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Pic0o

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Everything posted by Pic0o

  1. It's pretty difficult to fully gauge the scope of things broken in 2017. Running with the armchair line in the title, there are some things you did not want to be right about and the state of operating security is one of those things. I have some time and what I consider to be considerable experience in running and supporting systems. The scope of things broken or data swiped away from production, really large systems in 2017 is out of scope, short of you imagination running wild. BitCoin exchanges have been taken over multiple times since the folly of Mt. Gox, user data has rampantly been leaked, be it by opt-in systems or the more nefarious collection services like Equifax. Vendor equipment has been found multiple times with back doors, while operating systems and integrated devices have seen more updates and bug fixes this year, than I feel like the last 4 years combined. Retconning the current trends, it feels like development and security are still not concurrent activities. The run to get something online and into production with the intent to harden it later, is frankly, a crock of shit. I know that no one is perfect and there will be issues, but when the design choices dictate to move fast and fix things later, you find the foundation of that object is flawed. Looking at the Internet of Things integrated devices, those things turn on and phone home, at best. Patching is either a black hole or some sort of last ditch effort when you are in a bind. Granted the IoT devices also tend to have OS-level runtime vulnerabilities that can turn them into a horde of DDoS devices. Likely along the lines of default credentials and the combo of being largely unattended online. Stepping back, then we have the stacking issues Intel ME vulnerabilities that run on a privilege ring higher than that operating system level. Chip-level overseer vulnerability access is something right of of some techno-dystopia, yet here we are. I can complain for days but instead I keep reading and trying to stay somewhat informed. Crypto-lockers and malware are scaring businesses into their backup confirmations, but it does not seem like the inroads for fully scoping the priority of their business data and investing in people and equipment resources, is quite getting there yet. The more 3rd party tools you rely on, the greater need to vet the chain of software used and interacting with an environment. Ending my rant, please be conscious of information you share online. It could be a matter of days before that mega hot new company, either gets their database popped and sold, or they have a bad quarter and sell the user data to bail them out of a debt hole. These days the data is the big money item. I dare say that's why so many new applications and operating systems try to phone home with diagnostic data and the like.
  2. 15 years

    I wanted to note that the bbcode images / smileys / emoji are back for the forums. I also re-added the site logo for the forums. Lastly, I have the 3 front ends back up for domains. https://funtimebliss.com = Limited front page post content. https://blisspc.com = Tech related threads mostly on that page. https://ftbliss.link = Most all threads post to that page.
  3. 15 years

    If you check the whois for the site, you may notice it has been around now for 15 years. If you have old links, they may and should very well still work. Heart of the site is the forums but I still have content write ups buried away from clickable links. Most of those are ported PHPNuke or straight up html pages. I am still avoiding wordpress despite it's ease, because it also has a history of SQLi and other vulnerable issues. No timeline dedicated but I should re-incorporate old data into a new front-end. Happy 15th to the site! Thanks to old school visitors and new ones too.
  4. Oculus Rift VR

    If you recently have terrible tracking jank or lag with your head movement tracking, may I suggest updating nvidia drivers. Especially 388.13 in my case. I do note that I had a 3D vision driver installed as well, that I removed before upgrading to 388.31 edition drivers. Since I do not use the 3D capabilities I try to uncheck the install via Custom Installation. I'm not a user of Nvidia Experience either and manually put new ones (drivers) in fairly often. I was going raw on troubleshooting by switching cables and distributing across USB controllers, but the driver conditions above fixed me back up. My issue was especially visible on the Oculus home menu. My tracking sensor locations were similar to prior sessions this week. I was happy to weed it down to a driver factor after a little ghost hunting on the troubleshooting. If you think Windows 10 is noisy, you should enjoy the connections your PC will make to graph.oculus.com. I Blacklisted that for a few minutes to notice none of the store content displayed. I could still view and load my library though.
  5. Oculus Rift VR

