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Saturday, September 1, 2012

Nokia Belle Refresh

Two days ago I installed Nokia Belle Refresh (aka Feature Pack 1 or FP1) onto my Nokia N8. Let's just say that I was pleasantly impressed right from the first moment the OS booted up and I started using my phone again with the new software.

The UI was more responsive than ever, feeling very fast, snappy, and all-around good. The default Belle wallpapers were applied, with 4 homescreens being active out of the box (and two more can be added). The new widgets added are a welcome adition, my favourites being the ones I can control the functionality of my phone with, like Profiles, quick buttons for Bluetooth, Silent, Offline Mode, 3G on/off, Wifi on/off, as well as the mobile data tracker. Also, the clock widget got more styles, as well as the music player widget got a smaller version, which clutters up less space.

Apart from widgets, there are more things worth mentioning about Belle FP1. First and foremost, the music player on S^3 up to Belle was lacking a basic functionality. You could search for individual tracks sorted by track name (Songs) or by Albums which were sorted via artists themselves. Downside is that you couldn't search via Artist only. Belle FP1 fixed that. You can now sort via Artist, Albums, Songs, Playlist or Genre. The equalizer functionality is still rudimentary, since we only get access to the built-in presets, but that functionality can be expanded via a small app from the Nokia Store.

Application installations went fine, without any problems encountered. All installs completed smoothly, from the Nokia Store and from my own memory card. Apps run more smoothly (at least for my eye they do), and the OS is all around better optimized.

In the changelog there's mention of a new version of the built-in browser, with added speed, functionality and features, but I don't use the built-in browser, so I won't review it. There are plenty of reviews out there that are better than mine, and contain more technical data that to some of you may or may not make sense. This review is just a quick little hands-on of my experience.

One thing to note for the N8 is, for example, the lack of features added to the Camera app, which is the N8's go-to thing. The Camera app seems the same, feels the same, and it's a shame that we didn't get manual shutter control. It would have been bliss. But maybe there's a technical or mechanical obstacle preventing us from having that.

Multitasking seems ok, given the phone specs: Blob (the Blogger client I am using), Music Player, FolderPlay, Opera Mini and Gravity all running at the same time, while the phone is connected to a Bluetooth stereo headset. The phone works fine, no sudden restarts, no low memory messages, and not so much lag (even tho there sometimes is a little).

All in all, Belle FP1 is a welcome addition, and I really hope that there will be a FP2, and that it will get released for the N8 as well. For starters, since inception, Symbian^3 came a long way, and I hope there are still improvements coming, they are welcome additions.

And yes, this review was written on the Nokia N8, with Belle FP1, with all of the above applications running, while listening to music via Bluetooth.

- David aka. Tassadar over and out.

About life, love, and happiness...

While getting bored at work, I decided to get my phone and write a blog entry today... About what love means for me, personally, and what it means to other people around me...

Let me start off by saying that I was always a difficult person to be around, always the drama king, always seeing the empty half of the glass. It has its upsides and downsides. It has helped me in the past and in the present, but it also hurt me some. It's easy to make mistakes if you're always too optimistic. I'm not saying it's bad to make them, but it's easy to make them. On the other hand, if you're always prepared and expecting the worst possible outcome of a situation, you mostly tread carefully, watching your every step. Of course, the downside might be that, 1) If something bad happens like you've expected it to, you don't feel something good or 2) you get depressed. The upside is that if something that should've gone wrong goes swell, everything is fine and dandy, you're surprised and your spirits get up.

But what about love and relationships? As I said, I for one am a complicated and difficult person to be with. Even so, some people took a chance with me and more times than one it ended up being a total disaster. Who was to blame? Everybody. I've realized that I've made mistakes, but those mistakes were amplified tenfold when the persons next to me started lying, hiding, and drifting away. They were amplified tenfold when people from outside started interfering with my relationships and started pushing the people I cared for away from me, by using small steps combined with psychology, together with manipulation. And when I see that some persons in my past relationships (and who the fuck knows, maybe future ones) tend to be so damn naive, I explode. And that wasn't good. 12 years of explosions aren't good for anyone. Especially for me, because I'm a special little snowflake.

But how could I recover? How could I forget? Simplest of answers: drinking. Everything was easier to handle when drunk. I forgot what I was mad about in the first place, let myself go, and had at it. The world changed colours. The people became interesting again. Everything was going swell. Until I hit a brick wall, and somehow, every time someone managed to break down my 'high', and get me raging. And me, drunk, raging, is not a good combination. I get blacked out and do stuff I can't remember, and even I don't believe when told.

