This is super random, but I really hate auto-updates. Long gone are the days when I’d look forward to OS updates on my Mac or iPhone because it seems like Apple is only interested in adding features to their newest products. How many times have I seen app updates for the iPhone X in the past few months? It’s been crazy. I’m sure, going forward, my little phone is going to be left in the dust while the OS is optimised for the absolute latest iPhone model while the updates that affect my phone are just going to make it slower and run hotter. Or the macOS updates are going to be centred on the touch bar that I don’t want, need, or have.
What I especially hate is when developers release a new version of their app and in the what’s new section, all it says is one of these:
We’re making the app better to use, so we update it every 2 weeks. (I think it’s because they want to stay at the top of the most downloaded chart.)
I’m not sure about anybody else, but I kinda would like to know what’s actually been improved. I don’t need the computer science explanation, I just want to know what bugs have been fixed and I mean the ones that would improve speed, improve the look, or something like that. I think developers should be a little more transparent like that or at least have a longer explanation of what work they’ve done. I’m perfectly fine with “Fixed spelling mistakes”. That would always make me happy.
The browser that I use as my default now, Vivaldi, does a really great job at this. There are actual things to look forward to with updates, they document them where people can see them, and they prove that you don’t have to go through 16 full number versions to bring in something new. It’s definitely annoying not to be able to distinguish what changed from Chrome 33 to Chrome 60. I’m sure 80 is right around the corner.
Still, I have a hope that new updates to software and apps bring something new and exciting to the table. I actually don’t have the auto-update features on anything turned on. I just get a notification of what’s changed then I can decide whether I want to install them. I usually do, but at least this way I can see what’s changed before I install it. I do this on my Mac, PC, Android devices, and iOS device. Security updates are different, but I’m usually well-informed of what’s happening in the security world anyway. I also don’t think that it’s smart to explain in detail what the security updates do before a certain percentage of people install them (an example of how telemetry can be used for good instead of evil).
I’m still hopeful and still looking forward to “remarkable” updates with stuff. My XBox One kinda auto-updates itself (because it’s always “on”) which makes me a little uneasy since I want to see the progress of Astroneer.
That’s all from me for the moment. Weird post but it’s been on my mind. You can never tell what I’ll post.
It’s been a while, hasn’t it? I’ve been focusing on feeling a little bit better and it’s worked minimally. I’m coughing my guts up every morning which isn’t really such a bad thing since it’s productive coughing. It’s a bit gross, but right now gross is good, especially since I have to get back into my regular life next week.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve picked up a few games to play to keep me from going insane. I had a lot of time off and this time off has made me feel a bit unproductive I guess you could say. I have more coming up for a longer period so I need to start planning right now. It would have been smart to go away for a bit, but I can’t be bothered to do something like that. Not right now.
So what did I pick up?
Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
I’m a few years late to this. I have been playing Skyrim since it came out and a game in the bundle I got with my XBox One was the enhanced version. Of course, that’s pretty much the only game I played until I finally decided to install another game that came with my system, Prey. That was pretty good too. But then I hungered for something else that was similar to Skyrim, but it wasn’t Skyrim. I picked up the Game of the Year Edition of Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.
It’s like Skyrim but it was really hard. It took time to get used to the fighting mechanics and I still don’t really like them compared to Skyrim. I get my ass beat regularly. I’ve died a lot and unfortunately, when you die, the loading screen is up for a long time so it’s like the game actually punishes you for dying. A few times of that and I’m like yeah, I need to get up and do something else.
But don’t get me wrong, it’s really fun. The world is huge. Some of the characters are really memorable. I actually remember things from the game. I sit back and think about it when I am doing something completely unrelated. Unlike Skyrim, you can’t just go anywhere you want and expect to kill stuff. (Basically, the monsters don’t “level up” with you.) It’s a bit more of a challenge, but it makes a lot of sense too. It’s just a really fun game. There’s a spinoff card game called Gwent but I haven’t played it yet. It’s kinda built into the game anyway and I haven’t even tried that either. (I wasn’t a big fan of the card game built into Final Fantasy IX, so I hope this’ll be better, but then again FF IX was like a billion years ago.)
