I have a beta life now

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I just realized that I could be running public beta software on my desktop, laptop, console, tablet and phone. It’s the kind of world we live in now. A world where the word beta is treated more like demo and the lines between development and final get blurrier and blurrier.

Desktop: Windows 10 Technical Preview

The Windows 10 preview builds have solidified to the point of being ready for prime time which is no surprise considering the official launch is only a couple of weeks away. I haven’t installed it on my home PC yet but my day-to-day experiences with it at work have been very positive. I just wish they would change that Recycle Bin icon.

Laptop: Mac OS X “El Capitan” Beta

It was made public last week but my gut reaction was that there wasn’t enough surface level changes to warrant the hassle of downloading the beta last weekend. I think I’ll give it a test drive just to say I’m living on the technological edge.

Console: Xbox Dashboard Preview

I managed to get an invite via GAF for the Backwards Compatibility but unfortunately the only backwards compatible title that I own is the original Mass Effect and I have no interest to revisit that at the moment. I’m crossing my fingers for Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2. I’m also crossing my fingers for the redesigned interface to make an appearance sooner rather than later. The current interface is very clunky.

Tablet: iOS 9 Beta

It’s probably the beta with the most drastic change and also the most impressive. I recall running the previous iOS betas and they were not nearly as functional and performant as iOS 9 Beta. It’s still early which means no third party applications support the split screen functionality but I like what I see so far.

Phone: iOS 9 Beta

Of all the devices that I own, I have the least amount of desire to install beta software for it. Not because I need my phone to the rock solid foundation of my daily life but because not a single feature on the iOS 9 page screams “you gotta try this on the iPhone”. I might just install it anyways.

 

What a crazy alignment of beta participation. The most surprising thing is how stable and functional every one of those builds are. I’m used to crashes, slowdowns and notable incompatibilities with my current suite of software but none of it reared its head with these betas.

Silent Hills Playable Teaser Impressions

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Silent Hills PT Logo

Hideo Kojima, Guillermo del Toro and Norman Reedus are bringing us Silent Hills and they decided to generate a bit of hype for Kojima’s project by releasing the PlayStation 4 playable teaser known only as P.T.

By the time I got around to it, the cat was out of the bag. People already discovered P.T was actually a teaser for Silent Hills. According to Kojima, this teaser was supposed to be cryptic and take the community at large a week or so to decrypt — unfortunately it took less than a day.

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Destiny (PS4) Alpha Impressions

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Destiny Logo

Destiny isn’t just Borderlands expanded to its natural MMORPG-esque conclusion. No, Destiny actually has enemies with enough brains to dodge and challenge me. It felt like I was playing a larger sequel to Halo: Reach (without the Halo trappings).

Even on “Brave” difficulty, it was immediately apparent that Destiny’s enemies weren’t distant cousins of those found in Borderlands. The smarter ones hide away from sniper fire and will rush me down if they believe they had the advantage. I didn’t notice much diving from grenades like in Reach though. I suspect higher difficulties will reveal more advanced A.I routines.

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2013 PC Build Impressions

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I finally finished my building the 2013 PC. It officially belongs to my brother but I had the pleasure of putting it together. Here are some of my impressions of the build and the build process itself.

 Model
ProcessorIntel Core i5 4670
MotherboardASUS H87I-PLUS
MemoryHyperX 10th Anniversary Edition 16GB DDR3-1600MHz CL9 Dual Channel Kit (2 x 8GB)
Video CardPowerColor PCS+ HD5770 1GB GDDR5
OS DriveSamsung 840 120GB
Storage DriveWestern Digital Caviar Black 1TB 7,200 RPM
CaseBitFenix Prodigy (White)
Power SupplySeasonic G Series 550W
CPU HSFSwiftech H220
Additonal FanScythe Slip Stream 120mm (SY1225SL 12L)
OSMicrosoft Windows 8 64-bit
MonitorASUS PB278Q
KeyboardMicrosoft Comfort Curve Keyboard 2000
MouseRazer Death Adder
SpeakersBose Cinemate Series II
OtherMicrosoft Xbox 360 Wireless Gaming Receiver for Windows

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