Tag Archive: games

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

Computer issues resolved

Well alot of you might remember a post a while back about my computer issues, I have recently figured out what the issue was ! Let me recap the problem just for those not familar with it. I began having issues with my computer the video would frequently drop out and I would need to turn off and on the monitor to get the image back Well i immediately thought the monitor was bad so i got on the horn to Samsung. They ensured me that “Their monitor could not possibly be the cause of the issue” like a fool I bought it.

I then looked to the two low end cheap graphics cards i bought I called several tech support people was was assured that was not it. I asked a few friends and the Motherboard was point to as a possible but unlikely cause for the issue seeing as the cards were both solely bus powered. So a RMAing the board will go. The board was RMAed and still nothing!!! The issue was still there I then started RMAing the Graphics cards and with one on its ways to Powercolor to get swapped. I then decided to see if Samsung was accrate in their claim that their monitor could not be the cause.

Well they were wrong, the issue existed when i tried the monitor on a different computer. Was I annoyed? YES! I had decided before this I was going to upgrade the Graphics cards to more solid and powerful cards which i did. Now a replacement monitor is on the way. I decided to get this monitor http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=24-236-091&SortField=0&SummaryType=0&Pagesize=10&PurchaseMark=&SelectedRating=-1&VideoOnlyMark=False&VendorMark=&IsFeedbackTab=true&Page=4#scrollFullInfo

ASUS 27" LCD Monitor

ASUS 27" LCD Monitor

Some people may ask me what did I learn from this experience? I learned that Vendors will Lie like dogs to prevent their hardware being replaced

FGLRX/Catalyst Woes! ATI Get with the big picture allready!

Well now I have been told and told and even experienced first hand why NVidia is better to its linux user base then ATI however I did not heed the warnings and now I have reached a perdicament.

ATI offers their drivers for video cards for linux however what seems to be the case lately is that X.org and ATI do not seem to be on the same page. ATI releases an update for their drivers to support a new Xorg version and then xorg goes and releases a new stable version which then takes ATI 6 months to make a driver for. Well this is all and good except that by the time ATI releases that driver update to support it the development cycle continues and bam another xorg stable version is rolled out. leaving ATI once again in the wake of its success.

Now Nvidia does not seem to have nearly as long of a delay in their support for new xorg versions why then does ATI insist on falling behind in this.

The simple answer is that they are pre-concerned with adding support for newer cards instead of enabling their existing current products to function properly. This leave people like myself with the decision do use an older xorg and continue using the drivers which in my case means an older Fedora version or use the open source drivers.

I often get told “Try the new mesa experimental drivers they support 3d perfectly” To which I have to say no they do not at least not in the way that someone installing the fglrx driver would expect. When i say that I want the same support that fglrx has I mean that i want to run 3d games like World of Warcraft in WINE something that to me is not possible with the experimental drivers.

Now before i get people saying “Install the mesa-dri-experimental package” I am going to say I have done this and see  no change at all. I have even downloaded and compiles the radeonHD driver with no luck as well.

Bottom line here is that why does ATI not take their linux users seriously? Why do they take 6 months to add support for a new xorg version?