Thursday, July 22, 2010

Response To Ripclaw

Yo Rippy, if you stumbled here means you already read my post on Aunt Agony. As I promised, here's my reply on your post:

First of all, don't involve other CCs in this. I made the 1st constructive post with my own point of view, my own reactions, my own judgement, my own knowledge, and my own feelings regarding the situation. As for the 2nd post, that may be over the top (I mean, including me as "IAH Dogs" despite trying to be as neutral as I can... are you kidding me?) but I still want to express my feelings nevertheless. Other CCs have their own views, I have mine. And I made those 2 posts as a person and as a gamer, not as a CC. Although I've become a CC last sunday which is 2 days before my 2nd over-the-top post, if my posts makes you think I'm a wannabee CC, that's ok, it won't change my view of you a nice person. But don't generalize CCs, old or new, as wannabees, because of my 1st 2 posts. Those are from my own, not theirs.

Second, about this line you said:

This is the forum and as CC i think you were tasked to communicate problems to the higher ups not to suppress frustrations vented if it doesn't violate forum TOS. People get discouraged to speak freely if you guys gang up on someone who dares to stand against bad service.

I made the 2nd over-the-top post as a reply to Beuolves' line "Ok you win IAH dogs". Isn't that plain blunt sarcasm already? Yeah, there's a bit sarcasm on my first post but not really that "getting too far". And what's with that CC duty reference? I'm only been a CC last Sunday. I mean, I didn't know that helping as many players as I can in terms with technical assistance for the past few year earned me a priviledge to become a Tech CC. But am I expecting or did I expect to become a CC? NO! I know what's right and what wrong, and I know what to do or not to do, even though I'm not a CC the time I posted those 1st 2 posts. Am I doing the right thing? That depends on your view. Did I regret posting it? Hell no. Those were based on my feelings. Why would I have to keep it to only myself?

Don't worry, you won't see sarcastic posts from me from now on. Only constructive and direct posts, even if it means criticizing every forumers' actions.

Third, this one:
People get discouraged to speak freely if you guys gang up on someone who dares to stand against bad service.

I don't know about other forumers since they can say what they want no matter how IAH staff and moderators keep on reminding them to refrain from doing immature/childish/irrational posts. But since you're aiming at me (well, you mentioned my name already), I'll make it one thing clear:

Don't put me in the same level as those forumers who shamelessly keep on telling their own fellow players to quit just because they "whine" and/or "complain".

Really, who doesn't get frustrated over a bad service? I don't think anyone would get over a bad service, wouldn't they? I understand you, I understand Beuolves, I understand EVERYONE who suffered from severe lags/disconnects due to server move. I don't know about Beuolves's retaliation over IAH's screwups on him, not until I saw a link to his sig and read the whole scenario. Oh yeah, since we're talking about so called "IAHed scenarios", why don't we add Nzi to the equation?

Let's see....

Beoulves' struggles against IAH.... check.

Nzi's struggles against IAH.... check.


What makes you think I didn't get a crappy service? Mind you, not only E-Games screwed me, SMART BRO-KEN also screwed me too! They didn't let me get a refund for a crappy internet interruptions/disconnections for 2 weeks already, not to mention the crappy slow internet connection. And get this: I signed up for a 380kbps connection and promised me that it'll go up to 512kbps burst speed but half a year after i signed up I mostly get 250kbps and below. I contacted their CS rep about that matter. And what did they say? "Sir, that is pretty fast already". ARE THEY KIDDING ME? And they still got the nerve to tell me to pay the remaining balance!

I'm like Beoulves, I'm like Nzi, I'm like everyone who experienced bad service from a company who we really expect to give us good customer service. We wanted compensation for the inconveniences they've caused to us. I know that both Beoulves and Nzi experienced bad customer service before and never got any compensation (correct me if I'm wrong).

But the "lags/disconnects due to server move" situation is different: they asked us players for an understanting and patience for the inconveniences caused by that problem, and that they're dealing with the situation and trying to solve the problem. And while they're at it, they'll give compensations. Problem still exists? Another compensation. That problem isn't impossible to fix, that's why IAH asked for your understanding. We have the right to complain, but they have also the right to ask for your understanding and patience.

E-Games gave up on me. IAH haven't given you guys up yet. Pretty simple.

And lastly:
And Ash wow, I didn't know you can get so feisty. Keep it going man, I've always felt you were the subdued kind of guy but hey, a little fang won't hurt.

