07Sep/16

Windows XP Support Terminated, But Many Users Refuse To Move On

The world’s largest software maker had removed Windows XP from the list of their supported products. In other words, Windows XP support does not exist anymore. Windows XP will not receive any Windows tech support, technical assistance, security updates, or support packages of any kind. This also includes all the free as well as paid services. However, many Windows XP users have not realized what has happened.

Actually, there are millions of users using the old OS even after six months of the end of service. The fact that even after so many months, many Windows users are refusing to upgrade is surprising, strange and something to ponder upon for the company. Windows XP’s demise was long overdue; the company had to prolong the support period due to overwhelming requests from Windows XP users worldwide. The software maker extended the support period for the OS many times and the latest and the last one is April 8, when the company finally had it and terminated the support for the old OS.

Windows XP has a glorious history of being the only OS to have lasted so long and remained popular throughout the life cycle. The main reason why so many people still consider risking everything to continue using Windows XP is the fact that OS if by far the most familiar OS. Most users would agree that Windows XP end of support looks like the end of an era. The OS represented everything Windows users had learnt over the course of time that Windows OS series evolved. It had become the yard stick for good, and is still considered one of the best operating systems ever.

Windows Vista: the debacle, is onethe main reasons for resurgence of Windows XP. Windows XP got a boost in popularity when Vista flopped, big time. Not only did Windows Vista flop, it helped Windows XP gain much user base. Windows Vista managed to drive off the users to Windows XP. The only time when Windows XP started losing some of the popularity was when Windows 7 released. Windows 7 rectified most Windows Vista issues and introduced a brilliant OS.

No matter how good Windows users want to convince themselves that Windows XP is. The fact that Windows XP is an unsupported OS will not change. No Windows tech support, security updates or patches can be expected anymore. So, move on, or better yet, wait for the Windows 10 OS.

30Jul/16

Quake, Quake 3: Arena, Unreal Tournament, Civilization 2, Mortyr and NFL 2K

Comments, criticisms, hate mail? – Please address all comments directly to Andrew: ASDante@execpc AND to Andrew’s boss at letters@dailyradar.com Sure, the deathmatch experts are going to be able to handle the Q3A bots on the higher settings, but the average gamer is stuck on “Please Don’t Hurt Me.” Below that setting, the bots don’t fight back; above that, they don’t miss. UT, by offering a much better AI skill curve, is gentler on the consumer. Don’t get me wrong. Carmack knows his hardcore audience, and Q3A is definitely geared totally toward them. All they want is deathmatch; all they want is shotguns, railguns, rocket launchers and BFGs; all they want is maps they can memorize easily and use tactically, and, of course, they want the graphics update. But Carmack failed to advance the genre in other ways and, most of all, failed to give the average gamers (the ones buying the game because of the name brand — who, incidentally are keeping its sales in the top 10) the something more they wanted.

But that’s the way id Software is, folks. John Carmack is a brilliant programmer and a game god who fully deserves his “legend” status. But he isn’t an artist, and he also isn’t a very creative or talented storyteller. He created deathmatch, but it was the fans that created everything else for him. Unfortunately with Q3A, the fans are going to have to do all the work again.

id Software and John Carmack need to take a long look at themselves. They need to reflect and realize that, at this time and with this release, they’re cynically coasting on impressive technology, but lacking soul or art. They’ve forgotten how to push the boundaries. Remember, id didn’t start out that way. Wolfenstein 3D was brilliant because it was totally new. Doom and Quake were genuinely scary places to be, filled with an unmatched, almost arcade-frantic, pace and truly frightening monsters.

Quake III: Arena is an engine, a series of very cool skins and a few uninspired deathmatch maps. As fun as that is (and I do play it frequently), it isn’t very inventive, and it pales in comparison to what has come before. id Software, I urge you to consider this: your future is doomed.

An update of Doom, with a few choice Quake monsters thrown in, would be a godsend right about now. Think about what FPS shooters totally lack at this time. They lack the length of Doom 2 (32 levels); they lack the fear factor of a Baron of Hell’s scream, a Cacodemon’s glare, an Ogre’s chainsaw, the whap of a Zombie flinging his caustic flesh at you, the pants-soiling leap of a Fiend or a Lost Soul’s flaming skullness. Maybe they could throw in a few Nazis and German Shepherds for old time’s sake.

