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A gaming and technology blog by TWHL admins Penguinboy and Ant. A music blog by TWHL users Ant and Hugh.

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Take a look at all the journal entries from our members.

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avatar Tetsu0 3 comments | 22nd December 2013, 15:11 PM

So this exists:
Cubli
Self balancing cube that can walk and jump....
want!

avatar The_(c)Striker 6 comments | 21st December 2013, 16:47 PM

Took one of these apart today:

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It's a treasure for scavenging lots of wires, capacitors, resistors and whatnot.

avatar Urby 12 comments | 21st December 2013, 09:57 AM

DayZ is the shit!

Warning: Story
So I decided to treat myself to the alpha of DayZ standalone with my Christmas Bonus and bugger me have the last 2 hours whizzed by.

So I spawned in fairly close to a village with an army camp nearby which was handy. It didn't stop me getting savaged by zombies though so I very rapidly started to lose a lot of blood. However, thanks to the massive amount of changes that have been made to improve the inventory system over the mod, I quickly tore my shirt into rags and patched myself before limping over to the camp.

Found an M4 with a damaged sight and no magazine but managed to find an ACOG scope and a magazine with 28 rounds in shortly afterwards. Next thing I know, a random new player stumbles into the same tent as me. He's got nothing but the clothes he spawned in so I drop a pipe wrench I found which he snatches up and proceeds to follow me. I found a map so plan to head to the nearest city to deal with my blood problem. We enter the airfield area and each of us checks out 2 of the barracks. The next time my buddy appears he's kitted out with tactical gear and a shiny assault rifle. He hands me an extra magazine for my M4 and a spare sidearm he found.

We cross the airstrip to check out a couple more buildings and a control tower when I notice another 2 players in the distance, one kitted out like me and a newbie in casual wear with a shotgun. My friend doesn't spot them and vanishes into the tower. I stand upright, and sling my rifle over my shoulder and open the chat. "Friendly"

No dice. A shot whizzes past my head and cracks into the wall behind me. I bolt behind the tower and kiss the dirt, crawling until I find a breach in the wall which I crawl through. I come out behind the tower, the bad guys now moving up to find me. Got me a good flank here. Then my friend, hearing the commotion pops out of the doorway, running straight into the two players. Everyone pauses, just for a second, then it kicks off. My friend gets pinged in the arm and leg and falls to the floor.

I see my chance and peek around the corner of the tower. I pump 3 rounds into the well equipped guy, one of them smashes into his gasmask and he's gone. The newbie player doesn't let up, firing a shot into the wall near my face. I fire frantically back, not getting a kill but he's bleeding badly. He drops into the grass, out of sight.

Meanwhile, my buddy has crawled through the hole in the wall that I cam through earlier and is drifting in an out of consciousness. I tear up another ruined shirt I found and patch him up, then drop some fruit which he grabs and scarfs down. We get our bearings and search the body of the kitted out dude. Most of his gear was destroyed by my shots but we manage to salvage a helmet, some ammo and a water bottle which we quickly share because we're both totally parched.

We never found the other player but I'm fairly confident he must have crawled away to bleed out somewhere. He could have used his clothing for rags to patch himself up but without his friend to back him up he never bothered to engage us again. We did a quick sweep of the area and found a discarded empty shotgun. Whether it was his or not we don't know.

We started heading toward the city before he lost his connection and I logged out to post this. Never even knew the guys name. :(

tl:dr cool stuff happened in my first DayZ game.

Sidenote: Archie, get DayZ you fanny.

Any of you guys have it let me know too. More team mates is good. :P

Bottomnote: Dehydration is fun. Not long after spawning I found myself lying in a pond just lapping that shit up with my face.

avatar Captain Terror 12 comments | 20th December 2013, 18:48 PM

ETA DECEMBER 24th
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Quick Specs
i7-3770 Quad-Core Processor, 3.4GHz, 8MB Shared Cache
8GB DDR3-1333 RAM
1TB 7200 rpm SATA HDD
Nvidia GeForce GT630 2GB
SuperMulti DVD Burner
15-in-1 Memory Card Reader
Wireless-N LAN card
Beats Audio
Windows 7 64-bit Ultimate

Price: $539(Used)

After using the same laptop for the past 6 years, this will be the first desktop system I've owned in recent times.(My last desktop was a p4! :o)

This was definitely and impulse buy and i'm sure i could have found something much better, but i consider it more or less a bandaid, until i get my new high-end gaming notebook this spring/summer.

