3 Reasons Why I Enjoy Playing Minecraft

If any gamer knows about any game, there is probably a high chance of that gamer instantly recognizing the well known and populous game known as Minecraft. With over 15,000,000 users who have bought the game, it’s undeniable that Minecraft must hold some form of essence that attracts old and new gamers alike.

So here ye, here ye! I present to you, the three reasons why I enjoy playing Minecraft.

1) The Opportunity to Expel & Explore Our Lusciously, Creative Minds!

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Minecraft is what people call a sandbox game. A sandbox game is where the environment of a game allows the player to roam freely and freely choose how to respond to the surrounding environment. This way, every player’s reaction to the environment and vice-versa is unique. Don’t worry. If you didn’t understand that, just know that in Minecraft, you’re free to cut down trees and build a house out of it without anyone telling you what to do.

By default Minecraft offers two game modes, “survival” and “creative”. Survival is where you need to survive. In the day, you go can go hunting, fishing, building, or mining. But once the sun has set and it’s nighttime, these creatures known as “creepers” will come out to hunt you and kill you. So that is where the name“survival” comes in for this gamemode.

Where creative mode is the entire opposite. In creative, you don’t need to survive. You’re free to explore, fly and create the most wondrous of creations that lie deep in the depths of your mind without any “creepers” bothering you.

So due to all this freedom, you can play the game however you want. If you’re in creative mode, you can build a house with a top of the line security system. But if you’re in survival mode, you can go on adventures into the sand dunes of the desert and encounter the most luscious greens of the forests.

Basically, where ever you set your eyes of imagination to be, you can do so in Minecraft.

2) The Diverse Amount of Games & Activities

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Another great benefit to the wondrous freedom that Minecraft offers is diversity. What I mean by this is that since you can create whatever however you want to in Minecraft, this allows to create custom adventure maps and games for you and your friends to play.

So it can be a Capture the Flag map, a battlefield, or even an arena.

But if you’re too lazy to build  and create (Like me sometimes! Open-mouthed smile) and you just want to play, there are several servers out there that allow you to do so much more. Trust me, if you’re a newb (or new) to Minecraft, you’ll be amazed by all the different kinds of servers out there. Some offer PVP games such as the hunger games or factions. While others give you the opportunity to build with your friends. Here are some websites that’ll list most available Minecraft servers:

http://www.planetminecraft.com/resources/servers/

http://minecraft-server-list.com

http://minecraftservers.org

As well as some of my personal favorites:

MC.Uberminecraft.com – This server offers a great variety of games. Including hunger games, skyblock, and many others.

hub.worldofkeralis.com If you’re looking for some inspiration in order to achieve the creation or build of your dreams, this server offers a great deal of wondrous and jaw-dropping creations. From modern mountain house to some nice cottages.

us.mineplex.com – This server offers unique games. Such as my personal favorite, ‘Super Paintball.’

Regardless, not only can you create in Minecraft. But you can bend that creation into the art and shape of whatever your will maybe.

3) Redstone Engineering

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For some, this reason may not seam reasonable. But for me, I absolutely love it. If you love to engineer, program, or think in ways of logic, Minecraft offers that. You know those strands of wires and circuits that exist in our real world? Well Minecraft offers an alternative. It’s called redstone.

Redstone is basically the Minecraft alternative to an electrical wire. With the redstone wires, repeaters or comparators, you can engineer such greats feats of engineering. Basically, you can engineer your own form of technology in Minecraft.

There is also this special block in Minecraft called a Command Block. Basically, a command Block allows you to type in a command in the console (Kind of like code). Then, you can use that block and engineer it with your Redstone contraption. Basically, the command Block offers you the opportunity to add that nice little of code for you programmers.

Conclusion

So yes, those are my three reasons of why I enjoy playing Minecraft. I have the opportunity to freely explore and adventure my environment. As well as the opportunities to create and engineer some great feats of personal achievement.

So what about you? Do you play Minecraft? What do you enjoy about Minecraft? And even if you don’t play, does Minecraft seem to pull your attention? Why or why not?