The FPS genre is missing what id Software used to bring to the table: frantic action, run and gun gameplay with expedient key and door puzzles, and action-oriented level design. If you doubt me, go ahead and try it out. Boot up Doom 2 or Quake. Play for a while. It isn’t as boring as that third trip through Half-Life or Unreal, is it? The old id stable is coin-op arcade. Its simplicity is the essence of its replayability. We haven’t had a game like that since Quake. Let Valve’s Half-Life take over in the story department; let Looking Glass’ System Shock take the role playing; and let Redstorm’s Rainbow Six take over the realism. The void you seek cannot be filled by simple multiplayer deathmatch! The true void here is single player, arcade-style, action FPS. Think also how much fun such a game would be in co-op mode.

Come on, Carmack, bring it all back for us with your next pretty graphics engine. Solo brainless FPS versus cool monsters we already love, co-op against same and, of course, keep the deathmatch in there too, please … Hey! Let us play as those monsters too! I always wanted to be a Fiend . By giving us an amalgam of Doom and Quake with Year 2000 technology, I’d argue that id Software could thereby play to its strengths and further the action FPS cause. Moreover, they can regain the FPS crown that many think they’ve lost. As things stand today, they are only growing more and more irrelevant, and that just isn’t right. The source for everything of these can be found only at clashroyalehack.fr. You can also check out their free gems for Clash Royale gamers.

29Jul/16

Microsoft Offers Access To Skype, Office, And Xbox At $199/Year

Taking into account some of the long running issues with the judicial department, according to Microsoft, it is an offence to bundle packages. This was the situation sometime back. Looks like things have changed recently. It seems as if the software giant does not have any issues with bundling different services from Microsoft. To know in detail about the different services from Microsoft, you can refer to the Microsoft help line.

Recently Microsoft introduced a promotional bundle consisting of both productivity and entertainment centric services. This service will be available for users at 199 dollars for a one-year subscription. This package would consist of different services from Microsoft such as Office, Skype, Xbox and many more.

The latest work and play bundle would consist of Xbox Live Gold, Microsoft Office 365 Home, Skype Unlimited World, Wi-Fi and Xbox Music Pass. It is expected that this work and play bundle will be out for the public through January 4 or until the stock lasts. This bundle will come out on the basis of codes. Though the case is so, this bundle will also be available in some of the leading retail stores. Hence, you have different options while purchasing this work and play bundle. However, the bundle is available only in select stores in the United States.
Microsoft Office

Microsoft Work Apps

Some of the applications that are included in Office 365 home subscription are PowerPoint, Word, and Excel along with OneDrive storage space of One TB. With the Xbox subscriptions, subscribers will be able to access both games and music. With the help of the Skype subscription included, users will be able to access close to two million Wi-Fi hotpots that are available throughout the world.

In case any of the users who already have a subscription to Office 365 Home, Skype or Xbox, they will notice that their existing subscription would be automatically extended when they purchase a new bundled code from the online or retail stores.

Here are some of the reasons why this whole concept of bundled codes is fascinating. With this bundled program, the concept of dual programming will be rolled out. This program is based on the fact that people prefer to run both work apps and play apps in the same system. Hence, Microsoft is planning to make all these apps inseparable and available as a bundle. Eventually, bundling up services will help in bringing more revenue to the company. Get to know more about this through the Microsoft help line.

03Feb/16

Is id Software Doomed? It should be!

Before I begin, let me say this: I come both to praise and bury id Software. I admire them and John Carmack too much to let them keep going in the direction they’re heading. This is what I want them to do, perhaps even what they should do. If we’re lucky, it’s what they will do.

Quake III: Arena vs. Unreal Tournament: the big argument much more than that of Hack Or Mobile Strike at www.prey-game.fr. I took a stand last week by suggesting that UT represented the future of the single-player genre and I stand by that assertion, despite a few rather rabid letters to the contrary. The fact is, as some believe, Epic Games has now bested id Software twice in a row and on battlefields of id’s choosing. First, in terms of graphics and single-player, Unreal has better AI and graphics than Quake 2 and in multiplayer UT is a more fleshed out all-around game.