    Jack in, it's cyber-time. Seriously though if you are still reading, I squeezed on the Rift $399 bundle with touch that went active last week. I want to describe the experience of moving through a virtual environment and seeing your hands map in that realm, as to in reality, but it's really something you have to try to get full appreciation of. I'm going to overview the hours I spent in so far, using Oculus software, enabling SteamVR and also some games and titles. 2017-08-17 Edit: I wanted to mention Oculus Tray Tool and setting Super Sampling. I have since upgraded my GPU to a 1080 Ti and am running Super Sampling @ 1.5. Oculus Tray Toll will also let you disable USB auto power save in one click and also give you access to Visual HUD Overlays / debugging options. The super sampling really cleans up the image quality to try and mitigate screen door effect / seeing pixels obviously. /edit Primer here. You need a computer of comparable performance to drive the display of your Rift headset. I see a recommended spec of an Intel i5-45xx series processor / CPU and Nvidia 970 or higher for your video card / GPU. I recently built up an i7-7700k w/ 980 GTX build and it has performed extremely well in VR, without frame rate slowdown. Your VR headset uses 1 HDMI and 1 USB connection, with the HDMI going directly into your video card. In my case, I already had my external display on DisplayPort. As the 980 GTX (and most recent cards from what I have seen) have 1 HDMI and the rest of ports are DisplayPort, you want to make sure your primary monitor is not using that HDMI output on the GPU / Video Card. Additional hardware setup will be calibrating your spacial sensors, syncing any controllers and of course installing the Oculus software. Fair warning that Windows 8.1 seems to be the baseline and there are some games that require Windows 10. I'm on Windows 10 and wanted to warn you in advance, especially if you are still main-lining Windows 7. Most important of all, you need physical space to play the Rift. There are a few sitting compatible games I have found, but the more explorational titles are going to need you to have at least a 3 x 3 foot area clear. From the center of your area, you will need to fully extend your arms to the side without being restricted. Movement depth is less relevant but also important. Some titles actually need you to be able to move back significantly far (as in around 7 feel away from the sensors). I have so far tested in a 3 x 3 area, as I would need to use the living room for the deeper dimensions. Since I picked up the Rift and Touch combo, I have 2 physical sensors installed. 1 came with the Oculus headset and the other came with the touch sensors. I mentioned some of the contents but what you can expect to unbox are: 1x Oculus Rift headset 1x Sensor bar. It looks like a small camera. I suspect it works off Infrared similar to the Wii and Kinect devices. 1x Xbox One gamepad, USB dongle and extension cable. 1x Oculus remote. 2x AA batteries for the Xbox gamepad. 2x Oculus Touch controllers. 2x AA batteries. 1 for each Touch controller. 1x Oculus sensor Once you clean up a space for you to move in VR without falling IRL, your first step after trying the tutorials (FYI: you can repeat these @ any time by clicking them in the desktop Oculus application, under your Library tab.), will be to get used to recalibrating center. This will be most appropriate when changing from standing or sitting play. In Steam you will get to the system menu by Right controller Menu button. There you will see a re-center calibration. If you are sitting, set your height to approx where your head is from the ground. I find 42 inches (3 ft 6 inches) works well for sitting. Some of this will need you to interact with Windows desktop for the height adjustment. If you load SteamVR and are below the ground, you need to change your height settings. Similarly in Oculus VR, the Right controller Menu button gives you a similar option to re-calibrate center. For height adjustment in Oculus, you'll want to go to Settings | Devices | Configure Rift to change your height. You should be able to pick the re-center option without taking your VR goggles off, as with Steam as well. Next post will cover some applications run in VR.
  6. .hack G.U. Last Recode

    If you switch audio sources while playing, your best bet will be to save, then go back out of said episode to the Title select menu. Audio should restore back to your current audio device. I run into this switching from Rift view and audio, back to headphones and external display. I see this with fairly many games but ones like Final Fantasy XIV would require me to do a full logout. I cannot think of other games stuck with audio shuffling at the moment but enjoy that you can stay in the same application via the .hack chapter select core menu. Especially for the sake of not losing active window and display.
  7. .hack G.U. Last Recode

    About 9 years later, all 3 of these G.U. games are on PC and PS4. I grabbed the Steam version of .hack//G.U. Last Recode today and it's 40 GB install is downloading. The redone graphics look really nice. I am a bit cautious of the increased XP gain and easier boss fights, but it was a fun series and I hope to see the original 4 games get redone, and most of all, some new content, short of the 4th episode they added to G.U. for this release. This version is still a single player faux-MMO and I'm good with that. Eventually an online game that doesn't bomb would be cool, but by all means, take your time and get it right. I'm glad to see this came out as it caught me by surprise. From the look of the steam forums, this game is selling, so I'd love to see support for the series continue, after such a long break. As you can see from the thread history, I bumped the old thread for about 9 years ago to note this PC remaster.
  8. .hack G.U. Last Recode

    I'm playing a few games at the moment but am near the end of Episode 1 of G.U.. I can say the avatar fights are way better than they were on PS2. I remember cussing and replying them to clear the fight. I am currently around level 37 (cap of 50 for episode 1). It kind of funny playing in The World, logging out to the desktop environment to check email and forums. I hope to see some more games made for the series. It's a good time and if you like story heavy RPGs, pick this up. PS4 digital or physical and Steam digital option for PC.
  9. Razer Blade 1060 GTX (Late 2016)

