Tag Archives: amd-phenom

Earn a Boy Scout Badge for Gaming

Forget about starting fires with sticks and setting up tents in the wilderness. Since videogames are played by the vast majority of children across the United States, the Boy Scouts of America have decided to get with the times. They will be offering a Video Games belt loop and pin to the Cub Scouts. No, I’m not kidding. I only wish I were.

To earn the belt loop, the kids must explain why it is important to have a rating system for video games, and check their video games to be sure they are appropriate. With the help of an adult, they have to create a schedule to do things such as chores and homework… and still fit in game time. They have to “do their best” to follow the schedule. And last – but not least – they have to learn to play a new game that is approved by their parent, guardian or teacher.

There are more steps to go through in order to receive the pin. They’ll need to create a plan to buy an appropriate video game. Next up, they must compare two gaming systems, explaining the differences between them. Another step requires them to play a game with family members in a tournament. They’ll need to teach one of their favorite games to an adult or friend. At least there’s some writing involved when they have to make a list of tips for someone who is trying to learn a new game. Playing a game with a friend for one hour shouldn’t be much of a stretch. Installing a game system with adult supervision is likely something they’ve already done, as well. The only halfway interesting step in this process is when they have to think of a game they want to buy and compare pricing at three different stores to find the best deal.

What happened to the days when the Boy Scouts learned things that added value to their life in some way? I recall having to do things like learn how to save a person’s life. I’m sure I would have enjoyed getting rewards for playing games, but I just don’t see how that would have really added something important to my education and the way I turned out as an adult.

You don’t need any badges at all to get the latest software for your computer and mobile devices.

Is Apple Getting Into Bed with AMD?

According to an article on the AppleInsider a little while ago, we could be seeing a new relationship between Apple and AMD. This is big news, considering Intel has been the only type of processor used in the Apple notebook (and desktop) computers since 2006.

As stated in the report: “Representatives for the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based AMD have recently been seen on Apple’s Commuter Coach buses, and executives for the chipmaker have been spotted on their way out of meetings with members of Apple’s top brass, according to people familiar with the matter. The meetings have reportedly included briefings by AMD that have since enabled Apple to begin working with AMD processors in its labs as part of an initiative to position the chips inside some of the company’s forthcoming products.”

After having spent quite a lot of time on AMDs Austin, TX campus a few weeks ago, I cannot say I am surprised by this turn of events. I know from first-hand experience what AMD has coming down the pipeline. I have to agree with the article when they speculate at the end about having excellent performance with AMD at a fraction of the cost they have with Intel.

ATI is a part of the AMD family. That side of the company produces graphics chips that Apple already uses in some of its models. This means that Apple could deliver a total package of AMD and ATI components which will give you good performance (along with excellent graphics performance) at a much lower price than they can currently offer with Intel.

I currently have the new Acer Ferrari One on my desk. This little machine is powered by the Turion line of AMD processors. “Good” performance? Hardly. This thing is a workhorse of a machine. In the past, I’ve had the pleasure of using a machine running with the quad-core Phenom 9700 processor from AMD. I was more than impressed with how well the system ran. There is no way I can agree with AppleInsider’s report when they say that “AMD currently offers few advantages in terms of performance or efficiency.”

It’s going to be interesting to watch this story develop. I am all for opening things up and offering more choices for consumers, as you well know. And hey… who would complain if a great processor was included at a lower price?