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* Posts by Greg J Preece

2317 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Sony: all new PS3 titles will require PSN Pass for online play

Greg J Preece
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Yeah, buy them a 360 instead, where you'll run into the same problem. Or you could buy them a Wii, which barely has an online presence to speak of.

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Greg J Preece
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At least you can get them 2nd hand

2nd hand PC gaming is dying a death because the licences are locked online through kit like Steam, and there's NO way to get a new code/whatever for yourself. So you can't buy the game 2nd hand, ever. This online pass malarkey still sucks ass compared to previous consoles and games, but it's better than them going the PC route.

And haven't the X-box publishers been doing this for yonks?

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Don't bother with that degree, say IT pros

Greg J Preece
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Fuckin' A

My university course was, other than a few key modules, pretty damned useless. Almost everything I do as a developer involves stuff I taught myself or acquired on the job. I've since encouraged people younger than me to consider whether university is necessary for their career, or whether they would be better served spending that time getting direct work experience and skipping the large amounts of time and debt involved.

Personally, I'd have 3 of those 4 years back in a heartbeat.

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Star Trek TNG revamped for Blu-ray in 2012

Greg J Preece
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The TOS remaster was well done, with the CGI replacements true enough to the original models that they didn't really look out of place. Much better done than with other films, such as...oh, I don't know...Ghost in the Shell 2.0. *Shudder*

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Greg J Preece
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@Tony

The first series wasn't as good as the others, granted, but it did set a lot of stuff up, storywise. Sinclair's acting was bad, but in a funny way rather than a God-awful way. B5 just didn't work as well with the stand-alone episodic format, so once the main storyline got going it was much improved.

And compared to Star Trek? Much as I love the Trek and its cheesy dialogue, wooden arms-by-the-side acting, and tendency to resolve all problems in the last 5 minutes of the show with concentrated technobabble, it just doesn't come close to B5.

B5 definitely has its crap moments, but they are heavily outweighed by the good stuff. Riker incompetently firing one shot at a BoP and getting his ship destroyed, or Sheridan dive-bombing a ship full of nukes into Za'ha'dum, before throwing himself off a cliff because his balls are solid titanium?

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Greg J Preece
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Excellent

Now when are WB gonna get around to doing this with Babylon 5? The DVD transfer for the first few series was dreadful.

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Boffins invent miracle pill that counteracts effects of booze

Greg J Preece
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Has there ever been one? I often enjoy a drink, but I've never enjoyed being drunk.

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Zombie mobile Linuxes mate

Greg J Preece
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Agree entirely

Maemo has the best multitasking of any mobile OS, and the most competent system base. Not the fastest phone, but the sheer number of things you can do with it made it superb. Every time someone got a new thingy on their ShinyPhone, it would be something the N900 had been doing for donkey's years.

Real shame it's dead. :-( No idea what I'm going to use next.

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Ex-Microsofties' IE6 kill squad hits UK

Greg J Preece
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Shurely shome mishtake

"Redmond hates IE6 so much, it has launched a global campaign to encourage downloads of IE9 to push IE6 use down to less than 1 per cent of worldwide market share."

If you're on an early enough system to be using IE6, you can't get IE9 anyway...

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Byte-dock MacBook Pro port replicator

Greg J Preece
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"There are also apps that let you close it and keep on processing but without an external keyboard and screen."

Right, those would be the 3rd party hacks he mentioned.

It still astonishes me that Mac OS X lacks basic things like proper power options and a "lock screen" command...

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Greg J Preece
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Overheating

"- Macbooks gather a lot of heat when the lid is closed. The forums are full of warnings that overheating is a reality."

^^^THIS^^^

Because they don't want to despoil their perfect design with ugly things like a proper cooling system, a lot of Mac laptops I've seen (all of them?) vent hot air through a slit in the lid hinge. This is stupid enough to start with, but then you close the lid and block/redirect the vent. Even on a 5 year old MacBook I've got here, it happens.

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Why was Duke Nukem Forever s**t?

Greg J Preece
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Not far off now

http://www.google.co.uk/products/catalog?q=duke+nukem+forever&hl=en&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=shop&cid=8232147666198321553&sa=X&ei=DaB5TtyKLIbwsgaS4LXKDw&ved=0CFIQ8wIwAA#scoring=tps

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Greg J Preece
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Yahtzee

To be honest, you're best just sending them a link to the Zero Punctuation review. Everything they need to know in a nutshell.

