Category: Ashwin

Tech Update – 2018

Ahhh boxing day. The real Christmas for the frugal/bargain seekers. This year, I was planning on only buying a few things. Mainly a new PC case, a new monitor and maybe a mouse or games if they’re on special. So on the 25th, I hopped on to PB Tech’s website and started browsing cases.

I found the Phanteks P300 with RGB support (trust me RGB = speed). I threw some extra cables into the order and I was done. The case arrived a few days later and I began on moving my PC from my old case to the new one.

All parts were moved in, I flicked the power on and… nothing. I played around with parts and fittings for next few hours. I couldn’t figure out what was wrong. I fished out my original motherboard from 8 years ago and tested my power supply. That worked. Now for the latest motherboard. I remember I took the CPU fan off for cleaning… I checked that and found out that two of the pins that secure it to the motherboard don’t sit on the motherboard at all.

I spent the next hour or so trying to figure out how this stupid push clip thing works. No dice. I put that down to the cause of no power on and decided to upgrade my whole system. So off to PB Tech to buy a new system. Since this would last me a long time, I went with the option of a Ryzen 5, new motherboard and 16GB of RAM. I already had a Radeon 560 from last year so that would last for a while.

I installed all the parts and it all worked first time. Some small adjustments were made and then it was good to go. I can now play Overwatch in slightly better quality. (I’ll clean up the wiring when I get more time/not so lazy).

So after that I thought that was it. I then began to notice my Xperia Z5 was overheating and having battery drain issues. I knew about the Google Play Services battery drain bug but this was worse. I was going down 50% overnight. This phone has run great for 3 years but it’s finally showing its age. I then decided to buy a new phone. (Editor’s note: Wow this guy)

I found it sad that I have to search for phones based on whether the manufacturer kept the headphone jack. I’m still a strong believer in using the various wired headphones I have laying around and I wasn’t going to buy 20 dongles just to get through my day. So after some research, I settled on the OnePlus 5T. It’s got an almost stock Android experience and lots of nice features. I didn’t know I needed gesture control i my life until I had it. Setting ‘O’ (or a circle) as Pokemon Go, enabling the music controls and swiping the fingerprint reader for reading notifications. The battery is good and the in-box quick charger makes life easy.

So I’m running two phones now. I decided to start an alternate account on Pokemon Go and use my Z5 as a spare device to help with Pogo (Pokemon Go) raids.

So you’re thinking now, that’s not too much. I also stopped by MightyApe’s site and got a Switch Pro Controller, Pokken and some RGB strips for the new PC. I also went on to AliExpress and bought a new case, a few more cables and the new Xiaomi power bank with quick charge support.

 

So there was conclusion to an expensive holiday. I’m happy with my purchases because I always wanted to buy these items but the cost of them all has set me back a bit. Now hopefully all these purchases last me as long as their predecessors have.

 

 

Edit: Post post update. As the header image I got some Custom Pokemon Key-caps.

The rework

Today post is about our lack of post over past couple weeks. For both of us so far we’ve had a busy weeks. I had a post ready but it felt it was too weak/not enough content. We’ve taken some time to think this over and we’re going to switch posting a bit slower.

You’ll still get a post every week, but just one. The post author will alternate each week. We’re open to any feedback and look forward to the writing down our wacky ideas, thoughts and ramblings. We’ll make sure to keep you guys posted once we’re back on track.

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The art of binge watching

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Ahhhh. It’s one of those days. Nothing planned. You got nothing serious to do right now. Let’s sit down and watch that TV series you’ve always been told to watch. The whole series is currently sitting on Netflix now. Break out your favourite snacks, get comfy and chill in front of a screen for the next large amount of time watching TV.

The good ol binge watching of a TV series.

