Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Yuxin 4x4 Review

Hey Guys,

So this is my second review of the cubes I got from theCubicle.US, and today it's going to be about the Yuxin 4x4 (can be bought here). The Yuxin is a medium-speed and very stable puzzle, as I have never had a pop. The shades of the cube are very similar to that of a Rubik's brand and can be seen here:

The inner layers are smoother than the outer ones, with the outer layers having slight lockups regularly. The corner-cutting is OK, with both layers cutting 1/2 a piece and a full piece with force. There is no inverted cutting at all. This puzzle is pre florain-modded, meaning it has rounded off edges on the insides of pieces, making the smoothness and corner cutting better. Here is a picture where you can see the roundness of the edges easier.

The mechanism is fairly simple, not like an old 4x4 mechanism I have seen. This can be seen here: 

There is no corner twists at all, and I have even tried turning and it gets 80% of the way then when you let go it just pops back to it's original position.

All in all, I think this is a great cube for anyone with prior cubing knowledge, as a 4x4 is not a good cube to start with. This cube is a brilliant bargain at only £10 ($14) and I would definitely recommend it. 

Saturday, 27 June 2015

Shengshou Pyraminx Review

Hey guys!

So a few days ago I got a delivery from theCubicle.us containing 3 items - a tube of cube lube, a Yuxin 4x4 and a Shengshou pyraminx. Today, I am going to be reviewing the Shengshou pyraminx (can be bought here). First of all, a pyraminx is a four sided pyramidal puzzle simmilar to a 2x2 in difficulty. This is what a pyraminx looks like:
It had two ways of moving per axis, the tips and the main segment. This can be seen in the next picture:
Here you can see the base layer, the middle turned layer and the tip. The center pieces (the blue pieces) can be seen here:
The centers, unlike a 3x3 or other odd numbered cube, have three showing faces, and can rotate so are not always the same. Although the pieces may rotate, they cannot actually move relative to the other faces of that piece as they are fixed to the core. The pieces between two centre pieces are the moving pieces like edges on a 3x3, and are what you have to solve.

Onto the review. The puzzle turns extremely fast, only partially hindered by the ball bearings to keep the layers in place. This problem is not relevant, as you would never need to turn a pyraminx more than one as it has only three possible places to turn to. The ball bearings in the sides of the pieces add speed to the turning as well as lock the pieces into place so that you don't have to be as accurate with turning. For a size comparison, here is a picture of the pyraminx next to a standard 55mm ZhanChi:

One piece on the pyraminx is the size of one and a half pieces on the ZhanChi. The corner-cutting is a third of a piece and no inverted, but this is not needed due to the ball bearings. Locks and pops are both non-existent, as the puzzle turns very well. I have brought my average down to 20s and my PB is 12s

I would greatly recommend this cube to anyone with a previous puzzle knowledge, as a pyraminx is not the best puzzle to start with. This puzzle is extremely cheap at only ~£8 (~$12) at theCubicle.us and is definitel worth it.

Monday, 22 June 2015

Adobe Premiere Elements 13 v.s. Movie Maker

Hey Guys,

So if you are subscribed to me on YouTube (if not please feel free to do so here) you will know that my latest video was edited with Adobe Premiere Elements 13. This is not normal, as I usually use Movie Maker as it is the only editing software I had access to. This has now changed, as my Dad recently bought the Photoshop Elements 13 and Premiere Elements 13 Bundle, containing licences for two computers. The second license for both has been installed on my computer, so I now have free access to both pieces of software. This post is going to be a comparison between Adobe Premiere Elements 13 and Movie Maker.


So first thing first: Who can access them? Movie Maker is made my Microsoft, so is a Windows-only program. Premier, however, is for both PC and Mac users. Movie Maker is free, but Premiere is £40 (~$60) when bought alone, the bundle containing Premiere and Photoshop being £65 (~$100). This makes Movie Maker more accessible to most, and for Mac users the free option is iMovie. 


Premiere has more features than Movie Maker, as you'd expect, but what are they? Premiere is much more detailed, with more options for colouring of the main screen e.g. hue, saturation, whereas Movie Maker just has pre-set filters. One of my favourite features of Premiere that Movie Maker doesn't have is the ability to have multiple pieces of content (video, photo etc.) on screen at once. This would be needed if you were using a facecam or something like it, as you would need to be able to put your second piece of footage on screen as well as your first piece.


