Hairy, I know..

Doctor Who TARDIS Tattoo – Complete!

I’m so super stoked that my TARDIS tattoo is finally complete! I sat with Guf on Friday for an extended, elbow grinding session and I couldn’t be more pleased with the results!

This my next session will be to freshen up my lower arm to tie it into the newer top portion a bit better, then we’ll discuss my next piece. Can’t wait.

Doctor Who TARDIS tattoo (Complete) on Vladzilla by Guf of Tattoo Royale in San Diego, CA.
Doctor Who TARDIS tattoo (Complete) – Details, on Vladzilla by Guf of Tattoo Royale in San Diego, CA.
Doctor Who TARDIS tattoo (Complete) – Bananas! on Vladzilla by Guf of Tattoo Royale in San Diego, CA.

Oh, and now I’ll always bring a banana with me to parties!

All colored in except the tentacles

Doctor Who TARDIS Tattoo – Progress 3

Took another trip to SoCal with my amazing wife to spend the holiday weekend with family and to have another 4.5 hours worth of work done on my TARDIS sleeve.  I’ve gotta say that coloring in the Dalek hurt like a mother fucker.  Isn’t that appropriate?..

All colored in except the tentacles
Doctor Who TARDIS tattoo (2nd color session) on Vladzilla by Guf of Tattoo Royale in San Diego, CA.
All colored in except the Doctor and the tentacles
Doctor Who TARDIS tattoo (2nd color session) on Vladzilla by Guf of Tattoo Royale in San Diego, CA.





How To Connect Xbox Wireless Controller Receiver (Aftermarket) to PC

Did you buy one of those aftermarket Microsoft Xbox 360 wireless controller receivers for your PC?  Did it come with a worthless CD labeled “PC Driver”?  Having trouble getting the damn receiver drivers to work with your Windows Vista, 7 or 8 OS?  No problem, just follow these simple steps which, by the way, also work for the Official (expensive) Microsoft version of the receiver hardware (pictured below):

  1. Go to the Device Manager
  2. Look for an “Unidentified/Unknown Device” (Yellow triangle with “!”)
  3. Right click on the device –> click Properties
  4. Driver –> Update driver
  5. Browse my computer –> Let me pick from a list of drivers on my computer
  6. All devices –> Microsoft (If MS is not listed its okay)
  7. Choose XBox 360 Wireless Receiver for Windows –> Next
  8. When the driver warning pops up say yes or next.

A couple things to note: this method works for all of the Xbox 360 wireless receivers for PC.  It doesn’t matter which version you have or who made it.  They come in black, white, clear, with markings, without markings, etc…  It doesn’t matter.

Also, some people go through hell trying to install it on their own before looking up instructions online.  If you’re one of these people, chances are you may have a goofy, nonfunctioning install of the device sitting in your device manager.  If this is the case, start by right-clicking the device in Device Manager and selecting “Uninstall” to remove the device from the list.  Then unplug the device, reboot your PC and plug it back in before following the directions above.

Lastly, I’ve been told this works with Windows XP as well, but if you’re still using XP you’ve got other issues…

Install the Xbox 360 wireless controller receiver for PC drivers manually
Install the Xbox 360 wireless controller receiver for PC drivers manually

How to Open Steam Games in Windowed Mode

Were you wondering how to change your steam settings to open a game in windowed mode?  So was I.  Here’s what I found.  It’s a 20 second video from Portalzombies on YouTube showing you how to do it (super easy).  Basically, you just right click on your game in the Steam Library and choose properties.  Then, you click on the “Set Launch Options…” button and type “-windowed” in the field (minus the quotation marks).

-edit: This doesn’t work with Planet Side 2.  It crashes the game.


Yes, my phone is also a TARDIS.

TARDIS Tattoo: Progress

I just went under the needle for the line work and some of the shading shading of my new Doctor Who inspired tattoo.  Drawn and tattooed entirely by Guf, owner of Tattoo Royale in San Diego.  I traveled 500 miles to get this work done. Totally worth it, can’t wait to get the color work started in a few short weeks!

