nawkcire

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

Tag Archives: computer

Easy September

The past week has been filled with some ongoing things happening. Aside from the sleep and the much relaxation, I’ve been trying to get back into recording more Stardew Valley on my channel. I’ve recently upgraded my 8 year old PC. Nothing too in depth, installed a new GeForce 950 GTX to replace the 430 I had and a 2 TB hard drive. After a week running the new GPU through her paces, I’m starting to think my entire PC is under powered for the new GPU. Power is running great but I think the CPU might be having a tough time catching up with processing some games. I don’t know exactly is the problem, let me know in the comments what you think stuttering and “lag” might be. The new hard drive is working fine, I’ve managed to transfer my game files from Steam to the new drive without hiccups. All save files are functional thankfully so I don’t have to restart a new Stardew playthrough.

The original intent was to buy a new PC, but an old buddy of mine convinced me to upgrade the GPU and save the $600 of new PC parts. But the cheap guy I am, I decided to upgrade this PC; hopefully one last time. When I started up Insurgency to play, I had a few problems with servers that were located out west. Then I realized I was lagging from local servers too. Of course I had to pull off something stupid to expend the $600 I saved. Luckily at the time, a local airsoft store had a P90 in stock. I’ve been looking into buying a P90 since I started playing airsoft and now here it is with only an hour ride out and a few days of waiting for the shop to open. Of course the day came and I bought it under budget, still pricey for a airsoft replica. Nonetheless, it was less than 600 with a spare magazine. Along with the Cyclone impact BB grenade and spring shotgun, I have a few things to try out. Of course I’m giving my pistol another go even though I’m shearing the feeding lips every time I’m using it. If I get a chance at the end of the month to play, I’ll definitely give it a go.

Other than that, happy with my new purchases for fall. Maybe enjoy it as much as I can until I can find something to complain about or something to talk about.

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.

Generically Made In China

This week I’m having a string a bad luck, more than usual considering how my luck has been over the last few years. When the world throws so much at same time, it does feel these events have created a rough moment. Hopefully if I catalogue it all, I would feel better about it. If not, I hope someone out there can comfort me and let me know.

Starting with the start of this week. I always check my calendar for holidays. Since my family home doesn’t have TV, I rely on my Google account for a lot of things that may seem trivial. So on my calendar it said it was “Family Day”. In Canada, it’s a statutory holiday in early February as a way to let people spend time with friends and family. With each holiday celebrating on certain days, names and setting the date, this is where it gets tricky. The Family Day listed for this week was for the folks in British Columbia and I live in the place that is not British Columbia. When I went to work the next day, I was confused when my co-workers asked where I was yesterday. I sure got a talking to when I realized a missed a day of work. I was indeed furious since at the moment I cannot be wrong. Working at the moment is important for me; priority one: work butt off since I need the money to do things. Missing a day could mean less for me some day in the future. It’s not much but it’s better than nothing at all.

On the Wednesday, I started to do some housekeeping. Okay not necessarily housekeeping (Though I should do some of that as well), but I had paperwork I have to do on a monthly. So when I was done printing and filing, I had to head out to the post office. I realized it’s time to file for taxes. Not sure where you folks are but here in Canada, we have to report our T4 slips. T4’s is a document form your employer that indicates to the government you work there and you have paid towards certain social services and made contributions to these programs. So for me to receive my T4, I have to be at work; which I missed. You can say I can drop into work next week; I say to that, “Family Day”. Yup, the stat holiday I thought happened this week is next week so I won’t be able to receive my slip until two weeks time. Which sucks because after my troubling times in high school, I like to try and stay on top of my paperwork as much as I can before it all stacks on me.

To top it off, my generically built AC adaptor for my laptop has finally bust. After being slid, dropped, overheated, abused, misused and mistreated over the years I’ve had it, it’s finally unable to do what it’s suppose to be designed to do. For the price at the time, it was a steal. However now, I have a couple choices. First being to replace the damaged part which is stretched and torn, it could set me back half the price of a dodgy charger. Second option would be to buy something new and probably more reliable than something that came from China in a brown box. She’s an old laptop, I’m not giving up on her because she’s old and battered.

