General Stuff

Entries about nothing in particular instead they are just general entries

Christianity is becoming less forgiving and persecuting

Well I am going to do something I almost never do, talk about religion! Now before you leave this post thinking “great this is going to be another rant about God and how the world is going to hell”, Just wait its not that kind of post.

My whole life I have been raised to believe that God was the creator of all things and that we as his servants are supposed to be kind and help our fellow man (or woman). What I see in the news lately, however is proving disappointing and at times has made me question whether I am right to still call myself a Christian! Let me explain this a bit more so its not taken out of context, I am still a believer in God and Jesus, I just feel the word Christian has come to mean persecuting bigot instead of loving and helpful.

Now what I am about to say may offend some people (if I have not already done so), however that is not my intention, I mean only to explain why I feel things have changed and why I feel dirty when I call myself a Christian now. Lets start with the good things that have happened and go from there shall we?

New Pope elected

On March 13th 2013 Pope Francis began his Papacy, during his first few years things changed drastically in the church! Laws that were dated and sexist began to disappear and you saw the church as being more forgiving and kind then it had in years.

He was quickly known as the merciful Pope encouraging people to seek Mercy as much as possible just like Jesus did. Well without getting to preachy here it ended up making waves some good some bad he had views on Gay and Lesbian couples that most Catholic people would cringe at and accepted them as part of the church (in the sense that they are Christian not a part of the clergy) not caring how they chose to live their personal life.

War against anything not “Christian silently begins”

Which brings me to the bad, people began to set their sights on Gay and Lesbian couples throwing biblical passage after biblical passage at them to prove what they were doing was wrong.

While there is no passage in the bible that specifically states anything against gay or lesbians or trans or whatever other group people fall into. Sure you can interpret the passage about marriage being between a man and a woman as meaning that anything else would be a sin, the point however is that it is not specifically mentioned as a sin or a evil deed.

Now I am not saying you have to accept that what Gay or lesbians do as being acceptable, what I am saying is that they are people just like you or I and persecuting them for a part of their lifestyle is the same as saying you’re going to Hell because you wore plaid on a Sunday!

If you do not agree with their lifestyle choice, deal with it, it is their choice after all not yours! You would think this would be the only point of contention here but you would be mistaken.

Fast forward a few years and you get the current drama as it unfolds; USA Politicians in two states are trying to force religion on people blaming the entirety of our nations faults on the lack of spiritual education! Now I am neither a pastor nor a Politician, but look at less religious countries like England (yes they have religion but it is not as strong as it once was) that get along just fine without forcing religion on their people!

They also come to defense of Child molesters trying to say that the reason people have an issue with what Josh Duggar did (for example) is because he is anti-gay! I mean really I would like to think that most people have more common sense then this. I am not going to go on a political rant ethier as that is not the point of this blog post, the point is to show that religion specifically Christianity has become more about persecuting those who do not share your views then welcoming them with open arms and trying to enjoy life. There will be times when you do not agree with someone in life but does this mean you point a stick at them and tell them they are going to die in the pits of hell due to a life choice they made?

Lets take a quick stroll into US history shall we, During the 50’s Blacks and Whites were segregated and even the church tried saying that God hates Blacks and that is why they must be treated as such. Of course this was a small few but it gained enough momentum that businesses could deny service based on skin color! We have evolved past that and made laws preventing this kind of thing, however religion is not starting to put those walls up again! Maybe not in the same fashion as blacks and whites still are equal but now religion becomes the variable in which we choose to hide behind.

Several US businesses run by Christians refuse to serve Gay and Lesbian couples, or even Islamic or other religions just because they do not agree with either their life choice or religion! Now correct me if I am wrong but is this not the same thing we did in the 50’s to Blacks? You do not need to agree with the choices people make weather it is religion or a life choice to provide goods and services to them, at least this is how things used to be. As people become more and more focused on this way of thinking Christian becomes a word that means violent bigot who refuses to see reason and I do not want to be one of those people.

Full disclosure I am not gay but I do support gay rights as well as freedom of religion, I believe our country is supposed to honor freedom and not persecution. So you tell me am I wrong in thinking that the word Christian is slowly become more known with cruel segregationist (religion and life style) that will persecute you so much as look at you if your not thinking exactly what they are, or am I way off base?

