tag:retroity.net,2013:/posts Retroity.net 2019-10-15T19:38:37Z Retroity tag:retroity.net,2013:Post/1466473 2019-10-15T19:35:29Z 2019-10-15T19:38:37Z Made By Google 2019 Event Thoughts

Google held another Made By Google event today, revealing many new products, most them were leaked well before hand and all of them were at least rumored. Here's my thoughts on everything announced.


Google briefly talked about Stadia, reiterating that it will launch on November 19th. It was only a brief mention, but it was there to remind us that it's coming. To me, Stadia is the culmination of every single piece of restrictions, DRM, online-only games, and more that the industry has been pushing for the last decade. It represents a future where consumers lack any control over their games, and where access to those games is dependent not only on a fast, stable internet connection, but on Stadia continuing to exist. It represents a future where games can be easily taken away from consumers, and where the consumer is always dependent on the provider. Maybe I'm just being pessimistic, who knows. But what I've seen from Stadia makes it hard to be optimistic.

Nest Mini

The Google Nest Mini is part upgraded Google Home Mini, and part of Google's continuing efforts to integrate all of it's home products into the Google Nest brand. There isn't really much new about the Nest Mini. The Nest Mini has better speakers, improved touch controls, some new colors, and a hole at the bottom so you can hang it on a hook. It's the same price as the Google Home Mini ($49) and it comes on October 22nd.

Although the Nest Mini itself is a bit boring, Google did use it to talk about general improvements to their smart home ecosystem, and to tout the various commitments that it mentioned at the beginning of the presentation. As part of Google's sustainability push, the Nest Mini's fabric top is made from recycled plastic bottles. Furthermore, for products that use Works With Nest, Google is allowing those products to move to Works With Google Assistant, but is requiring those partners to go through a security review first. Google is also introducing new Works With Google Assistant functionality, such as allowing direct control over Nest devices, after explicit user permission. With this, Google is hoping to simplify and integrate everything into the Nest brand.

This hopefully means a future for the Google Home ecosystem that makes devices, especially third party devices, work better in the future. This feels similar to Amazon's efforts to simplify the Alexa ecosystem, such as creating a simple setup process within the Alexa app, among other programs. I sincerely hope that Google actually follows through with these efforts.

Nest Wifi

Google is redesigning the Google Wifi and bringing it into the Nest brand with all of their other smart home devices. The new Nest Wifi is totally redesigned, and works more like Amazon's Eero routers, with it working on a router and extender system. Because Google is determined to stuff the Google Assistant into everything, all Nest Wifi points are also Google Assistant smart speakers. Through this and it's design, Google is attempting to get people to put their Wifi routers in the open, and this is their strongest argument for that yet. I hope that there is an option to disable the Google Assistant for people who already have Google Assistant speakers in their home. The Nest Wifi is also supposed to work as a smart home hub, with devices connecting directly to it, and in the future devices using the Thread wireless technology will supposedly work seamlessly with the Nest Wifi for local connections.

Speaking of the Google Home app, it's getting a redesign with what Google's calling the home feed, and will also be able to control the Nest Wifi, effectively merging the Google Home and Google Wifi app.

Google is really going to have to justify the Nest Wifi's price, considering that a 3 pack of Eero routers costs $100 less, at $249 compared to $349 for a 3 pack of 1 Nest Wifi router and 2 Nest Wifi points. (the Eero router 3 pack is not to be confused with a 3 pack of Eero pros which costs $499.)

Nest Aware

One of the last Nest/Google Home updates was a update to the Nest Aware subscription tier. Google is redesigning the tiers and pricing to go from a model that is per Nest camera to one that is only one subscription for unlimited cameras. This is a significantly better deal, and the extra $1 a month (making the lowest subscription tier $6 per month instead of $5 per month per camera) is totally worth it, especially now that all cameras get 30 days of video storage with Nest Aware and 60 days with Nest Aware Plus. This makes Nest camera storage significantly less expensive and makes it way less costly to invest in Nest cameras. This is a really positive change and I'm glad Google is doing it.

Pixelbook Go

The Pixelbook Go is a new version of the Pixelbook Chromebook laptop that features a new design and less beefy specs than the normal Pixelbook. It's available starting on October 28th and starts at $649 (but has configurations that go up to $1,399). It's still a bit expensive than the original Pixelbook, but it's finally starting to feel like the pricing is somewhat reasonable.

Pixel Buds

3 years after the original Pixel Buds, "wireless earbuds" that attempted to be Google's answer to AirPods yet had a cord between them, Google announced a totally redesigned Pixel Buds that are actually wireless earbuds. They feature the Google Assistant (of course), 5 hours of continuous battery life and 24 hours with the charging case, long range Bluetooth (apparently up to a football field away according to Google's claims) and adaptive sound with a vent design at the bottom of the buds to adapt the sound based on the environment you're in. The Pixel Buds cost $179 and despite the new them being announced today, Google says that they won't be available until Spring 2020. It's a shame that they would be available for a while as they actually look pretty exciting. I'm definitely glad that we're finally getting proper Android competitors to AirPods.

Google Pixel 4

Last but not least, the Google Pixel 4 phone. We're pretty much known everything from this Phone due to a multitude of leaks, and now it's finally been officially announced. Gone is the very large (and frankly very ugly) notch, with Google instead having a bezel containing all the front cameras and sensors at the top and a much smaller sensor at the bottom. The Pixel 4 has an 1080p display while the Pixel 4 XL has a Quad HD display, but both feature a 90hz refresh.rate (so glad this is finally becoming more common in flagships). It has a Snapdragon 855 processor, 6GB of ram, and comes in either 64GB or 128GB storage configurations. The Pixel 4 features improved Camera software, and 2 cameras despite Google's statements in the past that 2 cameras are unnecessary as it can do more with just 1 camera. This is in an attempt by Google to get it's "best smartphone camera" crown back after having it chipped away from the likes of Huawei, Samsung, and Apple.

The main selling points however, is the new facial unlock feature, which works very similar to Apple's Face ID (and is not to be confused with previous facial unlocking in past Android phones, which was really just comparing your face. to a photo that your phone has stored) and motion sense, which is the culmination of Google's Project Soli project that we've been waiting years for, enabling gestures to be performed on a Pixel 4 without touching the phone.

Pixel 4 ships globally on October 24 and starts at $799 (or $899 for the Pixel 4 XL). The Pixel 4 is also the first Pixel to be carried by all 4 major US carriers, finally joining the likes of Apple, Samsung, and LG. In the past, Pixel phones gave unlimited original photo storage on Google Photos, however the Pixel 4 only provides 3 months of the 100GB tier of the Google One subscription. Overall I think that the Pixel 4 actually does a really good job of justifying it's own existence and the upgrade from a Pixel 3. The lack of the unlimited original quality Google Photos backup is a major disappointment however.

Final Thoughts

Overall, I quite liked this Made by Google event, especially in comparison to previous events. Many of the devices that were announced are much stronger choices than before, and for once it kinda feels like Google actually has a vision or at least some sense of direction with these products.

tag:retroity.net,2013:Post/1460139 2019-09-27T13:59:34Z 2019-09-27T14:35:46Z The Cynical Monetization of Mario Kart Tour

Mario Kart Tour, Nintendo's latest mobile game, is now available. It's an ok Mario Kart game, the controls are a bit wonky but otherwise they work reasonably well, and the game feels a bit bland but still with signs of typical nintendo polish. But the main issue that I have with it is it's exploitative monetization scheme. The game utilizes gacha mechanics, where players can use in-game currency to unlock certain karts. This in-game currency can be purchased using real money. There's also a shop, in which players can obtain items using coins, a currency gained from playing the game normally.

