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December 2023
Retro Misc Pics (7 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 29-December-2023  14:36:44 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Well, it's that weird week between Xmas and New Year when you're never sure what day it is. I've taken a couple of weeks off work and spent a very productive day yesterday playing Quake 3 and Factorio with my son - and that seems to be continuing today, so here's Retro Misc Pics from February 2011. Possibly the last news post from me for 2023, so thanks for another great year, and here's to 2024 - when OCAU will turn 25! Might have to get some merch happening..

Feb 4th 2011:

Feb 11th 2011:

Feb 18th 2011:

Feb 25th 2011:

Also that month we had the first (and I believe only, so far) edition of Misc Pics Near Misses which are submissions that didn't quite make the news page.

Thursday Lunch Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Thursday, 28-December-2023  12:57:31 (GMT +10) - by MUTMAN

Audio Visual:
FiiO R7 All-In-One Desktop Android HiFi Music Player @ NikKTech
HIFIMAN Svanar Wireless TWS ANC Earphones @ TechPowerUp
Asus ROG Swift PG49WCD @ guru3D
AQIRYS Alnair @ TechPowerUp
Elgato Facecam Pro Webcam @ TweakTown
Hollyland Lark Max Wireless Microphone System @ ThinkComputers

Keyboard, Mouse, Etc:
Logitech Pebble 2 Combo @ TweakTown
Pwnage StormBreaker @ TechPowerUp
HHKB Studio Mechanical Keyboard @ HotHardware

Cases and Cooling:
DeepCool AK620 Digital @ TechPowerUp
Thermaltake SWAFAN GT12 and GT14 @ OCinside
DeepCool Assassin IV @ OCinside
Cooler Master QUBE 500 Flatpack Computer Case @ aphNetworks
PC Cooler/CPS C3 T500 ARGB Mid-Tower Case @ TweakTown
Enermax AQUAFUSION ADV 360mm aRGB Liquid CPU Cooler @ TweakTown
Lian Li Uni Fan TL and TL LCD @ LanOC
Thermaltake CTE C750 TG ARGB @ guru3D

HP FX700 2 TB @ TechPowerUp
Silicon Power US75 M.2 2280 2TB PCIe 4.0 SSD @ Madshrimps
Lexar NM790 SSD @ tomshardware

Memory, CPU:
Lexar THOR OC 32GB DDR5 6000MHz CL32 @ NikKTech
Intel Core i9-14900K @ OCinside

Cooler Master V1100 SFX Platinum Power Supply @ Neoseeker
ASUS ROG Strix Scar 17 Gaming Laptop @ TweakTown
Boulies Master Max 2024 Gaming Chair @ TweakTown
FlexiSpot C7 Ergonomic Office Chair @ ThinkComputers

Misc Pics (10 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 22-December-2023  14:38:58 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Second-last one of this set might be NSFW. Have a safe and happy Xmas!

Wednesday Night (2 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 20-December-2023  23:45:45 (GMT +10) - by Agg

The NSW Government has released a tool rating every suburb's internet connectivity. The digital connectivity index utilises both public and commercially acquired datasets, according to the government. It also covers both mobile and fixed-line connectivity, with “on the move” and “stationary” filters possible for each map. People can type an address into the search bar to see how their suburb compares.

Meanwhile the ACMA has an interactive report on How we use the internet. Our How we use the internet interactive report shows the ways we go online in 2023, and over the past 7 years. It focuses on how we use devices to go online, how often, what we do and what services we use. The report is part of the Communications and media in Australia series within the ACMA research program, which provides evidence to inform our decision making. Surely COVID will have made for some odd spikes in the last 3 years of that data.

BackBlaze have been sharing their HDD stats for many years, but now they also share network info. Every day we move multiple petabytes of traffic between our internet connectivity points and our scalable data center fabric layer to be delivered to either our SSD caching layer (what we call a “shard stash”) or spinning hard drives for storage.

