Tag Archives: Dabs Forum

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Better Late Than Never!

“Dunc, when ARE you doing another blog?!”

I know, I know, it’s been a while – and I can only apologise to those of you that have followed Dunc’s Deals since July last year – I really have been busy and not lazy (as some have suggested – yes you Debs!) but hopefully from here on out normal service will resume with weekly ramblings and a few hand-picked specials!

The wise amongst you have already signed up to the forum and been taking advantage of the latest and greatest deals we’ve been dropping on there. Sam, Matt and I have tried to keep the questions answered and the community members are always on hand to help – if you’re not yet a member get involved!

First off, I hope you all had a good Christmas and New Year! Although it does seem a distant memory now, it really was only four weeks ago! Thank god its almost pay-day as its been a long month – with that said we have some belting deals for you below. Bully is back for the 2011 – and he wants you to invest your wages wisely!

PRODUCT NEWS!

January has been an unbelievably busy month for products on dabs. We announced that thanks to the success of our Self-Build Bundles we have brought Patriot Memory on as a brand in its own right, and have some killer deals on their ranges in stock today.

Also this month, Intel released their long awaited and hugely anticipated 2nd Generation Core Processors – the new Core i5 and Core i7 CPUs came into stock and many sold out instantly! We have got a huge range of Gigabyte and Asus motherboards ready for the new LGA 1155 socket CPUs and as ever we have some brand new Self-Build Bundles ready – review the full Intel page here.

Corsair Vengeance Memory, which was released to huge acclaim last year was also made available at Dabs this month – we have the full range set-up and plenty of stock at great pricing. Make sure you check the deals below for some great Dunc’s Deals on Memory!

Our lead designer, Mike, has been hard at work putting together the new PC Upgrade for 2011 landing page which looks the dogs wotsits – on there you will find the latest and greatest PC Components ready for any PC Upgrade, bookmark it and check back regularly!

Wrapping up “news” this week is the NVIDIA launch of the brand new GTX 560Ti graphics cards. The new addition to the GeForce line up “equips you with up to 3x the performance of previous generations and enjoy the GeForce GTX gaming experience with the latest technologies such as DirectX 11, NVIDIA® Surround, 3D Vision™, PhysX®, and SLI®” With a starting price of £199.99 these are well worth a look – we recommend the 1GHz Gigabyte Super Overclocked BADBWOY!

While on the subject of NVIDIA, make sure you check out the ‘Show Us Your Claw’ competition where you could win an NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX560 Ti 3D Vision PC or 5 runners up prizes of the new GeForce® GTX560 Ti graphics cards! Be innovative with your entries!

 

PRODUCT DEALS & CHALLENGE DUNC!

New Year, New Deals… same Challenge Dunc! Just as you did in the yesteryear 2010, you can keep firing in the ‘Price Match Challenges’ and specific deal requests to the email inbox, I am still getting lots but welcome more – get in touch you will always get a reply!

Now the real reason for the delay in Dunc’s Deals returning is I’ve been waiting for Bully to fully recover from his MAMMOTH new year hangover (he was a real mess) but he’s back on form now and has lined up FIVE killer deals for the weekend!

Iiiiiin 1! OCZ Technology 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 already over £25 off, yours with an extra £5 off, usually £39.99!

Iiiiiin 2! Corsair Memory Vengeance 6GB (3x2GB) DDR3, currently £84.99, yours for under £80!

Iiiiiin 3! NetGear Stora 2-Bay NAS, currently £64.99, get £5 off with Bully!

Iiiiiin 4! Asus Intel 2nd Generation P67 Bundle (Mobo and CPU), £5 off – under £295!

Iiiiiin 5! Western Digital 1TB Elements Desktop Hard Drive, currently £49.99 – now £46.99!

Finally make sure you check out the Crucial RealSSD Price downs – these are limited time offers to save up to £50 on SATA 6Gb/s solid state drives!

Keep spreading the word of the blog, offers and dabs in general, and remember if you send me examples of you getting the word out and I’ll send you a download code for Lost Planet 2!

 

TAKE A BOW SON!

