New Addictions…

minecraft_logo_by_alesgot-d5k2ct7So my last post talked about my then new addiction to GTA5. Well, I had been playing that pretty much daily and for several hours a day. I say “had” because I have found a new, more powerful addiction…


Holy cow. I can’t believe how addicted I am to Minecraft. I originally bought the game not long after it had been released to the public. Early 2010. I looked at it, didn’t really get it other than people making crazy sculptures with the blocks in the game. So I shelved the game (virtually, it was a digital download) and moved on.

Recently, I saw a Let’s Play on YouTube of folks playing in Minecraft. After seeing what the thing could really do, I located my install image and installed it again. Went to the Minecraft Wiki and that was pretty much that.

I played around in the Single player Survival game, started over a couple of times since I was learning. Then really settled down into the game. I then installed the server version and got my wife hooked on the game too. So we are both playing in a local server.

Now we have been learning about how players can create automated systems for things like item sorting, farming, etc… So we have both been learning how to create some of those systems.

I have found I rarely watch TV anymore. Just one thing at lunch, something at dinner time and maybe something before bed. Otherwise, I’m sitting behind my computer either playing in our survival world or learning how to build something or experimenting with the layout of what will soon be our base of operations in the survival world. :)

Time has been flying by ever since!

I’m not dead…

In case anyone who reads this site has been wondering what has happened to it’s already irregular posts…

I’m not dead. I’ve just been sucked up in to the world of Grand Theft Auto 5 and have been playing pretty much steady since the day after Thanksgiving when I got it.

I’ve accumulated over 260 hours (almost 11 days) of play. 205 hours in the single player game (still trying to get all the way to 100% completion) and 55 hours in the Online part, mostly being PWN’ed by all the other way better PvP players out there. I have created a “Crew” called “Dragonriders of LS” with the ingame tag of “PERN”. I know, very nerdy… I’ve joined a couple of other Crew’s in hopes of lasting a little longer.

The nice thing about GTA 5 Online is that you can create instances of the game for invited players only, your clan only, even a solo instance along with the normal multiplayer instance. I think the normal instance may hold up to 32 players. It doesn’t seem like much, but the amount of chaos that 32 players can cause in Los Santos makes 32 players more than enough.

Thanks to the folks at Rockstar, I’ve finally found a game that I will be putting as much time into as my wife puts into World of Warcraft. I will never catch up to her nearly 140 days of accumulated time in the game, but I’ll be making a valiant effort! :)

YouTube Music Awards: WTF!?!

Youtube music awards logo hochWhat in the world was that? Seriously?

With all the money that Google has at it’s disposal, they put together something that looked like it was made by a person uploading his first YouTube video!

I understand that this was for YouTubers, but couldn’t Google have put together a decent show with decent production quality?

I stuck around long enough to see my favorite Lindsey Sterling win an award and perform for a weird music video that looked like it was put together on the fly. I just couldn’t handle all the weird presentations that were done and when they went to the Spike Lee short, I was finished.

Sorry Google/YouTube. I love YouTube and all it offers, but I couldn’t stomach the award show.

Who said iOS isn’t fragmented?

IOS 7 LogoWith the advent of the new iPads and iPhones, Apple has really stretched the number of devices it has to say will work with a new app being released.

When I checked out a new piece of software and what devices it’s compatible with, I was pretty amused at the shear size of the list of devices.


All that and there are still devices that this particular piece of software is not compatible with!

Still, it’s not as bad as Android with it’s hundreds if not thousands of devices, but it looks like Apple is really trying hard to compete with Android’s fragmentation numbers.

First game of NLCS was intense!

St Louis CardinalsI don’t normally post about sports, but man was this game crazy! Early on, it felt like a game that was going to have a lot of runs for both teams, but after the 3rd inning, it was the most intense pitcher’s duel I’ve seen in quite some time.

There were some amazing plays, but it was clear that Carlos Beltran was the hero of the game. He has the big hit in the 3rd inning that tied the game, he was instrumental in a double play in the 10th inning that saved the game, and finally hit the walk off RBI to end the game in the 13th! He was clearly the MVP of that game!

I have to say that being a cord cutter makes watching live post-season baseball a bit of a challenge. Since all the post season games except for the World Series are on cable channels, I am using At Bat on my iPad and AirPlay to watch. It’s challenging because there is no switching like you get on a network aired game. I have settled on watching a high Home Plate camera that pretty much watches the entire field and with my wife’s iPad, I watch the view from behind the pitcher showing the pitcher and batter. You could almost watch the High Home Plate view exclusively, but it’s more interesting to watch the pitches. However, you can’t just watch that angle because of hit balls. That camera only watches the pitcher or pitcher/batter, even after a hit.

This setup works, but it’s not perfect. I would be watching a quad view mode, but At Bat has decided that the two upper views are going to be of the teams dugouts and the lower views are what ever. Basically two views are wasted on a view of pretty much no action at all. Prior to the NLCS, the quad view showed pretty much what broadcast TV shows, just in four smaller views.

I guess I shouldn’t complain, at least MLB is letting us watch even though we are clearly in an area that should be blacked out.

I just hope that the rest of the NLCS isn’t quite as intense as the first one!

GTA V Online hits some early bumps in the road

Rockstar Games launched its Grand Theft Auto V online multiplayer title Tuesday, but the excited players who streamed in to get some playtime before (or in lieu of) work were too much for the company’s servers. Unable to handle the influx of traffic, the servers got overloaded, and some players found they couldn’t even log on to the game.

via GTA V Online hits some early bumps in the road – Washington Post.