    Bumping the thread to remind people of setting your Default GPU in Nvidia Driver Settings. Default will probably be 'auto-select' but in content like .hack//G.U. and Oculus games, you may see a huge performance drop by not selecting the 1060 GTX, over the Intel GPU. Right-click on your desktop and select NVIDIA Control Panel. If you have multiple graphics cards (as the case on this laptop), you will see a drop down for Preferred graphics processor on the Manage 3D Settings tab. Changing this helped .hack go from running extremely laggy to smooth as silk on this laptop.
  10. Howdy and thanks for reading this thread about a Razer Blade (late 2016) with a Nvidia 1060 GTX video card. I have been playing with this over the weekend, as I did research and found this to be the best bet for what I was looking for. Both by performance and laptop size. I went with the 512 GB FHQ model. Starting off, Yes you can install Linux on here and it will run pretty well, granted I spent most of the weekend in Windows, running benchmarks and checking out multimedia and games. I got Ubuntu 16.04.1 on a 40 GB partition that I carved out of the 512 GB SSD M.2 Drive. To do that, I loaded up a Live USB of Ubuntu, ran gparted on the Windows partition and had it cut 40 GB into a new partition. Installed Ubuntu onto that. Best part being, GRUB and the Windows boot loader can co-exist. You may want to jump in the bios and change your default boot device, once the install is finished. Temperature wise the GPU was hitting 179 F. While not great for temps in a desktop, this is passable for me as the games continued to run smoothly. You will absolutely hear the fans increase in noise and speed when playing any intensive games. That being said, I do feel the laptop is basically silent when not in a game. I mentioned getting the FHD (1080p) model display over the QHD+ one. FHD is a matte finish, the brightness is higher than the QHD, and honestly the 1060 GTX will not be able to run max settings smoothly on newer games like Watch Dogs 2, or even to an extent GTA V, unless you scale down some of the advanced video fluff. Point being there, QHD resolution is going to be really daunting on the video card. I also feel 1080p on this 14" LCD is hard to read sitting back on the couch, especially without my glasses on. So you would be even more crunched @ 3200 x 1800 (QHD+). QHD comes with a glass cover instead of a matte finish and also is + $300 to the purchase price. So I got to avoid my reflection and light bouncing, while also saving some loot. Performance: Fire Strike (3D Mark) scores over 9000. 9264 actually. You can check the details from the run on the Futuremark site. Final Fantasy XIV: I can play this @ 1080p with maximum settings with a smooth 60 FPS. You will want to use the system and character config options to scale up the UX, as I did playing from the couch. Doom 2016: 1080p with maximum settings is smooth and looks great. GTA V: Ultra settings will get you some dips into the 40 FPS range. Tweaking some of the more expensive graphic options, will get you to or close to, a smooth 60 FPS. Watch Dogs 2: My configuration from the desktop with a 980 GTX, got me into the 30 FPS range. I heard some forum chatter about this game and 1000 series cards having extra performance hits. I was able to change some of the detail settings back to High, and I got closer to 60 FPS. Even on my desktop though, driving will get you some dips into 50 and some 40 FPS ranges. Summing this up, the 1060 GTX in this laptop is certainly slower than the desktop 980 GTX in my desktop. While the laptop card has 6 GB of VRAM, the processing power of the 980 GTX and it's 4 GB VRAM is superior. Saying that, I'm comparing a video card integrated into a 14" laptop weighing less than 5 lbs, to a full sized desktop GPU. Performance was relatively close. I will throw some benchmarks versus the laptop to my desktop, below. Benchmark wise, you can peep the Fire Strike comparison between my desktop 980 GTX system and the Razer Blade 1060. Saving you a click, the 1060 GTX scores @ 9264 while the 980 GTX scores @ 10921. I will add some more benchmark scores in the next post. I have to be in front of the machine to check the log results. I think it's pretty apparent that I am happy with this purchase and the performance of this laptop. Let me confirm that I am happy with this purchase and love this device. It looks like a black Macbook, that happens to run Windows and Linux, while also having some quality, fast components in it. That being said, I got mine for just under $2000 (USD) I did start by looking at laptops in a local Microsoft store to see what price, performance and form factor options were on the market. I used to travel for work and had a quite nice Sony Vaio laptop. This is the 1st high-performance laptop I ever bought with my own funds. Looking at the other models in-store, they either had weak video cards, or were of the Asus tier laptops, that honestly looked really crappy with all the big plastic cases and odd curvature. I didn't want a laptop that looked like a malformed lego and weighed 10 lbs. I would say Razer is owning that market segment, for anyone wanting a fast, light weight and smooth looking laptop. Continuing my researching, I took for Razer support forums, reddit and some review sites. Review sites are good for some insight but can gloss over some big issues. Especially if they are getting a review model, instead of a consumer production model. I started with deciding between QHD or a FHD display. That actually led me to read some folks who had an older model QHD+ but decided to go with FHD both for less pixels on a 14" LCD, and the increased visibility from a matte finish. The wireless card that comes in the laptop is a Killer Wireless-AC 1535 card that some reddit users noted, kind of sucks. I did run the Killer wifi briefly, but since I have a wired cable by the couch, I used a Plugable USB-C / Thunderbolt LAN NIC dongle. Using the Killer in FFXIV, I was getting some in-game lag. Also doing some ping tests on local devices, I saw quite a few 50 ms+ replies. Switching out the Killer for the Intel reduced the amount of high ping replies. YMMV, but for $25 and the use of a T5 screwbit, it's a fairly simple replacement. As the linked reddit page notes, I also went with that Intel 8260 wifi card. Speaking of the wired connection, it's super fast. I was steady steam downloading, network transferring and the laptop didn't slow up at all. My internet connection was being worked but the internal network and this wired adapter kept up without fault. The Chroma keyboard is quite nice. Quality typing experience and the lighting effects are really enjoyable. I use the starlight pattern most of the time, unless I'm playing an MMO in the dark. Dark playing with a fixed color is really nice. If you press the 'Function' key, your F1 to F12 will be the only lit keys to use the multimedia functions. However the icons for the brightness, track skip, volume, etc will not light up. Because the smallness of those indicators and the main letters, I figure the light bleed would be too intense. Speaking of intense, if you pick a white-based color, you might see some blur reading the keys at night in a dark room, because they are so bright. Disclaimer / reminder that I wear glasses. Still a factor with my glasses on. In the Razer application you can juggle your lighting options for the keyboard, pick a color or pattern, and adjust the brightness of the keyboard illumination. Have fun messing with the ripple effects and other keyboard light presets. Oh yeah. You will have 3x USB 3 standard ports, 1x USB-c connection, and 1x HDMI connection on the laptop. In addition you have the power brick connector on your left and the kensington mount on the right side. In respect to battery life, I haven't done any benchmarks yet. If you are playing games, I would just keep it plugged into the wall, as that is exactly what I was doing. By the way, here is the laptop product page. I will get some game benchmarks and comparisons later in this thread.
  11. .hack G.U. Last Recode

