Daily Log #90

Halo.

Halo.

Halo.

That’s what I have been doing everyday after work since Monday.

I have finished Halo: CE Anniversary and currently playing Halo 2: Anniversary.

I have also finished four episodes of Halo: Nightfall. I’m just left with the last.

So far, I’m loving it.

And Xbox One X is making me rethink: do I need a gaming PC?

Daily Log #89

I didn’t sleep very well last night because I wasn’t that tired for some reason. So I woke up at around 7 am and just lay there in bed, tossed and turned until 7.50am when I decided to get up and have basic breakfast.

After that, I went about to clean dust from the TV console, setup the Xbox One X and put everything back in place. Once the game console is powered on, I went through the process of updating the system, setup the timezone and whatnots, signed in my Microsoft account and began downloading the games I bought yesterday.

I got to say I’m a little overwhelmed by the sheer file size the game console needed to download for each of the game. Halo: Master Chief Collection (Digital) needed to download nearly 63GB of data while Halo 5: Guardian needed to download 50 GB of data in addition to the 41 GB of data to install from disc. While I waited for the downloads to complete, I went ahead and bought the Halo 3: ODST campaign for the Master Chief Collection and that alone is another 7 GB of download.

Even with my 1 gigabit fibre broadband, it took the whole morning before the Master Chief Collection completed its download and the Halo 5 to finish one quarter of its download. During that time, I went ahead and played Halo: CE until I think it was the last campaign mission.

I went ahead and watched first episode of Halo: Nightfall before heading out for a run. I made the choice of pausing Halo 5 download and let the Halo 3: ODST to download. To my surprise, the download speed was about 280 MB/s and within minutes, it was done. That made me wonder why Halo 5 took so long.

Either way, I switched off the console and went for a run. After that, I had a late lunch and spent some time re-watching Starship Trooper: Traitor of Mars before getting on to put in some writing. I shall admit that I got a little distracted and was watching YouTube until evening.

Took a quick nap, woke up for dinner and continued more writing with YouTube playing on the side. Throughout the whole time, I find myself irritated by how cluttered my desk is with all the cables, drinking cup, two mice, a keyboard, plants, geomancy crystals, a huge ass gaming PC, and the inconsistent color scheme. Then there is the use of an ugly ass cloths to cover up the television and monitor to prevent dust and for geomancy reason.

Sigh… this is what happens when you let someone else to decide to use whatever is at home to “spruce” up your room without care for consistency, colors, and design.

So over the next two weeks, I’m gonna redo my whole desk setup and get proper, nicer looking cloths to cover up my television and monitor.

And I’m not sure yet if I want to give up PC gaming for the sake of having a cleaner desk, now that I got a Xbox One X. So bear with me while I run through my thoughts here.

I did think about replacing my current desktop with a smaller gaming desktop by Asus. Like the ROG HURACAN.

The use of GTX1080 however is making me think twice because I’m already using that graphic card. And it has been a long time since Nvidia released anything new for gaming. They are so focus on the enterprise side of things like Self-Driving, Artificial Intelligence and Supercomputing that it does make them look as though they don’t give a shit about gaming anymore.

The only other logical path would be to buy the necessary hardware for me to build a gaming PC in ITX form factor. Then there is the other thing I could do is to get rid of the television and hook up my gaming console and Apple TV to my monitor. Since it is a 1440p monitor, the output from my PS4 and Apple TV will have letterboxes, maybe even look blurry. But that will definitely free up the top of the TV console for me to put my desktop there. After all, the TV Console is right next to my desk.

So I think the best option would be…

Get rid of that television.

As for speakers for my game consoles, well, I got the Creative Soundblaster Roar that can be connected to my monitor. So all is fine.

Daily Log #88

It definitely wasn’t a productive day. After all, it’s a Saturday and it should be a day of relaxation–no work kind of day.

I spent my morning at home, watching A Good Day To Die Hard on Netflix because there was really nothing else I feel like doing. No desire to play any video games, write or read.

After I was done watching that and had my breakfast, I went ahead to read up reviews on the various games in the Halo: Master Chief Collection and watched comparison videos.

It turns out the remastering of those older games like Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary and Halo 2 received major graphical overhaul while Halo 3 and Halo 4 received lighting upgrades.

