Robot Maintenance

We’re getting to the point that someone has to start fixing the robots. I had an older model vacuum robot that recently ran into some issues.

I unlocked it’s secrets and I’m confident I could do it again. The model in question was NeatO brand. From a repair perspective it looks slicker than the roomba, though it too had its idiosyncrasies.

this particular issue was that the brush was stuck, I clean it regularly so needed to go deeper.

I unhooked some super wirey fur from the axle and put it back together… 4 times over 2 days but I figured out how to put it back so the front bumper, which detects collisions didn’t fail diagnostics.

I will fix your robots.

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Geeky Stuff

I am ridding my server of NFS. I had a few hard drives that started out in the desktop that I moved to the server holder… thing. I am not being coy, as it’s no rack, it’s not a shelf, not a table… it’s on a thing, heating my apartment by defeating the draft from my metallic framed windows. Oh the ellipsis ! I trail off in speech, like a punctuation? literally. huh.

Right, geeky stuff. So you’ve got this hard drive which is NFS and you want it to be in EXT4 (right? any reason to use 3? c’mon mon!) so you move the files, do the needful, and… this is actually to help my ridiculous file system OCD. The directories need to line up, the drives should be named the same as the mount points and things are neat and maybe I can do something with dynamic redundancy — use all the space as a big blob – with parity! All the bits, all the bytes, the whole digitaco.

oh! also… my server is back up. That means things like nes libraries.

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The World How It Is

I haven’t looked at this in a while. It pains me to see how hard I was trying. I was appealing to what I felt was my demographic rather than developing one based on who I am. I was still in the character frame of mind.

Now I have never felt more like myself. Not since high school. I had no idea I couldn’t just be me… until I proved how that wasn’t going to get me anywhere. It was junior year of high school psychology class that I got the idea. We needed an end of year project and I wanted nothing more than to impress my teacher, a young 20s woman who exuded honesty, who seemed to have made it through her adolescence into what I perceived to be a solid adult who was confident, comfortable, and courageous.

I had chosen to be ‘goth’ for the past couple years. Somewhere in 9th grade(?) Possibly sooner… Dyed my hair black, grew it past my ears, wore what band shirts I could find. I think it started with black jeans, boots, a chain wallet. I loved breaking the expectations, shattering the small town quiet with my wild habits (i say this all with caramelized sarcasm and liberal air quotes). I had no such disillusions and there was nothing all that revolutionary about me other than I was obviously not like other people.

I never hurt anyone, I never bothered anyone. Just being was enough for some people, though. They couldn’t stand it, it irked their sensibilies or dangled the prospect of showing their toughness. Whatever the reason (and I would so love to get an answer from at least one of them some day) they bullied me constantly. Before school, at my locker, in the hall, in the bathroom, even in class in hushed tones. Threats, taunts, insults and insinuations: years worth. I rode the bus with headphones, eventually sat in front. I would stick to the particular lunch table, be slow in the locker room, stay out of the bathroom unless during class… These were my coping methods. My friends, all knowing we were ok and each believing in each other, were the only thing that got me through.

More to come…

Hierarchy [ 2017, school ]
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A new era

Much has changed since April. I hope to expand the type of content… Actually creating content.

My twitch is relatively active as is YouTube and especially Twitter. Making that a more visible component is one of my goals.

I hope you’ll stay tuned for dinner exciting developments °hint hint°

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Carmageddon: MAX Damage

Well this was a bonus, really. They took the scaled-down version for consoles and released it for PC as well. It really is designed to obfuscate, blur, and scale down… down… down. It’s a huge step down from Carmageddon: Reincarnation…

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Past Time

Oblivion, Elder Scrolls IV came out 11 years ago. I remember what I was doing, I remember my life at the time.

My wife and I were not married yet, we were living in a second floor apartment 1 street over from our current house.  It was a time without kids. She had a part time job and school, I had a good 5 years or so in with my current company.  We had two cats, but really that was the extent of our responsibility.  I had my dream car, and had yet to modify it too much.  It seemed like everything was so delightfully simple.  We knew we had growing up to do, but neither of us knew how much.

I remember buying the deluxe edition. It came with a leather book with info, notes and world information, an atlas for a virtual world. It also came with a coin with the emperor’s face embossed and the dragon symbol on the back.  I got into that world and it was amazing.  The grass and trees, the world seemed alive and it was dripping with lore.

