New website Reactor-Core.com

8 08 2012

Greetings, I would like redirect viewers to my new website http://www.reactor-core.com. I will not be updating this blog in the foreseeable future.  The new website will contain the same content, computer modding, tech./game info and reviews among other things.

Hope to see you there…





Steve Jobs’ private funeral is reported taking place today, Friday

7 10 2011
Steve Jobs, 1955 - 2011

Steve Jobs, 1955 - 2011

Apple CEO Tim Cook said that Apple is ”planning a celebration of Steve’s extraordinary life” for employees to attend at a later date.

Rest in Peace Steve, Your soul shines on though your inventions.





It’s been 35 years!?! No joke!

1 04 2011
Original Newton Apple Logo

Original Apple logo drawn by co-founder Ron Wayne.

35 year ago today Apple Computer was created to sell “personal computers.” Three people formed apple, Steve Wozniak, Steve Jobs and Ronald Wayne. Thanks guys have been enjoying Apple’s creations for 17 years now myself.

For more Apple History check out The Apple Museum

(Image: Original Apple logo drawn by then co-founder Ron Wayne.)





Can I run Rift MMO game on my Mac? Why yes Timmy, you can!

22 02 2011
Play Rift on your Mac

Play Rift on your Mac

K, just a headsup for all you Mac users out there asking about possibly playing Rift. Yes there does seem to be a fair amount of interest at least from what I see on the gaming forums about this. Trion makers of the MMO Rift currently do not have a Mac OS version planned but I remember reading somewhere they will reconsider sometime in the future maybe.

So what’s the best way to enjoy Rift on your Mac. Very simple, install Boot Camp which comes with every Intel/Leopard Mac system. Here are my quick steps to get Rift playing within an hour or two on yer Mac. You’ll also need a install disk of Windows, Windows 7 should offer you the best compatible experience.

Step 1. Go into your utilities folder and fire up Boot Camp Assistant.

Step 2. Go through the steps to partition your drive, I would recommend maybe a couple of hundred gigs, come’on everyone has terabyte drives now and you know yer gonna install tons more games anyway ;)

Step 3. Boot Camp will partition your disk and ask for a Windows install disk, I used Win. 7 Ultimate.

Step 4. You’ll go through the whole Win. 7 system install process,  installing drivers etc. and probably will need to do a few restarts too. If you accidentally boot into Mac OS just do a shutdown and boot up with your option key which lets you select which OS you want to use.

Step 5. If all goes well you should be running Windows flavored OS on your Mac now. If you have any problems this page will probably help you: http://klauskjeldsen.dk/boot-camp-imac-error-fix-black-screen/

Step 6. Now that you’re all good, go to Trion’s site to grab a copy of Rift, riftgame.com, set up an account, install Rift and splatter dah cybermatter :)

My overall experience playing Rift on my iMac via Boot Camp and Win. 7 is pretty damn sweet. I’m running Rift on an iMac 27″, i5, 4GB RAM, 4850/512MB ATi, via Boot Camp and Win. 7 Ultimate. I grinded through beta 7 with no problems to speak of. I have built my share of “Gaming PCs” too boot and this is pretty much the same. On the plus side I don’t have to have two puter rigs hogging up my desk now. I was getting around 40fps with various medium video settings and around 100ms latency coming from the So. Cal. area.

If your looking for a more in-depth Boot Camp install guide take a gander at: http://gizmodo.com/#!5387353/how-to-survive-boot-camp-and-run-win-7-on-a-mac

So there you go, hope to see all you MacHeads turning into RiftHeads :)





Low Mac FPS issues with WoW 4.01 update and possible fix

18 10 2010

Low Mac FPS issues with WoW 4.01 update and possible fix

I have been out of playing WoW for close to 4 months and heard recently of Warcraft being updated to 4.01 which includes new graphics, talent trees and other pre Cataclysm goodness.

So I renewed my WoW account,  installed the huge 4.01 update and jumped back into the World of Warcraft. When I first logged in I was very disappointed to find my frame rates on my i5Mac dropped from upwards of 150fps to anywhere from 5 to 30fps. Certain areas like major towns and Dalaran were almost unplayable due to graphics lag and low frame rates. I dumped all my addons, trashed the config/WTF files etc. all to no avail.

Apparently this has affected a wide variety of Mac WoW gamers.

What worked for me…
I basically did two things.
1. Launch WoW and go into ingame video settings and disable Sunshafts and set Liquid Detail to Low.

2. While in game type “/console SET gxAPI OpenGL” and hit return, exit WOW, login again and the fix will be in effect, or you can open the Config.wtf file with TextEdit and add a new line at the end of the file, type: SET gxAPI “OpenGL”

By making the above simple changes I went from 20-ish fps to upwards of 60 to 160 fps! My set-up is an iMac 27-inch i5, 4GB RAM and ATi 4850 512MB graphics card.

