2016 UPDATES[Site updates are described here, but practically all "blog-like" activity is made through Twitter.]
January 22, 2016
Added some icons for going to my Instagram, Twitter and G+ pages, respectively. Modded some old pages to be more up to date.
January 18, 2016
Ye I know, right.. An update?? Well, ye. Removed some dead or obsolete links from quicklinks and added a bunch of new ones. Also added link to my Google+ feed. And thinking how / where to add the link to my upcoming retro-site.
January 5, 2016
Let's gather once more around the New Year's blog, shall wee (I?).
Anyhoo.. If you happen to be the strange breed that reads this rare monologue, you probably know I pretty much stick to a template. Basically re-editing the layout from the previous year ;-). Before we start, I should mention I actually removed the "links portal" stuff to the archives because I suddenly realized it's not 1999 anymore. Ok, about the re-using template part.. This year is no exception. So, how was 2015 from a 'techie's' perspective?
Let's begin with my 'shrine' (that is.. my main computer ;-) No, my dear old desktop computer did not get any upgrades actually. My attention was, for the second year running, on old hardware. My old Amiga 1200 got some real love and was re-equpped with a 060 CPU and 64MB RAM. If you don't know old computers, this is not saying much, but if you know old computers, you understand.. I also started to upgrade an old A500 and an A600. A bit more about this later.
I was actually thinking about what upgrades to my main computer, but then I arrived at the conclusion that what I want as a worthy upgrade, doesn't exist yet. If you don't speak 'geek', skip this paragraph ;-) So... More specifically, I'm talking about a decent 4k monitor that is the right size (27-28 inch), panel doesn't suck, it has at least 10-bit color depth, decent refresh-rates and at the same time doesn't cost a crap-load of cash. We are getting close now, granted, but I couldn't really find one that fit all of the above. Also, an upgrade to 4k would make me wanna upgrade the graphics card (currently an old-ish nVidia GeForce 670) but I wasn't too happy with the pricing of nVidia 980 which is about the only nVidia gamer card good enough for 4k. The 970 would have felt like a dead end, and it's not really good enough for 4k. Then AMD released the new Fury card and while promising, it was obvious that the technology really needed a die shrink (meaning, being manufactured at a much smaller process) because as it is, the architecture is about half-way to being really good. Which brings us to the easy conclusion: wait to at least 2016. Both nVidia and AMD are promising die shrinks to 14nm (nano meters) which means, more efficiency, less heat, faster cards, you can fit many more transistors in the same physical area, meaning. In short, the die shrink to 14nm will allow both companies to finish what AMD started with Fury, a proper card with High Bandwidth Memory (HBM).
Now.. At the end of this section in last year's blog, I actually mentioned something about the possibility of launching a new site about retro-computing. Well, as a matter of fact, I actually did... Kind of.. You see, it's out there, it's just not done yet. So I haven't 'advertised' it. It's sitting out there in Cyberspace in silence. I'm reluctant to link to it just yet but instead of plastering 'under construction' signs all over it, I simply chose to open up a small portion of what's coming. Buuuut.. Oh what the hell, here: eXretro.com - did I mention it isn't finished yet ;-)
Ah ye, about the smart phone situation. I thought I'd be upgrading last year, but that actually didn't happen. I was looking at the Samsung Galaxy S6 and while nice, my old S4 was (and still is) too good to throw away just yet. Sure, now comes a new year with a new wave of phones 'we simply must have'... My phone will be 3 year old in May, that is actually older than my kids, so ye I'll be looking for a replacement because to wait *another* year would just be pushing it a bit ;-)
Gaming consoles. What's going on there. Well, 2015 was a decent year with several good game launches actually making me tempted to get a PS4.... but no.. To no one surprise, rumors started to circle the web about Nintendo's next step. (No surprise = considering the relatively poor sales of the Wii U compared to the big 2.) It's cool to speculate, but honestly, if it's something I learned over the decades it's that Nintendo usually releases under-whelming hardware. I think the N64 way back in 1996 was the last time they actually released something that impressed anyone. In any case, the Nintendo NX as it is currently known will probably be announced this year.
The big thing in gaming this year might actually be on PC and Oculus Rift (or any of the competing headsets like the Vive etc.. there are a few actually, including the Playstation and Steam Machines.). The reason for why the PC is the primary platform is that the consoles, pretty as the games might seem , don't quite have the power to generate great content for VR at high resolutions and high refresh-rates. Being able to render at 1080 @50 fps might look good on TV but is not good enough for VR. First of all, you render a stereoscopic image, which means you're rendering 2x as much. Then add doubled resolution to get something that doesn't look super pixelated in the VR headset and you realize you need to be rendering something like 2k x 2k x2 times x90Hz. That, my friend, is a lot of pixels (~750 million) per second for poor GPUs to render. So maybe the VR resurrection means a bit of a revival of the High End PC too.
As usual, a few quick words about my photography because it's still something I do, time permitting. Gear-wise, it was frankly a stand-still year and for reasons not easily explained, I've been totally crap at updating my official photo-site. But as usual, the Instagram gallery here is still getting some attention.
That will do for the tech-stuff in 2015. Now a couple of words about my personal life. I became a dad in 2013 and in 2014 I got the chance to see my kid grow and develop new skills. It's quite rewarding and fascinating... and unlike anything else. So guess what, in 2015 I became a dad for the second time. So now there's two of them, meaning I have half the time to get anything done ;-) . We did manage to squeeze in a little vacation before the 2nd kid arrived though. First, we visited Creete (Greece) in the middle of their financial crisis and then a bit later, we spent a week on Visingsö, a small Swedish island located in the second largest lake, Vättern.
Apparently my last bit was about Liverpool ,last year, sure why not. 2015 was a roller coaster. Some good stuff, and unfortunately some bad stuff. The popular German Jurgen Klopp replaced Brendan Rodgers as manager and so far, it's been a mixed bag. Right now, the January transfer window is open, and there is going to be some business made, I'm sure of it. Still hoping for that Top 4 spot, but it's a tough season. Toughest in a long time IMO. Time will tell.
Ok then... In conclusion folks, as always, I wish you the best possible 2016! Remember, the year is just a number, what you'll be looking back at in 2017 is up to you. Over and out...
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