Advice From A Graduating Senior


xrcjm4xtrIt’s my last semester at Sacramento State as well as my last blog post on this fine WordPress blog run by our colleges very own radio station KSSU. Since I’ve spent the last just north of 3 years at Sacramento State I have learned a thing or two about the workings of the campus as well as college in general. I would like the share things that I’ve learned over the course of my experience. I would like to begin by stating that my experience may not mirror everyone’s, but I’ll try to make this as general as possible.

It’s Expensive

It may not cost as much as a lot of larger universities out there, but it isn’t cheap to strive for higher learning. This may be one of the earliest and possibly more painful lessons you’ll receive while striving for a undergrad or Graduate degree. Now to the important part, the money that goes into Sac State doesn’t just evaporate. You aren’t just paying for access to a few classrooms and the experience of pulling caffeine fueled all-nighters. I mean you are paying for that, but there are also a lot of services Sacramento State offers to it’s students that can and should be taken advantage of.

  • Professors
    • These people are smart and want to help you. If you’re having an issue consider them a great resource to reach out to, but they don’t need to be the first or last resource.
  • Peers
    • Although you aren’t paying for your peers, they are there. Social Networking is one of the most powerful things you can do while in College. You’re taking classes with a bunch of people who have the same interests as you and likely are looking to work in the same field you are, if they aren’t already. In the words of Rush “Take yourself a friend”
  • Books
    • You will have to purchase your books on top of your student fees, but those aren’t the only books you have access to. The Library isn’t just for decoration, there are lots and lots of books stacking the shelves of the library. If you happen to be more of a keyboard and monitor kind of person I get where you’re coming from. We also have access to “OneSearch” a Library resource that gives you access to Scholarly Journals and articles to aid you in your papers.
  • Space to Study
    • Following the Libraries massive amount of books, It is also an excellent place to study. As is the University Union, the second floor and third floor are basically just full of tables and chairs with people studying. The Airc is also another great resource, except for some occasions (usually holidays) the airc is open 24 hours a day which can be great if you find yourself working on stuff to early morning a lot. The Airc also has a lot of outlets making it great if you need to work on a laptop. If you’re having trouble finding somewhere to study in any of these places, which can and does happen around midterms and finals. Rest assured some class rooms are generally left open for students to study in as well. Just try to pick up after yourself if you want it to remain an option.
  • Volunteer!
    • There are a lot of fun ways that you can get involved with the campus; the Radio Station(KSSU: One of us, One of us), The Hornet(Newspaper), or Unique(Most of the events on campus: movies, concerts, etc..) just to name the few I know of.
  • Career Center
    • So most of us go to college hoping it will help us grow professionally, this concept isn’t lost to the university. We have a Career Center that exists for helping people find jobs, work on your resume, LinkedIn, Interviewing Skills, and managing the Career fair are just a few things they have to offer. Definitely worth checking them out.

Social Networking

That Important thing I mentioned before under Peers, Sacramento State is a great place to get to know people who are in your field of study as well outside of it. We have an enormous amount of organizations on campus, and likely anything kind of group of people you could be looking for. These range from Academic clubs centered around your Major, personally I belong to ACM, and MISA, both of which are concerned with introducing you to recruiters and helping people build professional networks. Some are more concerned with helping each-other learn new things, The Data Science Club, and the Neuroscience Alliance are both good examples of this, and so is the ACM for that matter. Others are just for fun, like KSSU, and many more organizations like it. I’ve heard of Netflix clubs, 3d game development clubs, robotics clubs, Film Appreciation Clubs, Anime and Manga Clubs, Quiditch Clubs, and this is just what I can think of off the top of my head.

There are many options out there for people to explore, and if Clubs aren’t your style just get to know the people in your classes. I know it’s easy to close up in your classes, after all this is a commuter campus, but people are one of your largest resources, and they will make coming to your classes a much more enjoyable experience.

