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Is the concept of Counter-Strike:GO a failure?

March 27th, 2016 No comments

two wins a day-2pngTo be honest, the adaptations of CS1.6 to CS:S to CS:GO became worse and worse. But on CS:GO it became a complete disaster. In-game purchases, unlockables, ranks: Nothing the real CS ever was about.

Anyway, I bought this game a few years ago on a LAN party and I enjoyed a few public games there with my friends. Now, my friends are playing it way more than our previous we play together-games such as Battlefield or Starcraft so I simply also began to play it again.

But here it becomes tricky: Before I can play on a non-cheating infested or full of noobs-team public server with my friends (a.k.a competitive mode) I need to become level 3. Yeah, this was a hard run, since you only can rank up very slowly in public-games but I managed this.

But then there was a new border I had to cross: I need to win 10 competitive games in order to be competitively ranked and be able to play with my friends. So I did that. But now the new major bummer: I’m only allowed to win two matches a day. WTF?

My friends told me it’s all about getting cheaters from coming back to competitive again easily. But to be honest: A cheater simply can wait this time and doesn’t care. He will play a few games with his cheat everyday and after five days, he is back in. But for a normal player like me, I’m getting stones put in my way. Counter-Strike as it is with CS:GO is dead to me, even though I would like to play it.

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Battlefail 4

January 11th, 2014 No comments

In the past few months I was playing Battlefield 4 and I have to say, it is the most disappointing yet addictive (FPS) game I have ever played besides BF3. So what is cool and what is totally wrong you ask? Well, lets start with the good things. It is a massively complex FPS with four player-classes with a variety of diferent loadouts (guns, gadgets etc). Furthermore it offers vehicles – A lot of them. And everything is very well implemented and more or less polished if you look at the sole vehicle class.

Now lets talk about the bad things. And there are more than the good things – yet it can be easily fixed/balanced but EA DICE doesn’t give a shit about it.

The most annoying bugs/issues are the following ones:

  • Client Crashes (have been dramatically reduced since the release, but yet happening)
  • Server Crashes (also reduces but yet happening a lot. All your progress/unlocks will be lost after a crash)
  • Unable to join servers via Battlelog. A lot of times, balltelog starts the game but it won’t connect because the server was full in the first place.

But yet ingame there is a lot more wrong, mainly because of bad decisions in means of “money saving”.

  • The game lags – A LOT. You die behind walls 500ms after you moved there or the enemy shoots you with 1 shot (on your perspective) but yet he shot you more times. This is mainly because of…
  • … the totally bad netcode. It sucks. No other description
  • Further more, servers run at a network-tickrate of 10 Hz! Yet they calculate new game-states at 30 Hz. WHY? So servers causes (more but still very moderate) CPU load but clients don’t get a new update of the game-state which causes lag?

 

And there are many many more. Yet the networking/lag/netcode issues are most annoying because they destroy all the fun. And just because EA DICE and the gameserver hosting companies want to save traffice/cpu-load/money. Yet the game and server-rents costs a so much money that renting a dedicated root server for the same price will give you 100 the performance than a crappy hosted BF4 server which is shared with 99 other people.

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Server-Migration

October 26th, 2013 1 comment

The website and services were down for a few days. Sorry for that. The reason was a forced server migration. We are still in the progress to get back everything working.

The new server has some quite nice specs and costs less than the old one:

  • CPU: Intel Xeon E3-1245 V2 @ 3.4 GHz
  • RAM: 32 GB
  • HDD: 2x2TB
  • LAN: 200 MBit/s garantueed, up to 1 GBit/s.
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My new rig

January 11th, 2012 3 comments

Lately it was time again to replace my old mid-range PC by a faster one. The old contains a Intel Core i5-750 on an Asus P7P55D board combined with 4 GB DDR 1333 Ram , a HD4890, 128 GB Vertex 2 SSD and 2 TB Seagate Barracude 7200.10 drive.

