Deals! 4/17/14 (PC Games, Chromebooks, Wii U, Movies, Music)

It’s almost the weekend again, so let’s kick it off right with some deals!

PC Games!

HumbleBundle has two nice deals going right now, one for mobile (Android) and one for PC. 

This week’s Weekly Sale is a nice collection of games from Devolver Digital: 

Name your price gets you: 

  • The Real Texas (Destructoid: 8.5/10)
  • Cryptic Sea EP
  • Dungeon Hearts (Destructoid: 7/10)

Stepping up to $6 gets you: 

  • Foul Play (Destructoid: 5.5/10)
  • Legend of Dungeon (Destructoid: 7/10)
  • Krunch (Destructoid: 8/10)

Finally, $10 gets you: 

  • Tower of Guns (Destructoid: 8.5/10)

If you have any interest at all in Tower of Guns, which is a very well-received blend of twitch-shooter FPS and rogue-like genres, go for the $10 level, as Tower of Guns alone is normally $14.99. Of the rest, I’ve only played Foul Play, and despite the low score from Destructoid (which was the lowest on Metacritic), I found it to be a fun co-op brawler along the lines of Castle Crashers. As you can see above, most of these games have solid review scores. 

As always with HumbleBundle, you’re getting Steam copies plus DRM-free copies, for multiple platforms where applicable, and some of your purchase price is going to support charity (amounts at your discretion).


In addition, they’ve also got some deals on the Humble Store, including:

  • Red Faction Collection $9.99
  • Darksiders $4.99
  • Darksiders 2 $7.49
  • Titan Quest Gold $4.99
  • Supreme Commander Gold $4.99

GamersGate has sales on Tropico and Fallout titles, including:

  • Fallout 3 $3.99
  • Fallout: New Vegas $3.99
  • Tropico 4 $4.00



Continue reading Deals! 4/17/14 (PC Games, Chromebooks, Wii U, Movies, Music)

Chromebook Buyers Guide – Spring 2014

Chromebook Buyers Guide – Spring 2014

Until recently, Chromebook options were pretty limited, but over the past six months we’ve seen an explosion of models hit the market. Most of these devices are pretty similar in specifications and cost, so telling the models apart, and understanding what makes each one different, has become difficult.

To help, I’ve put together a document listing the currently available Chromebooks and some of their key differentiating factors:  Chromebook Comparison – Spring 2014

Below are the categories of differentiation I looked at during this exercise:

  • Price (MSRP)
  • Processor (Make/model)
  • Screen Size and resolution
  • RAM (GB)
  • SSD (GB)
  • Weight (Lbs)
  • USB Ports (3.0 and 2.0 – quantity of each)
  • HDMI (Yes/No)
  • Touchscreen (Yes/No)
  • 4G Wireless (Yes/No)

I’ve also listed some miscellaneous notes or comments about the models at the end.

Note that for those looking to install Ubuntu on their system, either through Crouton or a dual-boot, my recommendation is to get a model that has:

  • RAM:  4 GB
  • Processor: 1.4 GHz Celeron 2955U (Intel – Haswell microarchitecture)

This will maximize both your performance and compatibility with Ubuntu (and WINE, if you want to use .exe files). Among the models available right now, this pushes you toward the Dell 11 or HP 14.

Continue reading Chromebook Buyers Guide – Spring 2014

Deals! 4/14/14 (PC Games, Tablets, Movies)

Some quick specials today:  Games, Kindle Fire tablets, and Movies…


Green Man Gaming (GMG) has a week long sale with new specials each today.  Highlights from today:

  • Tomb Raider GOTY Edition $7.49
  • Arkham Origins $9.99 (Season Pass $4.99)
  • Injustice: Gods Among Us Ult. Edition $12.49
  • Final Fantasy VII  $5.99
  • Final Fantasy VIII $5.99
  • Scribblenauts Unmasked $7.49



Continue reading Deals! 4/14/14 (PC Games, Tablets, Movies)

Chromebooks: Classic Game Emulation via Crouton

Ubuntu Emulation

If you have Ubuntu running on your system, you have an abundance of emulation options available to play classic games and game systems. So, in addition to the native gaming options available in Linux via Crouton that I discussed here you can also turn your Chromebook or Chromebox into a pretty awesome classic gaming box using Crouton!

Below, I’ve compiled the steps needed to emulate NES, SNES, GBA, PS1, Sega Saturn, and N64 games, though this is not a complete list; there are native emulation programs for Atari, arcade games, PS2, Gamecube, and more!

With that out of the way, let’s get into some classic gaming…


FCEUX is an NES emulator, and it is pretty awesome.  It lets you take screenshots, record video, and it ran every ROM I threw at it. Step 1:  Install the software by entering the following into a terminal:

sudo apt-get install fceux

Then, open the program, select Options -> Video Preferences, and click off “Enable OpenGL”.  Failure to do this will prevent full-screen functionality from working.  And, that’s it – this is a great emulator.  I tested:

  • Contra
  • Mike Tyson’s Punchout
  • Super Mario Brothers
  • Metroid
  • The Legend of Zelda

All worked, no issues.