The real kicker however, is the $4.99 monthly subscription. It gets you some items and unlocks the faster 200cc speed. To price it as $4.99 per month, the same price as Apple Arcade, a surprisingly excellent game subscription service from Apple, is downright insulting and blatantly out of touch with reality. This game is essentially Nintendo fully indulging themselves in the manipulative monetization schemes that put monetization and profit over gameplay that have plagued the mobile games industry for so long and that in some ways, are currently creeping in on the larger AAA games market. The kinds of monetization schemes that rely on addictive mechanics, whales (individuals that spend large amount of money in comparison to other player), and preying on children to use their parents money. For that reason, I find it incredibly difficult to enjoy Mario Kart Tour, despite how much I wanted to like it.

One of Nintendo's first mobile games, Super Mario Run, was offered as a free download but requiring a $10 purchase to play the full game. Super Mario Run never did that well, likely due to it's high price and it's inability to be played offline. I see Super Mario Run as what turned Nintendo off of what could've been a relatively decent and ethical monetization, one where they player pays once to play a game. Other mobile games from Nintendo such as Fire Emblem Heroes and Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, which came along and made massive profits for Nintendo, have chartered this current path of mobile monetization that Nintendo is on.

It's disturbing to me that even Nintendo, a company that's known to be relatively ethical with it's monetization schemes, especially in comparison to the rest of the video game industry, can be lured by the massive profits of these types of mobile games. I sincerely hope that subscription services like Apple Arcade and Google Play Pass, services that charge the consumer a simple monthly subscription fee and provide high quality mobile games free of in-app purchases and ads, take off and become bigger forces in mobile gaming, ideally incentivizing companies to make better and more ethical mobile games. Mobile games deserve to be better.

tag:retroity.net,2013:Post/1436865 2019-07-24T23:26:44Z 2019-07-24T23:26:44Z Nintendo Finally Addresses the Joycon Drift Issue

After much controversy regarding reports of Nintendo Switch Joycon controllers experiencing drift issues, a memo to customer service representatives from Nintendo that was leaked by Vice Games reveals that Nintendo has instructed customer service representatives to fix Joy-Con controllers suffering from drift for free. This also removes the requirements to provide proof of purchase and for the customer to have a warranty, and also states that any customer who previously paid for a drift-related repair should receive a full refund if they ask.

I'm glad that Nintendo is finally addressing this issue after all of the controversy surrounding it. This issue has gone unaddressed for far too long and Nintendo let it become a far bigger issue than it needs to be. It's a shame that this only comes after a lawsuit was filed against Nintendo for these issues. Hopefully this applies worldwide and not just for Nintendo of America, which is the branch currently being sued.

tag:retroity.net,2013:Post/1431055 2019-07-10T20:17:16Z 2019-07-10T20:18:04Z The Switch Lite is a Decent Device for Budget Buyers

Today Nintendo announced the Switch Lite, a cheaper, lightweight Switch that lacks several features, including hd rumble, detachable joycons, and stand and tv modes, making it a portable-only device. The device is priced at $199.99 and is available starting September 20, 2019.

To me this device makes a lot of sense. This is obviously not targeted towards existing Switch owners. If you already have a Switch, you have no reason to buy the Switch Lite. What this good for, however, is young children as a good introduction to the Switch as a cheap first console, or people on a budget looking to get into the Switch (who primarily want to use it in handheld mode)

With it's low price and commitment to being a good handheld device (including apparently having an average extra battery life of 1 hour) it's clear that this is a replacement for the 3DS, which also shows Nintendo's commitment to the Switch as the 1 stop shop console for everything. This is despite the fact that Nintendo has apparently stated that the 3DS isn't going anywhere. (Which roughly translates to "please don't stop buying 3DS consoles and kill whatever sales we still have on it, the Switch lite isn't out yet", which is similar to Nintendo's "third pillar" comment regarding the DS)

The timing for the Switch Lite's release couldn't be better as well. With it releasing in September, it's clearly Nintendo's big offering for the holiday season and will likely serve to introduce many new players to the Nintendo Switch ecosystem.

One last thing that I want to note is that in the advertising, Nintendo seems to demonstrate the Switch as a social, active lifestyle device, with much of the announcement video demonstrating people taking their Switch and Switch Lite consoles everywhere with them, and use of social features such as local wireless multiplayer. To me this not only further demonstrates the fact that Nintendo is trying to also market the Switch line to a more mature audience, but also shows to me that the Switch lite would be a perfect device for people always on the go or people who frequently travel.

I doubt this will be the only other iteration in what is now the Switch line, so only time will tell how the Switch evolves.

tag:retroity.net,2013:Post/1425705 2019-06-29T03:38:00Z 2019-06-29T03:42:42Z Junichi Masuda's Response to Dexit is a Terrible Nothing-Burger

After fan furor resulting from the decision to not include all pokemon in a mainline Pokemon game, we finally receive a official response from Gamefreak, directly from Junichi Masuda himself no less. Here's the statement as released on pokemon.com:

"Thank you to all of our fans for caring so deeply about Pokémon. Recently, I shared the news that some Pokémon cannot be transferred to Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield. I've read all your comments and appreciate your love and passion for Pokémon.

Just like all of you, we are passionate about Pokémon and each and every one of them is very important to us. After so many years of developing the Pokémon video games, this was a very difficult decision for me. I'd like to make one thing clear: even if a specific Pokémon is not available in Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield, that does not mean it will not appear in future games.

The world of Pokémon continues to evolve. The Galar region offers new Pokémon to encounter, Trainers to battle, and adventures to embark on. We are pouring our hearts into these games, and we hope you will look forward to joining us on this new journey.

June 28, 2019

Junichi Masuda"

First of all, it's great to see that Gamefreak/The Pokemon Company is aware of the controversy and is responding to it. However, after reading it, I can't help but feel like this response is the worst one that they could've possibly made. What did this statement add, exactly? All this statement just does is restate their position. If anything, this is only helping to fuel the fire by reigniting the controversy.

This furor has been building for years. It didn't come out of nowhere. For years, fans have felt that each Pokemon game has been lazy, between cut features, copy/paste stories, low-fidelity graphics, low-effort animations, npcs, etc. Now, when you add this, in which a main series Pokemon game will not only allow you to transfer certain Pokemon, but also will flat-out not contain all Pokemon, which has been a staple of the series for well over a decade (gen 4 was the first generation to allow you to transfer Pokemon, but the Pokemon games have contained all previous Pokemon since Gold and Silver), of course people are going to be angry.

The Pokemon Company and Gamefreak has spent years of time, talk, and effort on how Pokemon were more than just data, on how people really loved and cherished their Pokemon, and why they would be able to take their Pokemon with them. The Pokemon Company and Gamefreak spent tons of time and effort to achieve this, between making future-proof models and animations for every single Pokemon, giving each game a transfer feature, and making services like Pokemon Bank and now Pokemon Home. It's hilarious to me that they announce Pokemon Home, a service to hold all your Pokemon (which will most likely be paid), and then a month later they announce a change that defeats the purpose of Pokemon Home, making it into more of a retirement home for your Pokemon than an actual storage service.

Furthermore, there is no justification in the game itself for this decision. Between it having the same low-fidelity graphics, the same basic, unchanging NPCs, the same basic, formulaic story, the same attack animations, and more. If this was a high-fidelity, upgraded Pokemon game, it would have a justification. But Pokemon Sword and Shield are none of those things, so those justifications do not exist.

