Portal 2 Released! #portal2

20 04 2011

Oh cool. They’ve given me Portal 2. I’m finalising my Steam install as I type this. VALVe seem to taken on-board my major criticism and updated the game to include hats from Team Fortress 2. I suspect they were kidding when they first said “No hats”. Then again, I thought the cross-platform gaming part was a joke. However it is true PC gamers can play Portal 2 with their PS3 and Xbox 360 owning buddies. Is that a gaming first? I think so…

Anyway, Portal 2 is a Thinking-Person’s-First-Person-Shooter. I should be getting a trademark on that new genre, but no. Instead I’m going to persuade you that Portal 2 is worth a look. For the visually stimulated ones present, here’s a convincing video.

Why don’t you download the game and we’ll race to see who is playing first!

Please visit the Portal 2 official website for more information.

Hmm how is that download getting on? Oh Portal 2 – 100% complete.

.

End of newsflash.

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Simple Fix For Dead Microsoft Wireless Receiver for Windows Fault

16 06 2010

Ok, over a year ago we purchased a Microsoft Wireless Receiver for Windows. This device allows you to use Xbox 360 wireless controllers on Windows PC. It’s a fantastic piece of kit, and has seen action on many Games For Windows titles.

It’s a great way to play games. Games For Windows titles contain preset gamepad profiles. The game will be configured as the developers intended. That makes things really simple compared to other HID, which usually require manual configuration to achieve the optimum ease of use.

Another bonus are the Microsoft button icons. Take Kung-Fu Panda for example; there’s several parts of the game that require you to press an ordered sequence of buttons at the correct moment. With a standard controller, it would just say “Button 9” or something. With a Xbox 360 controller, it would draw a simple button icon to indicate exactly where the button is. It’s far less complicated for small children – and much more console-like.

Anyway… ours died. The light no longer lit up, and Windows Device manager couldn’t find it in any USB socket. I was about to throw it away, when I thought I’d google the fault. I’m sure glad I did. A new one would have been expensive, and would have the same issue eventually.

It seems we’re not the first people to have this problem. It almost seems like it’s an intentional fault. A tiny under-rated fuse seems to blow when exposed to heat. If you leave it anywhere slightly warm – there’s a good chance the feeble fuse will break. I guess it wasn’t a good idea leaving it on the amplifier.

I found this post, which contained several quality photos and instructions on how to fix. Sure enough Grandpa-Goat put a blob of solder on “Fuse F1” and it fixed it totally.

For your pleasure, here are some photos and a video. Enjoy!






Meet the X-Fi SB0770

16 02 2010

I finally bit the bullet and grabbed an X-Fi to play with. I wanted to see how the sofware and CPU usage compared on my home rig. For those who don’t know, Audigy series and X-Fi drivers are built around a similar driver architecture and share common driver parts. So in theory, X-Fi should suffer with the same issues as Audigy.

That’s the theory, but with the Creative Labs soundcards I’ve owned previously they develop problems over time. Vista killed my Audigy 2. It was never the same after the loss of DirectSound. It developed all sorts of nasty issues that never surfaced under Windows XP.

Creative were slow to react. Audigy owners had to wait nearly 2 years after Vista’s launch before they could use basic features such as microphone, multi speaker, EAX etc. I never expected to buy another Creative soundcard. I wanted something half good to hook up to our Yamaha RX-V461DAB though. I really would have liked an Auzentech soundcard. They’re super expensive and quite difficult to get here in the UK. Baby goat food costs money, so I opted for yet another budget mid-range Creative solution.

I ordered a OEM Creative Labs Xtreme Music from an online store. They sent a rather odd-looking Xtreme Gamer instead. This isn’t any normal Xtreme Gamer though, it’s quite different from all the one’s I’ve seen before. I even had to make an entry on the Sound Blaster Product Index.