    I played a few hours last night, between watching the console disc recap videos and playing the start of Episode 01. I played 2.5 hours and very much of that was cutscenes and info to game dynamics. Keeping in mind I read all the game and forum community content, as you can get extra areas, art and other bonuses from doing so. Last night I played in VR, via using BigScreen with my Oculus Rift. Think of it as playing on a giant curved LCD, in a virtual room. The game ran very smooth. Considering when I last played the games, it was on a PS2 over CRT using S-Video. Playing the remastered edition @ 1080P is a treat. Maps are legible along with the world and character designs looking incredible versus PS2 era. The actual game is not VR at all, but playing on the virtual screen is pretty dope. I left the graphic options to default. Essentially high except shadows and water, iirc. Load times are also quite short running from my SSD and that's always appreciated. I have not seen any performance or stability issues so far either. I am playing with a Sony DualShock 4 using the licensed USB dongle along with DS4Windows driver for Xbox 360 mapping. I did not notice a huge detriment to battles yet based on the XP boost. I feel like the original game also had quick battles and meters, but my memory could be fuzzy. I enjoyed these games before and having the option to play them in such a crisp environment, is really cool. I cannot argue with the $50 asking price, since you get all 3 of the .G.U. chapters and the newly added 4th one. You can play with cheat mode if you want to breeze out maxed through the story. I'm playing normal. Also you can pick any chapter, console disc or the parody content from the main menu. It's nice that the menu select is part of the game, as this makes it much easier to pick your chapter when in a full screen window, versus a steam popup form. There are keyboard controls based off WSAD, but they are not really clearly defined when you start playing. I tried to finger fumble on the laptop since I don't have a gamepad with me at the moment. Arrow keys work like your targeting system, but to be honest, play it with a dual-analog stick gamepad if you have the option.
  12. .hack//G.U. Vol. 1 thru 3

    It's Monday before the 4th, and we are in the office w/ a Skeleton Crew, and in for a half day... I found a new .hack// game being released this fall :) Holy Crap, a ton of good games are being released this fall :o I get the feeling I will be using the old Tv in our spare room, since Kat will be FFxII'd Out once that is available :kat: I renamed the topic to cover all 3 games, since they are part of the same installment series. Also, the .hack Wiki is pretty nice, with mad spoilers if you want to catch up on previous games or the manga collections.
  13. Oculus Rift VR

    I took a break from VR, largely due to playing Nintendo Switch games. I also played Karnage Chronicles and got really VR sick, like terrible headaches and all. I know some people claim to be immune to vr / motion sickness, but wow, hacking and slashing in a dungeon wrecked me with locomotion controls. I visited my friend and his kids a few weeks ago and did a VR demo. They loved it, especially the older teen, as he is a huge pc gamer. I'm going to hook my gear back up this week and jump back in. I still have some ideas I want to try for creating some content, but in the mean time I'm also excited to try Obduction, from the Myst creator team. I also started Edge of Nowhere and should continue that tomb raider-like platformer. Windlands is actually pretty fun but I got stuck within maybe an hour. Short of the issue of knowing where to proceed, it is quite fun grappling around the world map. I may pickup Doom VFR but I want to see how it is received and if it gets actual oculus support. I'm thinking I'll pickup Skyrim again but on the Switch, since it's a huge game and being able to play it in tablet mode will make it more accessible over time. According to steam, I dropped 202 hours on the PC edition (Level 37 and surely some idle time with the game running). It looks like I played the Dawnguard expansion too. Jumping back to VR, I played .Hack in BigScreen. Wild with the giant screen and the map being in the top right of my full view pane.
  14. Mario Odyssey

