Vertical Videos are the worst🙄🤦🏻‍♀️, but IGTV might be the solution…

For those who know me personally, or have read my blog posts for years know that I really dislike Vertical Videos (VV or VVS for short). It might, in my opinion be the worst thing about having smartphones and every “Idiot” having a camera in their pocket. It’s also only getting worse. I remember when VV started to become a thing, back in like 2012 or something. Then people screamed like crazy and wondered what the fudge was wrong with people. YouTube channels made videos after video, asking people to turn their phone 90 degrees and that kept going for years. And then I guess it all went silent. Instead of 8 people out of 10 screaming their heads off about recording videos vertically, 9 out of 10 people now gladly or preferably record vertical videos instead. It’s horrible!

I’ve always said, that if I ever got an iPhone, I’d be like one (of the other 10 or so) out of thousands, or millions of people using iOS that would ALWAYS record in landscape mode, and I am keeping this promise. If not for everybody else, then at least for my own sanity. I find that hilarious and of course I know I’m exaggerating. Its at least a thousand people with iPhones who think like I do in this matter 😂. Ok, jokes aside, but vertical videos are no joke for me. I really fricking hate it! Ok, I’ve calmed down a bit these past years. Instead of nagging and complaining to people to stop record vertically, I’ve instead tried my best to avoid watching videos that are recorded in that horrible manner. Unfortunately the problem is getting bigger everyday and I’ve actually had to force myself to accept that my friends, family members and even my BF records a lot of vertical video. The reason as to why I’ve stopped complaining to them is because it’s useless and I’m sick and tired of turning my arguments into a meaningless fight or something. People still just doesn’t get it!

They say, that’s it’s easier to hold that way. We always use our phones like that, so why not record that way? “Isn’t that the way you’re supposed to record videos on smartphones?”. And the list goes on and on. Well, if it’s so hard for you to hold your phone in landscape mode – get a gimble! Buy a selfie stick! Problem solved! It also doesn’t help when I watch movies or TV series where people record vertically and the video still comes out in landscape mode. That’s not good at all… It’s a straight out lie when I see that in movies etc. I get that it might be meaningless to complain if the video is only meant to be shared locally on your phone, or at least mainly to be watched on your phone if the video is shared on other platforms, but I still see a huge problem with vertical videos. The only time I might accept it (but not really) is maybe if somebody records a close-up video of the Eiffel Tower or something, but then it’s probably possible to record in a different angle and still get the whole view. Buy a wide lense or something! Problem solved. There’s just so much you’re missing when watching a video if it is recorded vertically. Now, for photos I do not complain, because photos are… well, photos! You can and we have watched photos in “portrait” mode or whatever since forever. Portrait photos in vertical ways or whatever are still a problem sometimes, especially if used in blog posts. That’s because then the image is cropped, or just looks weird when a blog post is shared to Facebook, G+ or some other platform. At least for now, so I try to avoid using portrait photos in my blog posts. They’re fine to watch however on whatever platform there is, but videos recorded vertically really freaks me out, even if I do not say anything about it. I’ve simply just stopped bothering people about it, but we, the rebels have lost the battle. Hopefully we haven’t lost the war on vertical videos!

Personally, and for good reason – I do not use any platform that provide vertical videos. By that I mean I do not use that service on Facebook, called stories. I do not use the Instagram version. I have a Snapchat account, but I only got that because a friend of mine told me that it was possible to record landscape videos, but that turned out to be a lie or something. I do not blame my friend for that, I blame SnapChat! Now, Instagram has come out with IGTV, short for Instagram TV. It’s a platform made for vertical videos. To this I say both “Great” as well as “Oh noes!”. Its great in the way that now we have a video platform for all those who love vertical videos. Its great, because then we might see a whole lot less of that crap on YouTube or other video platforms. It is a bad thing because it means that vertical video recording is growing and won’t stop, and that is a thing I really dislike. I shall personally try and avoid using that service at all cost!

Now, if you’ve ever watched the linked video above from Glove and Boots, and you’ve seen the presentation from Instagram, there is a hilarious clip in there that is just too funny not to comment on. In the video from Glove and Boots, they have a character with vertical eyes. He says he loves vertical video, and why wouldn’t he? He’s got vertical eyes FFS! Instagram stole that clip, but the point made from Glove and Boots is like the total opposite of what Instagram is trying to achieve here. That’s how I see it, at least…

Vertical videos look horrible. Always! When they are shared on Facebook for example, they’re often pixelated and never in HD. You miss like 66% of all the action when you record or watch it, even if it’s just for a few seconds. That goes even if it’s your pet you’re trying to record. I wanna see it all! Not just the nose on your dog… I don’t care if the phone is easier to hold like that! When you record video, you do it in landscape mode. Please. Just please. FFS!

Even if you do not care, there might be others who feel awful and can’t enjoy the video fully if it’s been recorded in such an awful way. I don’t even understand how it’s even possible to record vertically. I never have! It should have been banned by the phone makers from the start! In the beginning, however Android phones within the camera app, told people to record in landscape mode, but that only lasted for like 6 months or something and nobody cared. Now I even think Google themselves promotes vertical videos whenever possible. I’ve seen special TV’s at train stations with vertical commercials on them, as the screen is also vertical. It is such a mess! But I guess I have to learn to live with this awfulness.

