Thursday, December 19, 2013

Screen Backgrounds

I have new background images/wallpaper for my smartphone and my workstation at work.

I usually like to change up the theme in both my phone and my workstation (but not to match) so that I keep things interesting.

I found a particularly lovely image in my standard computer backgrounds collection that reminds me of hot, spicy food and autumn so it keeps me "warm" just looking at it. Go figure, what unusual reactions things have in me, yeah?

work computer background (toasty)
For my phone I used a photo I captured on Instagram of an absolutely lovely sunset. I love sunsets because it's usually the time of day in wintertime that I get to leave work, so my day sorta actually begins.

It's nice having time to do whatever I want to after being cooped up in an office all day (lunch hour not withstanding).

I recently reset my Galaxy S3 phone and lost all my ringtones and photos--a small loss I was willing to take in hopes that the OS would run a little smoother. Also, I'll be traveling overseas at the end of the year, so I wanted to have a clean slate to make sure everything worked well with my new global service plan for this next, upcoming cycle.
phone background

This has been a great phone, overall, but I noticed an unusual lag between when I clicked on a text field and when the keyboard popped up, or, sometimes, when I clicked on some applications and when the applications actually opened up.

I found out through trial and error that any delay is usually a symptom of an update that needs to be made in the background. Just going into the Google Play store and downloading whatever updates I wanted to get and then rebooting the phone typically resolved the issue.

I guess a screen background can be a great type of accessory or expression of personality and individuality. It's something that I categorize as a tiny pleasure during the day. It's nice to have some control over these small details that bring a smile to my face.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Chrome Updates by Adding Apps

Chrome's update added Apps
Chrome's update today added an easy-to-use apps link on the toolbar and in the blank tab to easily access all Google products at the flick of a mouse button.

I think this is a great addition that will make it easy for me to quickly access the program I need during a busy workday.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Video Game Review: Outlast

I watched a couple of my favorite gamers/personalities on YouTube playing through the indie game Outlast and I was immensely disappointed.

Outlast is a horror adventure game where the player/protagonist enacts a reporter who secretly infiltrates an abandoned mental asylum at night. The goal is to find out whether the private research firm/think tank that recently took the asylum over was actually using the inmates for horrible, inhumane experiments.

Whenever a topic as banal as mental illness or a mental asylum is made the background for a horror game, you can spell out doom pretty much from the get-go. It's a cop out. It would be fun and interesting if the writers/developers would stop throwing up on the screen and think story and resolution out a little better. I saw nothing more than a whole lot of conjecture, religious superstition, and blood splatter and guts mixed all up in a shaker for good measure. *rolls eyes*

As the amount of body parts, organs, blood pools and splatter, and horribly disfigured characters increase exponentially as you progress, the storyline gets weaker and weaker until it's just a whisp of smoke by the end. *sad panda face*

As you progress through the "levels," question upon question keeps piling up around the player--much like the body parts and guts. It's almost like the developers focused on the great lighting, background graphics, and character schematics first, then left the plot until last--when most of the money was already spent.

If the visual and auditory assaults on the player are not enough to keep them entertained/hooked on this train wreck you can't look away from, they threw in little bits and pieces of information which made the player hope against hope that things would get cleared up in the end. Sadly, that "a-ha!" moment never arrives. There's no payoff.

If the gruesome sights were not enough to shock the young male audience who is obviously targeted for this game, there was a lot of full male frontal nudity--probably harping on homophobia, claustrophobia, and helplessness to kick off the cheap thrills and chills. Any game where the player is unable to equip and defend his/her character, is another clue that the game won't end well. The player is definitely being taken for a ride. And not a fun one at that.

I was really disappointed. This game had so much potential. First of all, this is an indie company, and these are getting some amazing games out lately. They really work on details and they're a joy to play through. The graphics and backgrounds were well designed in Outlast, but imagine if the developers had done their research and interspersed some real, historical, or medical material and information a into a real plot and story line. What a difference that would have made!

I hope that if there ends up being a sequel, it's a lot more well thought out. And a lot less ugly.