Tag Archive: entertainment


We’re moving!

Hi my fellow blogger and followers. After over 5 years of being on WordPress, I’ve decided to move this blog to a proper domain, http://www.dr3amcast3r.com and to a hosted server space. There’s already a Facebook fan page, but it’s quite empty so far. Soon there will be a youtube channel and a twitter channel.

The blog itself will also have to change in target. While the main theme is still my reviews on stuff, I’ll broaden the subjects of the reviews. It will future lot’s of a games reviews, mostly from my Steam and GOG backlog, some PlayStation games, since I own a PSP, a ps2, a ps vita and a ps3, specific hardware and services.

I will also begin a series of “how-to” articles to share my experience, some guides for games.

There is a companion website that I also invite you to visit that is for my own creations. http://www.dreamcasterstudio.com is my baby project. It’s main purpose is to share what I envision with the world as well as some creations. I’m currently taking some courses at udemy.com (not yet an affiliate, not yet) and as my theoretical knowledge grows, Dreamcaster Studio will be the place where I’ll share the practical application of that knowledge. That project already has a Facebook fan page that has some stuff on it, check it out, please.

That’s all for now. I’ll continue to update this site, but mainly to point to the full posts on the main site.

Cheers and thanks for putting up with me for all this time

Francisco Ribeiro

Going back to the origins of this blog, today I’m doing a review off one of the biggest money savers in the Google Play.

Ever since the launch of the paid applications in the Google Play there have been apps going on sale. This is always great, specially if that application that you’ve meaning to buy goes on sale. But this type of promotions is completly pointless with the current state of the Google Play. You can’t organize the results of a search by price or check which prices have dropped in the last 24hours. And if you, by random chance, happen to find an app that went on sale, there’s no way to know the amount of the discount. This is a problem, specially for developers that wish to get reach a bigger audience by doing this type of promotion.

This is where AppSales comes in. The application allows you to check which apps went on sale on the past few weeks (that’s right, weeks). In the main screen they show all the apps that went on sale over the last 2 weeks (default as far as I can tell), as well as for which apps the promotion has expire. When you select an app, the program shows a screen where there’s a lot of interesting and useful information about the app in question.
You’ll have some screenshots of the application, it’s price in dollars, the option to add it to your watch list, share it over the web (by mail, social apps, etc). It will also gives you a brief description of the application and  a graphic that shows the price evolution of the app on the last 3 months. There are other functions, but these are, in my opinion, the more useful and important.

About the general settings of the application, one comes out as extremely useful. You can login with your g+ profile (and you’ll have one since you’re using a google device). This option allows you to sync the watch list through multiple devices, like in my case, between my nexus s and my tf101.

Another very useful option is the ability to, indirectly, add apps from the Google Play to AppSales Watch list. This is done by simply going to Google Play, select the application you want to watch and click the share button. You’ll will see a selection of sharing apps, including AppSales. Select it and you’ll see a screen with a bunch of information about the app, including the eye to add it to your Watchlist.

I highly recommend the app to everyone that owns an Android Device and wish to save some money on paid apps. For me, it saved more that 50€.

Enjoy

google payappsales qrcode

 

Dump to ps3

Ever since the launch of ps vita, people complained about the lack of backward compatibility with the psp games. First of all, Sony abandoned UMD (thank the Lord for that), so no loading of UMD games on the vita; secondly, they announced that the program to get the umd at a lower price on psn was only available on Japan (hummm?!?); and finally they marked on psp games on the psn as ps vita games also, charging a full price for a 4 (or more) years old game.

This attitude left many dedicated fans thinking “What am I going to do with my UMD collection? Do I need to carry two consoles with me or just spend (another) bunch of money re-buying my games? (if they are available on psn, otherwise, tough luck).

