True #GunsForPeace

How can people say that guns causes people to die? Apparently these people know nothing about guns and need to educate themselves on the matter.

My religion teaches that guns are peaceful.

Spiritual guns are the best way to do Jihad* against our nafs (soul).

How beautiful is that?

We need more guns. Everyone needs to have guns. And more importantly, the correct understanding of guns which only members of my religion have. Now repeat after me: True #gunsforpeace.

* Find the definition yourself

Why you should Node-RED instead of Java-based Logstash

What is Logstash?

Logstash is an open source, server-side data processing pipeline that ingests data from a multitude of sources simultaneously, transforms it, and then sends it to your favorite “stash.” – elastic

In other words: Logstash is a software which can read data from multiple sources such as log files, tcp/udp port, MySQL (via Plugin) and MQTT (via Plugin) and then transforms the data into a desired format such as JSON with some augmented attributes and then sends the data into mainly Elasticsearch.

As you can see, Logstash is not given a complicated task to perform. All we expect from it is to stay alive and perform that task. But the setting up process and maintenance is such a pain. This reminds me of why I always refuse to use Java-based softwares.

Problem #1: Not starting with systemd inside an LXC container

No matter how much I tried, I never got it to start automatically with systemd. I had to open a screen session and then launch the process manually.

Ofcourse, whenever Logstash would crash, it would not autostart. And if i were to reboot the VM, i’d have to launch the process manually.

Problem #2: Long boot time

If I were to kill Logstash and relaunch it, it takes around 100 – 120 seconds. It’s that heavy. You lose 2 minutes worth of data. I guess a C++ based program would have taken a maximum of 10 seconds to do a similar task. Avoid Java-based programs.

Problem #3: Plugins (MQTT and MySQL)

If you want to use some other data sources or filters than provided, you’d have to compile the plugins yourself. When compiling the logstash-filter-jdbc_streaming plugin, I had to downgrade the my Java version from 11 to 8 else Logstash wouldn’t start.

And also the MQTT plugin would stop working randomly and crash the whole Logstash process which is unacceptable!

Problem #4: RAM Usage

Logstash would let me compile plugins without minimum of 2GB of RAM. I have managed to run Elasticsearch on just 256 MB of RAM. Why is Logstash so hungry? I ain’t gonna feed it anymore. Enough is enough.

Hello Node-Red

Node-Red already has a built in MQTT node. I had to install the elastic plugin via the interface itself and voila! I have a working Logstash alternative. Stay tuned for more on Node-Red

 

Game Review: Armoured Warfare on PlayStation 4

Price

Let’s start with the price: it’s a free-to-play PlayStation 4 game! Does it mean that the game is of bad quality? Far from it. And when people speak about free-to-play, the concept of pay-to-win (P2W) also usually comes up. I’ve only played PVE (Player vs Environment) so I can’t really confirm that. The opinion on Reddit dating 3 years back suggest that it is not a P2W.

Graphics

The graphics are great: not mediocre nor as cinematic as Tomb Raider or Uncharted. The terrain is very well textured however the grass looks like really fake sometimes. The water quality is very average. The explosions look good too.

Couch Friendliness

Image result for gaming stress

First Person Shooter (FPS) and Third Person Shooter (TPS) games usually require lots of concentration from the player giving more stress to the later. Armoured Warfare is not so demanding – at least in the PVE missions. You can very well play this game after a tiresome day at work and relax while destroying tanks on your couch. All you have to do is to spot a tank, zoom on it (L2), lock the targer (L1) and fire (R2)! Voila the tank is destroyed not matter how fast it’s moving.

Player vs Player (PVP)

I haven’t been able to play a PVP match yet because you need a minimum of tier 5 tank to be able to join. It took me quite some time before being able to get my first tier 4 tank (2 weeks, 1 hour per day). I guess it’s done on purpose so that the PVP matches contain experienced people only so that no one feels Over-Powered (OP) or Under-Powered (n00b)

Waiting Time

I’ll find a game within 1 or 2 minutes after joining the queue. The maximum I had wait was like 7 minutes on a particular day.

Mini-comparison: Armoured Warfare vs War Thunder

Gore

In War Thunder, it actually displays the actual fake humans in the tank which we have to kill in order to immobilize a tank. Armoured Warfare on the other hand is more like a Machine-to-Machine match which doesn’t shock sensible souls like me. LOL xD

Image result for war thunder crew

Airforce and Navy

Armoured Warfare is focused on Tanks only whereas War Thunder has missions including Airplanes and Warships. I found myself enjoying Tank matches in Armoured Warfare more since it has a target locking mechanism which makes it much easier to strike. Less stress and more gratification for me. I haven’t played the airplanes much.

Image result for war thunder replay

Conclusion

War Thunder is a very good free PlayStation game which which can keep you entertained for hours without any stress. Go ahead and download it.

