Author Archives: myi4u

Choosing the Next Mobile Phone

I am currently using Google Nexus 6P, replacing my iPhone 5 which I have been using happily for the last few years. Why that switch? It’s not deliberate. Mee is using iPhone 5s, her second iPhone actually. Whenever we bought an iPhone, we always opted for the 16GB which is the cheapest. We never have the need for more space until now. Since we have Mason, it’s always about him I suppose. We take lots of videos and photos of him. When we look back at them, it brings back lots of memories. Even though Mason is only 15 months now, it seems like a long time now.

Hence, 16GB is nowhere near enough. iPhone was the first choice when I started out searching for the next phone for Mee. However, it was still quite early in the year and a few more months, iPhone 7 will be announced. I have to say, I don’t like the design of iPhone 6. But then I saw an advertisement about Google Nexus 6P. Well, at one point, I was attracted to Nexus phones because they are the vanilla Android. But going from HTC Desire to iPhone 5, I didn’t have much confidence in Android at that time. Anyway, I went into Google Play Store and there was a discount of £70 and it brought the price down to less than £400 for a 32GB Nexus 6P. I started the discussion with Mee, persuading her that Android has progressed and I wouldn’t recommend her to just about any phone. If she didn’t like it after a week, I would use the Nexus 6P and she will just have to wait for iPhone 7.

So, we bought one and I opted for the 64GB which was only £449. A week later, Mee pushed it to me and it’s now mine since then. I have to say, Android is a complicated system for a person like Mee who have been using iPhone for so many years. Admittedly, I didn’t feel like it own my phone until the past two weeks. I have been doing a lot of testing with the battery apps, cleaning apps, widgets, lock screen and lots and lots of other apps. The battery was amazing at one point and other times, dreadful. There was once where my Nexus 6P only last a good five to six hours. Now, with moderate usage, it easily lasts a day. I don’t think any of the battery apps helped at all. All they do is advertising and advertising. At one point, I was getting advertisement about fulltone fulldrive 2 equipment. It kept popping up when I was browsing. My Nexus 6P will always light up mysteriously only for me to find out that it’s advertisement.

Now, I just let Android manages everything without interfering it with additional apps. I just install the apps that I want to use instead of monitor the system. Having used Google Nexus 6P, I would say iOS and Android are both good in their own way. With the price of Google Nexus 6P, I am on the Android side. The build of the phone is great and comparable to other high end Android phones and I find it hard to justify why would there be other Android phones which cost more than Nexus 6P.

As of now, Nexus 6P is the end of its road. No more Nexus, out come Pixel. And I am a proud owner of the last Nexus.

Tiberium Alliances

tiberiumalliancesThis is the game that I have been playing. It’s called Command & Conquer Tiberium Alliances but the gameplay is nothing like Command & Conquer as we know it. I have been playing for probably about 18 – 19 months. Seems like a long time but still, there are gamers who played for several years. Like Command & Conquer, you get to choose to play the good or the bad; NOD or GDI. You started with one base and as you grow your base, you can do research on more bases when you have enough points. I won’t bore you with the details but just some of the concepts. The ultimate quest is to defeat the Forgotten Fortress which is located at the centre of the map. With this online game, setting up or joining an alliance is important. There are POIs which will help your alliance members to gain Tiberiums and Crystals, which are the currency in the online game. Needless to say, the higher level of POIs you have, the more bonuses your alliance will have. And the quicker you can with upgrading your bases.

I would say that there are three parts of the game which is building your base, offense and defense. Offense helps to take out enemies and bases as you move towards the centre. Defense, well, helps you to defend from incoming attacks. With each attack, either from you or against you, your base needs recovery time and the time is determined by your units’ level and the buildings’ level which are relevant to the units. It’s difficult to find a balance in the game as to whether to upgrade the offense or the defense or the base. Also with each attack, you gain certain points call research points which will help you in doing research on better offense or defense units or even the next base. Until now, I am still in the learning stage.

There are many worlds to play in this online game. I played in five different worlds and I have yet to attack the Forgotten Fortress. It’s a long game and before you know it, you will be spending hours and hours in it. It’s fair to say that I have so far been able to resist myself from using real money on the game just to be able to upgrade my bases quickly. I prefer to have done everything with patient.

It has been challenging at times and not many people have that kind of patient. I didn’t think I have but yet, I have been playing Tiberium Alliances for so long and at times, I was logging in twice a day. There are people who are just there all the time, and there are people who just come and left. I get to see many who just want a quick game and leave the game as soon as they think that they don’t have a chance to attack the Forgotten Fortress any sooner than they think.

All in all, I can now quite understand why people prefer online game. It feels real as you are playing with real people from around the world rather than computer generated player who are less responsive.

Toys and more toys

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Play area

Needless to say, we need to sacrifice some of our living areas in order to help Mason develops, or as Mason develops. The living room is now with a forward slash plus playroom. The photo is one of the earlier setups and it has changed a lot since. I will take a new photo when I get a chance. We have had a conservatory built and we now have our dining table and chairs in the conservatory. Hence, the old dining area is now a secondary playroom for Mason. I will always remember that one of my colleagues once told me that it’s surprising that there are so many things required just for a little one. It’s very true.