Too many people have done this, myself also included. It’s sort of relaxing and depending on the show you can get lost in the world of whatever you’re watching. The last show I binged was Netflix Defenders. This was the epic conclusion to phase 1 of Netflix’s Marvel universe. I love crossovers, team-up series/episodes. Since this was only 13 episodes, I sat down on a Saturday and finished the whole thing. Thanks to Netflix, all the episodes were up on Friday. I spent the very next Saturday morning finishing off the whole series.

Usually I watch a TV show as the episodes come out. I usually don’t like waiting for the whole series to be out. Main reason would because I’d have to binge multiple series as they finish (episodically most shows run from October to April/May). With each weekly episode I like to read subreddits for the show and see what other fans think, browse the memes or fan-art. It also helps build hype for the next episode.

I personally like using Saturday morning for my quick 2-3 hour binge watching. This usually isn’t limited to Netflix. Most of the time I’ll try catch up on TFS (TeamFourStar) streams or other miscellaneous YouTube videos (i.e. Twitch highlights from PUBG, Overwatch or Hearthstone).

So with binge watching, it doesn’t matter what you’re watching or how long. It’s a new way of relaxing and catching up on some media that you didn’t have time to watch over the week. I like to use it as a form of entertainment or a way to escape my busy life. Even if its just for a couple hours of the week. A binge watch doesn’t have to be restricted to just video. I’ve had weekends where I’ve finished off games or listened to new artist of albums. I like to think of these as tools to help us escape our everyday lives and to be entertained in our own way.

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Learning a song with an amateur

So after watching Mike Boyd on YouTube I got inspired to starting learning random skills. So let’s look at what I’m doing.

Quick background on Mike Boyd. His YouTube channel is based on him learning random skills. This will be things like lock picking, solving a Rubiks cube, doing a kick-flip etc.

So why did I choose to learn a song? I wanted something I could do in short bursts and sort of do everyday. I decided to learn a song while I drove to and from work.

With this mini goal, it was something I thought as I was driving to work one day. I was blasting out Run The Jewels – Legend Has It, windows down and attempting to recite the lyrics. Since this was a rap song I mumbled so much of the song and messed up many words.

Side note: this song was used in the upcoming Black Panther movie so wait for it to explode.

Why this song? My driving playlist consists of over 733 songs. My liked songs is just over 1000 songs. As I stated in a previous post, I like a large variety of music. EDM would have been a bad choice on learning lyrics because its more music based rather than lyrics. Rap has some complex lyrics and getting the correct mnemonics is easier.

So to do this I usually have a 10-20 min drive from home to work and vice versa. I play the song 2-3 times during that trip. As the song progresses I will try recite as many of the lyrics as I can.

I’ve done this for the past 2 weeks. I have yet to actually read through the lyrics, I’ve learnt the lyrics via sounds only. At this stage with only the music I can recite about 70% of the lyrics. What will I do once I can recite the song? Nothing really. This is a fun side project that I wanted to complete on my own and with minimal effort. Maybe I’ll move on to a new song and see if I can do it faster. Maybe I’ll move on to a new skill.

Overwatch: Season 6 Flexing

I’d thought I’d give you guys a small update on my Overwatch status.

For the latest season of Overwatch I have begun to flex out to different heroes. No it’s not me showing my muscles (biceps are in progress) to the team via video. It’s where instead of insta-locking the hero I want (i.e. Lucio or Zenyetta) I let the team now I will help fill the gaps. Usually in the solo queue I’m usually healer or tank.

Image result for overwatch support

So why the change?

Like many of the one tricks and other Overwatch players, I was beginning to feel the exhaustion of playing the same character over and over. DSPStanky stopped playing Overwatch for that reason. He felt his time in that world was over. He continues to stream games he wants and is happier now. I took a week of break after Season 5 and did some arcade and quick play. Not playing seriously and having fun really opened my eyes.

