Windows 10 Fast Boot a Source for Many Desktop Booting Freezes

win10_screenshot

Microsoft may recommend Fast Boot but it has been source for many freezes to my Windows 10 desktop

If you have Windows 10 on your computer, chances are you have seen your computer crash, freeze, hang or have some other undesirable behavior especially after performing feature updates.  I have seen my computer refuse to boot into the Windows desktop after the Anniversary Update released in 2016 after several attempts. This freezing phenomena again occurred just recently after receiving the Creators Update released in the Fall of 2017.   The reason?  Fast Boot (which Microsoft apparently recommends) was automatically enabled after the feature update (I had disabled it before).   (And in case you are wondering, I have seen this freezing issue related to the Fast Boot enabled on at least three separate computers.  Why Microsoft doesn’t address this issue I do not know. )

So, if you are able to get to your desktop or your computer hasn’t been frozen entering the desktop, the first thing I recommend is to disable the Fast Boot feature ASAP which is found under Power Options.  (Note:  If you know your Fast Boot option is enabled and you have never had any issues with booting into the Windows 10 desktop, by all means feel free to leave it on!)

Disabling Fast Boot in Windows 10

1. Navigate to Power & Sleep Settings in Windows 10.  (Type in Power in the search bar or icon located at the on the taskbar at the bottom on your desktop.)

2.Click on Additional Power Settings (Usually located to the right or towards the bottom of the Settings window under Related Settings)

power_options_win10

3. In the Settings window that opens, click on Choose What the Power Buttons Do option located to the left of the Power Options window.  (Note: this will be part of the Power options found in Control Panel)

fastboot_powerbutton

4. The window System Settings will open.  Four check boxes will be listed with the Fast Boot options listed first.  Usually it is grayed out and the box has been already checked.  To uncheck it, simply click on Change the settings that are currently unavailable.

fastboot_win10

5. Uncheck Turn On Fast Boot (Recommended)

6. Save the changes.  That’s it! Making sure this little hidden nugget from Microsoft is unchecked has fixed a lot of startup problems on my computers.  Hope it can help you.

 


There may be lots of bad news out there but see what Hope looks like at FullyFreeFilms.com

Windows 10 Creators Update

Anniversary Update

Audacity Movie

180movie


Images are screenshots from Windows 10 on my computer

 

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Would you be interested in a family-friendly version of Grand Theft Auto?

Vlc_2013-08-15_08-23-01-13

The question was once raised, “Would you be interested in a family friendly version of Grand Theft Auto?”

And my response is, absolutely.  By now, there are mods available which turn GTA games including GTA 5 into a similar family friendly gaming experience.  Yet I believe there is money to be made for any game company/developer who developed a GTA 5 style open world game without the extensive profanity, sex and violence (specifically against others) which GTA games are known for.  Essentially it could be GTA 5 lite.  This game would feature the same map, same natural environment including AI traffic but different gameplay options.  Police patrol? Yes. Catch bad guys? Yes.  Cause explosions? Sure.  Fly?  Drive?  Run? Yes, yes and yes.

In-game options are always good

Another option would be for Rockstar games to include a filter(s) within their games.  Simple on or off options for language.  Street dialogue profanity on/off.  Assassin’s creed Black Flag includes a similar option to remove blood.

We already see games which feature beautiful scenery but do not focus on swearing, sex and violence at every turn.  The CREW Wild Run is a perfect example.  However, The CREW only features a driving mode.  No running, walking, doing police patrols, exiting your car, etc.  In fact you can’t get out of your car at all.

Just Cause 2 is another example of a great open world game without sex and extensive swearing. In fact, the swearing can be virtually eliminated by lowering the volume for dialogue.  However, Just Cause 2 does not feature a modern American style city nor a map or vehicles like GTA 5.  Additionally, there is a lot of violence in Just Cause 2 (explosions and commando style shooting)—against the bad guys.