Toshiba think that HDDs have a bright future. The need for more capacity is a given, Kaese says. “This market driver is a certainty. Even if HDDs reached as high as 100 terabytes of capacity, our data-driven society means we would fill it in no time at all.” Air-filled drives need about 10 watts to spin while helium-filled ones need 7-8 watts. He reckons “datacenter engineers are thinking about how to use the HDD in a more power-optimised way, possibly through idle or power-down modes.”

MUTMAN sent word of Intel's Intel's Meteor Lake iGPU beating AMD's RDNA 3. Intel's brand-new Meteor Lake CPUs might find a niche as powerful gaming processors thanks to their powerful integrated graphics. In a review by Golden Pig Upgrade, the Core Ultra 7 155H could barely overtake AMD's Ryzen 7 7840HS in gaming and synthetic iGPU benchmarks. It's the first time AMD has lost its lead in integrated graphics since 2019. More info on HotHardware.

If you're after some retro fun over the Xmas break, take a look at Doom and Doom II which have active modding communities and free-to-play versions. The original Doom and Doom II games have a rich and thriving mod community that continues to this day. The title just celebrated its 30th anniversary yesterday, and to commemorate the occasion, one of the very best "megawads" of all time—that's community parlance for a level set with a full game's worth of maps—has just gotten a surprise sequel five years later.

Wednesday Night Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 20-December-2023  22:35:17 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Corsair Dominator Titanium DDR5-6000 64 GB CL30 Review - AMD Edition on TechPowerUp.
Patriot Viper Elite 5 RGB 64GB DDR5-6200 Memory Kit on FunkyKit.

Portable & Prebuilt:
Meteor Lake Core Ultra Review: Intel's All New Tile CPU Tested on HotHardware.
MSI Vector GP77 on HighPerformanceLaptops.
Acer TravelMate P4 16 on HighPerformanceLaptops.

MSI Spatium M570 Pro 2TB SSD on Tweaktown.
MSI Spatium M570 PRO FROZR PCIe 5.0 NVMe SSD on Guru3D.
MSI Spatium M570 Pro Frozr 2 TB on TechPowerUp.

Seasonic FOCUS GX-850 ATX 3.0 Power Supply Unit on NikKTech.
DeepCool Assassin IV CPU Cooler on ThinkComputers.
BIOSTAR B650MT AM5 Motherboard on MadShrimps.
Nacon RIG 900 MAX HX Wireless Headset on Tweaktown.
Corsair M75 Air mouse on TechPowerUp.

Mini Server Rack Gashapon Review (1 Comments) (link)
 Monday, 18-December-2023  00:59:45 (GMT +10) - by Agg

In which I go to Japan, buy some toys, and lose my mind:

click for the review!

Monday Morning Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Monday, 18-December-2023  00:54:13 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Lexar NM790 4 TB w/ Heatsink on TechPowerUp.
Crucial T700 4TB SSD Review - Performance redefined on Tweaktown.

Audio Visual:
Elgato Prompter teleprompter on Tweaktown.
Creative Sound Blaster Katana SE Multi-Channel Gaming Soundbar on NikKTech.
Quick Look: Shanling Sono In-Ear Monitors on TechPowerUp.

Neo Forza MDK5 96GB DDR5 6000MHz CL40 Dual-Channel Kit on NikKTech.
Lexar ARES RGB DDR5-7200 32GB Memory Kit on FunkyKit.

Cooler Master QUBE 500 Flatpack Macaron on NeoSeeker.
Thermaltake Ceres 300 TG ARGB on ThinkComputers.

Video Cards:
ASUS GeForce RTX 4060 Ti Dual with M.2 Slot on TechPowerUp.
Sapphire Pure Radeon RX 7700 XT 12GB Gaming OC on Guru3D.
ASRock Radeon RX 7700 XT Phantom Gaming on Tweaktown.

Wi-Fi 7 tested - ASUS ROG Rapture GT-BE98 on Guru3D.
Thermaltake SWAFAN GT12 Cooling Fan on APHNetworks.

