Category Archives: Desktops
Happy New Year, in the coming months of 2013 there will be a large amount of new tech news with CES13 coming up when big tech companies try to sell suppliers there new products they will make available this year. This brings new tablets, tvs, computers, phones, and lots of other gadgets.
Hope you have a good year, and Tek4.Me will be here to bring you tech news that is useful, while getting things back up and going now that the holidays are over. Were working to get more content every day.
The Apple iMac got an update announced todays “event” that improves the display, and storage options. The new display includes a special coating that reduces reflection along with updated NVIDIA graphics. They also updated the processor to include the new Intel chips and put it all in a thinner case. For storage they now include what they call Fusion Drive that is a combination of Flash memory, standard hard drives and special Mac OS software that makes the two drives look as one, along with manages what applications and information is stored on the Flash memory or hard drive based on use.
There was also a small update to the Mac mini that updates the processor with a Intel i5 chip. Both the iMac and Mac mini also have a reduced power usage. The Mac mini is available now, 21.5 inch iMac will be available in November, and the iMac 27 inch some time December. Prices start at $1,299 for the 21.6 inch iMac, $1,799 for the 27 inch iMac, and $799 for the Mac mini all at the base model.
The popular Linux distribution Ubuntu has been updated to version 12.10 today. While most of the update is a roll up of most of the open source applications that are part of the distribution they had added some user interface additions. Users can now create Web Apps for things like Gmail and Facebook that don’t require you to open the web browser then go to the site it just shows up as an item on your launcher or desktop. You can also now search online files and stores for things such as music, photos, and video. This works with Flickr and Google Drive. Finally they have what they call Dash Previews; basically you can play music or apps from Ubuntu One before you buy or install them without having to open any additional applications.
I have the release preview installed on my laptop and all seemed to work good, still have a problem with the Intel graphics drivers not controlling the screen resolution right but that seems to be something that lots of people with different laptops and distributions are having for well over 3 years. But if you run Ubuntu its doesn’t cost anything to update, or if you want to try it out download the DVD image and boot a system without having to change anything and see if you can use it for your computer.
Looking for a new First Person Shooter or Real Time Strategy game? Then check out Natural Selection 2; this is an Alien vs. Humans game that is a rebuild to the original Half-Life modification called Natural Selection that lets players try to take over and build up resources to defeat the opposing team and take over a location. The Marine Frontiersmen have upgrades like jet packs, flamethrowers, exo suits with mini guns, and arc cannons that help them fight the aliens. The Aliens known as Kharaa infest the maps and have the ability to evolve into wall climbing Skulks, flying Lerks, slashing Fades, or crushing Onos.
Both teams have resource collection devices that give them the resources to upgrade their powers and give them new equipment or evolutions to help them fight the other team. The maps are large and each team has to try and control as much as they can until they can push the others base using different strategies to eliminate the other and win the game.
The game has been in beta for other the past year and is being developed by small Indie developer Unknown Worlds Entertainment who is made up of original developer Charlie Cleveland and others that built the original Natural Selection. They built their own game engine known as Spark that is made for fast development by using Lua to code the actual game in. The concept art and lots of the environment art was developed by Cory Strader, and original music composed by David John and Simon Chylinski.
I have been playing both the original and the beta of Natural Selection 2 for over a year now and have had fun playing along with the development of the game. The game relies on lots of teamwork and a commander who knows how to build strategies. The commander plays in a top down view and drops structures, researches upgrades, and supports there team players. Each member of the team also gets a set of personal resources they can use for weapons and evolutions and the number of resources they get is determined by how many Extractors or Harvesters the team has.
You can now Pre-Order the game on Steam for $24.99 and you get an upgrade to Digital Deluxe Edition that includes Natural Selection 2, a 1 hour soundtrack, a 40 page digital art book, excusive wallpapers and avatars, and exclusive in-game marine model. Once the game comes out the Deluxe Edition will go up to $40. Right now they are saying it will be release sometime in October, but I would without a thinking twice say that the date will be October 31 2012 Halloween, this is because that was the day they release the original Natural Selection.
This is a really fun game and once you learn it you will have hours of enjoyment, I have so go ahead and order today!
Good news for all you PC games out there, the rebuild of the classic game Half-Life using the Half-Life 2 engine called Source is set to release the first part of Black Mesa that they have finished. After 8 years of working on this project the community developed re-envisioning will be out to play September 14 2012, with what they say to be 8 to 10 hours of game play. While they don’t have all of the levels done in the later part of the story they wanted to release this much of the game so people could play and experience what they have made so far.
