PlayStation 3 Release Nears

Well we have seven days left before some of the chosen are graced with their new PS3s. I know I will be one of them perplexed with placing my unit on EBay or playing it. I will probably choose the later. It seems that all that good weather in California makes people crazy, it seems as of yesterday several people started a line at a Burbank, CA Best Buy store for the PS3 release. Kotaku has a picture of the super hardcore gamers / campers at that location. That just ruins it for everyone else that planned on waiting overnight for the unit. It only take one nut to force everyone else to call in sick for the week so they can stand in line behind him. Hopefully the campers have some sort WiFi available, this way they read the full PS3 manual that sony just posted while they wait and wait and wait and wait…


Best Buy Line:

PS3 Manual:

Got PlayStation 3?

One thing I learned well last new console role out was that I would never wait in line for 20hrs again. Yeah that’s right I stood in line for 20 cold rainy hours to snag a new Xbox360 when it was released. While it made for an interesting evening and wild story, I swore to myself that I would never go through that again. My brother on the other hand living in Venice Beach, California was smart enough to be chummy with his local GameStop manager and pre-order his when it was first available. So as he laughed via his cell phone at me while he was walking to pickup his unit in leisure during the midnight store opening I was getting drenched. This time around I made my way to my local GameStop to pre-order knowing of the impending shortages this season for the Playstation3 and the Wii. To my amazement both times I got there 2 hours before opening and was number 2 in line for the Playstation3 and number 10 for the Wii. It was my luck that both these days were normal school/business days so the majority of people could not participate in the pre-order mania. God, I love being self employed! I guess after the PS3s started selling on EBay for $2000 and Sony started sidestepping it’s early comments on the number of units available by year’s end that everyone realized that they better do what they could to grab a their guaranteed units before they would have to do the overnight campout or worse yet several day campout. I will be at the great campout marathon if only for a mere couple of minutes so I can snap pictures of the insanity. My heart goes out to those poor souls that think they have a chance come November 17th if they don’t have a pre-order.

Splinter Cell: Double Agent

Personally, I am an in your face first person shooter kind of guy. I tried playing Splinter Cell a long time ago on the Xbox and was really thrown off by all the in the shadows game play. Sneak there and sneak here, kill that guy but don’t make a sound. It really wasn’t my cup of tea. I love to run and gun and amass a large body count. Luckily this time around with Splinter Cell: Double Agent the Xbox Live multiplayer sold me on the game and forced me to give the stealth solo missions a try in order to better myself online. I was oddly surprised to find that that after the first couple of missions I was sucked in and losing track of time. Calling my brother and friends alike asking how to get past a certain situation I found myself in, hoping that they had transverse that situation already. If you have a 360, you must try this game. It is by far one of the best titles available on the platform.

Visit the offical Splinter Cell: Double Agent site for more information, enjoy!

Read the review on Gamespot.

Time Out

I took a ride out to Jersey today to meet up with some people from the clan I belong too. The clan is Evil Smurfs and Gad is one of the founders and he threw the shindig. It was a good time had by all. I posted pictures on my Gallery section, you can find the link is below, enjoy.
Summer 2006 ]ES[ Gathering Pictures


I often wonder how our elected officials can write laws to protect us concerning technological matters, when they seem so out of touch with technology. Two recent events amplify my feelings in the matter. Recently Jon Stewart of “The Daily Show” poked at little fun at Congress during hearings concerning videogame violence. Several congressmen considered themselves gamers for playing pong and solitaire, that’s a joke right? Congressman Joe Pitts made remarks that poorer kids would be more influenced by these video games than their well to do suburban counterparts. My jaw dropped when I heard those remarks. The video below is an excerpt from the show in question and is quite humorous to watch.

Now on to the Net Neutrality issue. The net neutrality legislation which is trying to make its way through is in essence trying to protect the consumers and business alike from being charged a tiered level to have content delivered to them. AT&T started the matter off by saying that Google and other companies like them were getting a free ride off the ISPs backs to deliver their content to the consumers requesting it. This is far from the truth since companies like Google pay for their Internet access and bandwidth which I would have to assume is quite sizeable. Telcos are getting worried since they see their customers moving away from conventional telephone service to cheaper VOIP solutions. In essence they want any content not coming from their own services charged extra to get to their customers. This is just short of extortion. Ted Stevens recently gave a speech concerning the matter in front of his peers and is one of the most hilarious things I have ever heard. Below is a clip of his speech. When you hear comments and speeches like this, you fully realize that probably most of our elected officials have no clue about technology and the Internet. If you are going to talk about or even vote on legislation you obliviously know nothing about, shouldn’t you learn about it first so you can make a sensible logical decision or statement?

Xbox 360 hype over?