I will upgrade the video card if i need to, but compared to what i'm using now, the GT 630 2GB is like pure gold =)

Now that i've purchased it and it's shipped, anyone feel free to tell me what is wrong with it, and/or what upgrayedds you'd recommend for optimal performance. Also, i've 30 days to return it with free shipping if not satisfied, so..

avatar DiscoStu 18 comments | 19th December 2013, 08:39 AM

Posting so I can say "I told you" when it happens.

First you have this:
Google has acquired the engineering company that developed Cheetah, the world's fastest-running robot and other animal-based mobile research machines.

Boston Dynamics, which contracts for the US military, is the eighth robotics company snapped up by Google this year.
[...]
Google has said it would honour the existing military contracts with Darpa.

Then you have this:

Instead of every robot building up its own idiosyncratic catalogue of how to deal with the objects and situations it encounters, Rapyuta would be the place they ask for help when confronted with a novel situation, place or thing.

In addition, the web-based service is able to do complicated computation on behalf of a robot - for example if it needs to work out how to navigate a room, fold an item of clothing or understand human speech.

Throw in a bit of this, which Google has been doing with everyone's Android phones for years already:
Computers have been such a prominent, dazzling force in our lives for the past few decades that its easy to forget that subsequent generations might not even consider them to be technology. Today, screens draw constant attention to themselves and these high-visibility machines are a demanding, delightful pit into which we pour our waking hours. Yet we are on the cusp of the moment when computing finally slips beneath our awareness and this development will bring both dangers and benefits.
[...]
Our relationships with computers, in this context, may come to feel more like companionship than sitting down to use a device: a lifelong conversation with systems that know many things about us more intimately than most mere people.
[...]
Such invisibility begs several questions. If our computers provide such firm answers, but keep their workings and presence below our awareness, will we be too quick to trust the information that they provide or too willing to take their models of the world for the real thing? As motorists already know to their cost, even a sat-navs suggestions can be hopelessly wrong.
[...]
Yet as computers slip ever further beneath our awareness, it is important that we continue to ask certain questions. What should an unseen machine be permitted to hear and see of our own, and others, lives? Can we trust what they tell us? And how do we switch them off?

And while we're at it, look at this:
Meet Atlas, a humanoid robot capable of crossing rough terrain and maintaining its balance on one leg even when hit from the side.
[...]
And WildCat, the four-legged robot that can gallop untethered at up to 16mph (26km/h).
[...]
"We do not know what military purpose it will serve but certainly it is a step towards a high-speed ground robot that could be weaponised to hunt and kill."

If this isn't Skynet going beta, I don't know what is.

avatar satchmo 2 comments | 19th December 2013, 05:20 AM

I started my own Minecraft forum today.

Everyone is welcome to join, but the focus is on parents who play Minecraft with their kids.

You can consider this as the sequel to GamingParents.org

avatar Dimbeak 8 comments | 13th December 2013, 00:56 AM

[EDITED]
So, I've been busy with high school! Expecting all A's for my first semester report card, and I've been getting back to video making, now seeing that my voice has crossed the line between "little kids people don't want to hear" and "teens who people are okay with hearing," and I've been inspired by my schoolwork to make a couple of (amateur) videos for school projects.

So, this is my science project about Half Life and Radioactive Dating, and yes, I make a Half-Life 1 joke. I made this with three friends of mine, and yeah, apparently it was the most interesting project we did.

And this is my English project about The Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Although, it's a music video, and the audio's pretty bad in it, so you might want to watch your ears.

I would say that I'm open to criticism, but honestly, I'm not. These videos were made HOURS before their deadlines, and most of the stuff wrong with them I just didn't give a shit I was so tired making them.

(Also, on the subject of not giving a shit about things, I never really credited Rimrook on my science project; I used the image that you use on your birthday journals on TWHL, hope it's okay.)

[EDIT] New video project! Here you go!

avatar Archie 60 comments | 7th December 2013, 05:10 AM

My Windows 8.1 adventure:

Hour 1: Jesus backflipping Christ this is the worst thing I have ever used. Why is there no shut down button? Why is there no X to close windows? WHY ARE THERE NO WINDOWS IN A WINDOWS OS?

Hour 2: Fucking hell, I had to spend 5 just to get a proper Start Menu (off the great guys who made Objectdock which I've used for years, incidentally).

Hour 3: OK, most of my programs are re-installed or repaired... Seems to be vaguely working. But wtf is this metro shit? Right, disabling that altogether. Third party software required to do so.

Hour 4: Ok, so it took me 4 hours just to disable the password login at startup. I am the only person who uses this PC. I do not need a password screen preventing me from leaving it booting up. Why is this shit hidden behind a command prompt, 6 menus and a properties button?

