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Everything posted by angshuman

  1. Prevention is better than Cure. Never use an Administrative account for browsing. Log on to an Admin account temporarily only to install software that you completely trust, and to change system-wide settings. Use non-privileged accounts for everything else. Always use an NTFS filesystem, and make sure that executable files are only writeable from an Admin account (this is hard to do in WinXP Home. Only Pro and MCE show the full NTFS interface). Never install any ActiveX controls. Ever. Use Firefox instead of IE (this seems to be the general perception, although personally I've always felt that IE is pretty safe as long as you stay away from ActiveX). Use firewalls. The combination of a hardware firewall on your router and the default WinXP firewall can nip a lot of vulnerabilities in the bud. A lot of viruses spead via e-mail. Avoid using fancy e-mail clients like Outlook. Try to use web-based e-mail services such as Hotmail and Yahoo, and do not download attachments unless absolutely necessary. If you're using Hotmail/Passport, do not access your Inbox via Outlook, access it from a web-browser. Keep macros disabled in all MS-Office documents, unless of course you are sure that they are from a reliable source. Be aware that if you follow the above steps, some malicious programs may still creep into your user-writeable space, but their activity will be localized to the current user and usually cannot affect system files. If you suspect that your user space has been compromised, transfer your most critical files, documents and bookmarks that were residing in the user space, log out, destroy the infected user, and create a new user. This is not foolproof, but it's the best you can do under the circumstances.
  2. I thought you had an 8800GTX... those look like puny 7800GTs. <_<
  3. Looks fantastic. If there's any game that could make me get an X360, this is it. The only thing that sucked in the video was the framerate. I do hope they fix it.
  4. I too am holding out until bugs and performance issues are resolved. I'm definitely keen on buying the game, but not in its current form. There, now you have two.
  5. So a bunch of games developed for a static platform will DEMAND upgraded specs on a PC? I'm playing NwN2 on a three year old laptop; the only imperative to upgrade remains personal whim. <{POST_SNAPBACK}> I disagree. Very few games are optimized for the lowest-common denominator. Most PC games are designed to run well only on the latest hardware configurations and provide a sub-par gaming experience on older machines. Some are very well made in that you can experience most of the content as the developer intended even on slightly dated hardware, but if you have a new system you will get additional bells-and-whistles and eye candy that enhance your experience. HL2 and Guild Wars are two such games. I can't think of many other games that use this philosophy. Most are designed to provide a satisfactory experience only with "recommended" configurations.
  6. http://www.wired.com/news/ebiz/0,1272,67035,00.html
  7. On topic: I have absolutely no idea. At any rate, with 50 invites per-user these days, it's practically a free-for-all. Gone are the days when each current member only had 2-3 invites, and you could sell (exchange) them on a website for useful trinkets . I remember exchanging an invite for a 1-month (3-month? I forget) Xbox Live free-trial key.
  8. If an individual's sole purpose in buying a product is to re-sell it, then he/she should require a business license to operate, along with the associated regulations, taxes, whatever.
  9. Core = A processor. This is a technical computer architecture term. Some architects were upset that Intel's marketing dept. abused and patented a technical architecture term to name a product line. They should have used Hexium or something. Dual Core = any single-chip that has 2 full processors (a.k.a. cores) in it. Again, a technical architecture term. Pentium D = Intel's first desktop dual-core implementation, with 2x Pentium 4 cores. "Core" Duo = Intel's first mobile dual-core implemtation, with 2x Yonah cores (Yonah is a Pentium M derivative). "Core" 2 Duo = Intel's second desktop and mobile dual-core implementation. The desktop version has 2x Conroe cores, the mobile version has 2x Merom cores. Both Merom and Conroe are derivatives of Yonah. Athlon64 X2 = AMD's dual-core implementation, with 2x Athlon64 cores. Oh, and that P4 has failed you. Imagine, all these years you could have had better performance while consuming less electricity had you bought an Athlon64 instead of the P4.
