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23 Apr 09 Game Testing, Not As Exciting As You May Think

Anybody who plays videogames on any sort of a regular basis has had that thought at least once, how cool would it be if I could get paid to play videogames?  And as we all know, for a select few there really is a career available in which you are paid to play games, that is the job of the videogame tester.  Someone who plays the game in the beta stages to point out flaws and anything else that may be problematic throughout a game’s development cycle.  While this sounds like it could be an awful lot of fun, game testing is actually no picnic.

First off, it’s not like you’re going to be getting to play your favorite game for hours on end, having fun and making a living wage from your efforts.  In actuality you’re forced to play something that’s likely to he horrible, for long periods of time, and analyzing every second of the experience.  Game testers are around to spot the smallest things, such as graphical errors, or collision detection issues with a game’s physics engine, and these require a massive amount of time to completely figure out.  So instead of playing through a level and getting paid for it, you’re really critiquing every pixel in the level to a daunting extent, and reporting back to development teams so that they can fix and edit the game accordingly.

Not exactly a party.

Not to mention a game testers schedule becomes increasingly more grueling as deadlines begin to loom.  Meaning a tester could end up putting in 12 to 14 hour days, playing the same levels and portions of gameplay over and over again, with the same repetitive movements and requirements, in an effort to nit pick every single detail.  Not exactly a dream job, and you can see why most testers burn out in a relatively short period of time.

I’m thinking most people misjudge the opportunity as a dream job, and then find themselves shocked into reality when they see just how much work playing videogames can be.

Tags: , , Beta Stages, Collision Detection, , Favorite Game, Fun Game, Game Testers, Game Testing, Gameplay, Graphical Errors, Having Fun, , , , Physics Engine, Picnic, Pixel, Repetitive Movements, Short Period

08 Apr 09 Are Acer PC’s Worth Your Cash?

You want to buy a new computer right?  And who doesn’t, whether you need more hard drive space, a faster processor, or you just need to keep up with the latest in the high PC demands that the newest computer games require.  But with top of the line machines costing well into the thousands, it’s not exactly an affordable option to constantly upgrade your PC.  Unless of course you consider the brand Acer which seems to offer ridiculously good Notebook and Desktop PC’s for relatively low  prices.

Well I should say, at least they appear to be ridiculously good.  In actuality Acer is not a very favorable brand, and is not something you should necessarily count on, for a few key reasons.

Number one being that Acer computers have a habit of breaking down quickly.  While it’s been a household brand for computer equipment since 1976, Acer just hasn’t aged well within the computer industry.  And anybody who’s owned an Acer laptop recently can attest to the fact that you’ll find disappointing performance from the unit’s processor, and a tendency to break down easily.

Not to mention the fact that Acer have had two recent recalls over faulty technology in both their laptop and desktop PC’s.  About a year ago Acer had to recall laptops because of an issue with their batteries that caused the unit’s to overheat and start fires.  And now only a few months ago, Acer issued another recall on their Acer Predator desktop PC’s, for basically the same hardware malfunction, in which the unit’s overheated causing the inner components to melt and practically start on fire.

Meaning in my humble opinion, Acer PCs just cannot compete in today’s market, and the company has to do some serious reworking in their hardware before they can release anything reliable and worthy of your hard earned dollars.

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06 Apr 09 Is Conficker Really Worth Your PC’s Concern?

So the big question since April 1st has been the speculation regarding why the Conficker worm never really launched the way media hype suggested it would.  As you probably have no doubt heard by now, Conficker is one of the most brilliant malware programs ever conceived.  The Conficker worm exploited a security vulnerability found in Windows 2000, XP, Vista, and practically every other Windows operating system.  Although the security issue has been patched by Microsoft, Conficker has still infected an estimated 15 million PC’s, the highest amount since way back in 2003 when the SQL Slammer hit.

But the weird thing about Conficker, is that though the worm went live on April 1st reportedly, nothing happened.  Sort of like the Y2K hype that the world was going to end, when in actuality nothing happened at all really.  Which is where the major question comes in, was this media hype, or is Conficker still a legitimate risk?

Because I would say Conficker might be something to be at least mildly concerned about.

Though the worm hasn’t done anything largely negative that’s been reported, Conficker is still infecting an obnoxiously high amount of machines, and the worm is still active, awaiting instructions on which actions to take next.  And that’s the sort of scary bit, Conficker has the potential to create massive security issues, such as stealing your personal information, or completely taking control of your machine, or just downloading fake advertisements for anti-virus software to con you into spending money on false products.

But all in all, considering the hype about Conficker, I sincerely doubt that there was any attempt to actually do anything with the worm.  Conficker just has that media sensation feel, where in the end we all feel stupid for believing the hype, considering nothing close to the massive horror depicted ever comes to fruition.

That and the fact that the date Conficker went ‘live’ was April 1st, or what is widely known as April Fool’s Day.

Tags: , , April 1st, Fruition, Legitimate Risk, Media Hype, Media Sensation, No Doubt, Security Issue, , Security Vulnerability, Speculation, Spending Money, Sql Slammer, Weird Thing, Windows 2000, Windows 2000 Xp, Windows Operating System, Worm, Y2k Hype

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