Andy Gray and Richard Keys have been the talk of the country this week following some choice words about female officials in football – no matter what you think about it, the best review of the whole situation was the reporting hypocrisy discussed by Charlie Brooker on last nights 10 O’Clock Live on Channel 4! If you missed it, 4OD!

I want to sign off today in the spirit of Russell Howard with a “Good News” story that I hope some of you have seen. The man with the Golden Voice – Ted Williams – an ex-radio voiceover from Ohio has been re-discovered on the streets following years of drink and drug abuse and a chance YouTube clip has helped him get back on his feet and to work once again! Super-fans of  homeless Ted will be pleased to know that his former tent AND infamous cardboard sign are now for sale on ebay! Good luck to you Ted!

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Review: Xbox 360 Kinect Bundle

On 12th November 2010, we gave our forum members the chance to win an Xbox 360 Kinect Bundle! The winner, Chris Caines, has provided us with a review on the latest gadget from Microsoft. Here’s what he thought…

Ok, Dabs asked me to do a little review of the Kinect I won in the competition. I feel it’s only fair that as I didn’t have to shell out for one, I can do what I can to pass on my thoughts to those thinking of parting with their cash!

First things first, I’ve obviously got the bundle here, whereas some of you will just buy the Kinect alone. I’ll cover my experience of the whole thing as many people will be buying new or take the opportunity to upgrade.

In the box.. annoyingly, there isn’t an HDMI lead supplied, only a standard composite cable, which feels a little like going to an expensive restaurant and then being given a plastic fork to eat with. An HDMI cable would cost them pence per box to supply and would mean users get the best experience out of the device from day one. It’s also surprising especially given they provide batteries for the controller.

If you already have an XBox you’ll want to go through the trouble of splurging away another £15 on a Transfer Cable to get all your data over to your new box from your old one. If these things were a fiver, I’d be OK with it, but £15 is a lot to spend just to copy the data over, ONCE. Sure you can use a USB stick, but at 16Gb max a pop, that’s going to take a while provided you own one and can be bothered with having two consoles on the go to do the copying. I asked the dude in Game and they WILL take these back for a trade-in so you can make something back on them, plus I’m sure they go well on Ebay from people not wanting to spend the cash.

Anyway, this is all about Kinect I guess so here we go. The unit is smaller than you expect, about 11 inches across, by 3 inches deep/high, supplied with a generous cable, more than enough to get to wherever you want to mount it. Now, here’s issue #1. It comes on a small base unit which needs a stable platform on which to rest and unless you have a handy shelf, you’ll likely be putting it on a table under the TV. The location of the unit is very important, it must be at least 2′ off the floor, so before you buy, think about where you’re going to put it. This is nothing like the Nintendo Wii Sensor Bar so you can’t just stick it to the top of your LCD TV.

Once you’ve got the unit mounted and the XBox on, it’ll realise you’ve plugged in a Kinect and take you through some tutorials etc. for setting up calibration. The first thing you realise is that if you have a nice cosy English front room, you’re screwed. The distance from my Kinect to the furthest back I can stand before falling onto the sofa is a little over 6 feet and this is NOT enough. Before you throw your consoles out of the window in anger however, it’s not entirely fatal, but I’ll cover why it’s a problem in a second.

In terms of the technology, it’s amazing, the calibration sessions show highly accurate analysis of the body and where your limbs are in space. In short, it’s breathtaking watching it follow your every move without any other sensor technology except the camera. Light, objects and your clothing can throw it slightly but I was wearing black, in a room lit with only a lamp and it tracked me fine.
That said, it does get confused on a regular basis, especially if you have someone sitting on the sofa behind you. Whilst it can easily track two people, it’s when you DON’T want it to is when it gets annoying. Microsoft say you clear a space and get people not playing out of the way, and they mean it.

Using Kinect on the dashboard isn’t quite what you expect. I’d assume you could use it for the whole dashboard, whereas you’re limited to a “Kinect-ified” hub which doesn’t let you do things like scroll through the standard menus or manage your Xbox. This also extends to the Voice Activation which, inside the Kinect hub is very good (it’s fun saying ‘Xbox, Dashboard’ like you’re Jean Luc Picard) however you can’t use it outside of that.

