FinalMouse 2015 - Review

FinalMouse 2015 

The story of how I stumbled across this mouse / company is a little weird-- they were apparently in some kind of stealth mode, and were using Amazon as a method of fulfillment and distribution to a group of testers that included some professional level gamers. One of them (adreN) commented about the mouse on stream, and that's how I came to find out about it. I dug for a bit of info and didn't really find much, with the exception being a review posted by a well respected "mouse expert" on the Overclock.net forums, which ended up being taken down, and a representative from FinalMouse directly posting on the forums. 

All that being said, I found the mouse on Amazon, which was Prime eligible, and ordered it with next day shipping. Below is my review and thoughts/findings.

Please note that this is likely a "pre-final version" product, meaning that it's slightly further along than beta, but not quite "production ready". The information here is based on not only my thoughts/findings, but by the posts of FinalMouseJude on the Overclock.net forums. 

Read More

Setting Goals for Success - Specific, Measurable, & on a Timeline

The start of a New Year-- the time most people use to "start fresh", and set their New Year's Resolutions, which is a fancy name for some goals they'd like to accomplish during the year. The running joke is that those goals usually last a week, a month at most, and then fade away into the background, the source of shame, never to be spoken of again. We've all been guilty of this in the past. 

As the prior year comes to a close, I tend to spend some time in reflection, thinking a lot about what I had accomplished, what I didn't, and what I'd like to accomplish in the coming 12 months. I set some goals and have found a lot of success in doing so. 

That being said, it seems most people fall into the trap of setting hard to measure, vague goals, like "eat healthier". Posts and tweets like that are the reason I thought it would be valuable to post this, so here we go-- TWO VERY IMPORTANT THINGS you MUST DO to help yourself achieve your goals. 

Read More

Setting up a "Stream PC" - Two PC Streaming Configuration

If your current PC just can't handle the load of streaming and gaming at the same time, or if you're like me and are sick of the input delay and laggy "feel" you get while streaming and gaming on the same system, a "stream PC" may be the solution for you. 

In this article, I'll document how to set up the second PC as your "stream PC", and go through all the options I had to feel my way through when setting it up on my own. Hopefully this will help a bunch of new streamers get started-- with an added benefit of increasing your game play, and also your stream quality. 

Requirements:

  • Two PCs-- one for gaming, one for streaming
  • HDMI Output from your Game PC's GPU
  • A Capture Card or similar Capture Device
    • If internal, you'll likely need a PCIe slot available in the Stream PC
    • If external, I believe they require a USB 3.0 port open
  • HDMI cable (included in the AverMedia Capture Card I use) 
    • Make sure the PCs are close enough or your HDMI cable is long enough to reach between the PCs!
  • OBS or Xsplit streaming software

First, you need to make sure you have a captu

Read More

The Roost Stand - Review!

A buddy of mine showed this to me at my previous company, and it was interesting at the time, but not something I really saw value in at the time. In a nutshell, The Roost Stand is a super strong, super lightweight, portable laptop stand designed for clamshell laptops (like MacBooks, and like the Razer Blade) that elevates the positioning of the laptop screen to eye-level, which helps with overall posture and prevents the user from being hunched over their laptop screen.

The creator of the stand was having all kinds of physical health problems, and his doctors told him that he needed to take time away, let himself heal, etc. He tried different wrist wrests, ergonomic chairs, fancy desks, etc. but was still having issues from being hunched over for so many hours. He started a campaign on kickstarter hoping to raise about $8,000, and in less than 30 days, he actually raised over $200,000. Check out this video to get the full story on The Roost Stand.

Since that time, the company has continued to hand make the stands in America (in Denver, CO). Now that you know what it basically is, it's time for my thoughts after having used it for about 3 weeks now. 

To start, I'd like to say that while I use a laptop a fair amount, I never really noticed any pain in my neck or upper back-- or at least not enough for me to feel like this purchase was an absolute MUST for that reason. The main reason I wanted to pick this stand up was so that I could build out a mobile gaming-ready setup, as my career has me in hotels and on the road fairly often.

Read More

Razer Blade (2014) Review - Part I (?)

For those who aren't familiar, the Razer Blade is a thin, lightweight, "ultrabook-like" laptop designed specifically for those who want to be able to game on the go. It's design is eerily similar to what you'd find from Apple on the latest MacBooks. A quick hit on the specs the current version ships with:

  • Intel Core i7 4702HQ
  • 8GB of DDR3, 1600MHz RAM
  • NVIDIA GTX 870M
  • 128/256/512GB of SSD (I chose the 256GB model)
  • 14" TouchScreen with "QuadHD+" resolution (3200x1800)

My first impression was: It's a beautiful laptop. It strikes the perfect balance between compact, slim and lightweight, and feeling absolutely solid in hand. Coming from a MacBook Air, I wasn't sure if this was going to be close to it or not, but it ended up being a pretty similar experience in terms of the quality feel of the device. That made for a very good quick first impression. 

Portability wise, the size is great, and Razer did a good job of keeping the accompanying power brick  small/thin, with a nice cable wrap as well. It's a small detail, but it helps the laptop travel well overall, which is important for my use case. 

Read More