Saturday, August 30, 2008

LFG Comic Video "Slaughter Your World"

While Googling for the "For pony!" strip, I came upon this "Part of That World" spoof, starring LFG comic's Richard, a homicidal undead warlock.

WARNING: While it's not really graphic, the LFG comic video's content is definitely for mature audiences only.


You've nowhere to hide/nowhere to run/your village will burn like the heart of the sun/with infinite glee/it's going to be me/who'll slaughter your world.

>>>Click here to

Friday, August 29, 2008

How Avast! Antivirus can be Temporarily Disabled

NOTE: Disabling your anti-virus software is a risky affair. I'm only posting this for my personal reference. Do the procedure at your own risk. (It does however, free up your system resources while gaming and will greatly improve performance. I promptly undo the procedure everytime I finish gaming however. )

I have posted the following in the Avast! forums, trying to determine if there's a better way of going about the procedure.


I am a PC first-person shooter gamer (well actually, I am an RPG nut who really likes games that have great interactivity with the NPCs like Golden Sun and Zelda but all that went out the window ever since office work became hectic) and as such, do not like any AV to be running in the background/consuming memory when I play my games for optimal performance.

I've been using AVG 7.5 for years now as it was simple to disable/enable when I play games. Sadly, with AVG 8.0, that feature was eliminated.

I did some research and opted for Avast! instead of AVG 8.0 and so far it's good. I haven't any problems with my rig. The question is, how Avast can be temporarily disabled since simply pushing "Terminate" leaves several processes still running, particularly "ashServ.exe," which consumes 9-22Mb of memory.

This is how Avast! can be temporarily disabled in my system:

1. I click on "Less Details" on the "Resident Protection" interface. (Accessible by left-clicking on the blue Avast! ball in the system tray.)

2. With the Avast! Resident Protection interface fused into one, I click on "Terminate."

(UPDATE: According to Vladimyr, a 500-post member in the Avast! forums, the first two procedures can be simplified. Simply right click on the blue Avast! ball and click on "Stop On-Access Protection" This is more convenient.)

This shuts down the resident shield activities of Avast! However...

3. When you check "Processes" in the Windows Task Manager (accessible by pressing Ctrl-Alt-Del), you will still see Avast! processes still running. While the other ones are negligible, the 18-22Mb consumed by "ashServ.exe" bothers me.

4. To disable this, I go right-click on the blue Avast! ball again, click "Program Settings" and then in the interface that pops up, click on "Troubleshooting."

5. Under "Troubleshooting," I check "Disable Avast! self-defense module" and click "OK."

6. A window will pop up to confirm your action. I simply click "Yes."

7. I go back to the Windows Task Manager and terminate the "ashServ.exe" process.

8. I game.

Note: After gaming, I restart my PC, which will cause Avast! to run again. I then go back to Avast!'s Program Settings and uncheck "Disable Avast! self-defense module." I never forget to do this as it's dangerous to leave it checked. Also, I do not surf the Net if Avast! is in any way disabled.

How Avast! is disabled/enabled may not be as easy as that of AVG 7.5 but it can be done without the various registry hacks that AVG 8.0 requires.

So far I have no problems with my system. I've also installed various on-demand anti-spyware software.

>>>Click here to

Thursday, August 28, 2008

V2.0 of Lightsmark, a Video Card Benchmark Test, Now Out

Version 2.0 of Lightsmark, a video card benchmark test, has been out for quite some time. This video card benchmark test is a

"multiplatform benchmark/demo with REALTIME GLOBAL ILLUMINATION and PENUMBRA SHADOWS"

according to the creator's site.

I have been using Lightsmark for several months in my video card benchmark tests so it's quite exciting to hear about this new version.

However, it is worth noting that the creator also stated that

"faster engine (up to 3x higher fps, so scores are different)"

so comparing video card driver performances will be inaccurate to say the least if a user compares version 2 results with older version 1 results.

The Lightsmark video in YouTube (This is still the 2007 version though; the creator chose not to update it.)