The Dreaded All-Nighter

This something we all hate, and it’s something that more than likely you will experience at-least once or twice. Whether it was lack of preparation, or trying to fix something before a deadline, these things happen. It’s not fun, but sometimes you just have to buckle down and get things done. Personally I’ve gone this route more times than I care to remember, but I have picked up a few tips for dealing with them.

  • Avoid it at all costs
    • You will be far more productive if you have had a full night of sleep, if this is something you can possibly put off then do it.
    • If you’re last minute cramming for a test you will perform better with a full night of sleep.
      • If you’re completely unprepared for an exam this may not feel like an option, this is a judgement call that obviously I can’t make for you.
  • If you must
    • If you’ve decided you must pull an all nighter, I highly recommend sleeping as much as you possibly can throughout the night, and getting in the sleep you missed as soon as you can afterwards. Sleep deprivation is really bad for you, and despite most people not getting enough sleep it can cause more problems then it would seem to solve.
  • Coffee
    • If you’ve gone this far i’m guessing you’re dead-set on it. Coffee is your friend, but it’s not your only friend. If you are into Limitless Inspired nootropic stacks I would suggest pairing it up with L-theanine, it’s an over the counter supplement that can be found in Caffeine Pills and Tea. L-theanine will help keep you from the jittery side effects, as well as providing anti-anxiety effects. Don’t let the name fool you, this stuff is naturally occurring in Tea and can be bought over the counter. Alternatively you could just drink a bunch of tea. 🙂
  • Water
    • It’s important to stay hydrated, Coffee  may provide you with Caffeine but staying hydrated can do more to help you feel awake and alert.
  • Food
    • Food is energy, it can help but be careful this is a slippery slope.
  • Go for a walk
    • Light exercise to help keep your blood flowing to help you continue working on stuff till you can get some sleep.
  • Don’t drive
    • don’t even look at your car, you are impaired. This should really be avoided at all costs.
  • Get some Sleep
    • As soon as possible, try to get as much sleep as you can to make up what you lost.

I hate all-nighters, if you decide to go that route proceed with caution. Also the amount of sleep you get will determine your effectiveness for the rest of the day. Under 4 hours I feel like a useless marionette of myself, if I’m looking at you i’m generally just thinking about how nice my bed is. Over 6 hours is enough to be productive throughout the day, but close to 8 is preferred to be at the top of my game. 4-6 can be productive, but I’d really recommend on striving for 6 or more if at all possible.

ECS

If you’re in the college of Computer Science and Engineering, and Construction Management I guess now. You can get an account to access our Servers as well as our labs that are loaded with software to help you do your assignments. There are computers available to all Sac State students in the library, but there are tools that you may find yourself needing beyond the software installed there. This also gives us access to special servers as well as deals on software.

University Union

This is where most events occurs on campus, and it’s also where Information is. Information is a very useful resource, they have a stack of maps and if you’re having trouble finding something they will help you. They are located next to the food courts, and they have been very helpful for me on many occasions.

The Well

The well is Sacramento State’s Gym, but they also have a small medical office and pharmacy in the building. It’s a great resource worth taking advantage of.

 

My name is Chris Diel, and this is my last Blog for the KSSU Blog.

I Lost My Java Programming Book


2_lostbookyellowSo I’m currently in the middle of developing an OpenGL application using JOGL. OpenGL is a 3D programming language, the kind of stuff that’s working behind the scenes in a lot of your favorite movies/video games. JOGL is a java wrapper class for OpenGL, which basically boils down to me making 3D stuff using the programming language Java.

I realize this may seem a bit technical at first, so I want to thank you for following me this far. Now Java is a higher level programming language, which basically means that it makes it easier to accomplish things then something much more low-level like Assembly or writing a program in C. Both of those languages are actually used to write your operating system, meaning that they have to be a bit lower level. This doesn’t really matter within the confines of this blog, I just wanted to give you the reader some background information on the wonderful world of computer programming. Join us, just do it.