I’m not sure I understand why almost everyone is complaining about GTA 5 Online having server issues. Sure, I understand that you can’t play the Online aspect of GTA 5. However, unlike SimCity, players can still pay GTA 5.

If I had a copy of GTA 5 or had purchased it before 10/1/2013 when GTA 5 Online opened. I would not be all that interested in playing the Online aspect of the game just yet anyway. I really enjoy just driving around causing havoc and such in the GTA world, so I would be more than happy to just sit back and wait for the Online issues to be resolved.

Sure, there are issues of losing characters and items, and I fully understand the complaints there. I just don’t understand why so many people (remember, this game sold over $1 BILLION dollars worth of games in 3 days!) are expecting the Online launch to go off without a hitch.

Grand Theft Auto 5 smashes 7 Guinness World Records

Full list of Grand Theft Auto 5 records follows:

1. Best-selling action-adventure video game in 24 hours

2. Best-selling video game in 24 hours

3. Fastest entertainment property to gross $1 billion

4. Fastest video game to gross $1 billion

5. Highest grossing video game in 24 hours

6. Highest revenue generated by an entertainment product in 24 hours

7. Most viewed trailer for an action-adventure video game

via Grand Theft Auto 5 smashes 7 Guinness World Records | Polygon.

Wow, that’s impressive! However, I’m not surprised. GTA has always been a popular title to begin with. GTA 5 has what looks like the best characters so far. 3 different villains from 3 completely different backgrounds.

From all the Let’s Play’s on YouTube I’ve watched so far, I’m just astounded by the details in every building the characters interact with and the vehicles they manipulate.

I can’t wait to get my hands on this game!

Meltdowns Hobble NSA Data Center

Chronic electrical surges at the massive new data-storage facility central to the National Security Agency’s spying operation have destroyed hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of machinery and delayed the center’s opening for a year, according to project documents and current and former officials.

There have been 10 meltdowns in the past 13 months that have prevented the NSA from using computers at its new Utah data-storage center, slated to be the spy agency’s largest, according to project documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.

via Meltdowns Hobble NSA Data Center –

All I can say is: “Karma’s a bitch!” :)

Clearly We Have a Problem — 512 Pixels

As the App Stores don’t have a paid update mechanism, many developers toil away, updating apps for free, forever. Many developers took iOS 7 as an opportunity to drop support for legacy versions of iOS 7, give their app a visual overhaul and charge again for it.

It didn’t go well for Realmac and Clear.

via Clearly We Have a Problem — 512 Pixels.

Look, as a developer, I totally understand the need to have some kind of payment system for updates. Developers work long and hard to write their programs. It’s not fair to them to not get rewarded for giving their users what they ask for.

From Apple’s point of view, I can see a problem if they were to have update pricing in the App Store. I could see developers abusing the system. I’m not saying all developers would and I’m certainly not saying that Reammac would.

The problem with the way Realmac wanted to handle the update was (I think) to eliminate the old version of Clear from the App Store. This causes huge problems for users. If they lose the copy on their device, they won’t be able to re-download it again. Now, I and probably many others don’t have this problem because I store all my apps on my computer. However, in this age of tablets and smartphones, many users may not even have a computer to have the app backed up on. They need a way to restore the app if necessary.

Updating the existing app to iOS 7 only is also not a solution. At least it wasn’t. Before Apple implemented the policy of downloading the latest version for the OS the user is running, a user would lose the ability to use the updated software if their device couldn’t run the version of the OS that the software was updated to. I personally had this happen to two $40 apps and I was not pleased! Apple’s new policy allowed me to re-download those $40 apps so that I can use them again.

Keeping the old version of Clear in the store and creating a new version “Clear 2″ or something like that really is the only viable option. Sure, that causes some feathers to be ruffled. If Realmac can’t handle that, then maybe it’s time to re-evaluate what mobile platforms they develop for. I personally don’t have a problem paying a few dollars to update to a new version if I am going to use it. The world of 99¢ or free apps is not conducive to developers making back the money they spend to develop the software we use.

Realmac, let the users complain. You need to make back the money you spend developing Clear’s update to iOS 7. If your some of your users are pissy about it, how is that the rest of your users problem? If all your users are complaining, then maybe you don’t have good enough users to justify developing for Apple’s platform.

This actually happened back with Tweetie for iOS back in the day. Tweetie wanted to update to a new 2.0 version, but would have had to give it away for free. So he created Tweetie 2 and charged $2.99 for it. I never saw so many complaints in my life. I couldn’t believe that people couldn’t afford to pay what amounts to spare change for an update that was truly amazing.

The bottom line here is that if Apple doesn’t come up with some kind of a way for developers to get paid for the work they do (even when it comes to updates), I suspect developers are going to get annoyed and start seriously looking at Android for an alternative.

iPhone 5 running warm after iOS 7 update…

ios-7-wallpaperSo I updated my iPhone to iOS 7 just over 11 hours ago with a few hiccups. I got failures because I think they had the update servers down for a few minutes to put the iOS 7 update live. I then had a couple of issues getting the update downloaded. However, once those issues were past, the update went very smoothly.

What I am noticing now is that the phone is running much warmer than it used to. I don’t ever remember feeling my phone being warm except when recharging. Now, I notice it getting warm just playing around with the UI, not playing games or high CPU apps.

Also, I did a search in Twitter and found several people talking about how their iPhone’s are running warmer after the update.

I get the feeling that all the new flashy UI updates are making the CPU run way harder than it did before. I don’t know if the battery is being affected by the update yet. My phone usage today was 9 hours out of the 11 hours since the update. That’s probably not far off. I have been looking all around finding out what all has been changed and how to use the new changes.

Anyone else that reads this and is running the new iOS feel that their iDevice is running warmer?