The problem seems to be without solution, but only Sony wish it to be without solution. A few years ago, right after the first CFW/devhook for the psp someone release an UMD dump homebrew. The piece of Software basically  made a file from the UMD that a CFW could read through an ISO loader. This allow legit buyers that had a cracked psp to carry with them a bunch of games without carrying a bunch of UMD’s. The games would all go to the psp memory stick. This had several advantages.

  1. you would carry several games on the same card;
  2. meaning that, when you where tired of a game you could switch to another
  3. and the games loaded much (really much) faster.

With this in mind, I came up with the idea of a official psp software that would allow us to dump our legit bought UMD’s to a ps3 hard drive and them just copy them to the ps vita.

In order to give some restrain to piracy, the dumped games could only be played on a ps vita registered to the same account on the ps3 where the files had been created. This still doesn’t stop you from borrowing your friends UMD to dump to your ps3, but it would limited it by far.

And if you don’t have a ps3, Sony could create a desktop app with the same functions and restrictions, an addon to CMA so to speak.

This idea might go a long way to boost ps vita sales, because people would at the console and say “Ok, if I buy this device, I can dump all my umd to my ps3/pc and them just play them on the ps vita. Nice”

Cheers!

Weave Silk

I was going to check stumble upon profile because some friends asked me a full list of my web presence and I came across this siteweave silk

I’ve still don’t understand what’s the purpose of this site/application, but you can make some very beautiful drawings.

Simply check the two bellow made out of fun.

flower

Lotus flower

So I recommend that you check out this tool, and if you have an Ipad check the ios app (i’ll try it in a few seconds on my wifes Ipad)

cheers!

Is the ps vita the new n-Gage

With more than a year of life ps vita is far from being the success Sony expected. Vita sales are all times low and apparently, never, since launch, it’s weekly sales have surpass it direct competitor, the 3ds. One must ask himself what is the problem? I personally own a vita. When I bought it I was torn between getting the ps vita or the 3ds. End up with vita for a single reason: hardware specifications. All other arguments where in favour of 3ds.

More games, backward compatibility with other ds games, lower price, easier to hack and run homebrews (ds flash cards have been around since the console was released, and as I write this post it’s already possible to run 3ds games on 3ds via flash card). But where the 3ds lack, ps vita excels – the hardware it’s built in.

This relation led me to remember a device that was the “Next big Thing” in portable gaming. The n-Gage. It was a great device, that never succeed. So we come to my main question. Is the PS vita the n-gage of the 2012? N-gage had “almost” everything it needed to succeed. Good hardware, join games with music with cellphone, read memory card (sd at the time), easy to install games that weren’t “arranged” legally and had an OS with personal digital agenda (PDA) functions. I remember buying  a s60 nokia phone in that period and I still use it. So why did n-gage failed? Because of the same reason that ps vita is failing: the sense that simply there aren’t any good games for the system.

Sure we had the release of Soul Sacrifice, Ragnarok, FIFA13, just to mention some. But the fact is, that if you start trying to pin-point the best vita games, you do not have much to choose from. For instance, where is Monster Hunter? Or Final Fantasy? Phantasy Star Portable?

Right now the system is on a life support system called “Playstation plus” that give 2 “free” games for the system every month and two extra for one year. However, it doesn’t have a life of it’s own, and the guilty part here is Sony.

They were so focus on preventing piracy that they ended up punishing the fans. And let’s face it, psp only started to sell like water in the desert when is was cracked. The good games for psp only came out after the console was cracked (like with all previous gaming systems from Sony). Now ps vita already has some good games (expensive as hell, but that’s another subject), it’s include in the ps+ program, has great hardware (lot’s of it not used) and the new ps4 will put the vita even more on the front line of gaming. But is that enough?