The card which I received was the SB0770, but I believe there’s a twin SB0772 model also. The card has no internal connections to connect to expansion devices such as the X-Fi front panel. Instead, this X-Fi resembles the budget-bin Xtreme Audio  PCB layout. I was quite worried when I saw the board shape. Xtreme Audio cards are total crap software solutions, and doesn’t even contain the genuine EMU20K1 chip. Thankfully, the SB0770 has a EMU20K1 and also has a companion CA0112 “Golden Gate” chip that allows switching from UAA to X-FI mode.

UAA audio hardware core

  • Supports 3 independent DMA playback stream:

– 4x stereo analog output hardware output channels.
– 1x stereo headphone hardware output channel.
– 1x stereo digital hardware output channel.
– I2C EERPOM support to

1) Re-configure the number of analog output exposed to OS.
2) Disable headphone and digital output channels.

  • Supports 5 independent DMA record stream:

– 1x stereo Line In
– 2x stereo MIC In (Front/read)
– 1x auxiliary IN
– 1x stereo SPDIF input.
– I2C EERPOM support to disable line in, MIC in or auxiliary in or SPDIF input.

  • Supports Microsoft ‘out-of-the-box’ HDA driver
  • Audio outputs

– All playback channels support 16 and 24 bit stereo format.
– I2S Output supports sampling rate of 44.1 KHz, 48 KHz, 96 KHz and 192 KHz.
– SPDIF digital output supports sample rate of 44.1 KHz, 48 KHz and 96 KHz.
– Each playback DMA stream’s sample rate and bit format are independent.
– SPDIF Output will play Non-PCM data when digital stream is enabled.

  • Audio inputs

– All recording channels support 16 and 24 bit stereoformat.
– Line In and MIC In support sampling rate of 48 KHz, 96 KHz and 192 KHz.
– SPDIF input supports sampling rate of 44.1 KHz, 48 KHz and 96 KHz.
– Each record DMA stream’s sample rate and bit format are independent.

  • 1x I2C interface with configurable via I2C EEPROM to control on-board DAC/ADC.
  • 2 GPOs to control on-board anti-pop circuit and muting of headphone and speaker output.
  • 11 GPI input for audio jack detection.

20k1 mode

  • 1x SPDIF input to I2S output format converter of 24-bit with sample rate 48KHz, 96 KHz and 192KHz.
  • 3x I2S input to SPDIF output format converter of 24-bit with sample rate of 44.1KHz, 48KHz, 96KHz and 192KHz.

Another official Creative confidential data sheet (lol?) reveals this card has been in production since before July 2007. It seems HP and Alienware all sold this card at some point. It looks quite budget, but it’s how it compares to the ear that counts.

aaaw aint it a little cutie?

Looking at the picture, you can see a couple of missing pins for internal SPDIF. You might also notice something quite nice on the bracket though. Such a pleasant surprise to see both optical-in and optical-out connections. I’m unsure of what use optical in will be for me, but the output is a huge bonus. No front panels, onboard sound or plug in converters needed here.

Instead of the internal pin connections for the X-Fi expansion bay, you’ll also notice a standard Front Panel HDAudio connector. I think it’s fair to say, this card offers a wider compatibility with PC multimedia flaps everywhere. It’s got everything for my Antec P180 case, at least.

So far the music has been pretty much the same high quality as on my old Audigy 2 Platinum soundcard. That’s not much of a surprise, as I use our receiver for digital-to-analogue conversions. I’d probably notice greater differences if I used the analogue leads – but I’m not interested in them (or the CMSS, SVM or Crystalizer features). I always hear more distortion than improvement with those features turned on. Besides, our Yamaha has a quality music enhancer for compressed music like MP3. The Yamaha does all of the work for music, so it wouldn’t be fair to compare music.