And I didn't know how shallow you thought of me. Is that how you judge me? Is that all you know about me?

Newflash: I'm only human.

I don't know if there's sarcasm intended on it. But either way, if that's how you view about me, fine. Every person has the right to judge me anyway.

But really, you really have a good view of the story from those who affected by the problem. You even pointed out mistakes or wrongdoings from the posts of those who bash players that complain. I don't see anything wrong with your actions. Heck, it's admirable, y'know.

But, have you really made a good view about my own side of the story? Have you? Because from the looks of your post, I'm sorry to tell you that I don't think you did. Because if you did, you would never post something like that to me, and you would let Nzi understand that what she did to me before was wrong. But don't worry, I already get over it.

Yeah, I guess what you said that "I've always felt you were the subdued kind of guy" is true. Because you did subdue me. You just did.

For those who don't have any idea about what's going on about this entry, take a look back at the source of this first: Granado Espada forums - IAH you done it again!!!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

My 2nd DJMAX Technika Platinum Crew Card: "The Clear Blue Sky" Theme

BEHOLD!! My 2nd DJMAX Technika Platinum Crew card: "The Clear Blue Sky" theme! :D

I bought it on the first week of April (coz I can't remember exactly the date when I bought it), as it's the only card with that theme in stock. Actually, that card should have been my very first card but "Come To Me" and "Fury" are the only themed cards left, I decided to buy "Fury" instead (and later put on a sticker with a customized design with an actual Technika layout but had a background of my choice, which is a pic of Taiga Aisaka from "ToraDora!", in it).

I should have posted this as early as I got the card, but I kinda forgot about it. Silly me. :D

Thursday, June 17, 2010

I'm having second thoughs on whether I should enroll at STI or not

My DCET years (2005-2007) in STI-Davao was a memorable one to me. I've done so many good things back then, had a lot of fun, and felt like I've done my share/part of the whole STI community (I really won't forget about the experience of participating in a preparation for the STI National Youth Convention last 2007 with Roy, Lester, & Sir Ryan). Hell, I'm not even a part of the SSG, but they gave me an opportunity to participate with them. I never thought I could perform singing on the stage for an acoustic song (it's been 16 years since me and 3 of my fellow group members sang on the stage thinking of bringing the group back after disbanding a year back but it didn't happen). But with 2 of my classmates who stick with me for those 2 years (and they're damn good at playing guitar), it sure did (although I still suck at singing, lol). Oh yeah, "Outland Adventure" is one helluva fun! Can't forget the feeling of having to climb the ladder up to the wooden log post and stand there watching the whole area for a moment and feeling the wind, before I decide to make a jump and end the challenge of having fear with heights (of course I'm equipped with a vest with harness in it). OJT days were a lot of fun too, as I learned how to do your best at work while enjoying it. And sure it did: being an internet cafe attendant is a measly job for some, but I had lots of fun no matter how difficult it is (labor-wise). Speaking of OJT, the computer lab or Sir Ryan's office is where I most be hanging around, because when there's something to do with computer-related jobs, we took action... and having fun while at it. It really sucks to think that I'll be leaving this school & the people I met and hanging aroung with them for 2 years, and me and the whole DCET batch of '07 will be having our own separate ways. But nevertheless, I still graduated with a huge smile on my face, as it was a 2-year joyful ride.

2 years after, I decided to myself that I'm going to pursue the college course I wanna take, and that is a 5-year computer engineering course. Actually, the time I decided to go back to school, I really wanted to take up BSCoE, but since it wasn't offered that time, I took DCET instead. Now that STI-Davao offered BSCoE, I decided to enroll. I thought that it'll be the same fun school life as my DCET years.

Unfortunately, it wasn't.