I personally don’t thing so. Where I live (Portugal) the ps vita as Zero Marketing and from I (don’t) see on youtube, neither the rest of the World. So I leave you with a list of what might save ps vita (with an emphasis on the “might”):

  • More marketing (and a good one).
  • Good games, at decent prices, need to come out.
  • The memory card price tag problem must be solved ASAP, either by putting a 8gb card on every box or by lowering the cards prices (the second being the best).
  • Some sort of backward compatibility for psp games and an app store similar to Apple and Google app store where apps can be published either for a low price or free (it’s a pity that all that marvellous hardware is only used on games).

With this I think that ps vita might actually beat the DS line to the ground, stop living on life support and be a true independent system, that can also work with living room system. Instead of the terrible feeling that I got from the ps4 show, The vita will be a companion for the ps4 that can also play games on the go.

Give me your comments and toughs on it.

in Kindle we read

I’ve got an Amazon Kindle 3G for my Birthday (that’s in the end of January) and after almost a year using it I finally decided to make a full extended review of the gadget.

First of all, what’s a Kindle?
Well, according to the dictionary inside Kindle itself (talking about that in a few minutes) a kindle is “something on fire. [to] arouse or inspire (an emotion or a feeling). The origin of the word comes from Old Norse – kindill ‘candle, torch’. Amazingly the normal meaning of the word has some reflection on the device itself. The “Amazon Kindle” is an e-book reader with an e-ink screen (non-touch) and a hard-key keyboard and directional pad, along with specific keys and context keys.

The logic behind Kindle
As far as I’m concern, Kindle the ultimate gadget of the first decade of the 21th Century. Even with several negative aspect (most of them software related so easily address by Amazon if they want to) the Kindle completely changed the way I read (and I’m sure the sentiment is spread around other Kindle users). The idea o Amazon Kindle is to provide eager readers (like me) with a stable and reliable platform for reading books. Most of the books will, of course, come from Kindle Store on an “AZW” format.
However, Amazon was not to ambitious and allows us to use other formats in our Kindle. The most popular is mobi and is the one I use for most of my non-Amazon Books.
Kindle as another great support to help to make it so popular. The service in itself is cross-platform. You have a Kindle Application for Windows, IPad/Iphone and Android. If you have them all (plus the Kindle Device) connected to the same Amazon account, ever time you open an amazon-book on one of the platforms it will sync that book in all other platforms that your account is linked to, sync your notes and highlights as well. Imagine this, you’re on a train voyage (from or to work) reading a book on your Kindle/Ipad and you found that specific part of the text you want to use for a presentation, so you highlight it. As soon as  you connect the device to the internet (on kindle 3G that’s 24/7) that highlight will go to amazon server. After the trip you arrive home, start your windows pc with internet connection and open the Kindle Application. Open the book you where reading on the train, and the highlight you’ve made is immediately available for you to copy to you favourite word processor.
This my friends is magic, or better yet, is technology at the service of production and progress 😀

Is the Kindle perfect?
Of course not! It’s made by humans, therefore it’s imperfect (sorry Amazon :p)

Positive aspects of Amazon Kindle 3G:

  • Light weight;
  • Long battery (that thing last forever);
  • e-ink screen, I use glasses and I don’t get my eyes tired from reading on it;
  • 4GB of internal memory (trust me, you don’t need more);
  • Tons of free and low price books available on the internet (specially from Project Gutenberg).

The negative aspects of Amazon Kindle 3G

There are several negative aspects of Kindle, most of them, as I said before, are software related. For starters I’ll talk about those that are related with hardware and build. The other one are, in my humble opinion, things to improve.

  • No ou-of-the-box external light source, e-ink has no self lighting system;
  • Could use a little more cpu power;
  • a touch/colour interface as option wouldn’t be bad;
  • dedicated keys to the music player;
  • numeric keys.