In the beginning of my academic development I took a Java programming class at the junior college level. While there, we were instructed to pick up one of the more affordable books I’ve had to purchase during my college experience. It boils down to a pretty basic reference guide for different programming concepts in the Java programming language as well as the ranges of various variables. If I were to compare it to something, I’d say as far as programming books go this is probably somewhat close to one of those mechanic guides you can get for your car at the auto parts store. The majority of this book has basically become obsolete thanks to the wonders of the internet and the awesome communities of programmers on Stack Overflow and the like.

Having said that I do have a profound love of books, the technical term is “Bibliophile” and given the opportunity I’d much rather read a concept in detail out of a book then on a computer screen. Oddly enough most books don’t do it for me, my love is primarily for programming books which puts me in an interesting contradictory niche of both the computer world as well as book lovers. Not to mention that technology is a rapidly evolving construct that quickly leaves many books on the subject outdated, but there are things that do not change with age. In fact many of the concepts used in computer graphics were developed ages before we even had computers. My hat’s off to the mathematicians who dedicated their lives to laying down the framework for something they would never see. It’s really almost poetic.

So down to the subject of the blog, I did in fact lose my Java programming book. Which although functionally not necessary for me to really do anything that I would need to do, I have grown sentimentally attached. This is a sad day, that is of course unless I left it in my laptop bag. Perhaps if I check a fifth time..

Nope, not in my laptop bag. It was under my Object-Oriented Design & Patterns book though! The day is mine! All shall rejoice! For today is a good day!

My name is Chris Diel and when I’m not writing about books I misplace I’m a DJ on the KSSU 🙂

Luke Cage


luckecageThe new Amazon series covering yet another Marvel super hero. Of course i’m talking about the infamous Luke Cage. Yet another superhero who just wants to be left alone, but sometimes when trouble comes a knocking no one else can answer the door. Cause Luke Cage is the only one home. Plus he has super powers.

Ok so I’m going to avoid spoilers as much as I can in this blog post, I am a bit early in reviewing. There are a couple of things you should know right off the bat though. Luke Cage has popped up in the Jessica Jones show, and he exists in the same universe as Lawyer Man! Wait that’s not right.. Daredevil! who I totally think should have been named Batman. Think about it, super hearing, bad eye sight. That has missed opportunity written all over it. Anyway Luke Cage’s show seems to take place after the events of his time in the Jessica Jones Show.

Luke’s Super Powers:

Possibly a bit spoilery if you’re totally in the dark about Luke Cage, don’t worry you’re not alone, my exposure to the character has been completely through netflix and Wikipedia. First thing you may want to know is that he’s super strong. Like lift a Fridge without breaking a sweat strong. Now that’s pretty basic in the average super heroes bag of tricks these days. Given daredevil is a little lacking on that one, but he gets by fine without it. Luke Cage also happens to be bullet proof which makes him unique in our current super hero netflix line up.

Luke Cage’s bullet proof abilities may seem to throw him in the over powered Super Man level of things, and I may have to agree with you. There are downsides though, much like the Incredible hulk and werewolves he tends to go through a healthy amount of shirts. Which is something that I have a hard time grasping. Sure I get it, one day you wake up and you happen to be bullet proof, that’s cool just fine and dandy. Who wouldn’t want that super power? I mean I’m not worried about bullets on my average day to day basis, which I suppose makes me lucky. Yet If I gained this super power, I would instantly be in a pretty good mood. It’s like Insurance, you never want to use it, but It sure puts your mind at ease. Now having said that even with full knowledge that these bullets won’t cause any real damage, I would likely step aside if people were actively shooting at me. Possibly just out of a latent instinct reasons. At the very least to preserve a shirt or two. Luke Cage doesn’t seem to share this ideology though, running headfirst into danger is his business, and business is good.

Other Stuff:
The current story is set in Harlem, and I’m really loving the soundtrack. If the recent string of Netflix Marvel shows has been your style then this new series may be right up your alley.