>>>Click here to

Defraggler - Piriform's Free Defragmenter

A few weeks ago, I wrote an article about a free defragmenter, Defraggler. The free defragmenter intrigues me as it's a product of Piriform, the makers of the popular CCleaner. All they had as that point however, was a release candidate of Defraggler, so I opted not to download the free defragmenter.

I still have not installed it but if you are interested, Piriform released v1.02.085 last August 18.

>>>Click here to

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

F.E.A.R. Videos - Playing at Extreme Difficulty Without Using SloMo

UPDATED: Added two more video links of intense
PC first-person shooter firefights. See the last two vids.

WARNING: Videos contain graphic details of soldiers in firefights.

Video clips of me playing the PC first-person shooter game F.E.A.R. (First Encounter Assault Recon).

There's no audio but I hope you'll like the action (perhaps I'll register my GameCam copy one of these days to unlock the audio feature...) :

"Fail." Here an AI tries to vault over a counter.

Two replica soldiers die successively to exploding barrels. FEAR's AI is not so smart when it comes to passing through dangerous objects. :P

One of the things I like about PC first-person shooter is how its AI oftentimes hides and tries to fool you that there are no more enemies left. Here, an AI pops out prematurely, then tries in vain to run for cover.

Another AI runs for cover in this video this. If I were the programmers though, I'd have coded them to stay put and spray lead; I think there's a better chance of the soldiers surviving. At this distance, running from automatic fire was not a good idea.

Shotgun action without using F.E.A.R.'s SloMo feature:

>>>Click here to

Monday, August 25, 2008

Warhammer 40k: Dawn of War 2 - The Tyranids Have Landed

It's a baby boy!

Some weeks ago, THQ released a trailer about their upcoming real-time strategy game Dawn of War 2. The trailer ended with a dying Eldar Farseer pointing at a strange cloud-like formation that was rapidly enveloping the night sky. While some fans commented that it was surely a Warp storm, the majority believed that it was the Tyranids.

See the video below:

(Video uploaded by Machinima in YouTube)

This speculation was bordering on wishful thinking as THQ has stubbornly refused to unleash the Great Devourer in any of its (no less than) three expansions for the first Warhammer 40K: Dawn of War.

Now though, Tyranid fans have been vindicated with this new updated trailer. The ending of the above video has now been changed:

Yes, IMO, Zergs are ghey.

The Warhammer 40K: Dawn of War 2 official site has also released several screenshots of this nomadic, world-devouring alien swarm: (All screenshots are not mine and are the property of THQ.)

Oops sorry, WRONG race. The Eldar fanboy in me haha! That's an Eldar Wraithlord exchanging blows with a Terran Dreadnought (which encases the body of a Space Marine. Hmm. That will sound familiar for fans of another strategy game. Meh.)

Gamespot have released details that just like in the tabletop strategy game that the Dawn of War series has sprung from, Tyranids rely on "Synapse creatures" to keep the otherwise unthinking, voracious Tyranid troops into an organized army. Destroying one of these creatures will result in total chaos for the swarm as they will flee or turn upon themselves.

That Space Marine must be deaf. I haven't read about Tyranid Carnifexes having an infiltration ability. The Lictors (the Tyranid that appears in the ending of the video above) however, are another story...

Waste of muscle; these things can break apart tanks.

The "Emperor's Finest" will have their power armor-encased hands full of Tyranids this 2009.

Spot the "GET OVER HERE!" moment. There's also a Hive Tyrant somewhere in this Gamespot video.

>>>Click here to

Sunday, August 24, 2008

StupidVideos' "Cat Just Chills"

I just woke up.

Yesterday was so crazy --- officmates, work, fit of mania, Rhilanthos' regular grilling session courtesy of Daryl --- that I have FIRMLY decided that if I do invent this time machine I have been planning to make (but have put off in favor of this Cold Fusion stuff that's bouncing around in my cranium right now) , I won't ever go back to that date. Ever.

Reality warping I tell you.

Anyway, I just saw this vid and I think that this is just a bad dream and today is still yesterday, judging from how this damned cat has learned to strike up this pose:

Even in YouTube I'm seeing things. It's high time to lay off the coffee.