Let’s delve a bit into the past, shall we? id burst onto the scene with Wolfenstein 3D (actually based on a couple of brilliant top-down action games from the early ’80s), Castle Wolfenstein and Beyond Castle Wolfenstein. But that genre-birthing achievement was quickly eclipsed by their next game, the phenomenon known as Doom. Programmer John Carmack and (perhaps undeservedly) level designer John Romero became famous by creating a game that influenced the entire business. It affected sales models by pioneering the shareware concept and influenced programming. The interface is still being used in games today.

Very quickly, other companies (and better storytellers) jumped on the genre and bested id’s Doom and Doom 2 by providing what id’s people lacked most — character development, story and a holistic vision. Dark Forces, Marathon (on the Mac), System Shock, Hexen, Descent and Duke Nukem 3D all added concepts such as better storytelling, improved AI, attitude and humor, gameplay concepts or a recognized license coupled with stellar level design. Doom did it right, but the other guys added significantly to the equation.

How did id Software answer these upstarts? With a full 3D engine, genre defining network coding and unprecedented end-user support. Quake was born; QuakeWorld was added; and the fans, not Carmack, did the rest. Capture the Flag, Clans, Rocket Arena and Team Fortress were all concepts created by gamers. They gave id’s brilliant engine life against even stronger opposition like Jedi Knight and Heretic 2. Before the game development world could recover and before the Quake engine could even be used for more than one game (Hexen 2), Carmack released Quake 2. The community followed, but the single-player gameplay totally stagnated. id went from using scary creatures in a vaguely hellish setting to a bland alien invasion in a homogenized futuristic setting. The story remained the same, but Carmack offered nothing more than a better graphics engine, more balanced weapons and much more impressive network coding. id had primed itself for a fall.

When Unreal came out and, more importantly, when Half-Life followed, gamers jumped at them. Unreal featured a graphics engine that outdid Quake 2 in every way. id, in a then-controversial move, announced that the Trinity project would be the multiplayer only Quake III: Arena. Once Half-Life came out and changed single-player gaming forever, Carmack’s multiplayer move seemed prescient.

But it hasn’t turned out that way. Unreal Tournament, Starsiege: Tribes, and Team Fortress Classic and Counter Strike for Half-Life have proven that the refined deathmatch experience that Q3A offers just isn’t enough anymore. Worse, Carmack has proven himself further out of touch by making his game incredibly difficult for most users. Sure, the deathmatch experts are going to be able to handle the Q3A bots on the higher settings, but the average gamer is stuck on “Please Don’t Hurt Me.” Below that setting, the bots don’t fight back; above that, they don’t miss. UT, by offering a much better AI skill curve, is gentler on the consumer. Don’t get me wrong. Carmack knows his hardcore audience, and Q3A is definitely geared totally toward them. All they want is deathmatch; all they want is shotguns, railguns, rocket launchers and BFGs; all they want is maps they can memorize easily and use tactically, and, of course, they want the graphics update. But Carmack failed to advance the genre in other ways and, most of all, failed to give the average gamers (the ones buying the game because of the name brand — who, incidentally are keeping its sales in the top 10) the something more they wanted.

But that’s the way id Software is, folks. John Carmack is a brilliant programmer and a game god who fully deserves his “legend” status. But he isn’t an artist, and he also isn’t a very creative or talented storyteller. He created deathmatch, but it was the fans that created everything else for him. Unfortunately with Q3A, the fans are going to have to do all the work again.

id Software and John Carmack need to take a long look at themselves. They need to reflect and realize that, at this time and with this release, they’re cynically coasting on impressive technology, but lacking soul or art. They’ve forgotten how to push the boundaries. Remember, id didn’t start out that way. Wolfenstein 3D was brilliant because it was totally new. Doom and Quake were genuinely scary places to be, filled with an unmatched, almost arcade-frantic, pace and truly frightening monsters.

