* Posts by Greg J Preece

2505 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Valve opens Steam store to non-gaming software

Greg J Preece

Re: Whats the fuss though?

And whether or not Steam were able to detect that!

Greg J Preece

Thunderbird with Lightning installed does fairly well with our Exchange server at work.

Greg J Preece

Re: Brilliant idea

Steam can do skins. It's done skins in the past, and when you first install it you get a short glimpse of the original military green skin. I imagine there'll be an official corporate one.

Greg J Preece

Re: Connected to the possible movement to Linux?

I run both, and in honesty I can't think of a single thing I have/need in Windows that isn't replicated in Linux. It might be called something different, but it's there. (Though I do already use a lot of OSS on both systems.) Going back the other way is when I find that I'm missing things.

Where the hell's the PDF reader? Why are the widgets so shit? Do you seriously refer to this as a command line terminal? What do you mean the only built-in archiving is zip? And why is it so slow? And do I seriously have to download and update every single piece of software individually? Are you drunk?

Greg J Preece

This is getting interesting. First console rumours, then Linux, then the OpenGL news and now apps too. There's some serious ambition over at Valve HQ, no? Frankly I'm gobsmacked that the Android app doesn't offer mobile games yet. Seems like an obvious move to me, and you could even get cross-platform gameplay going (if mobile gamers were suicidal).

Here's a thought I had the other day, though. Every time these discussions come up, someone asks where HL3 is. I can almost guarantee someone will on this page. So what if Valve really was planning a console or similar device, and the launch title was HL3? That would grab some attention, no? And if it ran Linux, games could be almost seamlessly ported between the "console" and the Linux PC, plus the PS3 is OpenGL. That would encourage Linux/OpenGL development and maybe even threaten Microsoft.

Probably wishful thinking, but holy hell would that be cool.

Oooh-la-la! 'iPhone 5' bares all, strokes tiny nano-SIM in pics

Greg J Preece

Apple moved to micro-SIMs from normal SIM cards, which identify individual customers on a mobile network, for the iPhone 4 to save space within the tightly packed phone, but the nano-SIM is much more compact.

That, and it made it much more difficult to avoid the overpriced data bundles for anything running iOS.

Oh, trying to apply a bundle to this number, are you? We see it's using a nano SIM. I'm afraid Apple data bundles cost 50% more for 25% less data. Yes, they're special Apple-branded data packets, you see. Would you like me to apply that on your account? Hello? Sir?

Ouya Android games console to ship April 2013

Greg J Preece

Ouya pitched its $99 box to punters in July, touting the Android gadget as the world's first hackable games console.

In a stunning display of "ignoring everyone else who tried it before us."

Personally not enthused. I don't mind the concept so much, but pretty much every single game I've played on native Android or iOS has been shit, with the replay value of a colonoscopy. They might amuse for 5 minutes on the train home, but that's it. Sitting down and playing that crap over my PS3, PC, X-box, etc? Not a chance in hell.

Deadly pussies kill more often than owners think

Greg J Preece

Are you trying to tell me that animals kill other animals?? This is outrageous! Steps must be taken to stop this immediately!

Now Curiosity rover beams back 3D snaps of Mars

Greg J Preece

Re: curious

Does the rover have a speaker onboard so that we can relay someone's voice to Mars?

And which atmosphere would that work in? Surface pressure is less than 1% what it is on Earth.

Mobile phone health rules need update, warns US watchdog

Greg J Preece

Re: Obviously these scientists all read the daily mail.

Not quite as directly appropriate, but this is my favourite Daily Fail song:


Ten... console games you may have missed

Greg J Preece

Agreed on Spec Ops. If you missed that, you weren't paying attention. Definitely one I want to grab for PC. In a world made of brown dust-filled shooters, I want the one with the bitching story and the Bruce Boxleitner character.

Greg J Preece

When you start getting into 60s and below, it generally says a game is pretty awful and it would be harsh to label these ten so unfairly

That's the point I would argue. 60% shouldn't mean "awful" to me. If all so-so games make it to 70% and above, it gets much harder to differentiate quality. It means there's a huge section of your percentage range that never gets used, if a truly dreadful title can still score, say, 50%.