I for one has never play the first few Halo games and only played Halo 4 to completion on Xbox 360. It was only recently that I played Halo Wars Definitive Edition and Halo Wars 2 on PC, having bought the games on Steam and Windows Store respectively. Then, I fell in love with the franchise and decided to buy at least two books set in the expanded universe.

I went to have a nap after watching those videos because I took an anti-allergy/runny nose pill which caused drowsiness. I woke up at around three-fifteen and made the decision to go and buy Xbox One X. My mom told me about my sister wanting to treat us to dinner at six-thirty while I was on the way to the washroom to take a shower.

While waiting for the bus, I went ahead to buy the digital copy of Halo: Master Chief Collection. Upon reaching the mall, I had a late lunch before making my way around to buy Halo 5: Guardian and Xbox One X.

I went to get Halo 5: Guardian first from the only store that had stock. The game cost SG$39.90 With it being an old game (released in 2015), I’m not surprised. What is surprising was most of the stores I went didn’t have Xbox One X in stock. The final place I went was Challenger and they had the one last set. I got that and paid SG699.

Combined with the Halo: Master Chief Collection, I have at least 5 Halo games for my Xbox One X. Halo Wars 2 supports cross platform play. So I will count that in, making it 6 Halo Games. I will get Halo 3: ODST as part of the collection from Microsoft store after I setup the console tomorrow.

So by the time I left for home, my mom was already calling me asking me where I was. My family was leaving already. I told her I’m boarding the bus.

The driver kept the bus going at around twenty or thirty kilometer per hour and by the time I reached home, it was already five-forty-five. During the last hundred meter of the journey, my mom called me again asking me where I was. I told her one more bus stop to go. Oh well. It was a journey that was supposed to take ten minutes, not fifteen. Once home, my dad looked obviously not happy and was talking about rushing for the bus to the train station.

Now, he always have this habit of making a big fuss about being late and whatnots. It like he enjoys destroying a perfectly good family outing with his unhappiness about things beyond his control. Well, I’m like that to at times but only when I’m feeling hangry, upset about something or wanting to get something knowing that it would no longer be there if I’m late. When I was younger, I applied that impatience to almost everything.

But you know what? I have since learned to let things go. Being impatient and then feeling angry about the whole situation serves you no purpose. It doesn’t change anything except make you sick.

So the whole journey to Chinatown on the train was marred with unhappiness and my dad was behaving like a child—intentionally slowing down, not wanting to get close, performed disappearing acts. Unnecessary and stupid because it still doesn’t change anything. And also make himself sick when he already have rather bad health due to age. Oh well…

Maybe I will turn out like that as I get older. Maybe not. In some ways, I have friends who are way mature than me to drop a few tips here and there, tips that I adopted to make myself a better person. So I’m grateful for that.

Dinner was the other thing that was kind of bad. Almost every dish was salty with the heavy dose of Oyster Sauce, probably soy sauce and salt. I could taste MSG in the fish slice soup too. It reminded me of the lunch I had earlier today where soy sauce was a tad too much. Good thing was the mood lightened up.

I didn’t measure my blood pressure but I guess it must be rather high right now though I’m not feeling any effects. I better start detoxing tomorrow.

My family and I went around Chinatown point because we had eaten too much. While there, I went to buy two pairs of jogger pants and a pair of underwear to replace the three Chino pants that I no longer wear due to weight gain, and obvious wear and tear around the crotch area. Well, most of my pants including underwear will suffer from tears around the crotch area within months, especially if they aren’t elastic enough due to my walking gait and speed. This is why all my pants now are either sweat or jogger pants. They have baggier crotch and more stretch material. I also hate to wear dress pants because they are too tight and not elastic enough to be comfortable for me.

On the journey home, I spent some time writing the last scene for my novel. And I can’t help but feel like it’s the hardest thing to do. Every word that comes out feels like they don’t belong. I can see my mind grinding its gears over word choices and how an idea is presented. So I spent some time editing my previous scenes and found that I made some rather glaring mistakes in terms of presenting an idea. Some just outright didn’t make any sense.

After I got home, I had a quick shower and went about unboxing the console but stop short of taking off the plastic wrappings as I wanted to reserve it for Sunday.

