8 May 2019

First Impressions Dawn Of Man

First of all I love the fact that this incredible game has came from a small group of indie game developers, (Madruga Works) and not one of the big main stream game designers, the effort and detail they have put into it is amazing.

My first look at the game - I was very impressed! Not hugely detailed graphics but still very well done. What they have done is very sharp, I like that there is a feature were you can focus on a particular structure animal or person to view it from their view. It’s a great little feature to be able to get a full feel for what it’s like being in their shoes and getting very close to the action.

I love the style of it looking from above and controlling a village of people, working through the seasons and thriving to succeed, there’s hunting animals, gathering and learning new skills they all play a big part in the success of this game.

Finding the balance between the different seasons and having to use different resources throughout the year  is another way this game keeps you on your toes. you need to adjust to what you hunt and forage depending on the season no point eating the cured meat in the summer when you could be eating fruit and veg that meat will be needed in the colder months.

The early game is pretty slow going as you are learning what different structures do and how they affect your village, your also trying to grow your population while keeping everyone happy. Once you start getting through the ages it starts to get quite difficult to juggle everything and really makes you think about the way you need to run your village.

There’s only a couple of things I don’t like about this game but it is still early days for the developers and I’m sure there will be updates coming in the very near future.

There’s no mini map so if you fancy exploring, having a look around the map it can be a bit annoying trying to find your way back to your camp. The only other thing is the way the menu bar is small at the bottom and you have to expand it to get to different parts, would be easier for accessibility if it was a longer bar across the bottom which had more building options available at a glance - on the flip side of that they have got it so you can have various info about your villagers and amount of resources you have displayed at the top of the screen.

Overall I love the feel of this game, I've only played around 6 hours but so far it feels like a brilliant game! It takes me back to the days we’re I used to play a lot of Age of Empires style games and I loved that game style. I think I will be able to sink a lot of hours into this game building up my village, resources, knowledge and really enjoy it!

A fantastic game to keep you entertained or to just have a casual mess around while doing other things.

Thank you to Nathan who wrote this review for Ablokeseyeview. You can catch Nathan (Izuel01) on Twitch here.


26 April 2019

How Far Can Technology Take the Automotive Industry?

If you were to think even just a decade ago what things in the world would be like now, it would have blown your mind. Who would have thought Donald Trump would be president of the United States or that we would have self-driving cars? Even mobile phones have stepped up and can now do so much more than they’ve ever been capable of. In recent years, the automotive industry has been one of the industries that have been working hard with technology companies so that they can really create something advanced for their vehicles, but that still offers safety and comfort.

Cars are themselves becoming smart devices as they now have things like advanced braking abilities, autonomous driving, mapping technology, improved fuel efficiency, as well as things like one of the new Smart Cars that offer emission-free driving. So there really are many ways that cars have been benefiting our lives and improving how we do things, as well as making them better for the environment. But in the coming years, are we set to see even more progress? Here are just a few of the ways that tech is helping the automotive industry and what could be coming in the not-so-distant future.

Improved Fuel-Efficiency

Brands like Tesla are at the forefront of being fuel-efficient, as they have vehicles that are electric or hybrid, going for miles and miles without needing to be charged up. But in the future, it won’t be too long until other brands have been able to catch up and there will be a lot more choice in this industry, as well as more competitive pricing.

Improved Vehicle Technology

Artificial intelligence and machine learning are both things that have an important role in the automotive industry, as things like predictive capabilities are going to become more important in cars and help to make your driving experience more personal as it can adjust to you and ‘remember’ you as the driver. This can be through algorithms that manufacturers are and will use, that will automate the process of setting up the car and different system preferences.

Self-Driving Cars

Autonomous driving technology is something that has been in the news and something that will become more and more so, as more companies look to implement, install, and test their self-driving functionalities. Some cars already have some semi-autonomous abilities as there are driving assist technologies and parking assist. So there are likely to be more and more cars and manufacturers that look to develop this in the coming years.

As you can see, some great minds in the tech industries have joined forces with automotive companies to help improve things and how things go. The rise of electric vehicle technology helps emissions and isn’t making cars much more expensive. AI is playing a massive part in the future of cars, which can help driving as well as car maintenance. Safety and comfort can all look to be improved with improving tech in our cars too, so only time will tell.