That's what I've become. That's what people whom were the center of my universe and took me for granted made me become. I've become a shadow, a husk, of my former self. And there's no coming back from that... Not for me. I can't lose these demons that are inside of me, raging, screaming, forcing their way out.

But I also can't be the kind of person who tells someone "I love you" today, and a week later tells the exact same thing to someone else. Love can't "change" or "erupt" so suddenly. Chemistry can. Love takes time, it needs to mature, it needs to grow and flourish into its glory and splendor from the bottom of the foodchain. It doesn't erupt suddenly. That's something else entirely. And the persons who can 'redirect' that expression to two or more people in two weeks' time, have no idea on earth what true love is. They may want to know what it is, they may need it, but, actually, they can be so shallow, that they are in love with the idea of love, and, until they don't change their ways, until they don't fully let go, they will always lack that 'special little something' that needs to be there for true love to exist.

I'm grateful that I've been in love, and that I managed to truly love, more times than once in my life. The experience and the feeling you have when you love someone, as much as you can, with all your heart, 'truly, madly, deeply', beats the shit out of the suffering and pain that eventually comes afterwards. Take my word for it. Even if you're afraid, you shouldn't be afraid to give yourself a chance to be happy. When and if you lose someone, dust yourself off, give yourself some time, see where you've gone wrong and where your other 'half' did, analyze everything in depth, and, after you've learned from your mistakes, move on, get up, and go out there again. It's a fucked up world we live in these days, and, mostly, feelings are dead in most people you meet. But every now and then, maybe fate will smile down on you and you'll meet your next 'special little someone' who will turn your world upside down. It took me almost 5 years to dust myself off after the last trainwreck of a relationship ended. This time, I don't know how long it will take. But I am certain that, when I am ready, I will do what I always do: get up, stop feeling sad, and be awesome instead.

- David aka. Tassadar over and out.

Friday, August 31, 2012

My first experience... with... StarCraft

Jocul poate fi achizionat de la GamesLine dand click pe acest link

Era intr-o zi tomnatica de demult...
Eram pe clasa a opta, si imi placea sa chiulesc de la scoala sa ma joc pe calculator... Incepusem sa inteleg genul RTS si mecanismele unui joc precum Warcraft 2. Eram in clasa a opta...
... Si-atunci, totul s-a schimbat...
Dupa Computer Club, unde asteptai la coada sa joci un joc in MS-DOS, a venit Millennium... Windows 98 SE, Voodoo2 + S3 Virge, ce mai! Acceleratoarele grafice au fost la locul lor, preturile erau pe masura, si iti era mai mare pofta cand vedeai cum picau miile de lighioane din Quake 2 sub plumbul shotgun-ului tau... Dar... Pe-atunci a aparut StarCraft...
Era un joc RTS, foarte simplu dar in acelasi timp foarte complicat, care avea, pentru prima data, in amintirea mea de copil, o poveste, un "story", care-l facea demn de "carte" in ochii mei. Avea personaje. Avea drama. Avea actiune. Avea tot ceea ce-i trebuia unui joc (pe urma era sa aflam, de asemenea magnitudine) sa aiba un succes irefutabil.
Curiozitatea m-a impins, ce-i drept, spre acel joc. Eram curios... "Ce se-ntampla acolo?". "Cine pe cine bate?". "Unde naiba e rocket launcher-ul?"... Dar, dupa un scurt tutorial, am observat ca oricine are o arma... Oricat de mica ar fi, poate fi cea invingatoare...
Au urmat zile, luni, ani buni, cu prietenul meu StarCraft... Mi-am atribuit pseudonimul "Tassadar", pentru ca, in toata povestea, el a fost personajul erou care s-a jertfit pentru a salva intregul univers... El a fost acel personaj care, desi lovit de pretutindeni, a continuat lupta pentru cautarea adevarului, si intr-un final, desi prea tarziu, a fost acceptat si respectat pentru dreptatea care o avea... Desi l-a costat viata...
StarCraft e mai mult decat un joc... E mai mult decat un simplu RPG... E o poveste... O poveste a unei iubiri interzise, care este tradata de un om pe care il credem amic, aliat, prieten... E o poveste a unei razbunari... E o poveste a unei lupte pe viata si pe moarte, pentru supravietuirea unei specii... E o poveste cu toate elementele necesare de a-i da izul de roman...
La vremea aia, StarCraft facea, prin stilul, animatia si naratia lui, sa inglobeze 90% din gameri in sfera absolutului, si sa ii faca sa joace acel joc, doar pentru ca, dupa fiecare misiune, jucatorul afla mai multe capitole din povestea totala.
StarCraft... Este, a fost, si va fi, unul dintre cele mai bune jocuri ale tuturor timpurilor. Este, a fost, si va fi, un joc care a marcat o generatie intreaga de gameri, de la tineri la varstnici, de la lucratori comerciali la manageri, nu conteaza. Jocul asta a atins asa o paleta larga de oameni, printre care ma numar si eu, incat, chiar soapta titlului, "StarCraft", va intoarce cateva priviri, oriunde si oricand s-ar afla cineva.
StarCraft, a fost, este, si va ramane ceea ce este - o legenda devenita realitate.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Rehab / Two Weeks Sober