>>>Click here to

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Warhammer 40k Forgeworld Eldar Revenant Titan Model


So I actually never got around to searching the Net for video clips of those colossal Warhammer 40K Eldar Forgeworld models. I got bored this night though so I checked out YouTube and oh man...'s more than gigantic. It's an Ulthwe titan, which makes it better; I never agreed with the color schemes of the other Craftworld factions. (Video uploaded by Blue Table Painting)

>>>Click here to

Thursday, August 21, 2008

FEAR - Playing at Extreme Difficulty


Man! I won't be getting tired of this game anytime soon!

The AI is just so advanced as to be jaw-dropping sometimes. Their tactics change whenever you replay a level. The second time I went through this LZ firefight, I was stuck in the room on the second floor, killing anyone who came in. This time, the AI waited below.

In this game, no firefight replays the same.

Take note of how one of the soldiers vaults over a vent and ran for cover. Those guys at Monolith (makers of the game No One Lives Forever and its sequel) ... geniuses.

(Sorry for the frames --- GameCam and other video recording software tend to be resource-hungry affairs. My gameplay is smooth when I'm not recording.)

"Take that you test tube m***f***s!" - Douglas Holiday

>>>Click here to

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

K-Lite Codec Pack 4.1.7 Now Out

It's surprising but v4.1.7 of the K-Lite Codec Pack is now out just days after the release of 4.1.4.

I've been using this excellent codec pack for several months now. I've made an article about the thing HERE.

Enjoy the improvements in audio quality!

>>>Click here to

CollegeHumor's "Bowser's Minions" Video

This is hilarious.

I've often wondered why in the worlds would an alien race design ships that fired slow moving plasma balls causing them to lose fleet upon fleet of fighters and capital ships to a single terran fighter.

Here's CollegeHumor's take on the same thing with the denizens of Mushroom Kingdom:

>>>Click here to

Monday, August 18, 2008

Warhammer 40,000 Eldar Dark Reapers in Action

"We have mastered the art of destruction."

Here's a short video clip of one of my favorite units of the Eldar army. These guys just melt away any enemy infantry who gets in their way. Being Eldar though, they are specialist troops. This means they are VERY good at what they do (shooting) but eat dirt at everything else (melee). You have to dance away these troopers if any melee squad makes a beeline for them.

Notice how fast the first Ork squad dies.

>>>Click here to

How I Update Realtek AC97 Audio Drivers

Improving audio without shelling out moolah

Several of my friends who are new to the PC field asked me how I update my audio drivers. Below is the procedure.

Please take note that I have an integrated sound solution using Realtek AC97 audio drivers. Our update procedures may differ if you are using a soundcard.

The basic procedure of replacing old drivers is still the same though. (ie "Uninstall, restart, install)

Also take note I will not provide technical advice. Do the procedure at your own risk.

1. I download the latest version. (Of course! There's no reason to update if there's nothing to replace the old drivers with.)

(Tip: This is just for convenience's sake but I usually take measures to recall my settings with my old driver. The simplest way to do this is by taking a screenshot.)

2. I uninstall the old one. (Control Panel > Add or Remove Programs)

I make sure I highlight the correct program. Uninstalling the incorrect one might render my system unoperable.

I click on "Yes."

3. After the uninstall procedure is finished, I restart the PC.

4. I restart into Safe Mode.

5. While in Safe Mode, I launch Driver Sweeper.

I click "Analyse," check "Realtek - Sound," and click on "Clean." That's it.

6. I restart again. (This time not in Safe Mode.)

7. I ignore Window's prompt to install "current and updated software."

I ignore this prompt and just press "Cancel."

I ignore the resulting popup too --- I've got the updated software. ;)

8. I turn off my anti-virus. (I ALWAYS turn off my anti-virus when installing something --- though NOT before scanning the installer with various anti-malware software first. I even scan installers from trusted sites.)

9. I launch the installer of the new audio driver and turn on my anti-virus again. I'm basically done at this point.

10. I tinker with the settings using the audio driver's Control Panel to enjoy optimal sound quality.

The icon of the new audio driver's configuration utility shows up in the lower right corner. I click on that to launch it and tinker a bit with the settings. (I turn off my speakers everytime I change the speaker settings from the default "Desktop speakers" configuration to "5.1 surround speakers." After I have made the shift, I turn them back on.)