The same faculty staff I knew were there, yeah. But some of the admin staff I knew weren't there anymore. I was even surprised that Sir Paul, the computer lab facilitator, resigned. There are less events, and usual STI events like Acquiantance Day and IT Week (rather, it was called "ICT day" because it was a one-day event instead of 3) were not as fun as what I got used to in my DECT years. I kept on saying to myself before that "there'll be a lot of things I wanted to do for those events", but a year later I ended up doing nothing. I mean, when you do something you like to do, you need someone to help you out to make it happen or you do it alone but can't make it happen, right? It was the latter: doing it alone, because I can't find anyone who would help me. I can't even seem to get along with some of the staff there. Maybe it's just me, but I'm having a hard time approaching the people around me when I need help. Oh yeah, I almost forgot that the class schedule is so screwed up, unlike before where it's totally organized

I still had fun in GENPSYC class, no doubt about it. But in school as a whole? Nah, it's not what it used to be when I was in DCET years. Maybe I'm expeciting and looking forward to it too much? Some guys (hell, even my parents) would probably tell me "the school is a place to learn, not to have fun" or "more on studies, less on other things". If that's the case, then I better off enrolling on other schools. But I chose STI, because that's where I've been. But it seems that you have to let go of your past and move on.

I'm having second thoughs on whether I should enroll at STI or not. There are better schools out there, after all.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Me and DJ Max Technika: Planetboom feat. Mike Blunck - Supersonic (PP)

Here's a video of me playing DJ Max Technika to the tune of Planetboom's "Supersonic", one of songs originally from S4 League, an action MMORPG game from Pentavision which is the same game company that created the DJ Max series. I told my friend who took this video to focus on me and machine, unlike the previous one that only focuses on the touchscreen in most of the video and the spectator screen as well. Sorry for the craptastic audio quality, as the Canon Powershot's built-in mic can't record audio properply if the audio source is a meter away.

BTW, I'm using a Sony MDR-XD200 HiFi stereo headphone. It may not be a DJ-quality heaphone, but it still gets the job done. :D

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Me and DJ Max Technika: ESTi - Oblivion (PP)

Here's a video of me playing DJ Max Technika, attempting to break Al's current hi-score record of ESTi's "Oblivion". Though I got an "S" and a perfect combo (meaning I got a full combo with all MAXes and no COOLs), it still wasn't enough to break his record as I lacked more than 157 points. Oh well, gotta try again next time. :D

BTW, "PP" stands for "Popular Pattern", a term for a notechart of a song which can be played on Popular Mixing gameplay type, as DJ Max Technika has 4 gameplay types: Lite Mixing (Lite Pattern, easy difficulty level), Popular Mixing (Popular Pattern, medium difficulty level), Technical Mixing (Technical Pattern, hard difficulty level), and Platinum Mixing (Special Pattern, only for Platinum Crew members, must purchase a PC ID card to attain this gameplay type and machine must have an internet connection).

Thursday, April 1, 2010

My Very Own Customized Platinum Crew ID Card! :D

I should have posted about this yesterday but I'm kinda tired and sleepy that time.

Anyway, I finally got the front side of my Platinum Crew ID card replaced with a customized sticker, following the given guide here:

The difference is that I'm not the one creating the sticker... the custom sticker shop did it for me for P75 ($1.66). Too bad the overall quality of the print isn't quite good. Maybe I have to print my own printed sticker. The problem is the plastic coating the sticker shop used, as I don't have any idea about that and where to buy it.

Thanks for the people at "Dynamic. Enemy, Storm. Groove!" for the sticker guide. You guys are made of pure awesome! :D

Oh btw, the background pic I've used for the sticker is from ToraDora
's Taiga Aisaka. She's one of my favourite female characters, and is voiced by Rie Kugimiya, one of my favourite seiyuu (voice actor/actress) on the anime adaptation.

Here are the pics of the card. :D

The Platinum Crew ID card inside a plastic ID case with holes for an ID strap

Me and my customized Platinum Crew ID card for "DJMAX Technika".

On the other news, the headphone I wore on my neck as you can see on the third pic is a Sony MDR-XD200 which I bought it just for the game (since my previous Phillips SHP2000's headphone plug is busted twice already and the overall sound isn't as good as 5 years before i bought it). For P1,699 ($37.57), it's quite expensive than my previous one (P850, or $18.57), but for a headphone that is designed for home entertainment or PC use the overall quality is excellent. Oh ya, I LOOOOOOOOOOVE rounded circumaural headphones. :D

Friday, March 26, 2010

Getting Addicted to DJ Max Technika

What's the part of my nick that makes it related to this topic?

If you guessed "Dj", yep it is. :D

Actually, before I went to college, me and my classmate are planning on taking up Bachelor of Science in Mass Communication, since it's needed to become a radio DJ. I like being in a studio full of equipment and CDs (mp3s nowadays since mixing in between songs is so easy to manage thru professional-standard DJ mixing software), playing great songs myself and the listening audience like to hear.

