Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Logitech Tablet Keyboard for iPad

Logitech Tablet Keyboard

- I picked this up for around $50 at amazon.
- The size and feel is very similar to the apple bluetooth keyboard.  So if you are familiar and happy with that chiclet styled keyboard you should feel right at home on this logitech one.
- It has some nice iOS specific function keys.  There is also an android flavor version of this keyboard.
- The case is pretty nice though it's kind of odd it doesn't cover the entire keyboard but at least it covers all the keys.  The case folds out into a nice stand.  You have multiple angles and you can do landscape or portrait.
- iPhone works fine too.  Worked fine with the hp touchpad running android cyanogenmod 7.
- It's heavier than expected but still pretty portable for a full size qwerty keyboard.
- I type around 80-95 wpm which is just about the maximum speed I type on a regular keyboard.
- I like how this keyboard is more or less generic so it should work with future versions of any tablet, smartphone, or computer, basically anything with bluetooth.  Nothing is tied to a specific form factor like the case and keyboard combo devices.
- It uses 4XAAA batteries that are suppose to last 10 months.  Yeah! no proprietary batteries or chargers to deal with.

Highly recommended.  The keyboard feels great.  All the keys are where you expect it.  If you use a macbook or apple keyboard you will feel right at home.  Basically, you save $20 off of the apple branded one and you get a nice free case/stand to boot.  The biggest drawback though is having to carry something extra around with you but if you have some serious typing to do then it's hard to beat.

Monday, February 20, 2012

ARogan's Clean Room Technique

ARogan's Clean Room Technique for applying screen protectors (the dry, static cling type) to various electronics.

I've picked up these tips over the years from various sources and forums and I thought I would put together a little step by step on how I get pretty much perfect lint free, dust free, bubble free application of screen protectors from everything as small as an iPhone to as large as an iPad (nerve-racking).

- A couple of wood toothpicks
- Scotch tape (the typical 3m scotch magic tape)
- a lint free cloth
- a credit card or other plastic card to help smooth out air bubbles.
- Optional: distilled water/vinegar solution (maybe around 6 parts water to 1 part vinegar).
- UPDATE: This cleaning kit works GREAT from monoprice for about $4.

- Pick a bathroom with a good surface you can work on and good lighting.
- Clean the surface you are about to work on.
- Wash your hands.
- Prepare about 4 strips of tape of 2 inches each.
- If you have central heating/AC turn that off.  We don't want it blowing while we are in our clean room.
- Do some trial alignments with your screen protector while leaving all the protective packaging layers on for now.
- Turn on the shower on full hot and point it against the back corner of the shower away from the opening.  Try and leave the door open/curtain drawn back a bit to let the maximum amount of steam into the room.  Close the door and wait 10 min or so for the room to get nice and steamy.  This keeps the dust and lint out of the air.
- Take off your shirt.  I kid you not.  Be naked from the waste upward.  A shirt is just another source of lint.  The 3 biggest enemies are lint, dust, and finger prints.  Without those present any air bubble is super easy to work out.
- Quickly enter the room with your electronic device and supplies and quickly close the door behind you.  You can probably turn off the shower now if the room is sufficiently steamy.
- If the product is new out of box then the screen is already pretty clean.  At this point I like to take LONG strips of scotch tape and then go over the entire screen.  Stick the screen with the tape and then lift to remove every last piece of dust or lint.  Be very careful to NEVER touch the screen with your fingers.  Use a new strip of tape after every couple of times you stick and lift.
- If the product was already in use and you need a good cleaning I suggest a highly diluted vinegar water solution.  Just spray a little of the solution ON THE LINT FREE CLOTH (never on the device,  you don't want water damage).  Wipe down the screen removing all oils and finger prints then dry with the dry part of the cloth.  But always go over the entire screen with scotch tape as the LAST STEP before you begin installation of the screen protector.  Don't be stingy.  Tape is cheap; screen protectors are not.
- Now, you are ready to install the screen protector as instructed.  I usually start on one side and start peeling back the underside protective layer while laying it down.  I keep one hand to hold the starting edge in place.  I almost NEVER get perfect alignment on the first try.  That is why I had you prepare some shorter strips of scotch tape.  Just take a piece of tape, lightly stick it to the top of the screen protector in a corner and then lift the screen protector back off while only touching the scotch tape.  Under no circumstances should you ever directly touch the screen or edge of the screen protector with your fingers to get it off.  Always use a piece of tape to lift off the corner and peel it back.  While still anchoring the starting edge with your other hand keep laying down and pulling back off until alignment is perfect.  Don't worry too much about air bubbles since our "clean room" should prevent any dust or lint to get under there while we are doing this process.  Remove the tape when you get it the way you want it.
- Once alignment is good and you have the screen protector installed try and smooth out as many air bubbles as possible with your hand.  Don't be alarmed if there are quite a few.  You should be able to work them all out.  If there is an outer protective layer leave it on during this process.  I find using a combination of fingers, credit card, and toothpicks to work best.  Out of all of these I find a toothpick works really well.  Break off a  pointy end so you have basically a blunt toothpick.  Use it to  rub out and work out any air bubbles.  Just work them out the closest edge.  Having the outer protective layer still on prevents the toothpick from damaging the screen protector and lets you do it with a bit more vigor.
- Finally, remove the outer protective layer if there is one.  Check all the edges and make sure there are no air bubbles.  You can use the toothpick but gently if you need to work out some final air bubbles.