My name is Chris Diel and when i’m not doing Computer Sciency things or watching Luke Cage I’m on the radio on KSSU doing the radio things. 🙂

Inktober


Untitled-1I’m sitting at my desk, it’s 1 am and I’ve just returned from the bar where I’ve been singing karaoke with a bunch of old friends. The cool air is flowing past from a whole house fan and I’m  listening to my hip hop Pandora station while drinking a large glass of ice water. It’s a good night.

Anyhoo, I’m here to write about Inktober. Created in 2009 by a Mr. Jake Parker, this is something that has been popping up in my social network feeds for awhile now and this coming October will by my first time participating. The premise is simple enough; you draw something once a day for the entire month of October, and place it on one of your social media websites. They aren’t all that particular about which one, but if you’re planning on participating, I’d suggest Twitter as that seems to be the largest following I’ve seen.

Skill really isn’t a factor, but most of the people I’ve seen share their drawings generally know which end of the pen has ink coming out, and also tend to know how to use said pen as well. It ranges from people who are learning to draw and need the practice to people who are basically showing off. The whole point of it is to practice though, so I wouldn’t let the pro’s discourage. Or really ever in anything you do. This is your life, don’t let skilled people intimidate you from doing what you want to do. Everyone was a beginner once.

Also, once you’ve done the deed, (by that I mean drawing your drawing) you’ll want to tag it with a hashtag which is totally a twitter thing, but you can do it on other services as well.

#inktober

#inktober2016

This will allow people to look up inktober submissions and enjoy your artwork!

There are actually a lot of different months like this. The other one that comes to mind is November’s Nanowrimo, where people attempt to write a book in a month. I’ve attempted this one as well and didn’t finish, but I think this year I’ll give it another shot. If I don’t succeed this time, I’ll give it a shot next year. You can also attempt to grow a beard in November for no shave November. There are also 48 hour game making competitions if you’re more of a techy. These guys are great. I’ve been apart of Ludum Dare for a few years now and if you’re into making games, I’ve found few communities I like as much.

When November starts coming up, I’ll attempt to write a book and write another blog post about my attempt as well as a postmortem.

My name is Chris Diel and when I’m not singing karaoke, doing Inktober, attempting to write a book in a month, not shaving for November, developing video games, or programming in general, you can find me at Sacramento State’s only student run radio station KSSU.

Look forward to next week when I release an article on my current progress with my Raspberry Pi, or Linkedin, or something else. I don’t know what I’m going to write about yet, but it’ll be good!

Setting Up Raspberry Pi


piSo I recently got a Raspberry Pi and boy is it everything I hoped it could be! Recently my old laptop I keep for Linux purposes is beyond being on its last legs and it basically on life support. It seemed like it was about time I set up a new Linux environment. What better way than exploring the new and exciting world of Raspberry Pi?

Since I got it I’ve been a little skeptical about jumping right in, I have a habit of reading all of the directions a few times before I do anything stupid and break something. As it turns out that’s hardly necessary. Full disclosure I got one of the starter packs that comes pre-installed with NOOBS and has a power adapter as well as a case. I went with Vilros but there are a lot of decent options out there and most of them seem like they’re about the same level quality wise anyway. The only major differences being instructions, power adapter, and case since they all come equipped with whichever Raspberry Pi you’re looking for. There are also some kits out there that come with electronics stuff like resistors and breadboards, they cost a little more for the extra materials, but that’s not what I got it for so it felt a little pointless for my purposes.

Things you may want to know right off the bat, the heat sink isn’t really necessary unless you’re doing something that’s likely to overheat your Pi. It basically exists for people who are overclocking their Pi and from what I hear it’s not really necessary in that case either. I feel like it’s likely there just to put people’s minds at ease. Of course it never hurts to be prepared, but I didn’t bother throwing it on. I did keep it in case I change my mind in the future though. A heat-sink is basically a piece of metal that’s going over your CPU to soak up heat. Generally computers don’t like heat that’s why you see some fancier ones with lots of fans. Or even more extreme cases where people use liquid cooling solutions.