So i’m back to normal with regards to very playable frame rates, now, anyone have a good rotation for an Arcane Mage and Frost DK? Lol, playing WoW with the new update and overhauled talent trees feels like I’m kinda staring all over again. At least I hope this helps anyone who might be having crappy frame rates.





Secrets of Steve Jobs’ Success [Exclusive Interview]

14 10 2010

There is an excellent interview over at Cult of Mac with John Sculley by Leander Kahney talking about the ‘Secrets of Steve Jobs’ Success’ and other insights. Check it out it’s a great read.

Steve Jobs and John Sculley circa. 1984





Apple to Roar on Oct. 20 and sink it’s teeth in new version of Mac OS X 10.7

13 10 2010

 

Apple to Roar on Oct. 20 and sink it's teeth in new version of Mac OS X 10.7

Apple to Roar on Oct. 20 and sink it's teeth in new version of Mac OS X 10.7

 

Apple announced a special media event for Oct. 20 which states “Come see what’s new for the Mac on October 20, including and sneak peek of the next major version of Mac OS X. More details to come on Oct. 20 at www. apple.com

There are also rumors of new iLife updates and product announcements too. I am looking forward to bring some needed focus back to the ‘ol Mac OS for a bit and hopefully other related news, check back for more updates, news and views on this event ;)





Mini-Review: Onlive gaming service for Macs and PCs ditches monthly subscription fees

6 10 2010

What is Onlive?
If you’re not familiar with Onlive’s gaming service it’s basically a cloud computer gaming service. If you have a Mac running OS X 10.6 or a PC running a recent Windows flavor you can create an account for free and play a multitude of games all without downloading or installing the actual games onto your hard drive. Onlive originally had planned to offer their gaming service for around $15 buck per month plus game prices but announced yesterday there will be no monthly fee to play games using the Onlive service. You will still have to purchase games you want to play with several options available. Many games offer a free timed demo, discounted 3 to 5-day game-play passes or full purchases of the games for unlimited play. Onlive even offers a very interesting feature of letting you become a game voyeur allowing to watch other gamers in which you can gage if the game perks your interest or even pick up some playing style tips from them as well.

My Onlive test drive
I signed up, downloaded a small 10MB app and ran some games in demo mode on my iMac i5 and was pleasantly impressed with how fast I could access the games with lag-less game play and quality of the graphics and sound overall. You basically play the game in HD, 720p so you’re not gonna get, in my case, true 2560 x 1,440 resolution but very excellent graphics considering you are essentially streaming the entire game. My whole Onlive experience was pretty much flawless with nothing stalling or delaying me from getting to the games with regards to my initial registering and clicking on a game to play.

This opens up the doors to many wanna-be gamers or budget students whose computer systems are simply lacking in processor power, a pixel-crunching graphics card or limited storage space. I have heard some netbook users having a pretty good experience as well. Currently they offer close to 30 game titles with more being added soon and titles are varied including titles like: Assassin’s Creed II, Borderlands, Darksiders, Batman: Arkham Asylum, F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin, NBA 2K11 just to name a few.

Overall
I think Onlive offers a great service giving budget or wanna-be gamers a pretty easy way to test and play a variety of games on their non-gaming and gaming systems. I think it also gives hardcore gamers a sweet avenue to easily squeeze in more game time without having to download demos or trek down to a store. It also seems like Onlive is sincerely listening to gamers who are using their service and striving to accommodate their requests which is always welcome.

So there’s really not to much stopping any potential gamers out there from checking it out and getting their game on.

Mini-Review: Onlive Mac and PC gaming service


Mini-Review: Onlive Mac and PC gaming service 5 out of 5 stars
Product:
Onlive.com gaming service
Version:
Small 10MB App. download to play all the games, version: 246.61376
Cost: Service is free, you just pay for the games you want play
My take: "Drop dead easy way to get your game on!" -RiscX
Onlive login screen

Onlive login screen

Onlive sceen in spectator mode view gamer playing Mafia II

Onlive sceen in spectator mode view gamer playing Mafia II

Onlive screen shot in spectator mode watching a gamer playing Mafia II

Onlive screen shot in spectator mode watching a gamer playing Mafia II





Mini-Review: FocusWriter, a theme-able unique text editor

1 10 2010

Sometimes you come across an app which makes you really enjoy using your computer. This is one of those apps; FocusWriter.

I recently ran across what I think is a really cool writing app for students, writers and others looking for a rather light text editor with some rather nifty features. FocusWriter is described as: a fullscreen, distraction-free word processor designed to immerse you as much as possible in your work. The application’s window can be themed and includes some nice little features not found in most other text editors.

