modern pc

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Matt Barton's picture

A History of the Hard Drive

What's the #1 thing slowing down your modern PC? According to Tom's Hardware, it may be your hard drive. According to authors Patrick Schmid and Achim Roos, hard drive technology has greatly expanded in capacity, yet lagged seriously behind in terms of performance. The authors take a look back at the past 15 years of hard drive technology, going into plenty of detail about compression technology. However, all is not bleak:

Bill Loguidice's picture

The PC Games Business and Why Things Don't Have to Get Better

Commodore SuperPET: Photo by Bill LoguidiceCommodore SuperPET: Photo by Bill LoguidiceGamasutra has another interesting "Analyze This", this time on "The Current State of the PC Game Business". While prior to the Nintendo Entertainment System's (NES) ascension, it was common and logical to believe that computers would negate the need for a dedicated game machine, since the late 80's the trend has fully reversed where it became fashionable to say that console gaming will kill off PC gaming. While that hasn't happened and will never happen, the "Analyze This" feature does have comments from analysts that indicate that PC gaming has become and will remain a large niche in light of console dominance, which is frankly hard to argue against.

While perhaps not as bold of a statement as it once could have been, I will agree that PC gaming will never again overtake console gaming and will remain nothing more than a third or fourth option in terms of mass market/mainstream development and sales. It's actually unfair to the PC to make the comparison, because the PC is a tremendous general purpose device, while a console is primarily designed to play games. Yes, the newer the console, the more stuff it seems to be able to do - play movies, music, display photos, etc. - but it's primarily thought of and primarily used as a game player. Someone looks at a PC and does not immediately think "game machine". They think "word processor", "e-mail", "Internet", "IM", etc., or simply "COMPUTER", all likely well before they think "game machine" (save for the hardest of hardcore).

Matt Barton's picture

The 25 Greatest Home Computers--According to PC Magazine

PC World is running an extensive feature called The 25 Greatest PCs of All Time. While I'm a bit skeptical of any such list that doesn't include the Commodore 64 (the list editors seem to think the Commodore Amiga 1000 was a "much better computer"), it nevertheless describes several interesting machines.

Matt Barton's picture

More "Control Issues" and PC vs. Console Gaming

Nintendo Wii Controller: Wait until you see the foot pedals.Nintendo Wii Controller: Wait until you see the foot pedals.There's been a great deal of buzz this week about controllers, probably (methinks) inspired by Nintendo's innovations with the Wii. Retroblast has a piece up about Roberto Duran, a maker of awesome custom controllers for very serious gamers. $500 "stikz", anyone? If Duran's work is artistic and highly prized, check out this crap from Elecom. Is this supposed to be an NES-style controller for nostalgia's sake, or a gag gift for Christmas? You'd probably be better off recycling your soon-to-be-worthless dual-shocks for PC play for only $11.

Matt Barton's picture

Some Thoughts on Halo for the PC

Here's your fries, sir.Here's your fries, sir.I realize I'm very late to this game, but I finally got the chance to play through Bungie's famous first-person shooter, Halo, often-called "The Greatest FPS Ever Made." Since I don't have an Xbox, and not sure how I'd adapt to playing an FPS with a controller if I did, I played the Windows version on my PC. I assume everyone here is familiar with the game, so I'll skip the background and technical stuff and just discuss some aspects of the game I found intriguing. And, no, I don't consider it to be the greatest FPS (I'd give that to Half-Life 2), but I did enjoy it.

Matt Barton's picture

Fun PC Gaming Devices

XForce 3D: My b-day is coming up...XForce 3D: My b-day is coming up...Twitch Gaming has published a feature about Peculiar PC Gaming Devices that's sure to get your heart rate up this morning. There are some fantastic looking devices here that I'd dearly love to own, such as these awesome 3D glasses. I checked out the homepage and am now even more curious. Does anyone know anything about these glasses? I also liked this racing setup. I'm not really into racing games, but if I had this setup, I probably would be. There are also a couple guns here for your PC--though these look a bit silly to me--but not nearly as stupid as this scarf for portable gaming and computing devices.

Matt Barton's picture

Get Dragon's Lair in High Definition!

Dragon's Lair HDDragon's Lair HDFor $60, you can pre-order your copy of the new High-Definition, 5.1 Digital Surround version of Digital Leisure's famous Dragon's Lair game. DL fans rejoice!

  • Relive the arcade experience with this remastered HD adventure.
  • Completely Arcade Authentic
  • Fully interactive gameplay digitally remastered from the original film
  • Restored original soundtrack, for the first time in 5.1 surround sound*
  • Stunning Classic Cel Animation from Don Bluth
  • Three Different Viewing Resolutions
Matt Barton's picture

Mario Kart Mod for Half-Life 2 Engine

Mario Kart Source: A Half-Life 2 ModMario Kart Source: A Half-Life 2 ModIn the tradition of creative and unanticipated applications for game engines, Mario Kart Source is a Mario Kart 64 modding project for Half-Life 2. Judging by the screenshots and videoclips available on their homepage, this project might be something to keep an eye on. Mario Kart was always my favorite multiplayer racing game--good family fun. I'm sure it's also great for folks who bought Half-Life 2 and want to stretch their buck with a good homebrew mod for its engine. Unfortunately, it's unclear how long we will have to wait for the official release.

Matt Barton's picture

Will you BUILD or BUY your next gaming rig?

Matt Barton's picture

Your Next Gaming Rig: Buy it or Build it?

Dell XPS: I could soo see this on my desktop...Dell XPS: I could soo see this on my desktop...Adrian Kingsley-Hughes of ZDnet has a blog up about buying a Dell XPS vs. building one yourself. You've probably heard the same advice I've heard over the years regarding building your own PC vs. buying one from Dell (or wherever). Some people will swear you're much better off with a "storebrand," usually making a case for warranties (i.e., if it doesn't work, you can easily send it back) or compatibality/configuration issues (i.e., no matter how much you think you know, you'll get something wrong, and the system won't ever be completely stable). Plus, there's the argument that a big company like Dell or Gateway can buy in mass bulk and thus get individual components much cheaper than a private builder, thus driving down the cost of the system exponentially.

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