Friday, September 5, 2014

Review: Sims 4 is the most boring game there is

I bought the Sims 4 game from Tesco direct and it arrived within 1 day.  I was very enthusiastic about the game since I've heard so much of the Sims 3.

The install went smoothly taking about 5 minutes and I started the game.  When I install the game, EA offered an "upgrade" for £11.99  I went ahead with the purchase.

I created my Sims of my RP character Lucy Tempest.

Lucy and her mom Haven Tempest watching TV

That was when the trouble started.  I found the controls very, very clunky.  It's very hard to find the controls, and I often find myself "searching" for the items in the console.  Also, the camera angle is awkward and it's hard to change the angle.  In addition, I play with two Sims and I can't do anything while one of the Sims is working.  After spending like 2 hour playing the game, I found it a bore.  Each action incur a loading screen and there's nothing to do.  The load screens are also jarring to the point when I dread going to another neighborhood or playing with another family.

And to make matters worse, the PC crashed on me.  The power light of my PC was on, but the screen was blank.  The monitor simply went blank saying it has gone to standby mode.  I restarted the monitor to no avail.  It said no signal from computer.  However, I saw the power light still on!  The only 'fix' is to press the power button to shutdown the PC and turn it back on.

I promptly uninstalled the game and requested a refund from Tesco.  I also requested a refund from EA for the digital content, which I also got.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Review: Chrome OS -- Give Chrome OS a try

Apple vs. Windows?  That's the the question we often hear.  Microsoft Windows and Apple Mac OS has dominated the computer industry for a long time and comparison between the two is often a heated debate among computer enthusiasts and fanboys.  The two tech giants are synonymous with modern day computing.  But there is a contender on the block and its name is Chrome OS.

I have a HP Chromebook with 3G Internet, which I take into classes, as well as a Core i7 Chromebox, which is my main desktop.  And my Windows desktop?  Sitting under my desk collecting dust for 7 months.

What is Chrome OS you might ask?  Well Chrome OS is a brand new operating system built by Google from the ground up with a view toward the web.  If you have used a Chrome browser, you have pretty much used the operating system.  Chrome OS is lightweight and require very little resource.  Now another question you might be asking right now is what about word processing or my music?  Well don't fret.  Anything you do on a traditional computer there is an equivalent application on the web.

Word processing?  No problem.  Two solutions are available: Google docs or Microsoft Office online.

Music your thing?  No biggy.  I'm pretty sure most of you are on YouTube anyway.  Plus you can upload your music to Google Play Music online and it will work on any PC.

And as an added bonus, Chrome OS cannot be infected!  It is basically a web browser so there is nothing to infect.  No nasty viruses or spywares.  Also, updates install on the background and simply require a reboot to start.  In addition, Chrome OS takes mere seconds (around 7 in my tests) from pressing the power button to being on the web.

So for a hassle free computing, give Chrome OS a try.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Fix it: Using USB Webcam with Google Chromebook

To use a USB Webcam with Google Chromebook, you first have to enable it.  Go to settings and then search for "Webcam."  Click on "content settings" as shown:

You can also get there by going to chrome://settings/content#content

Then scroll down to find "Media" change from "Intergrated webcam" to the Webcam you're using.  In my case it's Microsoft Webcam Studio:

Monday, July 14, 2014

Review: Samsung S5 - the Windows 8 of the Galaxy Range

Today I received my Samsung S5 and to be blunt, I hated the general interface. It's like Windows 8 of the mobile world.

Samsung had changed things a lot, and not for the better. For example, the volume keys are mapped to take photos rather than the zoom controller of previous iteration. Then there's the menu section. It's a jumble of settings strewn everywhere.  Also, frustratingly, the phone maps the menu to the left of the menu and the back button to the right. This is opposite of stock Android. Almost all other phones have it the other way around.  In addition, the location causes me to accidentally mash on the keys when in landscape mode.

However, the water proofing is a welcome though. I am also a fan of the multi window view for Samsung phones.

I like the Sony Xperia Z2, but the battery is it's Achilles heel. When on mobile Internet, even when charging, the phone battery drains rapidly.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Fix it: Bricked computer after installing the AMD Catalyst 14.4 update

After installing the AMD Catalyst 14.4 update on my HP P6792uk desktop, I found the computer completely bricked.  It won't proceed further than the Windows 7 "flag" bootup animation.  I tried booting to safe mode by bashing "F8" and selecting "safe mode."  However, the computer hangs at ATiPCie64.sys.

I was at wits end.  With a SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test) Reasoning coming up, I did not want to do a complete rebuild a computer.  Then I figured a way of bypassing the driver from loading.  Going to the same "F8" menu, I instead selected "Repair PC." That brought up the following screen:

I selected "System Restore" and chose a time before the update.  After a tantalizing wait, I was greeted with the Windows 7 desktop.
After the successful restoration of the computer, I reinstalled the AMD Catalyst 13.12 drivers.
I did an uninstall through the add / remove program.  And after reboot, I scrubbed the last remaining trace using DriverFusion.  Then I reinstalled the program.