As you would expect, Movie maker is easier to use as it is available to anyone and needs to be user friendly. Premiere is a bit more difficult to navigate, but once you've got the hang of it, you can easily navigate it's menus. Premiere does run quite a bit slower than Movie Maker, but that is to be expected as it has more features to be running. 

The Verdict

So all in all, I think that Premiere is for people that are more professional that Movie Maker users as it costs. Movie Maker is good for amateur people, as it is free so easily accessible. Premiere Elements also would not be for complete professionals editing videos daily, as for that you would want the more advanced Premiere Pro

Make sure to keep checking here to see the latest geek news!

Saturday, 20 June 2015

How a cube works

Hey Guys,

So today I'm going to be doing a less review - like, more mechanical post. In this post I'm going to be explaining how a cube works. All of the pictures in this post will be of a DaYan ZhanChi cube. My review of this cube can be found here and the ZhanChi can be bought here. So as we all know, A cube has six faces, with nine different "cubies" on each face. There are three different types of piece - a corner, edge and centre cap. The centre caps never move as it is an odd numbered cube, they can only rotate. This can be seen here:

The beige bit can never be seen, but the caps are visible. You can pop of the front of the caps to change the tensions on the springs in the core if your cube is too loose or too tight. Here is a picture of the pieces of a cube:

You can see the two types of pieces that you can get on the top - the three-coloured corner piece and the two-coloured edge piece. Both pieces are made of three parts, but in some cubes the edge piece only consists of two parts. The second row of pieces makes up the edge piece, the two outer pieces enclosing the middle 'torpedo' piece. This torpedo is not in all cubes and is not necessary at all, but is used to prevent pops. The bottom row of three pieces creates the corner piece. You can see how the cube goes together in the next picture: 

In the left section, you can see how the edge pieces fit into the core, with the torpedoes in the gap between the parts of the core. In the right-hand section, you can see how the edge pieces attach to the corners, with the torpedoes holding the edges in place. I hope that this post has better helped you understand how a cube works, and expanded your cubing knowledge.

Make sure to keep checking here to see the latest geek news!

Super Hexagon on offer!

Hey Everyone,

So this is just a quick post to let you all know that Super Hexagon is on offer at the moment on steam: it used to be £1.99 ($3.16) and it now only costs £0.67 ($1.07) If you haven't already, feel free to check out my review of Super Hexagon. The offer ends on the 22nd of June, so you'd better be quick!

Make sure to keep checking here to see the latest geek news!

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

War Thunder Review

Hey Guys,

So today I'm going to be doing another game review, and today I'm going to be checking out War Thunder (Can be found here). War Thunder is a free-to-play World War 2 third-person fighter. You get a mission objective, such as to destroy all ground units. You are in teams of about 12 people, battling the other side. Here is a picture of the gameplay: 

You can see the names of all of the other players, blue being friendly, red being hostile. The map is at the top right, your stats such as speed and throttle at the top left. Once you complete that game, you get a report like this: 

It tells you what you destroyed, how long the battle was and what rewards you got. You can then use these rewards to research and buy new aircraft. My problem with the game is that there is nothing to do, and I get bored after a few games. Unlike Minecraft or Terraria, you don't have any free building abilities, it's just a war game.

All in all, I think this is a good game for people that like war games or aircraft, but not for me as I am more of the creative type.

Make sure to keep checking here to see the latest geek news!

Monday, 15 June 2015

PC Specialist Review

Hey Guys,

Today I’m going to be reviewing PC specialist. PC SPECIALIST is a website that allows a custom build without the hassle and as cheap as possible. Their website can be found here.

From gaming to editing from work to holiday from small money to huge money, they will make any kind of computer/laptop for you.I have ordered myself a ‘mini PC’ from PC specialist for mild gaming and office work and possibly a bot setup if I get a new PC in years to come. My experiences with this company were great and their PC customization software was easy to use and had many options. I am looking forward to getting this computer because I will be able to access more programming languages as it will be much better than my old laptop.

Below will be the specs for my PC

Make sure to keep checking here to see the latest geek news!

