The routine of semi-daily posts can be tedious, but I’ve found that the relapse of the lack thereof can be just as sharp.
Be it routine or occasional, strenuous or casual, tiresome or elating – It all has a lasting impact on every one of us. Work done properly, not lazily or without care, creates an inner regimen within us that fuels the expectation of its quality and arrival. In short, a relapse can happen when that regimen is cut. The recent break in posts was not intended to be as long as it was, but due to family and life circumstances – it got drawn out to the point it was. It seems near weekly that I hear “You can’t fully appreciate something until it’s gone” or “You can’t really know what you want until you have it, then loose it.” and to a certain point I agree – I also find it completely ludicrous in principle and in practice.
The very notion that loss excretes value undermines the fabric of value itself. It’s as if value is an inverse property of existence itself – which again, is ludicrous. Regardless of the circumstances, it was this immediate halt to posts and all work on the website that made me not only value what I had, but what I didn’t have. I found a greater value in the time I spent with my family and even that which I dedicated to my own personal health that I never had before.
In short, I’M BACK BABY! Back and rearin’ to go!
Next Post: My Battle with Health, Time Management, and Family Dedication
As They Say, With the New Year Comes A New Me – Why Not A New PC?
Christmas is around the corner, and that nice bundle of cash you got seems to be burning a hole in your pocket. It’s the perfect opportunity, but where do you start? If you are anything like me, you don’t have much. We’ll look at lower spec parts you can easily find. You probably won’t be able to use VR or super high graphics in the newer games, but they’ll be playable. Also, you’ll always be able to upgrade in the future if needed without replacing too much.
Firstly, I like to start off with a CPU and mobo combo. Because we want to save money, we might want to go with AMD Ryzen chips. As of now, the Ryzen 3 1300X is $125, or an Intel alternative (the i3 8100) is at $126. As for a motherboard, an AM4 socket board (Ryzen’s required socket) at its cheapest, is about $50 dollars.
The ASRock – A320M-DGS has all you need, 2 DDR4 RAM slots, an AM4 socket, a USB 3.0 header, and plenty of SATA plug-ins for multiple drives if wanted. Though if you decided to go the blue route, the MSI – Z370 GAMING PLUS is the cheapest MoBo for the i3-8100 I could find at $115 and has all the necessary features but a different form factor.
Now comes RAM. Crucial – Ballistix Sport LT 8GB should be enough, but at a slight price of $88. Other RAM can really only go higher unless you decide to go with 4gb (which is a death sentence for most games’ performance). Storage is simple and cheap, with a single 1TB hard drive ($50) by Western Digital. If you want blazing fast speeds for boot time, you can shell out the extra cash for an SSD, which are substantially faster. At the moment, GPU prices are through the roof. We can go with a 1050ti Mini from Zotac at $220, but there are other, better cards, out there. With the current prices however, that’s what you are going to want on a budget to play anything relatively new.
For a case,
we can go with a Deepcool Tesseract for $40. This case has plenty of drive bays and cable management space, plus USB 3 on the front panel. To bring the physical parts of the PC to a close, an EVGA BT 450 watt 80+ bronze power supply at $22.
Your desired operating system will affect the price some, but I will not include it. You can find Windows keys for as little as $20-$40 in various places on the internet, or you could possibly use a key from an old PC or laptop you had. I cannot guarantee that will work, but it did for me. You can also use one of the various versions of Linux, which is free. There are video tutorials on how to install operating systems all over youtube. So in all, the blue route comes to roughly $660 where as the AMD route costs roughly $590. You can find tutorials on how to build your own PC on just about every tech channel on youtube as well.
Genres, Play-Styles, Categories
How does one even begin to group any two games together when the larger purpose of a game is to build it’s own space within the industry?
When I first got into gaming, it was very obvious (for better and worse) what kind of game you were playing, how you were meant to progress through the game, and what your moment-by-moment objective was. However, it seems like the current gaming landscape has thrown that completely out the window. Now we have terms like MMORPG, RPGFPS, and INDIE in the past typically meant low-budget, low-quality, typically single person self-made games – now we have games like Subnautica that sell for $25 and is widely regarded as a “AAA equivalent game”.
To address the first obvious rebuttal, YES there are still PLENTY of indie titles that most definitely do more harm to the developer’s rapport in the industry than shine a light on the truly amazing people and talents that are required to create an amazing game (developers/artists/designers/etc). This blog post is not intended to exclude the titles that are so exhaustively genre-locked its community quickly shrivels and dies shortly after release, games that are so genre-deprived that nobody can tell how to play the game thus it consequently suffers the same fate, or even the seemingly increasing number of crowd-backed efforts that aim for the moon and never get off dry land. Unfortunately, these cases are very predictable, easily definable, and constantly repeating.
Two Weeks Later …
So it’s been roughly two weeks since the start of this blog and two things have become extremely evident in that time
– There is WAY more to this topic than I have the skill to convey in this medium
– This topic would be much better served as either an audio log or a discussion video.
