nawkcire

Games, Tech and Blogging…I can't guarantee in that order.

Growing Up or Growing In

Probably my age wouldn’t amount much advice when you ask me how mature is adulthood. Every adult will tell you to act your age; whether you are an adult or not. After just half a decade of “adulthood”, nothing has really changed.

In high school, we all discover new things while carrying our experiences in childhood. We meet new people, discover new things and make bigger decisions. Over time, we just learn the ways of the world and suddenly we realize life isn’t much rainbows and sunshine. Strange thing about teenagehood and adulthood is it’s much of the same, but post-puberty. That’s the secret, there isn’t nothing special about being a 20-something or 30-something. As much as people say at a certain age you start going downhill, it’s true everything gradually closes off to you as you get older but you will learn to get over it. In many ways the high school years only teaches you one thing, how to deal with regret in a humane fashion.

After a decade since being in the middle of pubescent period of my life, I come to the point where I am still discovering a bit of myself. After coming out as a young adult, it seems much around me stayed the same. However the interesting thing is I am still changing, I wasn’t the same person I was 6 months ago. I am always learning new things on my own and exploring new concepts and ideas. As everything and everyone tells me to grow up and “act your age”, there are so many contradictions in everyone and everything as well.

Creams and serums to make you look young and enhancements to make you feel just as young as you were when you were a teen. Yet fleeting as youth may be to some, I consider youth to be as constant as the wind. The wind just blows and will continue to blow as long as there is something to make it blow. Youth, you have to truly feel young at heart to be young at heart. In that sense, age is different to the sense of youthfulness. We can count the days like we count the stars; like both, there is no point if you are not in the moments you want to enjoy.

Growing up, doesn’t mean to be more mature and to be uptight with a stick up your butt all the time. Growing up is perhaps a cycle of finding joy in life in all the chaos and sadness life can bring. It’s perhaps not an evolution of yourself, but innovation of yourself. Keeping what you are to what you want to do next regardless of the mistakes we will make. It’s how we learn; from our failures and misdeeds.

“Up” is perhaps not the right way to describe it.

Alternatives.

As some of you read previously, I’ve upgrade my laptop to Windows 10; still having some teething issues, but I’m starting to settle with it. Like with Windows 7 when I first got it, I’m back into the routine of reinstalling every program I need. My laptop serves as a mobile blogging and internet platform; regardless of it’s hefty weight.

Though at the moment, the store provided by Microsft does provide some means of receiving some programs. However I dislike most of their offerings which has reverted me to my old programs. Defraggler and CCleaner to lighten the load off my computer. Chrome and Firefox or my browsers; yes, I have both. Science purposes, I promise. Of course, Windows Live Writer for my blogging tool. Though for some unforeseen conditions, I cannot for the life of me get Writer to work properly now.

I thought at first, I thought it would be easy. Just download and install it onto my computer, add my credentials and off we go. No doubt a few set backs have put me into a situation where I’m scouring the internet of solutions. At first I looked into other applications and even using the WordPress online writer off of my own account. As hand dandy the net is with online solutions, I much prefer some things remaining offline. Especially for the fact my home connection is not the average in the world nor this country and city. As antiquated the idea is, our dependency on instant and online has opened my eyes on how easy we have it compared to just a decade ago.

As many of you probably come out of high school or even at my age, there are very few things we install anymore that can really be considered a program. Though the rebrand to "apps" may be apt, the only two apps I could ever download is games and even with games, most of the save data is not going to the cloud. As convenient and space saving as it, it’s relying on a tether; the internet. As much as I am pro-net, there are some things left to what many would think is antiquated. Call me old all you want but when you have no Internet, I’ll be listening to my entire MP3 music library while you search for a strong signal for Spotify or Pandora.

