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Long time TweakTown readers will remember our "SBG" or System Builders Guides section that was a popular feature on our website some years ago.
It was retired for reasons I cannot exactly remember right now, but we are very happy to announce that as of today SBG v2 is up and running! It looks and works much better than the first version of the past.
For one, from our prospective, it is much easier to update and maintain using our swish back-end system - that may be one of the reasons the first version was taken offline. The second, from a user point of view, the pricing is dynamic and updates in real-time. Unfortunately not all products are listed on PriceGrabber (our price search engine partner), so some of the prices are added in manually, but many are updated dynamically providing you with the latest information.
We have three systems in the SBG:
TweakTown Sub-lieutenant PC - for this one our system recommendations are based on building the best PC for a limited price of around $1000 USD.
TweakTown Commander PC - and for this one our system recommendations are based on building a mid-range computer system that provides the best bang for buck up to $2000 USD.
TweakTown Admiral PC - and finally the big daddy! Our Admiral PC represents the best desktop computer system you can build without any cost constraints.
We hope you enjoy the return of SBG and that it proves useful with your next system build!
Well folks, hasn't this been a long time coming?
We've had our little spot on the Internet for 10 years now posting loads of quality daily technology content and we have finally got our act together and put together a proper newsletter, for lack of originality - we're calling it the "TweakTown Weekly Newsletter".
We've actually had the idea to put out a weekly newsletter for a year or more now, but as things go, we've been incredibly busy working on a whole bunch of various projects simultaneously, but we are here now and now I've got to say something interesting, before you delete this email.
So, the purpose of our Weekly Newsletter is to highlight our hottest content of the week, we'll also include our favorite Download of the Day and Deal of the Day for the week. We'll let you know what is happening behind the scenes in this spot. We'll remind you of our Weekly Giveaway.
If it increases in popularity enough, we may even add in some exclusive newsletter-only content such as a short review. For now, please send us all your tips and suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
You know, over the last few days we have told you why we think the new Zune HD is going to give Apple a run for its iPod Touch money. However, most of that has been very speculative. We are sure many of you are wondering where we are getting that idea from.
Well wonder no longer, today the FedEx guy brought us something to make us smile and to let us really tell you how the Zune HD will fare against the iPod Touch. This new toy was a 16GB Zune HD Black.
We received this from the gang over at NVIDIA. They are very excited about this new PMP as it has their own little sweet heart, the Tegra, under the hood. This new SoC is very versatile and powerful. Over the next few days we are going to be giving this a nice run around the block to see exactly how it performs versus an iPhone 3G S (the closest we have on hand to a new iPod Touch).
Until then enjoy these shots taken with a slightly green looking iPhone 3G S.
In our review of the ASRock X58 Extreme we had a few issues with memory; most notably with our kit of Kingston KHX160003K3/3GX. For some reason we could not get that RAM to post. Well this started a series of e-mails between ASRock and TweakTown.
We tried a different BIOS and still could not get the board to post with that kit of memory in the board. Well today an ASRock Engineer actually stopped by our lab In Orlando, FL to take a look at the board and at the setup.
This is an impressive move by a mainboard company and the first time a company engineer has actually wanted to physically see the issue. I am very used to getting a new product or trouble shooting over the phone or through e-mail but a personal visit is something altogether different.
The engineer in question was named William Yu; William was quick to let me know it was not just the board that he was there to see, but he also wanted to meet me and to see the testing setup. I was unable to reproduce the exact issues I was having with the original BIOS and setup but William did let me know that ASRock was very concerned with making sure issues like this are addressed.
He also asked me about expectations from mainboards in general and was very interested in hearing our input on board layout design, overclocking and performance.
I have to say that any company that would be willing to make this effort certainly has my respect. The X58 in question is also running much better with the latest BIOS P130 than it was. I have been able to cold boot the Kingston KHX160003K3/3GX kit several times and was even able to run some tests through it. More importantly I was able to boot this kit using both of the XMP profiles (1866 and 2000).
We just concluded a design contest over at 99designs (a great tool for getting new logos etc made) and we are pleased to show you our brand new TweakTown award logos.
We'll be implementing these on the site shortly.
This new design is just the beginning of what's to come.
After a good couple months of planning, consideration and execution, we are very pleased to welcome you to the brand new TweakTown web design for 2009!
So, what do you think? - We are very satisfied with the end result and much kudos needs to go to our head developer Justin who was responsible for a great part of what you now see.