  10. It's all relative. All of the processors I mentioned were the top-of-the-line processors at some point in time in their own market segment. The P4/PD were "bad" because they needed to be clocked the bejesus out of in order to even approach the performance of their direct competitor (Athlon64 for P4, and Athlon64 X2 for PD). They did well in certain media encoding apps, but performed lower in most general purpose apps and were simply destroyed by the A64's in games. All this was while consuming more power and generating a lot more heat. The Pentium M was the best mobile processor around, but AMD's Turion wasn't too bad either. What Meta was referring to was the fact that the M's were actually so good that if you could install on a "proper" desktop platform (mobo, memory etc.), they could actually outperform a P4 in most apps, and even hold their own against Athlon64s. The Core 2 that we all know and love is actually a heavily beefed-up derivative of the Pentium M. Given its ancestrage and the additional muscle Intel has given it, it's no surprise that it demolished everything at launch.
  11. Now that's what I'm talking about! ... Bok, what fps are you getting at 1280/4x? Add in some proper textures to replace the Quake3-class textures that seem to be in the game currently, and it will actually start to look quite good.
  12. I'll summarize... Intel Core 2 = Good Intel Pentium M = Good AMD Athlon64 = Good Intel Pentium 4 = Bad Intel Pentium D = Bad
  13. Yes, eVGA is a good brand, but currently BFG seems to be offering a much better price: $236 before rebates, and $206 after a MIR. In terms of quality eVGA and BFG are at par, so you can't go wrong with either. The 7800GS is a good GPU, and will be quite an insane jump over your 9550. Just don't expect to get any better performance on NWN2. From what I've read on these forums, the better your hardware, the more the game screws you. Also, what CPU do you have? And main memory? If you're running an old CPU, the 7800 could end up being a huge overkill since you'll primarily be CPU limited.
  14. Are you absolutely sure you need a 512MB card? Amount of video memory has a very indirect effect on performance. The first thing you should look at is the GPU, next look at the memory bandwidth, and finally the amount of video RAM. Unfortunately, it looks like you need an AGP card. This leaves you with very few options, although you have a very reasonably budget. The 7800GS is one possibility, you should be able to get it anywhere between $205 to $250 (rebates may apply) from Newegg. It's a very nice card, but you would've had more options with PCIe. Never, ever buy a card from Best Buy or Circuit City or CompUSA unless they can match Newegg's prices. If you are unwilling to budge from the 512MB factor, you can probably get plenty of cheapo 6200's or 7300's or X1300's for $100-$150 (they are all as fast as their 128MB variants but cost twice as much).
  15. It's a good idea to place all user-specific, non-global content in the "Home" directory of the user, which in Windows' case is My Documents (or its parent directory). That's the way it has been done in *nix for ages. Once you install a piece of software, you shouldn't have to write into the installation directory ever, and no non-root user should be able to write into it. After years of lameness from MS, Vista is finally making an attempt to fix it. That said, I agree with you that 100MB savegames sound a bit on the ridiculous side.
  16. Dude, that's pretty friggin ugly. I'm not talking about the "beauty" of the character, I'm talking about the fidelity of the graphics. It looks like something straight out of an undergrad Computer Graphics course project. It looks to have all of the latest graphical "checkboxes" marked up, but it's crude, glitchy, un-refined, and from whatever feedback players have given about rendering speed, slow and seriously un-optimized.
  17. Why, does NWN2 look even worse than Bard's Tale?
  18. Hurlshot, I really don't want to spoil your enjoyment of your new card, but I just can't sleep in peace without pointing this out, since Best Buy charged waaaaay too much for that. The card is available at Newegg for $85.
  19. Agreed, but video memory should be considered only when you're comparing two cards with exactly the same GPU and memory bandwidth. A 7900GT with 256MB is way better than a 7900GS with 512MB.
  20. The clock speeds and memory types (GDDR3) look the same, so I guess there's no catch with the 512, it's just twice the memory, and is probably going to be more expensive. Powercolor does seem to have a mildly overclocked 256 version, though I'd take the 512 over a 10MHz overclock in a heartbeat.
  21. The "current" generation cards from both ATi (X1K) and Nvidia (GF8) are able to perform MSAA on either FP8 or FP16 render paths. The GF8 is new, but the X1K has been available for well over a year and has been capable of the so-called "HDR+AA". I can imagine that when Obsidian started work on the engine, none of the then-available GPUs were capable of HDR+AA, but I doubt Obsidian would have made such a short-sighted design decision. I believe UE3 also doesn't play MSAA, but that has something to do with its supposedly uber deferred-shadowing algorithms.
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