By the way, please make sure to click that like button below and share this on Twitter, Facebook, or Google Plus. I appreciate the support! Open-mouthed smile

Thoughts on the New Mozilla Firefox 29.0

Notice: This article is in no means a “total review” of the famed web browser. That is not my purpose for this article. Instead, I intend to write and speak my general opinion of the web browser. My first impressions and thoughts of the web browser. This article is mainly opinionated from the standpoint of someone who has used Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Opera, and back to Firefox. Again, this is just the thoughts of my own which may of course, change from time to time.

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On April 29, 2014, Mozilla Corporation has released a new version of Firefox that has totally revamped itself from its previous versions. This new version of Firefox brings itself a new look and a rearrangement of the location of the menu tab.

The new look of Mozilla Firefox 29.0

Immediate Impressions

Once I’ve opened up Firefox, I was immediately amazed by the new look. The new look for the tabs definitely remind me a bit of Google Chrome. Especially with a beautiful blue, frosted, and blurred backdrop behind the tabs. As much as it did remind me of Google Chrome’s main “blue” theme, I definitely didn’t mind looking at it. It wasn’t distracting but it wasn’t disgusting either. It was just, perfect.

As I skimmed around the interface of Firefox, I noticed that the orange tab that was located in the top left corner of previous versions of Firefox was gone. That tab has now completely disappeared and has been moved to a little icon on the far right of the Firefox interface. I’ll explain more of this later.

But one thing that I was definitely disappointed about was that Firefox has not yet switched over to the nice unibar that other browsers such as Google Chrome and Opera have used. If you don’t know what a unibar is, it’s basically the address and search bar combined. After using Google Chrome and Opera, I see no reason for keeping the address and search bar apart anymore. It just seems so much more functional to combine it together.

Another feature that seems to be missing is the bookmarks bar. Now by default, there is a bookmarks icon right next to the right of the search bar. However, I would still like to have my bookmarks bar there by default. Though this is a simple issue to fix (I’ll explain later), I still find it a bit odd that I have to go through the trouble of enabling this simple feature just so I can improve the functionality of my own experience.

After Some Exploration

The menu icon on the far right of the Firefox toolbar.

After noticing that the orange tab was gotten rid of, I was able to locate the new menu icon that would provide options to customize, install add-ons, and so forth. It’s located on the far right of the toolbar. You click on that, you’ll get a nice Google-looking style of options and add-ons in a grid format.

It provides some of the basic features of course. Such as zoom and copy & paste. While the rest of the options are placed as tiles in a grid format. These tiles include the print option, save page, and new window.

The customization “dashboard” in Mozilla Firefox 29.0

At the bottom of the menu pane, I found the option to customize my browser. Yay! When you click on that, your browser basically turns into a dashboard. You can drag additional tiles into the menu pane. But you can also drag the Google search bar out of the way. So now, you can finally have that unibar you’ve always wanted! Well… I wanted…

By the way, I was also able to bring back the bookmarks bar by clicking on the “Customize” button. Then, I selected the “Bookmarks Toolbar” by clicking on the “Show/Hide Toolbar” option at the bottom. You can of course, show the menu bar if you want.

But realistically, the former orange tab that was at the top-left corner of your web browser, is now an icon of stripes on the far right of the toolbar. When clicked upon, you’re presented with a grid of tiles giving you options and functionality. And of course, you have the option to customize the layout of the tiles and the toolbar with that nice “Customize” button at the bottom.

One interesting feature about the new menu pane that I must mention is the power button. All that it does is that it closes your web browser. That’s it. Honestly, I’ll just be quiet about this feature. It’s interesting, but why go through the trouble to put a power button to close the web browser when a close button is already available?

The “shutdown” icon in Mozilla Firefox 29.0

The Conclusion

After using the web browser for a while, there really is nothing for me to complain about that is that big of a deal. It’s a browser that works and serves well for its purposes. The only possible fallback for this web browser is the setup of no default bookmarks toolbar. As well as the interestingly odd power button to close the web browser.

But like I said earlier, it serves my purposes. I can surf the web with ease and enjoy my experience with great add-ons. If somebody were to ask me if they should give this browser a go, go for it! This web browser is definitely worth your time!

