Legends of Localization Book 1: Legend of Zelda
Legends of Localization Book 1: The Legend of Zelda
Rarely

do I spend money on products like this (I just can’t seem to shake that frugal upbringing), but as a long-time Zelda fan, I knew as soon as I stumbled across Legends of Localization Book 1: The Legend of Zelda that my bank account was about to be $30 lighter, whether I liked it or not.

Legends of Localization Book 1: The Legend of Zelda offers a rare glimpse into the differences between not only the Japanese and English translations of The Legend of Zelda, but the differences between subsequent versions of the game, as well as interesting tidbits of Zelda trivia and lore.

Legends of Localization Book 1: Legend of Zelda

Legends of Localization Book 1: The Legend of Zelda

Adapted from his website into book form, author and professional translator Clyde Mandelin has compiled some of the most obscure, intriguing, and downright awesome Legend of Zelda insights into a very attractive hardcover package, complete with a glossed ‘obi’ style dust cover and bonus postcard.

This full-color, 208-page book is the perfect companion piece for any Zelda fan. My recommendation is to play through The Legend of Zelda with Legends of Localization Book 1: The Legend of Zelda at your side.

Read an excerpt from Clyde’s site below:

“After many years, I finally wrote a book about The Legend of Zelda’s localization! I rewrote almost everything in this online comparison from scratch, added a lot of new content, fixed many inaccuracies, did much more research, and included lots of insight about the localization process and the localization industry.

Although the book focuses on the original Zelda game, it also covers how many of these initial localization choices affected later games in the series, everything from Adventure of Link to A Link Between Worlds. I also made sure to make it accessible to readers who aren’t particularly familiar with the first game, so whether you’re a hardcore Zelda fan, a casual gamer, or even just an aspiring translator/localizer yourself, this book is for you!”

Legends of Localization The Legend of Zelda Image

Source: http://www.fangamer.com/products/legends-of-localization-zelda-book

Legends of Localization The Legend of Zelda

Source: http://www.fangamer.com/products/legends-of-localization-zelda-book

Samsung Gear VR
Samsung Gear VR Impressions
Samsung Gear VR

Samsung Gear VR Headset

Occasionally

I purchase something that I feel was worth every single penny I spent on it, like my Macbook Pro, my first iPod, or my motorcycle. I can now firmly add a fourth item to that list – the new Samsung Gear VR headset.

Gear VR Initial Impressions

As Samsung’s first foray into the world of Virtual Reality, this headset isn’t just a gimmicky demo of the experience that its big brothers may deliver later this year (Oculus Rift, PlayStation Vr, ect), this is in and of itself a satisfying, immersive experience, one that I admit I was surprised to have.

First, let’s get some things out of the way. This headset only works with some compatible Samsung phones (Galaxy Note5, S6 Edge+, S6, S6 Edge), and if you don’t already own one, you probably shouldn’t race out and buy one for the sake of the Gear VR. One also needs to keep in mind that the Gear VR is simply a headset that provides the illusion of VR; there is no processing power or computational assist from the headset. Your phone is the only thing creating the entire experience, so don’t expect cutting-edge PC graphics. I bring that up to manage some expectations, but I also bring it up because honestly, some of the experiences are just so good that it’s easy to forget you’re simply looking at your smartphone screen.

I unboxed my headset, removed the plastic covering on the front, snapped my phone into place, adjusted the headstraps, and, once my phone completed installing the companion Gear VR app, I was ready to begin. I sat down in my swiveling desk chair (the best way to use the Gear VR by the way), expecting to give it a good hours-worth of investigating. Four solid hours later I removed the headset from my still-impressed face.

Samsung Gear VR Headset

Samsung Gear VR Headset

As my first VR experience, I spent a good amount of time navigating around the main menu, however the word ‘lobby’ might be a better term for where you begin. The navigation is easier and more intuitive than I thought it would be; simply look at the item you want and tap the touchpad on the right-hand side of the headset, or swipe up, down, left, or right to scroll through additional options. The best analogy for how the touchpad works is to imagine a textured laptop trackpad.

Netflix App

I then proceeded to open up the Netflix app. This app places you on a couch in front of a large television displaying the familiar Netflix interface, and allows you to look all around the room, just like one can in real life. The cool part about this for me was the fact that the ‘room’ was some kind of ski lodge, complete with high ceilings, large wooden beams, a roaring fireplace, and a snow-covered mountain range right outside the oversized windows. I was a little shocked when I realized this experience had transported me back to a ski trip I took several years ago, down to that tired, cozy feeling of warming up in front of the fire after a long day of hitting the slopes.