Absolutely, totally worth the money I spent on it. I’m sure it will keep me occupied for a long time. I really can’t wait to see what the development company comes up with next.
Cuphead: Don’t Deal with the Devil
A name that would scare off the most zealous of Christians and superstitious, this game is hard. Cuphead’s art-style mimics cartoons made in the 1930s which, to me, is a lot of the appeal. It’s downright beautiful. But it’s hard… oh my god, is it hard. I can’t tell you how many times I wanted to throw my controller through the TV (or at my partner for laughing at me every time I die). There are a few difficulty levels of each stage and I always like to play the ones for wusses. Even that is super hard.
I know I’ve said a few times that it’s really hard, very hard. However, it’s so fun. It’s incredibly fun. It’s hard, but in a good way. Sometimes I die just from looking at the animation and not paying attention to what I’m doing. Sometimes I die in less than 10 seconds. Sometimes I finish 95% of the stage, then die. I can always retry. The loading screens don’t show if you replay the same stage which is nice, and even if you leave that stage, the loading times aren’t so bad. (Loading screens piss me off, have you noticed?)
If you haven’t played it, you really should. If you don’t want to play it, make sure you watch a video of the game play. It’s probably one of the most visually stunning games I’ve played. I’m looking forward to see what they’re going to do with the intellectual property. I hope there’s more. I’d pay for more.
Hearthstone and Gwent
It’s a card game. I haven’t really been a big fan of card games. I’ve tried, but haven’t had much interest in them. I’m not sure why. When Magic: The Gathering was so big, people were really surprised that I wasn’t interested or had no idea what was happening. Many years later, I decided to give Hearthstone a try. I played for about 10 minutes on my iPhone and it wasn’t incredibly boring like I thought it would be. I’ll play a bit later. Looked good so far! Haha.
Gwent, the game I mentioned earlier, has been sent to my XBox to install. Haven’t touched it yet. I’ll see how that goes.
Once upon a time, I had a HP laptop that I bought in 2007. I used it up until early this year. There were no speed problems with it, but it was starting to run really hot and noisy. It ran a few different versions of Windows and for the most part, I was a happy guy. It worked well for me and I am still amazed that it lasted as long as it did. (It was a fairly expensive laptop though. I don’t do cheap computers unless I’m desperate.) The hard drive died in it once and the mic/camera was a bit flaky, but its performance was absolutely solid. I could run everything I needed on it up until the end. (Gaming got a bit iffy though. The graphics card was getting to be obsolete and unsupported by just about everything.)
I retired that old laptop and replaced it with a desktop. I was trying to decide whether I wanted a HP desktop (I know, right???), a Surface Studio, or an iMac with a 5k display. It came down to how many pixels I could get on the display. The HP desktops weren’t really that impressive to me. I knew I wanted an all-in-one design and the power and resolution I needed just wasn’t available. The Surface Studio was just a bit overpriced and I was thinking, would I ever use it for what they’re built for? Probably not. Also, while I was considering it, I remembered how anxious I’d get because I got a lot of bad updates from Windows. I never knew whether the upgrades would go smooth or not. Some of them had left me without a laptop for a day or two. That left me with the decision to get a Mac.
I am no stranger to Macs. I got my first one around 2003 and it was great. It was one of those lamp-looking ones (the G4) and it, probably to this day, was my favourite computer (with the one I’m using now being #2 and the HP laptop being #3). After that one got a little too old, I gave it to my nephew and got one that wasn’t as visually stunning (the G5). That last one ran hot and I don’t think I got to use it much because at the time I had planned to move to Australia and I wasn’t going to bother bringing it with me, so I let my sister have it. If I’m not mistaken, she used it for a really long time. I bought one of the last PowerBooks, and headed off to Australia. That one was rock solid, but I got it right when Apple was transitioning to Intel processors. (The last time I checked, this one still works. Someone begged me for it, so I gave it to them.) To replace that one, I got one of the white plastic MacBooks that kind of picked up every bit of oil off my hands. I’m a very oily man. Not good, but the computer was good. No problems. I donated that one to a kid in The Philippines. THEN (this story does end), I got an iMac that started failing less than a year I got it. I was just about to go to the USA, so I thought I’d come back and take care of it. I called AppleCare who said that the warranty had expired 3 days before. So, it sat around gathering dust. (The graphics card was defective and the hard drive had already failed.) This jaded my decision to get another Mac. That’s when I got the HP laptop.
