All posts by Thegeek

Your iPad Repair Options

iPads are fantastic item which many people dream of owning. They have sold literally in the millions across the globe. However unfortunately like many other things they eventually break. For this reason, more and more people are needing to search out an iPad repair service. However, given that so many people own iPads finding a reliable service is not as easy as you may expect.

Apple offers a repair service. However, many people find that they have to go too long without having access to their iPads to make it practical to use their service. There is also a perception that the service they offer is expensive. In reality, this is not usually the case, however this is what many people believe. If your iPad is still in warranty you really should have it repaired by Apple or one of their dealers to keep it within warranty. However, if on the other hand you iPad has run out of warranty it makes sense to try to find an alternative repair service. This allows you to compare the price and the time that the repair will take and choose the service that best suits you.

Finding a Good iPad Repair Service

Occasionally you will see local computer shops offering an iPad repair service. They will often advertise the fact that they offer this service either in the local press, in their shop window and occasionally online. However, most towns do not have somebody within the town who can actually repair a iPad.

Luckily, for those people that live in such a town, there is an alternative. You can now send your iPad away via the postal system for repair. Once repaired it is usually returned to you fire a secure courier service.

The best place to find this kind of iPad repair service is online. A simple Google search will bring back a comprehensive list of people who can repair your iPad. Take the time to read a little about each firm’s individual service and choose the one that suits you the best and in whom you have the most confidence.

Occulus VR to be Lock Free

Virtual reality leader Oculus has removed applications locks that prevented folks playing games made on a competing apparatus because of its Rift headset.

The locks were added after VR enthusiasts made applications called Revive that let port Oculus games or individuals move to the HTC Vive.

The applications controls have been stripped out by a software update for the Oculus Rift.

Locked in no more

Soon after, by upgrading its core applications to perform a headset test to ensure a Rift was used to play the games Oculus sought to thwart Revive. The verdict remained at odds with statements by Oculus creator Palmer Luckey who said it did not desire to triumph by “locking in” folks into using just its hardware.

Online, Oculus’s attempts to keep people playing games were criticized by many VR headset owners.

The programmers behind Revive sought to get around the Oculus test to ensure games ran – though difficulties were reported by some users because each headset uses different kinds of controls to let folks play with things in virtual universes.

The headset test has vanished in the applications needed to get the Oculus working. Revive programmers who posted a message about the upgrade on their page detected the change -sharing web site.

The emergence of new virtual reality gaming

There is no doubt that virtual reality is the future. Many in the gaming industry believe that we are on the cusp of a new gaming revolution, and we tend to agree.

Finally, the hardware is catching up with the technology. It is now possible to break free of the cables and play games without being limited to playing in a confined space.

This opens up the potential to take virtual reality into any space and allow players to physically interface without each other in a real, physical environment. However, without a doubt, the only way this vision is going to be fully realized is if the various systems can communicate properly with each other. Therefore, this announcement is one that many gamer fans are very pleased to hear.

Buying Cheap ps3 Games

The PS3 has been with us for over a decade now. At first, the games were very expensive, but now it is relatively easy to buy good quality cheap ps3 games.

Over 70 million units have been sold across the globe as of September 2012. Most users have bought dozens of games to play on their consoles meaning that there are a lot of used ps3 games for sale.

There is nothing wrong with the games they work fine. Usually they are being sold because the player is bored with that particular game or that genre of game, and has simply moved on to something else.

Cheap ps3 Games Make Great Christmas Presents

These games make great Christmas presents. Provided you know the kinds of games, the person you are buying for likes you will have no problem at all finding cheap ps3 games that are suitable for them.

Tips for Buying Cheap ps3 Games

If possible, look at the games they already own to avoid buying them a game they already have. It is also worth noting exactly which PlayStation they own. Most ps3 games are backward compatible, so will play well on even the oldest PS3 consoles, but you do need to check.

It is best to buy used ps3 games from a reputable game shop rather than from auction sites. A few unscrupulous people out there sell copies, rather than genuine second hand original games. These copies tend not to work reliably and can get any player who uses them banned from online multi-player games. Reputable console and games retailers weed these out, so there is very little risk of your being sold a copy rather than a genuine game.

The other advantage of buying this way is that you have a better chance of a refund should the person you give the game to not be happy. Most shops will happily swap an unwanted game bought from their shop with another one that retails at the same price. The selection of cheap ps3 games in these shops is normally very good. Sometimes you can pick up games that were only released a few weeks ago because gamers have tired with it and want the money to buy another game.