15 April 2019

Imagine No Fibre Broadband for a week

Can you imagine having no internet ever? 

It's funny saying that, when I am sat here typing this using my internet so I can log on to my website to write up this post and then when it's ready, I can publish and then my readers can use their internet to log on to my site to read a post about why the internet and the right internet is so important in this day and age. 

What a crazy world we live in, where the Internet is KING!

If you're as old as me then you will remember the dial-up internet (and the dreaded tones) and to be honest if you don't remember this you are pretty lucky, well not just because you are younger than me but because it was shocking! Half of the time it didn't work and when someone wanted to use the phone... Well, that's another story. 

We are definitely blessed in today's times with company's offing us such amazing deals on fibre broadband, you are 100% spoilt for choice.

I know a lot of people get confused when It comes to internet options, basically, the difference between your standard internet and fibre is that the standard uses the existing phone line cables to transfer data and Fibre uses new fibre optic cables which can transfer data a hell of a lot quicker.. which then means faster speeds!  

I must admit, in my household, we do get the fasted speed internet possible and they know to give me a ring if they increase the speed or make any changes to their service, the reason for this is because of it gets used so much by every member of my family. 

Let's start with me, if you have read my blog before then you will know that I am a massive gamer and have recently started streaming so you can only imagine the speeds I would need, not only run the best online games but then to stream them for a good 3 to 4 hours and almost every day. also, the usage when I'm working on my blog and editing videos for the Youtube channel... Let's be honest the list is endless.

Then we move on to my 13-year-old son who is doing what every other kid is doing at the moment which is draining the life out if their parents' internet playing Fortnite, from the moment they get home from school until they go to bed also with a couple of hours of watching their favourite YouTubers in between.

Then we have my 3-year-old daughter, who does love watching videos and play games on her tablet but like all good parents we limit her time using it, but what she does like doing is watching her favourite programs on the BBC Iplayer app on our Smart Tv. She has certain episodes which she likes to watch over and over again and she loves singing along to the theme tunes and loves interacting with the characters from the shows.

Whats the internet usage like in your household?
Whos your provider?
Let me know in the comment section below.


12 April 2019

ABEV Meets The Black Sheep

So this is the first of a new blog-series #ABEVMeets, We will be firing questions at streamers so we can get to know them a bit better! First up is the first person to ever really engage with us on stream, we introduce you to The Black Sheep!

Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

I’m 36 years old. I’m a full-time caregiver for my disabled wife. I look for ways to connect with
people on a personal level. I know I’ll never be as good as MOST people at video games. And I try
and take that into perspective when streaming. I don’t have GOD-LIKE aim and I’m not on an Esports team. I just want to be a person that everyone can relate to.

Tell us a fun fact about yourself?

I used to do vehicle graphics and wraps. I love taking a car and turning into something amazing!

What do you like the most about Streaming?

I love the versatility of the streaming platforms. I enjoy meeting new and interesting people. I enjoy
learning about other people and what makes them do what they do.

What are your streaming pet hates?

Complaining about viewership and subs. If you notice that you are streaming to 0 viewers, then find
out why and change what you are doing. Don’t complain to everyone about how crappy your stream
is and that you never have anyone to stream to. Find out ways to improve your stream.

Describe your streaming style in 3 words?

Fun, Chill, and Interactive

What advice do you have for new streamers?

Find out what drives you to be a streamer and focus on that aspect of yourself. Don’t try to be like
everyone else. Use your strength to your advantage.

Which streamer inspires you the most and why?

I have 2. The first being TimtheTatman because I can relate to a tattooed bearded guy playing video
games. But I also like his personality. Then there is CohhCarnage because of his chill streams and his
ability to be as interactive as possible.

What is your favourite game to stream?

I enjoy any game that has bullets. Whether it is FPS or TPS. I like taking my frustrations of life out in a violent matter in video games. But I would have to say that right now my all time favourite game
would have to be Escape from Tarkov.

What are your future streaming plans?

I am currently in the process of changing my stream up. I plan on pulling away from the gaming side
of it and focus more on building relationships with my community and giving them a place to come
and feel comfortable with sharing the things that are on their minds. I will still play games but it
won't be the focus of the stream.

Outside of streaming, what do you like doing in your spare time?

I enjoy hunting and I am also getting into fitness.

What is your earliest gaming memory?