It's all down to where you set the average point, IMO, and I would say that if you establish "average" at 50%, and make that clear to readers, then you can differentiate between "misses the mark", "average", "good but nothing amazing", "recommended", "excellent", etc with appropriate scores.

There are games I've thoroughly enjoyed that earn 70% on MC, and truly dreadful stuff that earns exactly the same mark*. I just think that too many reviewers hover around this upper scale. The perception within the gaming community (not the reviewer's fault by any means) is that anything below 7/10 is shit, and that really makes no sense to me. It certainly isn't that way with other media, such as films. (Jim Sterling probably makes this argument far better than I'm doing.)

*OK, OK, Metacritic arguments aside. I know a lot of reviews, especially for movie-licenced games, are *ahem* sponsored.

Greg J Preece

Are you guys allergic to giving a game less than 70%? This is another reason why I can't take you seriously on gaming (the Halo reviews aside...). You basically called several games on this list crap, then gave them 70%. And El Reg is hardly alone in doing this,

This is why I prefer the scoring of people like Angry Joe. Dude isn't afraid to mark your game down. If a game is average, it gets 50%, if it's great it gets 70%, and it has to be ball-bustingly brilliant to get 90% or above. Otherwise you can't differentiate between the scoring on the games, and you end up with a bunch of games with the same score that vary wildly in quality.

TL;DR - knock it off. Stop being afraid to give games crap scores if they're crap.

Valve: Games run FASTER on Linux than Windows

Greg J Preece

Re: Took long enough!

Fury 3 (cube) which is a DX GAME FROM MS dont even work today in windows 7

It doesn't? I'm pretty sure mine does (along with F! Zone which I somehow managed to track down).

Greg J Preece

Good luck getting Linux users to pay £30 for anything!

Are you kidding? Check out my over-used example of Humble Bundle, where you barely even have to pay for the games to get them. Linux users paid more than anyone, and typically paid as much as 4x what Windows users paid.

Greg J Preece

Re: WHY?!!

Why!? if OpenGL is clearly better on windows why would you continue to use Direct3D at all?! let alone spend time, resources and money investigating it?

Um, because the DX version has already been released, received multiple patches, is installed on millions of machines, etc, etc? They're not going to delete and replace an existing, working game with exactly the same game on another code base.

Greg J Preece

Re: Microsoft Suicide

Now everyone owns a console and a Mac.

You, er, might wanna check your stats on that one. Console, yes. Mac? No.

Greg J Preece


I can also concur on GFWL. That was a nasty surprise after I bought Section 8 on Steam.

Greg J Preece

Re: 2500 Apps in their app store

Oh, and Half-Life Effing 3 please.

I would normally agree, but you know what? No. This is way more important. Go Gabe, go!

Booth babes banned by Chinese gaming expo

Greg J Preece

Re: Why does the indusrty...

Has the last castle of maleness, the gaming industry, been ruined by feminists too ?

The last castle o-....?

Just fuck off, will you? Most men have a hard enough time convincing the opposite sex that they're not drooling neanderthals without actual drooling neanderthals turning up.

Personally, I'm tired of the gaming industry treating me like a penis with a wallet. "Play Soul Calibur V, it's got tits in it!" No thanks. Let me know when its got content in it instead.

Slim debut sales for fatter Nintendo 3DS

Greg J Preece

If you have an iPhone or an iPad, or an Android phone or an Android tablet, do you really need a DS?

No, you need a PSP. I can't think of a game I've ever played on a mobile or tablet that held my attention for more than a few minutes. Even when I was trying out the "latest and greatest" at MWC tech stands, I got bored very very fast. My PSP, on the other hand, has God of War and Final Fantasy.

Greg J Preece

So much retarded, I don't even know where to begin.

There is a simple reason they didn't. THEY DIDN'T WANT TO BREAK COMPATIBILITY

You mean like they did with the 3DS? Ooooops.

