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Office Nerfing Review: Firefly (& Vs. Dart Tag)


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#1 CSMaclaren

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Posted 29 August 2005 - 03:37 PM

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I needed to kill time so I dropped into Toys 'R Us. Imagine my surprise to see the NERF N-Strike "FireFly" on the shelves! Up until recently the FireFly was only sold at WalMart (not to mention sold out).

As you've heard me share before, here in the office we standardize on the Nerf Maverick Rev-6. It is an excellent starter weapon with 6 rounds. You cock the gun's slider, and then you fire. Each time you fire, the barrel automatically rotates to bring the next foam dart in line with the air stream and out the dart goes and gets some helpless employee, so you get to see him/her twitch into body configurations not normally seen in a professional setting (just don't do that when clients/customers are actually on the premises!)

When some of us heard of the Rev-8 Firefly we wanted it badly. Some of us are Stargate SG-1 fans so the P90-style configuration immediately had an appeal. Having an 8-shot capacity would naturally be superior to only having 6-shots. Then when we first saw a photo some of us went, "Well... it's a bit bulky looking.... looks a little silly and toyish but okay, I still have to have the 8 shots."

Hasbro, the manufacturer of NERF guns, announced the FireFly would be out late Summer. However, the FireFly's release in Toy's R Us was preceded by the Dart Tag. (Note: technically the FireFly was out several weeks back but here in our area there is only one WalMart and it's location isn't entirely convenient, whereas there are many Toys 'R Us stores in our metropolitan area.) The Dart Tag is an approximately $40 investment for two guns, each of them 10-shot. We acquired some for the office and our Nerf wars escalated in proprotion to our greed for greater firepower. But more on that later.

First the FireFly review, from an Office Nerfer's viewpoint. We are adults, mind you. But just because we're all between 25-45 years old, it doesn't mean that there isn't a dweeby childlike side to us. We love Nerf. The only difference between us and teenagers is that many of us have aching joints, arthritis, tendonitis, fatigue, fat, or a complete lack of exercise. But we still like to have fun. Office Nerfing is a very good way of relieving stress and increasing the company's team dynamic, increasing productivity and internal communication. It bolsters confidence and quality of each nerfers core competencies. I write all this in corporate lingo so any of you dubious managers out there who think I'm full of nonsense can identify (I am a Marketing Manager).

The N-Strike family of NERF guns are a very handsome and sporty envisionment of futuristic firearms. The colors are primarily a sporting orange, yellow, publish-blue, bright orange and gray. The advantage of these looks is that the guns look hella cool (okay I sound like a kid even though I'll be 40 in a few years) and there's no mistaking these guns for real firearms should cops ever show up to look into your activities. The FireFly is not so much a cousin to the Maverick but more like a Big Brother. A big honking huge bigger brother.

First, aesthetics and handling. The FireFly handles like a dream. It fits very snugly against my biceps. It's not too heavy or unwieldly. I have medium sized hands, and I applaud Hasbro for making these adult friendly, since grownups will likely play with kids (attention grownups: make sure everyone wears eye protection. Darts in the eye sting like crazy!) Again it looks hella cool and bespeaks power. People around the office immediately become more intimidated because it's bigger and bolder-looking. The FireFly's looks definitely reinforce the color and design scheme established for the Maverick Rev-6 as well as the single shot Nite Finder.

There are some cons, however, to the design. First, the natural tendency is to do something with your second hand, i.e. grip something on the front to steady your fire. As this is a NERF gun there is no recoil. However there is nothing to grip like on a real P90 assault weapon. There is a tiny area under the trigger. I think that your second hand will instead be cocking the gun's topmost orange slider so that you can fire the darts.

