Mechwarrior Tactics and Killing Things With Dice!

I used to play battletech way back in the day when I was in Junior High. Those were some really awkward times. I truly enjoyed the paper mech sheets, the rolling of the dice, the weired excitedment that would be generated when someone rolled the perfect number and an opponent had to fill in a solid 20 bubbles on a piece of paper.

Thinking back on it, it was all really really dorky.

Mechs and Transformers are AWESOME!

Did someone call Optimus Prime?

Nothing was real. We all had mech sheets that looked identical except for the number of bubbles that were printed on the page. There were different types of people that played though. It brought in a varied crowd. For example…

The Rich Kid: His parents paid for the actual books with the premade mech sheets. They all looked the same, but were produced by FASA and were the “Real Thing”. Everyone knew that kid didn’t buy them himself, but he had them none the less.

The well to do smart kid: This guy had a dad who owned a laser printer. Back in 95, this was a BIG deal. He had downloaded the free software and made his own mechs and printed them out. His pages were professional looking and clean. Even though he wasn’t the rich kid, his sheets were the envy of everyone else.

The poor smart kid: This was me. I didn’t have a lot, but I wanted to make my own sheets. I found some software for creating my own mechs, but since I only had a dot matrix printer (Impact printer for you kids that don’t remember such things) and my parents didn’t have a computer with Windows (DOS 6.22), my Mech sheets were simply text with lines of “O’s”. This met the need, but was NOT considered cool.

Everyone Else: Everyone else simply photo copied the pages from the manuals and filled in the bubbles to make sure they had the right number of marks.

This seemed to work. Everyone had what they needed to play… and play we did. However, as much as I enjoyed this part of my gaming history, it really only lasted for about 6 months. People moved in, people moved out, and others didn’t want to be part of the “dorky” crowd anymore. The one girl in the group hit puberty and suddenly things got weird and she left. Yeah, really awkward, but it was fun.

Anywho, moving away from the epic backstory, there was a reason I write this post.

About a year ago, I got picked up for the Mechwarrior Tactics beta. This is pretty cool. The developer  is actually trying to build an online game the emulates the old school tabletop experience of playing battletech. From mech customization, to rolling for initiative, to utilizing line of sight to piss off that one catapult in the distance. This game actually meets the tabletop criteria quite well.

Not only are the tabletop rules being implemented awesomely, but the graphics are fairly kickass. For a game you play in your web browser, this is actually quite solid. Mind you, it’s still in beta, so there are the occasional bugs, but it’s still very well done.

Anyways, since I’m not actually qualified to offer reviews, or well thought out explanations of things, I’ll just provide you a few points that I observed and leave you, the reader, to do the actual research and come to your own opinion.

Here we go.

Combat-Graphics: Honestly, I didn’t expect graphics on a browser based game to be as good as they are. I’ve got a few mictures here of in game action that I think would explain it better than I could. Other than the reflective textures, proper lens flare, and really good models for the mechs that are capable of taking battle damage, I can’t think of anything that I would add to a game like this.

Map-Maps: Thinking back to playing the tabletop game, the paper maps that we used were very flimsy. While you could use real 3D terrain, most of use always used the paper map option. Mechwarrior Tactics utilizes the same Hex based map system while incorporating the 3D terrain function that I was unable to replicate. Again, the maps have the usual awesome graphics attached to them and let you play in a range of environments (Snow, Sand, Jungle, ETC), but still hold the look and feel of the original game.

Mechlab-Mechlab: Everyone at some point in their Battletech gaming history built a 100 ton mech loaded up with 60 machine guns. Seriously, 2 points of damage with no heat generation, that sounds freaking awesome. An alpha strike from one of those could shred anything that the mech was able to get close to. Now, to prevent people from building gunboats like that, MW:Tactics utilizes hard point systems like you saw in Mechwarrior 4. It’s actually quite flexible and doesn’t limit your ability to be creative. It’s a well done interface with plenty of customization options.

STAC-Inventory: Instead of saving your monies and buying those specific weapons you want for your long range damage dealing behemoth, the developers have taken a cue from other games such as Blizzards Hearthstone, or Magic the Gathering. They are using purchasable packs of cards called STAC’s. They contain a half dozen cards and can be purchased with real money (F2P anyone?) or with scrap that is earned in game. By collecting cards, you can increase your inventory of available equipment to build your lances of mechs. It seems to work well, and for those that get a kick out of the card mechanic (like me), it seems to work really well.

Now, if you went to the games website HERE, you can click on the media tab and look at some of the awesome screenshots and downloadable wallpapers. I’ve actually got the Cicada and the Atlas up on my dual screens right now. They are good to look at and quite well done.

atlas

I don’t know what is required to get in to the beta anymore, but it might be worth looking at if it seems like something you would be interested in. At the very least, it’s a chance to at least be kind of cool while enjoying one of the dorkiest things most of us ever saw.

