September has been a VERY dramatic month, atleast for me. So much crap has gone on in the last few weeks than I would normally see in a year. Running from Gustav to sitting out Ike (Eat yo cake Texas), dealing with my gaming PC having a heart attack in the MIDDLE of gaming season, things breaking everywhere. Gasoline prices are on a Yo Yo, and the economy continues to eat itself.
So, my Motherboard had a heart attack after a bad bios update. Gigabyte’s silly recovery measures don’t do jack. And now the board has to be RMA’d. I don’t know who thought that the boot block just had to be a writable piece in the bios, but that seems to be a dumb idea. Why not a recovery bios that you can manually invoke, something that can’t be overwritten, something that can be absolute in recovering the bios. Maybe that was what that automatic brick maker was trying to do, but it failed. This is the ONLY motherboard brand that I’ve ever had problems flashing and I’ve built quite a few systems so far. And then there is the DPC latency issue that came out of nowhere that made the PC completely intolerable. Too bad, flashing the bios made it worse.
Around the beginning of September, Gustav came out of the blue to wreak havoc on the Gulf Of Mexico. It floored the Carribbean and set its eye directly on my home state. Me and my family went to Houston to get out of the way of the storm. Then a week later, Ike shows up and destroys the Carribbean once again and this time set its sights on Houston. Being a nearly 200 mile wide storm, the thing actually reached to my home town. We experienced the most Tornado Warnings for the entire year in a 24 hour period. After the 5th warning I was exausted but adrenaline kept me awake for nearly 48 hours. After everything was done, thousands of homes were damaged and flooded in Louisiana alone. We lost 2 trees in the process which have been there since before I was even born. That means a whole lot of cleanup.
Spore, Stalker: Clear Sky, Crysis: Warhead and The Witcher: Enhanced Edition has all came out since I lost my motherboard to dumb design. However EA has been in the hot seat with its Digital Rights Management software attached to Spore and Warhead. A lot of gamers learned this week that DRM hurts them legitimately when they legitimately buy the game which is heavily ironic. As a rule, I try to live with as little of DRM as possible. Meanwhile, illegal downloaders have had no problem stripping the popular SecuROM software. It makes you think, who is this really supposed to stop? A typical illegal downloader or grandma who just wants to install the game on her grandson’s computer?
I don’t know if I can call it drama, other than my Zune headphones going dead after a year since I had the thing. Though I won’t blame it on the Zune hardware. Headphone design these days just plain sucks. I bought some Sennheiser headphones a couple of years ago and right when the warranty expired, they developed a short. Shortly after, the glossy cover around the cushion areas started crumbling. When will headphone design improve, or will they eventually force everyone into a premium $100 market to find the exact same quality?
Anyhoo, the awesome Zune 3.0 software was released on the 16th and with it a ton of new functionality. The software gained a slew of stuff, like Zune’s Genius function called Mixview, a Channels function which is pretty much automatic playlists, and a Social overhaul. On the firmware side, Games…finally, wireless marketplace because they really want you to spend those Microsoft points, a clock (yes, a clock), audiobook support and performance enhancements for both software and firmware. Though, I experienced my first hardware crash with Zune…ever. I just hope that its the firmware and nothing more serious. The last thing I need is something else breaking on me.