I welcome comments I just ask you to first stop and think long and hard at how Religion has influenced the changes lately and while trying to keep a objectionable frame of mind respond letting me know what you think.

Remember Christianity is supposed to be about forgiveness and helping others not tearing them down because they are different then you!

I am almost 6 months employed!

I am going to give you guys an quick update on what has been happening lately. Hopefully my next entry will be a bit longer then this one

 

Work

Its hard to believe but I have not had a job for around six months (January 22 2014 will be 6 months exactly), Its been good to be employed again though I wish I was full time and making a little more then I am now but I will take what I can get.

I work for a company Called Meijer in their photo department, for those of you who may not have heard of Meijer they are similar to a Walmart in the way they are setup however, unlike Walmart they are not nationwide.

General stuff

In an effort to try and simplify things I re-arranged my living room so that we do not have as much stuff taken up by my huge desk. It will take some time getting used to the added space after having my desk consume most of the living room. All in all its just nice to have a change of things from time to time down here.

Well I know this Blog is short but I do not have a whole lot to say this time around. However stay tuned my next blog is going to be my review on Fedora 20  and some other thoughts on where gaming in Linux is going and what I feel the inevitable outcome will be.

Update: July 6, 2013

It’s been a while since I updated my blog, a lot has changed since last time I updated it. Hopefully, this post will serve as an abridged update for the past several months.

School

As many of you reading this are aware I was enrolled in a college for several years pursuing a bachelors degree and network administration, however with some of you may not be aware of is that I was unable to finish my education. I was however extremely close to finishing my degree, that is until I ran out of financial aid and was forced to withdraw with only three classes remaining.

One of the three classes I had left was a summary class basically re-encapsulating everything I learned up to that point, the other two were actually new classes. I had a measly $3500 left my tuition before my financial aid ran out, unable to raise these funds in the given amount of time I had, there was no other alternative but to withdraw.

Concerned with all the money that I had spent thus far, and my education being for nothing, I inquired about whether or not, I would be able to pick up why I left off should I raise the necessary funds. The response I got was not very reassuring, whether or not I’ll be able to pick up and only take the three classes I was lacking would be dependent on when I would be able to return and how much the program would have changed since I was last enrolled.

Should the degree program have changed drastically since the last time I enrolled, then I will be forced to start the program all over again as if I had just started. This would mean that basically all the money I had spent from student loans on my education would have been wasted, not to mention the new student loans I would have to take to start the program over again. So for me the faster I can raise the necessary funds to take those last three classes, the better chance they have of continuing the program I started.

Employment

Sadly, my employment situation has not fared much better than my education situation.

I have filled out several applications every week from places that are known like Lowes to places less known like mom and pop locations, where the issue comes in for me I think is the gaps of unemployment I have. Now, I am sure a lot of you out there have had times when you were not able to work for long periods of time weather for reasons could or could not control, in this case it is largely out of my control.

Originally I took time off from work to help with my Father in law during his fight with cancer, while I have held jobs here and there during this time, I largely went unemployed. When my daughter was born things changed, I was needed more at home to help raise our daughter and at the time this was doable. We were living in my In-laws house so that we could be there 24/7 should my Father in law need the assistance, it was not until he passed that it became clear one if not both of us needed work badly.

There was some financial things that come with the death of a loved one that hit my Mother in law hard both emotionally and finically, these I will not bother to go in depth on as they are rather personal, but I will say it hammered the point home just how much we needed our own place and work.

At this time I was still in school and rounding the half way mark to what I thought was my ultimate destination of a degree, I managed to work out a deal with family and friends to help us stay afloat while I finished out my degree and could get a career, all the while still looking for work on my own.

This brings us to last summer (2012) when I received the notification that my financial aid was exhausted and that if I wanted to finish my degree it would cost me $3500! Having borrowed money and relied on friends and family to a degree that I felt uncomfortable with I declined to pursue help from them at first. I tried to find other ways to get the funds to make up this small amount of cash, in the end I swallowed my pride and asked for assistance, but much to my expectation was denied both from friends and family.

I felt like we had exhausted that avenue with the money we borrowed already (mostly from family very little if any from friends), so I re-focused my efforts to looking for work full time. I am still not employed but I refuse to give up, I have a desire to work and provide for my family, if only given the chance to do so I would be the best I could be to my employer.

I will continue to look for work and hopefully soon will find some.