By the way, have a few wallpapers. And as always, drop a comment below, and if it’s good enough, I’ll write a post on it.

Cicada

hunchback-RH

If Mario was Cheating on Peach, He’d do it here!

Mario seems like an upstanding guy.

I mean, he has like 87 games that he stars in and has more marketing power than Steve Jobs ever could hope for. Mario is a ROCK STAR!

But, what do all rock stars have in common?

INFIDELITY!

Seriously though, Mario is a bad ass.

Anywho, the reason for today’s post is this…

Mario Bunk Bed

 

This picture is awesome on like 3 different levels.

I made the comment that if Mario was gonna cheat, this is where he would do it. I mean, it’s his own castle, it’s got a bed, and as awesome as Peach is, Daisy would NOT hesitate to capitalize on real estate like this.

I guess the long of the short here is that this childrens bunk bed is pretty awesome.

Makes me wish I had one as a kid… or a teenager… Hell, I want one now and I’m 33.

“Mann Co. acquires Blood Eagle assets in landmark sexual harassment case”.

HEADLINE: Mann Co. acquires Blood Eagle assets in a landmark sexual harassment case. Diamond Sword purchase excess BLU mercenary surplus as part of settlement negotiations.

mann, co, mann co, logo, products, fights, sell, weVS.

blood, eagle, logo

mannco

Saxton Hale
Mann Co. CEO
Australian Extraordinaire

In a press conference held today with Saxton Hale, CEO of Mann Co., the landmark harassment case was discussed involving the acquisition of resources held by the Blood Eagle Clan.

Reports indicate that Blood Eagle tribesman references Saxton Hale as a “girly wuss”. Mann Co. replied by allowing Mr. Hale to airdrop in to an unknown battlefield while wrestling with poisonous cobras that caught fire during the freefall. After using the now charred snake skins as replacement hat bands, Saxton proceed to “Beat the crap” out of a tirbesman who referred to himself only as “a pathfinder” upon finding out that the tribesman’s only job was to “run away”.

Tribal warriors still seeking to remain actively employed have been offered temporary mercenary positions within Mann Co. pending a probationary period.

Negotiations were vicious, but a court appointed mediator assisted with the dealings before running away for “undisclosed reasons”.

More reports will follow upon Mr. Hale’s return from a gorilla punching expedition currently scheduled for Friday.

mann, co, tf2, team, fortress, tribes, ascend, vengeance, spinfuser, spinfusor, soldier, orange, rocket

Okay, that was fun and all, but I don’t think it’ll ever get approved by the TF2 or Tribes communities as a whole. But hey, it’s fun to play with photoshop.

Regardless, this isn’t what I’m posting about today.

Instead, it’s about cross training.

Cross training you ask?

Yes… Cross training. And not the dumb kind that involves shoes, or exercise, or any legitimate effort. Screw that noise.

Instead, I speak of cross training of the video game type.

soldier, video, game, training, cross, maggots, awesomeI have been heavily involved with two FPS games over the last couple of years. Team fortress 2 and Tribes.

We already know that I’m a filthy sand raker (Though Blood Eagle is quickly gaining steam in my book for some reason), but when it comes to TF2 I’m never quite sure if I’m more of a BLU or a RED fan. Both are awesome, BUT, unfortunately, (because I’m usually a blue team kinda guy), RED is taking the lead because BLU uses dumbass apple style products.

If there is one thing I stand by, it’s that fact that I CANNOT stand anything the supports the Apple mindset, culture, or mentality. iScrew iThat!

iDumbasses!

ahem… back to the topic at hand.

I’ve been playing these two games.

I’m usually a medic or an engineer type when I play Team fortress. Not a lot of aiming required and I can let the machines do most of the work for me. I like that. Not a lot of skill, and plenty of time to look good while I help others on my team. Yay for being a team player, right? Right!  TEAMWORK! (Queue up some Tenacious D right there).

Now, in tribes, I started as a soldier because I didn’t wanna be a heavy, and pathfinding wasn’t my thing. So, I spent my time and I learned to shoot at people. I then unlocked technician (I’ve been playing since early beta) and found that I really liked this class. Turrets are awesome but I’m still HEAVILY involved in actually shooting at people.

I worked on my aiming skills.

Spinfusors? Hell yeah!

Machine guns? Bring it.

Thumpers? *giggles*. Yes, I do love this weapon.

I’ve learned to shoot. I’ve learned to aim. And I’ve learned to lead my shots and actually hit stuff.

This is something that I had never really learned how to do in Team Fortress. I just could never quite figure it out. My shots were “too slow” in my opinion.

I’ve gotten good with the spinfusor again and my thumper is warm from use. I’ve gone fast, I’ve dropped turrets, I’d repaired generators, and I’ve shoved grenades down the throats of more brutes than I can care to count. It’s been glorious good fun. 