Much of IV set the stage for V and even ESO.  It established the nines, Oblivion, and the Dramora (?) I couldn’t run it max at first, back when that was the expectation.  It would mature and my computer would upgrade and it was a fine day when I would realize maximum draw distance.

It helps me to remember things like that. It is grounding, humbling, and I realize how much life has passed. The passage of not just the time, but of the living.

Hierarchy [ 2017, games, gaming, graphics, lament, nostalgia ]
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New wearable measures blood alcohol levels

It uses blood alcohol levels in y your skin, so it’s a constant stream of data but only sent to the phone via Bluetooth when accessed.

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Gameplay Video: Battlefield 1

Check out this video “#ExtraLife2016 Playing for Baystate with #SpringfieldMAGuild !”

Proper embed is on its way.

I played this session with the Novint Falcon, Hardcore mode, 4k => 1080p/60

What’s a Falcon?


like a robot gun, extension of your arm, aka “buttah”

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Titanfall 2

I would put this game into a bad timing pocket.  It may not see the exposure it deserves.  I may need to check out the first one just to know for sure but it feels better, plays better, certainly looks better. At least the rocks and storage units look good, and all the post processing, it’s like a might and magic game with all the energy; the air buzzing and swirling and sizzling, crackling with energy bolts.  The nature, not so much but you’re not really looking at the trees, anyway.

Further analysis and gameplay to come. Off-loading brain packets. Just filling ideas for later.

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TV – Mr Robot Season 2

I finished it. I’m a bit delayed, actually quite a bit delayed, but glad I could finish it within a few days.  These cliff hangers would really wear on me.

It almost takes too much license.  There is a quote in an episode later on to Darlene that sums up the feel of the season, nicely:

“you keep pretending you know what you’re doing, like it’s all part of your master plan”

It’s so disjointed at this point, it’s broken off so far from where the character was in S1. It’s his journey, he changes how he sees himself, how he sees reality… but I think they may have lost some people.  I’ve lost my interest in the old characters, many of their idiosyncrasies which seemed so important at the time have dissolved into nothing.  My investment has been realized and replaced with new characters.  I’m interested to a point but I feel let down. S1 finale was so incredible, I was expecting so much, too much, more than it delivered.

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TV – Fargo

I watched the first episode and I’m confused.  It’s awesome, but the whole time I’m thinking about the intro title; this is all true, it happened in MN in 2006.  Fargo the movie is older than that.  The 1995 burnt umber Siena, that’s stuck in my brain.

Also comparing to the movie the characters are a bit switched around but they’re the same personalities, otherwise.  I’m already wondering what is going to happen with the rest of it.

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Sale sale sale!

So far everything has been a sale, all the time. There are presales and week sales and VIP sales, even when things aren’t actually on sale (looking at you, Amazon).

Best deal on games appears to be with Titanfall 2. A badly timed release, it is apparently done quite well and under reviewed only for how a game which took the feedback from the first and really addressed the problematic issues. I never had much fun with the first, but boy the second looks good in 4K. 39 but an extra $8 off with promo code TITAN20. You could also go to Amazon and it is $29 straight off.

Other than that no huge surprises. Any good AAA title from the past 2 years is going to run you about $30 to $40.

Fallout 4 should be $10 at various outlets if you don’t have it yet and $29 is the going price for the season pass. I am still struggling with it as I don’t have much needed for a fun park but the island one looks like it might be worth a look.

You can also get some straight up legit pricing at

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Logic: Power Series vs Pro Series


When I’m stressed, I hit the nicotine. I’ve never been a smoker since my lungs can’t stand it. I’ve also used snus on occation but the potential mouth/tooth rot potential for it scares me. I won’t say vaporizing is harmless, as cigarettes were harmless for a long long time. Perhaps sometime in the future we’ll find all the propolol-glycol we were putting into our lungs had a hidden impact. Out of all the ways to get a bit of calm-down in the day I feel it’s one of the least harmful. <- quoted for posterity, right there.

I’ve been using logic power series since I tried their throw-away at least 3 years ago or so. Of course when it was done I ripped it apart to see how it was made. It felt like a cigarette, could be used like a cigarette, held the same, stowed much more safely and once I got the rechargeable one it seemed like a good bet.