I started playing around with DPS characters and having more fun. I decided after that week I was going to start playing as a flex player on Overwatch. Within that week I learnt how to play each tank. I had a decent grasp on the supports so that was fine. Even when Season 6 started, I would go into quick play and warm up using DPS or Tank. This helped me refine my skills with Reinhard, Zarya, Roadhog, Doomfist, Pharah, Mei and Junkrat.

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The Junkrat buffs sold me as I was also a player that relied on prediction and not just aim. With Junkrat I could easily control the point when I was outnumbered. Remember Pharah being a pesky counter to Junkrat? Not anymore with the 2 bomb system. Simply use one to boost in the air and another to bomb to smack her right in the face.

So from now on I’m try learn the basics of each character. I’ll do this slowly and not instantly. Especially with new characters. To keep the game fresh and challenging I’ll switch to what I feel like, but of course I’ll keep that in mind for team composition because I want to win.

Gotta Catch ‘Em All

Ah one of my biggest nerdy obsessions.

Pokemon

Pokemon was probably one of the first anime I vividly remember watching. It was always on after school at 4pm. Right before Dragon Ball Z and other amazing shows that enticed a child’s mind.  I never had pets growing up so Pokemon was a great way for me to channel my imagination and pretend.

Image result for pokemon adult meme

To this day, I’m still playing the Pokemon games. I play Pokemon Go every day but that’s for levelling efforts (and gym control). I play the main games every time they come out and I’m attempting to complete my collection of the games.

Yes I know the games are designed for children, and if you read my other post (Adults and kids cartoons) you know a little on why I play. Ultimately the charm of the games keeps me here. Each game is a new adventure and new ways of solving puzzles. Then there’s the competitive online side where for the most of the time it’s a game of outsmarting your opponents.

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There’s also the meme side of the game which the game creators have adopted. With X and Y there was a depth of hidden stories (creepy ghost girl), new in-game mechanics for breeding (easier to breed higher IV pokemon) and the online presence of Pokemon got stronger. They finally gave the chance for the elusive Pokemon like Mew, Celebii which were really hard to get outside of the games or never released worldwide. X and Y gave them out as Mystery Gifts which could be downloaded to each current game (X, Y, Alpha Sapphire and Omega Ruby).

I could keep going but with 20 years of content and still going strong this would have to be multiple post. With Pokemon being a huge part of my life, I don’t think I’ll easily forget about the magic it captures or how it helped me to increase my reading abilities. Just look at the impact Pokemon Go had. It was a trending app and there’s still several hundreds of people in Auckland alone who are playing. I hope it stays a strong part of my life and the franchise keeps igniting the imaginations of others.

 

Success

After last week’s failure post it only makes sense to do one on success.

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So if failure is the act of not succeeding in your goals, that would imply succeeding is the act of completing your goal.

As I said in the last post, succeeding in your goals is all about learning about what to do and how to do it.

I’ve found it’s easier to make mini goals that are along the way to my big goal. For instance if I wanted to get fitter I would set a big goal like run a marathon. Next I would make smaller goals like run half or quarter marathon. To go even further I would set smaller goals of increasing speed or distance that I can cover in x amount of time.

But let’s keep in mind that Rome wasn’t built in a day. There will lots of trail and error on your path to success. Remember we must learn from our mistakes. All the smaller goals help us in showing ourselves that we’re on the path to success. We can gain small comfort from knowing that we’re achieving what we’ve set out to do.

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So remember both success and failure are options. It’s your choice as to what the final outcome becomes. The satisfaction of success or the struggles of failure. Just keep in mind that once you reach one of those points there is nothing stopping you setting a new goal and setting out a path to achieve that goal.

Failure

Failure is never an option

That’s a common line we’ve all heard in multiple places. But what if I told you it is.

 

Failure

To put it simply failure is the opposite of success. But what is success? Success is when a goal is achieved. Often failure is associated with negativity in the regard that you didn’t succeed in your task. If we wanted to go deeper then we could include partial success and partial failure, but let’s leave that out for now.