I also have bought a wonderfully cheap mini PC with these specs;
Processor (CPU)
Intel® Pentium® Dual-Core G3260T (2.9GHz, 3MB Cache) + HD Graphics Card
Inwin Mini-ITX BQ660 Case + 120W PSU
ASUS® H97I-PLUS: Mini-ITX, LG1150, USB 3.0, SATA 6GBs
Memory (RAM)
Graphics Card
1st Hard Disk
Processor Cooling
Sound Card
Wireless/Wired Networking
USB Options
Operating System
Genuine Windows 8.1 64 Bit - inc DVD & Licence (£79)
Windows 10 Upgrade
FREE Upgrade to Windows 10 with all Windows 7 & Windows 8.1 Purchases*
Office Software
FREE 30 Day Trial of Microsoft® Office® 365

New Blogger!

Hey Guys,

So this is just a short post to let everyone know that there is going to be a new author on this blog. Theo Templeton is definitely a geek, so perfect for the job. His first post is going to be a review of PC Specialist (can be found here), a custom PC builder, as Theo has bought a "Mini PC" from them. This does not mean that I am going to stop posting, but Theo is going to be posting as well.

Finally, I just want to say a big thanks for 1000 views on this blog, which we hit a few days ago.

Make sure to keep checking here to see the latest geek news!

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Game of War: Fire Age Review

Hey Guys,

So today I've got another game review, but today it's a bit different. Today I'm going to be reviewing Game of War: Fire Age - a free (with in-app purchases) mobile game available on Android, iOS and Amazon (Kindle Fire). It is a MMO quite similar to Clash of Clans, but it is much more complex with much more strategy involved. It has many more features, and is built around the idea of alliances, even more though than Clash of Clans. 

Your "Base" is unlike Clash of Clans, as it is not one flat area with free movement of the buildings to no cost, but you have many set spaces for buildings (all the same size) and you have to pay in-game money to move them. You have buildings for troop training, silver production, hospitals, forges etc. inside your walls. This is what my base looks like at the moment:

You also need a way to generate resources, and this is why you have a section outside of the walls of your village for your wood, food, stone and ore production. 

The last main view is of the world map. This is where you can see other players' empires, dungeons and resource tiles. This is also where the battle aspect of the game comes in. You can attack all of the things I mentioned previously, as well as compete in wars with your alliance and trade resources.

All in all, I think this is an excellent game for people like me, who enjoy games such as Clash of Clans but want a bit more strategy and thinking involved. The only problems with the game that I have found is that it runs very slowly on my phone (iPhone 4S) but is fine on my computer. It is also constantly putting ads for gold etc. in front of you, such as every time the game launches. Other than that, I would highly recommend this game to you.

Make sure to keep checking here to see the latest geek news!

Saturday, 13 June 2015

Google Photos Review

Hey Guys,

So recently I was told about one of Google's services: Google Photos (find them here). Google Photos is an UNLIMITED photo storage service based in your web browser (yes, I said unlimited). You upload all of your photos in bulk, and it sorts them out into location, date, 'things' (such as planes, food etc.) and if you're in America, then people (you can't get this feature in the UK). It does this with the content of the pictures (key features etc.) and the metadata of the image (date taken, geotags if taken on a phone etc.) This is useful as it doesn't matter how well sorted your photos are currently, Google Photos just sorts them into easy to view set of categories.

Google Photos also has a feature called 'Assistant'. This is a auto photo editing feature, that creates collages, animations, panoramas and filters for photos. It is a nice feature, adding some good looking photos to your collection. This, as I said, is a nice feature, but I don't think it's necessary - Just a solution looking for a problem. Here are some examples of things Assistant has made:

Collage of similar pictures of me.

Animation of similar pictures of my room.

A panorama of 2 photos of paintings of New York

The Google Photos interface is well designed, looks good, and is easy to navigate: 

As well as having a mobile app with auto backup from my phone to Google Photos:

All in all, I think that Google photos is excellent with as many photos as you like - whether it's me with 300 photos, or my Dad with 56,000 photos, I would highly recommend this service.

Make sure to keep checking here to see the latest geek news!