And if they did that guess what when they would release the next system NO ONE WOULD BUY IT cause they would be scared of the new one getting replaced in a year or so with a slightly improved one where new games would be completely incompatible.

I wonder if that's why no-one is buying this one? It's certainly why the Wii has gone from "dying on its arse" to "deader than a dead thing".

As for people still saying 3d's a fad or a gimmick EVERYTHING IS A FAD your 2nd analog pad you cry it not having is a fad IMO.

Two analog sticks is a fad? Have you even heard of the Playstation? Or the X-box? Or - I dunno - the Gamecube? Or all the howling and wailing from the PSP crowd until the Vita turned up? That's a bloody long and useful fad...

Playing games online is a gimmick


Stupidest thing I've read in a long time. I barely play multiplayer, but I've been barely playing it since 1993.

The rest of your post is just frothy-mouthed fanboy ranting. Honestly, you lot are worse than the Apple bunch.

Greg J Preece

Is this because of the decline of handheld consoles in general, or because even the most die-hard Nintendo fanboy is getting a bit tired of Yet Another DS Revision?

Oops, I implied criticism of the Great Ones. Cue downvoting! (I wasn't exactly wrong about that on the last thread...)

Higgs boson chasers: Now only 1-in-300 MILLION chance we're wrong

Greg J Preece

Re: why is the LHC being shut down later this year?

Ah, thank you chaps. I've obviously misunderstood something somewhere along the line. Glad to hear it, too.

Greg J Preece

Serious question, not being sarky: why is the LHC being shut down later this year? It seems to be a bloody useful piece of kit.

Wintel takes kicking from Apple, market share at all-time low

Greg J Preece

Wait, wait, wait, am I reading that right? Last year's stats included AMD machines, and this year's don't? I think I might know where some of the market share went, Batman. If that's not a typo, it's *really* disingenuous, guys.

Also, the iPad is *not* a PC. Stop pretending that it is.

Olympic athletes compete in RAYGUN SHOOTING for the first time

Greg J Preece

@TeeCee - You play?

You play tag? What system? Don't say Quasar. I'll cry.

As an avid laser tag player, I welcome this upgrade to the Olympic event. Perhaps next time we can have the ability for the target to fire back, requiring some sort of...vest apparatus? And then the time after that, we could play in the dark!

One step at a time. ;-)

Sellers flogging vid games to underage kids face jail, unlimited fine

Greg J Preece

Re: No it wont...

Greg. Mature enough to handle it? A 13 year old who claims or believes they are mature enough to handle porn or other 'adult' oriented games is exhibiting strong levels of immaturity. A more mature 13 year old will understand that some things are unsuitable. As true now by observation of my 13 year old and his contemporaries as was long ago in my teen years.

You seem to have missed the part where my parents made the assessment, not me. I wasn't rich enough to be buying stuff at 13. They would simply ask "can Greg handle this?" If the answer was yes, then I was OK. They recognised very early on that Unreal Tournament or Carmageddon with my friends resulted in laughter, not violence. Same went for films - I wanted to watch the stuff with adult storylines rather than the stuff with tits, so they were fine with that. Mollycoddle a child too much and you're just creating a time bomb for when they turn 16/18/21/magic number.

Greg J Preece

Re: No it wont...

"You wouldn't buy your 13 year old son a porn movie would you? Likewise you shouldn't buy your 13 year old son an adult video game where he can steal cars and beat up hookers."

Shouldn't you? Depends if your kid is mature enough to handle it. That's the standard my parents always used, rather than some arbitrary magic number. I played every violent video game under the sun as a kid, and I've yet to even attain one star on my criminal record. ;-)

Nintendo 3DS XL review

Greg J Preece

Re: "Cue fanboys."

Well that was predictable...

Can't even slightly agree. The "added twist" you say has been added to titles that have been done to death already adds nothing in my opinion. A couple of occasional forced gimmicky sections and an infuriatingly difficult-to-use 3D system (tried it on a bus?) don't make them suddenly original games again. Perhaps they could come up with a new franchise, or new gameplay? Taking Mario World and putting it in new graphics, then in 3D, then in 3D on a big screen doesn't change anything - it's still sodding Mario World, and I've already played that to death. (Well, in 3D's case it's more Mario 3 - Mario World's inferior predecessor.)

