Cleaning Up

The site was hit by a virus during the last week, and the webhost blocked the files that were infected from being opened.  The mess is mostly cleaned up, clean data has been re-uploaded & I should be good to go again soon.  This certainly made an interesting week a bit stranger…

 

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Computer Funtimes

The last week has been a bit … interesting for me.  On the 14th my new computer wouldn’t boot, everything that I tried didn’t work, as I had to go to work, and wouldn’t get home again until very late, I left it for Friday night.

On Friday I took the computer down and removed the side panel to see what the diagnostic LEDs were showing.  ’00’ – That code is probably one of the worst ones that you can get.  Generally it means that the UEFI/BIOS isn’t loading for whatever reason.  Without the UEFI/BIOS, your computer is a brick.  Thankfully the motherboard that I purchased has a backup bios, accessed via a switch on the motherboard.  Only it also wasn’t working, due to a bug, which meant that I would need to upgrade the UEFI/BIOS to a newer version.  I downloaded the latest version of the UEFI from the manufacturers website and put it on a USB stick.  first I decided to try the upgrade on the bad UEFI, it didn’t work, but upgrading the working ‘backup’ UEFI did work.

Before I put my computer back in place I decided to try the bad UEFI again and suddenly… I got the error that the backup UEFI had been giving before I upgraded it to the latest version.  I tried the upgrade again, which worked this time, then I tried booting… ’00’  the UEFI that had died was gone again.  I switched to the backup again and started the machine, and saw a message that the CMOS (Storage for UEFI) had been reset.  I set my UEFI settings again, ran Windows for a while on my test bench, and decided to flip the switch to the old UEFI one last time before I put the machine back in its place (I really wanted to still have the backup, just in case) finally the machine booted on the UEFI that had been giving the error ’00’

Since then I have had my machine running properly, I have a working backup UEFI/BIOS so hopefully I’ll be able to fix this sooner if it ever happens again. (I really hope that this doesn’t happen again…  It’s not fun having a computer that’s essentially a brick.)

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Vive review – one week on

Well, I have had my Vive for one full week so far, and it is still extremely fun to play on.  I was hoping to have my Oculus so that I could do a comparison of both headsets, but as of right now, I have no info on when it’ll arrive, aside from the ‘estimated shipping’ being between today and May 12th.

Roomscale – This is a game changer, at least for people with enough space.  It needs a 1.5×2 meter space to move around in.  I have had the good fortune to have a 2×2 meter area to play in so I actually exceed the minimum area a bit.  Being able to move around to interact with the environment adds a lot to the immersion.  On the other hand, roomscale needs, well a decently large empty room to move around in.

Motion controllers – The Vive wands are very interesting devices, very reminiscent of the Wiimotes from the Nintendo Wii.  The Vive wands are a little larger than a wiimote, thanks to the circular tracking part at the top of the controller.  This part is what allows the wand to track properly.  The accuracy is amazing, part of me wants to see if I could juggle them in VR, though I really don’t want to break one of them…  They have large touchpads that can be used in different ways by various games, they also double as buttons, there is also a ‘menu’ button directly above the touchpad and the system button is directly below the touchpad.  On the back side of the controller is the trigger and grip buttons.  Overall these controllers work very well, though it’d be nice if they had larger batteries or replaceable batteries.  They haven’t died on me in game yet, but they do show that they’re running low on power fairly quickly.

Base stations – You set these up outside of the outer corners of your roomscale area.  If you don’t need roomscale, you can get buy with just one, but it is highly recommended to have both for proper tracking.  It can be annoying having the headset drop to a gray screen if tracking is lost by, say looking away from the base station.  People on Reddit have been complaining about the base stations being loud, in my experience they are quieter than the fans on my computer, so mine are very quiet.  Ambient sounds easily drown out any noise made by the base station motors.  The large amount of space that they allow for tracking is awesome, though there can be dead zones depending on where you mount them.

The headset itself – It looks like something straight out of a Sci-Fi movie, and works awesomly.  I have seen people complaining about the screen door effect and ‘God Rays’, so far the SDE is there, but it’s far better than it was on the Oculus DK1 or DK2.  You will only see SDE if you look for it, when playing games I usually don’t notice SDE issues.  On the issue of God Rays, I only really see any of those when there is something overly bright against a dark/black background.  Usually game scenes won’t have that much contrast in their environments, so the god ray issue isn’t really all that bad.

In the end, I’m extremely happy with the Vive and the games that are currently available for it.  I’m looking forward to what’ll be coming in the future.  The Vive is a taste of what’s to come in my opinion, things can only get better from here.  Now I wait to see what the Rift will be like…

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I’m very happy today…

When I woke up this morning I found out that my Vive will be shipping soon!  I don’t think that I’ve been so happy to see a large charge before…

ViveComingSoon

 

Too bad it appears that my Oculus won’t be here until May, something must have gone very wrong on their end to be so slow on sending out preorders.  My Vive was preordered sometime between 15 and 20 minutes after the preorders opened, while my preorder for the Rift went through at 7 minutes.  I understand that manufacturing companies will be better at their logistics, but come on… Oculus has Facebook backing them, You’d think that they’d be able to sort things out at least a bit better.

I guess that for now I’ll be comparing the Vive to the Oculus DK2 for the time being.  On another note, the DK1 doesn’t work in Oculus Home, effectively making the device a brick for anyone who upgraded.  It isn’t an awesomely high-end device, but it should still be able to work.  I wonder how long it’ll be until someone makes a wrapper that makes the DK1 work again.

On yet another VR Related note, people have managed to get the Vive to work with some Oculus Exclusive games.  You can take a look if you want, I find it very interesting.  I wonder how well this will work in the future.  Hopefully Oculus will add support for other headsets, I’m sure that more people would spend money on their store if they could play on more than one type of device.

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I’m back!

Sorry about not updating since … 2012!?

Well…  I have some work cut out for me now.  Work has been quite busy as of late, though things finally appear to be slowing down a bit.  I’m going to start posting new content in the near future, including a review of my new Microsoft Surface Pro 3.  Well, have a nice day. 🙂

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