April 2014 - Chris Ullrich dot net
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April 2014

Now I Have a Reason to Get an XBox One or PS4 (Maybe)


I have not made the change to a “better” console for gaming yet. I’m still using my trusty old XBox 360 (and occasionally the PS3) for all of my console gaming needs. And for me, it handles the task nicely.

In truth, I don’t have a lot of time for gaming these days and it didn’t seem like a priority to upgrade for what little time I do have. Also, I hadn’t really found a game compelling enough to make me want to switch.

But now, perhaps, I have. Enter Project CARS. Simply put, the game looks amazing and shows what real power these new consoles have. But don’t take my word for it, check it out below.

Fortunately, the game doesn’t come out until November, so I have some time to save up. Excuse me while I go check the sofa for change.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zBLMscFP5ec?rel=0&w=560&h=315]

This Is How I Feel Some Mornings


Actually, I can feel this way pretty much anytime the coffee is gone. I like coffee. I need coffee — frequently and in large quantities.

Perhaps I have a problem? No, YOU have a problem. Wait … sorry.

At least when I do run out of coffee (which happens sometimes, let’s face it), I can turn to this.


My other best friend.

Happy Saturday. Please enjoy accordingly. I know I will be.

How Apple Are You?


It should be no surprise to anyone (at least anyone paying attention) I’m an Apple fan. I like the company and I like the company’s products. Quite a bit, in fact.

I like Apple’s products so much I’ve amassed a fairly large collection of them over the years. I even have one of the first Macintosh computers ever made. I also have an Apple II+ (it was my first Apple product) which came out way before the Mac even existed. In 1979, to be exact. That’s how far back I go.

But with all that, how Apple am I really? Fortunately, there’s a handy infographic that can help answer that important question. It can probably help you too.

I did pretty well. What’s your score?

how-apple-are you

Note: I like this infographic, which is why I posted it. However, I’ve never used Mackeeper so I can’t endorse it. Do your own research.

Rethinking Facebook


Like many of you, I have a personal Facebook page. It’s right here. I also have one for The Flickcast. That’s right here. I do spend some time on Facebook interacting with a few friends. I don’t spend as much time as I used to, however.

This is mostly due to having less free time in general, but also because over the last couple of years I’ve found Facebook to be less and less useful for promoting my various endeavors, which is one of the reasons I got on it in the first place.

Now I understand why.

Over at Booooooom, they’ve posted a couple videos highlighting what’s wrong with Facebook and why many people are leaving it. It all makes sense now.

Given the state of things, I may be joining the exodus soon enough.

Because I like you and don’t want you to have to click anything and go to another page, the videos are below.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oVfHeWTKjag?rel=0&w=560&h=315]

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l9ZqXlHl65g?rel=0&w=560&h=315]

Initial Reactions to the Amazon Fire TV


As you may have heard, Amazon released the Fire TV this week, it’s own competitor to the Apple TV and other living room devices like the Roku. Because I’m a fan of all-things tech and love pretty much any excuse to check out a new gadget, I ordered one on the day of release.

It arrived yesterday. Over the last 24 hours I’ve had a chance to play with it a little bit and thought I would report my initial reactions.

The Fire TV ships in Amazon’s “Frustration Free” packaging, which is always a plus with me. I love how easy it is to get the box open, find all the pieces and start to get the device set up. The Fire TV box contains the device itself (a small, black box), a small power adaptor, a remote control with batteries and an instruction booklet.

It does not come with an HDMI cable, or any other way to connect the Fire TV to your TV. But that shouldn’t come as any surprise. Fortunately, I have a healthy supply of cables at home, so this was no problem at all. But don’t forget to buy one if you don’t have one already.

Physical setup was a breeze. Simply connect the power adaptor to the device and a power outlet, the HDMI cable to your TV and the device powers up and gets going. As you might expect, the first thing the device wants is an Internet connection. I decided to connect the Fire TV to my wireless network, mostly because I wanted to see how it handled streaming 1080p content that way.

Navigating through the device’s menu for connection to my wireless network was very easy using the included remote. The Fire TV found my network immediately and once I entered the password using the remote and onscreen keyboard, it connected the first time and I was online. So far, so good.

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Analog Tools In a Digital World

pens-and-pencils-and-more-1There’s no doubt we live in a digital world. Pretty much anything and everything can be found online, and more often than not, we create or consume content via a digital device like an iPad, a smartphone, a computer or a television. And given how the world is evolving, it’s fairly obvious this is going to become more prevalent as time goes on.

It should also be fairly obvious, if you’re a regular reader here, at The Flickcast, or a listener of my podcast, I’m a huge fan of technology and this evolving digital world. What people might not know is how much I also love old school, analog tools and things many people may consider obsolete.

Things like pens, pencils, paper, notebooks, watches with hands and more are all as exciting and useful to me as the latest iPad, smartphone, laptop or other piece of technology. I don’t consider them obsolete at all. Far from it. In fact, they are an integral part of my daily life.

Given that fact, I thought it would be fun to share some of the analog tools I enjoy so others could hopefully begin to appreciate them and what they have to offer. And sure, my fondness for these analog tools is partially because I grew up in a time when we didn’t have any real alternatives.

I grew up in a world before the iPad, iPhone, HD TV, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google and all of the other things we take for granted now. Sure, I had a computer (my first was an Apple II+) but the Internet was in its infancy then and to get “online” you had to use a POTS line and a dialup modem.

Yes, it was slow. My God it was slow. But it was amazing too and gave us a glimpse of what was to come.

But to do any real work, I used a notebook and a pen. That’s all I needed. I would write papers, reports, notes, stories and more with that trusty notebook and pen. They never failed me, needed a software update, security patch, lost connectivity or had to be rebooted because they froze. They just worked.

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