Retro Gaming December 2023 (0 Comments) (link)
 Sunday, 17-December-2023  23:48:46 (GMT +10) - by MUTMAN

Just a quick reminder of this month's "Retro Let's Play" for December. Spend some of that quality family time gaming.
First up is the Commander Keen series from 1991. Continuing the theme from last month, it is another classic 90s shareware title that triggers lots of nostalgic feelings and its creation is quite an interesting story. It's a side-scrolling platformer with some nice elements such as the pogo stick mechanism. Episode 4 is the quintessential Commander Keen. Like last month's Jill of the Jungle, it seems to play much better on a gamepad (the pogo stick mechanism in particular).

click for the thread!

Meanwhile this month's "Retro Racing" game is Dirt Dash from 1995. Essentially, Dirt Dash is to Sega Rally what Tekken is to Virtua Fighter, and with its attractive use of the Super System 22 board, light-sourcing and backgrounds, plus the excellent feel of the cars themselves, Namco had another hit on its hands. Think of it like Ridge Racer goes Off-Road.

click for the thread!

Misc Pics (12 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 15-December-2023  14:32:00 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Not long till Xmas now.. thanks to mpot this week!

Wednesday Night Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 13-December-2023  22:43:11 (GMT +10) - by MUTMAN

Keyboard, Mouse, etc:
Razer Viper V3 Hyperspeed @ TechPowerUp
TourBox NEO @ ThinkComputers
Asus ROG Strix Scope II 96 Wireless @ guru3D

Crucial T500 2TB NVMe M.2 PCIe 4.0 x4 @ FunkyKit
Crucial X10 Pro 2TB Portable SSD @ Madshrimps
ADATA SE920 2TB USB4 Portable SSD @ TweakTown
Patriot Viper VP4300 Lite Gen4 Solid State Drive @ ThinkComputers
Crucial X9 Pro 2TB Portable SSD @ TweakTown
Enermax Revolution D.F. X 1200W ATX 3.0 Gold 80+ PSU @ FunkyKit

Frontiers of Pandora: DLSS 2 vs. FSR 3 Comparison @ TechPowerUp
Longsoon 3A6000 vs Core i5-14600K @ HotHardware

Random, Misc:
QIDI X-Plus 3 High Speed 3D Printer @ NikKTech
Fiio KB3 Keyboard For Audiophiles @ HotHardware
HP Omen Transcend 16 Gaming Laptop @ HotHardware
ZMF Caldera Open-Back Planar Magnetic Headphones @ TechPowerUp

Monday Night News (0 Comments) (link)
 Monday, 11-December-2023  23:11:10 (GMT +10) - by MUTMAN

Google’s recent demo of their AI beast Gemini may have been faked. The video demonstrating some of Google Gemini's best interactions may not be entirely real. While Gemini appears to be able to do the things that Google shows in the video, it isn't able to do them live and in the way the video implies. The video was a series of carefully tuned text prompts with still images selected to mislead viewers about the speed, accuracy, and fundamental mode of interaction with the model.

Naturally as this story spread over the web Google was quick to explain it as, nothing to see here. Gemini’s co-lead, Oriol Vinyals points out that “all prompts and outputs in the video are real,” and that the video was simply made to “inspire developers.”

But why wouldn't Google have trust? It's not like they lost their users Drive files. Some users have reported that they lost months of data after Google Drive misplaced it due to a sync issue affecting multiple versions of the app.

Luckily for those users its only been three weeks without access. Nothing to see here? It's been a few weeks of Google asking for patience, but it has now released a fix. Assuming affected individuals followed Google's recommendations, it should be possible to restore the missing files now.

Windows 10 gets an official end of support date. 14th October 2025.
"Windows 11 is the most secure Windows yet. Its extensive capabilities, including Copilot in Windows, are designed to help keep your organization protected and productive. These measures include built-in advanced encryption, data and credential protection, robust system security and network safety, and intelligent safeguards against evolving threats," writes Microsoft

I was thinking it's finally time to jump off the Microsoft wagon and hitch my horses to an operating system that doesn't blue screen on days that end in Y. Everyone hates the infamous Blue Screen Of Death (BSOD), but these diagnostic displays are a necessary evil. Windows has had this feature for decades, but recently it was revealed that Linux is finally getting its own Blue Screen of Death. Phoronix reports that systemd debuted an update. This update, version 255, adds a boatload of new features to the controversial init system, and one of them is the aforementioned Blue Screen Of Death feature that will pop up when a system crashes.

