Category Archives: General

General items that fit either no category or more than one category.

2022 Year of PC Gaming

With December quickly coming to a close, I am now looking forward to 2022. Sadly, the Steamdeck was delayed into Q1 2022 but the hunger for PC Gaming continues. My current “steambox” that I’ve talked about a long time ago continues to run albeit in a limited capacity. The Intel i3 3220, a budget processor when I got it back in 2013 still works but in the gaming sense is struggling. The original 8gb of ram had been upgraded to 16gb with the thought it would extend the life of the system which it has valiantly done. The graphics card in the system has been upgraded twice with hand-me-down cards from co-workers. Starting out as a XFX Radeon HD 6670, upgraded to an ASUS Radeon HD 5850 Top DirectCU. Then upgraded again to a Gigabyte Radeon HD 7870. The 7870 had recently failed resulting in a downgrade back to the 5850. I knew there wasn’t going to be much life left in this 2013 budget build and 2022 is going to be the year of PC gaming.

Research was done to build a competent gaming PC but within a price range I would be comfortable with. For PC gaming, my target is 1440p resolution and this made the Nvidia 3070 the graphics card that caught my eye. Now, trying to find a card with the current market and limited supply. I have a knack for finding items that are in limited supply but trying to find a graphics card which come in so many different variations is tough. After a few weeks of observing things, I came to the realization that putting together a PC myself was doable but the time commitment to be able to watch for the parts I need not feasible. So I instead turned to pre-builts.

Looking at pre-built PCs I wanted to ensure that I was buying something that was working now and could be upgraded into the future. I didn’t want to completely overpay for something just to get the graphics card either. I checked around at a number of sites like ibuypower, cyberpower, and newegg. It seemed like even with pre-builts I wasn’t guaranteed to see something right away either. I would have to watch a bit and the pounce when the right deal came along.

This brings me to Newegg on boxing day. I found myself looking at an ABS Gladiator with an Intel i7 11700KF, Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 (brand to be determined during build), ASUS TUF Gaming Z590 Plus WIFI motherboard, G.Skill Trident RGB 16gb DDR4 3200 RAM, 1TB Intel M.2 NVMe, 750W 80 plus gold PSU. The specs should be good for PC gaming today and into the future. I could have opted for the non-K variant of the processor and a 3060 Ti graphics card but for the minor price difference I felt it was worth it. Now, I just have to wait for the shipment to arrive.


December 2021 is going to be an exciting time for mobile gaming. With the release of the steamdeck, I will have access to my expansive, yet largely underutilized, steam library. The promise of a powerful, portable device to play my PC games seems like something I can get behind. Although my preorder didn’t make it for the initial December 2021 release window, I’ll likely see my steamdeck sometime in Q1 2022.

Xbox Series X

With the new Xbox Series X just weeks away I thought it would be great time to update the blog. It has been almost five years since the last post and just like bumping a dead thread back, here I am. The new Xbox release is exciting times as it gives a fresh start to the console cycle and resets the status quo. The launch of this new console may be lacking a must have game but the performance boost coming to older games will make this worthwhile. The improved loading times and framerates will give me reason to play some of my back catalogue that seems to be never ending and growing continuously due to Game Pass. This brings me to my next topic of how great a deal Microsoft has with Game Pass. This catalogue of titles and day-one releases, being further supplemented with the EA Play catalogue, is an outstanding value. I rarely have to buy a game and yet I am being flooded with content.

Games I’ll be playing on day one:
Gears Tactics
Call of Duty Warzone
Destiny 2
Halo MCC
Borderlands 3

Star Wars The Force Awakens : DBOX Review

The Star Wars hype has been building for a while now, so to finally watch the movie in theaters with AVX 3D DBOX is a treat. This would be my first time seeing a movie on DBOX so I wasn’t sure going in what to expect. The concept is simple, a seat that vibrates and moves in sync with the movie. That all sounds easy enough but what I experienced while watching the latest Star Wars was game changing. The first 15 minutes of the movie I couldn’t stop smiling and almost giggling with delight as I felt the initial blaster fire rocking me in my seat. The movement of the seats matched the panning of the camera and immersed me in the film. I really felt like I was in the action as I followed behind the Millenium Falcon and the TIE fighters chased me. The subtle glide to the seat as I panned around the characters almost as if I was the counterweight in the steady cam following the action. I can’t explain how much I enjoyed the movie but the DBOX experience is something I hope to repeat before the movie leaves the theatres. I even went as far to look online afterwards to see how much a home DBOX setup would cost (too much). However, the DBOX experience isn’t for everyone. It seemed like half the people I spoke with ended up turning down the effects of the DBOX. For me, it was a two hour and 15 minute amusement ride I plan on riding again.