Anywho, I fired TF2 backup again today after being in tribes for a little bit during the last week or so. I sat down and picked soldier since there were too many engineers on my team. I saw the scout screaming across the screen in the distance (They really aren’t THAT fast ya know.”, and I let a rocket loose.

TF2, Team, Fortress, Rocket, In, Flight, Soldier, Launcher, awesome, tribes

KER-BLAM!

That scout just took a rocket to the friggin FACE!

Suddenly, after spending WAY too much time with a spinfusor in my hands, I could aim and shoot rockets. This is new. This is exciting. This is reason to giggle as I proceeded to run around the server and shoot people in the friggin face. I’m not any good with a sniper rifle or even with the knife of a spy, but when it comes to rockets and pipe bombs of a demo man… I’m freaking dangerous!

I enjoy many games. These two are my current favorites. And while I didn’t expect to get any better at one because I played the other, I found that the unexpected side effect resulted in way more than I could have hoped for.

-R.H

*edit: Because Words

That’s a nice everything you have there… Or, how to play it EVERYWHERE

That’s a nice everything you have there, it’d be a shame if something happened to it…

minecraft comic, creeper, f7u12, flash, drive, portable, minecraft, sex, diamond, sword, tobuscus, pickaxe, red, stone, redstone, steve

I have two children, aged 10 and 6. They both enjoy the ever living crap out of minecraft.

Personally, I’m not the biggest fan of the game. It makes me motion sick. Considering that I play games like Tribes and Descent, you would think that motion sickness wouldn’t be a thing for me, but unfortunately, every time I want to play this blasted game, it makes me want to puke. So, I don’t get a lot of in game time for this juggernaut of a monstrosity of gaming within my happy little household.

Now, you are probably wondering why this post is being written, so I’m going to tell you. However, before I do, I’m going to list a few of the things that I hear regularly in my household when it comes to this game.

ahem:

-Stop hitting me.

-Ooh, diamond… (HEY, That’s MY diamond) Oww… stop hitting me.

-CREEPER!!!1!11!!!

-StoooOOoooOOoopppp….. that’s mine.

-Stop hitting me.

-Get out of my house.

-Can I live with you?

-Stop hitting me and get out of my house.

-Ooh, diamo…. OWW, Stop hitting me, you can’t live in my house.

-Stop letting creepers in to my house.

-Stop hitting me!

Yeah, it gets old. I can tell you that. It gets old REALLY fast. Now, this I can live with. I listen to bickering on a somewhat regular basis. Hell, I’m a father, bickering kinda comes with the job. But there is one small aspect of all of this that I cannot stand. Now, I tend to ramble but I always get back to my point and I’ll be getting to that soon. BUT, in the mean time, here is another mildly short point before we get there.

In my home, I have four computers. The daughter has an All-in-one, the boy has a laptop, Mama has a nice i7 rig and I have a nice i5 rig. We’re quite happy with what we’re using. Now, the kids like to use the fastest computer available to them at any given moment. Since they tend to bounce between computers, they wind up creating their own custom worlds on each machine. Occasionally, they build something that in their head is overwhelmingly magnificent. when this happens, they tend to monopolize a single computer, regardless of who it belongs to.

Now, three times in the last 6 hours alone, I have walked out of the kitchen only to find that what I was working on has been closed/minimized and my son will be sitting there playing his game on my computer and happily plugging away at building some amazing castle/bulwark/mob generator thing.

I will usually sigh, go back in to the kitchen, and maybe pout a little depending on what I was doing before I was ousted by the little space hound.

Pouting like a prominecraft comic, creeper, f7u12, flash, drive, portable, minecraft, sex, diamond, sword, tobuscus, pickaxe, red, stone, redstone, steve, rainbow, dash, mlp, mlpfim, my, little, pony, friendship, is, magic, rainbow dash, pouting, amazing, funny, mac, pc, OSX, ubuntu,

Pouting like a pro

Well, as I stood there, slowly stirring my homemade parmesan cheddar and truffle alfredo sauce, I stumbled on an idea.

An amazing idea.

An astoundingly simple, yet painfully obvious idea that only an idiot, a genius, or someone doped up on WAY too much caffeine could possibly come up with.

neat, an Idea, spiderman, spidey, meme, reddit, 4chan, /b, /b/, Pouting like a prominecraft comic, creeper, f7u12, flash, drive, portable, minecraft, sex, diamond, sword, tobuscus, pickaxe, red, stone, redstone, steve, rainbow, dash, mlp, mlpfim, my, little, pony, friendship, is, magic, rainbow dash, pouting, amazing, funny, mac, pc, OSX, ubuntu,

neat

Okay, ready for it?

PORTABLE MINECRAFT!

On a thumb drive!

Yeah, you read that right, portable minecraft on a thumb drive.

So, I pulled out an old 256mb thumb drive from my amazing box of ancient crap that I’m too stubborn to throw away, and I went to work.

Oh, BTW, this is why your are here in the first place I assume. (Unless my google juice brought you here through other means, then FREAKING SWEET!)

