Cities Skylines Update 1.1.0

A game that I’ve been having quite a bit of fun with has had a major update, it does break some things, but for the most part, the new features are very nice.

The biggest new feature is tunnels, which I haven’t seen in a city sim since Sim City 4.  This is very nice, since tunnelled roads appear to work in the same way as surface roads or bridges (except without those blasted support pillars) allowing you to hide some of the messes that can come up as you upgrade the roads throughout your city.

They also added an European map theme which allows you to have more interesting looking cities.

Overall it’s a very nice update, it fixes many bugs, such as ships glitching over land, and adds a few new features.

If you want more information about the update, Click Here.

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Candy Crush Saga & Windows 10

It sounds like Microsoft is planning on pre-installing Candy Crush Saga on Windows 10 machines, at least for a while.  This has quite a few people riled up, largley in part that that game is a very big time waster.  Also In App Purchases are a bit of a sticking point, as it is very unlikely that King will want those removed from their game, meaning that there will probably be a number of people that’ll spend money on accident (This has happened before on Smartphones)

In the end I probably will uninstall that game, as I don’t play it, and it seems that it’d be wasting some disc space, especially if installed on a device with very little storage space.

I have been using Windows 10 on my Desktop, alongside Ubuntu 14.04 and Windows 7.  It is a nice OS, though the latest build seems to drop a lot of previous customization options.  Window borders will only switch to gray now, and the taskbar and start menu are both black by default, though they can be changed.

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The Microsoft Surface Pro 3

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The Microsoft Surface Pro 3

I recently got a Microsoft Surface Pro 3, a very nice tablet computer.  The interesting thing about this tablet is the fact that unlike my Android tablets, or iPad, this is a full computer, able to run desktop applications. (Even Ubuntu Linux can be loaded on the blasted thing!)

Part of the reason I wanted to get a Surface is the fact that I’d like to resume working on my webcomic, Age of the Elements, and as far as I can tell, this device is similar to some Wacom tablets.  The pen works very well, I had heard that the surface used Wacom tech for the pen, but that was only in the original and Surface 2 tablets.  The Surface Pro 3 uses a NTrig pen instead.  At first I was skeptical, the pen requires a AAA battery to work, unlike Wacom pens, and it has a lot fewer configuration options than my older graphics tablets (Wacom Intuos and Bamboo Fun)  which can be troublesome.

So far I’ve used Photoshop Elements 7, GIMP, and the Krita image editors on the device, all of them work well, though GIMP has a bug that makes the image update extremely slowly, though that was fixed by downgrading some of GIMPs .dll files.  They should really fix that soon…  So far I’ve taken a liking to Krita, though it has a mildly annoying issue where it will scroll up or down randomly when drawing (Probably a configuration issue I believe…)  All of these applications detect the Stylus properly and have full pressure sensitivity, which can be tweaked via the ‘Surface’ App, or in the art applications themselves.  It is very nice not needing to carry any extra equipment around when I feel like drawing, I just need to take this out and start.

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Surface Pro 3 with a Black Type keyboard

The type keyboard is surprisingly nice.  Not as nice as a good mechanical keyboard, but given how thin the keyboard is, it is a pleasure to type with.  It disconnects from the device fairly easily, but won’t just fall off, as the magnet that holds it in place is very powerful.  The on-screen keyboard is also nice, but nothing to write home about.  It works about the same as the on-screen keyboards that my Android devices and iPad have.

I can see why Microsoft designed Windows 8 the way they did, Windows 8 Apps work very well, I haven’t installed any start-menu replacements, as those would actually make life more difficult than the standard w8 menu.  They really should have done more work to the desktop interface though, as some parts are too small to use easily without the stylus, or a mouse.

The kickstand is also a interesting part of the device, it can go to a very low angle which is useful for drawing, and the keyboard makes it difficult to push around when flipped under the device which is very nice while drawing.

Well those are my experiences With the Surface Pro 3 so far, I’m going to keep on using it, it has some faults, but it’s good enough for me to use it in place of my standard laptops in most situations.

