Virtual Reality & 3d

I’ve been thinking a bit recently regarding 3d and VR aka: Virtual Reality. Thinking if VR will go the way of 3d. That being dead.

Avatar made 3d a thing again in a huge way the 3d technology was much better than anaglyph days of the 80s’ and earlier.
To this day Avatar is best viewed in 3d watching it in 2d just doesn’t have that BANG! It really is an awesome example of what could be done with 3d when used in a artistic way not in the gimmicky ways of the past having actors use a shovel handle pointed at you.

The industry ate it up and then released Televisions that offered Active or passive 3d one required expensive battery operated shades the other passive just regular glasses with polarized lenses.
On top of that you also needed a Bluray player to play these 3d Blurays and if you wanted to connect to your surround system well then you needed a receiver that supported 3d as well.
Not to mention you needed the 3d movies which cost double the price of the standard Bluray and you needed extra glasses as well if you have a family or invite a few friends over to watch. And if you had an active 3d Television each pair of glasses could cost anywhere from $20 to $200 a pair. The passive glasses were cheaper much cheaper light weight and could get a dozen pair for $10.

As of now Oct 2017 there is not 1 TV manufacturer that has made a TV that has 3d capability not even the high end models.
They are concentrating on 4k and really concentrating on HDR HDR10, Dolby Vision, HLG HDR & Technicolor HDR and a few others are out there as well.
LG was one of the last manufacturers to offer 3d and was only in their high end 2016 OLED television sets Curved models.
Curved another fading trend I never liked curved TV’s. Only reason I went with curved is because the 2016 curved LG OLED model was the only version that offered 3d in the 55″ range.
I’m actually a bit saddened that 3d is gone not that I watched it often as a matter a fact I rarely do. But when I do watch a documentary or movie in 3d I really enjoy it. When I am out looking to purchase a Bluray I look for 4k BR that includes the 3d and 2d versions because I like the option to watch in 4k w/HDR or 3d. Life Of Pi for example was another must see in 3d. Now the latest 4k Version has been up ticked nicely with HDR.
I couldn’t imagine watching TV in 3d all the time and makes me wonder if that is something others expected and did not get?

This got me thinking about VR: Virtual Reality which at this time is really gaining traction.
Could it die the sad death that 3d has?
I recently purchased the Oculus Rift with 3 sensors and hand controllers for interaction.
First I compare them.
Both require being worn
both are expensive
Both require software that supports it.

Then I looked at the difference.
VR is a personal experience and so is the software it uses “gaming”.
It is interactive and your in it not looking at it through a box.
3d movies are usually a shared experience and if not people lounge watching TV having glasses push into your face is annoying not to mention they darken the image.
There is absolutely no interaction with 3d televisions except for when you navigate the main menu to select Play or the Audio version.

I like 3d I really do like it once an a while but let me tell you that VR is plain awesome a totally different experience altogether.
This awesome factor isn’t enough to make everyone say it’s going to live on and change the way we use our computers and other devices.
I hope it does I‘m no fortune teller but stepping back and really looking at both technologies I think VR has a much better chance than 3d did or does.
Maybe I’m more hoping it does well because I love it so much. But I think anyone that gives it a chance and just tries it will see there is more to this VR than just gaming alone.

And I think after 3d is gone completely it will have it’s own community that will stick around to sell and trade 3d movies and hardware. If you do have a 3d TV & a Bluray player or PlayStation 3 may want to save it because you may want to go back and watch that 1 movie that was made in 3d back in 2010 because it was how the original print was meant to be viewed.

Just like the old anaglyph 3d movies that are out there that are still worth watching.
Freddy’s Dead was an absolute terrible movie but the way they implemented 3d “Freddy Vision” into it was ingenious. 

 

 

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Oculus Rift VR Gaming

Since purchasing the Oculus I had very little games to talk about.

Now I have tried quite a few.
So far Robo Recall is my absolute favorite game this is using the Unreal Engine and it runs smoothly and looks great.
Robots are coming at you full on weather they attack you with their hands or are armed they come from above and from all corners to take you down and stop you from recalling them.
You can upgrade you guns and shotguns by recalling robots and getting experience.
This comes free when you purchase Touch controllers if you did not then it’s going to cost you $39.99 but it’s worth it.

And you can grab the robots and tear them apart and throw the parts at attacking forces. Awesome!!!

Arizona Sunshine Undead
I have played this game for about 2-3 hours it’s okay but in all fairness it’s not worth playing unless you have 3 tracking sensors. Only because you will be facing away from your front sensors more often than not. When this happens and you don’t have a 3rd rear tracking sensor it loses you and makes for much disruption and loss of gameplay.