If the surface stayed clean during the process you will have the perfect installation of a screen protector.  If you happen to get some dust or lint under the screen here is what you can do:
- Use a piece of tape and try and lift as little of the screen protector as possible, just enough to expose the piece of lint.
- Use a second piece of tape to try and lift off the lint.  You will need to figure out if the lint is stuck to the device or the underside of the screen protector.  The adhesive of the tape should be strong enough to grab a hold of the lint.  Again, never let your fingers touch the device screen or the underside of the screen protector.  Let the tape do all the work.
- Once you have extracted the lint carefully lay back down the screen protector, remove the tape, and work out any new air bubbles as described above.

This sounds like a bit of time and work and it is.  But think about how long you will be using that piece of electronics (years maybe).  It's worth investing the energy to do it right to have a great looking and feeling product.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

iKeyboard (iPad/iPad 2)


  iKeyboard was the first kickstarter project I ever backed. The idea of being able to touch type without having to lug around a Bluetooth keyboard really appealed to me. I figure it was worth taking a chance on. It is $35 at amazon.
  After several delays (months) the product finally arrived.    My initial reaction was how ummm unsubstantial the device looked.  It's a very thin light plastic frame with a bunch of clear plastic bubbles that make up the keys. It has a few rubbery adhesive strips around the edges to attach the keyboard to the screen.
  The initial experience was rather awkward. I wasn't sure what to expect but this feels like no keyboard I've used before.  I actually took typing in high school. I type all the time at work. I can typically type around 85 wpm without errors.  There are some things you have to immediately get use to. You want to make sure you press keys all the way down to the bottom to make sure each key press registers.  The travel distance feels ok it just you have to use more pressure than you are use to to which might lead to quicker hand fatigue.  The second big thing is the return key is where the apostrophe typically is.  You brain wants to switch into normal touch typing mode and you kind of forget you are typing on an iPad so you will get some inadvertent returns.  I'm sure that will get better over time with more practice. I also notice as you push for speed you have to make sure your fingers land on the actual bubble and not the frame around the bubble. This is made more difficult due to the size of the iPad keyboard since it is quite a bit more cramped and the keys are smaller than a normal keyboard.
  There is no arguing though.  You can definitely type faster with the iKeboard than without.  I'm not typing anywhere near 85 wpm but it's a definite improvement.  What is nice is you can type with just the iPad in your lap without the bulk of a keyboard or keyboard case. 
  I downloaded an app called TapTyping which the testing part is free. I was doing about 35-45 wpm without the iKeyboard and around 50-65 wpm with the iKeyboard after about 20min of practice. Also, without the iKeyboard I still had to glance down at the keys quite often and my hands had to hover over the touch screen where with the iKeyboard I never had to look down and was truly touch typing with my hands/fingers resting on the iKeyboard. So expect a 15-20 wpm improvement. That might get even better with practice.
  I use a powersupport anti-glare screen protector. I was afraid that sticking and removing this thing again and again would cause issues like air bubbles or lift up the screen protector. I just slowly peel the corner closest to the middle of the iPad. So far it doesn't seem to have messed anything up.
  The smart cover still works with the iKeyboard in the default location which is nice. What I'm not sure is what to do with it when I'm not going to be doing a lot of typing. I don't want the adhesive pads to get lint on it. I guess I could just put it back in its original packaging. It says to use scotch tape to delint the pads if they ever get dirty.