PlayStation 4 Country Settings for Mauritius

When you’re creating an account on PlayStation Network, you’ll have to choose your country of residence. Unfortunately Mauritius will not be in that list. You’ll have to choose another country. Which country did you choose?

A friend did inform me that I’ll have to make this decision but I wanted to try my newly bought PlayStation 4 ASAP that I didn’t really do a proper study of which country I should have chosen. I simply chose the UK because I thought It would have lower latency in games in multiplayer games. I thought it would determine which servers would be used. Europe is closer to Mauritius than to USA ping-wise.

Game pricing

Comparing the prices of games on the UK and US version of the PlayStation store, the prices seem really high on the UK site.

The Shadows of Tomb Raider costs £ 55 pounds on the UK site whereas on the US site, it’s $ 59.

In Mauritian rupees, it is Rs 2489 and Rs 2103 respectively at the time of writing. It’s a difference of nearly Rs 400 which is huge.

Better buy games on Physical Media (BluRay)

Since the prices games on BluRay are much less than online downloadable games, it’s better to buy BluRay games. After you get bored with the game, you can just sell it to someone else. Moreover, Mauritius Telecom is really squeezing more money from Mauritians buy making us pay extra Rs 200 to upgrade to a 20Mbps MyT connection with more data allowance. I want a real unlimited 10Mbps connection to begin with.

 

 

 

Buying a PlayStation 4 in 2019: Is it worth it?

I recently bought a used PlayStation 4 for some casual gaming. Is the PS 4 outdated? It was first released late 2013 i.e. 6 years ago. Is it still worth getting? Let’s see.

Price

First and foremost let’s talk about price. A brand new PS 4 slim can be bought brand new between Rs 12,500 – Rs 19,000 with 1 game included in Mauritius. The PS4 Pro starts at Rs 18,000 to Rs 22,000. However used ones can be found on Facebook groups ranging from Rs 8,000 to Rs 10,000 for the non-pro PS4 version only.

Building an equivalent PC to the non-pro PS 4 would start as Rs 25,000 minimum. If we were to build an equivalent of PS4 Pro, we’ll need a budget of at-least Rs 60,000.

If you no longer have the need for the PS in the future, you can always sell it on Facebook.

Performance and Graphics quality

You can be sure that any game released for the PS 4 would run butter smooth no matter what year the game is released. This is because game developers have optimized the game to deliver certain frames per second while keeping a decent graphics quality.

The game developers know very well the power as well as the limitations of the PS 4 hardware. It’s not possible to do same on PCs because the hardware can be of a lot of different combinations.

The Controller: DualShock 4

As someone who has only used mouse and keyboards my whole life, the DualShock controller feels like experience a state-of-the-art technology. It has the following features:

1. Vibration

Whenever you’re getting shot or driving off-road, the vibration feedback brings an awesome gaming experience. The vibration can be very powerful sometimes.

2. Pressure-sensitive Buttons and Analogue Sticks

Keyboard presses are binary. If you are playing a racing simulator game on a PC, the arrow keys would make the car accelerate and turn to the maximum level each time you press. On the DualShock 4 Controller however, you can just slightly steer the car or apply brakes gently to make a perfect cornering manoeuvre.

3. It has a Trackpad too

But it’s not always linked to the cursor on the screen. I guess the game developers don’t use it often in there games.

4. Accelerometer included

I discovered this feature when in text-input mode, you can also move the cursor on the screen by swinging the controller. The games themselves don’t seem to be using this feature a lot.

5. Audio jack

The 3.5 mm audio jack is one of the best feature of the wireless controller. You can sit back on your couch late at night playing games on the TV without causing inconvenience to other users of the house.

Games Availability and Playing Online

Games will keep getting released for the PS 4 until PS 5 actually penetrates the market the following years. You can have plenty of fun now. And there are lots of Free-to-play games on the Store which are of really good quality e.g. Armoured Warfare, H1Z1, Warface, Crossout etc. These free games don’t require a PlayStation Plus subscription to play online. What can you ask for more?

And yes, to play online in other games, you’ll have to buy PlayStation Plus subscription which would require you to have a budget dedicated to maintain it.

Power Consumption

The PlayStation is not very power efficient. Just keeping it idle on the main menu costs around 70 Watts of power. I mean why? That’s too much for a system doing nothing! Playing a YouTube video will consume around 100 W. And on top of that, we have to add the power consumption of the TV which can range from 70 W to 200 W.

A Raspberry Pi or a Chromecast or an Android TV box would not draw more than 6 W for playing a YouTube video. I really wouldn’t recommend the PS 4 for non-gaming applications such as TV Media Centre.

And that’s it for now. What’s your favorite PS 4 game? I’m looking for a Tomb Raider game to buy right now.