But I DO also like to do club mixing and DJ scratching, but given that the necessary equipment are so expensive, I leave it out of the equation.

KONAMI revolutionized the music simulation games with "Beatmania" series (a DJ simulation game) since 1997, and paved way to other music games like the internationally known and famous "Dance Dance Revolution" (or DDR) series (foot-oriented dance simulation game), DanceManiaX (hand-oriented dance simulation game), Guitar Freaks (guitar simulation game), Drummania (drum simulation game, with actual electronic drum pads provided by Yamaha), Keyboardmania (music keyboard simulation game), and ParaParaParadise (hand-oriented dance simulation game, mimics the actual "parapara" dance routines from ParaParaParadise, Japan's popular series of parapara dance video). Other companies followed: Andamiro's "Pump It Up" series of dance simulation games (uses 5 panels with 4 diagonal arrows and 1 center, unlike DDR's 4 panels with up, down, left and right arrows), Neversoft/Activision's "Guitar Hero" series of guitar simulation games (Harmonix developed GH1&2 before going to MTV Networks and created "Rock Band", then Neversoft took over GH and release GH3, GH Aerosmith, GH World Tour, Band Hero, and the recent GH5). Similar to KONAMI's Beatmania is "EZ2DJ" from Amuse World.

I've known the the word "DJ Max" before. Yeah, it was known first as an online game from Pentavision, which is pretty much similar to O2Jam, but it's WAAAAAAY too different in terms of features, graphics (I just don't understand the visualization of O2Jam... you got yourself an avatar, dress it up, add some instruments of your choice, and that's it. While in DJ Max, you got nice visualizations in a form of pre-rendered 3d graphics that looks like a music video or AMV), and overall style. But I've come to know that word in "DJ Max Portable", a PSP port of the DJ Max online game (minus the online capability though). There are 4 versions: DJ Max Portable, DJ Max Portable Clazziquai Edition, and DJ Max Portable Black Square. Refer to the Wikipedia article and the official DJ Max gateway for more info.

Pentavision took the DJ Max franchise even further by creating an arcade version of it in 2008, named "DJ Max Technika: Beyond The Future". It's entirely different than the previous DJ Max iterations, and also different from other DJ simulation games (Beatmania, for example): the game uses an infrared touchscreen monitor to manipulate notes shown in the screen (tap once for normal notes, hold for long notes, and point-and-drag for dragging long notes), instead of the keyboard buttons (for DJ Max online), PSP buttons (DJ Max portable), and traditional analog buttons & turntables (Beatmania, EZ2DJ). There's also a decently large screen (32 in. LCD monitor) for spectators to see. The overall arcade cabinet design is totally awesome, with all the glowing lights (I bet its an LED matrix, covered in a white translucent cover for a glowing effect) at both sides that has different movement patterns depending on the nature of gameplay. The sound is excellent, using Sony Xplod speaker sets as satellite speakers, although I'm not so sure about the bass speaker used is still Sony (but given that high quality deep bass, I bet it's still from Sony). The platform where you stand at makes a vibration, probably simulating the environment of a wide-scaled club party that houses lots of huge speakers that tend to vibrate the entire area). It also has a headphone jack with analog volume control in case you tend to get REALLY serious on playing by listening closely and clearly to the music in order to achieve more accuracy on hitting notes. And lastly, there's a slot for Platinum Crew card. Speaking of Platinum Crew cards, it's an ID card similar to other games that used an ID card feature (Tekken 5 & 6, Initial D Arcade Stage version 4, etc.): registering you name/nick for rankings, saving game progress, edit game profiles, access to extra features not found in non-ID card mode, etc. 2 year after the success of Technika, Pentavision announced that there will be successor to it, called "DJ Max Technika 2: Crew Race".