After the HP laptop’s hard drive failed, I didn’t have time to replace it (and I thought that the insides had melted anyway) so I got a MacBook Pro. I still have this one and I absolutely, 100% hate this piece of shit. It is the slowest computer I’ve ever used and it was slow when I first got it. Nothing I’ve done to it has speeded it up. I use it now when I HAVE to. I don’t use it because I want to. I got it with the impression that it will be as reliable as the other Macs I’ve gotten. It hasn’t had any major issues, but DAMN is it slow. When it isn’t cripplingly slow, it’s okay. I’ll give it that. I should have sold off that thing a long time ago.
The new iMac
So here I am. No technology has been 100% nice to me. I’m certainly not a Mac zealot. I have Windows 10 on here, but I use it only when I have to. I end up going back to macOS when I possibly can though because it’s been more reliable for me. I don’t get strange “An error has occurred somewhere” kind of messages. I don’t get error messages about drivers. It just works out really well for me. As far as programming goes, it doesn’t really get in my way. If I need to, I can just head over to my Windows 10 Bootcamp install. The display is gorgeous. I love all the millions of pixels. Everything’s crisp and clear. (It makes pictures on Facebook look terrible though.)
When I got this thing, I wasn’t impressed with the pre-installed memory of 8 GB. I also wasn’t impressed with the cost that Apple wants to charge for memory either. It is incredibly horrible. If this thing didn’t have user-serviceable memory, I wouldn’t have bothered. Seriously. I got an extra 32 GB for about A$400 and eventually, I’ll get another 32 GB. Right now I am standing on 40 GB.
I would have preferred the i7 version, but I don’t think the difference between the i5 and i7 will affect me that much. It hasn’t really been a problem at all, not that I’ve noticed anyway. The graphics card was the highest I could get with this model of iMac. The storage is at 2 TB. The OS is installed on flash storage so it’s speedy. The rest of the junk is on the hard drive part of the Fusion Drive.
So far it’s been a solid machine. It’s totally restored my confidence in Macs. It’s also made me happy that I no longer have to subject myself to the mysteries of the Windows operating system (unless I want to).
Oh, and I totally hate the Apple Magic Mouse 2. But you can read about that here. If you’re too lazy to click the link, basically it is the most uncomfortable mouse ever and the “scroll wheel” on it is so incredibly sensitive. Also, the charging port for it is ON THE BOTTOM. Do yourself a favour if you get one… get a better mouse that feels better in your hand… and one that works a lot better too!
Oh, and the Microsoft Surface?
Thinking about getting their Surface Pro? It’s really good. That’s what I usually suggest for people who are okay with Windows or they’re used to Windows. If you’re thinking of getting a new “laptop”, they’ve been pretty solid. I forgot to mention that I got one of these too, but it was the RT version. I liked it. The rest of the world didn’t. I’ve also suggested this so many times to people (who bought one and they’ve been happy), Microsoft should pay me!
Another part of my childhood destroyed by AOL. AIM will be shutting down on 15 December 2017. It’s actually okay though because I haven’t sent anybody a message using AIM in over 5 years (if not longer). It was actually the first messenger I used to chat with people on the Internet (including the AOL chat rooms).
Chatting back then was so much fun but I met some really weird people on there. I didn’t dare meet them in person though. At the time when I was around 15 or 16, I would chat with a lot of people. I was pretty popular because I’d pop into the gay chatrooms that were basically for older guys and they’d see me as fresh meat (and some of it was really creepy, thinking back). Of course, back then I don’t think that I had any sexuality at all. I was probably more into myself than I was in anybody else. I guess you could call that curious or questioning or something.