I remember being about 4 or 5 years old playing Pitfall on an Atari my parents got at a pawn shop.

You’ve got friends coming round for a night of gaming, what’s on the menu and what games are you playing?

Definitely, have to get some hot wings and corona. And probably play some Cards against Humanity.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

Don't follow the crowds and NEVER do Follow for Follow. Those situations never pay off for growth.

What did you want to be when you were growing up?

I always wanted to be in Law enforcement. Whether it was local police of state. But I love the feel of
a gun in my hand. So anything I could do that involved a firearm.

You are having your last ever pizza, what topping do you choose?

My all time Favorite Pizza is one of those that gets lots of kickback in the pizza community. I
absolutely love Canadian bacon and pineapple!

Where can we find you?

What is your streaming schedule?

As of right now its as followed. But is subject to change at any moment. And all times are in MST
(Denver Time) I am more than likely going to change it to a shorter evening stream and only stream
3 days a week but times are still in the air.

Monday 7pm-10pm (Tuesday 1am-4am GMT)

Wednesday 7pm-10pm (Thursday 1am-4am GMT)

Friday 7pm-10pm (Saturday 1am-4am GMT)

Thanks to legendary Black Sheep for being the first in the series and please do head over to his socials drop him some follow and show him some love. He really is about supporting the community!


24 March 2019

8 Ways To Keep On Top Of The Latest Gaming News

Photo by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash

If you love being a gamer then chances are, you'll love keeping up with all of the latest developments in the gaming industry. Whether it's the launch of a new game or an exciting update for one of your favourite games, you want to be one of the first to find out, right? Whilst you may not have the time to keep up with everything in between battles and dungeons, keeping on top of things doesn't have to be difficult. With that in mind, here are 8 ways to keep up with the gaming industry:

- Follow Gaming Influencers On Twitter And Instagram

There are 100s and 100s of gaming influencers in the industry and those that have a large number of followers and engagement are likely to be involved in campaigns when new games launch. Because of this, they're great for following because you are likely to find out about launches as soon as they are announced. When it comes to events, influencers are also likely to be invited in order to share their experiences with their followers. For a list of influencers in the gaming industry, you can visit this site here.

- Watch Gaming YouTubes And Subscribe To Their Channels

Similarly, there are a lot of gaming YouTubers for you to subscribe to. If you hit that all-important subscribe button you will receive notifications and emails whenever they post a new video - whether it's a review of a new game or an exciting announcement, you won't want to miss out.

- Subscribe To Gaming Magazines So You Receive A Copy Each Month

Although most people will do their reading online, there are still lots of different gaming magazines you can subscribe to. Whilst you can stop by your local store to pick up a copy when they're released, having them delivered to your door will ensure that you never miss an issue. Magazines may not have exclusive news any more, but they are definitely a great way to get insider information and interviews with key people in the industry.

- Read Gaming News Sites And Subscribe To Updates

One of the most popular ways to keep up with the industry is to read gaming news sites. With lots of different websites and blogs dedicated to gaming news specifically, these will often be the first places to get exclusive news and interviews. If you want to ensure you don't miss anything exciting, a lot of sites will also have apps and newsletters that you can sign up to. For more information, you can visit Kiiings.

- Sign Up To Any Newsletters That Keep You Updated

Whether it's an influencer, a gaming site or a developer, signing up to someone's newsletter is a great way to keep up with all of the latest news. As newsletters are now used as a powerful marketing tool, these are often one of the first places people go in order to receive information. Whilst you don't need to sign up to every single newsletter going, having a couple that you read every single week will definitely help keep you on top of things.

- Follower Developers And Companies On Social Media

Although we talked about following gaming influencers on social media, following developers and companies can also be beneficial. Most of the time brands will be the first people announcing their news, so following them on Twitter is probably one of the best things you can do. Set up notifications for your favourite game development companies and your phone will buzz every single time they post. Ideal for those times when you're expecting a big announcement!

- Keep Up With Conferences And Events

There are lots of different conferences and events to attend in the gaming industry and if you're serious about keeping up, they're definitely worth going to. Not only will you be able to meet likeminded people, but you will also be able to attend all of the announcements whilst you're there. As these events are so well known in the industry, they've quickly become a milestone for exciting developments and news.

