When it rains it pours

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Published on: January 29, 2019

This Sunday when I came out of church I found a 4 inch gash in my driver side back tire. My church is 70 miles from where I live so I am already behind the 8 ball here. I get towed to a tire shop. They have tires that fit my car, but not the size that the other 3 tires are. So I have to buy 4 new tires. $450 down the drain there.

Next thing is today, while I am getting home, BGE has yet ANOTHER power failure (mind you it is not snowing at this time, and there is no wind, just a no reason power failure like most of them, I swear there is at minimum 1 a week to about 1 a day, BGE is the worst power company) I end up tripping coming up the stairs to my apartment, and my phone goes flying, and shatters the screen. So there is more money out the windows, $70 for taxes and down payment and $20 added to my monthly cell phone bill. I really wanted to keep my Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Plus, I loved that phone. Now I have the Samsung Galaxy S9. I don’t like that it does not have the physical buttons.

To top things off, for most of the night I can’t even get the screen to turn on on the S6 Edge+ (till about 20 minutes ago) so coping over my data that is not backed up by google is almost impossible, finally it did turn on, so I can now backup the nova screen settings, my podaddicts settings, and my fuel log settings.

Along with being able to back those up and upload them to my google drive, I am able to run the Samsung Smart Switch program, so now it is coping over most of my data. I am hoping I can have things 90% fully copied over, but I fear I will only get 75% or less.

I will probably end up doing a review of the Samsung Galaxy S9 later on after I have had 3 or 4 weeks of usage on it.

The one thing I fear is they say these things come in 3s, I have had 2, I am afraid of what might happen next.

A review of the Dell Inspiron Chromebook

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Published on: January 1, 2019

Back in November I got my hands on the Dell Inspiron Chromebook. First off I have heard people say how it is lacking, but i feel the problem they are having is that they forget what the chromebook and chromeOS is. It is not a full computer, you are not going to be doing codeing or playing AAA computer game on it. It is a web browser that can run some Android apps. Keeping in mind that it just a hardware web browser, you will find it is a very adequate system.

One nice thing about the Chrome Book is the battery life, I never had a device that lasted as long as 10 hours only on battery power while being used, I have tested it and had over a week of standby time. The devices is very light. Turn on time is very fast. There is very little storage space, as you are expected to use Google Drive for the storage (I am also a paid user for 100GB) Also the Dell has an microSD card reader in it, and for $20 I was able to get 126Gb one off of Amazon.

Web apps work well on it also, you can make use of Google Docs, and Google Sheets for word processing and Spreadsheets for data processing.

I have gotten a bit more out of the chrome system then just web browsing, I have setup Linux on ChromeOS and it has given me a good text based information so I can ssh in to my home computer. Also since I can run some Android apps, this has allowed me to use OpenVPN with my chromebook, this is nice as I have an OpenVPN endpoint setup for myself. But using OpenVPN and the linux on chromeOS I have full access to my home systems, when out and about.

I have also played around with a few Android games on the Chromebook. Some work ok some do not work as well. You will have to try them out.

In the long run if you remember what the ChromeOS is, you will find a ChromeBook to be a very nice system to have around

Yes I am praising the Chrome OS, and I can hear someone saying, but you been bad mouthing Google over what they are doing and where they are taking the Android OS. And while that is true and I still stand by my HATE for material design and the forcing developers to use android studio (I rather use eclipse still)

All in all, the Chrome Book is a good system when you don’t have to do computer intensive work (such as programming or playing games)

MS thinking about buying EA and I say good let them

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Published on: January 31, 2018

I am hearing rumores from those I follow on YouTube that MS is thinking of buying EA games. As these are 2 companies I don’t like and don’t buy from I say let them. One of the reasons I have a console instead of gaming on the PC, is I don’t want to deal with windows. Back in 97 was when I switch to Linux, and Linux has been a great system ever since, when ever I have to help someone use windows I feel like ripping my own skin off (windows 10 is even worse then earlier iterations of the trash heap MS calls an OS, I rather eat a bowl of broken glass then use windows 10)
And given the whole gambling issue of EA (progression linked to gambling and it being promoted to children) I don’t want to be buying any EA stuff. If MS bought EA (and made all all EA games exclusive to their console) I would be fine with that it would be a one stop not to shop at place.
EA and MS 2 greedy companies that are perfect for each other, I say MS buy EA.