Moving Forward …
We are new to this. I love writing and I love telling my experiences in the best medium they suit. However, this is not an exact process and many times my vision is bigger than my reality.
Because this is a shorter post and our prior post being delayed due to back-end configuration errors, if everything goes right, this will have been released on Saturday the 10th and either an audio log or video discussion will release Wednesday the 14th. In either release case, an editor’s note will be added to the end of this release with the content embedded.
Creativity is both a joy and a burden to those it beckons to it’s incessant call. It is both the Beast and the Beauty of every artist, designer, and creative’s life … and yes, blogger’s suffer the same fate. However, like the roommate one can neither live nor live without, we creatives have come to accept it – and the truly great learn to rely on it. As time goes by, so will my skill, experience, and overall immersion in the various industries I find myself already saturated in … rise to meet the match I have thrust myself into. I suspect that common practices like referencing famous authors, quoting notable quotes, and phrasing to sustain the most abstinent onlooker. As I was working on the blog that was supposed to go out this week, I found myself have more than one “typical” problem for a creative – so I thought it would be at least equally creative to talk about how I talk explain my thought process on posts, blogs, and written content in general.
FIRSTLY – FORMATTING AND STYLE
This is not something I take lightly, especially here due to its purely visual aesthetic. To elaborate – Formatting and Style are the way a reader/consumer consumer of any content ingests their medium. A reader of a newspaper, book, or blog should be able to skim a page of their desired medium and be able to find their exact piece of information they were searching for just as a viewer of an A/V-based medium such as YouTube or Twitch relies on smooth playback, clear audio, and relatively decent quality. Titles and section headers must be of the proper size and boldness to break-up each topic and in-turn make it easier for the consumer to navigate to their desired content.
SECONDLY – PHRASING AND WORD CHOICE
Honestly, this section is less about how I say it versus that it is said the importance of it being said at all. Phrasing and word choice is basically a ‘fancy’ way to say we all speak differently and this must be accounted for in the physical medium. We don’t truly consider the way we speak every day unless someone says “I don’t understand” or “Say again?” in which case only then will we rephrase what was said. In the physical medium, this is not possible. There are no re-takes, no extra clarification – everything is a one-take, first impression only event. It is imperative that we bloggers, writers, editors, and reviewers alike much be certain of how we speak, look, and sound on our physical mediums.
FINALLY – TOPICS, FREQUENCY, AND AUDIENCE
In order to take a more subjective approach to our posts and blogs, these three items should be regarded as a scope of coverage rather than an exact metric of choice and direction. Here at The Hub (NFN for short … NinetyFour.Net), we do not play favorites, our “angle” is only that of our own personal perspective, topics are chosen only when and what we (as a team or individually) want to personally cover, we post when we have a topic we want to talk about, and we write to anybody that cares enough to listen.
As y’all know, it takes a LOT for me to “bite the bullet” and get new hardware. For those of you new to this specific upgrade, allow me to provide some context.
A few months beyond Microsoft’s free upgrades to Windows 10, March to be specific, I had started having some serious performance hits in everything from daily tasks like Chrome/Firefox to even the mid-intensity games that I play such as Minecraft and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. I recognize that I do not have the most powerful machine (FX 6300 / 12GB RAM / MSI GTX 960 4GB), but when you can measure a 15 to 30 percent rise in overall CPU & RAM usage … you know something’s wrong. After I installed a clean image of Windows 10 Pro (same version I had before), performance was the best it had ever been. In fact, I’d even venture to say the performance improved by roughly 10 percent even disregarding the 30 percent hit I had pre-install.
For the sake of scale and impact of this change, I should let you guys know that this has now become a regular procedure for me every three to six months and the results have been the same every time – up to thirty percent worse than average pre-install and roughly 10 percent better-than-average performance post-install.
Getting back to the original topic of new hardware, let me explain what the full plan and reasoning for the hard drive and case are.
Thanks to the wonders of all those Windows re-installs, I now have five hard drives with a max size of 3TB that have just been sitting since that very first install in march (video blog at bottom of post). I would estimate the total of all five drives in storage to be at 5TB. The size of the recoverable data is uncertain (frankly, I’m uncertain if I even CAN recover it), but I can also estimate that anywhere from 250GB – 1TB per hard drive (dependent on the size of each hard drive) will be used just for my Steam library and, seeing as the install error which caused this happened many times thus causing the drive storage, 25% of all remaining used storage will be duplicate information.
Therefore, I would expect 2-3TB of final recovered and non-duplicate data to be reasonable. This means the 4TB Seagate hard drive I ordered will still have plenty of space to transfer and manage everything I need. It may get a bit full, but I’ll have a 5TB of newly cleared drives when the project is done.
Finally, we get to the case (left) – my old, full tower, four door of a monster … computer case. First let me take y’all back, way back to the turn of the decade. Back in my age of parent-bought computers, I started with an Acer desktop (middle). It was nothing spectacular, but it was solid enough to run two monitors and light gaming. From there I may have done some minor upgrades, but the next major one I remember was when I moved everything (and possibly upgraded) into a CoolerMaster HAF case (something like the one shown right).
