Monthly Archives: November 2012

The new “Stupid” mode for Nexuiz

For those who haven’t noticed yet, There’s a new “Stupid mode” available for Nexuiz, and it shows up in your steam library if you bought the game.

For those who noticed and were wondering what this actually is; read on.

I’m not entirely sure why they called it “Stupid” but one thing is for sure, this is only for enthusiasts. Reportedly the download size is 23GB, and the reason behind it is that every texture is full-res uncompressed. Quote:

And for players who want to see the full extent of how IllFonic have harnessed CryENGINE 3, there’s always what the developer affectionately refers to as “Stupid” mode. “It’s not called ‘Stupid’ for nothing!” jokes Gonzalez. “Every texture in the game is uncompressed. Every light source casts shadows. The particles are cranked. A lot of particles receive shadows. Lensflares have light shafts. Cloth physics everywhere. Mesh tessellation hotness. Super high quality environment probes. More mesh detail. More environmental props. It’s pretty stupid. In a good way!””

tl;dr
This “stupid” mode is a graphics mode with overdone graphics features up to the point that some will call it “unoptimised”. Some will like, some will not.

So, Unless you have some SERIOUS firepower in that computer, don’t even try it. It’ll just take up a ton of space.

On the other hand, if you DO have that firepower and you really want to benchmark your rig, give it a try! I doubt there’s anything more heavy out there right now.

Note that the author of this picture probably wasn't able to max out 'stupid mode'.

Note that the author of this picture probably wasn’t able to max out ‘stupid mode’.

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A rant about DRM, Copyright lobbies, and Pirating

The copyright industry is becoming a real problem. There’s no denying in that. With things like DRM that goes so far that they’ll count the amount of people watching a movie and basing the amount of licenses you have to buy off that I think pretty much every sane person left will agree that things are being taken way way WAY too far.

But on the other end, I completely understand artists and authors of works want to see some money for the amounts of work they’ve put into it. I think that again, every sane person will agree with this. You want money for what you make and do, so you can actually make a living out of it, and anyone would protest at seeing other people taking their product that they want money for and using it for free.

So assuming the person reading agrees with me thusfar, how is it possible that I see a huge amount of people saying things like “I already boycot movies and music (and pirate everything I want).”

Pirating is not a form of boycotting. I’m not against pirating, I think that if you want to, you should be able to get ANY information in the world without having to pay for it first. Information should be always free to anyone at any time as that is essential to a well-developing society in times like these.

But just because you don’t agree with the price of a lunch or the DRM measures that come with your lunch (like that you have to eat it in that restaurant) doesn’t mean that you should steal the lunch instead. That’s just plain wrong. You’re cheating on a whole bunch of people, from the cooks to the restaurant owners, JUST because you don’t like a policy. And then you exclaim it’s a boycot? No, no that’s not how that works. If you disagree with the terms of service and you wish to boycot, Then boycot. When I realized that Mass Effect 3 was going to be origin-exclusive, and I really really really hate origin, I boycotted it. I have not, to this days date, played that game. And that wasn’t an easy decision, I’ve played ME 1 and 2 through at least twice each, I’ve spent at least over a 100 hours in game in both these games and I was really looking forward to the final part. But I decided that origin was going to be a big no-no for me and therefore I boycotted it.

Now I can already hear a whole bunch of people yelling “But a download doesn’t equal a lost sale! Your restaurant comparison doesn’t work here!”, which is true to an extent, but didn’t you just exclaim that you were doing it because you wanted to boycot the product and you would’ve bought it otherwise? You can’t just download every game ever and never pay for any of them, play them through several times and when someone asks “why didn’t you buy them” reply “because I didn’t agree with them!”. That’s when downloading really becomes stealing, you’re freeloading off products that you should’ve paid for.

Paying for products isn’t something that you do because someone else tells you to, you do it because you want to reward the people that created the product because you enjoyed it, and perhaps you want more. I can understand anyone downloading anything just because they want to see what it is about, but if you then enjoy what you found, reward the authors! It’s not just a kind thing to do, anyone that doesn’t do that is in my eyes a douche. Treat others as you would want them to treat you. Do you want people to steal whatever you create and exclaim it should’ve been free anyway? No? Then pay for the things you use.

Debunking some Apple myths

Generally speaking I’m not much of an Apple-basher. I’ve had my share of iPods (normal HDD one, video, nano.. ), we have an iPad at home which we all use to look up things or even play small games; I don’t have much against Apple’s stuff (aside from them being increasingly more arrogant, but that’s another subject).