Also, I might add that the statement has some concerning implications for the future of the Pokemon series. First, it seems to imply that there will not be a future update for the game post-launch that adds all the missing Pokemon, which is a flat-out denial of a major request that many fans have made. Furthermore, while the part in which Masuda states "even if a specific Pokémon is not available in Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield, that does not mean it will not appear in future games" might seem to be reassuring, it also implies that this is the future of the series. That never again will we see a Pokemon game that features all of the Pokemon that fans know and love, and rather that each game will have a rotating cast of Pokemon based on the region. That is a dangerous implication for the series, one that would turn off many fans from the series, would entirely defeat the point of Pokemon Home, and I feel would ultimately be harmful to the series as a whole.

I sincerely hope that Gamefreak sees where fans are coming from and realizes that the future of the series should not be one in which Pokemon are prevented from coming with their trainers in new games for artificial reasons. Such a future would be deeply destructive for the franchise. But I'm not holding my breath.
tag:retroity.net,2013:Post/1425609 2019-06-28T21:24:49Z 2019-06-28T21:24:49Z What's going on?

Alright, it's been a while since I've posted here, and so I think a few updates are in order. This post will be split into two sections: What's going on with Retroity.net specifically, and also what's going on with me in general (and why I've been so inactive in so many places).

What's going on with Retroity.net?

So after a brief stint on NearlyFreeSpeech I've decided to move to a new host: Posthaven! Posthaven is a blogging platform and host with an incredibly simple business model: they keep your site running as long as you're willing to pay for it. For this reason, Posthaven is designed to last long and be sustainable. I've been wanting to move Retroity.net to a blogging platform for a while now (as I've come to find having to write static HTML to be a bit annoying, and I just want to focus on writing), so Posthaven was the perfect choice for me. Unfortunately, this also means that a lot of links have broken, and some stuff isn't available anymore. I'm sorry if this inconveniences anyone, and I'll look into solutions for releasing most of it elsewhere.

However, this means that this is also a (semi) fresh start for Retroity.net! I'm going to try writing more regularly. I'll be primarily writing about my opinions about the tech and games industries. I'll try to write at least once a week but hopefully daily. I hope you enjoy!

What's going on with me? (and the future of my content)

Alright, so it's no secret that I haven't exactly been the most active. It's been a little over 3 months since I last wrote here, and about 2 months since I last uploaded on my YouTube channel. The most active places I've been are Twitter, Reddit, and Discord. So what's been going on? Well a number of things. First, I've been focusing on stuff going on in my personal life. As I'm getting older, I have more and more responsibilities and things to prepare for. I've also come to moderate several Discord servers, so I've been doing that. But the primary reason has largely been motivation. For the past 2 years, I've largely struggled with motivating myself. I have no idea what it is. I don't know if it's depression, or if it's extreme writer's block, or if it's just me being lazy. I don't know. But, I'm gonna make an honest-to-god effort to be more active in the future, and that's starting with this blog.

I'm hoping that with this blog, I can ideally forcefully jumpstart my motivation to create. Maybe it'll work, maybe it won't. We'll have to see. Either way, I'm excited to write here more.

Thank you to everyone for everything. Hopefully I'll be better about actually making things soon.
tag:retroity.net,2013:Post/1425387 2019-03-22T17:00:00Z 2019-06-28T04:35:52Z Retroity.net is Moving Hosts

NOTE: This is kinda outdated. I'm on posthaven now.

In the next 24 hours, Retroity.net will be leaving Neocities and will be moving to NearlyFreeSpeech.net as a web host. I’ve largely made this decision to move hosts for two reasons. First is that I’m generally dissatisfied with the management of Neocities, with site updates being few and far between and several features (IPFS being a notable one) not working. I’d rather use a host that is actively maintained. Secondly is that I want to have more control over my site, and not be limited solely to static sites. I’ve been looking at options for rebuilding Retroity.net in a static site generator or some sort of CMS.

Despite this, I still respect Neocities and its community. Neocities is a wonderful service and has helped me discover a passion for web design. Its community is also amazingly creative and talented. Thank you to Neocities for providing such a wonderful service.

tag:retroity.net,2013:Post/1425386 2018-11-29T18:00:00Z 2019-09-27T14:31:54Z Nintendo Finally Gives Up It's Rediculous Let's Play Policy

Yesterday Nintendo made the sudden announcement that they were giving up on the Nintendo Creators Program and were instead making it easier for online content creators to monetize their videos/livestreams. This is definitely a step in the right direction and I commend Nintendo for the change.

For reference on how Nintendo previously treated online content creators, Nintendo initially started lobbing Content ID claims at any YouTube channel that uploaded Nintendo content, taking all the revenue. Eventually, Nintendo announced the Nintendo Creators Program, where Nintendo would give 60% of videos claimed provided they met a number of guidelines, including no livestreaming, no mods, cheats, or TAS, and only playing a list of approved Nintendo games. It could also take 3 days for videos to be approved. This lead to many online content creators openly speaking out against Nintendo, and subsequently refusing to cover any Nintendo games.

Now regarding the new policy, from what I'm able to tell, this new policy is far more lenient with what you're allowed to do, and for the most part it seems reasonable. However, this turn is very strange. It's a complete 180 from a company that was just a few days ago cracking down on YouTubers left and right. What changed? Was newly promoted Nintendo president Shuntaro Furukawa responsible for this decision at all, considering he's quite a bit younger than many other higher ups at Nintendo? Was this a decision related to the ever-closer release of Super Smash Brothers Ultimate, and Nintendo wanting to support a vibrant community of content creators? Did Nintendo realize that online content creators such as YouTubers and Twitch streamers can help bring positive press to their games? Was it a mixture of these reasons, or any others? We probably won't ever know.

Still, despite any past abuses and questions about why this change is being made, I'm glad Nintendo is going to stop being so aggressive towards online content creators.

tag:retroity.net,2013:Post/1425385 2018-10-09T17:00:00Z 2019-06-28T04:32:00Z Made By Google 2018 Event Thoughts

Google held their 2018 Made By Google hardware event today, and we pretty much knew everything that was being announced well before the event took place or was even announced. (Despite Google claiming that there was something unexpected, there really wasn't) Regardless, here's my thoughts on everything announced at the event.

Pixel 3 / Pixel 3 XL

There are a number of things wrong with the Pixel 3, especially with the Pixel 3 XL. The camera appears to be the biggest change, and there's actually some cool features there, with the way that it appears to handle low-light shots, or features such as Top Shot or Photobooth. As for the new "not pink" color, I have mixed feelings on it. It looks ok. That's where my positive feelings end though. The Pixel 3 XL is an incredibly ugly design, with a long, deep notch combined with a somewhat sizeable bottom bezel. This large, deep notch that cuts into the display significantly and leaves little room for little notifications sharply contrasts with the thoughtful notch design of the iPhone X and demonstrates Google not understanding why the notch is there (which is to allow for a bezeless display while having a place to store sensors) and only including it because it's a trend. On the other hand, the (non-XL) Pixel 3 looks fine. It has relatively thin bezels (which is what the Pixel 3 XL should've done), and although the bezels on the Pixel 3 are not as thin as I would've liked, they're acceptable.

The biggest problem the Pixel 3 is going to run into however is pricing. In the US, the Pixel 3 starts at $799. I can get a 128GB iPhone XR for $50 less, or a 128GB Samsung Galaxy S9+ for $10 less. The Pixel 3 XL starts at $899. I can get a 256GB Samsung Galaxy S9+ for $30 less, or a 256GB iPhone XR for the same price. For the same price as a 128GB Pixel 3 (the highest option you can get) I can get a 128GB Galaxy Note 9 or a base level 5.8 inch iPhone XS for the same price. See the pattern here? I can get much more popular (and arguably better) phones for the same price or less. So why would someone at a Verizon store buy a Pixel 3 or Pixel 3 XL over the iPhones or Samsung devices that I mentioned? That's the biggest problem I feel with the Pixel 3. It's way too overpriced for what it is, and it's going to turn a lot of people away from buying a Pixel 3. I feel like it would be a more competitive choice if it had a starting price of something like $650.

