Monday, September 30, 2013

How to fix Borderlands 2 coop-over-the-internet LAG

My buddy and I really like to do coop games with Borderlands 2, but could never really enjoy it properly. It's quite a common problem that the game experiences LAG when you play over the internet. It turned out that to fix the problem, we had to get a VPN going, but trust me, it's easier than it sounds!

At first I tried doing it with Windows 7's built in tools, but I don't think I did it right (it also included setting up port forwarding on your router and stuff like that...). My friend told me that they always used Teamviewer at his previous work, and he remembered something about it have VPN functionality as well...

We both got that up and running, and without too much hassle he connected to me and our VPN was set up.

We were blown away with the performance of the game now, it really made a huge difference! One of us (usually the guy not hosting the game) experienced hectic LAG (imagine shooting in the game, and the bullet only starts about a second later!), but last night he said it was as if playing a single player game! BADASS!!

Anyway, here's some instructions on how to get a VPN set up with Teamviewer - firstly, download it here:

Next, start it up, and click "Extras":

Now select Options, and you're represented with this, click Advanced at the bottom:

Once there, click the "Show advanced options" button:

Scroll down to almost the bottom of the list, to "Advanced network settings" - and click on Install next to "Install VPN driver":

If you see this, then you're pretty much good to go:

Now, whoever has the best internet connection should host the game, with the other players connecting to him (You'll have to give your ID and Password generated by Teamviewer to them, and they must select VPN).

Once connected, you'll see a little pop up with your friends' IP addresses, and you should be able to ping them - if you can't, then you might have to set up your firewall to not block Teamviewer.

When everyone can ping everyone, you're good to go - play the game as you normally would, and voila, it should be a much better experience!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Some of my favourite things to do in GTA V

GTA V is still very fresh on everyone's mind, it being just over a week since release. I must say, it's a bloody brilliant game! I've decided to share some of the things I like to do in the game (besides the main story missions and stuff like that...):

Playing tennis

So far, I've played two matches, and won both of them. It's a lot of fun, and can't wait to hit the courts some more! It's not too complicated and difficult, which I really like :)

Just driving

I always liked doing this in all the GTA games, especially San Andreas - I'm very happy that the map is so huge in GTA V too, that you can just hit the open road and listen to the radio (the radio stations are hilarious!). Plus, the cars handle really nice, not like GTA IV which I didn't like at all!

I especially like to get one of those off road buggies with Trevor and ride off-road, that's plenty of fun!


So far I've only done one, and I'm busy in the planning phase of the second one - this is an awesome feature, and I can only imagine how much fun it'll be to do something like that with a few buddies.

Looking for stuff

All the GTA games so far have had some kind of collectible items that you can get throughout the game (San Andreas had, for example, horseshoes you can find, or clams under water...), and GTA V is no different. I wanted to discover what this one holds without looking it up on the internet, and I just found the first one yesterday. Won't give it away, but I'm looking forward to start searching for more (and to see how long it will take me to actually look up the locations of them all on the internet)

Watching TV

I've watched some of the shows on the in game TV's, and they are hilariously funny. So sometimes I put my TV on, start up the game, and watch some TV. Good times!

Helping strangers (might have some spoilers)

I especially like doing this with Trevor, since he's such a totally unpredictable guy! I helped retrieve a guy's stolen bicycle (he email me the next day with a gift of $100000 worth of shares in his company!), delivered a "lost" couple to the Altruist cult, and even got robbed when I wanted to help someone who's van broke down on the side of the road (I woke up on the train tracks, just in time to escape certain death too!).

GTA V is a masterpiece of entertainment. It is everything I hoped it would be!

Monday, September 23, 2013

GTA V - my first weekend

After Kalahari finally delivered the game at 16:55 (they said between 14:00 and 17:00 - close call...) last Thursday, I immediately installed it on my Xbox. I only installed disc one, and the other disc is used to play the game.

I have played most of the GTA games - from the very first one, to GTA IV and one of its DLC's (the Lost and Damned - didn't get to Balad of Gay Tony).

My favourite, before GTA V, was San Andreas by far. To be honest, although I played GTA 4, I didn't like it very much. The way Nico handled was just wrong. Also, driving a car wasn't fun anymore :( I was also not fond of Liberty City, no open country areas and stuff like that...