Books

I can name only a few things I can do that let me escape the stresses I have in life currently, one of the things I do when I get a chance is read. I have been slowly reading the Steve Jobs Biography lately and while I am only half way through it (I like to read but I can not read an entire book in one sitting), I really enjoy seeing this side of a man so many looked up to for inspiration.

I admit I do not read nearly as much as I would like, but when I do I usually sit for hours reading digitized books on my Android Kindle app. Terry Brooks is one of my favorite sci-fi authors by far and recently I find myself going back and re-reading the first series of books I ever read from him. I still to this day enjoy every page I read, the ironic thing is that this man used to be a Lawyer someone notorious for writing documents in such jargon that only another Lawyer could understand.

Gaming

Its not to hard to imagine that with my given situation that gaming, or playing new games would be hard to do. While I have not personally bought any game recently (aside from Shadowrun Returns), I was given a slew of games for free from AMD recently just for being on their newsletter!

Ultimately if I can not play a game I tend to enjoy watching others play a game I can not afford so I can get a sort of feel for the game without having to shell out that much money on it. I find it just as enjoyable at times and its a lot cheaper then shelling out $60 for the game Smile

I did re-install a game I bought some time ago, Fable 3, in an effort to try and get my mind off a lot of what has been going on lately. I forgot how much I enjoyed this game, its very easy to loose track of time when playing something like this so I usually will only play it late at night when our daughter has gone to bed so I can get a few hours to myself.

Additionally I had in the past pre-ordered several games which I forgot about until they were released and I got emails telling me as such. Some of these are Mass Effect 3, Starcraft 3 Heart of the Swarm and even further back Diablo 3. I am a huge RPG fan have been since the days of Dragon Warrior on the Nintendo, I remember Joe (older brother) and myself playing that game for hours and admiring the graphics and game play! Now when I go back and play it on an emulator (I own the actual game cartridge so its not stealing as it was bought when released), I must say slipping back into that game was a real joy, it reminded me of my childhood.

Well that is about it for this update I know it all sounds like rambling and may not make the workings of a good article, but then again it’s a blog entry so I am sure those interested enough in my life to read it will not mind Winking smile

I can see the finish line! Schools almost over!

Was looking at my remaining portion garments for my degree recently and realized that if I continue on track at the pace that I’m currently going I will be graduating in May 2012! This is huge as it will provide me with the opportunity to get a career and be able to better provide for my family.

As I’m sure you’re all aware by now I’ve been struggling for quite a while with trying to find a job, this degree may be just what the doctor ordered. I’ll be lying if I I wasn’t a little bit nervous and a little scared going into the last part of my degree, not so much because of what I’ll find out, or even what I’ll do (which mind you. Isn’t that bad can be a network administrator after all). No it’s more to do with the fact that I just have this gut feeling. My first job out of the gate will be so overwhelming and I will feel like I don’t know anything with regards to my duties and requirements of the position.

While people say all the time that going into a new career is a bit scary you never really appreciate that fact until you’re close to entering yourself. Upon receiving my degree I will be the first person in my immediate family other than my father to have a college degree! My grandfather had a college degree but unfortunately he’s gone now and out of the living family members in my immediate family (excluding family by marriage members) only my father has a college education. Don’t get the wrong idea. It’s not like our families are stupid, actually it’s quite the opposite.

My younger brother chose to pursue his music career instead of going to college and my older brother has several certifications in different areas he just lacks an official college degree.

A lot of people reading this might think that people graduate from college all of the time. So why would this be that big of deal? The answer is that ever since I graduated from high school. I have attended some form of college. However, due to my dyslexia I struggled a great deal in many of those schools so often I would finish my education in an effort to save money. However, in doing so I burned through a little bit of money was set aside when I was younger to assist with paying for college. It wasn’t until many years later that I decided to go back to college. This time I decided to try an online college so that I will be able to work my classes around my family and a job provided that I actually was able to get one. While having to rely on myself for getting assignments in on time without the constant nagging that one may receive the traditional college I realized that I can do this and so, through a combination of student loans and other financial aid. I enrolled at Kaplan University or am currently going to school for network administration.

What makes this so interesting to me is that even despite my ADD and my dyslexia I am actually closer to achieving a goal I set for myself in high school. Without somebody constantly being there to draw my attention back to school work. I can only hope that when I finally graduate in May that I’m able to land a job in my career field fairly quickly and begin at 32 what I set out to accomplish at 17.

