This is a blog post about gaming on an old PC, using a light box, podcast listening and other tech activities.
11th April 2022: I’m behind with publishing my posts, but I’ve got plenty of posts in draft stage and lots of projects on the go.
This blog covers:
- Light box
- Podcast listening
- Viltrox EF-EOS M2 0.71x Focal Reducer Speed Booster
- What’s coming up
I blog regularly about technology, but I don’t think everything I do requires its own post, so my monthly round-up posts are a place for a mixture of tech bits and pieces.
This month marks turning point of reduced hardware investment! More tech items are being removed than coming in and I’m resisting making new hardware purchases. I’m making do with what I have and I’m appreciating those items more.
I’m now beginning to focus on maintenance, adapting and making use of existing items. However I’ve still got a lot of posts to publish on items I’ve previously purchased, so expect plenty of those posts over the coming weeks!
I have been buying digital items, such as applications, DLCs, games and soundtracks. Some of these items were purchased in bundles at Fanatical and Humble Bundle. There was also a Steam Halloween sale and I got some items from my wish list.
Below I will go into more detail.
In October I played a lot of different games on an old computer, but tended to focus on co-op RTS games to play with my fiancée and a friend.
Here is the specifications of the HP Compaq dx7500 PC that I used to play the games:
- Windows 10 Pro (running on a SSD)
- Core 2 Quad Q9400 2.66GHz CPU with 8GB DDR2 RAM (4x2GB memory sticks)
- NVIDIA GeForce GT 730 2GB RAM graphics card
- Seagate mechanical hard disk (where games are installed)
For most games below I’m just using a keyboard and mouse, but for Halo: Spartan Strike, Muffin Knight, Super Meat Boy and the Transiruby Demo I used a wired USB Xbox 360 compatible gamepad.
Age of Empires Definitive Edition
My fiancée and I both purchased and we enjoyed playing co-op against a few AIs. It’s a shame you can’t build gates, but that made it more challenging and it plays well on my old quad core CPU. I’m glad I own this version of the game as I think the graphics look great.
For those that might be wondering, there are no gates in this version of the game! It does make the game more challenging in my view, but I’ve still enjoyed playing it.
Age of Empires II (2013)
Whilst the definitive edition of Age of Empires II was also in a sale, my fiancée and I played the 2013 version that we had previously purchased via Steam. Also we own the older CD version and we’re in no rush to buy another version.
If I had to choose between AoE and AoE II, it would be II as I prefer the gameplay and having gates! I’ve played AoE II a lot over the years and it’s one of my favourite games alongside Company of Heroes and Red Alert 2.
Company of Heroes
Yet again I’ve played CoH either a skirmish game on my own or with others via the internet. Via my Steam installed version I’ve not got 631 hours on record, but played it for years before using the CD version I also purchased.
I’ve also stumbled across the free Back to Basics mods, but I’ve only taken a brief look at it. My favourite mod for the game is the Blitzkrieg Mod, but I’ve also enjoyed Eastern Front and others.
Halo: Spartan Strike
A single player game that I wish I could play as co-op. So far I used a gamepad and played over fourteen hours of the game.
I don’t think it’s a challenging game, but fun and I like switching between the different weapons. I find it easy to quickly get into the gameplay after not playing the game for a while.
Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak
Another game my partner and I played a few times in October and this time also with a friend. Whilst my partner and I were at our home, my friend was located many miles away.
We played again three AIs and once I reached the max power reserve I don’t find the co-op game challenging enough, but I enjoy it for a short while. Such a shame about the AI and limited maps.
Men of War
My fiancée and I both purchased this game via a Bundle. If you’re a fan of Company of Heroes, then you might want to check this game out.
I don’t think it’s as good as CoH, but we enjoy playing the game co-op via our LAN. I’m not that good at the game, but it was fun.
Men of War: Assault Squad 2
If you’ve played Men of War, then you shouldn’t have an issue learning how to play Assault Squad 2. I was playing this game as a co-op with my better half. Again we both own the game and have it in our separate Steam libraries.
I would still choose Company of Heroes if I had I choice between CoH and Assault Squad 2 for co-op games.
This is a repetitive game, but my fiancée and I find it fun for a short while. Again we both have purchased the game and we played it via LAN.
We also own the Android version of the game, which we used to occasionally play using Google Nexus 7 and Amazon HDX tablets via WiFi.
Basically you try to avoid dying on simple layouts, collecting muffins, changing characters and you can either play it on your own or co-op. The other human player has to use their own computer, which I think is a shame. I think it’s fun for about up-to twenty minutes.
Red Alert 3 Uprising
I’m a fan of the Command Conquer series of games, having played them for many years. These days I mainly play the two RA3 games and at the beginning of October was playing the single player Uprising game. I now have 119.4 hours play time on Uprising!
Disappointed that Red Alert 3 Uprising isn’t a multiplayer game, unlike the earlier Red Alert 3.
Soda Crisis Demo
Due to what I think is high quality graphics and the type of gameplay, I was amazed that this game ran on my old PC. I didn’t play the game for long, but it was okay. I might try it again in the future.
Super Meat Boy
I’ve had this game in my Steam library for a while and whilst I rarely play it, I do enjoy it for up-to thirty minutes occasionally. I do prefer co-op RTS games, but I think this simple single player platform game is fun for short periods of gameplay.
The second demo I played in October and I preferred this to Soda Crisis. I liked the music, how the graphics looked and enjoyed playing the game a few times. I will consider buying this when it’s released.
I own two light boxes, one small and the other very large. I’ve often taken photos indoors, only to have to retake them as I’ve not used a tripod, timer and my light boxes. I’ve again started to use a light box and I will likely blog about this shortly.
Each day I go for a walk and listen to podcasts. I’m using my Samsung S5 SM-G900T with Podcast Addict and the lace version of Fresh ‘n Rebel earbuds.
Viltrox EF-EOS M2 0.71x Focal Reducer Speed Booster
I was undecided for a long time whether to purchase this or not. Finally wishing to use some of my camera lenses closer to their original focal length, I purchased the speed booster for the Canon EOS M camera second-hand via eBay.
I’ve not spent much time with the speed booster yet, but with mixed results I’ve also just started to play around with trying adapters placed on the speed booster. I will likely blog about this in the future.
I don’t think I will always rely on the speed booster as sometimes I don’t want the focal reduction!
What’s coming up
I’m probably going to publish some reviews on technology I purchased second-hand. Also I’m playing more co-op PC games again, so likely I will write a blog post about that.