Years later, I met some really nice people. Some I am still connected with on Facebook. Some, I’ve lost contact with. I guess that’s okay. Not everybody is supposed to stay in your life forever, I guess.
So, goodbye AIM. It was great having you in my life for a while. Thanks for the memories.
Owning a new Mac gives me an uncontrollable urge to make things. I’ve tried podcasting a few times in the past and it went well the first time around. It was an exciting time of my life when I was moving from the USA to Australia, and I was in a relationship with someone who I probably needed to call it quits on. It was interesting. It was fun recording them with my friends in Texas.
Then, all of a sudden something happened and I stopped. I think it was just a case of “Why bother?” And I stopped. Later, I decided to do another one under a new name, and my heart just wasn’t in it. I felt like they were forced and I’d go into them with not much to say. It made for some really boring listening material. So many people at the time did them and they did so much better than I did. (That’s okay and it’s not meant to be negative. It’s just true.)
Every so often I go back to considering whether I want to record again. The answer has been no every time. The answer is still no.
Something that I have learned from my university studies is video production. I’ve been wanting to do something with it, but haven’t done much yet. I will though. I made my partner’s last cooking video very quickly because he was thinking about making a cooking channel on YouTube. I recorded it with my phone, and fired up iMovie, to make a simple video. (No, I wasn’t trained to use iMovie. I am trained in Premiere Pro and After Effects.) Most of that was to see whether he could explain to people how to cook Indian food. He did an okay job though. It was an excellent first attempt for him. I’ve been trying to talk him into doing something, but he’s always got other pressing matters to tend to–pressing matters that he refuses to acknowledge so I am nagging him a lot lately.
I’m also thinking of making gameplay videos at some point, but I’m not really sure 100% about that. I don’t want to really become rich and famous or anything. I just want to be able to do something that I enjoy, I guess you could say, and then edit it into a beautiful-ish masterpiece. (We know a masterpiece won’t happen!)
So it’s all about media. I am just thinking of what I want to do. If you have suggestions for me, you can comment here, or send me an email.
Not that I’ve had to recharge my Magic Mouse yet, but decided that I would do it anyway. My keyboard and mouse that I got with my iMac were about 90% charged when I got them, so I thought I’d just let them run out of juice before I charge them again. Impatient me wouldn’t let it happen.
The keyboard is a bit better. I wanted the full-sized keyboard, but didn’t want the 2 extra weeks it would take them to pack it in the box. Charging my keyboard is fine. No big problem there. Why? Because the charging port is in a logical place.
With the Magic Mouse, the charging port isn’t really in a logical place. But, really, where could they have put it? (Hint: probably on the side)
Honestly, I’m not a big fan of this mouse. I had another Magic Mouse but it was the first version of it. I didn’t really like that one either. It didn’t work very well with Monstro, my old Mac Pro. A friend of mine borrowed it and never bothered to return it, so yeah.
So what do I use? I use this old, worn out thing:
The putting charging ports in stupid places isn’t only an Apple thing either. My Sony Xperia Z3 has it on the side. That’s not such a bad problem until you realize that the cover on it hinges on that side, so you can’t charge it with its cover closed. (I’m turning this phone into a home security camera, by the way.)
Usually Apple gets the design of their products right. The Magic Mouse is my only problem so far. This new computer has been awesome so far. I should be getting a delivery of memory in a few days to boost its performance. Right now, I have 8 GB of memory installed and have run into no problems so far. I’m going to put in another 32 GB of memory into this thing, then later, replace the 8 GB with another 32 GB. Crazy! I haven’t owned a computer with more than 8 GB of memory. Even 8 GB in my laptop was starting to do a terrible job.
That’s all from me at the moment. I’m just working on some video-related stuff now, since I have a computer that won’t choke on video editing software.
It’s been a while since I sat down and wrote a post here, so I thought I’d write at least something while I have a few minutes of extra time. Quite a bit is happening around me at the moment which would explain my absence from my weblog (and other messengers). I’m just closing up the first part of my training to become better at my primary job. It’s actually nice to get back into it full-time again, but it’s really exhausting. I am also back to shift work which means that I go in tonight, leave, then wake up about 6 hours later to start the process all over again. Not fun, but it comes with the type of work I do, so I can’t complain too much.
