So I did get a switch and here are my thoughts

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Published on: October 14, 2017

So back in June I posted about my new PS4, but still did want a switch (nintendo, I mean nintendo who does not want one) I got it back in July, so here are my thoughts.

First nintendo needs to fix their attitudes about artificial scarcity. Mind you I got it in July 5 months after it came out. So I found out when the store got their shipments in (Friday after they close) so I was up and at the store at 7:30am Saturday (the store opens at 8am) I was the FIRST person in the store, the FIRST person to the electronics section, the FIRST person to buy a switch after they got their last shipment, and I got the LAST switch. So nintendo in their wisdom figured Baltimore area stores only need 1 switch in shipments. Ok I don’t like Baltimore as much as the next person (My home is Pittsburgh, I just reside in Baltimore for now) But even with my dislike of Baltimore I admit it is a major city, a BIG MAJOR city. So why are the stores (as of July) only getting 1 switch in their shipments?

Along with the switch I dropped the money for Zelda BotW. Let me say I WANTED to love this game, I DESIRED to love this game, I NEEDED to love this game, I LOVE Zelda. I HATE BotW, 10 hours into the game (according to the switch timer 10 hours played) I just stopped I HATED the game. That hurt me as I wanted to love the game. My biggest beefs with the game are the breakable weapons and you can not climb while it is raining. I had a simple work around for this, I would put the game down for 30 minutes and do something else while the game would continue to run, and time passes in game. But think about that, a strategy to a game is NOT TO PLAY IT, that yells of bad design. I understand wanting to make a game a bit harder. But these things are not making a game harder, it making a game annoying. I seen and read people try to defend the breakable weapons of it, with how else is nintendo going to give you a reward for progressing though the game, it is open world so you could just skip things and get the best weapons right a way and go right to the end. I have a novel idea!!! Give me a good story that I want to play. Lets take my FAVORITE PS4 game, Horizon Zero Dawn. I loved that game, it is open world and you can ignore the whole thing and rush the story quest and go right to the end, but a lot of people don’t do that. I did not do that, I am not a completionist either, why did I take my time and poke into the world more. The story was compelling, I was excited to play and learn about the story, when I finished the main story I continued to explore HZD to find out more, pick up more data points to learn even more, I was pulled though the game not by the reward of weapons or more power, but pulled through by a compelling story. Zelda story you wake up forgot everything and need to kill gannon (that the whole story of BotW) there was no thought that went into BotW story, just wake up and kill gannon. HZD on the other hand, at the start you don’t even know who the enemy is, you get to learn the story as you go through it. HZD I am very excited about the DLC coming (heck the first day you could pre order it, I dropped the $15 for it on the PSN store without a second thought), and when I heard rumors that it going to be the first and last, I felt myself starting to be a bit depressed as HZD is a great story, it deserves more than 1 DLS. BotW on the other hand I hear there is DLC for it, but I have 0 desire to even think about it, will not be getting it.

Another issue with the switch, the lack of a built in party system, and on console voice chat. I will admit I am not a big online player. I play 2 game that has online playing (Borderlands 2 and Diablo 3) and rarely do I play those online. BUT…. I have a few IRL friends I have friended on the PS4, and at times when my buddy Charlie is on at the same time I am, we will create a party on the PS4 and just BS while playing games, we might not even be playing the same game, but I enjoy talking with my friend, because he is my friend I would not be friends with him if I did not like him. And this also leads me to another issue with nintendo’s online network, friend codes. friend codes, I remember the last time I had to deal with those, that was back in the mid 90’s when I tried out one of the first IM clients out there ICQ. a little bit more then 20 years ago. why do I have to use (what I assume is the DB UID) a long string of gibberish numbers that has no meaning to me or my friends to add a friend. I been using the same variation of the tag mpop online since 1999, and when I sign up for things and need a name/username I try to use that or a variation of that. and it is easier for people to remember (not going to reveal my real PSN network name here, but I will say the first 4 characters are mpop, and then I added something meaningful after that, if I told my older brother, or father, hell any of my friends they would instantly know what the second 4 characters mean, so they could even recreate my PSN name if they forgot what it was, but unlikely as it would stick in their minds, heck I could just tell them mpop and what the second 4 characters represent and they would know what it is) I will not be signing up for the nintendo online gaming service when it goes to the pay version unless they fix those 2 issues right there, let us use peoples tags to add them not friend codes. And let us have on console voice chat.