Currently however, my hurdles are a lot closer to academia then to my attention span, microeconomics is the bane of my existence, and yet it is necessary in order for me to graduate is much as I try to understand this class and I’m confusing myself more than clearing things up for myself. I guess my mind is just not able to wrap around the deeper concepts that come with economics whether the macro or micro economics.

It’s funny I look back at the very first major I held at the very first college I went to " Business Administration". What’s so funny about this to me is the fact that I know absolutely nothing about business nor did I have a desire to learn anything about business. I wasn’t planning on becoming a businessman nor did I plan to choose any field required Detailed knowledge about business. No, what I originally wanted to do but was advised against was psychology and so when I snapped out of my daze and realized that business administration was not the right major for me. I switched to psychology, only to find that equally as disturbing and at times increasingly difficult. To this day however I still would love to be a psychologist or psychiatrist I enjoy talking things through with people and have been told that I’m a fairly good judge of character, both of which are qualities needed in a psychologist or psychiatrist. Computers however, at the time was not even a thought in my mind, but the more I use them, the more I found I wanted to learn and so begin my obsession with technology and computers.

And now I’m on the verge of having a bachelors degree in network administration, and it feels good, but also scary. I thirst for knowledge. When it comes to computers, it seems to be unquenchable however, and so I’m constantly trying new things. This was the reason for me toying around with Linux and the primary reason I stumbled across Fedora and many other distributions. I still can’t hold a candle to half the people I met the use Linux is much as I love Linux. I still know almost nothing about it. In my free time to be able to learn more about it has been very limited as of late. I’m hoping that once I graduate from college. I can devote more time to exploring the interest and who knows maybe one day I might even be able to contribute some of what I’ve learned back to the Linux community.

Well that’s good, do it for this blog post. Thank you for listening to my rant or reading it, rather. Comments are welcome. Feel free to leave them below. Tell me what you think. Have your experiences mirrored mine at all?

Out of the ashes, comes great television

With the large amount of TV shows that were canceled last season, is incredibly surprising to me how many decent shows have cropped up this season.

The issue I find now is more trying to figure out which of these TV shows actually want to watch. There’s just so many and I don’t watch TV all the time.

So far out of the new shows the ones I found to be the most entertaining our: the voice, falling skies. While there are certainly more than two shows that have recently begun, these two to me at least stick out as the most memorable of the new shows.

There are still plenty of returning shows they continue to watch such as: swap loggers, dual survival, American chopper, deadliest catch, how it’s made, Conan, and sons of guns to name just a few.

I know which might be thinking how I find time to watch all this television, the answer is I don’t really. I set my DVR up to record each one of the series and then I watched them when I get time. The only shows him he could point to watch live are the voice, falling skies, dual survival and American chopper. Those are by far my favorite of the ones listed above; even so I still miss some of these occasionally. Thank God for the invention of the DVR!

In addition, I found a series that started over in the UK and was recently ported United States; however, the series is fairly old. I am of course talking about Merlin; this show to me is absolutely fantastic. It incorporates all the elements that I enjoy science fiction, fantasy and good acting. Of course, I’m catching up using my Netflix subscription to watch the first two seasons, honestly, I am not even sure if it made it past two seasons.

There is of course when show that neglected to mention, this is because am not sure if the show is going to be returning or not. The show I am referring to of course is called Being Human; this is another show that originated in the UK. However, instead of porting the original UK version over they decide to recast with American actors. I never watched the original so I can’t say which one is better or worse.

What shows do you watch the season? Have you seen any of the shows that I mentioned? If so, which one of these shows do you like?

Let me know in the comments below.

The TV apocalypse!

As I’m sure most of you are undoubtedly aware, this month in particular has been an incredibly bad week for television. I can count roughly 5 to 10 popular TV shows that were canceled and that’s just off the top of my head.

My question to my readers is this: What is happening with TV shows lately?

The figures have been able to pull up show that in the 2010-2011 season 82 shows were either ending or canceled. Some of these shows, showed actual potential, such as Breaking In, The Cape, Entourage, Human Target, No Ordinary Family, and V. This is just the tip of the iceberg, there were a lot of other good shows that were not renewed, due to the show ending.

