Archive for the ‘Tech’ Category

Games and Razers and Ipads – Oh My!

First, lets tune my brain back to August and do a recap of what has happened! I signed up for Raptr for their Rift promotions, so that’s a good place to refresh my memory! Played Rift for a bit more but, as usual, I got burned out and stopped playing around the end of September. They got a nice chunk of cash from my son and I for being a free to play game and we had fun, but it was time to move on.

Then came the purchase of Borderlands 2! While I really didn’t like the first Borderlands, I needed something mindless to play. Borderlands 2 fit in perfect. Fun, Funny, Not hard to handle. Booted up a Siren and had a blast. Bought a copy for my son (he made a Mechromancer) and we duo-ed that first lap through and did some of the DLC content. Tina Tina’s Assault on Dragon Keep was awesome. I’m not a huge fan of FPS, but enjoyed this one. (106 hours of fun)

Here is a great set of diary-like recordings from the in-game mechromancer

Played a bit of Skyrim, some League of Legends (see link below on their new character), logged into Everquest 2 and got my level 85 instant upgrade to any character….but didn’t stay to play it. Then I grabbed an Early Access to a game called Gnomoria. A new version of an old game called Dwarves. You control a bunch of gnomes assigning them skills so they can perform tasks: Mining, farming, woodcutting, crafting, fighting. They don’t always listen to what you want, you more suggest what you want them to do, and they will eventually do it. So if they get hungry on their way down deep into your mine while on an assignment to set up a torch…they will drop it and run all the way back up for some nom noms. It’s complicated and difficult at first, and you will fail 1 or 2, or 3 times until you learn from a few mistakes you make (like not training a handful of defenders/fighters from almost the start of the game) Another way to think of it would be – you are in control of a Minecraft server but you dont play the game, you just watch everyone play it and influence what they do. Have played that for a little over 40 hours. Not mind blowing, but entertaining.

This is League of Legends new character Jinx. Awesome Song and video. They do updates with style!

One thing that I did grab that was surprisingly fun was The Stanley Parable. I would suggest NOT looking it up anywhere because that will spoil it…but do grab the free demo to check it out. The demo had me wanting to buy it just to enjoy the commentary. I got it through Steam and I think that is the only way to get it. Getting Steam is not a bad thing at all. Click here for a link.

At the present time, I am enjoying a trip back into The Secret World. Still love this game world. No other game I have played has made learning history such fun by making you look things up to solve clues. I did all the new Halloween content (except for killing Jack). Changed from Blades and Blood to Elemental and Pistols, then to Elemental and Blood and am currently still that. I have 73% of the skill wheel complete! Bought the new DLC packs, Last Train to Cairo and A Dream to Kill. Both are well done but a bit small on content. Would have liked a few more hours out of them. The smaller quests just seem like filler (kill 1 rat type) which TSW seemed to not be that full of before. Ran into a few bugs that I had previously reported as bugs and re-reported them. Auction House really needs fixing and better filters. I am used to Funcom not fixing bugs though from inside experience.

Mirinesse TSW

I also treated myself to some new toys. Toy number 1 – A Razer Blade laptop. A few years ago I bought an Apple Macbook laptop. I loved the size but I didn’t love that I couldn’t play most MMOs on it. I tried the Windows partition and just seemed like so much work and sometimes it didnt work, and I didn’t have my Excel spreadsheets…. I eventually gave up and just sold it. So a few years later – I thought it was time for a new one. I wanted something small but able to handle anything. It eventually came down to two choices. One from Origin PC or one from Razer. The 14″ Razer Blade won. It is so compact, thin, light, and reminded me of what I liked about the Macbook. It is thinner then half of my son’s laptop. If you haven’t ever taken a peek at one, check it out here. Great speed, nice screen (not visible at all angles though), decent battery life even when turned onto ultra. But it does get HOT. You cant put this baby on your carpet or bed…it will cook itself if you block the vents. The part above the keyboard below the screen gets hot enough that you can’t hold your finger on it for more than 3 or 4 seconds. That is about the only drawback, but understandable for how small and powerful this thing is. Also handy to watch my iTunes movies on my TV. It has a HDMI output.

Next purchase I made last night was a new iPad Air. I have the original iPad that came out years ago and have used it a lot. Definitely worth the money…it got its use. But now new apps no longer work with the old one…it loves to crash whenever I try to shop on iTunes and listen to sample tracks. So I told myself when a new one comes out, I would get it. I like it….Siri still sounds like a robot though. My iPhone did that when I upgraded to 7.0.1 for about 12 hours then she improved. Only thing that I dont feel really improved is the speakers. They still don’t get real loud and its not real high quality sound coming out.

