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Sega Megadrive

Posted by Ub3rG33k on Oct 23, 2015 in Gaming, Tech

Mega Drive

I have very fond memories of playing on my brothers Mega Drive and Master System back in the day, although at that point I was mainly a PC gamer on my VIC-20 and later my Spectrum +2, my parents took my brother down the Sega console route. With his birthday on the horizon, I was hunting around of a gift for him, and saw this little beauty. With it including 80 built in games, and a tiny little footprint, this looked like a perfect gift. Although I ordered within plenty of time, the courier company failed me, meaning I had to rush out, pay the premium locally so he could have his present on time. Sure enough, on the day of his birthday, the originally ordered console arrive. I could have sent it back, but after reading the box I was intrigued.

I think the first thing to mention is that out of the 80 games built in, only 40 of those are actual Sega games, and the additional 40 are simply small games with the likes of Sudoku, hangman and games of that type.

The cosole itself is tiny and light as a feather. I do realise I was a lot smaller when I previously used one of these, but remember them feeling like a lead weight.

Although this has built in games, it also has the slot on the top to insert actual Mega Drive cartridges, I did however read a disclaimer saying ‘Not all games are compatible’ however I’ve yet to find a list of compatible games.

The console also comes with 2 wireless controllers which feel similar to the original ones, although a little less solid, and strangely they used infra-red technology, which becomes a problem if you’re too far away from the console, or somebody walks in from of the screen. As a saving grace, there are 2 ports on the front of the console to allow you to plug in original wired controllers, if the wireless ones aren’t working for you.

So the experience. You know what, it’s not bad, I was a little worried plugging it into my 60″ 4K TV, and expected a lot of ghosting, but it actually worked ok. I’m glad they kept to mono sound and didn’t try to up sample the graphics.

Gameplay wise, I tried a few games, Streets of Rage, Mortal Kombat, Sonic and Golden Axe, they all played as I remember, and actually sparked some good couch coop sessions.

I wasn’t blown away by the wireless controllers, as there felt to be a little lag, so currently looking on fleabay for a wired controller to see if we can fix that.

Although the device is pretty good, I’m honestly not sure how much use it’s going to get, maybe once silly season is out of the way, I might sit back and play some of the games I never got around to playing back in the day.

All in all, not a bad trip down memory lane, let’s hope Nintendo do one now, as being a SEGA man back in the day, there were so many games I missed on the NES/SNES.

Unboxing photos below.

Sega MegadriveSega Megadrive
Sega MegadriveSega Megadrive
Sega MegadriveSega Megadrive
Sega Megadrive

 
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Apple iPhone 6s

Posted by Ub3rG33k on Sep 26, 2015 in Apple, iPhone, Tech

iPhone6s

It’s been three years now since I’ve had a phone upgrade, and my poor old iPhone 5 is starting to struggle a bit with some of the features of iOS9, additionally there are an ever growing number of apps that no longer support the iPhone 5, so it was time to upgrade.

Why didn’t you get the iPhone 6 I hear you ask?, Well, I decided last year to break my biyearly iPhone buying cycle and wait for the S model instead, for a number of reasons. It allows app developers to catch up with the new screen resolution, and case and screen protector manufacturers to have a years worth of cases and protectors out. Previously, I’ve had to buy some cheap case and protector, hope it fits ok, and then replace it with a better one later. I’m still mentally scared from dropping my iPhone 5 on the first day, without a case or screen protector, as I was waiting for them to arrive it the post.

So three years on, and there’s a reasonable amount that has changed. Obviously the screen resolution gives you more real estate, the phone size and button placements also (the on/off button on the side it taking a little getting used to). The camera is a vast improvement over the 5, sporting a 12 megapixel camera, that not only now gives me the option of 4K video, but also slow motion and the auto HDR functionality. In addition, I now get to play with the true tone flash, which if I remember correctly has 2 different coloured flashes and uses the best mixture based on the current lighting. I’ve yet to take any pictures of peoples faces, but will report back when I have. I now have the option of the Live Photo which feels a little bit of a gimmick if I’m honest. This is the option to automatically record a couple of seconds of video either side of a photo being taken to help you remember that moment. However realistically, the few seconds before and after are usually people looking in the wrong direction, or somebody walking across the shot.