Snapping together the Raspberry Pi is a relatively easy process. Most things are marked, and the mini SD card (I got the Pi 3 model B) only goes in one way so they’ve made things pretty simple to put together.

Once your pi is together and you have your keyboard/mouse and screen hooked up you can start-up your raspberry pi. This will load the default desktop environment which is LXDE or Lightweight X11 Desktop Environment. Personally I’m not a fan and the first thing on my to-do list was updating it to my personal tastes. I really love the gnome interface, but it does eat up a little too much space for my liking on the mini-SD card. So instead I went with XFCE much like LXDE it’s a lightweight environment for Linux and I prefer it aesthetically. If you’re not a fan of the default desktop environment there’s a lot of options out there, if you want XFCE this is how to go about getting it.

Switching to XFCE

Enter the following commands into your terminal.

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get install xfce4

You’ll have to reboot at this point (annoying, I know).

sudo reboot

When you come back, you’ll be booted directly into your old environment if you want to switch to your new environment you’ll have to log out and log back in. At the login screen, go to your top right corner and click on the circle which will have a drop down of different environments to choose from. Choose XFCE or whichever one your chose to install.

username: pi

Password: raspberry

Now if this seems like an annoying process, I completely agree and there’s a solution. We can change our default desktop environment with the following code.

sudo update-alternatives –config x-session-manager
You’ll get a window that allows you to choose your default environment. Select the number that corresponds with the path “/usr/bin/Xfce4-session”
Now the next time you reboot, you’ll end up directly in XFCE. At this point, you’ll notice your menu has many more applications and the environment should be eating up a bit more of your resources. It’s a downside, but I think it’s worth it. If you go to settings > Settings Manager, you can make the appearance a little more to your liking. Personally, I switched the appearance to “Xfce-dusk” right away.
Switching Keyboard

If you’re like me, you started with a UK keyboard for some reason, which is annoying if you have any intention of writing C code or ever using the # symbol.

sudo dpkg-reconfigure keyboard-configuration

This will take you through a menu to choose your keyboard. I just picked whatever I was on and on the next screen, choose US if you’re one of us, or choose whatever keyboard you’re looking for. Personally, I just went with Default, no compose key, and I didn’t use the shortcut to terminate the X server.
Once again, you’ll have to reboot to get the benefits of this.
Fixing the Time
If you’re like me, you don’t live in the default region of the Pi. Fixing the time is actually pretty easy. Enter the following into your terminal.
sudo dpkg-reconfigure tzdata
Select your country and then the city within your time region. This is the one thing you won’t actually have to reboot for. If you have an internet connection, things should update themselves after a minute or so.
Shutdown
You should never unplug a running computer, it’s just bad practice. You can go through the menu to shut down, but I just use the following line in the terminal.
sudo poweroff
Eventually, your screen will have no signal and one of the two led lights on your raspberry pi will be green. This process should only take a few seconds.
Don’t want to use Raspbian Pi?
There are many distros(distribution) out there that you can use to make your pi do just about anything you can imagine. My card came pre-installed with NOOBS, but if you have a blank card, all you have to do is unzip NOOBS to your SD card or Mini SD card and it will handle the rest of installing Raspbian Pi as well as many other packages on it. That doesn’t mean you have to use it though. I haven’t tried any other distros yet, so I can’t give in-depth instructions on it.
Some of the more interesting ones I’ve seen are Kali Linux, a distro made for security, specifically penetration testing. As well as a distribution called RuneAudio that is based on Arch Linux, it can act as an interface between your music collection and your music equipment. It seems pretty cool. The cool thing is all you need is an extra SD card to install these and experiment with them. After Installing them on extra SD cards switching between distros will be as easy as swapping SD cards.
My name is Chris Diel and when I’m not playing with computers I host a radio show on KSSU