Here is a request – If you read this blog when it comes out – like on your RSS feed or popping in from twitter, let me know. Hard to tell the real readers from the bots and spammers. Hit the comment button and say I DO!

Azz OUT!

Kinect and XBox 360 – RROD

Sooo, For Christmas, I bought an XBox360 Kinect thingie along with Dance Central and the Fitness One. It arrives and I wrap it up as a gift to give my son. Christmas comes and he opens all the gifts and is excited to try it out. Later that evening we get a chance to try it.

I plugged it in, connected everything and turned on the unit. I didn’t expect it to do anything yet, and I wasn’t disappointed. I knew it had to download an update since it didn’t come with software. It didn’t seem to want to update on its own, so I put in one of the Kinect Games and sure enough, it informed me I needed to update. I hit yes and let it do its thing. After 3 or 4 or 5 cycles through its update process it rebooted 1 or 2 times and then it started its setup and adjustments…asking me to do certain things. At one point it asked me to confirm or cancel and I couldn’t get the Kinect to do either and then it froze.

Hunting for a GPS?

I recently decided to buy a GPS for my car so I can get even worse at remembering directions! I did find a great deal on a good one. It is a Garmin nüvi 760
and it has several cool features.

  1. It has Bluetooth – so when your phone is near the GPS, calls are received through that and keeps you from having to find your phone and answer it which could lead to you having an accident.
  2. It can play through your radio using an FM transmitter. It also has an SD card slot and 440 MB of memory, so you can use it as an MP3 player.
  3. It receives constant traffic updates and will automatically adjust your trip to get around the problem areas. You can tell it not to of course.

This model is usually $400 but has it for $199. I had no trouble setting it up, entering addresses is simple, adding waypoints to stop on your trip is easy. Finding a restaurant, gas, or store is very simple.

One thing I did get for it was a few new voices. It comes with several good ones to begin with, and they are TTS, which means it will read all the street names and location names. I found a place called Pigtones. While these voices are meant to be funny, they are not worth the price. I downloaded GlaDOS – the computer voice from Portal, thinking it would be humorous. It does sound like her, but she says nothing funny, and all the voices you buy there are Not TTS – so you only get turn right at next exit, recalculating, arriving at destination. It is cool for like 1 day and then it loses its charm. I bought 3 others that are not great also. I feel I wasted my money – at $12-$13 a voice – it is not close to being worth it, plus you can only have ONE of those voices on at a time because it overwrites the plain voice on your unit. If you want to get a strange voice – get the free on from Garmin – Elfrod – it is supposed to be one of santas elves, and he says some witty things now and then.

If you think it is time to get a GPS – Click Here to go to Amazon and grab one before they run out!

The MacBook…

So, I now am an owner of a Mac. It is cool. Nice and compact, portable. Nice tools which I haven’t really gotten to play with. I did put WoW, on it – they have a Mac version, and it works just fine so far. I havent raided with it, but normal running around didn’t seem laggy at all.

Nice to watch movies on. Sit on the sofa and explore the net while watching TV. I started to reteach myself HTML… I taught myself way long ago, and have no idea how to use CSS so I thought I would relearn the right way.

Bit the Bullet and Ordered a Mac

I’ve always been tempted to get a Mac. Last year when my computer went died on me, I almost got one…even applied for Apple’s Credit Card. But instead I fixed it myself and it worked. The thing I miss though is being able to sit on the couch and use my laptop. I still have my old one but it got messed up when I wiped the drive and the original recovery disks didn’t work. I bought an Alienware laptop…top of the line, thinking it would be the best thing in the world. It was nice, but had it’s flaws like getting way too hot all the time, and the battery would just die within an hour and a half. I wrote to Alienware to see if they would help and no one ever got back to me.  They got my money, so i’m no good to them I guess.

ANYWAY, I was in one of my impulsive buying moods and peeked at the Mac Air. After reading about it, it seemed a little too underpowered. I like to play online games and that just wouldn’t work well. I would liove to have gotten a MacBook Pro, but I didnt want to invest that much money for something I really don’t need! So, I went for the simple MacBook bottom of the line with 4 GB ram.  WOOT, My first MAC! I should arrive on March 3rd. Ordered an Airport Extreme for it so I can walk around with it and my iPod Touch.

So, all you Mac users out there…tell me some fun stuff I can do with this new toy! Like show movies on my tv? Cook dinner for me? Pull weeds? Fill me in on some geeky things to do with it!