Thursday, January 17, 2013

[News] PC Gaming From Your Couch

Playing PC games from your couch isn't a new idea.  It's been done and done again.  But doing it usually requires some really awkward setup that in my opinion turns out to be really uncomfortable compared to just sitting at your desk.  A company named Nerdytec is here to solve that with a very interesting product, the Couchmaster.  If nothing else they are nerdy for calling it the Couchmaster.

At first thought of a product that will so called allow you to game from your couch, I thought gimmicky.  But after a closer look this thing is really a good idea.  Basically this thing acts a workstation that sits on your couch.  You'll be able to sit your keyboard, mouse, and some extra peripherals.  It will fit on virtually any sofa, couch, or love seat.  You could also use this on a regular single person chair also.  You just ditch the provided arm rest included and sit the main board on the arms of your living room chair.

The Couchmaster also provides some very excellent cable management too.  Once you have it put all together, the whole setup looks really clean.  All the wires are routed through Couchmaster and its internal cable space.  It reminds me of those office desks where you drop all the wires down through those round holes on the top then run them down to the actual computer.

The Couchmaster is a bit on the bulky side when used with the side pieces.  From look at the pictures it appears to take up at least another person worth of space on your couch.  I'm guessing this would be great if your living in swaggy bachelor pad or whatever situation where sitting room isn't as important.  But I can't see this being as useful in the family setting though.  I'm sure the wife wouldn't appreciate being told to go sit somewhere else while your Couchmaster is sitting in her spot.  Your call.

It has a MSRP of 159 euros or about 212 U.S. dollars.  Do keep in mind that the site appears to based in Europe, so I don't know how this will affect shipping times to the U.S.  Go check these guys out Nerdytec.

From the Nerdytec Site:
This handmade system of fine imitation leather will give you the most convinient way to control your pc directly from your couch.  The Couchmaster is a perfect support equipment for long gaming sessions or for ergonomic working on your living room TV.  Due of the big support cushions your forearms are supported optimally. The integrated USB 3.0 hub provides connections for up to 4 input devices (eg mouse, keyboard, headset, etc..).  The latest chip technology makes it also possible to operate the
entire system without extra power.  The delivered 5m active USB 3.0 cable connects the Couchmaster directly with your PC.  We tested a distance up to 10 meters!  (Possible by an additional 5m extension cable. Optionally available in our shop)
  • Integrated USB 3.0 Hub (max 900mA), no extra power needed, four ports
  • 5 meter active cable extension (expandable to 10 meter)
  • Ergonomic design made in germany
  • Universal use with different peripherals
  • Internal, practical cable management
  • Also ideal for the laptop use
  • Removable heel of hand  cushions
  • Practical mouse protecion pocket
  • Sidebag to store even more gaming tools
  • Plug and Play

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

[Hardware] January Gaming PC Build Guide ~$1000

Here's the January build guide.  I chose AMD for this build because after going through tons of websites, forums, and videos, I've come to the personal conclusion that side by side that you will not see a difference in gaming.  With that being said, that makes the AMD a very good bang for your buck buy.  Check the video out and leave your questions or comments below.

PCPartPicker part list
Price breakdown by merchant
  • CPU: AMD FX-8350 4.0GHz 8-Core Processor  ($189.99 @ NCIX US)
  • CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler  ($29.98 @ Amazon)
  • Motherboard: ASRock 970 Extreme3 ATX  AM3+ Motherboard  ($89.99 @ SuperBiiz)
  • Memory: Patriot Viper 3 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory  ($36.99 @ Newegg)
  • Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive  ($64.99 @ NCIX US)
  • Storage: Samsung 840 Series 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk  ($98.97 @ Amazon)
  • Video Card: MSI Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition 2GB Video Card  ($244.99 @ SuperBiiz)
  • Case: Cooler Master HAF 912 ATX Mid Tower Case  ($51.52 @ NCIX US)
  • Power Supply: Corsair Builder 500W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V Power Supply  ($51.98 @ Newegg)
  • Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer  ($22.98 @ Newegg)
Total: $902.38

(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-01-16 10:55 EST-0500)

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

[News] Ethiopian Kids Hack Motorola Zooms

Taken from
When I first saw this story I was truly amazed by these kids and it showed the natural knowledge humans posses but probably don't use most of the time.  The story goes something like this.  There was a project called One Laptop Per Child.  They basically gave Motorola Zoom tablet PCs to Ethiopian kids.  These kids have no education and are illiterate.  To make things a little strange they delivered the Zooms in taped up boxes without any writing on them at all.  No person to explain these boxes either.  Within four minutes they opened the boxes.  Okay, I can give them the curiosity angle.  But get this, within five days they not only were using the devices but using nearly 50 applications each day per tablet.  Wow!  Now that sounds crazy considering these kids cannot read, write or speak English.  (The tablets displayed in the English language.)  Next the kids were singing the ABC song in English within two weeks.  If that doesn't amaze you enough, here's the absolute tastiest icing on the cake.  By month 5 of using the tablets, they had hacked the tablets sufficiently enough to enable the built-in cameras that were disabled by administrators.  If that's not impressive to you then nothing is.

Here in the United States we have a growing education problem, drop out rate, and disregard of learning in general.  But these kids not only succeeded in learning a language many Americans can't seem to master but taught it to themselves in a matter of months while at the same time digging into the insides of a unknown technology which is something that Ethiopia has zero of.  Moral of the story?  Us Americans have our work cut out for us if we plan to continue being a super power in the world.

Sources: [Hacker News] [Dvice]