Skip to content

Help 4 Your PC – Manchester Computer Support

South Manchester IT Support At Your Home


Category: /English only/

Welcome to my VR (=Virtual Reality) special post!

Before I start getting into way-too-many details on VR 😉 let’s see what has been happening recently around.

First of all, Russia has joined anti-terrorist fights in Syria and they are actually making a good progress there. It would be all fine and dandy if they were a bit more selective on who terrorists are and who’s not as they seem to attack all(ish) of them including groups backed and armed by the United States. That, as you can imagine, is not liked by all. Unfortunately, we don’t know what really pushed Russia to the war. Is that a need of more peace in the World or the fact that Syria’s crude oil sold on illegal markets is a factor in the world oil’s price getting lower and lower and Russia being 2nd (after Saudi Arabia) biggest world exporter is losing a lot of money they could potentially make.

…and now for something completely different.

The 88th Academy Awards ceremony called simply “Oscars” was held last night (from 12.00am UK time). For a lovely article about it go to this post made by The Washington Post. In brief, Mad Max: Fury Road got as many as 6 Oscars, which makes it the biggest winner. The best picture award went to a movie “Spotlight”. Leonardo DiCaprio has finally got his own statuette, as a best lead actor, for the movie “The Revenant”. Quite a surprise is the best original song award which went to… “Writing’s on the Wall” from “Spectre”, music and lyric by Jimmy Napes and Sam Smith. Sam (+ many others…) was well gobsmacked. He has dedicated the Oscar to the LGBT.

Potential UK exit from EU has made quite a stir internationally. The United Kingdom European Union membership referendum will be held on 23 June 2016. Cameron’s “rather” weak deal on changes if UK to stay does not help, either. The Telegraph has prepared a very informative article on the topic. It feels like it’s all a bit too quick and random as most voters have no idea what are advantages and disadvantages of the potential exit are, nor the UK is prepared for all the changes that would have to be done if we to go our own way. One thing is for sure, if we exit, the pound will lose a lot of value which will mean way more expensive holidays abroad for us all, which may be a deal breaker 😉 More seriously, it can be years for any benefits of exiting the EU to be seen. Please don’t leave that matter to others, do your own research, have a think and go and do cast your vote as it is a BIGGIE.

In the world of smartphones, Samsung has recently announced its new flagship model(s), the Galaxy S7 (and S7 Edge). From the few but significant changes over the S6 are the microSD external card support, waterproofness, improved low-light camera (a lot!) and the larger and still fast charging battery. There is a good CPU and GPU power boost over the S6 as well. Trusted Reviews offers a rare and quite detailed review on their page.

Ok, what I was going to write about here?! Ahh, yeah, the VR!

While probably most of your family and friends spending mostly their money on booze and travels (I don’t judge, 300 days a year of clouds and or rain in places like Manchester area is not an easy thing to withstand) would call it just another bizarre gadget that no-one will use, they may be wrong this time around.

Virtual Reality has similar potential to revolutionise our lives as the computers or Internet have done. VR systems are primarily made of headsets (HMD=head-mounted display). The headsets with built-in displays have a technology to detect the head movements quickly and accurately which is used to immerse the user into the 3d environment by changing the displays’ view accordingly. The display depth can be controlled thanks to dual displays – that works like a 3d goggles you may have used in your living room or a cinema. More advanced VR sets come with extra dedicated peripherals like wireless, 3d space tracked controllers for hands and/or laser stations being able to track your whole body position. In short, the immersion can be almost total to the point one can mistake being in a room with HMD on his head for actually being in a jungle watching dangerous animals, walking on a thin line over the waterfall or being the Red Baron flying an airplane during World War 1 looking constantly around for more enemies to shot down.

Examples of VR games can be checked in the Tech Radar’s article.

So, it is all about computer gaming again? Nope.

VR will eventually allow organisations like NASA to train better their future cosmonauts, or immerse public in space worlds like with this Mars trips project.

VR will allow for even better remote surgeries and training. Interactive VR movies are already being worked on, as well. Virtual Reality can make you actually use your exercise bike as will make your journey exciting. Tourism industry can choose VR to give you a sneak peek on what to expect on the holidays they sell and car companies will try to immerse you on how it is to drive their best ever cars. Are you good in painting? How about 3d painting?

The possibilities are endless.

There are already two VR solutions that can be pre-ordered with deliveries in April or later this year. First is Oculus Rift owned by Facebook. It’s UK price is £500 (+ tax & shipping) and you will need a decent PC to run it. Another one is Vive Pre made by HTC with Steam’s co-operation. This headset is superior to the Oculus as comes with two hand controllers (3d space detection) and room scale technology allowing for full body movements being captured within your room. This full set with two full games and an application is priced £746.60 in UK including shipping and taxes. The same as the Oculus Rift, the system works with a decent Windows PC. You can check whether your rig is good enough by running the SteamVR Performance Test.

If I have managed to capture your imagination, you can read more about Virtual Reality on many web portals. Some worth mentioning are VRfocus, The Guardian’s VR section and ExtremeTech.

Thank you for reading and bloody well done! My post was not small at all this time; it was made using 1100 words in total to be precise.

Once you have a lovely wife (or a long term girlfriend), a good job, a car and a house your are pretty much sorted. That has happened to me some time ago and life became somewhat less exciting. It could be just me but I have a feeling that you need some deep passion or something like that next to keep an edge to the life.