- Join Facebook Groups And Communities

Finally, if you want to keep up with the latest news in the gaming industry then you can join Facebook groups and communities. People will share rumours, theories and exciting announcements as their favourite developers tease all of their new launches. Great for those that want to make friends in the industry, Facebook groups can really help tie the community together.

Are you an avid gamer? How do you ensure you keep up with all of the latest releases and news? Let me know in the comments section below.

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12 March 2019

The Downsides Of Digital Only Gaming

The digital era is here and we are seeing more and more of our gaming items and services been moved onto a digital-only platform. We think it brings some amazing opportunities. However, we also think there are quite a few downsides to this as well. So sit back and have a read -

Do You Prefer A Hard'en

Let's talk about hard copies - This opinion is more aimed at console players as PC is mostly digital now anyway. A lot of serious collectors prefer to have a hard copy of the game, as a console gamer previously its quite satisfying seeing that line up of games on your shelf in all its glory - Especially if they are special editions. This also poses another issue, special editions usually come with a bundle of extras whether that be game guides or merch, could this mean the end of big game bundles or will there be collections points?!

A Physical Place - Not The Gym!

Next up is physical shops, we are not going to lie! We love a physical shop, you know the ones you actually walk around. We know these can be hard work but they make our high streets a better place. If everything goes digital it would just be shopping from home, we know that is probably really attractive to some people however we need to get out more - even if it is just going to the local GAME for a chat or even to CEX to pay crazy prices for retro games!


Just about all of the big games, these days have a digital download version available, however, they are all ridiculous in size. On top of this, we then need to take into account save data, patches that may increase the game size and any digital add-ons purchased. PC gamers can upgrade their machine if they need the extra space, however, console gamers would be stuck with whatever storage they bought in the first instance. There is however a chance that this would enable manufacturers to cash in on either local storage hard drives or subscribed cloud services,

Talking of cloud services, this is a substantial enabler for digital gaming and storage. It would mean you could pay for the storage you need and not actually have a physical version at home, HOWEVER! Where would this leave offline gaming? If your games and data are cloud stored and you need online access to retrieve them, when your internet goes down you will be pretty stuck - Time to bring out Battleships or your ages copy of Hero Quest.

Online Transactions

Then we have the time old favourite of microtransactions, but how would going fully digital change this? Well, today if you go into a shop and buy a full copy of the game you get the full copy of the game, minus extras that are bought via microtransactions. Due to this, you get the majority of items available at that time, because let's face it developers would get some serious stick if they started splitting out each game type to a different disc and selling them separately. However these days there are no rules with online transactions and they can charge you as much as they want for what they want. More recently Black Ops 4 has had an online-only version of the game release - This we are not saying is a bad thing because the price was decent and some people might only want the online gameplay. However imagine if you had to buy each level of a campaign mode for a game, then on top of this having to pay for each online gameplay mode (TD, Battle Royale etc.)

It's not a rant we promise...

This might seem like a bit of a rant but a digital future could wipe out a lot of the gaming industry in terms of collectors and the stores we visit. There are a lot of positives such as environmental effects, which we will discuss in a later post, however, we can't help but feel unless there is more regulation around online transactions across the board this would put a lot more power in the hands of the big developers.

We would love to know what your thoughts are and whether or not you would like to see the future of gaming fully digital?


28 February 2019

Styled By Our Partners #Quizman

Lately, we have both been spending a lot of time planning out the blog, streaming and most nights (and let's be honest days as well) we are either chatting via text, collaborating on blog posts or online gaming. We have been kind of neglecting our wives a little and they don't deserve that so for this blog post we are officially putting the controllers down,

To be honest, Our wives don't mind all the blogging and gaming as they know its a hobby of ours and unfortunately, they had no choice but to accept the bromance that came along with it. This year we have been putting a lot more time into all of the above and there is a lot to come this year, hopefully making the blog a popular platform and give online streaming a really good go.

Valentine's day was fast arriving and the team over at Quiz Man got in touch with the perfect collaboration/challenge to get our wives involved on the blog! - My Partner Styled Me. What is the challenge I hear you ask? Basically, our wives hop over to the QUIZ MAN site, do a little bit of shopping and dress us - Yes that includes actually getting us into the clothes as well, it's not like we were at each others house to help each other get dressed!

Challenge Accepted!