    Recommended. I think a lot of people's initial reaction is that is all you get for $35? From a straight materials perspective it looks to be more like a $5-$10 product.  From all the kickstarter updates I can tell there is probably a substantial R&D cost he is trying to recover. You really can tell a lot of thought went into the design.  I can't think of what could have been done differently to make it better off the top of my head except maybe somehow make the frame around the buttons a bit thinner (but maintain structural integrity) and the bubbles a bit easier to push (but still spring back quickly enough). I guess the bottom line is are you getting $35 of actually usefulness out of the product. If you want improved touch typing while keeping the iPad as portable as possible without having to lug another device around that you have to keep charged then there really aren't that many options.  Just keep your expectations in line (don't expect apple Bluetooth keyboard like speeds) and I think you will be pleasantly surprised. I for one think this will be great for taking notes in meetings. Oh, and of course I typed this entire review in Pages with the iKeyboard. 

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Playstation Vita

PS Vita

Some very early impressions:
- Got the first edition bundle from amazon $350.  It came in yesterday.  It comes with a 4GB memory card (proprietary, yes FU sony), a pretty nice case, and the Little Deviants game.
- Yes I wanted 3G but I won't ever use the outrageous at&t data plans.  I'll be using my walmart virgin mobile mifi if I ever need internet on the go.  I figure the 3g will be handy for any gps location based services though it apparently will approximate with just wifi.
- I also picked up Uncharted Golden Abyss.  Uggg $50 from amazon:
- I also picked up the official screen protector made by sony for $10 from fry's.
- A class 10 32gb sdhc card cost around $33.  A 32 gb vita memory card is $100.  FFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU SONY!!!!!!!!!!
- I installed the screen protector pretty much perfectly without issue.  It has a handy alignment sheet that makes it pretty easy to get it on right.  Just do the usual clean room technique (steamy bathroom, scotch tape to lift every last bit of lint/dust off the screen before applying, smooth out air bubbles with a toothpick, use a piece of scotch tape to lift and re-position if you don't nail it on the first try).  It's very clear and feels pretty good to glide your finger across it.
- It's big and pretty heavy but it does look nice as far as the actual physical design and feels good in the hands.  I can say after a few hours of play it still feels quite comfortable to hold.
- The analog sticks work better than the psp and tons better than a touch screen but don't expect the precision of a full sized controller.  There just isn't enough travel distance in those tiny analog sticks so you have to use a gentle touch or turn down sensitivity a bit in games like Uncharted to make aiming easier.  I need a real fps to give it a really good try.
- Battery life states between 3-5 hrs while gaming.  From drain tests I've read it out performs the 3ds by quite a bit.  I played uncharted for about 1.5 hrs last night and the battery only went down maybe 25%.  So far I'm quite impressed with the battery life.
- Battery is NOT removable.  FU SONY!!!!  Having had a battery completely die in one of my recent dual shock 3 controllers this does NOT bode well.  
- It comes with a 5v, 1.5A power supply and a usb cable that terminates to the proprietary vita port.  You can also charge off of any usb port but that only supplies 500ma standard so you can't do it while in stand by.  You must completely power off the vita.  I love how nobody follows any standards for > 500ma usb power charging.  Apple, hp touchpad, vita, all these devices won't charge at > 500ma without their own proprietary charges.  There really needs to be a global standard for high amp usb charging.  FYI, my iPhone chargers don't seem to work at all but hooking it up to a pc does work.  So it seems pretty picky about what usb chargers will work with this thing.  Make sure you enable usb charging in the settings.  It's a checkbox you must check.  I believe it is off by default.
- The big OLED display is rather stunning.
- This thing has a mass of ports and slots: you have the sim card slot on the left, the memory card slot on the bottom, headphone jack on the bottom, the vita game card slot on the top along with an odd accessory port.  
- A2DP stereo bluetooth headphones work great.  I can even prioritize using the mic on the headset over the built in vita mic.