Continue reading Chromebooks: Classic Game Emulation via Crouton

Deals! 4/12/14 (Games, Movies)

Nice mix of PC games on sale, and a few movie deals as well.  Let’s take a look…


Steam is running a sale on Daedalic games titles, including among others:   

  • Blackguards $19.99 – Best price so far
  • Deponia $1.99 


GamersGate has, among others, a sale on Telltale Games titles including:     

  • Walking Dead Season 1 + 400 Days $7.49 – If you missed this somehow, buy it, it is fantastic


Continue reading Deals! 4/12/14 (Games, Movies)

Luftrausers running on an Acer C720 Chromebook via Crouton

Video of Luftrausers running on Steam on an Acer C720 Chromebook. I’m using Crouton to run Ubuntu 13.04 and the XFCE desktop on a USB 3.0 Flash Drive. Great game, and it runs perfectly, and it even synced up my Steam save from gameplay on my Windows PC. Very cool.

Fore more information on gaming on a Chromebook using Crouton, see here:

Minecraft On a Chromebook!

Running Minecraft on an Acer C720 Chromebook…

The Acer C720, at $199.99, is one of the best deals in computers, period. You can install Ubuntu 13.04 (Raring) via Crouton and do some amazing things with this device – including, install and play Minecraft! The game runs pretty well.

For more information including links to how to install Ubuntu (Linux) on your Chromebook, and how to install Minecraft, see here:

Deals! 4/9/14 (Chromebook, PC Games, SD Cards)

Some quick deals for today…


Best Buy has the Acer C720P for $249.99.  This is the Acer C720 2 GB of RAM but in white, with a touchscreen, and 32 GB SSD (instead of 16 GB).  A $50 discount on a $300 computer is pretty significant.  Buy it here.


Continue reading Deals! 4/9/14 (Chromebook, PC Games, SD Cards)

Chromebooks, Part 3: Beyond Chrome OS – Ubuntu and Crouton

Note:  This is part three of a multi-part series about Chromebooks, consisting of the following:

Part 1:  What is a Chromebook?

Part 2:  What Can I Do with a Chromebook?

Part 3: Beyond Chrome OS – Ubuntu and Crouton


Before we get started, a few points.  If you’re starting here, I’m going to assume you’re already familiar with the concept of Chromebooks. If that isn’t the case, skip back to one of the earlier parts and then come back.

I’m also going to assume you have a passing familiarity with Linux and Ubuntu – not how they work, perhaps, but what they are.  If not, here’s a great intro you may want to check out before proceeding:

Introduction to Ubuntu


Expanding your Chromebook’s Horizons

I’ve written about what Chromebooks can and cannot do in the first two parts of this series, and for the vast majority of Chromebook users, this part is going to be superfluous.  If you’re looking for a laptop mainly for using the web, that also has some ability to open and edit basic Office files, and has great battery life and a cheap price, a Chromebook is a great option for you.  Similarly for those who don’t want or need to deal with the hassles of managing a Windows PC, or just can’t do so, a Chromebook is an ideal option for entertainment and light productivity.

But, if you’re willing to invest a little time and energy, your Chromebook can actually be more.  A LOT more.  In fact, it can do some of the things that I said a Chromebook can’t do:

  • You can install Steam for Linux and play native Linux games, or directly install Linux games via download from HumbleBundle
  • You can run some .exe files meaning you have access to some Windows software
  • You may be able to print to your network printer (ignoring the Google Cloud Printing nonsense)
  • You can install native Linux programs for far more advanced music, video, movie, photo, and programming options than you have in Chrome OS

Basically, you can “unlock” your Chromebook from Chrome OS into a full-on desktop environment that works much like Windows or OSX, giving you a full file management system, the ability to use other browsers like Firebox and Internet Explorer, and a full library of software you can’t find in Chrome OS.

For me, it was all about the games.

Here’s what the Unity 13.04 desktop looks like on a Chromebook.  Note how similar this looks to a more traditional PC or Mac experience:


I’m Interested, Tell me More

If you’re still with me, let’s start to talk options and decisions.

Continue reading Chromebooks, Part 3: Beyond Chrome OS – Ubuntu and Crouton

Deals! 4/2/14 (PC Games, Movies, Music)

Some quick deals to pass on for today.  Today’s edition of deals brought to you at cruising altitude from my American Airlines flight to Dallas, TX courtesy of a Gogo in-flight wireless voucher that was free with my Chromebook!


Gamefly Digital is having a nice sale on PC RPG bundles that’s worth checking out. They have a 20% coupon voucher as well but not sure if you can double-dip these.

Gamefly Digital RPG Sale (PC)

  • Mass Effect Trilogy $13.20
  • Kingdoms of Alamur: Reckoning Complete $9.99
  • Dragon Age Bundle (I & II) $12.49
  • Deus Ex Collection (Deux Ex, Invisible War, Human Revolution Dir. Cut) $13.59
  • The Witcher Bundle (I & II) $14.99

Of these, they’re all pretty good collections, but I’d recommend Mass Effect Trilogy and Kingdoms of Amalur speaking just on price.  The others have been cheaper, and are on sale pretty often; for example the Witcher has been $1.99 and Witcher II is often $4.99, so I’d pass on that one.

Continue reading Deals! 4/2/14 (PC Games, Movies, Music)