We know that our wives know how to make good choices when it comes to clothing and they also know how we dress, so what could go wrong you ask? NOTHING! They know us far too well!

The other thing we were really impressed with is the quality of the garments themselves. We both asked our wives for something which wasn't too formal, even though Quiz clothing do offer some amazing formal wear including some quite fancy Mens Blazers.
  Nowadays, especially when you look at the high street retails brands you see a lot of fast fashion. You will find that a lot of the garments are extremely poor in quality, not colour fast and lose shape. This is not the case with the items we received from QUIZ Man, they are well made, have not lost shape or colour after wash and they are ridiculously comfortable. Something we could not say about some of the brands we have worked with previously.

The Chosen Ones

And now its time to show off the outfits and work it in front of the camera! All photography was done by TEAM ABEV (aka Carl & Dan)

Dan's Outfit

Whenever Lauren and myself go shopping she will always pick clothes out for me and for some reason I never listen. I think a lot of it is due to my confidence so when I am choosing clothes I always buy something I know I would feel comfortable in. This usually consists of oversized jersey tops and hoodies!

However, if there is one thing that I have learnt, it is to definitely start listening to her advice. I will eventually come around to the idea of what she picked out at the time and they really like it, then it's a - If only I had taken her advice at the time!

Lauren knows the style of clothing I go for, albeit sometimes a bit on the random side. So with the advice, she has given me in the past about what to wear along with her knowing me so well I knew she had this challenge in the bag!

I don't like to feel too dressed down so what she chose for me was spot on, to start with two a touch oversized chunky knit jumpers the one in the pictures is the lighter colourway but she also chose the darker grey and black one as well. Both of these are ridiculously comfortable and can be dressed up as well as down.

Lauren then chose me a new jacket, which was perfect timing as my go to has just had to be thrown out (Yes I wore it to death). She chose this short parker which has an amazing fit and the quality is great. I usually find that I overheat and don't need a jacket, however, this is just the right thickness to throw on, on the slightly cooler days. Again this comes in a few colours, however, I love the colour she chose for me.

Lauren has done an amazing job on this challenge, she has chosen what I would have eventually picked up. I felt comfortable and the quality is great. Extremely happy with her choices!!

Carl's Outfit

Simone never chooses my clothes, to be honest, she has bought me stuff in the past and they have been awful. I am quite a picky person when it comes to what I wear. However, she knew to choose something comfortable for me as I always choose comfort over look and price.

I suffer from quite bad claustrophobia so feeling restricted in my clothing brings out bad anxiety for me and makes me feel extremely uncomfortable.

Simone chose really well! The tracksuit she said would be really comfortable to game and lounge around the house in, as well as feeling comfortable outdoors its a very versatile outfit.

The winter jacket is something I have needed for years. I have complained for so many years that I am cold when watching my son Charlie play rugby - Especially in the winter when it is literally freezing. Charlie and his rugby mates said I look like a roadman in the jacket.. whatever that means.

Overall I am really happy with her choices.

I'm really happy with Simone's choices, and the items will definitely be getting worn a lot, I may even treat her to a nice takeaway and a movie night, we don't do nights out anymore due too childcare issues so I can get my lounging outfit on stuff my face and spend time quality time with her... and then probably turn the computer on for an hour or so ;)

I've not always been a massive fan of pinstripe but I think the combo of the hooded jumper and the and pants go well together when broken up with the black and yellow side striped zip top, they all are made from really light material and feel great on.

Like I said above I have never really owned a winter jacket so wearing this grey long lined quilted parker was something out of the norm for me, at first I was quite worried that I would feel restricted in it but I was pleasantly surprised how light it was.

When we took the photos it was baking hot and I didn't feel too bad at all and that was with three layers on.

This has been a really fun challenge for both couples, they could have dressed us in something ridiculous...... we will save that for another blog post!

The question is would you take the challenge and let your partner shop for you? or vice versa would they let you shop for them?


18 February 2019

Living The Future: Immersive Gaming At Home

Image via Pexels

These days, we really are living in the future. Looking back fondly on to our gaming memories of a youth filled with Sega Mega Drives it's hard to believe what gaming is rapidly becoming - a truly immersive experience that our childhood selves could only have dreamed of. Virtual Reality technology has developed rapidly, to the point where players can really feel as if they've crossed the boundary into another world. Even in the comfort of our own homes, we can now become completely absorbed in the environment of our favourites, whether that's the intricate world-building of Overwatch or simply enjoying the best driving games with a few friends. But how are the latest developments in the world of VR shaping our gaming experiences? What can we expect in the near future? And how can you get the ultimate immersive gaming experience at home?

