All this new stuff to get

I’m going to work abroad for about half a year. I needed to get myself a digital camera (I still didn’t have one !), so I can make some adorable pictures for the people back home. I decided to go with the Canon IXUS 230HS (see a review here).Canon IXUS 230HS

The 8x optical zoom is really brilliant. Most other cameras have an optical zoom of anywhere between 3.8x and 5x and I think the previous model has 4x optical zoom. A nice improvement there !

This means I’m going to have to either email loads of pictures to my mom. Or I could stick ’em on Photobucket and post ’em on a blog. That way she (and whoever else I want to share it with) can click a link. I can also add some short stories to the pictures that way. Then at least they have an idea what’s in the picture and why it’s there. I could also stick ’em all on Facebook, but somehow I’m reluctant do so hehe !

Another thing :  I style my beard. But since my new job requires a lot of public interface, I decided I should get a new electric shaver. One that’s waterproof and has trim/style functions. I went for the Braun cruZer 6 face. It wasn’t cheap, but I’m planning on using it for a long time.

Braun cruZer 6 face

I haven’t been able to try it out yet. But I will tomorrow or the day after. It should save me a bit of time every day !

Now I still need some pantalons. Swimming shorts. Needle and thread in case my buttons decide to fall off. I already got some Zaanse Mayonaise, which I’m really going to miss. (All you people that don’t like mayonaise probably only ever tasted French mayonaise. The sour one. The Dutch mayonaise is much better !) Oh and I need to have my hair cut before sunday.

It’s almost early again and I’m getting hungry. I’m gonna pack my stuff and get home. Make myself some hotdogs there =9

Good morning, bon apetit and/or good night to everyone !

Advertisements

Ultimate Gaming Rig (20120412)

I was helping a friend find a computer and I came across AMD’s new FX-4170 APU. Still with the 1866MHz DDR3 support, though also still pretty power hungry (125W). But this is going to be a desktop PC, so I don’t care about the usage that much. And now that we have the nVidia GTX 680 too, we might as well make a new list !

So it would include :

– AMD FX-4170 QuadCore ~4.2GHz
– ASUS Corsair V Formula / Thunderbolt
– G.Skill Ripjaws F3-14900CL9D-8GBXL (2x 4GB Set)
– 2x ASUS GTX680-2GD5 (OC to 1.058 MHz =9 )
– 2x OCZ Synapse Cache SATA III 2.5″ SSD 128GB (Raid 0 for System and Gaming)
– Western Digital Caviar Green WD10EZRX, 1TB 7,200RPM (Storage)

Add a cooling paste for the CPU just to be sure (the CPU fan is delivered with the chip), add a case with 2~3 fans and approx. 1000W (modular) PSU. Oh yeah, and an optical drive if you don’t have one lying around. Might make installing stuff on it a bit difficult !

This came up to 1958,39 euros on Tweakers, but most likely a bit more. And you’ll still need Windows 7 on it. Premium would do fine, though Professional has some options (also security options) that are nice to have. The 8GB RAM will handle that perfectly. Ultimate is going to need more though. They advise 16GBs. Though I’ve seen it run on a WinXP laptop, so it’ll work on less. I wouldn’t recommend it though.

Going back  to a QuadCore over the FX-8150 OctoCore setup, has to do with software. There is not that much out there, that will actually utilize the 8 cores. Most games won’t even use more than two. So the faster-but-fewer cores should do games really well. And it’ll still function with 1866MHz memory, which is imba !

What about this setup ? Isn’t this a nice one ? I guess that 2000 euros is a nice price to aim for when building a massive machine like this. This’ll run games at maxed settings for quite a while after you bought it.

Too Much To Do, Too Little Sleep

I got a busy day tomorrow. Well at least the morning and most likely a good part of the afternoon. Right now it is 04h21, so I won’t get much sleep.

I was playing BF2 all night at -and with- a friend of mine. At home, one of my housemates is sleeping. He just started a new job and needs to get up really early. So if I go home now, I am likely to wake him up before his alarm goes off. Which I do not want to do. So I will go for option B :  stay here until I arrive after his alarm went off. Sleep less. And I am hungry, so I am going to have to eat before going to sleep. Another 30+ minutes spent not sleeping. But it’ll have to do.