The FireFly, again, supports 8 foam darts in the barrel, and interestingly the barrel is transparent. Adding batteries to a compartment and activating a switch causes a lightbulb within the gun to turn on, thereby exposing darts to light. Why? So that at night you can have some fun with glowing darts. From a marketing standpoint, this is ingenious but this is where the execution falls short somewhat. The suction cup tips of the white darts do glow in the dark, but not the white foam darts themselves. Instead, Hasbro ships the FireFly with some sticky labels that you roll and adhere to the dart's foam, and the labels themselves glow-in-the-dark. Now for us adults this might end up being a total waste of time. Unless a label is essential for describing the function of a gun (e.g. the RapidFire 20's "full auto" versus "select fire" modes) then we adults may not go as far as sticking every single sticker on a product that ships with it.

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The stock has a depressed area that holds 4 rounds on either side. This can be useful because it sucks to run out of ammo in an office fight. Normally we just wait to be fired at and we pick up the opponents' darts off the floor, stick them in our gun, and fire them back. Usually we don't need to carry extra ammo. (Don't carry them in your pocket. If you forget and you sit down, you'll scrunch up the foam.)

The barrel is opened and while the darts that ship with the gun do fit in snugly, there is a slight chance they'll side out of the barrel onto the floor. But this disadvantage applies to almost all Nerf guns, with the exeception of the Maverick Rev-6.

The stock has a little plastic bar that looks like it would have supported a hook for a strap. But ideally there should have been a second hook so that if you found such a harness to wear, the gun could remain horizontal and your darts wouldn't slide out onto the ground, but unfortunately Hasbro didn't execute on that. Having such a feature would allow you to have the FireFly as a primary weapon and a holstered Maverick as a backup. With that firepower you could take on someone with a Dart Tag. Because you can't effectively use two cock-and-fire guns at the same time, after you deplete one gun you can go to the next.

Now the range. Our current office champion - the Dart Tag - wowed us with its range. From an Office Nerfing perspective, when discussing a Nerf gun's range, most people will fire straight, leaping out from behind cubicle walls. You're lucky if a dart goes 12-15 feet or more. But it's not an impressive distance but then again you might not need it to go that far. In order to get that annoying employee farther away, you do have to angle your gun somewhat. When you see people's reviews on the web on how a Nerf dart went 80-120 feet and you wonder why you can't replicate that in the office, well there are factors involved: wind speed and direction, and are they holding the gun up at a 45 degree angle? Bear in mind that if you do any Office Nerfing there is this thing called the ceiling.

So here are some tests I ran.

Initially I was concerned with the range of the FireFly when fired just dead straight. It didn't seem to be that much more than a Maverick. But I didn't want to give up on it just yet. When I used Whistler Micro Darts (these are round-headed darts that have a hole that when fired create a whistling sound that make employees duck for cover) the more aerodynamic design allows the dart to go farther. Angling the FireFly up slightly I managed to fire a Whistler into the CEO's office, achieving a respectable distance of approx. 35-40 feet. Now that was impressive. Firing the suction-cup tipped darts didn't achieve nearly that range.

When I used a microdart in a Dart Tag, thet Dart Tag achieved a 30-35 foot range. Bear in mind that darts aren't very accurate. Some will fly higher or lower than you intended per any deformations or bends in the foam. So it's very difficult to get an accurate apples-to-apples comparison of ranges.

Then I realized why we liked the Dart Tag. The micro-velcro-tipped darts are round-headed and more aerodynamic and thus have greater range than a Maverick using suction-cupped tipped darts. We've used Whistler ammo in Mavericks and have had great range. (Warning, don't get shot in the eye like I did with a velcro tipped darts. We may be decommissioning such ammo and will be mostly using Whistlers for range and for the fun sound.)

Followup tests showed that the FireFly consistently fired Whistler ammo farther than Mavericks. The darts seemed to not flail around but go on a relatively unwavering path. Aiming is not as easy as with a pistol but you get used to "guesstimates" quite nicely.

The barrel appears to be of similar design to that of the Maverick. Those into modifications will notice similar kind of springs and stems as the Maverick and will likely attempt to remove them to increase the airflow. The annoying part of these objects (or obstacles) is that if a Nerf dart's foam is slightly too narrow, it won't stay in the chamber and the spring will cause it to stick out like a sore thumb; it won't fire.

