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  • Viking360 modded PS3 controller – all your Call...
    By on October 17th, 2012 | No Comments Comments

    I recently received a modded PS3 controller from Viking360 (Xbox360 modded controllers are also available. The one controller I received in particular is the black PS3 modded controller called the Ragnarok with USB option for $129.90USD while a non USB version is $99.95USD.

    At first glance, the Ragnarok controller looks exactly like a regular PS3 controller. The only difference is the extra tiny mod switch on the back of the controller. I had sometime to test out the different modes like burst fire, jitter mode, akimbo mode, rapid fire, timed reload (they call it Fast Reload) where you can control the timing of your reload. All of these modes are designed specially for the Call of Duty series and may work for other games as per the details on the site.

    The first few tries of switching modes weren’t as smooth and I had to really find a relatively quiet spot to switch between them. But it became second nature soon enough. I’m not going to go into too details on how to switch modes but I will talk about one of them just to give you an idea. For example, for rapid fire mode, all you have to do is hold the mod switch and hit the R1 button, you will see Player 4 LED flashes which tells you that the controller has received your command. You are now in rapid fire mode and you can now fire any single shot weapons like the FAL as if it was a SMG or LMG. Another feature I want to briefly mention is the Zombie mode which offers auto-aim with or without rapid fire support. This might come in handy for those having trouble with much higher stages.


    In the details section on the controller’s page, you will notice something called Phantom Buttons. What this Phanton Buttons means is that, changing modes will not cause you to fire a single shot so that you will not be giving away your positions while you switch in between modes. Call of Duty players like me who really care about stealth and not firing random shots will appreciate this little feature.

    The features go on for this Ragnarok controller and with this USB version you can even program, for example, your Rapid fire Mode to fire from 5 shots up to 99 shots per seconds. I personally think 99 shots per seconds is an over kill but the option is there for those that need it.

    Overall, the Ragnarok does well for what it offers, I have not noticed any problems or glitches while testing this with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 and Black Ops. Pretty solid piece of modded controller. Again, I apologize for not going into too detail on each modes and how you can program the modes through the USB and your computer. I feel that the default settings for each mode is more than enough for the majority of players out there. Again, the options are there for those who need it.

    I’ve copied the details here for convenience:

    • Single Rapid Fire
    • Dual Trigger Rapid Fire
    • Burst Firing
    • Akimbo Firing
    • Jitter Firing**+
    • Zombie Auto-aim**
    • Drop Shot*
    • Fast Reload**+
    • Phantom Buttons
    • Superfast Mode Switching
    • Superfast Mode Toggling
    • Quick Scope**
    • Auto Sniper Breath Hold**
    • Programmable rapidfire speeds
    • Programmable fast reload delays**
    • Supports ALL NINE Call of Duty button layouts*

    Purchase the USB upgrade for your PS3 Ragnarok, and you will receive free Windows PC customization software, free software updates for life, and these additional mods:

    • Programmable Quick Scope
    • Auto-Sprint
    • Trophy Glitch Fast Reload***
    • Semtex Glitch Fast Reload***
    • Dropshot Mode #2 – stay standing when you scope, dropping only when you fire from the hip
    • Akimbo Mode #4 – for fully auto akimbo weapons

    *Single star features designed for Call of Duty, may work with others.
    **Two-star features only work with Call of Duty games.
    +Plus means Jitter mod and Fast Reload patched in MW3. ALL OTHER FEATURES COMPATIBLE.

    Check out their website: http://www.viking360.com

  • Headphones review – Urbanears PLATTAN headphone...
    By on March 3rd, 2012 | 2 Comments2 Comments Comments

    Headphones review - Urbanears PLATTAN headphones

    Today I received a very nice pair of Urbanears headphones from Currys, they were generous enough to send me a pair of Urbanears’ Tomato (red colored) PLATTAN. Though I was kind of hoping for a pair of either white, black or dark grey. :)

    I’m a sucker for good packaging and Urbanears sure knows how to do it right. I had to slowly and carefully unwrap the box because I didn’t want to ruin it. As soon as I “unwrapped” the box I saw those pair of Tomato red headphones placed nicely in there. Underneath the headphones was a friendly reminder there were more parts hidden under the, with a lack of a better description, triangular folded layer that hid away the two extra adapter cables (Nokia and Neutral) that came with the package as well as a product catalog. Let me tell you even the catalog was nicely done.

