Say Hello To Our New Family Member

Happy Weekend TAY!

It is a cooler and rainy weekend here after a crazy warm week of weather. I was back to wearing shorts last week instead of shoveling snow; as is often the weather for this time of year. I’m glad it is cooler now though, I’m not fond of the heat.

Last week saw the arrival of our lovely new family member.

My wife and son have been basically living with iPads as their only computers. Honestly, for most people, the iPad is fine for daily needs, but there comes a time when you need something more (or Flash rears its ugly head).

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So, we got a laptop. Technically we already had a laptop and it even has Windows 10 now, but it is older than my son (who is turning nine at the end of this year). The old HP laptop did a lot over the years and it still works almost perfectly, but the dual core processor and 2GB of ram just don’t cut it anymore.

I went with the Alienware for the new laptop because:

a) they have a fantastic warranty program when you pay for the extended warranty

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b) my friend has had great support with his Alienware machine from Dell/Alienware

c) it is a kick-ass gaming machine that was comparable in price to other’s with the same hardware.

I haven’t had a lot of time with the laptop this week other than to get it up and running for the family, but I played a little Civ V on it Friday and it ran exceptionally well (not that Civ V is really a PC benchmark anymore). It will be nice to be able to play Steam Cloud saves for Civ V on both my desktop rig and the Alienware since the machines are in different rooms of the house.

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The best part was sharing my Steam library with my son. At 489 games, it was like every present-related holiday got together for an awesome party. Of course, he won’t be allowed to play everything in my Steam library as daddy will not be allowing most of the M-rated games, but it is so nice to just drop an entire library of titles on your kid. He didn’t even know where to begin, but I’m sure this weekend will allow him to install some of the most wanted.

As an aside, if anyone works in the medical field or has experience with the Steelcase “Pocket” as a laptop or computer station; I’d love to hear what you think. It isn’t the prettiest thing, but we need a good, solid mobile table for the laptop and unless the Pocket is ridiculous in price, we are leaning towards that. Does anyone else have another good suggestion for a laptop table on casters?

The other excellent thing is that I can now play PC games with my wife or son; even in the same room. This opens a whole world of co-op games for my family. Though, I think my wife will be digging into the later Heroes Of Might and Magic first.

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I had a lot of work to do last week, so other than picking at a little Civ V, I only had time for a single session of Alien: Isolation for my “me time”.

...and I thought the game was tough before. Yikes! Death is all around me now and there are few places to hide.

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Alien: Isolation is definitely one of the coolest stealth games I’ve played in a while. Their stealth implementation is fantastic. No meters or huds to explain your status. You can be seen if you see the enemies eyes and you can be heard if you make noise (I love that hiding in cabinets and lockers makes noise to open them). Simple and yet the implementation feels so real. I never feel the stealth is unfair in anyway and the immersion is amazing.

I did manage to play some more Chivalry with the boys on Twitch. I’m slowly getting better, though I really need to start feinting more, I think this is stopping me from progressing. The whole group is almost level 15 now, so we’ll have to stop playing in the novice servers and likely will get our asses handed to us. That’s OK though, I learn best through adversity. We play Wednesday at around 10:30pm if anyone wants to join us at the Twitch channel linked above.

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My family is finally going to get to Minecraft: Story Mode Episode 2 which we didn’t have time to play last weekend. Other than that, I imagine Civ V and Alien: Isolation are all on the table for me to play. Though I have to arrange a fundraising plan for my kid’s school, so that will likely suck up most of my time this weekend.

Also, catch Realm Of Darthon playing his Extra Life marathon on Twitch. I watched him played Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag at 5am, it will be interesting to watch how he plays as time goes on. Let us know below if you are broadcasting your Extra Life marathon too (and let the world see you become a raving lunatic 20 hours in).

What are you playing this weekend?