Video Game Review: Bastion | No Spoilers ^_^

Covert art of Bastion

Hello, I will give a quick review of the game without any spoilers. This review is to help you decide whether you want to buy the game or not.

Bastion is a game where you take control of the main character and explore different levels. This is an isometric game where you see the world in 2.5 D. The game has a very interesting story line. You have to be skilled with all the types of weapons you get because each one will have a purpose somewhere in the game. You also have to devise different strategies involving different types of weapons which the character can carry in order to defeat the bosses.

The game has a leveling system but you do not have to do a lot of grinding in order to finish the game. Therefore, you can enjoy the story while being involved in it and not need to do a lot of hard work to advance.

In my opinion, if you want to play a relaxing and story rich video game with innovative mechanics involving weapons then you should go for it. 🙂

Before I forget it, Bastion has amazing narration. Each stage is voice narrated and it gets you so much more involved with the character and his story.

Book Review: The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. No Spoilers ^_^

Cover art of the book

Hello, I will describe the book to you so that you can get a feel of how it is and it will help you to decide if you want to buy the book or not. I will not give any spoilers, promise. 🙂

I must admit that this is a relaxing read. There are elements of thrill and action here and there but overall it has a peaceful tone. Like, it describes how the character goes through his daily life where he studies or where he works. It describes his daily struggles trying to make ends meet while being very concerned about learning magic powers which have been named as ‘sympathy’ in the series. There is a clear distinction between people who know magic and who don’t. The magic users are generally shunned from society.

The book describes romance between the character and his love interest. Here, I have to say that the writer has become a little too optimistic while portraying the relationship. The writer shifted a little too far from reality while describing the romantic proceedings in the book.

There is a vivid description of slum life in the beginning of the book, so be prepared to digest it.

The writer has portrayed the religious lore of his world very well. The religious lore connects well with the contemporary world and the behavior of the people.

Overall, I would recommend it if you want to read a well written fantasy book. I enjoyed it very much and am reading the second part right now. I will post the review of second part ‘The Wise Man’s Fear’ when I have finished reading it.

Thank you for reading. 🙂

How to choose a web server?

This is a simple flowchart for you to decide which web server you should choose. Veteran web developers may already know what works best for them. This is for beginner web developers or people just wanting to try web development.

If you are having trouble deciding which web server to choose given all these options then this is the chart for you. I admit that there are many more services out there for example Google cloud, Microsoft Azure etc. But I am mentioning those services here which I have tried myself and can tell you that they are worth your money and time and that they will get the job done.

Notice that many veterans and experts will tell you to go for Amazon Web Services. I will not recommend this if you are hosting a website for the first time or if you are unsure what Amazon Web Services really is. If you are not comfortable with FTP, SSH and Linux terminal then AWS (Amazon Web Services) is not for you.

Heroku is good for hosting web apps and you do not need a lot of configuration to get your web app up and running. You need to do all the work using command line and git so be ready for it. And, if you are serious about web or software development then you should definitely learn git. Heroku offers some virtual machine instances for free if they use resources within a certain limit. The major resource which they monitor is CPU time. How much CPU time is your web app consuming? If it is less than a certain limit then you can host your web app on their infrastructure for free. There is more to it and you should really visit their website to find it out.

If you want a good, out of the box service then go for Cpanel. Cpanel is user friendly and it gets your website up and running within minutes. You can choose any hosting service mentioned in the chart to use Cpanel. I have personally tried Godaddy and Milesweb and I found that Godaddy servers were a little slower compared to Milesweb. You can try whatever service is best in your country.

Happy hosting. 😉 

Book Review: The Way of Shadows by Brent Weeks. No Spoilers ^_^

Cover art of the book

Hey, I will try not to give you any spoilers. I read this sometime ago so my memory may not be very fresh about specific events and how they unfolded but hey, I am not even going to talk about the events of the book. I am just going to write a review which will help you decide whether you want to buy the book or not.

The book gives some really gory details regarding physical situation of characters. The book portrays slum life very vividly and you will almost clench your face with disgust. But that is necessary to bring out the story the writer wants to portray.

The action part is good. You can expect some role playing game like powers and magic towards the end of the book. 😉

The romance part is heart wrenching, well, almost. Uh, no, it really is. You should read it if you want to witness some romance mixed in with the dark world of assassins, mages and kings.

A substantial amount of politics is there in the story.

Overall, I would recommend it if you like fantasy novels but keep your stomach ready to digest some really gory and gritty details.

Let me know what you think of it. 🙂 Next up is ‘The Name of the Wind’ by Patrick Rothfuss.

Open source development tools in schools

With Adobe and Autodesk completely shifting their models to a subscription based service the software products which they offer are getting more and more expensive to use in the long run.
There are open source alternatives to most of the software products which they offer and which provide similar functionality for free. 
However, in schools and universities the students are taught the use of proprietary software products which cost a fortune to buy even if they are a one time purchase. When a small company (such as us) hire these students we find it difficult to buy the licenses of the software they are used to or teach them the use of open source software.

Blender Logo (Open Source 3D modeling and animation software). Try it, you will love it.

This hinders our ability to produce content. With open source software products offering similar capabilities as paid products one may wonder why schools and universities are so insistent on using the proprietary products for teaching. The schools and universities don’t even buy the licenses for those products and simply pirate them. The companies know about this and they don’t bother. (Autodesk even provides some software for free for students) These companies know that the professionals which the university/school will be building will go out into companies and only be able to work at their utmost efficiency using their product. This approach only hurts the small businesses.

Inkscape Logo (Open Source Vector Drawing Software)

So, if people who coordinate the education programs in schools and universities are reading this then please try to make a switch from proprietary giants to humble open source software products. I will tell you how to google that, just type “open source alternative to ‘proprietary software name'”
Type in Google: Open source alternative to Adobe Flash
Type in Google: Open source alternatives to Autodesk Maya

And you will see many results. These software products are open source, free and you will never have to live in fear of a task force arriving at your school/university looking for pirated software products and you will help the small businesses grow as well as be able to participate in the development of these software products.
One thing which should be noted about the open software products is that they have a very good ability to include plugins in them which the proprietary software products also offer but…for money. Their plugins are also costly.

this is from Rick And Morty

Small company guys and girls may have enjoyed this post. Big company guys and girls…not so much.