Jay's Eyes

Welcome

This journal is now Friends Only

I hate to do this, since I'm generally turned off by F-locked journals myself, but circumstances have forced me to do it.  However, I am going to try to be more open with my entries.

UPDATED: 11/17/2010

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Jay's Eyes

Asus Zenwatch 2 Review

Well, I had a fun Christmas. My gift haul was small, but I did get some money to spend. I'm not entirely sure what to buy with it, though...

My biggest prize this year was the Asus Zenwatch 2, a watch I've been wanting for several months now. At this time last year, I didn't really know what smartwatches were capable of. But as I asked my dad, who owns the original Asus Zenwatch model, and did some research of my own, my desire for the watch grew exponentially.

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So obligatory pros and cons of the Zenwatch 2...

Pros
- Affordable
- Fast and reliable
- Great battery life and bluetooth connection
- Fast charger
- Size and color options for watch and straps

Cons
- Just about every review I've seen online has noted the large bezels around the display as a negative, but it's not such a big deal for me.  I often don't notice it when I'm using the watch.
- WI-FI must be on to control music with watch. Might be an Android Wear issue rather than a Zenwatch 2 issue...

And that's pretty much it. I'll probably share more impressions or cool uses I find as I go along. But hopefully this'll inspire you to get a Zenwatch 2 of your own. =D
Jay's Eyes

7 Days to Die Alpha 14

Well, 7 Days to Die just released a massive update. In fact, it was so massive that I actually had to start a new game. Probably because the default world of Navezgane was changed and expanded to twice the size.

Thankfully I was able to locate a nice neighborhood to set up my base. I picked the first house, and set up my sleeping bag and storage boxes in the basement of the house. I just built a wall around it yesterday. I had a few mishaps where zombies would break in through the wooden walls, but now that I have a wall around the house itself, I should be safe in there.

7DtD now has a quest feature, where you find notes among the loot, describing certain tasks. It even starts you out with a tutorial quest to help you learn the basics of survival. This would really be helpful for new players who are just starting out. Once you read the quests, you either accept or decline them, and successfully completing the tasks will reward you with skill points to spend.

The update also introduces perks to go along with your skills that'll make surviving a little easier. I purchased some perks to make looting a lot faster, and what a difference it made! I can loot like twice as fast now! I also learned the trick to move items into storage with a single click as I had seen on various youtube videos, but couldn't figure out how to do myself. Just hold shift as you click on the items, and it'll automatically move to the first slot in the box. It makes for much more effective inventory management. Just that part alone makes me excited to keep on playing. Idek why, I'm just weird like that.

I also learned how to farm. While that's not a new feature, I'm just learning how to do it. The major downside is that the crops only grow when you're nearby. So you can't go looting and stuff while waiting for the crops to grow. The players on the forums speculate that it's because having to load all of the regions would lead to lag. But still, it makes me question whether farming is worth it. I guess if I really want corn, potatoes, or blueberries, it would be. Those are kind of rare to find via looting. Corn and potatoes are needed to make meat stew, probably the best food in the game. Blueberries are mainly for blueberry pie, which is another good food for filling you up and raising your wellness.

I watched some videos of other players on youtube, and watched them discover underground bunkers. I thought it was such a cool idea, so I decided to look for one myself. From what I understand, the bunkers only spawn on a random gen map. What I didn't expect was to find one so quickly! Needless to say, I moved my base there. It's such a neat thing.
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Jay's Eyes

7 Days to Die

So the other day, I bought a game from Steam that I've been wanting to buy for quite a while now. It's called 7 Days to Die, and it's an open-world crafting and survival game. And what are you surviving from? The zombie apocalypse, of course. XD It was on sale for 50% off, so I figured I'd better snag it before the price went back up.

It seems to be a nice and realistic take on survival. You're out in the middle of nowhere, crafting tools and weapons from junk (wood, metal, grass, etc.). It's pretty interesting, once you figure out what to do. I had no idea what to do, so I kept getting killed within a few minutes of spawning. However, I watched a few tutorial videos on youtube, and it helped clarify some things, so hopefully I'll do better next time.

