Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Personal Computing

PC gaming... just one of my many passions - like living the beer life; working out fervently so I can live the beer life without carrying around a keg for a belly; writing about the beer life; coming up with ways to make money living the beer life (bars, beer tours, etc.); PC gaming, and writing the never-ending novel. And of course - loving my wife!

Over the last several months I've been testing out a few items that have since become "official" PC gaming peripherals of the Mad Man. These are items that I believe all PC gamers should get their grubby mitts on ASAP in order to improve their overall gaming experience.

First up we have Bigfoot Networks Killer NIC (network interface card). This beast really does help eliminate the lag and latency associated with online gaming. Check out my review of this networking maestro here for all the details as to why you need one of these sooner rather then later. Especially if you're brave (or is that stupid?) enough to be running Vista. It comes in two versions ( The M1 has an MSRP of $279.99, the K1 has an MSRP of $199.99), and both do a bang up job.

Next up... Logitech's G15 gaming keyboard. My editor Steven said it's the best keyboard he's come across (and that's saying something since he's tested so many lately). Although this bad boy is retailing for $99, you can pick it up off eBay for half that (I did). With a plethora of gaming features - 64 programmable macro keys, a little LCD to tell you all sorts of interesting things, MP3 compatible, backlit with a sweet blueish color to game at night without the lights on (S.T.A.L.K.E.R. takes on a whole new creepy meaning my friends)... you can't go wrong. With a few weeks of test driving this thing, it is oh so sweet.

Moving on... if you don't wanna go to all the hassle of setting up a 5.1 surround sound system for your PC, do I have a great alternative for you! Turtle Beach has one serious set of gaming headphones - the Ear Force HPA2 - are the best I've heard (and I've tested plenty in the last 6 months). In my recent review I gave it a perfect 10/10. It's the only set of headphones we've given a perfect mark to. For a limited time you can snag a pair of these insanely comfy cans for a mere $99 (normally $129.00). The biggest bonus is its ability to thump out true ear drum rattling bass! Something no other headphones have been able to impress me with. These do!

Lastly... if you've never used a specialized gaming surface for your mouse - like me - do yourself a favor and try one out. The Razer eXactMat friggin rocks! This large, anodized aluminum mat has two surfaces (one for speedy action/adventure and FPS games that require high-sensitivity, and one for controlling RPG and RTS and other low-sensitivity games). I didn't think such a thing would make so much of a difference... but it does!

It's been a good long while since I did my "What I'm BLANK-ing List," so...

S.T.A.L.K.E.R. (kick ass fun, and kick as HARD), City of Heroes (& Villains), Overlord demo (this is gonna be a great, fun game folks!), Dungeon Runners (a hysterical new freetail MMO from NCsoft)

Watching (TV): Rescue Me (GREAT show!), Hell's Kitchen (guilty pleasure), Meadowlands (Showtime's new, very bizarre, series), Pirate Master (Jack Sparrow would kick all their asses), Deadwood

Watching (Movies): Breach (really good "slow burn" thriller), Spider-Man 3 (somewhat disappointing)

Listening To: Army of Anyone (lead singer of Filter + guitarist and bassist from Stone Temple Pilots = ROCKIN'!), the Spencer Durham Group, Pillar (outstanding Christian rock band), my buddy Terry Terrones (aka ColoradoJoe) Podcast, Skillet (another great Christian rock band)

Reading: Dan Brown's Angels & Demons (super good, better than The Da Vinci Code!) and From the Ashes of Angels by Andrew Collins (a very intriguing pseudo-religious viewpoint)

Writing: Been on a 2-month "break" from working on my never ending novel, but I'm almost at page 100; writing a preview for the upcoming game Loki

Waiting For: Big Brother 8 (another guilty pleasure - LOVE this show!); Bioshock; Hellgate London; and September 1 - we're going to see the KING! (BB King's Blues Festival @ Red Rocks, with BB King, Etta James and Al Green - WOOOHOOOOO!)

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