Rockstar’s Red Dead Redemption outside of missions doesn’t even feature all the sex, violence and swearing one can find in GTA 5.  Red Dead Redemption isn’t available for a PC nor does the map feature a modern American-like city.  In fact, RDR is a western game.

Modding GTA games

An open world game that virtually eliminates swearing, sex and allows the player assume the role of a good guy or as a cop will get my business.

At this point I will note the mod for GTA 5 called LSPDFR. LSPDFR is a police mod essentally allowing the player become a cop in the GTA 5 world.   The trouble with mod’s is how they cause GTA games to crash.  In the meantime, I will be waiting for a permanent solution to LSPDFR or even the family friendly mod for GTA 5.  Is Police 10-13 going to be that game?

 

Would you like to see a GTA 5 family friendly version or similar?


The Crew and the state of open world games

Third Person Open World Games Miss the Mark

Police 10-13

Audacity

180movie

Athiest Movie

 


Image source

The Crew and the State of Open World Games

Pic_20180109_004833_4096x2160

If you haven’t heard of it, The Crew is a massive online open world type game for PC and gaming consoles centered on driving cars and motorcycles.  The game allows the player to drive and race cars and motorcycles (2015 version) across a modified map of the United States.  Did I mention the map is large?  When the The Crew was released at the end of 2014 it was nice but was limited in its gameplay features and visual detail. It received criticism for it’s less than stellar graphics and static weather among other things. The game at that time did not feature dynamically changing weather as it does now in the most recent version of the game from 2015 (The Crew Wild Run).

Pic_20180109_003535_4096x2160

It is now 2018 and The Crew has been out for a few years but it still has many exciting elements to it.  For example, the world has been injected with a vibrant living world including people, animals, aircraft, balloons, and new and improved jumps and ramps.  I find this game a great rediscover since the original release of the game.  And if you purchase the expansion pack called Calling All Units, players can play the game from the cop’s side of things–with limitations.   Now it’s the limitations to The Crew  which make this game another great example of an awesome open world style game falling short of its full potential.

Game Limitations (and frustrations)

Let start with the police player limitations.  When playing as a cop in The Crew (Calling All Units) the player must gather wait for a notification enter a chase with another player.  Did I mention this game is online only? (I will get to that later.)   But seriously, why do I have to wait for a notification to chase another player?  And the chase isn’t a typical cops and robbers police chase either.  The driver you are chasing must take a crate from one point to another before the live police player can catch up to them.  It’s fun but it could be better.  What happened to patrolling the streets and pulling over speeding drivers, other online players and Ai drivers on a regular street?  In my opinion that would truly make for a great (and perfect) police expansion to The Crew.  There are limitations on the vehicle you get drive.  Opening up the number and variety of police vehicles would make things more fun too.

Online Only (sometimes stinks)

When playing the Crew, other driver players must sign in to play the game.  Live people are playing alongside you as you explore and race in this massive driving world. Sounds fantastic, right?  Sometimes this is great fun and sometimes it would be nice to be able to drive and explore the game with only AI drivers and without drivers who insist on trying to run your car off the road or engaging in demolition derby.

The Crew has been improved, visually since its first release.  But like other open world style games, there is great room for improvement especially in the realistic department.  In GTA 5 for example, we find many limitations and annoyances.  The game might feature a visually stunning map of grand proportions but a lack of realism and it’s over-the-top gratuitous elements ruin the game.  While it is great fun to blow things up and see large explosions I find types of games that feature disgusting profanity at every turn and on nearly every street corner as does GTA games ridiculous and unnecessary.  A simple profanity filter in the settings could fix this.  And as to the violence and sex, I do not play a game to kill bystanders or to have virtual sex.  I play open world games to mostly be able to explore the map and see the scenery whether it be by foot, in a car, boat, plane, train or motorcycle and have some fun with explosions, killing bad guys and playing as a cop in the process.  Oh, and did I mention the graphics and map should be at least as stunning and expansive as GTA 5.  I have yet to find this type of open world game but perhaps Police 1013 will be that game.