Games however really sound much more enthralling. The first game I tested the SB0770 on was Borderlands. The sound was 100% better. I especially liked the extra bass when shotguns were fired or grenades exploded. EAX enabled pinpoint accuracy too! It was  much clearer which direction the gunshot sounds were coming from. I tested Guild Wars (EAX 2/3) and Team Fortress 2 (ASIO) but there was no real noticable change from the Audigy. I would say they both sounded slightly better though. Perhaps someone can suggest a good EAX 5 title to evaluate? 🙂

EAX 5.0 offers several new [software] features:

  • 128 simultaneous voices processable in hardware and up to 4 effects on each
  • EAX Voice (processing of microphone input signal)
  • EAX PurePath (EAX Sound effects can originate from one speaker only)
  • Environment FlexiFX (four available effects slots per channel)
  • EAX MacroFX (realistic positional effects at close range)
  • Environment Occlusion (sound from adjacent environments can pass through walls)

Overall, I’m glad I upgraded to the SB0770 purely for the more stable software. I’m using the daniel_k X-Fi series Support Pack, needless to say. The DDL and DTS are working properly, without huge CPU usage. This makes it worthwhile alone for me on my aging E6550. My CPU usage used to skyrocket whenever I enabled DDL on the Audigy.

I can now play 5.1 in games, watch movies and listen to music through the same TOSLINK optical cable. Before I used to need two inputs on the receiver and the following leads coming from the PC.

  • Front Left/Right Cable Analogue
  • Rear Left/Right Cable Analogue
  • Center / Sub Analogue
  • Coaxial Digital (with frequent sound distortions and cut-outs)

Goodbye spaghetti wires!

Pretty much all the official software is working better on the X-Fi than the Audigy 2. My old Audigy Dolby Digital Live licence are valid on the X-Fi too which is another bonus. I did wonder if I would have to buy another pack for the X-Fi. Speaking of which, it hasn’t created any of the distortion sounds that can be heard on Audigy DDL either. My sound hasn’t cut-out once.

Performance:
Goatie1Goatie1Goatie1Goatie1Goatie2

Price Rating:
Goatie1Goatie1Goatie1Goatie1Goatie1

Features:
Goatie1Goatie1Goatie1Goatie1Goatie2

Pros:

  • One TOSLINK cable does it all, without issues
  • Under £30 delivered – Cheapest EMU20K1
  • EAX 5 really does sound better than EAX 4
  • Better and almost fully working software, which is a nice change.
  • Onboard optical-in and optical-out sockets
  • Better connectivity to third-party front panels and cases, but no X-Fi front bay connection

Cons:

  • It’s made by Creative Labs. The software & drivers will accidently develop bugs after a couple more X-Fi driver releases
  • It’s quite hard to find in stores or online
  • No connectivity to X-Fi front bay, but standard fittings instead.

Goatie3Goatie1

Did I forget to mention you can buy for £29.99 delivered on ebay UK? People pay more than that for used XtremeAudio on there…





How To Enable VSYNC On Borderlands

21 01 2010

Mrs nomoregoatsoup bought me a lovely copy of Borderlands from Christmas. It’s a fantastic game, with lots of action. Several things annoy me about it though. Firstly, that stupid Gamespy rubbish. Losing connection to Gamespy servers quite happily murdered my single player extravaganza. Secondly, the game features no options for enabling vsync in the game menu.

Vsync improves image quality in game, by syncing your monitor’s refresh rate with the video adapter. Some people (like me) can notice strange horizontal lines every few seconds. This is caused by lack of vsync, and is known to most people as “tearing”. Imagine you have a 60Hz monitor. If your adapter is drawing 80 frames per second, you’ll end up with a difference of 20 frames being overdrawn. This creates hiccups in perfomance and looks nasty. With vsync enabled, your video adapter will draw 60 frames a second to match the monitor – drawing 60 frames a second.

Anyway, Borderlands uses the Unreal engine, so we can enable vsync to cure this.

  • First navigate to to the WillowEngine.ini

C:\Users\YOUR USERNAME\My Documents\My Games\Borderlands\WillowGame\Config\WillowEngine.ini

  • Next we need to find the following values. Press CTRL + F to search quickly. Change the False to True

UseVsync=True

Save the WillowEngine.ini file and restart Borderlands. Now you will notice improved image quality and performance. That is providing your graphics card can keep up with your refresh rate.