I don't know when, but Timezone - NCCC Mall branch got some new arrivals, and one of them is DJ Max Technika. At first, I was totally curious about the looks of the arcade cabinet. Then I was getting more curious on how it's played: some players are looking down on some kind of colored rectangular panel, and they point and tap their fingers on it. As I getting closer, that panel was an infrared touchscreen monitor. I was like.... WHOOOOOA... is this some kinda DS-like gameplay, with touchscreen on bottom and normal monitor facing the player? It's not some point-and-tap gameplay either, but it was more like an interactive kind of gameplay by manipulating scattered but patterned notes (in a form of orbs) you see on the screen. In one screen, there are 2 rows where a white-colored "time line" scrolls in one continuous flow (the top row scrolls from left to right, while the bottom row scrolls from right to left). When the time line passes on the center of the note (orb), just tap that note on the touchscreen. Simple, right? Well, easy to say than done, as the song difficulty increases, the more complex the pattern of the notes will be. Hell, even at "Lite Mixing" mode (for beginners), level 3 is already difficult on some, while level 4 as also considered difficult on Popular Mixing mode (aimed at players who had experienced the game). The songs are also great, and has a range of different music genres to cater most (if not all) players. If you ask me, I prefer Japanese songs that Korean. Maybe I'm greatly attached to the Japanese music and their distinctive style and form. But judging from the Korean songs I listened while looking for songs to play, it's not that bad at all. I wish they could add more Japanese songs.

I asked the Timezone staff if they have the Platinum Crew card. Luckily, they have in stock although there are only 2 designs: one is the "Fury theme" from the song "Fury" by Sugardonut found in the game, but I forgot the other card theme. It costs P300 each, which was the most expensive stuff I bought in an arcade game center. Fortunately, there's no usage limit unlike some ID cards from other arcade games, so this makes a one-time only purchase. Unfortunately, once the card is stolen or damaged, your data goes bye2x as well. I posted the pics of the card (front and back) and myself holding the card below.

There goes my blog entry. I'll try to take some pictures (or even videos) of me playing DJ Max Technika if I got enough time (and money, since P28.00 is no joke for a single game). Oh yeah, looks like I have to repair my good ol' Phillips headphone (the phone jack's busted) so I can use it for the game in case I wanna pay attention more to the music.
BTW, here are 2 videos of one of the songs I love in the game, called "In My Heart" performed by Misato and composed by Tsukasa, originally in Japanese (which is the reason why I love that song) but sadly the english version doesn't come close to the original. The first one is the album track version (no video, just the song aaken from the OST CD and the background wallpaper used in the game), and the next one is the actual video of the song in the game with notes all over the screen (it's a Popular Mixing mode difficulty).

Tsukasa - In My Heart (album track version)

Tsukasa - In My Heart (gameplay video)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

So much for relying on unknown brand and useless warranty *le sigh*

My so-so gaming rig's 250GB HDD got busted....well, almost. It's still usable, but it's effin' annoying to do reboot(s) just to recognize that block-of-metal-full-of-uber-phail. >.<

I bought a 250GB ExcelStor Jupiter last June of 2008 (I was still working at an internet cafe as an attendant that time) for like P2,400. At that time, it wasn't a great deal, IT'S A STEAL!! I mean, at that price tag you can get a measly 160GB of any known brand (Samsung, for example), but you can get more gigabytes on ExcelStor! But knowing that only 1 unit in stock left, I decided to pull out some moolah from my work's salary to buy one. Aaah... those were the days where you can buy what you want right after you get your salary. *looks at a distance in flashback mode*

Anyway, 250 is quite big and spacious for my downloading needs, although that stupid Smart BRO-ken held me back (advertised an up-to-512kbps burst rate.... not happened; 380kbps average rate... fine, no big deal, but I still get lower than 300kbps on succeeding months, which suckz ballz... AAAAAARGH!! >.<). I was like... installing a lot of games and softwares, downloading media files like videos (I've downloaded a lot of anime shows ever since I got a ancient Pentium 166mhz PC a.k.a. "Pentium 1", although upgraded to 226mhz processor or so... can't remember exactly but it's close to that) and music, etc. And there's a DVD writer in any case I run out of disk space. Pretty convenient, really.

But as more downloads I get, the more frustration I get as well. Frustration in a sense that you have to constantly backup files as soon as the HDD ran out of space, not to mention that I have to buy a lot of blank DVDs and have to wait 5-15 minutes to finish burning files onto a DVD which is time-consuming. Now that I've ditched that horridly stupid Smart BRO-ken in favor of Globeline's 1MB of pure awesome goodness (1mbps = 512kbps x 2, which is also 384kbps x 3), I began to face disk space crisis. But what the hell, that's not my point of story here.