 


 

The Crew

Fullyfreefilms

Audacity Movie

Police 1013

The Crew 2


images are personal in game screenshots

MyPillow®: Is the High Price Justified and Should I Buy One?

Pile_of_pillows

Most of us have seen or heard the infomercials and commercials on TV and radio for MyPillow®.  Mr. Lindell is a great communicator and he is the founder and inventor of MyPillow®.  I want to trust him when he says “I personally guarantee MyPillow® will be the most comfortable pillow you’ll ever own.”   But is the MyPillow® pillow really that good?  I could use a new pillow because mine is turning a yellow-brownish color.  But should I buy a MyPillow®?

Is this pillow amazing or what?

Radio and TV Talk show host Sean Hannity (who is awesome by the way) discusses the benefits of owning a MyPillow® pillow on his radio show.  The testimonies found on the MyPillow® website proclaim nothing but praise and adulation for this pillow and the wonders it does to help in sleeping better.  With all this positive jubilation I’ve heard and read about the MyPillow® I am nearly persuaded to buy my own MyPillow® pillow just to experience the hype …er… pillow myself.  But there is a problem that has been keeping me from purchasing my own.

What about the price

First, the price of the MyPillow® pillow is not cheap.  I have seen it for close to $50 at Walmart to as much as $90 online. The high price for any pillow causes me to pause and it certainly does with a purchase of my own MyPillow® brand pillow.  And yet, there is an even bigger problem that price holding me back in such a purchase.  And this second problem is not an easy one for me to overcome.

There are reviews

What I have learned so far about MyPillow® started with a quick visit to a few website reviews such as Amazon, Walmart, Better Business Bureau and YouTube.  All of these sites feature either mixed reviews or some candidly negative opinions about this pillow or the company who makes MyPillow® with positive comments in the mix.  Positive reviews and comments are great and essential to sell a product but negative reviews about a product never sit well with me.  When I read or watch reviews, I take into account user error, bias, tone, the details provided and the overall quality of the comments within the review.  But even honest and fair reviews for MyPillow® seem to expose something unsettling about this product.   For starters, the grade letter on the Better Business Bureau website certainly doesn’t help this cause especially when companies pay the BBB to appear on their site.  Hmmm.

I have read about and watched reviewers who have cut open a MyPillow® brand pillow and reveal what appears to be nothing more than shredded pieces of foam in varying shapes and sizes. This might not be problematic if this was all there was to tell. Many reviewers claim the MyPillow® is lumpy.  That theme repeated itself more often than I think it should have unless it were true.  And I can understand why this might be when there are lumps of foam clumping together under one’s head in the form of a pillow!  How about the return policy?  User experience seems to be all over the map on this one.  Some folks claim an easy return while others claim customer service was unhelpful and the high price for return shipping had to be paid by the customer.  But back to what’s on the inside of the pillow. Perhaps this foam (or whatever it is) is made of a high quality material and that’s why the pillow is expensive?  I do like that MyPillow® is made in the USA.

Questions

So the question that remains still remains.  Is this pillow simply a cheaply made pillow that should cost around $10 and some reviewers have suggested but has instead been marketed at a higher price so we the consumer think it’s a luxury pillow? Of course, that would be deceptive and that wouldn’t be good publicity for any company would it?  Or, is this pillow in fact a truly a high quality product that one could justify in paying a price of $50 to near $90 or more?   Well, right now I don’t have the answer but I do wish I could try out a Premium MyPillow® before I spent more than $10 on my own.

If do get my hands on a MyPillow® pillow I will update this post and give you my first hand…..or head, experience and thoughts.

I want to hear from you. Do you have (or know someone) who has first hand experience with the MyPillow® pillow?  Feel free to let me know in the comments below.


 

MyPillow® Online

A MyPillow®Video Review  

Another MyPillow® Pillow Video Review

Films every person should see before they die

Watch hope in action Audacity Movie

What does Hitler and Abortion have in common?