Posted this on the FCC site for my support of Net Neutrality.

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Published on: November 25, 2017

I would like to make a statement why I personally support Net Neutrality. Normally I would say I don’t like government regulations, but when a company exists in a monopoly (such as ISP do, since many locals give them a legal monopoly and it is illegal to have another company run lines where these cable companies have these monopolies)

When I lived in SoMD, I had DSL 5 M/bits down (2010 to 2013) I could stream Netflix just fine. Shortly after I moved north of Baltimore and got a “faster” Internet (50M/bits down), and the Supreme court struck down how the FCC was doing Net Neutrality, Suddenly my 10 times faster internet could not handle Netflix, I would get 5 minutes of video then 10 minutes of buffer. Then after the internet was put under title 2 (aka put under regulations that govern utilities) suddenly the buffering stopped.

The next point I would like to make, is when I did move to just north of Baltimore, and I got this internet, when the technician came out to install it, he cut the line to the antenna on the roof of the Condo Building I live in. When I complained about it, I was told by the company that I did not need it their TV service was only $30 a month for the basic package (they have since lowered it to $10 a month for the stations I should be able to get for free over the air, if they had not cut the wire to the antenna)

For those 2 reasons I currently support Net Neutrality, unless you were to pass an act that would invalidate all the monopolies that the cable companies have, and allow true competition for Internet Access.

Who says conservatives and liberals can not agree

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Published on: November 21, 2017

Ok I am making a joke here a bit in the title, but Hawaii is a very liberal state, extremly (maybe not as much as CA) and here I am a well bit far right, finding myself in agreement with what the state of Hawaii is doing here.

Loot boxes are now illegal in Belgium

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Published on: November 21, 2017

My thoughs on the state of gaming

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Published on: November 18, 2017

First so you understand me, here is my history with video gaming.

Growing up my family had a 2600.
In my early teens my sister got a Saga Genesis (the same christmas I got a computer)
Later on both my sister and I got the original Game Boy
Finally in 2001 after I finished college and moved out of my parents place, and got a Gamecube.
This year when the Switch came out I thought I would try to get back into gaming, and since I have more monetary resources available then I had in the past, I went all out. I got a PS4, 2DS-XL, Switch, and Vita (order by how much I like them at this point)
I went with console as I did not want to deal with windows on my computer, all but one of my computers are Linux (slackware) and the one that is not Linux is a NetBSD box.

So being semi-new to the current gaming situation I been shocked, by micro-transaction situation. And I am wondering what happened to gaming? Yes I know companies need to make money and I don’t begrudge them that, but with all these micro-transaction, and the attempt to force users to buy them or you will be at a disadvantage at the game against those that bought a them (pay to win). It just feels like the companies that are doing these things are just out to rip off the consumers.
I have watch the recent explosion that happened with EA and BF2, and was wondering if I made a mistake getting back into video gaming. I know at this time Disney has force them to turn off the micro-transactions for now, but how long till they bring them back? Back in Oct when I read about this, I canceled my pre-order on Amazon, and I have not gotten the game at this point, and have 0 plans to get the game.
I am wondering what happened to EA, back on my Gamecube I had the NHL hockey 2005, I had great times with it, a friend and I played a full season on it, we created a custom team, turned off penalties, and played a violent checking game. It was a great time. But now it seems like EA is more concerned with making a quick buck, rather than making a game people will enjoy.

