My New Addiction

For the Sake of a Princess. Or, “Tell my wife I love her.”

I had to do it. I was contemplating the purchase of the new Nintendo Switch® system. When I decided to push the button in December 2019, both Amazon and BestBuy were sold out of the version with two dark grey controllers. (Nintendo calls these controllers “Joy Cons,” but I won’t.) My only option was the neon red and blue, which I hated. One site even had the dark grey as “discontinued.” So I emptied my shopping cart and moved on.

Very soon after, I saw that the dark grey WAS available, so I swooped it up. And I also ordered (of course) The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. As always happens, the game arrived two days before I eventually received the system, itself. There are more components inside the box than what you see above, but we’ll talk about the tasty bits.

This is the dock. The display panel sits inside the dock, which is connected to A/C and my large-screen TV via HDMI. While it’s in the dock, the display and any connected controllers are charging.

The picture is pretty damn good. This is a photo of Zelda on my 52″ screen. I sit in my La-Z-Boy® and play for hours. The controllers work with the dock wirelessly, while the dock sends the picture to the TV via HDMI.

For the most part, I was using the handheld adapter. The two controllers slide into place on either side and the adapter fits the hands naturally. There are, of course, a multitude of after-market adapters, so you can personalize to your heart’s content. The two controllers can also be used (with other included adapters) by two people for two-person games, much like the Wii setup.

I also later bought this pair of neon green controllers by Nintendo (because they’re green, of course). I had one pair charging in the dock while I used the other pair in the adapter. Non-stop play!

A birthday present from my son is this Nintendo Switch Pro Controller, a single wireless unit that works seamlessly with the Switch system. It can charge via USB-C port directly from the dock or from a wall charger. In fact, it’s become so essential to me that I bought a second one, so that I can always have one or the other fully charged and ready to go.

So. “Switch,” because you can use it with TV or pick up the display with attached controllers (above) and go mobile (think larger GameBoy), or you can use the controllers handheld for two-person play. Pretty neat. But let’s face it…

I only bought the system for one reason: The Legend of Zelda. And that game is a whole ‘nother post. It is incredible. Our hero, Link, awakens in a strange chamber without memories. Everything in his world is new to him and his primary focus is the destruction of an evil entity and rescuing Princess Zelda. But does he even remember Zelda?

And this reminds me: you can take all of the screen grabs and short videos of your game that you want. The display has only 32GB of internal storage, but accepts a microSD memory card with as much storage capacity as you want (up to 2 TB). This is also where you’ll store downloaded games that you buy, so think “terabytes.”

Link picks up new weapons and armor here and there, mostly from defeated foes.

My one complaint is that the display, which measure a little more than 6″ wide (and touch screen, BTW), offers screen grabs at only 1280 x 720 resolution, not full HD. The video output to TV is up to 1080p, but not the display itself. Nintendo lets you set up a paid online account for sharing photos and videos. I prefer to remove the microSD card and transfer them to my computer (free).

I’ve tried a few other games, of course, but always come back to Breath of the Wild. Even though the game has none of those “impossible challenges” that you find in other games, it is just so beautiful, so well constructed, so filled with things I have yet to discover after playing for two years.

Early on, I bought Witcher III, but couldn’t make friends with it. It didn’t grab me.

Witcher III: Wild Hunt

I also picked up the Switch version of The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, but that seems dated to me now.

Skyward Sword has the famous caves and dungeons that Breath of the Wild does not.
Link launches a drone in an attempt to open a door

Knowing that I’ve played The Secret of Mana and The Adventures of Mana for many years, my son also bought me the new Trials of Mana when it came out. Honestly, I was hesitant to buy it myself, because it looked rather… childish. I know, I know, that’s a totally appropriate description of a video game meant for the younger set, but I was referring to the outfits that the female characters were wearing in the screen grabs.

Women just naturally battle in their scanties, I guess. The male characters are all fully clothed, of course. Getting into the game, I hit a spot where the characters “level up” and change costume. But it didn’t really get much better.

Yep, fighting monsters and evildoers while wearing teddies. Compare and contrast with the costume a male character is wearing:

You assemble a “team” of three characters from a pool of 6 possibles. This is one of the male characters.
Even the male background characters are fully clothed.

I guess it’s only after playing other games that I noticed that all of the women in Breath of the Wild are naturally clothed (with very few exceptions). I mean, character costume is not a reason to NOT play a game, it’s just weird to see women battling monsters while wearing frilly leotards.

In Breath of the Wild, Ivee, daughter of a general store owner, wears clothing typical throughout Hyrule.

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Gated Community

Keep Facebook out of your business.

1. Install Firefox.
2. Click Settings and choose ADD-ONS
3. Scroll down to FACEBOOK CONTAINER (or use Search bar)
4. Click + ADD TO FIREFOX.
That’s it. Now read on.

Now that my life is irretrievably linked to Google, I’m taking steps to separate myself. Google knows enough about me now. Time to keep my business to myself. To begin, my new default browser is Vivaldi, a Chrome-based browser that wants nothing to do with my personal information, browsing habits, or history. It dumps all data every time I close the browser. We’re close friends with really, really short memories.

Vivaldi browser

Vivaldi is an elegant browser, fully customizable. FULLY customizable. It’s insanely customizable. I personally like the greens. Menu can be wherever you want (I have it set to the red Vivaldi icon in the upper left corner). Along the left are pop-open menus for bookmarks, downloads, history, recent pages, and more. I’ve also added Instagram here, which allows me to post photos from my desktop PC. All of this can be placed wherever you’d like. The main start page contains blocks (as many as you wish) for favorite web pages. Or not. Too much to talk about here, so I encourage everyone to check out Vivaldi at their home page. Trust me, it’s a great browser.

Just as Vivaldi wants nothing to do with my personal info, Duck Duck Go is now my search engine of choice. In fact, I’ve deleted all other search engines from Vivaldi to ONLY allow Duck Duck Go. This search engine’s policy is simple: “We don’t store your personal information. Ever.” That’s what I want.

Google follows me wherever I go on the internet. Facebook does, too. You can exit Facebook and continue surfing, but Facebook is still watching. Ever wonder why you see ads on Facebook for things you’ve looked at elsewhere? Facebook is watching. Google provides me with a variety of useful services, so I allow them to peep at me whenever they want. Facebook is a social platform. Facebook does NOT deserve to know what I’m doing outside of Facebook.

The Firefox browser

I was about to delete my Facebook account when I discovered Facebook Container. This is an add-on available with the Firefox browser. Firefox, like Vivaldi, is all about protecting your privacy (from everyone else). When you add Facebook Container, you can open a tab to Facebook and this add-on puts Facebook in a sandbox of sorts. Facebook is now unable to access your history, your cookies, or any other information about your web habits. Quarantined!

In the image above, you can see a blue border around the Facebook tab, indicating that Facebook is being fenced in. You also see the icon for Facebook fencing over on the right. This keeps Facebook in its place, and not in yours.

I don’t use Facebook often, but when I do I now use Firefox and its Facebook Container. Apologies to Firefox (a very decent browser), but I rarely use it for anything else, which further ensures that Facebook doesn’t follow me around.

Firefox, like most browsers, has a wealth of security settings. I always set my browsers to dump history and cookies every time I exit the browser. I keep bookmarks and favorites, but don’t store my history. Google and Microsoft already know enough about me.

So, I use Vivaldi as my default browser. I use Firefox to open Facebook. I use Chrome for my email, photos, maps, YouTube, news, etc. And I use Bing on those occasions when I have to communicate with Microsoft. And all of those nefarious advertisers who want to “tailor their advertising” to me can go squat.

My business is MY business.

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