Archive for the ‘bit-tech’ tag

Bit-Gamer launch competition

Posted on 13th Dec 2010 at 11:06 by Joe Martin with 32 comments

Joe Martin
Things have changed for bit-tech's games content recently. You might have noticed the new logo and backgrounds, not to mention the new Hall of Fame article which we'll be updating regularly in the future. You might be wondering why the name of your favourite games review site has changed from bit-tech to bit-gamer.

One other thing that’s changed but which you might not have noticed yet is that bit-gamer has its own Twitter account now too – which is important because we’re going to start doing regular prize draws and competitions using it. More on that in a minute.

Bit-tech’s games content has changed a lot since I joined the company almost five years ago. We’ve changed our review style and the length of our articles, not to mention the type of games and platforms we cover. This last two years especially has seen a number of changes to bit-tech’s games content, with new writers working on the site and a renewed focus on features and previews. Some of my favourite articles we’ve ever done have been written in the last year, for example, while today sees the introduction of a new regular column, Critical Hit.

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Thoughts On Digital Magazines

Posted on 28th Sep 2010 at 18:57 by Alex Watson with 25 comments

Alex Watson
I warn you now: this post isn't going to be entirely about the iPad, but it will be featured, so look away now if you're squeamish. Or skip straight to the comments to bash Steve Jobs!

That said, I don't come specifically to praise the iPad either, or even to focus on it. What I want to talk about is the stuff that's on the iPad: particularly the bundle of words, pictures, videos and ideas we call a magazine. There's a lot of great magazine stuff happening on the iPad, from straightforward digital facsimiles (essentially PDFs) of paper mags such as our own Custom PC Zinio edition, through to Apps with video and software features such as 360 degree rotatable images (the ones that, if you're particularly viciously disposed towards the English language, you might call 'magapps').

They're solely iPad Apps at the moment because it's taking the rest of the industry a long time to catch up, but as soon as Android tablets, WebOS tablets and the BlackBerry tablet appear and start selling in numbers you'll see similar offerings on them as well.

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I'd wear that: bit-tech t-shirts

Posted on 20th Sep 2010 at 11:33 by Alex Watson with 210 comments

Alex Watson
Summer's over, mornings are getting a little colder and you're probably wondering where your gloves are.

Clearly, the time is right to introduce a new range of t-shirts!

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An update on the redesign

Posted on 20th Apr 2010 at 17:10 by Alex Watson with 152 comments

Alex Watson
Yesterday saw the launch of bit-tech's first complete redesign in five years - with new features and a new look. A change in design is always going to be a challenge, especially when it comes after such a long period of time, and for a site like bit-tech that's so important for its community.

However, it was time for a redesign. We felt the old design just wasn't working any more - I went into the reasons in full in my post introducing the redesign, but basically, we were producing too many articles for the old design to handle - it couldn't surface them for long enough - and because we couldn't update the site that frequently, we were tied into producing very long articles.

Add in changing demands of advertisers, the Custom PC integration and our plans for the future and we felt a new design was needed.

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Welcome to bit-tech 2010

Posted on 19th Apr 2010 at 10:33 by Alex Watson with 265 comments

Alex Watson
Five years is a long time. Wars are fought and finished in that time. Huge buildings are constructed in that time. Children grow from tiny babies to annoying kids in that time. The Stone Roses even made a second album in that time. On the internet, five years is an eternity. Empires rise and fall in that time.

Back in 2005, there was no Twitter and Facebook was still for university students. There was no iPhone and people still referred to Windows Vista as Longhorn. Yet if you checked bit-tech in 2005, it looked largely as it does today. Here's ex-editor Wil's piece on the last redesign.

Over the years, we've made a few changes - adding a blog and a podcast, some links to Dennis sites - but essentially, the site looked the same. While the site has carried on, a lot has changed, both in terms of what we cover and what happens behind the scenes. We're now writing a much wider variety of article types, so while we do still have massive reviews of motherboards and graphics cards, we've upped the amount of games coverage we run, and of course, there are shorter and more opinionated pieces on the blog.

In fact, we're writing more in general, and the fact the old bit-tech front page couldn't show any more than ten main articles was quite frustrating. Then there's the fact that web advertising has moved on; five years ago, skyscraper ads were great. These days, MPUs and site takeovers are the norm, and the old site didn't support them that well.