Where Would We Be Without Games?

It is a strange thing to say, but games have been a part of our life for thousands of years. Regardless of the part of world evidence of games being played are to be found everywhere. People play games for many different reasons. Some games are played to help people to learn something, for example hopscotch to help a child to learn to count, improve their dexterity and build up their social and language skills.

However, the majority of modern games are played purely for entertainment purposes. People need a way to relax and playing games is a great way of doing this. The vast majority of modern games are electronic and are played on a console, PC or some other electronic gaming device.

Modern Video Games

Many think that the precursor to modern home video games were arcade games like Asteroids, Space Invaders and Pac-Man. These games only became available in 1978. However, the first games consoles for home use were actually available as early as 1950. They were extremely basic and used vector displays not videos.

It was the Atari console, which brought home gaming to the masses in 1978. The main game Pong was beyond basic, but this basic tennis game was a massive hit. In the past 35 years, video games have become more and more sophisticated. Today, when you play you could almost be a part of the actual game. However, sadly they can be quite expensive to buy.

Buying Games

Even on a limited budget, it is possible to play the latest games. More and more consumers are choosing to rent games rather than buy them as soon as they are released. This is far cheaper than buying the game outright. It means that if you really like the game you can buy it at a later date. If you are patient enough, you can often buy games a few months after they have been released at a considerably reduced rate. Many High Street retailers sell second hand consoles and the best stores sell the latest games at reduced rates to help people to be able to afford to play the video games they love.

Learning from Games

The good thing about modern video games is that even though we mostly do it to be entertained it is becoming increasingly clear that gaming is actually very beneficial. Modern games have been proven to stimulate the brain in interesting, and important, ways.

Gaming Improve Brain Power

Gaming Improves Brain PowerImportantly these benefits do not stop once you stop playing. Basically, the mind works on pathways. If you regularly do something the brain follows the same pathway, the same pattern. The more you use that pathway the stronger it gets in time it becomes almost second nature. When you do several things that stimulate the brain in this way and build lots of tiny pathways in the same part of the brain your ability to use that area for other tasks improves remarkably.

Playing computer games also improves dexterity as well as hand eye coordination.

External Hard Drives for Playstations

Playstation Hard DrivesIf you own a Playstation, the chances are you have a lot of important files on it. Files that you really would not want to lose. On this page, we are going to tell you about how to buy a good quality external hard drive for your PS3 or PS4.

What you can and cannot backup

However, before we get into talking about actual external hard drives for Playstations we need to explain what you can and cannot back up from a PS4 or PS3. It is not as straightforward as backing up a laptop or desktop PC.

Some games are copy protected. This means that you cannot make a viable copy of them. All games you buy from the Playstation shop fall into this category.

Therefore, if your sole reason for buying an external hard drive for a PS4 or PS3 is to backup your games you will be wasting your money. Naturally, this is disappointing to hear and it is something most users do not realise until after they have bought an external hard drive for their Playstation.

Why you still need to backup

However, please do not be too put off by this fact. The chances are your PS3 or4 still contains a lot of files that are important to you, which you will want to backup.

You no doubt have photos and movies you would hate to lose. These you can protect by making a copy onto an external drive that has been formatted for use with a PS3 or 4.

OK, so now you know what you can backup and why it makes sense to do so, we are going to tell you about two great slim PS3 external drives.

If you want to backup your PS4, you need a different type of drive. The format has to be Fat32. In addition, you need a drive fitted with a Dinn1 connector. Neither of the drives below is suitable for backing up a PS4.

The DIGISTOR 1TB External Hard Drive for PlayStation 3 (PS3)

 

  • Price – $99-$140

 

  • Weight: 8 ozs

 

  • Speed: fast data transfer

 

 

  • Connectivity: This drive can be connected via a 2.0 or 3.0 USB port

 

Extras

 

  • Playstation Backup Utility built in

 

  • The ability to watch movies and play music from the drive itself

 

What other buyers say about this drive

The reviews were mostly positive for this product. However, many users were surprised that they could not backup games that they had bought from the Playstation store to this drive, so there were some negative reviews because of this.

Pros

This PS3 super slim external hard drive quite literally will fit into your shirt pocket. It is rugged yet still looks good. This external drive is powered via the USB, so there is no need to carry around a bulky wall adapter.

You simply have to plug the drive in to use it. There is no need to format it and using it really could not be easier. It is a great way to remove multimedia files from your Playstation to free up space.