Maybe someday people will wake up and realise that VV is absolutely horrible and does not belong in any situation, but that’s just utopia or something… I know it will never happen. It is far more likely that we will go to the movies and watch vertical films instead within 10 years. With huge black bars on the side, or a 300 feet high ceiling where everybody gets a stiff neck at the end of the movie. Soon Netflix and other streaming platforms will make TV series in vertical video format. Soon, it might be impossible to even record or do anything in landscape and there we will be. Watching, missing 66% of everything, just because that’s life or some shit like that.

I am not looking forward to that. Are you?

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This blog is now at WordPress.com

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Photo of a Chihuahua mix that my mother-in-law has in her home. Photo is mainly for attention purposes.

This is basically just a re-post from my Swedish blog, to let you know that all of my blogs have moved from evil web hosts to WordPress.com. I like this move, and I hope it will continue to work for me. However, since I now blog in both Swedish & English, I thought it would be best if this blog had its own site. It’s pretty stupid to blend a multilingual blog, especially since it’s pretty hard to do, even if you have self hosted WordPress.

I’ve had that for years and loved it. However, the web hosts I’ve used have basically all been messing me up over the years and the latest (and current, since I won’t get rid of them until may of next year 😡), and now I came to a breaking point making me really want to leave web hosts once and for all!

This blog will stay as a free blog, until I get a pleasant readership that’s worth paying for. Before, if I was lucky, I’d get like 5 visitors per week to greatdanemaniac.com. We’ll see how many will join me now. The blog will stay the same. The same kind of ironic and annoying feelings and I’ll keep on swearing a lot. You have been warned.

This blog also has a new url. It is now gdmrants.wordpress.com. I am pretty pleased that the subdomain was available. If I’d been smart, I’d kept or at least I’d make sure that my wordpress.com blogs would have been available for my use, but no. I thought forever and ever that I’d never have a proper wp.com blog, but now I do, and I’ll probably stay this way for as long as I’ll keep blogging. I hope it will be for the rest of my life.

Please follow this blog, and follow me on Facebook as well. I need more followers there, or at least likes.

The Blackberry KeyOne makes me want an iPhone. Seriously.

This is a post about Android vs. iOS. And how much I have come to realize that I may want to try the dark side once more. First a bit of history.

iPhone 3GS and following nightmares of smartphones…

Back in 2009, me and the BF ordered ourselves an iPhone 3GS. It was our first real smartphone. My boyfriend, Henrik got it first. I had to wait for another couple of months until I could afford it. Until I got mine, I played around a lot with his and I think I liked it. I mainly used it to record videos and I started my first YouTube channel. At least until I got my own. Then I got bored so fast I don’t even remember what hit me. I remember the typing experience most, and how ridiculous it was that it was impossible to create custom ringtones for calls and texts. So we jailbreaked them. To type on the phone was the worst. Basically every word was misspelled. It was a huge nightmare. Back then, Android was simply the best operating system for smartphones. Maybe it still is? And Android phones also had physical keyboards. Just a couple of months later, after I got my iPhone 3GS, we bought the Milestone 2, I think it was called. That one sucked balls! I could type. Yes. That worked wonders, but the camera was crap (as pretty much all smartphone cameras was back then), but it really was not a good camera. Henrik’s Milestone worked ok. My was in the shop more than I had it in my hands. It was really awful.

I don’t remember as of now what phone we got next, but we sometime later got the HTC Desire Z. That one was absolutely amazing! It also lasted a pretty long time for a phone. After that, we bought into the Google Nexus line, and we started with the Nexus 4. That was even more amazing! Things had really changed with that phone, and typing on a non-physical keyboard was great. Of course words were misspelled, but it was not as horrible as the iPhone 3GS. I think we kept that phone for over 2 years. When Nexus 6 came out and it turned out to be a phablet, be bought the previous years model, the Nexus 5. I first thought I’d regret that, since it was an older phone, but it turned out to be an even better phone than the Nexus 4. I was amazed at everything. That phone worked for almost 2 years as well I think and then we bought the Nexus 6P. Yeah. We actually bought a phablet. But it worked.

The end of a beatiful Nexus era…

My 6P worked so beautifully, that I had planned to keep it for as long as possible. It was a bit of a challenge, getting such a huge phone to fit comfortably in pockets and in the hands, but for the most part it worked. During this time, I gained some more weight and for a time during spring of 2017 I had huge troubles finding pants to wear which resulted in destroyed pockets and me buying pants at least once a month, because my huge phone was simply to big for those pockets and badly sewn pants from H&M. At that time, those were the only type of pants I could wear, since my butt was to big for men’s pants, but finally I could fit into a pair and the pant problems have been gone ever since. I’ve even lost weight since then and I’m down a size in pants as well.

Also during that time, the rumors of the Blackberry Keyone started to emerge, and my BF was really keen on getting a phone again with a physical keyboard. I was not that interested, for good reasons, but then something happened with my 6P. All of a sudden it started to act weird and typing was a mess. Maybe this was something unconscious that I did, knowing that I might be able to type on a physical keyboard again, but none the less – my 6P started showing off many other types of problems as well. The battery life on that phone was ok. Not great and amazing. Especially not while traveling, but luckily Androids often have fast charging and I got pretty used to carrying my charger with me if I was gonna travel by train for a day.

