Mortal Engines [Blu-ray] Thoughts

It’s been a while I last was hyped for a movie. I love post-apocalypse media. Was excited to watch this and glad that I did. I bought the Blu-ray version off Amazon which came with a free DVD as well.

You get introduced to the world in the opening dialogue, although I wish actual footage was showing. The action took over and we start from there. The movie balances action with the story without going over with the former or too deep with the latter. Anyone can pick this up and enjoy it. There are no deep philosophical ideas here which is a good thing.

The settings and colour are balanced as well. You have this overall filter to set the mood for the world which change a bit as the story moves forward. The characters are balanced although some basically disappear later to never be heard from again. The sound effects and music are OK. Nothing ground-breaking although it has its moments.

All in all, a great movie. It goes for $7 for Blu-Ray and $12 for 4K. I highly recommend picking the physical disk and watch it with all the details as opposed to streaming it (If it’s on Netflix/Prime). There is something about owning physical media that makes the movie more enjoyable plus you focus more.

As a side note, I just realised that this was based on a novel. I will pick it up on Audible for sure.

Why Pinterest is the most useful social site

Truth be told, I never liked social media site, namely Facebook. I joined because it was the cool thing to do and after resisting for some time I finally joined in. The site was new and wasn’t bloated with spying just yet. Nowadays, I quit almost all social media sites for privacy and anti productivity reasons. I keep FB messenger to communicate with my family in Ukraine and for nothing else.
Instagram was and still kinda fun but the Facebook acquisition and the site turning away from sharing mobile pictures into full political activism turned me away as well. To be honest, almost all social media sites turned out this way, except for one.

When I open Pinterest I’m not greeted with empty activism but instead of ideas that I can apply in real life. For example, my go-to place for mobile wallpapers is Pinterest and I always find what I need by stumbling across new recommendations that are done well.

Another real-life example is the house modelling ideas. I borrowed a lot from this site on shaping my own house be it furniture placement or arranging senses of peace together. There is always something to look at.
All in all, this is one of the useful sites that I still visit as I’m quitting on clutter and other time-wasting stuff as I embraced digital minimalism for a while and couldn’t be happier.

Feel free to check or follow my account for iPhone/Android wallpapers.

Bam Margera will not be in Jackass 4!

I was surprised to hear the accidental news that Bam Margera will not be in Jackass 4! What surprised me, even more, is that there will be Jackass 4. I grew up with Jackass, Skating and Video Games. I was a big fan of Bam and Jackass in general. But at this point, considering that all of the stars aged a lot, I don’t think the movie has the same vibe as before. Bam not being in it is another huge nail in the coffin.

I’m not fully blaming this on the producers as Bam had his problems but I do think that there is more story than we know. One can hope that things will get sorted out and the movie will capture at least some of the formal spirit.

Grandia 2 Removed from GOG.com!

I recently learned that one of my favourite Dreamcast-PC ports was removed from the only legal DRM Free store. The game is still available on Steam along with the first part for $19 a game. Despite the game still being available legally online, this is another example of a Digital only grim future.

Grandia HD On Steam

People who want an offline, DRM Free game has two choices; buy an old PS1 version of eBay or pirate the offline version. The first choice involves looking for an old, expensive copy, having a functional system and hoping that your modern TV won’t distort the image too much. The other route while illegal will provide you with a fully functional copy that can be played offline without any DRM. Of course, the days of boxed PC games are sadly long gone. There is the switch version, but we are talking about the PC port and not every digital game gets released physically on consoles. Not to mention that you still need to install day one patches on newer console games. rendering the whole DRM free feeling obsolete.

I personally buy two versions of most of the games I really enjoy. A console physical version and a Steam release. But with newer games needing to be activated via patches, I think I will just stick to Steam and GOG.com. Overall, another sad day to game collectors and DRM Free fans. Hope the games make it back to GOG sooner than later despite me owning Grandia 2 Anniversary Edition when GOG still offered it.

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 is Coming!

Its been a while since I was excited about a game. Tony Hawks got me into extreme sports in the first place. I started aggressive Rollerblading because I fell in love with the whole culture, thanks to this game. I own almost every game in the series on multi consoles. I even own the tony hawk shred which I just got. The 5th game was horrible; hence why I didn’t bother to get it just yet.

Out of nowhere, my brother messages me the picture of a new Tony Hawk remastered game! I could not believe it! Yes, we had a remaster of the first two games before. Tony Hawk’s 2 X and Tony Hawk’s HD were great, but this should be on another level!

The game is only $39.99 for the regular edition and $170 for the collector’s pack. The later comes with the limited edition Deck, which is a great item to own for skaters. I will go for the regular Xbox one as I don’t feel like dropping a lot of cash on something I will not necessarily use, especially in these times. Maybe I will find it used on eBay down the line.

The game will be dropping on September 4. I already preordered two copies. Great times ahead. I may even replay and 100% Underground 2 while waiting.

Please Stop using Google Chrome on Mac

You read, right, I’m telling you to stop using the most popular web browser of 2020. But why? To save your system and privacy.

Chrome evolved from the simple, straightforward web browser to this colossal resource hug that is almost unusable on older systems for no reason. Open Chrome on Mac and start listening for the fans to go off almost immediately. If you are worried about privacy, Google is not your friend. Your web activity is sent to the Goggle mothership in the name of providing better services. You are training Sky Net.

Both Safari and Firefox are lightweight and are better options for macOS. Not only do they use fewer system resources, but they are also light years ahead of Chrome in the privacy department. Safari comes preloaded by default and integrated into the OS itself. Firefox has more features and strikes a nice balance between usability and system resource need. Not to mention the cool addons that enhance further the experience.