It seems with the growing capabilities of companies like Netflix, and YouTube now offering movies, traditional television seems to be slipping by. I can’t turn the TV on anymore without finding out that one of the shows I planned on watching or had been watching was canceled. It’s not so much the show being canceled that really bugs me though, it’s when the show doesn’t have time to end the series properly. An example of this would be the Cape, the show ended with an online only episode that was absolutely by far the worst example of a series finale I have ever seen. Using the same logic, of course shows such as No Ordinary Family, saw the writing on the wall, so to speak, and so they made the last episode that aired sort of close a lot of the potholes. I strongly believe they did this because they had a strong feeling the show was going to be canceled and they wanted in to end in a way that had a sense of closure, but also had the hint that if the series got renewed. They would be able to continue on from that point If the show had been renewed.

Sadly, it appears the situation is only getting worse, people just don’t watch TV like they used to. I predict that as time goes on, the situation will only get worse, will we start seeing less and less TV channels? Will we start seeing more and more TV networks taking their shows online only?

Unfortunately, I don’t have the answers to these questions, it is likely, however, that networks are going to start embracing the Internet more as a delivery medium and who knows one day maybe we’ll be able to look back and tell our children," Yes, I was alive when TV existed, before you to, when the Internet was just starting out!"

So what do you, my readers think about this, do you feel like the traditional television format is an endangered species? Do you think that at some point in the near future, TV shows will be distributed online instead of the television?

Leave your comments below

Sources:

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Portal 2 Review – Single Player

Recently I bought in finished the single player version of Portal 2, which bared, a striking resemblance to the first version of the game. While the general style of the game and fundamentals were the same, it was a lot more voice acting in this game and I would say also more humor. While this game also offered a cooperative play version, I have yet to attend this version of the game mainly due to the fact that coordinating with my friends to play for a few hours it is rather difficult.

So you might be asking what makes Portal 2 different than the original? While generally speaking, the idea of the game was the same, the underlying plot was different driven by a humorous protagonist and often clueless robot “Wheatley”(voiced by Stephen Merchant).the majority of the old-style puzzles were still present, new types of puzzles and solutions were also included, such as three types of goo because various different effects which you can use to your advantage to solve different types of puzzles.

The robots to everybody sees on the box covers including the one in this post, are the two cooperative play robots which are used in cooperative play. Sadly, single player play through’s do not have the advantages of a companion to help solve puzzles. Instead, you get the occasional scene with the halfway named Wheatley which proves to be incredibly humorous and often times following his advice can get you into a bigger pickle.

While many of the reviews I have read claim this game doesn’t have much re-playability, I feel this can be incredibly enjoyable to play more than one time.I’m not sure if this was just my own personal experience or if other reviewers simply had a different idea of what constitutes re-playability.

Generally speaking, however there is usually only one way to solve a puzzle and I could see where this might hinder playing the game multiple times. GLaDOS of course makes a return in this game giving the main character chell a great deal of a hard time, without spoiling the game. I’m not going to go into specifics about exactly how GLaDOS played into this game other than to say if you played the first one. You know that she was deactivated, I will tell you that she accidentally gets reactivated but that’s as much as I’m going to reveal, however that much should be known already , if you watch the commercials.

generally speaking, the game is fairly safe for teenagers to play not having any realistic form of violence, in effect, nobody actually dies in the game. What you can expect however it is the occasional bit of crude humor, coupled with the sadistic personality of a few artificially intelligent robots. You do find out a little bit more about GLaDOS and her origins in this game but they leave just enough of a mystery that a possible third game could be brought up. They don’t however explain much about the main character, aside from what anyone who played the first game would already know.

Bottom line, I feel this game was very enjoyable and if you intend to replay the game at some point in the future, most likely starting with the original and then playing the second one in succession. The gameplay experience may be different on the consoles. I haven’t tried any of these so I can’t exactly speak for, whether it’s easier or more difficult, but given the sheer amount of positive reviews, this game is received I will be willing to say that the console versions aren’t too difficult in terms of controlling. I will say I tried this on the normal difficulty level haven’t tried any of the harder difficulty levels, from what I understand these greatly change how to solve the puzzles, making things more difficult. Hence the hard difficulty level, might give these a try little bit later, however I usually don’t do so well with a game set on a hard difficulty level.

Still Unemployed – why does credit have to affect an employment decision!!

Bad Credit = No Job!