Anyway, over the weekend I had plenty of opportunity to play the latest one, and I must say, I'm blown away! It's a gorgeous game, and they fixed all issues that irritated me in GTA 4! The cars handle better, normal walking is better, and we have the open road again! (helicopters handle a bit weird though, but I'm sure it's only a case of getting use to the handling...)

So, if you like GTA 3, Vice City and San Andreas, but didn't care too much for GTA 4, then you must get your hands on GTA 5, it is simply the best one yet. Looking forward to spend many more hours in LS!

My favourite part so far? The characters, definitely the characters. Trevor is absolutely insane!

Bye bye Openweb, hello Afrihost

I have a 4mb Telkom ADSL line. Last year, Openweb had a special where you can buy a 2mb standard uncapped account for R297 per month, but the best part was that you can have 2 people using the connection at the same time.

I have very mixed feelings about the Openweb uncapped package. Yes I did manage to download a lot, I usually start it after work, and leave it on overnight. My only problem is that if I have done a night's worth of downloading, the next day my internet is shaped into oblivion itself and I cannot even access Gmail without pulling the hair out of my head.

Luckily, I've always had a 20gig Telkom account too, so for normal work time, we use that. With both me and the missus using it for work during the day, we easily use over a gig of data just with emails and regular work browsing (I'm a web designer, she a graphic designer).

Usually around the 20th or so, the Telkom account is totally depleted. Just too bad I can't really effectively use my uncapped account with Openweb either...

Enters Afrihost: they've done it again, slashing their capped account prices even more. Just this month I helped one of my clients move over to Afrihost, and got them on a 10gig account for R145 per month, which is a very good deal in my opinion! Since they switched, the owner keeps on sending me the emails he gets from Afrihost, and it's always extra data. Just the other day they got an extra 24gigs of data, just for being a client (not even for a month!). And a week later, he got another email that they loaded 5 gigs of data on his MTN cellphone for this month and next month for free as well.

And last week, Afrihost cut their capped prices even further, meaning my client will be paying the huge amount of R49 per month for their 10gigs. (their previous company charged them over R500 I think).

Now, for my same R300, I can get 75gigs of unshaped data from Afrihost. Together with the now 40gigs I get from Telkom, 115gigs will be MORE than enough for our usage every month. In fact, I'm gonna start on the 50gigs account and see how it goes - R199 per month. Best part? No contracts, and Afrihost has legendary support!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

I ordered GTA V

My AWESOME wife bought me GTA V. I just put the order through on Kalahari, and got this email:

Ok, I'll get it in two days, not too unhappy with that, will only be able to play over the weekend anyway I guess...

So, 45 minutes later, I get this email from Kalahari:

Turns out I'm getting it today already! Ahh the joys of living in Cape Town. :)

Edit: As my luck would have it, it's now the 18th and still no delivery. Not charmed with Kalahari at the moment. It's fine if it takes 2 or 3 days, just don't send me a email saying it's coming today, and then delivery is only 2 days after that - - not cool guys, not cool!

Can't wait!

Logitech is failing me

I've had Logitech devices for years now, and lately I've been experiencing all kinds of crap with them, and I'm really considering shifting my loyalty elsewhere.

I guess it started with the original G15 keyboard - now, I had that one for quite a few years before it started messing about, so I wrote it off as good old fashioned wear and tear.

I liked it a lot - in the beginning. It has an MR button (stands for Macro Recording), you basically press that, and one of the left hand side G-keys, and then start typing. The keyboard then records what you're typing, and once you're done, you just hit the MR key again. Now, every time you press that button, it simulates all your key presses while you did the recording.

I never actually used it for gaming, and mostly for regular work (I'm a programmer remember).

Anyway, my gripe was that the MR button started getting stuck, making the use of the G-keys really a huge pain in the ass to use.

Also, almost no games out there used the LCD display on the keyboard, making it the most useless feature in the history of keyboards (I think World of Warcraft used it, but not in such a way that you can't live without it...)

Next, I had the MX518 optical mouse - this one lasted very long indeed, and the only issue I had that the clicking in the end got louder and louder - almost as if something was stuck and then released when you clicked. Other than that, by far the best Logitech product I ever owned!

I still have it to this day, as a backup mouse, but yes, the left click isn't what it used to be...

To replace my G15 and MX518, my awesome wife bought me a G110 keyboard and G500 gaming mouse for Christmas back in 2010.