During the fall of 2016, the Nexus era had officially ended and Google came up with their own kind of iPhone. The Google Pixel. At first I was sort of excited, but when I started to realize that this phone was NOT gonna be released globally (I live in Sweden), I was horrified and that set of something I probably still have not settled with, or something. Can’t really find the correct words for my feelings here. I hated the fact that it was not gonna be released globally and also that the price had risen from pretty cheap to “holy-crap-that’s-expensive!” price. iPhones are expensive, but now Android phones are that expensive too? What’s happening with the world?! That year, Google also became boring when they spent all of I/O with releasing a gaziliion messaging apps, when they could just upgrade Hangouts and make sure more people would use that platform more. I am still disappointed with Google for all their crap they keep doing. If Gmail wasn’t so amazing and I did not have a YouTube channel, I’d probably delete my Google accounts, because I’m getting so bored with Google these days. Ok, I admit – Google Drive and Google Photos are still amazing, but you get the point. I am not that huge of a Google fan that I used to be. And that is so sad. And boring. And no, I will never delete my Google accounts, because that would be stupid.

The physical keyboard experience was not what I expected.

In may I got the Blackberry Keyone as a birthday gift from my BF. At first I loved it, but it was a bit of a hassle of typing on it. Due to my fibromyalgia, my fingers really don’t like to type on hard surfaces. The keys on the Keyone are pretty soft, but my fingers hate it. I haven’t had this much issues with my fingers since I started using the Keyone. During the summer it also started having several bugs with push notifications and other problems emerged as well. I don’t remember all of them, but let’s say that this reminds me a lot of when I had the Milestone 2. This phone I do not like and I now regret deeply of getting one. I’d rather have kept my 6P. I still have it, but due to the battery life being better on the BB, I’ve chosen to keep it anyways. For now. The only thing that I genuinely like with the BB is the camera. It has the same camera as the Google Pixel, and it shows. The image quality is amazing! Just look at the sushi photo below

Closeup of sushi. I love the blurry effect with the Blackberry Keyone. And that’s basically all I like with this phone.

Every fall I temporarily turn into a somewhat of an iSheep…

When Apple releases a new iPhone, at least ever since they finally changed the look of the phone with the iPhone 6 lineup with bigger screens – I get so curious about iPhone that I basically decide to switch over again. But, a few weeks later I get the latest Nexus phone and problem is solved and last year, my 6P was still so amazing that Apple really couldn’t sway me that much over to the dark side. Except for the 7 plus and portrait mode! But I got over it. The 6P rocked! And kicked ass!

This year, everything is different. This year I might actually switch over to the dark side. And perhaps stay there.

This is due to several reasons. This year has officially been the year of emotions or something like that. I have moved two times in less than 8 months. I have said goodbye to several of my “friends” and I’ve been generally alone a lot of the time this year as well. I almost hit the wall, working my ass off with crappy crap stuff at work and I was really close to getting burned out. I have decided to be a programmer and I have spent pretty much every waking hour (when I do not think of Great Danes, Apple products or like when I’m doing the dishes) looking for educations and how I best can be a developer of some sorts in the future. All this with a stupid Blackberry phone that does not work properly. Not to mention the really frickin’ awful reception we have in our new apartment! It is truly horrifying!!! We can only use it for calls if we’re on the balcony. Fucking crap! Switching over to the dark side might not help with reception, but our building is lots of concrete and metal, and the phone is basically just all metal. The iPhone has a glass back that will probably help a lot with reception is my guess.

I have spent a lot of time recently looking for information on Apple products. I also have an old iPad Mini 2 that I’ve been playing around with, to explore iOS more and I’ve found that I actually can live with the “limitations” of that OS. The iPhone 8 plus (or X if I could afford it) has really caught my eye, and if I could get one – I definitely would. Problem is even though I technically can afford it (I have the money to buy it), I also made the decision that every bit of money I can spend – will go to our new apartment. Getting new appliances such as washing machines, dryers, dish washer, stove and freezer a fridge. Also we are planning on changing the floors and perhaps to a little bit of painting as well. All my money will go to that, and that’s fine and dandy. Really! Also I will lose maybe half of my current income for the upcoming years due to me going back to school. This is if worse comes to worse. It might not be that bad. Therefor I can’t afford an iPhone as of now. Not unless a miracle happens and get a lot of money from nowhere or my BF says it’s okay to spend my money on a new phone (even though he hates iOS!).  And I refuse buying one with a payment plan of some sorts either way, just so you know.

iOS is really not that bad. At least not on an iPad…

I have discovered that iOS is really more customizable than one might think.  For starters – just think of all the cases you can have!!! You can have custom ringtones for calls, texts (iMessage), mail, reminders, calendars and a few more. You can have a custom background for your homescreen. You can put apps in folders and place them in the dock if you want, and clear up your homescreen if you want. You can have like one app on your homescreen and 25 or something on the 2nd screen and so forth. You don’t have to have Apples default apps installed. You can delete them. The only downside I’ve noticed is that with iOS 11, you’re not able to customize ringtones (alerts) for all apps. If the app itself, like Viber have builtin alert tones, you can change those, but Facebook, Messenger and Twitter do not (at least that I’ve found out) have the option as of now to customize the alerts for push notifications. And you also can’t set the “do not disturb” feature to be different on weekdays and weekends. It’s the same for all days. However, there’s a physical mute button that silence your phone if you’d like not to be disturbed, so I guess that’s something you’d get used to.

The Apple ecosystem.

iOS works a whole lot better if you have more Apple products to sync your stuff with. If you have a Mac, either laptop or PC you could use AirDrop to send videos to easily edit videos for YouTube without loosing image quality or waiting for cloud services to upload and sync stuff for you. The list goes on and on, and from what I have learned I hope that I’ll be able to work with Apple products when I get my first real job as a programmer/developer. I think it would be good to be able to work and use multiple platforms and be flexible.