I have got lucky; I have become a daddy :)

From Tech world news -> Samsung Galaxy S6 and its Edge variant have been released. While S6 is crowned simply the best “Android” smartphone on a market, the Edge has a little bad press. Some say the curved screen is a gimmick, some say it shatters easily if broken and it is not hard to do just that and that this variant has problems with gyroscope which overheats and freezes making the things like auto-rotate cease to work. Well, while some of that and to some degree maybe currently true (but will not stay for long), it is normal for state-of-art, original or saying plainly AWESOME things. The above and a fact that apparently Edge is being sought-after in UK more than standard version makes the handset widely… unavailable, and there is no date on when enough units will be provided to serve all pre and current orders here :( (update) As I have found out from a good source the official(ish) reason for the delay of Edges (btw, guess what’s a new name for the IE replacement? 🙂 is a complete surprise of the demand of curved screen phone variant where only one of over 40 Samsung factories worldwide was made to produce the special screens for the handset.

General technical problems don’t exclude a mighty Apple. Their Apple Watch is heavilly delayed due to problems with its Taptic Engine and probably more, as it is just hard to put that thing altogether. I do give Apple a credit as it looks like a solid device, and as usually their marketing is great, there is a watch for everybody, well, nearly, as the base one is not actually cheap and at the moment won’t do much without an iPhone in range. Still, I do like it (and it was not easy thinkg to admit…).

On 7th May there is a UK general election. We are going to pick our MPs which will then form a new government. It looks like it will have to be Labour, but can you really trust them, can you trust anybody really with picking good changes & blocking bad ones to improve things for us all, not just the wealthy?

Finally, Microsoft is close to release its really revolutionary operating system Windows 10. I am not even going to try to list new changes on Win 8.1, for details see the Tech Radar page which gets regular updates. IMHO, it is going to be awesome.

Thanks for reading and please do comment. I would love to know what you think about the things I have written about here. See you! It's a Boy!

“After anti-EU parties surge, what’s ahead”

headlines say as far-right parties gain everywhere in recent European elections. It is actually pretty interesting what is ahead.  Is that a beginning of the end of EU? Well, very unlikely. It is a wake up call for whole EU as it is time for a change. Complete lack of public information re EU saying what, how, when and why -> must change. Too much politics and not enough strategy for competing with likes of China, Russia or USA, have to stop. So, for that reason I am happy that UKIP has gained so much in UK as this will hopefully open a proper debate on EU and our membership in it. The Anti-EU party gains EU-wide should start a chain of events, changes, to make things better inside the whole European Union, too. Finally, when the 2016 (UK) EU opt-out/opt-in referendum will be hosted, most of the people will hopefully say YES to vote for favour of staying in. Some very interesting lecture can be found in The Telegraph article, another one there, and The Economist one.

Elsewhere… Netflix UK is back again the exciting platform for legal movies streaming. If you are a type of TV series fan, you will be extra happy with the service as there are more, more and more great ones getting availble there. A great example would be Netflix made House of Cards. It is a state-of-the-art political drama, which will make you want to see more and more and more… Highly recommended and it could help you become “better” person, too.

In gaming world news you cannot miss the big name everywhere – Watch Dogs.  This novelty game is available on Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4 and the PC from today (steam link here). Wii U version is in works with a later release date. The idea of the game is that you play in not-that-far-from-now inter-connected world where all can be hacked to your advantage. The game supposed to be incredibly exciting to play and looks just awesome (on a PC with Nvidia card at least…). The way it is done, those mechanics, that excitment of doing something illegal, open world adventure, it is all there. Early reviews can be found on Trusted Reviews and gamesradar, but are those real ones or put in after hacking into those sites?… There is however a stink with a PC version where you will need an Nvidia card to get the most of the game. It will run on AMD cards, too, but due to lack of the optimisation will not look or run that well at the moment. But… just before you rush to spend your hard earned (or not 😉 money, go to the Metacritics gamers reviews which are… mostly unfavourable. Players are not happy with many things but mostly they find the game boring after some time which seems to be due to the fact that the game is simply not fully finished. They call that a game is too easy to control (hacking) and not looking that great on consoles as they would like it. You have been warned.

Finally, there is a chance that in a future we will all be driving… on solar freakin roadways!

See you soon, that’s a promise. anti-eu2

Sorry, this entry is only available in English

Sorry, this entry is only available in English

Sorry, this entry is only available in English

I was browsing the Internet on Friday and quite accidently opened a website where I was told Blizzard is hosting an open public beta of Diablo III this weekend.

While, I am not a die-hard fan of Diablo franchise (Elder Scrolls is my kind of RPG games really), I have spent many hours of night time playing Diablo when I was young.

I remember the games were utterly addictive and “only one more level…” thoughts were a norm while playing around 1-2am in the morning.

So, I have downloaded the game quite quickly thanks to fast broadband (it took around 15min) and started to install it. Once installed, I had to retrieve my account details which took me a while, but, that was nothing… The trouble started when I tried to login with the correct details. Basically, the European servers decided to give me an error message (“Error 3003”) every time I tried to login. After many tries and googling around, I found that changing to US servers in the config should help. Eventually, after many additional tries I did get to connect successfully, however “servers are full” message will be present in my dreams to come for days.

So, is the new Diablo III any good?

Well, it’s georgeous! You can feel the old good Diablo in it, fantastic background music, graphics and effects. Loads of NPCs to speak and fight along with, loooads of items to find, and beautifully ugly monsters to slash or kill by other means.

IMHO, Blizzard has actually put too many items now, and it’s too easy to find magical ones, too. You can probably fix it by playing on higher difficulty level so that’s not a problem.

It looks like the game will work on not so powerful machines too, which is good for all of you which don’t spend on computers that much anymore. I could run it on maximum resolution and highest graphics details settings with a very smooth gameplay while not having a ridiculous expensive or new set.

So, if you are a Diablo addict or would like to try something new from the company which makes great games like Starcraft or WoW, that’s a title for you. Diablo III is coming out next month, on 15th May.

0Lubię to!