I was hooking up some CCFLs (Cold Cathode Fluorescent Lamp) inside my gaming rig's PC case to test out its brightness ( me and my buddy were working on a CCFL VU meter project that time). Thanks to my stupidity, I attached the CCFL connector to its power inverter, while forgetting to turn the inverter off first for like.... umm... 2 times (ya, that was kinda stupid so sue me). Then poof! Instant shutdown in a second. Although doing that is a no-no for sensitive components like HDD, the high-end power supply (Cougar CM Power 700W; I wrote a blog about it
here) should have avoided that, as it has a power safety feature.

Last Monday right after the ICT day, I got enough time to have my gaming PC a lot of cleaning. After assembly of the cleaned components and added dust filter in front of the system box, I flipped the AVR switch, puhed the power button, waited for a few seconds, P.O.S.T screen shows up, saw everything there is to see in it... except for one thing: the SATA HDD. That was the very first time since I bought the 250GB HDD that didn't show up in the POST screen, given that I made sure that I got everything covered: from checking loose cables, then removing components that require 4-pin molex plugs and SATA power cables one-by-one, to actually dig right in to the BIOS setting. All of it are made of fail. Like what others said in the interwebz.... EPIC FAIL IS EPIC. *sigh*

Then after a few reboots, it finally recognized the 250GB HDD. To make sure if it still recognizes on the POST screen or not, I decided to restart the PC. Got back to the POST screen, then the HDD was recognized again. I felt like I wanted to blame on the motherboard's southbridge chipset (responsible for data traffic on PCI, sound, and SATA components), but since everything's cool I felt relieved.

I woke up at 7AM, then I turned the PC on so I can check some websites and emails, as well as to recharge my mp3 player. POST screen showed up right after I turned it on... yet, the same problem happened. What's worse is that it won't recognize the HDD no matter how many times I reboot the PC! Seeing that the time's almost 8AM, I decided to leave the problem for now.

I got back home, then I continued on making that damn HDD to work. I changed the entire motherboard to a one exactly the same brand and model (I have 2 PCs at my room, both have the same motherboard but have different components), but the problem still exists (yeah, so much for 3 hours of changing it but ended up the same problem). Now that my suspicion on the motherboard part is over and dealt with, I begin to suspect the HDD itself. To make or break my suspicion, I tried to pull out the suspected HDD, brought out 80GB Hitachi Deskstar from my other PC and connect it. POST screen showed up, but the 80GB HDD recognized right away on 1st boot. Not entirely convinced, I tried to re-enact the situation that the PC is turned off for a long time and turn it back on. While the 250GB HDD won't recognize after that, it's an opposite for the 80GB HDD: it also recognized on the POST screen.

Then I begin to wonder.... what's with the 250GB ExcelStor, a product of a not-so-known company, that only got its problems in 2-year time span, while the 80GB Hitachi Deskstar that took a lot of abuse (heat, spinups and spindowns, power outages, rough handling, you name it) and still got no problems whatsoever (well, it got the clicking sound problem which is pretty common when used for a very long time; not a big deal, just a minor annoyance to the ears), and I bought it last 4 years ago! I tried to return the defective HDD to the shop (ByteWorld) where I bought it, but when I got there, the saleslady I met (which is familiar to me since I'm a loyal customer of their shop) denied my request, as it's not ByteWorld anymore and the previous owner closed it (they named the shop "Technolife"... yaaaaaaa riiiiiiiiight). It still has the very same staff but now have a different management. Ah ok, what's with the stupid 3-year warranty if the management can't even cope with the business-related problems and ended up giving it up? We customers now ended up having a piece of junk?

Dammit, I should have stick to the known brand.... and a shop that lasts longer and won't do the same stupid mistake that ByteWorld did. So much for their "award for the best PC shop in Davao". Pfft!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Got A New PSU: The Cougar CM Power 700W

Yep, I finally decided to buy the 1st and the most important part of my planned Core i5 / Athlon II gaming rig (still undecided about the processor I want to buy): the PSU (Power Supply Unit).

A gaming rig needs to have a decent power supply to support the today's essential components; processors, high-end video cards (esp. dual video cards in either nVIDIA's SLI or ATI's Crossfire), SLI/Crossfire motherboards, cooling solutions (air or liquid cooling), multiple SATA HDDs (you never you might want to add another when ur out of disk space) and others related to gaming rig modding (like lighting). If PSU can't cope with the overall power load for those components, chances are it will degrade the overall performance of your gaming rig, or worse, your PSU might blow up in smoke (I read some posts in most tech forums about PSU blowing up from too much load bcoz of a lot of components inside.