"I can't honestly see how you can say that they're out of ideas, sure they've refreshed all the main in house franchises"

If you can't see what is wrong with that statement, there's no hope.

"and it takes the HW manufacturers tinkering with input/output capabilities to push the envelope a little."

No no no no no no no no no no. Different controllers do not make for original games. Zelda with a Wiimote is still copy-and-paste Zelda, just with worse controls. 3D Mario is still Mario, just with an added headache. You want to see actual originality, or innovation in gameplay? Wander into the indie PC market sometime. Beyond the masses of "play your music collection" or "woo retro space fighter games", you'll find a whole host of cheap, fun variety.

Greg J Preece

Wasn't impressed by either the 3DS or the 3DSXL, won't be bothering with either. 3D is the latest in Nintendo's recent procession of gimmicks, trotted out to disguise the fact that they're terminally out of ideas on the game front. My DS and DS Lite still serve me perfectly well, and given that they haven't even bothered to up the screen res (are you kidding me?) I'll be skipping this revision just as I have every pointless upgrade since the DSi.

Cue fanboys.

US flags from the 1970s SEEN ON MOON

Greg J Preece

Re: Hubble

"This seems so unbelievable that we can "send a man to the moon" but we can't take a fu****ing picture of the damned thing. Can't we attach that 21Gb Camera to something ?"

Ummmm....you do know what distances we're talking about, right?

Apple Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion review

Greg J Preece

Re: @David Hagood

Macs have proven far more difficult to multi-partition than any Windows machine, in my experience. Windows machines these days are a doddle to me compared to something running OSX. First you have to resize the partitions using an editor that takes your inputs as mere suggestions. Then you have to deal with their non-standard bootloader (constantly), plus the hybrid partition table that becomes irritatingly necessary despite the other two operating systems both supporting EFI, and then because of the hybrid table, you have to have your partitions in the right order or Windows is screwed. Get all that set up and make sure you remember to sync the partition tables, otherwise OSX will merrily destroy your other partitions without prompting you. Gah!

Getting 3 operating systems on this 2011 MacBook Pro was....not fun. Not looking forward to a ML upgrade. Wouldn't be so bad, except my old 2007 MacBook was much easier!

Greg J Preece

Re: Hmm

But bear in mind that Mac OS X doesn't have the same level of long-term backwards compatibility and support that Microsoft do, which is one of the reasons businesses prefer MS gear. I do agree though that MS are so desperate to be seen as forward-thinking and progressive that they're trying to re-invent the wheel. They could have taken Windows 7 and fixed all the things that annoy people, rather than go overkill with Metro.

Greg J Preece

Little bit of gushing at the end there, but this does look like a far more worth upgrade than Lion was. iMessage is cool but useless unless you're already inside the walled garden. The text-to-speech looks pretty sweet though, as does the sharing integration. Might be tempted to shell out at some point, though to be honest my Mac runs Kubuntu 95% of the time.

Gabe Newell: Windows 8 is a 'catastrophe' for PC biz

Greg J Preece

Re: Store vs Store

"I assume though that he's hoping the 'year of the linux desktop' can still come ... if it didn't happen during the Vista years, it's not going to happen now."

It didn't happen primarily because of lack of 3rd party support. Wouldn't you say that Steam is a rather large name on the PC? And given that several other online game distributors already support Linux, I'd say things are looking up.

Apple's new Safari snubs older Macs, drops Windows version

Greg J Preece

Re: Web developers use windows

"While they could be way more comfortable using Linux, these guys use win."

We do? I use Linux, and only boot the other two when required.

Greg J Preece

Re: They've dropped the Windows version?

And that cross-browser testing is definitely necessary. Part of our system requires a pop-up to appear (it's meant to go on projector screens and the like, while the controls are on a separate screen.) During testing we tried this in Safari 5, only to find that not only did it block the popup, it also failed to inform users that the popup had been blocked. So from the end user's point of view, they clicked the button and nothing happened. Thanks, Apple!

