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Submission + - Switching to Solar Power--One Year Later (

ThinSkin writes: "Slashdot readers may recall Loyd Case's series of articles illustrating his experiences after switching to solar power for his family home. Loyd shared his one month update, a six month update, and now finally concludes his series after one year of solar power. Despite the $38,000 initial cost for the setup, Loyd is very optimistic after a $3000 savings after one year, meaning that in about 12 years he will break even--though he suspects ten years is a better estimate considering other factors. Other reasons such as feeling "green", increasing the property value of his house, and the "spousal acceptance factor" all support Loyd's decision on why he'd do it all over again if he could."
Hardware Hacking

Submission + - Build an $800 Gaming PC (

ThinSkin writes: "Building a computer that can handle today's games doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg. In fact, it can cost less than $800, especially given that many hardware manufacturers have cut costs considerably. Loyd Case over at ExtremeTech shows gamers how to build an $800 gaming PC, one in which that features an overclockable Intel Core 2 Quad Q8400 and a graphics-crunching EVGA 260 GTX Core 216. The computer exceeded expectations in gaming and synthetic tests, and was even overclocked well over spec at 3.01GHz."
The Internet

Submission + - Pirate Bay Defendant Calls Verdict 'Epic Win' (

ThinSkin writes: "One of The Pirate Bay defendants convicted in the piracy case spins the guilty verdict as "an epic win," claiming that the site will rise to "kick their ass". Peter Sunde, Gottfrid Svartholm Warg, Fredrik Neij and Carl Lundstrom were all sentenced to one year in prison and collectively ordered to pay 30 million Swedish crowns, or about $3.58 million, in a closely-watched trial that involved one of the Internet's most notorious sites for linking to illegally-copied works."
PC Games (Games)

Submission + - 10 PC Games That Won't Die ( 1

ThinSkin writes: "Some games just live on...and on...and on.... That said, Joel Durham Jr. at ExtremeTech has listed 10 of these games that just won't die. Rather than just list popular titles of yesteryear, Joel goes a step further and tests these games to ensure that they work on Vista (and in some cases Windows 7) so that gamers can stay happy even after migrating to a new operating system. Some titles include Diablo II, MechWarrior 4: Mercenaries, and Warcraft III. Strangely, CounterStrke is absent from the list, and perhaps World of Warcraft is still relatively new to be included."

Submission + - ATI, Nvidia Reveal New $250 Graphics Cards (

ThinSkin writes: "As part of their "Spring Refresh," both AMD and Nvidia reveal new $250 graphics cards, the Radeon 4890 and GeForce GTX 275. ExtremeTech takes both cards and runs them through a gamut of gaming and synthetic benchmarks to decide which card triumphs over the other. Long story short, the GeForce takes the cake with its impressive performance at its price, while the Radeon didn't show a high improvement over the cheaper Radeon 4870."
PC Games (Games)

Submission + - OnLive Aims to Replace Game Consoles (

ThinSkin writes: "Imagine playing bleeding edge games, yet never again upgrading your hardware. That's the ambitious goal of OnLive's Internet delivered gaming service. Using cloud computing, OnLive allows gamers to use ordinary hardware to play extraordinary games, thanks in large part to OnLive's remote servers that do all the heavy lifting. With a fast enough Internet connection, gamers can effectively stream and play games using a PC, Mac, or a "MicroConsole," a dedicated gaming client provided by OnLive that includes a game controller. Without ever having to worry about costly hardware upgrades or the cost of a next-gen console, gamers can expect to fork over about $50 yearly just for the service. If this thing takes off, this can spell trouble for gaming consoles down the road, especially if already-established services like Steam and Impulse join the fray."