    Headphones review - Urbanears PLATTAN headphones

    Let’s get to the actual product review and keep in mind that I’m NOT an audiophile. But I did notice a huge difference in sound quality from my Sony MDR-E9LP earbuds particularly the fact that the sound was much clearer and provided enough bass. I’m not really a headphone person and I wasn’t sure if it would be comfortable wearing these headphones, but they fit my Asian head and covered my ears almost perfectly as I was pretty secluded. Read some of the best product reviews at Top9Rated.com today – they have a lot of stuff I like.

    Headphones review - Urbanears PLATTAN headphones

    I’ve also asked two of my friends to test them out and the results were mixed. One thought the PLATTAN could use more bass. The other thought the sound quality was more than enough, particularly in the bass department. For myself, I thought the bass was more than enough for my taste so I guess that’s 2 vs 1.

    Headphones review - Urbanears PLATTAN headphones

    I did a simple comparison test by listening to music on my iPhone back to back with my old Sony MDR-E9LP earbuds and then the PLATTAN . Then I watched a movie on my labtop using the PLATANN and it was obvious the PLATTAN were much, much better that it actually made the movie experience more enjoyable as if I was wearing a pair of mini home threatre sound system over my head, so overall they have a really good sound compared to the perfect sound quality with the HD800s I owned in the past.

    Headphones review - Urbanears PLATTAN headphones

    Now the design, first thing I noticed was the cables weren’t the usual soft plastic but felt like those similar to fabric-ish material used in shoe laces. This probably contributed to why it felt comfortable around my head. The PLATTAN also comes with an “auxiliary” or they called it “zound plug” that allows a second person to plug in and listen to them as well. Me and my friends all agreed that the headphones were a lot sturdier than they looked and very easy to pack. Me and one of my friends thought the packaging was nice while the other friend thought the packaging and design were “ok”. I guess its subjective, but again its 2 vs 1.

    Overall, I think the Urbanears PLATTAN headphones provide great sound quality with its soft fabric and collapsible design. Not to mention the great packaging! The PLATTAN headphones might not be for the hardcore audiophiles but for sure they are more than enough for the more casual users like me.

    PLATTAN’s report card:
    Design (headphones): 8.5/10
    Sound quality: 8/10
    Packaging: 9/10

    Product page:
    Official product page for the PLATTAN

    For Canadians, Urban Outfitters is also selling the PLATTAN headphones:
    Urban Outfitters product page for the PLATTAN

    Currys is currently running a laptop promotion at Curry’s laptops

  • Diamond Multimedia VC500 one touch video capture revi...
    By on August 24th, 2011 | 2 Comments2 Comments Comments

    I recently got a product from Diamond Multimedia and have the pleasure to test out one of their video capturing devices using a USB stick. They sent me the VC500, one of the two video capture products they have (the other one is VC600). Don’t be mistaken the USB stick is not your everyday USB stick where you can store data in it but rather a device that will connect your gaming console, my PS3 for example, to your PC for video captures. I will update this review as I test and play around with the VC500.

    So onto the unboxing! Nice packaging by the way, to me first impression is important, call me shallow but I love products with great packaging. Obviously great looks do not necessary mean great product. Just the first impression.
    Diamond Multimedia VC500 one touch video capture

    The only thing you need to install are the video and audio drivers from the CD provided. Pretty straight forward just like any other hardware driver installations (mouse, video card and web cam). The part where it took me a while due to experience is getting it to work. Perhaps it took a bit longer than I expected to get it to show the blue screen that tells you that you have connected the VC500 and your source properly, my PS3 in this case. Here is their quick demo using one of the three softwares that come with the CD called ArcSoft ShowBiz:

    The other thing I had to change was from PAL (by default) to NTSC_M since we are in North America and I was all set and ready to capture my first ever video from a gaming console to my PC. Unfortunately I only have HDMI or the RCA (composite) cables and no S component, the highest I got for my video was 420p. You will also notice its choppy as well as the sound and video are out of synch. I have posted a comment on their youtube video page and hopefully I get a reply regarding this. I hope its not because of my ATI HD5670 video card being too out of date.

    Here is my result:

    Now let’s talk about the software ArcSoft ShowBiz. So far I find it really easy to use, the only setting I had to change was the PAL to NTSC_M under Device setting -> Video decoder. All I needed to do to start recording was by pressing the red “Capture” button just below the screen. You also have the option to perform screen capture during the recording as well as going full screen. Click the same button but in green letters “Stop” to stop the recording. Video formats available are MPEG1/2, AVI and WMV.