If you still need Chromium (the Google Chrome engine) for any reason, you can use Brave Browser, Vivaldi or even Opera although the later was bought by China. Microsoft Edge also switched to the Chromium engine and have some privacy controls as well.

In conclusion, avoid using Chrome unless necessary until Google addresses at least some of the issues. Your system and privacy will thank you.

WhatsApp Dark Mode is amazing on Android!

WhatsApp Android dark mode looks sick on my Galaxy S9. Way better than on my iPhone 11. I always prefer the dark gray over true black.

Had to download the apk from the official website as I still did not get the update. Another benefit to Android I guess. Not to mention you can’t turn it on separately on iOS.

Been waiting for this for a long time especially on iPhone since the app design on iOS has more white space. Had to even toggle a setting to reduce bright colors.

Why I’m back on Firefox browser

Not gonna lie, it felt good to be back on a browser that started it all. Privacy driven, customizable web browser that puts you first as the developers like to put it. But that’s not why I finally switched back after years of using Google Chrome.

Back in the day, I like most people used Intenet Explorer that came bundled with our Windows XP. A teacher at university suggested that we should try another web browser called Opera. It was a paid product with a free ad-supported version that I used. It was fast but full of ads and did not work great with some of the websites that I used to frequent namely Gamefaqs.com.

After getting fed up with incompatibility I decided to switch to Firefox. Greatest decision I have ever made. Browsing the web felt good and modern. I could customize it with themes and add-ons to enhance the experience even further. All was great until one day Google decided to make a web browser of their own and thus came Chrome.

I tried it and kinda like the minimalistic design but it was a barebones browser with nothing special to offer except a tiny increase in speed. Months passed and I kinda started using the browser more and more. Moila slowed down Firefox updates that mattered and the browser became old and dated.

By the time Mozila figured what was up Chrome overtook the marketshare. Firefox was refreshed a few times but made no significant splash. Until came Quantum. Suddenly the browser we all remember became fast and stylish again. Chrome, on the other hand, became bloated, slow to start and resource-heavy on old machines.

Firefox Quantum was great again but switching back wasn’t that simple. Chrome was the dominant browser and thus most of the websites were tailored to its engine. Evernote was running the old version on anything that was not using the Chromium engine. Opera and now Microsoft Edge abandoning their own engines did not help at all. Yes Vivaldi Browser is great and I even used Opera exclusively for a while but the engine itself felt heavy on my 2008 Macbook pro.

Firefox, on the other hand, is a very light browser but has everything I need including great themes and plugins. And while its not as light as Safari on Mac, its lightyears faster than Chrome. It is also thundering fast on new hardware. The Android version also looks and feels great. I know officially made the switch.

The data breach monitor is the icing on the cake. Yes, some websites may still prefer Chrome but if more people made the switchback this will quickly change. Firefox was the king of plugins and website preference and it can again. It is after all the last engine standing against Chrome. Competition is good and we all should support privacy driven products, especially great products like Firefox. Give it a try, you won’t regret it.

Download Firefox

Switch Light, what’s the point?

So we have not one but two new switch revisions. A better version with more storage and efficient chips and a cheaper portable only one. While the first reversion is a welcome one, the later not do much.

The current switch is underpowered as it is, an even weaker model with just $100 off is not a bargain considering that you will be missing out on performance and some accessories which in my opinion isn’t worth losing over a 100 bucks. I would kinda accept the idea of the difference was $250 or so but $100? Nope, sorry.

Getting a used model or even waiting for the new revision is a wiser move than getting stuck in low power mode in the name of portability.  Yes some folks will welcome this addition as they don’t care about resolution of framerates but for anyone that do care, this doesn’t seem like such a good deal.

This also means that the 3DS is unofficially dead which is a shame as it had amazing retro feel games that were simply plug-in play in the days of 50GB day one patches. Of course there is still the rumor that Nintendo will release a much powerful switch in the future meaning that the current model will get a fare price cut. 

The difference between this and the 2DS is that the later had all the same features and power of the original except the 3D faction which allot of people  disliked including me. The 2DS arguably looked better and for a cheaper price hence why it was a success.

With all being said and done, options and choice is still good and the ultimate winner is the customer. I just hoped for better than what we are getting.

Saying Goodbye to BBM

Before Snapchat, WhatsApp and iMessage there was BBM. A simple yet ahead of its time messaging app. Sure windows and Yahoo messengers allowed people to chat but required computers. Having the ability to talk to anyone for free while on the move was a new concept.

The app had amazing features like voice note and blue checkmarks that we take for granted today. The app was free but required a data plan and a blackberry device which almost everyone had. Unfortunately for Blackberry, a new challenger was entering the market and a big one at that.

Blackberry’s answer to the iPhone and Android handsets was the upcoming Blackberry OS10 keyboardless phone. Unfortunately, the handset arrived at the party very late with a huge price tag and no new features to write home about. To make things worse, you could not move your old pin and charts and had to start over.

By this time, the iPhone started to take off and gain momentum. It was after all backed by Apple. Hardcore BBM fans continued to use it me included but the user base was fading. The initial refusal of taking the app cross-platform gained WhatsApp the momentum of needed. Sure the company eventually added the missing features and took the app to IOS and Android but it was too little too late.

It’s a shame that BBM never got the attention of deserved especially since it was privacy driven. You can still subscribe to the enterprise version which costs money but at this point, it’s as good as dead to the normal consumer unless iMessage and WhatsApp goes away.

I remember people broadcasting annoying messages at 5 in the morning. I also remember people competing for the largest friends list. The good old days. It is the nature of fast-moving tech. Someday WhatsApp and even iPhone may go away but other apps and devices are anyways ready to take over. Enjoy and live in the moment.