Minecraft Let’s Play #4: The Mini-sode

Youtube is no longer acting wonky, so I am throwing up our latest Minecraft Let’s Play episode.

This started out to be a full episode, but we cut it short at 16 minutes. It wasn’t until later that I realized I “captured” my entire desktop instead of just the game video. We decided to post it anyways with no edits from beginning to end because 1) we had a blast recording it, 2) it shows the direction we’re going in with our next video, and 3) we wanted to see how the audio sounded with some tweaks from what we had been doing in previous episodes.


Paint Fumes (or, My Weekend Update)

I’ve painted our nursery, helped replace four ceiling fans, put together a crib and still have some touch-up work to do on the doors and baseboards. All-in-all, it’s been a busy week and busier weekend. My son and I even got to settle down and record 16 minutes of a new Minecraft video – which we haven’t had a chance to do in months – before The Wife returned home and interrupted us. It’s a pretty nice addition, too, even though I didn’t realize ’til afterwards that I’d mistakenly recorded my entire desktop and not just the game we were playing. I may still add it to the final video because it A) sets up what we have planned to do and B) was really fun – even though we died … a lot … in that short 16 minute time frame.

Also downloaded and started playing Outlast for the PS4. Outlast is one of this months free offerings for Playstation Plus members. A survival horror titled in which you do not fight. Fighting back is strictly against the rules. You can’t win. Instead, in Outlast, your goal is to escape by hiding, running and avoiding anything and everything that is trying to kill you. I’ve only played the first “level” I suppose, which is the administrative building, and I’ve already been creeped out and jumped out of my seat several times. Creepy game, man. Creeeeeeeeeeepy.

I also checked out the final closing goodbye of Jay Leno on The Tonight Show. (Jay Leno’s Heartfelt Goodbye) Very sad, he was visibly about to break down at numerous points. I suppose I would to while saying my final farewells to something I had done 5 days a week for 22 years. I remember when he took over The Tonight Show. On the other side of the coin, I look forward to seeing what Jimmy Fallon does with the time slot. His Late Show is fantastic and I enjoy his casual interactions with the guests and the skits he puts out. I also enjoyed his last musical number with The Muppets. (Jimmy & The Muppets Say Goodbye to “Late Night.”)

And finally, for those of you keeping track, I’m currently failing miserably on my New Years resolution to post more regularly to this blog. I’m working on it :)

Updated – YouTube Errors

It seems YouTube is either in the process of taking my Minecraft videos down, or there is another problem with them. I know they work because I watched all of them through looking for errors or editing mistakes when I first posted them. Not sure if this could also have something to do with their enforcement of copyright laws, although I don’t make any money from my videos. Either way, I decided to delete my previous post with my Minecraft Intro and all future posts of the series have been trashed until further notice. I may try reuploading the videos later, if I can find them :) Because it also seems Youtube doesn’t want to let me download copies from their servers either.

Thanks!

James

Netgear Wi-fi Booster (WN1000RP)

Our house isn’t huge, but because of where our wi-fi setup is located, we have a weak spot at the opposite end of our house. This, of course, is where our gaming consoles are located and our bedrooms, where our son uses his iPad and I use my Surface 2. We have issues here, especially when trying to stream any media like Netflix or Youtube. Stuttering, freezing, fuzzy screens and download issues with the game consoles. I had decided that the only cure would be to call Comcast and move our entire wi-fi setup moved to the middle of the house. They’d have to come run a new wire into the center room or our house, which is a spare bedroom that will soon become the baby’s room. My wife wasn’t thrilled with having a cable modem, wi-fi router and cables installed in this room, so that option was quickly becoming null and void before it even got started.

I’d been researching wi-fi extenders/boosters as a second option. These have extremely mixed reviews. People either have horrific stories of them not working, or happy stories of everything being perfect. I was steering away from this for awhile. Last night while shopping in Target, however, I saw the Netgear Wi-fi Booster, model WN1000RP, sitting on the shelf, staring at me. I figured, what the heck, I’ll give it a try before calling Comcast out and forever scarring our future child’s room with electronic gear.

I popped the sucker open, read the mini instruction manual, plugged the little device into a wall socket, then immediately WN1000RP_3-4Rt2_440x293_3Jul13looked up Youtube videos on suggested setup procedures. EpicReviewsTech on Youtube offered a handy little video that got me hooked up and running in about 5 minutes. I chose to use the exact same network ID and password so that our devices would view it as one single network. I went to check and make sure everything looked good, had 3 steady green lights, and began testing my devices in the weak zones of our house. They work perfectly!

Signal strength runs either full “bars” or around the 60-75% range depending on the device. Tablets work best, it seems, but the gaming consoles, PS4 and 360, have the 60-75% signal strength, but they’re also enclosed in an armoire style entertainment center. Not sure if that has anything to do with it, but it works itself out in my mind, so we’re good.

I have no complaints – so far – with the Netgear Wi-fi Booster, and while it may be too early to say, I haven’t had to reset or reboot the little plug device yet (which was an issue I had read, having to constantly reboot/resync the booster.)

Disappointments and Delights

PlayStation 4 Controller

After the PS4 disaster that happened in my living room Saturday morning, I was relieved to hear that I wasn’t the only one having these issues. That didn’t really ease my feelings of contempt for trying to support Sony and their next generation game console. So as soon as the family was up and dressed and ready to head out, I grabbed my nicely packaged, damaged PS4 and we headed out to Staples to return the product to Amazon. After dropping off our package of $450 junk, we headed to Gamestop to see what we could do about the 2 PS4 games and 1 year of PS+ that I purchased yesterday for close to $200 after taxes.

Our local Gamestop is great. My wife and son – I believe I’ve commented on this before – are treated like close friends in there, and they’ve even started to recognize me as “Noah’s Dad,” when I go in. The manager took care of us and let us return all the product. My wife turned around and put the money back on a few games for our son for Christmas as well as a preorder for Mario 3D for the Wii U that comes out this Friday. We breathed a sigh of relief for no money lost and headed back to our day out.

About 6 minutes after leaving Gamestop, my wife’s phone started ringing. Strange number we’d never seen before. The manager of Gamestop was calling to let us know that he had just gotten a phone call from one of their pre-order customers that said they weren’t going to purchase their PS4. He immediately called us and asked if we’d like it. I quickly ran a few points through my mind.

1) Amazon is suppose to be issuing me a full refund for the package I’d just returned to them.

2) We had just traded/exchanged the PS4 titles and 1 year PS+ membership on other items.

What was I to do?

I busted a U, yo, and drove back to the store. Bought the PS4, Killzone: Shadowfall and PS+ membership. Since this wasn’t a bundle, just the console, I also had to sacrifice a game to pick up a spare controller for my son. I also did a quick Google search on “Gamestop PS4 Complaints.” Turns out the majority of complaints were coming from Amazon customers, so I felt a little more comfortable about taking it home to open it up.

Came home, plugged in system, updated system, entered all the necessary codes to claim credits and memberships, and BAM! Works like a professional gaming console, my friends. It’s ashamed, though, that my first impressions of the PS4 will be of defective hardware and the trouble associated with it.

Congratulations if you purchased a new PS4 on launch day. Congratulations if it worked out of the box. If you experienced problems, I feel your pain, brothers and sisters. Here’s to hoping everything else runs smoothly for the life of this console.