It has been just over a year since we moved into this house, yet I’m still unemployed. It’s not that I’m not looking for a job, it seems to be a combination of my severe gaps in employment and the Lack of Necessary Credit. So far, we’ve been lucky enough to use money that was set aside, though not for this type of situation but still helpful, however as this money is slowly drying up I find myself in a tight spot. I honestly thought that finding a job would be fairly simple, especially if I’m willing to do just about any job I could find, this however would prove to be a foolish mistake as made evident by the fact that I’m still unemployed.

I decided it was time to look into why I wasn’t being hired, after applying for hundreds of jobs and not getting one interview, when I found out was credit as well as my gaps in employment were the two number one factors for me not getting a job. I should mention that a majority of that time that I was unemployed was spent helping to care for my terminally ill father-in-law, we’ve been living with my in-laws since 2004 but it wasn’t until late 2006 and my father-in-law started to take a turn for the worse. During this time I felt it was important for me to be available 24 hours a day, as my mother-in-law was not the best of health either (though she was not terminally ill). Sadly, my father-in-law passed away late 2008 at which point we continue to live with my mother-in-law for some time, about 1 1/2 years to be exact.during this one a half years we lived with my mother-in-law, she began to have financial trouble, and it was time for me to start looking for work again. well, no work came and my mother-in-law continue to have financial difficulties, so bad did these become in fact that we were forced to start looking for new place to live as was she.

Rushing thinking we had a limited amount of time to find a new place to live, we begin apartment hunting, only to find the price of bread and, way up since last time we were renters. With no disposable income other than the government disability money my wife receives, we had no income and next to nothing saved up.we did have investments and other assets which netted us an extra bit of money every month to help with the bills, but due to not having a job a lot of those investments have had to be liquefied, and the extra money we have every month is running dangerously low. Before I go any further, you might be asking why I’m so willing to share this much personal information, the answer is simple I have nothing to hide and it makes me feel better to get it off my chest. I will say right now, despite what you might be thinking this blog post is not leading up to me asking you for a donation so don’t even get that in your mind, what I’m truly hoping to achieve by writing this blog post is for employers that happened to be checking my social networking sites to get a glimpse a snapshot if you will of where I currently stand so that they can understand why I’ve been unemployed as long as I have. I have no preconceived misconception that this in any way will improve my odds of finding a job, but it was least give an employer perspective, something they may not have otherwise.

Fast-forward to the current day, things are starting to sort of look up, if that doesn’t sound too reassuring let me explain. I have made it no secret that my wife has cerebral palsy, while I consider us both blessed and lucky that it doesn’t hinder her to the point that it does some, is still causes her difficulty. In fact I would be willing to say that the only advantage to her disability to either one of us could see, would be the fact that it qualifies her to get Social Security disability, this is meant the difference between us being able to pay the rent and not being able to pay the rent. All that being said my wife is currently enrolled, or hopes to be enrolled in a program set up by Michigan called Michigan rehabilitation services or MRS for short. Now there are a lot of benefits associated with her being enrolled in MRS, I’m not exactly sure what they all are so not going to mention too much about it here, what I will say is that I’m pretty sure they have a program set up to aid her in finding work. As weird as it sounds for me to say this, she made be employed in a part time job before I can ever land an interview.

So you might be asking what if I done recently to help improve my odds of finding a job, I recently pulled a copy of my credit report along with scores for all three credit bureaus, without going into specifics here, let’s just say that my credit is not as bad as I thought it was, in fact my father who has been on the opposite end of the hiring table told me that these scores should not affect most employers decision to hire me.I can in fact see my credit report were several employers have queried the report, I seem checking my credit for pre-employment evaluation, or in my case the pre-interview evaluation. Something on that credit report must be spooking them because usually, after looking at my credit report the application process stops dead in its tracks. While I might not be able to do anything about the gaps in unemployment,I am hoping that I can do something about the credit issue, in the meantime I can only hope that my wife’s appointment with MRS proves fruitful.

Ok, I think that’s enough of me rambling on for one has to at least be two pages (or maybe not), was hoped this blog post at least as enjoyable for somebody to read. At the very least this blog post will give somebody better insight into me personally what my current situation is (if somebody’s actually interested enough to find out more about me which I doubt).

Comments are welcome, suggestions are also welcome, but please don’t be a jerk about it, in fact if your jerk about your comment will even be posted.