Well, as the title says, today marks my second week sober, completed.

Words cannot express the gratitude I have for everyone that has helped me through this journey, which isn't easy and isn't simple. All I can do is sit in awe at how wonderful some people can be.

Thank you. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

- David out.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Rehab / 1 Week Sober

Today marks the first week sober, since I've given up drinking. The 10th of June 2012 is the day I had my last alcoholic beverage.

In this regard, I would like to thank everyone who is with me in this endeavour, and let them know how much it means to me to have such beautiful people trying to help me through this. It means the world to me, and I am amazed at how much some people care, people I didn't think cared that much until now.

Thank you to all, and I hope I won't stray from this path for a long time to come.

- David over and out.

Monday, June 11, 2012

"He Wishes For The Cloths Of Heaven" by William Butler Yeats

Had I the heavens' embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
- David out.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

I fucked up...

Let me start by saying that Xanax and alcohol is not a good combination... It sucks and it produces black-outs and drives people away. Seems like in my quest for change I have hurt the people I love the most. From now on, I am quitting drinking alcohol regularly. I will drink occasionally, maybe once a week, in the weekend. It's a virus, I had a nervous breakdown, but that must end as well. Else, I will keep on hurting people that care about me, and it's not ok.

Last night was a catastrophe. It was one of the worst nights of my life. It was a fucking train wreck. I can't remember half of it, but my friends explained it to me in detail. And I was mortified. I was everything that I shouldn't have been. I was blacked out, started a knife fight, did stupid things, and now I'm facing losing the person who cares the most about me, because of my self-centerdness, because of my luggage, because of my nervous breakdown, because I am what I am, because of drinking.

But no more.

From now on, I am quitting alcohol altogether, I will quit drinking excessively. I will quit drinking altogether. It's something that brings me to the brink of a meltdown, and it's not ok. Everything fucked up in my life happens because of alcohol. Alas, it will stop.

I don't want to lose everything I have over some fucking beers. All the fights that I started I started in a drunken haze, and the kicker was nonsense. I don't want that anymore. I know I may repeat myself, but today was the last beer I had, for a long time. I've been writing this post since morning, on and off, crying, moaning, bitching about how unfair life is, and it starts to sting. And by stinging, I don't mean a bee sting, a wasp sting, a fucking bullet wound... No, it's not a fucking flesh wound. It's an open heart surgery. And I'm about to perform it... on myself. It sucks, but it must be done. No tranquilizers, no anesthesia, no nothing. Just a fucking scalpel and that's it. I must perform this surgery on myself, remove a tumor that's been growing inside me for years now... And then I must move to my brain, and perform another surgery, as usual, without anesthesia, to remove another tumor that's been growing there as well. No more fuck ups. No more me being drunk and always a fucking wreck. No more.

Last night I stepped into the same loop that I said I will never step into. I had a tattoo made to remind me of what *NOT* to do. Guess I've missed the big black dragon on my wrist, because I fucked up royally, and nobody could stop me. But no more nonsense. No more train wrecks. No more planes colliding. No more nothing. I shall try to be the person I was before people destroyed me, before all this shit began. And succeed I will. Because I stand to lose the one person I care about the most if I don't. And that's not something I am willing to risk.

I took her for granted, I took everything for granted, and it's not okay. There's always two in a relationship. There's always action an reaction. My actions have destroyed every reaction that has happened. No more. Now I become someone else. Now I become my former self, no more a shell of what I am. No more shadow of myself. No more trust issues. No more jealousy. No more fucking up everything. This time, it will be different.

And I just hope she can forgive me, and my friends can forgive me for what I have done.

I just hope I can make it work. I just hope it will be okay in the end.

Because I'm in love, after a long time, and losing what I love the most is the worst outcome of this situation.

No words can say how bad I feel about what happened, but my actions will speak for themselves. I shall prove that change is possible. I shall prove that I am worth it.

I'm in love, and I shall fight for it.

David out.