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Microsoft released a Windows 8 Developer preview

… And I’m trying to get it working in a Virtual Machine.

From what I can see in Windows 8, it is extremly touch oriented, and, well, sliding the first screen up to log in doesn’t seem very user friendly when you’re using a mouse.

Apparently Microsoft, and Apple are wanting the Desktop/Laptop/Netbook/Every other machine with an external mouse to go the way of the dodo, as all of their new systems (Windows 8, Windows Phone 7, iOS, Mac OS X Lion) are bringing a lot of features that only work well with a touch screen.  I can see that working with tablets, but Desktops… not so much.

I’ll keep you posted on what I think of Windows 8, it is definatly a HUGE change, and it is also fairly unstable, although the unstable part is understandable, due to what they’re trying to do.  Whatever that is. 🙂

Have a good day 🙂

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Dell Tablet PC

Yesterday I went to the Sam’s Club in Startell, MN, and I saw a Dell Tablet/Laptop.  It has a touch screen, and can be converted into a laptop, by opening it, and flipping the screen around.  I used the touch screen for a bit, and found that the default setup on Windows 7 is certainly not made for touch screens.  Defaulting to ‘list’ mode for files in the computer window? BLAH!  That doesn’t work at all!  Otherwise it is a great tablet/laptop

Here’s a short video that I found about it.

Neat huh?

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Microsoft officially unveils Windows 8

So, within the next few years, you could see a new version of Windows on all of the computers at the local computer store…

Microsoft has officially unveiled some key new features of its forthcoming operating system. The next-generation OS, which may or may not be called “Windows 8” (its “internal code-name”), delivers a completely re-imagined user interface, with a heavy emphasis on touch-based functionality that takes a hefty helping of inspiration from the Windows Phone UI.

via Microsoft officially unveils Windows 8 – Yahoo! News.

They even have a video on it!

Hmmm… I’m not sure how I like the ‘Tablet’ interfaces on many of the new operating systems today…  Ubuntu 11.04 has changed it’s interface a bit too.

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Microsoft: One in 14 Downloads Is Malicious – Yahoo! News

Well, I’m glad that I use Linux…

The next time a website says to download new software to view a movie or fix a problem, think twice. There’s a pretty good chance that the program is malicious.

via Microsoft: One in 14 Downloads Is Malicious – Yahoo! News.

I don’t download many programs from random websites, as Ubuntu has a large repository of applications that are legit.  I do reccomend being careful on where you download applications from, only download from places that you trust.

For me it also helps that most viruses are made for Windows, and thus won’t work on Mac or Linux (though I have heard of a few Mac viruses recently too…)

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Maximum PC | System Wide Ribbons to Grace Windows 8

So, Windows 8 will be all ribboney…

According to GottaBeMobile.com, the Redmond software giant feels a ribbon interface will make Windows 8 more tablet-ready than Windows 7. It’s an interesting move from Microsoft, not just because ribbons will play a critical role in the next version of Windows, but also that Microsoft is opting to use the same OS for both mobile and non-mobile form factors.

via Maximum PC | System Wide Ribbons to Grace Windows 8.

As usual, click on the link above to read the entire article.

I’m not sure how well it’ll work, the ribbon takes a lot of screen space, I’d rather see the sides of the screen get used more, since we’re so big on wide screens.  If tall screens, or the old 4:3 style screens became popular again, it wouldn’t be as big of a deal, since we’d have a good amount of vertical screen space.

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My History with Computers Part 2, Windows XP, and Linux

I’ve been having some issues with a Windows Vista install that has gone on the fritz, which is why I took so long to post this…

Well, here is Part 2 of my History with computers.

Now, somethime between 2001 and 2002 we got a Windows XP E-machine, it ran well, but my mom thought that Windows XP looked too much like a clown to be good in business :), E-machines was a good company … at the time.