Daily Log #82

The morning of Thursday was spent in office doing some work, fixing some of the bugs raised by my colleagues. There were a few more that I said I would look at the next day because two of my colleagues and I had to make our way to the ConnecTech Asia at the Marina Bay Sand.

While we were at the exhibition, I couldn’t believe just how underwhelm I was by the things showcased by the various companies there. Everyone was doing similar things when it comes to solutions related to Smart City, Traffic management, and Public Safety. Even I can’t tell the difference between the user interfaces used.

I suppose this is what happens when people relied excessively on frameworks to build User Interfaces and neglected completely on make it showcase the creator’s brand. For example, if it’s Huawei product, I expected it to feature themes of Red and White. And a lot of times, I see shades of black and grey.

For me, as much as I love black and grey, I don’t want to see it everywhere. Even I don’t use Dark Mode that often. I prefer authenticity more. The heavy use of black and grey tell me a lot about the company. It tells me the company lacks care for their product, lazy, and is only around to make money. Nothing else matter.

On Thursday night, I made the jump and bought Halo Wars 2 from the Windows 10 app store for SG$73.50. While it was downloading, I went and play a round of skirmish with AI in Halo Wars. I did find myself struggling with it despite the enemy being on normal. I can only assume it’s because I hadn’t been playing realtime strategy games non-stop since the demise of the Command and Conquer franchise. I have always played first-person shooters (FPS) with a mix of role-playing games. After I won the match, I quit the game and instead focus on reading up stuff in the Halo universe.

When the game download was completed, I went ahead and played two campaign missions and was half way through the third when I decided to call it a night since it was already 11pm

Friday itself was a slightly more productive day for me. I had a quick discussion in the morning with my team lead regarding the existing UI and how to go about fixing some of the glitches. After that, I went back to my seat and work. For lunch, I went to eat at Hot Tomato with another intern who joined the team two months back. Well, I do like a little variety for my lunch and that eating the same type of food everyday bores me out.

Later in the afternoon, I went about fixing more stuff, had some chitchat session with my colleague and took a break. I left for home and spent the rest of the night playing Halo Wars 2.

Throughout Friday, I found myself thinking about getting the Xbox One X so that I can play games like Gears of Wars and Halo. However, the price of the console doesn’t justify. Spending nearly $700 just to play two game franchises don’t seem a good investment. I will adopt a wait and see stance for any new franchises or exclusives announced for the Xbox.

On Saturday, I finished the last few missions of Halo Wars 2 and just feel that I am still missing out on experiencing the story of Halo 5 myself. Reading about it on wiki isn’t good enough because you don’t get to see the visual too.

Later in the afternoon, I decided to go out and buy some more books to read. Specifically, I was looking for Neal Asher’s War Factory and Infinite Engine, sequels to the Dark Intelligence. I also got myself two books from the Halo franchise. It turns out the Kinokuniya store at Orchard Road didn’t really have a lot of stocks. Most of the copies were showing signs of age and fraying of the cover. So I pick up the ones that still looks pretty good on the outside. I also came across The Expanse but the bookstore didn’t have book 5. If they had, I would have bought all seven books and read.

With that in mind, it turns out my brand of minimalism, other than my basic needs, really is about focusing on three or four main things: Video games or toys that I love playing/having, books that I love reading, hardwares that I love using or improve my quality of life, and nice food. Everything else to me is superfluous. I couldn’t care much for big fancy cars, or houses or watches. Of course, over the years, my interest or things that are of value to me may change but so far, I have noticed I keep going back to those four things. Now what I can do is to ensure I don’t keep too many of those things. Just like how I purge my collection of old PC and consoles games that are simply not going to work with new generation of hardware a nearly a year ago. And one last thing, I will proceed to purge more physical stuff later this year because my room will be renovated.

For Sunday, I spent my morning reading two books: Stephen King’s IT and Steve Jobs biography. I managed to cover about twenty to thirty pages for each of the books before I stopped. I hadn’t been able to find a good position to read my books in since my back and neck pain hasn’t really gone away because I slipped up again. I spent too much time in front of the computer over the last few weeks to play games.

I probably will continue to read later. Now I am gonna try and get my hair cut as well as go for a run…pending the weather. It’s been raining the whole day.