As of now I only have 2 front sensors which is the setup required for the Headset & the Touch controllers.
I did put in an order for the 3rd rear sensor yesterday tracking sensors sell locally and online for $59.99 I went ahead and got my 3rd one from BestBuy but am having it delivered.

The game seems good you can open car doors and trunks to search for ammo and food so it does allow exploring to a certain extent.
The Aiming is not as refined as it is in Robo Recall. It’s not terrible but you will need to actually aim to get head shots. And Head shots are what you want in this game especially when you have 5 or more zombies charging you from all around. Some are slow walkers others drag and crawl and some are straight up runners.
I won’t say it’s a bad game maybe I will have better thoughts after hooking up a 3rd tracking sensor.
Is it worth the $39.99 I spent on it? I think $15-$20 would of been fair.

Affected: The Manor
This is not a game where you shoot and kill things or even solve puzzles.
The game is a explore and walk through if you dare.
It’s a haunted manor that you alone walk through with only a flashlight equipped.
At first I thought how can this possibly be entertaining?
It uses jump scares that work very well in this game. I still have not walked through the whole manor it is damn creepy wait until your alone or everyone is sleeping late at night turn off your lights put on your gear and get ready to explore the haunted manor.
This game is only $9.99 worth every penny.
If you like being scared and haunted houses you will like this very much. Not for the faint of heart.

Dead & Buried
This is a western shooter with a twist you must shoot and kill the undead Hillbillies that attack you in waves.
It is a multiplayer game  4 people can play together it’s a straight up arcade shooter you don’t stop shooting until the wave ends help keep your partners alive because you will need them as the game progresses.
The game play is smooth with cartoon graphics that are pleasing to watch and interact with “shoot”.
Unloading shells & Reloading your gun with flip of the wrist can be tiring but you must do it to keep your ammo full so you don’t get over run.
Aim is dead on very good as far as that goes no need o close one eye for precise aiming like is needed in Arizona Sunshine Undead.
This can be purchased in the Oculus store for $19.99 this can not be purchased in Steam.
If you purchased the touch controllers this game also comes with for free.

There are a few more games that are good as well but did not mention like Hell Dimension ,Super Hot & The Wizards.
I wanted to touch down on apps that can be used daily.

Facebook VR:
This is a sit in application for Facebook it puts you at a table with a control deck that is fully interactive.
You can create your VR person when setting up.
The FB VR tools include Phone, pencil or pen,tablet and a selfie extender with a screen and a few other gadgets.
You can also have your desktop in VR FB as well so you can still access your desktop to use Edge browser or other things.
You can also do a stream cast in VR world for others to get a glimpse inside your VR Facebook.
It allows you to grab media and other things and expand them around you for example you see a newsfeed in FB about Star Trek you can grab that news and pull it into you that then makes you sitting in the starship deck with all the other characters.

It’s not a perfect application but it is pretty cool so far and betting it will only get better as time and VR adoption rates grow.
I know someone that uses Gear VR and the FB VR is different than the Oculus Rift version which means they are putting real work into each device to make sure your getting the best experience on the device you have.
This is a 100% free app that can be downloaded and installed in the Oculus Store.

Xbox One Streaming:
This is for those who own the Xbox one. You can download the VR app from the Oculus Store for free.
It allows you to use your Xbone in VR you are basically sitting in a theater room able to play any Xbone game on a cinema sized screen.
I have only tested this very little and seemed to work just fine. There may be more bells & whistles I have totally missed and not mentioned. So go ahead download and install this and find what I missed.

Oculus First Contact
This is a small presentation to VR created by the Oculus team.
It is based in 1 room with a small floating robot that you interact with.
Your thinking wow big deal yes?
Well it’s actually very cool this little robot really opens your eyes to what things can be done in Virtual Reality it’s a full on interactive visual experience.
Seriously give this a go it’s also free.

Google Earth
Which now has been updated with street view. As if it wasn’t already awesome!
This is a free app that can be found in the Oculus store or Steam.

It’s simple really imagine google earth but your in it! Yes it is that cool you can be looking at earth from in space with stars and shit all around you. Click on earth and zip right on down to your house and be standing in the street virtually or why bother that can be done by walking outside. Why not drop in to Paris and check out how big the leaning tower really is.
Get this PERIOD!>> like now get IT!