The world may go around telling the new is what’s now; but when it comes to reliable computing, I think of offline and local. I think of keeping my information close to me and my devices closer. Never outsourced unless it is for sharing beyond conventional distances. I remember simpler days when Steam connected me to other players rather being the center to get my games. In honesty some services are handy for being online, some seem very cumbersome. Say for example app stores; as much as I appreciate each mobile OS to have their app store, the problem is exclusive access. You need a certain phone to access it to buy the goods and services on it. In the early days of the game store, it was the one and only place you could buy games reliably. The one shop locally you can buy any game for any console. The game analogy being the app and the console being the phone’s OS. There are many games I would like to play on my Blackberry Playbook and Android device from iOS, I am not willing to put out more money into a device I already own. Which creates a divide and as the console debate rages to this day, we could see the same. Rather than console versus PC (PC Master Race!); we could see the future (if not now) a heated debate, Android or Apple? As fun as pitching an argument, ubiquity in my opinion is a necessity than exclusivity.

So to hell with your app store, Windows 10. I will stand my ground until I find what I need. My install is fresh like a rapper’s rhymes and I seek it to fill my drive with what I need and not to a service you make me want. Much like I prefer a map and compass, my hard drive is where my "cloud" is and it’s a damn small but personal one.

First 12 hours Windows 10

Yesterday, I finally dipped my toe in the most recent develop with Windows. I decided to install Windows 10 to give it shot. Since my desktop is still my gaming and recording PC, I’m not willing to lose data over something I’m not certain of; so I chose my laptop that’s good for nothing but the Internet and doing blogs.

Like with Windows 7 when I upgraded from XP, the installation of fairly straightforward with little input from me. Then the one and continuing obstacle comes to me; upon being asked to create an account, the system allows me to connect online using my Microsoft account. Innocuous at first, I hesitantly put in my log in information. Definitely the first time looking at the innovations from Windows 8 and 8.1 and coming from Windows 7, Win 10 looks very impressive and fresh. The desktop design remains very familiar, much like a signature of the brand. Along with the translucent and bold contemporary design, it feels very new as if the developers want to be away from their predecessors while maintaining functionality. Opening up the Start menu, I encountered the same layout with a small added addition; tiles that was previous implemented in the Windows 8 series. Tiles that worked more like a glorified icon which can stream a service, such as the current weather conditions and who is sending you tweets on their Twitter app. Much like mobile phones, I was surprised Windows now has an app store where I can purchase applications. I’ll talk more later after this, but overall it looks very vacant in terms of actual apps. For me as a transitioning Windows user, I can see some similarities to other operating systems.

Of all the features I have a problem with, I’ll start with the user friendliness of the entire interface. Yes, the entire interface. The problem I have is I’m well use to using scrolling to move up and down lists. At the moment, I have to use arrow keys to move through these lists as well as options. I do like I don’t necessarily need to use my trackpad to navigate, as a internet laptop I’m use to scrolling and tapping with my pad. Next is the difficulty to find settings and options through its supposed straightforward interface. Every is so simplified to the point where there are some things I want to turn off but would turn off other things. Aside from a “settings” visible at the Start button, it took me some doing to produce the old Control Panel which I’m well versed in using. If anything, this Settings button is superfluous to what the Control Panel can do. Onto the apps and the app store, the system will automatically install some applications like Skype, a mail client and other proprietaries from Microsoft. After peaking through these apps, there are many others I can download which surpass the usefulness. The applications I would like on there is not even on there. At the time of this post, I use Tweetdeck while there is an application to display it’s streaming capabilities. Though nifty as this Twitter application is, it’s space in my hard drive to load the interface while Tweetdeck is done all online. Meaning I don’t have to load it and I can do much more than just view and write tweets. We’re not even in the store yet, but it’s more frustrating than you think.

The store does contain a lot of games and applications at my finger tips; but as I browse through the catalog, I started to look into the sizes of these “apps”. Most of the applications are about 14KB to about 10MB which in this day in age seems small for apps. The largest are the games but for the most I’ve seen, most hover around 20 KB. From what I remember, a shortcut on your desktop is somewhere around the same size as well which makes me wonder if this should even be called an “app store”. Along with these, some of the titles do give away what they’re intended for; mostly to promote a website or periodical. Which makes me wonder if these are just glorified bookmarks; in which case, it’s not innovated but more of a waste of space. Perhaps in time, they would moderate and regulate the store but it does seem more of a grab for an audience and competing with these false bits of hope.