From there, I made the most novice of mistakes one can make – especially for a case with more mesh than swiss cheese has holes! Apparently electronics don’t like green tea, which was my main drink at the time, haha!
After the whole fiasco with the CoolerMaster HAF case, I figured it was time for a case that couldn’t be killed from a spillage. The case I finally went with was the CFI A7007 (left). It was the perfect tinkerer’s case due to it’s two panels and two hinged-doors. I’ve had to reinstall Windows 10 Pro roughly every three to six months for nearly a year now and having those doors to quickly detach all non-boot hard drives made this process a LOT easier to manage and definitely less stress inducing.
However, all good things have their time and I kept coming back to the one BIG drawback of the case – it’s size. Standard case sizes vary in their shape and total volume, but the nomenclature goes mITX -> mATX -> ATX – EATX for the size of the motherboard which traditionally translates into SFF/ITX -> mATX -> Mid Tower -> Full Tower for the size of the case. If ITX is close to a shoe-box, then Full Tower would be a small foot-locker – this was the CFI.
I am now proud to say, I have upgraded to the Phanteks Eclipse Series P400S Silent Edition (right) and have no hesitancy about the choice! The build quality is solid, it is very easy to work with, and the cable management of velcro straps should be standard in every case in my opinion. For $65 at the time of purchase, I would pit it against cases even at the $100 mark. Overall, I would say this case is only topped by another case in its own lineup which has tempered glass and integrated RGB lighting which is very tasteful in my opinion (currently at $60) – Phanteks Eclipse
WINDOWS 10 SUCKS (and Dad took a trip) – March Vlog
As you guys have (hopefully) seen, some major updates have been happening on this site! There will be some pretty phenomenal announcements happening pretty soon, but for now I want to draw your attention to my Twitch Page on my website here and on Twitch itself.
In short, the support section has been updated to include two new amazon wishlists and I have created a new profile picture! I would like to make the info section on the page here a bit more robust, but I am not sure exactly how to do that. If you guys have any ideas, please feel free to tweet me or ” @NinetyFour ” me on discord!
If you’ve been following on Discord, Twitter, Youtube, or especially TwitchTV , you know of the struggles that Frankenstein (my current rig) is having major issues keeping up with the task of being a single-pc stream machine. Frankly, I expect that Frankenstein will no longer be up to this task sometime within the next year. It is for that reason That I have now inducted a tip-goal to meet this need.
You guys know me, I don’t ask something for nothing. Lately, I’ve been streaming every day and the few days that I didn’t do a live stream – work was being done on this website! In further efforts to pick parts that won’t waste any money and is still possible to do what we need it to do, we will be doing this in a stretch-goal format! What this means is that our BASE BUILDwill be the absolute minimum we need without sacrificing quality, stability, or any future-proofing in relation to what I expect the hardware to ever be needed to do. All builds will focus on using Frankenstein as the streaming rig and this new build (Penguin) as the Gaming/Rendering rig.
The Base Build presumes we will be reusing the current gpu I have (MSI GTX 960 4GB) in Penguin. This also requires getting a capture card to put in Frankenstein, which will be moved into the case from the base build and Penguin will exist in my current full-tower case (CFI) until we can upgrade it to the Silverstone PM01-RGB case (Stretch Goal #4). All of the other stretch goals are there to avoid needing them in the future. There will be a future post where I will outline rewards for meeting the initial build goal and each consecutive stretch goal.
So yeah.. I’m most likely sick. We’ll see how I feel, but needless to say that tonight’s stream is in limbo.
Lots of updates to happen at the pre-show for sure. I love talking with you guys and I’m so glad I found a way to do these posts on my phone.
The games I am thinking of doing for today is either The Long Dark or Subnautica. Tonight is definitely going to be a chill livestream, but I’m not sure what we would do in Subnautica. I still need to figure out where to find all the stuff we need. Any ideas? Regarding the loyalty points system, apologies again for the weird nature of it on last night’s stream. For now, everything has been increasing. Cool down and cost of each item as well. With our goal of a new streaming machine and with all of the new changes to the overlays, I wanted to make sure that subscribers, donators, and long time viewers all get properly rewarded. I will try to account better for the massive amount of time that you’re going to have been accumulating point, but this does not detract from the end goal of this being a reward system and not a noise generator on the broadcast.
All in all, I look forward to what the broadcast holds and what we create in the future! Be sure to keep updated on the Discord and everywhere else!
I just wanted to let you guys know exactly how to use this site and what it’s going to be used for!
If you look at the menu above, every major social media platform that I am on – is up there. Be it a simple discord integration so we recieve alerts in #Announcements on the discord server (which is public and everyone can join in “read-only” mode), or even something as complicated as YouTube/Twitch integrations. It’s there.
When I am live on my TwitchTV Channel, you will see the following alert on the website. Clicking it will take you to the channel itself, Neat!
All in all guys, the setup should be pretty straight-foward with more features coming! (I.E. Social Media logins & comments … partly functioning now)