The conclusion.

I could basically say; Give me an iPhone 8 plus, and I’d could move on. I’m getting pretty sick and tired of me getting obsessed with tiny crap, just because of logic stuff that has happened to me lately.

Basically it comes down to me wanting a phone that works. That does what it should and would last for a long time if I want it to. Every person I know that has an iPhone uses them for like 3-4 years without any problems. If you have an Android, you’re basically forced to buy a new phone almost every year, because of lag and other issues. Only really “poorly technical” people keep their android phones for longer than they should, and I’m sick of that. I want something that works perfectly.

Yes. Iphones are more expensive, but people also have told me, if you pay more for a phone and it lasts at least 1 or 2 years longer, doesn’t that make it better, or perhaps even cheaper? Also the resell value of an iPhone is a lot higher than for Androids. My Blackberry Keyone is only worth a fifth of the price – 6 months later, if I’d use it to get a discount on an iPhone 8 plus. That is ridiculous! I bought it for ~$780 from the UK and now it’s worth like $140. Blargh! An iPhone 7 plus from last year is worth at least $530 if you’d use it in Apple’s renew program. That makes me angry! And hopeful. If I hate the iOS experience if I decide to get an iOS device, I could easily sell it or use it to buy another phone a lot cheaper.

My brain decided a few months back that I should learn about Apple, instead of reading manga, books or learn C# at a slow pace which would be a lot better, but no. Let’s focus on expensive stuff I probably do not need anyways. Yeah. That’s how my brain works. Isn’t it wonderful?

I am seriously thinking of switching over, and if I could get a green light for this – I’d walk over to the Apple store now and buy one. I live 10 minutes away from one! And then I’d hopefully brag and teach people that iOS is not that bad (or perhaps it is?) and make people become more open about different platforms. There are cons with iOS and there are cons with Android. If I would buy a new Android phone, or like get one as a gift, I’d probably also “forget” a lot of my thoughts I currently have about Apple, but I do not see why that would happen. Therefor I really do think that within a couple of months, weeks or even days – I might sit here with an iPhone 8 plus in my hands and I will then have joined the dark side. Until then. I’ll sit happily and continue to be displeased with a phone I do not like and dream of the days when I can afford everything I want and use both platforms in some way and be happy about that.

Sometimes I just feel really, frickin’ stupid… 💩

I’ve kept a tiny secret from my boyfriend, and basically everybody else as well, but I had to change hosts. Again. I said I was going to a while back, because the web host I chose during the early spring sucked balls and I got really so annoyed with them that I started looking for another one practically immediately. I found a new one, they’re called “Egensajt” which basically means “Your own site” or “your website” cramped into one word. They are also very cheap, they provide SSL easily with let’s encrypt and also provide a bunch of other useful stuff I plan on starting using later, WP-cli, SSH and git.

WTF is going on in my mind lately? Well, (not)learning to code and shitty web hosts and the struggles to find the energy to focus on the right thing!

However, my trip over here hasn’t been the greatest either, due to me being an idiot, but I guess everything is fine now at least. I’ve spammed the support a gazillion times for the past weeks since I started my account there, because I’ve struggled a bit with the move of other domains, the obligate down time while moving a website, installations of Drupal, WordPress Multisite and Limesurvey and a few other things.

The good things are though that, except for the Drupal problems(I’ll get to that one later), all the other issues are fixed and were basically down to two things; Me, having a brain that requires that everything should happen in an instant and me being (yet again) a complete, uneducated n00b regarding techie stuff.

All of this have just taught me that I really need to learn how to code, so I can understand all of this fun stuff for real, but I haven’t been able to find the energy for that all spring, basically. I’ll explain a bit more below, but I have my reasons for doing all this, even though it’s practically unnecessary…

I realized that you can’t have folder listing or anti-hotlink (or whatever it’s called) activated if you want to install php applications with your web host. I had no idea about that! Folder listings make php apps to not activate, and anti hotlink makes you get broken images if you’ve got SSL activated.

I also had the problem with WordPress. Like I’ve mentioned before my setup is basically this:

  • I have a multisite install where all my public blogs and websites live, except for this one at the moment.
  • I have another WP multisite on a separate subdomain where I do all the testing for the main site.
  • I have this install for this single domain, that has moved around a bit, but will probably stay as a single install and separate from the others just because it’s for the best. I think.
  • I create other various subdomains and use other domains from other web hosts I’ve registered that I use for testing purposes. Most of them are WP related, but some are for other PHP clients, like Drupal and Limesurvey.

Since moving to yet another host, I’ve tried to have my normal setup and I finally got everything to work, but Drupal did not work like it should for some strange reason. The reason I wanted to play around with Drupal is due to a thing at work. I got an idea and figured out that Drupal can basically solve everything, but sadly my proposal was denied for now which basically just made me more upset 😦 . I did most of the Drupal testing at my previous host (Inleed) while I was waiting for the main domain to move over to the new host. Then, as I got to the new host, Drupal did not work. It was practically impossible to install it, because I fell into the classic Drupal trap where I got access denied, even though I was the admin and everything. In the end I had to ask the web host to install it for me, but it was to no avail.