The Personal Web isnt dead, it is simply unknown to a large majority of people thanks to the toxic social media take over. Something that I've noticed in general is that the personal sites over there tend to be very creations/product focused. That is, their sole purpose is to show off things that they've made, rather than embody some sort of persona. Even the site topic distribution makes this evident. The front page of a search engine that specializes in doujin sites called ?????? (Yorozulink) has sectioned off registered sites into categories, and the visual arts trumps practically every other category.

As AI becomes omnipresent, are we reaching a tipping point, or is humanity still safe? I think I'll just run away and hide. According to several reports and the South China Morning Post, the new technology is called an InvisDefense Coat and is capable of hiding the human body day or night, specifically from security cameras that are being monitored by artificial intelligence. At a recent scientific event in Shanghai, China, Chu Junhao, a renowned physicist from Donghua University, took to the stage to demonstrate how certain materials can be invisible to the human eye, which generates an effect that is out of science fiction or fantasy.

Saturday Afternoon Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Saturday, 9-December-2023  17:35:07 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Video Cards:
SAPPHIRE NITRO+ AMD Radeon RX 7800 XT 16GB on NikKTech.
ASUS TUF Gaming Radeon RX 7800 XT White OC Edition on Tweaktown.

NeoForza MDK5 DDR5 6000 MHz CL40 2 x 48 GB on Guru3D.
Crucial Pro 96GB DDR5-5600 Memory Kit on FunkyKit.
Lexar THOR OC DDR5-6000 32GB Memory Kit on ThinkComputers.

XPG Battlecruiser II Super Mid-Tower Chassis on Tweaktown.
Montech King 95 Pro on TechPowerUp.
NZXT H6 Flow Chassis on FunkyKit.

EK-Loop Fan FPT 120 D-RGB on TechPowerUp.
be quiet! Dark Rock Elite CPU Cooler on APHNetworks.
Cooler Master MasterLiquid 240 Atmos on LanOC.
EK Nucleus AIO CR360 Lux -D-RGB Cooler on HWAsylum.
Corsair iCUE LINK H150i LCD on Guru3D.
Apexgaming NANCOOL PRO 360mm Liquid CPU Cooler on NikKTech.

Samsung T5 EVO 8TB External SSD on Tweaktown.
Corsair MP600 Core Mini 2 TB on TechPowerUp.
Micron 3500 1TB SSD Review - The OEM Champ on Tweaktown.
Crucial X10 Pro Portable Solid State Drive on ThinkComputers.

Vertagear PL4800 Gaming Chair on TechPowerUp.
Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora Performance Benchmark Review - 30+ GPUs Tested on TechPowerUp.
Acer Predator X27U 240Hz 27-inch 1440p OLED Gaming Monitor on Tweaktown.
EcoFlow Delta 2 Max 2 kWh Smart Extra Battery Video on FunkyHome.
Enermax Revolution D.F. X 1050 Watt PSU - ATX 3.0 PSU on Guru3D.
Origin PC Neuron Review: Immaculate Gaming Desktop With Muscle on HotHardware.

Misc Pics (20 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 8-December-2023  14:16:20 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Thanks to LethalCorpse and MUTMAN this week!

Friday Afternoon (0 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 8-December-2023  14:13:08 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Internode are closing down - or at least, closing to new customers. Of course they've just been a small part of iiNet for a few years now so it's only really a branding thing. Still, it's a bit sad for those of us who remember Internode as the enthusiast-friendly ISP it was back in its heyday. I was a customer for many years because they bought Zip Internet, who were my dialup ISP but also hosted OCAU for a while. But some bad experiences had me looking elsewhere in recent years and of course I am now a very happy Starlink user. People are sharing their memories in this thread.

It's hard to stay on top of the torrent of AI news lately, but Google have a new one called Gemini. Google's new Gemini model appears to be one of the largest, most advanced AI models to date, though the release of the Ultra model will be the one to determine that for certain. Compared to other popular models that power AI chatbots right now, Gemini stands out due to its native multimodal characteristic, whereas other models, like GPT-4, rely on plugins and integrations to be truly multimodal.