I would say about 90% of the toys were bought second hand. They have these children’s market once every few months and we always go there to look for some good used toys or books for Mason. Now, we are just looking for specific stuffs and even then, we always have a reason to go to these events. I don’t think we will ever skip the event unless we are away.

The next on our list is probably some music equipment for kids. We have one where it is like a farm booth with farm animal figurines singing. Well, it has a flute stand, microphone, lyric stand and a drum. What we are hoping to find is proper music equipment where Mason can learn. Both Mee and I are not very good at music and it’s something that we wished we had learnt when we were young. We thought it will be good for Mason to learn but ultimately, it will be up to him in the end.

Long Time

It’s been a while and trust me, I know it. I wanted to get back to blogging but it’s fair to say that I am just lazy; pure lazy. On the other hand, I have a lot on my plate too. Mee has given birth to our lovely baby boy back in June last year. 21st June 2016 to be exact and his name is Mason. Needless to say, we spend most of our time with him while figuring out the whole parenting things. Our families and relatives are in Malaysia and we have to do most things ourselves. I have a sister in UK but she does not live nearby. We were very lucky to have Mee’s mum over for about two months when Mason was born. Since then, we had gone back to Malaysia once and it was a bit of a nightmare flying with Mason. It’s a lesson to learn but kids, they grow so quickly and the next time we go back to Malaysia, he will most probably be acting differently. I shall go into the details in my other posts.

The first time I logged into my blog, which is powered by WordPress, I was greeted with a new interface. The first page it showed me was all the blogs that I was following. And the very first blog post was about a closure of a blog that I followed. Guess what was the reason the blog closed down? The author has twins and she couldn’t manage doing blogging and caring for the twins at the same time. It’s a shame but you have to do what you have to do.

My sleep pattern was very different because it all depends on the Mason’s growth. As I mentioned, they change all the time. When you thought that they are on a schedule and you are kind of relax, they change and you have to adapt quickly. Touch wood, it has been quite plain sailing at the moment. My minimum sleep time is currently four hours and I get six hours on a good day. I wake up around 2am to 3am and I spend the time playing online game, watching tv dramas and practising xiang gong. At 645am, I will be getting ready to work and also getting Mason ready for the day. As for my PS3, it hasn’t been turned on for almost a year, same as our TiVo box.

I have always said that playing games and watching tv dramas or movies are my way of releasing my stress and it has worked quite well for me. I may not express any stress that I have and to be honest, I don’t think I have any stress from work but you don’t know what you don’t know and we can’t just assume everything. Playing games and watching tv are things that I always look forward to.

Painting

Painting is one of my strongest DIY skills though I still have problems when choosing the right paint for the right surface. I tend to choose water-based paints because they are more environmental friendly and easier to wash. However, I bought some wood paints from IKEA and even though the instructions are to wash the brushes in water, the paints don’t come off easily from the brush. The primer and varnish came off quite easily but not the IKEA paints.

Anyway, I completed painting my dining table and chairs with a different color each; yellow, orange, red, grey and blue. They were then topped with layers of varnish just to toughen them up. At first, I was a bit worry as to how the paint will cope because the dining area are probably the most used place in the house. Mee thought about buying a piece of glass to put on top of the dining table but we thought that it would have to be custom made to size and it’s probably going to be quite expensive to order one. We then thought about getting a table cloth but that would mean covering the newly painted table. We might as well not paint it in the first place. I then browsed on the internet and saw a wholesale linens from premiertablelinens.com website. If I hadn’t painted the table, I would probably order table linen from them. They look great and they would have been easier to maintain buy just buying a few sets and wash them when they get dirty instead of having to waste hours of painting.

Anyway, I have done the painting and we now decided not to cover the dining table with anything except placemats. So far, the paint holds and it’s not as fragile as I thought it would be.

Spotify

I used to download songs quite a lot but nowadays, I just turn to Spotify. There are many different online music streaming services available but I am just used to how Spotify works. I still haven’t quite figured out iPhone’s Spotify but eventually, I will.  I tried Rdio but the interface wasn’t as straightforward as I would like it to be. In Spotify, I just search a song and add it to my playlist. On Rdio, I failed on the first hurdle, which was searching for a song. It just doesn’t give me a usable search results. It’s pretty much like when you are using Google Search or Bing. Bing doesn’t give you the results that you can find in Google. The problem is, Google’s results are always most relevant to the search term.

I would want to try Apple Music provided it offers free account with the option to upgrade to a premium account like Spotify. Until such time, Spotify works best for me. I have also signed up for free two months premium trial account. It works similar to the free account except that I have the ability to download songs and listen without the need for internet connection. Best of all, free of ads. As good as it sounds, I will probably revert back to free account after two months. I can’t justify the need to fork out £9.99 every month for an online music streaming account.