Cons

Sadly, it is not possible to copy individual games from PSN onto the drive. The system is designed to act as a multimedia storage unit. It is not possible to save games you have brought from the Playstation store to this drive.

Some users were expecting to be able to backup their Xbox as well as files from their PS3 onto this drive. Unfortunately this cannot be done. In fact, if you attempt it you are likely to end up with a blue screen Xbox that will not work at all.

The backup takes a while during which time you cannot play your PS3. Naturally, the more files you have stored on your gaming console the longer it takes.

U32 Shadow 1TB USB 3.0 External Hard Drive for Sony Playstation 3 (PS3)

 

  • Price – $90

 

 

  • Weight: 2 ounces

 

 

  • Connectivity: connects via a 3.0 USB

 

 

Extras

 

  • 3-year warranty

 

  • Padded carrying case

 

What actual users say about the U32 Shadow

The reviews for the U32 Shadow were mixed. Like the other drive, most users were surprised by the fact that they were unable to back their games up onto this drive, and the lack of instructions was an issue for some. However, most users liked the drive.

Pros

This is another ultra-compact drive. One user described it as an oversized pen drive for the PS3. It is thin and narrow enough to slip into a shirt pocket.

Users appreciated the fact that the USB was 3.0, which made transferring files from the drive to their Mac or PCs fast and simple. It is a good external hard drive for a PS3 and Windows 7.

Cons

Unfortunately, there are no instructions with this product. If you have never backed up your PS3 to an external drive or memory stick instructions are helpful. You can find out how to do it online, but that is not ideal.

Again, this drive is not for backing up PS games. However, it is great for backing up media files.

Some users complained of lag, but not to the point where the drive became unusable.

If you are looking for a PS3 backup drive the ones above are a good choice.

Home Entertainment and Insurance

Take Care with Home Contents Insurance

When buying your home contents insurance you need to take your time. Buying the wrong policy could cost you dear in the long run. There is nothing worse than being burgled only to find that the loss of your Grandfathers antique watch, which was stolen, is not covered due to an exception in your home contents insurance policy.

Cover your jewellery and other expensive items

The key to avoiding this situation is to take your time and to read the policy conditions before signing up with a particular company. If your policy does not cover expensive jewellery you will be able to see this because your policy will state the maximum amount that is covered for jewellery. If that amount is £600 and your Grandfather’s watch is worth £1,000 you will only get paid £600 for it.

You also need to make sure that other expensive items are covered.

Remember to insure your entertainment equipment

Most people do not realise that their home entertainment systems are worth a lot of money. Stop and think for a minute about how much you paid for your TVs, laptops, tablets, games consoles and smartphones and you will fall over backwards. What if someone broke in and stole it all or you lost it in a flood how would you replace it all? Would you be able to find the thousands of pounds or dollars you need to buy it all again? Probably not, this is why your contents insurance needs to provide enough coverage to replace it all.

Protection from gaming accidents

While we are on the subject of home entertainment and gaming, you need to check to see if your gadgets are covered for accidental damage. A surprising number of people end up breaking things when they get carried away playing video games. This kind of accident is happening more and more as people start playing games like the Wii or Xbox Kinect games. People have a tendency to knock things of shelves and punch the telly.

Questions to ask when buying home contents insurance

When buying home contents insurance ask about exceptions and what circumstances could invalidate your insurance. In other words, ask about the limits of the cover. For example, are the items in your shed or garage covered? What happens if you lose personal items like your phone while you are out of the house?

Think about the worst-case scenario like a fire or flood and ask yourself if the cover on offer is adequate to allow you to replace everything you could lose in those circumstances. Listen to what others say about their experience with their insurance company, and look at those companies first.

Take the time to shop around and compare quotes. When doing so make sure that you are comparing like for like quotes. You can use the money you save on your premiums to buy some new games or if you shop around really careful even a new games console.

Optional Extras you can add to a contents insurance policy.

Some policies give you the option of adding legal expenses cover and annual multi trip travel insurance cover

Healthy Allergen Free Snacks for Gamers

Fresh-Fruit-520

If you are like me once you sit down for a marathon gaming session you do not want to have to stop to prepare food. I love eating while gaming, and if I am not careful can end up eating a couple of thousand calories in one evening. This habit left me very overweight. My weight was one of the reasons I had to rein in my gaming habit.