Things to improve. This are all software related so they can be implemented with some work (since I’m only starting now to learn programming I have no idea how hard it would be to develop them)

  • A decent music player. According with Amazon site Kindle can play music, so a decent music player would be nice;
  • A better desktop companion for Kindle Device (se more about it below);
  • The option to use accentuated characters (like the Portuguese ã or á). This characters aren’t available even with the symbol button;
  • Better viewer for pdf;
  • The ability to choose your own stand-by screens without hacking the device;
  • It would be great to sync highlights and notes on non-amazon books with the desktop application (or future kindle companion);
  • Price of new releases of books, most of the time the difference is minus $1 from paperback to kindle edition. That way to low difference to make us choose the kindle edition.

About a Desktop companion:
Right now our only option to manage our private e-book collection and sending it to kindle is Calibre (expect a full review in the following weeks). It would be a great markting move from Amazon to provide buyers with a desktop companions where you could edit, type, add pictures, bookmarks, chapters selectors, and so on, via a Desktop companion that would be an e-book (in azw or mobi – my favourite) editor/creator that even a 6 years old could use.

Conclusion:

As I said before, Kindle Device (from concept to gadget) is the innovation of the first decade of the 21th Century. I’ve already recommend it to several friends and business connections. I recommend it to anyone that likes to read.
5 stars buy 😀

After a few month of inactivity, I’m back with some comments on Portable stuff (in terms of technology, of course).

In the last few weeks portals like Android and Me and Engadget (If anyone knows others please share them with us) have been releasing a lot of news about tablets, android based for the most part. While I really think this is quite good, it’s also quite frustrating and limited.

For two years I’ve been a user of portable applications and games. Back in the beginning of 2008  I received my first U3 pen with 16 GB and another one, a DATAFERRY with 16GB. After a few months using, and loving, U3 I got tired off all the good applications where payed, and not that cheap most of them, so I changed to Portableapps.com, a free and opensource platform to take your applications with you. For instance, this post is being written on the portableapps version of Firefox.

Thanks to the possibility of taking all of my favorite applications with me, and having an Asus EEE 901 (20GB SDD) to tag along, I end up realizing that there’s a huge flaw in today’s software. Most software isn’t developed with Portable guys (like me) in mind. When you have a netbook with only 20GB available you start to rely on your pen drive for most stuff. And if you discover that you can carry applications in your pen drive instead of installing them on you pc, them you will understand my reasoning. Also, my EEE 901 has Ubuntu linux on it, being the core of the OS in the 4GB SDD and the HOME partition on the 14 GB SDD. If I went around and installed all the stuff I need I would run out of space in no time (and trust me, my installation of Ubuntu was 6 months ago and I only have 600MB out of 4GB free).

And if I’m going to a place where I know that I’ll have a pc available, I don’t want to carry my netbook with me (the screen is to small for a long term usage). So what’s my “solution”? Portable windows applications. If you go to any kind of torrent site you’ll loads of software, from the MS Office tools, to burning software, media players, games and other software. However, none (or very few) are legal copies of the software you want/need to use.

The way I see it, we are going to have a real battle between OS in the (very) near future. Mostly because they will all want to be the masters of Tablets, in the same way that Windows is the master of personal computers (I know there are a lot of Mac and Linux users around, but let’s face it, most of the computers have windows installed).

And if the event is inevitable, as I think it is, them, in my opinion, developers should start focusing on making their applications portable and able to run from a pen drive.

Just imagine the following situation:
We are a supervisor at a construction site, going around with your Windows tablet pc, taking notes and checking stuff, saving the documents and notes directly to your loyal high-capacity pen drive. You finish your walk-around and it’s time to show the results to your superior. Unless your superior has the programs you use to take the notes, you’ll have to show them on the tablet screen, that might not be the most comfortable screen to see it. But what if the programs you use are portable editions, that can easily run from a pen drive? You just un-plug the pen drive from your tablet, plug it on his computer and voila! You are now showing the result of your work on a comfortable 14″+ screen.

I hope I’ve made my point clear. In the near future we need legal and ready to use portable applications. As for me, I’ll continue to use the not so legal version (I actually own all the “portable” applications I use) but portable applications because I have to think about my health (specially my eyes).