- It's awesome that every game released on retail shelves you can buy and download through PSN.  These download version seem to be around $5 off the full retail price.  Games take a lot of space though.  Uncharted is 3.2GB and wipeout is 1.6GB.  If you are going to go all download then you'll probably need that 32GB memory card but I think that beats having to keep track of a bunch of tiny game cards.
- It uses a sheets metaphore that you can then rip off and discard to close running apps.  It's similar to the cards in webOS.  On the sheet there are usually links to the game's website and if there is an update there will be a little download icon.  I like it! 
- The basic home screen is very similar to iOS except landscape oriented.  It works fine.
- What is up with background downloads.  It seems to work fine when just messing around on the home screen but as soon as the system goes into standby the download stops.  Worse yet you can't turn off auto stand by (only adjust between 1-5 min) EVEN when connected to the power adapter.  The only way I can make this thing stay on is to take a few pictures with the camera and then set it to slideshow mode.  That seems to be the work around to keep the device on when you are trying to download multi GB games.  UPDATE:  It seems that backgrounds DO work if you let the auto sleep kick in.  If you manually put it in stand by then the download stops.  If you let 1 - 5 min elapse without touching it (depending on your setting) then downloads will continue with or without power.  Still, it would have been better if it was more consistent (again more silly sony confusion).
- The first thing you need to do when you turn it on?  You guessed it....system update.  What's worse about it is it won't let you sign in with your existing psn account until you update but the initial setup wizard won't let you finish until you sign in to psn so you have to do this really confusing thing and pick demo psn account or something just to get past the initial setup.  After that, you can do a system update and then sign in with your existing PSN account.
- Tried remote play very briefly with the ps3.  It works but I don't think I'll use it much.  There just isn't much support for it.
- Since the memory card is proprietary it's a good thing it has a built in content management app.  This thing lets you backup and transfer data between your Vita and a ps3 or your pc/mac (after you install a little tray application).  You can transfer individual pieces of media both directions including your downloaded games and saves or do an entire system backup/restore.  It will be handy when moving from the 4GB to the 32GB memory card.  FYI, vita shows up in file explorer but doesn't list anything.
- Packaging is almost non existent.  Apparently Sony no longer prints any manuals.  Games come with just the game card in the box and NOTHING else.  There isn't even a printed vita manual.  They want you to get all that stuff either on the vita or the web. 
- It has the usual mp3, video player etc and some location based social network thing called near.  I'll have to dig into that more later.
- UPDATE: I just got my 32GB memory card.  I had recently did a complete backup of the 4GB and just restored to my new 32GB and it worked great.
- I did have one case where the vita completely locked up.  I was testing the camera and shot a few photos.  Then I tried a movie and at 10 sec it just stopped and saved "saving" and there it sat.  To force a power off you have to hold the power button down like 15 sec.  The movie mode worked fine the second time I tried it.
- OLED still looks pretty bad in direct sunlight even at full brightness.


- I love the series and have finished the first 2 games.  I'll pick up #3 when it's a bit cheaper.  With about 1.5 hrs into it so far it's almost every bit as good as the ps3 versions.  The graphics and framerate are great. The writing isn't quite as sharp but the voice acting is still solid.  There is a variety of control methods.  I like how there are in many cases 2 -3 ways to do things either with the newfangled touch  (front and back) and tilt or traditional controls.  This game really does try to accommodate every type of player.
- They really beefed up the collecting aspect and some of it seems a tad less optional.
- I found aiming a bit more difficult with the tiny analog sticks so I turned on auto aim (it's off by default) which helps a lot.

Little Deviants
- I tried it for like 5 min.  It seems like your typical collection of mini games that demo every input aspect of the device with augmented reality gyro stuff thrown in.  I'll have to spend a bit more time to get any kind of real impression.