Let's start with the horrible G500 - as a mouse it's really good, it's got a laser sensor, and even an adjustable weight system. Also lots of buttons, 10 in total (that is if you include the left and right action of the mouse wheel, you can assign those to their own functions with the software).

Anyway, this mouse had a weird glitch - every now and then it would let go of my clicks before I do (if that makes any sense). I would click and drag something, and without me releasing the button, the mouse just releases on its own. Very annoying indeed. I took it in to Pinnacle, and they tested it, and didn't experience the same issue. So I got it back, and it worked fine for a bit, but then started again.

So I searched online, and it turned out, this was a common issue with this particular model. I was not impressed. It turns out, in certain environments, usually drier areas, a static charge builds up between the plastic of the button and the pad it presses against (which aren't made from the same material). That charge causes it to "lose the click" every now and again.

The only way to fix this was to actually open up the mouse, and do a DIY job and wrap an elastic band around it and stuff like that. Something I was not in the mood for.

I took it back, and luckily they game me credit (only plus side of this story is the 3 year warranty the mouse has, so Pinnacle didn't have an issue taking it back and giving me credit). Very sad about this thing, I really liked the mouse a lot, but that issue just made it suck so much.

I decided to get something else this time around, and ended up taking the the G300:

Anyway, I'll get back to the G300...

Let me start complaining about my G110 now:

Good keyboard, and never had any hassles with it, until now a few weeks ago. It disconnects every now and again on it's on, and reconnects again. I have a very bad luck run with my Logitech gear as of late, maybe I should switch brands (feel free to comment what you guys would recommend!).

This too seems to be a common problem with this model. Damnit. Anyway, on Logitech's site, I got to this post:

I've now followed the steps they've laid out there, and so far it hasn't disconnected yet, but it's only been like 2 hours now. Time will tell, sooner or later, time will tell (see my Red Alert quote there hehehe).

Now, the G300 mouse - with my keyboard, it also disconnects every now and then. Hopefully the step I followed on the post I mentioned above that will too sort itself out...

Lastly, this useless piece of crap:

That's the Logitech Dinovo Mini media center keyboard. Damn I hate that thing. Almost every night when we start the media center PC up, I have to take the battery out, and put it back in again, just for it to work with the PC. I spent over R1500 on that, and it was the worst mistake I've ever made. Do NOT buy one of these if you have a media center PC.

And the little track pad mouse thing is also not as responsive as it could have been. It's a huge pain to work with. Hopefully it breaks soon.

Anyway, I'm now fed-up with Logitech, and will never buy a Logitech peripheral ever again.

So please, comment below, and give me some recommendations (I'm in the market for a media center remote, a new keyboard, and maybe a new mouse).

Rant over.

A combat knife gattling gun. AWESOME

Yes, that's right. A gun that shoots knives. I'll maybe buy Saint's Row IV just for that!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Terraria 1.2 Gameplay Trailer

Here's the latest Terraria version 1.2 gameplay trailer - yes, it looks awesome!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Afrihost Mobile Internet

Look what I just finally got:

Will blog about it some more when I've tested it. So far, the signal indicator is orange at my house, which means there's signal, but it's weak... I didn't really expect more though, since MTN's coverage in our area is a bit crappy anyway.

I'll mostly use this for when we're on the road and things like that.

And thanks Afrihost, for the extra 5 gigs for October! That will come in handy!

Sharing your Steam Library with up to 10 people

Steam announced that they will launch a new feature in a few days that will allow you to share your whole Steam Library with up to 10 people. That is freaking awesome!

There are some restrictions though, while I'm sharing my library with a friend, both of us can't play at the same time. I have first dibs though, and if my buddy is busy playing a game, and I start one up on my side, then he'll get a chance to buy the game to continue, or his game will stop. Sounds fair!

Your friends can then have their own save games and Steam Achievements.

I think this is a really awesome move from Steam, I expect nothing less of them, they always seem to surprise me!

It's starting the beta next week, and to participate, you need to join this group on Steam. And here is more info about the system on Steam's website.

Don't get your hopes up though, it seems that they'll only select 1000 people to participate at first (and the group already has over 100000 members!)

Anyway, nice one Steam!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The 9th Humble Indie Bundle

If you've never heard of the Humble Indie Bundle - SHAME!!! It is this awesome platform where Indie game developers put their games up for sale, and the best part? YOU decide how much you're willing to pay, and then you also determine to who that money goes (the devs, charity or as a tip for the guys at Humble Bundle).