11. Finally, I eliminate the said icon from the system tray by going to Start > Run and typing in "msconfig." I search for my audio driver's configuration utility ("Soundman") and uncheck the box next to it.

Start > Run

uncheck it (taking care NOT to uncheck other startup items I'm not familiar with --- doing so might render my system inoperable) and click "Apply." I then press "OK" and restart.

I am done!

>>>Click here to

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Realtek AC97 Audio v4.05 Now Out


Realtek AC97 Audio v4.05 has been out for several days now.

I've been checking their site day after day after day after day and now a new version is finally out. While updates for the aging Realtek AC97 audio is progressively getting slower and slower, it still is heartening to know that Realtek is still developing new versions for their AC97 audio.

I'm currently listening to my favorite tracks and so far this version --- while not possessing radical improvements --- is continually justifying my enthusiasm for watching out for new Realtek AC97 driver versions.

I am v4.05! Hear me roar!

>>>Click here to

Raffy's Legion -- We Made History

We Made History.

As far as I know, we were the first unofficial cosplay group to ever enter our city's biggest shopping mall without asking permission from the management. A Warhammer 40,000 Eldar Dark Reaper, a Jurassic Park scientist, V from "V for Vendetta," Agent 47, a Bleach character, and an Akatsuki ninja went strolling around, drawing stares, comments from Anime fans, and frightening/delighting numerous children. (There were more of the latter though.)

Kudos to Raffy who successfully rounded up willing companions. (Encased in an Eldar Dark Reaper costume, I tried hours earlier but the ones I invited didn't have masks so they refused.)

My only regret is that we weren't able to invite Anth since the guy seemed to have activated his cloaking device right after the competition.

I'm sure his getup would have drawn oohs and aahs from the crowd what with the gazillion doodads he made for his costume. The gathering would have been more impressive.

Still, due to Raffy's roundup, I fulfilled my dream of presenting a character from the wildly-successful Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War unit to the city (regardless of how wildly inaccurate my costume was).

Also, thanks to Jeedo who thought up the idea of hosting a cosplay party.

Not by a long shot: the armor was too big, there simply wasn't enough time to model the Dark Reaper's Reaper Launcher exactly as it should look, and it was my first time making a helmet from cardboard and wall sealant. Still, the Reaper Launcher that my wife made for me as a surprise had an impressive shock value. ("Whoa! Death carrying a tank!" an unknowing shopper commented) I'm sending her off to Mars to train as an Adeptus Mekanikus.

Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War - blood, gore, and ragdoll physics are all too present in this real-time strategy game for the PC. Also: elves and orks in space!

>>>Click here to

Friday, August 15, 2008

Shigeru Miyamoto - Nintendo's Mother Lode

According to this Yahoo! article, even the hobbies of Shigeru Miyamoto, the creator of Mario, Donkey Kong, Zelda, and Pikmin, are closely guarded by Nintendo for fear of leaking what could be potent game ideas to competitors.

Shigeru Miyamoto --- now there's a real-life King Midas.

>>>Click here to

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

F.E.A.R. Screenshots Part 2


Screenshots I took using FRAPS:

Life must be hard being a Replica soldier in the employ of Armacham. You have to sleep while on your feet. While holding your rifle.

No they're not here. They're in the barn. Asleep. Like horses.

Take your time?! What do you mean take your time?! He's not getting up any time soon! And no, I didn't do that!

"Specialist my foot." You're lucky this game doesn't have friendly fire.

Look I finally have feet at last! And I can kick! I'm a real boy! (And the blood? No, I didn't do that either. Honest.)

>>>Click here to

Local TV Show has a Super Battle Droid!

Where the f---- do they get these m0r0|\|$?

Okay sorry for the language but what I saw --- that was the last straw. Why is it that every single d@|\/||/|ed time I watch local TV shows and movies I get a visual feast of blatant imitation designs?!

Like that time I went to see this local mech film just to promote the local film industry --- this juggernaut of a mech comes lumbering into the screen somewhere in the last part of the movie. It had superb design really.