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BBC website ditches modules in facelift

Greg J Preece
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PS3 iPlayer

Now I get where they were going with that...

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Windows 8 secure boot would 'exclude' Linux

Greg J Preece
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Apple who created Boot Camp?

There may be many reasons why they did, some more cynical than others, but at the end of the day, Apple made Boot Camp so you don't have to use Mac OS X on their machines. And failing that, there's rEFIt, which if you ask me is the superior solution.

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Gears of War 3

Greg J Preece
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FAIL

Final nail in the coffin

When Gears of War is "riveting" and Halo gets a perfect score, I stop listening to El Reg gaming reviews.

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Give me 10 gig Ethernet now!

Greg J Preece
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Duplicity

"Hosts a backup service over Internet/VPN. The trick... really smart (and expensive) backup software that only does deltas/incrementals."

Duplicity is an open source backup doodad that really needs a GUI and a port, because the command-line version I've set on a cron job is fantastic. Encrypted delta/incremental backups SCP'd to a test server, and it works well for me.

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Hackers break SSL encryption used by millions of sites

Greg J Preece
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It works the way I like. Why is that hard to understand?

"Opera gets a bad rap, but most people honestly haven't tried it for a month."

Couldn't get along with it for a full month. I've never called it a bad browser, though its fanbase are even more annoying than Apple's. The simple reason I use FF is that it works the way I want it to. I'm a developer, and as far as I'm concerned, Firefox has the most consistently accurate rendering of all the browsers. It's also a lot faster in recent versions, and once you start building on top of its base functionality, the plugins I have installed have made it invaluable as a development tool.

For example, just the other day I discovered Poster, which is a tool for simulating POST/GET requests to APIs. Sure, there are other browsers and other add-ons which make this possible, but it's just such a well-made, nicely laid out and straightforward add-on that I've now installed it on every machine.

Being able to customise FF to *exactly* how I want it is what makes it perfect for what I do. My downloads open in a tab because I want them to, I've changed some of the menus, Flash only plays when I want it to, I never see ads, and I can literally edit pages in place, enable/disable their various features, etc. Firebug is so awesome that other browsers have almost copy-pasted it into their own interfaces, and extending it for Drupal/Moodle/PHP is just damned handy.

The awesome bar is also an absolute killer. It works better than anything I've used in any other browser, Chrome and Opera included. I almost never have to go directly into bookmarks or recent history, because it's just so good at finding what I'm looking for.

The same thing has happened with my phone. I used to use Opera Mobile, but since FF mobile got its act together and sped up a bit, I now use it exclusively. It syncs, just like Opera, but it brings with it the same features that I love from the desktop version, like the awesome bar, and for fullscreen browsing it's the best damn mobile browser out there. It had a rocky start, but it's gotten really quite good.

Opera's not bad, and if it wasn't for the spyware Chrome would be alright, but FF is just...better for me. Note: for me. You want to use Opera, that's dandy, but what you see in it isn't necessarily what's useful or right for other users.

Seriously though, Opera's fanbase don't help. You don't see roving bands of Chrome users posting on every browser article and downvoting anyone that speaks out against it, do you?

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Google's Native Client goes live in Chrome

Greg J Preece
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Chrome: The new IE

Becomes popular simply because it's fast.

Has rendering bugs.

Gains market share.

Gains proprietary extensions that only work in that one browser, fragmenting the web.

Still to come, the inevitable security issues of such an approach. I thought Google were trying to replace IE and it's shitty brethren, but it turns out they just wanted to *control* IE...

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Microsoft merges Windows 8 with Xbox Live

Greg J Preece
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Mouse support, but not as you expect it

I tried that on a PS2. The mouse controls like a joystick - move it to the right, and it moves at a constant speed. Utterly useless. Apparently this situation has not changed.

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Greg J Preece
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"Been tried many times before, and always ended in whining and ragequits, because the PC players wind up pwning the l33t console players almost without exception."

^^THIS^^

They tried it with a number of FPS games, and the superior PC controls let them run rings around their joypad-encumbered opponents. As a guy who likes his consoles, but adores his PC, I found it goddamned hilarious. If they brought it back, they might actually have created a reason for me to buy Halo. Plenty of willing and vocal targets on that shower of Microsoft mediocrity.