Blizzard faces court battle for 'misleading Diablo III fans'

Greg J Preece

>If I was Blizzard, I wouldn't be asking, "When will it end?", I'd be asking, "Why the fuck do we bother?".

I've been asking Blizzard that for years!

Greg J Preece

Re: Its a MMORPG !

Fanboy much? Perhaps you'd like to explain how Diablo is an MMORPG?

Also, it has a single-player mode. Still MMO?

WTF is... WiGig

Greg J Preece

@Nick - exactly

So precisely what I was thinking that you're worrying me slightly. Powerline gigabit or better linking high speed access points in each room. Here's hoping they have this sorted by the time I purchase my next home in a few years.

HTC disses Dr Dre by diluting Beats deal

Greg J Preece

Re: People who wear Beats headphones have always baffled me anyway...

"Anyone who appreciates a wide variety of music would go for a decent make (such as Sennheiser, Bose, AKG or Beyer Dynamic) at around the same price point or higher."


How to tell if your expensive headphones are shit: did you buy them from HMV?

The Beats range is much like the Skullcandy range. They made a set of headphones that are superior to iPod earbuds (as challenging as getting drunk), but are still ultimately pretty mediocre, and then sold them to people who don't know better, who now brand themselves audiophiles. They're no better than buying a pair with "super bass boost" written on them. You're getting a shit pair of headphones.

Russians in audacious stratobeer mission

Greg J Preece

"It's not reported which of the two orbs came out on top, which is probably a wise move to avoid a commentard bloodbath down at YouTube."

You've not spent much time on YT, have you? They're not going to argue over the video. They're going to somehow link it to a completely different argument. I imagine there's currently a war going on in the comments section about Republican policies on abortion, or the existence of god.

Microsoft posts first-ever quarterly loss

Greg J Preece

Re: Bad data

Clearly your neighbourhood == the whole world.

BIG BOOBS banished from Linux kernel

Greg J Preece

@TeeCee - Don't be a twat

So one person has concluded he's innocent without seeing the evidence, and you've concluded that he's guilty without seeing the evidence, and that makes the other person shameful, a supporter of rape, etc, etc. Don't be a twat. If anyone's closer to how the justice system actually works, it's the other guy...

Google ordered to censor 'torrent', 'megaupload' and more words

Greg J Preece

Wow, this will really stop torrenting. Pity it won't stop t0rrenting...


Valve to raise Steam for Ubuntu

Greg J Preece

Re: Interesting rant, obviously never tried it

"- Steam has weekend deals that are sometimes astounding (got L4D2 for €5, can anyone top that ?)"

In the last sale I got every GTA game ever released for PC, with all expansions, for £5. I worked it out at something like 66p per game.

Greg J Preece

Re: I do wonder though

"Idle question. When I buy a game like Civ 5 it comes on a DVD but the first thing the installer does is connect to Steam and (re?)download the game files -- all 1Gig of them"

You think Civ5 is only a gig? When I install a Steam game from DVD, it installs everything on the DVD, then goes and gets me the latest updates from Steam as part of the install. If there's been a GOTY release in shops since the game came out, Steam normally gives it to me for free. (I got UT3 Black Edition on Steam by registering a standard edition code, for example).

That download was likely a ton of extra content and patches.

Greg J Preece

Re: Other distros

"Eyefinity" = modern shorthand for "SLI'd 7900GTXs through a ridiculously expensive Matrox external splitter.

Well....if I'm really honest, that's how it was when I first started playing Crysis, and then like an idiot I incinerated the cards, all £400 worth. Fortunately, the splitter box is so insanely expensive that flogging it easily covered the price of an actual mid-range Eyefinity card at about the same power level as my previous cards, so not really an upgrade so much as "idiot burns out expensive cards". I even made a little profit off the splitter box, so PC gaming really did turn out cheaper. ;-)

At least with the PC it was my own stupid fault. When my PS3's yellow light came on, that sure as hell wasn't my fault...

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