I realised that I probably isolate myself from people a lot more than I should. I think working in IT will do that to a person, especially when they work for themselves and work from home. I would just attend a meeting or two per week, and then that was most of my social interaction. At the same time, my main career was on hold and ignored. I do like what I do, but I think sometimes my anxiety and social anxiety likes to take over at times and it just makes me panic a bit. I’m trying so hard to bust through it so I can live a life where my gut isn’t all messed up all the time, and I can be a bit more of a social person.
To support my ongoing work in IT, I decided to get myself one of the 27 inch iMacs (the ones with the 5k display). I haven’t had much time to sit around and mess with it though which is really, really hard for me because I really love getting stuff in the mail, and better yet, I love opening boxes with new computer equipment. I think the first thing I did was install Steam and Starbound. I don’t even think that I bothered updating anything else after I opened it. There really wasn’t too many software updates since this computer is basically a month from being released.
So far, so good. It’s so much easier on my eyes.
I still have my 24 inch iMac sitting on the floor and feel a little sorry for it. He’s 10 years old this year and it still works really well despite having to replace the hard drive and a sometimes-malfunctioning graphics card. I don’t know what to do with it yet. I did sell it to my partner for $150 but it’s nice to have around. I used it for the whole day over the weekend and it was really well-behaved. It made me feel bad that I was replacing him, but 10 years is a really good run, wouldn’t you say?
My partner and I are heading off to Mornington Peninsula after my training completes. We haven’t had too much time together since he’s been back, so this will be good. I keep getting a little snippy with him because of my workload and the fact that I need to do about 12 things at one time. He’s been really good to me and he’s done a lot even though he’s still a bit sore from his surgery. He takes care of me very well but maybe it’s not working the other way around right now. I expect to get back into the groove of things once things calm down around here.
So for now, that’s it. I still have a while to go, so hopefully I can post sooner. There are a ton of things on my mind which have the unfortunate side effect of knowing not what to say when I have so much to say. It makes it really hard. A lot of those things are just emotions and thoughts about people in general and I guess a little bit about my mental health too. I think sometimes it’s good to get those things out in the open, but right now, I just need to stay calm and collect those thoughts for another day!
I remember when I was a little kid, I’d go over to my grandparents’ house after my grandmother would go to garage sales and buy toys for me, my sister, and cousins. Every so often, she’d pick up some pretty cool things (things I wished I still had).
For some reason, today, I was thinking about one of those games that she got me one time and couldn’t remember what it was called. I knew that it was orange. I knew it was the 80’s. And I knew that it was about spaceships. I searched for all those things and finally came up with the TomyTronic Scramble tabletop game.
This is it, TomyTronic Scramble:
My favorite was when the batteries would start dying and it would do some really incredibly weird things. It would beep, and make a lot of crazy noises when the batteries were dying.
I always thought the missiles and oil tanks were clowns though. They just looked like clowns to me.
Anyway, I really miss going to my grandparents’ house. I miss being a kid sometimes. I kinda wished that I spent more time with my family in general, but you know how it is. Love called. I answered. I’m still here.
My Sony Xperia Z3 is about to get retired/fired/trashed/recycled and I’m really glad. I grew to really hate that thing. The phone had lost its water-proofing failed a few months after I got it because the front cover started to pop off. I wasn’t really rough with it. I just carried it around in my pocket mostly. I didn’t really notice that the water-proofing failed until I tried to take a picture and it came out cloudy. I looked at the lens, and noticed that there was condensation in it. Fun.
The speaker on it started to sound like it was busted. The vibration on it stopped a LONG time ago. The sound from the headphone jack is awful. There are two piss yellow stains on the display. The damned thing’s charging port is on the left side which prevents me from closing it when I charge (totally my fault for not thinking those things over before I buy the cover). Oh, and if you drop it and the screen cracks, it’s totally worthless and expensive to replace.
I got sick of Sony updating the software for it a year after a new Android version was released. (Sony said they weren’t going to update Android anymore a year after I got it.)