While looking into replacement parts, I decided to Google for PC builders. And for under $1000, I could potentially get a computer that can outpace my computer right now. However the problem is my mentality of keeping everything until it breaks. At the moment as I look at my 8 year old PC, she’s stilling going strong. She might make some noises that worry me, but she’s holding on. I can run all the games I like on her. Only downfall is size and quality. If I had a better GPU (Graphics Processing Unit), I would record my gameplay on a higher quality. A better GPU I think would require a better motherboard, which means a whole new CPU. So for the price of half of my computer’s value, I could get one that’s either on par or way better for years to come. However this is where I draw the line. I don’t have enough money to save up and anything I’m saving now is going toward hopefully moving out someday. In the end I know I’m going to need more than just this job at the moment to keep me on track.

Laying in all my current frustrations, I’m not quite sure what to make of all of this. If this is nothing, then it will pass. In this mood, I feel anger, sadness and melodrama; I need another voice besides my own to sort me out. Until next time, sort me out.

Can This Be A Thing?

I personally own a wireless mouse because the trackpad on my laptop feels uncomfortable (also the mouse was given to me awhile back and I finally have a use for it). Though it does provide more fluid movies on a 15 inch screen, there is a flaw I dislike about wireless products. This being the fact I need to recharge the batteries. I must admit, I use my mouse frequently so I usually recharge the batteries once a week. However as routine sets in, sometimes the mouse won’t last through the entire week and I would have to recharge them more frequently. I have considered a wired option for my laptop but wires would hinder the time I would need to set up my mouse and usually the cable is long and can get tangled. From my point of view having two variants of the same product is kind of out of the way for mobile technology, so why not have both?

I would like to see a wireless mouse designed to be more flexible whether it would be for desktop or laptop. Built primarily as a wireless mouse, it will be small with the ability to use a USB interface just like a traditional wired mouse. I don’t have anything designed; but it would be an interesting concept to pursue. For starters the device would need a transmitter and receiver like a normal wireless device. Second would be it’s ability to be wired as well. I think the USB cable should be able to plug into the mouse and the desktop without a need for a second port. Perhaps the dongle receiver would have a USB port onto itself to relay power and data to the mouse. Now comes the tricky part, I’ve read about USB hardware and someplace has said some devices now won’t allow certain devices to charge through a USB power. I am quite unsure if this is on the computer end or the peripheral end but it would be an extraordinary feature if the mouse can act as a universal charge for the batteries it’s using. So it can draw power from a power source without the need of replacing the batteries and the charging process won’t damage the batteries. With these 3 features, I think the wireless mouse would be great improved in terms of it’s versatility and minimize the need of buying additional peripherals for a computer platform. It doesn’t even have to end at mice, a keyboard which can be wireless and wired with the capability of recharging it’s own batteries would be an interesting step in allowing these peripherals to interface more easily on laptops and desktops.

Has anyone really thought about this besides me? If it was cheap, I wouldn’t mind have a wireless mouse like that. Any hardware designers out there, I offer you that challenge if there is no product out there like it build a wireless mouse which can:

  1. Be wired and wireless.
  2. Able to switch between devices through it’s own means. As in if I have my receiver on my laptop and I have the USB cable plugged into my desktop, I have the function to switch between wired and wireless modes without a need of a KVM switch.
  3. Able to recharge its own batteries. You cannot design the battery and the batteries are from large battery manufacturers which can be easily replaced. As in if I have Energizer brand rechargeable batteries, I should be able to use and recharge them through the mouse. If I chose to use Duracell brand of rechargeable batteries, then I would able to change them out and the Duracell batteries should be able to recharge.
  4. Optionally be able able to hold it charge for a longer period of time. A month at the most before charge. Though I would like to see a mouse that can be as power efficient as possible.

Until next time I leave this to you, geniuses of the world. It’s up to you to make what we have now and make them better.