Pixel Stand

The Pixel Stand actually seems like a pretty neat device. It's a wireless charging stand for the Pixel 3 that also turns it into a Google Assistant device that can display your calendar, the time, etc. I forsee the Pixel Stand being pretty useful and thus being a "must buy" accessory for Pixel 3 owners.

Home Hub

The Google Home Hub was without a doubt the most exciting item at the event for me. It's essentially a Google Home with a touchscreen, so it can show you things as you're asking for it. It apparently is also designed to serve as a hub for your smart home, judging not only by how much Google focused on the smart home when talking about this thing, but also the fact that you can swipe down from the bottom to see all of your smart home devices. It also allows you to view the video feeds of your Nest Hello doorbells, or your Nest Cameras, which I could see being a useful security feature The most exciting feature for me, however, is the cooking feature, where it can show you how to make this a recipe as you go. I forsee this being a killer feature for a lot of people. The pricing isn't bad either, as at $150, it undercut's Amazon's 2nd generation Echo Show, which has a pricetag of $230. I honestly see the Home Hub being the device that sells the best.

Pixel Slate

The Pixel Slate is a very interesting device, as it's basically a tablet counterpart to the Pixelbook. That's why the keyboard is seperate. What's even more interesting is that this is a tablet running Chrome OS, which to me kinda signals that Google believes that Android tablets are well and truely dead. I have mixed feelings on the Pixel Slate. As a tablet, it seems pretty good, although it's overpriced for the specs, as I can get a max-spec Microsoft Surface Go for $50 less (and with the surface type cover, its $120 less than the Pixel Slate with it's keyboard) or a 9.7 inch 128GB iPad with Cellular for $50 less. Combined with the fact that it has no headphone jack (apparently to "follow trends", which is the actual justification Google gave) and I don't really see any justification to purchase it.

Updated Chromecast

Not really mentioned was the 3rd Generation Chromecast refresh. It has a design much more in line with Google's other devices, support for 60 FPS 1080P video, the ability to play music in sync with other Google devices much like a Chromecast audio, and (probably, not officially confirmed yet) faster Wi-Fi. But besides that, there really isn't much changed. It's still $35. It still doesn't have the ability to play 4K video (you'll still need the Chromecast Ultra to do that) It remains a compelling cheap streaming device. If you already have a 2nd Generation Chromecast, there's no reason to upgrade. However, if you've been looking at buying a Chromecast, now's the time.

Overall, the event was mediocre in terms of what was announced. There was some cool stuff in there such as the Home Hub, but many devices, such as the Pixel 3 or Pixel Slate, will have a hard time competing in their respective categories.

tag:retroity.net,2013:Post/1425384 2018-06-12T17:00:00Z 2019-06-28T04:31:41Z E3 2018 Thoughts: Nintendo

So... That was interesting.

So nintendo's conference began with a look at some 3rd party games, which look pretty cool. I like those. We got a new Mario Party game with Super Mario Party, which I'm very happy about, seeing as the cars in Mario Party has always been a terrible idea in my view, and so I'm glad that we're seeing a return to a style where everyone moves independently.

Then, Smash. The Smash title announced at the Nintendo direct is now Smash Bros. Ultimate. It honestly looks amazing, with them bringing back every single Smash character frome every single game, tons of tweaks, new stages, and much more. I can't wait to play it in december.

Additionally, during the Splatoon World Championship, it was announced that the previously revealed Splatoon Octo Expansion would be coming tomorrow night (the day after this post is made) and I seriously can't wait for that at all. Octo expansion looks amazing and I know it's gonna be a lot of fun. I've been dying for some more Splatoon anyway.

However, I can't help but feel that it's a bit dissappointing that there wasn't much announced, even though all the announcements were bombshells. I really wish we got a look at Yoshi, a look at Retro Studio's new game, a sneak peak at Metroid Prime 4, or even a new Animal Crossing. However, Nintendo did state the they will be giving more details about games coming next year at a future date, so I can't wait for that. Hopefully then we'll get an Animal Crossing tease.

The only other thing I'd like to note is that I feel that Smash may of taken a bit too long, with how much detail it went into. I'm sure some will appreciate it more than I do though.

I can't complain though. I'm stoked for Super Mario Party and Octo Expansion, and Smash looks fantastic. We also got the announcement of Fortnite coming to Switch today, which was a nice touch that I'm sure will help attract more people to the Switch.

So although this presentation had some hiccups in my view and I thought more could've been shown, I thought it was alright. It did what it was supposed to do and it was executed really well. I suppose the Direct format is really paying off for Nintendo.

(Personal) Rating: B+

tag:retroity.net,2013:Post/1425382 2018-06-11T17:00:00Z 2019-06-28T04:31:03Z E3 2018 Thoughts: Ubisoft

Honestly Ubisoft didn't have that much unexpected. Beyond Good and Evil 2 looks cool, I'm not interested in Starlink but the fact that is has Starfox is cool, the Mario + Rabids: Kingdom Battle Donkey Kong DLC makes me want to get the game finally, and the devision 2 looks alright.

There were some hiccups, and a lot of stuff I wasn't interested in, but overall, it looks alright. The funniest part was when someone backstage accidentally had their microphone on and we had some "backstage talk" which was mainly just small talk and some directions over backstage stuff.

It seems like a average Ubisoft conference with extra perks. That's ok though.

(Personal) Rating: B

tag:retroity.net,2013:Post/1425379 2018-06-11T17:00:00Z 2019-06-28T04:26:58Z E3 2018 Thoughts: Bethesda

So after the terrible show that was last year's bethesda conference, I was cautiously optimistic about this year's conference, and man, did bethesda deliver.

This year's conference started out really slow, and looked to be heading in the same problems that 2016 and 2017's conference had. Then todd showed up. In one conference, Todd effectively went from an internet meme to widely praised, and for good reason.

There was a lot of great humor with this one, with a mock trailer being made in which bethesda makes fun of themselves and effectively takes control of the meme about them porting skyrim to everything by making a video in which they jokingly port skyrim to everything, such as an amazon alexa (they actually made this one despite it being a joke... no seriously), etch a sketch, and a samsung refrigerator. Some of the things that I found cool were the announcement of Wolfenstein: Youngblood, Fallout Shelter on Nintendo Switch, and Fallout 76.

I was actually cautious about Fallout 76 being an online game, but it appears that the really thought this one through, as it's only with "a few dozen" players at once, dedicated servers, a "serverless" experience (the game never mentions specific servers and it's all in the cloud), oh, and nuclear weapons are scattered across the map, so that's neat.

Overall, although it was slow to start, Bethesda made a lot of killer announcements this year that I really enjoy.

(Personal) Rating: B+

tag:retroity.net,2013:Post/1425380 2018-06-11T17:00:00Z 2019-06-28T04:29:57Z E3 2018 Thoughts: Devolver Digital

So Devolver is apparently continuing the trend of holding a mock press conference making fun of the industry, and it was about as insane as you would expect.

Lots of blood, swearing, and making fun of the industry. This time however, it seems to have gotten a bit more bolder in making fun of industry trends, with Nina Struthers (the host) often going on long rants deriding specific trends, which is quite entertaining.

They actually announced some cool games too. My Friend Pedro looks fun as hell, and Metal Wolf Chaos XD looks hilarious.