The Convenience Store Pickle


107979219Why has the time of the convenience store pickle come and gone? A symbol of a time gone by, the imagery invokes memories of old time burger joints, learning to ride a bicycle, and other general childhood shenanigans. They would hand it to you in wax paper for some reason. It seems these days, all we can hope for are those vacuum sealed pickles in the stores that feel all too commercialized. They aren’t half bad, but it feels like a step back from a time when things were simpler. The joys of childhood gone past are truly disappearing; not just for the nostalgic filled adults of today, but for our future children as well.

Now I’m certain there have been good reasons for the loss of this jar. Surely, it was some sort of breeding ground for bacteria; or maybe society just got scared that it may become one. I’m not in the know on this one, and normally I’d look up a bunch of articles to find the truth. But this article isn’t about why they’re gone. It’s more about the changing of the times, and the loss of the past. As we grow, society grows with us, and it is only through memories that these little facets of our lives are really preserved.

You can still find pickles in local convenience stores in the vacuum sealed packs as it seems like not everyone has experienced the joy of these things though. If you haven’t had the opportunity, I’d suggest doing yourself a favor and getting one on a hot day. Of course, this could just be nostalgia speaking. But when I get one, memories come flooding back. The joy of the past is relived, so I guess it isn’t much different from people who collect things from when they were younger. Maybe I’m just having a hard time letting go of the past; or it could be that they’re delicious. I recently heard that you can purchase these things in Texas at the movie theater’s there. I believe this is a worthwhile tradition that the whole country should adopt.

I’m not sure if this article is aimed at the loss of those jars of pickles so much as it’s a rant about the changing of the times. Sure they were good, but if you’re dead-set on it, they do have the vacuum sealed ones at most grocery stores/gas stations these days and the flavor isn’t bad. Although, I have to admit, the spicy ones may be a little hotter then I’d like; and being a die hard fan of spicier foods, that is saying a lot. I do still get them though. All of this is really more of a reminder that society keeps changing with the times, and although this is inevitable, it’s nice to sit back with a memento of your childhood and remember simpler times. Maybe we all get sentimental with age, but sometimes you have to look up and smell the flowers.

Also, they’re like really good.

 

My name is Chris Diel and I DJ on the radio, at KSSU. Come listen to me, if you like Metal, alt/indie, blues, country, EDM, and sometimes hip hop. I’ll play just about anything. I also talk sometimes.

Siphon Coffee Maker


syphon_coffeeI recently received a Siphon Coffee maker(aka vacuum coffee maker) as an early Birthday present. These thing looks futuristic, requiring a heating source and a couple of glass globes. If you were to walk in to a room, you would see something that looks like a piece of Heisenberg’s set up. The science look is what made me interested in it from the get go. Although it has the appearance of how I’d imagine the Jetsons would make coffee, it’s actually a pretty old system for making coffee.

The Siphon Coffee maker was actually developed in the 1830’s predating the drip system we all know and love by almost a century. I know what you’re thinking, there must be a reason you never see Siphon makers anymore, maybe they aren’t that good? Well, I can say from personal experience, having used the thing for the first time today, it develops a mind-blowing cup of coffee. The full immersion system creates an aromatic cup of coffee that is really hard to beat. I have another system that does full immersion coffee, but I have to say the siphon coffee maker may be a little bit better.

There is a reason that it may be a bit less desirable though. This isn’t as simple as plugging a machine in and walking away. The Siphon coffee maker is a much more hands on experience than most coffee makers. We control the heating source and time the coffee spends brewing. There are a number of heating sources you can use with the various Siphon coffee makers on the market as well. Some are little alcohol burners; others butane (I love mine). There are even electric heating lamp selections. There are also siphon coffee makers built to be used on your stove.