Submission + - Windows 7 vs. Vista Graphics Performance (

ThinSkin writes: "Thinking of switching over to Windows 7 already? Or maybe testing it out? According to ExtremeTech's Jason Cross, Windows 7 driver support from both ATI and Nvidia is moving along smoothly, and in some cases Windows 7 performance in synthetic and gaming benchmarks is actually better than Vista's performance. In their Windows 7 vs. Vista showdown, ExtremeTech benchmarks ATI and Nvidia cards on both operating systems for a good sneak peak at Windows 7 performance compared to Vista. The good news: without upgrading hardware, gamers can expect a boost in framerates for popular games when moving over to Windows 7."

Submission + - Windows 7 Won't Save Hybrid Hard Drives ( 2

ThinSkin writes: "Microsoft's Windows 7 is supposed to be the Vista that works. So does that mean hybrid drives will finally work, too? According to Seagate, don't count on it. Microsoft just isn't interested in supporting the technology, even after hailing Vista's "ReadyBoost" in the past. So Seagate has little reason to further develop this technology."

Submission + - Why I Don't Like Online Multiplayer Gaming (

ThinSkin writes: "'If I get called "faggot" one more time by somebody I don't even know...well, I don't have a decent threat. What can you do?' So begins Joel's column on why online multiplayer gaming sucks today. Don't hate the game. Hate the playas. It's an interesting take from somebody who loves to play online but cannot stand the people who spoil the fun with their foul mouths and attitudes."

Submission + - 10 Tips for Better LCD Image Quality (

ThinSkin writes: "Loyd Case over at ExtremeTech has come up with 10 useful tips on improving your LCD's image quality. While many of us are fine using good old "auto adjust" to calibrate our monitors, Loyd goes much further in depth by introducing calibration tools and correction programs. Furthermore, the monitor's orientation (height and distance from you) is an important consideration, and how you clean your monitor when it's dirty."

Submission + - The 20 Best Free PC Games (

ThinSkin writes: "There's a lot of free junk out there, and it's best to stay away from it. That's why Jason Cross over at ExtremeTech decided to save us all some trouble and come up with the 25 best free PC games that people might actually want to play. None of these are Flash school projects or demos, these are actual games--like Freeciv and Savage 2. From puzzle games to role-playing games, even first person shooters like Marathon Trilogy, there's plenty to like no matter what gaming genre you prefer."

Submission + - All Windows 7 Versions--What You Need to Know (

ThinSkin writes: "Besides price and shipping info, the folks at ExtremeTech were able to get their hands on plenty of details regarding Windows 7 and all six versions. The article takes readers through each Windows 7 SKU, from the cheap Starter edition to the Ultimate edition. It's a great way to choose which version will be right for your needs. Windows anticipates that their Home Premium version will be most popular with consumers."

Submission + - Is PhysX Worth It? (

ThinSkin writes: "PhysX, a physics engine originally developed by Ageia (now Nvidia), is designed to offload work from the CPU to allow for a smoother gaming experience. But is it really worth it? ExtremeTech tests the first major AAA PC game that supports PhysX hardware acceleration, Mirror's Edge, to determine if all those fancy effects are really worth the performance penalty. It can be worth it, with a beefy Nvidia graphics card, but anything from ATI is likely to cause the game to crawl."

Submission + - Which Games Will Run on Windows 7? (

ThinSkin writes: "Loyd Case over at ExtremeTech tested 22 popular game titles--both old and new--to see which games will run on Windows 7. Though Windows 7 is still in Beta, it can still offer gamers a sneak peak at how the new OS affects gaming performance. While the majority of games ran flawlessly, there were still quite a few with minor or major issues, most surprisingly recent titles Fallout 3 and Left4Dead."

Submission + - Switching To Solar Power - Six Months Later (

ThinSkin writes: "Slashdot readers may remember an article regarding ExtremeTech's Loyd Case's experiences with solar power for the home after one month of usage. During that time six months ago, it sure seemed like a great deal, but the tables have turned significantly once winter approached. While it's no surprise solar power generation is expected to dwindle during the winter, Loyd compares solar power data of the last six months to determine if solar power is still worth the time and money."

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