I have now gotten my weight under control. However, I still like eating and gaming, so still do it, but these days I eat healthy snacks instead and limit the amount I consume. Below are some of my favorites most of them are allergen-free snack recipes I got from www.overcomefoodintolerances.com I am allergic to several foods and intolerant of many others, so these are all low allergen snacks.

Fresh fruit

Cube any fruit you fancy. Then thread it on kebab sticks to make easy to eat while you are gaming. If you prefer just lay it out on a plate and stick a cocktail stick in each piece of fruit.

A few cheese and pineapple cubes on a stick are nice, very old-fashioned, but extremely nice.

Healthy dips and chips

chips-and-salsa

I love crisps but know they are not that healthy for me, so I limit myself to one or two packets if chips per month and eat them with healthy dips instead of the processed ones you buy in the supermarket.

Freshly made tomato sauce or guacamole sauce are both good for you. Homemade hummus is good too and if you are not allergic to wheat or gluten you can enjoy that with pitta bread, which contains far less fat than chips do.

Veggie Snacks

Veggie Crudite 616

Veg cut into sticks also make handy snacks that are easy to handle when gaming. I particularly like carrot and cucumber sticks, but you can do it with any vegetable you like. Raw cauliflower and broccoli are far nicer than they sound and they taste really good if you dip them in the healthy sauces I mentioned earlier.

Juicing a few pounds of vegetables is a great way to provide yourself with something healthy to drink. Putting it in a flask with some ice ensures that it stays cool enough and is refreshing for a couple of hours.

Healthy finger foods

I still love gaming pizza, but these days there is no cheese on my pizza and it is a thin base with plenty of fresh vegetables as the topping instead of a mountain of greasy meat and cheese. The base is homemade and made from gluten-free flour. I make a big batch every few months and freeze a stack, so making the pizza is not much harder than putting a shop bought pizza in the oven.

Meat and fish skewers

Skewers of grilled chicken with red chili, thyme, and lime wedges.
Skewers of grilled chicken with red chili, thyme, and lime wedges.

If you fancy a hot snack pre-cook some light meat or cubed fish and feed it onto skewers with fresh veg. You only need to pop them in the microwave for few minutes to warm them up just remember to use wooden skewers and drizzle with a little barbecue sauce before heating up to stop the meat drying out.

Why Video Games are good for Your Health

If you play video games as much as me the chances are your family are concerned. I spend several hours every night in my room playing and regularly get shouted at for doing so.

Now I will admit my game playing is not healthy I am definitely doing too much playing and not enough socialising. In addition, I have developed carpal tunnel syndrome, so recently have cut back on my playing. That means I have been reading more, but mostly about video gaming. Well I have to feed my addiction somehow don’t I?

 

wii_u_mario_family11-278x300

Whilst browsing I came across an interesting article on Forbes that was all about the fact that gaming is actually good for your health. I started to look around and found several others.

Here are some of the reasons playing video games is actually good for your health and a bit about the research, that proves this:

Isabela Granic and Adam Lobel wrote the most interesting paper on the subject along with several others. It was entitled The Benefits of Playing Video Games and was written to try to balance out the evidence that is out there, which demonstrate the harmful effects playing video games can have.

Cognitive Benefits

People that play first person shooters have been proven to have better spatial awareness, faster reactions, better attention, visual processing and rotation abilities. Those who do not play lose all of those skills as they age. Even those who have never played before can quickly learn these skills. In one experiment, people only had to play for 50 hours to significantly improve their cognitive abilities.

Problem solving skills

Most gamers have better problem solving skills than those who do not play. Whilst playing gamers are constantly solving problems, so this comes as no surprise to those who play regularly.

More creative

The fact that gamers brains are lit up in so many different ways means that they are also very creative. Gamers can think outside the box and have vivid imaginations. This was proven by a study that looked at the creativity of 500 12 year olds who played video games on a regular basis.

Motivational skills

Most games are target driven. Every time you sit down you have a goal that you need to achieve. Again, studies have shown that the goal attainment skills you learn and use when playing video games stay with you and can be used in your real world life.

Good for social skills

Now this is an odd one. Most people think that people who play a lot of video games have poor social skills. In reality, video games can actually be good for building social skills. The immergence of group gaming has helped to turn gaming into a more social activity.

A recent study published in the Journal of Paediatrics shows that playing video games is good for the social skills of children aged between 10 and 15. That said balance is important. The study worked out that play for an hour or two a day was beneficial, but any longer than that was harmful.

Is the Virtual Gym Already a Reality?