The new one now offers the best hardware which was yet not too expensive: Intel Core i7-2700K on a Asus P8z68-V/Gen3 paired with 8 GB DDR3 1600 and a HD6970. For storage I chose a Samsung MZ-7PC128D 128 GB SSD and a Seagate Green Barracude (5900/min) with 2 TB of space.

All single components (except for the 2 TB drive) already have around twice the performance of the old one.

So I might be able to play all the games I bought lately on full details, yay (CoD MW3, Serious Sam 3: BFE, Skyrim, Battlefield 3, Saints Row the Third,…Wink

Edit: Just overclocked my CPU to 4.5 GHz for all cores. That’s 1 GHz more without turbo-mode and 900 MHz more with maximum TurboMode Clock for all cores simultaneously.. No Vcc increase was necessary and performance increased by more than 30% (as the power consumption did simultaneously). To my knowledge, the i7-2700k is capable of around 5 GHz and more but my cooling is not that sufficient anymore (EKL Alpenföhn Himilaya)

 

Edit:

This rig is AWESOME! Seriously. The CPU runs generally at 3.5 GH. With turbo boost it OCs one Core to 3.9 GHz, two to 3.8 GHz, three to 3.7 GHz and four to 3.6 GHz. Now it runs at 4.5 GHz for all four cores simultaneously without any performance or heat issues (+ 1 GHz to nominal clock). And I know it is capable of an OC to 5.4 GHz (water cooling is necessary beyond 5 GHz). I speak out my respect to Intel and their genious CPUs. I’ve never been that capable of OC with any AMD CPU I ever owned.

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DiskCryptor 1.0.735.112 – Unofficial

January 8th, 2012 1 comment

The disk encryption tool DiskCryptor is my favorite tool when it comes to full-disk encryption of a system. The benefits (over e.g. TrueCrypt) are good performance on SSDs, hardware acceleration of AES and Serpent algorithm, fully licensed under GPL and other cool things.

Sadly the software has a tiny bug (and the developer not much time) which might lead to some users not having their full RAM available in Windows. Luckily the smart guy “someone” found the reason which is a too low maximum size entry in the bootloader for the E820 entry of the BIOS. With the information provided by “someone” I recompiled DiskCryptor from source. These are the steps I did:

  • Converted the project to Microsoft Visual Studio 10 format & fixed some compile properties like Output paths, which got somehow messed up during conversion (Compiling the driver on x86 still does not work, but the solution is simple.)
  • Modified boot/asm/struct.inc on line 65: map    rb (128 * sizeof.e820_entry)
  • Modified include/boot/e820.h on line 4: #define E820MAX    128        /* number of entries in E820MAP */
  • Modified include/version.h to show version to 1.0.735.112 (Last one is the version of the bootloader)
  • Compiled the whole project
  • Copied signed drivers and debugfiles (pdb) of the original DiskCryptor 1.0.735.111 over my compiled files
  • Made an (unsigned) installer

I tested the program on my laptop (Windows 7 x64) successfully with full system encryption, but I’m not sure if the fix works since I have no machine (yet, that’s why I compiled it) where the error appears.

BE AWARE THAT I TAKE NO RESPONSIBILITY FOR ANY PROBLEMS OR DATALOSS AND I CAN’T GUARANTEE FOR THE FIX TO WORK.

The original author has fixed this issue in 1.0.802.118 and later. Please use his version instead: diskcryptor.net

Here is the installer: dcrypt_setup_1.0.735.112_UNOFFICIAL.exe

And here the sourcecode: diskcryptor_source_1.0.735.112_UNOFFICIAL.zip

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New server

November 29th, 2011 No comments

As you might have noticed, the old server has been down now for more than one week.
There are multiple technical reasons for that so stealthrider and me have decided to finally get our own server. (The last one was shared with 1½ more persons).

So expect most of the services to run in the near future again.