Performance is another problem I have with it. I understand my laptop is aging and it could be edging off the minimum requirements. Compared to old reliable Windows 7, she’s a bit hefty and slow. Loading and shutting down is slow as well as initializing a program. It could be the fact it’s new so it’s creating temporary files for indexing. It could be the fact some of the apps are continually requesting updates. In which case, it’s a poor excuse to trade off performance for convenience. The app store is also nothing new to desktop PC as some Linux distributions do have their own stores where actual programs are placed to download. Which makes Windows 10’s store worse than Blackberry’s app store in my opinion even though not many user use their products by comparison.

As a technological society, we are pushing towards a more mobile world. It doesn’t really mean we are readily connected, just means we want to carry a silicon and plastic brick everywhere we go. Agreeable some places have cheaper internet, but the majority of the world is still catching up. In an operating system, it’s not about being cutting edge and well known; to me, I need something light and fast that supports my needs and not the needs of the company. Even at a $100 and over price tag, it should offer piece of mind as well as in-depth customization. Though simplicity can help a beginner; I feel a bit outed by the next generation of Windows users because they want everything at a click of an icon.

Canadian Concerns

To preface this post, I would like to say I’m not a political person. I know I’m not very active in taking sides to any issues, for the most part I sit and watch how my last has really mattered. The irony about my last vote was I wasn’t even a necessary one.

I believe the last election was about 4 years ago when a Canadian federal election was called. Though I still have faith in the system, in a way I don’t have faith in it either. I strongly believe democracy can get a lot done, there is so much finger pointing and bickering that I could’ve became a grade school teacher and seen less of it. Fact is I have about over 6 weeks to decide who is the next prime minister for the next 4 years. The next 42 days changes what happens in the need 2000 and plus days until the next election.

Without divulging which party I selected last year, I did choose one that stood by on some critical issues. The large one I followed was veteran affair. I have a firm belief people who serve the armed forces in this country should be entitled to something at the end of their service. They may be faceless to some however for me from what I’ve seen and read beyond the headlines, no one can ever outwork these people. All of us may complain of an 8 hour day at a low wage, these guys work themselves to the ground to ensure security at home and abroad and providing a face for the Canadian public on the world stage. If I could, I would owe them all a pint however I rather vote to put some of my tax dollars into making sure they get a well deserved retirement.

As a young person, it’s definitely hard to find jobs these days. To be honest there are only two jobs I feel qualified for; one I must have qualifications or I am overly qualified. I think this is the bottleneck we face where employers are hiring overqualified students for menial labour. Preach all you want about unemployment being at this percentage all you want, we still have our future working in jobs where they don’t benefit society. These engineers and scientists are our taxi drivers and burger flippers. These are the kids we have to put our best foot forward if we are to make a lot of changes to ourselves. This change could be anything from the environmental and technical sectors. One of those unemployed or underemployed folks could be developing a method to get us as a species into space more efficiently but they’re holding on a job that does not fit the degree. Most of my readers have read about my employment problems in the past and I know there is something we can do about this. At the time of this post I checked the unemployment; it’s sitting around a 6.5%. Doesn’t sound much at first, however you consider that with a number like 3 million, you soon realize 6 percent is a lot of people still out of a job. Even worse is the fact the number doesn’t even account of underemployment, those people who are still working but can’t necessarily pay for everything they need. This is indeed a scary thought that someone somewhere is being ignored because the governing body decides they’re already well off. As compartmentalized as the government is, employment a major one effects industry, economy, labour. The people must come first before we can go anywhere.

Though these are a couple and I am just one of millions who are going to vote, I want every young Canadian who is eligible to vote. Don’t slack off and not vote or pass your vote off at a random person. Make it out to the voting because there are issues that concern this generation, our generation. We are only getting older and if we don’t act now, the future can get only worse. 

A Little Everyday

Recently I returned from working up north, things have been more or less back to normal with some small changes. I got back into recording videos on YouTube and writing here. However I dawned on my in a conversation with someone over Steam, I could be much different from the person I was about a month and a half ago.

