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  1. There are a few decent free web stores out there. Magento is one of them. I've also used VirtueMart which is a Joomla CMS component. Both have relatively easy user interfaces for both the customer as well as the shop owner. Both are relatively easy to install. Your web host would need to be a linux server running LAMP (linux, apache, MySQL, PHP). These stores are also very easy to template, and you can also purchase templates and easy to install addons for the stores.
  2. Jeb

    LCD Monitors

    When I was reviewing LCD monitors, I found this forum to be of some help. AnandTech - The LCD Thread I ultimately bought a different screen, and I'm happy with my purchase, but the forum gave me some very good sites for reviews, what to look for, etc.
  3. Jeb

    LCD Monitors

    I typically read the Dark Mod forums every day. I usually don't have much to contribute; however, I just went through this myself. I did a lot of research on LCD monitors recently and this one is a beauty, both aesthetically and feature wise. I just upgraded from a Samsung Syncmaster 216bw LCD, which is an excellent screen, to a Dell SP2309W LCD monitor. It's a significant bang for the buck. It's a 23" LCD with a 2048x1152 resolution, a 2ms refresh and an amazing contrast ratio. It has a glossy screen, and unless it's off, there is no noticeable glare or reflection. I played Thief 2 with it's dark settings and didn't notice any noticeable distractions from glare or reflection. The blacks looked very black, and I haven't noticed any ghosting or blurring. I cant find any numbers to verify this, but from my experience so far, it appears to have a very low input lag. Quick Specs: Panel Size: 23" Optimal Resolution: Higher than Full HD 2048 x 1152 at 60 Hz Dynamic Contrast Ratio: 80,000:1 (max) Brightness: 300 cd/m2 (typical) Response Time: 2 ms (typical) Viewing Angle: 160° / 170° (typical) Color Support: 16.7 million colors Pixel Pitch: 0.249mm It also has an adjustable stand with height and tilt adjustment. The monitor can be used in both portrait and landscape. It also built in 2 megapixel webcam and 2 mics, as well as a built in USB hub. I actually prefer the Dell SP2309W over the Dell 2408WFP Ultra Sharp that I use at work. It's currently $379 which is not bad. I got lucky and was able to purchase it when Dell had an $80 off + free shipping sale. I consider it an excellent monitor for both production ( coding / graphics / etc ) and entertainment ( games / movies / etc ). Based on my personal experience with this monitor, I strongly recommend it if it fits your budget.
  4. I've been an nVidia guy for a long time now, but I run an aging AGP system that still has some life in it. There are now some ATI cards out there for the AGP systems that have relatively modern chipsets such as the 1950 pro and 2600. I recently purchased a ATI 1950 pro for my agp system. It's a very good card, especially considering that it's a relatively modern chipset running on an 8x AGP board. I was using a nVidia 6600 and the difference is night and day. You can now get an ATI 2600 for your AGP system as well: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList....amp;x=0&y=0 This would pretty much bring the graphics up to date for an AGP based system, and at a relatively comparative price point.
  5. The torrent link on the homepage appears to be broken.
  6. I am running a HIS Digital x1950 PRO AGP 8x card. I have found that if I use any drivers newer than 7.7 that all 3D programs are broken. This is especially the case with DirectX applications. I've read that this is actually happening for more than just the AGP cards so it may be possible that you will need to downgrade your drivers to an earlier version. I can not say exactly what version you may need to downgrade to, but the 7.7 drivers were the latest ones that I could use without 3D and DirectX being broken.
  7. Jeb

    Come again?

    During college I did full-time, back to back shifts for a summer at Taco Bell and Fazolies. The Register / Till at Taco Bell (or Toxic Hell as we liked to call it) was next to the ice machine. Once an older couple came in and ordered just as the ice machine kicked in. Being an older couple, they talked slow and very quiet. I had to ask the woman 3 times for her order because the machine was so loud. Her scrawny 80 year old husband got serious pissed and though I was harassing his wife. Granted, it wouldn't have been much of a fight as I'm 6'2" and have a pretty stocky build, but he said he was going to come over the counter and kick my butt. I only caught part of what he said because of the annoying loud ice machine. Fortunately he said it loud enough that I caught parts of it and just smiled. As much as I felt bad for them, I almost broke out laughing due to the humor of it all. They eventually got their order and left. Fazolies was an "Italian" fast food joint. They have some defective equipment and safety measures in place. As I was making a 50 gallon batch of pasta sauce I noticed the can opener was leaving metal shavings inside the sauce. This in turn ruined the batch in my opinion. I informed the managers on staff and they said scrape off the stuff on the top of the batch. I told them it was in the entire batch b/c it was being mixed in. They wouldn't throw out the batch or replace the can opener, and ultimately a customer got a mouthful of the stuff. I guess they felt making a profit was worth more than the safety of their customers. Regarding drugs, my wife is from Davao City, Philippines. Their mayor cleaned up a significant part of the drug problem there by creating the Death Squads. The name aptly applies because these groups of drug/law enforcement officers have the ok to kill drug offenders on sight. Even people suspected of ties to someone dealing/using drugs there have been killed or sent to life in prison. One woman that we know is now in prison because her Chinese husband and her brother started a juice factory where they also processed drugs. She was unaware of this but now sits in prison. Her husband had left the country before the shakedown and she was taken into custody because they though she knew where her husband has gone. Her brother, if I'm not mistaken, was executed. The good news is that she wasn't executed, and her husband is gone so he can't beat her anymore. The bad news, she's in prison until her husband turns up. Over there, the Death Squads are a serious deterrent to dugs, both to sell or to use. Google: Philippines Death Squads
  8. I enjoy a good game, and sometimes I come across one that surprises me in it's simplicity and fun factor. Space Rangers 2 is one of those games. (Space Rangers 2 @ GameSpot.com, SpaceRangers2 Official Website) It's a single player RTS/RPG. The graphics look good, but are nothing intense as the majority of the game is more or less top down or planetary interfaces. The premise of the game leaves it very open ended on how you would like to play it and pursue it's completion. The game has: Quests of all types that can send you racing across the galaxy to other planets and systems, performing... 3D planetary battles where you build your own mechs to fight the AI mechs (the main protagonist is AI)... Chasing "players" across the universe... Make pizza and other quirky quests Several career paths and races, each with their own pros/cons You can choose your race and what type of Ranger you would like to be. Each race and career path has it's own benefits. You can selectively choose how hard or easy you would like to make parts of the game. As you play the game, you can purchase and upgrade ships, equipment, etc to try and get the best custom ship to help you along the way. The game itself is pretty simple in most respects, but I have found it quite addicting to say the least. My friends and family who have tried it have also been pulled into it's fun but simplistic play. It's a great game to pass the time, which in some cases could easily lead to hours of game play.
  9. I have a first generation Graphire 4x5 at home, as well as an Intuos3 4x6 at work. Both are quality products that server their purpose, but the Intuos is by far the superior product. They both feel a little different due the the quality and design of the product. Regardless, unless you are a serious power user, you can accomplish the same results with the Graphire that you can with the Intuos. I believe that if you never use the Intous, you'd never know the difference and would be content with the Graphire. I personally enjoy working with the Intous better. I don't have any complaints either way. Regarding portability, the Graphire is lighter and smaller. It wouldn't be a burden to carry the Intous3 4x6 around as it's still pretty light, though it is a bit larger than the Graphire. Eventually I'll replace my Graphire with an Intuos, but that will be quite a while since they seem to last forever.
  10. Jeb