Buzz Aldrin: Cycling pathways to Mars
This is a kick back and listen to Buzz explain how we are going to populate and inhabit Mars. And how we are going to accomplish it.
You don’t just listen your there! in space at Mars and seeing how large these objects are really going to be.
Absolutely amazing to watch. It’s not interactive in any way but you feel like your part of it as you fly through space and see planets  in ways you never imagined.
If Virtual Reality moves into education it will change the way we learn and keep the young interested. Even the old for that matter I was floored by this awesome Documentary.
Small download huge impression.

The Body VR
This is a educational application in VR it’s nothing short of amazing.
You are miniaturized in a small round bubble with control panels inside the human body.
You have no control in this you are a spectator in the amazing but wonderful human body.
It educates you how our body works on a molecular level.
This is another free application that can downloaded from the Oculus Store.
Seriously it sounds boring to hear me talk about it but it is not at all.
Give this a go the install and download are not large.

There are many more amazing apps and games I have not mentioned here.
While I do realize that many families won’t be buying VR hardware yet at the price point it is at.
Hang in there find discounts or wait it out hardware will upgrade and older hardware will drop in price which will lead to a better market for VR.
The more people who adopt the cheaper the hardware will get which means more people will be using it and in turn that means more apps and games maybe even some Movies made for VR.

The last few weeks I have spent with the Oculus Rift the more I love it. It really is that cool and I mean it as in there are many uses VR can be used for education, games, movies, 3d Printing design this list will grow it’s not just some gimmick that’s going to pass by and be forgotten.
Well I really hope it won’t be many people will miss out on a amazing experience.
Between the Oculus Store & Steam Virtual Reality already has a damn large sized library to pick from and there are more titles coming AAA titles by the butt load included.

I said Butt load..lmao

Oculus Rift Virtual Reality Experience

First off I should say that my interest in VR was very limited only due to the 90s’ experience. I’m talking about the VR setups that were in malls and sometimes even clubs back in the day.
That was until I saw an article with John Carmack he was wearing goggles that were the prototype of the now named Oculus Rift. This article is quite old now probably 2012-2013. He had left ID software to continue the development of the Oculus Rift.

John Carmack has a huge resume and if you play video games chances are you have played a game he created or a game engine he created.
Games we all know Wolfenstein 3D, Doom, Quake III, Doom 3, Rage, Doom 4 aka: Doom 2016 not to mention he created the engines that run these awesome titles.
And did I mention he’s a friggin rocket scientist! He founded the Space program for space tourism.
The company is named  Armadillo Aerospace.

With all that said this is what piqued my interest in VR I figured this guy has to be making some excellent shit!
The Oculus started off as a $2 million dollar kick starter campaign 2 years later Facebook founder purchased the Oculus for $2 billion.
The initial price point for consumers was aimed at $199 unfortunately after time and more tech the price rocketed to $600.
Which I think hurt this technology at the start. Today you can get the Oculus with the Touch controllers for $399 which is an excellent price for the hardware and experience you will get.
Not sure if this is just a summer deal or if it is a permanent price drop to get more of these awesome kits to the masses.
There is also the HTC Vive which is the VR head set created by HTC and Steam
This headset was geared for Steam and has a 120 degree view point compared to the Oculus Rifts 90 degree.
That is the only difference between the Vive and the Oculus Rift the hardware is identical in every other aspect.
The Oculus is lighter and supports Oculus Dream Deck Store and Steam VR as well.
These apps are where you can purchase the VR games available to either or both VR headsets. Vive does not support the Rift Dream Deck.
I have found that the Rift is more compatible with games than the Vive is.
They both have exclusives but again it seems that the Rift works fine on HTC games where as the Vive doesn’t play well with Rift games.
And the HTC Vive is now selling for $599 instead of the $799 price tag.
Steam VR is a very small update to the Steam app that is already installed on your PC.

If you plan on buying a VR headset for your PC make sure you have the hardware to handle it.
My PC is pretty heafty and it failed the USB 3.0 hardware verification.
Which I then had to purchase a specific PCI-E to USB 3.0 card.
I have 3.0 but the Rift is not compatible with AsMedia USB hardware & Drivers.
The headset requires 1 USB 3.0 for sound & a HDMI out for the video this connects to your video card in your computer.
I did find that the sound USB works okay with the AsMedia USB 3.0. But the tracking sensors will need  supported USB 3.0 inputs.
The PCI-E card I purchased costs anywhere from $22-$30.
it’s the Inateck Superspeed 4 Ports PCIE to USB 3.0 this card is listed by Oculus to be 100% supported.
The headset uses a tracking sensor and the touch controllers use a tracking sensor so you will need 2 supported USB 3.0 inputs the gear will work on USB 2.0 but your going to have slow tracking which is something you do not want.