Also it looks like their making it a series with the conference ending with Nina Struthers being shot with a machine gun with one of the people that had their hand cut off in the last conference. Then, others are seen around her, and it appears that she's now a robot, with the conference ending with "To by continued... Next year". It looks like devolver will be making fun of the industry for years to come, and frankly, I love all of it.

(Personal) Rating: ??????????????????????

tag:retroity.net,2013:Post/1425381 2018-06-11T17:00:00Z 2019-06-28T04:30:28Z E3 2018 Thoughts: Square Enix

So Square Enix recently had their E3 conference, and I'm honestly wondering what the point of it was? Like, there really wasn't that much there. A lot of it was stuff we already knew about. It's not a good sign when 90% of your finishing trailer was pretty much one that we've already seen.

I mean yeah, some of the stuff that was shown was cool, but again, so little was announced that I'm wondering why Square Enix even held a conference. Hopefully they'll have more to show next year.

(Personal) Rating: D+

tag:retroity.net,2013:Post/1425383 2018-06-11T17:00:00Z 2019-06-28T04:31:23Z E3 2018 Thoughts: Sony

Um... what?

I'm left so confused with this conference. What even was that? So Sony started with The Last of Us 2, with the conference being in this... church building?? Then once the trailer ended sony took like a 30 minute break in order to move everyone to another building. Seriously. That intermission talk show thing just killed the pace. I mean, really? Stopping the conference for 15 minutes like that?

So once everyone got into the other building they showed off some titles. Some of which I though were cool looking, such as Trevor Saves The Universe, Ghost of Tsushima, and of course, a new trailer for Death Stranding (still no release date though!). They then proceeded to end the conference with a new look at Spider-man (again, no release date). They really didn't announce much with this one, which doesn't seem like a Sony thing to do at all.

Frankly this conference was just weird, between the two buildings, the weird clips interspersed in that were never explained. (UPDATE: apparently this was for a game called Dreams) They didn't talk about it at all though. I suppose that was to make up for the fact that they had nothing to announce this year?

But yeah, this one was very disappointing. I'm not a fan of it, and I hope that Sony does better next year.

(Personal) Rating: C+

tag:retroity.net,2013:Post/1425378 2018-06-10T17:00:00Z 2019-06-28T04:25:34Z E3 2018 Thoughts: Microsoft

Microsoft killed it this year. I didn't expect Microsoft to do this good this year at all. But yet, they did.

For starters, Microsoft kept up the pace, leaving out much of the talking and instead just showing trailer after trailer after trailer. Additionally, lots of good titles were shown, such as the new Cuphead dlc (I need to play Cuphead), Kingdom Hearts 3 (I need to play kingdom hearts), a new trailer for fallout 76, Metro: Exodus, We Happy Few, and way more. They also announced the acquisition of 5 studios, which was way more than I was expecting.

The only part that I didn't like was Forza, because that was the moment where someone got up on stage and talked about it, which felt like the event was sort of grinding to a halt to talk about Forza and really took me out of the fast pace that Microsoft was doing. It wasn't a big deal though, as although I don't care for Forza, there was nothing terribly offensive.

One thing that surprised me was the total lack of Minecraft, as that's something Microsoft usually dedicates time to. This is probably due to the fact that Minecraft has nothing to announce, and I think Microsoft realizes that it's best to leave Minecraft to it's own channels instead of letting it dampen the mood.

Overall though, I think this was one of the strongest showings Microsoft has had in years. They did a really good job on this year. It'll be interesting to see if the competition can match this.

(Personal) Rating: A

tag:retroity.net,2013:Post/1425377 2018-06-10T17:00:00Z 2019-06-28T04:26:29Z E3 2018 Thoughts: Tinybuild

Um, I don't even know what to say about this one. It seems like a copy of Devolver's conference last year. Some of the humor didn't land on me, but I can appreciate it. Not entirely sure how I feel about secret neighbor.

(Personal) Rating: ???

tag:retroity.net,2013:Post/1425376 2018-06-09T17:00:00Z 2019-06-28T04:26:00Z E3 2018 Thoughts: EA

So E3 is (sorta) here, (The expo hasn't even started yet) and EA is the first to go as in previous years, holding their annual EAPlay conference.

I'll be honest, I went in to it with very low expectations. The only thing I really wanted was Skate 4. But yet, despite the fact that I came in with virtually no expectations, I was still disappointed. It's honestly one of the worst conferences EA has had in a while.

For starters, the conference didn't have much at all. Very little in the conference deserved a press conference and could of been revealed on Twitter. We got some updates on Battlefield 5 (with battle royale mode because that's the current money making trend in the industry right now), then there was the usual sports games for the year, with updates to FIFA and a new NBA game. We also got a look at EA's new cloud-based service, Origin Access Premiere. Then, we got a look at the new command and conquer mobile game with a "match" being narrated as if it's an esport (why?? Why make it a generic mobile strategy game??) There was also some looks at indies, such as the announcement (and immediate release of) Unravel 2, and the announcement of A Way Out. Finally, the conference ended with a detailed look at Anthem.

Frankly, the only thing that interested me was Unravel 2. Everything else was meh, and I'm still really cautious about Anthem. So with that being said, why did they even hold a press conference this year? What was the point?

Oh, and no mention of Skate, despite the enormous demand for it.

Overall, I don't think I like this one. Although the only thing that was somewhat offensive was the mobile Command And Conquer title, there was also nothing really exciting. Everything was either stuff that we expected or stuff that we already knew about, with really only 1 or 2 things that came out of nowhere.

(Personal) Rating: C-

tag:retroity.net,2013:Post/1425375 2018-04-27T17:00:00Z 2019-06-28T04:23:17Z The 2018 Inter-Korean Summit Feels Surreal

This is a photo of South Korean president Moon Jae-in and North Korean president Kim Jong-Un raising their hands together. But this isn't your average meeting between world leaders. This is a meeting between two leaders of two countries that were formerly one, divided by war, anger, and threats for over half a century. Yet, here they are. Holding their hands in the air together, acting almost like old friends. This photo represents peace. It represents a new Korea bound together by unity, instead of war. A Korea of cooperation. Suddenly, after years of Kim Jong-Un and North Korea testing nuclear weapons and missiles, threating annihilation against Japan, The United States, and it's neighbor South Korea, we have this photo, of said leader raising his hand in the air alongside the president of a country he previously threatened to invade.

This feels surreal to me. I remember just a few months ago reading reports of new North Korean missile and nuclear tests, with this conflict appearing to escalate. Now, we have the two koreas announcing that they are going to sign a formal peace treaty ending a war that never truely ended (the two Koreas signed a Armistice, but not a peace treaty) This has all happened in a matter of months. It feels so fast.

I wish the best of luck to both Koreas in their quest for peace, and to the Korean people. Maybe one day we'll see a unified Korea again.

Disclaimer: The photo in question was originally posted to the Korea.net Flickr account here. It is currently licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share-Alike 2.0 license.

tag:retroity.net,2013:Post/1425374 2018-04-25T17:00:00Z 2019-06-28T04:22:35Z YouTube Remix Might Kill Google Play Music

According to this article by 9to5Google, Google is preparing to launch a new streaming service called "YouTube Remix" that will replace Google Play Music.

I'm considering cancelling my Google Play Music/YouTube Red subscription if this happens. Google Play Music, although not perfect, is a great solution for me, primarily because I like uploading my own music and it comes with YouTube Red. Although I could, I don't use the YouTube Music app because I like to keep my music and videos separate. Knowing Google, YouTube Remix is not going to have any of the things that I like about Google Play Music.