A Neural Connection

At the moment, we are at the stage of integrating headsets, bodysuits and other add-ons to create the experience. However, scientists are currently working on ways to forge a direct connection with our brains - a sort of enhanced consciousness the likes of which have long been foreshadowed in fiction and shows such as Black Mirror. A lot of VR technology is so lifelike it can already have a very real impact on the emotions. Could new gaming technology go one step further and tap directly into human consciousness to create a mind and body immersion into virtual worlds? It has already been suggested that frequent gaming has the potential to change the physical makeup of a players brain, and as we discover more about how the physical structures of the cortex and the gaming experience are linked, so these discoveries can enhance the experience even further so that games will be developed which are even more immersive.

A Deeper Range Of Motion

Although we have had VR headsets for a while, a frontier left to cross is the integration of full body motion into the game environment, but with the development of Virtuix Omni, this is also right around the corner. This will provide gamers with the ability to experience full locomotion as they play with walking or running, although admittedly the technology does need further development to provide capacity for kneeling and rolling motions without disrupting the in-game experience. The answer could lie with other technology currently not being used for gaming. Wearable tech like the Xenoma e-skin has full biofeedback ability, which could easily be adapted for the world of gaming. Full room VR systems are already in existence, but unlikely to become a home entertainment solution due to the restrictive setup and the sheer amount of dedicated space they require, and the restrictions of play only within those physical dimensions. However, the solution could lie with the COATS (Controller Assisted On The Spot) system of Freedom Locomotion. The degree of bounce with controllers and headset are used to accurately determine a range of movement to guarantee total immersion during play. Increasing your speed in the game depends on how fast you jog in the real world, while your hand access is not restricted. Meanwhile, researchers at Stony Brook University have partnered with Nvidia and Adobe to manipulate the natural movement of the eye with the end goal of making a gaming experience where participants can fully explore a digital environment without running into walls or other in-game objects. These factors ensure that players interact with their virtual worlds without any kind of limitation and provides a truly open and immersive gaming experience. It would do away with unrealistic devices such as avatar teleportation, and deliver a highly natural walking experience.

Immersive Gaming At Home

With a system like Hologate, you can bring the next level of gaming to your home. It offers an advanced graphic technology paired with a small footprint that will realistically fit into most homes, and offers a multiplayer VR platform in less than 300 square feet. With award-winning graphics on a 90fps headset, there's no tell-tale buffering or lagging and no motion sickness effect. In the midst of all this technology though, there is a school of thought that true immersion is actually to be found in simplicity. Some critics argue that a well-made game with simple commands makes for an overall more immersive experience than even the cutting edge of the current cumbersome headset set up allows for. They argue that game design is the most important factor in achieving that desired ‘flow state’ where the mechanics melt away and the experience becomes paramount, and as anyone who has experienced this psychological effect when absorbed in an offline hobby like painting or woodworking will attest. However, hardcore gamers will no doubt continue to have a keen interest in those developments which will really enhance their at home play.

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12 February 2019

The Death of the Optical Drive and Why You Still Might Want One

Remember the days of floppy discs in your big ol’ desktop computer? Children these days will never know the joy of putting one into the little slot and waiting for it to load, hoping that you haven't switched it across to write-protected. When floppy discs disappeared from our lives, they were replaced by CDs and DVDs. We would spend hours downloading tunes (sometimes illegally!) off the internet while hoping your parents didn’t use the phone line because that would cut off the often temperamental dial-up connection. We would then ‘burn’ them onto CD’s, with titles such as ‘Carl’s Tunez 2002’. If you weren't into the downloading music thing, you might have spent hours loading your holiday photos on a DVD for a slideshow for your grandparents.

Well, sadly, youngsters these days are going to be missing out on that joy. Who even uses discs for anything anymore? With Netflix and Amazon Prime giving us all the movies we could want, we barely buy DVD’s anymore, and most music is bought and listened to digitally, through apps such as iTunes or Spotify. Ask around - does anyone ever stick a CD on anymore?