    Fun random fact: I used to have some bike parts named Odyssey, so I got used to the spelling. Back on topic, this latest Mario game is exceptionally good and enjoyable. I played over vacation and as of writing have 500+ stars and have played some of the hard mode post-main story content. I think the best attribute of the game is being enjoyable, while not being too difficult, until you complete the main story line. That being said, I also have the amiibos and that means with Wedding Peach, that I can jump back up to 6 health at any time with a few seconds available, even in boss fights. I tried playing the Mario Galaxy games but did not find myself enjoying them enough to complete them. Perhaps it was the Wiimote controls, I'm not sure as it has been some time since I tried those games out. Along those lines, you do get extra control functionality with the JoyCons detached, via wiggling. Most of the time it's not necessary to clear an area but can make some challenges easier. I largely played with JoyCons detached in Odyssey. Tablet mode works great too if you are away from a TV and your Dock. I very briefly tried multiplayer but can say using a second controller to control Cappy, does make it a more detailed experience, since some jumps trying to time hat jumps solo, would be difficult compared to working with a second player. As you progress, there are some online scoreboard side-games too. Control options and moves progress as you do in the game. You can do most all of them immediately, but as you play the relevant usage will come to you. You can view all of these in the Select / - menu. Seriously I'm ending the review there. The game is really well constructed and is not a chore to play. Personally I feel like most studios are releasing grind-quest games with no actual enjoyment or care in their processes, so this Mario game from Nintendo is a long-needed breath of fresh air. I have heard more than one person tell me they have an XB1 or PS4 that they are bored with. By all means is this is you, grab a switch and play Mario and or Zelda. Then look forward to more content coming down the line. If you are tired of playing math simulators, Nintendo and indie devs are where the heart of quality gaming lies. As always, I purchased my own copy of this game. I have no oversight or compensation for the opinions expressed here. If I ever land a job with Nintendo or any sort of compensation, I will inform of such. Have fun! I do suggest a Switch for the holiday season if you don't have one, and if you do, I think you would be hard-pressed to not enjoy Mario Odyssey. I played pretty heavily since a midnight release on 10/27, got 500 stars and there are still plenty of things I did not complete. There are classic platforming sections as well as the 3D world content. This is a game made by people who wanted you to enjoy it and also played it themselves for pleasure.
  15. 15 years

    Here are a few oldies. ATI 9700 vs Nvidia 6800LE graphic card review. Coldstone's GTA Vice City Mod Pack. t0ucan's Cookies 4 CuBa story. Ancient forum archive restored <-+ This is where most of the old reviews came from, when I launched the site on PHPNuke, having admin'd the House Of +PLuS+ running the same platform back in 2002-ish. I have some info from an old Vidomi dvd encoder guide, but that is ancient and kind of useless, compared to using mencoder to convert ripped VOB files to AVI, then merging them. The Vidomi app was glitchy, at best. Mencoder bash syntax below for conversation's sake. cd /media/user/SourceDisk/Vobs/Cosmos_Disc01/FullDisc/DVD_VIDEO/VIDEO_TS mencoder 'VTS_01_1.VOB' -ovc xvid -xvidencopts bitrate=1800 -o 'Cosmos_Disc01 1 of 5.avi' -oac mp3lame -lameopts abr:br=192 -sid 1000 mencoder 'VTS_01_2.VOB' -ovc xvid -xvidencopts bitrate=1800 -o 'Cosmos_Disc01 2 of 5.avi' -oac mp3lame -lameopts abr:br=192 -sid 1000 mencoder 'VTS_01_3.VOB' -ovc xvid -xvidencopts bitrate=1800 -o 'Cosmos_Disc01 3 of 5.avi' -oac mp3lame -lameopts abr:br=192 -sid 1000 mencoder 'VTS_01_4.VOB' -ovc xvid -xvidencopts bitrate=1800 -o 'Cosmos_Disc01 4 of 5.avi' -oac mp3lame -lameopts abr:br=192 -sid 1000 mencoder 'VTS_01_5.VOB' -ovc xvid -xvidencopts bitrate=1800 -o 'Cosmos_Disc01 5 of 5.avi' -oac mp3lame -lameopts abr:br=192 -sid 1000 mencoder -oac copy -ovc copy 'Cosmos_Disc01 1 of 5.avi' 'Cosmos_Disc01 2 of 5.avi' 'Cosmos_Disc01 3 of 5.avi' 'Cosmos_Disc01 4 of 5.avi' 'Cosmos_Disc01 5 of 5.avi' -o '/media/user/OutputDisk/Vobs/Cosmos_Disc01.avi'
  16. Nintendo Switch

    Firmware update 4.0.0 released on 2017-10-18. Details @ Nintendo. The short of features are USB Headphones, Save backup support, Video capture support via Screenshot button long-press. Also are pre-purchase options on the eShop and local multiplayer version matching for games. I can confirm that the Playstation Platinum Wireless headset work on the Switch both when the dongle is plugged into the dock and also when using a USB-C to USB adapter directly plugged into the bottom of the Switch in tablet mode. No fuss required as I new set of headphones worked by plugging it into the console. I saw mention that the dongle adapter needs to be removed to restore audio over HDMI when docked. Logitech Keyboards also work. I plugged in a wireless K450 and I am able to type in the text boxes for posting images to twitter.
  17. Nintendo Switch