I watched a couple episodes of Friends, and it took me two full episodes to realize that right before each episode began, the lamps in the room automatically dimmed themselves, naturally guiding your attention to the virtual television screen in front of you. It’s these little touches that go a long way to making an experience like this enjoyable.

Land’s End

Then it was time for the games. I tried out three different ones, Land’s End, Eve: Gunjack, and Anshar Wars. Land’s End came first, and I was immediately hooked. This is a simple, atmospheric game set in a mountainous environment where one navigates by looking at ‘waypoints’ in the distance and being smoothly transported to them, sometimes solving clever puzzles in between to access the next waypoint. I admit, towards the end of each of the 5 levels, when one climbs further up the landscape and has the opportunity to look down over the edge of a cliff and watch the waves lap up against the rocks far below, I felt around my swivel chair to remind myself that I was indeed still sitting safe and sound in my living room, and not in fact in danger of falling off a cliff. Be sure to check out Wired’s review of Land’s End, and watch the trailer below.

Anshar Wars

I was fairly impressed with Anshar Wars as well. Emulating a modern-day space arcade shooter, one navigates around the play field with nothing more than the head-tracking of the Gear VR, and tapping on the touchpad fires your weapon at the various obstacles in your path. There was something quite satisfying about using your head to maneuver around, imparting a feeling of participation and involvement that simply using a D-Pad or a joystick can’t quite capture. Read a more in-depth review of Anshar Wars here, and be sure to check out Anshar Wars 2 as well.

Eve: Gunjack

Eve: Gunjack

Great production value, but doesn’t fully utilize the VR aspect

Surprisingly, I was the least impressed with Eve: Gunjack. There wasn’t anything in particular that detracted from this game’s experience, but as an on-rails/turret shooter, I felt as if it didn’t do enough to take advantage of the fact that it’s being played on a VR platform. Sure, head tracking is employed to aim your ‘gunjack’ at the various enemy ships and missiles that threaten your livelihood, but after the feeling of actually flying around in Anshar Wars, and being dropped in the fully fleshed-out world of Land’s End, Eve: Gunjack felt lacking. The level of polish and presentation of this game is top-notch however. Read more about Eve: Gunjack here.

The Verdict

If you own one of the compatible Samsung phones, buy the Samsung Gear VR. If you’re on the fence about purchasing a compatible phone, let Gear VR be the reason you pull the trigger.

I’m not usually into making broad predictions about established entertainment industries, but in this case, I feel safe in saying that VR is here to stay.

Don't touch WP-Config!
Migrate to GoDaddy Managed WordPress Manually
Don't touch WP-Config!

Don’t touch WP-Config!

Wanna waste about 2 hours like I did trying to accomplish what’s supposed to be maybe a 30-minute job? Then by all means, replace the wp-config.php file that GoDaddy creates when a user signs up for their Managed WordPress Hosting account!

Not having migrated too many WordPress websites manually, I spent some time reading up on how to do so before pulling the trigger and beginning the process. The consensus across the internet (roughly), seemed to be:

1. Back up all existing WordPress files
2. Back up existing database
3. Edit the database file if the URL will be different from the original
4. Drop the entire GoDaddy database via PhpMyAdmin
5. Upload your old database to GoDaddy’s
6. Upload the old wp-content folder to GoDaddy, replacing the current one
7. Replace/update your wp-config.php file with your new GoDaddy database credentials

See how number 7 above is struck-through and in red? DON’T DO IT! It took me forever to randomly stumble across this article (only after entering the correct Google search terms… this article definitely didn’t show up via searching through GoDaddy’s articles on their own site): https://my.godaddy.com/help/move-your-wordpress-site-manually-12371.

The issue was with the database host name. Instead of the typical ‘localhost’, or even the IP address of your new site, GoDaddy uses a special, unique hostname. The one that worked for me was ‘test3290301462.db.3290301.hostedresource.com:3310’, as in:

/** MySQL hostname */
define('DB_HOST', 'test3290301462.db.3290301.hostedresource.com:3310');

As far as I can tell, this information isn’t listed ANYWHERE within your GoDaddy account, so, whatever you do, don’t touch the GoDaddy-generated wp-config.php file for your managed WordPress account.

Clearing Cron Jobs Via PhpMyAdmin
Clearing WordPress Cron Jobs Via PhpMyAdmin
Clearing Cron Jobs Via PhpMyAdmin

Clearing WordPress cron Jobs Via PhpMyAdmin

Just in case you’ve ever wondered how to clear, oh, I don’t know, maybe 537 cron jobs that may or may not have been accidentally scheduled by your own custom WordPress plugin, here’s how to do it:

– Log into PhpMyAdmin
– Click on the database in question
– Click on the ‘SQL’ tab
– Paste this code, replacing the ‘5ea_options’ with the name of the options table of your particular wordPress installation:

UPDATE 5ea_options SET option_value = '' WHERE option_name = 'cron';

– Click ‘Go’
– That’s it, all cron jobs (expect for the ones WordPress itself has created) will be removed!

