Browse Author: Welshtroll

Shipping Forecast

In early December I decided to run the pending updates on my HTC M9, I usually let them build up for several days before installing them. However the following day the phone was acting a little odd so I decided to restart it. That’s when some of the core android files appeared to stop working altogether. So after following the clear cache reinstall applications, complete wipe and then a factory reset I gave up.

The ultimate result was that my phone was screwed. I contacted HTC using their online chat system (spoke to someone named Christine) and after walking through the same steps I had already taken (but you know in an official capacity this time). They ultimately came to the same conclusion as I had, it appeared that one of the updates had gone wrong and had updated into the recovery store.

So they raised a report to start the process for me to return it, only after waiting the allotted 2 days without any confirmation emails, I contacted them again to find out what the issues was, again Christine was on the chat client, (small world) after attempting to send the email, I eventually get it sent to another email address due to reasons. YAY

Only the email states, you will get two additional emails after this one, so I wait another day, then have to contact them again, this time I get another operator, I explain the issue again and we attempt to get the emails resent. Result! the first additional email arrives to my original email address, the next will be along shortly I’m promised.
No such luck, this goes on for another 2 sessions ( only one of which was with Christine) and eventually they have to send the packing label in the chat client as their system refuses to email it to me.

Wiley Fox

With Christmas fast approaching and me likely to be without a phone I decided that I would pick up a phone as a temporary measure. Now I didn’t need something that was going to run high end games, it pretty much needed to do the basics:

  • Phonecall & texts
  • Email & twitter
  • Music Playback
  • Bluetooth
  • Alarms

I have wanted to try the UK brand Wiley Fox out for some time so I bought the Spark+ which was actually on offer at the time, it’s the mid-range offering that seemed to offer a good product and a decent price, especially for a “temp” phone ( possible longer if HTC find issues).

The phone does everything that I need, can handle videos or streaming without too much effort, the screen is a 5 with an average resolution but doesn’t feel too cramped. The phones build quality is good and not overly plastic the camera is ok buy don’t expect any of the bells and whistles you get with high-end devices.

My HTC is apparently heading back to me soon so we’ll see if it’s fixed. Fingers crossed.

Habit This

For the last half of 2016 I attempting to motivate myself in an effort to become healthier and be more proactive in some areas of day to day life.
I started to search for applications to aid in this quest and found that there are a number of applications that have health as a primary goal, but in many cases it’s wrapped in a game or a mechanics that aims to teach you the best ways to reduce salt or training for running.
Not only were these too focused but there was alot of things that I didn’t want or need, this task of finding an app wasn’t as simple as I’d hoped.

What I needed was simple, an app that allowed me to track habits, not only those linked to improving my health, but some that we’re more as a reminder to complete them regularly. At this time I didn’t want to have workout routines, meditation plans or linking to friends to encourage me, I wanted to control the tasks and choose how I wanted to approached them.

I’ll most likely post on the exercise topic at another time, but since breaking my ankle and having multiple veins collapse in my leg due to DVT’s, extended periods of time spend on my feet can leave me feeling exhausted and unable to move easily. Low impact activities are my main approach to exercise at the moment until I can stand more strenuous leg exercises. So all these couch to 5k type things look great but I’m not in any position to be able to engage with them right now.

After trying out a number of different applications including SuperBetter, Fabulous – Motivate Me! and Habit RPG, I finally settled on HabitBull, I entered in the habits I wanted to address and tried it out for a few days before purchasing the app.
The setup is simple and once I had habits being tracked it was pretty easy to keep updated using widgets on my phone homepage. Over the next few months I tweaked the habits, dropped some that weren’t really needed and added some new ones.

The image here is an example, one of my key habits was to drink more water everyday, I obtained a large drinking bottle so I had a standardised amount that I wanted to ensure I consumed each day to receive a green circle and not the dreaded red ones. Yes I welshtroll am a complete sucker for gamification of any kind, but maybe not as far as engaging fully with as HabitRPG, who’s approach seem to be more about microtransactions or making logging of activities a little more complicated that tapping an icon, I just want to get on with things and not spend too much time.

There are most likely other apps out there that achieve the same thing (please comment if you know of any), but for me HabitBull was the perfect app at the right time for my requirements.

I could have continued my habits into 2017 as they had been, but I want to challenge myself a little more and hopefully prove to myself that I muster the willpower to achieve more concrete goals. I am attempting to be more active on a daily basis after agreeing to a challenge laid down by one of my fellow streamers, I’m hoping that I can link this into my habits.

I want to continue with my drinking water, I have a fruit bowl on my desk at work to try and encourage me to only snack on healthier options.

Do you have new year’s resolutions/approaches ?

 

Eastbound and down

Euro Truck Simulator 2 was released in January 2013 and for a 4 year old game it’s really still got some stamina, the game has recently received another large DLC that expand the size of the world map in the form of major French cities and some work around the linking roads.

I’ve always been impressed by how much the company SCS are still supporting this title and it goes to show that the longevity of a game isn’t solely dictated by size of the studio or company, but the fan base and a product that is enjoyable. Not something you are likely to see from the likes of Call of Duty, where each year brings something new, quicker or fancier to collect the FPS’ers annual tithe.

I think this dedication is also reflected in the recent Steam Awards where the title walked away with two awards, one for “I Thought This Game Was Cool Before It Won An Award” and the community award “Sit Back and Relax”.

I’ve recently had chance to take part in the Grand Gift Delivery 2016 – Holiday delivery event, which was to Drive 10 christmas themed loads to different cities in Europe, it was a great laugh and I ended up unlocking some new areas and routes I’d not taken before. This all helps to feed into my map completion activities, which drops with each new map DLC released.

Some play the game with a keyboard and mouse as I did when starting out, but now I use my wired XBox 360 controller for much of the driving related tasks, swapping back to the mouse+keyboard when using the interfaces or to use a function I haven’t mapped. I don’t have much desk space so as much as the idea of a steering wheel is nice it really isn’t practical, below is the mapping I use, in case you fancy giving it a whirl.

Controller layout

Feel free to check out my WOTr Profile here.


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