Sunday, August 11, 2013

Killing, in Very Low Resolution

As normal on a Saturday morning I'm up well before the wife, so time for some Eve-O.

I get a few T1 frigate kills including this absolute gem.

Yes that is a triple stabbed Merlin with a cloak. A sad reflection on the state of the Caldari Militia these days! I then found a Caldari Navy Hookbill in a plex. Now I have found these fitted with stabs too lately, but I have to assume he's going to fight. Also I'm in a 10mn AC Thrasher, if he's rocket fit and on the warp in, he would get under my guns and I'd be dead. Then again a lot of Caldari in this area just fly 'kitey' ships so they can run away when needed. Mmmmmmmm.

Oh well, fortune favours the bold!

Oh dear. He was at zero. Oh dear, he was be dual web. Bugger I was in trouble. Only one thing for it!

I overheated my guns and my AB and aligned trying to put some distance between us. He was winning but I was able to get a couple of kilometres between us and my guns start grazing his shields. I was dropping fast through shields and soon into armour. The damage control unit slowed my armour loss but he still had the upper hand. I could see one of us was going to die before the guns or AB burn out so I left them overheated. I was soon in low armour when a good volley puts him into structure. I entered structure and got another good volley which assploded him.

My Thrasher was in hull and my guns were 90% damaged. But the Hookbill is dead. I swing around towards the wreck as two random Gallente enter the plex. Too late boys! Time to loot the....


What the......? Oh the itteh bitteh kitteh has been found by one of the older cats in the corner of the computer room. They still are not 'integrated' so we do still get cat fights. Anyway there is a white fluffy blur as the kitten races around the room pursued by the big tabby which is about three times her size. She races over the bed and then jumps onto the computer desk at speed..... straight into my full cup of steaming tea..... that is then propelled across the desk.... with the contents landing on top of the PC case.... that happens to be a gaming case...... and has a grill in the top with fan. This is great for keeping the case cool, not so for keeping popular british beverages out.

My monitors go blank, the hum of the high speed fans dies instantly, the PC is dead. Ganked by a cup of Twinnings English Breakfast Tea fired from a six month old kitten. The sudden silence of the room is broken by a Vader-esque NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

The wife, who is now up, comes running in to see what disaster has befallen me. She realises the gravity of the situation when I say the kitten has killed my gaming PC and quickly rescues it before it becomes a spicy kebab.

I quickly unplug it (the computer, not the kitteh), take the side covers off and inspect. It appears to be dry inside but there is clearly a problem as the spilt tea killed it. So I strip the cables from the back and take it outside and leave it half an hour. As a desert dweller, it is over 41oC out there so I'm pretty sure that within 30 minutes any rogue tea will have dried. Back in the computer room I attached the power cable and try to start it up. When I press the on button I see a brief milli-second of fan 'spinage' on the GPU cooler but that is it, nothing from the MoBo or any of the other fans or coolers. I disconnect the PSU from the MoBo and everything else and use a paperclip to hotwire it. You can do this by linking pins in the big plug that goes normally into the MoBo. I attach the power cable for the water cooler to test. Turning on the PSU shows that the PSU is fine and the watercooler is churning like a good 'un. So its not the PSU that has died. I take a step back and look at the case. The graphics card is big. In fact it is likely to have acted as 'tea umbrella'. So I pull that from the board, reconnect all the PSU cables back to the MoBo and hit the power switch.

Whir! BEEP!

So it is at least posting and it would appear the graphics card is fried and was stopping the PC booting. My MoBo has on-board graphics, so I take it back to the desk and reconnect everything back up. I get back into Windows with it looking like we're back in 95 with a terribad resolution. Of course! The on-board graphics have never been used and therefore never set up. So I try and download drivers. Of course I haven't plugged all the cables back into the exact same USB slots so the damn thing is not recognising my USB modem now. After swapping it twice I find a USB port that it likes (why do some USB devices do that???) and get online. A 90mb download later and I'm back onto 1920x1080 dual screen goodness (it technically was dual screen before on the generic VGA drivers but one screen simply duplicated the other).

