Playing The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild for Nintendo Switch

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Note: Minor spoilers about certain items and actions are included here.

Zelda Master Sword.jpg

Back in the 1980s I played and beat the original The Legend of Zelda game for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). It was a fun but challenging game and it’s likely that I used a strategy guide to make it through. Sometime later I tried Zelda II: The Adventure of Link on the NES but it didn’t capture me; I did not care for being pulled into battles without any warning when exploring the overworld map and the side-scrolling was just an odd fit.

With the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) I was sucked into the world of The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. Just when you think you’ve defeated Gannon you learn that not only did you not beat the game but that there’s a whole other part of the game that was nearly as long as the first. It’s remained one of my favorite Zelda games over the years and I thoroughly enjoyed reliving a slightly different experience on the 3DS with The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds.

In the years since I’ve played the many of the Zelda games at some point, excluding some of the handheld editions. While I’m aware that many may have very high opinions of those games, and I certainly can’t say that they were bad, none have captured my attention for very long and certainly not to the point that I thought I might actually strive to finish those games. I spent several hours enjoying The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess when it was released for the Wii but after complete a handful of dungeons I decided to move on.

Zelda Dragon.jpg

I have discovered that, for me, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is a very addictive Zelda game that I expect to finish. I have already put in countless hours within a matter of only a few weeks, typically playing late at night. It’s one of those games where you continuously feel compelled to do “just one more thing” before ending a gaming session.

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The Nintendo Switch: Nostalgia Meets Modern Technology

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Nintendo Switch

First the first time in a while I made a large impulse purchase that frankly I had doubts about whether or not I should have done it. Perhaps the jury is still out on that one but I can say, without any reservation, that the Nintendo Switch is an excellent system. Not only do I recommend it to any long-term fans of Nintendo gaming franchises but I’ll go out on a limb to suggest that perhaps the way this system works is the direction that all other console makers should go, if they’re going to insist on developing and maintaining their own hardware. I’m planning to provide some additional posts about the three games that I currently have and why I think they all represent a great mix of nostalgia and modern technology.

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Washing Machine Notification (Smart Energy Sensor & Indigo)

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As part of my recent dive back into home automation I decided it would be cool (and once again practical) to be able to receive an alert that the washing machine has finished washing a load of clothes.

This wasn’t something I blindly jumped into. There is plenty of information on the Web documenting how others have already done this with various home automation setups. As it turns out, at least with our washer, Indigo 6, and an Aeon Labs DSC06106-ZWUS – Z-Wave Smart Energy Switch it can be remarkably easy.

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Mophie Juice Pack Air (iPhone 5)

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The quest for my ideal charging case seems to be an ongoing adventure. For a while I used a Mophie charging case with an iPhone 4. It worked fine until the micro-USB port broke. After that I sent the case off for repair and switched to a wireless charging case. Eventually I ended up with an iPhone 5. A short time after receiving it I ordered another wireless charging case (Duracell Powermat PowerSnap Kit). The newer version also included a snap-on battery pack (that itself could be charged wirelessly).

The case worked OK but it felt clunky and when the battery was attached it was also heavy. Most of my issues with the case were relatively minor but as a whole it was somewhat awkward even though it functioned as advertised. One major annoyance is that a small piece at the base of the case had to be snapped off in order to sync the phone or charge it directly. I also became increasingly concerned that this particular piece would eventually break, thus rendering the entire kit useless until it could be replaced.

Recently I decided to try a Mophie Juice Pack Air with the iPhone 5. So far, I’m happy with it. I can’t say that it’s any lighter than the Powermat kit but at least the battery is always available and, more importantly, I can sync and charge the phone via the built-in micro-USB connection. Unlike the Powermat case, the Mophie case is far more sturdy. It also has a bottom section that separates but it’s a well formed piece that is not likely to break easily.

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It’s a great device though it has one significant flaw. When the battery charges the phone it will not stop charging once the phone reaches a full charge. Instead, it will continue to charge the phone, which can result in one using up the Mophie battery sooner than expected (or necessary).

A nice touch was the addition of a headphone extension cable.

Juice-Pack-Air-03

It may seem like a small thing but I’m already using this. Though the iPhone earbuds plugin just fine, a pair of larger headphones I recently purchased would not work with the case without it.

Updated 02/22/2014: I haven’t been able to sync the phone via the micro-USB connection. I’m not sure if the device is supposed to support this function, if there’s a problem with the battery pack, or perhaps there’s an issue with the cables I’ve tried.

Updated 07/06/2014: The battery still holds a good charge and so far the charging port hasn’t broken off.

Updated 12/31/2014: I’ve stopped using this charging case but only because my work phone was replaced with an iPhone 6. Up to that point it continued to work well and I did not have problems with the USB charging port, as I did with a similar case for an iPhone 4.

Default Settings for a Netgear 54 Mbps Wireless Print Server w/4-port Switch (WGPS606)

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Someone gave my father-in-law an old Netgear wireless print server. It includes two USB ports (for printers) and four ethernet ports. The device can connect to an existing wireless network, so it’s essentially a wireless bridge device. He wanted to use it to extend Internet access to an out-building on his property.

I configured the device to work with his network. In the process, I had to find the default settings so I could connect to the device and configure it. Netgear no longer offers support for this device and I wasn’t able to download the manual from Netgear’s Website. I had to use third-party sources. I figured I’d go ahead and post the default settings needed to connect to this device.

Netgear 54 Mbps Wireless Print Server w/4-port Switch (WGPS606)

Device IP: 192.168.0.102
Username: admin
Password: password

Insteon 2-Wire Dimmer or Switch Not As Easy As X10

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About a year ago I started swapping out some X10 dimmer and appliance modules with new Insteon modules. They’re much more reliable and more secure than X10 gear. However, the in-wall modules have one requirement that prevents me from using them. Specifically, they require a neutral wire.

Since our home has a mix of older wiring, or the neutral wire wasn’t brought down to the switch, I can’t install most Insteon modules. I am able to use plug-in modules, which work well so I still have a mixed environment of Insteon and X10.

There are some 2-wire Insteon modules available. However, the wiring requirements aren’t as simple as those for X10 devices. I’m probably not going to purchase any of these. I may just continue using plug-in modules until we can afford to have our electrical wiring upgraded throughout the house.

The issue is that the 2-wire modules actually use two components. One component is installed at the switch and the other is installed in the electrical box at the light fixture. According to the documentation it creates a neutral wire between the two devices using the existing two wires.

This just isn’t as simple as what I’d prefer. I’m not stating that the 2-wire Insteon modules are faulty or not good. The purpose of this post is just to help others learn that using these won’t be as simple as replacing a light fixture switch.