Category Archives: Entertainment

Grossmont Terrace Neighborhood Flight

 

Here’s a long-ish flight I did around the Grossmont Terrace neighborhood.  Total flight time was about 12.5 minutes and the mission was programmed using Litchi in Groundstation mode.  Litchi is great for this sort of thing to free you up to actually monitor the flight and adjust the video gimbal.  It helps tremendously to keep an eye on the actual quadcopter as well since without it, you’re watching the screen to see where it’s going, then glancing up to locate the copter, back down to the screen and all the while losing sight of the thing.  With Litchi, that’s reduced tremendously.  In any case, enjoy this longer flight around a neighborhood.

Short Mt. Helix Groundstation/Waypoint Mission with Litchi

 

This is one of the very first flights I did using Litchi’s Groundstation mode.  I set up the mission offline using the app and then loaded into the quadcopter before flying the mission.  The whole process was very simple and went off without a hitch.  Setting up a flight path is as easy as tapping on the map where you want a waypoint to be and then setting up the parameters of that waypoint.  Dead simple really.

Minecraft for Windows 10 Beta

I talked a little bit about my thoughts on Minecraft for Windows 10 Beta in my post about going back to Windows 7.  I figure I would take some time to expand on that just a little bit.

The biggest gripe for me is that the worlds are not not compatible between the new Minecraft and the old one.  I know the new version is built off of the Pocket Edition of Minecraft and some things may not be 100% compatible in terms of certain crafted items and what not.  But come on! Changing it so that users have to make a choice between one or the other is so 1990’s!  Seriously, it really reminds me of all of the different versions of Microsoft Word document formats.  You would think that in this day & age they would make it a priority to keep file formats as compatible as possible.

Another thing that I didn’t like was how crafting changed in the new Minecraft.  It’s definitely more like the Pocket Edition in that regard. For example, you’ll have to use the Stone Cutter to make almost anything stone-related.  That’s just so stupid but I suppose that’s what you get when you develop from that code base.  The last gripe is minor but adds up when you’re playing a while and that has to do with how chests work.  Before I could take a single item from a stack and put that into my inventory.  On the new version I can’t do that.  I’ll have to take the entire stack by clicking and holding on it and then dividing it in my inventory and putting what I don’t need back into the chest.  That’s just so annoying.  Putting things into chests is the same.  I could live with that if that was the only annoyance.  But it’s not.

So are there any positive to it?  Yes… there is.  It runs pretty damn fast and doesn’t have the lag that I’m used to on the old Java based version.  This is especially noticeable on my Windows machine where it used to take forever to launch.  The new version is almost instantaneous.  That’s cool but not nearly enough to make me want to switch.  So like switching back to Windows 7, I’m also switching back to the old Minecraft.

What are your thoughts on Minecraft for Windows 10?

Nielsen TV rating

My family’s been selected to participate in the Nielsen TV ratings again.  This time it’s a little different in that they’re asking for anything you watch on your TV, including DVR recordings, Netflix, Youtube, etc.  I watch less TV than ever yet I probably have more screen time than ever.  It’s just that my consumption of content has changed from what someone has decided to broadcast to me to watch I choose to watch myself.  Five years I cut the cord and got rid of cable.  I’ve not missed it at all.

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Samsung Smart TV’s and Netflix Profiles

I currently have a 40″ Samsung Smart TV that I bought in the summer of 2013, so it’s not that old.  It’s one of Samsung’s Smart TV with the Smart Hub so I can do things like watch Youtube, Netflix, etc.  The best feature by far is the USB port where I can connect a USB drive directly and play my digital movies from there.  I’ll get to that in a moment.  My gripe though is with the Netflix app.  It doesn’t support the Profiles feature that Netflix has implemented.  My niece & nephew watches my account when they’re over and they have all kinds of kids’ programming.  When Profiles were introduced, it was a godsend.  I could keep their viewing history, list, preferences, etc. separate from mine.  This works fine on things like the iPhones and iPads, the WDTV Live, or the computer itself.  But on the Samsung TV, Profiles is not supported.  In my research, it appears that Netflix is responsible for updating the apps, not Samsung.  Samsung is only responsible for pushing out the updates.  I’ve seen plenty of Smart Hub updates on my TV, but so far no Profiles support which is a huge disappointment.

On the other hand, that USB direct connect feature is awesome.  I can get one of those Western Digital portable USB drives and connect it directly.  These drives come in up to 2 TB configuration these days and because they’re portable drives without a separate power cable, they’re super convenient to plug into the TV.  With 2 TB, I can put a ton of movies onto this thing.  As a portable drive, the performance is not up to par with other USB drives but you hardly notice it when copying movies; it might be a tad slower.  For viewing though, it’s not an issue.  The portability completely trumps the performance.  What awesome for me is how many different formats the Samsung TV supports.  I have most of my movies in the MKV format as I think it’s the most versatile.  It can hold subtitles, different audio streams, attached thumbnail images, etc.  I do wish the Samsung supported thumbnail view though; but that’s just a small quibble.  It has played most of the major formats I’ve thrown at it.  This is pretty awesome if you ask me.

I love it so much that my newest TV is a 55″ 4K TV from Samsung in the hopes that it has the same Smart features.  It should.  I take delivery next Friday and cannot wait to get it up on the wall.  It’ll be a nice addition to be able to watch my 4K Phantom 3 Videos.  🙂

Gaming

I’m slowly getting back into gaming.  This latest foray has me playing some old games by gaming standards but they’re fun nonetheless.  The first one I installed was Need For Speed Hot Pursuit.  It’s so very familiar but not what I played years ago on the Sony Playstation 2.  That’s right… the good old PS2.  This version has updated high resolution graphics that just looks amazing.  My friends have been telling me that the newest generation of consoles like the Xbox One is even more amazing.  I haven’t seen those live yet but I sure am happy with what I have on my modestly equipped PC.  I like the NFS series for driving/racing games and most of these type of games generally because they allow for short bursts of play.  You don’t feel like playing for hours on end?  No problem… play one race and you’re done.  If you want to keep going, you can and that’s the beauty of it.

The other one I installed was Unreal Tournament 3.  The last time I played the UT series was more than 10 years ago when the first person shooters (FPS) was taking off with titles like UT and Quake leading the way.  How far this genre has gone indeed!  UT3 is so different from UT 2004 that I was pretty surprised.  The game play is the same but again, the leap in graphics technology is pretty damn amazing.  It’s not a coincidence that many of the FPS games these days are running off of the UT engine.  These types of games are also good for short sessions.  Of course, you can keep going if you wish but that’s why I like these genres.  It’s not the huge time sink like World of Warcraft (WoW).

Lastly, I installed Civilization V.  I used to play Civilization 2 for hours on end.  Talk about time sink!  This was probably one of the first games that I can say I was addicted to.  It’s been a while since I played the Civilization series save for a brief stint on the iPad with Civilization Revolution which was pretty good.  I installed Civ V but have not started it up yet.  Therefore no first impressions on the game play or anything like that.  I’m saving this one for a little later.  🙂

How to play SNES games on your jailbroken iPad

Hi everyone!  I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving!  If you’ve ever wanted to play the classic games from the Super Nintendo platform on your jailbroken iOS devices (iPad or iPhone), I’ve made a new video showing you how to do it.  You can find it on Youtube at: http://youtu.be/nEM39hZIk_o.  These games may be old but they’re very good and that’s why they’re classics!  Enjoy!