    It tends to be a matter of time before I checkout Nintendo consoles and my time came this weekend for a Nintendo Switch. These things are still fairily rare to find in stock but I scooped on up @ a local shop that restocked a few days prior. 8 consoles moved in less than a week and when I got mine someone also bought the last one in stock. This console retails for $300 before tax, presuming you can find one in stock. Amazon has a bunch on hiked up prices. The switch is essentially a hybrid of the Wii U with a little inspiration from the 3DS as well. Your games are cartridges that insert into the switch tablet. You can play on the go or on your TV, by docking the switch display. The Switch tablet has a USB Type-C connector on the bottom that it plugs into the dock with or can be charged with a USB cable. Of note on the USB charging that it is a high-power power supply that comes with the Switch. I say this because I was charging with my Samsung S8 High-speed charger and C-cable last night but the tablet power was still going down despite being plugged in... similar to how older phones would drain faster than they could charge, when using HDMI output cables with in-line power. Recap here being, if you want to play with the device in tablet mode, you will want to plug in the charger that came with it, or buy another one of the Nintendo official ones, for the correct output to properly charge it while you are playing. Battery life looks to be approximately 3 hours or so on maximum brightness. I was playing Zelda: BotW last night in bed for this rough test and this is also when I discovered the lower charging from other USB Type-C chargers. Speaking of charging, the USB C port is on the bottom of the console. So I would suggest the Hori standing case if you plan to play on the go, if you want the ability to charge from an external battery pack. If you opt to buy a 2nd Charger for the Switch, they go for $30. The power supply specs of the officially licensed power supply are: Output: 5.0 V - 1.5 A 15.0 V - 2.6 A Accessories for the Switch are pretty costly. The included gear will work great for 1 person, or 2 people playing Mario Kart, but some games require a 2nd pair of JoyCon controllers. A Pair of JoyCons go for $80 and the play and a 2nd charge controller mount that comes with the console goes for $15. So you are looking at $95 for a 2ns JoyCon gamepad. You can also get a Pro controller for $70. It's like the Pro controller for the Wii U that shares form-factor with a Playstation or Xbox gamepad. Player 2 can put you out a little more money than you may have expected. In defense of the JoyCon pads, they are impressive and slim profile, while also having gyro capabilities. All of the controllers also have rumble support (that can be turned off as well). Controller rundown, is that you can slide the JoyCon controllers directly to the Switch console / display and play like that. You can also use the JoyCons (A pair, one Left, one Right controller) kind of like wands (labeled Grips in the console system settings), or you can insert them into the Play and Charge housing, that makes it like a mini-gamepad. There are slide-on wrist strap and side-button extensions you can use when playing in what I call, Wand mode. Wand mode is extra-handy for playing Breath of the Wild, as you can use the gyros in them to aim your bow. Having played some VR, this is a nice feature that is comparable to control in a VR game, but with the Switch when playing off a standard screen or the console display. The Switch console has a slot for the game cartridges on the top-right as I mentioned. There is also a Micro-SD slot under the stand up arm on the read of the display. The JoyCons slide into the sides of the console display. Be sure to match up the + and - signs when using the JoyCons, else they may get stuck in place. There is a small button on the back that works as a release. Also there is a locking mechanism by the wrist-strap portion of the JoyCons when you install them. Push them in to lock it on the rails. The power button is along the top-left and volume controls are next to the power button. You can hold the home button for a few seconds to get a brightness and volume control overlay. The Switch also supports quick-suspend power, so you can put it to sleep until you get a chance to charge it back up. It is similar to hibernate on your laptop but it works faster and seemingly more cleanly. When the console is docked, you have access to 3x USB ports (non-Type-C), a HDMI Port and the AC adapter input for a Type-C charger. If you still have the DaTel USB NIC from the Original Wii, that will natively work with your Switch when it's docked if you want to run a wired connection. Miiverse is a robust gaming community run by Nintendo and filled with gamer-contributed content on the Wii U. Sadly, this is not on the Switch (yet) and the current Wii U Miiverse shuts down this November 7th 2017. I am speculating but suspect the Switch Miiverse will be online somewhere around the Winter or early 2018. Currently there is a News section of the console with game info and video content about upcoming and current releases. At the time of writing, there are about 133 items on the Nintendo eShop for the Switch. There is also a local Album where you can view your screenshots saved (from the dedicated screencap button on the left joycon). Software selection included with the console, is honestly currently lackluster. You really should pickup a game when you buy one, unless you intend to download something from the store. You do still have access to Mii editor from the System Settings screen. You can make multiple users and also import Miis from your Wii U or 3DS, by using an Amiibo between the consoles. I was able to copy over some Wii characters I got off the internet, when I was using Bluetooth hacks to import Web characters into my original Wii controllers, that were on my Wii U most recently. I'm enjoying the console so far and even started another play of Zelda: Breath of the Wild on here. The extra graphics in details like the water, grass and draw distance are nice on the Switch. I would not say necessarily to get a Switch for playing Zelda if you already have a Wii U, but the native controls are nicer than trying to do similar things with the Wii U pad, as you are implied to with the Switch tablet. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is crisp and also includes all the DLC for the Wii U version of Mario Kart 8. I am looking to check out that RTS Mario and Rabbids game soon too but that will wait for another payday. I wanted to mention a range of observations about the console so far. For point of reference I am on System Firmware 3.0.2. I'm looking forward to extra software to come for the device, as there are currently no Netflix or applications like that yet on the eShop. The new Mario Odyssey game is also due out around the end of October and there are a few other games coming for the Holiday Season. Skyrim and Doom on the go may be of special interest to folks too. I look forward to bringing mine various places and jamming out some play. I'm actually about to get some rounds of Mario Kart in now.
  18. Play a Game? (Game tracker)