I went through a time way back when I was using them all the time. The area of my car was littered with spent cartridges in much the same way Tom Cruise has his desk littered with spent inhalers in Minority Report. Now a days it’s few and far-between but it’s helpful to move on with my life when I feel like everything is going to fall apart and is an excellent alternative to tearing all the nail and skin from my fingertips!


In case you’re not familiar, the power normally comes with a battery (3″), charger (1″) and two cartridges (1″) to start. The battery screws onto the charger, and it plugs into a usb to recharge, which takes about 2 hours. The cartridges used to come in 5 packs for about $20. If you smoked it constantly you could get about a day out of a single one. That’s a lot of nicotine in a day, especially if they were the + which has 1.8% nicotine over the usual 1%.

The power retails for $19.99 with the charger and 2 carts, so you’re spending about $10 on the unit itself. Lately I can’t even find the 5 packs of carts, it’s only 3 for $11 – not horrible, but you trade having to plop down a whole $20 for paying slightly more. Given the convenience, it’s a nice to have.

The Pro is relatively new. It retails for $24.99 with charger and I got 5 carts with it. It’s a sampler; 2 regular tobacco, 1 regular menthol, a 1.8% tobacco and 1.8% menthol come in the package. It’s significantly bigger and the carts are almost little vials. You can easily see all the “juice” though I hate calling it that, oil sounds worse.

Inside the power series carts you’ll find soaked synthetic fiber. It looks like cotton, pulls apart like plastic but is strictly a vessel for holding the liquid without having it spill all over. When it is heated, the vapor leaves the material. If you leave it out for too long, or when it’s used all the material inside will be dry.

There is a definite advantage in the carts for the pro, they seem more efficient, look to contain more and address one of the flaws of the power series – you know when you’re out. You can never quite be sure with the soaked material as you can leave it, it will condense a little and you might get an extra drag or two before the death puff. Remember that cotton like material? Really bad when it heats up without any liquid in it. It’s like sucking burnt hair into your lungs. I learned long ago I’d rather lose the last few drags than to take the chance on the death puff.

I’ve only used the pro for a day or so now, and though there are some advantages, I don’t think it’s for me. It’s a nice solid aluminum so it’s not overly heavy, but it’s big. With the svelte size of the power, the pro feels like a bong. It hits like one too. You get an unrestricted plume of vapor, which you know is both welcome and dangerous.

I also don’t think I could get away with it at my desk. Not only am I more apt to take a huge drag, it’s also less discrete. The power series is black and the size of a pen. It could easily be mistaken for a pen when the blue light at the end isn’t on, being actively dragged.

I don’t get any flack currently, but this things just too much. I like the idea, but it needs to be smaller. Get these design of carts into the size and design of the power and I’m hooked.

Hierarchy [ 2016, consumerism, technology ]
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1996 – The Year Alternative Rock Died a Messy, Forgettable Death

Some phenomenal hindsight of grunge, alternative rock, and how it became the very thing it stood against. I remember this year vividly. I was 15, at the height of my angst, and this caused me not only to re-live the period but it also provided a unique subtext I was completely oblivious to.

On the radio, Goo Goo Dolls’ “Name” bled into Tonic’s “If You Could Only See” into Dishwalla’s “Counting Blue Cars” into The Verve Pipe’s “The Freshmen” into Matchbox Twenty’s “Push” in a watery bouillabaisse of quiet-loud-quiet song structures and sad-bro earnestness.

This has to be the most fun I’ve ever had while reading a musical article. It’s seamlessly written and presented like a Family Guy episode, providing example after example of it’s sharp tongued posthumous observations, told in the best way possible, by the subjects themselves.

[AVClub]: Read More…

Hierarchy [ 2016, commentary, electronic, lament, media, music, nostalgia, pop, rock, songs ]
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Review: The Crew

THECREW_Wallpaper_1920x1080_254841This may be a bit delayed for some, but sales made this possible at all. I had no interest in it from the start. It didn’t look right and my gut told me no. My gut was right. It is a bad, bad game. It controls like ridge racer meets… a wall.

Originally posted Aug 1st. It is now roughly a month and a week later and I’ve played it again. See bottom for updates!