So, before I go too far in to this, let me post the link from the site I used to figure out this fantastic little trick. KER-BLAM!

Before we start, check out this little nugget…

Requirements:
– Minecraft, played at least once to download game files.
– USB drive (256mb should suffice, depends on your current minecraft data)
– Java on any computer you wanna play it on*

Got it? SWEET! Moving on.

Oh, and the step numbering doesn’t matter, just follow them in the order listed… kay? kay!

Step ONE:

Format that sweet little thumb drive and rename it something awesome… like “Porta-Craft” or “Mine-be-gone” or “USB Powered Pickaxe”… actually, that last one is pretty friggin cool. I shoulda used that.

Step B

Create TWO folders on that awesome clean USB drive.

Name them “BIN” and DATA”.

Step CHAIR

Find a copy of the minecraft.exe file (The minecraft executable) (I linked it for you, you’re welcome) and stoff that little bugger in the “BIN” directory on your flash drive.

Step 7

Now, I’m assuming that you know how the whole %appdata% thing works. Everyone in the minecraft community has had to use this at one time or another. I’m not going to explain it again, HOWEVER, if you click this link, it will walk you through it in a way blander way than I would explain it.

Anyways, grab the “.minecraft” folder and stuff it gently in to the “DATA” folder on your super sweet flashy thumb drive device thing.

Step Thirteen

This step is where you might mess up, so pay careful attention.
You need to create a new .bat file, that tells the minecraft launcher to look in this USB for the files instead of in the computer’s hard drive.

Open up notepad, and copy this code into it:

set APPDATA=%CD%\data     
bin\minecraft.exe

Make sure to include the enter between “data” and “bin”.
Now save the file as “MC_Portable.bat” or something similar. You can name it whatever you want, just make sure to have the .bat at the end. This will be what you click to start it up.

Step GREEN

RUN THAT THING! Seriously, just doubleclick on your new BAT file and it will work using the data you copied off your computer.

Before you freak out and say “But BATCH FILES ARE VIRUSES… YOU CRAZY HAX0R!”…. chill the hell out. In fact, go read this post to complete the process of chillaxing and then come back and keep reading.

Okay, back? Wasn’t that a freaking sweet experience? Figured you would like it.

Anywho, back to running this. Let me explain what each of those fancy lines of code does.

FIRST, the “set APPDATA=%CD%\data” tells the minecraft.exe that all of the data associated with the game is stored in your “data” directory of the removeable media. Kinda required to make this trick work.

SECOND, the “bin\minecraft.exe” portion tells the batch file where to run the actual executable file for the game so that something happens when you click it. Again, kinda required to maker the whole magic trick work… other than the voodoo and the actual black magic required to even make the batch file exist in the first place.

Regardless, this should work for just about anyone. I just did it and it only took me about 4 minutes. Hell, I can do that twice in the time it takes for my stove to come up to heat to make a packet of hot cocoa.

Actually… that sounds pretty good. I’ma go make somma that.

Let me know if you have questions.

Maybe subscribe.

And if you’re feeling snarky, tell your friends.

Thanks and such.

Laters.

-RH.

Tribes Ascend Refer A Friend Program – aka: Click here to be bribed!

Filthy Sandrakers!

Butchers!

Sworders, Beagles, Red Team, Blue Team, good guys and bad guys.  No matter how you word it, there are two sides to this war.

Before we get too far in to this, I figure I will offer you a few wallpapers. Pick your allegiance as you see fit.

me gusta, tribes, diamond sword, blood eagle, be, dc, filthy, sand, raker, sandraker, butcher, blood, eagle, diamond, sword, fffffffuuuuuuuuuuuu, rage, face, template, meme, wallpaper, refer, a, friend, refer-a-friend, program, hi-rez, hi, rez, studios, free, download, cheat, fuck, yeah, call, of, duty, modern, warfare, CoD, MW3, jetpack, jet, pack, yeah, video, game, blog, butcher, heavy, medium, light, pathfinder, capture, the, flad, ctf, tdm, arena, team, death, deathmatch, match, poker, face, nothing, see, here, rage, creator  me gusta, tribes, diamond sword, blood eagle, be, dc, filthy, sand, raker, sandraker, butcher, blood, eagle, diamond, sword, fffffffuuuuuuuuuuuu, rage, face, template, meme, wallpaper, refer, a, friend, refer-a-friend, program, hi-rez, hi, rez, studios, free, download, cheat, fuck, yeah, call, of, duty, modern, warfare, CoD, MW3, jetpack, jet, pack, yeah, video, game, blog, butcher, heavy, medium, light, pathfinder, capture, the, flad, ctf, tdm, arena, team, death, deathmatch, match, poker, face, nothing, see, here, rage, creator

 Okay, we’ve got that out of the way. Lets move on to the meat and potatoes of this post.

I’m a Sworder. I play on the Diamond Sword team. The blue one.