Disclaimer:  The opinions expressed within this post are that of the author’s in his endless quest for the truth.


Image source and credit:  Danpape (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

X-Plane 11 – Should You Buy It?

Cessna_172SP_hum2
Cessna 172SP X-plane 11 over Arcata, CA

This post is a quick review of my experience using X-Plane 11.  I hope to help you answer the ultimate question of Should I buy it? while I add some personal comments along the way.

X-plane 11 is an advanced flight simulator by Laminar Research which utilizes modern 64-bit architecture found in today’s computers along with the latest GPU’s and CPU’s.    I will list the pros and cons I found in using the X-Plane 11 Demo and ultimately purchasing the complete X-plane 11 simulator on Steam.

This review represents my experience after running X-plane 11 on an older computer.

My Computer Specs: CPU- AMD Phenom II 945 Quad Core, MEMORY- 8 gb ram, GPU- GTX  750ti OC 4gb memory, HARD DRIVES- Two 500 gb, One 250 gb

Cessna_172_Hum

Pros/What I do like

User Interface (UI): 

Pleasing to the eyes.  The UI in X-plane 11 has been given a complete and welcome overhaul from past versions of the sim. Old and new users will find the settings easier to navigate and understand. Whether configuring a joystick, flight yoke or tweaking the sim’s graphics, the simple sliders, added search function and visuals make configuring X-plane 11 to your liking fun and intelligent.  I personally enjoy the new layout and views for displaying aircraft, airports, weather and the visual representations of various flight yokes and joysticks simply wonderful.

Lighting: 

Impressive. The lighting in X-plane 11 is simply amazing and in my opinion, more realistic than ever.  I have been using X-plane 10 global the past few years and after first running the X-Plane 11 Demo, I immediately noticed a vast daylight improvement over the previous version of the sim.  The sun is more dynamic and bright, with better rendered shadows–as one would expect on a bright sunny day.  At night, HDR lighting adds more realistic vibrant lights on cars, buildings, aircraft and runways.  (Note: need a good graphics card with at least 4 gb ram I recommend for HDR and to utilize maximum effects within the sim)

Sound:

Good. Aside from the ATC audio, general environment and aircraft sounds are quite realistic and pleasing.  Audio for default X-plane 11 aircraft is generally acceptable.  I have found aircraft audio mostly depends on the aircraft you fly and their original quality, whether payware or free.  (As expected, payware aircraft tend to be more realistic both visually and sound-wise)

Clouds: 

Clouds appear to be softer and whiter in X-plane 11 but my FPS did take at least a 10 point frame rate drop when flying in heavier fog/cloud layers.  Clear skies it is.

Frame-rates (FPS):  

I have been pleasantly surprised by the improvement in frame-rates in X-plane 11 over X-plane 10.  (Settings for my machine are 4x anti-aliasing, HDR High,  Shadows on,  Scenery Options Medium -Low,  Reflections off. ) My system is quite old but even with my older processor and the GTX 750 ti 4gb I was able to hover around 30fps when flying in my hometown  (KEKA, KACV)*.   At these settings within the Demo Area I was able to get around 22-23 fps, clear day and even better FPS at night. )

Graphics/Autogen: 

Overall the default textures for terrain, buildings, road-networks, airports etc. are fantastic in X-plane 11.  Days (and nights) are more realistic  than ever in X-plane 11 with the new haze (particle system?)  that has been added to the atmosphere.   As mentioned before, HDR lighting makes street lights, runways, and aircraft lighting look real.  Yes I enjoy lights. With a decent graphics card (the more memory the better)  visual settings and lights will look great in your sim.  The trains/traffic have even been updated in X-plane 11 too!