No More Goat Soup Visitor Statistics

1 12 2009

I thought it would be fun to share some advanced visitor statistics. I know It’s not exactly fun, but it amuses me for a while. All statistics are correct from December 1st. Behold the power of the interweb!

https://nomoregoatsoup.wordpress.com blog stats

Locations of visitors to this page

  • Total views: 1,090,246
  • Busiest day: 4,719 — Sunday, March 30, 2008
  • Views today: 1,231

Totals

  • Posts: 78
  • Comments: 1,291
  • Categories: 48
  • Tags: 10

Top Posts for all days ending 2009-12-01 (Summarized)

Title Views
*UPDATED* Unofficial Audigy Series Softw 108,723 More stats
Sound Blaster Audigy series Vista Suppor 90,536 More stats
Audigy Series Vista Driver Pack 2 80,514 More stats
Nintendo Wi-Fi USB Connector XP/Vista Dr 73,318 More stats
Audigy Drivers 69,431 More stats
How To Fully Uninstall Creative Drivers 56,224 More stats
Playing DTS Audio Files In Windows Media 45,423 More stats
Fix Punkbuster On Windows 7 (Restriction 43,214 More stats
Getting Your X-Fi or Audigy’s Dolby and 36,969 More stats
FREE Creative ALchemy “Universal” 1.00.0 24,274 More stats
Audigy Series Vista Driver Pack 24,205 More stats
Creative MediaSource 5 Player/Organizer 23,021 More stats
X-Fi Vista Support Pack v2.15.0004 Drive 21,778 More stats
New Audigy Drivers XP Vista SBAX_PCDRV_L 21,342 More stats
Getting Better Windows 7/Vista Performan 20,807 More stats
Audigy Series Vista Driver – 9th May 200 18,360 More stats
SB Product Index 17,803 More stats
X-Fi Crystalizer for SB Audigy Series 13,312 More stats
Dolby Digital Live Pack – SB Audigy Seri 13,187 More stats
Working 5.1 Audigy Series Vista Drivers 10,932 More stats
X-Fi series Driver 2.18.0004 – 30th July 8,874 More stats
Audigy dts Support 8,614 More stats
Nintendo Wi-Fi USB Connector XP/Vista Dr 7,820 More stats
New Audigy Drivers 2.18.0011 For XP/Vist 7,789 More stats
Working 5.1 Dolby Digital Encoding Throu 7,635 More stats
WTF Is This? 7,446 More stats
Daniel Kawakami Says Goodbye 7,131 More stats
Official Audigy Beta Driver SBAX_PCDRVBE 6,634 More stats
Creative Sound Blaster Audigy series Dri 6,533 More stats
daniel_k’s Creative SB Audigy Series Sup 5,708 More stats
daniel_k’s SB Audigy Series Support Pack 4,954 More stats
Creative WaveStudio 7.10.24 4,633 More stats
RocketDock – Too Cool To Keep To Myself 4,221 More stats
Enable Windows Media Player Enhancements 4,114 More stats
daniel_k’s Vista Support Pack 3.1 + dts 4,114 More stats
Creative ALchemy 1.10.01 Available 3,686 More stats
Creative X-Fi / Audigy Speakers Resets T 3,582 More stats
Guru3D – Driver Sweeper v1.0 Final Relas 3,459 More stats