Of course its natural human instinct to strive for success. Remember back in primary school where you would get a new gold star next to your name every time you did something good, that satisfaction of something small like that. Compare that to the something like losing a friendly sports game. They’re complete opposites in terms of feelings. But what about when failure is desired?

The most simple case, that I can think of failure being wanted is, HIIT Training (High Intensity Interval Training). My gym routine now consists of a HIIT circuit which involves me doing exercise till fail. The point of failure is usually my body’s limit of that rep. At this point I always want to fail at least at my last record or set a new personal record.

But what about other cases of wanting failure?

I’ve always looked at life like so: if you don’t make the mistakes then you wont learn from them. Just look at it this way: there are 2 paths, one to success one to failure. There is nothing stopping you from walking up one path, getting to a point along and deciding to turn around and go the other way. Or maybe one path connects to the other in some weird way.

So don’t be afraid to fail. Always keep in mind that there’s always another path. You never know when that path you thought was wrong could actually be the right path. Remember to always keep on learning from mistakes. In the wise words of the mighty Shia “DO IT”.

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Wrestling is real.

Every time the topic of wrestling comes up, there’s always the common comment of “But wrestling is fake”. Yes people know its fake. But as with any other source of entertainment we watch it because it’s entertainment. It doesn’t matter if the event has happened in real life. Many people care more about being entertained.

What’s real and what’s scripted?

The main argument has always been that WWE and many other wrestling shows are scripted. But what portion of it is real?

I’ve always admired the fact that even if you know the script, there’s still physical work to put in. As wrestlers are developing their careers, they have to develop their own character, in/out ring styles, move-sets and put their own physical abilities to the test. Wrestlers need to be take a fall/hit as well safely dish them out. Safety is key in the business. If you’re about to pick up a person and throw them down on the mat you need to do in a way to that makes it look like they’re hurt but not seriously hurt.

Keeping in mind wrestlers do shows every week and PPV shows once a month on top of normal shows. In between the main events they have to train, learn scripts, develop their own character further and so much more.

John Cena himself holds the record for most Make-A-Wish wishes granted. He also makes appearances in movies, TV shows. At this time he’s probably the flagship wrestler for WWE. Where the wrestlers do their own work in terms of character development and training etc. The shows themselves have their own writing team. These teams will craft out the story lines for the whole business. The scripting works around characters in play, situations and the current affairs. There is a lot of crossover between wrestling characters and the scripting which makes it very important for good entertainment.

Characters

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So most of the human population have heard about John Cena (but you cant see him). There are many other characters. Their skills all vary depending on mic skills, character design and physical abilities.

The King of strong style, the artist – Shinsuke Nakamura. One of the most hyped wrestlers during his developmental phase. His mic skills are low but his in ring ability and character design are top notch. Just look at the video above he has the whole crowd singing along with his theme song. His first entrance into the WWE ring had one of the largest pops (rapid audience appreciation increase) and even as the song ends the audience keeps singing. His wrestling style has him working main events in the show and strong hype flowing into his popularity.

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The phenomenal one – A.J. Styles. Dubbed the best wrestler of this current generation. He has amazing ability. His match with John Cena this year was possibly one of the best matches of the year. The story was solid and the match showed what the two giants of wrestling could do and displayed some amazing feats. A.J. probably has the best in-ring ability. His mic skills are good and his character is simple but good. Fans are waiting for the dream match of Shinsuke versus A.J. because they know both wrestlers will put on their best show. With his pre-WWE hype training going full steam. He’s only started and I’m certain he’ll have many great matches to come.

There’s so many more wrestlers I can go into. Randy Orton and his infamous RKO, The Rock and Stone Cold’s amazing promos but let’s go for the lesser known.