 

 

My Growing Sensation for OneNote 2013

I never thought having a note-taking program would ever be necessary for me. In all honesty, I preferred to keep my notes in a physical notebook and do research that way. But after experiencing OneNote 2013 and using it for my school work, it was just gold to me. The capabilities and organization I had in OneNote was unlike anything I’ve ever thought of before. It was just so useful in ways I’ve always doubted.

Upon first impression of the program, it was very clean. Unlike other Office programs, OneNote doesn’t take you to a grid of different templates that are available. Instead, it takes you straight to a fresh new notebook. (Then again I’ve been using this program for weeks and I probably don’t remember how OneNote really starts for new users.) But whatever it may be, once you’ve created a new notebook, you’re stuck with emptiness. You may not know what to use this program for or how to make it useful.

For me, the usefulness of this program started with school. I was assigned an essay to complete and research had to be done. I wondered in my head, “Where can I be efficient with my research and keep it all organized all at the same time?” Then… Light bulb! I have OneNote!

When starting out with my research, I realized that I can use a certain tool in my notebook to make my research very efficient. This feature being known as the “Snipping Tool.” The purpose of this feature is very simple and easy to comprehend from reading the title, it’s meant to snip some pictures on your computer screen that you can place in your notebook. This snipping feature has proved to be very useful for me. I can easily grab facts from the internet, and easily place it in whatever page, section, or notebook I desire. There is absolutely no hassle when I use this wondrous feature.

I should also note that you can install a Clip to OneNote plugin for your web browser. This allows you to save your pages to your notebook without the hassle to snip a certain area. It’ll be sent to your default personal notebook with the picture of the web pages and its link. Again, another wondrous feature that has proven well of its capability!

Another great accomplishment of OneNote that I really do enjoy is the way the program is formatted. It’s basically setup like how you would have your notes in your notebook. You’d have different notebooks for different purposes. Then within that, there are sections to sort out all the different pages that go within those sections. You can also make pages as sub-pages for other pages. If this doesn’t make sense to you, all you really need to know is that this program uses a hierarchal form of organization. Starting from Notebooks –> Sections –> Pages –> Sub-Pages –> Sub-Pages. This hierarchal form of organization makes the program really useful to keep a research project nice and organized rather than stacked and cluttered.

Without a doubt, OneNote 2013 has served me a purpose that I never thought I needed. One of which I’ve always ignored and found pointless. But after finally opening up my mind about OneNote and giving it a chance, I eventually fell in love with it. OneNote has now filled an unknown void in my list of necessities making it impossible to take notes on the internet without it. Or at least, inefficient…

My Thoughts on the WordPress Plugin

How To Install the WordPress Plugin

During the past couple days, I chose to install a WordPress plugin so I may immediately view notifications from my blog. Here are links for the plugin for each browser.

Mozilla FireFox |Google Chrome | Opera

For Opera users like myself, please install the Opera add-on link above first. Afterwards, you’ll be capable to install any Google Chrome plugin such as the WordPress plugin linked above.

Once installed, click on the WordPress plugin icon and click sign in. Sign in with your WordPress account and navigate to the dashboard of the blog of your choice. Now you’re all setup. This plugin will basically show the notifications from the last blog(Your own of course) you’ve worked on or visited. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below.

My Thoughts

It’s pretty basic for a plugin. It showcases notifications from your blog’s dashboards. Such as new comments, followers, or likes. You also have the option to follow other WordPress blogs and can create new posts about the current website your on by clicking on the “Blog This” icon. A new window will pop up asking you for the format of the post. Again, all of these are great features.

The notifications panel.

Choosing the format of my post…

The only downfall I have about this plugin is the “Blog This” option. I like how you can create a new post about the website you’re currently on and you can edit all of this from the pop up window shown. However, I wish all of the features were shown in the pop up window. I really miss the ability where I can set categories for my posts so they don’t become “uncategorized.”

Missing: Categories, HTML, Polls, Forms, Other Media

But all in all, this is a really great plugin. Making it really useful for quick posts and updates. However, even so, I still feel like it doesn’t give me the same functionality of creating my post as if I were doing it right from the dashboard.