After that one I got a Windows XP Compaq desktop.  Once again it ran well, though fairly slowly, it was eventually pointed out that I had gotten a computer with a slow CPU, so this wasn’t Windows XP’s fault.

One of my aunts had also just married a European man (From the UK to be specific) and he brought some disks with Mandrake Linux 9 on them.  This is what started me onto Linux, I installed it on the Windows 98 E-machine, and ran it for a fair amount of time.  It wouldn’t update due to the company behind it changing the name to Mandriva, which broke the older updaters.  I ran it off and on for a while, but stuck mostly with Windows.

Around this time is when I started to see problems with some of our computers.  My mom had gotten another E-machine around the time that I got the Compaq desktop computer.  Her E-machine computer started randomly re-booting, and crashing.  we took it into the Geek Squad… for a whole week, and they gave it a clean bill of health.  it died two days after, motherboard failure.  She got a HP Desktop from Walmart with Windows XP Media Center Edition.  This was just before the release of Vista, so it had one of those ‘Windows Vista Capable’ labels.

The HP Machine ran very well for over a year, then it got a Virus which wasn’t detected by the Virus checker, it did a lot of damage to the OS before I installed AVG Free Antivirus to replace the older, paid, program.  The viruses were detected and removed, but the computer was far too unstable for work.  My mom needed that computer running well within 24 hours, and she didn’t trust the Geek Squad since the last machine.  I decided to try out Ubuntu Linux.  The machine was running by the next day, able to boot between the unstable copy of Windows XP, and Ubuntu 7.04.  In retrospect, this was the first step to our ongoing removal of Windows from our main machines.

At this point I got a new E-machine, which had a very badly bugged copy of Windows XP (Last XP Machine at Walmart, everything else was Vista) The copy of Windows XP could not run any Full-screen programs, even though I installed a high-end graphics card.  It was soon running Ubuntu 7.04, and it got upgraded to 7.10 in October of that year.

Whew, that was a lot of text 🙂  Tune in tomorrow (I hope…*) for the third part of this series! Windows Vista, and Beyond!

*My Windows Vista/7 Laptop just died, time to put Ubuntu 10.10 on it 😉

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My history with Computers Part 1, The early days

Windows 95 Desktop
Windows 95 Desktop

I’ve used computers since I was a little child, so I have quite the history with computers, starting with DOS/Windows 3.11, and ending currently with Ubuntu Linux, and Windows 7.

As I said, my first computer ran DOS/Windows 3.11, I got used to the command line with DOS, and worked with the GUI in Windows, it was a good system, it was actually fast (It still feels faster than some modern Windows 7/Vista machines…) I still have that computer, and it works, no Y2K problem with that one 🙂 .

My second computer was a Windows 95 Gateway.  This computer is still functioning as well, so I can still try out good ol’ Windows 95.  This is also a very good computer.

My third computer was a Windows 98 HP Pavilion.  This computer died a little while ago, Disk drive failure, this is going to be used in a project in the future :).  I didn’t think much of Windows 98, the computer crashed on a regular basis, and was really SLOOOOWWW… Needless to say, I wasn’t fond of this computer. This is when I started to learn how to Re-install the OS, as I did it a few times to speed this thing back up, before the drive failure.

The next computer was a Windows 98 E-machine.  Now Windows 98 ran as well as the Windows 95 Gateway computer.  I don’t have much to say about this one, but eventually Windows did die, I got a copy of Windows 2000 to put on that computer, and it has been running perfectly since then. I’m glad about the HP, it allowed me to learn

My fith computer was an old DOS compaq laptop, it stopped running a while ago due to a virus 🙁  all of it’s rescue disks were destroyed by it.

My sixth computer was a Windows ME Compaq laptop.  I don’t have much to say about Windows ME, except it crashed a lot.  It went Blue-screen when I opened Netscape! or Windows Media Player!….  I didn’t like that one.

Well, in my next post, I’ll post about my Windows XP Days,  it gets a little busier there, as things changed with the release of Xp.  it was good, but had it’s pitfalls…  See you tomorrow 🙂

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