Thumbs Up!

Tilasin Leicaan jonkun aikaa sitten Thumbs Up! peukalotuen, kun sitä oli kovasti kehuttu. Thumbs Up! on metallinen lisäosa, joka laitetaan salamakenkään, ja se auttaa saamaan paremman otteen kamerasta kun sitä käsittelee yhdellä kädellä. Vimpaimen on suunnitellut Tim Isaac.

Thumbs-Up-Package

Olen elämäni aikana jokusen paketin avannut, ja tämä kokonaisuus kyllä pieksää ne kaikki kirkkaasti. Rasia on todella siisti, cool ja kaikkea hippimäistä. Sen lisäksi itse tuote on todella hyvä. Se istuu Leicaan kuin sormi silmään aina pintakäsittelyä myöten, ja peukalotuki tuntuu käteen ergonomian puolesta täydelliseltä.

Viimeistely on omaa luokkaansa. En muista milloin viimeksi olen törmännyt yhtä laadukkaaseen metallinkimpaleeseen. Ilmeisesti suunnittelija on samaa mieltä, koska paketissa on mukana vielä henkilökohtainen kiitosviesti suunnittelijalta. Jumpe. Tämä on brändäystä.

English readers: Thumbs Up! is a superb product. 10/10!

thumbs-up-leicaM81

Facebook, we need to talk…

I decided to drop Instagram when they started to wiggle the EULA behind my back. I get it, Instagram needs revenue, and it is a logical step to use user content for it. I just don’t want to be a part of that. Those pictures are mine and mine alone (but if they would have asked nicely, I would have given my permission for sure. Funny, huh?). It doesn’t matter that this time Instagram backed down with the privacy settings change. Settings will change to the worse direction in some way or another, it is just a matter of time.

I have few huge problems with Facebook, too (yes, same company, I know). My biggest gripes are these:

Constant backstabbing. As far as I can remember, Facebook has tried to change privacy settings without telling about it to users. There is just no way of knowing what happens next or what I have signed for. Because of this, Facebook doesn’t feel safe. I just can’t trust the service. There are plenty of private information in Facebook, and I just don’t trust Facebook like the way I trust Google. And that isn’t much.

Hiding stuff. I have had enough of clicking the “Sort” to “Sort: Most Recent” every few weeks. I want that my preferences are saved, and not just for a few weeks. I don’t want the Facebook to decide what I would like to see and what to hide. I know it myself, thank you very much.

The new search will destroy privacy for good. So far, Facebook search has sucked big time. On retrospect, that has been a good thing. I have actually wondered when they make this kind of search functionality, because there are so much personal information that can be exploited to different kind of uses. People will soil their knickers because of it. If you don’t know what this fuss is all about, read this article.

My time is valuable. I have noticed that I keep checking Facebook all the time. That time is away from the other things like my work, family and hobbies. Every one of those things is much more important than Facebook. Even laying on the couch is. Why the hell I keep checking my Facebook news all the time then? It is just stupid.

Facebook makes me hate the people I know. People are different. People have different political views and we all have different experiences in life, which colors our perception of things. That said, half the stuff I read in Facebook is crap. Stupid yellow press article links and moral high ground pebble throwing. It gets pretty damn annoying pretty damn fast.

What is good about the Facebook?

Friends and family. This is the evilness of Facebook. You feel like betraying your friends and family if you leave. It is a genius way of keeping clients.

But what else? What would be worth staying?

Not much, really. I actually hate you, damn Facebook. I hope the fate of Myspace is your future too.

What next?

I need a break from big F. I don’t think that I can just delete everything (and it may not be even possible anyway), but I definitively won’t be around much anymore. If you want to know how I’m doing, you have few choices:

  • Follow my twitter account.
  • Call me (*gasp* I know, radical!) or send me an SMS.
  • See me IRL.
  • Send me an email.
  • Follow my blog (this one) or my company blog.