Server specs:

  • CPU: Core i7-930 @ 2.8 GHz (8 Hyperthreads)
  • RAM: 24 GB
  • HDD: 2 TB
  • Network: 100 MBit/s to the internet, 1 GBit/s in same datacenter

Those specs are split to two distinct virtualized servers:

Windows Server (Main services like gameservers)

  • CPU: 6 cores
  • RAM: 16 GB
  • HDD: 1.5 TB

Linux (HTTP, SVN,TS3)

  • CPU: 2 cores
  • RAM: 6.8 GB
  • HDD: 500 GB

Both vhosts are already up and running but not fully configured yet. Especially SVN. Backups of the old (SVN) data exist so once everything works again, you should not need to delete your old SVN repository and recheckout. HTTP and SVN should work again. Have fun!

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Steam-Community-Overlay (GameOverlayUI.exe) lags the game when pressing SHIFT-Key

February 15th, 2011 No comments

About a few months ago (4-6), an update added something terrible to the steam-community overlay: Sometimes in some games (for me mostly L4D2 and CS:S), the game lags when you press or hold the SHIFT key. I first linked it to the source-engine but then found out that the Community-Overlay is causing it. Since I use the SHIFT-Key for jumping, I was now unable to play games properly with those lags so I wrote a program to fix it (Requires MSVC Restributables 2010 32-bit and runs invisible in background after startup. Kills Overlay when pressing CTRL+TAB)

So far, I found out the following helps to fix the problem:

  • Do not use the SHIFT-Key (doh)
  • Disable the Community-Overlay (you’ll lose comfort obviously)
  • Kill the Community-Overlay (up to several times)

And this doesn’t help:

  • Rebind the Community-Overlay shortcut to something else which doesn’t use SHIFT

So if you encounter the same, just use my program and do the following when it happens:

  • Open the Community-Overlay
  • Kill it by pressing CTRL+TAB (hold it up to a second)
  • Press escape (your mouse is stuck, pressing escape fixes it)
  • If it still lags, do this procedure again

And for those, who dont trust my program: Here is the source-code, so you can compile it yourself. Code is public-domain (replace the #include’s “…” with < and > – Worpress didn’t allow me posting it with the < and >)

#include "windows.h"
#include "tlhelp32.h"
 
/********** Kills a process by given executable-name @aVoN */
bool KillProcessByName(char* name){
	HANDLE snapshot = CreateToolhelp32Snapshot(TH32CS_SNAPPROCESS,0);
 
	if(snapshot == INVALID_HANDLE_VALUE) return false;
 
	PROCESSENTRY32 pe32;
	pe32.dwSize = sizeof(PROCESSENTRY32);
 
	if(!Process32First(snapshot,&pe32)){
		CloseHandle(snapshot);     
		return false;
	}
 
	do{
		if(!strcmp(pe32.szExeFile,name)){
			HANDLE process = OpenProcess(PROCESS_TERMINATE,0,pe32.th32ProcessID);
			TerminateProcess(process,0);
			CloseHandle(process);
		} 
	}while(Process32Next(snapshot,&pe32));
 
 
	CloseHandle(snapshot);
	return true;
}
 
/********** main @aVoN */
int WINAPI WinMain(HINSTANCE hInstance,HINSTANCE hPrevInstance,LPSTR lpCmdLine,int nShowCmd){
	while(true){
		if(GetAsyncKeyState(VK_CONTROL) && GetAsyncKeyState(VK_TAB)){ //HotKeys: http://mafiacoders.forumotion.com/t20-c-hotkeys
			KillProcessByName("GameOverlayUI.exe"); //Kills executable silently without a return-to-desktop bug like taskkkill
		}
		Sleep(200);
	}
	return 0;
}
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Call of Duty: Black Ops – Autokick for TK is badly implemented