Point of note: I didn’t find the e-brake in my first run through. I was using the controller, tried X, B, and A is apparently nitro. LB is look-behind and RB is change view. No e-brake where it should be. I didn’t try Y, but why? It would make no sense for it to be Y, so I didn’t even try.

I had “assists” on hardcore, but it didn’t matter. It was socks on linoleum the whole way. You can brake for a corner, or you can just crash through. You will probably still get there before any of the other cars, even when crashing into every wall.

Ok, so I’ll start out with the things I was impressed pleased surprised by:

  • In-Car View, Interior Detail
  • Interior Customization
  • Car Selection

Now the things I had a problem with:

  • Driving “feel” aka Control
  • Exterior Detail of Car Models
  • Story
  • Missions
  • Character Animations
  • Dialogue
  • Initial Car Selection

I would say I didn’t like the graphics overall, but it was really the exterior car detail. They’d show the wheel doing a burnout and the shock was just a squiggly line. The streets were half wet looking all over the place.  The overall scenery was simple and cold.  The graphic style wasn’t even arcade, it was attempting to be realistic but it wasn’t done well. I would put it on par with the open world driving of Driver: Parallel Lines. To put it simply, it felt dated.

I’m surprised they paid so much attention to the interior detail when they really should have focused on the car models. There’s no physics to it at all, you either are sliding or you are glued to the road. No in between and it’s hard to tell when you’ve actually lost traction. Even with all the assists off, it was incredibly difficult to actually get into a slide I couldn’t steer out of. Normally that ended with a wall which for the initial car you start out the prologue with meant actual smushed damage but for the replacement bumpers on the Nissan Z I was driving after… a few minor scratches.

There was so much that didn’t feel right about it and without even a plot to save it. The story was horrible, cringeworthy even for a cheap video game but this was not originally a cheap video game. I paid $10 for the main game, and $4.90 for the Season Pass/Wild Run. It was better than Crash Time II but not by much.

In what other game can you choose a truck? Dirt racing? I haven’t even gotten to any of that. I’m not sure I will even play it again. There is no joy in it, though maybe if I find an e-brake it might help me not hit the wall so much. Braking though, regular left trigger braking… I’m actually shaking my head thinking about it.

Heads up on the graphics front too… it’s locked @ 60fps. I was running it at 4k, on 1 card. That was because SLI makes it crash. It would be SO much better at 120fps, that might help it a little.

So I am writing this to save you the $15. “Steer” clear of this crew unless you have nothing else to play.  And even then… have you heard about this pokemon go thing?  If this was originally supposed to go up against NFS Most Wanted (2015) it doesn’t just pale in comparison, it’s damn near transparent.

** update 9/11/2016 **

It’s not often that a game that has been out for over a year gets better. I have to say that this game got better. Upgraded graphics was one of the first banners that greeted me when I logged in. Once I actually attempted to start racing I was surprised again that it was not crashing! They seem to have fixed the SLI limitation as well. I had put in a ticket from my first time, hadn’t really been aware of an update but it had one and that was one of the major things fixed. It also looks decidedly better. I have not researched exactly what they changed (more objects, better models, higher quality textures?) but it looks better to me. They’ve also added rain (I suppose to explain why the roads are so wet).

I found E brake, it’s X on MS-brand controllers but that hasn’t really changed the way the game handles. It’s an arcade driver through and through but this time I found a few more tidbits that I have not really seen in other racing games. The only other “open world” game(s) that I can really compare this to is Need For Speed. You’d get the same general challenges that you had to drive to and do, normally races and you have that here but they are varied. It’s not all races, it’s not all with your car. I was driving a truck off the road in a lifted Porsche as one of them. You also get “fast travel” which is nice when you just need to get to somewhere you’ve already been but the initial trip down a new road needs to be driven.

I decided to give it another shot when I saw a writeup in pcgamer this evening where they mentioned that it would be free for the Ubisoft Monthly as part of their 30 year anniversary. Starting 9/14 you can pick this up yourself. If you fire up their launcher “UPlay” in the next few days you can still pick up a copy of Rayman. They said they’re going to offer The Crew because it’s notable in that it’s their first real open world game, and I’m guessing that’s not just open world racing game.