ClubOneIsland

If you are looking for a fun way to stay fit virtual reality is definitely going to be for you. Up until a few months ago, working out with the aid of the video gaming would have been impossible. The only choice you would have had was to use the Wii Fit and other online games to stay fit. However, finally oculus Rift and Gear VR I have been to the realm of the gym.

TheCrew_wildrun
Today, it is easy to find applications for these virtual reality headsets that you can use to help you to work out more effectively. Here are just a few of them:

Temple Run VR

temple-run-vr

Temple Run VR works well with the Galaxy Note 4 and Samsung’s Oculus headset. In this game, you are running in a virtual environment without any particular changes it direction. This makes it ideal for use in the gym.
Running in a virtual environment is certainly a lot more fun than running on the treadmill. You tend to push yourself more without realizing that you are doing so. Time flies by because it does not feel like you are running in a boring gym.

Virtual Reality spin classes using Wildrun

Oculus Rift Development Version
Oculus Rift Development Version

With the help of an Oculus Rift headset and a special adapter, it is now possible to go for a virtual cycle ride. The developers of Wildrun have made it possible for you to take your road bike and lock it into a docking station that has microcontrollers embedded into it.

The microcontrollers simulate road or track resistance and speed that correspond to the environment that is presented through the headset. Currently backgrounds are limited but more course and environments are being developed.

The ultimate virtual reality workout

RTR44SA9

Icaros has come up with the most effective virtual reality piece of gym kit. In fact it so good that it could easily replace the need to go to the gym at all. The Icaros team have worked in conjunction with the German design company Hyve.

The new gym gadget is currently in its 2nd incarnation. It is an odd-looking piece of kit. When on it you are in a face down position balanced on a kind of gimble. The gimble moves as you navigate the environment you see the virtual reality headset. To move you have to use your muscles. From the looks of things, it is going to give us a stunning core workout. The games being developed for the device include a deep-water swimming experience and they are experimenting with the idea of an interstellar flight game.

HYVE-Icaros_1

There is little doubt that virtual reality will soon become a regular part of our lives. Exactly how it will be used to keep us fit remains to be seen. However, it is obvious that virtual reality is going to stop up from putting on weight by sitting around on the couch playing video games. At that point, the world of video gaming will have gone full circle.

Can you Really Get Fit Using the Wii Fit?

Wii

We have all been there. We get in from work thinking I will just have 5 minutes, then get ready, and go to the gym, but inevitably, we never make it to the gym. Ultimately, we just to sit down and start watching TV or reading book instead. Just getting up to go out to the gym is just too much effort. It is just too much of an effort.

Fortunately, there is a solution. All you have to do is to get up, set up your Wii system, and use the fitness programmes.

Wii Fat

Using it is as simple as turning on the television, which let us face it you are going to do anyway, and turning on the fit. Because you are in your own home, you can play anything you want and enjoy doing so. You do not have change into a special outfit or make the effort to go out.

In addition, the time that you would be spending travelling to the gym, and back again, can be used to play for longer, which means that you get a longer workout. The fact that it is fun and so convenient means that you are bound to exercise more than you would otherwise.

That said, the question remains just how fit can you get using the Wii Fit?

Get ultra fit using Wii games

Actually quite fit. Bearing in mind that to get fit all you need to do is to move fast enough to be slightly out of breath and burn some calories and you can see that many of the games that are included in the Wii Fit package are suitable for doing this. Take for example the boxing game. Once you get past the easiest levels, you actually have to move quite fast and have to breathe heavily to complete the harder levels. It is a great way of working out the stress of the day.

wii banner

Because you are on your feet, you are getting your whole body moving and most of the time, because you all punching from the waist, you are actually building up your core muscles. This is very good for burning belly fat and strengthening the lower back.

Even the easy games can help with fitness

Now it may not be that the bowling game will get you particularly fit because you do not have to move much to enjoy that game. Yet even that game has a place in a fitness regime for some people. Those who have joint problems are very overweight or are elderly will not be able to play the tennis or box, but they can enjoy the bowling.

Studies have shown that older people who have been inactive for many years find that playing the Wii bowling game get some moving again enjoying exercise and encourages them to do more. It is also good for getting people smiling and chatting with each other. Playing Wii games is becoming extremely popular in care homes.

The Wii has something for everybody. Many of the adult games are extremely active so they are also ideal for people who all already quite fit. They can help you to spend more time exercising and be used to build up stamina levels.