Yes, my phone is also a TARDIS.
Stoked on my new Piece!
The Doctor depicted here is Ten.
Closeup at different angles.



My new custom Doctor Who coffee mug

Custom Doctor Who Mug

My secret Santa bought me this super cool, customizable mug for Christmas from Starbucks.  It took me until now (May) to finally whip out the pen it came with and draw on the damn thing but I’m totally stoked on the results.  My wife tells me that if I’m inclined to make more of these she’ll sell them on Etsy.  Stay tuned 😛




Proper Thermal Paste Application (CPU)

If you’ve ever needed to know how to apply thermal paste here’s a great video from Tek Syndicate which covers all of the popular methods and does a pretty good job of proving why most of them are garbage.  I’ve been using the “Pea Method” for years and it hasn’t failed me, but in light of what I’ve just learned I will be promptly switching to the “Metal Method” (as seen on the video at 1:50).


Vlad's Gaming Rig

New Liquid Cooled Custom Gaming PC

I just finished building a new rig and I’ve gotta say I’m super stoked about it.  The goal was to build a machine that could play current FPS titles (Battlefield 3) on “Ultra” video settings without overclocking and while staying roughly around a $1K-ish budget.  Additionally, I wanted the machine to run cool and QUIET.  That last one I just threw in there is the kicker, actually, because quiet is a bit difficult to achieve on a budget.

Here’s what I built:

  • MOBO – ASUS M5A99FX Pro 2.0
  • CPU – AMD FX-8230 8 Core 3.5Ghz (4.0Ghz turbo)
  • CPU Cooling – Corsair H100i Extreme Liquid CPU Cooler
  • RAM – Corsair Dominator Platinum DDR3 8GB
  • Video – EVGA NVidia GeForce GTX 570 1GB
  • OS Drive – Samsung 840pro 256GB SSD
  • HDDs – (Various sizes and speeds)
  • Disk Drive – ASUS BW-12B1ST Bluray Writer
  • Case – Corsair C70 “Vengeance” ATX Mid-Tower (Black)
  • Case Cooling – Corsair stock 120mm fans x6 + 2 on H100i radiator
  • PSU – Corsair TX750M 750w Modular Power Supply
Vlad's Gaming Rig
Vlad’s Gaming Rig

The first thing I noticed upon firing it up once the OS (Windows 8 pro 64bit) was installed is that the 840pro SSD took my typical few-minute boot-nap and turned it into a six-second party from cold and dead to fully fired up and ready.  Awesome.  Then I fired up Battlefield 3.  Now typically when you play current FPS titles on a AMD FX 8 Core processor it tends to run really hot and if you used the stock fan+heatsink combo you notice that it really screams trying to keep up with all of the heat that the chip is generating.  This wasn’t the case with this build since it is liquid cooled.  When I fired up BF3 and ran it at max settings there was no change in sound from the PC, just the sounds of battle and flying bullets from the game.

See the next image for a brief summary and conclusion:


A final word for the enthusiasts out there who expend tons of blood, sweat and tears, (not to mention gobs of mullah), this setup is not “top-of-the-line” by any means, nor is it my intension to present it as such.  The ultimate goal here was to build a kick-ass machine that can handle all current (and near-future) content like a champ without putting a massive dent in my wallet and blowing out my eardrums with a million decibels worth of fan cooling.  Mission accomplished.  That being said, if you have the cash with nothing better to spend it on consider the possibilities of building a machine that will cause a brownout in your area when you power it on.  Think about how badass your rig will be when it takes a custom cooling loop that only runs on unicorn tears to cool it.  That’s right, you’ll be like Conan the destroyer in Lil Wayne’s jeans with women clinging tenaciously to your ankles everywhere you go…   Until then, build something awesome that’s within your means, but whatever you do try to do as much of it as you can yourself.  It’s so much more rewarding that buying out of the box.

Edit, January 10, 2014:

My buddy just hooked me up with his spare GTX 580 video card last night! Triple screen setup, incoming!