Like the Maverick, a Whistler dart that is not fully inserted but pops out could cause the gun to jam. This is easily remedied - just stuffing the round deeper into its chamber. It's open design allows you to easily replenish the barrel with darts lying around the ground.

In conclusion, I think the FireFly is a great buy. It may be 2 rounds short of the 10-round Dart Tag, but it has superior looks to the Dart Tag and superior range. It wields well, and seems reasonably accurate. For office Nerfing there is no need to modify this gun to have a lot of fun. If you're like me and work some evenings or weekends, you probably don't have much free time to modify the toy gun in any way. I'm satisfied with the FireFly as it is though I might consider an attachment near the front that will allow me to hook up a harness at both ends of the gun so I can then fall back to a Maverick. But at the rate we fire darts at each other in the office, a backup weapon isn't necessarily needed.

Summary:

AESTHETICS: 8
HANDLING: 8
OFFICE RANGE: 8.5
ACCURACY: 7

OVERALL: 8

Edited by CSMaclaren, 29 August 2005 - 03:48 PM.

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#2 Black Wrath

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Posted 29 August 2005 - 03:52 PM

Wow?

That was a very in-depth review, but there was also a lot of filler there too. Thanks for taking, what looked like an hour, to present us with that.

It'll probably help a few people decided whether to get it.
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#3 Pineapple

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Posted 29 August 2005 - 06:41 PM

We are adults, mind you.  But just because we're all between 25-45 years old, it doesn't mean that there isn't a dweeby childlike side to us.  We love Nerf.  The only difference between us and teenagers is that many of us have aching joints, arthritis, tendonitis, fatigue, fat, or a complete lack of exercise.  But we still like to have fun. 


Hear, hear.
Actually, before I began to Nerf seriously in the office, I was 15 lbs. overweight (170), had a lot more around the waist, borderline cholesterol numbers, pretty much remained in an office chair, and wasn't overly active, save for the occasional bike ride.

Nowadays, I'm 5 lbs. heavier (175), much more in the way of solid muscle mass, have a lot more energy, cholesterol numbers that probably beat out some of you young ones, less stress, and of course, my kids think that a Nerf dad is pretty darn cool.

Dweeby or not, I attribute my life's upswing to Nerfing, at least indirectly.


When you see people's reviews on the web on how a Nerf dart went 80-120 feet and you wonder why you can't replicate that in the office...bear in mind that if you do any Office Nerfing there is this thing called the ceiling. 


Yeah, but when I was based at the home office, we Nerfed with SM1500s and AT2000 and 3000s, single barreled. We could shoot 80-90 feet straight line, or plug guys at 10-15 feet. "Positive feedback" (welts) was the definite incentive to not get caught or get hit. It was fun.

But at the rate we fire darts at each other in the office, a backup weapon isn't necessarily needed.



Yeah, usually our conflicts/ encounters were resolved by the time we used up 5-6 rounds too.

Thanks for that review, from an office Nerfer's standpoint. I'm going to town in two weeks, and I was wondering about the new line-up. Not sure if they'll be here, though, Hawaii STILL doesn't carry the N-Strike UPS system in stores. Curious, huh.


-Piney-
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#4 Talio

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Posted 29 August 2005 - 08:19 PM

I think your boss is going to fire you for wasting productivity. You posted it in the middle of the day, so obviously you were at work. I'll tell you what, I can find you something to do, because I'm busier then a one armed hooker in a sexual offenders half way house.

Other then that, it was uh...long. I'm really not sure how to take it. On one hand I want to smack you and tell you to get back to work. The other side remembers we have an Unreal and Battlefield 2 server running in our office. As if I ever get to play it during hours though. God damn work.

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#5 The Infinite Shindig

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Posted 29 August 2005 - 08:20 PM

Well CSMaclaren I think you proved a very important point here that applies to office nerfers and non-officer nerfers alike. The quality and type of darts do matter when range is taken into account. From my own experience, I have noticed as much as 75% varying difference in range depending on darts.