Right now my switch is gathering dust, I am just not playing it. When I think about playing a game, I look to my PS4 (and I am not talking about the lack of games, as since the switch is new, the game issue will solve it self) why the PS4, I have friends on there, it is easier to add friends there, and I can talk with them though the console, no need to pull out a second device just to do voice chat.

Also I still say the controls on the switch are WAY to small I have small hands and I still have trouble with the tiny buttons.

Yet another issue I have is the WiFi connectivity. When I bring my switch into the same room with the WiFi router, I get 2 bars (only 2) all my other devices (including a 2DS) can get a full 4 bars (I only have a 850 sq ft apartment), in my living room, with 2 walls between them and the WiFi router. The switch can not even get 2 bars in my computer lab. True I have a lot of devices in my apartment that generate RF signals, but ONLY the switch appears to have issues with WiFi connectivity.

So my verdict, I regret buying the switch, I regret buying BotW. My switch is not getting used, I just own it. It is no fun for me. My PS4, well wow, I LOVE it I use it every day. Even when not playing games, it has taken over as my TV’s entertainment system, watching YOUTUBE and other video streaming services on it also. This is another issue with the switch, this is something the switch could really capitalize on. it has an OK portable screen AND it has a built in kickstand. If they would get a set of Video Streaming apps on it, the switch could just dominate the portable video playback area, going to a hotel, take your switch and you have all your internet streaming services on it. Tablets are fine, but they lack the kickstand. I will be taking a few trips in the next half year, and if the switch had the video streaming apps, it would be a no brainer to take the switch, but as there are no games I enjoy on the switch at this time, I have no use for the switch when traveling, so I will probably leave it at home, as I do not want the added weight of it when traveling if I will not use it. Come on nintendo, get Netflix, Funimation, CrunchyRoll, YouTube, Amazon Video, Hulu, and the other ones that people use. (I only use 3 of those, Netflix, Funimation, and YouTube, but you want to spread a wide net for everyone.)

Got a new game console recently and it was not a switch..

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Published on: June 8, 2017

I thought about a switch for 2 months, I been wanting a new game console for about a year and a half, my last game console was the game cube, I had played Rock Band at a friends house and that made me think about a new game console. The switch came out and I got excited about getting a console and thought this was the time.
But after 2 months of not being able to get a switch I asked myself “Why do I want a switch?” As above I wanted the game rock band, a google search told me not to hold my breath as it probably will not be on the switch (admittedly this is just people guessing and not official word), ok what other reasons, well I wanted to play with my friends online, so I asked my friends what consoles they had, here are what I got back
1 with the switch, and one an extremely soft maybe, maybe next year if …… (so many ifs that basicly it is a no)
2 on the Xbox (for me to consider an MS product is kind of funny to me as I am usually anti-MS, but I did consider it)
5 on the PS4

Then I thought about the selection of games, on the switch there is only one (zelda) not a big mario fan nor did I like mario cart in the past, so for the next year there is 1 game I might want, and that there are some 3rd party developers saying they will not dev for the switch… just means over time there will not be as many games.

So due to more friends having the PS4, more choices of games, and most (all except 1) not being on the switch, the answers to the questions I asked myself lead me to no it not the switch I wanted, it was the PS4.

That was my thinking at the time when I got the PS4, and from things I seen and heard since then makes me think I made the right decision, over the easter break I went up to my sisters place, she has a switch, I picked it up and looked at it, and wow the buttons are way to small, I have small hands and I don’t see how I could not hit 2 buttons at a time all the time, I am just wondering with some one with normal size or even large hands would be able to use it. From what my 1 friend that has the switch and talked about how zelda plays, no thank you, your weapons break, and you need more then one of the same weapon (he had to use 3 bows) for a boss fight, wtf?

Another epic fail by google

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Published on: May 2, 2017

Android Auto, it has my contact list. I can say Call find and good, it can call the number, which means it can find the contact card, the contact card also has a home address but navigate to , drive to all fail with “I don’t know how to help you with that, come the fsck on that should be simple you have navigate one word, you can pick up the name (I know as it tried to call my dad a few times) I have my dad’s home address there, how hard would it be to connect the 2 points of information, hell as 2 year old child could connect the data. Google quality is going way down hill. The blocky nature of the new OS, I am starting to wonder if I should switch to the iPhone now.