Half-Life the game was release November 19 1998, and was about a secret government researcher who was put into the middle of an alien outbreak that the military is just trying to cover up but with the help of fellow scientists they do what it takes to stop the aliens from invading earth. Half-Life 2 was released November 16 2004, and brings back the hero Gordon Freeman to find earth had been taken over by aliens. At the same time Half-Life 2 came out Valve the makers of Half-Life release a recompiled version of the original Half-Life but did no updates to the game. That’s where Black Mesa came in to rebuild the original story in modern mapping and game play.
The original sound track made by Joel Nielson is available to download with a donation selector on the download page. They also have a mock “Offer of Employment” letter to Dr. Freeman that adds some fun to the release. From the screen shots and videos I look forward to getting to play though the game that they have so far. I was one that enjoyed the original game and played though it many times. Half-Life was also responsible for a good portion of my gaming including mods such as Team-Fortress Classic, Natural-Selection, and some Counter-Strike, all who now have newer versions such as Team-Fortress 2, Natural-Selection 2, and Counter-Strike: Global Offence.
Look forward to a game review of Black Mesa coming after the release September 14 2012!
The title sounds strange but if you’re looking for a super wide screen check this out, LG at IFA has put out a premium IPS display that is 21:9 aspect ratio, the same as big movie theaters. Most movies don’t come to you on disk in this format but what I saw from this is if you are someone with a more than one display this could reduce the number of screens you may have and it is high quality. The resolution is 2560 x 1080, IPS panel, 7 watt speakers, DVI-D Dual, HDMI, Display port and USB 3.0 hub. With a screen size of 29 inches, this is a big screen too.
They put this out as a Multimedia / Multitasking Solution; it should be a good screen for both. If you have lots on your screen like I do this looks cool for 3-4 windows up at once.
They also put out a second high quality IPS display in a more normal ratio (16:9) that is 27 inches, with a resolution of 2560 x 1440, DVI-D, HDMI, Display Port, and USB 3.0.
If you have ever followed any competitive game play two games come to mind Star-Craft and Counter-Strike, and the new updated version of Counter-Strike called Global Offensive comes out August 21st 2012. This is an update and addition to the Counter-Strike: Source that includes new maps, characters and weapons but also updates the classic maps and weapons that are from the original game.
If you pre-order the game you can play the beta and you get a special weapon for Team-Fortress 2. Also right now it is 10% off, making it only cost $13.49. It will be available on both PC and MAC though Steam, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.
As far as me playing I wasn’t all that into it I like to run and gun in most games and these require more sneaking and head shots, but I’ll give it a try. Check out the Trailer below it was made with the new Source Filmmaker tool Valve has made to make videos using the Source Engine and game art.
If you have played World of Warcraft for any number of years you would be expecting the new explanation Mists of Pandaria that includes a new neutral race of Pandas that adds a new class the Monk. Any way good news check out the video below of the Cinematic Trailer, the game comes out on Tuesday September 25 2012!
If you have a Windows 7 computer you most likely had Windows Essentials installed by the maker or would want to get this set of applications that help do more with your Windows system. It was also called Windows Live Essentials but they seem to have dropped the “Live” from the name.
The main pack includes the following programs: Photo Gallery, Movie Maker, Messenger, Mail, Writer, Outlook Connector, SkyDrive, and Family Safety. Lots of these applications were part of Windows in the past, but they now get updated more often than when Windows OS gets updated.
The two applications they are showing the biggest updates include Movie Maker and Photo Gallery. Movie Maker is a free video editing package that lets you easily edit home videos and put them up on sites such as YouTube.com or make them into DVDs. Photo Gallery is a photo organization and manipulation tool, it lets you fix problems with your images and do things like panoramas.
The update to Movie Maker includes a new Video Stabilization to reduce the shake that may be in your videos if the camera wasn’t on a tripod or a windy day. There are also more options for adding music from online music sites and how they are added to your video. They also improved adding text overlays to the videos so it will be easier to read. And finally they now by default encode video in H.264 rather than Windows Media Video making sharing easier.
As for the Photo Gallery they only did a few little updates such as making a Auto Collage and updating services you can export to.
Another note that the other applications get bug fixes if you had them installed and will require you to restart your computer for them to be setup so expect that. But this is a nice set of additional applications that make using Windows better, there are a lot of other applications that do all of this but these integrate with Windows. In most cases you can do all of this Online now using Google or Office Live.