I have that many times. Especially when playing computer games. But also when watching series, because I keep on watching another “last one”… Not very smart, since I have some important things to do tomorrow. And I guess I’m not the only one with that problem. I prefer not taking naps, but in certain cases I think I should. Sleeping too little isn’t good. And I’ve had plenty of that.

If I’m done early, say around 13h00, I could take a nap. Then in the evening I could just watch some Boardwalk Empire with a friend of mine. That’s not very taxing. And the good thing about this friend is that he never really goes to bed late. Which means I won’t go home very late. But maybe I should just stay home tomorrow. I could watch a movie early in the evening and go to bed soon after.

This really is a blogpost about nothing interesting. Tomorrow should be a good day, though. A start of a new phase. And the weather is going to be nice.

Death Company Army List

I wanted to make a Death Company army list for 40k. I came up to 2500pts, which is quite a lot tbh. So I also downgraded it a bit to 2250pts.

  1. Astorath
    DC (11), Pwpn (2), THammer (2)
  2. Lemartes
    DC (11), Pwpn (2), THammer (2)
  3. DC Tycho
    DC Dreadnought, Talons, Grapple
    StormRaven, TLLC, Typh.Missile Launcher, Hurr.Bolters, Extra Armor
  4. DC Dreadnought, Talons, Grapple
    Drop Pod
  5. DC Dreadnought, Talons, Grapple
    Drop Pod
  6. DC Dreadnought, Talons, Grapple
    Drop Pod
  7. Land Speeder
    Typh.Missile Launcher
  8. Land Speeder
    Typh.Missile Launcher
  9. Land Speeder
    Typh.Missile Launcher

The 2250pts list misses the two 11th DC per squad, the Grapples on the Drop Pod Dreadnoughts and the Typh.Missile Launchers on the Land Speeders.

I really do not want to know how many Orks they’d be up against at 2500pts/2250pts, cause I bet it’s brutal. Though, I would like to try it out sometime ! The Death Company Apocalypse formation is really bad *ss too. Though I’ve never played Apocalypse myself. It’s easy to get up to 3k pts with that formation, so somewhat of a minimum Apocalypse game unless you put in even more units/formations. I think it’ll work well when combined with Dante’s Sanguinary Host, which runs at 1515pts (the way I listed it).

I’ve just been playing the BF2 Demo online for a while. I’m trying to get hang of those helicopters. I am getting better at it, though I’m far from good compared to the guys I was playing with. I decided I needed a little break – get something to drink, roll a ciggy, type some sh*t into WordPress. I also found two more movies that I should take a look at. But not now. I think I’ll go back to BF2 in a bit.

Anyway… I’m going to check out the news. Maybe there’s something interesting going on in the world right now. In the meantime, if anyone has anything to say about the above army list(s), please do tell !

Blood Angels Army Lists

Sometimes I play Warhammer 40k. I don’t have my own army, but friends of mine have several. So I just use their models to play against them.

I started off with Chaos, which has the coolest lore if you ask me. Nurgle is one of my favorites, but the current Codex doesn’t make them that great imho. I prefer playing with Slaanesh, which works a lot better in this Codex. Hopefully, the upcoming Codex :  Chaos Legions will make all of them better (like including the Daemonettes, for instance).

But since I read the Soul Drinkers books, I wanted to devise a way to play them. I started thinking about making rules that suit their style. Later on, a friend showed me the new Blood Angels Codex and I started playing with that. So I’ll show you an army list that I find cool to play. And another that I made yesterday, which I’m going to test later this week.


2250 pts

  • Dante
    Astorath
    Priest (P.fist, Jump Pack)
    Sanguinary Guard (Chapter Banner)
  • Chaplain (Jump Pack)
    Priest (P.fist, Jump Pack)
    Sanguinary Guard (Death Masks)
  • Chaplain (Jump Pack)
    Priest (P.fist, Jump Pack)
    Sanguinary Guard (Death Masks)
  • Death Company (6) (P.fist)
    Drop Pod (Locator Beacon)
  • Death Company (6) (P.fist)
    Drop Pod (Locator Beacon)
  • Death Company Dreadnought (Blood Talons, Magna-Grapple)
    Drop Pod (Deathwind Launcher)