In reference to your range complaints, I can assure you that office nerf most likely doesn't need the range of outside Nerf. I used to do preliminary range testing in my basement. Since it is half finished, half unfinished we have had a war or two down there. Indoor Nerf is completely different than outdoor Nerf. What you guys use is most likely fine, and frankly I wouldn't want to be in a skirmish indoors with a gun that shoots over 50 feet. It just seems unsafe otherwise.
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#6 CSMaclaren

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Posted 30 August 2005 - 10:55 AM

I think your boss is going to fire you for wasting productivity.  You posted it in the middle of the day, so obviously you were at work.  I'll tell you what, I can find you something to do, because I'm busier then a one armed hooker in a sexual offenders half way house.

Other then that, it was uh...long.  I'm really not sure how to take it.  On one hand I want to smack you and tell you to get back to work.  The other side remembers we have an Unreal and Battlefield 2 server running in our office.  As if I ever get to play it during hours though.  God damn work.

Talio.

Are you feeling a bit grumpy today administering NerfHaven from work, or are you still mad at me from months ago? :blink:

The heads of my company love the Nerfing and they use Nerf guns.

The length of the article is necessary because an absolute newcomer may not have the inside knowledge you all have to understand NERFing.

Edited by CSMaclaren, 30 August 2005 - 11:14 AM.

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#7 Talio

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Posted 30 August 2005 - 11:17 AM

God damn. You guys don't take sarcasm well. I thought the fact that we have game servers running would have given that away.

Actually I'll defend myself by saying that I typed that at home...but read the article at work. So there. I am curious however what company would allow it you guys to go this far with it. I understand possible team building exercises (we usually just go to the bar) but if it's on company time, you need more work. I'm typing this up on my lunch break (all 20 minutes of it).

I'm cool with my job, however I am busy as hell. I'm a system engineer for a very very big bank and work in a three floor data center. In other words, busy as hell. I love my job and am doing just fine, but thanks for the help. I'm sure a dude spending his hours playing with toys and talking on forums is pure gold in your field.

Talio.
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#8 cxwq

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Posted 30 August 2005 - 11:23 AM

My job cycles tend to go as follows:

Year 1-2: Get a new job, work your ass off, change lots of things that are broken, implement new programs, start a long range project or two.

Year 3-4: Things are starting to click. You have a chance to take a breath now and then. Realize some of the time savings that your processes have created.

Year 5-6: You have a harder time seeing the places where you should innovate because you've looked at the same systems for so long. Everything is almost habitual and you're starting to think about the day when you...

goto Year 1-2;

While I appreciate the dedication Talio has towards his work and have felt the same way from time to time, I absolutely need to have fun at work or it's not worth it. I do not believe that the work is the only reward - that's corporate brainwashing. It's great to enjoy what you do, but you're not going to enjoy it for long if it's all you do. Google forces their employees to have a side project to work on one day a week. They realize that doing the same thing 40+ hours per week is not good food for a creative mind. That's in addition to the regular hockey games they play. An office that isn't nerfing each other or playing hockey in the parking lot mid-afternoon or doing something active and fun is sitting in their cubes half-asleep listening to the drone of the ventilation system.
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#9 CSMaclaren

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Posted 30 August 2005 - 01:00 PM

My job cycles tend to go as follows:

Year 1-2: Get a new job, work your ass off, change lots of things that are broken, implement new programs, start a long range project or two.

Year 3-4: Things are starting to click. You have a chance to take a breath now and then. Realize some of the time savings that your processes have created.

Year 5-6: You have a harder time seeing the places where you should innovate because you've looked at the same systems for so long. Everything is almost habitual and you're starting to think about the day when you...

goto Year 1-2;

While I appreciate the dedication Talio has towards his work and have felt the same way from time to time, I absolutely need to have fun at work or it's not worth it. I do not believe that the work is the only reward - that's corporate brainwashing. It's great to enjoy what you do, but you're not going to enjoy it for long if it's all you do. Google forces their employees to have a side project to work on one day a week. They realize that doing the same thing 40+ hours per week is not good food for a creative mind. That's in addition to the regular hockey games they play. An office that isn't nerfing each other or playing hockey in the parking lot mid-afternoon or doing something active and fun is sitting in their cubes half-asleep listening to the drone of the ventilation system.