Final words

I know that it is cool and very hipster on some memetic circles to stop using Facebook. I don’t really care about that. This decision is very very selfish. I am not even sure can I actually stop using Facebook, but damn, I have to try it at least.

Dear diary…

When I was younger, I had to write my short novels using a cheap typewriter. That was a necessity, because I have utterly terrible handwriting (even I have a hard time to understand what the hell I have written). However, paper and ink wasn’t cheap. After some time, I had to stop using the typewriter too. I had to write, though. As many writers know, it isn’t something you just can stop at will. It is the urge.

So, I started to write a diary. At first I used the diary as a some sort of collection of infinite wisdoms. As a teenager. Right. Ahem.

I had a pretty rough patch in my life about 15–20 years ago. I had a diary that had all the small details about the things that happened during those times. The book was lost during the bankruptcy auction when I was in the army, and I don’t know what happened to it. I would be willing to pay thousands of euros if I just could get it back.

Last year, I started to write a diary again. This time I didn’t feel any pressure about the quality of the text. I just wrote anything that I felt was worth of mentioning. People, places, feelings — that kind of stuff. It feels awesome.

I prefer large lined Moleskine. It is kinda cliché, because Moleskine is the only notebook that a true hipster can use. I don’t care. I love it. It is sturdy, paper is good quality and it smells right. It is something you just want to touch. I tried using normal ballpoint pen for writing, but it felt too heavy to use. Normal ink pen wasn’t fun either, because the ink has a tendency to smudge pages. Now I use gel ink pen, which is perfect. Ink is liquid enough so that you don’t have to press it too hard, and the gel ink dries fast.

Best part of the diary is that you can actually empty your head bucket on a regular basis. It is much less crowded in there when you can filter relevant stuff out and on the paper.

Back to Gold

I finally got back to gold league.

I had some pretty nice games yesterday, but after hitting gold, I got cheesed more than when I was in bronze league. ;D It is obvious that I need to refine my builds more, specially the timings and scouting. From economy standpoint I seem to be doing ok, and I recognise the most common builds and cheeses.

Next step, platinum. It may take few months though, and Heart of the Swarm is upon us then.

Back on the SC2 grind again

I started playing StarCraft 2 again last week and got my ass handed to me on a silver platter. I obviously can’t compete against all those youngsters who have too much time and energy drinks on their hands. I need a plan.

This time I decided to learn just 3 good builds and learn to exploit them well. Before I just went on with the flow, which worked pretty well when everything was new and game wasn’t very balanced. That doesn’t work anymore. You actually have to concentrate even on the lower levels.

These are the builds I am using at the moment (I am playing Protoss, it seems to fit my mindset best) in a 1v1:

PvP: DT rush to Archon/Zealot

I hate mirror matches. Usually PvP is a race towards a 4 gate, but it gets very boring very fast. It is always the same, unless opponent try to cheese you with a proxy 2 gate or cannon rush. This build has stealth, aggression, touch of mind games and a pretty strong mid game transition.

Basically I try to get 2 Zealots and 1 Stalker as fast as possible and go poke the opponent with them. If they try to use some cookie cutter build, they usually have either 1 Zealot and 1 Stalker, or in some cases, same combination as me. Key point here is to mess with opponents mind so that they think me going to standard massive gateway army. Usually I get them by surprise and manage to do some damage with intense micro. I draw back so that I have some units to defend against 4 gate aggression (which is unavoidable). After retreating, I scout the base surroundings constantly to spot the proxy pylon, which is there 7 out of 10 times.

After the initial poke, I get two things: speed upgrade for Zealots and 2 Dark Templars. Also, warp tech with a proxy pylon when 2 Dark Templars are ready to roll. If the opponent isn’t on your doorstep (it depends if I found the proxy pylon), I warp Dark Templars near his base. If he doesn’t have any detection, it is GG after mineral line invasion. If he has, I draw Dark Templars back and start merging them to Archons.