Until it showed its backside and you see these protrusions from its back that reminded me strongly of a---

"Isn't that a character from Halo?" my wife asked, oblivious that Covenant Hunters are heavy troopers in that PC game, and not a unique character.

Great, even my wife who's not a gamer recognized the source. Why'd they have add the darned protrusions?

The source material. Heavy trooper at the far left. Looks familiar? (The pic is not mine. It was taken from HERE.) THEY COULD HAVE TWEAKED THE PROTRUSIONS A LITTLE, JUST TO DEVIATE FROM THE ABOVE SOURCE. BUT NOOOOOOO......

Now there's a robot in the local TV show that's strongly reminiscent of the Super Battle Droid of Star Wars fame.

C'mon guys we can do better than this.

Forgive the initial tirade, but this isn't a "you're hopeless" article. This is a wake up call. I know you can do it.

To uphold this saddening trend --- this is death for our reputation. Even my 13-year old brother-in-law can see the obvious imitations.

Unintentional mediocrity is one thing, intentional mediocrity arising out of recycling familiar concepts just to siphon in more cash is another --- it's an iota short of desecrating the source material.

>>>Click here to

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Red Faction: Guerilla - Destructible Environments


I've never seen anything like this. A while back I made an article about Far Cry 2 and Red Faction: Guerilla. That time, I wasn't so interested in the game but after seeing this vid, I'm all ears to any news about the release of this shooter.

Unparalleled destructible environments (Uploaded by Wozu999)

>>>Click here to

Chaos Space Marine Cosplay Update


I should have listened to my wife's advice about using contact cement and a stapler. But nooooo, I had to be so stubborn that I used plain school glue. My Chaos Space Marine helmet fell apart last night.

Also, the enormity of the project sank in. Emulating bio-engineered soldiers who turned to darkness. What was I thinking? Chaos Space Marine armor?! The amount of sealant I need to complete the breastplate and the shoulder armor would cost a tiny fortune.

Luckily, I registered two costumes so I think it's time to go to Plan B.

Plan B. Methinks without the guns though. Too expensive.

But by Eldanesh, I will make a proper armor after the cosplay party! No, this isn't about the prize, this is about me --- as I told our MIS head --- capitalizing on the opportunity to indulge my childish fantasies without inciting the neighbors to drag me off to the House of Hope. NYAHAHAHHA!

Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War forever!

The fan boy chokes on his laughter, gurgles, and then falls over dead.

Wait! Where's my soulstone?!! AIIIIIIEEEEEEE---*

>>>Click here to

Sunday, August 10, 2008

FEEDBACK: K-Lite Codec Pack 4.1.4 = EPIC WIN


This version is the best so far! Everything is so clear! The Corrs never sounded so good!! W000000T!!!


>>>Click here to

Diskeeper Lite - Free Defragmenter

UPDATED: Nag screen shown. See the last picture of this article.

Given that there's a consensus that one of the best defragmenters around is Diskeeper, I tried its freeware version, Diskeeper Lite.

It's way better than the default Windows XP (SP2) defragmenter; it detected a lot of fragmented files that the default utility did not.

Here's a screenshot:

A caveat though: the "Smart Fragmentation Analysis" feature of this freeware bothers me. The freeware defragmenter, according to its "Help" manual,

periodically checks the fragmentation levels on your disk volume(s) automatically. This "smart" technology analyzes your disk volumes, and when the fragmentation increases to a sufficient level, a message is displayed reminding you to defragment the affected volume(s).

Monitoring features --- especially those that involve HDD activity --- don't sit well with me as more often than not, they tend to introduce stutter in gaming as I discussed in a previous article.

You can download the freeware HERE.

*** Warning: What follows is not something I'm recommending a reader to do. A lot of things might go wrong. This is just me being obsessive-compulsive about freeing up system RAM. Follow the procedure at your own risk. ***

While I found out after a round of gaming that this one does not affect my gaming experience in a negative way, I nonetheless took a trip to the Task Manager to see what processes Windows was running to support the feature. Sure enough I found this one:


Everytime I play resource-hungry games, I deactivate the process by selecting DKService.exe and then clicking on the "End Process" button. No worries though; it reactivates everytime I restart my PC.