Quake III: Arena is an engine, a series of very cool skins and a few uninspired deathmatch maps. As fun as that is (and I do play it frequently), it isn’t very inventive, and it pales in comparison to what has come before. id Software, I urge you to consider this: your future is doomed.

An update of Doom, with a few choice Quake monsters thrown in, would be a godsend right about now. Think about what FPS shooters totally lack at this time. They lack the length of Doom 2 (32 levels); they lack the fear factor of a Baron of Hell’s scream, a Cacodemon’s glare, an Ogre’s chainsaw, the whap of a Zombie flinging his caustic flesh at you, the pants-soiling leap of a Fiend or a Lost Soul’s flaming skullness. Maybe they could throw in a few Nazis and German Shepherds for old time’s sake.

The FPS genre is missing what id Software used to bring to the table: frantic action, run and gun gameplay with expedient key and door puzzles, and action-oriented level design. If you doubt me, go ahead and try it out. Boot up Doom 2 or Quake. Play for a while. It isn’t as boring as that third trip through Half-Life or Unreal, is it? The old id stable is coin-op arcade. Its simplicity is the essence of its replayability. We haven’t had a game like that since Quake. Let Valve’s Half-Life take over in the story department; let Looking Glass’ System Shock take the role playing; and let Redstorm’s Rainbow Six take over the realism. The void you seek cannot be filled by simple multiplayer deathmatch! The true void here is single player, arcade-style, action FPS. Think also how much fun such a game would be in co-op mode.

Come on, Carmack, bring it all back for us with your next pretty graphics engine. Solo brainless FPS versus cool monsters we already love, co-op against same and, of course, keep the deathmatch in there too, please … Hey! Let us play as those monsters too! I always wanted to be a Fiend . By giving us an amalgam of Doom and Quake with Year 2000 technology, I’d argue that id Software could thereby play to its strengths and further the action FPS cause. Moreover, they can regain the FPS crown that many think they’ve lost. As things stand today, they are only growing more and more irrelevant, and that just isn’t right.

13May/15
SimCityBuildit

SimCity Buildit – Hardcore and Entry – Level Gamer’s Fave

The launch of EA’s SimCity Buildit is here, and with it comes a delightful adventure. SimCity Buildit, a city building simulation at heart, certainly fits the innovative bill with down and dirty gameplay and attitude enough to fill a spare. When lined up against some of the admittedly more complex launch titles, this game doesn’t have quite the same visual panache — but the devil’s in the details, and the finest aspects of this game reveal themselves after considerable in-depth play.

SimCity Buildit is as straightforward as many as SimCity classic — and we don’t mean this as a criticism. As the newest member of a pack of city builders, the player’s mission is to create the best city possible — usually involving a lot of work and a solid strategy. In addition to the game’s mission mode, there’s a multiplayer mode (which allows for tailor-made one-game match-ups). Unlike those in so many other similar games, the mode here is a useful tool for gaining familiarity with the layout, as well as a pleasant way to create without time limit or interference.

Set in a beautiful terrain, the game takes place in three entirely realized worlds, each spanning over 25 square miles. And when we say spanning, we really mean it — it’s a little difficult to convey other than to say that these levels are enormous. Given enough perseverance and successful elusion, any point visible can be driven to, and this is no gimmick. Later levels are increasingly difficult, and successfully completing these simulation really does rely on a sense of familiarity with the lay of the land. Visually, the game is a mixed bag — draw-in, textures and smoke and animation effects are excellent, if a little unspectacular. No one thing in particular is lacking or flawed, but the emphasis on real-world action lacks the dazzle of other, less earth-bound titles.

While a fine coat of detail has been applied to the game’s sprawling environments, equal attention has been lavished on the physics engine under the hood. Different surfaces affect weather, while less-than-cautious gaming leads to the loss of less-than-essential elements. Better yet, skilled mayor can deftly level off their overall strategy. We’ve seen this sort of attentive balance between real-world physics and exhilarating arcade fun before, but that was in less flamboyant gamers. Still, for as detailed and intricate as the physics may be, everything about this game is refreshingly simple — a rarity in these highly complicated next-generation times.

