Leetaur's Blog

Everquest Next is canceled

Hot off the presses, Daybreak Games has canceled Everquest Next.

From Russell Shanks, president of Daybreak Games:

For those familiar with the internals of game development, you know that cancellations are a reality we must face from time to time. Inherent to the creative process are dreaming big, pushing hard and being brutally honest with where you land. In the case of EverQuest Next, we accomplished incredible feats that astonished industry insiders. Unfortunately, as we put together the pieces, we found that it wasn’t fun. 

I have pondered the fate of Everquest Next ever since Sony Online Entertainment was sold to Daybreak Games.  SOE was being very open, and very LOUD, about their development of Everquest Next, but finding any real news in the past year or so has been very hard to come by.

For those wanderers of Norrath, never fear.  Everquest and Everquest 2 are still going strong.


New Year

It is yet another new year, 2016. So what are my plans for 2016, and the plans of my family?

One of the things I would love to do is travel more. The last few years we haven't gone all that many places. It would be fun to travel as a family, all eleven of us, to Michigan. We could visit Crystal's father, sister, and brothers, similar to a couple of years ago, and then swing up to the Upper Peninsula to see my folks. 

It has also been a long time since we have been to Minnesota, all the way back to 2007. It is a beautiful state!  In the summer at least!!  Minnesota's winters might be a little too rough for me. 

There are other things on the list. There are always house improvements and repairs. Living in a 105 year old house has charm, but also takes a lot of money to fix up. 

Well, that is it for now. Hello to my relatives that read this blog. I hope to see you this summer 😀 

Saint Nicholas Day

Right now our children are unpacking their stockings.  My 6-year old and 8-year old were quite anxious to wake up everyone once they found that their stockings were full! 


First post in a while

This is the first post that I have done on my Leetaur.com blog in a while. This is pretty much my technology blog, so I will go ahead and talk about my new phone 😀 

A little over a week ago I got my iPhone 6s in the mail, straight from Apple on launch day. My trip over onto the Android platform is over. Though, as I am told my the Android team at work, the Fire phone does not really count as Android! 

The iPhone 6s is a really nice phone. It feels really fast. The 3D Touch interface is cool too, and has already sped up the use of the native Apple apps (Twitter also uses it). As more apps adopt 3D Touch I think the new navigation introduced by Apple will come into its own. It is a different, cool way of doing things. 

I also find myself using Siri a lot. We already have Apple's virtual assistant on my wife's iPad. But that is her machine, and as portable as an iPad is, I like either working I need device that fits in my pocket, or else using a full-blown laptop. The iPad is great for reading or watching movies in bed, but for programming or writing I like to use my MacBook Air... Though admittedly my MacBook Air is getting a little old. It will probably be time to update soon. 

That is my short update for today. Going forward I will try to write more about what I am doing with this tech - the phone and laptop. I like to write, and program (cannot program on a phone of course). I do like how closely the iPhone and MacBook Air work with each other - syncing Pages documents over iCloud, being able to access the children's reports, cross-device password management, etc It is convenient. 

So what did I do with the Fire phone?  It is now a backup phone for my family. It works perfectly well as a phone, does email and messaging and web browsing well. But it is now for the rest of the family, as I do not need it now. 

That is enough for this post. I will try to blog on Leetaur.com more often. We'll see how well I do at that.  

(Typed on my new phone, please excuse typos!) 

Kindle Paperwhite 3 Released


Amazon has released another updated Kindle Paperwhite.  Amazon is referring to it as the "all new Kindle Paperwhtie", while according to Good E-Reader, others are referring to it as the Kindle Paperwhite 3.

The update looks pretty cool.  My family has two Kindles- my wife has a Paperwhite 2, and I have just a plain $79 Kindle (if I read in the dark - not very often - I borrow my wife's).

I am glad to see that Amazon is continuing to invest in their E-Reader lineup.  I hope they continue to invest both in the Kindle Fire HD, and the HDX lineups, especially the 6-inch Fire, as I consider that one better for reading.


Played Dungeons & Dragons @ Gryfalia's Aerie

Leetaur has been resurrected!  My Leetaur the Lion Dungeons & Dragons character dates from the early 1990's, back when I played with a group in Saint Louis, MI.  Leetaur the Lion was a fighter in the group, and had some interesting adventures with Shakari & company.

Well, this past Wednesday, August 27 I rolled up Leetaur anew in order to play at Gryfalia's Aerie.  Gryfalia's is recognized as an official Dungeons & Dragons organized play group, using the DCI numbers and everything.

Well, my daughter Crysta and I played at Gryfalia's Aerie this past Saturday, and played the Secrets of Sokol Keep adventure.  It was a big group.  I was among the oldest, and the youngest playing were more like Joseph & Martin's age.  It was cool :)

There are a couple of adventure played at Gryfalia's Aerie every week, so I hope to make it often :)

-Leetaur the Lion

The Hunt for Gollum

I watched this this morning with my daughter Crysta.  The Hunt for Gollum was filmed in England, and put together by Tolkien fans.  It is a non-profit film, and I am happy to say it is very well done.  If you also love JRR Tolkien and Middle Earth, you should watch it :)  It is about 40 minutes long.