That’s right, I’m a “Filthy Sand Raker” and I’m proud of it!

Diamond Sword represent….

 

Well, since we know what team I play on, let’s talk about why we’re here shall we?

The refer a friend program. It’s a great thing.

You’re reading my blog so in my view that makes you a friend. Friends need to help friends. Amirite?

Well, I could use your help here.

Most likely you don’t actually play tribes yet. Well, you should.

Why you ask? Well, it’s simple. Tribes is incredibly fast. It’s a smart mans shooter. None of that point and kill kind of warfare. This takes actual skill, time, practice, and luck. Add to that the fact you have a Jetpack….

Let’s pause for a second and let that sink in…

A JETPACK!

me gusta, tribes, diamond sword, blood eagle, be, dc, filthy, sand, raker, sandraker, butcher, blood, eagle, diamond, sword, fffffffuuuuuuuuuuuu, rage, face, template, meme, wallpaper, refer, a, friend, refer-a-friend, program, hi-rez, hi, rez, studios, free, download, cheat, fuck, yeah, call, of, duty, modern, warfare, CoD, MW3, jetpack, jet, pack, yeah, video, game, blog, butcher, heavy, medium, light, pathfinder, capture, the, flad, ctf, tdm, arena, team, death, deathmatch, match, poker, face, nothing, see, here, rage, creator

okay.. back to the thought at hand. You have a jetpack on your back. This gives you a third method of movement that Call of Duty and Modern Warfare just can’t ever hope to touch.

The graphics are amazing. Hell, I don’t think I should have to explain this again. Read my old posts.

The long of the short here is that you can play for free.

Yes, that is the BEST price. FREE!

Well, the best price is where they pay YOU to play….

Oh wait, THEY DO!

Like tribes ascend on facebook and they give you a code for 250 free in game gold. Yeah, they just paid you $5 to play their game. Since I’m not above bribery I took the offer. Woot woot for free stuff!

 

Anyways, since I want you to play. And since I want you you be able to enjoy the game that I enjoy, just click my Refer-A-Friend link below and join up.

I won’t be mad if youplay for the Blood Eagle. But honestly, we all know that the Diamond Sword are where the cool kids hang out.

 

Click the Tribes Banner to “Go Fast”!

me gusta, tribes, diamond sword, blood eagle, be, dc, filthy, sand, raker, sandraker, butcher, blood, eagle, diamond, sword, fffffffuuuuuuuuuuuu, rage, face, template, meme, wallpaper, refer, a, friend, refer-a-friend, program, hi-rez, hi, rez, studios, free, download, cheat, fuck, yeah, call, of, duty, modern, warfare, CoD, MW3, jetpack, jet, pack, yeah, video, game, blog, butcher, heavy, medium, light, pathfinder, capture, the, flad, ctf, tdm, arena, team, death, deathmatch, match, poker, face, nothing, see, here, rage, creator

 

 

me gusta, tribes, diamond sword, blood eagle, be, dc, filthy, sand, raker, sandraker, butcher, blood, eagle, diamond, sword, fffffffuuuuuuuuuuuu, rage, face, template, meme, wallpaper, refer, a, friend, refer-a-friend, program, hi-rez, hi, rez, studios, free, download, cheat, fuck, yeah, call, of, duty, modern, warfare, CoD, MW3, jetpack, jet, pack, yeah, video, game, blog, butcher, heavy, medium, light, pathfinder, capture, the, flad, ctf, tdm, arena, team, death, deathmatch, match, poker, face, nothing, see, here, rage, creator

King Toko has a good read

While playing Dungeon Defenders recently with some co-workers, we ran in to a spot that we couldn’t quite beat. After looking on the interwebs to find the answers we needed, I stumbled on a little gem from King Toko. Now, while Dungeon Defenders is going to Yield its own post in a day or two, I felt the need to post this link to King Toko’s blog.

He covers gaming in general.

He’s talked about many of the games I enjoy (Tribes, Skyrim, Dungeon Defenders, etc).

Head on over and take a look.

Link is found….

HERE

The first step to case modding. (Case Modding 101)

So, most people that are in to gaming on their computers know what a case mod is.

You buy a stock case.

101, basics, bill, bleeds, blowhole, case,casemod, dremel, easy, first, handles, how, how-to, jigsaw, job, list, mod, modding, monstermawd, owen, paint, paintjob, pc, plunge, pre, pre-mod, simple, to, tools, tutorial, video, window, school, gaming, gamer, game, LAN, party, lan-party

You punch a window in the side.

101, basics, bill, bleeds, blowhole, case,casemod, dremel, easy, first, handles, how, how-to, jigsaw, job, list, mod, modding, monstermawd, owen, paint, paintjob, pc, plunge, pre, pre-mod, simple, to, tools, tutorial, video, window, school, gaming, gamer, game, LAN, party, lan-party

Maybe a blowhole for the top.