I'm more than sympathetic for Talio's position. I used to be a systems engineer and I was posted by my company at a bank. We had to wear shirt, slacks and tie. Banks tend to be very "east coast" in their culture. Everything is very rigid and there is very little room for fun. Talio is in a corporate environment that is very competitive and political and if he fires just one Nerf dart he could get called in by a manager, Human Resources, or get fired if he ticks off the wrong person.

Our corporate culture is very much t-shirts and jeans. I've been with the company full time for months before we got funded (i.e. worked for free) so I have had the privilege of helping guide the corporate culture. My boss (a VP) and I had a Nerf firefight last Friday, in fact. The CEO has had occasion to test out my Nerf guns.

Being an SE is hard because people call on you when things break, and if you don't fix it in a timely fashion you're shot down big time. You're also working in an environment where fellow employees are trying to "one-up" you to come across as better or more knowledgeable and more intelligent; they can potentially be very political and backstabbing.

Sorry, Talio, I've done what you're doing for 11 years and I've moved on to help people start companies. So part of my job is also to make people like yourself enjoy their jobs, by giving them opportunity to blow off steam and to fire a Nerf dart now and then. :lol:
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#10 pinhead52

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Posted 30 August 2005 - 02:21 PM

Sorry to put this back "on-topic", but does anyone else notice that the Firefly is the first gun to have extra ammo holders, but not the ammo to fill them? Seriously, every other Nerf gun I've ever gotten new has ammo with it to fill every barrel and extra ammo holder, but this one has twice as much inventory as it does darts.
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#11 Pineapple

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Posted 30 August 2005 - 03:12 PM

Marketing Management = Corporate Party Animals.

It's understandable now, from my perspective.


Hey pinhead (I hope that's only a screen name and not a reflection of your character), it's marketing! Plain and simple.

You buy the FF, hey look, extra dart holders!

Mom, can I get some extra darts to fill these holders?

Sure, son!

*cha-ching!*

Good marketing practice. :lol:
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#12 Talio

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Posted 30 August 2005 - 03:12 PM

Hey, different stokes for different folks.

Honestly, I'm perfectly ok with "east coast" because I am in fact "east coast" myself. I like to call it having a pair of testicles. I agree, there is little room for fun, but that's because their's shit to do and deadlines to meet. Besides, we play god damn video games and go drinking on the companies tab as "team building exercises", so what the hell is the difference? Nerf darts would indeed be a big no no, mainly because we're so "east coast" and everyone is worried about "terrorism." You might think that's bullshit, but most of these guys are from New York and experienced that bullshit first hand. Someone jumps around a corner and shoots you, most of these people would piss themselves. On top of the fact they don't have time for that shit. Save your pity, because I've worked jobs 50 times what this one is. This is friggin' cake.

I wouldn't call my job cut throat though. No one is really trying to one up anyone. And political it is not either. If I had a dime everytime I told my manager to go fuck himself, in gest, or fired him I'd be a very rich man.

Lastly, you can cut the bullshit because I'm fine. I like my job and if you think doing the same thing for 40+ hours is rough, well I've got a few stories that will make your eye's change color. Honestly, you don't need to judge my job until you know me and you indeed don't know me.

Talio.