Additionally, the article notes that in an APK teardown of the YouTube app, 9to5Google found references to a "YouTube Plus" subscription tier. To me, this suggests that either YouTube Red and Google Play Music are going to be combined into the "YouTube Plus" service, or it will be an entirely separate tier.

I'm hoping that Google doesn't go through with this. Google Play Music already works fine for plenty of people, and we don't need another app that already does the same thing that we were able to do previously. Google already has a problem with this (See: Every single Google chat platform)

tag:retroity.net,2013:Post/1425373 2018-04-18T17:00:00Z 2019-06-28T04:16:18Z WHOIS Won't Work Under The GDPR

According to an article by The Register, it looks like the EU has a problem with the current WHOIS system, with the EU claiming that the current WHOIS system isn't compliant with the upcoming GDPR. As a result, ICANN now has to come up with a replacement for WHOIS, or make changes to it in order to be compliant. The article does note, however, that "the Whois service may still publish some personal details once everything has been worked through, so long as there is a clear justification for it." So it looks like there will be changes coming to the WHOIS system in the future.

Honestly, this is great. I really dislike the current WHOIS system, as it makes tons of personal information about the owner of the domain name easily publically available, unless you're either with a registar that offers WHOIS "protection" (basically it replaces a lot of the WHOIS details with it's own, masking your personal info) for free or one that offers it as a paid service (that you're subscribed to). I don't think the need for this much info to be made public is really justifiable, so I'm glad changes are being made. We'll have to see what those changes are, however.

Also, I'd like to note that the GDPR going to effect is almost here, with it going into effect on the 25th of May of this year. So far we're seeing a lot of interesting privacy changes by Google and Facebook to be in compliance with it, which is good, as it's time that privacy be taken seriously. I'm hoping that eventually something like this comes to the US, however I won't hold my breath knowing how congress isn't exactly good at understanding technology.

Who knows what the future holds for technology and privacy. I guess we'll have to wait and see.

tag:retroity.net,2013:Post/1425370 2018-04-17T17:00:00Z 2019-06-28T04:14:25Z Russia Can't Block Telegram

On April 13, 2018 a Russian court ordered telegram to be blocked. Now, Russia is trying to implement that ban, and it isn't working. As a result, Telegram moved to Amazon AWS and Google Cloud Services in an attempt to bypass the ban. That seems to be working, as Russia is now trying to block IPs belonging to AWS and GCP in an attempt to block telegram. So far, Russia has blocked over 15.8 million IP addresses in an attempt to ban Telegram. This has caused lots of collateral damage, resulting in credit card services, some banks, games, grocery store sites, viber, and other such services to stop working, while Telegram is somehow still functioning.

I find it both hilarious and ridiculous that Russia is trying this hard to ban Telegram and is failing this hard. Perhaps this is a bit much for a single app, no? I honestly wonder how far the Russian government will go.

tag:retroity.net,2013:Post/1425368 2018-04-10T17:00:00Z 2019-06-28T04:13:55Z The Neocities Problem

UPDATE 2: I'm no longer using neocities. However, my points listed here still stand.

Update: I'd like to make some clarifications regarding this article. First, I understand that Neocities is very small and new company. It may be difficult to hire developers. I'd also like to make it clear that I love Neocities, what it does, and what it stands for. I will continue to be a paying customer for the forseeable future, as I love the site. However, my point still stands that development has stalled and that more transparency and more info on what's coming next is needed. Sorry if this came off a bit too negative. I don't hate Neocities, I just want it to be the best it can be.

Neocities is without a doubt, my favorite web host. Sure, it's limited to static websites, but that's what's fun about it. Neocities makes working on websites fun. When I first started using Neocities in 2016, I quickly fell in love with it, and quickly became a paid supporter, and migrated my site to Neocities. I believe in its goal of creating a fast, reliable, and feature-packed spiritual successor to Geocities for the new age. However, I feel as if Neocities has been on a downward slope for a while now. This can be fixed, but if it keeps going, it will get worse. In this post, I'll list some of my complaints with the current state of Neocities. I hope that these complaints are taken into consideration, as it is my belief that if Neocities wants to succeed, it needs to do better.

1. Developer Inactivity

It's becoming increasingly obvious that the developers of Neocities have been very inactive, with hardly any changes coming to Neocities in the last year. For reference, the last post on The Neocities Blog was made in August 2017, or almost 8 months ago. It's not any better with the GitHub. It appears that on average, commits are made either every two weeks or sometimes, commits can be almost a month apart. There are also pull requests that have been sitting there for months with no response (my very simple pull request has been sitting there with no response for almost 6 months, and it's the most recent one)

This appears to be due to the fact that as it stands, Neocities has really only one developer, Kyle Drake. (Victoria Wang is also listed on the Neocities Github as a member, but her last commit to the GitHub was in 2016) I can understand that it may be too much for one person, but some activity beyond every month or so would be nice. If it's too overwhelming, then people need to be hired. If you're busy with something else, then transparency would be nice.

2. Lack of Transparency

In addition to having no idea why the sole developer is inactive, we also have no idea what the future of Neocities is. We have no roadmap, no list of planned or upcoming features, no idea when existing features that are currently down will be coming back, nothing. We, the users of Neocities, are being totally left into the dark in terms of the future of Neocities.

We need an explanation for what's been going on. We need to know what's coming next. We need transparency.

3. Site Decay

Neocities is currently losing features more than it's gaining them. These features include IPFS archiving, the stats page, and browse mode. The stats page and browse mode are currently disabled for "bugs". Meanwhile, IPFS archiving has been down for a while with no updates as to why or when it will be returning. Combine that with the fact that site stability has been getting worse, with me regularly getting error pages with simply accessing the front page of the site, and you have a problem. This really needs to be addressed, and we should at least get a basic time frame as to when these will be back up. It's not a good look when major features are down for so long.

4. Spam

It's becoming increasingly obvious that Neocities has a spam problem. Spam sites are being created en masse on Neocities, with little being done about it. Many of these sites impersonate popular online services, companies, or banks, and attempt to steal user info. When sites like these are allowed on Neocities, you have a problem. Neocities really needs to update the Acceptable Use Policy to disallow spam (while clearly defining what qualifies as spam to prevent it from being overly broad) and implement a system of reporting sites that violate the TOS. Having lots of spam sites appear on the browse page is not a good look for Neocities, and will turn people away.

5. TL;DR

  • The Neocities devs need to be more active, and if it's not possible for the sole developer to be more active than new staff need to be hired
  • We need more transparency on what's been going on and what the future of Neocities is
  • There's an issue when major features keep going down due to "bugs" or just go down. This needs to be addressed.
  • Neocities has a spam problem. The AUP needs to be updated to disallow spam and a reporting system needs to be put in place to report sites like these.

6. Conclusions

While I love Neocities and will most likely continue to be a paid supporter, it cannot be denied that Neocities has lots of issues. These need to be addressed, as I feel that if they are not, than Neocities may be going down the same path as the original Geocities.

tag:retroity.net,2013:Post/1425367 2017-12-21T18:00:00Z 2019-06-28T04:07:40Z Recommended Places To Donate To For The 2017 Holiday Season

It's the holiday season! Christmas is pretty close now, and what better way to celebrate than giving donations to various charities, non-profits, and organizations! These are some places I recommend donating to, grouped into two categories: "Charities & Fundraisers" and "Non-Profits & Organizations". So without further ado, these are my recommended places to donate to for the 2017 holiday season!

Charities & Fundraisers

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital - (Donation Link) - Seriously, donate to St. Jude's. They're simply the best cancer charity out there in my opinion. They help research into fighting childhood cancer and giving better treatment. According to wikipedia, "the survival rate for acute lymphoblastic leukemia, the most common type of childhood cancer, has increased from 4 percent in 1962 to 94 percent today." [Wikipedia Article] [Citation From Wikipedia] Seriously, donate to them.