–2 HQ; 6 Troops; 3 Elites

1750 pts

  • Relusiarch (P.fist, Jump Pack)
    Priest (P.fist, Jump Pack)
    Assault Squad (10) (Pair of Lightning Claws, Melta Gun (2))
  • Priest (P.weapon, Plasma Pistol, Jump Pack)
    Assault Squad (5) (P.fist, Plasma Pistol (2))
  • Tactical Squad (10) (P.fist, Flamer, Las Cannon)
    Rhino (Storm Bolter)
  • Death Company (6) (P.fist, P.weapon)
    Razor Back (Twin-linked Assault Cannon)
  • Death Company Dreadnought  (Blood Talons, Magna-Grapple)
    Drop Pod (Locator Beacon)
  • Baal Predator (Twin-linked Assault Cannon)
  • Predator (Twin-linked Las Cannon)
  • Land Speeder (Heavy Bolter)

–1 HQ; 5 Troops; 1 Elites; 2 Fast Attack; 1 Heavy Support

The 2250pts list is cool to play with. Put everything in Reserve (except the Death Company Turn 1 Drop Pod Assault units). The Death Company can take a punch, so their arrival in Turn 1 should keep the enemy occupied. They will Rage their way to whatever enemy unit is closest, so try not to think about them much. The Sanguinary Guard units are the ones that will be doing the hard work. And they’re good at it. I do forget to use Dante’s special Death Mask rule, as well the Death Masks rule when charging, sometimes. I’m just too eager to start rolling the dice !

Like I said, I still need to try out the 1750pts list. Most likely, I’ll play with it twice (against Imperial Guard and against Orcs). I’ll keep the Tactical Squad behind to guard my edge or any objective there. If it’s not a kill point game, I’ll split them up into Combat Squads. The Death Company can rush forward, accompanied by one (or both) of the Predators. Maybe the Baal Predator should stick in Reserve, but that depends on the table and Mission/Setup type.

I wonder if anyone has tried the 2250pts list before. The load-out options are pretty straight forward I think, so it’s quite possible someone else has thought of it too. More or less. And does anyone have some good advice on the 1750pts list ? Would be much appreciated !

Sub-Ultimate Gaming Rig (20120208)

After I made the Ultimate Gaming Rig (20120203) post, I thought I should nerf it a bit. Make it a little less unaffordable. Let’s see what I can kick out and tune down.

PC Case: Zalman Z-Machine LQ1000

MB: ASUS SABERTOOTH 990FX AM3+

CPU: AMD FX-8150 3.6/4.2 GHz 8 Core AM3+

GPU: 2x EVGA GeForce GTX 580 Superclocked 1.5GB 797MHz GDDR5

RAM: 16GB (2x8GB) G.Skill RipjawsX F3-14900CL9Q-16GBXL

HDD: System) Samsung 830 series 128GB;
Gaming) Samsung 830 series 256GB;
Storage) Western Digital Caviar Blue 6Gb/s WD7500AALX, 750GB

Optical: LG GH22NS70 Black

Soundcard: Built-in (see motherboard)

Speakers: 5.1

Monitors: Samsung 40″ LED TV; HD Beamer

PSU: Levicom Xilence Gaming Edition 1000W

External HDD: Media Storage) LaCie Hard Disk Design by Neil Poulton 2TB Raid 0 Black;
Back-up) Verbatim Store’n’Go Portable Hard Drive 320GB Silver

Cooling: Liquid Cooling and Fans (+ Controls) are built into the PC Case (see above)

Network Switches: 2x Linksys SE2500 (one for TV+Beamer+Network Drives+the other switch; one for PC+Server+Internet+the first switch)

It’s still very expensive. But you could change the PC case for a cheaper one (be sure to keep it cool in that case). Drop the peripherals. Drop the second GPU. Drop SSD and go for regular 7,200RPM HDDs in Raid 0.

What Else Does One Need ?

Say you have the following setup for A/V and Gaming, what else would you need ? …Besides enough money to pay for the bills, of course.

