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7:56 PM on 09.08.2011

Labor Day: Dodging a Minefield

This story starts not too far away, in a tme not so long ago. More precisely, it started in my living room about a month ago, when my computer decided to take a massive shit, or so I thought.

I started having graphics issues at boot up, and intermittently while running programs the screen would just go black for a few seconds, and sometimes the computer would turn itself off after a few seconds of blackity blackness.

Since I'm a huge minesweeper fan (yes I said minesweeper, not minecraft), this just wasn't going to do. I mean hell, I'm on a strict time limit here to find all these mines. So I did what every self respecting tech-savvy minefinder would do, I spent a shitload of money and got a new graphics card.

Got my new card, threw out the old one. Boot up, bios, post, you know the drill. Then windows starts to load and my stupid machine reboots itself over and over and over and over and over and over agin. Doesn't it know I just spent a bunch of monry on it?? So I take out my pretty new card and put my old one back in, making sure that everything was right, and it worked fine. Like nothing ever happened. For about an hour. Then my screen gets all these lines going across it and my unit turns itself off again, and from that point on, until today it hasn't booted. At all. Zilch. No minesweeper for me.

So I starting troubleshooting every way I could think of. I'm talking hammers, hacksaws, cutting torches, the whole shebang. You name it I tried it. After consulting with several forums and several phonecalls to techies more savvy than myself, and with as little real legwork as possible, I determined that for some reason my pci-e slots must not be working right, so I should replace the mobo. Whatever the fuck mobo means.

So I started saving money, because if I'm going to upgrade anything I'm going to do it right. I went all out. Got an intel I7, new gigabyte board with built in bluetooth ,120GB ssd, 16GB of DDR3, some new case fans, just cause one of the leds was out on my old one, and a nice new pretty keyboard and mouse combo. Spent a fortune basically rebuilding my rig. Even chipped in the extra 30 bucks for next day shipping. My problems are almost over, finally I can get back to minesweeper.

I wake up the next day like it was christmas. At the crack of noon, I run to the door in my jammies and fuzzy slippers, and there it is, my package from newegg. I rip off all the tape and start throwing packing paper everywhere. And as I'm shredding plastic wrappers off of all these new toys my girlfriend is looking at me like I'm crazy.

Time to go to work. Disconnect everything. Take out the old mobo. Throw it out a window into traffic. Here I go with me new board, carefully, lovingly screw down the board and seat the cpu and fan. RAM, check. Connect all the wires to all my shit, check. But wait there's a problem. My dvd drives are IDE and my micro ATX board only has SATA slots. Oh well I'll deal with that later. Four hard drives, check. Graphics card, check. HDMI cable check. Here we go. Time to fire this baby up.

I excitedly hit the power button and wait. Wow, look at that pretty new splash screen. Here comes the post. Waiting. Waiting. Waiting. Waiting. Waiting. Waiting. Waiting. Unable to load operating system? I'm sorry what? I think to myself, ok its no biggie, just check my hdds and make sure they're all connected right. Ok here I go again, back into the chasmly depths of my computer case, make sure everything is nice and secure and try it again.

This time I'm smart, I boot into bios and start checking out my hard drives. Everything seems right. So I hit F10 and reboot. And there it is. My wonderful windows 7 splash screen, and then the unthinkable happens. I start seeing red lines going across the screen and then just blackness. WTF'#!#$%=$#!<#$%!!!!!!! After repeated boot loops and black screens of nothingness and even a few sporatic successful bootups I'm fed up with it. At this point I am ready to rip my hair out and smash the thing with a bat.

Power down. Take the HDMI cord out of the gpu. Plug it into the onboard. Power up. Splash post. Unable to load operating sytem. Bang around in the bios. Reboot. Now my rig starts bootlooping and I am going completely crazy. So I decide to just say fuck it, I'll take it to a shop and let them deal with this sorry piece of garbage. I can't figure anything out.

So my rig is just sitting there for a few days and I decide to put my unused HDMI to better use in my bedroom so I can move my ps3 back and forth easily. When I turn on my ps3 to play minesweepers I notice something funny. After a few seconds. I got these red lines going across the screen and then it went black. Holy mother of gof!!!! What in the world is going on here. Seems like in all my feeble attempts at troubleshooting my old rig, I never once did I check the HDMI cable.

So that solves that problem and makes me feel like an royal idiot. Now how to get my windows 7 to boot up right. I go back to the rig and start messing with the bios. What I failed to notice earlier is that one of my four drives, intermittently was not showing up in the bios. I'm thinking to myself hopefully it isn't my boot drive. So I power down and unplug everything. Checking the drives one by one to see if any of them will boot. Hoping and praying, which is unusual for me, due to my staunch atheist beliefs. But I'll leave that for another blog.

So through the process of elimination I determined which hdd was failing, and luckily it wasn't my boot drive. So when I ripped that fucker out I saw a shining light coming from the heavens and angels singing holy reverie. I knew my problems were almost over, and I could finally get back to my minesweeper.