Hour 5: OK, in fairness it does boot up incredibly quickly. The reason I know this, however, is because I'm having to restart every five fucking minutes as I make major changes to the UI. Also some things are crashing worryingly often and 'End Task' is as reliable as it was in Win7 (i.e. not at all) WHERE IS 'END PROCESS'??!?!

Hour 6: I very much enjoyed the simplicity of gadgets in Win7. They weren't pretty, but having a big clock and temperature readouts of my hardware on my second monitor was very useful. This is literally impossible in Win8 because Desktop mode is basically not supported. More third party software required. Went with the often-praised RainMeter and despite its terrible UI (For a UI changing program, go figure) it has actually done a pretty great job.

Hour 7: Win8 has a good App Store. Seriously, there're some really useful things like a dedicated Netflix app. OH THEY CAN'T BE USED IN DESKTOP MODE? WONDERFUL. Well, OK, I'll just make a shortcut to them that'll launch Metro. OH YOU CAN'T. Oh someone on Google has figured it out with an idiotically complicated shortcut available for download? Oh nice, it works. Let me just add the shortcut to StarDock because I enjoy an icon-free desktop. NOPE. DOESN'T WORK.

Hour 8: Watched Netflix on Chrome like usual.

----

SO much style over substance, that was horrible. It's pretty much in a workable state now, but that took a LOT of Rainmeter tinkering and disabling the Metro UI altogether. Managed to get Ultramon and Objectdock working again as well, so it's starting to feel more like my beautiful Win7 setup. I guess it's not as bad as a Mac because I was eventually able to set it up properly, but the fact that it TRIED to be as bad as a Mac and then hid all the advanced options to change it back is forecasting Windows going in a scary direction. Stick to your strengths, lads.

avatar Dimbeak 1 comment | 6th December 2013, 23:06 PM

So I let my friend Jon try out my Oculus Rift. He gets hurt a little bit.

avatar Suture 6 comments | 5th December 2013, 00:08 AM

A little late to the party but, Breaking Bad? Breaking Bad.

avatar JeffMOD 9 comments | 4th December 2013, 13:28 PM

Quick question: What microphones do you guys use for voice and/or general recording? What would you recommend that I can probably get relatively cheap (Under $250) and at retail?

avatar froghair 14 comments | 4th December 2013, 03:42 AM

With coding, I have always been uncomfortable with abstraction, meaning letting the computer do the work for me without really understanding whats going on under the hood. Sure I can tell the computer to draw a cube at such and such coordinates, but how did it know HOW to draw the cube, and how the hell did it project this 3D object onto my flat 2D monitor?

Mappers need not concern themselves with such things, as the beauty of their work is dependent on the landscape, not the raw understanding. But someone looking to modify the game behavior will quickly find themselves lost in a world of vectors and quaternions.

Since playing (and mapping) DukeNukem3D (I was very young) I have been plagued by my lack of understanding of the 3D world. Half-Life made it all the worse. It wasn't until this year while day-dreaming during class that a thought struck me that a 3D object could be projected onto a 2D surface (in our case, the computer screen) by drawing lines from every corner of the object to the perspective point. A plane would sit in front of the perspective point, and where the lines intersected the plane would correspond to the pixel that corner would occupy on the screen.

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Each corner would know what other corners it was attached to, so lines could be drawn after the projection.

To see if this would work, it seemed easiest to go ahead and choose corner coordinates forward of the XZ plane, and derive parametric equations using the XZ plane as the plane of intersection, with the perspective point being slightly behind it (in the negative Y section). This led to the equations:

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Where the X, Y, Z coordinates of the perspective point are P1, P2, P3
and the X, Y, Z coordinates of the corner being projected is V1, V2, V3
(After testing, this only works directly behind the origin. Y is the only coordinate the axis the perspective can move along without distorting the object)

Following this, I used the Arduino Development Board in conjunction with the TVout library to create a 3D cube on my old TV (Inspired by the rotating cube that came with the TVout library sample).

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Its not pretty, its not that impressive, but how can I understand goldsrc if I can't even make a cube from scratch?

3D graphics are really taken for granted these days, and I admit that goldsrc is not the prettiest to look at compared to modern engines. But goldsrc is extremely beautiful and innovative, and perhaps its not until you attempt to write 3D from scratch that you are able to realize that.

avatar Daubster 23 comments | 1st December 2013, 20:58 PM

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Well those were fun.*

I'd be interested in doing something along those lines again, would need volunteers that could help out with the setup though. Also someone who could actually provide entertaining commentary instead of breathing into the mic heavily. >_>

What do you folks think? Game suggestions are welcome.