 

Here are the Usos – heel tag team champions. They refreshed their characters after the brand split and are now on fire. But what did they change? Their wrestling style is more aggressive but that’s what a heel character has to do. They refreshed their promo style and are now playing perfectly into their heel characters. As a heel your character needs to make the audience hate you but in this case they feud against the face of the story which automatically makes them somewhat hated. But with aggressive strong promos like this, they earn the crowd’s respect. They are still treated as the heels but they aren’t booed at (at least not all the time). They are currently on Smackdown where the rivalries are more intense and the crowd pops are amazing. Constant chants for “THIS.IS.AWESOME” can be heard when a great match is being displayed.


(Best WWE skit )

So as you can see here’s my take on whats real in wrestling. It’s just another form of entertainment. Yes it’s scripted, but i’ts scripted for people’s entertainment. Wrestling has changed over the years. It’s become more adoptive of the physical entertainment but it retains the fact that people are watching this for entertainment. I will always enjoy a good story, admire the skills of athletes and be impressed by the promo and mic skills that wrestlers have.

Admiration

(I will keep using Hero Academia gifs until I run out)

Admiration

Admiration: something regarded as impressive or worthy of respect.

As we go through our lives we all aim for something. For most of our lives we have a set goal. This goal isn’t concrete and can change it any time. Or you can change the goal. There will even be a case where you could more than one goal.

One thing to help with the achieving a goal is look at someone or something that you admire. Let’s look at the weird and wacky people I admire.

 

Lifestyles Admiration

Terry Crews. I admire him because he has an amazing outlook on life in general. He always displays high energy in anything he does. I’ve seen and read lots of his content and he generally seems like a good character.

White Girls is probably my first instance of Terry Crews and he played a brilliant character in the movie. It wasn’t until years later that Terry started doing vlog’s and Q&A videos. In these videos he pushed the theme’s of being yourself and striving for your goals.
https://www.youtube.com/user/terrycrewsfans/videos

It’s from these videos we learnt about Terry’s passion for games and wanting to build a gaming PC with his son so they could game together. Next, the internet exploded after this video came out.

Fans of this idea were really hyped for Terry to play Doomfist but the Overwatch team chose another person. I, myself, am fine with this but as per the video above, I’d love to have a Terry Crews voice-pack for Overwatch.

 

Achievement Admiration

Donald Glover. Or as some of you know him, Childish Gambino. This man has achieved so much. He started as a comedy writer for 30 Rock, stand-up comedian, moved into acting for Community and now a big movie star (Martian, Star Wars prequel as young Lando), Award winning show Atlanta where he helped create, write and played lead role. He’s only 33 and has achieved so much.

I have strong admiration for him because he’s achieved so much. I really started supporting him once I saw him in Community.

His performance of Troy was amazing. His duo with Abed (Danny Pudi) created a strong bromance character set which was loved by many. It was from the show I learned about his rap career as Childish Gambino. His original style of nerdy black kid rap for the white kids was a good start. Then the transition for his next albums, Because the Internet and STN MTN blew up his presence in the music world. My favourite songs are still 3001, Sweatpants and Sober. He has a nice mix of RnB and rap in the album with multiple iconic quotable lyrics.

He then raised his fame by releasing Awaken My Love. This album was not rap. Instead its a fusion of psychedelic soul, funk and RnB from when he was growing up. The music on this album was very interesting and very easy to get into the groove of it.

To me, going from nobody to world acclaimed artist is amazing. He played his music career how he wanted and you can feel that from the music. You can feel the positive energy and the emotions. I admire Donald Glover for what he’s done in his career and have huge respect for this man.

So a lot of images in this post. But the amount of content that we can talk about is endless. This is just two of the people I admire. Of course there are many more. You don’t have to just admire people. I admire the show My Hero Academia or even Overwatch and its success. My goals in life aren’t too complicated. Just aim to be the best and make sure I survived this wacky trip in the adult world. It’s through the admiration of others that I can keep pushing my self and changing my goals as I go. The goal doesn’t have to be long term. I have a multitude of smaller goals to help push me through the day.

So just keep at it and maybe one day. Senpai will finally notice you.