During all of this I had also installed Limesurvey and the test sites, but no matter what I did the templates from the clients, aka the text inside the php files where showing when I visited the url and I could not install, or login. Turned out, like I mentioned above that this was due to the folder listing being activated. When I turned it off I could install the applications. Then the other issues came up…

First of all I noticed that the clients had broken images when I viewed the sites with SSL. After a bit of googling again, I discovered that it was due to the anti-hotlinking was activated. Also I had problems with wildcard…

Yesterday I noticed that my testing site did not have an .htaccess any longer and the network settings had vanished. This I have no idea why it happens, but as I’ll explain what happened below, maybe these two are related?

In order to use WordPress Multisite you have to setup a wildcard A record in your dns setting. The thing is, I’ve done that like a billion times and I know what it is. The difference is that with this new host, I thought I’d done that correctly, but I had not. I did not set the wildcard as a dns record. Instead my web host turned the wildcard as an alias for my main domain. I also had no idea there was a difference! When I changed it from an alias to a proper A record wildcard dns, I could access my sites again. The old problem of the redirect thing happened again until this was changed and I felt depressed and like a total idiot while I couldn’t figure this out. I also decided I did not want to bother the support again either, even though they get paid to help me out. I just want stuff to work!

The only problem I have now is that WordpPress – all of my installs are incredibly slow when it comes to updating plugins, the core and saving post and other changes. Otherwise it’s pretty fast and works well. I upgraded the PHP memory to 256 MB, and I’ve also activated the Memcached that this web host has. I also turned on Varnish Cache that’s also an option here. So far it has helped a little, but it’s still extremely slow when I want to install or upgrade something. I just hope that this post will publish as usual to social media as well. Maybe it’ll work properly in a day or two…

An important note!

The reason for me switching host once again is due to several reasons. I said that I’d probably do this in a couple of months and that was the truth. I’ve had a really painful spring at work and also in my private life and playing around with php clients, like WordPress and my newly found interest in learning code really helps with not feeling bored and/or restless as fuck.

I still should point out, that me wanting to learn code has turned into crap, basically which is not surprising due to all my illnesses and how my mind works. I have made up my mind that I’m gonna finish the C# class I started a while back, but I’ve been way to tired to focus on that, due to a gazillion other stuff going on that steals my thunder. I really hate it, because I’m so into this. It feels like the right time is now to start a new beginning, but I guess I won’t be able to until I’m not this tired anymore and there are no other problems lurking around the corner… I can’t really explain this tiredness either. I just feel it and the only thing that helps are shitty crap-stuff with the usual stuff. Aka, playing around with code and knowing nothing with WP, Drupal and Limesurvey being the test subjects as of today.

I’d like to learn as much as possible, but everywhere I turn – there’s trouble for some reason – because I don’t understand code! I’ll probably blog a bit more about it later, and for those who understand Swedish, I’ll make a post soon as well to explain myself a bit more. Basically, I’m stuck in a circle and I’m doing what I can to keep up and not lose my mind, but no matter what I do, I feel bored, lost or angry and disappointed.

In less than a few weeks, me and the BF will move to another apartment that’s closer to everything and I bet that after having a long vacation from work, I’ll find my strength somehow. I think living right where we live now is one small contributing factor to why I feel like i have these past months. I really thought it was gonna be a life changer, but all the move to this exact place was, was nothing but meh. Besides living more to the south in Sweden and having the luxuries of living so close to Malmö, it’s not been that great. After the move I hope I’ll learn to code a bit more and hopefully I can focus more on blogging instead of struggling like I have AND need to in order to feel a little like myself these days.

Thanks for reading this far!

The difference between a really good Match 3 game, and a really, really bad one…

First of all – there is, as far as I know, no such thing as the perfect game on Android. At least not for me. However, there is a genre that I just love and that is Match 3 game puzzles. There is a difference, though within that genre as well. Personally I dislike the Candy Crush type games, the ones where you replace one block with another in order to match the colors. I don’t know why I do not like those types of games, but my stupid brain find them boring really fast.

There are several games I’ve tried during the years on my Android phone and besides those I’m gonna mention a lot in this post, I’ve tried Bee Brilliant and Cookie Cats, and some others I don’t remember the names of. Bee Brilliant is however a Match 3 game where you move your fingers to connect the same colors of blocks. At first I liked that principle more, but when I started to play Angry Birds Blast earlier this year I really do prefer when you just have to touch the same colored blocks instead of connecting them.

The general principle of all these types of games.

All of these games have several things in common. I’ll list them below:

  • You earn gold coins (or some other currency) in some way, either by buying them with real money or winning some in other competitions, connecting to Facebook or other ways.
  • You earn stars after every level, at the most you’ll get three. These stars define a lot for you as well.
  • You mostly earn some kind of currency (not the gold coins!) after each level, and the more stars you’ve managed to get – the more currency you’ll receive. With this you can buy awesome tools in order to help you upcoming levels.
  • You’ll have a total of 5 lives that refill every half hour (which means you’ll have to wait 2,5 hours for full lives). If you do not want to wait for this you can use your gold coins or buy more lives with real money.
  • There are lovely colors to choose from that you either blast or connect to match. Most often red, green, yellow, blue, purple and sometimes magenta (pink) and rainbow colored blocks.
  • The levels get harder the longer you play, with new difficult enemies to beat after a number of levels. The tutorial levels are often really easily beat and there are often really hard levels that might take days or weeks to finish – even if you use those “affordable” tools.
  • You can connect to social media platforms to play against your friends. Many of these games are playable as well on Facebook.
  • They drain the battery on your phone very rapidly. If you play more than 2-3 times a day you’ll probably have to charge your phone several times a day… Unless you have a huge battery!

There are probably more general principles with these types of games, but those above are the ones I could think of for today.