    Once I had my first video recorded, it was just a click away from uploading to YouTube. ARcSoft ShowBiz has a built-in YouTube integration so you can upload videos within the program. Unfortunately I had problems uploading to YouTube as I kept getting the error about losing internet connection, this is something I need to ask them. I therefore, uploaded manually through YouTube instead.

    So far I like what I see. One small complain I have though would be the quick start guide is a bit too “quick”. If it had more info such as how to run those softwares, even just briefly, would be more helpful. It basically just tells you to run the CD and install the drivers. Another complain, a bigger one in my opinion, is that it doesn’t come with y splitters. Y splitters are to split the output to two sources. In order to play on both the PS3 and record at the same time I need to output to two destinations. It would also be great if they could include a pack of 3 Y splitters for the RCA/component cables. I still have to buy them as I am currently connecting my PS3 directly to VC500 and I was actually playing Call of Duty: Modern Warfare on my PC for gaming, your regular monitor won’t give you the experience you seek.

  • My frustration with Rogers SMCD3GN modem
    By on April 2nd, 2011 | 166 Comments166 Comments Comments

    So recently we upgraded our Rogers Internet to Extreme and they gave us another policy management software, this one is almost twice the size of my previous one, called SMCD3GN. The reason for the size is probably because it acts as both the cable modem as well as a wireless router. This is where my frustration began as I’ve just reconfigured my wireless network a few days ago with a brand new D-Link 632 wireless router.

    It basically took me the whole night and I was still unable to find the cause of my problem. The problem of not being able to access the Internet through my wireless router. Although I was able to quick verify nothing was wrong with the new cable modem, I was baffled with what could be the reason. I knew that something in my wireless router or in between my wireless router and the cable modem is blocking Internet access to my PC which is connected to the LAN with a physical cable. In the end, Google was my friend as I stumbled upon a couple of pages and finally found the problem.

    The problem was originated from the new Rogers cable modem and the fact that it can act as an all in one cable modem/wireless router. First problem, it acts as a gateway and blocks all other Internet access to other routers (I don’t know too much in detail about this). So if you encounter this problem, the first thing you should do is disconnect your PC – wireless router connection, plug your cable modem directly to your PC. Then access the control panel or admin console by typing in 192.168.0.1 in your broswer. There you will find the second problem which is the login and password information which is no where to be found in the provided cable modem box at all. I had to find that in a tech forum. And that one does not even give me full access to the cable modem. I finally found this site which solved my problem by providing me the second set of login which gives you the ability to disable all commercial gateway. The login and password are rogcesadmin and wra8uje respectively.

    On the system page you will see that option right away. But before you disable the “disable all commercial gateway functions” function please disable wireless function in the Wireless section first. Reason being the wireless capability of the cable modem, as tested by the author of the site I mentioned, was horrible. As it doesn’t have any physical external antenna to broadcast the wireless signals you can imagine how reliable the wireless functionality it really is. Once you have disabled the wireless function go back to the System section and disable the “disable all commercial gateway functions” function which will reboot your cable modem.

    Once rebooted, reconnect your cable modem back to your wireless router and your PC to one of the LAN ports in the wireless router and you should be good to go.

    I hope this helps those that are having this issue and don’t have to go through what I have gone through just to figure this out. I can’t imagine any non tech-savvy person trying to figure this out on their own. I guess they can always call their support line, which I personally find a waste of time. Again please visit the site for more detailed instructions with image.

    [Update @ 2011 12 24th]
    Thank you ED and Hagie for providing two other sets of login/password details. Seems that the login info changes with different models of the modem.

    • cusadmin/password
    • rogcesadmin/nas00Rn7TU

  • Comparing A3 Printers
    By on August 30th, 2010 | No Comments Comments

    A3 printers have been in the market for some time but it was specifically targeted to photographers who need their works printed with excellent quality and professional look. Certain models like the Epson Stylus Photo R2880 offer outstanding print for high res photos and designs. Its ink is pigment-based which is long lasting. The downside is, it is not very accurate in printing text documents. Furthermore, it is not equipped with features such as document scaling and network printing – features that are of great importance for offices.

    Taking these customer concerns into consideration, A3 printers have evolved, enabling large format marketing material printing in house. Furthermore, there are more options in the market, each of them having pros and cons. It is up to the user to decide which features fit his or her needs. If an all-in-one printer is what you need, the MFC-6890CDW - a Brother A3 Printer - inkjet multifunction printer is for you. It is a scanner, photocopier and fax machine in one. Although it cannot come up with a lab quality print, this A3+inkjet can produce text and presentation documents. Epson, HP and Canon offers standalone A3 printers that have their own advantages. The HP Officejet 7000 Wide Format prints good color output and has network printing capability while Epson’s A3 printer has a scaling option. Canon’s Pixma iX7000 is also outfitted with a scaling option with an Ethernet connectivity and automatic duplesing for A3 documents. It is quite an investment though as it is pricier than the Epson and HP printers.