    Welcome to another October! I have been taking a VR break replaying Zelda: Breath of the Wild. The Switch version and portability is a huge benefit for my lunch breaks and being able to play in other rooms of the house without sitting at my desk. I resisted the console at first, but I have to say it's really good, even with the lack of integrated applications at the current time. I have to admit I got a 2DS handheld, pretty much for Culdcept Revolt. I also picked up Metroid: Samus Returns. It's a good game but mildly difficult. Think in vein to Castlevania style gameplay (classic-vania). I was also able to re-download my eShop purchases so I have lots of Zelda, Pushmo and some older Mario games on there. VR wise I'm going to try and get some custom projects done for fun. Nothing too crazy, more like concepts and figuring out how to manage the 3D assets outside of VR as well. I picked up Cave Story+ and Splatoon 2 along with Mario Kart 8 on the Switch, but Zelda has been my main time game. I have all the memories and Master Sword, so I could beat it again but I also have a good bit of the DLC 1 pack to explore. Quite a bit of temple exploration is what I'm up to now, bumping into my stamina bar, but knowing I need more than 13 hearts to hang with the fierce challenge modes. Mario Odyssey shall be mine on Thursday night. :) Outside of games, I lightly dabble in DevOps with Ansible and adding more Powershell to my skillset. Dorking around in Linux is more of a priority though. I get plenty of Registry and GPOL windows experience in my day job.
  19. Play a Game? (Game tracker)

    Almost October 2012 rename thread. Using this for quick blurbs on currently playing or played games, since threads being made on anything is kinda silly (at least on my end). I will make or edit main game threads on GG or Quit playing for good pit. This is my personal mockup list of games I have an interest in picking up, or finding information about once they release. Please feel free to add you suggestions and personal Wish List Choices. I made a backloggery account and here is my backlog. I'll try to keep this Topic reasonably updated, so I know what is still on my Radar to score. Also, here are links to the IGN Game Release Trackers: PC Xbox 360 PS3 3DS PSP Wii DS Ps2
  20. Desktop Window Managers

    I enjoy using multiple operating systems. I love Linux for performance but I have to say most of the window managers are nowhere near Windows or OS X in terms of control and keyboard shortcut operations. This is very rant filled of an opinion, as I do quite a bot of text editing work and am a huge user of Ctrl+Tab and Ctrl+Shift+Tab to navigate between multiple open windows. If may seem minor, but when editing multiple bash scripts, having to select your other window with the mouse instead of jumping tabs by keyboard... is clunky. I guess the burden of choice also leads to an inconsistent UX in Linux distros. I would say we should step back and know that this is a limiting factor to having people fully switch from Windows or Mac OS. That stuff really matters over time on your day-to-day computer usage. Personally, I tend to manage my Linux installs over SSH from a Windows box, or occasionally a Mac as well. Hopefully this comes to become a little cleaner an operation on some Nix ditros, but as I mentioned, it's difficult to get everyone to agree. One person's issue is another person's workflow to it working as intended. This rant came up encoding videos, where my bash scripts were not simply a Ctrl+Tab, followed by a Ctrl+R to replace strings for the next output. When you are grinding out the repetitious stuff, shortcuts are helpful and can lead to better automation too. Depends on what you are up to, but the emphasis on a clean UX, is what gets people to invest (mentally and emotionally) to your platform.
  21. Yay printed again :)