Addons, Plugins and Tweaking

If you like tweaking,  modding and using addons you will love X-plane 11 because adding custom content is a breeze in X-plane 11.   (The FlyWithLua plugin is a great example)

 

An important note about default X-plane Airports for new users:  Some default airports in X-plane 11 will not include buildings but updated airports which do include buildings, hangers and terminals are being added to X-plane via updates.  Find out about the airport gateway hereBuild/improve your own airports with World Editor (WED)


Cons/What I don’t like

 

User Interface (UI): 

While I completely enjoy and welcome the new easier to navigate and appealing layout of the UI, I still find myself wishing I could control certain settings.  This of course is my coming from using X-plane 10 which allowed control over those settings in the UI.  For example I would like to be able to disable birds, deer and boats. I see no options to disable those.  And if fire and balloons still exist within the game (haven’t seen them yet in X-plane 11) a disable option would be welcome for those too.  I would also like to be able to control the number of cars on the road, and the number of roads, separate from the number of buildings.  For me adjusting them is from a cosmetic and a realistic stand-point.  (My town for example has many roads, but very few cars or buildings.)

Sounds: 

ATC in X-plane 11 make work more realistically than in it did in previous versions of X-plane but I wouldn’t know because I haven’t tried it yet.  I find the synthesized voice that is used completely unbearable to listen to.   Some default aircraft such as the helicopter produces some wonky rotor sounds which sound more mechanical than realistic.  Screeching tires sounds are better but still exist in the default Cessna 172 which I don’t like.

Steering/ Controls: 

It might be just me, but I find the steering/rudder controls of the default Cessna 172 and helicopter erratic and somewhat difficult to control on take-off.  New users especially users coming from FSX may have some difficulty at first.

Clouds

While generally clouds and fog in X-plane 11 are good we know they could be improved visually in terms of their shape, definition and overall appearance.  Thunderheads and storm clouds should appear like tall menacing thunderheads (cumulus cloud) rather than layers of stratus.  Contrails in X-plane 11 need fixing (more on this in the graphics section below).

Graphics:

Of course the visuals can always be improved and I know the X-plane developers are working hard on so many awesome aspects and improvements for X-plane 11, including realistic clouds and autogen.  However, aside from unrealistic ATC audio, two areas that really distract my flying is the terrible rendition of airline contrails when viewed at a distance and the deer/birds that pop up when you least expect them.  Right now default X-plane 11 is showing black/grey contrails which are hardly realistic.  The first time I saw it I thought the plane was on fire.  I will be looking forward to new longer and actual white aircraft contrails (as seen in FSX) which would improve the visuals greatly in X-plane 11.  Being able to disable unrealistic looking deer and birds on the runway would be fantastic too.  Thank you Laminar Research.

 


Should You Buy X-plane 11?

If you love flight sims such as FSX or Prepar3d, than yes of course you should buy X-plane 11.  X-plane 11 runs better and the atmospheric visuals are impressive.  In addition, the improved UI  and the realistic lighting is enough to give this simulator an emphatic positive recommendation from me.  However, I also recommend first trying out the Demo for X-plane 11 before you spend the money on the full version (either on Steam or via X-plane.com).   With the demo version you will be able to see how well (or poorly) the sim runs on your particular machine while you experience the new user interface, flight controls, included aircraft, weather and lighting systems this great flight simulator provides.   And let’s not forget about the plugins and script addons which help this sim too.

Final note:  X-plane 11 is always being updated and improved.  Users can opt in or out of beta’s releases of the simulator if that is something that interests you.

 

*KEKA/KACV –  as of this posting these default airports did not feature airport buildings/hangers but I did add custom created content in my game.

 


Disclaimer:  The opinions and information expressed in this review are my own and are based on my own experience.  These views or opinions are not intended to reflect the views or opinions of Laminar Research nor any of the developers of X-plane 11 in any way.

 


X-plane 11 Official website

X-plane 11 community

X-plane 11 on Steam

Movies everyone should watch before they die

Get Hope

Find me on Steam

My X-Plane 11 Review on Steam


Images are my in-game screenshots from default X-plane 11.05

 

 

 

 

Quick Review: X-Plane 11 (Should You Buy It?)