101, basics, bill, bleeds, blowhole, case,casemod, dremel, easy, first, handles, how, how-to, jigsaw, job, list, mod, modding, monstermawd, owen, paint, paintjob, pc, plunge, pre, pre-mod, simple, to, tools, tutorial, video, window, school, gaming, gamer, game, LAN, party, lan-party

Possibly a custom paint job.

101, basics, bill, bleeds, blowhole, case,casemod, dremel, easy, first, handles, how, how-to, jigsaw, job, list, mod, modding, monstermawd, owen, paint, paintjob, pc, plunge, pre, pre-mod, simple, to, tools, tutorial, video, window, school, gaming, gamer, game, LAN, party, lan-party

Stuff it full of amazing components.

And go.

Well, I had always been interested in case modding. I looked at it with a wonder and an awe that I can’t really quite explain. I loved the way cases looked when they were all fancy with all of the fun little trinkets that a case could contain.

My big problem is I had no skill to do such wonderful work. Or at least this is what I told myself. So, because of this, I found myself purchasing pre-modded cases.

101, basics, bill, bleeds, blowhole, case,casemod, dremel, easy, first, handles, how, how-to, jigsaw, job, list, mod, modding, monstermawd, owen, paint, paintjob, pc, plunge, pre, pre-mod, simple, to, tools, tutorial, video, window, school, gaming, gamer, game, LAN, party, lan-party

They look okay, in fact, some of them even look downright awesome, but you are aware that you have the same case as hundreds or even thousands of other people out there.

For some people, this is okay. For others, this might be considered partially unacceptable.

Well, after  years of owning pre-mods, of using bland cases, and of using computer cases that were pleasing to the eye but still plain, I decided I finally wanted to go a little bigger and do my own mod.

My first mod.

101, basics, bill, bleeds, blowhole, case, casemod, dremel, easy, first, handles, how, how-to, jigsaw, Job, list, mod, modding, monstermawd, owen, paint, paintjob, pc, plunge, pre, pre-mod, simple, to, tools, tutorial, video, window

In fact, I posted pictures of the results recently. It turned out quite nicely.

Well, the point of this post is to actually encourage you to take that first step.

I started by purchasing a coolermaster Elite 343 for my new computer. It’s a great case. Pleasing to the eye, small enough to tote around, but big enough to hold all of my components nicely. I was happy with the initial case. But I was curious so I started digging around and I found that there are many resources online for case modders. Many videos. Many tutorials. Many places to get good information for taking that all important first leap into the world of actually cutting holes in a $50 piece of steel.

I’ve decided to take a handful of them and put them here. I have also decided to take a few short lists and post them here so you have an idea of what you need to purchase if you want to make your life while modding considerably easier.

So, without further ado, I offer a list, a string of videos, and some verbal encouragement. With a little luck, a little willingness to try new things, and a little bravery that causes you to pick up a jigsaw, you can have something that just screams your name.

Here we go.

The Tools

The following is a list of tools that will make your adventure in modding WAY easier. Not all are required, but all are useful.

-Safety Glasses (REQUIRED!)

-Jigsaw with a 20tpi blade (Cuts steel)

-Handheld drill with drill bits

-Hole Saw

-A rotary tool (Dremel or some other brand)

-Tape Measure

-Masking Tape

-Pen/Pencil

-Hand files

-Handheld rivet gun

-Screwdrivers (Phillips and Flathead)

See? The list of tools are all things that you most likely have sitting in your garage or basement already. Even if you don’t, I think the rotary tool is the most expensive one. Do you have friends? Do any of them have any of these tools? Might you be able to borrow a tool? Possibly bring them over with their tools to help you cut up your fantastic case? Just a few things to consider.

The Mod List

Okay, so there are a number of mods that someone can do to their computer. I offer you the following four suggestions that are super simple. Deceptively good looking. And while they have been done to death, are a GREAT place to start modding. I give them to you in the order of difficulty.

-Case Handles (Four drilled holes. That’s it!)

-Blowhole (Five drilled holes, and 10 to 15 minutes with a rotary tool)

-Case Window (One drilled hole and 20 minutes with a jigsaw)

-Painted Case (3 hours with a can of spray paint)

See, this list is short, but it offers up some great ideas. Almost everyone starts with one of these four projects. Each is awesome because they give you the opportunity to do things how you want to do them in a way that has your own personality and style to them.

Since I do enjoy writing, but I am also notoriously lazy, I am going to post a few links to help you with these projects. While I could explain them in depth and detail, the videos that I am going to share do a much better job since you can actually SEE what you are doing or what is going on.

Lets look at our first mod…

CASE HANDLES

See, this is super simple. Now, you don’t have to purchase your handles from MNPCTech.com if you don’t want to. Believe it or not, I bought mine at walmart out of a clearance aisle. Just look wherever someplace sells drawer handles or gate handles. Simple.

Case handles are the easiest mod you can do to your computer.

