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Why the XBOX One keep’s getting better and better

HERO - 0114_OutWindows_tv19_011815

How they got here:

Microsoft has been on a roll lately. Windows 10 has been a success and the X1 has been getting better and better. I downloaded Windows 10 on launch day and the upgrade process from 8.1 was quick and seamless. Microsoft has been very open about asking the people what they would like to see. We first saw this with the X1 Feedback page. This new request and voting site allowed users to request features that we enjoyed on the X360 and suggest new ones. I think this simple yet effective approach is changing the culture of Microsoft. We all know Apple is a very good Hardware company. But Microsoft is the King of software and they are starting to flex their muscle. Some may read this and say Window Vista and Windows 8 were duds. Since then, I have seen fresh ideas that go against the old thinking of past employees at Microsoft.

X1 Features

  • New X1 Controller
  • Backwards Compatibility
  • Consistent Games
  • Windows 10 Streaming
  • DVR over-the-air
  • And the update preview program

We are coming up on 2 years for the life of the X1. Since render gate “1080p” and the PR disaster at launch.  Microsoft has been steady and rebuilt its reputation of the best All in one Console. If we were to look at the console growth over the last 2 years it has been tremendous. Sony built a great console but what was great 2 years ago might not be great now. You have to keep one upping the software since that is the only thing that you can change during the console’s life cycle.

In the end Microsoft has to keep doing what its doing. Am I saying that it will catch up to the PS4 in console sales? No. But as an owner I am pleased with how they have rebounded and made a great product.  XBL live has remained a dominate social platform over PlayStation. The software is great and consistently changing so the look and features don’t get stale. In the end Software makes hardware great not the other way around.

 

Apple Watch

After years of speculation, mock images, and fake prototypes Apple has delivered the Apple Watch. I can personally say I have been waiting for this before taking a dive into the Smart Watch realm. First I have to give Apple a A- on the keynote yesterday. I thought Apple wouldn’t be able to meet the expectation with this keynote. I believed the hype would exceed them and cause people to become underwhelmed by the slight modifications of the IPhone series. I was wrong, they exceeded my expectation of the Phone upgrades and essentially delivered a different feel and personability that these other makers just are committing to.

When I think of Apple biggest competition I see Samsung and it Galaxy Tab & Note series. Samsung has made great strides not only in the performance but in the feature sections. It just feels like the device is being stuff with a lot of useless features.  Samsung is also limited by google’s OS which means you get the customization but the consistency is still lacking. Also just for the info I do own both an Apple Phone and a Galaxy phone which I just moved to the LG G3 Android phone. So this is a opinion but an opinion that has substance from a known user.

Apples biggest advantage and weakness is that its a Software and Hardware maker. This gives it the ability to more closely intertwine the software with the hardware for better performance and security. This also creates a walled garden for other vendors to attempt to design phones for the iOS. This sole reason give Apple a huge leg up on the competition when if comes to compatibility, upgrades, and consistency. The draw back is the price. Apple gives you high quality devices but they aren’t so sophisticated that you cant get another device from its competitors that wouldn’t be comparable or allow you to do the same things. “Why spend the money on a Lamborghini when you can get a Lexus and it will get you from point A to Point B and you will have cash left over” Apple sells us on this exclusive club that cost a premium to join but they guarantee you consistency and ease of use.

apple-watch

Apple Watch 

Apple has found a way to bring you the apps from your phone to your wrist. No more reach inside your pocket to pull out your phone only to see its someone you don’t want to talk to. Quickly view emails or text without having to navigate from screen to screen. Now this sound exciting and it is, the only setback I see now is that you will still be required to be tethered to your IPhone in some way. But Apple knows that we wont be getting away from the phones anytime soon. Plus they don’t want to cannibalize their own phone shares, It was smart give the consumer what they want and profit without losing out on your core service.

Features:

Most would say Wow 350$ what feature would you say warrants the additional 100 dollars over the competitors Smart Watches. 3 words are needed Quality, Consistency, and Performance. That’s it! Your grandmother could learn you use it and it will last.

-Health

-Style

-Ease of use

-Thousands of Apple Developers that will be happy to design apps for it.

-Water Proof up to 1 meter

 

In the end Apple has gained more power they have created the kind of device unity that Microsoft has done with its Software. As long as they stick to their principles they will be able to reach out to more technologies. Only the Future can know.

Cleveland Cavaliers Preview

Cavs

LeBron returns home after 4 years amassing 4 conference championships & 2 rings. Cleveland has been stacking it players as if they knew this day would come. I’m not going to claim some conspiracy theory but I will say Cleveland has had some of the best luck the last 7 years. I want to cover the new Cavs team and address some of there strengths and weaknesses. I also want to attempt to gauge the amount of chemistry they will have come the season opener.

