Mini-reviews on the forum

This page collects various reviews that have been posted by users on our forum. They represent the views of the poster and not necessarily the views of the site administrators. To browse a more complete and up-to-date collection of mini-reviews, check out the mini-review section of our forum here.

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But Not Everyone Agrees
As for the donation part: Someone is more likely to get LESS donations by nagging people to do so. I wouldn't have donated to the author of Irfanview if he had the same policy as the people from FindRun Robot. You want cash ? Go payware. You want donations ? Make yourself appreciated.
A.M.
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Mini-reviews on the forum

This page collects various reviews that have been posted by users on our forum. To browse a more complete and up-to-date collection of mini-reviews, check out the mini-review section of our forum here.

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Hard Disk Sentinel PRO - Mini-Review

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Basic Info

App NameHard Disk Sentinel PRO
App URLhttp://www.hdsentinel.com/
App Version ReviewedFreeware Trial version then to paid PRO Version 3.70 (as at 2012-02-03)
Test System SpecsComparison table of features between different versions (Trial, Standard, Professional, Enterprise) is here.
Detailed features are listed here.
Supported OSesWindows XP/2003/Vista/7/2008 32/64 bit
Support Methods
  • FAQ
  • Complete Help
  • Hardware Compatibility (index, details)
  • Knowledge Base
  • Discussion Board
  • Driver Zone (index, details) HDS seems to be able to cover all sorts of disk interfaces and hardware - e.g., including IDE, S-ATA, SCSI, RAID controllers, disk enclosures, USB and other external devices.[/size]
Upgrade PolicyAutomatic free upgrades for free Trial and for paid PRO versions.
Trial Version Available?Yes. Features are detailed here.
Pricing SchemeI started to use the free Trial version in December 2010.
I purchased the paid PRO version in March 2011.
At time of purchase, HDS PRO had a 20% discount coupon (2011-03-18) applicable to purchases of trial downloads. (The Trial is just a hobbled version of the PRO, and the full functionality is enabled on entry of the registration key.)
 - Full price: US$35.00
 - Purchased at 20% discount: US$28
(I did not obtain the price for the Enterprise version as I was not interested in it at the time.)

Click here to read the full mini-review now..


Harvest: Massive Encounter - A unique, moddable, indie Tower Defense game.

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Somebody gifted me a copy of Harvest: Massive Encounter back in July and I was so busy I forgot all about it. I just found it in my Steam Library a couple days ago and after looking into the details and remembering it was a Tower Defense game I decided to try it out for the first time.

Made by Oxeye Game Studio (with a programmer who also works with Mojang on Minecraft), Harvest: Massive Encounter is different from other TD games I've played... Here's how the game is different from other TD games I've played before:

First of all, aliens don't travel along a pre-defined path; they attack from all sides and can destroy any building. This changes the strategy compared to typical TDs where the only strategy is only building placement (to block off paths or create bottlenecks) or when/what to upgrade next. In fact, the more I think about it, I suppose that Harvest is more similar to a simplified RTS. You don't get money just from killing aliens. You need to build harvesters to grab the minerals sitting around on the surface of the planet. Also, there's another resource besides money you have to worry about: Power. Every building you build requires not only money to buy, but power to build and in most cases power needs to be regularly replenished (e.g. your harvester will power down after mining a few times and needs a recharge before it can harvest anymore).

Click here to read the full mini-review now..


King of Tokyo: A Board Game Mini-Review

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My review today is for King of Tokyo:

I learned about King of Tokyo from the Cracked LCD Review of it by Michael Barnes and the review on Drake's Flame, which I recommend you go check out.

When Michael said it was a simple game with lots of theme, that was one of the best board games of 2011 -- I just had to try it. And I'm glad I did -- It's exactly what I'm looking for in a game -- a fast fun experience that is easy to learn and a pure pleasure to play.  It's a great game.



It was designed by the same guy who created Magic the Gathering (Richard Garfield).  The artwork is out of this world, cartoon monster styled -- and the components are really fun to look at and read and use.  It's got a big stack of cards that are phenomenal.

I won't go into the rules, you can read them on the Board Game Geek site or the Cracked LCD review I linked to above.  Basically each player controls a monster and they fight to stay alive and gain victory points. Gameplay is fast and furious and there is a lot of luck involved.  But always tricky choices to make and tension and surprise around every corner.  We had a huge amount of fun talking during the game and enjoying watching the process unfold.

This game really worked for me in an area where games often fail for me -- and that is with the rule-changing cards.  King of Tokyo comes with a large deck of (beautifully illustrated) cards that give players special powers and change the (simple) base ruleset.  In many games that use this idea of rule-changing cards, the rules on the cards are long and complicated and are hard to absorb and incorporate.  But King of Tokyo does it so well -- with just minor changes, and perfect themeing -- it just works.