Behind the scenes, things have changed, too - in 2008, bit-tech was bought by Dennis, and we spent much of 2009 figuring out how bit-tech and Custom PC could work well together. We feel like we've cracked it now, and 2009 was great for us in terms of business, meaning we could hire staff and explore new projects such as Rich moving to the Far East to be our man in Taiwan.

All this meant now was the ideal time to redesign. The team had been looking at a redesign in 2008, but the Dennis buyout meant it shifted to the backburner. We started with those designs, and Jamie, bit-tech's developer - yes, this site is built and maintained by one man - got a new beta working remarkably quickly. We then started inviting readers to test it, and ended up with over 100 people helping out. We took in their feedback and refined the site over the past three weeks, and today it's finally ready to launch.

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And It's Goodbye From Me

Posted on 8th Apr 2010 at 11:57 by Tim Smalley with 50 comments

Tim Smalley
You've probably read that Richard has packed his bags to head off to Taiwan. Well, he's not the only one who is moving on, as it's also time for me to announce that I am moving onto my next challenge.

While Richard's move won't really change anything (he'll carry on writing for the site), my own move has changed things at bit-tech - I've not been around an awful lot for a while, so you're probably not going to notice anything different now because the change happened a few months back.

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What is Made in the UK Week?

Posted on 5th Apr 2010 at 09:58 by Joe Martin with 11 comments

Joe Martin
If you’ve ever been to bit-tech before today then you’ll probably have noticed that something’s changed with the site and that it looks a bit different from usual. If not, I’ll spell it out for you: we don’t normally have a picture of Batman on the front page, no matter how many times I beg for it.

bit-tech's new look is going to run all this week and is part of a short season we're running to celebrate and explore the UK games industry, from the time of the BBC Micro to modern day. We're going to put up an article on the topic everyday this week. To find out what the actual articles are you’ll have to check back each day, but we’ve got some rather exciting stuff lined up, so stay tuned!

This is the first time we've done anything like this on the site and, as with everything on bit-tech, we'd love to know what you think about it, so drop your thoughts in the comments below. In the meantime, I’ll be coming back to this blogpost daily and updating it with a link to that day’s article, just in case you miss anything.

Monday - Made in the UK Feature
Tuesday - Big in Britain Introversion Interview
Wednesday - The Best UK Games Ever Feature
Thursday - Games Podcast 12 with Special Guest from the BBC!
Friday - Fabled Lands: The MMO that Never Was feature
Saturday - Curve Studios: For Console and Country Interview
Sunday - Rebellion Developments: Eye of the TIGA Interview

BONUS CONTENT: Secret Extra Content download

Oh, and for those of you who follow me on Twitter and have been among the curious fellows pestering me for answers, this is what we grandiosely codenamed as Project Awesome.

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The Cheesecake Podcast 2009

Posted on 25th Dec 2009 at 09:11 by Podcast with 32 comments

Here it is; the second official and Custom PC cheesecake podcast, which sees Clive, Alex, Harry, Richard and Joe sitting down to munch their way through six entire cheesecakes. At the end they try to give a verdict on which one is best - with the operative word being 'try'.

There's a transcript up on the front page for those of you who prefer the retro format like our previous cheesecake supertest, but the podcast contains a fair bit of extra content for those of you who want to go with a full-fat option.

The transcript and the podcast do differ a bit admittedly - there was an aborted five minute introduction that we cut from the audio but left in the transcript, along with a few other things, so don't count on them being identical. The audio isn't as clear as normal either - it's hard to stay focused when you're buoyed up on enough sugar to kill an elephant!

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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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What we're reading

Posted on 29th Oct 2009 at 17:13 by Alex Watson with 7 comments

Alex Watson
Probably the laziest way to start any article is to take a pertinent word and tell readers how many times it shows up in Google.

'Did you know that death by jam is a real danger? Well it is! There are over 44 million pages on Google talking about it!'

We get it. There's a lot of stuff on the internet. But what's good? What's worth reading? How can you avoid being killed by jam?

Well, now we can answer the first two questions with our brand new 'What we're reading' section.

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