The only thing that isn't quite as realistic is how your player starts out only wearing underwear. I mean, srsly, no one ever goes out in underwear on a normal day (unless they've lost their minds). So starting out in underwear makes no sense.

The game primarily uses keyboard + mouse controls. Some say it's not that bad if you're used to it, but I...just can't get used to it. I have never played videos games with a keyboard and mouse in my whole life. So I used a program to map the keyboard/mouse commands to my controller, and that helped out a great deal.

What really annoys me (and this is why I despise first-person shooters in general) is how enemies can sneak up on you and kill you without warning. Sure, that's part of the realism, but I have times when I hear zombies snarling and stuff, and I'm looking around like crazy, but see nothing. Other times, I hear nothing, and I get murdered. Kinda makes you go WTF, you know? Sometimes I just die out of nowhere...from what I assume are natural causes. I.E. overheating, freezing to death, dehydration, etc. Because yeah, running around in the frozen tundra in your underwear is probably a bad idea.

Ultimately, I think I could get to enjoy this game once I get a grip on the resources and crafting. Unfortunately, I can't seem to get a grip on it, which can get frustrating pretty fast... =(

And of course, no review would be complete without images.


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Jay's Eyes

20th Anniversary Pokemon

So...as a lot of you know, this is the 20th anniversary of the Pokémon games. To celebrate, they're distributing the legendary Pokémon from each generation throughout the year. This month, February, is the month of Mew. If you go to Gamestop, they'll give you a card with the download code. (I was under the impression that I'd need to bring my system and download the Pokémon at the store.) I think it's awesome that they're doing this, because before now, there was virtually no way of (legitimately) obtaining these Pokémon. Next month will be the month of Celebi. You can find the info on the Pokémon and which month and location to obtain them on this website.

I went to Gamestop to obtain my Mew, and of course found a shit ton of neat stuff, it was hard to resist the urge to buy it all. At least it gave me an opportunity to take some awesome photos with my awesome HTC RE camera. =D

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$79 Tablet

So, I bought an RCA Pro Viking tablet with keyboard from yesterday's Black Friday sale. I wanted it, because I really wanted a keyboard to go with my tablets, but I couldn't find one that worked. So I had to buy a whole new tablet with the included keyboard. And this one was only $79, just within my budget. I wasn't quite desperate enough to get in early and fight the crowds, so I just hoped there would be some left when I came in at my normal time. Lo and behold, there were plenty left. So I snagged it. XD

I opened it right away and played with it, and works very well. The keyboard works like a charm. I thought (and had been told) that it was connected via Bluetooth, so I thought, "What if I connected the keyboard to my phone and use that instead?" So I went into the Bluetooth menu only to find that the Bluetooth was turned off. Meaning that the keyboard wasn't running off the Bluetooth. So I'd just use this tablet for word processing purposes, which was the original intent of it anyway.

As for the tablet itself, it has 32GB of internal storage...larger than any of my older tablets, and about as large as the micro SD card that it would support. So I decided to go ahead and install all the games and apps I owned on the older tablets into one. So I guess my older tablets will just sit and collect dust now. There was the original 7" tablet that I got, which I do have a case with built-in keyboard, but the keyboard's flaws make it virtually impossible to type properly. I found it was really only good for playing Fire Emblem on the Gameboid emulator app. The HP tablet I inherited when my mom passed away, I had Caesar's Casino, Hit it Rich, Organ Trail: Director's Cut, DraStic (Nintendo 3DS emulator). I also had Netflix and Vudu installed on it, and Google Newsstand for magazines. And then I have a Kindle Fire, which I play Slotomania on, and is also good for reading Kindle digital magazines. So having everything on one tablet will make it more convenient as I won't have to haul multiple tablets everywhere to carry all my apps. (And of course I plan to buy a 32GB microSD card next chance I get.)