Wipeout 2048
- I decided to buy this game over PSN.  The graphics are great!  It's the wipeout that you know and love.  Load times are pretty horrible.  PSN purchased games of course work just fine without an internet connect.

Super Stardust
- Picked up the complete package for $15 on PSN.  It makes really nice use of all the input features of the vita.  Dual sticks work great obviously.  Tilt is only used to make some camera angle adjustments which you can reset what neutral is.  Back touch pad is used for making black holes.  It all works really well.

Recommended with reservations.  I think it's a bit pricey right now for what you get.  It's proprietary all as heck and  they price gouge you at every opportunity.  In the age where we are use to 99 cents - $10 games on tablets and phones that look pretty good trying to swallow a $50 game is kind of hard.  Yes, you can see how much more meaty, high production values, AAA ish the titles are but that is a LOT more money to ask for.  $30 would have felt more appropriate IMO.  I don't think 3G is worth it so the $250 base model is probably the better deal.  Just realize you pretty much have to buy a memory card and if you plan to go all download just eat the $100 and get the 32GB.  The 4GB really is too small.  If you have the disposable income and you crave that ps3 like console experience with real controls in a portable package then yeah I don't think you will be disappointed.  If you are an uncharted fan then that alone justifies the system purchase at least for me.

UPDATE 2/24/2012:

From ps vita
Thanks to the anonymous comment that posted a link on how to modify a usb extension cable so you can charge the Vita with pretty much any usb charger.  I decided to give it a try.  The modification took maybe 10 min to do and wasn't hard at all.  Just make sure you cut carefully and you won't even cut the red and black wires.  I tested it out with a variety of usb chargers, iphone charger, and external batteries and they all worked great while the Vita was completely off and even in stand by.  I added more photos to the album.

- I tried a bunch more demos.  Unit 13 is a pretty good 3rd person shooter.  The aiming with the right analog stick seems to work better than uncharted.  I might get the full version when it comes out.
- I was never a Rayman fan or really that much into platformers but I completed Rayman Origins demo, and it was a lot more fun than I expected.  The graphics and art really are great, and the controls are spot on.
- Lumines is well a really pretty lumines.  I remember playing it quite a bit with my launch psp but I think I'm pretty much done with lumines.
- Asphalt is your typical iOS gameloft game.  It's not a bad burnout ripoff but it isn't particularly great or inspired.  Same with Dungeon Hunter.  I have pretty much all the gameloft games (I always grab them when they is a 99 cent sale), and at that price point I think they are much more worth it.
- A bunch of apps came out.  Netflix looks nice on the oled and works well.  There are also flickr, facebook, twitter, etc apps out now.
- Have you noticed almost nobody includes a wrist strap anymore?  Anyways, I found some on ebay.  You get 20 for $3 shipped (seller: supersaving360).  

Friday, February 10, 2012

Skyrim (XBOX 360 and PC)

Yes, I like the game so much I bought it twice.  I picked up the 360 version on launch day but didn't get around to playing it until much later (I was trying to finish Rage first....yeah don't ask).  I just picked up the PC version this week since it went on sale for $40 on steam and to check out some of the cool mods.

WARNING: There might be what some people consider to be very minor spoilers but nothing plot related.

