In AVG We Trust

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If you are a user of a PC like myself, sooner or later you will need to purchase some form of Antivirus software.  Even if you are a pro at using the internet, at one point in your life you had to learn the evils of the internet through experience and then you had to fix those experiences via an antivirus program.  Depending on the size of your problem, antivirus software can get expensive.  Despite the initial cost of security software, the potential problems resulting from the lack of it is much worse.  I accidentally let a virus on my computer from trying to view a meme website (it was not 4chan) and it left my laptop in a crippled state.  I ended up having to buy various computer parts to build a gaming PC (worth the investment BTW), the damage was around $500.

For those who don’t have the money to spend in new computer parts or some antivirus software there are other options.  There exists free antivirus protection you can download.  Disclaimer: Not all free antivirus software available on the internet is safe, some might be scams trying to get into your computer and cripple your computer, thus, they force you to buy their “antivirus” solution.

For those in a similar situation like myself, there exists AVG antivirus software.  AVG is a company who consistently produces software that protects your computer from internet threats.  The best protection for a single user would be the Premium security software available for $69.99 at the moment.  Don’t have cash for it now?  No sweat.  AVG offers a free version of their antivirus software that you can download from their site.  The antivirus will offer the basic features of protection such as detecting/stopping viruses, threats, and malware.  It is great if you want a quick software shield for your PC but in NO way should it be used as a substitute for full PC protection.

Ever bought antivirus software that didn’t work?  Let us know what it was by commenting below.

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App of the Week- Slingbots

I don’t usually have any free time during my busy week schedule, but when I do I enjoy spending the day either playing video games or reading a book from my backed up library.  On this occasion, I chose to play a game from my Kindle Fire HD called SlingBots.  Slingbots is a free game available to download on the Amazon App Store.  The game involves you versus a bot player in a battle of spherical robots.  You have various different robots to chose from to build your team to go against your bot opponent.  The various robots have different effects such as healing, multiple hits, and higher attack; in addition, your robots abilities can be upgraded by using the points you earn from matches to buy upgrades.

The gameplay is similar to that of Angry Birds in that you pull the robot back and aim in order to shoot the robot in the given trajectory.  There is no robot attack button, instead, the robot attacks once it is sent flying and only if there is an enemy robot near the robot’s attack area.  In order to win the game match, you must gather more points than your opponent.  You get points by standing within the bonus point circle, having surviving bots in the arena, and you can even reduce your opponents points by destroying their robots or pushing their robots outside the bonus point circle.

Me Vs Felix

The goal of the game is to keep winning the matches and upgrading your robots to become the most powerful player.  At the moment, I still need to put more work on my strategy before I can call myself a champion.  I don’t know if you can get the game anywhere else except the Amazon App store.  Link to the game can be found here as well as some screenshots of the game.  You can also search for the app by typing Slingbots in the search box.

Have a favorite game on your mobile device that not many know about?  Let us know by typing the name and a link to the description below.

Desktop Capture Software

There comes a time in a person’s life when the need to record or photograph everything in their life becomes an obsession.  No, that hasn’t happened to you?  I guess it is just me.  Regardless, eventually everyone will come to a point in their life where they will need to record or photograph themselves or their activities.  A webcam, digital camcorder, or digital camera will more than suffice for your recording activities taking place out in the real world.  The problem occurs when you want to record video of yourself using the internet or a program on your computer.  Technically, you can use your existing camcorder to record over your shoulder but that just looks tacky.  So what do you do?  Fear not little fella, for I will introduce you to the magic of desktop capturing software.

What is it?

Desktop capturing software is a program you can install on your computer that records what is on your desktop.  Anything you can see on your desktop can be turned into a video.  Desktop capturing software does vary from program to program.  Some programs records both video and audio (either from the programs running or your own commentary), others only record video, and some could even record you playing video games.  In addition to the various features, the price range for these programs also vary.  Some software can price for as much as $500 that include cool little features.  For now, I will focus on three: CamStudio, Taksi, and FRAPS.

CamStudio

CamStudio is free software that can be downloaded by following this link and running the installation process.  CamStudio is one of the best programs out there you can use to capture your desktop activities.  I use it whenever I need to make a video on how to teach others how to use certain programs.  It is very easy to use.  Just push the play button when you want to start recording and then just push stop to stop the video.  As far as I know, there is no limit to the amount of video you can record using CamStudio.

Taksi

Taksi is free software designed to capture your video game activity.  Its was design to imitate FRAPS in all except price.  I unfortunately do not have very good luck with Taksi.  I was able to make some videos work such as this one; however, the quality does not look good.  It could be that my computer is not powerful enough to run its maximum potential.  If anyone can get it to work, let me know by contacting me through the comments or social media.

FRAPS

So far, FRAPS is my favorite software to use whenever I want to record any of my video game gameplays.  It is easy to use, the quality is beautiful, and the format the videos are saved in are easy to manipulate.  The best part is that FRAPS is easily available for only a one time payment of $37 and it includes free updates for as long as you have the program.  If you want to try out the program before you buy it, there is a free trial version of FRAPS available to download.  Just remember that with the free version you can only record up to 30 seconds and every video you record will have a watermark advertising FRAPS.  Here is a little sample of me using FRAPS to record myself playing Bioshock.

Have any other desktop capturing software you prefer?  Let everyone know by commenting below.

Logitech C510 HD Webcam Review

I honestly thought that I could have gotten away with not buying a webcam during my time at the university.  I did not see the point of a webcam other than communicating with others face to face and since I usually use the phone or a face-to-face meeting for communicating, I did not buy a webcam.  This all changed last week when my Japanese teacher, Matsuhashi sensei, gave me an assignment where I had to video message a native Japanese speaker in Japan.  I had bad experiences with webcams in the past.  The video quality was horrible, the built in mic was barely audible, and software was difficult to use.  I was more than a little hesitant to buy another webcam.  I did remember that I bought a webcam last year for my little sister from Logitech.  Since I enjoy Logitech’s products so much, I decided to purchase myself the c510 Logitech HD Webcam at Radioshack.

Specs

The specs can be found here.  I also did read the specs on my video review of the c510, which can be found below.  I strongly recommend viewing the video to see the actual quality of the camera as well as a detailed review.

Contents

The c510 HD webcam comes with three things: the webcam, a very comfortable pouch made from a mesh-like material, and free software that supports the camera experience.

Video and Picture Quality

If you haven’t seen my video review, take a look below.  I was amazed and impressed by the video/photo quality.  It was very clear, crisp, and delightful to use.  With this camera, I will not have any trouble having others chat with me via Skype or any other webcam chat software.  It is not the best video quality out there, but for $40-$50 it is a really good price.

Mic Quality

I did not include the mic quality in my video review, so I quickly went back and tested it out.  The quality was just as good, if not better than my Logitech H250 headset.  If it only had an external speaker installed, then I might consider replacing my headset.

Software

I did not expect any special software from the disc inside the packaging.  On a whim, I installed the special software and was pleasantly surprised.  It came with special filters, motion capture avatars, and other cool little features that will enhance your video capturing experience.  Want a closer look?  Take a look at the video below.

Final decision?

For most of my uses, the c510 HD webcam will fulfill most of my needs.  I find the price cheap enough for a good quality webcam that I will use often.  Logitech makes good products so I know the webcam will last for a while.  I highly recommend this camera to anyone who is in the market for a good and reliable webcam.