Lets cover this new roster

Projected Starters

Point Guard: Kyrie Irving  ppg: 20.8

Shooting Guard: Dion Waiters ppg: 15.9

Small Forward: Lebron James ppg: 27.1

Power Forward: Kevin Love ppg: 26.1

Center:  Anderson Varejao ppg: 8.4

 

They also have:

Shawn Marion

Mike Miller

Tristan Thompson

Matt Dellavedova

Brendan Haywood

and Possibly Ray Allen (He brings the highest level of professionalism that is needed for the Cavs to use as a baseline for work ethnic)

With this roster you can’t say the Cavs will be as disruptive on Defense as the Miami Heat were. In a way comparing this team to the heat would be apples to oranges. One was built upon Defense and the other Offense. Defense will always win out but a well oiled offensive machine is unstoppable. Check out the spurs.

Strengths:

  • Go to guys – The Cavs don’t have a shortage of go guys on this team All of the started aside from Varejao are capable of closing a game.
  • Passing – LeBron works well on teams that have good passing skills. Kevin Love, Varejao, and Kyrie are all underrated passers.
  • Offensive attack- They Cavs can attack in a number of different ways. Perimeter, Driving, and are somewhat capable of scoring from post.

 

Weaknesses:

  • Chemistry – I’m a little skeptical on the relationship of Kyrie and Dion its almost like a business relationship. I feel like they tolerate each other I hope LeBron’s presence can make it more of a family. You have to like each other to make it far accept the good and the bad.
  • Defense- Although LeBron is a defensive stopper the reset of the core guys are not known to play great defense. I still think they will need to establish some sort of defensive mentality.
  • Expectations- LeBron is perfectly capable of handling expectations to an extent. The expectations for this team may be on par with the Heat First year I’m sure LeBron doesn’t want that.

 

I can always tell if a team will have good spacing on the court if they all have different hot zones.

Lebron Hot Zone Left corner

Kyrie Hot Zone Top of the Key

Dion Hot Zone Left Wing

Kevin Love Hot Zone Top of the Key or Left Wing

Anderson Varejao Hot Zone any crumbs around the basket

Check out my guy Kirk Goldsberry for a more professional and statistical reason behind my madness Click Here

As you can see several of the players have overlapping hot zones. This leads me to believe that they will have some spacing problems.  a lot of the time guys may be forced into taking shots that they are not comfortable with resulting in lower FG %. The good thing is that players like Mike Miller and Shawn Marion are right side shooters and can provide the spacing needed. Ray Allen was this guy for the Heat always This isn’t a proven theory by any stretch but only time will tell if they can mesh and push Cleveland to the elusive Championship.

The Cavs have the highest level of players, some in their prime others just on the cusp. They will definitely be a threat this year if they can get on the same page quickly with chemistry.

HYPER-V 2012 R2 Review

 

 

mshv-overview

 

 

I have recently been rolling out a lot of the Hyper-V installs. I wanted to give my opinion on the installation, Configuration, and Maintenance for this application.

Hyper-V 2012 has come along way from its Server 2008 roots. Tons of features Click here for a full list of features. I will only name a few of the highlighted features.

Features:

Generation 2 VM

Automatic Guest Activation

Azure Compatibility

Compressed Live Migration

Hyper-V Replica Extended Replication

Linux Live VM backup

Live Resizing of VHDX

Shared VHDX

Storage QoS

Just to give you a little history on my experience. I have done over 20 mid-size company implementations. VMware is most companies platform of choice. But due to VMware recent price changes and Microsoft willingness to give the feature fill host software away, I expect to see more and more smaller business move to Hyper-V as they virtualize old systems. Hyper-V has done some good things with the software there are other things I would like to see them do in the future to make the deployment easier.

 

Installation:

If I was just installing Hyper-v for a small business and only needed 1 host. I would give Microsoft a A- in deployment but if you plan on installing multiple host and you want to manage these host you will need SCVMM (System Center). This is the equivalent to VMware vCenter but Microsoft’s version gives you more features and integration. System Center is not free there is a cost but it includes more bang for your buck than you would get from VMware’s equivalent Operations addon. The installation scenario I will talk to you about is the most common.

3 Host servers running Hyper-V 2012 R2

1 SAN (Equalogic, Netapp, EMC, Tegile, and etc…)

2 SAN switches normally 1gb (Starting next year I expect to see more companies go to 10gb switches)

hyper-v_clustering

Time:

20 Mins- OS Install – Nothing new here Microsoft has cut down the install time by 5-10 mins

1.5 Hours- OS Configuration – If you want to get your server configure properly and tested it takes time. Primary features include Hyper-v, Clustering, MPIO and other features like ISCSI target server. If you have an existing network System Center can deploy these servers automatically. Note you will still have some manual work.

3 Hours- SAN & Switch configuration very easy ensure you have Jumbo frames enabled on not only the switches but your SAN and the NICs on your server for best performance.

First VM with System Center  is now installed. Now I was used to installing vCenter on a windows server or virtual appliance and the install was fairly quick. System Center install was painfully slow I compare it to installing exchange. It requires SQL server and not the express version it needs a database running on the full version. If you dont have SQL already cooking you know it will take you another hour and a half to install before you even get started installing SysCenter. Microsoft has to attack this problem with future releases because its not fun rolling out this solution when most of your time is spent installing and configuring SQL and the Management software.