One of the things that broke up the monotony driving 30 virtual miles across a scaled down US map was the challenges along the way. You get everything from gates, slaloms, speed challenges, oncoming (wrong side) driving and other things which you’ll be given one after another if you hold the right Dpad to activate the “stunts” mode. I did that for a little while too.

Having something to do while you’re still going somewhere to do something else is nice, it makes the time go by, and gives you a chance to pick up some additional points/money, even parts to better your car if you do well enough. A lot of them I didn’t even finish, I missed too many gates as my Nissan Z is rather slippery and once it starts sliding you can really only let off the gas to get it back in line.

All told, they’ve improved it. It’s still an arcade driver, but it looks better and whether these items are the season pass or the wild run expansion I am not sure. I was able to pick up the season pass (which appears to be all cars I am purposely not using yet) for $9.99 on amazon and then got the wild run expansion for less than $10 on G2A so all told I’ve spent $25 on the whole lot, and given the amusement it’s already given me once I gave it another shot… we’ll see if it pans out. I haven’t even gotten to the wild run stuff yet, but maybe the offroad crash one was from that pack? In any case I’m able to drive everything from a mini to some classic muscle cars, to an Escalade. Trucks in racing games are few and far between as I mentioned previously.

It’s novel enough that I gave it a second chance.
Once you get it free in a few days you can let me know what you think!

Hierarchy [ 2016, 4K, games, racing, review, SLi ]
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Video: GTA V Gets A Tweak!

Rockstar always rolls them out dialed waaaaaay back. Up until GTA V had already been out for a year the mods were still being applied to IV. They had 4K working in that quite a ways back.

I still see a lot of blurring, and the people don’t appear to be optimized but it looks damn good.

Here was IV Redux, assuming same author:

(warning: autoplay)

Hierarchy [ 2016, 4K, download, games, gaming, youtube ]
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Vacations Highlight Living

I spent a lot of time this past week doing nothing, it was all I dreamt it could be.

I am now at the stage where I feel depressed that it is coming to an end. It’s not so much that work misty begin, but regret that nothing has to end. Possibly regret that I haven’t done enough, that I don’t have much to show for all this time off.

I saw my family, shared my children, and had some reflective time with the wife. I had time apart with both my brother and my sister with the brain tumor… One of the sanger of the family, apparently.

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Technical Requirements

I spent much of last night attempting to get a 3D video posted.  I’ve been a fan of 3D vision (with the 3D LCD flicker glasses) since I tried the first wireless.version at PAX.  Crisis 2 was being  used to show it off.  It was triple monitor setup and I was hooked.

I got the Asus 120hz monitor with it built in.  I even have a second pair of glasses now in case I want to watch a 3D movie. My plasma TV does 3D as well… Where has it gone?. They have not stopped making games, nor 3 D movies for that matter.  I have used it here and there, mostly for new games.  I had stopped because my cards were reaching what they could push in newer games, and adding on the 3D vision adds a bit of overhead.

I since upgraded. First to one, and then two EVGA 980ti, each with 6G of VRAM.  4K was the primary reason but I hadn’t forgotten about the 3D.  The advantage to having so much video processing ump is there is plenty left over.  Even if you are playing at 1080 you can still tweak the AA to ridiculous levels,  and I adore shadow processing, getting the right shade of a shadow on a corner, even in the background adds to the whole lighting atmosphere.  I also like to stream to twitch, or record snippets.  Check my  YouTube channel, there is shit that goes WAY back, even before Twitch.

The point of all this is of course to justify being very overzealous in my quest for graphics excellence, yet I make no apologies. I like to be able to try it, rather than only wonder what it might be like.  If I can pull one person over to the PC side who is on the fence by showing them what is possible… Well, then I’ve done my part.

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Doom Open Beta

I pre-loaded Doom. I wasn’t going to do it, but I am in an endless quest for graphics and gameplay evaluation. I know I sound old when I say this… am I saying this? Yeah — it’s a gore fest. It feels like it’s trying a little too hard with the face smashing and the head ripping and the biting and… well, everyone’s in full armor suits and it just doesn’t feel right for Doom.