Ace of Spades (PC)

I was watching some random gaming videos the other day and one video really caught my eye. The game is called Ace of Spades. It has been described as Team Fortress meets Minecraft. It has all the visual style of Minecraft as well as the world manipulation and some building elements. It mixes in multiple classes and weapons for head to head combat. There are multiple game modes ranging from deathmatch and capture the flag all the way to zombie mode. The game comes from indie publisher Jagex who would be best known for Runescape. Ace of Spades is available on steam for the regular price of $9.99

Training Course at MicroAge

Next week I will be taking a training course at MicroAge in Regina. The course is called Automating Administration with Windows PowerShell 2.0 and should be really interesting. This is a Microsoft Training product with course number 10325a. There are many times during my day at work that I will be doing administrative tasks in active directory which could be sped up by scripting. I am hoping to take what I learn in this course and really improve my day to day performance. The course runs Monday to Friday and covers a large number of topics related to PowerShell 2. The course description can be found here

Fixing a Broken Blog

I happened to stumble upon one of my older blogs that I still “maintain” and noticed everything looked off. First off there was no style sheet loading and the content was flowing on a plain white background. Secondly, while trying to get into the admin console, I am greeted with a cannot open the wp-admin folder… File may not exist. Uh oh, I just finished dealing with a hijacked WordPress install and don’t want to deal with that again. I decided that would be a weird hijack as the only thing that happened was the style sheet is missing. Looking at the site the directories and files all still exist fine.

This just got weird! Looking a little closer at the files and directories I notice the permissions are all out of whack. SMS directories are set to 700 which isn’t close and some files are 600. After making some changes and adjusting directories to 755 and the files to 644 everything seems to be fixed up. Now that I have the site back up and running I have to wonder, how did the permissions get modified in the first place! I guess that’s for my hosting provider to know and for me to find out.

Work Related Winnipeg Trip

Monday and Tuesday next week will involve me travelling to Winnipeg to take part in a lab exam for a CS2 competition at work. I am looking forward to the opportunity to apply some of my knowledge and really prove that I can do that kind of work. I am going into the exam not knowing what it will be about at all. I am imaging some high level troubleshooting related to some server configuration. I bet the test will be to get the server back up and running with some things thrown in to try to make me jump over hurdles. With that kind of expectation, I’ll make sure to slow down and really take my time with things. It is a three hour exam after all. Outside of this trip, I haven’t ever really taken time to go to Winnipeg before. I don’t really have high expectations about going to Winnipeg in January and I bet I’ll feel like the guys on that old commercial where they say that line: “going to Winnipeg”. I know its only going to be for one night but I imagine I’ll be missing home while I am away.

Cleaning up Malware

It looks as though some malware had found itself onto my web pages. At first I was a little confused how this java script was able to find its way onto a number of the pages on my site. I looked a little deeper and noticed that most of the infections surrounded one of my blogs running WordPress. It turns out that was a blog I hadn’t really posted anything to and neglected for years. Well, neglect can turn ugly in a hurry. The JavaScript payload to the header.php file put some script on top of every page on that blog. It also put the script onto a couple of other pages on the server. Needless to say there was a bit of clean-up involved. Now I am appealing to Google to clear the blacklisting upon my webpage.

In the end, the moral of the story is that you should make sure to continue updating your blog software as new versions are released. Also, if there are plug-ins and other add-ons you are no longer using, remove them to avoid other possible attacks.

Galaxy Nexus Coming Soon

Well, today was a big day for announcements. It seemed like every carrier in Canada announced that the Galaxy Nexus is coming soon. It must have been the end of Bell’s exclusivity. The Galaxy Nexus is the latest offering that android has to offer with Android OS 4.0 and a pile of really great new features. The device has a lot going for it with a great display and very quick dual core processor.

For myself, buying a Galaxy Nexus might be a little expensive. It looks like the outright price will be $650. So, here’s hoping that my Nexus S gets the Android 4.0 update soon.