Configuration:

Now that we have the OS installed our SAN and Switch configured (VLANs). We rolled out the first VM Gen 2 and installed System Center + SQL. Now the fun begins. If you are fortunate enough to get the Data Center version of Server 2012 then you can pre-configure your VM to deploy start up **Activate** Join the domain and configure specific roles. Now this is what I’m talking about!!!  Additional VMM features include VM templates and Libraries for storing ISO, VHDX, and other custom applications readily available at your finger tips for attaching or running on your newly created VM.  After creating Profiles to fit the servers I expect to deploy. I can easily deploy 15 servers that vary from SQL, File, or Application in about an hour or less. The features included in Hyper-V will allow me to Migrate VM’s or VHDX files quickly between host. If you don’t know about Cluster Shared Volumes then you need to get familiar with it. It works seamlessly with attached storage. It allows to access storage across different Storage Pools or LUNs.

Maintenance:

Microsoft has given us all the software need to create the sense of the highest available up time. If you use it correctly and cautiously you can keep you critical application up all the time with no issues. I always watch updates and test them in bulk before pushing them out to your server or Host. Microsoft has also included Cluster Aware updating for your VM’s. This will  allow you to update a host and move the live VM to another host while the server is restarting and move the VM’s back when everything is backup and running. Granted your servers have the resources. Managing the Hyper-V environment is very easy and familiar if you are used to working with Microsoft. If you are looking to get into virtualization make sure you have a strong base understanding of Storage, and Networking on the SAN level. Understanding how IOPS, Read and Write Latency and application demands work will go a long way in preventing headaches.

computer_support_and_repairs

 

Wrap up:

All in all I would say VMware still has a lead over Hyper-V due to the ease of setup and universal compatibility. But Microsoft has closed the gap and it is still closing. Microsoft has already prepared it software for easy cloud integration and compatibility with Azure and other Cloud providers. Hope you have enjoyed the write up. Check back for other reviews.

 

 

Modern Warfare 3 Prestige

This will detail the guns that will get you to Prestige the fastest… MW3 allows you to prestige once you get to level 80.

 

MP7: This guns is by far the best submachine gun on the game. The only knock is that by time you unlock this gun you will be close to prestiging.

Attachments

Red Dot

Rapid Fire X2

Blind Eye

Assassins

Stability

 

Type 95: The best gun on the game by far. This weapon will carry you all the way to prestiging. This gun allows you to kill the enemy with a 3 shot burst.

Attachments

Red Dot

Rapid Fire X2

Assassins Pro

Marksman

blind eye

 

AS50: My personal favorite The AS50 is the best sniper on the game with a 5 shot clip and automatic fire. With good mobility and 1 shot kills this weapon is deadly.

Attachments

ACOG

Stability

Assassins Pro

NBA 2K12 Defensive Settings

I am a hardcore NBA 2k Player and these are the setting that will make you successful in winning games.

 Defensive Sets

HalfCourt Press – The halfcourt press is used to defend against 3 point shooters. Be mindful that you will be vulnerable to good penetrating players so switch to your center or power to cut the driving player off. This will give you a strong defensive set and allow you to get stops when needed.

2-3 Zone – The 2-3 zone on NBA 2K12 is very good is you know how to run it correctly. Be mindful if you don’t know how to run it correctly you will get more 3 pointer shot on you than ball boy at a 3 point contest. The key to making this work is using your guards to pressure point guards in to shooting contested 3 or making bad passed. Switching to your Center or PF is forbidden because this will throw off the help defense response time.

For a button layout and detail decription of what everything does check out my guys over at Operation Sports link provided below.

http://www.operationsports.com/features/1337/nba-2k12-developer-insight-9-defense/

NBA Eden of the east

Part 2 of Favorites to come out of the East

Miami Heat: If there was a team that I would say the title is theirs to lose this would be it. Miami has a dynamic team and the chemistry seams to be there this year. Additions like Shane Battier and Norris Cole helps the second unit when Dwade and Lebron need rest. They also acquired Eddy Curry a.k.a The Hamburglar He has trimmed down slightly but I want to see if he can produce when they need him.

New York Knicks: The Knicks have a problem although they should be a better team this year they still have no defensive presence. I chalk this up as bad coaching from Mike D’antoni, he is a offensive minded coach in a city that likes defense.  I think the Knicks need a coaching change to become a true contender but having Carmelo on your team is enough to get you there. Additions of Baron Davis, Mike Bibby, and Tyson Chandler are huge boost to the front line so I wont count them out but they have a long road ahead.

Chicago Bulls: Derrick Rose is the leader of this team and they will go as far as he takes them. He just received a huge raise and coming off a MVP season. I want to see how this team responds to becoming a target. No more underdog approach. Carlos Boozer didn’t get off to a great start with his new team but I expect him to have a strong showing this year now that chemistry wont be an issue. Addition of Richard Hamilton will allow them to get better shots in the half court offense. I believe the Bulls will be contenders this year.

Boston Celtics: One final ride for Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce. It comes a time when you look at players that are aging and say there done! Kevin Garnett is coming up on that mark. Ray Allen is a shooter and he will always do that well. Paul Pierce have a couple of good years left in him. I don’t know if these guys can make it to compete this year but I love the competitive fire they play with. They will still be a tough road block for a contender.