So… I bought a Chromebook.

I’ve been wanting to get a laptop again for a while. With neighbour issues seeming to want to escalate I’ve wanted to be able to make a lot of what I do online as portable as possible. If I want to go into the bedroom and talk to people, or post on forums and such I should be able to, if only to get away from the problem temporarily. As much as I love having my Bluetooth keyboard and a tablet available, it’s not the same as having a laptop. I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on a laptop that has too much, but I was also painfully aware, thanks to tablets with keyboard attachments, that not spending enough and not doing enough research was going to hurt my purchasing in the long run.

I had been eyeing up a Chromebook for a while, purely because I spend almost all of the time I am not gaming, or video editing (i.e. things that I wouldn’t attempt on a laptop anyway) in Chrome in some way or another. Even when I’m in Discord it’s a version of Chrome with a few things attached. After doing research, it turned out that the cheapest Chromebook I could find was perfect for my needs; an Acer Chromebook 11 (2016).

I’ve not had a new laptop since mid-2010 when I bought from the first iterations of Dell’s Inspiron 1545, and the low-end version at that. That was six or seven years ago, and frankly I expected similar specs. I know that Linux and by extension ChromeOS would run on a lot of hardware (it was just about usable on my 2007 EeePC 901 with spinning HDD) and as such I expected the specs to be low to match. What I had missed was that with SSDs becoming cheaper to produce and more in demand thanks to the speed differences inherent in the design they remove a significant bottleneck in cheap notebooks at a decent price point. SSDs are no longer a gimmick in laptops; they are the norm.

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The Cyrus Origin Story

As someone on the forum ironically claimed, this may be the last act of Cyrus, at least in it’s current iteration; releasing an Origins video. But I think it’s damn awesome, and I’d like to leave it here for you to watch.

I am coming back soon, just need to get my head back in the writing mindset. See you soon™!

UPlay, or not UPlay?

I’m the type of person that tends to hold grudges against companies for a long time, if they’re doing something anti-consumer, or just shady as all hell. One of the reasons that I’ve been so loyal to Steam (my account is now 9 years old) is because while they may have been tweaking things on the back end, aside from a couple of issues (latest being the 2015 Cache-tastrophe) there’s been very little in ways of issues for the consumer. Not so much for EA’s Origin, and Ubisoft’s UPlay. They have both had their fair share of problems, anti-consumer DRM, and generally sloppy attempts at trying to beat Steam at their own game that they have been playing for well over a decade. EA’s Origin originally took 20% of CPU power just to run, and both EA and Ubisoft had anti-consumer, always-online DRM that only spurred gamers further to find out how to break it. “SimCity is not an offline experience”, except when it is after a modder figures it out is a perfect example of this.

But times have changed. I’m still something of a die-hard Steam user, but I also use Origin, if only for the ‘On the House’ games and the Mass Effect Collection that I bought in order to play the trilogy without having to fire up the Xbox 360. But UPlay is one that I have always avoided putting on my machine, not just because of the software itself, but because of what hte company stands for as a whole. Cyrus, and more honestly, Redh, changed that and encouraged me to buy the Division now that I have a good gaming computer that can handle it.

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Time For an Upgrade!

I usually don’t spend more than £500 on a new computer. More often than not I’m an incremental upgrader; adding a bit here or a little there, but each time I invest in a new system it’s almost a quantum leap. With this last machine I couldn’t really do that because the motherboard was end-of-life on the socket for the CPU, I already had an SSD in it and the bottlenecks on the motherboard made it so getting a new graphics card wasn’t worth it. It’s gone on for five or so years (though the graphics card is older) and I decided that it was finally time for an upgrade. I’d been saving up for another plan that hadn’t panned out, so I figured I would spend a decent amount, though not only has the game changed in terms of what’s available, but also in terms of the price.

I spent £1520 on a machine that will blow my socks off, and it has just been assembled and is awaiting quality check before being shipped to me. It’s got a 4.4Ghz quad-core i7, 16GB RAM, a 240GB SSD with a 2TB SATA to back it up, with a GTX 1070 from MSI. I’ve never invested this kind of money in a system before, nor have I been this close to the bleeding edge of tech. I always lag behind a couple of generations as best I can to make sure that I get a good deal.

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VIDEO – Cyrus Gaming – Join the Club!

“You’re injured? Good! I like it when you’re injured!” – Caellin

I’ve been on-and-off with Cyrus since September 2009, and am now (it seems) one of it’s most senior members in terms of time passed since being initially recruited. I don’t know what that says about me; something about an abused spouse comes to mind… jk.

On a serious note, these guys have been around for a long time in MMOs. They started out as Exodus in Warhammer Online, then became Cyrus. I met them a month after Aion launched, and aside from a couple of hiccups where I couldn’t take a joke it was a good time until I boxed myself into a corner and learned one rule about a Guild Leader, or in Aion’s terminology, a Legionmaster: The Legionmaster is always right. Even when you think he is wrong, he is right. Why? Because you put yourself in a situation that means you only have one option; leave. As Redh reminded me when I talked about it afterwards, Guilds are never a democracy and undermining his leadership gave him no choice.

I went back to try RIFT, but honestly it wasn’t my thing. And WoW was only good with someone else, and the challenge wasn’t there. I didn’t return fully until last year when out of the blue I got an email from Redh asking if I wanted to join in preparation for Camelot Unchained.

Fast forward to today (well, a few weeks ago), and Nostrau has put together an awesome recruitment video for our casual, team-building nights while we wait for CU to go live. This post is obviously to put that video out there, and to recommend that if you have any desire to play Camelot Unchained that you at least check out the guild site. But, it’s also as a thank you to them for keeping me afloat recently, and for Redh and Diabolique (had to specify there!) for listening to me and putting up with an emotional mess that just moped on the sofa all day.

Hope when the game drops that I’m worth keeping around. : P