It's a great way to support the Indie developers, and you get some really kickass games for an absolute steal!

This time around, it includes some really awesome games:

  • Trine 2: Complete Story (new for me, I've played Trine 1, and it's awesome!)
  • Mark of the Ninja (this game is absolutely beautiful, and an awesome stealth-em-up!)
  • Eets Munchies (no idea what this is, installing as I type this)
  • Brutal Legend (Action RPG with Jack Black voicing the main character. Also, it has Heavy Metal, what's not to like?)
  • FTL: Faster than Light (manage your own space station, and die a thousand times doing that)
  • FEZ (I've just seen screen shots of this one, also installing)
The best part of this bundle, the Steam keys you get are all separate, which means if you have some of the games already, you can still buy the bundle and give those keys to a buddy (or like I did, to my wife :)

GTA V map leaked - it's huge!

It appears the map for GTA V have already been leaked on the internet, and it is absolutely huge! Other people who've posted it mentioned spoilers, but I can't see any that will spoil anything...

That is freaking huge! Here is a comparison to San Andreas:

They say there will be at least 100 hours worth of gameplay, and that the game cost $265 million to make, the biggest budget ever for a game, and second biggest for an entertainment product ($300 million went towards making the third Pirates of the Caribbean movie...).

Jimmy Kimmel is a legend!

A couple of weeks ago I saw the video with the girl doing some twerking (I weep for our youth!) and she goes up against the door, then someone opens it, and she falls on the table, which has some candles on it, and she catches fire.

Turned out, the whole thing was fake hehehe! Here's the original:

And Jimmy revealed he was behind the whole thing, and the girl is a stunt woman - epic!

Jimmy Kimmel is a legend, I always laugh my ass off at his videos!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Terraria 1.2 screen shots

It is no secret that Terraria is my favourite Indie game, and back in May they announced a new update for the PC version, version 1.2. It has been waaay too long now, it looks like there's a huge number of additions on its way. Here are some of the screen shots I borrowed from Terraria's Facebook Page.

Wow, those look amazing! Here is a summary of new features based on the above screen shots:

  • Clouds with rain.
  • LOTS more bricks and blocks to build with.
  • Pets! (I see a turtle)
  • New doors
  • Bigger trees
  • Slimes have umbrellas when it rains (it looks like)
  • Rainbow thing?
  • Waterfalls
  • Better water
  • Zombies with coats when you're in the snow biome
  • Bunny gun?
  • Much more backgrounds and wall tiles
  • New Jungle Biome boss (Plantera)
  • Underground trees and more plants
  • Cannons!
  • Minimap
  • Lots more items
  • Half bricks
  • Stained glass
  • Coloured water
  • Lots more creatures
  • Bigger variety of chests
  • You can dye your armor!
  • A beach ball
This is going to a big update! The devs also mentioned better network code, which will be a godsend, setting up port forwarding or using something like Hamachi is too complicated for most.

Oh, and you can run over terrain with 1 block high "steps" - that is probably the thing I'm looking forward to the most!

This update can't come soon enough!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Robocop Trailer

I loved the first two Robocop movies (not so much after that...), I remember very fondly from my childhood watching those movies and playing pretend (I would have liked it a lot to have gun that comes out of my leg!).

Anyway, they're doing a remake, and it looks freaking amazing:

Dead or alive, you're coming with me!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Introducing Samsung GALAXY Note 3

XCOM Enemy within gameplay

Last year Firaxis finally brought out a very long overdue remake of XCOM games - XCOM: Enemy Unknown. It is a great game and I enjoyed it thoroughly!

Their first DLC for it, however, I didn't even bother getting - all it added was a new council mission, and you had to start a new game to actually be able to play it (if I'm not mistaken...). Anyway, in a few weeks they'll be launching a new DLC for it, and it looks to be just what the fans wanted!

It includes new ways of leveling up your soldiers, new enemies and items, plus Mechs! Here's a gameplay video showing off some of the new things we can expect - also can't wait for this one!

Galaxy Note 3 - I want

Samsung did indeed reveal their next model, the Galaxy Note 3:

This time around it seems they have a stitched case giving it a more authentic notebook type feel.