The reviews…

Paint Monsters

It’s been a while since I last played this game, but I remember it being fun, relatively hard but otherwise ok. I didn’t get very far. Perhaps 80 levels or so. Each level took a very long time, but they weren’t really evil. I found my old review and after reading that I remember that the reason why I stopped playing it was due to the game having many issues that were not fixed. It was laggy, the touch didn’t work etc. It was a fun game, but badly made.

Angry Birds Blast

This game was the best of the bunch. I started playing it in January of 2017 and I played it for over 4 months. It was hard, sometimes really frickin’ hard but not evil-ish hard. It was only evil on my bad days… Since you could earn fake money (silver coins) after each levels and you could play daily challenges to earn more silver and other cool stuff, it made the levels easier to beat. I played nearly 300 levels, which was until an enemy (that I can’t remember) was introduced and the levels basically got unplayable. It became impossible to beat levels and I refuse to spend real money on these types of games. It added a lot of stress, and my life at the moment is really effin’ stressful as it is and I did not need more crap to deal with. So I uninstalled it. I also could not during all of this time connect to Facebook, so if I will decide to play it again, I’ll have to start all over…

Toy Blast

Now this game is a crapload of poop-shit-fuck-asshole-crappy-crappity-crap anger and stupidity. Yet I can’t stop playing it. The reason for that is basically that if I do not have a “proper” fun game on my phone, I’ll lose my mind a lot faster. Even though this game sucks like crazy and is eeeeevil as hell, I need it. At least for now – but I hate it. I’ll might explain more in another post, but for now I’ll talk about games. This game is made for you to lose your mind, slowly but surely – unless you’re like me and you’ve sort of already lost the plot. It is so frickin’ hard or way to frickin’ easy that it’s like pure ridiculousness. I’ve played nearly 100 levels in just 2 weeks or so. In the first day I played probably half of that, but I got so pissed off that I uninstalled it. However, in lack of finding another similar game (trust me, I tried) I ended up installing it again, and now I spend about a half hour a day, swearing, getting totally pissed off and I’ve been like this close to throwing my phone somewhere due to all the anger this fucked up game brings. I know that it’s not my phone’s fault that this game sucks balls, but I get really angry. It’s like they want me to fail. Miserably. And pay real money for it. It really sucks that you can’t earn silver coins after each level either. I don’t know what the developers were thinking when they made this game. It’s basically a really frickin’ hard ripoff of Angry Birds Blast, because so far the enemies are similar. They probably thought “let’s make a AB Blast ripoff and make people empty their bank account in the process”. Because that’s what it feels like.

The solution

I would love it if some developer would make at least one of this kind of games, that are basically what I mentioned above, but the difference is that you’ll always get unlimited lives and you’ll never have to pay real money within the game in order to get tools and beat levels. The only money you’d have to pay for that is when you buy the game in the Play store. No matter the price of $1 or $20 – I’d probably gladly pay to have that – and decent semi hard levels in the form of a match 3 game like blast or a connection game. If some other developer does not make a game like this – I’ll make it myself when I know how to do it. That’s how much I need a game like this…

Either way, I recommend that you try these games I’ve mentioned and figure out which one you like best. This post was more or less a review and information about Match 3 games on Android, so I hope you’ll get some valuable information. If you do, write a thanks below in the comment section. Now, I’m off to lunch or something…

 

I really do not recommend DirectAdmin as a control panel

If you’re like me and you’re pretty much obsessed with blogging, (and really lousy at coding), you know that a proper web host is a must for hosting applications such as WordPress. There are tons out there to choose from and I think I’ve tried nearly all of them. At least it really does feel like I have during my years of blogging and being present online.

Oh, the struggles I’ve been having with my current web host and Direct Admin as a control panel… Oh, the horrors…

I started blogging for real with WP in the beginning of 2009. Since then I’ve changed web hosts and blogging platforms as often as a parent would change their kid’s diapers or something. I really do not know why I’ve done this so much, but now that I am more experienced and know a little bit more about what I personally need – I do not recommend switching hosts every so often. Do your research and stick with a great host to begin with.

A proper web host should have this:

  • cPanel as their choice of control panels. DirectAdmin works, but it effin’ sucks for various reasons. It could also be my web host’s fault, but I do not know.
  • Offer WP as both single installs and multisite with wildcards (*). As a user, a wildcard being added to your dns settings is all you should ever have to care about.
  • be able to point a domain to a folder of your choice; I.E point sub.example.com to user/domains/example.com/public_html/sub without any hassle.  This also includes add-on domains and aliases.
  • Free SSL support that works for both subdomains and top level domains.
  • Full access to the database. With this I mean so you can change the table prefix etc. Also one login to rule them all or something. Not one user AND a database for every frickin’ login.
  • Being able to install WP (for example) manually, like the famous 5 minute install, as well ass offer a 1 click service.
  • Backups that do not drain your space every 5 minutes or something.

There are many, many other things as well that a proper web host should offer and the things mentioned above is what I personally need and prefer.

My struggle…

Like I mentioned before, I’ve struggled for various reasons with my web hosts of choice. In the beginning I changed hosts basically because I thought I had to or I did it for some other stupid reason. When I got to know WP for what an awesome thing it really is and when Multisite was introduced, I changed web hosts for other reasons and always thought that “this would be the final one”. Eh… that only lasted for so long…

All that finally changed, when I partly quit being an idiot and stuck with WP for ever and discovered a Swedish web host that almost did it’s job perfectly. I stayed with them for nearly 3 years. They were called Binero. Then, a few months back I started noticing that my blogs in my WP installations did not have SSL. I basically thought they did, but it was probably a Chrome extension that fooled me, because I started noticing this when that extension stopped working. It became a big deal to change hosts, and I finally switched to another Swedish based host. They’re called Inleed and they are almost illegally cheap, but you get what you pay for…

The move went fine, but almost from the start I’ve had problems and they haven’t gone away completely yet.