Post-Christmas, Pre-New Year’s Eve and Desktop Design Idea…Also Belated Anniversary

Addicted to video games, and still addicted to video games. It’s been about a few weeks since I really enjoy a good gaming session. Of course I’ve been logging into Star Trek Online for daily nudies from Q, but it’s not what I really want in terms of playing a game. On a laptop especially, gaming is pretty low quality or boring. What makes it worse is I can’t stream YouTube on my laptop but I can on my phone. First world problems; can’t stream YouTube in high quality. I have to admit, I’m quite fidgety awaiting for my next fix. I somewhat regret cracking open Blacklight Retribution before travelling for Christmas. Even with all this, I have a week and a half to go before I return to my desktop. Ugh, when I do; I will do and do it all night long (maybe).

Enough about me, I hope everyone had a good Christmas. Either opening present or eating Chinese food – or both! If none, then maybe New Year’s Eve will be interesting. Unfortunately, I will be alone for New Year’s; I’ll be joining the lonely few to drink, watch TV or hanging out on the internet. Okay to be honest, I’m counting days right now. I do think I’ve overstayed my welcome in the great land of the United States of America. I want to get home, get on a bunch of job listings and play video games non-stop.

In desperation, I’ve been sitting around the internet looking for small form factor desktop computers. Specifically that can be modular to handle upgrades like a regular sized desktop but designed to video games. Pretty much all I want inside a tiny box is a gaming PC that fits inside my backpack and will work everywhere where a monitor and internet is available. Follow up to that is a mouse and a foldable or super compact keyboard. I guess that’s what I should wish for next Christmas. Seriously, is it just me or does PC gaming should become a bit more mobile? Even just the desktop tower, it would be pretty neat to play wherever I go. In my head, I think it just needs to be in a small box containing nothing more than a power supply, hard drive, graphics card and the smallest motherboard with one of each video, a few USB, ethernet, audio, 2 PCI connectors. I may have described something already available but I would like something to be built towards playing desktop games than being a multimedia centre. Meaning higher processing power and the modular chipset so I can replace particular parts or adding parts. Get on it, PC manufacturers!

Though a possible compromise would be somehow to turn a briefcase to into a desktop. There is a few downsides to that idea but it would maintain the idea of a powerful mobile PC. The only downside I can see is if you leave it somewhere unattended, it may scare some people since people see bombs in movies as being hidden in a briefcase. In these days, I think people would rather fear for the worse. Regardless, still want to see a PC equivalent of the console. I’m really hung up on this because I miss playing my games for fun than just keeping up with daily grinding.

On a lighter note, this blog is now officially a few years old. That happened 23 days ago without much fanfare. I only noticed when WordPress.com sent me a notification. Surprisingly, it’s probably the third longest ongoing project in my life. The journey here is more or less a love/hate relationship. Days I never wanted to share my thoughts and the days I can write until my wrists and fingers go sore. In the last few years, I remind myself that this blog is about me and my ramblings. Not for sale for the highest bidder but a reflecting pool for myself and maybe for some of you. This blog is about the good times and the worst I can experience. For the highs and lulls and my small repository of wisdom and knowledge, hopefully it is how it reads. No matter how hard 2013 was for us and those who just subscribed, look back on it and think about how that changed you. Regardless of the pride or regret, the experience of every passing year is an opportunity for the future. Without your past, there is no future. Without an outlook for the future, the past means nothing. So for all of you, all +120, I would like to thank you for being on my journey. To think of it; if my blog is a commercial airplane, you would all be my passengers and I would be the captain and pilot. After a few years in service, I’m pretty happy I haven’t crashed it.

Until next year readers, happy new years!

Cubed Mania (Cube World alpha Review)

It seems more and more I’m getting back to my roots to 16 bit and 8 bit graphical games. Recently I got my hands onto the alpha test of Cube World. Though at the moment I’ve explored through the single player and I have not got into the multiplayer.