The death of the disc has also brought about the death of something else - the optical drive on your standard laptop. These, if you didn’t know, are the little drawers that pop out of the side (well, used to pop out of the side!) of your computer ready to hold a DVD or CD. However, in recent years, the majority of computer manufacturers have stopped putting them on. There just isn't the demand for them anymore and they add extra, and in some people’s eyes, unwanted bulk to the machine.

This does lead to a few problems though. What do we do if we want to access older material saved to these types of discs, or if we receive a CD as a gift and want to convert it to MP3?  There is still software floating around that requires them for an emergency reboot. There is definitely still a market out there for optical drives in computers.
Thankfully, pc-tablet.com has compiled a list of laptop computers that still have a CD or DVD drive.

If you already have purchased your laptop and it isn’t one of the ones on the list, fear not as there are still ways to access the media. You can buy external optical drives for a relatively low price. Okay, so they aren’t as convenient as having them built into your laptop and might be unwieldy to transport, but at least you can still get at the material, hey?

One other thing to consider if you purchase one of the many laptops without an optical drive is that, unless you use an external hard drive or store stuff on a cloud system such as Dropbox, you are forcing all of your data to be stored on your hard drive. This takes up a lot of memory and can affect the speed of your computer.

We would love to know your thoughts on this? Would you prefer to have an optical drive included in your build or do you prefer to keep it simple?


3 February 2019

Our First Gaming Memories

We both grew up around gaming and it has always been something we have been interested in throughout our lives. So we thought why not share out first gaming memories with our readers!


I remember my uncles always having a games machine/console when I visited them. One side of the family always had the likes of C64 and ZX Spectrums, whilst the other side albeit a bit later down the line had Sega Master Systems. You would have thought I would have followed in one of these footsteps with my first console. However, my first console was an NES (Nintendo Entertainment System).

I can't remember the year I got it I just remember being ridiculously excited about it! The version I had was the NES Action Set, it came with the multi-game cart Mario Bros./Duck hunt, 2 controllers and the NES Zapper. I only had a few games to start out with but in those days it was more than enough. I remember my parents getting quite a few games, not just for me but for the family to use. They bought The Legend of Zelda, Rad Gravity, TMNT and Super Off Road. Looking back I am glad I never clocked up the number of houses I spent on these games!

I was quite lucky because around the same time my uncle bought an NES for my cousin, they only bought games that we didn't have and vice versa. Every time we visited each others house we would come away with a different game that we would borrow for a few weeks. This meant I had access to quite a few games.

I sometimes wish I was a bit older so I could have experienced the gaming machines that shaped the gaming world, however, I am proud that my first console was the iconic NES. The memories I have playing this growing up are epic!


My first memories of gaming were a little bit before Dan, well that's only because I'm a little older than him. Like he mentioned above his uncle had a C64 and A Spectrum ZX, well I had them and I thought I was the king of my street, I was the only one who had a computer and I also had a chipped Cable box, so you can imagine how popular my household was. 

After the C64 I upgraded to an Amiga and also the Sega Master System. On the Amiga, I used to love games like Lemmings, Bubble Bobble but my favourite game had to be SWOS... I once scored a header from the halfway line with Ryan Giggs. and on the Master System, the list of games is endless, I played all of the Alex the Kid series and loved all of them, games like Streets Of Rage, Golden Dragon, like I say the list is far too long for me to write about but one of my best memories is one day messing around pressing the buttons on the control pad playing Mortal Combat and suddenly enabling blood mode... it to the game to another level when FINISH HIM! sounded and you pulled the finishing move out of the bag and the screen became covered in blood!

Then I moved on to the Mega Drive and Entered the world of Sonic, Wonder Boy and all of the other popular games. Then when I started work, when I was around 16 I bought my very first PC from Tiny Computers and started playing games like Settlers, and Civ and of course this is when I started playing Champ Manager and that was my life ruined for the next few years. 

Then my gaming life stopped for a good few years because I found beer and nightclubs. the next gaming system I got was the Xbox 360 and then the Xbox One and the only games I ever played were Fifa And COD... until we had our second child and I decided I needed a hobby... Which brings me to know... and about £2.500 later with a beast gaming PC playing PUBG!

What was your first gaming memory/console? Comment below to let us know!

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