XBOX 360 / General Info
- Looks great to me.  Having three 360's and cloud saves lets me easily switch rooms depending on what the family is currently occupying.
- Finished the main quest line at level 50, 83 hrs with companions and all but the last thieves guild quest (I wanted to keep the skeleton key).  I'm currently working getting the remaining words of power and then I'll begin the Civil war quest line.  I'll probably go stomrcloaks with this character.  The Imperials almost took my head off and  yeah I don't forget or forgive!!!
- I stuck to first person POV for 99% of the time.
- I really like two wiki's.  The first one is great for general information and quest info.  The second is good for looking up locations:
I'm not going to link a whole lot in this article since you can just search for it in the uesp wiki.
- My build was a very traditional one: one hand sword, heavy armor, block, with archery for some ranged firepower, and during the mid game I dabbled a bit in conjuration.
- Smithing and enchanting are both super powerful and worth leveling.  Though once you hit level 50 or so you pretty much 1-2 shot everything including dragons.
- If you decide to power level some professions I suggest you sink your talent points into your main build areas.  So for me that would be the ones I listed above.  That way you don't end up getting out leveled by the enemies around you.  It doesn't happen that much anyways in Skyrim as compared to Oblivion with the way scaling works now.
- I did choose to power level smithing (create about 450 - 500 iron daggers will get you to 100 smithing, faster if you have the appropriate stone buff).  During this entire time, every time I leveled I would go train with one of the companions for free (make them a follower first, train your 5 levels, trade with them and get your gold back, dismiss them and pick back up the follower you prefer to use).
- Enchanting was a bit tougher which I didn't max out until I was in my mid 40's level wise.  I would buy up every single lesser and petty soul gem I could find (filled or empty).  There are at least 3 people who carry soul gems in whiterun (your wife,Belethor,Farengar) .  Try and find a weapon (sometimes merchants will have one for sale) with a soul trap enchant on it and learn it so you can enchant your own weapon with soul trap (1 sec duration, max charges).  Then go crazy trying to fill as many soul gems as possible while questing.  Come back and enchant all those iron daggers you made from smithing with the priciest enchants you have (banish is by far the most profitable with absorb health being second, do both once you max enchanting).  Now you can sell these enchanted daggers for big profits.  Soon, money won't be an issue at all.  I'm sitting on over 80K gold right now.
- I did the black star quest pretty early on, and I went with the black star choice which can absorb any soul.  If I'm on a quest with humanoid enemies I would recharge my soul trap sword with the black star before I killed another humanoid which would just refill the black star.  You keep doing these frequent recharges, and it also helps level up your enchanting.
- Once you max out enchanting make sure you spend perks to get dual enchants (I picked all perks except the far right branch).  Read this on optimizing.  I didn't go quite that crazy since I hate alchemy.  Even with alchemy in the 20's I was able to create a one hand daedric sword with base damage of 361.  The key thing is using 4 fortify one hand enchants that ALL STACK that increases your weapon damage to crazy levels.  Add to that a fiery soul trap (3 sec duration) plus absorb health (max absorption) enchant and you become pretty unstoppable.  For the bow I tried to make a mage killer: paralysis and shock.  I'm thinking now though I should have probably went with fiery soul trap + paralysis.  For the rest of the pieces I went with a mix of increasing max health, stamina, block, and heavy armor and a bit of magicka on the helm.
- Remember, once you enchant an item there is no undo.  This also means once you get dual enchant you can't add a 2nd enchant to an item already enchanted.  I you have to start with a clean item and then put both enchants on at once.  It's nice that the process only takes 1 grand soul gem though.
- On the other hand you can continually improve weapons and armor through blacksmithing.  So as you improve your blacksmithing (or have a better fortify restoration pot) you can go back to the grinding stone or workbench and further improve your gear.
- For armor I'm basically in dragon bone.  For weapons I'm using daedric.  If you are short on materials on either of those try ebony.  The ebony ingots are pretty easy to get from the 3 blacksmiths + general merchants in whiterun.  Basically, if you are selling enchanted daggers usually the merchants don't have near enough gold.  So I would always buy up all the ebony ingots they had and then sell them my daggers and drain them of all their gold.  I now have 100's of ingots which to cheaply craft ebony weapons and armor which I can experiment with different enchantments or give to my follower.  The main things I always buy from merchants are lockpicks, ebony ingots, and high end arrows.
- Go get married early to pick up a nice food buff, sleeping xp buff, and a cozy little profit.  I married Camilla Valerius in Riverwood since you should have already met her quest requirement (golden claw).  She also becomes a merchant which is just another source for you to sell your stuff.
- Fast travel is very convenient and you can pay a small amount of gold to ride the carriages (there is one right at whiterun stables) to get to any of the major cities to unlock them.
- I started with Lydia as my follower for about the first half of my play time.  I recommend switching to Mjoll if you want a good melee 2 hand/archer follower.  She's a bit chatty (some people like that) but it seems like she can't be perma killed (unlike Lydia which I had to reload many times b/c I found her dead after some of the harder fights).
- For follower enchants I used fiery soul trap + paralysis on all their weapons.  Give them a few soul gems and some empty ones and they will be self sufficient as far as keeping their weapons charged up and filling a few soul gems to boot.  On armor I stuck on fortify health and carry weight wherever I could making them the best pack mule they can be!
- My horses keep dying or getting lost.  I'm thinking about doing dark brotherhood just to get Shadowmere.  I had Frost but he somehow died or disappeared.  Yeah, I have bad luck with horses.
- Steed stone is by far my favorite especially for heavy armor.
- Keep visiting the greybeards for more words of power locations if you are trying to collect them all.
- When looting always look at the weight to value ratio and not just the value.  You want to pick up the stuff that is worth the most for the least amount of carrying weight.
- There were some odd performance issues that happens maybe once every 15 hrs.  The framerate would just tank to single digits and become pretty much unplayable.  It only seems to happen in certain dungeons.  A reload of a save usually fixes it.  It doesn't happen that often but when it does it is quite annoying.
- Lately, I crafted a new set of ebony and enchanted it all out for archery.  I'm experimenting with an archery build and then dual wield as backup.  On this bow I decided to use fiery soul trap and paralysis.  It takes longer to kill things but it's definitely a lot of fun especially after you sink a few points into the archery tree.  I'm basically getting all the skills up the left side of the tree.  Dual wield does pretty crazy damage even without any points in it.