    Upgrade advice

    I didnt feel like I lost any of the games atmosphere, and personally though that the game looked even better due to the crisp clarity of the LCD itself.
  11. Jeb

    Upgrade advice

    I've recently made the upgrade from a SAMSUNG 19" CRT to a SAMSUNG 21.6" WS LCD. Doing a lot of graphic and multimedia work, I was concerned about the change to LCD, but I'm actually very glad I made the change. Even older games like Thief and Thief 2, along with just about everything else looks great, if not somewhat better. I purchased the SAMSUNG 216BW which ran about $250 US. I looked around for a long time before choosing this one and I'm very pleased with the results. The price point / quality is perfect for my needs. The color and speed is excellent, I haven't noticed any ghosting in games or video, and there is very little back light bleed when your looking at a black screen. I'm very happy with my experience so far, and have no desire to go back to CRT at this point.
  12. 64-bit processors, such as the Core2 Duo, can utilize much more ram, so long as your Windows OS is the 64-bit version as well. You can use 3GB ram with a 32-bit processor, but you will not notice as much of a performance boost beyond 2GB of RAM. This is due to the limitiations of the 32-bit architecture and how the 32-bit Windows OS handles memory. This Wikipedia article gives some explination on this, and Microsoft has a page dedicated to the Memory Limits for Windows Releases which are the theoretical limits for their operating systems.
  13. Not to lead anyone astray, the theoretical RAM limit in XP and Vista for a 32-bit system is 4GB. However, a 32-bit system can only "utilize" around 2GB. The realistic maximum is around 2.5GB to 3.5GB. There are a lot of articles out there on this. Here is one example: 32-bit Vista Memory Limits (applies to XP as well)
  14. I've read on the forum of some people needing to upgrade their systems, and, like me, not having much cash to do so. I'm personally running an older system: 32-bit AMD 3000+ as well as nVidia 6600GT 128MB AGP 8x (now upgraded). Like most here, I have other priorities for my hard earned cash, and can't justify upgrading my system entirely. I made to basic upgrades recently that have greatly extended the life of my aging system. The first being RAM and the second a new video card. If I'm not mistaken, Win XP 32-bit can only really utilize up to 2GB ram properly. I've recently upgraded my system to 2GB which has helped a lot and the difference between 1GB and 2GB is quite noticeable in some applications. It cost about $89 for 2 1GB sticks of DDR 400. My second upgrade was a new video card. HIS makes an ATI x1950 PRO 265MB AGP 8x video card. This card is about $170: HIS Hightech H195PRQT256DDAN-R-V2 Radeon X1950PRO 256MB 256-bit GDDR3 AGP 8X HDCP Ready Video Card - Retail I put this card in my system and was blown away. This card is about 3x faster than my old 6600GT and runs games at a comparable fps as the PCI x1950PRO version. This is an overall games fps chart from Tom's Hardware showing the boost in fps from my old card to the new one, shown in blue: Tom's Hardware FPS 6600GT vs x1950PRO When I can actually find the time, I've been able to play the latest games without problems on some of the highest video settings and resolutions. Something thing to note is that the card does get hot and requires good airflow. My Lian Li case with 4 90 mm fans is now a permanently open case in order to allow enough airflow. The card is is also long and requires 2 power plugs. I hope this is helpful.
  15. I've been following this mod for the last year or two and decided that even if I don't have very much time to contribute, I can at least register to show my support. I came across this today and thought the designs fit the setting for The Dark Mod: http://manhole-covers.net/galerie/slide.php3?f=0 My apologies if this has been posted before. I thought that this may help give some ideas for manhole covers as well as other textures in general. Thanks for all the hard work on the mod. I, and many others, look forward to enjoying this great mod. The Thief series has been one of my all time favorites, which I continue to play to this day when I can find the time.
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