Once I finally got it running took me all week a few hours each day after work to get it 100% connected and games or apps installed.
If you have a free time it should be a pretty quick process connecting it up and installing drivers and software.

I have played a few games some that are not impressive and some that are mind blowing.
I found that the simplest app can be so much fun and just mind bending.
Oculus First Contact is just down right awesome. Your behind a desk with computers and a Robot that hovers around he is your VR friend and hands you discs to put in your Virtual PC to make things with it.
It’s interactive and he will have so much stuff bouncing around the room it is awesome!
Made a gun some rockets and other things as well.
Then there is VR desktop which is your PC desktop in Virtual Reality you can be sitting in the woods or in Space with planets and stars all around you.

The game I really enjoy is EVE Gunjack your in a gunner in a  turret and have to blast enemy spaceships down in deep space.
Where you look the gun points then you fire with your VR touch controllers.
When entering the Turret it’s mind blowing because your so small compared to the spaceship your in and the Turret housing really makes you feel like your in it.

Then there is a game from Crytek called Robinson: The journey this is game where your off planet and you can interact and move around freely.
Crytek also has a game called The Climb this I don’t own yet but hear it is absolutely amazing as long as you are using the touch controllers.

Can also play Alien Isolation in VR. This game was already full of suspense play it in VR and it’s down right chilling and scary.
originally this game only worked with the DK kits DK stands for Development Kit.
There is a mod that now allows it to work with the consumer Oculus.
can find the mod here.

Then there is Google Earth VR this requires you to use the Touch controllers.
But is again awesome and it’s free.
This is a must check out for anyone wanting to go around the world and see areas like your actually there.

There are entertainment apps as well just kick back and watch  awesomely made video’s from Disney and Discovery made specifically for Virtual Reality.

Did I mention Roller coaster rides? There are apps for those as well and some of them are really excellent.
You feel like your actually on a coaster.

I’ve barely scratched the surface here all I can and will say is it really is an amazing experience.
It messes with your mind in a good way because your seeing an environment like at the top of a sky scraper at it’s edge looking down and it’s dizzying or a Huge Dinosaur runs up to you and the spit from it’s roar is in your face and then Runs over you.
You know your in your house but what your seeing is totally different.
It has shown me how perception really is reality.

There are also multiplayer games like Star Trek Bridge Crew you and others control the Enterprise from the deck. And depend on each other to fly the ship and get out of bad situations.

The Oculus Rift is selling for $399 you get the Rift goggles and the touch controllers which include 2- tracking sensors.
It’s a great price point to get people into this great technology.
There are many free apps and games to give a try. Games start at 99 cents and go up to $50. The majority of high end games are $29.99.

The only down side I have found is the wires but it’s such a small issue that it doesn’t hinder gameplay or comfortability at all.
Behind my monitor on my desk is a wire mess anyhow what’s another 2 or 3 wires going to hurt?
I had to purchase some hardware to use the Oculus which cost me another $42
this was for the PCI-E to USB 3.0 and the Display Port to HDMI cord I needed to buy since my Video card only had 1 HDMI in which the Oculus used and the rest were Display ports which my monitor does not have.

Not to mention games I have spent around $75 total so far.
And I also purchased the Oculus Wireless remote I got that on Ebay for $24 which is normally $30.
In the end it cost around $600 for everything which isn’t all that bad considering all I got.
Only a week or 2 back $600 would of only gotten you the Headset and the Tracking sensor with Touch controllers.

I say if you have the extra cash and already have a PC that can handle it go for it you won’t regret it.
If you don’t have a PC that is capable I’d look into the PlayStation 4 VR.
The cell phone goggles are not the same thing and you won’t have same experience we get using the Oculus Rift or the HTC Vive.

oculus_rift_201709_thumb800

Lately

I have not been posting at all for the last 3 months.

Maybe just life or just nothing much to talk about. Was looking at my pages views and 2017 has not been good for this page at all.

Never took this whole blog thing to seriously but found myself posting quite a bit in here.  Mostly about nonsense really. Hopefully there are a few people who enjoy my bullshit posts.

Think it is possible I posted this just to put something on again. Maybe a jump start?

MSF course graduate from Dave @ Florida Professional Motorcycle Training inc.

Spent right about 18 hours in classroom and on motorcycle course and testing.

It’s usually only 16 hours but our class had all new riders except for 2 of us. The rest had never rode a motorbike in their lives. Out of the 9-10 of us only 2 had rode before. By end of the class they were all driving solid enough to get on the road and build the confidence and riding skills.

