I'm working on a couple fairly cool articles this week, as you can probably tell from the title of this blog post.

We've finally gotten our hands on a Radeon HD 4870 1GB card. Hot on the heels of the updated GeForce GTX 260 with an extra TPC enabled comes the expanded memory version of the 4870. Added memory has its limits in terms of what it can do for hardware, but our initial tests indicate that at the high end and with specific games we do see a healthy benefit. Which is nice. We'll have all the results and details sometime later this week.

Also on the docket is a Rock Band 2 review, and Anand just got the ION Drum Rocker premium drum kit. It is hands and feet above both the Rock Band and Rock Band 2 drum kits. We still haven't gotten the blue cymbal yet, but with the yellow and green cymbals, it's still pretty neat. The only problem is that, after having gotten used to playing the Rock Band kits, it's tough to start playing the game more like a real drum kit.

One of the major differences is the kick pedal. It's actually a foot switch more in line with what I've seen used for the hi-hat pedal on electric kits. It's still better than what comes with the stock kits. But I really want something more like the kick setup for the Roland V-Drums.

Which made me think ... this thing is a drum kit paired with an XBox 360 controller with quarter inch jacks built in. And it just so happens that the V-Drums use the same connections. I wonder if I can get my dad to lend me his kick pedal setup from his kit so I can try out putting something much more natural feeling on there. Might work, might not, but we'll never know til we try it right?

Anyway, I still can't play the Dream Theater song, but the ION gets me upto 6% from the 3% I could manage with the stock kit. Which is something I guess.

So, that's what is on my plate in terms of articles this week. But I've also been working on something else in the background.

A while ago I posted a community update talking about what's going on in the forums. I wanted this to be a regular occurrence, but there has been a lot going on behind the scenes and I haven't been able to keep up with it as of yet. I do plan on getting back to the community updates once we get through this next major hurdle.

We are switching forum platforms from FuseTalk to vBulletin.

We've been with FT since 1999, but we've out grown the software and need something that is easier to manage in order to provide a better service to our members.

With the move to vB, we will see lots of changes. Most visibly will be the fact that we will be allowing inline images. We are also going to be making some changes that will help us better handle member complaints. While we don't have a schedule set in stone (we will make the move sometime before the end of the year, but that's as specific as I want to get right now), it currently looks like we will have about two days of down time when we make the switch. This down time will be required to import the FuseTalk database into a vBulletin database and then clean up the imported data.

With the expanded software tools, we are looking at making a few other changes as well, but I do want to keep some of it a surprise :-)

So that's the quick update for now. When we finally have a schedule we can stick to, we'll let everyone know. We're hoping sooner rather than later, but you know how it is. That's it for now -- it's back to work for me (where'd I put my drum sticks).

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  • incinerate - Wednesday, September 24, 2008 - link

    Wasn't this supposed to have made its debut this month? Has it been delayed Anand?
  • R4F43LZiN - Tuesday, September 23, 2008 - link

    Wich Dream Theater song?

    (hardcore Dream Theater fan and drummer here =P)
  • killerroach - Wednesday, September 24, 2008 - link

    It's Panic Attack, off of Octavarium.
  • crimson117 - Friday, September 26, 2008 - link

    I imagine the vocals are impossible as well. Also the bass. Guitar, too. :)

    <3 Dream Theater
  • James5mith - Tuesday, September 23, 2008 - link

    I would imagine you would see more efficient use of resources as well with the switch. PHP/MySQL vs. ColdFusion based software is a no contest in my opinion. I have been playing around with YaBB, phpBB, FuseTalk, and vBulletin, and the php/MySQL solutions have always been the most responsive, most scalable solutions on my hardware configurations.

    Glad to hear that you are switching to a better platform that is more scalable. It's not that expensive a piece of software, and the support, community, and general bulletproof nature make it well worth it.
  • Staples - Tuesday, September 23, 2008 - link

    There are multiple versions of FT. I think the one anandtech is using is asp.net. If that is the case, then there is hardly a case of database responsiveness. The software on the other hand leaves mpre to be desired. I am just sad to see that everyone I know will now be using vBulletin. That is not to say vBulletin is bad, just that there is just no diversity in commercial BBs anymore.
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