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Archive for Clive Webster

Is LGA1366 the most future-proof choice?

Posted on 16th Jul 2009 at 10:29 by Clive Webster with 46 comments

Clive Webster
I was chatting to Rich yesterday about P55 and socket LGA1156, and how its imminent arrival makes it pretty tricky to pick a CPU type with decent upgrade potential. LGA775 isn't going to see anything new, so a Q9650 is pretty much the pinnacle of Core 2; meanwhile on the AMD side, it really doesn't seem that Socket AM3 has much further to go. However, we know Intel plans future LGA1366 releases, so this seems like the best option if you desperately need an upgrade now.

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Bing will beat Google

Posted on 1st Jul 2009 at 11:47 by Clive Webster with 29 comments

Clive Webster
Alex wrote an interesting blog post about Bing, Microsoft's new search engine, last week. The gist of it was that Google is so successful that competing against it with a similar product isn't going to work - and as a result, his idea was that searching social sites such as Facebook and Twitter is probably the biggest threat to Google.

I feel that’s slightly missing the point. Bing, after all, is the default search engine for Internet Explorer, which is the default browser of the interweb, therefore as long as Bing just works and is good enough (in the same way that Google is now) no-one will see a need to switch. Far from Microsoft needing to up its game to beat the services of Google, it’s Google that needs to provide a compelling reason to switch the search engine of IE’s search bar from Bing to Google.

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Windows 7 gave my PC insomnia

Posted on 25th Jun 2009 at 16:07 by Clive Webster with 29 comments

Clive Webster
I’ve never really liked Windows Vista – it had too many annoying habits and not enough good ones for me to bother with it. However, I was always envious of its Sleep mode – Hibernate in XP is fine, but Vista's Sleep is much better. I was therefore keen to use Sleep after installing the Windows 7 RC, but there was a problem.

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What's the point of Bards?

Posted on 22nd Jun 2009 at 10:32 by Clive Webster with 25 comments

Clive Webster
I'm still ploughing through the prequel novel to Dragon Age: Origins (yes, I know it's been ages, but I'm almost finished - review soon, I promise). Between readings I've been musing, as is my wont, about the role of Bards in role-playing games. What exactly is the point of them? They're not as cool as Thieves or Assassins and and don't have the fighting abilities of even a Ranger or Cleric. Why bother?

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Things I've learned from The Stolen Throne

Posted on 12th Jun 2009 at 12:41 by Clive Webster with 3 comments

Clive Webster
I'm ploughing through the Dragon Age: Origins prequel novel The Stolen Throne at the moment, and it's made me wonder exactly how much of the book will translate into the final game. Here are a few of the things I've found so far that I think might (or at least would be cool if if they do).

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How Do You Review a Book?

Posted on 15th May 2009 at 10:06 by Clive Webster with 10 comments

Clive Webster
It seems that this week is Dragon Age week - Joe's put up his Dragon Age Hands-on Preview and I received my review copy of the game's prequel novel Dragon Age: The Stolen Throne yesterday. I've been pondering how exactly I'm going to review it ever since.

The issue is that our reviews usually follow a fairly tight formula: here's a product, it costs £X, does the performance and features it offers mean it's worth that price? The issue is when you're trying to review a product where your judgements will be largely subjective - making it tricky to definitively say whether it's worth spending time with or not. And a review that's not definitive fails to be a useful review.

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Descartes vs AI

Posted on 6th May 2009 at 10:18 by Clive Webster with 22 comments

Clive Webster
Mark's excellent Future of AI article went up on the site recently, and reading it over it reminds me of my days back at Uni studying Philosophy, particularly René Descartes (1596 - 1650).

I'm not sure why I got into Descartes - most of modern philosophy is pedantic and dry to the point of making the reader narcoleptic - but Descartes was an interesting fellow. He was notoriously lazy, never getting up before midday, and spent most of the waking day in a dressing gown beside the fire reading. When he took a job to teach Queen Christina of Sweden he was forced to get up early to start his lessons however, and famously died of pneumonia due to the early starts.

The really interesting thing about Descartes (and the reason why I'm writing this) is because he would probably have believed that AI is impossible and that therefore anyone researching it was wasting their time.

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Is iTunes the best for digital distribution?

Posted on 22nd Apr 2009 at 09:07 by Clive Webster with 17 comments

Clive Webster
Yesterday Joe wrote a story about iTunes being the best digital distribution system. How laughable - as if iTunes can rival Steam!

True, Steam has its flaws. I re-installed Windows over the weekend and tried to move my save games - why I had to do this manually despite asking Steam to backup all game data I don't really know. It saw me trawling through forums and FAQs to find out where the hell Empire: Total War kept its save games. They were in the always useful, hidden folder C:\Documents and Settings\<username>\Application Data\The Creative Assembly\Save_games (or the weird Roaming folder if you're using Vista). Useful.

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Are there any funny computer jokes?

Posted on 26th Mar 2009 at 12:24 by Clive Webster with 37 comments

Clive Webster
Most areas of our modern life seem easy to create jokes from – politics is an obvious choice, but you can probably think of quite a few jokes about pubs, traffic wardens, flying, pretty much everything. But it struck me last night that I haven’t heard a funny IT joke for ages. Or perhaps ever. The best I could up with was this:

Q: What’s Ali G’s favourite MP3 player?
A: An AiiiPod.

How lame is that?

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Bye Bye CRT

Posted on 18th Mar 2009 at 10:07 by Clive Webster with 23 comments

Having just moved house, the time has come to finally get rid of my old CRT monitor. For some reason I haven’t felt ready to part with it until now – possibly because the colours are so rich and vibrant. Certainly more so than the 22in screen I replaced it with (why oh why did I not get the BenQ FP241W or whichever 24in Dell UltraSharp was out at that time?). Anyway, after realising that I hadn’t even turned the Iiyama CRT on in a year, it was time to phone the council to take the screen to the recycling plant.

Bye bye, CRT.
Bye Bye CRT

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