Even the controls are a refreshing throwback to simpler times. This simplified control scheme lends itself well to third-party controllers. Which is not to say that this is an easy game. Time and mission limits are finely tuned to make for a progressively challenging career.

SimCity Buildit is just the sort of innovative title that every launch needs. We hadn’t played anything like it before, but it will be instantly comfortable to budding cons of all ages and skill levels. While it won’t blow anyone’s eyebrows clean off, dedicated gamers will find that developer Maxis has really made the most of the mobile graphics engine in creating such thorough playfields. Entry-level gamers will be impressed with the easy learning curve and intuitive gameplay, while the hardcore among us will appreciate the innumerable thoughtful details and nuances that help bring the wild and rugged world of Simcity Buildit.

24Feb/15

PSP to PS Vita – The Evolution of Gadget

It’s bigger faster and way cooler but how much better are the PS Vita’s graphics compared to the psp’s separated by over six years and a whole generation of consoles. The Playstation Vita was expected by just about everyone in the gaming community to totally blow the playstation portable out the water in terms of graphics in reality let’s find out if this is actually true so we’re going to start by looking at a few different types of games.

Combined the Playstation portable versions and then the psp2 ones, so let’s start with Samurai Chronicles which is a Japanese hack and slash star game. So you can see the PSP version has very muddy textures the models are slightly blocky but actually look quite good for the time that he has to be had a resolution of 480 x 2 72 which sounds almost vomit-inducing. Today’s standards however due to the fact that most games run at native resolution and the screen was very small they actually look quite sharp moving over to Samurai Chronicles Three. The latest version on the Playstation Vita it looks better the models are a lot more complex ,however the textures have had very little upgrade whatsoever on top of that the resolution bump isn’t noticeable at all because this one is running at a much lower resolution than native reds. And so actually ends up being very little more than the PSP number count is the number of people on screen at one time hasn’t increased after all really and so the only real improvement here is with the animations and the addition of very light shadows.

So moving on to Resistance Retribution on the PSP this is one of the top-rated shooters of the system and analysis actually got a lot of the elements of its kind of counterparts you can see that it’s got a very muddy left to it which is partly stylistic and partied you to try and hide. What’s in the distance so there’s a short draw distance and talk about the low resolution means you can barely see enemies when they’re far away how many people instantly labeled resistance burning skies as a poor looking game but when you actually compared to the last generation.
It’s really impressive so this isn’t running a native resolution but it is definitely sharper than the playstation portable version and there’s noticeably less jagged edges due to the use of anti-aliasing and you can see that not only is the lighting and ambient occlusion. This significantly better but gun models are also much more detailed and there’s more going on in the environment they’re less closed off and much more sort of open to exploration and liberation. On the PSP was developed as a top-down shooter rather than a FPS you to platform capabilities apparently now this is a bad-looking game it’s rough around the edges it has a very bland parlor it’s a low resolution on the text was just horrible but then we move over to the PlayStation Vita. Things changed quite significantly Killzone mercenary is good-looking buy a console game standard LED known a handout and the jump between these two games is absolutely giant you’ve got ambient occlusion.

We’ve got lens flare we’ve got light tessellation we’ve got depth of field there’s so many effects going on here it really blows your mind. This is a gorgeous game which somehow still runs smoothly and even their resistance burning Skies was actually a pretty good looking game kills and absolutely crushes it and really makes you want to vita. So now onto ridge racer which coincidentally seems to launch at the start of every Sony platform so you can see on the PSP it actually looks quite nice there’s some very nice but slightly exaggerated lighting the textures are on the poor side but the frame where is buttery smooth on the surface. The Playstation Vita version looks like a different world altogether but if you actually look closer it seems to be more just the car model that’s been upgraded that you’ll rest of the environment is still generally quite an impressive. It’s bear and textures have not really improve very much at all but then again there is a little bit more going on screen but the frame rate has been low its overall it’s not really that much of a leap so although the PlayStation Vita is hugely more powerful than playstation portable.

Its advantages are only really exploited in a very few number of games such as Killzone Mercenary but when they are the results are stunning if you take into account that the PS Vita house better speakers a better display better controls and a better overall field in hand. It becomes clear that it offers a superior experience and we start to realize how great a machine.