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Archive for Antony Leather

Why Software Companies Should Slash Their Prices

Posted on 4th Feb 2010 at 11:09 by Antony Leather with 26 comments

Antony Leather
Value. It’s a funny word, and never more so when applied to the IT industry. In fact it’s so tricky to place in this fast-moving online world that it’s usually only spoken of as “perceived” value and that’s about as accurate as we can get. Saying a piece of software - be it a game or operating system - is good value is even more of a convoluted statement.

How do you compare one piece of software to another? Features? Price? The space it takes up on your hard drive? How would you predict how well a product might sell and factor that into the pricing?

For most of us it comes down to cold hard cash and whether we can find something that’s as good or better, for less, or even for free. However, only a handful of companies have grasped the fact that if you lower the price of software enough, sales will skyrocket so high, they’ll make many times more profit than if they priced it twice as much, however popular the software may be.

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Is this the decade PC gaming bounces back?

Posted on 26th Jan 2010 at 10:25 by Antony Leather with 41 comments

Antony Leather
I noticed a rather interesting trend in the uptake of the latest generation of consoles over the last few weeks. I don’t usually take much notice of them to be honest. I haven’t bought a new console since PC upgrades started being affordable to me, and it’s been that way since the N64 started showing its age.

However, the majority of ‘what was great in 2009' and general 'over the shoulder glance' articles about the previous decade's tech meant I couldn’t really avoid reading about the PS3 or Xbox 360. What I read lead me to an interesting idea.

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What makes a great mod?

Posted on 11th Jan 2010 at 11:20 by Antony Leather with 11 comments

Antony Leather
We're hoping to see 2010 be a year of many a budding modder take to our forums with scores of new and fresh ideas. With Mod of the Year in its final week and having recently started my own project, I’ve had modding on the mind for the last few weeks or so.

Something that’s got me thinking though is how some mods and scratch-builds get masses of attention, while others, equally deserving and no less amazing seem to fade into the background.

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Crysis - Did you upgrade?

Posted on 15th Dec 2009 at 11:05 by Antony Leather with 55 comments

Antony Leather
It came, it saw, it conquered - our PCs that is. It's rare that we've seen a game that was so demanding on its release. The question 'Yeah, but can it play Crysis?' is now a comical catchphrase addition to most graphics card reviews. It was responsible for tens of thousands of bank managers groaning under the huge wake of costly upgrades. Now the dust has all but settled, did Crytek's awesome DX10 FPS help or hinder the PC gaming industry?

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Live TV On Your iPhone

Posted on 8th Dec 2009 at 10:22 by Antony Leather with 23 comments

Antony Leather
On my way to work this morning I experienced something amazing. I watched live TV on my iPhone using a 3G signal, for free. That's right. No WiFi and no video file saved in my phone's precious storage. Just a plain, every day, boring old data connection. What's more - it worked nigh-on flawlessly as long as the 3G connection was upheld.

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Budget overclocking is back!

Posted on 30th Nov 2009 at 10:50 by Antony Leather with 25 comments

Antony Leather
I’ve felt a little lost over the last six months or so. AMD still hasn’t come back with a definitive answer to Intel's Core i7 and Core i5 CPUs and even they have been prohibitively expensive for many looking to upgrade from a Core 2 system.

Gone, it seems, are the days of the Core 2 Duo E1200 which could be bagged for less than £40. After a 100% overclock, it could turn into something that gave £150 CPUs a run for their money. I've used the CPU in several systems that I've built for people over the last few years, coupled one of the many budget uberclocking LGA775 boards that were pushed off the production lines.

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Cool Modding Stuff #2

Posted on 13th Nov 2009 at 12:26 by Antony Leather with 4 comments

Antony Leather
Having recently received a few emails from companies shouting about new shiny stuff (one being Mod of the Month Sponsor Quiet PC), I thought it's about time for the second installment of
Cool Modding Bits.

If you missed my last blog where I listed a few interesting gadgets I'd found on my travels, you can see it here.

As I'm still sporting some heavily overclocked DDR2 in my main rig at home, I've been worried about how hot it gets so I've been looking around for a few products that might set my mind at ease.

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Is Google Maps on your phone a TomTom killer?

Posted on 9th Nov 2009 at 11:50 by Antony Leather with 13 comments

Antony Leather
I've written a couple of previous blog posts about using my phone as a sat nav, and while CoPilot's updates have turned it into a decent app, it's still not a serious rival for a dedicated GPS.

Google's recent announcement that phones running its Android 2.0 OS will all feature free turn-by-turn GPS navigation, however, is something that threatens to change the sat nav market completely.

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What Happened To The Flight Sim?

Posted on 14th Oct 2009 at 09:59 by Antony Leather with 24 comments

Antony Leather
Cast your mind back to the 1990s. Chances are if you were in to PC games at the time you remember playing a flight sim, or at least some kind of game that involved a set of wings and a propellor or afterburner and some machine guns or missiles.

Fleet Defender, Aces over Europe, Red Baron, Battle of Britain, Hind, 1942: Pacific Air War, Air Warrior 3, Apache Longbow, Operation Overlord. I could go on for quite a while before I have to mention Microsoft Flight Simulator which was just a drop in the pond. But this isn't a list of flight sims released in the last 20 years, it's that of those to hit the shelves in a fraction of that time in the 1990's when the PC gaming isle in your average Game store was a little longer. It was also crammed full of flight sim titles.

So what happened? In case you haven't noticed, flight sims have been listed in the endangered species list of PC game genres for several years now. With the demise of ACES Studio, the guys behind Microsoft Flight Simulator, the longest running game franchise on the PC, there are but a handful of companies actually left in the genre now - and even fewer produce combat flight sims!

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Using the iPhone as a Sat Nav Part II

Posted on 5th Oct 2009 at 10:33 by Antony Leather with 10 comments

Antony Leather
I blogged a few weeks ago about my experience with the TomTom and CoPilot apps for the iPhone. In short they were all but unusable and I was left feeling pretty dissapointed, not to mention thinking that the iPhone simply wasn't up to the task - or even that it was faulty. A lot has changed since then though, I've got a refund on one, and the other has received an update which promissed improved GPS performance.

With no update planned for the unusable TomTom app combined with the fact it cost me close to £60, I decided that a refund was in order. I also decided that if CoPilot failed to work after its update, I would go for a seperate Sat Nav unit and make rude jestures at my iPhone. Luckily the refund wasn't an issue, and a quick email to Apple through iTunes saw the money back in my account a few days later.

The CoPilot update took a few weeks to arrive but during a rainy evening a few weeks ago, I installed it and went out for a drive. Things didn't start off too well with CoPilot's second test. Initially I was about to throw my iPhone out the window then reverse over it a few times. The red location icon failed to lock on to my position and showed me as being half a mile away. Things seemed to have got worse not better!

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Intel Skylake: Intel Z170 Chipset and Core i7-6700K Review

Intel Skylake: Intel Z170 Chipset and Core i7-6700K Review

DDR4, an extra CPU socket pin, beefed up storage and two new unlocked...
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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