Software Guides

With the death of GameSpy, and the announcement that a number of legacy titles are not going to be getting in-house support, it is necessary to see what other options there are to keep you in the game. This will touch on a few of the free options that are available.


In this quick guide to creating a virtual LAN for multiplayer gaming, you'll learn how to use Hamachi as an alternative to GameSpy and continue playing games.

To most users, RAM is simply RAM; we put it in the computer and go about our business, for the most part. Rendering loves as much as it can get, gaming needs a couple gigabytes, mainstream use needs about 2-4GBs, and so forth. RAM is fairly abundant in gaming PC builds -- most of our guides suggest 8GB kits -- but that still leaves a lot of RAM left over for other purposes. As for what users can do with extra RAM, we’ve got a few options that can put it to work -- the one we’re talking about today is in the form of a “RAMDisk.”


In this software guide, we’ll answer what a RAMDisk is, talk about the advantages of a RAMDisk, how to install/create a RAMDisk, and alternatives to popular options - like AMD’s RAMDisk. The next article in this installment will compare / contrast multiple RAMDisks with one another, including AMD’s, which has recently been bundled with video cards.

With the impending launch of GRID 2 (detailed here), Codemasters' upcoming racing game, I decided to revisit DiRT 3 and other racing games to tide me over. Excited to get back behind the wheel of a WRX, I soon found my dreams smashed as I became embroiled in about 2 hours of troubleshooting. This quick post is just a series of ways to fix your problems with Games for Windows Live crashing upon launching your games (via Steam or otherwise).


RSS feeds have been around since Netscape was still a thing -- nearly 14 years since its official release candidate -- and they've managed to retain their relevance as the web has grown exponentially. The objective of an RSS feed is simply to pool articles from multiple desirable sources in one place, reducing the amount of websites you'd need to individually visit in favor of one content aggregator; the source for an individual feed can be a certain author, making it easy to stalk them across the web, a website, a forum, or even a photo gallery. The use of RSS as a framework itself has largely become irrelevant as web applications have become more intelligent in their interpretation of content, but feed reading and content aggregation is as alive as ever.


Until recently, Google Reader has made up a large portion of the userbase for feed aggregation, but the company announced just yesterday that they'd be shutting down the service officially on July 1st, 2013. The shutdown means many users are looking for web-based and desktop RSS alternatives to Google Reader -- this article showcases a few of those.

We'll start with two of the rising stars in the web space, then move to a simple desktop reader.

Assembling the actual hardware is easy, as our PC build guides have proven, but the most time-consuming part of the entire DIY process is software configuration. First, you have to download a reasonable web browser. Once that's done, you have to download all the other programs you regularly use, install them, and so on - which can easily take hours when factoring in download times and the occasional smash-head-against-wall breaks.


Disabling the predefined Windows power saving features is one of the first things we do when preparing systems for exhaustive benchmarking (a process we detailed extensively here), and I'd imagine that many users -- likely annoyed by the low default sleep times -- do the same. As the tendency to leave gaming rigs online 24/7 for months at a time increases, power bills, wasted energy, and hardware degradation also increase significantly.


Securing and Finding Lost Android Phones

By Published June 21, 2012 at 12:05 pm

No matter how fancy the locking pattern, phones will still get lost or stolen; luckily, a number of built-in and third-party applications and components, when used in conjunction, create a much more formidable opponent for every day 'hackers' and phone thieves, hopefully being the difference between identity theft and mere hardware theft.


It's that time of year again! Time to clean out that pile of temporary save files, cache, and burnt cookies and make some more room on your precious SSD or HDD. Of course, physically cleaning your system is always a good thing, too.


Here at GN, we love helping with custom builds, hardware guides, and anything else that is needed on our forums. Today, we're going to dive into CCleaner and some of its more useful features -- primarily marketed as a tool to speed up your system, CCleaner offers a lot of options for removing waste and blasting those useless temp files.

Note: The current version of CCleaner doesn't make blueberry waffles, though I've sent them a feature request for that. We'll update this space when they implement this feature.

Going crazy with mod installations, as we did in our previous Skyrim Overhaul kit, can lead to constant CTDs, freezing, black screens, glitches, and crashing; despite how fun running through every possible solution in a crash fix guide is, it's not fun at all to potentially wipe your Skyrim installation clean and remove all mods. Having installed well over 100 mods myself (with many, sadly, being removed), I've now tested a variety of methods to troubleshoot mods in Skyrim. Let's run through the troubleshooting techniques so you can find the conflicting mods in your TES installation!


Because the cringe-inducing UI isn't bad enough in Skyrim itself, we've elected to bring it to the desktop. Yeah: The Skyrim UI, a smoothly-animated Sovengarde background, and some cool CPU/memory usage meters in the style of health and magicka bars are brought to your Windows 7 desktop with this tweak.


Granted, the Windows/desktop version of the UI doesn't make me want to ritualistically spawn Adoring Fans over a pit of fire whilst licking dust from the blades of my 1700RPM, steel-enforced fan.

Following up with a now-dated SC2 guide, we take a different approach to create a fully-customizable Skyrim Windows theme; let's get into how it's done. Of course, completely overhauling Skyrim is also another great weekend project. First, an accompanying video (for the lazy):

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