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Super Hexagon Review

Hey Guys,

So today, it's time for the 3rd in my set of 3 game reviews. If you haven't read them yet, feel free to check out my Starbound review or my Audiosurf review. Anyway, today, I'm going to be reviewing Super Hexagon that can be found here. Super Hexagon is a fast paced minimal action game that involves you, the arrow, and many shapes in the forms of hexagons coming towards the centre point. Here is a picture of the game play, from the Super Hexagon trailer:

The whole screen seems to 'bounce' to the music, as well as spin to add an extra level of difficulty. The character is controlled by the arrow keys, the aim of the game being to avoid all of the blocks coming towards you. There are various twists to the game, such as the view becoming 3D or the hexagon becoming a pentagon or square. These also add an extra element to the difficulty, ad it is constantly changing. 

All in all, I think that is an excellent game for someone with fast reactions, patience and that also likes fast paced games like this one. Finally, If you want to check out the gsme without buying it, check out the free online version here

Make sure to keep checking here to see the latest geek news!

Sunday, 7 June 2015

Audiosurf review

Hey Guys,

This is the 2nd review of my 3 games I am reviewing that I tweeted about on my twitter. If you haven't read it yet, feel free to check out my Starbound review (the first one in my series).  Today I am going to be reviewing Audiosurf. Audiosurf is a fast paced beat-catching and strategy music game. It does not have any level creation involved - you just give it a .mp3 and it creates a level for you. When playing, you are a ship going along a rollercoaster - style track, with many coloured 'beats' and 3 rows of slots. Here is a screenshot of gameplay:

Image from here

If you get a stack of 3 or more, they will disappear and turn into points, warmer colours making more points. There are power ups that do specific things, adding a bit more to the game. The 'paint splat' makes all tiles on the board that certain colour, and the lightning bolts are basically free points, adding 6 of that certain colour.

All in all, I think that this game is good for you if you are into music and fast-paced strategy getting your brain going. My favourite feature of this game is that it creates a level just from an mp3 as I think that this is really clever.

Make sure to keep checking here to see the latest geek news!

Starbound Review

Hey Guys,

So if you follow me on twitter (If you don't, feel free to here), you will know that I have just got 3 games on steam: Audiosurf, Super Hexagon and Starbound. Today, I will be reviewing Starbound, as it is the game with the most features. It is a space - age 2D sandbox adventure quite like Terraria but involving inter - planetary travel.  All of the generated planets have different traits, animals and terrain types, so there is always something different.
When you first start, you get to chose your species out of 7 via this screen. I chose to be an apex - the highlighted one. You can also choose what you want your character to look like, in terms of hair colour and style, shirt and trouser colour etc. You then spawn in your ship that is broken, and have to repair it to be able to travel. This is the ship:

You can 'beam down' to the planet you are over and then walk around that planet, building houses and crafting machines.

Once you get 20 core fragments, you can repair your ship's thrusters so that you can travel to different planets. I haven't got that far yet, so have not got any pictures or info about that.

In my opinion, I think that the best thing about Starbound is the quests. You get a quest book that guides you on the best thing to do next, so that you aren't just wandering around with no particular aim. This is what makes the game different and unique from Terraria or Minecraft. 

All in all, I think that Starbound is an ace game for people that want a sci-fi adventure where you can build stuff, but you also have aims telling you what to do.

Make sure to keep checking here to see the latest geek news!

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Buffer Review

Hey Guys,

So I found out about a cool web-based program called Buffer (Find it here). It is used to schedule social media posts and spread them out. It works on the principle that you have a schedule, for me it is to tweet 4 times a day (at set times), and when you write a post in buffer, it goes into your queue. Your queue is your list of outgoing posts, so when one of your set times arrives, the post at the top of your queue gets tweeted. This is useful as it spreads out your posts so that they aren't all clumped together.

The interface is very nice and well polished, as can be seen in this picture:

There is also a chrome extension that opens up a posting window for ease of posting without having to open the web page. Here is a screenshot of it: 
And finally, the mobile app. This allows you to post via buffer using your iOS or Android device. Again, this app is very polished and nice to use. Here is a shot of it: 

In conclusion, Buffer is a great program and very easy to use, but only use it if you have a reason - If you do then great! Definitely use it, and if you don't, then you can still use it, but you may not be able to use it's full capabilities. 

Make sure to keep checking here to see the latest geek news!