This may seem like a lot of work to develop a cup of coffee, but the result is more than worth it, and watching these things work is actually a pretty cool sight to behold. I’m currently using the Hario Siphon coffee maker from Amazon, but there’s plenty of brands on there. One thing I would suggest if you’re planning on going down this particular rabbit hole is if you choose to get a coffee maker that requires an independent heat source, do yourself a favor and grab a butane burner. A lot of these coffee makers come with an alcohol burner, and while trying to use it, I found the process to be near impossible to complete. A Butane burner was a cleaner and more controllable solution, there are also halogen bulb burners on the market; I hear they work a little slower, and they are a more expensive choice, but they sure do look cool. It also helps to heat the water you’re going to use in your coffee maker before heating it up with your power source. I know this seems a little redundant, but it makes a huge difference in the brewing time.

The only real pain I’ve found is that you need to do a thorough cleaning of this thing before every use,
which is a bit more nerve-wracking with these large glass containers. I’m quite certain that its final moments will likely be during cleaning. It is fairly fragile, but I guess that may lead to the allure of the product.

My name is Chris Diel and when I’m not making coffee I’m a DJ on KSSU; I also do other things.

Pokemon Go


pokemon-go-logoSo PokĂ©mon Go has finally taken the world by storm. The franchise began in 1995, created by Satoshi Tajiri with a pair of Game Boy Games. Since then, it’s spawned several more games, a trading card game that became immensely popular, a few TV series and several movies as well as a huge amount of memorabilia; and if this new app’s traffic is any indicator, a loyal and immense following. I grew up in the eye of the storm. As this obsession took over, it wasn’t really something that actually hit me. I couldn’t get into the card game, and I watched the TV show when nothing else was on. I’m far and away from your average Pokemon fan, but I am having a lot of fun with this application.

So if this is your first time hearing about PokĂ©mon Go(which is unlikely) you may be wondering what’s up with the app. It’s sort of an unfinished game, a chance for people to finally play a beloved series on their phones. It’s actually more than just a game though, it uses GPS to pinpoint your location and the game is played in the real world. This isn’t a new concept, but this is the first time such an endeavor has been adopted by the public to such a large-scale. The application is actually pretty simple, you have a small tracking device that allows you to tell how far away a Pokemon is and it will give you a rough estimate from 300km, 200km to 100km or less. You use this to wander around until you’ve come across the Pokemon you’re looking for and then you just throw poke-balls at it until you’ve captured your new Pokemon.

As you can imagine wandering around staring at your phone can be dangerous, but it has had an immense impact on the city. It’s currently a more popular application then Tinder and Twitter. Just take a drive at night and pretty much anyone you see walking with their phone open but ignoring the screen is a player, as well as a large amount of people staring at their phone while they wander about. There are also landmarks in the virtual game that overlay with real life places, so this has been driving foot traffic.

There are two types of landmarks in-game, which take the form of Pokestops and Gyms. Pokestops are points where players can restock on in-game items which seem to be random but mostly come in the form of more poke balls. Gyms are landmarks that can be challenged and taken over by Pokemon trainers. A Gym will be controlled by a specific team, and you can only take one over if you’re an opposing team. The game consists of three teams: Mystic (blue), Instinct (yellow), and Valor (red). Since there seem to be groups of poke-stops in areas, I feel like this will incite the traveling salesman problem, especially if you’re working with a limited data plan.

Did I mention this application likes data? There are some people who have been using gigs since they started playing, as well as people who have only used 80 megs to reach level 8. It doesn’t just love data, since you can’t play this game without having your screen on it will eat through your battery as well. It’s becoming common practice for people to pick up external battery packs. WiFi can help with data if you’re worried about it, but the nature of the game is to get out and run around.

Ultimately, the game has caught on like wildfire, and the cool thing about it is it’s getting people to go out and meet new people. Personally, I like the concept more than anything. I believe that with the popularity of this application, developers will take note and start building more applications that interface with the real world. Plus, it actually gives me a reason to get out of the house and take a walk, instead of seeing the same road for the hundredth time. You’re actually exploring  a new world. It’s pretty fun.