As I talked to this guy, I spoke of doing good unto others and phrases which equate to righting the wrongs in the world. In a way, it’s seen in the way I play Interstellar Marines recently. Rather playing  as the guy who would run into a room with bots, I’m now reviving teammates and thinking more about my approach than gunning everything in co-op. I think somewhere I have became a bit more selfless and humble.

Like anyone who likes dining, people here partake in a customary tip. Usually a gesture of good will which amounts to 10% minimum of the goods and services rendered. Of course awhile back, I did tell you guys how I tip when it comes down to doing the deed; 10% minimum for good service and up to 20% if I enjoyed myself with excellent service. Though recently I’ve been tipping fairly well for food I would once put in 10%; I’m not giving out over 20% but I would ballpark it as 15% average tip in recent days. At the heart of the matter I feel it might have been all I’ve experienced in the past month. Hard work with very little to show for it and working a job some may revile while some revere. For me, the work I’ve dedicated myself into is more for me. Selfish as sounds, it has definitely taught me a few things about people and how they conduct themselves. It has pushed me to the limits of my personality and professionalism to show who I truly am and shockingly, I can be more than the gamer in his room writing about world.

Working my entire body into a sore mess has shown me a few things. Though I doubt it qualifies me as a counsellor of any kind, I think it’s worth sharing. Whoever and wherever you are, whatever you do; I want to know, there are people worse off than you. When I started working about 8 months ago, I knew parts of my job will suck a whole lot. Many peers I use to know, they couldn’t hash it because it wasn’t something they enjoyed. However for me, something stuck onto me that I can never take off. This job, this occupation of mine has taught me there are certain people who take the job for two either reason; the benefits or the experience. In the end, the ones in it for the experience seem to stick around longer. Indeed money talks, but the heart knows more than money can buy. So to those who take up minimum wage jobs in their mid-adulthood with family counting on them to put food on the table, I totally understand the struggle. To those who have an endowed salary, I ask of you to think of others.

Those who are getting paid well off and have everything, life isn’t about the accumulation of wealth but of the experiences you inherit. In mathematics, there are two infinities; countable and uncountable. Countable being the elements which you can quantify while uncountable infinity is the values between. Example of countable would be whole numbers from 1 onward. Uncountable are more like real numbers, 0.5762 for example; there are a lot of numbers between 0 and 1 alone. Much can be said about living and working. Many of work long shifts for very little and yet enjoy it while some work for the benefits and not necessarily enjoy their work. Some are them even worse off, they don’t like their job and it pays almost nothing; but they’re doing it anyways. Employment is much like uncountable infinity, there’s always something better but this is what you have counted for now. Anyone can have a long employment history; but the experiences you had are the uncountables, they decide the worth of the sum of your employment.

For many who have never seen the stars at their workplace, sat as the crickets chirped, seen sights so very few would only imagine in video games and dream; the longing to make it all worth it is in you. Even though you get paid a lot or none, it’s not about making money, life is not about making money but about what you do with it. Survival is engrained into us, get the resources we need for another day. When you have too much, we tend to hoard it. When we have very little, we try longer until we have it all. In the end, none of that matters. Money to me is part of the great answer I seek. I want my life to be known more than just a number, a countable number. I want it know for the moments I spent, all the uncountable moments. Moments that changed me and taught me rather than the value of all the moments on a pay check.

So until next time, let’s start counting our experiences together.

Re: “Cash Only = death?”

(Response to Dr. Steven C. Ibbotson: https://stevenibbotson.wordpress.com/2015/07/28/cash-only-death/)

First off before I start my long comment to your blog post, thanks for visiting my country! Though I haven’t been to the west coast, I like to read about people’s experiences with the world. Hopefully one day I could travel and discover my country with my own eyes. Much can be said about the Great White North, more can be seen and done if you go there.