Actually do classroom and written test prior to road test. This all gets completed between Friday, Saturday & Sunday.
That way Dave has it spread out – Friday night classroom only 3 or so hours . Saturday Morning Course and Final Sunday also Morning on course which is a great thing most other Training classes do it all in 2 days and the course part during hottest part of the day.

By Florida law it is a felony to ride your motorcycle without an endorsement and to get that you MUST take & pass the MSF basic riders course. If you get caught without the endorsement the police can confisacte your bike meaning there is no impound fee to get it back. You lose your bike. “PERIOD”!.

I attended Dave’s fantastic class. Name of his training is Florida Professional Motorcycle Training.

If you have never rode a bike or are plain worried or nervous. Do not fear Dave is an excellent instructor that will teach you skills that will save your life on the road and avoid wrecking your bike and racking up hospital bills. I started riding dirt bikes at the age of 8 and moved to motorcycles of all types between ages of 16-20 then stopped  riding for over 20 years until I recently purchased a bike again. I thought i knew all i needed to know. How wrong I was. Dave is patient  and listens and will help you get comfortable riding without making you feel intimidated.

Take this class Dave has Not just the Basic MSF course he teaches CPR and Advanced riding skills.

Call Dave for more details Today!
Florida Pro Motorcycle Training-1
Florida Pro Motorcycle Training-2

I am in no way affiliated or employed by Florida Professional Motorcycle Training.
This is my personal experience from taking the class I paid the same as everyone else.
Dave has the best prices around and is a great instructor.

The 2006 Rebel Motorcycle

Got a great deal on a 2006 Rebel.
These bikes are known to have great motors.
Purchased about 2 weeks ago drove around no problem all of a sudden the electric starter is dead.
Not the battery purchased new not the starter it self or starter solenoid. All were tested and okay turns out had a short in the bars:-( After the repair and bike endorsement this whole deal didn’t turn out as cheap as I thought.
Now I’m $650 more on top of the cost of Bike.
Hopefully all this will level out soon and the 70 miles per gallon and no insurance will pay off.

It’s been in the shop for 3 days now they said Tuesday I can pick it up. I actually miss riding.
It is the best feeling actually prefer it over the opioids.

She isn’t a big bike at all but it is a nice ride. I would of liked a scooter but the size I want were few and far in between mostly could only find new and wasn’t wanting to spend that large amount of cash on it or get a loan either. If I did go loan route I would have purchased a “17” Rebel 500 ABS.

My dad wanted to get me into a Harley 7 years back but I am not a huge Harley fan I find them to require more maintenance than you actually ride them.
There are so many manufacturers out there much better than Harley and more affordable.
2006 Rebel Motorcycle

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HD Radio home components a bust.

Added the HD-Radio tuner to the home theater system a little over a year ago.
Only to find that the tuners are flawed they lack venting or any heat sinks to keep the chips cooled down.
What happens after a very short time is the radio will no longer hold any HD signal for more than a few moments at a time before dropping signal completely and not reverting to standard signal like it is supposed to when a HD signal drops. Which once you are locked in it should not drop at all especially when your tuner is attached to an outdoor antenna that is 30+ ft high.
Most realize that there is a heating issue once they have this happen but is to late the damage is done cooling & heat sinks can’t repair damage already done they can only prevent heat damage.
Which left me to either re-purchase another HD-Radio Tuner and take it apart right away modify case add fans and also heat sinks before ever turning it on. Or simply just buy a SiriusXM Home tuner instead. Which does not have the overheating issues but will cost me a monthly fee.

There are only a few rack type HD-Radio tuners and all are made by 1 or 2 companies Sangean & Insignia there are a few different models but all have the same flaw. And both start at $150-$200.
There are a few different models each company makes one model has only analog output while the other supports both analog out and Optical SPDIF Output.
At $150 it should have the optical output anyhow.
HD-Radio not to be confused with Satellite radio they differ not only in hardware types but HD-Radio doesn’t cost you any monthly bills.
Sony does have a model that has outputs but is not a rack type tuner it has an alarm clock look or a modern boom box ipod dock.
Sony XDR-S10HDiP

As you can see this just isn’t something that will stack up in your home theater cleanly.
While the Insignia and Sangean models look similar but work in a rack setup.
Sangean HDT-20_
Insignia NS-HDTUNE

What I decided was to not replace the HD-Radio at that cost to have to modify it and hope it lasts a few years to get my $200 worth.
I  miss Howard Stern and the metal station the Polk Audio XRT12  was perfect it fits in a rack system and it only costs $60!
Sure a small monthly bill kind of sucks ass but it will work and not overheat and die in under or a little over the year mark.

Polk XRT12