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NASA unveils its chosen Shuttle successor

Greg J Preece
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I hate to tell you this

But Birth of the Federation was a computer game.

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Google shamed by Apple in race to HTML5

Greg J Preece
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Mobile Safari might be faster

I'm not sure that it is, but Safari might be faster. That doesn't mean that it's any good. Every time I load up Safari on the iPhone I feel like I've stepped back in time a bit. The interface just feels a little bit clunky, uses more of the screen than it should, etc. I've gotten used to Firefox on Android, which once it got past it's creaking betas and slow start has become an excellent fullscreen browser that I couldn't be without. Compared to Safari, it may have less HTML5 support, but that will change, and in terms of a usable experience, it's leagues ahead IMO.

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Windows 8: Half million previews downloaded in 24 hours

Greg J Preece
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Re: 11:56

"Get real man: Every OS crashes. Especially Pre-Beta versions running in a VM."

Yes, but they normally get as far as loading the first screen of the first section of the installer... I did get it working in the end, thanks to the help shown here. It runs fine in IDE mode, but SATA crashes it out. Given that the vast majority of the drives these days are SATA, that's still not encouraging.

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Greg J Preece
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Absolutely!

The transition between the touch interface and the traditional desktop feels both random and jarring. Some apps open in touch, some open in traditional, and there's sod all indication which is which until you click.

And trying to use Metro with a mouse is just painful. You can't hold and drag from what I can tell - manual scrollbars? Are you kidding me? I hope that gets sorted.

At least you can revert it and use the traditional desktop, which feels...well...exactly like Windows 7.

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Greg J Preece
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Thanks lads

I did have APIC set, but I didn't think to force IDE mode. Not sure why, actually, given the sys file that errored on me. I'll give it a shot.

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Greg J Preece
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Certainly did download it

And the first thing the installer does? Bluescreen. Won't install in a VM, no matter what virtual hardware config I throw up. I'll give it another shot over the weekend, but that's hardly encouraging.

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Hacker defaces Irish Catholic paper: 'Gotta love false hope'

Greg J Preece
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I agree

I'm fairly certain that's either Drupal 5 or 6.

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Greg J Preece
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Drupal!

I'd recognise Garland anywhere. I smell an unpatched Drupal vulnerability.

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Rubbing an iPhone on your face won't cure acne - FTC

Greg J Preece
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Fine Apple?

Given that all App Store kit is approved by Apple, aren't they ultimately responsible for this? They certainly profited from it @ 30% a time. Surely they're also making money off snake oil, and should be fined as such.

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Apple finally purges Mac OS of disgraced DigiNotar certs

Greg J Preece
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Missing the point

You're missing the point, dude. You know how to revoke a certificate, and so do I, but my parents do not. Neither do the rest of my family, or most of my friends.

The sad truth is, 90%+ of users have not the foggiest idea how their PC or smartphone works, and aren't about to learn. So who protects them? A lot of security software, AV, anti-malware, etc, exists to protect the clueless.

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Google: SSL alternative won't be added to Chrome

Greg J Preece
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Google made a funny!

"That has both unacceptable privacy implications"

Bwhahahahaha, first time you lot have cared.

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Poster presents evolution of game controllers

Greg J Preece
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Hold the smeg on

As a Time Crisis nutjob, I feel it my duty to point out that their GunCon3 looks nothing like a GunCon3. The real one is either orange or black, and has a half-controller sticking out the side.

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appToyz appBlaster

Greg J Preece
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To hell with that

If the accelerometer performs that function as well as it does in, say, Time Crisis Strike, it'll be awful.

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Greg J Preece
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Already been done

Saw this on YT ages back, where some guy nailed a tablet to the top of a gun. I'll try and find the vid.

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Memo to kid coders: Enterprise software exists

Greg J Preece
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^^This^^

Middle-aged middle-managers have gotten over the "Web 2.0" buzzword set and are on to the new and improved edition; mobile apps.

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Greg J Preece
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Odd, that

I just started learning .NET to expand my horizons a bit, and the first topic in the first chapter of my first book was about the CLS and CLR.