Be well!

Francisco Ribeiro

How to Make a Portable Game System.

So I was surfing the web for portable games, i.e. games that I can run from a pendrive on any windows/wine computer and found this site. I haven’t try it out, but I just loved the idea of it, so I decided to share this you.

The concept is quite simple (of understanding at least). You take a normal game system, like genesis or Dreamcast and using a series of mods and tweaks, turn it in to a portable game system, similar to a psp or a Nds.

Now, I’ve always wanted to have a N64, to play Mario 64, Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time and so on, so I think is this time I’m going to give it a try.

On another topic, this blog is receiving a lot of visitors (as soon as I know how to post the chart I’ll do it). However the social vibe widget I’ve put on the side bar doesn’t register any movement at all. So I need to ask, are you unsensitive to the problem of hunger or you haven’t notice the widget. The reason why I’m mentioning this is that we all live in the same planet and we all need a Global Conscience.

Francisco Ribeiro

Dell Home & Home Office | Ubuntu | Dell.

I was surfing the Portuguese news when I saw a reference to this site. Being a Linux user (on my Asus EEE 901) I immediately did a google search for Dell’s site in order to confirm this.

After reading the site above I simply couldn’t believe what I was reading. So there’s a major producer of personal computers going full on linux… The looks like Paradise for open-source defenders.

And the best part is that one of the reasons they advance for the support is one of the most important for companies nowadays. Safety!  Every business, big or small, multinational or local, depends on this simply concept. the safer the system you’re on, more confident your customers will have on your services.

As for my part, the only reason why I don’t migrate to Linux fully is a very shameful one, I just love Computer Games, either World of Warcraft, The Elder Scrolls, Neverwinter Nights or others. And despite the fact of having wine, it’s not the same thing. For instances, I can run WoW on my Asus EEE 901 via wine at 4-9fps, which is very very low, however, in a short period I used windows xp on the same computer I could run WoW at 14-20fps, which is playable. Now I know the graphic card on netbooks are poor at best, but the same game, on the same system with a diferent Os, emulation vs. native made a huge difference.

I just hope other companies follow Dell’s example, and somewhere in the near future Linux is more supported by Games producers, Software producers and Hardware producers, allowing us to have true freedom of choice 🙂

Cheers Dell!

Youtube ripper for Android

My second review of an Android application, this time thanks to great community of XDA

User Rolle3k has develop a ripper for youtube that I had the honor of try today.

The concept is quite simple. After instalation do the following

  1. You browse youtube with the built-in application and choose the video you want to view and download after;
  2. press menu and chose the “share” option;
  3. from the multiple options presented, choose youtube ripper;
  4. there will be a text box saying the web adress of the video you’re about to rip, ignore it;
  5. press “rip it” wait a little bit (depends on wi-fi/3G speed) and it’s done.

Please note: do not turn your screen or the download we’ll stop. Hope the dev solves this, since it’s only a beta release.

The program saves the files as .mp4 on a folder called “youtube” on your sd card. It’s quite fast, took 12seconds to rip a 2Mb file on my wi-fi and 32seconds on my 3G network.

Tested on a MyTouch 3G 32B, stock Donut 1.6

Originality: 6/10 – there are more apk that attempt to do this
functionality: 8/10 if we could choose the target folder and file name it would be 10/10
usefullness: 10/10 sometimes I see this great video on my android and want to save it, this does the job 🙂
General: 7/10 it’s still a Beta so a lot of work is on the way, but it’s my conviction that Rolle3k will succeed

Bottom line:
It’s a great application and we can only hope to see more of it in the future. I suggest everyone to install it and give it a try. And the price is also good – it’s free, but don’t forget, people have to eat so press the adds and donate if you feel the application is really good.

News page about the application on xda

Application thread on xda

p.s. sorry for not posting any screenshot but since I’m running on a stock rom I can’t take any (hope google solves it in the near future)

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