HOWEVER.

People really need to stop saying Apple is ‘better than everything else’. I just really hate the fanboyism that is usually connected to people that own Apple products.

So today, I’m gonna debunk some of the most common myths that Apple fanboys keep up high. Not because I particularly hate Apple, but the fanboyism around it.

1: “Apple makes the best hardware”

This is probably the most common and most annoying myth out there. Apple’s hardware isn’t only very average hardware, they don’t make hardware AT ALL. You may or may not have heard it before, but foxconn is the company that makes Apple’s hardware. Foxconn has a huge list of customers which you may know as many big brands out there, here’s a list from Wikipedia:
Major customers of Foxconn currently include:

 Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foxconn

That’s right; when you buy Apple’s stuff, you buy the exact same stuff as when you’d buy Acer, Sony, Toshiba, HP, Dell, etc.

So how can it be faster?
That’s a simple one: It simply isn’t. Have you considered the difference in price you’re paying for the cheapest Apple product and the cheapest Acer product? Really the main difference here is that Acer actually offers a cheap option. If you still think Apple is better, Let me ask you a question in return: Have you ever had a non-apple computer that was as expensive as a macbook/imac? Trust me, 99% of the time you’ll get better specs than Apple can get you. Apple has been getting arrogant. They set huge margins on their products because they can, resulting in one of those typical fashion-like hype products that don’t really have much extra quality, they just show off status by the fact they’re expensive.

2: Apple works better with Adobe/’graphics’ products.

This was true for a while, back when they used powerPC processors and Adobe and Apple were still big friends, photoshop would run much better on a mac. Nowadays things are different.
Macs no longer use the Motorola PowerPC processors, and instead use Intel processors. They aren’t worse or better, they’re just a different instruction set (x86 instead of powerpc) and more convential than Motorola’s stuff, which makes it a lot cheaper.
Also Apple has been bullying Adobe, if you’ve heard about the whole flash thing and how Apple treated Adobe lately you’d be surprised they ever were friends.
Those two combined result in the same product being ported from Windows to Mac OS. They’re the exact same codebase with the difference that one is compiled for Windows and one for Mac OS.

“But retina displays!”
Retina is just a term coined by Apple to mark their high resolution (high DPI) screens.
There are TONS of screens out there that squarely outperform Apple’s retina stuff. They’re good screens, just, not the best. So stop saying that they are.

3: Apple’s stuff “just works” and is much less error prone than other operating systems!

False. As ‘that IT dude’ I hate to tell you this but there simply isn’t ANY computer out there that runs flawlessly. That’s just how computers are. They’re whiny, bitchy, annoying pieces of sh*t that need tons of maintenance. That’s why there’s such a huge need for qualified IT personell. And no, that won’t change when you switch everything to Apple. In fact, in a company environment I think you’ll find there’s many functionality Windows has had for ages that makes it so ideal in enterprise situations, that Mac OS simply doesn’t have.

Little known fact: Mac OS X isn’t written by Apple from scratch. First line from the wiki page: “OS X (play / ˌɛs ˈtɛn/),[8] originally Mac OS X,[9] is a series of Unix-based graphical interface operating systems developed, marketed, and sold by Apple Inc.” ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mac_OS_X ) Note the “Unix-based”.

So, what does Apple do that attracts a lot of people?

They keep their stuff simple. They iterate their hardware yearly, they don’t give much choices, no cheap options, they name their stuff as simple and short as possible, and they take away as much freedom as possible. They also play a man in the middle role for everything you do.

  • You want hardware? You buy from Apple. They have their own stores, you can’t buy Apple in mixed resellers; And everything is branded Apple, despite them not having built it.
  • You want software? You buy from Apple. They have their own Appstore across all platforms.
  • You need support? Apple care.
  • You need to save your stuff in a cloud? iCloud.

Et cetera Et cetera.

This makes it a lot more clear for many people what to do when, and who to contact. People have busy lifes, they don’t care what’s the reason their PC is slow, they just want it to work. But the thing is, Apple only appears more simple. What they’re really doing is taking away control from you, making decisions for you and tell you what’s good for you.
If you’re okay with the lack of freedom, then I can imagine why Apple is a tempting choice, but keep in mind, with just a tiny bit more effort you can get a whole lot more for your money. Any PC for a thousand euros/dollars/pounds will be a monster. And if you ask someone to reinstall it after you got it to get rid of all the bloatware and preinstalled crap (seriously why do they even put that on there?), you’ll always end up with a well performing computer that you’ll be using for up to a decade after purchase.