Child's Play - (Donation Link) - Charity dedicated to providing children diagnosed with cancer stuck in hospitals with video games to make their time in hospitals easier, and to reduce stress.

Jessica's Battle Fundraiser - (Donation Link) - Fundraiser for Jessica Storton, (aka Momerator) who is a well-known member of the Five Nights At Freddys Community, for being a moderator of the FnaF subreddit, being a moderator of the FnaFLore discord server (which I am also a moderator of, full disclosure), and writing for FnaFLore.com. She's currently battling cancer, which recently progressed to Stage 4. This money is being raised to cover cancer treatments and living costs. I seriously reccommend donating to the fundraiser.

Non-Profits & Organizations

Electronic Frontier Foundation - (Donation Link) - Non-Profit dedicated to fighting for digital rights. Some of their activities include fighting for Net Neutrality, and against DRM, patent trolls, copyright trolls, NSA Spying, etc.

Free Software Foundation - (Donation Link) - Non-Profit dedicated to developing and promoting free software. The FSF project is behind the GNU Project, which is used by Linux. They're also behind the GPL, a popular free software license.

The Internet Archive - (Donation Link) - Otherwise known as Archive.org, The Internet Archive is a non-profit dedicated to preserving as much of history as possible. They store Petabytes of public domain movies, books, audiobooks, music, etc. They also digitize millions of books, records, etc. The Internet Archive is best known for the Wayback Machine, which preserves the history of millions of websites. It is an amazing resource and could really use the funding.

Archive Team - (Donation Link) - A "loose collective of rogue archivists, programmers, writers and loudmouths" dedicated to saving the world's digital heritage, primarily that of which is online. They've archived many sites that were shutting down, including Geocities, MobileMe, Miiverse, the ROBLOX Forums, etc. It could really use the donations, considering how expensive the hosting, bandwidth, storage, servers, etc is.

Wikimedia Foundation - (Donation Link) - Runs Wikipedia, an incredibly useful and valuable online encylopedia, among many other wiki-style projects. Wikipedia is an amazing resource and could really use the funding.

tag:retroity.net,2013:Post/1425366 2017-11-01T17:00:00Z 2019-06-28T04:07:04Z Thank You Miiverse, and Goodbye

Note: This was originally posted to Miiverse. It can be viewed in its original form here.

This is probably gonna end up being my last Miiverse post, so I should probably make this one count. I joined Miiverse around Christmas of 2012, and made my first post around a day later. This was about a month after the Wii U released. I remember being so hyped for the Wii U, and being disappointed by the day 1 update, but enjoying the launch nonetheless.

Miiverse was really my first social media platform, as at the time my parents didn't let me use any other social media. In retrospect, this makes sense, as I was only 10 at the time. Miiverse was my stomping ground, where I made many, admittedly terrible posts. Many of these posts have since been deleted. I would be active on this site for the next 3 years, from 2012 to 2015.

From there I would move on to bigger sites where I could freely express myself. During those years however, I had a lot of fun. I enjoyed the communities, the fun, the art, etc. One of the most memorable moments for me was the 2013 Rayman Legends protests. I also remember getting hyped for Nintendo Directs with everyone else, and looking forward to what was new with the Wii U.

Over time, however, I moved on. Additionally, it was around that time that it became clear that the Wii U was a failure, so Nintendo largely dropped it. Now the Nintendo Switch is out, and Miiverse is being killed. So for one last time, thank you. Thank you all. Thanks for allowing me to grow in my first online community, right here. Thanks for helping to shape me to who I am.

One last time, thank you. I'll see you all on the other side.

tag:retroity.net,2013:Post/1425365 2017-10-24T17:00:00Z 2019-06-28T04:07:58Z This Really Annoying Issue in The Twitter App is Driving Me Nuts

Recently, I got access to the new 280 character limit on Twitter, so I decided to switch to the official Twitter app until Flamingo adds support for it (which won't happen until 280 characters releases for everyone)

However, in my return to the official twitter app, I've noticed this really annoying issue, and it's driving me nuts. The issue is that whenever I search for something, and right before I tap an account, another often related result comes up, resulting in me accidentally tapping that instead. Let me demonstrate the issue:

This has been happening for a while now and it's starting to get on my nerves. It'd be great if twitter was somehow able to fix this.

tag:retroity.net,2013:Post/1425364 2017-07-31T17:00:00Z 2019-06-28T04:08:42Z That Time I Dual Booted Ubuntu on my Main Computer

Recently, I briefly dual booted Windows 10 and Ubuntu 16.04 LTS on my main computer. This was my first time dual booting, so I decided to write about it. Here's how it went.

1. Why Dual Boot

I ultimately made the decision to try dual booting for a few reasons:

  1. I wanted to try a completely different operating system and using it as a personal operating system. I previously used Debian Linux on an old PC to run a Minecraft server for my little brother and his friends. He was using a old laptop that I handed down to him. When that laptop died, I decided to backup the world, shut down the server, reinstall Windows 7, and make it his new PC. Outside of that, I've never used linux.
  2. I wanted to learn how to properly learn Linux and the Linux terminal. That way in the future I'd be more experienced with using the Linux terminal.
  3. I'm a big fan of free software and open-source software, so I figured Linux would be a good place to try out a bunch of it, since quite a bit of open-soure and free software is only available via linux.
  4. I decided to use Ubuntu because I'm new to linux, and Ubuntu is supposed to be easy to use, so I figured it would suit me well.
  5. I decided to dual boot because I still wanted to use Windows for all of my Adobe apps, and all of my Steam games that don't have Linux and/or Ubuntu support. (I could use Wine, but not everything is guaranteed to work on it. Also, I wanted to be able to remove Ubuntu and go back to just wanting Windows 10 if I didn't like it.

2. Preparation

I used to use a 3 TB external hard drive by Seagate to store a bunch of my data, such as old data, backups, etc. However, upon running CrystalDiskInfo to check the health of my hard drives, I found that my external drive was given a "Caution" status, due to the fact that it failed 3 S.M.A.R.T. tests. As a result, I got a new 4 TB Western Digital My Book, and moved 2.21 TB of data off of the old drive to the new one. I then made a backup of all of the files that were currently on my PC to the external hard drive. At this point, I was ready to set up the dual boot.

3. Setting Up The Dual Boot

To start, I went into the Windows 10 settings and reset Windows, meaning that it would be like new. Once that was done, I shrank the Windows partition by 50 GB. I then booted into the BIOS settings and turned off secure boot. Then I booted into a flash drive I had with Ubuntu on it, and installed Ubuntu to dual boot.

Installation was easy enough, I simply just opened the installer, went through the process of selecting all of my options and how I want it installed, and let the installer run. There was no commands to be run or anything. After about 30 minutes of waiting, Ubuntu was now dual-booted onto my PC alongside Windows 10.

4. Using Ubuntu

For the next 24 hours, I would pretty much exclusively use Ubuntu. On boot, I was given a startup menu by GNU GRUB asking me whether I wanted to boot into Ubuntu or Windows 10. Ubuntu was pretty easy to use, and was very user friendly. I actually had to use command prompts way less than I expected. I was able to get Steam, Discord, Keepass 2, OBS, etc up and running.

However, I ran into several problems. For starters, my computer has two hard drives, a 250 GB SSD for the OS, and a 2 TB HDD for data. I wanted to get folders such as the Desktop or Downloads folder to my 2 TB HDD, but I was unable to find a solution that worked for Ubuntu 16.04 LTS. I have a lot of data, so this is a must-have.