The issues

This is what I’ve had to deal with so far. A real pain in the butt…

  • Not being able to install anything on general subdomains, especially with SSL.
  • I’ve added subdomains as i.e sub.example.com but not been able to access the subdomain at that level, only at domain.com/sub which effin’ sucks balls! However, if I do this – everything works as it should, I get SSL etc but it’s not a pretty sight and makes subdomains completely useless.
  • Redirection issues to my main WP install if I have installed something on SSL. Even though I have separate installs this happens! For example; my main WP install is a multisite at domain.com and I created a WP multisite install for testing purposes at test.domain.com. If this test install is installed on SSL, it redirects or is not found at test.domain.com and it redirects to domain.com to the signup page or whatever other page I’ve set NOBLOGREDIRECT to. So frustrating!
  • I had to contact support in order to get WP multisite to work – which in part also created all the other issues I’ve been having.
  • The support have been struggling as well with my domains and subdomains, not answered all of my questions as far as I can tell, because I felt somewhat ignored sometimes. They may have read it all, but have chosen to only answer one question in a long email.
  • I do not have complete access either to my files, since I’m “only” a user. I do not know if it’s possible to upgrade, since I’ve asked about this and did not get an answer. Every time I need to “fix” something, I have to ask the support to edit the httpd.conf files etc and I do not like that.

After weeks of struggling I finally got proper help and I got my main installs I want to function properly, but I still can’t install anything properly on SSL, even though I finally can use real subdomains like you should always be able to. I will be contacting the support soon, after I’ve done some more testing.

The Conclusion:

Well, basically I’m getting tired of this shit and a couple of weeks ago I decided that I will be downsizing my web hosting affairs a bit, which means I shall stick to simple blogging instead and I will start to learn to code for real. Don’t worry, I sticking to WP! What I mean is that I shall try and not hassle that much with my blogs and instead I’ll keep on writing good posts.

I’ve started to learn C# in order to give me something I really can use, and when I’m done with that I shall try to create games for both desktop and android using Unity. After that I shall also try and learn C++ and maybe .NET as well. All done in my spare-time of course, but if I succeed with this I might start to work with it later on in a few years. Who knows? All I know is – choose your web host carefully and stick to WP whenever possible if you’re a blogger like me and like control over your shit.

 

What bugs me about YouTube these days…

Well. First of all – a lot of things. YouTube itself is awesome and I use it daily to watch videos and learn new stuff about the topics I care about. Also, of course I’m trying to make something out of myself as well on that platform and after years of doing nothing but mistakes, I think I’m finally starting to learn and accept things. Or if not, they bug the hell out of me, som now it’s time for some ranting again about the biggest and most annoying things about YouTube that I’d really like to change. Or make Google change, at least. Most of this stuff is out of my hands completely.

No.1 – Moving videos between channels

I recently created a new channel, made for vlogs and video games mainly. Or basically any other type of video that is not about Great Danes. It’s sort of a “my other channel”, so it’s not my main one. The one about dogs is. The big problem I have there is compiled of different sets of issues that no matter what I do about it – I’ll lose a lot. I’ll fill you in below.

The history

My channel, “In the mind of a Great Dane maniac” was before connected to another G+ page and had the name “Aimee Vlogs”. Before that it was called “Aimee Vlogs (in English & Swedish). It’s had a lot of names and had the tagline – “Shitty vlogging at its best!”, because I really was a shitty vlogger. Nobody cared – until I finally got my teeth fixed with the Inman Aligner dental braces treatment. Then my subscribers, viewers and comments grew like hell. Especially the views. That’s awesome. Thanks to that success, I finally got brave enough to move the channel into the direction I’ve wanted all these years – into having a channel all about Great Danes. So far, so good?

Keeping it relevant for everybody

Now, I’d like to move all my former videos to my other channel, since those videos have nothing to do with Great Danes. None whatsoever. How can I do this? By losing. Either views or subscribers. Perhaps both. It makes sense to have themed channels on YouTube. That is how you succeed. I’ve also overcomed my “fear” of having multiple channels. The reason I feared it before was due to struggles with getting notifications properly and getting subscribers. The subs part is always a struggle though, as long as you’re boring. The notifications part I fixed a while back. I’d just like to have the best of both worlds. People interested in Great Danes to be subscribed to this channel, and people more interested in my life in general or other vlogs and videos to be subscribed to that channel. It’s better that way.

The struggles, besides getting noticed

Ok, so how do I fix this issue? Like I’ve said before. By losing. As long as YouTube does not let you move videos properly between channels that you own, this is a struggle we all face who owns several channels, where one is more popular than the other. This is how you’ll fix it today, by doing one of these 3 options below:

  1. Download all your videos that you’d like to move, re-upload them to the channel you want. Lose all the views, comments and other shit that came with it and hope people will keep watching and commenting. If you have many videos this will also be a very time consuming challenge as well.
  2. Start another channel and do everything you can to notify your subscribers and let them know you’re moving. Hope that all of them follows you. In my case they’d probably not. I’m to scared to even try.
  3. Wait and ignore all the subscribers waiting for Inman Aligner vlogs when all you’ll upload are Great Dane related videos. If I’d take a guess, 99% of all my current subscribers are there due to the Inman Aligner videos, or because they’re friends of mine and care enough either way to watch what I’ll upload.