Amazon Press Conference - Fire Phone Announcement

This past Wednesday, June 18, Amazon announced their newest hardware - the Fire phone.  A YouTube video of the Fire phone is below.  If you are a heavy Amazon customer (and use Amazon Prime), the Fire phone makes a lot of sense.  

The three major features of the phone are "Firefly", which is a search service (it recognizes objects, images, songs, tv shows), Dynamic Perspective, which looks like cool 3D technology (it uses four-front facing infrared cameras), and the camera, a 13 megapixel camera with a motor that counteracts the natural shakiness of a person's hand, allowing the shutter to stay open longer for better exposure.

What kind of phone would I buy?  iPhone 6 (coming this fall), Fire phone... another Android-based phone, a Tizen phone?  Or even an Ubuntu phone?  

I hope to talk about that in my next podcast :)

A Moment of Peace

Through iTunes Radio, I ran across a song called "Moment of Peace".  I like it :)  It is by a group called Gregorian.  A YouTube video of Moment of Peace is below.

WWDC 2014

Below is the video of the World Wide Developers Conference, 2014.  I watched this at a coworker's house (most of my team was there).  One of our team was actually out at WWDC, as well.

WWDC was packed with great announcements about iOS, OS X Yosemite, and developer tools, including the new computer language, Swift.

Everquest Next Debut

I saw this video last year.  Though I don't play EQ now, I thought the abilities and game features being put into Everquest Next look fascinating, especially the ability to effect the environment around you, both long term (damaging the area, etc) that gradually over time returns to its original form, and also permanently changing your environment in ways that makes the server you play on different than other servers.

If this gets released for the Mac, I may try it out.  One of the things about EQ Next, is that it is going to be free to play.  That helps too :)

New podcast section

I am introducing a new podcast section onto the site.  Hopefully I will be able to update this site a lot more regularly going forward!

The podcast is probably going to consist of weekly 1 - 2 minute news segments, just for family and friends to listen to (and others if they want).  I might talk about tech, particularly Objective-C programming (both iOS and Mac), or just talk about how the family is doing.

The podcast is (usually) going to be audio.  If I upload a video podcast, I will probably put it onto YouTube and link it in.


Merry Christmas!

It has been a busy year, which has kept me away from a whole lot of blogging and other internet activities. In a way that is good. Work has kept me VERY busy since May, and it looks to stay that way for the coming year. When it comes to your work, being bored is dangerous! Busy is good :)

And of course there was the birth of our 8th child, Liz. She is now crawling all over and trying to get into all sorts of trouble, but there are a lot of older kids to keep an eye on her. She has a great laugh, and the kids are great at getting her to laugh every day :) The kids are a delight to watch grow up. Oh, and my oldest now has her driver's license. It is a bit scary that I am old enough to have one of my kids driving!

Tech seems to have steadied out, at least for now. There were improvements in desktops, laptops, smart phones (both Android and iPhone), and tablets (ditto), but nothing revolutionary has entered the market in 2013. I don't count Samsung's "Galaxy Gear". I don't see a purpose for it. Google Glass looks interesting (and kind of creepy). I work with someone who has a developer model. I will count that as a release once it is publicly available.

The technology that will be interesting to follow is the Ubuntu phone. I am not planning on buying it (I prefer Debian on my computer), but the idea of a phone running Ubuntu Touch, and then turning into a complete desktop with paired with a monitor and keyboard, sounds very interesting. Right now you need to use the cloud, or syncing, if you want to share documents between a computer and your phone, being able to work on both. It will be cool if you have a phone that actually DOUBLES as your desktop.

Lastly, Merry Christmas to everyone! I hope everyone had a great 2013. Ours was great. And 2014 is looking to be even better. Here is to celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ tomorrow, and looking forward to a new year!


2013: The Year of Linux on the... Everything

THIS ARTICLE, from Linux.com, shows the great progress Linux has made in the year 2013.  Innovation in cloud computing, in cars, gaming, the data center, etc is very great within the Linux space.

From the article:

In the Linux community we love predicting that this is the year of Linux in cars, or in gaming, or yes, even the desktop.

But in fact, this was the year of Linux in everything. From smartphones, tablets,   consumer appliances and cars, to the open cloud and high-performance computers, to gaming platforms and more, Linux was, and is, literally everywhere. It’s the software that is running our lives.

The last report showed more than 1.5m Android phone activations are happening every day. Android continues to dominate on phones, and embedded Linux variants are bringing Linux into the living room with it running everything from your TV to your washer and dryer to your fridge and heating/cooling system.

Linux’s success in cars is demonstrated by, among other things, its role in the Motor Trend Magazine’s car of the year for two years running. Both the Cadillac CTS sedan (2014 Motor Trend car of the year) and the all-electric Tesla Model S (won in 2013) run Linux. Furthermore, IHS Automotive recently reported that sales of automotive Linux are expected to overtake Microsoft and Blackberry QNX in the global automotive infotainment market by 2020.

Read the rest over there :)