Daniel Kawakami Speaks On Wired 2,667 More stats
ALchemy 1.20.04 1st August 2008 2,472 More stats
Audigy Series and Dolby Digital Live. Wh 2,396 More stats
Creative MediaSource DVD-Audio Player 2. 2,057 More stats
Xpert Vision ATi HD 3850 PCI-E Graphics 1,945 More stats
atikmdag.exe Errors in Vista. What Is To 1,727 More stats
Dolby Digital Live For Audigy Hotfix (Wo 1,634 More stats
Half-Life 2 – Review From www.unreality. 1,605 More stats
Creative Hound daniel_k Again? 1,399 More stats
DTS Realtime Digital Encoding For Audigy 1,239 More stats
Getting EAX Audio Effects To Work In Win 1,090 More stats
RejZoR’s OpenAL Generic Fixer 1,048 More stats
Creative Open Source Incomplete Linux X- 948 More stats
Audigy Series Vista Drivers Coming! 931 More stats
Creative Labs Kill Third Party Developme 899 More stats
WTF is CMSS? 866 More stats
Nexus: The Jupiter Incident – Game Revie 821 More stats
Creative “Offer” ALchemy Refunds For Aud 795 More stats
l_dolby_digital_live_pack11 565 More stats
New Driver Sweeper – Version 1.5.5 506 More stats
Left 4 Dead – It scares me! 479 More stats
Street Fighter IV PC Release Date Announ 413 More stats
New Team Fortress 2 Update Sneak Peak. 400 More stats
Super Smash Bros. Brawl! European Releas 379 More stats
halflife2 372 More stats
More Creative Fun! 343 More stats
Creative Get Slaughtered On Cafepress 301 More stats
Old Game Reviews From Unreality.com 282 More stats
Wen Iz New Driver, NoMoreGoatSoup? 260 More stats
I Have Team Fortress 2 Wooohooo!! 228 More stats
Street Fighter IV Benchmark 194 More stats
Guild Wars: Eye Of The North Sneak Peek 167 More stats
s24844_pc_1 159 More stats
Finally did it 134 More stats
It’s Been A While… 125 More stats
Download Paul “Midas Touch” Taylor’s Mix 115 More stats
Moment of Silence -Review from www.unrea 88 More stats
Freakin’ Me Out 80 More stats
nexus_3 78 More stats
24885 60 More stats
Insane In The House Brain 56 More stats
half-life-2-20041121083841425 52 More stats
Tribes: Vengance – Review from www.Unrea 51 More stats
halflife_2 30 More stats
half-life_2_hdr_2770605 30 More stats
Police Brutality or Yob Culture? 29 More stats
Billy Hotdog (Mustard Mix) 26 More stats
Only 2 Weeks Until Guild Wars: Eye of th 25 More stats
55071884-nexus021 25 More stats
My Experiences With Virgin Media’s Appal 22 More stats
hl2_deathmatch 21 More stats
rhnicxvipe 21 More stats
New Midas Touch “Full Hit” Hip-Hop Mix 20 More stats
city17 13 More stats
halflife2_city17_trainstationsquare 10 More stats
nexus1 9 More stats
Vacancy 8 More stats
sg4wl_sf4_cover_o 7 More stats
CaptainHook (Hooks From Heaven) 80’s Ele 7 More stats
half_life_2_box 6 More stats
roflcopter 5 More stats

