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Archive for Antony Leather

Is There Still a Need for Water-Cooling?

Posted on 13th Jul 2011 at 07:41 by Antony Leather with 142 comments

Antony Leather
For me, water-cooling began out of necessity. I water-cooled my first PC nearly ten years ago, when, living in a house with a flat roof, my bedroom got incredibly hot in the summer months. I was already hooked on overclocking at the time and strove to save money by buying cheap, but very overclockable hardware. Unfortunately, the combination of the house's architecture and high system temperatures meant that my PC was intolerably noisy and unstable.

Infuriated, I made the move to water-cooling - not a particularly easy one as there were few guides and even fewer off-the-shelf components back then, which resulted in regular trips to the local DIY store to search for parts. I initially water-cooled my CPU, and my overheating and noise issues were solved instantly - my PC went from a hot, noisy box to a cool and quiet machine of wonder. I had more overclocking headroom than before too.

Every one of my main rigs since then has also seen me spend entire weekends building and leak-testing. In fact, the last three PCs I've built have had a water-cooled CPU and GPU, as well as the various hotspots on the motherboard too. However, a lot of today's hardware simply doesn't need water-cooling as urgently as its equivalent back in the day. People still want water-cooling, but it seems to be a desire that's separate from the need to actually cool the hardware.

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My best and worst PC-related moments

Posted on 9th Nov 2010 at 08:46 by Antony Leather with 112 comments

Antony Leather
I was talking cars with my brother the other day. He has owned several old VW Beetles which he's tweaked and modded over the years so has had plenty of good and bad experiences with them.

For example, the engine exploding and dumping all it's oil on the M4 (the stain is still there seven years later). I have a more modern car but we still have plenty to reminisce about our driving escapades.

Then I realised that I had just as many, if not more, interesting moments with the various incarnations of PCs I've owned too. Here are a few of them; feel free to share yours in the comments too.

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RC Models Are Awesome

Posted on 3rd Aug 2010 at 15:23 by Antony Leather with 21 comments

Antony Leather
To go with today's feature on remote control, Joe asked me to write a post about my experience with RC models.

Like many model enthusiasts, I started young. I built my first Airfix plane at the age of four, was cluttering my ceiling with models by the age of nine and my teens were filled with rockets, free flight aeroplanes and countless radio controlled cars and planes. I left the boats to my brother.

It's an interest that still lingers today and which pre-dated my passion for PC hardware. Contrary to popular opinion, you don't have to be technically minded or have the dexterity of a Red Bull-addicted ninja to enjoy making them either.

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The iPad: I finally understand it

Posted on 20th Jul 2010 at 10:28 by Antony Leather with 89 comments

Antony Leather
I love my iPhone. Before I get dumped in the Apple fanboy pigeon hole though, I can honestly say it's the first Apple product I've owned and despite enjoying it, I'm still very unlikely to buy a Mac. I like the iPhone because of its large screen, responsive touch interface and range of apps that are genuinely useful - not to mention it's a fully functioning iPod.

However, the iPad reignited my loathing of the ruthless Apple PR machine and the brainwashed hordes falling over each other to get one. It's hideously expensive and generally far inferior to a laptop but most importantly, I simply couldn't see decent reason you'd actually buy one.

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The perfect netbook isn't a netbook at all

Posted on 17th Jun 2010 at 11:57 by Antony Leather with 40 comments

Antony Leather
You may have read my previous posts on my Netbook escapades. In short I’m now on my third, except it isn’t actually a Netbook - but more on that in a minute.

First, a brief recap: the original netbook I bought was awful. Thanks to its 10in screen, it was too small to be of any real use and its VIA processor was too slow.

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Four Men, a Robot and a Volcano

Posted on 6th May 2010 at 13:05 by Antony Leather with 18 comments

Antony Leather
As some of you may know, I recently got stuck in Spain when I flew out to Madrid to cover the Campus Party Europe event and the volcano erupted in Iceland. What was meant to be a 24 hour trip soon turned into a nightmare, as I'd only packed enough clothes and gear for one day.

This is the story of how I got home. It involves one of the most advanced robots in the world.

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Books based on games: Halo

Posted on 20th Apr 2010 at 10:10 by Antony Leather with 34 comments

Antony Leather
Before you start your ranting, if you don’t know already from my mercenary attitude to buying hardware, anti-fanboy and anti-Apple attitude, then please don’t think of me as just another Xbox owner who goes all giddy on the day a new Halo game has launched.

In fact I’ve never owned an Xbox and never played any Halo games on one. I’ve only ever played Halo: Combat Evolved on the PC but while I did think it was a very enjoyable game, especially online, that’s not why I’m here. Being a Sci-fi nut, I love most things futuristic. I’m also pretty keen on warfare and action in general (in fiction!) so when by accident I picked up a book called Halo: The Fall of Reach, being quite into Halo Combat Evolved at the time, it turned out to be one of the best books I’ve ever read.

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The government is as clueless as the music industry about the Internet

Posted on 10th Apr 2010 at 10:48 by Antony Leather with 43 comments

Antony Leather
So the Digital Economy bill has largely been passed here in the UK (except for a few loose ends). It's been a topic of conversation in countless online forums and indeed here in the office.

However, while there's something positive to be said for wanting to reduce piracy, and for the government at least taking an interest in the Internet, I'm not the only one to think the process by which this bill has been created, debated and passed into law is extremely worrying.

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Second Hand Hardware

Posted on 5th Mar 2010 at 10:25 by Antony Leather with 32 comments

Antony Leather
With relatively high failure rates (I'm sure we've all had plenty of stuff die out of warranty, I know I have) and the rate at which PC technology advances, there's not as much second hand gear out there as there might be compared to other things, like cars or cameras.

However, while I love receiving shiny new kit, I've always been a fan of buying and selling second hand PC hardware so if you've never thought of going to computer fairs or online auction sites for your next upgrades here's a few reasons why it's worth it and also what to watch out for.

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My Favourite Firefox Addons

Posted on 9th Feb 2010 at 11:01 by Antony Leather with 45 comments

I’m only a fairly recent convert to Firefox for the simple reason I didn’t need too many bells and whistles in a browser before now. It’s no surprise then that I used Google’s Chrome for a while after leaving my IE days firmly behind me, but having had to use Firefox because my online banking didn’t support Chrome at the time, I got hooked and have never looked back.

In particular I loved how customisable it was. Not just the interface but also the addons which both added functionality to the interface and other features besides. Here’s my top five Firefox addons - and don’t forget to let me know yours in the coments.

1. Speed Dial
One of the best things about Chrome is the home page with the speed dial links to your favourite websites. If you have the need for speed these are so much quicker and easier than bookmarks and shortcuts. Thankfully you can mod Firefox to look the same on your home page and even new tabs too using an addon called Speed Dial.

My Favourite Firefox Addons My favourite Firefox addons

It’s very configurable too and you can alter both the number of dial windows, add them to groups and even back them up and change how often their preview images are updated of the web page in question.

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OCZ Trion 100 Review (240GB, 480GB & 960GB)

OCZ Trion 100 Review (240GB, 480GB & 960GB)

OCZ's new entry level SSDs feature Toshiba's new TLC NAND and are very...
Mod of the Month July 2015 in association with Corsair

Mod of the Month July 2015 in association with Corsair

Read and vote on six of the best new PC modding projects from our forums

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