I remember braving the cold and rain for 12 hours to claim my new Xbox 360 on launch day. I also had clients asking me to obtain one for them at any cost. All the game news outlets got wind of a second large shipment coming into BestBuys across the nation sparking yet another lineup of individuals braving the weather for hours and in some cases days in order to get one these under the tree in time for Christmas. Now that the holidays are almost past us, is the insane need to obtain this fine piece of gaming hardware over? Due to my recent visit into my local BestBuy I would have to say it could be. I walked in today to claim my copy of Dead or Alive 4 for the 360 and to my amazement I saw a table set up with three Xbox360 premiums with related accessories and games. The table was manned by several BestBuy employees. I asked if they were for sale and the reply was ‘Yes’. My next question was how many do you have, figuring the reply would be the three I saw. My jaw dropped when the reply was ‘Twenty Eight Premiums just arrived this morning’. They had gone on sale that morning, I arrived a little after 2pm and they had only sold one unit. People passed by looking at the boxes stacked there but no one purchased one during my visit to the store. So if any of you are looking for 360s and are in the Westchester County/NY area, I would give the Hartsdale store a call or a visit if you’re close by. I would assume they still have plenty in stock.

Joel’s new gaming rig

Over the past week I have been helping a friend out. He wanted a killer gaming rig to do and play just about anything he wanted to do. He basically asked me if I were to build the ultimate machine what would I build. Needless to say these are the components accompanied by supporting photos. This system took a day and half just to do all the dremeling for the custom water setup and I mean custom. We used barbs on everything but unfortunately there are no flow meters bigger then that so I had to use some quick thinking to use an Innovatek flow meter without constraining water flow to everything. The flow meter is being used with an Innovatek Fan-O-Matic Micro to automatically shut down the PC in case of pump failure, since the system is left on when no one is around to monitor it. The last thing you want to happen is fry about $3000 worth of components due to a pump failure. Well here are the components that were put into a Thermaltake Armor case:


Asus A8N-SLI Motherboard, AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+, 2 sticks of 512MB Corsair 3200 XMMS XPERT (2-2-2-5 timing), 2 pieces ASUS Nvidia 7800GTX video cards in SLI mode, 2 Western Digital 74GB Raptors in Raid0 configuration, 2 Western Digital SATA2 250GB Hard Drives in Raid0 Configuration, Plextor Dual Layer 16x DVD writer, Crystal Fontz Dual Bay Display, Thermaltake 680W Power Supply

Water Cooling:

PolarFlo Chrome Pump, Danger Den TDX CPU water block, 2 Danger Den Low Profile Actel Maze4 GPU water blocks, Typhoon 120x Cylindrical Reservoir, 2 Danger Den Chrome Black Ice Extreme Radiators, Innovatek Flow Meter v2, Innovatek Fan-O-Matic, 16 OCZ Ram Sinks

Counter-Strike Source Server Up!

I have been playing Counter-Strike for over 4 years now. Counter-Strike is a team based first person shooter. It’s a game I truly love to play and I am very good at it. However with any team based game, it can be great or a disaster dependant on the other players on your team. If you have a group of players that do their jobs and play as a team it is a joy. On the other hand if you have a group of players that could care less about an objective it becomes nightmarish. I was just recently an admin on a server for a couple of months and was hated and loved by everyone. Those that could care less about an objective hated me and those that hated campers with an objective loved me. Let me explain why. On a map that the terrorists have to plant a bomb, they have the objective. The objective is to get to the bomb site and plant the bomb. On the flip side if you were a Counter-Terrorist on hostage map, your objective was to rescue the hostages. If the objective team does their job and rushes, it becomes a fun quick paced match. But once the camping begins, it is a slow and boring match. Generally you have an objective and you don’t rush, you usually lose. The thing I hate the most is when you have players trying to do their jobs and rush and you have individuals that stay at their spawn area and camp and don’t help their teammates. What happens is the rushers die because of lack of backup and then have to sit and wait 3 minutes while their camping teammates get picked off one by one. I don’t tolerate camping by an objective team under any circumstances. I lost my admin privilege on a server because of my stance, because too many whining campers complained about my strict guidelines. If I caught someone camping I would warn them 3 times. If the warnings were not listened to, I would slay the individual on the spot. If the individual continued to camp, I would kick the player. If after the slaying and kicking the player still couldn’t get it through his thick skull, I would permanently ban him with no recourse of ever coming back again. I have since gotten so frustrated I decided to put up my own server where others who share in the pleasure of the game and despise campers can join and play. If you’re looking for a good Counter-Strike server, try Source Server @


Gaming Rig

After many requests, here are pictures of my gaming rig and an inventory of the components. The system is primarily used for gaming and testing software. I keep this separate from my main workstation to ensure that it remains stable at all times. All the components are housed in a Lian-Li case. The water components all have ½ barbs on them except for the water pump which has 3/8. I modified one of the drive bezels with a dremmel so that I could insert the flow meter into it.


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