PS. IT WAS A FUCKING JOKE! RETARDS!
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#13 CSMaclaren

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Posted 30 August 2005 - 03:27 PM

Talio,

I'm sure you have some humorous war stories to share, being I.T. Maybe we can swap stories over beer some day....
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#14 LastManAlive

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Posted 30 August 2005 - 03:33 PM

To bad you don't work WITH computers. Hint the fact I said with and not on computers. With "on" meaning using a program loaded to the computer. I actually work under the table puting computer parts together. My friends father and him live up the street from me, and my friend is not into computers too much. He plays on them. And that;s about it. So he was out for the job. Then he turned to me and I took it. We get a list of papers droped off in the mail or from his office (note, this is a side job of his) and I build the computer for the buyer. Many people prefer a custom built computer if they are picky about the brands used. I am actually saving up for a dell. I know it sounds really stupid since I work with a guy that has more parts than you can shake a stick at, but I like having a nice looking machine that matches with its' keybourd, mouse, and monitor. Picky aren't I?

On topic, I thought it was quite long. Too long in my opinion. Thanks for a good contribution though.

EDIT: My requirements for this job are just puting the parts together. I do no such instalation (like Dell does with the 6 free months internet, virus scanning programs, etc.) unless notified and it cotse extra for special programs. And that's not including the price of the system being installed. But we have a few HDDs with preloaded OSs such as a 160 gig with Microsoft XP Pro and preloaded servise pack 2 (I had nothing to do and the back computer for practice build was done except for a HDD). I honestly have very little computer intelligence. It's just a matter of knowing what goes where in my case. Thanks!

Edited by LastManAlive, 30 August 2005 - 08:49 PM.

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#15 cxwq

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Posted 30 August 2005 - 03:48 PM

To bad you don't work WITH computers. Hint the fact I said with and not on cmputers. With on meaning using a program loaded to the computer.

Your redefinition of the language aside, building computers is a crappy, near zero-margin business. With Dell selling computers for $500, there are rapidly becoming two types of people: those who build their own computer and those who buy them from a reputable company.

Or at least I think you said you build computers. Your post was pretty incoherent.
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#16 Talio

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Posted 30 August 2005 - 04:11 PM

Actually, knowing how to build a Sunfire 25k with 10 S1 units is a pretty notable skill. Being as that system costs more then you're house you know. Unless they're paying the SA's out there alot better.

Talio.

PS. THAT WAS A FUCKING JOKE TOO!
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#17 Davis

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Posted 30 August 2005 - 04:31 PM

Yeah, I've heard the numbers, they're scary. :lol:
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#18 cxwq

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Posted 30 August 2005 - 04:51 PM

Actually, knowing how to build a Sunfire 25k with 10 S1 units is a pretty notable skill.

Oh come on. It's a simple 7-step process with a few gimme steps like #3

Power on the Sun Fire 25K/20K systems - Refer to the Sun Fire E25K/E20K Systems Hardware Installation and De-Installation Guide. Allow the systems to run through POST and ensure there are no errors, then power off the systems.


Turn it on and then turn it off. Wow. You people make how much?

Heh.

Besides, I'm not really an SA. Those titles mean nothing to me since I do everything from network security to DBA to user support to Perl scripts to... you get the picture.
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#19 Talio

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Posted 30 August 2005 - 09:20 PM

If only it were that simple...if only.

Edit: I make a fraction of what the server costs.
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#20 Crappy Nerfer

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Posted 31 August 2005 - 03:04 PM

I thought the review was great. Um, is the Dart Tag guns handle made for teens and older is it made for little five year olds. I am wondering because I might buy one but I don't know if the handle is small and akward to hold.
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#21 Talio

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Posted 31 August 2005 - 10:26 PM

It was confortable in my hands. I can palm a basketball quite easily.
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#22 nerfisfun

nerfisfun

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Posted 06 September 2005 - 06:58 PM

ok this is only 1 week old so I am going to post.

Does the vest fit teens and older? or is it made for little five year olds?
Can you use tagger darts in other guns?
ie: nightfinder, maverick, firefly?
One word: Range?

Do I use to many question marks in my posts?

Edited by nerfisfun, 06 September 2005 - 06:58 PM.

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QUOTE ( N-Strike agent 007)
  You posted a link to the forum rule in my thread and I nearly threw my computer out the window. Thats like giving some one a demerit in school and not telling them why just handing them a list of rules because you are TO LAZEY to tell them why.


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