Speaking of tech forums, I've searched all forums I can find through Google about what's the best high-end PSU at an affordable price. Sure, there's Corsair which is undoubtedly the best manufacturer of memory modules and PSUs. Problem is, I can't find any shops selling such products (except for Blinquetech, although too pricey for their pricetags). So I was planning on getting a Gigabyte ODIN Pro 800W, but at 7,900 Php, I'm lacking 3000 Php. And there was a Cougar CM Power 700W PSU at 4,380 Php. It's not as fancy as the Gigabyte ODIN Pro since it has no LED in the fan area, but at a overall current rating of 54A on both +12V rails (needs a combined current rating of 50A on 2 nVIDIA high end video cards in SLI mode) and a certified 80-Plus Bronze (which boasts of having 89% power efficiency, means less electric bill charges regardless of how much load the PSU is currently generating), who don't want buy it? Lol :D

After almost a month of thinking it over, I decided to purchase it, as waiting any longer would end it up getting sold out. When I got back home, I was excited to install it right away. Before that, I'm planing on taking some pictures of the new PSU that I bought, but since the digital camera was brought by my father who is now in Manila on a seminar, I took pics with my cellphone (Sony Ericsson K300i). After taking some pics, I decided to install it on my not-so-good gaming PC. It was pretty hard to manage the cables (not to mention that it's a Cougar CM Power, which CM stands for Cable Management) as they're too hard to bend it (I felt like I was bending a hard rubber), but it went smoothly after. I fired it up and took a good look of the PSU inside the case. The built-in fan measures 140mm and its pretty fast (and it changes speed depending on temperature), which is nice since heat from the inside of the PSU can be drawn outside, while my case fans draw heat out from the inside of the case.

Anyway, I have to wake up early. But before I end this, here are the pics I took a couple of hours ago (as of this writing):

Friday, December 11, 2009

Just Returned My G7 To The Shop

Logitech is one of the best manufacturers of PC peripherals: mice, keyboards, game controllers, webcams, audio speakers, you name it, they have it. Since 1982, Logitech's fame and reputation comes from their mass-produced mice and its improvements made over the years. Such improvement still exists today with their wide range of mice, each with its own size, style, features, and purpose. Their recent innovation, called "Darkfield Laser Tracking" technology, eliminates the problem of using the mouse in surfaces that recent optical and laser sensors won't read, especially clear glass. For the PC gaming enthusiasts, Logitech offers PC peripherals specially designed to aid them in their games. They call it "Logitech 'G' series". Read the Logitech's press release regarding their 'G' series here.

That's the reason I bought the
Logitech G7 Cordless Gaming Mouse last year. There are a lot of cordless mices out there, but I find the G7 unique. It has the same bean-shaped look and its on-the-fly DPI switch button (+ and -) found on its predecessor: the G5 Gaming Mouse. The difference is the G7's side button has only one (G5 has two), and the G5's weight tray slot is replaced in favor of the Lithium-Ion battery for the G7. For the batteries, Logitech provides two of them, with a span of 2-3 days or a minimum of a day when heavily used (mine was more or less 2 days). When one battery runs out, there's another to replace in as easy as 3-5 seconds (or even less), thanks to the spring-type eject mechanism on both the mouse and its charging station. The provided lithium-ion battery takes 10 hours in normal mode (or 2 hours in boost mode) to be fully charged. With that in mind, you don't have to worry about running out of batteries. It's on-the-fly DPI switch buttons is darn useful in FPS and RTS games with its 2000 DPI max resolution (there are 3 default settings:400, 800, and 2000; and up to 5 settings through Logitech's Setpoint software). 2000 DPI is useful for fast movements, while 400 DPI is for slow movements (like sniping). The USB reciever has 2.4Ghz of cordless power with 500 reports/sec; the g7 can even be used for at least 20 feet (that would be insane range, but surely is assured coverage wherever you use your mouse or put your reciever).

I really liked the G7. The design is appealing to my eyes (mine is a black edition with black&grey checkered style). The DPI swtich buttons are not only useful for games, it's also useful for applications that needs accurate yet sensitive movements like Adobe Photoshop. Its shape is comfortable on my hand and grips well even when my hand is a bit sweaty. Although a bit heavy at first, I've gotten used to it. Its teflon feet glides so smoothly that you don't need a mousepad for it. Oh yeah, priced at 4,350 Php, it's pretty expensive, but it's all worth it.