January 4th, 2011 4 comments

I really like CoD: Black Ops lately (but not as much as Modern Warfare 2) and especially the Hard Core mode (HC), where one hit can kill you and don’t get a kill cam. But HC also annoys me since you get kicked if you do too much TKs. You might think now “Hey, TKs are bad MHHKay” but only if you do them intentionally. I generally do a few TKs accidentally by Napalm or an RC-XD but sadly they only accumulate and a TK never vanish. So if you do some TKs up to minus one to the kick threshold at the beginning of a round  and then play perfectly fine until the end, you still will be kicked for one more TK there. This annoys me as hell because TKs happen. But the TKs from the beginning have nothing to dowith the last one at the end of the round and still you will be kicked and lose all your experience points and therefore level-ups (levelling up in shooters are anyway stupid).

So my suggestion for CoD: BO is making TKs vanish over a timespan of let’s say 1 kill per minute and only count multiple TKs at once (by e.g. a napalm strike or a frag grenade) only one time.

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Don’t buy Microsoft Office from Microsoft online!

July 2nd, 2010 12 comments

Lately, I started an order of Ms Office 2010 Academic Professional. Everything went fine up to the paying options which were Credit Card (Don’t have one), transaction (Didn’t want to wait) and Click and Buy which is a one-click-pay service.

Since I didn’t want to wait 3 days until my money arrived on their bank account I closed the order (by closing the browser) and registered on Click and Buy first. Sadly it needed me to verify my bank account by sending 1 Cent to it with a special unlock-code I have to enter later. So I had to wait anyway (1 day actually). Well what can I say: After I tried ordering Office 2010 again it told me “You already have ordered too much copies of this product” while I just started an order, clicked on pay (where I couldn’t pay) and closed the browser. I asked the reseller which is selling Office 2010 for Microsoft and they told me they can’t do anything about it but waiting for Microsoft to create an alternative account for me.

Well, I thought: Let’s just create a new account by my own. Microsoft verifies that you are allowed to receive Academic Professional by a valid University E-Mail and I had actually two addresses. The second address worked but ordering failed once more (WHAT THE FUCK?). Now I’m pissed and going to get Ms Office 2010 somewhere else and that fast since I actually needed it days ago for a seminar I have next Monday.

Some may say “get Open Office” but I need MS Office 2010 for two reasons:

  • At my work, everyone uses MS Office and it’s fucking annoying if you can’t read their documents and vise versa. Especially annoying if you have to do orders.
  • Once I saved my slides in Open Office and after opening the file the next day every single Image in the presentation was corrupt and I had to do (the slides) from scratch – Took me one more day of work doing it.

So what have we learned? Don’t click on “buy” in an Microsoft online order when you haven’t set up you accounts yet, or you have to wait a Week until MS “fixes the issues”.

Edit:

It worked now! Wow! But only with my alternative login and only on Internet Explorer (OMFG). And I had to make my sister the buyer (she is studying too so it’s fine) instead of myself. So actually she bought it for me with my money. If Microsoft is ever answering my request allowing me to buy it myself and if my sister ever wants to by Office 2010, I’ll buy it for her.

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Android and me – A review of my HTC Desire Phone

June 4th, 2010 6 comments

0_home 0_apps_1I lately bought the HTC Desire as new Phone and after one month of playing with it I thought: “Hey, let’s write a little review”. So here it is.

Instead of writing the common bla bla which you already find on other websites (like performance tests and usability) I’ll write a little bit about the apps I accumulated in that time.

1_SilentTime Silent Time Lite: One of the most useful apps I know so far. It allows you adding daily profiles by time which simply will put your phone silent, on vibrate or at full ring volume. I don’t turn my phone off anymore. It just stays on and does everything else on it’s own. Definitely a must have. It nearly takes no CPU time and therefore doesn’t drain the battery.

2_TaskManager Task Manager: Basically a Task Killer with Auto-Kill option. This is incredible useful: Add those apps you don’t want to run in background all the time once you activate screen-lock. This will safe you memory and especially CPU-time and therefore battery if that app stays active in background.