The pic above is the reason why I deactivate DKService.exe when I play games. The nag screen is annoying. (It only popped up three times in the 21 or so days that I've tried it out so it's not as annoying as it sounds though.) As shown above, deactivating the said service is simplicity itself.

Diskeeper Lite; it's free and it's definitely better than the default Windows XP (SP2) defragmenter.

>>>Click here to

K-Lite Codec Pack 4.1.4 Now Out

I've been using this excellent codec pack for several months now. I've made an article about the thing HERE.

Enjoy the improvements in audio quality!

>>>Click here to

Saturday, August 9, 2008

F.E.A.R. on a Low-End PC

This is me playing the horror/action PC first-person shooter game F.E.A.R.

Finally got GameCam to display right in YouTube.

I'll discuss details about the vid tomorrow. Meanwhile enjoy Pentium 4 action at Extreme Difficulty without SloMo. You may want to click on the "Full Screen" button on the lower right (second from the edge) to see the bodies falling down clearly. >)_)

(Apologies for the frames though; video capture software do tend to be resource hogs. At least GameCam is lighter than FRAPS. Also, I'm using the trial version so there's no audio.)

Gotta learn how to disable that "CRV" GameCam screen (not visible in the vid); damn thing didn't allow me to see how many of my grenades were left the entire time.

Details (in case the video proves to be too small for you):

  • 00:02 - A replica soldier throws a grenade; it explodes a few feet from me.
  • 00:3 - I fire rounds into the smoke, killing at least one.
  • 00:15 - I throw a grenade, hoping to bounce it off the elevated concrete. It explodes and kills one light replica soldier.
  • 00:36 - I charge from cover and discover I killed a medium replica soldier as well. (Identified by the shotgun lying beside the clone soldier's body.)
  • 00:40 - I engage the heavy; all shots miss.
  • 00:46-00:47 - I check my flank. (The game's AI tries to flank players frequently!)
  • 00:51-00:52 - I engage the heavy and this time score multiple hits. I fail to take it down and have to take cover as another light replica soldier joins the firefight.
  • 00:58 - I try to flank the heavy only to discover more soldiers.
  • 00:59 - I kill one. I retreat to reload.
  • 1:03 - I charge back to find a soldier crouching and peeking behind the crate seen earlier. (Yes, the AI crouches AND peeks behind cover!) I kill the clone in short order; reinforcements arrive.
  • 1:07 - I fire rounds that stagger one.
  • 1:09 - a clone tries to run for cover while firing at me. It fails dismally as I gun it down with rounds designed to take down heavies.
  • 1:13 - To my amazement, I notice the soldier I staggered struggling to get up.
  • 1:15 - I didn't give it a chance to recover.
  • 1:20 - I try to flank again but fail to notice a soldier strafing at me.
  • 1:21 - I die a second later.

>>>Click here to

Friday, August 8, 2008

Chaos Space Marine Cosplay


Between my work and the upcoming company party, I'm finding it hard to update this blog. I can't promise any new posts from now up to the 16th.

Wish me luck on this task I've imposed on myself.


>>>Click here to

Monday, August 4, 2008

Transformers Cosplay

This is so cool. A bunch of guys cosplaying as Tranformers have gotten the whole Cybertron thing right --- even the transforming bit.

All Transformers fans see the video below. Guaranteed drop-jaw transformation or your money back. ;)

(Uploaded by Elreydelasgalletas in Youtube)

Kudos to Johnyl for sending me the vid.

>>>Click here to

Saturday, August 2, 2008

HardwareSecret's "Everything You Need to Know About LCD Monitors"

Beauty will be in the eye of the informed.

Less than two months back, I posted an article that provided a link to AnandTech's forum about a useful thread that discusses LCD basics. Two or more resources are better than a single one however, so I give you this link to HardwareSecret's "Everything You Need to Know About LCD Monitors."

Two things buyers should take note of are the concepts of "native resolution" and "contrast ratio."

It's better to arm yourself with knowledge than recklessly shell out more than $200 on something that you'll be stuck with for potentially more than a year.

>>>Click here to