Thoughts on the Opera Web Browser

Nowadays, when people look for a browser (typically better than Internet Explorer), the two dominant stars of this show are Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome. But unknown to most consumers, there is actually an underdog in this “friendly browser” competition. As you can tell by the title, I clearly refer to the Opera web browser.

Once you open Opera, the interface shouldn’t feel very unusual. The address and search bar are combined at the top much like Google Chrome. It also has a single menu tab in the top left corner of the browser much like Firefox. The Opera web browser also offers themes, and an extension store. Take note that because Opera isn’t a very well popularized web browser compared to Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox, therefore there won’t be much available in the themes and extension store.

One relatively unusual feature that I had trouble grasping to was the Speed Dial option. It appears as a button on the left side of your address bar and is also accessible when opening up a new tab. The Speed Dial is laid out much like the dial pad on your land line phone. But instead of numbers, it has tiles of websites that can also be put together in folders. At first I wonder, why would I need this when I can have a bookmarks bar? Turns out, there is a reasonable purpose behind this.

The purpose of the speed dial is to set a standard when web browsing. What I mean by this is that basically, the developers of Opera want this browser to be snappy and efficient by keeping the amount of pages you’d like to keep to a minimum. Or maybe that’s just how I feel.

As interesting as the feature and its purpose is, I don’t feel the need for it. It may sound ridiculous, but I don’t think there needs to be these medium-sized tiles waiting to be clicked on compared to my single, miniature, mouse pointer. I think the developers of Opera have an interesting concept behind this, but I feel like the design and use of the Speed Dial was improperly laid out. If anything, just bring back the bookmarks bar.

But then that brings me to another topic. I don’t understand why by default, Opera doesn’t launch with a bookmarks bar. It’s just the address bar and the Speed Dial button. I really don’t feel like I need to go through the trouble of finding out how to finally enable that feature by typing in “opera:flags” in my web browser and then scrolling down to enable that feature. I’m not sure if the bookmarks bar is going through beta right now, but I don’t see why there isn’t even one there by default. So Opera, I don’t know what you plan to do, but can you please enable the bookmarks bar by default? Please?

But regardless of these minor issues, the big reason why I really enjoy this browser is the lightness and efficiency it offers. I admit, I don’t have any specific data to prove this. But by user experience, I can tell you that this is the best experience I’ve ever had when surfing the web with a web browser. It is efficient, lightweight, and I’ve had little or no issues with it at all. It really makes me feel like I’m just flying and soaring through the internet so freely at times that I even forget how slow and clunky Firefox and Chrome can be.

Two other features I should mention are the Stash and Discover options. When you go to your Speed Dial or open up a new tab, you can also access the Stash and Discover page. The Stash page lists previews of pages that you “stashed” so you can view them later. Say you found an interesting article that you wanted to read later, just press the heart on the right side of the address bar and the web page will be sent to your Stash. Remember, the Stash page isn’t a bookmark alternative, it’s just another useful way to save your pages for later.

As for the Discover page, it’s basically like a magazine of the internet. What this page does is it takes news from the internet and just compiles it all together for you to view. You can select what categories of stories you would like to see as well as your country. Personally for me, this isn’t feature that I’ve chosen to use during my experience with Opera. However, it’s still a nice little gimmick worth keeping.

Though Opera isn’t a big mainstream browser out there, it doesn’t necessarily mean it can’t compete. Despite the minor falls of Opera from this near-useless Speed Dial to the mysterious disappearance of the bookmarks bar, it still gets the job done. Surfing through the internet is a breeze and without a doubt you’d run into little or no issues with this browser. For me personally, Opera would be a very nice switch if you’re looking for a fast, efficient, and minimal browser.

Me Repairing My Laptop

Just recently, I ran into an unfortunate issue with my Windows 7 laptop. Every time I turned on my laptop and logged in, it would take minutes for me to actually use it. What do I mean you ask? I mean, during those minutes, I can’t use my laptop for some reason because of the fact that it seems frozen. But it’s not.

It’s almost as if the laptop was trying to warm up during those minutes. Afterwards, the laptop would run perfectly fine with no issue. But then when I wake my laptop up from sleep, I run into the same issue. It slows down and it seems to be as if it’s frozen. But if I gave it like 10-15 minutes or so, it’d be fine. This caught up to be a really weird pattern so I obviously had to find out why.

