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Posts with tag internet-connection

Guest Post: Northrend truckers -- a tale of WoW OTR

This article has been brought to you by Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to WoW.com.

After spending three years crammed into a call center with 600 reps sitting in quarter-cubes so small I could hear the other reps on all sides of me, I decided it was time to ditch the tech support world and go see America. Four weeks and $2,200 later, I had my Class A Commercial Driver's License, thanks to a truck driving school outside Springfield, Mo.

Before venturing out, I wanted to purchase a decent laptop for gaming (we were attempting to do full clears of Zul'Aman when I decided on my career change). I ended up purchasing a HP Compaq NC8430, after catching it on special. It had the Intel Core 2 Duo T5600, ATI's Mobility Radeon X1600, and I upgraded the memory to 4GB of DDR2-667. After loading WoW and all my addons, I was happily running around Shattrath at 60 FPS! I also purchased Skyworth's 19", 12-volt LCD TV to use as a second monitor and to also watch television on in the few occasions I stopped overnight near a big city (Big Bang Theory is not available online).

I didn't want to mess with a laptop and a GPS system, so I purchased Microsoft Streets 2006. MS Streets came with a plugin USB GPS that had about a six-foot cord on it along with a suction cup. Through blind luck while surfing the web, I also found Jotto Desk, a very nice laptop for semis that mounts to the base of the passenger seat and has an arm that extends over to the driver seat for easy access. While a bit of a pain to install, the effort was well worth it. The people who invented the Jotto Desks deserve an award or a free case of Bawls or something. Having successfully installed Jotto Desk and mounted my USB GPS to the front windshield, I was almost ready to hit the open road! All I had to figure out now was a way to get internet no matter where in the United States I happened to be.

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Filed under: Guest Posts

Guest Post: Raiding on the road

This article has been brought to you by Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to WoW.com.

I have been playing World of Warcraft on the road for the last three years now, and what an adventure it has been. I started out on an old HP Pavilion zv6000 weighing in at about 8 pounds, with a 800 x 600 resolution and 800 MB of RAM. Not only was the beast of a laptop fun to haul through security lines at the airport, but it was heavy and slow. 25-man raids were next to impossible (I'm talking to you, Heigan), with frame rates under 5 FPS most of the time. I was eventually convinced to buy a new machine, and I decided to go with a MacBook Pro. I'm currently running version 4, which is the 17" widescreen with the Intel Core 2 Duo with 2.6 Mzh GHz processors and 4 GB of RAM. It's a pretty decent machine, with frame rates in the 30s in Dalaran and 25-man frame rates around 5-25 FPS, depending on the fight (less if I'm trying to FRAPS a fight or Marrowgar's fire is involved).

The biggest changes I have made between playing on my desktop (Dell XPS 720 series) at home and my MacBook on the road have been in regard to addons and special effect details in the video settings. I have optimized every addon I use to keep the lowest memory usage possible (for example, Skada instead of Recount), making use of all 4 GB I have on that machine and ensuring my machine is doing the best it can. I use Addon Control Panel to turn off every non-essential addon come raid time, including Auctioneer, Jamba (for when I am dual-boxing), SexyMap, etc. I love Addon Control Panel, as it lets me save addon sets in different states depending on what I am doing. I have a raiding 10-man version, a raiding 25-man version, and questing-, leveling- and auction-based sets that I can flip between at the click of my mouse.

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Filed under: Add-Ons, Raiding, Guest Posts

Behind the scenes on the Comcast bandwidth limit

Our friends at BigDownload have a long but interesting feature up about that Comcast bandwidth limit and how it might affect PC gamers like us. Even though they chat with a lot of people higher up in both the ISP and gaming industry, the bottom line hasn't really changed: most people won't be affected by the limit, and if you are, there are things you can do about it. As we determined last time, at max, even if you run WoW 24/7 the entire month, you're still using only about 5gb, nowhere near enough to trip Comcast's limit. And even if there's a big patch download that comes through, it'll still be a very, very small percentage of people that come anywhere near it. While Comcast may change things in the future, there are a few voices already speaking out against bandwidth caps, including the Entertainment Consumers Association.

And if you do get suspended out of the blue? Best option is to just use another ISP -- even if Comcast isn't willing to support people who use tons of bandwidth, there will likely be another company that does. And if high-level broadband does become really widespread, it would be a bad business decision for Comcast as well to suspend large numbers of their userbase -- while there's always the chance that they could start charging a premium for more bandwidth, smaller companies will likely step up to fill any spaces that Comcast tries to screw over.

In short, right now, this isn't a problem. While in the future, Comcast may try to bring the bandwidth cap lower and lower, at this point, it doesn't effect enough people out there to worry, and even if you are affected, there are likely steps you can take to get around it, including going with another ISP if that's an option.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Economy

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