The thoughts, opinions, happenings, and just plain ramblings of a seemingly boring person.

Getting the Joystick Out for BF4

BF4 Joystick In the past couple of weeks I have really gotten started on BF4. These early days are always a bit of a slog trying to upgrade weapons, classes, and vehicles, but it has been fun nonetheless.

One thing that I have always sucked at across all the Battlefield games, is flying aircraft. I always tend to struggle flying with the mouse, mainly because it is really hard to find a neutral 'centre' point, especially with the helicopters.

The best way to fly is, of course, with a joystick. So I thought "screw this", let's give it a go.

I dusted … Read more →

New Mobile: Google/LG Nexus 5

Nexus 5The two-year mark on my HTC Desire S was coming up, so over the past couple of months I have been looking for a new phone. My criteria was a mid-range (and mid-priced!) Android phone that I've normally gone for, and one that has 4G so it would be a noticeable upgrade.

The Desire S was a great phone, so in sticking with HTC, I had my eyes set on a HTC One Mini. It was around my price-point, and it wasn't as large as the top-tier phones like its bigger brother. I was about to pull the trigger and … Read more →

Windows 8.1 Thoughts

After being on Windows 8 since I built the new computer, I was quite eager to see how Windows 8.1 would improve upon the deficiencies that I have previously criticised.

As a whole, I think it is a bit of a mixed bag. There are some good improvements. For example, the implementation of a 'Start' button goes some way to easing the transition for Windows users, and provides a visual cue of functionality that was previously only an unmarked 'hover' corner. But really, it is only a square that does the same thing as the Start key on … Read more →

Building the Executor

I've taken advantage of the long weekend to put together my new computer, which I have named Executor (after the Super Star Destroyer of the same name :)). Photos are at the bottom of this post.

For this build, I concentrated on putting together a quiet computer, but one that is still capable in the gaming department. Everything is new, with the exception of the graphics card, which I have carried across from the last upgrade of Executor's predecessor.  The specs of Executor are:

  • Fractal Design Define R4 case (with window and another fan added to the front
Read more →

Getting Ready for the Next Build

It's been the longest time between computer builds for me at the moment. I originally built The Cannon back in January 2010, so it is coming up to 4 years that it's been in service. It has definitely survived the test of time, although I have given it some substantial upgrades of the past year which has helped keep it going strong past the customary three-year expiry of computing products.

But alas, all good things must come to a replacement, so over the past few weeks I have specced out a new computer, and am eagerly awaiting for the … Read more →

Why Haven’t You Turned on 2-Step Verification?

two-step verificationWe've all heard of it, or even seen it personally many times: "my account was hacked!". Usually I'll get the scam emails from a friend's email address saying they are trapped overseas and to send them money to help them out, or maybe the general spam or phishing attempts from one of their online accounts.

You might think it won't happen to you, but all it can take is logging in on a computer that might be infected by something, or using the same password for your account on another site that had its servers hacked.

There is … Read more →

Getting Into Podcasts

Pocket CastsAfter starting a job in the city, and now for the first time having to travel to Brisbane's bastion of capitalism on public transport, I have had to find ways to fill in the time whilst being on the train.

Reading on the train is not an option for me; for some reason, when I read on transport (cars, trains, etc.), I develop headaches, so I usually limit my reading to checking a few emails or briefly catching up on news.  For the first few months of the commute, I have been listening to my music library on my phone, … Read more →

Feedly is My Choice as a Replacement for Google Reader

Feedly Logo After the gnashing of teeth that greeted the news of Google's decision to close down Google Reader (effective in a few days), over the past few months I have tried out more than a few possible replacements.

I have been surprised by how many 'Reader replacements' have popped up or gained attention since the announcement. It definitely seems like Google had largely killed-off a market when they developed Reader, and now have almost single-handedly recreated it by shutting down their service.

A lot are aiming to just re-create Google Reader and it's features (or previous features); The Old Reader, … Read more →

Experimenting with GNOME Shell Extensions

After using Fedora 17 and 18 as my OS at work for the past few months, I've been getting to know the somewhat controversial GNOME Shell. Although recent googling has found that a lot gripes with GNOME Shell may be addressed in the recently released GNOME 3.8 (which will be included in the upcoming Fedora 19), I thought I might share a few things that I have done to make my desktop environment in GNOME 3.6 a little more usable without having to switch to other environments like Cinammon or Xfce.

Like with Chrome and Firefox as browsers, GNOME … Read more →

External HDD Encryption

EncryptionI've recently started work at a place in the city which now requires me to do the commute back and forth on public transport. Previously I've either worked from home or drove to work, so catching the train twice every working day is a little new to me.

The train being the den that it is, I have gotten a little paranoid about getting stuff stolen, and that has gotten me thinking about the external hard drive that I usually carry in my bag. The hard drive contains my frequent external backups that I do of all our important data, … Read more →