I hit the power button and with great joyousness and singing of angels it booted up without a hitch, glitch, or even a hiccup. But then there's still the issue of the dvdrom and the need to install drivers for all my new gear. After much deliberation and head scratching, I figured out how to download a couple of necessary drivers onto a flash drive from my ps3, and I can get the rest later.

My problems have all been solved. I can finally get back to beating my time on minesweeper. If I had been smart and checked the simplest of things like the HDMI cable for starters, and checked my hdds for errors, I would never had had this headache and wouldn't be out almost $2000. But now I have two perfectly good gaming rigs to sweep mines with. Maybe in a month or so I'll try my hand at different types of games, since I've got a pretty beastly system. I hear that Modern Battlefield Warfare 3 is coming out. Supposed to be good so I might check that out. And I also hear that there's gonna be an FPSMMORPGRTS version of minesweeper coming out on steam sometime soon.   read

7:44 AM on 09.01.2011

improvements: if i were in charge

I'm fairly new here at dtoid, but it has occured to me that, as awesome as this whole thing is, there is definitely room for improvements. It is my humble opinion that for dtoid to be a truely successful forum certain things are necessary.

First, there needs to be more kittens. What interweb dweller doesn't love an overabundance of lawlcats covering every square inch of the page.

Next I would format the page for enhanced viewing on 3d hdtvs. The future is now, get with the program guys.

Also you should put a lot of ads on your page. So many corporate sponsored ads in fact that would make your pages innavigable. Just make it so that ads pop up every time another one is closed. That's where the money is at.

Perhaps you should open up the front page with a comment section pitting heavy metal atheists against religious justin bieber fans. There is nothing more delightful than an obnoxious spamwar.

And since this is a gaming community, maybe you should incorporte games, like farmville, mafiawars, and the one where you buy your besties a beer.

Furthermore I feel like this site should include lots of scantily clad or even nude persons of the female kind. Perhaps some cosplay or cgi porn. Can't go wrong with nudity.

Maybe you could post links to warez and torrents so we can all stop paying for all the games we play, but that's just a suggestion.

In summation, there is a lot of changes that I would make to destructoid as a whole, but then again that's probably why I'm not running it.   read

5:25 AM on 08.23.2011

Being social: or the death of your friends

Despite the shift in recent years of competitive and cooperative multiplayer gaming becoming an online only world, the social aspect of gaming has all but dwindled. Especially with the advent of Activision's Call of Duty Elite, and EA's facebook-esque battlelog, gaming is become more and more about social networking and friends making.

But wasn't there a simpler time? Do any of you remember riding your bike to your buddy's house to get your asses kicked at starfox or goldeneye? Do any of you remember the joy of saving up your allowance to replace your other controller that your dog chewed to shit, just so you and your bro could save the world from communists in Contra?

I remember a time far simpler, when friends lists, circles, and networks were built upon neighborhood kids, school buddies, and older nerdy church friends who shared common interest in this ever evolving digital front. But somewhere between Pong, Super Mario, or Street Fighter and the modern day titles such as Call of Duty, Madden, or Dance Central, our priorities have shifted. Priorities that kept two boys bound forever as bros has degraded into an editable list of "friends" that may change with the tide.

Sometimes I see people playing a game three days after its been released and they've almost completely maxed out and leveled up their character. Then six months or a year later, when I finally get to hit the pretige button, I wonder what kind of social life those super gamers have. I start to feel a little bit sad for them. I know that sounds bad, but its true.

The majority of my game time is spent alongside my children, my girlfriend, or one of the few people I call my best friends. I'll admit, because I work a graveyard shift a good bit of my gametime is spent alone in the early hours of the morning before I wake my children for school. But I thoroughly enjoy when I can fit gametime into family time. I also think its a healthy way for children and parents to bond at times. I'm no scientist and can't prove that statement by any means. But I know its true because I see it on a day to day basis.

I really enjoy when me and my real life buddies rape the opposition like a true unitarian force to be reckoned with. Then when we engage in real life activities and we have real life social interaction. Not some ever changing list of friends, clan members, and guildies, bound only by three or four meaningless clan tag digits. We wreck foes together, we work together, we bbq and drink beer on sundays together, and our kids have sleepovers together. We get in trouble together and share each others burdens.

I know this sounds like a tyranical rant against online multiplayer, but it isn't. Its more of a message to fellow gamers to realize the very important difference between social gaming network friends and friends. And family. Our focus as gamers needs to shift from in-game relationships to real world relationships with a fair balance of gaming as entertainment, rather than lifestyle. Play with your kids, play with your parents. Go to the motherfuckin Lan Arena with some buddies and beast the shit outta the guys on the next couch.

There is more to life than anything EA, Activision, THQ, or nintendo can give you. Carpe Fuckin Diem.   read

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