At the beginning when I start up the game, I am introduced to a 3D rendering of the in-game environment. Which seems less noisy and bring back to something reminiscent to old blocky RPG games from Zelda with simple tiles as well as it’s RPG element with various monsters and bosses in gameplay. The environment features a bit of random generation based on a numerical seed. In sort when you create a world, you can put down a random number and it will do its thing to seed the world. The character creation is simple through a set of types of body parts. Along with the character creation screen, you choose out of 4 classes which also restricts the weapons and armour. Which also at the moment restricts what materials you need to create armour. Good time to get into the mechanics.

In the alpha version at the moment, you can explore the world and participate in random quests in killing monsters marked on the map. The map displays the kingdom and the explored areas visited. Within each kingdom that I’ve noticed is that it contains one city which sells separate set of items from other cities while maintaining the 3 other mechanics available in each city. In these cities you have particular areas to let you trade, craft and get pets while the fourth district in the city seems more for switching subclasses; two for each of the 4 main classes. Crafting seems pretty straight forward from what I’ve experienced in Runes Of Magic where you gather your resources and go to a certain place to craft it. Same with food which heals health over time; which potions do as well without but with higher heals over time while not needing a place to craft. Pet however gets a tad technical which requires killing a bunch of mobs for pet food and feeding it to a certain mob. Wait! Here’s a really weird and complicated part. From the wiki pages I’ve managed to flip though to figure out how to get pets, certain kind of mobs will drop certain kinds of human food; mostly desserts. Unlike Star Trek Online, the frequent game I play, all pets can fight and some you can ride as long as you have the skill.

At the moment at this iteration, the game is fairly repetitive. It’s a slash and kill, open world adventure game.  With these random dungeon quests provides a small layer of non-linear play where you run through a dungeon and kill a boss. I haven’t tried the multiplayer since it is mostly like Minecraft where you have to find an IP address and hope in directly (If anyone wants to send an invite to their server, feel free to comment to this with a server IP). The current redeeming quality to the game compared to something closely comparable is the hang-gliding, boating and mounts through pets. The game size also might entice people to carry the client around to join from different computers. If I could recommend it, this would be partly recommendable if you are into the open-world aspect or just a casual player looking for something a bit halfway of nothing serious to something that can be ridiculously time-consuming. For not much story, content and gameplay; it returns with an open cubed world which is worth a small peak.

Talking points on cloud computer – the best worst idea

Of course, it isn’t a new topic.  Cloud computing has been around since the early 2000’s and has many uses for it. Only recently we seen games to venture into this congregation. Now currently saving our game states and customization options to small tasks now just require a small installation and an internet. The internet, the infrastructure that connects us through fibre optics and data; while the digital generation progresses, most innovations would be to safe guard the cyber superhighway from malevolent forces in meatspace.

At one point, we all had the experience of cloud computer where one account kept all those powerpoint presentations and contact lists together in a server to queue up for you. Impressive now office suites has almost lost footing to contenders offering the same service as this product, there are a few flaws that would never come accross until we really come across that scenario. Though megasystems keep all our data so we can travel and reconnect to later is convenient, we have to keep in mind one digital saying; “what is on the internet, stay on the internet.” To this; your information of others, your research projects, and pictures of your cat even deleted; would likely turn up somewhere else. Not relating to this subject, it is a mere example. Though it is handy to provide services, it is critical to encrypt all data to prevent hackers from obtaining credit card information from site that would offer a services via the cloud. Of course the old school phish scams are still around but a bit more sophisticated with cloud computing. One small move can cause the list of friends to be given a scam in the spam.