* "Some of the best times I've had with this community."

avatar Archie 3 comments | 30th November 2013, 23:11 PM

I got a remote-control fighter jet. Whatcha think?

Clicka-tick-tick

avatar The_(c)Striker 0 comments | 30th November 2013, 20:32 PM

Booted up my 15 year-old Pentium 2 today, played some levels from from the Shrapnel City and a bit of NFS2:SE.

Yeah, piece of cake!

avatar satchmo 4 comments | 26th November 2013, 17:09 PM

My son got me into Minecraft, and now I can't stop playing and thinking about the game.

avatar JeffMOD 4 comments | 25th November 2013, 04:04 AM

Heh. Heheheh.
Not sure if this was intentional or not.

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EDIT:
Heh. Heheheh.

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avatar Dimbeak 13 comments | 20th November 2013, 23:05 PM
avatar raver 11 comments | 19th November 2013, 21:37 PM

Raise your hands if you still connect via twhl.co.za in your browser

avatar 2muchvideogames 1 comment | 19th November 2013, 04:58 AM

I just played treasure adventure game, a free game where you go on an adventure to explore islands and find treasure. It's a pretty fun puzzle platformer type of game and I kinda like the music as well. I think you all should try it and get stuck for half an hour figuring out what you were supposed to do. Maybe the treasure chest is on the top of a giant tree. Or maybe the giant cave to the west. Or was it hidden in Your Local Giant Corporation's ventilation system. The adventure takes you to all kinds of weird places and get high. Literally. Also pun intended. And there is an epically lol final boss that I think you should play for yourself (do not spoil it by going on youtube or something)

I got the game from gog.com, which is like an anti-DRM site, so that's a great bonus as well. Have fun!

avatar zeeba-G 5 comments | 14th November 2013, 22:28 PM

Just finished a catalog cover for the company I work for.

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avatar ciba43 3 comments | 14th November 2013, 17:37 PM

For a long time, I wanted to change my graphics card. The 128mb one Nividia quadro 1300 was slow and didn't like shaders. So I bought a new one. I found Nvidia GT 610. It looks great and runs great. Its from the year of 2012, so its pretty new. I also bought some minor stuff I always wanted, like HDMI cable for my RasPi. Thats right, I am byting the Pie :)

Now I can finnaly play GTA4. I doubt it will run GTA5, but I really wanted to play GTA4. Still, I can also play other games.

avatar Skals 10 comments | 9th November 2013, 21:41 PM

Hmmmm so, maybe somebody's wondering where I went, probably not, but maybe somebody will read this journal! And that would make me happy, yay!

Since the beginning of this school term, I've been very busy with Uni. Being a second year games design student, I spend 50% of all my time working on games design assignments:

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,and the other 50% partying:

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,going to events:

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and procrastinating (very important):

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,so I've had no time to do things like playing games, or coming to TWHL for that matter. I felt like making a journal to let people know I am in fact not dead. So yeah, how is everyone doing?

avatar Archie 11 comments | 8th November 2013, 18:34 PM

EDITED!
This thing is an absolute beast. I heartily respect any card that looks like it was designed by Tony Stark.

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(It's worth noting my CPU was clocked higher when the 480 test was run back in February. I have since reduced the overclocking for cooling reasons which is why the physics test scores lower)

#########EDIT#########

Ok, this is just fucking ridiculous

avatar Urby 17 comments | 6th November 2013, 23:43 PM

How is it that an international corporation can charge you to high heaven to use their operating system, when it can just stop working?

I'm totally serious, I made NO changes to my system, I've been using the same AV software since I got this PC, the last time I used it I played some BF4, posted a couple of things on TWHL / Moddb and went to bed.

This evening, I get home from work, turn on my PC and find that it just wont do anything. No net connection, no security, can't even open the task manager sometimes. Spent the last hour looking for a solution on my tablet which came down to me editing my damn registry to fix something that just apparently broke because of reasons!

avatar Tetsu0 3 comments | 4th November 2013, 00:42 AM

Working on some more scripting stuff.

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Yay for assaults!

avatar Suture 7 comments | 31st October 2013, 09:33 AM

Can you feel my love buzz?

avatar Dimbeak 4 comments | 30th October 2013, 20:53 PM

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EA is good writers.

avatar JeffMOD 19 comments | 25th October 2013, 17:33 PM

10011

EDIT 06/11/2013
I like how this has exactly 19 comments.