Okay, next one…

CASE BLOWHOLE

Case blowholes can be done on the side or the top of a case. While I did my blowhole up top, the video below will instruct you how to do a blowhole on the side.

Again, SIMPLE! It’s not hard at all to do these simple mods.

Okay, so you have handles now. You have a possible blowhole on your computer, be it in the side of the case or on the top of the case. That’s awesome. BUT, how can we go a little bigger?

Well, lets move on to mod number 3.

CASE WINDOW

With a single drilled hole, and a jigsaw (Or a dremel if you feel so inclined), you are about to put a window on the side of the computer. Now, the acrylic (Plexiglass) that they use is available at most any walmart or home improvement store. Home Depot has the perfect size for about $3.00.

But, I digress, on to the video.

… All I can say is that wasn’t hard at all. No, NOT hard. I did this recently even, do you want to know how my case turned out? AMAZING! Straight edges, smooth after I took a file and sandpaper to them, and after putting in the channel edging, it looked smokin’.

But, this leads me to mod number 4.

CASE PAINTING

I like red, blue, green, black, and a handful of other colors. But, my case, while it was black, just didn’t “pop” the way I wanted. So, this is what I decided to do. Icebreaker red.

Well, I thought to myself, I’m not good with a can of spraypaint… is there a way I can learn?

heh…. yes. Yes there is.

Now, I listed tools, I listed some videos, but now I’m going to talk about something that is just as important as the basics I posted above.

TAKING THE PLUNGE

Case modding is an amazing hobby. There are SO many things that you can do. The only limit is honestly your imagination. Recently, I mounted speakers in to my case so I didn’t have to lug speakers around to places with me. I thought that was pretty awesome.

I’m considering mounting a monitor to my case on a swing arm right now. Possibly putting in storage space for a keyboard and mouse. I don’t know. But, regardless, this is what I am enjoying doing right now.

So, this is what I want to say to you as you read this.

Case modding is not hard!

It really isn’t. It’s fun. Sure, we all make little mistakes. But honestly, that is half the fun of learning the hobby. Taking that first step to put a drillbit to the steel was the hardest part of the process.

As I stood in my basement with a fully dissasembled, BRAND NEW, computer case before me, I had my drill in hand and was nervous.

My lines were drawn, my cuts were figured out, and my first hole was ready. I put the bit to the steel, pulled the trigger, and at that point, I was committed. I don’t have skill when it comes to things like this. In fact, I often half-ass them. But I found that once the drill hole was in, I was in for the long haul. I pulled out the drillbit, plunged my jigsaw in to the opening, and pulled the trigger. I haven’t looked back since.

I know the material from the videos and the blogs. I knew that if I followed the lines on the case, or used a piece of wood as a guiding edge for my saw that I could cut a straight line. Once I made that fourth straight line and the plate of steel fell from the case and tinkled to the floor, I knew that ground had been broken.

This wasn ‘t hard. This was fun.

5 minutes with a file to get rid of a sharp edge and I suddenly had a place to put my newly opened plexiglass.

I had modded my case.

You can to. I know you can.

Hell, if I can do it, any untrained monkey with a jigsaw can do it.

I promise you, it’s easy. Just take the plunge.

Jump in.

Mod it till it bleeds!

(On second thought, just mod it… don’t bleed. That usually requires a trip to the emergency room)

It’s Icebreaker Red

Holy Crap. It’s been a while.

I could apologize, but hey, it’s my blog. I can do what I want.

So…. here is the post.

Let me preface what I did and why.

I have never done a mod before. Today was my very first.
There were a lot of lessons learned.
There were a few mistakes.
There were a few moments where I was really glad that I have the job I have.

So, with that in mind, let me show you what I’ve been up to.

I’m in the process of building a new uITX machine and I wanted to go with a tiny case. But after a little debating, I decided to go with a Micro-ATX.

I’m cheap, so because of that, the case had to be cheap.

Enter the Cooler Master Elite 343.

343, 80mm, bill, blowhole, build, case, coolermaster, elite, engraved, firt, gawds, icebreaker, inspiration, mackinaw, mod, owen, pc, red, tape, window

This case seemed really awesome in my view. Two weeks ago when I settled on this piece of steel and plastic, I said to myself “Garen… That’s a really nice case”.
I figured since it was a nice case that I would wind up putting it on the floor by the desk and just occasionally admire its stunning rugged black beauty.

Then came Bill Owen.
I stumbled on him on the internet and suddenly I had this urge to cut holes in stuff. Paint stuff. And all round be a little more manly.
Thanks Bill… I think.

Anyways… I am in the Coast Guard and I serve on a ship.
The Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw to be specific.
See? This is my ship.

Now, being in the military give me access to all sorts of cool stuff.
Wanna install a blowhole? Great. Here is a steel knockout punch.
Wanna cut plexi? Great, here is the bandsaw.
Wanna engrave someone on that plexi? Awesome, here is the engraver.
Wanna cut a freehand hole? Perfect, here is the jigsaw.
You can see that having access to these kinds of toys can be a bit dangerous.