Cessna_172SP_hum2
Cessna 172SP X-plane 11 over Arcata, CA

This post is a quick review of my experience using X-Plane 11.

X-plane 11 is an advanced flight simulator by Laminar Research which utilizes modern 64-bit architecture found in today’s computers along with the latest GPU’s and CPU’s.    I will list the pros and cons I found in using the X-Plane 11 Demo and ultimately purchasing the complete X-plane 11 simulator on Steam.

This quick review represents my experience after running X-plane 11 on an older computer.

My Computer Specs: CPU- AMD Phenom II 945 Quad Core, MEMORY- 8 gb ram, GPU- GTX  750ti OC 4gb memory, HARD DRIVES- Two 500 gb, One 250 gb

Cessna_172_Hum

Pros/What I do like

User Interface (UI): 

Pleasing to the eyes.  The UI in X-plane 11 has been given a complete and welcome overhaul from past versions of the sim. Old and new users will find the settings easier to navigate and understand. Whether configuring a joystick, flight yoke or tweaking the sim’s graphics, the simple sliders, added search function and visuals make configuring X-plane 11 to your liking fun and intelligent.  I personally enjoy the new layout and views for displaying aircraft, airports, weather and the visual representations of various flight yokes and joysticks simply wonderful.

Lighting: 

Impressive. The lighting in X-plane 11 is amazing and in my opinion, more realistic than ever.  I have been using X-plane 10 global the past few years and after first running the X-Plane 11 Demo, I immediately noticed a vast daylight improvement over the previous version of the sim.  The sun is more dynamic and bright, with better rendered shadows as one would expect on a bright sunny day.  At night, HDR lighting adds more realistic vibrant lights on cars, buildings, aircraft and runways.  (Need a good graphics card for this at least 4 gb of ram)

Sound:

Good. Aside from ATC audio, general environment and aircraft sounds are quite realistic and pleasing.  Audio for default X-plane 11 aircraft is generally acceptable.  I have found aircraft audio mostly depends on the aircraft you fly and the original quality whether payware or free.  (As expected payware aircraft tend to be more realistic both visually and audio-wise)

Clouds: 

Clouds appear to be softer and whiter in X-plane 11 but my FPS did take at least a 10 point frame rate drop when flying in heavier fog/cloud layers.  Clear skies it is.

Frame-rates (FPS):  

I have been pleasantly surprised by the improvement in frame-rates in X-plane 11 over X-plane 10.  (Settings for my machine are 4x anti-aliasing, HDR High,  Shadows on,  Scenery Options Medium -Low,  Reflections off. ) My system is quite old but even with my older processor and the GTX 750 ti 4gb I was able to hover around 30fps when flying in my hometown  (KEKA, KACV)*.   At these settings within the Demo Area I was able to get around 22-23 fps, clear day and even better FPS at night. )

Graphics/Autogen: 

Overall the default textures for terrain, buildings, road-networks, airports etc. are fantastic in X-plane 11.  Days (and nights) are more realistic  than ever in X-plane 11 with the new haze (particle system?)  that has been added to the atmosphere.   As mentioned before, HDR lighting makes street lights, runways, and aircraft lighting look real.  Yes I enjoy lights. With a decent graphics card (the more memory the better)  visual settings and lights will look great in your sim.  The trains/traffic have even been updated in X-plane 11 too!

Addons and Tweaking

If you like tweaking,  modding and using addons you will love X-plane 11 because adding custom content is a breeze in X-plane11.

Note for new users:  Some default airports in X-plane 11 will not include buildings but updated airports which include buildings, hangers and terminals are being added to X-plane via updates.  Find out about the airport gateway hereBuild/improve airports with World Editor (WED)


Cons/What I don’t like

 

User Interface (UI): 

While completely enjoy and welcome to new easier to navigate and appealing layout of the UI, I still find myself wishing I could control certain settings.  For example I would like to be able to disable birds, deer and boats. I see no options to disable those.  And if fire and balloons still exist within the game (haven’t seen them yet in X-plane 11) a disable option for those too.  I would also like to be able to control the number of cars on the road separate from the number of buildings.  For me this for cosmetic and a realistic stand-point.  (My town has many roads, but very few cars.)