The keyboard includes a touchpad, which I personally find to be unnecessary...but I guess if you feel the need to use a stylus (which I can never keep up with) and don't want finger smudges on the screen, it could be your lifesaver.

Internet connection is very nice, very responsive. Almost like having a real laptop. So this tablet makes a great alternative, and definitely lighter and easier to carry around. Overall, I'd say this is the best tablet I've owned. But of course, it's not without its flaws.

Sometimes the keyboard keys feel slightly smushed together, but still workable with the proper keyboarding technique. You've got a nice wide left shift key, while the right shift key is small and all the way to the right. So I have to stretch my pinky quite a bit to reach it. It just interrupts the flow of my typing. I also think that the ".com" key is unnecessary. Also, the touchpad sometimes gets in the way, as I accidentally touch it with my thumb as I'm typing, causing the cursor to jump to a random point (or wherever I last left your arrow cursor) when I hit it. So then I'd have to correct whatever I typed at said point, and then return the cursor to the end of the text.

The other annoyance is that my computer will not recognize it as a removable storage device when I connect the USB (though it will charge it). This makes it all but impossible to transfer files back and forth. Thankfully I didn't have many files to transfer...just the Gameboid app and ROM files. The workaround I used was to attach the files in an e-mail to myself. Another workaround would be to transfer the files to the SD card via another device, and then move the SD card to the tablet. But again, I don't plan to transfer files too often.

So yeah...I'm very happy with this tablet. And you know what? This tablet also has an HDMI port. What on Earth am I going to do with that? I suppose that was how my dad managed to play movies from his Kindle Fire on the TV when we took the trip to the cabin in May 2013.
Jay's Eyes

New smartphone keyboard

I downloaded a new keyboard app for my smartphone. Within seconds, I was already in love with it. The word suggestion menu seems smarter than the default keyboard, mainly because it displays more words above the keyboard. And the more functions within reach, the better.



I also like the placement of the punctuation keys better. Some are displayed above the keyboard, and are also accessible by holding down the key with the appropriate symbol above it. That will take some getting used to for me.



This keyboard also supports different layouts, which can make it easier to type. The split keyboard layout allows for thumb typing. It may suit tablets more than smartphones, but it seems to be workable. I especially like how the split keyboard displays the arrow keys, which makes it easier to move the cursor and correct single letter typos. I'm not sure which layout I'll be sticking with. Either way, I'll forever be in awe of the intelligence of this keyboard versus the default. It even allows you to delete whole words at once, which is a habit of mine on the computer. So that makes correcting errors even easier still. It only cost a mere $2.49, but it sure is worth it. =D





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Jay's Eyes

Don't really need all this...

Looking at some of these magazines I've subscribed to? I really don't need this many, period. The magazines that had dropped to $7 went back up to their original prices, and I find it hard to tell if I'll still be charged $7 once the trial period ends, or end up paying the regular price. And if it's the latter, I'll be in a real financial bind. So I'd better let them go, at least for now. I've already mentioned that Southern Living focuses on home décor. All You and Real Simple pretty much deal with a mix of home, health, recipes, financial advice, etc. Just like Woman's Day, which I'm sticking with. Woman's Day is just $5 for a year, so yeah, that's a good deal. And just like with the movie and video game magazines? How many women's health/finance/home/recipes/etc. magazines do I need? So, eliminating those three, I have...

- Woman's Day (Woman's Lifestyle)
- GameOn (Video Games)
- Empire (Movies)
- Total Film (Movies)
- TV Guide (TV/Movies)
- Entertainment Weekly (Movies)

Yeah...that's plenty. Two of those magazines are weekly. And that's not counting the magazines I haven't tried yet. More lifestyle magazines I like, and those outdoor ones. So the ones I still want to try...

- Good Housekeeping
- Outdoor Life
- Family Circle
- Better Homes & Gardens
- Backpacker
- Field & Stream
- Food Network
- Game Informer
- Living Ready
- Shop Smart
- Off Grid

And of course, I'm still searching for more, lol.