You can also use something called Kinect ID which will realise exactly who is in front of the camera and switch to their profile automatically. This is the first place I found room size a problem as you have to perform a series of movements so it can build up your profile and it asked me to stand in places in the room I physically couldn’t get to. The Kinect seems to have a sweet spot of between 4-9 feet, so being stuck at 6 feet max meant I was missing about a third of my play space.This is extremely apparent in the games which require depth movement, however not such an issue for those which just require limb movement.

I played some of Kinect Adventures in the short time I’ve had it (having a 5 year old daughter means I’ve been being dictated to as to what we play and she seems obsessed with the simple idea of the Kinect ID setup!) I would say the first thing you have to do is get your head around is the fact that when you’re trying to hit, or avoid, things you need to remember you’re controlling your character and not yourself. So swinging for a ball when you expect it to hit you isn’t going to work, you have to start moving a moment ahead, so it connects with your avatar. Not that this is any different from the Wii, however as you’re sans controller, the psychology of it is somewhat different.

You also get demos of some Kinect specific games and we had a little play with Dance Central and Your Shape: Fitness Evolved. The latter of these is extremely impressive, with the game measuring your physical dimensions (such as shoulder width, leg length etc.) all via the Kinect. I spent a while playing a mini-game where you have to punch blocks and couldn’t help finishing the last block of with a Street Fighter style Hadouken which still worked as expected. Dance Central is almost the opposite, where you have to follow the moves of the character on screen (Think Guitar Hero but dancing) and this copies your character very well, again as this doesn’t need depth it’s more satisfying as you don’t feel like you’re going to fly over the sofa. Also, the control mech for the menus feels very “Minority Report” which is what we’ve all been after at the end of the day. 

All in all, I’m in a real quandary. If I had bought this I would have cursed myself for not accepting that my living room is just too small to use it effectively, however I do think if you’re really going to play the games, then it’s worth having a little house rearrange, as the technology truly is brilliant. I imagine that, provided the developers take serious advantage of it, we’ll see some really amazing games for it, hopefully steamrollering over the whole gimmick-to-be-whipped-out-at-parties concept which has been attached to the Wii.

So, if you’ve got £120 burning a hole in your pocket and the space to play, then this really is the human interaction revolution they’ve been talking about, or at least the first step on that road. However, if this is a toss up between a Wii or a Move, then take a very serious look at how big your playing area is before deciding. It’s the superior technology, but it comes at a price.

If you would like to read a review on the Kinect Sports game, head over to NXTGamer.com and read this one!

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Forums and Football, Deals and Dopiaza

“McDunc – I’m Not Lovin’ It”

Just when you thought this week couldn’t get any betterafter the jubilant return of the Chilean miners… it’s the return of Dunc! Happy Friday everyone!

In the same week as 33 Chilean miners returned from two months underground, dabs.com FC recorded their second win on the bounce – two amazing feats of endurance and teamwork! I am still at a loss to as how it happened – not the Chilean miners, they got out thanks to planning and precision – I’m talking about our back to back victories! The mind boggles!

For next week only, you can call me McDunc – no thanks to you lot. I’m going back to my semi-Scottish roots! In the seven days since the last update, the majority of you have managed to ensure that the “Should Dunc wear a Kilt to the Dabs Diamond Awards later this month” poll is leaning heavily in favour of me donning the tartan and showing my pins – thanks for that! While I may be less than grateful for your votes in the poll, we are grateful for all your votes for the actual awards – the response has been overwhelming! The votes are now closed and are being counted and verified by our very own Dermot O’Leary – Michelle. The winners will be announced online after the awards ceremony next week, as will the winner of the prize for voting – stay tuned!

Today marks the day that the long awaited new game Medal of Honor is released in the UK, and as those eagle eyed regulars to the blog will have seen, we have secured an exclusive offer in conjunction with the guys at EA Store. For today only you can get 20% off with a voucher code, to get the code and the full details check out the blog post.

This week we have launched two new aspects on dabs.com – a new section of the Blog called “Ponderings” and our long awaited forum! The new blog section opened with our very own Matt giving his thoughts on memories and the need, or rather not, to retain them.

