New year hangover for the iPhone? Already 12:38pm and can’t exit Do Not Disturb.
Somehow ended up on a local train from Yokohama to Tokyo when the clock ticked midnight.
Merry Christmas all.
The Nexus 7 has been out for a month and I tried hard to get a unit out here in the land of the rising sun. Alas, all attempts failed and ended up ordering he 16gb unit over eBay for around 30,000 yen (around US$375) including shipping. Expensive? Hell yeah but I had high hopes for this little tablet.
The unit arrived soon enough – under 48 hours from New Jersey to Tokyo. Very impressed with Fedex. Happily teared open the box and here are the thoughts after regular heavy usage in just a smidge over a week.
Absolutely love this little tablet. It is fun to use, light and easy to carry due to the form factor, and hell it made my iPad 1 feel like a dinosaur.
However, it does have some potentially serious issues.
What I loved about it:
- Gorgeous screen
- Small(er) and light(er) form factor.
- Fast, fast, fast!
What I didn’t like:
- Build quality. The unit is generally built well however mine has one serious fault – the touch screen sometimes stops responding over certain areas. The condition was so weird that I thought something was stuck in my finger tips causing the screen to not register the touch.
A quick search found many others also reported the same problem. Since this was purchased over eBay and Nexus 7 isn’t out in Japan yet, I don’t really want to go through the troubles contacting Asus. There are definitely good days and bad days with the screen and in fact it is happening right now.
Here is one person reporting a completely dead screen.
- Google Play – I wondered why my Google Play store screen looked so bare when compared to the advertising and I had no idea what the $25 credit was all about. After some more searching, apparently the credit only applies if your IP is from the country where the Nexus 7 is available. Similarly the contents available are restricted by looking up your IP.
Others reported a bug where you can factory reset the Nexus 7, create a new gmail account and associate it with a new credit card – and everytime you do, you will get the credit. Giving this a shot using Hideman (a simple VPN service on Android) turned out to do the trick and managed to buy an app with the credit.
- Can’t read USB/SD. This wasn’t a deal breaker as the tablet can be rooted and hacked to read SD and USB keys – however, it requires rooting the device and that means a loss of warranty. With the screen problems, I just didn’t want to take the risk.
So for those of you who want one but haven’t got one yet – wait for v2 of Nexus 7 after the build issues have been ironed out.
This is such a fun tablet and gave me very high hopes about Android’s future, I am not even interested in the rumored Apple iPad Mini anymore.
Played with Google Handwrite today. Not so convenient when searching in English… typing on keyboard is still faster.
BUT !! (and a big BUT this is) what a completely different story if you need to search in a different language like Japanese or Chinese. I am not fluent in using the Japanese and Chinese keyboard on smartphones and tablets.. however now I can just “write” it..!
All those times when you see a character that you want to search but didn’t know how to type it using the keyboard..? No worries, just draw it on your smartphone and you’re set.
But one thing – add it to Google Translate already.
What a game changer. Google, you win. Can I join you now..? Call me..!
Sitting in staff cafeteria during lunch, we watched in amazement as lines of CNN typos scrolled the TV screen.
Does CNN still check what they put on screen..?
Went on a bike ride to Odaiba via Rainbow Bridge – discovered this LOW CLEARANCE tunnel. Wonder how many heads have been smacked.
There’s a reason why they never found copper wires in ancient China and Japan. They had wifi, it’s all wireless..!
Just check out these ancient buddhas with their gadgets.
All right, I kid, I kid. these are not ancient buddhas.. but just a few years old. But pretty cool right?
With the many multiplayer games played over the years, some worked really well and others not so much. Here is a quick look at some of them.
I got into EQ after moving to Japan and using it as a way to continue staying in touch with friends – but on a deeper level than emails. For anyone who has played, EQ took a significant amount of time investment and at the time it was the only real player on the market.
Many fond memories of questing with old and new friends. Luckily, most of the not-so-fond memories of raid wipes, xp loss have faded.
2. City of Heroes
After leaving EQ behind, friends and I jumped onto a new MMO, City of Heroes. Refreshingly, it filled our characters with power and purpose to battle evil. More importantly, our characters can now wear dashing costumes and make funky dance moves. What a difference it was to EQ where my toon spent most of the time sitting (to regenerate mana).
3. World of Warcraft
WoW – the MMO that blew all others away. Oh many 3 years of my life went into this game. Numerous max level toons, epics, and raids too many to count. Many friends from before EQ, during EQ, and after EQ joined online for some epic adventures. It had everything. The fancy costumes, epic equipments, fun skills, dance moves, and awesome boss fights.
Guilds formed and died in the years invested in the game. Some people got married, and some went separate ways.
On smaller scale, many squad/team based games on PC and consoles were also fun. X-Wing vs Tie Fighter, Star Craft, Diablo. In the early days it was not straight forward to set up multiplayer sessions, but once successful, the extra efforts made the fun all the more worthwhile. It has’t always been this simple as just logging on and join.
One game that has consistently kept my attention for the past few months is Mass Effect 3. As much as I hate the random upgrade kits, it’s like a drug that I find difficult to resist.
On the other hand, Star Craft 2 and Diablo 3 have not done so well with me. I had no trouble playing Mass Effect 3 with complete strangers – in fact I have never played a session with a friend. However, Star Craft and Diablo felt like sessions I needed to play with old friends. With the difficulties in arranging everyone playtime, group sessions had been few and far between. With the single player campaign over, I struggled to maintain interest to keep playing even on more difficult settings.
There have been huge developments on web based games. With the PC and console platform based games, investments in extra hardware and software, and their maintenance, are usually required. The web based games broke through this barrier and required only the basics like a computer with internet connection. Many like partypoker, Yahoo Scrabble, and Farmville let users use real world money as credits to game or purchase enhancements, and provide deep entertainment values to the non traditional gamers who do not have the interest or capability to invest and maintain the gears needed just to start.
Also.. these can be great at the office during “downtime” – assuming your IT gurus have not blocked them.
So after these years of gaming with friends, here is my theory on what aspects work better than others to keep us playing.
What doesn’t work so well with the social gaming:
Let’s hope more games are released with the good parts..!
With many Japanese citizens now consider nuclear power too dangerous after Fukushima, nuclear boy seems to be on the fast track to retirement like the baby boomers.
What will take its place to power Japan and its next generation?