In addition, oddly enough, I was noticing worse performance on games such as TF2 than I was getting on Windows. I like to max out my settings on games like TF2.

I also tried to install the GNOME desktop environment due to my dislike of unity. The version of GNOME I installed for Ubuntu was very buggy, so I uninstalled it. Uninstalling it was a pain, as that caused several issues, such as the startup screen still being the Ubuntu Gnome startup screen, instead of the Ubuntu one. At this point, I had enough, and decided to go back to just using Windows.

5. Going Back

Going back to just using Windows was a pain. I thought I could just run a command in the Windows terminal to remove GRUB. However, it turns out that my computer uses UEFI. I tried to use a OS removal tool, but that failed. So I used my Windows recovery flash drive, which completely reinstalled Windows. Instead of installing Windows 10, it installed Windows 8, which is what my computer came with. (I later upgraded to Windows 10) So once Windows 8 was installed, I proceeded to use this offer from Microsoft (which is basically a free upgrade to Windows 10 without any sort of catch) to upgrade back to Windows 10. After all of that, I was finally back to just Windows 10, and GNU GRUB was finally gone.

6. Conclusions

I don't hate Ubuntu, nor do I hate Linux. However, it just doesn't suit my needs. If I had a hard drive I could dedicate to Ubuntu, or the entire system was dedicated to Ubuntu, I probably would've liked it more. I'd also probably like it more if I installed it on a laptop instead of a desktop (preferrably a Thinkpad laptop). I'll probably try to use Linux in other ways in the future, however, for now, I think I'm just about done with it.

tag:retroity.net,2013:Post/1425363 2017-07-29T17:00:00Z 2019-06-28T04:09:06Z Retroity.net has been redesigned!

As of today, Retroity.net has a brand new design! I've been working on this redesign on and off for the last two weeks, and today I finally finished and released it. One thing that you'll notice is that it's a lot more simplistic than the previous design. For example, the front page, blog post list, and about page are now merged into one page. This is so distractions, clutter, etc is reduced while condensing the content. I had a lot of fun making it, and I hope you like it.

This redesign is a complete rewrite of the entire site. While the previous site used a themed version of Bootstrap 3.3.7 acquired from bootswatch.com, this version uses an experimental CSS framework known as Element, which was made by the fine folks over Neocities, the same company that hosts this site. I've played around with Element since it was posted to Github, using it for RetroPage, and have found it to suit my needs really well, so I decided to use it in Retroity.net. Element is really easy to work with, much more so than Bootstrap, and it's (albeit sparse) documentation helped quite a bit. I've made as little modifications as I can to Element, instead opting to make all my changes in a second CSS file.

Personally, I found making this redesign to be really fun. Trying to write the styling for this site in a way that works with Element's existing styling was a good challenge.

Please note that because this redesign just launched, there may still be some kinks to work out. If there are, please let me know. Thanks!

tag:retroity.net,2013:Post/1425361 2017-01-18T18:00:00Z 2019-06-28T04:09:21Z Thoughts on the Nintendo Switch Presentation

So the Nintendo Switch presentation happened recently and I thought I’d give my thoughts. Here goes.

Generally, the Switch seems pretty cool. I’m really excited about the whole concept of taking console games on the go. The fact that they managed to get the battery life of a 3DS with much more powerful hardware is very impressive. 3 hours of Legend of Zelda: Breath of The Wild gameplay might seem short, but for me, that’s pretty impressive. I also like the fact that it’s region free, so if a game doesn’t come to the US I can just import it. I’m also super happy about the Micro-SDXC card storage option, as that gives me the ability to expand the storage to 256+ GBs (which is a lot for a Nintendo console).

Now, here’s my thoughts on the games:

I’m very excited that Legend of Zelda: Breath of The Wild is a launch title. I think LOZ: BOTW is probably going to end up being the big killer app that the switch really needs. I’m really looking forward to it.

I like the idea of Super Mario Odyssey, and I’m really curious to see how Nintendo explores the idea of Mario in different locations. I’ll definitely keep an eye of it.

I love Splatoon and Mario Kart, so I’m super excited that Splatoon2 and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (which wasn’t shown in the presentation, oddly enough) are coming, but I’m disappointed that they’re not launch titles.

ARMS is certainly a very interesting game. I like the idea as it’s the perfect blend of weird and fun in a true Nintendo fashion. I’m curious to see how the gameplay’s actually like, however.

I’ve never played Xenoblade, so maybe Xenoblade Chronicles 2 will be my first game in the series, as I’ve heard really good things about the first.

As for Fire Emblem Warriors, I’m generally uninterested in Fire Emblem, so I don’t have a real opinion on this one.

Sonic Mania looks very good, as the idea of a classic-style Sonic The Hedgehog game with new mechanics and worlds to shake things up really appeals to me. When it was announced, I was really disappointed that it appeared to not be coming to the Switch, but now that it’s officially coming to the Switch, I’m really excited for it. I’ll probably be getting Sonic Mania, with my platform of choice being the Switch.

1-2 Switch looks to be the Switch’s own Wii Sports (or Nintendo Land). It’s a game that’s designed to appeal to everyone and show off the system’s capabilities. I’m not sure if I’ll enjoy it, however. It just doesn’t seem like a game for me. I will keep an eye on it as more info and gameplay comes out however.

One thing I’d like to note is that I think Nintendo spent way too much time on 1-2 Switch and ARMS during the presentation. So much so that Mario Kart Deluxe and several other details were not even mentioned due to time constraints. It got a bit annoying at times. Probably my biggest complaint out of this whole presentation is the fact that the online services cost money. Nintendo has never been a company to charge for online, so it feels odd that they’re doing this now. One of the things that I love about the Wii U is that online functionality like playing with people is completely free. I don’t have to make any sort of commitment to Nintendo’s online services. I can just play, stop playing for a while, and then come back and play some more. I can’t do that with the Switch. If I spend the money on the online services, I may stop playing and then feel like I’m wasting my money. If I don’t pay, I may feel like I’m missing out. In addition, Nintendo doesn’t have the best track record on things like online stability and security, so I’m concerned that I may be paying for a bad service. I also don’t like the “free NES/SNES game every month for a month” part. The sentence “free NES/SNES game every month for a month” is confusing, as I don’t know if it means that there’s a free game every month that’s only available for download for that month but I can keep it as long as I pay for online, or if it’s month-long online rentals of old video games that have been re-released over and over. It’s really concerning so I’m hoping that Nintendo does their best to make the online worth it.

But overall, it was a generally OK presentation. Some things interested me, some didn’t, and some things concerned me. I’m looking forward to the Switch.

tag:retroity.net,2013:Post/1425360 2016-10-01T17:00:00Z 2019-06-28T04:09:36Z I'm Leaving Youtube Gaming for Twitch

A while back, I made a post announcing that I was moving from Twitch to YouTube Gaming. Well, here I am, announcing that I’m moving back to twitch. What do you expect, I guess?

The reason for me moving back is that Twitch has demonstrated that they actually care and listen to their community. They actually interact with them. There are plenty of features that were requested and then added as a result. YouTube simply does not care about the people who are using their site. They don’t. They pretend to, but they really don’t. Why should they, anyway? They have a monopoly that most likely won’t be broken, and no matter what they do, people won’t move to a competitor.

So with that in mind, I’m going to do one last stream on YouTube Gaming very shortly after this post before moving to twitch. I’m still going to stream on YouTube Gaming occasionally when I want to stream stuff that I can’t stream on Twitch, but that’s about it.

I hope you enjoy my occasional streams regardless of what platform they’re on.