The upside to the situation are small services to provide you with a place to keep and share files with coworkers and friends. In certain cases this helps a lot especially if the service has a free model. Just register an account and begin sharing or moving important files. There are times when it is necessary to keep files online and some offline. However our world infrstructure is still transitioning to make cloud computing viable. When days when you can recall a powerpoint out of the cloud and ditch the corrupt copy on your PC becomes the norm, we could see a lot more things to be sent to the cloud. Those days are coming soon, very soon. The days of “dog ate my homework” are fleeting. Though storage is a good idea, some things on the other hand only work well on paper. Interactive streaming services where the user has access to a service which streams information constant back and forth. This is more daunting if bandwidth is limited. Though commendable for and idea like playing the latest game titles over the net, compensating for lag and the likely poor graphics quality could be the deal breaker as a gamer. Also cloud computing is running out of places to adapt to, though commercial uses are out now, more competitors are set to clash and likely the bottleneck would get tighter.

Some services would be irreplaceable like digital download clouds and office suites. In fact likely most of us due to our frugal nature would likely have depended on clouds to help get things done. Game publishers are on board either relying on current services or constructing their own. The digital age is a quick change to how services provided. Guaranteed it has changed how we watch videos, store data, and share computing power. In time, it will fizzle out; but leaving a lasting impression for lightweight computing.

Posted from WordPress via Blackberry Playbook.

Really Bad Computer Jokes And What’s New To Me

It’s an early morning and I think I would tickle that funny bone. I’m more of a stand up than just a one-liner, but these I thought up were pretty good. So I think I should share them with you guys.

What did the file say to the hard drive?

Don’t depile me, bro!

What do you call a hard drive in a cubicle?

Partitioned.

What do you call a SATA drive upside down?

ATAS.

What do you call a 40GB hard drive nowadays?

A doorstop.

What did Microsoft Office say when you install it?

“Looks like you’re installing Microsoft Office. Do you need help with that?”

A user walks into a bar and looks at the sandwich menu. He’s dissatisfied and calls the barkeep. He asks as he points to a sandwich, “how many bites would this take?” The barkeep replied, “For you, 32 768 000 000.”

What game does a blogger play with his blog?

Tag.

What subject you call a pirate pirating a pirate documentary about pirating in the 1600’s?

Anthropology.

I tried. You were warned.

Anyways, I started to listen to podcasts for the first time. Yeah, yours truly finally started into the podcasting stuff. I use to have iTunes but I would just sit there and listen to music and never really check out any of those broadcasts. My first one I’m listening is The 404 from CNET. If i wanted to listen to two Asians and a white guy talk about computers, games and hardware with all the profanity and slurs of a sailor; I would go outside (sorry if I offended anyone). So far, it’s the best and relatable podcast I’ve found so far; that and their schedule is pretty frequent so I don’t have to syndicate episodes. I have to find some other podcasts, but this is the only one I really enjoy. So much so, I’m starting to listen their episodes chronologically until I get to the most recent one. I had a SG-1 marathon, I can do a 404 marathon. So I’m up to episode 8 now with each spanning about 30 minutes.

I’m considering on getting back into Runes Of Magic. It’s free to play and I have a level 45/45 character I haven’t seen in ages so I think I should really give it another shot. Though most of the time, I’m just catching up with my priest and the quests are pretty similar. But I think I should get back into it and try play it some more. I’m already getting bored of FPS games and maybe I should go back to my beloved MMO? Though I wouldn’t mind a Stargate MMO, unfortunately Cheyenne Mountain went bankrupt awhile ago and never finished, pity.

Something new happened recently; I finally got that external hard drive. How I got is serendipitous; I just found an 80GB IDE Maxtor DiamondMax in the trash so I thought I might as well take it in and use it as an internal. Unfortunately my IDE  space is full with my optical drives and I don’t have a IDE/SATA converter so I did the next best thing and made it as a small back up hard drive. So I bought one though I might have a feeling I may regret my purchase of a IDE hard drive enclosure. However maybe someday I’ll buy a SATA enclosure so I can swap between both. I always wanted to have a large database of just stuff I want to save like my music and videos. So pretty much, just amateur plug and play stuff. Now I regret not getting the IDE/SATA enclosure for $35, lesson learned (maybe gift this little puppy to my sister?). My awesome computer is just a few steps away, just have to upgrade memory and maybe the cooling system and a bank of external hard drives.

Until next time bloggers, have a nice Friday!