Friday, August 17, 2018

Review Day

There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

Arrested Development, Season Five, Part One:
This batch of 8 episodes is far better than the fourth season, but still not on par with the originals. The characters are all in the same room much more often leading to funnier jokes and reactions. The plot boldly picks up right after season four but there are enough flashbacks to refresh your memory so you don't have to rewatch it. I enjoyed the general silliness, although I felt Gob and Tobias were surprisingly overused this time around and I'm not totally sure where the plot is heading (8 more episodes are due later this year to close out the season).

Final Grade: B-

Brother HL-L2370DWXL Laser Printer:
I got this printer after the lightning storm fried my Dell workhorse. The key ingredients I look for in a laser printer are automated duplex printing and a wired Ethernet port. This printer worked right away with minimal configuration and warms up quickly when coming out of hibernation. It's somewhat loud when printing, but not a dealbreaker. I've heard that Brother printers are a little ruthless about toner replacement, but have not printed enough things to experience this.

Final Grade: B+

EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SC2 (08G-P4-6583-KR):
I got this card to replace the lightning-fried GTX 960 I used to have -- I splurged a bit after work reimbursed me for $1000 worth of AWS certifications. I can run all basic (pancake) games at ultra settings without any dips, and can finally experience some sharp visuals in intense VR games like The Climb, which previously maxed out at about 40 FPS on the lowest graphic settings. Another plus: the fan is normally quiet, but has a consistent noise when running -- none of the annoying "ghost" wavering that some older cards exhibited.

Final Grade: B+ (Would be an A if it were about $100 cheaper)

Dusty Rainbow From the Dark by Wax Tailor:
This concept album by French trip hip-hop (trhip-hop) artist, Wax Tailor, is very cool in a conceptual kind of way. A good example is the track, Time To Go. A variety of soundscapes interspersed with light storytelling result in a cohesive sound that's fun to listen to, if not great for the foreground. It also comes with a 2nd CD featuring all of the tracks as instrumentals, which is nearly as good. This is not my favourite CD ever, but I appreciate that people are still making music like this instead of the neverending line of sterilized singles.

Final Grade: B

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