My Life at a Glance–New CPU, Gaming, Windows troubles, Linux Troubles, android tablets and more!

Well it has been a while since I posted anything to my blog, and I thought I would rectify that by making one huge post updating everyone on most aspects of my life currently.

New Computer Hardware

Recently I upgraded my old AMD Athlon II x4 620 to a new AMD Phenom II x6 1090T Black Edition.

The upgrade was relatively painless (typical CPU upgrade) and I did not notice a huge improvement at first in performance, however once the computer ran for a while I noticed some changes in both speed and the Heat the CPU generated.

With my older Quad Core CPU idle CPU temps were somewhere around 38c which is relatively hot I have been told for an idle temp. With the newer six-core the idle temps dropped to around 28c that is a 10 degree difference!

While I primarily upgraded to solve an issue Windows was having with the CPU (mine in particular not necessarily the same for others with it ) where it would frequently spike the CPU usage up and then not fully release capacity as processes slowed. I had tried numerous times to re-install windows in numerous different storage configurations (RAID 0, Use a separate drive for all Data and one specifically for OS and Important programs, Installing a tweaked version where certain features were turned off mainly indexing and what not), while most of these worked one in particular kept causing me to scratch my head as tried to get Windows running on it (RAID 0). With out boring you by going into detail on what I tried I will just say it did not work and ended up causing a new fresh install of Windows 7 using the default installation (which ironically ended up having better throughput). The CPU proved to be a good trade off as it increased windows boot time as well as offered a 6mb L3 Cache where the Quad had no such L3 Cache.

I ran the windows performance scoring tool (just for the hell of it not a big believer in what it says other then to pinpoint what hardware is the current bottleneck) finding that now all areas rated 7.5 where the HDD was the remaining bottleneck coming in at a miserable 5.9. Now I know Windows may not be the best OS when it comes to efficient write commands, but that was a good indicator it was time for a faster drive or to make the plunge into a reasonable SSD.

The issue here is that even though I could move about 95% of all my data to a external HDD and use the SSD as the boot drive, programs would continue to load slowly unless they were installed on the SSD. All that and not to mention the sheer amount that SSD cost per GB, it just was not worth the price at present.

Gaming

This all lead me into my next issue which was stuttering (video wise not audio) in the game Dragon Age 2, I examined this further and found that DA2 seems to see the processor correctly but only sees one core as being available. I then spent about 2 hours talking to EA support via chat to try and correct this, even tried reducing the available Cores it had access to in the affinity setting for the game.

Long story short we were unable to pinpoint the exact issue, but narrowed it down to something to do with the CPU upgrade (seeing as it worked fine on the Quad). The tech was so down that he could not solve my issue that he proceeded to go into the back end for my EA account and enable a whole swarm of free content (not DLC, promotional items mostly) for Dragon Age: Origins and one or two for DA2!. I literally now have so much stuff that when I log into the Bioware User Entitlements area to see what I have access to I have to scroll 3 times, and that is on a 27” monitor at 1920×1080 resolution with the browser full screen!

Did I also mention that earlier this month I had an issue with the DLC authorizing for Dragon Age: Origins? Well EA gave me a $20 voucher for the EA store and so I used that on Dead space 2 which was already on sale for $31 (Digital download version) so I ended up after tax getting a $50 game for $12 dollars!

Linux

Now all of you reading this from the Fedora Planet are by now wondering “what does this have to do with Linux?”

The answer is that had nothing to do with it but the headache did make me want to leave windows and try to install Fedora again on one of my free HDD’s

This brings me to where I had the issue with Fedora, to be fair here I was using the latest build of Fedora 15 alpha so the issues are not at all the fault of Fedora just my own lapse in judgment.

Here is what happened, I tried at first to do a custom install (like I always do when installing multiple OS) but that just caused me a headache because apparently my boot order for my HDD was set differently in the Bios then the physical location they are in (where they are connected on the mother board). That being said I managed to axe the small system partition Windows 7 makes for some reason. I panicked and though If I could install Fedora I could at least boot from Grub into Windows right? Wrong!

Second time installing is where I made the big mistake of choosing use all space when I meant to hit remove all Linux partitions, well as you can imagine this went bad as it wiped now my entire windows drive. While I chalk this up to my own lack of focus, my friend claims it was a sign from the Fedora Gods that Linux did not want Windows anywhere on the system.