Well, even the best products have one or more problems. And G7 isn't an exception.

My G7 mouse is slowly showing its common problem: the freezing. Yep, that's what others called it as I've read some complaints from other G7 users on Logitech's support community forums, although I thought of it as "hang". It happened last July at a computer lab in our school while I was browsing for the MS Office 2003 menu bar. I thought maybe the battery is kinda loose, so I ejected and re-inserted it, and it was back to normal. Several minutes later, it froze again. Then I remember about wireless devices like wireless routers may affect the G7's wireless performance, so I tested it at home. But as usual, freezes still occur. After days of finding and trying all solutions, from the manual to the forums, and even searching on Google, the freezing problem is still there.

Losing my hopes on getting it fixed, I sent an email to Logitech (it was on October 1), citing my problem. After more than 3 weeks of contacting Logitech through email, I got nothing but copy-paste response. For one last time, I sent them an email, while being frank with their copy-paste response. Then I got an email from them on the 25th, telling me that my problem is escalated to their management and I'll get a call or email from them for 3-4 weeks. I'm glad that they already acknowledged my problem and they'll do something about it, but what the hell? A month of waiting?! Oh well, I guess I have no other choice but to wait.

It's now December... wow, time sure flies fast. So fast that I forgot about the last email they sent me. I was looking for something on my closet, when I saw the G7 mouse I've set aside since its freezing distracts my everyday PC use. Then I remember the email about getting a response from them in regards to my problem with my G7 mouse within 3-4 weeks. After checking the inbox, I still don't get any of their replies. I sent another email to them on the 5th of December:

It's been more than a month now since the last email you guys sent me, stating that "Your issue will be escalated to our management and expect a call from them or an email regarding this issue 3 to 4 weeks from now." I still don't get a response from your management, while I didn't use your so-called zero-lag cordless gaming mouse for a month now due to severe freezes that it makes my everyday computing irritating. It's so depressing everytime I'm stuck with a generic optical mouse.

I thought it would last for 3 years, since it has a 3-year warranty, right? I even thought that Logitech makes the best peripherals. I thought that G7 cordless gaming mouse is so cool and has great features. I put my faith in your company's good reputation, that's why I bought it, even though it's expensive. I thought that it's all worth the hard-earned money. But you think I would buy the G7 cordless gaming mouse just to get back to a generic mouse with generic fuctions after a more than a year of use and proper treatment? I don't think so, and you guys wouldn't think otherwise, right?

You guys said "3-4 weeks". That may be a long week to wait, but I decided to wait patiently. But knowing that I didn't get any responses, I'm starting to slowly losing patience.

Please, do something about this matter.

At first, I thought that "man, it'll be the same old copy-paste response", or "maybe they won't bother helping me on my problem, as other Logitech users have experienced". But surprisingly, I got an email on the 10th of December, and it was from Aileen Chua, asking where I bought my G7, the receipt, and my contact details. So I immediately sent a reply email with the things she asked for. Then I get a reply from her:

I have already arranged the replacement of your unit with the owner of Thinking Tools. The only concern now is the distributor does not have G9x to replace your unit. You will have to wait for 1-1.5months to get the replacement since the distributor will have to order the unit from the region.

Now THIS is the email response I've been waiting for the past 2 months!! Thank God for the shed light of hope! 1-1.5 months is pretty long, but I'll try to wait. I was hoping for the same G7 replacement though (I just love the G7 that it's hard for me to let it go). But I think G9x Gaming Mouse, although corded, is enough for a replacement. Too bad the G7 is discontinued. I hope they'll do something on the problems with the G7 and release a successor for it, as cordless mouse is my type.

After getting back home from school, I got a text message at 3pm this afternoon (as of this writing) from Aileen, that she tried to call me but can't. I intentionally turned off my cellphone since I'm still at school that time. I texted her back to call me again. She indeed called, telling me to return my defective G7 to Thinking Tools, the PC shop where I bought it, so the staff can send it back to Manila as early as possible. Knowing that SM City Davao closes at 9PM, I immediately returned the whole G7 package: the mouse, charging station, USB receiver, batteries, manual, and the software CD. The Thinking Tools staff issued a claim stub to me, as they need it in order for me to get the replacement.

Oh yeah, I took pictures of the G7 box and me holding it before returning it to the shop, as that will be the last time I get to see my G7.