I also have put apps to the Auto-Kill-List like the Android Market, which results into an auto-kill if the phone switches to screen-lock automatically. But for this you have…

3_KeepScreen Keep Screen: This app stops your Phone locking the screen if a certain App is running in foreground. I use it for the Browser and Android Market and others. This is a perfect combination with Task Manager: I added apps (which drain CPU if running in background) to the Auto-Kill list but as well to the Keep-Screen list. This ensures that the app keeps running once started and the phone is not going to lock the screen (and therefore killing the app while in use).

4_dolphine Dolphin Browser: The stock-browser of the HTC-Desire is quite limited in browsing concerning tabbing. This is where the Dolphine Browser comes to compensate. It also supports addons and different themes, is as fast as the stock-browser and does support flash (like the stock-browser).

 

5_meeboMeebo: Meebo is an instant messanger which supports several network types like ICQ,AIM,MSN,Google Talk,Yahoo,Facebook and Meebo. I’m registered at mostly every of these networks so it’s a must have for me also. It supports contact-grouping and displays every user in a small line. This allows you to have 15+ contacts on the screen at once. Other messangers like Nimbuzz or eBuddy either don’t support grouping or the contacts are incredibly big so you only have like 5 buddys on your screen at once. This is a no-go for me because I have > 150 contacts in all my networks.

6_more_local_2More Local 2: Have you bought your phone in a foreign country like I did? Doesn’t your phone have the localisation for your native language? Then get this App. It enhances your Phone to nearly every language you can think about.

 

 

7_system8_topSystem Manager: Do you want to know which App took the most CPU or RAM? Want to kill those apps? Then you need System Manager. It shows you much details about CPU, RAM and Net usage.

Top Application: As alternative, you can use “top” to see, which app is using how much CPU at the moment. But apps are listed by they java-package-name like com.google.maps.

9_network_monitor 10_astroNetwork Monitor: Are you limited to 2G/3G traffic? Then you must have this App. It takes stats about your network usage and counts the MB. It takes little less CPU. Don’t put it on a Task Killer list.

Astro File Manager: This is one of the best filemanagers I know. It allows you to browse you SD Card and Android System. It has various Extensions like SFTP over OBEX (BlueTooth) and SMB (Microsoft Windows Network). You can select multiple files at once to perform an action on it and browse zip/tar files.

11_cab4me cab4me: Have you ever been in the city at night and the tram didn’t come? If you know what I mean or know different situations then simply turn out your phone and open cab4me. It will find those cab companies which are next to you (including their phone number).

 

 

13_rdp12_connection_botConnect Bot: Do you own a Server which allows you accessing it per SSH? Do you want to mess around with the Terminal of your Android Phone? Then Install Connect Bot. It also allows using private RSA/DSA keys for key-authentication.

Remote Desktop Client: But if you don’t own a server with SSH (Linux System) but a Windows Server instead, then install this App. Works perfectly with every Windows Version which supports RDP.

15_xiia14_shazam Shazam: Do you hear a song in the radio and don’t know it’s name? Use Shazam! It listens to the song, analyzes it and compares it with those in it’s (online) database. It will find it in most cases.

Xiia: And if you like music and can’t stay a minute without your favorite online radio, then use this grandious app. I suggest using 128 kbit/s MP3 streams instead of equivalent 48 kbit/s AAC streams. MP3 just managed to take 25% CPU (causing my CPU not to increase it’s Clock) but AAC used 30-40% CPU (while the CPU clock increased by one step causing to drain more battery).

Those were the most important apps in my opinion you’ll learn to love. I also have different other Apps installed (Compass, Google Night Sky, Calc, Galery, Steam Companion, Cracked Screen, Bluetooth Remote, VZ Netzwerke) but aren’t that important to get noted.

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