Current Country Totals (From 24 Aug 2009 to 24 Nov 2009) Read the rest of this entry »





Street Fighter IV Benchmark

17 06 2009

The release of Street Fighter IV is only a couple of weeks away, on 3rd July 2009. I’m so excited about this game FINALLY making it to PC. Thankfully the release is part of the “Games For Windows” range. For anyone in the know, that means your (up to 4) XBOX 360 controller(s) will work beautifully. I have a wireless XBOX 360 controller hooked up to our Windows 7 media rig… so this game is going to be a real bonus in our house.

Anyway, Capcom have released a handy little benchmark tool to see if your PC is fast enough to run it.

Downloads

Street Fighter IV  Benchmark Link 1

Street Fighter IV Benchmark Link 2

Our rig scored Rank A @ 1366×768 – 8xAA – 16x AF details & models at high and soft shadows at highest. Serious eye candy!





Street Fighter IV PC Release Date Announced

1 05 2009

It seems Capcom don’t hate PC gamers after all. Finally they have (kind-of)  announced the release date for Street Fighter IV. The game will be on store shelves in Japan on 2nd July 2009. European and North American dates have yet to be confirmed. However the following news release leads me to believe we won’t be waiting too much longer. Xbox and PS2 owners already have their version, but now us PC users can practice our uppercuts (and fireballs!) once more. It even sports Games for Windows sleeve and logos. The good news doesn’t stop there, either.

sg4wl_sf4_cover_o

The PC port of the game will come with a few additions. Firstly, a new graphics shader engine. I can’t help but get a little excited over this, personally. The Xbox and PS3 versions look incredible, but I can’t help but wonder what real hardware will play like. The screenshots show four different renders; Normal, Poster, Sumi and Suisai. I’m unsure what “suisai” means… but that image looks lighter and softer. Now sumi are Japanese ink sticks (I think), and that image has defined edges. Poster just looks too over bright and glossy on my display. I welcome simple customisations like this. Very good stuff indeed. I would have liked a cartoon-like cell shader though, Capcom. Tsk..

The PC version will also feature more alternative costumes for the challengers. Hopefully this won’t include a pink robe for Ken this time. There are also rumours circulating, that additional challengers may also exist.

The Japanese version is being shipped with a special Joypad too. It remains to be seen whether or not this will be included in European or North American retail versions. Personally, I doubt it.

I should really also mention, that multiplayer will not extend cross platform. I don’t think that will be a problem somehow though. Not for me anyway. I despise all of my Xbox friends who own this game already, and have no wish to play with them. *sulk*

Don’t take my word for it. Decrypt it for yourself, with the help of google’s translation service.

“PC Version, Release date announced!”夏希Shiozawa

皆さん、こんにちは! Ladies and Gentlemen, Good afternoon!
まずはお知らせです! Notice is first!
ここ数日のあいだに、4/24に配信されたタイトルアップデートに関して、 During the last few days, 4 / 24 for delivery to the title update,
いろいろなお問い合わせをコメント欄にいただいています。 And the comments received various inquiries.
このブログですべてにお答えすることはできないのですが、 The answer to all this blog is not,
皆さんが困ったときに参照することができるよう、対応を進めています。 You can see the problem when you are working.
お知らせできる段階になったら、このブログにももちろん書きますので、 Notice if levels can, of course, we write this blog,
よろしくお願いいたします! Thank you!

さて、今日はいよいよPC版の発売日を発表します! Now, all the PC today announced the release date!

2009年7月2日(木)、 2009 July 2 (Thu),

日本先行発売! Japan leading to release! ! ! !

So, faster than anywhere in the world, has decided to release in Japan! !
イエーイ! IEI! !

希望小売価格は、税込7,340円。 Suggested retail price is 7,340 yen including tax.
対応OSは、Windows XP/Windows Vista。 Supported OS’s, Windows XP / Windows Vista.
もちろん、ヨーロッパ、東欧、北米でも発売されていきますよ! Of course, Europe, Eastern Europe, it will be released in North America!

そして肝心の内容ですが、基本的にはコンシューマー版とまったく同じです。 And what’s important is, is essentially identical to the consumer version.
Xbox 360®版のタイトルアップデート後の状態が、そのまま移植されている感じ。 The state of the Xbox 360 ® version of the title after the update, it has been transplanted intact.
ただし! But!

ちょびっとだけ、ほんとにちょびっとなんですが、 CHOBITTO only, I’m really CHOBITTO,
コンシューマー版から新たに追加した要素があります。 There are new elements added to the consumer version.
先日、モナコで行われたCAPTIVATEというイベントで軽く公開したので、 Recently held in Monaco CAPTIVATE event so that the public light,
もしかするとすでにご存知の方もいらっしゃるかもしれませんが、 It may also come in and maybe you already know,
エクストラタッチというものが追加されましたっ! After the addition of a REMASHI EKUSUTORATATCHI! !
これは、いわゆる“シェーダー”ですね。 This is the so-called “shader”.

Now that looks pretty neat. Not just all that hypnotic text, but the screenshots too.

I just can’t wait until July 2nd 2009. So all you PC gamer Streetfighter fans, I have to ask; AreY0uKen?

Source: http://www.capcom-fc.com/sf4/