I now have the option of using the finger print reader that was introduced in the iPhone 5s, which seems a really simple way of unlocking your phone, and making purchases. It seems I can now even make purchases on the Amazon app with my thumb print…(dangerous for drunken purchases!)

Due to the addition of the NFC chip,  I am now able to use Apple Pay, allowing me to play for things with my phone. To be honest, there are very few shops that I use that support contactless payment, so not sure how much use it’s going to get, however it’s a fun feature to have.

With the dedicated motion chip, I can now use the phone as a pedometer feeding straight into the Apple health app, however as I currently use my Fitbit flex, I can’t really see me using this function too much.

I guess the most interesting feature of this phone is the 3D touch. Using a pressure sensitive screen you are able to lightly press to get a peek at an item, say a picture, an email attachment, a url, and then a slightly harder press to pop into the item itself. In addition, doing the same on an app can bring up a short cut menu. This is taking a little getting used to, as it’s sometime hard to gauge the light press. I have however noticed that this only work on a few apps other than Apples own. For example, lightly pressing on the Twitter app, will give the the option of Search, New Tweet, New Message. As my apps seem to be updating on a daily basis, I’m it won’t be long before the majority of the apps support this feature.

Finally, and probably the most noticeable change for me is the battery life. My poor iPhone 5 was getting to the point of having to be charged at least twice a day (due to streaming music, podcasts and video), however this is getting me through the day and still having at least 40% charge under the same load.

All in all, very happy with the purchase, and plan to continue with the S model cycle, I’m yet to go out and play with the camera, as I’ve been suffering with manflu since I got the phone, however will update the post later with some images and 4K video.

As always, pics below.

iPhone 6siPhone 6s
iPhone 6siPhone 6s

 
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Apple Airport Extreme

Posted by Ub3rG33k on Sep 13, 2015 in Apple, Tech

Airport Extreme 2013

Having recently moved house, I found my previous solution of a Time Capsule and an AirPort Extreme to extend the wireless network was no longer good enough in the new house. This is partly due to the fact that I’m now living in a 1961 house with very thick walls, and partly down to the Time Capsule location.

Previously the Time Capsule was in the same room as all the tech, and on the 2nd floor, with the AirPort Extreme hard wired in the front room extending the wireless network and giving a very good coverage. In the new house, I have a dedicated server room (aka pantry, broom cupboad, the cupboard under the stairs) and even with the Airport Exteme in the Man Cave, the wifi connection was ok at best. I guess with moving from my previous 30MB connection to my now superfast 152MB connection, the difference between wired and wireless connection became a lot more noticable.

Having just ordered an iPhone 6S, I decided it was time to finally upgrade the router to an AC router, to get the benifits of the faster wifi speed and increased range. Being the Apple fan boy I am, it made sense to simply upgrade to the new version of the Airport Extreme.

Apple being Apple made the transistion between the two extrememly painless. I plugged the Airport Extreme into the switch, the Airport Utility popped open on my iMac, and a prompt popped up saying new device detected, what do you want to do. Within a few minutes, my new Airport Extreme had all the DHCP, and routing settings of my Time Capsule, and was happily working as my main router. As part of the process, it switched off all the DHCP settings on the Time Capsule, I assume to avoid any DHCP conflict. It did also give me the option to extend the network of the new Airport Extreme device, however with them sat next to each other, it seemed kind of pointless.

So, was it worth the upgrade? Yes, sure, kind of. Although I did notice a massive speed increase on any wireless AC device, the range didn’t increase as much as I’d have hoped. With the single device (as the wifi on the Time Capsule and old Airport Extreme are now switched off), I am able to get a decent signal throughout the house, and within about a five metre range around the house, which for a single device, locked in a room, in the middle of a thick walled house isn’t too bad at all.

As always, unboxing pics below

 

Apple Airport Extreme (2013 model)Apple Airport Extreme (2013 model)
Apple Airport Extreme (2013 model)Apple Airport Extreme (2013 model)
Apple Airport Extreme (2013 model)Apple Airport Extreme (2013 model)

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