To game desiners

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Published on: May 2, 2017

When your game is 90% cutscenes (Final Fantasy X on vita)
or nothing but text (press X to read the next line persona 4 golden on vita)
It does not make me care about the characters back story more, it makes me return the game. Yes I like watching videos, but I have a DVD player, Blue ray player, Netflix for videos, and yes I enjoy reading, but I have physical books and a Kindle for that.

When I want to play a game, I want to PLAY a game.

The worst is when the game is just a tech demo of what the controller can do (looking at you Uncharted: Golden Abyss)

(no title)

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Published on: October 11, 2016

I have been using PcGen for a while for my characters in RPG games. Good program, but as of late one of my characters will not export, so instead of being one of those that just complain that there is a bug. I downloaded the source code (got to love open source code) Set up the work-space in eclipse Here is a SS of it running from the eclipse work space now the fun of debugging the issues. If I can do that maybe I can send it back up stream.
doneit

I guess Google is working hard to kill Google Home even before it comes out.

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Published on: October 2, 2016

Google Says if you support Amazon Echo you will not be allowed to work with Google Home I saw this article today. Given that Amazon Echo is already out (I have it, and love it) Given that most smart home devices already integrate with Amazon Echo, looks like Google is trying hard to kill Google Home before it even comes out. Things that work with Amazon Echo, Hue Light bulbs, Honeywell and Echo bee thermostats, Uber, Domino’s, Nest (????). I wonder if google will take Nest off of Echo or will they ban it from Google Home??
Also given Google bricks devices one can not be confident that Google will not do this to Google Home. I know after I read how google bricked Revolv, I reconsidered getting a nest smoke alarm, I just got a new battery for the old one I had. Google does have a long history of abandoning projects, and they have bricked one device people had that they decided to abandon.
I use to be a Google Fan boy, but over the last year I have kind of changed that (My hate of the new Android Studio being the start of the lost love) Reading about how they are breaking devices, and now they are trying to pull an Apple or mid-90’s Microsoft. Maybe it is time for me to check out Bing as a search engine (Microsoft is not what it once was) I wonder what ever happened to the old google motto “Do no Evil”
I know I would not risk the money on a Google home as it would not support the devices I already have, and I wonder why anyone would, also considering I already have (an older) Android Watch which is basicly the same “Ok Google” technology (and it has already proven to be weaker than the Amazon Echo”(I should post a review of the Echo some time on the Blog)

Guess Baltimore requires all to use windows

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Published on: June 7, 2016

I have to renew my pet license so I went to the Baltimore count site, well guess they will not let me do it on line because it requires silver light (an old dead technology by ms) to use their site, I guess baltimore is anti-Linux. Boo on them, I guess I will have to mail the stuff in, and they will have to waste tax payer money to process it, since baltimore hates Linux.

Google whants to do a vertion of Amazon Echo.

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Published on: June 1, 2016

In the news as of late it is said that they want to do a rip off of the Amazon Echo. I wonder how many people would risk getting the device given that Google bricked the Revolv be not to long ago. Google has a long history of abandoning things they once did. latitude, Reader,Google Walet. So if Google loses interest in the voice only PDA will they brick it like the Revolv and how long before they loss said interest? I will stick with my Amazon Echo.

How Far we have come

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Published on: April 14, 2016

I can transfer a nice large set of files (read 5+ Gb) with out batting an eye. I remember back when moving data between 2 computers was done in 1.44Mb batches. My how far we have come. My first install of Linux was done via 5 1.44Mb floppies. It when pretty much DD a floppy while one was in the computer and one was sitting to be the next, then the first one in the computer would be moved back to the computer doing the DDing and be written with the next disk image. Now I do not think much about a simple scp from one computer to another knowing I am going to move 5Gbs with 1 simple command.
Thinking of all the computing power I have, I am amazed at it compared to my first ever computer (an IBM XT) sure my current computers are not the top of the line, my main desktop is from 2009 (and it does very well still, thank you very much, holding off on a new computer becuase I don’t want to deal with MS boot, I want a computer that still has a BIOS so I can put what ever I want on it, with out haveing to have MS sign off on it.) but I also have 3 Raspberry Pi’s.
Thinking also how far we have come, I have a watch that I wear most days, all I use it for is to check the time, and maybe take a look at a notification for my phone, but I also know this watch has more power then they landed on the moon with, and here all I do with it is check the time.