The forum, which went live yesterday, has been in the idea stages for some time and we know many of you have been waiting for us to get one online for even longer! Well the wait is over – and we have to thank all the IT guys (Alex, Ste, Mark), the marketing team (Mike, Matt and Sam) and everyone who helped bring the forum online over recent weeks. Sign up today and get posting, as there is a special prize that will be announced later today on the forum!

  

In The News

Quiet week in all honesty, lots going on but very little of it has caught my eye – don’t forget you guys can always submit stories you find interesting via comments or Speak to Dunc and ill ensure if I use them you get credited! One thing that did catch the eye was the ever-busy Google. Whilst finding time to squeeze in  a 32% jump in profits, they also have announced that they have been testing automated cars that have clocked up over 100,000 miles without human interaction – crazy!

 

Product News!

Last week you guys took to the news of the Synology USB Station 2 pre-order by placing your pre-orders in droves! Today stock has landed and you can now secure the product for under £80!

This week we have a host of new offers ready for you to take advantage of, the first is a new Self-Build bundle! Those of you who are familiar with our Asus Intel and AMD bundles will know what to expect, but this time we have partnered with Gigabyte to offer a one off Ultimate Bundle! The bundle sees the GA-890FXA-UD5 Motherboard, AMD Phenom II X6 1055T, Corsair 4GB DDR3 [2x2GB] Memory and  Windows 7 Home Premium brought together for under £450! Not only that, but we are throwing in 2 Game Downloads: Storm Rise + Lost Planet! Stock due next week!

This week saw the launch of the new NVIDIA GTS 430 range of Graphics cards that are aimed at the casual gamer market and those looking for performance from their PC. From editing photos to HD video, watching blu-ray movies and playing DX11 titles like Civilization V – the new cards pack a punch at a great price point. Check out the range we have starting at under £60.

Finally, just today we have launched two new promotions on dabs.com. First up is the Netgear ReadyNAS duo, where you can claim a 1TB or 2TB hard drive for free on selected models and the second is on Western Digital VelociRaptor Hard Drives where you can get yourself a FREE copy of the just released Medal of Honor game for PC! Check out the full details and see the included drives here.

 

 

Product Deals & Challenge Dunc Continues!

After a great response to last week’s “Challenge Dunc” I’m looking forward to seeing what next this brings – suggest deals you want to see and drop me a note via ‘Speak to Dunc’ with your ‘Price Match Challenges’ this week, and I’ll do all I can to get the deal you need!

First up on the exclusive front, I want to ensure you get the BEST price in the market right now for the Samsung 1TB S2 Portable hard drive. Currently on dabs you can get at an already amazing price of £89.99, and last week I offered it to you guys for £79.99. But for one week only, with this link, you can get it for even less – £76.98!

Moving on to some Solid State Drive deals, we’ve just taken stock of some fantastically price OCZ Onyx Series products. The 64GB is now down to £79.99 and the 128GB has hit a great price of £159.98. I can’t knock anything else off, but I am going to say that if you buy one you can have a £40 game voucher for EA Store – just email me with your Sales Order Number!

Some of you have already spotted it, but to those that haven’t, you should take advantage of the special bundle that is on the Intel Ultimate Self-Build Bundle. Right now you can save over £20 on Kingston HyperX 6GB (3x2GB) DDR3 1600MHz Memory when bought with the bundle – check it out today and take advantage!

Remember, keep spreading word about the blog offers and let me know about when you mention the blog online as you WILL bag yourself a freebie!

Anyone For Curry?

OK that’s it for another week – I’m off out tonight with some of the boys from work for a few beverages of the alcoholic variety and a curry at Akbars in Manchester! It is with a heavy heart (but a belly full of curry) that we will be celebrating the departure of Mike in our IT Development team, who is off to pastures new – yes celebrating, we didn’t like him much anyway! Only joking Mike, you know you’ll be missed!!

Have a good weekend and don’t forget to enter our “Win a buyagift.com experience worth £150”. In the words of our proposal Romeo, Mike, as mentioned last week – “I only have one question…”