The USA’s Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is about to host the annual Oscar Awards. These are the movies that I watched and can comment on.
Also, let’s check what will be said about the Will Smith “incident” from last year.
Ah, Skyrim, the game that we’ve all sunk countless hours into and have been rewarded with hundreds of dragons slain and hundreds of hours of gameplay. I mean, the game was released on 2011-11-11. It’s like Bethesda knew that we needed something to distract us from the impending doom of the Mayan calendar.
As a massive fan of fantasy RPGs, I picked up Skyrim on release day. Was one of my first purchases after getting a job in Rio de Janeiro. After playing for more than a hundred hours, I reviewed it but never finished it. My mage-thief AquaDiFiori was halfway on the main quest, and she was the leader of some of the factions. It was then that I realized that Skyrim is one of those games that you can sink an endless amount of hours into and still find new things to do and explore.
Recently, I decided to restart the game after several years, using various mods to fix some bugs and add more embellishments to the game. I played as a mage in the College of Winterhold, a thief in the Thieves Guild, an assassin of the Dark Brotherhood, and a warrior in the Companions, most with the same character, the female wood-elf UberCamelot. It was like a choose-your-own-adventure book, but with more dragons and less page flipping.
One thing that frustrated me about Skyrim is the absence of a credits screen after the ending. What’s the point of defeating Alduin if you don’t get to bask in the glory of your victory while the credits roll? Instead, players can continue to explore the world. It’s like you’ve saved the world, but the world is still “I used to be an adventurer like you, then I took an arrow in the knee.”
Of course, one of the biggest downsides of the game is the frequent crashing. I get it, Skyrim is a huge and complex game, but wired bugs are one thing (for Bethesda Studios, it is a feature, not a bug), crashing after 10 years of patches is another completely. It’s still infuriating when you’ve spent a lot of time managing your inventory, crafting and enchanting items, and the game suddenly crashes. Quick save is your best friend in this game.
Despite the crashing, I enjoyed Skyrim very much. The game is incredibly immersive, with breathtaking scenery, atmospheric music, and realistic sound effects. The combat system is intuitive, and the ability to choose different skills and abilities for your character provides a lot of variety in gameplay. The world feels alive, with NPCs going about their daily routines, animals wandering around, and the occasional dragon swooping down from the sky. More than my memory served me. It’s like living in a high-fantasy version of a nature documentary.
That being said, while Skyrim is an excellent game, I still think that The Witcher 3 is a better game. It has a more engaging storyline, better-developed characters, and a combat system that feels more refined. Side missions feel more meaningful and have a greater impact on the game’s story. But hey, that’s just my opinion. Don’t @ me.
In conclusion, Skyrim is an excellent game that just won’t Fus Ro Dah-way anytime soon! It’s been years since its original release and yet people are still shouting and modding. Keep selling well on every platform under the sun. It provides endless hours of entertainment.
My rating, after all these years, continues to be high. Finally, the Laat Dovahkiin will retire from the land of the Dovah. Let’s wait for the next scroll.
Smart homes are becoming increasingly popular as technology continues to advance and become more accessible. You can control various devices and appliances in your home through a single app or voice assistant. It can include lights, temperature control, security systems, and more.
You can control these lights through voice commands through platforms like Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa. With smart lights, you can easily set the mood in your home by adjusting the color, brightness, and temperature of the lights. You can also automate lighting by setting schedules or creating scenes, such as turning on the lights when you enter a room or dimming them for movie night. The typical sales pitch “Endless Possibilities” does apply here!
I started to transform my house into a Smart Home about a year ago and I’m loving it!
One of the most affordable and customizable options for building a smart home is to use Home Assistant with a Raspberry Pi. Home Assistant is an open-source platform that allows you to integrate and control various smart devices in your home. It is free and can be easily installed on a Raspberry Pi, making it accessible to people with a range of technical skill levels. Home Assistant supports a wide variety of smart lights, including those from popular brands like Philips.
One of the benefits of using Home Assistant with a Raspberry Pi is that it is free of paid service. All smart-device companies offer a paid subscription service to unlock some extra features. The Home Assistant community has hundreds of tips and tutorials to replicate them on your own. This means that you don’t have to worry about recurring subscription fees or being locked into a specific platform.
Unlike paid smart home services, particularly those in other countries, you can be confident that your private information and data are secure and not being monitored or accessed by anyone else. You have full control over your data and devices, and you can be sure that your security cameras, personal information, and other sensitive data are not being shared with any third parties. This level of privacy is crucial in today’s world where data privacy concerns are becoming more widespread. By choosing this DIY smart-home setup, you can enjoy the benefits of a connected home without worrying about the privacy implications of using a paid service.