If I was the first aggressor, opponent doesn’t usually attack straight away. They try to assemble huge death ball and come storming in after that. This is good, because it gives me plenty of time to make 4–5 Archons and sh*tloads of Zealots. After I have about 4–5 Archons, 12 Zealots and 2 Sentries, I go and rotflstomp his base, starting from the expansion. At this time, even though they would have 1 or even 2 Colossi, Archon/Zealot army rips them apart. Sentry forcefield is also useless, because Archons are massive units and they just stomp through forcefields.

Win rate against Protoss: 80 %.

PvT: 3 gate FE to High Templars

Terran always attack against Protoss in early game. Always. Its a natural law, like gravity and taxes. If they don’t, there is a Banshee rush or something non-standard incoming. They come either with Marines or Mariners/Marauders. In some cases, they make a Hellion rush, which is pretty bad, but 9 out of 10 times Terran relies on brute force, because it works.

This build relies on early gateway defense, with a fast expansion and +2 armor upgrade, Zealot speed upgrade and High Templars. I start by putting down 1 gateway, and based on a scouting I drop either 2 more gates and expand or expand just straight away. Only time I rely only on a one gateway before Nexus is when I see them taking an early expansion. Every other time I make 2 more gateways and start pumping out Zealots as fast as I can without chronoboosting. When they come, I usually can convince them to bugger off.

At this point, my second Nexus should be on its way. It is imperative to get the +1 armor upgrade and speed upgrade for Zealots as soon as possible. I use all my chronoboosts on those. Build some Sentries with the Zealots too and get the warpgate tech and don’t forget the +2 armor upgrade. Warp in 3 more gateways and start warping in Zealots, Sentries and some Stalkers, if you suspect a Medivac drop.

If they come at this point with just a 1 Medivac, your army should be able to stomp them easily. If they wall up and try to tech up to tanks/standard MMM ball, you should have plenty off time to get High Templars and psionic storm. In engagements, activate Sentry shields first, shoot 2 psionic storms next, attack with all ground units and start sniping the Medivacs with High Templars. You should kill them easily.

Sneakiest ones like to drop a small force on the main base mineral line shortly after the main force engagements. If you see this happening, just pull probes to a second base mineral line and warp some Zealots and Stalkers to deal with the drop. At this time, your main units should have killed most of the attacking main force. Drop 3rd Nexus immediately and go for their expansion. If they don’t seem to have any proper defense, just kill them. If they have, just finish of expansion and retreat and tech to Colossai. Take a map control and finish them off.

Winrate against Terran: 70–80 %.

PvZ: fast Immortal and Sentry

Zerg can be annoying. Like Terran, Zerg like to attack against Protoss early either with Zerglings or Roaches. This build is about getting Immortals out as soon as possible. It means taking an early expansion with a forge as a protection. So, build order is Forge + 2 cannons > Nexus > (Gateway + Cybernetic Core >) Robotics Bay > Immortals. You should get as many Zealots as possible without chronoboosting for early defense, before the Immortal is ready. I usually don’t get Sentry before Immortal, because the Immortal build is pretty gas heavy as it is and few cannons and Zealots is adequate defense.

Warning: if they don’t come to you with roaches (they should be knocking on your door at latest when your first Immortal is ready) or you don’t see any Roaches while scouting, you should be ready for Mutalisk harassment. Warp in craploads of Stalkers and drop 1 cannon on each mineral line. After Stalkers, continue with the Immortal production (add 1 Robotics Bay as soon as you can afford it) and make Sentries too. There will always be roaches.

When they come, use Sentries Shield and try to split the Roaches with forcefields. After a short and brutal fight, go for their expansions and nuke it. Go for the main base after that. Even if they are able to spawn more Zerglings and Roaches, you should be able to stomp them easily.

Winrate against the Zerg: 70 %.

I have had pretty good success with these builds. I am in a upper silver league now (not even close to my best rankings), and about to hit gold. Time will show, do I ever get back to diamond league.