And here are the official specs: (borrowed from the awesome guys at Mybroadband, here's their article:

Specifications Samsung Galaxy Note 3
Maker - Samsung
Dimensions -151.2 x 79.2 x 8.3mm
Weight - 168g
Operating system - Android 4.3
Display - 5.68-inch 1080p (1080×1920) Super AMOLED
Rear camera - 13MP
Front camera - 2MP
Storage, internal - 32GB/64GB
Storage, expandable - microSD
RAM - 3GB (nice!)
Processor - 2.3GHz quad-core (LTE); or 1.9GHz Octa core (3G) (nice too!)
Battery - 3,200mAh

That is some fine ass specs for a cellphone.

They also changed the pen you get with it, making it more accurate. And another nice feature, you can have two windows open at the same time, making this a great office tool to actually get some work done on the road!

Lastly, from the looks of things, we'll have it here in South Africa from 25 September, but I haven't confirmed this or anything.

In the meantime, I'm now on the expensive prepaid cellphone option with Vodacom still. I think I'm gonna hold out to get the Note 3, so come on CellC, if you get this phone by the beginning of October, you'll have yourself a new and loyal customer!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

September - I'm excited

September is looking to be a really exciting month for us geeks.

Firstly, on 4 September Samsung is doing a big reveal, and everyone is pretty sure it's the Galaxy Note 3. I really hope it is, and that they bring it to South Africa ASAP, I so want to get that phone!

Sony is also announcing their follow up on their really cool Xperia Z, and I think the new one will be called the Xperia Z1. Very VERY curious to see what they come up with this time...

Also, the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5C - the 5s will look the same, but apparently with an upgraded camera, processor and storage options. The 5C will have a plastic case, which can be changed to all kinds of funky colours. So far, it looks like 10 September is the date to look out for that one...

As far as gaming, the biggest title of the year:

Yes, Grand Theft Auto V is being released, and I keep getting more and more excited about it by the day. It will have 3 main characters that you play with, and it seems like the map will be the biggest in the series. Seriously looking forward to this one.

Borderlands 2 is just not getting old either - the latest DLC will raise the level cap to a whopping level 72, but it doesn't end there, you can, once you've hit level 72, unlock a special mode where all the enemies get tougher, and they drop higher level gear, which will go up all the way to level 80 in the end. The wife and I are both level 51 now on the Xbox, grinding to play through the main story line again to get to the next difficulty level...

Hopefully the latest Terraria update, version 1.2 also gets released, but I don't have a clue when it actually will. Some awesome updates, as you can see from this vid:

The water's gonna get a big upgrade, and there will also be half bricks, and I've heard that network play will be much better and easier to get going (I had to set up port forwarding on my router so that my buddy and I can play! The other option is setting up something like Hamachi - big headache!). Also, you can run straight over one brick high blocks without having to jump over them any more. That will be a huge help by itself!

The last thing I'm uber excited about, my bro's baby boy is gonna join this world on the 25th. Can't wait to make a gamer out of him too!

That's my "things I'm excited about for September" list - drop a comment if you're excited about something geek related too that I didn't mention... Game on!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Nice move Telkom, doubling our bandwidth!

I was pleasantly surprised to learn over the weekend that Telkom have doubled all of their capped accounts' data allowance, meaning I have a sweet 40gig now instead of 20!

In South Africa, I have found it very important to have backups in terms of internet connectivity. On the one side, we have Telkom, who we can't avoid unfortunately, them having that nice monopoly of theirs and all. Their data flows through the SAT3 undersea cable. If SAT3 is down, then you're pretty much screwed. So it is wise to have a backup, especially if you work from home like I do. I also use Openweb, and Afrihost.

But, it now and then happens that the actual copper line coming to my house is down, then it really feels like we're in the dark ages. And phoning Telkom usually doesn't help at all, you get through to some or other call centre in Bloemfontein or Jhb, and they never really give you much in terms of how long it's gonna take, or even what's wrong!

The last resort when it comes to internet here in South Africa, is by using the cell networks, and boy oh boy are they not cheap! My now 40gig Telkom account works out to under R6 per gig. Cell networks charge up to R100 per gig, or even more! And then Afrihost (ahh bless them) decides to enter into the mobile market, and their account is R145 for 5gigs! Plus, the first 8000 people who ordered, got a free Mifi device worth R1000 (me included). That's a good deal if you ask me! Still waiting on my package, and I'll definitely give it a go once I have it, and report on my experience!

All in all, working from home and relying very much on having internet connectivity costs me well over R1000 per month - ahh the joys!