    It is up to you to decide which among the printers suits your needs. It all depends on your budget, its use and the amount of space you have. Choose wisely before purchasing an A3 printer scanner. There are many to choose from in the market.

  • Sell your old gadgets and go green with Gazelle.com
    By on October 27th, 2009 | No Comments Comments

    Plenty of auction sites exist for people who want to sell off their old things that still have some market value but never has there been a site so noble as to offer to buy people’s no longer needed electronic gadgets. That would be gazelle.com. Unlike auctions sites, they’re paying consumers for sending them their gadgets that were probably replaced by newer models. The purpose is environmentally friendly because there is an incentive for people to not throw their old electronics into the trash but instead let these be reused and still stay in circulation for as long as possible.

    It’s a wonderful idea but certainly not the ultimate solution yet. It will buy companies and governments enough time to figure out how to properly deal with the ever increasing amount of special wastes such as electronics. The proper disposal of these things are not yet shouldered by most companies as the technologies that could recycle or at least make components less hazardous are still very costly and impractical. We are not really mindful of the speed of our technological advances and their consequences. Where else would all the waste go? They’ll be buried in landfills. The goal of gazelle.com is to make usable old electronic gadgets stay in circulation for as long as these can while everyone else figures out a better way to deal with the ballooning garbage problem.

    Space on earth would not be enough to hold all our garbage in the next centuries. It’s a waste of our resources to keep converting material that won’t even be of any value to nature itself. Untreated wastes are indeed very wasteful of our resources because there are still things of value that could be extracted such as more service life or other valuable substances that could be reused or recycled. The problem is that the process of doing so is quite labor intensive as is the case in computer parts. Millions of tons of electronic garbage are shipped to developing countries that are willing to accept these as surplus second hand items but will eventually end up in these countries’ landfills as their facilities are unable to cope with the proper treatment of such wastes. So far the prices offered by gazelle.com are reasonable and would make the resale of these items in distant developing countries unfeasible. Remember, should you choose to circulate your old stuff instead, you would have contributed to lessening the garbage problem.

  • Courier – Microsoft’s answer to netbooks ...
    By on September 23rd, 2009 | 1 Comment1 Comment Comments


    I don’t have many gadgets that I want lately except I’ve been eyeing on a netbook for a while. Currently the cheapest I find is about $300 to even high $200 Canadians, plus tax of course. While this is within my range, I am still telling myself to wait until at least Boxing Day for better deal.

    I now have a change of heart as soon as I saw this from Gizmodo about Microsoft’s prototype booklet called Courier. It looks like a labtop/netbook with two sides that fold like, well, a book! The major difference is the two sides are made of two 7 inch multitouch screens. I can already see one of the screens being the keyboard when needed since it doesn’t have a physical one. The screens are also designed for writing, flicking and drawing with a stylus, no surprise there.

    As nice and as much as I want the Courier, I will have to wait until there’s a production version. I highly doubt it will be as cheap as the netbook but hopefully cheaper than a Mac?

    Image source: Gizmodo

  • Motion-sensing – the future of gaming?
    By on May 17th, 2009 | No Comments Comments

    So I was reading an article on Rated Gamer Gear, it was directly related to gaming and it got me thinking. Motion-sensing isn’t new, not even in gaming since the Nintendo Wii has been out for some time now. The article talked about how TVs and PCs will soon work like the Wii, basically they will behave based on user input, in this case, improved built-in cameras track body gestures like nods, head shakes or a hand wave.

    Again, such technology isn’t new but it just hasn’t been widely used yet, except the Wii.

    It got me thinking, what would the future of gaming like if motion-sensing technology were more widely used? I was thinking as far as playing Call of Duty 4 without controllers where camera coming out of my PlayStation 3 would track all my body and hand movements and reflect that on the game. Like tilting your head forward would mean forward movement, tilt a bit more would be running, tilt back would, obviously mean moving backwards. These should be easy to do but I was also thinking about tracking my finger movement to the point where the game would know I was trying to fire a shot, where I would aim at and when I wanted to reload, I think the latter one is harder.

    Will my thinking/dreaming become reality? I think so personally, its just a matter of time. Before we can fully immerse ourselves to video games.