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Apple's ex-cop and the case of the lost iPhone 5

Greg J Preece
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What's more depressing?

That Apple have "investigators", or that they have enough of them to require a senior one?

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Ubuntu deploys cloud-ready Ocelot beta

Greg J Preece
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Seems suspect

"Ubuntu 12.04 will be a Long-Term-Support (LTS) edition meaning it sets the look, feel and technical direction of successive versions for the next two-year period. "

Nonsense! Since the last LTS they've changed the interface entirely!

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Bury council defends iPads for binmen

Greg J Preece
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I get the idea, but why an iPad?

For a start, surely you'd want a device you can reliably use through thick gloves... Also, when I think "rigid, robust, tough screen, good enough to give to a binman", I do not think iPad.

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Kernel.org Linux repository rooted in hack attack

Greg J Preece
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Uh-huh...

...Linux has a major market share in servers, you berk. And yet this wave of infections and hacks you predict due to it being just as insecure as Windows...hasn't happened. Strange, that.

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Graphene photocells could mean hyper-speed internet

Greg J Preece
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Linux

Errrr....obvious?

Text editing doesn't get much more lightweight than nano. And Xubuntu will run on aaaaaanything.

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Sid Meier's Civilization

Greg J Preece
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This game is my cocaine

I love Civilization with a passion. I have lost large sections of my life to it. It's the only strategy game I've ever really gotten into, and the complexity of the gameplay still astounds me. Seriously addictive, too.

I bought the Civilization Chronicles boxset in my last year of University. I immediately gave it to a friend and said "under no circumstances are you to return this to me until after my exams." I knew what would happen if I were allowed to open it. It's just that addictive, and the only reason I kinda understand WoW gamers.

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CERN: 'Climate models will need to be substantially revised'

Greg J Preece
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@Tim - I take no side in this discussion

But quote-mining people out of context is the mark of a Creationist.

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Nintendo said to be readying replacement for 3DS

Greg J Preece
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Perhaps also because it's naff?

The adverts are amusing, listening to Nintendo breathlessly play up the console's "amazing graphics", that still aren't on a par with the original PSP., and the "advanced connectivity" that basically equates to "online multiplayer." In fact, the current ads barely mention 3D at all, to be honest.

There have been a good number of DS revisions now, and I've owned several of them. In truth, I'd rather have a PSP Slim than any of them, hands down, no contest. The DS range focuses on gimmicks and "family friendly" shovelware trash, whereas the PSP has titles that look suspiciously like actual games.

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Nintendo aims to fill stockings with Wii slim

Greg J Preece
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What is this strange notion we have these days...

First you build a console and sell it. Then you start removing functionality, and sell it for what the original console is now reduced to.

*PS3 has lost functionality with every redesign.

*DS Lite lost the GBA port when they made the DSi.

*Wii loses GB functionality when it goes slim.

*PSP Go lost the UMD drive (and suffered for it).

Back when I was a kid, the rule was release a console, then release more add-ons that enhanced its functionality, not rip bits out.

*The Super Nintendo had an adaptor *added* for Game Boy games. It also got one for satellite service in Japan, and god only knows how many peripherals. Still got my Super Scope, region adaptor, etc.

*The Mega Drive had two major hardware upgrades, and several integrated redesigns that were more advanced than the original. The games might have been shit, but the attempt was there.

*The N64 was given a hard drive.

*The PS One supported an external monitor (though they did drop some ports due to the smaller size)

*The PS2 slim came with the network adaptor integrated, rather than being a separate add on (though again lost the expansion bay). And what about the PSX?

Surely this is the selling point of a redesign or upgrade? More kit!

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Sony slashes PlayStation 3 prices

Greg J Preece
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Though we wish they hadn't...

...the 5200 was an absolute piece of crap.

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Greg J Preece
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In fairness

Consoles are behind PCs about 10 seconds after they're released, if they make it ahead at all. Thanks to the bloody X-box most games are still stuck on DirectX 9, while we're all sat on Windows 7 waiting for DirectX 11 games.

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Greg J Preece
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Holmes

Shock, horror

Inferior machine is cheaper! :-O Well I never!

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Wikipedia: It's not for girls

Greg J Preece
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20% cooler in 10 seconds flat

I can see your point - they are magical, after all.

Oh God, what's wrong with me??

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