Mind you I am not talking about DLC. I have read bad things about DLC, but with the few games I have played since I got the PS4 (Horizon Zero Dawn, Just Cause 3, Borderlands 2,South Park the Stick of Truth) the DLC did not seem like I was getting ripped off they felt like they were adding to an already completed game or did not have a DLC, and when I read about the HZD DLC, I had no issue pre-ordering the DLC for it, it was a great game (my favorite video game to this point) and I felt it was a great game.
Also I am not even talking about cosmetic loot boxes, yes I hear those that say that this is where the issue started and I can fully understand that, at the same time they don’t feel like the company is forcing you to by them. Now when you look at EA, and the patterns that came out from EA on how to try to force players to buy loot boxes. It just feels wrong, and not something I really want to be a part of.

I currently have other hobbies that could easly fill the time that I play video games on (sure it only 3 to 5 hours a week) I play board and card games with friends, Pencil and Paper D&D, ham radio, playing with technology. So I wondering if getting back into video games was a mistake if this is where the industry is going on milking the customer. While I have not had many game consoles in my life is this a last console for me? Don’t get me wrong, the time I played the games listed above I have enjoyed, but when I see people say micro-transactions are the way the industry is going and that it is the future I have to ask myself is this something I want to deal with in the future?

So the question is, is this where gaming is going? Maybe the issue is not gaming but Disney promoting gambling? With Star Wars being about gambling now, do I even want to see the next Star Wars movie, am I feeding this beast/problem if I see the new movie?

I guess in Baltimore Side walk driving is considered acceptable.

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Published on: November 15, 2017

On my way to work yesterday I saw the following, I was just flabbergasted at it. But just another day in Baltimore.

Extra Life

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Published on: October 25, 2017

I will be participating in Extra Life this year. If you wish you can donate to the cause here https://www.extra-life.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=donordrive.participant&participantID=267411&wait=1
What is Extra Life?

Here’s how it works
Extra Life is a 24-hour fundraising and gaming marathon to support Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

On Game Day (Nov. 4th), I will join the thousands of gamers and dedicate an entire day to play games and get donations from friends like YOU!

For the even my friends and I will be spending the 24 hours playing Pandemic Legacy.

Please consider giving.

Why I canceled my preorder for star wars battlefront2

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Published on: October 24, 2017

Three words “pay to win” If you are going to charge the full $60 for a game, then do not make it pay to win, if you want to have it pay to win, make the game free.
I also detest micro-transactions, and don’t do them, but to make a game pay to win (as EA has done for both star wars battlefront 2 and shadow of war) means I am not going to buy your game, because a game that is pay to win, means the game is just made to generate money off of loot crates, aka you can not win without dropping money. Also since the last 2 games from EA were pay to win, means I am guessing that all they are going to do in the future, meaning I will not be even considering any EA games ever again.

Got “South Park The Fractured but Whole”

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Published on: October 20, 2017

On Thursday night I picked up the new South Park game “South Park The Fractured but Whole”. I will say I was surprised at what I got in it. Not only did I get what I was expecting, but I also go “South Park The Stick of Truth” Well since I have not played the first game and I got it I thought I would give it a try first. Well I have to say I do like it. it going to be a bit of time before I start The Fractured but Whole. I will warn you, there is a reason it has the M rating on it. But it is funny as all get out, it is true South Park humor. Also it is nice to play a “old style” turn based “RPG” game again, have not done one of those as a video game in a while. True I do it 2 times a week, nomaly, my Pathfinder Games on Thursday Nights, and the D&D, 5e, that I do on Saturday, so I still get my turn based RPG on 2 times a week, but nice to see it in a video game still

I am now left with a question, I did preorder the new Mario game for my switch, maybe it will be the game that finally gets me to play the switch, but since I tend to do one game at a time and finish them before I go to the next (and I will probably finish, The stick of Truth, go back to the HZD DLC coming out next month, then go back to the Fractured but Whole), it will be a long time before I will even consider the Mario game. Now I have a couple of days left to think about, do I keep the Mario preorder, or just cancel it, as I probably will not get to the Mario game till some time in 2018 (yes I am a noob gamer, and have limited free time for video games, so it takes me longer to play a video game then most), and by that time it will either come down in price, or I could buy it used.

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)

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