FocusWriter autosaves your writing progress, and reloads the last files you had open to make it easy to jump back in during your next writing session. Some of the other features I think are really nice are a hiding toolbar and live stats bar. You can even “Theme” it to your liking with custom color schemes and even use your own images as backgrounds to get you really immersed in what you are writing.

I’m using FocusWriter 1.3.0 for Mac OS X 10.6.4 on an iMac i5 system and it runs smoother than butter. I find it fairly light, sits around 45MB installed and just a tad heavier on system memory compared to TextEdit which is saying a lot for all the features it has. They have a Windows version and a few Linux packages as well.

Even though FocusWriter is called a word processor I feel it’s more in line of a really nice text editor to be precise. Some other features I would have liked to see are more font control, stylization of text and drag and drop capabilities, both onto the app icon and adding files into the document window itself. Then again those might cause distractions and add to unnecessary bloat to what is otherwise a simple, unique beautiful text editor. I like it so much i’m going to replace my ‘ol TextEdit writing app with this one.

Mini-Review: FocusWriter


Mini-Review: WindowShade X 4 out of 5 stars Product: Graeme Gott, FocusWriter

Version: 1.3.0

Cost: Opensource but feel free to donate if you use it :)

My take: “FocusWriter is my new text editor!” -RiscX

Here are some screen grabs of FocusWriter:

FocusWriter main screen

FocusWriter main screen: Heres is one example of a "themed" main screen with background image, foreground colored with 70% transparency and colored text. You can toggle and extend the document window to full screen mode hiding the desktop entirely and simply focus on your writing task at hand.

FocusWriter Toolbar

FocusWriter Toolbar: FocusWriter also lets you fully customize your toolbar with many options selecting only those you want to use and/display. Another random theme I set up as well.

FocusWriter Stats-Bar

FocusWriter Stats-Bar: Smart feature which all text editors should include is the stats bar of your current writing projects, you can even have time limits and writing goals to again keep you focused :) I really like the document tab feature letting you keep multiple document in one window such as your main writing piece with another tab holding notes and other tabs displaying other various documents/content related to your main work all in one simple window. Yet another theme I used.





Apple PowerMac G4 Graphite – PyraMac Case Mod, 05/2003

29 09 2010

This was a Mac case mod originally performed in May of 2003 and is being re-published here from my old site.

“Project Pyramac” is a symbolic mod for the Mac G4 transformation or resurrection if you will, into the Mac G5. This was completed before Apple officially released their PowerMac G5 tower in June 2003, the G5 case design is still going strong today.

Apple PowerMac G4 – PyraMac Case Mod, May 2003
Draft sheet of front side PyraMac. Draft sheet of back side PyraMac. Full scale prototype.
Fullscale prototype looking inside. Using Dremel on internal G4 steel cage. Using a plummers torch to melt/bend plexiglass case and supporting parts.
Plexiglas case assembled with all components. Even the hard drives get Plexiglas window treatment. Power supply is also re-cased with Plexiglas.
Case fans with various Ultra-Violet treatments. Power supply internal parts get UV treatment, results are on lend to Tron type effects. Case fan with Plexiglas UV Cover.
Hit the power switch and boom! PyraMac lites up the whole room with an eerie bluish glow. Overhead view of the glowing PyraMac. Pyramac with a Apple Display.

wired.com posted a article “A Desktop Seventh Wonder” about Project Pyramac. What is a Pyramac?

PyrAmac – (pyr-a-mac)
n.
1. Macintosh Computer in the form of a Pyramid: pyr or Fire Mac.
2. Relating to the action of fire or heat: pyrography.
3. Fever: pyrogen.
4. Derived from an acid by the loss of a water molecule: pyrosulfuric acid.

[Latin prymac , pyramac- , from Greek pramac , probably from Egyptian pimac but most likely from the dood in the Mojave Desert who says PyrMac (Pure Mac).]

1. A computer figure with a polygonal base and triangular faces that meet at a common point and glows hot with a variety of colors.
2. A computer shaped like a polyhedron on fire or glowing with heat/colors.
3. A glowing computer having a rectangular base and four triangular faces culminating in a single apex, built over or around a CPU.
4. Any of various similar constructions, especially a four-sided Mesomacintosh computer having sloped sides and a pinnacle top surmounted by chambers and computer components.
5. The modding involved in pyramiding computers.

Anatomy. A computer or part suggestive of a burning or glowing pyramid in shape.

And, as imagination bodies forth
The forms of things unknown, the poet’s pen
Turns them into shapes, and gives to airy nothing
A local habitation and a name

– William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream








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