No.2 – Why you can’t move videos, when you can move entire channels?!

Since over a year ago, moving a channel to either a G+ profile (now, really to your Google account) or a G+ page was made possible. And it should only be a matter of time before YouTube lets you move videos and let you keep all the views, comments and all that other shit that came with it. The question is – can we wait that long? Or really, can I wait that long? I’m struggling each day I sit in front of my YouTube channel to think – should I do it anyway – move all the videos and lose all the views, comments and other stuff? For now I’ve managed to wait and that’s probably good. I have notified my subscribers that I’ve got a new channel, but basically none have cared. Still I try not to be bothered with it. It’s really frickin’ hard, but I’m doing my best to not obsess with getting views and subscribers.

No. 3 – The disconnection between Google+ and YouTube

In July last year, YouTube and Google announced that connecting G+ with YouTube was a massive failure and that they’ve listened to our feedback. Soon you’d be able to disconnect and remove your G+ profile and YouTube would return to what it was before. Ok, some stuff has remained – the good stuff we liked. Me, on the other hand absolutely loved the G+/YouTube integration, but right now and since this news, I’ve been waiting for the disconnection to happen. And what Google means by “Soon” is more like = “This is gonna take forever”.

I love Google+, I really, really do. It’s awesome, but recently it’s become boring since people are fleeing the place like crazy, or at least just the Swedes… That makes me sad. However. The reason I’m waiting for the disconnection to happen, for pages now, since the G+ profiles have disconnected is… I have no idea. I’m just really frickin’ curios as to what will happen to my channel when it does. What I’d like to see is this:

  1. The Legacy url system coming back. I really dislike the way you claim a custom url today. It’s like either have a gazillion subscribers or buy a url that you might not need. What kind of logic is that? And a gazillion subs is actually 100, but if I would ever make that mark – I’d be the happiest person on the planet, since I’ve struggled for years to get a decent channel. I haven’t even reached that yet…
  2. My G+ page that is connected to my GD channel, can go back and act as a page for my blog in Swedish again. That means with the new translations features I can change the name of the channel as often as I’d like and the G+ page won’t be bothered.
  3. Some other amazing thing I haven’t thought about yet.

Now, how do you feel about this? I know I’m not the only one asking for the moving of videos feature on YouTube. A lot of people have been asking this over the years and all the videos claiming moving videos is possible (like the way it should be handled) are lying. It’s basically only downloading, re-uploading and losing all the stuff that came with the video. The video below has probably the best “today” solution for this. It adds something to the original videos, where she shortens them and ads a message that the full video can be seen “over there” instead of here. That would take a lot of time, but if YouTube never lets us have the option to move entire videos with all the analytics attached to it – then this is certainly the way to go.

Another video on YouTube talks about this as well. It’s a fairly new channel on YouTube called Idea of the day. Check out his video below:

So… What’s your idea about all of this? Let me know in a comment below and keep a look out for new videos coming up on both my channels.

Why Google Spaces?!

Yesterday Google went out with another big news, that they’ve created spaces. My first thought, along with pretty much everybody else on G+ was something like: “eh… What?!”. Now, don’t get me wrong. The idea of it all is awesome. The timing? Not so much. If you don’t know what Spaces is, I’ll explain it to you now.

According to their help website, Spaces is a service for “small group sharing for everything in life”. That means that you can create a space instantly for comic books, trips or a study group. It’s also really easy to invite people to a Space. All you need is a link to the space (which is created when you make a Space) and a Gmail account for Google. It does not currently work with Google apps accounts. So you can basically just send the link to a friend on Facebook, twitter, or any other clickable place for links and that’s it. You’re in! If you’d like to try out my testing Space, click here. It’s nothing special, just to try out the features and such.

The whole idea is to “share all the things” without leaving the app. Leave comments, photos, links, search Google and find YouTube videos. Then talk about everything! The conversations stay on topic this way, and you’ll get notifications so you won’t miss a thing. If you create many Spaces you can search your Spaces so you’ll find everything you need. It works by using keywords and Google says it’s magic. I don’t know if I believe them.

Ok, so here’s to the why question. Like I mentioned before – I love the idea itself. However, lately, as a major G+ user I might add, that social platform has started to become somewhat boring. I’ve discovered that G+ is no longer a place for personal stuff. Nobody cares! And even if I post topics that interest me, people are like “meh.” and they move on. I should be glad to get 2 +1’s these days. I guess it’s like that for many people. Many do complain about this phenomenon. A lot of people I follow from Sweden has left the platform, moved on to only focus on other social media, or they’ve left the Internet completely. No matter what excuse – it has made G+ something less that what it was before. It’s even more sad now since it got a major upgrade a while ago, and updates are finally back to often instead of “how ’bout never”.

Spaces seems like partially another messaging app, but also like a mini-social media platform as well. The plusses are that this kind of gig is something people want, so that might mean that people will actually use it and love it, since it’s easy to do all the things I explained before. If I used Spaces I have no idea on what kind of Spaces I’d create, since the only things in my mind are Great Danes or my own YouTube failures/successes. I guess both are perhaps not that interesting? It would probably be perfect for just what it is. Small group sharing for everything in life…

Now, will you try this thing out? Leave a comment and let me know what you think.