  1. A good TV, maybe two*
    A TV that has Full HD resolution, but preferably even higher. Somewhere in the range of 40 inches. Connects via HDMI (two or three inputs) and via Ethernet. Most flatpanel TVs have all of these connections nowadays. If you use the Ethernet connection on your home network, you can view files directly from any shared HDDs directly (without having to use a computer).
  2. A beamer*
    Beamers are awesome for watching movies. But they also make playing certain games much more fun than even a big TV does. They do need a lot of distance to the screen or wall where you want the picture. Not many rooms are that spacious. The room also needs to be very dark to get a good picture quality. Getting a high resolution beamer with the inputs you want to use (HDMI/DVI and Ethernet preferably), can be an expensive task.
  3. A high end PC
    One that plays the games you like, preferably also the games you like in a year or two. One that is able to feed all the media to your TVs directly. Having plenty of graphic power (my favorite atm is a dual GTX 580 setup, but that’s me) lets you use the HDMI connections to both/all  And also, it is likely to use a lot of bandwidth on your network (and the internet), so a good network card is handy. If you are into BluRay discs, make sure you have a BR drive. If you have a subscription to cable TV (HD or otherwise), you can decide to plug it in to your PC (which then needs a TV Tuner, with/without HD, with the correct system for your area like PAL/NTSC). If you want to record audio (I like to plug my guitar in stereo through two mono-Jacks into my computer), you’ll need the required inputs (or low-latency) converters on your PC too.
  4. External storage devices
    If all your TV(s)/beamers are connecting to your network directly, you could use external HDDs (with an Ethernet connection) to feed them the media. This frees up your computer for other things. And it allows you to watch a movie without having to turn on your computer (which costs more power and can be noisy). External storage is great for backing up all the files you can’t live without. Keep your back up discs safe and secure; turn it on only when you need it and scan your files before copying them over. When you run out of storage space, you can easily add more drives to the setup.
  5. A fast and secure router, maybe two*
    To connect your TV(s)/beamer directly to your network, you need to make sure you have plenty of space on your router. I would even think about having one router that connects to the internet and the computers, and another that connects to the first and to the TV(s)/beamer and the storage devices. The setup can be made so that only one computer can access this second router through the first. This keeps your TV(s)/beamer and storage devices safe(r) from intrusion.
  6. A surround set
    Now here is the tricky part. This needs to connect to everything that you use to watch a movie or play a game on. Otherwise, you might not get sound when you watch a movie on your beamer for instance. So make sure you have plenty of inputs for 5.1 (or even 7.1) surround sound. You also need to figure out where you put the speakers. Surround works best when you are in the exact middle of the advised setup. This is explained in the manual. Sitting in the same spot every time can be problematic, but so is dragging your speakers to other ends of the room. Most of the current sets allow you to connect to the network like TVs do. Grabbing bulks of MP3s directly from your network is great. For the same reasons as watching movies directly from the network.
  7. A server*
    If you set up a server on your network, you can do a bunch of cool things. Server OSs have tons of automated tricks you can use to organize the data on your network. It can run back ups, security scans, set usage priority, handle user (and hardware) permissions, whatever. You can use it to download without end, freeing up your PC again. Unless you need the full capacity of your internet connection to play games with low latency or stream videos from the web. But then again, if you set the rules and priorities right, you shouldn’t need to. And after you set it up, you don’t even need to have a keyboard, mouse and monitor connected to it. You can simply access it remotely from your PC. It does not need much at all (no fancy CPU, GPU, etc.). Remember to turn off the screen saver. Easy to forget the simple things.
  8. Furniture
    You will need plenty of space to put all this stuff. To hide away the parts you don’t need physicle access to at all times. To mount or put your beamer. A desk to sit behind, with plenty of space for doing other things aside from using the computer. A few good seats to watch movies comfortably (with your friends). This may very well be the first item on the list. You can’t put in more gear than will fit in your house. Most of this stuff is likely to end up in one room. Make sure your hardware gets plenty of ventilation so it does not overheat.
  9. Portable hardware*
    Having a USB-powered external HDD lets you easily share data with your friends. Having a laptop is less mobile, but gives you many more options. Like accessing your network from elsewhere or from your bed. A very high end gaming laptop could be good enough to replace a PC, depending on your needs. However, they have several disadvantages compared to PCs (like price and heat).

* Optional

So here you’d have a lot of hardware that needs to be connected to eachother through HDMI/Ethernet. It’s quite a bit of work to set it all up, but afterwards…you’d never have to leave the house again !