Final rating: 10 out of 10 if you are interested in a quick fun game with people who are learning for the first time.

Click here to read more Micro Reviews of Board Games From a Non-Competetive Perspective


Re: Micro Reviews of Board Games From a Non-Competetive Perspective: Spot It

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It's been too long since I posted a new board/card game mini-review, so here's a quickie.

This is my mini-review of a card game for young kids called "Spot It".

I learned about Spot It from my favorite board game review video series by Tom Vassel:


Tom's daughter Melody is a real gamer and she and tom both liked the game.

I thought it might be perfect for my niece during a family visit I took last week, and it was.  Turns out everyone in the family enjoyed it, even my parents.

It's a light game where you are trying to quickly match symbols on the cards.  There are actually several variations you can play, which adds some variety.  We invented a couple of additional variations, including one that used the cards to play go-fish which i think worked quite well.

I'd give this one a 9 out of 10 in the category of quick family games for playing with young children under 10.



Someone mentioned a similar game called "Set", which has won many awards.  Set is definitely in the same vein of identifying similar cards.. and has some more sophisticated elements to it.  I tried Set a while ago but found it completely unfun to play and too taxing on my brain.



Side note: This game can actually be fascinating for the mathematicians in the family and some of us found ourselves deep in thought about the algorithm used to create the cards.  You see the cards are such that: Each card has 8 symbols on it, from a collection of over 50 symbols.  There are 55 cards.  Each card has one and only one match with every other card.  It's not at all trivial to come up with an algorithm that achieves that, or to answer questions such as how many cards can you make given N unique symbols with M symbols on each card..


Subjot - My New Twitter but It may Not be for You

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Basic Info

http://www.subjot.com

Subjot is a Topic based Twitter except it's not. It's part Quora, part forum, part Plurk (comments, not interface) and part Friendfeed (cross-posts to Twitter/FB only)

What's in it for Twitter users:

It doesn't have an external application that I know of but your homepage design is all Twitter with the extra options not really getting in your way.

Cons:

No retweet

No hashtag (although it has a better list system in-site but that doesn't get imported when posting to Twitter)

No notification of when someone mentions your username (although it has the same notification Quora uses which is much more powerful for when people you know replies back to you)

No saved searches

No auto-url shortening
 
What's in it for Facebook users:

The service still relies on inviting your friends into using it but you don't have to follow their every status updates. Just the ones you want to know about them.

Cons:

No privacy. Right now all posts are public.

What's in it for Plurk users:

Same micro-blogging goodness that includes a comment system.

Cons:

It definitely has no similarity to Plurk's interface.

What's in it for those who have avoided social networks?

Currently it has a nice community. Even the developer is all over the place talking to users publicly in the comments.

Initially the interface may seem scary but it has the feel of a forum. In some parts superior, in some parts inferior.

The limited character count for example is adapted from Twitter but unlike Twitter it has a higher character count.

It may also not allow for titles but subjects are like turning Titles into Twitter streams. Say... you write a mini-review. You can create a mini-review subject and every post you write under mini-review will go there. It is also your own exclusive forum category. Others may make the same title but both of your contents don't cross-post unless people follow both of you.

There's also no direct image hosting or formatting but the textbox is smart. Direct image links show images. Youtube links embed videos.


Click here to read the full mini-review and add your comments..


Quick Review: Ghostery - Best blocker I've used since JunkBuster

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I have been interested in maintaining my web privacy for years, wishing to defend myself from the continuing and increasing assault on that privacy, from the advertisers and the Google and other ad-click giants.
So, yesterday out of interest, I downloaded the Ghostery add-on that works in:
  • Firefox
  • Safari
  • Chrome/Chromium
  • Opera
  • IE
(I am using it in Firefox and Chromium.)

I was so impressed with the initial results after installing it that I posted a review and gave it a 5-star vote:
Best blocker I've used since JunkBuster - Rated 5 out of 5 stars.
Great add-on! Since 1997 I had used JunkBuster to keep the junk out of my browsing and minimise bandwidth utilisation. It worked very well, up until the time when the JunkBuster project was abandoned. I later moved to Ad-Block Plus, then added NoScript, but they were never quite enough, and I have long missed having the fine degree of control over my web browsing that JunkBuster was able to provide me with.
However, with the addition of Ghostery, I think I have nearly got back to the degree of control I had in 1997 - 15 years ago.
Sadly, that is *NOT* a measure of progress.   :-(

Click here to read the full mini-review now..


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