Sounds: 

ATC in X-plane 11 make work more realistically than in it did in previous versions of X-plane but I wouldn’t know because I haven’t tried it yet.  I find the synthesized voice that is used completely unbearable to listen to.   Some default aircraft such as the helicopter produces some wonky rotor sounds which sound more mechanical than realistic.  Screeching tires sounds are better but still exist in the default Cessna 172 which I don’t like.

Steering/ Controls: 

It might be just me, but I find the steering/rudder controls of the default Cessna 172 and helicopter erratic and difficult to control on take-off.  New users may have some difficulty at first.

Clouds

While generally clouds and fog in X-plane 11 are good we know they could be improved visually in terms of their shape, definition and overall appearance.  Thunderheads and storm clouds should appear like tall menacing thunderheads (cumulus cloud) rather than layers of stratus.   Contrails in X-plane 11 need fixing (see my comments in graphics section below).

Graphics:

Of course the visuals can always be improved and I know the X-plane developers are working hard on so many awesome aspects and improvements for X-plane 11, including realistic clouds and autogen.  However, aside from unrealistic ATC audio, two areas that really distract my flying is the terrible rendition of airline contrails when viewed at a distance and the deer/birds.  Right now X-plane 11 is showing black/grey contrails which are hardly realistic.  The first time I saw it I thought the plane was on fire.  I will be looking forward to new longer and actual white aircraft contrails (as seen in FSX) which would improve the visuals greatly in X-plane 11.  Being able to disable unrealistic looking deer and birds on the runway would be fantastic.  Thank you Laminar Research.

 


Final Verdict/Should You Buy X-plane 11?

If you love flight sims such as FSX, than yes of course you should buy X-plane 11.  X-plane 11 runs better and the atmospheric visuals are impressive.  In addition, the improved UI  and the realistic lighting is enough to give this simulator an emphatic positive recommendation from me.  However, I also recommend first trying out the Demo for X-plane 11 before you spend the money on the full version (either on Steam or via X-plane.com).   With the demo version you will be able to see how well (or poorly) the sim runs on your particular machine while you experience the new user interface, flight controls, included aircraft and weather and lighting systems this great flight simulator provides.

Final note:  X-plane 11 is always being updated and improved.  Users can opt in or out of beta’s releases of the simulator if that is something that interests you.

 

*KEKA/KACV –  as of this posting these default airports did not feature airport buildings/hangers but I did add custom created content in my game.

 


Disclaimer:  The opinions and information expressed in this review are my own and are based on my own experience only.  These views or opinions are not intended to represent Laminar Research nor any of the developers of X-plane 11 in any way.

 


X-plane 11 Official website

X-plane 11 community

X-plane 11 on Steam

Movies everyone should watch before they die

Get Hope

Find me on Steam


Images are my in-game screenshots from default X-plane 11.05

 

 

 

 

Review: Sharper Image Virtual Reality Viewer for Smartphones

si_VR
Sharper Image Virtual Reality Headset Model no. 1003469

Without a focus ring or any ability to focus, apps and images are blurry when using the Sharper Image VR viewer (Model no. 1003469).

I purchased this particular viewer on sale for $20 (suggested retail $50).  So at this price point a lower quality product is expected.  Lower cost in this case means the product is made of plastic materials and the product is made in China.  This VR viewer features a cushion around lenses and fits all sizes and model of smartphones whether you have an Android or iOS phone.  The biggest trouble is the lack of a focus ring.  Without the ability to focus images, this product in my view, is virtually useless.