The first step that I would take in any issue like this was a computer scan. I went ahead and used AVG 2014, the free version, and I also scanned my laptop with Malwarebytes. I started with AVG and all it got was some tracking cookies. Not much I suppose. Afterwards I went ahead to scan with Malwarebytes, it got nothing.

I’m Not in Any Way Endorsing These Products

After doing a bit of research on the internet, I decided to do a disk check. Now let me start off by saying that doing a disk check may not be a solution for everyone. It’s a really long process that can take hours. Plus, you can’t stop once the scan has started. I’d recommend doing a bit of research first before you do this process. If you’re certain this is a solution to your problem, go for it. Now this disk check doesn’t harm your computer in any way, but it’s a sure long process that may not be worth waiting for.

Turned out that a disk check was just what I’d needed. After waiting for three to four hours for the disk to finish scanning nearly 69 million files, I was good to go. When the process was over, I did a quick restart and my laptop was all back to normal.

What’s the point of me telling you this? Well for me, if you run into any problem with your computer, start with a computer scan. Always have that antivirus program online and working. That’s the first step to keeping your computer safe. The next step would be doing a bit of research on your problem. ‘Cause chances are, you probably aren’t the only one out there with that one single problem.

So remember, if you run into any problem, don’t fret. ‘Cause for every problem you may run into, there ought to be a solution for it. Or else, what’s the point of having problems that no one can solve? 😀

Tactical Intervention Thoughts

Despite all the complaints that I’ll have for this review, take note that this game is still in beta. Things can change a lot from today and even what I think of the game may change. But as of today, this is what I think of the game.

Tactical Intervention is a FTP FPS game developed by one of the creators of Counter Strike. If you’ve seen any videos or played Counter Strike yourself, then you’d realize that much of the game is based off the Counter Strike series. Such as the crosshairs, gameplay, and game modes.

But even if you’re not familiar with Counter Strike, this game does seem to pose a lot of potential. The game follows a slow-respawn kind of system. Meaning, it’s not a game about competition, it’s all about strategies and tactics. Hence the name, Tactical Intervention.

This is apparent throughout the TDM mode where respawn takes 10 seconds and the maps are very closed in. While in other modes such as saving the hostages, you only get one life per round. If you die, you’re dead until the next round.

Another unique aspect of the game is the lean feature. By holding either Q or E, you can lean off walls and fire on your opponent. Making it harder for your opponent to see you and fire.

But one feature of this game that would’ve been my favorite is the driving mission. Two teams are placed into separate vehicles of separate squads. One team is to escort a VIP and briefcase to a certain location while the other must prevent that. It seems like really fun. Ramming into other cars and shooting at each other down the highway. But, then you’d come to realize how poorly done the game was.

Despite all the opportunity that this game has to offer, it fails to do it well. When I first spawned into a match, the gameplay just felt awkward. I didn’t really feel like a person walking through the construction site. Instead, I felt like a robot collecting samples off the ground on the planet Mars. It was just that awkward.

Then when I see an enemy and attempt to take fire, the recoil was so bad! I literally had to drag down my mouse in order to keep track of where the enemy is every time I fired a shot. It was so difficult to get the enemies.

But one that I have to complain about the most is the driving mission. Controlling the car was very difficult and I felt like I was going to steer off the highway and crash into the wall. But when I was a passenger and I leaned out of the car window to shoot, I couldn’t aim. The car went too fast and it was far too difficult to set my aim correctly. Especially after I fired some shots. But in the end, I couldn’t even figure out how to get out of the car! I was stuck inside until the end of the round.

As great as the developers tell you about this game, it was poorly done in the end. Poor gameplay and controls and too much key strokes to memorize are well to overwhelming to the average user.

The developers of this game have some great ideas, but that need to learn how to minimize all the features into a couple of keystrokes. As well as smoothing out the gameplay.

I wouldn’t recommend or play this game for a very long time. The only thing I can say about this game is that I see a lot of potential in it. But it’s obviously going to take some time for all of this too smooth out.

Reference Links
Official Website
Steam Download
Official Website for Counter Strike: Global Offensive 
Steam Download for Counter Strike: Global Offensive