Google bricks devices

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Published on: April 6, 2016

Seeing this this has made me rethink something. I was thinking of getting a nest smoke detector. But seeing this article makes me rethink that. There is a different between not supporting something, and breaking hardware that a customer has payed for. This article is making me think I don’t want to by hardware from Google if they will break it.

Wagmans and Google/Apple Pay

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Published on: April 4, 2016

A couple of weeks ago I found out that Wagmans takes Google pay. Of the stores I know of in the Hunt Valley area, this is the only one I know of that takes Google pay. I will be changing where I do my shopping now. I like the convenience of them taking it, as I already have my cell phone out when I am shopping for the shopping list on it. so I don’t have to put it down to fish for my wallet, I can use the device I been using the whole shopping trip to just pay for the items that I just bought that were listed on the cell phone.

Old Blogs

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Published on: April 4, 2016

This is an older blog it has been around for over a decade. That got me to wondering what Blogs still exist from the time I was really into reading Blogs. I had not really read many for the last few years, I am thinking of pulling up a new RSS reader (I stopped for a bit because Google kill their RSS reader.) I found many of the Blogs I use to read are now either dead (404) or have not been updated in years. So I cleaned out the feed of all the dead and ones not being updated, and here is a list of the living Blogs from those times (ya these will be Blogs that have existed for more then a decade too)

Dvorak News Blog
The Ward Family

Wow what a short list that is. I need to find some other blogs to buff up the amount I read. If I am going to be going back to doing more blogging I probably should start reading them again more often.

For more update goodness I have also downloaded the WordPress android app that should allow me to update where ever I want and nearly when ever I want, now I would like to see if I can find a good RSS reader for the Android Phone. Don’t get me wrong I love working at home on my home computer. But every one always wants parts of my time and I don’t get to be home as often as I would like, some days it seems I just get to get home to go to sleep, no time to myself. But that is life.

Nice trick for Google Now

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Published on: April 2, 2016

Yes another Tech post in this weekend. I been playing with all kind of stuff. But here for the post
I my main email address that I use (on this domain mpop at mikeoconnor dot net) where I get all my emails, but all my other google services I use off of my google account (m dot p dot oconnor at gmail dot com) so when ever I get a notice of a shipment or the like my Google now App never sees it. But I found this nice little trick here basicly I will be blind forwarding a copy of my email from my main account, while keeping a copy on it, then on the gmail account (that I never really use for email) I filter out all the messages to my mikeoconnor.net account to a folder so I don’t have to see them. This way Google now will pick them up but I don’t have to deal with them in the gmail account. Nice trick.

Almost forgot my full love of the shell (command line to many of you)

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Published on: April 2, 2016

I always feel more comfortable when working at the bash shell instead of in some sort of GUI. And since the Google forcing of Android Studio (that bloatware) I have returned to the command line to do my Android development. But while I have been there I have thought about how I could move more of my stuff to the bash shell and exist inside of the xterm more and more. Well I played around and have setup alpine (a text based mail client) to connect and read my email from gmail. Thanks to Google I am going deeper and deeper into the text based world again. I guess I kind of owe them a thanks for that, I never feel as comfortable as I do when I am typing at a text based system.

Wondering if I could do the web though Lynx, if there are good text based web browsers out there to do the things I do on the web (like facebook)

Further work on ridding my personal development of IDEs

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Published on: April 1, 2016

screenshote

As I have don’t some work on my computer to prep for the day where I don’t need an IDE for Android development (also this work is making me think I might not need an IDE for any kind of development) This is what my screen has turned into as I done work on it today, there is some Java code there, a few ssh out to other computers. A web browser and all kind of stuff set up on the screen, you will see my second favorite x-windows application, xterm all over the place. Now this is an development environment. Playing with all this stuff here at home makes me wish I could do this same kind of setup at work. Emacs runs faster then Eclipse, and both Emacs and Eclipse puts IntelliJ to shame, I still can not get over the 40 minute load time for IntelliJ. Eclipse is up in 2 to 4 minutes, and Emacs is up in seconds.

I guess that what you get when a company wants all developers to use the new “hotness” well for me I am giong to back away from the “hotness” and go with the old school, I can make it work. I have one last task to cover and that is how to design a Android interface with out one of the IDEs.

Also part of my work today was to remove the need for a separate program to interface with my SQL databases with, I have found and installed a nice SQL mode setup for Emacs. Yes Emacs can do it all.

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