish negative comments’ and they just kept avoiding the question and skirted around answering by asking about other things. Getting back to the headphones, it sits loosely on your head but the over ear design cups are small and squishes your ears. Then the sound hits you so flat even the Microsoft Receptionist headphones had better speakers.

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Microsoft Receptionist headphones

Then I found that left and right channel didn’t come through correctly since the audio jack didn’t fit well making the connection unstable. Shaking the headset a little you hear the parts jiggle as nothing fits well.

It is a budget gaming headset but this headphone hit the all the marks of what can be wrong with headphones. Sure there will be some people OK if they cannot afford better but I now can recommend what price rage to save for to still get good quality and sound for still a budget. Since Takealot luckily is taking it back I started looking at the better gaming headsets in their catalog and found that the only good ones are R2k+. Their list of under R1K is just 2 options. Sennheiser HD 202 (R500) & Logitech G230 (R750). From past experience Sennheiser does have good sound but the HD 202 looks so boring and the microphone so short it automatically is off the list. The Logitech G230 (not the Logitech USB Headset H540 which is over ears and will hurt after 3 hours of use [R599]), is better but it folds in half. If your ‘in that moment’ in a game and you just quickly take them off to take a call and try and put back on fast the headset is flopping all over the place you almost die by not paying attention fiddling with the headphones, you would also agree; folding headphones are bull-dung. Also if I had to wait for Takealot to pick it up and credit me I would have to wait 2 weeks. Yes, that is how long my previous return took (mostly just the stupid courier).

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SOMic G909

So I looked else where for headsets and found Deon and several other stores only have OK headphones for listening but not for gaming with built in microphone. So I stumbled into Matrix Werehouse and saw they had this unknown brand called SOMic. Since it is a new brand your paying for the device and not the name so I was surprised to see DOTA preferred headphones for less than R1K. I got the SOMic G909 (costed R690) and I went from OK I probably know what headphones should be like to WOW this is how it should be without having to get the R500K Sennheiser Orpheus HE90.

The most expensive headphones in the world, the remodelled Orpheus HE90 by Sennheiser
The most expensive headphones in the world, the remodelled Orpheus HE90 by Sennheiser

The SOMic G909 sound is crisp and deep with a bass boost and a quality feel. Even the volume knob when turning gives you this analog feel to it when you increased the volume on those analogue TV sound systems. I have been wearing it now while at home working for many hours and it still sits without discomfort and the microphone is good considering how stumpy it is and how far from my mouth it is. The virtual 7.1 surround is a great addition and puts that little touch on your gaming experience which one can only have with a loud sound system or R2K plus headset. While using them in bed if you turn your head you can accidentally change the volume but the placement is ok when sitting at a desk. The metal extension bars and padded design makes up for the sound bleeding the headset has.

Now after all my ranting I am glad I got it off my chest of how good these headphones are and other headphones from SOMic that is cost effective and just amazing in use. Originally I thought for gaming the known brands are the only choices, glad I was wrong.

ps: Happy Gaming 🙂

A 3D Printing kit is not for quitters

When I got my kit in September 2014 I though one week and I’ll be printing by October 2014. That was such an over estimation. Fun ride though.

Best thing is the first think I got working was awesome lights :3

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Then the second thing I didn’t get working was the Melzi 3D printer controller board when I forgot to check the positive and negative after the DC conversion.

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Luckily a friend (Stephan) over at Filament Factory helped me get the new Ramps 1.4 working. To bad I suck at calibration.

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But that is the fun with having a kit and struggling through it and learning a ton of new things…thingiverse. Got a new LCD kit but make sure you select the correct driver or it will screech like a banshee non stop. Oddly my version of Marlin keeps throwing compiling errors when I select the right LCD driver.

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More calibration is required but met some cool guys at rAge Expo and they gave some tips on what to use when calibration…their business card. No seriously the with of a paper I was using was to thin and the width of the business card he gave me was the perfect width. Now if only I can find it :<

Geek Boxes

Finally there is a local Geek box available in South Africa also called NerdNeb.

They don’t have a subscription model just yet requiring one to buy each month seperately or 3 months at a time. With the target audience of high school and first year students not many will be able to afford that. They are only every second month but at least the content will be more tailored to our local nerdiness. Let us hope they don’t include a Vuvuzela.

For the months I don’t get a NerdNabber box I am thinking Loot Crate.

Loot Crate is awesome! SAVE $3 off with code SAVE3. Don’t miss out! #lootcrate

Now if only there is a box with kit parts for arduino or raspberry pi. Ooh that is a 3D printer Kit and it is kinda hard to calibrate.

Brain Data Injection

The day where we are connected to your computer through a neural interface is not far off. If they can correct the speech of a kid through deep brain stimulation then injecting data into the mind and reading from it is not far off. source

The current interface of Emotive is currently just reading electrical impulses on the outside region and does not give the resolution of a MRI.

A MRI can give you the resolution since it can see all the electrical pulses deep inside but the equipment is massive. With the correct software one can map the neurons for each person. This has been done to a point where they have a set of videos that can randomly play to a viewer inside a MRI and then extrapolate a fuzzy image read from the brain of the video playing.

It is not to much of a stretch to think mind control avatars in a game or injecting the game into your mind. This is scary and can be abused.

Still I am excited and waiting for the tech to be developed by researchers. I’ll do my part of working on data and vision linking through data fusion.

So many new things at CIG

After the drama with Escapist magazine where they claimed the game is impossible, I now have no doubt that the game is on track and will have enough money to complete.

The Escapist has been super quite after the event seeing how much of the framework stuff (in ship gravity, stations, ship systems, traveling and FPS) has been built. Now CIG only needs to fill in the stations and build the missions.

At the CitizenCon they showed a part of Squadron 42, and a Star Map that is accessible online.

Full live stream

https://robertsspaceindustries.com/starmap

The sabre is out now also

https://robertsspaceindustries.com/comm-link/transmission/14998-The-Aegis-Sabre-And-Military-Ship-Sale

One can also create upgrades for your ships to frames you wanted. Sure some limited ones are not there but I can upgrade several ships to what I want.

https://robertsspaceindustries.com/pledge/ship-upgrades

Now the mission is to select which ships to keep and which to upgrade. And spending more bucks on the game means the game has more to work with.

 

The playground for everything tech.