NVidia 3D Vision and Alienware AW2310T

These days its hard to find new toys that appear on the market that are truly different and not just another phone, digital camera, etc.

When I first heard about the NVidia 3D Vision I wanted one immediately but I was put off by the fact the 120Hz 3D ready monitors available at the time wouldn’t do 1920×1080, I wanted a Samsung monitor ideally as my existing Samsung T240 was great (albeit not 3D compatible), unfortunately there were no signs of a 1920×1080 Samsung (They only do the 22″ SM2233RZ 1680×1050), so when the Alienware appeared I just couldn’t wait any longer.

To my delight Alienware is owned by Dell, with whom we have a trade account, a quick email my Dell account manager revealed that Dell can indeed supply Alienware direct and at trade, without wanting to reveal my levels of trade discount with Dell and I can say it was well worth the effort going this route rather than retail!!

The 3D Vision kit is very well presented and good quality kit and you really feel you are getting value for money (I picked mine up from Amazon for £119.95).

For the record my PC is:

So its not shy 🙂

I upgraded NVidia drivers to the latest and installed the 1.20 version of the 3D Vision drivers, and I was good to go.

Setup was remarkably easy.

Obviously the first game I charged into was World of Warcraft, unfortunately initial results were frankly very disappointing.

I spent some time fiddling with the depth controls and got something passable but I still had lots of problems with things appearing at the wrong depth, so for example while most of the WOW UI would appear in front of the action, random elements would appear somewhere between the UI and the action, particularly buffs and auras in the top right, which couldn’t make up their mind where to be!

This confused my poor brain considerably, it just couldn’t cope with things that should be at the same depth being at different depths.

I was about to give it all up as just not a great technology, when while browsing some forums, a couple of people mentioned that make sure you install the proper Alienware drivers for the monitor, I hadn’t done this because:

  1. Windows 7 identified the monitor out of the box.
  2. Since when did changing monitor drivers affect anything!!

How wrong was I! I installed the proper monitor drivers and now pretty much everything works perfectly.

So just for the record:

Install the proper Alienware AW2310T drivers!!

World of Warcraft is now simply stunning, your character looks like an action figure sitting there either deep ‘inside’ your screen or if you zoom in floating in front of it, particularly when flying, seeing is believing.

The other tip is that ideally you want to turn the Hardware Cursor/Pointer off. Basically with this on the pointer appears to sit right in front of everything else which can again confuse your brain, in WoW turning this off means the pointer renders at the same depth as whatever you are pointing at which is a lot better. Unfortunately some games just don’t have this option – such as Red Alert 3, which looks great in 3D except the hardware pointer confuses the head and makes it tricky to click on something directly.

You will read on some forums about the 120Hz 3D monitors having a grey band at the top and bottom of the screen. I can confirm that when you have an entirely black screen, you can pick out a 1cm slightly less black strip at the top and bottom of the screen, however its really marginal and you would have to be pretty anal to be that upset about it.

All in all for the money the NVidia 3D Vision and Alienware AW2310T solution is brilliant and I would heartily recommend it to anyone, 3D is definitely the way forward.

Six black cocks and a little white kitten…

On boys night, when we play cards and drink far too much, we tend to have the timeless classic ‘Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels‘ on in the background.

A subject of much debate has been what are the endings to jokes they are telling each other in the car journey, that due to the editing, you never get to hear the punchline, well a bit of Googling I found a (possibly not real) answer to one of them (warning! – a little bit rude):

TOM: There’s six black cocks and a little white kitten sitting on the side of the road. How many beaks have they got between them?

SOAP: Six.

TOM: How many wings have they got between them?

SOAP: Twelve.

TOM: How many feet?

SOAP: Er, well, twelve.

TOM: That’s right. So how many whiskers has the little white kitten got?

SOAP: How the fuck should I know?

TOM: How come you know so much about black cocks and so little about white pussy?

If anyone knows the end of the following one, let me know!:

‘All right, there’s this brass standing on the corner.’
                  
‘Dwarf walks up to her carrying a suitcase…’

World of Warcraft hits 10 million players

So Blizzard must be delighted, WOW finally hits 10 million paying subscribers, is there no stopping it…

I find myself wondering why, after the initial excitement, the last expansion (The Burning Crusade) took a lot of shine off the game.

The unrelenting need to grind for rep and better items eventually takes its toll and to add to that our guild, Go Rin No Sho, (www.gorinnosho.co.uk), despite having arguably some of the best and most committed players on our server (Bronzebeard) , we still struggle with the higher level content. The curve is just too steep, other than for people who really have no life whatsoever.

With the next expansion (World of Warcraft: The Wrath of the Lich King Expansion Pack (PC)), still sometime away (Amazon are listing it as September 2008), it seems likely that some of us will get bored and fall away before then.

Having said that I still have 3 level 70 characters and another one on the way!  🙂

Bens Baltic Tour

After a hard week working in Hong Kong last week, this week I am doing a relatively relaxed tour of the Baltics.

My journey has taken me:

  • Hong Kong to Vilnius in Lithuania (via Helsinki with Finnair)
  • Vilnius to Kedainiai (Lithuania), where I attended the very crazy wedding of my girlfriends brother.
  • Kedainiai to Klaipeda (Lithuanias only port city).

Today we will move on:

  • Klaipeda to Palanga (for lunch)
  • Palange to Laipaja in Latvia
  • Laipaja to Riga
  • Riga to Parnu in Estonia
  • Parnu to Talinn
  • Talinn back to Birmingham 🙂