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Archive for Mark Mackay

My First Experience With Sky

Posted on 22nd Sep 2009 at 15:00 by Mark Mackay with 39 comments

Mark Mackay
Having recently moved into a shiny new flat I decided that it was time to get Sky TV. After learning that my flatmate and I could get Sky+ HD, a 16MB broadband connection with no download limit and a phone line with free line rental for a entire year, for just under £20 a month, each, we made the leap of faith and signed up.

It wasn’t long before the nightmare began. I'm cataloging the series of events I had with one of the UK's only premium (HD)TV providers.

Below is the first letter of complaint that I sent Sky. Helpfully, you’re only allowed to use 1000 characters, hence the shorthand.

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Do enthusiasts get ripped off?

Posted on 7th Sep 2009 at 10:40 by Mark Mackay with 22 comments

Mark Mackay
As just about every bit-tech reader will know, hardware that falls into the ‘enthusiast’ bracket often carries a fat price tag. People who take hobbies seriously are - more often than not - willing to invest serious amounts of money in them and hardware enthusiasts are no different. But are manufacturers taking it too far with their pricing of enthusiast products?

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What nanotech research would you like to know about?

Posted on 26th Aug 2009 at 08:14 by Mark Mackay with 22 comments

Mark Mackay
Most tech enthusiasts will be familiar with the word nanotechnology but for those that aren’t, here’s an outline, because I'm sure you'll find it a fascinating topic. The term ‘nano’ it means ‘tiny’ or ‘minute’ - a nanometre is one millionth of a mm.

Nanotechnology generally refers to any technology that is on a scale of nanometres and often involves manipulating matter on an atomic or molecular scale. I'm going to be writing a feature on it over the next month or so, and I'm after your suggestions of specific projects to look at.

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The missing component for true AI

Posted on 24th Aug 2009 at 10:17 by Mark Mackay with 18 comments

Mark Mackay
For years now the debate as to whether it’s possible to create an artificial intelligence by mimicking the human brain has raged. Last month, New Scientist published an awesome feature titled Memristor Minds, which has some interesting points to make about the AI debate.

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Turning up the heat on GPUs

Posted on 5th Aug 2009 at 11:18 by Mark Mackay with 47 comments

Mark Mackay
The first graphics card I ever bought as a stand-alone purchase was an ATI Radeon 9800 Pro with an Arctic Cooling VGA Silencer bolted to it. The game that I was oh-so-thoroughly addicted to at the time was one of my first PC games, and my first MMO, Asheron’s Call 2.

The effects and textures of AC2 were exceptionally advanced, especially for an MMO and especially for one released that many years ago. When you cranked up the detail settings and AA, it was very demanding on the hardware of the day.

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Why the iPhone was never going to flop

Posted on 27th Jul 2009 at 11:13 by Mark Mackay with 26 comments

Mark Mackay
For the love of all that’s shiny in this world, just look at it. The first time I laid my eyes on the iPhone was in a very small column in the free newspaper Metro while on my way to work. It was love at first sight. I would have ditched my girlfriend in an instant to get my hands on one there and then, and at the time she was a Swedish blonde.

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Games I Own: Final Fantasy VII

Posted on 3rd Jul 2009 at 14:44 by Mark Mackay with 49 comments

Mark Mackay
Anyone who read the Tales of Vesperia review recently will know that I felt the game played a lot of like JRPG legend Final Fantasy VII. It would be true to say many of the Final Fantasy games since VII played a lot like it also, but I mentioned VII because it's the one most people have had a 99+ hour love affair with.

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What makes a classic overclocking motherboard?

Posted on 17th Jun 2009 at 08:29 by Mark Mackay with 26 comments

Mark Mackay
It should be said that on the grand scale of everything, I’m relatively new to the world of performance hardware. Some of the guys on the team have been into PC hardware and modding since the late 1500s and a few even longer than that. I got my first PC when I was 18 (about 8 years ago now) and it took a couple of years before I became interested in modding and overclocking.

This post is all about what makes a classic overclocking motherboard, and I feel I ought to apologise at the outset to the old schoolers for not mentioning any classic Uberboards that date from before my day.

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How does playing a game become a job?

Posted on 8th May 2009 at 10:40 by Mark Mackay with 22 comments

Mark Mackay
Massively multiplayer online games (MMOs) are potentially dangerous bits of software. It starts just like any other game, with a trip to your local Game store or a visit to Amazon or Steam, a quick exchange of funds and then the install process. With an MMO however, you could be putting your social life, relationship, job and personal hygiene all at a risk of serious meltdown. The risks are so real in fact, that the most precious assets to humanity, our own Mothers have put together a website to try and crack down on the problem.

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Games I Own: EVE Online

Posted on 16th Apr 2009 at 11:34 by Mark Mackay with 41 comments

Mark Mackay
We’ve all got those games that we keep coming back to in life. You play for a few months, a year or maybe more until your attention and enthusiasm ends up elsewhere for a time. Eventually though, you get this burning desire, like a flame rekindled, to dig out and fire up that classic for some nostalgia gaming. With its recent re-release I thought I’d talk about one such a game that I always end up coming back to, EVE Online.

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Five nights in The Forest: A virtual survival diary

Five nights in The Forest: A virtual survival diary

Rick explores Endnight Games' ambitious survival title.
Mod of the Month July 2014 in association with Corsair

Mod of the Month July 2014 in association with Corsair

We've picked six of the best in-progress projects - vote for your favourite

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