We still have a lot of work to do - Justin is going to start working on a much more improved custom made publishing back-end as of now and once that is done, you, as our readers, will begin to see a whole series of new features and sections introduced over the following months.
Our lips are sealed for the moment, but we are quite sure it will help TweakTown grow even more and also provide a lot more value and entertainment to the site for you; more so just than articles and reviews.
Another step that we have decided to make in the very near future is to merge TTGamer into TweakTown, resulting in your primary source for all the latest in gaming news and reviews as well as regular technology content and I.T. news.
For now, life goes on and you can expect the same level of high quality technology content along with much more of it.
It should be noted that there may be a few small teething problems to come with the new design, but we will be dealing with any potential issues or bugs very promptly over the next few days.
Stay safe and thanks for reading!
On behalf of the large and growing team at TweakTown, I want to wish you all a very big Merry Christmas as well as a safe, happy and prosperous New Year for 2009!
As it is time for our annual break and time to take it easy for a little, news and content will slow down over the next couple of weeks. We will still post new items for you to read, but it will just be slower than usual. You should all be spending time with your family and friends anyway!
Again, Merry Xmas and Happy New Year!
Over the past few months we've (namely our kick ass developer Justin) been making many changes to our servers and back-end. Now that most of those changes are complete, we are set to roll out a whole bunch of features to the front-end, that is, stuff that you guys can actually see and use.
In our last re-design we implemented the ability to change font size and that was really popular. Now we have just rolled out the ability to adjust the width of the site. We did this due to the fact that most of our readers according to our server logs run a wide screen resolution which could probably accommodate one or two extra TweakTown designs in the same window for the lucky readers using large LCD monitors.
Now you can easily adjust the site width by clicking the buttons at the top left of the site under the logo. You don't need to refresh the page and it will remember your selection.
This is just the first of the visible changes you will see to TweakTown and we are busy working on many new features that will be rolled out over the following months.
I normally wouldn't review a theatrical release for TweakTown, but for Indiana Jones, I will make an exception.
For franchise fans, there will be two burning questions.
Is it as good as the originals? :-
Yes, and no. It's better than Temple of Doom, but inferior to Raiders and Last Crusade.
Is Harrison Ford too old for this shit? :-
Nope. He looks pretty damn good for his age and I didn't disbelieve his stunts.
I've always been a pretty big fan of Indiana Jones and I have followed the progress of the latest installment, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull with great interest. It's great to see such a legend back on the silver screen, like catching up with an old friend. I particularly enjoyed one nod to Raiders, which I won't spoil here. Suffice to say it near made me defecate myself in nerd-dom.
Crystal Skull works best when it sticks to the Indiana Jones formula. One particular sequence which has Jones stuck in a Nevada test site that is just about to go nuclear; is a blast, pardon the pun.
Unfortunately, the rollicking fun start soon gets bogged down in talky disposition, and as the film progresses I find myself having less fun. Action sequences that should be rousing, end up not knowing when to stop (the jungle car chase) and the puzzle solving and plot building mechanisms soon disintegrate into meaningless babble. This is just not how an Indiana Jones film should be.
Ultimately, I came out of the film not knowing what to think. It certainly takes the franchise in a new direction, but one in which my level of disbelief, on a few fronts, is stretched past my limit. What's more, I also can't put this down to a 'too high expectations' boat, because they weren't really that high.
Where Indiana Jones does succeed however, is that it at least looks like an Indiana Jones film. Despite many of the crew having retired, or not being available, Spielberg and Lucas have done a great job emulating the look of the originals, from the occasional use of soft focus, to the camera work, to the sound effects (yes, the Wilhelm scream has been bought out of retirement too). It's also great that John Williams returns to provide the score, even if he does fail to introduce any really memorable audio cues.
When it's all said and done, I still for the most part enjoyed this latest outing. Despite my issues with the film, I look forward to adding it to my Blu-ray collection later this year (make a big-ass Blu-ray boxset for Christmas '08 guys), and I would still like to see a fifth installment, so long as they can make another film more befitting the status of the talent available, and the name of the franchise.
We've just got our first 8800GT sample and it comes from MSI. We couldn't help ourselves, we just had to post a couple of pictures of the card before we started to benchmark it. The card itself isn't anything that remarkable to look at as it follows the reference design and MSI have only added a couple of stickers.
It is also clocked at the reference speeds, 600MHz for the GPU, 1,500MHz for the shaders and 1,800MHz for the memory. However, this card should be quite overclockable and we will give this a go while test the card. Check back with us on Monday for the full review.