Donald Trump
Holy shit, Donald Trump is president.
Donald Trump

The Donald. 45th American President. Hmm.

I’ve

had quite a few mixed opinions about this election season, and Donald Trump in particular. In the beginning I was pleased that Donald Trump was running, that someone was willing to break all conventions and by doing so, might cut through political correctness and get something done, might be able to produce results and trade in the currency of action as opposed to rhetoric. During the primary, I naively hoped his crass, bombastic, vulgar style was a “… and that he’d ‘pivot’ to a more decorous, ‘presidential’ candidate. He did not.” tactic devised to help him clench the republican nomination, and that he’d ‘pivot’ to a more decorous, ‘presidential’ candidate. He did not. The longer the general stretched out, the more disillusioned I became with him. By election day, I wasn’t worried; there’s no way Donald Trump could become the President of the United States. At 6 AM on November 9th, 2016 I learned otherwise.

Months ago I remember having this deep, quiet certainty that, if elected, Donald Trump would turn out to be a slightly better president than most expected; that he’d be a pleasant surprise. That feeling thrived only as long as election day was an intangible concept months removed from reality. I don’t have the luxury of allowing myself to feel that way anymore – he is here, and this is reality, today – Donald Trump is our president.

I’m under no illusion that every past president has been a pillar of moral virtue and that we’re now politically ‘slumming it’ with The Donald for the first time in American history- I imagine we’ve had quite a few presidents whose character has come up lacking… I think the difference here is that Trump’s not hiding it – indeed, he’s flaunting it, which, turns out, is one of the reasons for his popularity in the first place.

In my opinion, based on my current knowledge of history, politics, economics and technology (and I’m sure I’ll have a radically different opinion 10 years from now), Donald Trump is a symptom of a country undergoing a change not seen since the Industrial Revolution. We’ve had significant economic downturns before, but the difference with what happened almost 10 years ago has been timing. Had the Great Recession happened maybe 30 years ago, we might’ve quickly bounced back and regained everything we lost, as the economy was ‘typical’, with more predictable market demands and ways of doing business that we all understood, and that a larger percentage of Americans could readily take an active role in without higher education, from the coal miner to the steel worker to the assembly-line employee putting our cars and planes together.

But the world is simply different today. it’s easy to chalk that difference up to corporate greed or the moral failings of our country, but those are cop-outs, nothing more than simple, comforting excuses. The real answer, the underlying issue, is “The world has continued it’s accelerating trend of social and technological progress while we slept.” more significant and frankly, frightening to most… we simply don’t need the worker of yesterday. The world has continued it’s accelerating trend of social and technological progress while we slept. What we need is a more educated workforce to fill current and emerging jobs that will replace the blue-color jobs of yesterday. Right now, the ‘App Developer’ seems like an exotic, intellectually-loaded job title… instead, it, and other job titles like it, need to be viewed as the new job of choice for blue-collar workers. We need to accept and embrace the fact that changing technology and socio-economic situations have upended everything. Once we do, we can move forward and create a new, different – but still fundamentally American – country.

I get it, the frustration and anger of those that voted for Trump… I understand. I came from the Midwest, I’ve seen that side of things. I’ve had the same frustrations myself. I’m in no way downplaying the motivations behind Trump’s election. My argument is one of ‘what to do about the frustration’. What scares me, and I hope I’m wrong, is that, instead of electing a candidate that understands the world has changed, and that we must change with it and not fight against the current, we’ve elected someone who may do everything in his power to fight against the real world, to deny it’s validity.

What we need are concrete solutions. We need to push workforce training and re-training for tomorrow’s demands. We need to emphasize higher education. We need to look forward to where the country, and more importantly, the world as a whole, is moving, and ready ourselves for that, instead of lamenting what’s been lost and futility trying to hold on.

Maybe I’m wrong about Trump. Maybe Trump has simply been playing the showman. Maybe he’s been doing everything in his power to pander to the greatest amount of Americans, whether he believes in what he’s selling or not, just to get elected, and now he can begin the job of leading the country in a direction that it must go to become prosperous again. I’m not holding my breath. Instead, I’m putting my faith in larger, more long-term social and economic trends, and in those silent, dedicated Americans – and other global citizens – empowered by technology, who initiate grassroots change for the better from a computer in a basement or from an app on their smartphone. Oh, and I’m putting a whole lot of hope and faith in that whole Seperation-of-Powers thing.