Stay in the Circle is finally completed.

After many93209 hours of development time, Stay in the Circle has been completed. First off, the links.

iOS Apple Store Link

Google Play Store Link

Second off, holy cow. That was like, the longest development time I’ve ever gone through. Numerous set backs, my computer accidentally being wiped, different publishers, etc. The important thing (I guess) is that it’s completed. On to the next one!

I don’t have anything smart to say, so if you do want to read something smart, this really funny webpage about hitting a baseball at virtually the speed of light is pretty cool if you have the slightest interest in math or funny scenarios.


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Bad registrars, and how to avoid them.

I had the displeasure of working with Network Solutions for a client recently. They wanted their domain and hosting transferred to a different registrar/host. To make a very long story very short, it took about two to three weeks to finally move him over to a new host. Network Solutions made sure to complicate every step of the process, and I’ve never dealt with anyone who made the process of moving domains such a hassle.

Until I worked with GoDaddy.

If possible, GoDaddy makes the process even more of a pain. They have a bunch of secret holds on the domain, and a bunch of arbitrary domain locks they themselves put on it, plus the normal ICANN regulations. Their support was wholly unhelpful, and their support straight up told me incorrect information that affected the transfer process for another two days.

I’m not being paid by anyone here, but Namecheap is one of the more genuine registrars I’ve worked with. Their support is (usually) helpful, and I’ve never had problems with their hosting. The transfers in and out are quick and easy, and (true to their name), they have very cheap prices. In fact, you’re reading this post on a Namecheap-hosted website right now!

So maybe the post title was a lie. There isn’t really a way to know how to avoid them. You just have to have experience with them. I haven’t ever had a problem with Namecheap, but perhaps you use another host that works for you.

Luckily, I went through the experience for you, so you don’t have to. Avoid Network Solutions and GoDaddy if you’re looking for a registrar. Oh, and don’t use MediaTemple, either. GoDaddy owns them. I know this post wasn’t very informative on what they actually did, but I don’t want to relive the horror, for one, and I simply want to hopefully give others a heads up and a warning.

Your future self will thank me.


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What to listen to when you work?

When I first started working on projects, I used to sit in silence. That’s boring, though. So then the question arose: What do I listen to when I work? Good question. Most of my songs are meant for singing along to, and yours probably are too. I don’t have a Spotify premium account, so I’m probably in the minority there, but I wanted a free option.

I created a “Coding Music” playlist on YouTube and started adding relaxing songs that I liked to it. Songs without words. Eventually, it grew to include some songs with words, but that could be played in the background. I just changed the name to “Work Music” because it’s become something I can put in the background for just about anything. The playlist is unlisted on YouTube, but you can access it with the link here, if you want.

I recommend looking through it, and seeing it might be something you’d like to play in the background while you do whatever it is that you’re doing. Different songs are in there for different moods. I recommend putting the playlist on shuffle.

Hopefully it’ll help you out just as much as it helps me.


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Do NOT buy Insignia products.

Okay, let me preface this by saying that I didn’t really have a choice in purchasing this thing. I only wanted to spend bare minimum, and I needed something that could get me through classes.

When I walked into Best Buy, I had one goal. Get the cheapest thing possible that could run Microsoft Office, and get on the internet. That’s it. That’s all it had to accomplish.

When I saw the Insignia brand tablet sitting there, as a 2in1 touch screen that cost only $179.99, it seemed like an excellent deal. It had a dock, was touchscreen, and included Microsoft Office.

“Excellent,” I thought at the time. Exactly what I was looking for. Purchasing it and thinking I had made a good decision, I took it home to set up. After installing Windows Updates and Office, I had 10GB of storage left on the drive. First bad sign.

Let me skip right to the chase, because I think everyone can see where this is going. The tablet was, for a lack of a better word, abysmal. Using it for 2 years in school was equivalent to being waterboarded every time I opened it. Let’s quickly note the most terrible things about this device.

  1. It was slow. Holy crap was this thing slow. I expected it, but I was still surprised by it, somehow. It took over 30 seconds just to open Firefox on a FRESH INSTALL OF WINDOWS.
  2. Forget about battery life. It might’ve lasted an hour or two on full brightness.
  3. Storage space? What’s that? It shipped with 32GB of storage. That’s it.
  4. It was heavy. Much heavier than a normal laptop or 2in1.
  5. The touch screen was inaccurate as all hell. To add on to this, they put a 1080p screen on an 11.6″ screen, probably necessary for the touch to be somewhat accurate (even though that failed). So, not only does that make it slower by rendering extra pixels, I actually had to turn down the resolution to about 1280 x 700 or so just to have it perform at a level that was barely acceptable. Then, I disabled all animations in Windows and all anti-aliasing. The result? It looked like crap, ran like crap, and was crap.

Seriously, using this thing was literal hell. The fact that it would crash if you had more than two tabs open, couldn’t install newer Windows Updates or anything at all for that matter because of the lack of storage, the trackpad was a laughable size and the keyboard was… you guessed it, terrible as well. I honestly don’t think there is ONE good thing to say about it. Everything about it sucked. I mean that with complete honesty. You couldn’t even watch a YouTube video in 720p without it lagging.

You have to wonder why Insignia shipped a product that could barely run the OS, but then you’d realize that it’s simply monetary reasons. Whatever. Lesson learned.

Here’s the Amazon listing for it if you’re really interested. I’m guessing most of the five star reviews are bots.

What did he need it for, a paper weight?

Imagine my surprise when I discovered that Best Buy makes Insignia products. Now, I don’t know how good Insignia’s TVs are, or their other products, but I would highly recommend staying away from them if they had the audacity to make this piece of crap and sell it.

Please do not support that.


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VR: The Future?

I recently acquired a VIVE and after a day of oohing and ahing about how cool it was, began to make games on it. The first of such games is located on my main site, along with a demo video in case you don’t have a VR headset. You should definitely check it out.

I discovered a couple of things on that day. First off, I’m totally sold on VR being the future. I don’t get motion sick, so I’m fine to whip my head around in Virtual Reality all I want. The experience is really cool. All I’ll say about it is when I first picked up a jetpack, I got butterflies in my stomach, because I felt like I was actually flying upwards. Obviously there’s a lot of room for improvement with the technology, but I can’t wait to see its advancements.

Something very interesting about VR is the need for a diegetic UI. A diegetic UI stands for a user interface that exists in the universe (in this case, a game) that we are experiencing. So, a non-diegetic UI would be your health floating at the bottom left of your screen on a normal computer game.

Now here’s the problem(?) with VR: your eyes can’t focus on something that close. Putting something on screen close to the face of the viewer works really well for normal games where you can focus on the screen at a specific part, but the way the VR goggles work is by projecting two separate images on each lens, and your brain combines it to achieve depth perception. Putting something close to the screen makes your eyes attempt to focus on it, which makes the viewer go cross-eyed and the whole immersion is broken. The solution? Use diegetic UI elements. What this means is attaching the UI to objects IN the game world. This looks really cool, and accomplishes the goal of not breaking immersion and looking terrible.

Notice the time, score, and health are all elements of the ship. It’s much easier to view in VR than here.

Likewise, the time left is stuck to the gun, making it easy to see at a glance.

And another ship one.

 

I wholeheartedly recommend that you pick up a VIVE if you have the money to spare and are looking for the next thing to boost your interest in games. Is VR the future? I don’t know for sure, but it sure as hell feels like it.


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