Anyways, you saw the picture above, I started with a fairly attractive case.
However, after watching the MonsterMawd videos, listening to the podcasts, and spending WAY too much time reading this forum, I decided on the following.

-I need a blowhole.
-I want a window. But not something gaudy.
-I need something custom that says… “Me”.
-I have to have contrasting paint colors.

I’m still figuring out what I’m going to be doing for the electronics, switches, and so forth, so those will come later… but with this list of awesome features (Simple ones to start with), I have created the following.

Notice the contrasting icebreaker red and the black? This inspiration came from the colors of my ships hull. You can see a better version of that contrast here…

But enough of the ship… back to what I built.

The blowhole is clearly visible here.

Chrome on Red looks nice if you ask me. I used a hydraulic steel knockout punch to make the 3″ hole. No sharp edges. A touch of sanding. And a perfect circle. No sparks, noise, or metal shavings to deal with.

More view of the backside and the blowhole.


A side profile shot of the case.

My cuts weren’t the straightest on the window hole. However, this was my first time. Next time I’m going to use a jig to ensure straight lines. The window is 1mm plexi. I’m going to use 1/8″ or 1/4″ next time I think.

I wasn’t able to get my hands on the 3M 4010 (Tape of the Gawds), but I was able to find the Loctite equivilent. It works well enough.

Now, if you look close, you can see that there is a little etching on the plexi. This was engraved. The symbol you are looking at is my rating designator. I am an E6 / IT1 in the Coast Guard. This is the badge that I wear on my sleeve (In dress uniform) that tells you what my job is. I figured this was the part that screamed “Me”.

Here is is a little closer.

Okay, so we have the paint, the window, the blowhole, the etching, and the tape of the demi-gawds.

Honestly, I’m happy with my work.

I don’t think I’m done with the project yet though. While the parts for the computer showed up today, and I’m writing this post on the new system, I think the case is going to receive a few more tweaks.

Handles are next.

Here is the info I’m using for that step….


I hope the read was enjoyable.

-Garen

30 Day Blog Challenge – Day 6

Okay, day 6 states that I have to post a picture of somethign that makes me happy.

I looked at that challenge and said, “This is simple. BAM! A picture of Andrea”.

 

But I realized that this is what I ALWAYS do. No, not this time.

As much as I LOVE and adore my wife and children, this time this will be about something other than my family that makes me smile. Don’t get me wrong, my family makes me happier than most anything on this earth, but since we assume that this is a given, we’ll move on to the next best option.

 What you are seeing here is a rendered version of a scene from Descent. Now, it isn’t this game in particular that I want to write about. The shot is more of an analogy. Maybe a metaphor. Possibly some other word that says it means something other than it looks like. I forget, but that’s not important.

The thing I’m trying to represent here is video games in general. I play them. I enjoy them. Some of them make me smile. Some piss me off. Some make me think. Some I just like to look at. Others I am finally begining to play.

There is so much of my life that has been affected by video games.

I have a few that top my list of favorites and those I believe I will point out in the future.

Well, it’s TECHNICALLY the future now from when you read those last lines, so I guess I’ll tell you about them now.

GAREN’S TOP xx FAVORITE VIDEO GAMES

 

5. Super Mario Bros. series on NES

I spent way too many summers playing this bugger. Be it with or without cheats, I enjoyed it. I played with my brothers and sisters in nearly every house I lived in growing up. This is the epitome of nostalgia in my book. LOVE IT!

4. Metroid

Metroid is one of those games where I love the premise of the game. I love the physics. I love the controls. I love the exploration and the ability to wind up in some really strange places…. but…. I never beat the game. Hell, in all reality, this game scares the ever living daylights out of me. Dunno why. But it’s still one of my favs.

3. Tribes

“Trust me, I work at Gamestop”. Worst words ever to hear. Best game that could have ever been suggested by that guy. I still think he was a tool though.

2. Warcraft Series

From RTS, to point and click, to MMO… The warcraft and Starcraft universes  make me smile. I love the lore. the storylines. the graphics. the ideas behind the game. And hey, Jaina is kinda hot. LOL. Regardless, with the amount of time invested in this series, it’s up there in the top 5 for a reason.

1. Descent

I played descent for way too many years. I still pick it up from time to time even. The game makes me sick to play. It’s scary at times. And no one I know plays because they were never able to get ansy good at it. Let’s not forget though, I have the super power known as ADD, so a lot of things like this I wind up being really good at. Take battletech for example. I’m CRAZY GOOD at that game.

But that isn’t the point. The point is that I enjoy video games, and some board games. And it is those forms of entertainment that give me the opportunity to escape the real world for a little bit, enjoy some time either alone or with others, and let my imagination run wild.

So, what is it that makes me happy? (Other than my family which is my true #1)

Video games.

Sorry, it’s true

 

-G