As a local intercity and intra-city traveller, I too agree with you the 21st century ubiquity of the debit/credit card transaction. It’s truly a marvel to live in a day in age where currency is nothing more than a a line of code to a line of credit upon a plastic shard. A single tap, swipe and punch of a pin can open the consumer world. With that being said, you can argue we don’t necessarily need money anymore when we can use a card representative of the same value. With machines running banks and other institutions of the world, we can tend to forget how our capital world can be fragile as well as flexible.

In my day to day within a large city, plastic cards run my life every since I got a debit card. Though it has opened the world of spending to me, it’s a reminder in my pocket that my finances all comes down to the actions I commit to this card and my account. Most if not all my transactions go to the card, however in a big city there are some uses for the paper (or in my case, polymer) and coin currency which has been the staple for over the millennia.

When we think of the world as a developed and connected society, we lose touch on many things. I’ve noticed within a decade we have been so dependent on technologies, we forget all this has to come from somewhere. The wi-fi that is letting me publish this post is being transmitted by radio waves which are created by a router which someone bought. The router requires an internet connection and a source of stable power. The internet connection goes to a distribution network of cables and servers all powered by the same electricity. This infrastructure in it’s complexity requires a lot of materials. Materials translates to cost which some places cannot necessarily afford. To maintain the flow of money in a technologically constrain budget is just simply to revert to the older means; actual cash in coins and paper. Though I am not an entrepreneur or business owner; if my situation didn’t allow for use of debit machines, money will be in cash only. As much as the world may have their cards, cash is here to stay.

Whether you owe someone $20 or paying for a meal in a cash only restaurant is here to stay. So always keep a small amount on you in case it happens. When you do travel, be sure you know how to get more of it if you can’t write cheques. And always remember to tip your waiter/waitress!

For Future Fallout

In my hiatus, Bethesda announced Fallout 4 and providing a bit of gameplay in their E3 demo. While most of the world has seen the video thousands times over and speculating over every pixel, I just saw the reveal in past Saturday. Though the next game shows a lot of progress between New Vegas and now, there is always some room for improvement. From what I’ve seen, the next Fallout has taken the best of the modding community for Fallout 3 and put them into the this game. Most obvious is construction settlements and weapon modifications. Though weapon modifications was touched on in New Vegas, settlements however were seen in Fallout 3 as a mod. Regardless, the next instalment to the series will feature the universe we have seen and probably more. However as I said, there is always some room for improvement.

Vehicles

There were some scenes in the presentation which saws the player in a vertibird as well as views of a zeppelin over post-apocalyptic Boston. Though aerial combat would be a nice addition to the game, I would like to see a fleshed out vehicle system. My suggestion would be the ability to build and salvage vehicles. Either building from shells and hulks in the wasteland or melting scrap into components to build the entire vehicles. Even with that, the vehicles would require a fuel source. With it’s limitations, it would benefit the player into travelling the world. Though the fast travel system in the last two games would turn vehicles obsolete, but how cool will it be to cruise around in style?

Weapons and Power Armour

From the presentation, one thing I was impressed was customizable weapons. Rather than swapping parts, you build from a set of modifications. Each weapon a shotgun, a machine gun and an assault rifle. This from my point of view opens the player to play by their rules. They can be as hard hitting, quick drawing, lead slinging as they want. In the Fallout universe, we have ballistic weapons as well as energy weapons. In the last couple games, the energy weapons did have an advantage over ballistics; slight if not nothing. I think projectile weapons should get deeper if not for all the weapons. Right down to the triggers, barrel, springs and capacitors. Being module is great, but having an intricate gunsmithing system can nitpick each stat.

This goes the same with Power Armour. In the past, Power Armour was something most desired. It had the most resistance to the damage but it would be heavy too. I think in the future, modifying power armour would be impressive. Make it lighter, denser, have special capabilities; it would make the armour more versatile in the end. Especially modifying it down to the pieces; rather than helmet and suit, maybe including the shoulders and appendages.