Android, however, isn’t bad. I liked seeing widgets on my home screen. I liked to be able to do more with it. I liked how Android felt and operated.
I am done with it.
My two-year contract with my Xperia finished this month. I ended my contract early because the cover/touchscreen is about to pop off for the third time.
Before I had the Xperia, I had an iPhone and looking back, it was a pretty stable, reliable phone. I didn’t have any major problems with it like I did with the Sony phone. I mean, the phone started swelling, so that’s why I ditched it. Come to find out, it just needed a new battery. I gave it to my ex and he’s still using it.
I decided to get an iPhone again, but it’s not one that people would expect. One of the annoying things about the phone I have now is that it’s an uncomfortable size. I can’t really use it with one hand (and before anybody thinks something naughty, there are plenty of times I needed to pick my nose with the other hand). I’m getting the iPhone SE. I’m getting the 128 GB sized one.
I am wanting to get less obsessed with my phone. I look around now on the trains, trams, and buses and see people with their heads down. People are going to dinner with their eyes fixed on a phone. I figure that a smaller phone will make me look at it a lot less. I feel like it will improve my relationships with other people because I know that I’m guilty at playing with my phone in social settings.
The front camera on it is horrible though but I don’t care.
It’s also over $20 cheaper per month than what I had before. That saved money can go towards bulking powder or pizza.
I’m also hoping to get one of the new 27″ iMacs and I know that having both a Mac and iPhone is a nice pair. I refuse to use that thing with a Windows PC.
I’m fairly sure this probably should be a Twitter update instead of a weblog post, but I’m going to go for it anyway. I’m also not much of a tech writer, so please forgive me for coming across as a bit idiotic. In my daily life, I use multiple operating systems on multiple computers. I use Windows 10 mostly, followed by Mac OS, then Ubuntu. I use Windows 10 a majority of my work because it’s most dependable for me. My MacBook Pro and I are enemies. I hate that thing. It’s been excruciatingly slow since day one. What takes me 5 minutes to do on a Windows computer takes me about 30 minutes on that Mac. I just hate it and use it as a last resort. If I need to do something quick that doesn’t involve Adobe Creative Cloud apps, I use Ubuntu. A bit of a KDE flavor, I guess you could say. I can still get work done on it.
Now that I’ve given you that little bit of useless information, I will confess something. I’m writing this using on the Microsoft Edge browser. To me, it’s not so bad, but I’m one of those people who really likes the Google integration of Chrome since my small business uses G Suite.
There’s a reason I am using Edge though and it’s quite a hilarious reason. No one really wants to use Edge or Microsoft’s search engine, Bing, so they have to give incentives for people to use it. That comes in the form of earning points for doing web searches and using the browser. I think if it wasn’t for that, I honestly wouldn’t bother. I actually DO like Bing’s image search though, so it’s not so bad.
A little thing about those points that you earn from Microsoft is that I stockpiled over $60 in Skype credits the last time I was in Texas for three months. Back then, it was a USA thing, so I had fun using it and adding to my Skype balance. I came to Australia and well, they detected that I was in Australia and the point earning stopped. Recently, they brought the Microsoft Rewards system to Australia so I’m back to earning points. I thought that it’s a good time to give Edge a go and really, it’s not that bad. It feels a bit slower than the Webkit-based browsers, but it still gets the job done.
It makes me think what it would be like if Google incentivized their browser and searches. They don’t need to though because most people already use it but wouldn’t it be great to earn towards something like a Chromecast (which I already have so…)?
I just find it interesting is that the rewards system is pretty much the only reason why I use Edge and Bing. It’s just kind of weird that I’d do something like that but it’s a bit of a nerdy rush to see my points increase like they do. I’ll probably just keep adding to my Skype balance though I hardly ever use it. I’ve been thinking of just getting a Skype number and then I remember that no one ever calls me anymore so maybe I can just keep saving for something else. I don’t know.
Anyway, that’s it from me. It’s just something that was floating around in my head. 🙂 By the way, no one coerced me to write this thing. Seriously.