The official trailer for Grand Theft Auto 6 has been released - there's a breakdown of it here. Grand Theft Auto VI has, after years of speculation, officially been revealed. The game is scheduled to arrive in 2025, and Rockstar's next open-world epic will take us back to Vice City for another adventure filled with carjacking, murder, robbery, and other assorted crimes. Discussion here.

HighPerformanceLaptops offer their best laptops for December, as well as their 25 Best Gaming Laptops in Australia. In our exhaustive, monthly group tests, we update the price, availability and value scores from our definitive laptop reviews, to determine the ranking of various groups of laptops. This article deals with determining the best gaming laptop in Australia in December 2023.

Monday Evening Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Monday, 4-December-2023  22:20:27 (GMT +10) - by MUTMAN

Portable & Prebuilt:
Asus Zenbook 13S OLED @ HighPerformanceLaptops
Razer Blade 14 (2023) @ TweakTown
MSI Aegis ZS Gaming PC @ TweakTown
Corsair Vengeance i7500 Gaming PC @ TweakTown
Asus Vivobook Pro 16X OLED @ HighPerformanceLaptops

Audio Visual:
Razer BlackShark V2 HyperSpeed Wireless @ TweakTown
ThieAudio Monarch MKIII In-Ear Monitors @ TechPowerUp
Pimax Crystal VR Headset @ HotHardware

Keyboard, Mouse, Etc:
XTRFY MZ1 RGB Wireless White @ Madshrimps
Corsair Nightsabre Wireless @ TechPowerUp
GamaKay LK75 @ TechPowerUp
Razer Cobra @ TechPowerUp

Arctic Liquid Freezer II 420 ARGB @ guru3D
be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 5 CPU Cooler @ aphNetworks

TeamGroup T-Force M200 1TB USB 3.2 Gen2x2 @ FunkyKit
Kingston XS1000 2TB USB 3.2 Gen 2 @ aphNetworks
Silicon Power UD90 M.2 2280 2TB PCIe 4.0 SSD @ Madshrimps
Solidigm D7-P5810 800GB Enterprise SSD @ TweakTown

PNY CS3150 XLR8 2 TB RGB @ TechPowerUp
Neo Forza MK5 DDR5-6000 96 GB CL40 @ TechPowerUp

Sharkoon Rebel P30 1000W ATX 3.0 @ NikKTech
MSI MEG Ai1300P ATX 3.0 1300-watt 80 PLUS Platinum @ TweakTown
Enermax Revolution D.F. 2 1050W ATX 3.0/PCIe 5.0 PSU @ FunkyKit

Video Card:
Asus Dual GeForce RTX 4060 Ti SSD OC Edition with M.2 Slot @ guru3D

Software and Benchmark:
Assassins Creed: Mirage (2023) @ guru3D
F1 2023: PC graphics performance @ guru3D

GAMDIAS ZELUS M3 WEAVE Gaming Chair @ NikKTech

Retro Gaming December 2023 (0 Comments) (link)
 Saturday, 2-December-2023  22:09:20 (GMT +10) - by MUTMAN

This month's "Retro Let's Play" for December is the Commander Keen series from 1991. Continuing the theme from last month, it is another classic 90s shareware title that triggers lots of nostalgic feelings and its creation is quite an interesting story. It's a side-scrolling platformer with some nice elements such as the pogo stick mechanism. Episode 4 is the quintessential Commander Keen. Like last month's Jill of the Jungle, it seems to play much better on a gamepad (the pogo stick mechanism in particular).

click for the thread!

Meanwhile this month's "Retro Racing" game is Dirt Dash from 1995. Essentially, Dirt Dash is to Sega Rally what Tekken is to Virtua Fighter, and with its attractive use of the Super System 22 board, light-sourcing and backgrounds, plus the excellent feel of the cars themselves, Namco had another hit on its hands. Think of it like Ridge Racer goes Off-Road.

click for the thread!

Misc Pics (18 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 1-December-2023  14:28:03 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Friday again! Last one might be NSFW. :)


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