Of course I have formed this opinion by the opening trailer alone. Despite having pre-loaded it, it will not launch. It did launch, but when I opened it for the first time and saw a warning screen against flickering on NVidia cards I was reminded of a tweet I had seen from NVidia about an updated driver specifically for the Doom beta. I quickly hit ALT+F4 and opened up GeForce Experience to check the latest driver.

I was surprised that nothing came up, went back to that tweet and installed it directly. It was labled as Doom hotfix 364.96 — It no longer started after that. I only just now got to downloading the previous driver to see what it looks like with the original one.

*update* After backing off to the previous version of the display driver, it works! It flickers and is pretty hard to play but it’s playable within a window. If I go borderless windowed, it does the same flickery bits, almost appearing interlaced. I’m not sure what the issue is but it was enough to give me an idea.

I’m about as good at Doom as I was at Unreal Tournament / 2003. I managed a couple kills, spawned as a demon a few times… the first of which I absolutely slaughtered about 10 different guys and unlocked quite a few achievements with just that first run. It was all downhill from there. The levels are very doom like, graphics are detailed, but levels lack the detail. You have a few stone floors with blood running through them but it’s nothing super impressive.

I stand my ground on my first impressions. It plays like it looks, and I can’t see this flying off the shelves at full price. I would put it at about $20 and it will have to hit that price point before I bother. I have many other games with stories to play through, and I don’t relish fighting demon spawn bosses while strafing around them launching rocket after rocket into them.

Hierarchy [ 2016, games, gaming, graphics, preview, Windows10 ]
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...that can't remember my login for the forums thing?  SAME login as the GAME!  Separate your systems.  PLEASE!

…that can’t remember my login for the forums thing? SAME login as the GAME! Separate your systems. PLEASE!

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Division Problems

The Division is beginning to smell a lot like… Ubisoft.


My addition to the forray: Game is Stuttering. Cause… it is, like unplayable. You will miss enemies. No good, no good.


Hierarchy [ 2016, 4K ]
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The Division #FirstLook in 4K

I checked back on the 4K videos I uploaded about a week ago and they’ve got 4K available as an option now. It’s really delayed, must seem kinda shitty to the people who come when it’s tweeted. Sorry, it’s not you, it’s You Tube. It’s a lot-a ca-chunking.

#IsIt4KYet ?

Hierarchy [ 2016, 4K, games, preview, video, Windows10, youtube ]
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Need for Speed #ShareEveryWinNFS Contest Entry — Please UPVOTE!

Here it is – recorded and uploaded in 4K — we’ll see how long it takes YouTube to process it!

I managed to hit all 3 daily objectives in a single chase!
If that’s not #ShareEveryWinNFS I don’t know what is!


Hierarchy [ 2016, 4K, games, gaming, graphics, hardware, racing, screenshot, SLi, video, youtube ]
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SyntheticX Gamealeon | Live on Twitch with Need For Speed

Watch live video from Serinitism on

[update 23:02 3/10/2016]
Thanks for checking out the stream! Check back tomorrow for round 2 in 4k.

Hierarchy [ gaming, twitch ]
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EA Access – Need For Speed PC Preview

Need for Speed is currently loading, I’m going to give the first 10 hours a shot and see if it’s worth it. I appreciate they allowed it to scale to 4k and supported wheel hardware (assuming force feedback) but really don’t think it’s going to be anything earth shattering. They often go far too arcade. I don’t wish to play Ridge Racer. I want good old Road & Track: The Need for Speed


Video is a success! New drivers did the trick. 1080p/60
** NVidia Driver 364.51+ is a MUST for this game **

[update 3/11/2016 10:46] Attempting 4k resolution…
No 4k, and EA was no help. They said “nope, don’t touch that config file” and after 2 people and 45 minutes I finally got the answer – no, you can’t manually make it go into 4k (I’m on 1080 display)

[update 3/15/2016 19:04] Release day, unsure if it was the tiny update received for it, or the appearance of the profile in Nvidia GeForce Experience but that was the first place I went. it already had the 3840 x 2160 resolution listed — apparently picking up on my manual changes to the config file which hadn’t made a difference to the demo.

There was a little bit of flickering when I fired it up, but otherwise it worked and I was able to see it in it’s glory.

I made a quick first look video using my un-performancized NSX:

Continue reading

Hierarchy [ 2016, 4K, games, gaming, graphics, nostalgia, racing, review, screenshot, video ]
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