Settlements

Within the presentation, you can build within certain parameters; I would assume from the presentation, on foundations of older buildings. Though it’s a step in the right direction, it would be more free if the player allowed the ability to create their house and settlement anywhere. Though this is a new feature to the universe, I am like many expecting to explore it. They have included tools to make these settlements something we would be willing to fight and defend. It would be tough to imagine something I have little experience in, but it would great if the game blurred the feature into the world. They tried to blurred the lines in allowing NPC and traders interact with these settlements, however it would expand further. I’m talking about factions trying to take your towns over or trying to subvert your authority through espionage or by use of violence (like raids as seen on the demo). Perhaps the authoritative factions are choices you can pick as the law enforcers of your settlements? Maybe even setting laws in towns and allowing NPCs to develop into these roles like a simulator?

Farfetched as these ideas are, we all can hope Fallout 4 will outdo its predecessor and improve on developing its universe. Doing bigger and better but even then, there is always room for improvement.

The Longest Of Nights

The past month, I’ve been away; if you haven’t realized, I had some posts queued for your reading pleasures. Much like the time I tried to live without internet at home for a few weeks, the pleasures of home is missed but at the same went and did something different.

While I was out there, I met a lot of interesting and new people. I definitely got in trouble from time to time. Most of all as a city boy, the most I got out of my travel is the stars. The richness and beauty of staring at the vast void of the galaxy. Every night I saw the stars, I could not help but to think “this could be the last time I will see how each star”. In reality, I love looking at the twinkling at the stars. It’s very calming to me; even when work gets crazy, I stare into those naked points of light and and feel very calm.

Now at home, my mind is fatigued. My body is sore and well worked by physical labour. My reward and challenges have been receive. Right and until next time, I need a nap.

Summer Plans

Though my entire summer has been occupied with work, I still have a month and  half to go before fall. As I am writing this in early June, I think I will be out of contact for the time being when this is published. In any case, I have already planned a few things out for the summer.

With warm weather, I want to continue to be more active. Much like last year, I think I will have a lot of time swimming this year. I find swimming laps to be a bit calming. However, I would like to still go to the gym as usual. I want to definitely take in some sights around the city when I can get it. I’m not the most culturally sound person, but there are probably some events and festivals going around the city I could check out. Anything food related would be kind of cool; I’m not much of a music culture person, I like my own little world of my teenage musical machinations. In April (or what it March?), I bought my first airsoft gun. As of June, I have not used said gun. To remedy, I think I am going to look up local fields or other players who would like to take me under their wing and show my the ropes fo the sport

When I return from my hiatus from the Internet, I am definitely wanting to play more video games. On my YouTube channel, I think I want to buy a Steam card and start a new game. In recent history, I have been playing Cities: Skylines and a bit of Trove before I left in June. Who knows what games I will buy at the moment, I want to play an RPG or an FPS. I have considered replaying Fallout New Vegas and even playing the entirety of Skyrim. At the moment, I’ll decide once I have time to record again.

Until next time, I’m still away and hopefully I get to hear from you all soon.

Expectations Of Adulthood

As children, we are given an idea of what it is like as an adult. From parents to teachers, we usually find our own way into the world. As incredible as it sounds when we reach to “adulthood”, we look back and realize childhood was such a simpler time.

Though I am still youthful in my days, I have to admit I yearn for the days I wish I have nothing to do but at the same time I yearn for a bit of something worth doing. Call me strange but I’m in between being a child and and adult. People all around me can say I should grow up while we’re all chasing the last vestiges of our own youths. To me, it’s how you feel and what you do to express your youthfulness is what counts. In a way, my life is balanced between staying young and growing old. Though time can age me, adulthood would never scar me. I would like to play all the video games in the world, but I would like fulfilling work which can in turn give me more time and hardware to play. I want to feel perpetually carefree; I want to do all the adult things but have enough to just be a kid.

In a way I want to be a big kid with a monitor so big I can play video games on my bed with my wireless mouse and keyboard I bought. I want to fall in love with a girl who shares the same so we can have our entire place a adult playground  when we move in together (That sounds, guarantee you that’s not). I want to eat all the foods I like as a kid; of course in moderation since candy is bad and fried things make you fat.

Until next time, growing up doesn’t have to mean leaving things behind. Sometimes growing up means reconnecting with your past self.

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