- Trying out a pure mage High Elf destruction build.  I'll probably hit the mage's college early on to check that quest line out.
- Graphics look even better at 1080p + the new free hd texture pack dlc.
- I love the quicker save/load times.  This is by far the biggest difference I notice.  Even with the disc installed on the 360 load times take way too long.  Quick save/load is also a very nice pc only feature.
- Mods Mods Mods which is the main reason I bought the PC version too.  My 360 game is my pure experience while I plan to mod out the PC version quite a bit.
- First of all I'm not really using steam workshop as of yet since without a search feature it's pretty much dead to me.  Instead go here for all your modding needs:
(UPDATE: As I was writing this steam workshop finally got a search bar and most of the mods I listed are there too).
- Make sure you install this first:
which makes managing your mods a lot easier.
Current mods I'm using:
SkyUI - The best UI replacement.  You must install SKSE first though (read the readme.  It's easy).

I also wanted to make skyrim with a bit more ummm eye candy but still making it safe to play around family.
CBBE (with the nevernude option, Make sure you follow the .ini modification needed if you have the texture pack installed)
Better females by Bella (for that glam look.  I still hate bethesda faces.  They were a bit better in skyrim though).
Killer Keos Skimpy CBBE V2 Armor Set -Work In Progress (for ummm more interesting looking armor)
- I've only had the PC version for a few days so I'm still exploring the mod scene.
- Regardless of what the title says I think these console commands would make you feel like a cheater but still these could come in handy:
- Runs pretty well on my macbook pro 15" mid 2010.  I actually got the cider wrapper to work but it was still a pretty big fps hit even at low settings (felt at least 10fps slower than bootcamp).  In bootcamp I'm getting a very acceptable 30-45 fps with a mix of low - medium settings.  I'm using the dropbox symbolic link trick to keep my save files in sync between this and my gaming desktop.
- Runs at a nice clip of 30-50 fps at ultra settings with the hd texture pack.
- UPDATE: So I deactivated all my mods in nexus and subscribed to them all in steam workshop.  When you launch the regular launcher it downloads all your mods and will check for updates too.  This is tied to your steam account so it carries across multiple installations/pc's too which is very nice.  Just make sure before you play you at least fire up the regular launcher to get any mod updates, close the launcher down, and then launch skse like usual.  Here are the equivalent steam workshop links for the mods I'm using:
Better females by Bella
Killerkeo's Simpy Armor Pack WIP

Highly recommended.  Any game that has me coming back for more even after 83 hrs and "finishing" the game and then getting me to buy it twice says something.  It's vast in content and yet all of it feels high quality and dense.  It's open ended open world yet it has so many really good solid plot quests.