For this product I give it 1 STAR (out of 5)


 

Image source

More options removed: Apple Takes Away Option for Touch ID on iPhone X

iphone-x-2745628_1920

Why would Apple take away the option for Touch ID on the iPhone X when Touch ID was working quite well before? In fact, I think it’s a mistake on their part.  It’s great when a company decides to enhance their products by making them better.  But it’s completely unacceptable when a company (Apple in this case) decides to remove proven features from their product in order to promote another idea.  (This practice is common in gaming and it stinks for the consumer.  Think SimCity 2013 or the Sims 3 to Sims 4. )

So why did Apple choose to replace touch ID with face ID? They might have many  excuses including “Face ID is the future of technology” but we know their reasoning really boils down to one main goal:  Control.

Less Options More Control

Apple, like Google and Microsoft want control over us the consumer.  These big mega technology companies want to control our lives and do I dare say, create our lives.  If a company can control our media, content and the devices we use, it’s fair game in their view for how they implement them into our lives.  Doubt this?  Ever noticed how they control the default news sources we see on our devices?  (Yes, left leaning news sources are the norm on Microsoft, Google and Apple.)

Hey Apple, What Happened to Consumer First?

Of course if control weren’t their top priority we would see them keep great ideas from the past intact (no matter their age) but most importantly they would put the consumer first, always give us options and stop cramming their views down our throat.

Apple could have implemented touch ID into their new iPhone X.  But since they want to control and shape how people use their device they removed it completely.  In the case of whether or not Apple decides on bringing back touch ID to their new iPhones, I will be watching to see how consumer friendly they choose to be.

What do you think? Should Touch ID be incorporated along side Face id into the new iPhone X?  Do you think Apple will bring back Touch ID?


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Who is Equisolar, Inc. anyways? Shady Sales Tactics Put Up Giant Red Flag

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The company Equisolar, Inc. sent a salesperson to my door the other day claiming I had made an appointment at 2:00 pm for a consultation…,er sales pitch to install solar panels on my home.  The trouble is, there was no actual appointment made nor was there any discussion about it. In fact I hadn’t even heard of this company before.  My wife told me they had repeatedly left recorded messages on her phone but no appointment had been set by her either.

The friendly salesman gave me a company flyer which also included the company address.  Now Equisolar, Inc. claims to be located in southern CA (specifically Encino).  Okay.  I live in the north part of the state (nearly 1000 miles away).  No big deal you say? except one company rep on the phone told my wife they were local.  Local to who? Southern Cal?  The nice salesman also inexplicably had some of my personal information which according to my wife she had not provided either.  Could Equisolar be another aggressive telemarketing company?

I decided to do a little internet exploration on Equisolar, Inc.  The Better Business Bureau shows the company in good standing. But that isn’t entirely reliable since the BBB is paid by the businesses to appear on their site. Can we all say “conflict of interest”?  But I digress.  More online investigation shows a smattering of positive and negative reviews for Equisolar.  On some sites like the BBB and Facebook—mostly negative.  Now it’s true positive reviews are great for any company and it’s those positive reviews a company would hope to receive in order to positively represent and reflect their business practices.  But as a potential customer I want to be sure I am dealing with a reliable, honest and trustworthy company.  That is why it’s not only positive reviews I’m  interested in. So when I found multiple claims about the company not returning phone calls, treating customers unfairly, or that a salesman arrived to meet for an appointment that was never approved……….I think it’s only natural to become wary.

So let us briefly recap what we’ve learned.  A salesman from Equisolar holding my personal information and address arrives to my home unannounced. He claims to have an appointment with my wife and I for a consultation.  Online company complaints mention poor customer service, phones going unanswered, robo-like calls and incomplete installations with a few highly suspicious positive reviews thrown in the mix.

Now, I will probably never know if Equisolar provides a great service and can be completely trusted or not because as far as I’m concerned their initial sales tactics are not only a huge shady turn-off but they also displayed a giant red flag with the words, “RUN AWAY FROM THIS COMPANY AS FAST AS YOU CAN”.

Have personal experience with Equisolar?  Feel free to comment below.


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