I ended up just wiping that re-installing windows (to many good games that do not work in Wine plus school work that requires Windows programs) and just throw Fedora in a VM. So far this has worked well though I miss my dual boot setup and being able to run Fedora natively. I might try it again but making sure to backup my windows install prior to doing so.

Android 3.0

While I myself have not had any hands on experience with Android, I want an Android 3 tablet badly!

I began looking into the options out there and found out that not only do a handful exist but they are all super expensive!!!

I did find one that would have a 399 model but the specs on it were less then acceptable to me. While I generally am not a power user when it comes to mobile devices I found that a 512mb 8gb nand ram drive device to be a little underwhelming! How much could you fit on 8gb now days even if on Android!?

The next model the one I am seriously considering is 499 and has 1gb of ram and a 16gb nand ram drive. This to me seems sufficient and would work nicely, provided I decide to get it. ASUS the manufacture of this tablet apparently has released everything but the device itself in the US as of the time I am writing this. Will  I have the funds to spare when they do release it is yet to be seen but lets hope it gets released soon.

Well that about covers it, that should get most people who care caught up with what has been going on with me (not a lot of people care I get it but a few readers I know who read this do Winking smile ).

Feel free to leave comments below

Dragon Age II review – After two complete playthroughs

Dragon Age II Box ArtI loved this game it was a welcome change to Dragon Age
Origins! Do not get me wrong anyone who has seen my raptr profile or xfire
profile will see i ranked up the game play hours on that game, however this
game offers a much faster and fluid fighting system which I think is an example
of the effort put into making the game seem different yet have a DA:O feel to
it.

The plot line was a bit confusing to grasp at first since
the game makes a point to keep you guessing what is happening until the very
end of the game. The conversational system was overhauled allowing easier
conversations in a Mass Effect 2 similar fashion, this is not a bad thing (to
me anyway). Now you no longer have those awkward moments in the game where you
find you said the wrong thing and are now engaged in a romance with one of the
most annoying male characters in the game. Case and point Zevran from DA:O,
This character I felt was a death trap of same sex romance. I mean that if you’re
not inclined to romance him your best not talking to him at all as almost any
dialog option would enter you into a romance with him, showing no obvious way
out. In this new system icons are used to show what impact your choice will
have with the character, if you are going to select a response and that would
enter you into a romance with the character a heart will appear in the center
of the conversation wheel. On the other hand if you want to break a romance a picture
of a fractured heart will appear for options that would end the romance.

Aside from those changes the game seemed to be centered
around 5-6 maps which served as the grounds for multiple zones, what I mean by
this is a map for inside a cave could be used (re-arranged a bit but otherwise
the same) to show the inside of every single side quest cave in the game! This
to me felt repetitive after killing a Dragon in one cave only to find a quest
in a similar looking cave (the same map) and fighting a Vestral in the same
exact spot the dragon existed in the “other” cave. I understand why this was
done, it saves resources if you simply re-arrange items and close off some
areas while other remain open and shuffle the enemies around. This to me is the
reason I did not give it 5 stars, they just recycled maps too frequently,
enough so it was clearly noticeable.

On a upside main quests seemed to have unique maps or re-use
old maps less frequently then side or companion quests which helped. There were
a few main plot line quests that used the same maps as previous ones but for
the most part if you had to enter a house for X plot quest then the next house
you entered would be different enough to feel as though it was a separate map.

Yes, there is a very high Mass Effect feel to some aspects
of game play but to indirectly quote Mike Laidlaw (lead designer) and probably
not as accurately as I should “Mass Effect 2 was insanely popular and did very
well, if Dragon Age 2 can achieve the same thing by using similar elements,
then I do not see a problem. They are still very much different games and I
think that the real fans will be able to appreciate the difference and
understand why we chose to do things this way.” Keep in mind he may not have
said that word for word the way I have it but he has said in one of his
Developer Chats that he recognizes the talk about the similarity between the
two and explains why he did it.

Should you shell out $60 on this game? That depends on a few
things,

1) How much did you
enjoy DA:O?

2) Do you believe the negative reviews about the game? If so
then why even bother?

3) Are you a Fan of RPGs?

Feel free to leave comments below, I welcome any comments even if you hated the game just make sure to let me know WHY you hated it!