So the big question is, will Eve Online run on integrated graphics on this motherboard? A sad thought that 90 minutes ago I was on a 2gb overclocked GTX670. I fire up Eve and it works, but is 'clunky'. I reduce all settings from maximum to minimum and also reduce my Windows resolution from 1920 down to 1600. Eve appears to be more playable now even if its looking a bit like Minecraft!

Surprisingly the wreck of that Hookbill is still there so I scoop the loot and dock up. At this point it was time to meet the gang down the bar for an afternoon session so I closed everything down, scowled at the kitten (no kittehs were harmed during this nerd rage) and went for a well deserved pint slightly happier than I was an hour ago.

Five hours later and I'm back home and back in new Eden. I log on to hear there is a Tristan plexing in the dead-end system nextdoor. An ideal test to see how Eve PvP runs on the 'power' of Intel HD 2500 graphics. I stick my Cockbag Thrasher on the stargate and a few minutes he is chased out. BANG! BANG! A Tristan plus a nice 200m+ ISK pod to celebrate my introduction to low-sec-low-res PvP. That was OK, but I think I need a real challenge. I swap the Cockbag to my repaired 10mn Thrasher, and head to Hirri, a favorite system for Caldari Militia, pirates and pirate-hunting neuts.

After about 5 minutes I get a Thrasher on short scan. I load RF EMP and wait (yes I took a gamble). A neutral Thrasher enters the plex. If they are entering a faction war plex then they are probably anything but neutral. Especially with me being -10. I open fire first as he's not blue. He is AC/MWD fit and is hitting me but I'm hitting him harder. He gets back up a few seconds later in a second Thrasher. The first Thrasher starts making range as he hits armour and his mate takes over. I swap to the new Thrasher as I myself start to enter armour. My guns start stripping the new guy of his shields as his mate burnt out to 45km away. The fleeing Thrasher swings back around and starts heading back. I overheat the guns and swing around trying to close range, but trying to also keep the second guy at optimals. It works and the second Thrasher goes down and I overheat my point and AB and grab the original Thrasher. My artilleries are OK at this long range but his autocannons are useless. I manage to take him down in a couple of long range volleys.

So a successful 2v1 Thrasher-threesome. Eve might look pants running on intergrated graphics, but plays just as great as always.

Plus now I get a trip up to the big city at the weekend to buy a new graphics card! Wife's idea not mine!


  1. I am jealous. My pc drank a bottle of bear in a similar situation.

    I recovered the keyboard, mouse, monitor and drives.

  2. And that is why the cats are not allowed in my man cave - ever. They invariably go for the warmest spot in the room: the top of the gaming case where the radiator vents. I'm glad you only lost a vid card. It makes me wonder how mine would fare if such a thing happened... hmmmmmmmm.

    1. Not a problem with mine, big fan blows a lot of air out the top so the cats don't like it lol. Might put it under the desk but then the airflow around the case is not as good.

  3. From the km - that's a 10MN *arty* thrasher, not *ac* thrasher

    1. Eh? They were both identical fits. 200mm AC, neut, Scram, MWD.

  4. Hah the ol excuse that the cat spill tea on my pc trick (what happened to coffee) to get the wifey buy me a new graphic card. Anyway hope you get a good one plus a 2nd or 3rd monitor

    1. Already got two monitors, although a third would look awesome.... :)

  5. if the tea is just tea, or tea with milk is ok. Sugar in tea is a death-knell for electronics. I've lost a few keyboards to my tea.

    The wife spilled diet coke on a keyboard, but that turned out ok (no surgar!) but dissolved sugar is an electronics killer.

    We don't have cats (or dogs) and the fish tend to stay away from electronics generally, so its not them. I'd love to be able to blame the kids, but its not them either. The hand/arm/butt that causes the spillage are the adults in the house.