    I am happy to say I was accepted for a submission I sent into 2600: The Hacker Quarterly that was printed in the current Autumn issue of Thirty-Four, Number Three. Debt Journey is the article name that narrates some of my experiences over the last few years. If you have feedback, either negative or supportive, please send it to letters@2600.com for the sake of dialog in the magazine. You can drop me a direct line too if so inclined, but I really enjoy the letters section, to be honest. It lends a little more validity to write a message than bang out some keyboard rage on twitter or wherever like that. Besides that, go to some local meetups too. I don't get out to a ton of them (different meetups) but I enjoy 2600 1st Fridays. It's a nice way to meet locals in the area and despite what you may think, you do not need to be a super computer user to go. Just talk, maybe listen a little bit and you will likely have a fine time. Case in point relating to the printed article, it doesn't really deal with technology at all. In all actuality, I have learned many great things from people also not in the tech space. It's cool to hear how people problem-solve and can help you also hone your own observation and resolution skills. Jolly Friday! :)
  22. Culdcept Revolt

    This game is quite good. Especially if you played Culdcept Saga before. Deck creation, battles, the map types you know and enjoy. You get access to online content as you progress in the single player story. The story content is not some mind blowing tale but it's a good RPG story of a crew trying to defeat the nasty evil rival. I've beat about 7 of the single player levels and continue to play. Work your strats to have level chains with your lands, while trying to match creatures to land types. Your base deck will be limited so work with that, then buy more booster packs in the store with your story credits. There is also some paid DLC. 1 story quest with 3 battles is $4 USD and everything else is cosmetic content like dice skins, book covers and character outfits. You can get the cosmetic content for around $30 USD extra but I only purchased the story content and downloaded the 2 free DLC items. After a few battles you should have access to the normal in-game store and the online DLC store. Playing this game on a dual-display system is incredibly nice. Very smooth to view details, while you can also change map detail attributes with the right shoulder buttons. If you want to see monster HP, Toll fees, etc. Add me up on 3DS btw. Nintendo still has the 12 digit friend codes for Switch and 3DS / 2DS. My 2DS FC is: 4356-5252-5397 If you visit Philadelphia, you might catch my streetpass too. I'm looking to get out for the Mario Odyssey event here on 10/24 too.
  23. Culdcept Revolt

    So Culdcept Saga was an awesome card game. Think Magic the Gathering meets Monopoly. We used to play this really heavily on Xbox 360 and Culdcept Revolt released on 3DS / 2DS on Oct 3rd. I checked local gamestop stores but they seemed to have gotten a really small stock since no stores have it in the local immediate area. So I grabbed it off Amazon. I will add my codes and stuff if anyone else gets this and wants to play. I saw this game was coming out over the last month or so and got pretty hyped about it. In respect to series history, it seems to have started out on Dreamcast and first came to the states on Playstation 2. The edition I became familar with was Culdcept Saga on Xbox 360. If I had to guess, this will be a limited run game and become pretty rare here in the USA. The Xbox 360 version came to fetch a good markup too over time, if I recall correctly. Edit: I went to a local center city gamestop and they told me 1 person pre-ordered it an picked it up. So yes, very limited stock it seems, at least to gamestop stores. I scooped a copy up from Amazon.
  24. Zelda Breath of the Wild

    I have 11 heart containers and 3 of the 4 guardian temples cleared. I'm going to check my Wii U playthru but I don't think I got the Master Sword on that 1st playthru due to the 13 base hearts requirement. In my 1st play I pumped into stamina more heavily, as on the Switch, I used food items to supplement my stamina and hearts for boss fights. I didn't clear many of the shrines of the goddess until the 2nd guardian was cleared. Then I started putting my upgrades into heart containers. I unlocked all the scout towers on both versions and on this playthru have been finding lots of the treasure chests under water via the magnesis rune. I have done a couple of the DLC item quests but still have plenty to explore. The 2nd DLC will also drop here in the winter. I picked up the Pro controller and do agree that it's quite comfortable to use over longer sessions than the Joy-Cons. I also have had some nice outdoor sessions in local parks over my lunch break. Speaking of breaks, I might fire up Cave Story+ over lunch today to give myself a break from doing another 8 shrines, to then grab the master sword. I wrapped up beating Ganon around the end of October. I still load up to enjoy post-game content and clear some quests. I have also been doing shrines to max my stamina bar so I'm ready for the 2nd batch of DLC this Winter. I love this game and the switch mobility is top notch.
  25. Zelda Breath of the Wild

    I spent some time this weekend playing The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. I did not pick up a switch, so I am playing the game on Wii U. I wanted to cover some base observations after around 12 hours of play. You can play on the Wii U tablet, but it is not for touch screen use on things, such as placing map markers. You can play with a Wii U Pro gamepad, when playing off the TV. You will see some slowdowns, but the game is still playable and functions without fault. Touching the touch screen, juggles between playing on the TV or Wii U gamepad LCD. There will be a brief load while it goes between display modes. The world map exploration is pretty enjoyable. I don't think it's a spoiler, but the Skyrim comparisons, break down to the item and weapon inventory system. Side quest and main story documentation is a thing as well, so seeing where you left off is vastly easier than most prior Zelda games. So far I'm having fun. There is quite a bit of exploration and I just broke the surface. There is some more realism in respect to food gathering and elixir making, so that will factor into your exploration. That's all I'm going to say at the moment, since my concern was sharing observations of the Wii U edition, since most all review outlets are covering the Switch edition.
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