Category Archives: Reviews

First impressions of ASUS X540UV

Yesterday a new laptop arrived at home. It’s a budget one and I spotted a pretty good deal with 90 € off. I’ve decided for a purchase because the previous has been acting funny recently with on and off weird issues with display. It still works and does the job but with external monitor pluged-in. So it has became a stationary one which defeats the purpose of laptops.

The first think I observed was the lightness of a package. ASUS X540UV uses SSD and no DVD unit drive which lowers the total weight to 2 kilogams.

Next are ports: it has 3 for USB, 1 for HDMI, memory card and sound. Those are all on the left side. On the right side there’s nothing. The only thing I miss a little is a Ethernet port because it could come in handy from a time to time.

I have a little experiences with upgrading hardware components in a laptop (RAM) so I checked on a YouTube how would one open a laptop with similar internal design. Compared to my previous laptop, I have to say it’s less convenient. My previous laptop only required you to unscrew two screws and remove only a part of bottom surface to be able to add additional RAM but with the new one you have to remove the whole bottom surface and internally you have to unscrew some component, flip it, add RAM and repeat the process in reverse order. I decided not to do this myself since it’s not a pressing issue – my previous laptop had only 4 GB but new one has 8 GB.

Heavy Rain Orimagi bird

My thoughts on Heavy Rain

I got the game together with Two Souls: Beyond (which also I wrote about here) and like the latter, Heavy Rain was such a cool experience to play! It’s an awesome psychological thriller with lots of cut scenes that are in fact motion capture. In the game player assumes roles of multiple characters that he navigates in open world and interacts with nearby objects. In game characters try to uncover who is the Origami killer and in the same time save his latest victim which is said to have only so much time left till rain reaches certain volume.

Although the only action player gets from the game is guiding character around the world and by quickly pressing the buttons that are showing on the screen when there’s a fight, danger or some special move is required (lock-picking the door, maneuvering through electrified field to get to the other side of the room), personally for me that’s quite enough. Personally I was always more of a single-player guy, meaning I was more invested in the story-line side of the game.

I’ve never suspected who the real antagonist of the game is but quickly connected the dots when the first hint was mentioned. I think that part disappointing me little, because the clue about the Origami killer’s identity was given away in a cut-scene without player’s involvement. There is also more than one ending possible. I encountered only 2 but it’s said there are 22 of them. First one was the main two protagonist being killed and Origami killer being still free, the second was those two saves Origami’s victim and killer being dead. I doubt I’ll pursue different endings though although I have a feeling the second ending is still not a perfect ending because I declined some decision when the story was coming to final stage.

Also I have a question for IGN which rated a game 9/10 when released in 2010 but gave 7.5/10 for its remastered edition for PS4 with main comment “Still fun, but dated”. How is this possible? You can’t say that and totally disregard time component. Sure, game development has evolved and progressed since than but this game wasn’t something new in 2016. When it came out in 2010, it offered something new. Guess I need to find myself a new gaming website that will have more credible game ratings!

Aleatha Romig Into the Light book cover

Into the Light/Away from the Dark (by Aleatha Romig)

It’s been 2 weeks since I’ve discovered Aleatha Romig’s The Light, 2-book series when I was searching for a new read on Goodreads. First book Into the Light was ranked among the best thriller/mystery books for previous year. And oh boy, this story is so good, so captivating, I was literally skipping lines (with pages it would be too much) because I wanted to find out what happened at the end. Despite shocking main events which includes indoctrinating a woman into a cult and making her believe fake story to make her compliant to her make-believe husband,. Who own her completely (body and thoughts) and if she hides anything from him or is disobedient, he has a right to correct her. For her own success. Totally unacceptable for today’s society we live in.

In my opinion first book describes and sets the background and next book Away from the Dark tries to resolve and uncover mysteries of the first (we also learn there’s a bigger picture to the cult than just religious stuff but also a plethora of illegal activities). When I finished with the last one, I didn’t get the feeling it was a 2-book story. But if it were one book, it would be over 700 pages long which I admit is not practical from publisher’s point of view. This also has to be one of the rare books from the genre from female writers I read and shamefully I’ve admit I didn’t expect story so good. Although there is less technical knowledge as male writers like to incorporate in thrillers, Aleatha Romig exceeds at storytelling and keeping reader’s attention. I also noticed love-making parts of the story are much more detailed which didn’t leave me, let say, indifferent. 😀

There are many parts of the story I enjoyed. For example, like when Sara (the woman who was indoctrinated), previously stopping taking her birth control medicine, starts to remember her true self and despite this she keeps her new mantle to save herself and buy time. Clever writing by Aleatha Romig! Or in earlier part, when she is in conversation with other wives of the chosen (privileged people of the community, do less and elite work, live in better and bigget apartments), they discuss about their jobs and despite how awkward that would be in real world, author keeps exploring the idea.

Definitely 5/5!

A note about book covers: First one is mostly blue, the second is red but the background shows the same scene of girl running in the forest with clearing (the light) at the end of it. What differs, apart from book title text, is the direction girl is running. In first in she runs towards the light, in second away from the light. Although trivial, I think this is a nice little detail.

Cvetje v jeseni musical

“Cvetje v jeseni” musical

This year Santa/my mom brought me a ticket for a very praised original musical in Slovenia at the moment, called “Cvetje v jeseni”, Flowers in Autumn in English. It’s an adaptation of a book with a same name written by Slovenian writer Ivan Tavčar in 1917. This book is also adapted as a movie which was made in 1973 and is starring Polde Bibič and Milena Zupančič, both very famous actors in Slovenia.

It’s about a middle-age doctor Janez who gets tired of city life and visits farm of an old friend in the countryside again after few years. There he meets his daughter Meta who meanwhile grew up into a beautiful girl. They fall madly in love. But work calls Janez to return to the city. Some day in Autumn Janez’s friend come to sell him a farm and Janez sees the opportunity in it to marry and live with Meta. He first tells the news to Meta’s parents who gave their approval then tells the news to Meta, but because she’s overwhelmed with happiness and with weak heart, she dies. “Cvetje v jeseni” is a metaphor for a Janez’s middle-age love which, like flowers in autumn, never comes to fruition because of Meta’s sudden death.

Musical is starring Nina Pušlar as Meta and Matjaž Robavs as Janez who are both excellent and well-known singers in Slovenia. I was very happy to catch a day when they (not their replacements) performed. I was expecting to be more impressed by Nina Pušlar but I ended more with Matjaž Robavs. Mainly because the story is told from Janez’s point of view meaning Robavs gets more show time and I already knew Nina Pušlar’s talents because I visited her music concerts before. They both rise up to the occasion despite technically they aren’t professional stage actors. But I guess because they are both singers who perform on stage and are accustomed to it, learning few extra things weren’t hard for them.

This was a wonderful day! 🙂

He had time to kill

Today I’ve finished reading second book from Tracy Crosswhite series written by Robert Dugoni (you can find my post about the first one here). It’s titled Her Last Breathe but could easily be as the title of this post. Because that’s the phrase main bad guy of the novel, serial killer nicknamed “The Cowboy” fancies and I think it suits as the tile of this book.

It is set chronologically a month from the end of the previous book. Also the foundations for the second book are already kind of set in the previous book by describing the case Tracy was working on when returning to Cedar Grove and when Tracy was in front of vet clinic spotting a car with cleared windshield. Interweaving plot points between two books made second book even more interesting.

I found the novel to be a very good detective story. I often caught myself thinking it would be a good TV show material and which actor would portray which character.