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Archive for Harry Butler

DOTA 2: Back in the saddle

Posted on 16th Oct 2012 at 08:10 by Harry Butler with 38 comments

Harry Butler
Valve’s endlessly-in-beta-might be-released-soon-pro-gamer-trap DOTA 2 is game that’s intrigued me, along with its whole genre, since its announcement. I played the game a lot back when it was a Warcraft 3 mod, but hadn't picked up a creep wave in anger for years. Today I finally had a bash at DOTA 2 and amazingly found a game that was just as engaging as it ever was. Even if I didn't really know what I was doing.

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Obsessive Compulsive Time Trial Disorder

Posted on 12th Oct 2012 at 09:23 by Harry Butler with 37 comments

Harry Butler
Recently I’ve re-acquired one of my most irksome gaming traits, an affliction which only strikes in racing games where you’re primarily racing against the clock. I’ve dubbed it Obsessive Compulsive Time Trial Disorder. In short it’s the inability to let even the slightest of errors go when playing a racing game. Missed the apex on turn 3? Restart. Clipped a curb and spun out? Restart. Braked too early for that hairpin and lost a position? Restart. It’s an incredibly time consuming and not a little bit masochistic way to play, and one I feel I’m cheating myself with.

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Router reboot

Posted on 14th Aug 2012 at 09:30 by Harry Butler with 76 comments

Harry Butler
If you play any decent amount of online games, you’ll likely have shared my situation. Half way through a tense round, your connection suddenly freezes. You’re kicked from voice comms and dumped from the server. Yep, the router’s frozen again, so it’s off to dig it out from its hiding place behind the desk/bookcase/pile of old shoes to unplug it and re-start it.

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Why We Need Origin

Posted on 6th Oct 2011 at 11:42 by Harry Butler with 131 comments

Harry Butler
Since its announcement and subsequent inclusion as a pre-requisite to play Battlefield 3, EA’s re-branded online store, Origin, has been causing plenty of discussion. Opponents argue that Steam already serves as an online digital distribution service, as well as a match-making system, day-one DRM system and game browser; with Steam already providing these services, why must EA force Origin on us?

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Tags bf3, ea, origin, steam

Alan Turing collection saved

Posted on 10th Mar 2011 at 12:02 by Harry Butler with 5 comments

Harry Butler
Back in issue 89 of Custom PC, you may remember that our own ex-news hound Gareth Halfacree wrote about his efforts to raise funds in order to purchase a rare collection of Alan Turing's papers. Through the power of Twitter and a generous donation from Google of $100,000, Gareth raised just under £90,000 for the Bletchley Park Trust so that it might purchase the documents for public display.

The collection, originally property of Professor Max Newman, a friend and colleague of Turing's at Bletchley Park, includes offprints of 15 of Turing's 18 published works, along with Newman's annotations. The collections is so significant because very little remains of Turing's work or personal belongings, with much of Bletchley Park's documents and records destroyed after World War II.

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You will never be "good" at StarCraft 2

Posted on 29th Jul 2010 at 17:24 by Harry Butler with 85 comments

Harry Butler
As we discussed in our StarCraft 2 review, and as you've confirmed in the comments, StarCraft 2's multiplayer is hard. Damned hard in fact. The difference in what's required from single player, which can be played at a fairly relaxed pace, to the multiplayer's hugely time sensitive unit spam fest proves a big challenge.

At the highest level though, StarCraft 2 is bound to become something almost unrecognisable from the game we've been fawning over this week. While high level FPS gamers differentiate themselves with reflexes and accuracy, top level StarCraft is often decided by APM - Actions Per Minute, and the best players are able to top 300.

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Splinter Cell Conviction PC is a sell out

Posted on 16th Jun 2010 at 16:38 by Harry Butler with 43 comments

Harry Butler
When Joe reviewed Splinter Cell: Conviction on the Xbox 360 he thought it a highly entertaining spy stealth ‘em up that was, like main protagonist Sam Fisher’s victims, stunningly executed. On PC the game has also received plenty of similar acclaim but after playing it through myself, I can’t help but disagree.

For me, Conviction is Splinter Cell dumbed down to an infuriating degree with much of the stealth and careful approach of its predecessors chucked in the bin for a bodycount that even Jack Bauer would be impressed with. In short, I think it’s sold out everything that made the franchise special. Here’s why - with spoilers.

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Big Media Collection, Big Headache

Posted on 18th Feb 2010 at 12:23 by Harry Butler with 47 comments

Harry Butler
As I’ve grown up, the world of consumer media has changed beyond all recognition. Whereas before physical media was the only option, MP3s, ripping and file sharing brought a whole new meaning to the words "music collection", and I built mine by ripping my CDs or grabbing MP3s from dozens of sources. As time has gone by, my knowledge has grown and I’ve changed media players, upped my quality standards, borrowed CDs from friends and amassed what I would call a healthily sized MP3 collection. The only problem is it’s in an absolute state, and tidying it up has become a serious problem.

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Fractal Design Define R2 - Follow Up

Posted on 25th Jan 2010 at 10:51 by Harry Butler with 31 comments

Harry Butler
Following our review of the Fractal Design Defne R2 case last week, we received a huge response from the community asking for some follow up testing with some extra 120mm fans installed.

This is something we usually try to avoid, as we believe a review should be an assessment of a product as you buy it, rather than what you can do it to it- otherwise we could simply argue that any case or CPU cooler will perform great as long as you slap in half a dozen noisy cooling fans.

However, this time the voices were so many that we've decided to make an exception and have rebuilt our test rig into the Define R2 one more time, this time with the addition of three Sharkoon Silent Eagle 120mm 1,000rpm fans. And the results can only be described as extraordinary.

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Handy Software: Ninite and WintoFlash

Posted on 24th Dec 2009 at 09:05 by Harry Butler with 9 comments

Harry Butler
If you're like me you've probably had to install Windows 7 on more than one or two computers recently, either in your household or at work. Unless you're deploying using drive imaging though this can take a while, first waiting for Windows to install and then laboriously installing all the necessary software.

Luckily though there are tools out there which can massively speed up your re-installs and I've found that using WintoFlash and Ninite.com I can fully reinstall a system in as little as thirty minutes.

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