Node-RED, included as a plugin, allows for even greater customization and automation in your smart home. You can create “flows” that automate various tasks, such as recording security video when motion is detected, sending notifications to your phone, or turning on the lights when you enter a room. This can make your smart home even more intelligent and responsive to your needs, freeing up time and effort that would otherwise be spent on manual tasks. The plugin provides a visual interface for building these automations, making it easy to set up and modify your flows, even if you have little to no programming experience. By incorporating Node-RED into your Home Assistant setup, you can take your smart home to the next level and make it truly your own.
I had to configure an online backup. Raspberry Pi has a history of failing, especially the micro-SD. It gives me peace of mind knowing that even if my Raspberry Pi fails, I can easily restore my Home Assistant setup without any hassle.
Another great feature of a smart home is the ability to leave your keys and wallets behind when you leave the house. With smart locks and phone-based payment systems, you now can control access to your home and pay for purchases with just your phone. It can make life much more convenient, as you won’t need to carry a bulky keychain or wallet everywhere you go. It’s pocket freedom! Simply use your phone to unlock your front or garage door, and pay for your morning coffee – all without ever having to dig through your pockets or purse. The counterpart is the single point of failure: in case I lose my phone (or get robbed), I will have no money and no way to enter my house. :(
I did the right thing to start to automate my home a year back. Building a smart home with Home Assistant on a Raspberry Pi is a cost-effective and customizable option for people who want to control their home appliances and devices from one central location. A valid warning: it’s addictive to tweak each device or flow to fit your taste. Just take care of not getting into the rabbit hole!
Lutris is an open-source gaming platform for Linux that allows users to easily install and manage Windows-only games without having to dual-boot or use a virtual machine. It works with a wide range of sources, including Steam, Epic Game Store, Origin, and Ubisoft.
Under the hood is Proton, the compatibility layer. It is not an emulator. Unlike traditional emulators, which run games in a virtual environment, Proton is a conversion layer that translates Windows system calls to Linux system calls. This allows Windows games to run natively on Linux without any performance loss. The result is that games run on Proton often perform just as well, or even better than they would on native OS. This is because it takes advantage of the performance optimizations and features of the Linux kernel, while also providing compatibility with Windows libraries and APIs. Proton also uses various performance tweaks and optimizations to improve the performance of games on Linux, and it is regularly updated with new features and bug fixes to support both recent AAA titles and older games.
I have been using Lutris on my daily Kubuntu system for the past 3 years and have had a great experience playing a wide range of games, from the latest blockbuster releases to older classic titles. From my experience, Lutris and Proton work exceptionally well and I have been able to successfully play most of the games without any problem. The process of installing and running games through Lutris is straightforward and user-friendly. The platform also provides a wide range of options for configuring and optimizing game performance, which is particularly useful for older or resource-intensive games.
Another great advantage of using Lutris is that it unifies all of your game libraries from different stores into a single interface. This eliminates the need to switch between different launchers or applications to access your games and makes it much easier to keep track of what you have installed and what you want to play next. You can browse and manage your entire collection of games from one place, regardless of where you purchased them from. If needed, Lutris launches the launcher automatically for you.
In addition to the convenience of having all of your games in one place, Lutris also provides a variety of tools and features that can enhance your gaming experience. For example, the platform allows you to create custom game configurations and launch options, manage your game saves, and keep track of which games you have completed. With Lutris, you have all of the tools you need to manage your gaming library and get the most out of your games.
Valve, the company behind Steam, has also made a significant contribution to the development of Linux gaming. They have invested a lot in developing Proton, which is now a key component of Lutris, and also the Steam Deck, a handheld gaming console that runs on Linux. This investment by Valve demonstrates a strong commitment to the Linux gaming community and it’s great to see that the gaming experience on Linux is getting better and better.
Note: You can check the list of all games that that are working fine in ProtonDB and Lutris DB. The most problematic games are those that require some anti-cheat feature, because they are tailored for Windows and use intrinsic techniques.
Lutris and Proton are powerful tools that provide a seamless gaming experience on Linux. The platform is user-friendly, easy to configure, and constantly updated to support new games and features. Have fun!
Every year I try to compile a list of games, books, and movies I experienced. For the complete list, check the Ratings. Here we go (sorted by rating)!
I continue reading (mostly listening to audiobook versions, in fact) almost every day for the past few years. It’s in my daily routine when I walk the dogs. It’s a very different proposition from laying down and dedicating some time to read them. I have an urge for a secondary task when I am performing a no-brainer routine, such as… walking the dogs. Otherwise, I feel like wasting my time by walking and not thinking.
This is the list of this year’s books that I ingested. These lists are -definitively- not comprehensive ones. Since I always forget to update my GoodReads personal records or write about them on this blog, they are just the ones I remember. I will edit this post in case I remember other entries.
This year I’ve already compiled a mid-term list back in July, so it’s just the books from the second semester.
For more books, you can check my online read list on GoodReads.