My name is Chris Diel and I’m team Valor, and a DJ with KSSU

Burger King Mac N’ Cheetos


cheetosJust recently i’ve come across the new Mac N’ Cheetos by Burger King. The roll out happened around June 27th, and I just got the chance to sink my teeth into them a couple of days ago. Now I know what you’re probably thinking, this was likely made for a crowd with a severe case of the munchies. It just sounds like junk-food on the level you’d find at an am-pm among the nacho cheese machine and hotdogs.

This was what I expected going into it, locally it cost about 2.50 for 5 which I’d imagine is probably normal wherever Burger King is present. So I didn’t have high expectations, but being a connoisseur of the strange and Macgyver inspired food creations I had to give them a try. If you’re reading this and unaware of what a Mac N’ Cheeto is, Burger king rolled out a new type of mozzarella stick recently, except it kind of looks like a cheeto with a crisp outer coating. That’s not all, as the name might have tipped you off Macaroni and Cheese comes into play here. The warm gooey center that is typically entirely cheese in this type of thing is actually Macaroni and Cheese. If you’re anything like me this is the kind of creation that you approach with a small level of trepidation, but not trying it simply wasn’t an option.

I am pleased to say that after trying this concoction it is actually very tasty. The chef’s coming up with stuff down at Burger King really know what they’re doing, my hats off to them. A small disclaimer though, they did make it to order for me, i’m not sure whether this is a normal practice or not, but something that is fresh generally tromps anything that isn’t.

So that’s my review, I really enjoyed it, and I’ll probably make trips to Burger King in the future just to get them again. People i’ve talked to seem to enjoy them as well. I feel like these things are a real diamond in the rough, and i’m not looking forward to them going.

My name is Chris Diel and i’m a DJ at KSSU

Overwatch


OverwatchOverwatch has taken the world by storm, I don’t know any gamer’s who are not interested in the new game by Blizzard. I generally don’t get into games like I used to; 12 hour marathons fueled by spicy Cheetos and Mountain Dew. These days I take things much more casually, and interestingly enough Overwatch works great for gamers like me. Each round only seems to last for a few minutes, and the button scheme is extremely simple giving you around 5 different abilities to remember for whichever hero you use. For anyone who has picked up World of Warcraft lately this may seem like an extremely contrary experience to the vast layouts, user interface, and button schemes that has evolved in the world of Warcraft.

Overwatch is a multiplayer FPS that doesn’t follow the pay to play scheme so many games are using these days, instead it’s more like league of legends where you can purchase things in store. Where as LOL may allow you to purchase skins or currency directly, blizzard allows you to purchase “loot crates” with real world money, but you can also win a loot crate on level up. Loot Crates will give you a random chance at a new skin for a character, or a new spray, or voice line. Spray’s aren’t unique to Overwatch but it’s my first time encountering them. If you’re using the PC version of the game pressing ‘t’ will allow you to use whatever spray your character has equipped which may be unlocked with winning them randomly through loot crates. The spray is basically just allowing your characters to place graffiti on walls, most sprays are unique to individual characters except for some generic Overwatch sprays that any character can use.

Unlike a lot of games these days, instead of customizing your own character you will take control of an already existing “hero” not unlike league of legends. The game does allow a bit of customization through skins, sprays, and voice lines aforementioned in the previous paragraph. This doesn’t affect any of the game play though, everyone is basically on an even playing field using the base player stats.

I’ve played for a total of 2-3 hours, but i’ve found that skill sets gained in other fps games seem to transfer well. This makes picking up the game particularly easy since you really only have 5 skills to learn about whatever hero you choose to go with. No matter what your play style is Overwatch seems to accommodate. You can even play pacifist and support your friends, healing them up while they deal with the defense/damage.

My name is Chris Diel and I’m a DJ with KSSU